By Dr. Mercola
Common sense would suggest that, if we are giving our children more than five dozen vaccinations from day of birth to age 18, we are over-vaccinating our children.
Yet, authorities continue to insist that "more is better" when it comes to vaccines without providing adequate scientific evidence to justify that assumption.
If you follow the CDC's recommended vaccination schedule, your child will receive 49 doses of 14 vaccines by the time he/she is 6 years of age.
And by the age of 18, the CDC recommends that children should have gotten 69 doses of 16 vaccines.
When I first started practicing medicine in 1985, it cost parents $80 to purchase vaccines for their children (plus the cost of a doctor's visit) to comply with the CDC's recommended childhood vaccination schedule.
Today, you'll pay $2200 to purchase all government recommended and mandated vaccines for a child (plus the cost of office visits) because the numbers of vaccines recommended for children have tripled in the past three decades.
Sadly though, the short term financial costs to fully vaccinate your child according to the CDC schedule may actually pale in comparison to the costs to your child's long-term health.
The list of problems related to today's vaccines, and vaccine policy, is long and troubling.
1. Children not all biologically identical. The current one-size-fits-all approach to vaccination does not take into account differences among children's genetic profiles or immune responses based on factors such as age, weight, and overall health status.
2. Infant mortality rates between nations appears to be linked to the numbers of vaccinations given to babies before the age of 12 months. More vaccines may contribute to higher infant mortality.
3. Babies receive several vaccines at once—they may receive 8 vaccines or more simultaneously at a doctor visit (between 2 and 15 months of age). Vaccine "layering" may increase the risk for a serious vaccine reaction.
4. Vaccines have not been adequately tested for safety using methodologically sound scientific studies, so their long-term health effects are unknown. Moreover, the effects of multiple vaccines given together have not been adequately tested. And pharmaceutical companies have financed nearly all vaccine research to date, which introduces enormous bias.
5. Vaccines do not provide complete or permanent protection against infectious disease. For example, 75 percent of children who contracted chickenpox in a 2001 Maryland outbreak had been vaccinated against chickenpox. A high number of vaccinated persons also have been found in pertussis and mumps outbreaks.
7. Vaccines may contain toxic additives (including aluminum and mercury), which can contribute to your child's toxic load.
8. Some vaccines are associated with a higher number of serious health problems, both immediate and delayed, yet healthcare professionals rarely report vaccine adverse events. Every year, more than 25,000 adverse reactions are reported to the government, including irreversible injuries and deaths. It's been estimated that this represents only about 1 to 10 percent of total vaccine reactions, which means that millions of people may have suffered vaccine reactions and injuries over the past few years.
9. Vaccines, say some researchers, may contain excitotoxins that disrupt your child's immune system (through microglial overstimulation) and damage developing brain structures, which raises his/her risk for a wide range of diseases, including autism, learning disabilities, and psychiatric disorders. New research gives evidence for a link between the high number of vaccines and the autism epidemic.
10. Many children receive even more vaccines than the vaccination schedule recommends. If you take your child to multiple health care providers or facilities, the odds are increased that your child may be given "extra" doses. Ten percent of children aged 19 to 35 months were found to have received extra vaccinations, according to a National Immunization Survey.
11. Preventing natural immune responses to environmental pathogens may not be in your child's best interest. Healthy children receive life-long benefits from naturally occurring immune responses.
If you've been reading my newsletter for a while, you know that I've addressed all of these issues over the years and kept you updated as new research has come out. There's an enormous amount of information on my website, including a dedicated vaccine news and information page. Another valuable vaccine information resource is the National Vaccine Information Center.
Current Vaccine Policy Could Explain Our Higher Infant Mortality Rate
In a recent report on Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality, an Institute of Medicine committee of medical experts acknowledged a casual link between adverse health effects and vaccination, while confirming that there are too few methodologically sound studies published in the medical literature to make definitive conclusions about many other serious health problems linked with vaccination. This report was published after a review of more than 1,000 vaccine studies by the Institute of Medicine.
According to the most recent National Vital Statistics Report, more than 26,000 American babies born alive in 2009 died before their first birthday, which gives the U.S. a very high infant mortality rate of six infant deaths per 1,000 live births. In 1960, America ranked 12th in infant mortality among all nations of the world. In 2005, we had fallen to number 30. Today in America, there are more premature babies than ever before and more full term babies die before their first birthday than in most European countries.
The most recent study (2011) looking and infant mortality and vaccination is perhaps the most disturbing. It finds that developed nations with the poorest infant mortality rates, like the U.S., tend to give their infants more vaccine doses before age one. To put this into perspective, doctors give American babies 26 vaccine doses before age one, which is twice as many vaccinations as are given babies in Sweden and Japan. Is it really just a "coincidence" that the infant mortality rate is twice as high in America as it is in Sweden and Japan?
Natural Immunity is Superior to Vaccine-Induced Immunity
The more vaccines are studied, the more apparent it becomes that proper vaccine studies are lacking, as vaccine expert and pediatrician Larry Palevsky explains. There is a major difference between natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. Obtaining natural immunity has far greater benefits.
When children are born, they develop natural immunity to a large variety of microorganisms that they breathe, eat, and touch. The immune responses by cells lining their airways, skin and intestines, are very important in creating "memory" and protection against the organisms they naturally come into contact with. That primary line of defense is a very important step in the maturation of your child's immune system—and it's bypassed when he/she gets a vaccine.
With vaccination, you are merely creating an antibody.
Vaccines do NOT impart long-term immunity because they don't create the kind of memory that occurs when you go through the process of a natural immune response. And natural exposure does not necessarily lead to infection—it is possible to obtain natural immunity without actually getting sick, if your immune system is robust. In fact, vaccines do NOT strengthen the healthy functioning of the immune system, but actually may weaken it.
Bombardment by Multiple Vaccines Can Damage Your Child's Developing Brain
Dr. Russell Blaylock is a board-certified neurosurgeon and expert on vaccines and the nervous system. He may have discovered the central mechanism of how vaccines can contribute to the development of neurological diseases and has proposed a theory about the cause of autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Blaylock's theory can be summarized as follows:
- Priming: Your child's immune system gets "primed" through exposure to an excitotoxin, such as a vaccine or an infectious agent, causing his/her microglia (special immune cells within the brain) to shift into "readiness mode."
- Microglial Activation: Subsequent exposures to vaccines or other immune stresses over a relatively short period of time activate the microglia into full "battle mode," prepared to defend your child's body against what they perceive as an all-out invasion.
- Bystander Damage: Excitotoxins and free radicals are generated, causing "bystander damage" in a runaway process that cannot be shut down. This leads to chronic inflammation and damage to brain tissues, including mitochondrial dysfunction, brain inflammation, seizures, and the other difficulties seen with autism.
Vaccines differ from natural infections in that vaccines can cause brain stimulation for very prolonged periods—the immune system in your child's brain is activated and re-activated by repeated exposure. Babies do not respond to vaccines in the same way as adults, even by one year of age. Immune over-activation can be especially damaging to a baby or young child's developing brain structures, such as the amygdala and limbic system.
This cycle is magnified by the administration of multiple vaccines at once. Many studies suggest this is very risky. Did you know that your 12 or 15 month old baby is allowed to get up to 13 vaccines at once under the CDC Immunization Schedule? How can this NOT be an assault to the immune system or developing brain? When was the last time YOU took 13 different prescription drugs at once without suffering side effects?
Certain children appear to have a higher risk for developing chronic brain and immune system dysfuntion including autism, than others, if their immune systems are more easily "primed." All it takes is the insult of ONE more vaccine, or ONE more infection, and the stage is set for regression into autism.or development of other kinds of neuroimmune disorders like ADD/ADHD and seizures. One of the factors that can increase vaccine risks is if your child is particularly susceptible to immune dysfunction because of an imbalance in their gut flora..
Gut Bacteria May Increase Vulnerability to Vaccine Damage
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride found why some children are more vulnerable than others to developing autism. She discovered a close connection between abnormal gut flora and abnormal brain development—a condition she calls Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS).
Your child's immune system begins in his/her gut. Pathogenic microbes inside your child's digestive tract can damage their gut wall integrity, allowing all sorts of toxins and microbes to enter their bloodstream and then his/her brain. With GAPS, your child's digestive system becomes a source of toxicity, rather than a source of nourishment.
In her research, Dr. Campbell-McBride discovered that 100 percent of the mothers of autistic children have abnormal gut flora, which is significant because newborns inherit their gut flora from their mothers at the time of birth. Establishing normal gut flora in the first 20 days or so of life plays a crucial role in the maturation of your baby's immune system. Babies who develop abnormal gut flora are left with compromised immune systems, putting them at higher risk for suffering vaccine reactions.
If your baby has suboptimal gut flora, vaccines can become the proverbial "last straw"—the trigger that "primes" his/her immune system to develop chronic heath problems, remembering Dr. Blaylock's model.
The best way to prevent GAPS is by breastfeeding. and avoiding the use of antibiotics because they destroy the balance of gut floras and promote the growth of pathogenic bacteria. In addition to breastfeeding, I highly recommend the use of fermented foods and probiotics for your baby to help reduce his/her risk of GAPS.
Fortunately, it's possible to screen your child for GAPS before he or she is vaccinated, so that you can make a better-informed vaccination decision. Dr. Campbell-McBride describes the entire process in her book. It involves providing a detailed family health history to a knowledgeable healthcare provider, combined with stool and urine analysis, and these combine to give you a picture of your baby's gut health and overall immune status.
Dr. Campbell-McBride states:
"If your child has abnormal gut flora, we can assume that your child has compromised immunity, and these children must not be vaccinated with the standard vaccination protocol because they simply get damaged by it. They should not be vaccinated."
These non-invasive tests are now available in most laboratories around the world for, typically, $80 to $100 each. This cost is insignificant compared to the incredible expense of treating an autistic child, once the damage is done.
Recommendations for Preventing Vaccination Overdose
Ultimately it is your responsibility to do the due diligence and research to decide for yourself which vaccines you want your child to have. My only caution is to warn you not to rely exclusively on government, drug company or medical trade association information as those sources will not disclose the full story about vaccine risks. Please do an independent analysis by getting information from many sources, including organizations dedicated to preventing vaccine injuries and deaths, rather than from entities that make billions of dollars from promoting one-size-fits all forced vaccination policies. Please realize that right now in most American states, you have the right to opt out of vaccines. However, also be aware that vaccine exemptions are under attack in every state because the wealthy and powerful Pharma/Medical lobby is trying to take them away.
Below are a few recommendations that will help you prevent extra vaccine doses and minimize a vaccine risk for you or your child:
- Keep a detailed record of the 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.
- Make sure that your doctors or vaccine provider reports vaccine adverse reactions to VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System) or make a reaction report yourself.
- Consider having your child evaluated for GAPS prior to any vaccination to help decrease vaccine risks.
- Consider using an individualized vaccine schedule. Find a doctor to work with you to if you want to have fewer vaccines administered on the same day and/or allow more time between vaccinations.
- Breastfeed your baby. Consider feeding him/her naturally fermented foods, rich in natural probiotics, as a regular part of his or her diet. Avoid antibiotics whenever you can.
I also encourage you to become involved with the NVIC, a non-profit charity that has worked for more than 30 years to protect your legal right to make informed, voluntary choices about vaccination for yourself and your family.
What You Can Do to Make a Difference
While it seems "old-fashioned," the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the right to informed consent to vaccination and expand vaccine exemptions, is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.
Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.
Signing up for NVIC's free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org not only gives you access to practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community, but when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips to make sure your voice is heard.
So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Contact Your Elected Officials
Write or email your elected state representatives and share your concerns. Call them, or better yet, make an appointment to visit them in person in their office. Don't let them forget you!
It is so important for you to reach out and make sure your concerns get on the radar screen of the leaders and opinion makers in your community, especially the politicians you elect and are directly involved in making vaccine laws in your state. These are your elected representatives, so you have a right and a responsibility to let them know what's really happening in your life and the lives of people you know when it comes to vaccine mandates. Be sure to share the "real life" experiences that you or people you know have had with vaccination.
Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know
If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury or death, please talk about it. If we don't share information and experiences with each other, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.
I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the "other side" of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.
We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than "statistically acceptable collateral damage" of national one-size-fits-all mass vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn't be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
I encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at www.NVIC.org:
- NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
- If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
- Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors or government officials for making independent vaccine choices.
Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One that Will Listen and Care
If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.
However, there is hope.
At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.
So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.