Join us on Saturday, October 18th from 1-5 pm, in the Great Room at Burlington’s Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center on Lake Champlain, to explore the facts and take fresh look at the science. (Invite your family’s doctor to come!)
Thanks to a generous sponsor, we are able to extend FREE admission to this event. Catered appetizers and refreshments as well as on-site childcare will be provided.
For details and to register, visit www.explorethefacts.com.
Dose 6 Dose 7 Dose 8 Dose 9 Dose 10… I guarantee GrandMa did not have a chart like this.
Editor’s note: Vaccine manufacturers have NO legal duty for vaccine product liability. Therefore, the choice on whether to vaccinate is yours alone. Your decision should be protected as a private medical decision. More consumer protection, not less, would be better for Vermont children against an ever-growing childhood vaccination schedule (letter).
Some medical and philosophical considerations by Sandy Reider, MD
It seems ironic that amidst the emotional, contentious, and polarizing debate about whether to preserve or eliminate an individual’s or parent’s right to claim a philosophical exemption for one or several vaccinations, there has been little discussion about “philosophy” per se. Perhaps that’s because the Vermont Coalition was so busy playing catch up and constantly having to respond to the debate in the way it was framed by the proponents of S199. But now that the dust has ( temporarily ) settled, it seems appropriate to address in more detail some of more fundamental health aspects related to our vaccination policy, especially since concerned parents and individuals will soon be having to make decisions for the upcoming school year.
This article represents my personal thoughts and in no way presumes to be comprehensive … it is my hope that others will add their own ideas so that we can provide a firm philosophical foundation for parents needing to make a decision about this confusing issue. Also, I have intentionally avoided any discussion regarding the numerous toxic ingredients contained in many vaccines ( thimerosol, aluminum, formalin, foreign DNA, etc.) not because they are unimportant, but because it is not the purpose of this paper to examine various adverse effects of vaccines in a comprehensive way…. rather to look at the bigger picture, the context in which this vaccine policy exists.
The “philosophy” espoused by public health authorities seems clear enough. Infectious disease is harmful and should be eliminated ( stamped out ) wherever and whenever possible. The implication is that the we would be better off if all acute infectious diseases were eradicated, and that the vaccination of as many individuals as possible, even against their will, is crucial to this campaign. The philosophy of “the greater public good” frequently trumps the individual’s right to decide for themselves, and the oft repeated mantra, and belief, that vaccines are “generally safe” ( the US Supreme Court has described vaccines as “unavoidably unsafe” ) is a cornerstone of this program. In this context, evaluating policy and its success ( or failure ) mostly boils down to disease surveillance and subsequent statistical analysis, though I know of no rigorous studies by our public health authorities in this age of “evidence based medicine” examining the long term health outcomes of this approach. A corollary to the current policy is: look only at short term outcomes ( this principal applies to studies of vaccine adverse effects as well ).
On the other hand, there are legitimate “philosophical” issues that pertain here, the most important of which is every individual’s right to informed consent ( and to withhold consent ) to any medical procedure or drug treatment. This important personal right was firmly established by the Nuremburg trials after WW2 and today is recognized in the US and internationally.
When one considers the individual child ( and that is the overarching imperative confronting parents ), the issues become much more interesting. Thomas McCleod’s astute observation that “the most dangerous place in the woods is between a mother bear and her cub”, though not so nuanced, is spot on. In order to gain some insight into the health implications of current vaccination policy, it seems reasonable to look to the individual human being first, and not a statistical aggregate. Traditionally, the primary role of the physician has been to assist and protect the individual in his or her care, so here, too, individual, not group, concerns ought to take front seat. In this regard, a consideration of the polar pathophysiologic processes of inflammation and sclerosis is illuminating.
(1) Inflammation is the dominant characteristic of all of the usual, normal childhood illnesses. The typical signs of a pure inflammatory process are rapid onset, redness, swelling, heat ( including fever ), and pain, often accompanied by discharges ( pus, mucous ). Generally there is a clear beginning and a clear end. All the usual childhood diseases ( upper respiratory infections, impetigo, bronchitis, various viral and bacterial infections, many eczemas, fevers in general, etc. ) are variations on this theme. ( we are today seeing a movement in the spectrum of childhood disease to more chronic states, more on this later ). Pure inflammation exerts a sort of “dissolving” influence in the body.
(2) Sclerosis: this pathophysiologic process tends predominate in those diseases that occur in adults, and the older the person the more “normal” it is to experience this type of pathology. Just consider various adult illnesses … they tend to be less acute, more chronic, more silent ( even painless ), more degenerative, without much inflammation ( i.e, “cold” ), and commonly with hardening of the tissues often accompanied by the deposition of substances ( calcium, uric acid, fluoride, amyloid, fibrous tissue, etc ) …… cancer, atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s ( and other degenerative neurological illnesses ), degenerative arthritis, end stage rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, nephrosclerosis, cirrhosis, gout, and so on. In all these hardening, dessicating, and often painless diseases (the “silent killers”… children’s illnesses, like children themselves, are rarely silent), there is a distinct lack of active reaction and inflammation …. just ask any adult the last time they had a good fever, and you’ll be surprised, or not, how infrequent a strong febrile reaction becomes as people age, especially in contrast to how common and normal such a fever is in childhood. Chronic degenerative disease, on the other hand, is distinctly abnormal in children, and when it occurs it should be cause for real concern.
Recall that the newborn infant’s physical organism is formed wholly from the mother’s bodily substance, even the infant’s early nutritional requirements are wholly met by the mother’s milk. In the course of development and individuation, each child has a tremendous amount of “work” to do in order to overcome this hereditary obstacle in order to fashion his or her physical body into one that uniquely suits him or her. An appropriate analogy might be that of building and furnishing one’s house according to one’s individual tastes and talents, designing and building a structure one can feel “at home” in. This “work”, this dynamic remodeling and growth, takes place at an extremely rapid rate in the young child, slows down noticeably in the teens, and by the late teens and early 20’s is more or less “finished”, and active growth by and large ceases. Slowest to develop and last to mature is that most human of organs, the nervous system. Particularly during the first 2-3 years of life the child’s developing nervous system remains exquisitely sensitive to environmental influences and requires special protection.
So here is the central question: why is it that children’s illnesses just happen to be primarily inflammatory? Is it possible that this inflammation serves some beneficial purpose? Should we consider the possibility that the widespread suppression of inflammatory reactions, especially in childhood, may have significant drawbacks? It is a fact that modern pharmacology has achieved much in the direction of suppressing inflammation: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( Motrin, Alleve, Vioxx, etc. ), corticosteroids, acetominophen, aspirin, antihistamines, antibiotics … and yes, vaccinations. However, in the case of a growing child, this sort of relentless suppression may have serious unintended consequences, for it is the vital, dynamic, “dissolving fire” of inflammation that facilitates the process of “remodeling” the young child’s physical organism. Anyone who has cared for a young child in the midst of a good fever may recall that strong ammonia smell in the urine. This ammonia is a by product of an active energetic breaking down and excretion of protein, the dissolution of “old” ( hereditary, maternal) substance, a kind of ramped up house cleaning, a detoxification. As one might expect, during the recuperative period, after successfully negotiating such an illness, it is usual to see distinct positive changes in the child’s development and health. The price paid by depriving the growing child of these “opportunities” to do this “work” is potentially high: a premature movement away from healthy inflammatory reaction towards the more chronic hardening diseases of old age. The steady rise among children in the incidence of allergies, asthma, diabetes, and especially the alarming epidemic of childhood neurological disorders ( ADHD, autism spectrum syndromes, etc. ) all attest to this fact … that we are steadily bringing “old age “ into our youth. This already is having, and will continue to have, dire consequences for our families, communities, and society in general.
Irony of ironies, a promising cancer treatment currently under investigation at the Mayo Clinic involves infecting the patient with a vaccine strain of measles virus (“radiovirotherapy ” .. see 1) and 2) below ), an idea with its root in repeated observations of spontaneous remission of various malignancies following wild measles infection ( this same phenomenon of rapid remission of cancer had also been noted after a staph or strep infection associated with high fever ). Sounds like we are coming a full circle here, but until public health authorities understand and appreciate the role of childhood infectious disease and its lifelong benefits for immune competence, the polarization of our current vaccine debate is bound to continue.
1) Bluming, AZ, /Ziegler JL: Regression of Burkett’s lymphoma in association with measles infection. Lancet. 1971; 2,105-106. (see also Pascuinucci 1971; Taqi, 1981)
2) Msaouel P, Dispenzieri A, Galanis E: Clinical testing of engineered measles virus strains in the treatment of cancer: an overview.
Note: for a more in depth treatment of this relationship between healthy inflammatory illness and chronic disease, I highly recommend:
Fighting Cancer: a Nontoxic Approach to Treatment, by Robert Gorter MD and
Erik Peper PhD (2011). North Atlantic Books. [ISBN 978-1-58394-248-2]
Sandy Reider ([email protected]) has a primary care practice in Lyndonville, Vermont.
See also: The Science is Not Settled.
” Respondent denies that the Tdap vaccine caused petitioner’s alleged CIDP, or any other injury, and further denies that petitioner’s current disabilities are sequelae of a vaccine elated injury.
Nevertheless, the parties agree to the joint stipulation, attached hereto as Appendix A. The undersigned finds said stipulation reasonable and adopts it as the decision of the Court in awarding damages, on the terms set forth therein.
Damages awarded in that stipulation include:
A. A lump sum payment of $112,500.00 in the form of a check payable to petitioner, Douglas Frank Gilmore, Jr. This amount represents compensation for all damages that would be available under 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-15(a). ”
In her commentary of April 28, “Why we need vaccinations,” Amanda Naprawa goes to great lengths to characterize the Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice as a “virulently anti-vaccine” organization that “seeks to scare individuals off from immunization.” Not only is this false, as VCVC is pro informed consent, not anti-vaccine, but Ms. Naprawa fails to mention her role as a lawyer who last year wrote extensively about ways to legally scare off those who dissent from current orthodoxy regarding vaccine policy, efficacy or safety. In what is arguably a manual for pro-vaccine extremism, Ms. Naprawa proposes to carve out an exception to freedom of speech in the form of a “vaccine disparagement statute” aimed at protecting the “pecuniary interests” of big pharmaceutical corporations. In her view, not only is big pharma entitled to compensation from “anti-vaccine speakers” for lost profits when a vaccine flops, but it should also have the right to collect punitive damage awards for the purpose of permanently silencing critics. To be fair, in Ms. Naprawa’s envisioning of democracy, such special punishment is reserved only for those who “recklessly disregard the truth of the medical or scientific community.” So who precisely are these keepers of the truth by which future vaccine heretics are to be judged?
The vast majority of scientific and medical literature about vaccines is the product of the pharmaceutical industry itself. Parents should understand what this means. This is an industry that routinely engages in criminal behavior. In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of at least 25 different vaccines, admitted to bribing doctors and encouraging prescription of an inappropriate anti-depressant to children, for which it paid $3 billion in penalties. In 2009, Pfizer, maker of the vaccine Prevnar, agreed to pay a $2.3 billion criminal fine, the largest in history. Pfizer admitted mislabeling the painkiller Bextra with “the intent to defraud or mislead.” In 2008, Merck, maker of the controversial HPV vaccine Gardasil, paid $650 million for Medicaid fraud and kickbacks. In 2012, Sanofi-Aventis, maker of at least 18 different vaccines, paid $109 million for “illegal sampling arrangements” after a former Sanofi sales agent contacted the Justice Department. The list goes on and on, with fines in the hundreds of millions the rule. Yet Ms. Naprawa expects parents to accept as an article of faith that these same corporations are somehow models of integrity and transparency when it comes to their liability-free vaccine products.
In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth that, since vaccines are by nature “unavoidably unsafe,” pharmaceutical corporations cannot be sued even if a plaintiff claims that an avoidable design defect had caused injury or death. Since then, there has been a steady increase in vaccine marketing, complete with industry-funded “Astroturf” groups and an aggressive nationwide campaign to eliminate exemptions. Having secured near complete protection from liability for their industry, mandatory vaccination proponents are now asking whether censorship is the right answer to continuing vaccine controversies. It is not. As Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas succinctly stated, “Effective self-government cannot succeed unless the people are immersed in a steady, robust, unimpeded and uncensored flow of opinion and reporting which are continuously subjected to critique, rebuttal and re-examination.”
- Study: High exposure of Al (225 to 1750 μg per dose) when compared with estimated levels absorbed from breast milk (2.0 μg) (J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2010)
This is an important study because – if you recall – Vermont Dr. Raszka was interviewed several times in February-April 2012 and fully supports no exemptions. In his February VPR interview he claimed that aluminum in vaccines is perfectly safe and that breast milk has more aluminum than vaccines. He acted in a condescending fashion against Dr. Curtis Gross, a chiropractor, who pointed out that aluminum is very different when it goes thru the digestive tract.
The Brazil study does not come out against vaccines (nor do we; we are pro informed consent), but does acknowledge that perhaps we should look more closely at the issue.
“Exclusively, breastfed infants (in Brazil) receiving a full recommended schedule of immunizations showed an exceedingly high exposure of Al (225 to 1750 μg per dose) when compared with estimated levels absorbed from breast milk (2.0 μg). This study does not dispute the safety of vaccines but reinforces the need to study long-term effects of early exposure to neuro-toxic substances on the developing brain. Pragmatic vaccine safety needs to embrace conventional toxicology, addressing especial characteristics of unborn fetuses, neonates and infants exposed to low levels of aluminum, and ethylmercury traditionally considered innocuous to the central nervous system.”
photo credit: http://vaxtruth.org/2012/01/aluminum-toxicity-and-a-primer-on-the-vic/
You have the choice.Visit the National Vaccine Information Center.
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>2014 Bills to Watch
> Q&A: Are the unvaccinated a “threat”?
Vaccine decisions are far more important than most people currently assume; this is because vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe.” For example, see USGOV official list of injuries/conditions that are presumed to be caused by vaccines and USGOV update plans for vaccine injury table.
Lecture: The effect of vaccines on immunity. Tetyana Obukhanych, Ph.D. (Immunology) in Kelowna, BC (click for video)
Colorado parents fight to keep their right to say no to vaccines without gov’t intrusion. “Parents have a constitutional right to parent their children,” said Susan Lawson, at the Colorado Legislature Thursday re: Vaccine Exemption Education Bill.. here is the audio link… Powerful!
AND…Coming April 2014… Reason Magazine
The Science Is Not Settled, by Sandy Reider MD ( Feb. 2014 )
As a practicing primary care physician for the last 43 years, and as a parent since 1981, I have followed the evolution of vaccination policy and science with interest, and not a little dismay.
The number of vaccines given to children has increased significantly over the last 70 years, from four antigens in about five or six injections in 1949, to as many as 71 vaccine antigens in 53 injections by age 18 today (the number varies slightly from state to state). This includes four vaccines given in two shots to pregnant women (and thus the developing fetus), and 48 vaccine antigens given in 34 injections from birth to age six.
Each vaccine preparation, in addition to the antigen or live virus, contains many other substances, including preservatives (mercury, formaldehyde), adjuvants to hyperstimulate the immune response (aluminum), gelatin, aborted fetal DNA, viral DNA, genetically modified DNA, antibiotics, and so on. We know that the young child’s nervous and immune systems are actively developing and uniquely vulnerable, and I even wonder how many thinking adults would themselves voluntarily submit to such an invasive drug regimen?
In 1986 the National Vaccine Injury Act was passed, prohibiting individuals who feel they have been harmed by a vaccine from taking vaccine manufacturers, health agencies, or health care workers to court. At the time, vaccine producers were threatening to curtail or discontinue production because of the mounting number of lawsuits claiming injury to children, particularly related to the whole cell pertussis component of the vaccine. Once relieved of all liability, pharmaceutical corporations began rapidly increasing the number of vaccinations brought to market.
Pharmaceutical companies are now actively targeting both adolescents and adults for cradle-to-grave vaccination to combat shingles, pneumonia, human papilloma virus, influenza, whooping cough, and meningitis, with many more in the pipeline. Who wouldn’t love a business model with a captive market, no liability concerns, free advertising and promotion by government agencies, and a free enforcement mechanism from local schools? It is, truly, a drug company’s dream come true.
Judging from what one reads and hears in the popular media, it is easy to conclude that the science is settled, that the benefits of each vaccine clearly outweigh the risks, and that vaccinations have played the critical role in the decline of deaths due to infectious diseases such as measles, whooping cough, diphtheria, all of which claimed many lives in the past.
However even a cursory look at the available data quickly reveals that the mortality from almost all infectious disease was in steep decline well before the introduction of vaccination or antibiotics. Diphtheria mortality had fallen 60 percent by the time vaccination was introduced in the 1920s, deaths from pertussis/whooping cough had declined by 98 percent before vaccination was introduced in the late 1940s; measles mortality had dropped 98 percent from its peak in the U.S. by the time measles inoculation was introduced in 1963—and by an impressive 99.96 percent in England when measles vaccination was introduced in 1968. In 1960 in the there were 380 deaths from measles among a U.S. population of 180,671,000, a rate of 0.24 deaths per 100,000.
The takeaway here is that vaccination played a very minor role in the steep decline in mortality from infectious disease during the late 19th century and early-mid 20th century. Improved living standards, better nutrition, sanitary sewage disposal and clean water, and less crowded living conditions all played crucial roles.
Current immunization policy relies on the oft-repeated assertion that vaccines are safe and effective. Yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine, and even the American Academy of Pediatrics have acknowledged that serious reactions, including seizures, progressive encephalopathy, and death, can and do occur. The federal vaccine injury court, which was established at the same time that vaccine manufacturers were exempted from liability, has to date paid $2.6 billion dollars in compensation for vaccine injuries. And there is ample reason to believe that the incidence of vaccine injury is strongly underreported.
Bailey has made the colorful assertion that an individual choosing not to vaccinate themselves, or their child, is akin to a person walking down the street swinging their fists (that is, their microbes) at others. Rather than indulging in broad generalizations about immunization, a close examination of data regarding the recent pertussis outbreaks may help illustrate the complexity inherent in immune function, individual susceptibility, and the spread of infectious illness.
In 2011, there were numerous outbreaks of pertussis around the United States, notably in California, Washington, and Vermont. The majority of whooping cough infections in each state were reported among well-vaccinated adolescents and young teens. There was also a slight increase in cases among infants younger than 1 year old.
In Vermont, 74 percent of individuals diagnosed with whooping cough had been “fully and appropriately vaccinated” against pertussis. Vermont Deputy Commissioner of Health Tracy Dolan stated: “We do not have any official explanation for the outbreak and have not linked it to the philosophical exemption.” In a July 2012 interview, Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease stated that: “We know there are places around the country where large numbers of people are not vaccinated [against pertussis]. However, we do not think those exemptors are driving this current wave. We think it is a bad thing that people aren’t getting vaccinated or exempting, but we cannot blame this wave on that phenomenon.”
It’s clear that the pertussis vaccine is not very protective against a disease that already has a very low mortality, likely because the pertussis bacterium has developed resistance, much like bacteria become resistant to antibiotics over time. In a September 2012 article, The New England Journal of Medicine concluded that “protection against pertussis waned during the 5 years after the 5th dose of DTaP.”
Recent studies suggest that immunized persons, once exposed to wild Bordetella pertussis bacteria, take longer to clear the pertussis bacterium from their respiratory tract than individuals who have had natural pertussis and thus gain natural immunity. These vaccinated individuals MAY then become asymptomatic carriers of the bacteria and vectors for transmission. So those who choose to opt in can also, as Bailey puts it, “swing their microbes.”
Vaccine-induced immunity is not the same as naturally acquired immunity, and the much touted “herd immunity” resulting from mass vaccination is a far cry from natural herd immunity, the latter being much more protective, long-lasting, and transferrable to nursing infants who are then protected during their most vulnerable stage of development.
Understanding vaccine effects is complicated. The “fence” or “firewall” as Bailey puts it, is in fact a two-way street. Persons who receive vaccines containing live viruses (influenza, chickenpox, measles, etc.)may shed these and expose close contacts ( the live trivalent virus Salk polio vaccine has been discontinued in the US for just this reason ). Much has been said about all the “junk science” cited by anyone questioning vaccines (Jenny McCarthy anyone?), but even a cursory peek over that fence will reveal some very good information and science—Mary Holland’s Vaccine Epidemic and Suzanne Humphries’ Dissolving Illusions, for example.
Lumping skeptical parents with the crazies is a way to avoid legitimate questions. Such as: Should tetanus vaccination be required for entrance to school, given that tetanus is not a communicable disease? Why should hepatitis B immunization be required for school entrance, when the disease is found primarily among adult drug users and sex workers? Do we need to keep immunizing against diseases, such as chickenpox, that are almost always mild?
There is a considerable difference between giving a seriously ill child a proven life-saving medicine versus subjecting a completely healthy child to a drug that is known to cause severe, or even potentially fatal, adverse effects, however small the chance. This is an ethical issue that goes to the heart of our basic human right to informed consent to any drug treatment or medical intervention.
Given the sheer volume of vaccine promotion and propaganda, coupled with the cozy relationship between government, industry, and media, there are sufficient grounds for a healthy skepticism. Individual parents have become the last line of defense, and their choices should be respected and preserved.
Sandy Reider MD maintains a primary care practice in Lyndonville, Vermont.
LEARN MORE ABOUT VACCINES.
When it comes to Vaccination, Having Mountains of Research is Unnecessary and Distracting. (Read on…)
“There is insufficient time for clinical trials to occur in advance of each flu season, making post-market surveillance of adverse events an important means of confirming expected vaccine safety.” (Courier Mail, Australia)
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The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is the oldest and largest consumer led organization advocating for the institution of vaccine safety and informed consent protections in the public health system. NVIC is dedicated to the prevention of vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and to defending the informed consent ethic in medicine. We support the availability of all preventive health care options, including vaccines, and the right of consumers to make educated, voluntary health care choices.
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