Anti-Vaccination people are scientifically ignorant
Recently there have been two measles outbreaks, one in California, and another one in Western Canada, in Edmonton and Winnipeg. Also, as I write this newsletter, thirteen cases have been reported in Toronto, as well as 141 cases around Disneyland in California. Although most people in North America are vaccinated against all childhood diseases, there is a small pocket of high income, professional people in both California and Alberta that are leading an anti-vaccination movement.
I understand that many people feel vaccines are being rammed down their throat by greedy Big Pharma and they have a huge fear that these vaccines contain dangerous chemicals that can hurt their children.
In the first place, these people are being grossly misled by a few anti-vaccination crusaders who have been discredited in every medical journal published. They would like to see us go back to the “good old days” when six or seven million children died each year from whooping cough (Pertussis), diphtheria, mumps, scarlet fever, chicken pox, Tetanus and of course polio.
In 1952, two years before the polio vaccine, I was stricken with Bulbar Poliomyelitis. My neck muscles were paralyzed and I could not swallow a glass of water. The left side of my face and the left side of my body were paralyzed. I almost died and some of my friends became crippled for life. I am thrilled that my four children were never at risk for this disease because they were vaccinated. Recently there was a case in the medical literature of a woman living in Toronto who developed a rash when she was 2 months pregnant. Her baby was born with congenital rubella (German measles) and had horrible severe birth defects which included blindness, pneumonia, and open heart surgery and required the use of an external feeding tube until she was 4 years old. The mother was born in Thailand and was never vaccinated.
Take a look at some of these anti-vaccination pundits and you will see some of the most greedy and dangerous people on this planet. We will start with Dr. Andrew Wakefield who published a series of articles in the British Medical Journal, Lancet that showed a connection between the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine and autism in very young children. It turned out that he fabricated all the statistical evidence because he was developing a new MMR vaccine that he wanted to bring to the market. Not only were his publications pulled from the lancet, but his medical license was revoked and he was charged and convicted of medical fraud and sent to jail.
Next we have Viera Scheibner, an Australian “researcher “with no medical background at all who has printed and distributed numerous anti-vaccination pamphlets. And finally we have Dr.Gerry Bohemier, a Winnipeg chiropractor who also has no background at all in biochemistry or immunology but has enough of a following to cause an outbreak of at least 13 cases in Winnipeg this year so far.
Then there was the Japanese study that concluded that SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) was caused by early vaccination. We actually start vaccinating our children when they are about 2 months old. This study showed that babies vaccinated after they were one year old did not get SIDS. Of course they didn’t. SIDS is defined as death from unknown circumstances between birth and 6 months of age. This study was based on a misuse of statistics.
Finally we have another piece of false information, the link between vaccination and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Once again the increase in IBS has more to do with using refrigerators and keeping meat in them for long periods of time which causes a bacterium known as Lysteria to grow in the meat and affect the gut of many people. Also the widespread use of antibiotics in all of our meat and chicken products has caused destruction of our normal flora and this has also lead to a higher incidence of IBS.
Naturopaths and Chiropractors
The majority of naturopaths and chiropractors do an extremely good job promoting good health and taking care of most minor ailments. However, there is a very small minority of greedy, misinformed members of these groups that actually promote unscientific views about the dangers of traditional vaccines, and incorrectly link them to autism, allergies and other health problems.
To put this in perspective, this tiny minority are extremely ignorant. They have no training in histology (the study and diagnosis of disease), biochemistry (the living chemistry of our bodies), pharmacology (the study of how drugs and supplements work in your body) or the detailed anatomy of organs such as our heart, liver and kidneys. But this does not stop them from what I would call “severe quackery”.
For instance, the Naturopathic and Medispa Clinic in Markham, Ontario says on its website that the “MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine has been strongly linked to the onset of Autism.” And that “Current vaccination schedules overload young fragile immune systems found in children with a huge number of viruses.”
Little Mountain Homeopathy in Vancouver says on its website that homeopathic nosodes (homeopathic versions of vaccines) are just as effective as or even more effective than regular vaccines.” Of course they sell them to as many patients as they can.
Toronto’s Kew Beach Naturopathic Clinic published an online newsletter last year linking childhood vaccination to toxicity. Helena Ovens, a naturopath at the clinic, writes that “relatively benign viral diseases such as Measles give the body’s immune system the ability to create antibodies” and that “unvaccinated children naturally build more antibodies against viruses than vaccinated children. “ What a supreme example of stupidity and lack of knowledge in what seems to be a highly trained professional.
Finally, right here in Hamilton, Absolute Chiropractic located right up the street from me at 1508 Upper James published two online newsletters confirming a link between MMR vaccine and autism. I think chiropractors do an excellent job of realigning my spine and helping me with some of my sports injuries, but the two chiropractors at this clinic, Dr. Barry Young, and Dr. Jennifer Fragten Ro would certainly not be my choice. In my opinion they should perform their excellent chiropractic duties and stay away from spreading false information about the MMR vaccine and autism.
In 2004 there were 37 reported cases of measles in the United States and 3 in Canada. In 2014, there were 466 reported cases of measles in the US and 113 in Canada. Spreading false rumours only causes more disease and even death from diseases that could be prevented.
Most of the anti-vaccination people are convinced that it is the preservatives in our vaccines that cause autism in children. Before I even go into that I want to point out that the very latest medical studies have shown that autism begins in the womb and is caused by genetics and environmental factors and is already in place before the child is even born. It only shows itself around the age of 2 years.
Most of the lawsuits about vaccines revolve around the preservative known as “thimerosal”, which is an inorganic form of mercury known as “ethyl mercury”. This substance is water-soluble, does not stay in your body and has none of the harmful effects of methylmercury, which is the poisonous form found in large species of fish such as Swordfish and Tuna. Confusion and lawsuits led to thimerasol being removed from all vaccines in 1999. Since then autism studies have been done in nearly every civilized country in the world and the number of cases continues to rise in spite of the fact that there is no thimerosal in any of the childhood or even influenza vaccines.
Some people say that we live in a free society and parents should have a choice about whether to vaccinate their children or not. In Canada, we have national health care from cradle to grave in every province. This means that we have laws that tell you to use your seatbelt, use a helmet when riding a motorcycle, bicycle or skiing downhill. This is because if you injure yourself, we all have to pay for your treatment and recovery through our taxes. If we have the means to prevent injuries, whether it is from cars, motorcycles or deadly diseases because of lack of immunization, then we should be forced to take precautions to prevent harm because its costs us all.
Many schools will not allow children to come to class unless they are fully immunized and their vaccinations are up-to-date. If you were travelling to Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, India or China, would you not go to a travel clinic and make sure you were vaccinated against all the communicable diseases in those countries? Would you risk getting Malaria, Ebola, or Denge fever because you did not believe in vaccines?
We live in great era in which the use of childhood vaccines has eliminated almost every dangerous epidemic that at one time was a death sentence to millions of children world-wide. If you are a good parent, you never want to put your baby at risk. Educate yourself. Research the background of the anti-vaccination people who would put the whole planet at risk of killer epidemics. Make sure your baby is immunized and receives all the necessary boosters to ensure a healthy childhood and a healthy adulthood.