Vaccinations Article in WAPF Wise Traditions Summer 2012

As anybody who has been reading my blog for any time knows the subject of vaccines is something I feel strongly about. Not so much that parents should follow any one side over the other but that education, careful thought and informed decisions be made. It takes effort and time. But what part of parenting doesn’t?

When I can I like to share studies, articles and resources that come across my path that other parents might find interesting or informative. One of the best sourced articles I’ve come across in a while was published in the most recent copy of Wise Traditions. Since it won’t be available in digital form for quite a while on the WAPF website I’m going to type it up in it’s entirety here. Please pardon any typos. Transcription work was never a strong point. 😛

Further preface this with the disclaimer that this is *not* an unbiased article. It’s on the anti-vaccine side but some of the points made are quite valid in my opinion. Especially as it pertains to safer protocols in the manufacturing of vaccines. Also, at the time this goes live on my blog the source links have not been vetted for accuracy or made live yet. When I have time I’ll go back and test/make the links live. They are included for those who wish to check them out for themselves though.

Vaccinations: The Ongoing Debate by Leslie Manookian

Vaccinations, what a topic! They rank right up there with politics and religion as things not to discuss around the Thanksgiving table. Vaccinations are sure to elicit emotional responses from most people, though generally these responses are based largely on belief and lore rather than facts and hard science. It is easy to understand why the subject is so charged given that all parents would want to protect their children. And of course all people, even those who aren’t parents, want to believe there is a way to protect themselves from the dangers of life, which makes it easier for vaccine makers and policy makers to spread fear and sell products that promise a safer existence.

But do we really understand all there is to know about vaccines? Are those who ask questions about vaccines really fringe lunatics or are they perhaps more informed than the masses and using this information and their intelligence, combined with a healthy diet, to choose another path to health? In this heated debate, it is imperative that we parse fact from fiction so that we can all make genuinely well-informed decisions about our health and well-being.

My film, The Greater Good does just that. The Greater Good weaves together the stories of families whose lives have been forever changed by vaccination with the perspectives of doctors and scientists from around the world. Our tagline for the film is “If you think you know everything about vaccines…think again.” The film shares different perspectives on vaccinations to help the viewer understand what we know and what we don’t know about vaccine science, and shows that parents who ask questions about vaccines or forgo them for their children are not crazy or ill-informed. The film also shows that vaccines may be responsible for the epidemic of chronic illness that plagues our planet today.

So let’s address the facts of what we do and don’t know about vaccines today as we begin to reconsider this controversial topic.

HOW MANY?

CDC Photo of Infant Vaccine

CDC Photo of Infant Vaccine

How many vaccines do kids get today? A child receiving all the recommended vaccines and boosters today receives:

  • Twenty-six doses of nine vaccines by the first birthday
  • Forty-eight doses of fourteen vaccines by age six
  • A total of seventy doses of sixteen vaccines by age eighteen

This is almost three times the recommended number of shots recommended by the CDC in 1983.

  • Eleven doses of four vaccines by the first birthday
  • Twenty-two doses of seven vaccines by age six
  • A total of twenty-three doses of eight vaccines by age eighteen

VACCINES FOR ADULTS

Is vaccine safety just an issue for new parents? No. The DCD is now recommending a flue shot every year from cradle to grave as well as many adult booster shots for childhood diseases and new vaccines such as shingles. The pharmaceutical industry has an estimated two hundred vaccines in development for use in many population groups, not just children.

VACCINE SAFETY

Are vaccines safe? A large, long-term clinical study comparing the medium or long-term health outcomes of vaccinated and unvaccinated groups of people has never been done. Moreover, while vaccines are often given simultaneously, with as many as ten vaccines given in one visit, safety studies do not evaluate the safety of simultaneous shots. Nor have the different ingredients of human infant vaccines taken individually or in combination been evaluated in large, long-term clinical studies. Until these studies are done, it is not possible to fully answer this question.

THE RISKS

What kinds of risks am I taking if I vaccinate my child?

Like all pharmaceutical products, vaccines carry risks. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 signed by President Ronald Reagan, acknowledged that vaccines can cause injury or death. It sets up a trust fund for resolving vaccine injury and death claims and provides compensation to those found to be injured by vaccines.

Recent research has shown neurological damage including motor function deficits, cognitive impairment, and behavioral changes in mice given the aluminum in vaccines.(2) Research has also shown impaired immune function and auto-immune disease in humans following administration of these same compounds. (3,4) Despite these findings, large scientific gaps remain, until those gaps are filled, the overall safety of vaccines is difficult to assess.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

How often do adverse vaccine reactions occur?

A large, long-term clinical study comparing the health outcomes of vaccinated versus unvaccinated patients has never been done therefore this question is difficult to assess. In addition most vaccine trials last only a few weeks so many reactions may be unknown. Furthermore, the U.S. has a system called the vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) to monitor vaccine reactions. VAERS is a passive reporting system and the CDC states that underreporting “is one of the main limitations of passive curveillance systems, including VAERS. the term underreporting refers to the fact that VAERS receives reports for only a small fraction of actual adverse events.” (5)

COMMON REACTIONS

Doctors often say that reactions such as swelling, soreness, tenderness and a lump at the injection site, fever, fussiness, tiredness, and vomiting after vaccination are normal and nothing to worry about. Is this true?

While most of these reactions may seem benign on the surface, it is not known for certain what causes these reactions and whether they reflect some deeper problem. In The Greater Good, Dr. Lawrence Plevsky states that no studies exist to determine what happens to the body’s systems and tissues when a vaccine is given. In the making of the film and while conducting screenings, we have come across many parents who said their child had these “normal” reactions after a round of vaccines but never was quite the same again and went on to develop a learning disability, allergies ADHD, or another type of chronic disease.

VACCINE INGREDIENTS

Are all the ingredients in vaccines safe? The truth is that vaccine ingredients have not been tested for safety in doses given to human infants either singularly or in combination for c0-toxicity. The list of ingredients in vaccines includes but is not limited to: mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, cells from aborted fetuses, cells from monkey kidneys chicken embryos, viruses, antibiotics, yeast, polysorbate 80 and detergents.(6) While the amount of mercury has been reduced in most vaccines, it is still used in the manufacturing process and trace amounts (less than 1 mcg) still exist after filtering. (7) MOreover, most flu vaccines still contained 25 mcg of mercury.(8)

Mercury is a well-known neurotoxin and is particularly damaging to the brain of a developing fetus or child. (9) Formaldehyde has been classified as a known human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.(10)

ADJUVANTS

Adjuvants are substances added to vaccines to stimulate an immune response because without adjuvants, the vaccines do not work. Aluminum is the adjuvant most commonly used in vaccines. In their study, “Aluminum Vaccine Adjuvants: Are they Safe?” published in Current Medicinal Chemistry, Lucija Tomljenovic and Christopher Shaw write: “Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant. Despite almost eighty years of widespread use of aluminum adjuvants, medical science’s understanding about their mechanism of action is still remarkably poor…Experimental research, however, clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans. In particular, aluminum in adjuvant form carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and associated neurological complications and may thus have profound and widespread adverse health consequences.”(11)

VACCINE STUDIES

Are vaccines properly studies for safety and effectiveness:

Vaccine studies often last just a few weeks and focus on efficacy, namely whether the vaccine being studies stimulates the “desired” inmune response in the blood. The pharmaceutical company developing the vaccine conducts the studies and then submits them to the FDA for approval for licensure.

Most seriously, the study is allowed to use another vaccine or a liquid containing an adjuvant such as aluminum as the placebo. (12) This way the vaccine producer can say that the vaccines cause no more adverse reactions than a placebo.

The complete vaccine schedule has not been studies for safety nor have all the various possible combinations of vaccines that might be administered on a single day.

PHYSICIAN KNOWLEDGE

Do doctors know all there is to know about vaccines and their safety?

Doctors are taught that vaccines are safe and effective; they are not taught how vaccines are studied, the components of vaccines, or the gaps in research. Doctors are taught that decades of clinical use in vaccines have demonstrated their safety and that vaccine side effects are rare, but there are no large, long-term clinical trials comparing the health and well being of those vaccinated to those unvaccinated to back up these assumptions.

RELATIVE RISK

Aren’t vaccines safer than getting the disease?

This is a very difficult question to assess, as we don’t know the long-term health outcomes of the vaccine schedule. Given that we only have a passive surveillance system to determine adverse reactions, we don’t know the true numbers of reactions that occur. Many disease vaccinated against today were considered fairly benign in past decades (flu, chicken pox, pumps, rubella) or quite rare (Hepatitis A and B, meningitis).

This does not mean that all disease are rare or benign, but rather explains the difficulty in maing a statement assessing the relative risk when the true health outcomes and reactions are as yet unknown.

INFECTIOUS DISEASE

Are vaccines responsible for the low levels of mortality we see from infectious diseases in the developed world?

According to a study by Bernard Guyer and others, published in Pediatrics in December of 2000 ,”nearly 90 percent of the decline in infectious disease mortality among U.S. children occurred before 1940, when few antibiotics or vaccines were available.” What happened? According to the authors: “State and local health departments implemented these public health measures including water treatment, food safety, organized solid waste disposal, and public education about hygienic practices.”(10)

CHRONIC ILLNESS

Do vaccines cause chronic illness?

There are studies linking vaccines to chronic cognitive dysfunction, behavioral changes, motor function impairment, eczema, learning disabilities, arthritic, asthma and more. (2-4, 14-18)

AUTISM

Do vaccines cause autism?

While vaccine authorities assert there is no science linking mercury or vaccines to autism, there is in fact peer-reviewed scientific evidence connecting both to autism. A study by Gallagher and Goodman found that boys who received the birth dose of Hepatitis B containing mercury were nearly three times more likely to receive an autism diagnosis than those that did not receive the vaccine. They went on to study the three doses of Hepatitis B and found that the boys who received the whole series were nearly nine times more likely to require special education services than boys who did not. (14,17)

A recent study bo Tomljenovic and Shaw connected the rising incidence of autism to the use of aluminum in vaccines. (19)

Helen Ratajczak, PhD, a former senior scientist at a drug company, conducted a review of all the available autism research since autism was first described in 1943; her results were published in the Journal of Immunotoxicology. When interviewed after publication and asked whether the science on autism shows any relationship between vaccines and autism she said: “The data show that when more vaccines were given, and were given at earlier ages, the incidence and prevalence of autism increased. There are many aspects of vaccines that cause autism.” (20)

But hasn’t science proved there is not link between mercury and autism? A review by Catherine DeSoto, PhD, of all the impirical research available on the mercury-autism link found that the body of research actually shows a link between mercury and autism by more than a 3-1 margin. Her findings are in stark contrast to government claims that there is no scientific link. (21)

MANDATORY VACCINES

Are vaccines mandatory?

The fact is that all states have excemptions for vaccines: medication, religious or philosophical. Some states have only medical exemptions, some have medical and religious and some have all three types. The difficulty of obtaining exemptions differs from state to state. Visit our website to explore the laws in your state: www.greatergoodmovie.org/state-laws 

DAMAGES

What recourse does one have after vaccination damage?

If you or your child suffers a vaccine injury, you must apply to the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Program for damages. The program manages a trust fund that pays damages to those injured by a vaccine and is funded through a seventy-five-cent tax levied on every vaccine given in America. To date, the program has paid out more than two billion dollars and has about three billion dollars in reserves.

If you are denied compensation or are un-happy with the award, you are not allowed to sue the doctor, nurse, government or vaccine manufacturer. On Februrary 22, 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that Americans have no resource in civil course even if the vaccine manufacturer could have made a safer vaccine. (22)

MODERN EPIDEMICS?

Won’t disease come back if we stop vaccinating?

The fact is that disease incidence is a very complex issue determined by many variables such as general health and a robust immune system due to proper nutrition; and public health measures such as sewage management and drinking water systems. (13)

Moreover, disease outbreaks regularly occur in fully vaccinated populations so vaccination may not be as effective a preventative as generally believed . (23) Given these facts, it is difficult to make any statements about what patterns disease might take if vaccination rates declined.

AND NOW WHAT?

The coming few years will be critical for the issue of vaccine safety, and I hope you will get involved. I was thrilled to bring my film The Greater Good to WAPF’s national conference last fall, and to hear from so many chapters that the film has been a valuable discussion starter. If your chapter hasn’t screened the film yet, plase visit our website for detailsa nd resources to help you do that, including a discussion and facilitation guide, tips for hosting a screening, a FAQ, links to stuies and resources mentioned in the film and much more available at http://www.greatergoodmovie.org.

One particularly important policy issue emerging in the coming months is the protection of state level exemptions to vaccines for philosophical, religious and medical reasons. It is important that all fifty states give families the right to all three of these exemptions. Coalitions are forming across the country to educate their communities about the complex issue of vaccine safety. These groups include natural health practitioners, families, midwives, doulas, nurses, teachers, elected leaders and vaccine safety advocates of all stripes.

A vital link in that emerging group is the WAPF community. I encourage you to reach out to groups in your community and learn what is happening in your state. Collaborating on a screening is a great way to get started. I believe that together we can create a world where:

  • Vaccines can be made safer
  • Doctors and parents are educated about adverse reaction to vaccines, so that these reactions may be treated appropriately, thereby reducing long-term impact.
  • Parents have the information they need to make informed choices about vaccines.
  • Schools and doctors respect and value parents’ rights to choose how they keep their families healthy;
  • Families feel safe to make their own choices regarding their families’ health and well being without fear of expulsion from school or exclusion from their communities
  • Scientists are free to pursue research into vaccine safety without fear of jeopardizing their income or career prospects
  • All fifty states uphold family’s rights to exemption from vaccination for religious, philosophical or medical reasons.
  • The top priority is health and wellness, and all vaccines go through vigorous due diligence process for safety.

I hope you will visit our website and consider bringing the film to your chapter and to those you love. You can stream the film, buy a DVD or share either as a gift. Consider hosting an event yourself, or make a donation to our engagement campaign online to help us bring the film to families, healthcare practitioners and policymakers nationalwide so they too can “think again” about vaccine safety issues.

Most importantly I hope you will tell friends about the film, and continue to learn more yourself.

REFERENCES:

  1. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/child-schedule.html
  2. Petrik M.S. Shaw C.A., et al. Aluminum Adjuvant Lined to Gulf War Illness Induces Motor Neuron Death in Mice. NeuroMolecular Medicine 2007: 9: 83-100.
  3. Shoefeld Y., Agmon-Levin N., “ASIA”-Autoimmune/Inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants JAutoimmun 2011; 36:4-8
  4. Couette M, Boisse MF. Maison P, et al. Long-term persistence of vaccine-derived aluminum hydroxide is associated with chronic cognitive dysfunction. J Inorg Biochem 2009; 103: 1571-1578
  5. http://vaers.hhs.gov/data/index
  6. http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/package_inserts.htm
  7. http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/UCM096228
  8. http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/package_inserts.htm
  9. http://www.epa.gov/hg/about.htm
  10. http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2004/prl53.html
  11. Tomljenovic L, Shaw CA, Aluminum vaccine adjuvants: are they safe? Curr Med Chem. 2011: 18(17):2630-7
  12. Jacobson RM, Ovsyannikova IG, Poland GA. Testing vaccines in pediatric research subjects Vaccine. 2009 May 26;27 (25-26):3291-4
  13. Guyer B, etal. Annual Sumary of Vital Statistics: Trends in the Health of Americans During the 20th Century. Pediatrics, Dec. 2000; 108(6): 1307-1317
  14. Gallagher CM, Goodman MS, Hepatitis B triple series vaccine and developmental disability in US children aged 1-9 years. Tox & Environ Chemistry 2008; 90(5): 997-1008
  15. Hawson CP, et al. Chronic Arthritis after Rubella Vaccination. Institute of Medicine, Clin Infect Dis. 1992 Aug; 15(2):307-12
  16. McDonald, K et al. Delay in diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus vaccination is associated with a reduced risk of childhood asthma, J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2008; 121 (3); 626-631.
  17. Gallagher CM, Goodman MS, Hepatitis V Vaccination of Male Neonates and Autism Diagnosis NHIS 1997-2002. J Toxicol Environ Health 2005; 115 (4): 737-744
  18. Enriquez R, et al. The relationship between vaccine refusal and self-report of atopic disease in children. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2005; 115:(4): 737-744
  19. Tomljenovic L, Shaw CA, Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the risking prevalence of autism: Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 2011; Nov; 105(11): 1489-99
  20. http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/autisms-causes-and-biomarkers-an-interview-with-helen-ratajczak-phd.html
  21. DeSoto C and Hitlan R. Sorting out the spinning of autism: heavy metals and the question of incidence. Acta Neurobiol Exp 2010, 70: 165-176
  22. http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-152.pdf
  23. Plotkin, S and Oenstein, W, Vaccines, 3rd edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company,1998.409-441 and 508-531.

Stop breastfeeding because it’s….too effective?

A friend linked me to an article written by a well known alternative health “educator” I use quotes because this particular gentleman does a certain amount of fear mongering in a rather deliberate way as part of his very successfully monetizing marketing campaign. Fear for sales is not something I am a fan of. Reading his article I couldn’t help but think that this was like many other articles I have read of his…overblown with conclusions drawn that were a stretch at best. To satisfy my curiosity about whether or not researchers had actually gone on record suggesting what he said was suggested I went digging for source materials.

Interestingly enough in his “sources” he did not link to the actual source of the information from which he wrote such a disturbing article, which is a fascinating study performed by several researchers at the National Centers for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which is part of what we commonly know as the CDC. The title of this study is Inhibitory effect of breast milk on infectivity of live oral rotavirus vaccines Or, in plain English: Why breast-milk would make live oral rotavirus vaccines ineffective or less effective.

The abstract of this study can be read here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20442687

The study begins with a statement about how the Rotavirus vaccine has proven less effective among children in poor developing countries compared with middle income and industrialized countries for reasons that are not yet completely understood. The scope of the study was to determine whether the neutralizing activity of breast milk could lower the titer of vaccine virus and explain this difference in vitro.

Just incase you are wondering here’s the definition of in vitro:  In vitro comes from the Latin term “in glass” and refers to studies of biological properties that are done in a test tube (i.e. under glass) rather than in a human or animal. As opposed to in vivo (“in life”) studies which are done inside an organism. In vitro studies allow scientists to isolate specific cells, bacteria, and viruses and study them without the distractions of having to look at a whole organism.

With that clarified we’ll move onto the next section which is the methods used for the study.

Breast milk samples were collected from mothers who were breast-feeding infants 4 to 29 weeks of age (ie, vaccine eligible age) in India (N = 40), Vietnam (N = 77), South Korea (N = 34), and the United States (N = 51). We examined breast milk for rotavirus-specific IgA and neutralizing activity against 3 rotavirus vaccine strains-RV1, RV5 G1, and 116E using enzyme immunoassays. The inhibitory effect of breast milk on RV1 was further examined by a plaque reduction assay

IgA can be read about in all it’s geeky detailed glory by clicking the name.

Now onto the part that I found the most fascinating.

Breast milk from Indian women had the highest IgA and neutralizing titers against all 3 vaccine strains, while lower but comparable median IgA and neutralizing titers were detected in breast milk from Korean and Vietnamese women, and the lowest titers were seen in American women. Neutralizing activity was greatest against the 2 vaccine strains of human origin, RV1 and 116E. This neutralizing activity in one half of the breast milk specimens from Indian women could reduce the effective titer of RV1 by ∼2 logs, of 116E by 1.5 logs, and RV5 G1 strain by ∼1 log more than that of breast milk from American women.

Now, the researchers do not venture a speculation as to why this antibody action would be so much less in American women as compared to the breast milk of women from other countries. My best guess would be that it pertains to our deplorable nutrient deficient SAD diets. The lack of nutrients means a lack of reserves for a woman’s body to use to create these immune beneficial properties to then pass along to an infant via breast-milk. How’s that for motivation and encouragement to eat nutrient dense foods while we are nursing eh Mamas?

And now for the part that had my jaw hitting the floor and a feeling of incredulity washing over me.

The lower immunogenicity and efficacy of rotavirus vaccines in poor developing countries could be explained, in part, by higher titers of IgA and neutralizing activity in breast milk consumed by their infants at the time of immunization that could effectively reduce the potency of the vaccine. Strategies to overcome this negative effect, such as delaying breast-feeding at the time of immunization, should be evaluated.

Allow me a bit of incredulous reaction. We are speaking of specifically poor, developing countries. One of the things about poor countries is that well…they are poor. Poor means they don’t have much money or access to heavily refined products. Products like oh, let’s say formula for example. Most women in poor countries can neither access or afford high quality infant formula. When the researchers suggest the possibility of delaying breast-feeding at the time of immunization are they suggesting perhaps that a baby be forced to “fast” for a matter of hours during the time of the administration of the vaccine? Or for a matter of days without access to breast milk to assure the vaccines greatest opportunity to work? If it is a matter of hours you run into the potential of lactating mothers becoming engorged. Unlike their industrial country counterparts women from poor un developed countries do not have easy or affordable access to such conveniences as breast pumps. If it is a matter of days they are suggesting a lactating woman to simply “take a break” from nursing and a) find alternate means of nourishment for her baby and b) managed to maintain her milk supply without becoming engorged or having her supply disappear due to lack of demand seems utterly ludicrous to me.

As it is commonly asserted by leading immunologists infants do not have much if any immune system of their own before they are a year old. I talk about that in this post. It seems as though something these researchers are suggesting is that they think it might be a viable and perhaps even healthier choice to restrict an infants access to the nourishment that is providing it’s sole source of immunity in order to give it a live vaccine that works by stimulating the immune system. Am I the only one that sees this experiment ending with a lot of sick babies? It’s like Ok, let’s take away the one thing that is protecting these infants, perhaps a little too well, to the point that it’s messing up our standard protocol of vaccinations, and introduce a live disease element to their young bodies and expect this to provide optimal health to these children. It makes absolutely no sense to me.

I for one hope their desired followup ideas are not explored. Sounds like a miserable thing to do to nursing Mamas and Babies at best and potentially catastrophic at worst for the ‘subjects’ submitted to follow up testing.

But my takeaway point isn’t that some group of scientists that seem oblivious to the logistics involved in the real world want to try something out that seems futile…It’s the suggestion and reminder from the data that came back in the study that American’s women’s immunity they are passing to their breastfed babies is not as “potent” as that of their unrefined countries counterparts. I’m off to eat a nutrient dense, whole foods breakfast and take some basic immune support supplements. My body is my babies immune system protection right now and I’m gonna start taking that responsibility a whole lot more seriously.

I’ll close with a short message from Caleb, on behalf of all nursing babies out there. “We thank you Mamas of the world for sacrificing vanity, personal comfort, convenience and at times public approval to attempt to feed us all too often ungrateful little chubby things food manufactured from your body. Eat good food!”

"Eat Good Food Mamas!"

“Eat Good Food Mamas!”

Infant Immune Systems and Vaccination

I promised myself I would not start another blog post talking about how long it’s been since my last post. So. This is me NOT talking about my gross negligence as a blogger-wanna-be. 😛

DaMan and I spent a lot of time talking. Not nearly as much these days as in times past. We used to work together in the same house/space/office all day long in the early days of Beeyoutiful. This provided ample opportunity to talk through anything and everything. These days Beeyoutiful has it’s own building and he leaves in the morning and goes to work like most other men do while I attempt to work and keep up with the two kids at home. Now we try to make the  most of our evenings and weekends. Sometimes we sneak in the occasional IM conversation over the course of the day or touch base via texts. But, it just isn’t the same as the good ol’ hours long discussions that were once part of our daily lives.

 

DaMan and I

DaMan and I

Talking with him is one of my absolute favorite things to do. Part of the reason we both like to converse so much is that we rarely have the same opinion about anything. Well, that isn’t completely true. It would be more accurate to say that while we may hold many (even most) of the same opinions and positions on a variety of topics its safe to say that they are for almost totally different reasons. What he finds compelling and persuasive I find far fetched or dry or unappealing and on it goes. We’ve joked that on the topic of artists if you drop us into any art museum in the world we will instantly be drawn to different artists and radically different styles and wonder why on earth the other is so impressed with that uninspired work. This is why we were so elated to find a local artist that we both loved…We now have several of her canvases gracing our home. But I digress…

One of the topics that has received a lot of “air time” in our conversations both before marriage and after is the topic of immunizations. It’s such a complex topic. So heated and people are so adamant on both sides and instead of there being a strong “moderate” middle ground represented it’s mostly just confused people who don’t have any clue where to start in sifting through the literal MOUNTAINS of written material on this topic. And, once they do start sifting the conflicting assertions is enough to nearly drive a person batty.

Screen shot 2012-09-29 at 3.01.02 PM

It’s been a years long process but both of us have read and sifted. Sifted and read. Argued and debated. Shifted and re-shifted. Our opinions have changed and changed again the more we learned. It isn’t a topic I’ve ever written much about because honestly, I don’t like writing on topics that are charged with conflict. DaMan says it’s my uncontrollable inner compulsion to please everybody and there is probably more than a small amount of truth to that. But, I’ve come to the place where I feel like it is important to share what I consider to be one of the most *pivotal* points of information that every parent should know and understand when educating themselves on the topic of vaccines.

babymark

On a personal level I find the immunizations given to very tiny babies to be the most concerning of all of the generally recommended and accepted vaccination protocols. DaMan has heard me rant for years now the following or some variation of it “I just don’t understand…The very organizations that recommend these vaccine schedules and vaccine effectiveness also assert that young babies have no immune systems of their own until about a year old. It makes no sense to me how a vaccine can even work to be effective in an infants body if there is no immune system to be able to build immunity in the first place!” I have tried to find a logical explanation for why this has become accepted and strongly recommended practice by a group of experts who don’t even believe that is how an infants body works in the first place. If anybody has an explanation for this please share, I would truly like to understand.

Screen shot 2012-09-29 at 3.11.03 PM

I have been left with a gigantic question mark over this particular vaccine protocol. Today a friend posted a link to a very interesting post about this very long standing sticky point. It is written by Michael Gaeta, a holistic health activist and educator. He shares how he was recently at a conference of traditional health care practitioners and had the opportunity to give a presentation to them as well as listen to a panel discussion of medical experts later in the day. He posts a recording of a question posted to a PhD Immunologist about Infant Immune systems and Vaccines.

You can listen to it on his site here: Immunologist PhD answers Question about Infant Immunity 

His post in it’s entirely can be viewed here: Michael’s post about Dr.’s Conference

The Excerpt from the panel interview with the PhD Immunologist confirmed what I have long thought. The transcript of it is below:

Q. So the science seems fairly clear that for the first year of life, probably, that the immunization is not stimulating the kind of response we expect it to stimulate.

A. True.

Q. So what’s the rationale for continuing to do that if it’s not doing what it’s supposed to be [doing]?

A. The vaccines are given at pediatric wellness visits, and the idea is that you are training the parent to bring their child in at all the pediatric wellness visits, and that it’s only the year visit that actually is truly important. But that for most parents you are not going to get them to bring their kid in if they don’t come in at two months, four months, and six months. And so it’s actually more of a training thing.

It’s interesting, I was on the phone with [?] county public health last week, with one of their vaccine nurses. She was like, ‘Oh, you’re talking about vaccines? Make sure you tell them they have to do that year shot because the first three [the 2, 4 and 6 month shots] don’t work.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I know.’ [laughter].

It really speaks for itself. Assuming that vaccines work as they are theorized to do (there is a certain wing of experts who say that it doesn’t in every case but that is a separate issue in the paperwork mountain) They still will.not.work. in tiny babies. If any vaccines are to be declined in a child’s life I would highly recommend you consider making it the ones administered in that first year of life. Injecting foreign substances into perfectly healthy infants is something that I find cringe worthy on a deeply personal level. My personal squeamishness aside, I just don’t get the point of it on a purely analytical level either.

If you believe vaccinating your children is the wisest course of action, and particularly feel that adhering to the CDC’s recommended schedule is important I would implore you to consider giving your infant 1 year of life to build a very healthy immune system without any vaccines at all introduced to their very young and tiny bodies. Take lots of probiotics yourself if you are breast feeding. 6 Months on up can safely be supplemented with Colostrum, Cod Liver Oil and probiotics directly. Help your baby build a very healthy gut flora and which in turn will support a very healthy immune system. The better established and healthy an infants immune system is the more effective the future vaccines will be, assuming they do indeed work as they should.

Happy Tin Tin baby!

Happy Tin Tin baby!

To all my fellow parents out there, the fully vaccinated, the partially vaccinated and the not vaccinated at all…A big hug of encouragement from me. It takes courage these days to choose any course of action on this topic and stick with it. There will be criticisms, threats, warnings and dire prognostications from both sides and head shaking from the two extreme positions over the compromising “middle road” stance as well. Pray for wisdom, do your due diligence in research and education and go forward confident that God will have you do what is best for your particular children. I personally believe this will look different for different families and that it *should* Every circumstance and situation is so unique there is no universal one size fits all perfect protocol to be followed.