questions about vaccinations and poverty
May 3, 2009 § 15 Comments
Could vaccines be weakening the immune system of our populations and causing recurrent infections and allergies at unprecedented levels? The only event that all infants routinely encounter at two months of age is vaccination with at least five different vaccines (Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis-Polio-Haemophilus). They are repeated at four months. Could this simple fact explain the onset of the recurrent illnesses that plague so many infants? If vaccines stimulate antibody production to fight diseases, why would they weaken the immune system? Is there any evidence that vaccines do cause illness and immune system dysfunction?
1. okay. let me begin with the caveats. ahemm…..im not a doctor. im not a licensed anything. im not an expert in the field of human health or viruses or what have you. im not a medical historian.
im just a person thinking about her health. her kids health. and her communities’ health.
and im not judging you if you vaccinate your kid. or if you dont. or whatever choices you have made for you and yours. every mother makes the choices that are best her and hers.
2. that being said: i have some major questions around vaccinating an entire population against a disease.
and i understand that certain diseases have nearly been eradicated by the creation of vaccines.
and my problem with it is not primarily with the increase of autism or lead in the vaccine.
here is my problem with it.
we create a vaccine for a certain disease. we then mandate that everyone must be vaccinated against this disease. in a couple of generationd this disease has disappeared. but other diseases have now appeared. diseases that used to be rare or unheard of are now common. so we create a vaccine against these new diseases. in a couple of generations these diseases are now also rare. new diseases, old diseases appear. we do the cycle again.
we talk about how children used to die from polio and now there is no polio. true. ish.
but are children world wide healthier today? do relatively less children die now than 70 years ago? or do they just die from different causes?
That is equivalent to:
- 1 child dying every 3.5 seconds
- 17-18 children dying every minute
- A 2004 Asian Tsunami occurring almost every 1.5 weeks
- An Iraq-scale death toll every 16–38 days
- Over 9 million children dying every year
- Some 70 million children dying between 2000 and 2007
3. i mean when we go into a forest and annihilate one species doesnt that mean that other species become stronger? not just the species that used to be prey. but also species that used to have to compete for the same food, for the same space?
i always feel weird talking about vaccines. because folks will lay a guilt trip on you faster than you can blink if you are questioning the need for innoculating the entire human population against a virus or disease. they will pull study after study. anecdote after anecdote. and i dont really have a lot of studies or anecdotes. im not an ‘expert’ or a researcher. im just a mama with a kid. doing her best.
4.other folks will tell you how you are endangering the human race if you dont get every single vaccine out there. how you are the reason that polio has re-emerged. or the mumps. or the reason that kids still get chicken pox. they will tell you how children have died from these diseases. died. i tell you. died. and its all your (and ignorant selfish mothers like you) fault.
5.but the children who for the most part die from childhood diseases. (preventable! childhood diseases…ahem…) are poorer. live in environmental conditions in which the water, food, and air have been significantly compromised. perhaps if we worked at changing their basic living conditions, rather than letting capitalism, racism, sexism, and war run amok these diseases really could be preventable.
but we dont work to structurally change how we live in this world so that others might ‘simply live’. we raise money (just a dollar a day!) to get kids vaccinated. and then send them out to drink that unclean (polluted) water and breathe that structural readjustment exploitative trans national corporation’s billows of soot next to the village or right outside of the city.
and then we guilt trip mothers because some kids immune systems arent as strong or as stable as other kids.
would these childhood diseases be less prevalant or less potent if more children had stronger immune systems? and if so, what is of greater benefit: creating the systems and societies that contribute to a stronger immune system or allowing empire and neo capitalism to kill thousands and millions and children while we try to annihilate virus after virus?
6. and what if these very vaccines are causing children to be immune to be one set of diseases while lowering the strength of their immune systems overall?
7. we know that stress, emotional, psychological and environmental stress has a direct effect on the strength of the immune system and the production of white blood cells. can we work to lower the stress in children’s lives? the stress of poverty? of hunger? of racism?
how powerful is lowering stress vs. upping the vaccine requirement?
8. now i know that folks like to throw out studies and numbers. this hasnt been proven! the number of participants in this study were to few! im not really talking about the scientific method or what studies the govt has deemed important enough to fund on a scale that would produce results acceptable to the medical and lobbyist community’s critique. my kids health cannot be reduced to a point on a graph. she is a living being, complex, loving, perceptive, and free.
Federal legislation of 1986 commissioned the Institute of Medicine to establish a Vaccine Safety Committee. The purpose of that committee was to search the medical literature for reports of adverse events associated with the vaccines routinely administered to children, and report their findings. Computer searches revealed 1,800 relevant articles. However, the committee’s rigid criteria for establishing a causal relationship between vaccine and adverse event made it nearly impossible for a disease condition to make their short list. Without a case-controlled study proving a relationship, the hundreds of case reports of immune system destruction following vaccines were relegated to coincidence. Case-controlled studies are expensive. They must include tens or hundreds of thousands of children.
Even the Vaccine Safety Committee acknowledged the onset of several autoimmune diseases as a result of vaccination (Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disease that causes muscle weakness and paralysis, following tetanus and polio vaccines; thrombocytopenia, destruction of blood platelets responsible for blood clotting, following MMR; and chronic arthritis following rubella). These types of symptoms have occurred following every vaccine routinely given to children—the suppressed immune system begins to attack the body’s own cells, usually the nerves and joints. Thousands of autoimmune incidents following vaccines have been reported in the medical literature and adverse event reporting systems. These autoimmune responses to vaccines have resulted in permanent, chronic disease conditions—deforming arthritis and muscle wasting and paralysis.
9. all i can do is follow my intuition. i was vaccinated as a child. and look at me! im healthy! but my intuition says that there is something off about killing entire species of viruses and thinking that all the consequences will be beneficial for human beings. it tells me that i am most likely to get harmful viruses and bacteria overgrown when my immune system is weak. and my immune system gets weak when i am not taking care of myself and emotionally/psychologically stressed. it tells me that we have chicken pox vaccine because we dont want to pay parents to take time off work and take care of their kids. it tells me that we are not in control of our bodies. and while a vaccine may (or may not) protect me from disease a…it may be sowing the grounds for disease b. a disease i dont, we dont, know exists yet.
in other words life is a risk. no matter how we roll the dice.