Why we don’t vaccinate

UPDATE: 02/01/2019
Believe it or not, I actually had to update this post. NOT because my beliefs have changed, but because when I was detailing the vaccines that use human cells, I left a few out. Updates are below in GREEN.

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 (https://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. (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:

  • Adenovirus
  • Shingles
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox)
  • Rabies
  • MMR
  • MMRV (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella)
  • Hep A / Hep B combo
  • Hep A
  • DTaP – IPV (Quardacel brand for Diptheria, Tetanus, Polio)
  • DTaP – IPV – Hib (Petnacel brand for Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b)
  • Smallpox (although not on the regular schedule, it is still used in certain circumstances and so I decided to add it to the list)

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)
  • Madin Darby Canine (dog) Kidney cell protein

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/hcp/vis/vis-statements/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 – https://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 combos for DTaP / IPV / Hib when individual DTaP, IPV, and Hib vaccines are available) 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 (ie. those who died, not those who were considered infected) 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 previous 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 (three now since California went to ONLY medical exemptions) allow for religious exemptions and many allow for ‘philosophical’ exemptions. In short, YES, YOU CAN ENROLL YOUR CHILDREN IN SCHOOL WITHOUT VACCINATIONS. My children are 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, they may be required to stay home until is passes. NOT because they think they caused it, but to protect them from contracting the disease, whether I think it’s a big deal or not.

Since moving back from Japan, my children have been easily and legally registered for public school in two different states under those individual states’ own exemption regulations.

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/

Military Vaccine Exemptions for Children

(05/22/2017) I know there have been a lot of requests to join the ‘Secret’ Facebook groups. However, there is a reason they are secret. Those who choose to no longer vaccinate come under fire a lot and the groups that I am in were all simply ‘Closed’ at one point or another. All had to change to ‘Secret’ to keep out those with less-than-good-intentions. Unfortunately, this means that the ONLY way to add people is to friend them on Facebook first. I am not comfortable doing this. 

HOWEVER, I was given the name of a ‘Closed’ group as a recommendation for those looking for a place on Facebook to start. My suggestion would be to Join this group, hang out for a while and post. It could be an excellent way to show that you’re ‘safe’ and get added to some of the other groups.

I know this sounds harsh, but, unfortunately with vaccine choice under fire, it’s the way things kind of need to be at the moment to protect ourselves and our children.

UPDATED 06/20/2018 – Joint Instruction (previously updated 03/19/2017, 10/06/2016, 03/18/14. They REALLY like to move this one…)

UPDATED 09/19/2017 – DoDEA Exemption form link updated (previously updated 10/16/2016, 03/18/14) NOTE: There is a new form that does NOT require an explanation, but I have not yet found that form on the DoDEA website. This is still the old form with the explanation section.

UPDATED 8/21/2015 with DoDEA school registration information (at the end)

Last year with hubby deploying I wanted to be able to use the Child Development Center’s drop in service for appointments and their Give Parents a Break ‘date nights’. With my children not up to date on their vaccinations according to regulations, I needed to get their exemptions in line. Although we live in Utah and Utah has all three exemptions (medical, religious, and philosophical), the military only accepts medical and religious (I was told initially that they would ONLY accept medical, but knowing that wasn’t true, I researched further on what I would need).

Although the question doesn’t come up very often, it does come up. It’s not too hard to explain, just involves a lot of forms (thankyoumilitary) so I thought I’d just write a post I can refer people to.

The regulation is in the following PDF:

https://health.mil/Reference-Center/Policies/2013/10/07/Immunizations-and-Chemoprophylaxis-for-the-Prevention-of-Infectious-Diseases(UPDATED LINK 06/20/2018)

The section pertaining to the CDC, FCC and other base activities is on page 12, section 3-5b:

(b) Children attending DOD and USCG-sponsored primary and secondary schools, childcare centers, or similar facilites are required to be up to date on all age appropriate ACIP-recommended vaccines for children unless there is a documentation of previous immunization, religious exemption, or medical contraindication. For foreign-national children outside of the United States, observe host country recommendations or requirements.

What I did for my process is started with DoDEA Form 2943. I filled it out, and in the ‘reason’ section (section 4) I wrote:

(Form is now http://www.dodea.edu/DeLalioES/upload/H-2-2-DoDEA-Form-2942-0-G-F4-Exemption-of-Immunizations.pdf) (UPDATED 09/19/2017)

*The following has been updated to reflect changes in the regulation structure and reference numbers. RED are changes, BLUE STRIKEOUT are parts that have been removed. A cleaned up paragraph for copy and paste will be just below. I wanted to keep the integrity of the original as used while reflecting changes that should be made for any future use.*

To whom it may concern;
(We / I) {First and Last name(s)}, as the {(parent (s) / guardian(s)} of ______________________(name of child) are exercising (our/my) rights under the US Constitution and Army Regulation 40-562, BUMEDINST 6230.15A, AF JI 48-110, CG COMDTINST M6230.4F AR 40–562/BUMEDINST 6230.15B/AFI 48–110_IP/CG COMDTINST M6230.4G, section 3-5b, para4, and Army Regulation 608-10, section 4-6, para 2, to receive Religious Exemption from Vaccination, due to our genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practices herein required.
The U.S. Supreme Court held in Frazee V. Illinois Dept. of Security, 489 U.S. 829, that a religious belief is subject to protection even though no religious group espouses such beliefs or the fact that the religious group to which the individual professes to belong may not advocate or require such belief. This ruling is also reflected in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended Nov. 1, 1980; Part 1605.1-Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Religion.
Sincerely,
Your signature.
Date

*Here is the cleaned up paragraph for copy/paste purposes*

To whom it may concern;
(We / I) {First and Last name(s)}, as the {(parent (s) / guardian(s)} of ______________________(name of child) are exercising (our/my) rights under the US Constitution and AR 40–562/BUMEDINST 6230.15B/AFI 48–110_IP/CG COMDTINST M6230.4G, section 3-5b, to receive Religious Exemption from Vaccination, due to our genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practices herein required.
The U.S. Supreme Court held in Frazee V. Illinois Dept. of Security, 489 U.S. 829, that a religious belief is subject to protection even though no religious group espouses such beliefs or the fact that the religious group to which the individual professes to belong may not advocate or require such belief. This ruling is also reflected in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended Nov. 1, 1980; Part 1605.1-Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Religion.
Sincerely,
Your signature.
Date

After turning in the form with page 12 & 13 from the regulations, with the religious exemption part highlighted, they requested a letter from clergy. According to what I know, a letter from clergy is NOT required for civilians, only for active duty, but I complied with the request. While I was working on getting that letter, I sent them the following:

To Whom It May Concern:

I understand that you have requested a letter from my clergy regarding my religious reasons for not vaccinating my children for their exemption forms for the CDC and FCC offices here at Hill Air Force Base.

I wanted to update you and let you know that although it is my understanding that clergy / chaplain letters are ONLY required for those who are ACTIVE DUTY and requesting exemption (NOT their dependents), I am in the process of acquiring the requested letter. My leader is in contact with the local higher-ups to confirm what the official stance is.

However, I’d like to remind you of the following, found in the 2006 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29, part 1605 (enclosed) which states:

“The fact that no religious group espouses such beliefs or the fact that the religious group to which the individual professes to belong may not accept such belief will not determine whether the belief is a religious belief…”

So, should it come back that the local heads of my church have no official stance that backs my religious beliefs, that does not negate them.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly.

I felt it was important to remind them that should it turn out that there is no official stance my church leaders can take (which was the case) that that did NOT negate my beliefs. In my case, I was fortunate in that one of the base chaplains that we had been in contact with was willing to write a letter to the effect that he had talked with us and believed that our beliefs that our children should not be vaccinated were sincere.

The letter and all the forms or whatever they fill out went up the chain of command and we eventually got a response back that our exemptions were processed.

Now. Does this mean all is peaches and roses? No. The CDC has the right (which they have exercised) to refuse my children admittance in the case of an ‘outbreak’. The one time I was ready to drop them off for Give Parents a Break, there had been a case of chicken pox. It didn’t matter that I didn’t feel it was an issue, they were still allowed to / required to not admit my children since they had not been vaccinated for chicken pox.

UPDATE: AUGUST 2015

It’s been a few years since I wrote this and our situation as changed a bit with both kids being school age now and with having moved overseas (which was NO issue at all, the questions of vaccines didn’t even really come up).

I just wanted to quickly say that so far our experience with registering the kids for school has been a piece of cake. For an on base DoDEA school overseas in Japan, all I had to do was fill out the DoDEA form (http://www.dodea.edu/StudentServices/upload/2011_2942_0_M_F4.pdf) and wrote “We do not vaccinate for religious reasons” in section 4.

That’s it. School nurse didn’t bat an eyelash, just said ‘thank you’.

We’ve done this three times now with no issue at all. In fact, I wound up having a nice short conversation the last time and it basically came down that the nurse agreed that parents had the right to refuse and that was okay. 🙂

I have not yet attempted to register them with the CDC here for either Give Parents a Break or for the School Age program as it simply hasn’t come up yet. If I do, I will update this again to reflect my experience.

Vaccines – say WHAT?!

The subject of vaccines seems to come up in a cycle. It comes up before we have our babies, shortly after birth, when they are supposed to be getting them (3 months, 6 months, 1 year, etc.), as well as, of course, any time they’re in the news. So, as Emma is now a year old, the issue has come up on her birth board again.

Just for clarification, my decision to NOT vaccinate has NOTHING to do with a possible link with the increase in Autism cases. That’s a post for another day, but in short I believe there are many many reasons for the increase in diagnosis of Autism and I don’t believe that vaccines can be blamed for all of it, if any.

So. Here’s the argument that confuses me the most:

“If you don’t vaccinate your child, you’re putting my child at risk”

Huh?

If your vaccinated child and my unvaccinated child are at school together, and my child happens to get one of the childhood diseases that vaccines are supposed to protect against, if your child gets it, then doesn’t it stand to reason that your child’s vaccine wasn’t the miracle you thought it was? To me, this emphasizes a reason to NOT vaccinate. If someone is concerned enough about their fully vaccinated child getting sick from my non-vaccinated child, then, to me, that shows that that parent KNOWS that the vaccines are ineffective and unnecessary.

“No, no, it’s because when a child is one, they’re not fully vaccinated, that’s why they can get sick from an unvaccinated child”

Right. Okay. So, you have a chemically-injected unprotected child and I have a chemical-free unprotected child. Well then, I’ll get right on injecting my child with dangerous chemicals just so they can be as UNprotected as your chemical-laden child. Uh huh.

“Well, at least if you vaccinate your child it will reduce their risk of getting sick and reduce the possiblilty that they’ll pass it on to my child”. (who is vaccinated and supposedly protected anyway)

Huh?!

So, in this case somehow my child’s vaccinations will be more effective than your own.

Wait. Why am I injecting chemicals into my child again? Nope. Still can’t figure it out.

Oh right. I’m not!

I have not heard anything yet – that makes sense – that shows that vaccinating my child will protect yours, or that vaccinating your child somehow protects mine. But, if anyone wants to try, feel free 🙂