By Garth Kant
It’s one of the most difficult and crucial decisions parents face, whether or not to vaccinate their children. And, if so, which vaccines have benefits that outweigh the risks?
The National Vaccination Information Center is putting up billboards urging parents inform themselves about potential dangers from vaccines.
The billboards are going up in Arizona, Illinois, Texas, and Oregon.
“Vaccinations? Know the risks and failures,” read the billboards.
NVIC spells out its position on its website:
“The vaccine-injured community is composed of people, young and old, who are suffering from a spectrum of chronic illness and disabilities, including learning disabilities and developmental delays, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, seizure disorders, mental retardation, diabetes, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other kinds of neuroimmune and autoimmune dysfunction.”
“Vaccines, like all medical interventions, have risks and benefits, which vary with patients and circumstances (including the disease and the vaccine,)” Dr. Jane Orient of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons tells WND.
There is a basic and longstanding divide between pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine camps. Where the truth lies is a matter of sharp debate. Parents have a choice between accepting the recommendations of doctors and the government or becoming knowledgeable enough to make informed decisions for themselves.
As WND Managing Editor David Kupelian has observed, “On one side you have the medical establishment, including the federal government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which endlessly repeats the mantra that vaccines are safe and effective and everybody should get them. To question their wisdom makes you a paranoid conspiracy theorist.
“On the other hand, you have a substantial and growing movement of skeptics, including many medical professionals, who openly question vaccines. Some are strident, claiming all vaccines are bad for all people at all times and places, and a few even impute a sinister motive to vaccine manufacturers and the doctors that give the shots. But many others are careful and nuanced and very well informed. They consider each vaccine individually on its merits as well as its known and suspected negatives – and still come out holding up a big ‘caution’ sign,” adds Kupelian.
“All of us need to research this subject with an open and critical mind,” he advises.
WND has long attempted to provide such information by reporting on the controversies surrounding vaccines for small pox, human papillomavirus (HPV), autism and the wide variety of vaccinations given babies.
In January, WND reported the average baby gets 24 shots in 24 months.
Those vaccinations are for diphtheria and tetanus, whooping cough and measles, chickenpox and bugs that cause meningitis, pneumonia and diarrhea, and some are given a number of times.
A study for the government released in January by the Institute of Medicine, one of the independent National Academies of Science, said government officials do need to take concerns about the number of vaccines into account.
But, the study found “no evidence that the childhood immunization schedule is not safe.”
“Although the number of vaccinations recommended is greater than ever before, the vaccines used in the current immunization schedule actually have fewer antigens (inactivated or dead viruses and bacteria, altered bacterial toxins, or altered bacterial toxins that cause disease and infection) because of developments in vaccine technology. From 1980 to 2000, the immunization schedule’s total number of antigens decreased by approximately 96 percent,” according to Ada Sue Hinshaw, Ph.D, dean of the graduate school of nursing at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
But, just because vaccinations are safe for most doesn’t mean they are safe for all.
“It’s critical to understand clearly that most ‘health officials’ concerned with immunology are not focused on what is best for you and your individual child, but on what they perceive to be the best interests of the population as a whole. And from that macro viewpoint, they strive to maintain what they call the ‘herd immunity,’” Kupelian writes.
“And yet, because there are real dangers to vaccines, we owe it to our children, to ourselves and to God to become informed, and then make our decisions based on what is truly right for us, not on other people’s notions of what they think serves the collective good. They might well be wrong,” he adds.
One vaccine for children has been under particularly intense scrutiny.
WND reported just four days ago that a government watchdog is suing the federal government, demanding it release records related to the vaccine for the sexually transmitted disease human papillomavirus, or HPV.
Judicial Watch announced that it filed a Feb. 14, 2013, Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services to obtain those records. The group is seeking records related to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, or VICP, a program that compensates patients who have been adversely affected by vaccines.
The federal government has recommended the HPV vaccination for girls and boys as young as 11. But it has caused thousands of adverse reactions, including seizures, paralysis, blindness, pancreatitis, speech problems, short-term memory loss, Guillain-Barré syndrome and even death.
Last October, WND CEO Joseph Farah warned parents about the facts they should know before letting their children get the HPV vaccination.
Farah cited a Women’s Health Magazine report showing:
- There are more than 100 strains of HPV; Gardasil and Cervarix, the most commonly prescribed vaccines, offer protection against two of them.
- Even then, the staying power of the vaccine is only five years.
- Cervical cancer is preventable without the vaccine. Because it takes so long for HPV to develop into full-blown cancer, there’s plenty of time to head it off it with regular Pap tests.
- There are serious side effects including, occasionally, sudden death. Many Gardasil recipients experience normal vaccine aftermath like redness, soreness and fainting. But thousands of women have also reported more troubling issues, including crippling fatigue, paralysis, blindness, or autoimmune complications, and, yes, some have even died, according to CDC and FDA data. At the time of the report nearly a year ago, more than 70 healthy young girls had died from a neurological reaction that occurred soon after getting Gardasil.
“Then there is Dr. Joseph Mercola. Like others, he has pointed out that the pharmaceutical companies making billions from these vaccines have spent a good portion of those revenues on promoting their drugs to doctors, universities, health journals and, of course, the Food and Drug Administration and CDC. In the old days before the government-media complex, we used to call these payoffs,” adds Farah.
Mercola cites other side effects, including:
- Bell’s Palsy and Guillan-Barre syndrome;
- cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer;
- blood clotting and heart problems, including cardiac arrest;
- miscarriages and fetal abnormalities amongst pregnant women;
- vaccinated women show an increased number of precancerous lesions caused by strains of HPV other than HPV-16 and HPV-18.
“The results will not be fully apparent until a few decades from now, and in the meantime, countless young girls are being harmed, and we still do not know how Gardasil will affect their long-term health, even if they do not experience any acute side effects,” says Mercola.
“Deadly blood clots, acute respiratory failure, cardiac arrest and ‘sudden death due to unknown causes’ have all occurred in girls shortly after they’ve received the Gardasil vaccine. These are atrocious risks to potentially prevent cervical cancer one day down the road. Because let’s not forget that the HPV vaccine has not yet been PROVEN to actually prevent any kind of cancer. The benefit is just one big ‘maybe,’” he adds.
Because HPV can be transmitted by sexual activity, Farah recommends parents talk to their sons and daughters about chastity.
“Explain the risks – physical, spiritual, health, emotional. Don’t just pump poison into their veins and think you are taking care of them. Be a parent. Sometimes it’s better to just say no,” he says.
Many parents are also worried about a possible link between vaccines and autism. A preservative called Thimerosal is a particular concern.
WND’s Ellen Ratner wrote in December that autism has increased by 1,000 percent in 40 years.
She reports John Hopkins professor Leo Kanner found in 1935 that “the rate of autism in children was zero prior to 1930. Then in 1930, Thimerosal, a mercury containing preservative, was used in some vaccines.”
“In July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers concurred Thimerosal should be eliminated, or at least reduced in vaccines,” Ratner continues.
WND reported in December that America’s largest organization for pediatricians strongly objected to a proposal by the United Nations to ban Thimerosal from the world’s vaccine supply.
Commentaries in the issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, stated that Thimerosal has not been found to be harmful and removal of Thimerosal-containing vaccines would needlessly jeopardize the lives and health of millions of children in underdeveloped countries.
Research had “failed to yield any evidence of significant harm,” including autism, “from use of Thimerosal in vaccines,” wrote Dr. Walter Orenstein, associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center at Emory University in Georgia.
Parents who believe their child has been harmed by a vaccination can apply for money from the federal government. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, was set up years ago to pay for the care of vaccine-injured Americans. If you or your child suffers from anaphylactic shock or brachial neuritis as a result of getting any tetanus-toxoid-containing vaccine, you’re eligible. Develop encephalopathy – literally, disease of the brain – from pertussis antigen-containing vaccines, or from measles, mumps and rubella virus-containing vaccines, and you qualify.
Chronic arthritis from rubella virus-containing vaccines, a vaccine-strain measles viral infection from a measles virus-containing vaccine, paralytic polio or vaccine-strain polio viral infection from a polio live virus-containing vaccine, intussusception (prolapsed intestine) from vaccines containing live, oral, rhesus-based rotavirus are all covered.
These are just some of the vaccine-caused injuries suffered by Americans, conditions quietly being cared for with federal dollars.
Vaccines that may not be particularly risky could be simply ineffective for some people.
WND reported in February that the flu vaccine is only 9 percent effective in people 65 and older against the harsh strain of the flu that is predominant this season, according to the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And some vaccines that may be needed are just not available to the general public.
Dr. Lee Hieb wrote in WND in February that the smallpox vaccine should “be available to anyone wanting it.”
“The United States stopped vaccinating against smallpox in 1972, the last known wild case occurring in 1967. Smallpox is an unbelievably deadly disease. It is the most contagious disease known to mankind – spreading literally like smoke,” she adds.
“While it is true that smallpox has been eradicated in the wild, it is not gone. As smallpox came under some control, samples from the disease were given to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta and to Biopreparat/Vector in the Soviet Union,” Hieb continues.
Heib notes that the Soviets created the largest bioweapons program in the world and that the smallpox virus now survives in freezers all over the world, not all of it in friendly hands.
She worries about an outbreak, perhaps a bio-weapons attack, and thinks the vaccine should be distributed before such an event occurs, not after.