First, a disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, and the final decision about vaccinating your child should take place between you and your healthcare provider. I’m not giving you medical advice; I’m stating my opinion.
I am a dad. And, I write this without benefitting in anyway from what is said here. I have no book to peddle, no profits to protect, and there’s no doubt that writing this will result in some amount of hate directed in my general direction for challenging a popular narrative that vaccines are only safe and effective and should be administered the same way to all children without consideration for the unique biology of each and every child. So be it.
About the title
How could this be the only vaccine guide you’ll ever need? Like the old adage about teaching someone to fish, I believe my words will help you to do two things that can put you in control of the vaccine decision for your child and family:
1. Do your own research. Understand the risks and benefits of everything you are putting into your child.
Every single person is different. There is no part of medicine where “one size fits all” is a good idea.
If you understand the harm vaccines can cause in some children and the benefits they provide, you won’t be intimidated by any pressure or judgment being placed on you by others.
2. Find a healthcare provider who doesn’t believe “one size fits all” when it comes to vaccines
The relationship between you and a doctor when it comes to vaccines is critical. There is a lot of shame and intimidation used in the healthcare profession to goad parents into vaccinating. This is wrong on so many levels, and there are also many healthcare providers who don’t believe one size fits all, who do believe every child is different, and who work with parents to provide the best plan for each child. Find that doctor. (And if someone shames you or tries to coerce you, run away fast!) They exist in every region of the country — network with parents until you find one. They might be a naturopath, a D.O., or a chiropractor, just find one!
That was easy, right? Do those two things (your own research, find a great healthcare provider) and you will be in great shape.
So you know, I did neither of those things when I had young kids in the early 2000s. I did no research. I went with the local pediatrician everyone else seemed to use. I regret those choices deeply, which is why I’m writing this to you right now*.
(*like tens of thousands of other American parents, I watched my son decline into Autism after following the vaccine schedule perfectly.)
I’m going to do 2 more things with this post to hopefully get you on your way to a better understanding of vaccines:
I’ll share with you ten truths about vaccinations that most people — and especially new parents — don’t typically know
I will go through every vaccine currently recommended for American children by the CDC and give you my opinion on their risk vs. benefit
Ten truths about vaccines most people don’t know
1. The U.S. vaccine schedule has gone up 15-fold since the early 1960s
The numbers can be very confusing, but this chart accurately shows the difference between the vaccine schedule in 1962, 1983 and the vaccine schedule in 2016 recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Please note on the chart that it looks at “doses” rather than “vaccines” so that a single DTaP shot given for three separate illnesses (Diptheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis) is always counted as 3 doses. With that apples-to-apples comparison, we can see that the vaccine schedule in the United States called for 5 total doses in 1962 versus 72 total doses today (that’s not a typo).
2. Even today, other first world countries often give far fewer vaccines to children than the U.S., and avoid many altogether
The most recent study I could find on this topic was done several years ago, but I think it’s very eye opening. Of 30 first-world countries looked at, no other first world country besides the U.S. recommends Hepatitis A vaccine. Only one other country (of 30) recommends the flu shot, only 2 other countries recommend Rotavirus, and only 3 other countries recommend the Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine. Why doesn’t England vaccinate for chicken pox? Why doesn’t Sweden give babies Hepatitis B? It goes on and on, I hope you take a close look.
Why should you care how other first world countries vaccinate their children? I think it will empower you to look at EACH vaccine and weigh that vaccine on its merits. If no one but the U.S. gives the Hepatitis A vaccine, perhaps that will cause you to take a closer look as to WHY that is true, and further to consider IF it’s a vaccine that is truly necessary for your child. What’s true? The U.S. is #1 in the world for total vaccines given.
3. Vaccines injure children, and the U.S. government has an entire division set up to compensate families for that injury
Most people struggle to believe a vaccine can injure a child. The narrative generally used is that vaccines are “safe and effective.” Yet, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is very much alive and well and run by the U.S. government. As the program itself explains:
“In very rare cases, a vaccine can cause a serious problem, such as a severe allergic reaction. In these instances, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) may provide financial compensation to individuals who file a petition and are found to have been injured by a VICP-covered vaccine.”
The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program even includes a Vaccine Injury Table that spells out typical injuries sorted by vaccine. For example, here’s the table of injuries for just the Hepatitis B vaccine:
“It is important to remember that as a legal matter, all vaccines are considered ‘unavoidably unsafe.’ In other words, all vaccines, like the illnesses that they’re intended to prevent carry inherent risks. People are injured by vaccines. More than 3,800 people have been compensated by the federal government for vaccine injury, including death. So brain damage and death are common side effects of the vaccine, just as they are of the illness.”
4. In most states, you have a choice on whether or when you give your child vaccines
The CDC recommends vaccines. But, you the parent, with consultation from a healthcare provider, are the one who decides what vaccines are injected into your child. Here’s a great chart which shows exactly what types of exemptions from vaccines are available in each state. (Note: You always have a choice as to whether or not to give a child a vaccine, in some states they may preclude them from being able to attend school.)
The NVIC explains further:
There is a difference between federal vaccine policies and state vaccine laws. Federal public health officials at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) make national vaccine policy recommendations for children and adults. With the approval of state legislatures, public health officials in state health departments make and enforce vaccine mandates. That is why vaccine laws and legal exemptions to vaccination vary from state to state…
While vaccine policymakers in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) make vaccine recommendations for children and adults, the bottom line is that your state may not require all federally recommended vaccines as a condition of employment, and school or daycare attendance.
5. There will be a permanent supply of disease “outbreaks” because the vaccines for measles, mumps, and pertussis have serious efficacy issues.
Have you ever noticed that “outbreaks” of pertussis (whooping cough) mumps, and measles seem to happen every year? There’s a pretty simple explanation for this, and it’s not necessarily what you think. Put simply: the vaccines don’t work that well. As the Associated Press reported in 2013:
“A government study offers a new theory on why the whooping cough vaccine doesn’t seem to be working as well as expected. The research suggests that while the vaccine may keep people from getting sick, it doesn’t prevent them from spreading whooping cough — also known as pertussis — to others. “It could explain the increase in pertussis that we’re seeing in the U.S.,” said one of the researchers, Tod Merkel of the Food and Drug Administration.”
During the 2014 flu season, the CDC already came out and said this year’s flu vaccine is not every effective:
“Scientists are concerned about what they’re seeing so far this flu season, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday, a day after the agency advised doctorsthis year’s flu vaccine is not as effective because the current strain of the virus has mutated.”
It’s also true that the reporting on measles and other outbreaks rarely explains that the majority of people infected with pertussis or measles have been vaccinated.
From Los Angeles:
Of the pertussis cases in Los Angeles County, 8 percent were individuals who had never been vaccinated. Experts say the number is not a significant factor in the spread of pertussis.
From New York City:
“Get the measles vaccine, and you won’t get the measles — or give it to anyone else. Right? Well, not always. A person fully vaccinated against measles has contracted the disease and passed it on to others. The startling case study contradicts received wisdom about the vaccine and suggests that a recent swell of measles outbreaks in developed nations could mean more illnesses even among the vaccinated.”
“Baltimore, Maryland, is still officially free of the wild-type measles after the genotype testing from the measles virus revealed that the 12-month-old baby who ended up in the ER on January 21 with measles-like symptoms was simply experiencing a reaction to her MMR vaccine.”
How about the mumps outbreak at Harvard University just a few weeks ago?
Zoback said the infected students had all been vaccinated against mumps, as required by law. It’s possible the vaccine didn’t work in some people, or that the virus mutated in ways that made the shot less effective. The mumps vaccine fails to induce immunity in about 12 percent of people who receive it, so mumps outbreaks occur occasionally even in highly vaccinated populations.
Note: There is a whistle-blower lawsuit against Merck in Pennsylvania, the maker of the mumps vaccine, claiming Merck hid the efficacy data on mumps, because it was showing that the vaccine often didn’t work:
“As noted previously, the former virologists charged the drug maker knew its vaccine was less effective than the purported 95% level, and alleged senior management was aware and also oversaw testing that concealed the actual effectiveness.”
6. A public health technique, spearheaded by the CDC, is to create “Concern, Anxiety, and Worry” like we saw during the Disneyland measles scare.
I wrote a post called, “Concern, Anxiety, and Worry: Getting played by the CDC (and others)” where I explained that generating fear and anxiety is part of the CDC’s strategy for getting parents to vaccinate their babies and children. In 2004, Glen Nowak, Director of Communications, CDC, made this abundantly clear in a presentation he gave:
“The belief that you can inform and warn people, and get them to take appropriate actions or precautions with respect to a health threat or risk without actually making them anxious or concerned. This is not possible…This is like breaking up with your boyfriend without hurting his feelings. It can’t be done."
Nowak spells out the CDC’s “Recipe” for generating vaccine demand, notice how much he emphasizes generating “perceptions.”
“Fostering demand, particularly among people who don’t routinely receive an annual influenza vaccination, requires creating concern, anxiety, and worry.” — Glen Nowak, Director of Communications, CDC
7. Doctors are not required to give you the actual package insert for vaccines that spells out the known adverse events
This photograph is just a small section of the actual package insert for the flu vaccine. As a consumer, you will never see this unless you ask for it. The doctor is only required to give you a “Vaccine Information Statement” prepared by the CDC, and it is dramatically more benign and less explicit, as you can see for DTaP, Hepatitis B, and MMR.
In Oklahoma, the legislature recently tried to compel doctors to be required to give parents full disclosure about vaccines and passed a bill to do just that, until it was vetoed by the Governor! Read:
“The bill also would have required doctors to provide scientific information to patients on the health benefits and risks of vaccines, like that listed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. ‘When it comes to the safety and well-being of their children, parents are the No. 1 health care provider, period,’ Republican Rep. Randy Grau said.”
8. Vaccines have been proven to cause auto-immunity, something now epidemic amongst U.S. children
Autoimmunity n. (au’to·im·mu’ni·ty): A misdirected immune response that occurs when the immune system goes awry and attacks the body itself. Autoimmunity can cause a broad range of human illnesses, known collectively as autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases occur when there is progression from benign autoimmunity to pathogenic autoimmunity. This progression is determined by genetic influences as well as environmental triggers.
Wondering where all these food allergies in children have come from, many with potentially deadly outcomes? (Food allergies are an autoimmune condition.) Several weeks back, a headline from scientists at the University of Virginia should have set off a national conversation:
The article describing the research from UVA is deeply disturbing; partly because it actually spells out how many other studies have already been done that corroborate the new findings:
“In the Journal of Immunotoxicology, researchers from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Northeastern University said that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines carry a risk of inducing these undesired, allergic responses [autoimmunity!!], especially in people who are genetically predisposed to these types of responses from vaccines and to atopic diseases.
These researchers wrote that they have found some genetic variants that might make people more susceptible to allergies being induced by aluminum adjuvants in vaccines, and pointed out that determining who may have these gene variants before vaccination could reduce the incidences of these unfortunate responses to vaccines.”
Unfortunately, the autoimmune trigger these scientists are blaming for the food allergies — aluminum adjuvants — are in MOST of the childhood vaccine schedule:
“According to the CDC, alum is found in a handful of vaccines at the same time that potential allergens are. In Comvax, a vaccine used to protect against Hib and hepatitis B, both soy and yeast are potential allergens that are injected at the same time as alum during vaccination. In the hepatitis B vaccine Recombivax, yeast protein and soy are also found in the same injection as alum. According to the World Allergy Organization Journal, vaccines approved for human use in the U.S. that contain aluminum adjuvants include some Hib conjugate vaccines, DTaP vaccines, all combination DTaP, Tdap, and Hib vaccines, hepatitis B vaccines, hepatitis A vaccines, HPV vaccines, anthrax vaccines and rabies vaccines.”
Still not sure what to believe? Here’s a medical textbook linking Vaccines to Autoimmunity published by well-known textbook manufacturer Wiley-Blackwell.
“With the discovery of autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA), the work of leading researchers from 14 countries on the role of adjuvants in different vaccines and how they can induce diverse autoimmune clinical manifestations in genetically prone individuals has been published in the newly released medical textbook, Vaccines and Autoimmunity.”
The book’s press release goes on to explain: “Contributors to Vaccines and Autoimmunity include clinical physicians and scientists at major universities and research hospitals in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Israel, Japan, Sweden, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico and Slovenia.”
9. The debate about whether or not vaccines cause Autism is far from over.
Like tens of thousands of other parents who I have heard from, I watched my son regress from normal to Autism between the age of 12 and 20 months. His decline coincided perfectly with his vaccine schedule and he developed a myriad of physical symptoms that ultimately ended up with an Autism diagnosis.
I just came across a site recently with more than 2,500 personal accounts of vaccine injury that I think is worth a look right here. Remember that a side effect of the MMR is “brain injury” and take a look at this insert for the DTaP vaccine citing SIDS and Autism as reported adverse events.
The U.S. Government knows vaccines cause brain injury. My son’s autism is a brain injury.
It’s not that hard to conclude that
something that is known to cause a brain injury (a vaccine) and my son’s brain injury (autism)
By the way, here’s the best article I have read explaining how exactly a vaccine can cause a brain injury for those of you interested in the biology of it all.
If vaccines are causing 1 in 68 children to have Autism, then the risk-reward for vaccinating a child is blown. As former UPI reporter Dan Olmsted says:
“If the CDC wants to stop the spread of measles, they need to stop spreading autism. It’s nowhere near an acceptable tradeoff.”
While this post really isn’t about Autism per se, I want you to know a few things:
An Italian Court ruled that the MMR shot triggered Valentino Bocca’s Autism
The U.S. Vaccine Court ruled that Hannah Poling’s Autism was caused by vaccines
One of the primary authors of the “Danish Studies” utilized to exonerate vaccines from causing autism by the CDC has been indicted by the FBI for fraud because he stole money from the CDC. Really, I’m not making this stuff up! A new book has been written about it called “Master Manipulator.”
The oft-repeated falsehood that the “science” on whether or not vaccines cause Autism has already been done can easily be disproven by anyone willing to read the science the CDC and others refer to. I got so frustrated, I wrote an entire website dealing with this topic, Fourteen Studies. And I followed that up with an article for Medium here.
Recently, a CDC Whistleblower, William Thompson, has emerged. He’s a senior scientist at the CDC and a published author on several of the CDC’s vaccine-autism studies. His accusations are mind-blowing and would cause the CDC grave harm if proven true. In the Fall of 2014, he published a press release with the statement below which, if true, would mean that several of the most important studies “disproving” an autism-vaccine link reached their conclusions by manipulating data to hide associations.
The Daily Caller covered this story on Feb 3, 2015. As Dr. Thompson confesses:
“I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.”
Dr. Thompson’s words are now the central theme of an amazing movie, Vaxxed.
10. The impact of vaccines on infectious disease since the 1900s has been overstated
There are some who argue that most of the diseases vaccines prevent against dropped dramatically before vaccines were introduced. They argue that clean water, sanitation, and refrigerators handled perhaps 98% of the problem, and vaccines took care of the final 2%. Like this:
This is very important information, and very confusing for many. The popular perception of vaccines is that a baby really isn’t ready to face the scary world until they have been vaccinated, because they’ll be vulnerable to deadly diseases. What if that’s not really true? I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this issue and one of the best data sources I have found was produced in 1999 in the Journal of the American Medical Association in an article titled, Trends in Infectious Disease Mortality in the United States During the 20th Century. This chart really caught my eye, showing death from infectious disease from 1900–1999. As you can see, infectious disease deaths have dropped precipitously:
The problem with the narrative that vaccines are responsible for a dramatic drop in death from infectious disease is that death rates in the U.S. had dropped dramatically by the 1960s, which was well before we had a fully developed national vaccination program. Remember from above, we only gave 5 vaccine doses in 1963 versus 72 today.
Here’s the CDC’s own data looking at vaccination rates over time:
This chart above is probably the one that surprises people the most. Note that this chart was produced by the CDC, I just added some personal commentary in the red boxes. What you can see is that even as late as the early 1980s children were really only receiving 3 vaccines in the United States (DTP, Polio, MMR) and vaccination rates for children were 50–60% nationally. Yet, we weren’t living in the dark ages.
When a doctor tells you that your baby simply must have the Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, Varicella, Flu, Rotavirus, and PCV shots to be healthy, perhaps you can challenge their advice by remembering that many countries do not require these vaccines even today and that in the United States before the mid-1990s far fewer vaccines were given to children and national vaccination rates were far lower, and the world didn’t end.
I pulled some data directly from the Oregon Health Authority about infectious disease here in my home state. What you can see is that there are 67 communicable diseases that require reporting to the state health authority.
Of those 67 diseases, only 10 of them have vaccines available for prevention.
What about the other 57 communicable illnesses? Immune systems, clean water, plumbing, refrigerators, and sanitary practices take care of the rest.
The truth is, the incidence of all 67 of these diseases is extremely low…still think the world will end if you lighten up on the vaccines?
The vaccines recommended by the CDC (and your doctor)
(Another disclaimer: this is truly NOT medical advice. Take my opinions, form your own, and work it out with your chosen and trusted healthcare provider.)
Here’s the current recommended vaccination schedule from the CDC:
You can find this schedule at the CDC website right here. Note: this is only the schedule for birth-6 years old. The CDC has different schedules as children get older, but this is the schedule where most of the vaccines are given. When people talk about “getting their child vaccinated”, this is what they are talking about.
I think people think vaccines are more confusing than they really are.
I’d recommend thinking about vaccines like this:
1. Look very closely at the disease the vaccine is intended to protect.
2. Weigh the risks of having the disease with the risks of injury from the vaccine.
Between birth and 6 years old, the CDC recommends exactly 10 vaccines. Some of these vaccines — MMR, DTaP — protect against more than one disease. I have taken the liberty of sorting these 10 vaccines in a way that may prove helpful for you to consider.
(Without trying to confuse, I have also added an 11th vaccine — the HPV vaccine, commonly called Gardasil — because they are giving this vaccine to children earlier and earlier in their life.)
I’ve sorted these 11 vaccines using my own opinion about their utility (risk vs benefit). Then, rather than just give you my opinion, I’ve tried to arm you with links to articles and scientific studies I think may be helpful. To make life easier, I have numbered the vaccines. Please note, these numbers do not constitute a ranking, although I personally consider Vaccines #1–7 to not be worth the risk-benefit trade off.
Here’s more detail on the 11 vaccines.
1. Hepatitis B vaccine
(Most first world countries only give this shot to babies if the mother is infected with Hepatitis B.)
Excerpt: “The odds of receiving EIS [special education services] were approximately nine times as great for vaccinated boys (n¼46) as for unvaccinated boys (n¼7), after adjustment for confounders. This study found statistically significant evidence to suggest that boys in United States who were vaccinated with the triple series Hepatitis B vaccine, during the time period in which vaccines were manufactured with thimerosal, were more susceptible to developmental disability than were unvaccinated boys.”
Excerpt: “The Hepatitis B vaccine addition to the U.S. vaccination schedule for children is a wildly destructive disaster for seemingly little benefit to public health. The science proving what a disaster it is will keep coming.”
Excerpt: “There is no vaccine that gets me more upset than hepatitis B. There are two primary reasons for this. It is given to virtually every newborn in the hospital and many times without parents’ consent shortly after the child is born. If the parent chooses not to have their 12-hour-old newborn vaccinated in the newborn nursery, it takes enormous effort on the parent’s part to make sure this vaccine is not given without their informed consent before the baby leaves the hospital. Secondly this vaccine given on the day of birth is the least justifiable of any vaccine that I can think of. A child can ONLY get the disease from IV drug abuse, sexual activity with an infected partner, a blood transfusion using contaminated blood, OR from the mother.”
2. HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine
(The HPV vaccine has been withdrawn from the Japanese market. Ireland has a very public fight brewing right now about its use and side effects.)
Excerpt: “Our lives were never the same following the Gardasil HPV vaccination of our daughters, with years taken from them, their parents, siblings and grandparents,” REGRET spokesperson Anna Cannon told the committee in her opening address.
Excerpt: “Around 2,000 reported side effects after using Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine have determined Japanese government officials to withdraw Gardasil from the market in 2013, despite the vaccine being highly promoted in the United States and now approved by the European Union.”
Excerpt: “Dr. Diane Harper says young girls and their parents should receive more complete warnings before receiving the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. Dr. Harper helped design and carry out the Phase II and Phase III safety and effectiveness studies to get Gardasil approved, and authored many of the published, scholarly papers about it. She has been a paid speaker and consultant to Merck. It’s highly unusual for a researcher to publicly criticize a medicine or vaccine she helped get approved.”
3. MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine
(Author’s note: I’ve heard more parental reports about the MMR vaccine triggering damage than any other vaccine, particularly Autism.)
Excerpt: The 2011 IOM committee also found with “a high degree of confidence” that “the evidence convincingly supports a causal relationship between MMR vaccine and febrile seizures.” The committee also found a causal relationship between MMR vaccine and anaphylaxis and transient arthralgia in women and children.
Excerpt: “The Italian Health Ministry recently conceded that the MMR vaccine caused autism in a now nine-year-old boy.”
Excerpt: “Measles is almost always a mild disease in developed countries. Deaths are rare and far between. In the last twenty years in the United States, there has been fewer than one death per year from the measles. It is difficult to find accurate data on this but, according to the CDC, there have been no deaths from measles in the last five years.In other words, your child’s risk of dying from the measles in the United States hovers right around (wait for it) … ZERO.”
4. Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine
(We are one of only four first world countries out of 30 that recommend Varicella vaccine (chicken pox) for children. For example, the UK does not.)
Excerpt: “Chicken pox is considered to be a mild, childhood disease, which is self-limiting with symptoms of an itchy rash, often accompanied by mild fever. By contrast, the chicken pox vaccination, which theoretically offers protection from this mild illness, is associated with serious complications, including the deaths of 161 previously healthy children. Does it make sense to vaccinate against a mild childhood disease with a vaccination which carries risk of serious injury and death? Only you can decide.”
Excerpt: “In 2005, the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine was mandated in South Korean for infants at 12 to 15 months of age. Despite near universal vaccine uptake (97% by 2011), rather than see a reduced burden of chickenpox in South Korea as would be expected, no substantial decreases have been observed there nationwide. Quite to the contrary, the number of varicella patients reported to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) increased from 22.6 cases per 100,000 in 2006 to 71.6 cases per 100,000 in 2011.”
Excerpt: “Mass use of chickenpox vaccine by children in the U.S. since 1995 has limited natural boosting of Varicella Zoster immunity in the adult population and there has been a significant increase in cases of Herpes zoster among adults.”
Excerpt: “Chicken Pox is one of the least defensible vaccines on the schedule. The documented rate of vaccine provoked seizures dramatically outpaces the natural infection risk.”
5. Flu vaccine
(We are one of only two first world countries ithat recommends flu vaccine annually for children, Canada is the other.)
Excerpt: “there is still mistrust of flu vaccination six years after a spate of seizures in children that was linked to one vaccine, Fluvax. New figures show the number of parents getting advice from GPs about vaccinating children under age five has not fully recovered from a big decrease after the 2010 adverse reactions.”<