February 17, 2017
I apologize in advance for the insulting and paternalistic tone of the following post. It is not my usual style for a reason: I believe that people and their concerns deserve respect and that vaccine safety arguments should stand on their merits alone. But unfortunately, not everyone agrees with me. This piece was written mimicking the style and format of a highly inflammatory opinion piece being shared at the moment from scarymommy.com. By imitating Elizabeth Broadbent’s abrasive style, I hope to highlight just how offensive it is to dismiss logical and rational concerns in this manner, while at the same time correcting many of the misconceptions contained in the original.
Shut the f*&% up.
No, seriously, shut the f*&% up. Don’t throw your woo at me. I’m heartily sick of people reading a little bit of science, misinterpreting it, and pressuring others to put their children at risk of autism, ADHD, anaphylactic allergies, and a host of autoimmune conditions out of an irrational fear of short-term illnesses that usually do nothing more than keep a kid out of school for a week. Like measles, which was declared “eliminated” in the entire western hemisphere last year when the U.S. had a near-record low of 70 cases, but was generally dismissed as a mild illness that was a virtual rite of passage before the vaccine was developed and we have since discovered actually has long-term beneficial effects for the immune system. As we saw in the oh-so-devastating Disney outbreak of 2015, where 111 people itched for a week and the media went insane, the majority of people who contract measles today are adults who are fully vaccinated or have “unknown” vaccination status, meaning they can’t remember when their last booster shot was (unless, of course, you’re counting the toddlers who get it as a “side effect” of the MMR vaccine). This is because for those who actually get immunity from the shot (not me, I had doses of two different measles vaccines and got measles anyway) the immunity wanes over time. We now have an unprecedented number of adults walking around who are susceptible to this “childhood disease.” And now that measles is not circulating naturally, it is simply not possible to achieve herd immunity in the adult population.
Speaking of the MMR vaccine, it’s supposed to protect against mumps as well, a virus that affects the salivary glands and usually lasts about a week with no residual harm, unless you happen to be a boy going through puberty or older. In which case, if it affects your testicles (<10%), you may have some residual fertility issues. Unfortunately, the mumps vaccine, never particularly effective in the first place, is made by Merck, who is currently being sued by two whistleblowers, virologists from their own laboratories for various corrupt practices that amount to forcing virologists to abandon their scientific ethics in order to make the mumps vaccine appear much more effective than it really is. The mumps vaccine is also a live virus which can infect others through “shedding,” especially the immunocompromised everyone is so worried about. (I got the mumps vaccine as a youngster; while it made me sick, even worse, I also infected a boy going through puberty who ended up with a very severe case.)
Is it any wonder there is outbreak after outbreak of mumps being reported in highly vaccinated adult populations like the NHL and college campuses where many vaccinated students’ immunity has waned (if they ever had it), many have had recent booster shots, and many immune systems are shot from all-nighters? It’s too bad those students didn’t get it when they were younger; mumps is harder on adults. But on the plus side, the women may now be at reduced risk of ovarian cancer.
You’ve probably heard that the pertussis rate is rising, but I’ll bet you haven’t heard the real reason why. (Pertussis vaccination rates are at close to an all-time high.) Kids used to receive the whole-cell pertussis vaccine. That vaccine was pretty effective at keeping down pertussis infection (we never heard about whooping cough in the 1960s). Unfortunately, the tradeoff for that level of efficacy was the fact that the vaccine was also responsible for some pretty serious damage to many kids’ immune and neurological systems. It caused so much damage, in fact, that manufacturers were taking a beating in courtrooms all over the country, which sent them scurrying to Congress saying that they couldn’t continue making vaccines at all if they were liable for the damages. (Let that sink in for a moment.) U.S. lawmakers said, “Okay,” and the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was born, absolving vaccine manufacturers of liability for their “unavoidably unsafe” products and creating the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which is financed by – get this – you, the vaccine consumer!
What happens when you remove any monetary incentive to make vaccines safe – or at least as safe as possible? The vaccine schedule explodes, and vaccines become the hot new profit sector.
Since 1998, we completed a migration to the acellular pertussis shot for all five doses, which causes less damage than the whole-cell shot, but the tradeoff? Sharply reduced efficacy. In fact, the vaccine doesn’t actually prevent pertussis infection. Wait, what? That’s right. No matter how many of those shots you get (with every pregnancy, seriously?), it doesn’t mean you won’t get an active pertussis infection, though it might mean you won’t know it if you do because the shot can reduce your symptoms.
What happens when you have an infection and don’t know it? You spread it (ever heard of Typhoid Mary?), sometimes to newborn babies who don’t get much protection from their mothers’ milk anymore, which is why 1,970 of the 20,000 cases of pertussis last year were in children under 6 months old. Babies who could die, all because everyone got jabbed with acellular pertussis. You see, people who haven’t been vaccinated actually know they are sick when they have an active pertussis infection and are generally smart enough to stay away from infants and immunocompromised.
Don’t tell me that aluminum in vaccines is safe because Dr. Paul Offit, who works at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and has made millions off a vaccine he voted to “require” children to get, said it was perfectly fine by deceptively comparing injected aluminum to ingested aluminum, when everyone knows they aren’t even remotely the same thing. Smug about the fact that there is more aluminum in your breastmilk than in the vaccines you give your kids? Don’t be. Breastfed infants (and everyone else, except those with a compromised gut) absorb only 0.3 % of that ingested aluminum, while 100% of injected aluminum is absorbed and is not excreted by the kidneys like ingested aluminum may be (if your detox processes work well). Macrophages take up the injected aluminum nanoparticles and carry them into your brain where they sneak right past the blood-brain barrier. But the high levels of aluminum in your breastmilk aren’t off the hook either because high levels of aluminum in drinking water have been repeatedly associated with Alzheimer’s. There’s also evidence that aluminum can raise IL-6 levels in the brain, which causes – maybe you saw this coming – autism in laboratory animals. And don’t get me started on allergies and autoimmunity.
Don’t say that giving many vaccines at once is safe because the vaccines we give today have less antigen than vaccines given thirty years ago, when it’s obvious to anyone with a brain that antigen content is only one possible source of vaccine damage. In fact, the main reason antigen levels have dropped so much is that more and more vaccines are using aluminum adjuvants to jack up the immune response. The very same aluminum that is, yes, associated with the neurological and immunological devastation mentioned in the previous paragraph. Reassuring folks with overall antigen levels also deceptively hides the fact that no one has tested the current vaccine schedule for safety. Everyone knows that when you take multiple medications you should be aware of possible cross-reactions and timing of dosage can be very important, yet for some reason no one thinks it’s a good idea to actually test the safety of combining the powerful immune modulators we’re injecting into vulnerable infants?
And don’t hide behind the banner of herd immunity. You make a medical decision for your child, a decision you think is best for them. That’s your right as a parent. But that decision doesn’t give you the right to push your decision onto other parents because you’ve decided that you’re more afraid of a fever and a rash than you are of systemic immunological and neurological dysfunction that can last a lifetime – or shorten it. You also don’t get to bang the herd-immunity drum when advocating for vaccines for tetanus, polio, diphtheria, pertussis, meningococcal disease, or hepatitis B in early childhood because my kids’ vaccination cannot protect your kids from those diseases. If your kid had a choice, knowing what the likely consequences of getting jabbed were, he probably wouldn’t get jabbed at all, but he sure as hell wouldn’t follow the CDC schedule. You may not understand that your free choice is based on your assessment of the risks vs. benefits of vaccination, an assessment (a.k.a opinion) that is not necessarily applicable to anyone else’s child, much less everyone else’s.
Don’t tell me mass vaccination campaigns eradicated polio or smallpox. Smallpox was finally eradicated using a quarantine and ring vaccination strategy after mass vaccination was abandoned. Polio? Well, changing the definition right after the vaccine was introduced certainly made a difference in the number of recorded cases of paralytic polio. And now that polio has been “eliminated” in India, there are just as many people being paralyzed as there were before the mass vaccination campaign. Better sanitation reduced mortality rates for the various diseases long before their vaccines were introduced, and for diseases with an oral-fecal route of infection, like polio, cholera, and hepatitis A, it also reduced incidence. And the introduction of antibiotics means that serious bacterial infections like pertussis and diphtheria are far less lethal than they used to be.
So just shut the f*&% up. Just do it. Yes, you might be uncomfortable knowing that the odds that your child will encounter certain infections, like measles, could increase slightly, but your kids’ vaccines should protect them, no? And if it just so happens that they don’t, yes, you’ll worry about side effects, but it’s almost 100% likely your kids will experience nothing but a fever and/or rash. It’s also likely the infection would occur when your child is older and their immune and neurological systems are more fully developed (and less susceptible to disruption) than they would be if they got the same fever and rash as a response to the vaccine at 12 or 15 months.
You have a solemn responsibility to your child and to your community, which is currently going broke dealing with the consequences of all the neurological and immunological damage we are doing to our young children. Don’t mess it up. Educate before you vaccinate.
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