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Should Pediatricians 'Fire' Patients Whose Parents Don't Vaccinate?

parents refuse vaccinationEven though the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends doctors continue to treat families who decline to get every government-recommended vaccine, some pediatricians have decided to "fire" patients who refuse vaccines -- essentially, telling them that they should seek treatment elsewhere.

"Vaccine-educated" and "vaccine-cautious" parents tend to ask lots of questions before deciding whether or not to vaccinate their kids, and pediatricians might do better to take the time to answer thoughtfully rather than "firing" them.

According to Time Magazine:

"In July, the Chicago Tribune chronicled the phenomenon of doctors severing ties with unvaccinated children, describing a letter that one eight-physician practice sent to its more than 5,000 patients, announcing they would no longer see children whose parents didn't follow the CDC-advised childhood immunization schedule. Fewer than a dozen families elected to leave the practice."

In other vaccine news, U.S. regulators at Merck's biggest vaccine-making plant identified charred bits of plastic shrink wrap have been found in vials of the vaccines. Merck said it isn't aware of any adverse health events associated with the problem.

Affected vaccines included Gardasil (for prevention of HPV infection), Varivax (for chicken pox), Pneumovax (for pneumococcal disease), Zostavax (for shingles), and MMR II (for measles, mumps, and rubella.)

According to Fox Business:

"In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a formal warning letter about deficiencies at Merck's West Point, [Pennsylvania] plant. Since then, FDA inspection reports have cited more problems: the presence of metal particles in certain products, cracks in vaccine vials and delays in Merck's reporting to the FDA of adverse events from products made at the plant."

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

It goes without saying that when you choose a physician, that physician is working for you. It is an oxymoron that a pediatrician is able to "fire" a patient; more accurately, you have a choice as to whom you trust to provide health care for you and your children.

So you can always FIRE your doctor. It is YOUR right and YOUR choice to take control of your health and your family's health and you should NEVER allow any doctor to interfere with that right. That said, there are reports of pediatricians ostracizing patients that disagree with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) one-size-fits-all vaccination schedule. Some pediatricians will even resist answering your vaccination questions or concerns.

I find it interesting, though, that one of the most salient points raised in the Time magazine article came not from the author but from her 4-year-old daughter, who asked after receiving five vaccines:

"Why I got to get shots to make me healthy?"

And therein lies a very powerful question …

Vaccines do Not "Make" You Healthy

There is a misconception, one that is perpetuated by many pediatricians in the United States,that you need vaccines to stay well. No disease is caused by a "vaccine deficiency." In fact, in my recent article featuring the top secrets of people who never get sick, vaccination is nowhere to be found.


Because, ultimately, it is the state of your immune system that determines whether or not you get sick when you're exposed to an infectious disease. The keys to boosting your immune system into a "lean, mean, disease-fighting machine" lie in your lifestyle habits -- healthy food, stress relief, exercise, sleep, exposure to sunlight and so on. Artificially manipulating your immune system with a vaccine is not the same thing, nor does it produce the same desired disease-fighting result.

What is the Difference Between Natural and Vaccine-Induced Immunity?

Many still believe vaccines provide the same kind of immunity as is provided when you naturally heal from an infection, and this widespread misconception needs to be corrected.

The presumed result of a vaccination is to help you build immunity to potentially harmful organisms that cause disease. Now, your body's immune system is already designed to do this in response to infectious organisms that you are exposed to naturally. One major difference between vaccine-induced immunity and natural immunity stems from how you're exposed to these organisms.

Most disease-causing organisms enter your body through the mucous membranes of your nose, mouth, lungs or your digestive tract.

These mucous membranes have their own immune system, called the secretory IgA immune system. It is a different system from the one activated when a vaccine is injected into your body. Your IgA immune system is your body's first line of defense and its job is to deal with infectious microorganisms at their exposure points, reducing or even eliminating the need for activation of your body's entire immune system.

However, when a lab-altered infectious microorganism is injected into your body in a vaccine, and especially when combined with an immune adjuvant, such as aluminum, your IgA immune system is bypassed, stimulating your immune system to mount a very strong inflammatory response. Vaccines can also trigger such a strong inflammatory response that the inflammation becomes chronic and leads to chronic illness or disability. (People with a personal or family history of severe allergy or autoimmunity should be cautious about vaccination because they already have a genetic predisposition to inflammatory responses that do not resolve and can lead to chronic health problems.)

Injecting these lab-altered microorganisms into your body to provoke an atypical, temporary immunity is clearly not the same way your body develops a naturally acquired type of immunity. Your immune system simply was not designed to be injected with lab altered disease-causing organisms in this manner. This is one reason why vaccines almost always only provide temporary, not permanent, immunity. Additionally, this plays a large role in why vaccines have the potential to do serious damage to your health.

Since vaccines bypass your natural first-line defense (your lgA immune system), they are never 100 percent protective because they provide only temporary, typically inferior immunity compared to that your body would acquire by experiencing and healing from the natural disease.

Why More Parents are Asking Questions about Vaccines

It cannot be disputed that vaccines carry health risks and do not guarantee protection against contracting infectious disease. Here are but a few examples that I've covered in previous articles:

  • Vaccinating all children against chickenpox can increase the risk of adult shingles. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a painful blistering rash that is potentially dangerous in the elderly. According to researchers at Britain's Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS), while vaccination might save thousands of lives over time, thousands of elderly people may also suffer the painful effects of shingles and even die prematurely from the complications of shingles.

    Interestingly enough, instead of reconsidering the strategy of vaccinating all children to prevent their exposure to a common childhood infection that is  harmless for 99.9 percent of children and protects adults from getting shingles, the pharmaceutical industry simply responded by creating a shingles vaccine for seniors. The shingles vaccine, according to some studies, has been shown to prevent shingles about half the time.
  • Of the children who contracted chickenpox in an outbreak in Maryland in 2001, 75 percent of the affected had been vaccinated against the disease.
  • Similarly, last year the US experienced the largest outbreak of mumps since 2006. More than 1,000 people in New Jersey and New York fell ill, yet 77 percent of those sickened were vaccinated against mumps.
  • In 2007, it became clear that the mass use by children of the vaccine, Prevnar, to prevent pneumoccocal disease that can cause meningitis and deadly bloodstream infections in young children, has unleashed a superbug that is resistant to all currently available drugs.
  • In the U.S., Prevnar vaccine was licensed in 2000 and has been given to infants in four shots between the age of 2 months and 15 months. The vaccine originally covered seven and now covers 13 of the 90-odd strains of the strep bacteria. Although pneumoccocal disease,caused by seven pneumoccoal strains in the 7- valent Prevnar vaccine, declined after  widespread use, one pneumoccocal strain called 19A developed super resistance and is now causing pneumoccocal disease that is antibiotic-resistant. In 2010, the FDA licensed a 13-valent pneumococcal vaccine to cover more strains, including 19A.
  • Certain vaccines have also been linked to a rise in type 1 diabetes in a number of studies. One such study, published in 2003, to further investigate this connection concluded that clusters of cases of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) may be linked to six different vaccines: the haemophilus influenza B (HIB), pertussis, MMR, and BCG vaccine. The authors stated:

    "The identification of clusters of cases of T1DM occurring in consistent temporal time periods allowed a link between the hemophilus vaccine and T1DM to be established. The current findings indicate the there are also clusters of cases of T1DM occurring 2-4 years post-immunization with the pertussis, MMR, and BCG vaccine. The data are consistent with the occurrence of clusters following mumps infection and the progression to T1DM in patients with antipancreatic autoantibodies."
  • In the late 1960's, an experimental vaccine in development, the RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) vaccine killed two infants, and a staggering 80 percent of all children who received it were hospitalized with severe respiratory disease.

    A report issued eight years later concluded that the reason for this abysmal failure was because the children's antibodies did not bind to the inactivated virus to produce a protective immune response, meaning their immune system could not recognize the infectious invader. Instead, the dead virus circulated throughout their bodies, triggering a massive immune system attack.

Many Physicians do Not Want to Answer Your Vaccine Questions

Studies and occurrences like these certainly beg questions from vaccine-educated parents about safety and efficacy. However many physicians are reluctant to respond to them.

As more people become educated about vaccine side effects, they are demanding to take control of their health. This is a GREAT sign, as it means the more people are educating themselves, the more they are taking responsibility for making their own health care decisions.

In fact, according to a report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, nearly 80 percent of pediatricians and family care physicians have at least one vaccine refusal a month, and 89 percent have at least one request a month to spread out the administration of vaccines over multiple visits.

The conclusion of the report, though, was that as parents become more aware of vaccine safety concerns, physicians are having to take more time discussing this at appointments. And this, the report found, was making their jobs "less satisfying," especially for pediatricians.

That's right, the study found that 46 percent of pediatricians reported their job was less satisfying because of parental vaccine concerns. After all, the study shows that about one in two doctors may spend up to 19 minutes on the topic with parents who have substantial concerns about vaccine safety.

The researchers actually concluded:

"The burden of communicating with parents about vaccines is high, especially among pediatricians. Physicians report the greatest success convincing skeptical parents using messages that rely on their personal choices and experiences."

In other words, since it's apparently simply too much trouble for pediatricians to address the valid concerns of parents AND because pediatricians do not have good answers for why so many highly vaccinated children are so sick, perhaps they shouldn't bother answering questions, or perhaps they should instill their own personal beliefs and vaccine risk denial onto patients in an effort to shut them up quickly.

FDA Finds Vaccine Plant Has Burnt Shrink Wrap in Vaccine Vials

Another excellent example of why you have every right to question the vaccines being offered to your children came from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection report from April 2011 of Merck's biggest vaccine-making plant. The report found bits of charred plastic shrink wrap in vaccine vials -- and this was not a new or isolated occurrence.

According to Fox News, at least 12 reports have been submitted to the FDA from Merck regarding shrink wrap in vaccines since November 2009, and eight of these came from consumer complaints. The April report noted that the shrink wrap was reportedly not removed during a washing process and was then charred during a sterilization process. The agency also noted that health risks from the plastic in vaccines could not be ruled out.

Vaccine contamination such as this is a very real threat. Last year, a research team discovered that GlaxoSmithKline's Rotarix vaccine was contaminated with "a substantial amount" of DNA from a pig virus, and this was after 1 million U.S. children, and about 30 million worldwide, had already received it. At the same time, a measles vaccine was also found to contain low levels of the retrovirus avian leukosis virus, and Rotateq, Merck's rotavirus vaccine, was found to contain a virus similar to simian (monkey) retrovirus.

Are You Looking to Become 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 may want to administer for yourself, or your family member.

Your doctor, unfortunately, may not be the best source of information on this matter, unless he or she has taken the time to become educated personally about vaccines. And if your doctor belittles you, refuses to treat your family, or will not take the time to discuss your vaccine concerns with you, I suggest you find one who will. Remember, it is your choice and your responsibility to get educated about vaccination, and your doctor should 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 how to communicate effectively with your elected state representatives and protect vaccine exemptions in your state. Stay informed about what is happening in your state and make your voice heard.

Go to and register today to take action.