As you have probably heard, there has been an outbreak of the measles at Disneyland in California.
Cue the anger of the vaccine proponents – everyone from Melinda Gates to Dan Diamond, a contributing writer at Forbes, who wants to sue parents of unvaccinated kids.
Of course there are also voices of reason, thankfully even from some MD’s, like Cardiologist Jack Wolfson.
But just in case you need (want?) another opinion on this matter – as if, right? – here is mine. My kids are not vaccinated, but I will not go so far as to say that no one should ever vaccinate their kids. Vaccines definitely have their time and place. However, I am vehemently opposed to that time and/or place being 2-3 months after birth, when the CDC recommends giving newborns six different shots. SIX!! That’s a lot of shots, people.
Why is that bad, you ask? Shouldn’t we protect our kids right off the bat?
The first reason it is bad is that a baby’s immune system, just like their vision, motor skills and many other things, is not fully developed at birth. It does not even begin to develop until at least 2 months of age. So we are injecting six different disease compounds into bodies that have, in effect, no immune system.
The second reason that vaccines for infants are unnecessary is that if a child is breastfed, that baby carries the immunity of the mother until such time as it is weaned. Usually by that time, the immune system has had a chance to develop, if not fully, then at least substantially.
The third reason that no infant, in my opinion, should have these injections is the ingredients in each shot. Forget the disease cells themselves, the danger is in the chemical compounds used to deliver those disease cells. Have you ever looked them up, and then taken the time to see what each ingredient is and what it does?
I won’t go through all the vaccines, because that would take many hours and patience I don’t have, but if you feel like it, here is the link to the table provided by the CDC that lists the ingredients to each vaccine.
For the purposes of this post, I’m going to use the DtaP vaccine, which prevents against diphtheria, tetanus & pertussis or whooping cough. If you look on that chart I linked to above, you’ll see that the second listed ingredient is formaldehyde. (Formaldehyde is used in a lot of vaccines, not just this one.) If you went to public school, you probably know formaldehyde as that foul smelling liquid that preserved the baby pigs you dissected in your science lab. The National Cancer Institute has a full page devoted to formaldehyde and its associated risks, but I’ll just quote the part about the effects of short term exposure:
“When formaldehyde is present in the air at levels exceeding 0.1 ppm, some individuals may experience adverse effects such as watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; coughing; wheezing; nausea; and skin irritation. Some people are very sensitive to formaldehyde, whereas others have no reaction to the same level of exposure.”
So in the short term, airborne exposure to those with developed immune systems can cause some unpleasantness. But babies with no immune systems are injected with it repeatedly. I’d say their odds of an adverse reaction might be somewhat higher, wouldn’t you?
The third listed ingredient in the DtaP vaccine is glutaraldehyde, which I had never heard of before. Turns out it is a lovely little compound, according to OSHA:
“Glutaraldehyde is a toxic chemical that is used as a cold sterilant to disinfect and clean heat-sensitive medical, surgical and dental equipment. It is found in products such as Cidex, Aldesen, Hospex, Sporicidin, Omnicide, Matricide, Wavicide and others. Glutaraldehyde is also used as a tissue fixative in histology and pathology labs and as a hardening agent in the development of x-rays.”
The site goes on to list the many possible side effects and how to protect hospital workers, among others, from exposure.
But hey, injecting it into the arm of your two month old baby with no immune system? No problem.
One interesting note is that neither the OSHA site or the National Cancer Institute mentions the use of these substances in vaccines. If one were to ask, I’m sure the response would be something along the lines that the amounts used in vaccines are so infinitesimal that the side effects are not worth mentioning.
Ok, so along that same line of reasoning – how many parents have stopped buying bottles made with BPA plastic because of the minute possibility that the plastic could leach harmful substances which their kids would then ingest? Everyone that I know looks at all the plastic water bottles they buy to make sure they are BPA free. The website Medical News Today says of BPA and children:
“Very young and unborn humans are more susceptible to BPA exposure and its effects than adults. This is probably because they cannot eliminate xenobiotics so well. A xenobiotic is a substance found in an organism which is not generally produced or expected to be present in it.”
Kids can’t eliminate xenobiotics as well as adults. Guess what? Formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde and all the other chemical additives in vaccines are xenobiotics.
Don’t let your kid drink from a bottle containing BPA, but by all means, allow them at two months of age to have six injections containing all manner of toxic xenobiotics.
If you don’t want to give up the idea of vaccines completely, how about we simply moderate? No vaccines at birth. No vaccines at all until one year of age, when the immune system is at least somewhat developed. And then, how about one at a time? Why do we need all six at once and then so many boosters between 2 and 18 months it’s a wonder our babies don’t all have track marks in their arms?!
I’m not going to address the matter of why I chose not to vaccinate my kids, or how general hygiene and sanitary conditions are also at least partly responsible for the reduction in “child” disease related deaths in this country over the last 70 years. I won’t talk about the friend of mine who got whooping cough (a doctor, ironically), although he’d had all his shots and boosters over the years, or the two vaccinated siblings at Maya’s theater group who came down with the measles and exposed all other 29 kids in the company. No one else, vaccinated or not, got it.
Nope, not going to talk about those things. All I’m going to call for here is some perspective. If you avoid BPA plastics, then maybe you should look into the ingredients in vaccines. And if you decide to vaccinate, why not wait a year before you start? Why not take it slow, do it one at a time over the course of several years? Oh, and don’t let your kid play in open sewers or drink water from the Hudson.
Seems reasonable, doesn’t it?