Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Vaccines. Hmmm. I don't particularly like discussing this topic for a couple reasons: 1: vaccines are a very personal thing, everyone has an opinion. 2: whatever I say, there will be people out there who want to argue. However,this topic has been requested so regardless of what anyone will say, I am going to comment. With that in mind, if you have a dissenting view, remember that it is your point of view and you are free to relay that on your blog. Not mine. Thanks.
Vaccines came up a few times last week, ironically, because I hadn't really thought about them lately. We are past the baby stage around here. First, I got a letter from the schools saying that 6th graders are now going to be required to get a few vaccines to enter that school year. Uhg. Then , I got an email from a sweet mama, miss Abigail's mom, who had a very heart wrenching story to tell; stemming from her experience with vaccines. Right after that, I had an email asking that I please blog about vaccines again. To top it off, Miss Terri posted an article about vaccines. I guess it is time to have a little discussion on the subject.
What are my feelings? I can say that through the course of studying and reading testimonies from hundreds of parents who learned the hard way, my feelings on vaccines have changed over the years. I did give vaccines to my kids, although I did give them a little more spread out than normal. My oldest have far fewer vaccines than they now have but the last one , unfortunately, did have them all, up until his 5 year old vaccines. If I only understood them before Mr. Tate was injected....if only.
I know there has been much good come from many of these vaccines. I get that. What I don't get is why America, unlike most other countries, subjects their kids to at least 3 times as many vaccines as other countries. Why after repeated studies and requests that the vaccines are still loaded with junk. Also, why or why is there so much cover up going on even when there is overwhelming evidence that kids have been directly affected? I am sure there has lots to do with money. Lots.
You may not want to believe it. You may want to think it is all OK and just puffed up stories, but, the fact is that being in this world of Autism that I live in, I meet real moms with real stories. Real kids that were fine until the moment they received an MMR and suddenly lost all speech. Kids that are full of aluminum and mercury for no apparent reason. You never know if your child will have adverse reactions. It is a game of Russian Roulette. What I suggest is that you make vaccines a personal decision. NOT your physicians decision. Not my decision. You research, you read books like the great book from Dr. Sears on vaccines. Books that will give you options and help you understand that there are responsible ways to go about it. If we don't, we are at risk. Our babies are at risk. We are responsible and until we stand up and take control, nothing is going to change. But.....don't take my word for it. Listen to Miss. Abigails story:
"I know vaccines are a hot topic now-a-days, and they also happen to be a very emotional one for me. My intent in posting this is not to offend anyone in any way, but merely to share my story and what I have learned through my experience with my daughter's vaccinations. I haven't shared this story with more than 2 people since it happened, but a friend of mine just posted something on her blog about vaccines and she inspired me to share. Her post made me realize how I wish I would have had more information on vaccines before I made my daughter's first doctor's appointment, so I would like to share with you why I made the decision not to vaccinate my children, and to provide you with resources where to find more information on the topic if you are interested in doing your own investigating.
Abby at 12 months, a few weeks after her appointment
Abby was always very bright and had started speaking very early- at 9 months she was saying as many words as Stryder is now at 18, and she was holding full conversations at 11 months. She was incredibly curious, self motivated, and could sit in her room for 2 hours all by herself looking through her books.
Like any first-time mom, I tried really hard to be a perfect Mommy: I read books on how to be a good mom, and followed everything to a tee. I went to all her doctor appointments with a list of questions to ask. There were so many things I was worried about, and vaccinating Abby was not one of them. I had never questioned vaccinations, or even thought about the option to refuse them. After all, why would I want to? I had been vaccinated as a child, and all the parenting books I read said they could save my daughter's life if she ever comes in contact with any of those horrible diseases. After all, they are harmless, right?
After Abby's 12 month check up, everything changed. For some reason, she hadn't received all her 6 month vaccinations, so the doctor sat down with me at the appointment (with a concerned look on his face) and asked my permission to 'double her up'. I said, "Sure, they won't hurt her, right?" "Of course not," he assured me. "She might have a mild fever tonight and be cranky for the next few days, but that's completely normal." I held her little legs tightly as they administered 7 different shots and my baby cried out in pain.
We left the doctor's office around 1pm, and she seemed fine. She was her happy, talkative self. As I was preparing her snack at around 3pm, it started. She walked into the kitchen, started to whimper, and threw up. For the next hour or so I carried her around, and she would point to the kitchen sink every time she was going to be sick. I would hold her over the sink as she vomited, over and over. Then things got worse. Much worse. She rapidly became weaker and less responsive. I laid with her in my bed all night with towels underneath us, as she had become unable to lift her head or even wake up to vomit. Her fever measured in at 102. I called the doctor's office. I explained the situation to the doctor on call and said she was having a bad reaction to her vaccinations and asked what I could do. The doctor assured me that it was a "coincidence" and that there was no way her vaccines would have caused that reaction. This infuriated me.
6 1/2 Months
As mothers, many times we have to trust our instincts. Sometimes we just KNOW. In this situation, I just KNEW, and it blew me away that the doctor not only didn't draw a connection, but refused to even acknowledge the POSSIBILITY of a connection.
Abby stayed sick for 2 days, but it was when she began to feel better that I immediately knew something was wrong. She wasn't herself. She seemed 'spacey' and had lost some of her vocabulary to name the most obvious changes. I thought she would come out of it, but days passed, then weeks and she stayed in a daze. Eventually she began to learn her words again, and she became better at staying focused on stories, but I felt as though she had been knocked back several developmental months. In a way, I felt I had lost who my baby girl was.
I knew her reactions had something to do with vaccines, but I didn't know why. After all, they were harmless, right? About 6 months later, when I was trying to decide whether to take her in for her shots at 18 months, I received my Parenting magazine in the mail. It had a story in it about a mom and her son with Autism. Her son had a similar reaction to Abby's after receiving vaccinations at his 18 month check up. However, he remained in a daze, and just grew worse and worse. The part that really caught my attention was that the doctor claimed it had nothing to do with the vaccinations, but this mom KNEW differently.
I started researching more articles and stories about kids with Autism, and I was amazed at what I found. We are told that studies prove no connection between vaccines and Autism, but the one similarity I found between all the stories was that the changes in the children became apparent within a week or two following the vaccinations, and all the mothers KNEW it was a reaction to the vaccines even though their doctors said it wasn't. If you have ever had an experience with your own 'Mother's Intuition,' you know all those mothers can't be wrong, I don't care what the scientific studies find or the doctors say.
Then I looked for books on Amazon to see what others have found. If you read the reviews, many people provide references to the best books on the subject. That's how I found this book: Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective by Miller (click on the link to find it on Amazon). Neil Miller is a medical researcher who started looking into private vaccine studies when he was deciding whether or not to vaccinate his first child. I like his perspective because he is not anti-medicine or anti-drugs, and he examines each vaccine individually- the severity of the disease it prevents, how it is created, its efficacy and known side effects. Here are a few things I learned:
1. Vaccines aren't tested to determine their safety. We test baby shampoo before it is released on the market, but not vaccines?! Crazy!
2. All the major drug companies have stock holders on both the FDA's and CDC's Board of Advisors, and they frequently use the leverage to their advantage.
3. Vaccines are created in batches of millions of shots (billions of dollars in product). Sometimes certain batches of vaccines are deemed to be 'Hot Lots,' which means that unusually high incidents of 'severe reactions' have been reported (severe reaction= coma and/or death) among the children who have received the vaccination. Keep in mind that a certain number of severe reactions are expected with every batch (What? Expected?!?), but these batches have UNUSUALLY high numbers. When a batch of vaccinations is deemed to be a 'Hot Lot,' the drug company that created it is not required to notify the doctors or pull the vaccinations from the shelves. Not one of the many 'Hot Lots' reported have been pulled from the market, which means the remaining millions of shots are currently being administered to children all over the world. It also means there is no way of knowing if your child has received or will receive one of these shots.
4. Many of the vaccinations we receive are truly unnecessary, as the diseases had become virtually non-existent BEFORE the vaccines were ever created. Other vaccines (like MMR) have been created for diseases that are either easily treatable or virtually harmless and were previously known as common 'childhood' illnesses, like the Chicken Pox.
5. Drug companies themselves have found vaccines to be ineffective before the age of 2. Before the age of 2, the body's immune system is too immature to process the vaccine. That's why they have Boosters, which are also ineffective. It's amazing to read in this book the studies that have been done of outbreaks- almost all of the children who contracted the diseases had been vaccinated for them.
6. ALL of the studies that have been done that show "No connections between vaccines and Autism" were funded by the drug companies themselves. There are many private studies that DO show a connection with Autism, as well as ADHD, Cancer and SIDS.
7. When a child is injected with a vaccine, their body reacts to the 'foreign agent' in a similar way to any disease: their immune system attacks and causes a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. as their body tries to purge. Some reactions are more severe than others, and that depends on each child's genetics. One commonly reported reaction to vaccines is that the brain swells and the mylenation around the brain stem deteriorates. This is the reaction that is believed to cause changes in the brain and can lead to Autism, ADHD, and more. Swelling can occur at all different levels of severity: mild (like Abby's) up to severe. In the more severe reactions, brain swelling can cause coma and death within a few hours. How do you know how your child's body will react? Every child is different, and you don't know until it's too late.
8. I was astonished to read in this book how little we actually know about the immune system and how it functions. We are learning that the immune response begins the moment bacteria or viruses enter the body, and by the time they get to the blood stream the immune response is in it's final stages. With this knowledge, it's no wonder that people continually contract diseases they had previously been vaccinated for: by injecting dead viruses into the blood, there is no way the body can generate an effective immune response because it hasn't gone through all the steps. It's even less likely that the body will be able to fight off the disease in the future.
And my favorite...The Flu Vaccine.
9. I have to quote from Miller's book, because he explains it better than I ever could: "To understand why flu vaccines are so problematic, it is important to know how authorities try to control this unpredictable virus. Production of each new flu vaccine, to be distributed in fall, usually begins in January. Therefore, officials must guess one year in advance which mutated strains of the flu virus will circulate throughout society. If they guess right, the vaccine is thought to be about 35% effective at temporarily preventing that year's flu in the elderly. If they guess wrong, as often occurs, or the circulating strains mutate again between January and the end of the year, which is likely, the vaccine may be worthless.
For example, in 1994 flu "experts" predicted that the Shangdong, Texan, and Panama strains would be prevalent that year, thus millions of people received flu shots containing these strains. However, when winter arrived the Johannesburg and Beijing strains were circulating. In 1995, health officials modified their predictions and created a flu vaccine that contained the Texas, Johannesburg, and Beijing strains. Again, millions of people were vaccinated. However, when winter arrived, the Wuhan strain predominated. During the 1997-1998 flu season, officials once more had to admit that "the flu shot did not make a dent in flu cases because the strains included in the vaccine did not match the strains that actually circulated that year." The vaccine was 0% effective." (p. 85)
Generally, authorities know several months in advance that their vaccine won't be effective, but they frighten the public by predicting a deadly flu season to use up their costly vaccine. Another quote from Miller: "Even when there is a good match between the viral strains in a flu vaccine and that year's circulating flu virus, immunity from the shot is short-lived because antibody levels begin to decline within months, and are often low one year after vaccination. Permanent immunity to a particular strain of flu is only possible by contracting the disease naturally..."For example, in one influenza outbreak in a Minnesota nursing home, 95 % of the residents, and 72% of the staff members with direct patient contact had been vaccinated 4-8 weeks prior to the outbreak. Authorities were baffled when they learned that the viral strain isolated from the outbreaks was 'antigenically identical' to the one contained in the vaccine. In other words, the vaccine was a 'perfect' match for that year's circulating flu virus, yet it was a complete failure. Authors of the study concluded that, "despite widespread vaccination... influenza outbreaks continue to occur...""
So basically, what I have learned from this book and others is that vaccines are not only harmful, they are ineffective in preventing the diseases we use them to prevent. There is so much information out there on this topic, and so many parents with stories like ours, and worse. If you are trying to decide whether to vaccinate your child, I recommend reading as much as you can on the subject before making that first appointment. Also, if you are like me and the information came too late, you can always look into Chelation. Chelation Therapy is the administration of chelating agenst to remove heavy metals from the body. For the most common forms of heavy metal intoxication- those involving lead, arsenic, or mercury." (From Wikipedia) It is theorized that some children's bodies have a more difficult time detoxifying themselves, and it is the buildup of these toxic metals that causes the brain to react differently than normal: ie Autism. Chelation has helped tremendously in many Autism cases and some have found that when combined with the right diet, Autism can actually be cured.
Today, Abby is doing well. She is still incredibly intelligent, does well in school and is just about perfect in every way. I still notice that she has difficulty focusing at times, but all in all, we are incredibly blessed that she has healed. Would she have been smarter had she not received the vaccines that caused her reaction? That question keeps me up at night, and I guess I will never know the answer.
P.S. If you are curious about the links that have been found between vaccines and cancer, I recommend you visit www.OurAlexander.org and read their Letter to Congress in the upper corner of the page. The two parents/medical professionals have found an amazing link between the Polio vaccine and brain cancer.
A friend just responded to this post on Facebook with a book recommendation: Dr. Robert Sears The Vaccine Book. Click on the title for a link to the book on Amazon. This was a book that I have had my eye on for quite some time, but have never had the chance to read. Thanks, Leeanna, for the recommendation!
Another great book that provides insight into how the Immune System works is The Sanctity of Human Blood : Vaccination is Not Immunization by Tim O'Shea. My friend Tara, who is incredibly versed in Homeopathic medicine, got me into this one, and it is an eye-opening read."
Thanks for sharing, Krista. Krista is working hard to help her daughter who has overcome so much but is still facing heavy metal issues and gut problems. She is a mother warrior.
And, if that isn't enough, you can check out Terri's post on the MMR controversy here.
Then, develop your own opinions. Until the vaccine companies start vaccinating responsibly, we are out. If you do vaccine, pick and choose the ones that are most important. Never, ever give them to even a slightly ill child or one who has been on antibiotics at all in the past few months and never give Tylenol with them. And read about each vaccine first, do we seriously need a STD shot given to our little children? Seriously. If your 10 year old gets an STD, you have a lot more to worry about than the disease itself.
There you go.