June 19, 2019
I might as well apologize up front for all the profanity in this blog.
You see, I live in New York State, and this past Thursday my state legislators decided they knew best what medical interventions my children—and all other New York children—should receive.
As a staffer in New York State Senator Jessica Ramos’s office put it, “We think all children should be vaccinated.”
When I informed him that if that he were to achieve his goal, there would be many more injured children than we see already, he replied, “You’re entitled to your opinion.”
And therein lies the problem: That’s not my opinion; that’s fact.
It’s inexcusable that legislators are writing laws compelling children to consume these liability-free products made by the most corrupt corporations in the country without even knowing the basic facts.
Vaccine Injury is Real
Vaccine injury happens. We know that. That’s why a 1986 law removed liability for vaccine manufacturers and established a “no-fault” compensation program for those who have been injured. Vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe” because, like every other pharmaceutical product, they induce widely varying physical responses in individuals but, unlike other pharmaceutical products, governments are compelling their youngest and most vulnerable citizens to consume them.
Contrary to popular legislator belief, human beings are not biologically identical.
Vaccine manufacturers have to trade efficacy off against safety for each vaccine they make. This tension is inherent in vaccine design.
Because vaccines are intended to trick the immune system into creating antibodies for antigens it hasn’t yet encountered naturally, immune response will vary in largely unpredictable ways. This should be intuitively obvious to anyone who knows that natural measles infection, for instance, can cause anything from a low-grade fever and a few spots to life-endangering pneumonia or subacute sclerosing panencephalitis. What’s more, immune responses can be triggered to literally any ingredient in the vaccine, whether there by design or not.
This tradeoff can be illustrated quite easily with a so-called normal distribution, the classic “bell curve.” Ideally, immune response for the bulk of the population will fall in the middle range where an individual vaccine is both (mostly) safe and (mostly) effective.
But the situation changes, the further you move from the center of the curve, and there will always be outliers at both ends of the curve.
Every Vaccine Is Unsafe and/or Ineffective for Some
There are those for whom the vaccine is not effective at all. In the case of measles that includes the children who do not “seroconvert,” even after two doses of vaccine, and those who develop full-blown measles reactions to the vaccine itself. We are told by public health authorities that can happen in “up to 5%” of vaccine recipients.
And then there are those for whom the immune response is excessive.
Such people may be lucky enough to survive one or two doses relatively intact—and, then again, they may not. The more doses received, the more likely it is that a vaccine will cause permanent immune damage.
This is just a simplification, of course. There are those for whom any particular vaccine may be both unsafe and ineffective.
And according to Kuby’s well-known textbook Immunology,
Thus, the effects of vaccination cannot be limited to the immune system. Every major system of the body exists in an intricate symbiosis with every other system. What affects one will affect them all.
How Often Does Injury Occur?
So we know injury—even devastating, sometimes fatal injury—happens. What we don’t know is how often it happens, or how much it is costing the children themselves, their parents, or our society as a whole.
We’re told it’s “one in a million” with literally nothing to back that up but the successful navigation of a highly contentious legal proceeding that most parents—even parents of the injured—don’t even know about, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
But just because an injury hasn’t been compensated doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
No one knows how often serious acute injury happens because few doctors even report them, making the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) practically useless. But a Harvard Pilgrim study intended to result in an automated system for reporting vaccine injuries discovered that 2.6% of vaccinations resulted reportable adverse events. Their system was reporting adverse events thirty times more often than they were being reported in real life.
Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccines Cause Much More Illness than They Prevent
Just to provide an example of how far off the “one in a million” thing is, I’ll use the meningococcal conjugate vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that all 11-year-old and 16-year-old children receive one of the two vaccines. Assuming a conservative four million children in both age cohorts, that’s eight million doses of vaccine per year. According to the manufacturer’s insert the vaccines have a 1+% serious adverse event rate in this age group. That means that 80,000 kids will potentially get sick enough from the vaccine to hit the local emergency room if taken as the CDC recommends.
Incidence of meningococcal disease has been dropping since the 1990s, when there was no vaccine. The first dose was recommended in 2005 and the second added in 2010. There were a total of 353 cases in 2017, only 107 of which were identified as definitely from strains covered by the vaccine. It’s not clear how many of those were in children old enough to have had the vaccine, but it’s not likely to have been more than half.
That means that if all 8,000,000 children had the vaccine, and the vaccine were 100% effective (which, as noted, is not a realistic assumption), we could potentially send 80,000 children to the emergency room to avoid approximately 50—100 cases of a very serious, but just barely contagious, infection.
A national mandate for the meningococcal conjugate vaccine would force 79,900 children per year to accept serious risks with absolutely no benefit.
Some of the Most Serious Injuries Are the Hardest to Prove
But those statistics only account for injuries that are obvious shortly after the vaccines is administered. Autoimmune diseases are some of the most serious vaccine injuries, yet they can take several years to develop, making the link between a specific vaccination event and the eventual development of disease difficult to track.
The CDC can’t (or won’t) tell us anything about who is most susceptible to the more serious forms of vaccine injury. Of course, if they really studied the people who were injured—the obvious thing to do if they were really concerned with public health—there is no question that they could easily identify at least some of the factors that make injury more likely.
Since the CDC hasn’t looked for the patterns behind the recent rise in serious adverse outcomes from vaccination, the people who experience injury have to find the patterns for themselves if they wish to avoid further injury and help others to avoid it as well. Most people who have experienced injury firsthand will tell you that it’s not enough to try and fix the injury after it happens. These injuries tend to be chronic and devastating. Prevention is crucial.
Conscientious Parents Cannot Deliberately Harm Their Children
Which brings us to religious exemptions to vaccination. As New York State legislators have noted, there are few religions that explicitly prohibit the practice of vaccination—perhaps because there was no such thing when most religions began.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t compelling religious arguments against it, especially when it comes to specific individuals.
My ex-husband died last year from complications of two very serious, very debilitating autoimmune diseases, ulcerative colitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis. I’ve had immune dysregulation since I was a child with constant ear infections, eczema, asthma, and respiratory allergies, then later autoimmune conditions starting with Raynaud’s syndrome that began in college, but I’ve been lucky. I enjoy relatively good health.
My children, on the other hand, started out with compromised guts due to antibiotics at birth. (The overuse of antibiotics, with their wholesale destruction of the microbiome, is a huge contributing factor to the general ill health children “enjoy” today that is not talked about nearly enough. I hope to help remedy that in the nearish future.) There is no question whatsoever, that they are at very high risk of long-term neuroimmune damage from vaccination, yet they would not qualify for medical exemptions. The CDC only recognizes near-death experiences as legitimate medical reasons to avoid any vaccine.
To that I respectfully say: Bullshit.
When the likelihood of harm from a vaccine outweighs the likelihood of benefit, that is a legitimate reason to say “no.” Period.
“Legitimate” Religious Reasons Not to Vaccinate
Not only do I have “legitimate” medical reasons not to vaccinate my children, I have “legitimate” religious reasons as well. While I do not belong to any organized religion, I firmly believe that God entrusted the care of my children to me—charging me to use every ounce of love and intelligence God gave me to protect them from harm and fulfill their potential.
When it comes down to it, no God worth believing in would approve of sending an innocent child—any innocent child—to face a firing squad. Yet, metaphorically speaking, that is just what New York legislators have told us we must do.
Respectfully again, I say, Fuck. That. Shit.
The Poorest and Sickest Families Will Bear the Biggest Burden
A huge chunk of parents will simply not comply, pulling their children from the school systems who need their funding, and requiring those schools to provide services for the children on IEPs that will no longer be able to attend school. The families who will be hit hardest by these new laws are those who simply cannot afford to have a parent stay home and home school, especially the single moms. I have been hearing from families all over the state since Thursday, many of whom have to make excruciating choices in the coming days, and my heart breaks for every single one.
NO ONE SHOULD EVER HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF THEIR CHILDREN AND MAINTAINING THE ABILITY TO FEED THEM.
Democrats’ Own Goal
So, congratulations, Democratic lawmakers in Maine, New York, and California! You have sold your constituents’ children to the highest bidder—Merck and pals—guaranteeing a rising rate of injury and making it crystal clear that you don’t give a fuck about public health.
But while you may think you have “won” this battle, your achievement will amount to what in soccer is known as an “own goal.” In other words, you’ve cooked your collective gooses.
And much as it kills me to say it, if you mandate flu vaccines and HPV vaccines as well, you will lock up the 2020 election for Donald Trump.
You think you got a lot phone calls, emails, and faxes over this bill? You ain’t seen nothing yet. Most parents on our side of this issue weren’t even aware this was happening. Many of them are worn out trying to take care of their medically fragile children; others aren’t on social media or aren’t “political.” They’re just starting to get letters from schools telling them their children have to be vaccinated on a very aggressive schedule (starting in two weeks) or be kicked out of school. California is gearing up to prosecute doctors who actually care about their patients’ health.
The shocking facts are kicking parents right between the eyes, and they are reacting like any wounded animal does when someone they trust turns on them: They are fucking furious.
You legislators —in your ivory capitol towers—have no idea the rapidly growing depth of opposition to medical fascism in this country. You have no idea how many people have gotten sick by following their doctors’ recommendations and are determined to take back their families’ health once and for all. You have no idea how many people really believe that when it’s their body, it’s their choice.
As a lifelong registered Democrat, I am not and never have been a “single-issue voter,” but you damned well better believe I take my kids’ health very seriously. I’m also extremely concerned about corporate influence over government (I have been literally saying that our #1 issue should be campaign finance reform for over a decade), and like nearly everyone I know, I am utterly disgusted with my party’s recent wholesale sellout to Merck.
You know how reactionary American politics are. When you indicate that you are perfectly okay with destroying children’s health in supposed pursuit of the unachievable goal of zero cases of measles, then you indicate to anyone who actually cares about industry capture of government and regulatory agencies that you cannot wield power responsibly—and the American public will oblige by making sure you no longer do.
~ Zoey O’Toole
P.S. If you would like to help in the legal challenges to the New York law rescinded religious exemptions to vaccination initiated by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.. please click here.
For more by Professor, click here.