|Fear of Microbes and Vaccination Questions
By Darrel Crain, DC
Have you ever noticed that young children seem genetically programmed to encounter every possible microbe in their surroundings? On playgrounds around the world you'll see little ones who have never met walk up and lick faces with one another while other toddlers wander pleasantly by, going from spot to spot just to taste the dirt, as a chef might savor a sip of different soups simmering on the stove.
When I was in grade school, measles, chicken pox and mumps were considered no big deal. In fact, moms used to arrange impromptu parties just to make sure everyone got exposed to those viruses as soon as one or two kids in the neighborhood showed any telltale signs.
"Okay boys and girls, let's have a contest and take turns to see who can blow this whistle the loudest! Good job, Sally, now it is Jimmy's turn! Okay, everybody, time to swap balloons!" Moms knew how to make saliva-mixing fun!
The tradition of accepting each childhood infection as a rite of passage has waned over the years, overtaken by a much different idea, one that has been heavily promoted by public health leaders: "Let us prevent childhood infectious diseases altogether using vaccinations!" Thus began our "prevention-at-all-costs" vaccine policy.
"We will conquer these germs one shot, one child at a time. Goodbye fevers! So long skin blisters, rashes, sore throats, pustules and all kinds of yucky stuff! All you need is this list of shots: 48 doses of 14 vaccines, except next year we'll probably add another shot, maybe two, and probably another couple of booster shots. Oh, and you'll need the flu shot every year." And so on. I am told that at least one hundred additional vaccines are in the development stage.
Of course, some who read these words are already reaching for the telephone, "Hello, Security? Arrest this man, he's a dangerous anti-vaccinationist!" Anti-vaccination? Hmm, would I be called "anti-traffic" if I wrote about the need to reduce death and disability caused by the way we use automobiles? Isn't the purpose of all this to make sure we're doing what's best for our children's health? But then again, if asking difficult questions means I am a dangerous man, so be it.
Speaking of questions, here is my absolute number one, top of the list, very most important question we need to ask: "Are vaccinated kids healthier than unvaccinated kids?" Try asking your pediatrician this question and you can be 99.9 percent certain he or she will answer, "Oh yes, the benefits far outweigh the risks!"
"Injections are the best thing ever invented for feeding doctors," said Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Suppose for a moment that the answer to this question was no. What then? Even your doctor might be unaware that no scientific study has ever looked at this most basic of questions. Isn't it time we find out the answer to that question before we add even one more shot to the vaccination schedule, considering each shot adds another dose of neurotoxic chemicals, heavy metals and allergy-triggering foreign proteins into our kids?
Once prevention became the priority of public health, fewer reported infections became proof we were on the right track. But is it as simple as all that? The answer appears to be no. Our enthusiasm for widely applying our limited understanding of manipulating the public immune system with vaccines has led to some serious disadvantages.
For example, not only are measles outbreaks quite common among highly vaccinated populations, but infection with measles now occurs in much younger and much older populations, for whom the illness is potentially far more serious.
Another example is chicken pox. As the chicken pox vaccine was being licensed for widespread use, critics of the plan predicted that it would lead to a massive shingles epidemic, causing terrible pain and suffering in the older population. This was due to the loss of wild varicella virus circulating in the community that once served to periodically rekindle immune function.
Well, the shingles epidemic did arrive, and great fanfare accompanied the rollout of a newly licensed vaccine to fight shingles, ready to inject into older people. What do you suppose they put in the shot? Children's chicken pox vaccine, only now it had 14 times more of the virus!
"Once we accept something as "good," we often persist in doing it even when the result is clearly bad, while telling ourselves that we just haven't done enough of it," wrote Dave Kopel.
Regarding the chicken pox vaccine, "We replaced a simple self-limited disease with a nasty, painful and chronic one. When will we learn that it is not wise to try to fool Mother Nature? We think we have a solution to a problem only to find out that our solution is the problem," commented Edward Yazbak, M.D.
Well, we shouldn't hold our breath, but now for the first time in history the possibility exists that researchers will mount a scientific study to compare and contrast the health of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children in our country. Such a project is listed in a bill recently passed in the U.S. Senate.
I say "possibility" because the fate of the research depends on the ability of our elected leaders to withstand the political and economic pressure of the powerful medical industry lobbyists, who seem dead set against comparing the vaccinated with the unvaccinated.
Leaders in the medical industry would have us believe that the entire health profession is united in its support for mass vaccination programs. However, many industry scientists who have spoken out against the company line have found themselves out on the unemployment line, while independent researchers are continually attacked and ridiculed. A more honest appraisal of the whole process – from deciding which vaccines to develop, to the vaccine safety trials and subsequent government licensing and mandating – would describe the entire effort as fraught with gross financial conflicts of interest from start to finish.
Meanwhile, parents around the world are horrified to see terrible and debilitating chronic diseases continue to devour the good health of children, robbing them of the potential for normal, productive lives. Public health leaders are at a loss to explain the cause of this devastating epidemic, yet we are nevertheless reassured over and over again that vaccines cannot possibly be a contributing factor.
The grave epidemics of chronic disease are peculiar to modern industrialized countries, which also happen to have the highest rates of childhood vaccination. Hurray for the politicians for trying to do the right thing and fund a study that could lead to new paths for protecting our children's health!
Rita Hoffman of the Vaccine Information Awareness Network asked, "What would be the general state of health today if 200 years ago medicine had taken the path of discovering the keys to promoting a strong, unadulterated immune system in conjunction with increased nutrition, vitamin and mineral supplementation along with better sanitation?"
"The greatest enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth – persistent, persuasive and unrealistic," said John F. Kennedy.
Perhaps most unrealistic of all is our health leaders' irrational fear of microbes.
© Darrel Crain, 2006 All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Opinions? Rants? Call Darrel Crain at 619-445-0100
Dr. Darrel Crain
Natural Health Writer
President, CCA San Diego County District