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Vaccine Phobia Becomes a Public-Health Threat

Health & Wellness  (tags: abuse, AlternativeMed, autism, children, disease, death, cancer, environment, ethics, health, healthcare, exercise, food, government, investigation, medicine, prevention, protection, research, risks, safety, society, treatment, vaccines )

- 3412 days ago -
What surprises many scientists is that their findings against a vaccine connection keep failing to quell the debate, giving the anti vaccine movement the potential to become a genuine public-health problem. We need some people to understand REAL science


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. (0)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 6:46 am
"In February, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims attempted to provide some clarity, ruling that a widely used vaccine and a vaccine preservative, both targets of concern over the past decade, do not cause autism spectrum disorders. That decision put a stamp of approval on what multiple peer-reviewed studies have concluded for years: The MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine and the mercury additive thimerosal (which was removed from nearly all vaccines by 2001) are not responsible for the rise in autism diagnoses. “I think the tide clearly turned this year, and the court decision, more than anything else, was responsible,” says Paul Offit, a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a vocal vaccine advocate. “It showed that good science does win in the end."

I accept the findings of mainstream science, whatever they may be. And look at the known risks of any given treatment vs. the anticipated benefits. And in the case of vaccines, overall the known risks are far less than the known benefits.

Always go with that for which there is the best scientific evidence. And if new and more compelling evidence is presented next year, re-evaluate your position.

Thanks, Kit.

Tierney G (381)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 8:23 am
I am sure that the Republicons would be glad that all us other people died from lack of vaccine protections in fact they are probably behind it all!!

Bill C (93)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 8:27 am
A vaccine phobia is one thing, but the blatant manipulation of the people by the pharmaceutical industry quite another. Thanks for sharing, Kit.

Elizabeth Schauki (13)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 9:28 am
I agree with the story that the threat is very much to the public at large. I don't understand people who want to risk their children and the health and lives of other people by not vaccinating.

. (0)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 11:36 am
I just want to respond to the comments such as "I accept the findings of mainstream science, whatever they may be." and "I don't understand people who want to risk their children and the health and lives of other people by not vaccinating."

I explored the vaccine safety issue back in the 80's when my daughter was born. After reading much on the subject (I had folders of info from various sources), we decided NOT to vaccinate her. This was long before the autism debate. We did not take this decision lightly and the pediatrician made me sign some papers indicating that I knew the risks involved. Needless to say, he was not happy with me and tried to use all the scare tactics he could muster.

Bottom line, without getting into ALL the specific details (as I no longer have my trusty folders of info!) anything you inject into your body will have some effects, maybe now, maybe later. No one can predict with any certainty how shots will affect people. For me personally, as a kid, I would get sick after a vaccination. My grandfather in his wisdom used to ask my mother, "Why do you take her to the doctor healthy and she comes back sick?" Good question!

Also, just because someone has been vaccinated doesn't necessarily mean that they will not get the disease. Case in point, our local high school had an outbreak of measles among students who had received the measles vaccine. When we were making the decision about our daughter, we looked at the stats for the polio vaccine... the vaccine itself at that time was the leading cause of polio in the US. So, one had a better chance of getting polio by getting vaccinated. Didn't make sense, but the doctors promoted it anyway.

Look at the stats for the National Vaccine Injury Compensation program, which is funded by an excise tax on each dose of vaccine purchased. Total awards given out from FY1989 thru FY 2010 have been $1,944,155,925.77. Many claims have been dismissed, but obviously many children have been injured by or died from vaccines. You can say the chances are not high that this will happen, but taking the chance that the "statistic" will be YOUR child is a decision not to be taken lightly, without looking into ALL the info that's available. People who come to an informed decision after educating themselves on vaccinations should not be criticized if it disagrees with what is the current "mainstream" view.

Tere M (75)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 11:38 am
Thank you for posting and sharing Kit! ~

. (0)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 11:45 am
I recognize, Judy, that vaccines do not, and cannot, provide 100% protection. What they do provide is substantially greater protection from illness, both for the person taking the vaccine and others around that person.

I also recognize that vaccines, like every other drug, have known side effects. And that, like every drug, it is a matter of risk vs. benefit. If more lives and health are saved by using the vaccine vs. lives lost or harmed, then it is a beneficial drug and should be used.

What I advocate is basing our decisions on the best-available evidence. Based on science. Not pseudoscience or unknown what-if's.

Odin Torchwood (45)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 11:52 am
To réspond on second comment, I am a Rebublican and this has nothing to do with people wanting others to die. The fact remains that all vaccines carry a small risk factor. That is why a pre-vaccine test is preferrable to pre-determine adverse affects arising from having the vaccine. After all, it is up to the patient whether or not to accept vaccines to avoid contracting the disease that the vaccine is designed to prevent. They can't guarantee this 100% but is usually marginally beneath it. It is usually best to be prepared based on the benefits the vaccines provide and peace of mind.

JennyLynn W (246)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 12:20 pm
Thanks for sharing Kit! It's an important issue.
No one in this entire situation has really covered themselves with glory over this. It's unfortunate that the track record on this has been so poor by so many.

It's time to subject the companies who make and distribute the vaccine to the consequences of their product fairly - unfortunately they have too much protection from our Congress. That invites appropriate suspicion, undermines their credibility as it should, and fuels fear and bad decision-making on the part of parents.

It's also time to stop the influence of all companies on science. No more funded studies where damaging results are kept secret, no more buying off doctors, no more advertising directly to the public who cannot evaluate the side effects or drug interactions on their own. Its' time to end the silly argument regarding free speech of corporations - if they choose to push their product to a public rather than doctors, by claiming free speech, then it's time for us to hold them accountable for that dangerous behavior by changing laws regarding their financial responsibility when they choose to advertise to laypeople. We can change their behavior by tying it to their profits, regardless of any free speech claims.

It's time to restore vigorous and rigorous government oversight of claims, substances, and outcomes of drugs and procedures. Most of us do not have the full capability necessary to evaluate these on our own and the system (doctors, pharmacists, researchers) has been corrupted by soulless corporations and billions of dollars. There are certain functions that must be performed and performed well by our government and this is one. It is time for us to shut this greed machine down for good and force our representative government to work effectively and efficiently on our behalf.

We need to squeeze the profits gained by doing damage, rein in the perversion of our system and the exploitation of it, and get some strong regulations and robust regulatory agencies that really work for us.

I understand the concerns and confusion that result from bad science and corruption. Still, we benefit from being members of our society and must be socially responsible in return.

Judy - that you did research on this on your own is admirable - loud applause for you. As for those folders (gone now), that research is long outdated. Your mention of some getting sick anyway is (I think) about the live/dead vaccine. I had to get re-vaccinated in order to go to grad school at Arizona State in 1990, because the new vaccines were vastly improved. Also they'd had a huge outbreak of measles here - un-vaccinated undergrads.spreading it quickly.

The rise in autism cases comes at least partly from increased awareness of the spectrum and better communication of the criteria for diagnosis. The timing of many autism diagnoses is at least partly from the fact that the symptoms of the spectrum first begin to manifest (even in un-vaccinated children) at about the same time as toddlers are given vaccines. Unfortunately, laypeople tend to view events closely associated in time as cause and effect.

We don't have children. If we did, they would have been vaccinated. My niece was diagnosed with autism as a toddler and it's very hard because her potential is so limited by it. I've somewhat kept up with the research over the years for that reason. (I'm a researcher in another field.)
When ever something happens to a young person, people comment that parents shouldn't have to bury their children; young people have their whole lives ahead of them. Well, there have been times in human history - some fairly recently - when children died in great numbers from communicable diseases and parents quite often outlived one or more of their children.

That said, I respect the decisions of the parents too. I think that if we can reconnect the risk and rewards by holding vaccine creators/distributors accountable in a consistent and rigorous manner, can remove the dirty profits and obscene corruption from the system mostly, and start to communicate only the high quality and honest research, we can go along way to persuade most concerned parents that the risk is very low.

There is always risk. Not too long ago we were unable to buy fresh spinach here. People had died from eating some spinach and others had suffered permanent organ damage. It's not just any drug you put into your body - foods can be dangerous too. That gets back to a government functioning to protect us in appropriate ways. It's time for our government agencies to do their work well; size is irrelevant, it's whether or not our government works for us that matters.

Kit B (276)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 12:34 pm
The primary issue here is that the debate over autism and vaccines began over one study done in England with only eight (8) subjects from that one very unscientific study has then followed a controversy of unreasonable proportions. Yes, some children - particularly when many injections are given at one time (a poor practice) will develop minor symptoms, these however are not in any way like the full symptomatology or dangers of the actual disease. I get flu vaccines each year and develop a minor swelling on my arm, much simpler then a bout of the flu. I have recently dealt with a larger swelling from a vaccine for shingles again - compared to the pain and long term suffering of shingles - not really a big deal. What is a big deal is if we once again are exposing our children to the recurrence of polio, diphtheria, typhoid, and measles for no reason then a parents discomfort with a child's minor reaction to a vaccine. Some do not remember or are just too young to remember the horrors of these diseases. Vaccines should not be given all at one time or when an individual is is ill, but the numbed of lives saved is incalculable.

Haplo Z (16)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 12:35 pm
Thanks for the article. I really liked that quote, “It showed that good science does win in the end.”

Rhonda L. (4)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 1:01 pm
I have worked in public health and also believe in alternative therapies, HOWEVER, there is a benefit to having people vaccinated (in spite of the fear mongering that some groups are generating), as we know most crippling and horrible diseases like polio have been mostly erradicated with vaccines. This I know to be a fact.

Yes, a healthy unmedicated and more natural lifestyle is important, but as human beings we are still susceptible to viruses and disease that can be prevented with clearly demonstrated science-based health benefits. And, yes, there will always be people who have reactions or iatrogenic effects from a vaccine or any other substance ingested - INCLUDING "healthy food".

Case in point, my sister is a dietitian and she has recently become severely allergic to practically all foods (things like blueberries, crackers, cheese, other fruit). No one knows why (Mayo Clinic, etc.). She is unique in her reaction to these foods. Now we could blame it on vaccines (if we wanted to) that she had as a child, but in truth it could be environmental or related to antibiotics taken for an infection. We just don't really know - there are too many factors interacting with a person's own genetic makeup.

This doesn't mean we should ignore the benefits of modern science and medicine which does help make millions of people's lives better. Severe reactions are in the minority, as science seeks to find the best fit for the most people using double blind control studies. Science and medicine (or even pharmaceutical companies) aren't "out to get us". There is a humanitarian motivation. Until we can customize medicine for an individual person this is truly a gift for many people who would otherwise suffer needlessly. And we just don't know who among us is susceptible.

Another example of this is Malaria vaccines which greatly alleviate the effects of this disease. Would you choose to go to a third world country without the benefit of malaria pills or a vaccine? Hopefully not! Hepatitis is another disease that is preventable because of science based medicine that demonstrates the greater good for the largest population of people affected.

Granted everyone has to make their own decisions, but it does become a public health threat if people become carriers of some diseases that could be prevented and we regress to seeing more outbreaks of things like tuberculosis or polio. It would certainly set us back in terms of our health and wellness advancements.

Hopefully as people are (or become) better educated and less inclined to make emotionally based decisions stoked by 'terror campaigns', there will be a greater sense of calm, rational decision-making that understands we are doing this not on an individual scale, but for the greater good of all humans - at least until we can come up with something better. If no one had a reaction, then there would be no motivation to improve and advance.

Sometimes we just need to recognize our part in contributing to the advancement of science, beyond our personal fears. This includes our changing interpretations of "healthy lifestyle" and our sense of environmental responsibility and stewardship. We are progressing in spite of setbacks. There is no need to regress to the dark ages.


Tuesday March 16, 2010, 1:05 pm

Thanks for posting this important article!

I believe in vaccines. I believe that children and adults should receive all of the recommended vaccinations!

Unfortunately, there is a growing minority who disagree with this and as a result, have caused needless illness, injury and death, all because of unfounded fears and beliefs. It is a shame that there is not a vaccine for stupidity. It is also a shame that so many misinformed adults are allowed to have children!

This situation is so bad that I am of the opinion that if a deadly epidemic or pandemic occurred... those parents who refused to have their children vaccinated... should go to the end of line!


Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 1:14 pm
It is true that the vaccines have helped over hurt people. I think from my point of view there are two reasons why we are very hesitant towards vaccines: First of all, my wife and her siblings had very bad allergic reactions to some of the vaccines they received as a child and we didn't want to chance it with our children, so we opted to do one at a time. Secondly, while the swine flu was nearing epidemic proportions from the media and the government, it was such a huge deal that shows and commercials started to think of it being a black plague that would kill thousands of people. That never happened and even recently I remember seeing an article on how the CDC over estimated the flu's power and death rate. They pushed that everyone take the swine flu vaccine, then had a shortage, then charged for it and then I heard that some places were auctioning off the last dose.

While vaccines now do help, there are some that don't need to be taken, like the one against polio, since that disease is completely extinct in the Western world. Also, while medical studies show that there is no connection with vaccines and autism, I can honestly state that me and my family have witnessed two children who were and acted like normal kids, take more than one vaccines at once and within a month and then after that seem "not so with it". One was a girl and one was a boy who had nothing abnormal with them before and while not having autism after wards, they do have some abnormality that may have been from one too many chemicals being injected at once.

While not being able to read the whole article, I believe that each person is different and vaccines work different on different people. For instance: I am 47 XXY, so hormones react differently with me than with other people. This said, vaccines could react differently on me than someone else, considering in most vaccines it is alive but weakened virus in which your body has to fight off. If health experts suggest different diets for different blood types, then it could be possible that vaccines work differently on different people. I estimate that this case and the research will continue to go on and on in the next years and we will see some sort of breakthrough.

Kit B (276)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 1:29 pm
Vaccines are not new or untested they do in fact save lives if one chooses to believe so completely in government conspiracy theories that they will risk their children's lives and the lives of other children who come into contact with them then perhaps these decisions should be made by medical professionals and not parents. That statement is not directed at those who have concerns but rather those who will not attempt to prevent fatal disease because of preconceived foolish ideas.

Mandi T (367)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 1:36 pm
Good post Kit. Thank you.

June Higgins (21)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 1:58 pm
There are cleary more studies out there that prove vaccines are very dangerous. The government got their information from drug companies themselves. If you look on the the internet or read medical journals, you can find the information. Clinical studies are done outside of drug companies. I really don't think that some people take the time to read these studies. They just believe what anyone tells them. Well, for them, I suppose that the earth is still flat. Vaccines contain mercury and aluminum, both toxic and deadly. Inject it into your body---well never in mine again. Hepatitis B vaccines ruined my life. Look at all of the autoimmune diseases, over 200 new cases a week of MS alone. That's just one disease. We are a dying nation. You figure it out. People who believe everything they hear, do not have a right to comment. Read people. The information is out there. Look up heavy metal poisoning, mercury in vaccines, aluminum in vaccines, studies related to these. You will find them. Drug companies have proven consistently that they do not care about public safety. They care about profits. If you believe that they have our best interest at heart, look at their history. They put drugs on the market that they know are going to kill people. By the time the drug gets pulled from the market, they have made millions. They pay out a couple hundred thousand to families affected, and still have come out ahead of the game. Gardisil is one of their most recent tragedies. Look it up, they are targeting young girls. It is tragic! You can believe them and take your chances if you choose. Come on over, I'll sell you some swamp land.

. (0)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 2:03 pm
John, I'm afraid there are still occasional polio cases in the U.S. The last "wild' case of polio was indeed, I believe, in 1979; however, there have been some since then which were imported. We do indeed still need the polio vaccine. Because unless and until it is eradicated worldwide, as smallpox was, not taking the vaccine will merely encourage more outbreaks.

Pamylle G (458)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 4:12 pm
Whoever wants vaccinations, go ahead & have them. Whoever doesn't - don't force them !

Tuesday March 16, 2010, 4:35 pm
I have a coworker who refused to get the flu vaccination. He came in sick, throwing up, fever, chills all the usual symptoms of flu. He stayed in his office for over an hour throwing up in the garbage can... He then went in to the bathroom for over an hour throwing up... he then went home.

One of our coworkers is 80 years old, with health problems. Another coworker is in her 70's. Both are just trying to make ends meet... Social Security isn't enough for them to survive.

Yes, the sick coworkers choice was to avoid getting the flu shot and he did not want to be vaccinated... But, his stupid selfish short sighted choice put the 80 year old in the hospital and he almost died!

That is part of the problem with these anti-vaccination people... they don't stop to think!

They take their sick children into hospitals to visit their poor old aunt or uncle... and expose people with compromised immune systems to preventable diseases!

They take their sick children into nursing homes to visit their poor old Grandma/Grandpa and end up infecting innocent people with compromised immune systems.

My neighbor, who doesn't believe in vaccines, had to be placed in a nursing home that offered physical therapy for her back. I would bring her dog in so that she could have a bit of joy at the end of the day. What I remember the most about that time period is the stench of vomit and feces from the sick elderly people who caught the flu. There were several deaths... diarrhea is a killer!

I have no sympathy for people who refuse to be vaccinated and/or refuse to have their children vaccinated. I have seen first hand what happens!


Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 5:23 pm
I don't care what so called science says about the vaccines. Science can be manipulated, EXXON oil company has proven that with bogus info they sponsor, Big Pharm can do the same thing.

Autism Researcher Suspected In Fraud

Dr Paul Offit can stuff it, he does not care about children when grant money has been mis-appropriated by scientist who was involved in autism study all Offit cares about is his egotistical agenda and doctors are so egotistical people who think they know everything about health.

If this was a study about thing else, you can darn well know as fact that the study would come into question after grant money had been proven mis appropriated which means FRAUD in my mind.

""A Danish scientist involved in two major studies that debunked any linkage of vaccines to autism is suspected of misappropriating $2 million in U.S. grants at his university in Denmark.

Poul Thorsen, a medical doctor and Ph.D., was an adjunct professor at the Drexel University School of Public Health for several months before resigning Tuesday."

~Vaccines contain more than just mercury which is mind boggling to that any body possibly think that is ok to use. But vaccines also have aluminum, formaldehyde, diseased animals parts,monkey kidney, they are even experimenting on using dog, and worm parts, and even aborted human fetal tissue. How is that for those of you who maybe be anti-abortion? Would you like it that your child is injected with something made with fetal tissue?

The poisons used in vaccines, no this is not conspiracy theory either. You can look it up on CDC web site as well.

June H. EXACTLY! I believe my daughter's immune system issues stems from vaccines she got as a baby as well.

Every one should darn well have the right to NOT be medicated with vaccines if they don't want their child medicated. Babies and children have to take so many vaccines it is FAR from safe. They recently had so many warning about parents not giving to much cough medicine, what the hell makes giving vaccines after vaccine after vaccine after vaccine safe????? It's NOT! That is over medicating! and there are plenty of parents out there with stories of damage done to their children because of vaccines!

Gardasil actually kills young girls and has made some go blind....

memorial of girls who DIED

and girls who have been injured. If you don't think their lives count, then something is wrong with YOU! Parents need to be informed so they can make better choices for their children's lives. Or how about they make vaccines that do not include toxic chemicals!!!

Gardasil injuries continued

Check out a very long article here IS the FDA about to eat their words on the safety of vaccines here Also talks about Gardasil

Remember My Name, children and people who died from vaccines

2-Phenoxyethanol: This is the ingredient that has replaced thimerosal(the mercury). It can cause systematic poisoning, headache, shock, weakness, convulsions, kidney damage, kidney failure, cardiac failure, death.

Stories of injury and death following the nasty MMR vaccine It contains: Live measles virus, mumps virus, rubella virus, sorbitol, sodium phosphate, sucrose, gelatine, human albumin, chick embryos, foetal bovine serum (aborted calf baby), human diploid cell (aborted human baby), neomycin (as stated in MMR 2 manufacturer’s data sheet, Merck, Sharp and Dohme LTD). I don't see how any one can justify such a... witch's brew... of chemicals as safe for any one.

and some of you think herbs an dangerous. Bull shit!!

don't bother replying to my post here because I WILL NOT BE TRACKING!!!! I am sick of pro-vaccine non-sense. Vaccine can be and are dangerous no one should be mandated or forced to get over medicated with such toxic trash and parents out have plenty of concerns and should be such. There are more stories out there that can be counted of damage done. These people don't have millions of dollars to broadcast on tv or nearly the budget of big pharma to LOBBY the govt in order to get their stories heard.

I believe them over govt. or pharma on vaccines any day.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 5:33 pm
sentinels...the flu shot would not have stopped your idiot co-worker from getting sick of the flu. If some one has the flu they should stay home. That is a lack of common sense....NOT a need to vaccinate for the FLU.

Vitamin D3 has been proven time and again to fight against the flu. If people are getting sick they need to supplement with high dose of D in the winter time which is generally when many people get the flu because lack of sun light expose. People stay inside more often then.

People with the worst vitamin D deficiency were 36 percent more likely to suffer respiratory infections than those with sufficient levels, according to the research in this week's Archives of Internal Medicine.

. (0)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 5:39 pm
This discussion seems to bring out as many "I'm right, you're wrong" opinions as one on religion! 8) Earlier on this board, I said I disagreed with vaccinations. That's my opinion. Everyone is entitled, right? I realize from the intensity of the pro-vaccination crowd that I'm in the minority... been there before!

Drugs whether they be vaccines or prescription or over-the-counter all can have side effects. Over the years, vaccines have been given out that were later found to be dangerous or ineffective. OOPS!!! Am I wrong for questioning their reliability? Don't think so. Also, history shows us there are some diseases that are cyclical in nature and disappear over time without human intervention. Do we really need to get a shot for EVERYthing that comes along? I think we need to put more energy into finding ways to strengthen the immune system without drugs so that it can fight ALL diseases. Is that so radical? Is it just a "foolish idea"?

Anway, I have no desire to change the minds of those who believe in vaccinations....just like religion, people use their beliefs to cope with what life brings. If you want to believe that vaccines make you safer, fine. Just please respect that there are some of us who disagree and we should not have to be subject to attacking comments like this one posted above: "Unfortunately, there is a growing minority who disagree with this and as a result, have caused needless illness, injury and death, all because of unfounded fears and beliefs. It is a shame that there is not a vaccine for stupidity. It is also a shame that so many misinformed adults are allowed to have children!"

I find it rather amusing that the writer of that states in his profile under "What Bugs Me" - "Those who force their beliefs on others." Now see, we CAN agree on some things! 8)

P.S. Sentinel's comments about people coming into work or hospitals when sick with the flu is not a vaccine issue, it's a "common sense" one.

. (0)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 5:55 pm
The worship of Jehovah involves a 'belief." That single-malt Scotch is superior to blended Scotch is a 'belief' (albeit one I cannot imagine ANYONE disagreeing with!)

That the Earth is generally spherical in shape rather than flat is not a 'belief'. It is reality. That antibiotics have saved innumerable lives that would have been lost without them is not a 'belief.' It is reality. That rabies is virtually 100% fatal unless one receives the rabies vaccine before the symptoms take hold is not a 'belief'. It is reality.

We should not push our beliefs on others. But we should always push reality on others. We should shout reality to the heavens. Because reality is what IS - and doesn't give a damn what people 'believe." Ignore reality - and the universe tends to punish the 'unbeliever' rather harshly at times.

Reality is what has been shown, through credible evidence, to be the best explanation of how the world works. And unless and until a better explanation of reality is credibly put forth through the scientific method, we should continue to push reality.


. (0)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 6:01 pm
And, Jodi? People with brittle bone disease are more likely to suffer serious injury in car accidents than people with healthy bones.

But wearing a seatbelt will increase the odds of both sets of people surviving the accident without serious injury. And maintaining the brakes on the car may well allow both sets of people to avoid the accident in the first place.

. (0)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 6:24 pm
Pamylie, it isn't that simple, that we can let people who want to get vaccines to get them and allow those who don't not to get them, because it is very much a public health issue. Anyone who lived through the polio epidemic prior to the vaccine and who knew people who died from the disease or spent their days in an "iron lung" or were crippled permanently, has to acknowledge that any risk from the vaccine is slight compared to the effects of the disease. These considerations must be part of Public Health determinations of any vaccine.

If it's less critical to public health, then I'd say, sure, make up your own mind if you want the vaccine or not (such as pneumonia or the flu.) But if you decide not to get a recommended vaccine, please don't ask me to subsidize your health care, either through taxes that support Medicare or Medicaid or through increased premiums.

Luisa Fox (144)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 7:00 pm
Excellent post Kit. Thank you.

Kit B (276)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 7:02 pm
Exact;y again this is not about conspiracies but facts that DO save lives or kill people and the vaccines may from time to time cause harm - FAR less then the diseases that are currently held in check because of the medical advances -- not everything is a conspiracy.

Yvonne White (229)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 7:39 pm
"The MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine and the mercury additive thimerosal (which was removed from nearly all vaccines by 2001) are not responsible for the rise in autism diagnoses."
My son was born in the 1970's & he got his vaccines & I don't Think they caused autism. I suspect a shot I got for a bladder infection while I was pregnant caused it - he was Very Hyper even before he was born!
BUT until doctors Actually KNOW what Causes autism, How can they claim vaccines Do NOT?? Plus I hear now that they're giving oodles More shots in combined doses & more Often, which sounds ridiculous to me!
I & my sisters had the Whooping Cough when I was 12, they were 10 & 4 at the time. My next younger sister & I had had the vaccine, she recently & I 2 years prior - my youngest had not yet, she would've the next year when she started Kindergarden.. My middle sister had a much milder case of Whooping Cough than my youngest sister & I did. But the FACT is that we Still got it. Vaccines DO NOT prevent ALL cases of anything.. but Antibiotics still cure most everything.

. (0)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 7:50 pm
No, Yvonne, antibiotics do not "still cure most everything." They are only useful against bacterial infections and vaccines are used against viral infections. And more and more we're seeing bacterial infections are becoming resistant to antibiotics because of overuse and misuse. Already, there are strains of TB which are very difficult to treat, strains of staph infections that are resistant to antibiotics and highly contagious, and many other diseases that are building resistance to medications.

Prevention is much preferable to treatment.

. (0)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 7:52 pm
"BUT until doctors Actually KNOW what Causes autism, How can they claim vaccines Do NOT??"

Well, until doctors actually know what causes autism, how can they claim that peanut butter does NOT??

. (0)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 8:04 pm
Or Sesame Street?

Cathi Hartline (248)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 8:56 pm
Thank you Kit!
My prayers always....

Catherine Turley (192)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 9:05 pm
i'm very torn. i see the good they've done, but i chose not to get the flu vaccine. among my friends, there was quite a bit of hysteria to get the vaccine since there was an initial shortage. nobody read anything or asked any questions. they just got in line. everybody in my family has had or died from cancer. i don't put anything in my body that i don't need to. i thought it would be more reasonable for me to practice vigilant hygiene. we do have a duty to society, but we have to consider ourselves first. and jennylynn is absolutely on the money. not being able to trust scientists' findings and doctors' opinions clouds what might otherwise be clear.

Helen Snyder (13)
Tuesday March 16, 2010, 9:23 pm
Noted. Interesting comments.

Yvonne White (229)
Wednesday March 17, 2010, 12:08 am
"Well, until doctors actually know what causes autism, how can they claim that peanut butter does NOT??" Okay, how DO they prove it does not? ;) But Seriously, Knowing Even One person can DIE from a vaccine, wouldn't that make you wonder How Safe they really are? I wouldn't take the Gardasil vaccine & I don't take the Flu vaccines they tout every year!

"bacterial infections are becoming resistant to antibiotics because of overuse and misuse" - or they aren't using the Right stuff in strong Enough doses! Around here the doctors all want to give Amoxicillin for Everything.. so I can see the repeated use of the Same thing Could very likely cause people's immune system to become resistant..

I always wondered why my sisters & I got Whooping Cough, but neither of my parents did - they hadn't been vaccinated for over 20 years...?

. (0)
Wednesday March 17, 2010, 2:45 am
"Knowing Even One person can DIE from a vaccine, wouldn't that make you wonder How Safe they really are?"

Well, knowing how many people died of polio, smallpox, tetanus, influenza, measles, etc., I would tend to wonder how 'safe' THEY really are?

Kit B (276)
Wednesday March 17, 2010, 4:12 am
In my life time I have known people who died from viral and bacterial infections, one child when I was young from polio, I have known men who became sterile from mumps at the "wrong" age, 2 year olds losing parents for no discernible reason other then recalcitrants or" fear" and I have been with people go into anaphylactic shock from food allergies. Some known bit until that moment were thought of as mild - then suddenly nearly killed and is also unfortunately true that may parents have unfounded fears of these vACCINES...the vaccines will protect your child from, deadly disease or sreading it to others, That is scientific fact, can supplements help you and your be healthier you for= child sure they can - but I can not think of any plague or wide spread disease that was cured or ended by a strong dose of Vitamin C. Using modern medicine with a reluctant hand is to be expected considering their past history with us. But to withhold a deadly disease protection based primarily\is on a whim and NOT provable evidence, or ignorance of sceicenced is very wrong and dangerous. I do believe people try very diligently to learn about science to find the right way to protect the many dangers awaiting their child at any time.

This situation has become the natural evolution of drug companies who save for a few employees. has simply sold many and useless and often harmful drugs.


. (0)
Wednesday March 17, 2010, 5:33 am
Yvonne, antibiotics are chosen according to a number of factors. 1) Not every bacterium is vulnerable to every antibiotic, so the appropriate drug has to be chosen. 2) Practitioners try not to use the "heavy guns" unless other antibiotics have not worked, sometimes, because they do not want bacteria to become resistant to these drugs, too, or we are left with nothing in our arsenal. It is not simply a matter of using higher doses or stronger meds. We are running out of medications but not running out of illnesses. This is one of the things that really scares doctors. I know, I work with them and behind the doors, they are very worried about what we're going to do when some of the serious illnesses we face daily no longer respond to the medications we have. We do not have an endless possibility of medications on the horizon.

Yvonne White (229)
Wednesday March 17, 2010, 12:32 pm
Chana, you're coming off a Bit condescending - but I'll let that pass..
The Doctors SHOULD be as scared as their patients! I'm saying Some Doctors are Causing some of these problems by NOT using appropriate drugs &/or dosages..
I'm also saying that Big Pharma has Caused this "phobia" about Vaccines - by lying about the safety of their vaccines to begin with & the Necessity of their vaccines..
I'm NOT saying everyone should Stop taking vaccines! I'm saying the doctors & Big Pharma have brought this on themselves AND us!
Science that is Bought is NOT SCIENCE - it's a very expensive Opinion!
In my cheap & tawdry Opinion - people will do whatever they THINK is right, even if it kills them!

Wednesday March 17, 2010, 12:54 pm
Similar to 'Godwin's Law' (which states that as an online argument grows longer and more heated, it becomes increasingly likely that somebody will bring up Adolf Hitler or the Nazis. When such an event occurs, the person guilty of invoking Godwin's Law has effectively forfeited the argument)…

there is 'Blumenstein’s Law' which states that who ever cites and/or claims 'Common Sense' has neither!


Mary S (12)
Wednesday March 17, 2010, 12:58 pm
Vaccines should not be the only method a person relies upon for the prevention of disease. They are not the final answer and today it seems that the ONLY solution to EVERY medical problem is to invent/manufacture a new vaccine.

Many vaccines are under researched (especially the newer ones where NO long term studies for harmful side effects have ever been done ie. Gardisil). I had my daughter (5) vaccinated but at a slower schedule and I left out those for illnesses I am prepared to deal with at home. I would like to see her get real immunity for some of things such as chickenpox as she will be protected for life that way.

There is little doubt that some vccines have proven highly effective in preventing some serious illnesses but that does not logically mean that there must be a vaccine for everything given to everyone. Have you all heard that there is an effort to produce a vaccine to keep you from smoking or stop you from smoking(not sure which)? I'm not joking.

We are living in an overvaccinated society and there will be some unexpected consequences of the now massive doses of chemicals which should not be part of any medication. Common sense in the midst of this debate would help.

Finally, as it is easy to read the manufacters label on vaccines, and most contain material grown in animal cells(eggs, dog or monkey kidney cells) , are all you vegens here on care2 still happily getting all your shots? You do know that they have ALL been tested on animals.

Kit B (276)
Wednesday March 17, 2010, 2:12 pm
No not all vaccines or medicines are tested on animals and you can get the exact ingredients and amounts from the CDC web-site. I can not find a single comment here that says the only thing one should rely on is a vaccine. For those of us old enough to know what the world was like just 50 years ago without the protections of vaccines then you too would be or are strong advocates. In fact before I see people blaming vaccines for the ills of society and their children I would like to see some proof not based on anything more then hysteria. Neither vaccines nor supplements and homeopathy cure all things, but all things in balance can win many wars against diseases.

Catherine Turley (192)
Wednesday March 17, 2010, 2:22 pm
scurvy and rickets come to mind. (reading kit's comment)
every few months, there's a commercial about a drug that was fda approved, yet has recently been taken off the market and is now subject to lawsuits. why would the public have trust.

Gillian M (218)
Wednesday March 17, 2010, 2:32 pm
Smallpox was a compulsory vaccination worldwide in my parents time..By doing this international vaccination programme smallpox was eradicated from all countries. The WHO then tried to do this with polio but too many parents were not interested. This is why polio repeatedly returns, it is also a killer, as is measles. They can both leave a child handicapped and with measles, brain damaged. German measles can attack the foetus in the womb and also leave it physically and mentally handicapped. I notice that none of these illnesses have been mentioned.

With flu, the WHO looks at China and picks 20 most common versions. They bring the choice down to 3 or 4 for which they prepare a vaccine. It does not mean that you are protected from a flu epidemic or any other flu. I do not worry about flu vaccines and have never allowed my son with asthma to have it as I always felt it to be unnecessary.

As for MMR, I do not believe that it is the cause of the increased number of autistic children. Personally, I think that children more are being diagnosed as more doctors are recognising it. Also, some learning disabilities have been added to autism which will have increased the numbers.

I agree with Judy that all drugs have side effects, that is well known. However, you have to consider the quality of life with or without taking the drugs. I take celecoxib and I am unable to function if I do not take it. It inhibits the absorbtion of aspirin so if you take it for heart problems you may have a heart attack. On the other hand the risk of taking aspirin which causes blood thinning and stomach ulcers....and this goes on.

Bottom line is you have to do what is right for you and what you believe to be right for your children. However, remember that vaccinations save lives.


. (0)
Wednesday March 17, 2010, 5:01 pm
Mary, getting chicken pox, rather than the vaccine will not protect her for life: she will still be vulnerable to Shingles, a very painful disease caused by the same virus, which appears in people that did have chicken pox at some point.

. (0)
Thursday March 18, 2010, 2:30 am
True, Chana. And that argument you highlight (people who say, "Well, getting chicken pox also provides lifetime immunity to the illness....") is made by people who are unintentionally making a very silly statement. Since, of course, the whole point of getting a vaccine is to avoid getting the illness in the first place. Getting the illness to avoid getting the illness is rather a contradicton in terms!

But I certainly agree with Mary that not all vaccines that have, and will be, put out will be necessary or even desirable for all people or other animals medically. Every vaccine, like every other drug, has to be evaluated on its own merits. For example, since my cats are all strictly indoors and never have contact with other animals, I choose not to give them all the same vaccines that I would give to an indoor/outdoor cat. Since the chance of their being exposed to the conditions the skipped vaccines are intended to prevent is so low, the risk vs. benfit ratio is tilted against the vaccines. Just as I wouldn't choose to vaccinated against anthrax because my chances of being exposed to it are very low and, again, the potential risk vs. benefit ratio would be the determining factor. But I do routinely get the rabies vaccine because I do so much work with homeless, wild, and feral animals. There my chance of exposure to a truly deadly condition is higher and the benefit of the vaccine overwhelmingly worth whatever potential side effects might occur (none so far, of course).

Gillian M (218)
Thursday March 18, 2010, 6:03 am
Chana, I agree, shingles is a nasty thing, it can take months to go away and I know a few people that keep getting it. Still, it is not a fatal illness but, potentially, a very unpleasant one with the nerves being damaged.

Other illnesses which can and do cause physical and mental damage should have the innoculations reviewed and, perhaps, the way that it is manufactured.

Despite Judy and Jodi's antipathy towards scientists, not all of them are controlled by pharmaceuticals. I have spoken to doctors, pharmacists and people in biomedical research and have found that the general concensus is that it is more dangerous NOT to vaccinate as epidemics occur when this happens and then there is no protection against the disease.

My younger son was in one of the first to be vaccinated against MMR in this country, My GP was concerned about the unknown quantity of this vaccinations especially in a very young baby. However, we discussed this carefully and he finally felt that the risk of any epidemic outweighed any other risk. At the time my GP was as knowledgeable as any paediatrician and most definitely not in the pay of any pharmaceutical!

Subsequently, there was a lot of hysteria about autism but no child from any group that I knew, nor any other group from areas that I moved to, developed autism nor were no supporting statistics. In fact, no figures I have seen have ever supported this idea.

That does not mean that these vaccinations may not have side effects in some children but, as I initimated in my previous comment, you have to decide if the risk outweighs the advantages ie the possibility of a reaction against the higher risk of catching a childhood illness which can have devastating consequences.

. (0)
Thursday March 18, 2010, 3:42 pm
Nicely said, Gillian.

Gwendolyn Krupa (49)
Thursday March 18, 2010, 7:49 pm
Thanks for the post. This is obviously a touchy subject for so many. Could we all be respectful to others?

Whether you favor vaccines or not, who wants the government to control choices, like these, we make raising our children? It should, at least, be a responsibility and privilege to make important decisions as personal as this, ourselves. Some religions do advise against vaccines from what I understand.

If I had known then, what I now know about the vaccines that were given when my children were young, I might well have decided against some of them. Perhaps, they are safer, now. All I am sure of was that I was young and did whatever the pediatrician said was needed. Both children got "deathly" ill after each DPT and MMR shot. Their little legs would swell and turn bright red. They had fevers that could have burnt their brains. They both threw-up and screamed a lot! They must have been in terrible pain!!!

My daughter choose to vaccinate our grandson. It was difficult to watch him suffer. He, like his mama, was sick for at least a week. Fortunately, her pediatrician was well versed in vaccine allergies. He gave separate shots, rather than combos. He assured us they weren't live virus and contained no mercury. She wisely waited a bit before beginning the series, too. Some pediatricians want to give the first vaccine in the hospital before the wee baby even goes home. Not everyone would agree with me, but I find that unbelievable!

. (0)
Thursday March 18, 2010, 8:02 pm
Gwendolyn, I have to disagree, at least in part, with your stand. I certainly want the government to control choices if it's a public health issue - not things like pneumonia or flu, probably, but I think it's totally appropriate for the government to mandate vaccines such as smallpox or polio or bird flu, if that ever goes pandemic.

Abo r (107)
Thursday March 18, 2010, 9:21 pm
Vaccinations against infectious diseases are needed but after finishing the experamental phase and be safe.

. (0)
Friday March 19, 2010, 3:31 am
We all have a vested interest in public health issues. Here in the U.S., the government tells us that we have to take steps to make sure that our water supply is clean so that we don't have the terrible conditions that used to so often be transmitted by our unclean water supply. We are required to dispose of our trash in certain ways. Human waste and biologically hazardous waste must be disposed of in certain ways. We cannot water our crops with untreated human sewage.

Food handlers must observe certain prohibitions and must wear certain special clothing to protect the food. People who have some communicable and dangerous illnesses can be medically isolated to keep them from passing on their condition to others until they are no longer communicable.

There are many ways in which we, as a society, agree in general that we have the right to pass laws to restrict or mandate the behavior of others their noncompliance can cause significant health problems for large numbers of people. I'm libertarian and I dislike, on principle, laws which restrict our behavior unreasonably. However, sometimes restriction of behavior is not only acceptable - but desirable.

We live on a heavily populated earth. And heavy populations with people living in close proximity to one another are fabulous breeding grounds for disease. Especially now that international travel is so commonplace, since diseases and illnesses which once were restricted to one corner of the world now have the ability to spread with ease.

. (0)
Friday March 19, 2010, 3:40 am
And, Gwendolyn - you say, "who wants the government to control choices, like these, we make raising our children?"

I do. Most of us do. After all, if the government isn't allowed to "control choices", at times, we make for our children, then Jehovah's Witness parents can legally allow their children to bleed to death without receiving a necessary and life-saving blood transfusion after an accident. Religious parents who oppose all medical intervention can (as some already have) allow their children to die of easily treatable conditions, such as ear infections or diabetes. Children in the snake-handling churches could be told by their parents to handle venomous snakes in their services. Children could be put by their parents to work in dangerous factory jobs, like they were in days gone by.

And more. There are a great many things that parents do to children that we disapprove of. That we feel violate the rights of children. Because we, as a civilized society, believe that merely because you give birth to a child doesn't mean you have total and final authority over every aspect of their care - since we recognize that not all parents are good parents. And that even those who love their children may not have the ability or the intelligence to make good choices for their children.

It's often not easy to decide what is a reasonable intervention and what crosses the line. And, of course, government has (and will continue to) crossed the line on many occasions. But we still have to make that call sometimes. Since children don't have the freedom and the maturity to make all decisions about their lives themselves.

Shailja Mukhtyar (90)
Friday March 26, 2010, 4:57 pm
This is a bitter subject for me. As a physician, I see too often that people in their infinate brilliance, think doctors & scientists are stupid... or out to hurt them through vaccines. Failing to recognize the value of vaccines, b/c in USA they have not seen measles, mumps, rubella, rubeola, H flu meningits and paralysis, that these illnesses are gone. IN NJ recently, we had 150 cases of mumps... when that results in infirtility down the road, due to well known effect of orchitis is male, they will expect the govt to pay for infirtility treatments b/c of idiocy of the parents or unsound fears of autism etc.

wake up, aftrica & india & mid east craves that protection... & herd immunity from it, In US we are quickly losing this herd immunity, and when the epidemics come, lack of vacination will be blamed.

Jean Paul Sartre said, " The path to hell is paved w/ good intentions" and parents who deny their kids medical protection of vaccines, may one day be blamed for negligence or child abuse.

Personally childhood obesity, giving kids all the junk they want, Is a form of not only negligence but child abuse, far worse than a slap on the cheek... life long DM, HTN, cholesterol, early MI & death... due to wrong habits sustained by faulty parents is a BIG PROBLEM.

1 in 5 kids in Kindergarden in USA, is obese, and the life expectency of your kids is already less than yours, b/c of the processed & junk food, and lack of fresh veges & fruits, physical activity, and proper diet.

Please WAKE UP, Before ITS TOO LATE...

( i have seen too many 8 & 9 yr old diabetics... have a 10 yr old neice w/ DM juvenile, having been in ICU few times w/ high sugars, taking insulin in school!! She is too good, but so many other kids, your kids need not suffer the same fate... if u take the time to give good food & say NO to JUNK. )

If a vaccine for DM comes, are u going to insist your kids dont need it, till after its too late??

Dee C (23)
Saturday March 27, 2010, 2:32 pm
Great article..
Thanks Kit..
Duly noted..
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