Too Many Vaccines: Another Stab In The Arm
The U.S. childhood vaccine schedule has been updated and the revised schedule issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Family Physicians. It looks like we will be sticking our children even more than in the past. Russell Blaylock, M.D., stated: “In 1976, children received 10 vaccines before attending school. Today they will receive over 36 injections." It's time to ask: Are we getting too many vaccines?
How Many Vaccines Are Too Many?
As a parent or grandparent you need to be aware of three important changes that could influence your child’s health (ages newborn to 18 years).
- Flu Shot, Including H1N1-Like Virus, now recommended for infants. U.S. children older than 6 months are now advised to receive the seasonal flu shot to protect against the flu.
The concern with this recommendation: The 2011-2012 seasonal vaccine includes protection against only three viral strains: An A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus, an A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus, and an A B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus. However, Harvard researcher Marc Lipsitch, DPhil, and colleagues from the U.K. Medical Research Council and the CDC have said new research revealed that the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic was no more severe than the average flu season. Originally it was said that “millions” could die but this “false pandemic,” as many have called it, proved to be mild in most cases, with patients recovering on their own with no medical attention necessary most of the time. Also of concern is that the swine flu vaccine was only tested on a few thousand healthy people for a few weeks. So no one can say whether or not a vaccine that contains H1N1-like virus is safe because it has not been thoroughly tested. There is little or no safety data on how the flu vaccine reacts in pregnant women and chronically ill or disabled children. There is also very little information about whether the flu shot will keep you from getting the flu. Another major concern is that the injectable flu shots in multi-dose vials contain the mercury preservative thimerosal, which has been linked to autism, behavioral, and learning disorders in children. Already, anecdotal reports of miscarriages and deaths have been reported after receiving the H1N1 vaccine.
- HPV Vaccine Now Advised for Girls … and Boys! Boys 9 and older are now candidates to receive the HPV vaccine, for the sole purpose of preventing sexually transmitted genital warts.
The concern with this recommendation: This HPV vaccine that protects against two strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) which are associated with more than 70 percent of cervical cancer cases is now part of the vaccine schedule for girls. Since HPV infections are extremely common -- some estimate that three-quarters of U.S. women will be exposed to HPV during their lifetime -- the premise is that the vaccine, known as Gardasil, will significantly cut back on the 10,000 new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed in the United States each year. One concern parent's have voiced are fears that the vaccine would encourage their children to have sex. But there are other concerns surrounding Gardasil. In the forefront of concerns is its necessity. Even among the "high-risk" types of HPV that Gardasil prevents, NCI says, "It is important to note, however, that the great majority of high-risk HPV infections go away on their own and do not cause cancer." While HPV is common, most infections occur without any symptoms and go away on their own within a few years, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Meanwhile, of the more than 100 HPV viruses (around 30 of which can be transmitted sexually), Gardasil protects against just four, and the newer HPV2 vaccine protects against only two. What about the other 96 strains? There is also a question of safety. As of October 2011, nearly 20,000 Gardasil-related adverse reactions have been reported to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Reportedly, 62 deaths and other adverse reactions, including Bells Palsy, Guillan-Barre syndrome, seizures, blood clotting, heart problems, and even miscarriages and fetal abnormalities among pregnant women, have occurred in those who received the vaccine. U.S. public health agencies have also expanded Gardasil’s “target audience” to include boys as well. The new vaccine schedule states it is permissible for doctors to recommend Gardasil for boys ages 9 and older in order to reduce the risk of male genital warts. For now, the choice of whether to get vaccinated with Gardasil is a voluntary one that every parent and young woman and man needs to make on their own. For more information on Gardasil read my blog post from October 2010. For those who decide to forgo the vaccine, NCI states that the surest way to eliminate your risk of HPV infection is to either refrain from sexual activity or, if you are sexually active, to maintain a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.
- Combination Vaccines Now Encouraged. The revised schedule also includes new language that states combination vaccines are generally preferred over separate injections.
The concern with this recommendation: However, some experts have raised concern that excessive vaccination, including injecting children with multiple shots at one time, and in one dose, could trigger neurological and immune system disorders in children. “Recently, information was released that the combination vaccine by Merck, ProQuid, resulted in twice as many seizures as giving the vaccines separately. This vaccine contains the MMR antigens as well as chickenpox viral antigen (in a dose 5x that of the single vaccine). The study was conducted by comparing 43,000 kids getting the ProQuid vaccine versus those getting the shots separately.” Likewise, Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD, also recommends vaccines be given separately, rather than in combination form. He states: “The brain has its own specialized immune system, separate from that of the rest of the body. When a person is vaccinated, its specialized immune cells, the microglia, become activated (the blood-brain barrier notwithstanding). Multiple vaccinations spaced close together over-stimulate the microglia, causing them to release a variety of toxic elements -- cytokines, chemokines, excitotoxins, proteases, complement, free radicals -- that damage brain cells and their synaptic connections. Researchers call the damage caused by these toxic substances "bystander injury".
Concerned About Too Many Vaccines? Here's What You Can Do
Before agreeing to this new and revised vaccine schedule please do your homework. Look at both sides of the issues of vaccines but particularly consider doing solo injections so as not to overwhelm your child's immune and nerological systems. Afterall, what is the rush? Convience or perhaps cost? When you consider the possible side effects of saving a few dollars or saving time I think you will agree, your child's wellness is far more important.