Monday, June 29, 2009

To Vaccinate or Not....

Since the late 1700's vaccines have been used to prevent the most deadly of diseases. Thousands of lives have been saved from the invention of vaccines and their use throughout childhood, specifically. In the 1950's and 60's measles claimed the lives of nearly 50,000 people, mostly children. Today, the disease has practically been eradicated in part due to vaccines, better medical technology as well as sanitation. Today, a new threat has emerged. Autism and other neurological disorders (ADD/ADHD and others) have skyrocketed. Many have linked them to vaccines - others to genetics. Either way, our children are being stolen from us and left void of their souls. In our age of "going green", I think it's time parents paid more attention to what we put into our children's bodies. Could this be the reason why Autism, ADD/ADHD and other learning disabilities are on the rise? The following two part series is my research on the subject of vaccinations and how I, as a mother, can help save my daughter from threats past, present and future.

Blissful Ignorance
When I was pregnant, I read every book there was on the subject of being pregnant. I could tell you, ad nauseum, the development of a 16 week old fetus and typical morning sickness symptoms. I even had pregnant friends calling for advice on whether being out of breath was normal or what the funny looking brown line down the middle of their stomach was. I wrote a birth plan that spelled out exactly how I wanted the birth of my baby to take place. I knew about pitocin, fetal monitoring and what to expect during a cesarean. After Carol's birth, her pediatrician was amazed to find out that I, indeed, was not a nurse because I was able to spill out medical jargon about her jaundice, weight and eating habits. I consider myself a researched, prepared human being - most of all, I'm moderate and extremely well at listening to both sides of an issue and coming to my own conclusions.
However, even though I was prepared for every situation during pregnancy and childbirth, I did not prepare myself to learn about vaccines. So, imagine my surprise (drugged on Perkaset and barely able to move without pain) when a nurse came into my room when Carol was but a day old and asked me if I wanted to give my baby a Hepatitis B vaccination. "Uh, I guess...." was my response. Never before did I walk into a situation concerning my child with little to no education. To me, Hepatitis B sounded like a horrible disease. I was vaccinated for it in college, so why shouldn't my newborn?

When the time came around for her 2 month vaccinations, I, once again, walked blindly into the matter. She was to receive 6 (!) shots in one sitting, including doses for her polio, whooping cough, Hep B and others. I thought, "6 doses at once, they have to be kidding." However, that was the amount. We even asked her pediatrician how he felt about the vaccine controversy. He told me that he believed that the vaccines posed less risk than the diseases from which they protect. Meaning, it was more important to vaccinate. He recommended the entire vaccine schedule and told me to look it up on the CDC's website.

When the nurse marked her doses on her shot record, I noticed how much longer her record was than mine. I still have my shot record from the 80's and Carol's is almost twice as long as mine was. Is there an epidemic of measles out there that I don't know about? Why then is there an added MMR when only 1 was given 20 years ago? If one shot protects up to 95%, why does there need to be another one? A chicken pox vaccine? Seriously? For the first time since she's been born, I put on my research cap and turned on my computer. What I found astonished and frightened me.

In the Beginning....

Vaccines have been around since the late 1700's when Edward Jenner created the smallpox vaccine. Since then every decade has seen a creation of and subsequent eradication of a major illness. In the 20's, it was the BCG shot that helped to slow down the spread of TB. In the 30's and 40's it was the invention of the DTP shot that helped to prevent diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough - all three serious enough to make a young child very ill and/or cause death. In the 50's and 60's it was the polio and measles vaccine that helped to save thousands of children from becoming ill from the measles or suffering the debilitating effects of polio. Children brought up in the 1950's and 60's are thought to never need the measles vaccine because they were exposed to the virus during some period in their life or another - they're thought to be immune simply because the disease was so popular, someone in their life had it when they were growing up. During the 70's and 80's it was the Anthrax, Swine Flu and Hep B vaccines that came onto the market. In the last twenty years, vaccines have been improved and some taken off the market. Some have been introduced and some have been renamed. In 1983 there were 11 shots on the CDC approved shot record. Today there are over 30, most given before the child reaches the age of two.

In the last decade controversy has grown over the safety of vaccines. There has been debate in the medical community over whether or not vaccines are linked to Autism, ADD/ADHD, Type 1 Diabetes, or allergies and asthma. There is conflicting information on both sides of the issue. Many things could be said to be linked to these issues including the rise in video game use, lack of exercise amongst children and dietary changes. However, one point is still really interesting: In 1983 when there were only 11 shots on the shot record, Autism was found in 1:10,000 children. Today, when there is over 30 shots on the shot record, Autism is found in about 1:150 children. 1:13 children have ADD or ADHD. 1 in 13. Why has this number shot through the roof? A lot can explain this like maybe better record keeping, better diagnosis or simply advancements in medicine.

According to the CDC, better diagnosis and record-keeping is not the explanation as to why Autism affects 1:150 children (1:98 boys. 4:1 boys to girls suffer). If we believe (as is probably the case) that Autism was improperly labeled as "mental retardation" or "mentally delayed" than the numbers should probably stay the same, right? If there is nothing else to explain the rise in neurological disorders other than better record keeping, than the same amount of children should be labeled with some disorder and the graph from the 80's should be flat lined. But it's not. Autism is on the rise and is rising above that flat line. So it can't be better record keeping. What could it be?

The numbers are scary. 1 in 150 children are affected with Autism on the spectrum scale. It's worse for boys - there, the number is 1 in 98! It hasn't been figured out why boys are four times are likely to be autistic than girls but if I had a son, I would be researching every reason to avoid it. More children this year will be affected by Autism than AIDS, Diabetes, and Cancer combined - and yet, it receives the least amount of funding.

But, okay, okay, how does this relate to vaccines?

Mercury Rising

Vaccines are live or dead forms of a virus or bacteria that are injected into or swallowed by an individual. The small amounts of the virus or bacteria will then invade the host and our bodies will go to work to fight against it. Because it's usually a small amount and usually a dead form, the individual does not get sick, but rather memorizes the virus, thereby learning to attack it if it were to invade the host again. According to the CDC and FDA, vaccines are made with preservatives to keep the shelf life of the vaccine longer and prevent contamination from multi-use vials (source FDA). According to the Centers for Disease Control's website, in 2008, the following vaccines had these (amongst others) ingredients in them:
DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping Cough) - aluminum, thimerosal (mercury), formaldehyde
DTaP/HepB/IPV (polio) - aluminum, formaldehyde, monkey kidney tissue
Flu Vaccine - Thimerosal, chicken kidney cells, egg protein, MSG
MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) - chicken embryo cells, cow cells, MSG
Polio - Formaldehyde, monkey kidney tissue, newborn calf cells.

But, okay fine, we eat things every day that contain MSG and the FDA would not allow such things as mercury to be in vaccines if it were dangerous....

The FDA noted, "Under the FDA Modernization Act (FDAMA) of 1997, the FDA conducted a comprehensive review of the use of thimerosal in childhood vaccines. Conducted in 1999, this review found no evidence of harm from the use of thimerosal as a vaccine preservative, other than local hypersensitivity reactions." (source, FDA ) Yea! They didn't find any connection to mercury (Thimerosal) hurting the kids...! But oh wait... "As a precautionary measure, the Public Health Service (including the FDA, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics issued two Joint Statements, urging vaccine manufacturers to reduce or eliminate thimerosal in vaccines as soon as possible (CDC 1999) and (CDC 2000). The U.S. Public Health Service agencies have collaborated with various investigators to initiate further studies to better understand any possible health effects from exposure to thimerosal in vaccines." Question: If Thimerosal was proven not to hurt babies and infants during routine vaccinations, then why are so concerned with immediately removing it?

The FDA further notes, "A weak association was found with thimerosal intake and certain neurodevelopmental disorders (such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in one study, but was not found in a subsequent study. Additional studies are planned in these areas." Well, I hope so.

Currently, I'm reading a book titled, "Evidence of Harm". In it, the author sits down with multiple families who have been affected by Autism. These parents had fully-functioning, healthy children and soon after their second MMR vaccination, they saw a rapid decline in their child. The book goes into detail their struggle and plight to get Thimerosal taken out of vaccines. They are to thank for the change in vaccines today. But their fight isn't over. It still does not make sense to me why (in 26 years) the amount of vaccines have almost tripled in size from 11 to over 30. We have better medical technology, better eating habits and still the need for more? What ever happened to letting the body do what it's supposed to do... (but that's a WHOLE different saga).

Generation Rescue is a non-profit organization that Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey run. Recently, they conducted a survey through a non-profit survey company comparing vaccinated children and un-vaccinated children in California and Oregon. Many are skeptical of the link between Autism and neurological disorders (ADD, ADHD, Autism and, Aspbergers). The rationale to finding out if there is a link would be to simply do a survey and see if there is a correlation. Are as many unvaccinated children afflicted with Autism or ND's as vaccinated children? "We surveyed over 9,000 boys in California and Oregon and found that vaccinated boys had a 155% greater chance of having a neurological disorder like ADHD or autism than unvaccinated boys." (Source: Survey )

A Mother's Dilemma

The numbers don't lie. Nor do I discount a mother's intuition. I would know it if something were different with my daughter and I would work my life to finding out the cause of it. Why is the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) so up in arms over this issue? Why won't the CDC pay to conduct their own survey like the one that Generation Rescue conducted? If vaccines play no role in the rise of these disorders than simply comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated households will help the show the proof. But they won't do it. This is scary. Children are dropping like flies (so to speak) and the medical community is not looking for answers. They're blaming it on genetics (if that's the case then why was there not this many 20 years ago).

I'm not saying don't vaccinate. I think that vaccines are useful at preventing communicable disease. But surely small infants don't need 30 vaccines in two years? Why six at once? Why a second MMR vaccine when the first one gives 95% immunity? Why the chicken pox vaccine when it's not that terrible of a disease if monitored (as any parent would do like the flu or cold)? Doctor's won't provide me this information - only that the CDC recommends these amounts of shots. I'm not ignoring those numbers. Even though I have a daughter, autism and ND's have affected girls as well (80% of cases are boys). They are not immune (ironic, isn't it?).

I have many more books to read and I'm not done with this research. But we are injecting poison into our baby's bodies and not paying attention to it. We'll go out of our way to buy organic, but not look into what is inside of vaccines. Kind of like eating a Big Mac with a Diet Coke.

Parents are finding that Autistic behavior and symptoms, from the lack of eye contact, withdrawal, head-butting, arm-flapping and GI problems mirror mercury poisoning. Wait, where did we see mercury? Oh yeah, in Thimerosal... One shot doesn't necessarily make a difference but the 6 my daughter received can surely make a difference. Now multiply six every two months for the next four months and more at 12 months and again at 18-24 months. You saw the ingredients taken from the FDA's website. Formaldehyde, MSG, chick embryo and mercury. Never mind the fact that vaccines produce millions annually for the pharmaceutical companies... It's a business.

History of Deceit

In the 1950's women were routinely x-rayed while pregnant to make sure their hips were wide enough for delivery. In 1974, the Journal of the American Medical Association said that x-rays have been proven to cause cancer and abnormalities in babies born to women who had this done (Source ). We've all heard of how the tobacco industry never wanted to admit that smoking caused lung cancer while people were suffering from the disease. It took years for them to make that relationship public. I remember being told not to eat anything with hydrogenated oils in it long before the campaign to eliminate trans fat became "vogue". Point being, when something is important, people will not give up. If there was not a cause and effect relationship between autism, ND's and vaccines, it would have been debunked years ago. But too many children are being affected and too many parents are standing up. It's our history of Americans to be told one thing only to find out years later that we were led down the wrong path. I can say with certainty that in 15 years or less we will look back at vaccines of today and kick ourselves for not demanding healthier versions long before.

Stay tuned for the 2nd installment...more research to do....


Located throughout the blog in hyperlink format.

"Immunization Timeline", July 2008 from,, retrieved on June 30th, 2009.

A partial ingredient list from Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary, Part 2, Excipients included in U.S. Vaccines, by Vaccine. Downloaded 11/08 from: