By Dr. Mercola
As I have long stated, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) now admits:
"Vaccines are not free from side effects, or "adverse effects""
This admission came after a review of more than 1,000 vaccine studies, which was intended to assess the scientific evidence in the medical literature about specific adverse events associated with eight vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella (MMR); varicella (chickenpox); influenza; hepatitis A; hepatitis B; HPV; diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (DtaP); and meningococcal. The adverse events selected for IOM review were ones for which people had submitted vaccine injury claims to the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). A convincing causal relationship was found for 14 adverse events and certain vaccines.
14 Dangerous Side Effects Linked to Vaccination, IOM Report Says
In the first comprehensive safety review in nearly two decades, the Institute of Medicine found convincing scientic evidence for a causal relationship between certain vaccines and serious adverse health outcomes. This includes:
- Vaccine strain varicella zoster infection after vaccination without other organ involvement;
- Vaccine strain varicella zoster infection and subsequent infection resulting in pneumonia, encephalitis, meningitis or hepatitis in individuals with demonstrated immunodeficiences;
Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Vaccine
- Measles inclusion body encephalitis
- Febrile seizures, a type of seizure that occurs in infants and young children in association with fever
- Short-term joint pain (arthralgia) in children and women
Other findings revealed:
- Six types of vaccines -- MMR, varicella zoster (chickenpox), influenza, hepatitis B, meningococcal, and tetanus-containing vaccines -- are linked to anaphylaxis (severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction). The HPV vaccine was also linked to anaphylaxis in yeast-sensitive individuals.
- Injection of any vaccine in general can lead to sudden fainting (syncope) and symptoms of deltoid bursitis, or shoulder inflammation
- Two Canadian flu vaccines were linked to oculo-respiratory syndrome characterized by conjunctivitis, facial swelling, and mild respiratory symptoms.
- Scientific research suggests that many people, who experience an adverse reaction to vaccines, have individual susceptibility that can make them at higher risk for experiencing acute and chronic health problems after vaccination due to biodiversity (genetic variations) within populations; age at the time of vaccination; immune deficiencies; coinciding infections/illnesses; and other environmental exposures, (such as toxins, traumas).
Too Little Evidence Available to Effectively Evaluate Most Side Effects
Despite conclusive findings by IOM linking certain vaccines to brain inflammation, febrile seizures and potentially life-threatening infections like pneumonia and meningitis in susceptible individuals, most of the media headlines about the IOM's 600-page report are spinning the reports conclusions and stating that "few adverse effects are caused by the vaccines reviewed in this report."
The truth is that the IOM Committee came to this startling conclusion, which they admitted openly and that is:
"For the vast majority, (135 vaccine-adverse event pairs), the evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship."
In other words, for the majority of side effects and health conditions that have occurred in conjunction with vaccinations, they simply have no idea whether the vaccine caused the problem or not. In fact, the IOM Committee warned that there should be no misinterpretation of the fact that they DO NOT KNOW whether or not more than 100 very serious reported health problems linked to the eight vaccines they studied are caused by those vaccines. In most cases, the Committee was unable to come to a conclusion because there are no or very few scientific studies investigating the reported vaccine-related adverse event or the studies, which are published in the medical literature, are methodologically flawed in some way.
And isn't this precisely the problem? The current vaccination schedule is a one-size-fits-all approach that has never been proven safe!
As Barbara Loe Fisher, founder of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), stated:
"The truth is, nobody knows how many vaccine victims there are in America, how many of the 1 in 6 learning disabled children; or the 1 in 9 with asthma; or the 1 in 100 who develop autism; or the 1 in 450 who become diabetic, can trace their chronic inflammation, disease and disability back to vaccine reactions that have been dismissed by public health officials and doctors for the past century as just "a coincidence.""
Or, if they aren't dismissed as coincidence, they are dismissed on the grounds that there's not enough data available to establish a "causal relationship." This is exactly the reason why unbiased vaccine safety studies are so desperately and urgently need.
NVIC recently issued a statement regarding IOM's new report, noting this very fact:
"The [IOM] Committee was hampered by the same gaps in knowledge regarding vaccine adverse effects that hampered IOM Committees undertaking the same task in 1991 and 1994. For the majority of potential vaccine adverse effects reported to be associated with vaccines, this IOM Committee like those before, came to the conclusion that the biological mechanism and epidemiological evidence published in the medical literature is simply inadequate to accept or reject a causation finding.
This is a very important conclusion, because the current state of science holds no answers for parents and doctors, who for many years have reported multiple vaccine injuries to the government's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
Insufficient scientific evidence to make a call about whether certain vaccines do or do not cause a wide range of serious health conditions, such as encephalitis, encephalopathy, stroke, asthma, autism, SIDS, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, lupus, and blood disorders, is problematical when these vaccines are mandated by law to be used by every child and recommended for many adults.
The Committee's clear acknowledgement that there is a lack of adequate scientific understanding about the way that vaccines act in the human body, including how, when, why and for whom they are harmful, is confirmation that more and higher quality vaccine safety science is urgently needed."
Why Are So Many Children Receiving Extra Vaccines?
Adding insult to injury, a separate review by independent researchers looking at the 1999-2003 National Immunization Survey data found that nearly 10 percent of children aged 19-35 months have received extra vaccinations and the rate was highest for children who received vaccines at more than one facility or from more than one provider. This is the last thing that kids need, considering that just about every year one or more "new" vaccines are added to the already overloaded schedule.
As it stands, children are expected to get 48 doses of 14 vaccines by the time they're just 6 years old – starting with the first vaccine given on the day of birth in the newborn nursery! By age 18, federal public health officials say they should have gotten a total of 69 doses of 16 vaccines.
This "prescription" is the same for every U.S. child, even though it's well known that all children are not the same biologically – as the recent Institute of Medicine report clearly points out - and some children will not be able to survive the currently recommended vaccine schedule without suffering serious harm to their health. And if you take your child to multiple health care providers or facilities, the odds are high that they may be mistakenly given "extra" vaccines on top of the recommended schedule.
To avoid this, if you do decide to vaccinate, be sure you keep a detailed record of which vaccinations your child has received, and when – do not rely on your doctor's office to do that for you. It is also a good idea to have your child's vaccination history on hand in the event there is a vaccine reaction.
You Can View Common Vaccine Reactions Right Now
The IOM report may feel there is too little evidence to make conclusions about vaccine-induced side effects, but you can make a conclusion for yourself by reading the entire IOM report yourself at:
You can also review the vaccine adverse event reports made by doctors and patients or parents themselves to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a national surveillance database to which anyone can post a vaccine reaction report. VAERS was established in 1986 under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which requires health professionals to report serious health problems, including hospitalizations, injuries and deaths, that occur after the administration of routinely recommended vaccines.
An important aspect of VAERS is that anyone can both read and post vaccine adverse events to this database. So if your doctor discounts your concerns about vaccination (or afterward, if your child regresses or gets ill after a vaccine), you can verify or report them yourself -- and people are doing just that when doctors or other vaccine providers refuse to report to VAERS after a vaccine reaction occurs.
You can access VAERS here, or you can go to Medalarts.org, which provides an easy, powerful search engine for looking up specific reactions or vaccines in the VAERS database. With over 70 vaccines included, VAERS is an excellent tool that can help you read descriptions of vaccine reactions and identify which vaccines are associated with the most side effects. It is important to know, though, that only a tiny fraction of serious health problems that occur after vaccination are actually reported. Studies have estimated that less than 10 percent, to as little as ONE percent of vaccine side effects are ever reported to VAERS, so the true side effects are easily FAR higher than the statistics show.
Are You Ready to Get Educated About Vaccines?
The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is clearly the leading Internet resource, providing objective, unbiased information that you will need to make intelligent, informed decisions about which vaccines you, your children or other members of your family may want to use.
If you have further questions about vaccination, make sure you consult a trusted health care professional, who has taken the time to become educated personally about vaccines. And if your doctor threatens or belittles you, refuses to treat your family if you want to use an alternative vaccination schedule , or will not take the time to discuss your vaccine concerns with you and allow you to make informed, voluntary vaccination decisions, I suggest you find one who will. Remember, it is your choice and your responsibility to get educated about vaccination, and your doctor should treat you with respect and work with you on this.
I also encourage you to get involved with the work that NVIC is doing to protect your right to choose which vaccines you want your children to get, including the legal right to use all, some, or no vaccines at all. Register for the free NVIC Advocacy Portal that educates you about threats to your legal right to make vaccine choices and puts you directly in contact with your elected state representatives so you can help protect vaccine exemptions in your state. Stay informed about what is happening in your state and make your voice heard.
Go to www.NVICAdvocacy.org and register today to take action.