Our message to the CDC and AAP: “Green our vaccines, and administer them with greater care.”
Questioning the safety of vaccines is a taboo topic in the United States and many other countries. The pressure is on most pediatricians to always counsel that the “benefits outweigh the risks” when it comes to vaccinating children.
Yet, most parents have heard about the legitimate concerns many parents have that vaccines may have triggered their children’s autism or other neurological disorders (“NDs”).
The growth in the number of vaccines given to our children in the last 20 years is rarely discussed in the media, despite a stunning chart like this one that shows a 260% increase in vaccines administered (were millions of children dying from deadly diseases 25 years ago? No, they weren’t.)
Parents should know that vaccines are never tested for their “combination risk”, despite the fact that children may get as many as 6 vaccines in a single visit to the doctor.
And, when it comes to vaccines, how can it be possible that one size fits all? What may present as no risks for one child may present enormous risks for another.
As a parent contemplating vaccinating their child, we would offer the following 3-point plan to try to minimize the potential risks from vaccines. (Please note that we are parents, not doctors.
What follows is not medical advice, it is the opinion of parents. Anything written here should be reviewed with a qualified physician. We are not giving you medical advice nor are we qualified to do so.)
1) Take Precaution
• Consider delaying vaccines until your child is 18-24 months old.
• Do not vaccinate if your child is taking antibiotics.
• Consider no more than one vaccine per doctor’s visit.
• If you plan to get the MMR vaccine, ask your doctor to give it in three separate vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella.
• Consider giving high doses of Vitamin C (3,000-5,000 mg per day) on the day before, of, and after vaccination.
• With the measles vaccine (MMR), consider high doses of Vitamin A (5,000 IU or more) on the day before, of, and after vaccination.
• If your child experiences any developmental delays, stop vaccinating until you learn more.
• If your child has an adverse reaction to a vaccine, stop vaccinating until you learn more.
• Always ask to see the vaccine insert, and never accept a vaccine that uses the preservative Thimerosal (mercury). For a complete list of vaccines with Thimerosal, see the FDA’s website here. Note: most flu shots today still contain Thimerosal.
2) Consider delaying vaccines
In our favorite article on vaccines, A User-Friendly Vaccine Schedule, written by University of Washington surgeon Donald Miller, M.D., Dr. Miller makes a number of interesting observations including:
“Public health officials, however, have not proven that it is indeed safe to inject this many vaccines into infants. What’s more, they cannot explain why, concurrent with an increasing number of vaccinations, there has been an explosion of neurologic and immune system disorders in our nation’s children.”
“New knowledge in neuroimmunology (the study of how the brain’s immune system works) raises serious questions about the wisdom of injecting vaccines in children less than two years of age.”
Dr. Miller’s recommendation: don’t start vaccinating your child until they turn two years old.
3) Consider an alternative schedule to the CDC’s current schedule
It really is shocking to look at the 1983 recommended vaccine schedule and compare it to 2008. Does a child really need so many more vaccines today? Quiz your doctor by asking them how many vaccines were on the schedule in the 1980s. We have found that most have no idea. Three potential alternative schedules to consider:
I. Listen to the Doctor (Our favorite)
Comment: Donald Miller, M.D., is a surgeon at the University of Washington. His article, A User-Friendly Vaccine Schedule, is summarized into this schedule.
II. Turn back the clock
Comment: This is the schedule from 1983. If it worked for kids then, why doesn’t it work for kids now?
III. Go Danish
Comment: Denmark is a first world country based in Western Europe. Their schedule appears far more reasonable than ours. They have also been reported to have a much lower rate of autism than the U.S. Do they know something we don’t?
A second disclaimer: Please note that we are parents, not doctors. What precedes is not medical advice, it is the opinion of parents. Anything written here should be reviewed with a qualified physician. We are not giving you medical advice nor are we qualified to do so.
Final thoughts and resources
The parents of Generation Rescue were once just like you. We trusted our pediatricians. We vaccinated our children according to the latest schedule from the CDC. Then, often times immediately following a vaccine visit, we watched our children change and descend into autism.
This organization and website exist because we don’t want the same thing to happen to you and your child. Some things that we have learned that we want you to know include:
a) Vaccines are big business
As this recent Wall Street Journal article reported, Merck stands to generate as much as $2 billion in revenues per year for their new Gardasil vaccine for girls targeting Cervical cancer.
For a company beaten down by the Vioxx scandal, Gardasil’s success is a very important initiative, which according to the article has caused the company to push the vaccine out the door using questionable marketing techniques while legitimate concerns about safety and efficacy still exist. (A January 2008 story that made headlines across Europe reported on the deaths of two teenage girls immediately after getting the Gardasil vaccine — we couldn’t find any U.S. media outlets that covered the story.)
Vaccine manufacturers are no different from other corporations: they want to sell more of whatever it is they make. Unfortunately, there is a revolving door between the policy-makers who determine the vaccine schedule and the pharmaceutical companies who make vaccines, as our own Congressional Committee on Government Reform reported in this document titled Conflicts of Interest in Vaccine Policy Making.
b) Vaccines have real documented risks and the U.S. Government knows this.
Vaccines have risks and parents are rarely told about these risks. Any pediatrician who represents that vaccines are “completely safe” is not presenting the facts. Many vaccines contain other toxic substances including ethylene glycol (antifreeze), phenol (a disinfectant dye), benzethonium chloride (a disinfectant), formaldehyde (a preservative and disinfectant), and aluminum (another known neuro-toxin).
Further, some viruses used in vaccines are cultured in animal tissue including chicken albumin and monkey liver. Click here for a complete list of the foreign substances found in vaccines, and here for a poster summarizing vaccine ingredients.
The CDC maintains a database called the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System or VAERS. This database keeps track of publicly reported adverse reactions to vaccines. In a ten year period (1991-2001), VAERS received 128,717 reports of adverse events, of which 14% were described as “serious” which means “death, life-threatening illness, hospitalization or prolongation of hospitalization, or permanent disability.”
The Federal Government maintains a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Between 1990-2004, the VICP paid more than $900 million in restitution to persons injured by vaccines, and they provide a list of possible injuries by type of vaccine.
c) There are legitimate concerns over the efficacy of some vaccines.
Consider the flu vaccine as just one example of where there may be evidence that the vaccine does not work:
A recent study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association touting the safety of flu vaccine.
Nine of the studies authors had stated financial ties to vaccine manufacturers, and an additional four authors worked for the CDC. The study also stated: “It is also important to note that there is scant data on the efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccine in young children.”
On October 27, 2006, the British Medical Journal published an article also questioning the efficacy of the flu vaccine. The article noted: “Evidence from systematic reviews shows that inactivated vaccines [flu vaccines] have little or no effect on the effects measured.
Little comparative evidence exists on the safety of these vaccines. Reasons for the current gap between policy and evidence are unclear, but given the huge resources involved, a re-evaluation should be urgently undertaken…The optimistic and confident tone of some predictions of viral circulation and of the impact of inactivated vaccines, which are at odds with the evidence, is striking.”
d) You can’t be forced to vaccinate your child or follow the CDC’s recommended immunization schedule.
Parents are often told that vaccinating their child is “required by law”. It is important for parents to understand what their rights are as all states offer either a philosophical or religious exemption from vaccinations. You have the right to design a vaccine program that is right for you and your child. Click here for more information.