Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. --John Milton

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Vaccinations: Did You Know?

Five years of books and footnoted articles, of vaccinating and not vaccinating have taught me one thing for sure: Vaccines are complex.

When I say "vaccine," am I talking about the shot's effectiveness. Or am I referring to the toxicity of the vaccine's components. Maybe I'm thinking of how it interacts with the immune system.

Complex? Extremely.

Did you know that a major sanitation reform movement swept Europe and America during the late 1800s and early 1900s? Vaccinations against whooping cough, diphtheria, measles, and polio arrived as each epidemic faded. Even the eradication of smallpox isn't clearly thanks to the World Health Organization. Did you know the disease increased with the advent of mandatory vaccination?

When I see a study, I recognize that it was done by people with assumptions, even biases. So I ask who did the study, what was its goal. I keep in mind that correlation is not causation. Even if someone can produce a study where the disease declined with the vaccine, have other factors such as sanitation been taken into account?

Additionally, it's not scientific to ignore anecdotal evidence. How is it helpful to dismiss a mom's report that one day her baby was fine and then the day after vaccines, the baby was not fine? Is it possible that all little bodies don't respond exactly the same to the recommended dosage? Why aren't we asking questions like this? What are we most afraid of?

Did you know that vaccines are composed with mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde? Wouldn't it be fair to parents if the nurse said, "With your consent, I will be injecting your newborn with mercury, but I think the benefit is worth it"? Instead what do parents hear, if anything? "There is no risk. Your baby might be a little fussy and have a slight fever."

So when I discover that I have put harsh toxins in my baby, my question is, why didn't the nurse or doctor tell me? The Informed Consent Doctrine requires practitioners to explain benefits and risks before administering anything. I understand putting something toxic into my child when I weigh that its help is worth the cost. What I don't appreciate is not being told what I'm risking for my child.

Did you know that vaccines alter the immune system? The immune system includes antibodies and white blood cells. Often what we refer to as "sickness" such as a fever is the body's healthy response to the real bad guys. The way vaccines mess with the system has implications, such as leaving "garbage" in the body that a natural response cleans out. Another implication is that the white blood cell arm of the system is not exercised, leaving children weak in facing future illness. Would it make sense then that a kiddo who gets the shot for pneumonia is more likely to have asthma?

Did you know that vaccine "herd immunity" is mostly myth? The finger of blame for outbreaks that occur including in children who have been fully vaccinated is pointed at unvaccinated children as causing these outbreaks. But think about it, we have all lived for at least thirty years with 50 percent or less of the population having vaccine protection because the immunity only lasts five to ten years (that's the medical community guessing). Natural immunity typically lasts a lifetime.

Does it begin to make sense why parents are hesitant to agree to something highly toxic that cripples the immune system for the possible benefit of five to ten years of immunity? Maybe vaccinations give us a feeling of safety. But maybe life is not that easy. There is no risk-free option here.

I am grateful for our family doctor who respects our responsibility as parents to care for our boys, even as he believes firmly in the effectiveness of vaccines without risk.

Let's not rely on simplistic accusations and assumptions. These tend to be fear-based, rather than researched-based. I champion mamas making thoughtful decisions for the well-being of their babies.

More info: The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care by Sally Fallon Morell and Thomas S. Cowan, MD. The Weston A. Price Foundation has researched information about vaccinations

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