Childhood Vaccination…Benefits Versus Risk
Childhood Vaccination…Benefits Versus Risk
Many natural health practitioners are scaring the wits out of young mothers about the dangers of vaccinating their children against childhood diseases. After researching the most vocal and most published such as Viera Scheibner, an Australian “researcher” with no medical background and Dr.Gerry Bohemier, a Winnipeg chiropractor who has no background at all in biochemistry or immunology, I have come to the conclusion that the scare-mongers have no basis in scientific fact.
Immunization is a medical miracle. Smallpox, which killed 2 million people as late as 1967, no longer exists. Polio has been eradicated from the western hemisphere. Measles has been reduced by 95% and cases of Hib (Hemophilus Influenza Type B) disease, the most common form of childhood meningitis, has decreased by 90% in the last decade. Scarlet Fever, Diphtheria. Pertussis (Whooping cough), and Tetanus are diseases of the past. Even if there was some truth to the horror stories of the dangers of vaccines, the benefit to all the little babies free of disease greatly outweighs the risk factor.
In 1952, two years before the polio vaccine, I was stricken with Bulbar Poliomyelitis.
I almost died and some of my friends became crippled for life and some did die. This horrible disease only affected young children, a parent’s nightmare. I am thrilled that my four children were never at risk for this disease because they were vaccinated. There was a recent 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 including blindness, pneumonia and needed a feeding tube until she was 4 years old. The mother was born in Thailand and was not vaccinated.
Most of the anti-vaccination people claim the preservatives in the vaccines cause autism and inflammatory bowel disease. There have been a tremendous number of lawsuits involving the preservative, Thimerosal, which contains an inorganic form of mercury known as ethylmercury. This substance has none of the harmful affects of methyl mercury, which is the poisonous substance found in large species of fish such as Swordfish and Tuna. Confusion and lawsuits led to Thimerosal being removed from all vaccines produced after 1999. The claim was that Thimerosal vaccines caused a huge increase in autism. Since then nearly every country in the civilized world has done a study comparing the autism rates of its population while Thimerosal was used and the autism rate after it was replaced. Studies showed that after removing Thimerosal from all vaccines, the number of cases of autism continued to rise. This was actually due to better diagnosis rather than a foreign cause.
Just a few years ago Dr.Andrew Wakefield has his medical license revoked and he was charged with criminal fraud for having false studies published in the British Medical Journal, Lancet. He claimed that the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine caused autism and had the whole world convinced with false studies. In the meanwhile he had secured a patent on a similar vaccine that he claimed would not cause autism. People like him are very dangerous because they scare many parents from having their children vaccinated. The Lancet has since deleted and removed all his false research and has promised to be more diligent in their peer review of submissions to their prestigious journal.
A Japanese study said that SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) was caused by early vaccination. (We start when babies are 2 months old). The 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 from between birth and 6 months of age. This study was based on the misuse of statistics.
The link between vaccination and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is also a misuse of statistics. Although IBS has been rising steadily since 1950, the real reason is not vaccination, but refrigeration. It turns out that when we started using refrigerators and keeping meat in them for extended periods of time, a bacteria known as lysteria could grow in the meat and affect the gut of many people. This turned out to be the reason for the increase.
If you are a parent, you never want to put your baby at risk. You want your child to be healthy and happy and making sure your baby is immunized and receives all the necessary booster shots will ensure a healthy childhood.