“ Do you support vaccinating children? Should we take a different approach to immunisations? Tell us what you think here. „
I am mostly pro vaccine. I recognise the fact that vaccines have prevented countless deathes and disabilities, and in most cases, the benefits outweigh the risks. But I also am 100% convinced that in some cases vaccines also cause death and disability and I strongly believe parents need to be told ALL the facts to make an educated choice for their child.
In my case, I had the MMR as a young adult. Within days I was in agony. I dont mean pain like a broken bone, I mean pure torture. I called a vaccine injury line as was told this type of reaction happened frequently but most people would eventually recover. Too bad, I am not most people. I now suffer from auto immune diseases from which I will have varying degrees of pain every day for the rest of my life, sometimes beyond belief. Vaccines arent proven to cause autimmune disease in humans, but they are in animals. Its more acceptable to discuss reactions in pets where you dont get threatened with being struck off if you have evidence against vaccine safety.
All the same, as mentioned, I have always believed there were some risks so I vaccinated my son according to the nhs schedule. No problems until he developed Raynauds symptoms after the mmr. My second son though has had reactions of increasing intensity to every vaccine. After the last round he quit walking, quit talking, screamed for two weeks and had one arm collapse under him when crawling - plus vomiting excema etc.... I've been told i can have him admitted to a childrens hospital for his next vaccines, even though there isnt much treatment available. So he is no longer vaccinated.
I've had 3 people in the nhs advise us not to vaccinate - but all 3 have said it akwardly asking not to be quoted. I simply dont understand why we cant aknowledge risk exists and openly and honestly discuss those risks, making revised decisions as the situation warrants.
Something a little bit different from my usual light-hearted reviews now. In the interests of complete honesty, I should say right at the outset that I do not have children of my own. There will inevitably be those who will think that my opinion is therefore rather worthless, but I'd ask such people: why do you vote if you've never been an MP? Why do you comment on racism if you've never been a victim of it? And indeed, why criticise "establishment medicine" if your own medical knowledge comes mainly from pressure groups on the internet and the comment columns of the more excitable tabloids? A deliberately provocative way of putting it, yes!
I was not given the whooping cough vaccine as a toddler (way back in the Seventies - not the 1870s as some of you probably believe!) because my parents were concerned about reports of a batch of bad vaccines. Guess what? I developed whooping cough. Luckily I was not made dangerously ill, and I made a full recovery - but it can't have been a pleasant time for my parents. I suspect that this episode is part of what has given me such a respect for vaccination, along with the impression made on me at a young age by the stories of pioneers such as Edward Jenner and Louis Pasteur. (A sad story: a boy saved from a hideous death from rabies by Pasteur ended up guarding his tomb in Paris. When the Nazis invaded, they ordered him to open the tomb. Rather than defile the tomb, he killed himself.)
Vaccination is a good thing. It's as simple as that. Many, many children (and indeed adults) have lived because of it where they otherwise might have died, or at least become seriously ill. I remember queuing up at school to have my BCG jab against tuberculosis: it wasn't a lot of fun, and I bear a scar on my arm to this day, but never for a moment have I regretted it, even though as vaccines go its protection is not as effective as, say, the tetanus jab. If I ever did have children, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that they would be given every vaccination generally advised by the medical profession. The days of thalidomide linger in the national consciousness, but medical science has advanced an awful long way in the intervening years.
Despite the whooping cough incident, the idea of the mass vaccination of young children remained generally accepted right up until the 1990s and the publication of Andrew Wakefield's infamous paper on links between the then-newish MMR vaccine and autism. It caused a sensation, and has remained in the public consciousness ever since, despite the conclusions of the paper having been retracted by ten of its 13 authors five years ago with the wording "We wish to make it clear that in this paper no causal link was established between [this] vaccine and autism, as the data were insufficient..." The overwhelming weight of the medical profession remains against Wakefield, and it's not because they're all in the pockets of the drug companies.
At this point someone usually pipes up with the names of pioneers who fought against a hostile scientific establishment, were laughed at or (in the case of the likes of Giordano Bruno) worse, but were eventually vindicated. A recent example in medicine is that of Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, who discovered that peptic ulcers - once thought to be caused by the likes of stress and alcohol - are actually associated with a type of bacterial infection (which, startlingly, the great majority of people have!). They won the Nobel Prize in 2005 for their discovery. However, this does *not* mean that someone is correct *because* they stand up against the establishment. We love an underdog in this country, but often the reason the established wisdom has so many backers that it's actually correct.
Of course, the internet being what it is (see also 9/11, Bilderberg, New World Order, alien abductions, Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all), the retraction I mentioned above is often either ignored or held to be the result of more or less sinister establishment pressure. Of course politics *does* impinge on science: we've seen this recently with the squashing of Professor Nutt's comments about illegal drugs. (And, as Jim Hacker put it in Yes, Prime Minister: "Never believe anything until it's been officially denied.") The idea that perhaps, just perhaps, the scientists have reconsidered their work and actually changed their minds about the conclusions offered doesn't seem to be given the time of day. In any case, those reassuring are "experts" (you can hear the inverted commas), so what do they know? Bluntly - yes, a specialist doctor *does* know more about a child's state of health than a parent. A lot of people don't want to hear this!
Bringing things right up to date, this very year there was a tragic case in which a teenage girl died a short time after being given the newish HPV vaccine. An internet-based scare campaign was up and running within hours, though made to look rather silly a little later when it was revealed that the girl in question had been suffering from an undiagnosed tumour that could have killed her at any time. As the scientific catchphrase has it: "Correlation is not causation" - in other words, if event A is followed by event B, that does not necessarily mean that the one caused the other. If I buy a loaf of bread and then fall under a bus, that doesn't mean bread is dangerous!
I also suspect that there is a lack of understanding of basic statistics, and here I think the establishment *is* rather at fault for making little effort to explain that total safety - what parents naturally desire for their children - is simply impossible. For example: imagine "Vaccine X", where one in every thousand of those receiving it suffer some sort of side-effect (including very mild ones such as reddened skin) and where one in a thousand of *those* will die. That is, quite literally, a one-in-a-million chance of the most severe consequences possible. If a doctor told you straight, "This vaccine has a one-in-a-million chance of causing death", would you turn it down? I know I wouldn't: it's a far lower chance than that of your child dying from a routine hospital operation or even in a road accident.
However, where you have a vaccine used in the enormous numbers that MMR has been, then you will inevitably see large numbers of serious reactions, *even though* the actual chance of that reaction affecting *your* child remains tiny. The British Medical Association estimates that over 500 million MMR doses have been given over the years - so, if "Vaccine X" were to have been given in those numbers and have my aforementioned one-in-a-million death rate, it would be possible for a tabloid headline to plaster "Shock report: Vaccine X has killed 500 children!" across its front page and be correct in strict factual terms - and most people, seeing such a line, would be worried. I would. But because of the enormous numbers of doses given, it's entirely possible for Vaccine X to kill 500 children *and* be very safe indeed.
I could go on, but I'm sure I'd bore everyone to tears. However, I do want to mention the concept of "herd immunity". This occurs when the number of people vaccinated against a certain disease is above a certain threshold, which varies according to many factors such as environment, behaviour, underlying health and the virulence of the disease itself. In a population with herd immunity, the few unvaccinated people are protected quite well by the fact that most others *are* vaccinated, meaning that there's nobody to catch the disease *from*. If vaccination drops enough, this protection weakens - and exactly this has been observed in recent years with measles, a potentially deadly disease which had been almost eliminated from Britain.
In other words, unless you keep your child in quarantine, you are putting others at risk by not vaccinating, so it *cannot* be considered "nobody else's business but your own". It's the case in some places, such as parts of the United States, that children are not allowed to go to school without a vaccination certificate. On balance I'm against compulsory vaccination in this country, simply on the practical grounds that it would probably cause enough of a stink to repeat the MMR disaster and thus leave more children unprotected - but in theory it would be a good idea. I do hope that the people objecting to anything other than complete and unpressured free choice are also campaigning for an end to the chlorine treatment of their drinking water...
I know that there will always be people who are utterly convinced that their child was harmed by vaccines, but the presence of even hundreds or thousands of people saying this does not make them right: another handy scientific catchphrase is: "The plural of anecdote is not data." Think about this: there are about a billion Christians on Earth, and about a billion Muslims. It is clearly impossible for both sets of people to be right (if indeed either is). Thus, we know that it must be possible for even a group of *huge* numbers of people with an unshakeable belief in something to be be plain wrong. I'm afraid I prefer to take my medical advice from qualified professionals than from even multiple anecdotes, and those professionals say, "Vaccinate". They're absolutely right.
Disadvantages: Very few, infrequently occurring. Advantages: Not having to buy a headstone for your child. Not immunizing against the base set of diseases (DPT, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, polio) is child neglect and can lead to later-life complications such as shingles, sterility, post-polio syndrome, and (in females) stillbirths or badly-handicapped babies.
I work in a doctors surgery and as part of my job I am responsible for entering the childrens vaccinations onto the computer. I am frequently amazed by the amount of parents who chose for there children to have no vaccinations at all. As a parent myself I cannot image leaving my child unprotected against all those nasty diseases that can cause so much damage or even death in the worst case. The whole MMR scare was proven to be false , but still so many children are not having the vaccine. For those who do not know the vaccination schedule , here it is ............... at the age of 2 months the first vaccines are - Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Hib, in one jab and a Prevenar jab also. then a month later they have - Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Hib, and a Men C jab. Then a month after that it is the Dip, Tet, Pert, Pol, Hib jab again and both a Prevenar and a Men C jab. Then aged 1 a Hib/Men C booster , and a month later the MMR. This is all your child needs until school age. My son has had all the jabs he was due, I have no problems in protecting my boy. The actual diseases they are protected from are a whole lot worse!!
If you have a small child you will probably soon be told by your health visitor or GP that it?s time to vaccinate him or her. Both will probably tell you that vaccines are safe and that all the studies carried out have proven their safety. And you might wonder if this is really true. Maybe you remember your own childhood when you had measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox. Or maybe you just wonder why it is that some of the ingredients in vaccines are considered safe in vaccines when they are considered highly poisonous otherwise, such as thimerasol, a mercury derivative, formaldehyde, henoxyethanol (antifreeze) to name but a few. If you are a vegetarian, you may wonder which vaccines contain animal ingredients (see lists of ingredients), or, if you follow beliefs that do not support abortion, you may wonder if any vaccines contain aborted fetal tissue. GPs have recently been encouraged by the government to push the MMR vaccine even more, following the Prime Minister?s refusal to state whether his youngest son Leon was vaccinated against MMR. This opinion will provide you with some information which many doctors are highly unlikely to give you. Let?s start with the recommended vaccination schedule in the UK (verified with NHS direct, Tel. 0845-4647 on March 1st, 2002): 2 months DPT + polio + HIB, Men C 3 months DPT + HIB, Men C 4 months DPT + HIB, Men C 13 months MMR 3-5 years pre-school booster (Dip. Tet + Polio) & booster MMR 10-14 yrs BCG (skin test, possibly followed by vaccine) 13-18 yrs diphtheria, tetanus, polio oral NHS Direct was not able to state whether the live or inactive polio vaccine is currently used, but said that both are recommended. Below, you will find a list of ingredients for each recommended vaccine: DPT: Aluminium phosphate, formaldehyde, ammonium sulphate, washed sheep red blood cells, glycerol, sodium chloride, thimerosal Polio: IPOL: 3 types of polio
virus, formaldehyde, henoxyethanol (antifreeze), neomycin, streptomycin, polymyxin B; Orimune: using 3 types of attenuated polioviruses, streptomycin, neomycin, calf serum, sorbitol HIB: polyribosylribitol, ammonium sulfate, thimerosal Men C: thimerasol, lactose MMR: sorbitol, neomycin, hydrolyzed gelatin BCG: glycerine, asparagine, citric acid, potassium phosphate, magnesium sulphate, and iron ammonium citrate. The final preparation prior to freeze-drying also contains lactose. (For more information on single measles, mumps and rubella vaccines see below) You may want to know other things about the vaccines, such as: What are these vaccines attenuated on? DPT: porcine pancreatic hydrolysate of casein (pig) Polio: Ipol: VERO cells, a continuous line of monkey kidney cells; Orimune: monkey kidney cell culture HIB: chemically defined, yeast based Men C: freeze dried polysaccharride antigens from Neisseria Meningitidis MMR: M and M: chick embryo; R: human diploid cells BCG: live mycobacteria What does ?attenuated? mean? A live virus that is used to make a vaccine has to be weakened in order not to be virulent. Which adjuvants are used? The most common adjuvants are aluminium hydroxide, aluminium phosphate and calcium phosphate. A number of other adjuvants based on oil emulsions, products from bacteria (their synthetic derivatives as well as liposomes) or gram-negative bacteria, endotoxins, cholesterol, fatty acids, aliphatic amines, paraffinic and vegetable oils are also used. What is an adjuvant? A substance added to a vaccine to improve the immune response so that less vaccine is needed to produce a nonspecific stimulator of the immune response. What are ?human diploid cells?? Aborted fetal tissue Which vaccines are attenuated in human diploid cells? IPV (injectable polio), hepatitis A vaccine, Varicella (chicken pox
vaccine), rubella vaccine, single measles vaccine, & rabies vaccine What is an encephalitic cry? An encephalitic cry is a high pitched, piercing cry. Can this be caused by a vaccine? Yes - the most likely to cause this is the DPT - it can happen any time between hours and a number of days after the DPT vaccine was given. You may wonder about other things, such as: What studies have been carried out to prove that mercury, aluminium, formaldehye, carbolic acid, etc. are safe for injecting into the human body? Why is it that every medication is adjusted for weight/age but most vaccines given to a newborn 3kg baby are exactly the same as vaccines administered to a 7 year old 25 kg child? And why are some adult vaccines half the potency of the child version of the vaccine (eg CDT and ADT)? Does your GP report adverse reactions to vaccines when they are reported by parents? Is your GP aware that less than 10% of reactions are reported by doctors and if so, does it concern him or her that our safety statistics are at least 90% incorrect? What about the risk to children who have food allergies such as egg and milk? Is there an increased risk the child could develop further allergies? Does any of the inserts specifically say that children with eczema, or a family history of eczema should avoid future vaccinations? Here in the UK, the MMR debate has also led to the question whether the single measles, mumps and rubella vaccines are safer. Here are the ingredients: Measles: min. of 1000 TCID50 measles virus, modified gelatin, lactalbumin hydrolisate, d-sorbitol, lactose Mumps: neomycin, sorbitol, hydrolyzed gelatin, attenuated on human diploid cells Rubella: neomycin, sorbitol, hydrolyzed gelatin, attenuated on human diploid cells What are the risks if my child does not get any vaccinations? Strictly speaking, there is n
o risk if your child is healthy; diphteria as well as polio have only surfaced as vaccine side-effects in at least the last 20 years. Tetanus is extremely rare and can safely be treated homoeopathically. Furthermore, approx. 50% of all Tetanus cases occur in people who are vaccinated against the disease. HIB is rarer than the adverse reaction to the vaccine it is supposed to prevent. Measles, mumps and rubella are self-limiting if contracted during childhood in a healthy child. And if your child is not healthy, do you really want his/her immune system to be compromised? A vaccine does that beyond doubt. The NHS book was quoted to me regarding the polio vaccines currently offered, on March 1st, 2002. The NHS book states that the inactive polio vaccine carries a great risk of the vaccinated person contracting wild polio. So, why would anyone want to be vaccinated against polio if they continue to be at risk of contracting polio, a disease which has not surfaced in at least 20 years except as a reaction to the vaccine. How many people contract measles in any given year, and how many of those are not vaccinated? In 2001, the number of measles cases reported in the UK were 2,307, out of which 1808 were tested in laboratories. The total amount of tested, confirmed cases of measles was 31 out of the tested cases. Unfortunately, no numbers are available for vaccinated/unvaccinated cases. Did you know that your GP has a financial interest in vaccinating your child? If 70% of the children who are registered with your GP get vaccinated, he/she gets a bonus payment, which will increase substantially if 90% of the children on his register get vaccinated! Please, please do your homework before you believe your GP's or the media's words that vaccinations are necessary or safe. Do not, ever, forget, that so far, nobody has been able to quote any scientific proof whatsoever that even remotely suggest that vaccinations are either effective or safe. Thi
s scientific proof does NOT exist! I am not saying don't have your children vaccinated. But I am saying that it should be your choice, and yours alone. Don't allow anyone else to make that choice for you. If you want to find out more information on vaccination, visit the following websites: http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/vaccine.htm http://www.vaccinationnews.com http://www.whale.to/vaccines.html http://www.909shot.com copyright Claudia Ayaz