I’ve been exploring whether my child should be immunized

And this is a cheat sheet of what I found

You think the last election got people emotional? Try talking to people about vaccines. Some opinions run pretty strong.

Regarding the election––if I had to give an award for sheer hysteria in the Trump debate, it would definitely go to the folks who are against Trump. In their view, Trump is a deplorable Nazi, KKK, creature from the bowels of the earth who wants to hurt children.

And by the same token — the pro-vaxxers (in spite of their outward assertions of science and progress and all that is good and true) are hysterical. All they do is call their opponents names and try to shut down debate. Anyone who opposes their viewpoint is backward, superstitious, uneducated, discredited, and wants to hurt children.

So here’s the cheat sheet of some of the best information I found on the subject. It took some digging. Google definitely has picked what side of the debate they’re on.

I was initially trying to get more clarity on a few key points:

  1. What is thrust of the main arguments against vaccines? I mean, aren’t vaccines the best thing since sliced bread?
  2. Do vaccines potentially cause health problems, in particular autism? This question is a big one, because according to the CDC’s own statements the rates of autism have gone from around 1/5000 fifty years ago to 1/68 in 2016. That’s a big jump.
  3. Will herd immunity generally protect me and my children from some or all of measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, and whooping cough?
  4. Since one gets tetanus by just “stepping on a rusty nail” and there is no herd immunity because it isn’t contagious, is that the one immunization that every sane person just has to get?

The Main Argument Cheat Sheet:

There are many variations of this one chart — but essentially all these diseases were on their way out long before vaccines were put on the market, due to improved sanitation and better nutrition.

The people in the pharmaceutical and vaccine industry will scream like banshees against this (obvious fact), but people will have to decide for themselves. There is a treasure trove of good charts from Dr. Suzanne Humphries’ book Dissolving Illusions here. I have not read the book, though based on her lectures, I bet it is pretty good.

What About a Connection with Autism?

It is pretty scary when even the CDC says the the rates of autism in the US are skyrocketing. From the CDC website:

And according to many sources, autism seems to have not really existed (at least in the public consciousness) prior to 1930.

It is clear that either reporting has changed, or this is the result of environmental factors. Genetics are very unlikely in the face of such sudden changes. I don’t know about you, but I see a lot of kids with problems. Far more than I remember seeing 20 years ago. What’s your impression?

According to the above chart from the CDC, autism rates are doubling every 12 years. That’s scary as hell. So is it pesticides, environmental contaminants, vaccines, what?

VAXXED

They did a good job. You should look at the comments section on IMDb. All the reviews are either 1 or 10 stars, which is to say almost every single review was partisan. I give it an 8. What I really liked about the movie is that they tried to answer the question, “If there is no connection between vaccines and autism, why do so many parents keep saying that their normal children developed autism after they got vaccinated?”

Also check out the Wiki article on Vaxxed. It says that the filmmakers and anyone even remotely involved with it have been discredited, some many times over.

Dr. John Bergman

I found that Dr. John Bergman speaks eloquently on this subject (as well as many other health issues). He knows his stuff and the audio and video are both good. I’m sure if I researched it there are probably some claims out there as to his credibility: discredited! quack! chiropractor!

Decide for yourself. I recommend:

Dr. Suzanne Humphries

The issues of herd immunity and tetanus are covered peripherally in the above videos, but in the process of looking for more specific information I came across Dr. Humphries. Once again, very articulate, knows her stuff, and the audio and video quality are good.

I recommend:

More on Tetanus

And specific to tetanus, one thing that wasn’t that clear to me, but became clearer from various sources, is that tetanus is associated quite a bit with horses and horse shit, poor wound care, and lack of nutrition.

Since the Civil War and WWI, we’ve moved away from horses. They just aren’t around like they used to be. Wound care has also improved dramatically since then.

A good article on vaccinations, particularly the tetanus vaccine, is worth quoting in this respect, even if it is bit older. I quote the last bit from it:

Some Horse-sense about Tetanus 
 Tetanus bacteria are found naturally, and always, in the bowels and droppings of horses. When deep wounds in humans (or even horses) are infected with tetanus bacteria, a toxin is produced which causes the illness also known as “lockjaw.” Tetanus has nothing whatsoever to do with rust, by the way. You could go into a chemistry lab, open a jar of iron oxide (rust), rub it on your arm all day and not get tetanus. You could have pure iron oxide injected into your bloodstream or even eat it, and you would likely get sick. It would not, however, be tetanus.
The only reason an old rusty nail is associated with tetanus is that it might now be where horses had once been. Encased spores of tetanus bacteria can survive in a dormant state, like seeds, for eighty years. Stepping on a nail delivers the tetanus bacteria spores into the body as if from a dirty hypodermic needle. So tetanus shots are given to this day, even though horses are so rarely around us anymore.

Julian Rose

Julian Rose wrote also wrote a good article on the subject which I recommend. He is pioneer in organic farming methods, and his perspectives based on his experiences with animals offer interesting reading.

A short snippet:

After some 40 years as an organic farmer who shunned the use of all the pharmaceutical ‘cures’ recommended by non-organic practitioners and vets, I can say quite categorically: a natural diet and living conditions that express and promote the psychological and physiological needs of sentient animals (and plants) go at least 90% of the way to producing a disease free life.

Some final thoughts

Of course I’m only presenting one side of the debate, because it is really easy to find well-financed studies pushing the pro-vaccine side of the debate.

Unfortunately, none of them seem to be double blind studies that track the health of children (immunized vs. non-immunized) over many years. Nor do they seem to want to try and answer the question why so many parents say their healthy kids got immunized and then went autistic. Or why rates of autism are skyrocketing.

I’ve seen some articles saying that rates of autism are skyrocketing because they’re reclassifying what autism is. But the head banging, catatonic, screwed up kids I’m seeing with increasing frequency give me pause.

Watch some videos, listen to both sides, make an informed decision. If you ask me would I subject my children to the rigorous vaccine schedule (twice the rate of many Western countries) recommended in California? No, I would say there is very little evidence that California children have anything to show for so many immunizations.

Would I be open to vaccinating a child before they’re two years old? No, it would be hard to imagine.

Would I myself run and get a tetanus booster every time I scratched myself? Probably not.

& beyond all that, please do:

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