Lately I’m getting the vaccine question more often. Are they a good idea? Are they not?

“The Greater Good” Documentary

If you read this article today (11/20/15) you can still view the full length documentary, “The Greater Good”, for free here. Otherwise I’d recommend getting hold of a copy; it does a good job of covering both sides of the issue.

What Does the Data Say on Vaccine Safety?

Dr Lawrence Palevsky, MD Pediatrician, says in the documentary, “The science is not there to really state that vaccines are truly safe.” Specifically, there are no studies to determine whether vaccine quantities of additives and adjuvants, such as aluminum and thimerosol (mercury), are safe long-term. In quantity, aluminum and mercury are both neurotoxic; we know that for a fact. But what about in the doses our children are getting of those and other chemicals in a typical vaccine schedule?

The conventional medical community argues that there are, in fact, six studies that state that vaccines are not connected with autism, and are safe.

According to The National Vaccine Information Center’s Barbara Fisher, the placebos in vaccine trials have the same questionable adjuvants in them as the vaccines themselves, and are therefore not true placebo trials.

Herd Immunity

In favor of mandated vaccination, there’s the argument of herd immunity. The idea is that if enough people in a given population are immunized against a particular illness, an outbreak cannot occur—thus protecting those who are too young or weak or immunocompromised to receive vaccines. Mandated vaccine schedules are therefore “for the greater good.” 

Vaccines have undoubtedly saved many lives. But I see quite a few patients with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity in my practice, most of whom have family members who have suffered the exact same exposures and are not similarly ill. All people cannot detoxify equally, that much is evident; so it stands to reason that not all kids can tolerate the same burden from vaccine adjuvants equally either. If that’s the case, how much damage are we doing with the mandated vaccine schedule, irrespective of the individual child?

What Can We Do About It?

Ultimately in my view, the question of vaccination comes down to a cost/benefit analysis. First, look at each individual vaccine, and compare the risks associated with that particular vaccine with the risks of the disease, should your child contract it, and the likelihood of your child’s exposure to the illness. For instance, why are we giving the Hepatitis B vaccine to babies whose mothers are not Hep B positive, when it’s otherwise only transmitted by sexual encounters or drug needles? On the other hand, some vaccines are relatively low risk in and of themselves, and protect against potentially fatal illnesses, to which your child could conceivably be exposed. “The Vaccine Book” by Dr Robert Sears does a great job of outlining the pros and cons.

I’d add to this one more question: has the child ever had an adverse vaccine reaction in the past, or is there any reason to suspect that he or she does not detoxify well? Genetic testing has been very helpful in confirming what I’ve already suspected in my chemically sensitive patients: every time, the liver cytochrome systems have multiple heterozygous, if not homozygous mutations, rendering detoxification more challenging.

Next, I’d look at the overall vaccine schedule, which is fortunately only recommended in the state of AZ, but is mandated in many other states. In the 1980s children were asked to get 23 doses of 7 vaccines. At the time, autism occurred in 1 out of every 10,000 children. In the last 3 decades, the schedule has grown to 69 doses of 16 vaccines, or three times as many vaccines. Now, autism has swelled to 1 in 50, and rates continue to swell by 10-17% per year. During that same period of time, we’ve also seen an explosion in chronic disease, developmental delays, and disabilities in children. One in six children in this country has some form of neurodevelopment disability.

Correlation is not causation, of course. Vaccinations are not the only thing that have changed in our environment since the 1980s. Undoubtedly we live in a toxic soup, and vaccine preservatives and adjuvants are only one part of that. I’ve certainly heard mothers of autistic children say that their children were neurotypical until vaccination, at which point everything changed… but those are anecdotal stories, not true scientific studies.

We need the studies. We need objective data, comparing vaccinations with true placebos on a wide enough scale that the data will mean something.