Guest Posts

What's Up Parenting - Vaccines

I want to start by saying that I can’t and don’t speak for everyone who has chosen to forgo vaccinating their children. We are all parents who started this journey from different places and for different reasons: some for religious reasons, some as an element of their choice to live as naturally as possible, and most of us followed a gut instinct that led to many, many hours of research, which in turn led us to the same informed decision: the risks out-weigh the benefits.

We aren’t a group of conspiracy theorists and we aren’t fearful people. In fact, when the CDC did a study to try to figure out how to ‘sell’ us the idea of vaccines, their marketing profile revealed generally highly educated, middle-to-upper class parents who have done a significant amount of research.  They concluded that a campaign to win us over would be a costly venture with little to no benefit to them.§

My family’s decision doesn’t come from a fear of autism or from anti-vaccine propaganda.  We fit that CDC profile and read everything we can find, including endless pro-vaccine articles and studies, statistical, medical, and epidemiology studies, and scientific data not only disproving the safety of vaccines, but also proving the lack of evidence that they even work. It would be impossible to share every single reason that we don’t participate in our national vaccine program without over-whelming you with detail and references, so with limited space I will give you some of the major points that led to our decision. If you want to read further or wish to see the reference materials, indicated by § symbol, please see the vaccine page (where I have extensive research and hundreds of peer reviewed scientific studies to back our stance) or visit the various websites I have listed at the end of this article.

1. Did/Do Vaccines really Eradicate Disease?

The incidence and mortality rates of childhood diseases declined by more than 95% during the first half of the 20th century, before vaccines were even introduced.§  In the early 1960s, rates of measles cases and deaths fell over 99% — before the introduction of the vaccination in 1968.§ The same is true for many other diseases. In the 1960s, nutrition and sanitation improved immensely, as did access to medical care. These measures had a much larger effect on rates of illness and related complication than did vaccination. It would be disingenuous to credit the vaccine with this improvement in health.

2. Vaccine Contents

Vaccines contain hundreds of ingredients.§  In addition to the virus itself (either weakened or inactivated) there are chemicals that boost the immune reaction - aluminum, squalene, monophosphoryl lipid A, or sodium borate (a very common roach killer). Preservatives like Thimerosal (aka mercury, which can still be found in the flu and Hib vaccines in Canada, and which is still used in the manufacturing process -- trace amounts can be found in ALL vaccines, even ones that claim to be thimerosal free.) In Pentacel, which is the combination of DTPaP+Hib vaccines and is injected into most Canadian babies starting at two months of age, thimerosal was replaced by the preservative 2-phenoxyethanol, another toxic substance usually found in antifreeze.§ Formaldehyde is another commonly used preservative.
Human diploid cells (aborted fetal tissue), monkey kidney cells or chicken embryos are the mediums used to grow the viruses. MSG (a known neurotoxin) is found in varicella (measles vaccine) and flumist (flu vaccine)§. Despite popular belief and the assurance of studies, only two of the possible 36 shots pumped into Canadian infants have been studied and only one ingredient (Thimerosal) §. In Canada, finding complete lists of ingredients is difficult.  Health Canada protects the “proprietary rights” of pharmaceutical companies, so manufacturers are not required to disclose the ingredients or manufacturing processes used in vaccines.§


3. Herd Immunity

The herd immunity theory was originally developed in 1933 by a researcher named Hedrich, who had been studying measles patterns in the US between 1900-1931 (decades before any vaccine was invented for measles).  He observed that measles epidemics occurred only when less than 68% of children had developed a natural immunity to it. This was based upon the principles that children build their own immunity after contracting or being exposed to the disease, and that naturally-acquired immunity lasts for a lifetime. Hedrich concluded that, if 68% of the population were allowed to build their own natural defenses, there would be no raging epidemic. So the herd immunity theory was, in fact, about natural disease processes and nothing to do with vaccination. §

Later on, vaccinologists co-opted the phrase herd immunity and increased the figure from 68% to 95% with no scientific justification as to why. They then stated that there had to be 95% vaccine coverage to achieve immunity.§

Apart from the effect of vaccinations on babies, vaccine-induced immunity lasts for only a relatively short period, from 2 -10 years at most§. So there is a need for boosters for most vaccines, even the common childhood infections such as chickenpox, measles, mumps, and rubella. Another problem: the boosters last for only two years, even less§. It’s estimated that a very small percentage of adults are up to date on their boosters. § So this really begs the question:  If achieving vaccine-induced herd immunity requires 95% participation of the population,, and given that boosters wear off and adults don’t keep them up to date, WHY aren’t millions of adults and unvaccinated people of all ages dying or suffering from these dangerous vaccine-preventable diseases? 

4. The Immune System
A healthy immune system is dynamic, able to switch back and forth as needed, quickly eradicating one threat and then resting before responding to the next.  There are two parts to your immune system – Th-1 (T Helper 1) and Th-2 (T Helper 2).  Th-1 goes after organisms that get inside our cells, such as viruses. Th2 attacks extracellular pathogens (organisms that are found outside the cells in blood and other tissue) such as most bacteria, yeast and parasites.
It has only very recently become understood how vaccines affect Th1 and Th2.  Vaccination stimulates the immune system just enough so that it makes antibodies (Th2) and "remembers" the disease antigen, but not so much that it provokes an acute inflammatory response from the cells (Th1).§   

Contrary to previous belief, vaccinations do not strengthen or "boost" the whole immune system. Instead, they over-stimulate Th2 and suppress Th1, thus "preventing" the disease in question.§  In reality, what is prevented is not the disease but the ability of our cellular immune system to respond to, and overcome the disease.


Problems arise when the immune system is not yet developed, overly stressed, or out of balance. If the Th1 system is dominating, it can lead to autoimmune diseases such as high/low thyroid, arthritis, lupus or multiple sclerosis, while an overactive Th2 system leads to allergic diseases such as hives, allergies and asthma.

Newborns’ immune systems are naturally fragile in the first weeks or months of life. They are Th-2 heavy, and more susceptible to illness. A vaccine keeps them in TH-2 mode far longer than they would naturally be, weakening their immune systems and teaching the whole system to react incorrectly for life.§

It is also known that children’s blood-brain barriers remain permeable for at least the first two years of their lives (some scientists say much longer). This means that any vaccine they receive can cross from their bloodstreams into their brains and cause neurological damage.§
5. Vaccines and other Diseases
Vaccines are not linked only to childhood disorders.  Considering that they change the immune system, they are suspected to be behind all autoimmune disorders such as allergies, diabetes, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), intestinal disorders (IBS & IBD), paralytic symptoms such as Guillaine Barre Syndrome, glandular disorders, certain cancers, increased stress, psychiatric and personality disorders, and rheumatic and arthritic ailments§

There is also growing concern that the mercury and aluminum found in vaccines contributes to brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. And in children these vaccine ingredients are known to trigger eczema, asthma, meningitis, encephalopathy and epilepsy.§


6. Vaccine Research

Most vaccine research is funded by the companies who make the vaccines – the pharmaceuticals industry. Very little independent research is conducted. In most drug trials, the experimental group receiving a new vaccine is not compared against a control group receiving a true placebo (i.e. saline solution).  Instead, control groups receive a previously licensed vaccine, or a vaccine with the virus removed, both of which still contain all the preservatives and other chemicals, and of course so does the new vaccine being tested.§ This procedure skews the results so that the vaccine looks “safe”, since the experimental group has no more adverse reactions than the “control” group. It doesn’t take a scientific mind to discern the difference between “no increase in adverse reactions” and “no adverse reactions”. Therefore the type/intensity/character of the reactions caused by vaccine ingredients aren’t even considered relevant to the study.  

7. Autism

If you listen to the vaccine industry, including of course the scientists whose research they fund, you’ll hear that the case is closed on the link between vaccines and autism, and that the scientific consensus supports no association.  Their spokespeople will cite their ‘19 studies’ have found no connection between vaccines and autism. Well, the devil is in the details.
  • All 19 studies only looked at the MMR vaccine and Thimerosal. No other shots or ingredients have been studied for links to autism§
  • All 19 studies had ties to and/or were funded by pharmaceuticals or the CDC§
  • Numerous independent studies have replicated the findings of Dr. Andrew Wakefield§, who was the original whistleblower of a possible connection between the MMR vaccine and autism. You may have heard of Dr. Wakefield, who was attacked by big pharma in a BIG way.§

8. Drug Laws and Who is Responsible

Vaccine and drug manufacturers are the second largest lobbying group in the US, and the CDC is their primary target. This power trickles into Canada, with Health Canada and public health agencies, who are also vulnerable to big pharma lobbyists, trying to follow CDC vaccine recommendations.§

In 1986 in the US, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was passed, protecting all vaccine manufacturers from liability. Since 1986, the childhood vaccine schedule has almost tripled.§

Also in 1986, the US established “Vaccine Court”, which administers a no-fault system for litigating vaccine injury claims. Since the first Vaccine Injury Compensation claims were made in 1989, more than $2,009,309,528.93 (that’s $2B) has been disbursed to petitioners after courts found they had been injured by a vaccine, and $65,648,518.12 paid to cover attorneys’ fees and other legal costs. Compensated families are forced to sign a silence agreement and will lose their financial settlements if they talk about their cases.§ Financial compensation awarded by the Vaccine Court is funded by the 75 cents the user (or their insurance company) pays every time a vaccine is given in the US.§ So consumers compensate injured consumers. The vaccine manufacturers are not held liable.

Unlike many western countries which recognize and compensate vaccine injuries, Canada offers no recognition of injury or compensation when vaccine damage occurs – except for the province of Quebec. Your only recourse is to sue the doctor or nurse who administered the vaccine, by claiming they didn’t follow the protocol of ‘Informed Consent’.  The case is then handled as a liability case in Tort law, and is very difficult to win.

Canadian health officials keep vaccine reaction reports under wraps. Unlike the U.S. where the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) is accessible on line and anyone can search it. Canadians do not have access to the vaccine reaction data base held by Health Canada. Only by filing an Access to Information request with the specific lot number of a vaccine, is it possible to obtain limited vaccine reaction information.


Random facts about vaccines
  •  1 in 5500 will have a serious adverse reaction§
  •  Vaccines are the only drug that have a ‘one size fits all’ dosage
  • Countries that have less aggressive vaccine schedules have lower mortality rates of children under 5 years old (worldwide, Canada rates 28, the US at 36 ranking behind such countries has Iceland, Sweden, Singapore, Japan ,Czech Republic, Korea, South, and Switzerland )§
  • There have never been any long term studies done on ANY vaccines§
  •  An independent study showed that vaccinated children aren’t has healthy as unvaccinated children, and the more vaccines they have gotten the sicker they are (auto-immune, asthma, allergies, ear infections, diabetes, cancer etc).§
  •  Many doctors have voiced concerns about vaccines and some advise against them.§
  •  When a vaccine is being tested, pharmaceutical companies will only make announcements if they find what they are looking for. For instance, if they are looking for links to autism but find that the vaccine causes asthma and encephalitis, the report will read “No link to Autism”.§
In Canada, vaccination for children is not compulsory.  In all Canadian provinces and territories, the right to fully informed consent and right to refuse vaccination are guaranteed by the Constitutional Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  In three provinces, Ontario, New Brunswick and Manitoba, parents who refuse any or all vaccinations simply fill in a form, have it stamped by a notary, and deliver it to their child’s school.  Schools cannot refuse admission to any child on the basis of vaccination status.

For more information and for § referenced sources
The Vaccine Risk Awareness Network – http://vran.org/
Think Twice – www.thinktwice.com
www.drtenpenny.com

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Other Guest Post Links

As some of you know my children are a wonder of science. Not only are they the result of IVF but they were then born premature and spent the first 5 weeks of their lives in the hospital.  I was asked by Kate of modernalternativemama to write about that experience for her Healthy Pregnancy Series.  You can see the article on her site here

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Again a contributing article for Modernalternativemama.  This time on the struggles of being....well....a Modern Alternative Mama!!.  Here  is part 1
and here is part 2

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