Every few months there is a story about an ‘outbreak’ that sparks off the vaccination debate, quite often more frequently. I follow a lot of different pages in regards to vaccines and I actually see articles on a daily basis about vaccines, quite often from both sides. Most of the time I can just let it slide past me as I know that I have made the right choice for my family, but sometimes…
The hardest for me are when people accuse me of endangering others, or when they assume that the only reason that I don’t vaccinate is because Jenny McCarthy told me not to.
That’s NOT true, on either account. The ‘endangering others’ I believe I covered before, so I’m not going to here, so let’s talk about the other.
The number one belief that pro-vaccine people have is that anti-vaccine people are afraid their children will become Autistic if they vaccinate (BTW, you may notice that that is the ONLY time any variation of the word Autism appears in this post). For most, this is the only reason they know of so they apply it to everyone.
That’s NOT true. It’s not true for us and it’s not true for many more.
Our reasons for not vaccinating are simple and strong.
We do not vaccinate for religious reasons.
I’ll say that again.
WE DO NOT VACCINATE FOR RELIGIOUS REASONS.
I’m sure many are confused, so let me elaborate. I’ve touched on some of this before (http://lboosmommy.wordpress.com/tag/vaccines/), but let me expand on that.
1 – There are many vaccines that were developed with the use of aborted fetal cells (notice I didn’t say “that contain aborted fetuses”). Look at this document from the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/B/excipient-table-2.pdf. Please note that this is a direct link found on the cdc.gov website, not something posted elsewhere. People always want links directly from the CDC, here you go. In the Contains column, any reference to MRC-5 or WI-38 means those aborted human fetal cells. (http://www.immunizationinfo.org/issues/vaccine-components/human-fetal-links-some-vaccines – sadly the CDC seems to have removed their articles discussing this issue, but, I assure you, they used to be there). Also notice that there ARE references to the vaccines CONTAINING these cells, not just having been cultured on them.
For quick reference, here is a list of those vaccines:
- Varicella (Chicken Pox)
- MMRV (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella)
- Hep A / Hep B combo
- Hep A
- DTaP – IPV – Hib (Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b)
It should be able to go without saying that my personal beliefs have a problem with this. But, just in case it’s not clear:
I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS.
Got it? Okay, moving on.
2 – Kind of a sub of #1, but did you notice the other animal cells / derivatives in the list? In case you didn’t:
- Bovine Casein (cow milk protein)
- Bovine protein
- Bovine extract
- Chicken embryo
- Chicken kidney cells
- Mouse brain culture
- Rhesus fetal lung tissue culture (rhesus monkey)
- Vero cell culture (monkey kidney cells)
Now, we’re not vegetarian or vegan, but this list should be of concern to people who are vegan and want nothing to do with animals in their products.
This brings me to:
3 – Thou shalt not lie
Okay, so the quote is actually “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” but it is commonly interpreted as said.
You can argue that no one ever lied about the ingredients in vaccines, but I choose to argue that not disclosing this information so that those that need it can know is akin to lying about it.
Federal law says that Vaccine Information Statements must be handed out when vaccination is performed. Every. Single. Time. (http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2027.pdf)
I know that I personally have NOT received these for every vaccination for myself, nor for the few that my children received. Have you? Even if you have, there is a problem with them. Look at this one for Varicella (Chicken Pox): http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-varicella.pdf
You may remember from the list above that the Varicella vaccine is one that contains MRC-5 and other animal related ingredients:
sucrose, phosphate, glutamate, gelatin, monosodium L-glutamate, sodium
phosphate dibasic, potassium phosphate monobasic, potassium chloride,
sodium phosphate monobasic, EDTA, residual components of MRC-5
cells including DNA and protein, neomycin, fetal bovine serum, human
diploid cell cultures
This information should be in those VIS for vegans and people who follow religions regarding human cells and animal cells, but it isn’t. This is information that should be available to everyone, every time, so that they can make an informed choice. Since it’s not, too many people simply don’t have that option.
When people look at #1, they see that there ARE vaccines that are not associated with aborted fetal cells and they wonder why I don’t then go ahead and use those. To be honest, THIS is why. IF there was full disclosure in these mandatory VIS about ingredients in vaccines, then I might consider it. Until then…
To many this may seem petty. They see it as my endangering my children and others all because I don’t like being lied to. So, again, I point you to other posts I have made about vaccines in regards to the whole ‘endangering others’ thing – http://lboosmommy.wordpress.com/tag/vaccines/
A question that was posed to me recently is “Would there ever be a reason you would vaccinate?” Or, in other words, what would change my mind. The answer is simple and complex at the same time.
1 – No more aborted fetal cell lines. Re-develop the vaccines that used them FROM SCRATCH. That means start over, as if you were creating the vaccine the first time. It’s the closest thing to making it not have happened that can happen at this point. For those where there ARE alternatives (ie, instead of MMRV, the MMR and Varicella by them selves) take those out of rotation completely. Discontinue those vaccines. In some cases this is a simple as taking certain brands of vaccines out of the rotation and using other brands. Will is cost a crap ton of money? Maybe… but the vaccine industry is about saving lives, not money, so… anything that will get more people to vaccinate has to be worth the money.
2 – Full disclosure of ingredients. Those VIS are supposed to be used every time. For now, let’s assume they always will be. Let them include the list of ingredients. The FDA requires ingredients be listed on just about everything we put into our bodies from the grocery store, let’s do the same with things injected into our bodies by doctors. If there is too much concern about more people refusing vaccinations with this, maybe more vaccines need to be re-developed. There are vaccines that don’t include animal cultures (if I’m fully understanding the referenced list), so it must be possible to do so. Re-iterating what I said above, will is cost a crap ton of money? Maybe… but the vaccine industry is about saving lives, not money, so… anything that will get more people to vaccinate has to be worth the money.
3 – I guess this kind of goes with 2, but I really think there needs to be more independent (ie, not funded by the CDC, WHO, FDA or pharmaceutical companies) research on the safety of not only the vaccines as a whole, but on the safety of the individual ingredients, in the amounts used. I’ve seen too many statistics about the ‘small’ amount of mercury in vaccines that do contain it, and not enough about how those small amounts exceed established toxic levels. (Remember, mercury = thimerosal which IS listed in the referenced list on the CDC’s website for certain vaccines).
Vaccines with 1:10,000 or 0.01 percent Thimerosal have about 50 mg/L mercury, which exceeds the 0.2 mg/L hazardous waste toxicity characteristic regulatory level for mercury.
Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s in the past and is a known neurotoxin. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of data as to how much aluminum is contained in a vaccine. It’s considered a trade secret and therefore protected. It’d be like saying “we can’t tell you how much mercury is in our canned tuna, it’s a trade secret”.
There are many more ingredients that are concerning and not fully disclosed like MSG, formalin, and various antibiotics. People need to know what they’re dealing with to really be able to make an informed decision. Antibiotics are of special concern due to the apparent upswing in antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. I think it needs to be considered whether antibiotics in vaccinations have contributed to that.
4 – Effectiveness: Time and time again vaccine preventable diseases pop up in populations where there was a high rate of vaccination. Vaccines just don’t seem to be as effective and therefore as necessary as all the popular literature says. If a middle school in Texas can have a 99% vaccination rate and children there can still contract measles, something has to be not working right. In the ‘great pertussis outbreak’ in California, a favorite among pro-vaccinators, a staggering number of those who were diagnosed with pertussis were considered up-to-date on their vaccines. If it could be proven unequivocally that vaccines were completely effective, that there were NO break through events, that would be a reason, along with the other reasons, to consider vaccination.
5 – Necessity. This is a big one and one that gets debated A LOT. Are vaccines necessary? It kind of goes with #4 and #3. Let’s just stick with the measles, shall we? Now, I’ve never had the measles, so I cannot speak from personal experience. My father had them and he said, and I quote “It sucked. Big time.” Of course, this was in the middle of a vaccine discussion so… not sure what his response would have been if I vaccinated and just asked in passing, but there you have it. Here’s what the CDC says about measles (http://www.cdc.gov/measles/):
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. The disease of measles and the virus that causes it share the same name. The disease is also called rubeola.
Measles causes fever, runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body. About one out of 10 children with measles also gets an ear infection, and up to one out of 20 gets pneumonia. For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die.
So, most get a fever, runny rose, cough and rash which is uncomfortable, but not life threatening in and of itself.
~ 10% get ear infections
~ 8% get diarrhea (this number is found on a different page on the CDC’s site)
Up to 5% get pneumonia
~ 0.1% get encephalitis (this number is found on a different page on the CDC’s site)
0.1% – 0.2% die
The point is, the majority who get the measles will be ill and uncomfortable for a few weeks, and that’s it. Yes, people do die from it. People die from walking across the street as well, but we don’t prevent people from walking across streets.
In developing countries, where malnutrition and vitamin A deficiency are common, measles has been known to kill as many as one out of four people.
While this is much higher than the other rate, there’s a difference that should be noted. Malnutrition and Vitamin A deficiency. This would lead to an argument that those the most at risk from the measles are those who are malnourished or vitamin deficient (Vitamin A is found in leafy greens and fruits and vegetables that are yellow in color).
The CDC’s stance is “Vaccines save lives”. The graphs shown on my previous post (https://lboosmommy.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/the-big-bad-vaccine-post/) show that mortality rates from diseases were already on the decline before vaccination. Pro-vaccination people like to point to the CDC’s graphs which are INFECTION RATE graphs. I’m not saying that the infection rate is completely unimportant, I’m just saying that if the CDC wants to emphasize the “saving lives” part, why are they merely showing the infection rate graphs instead of showing the mortality rate graphs? That goes with that indirectly lying thing.
I’m starting to ramble (hence the name of this blog, lol), so, quick recap. I don’t vaccinate because of religious reasons.
Yes, I might consider vaccinating if I could get vaccines that don’t have abortions attached to their history, if everyone injected knew exactly what was in their vaccines, and if all ingredients had been independently researched as to their safely and necessity.
One last thing I get asked is about school for my children. ALL states allow for medical exemptions, all but two allow for religious exemptions and many allow for ‘philosophical’ exemptions. In short, YES, YOU CAN ENROLL YOUR CHILDREN IN SCHOOL WITHOUT VACCINATIONS. My son is enrolled in the school here in Japan under a religious exemption. If there is an incidence of a “vaccine preventable” disease such as Chicken Pox, he may be required to stay home until is passes. NOT because they think he caused it, but to protect him from contracting the disease.
I do have a post specifically about military exemptions including the regulations regarding them, here: https://lboosmommy.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/military-vaccine-exemptions-for-children/