Thursday, September 25, 2008

FAQ's of The Vaccine-Autism Debate

1. "Haven't the criteria for diagnosing austism changed greatly over the years?"

Update as of 12-18-09: The CDC Reports "True Increase in Autism Risk Can Not Be Ruled Out".
"...Although some of the increases are due to better detection, a true increase in risk cannot be ruled out. Increased concern in the communities, continued demand for services, and recent prevalence estimates underscore the need for a coordinated and serious response to improve the lives of people with ASDs. The CDC considers ASDs to be an urgent public health concern." You can read the entire article here:

Here's my old post:
The data I used to make the chart seen on the "The Correlation that Does Indicate Causation" post is from TACA now and includes only individuals specifically diagnosed with autism. The percentages shown in my chart do not include Aspergers or PDD, and the data cites the CDC's study.

Also, here is TACA Now's response to that question:
"BETTER DIAGNOSIS? Some of suggested that autism is just being better diagnosed today versus ten years ago and that many cases of mental retardation are now being coded as autism. This would also assume that the experts diagnosing autism before did not know what they were doing.

This is NOT TRUE. Autism is the only rising dramatically disorder while mental retardation, Down syndrome, and cystic fibrosis remain relatively the same. Autism is now more prevalent among California children than cerebral palsy."

If other disorders were now being classified as autism, their rates would be dropping; not remaining the same. This question also makes me want to ask "if so many doctors can't get the diagnosis right, why should we trust them when they say vaccines don't cause autism"? Prior to the 1990's could doctors have missed true cases of regressive autism following vaccines because they were unfamiliar with the symptoms of autism?

See David Kirby's website for much more detailed information about the increase:

2. "What about environmental factors?"
Environment definitely does seem to contribute somehow since compared to the national average Arizona has a lower percentage rate and New Jersey has a higher percentage rate. I've discussed, briefly, that environmental factors could increase a child's risk in the "how could vaccines harm only some children" post. I did not explain these factors in detail, however, because if autism was strictly due to environmental factors, I don't think you would hear so many stories from parents stating the day their child received certain vaccines the child had a severe reaction that caused permanent brain damage or even death. Here's one family's story reported on ABC News. Here's another family's story documented on YouTube:
These parent's first-hand accounts, which are sadly often dismissed or even cruelly scoffed at, are the main reason why I believe the vaccines are somehow the trigger for some children that have currently unknown risk factors. I'm not claiming that vaccines injure every child, but that doesn't mean that it is impossible for any child to be injured by vaccines. Hannah Poling's case has already proven that it is possible.
David Kirby's website also contains much more information about environmental factors for those who want more information about this subject:

3. "And the most common argument of all: Correlation does not automatically mean causation."
I know that correlation does not automatically mean causation. That's why I specifically said it was a correlation that indicates causation, not a correlation that proves causation. I'm trying to show that more research is needed. That's also why I stated in my blog, "Even though correlation does not prove causation, I think this correlation does warrant more research regarding the safety of using aluminum compounds as vaccine adjuvants."

Also, while it may not have been clear to my critics, I wasn't saying that the chart alone implicates the vaccines. I was trying to say that a combination of the correlation between the increases in vaccines and increases in the autism rate, plus the stories of parents, plus certain studies performed/cited by the CDC and FDA, mean that vaccines cannot yet be ruled out as a cause of autism in certain susceptible individuals.

I've read some scientific blogs that ridicule the whole correlation theory with a bogus example such as 'since autism rates have increased and people use MP3 players instead of CDs, that means that MP3 players cause autism". That is ridiculous and I know that. The difference between the bogus correlation and the vaccine correlation is that no parent ever said, "I let my child use an MP3 player and later that day he regressed into autism".

I believe the vaccine-autism correlation is plausible because: I think it is beyond coincidental that, after all the increases in the autism percentage rate that correlate to increases in childhood vaccinations, there was NO INCREASE in the autism percentage rate from 2002-2004 when no aluminum-containing or live-virus vaccines were added to the recommended childhood immunization schedule. How do scientists explain why there would be no increase in the 2002-2004 time period, especially while at the same time making the argument that autism is overly diagnosed now? Since that time period more vaccines have been added to the childhood schedule AND the autism rate is increasing again. This temporary plateau in the autism percentage rate is more convincing in my opinion than just looking at all the increases in shots and autism rates alone.
Also, eye witness accounts are considered valuable information in a court of law. Many parents have claimed that they saw their children have a severe reaction to a vaccine and then regress into autism in just a few short days. If a person develops hives after taking a medicine, it's obvious to doctors that this could possibly be an allergic reaction. So why are the testimonies that a child had a bad reaction to a vaccine so quickly dismissed or scoffed at?
And finally, even the CDC, FDA, and AAP have all published statements that aluminum can cause neurological harm. (these statements along with their references can be found on my other posts.) So that creates, at least in my opinion, a combination of plausibility (b/c well reknown public health institutions have already witnessed that aluminum can cause neurological harm), and what appears to me, to be a direct correlation between aluminum-containing vaccines and autism rates.
In my opinion, the combination of all these factors warrants further research into what could make vaccines dangerous for certain children. But I'm not a Scientist and I could be wrong.

HOWEVER, even Dr. Bernadine Healy (former head of the National Institutes of Health) who once used to think that a correlation between vaccines and autism was "just silly", is now saying that it has not been proven that vaccines do not cause autism in a specific group of susceptible individuals. She also says that research should be done to identify this group so that they can be protected, and other children who are not at risk can continue to be vaccinated.
Click Here to see the interview.

Disclaimer- I am not a doctor or even a scientist. Always consult with a doctor before making any medical decision.

I don't claim to know all the answers. All I do know is that every medical treatment has risks, and that some doctors refuse to acknowledge that vaccines carry risks too. That is dangerous. What about the precept that all medical students are taught, "Primum non nocere 'First, do no harm'". It's supposed to remind physicians to consider the possible harm of an intervention since even human acts with good intentions can have unwanted consequenses.
Certain diseases can be devastating, but so is autism. If scientists could figure out why some children have severe reactions to vaccines, then the susceptible group could be protected.

However, by refusing to investigate the parents' claims that their child regressed into autism after a severe vaccine reaction, other parents (especially me) are becoming increasingly more distrusting of the medical community and the vaccination program in general. Doctors are only human, and therefore I will always receive their advice cautiously. And if I think they're wrong I'll get a second opinion. There is much to be said about a mother's intuition. Yes it can be wrong sometimes, but doctors are wrong sometimes too.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Correlation that Does Indicate Causation

Since so much of the controversy regarding autism is centered around a possible link to vaccines, I decided to compare the autism percentage rate to the recommended childhood vaccine schedule's history. You can see that as the number of vaccines increased (most notably the aluminum-containing shots), so did the percentage of individuals with autism. Most compelling of all, there was no increase in the percentage of autism cases in 2002-2004, when no vaccines were added to the childhood schedule.

The vaccines highlighted in yellow contain aluminum.
The Measels, OPV, Varicella, and Rotavirus vaccines are live-virus vaccines.
* The percentages were calculated by dividing the number of individuals who were diagnosed with autism by the total number of live births for each time period. I could not calculate the percentages for the first three time periods b/c the oldest live birth data I have is for 1960. So I just typed in the number of individuals.
** Pregnant women were still recommended to receive the flu shot, which contains thimerosal, even after thimerosal had been reduced from the newly manufactured children's vaccines in 2001.
** When the levels were ACTUALLY reduced is uncertain. According to this Imus interview with David Kirby Here, the vaccine manufactures stopped producing the shots that contained the full amount of thimerosal in 2001. They never recalled the existing thimerosal-containing vaccines because the decision make vaccines with no or lower levels of thimerosal was just "precautionary". A similar problem happened when the polio vaccine was found to contain the SV40 virus. Accoring to the CDC's website, "In 1961, the virus was found to cause tumors in rodents (Eddy et al., 1961). That same year, the federal government required that new stocks of polio vaccine be free of SV40. However, existing polio vaccine stocks were not recalled and were used until 1963."[6] So based on that example, it's very possible that many vaccines still contained the higher levels of thimerosal until at least 2003.

Further explanation of the Required Shots mentioned on the chart above:
* 1977 - "No Shots, No School"
10/14/1977 Bulletin 15 Nationwide Immunization Program led to a large increase in vaccinated children. President Carter, through Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, launched a national campaign to immunize the 20 million children under the age of 15 who were not fully vaccinated, and he established a permanent system to increase immunity levels of 90% or better.[2]
* 1978 - Shots were first required for Daycare centers. "New regulations required that all children attending daycare centers be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles and rubella. Tremendous cooperation was received from all daycare center operators, and of course, from the parents."[2]
* New School Requirements established by the Clinton administration on Dec 26, 2000 included Mumps, Hib, Hep A, Hep B, and Varicella. [2]

The risk of prenatal thimerosal exposure:
One CDC study found that, among males, increased prenatal exposure to thimerosal was associated with, "poorer performance with attention and executive functioning" [3] There was a large increase in the autism percentage rate when the flu shot was first recommended for pregnant women. The prenatal flu shot was first recommended in August 1997, and there was a huge jump in the autism percentage rate when you compare the 1994-1997 time period with the 1998-2001 time period. This increase might suggest that prenatal flu shots are an unsafe practice [4 see disclaimer about expecting mothers with asthma], and the CDC's study could help explain the higher prevalence of autism in boys.

The risk of aluminum in vaccines:
I believe that another contributing factor for the increases in the autism percentage rate is the aluminum-containing vaccines. As you can see on the chart, each time a new aluminum-containing vaccine was added, the autism percentage rate increased. In 1983 infants received 3 doses of aluminum containing shots by 6 months, and now in 2008 infants receive 13 doses of aluminum containing shots by 6 months of age. Page 335 of a document on on TACA Now's website shows a chart that illustrates the increase in the number of doses of aluminum-containing vaccines (received by 18 months of age) from 1970 to 2007. If you were to overlay the data on their chart with the autism percentages on the chart on this blog, you'd see how they increase in correlation with one another. The most alarming problem with aluminum in my opinion is the Hep B vaccine that is given to newborns. The FDA's limit of 25 mcg for an injectable solution was set, in part, because aluminum-containing medical treatments were causing neurological delays in premature babies. This is believed to be due to an underdeveloped kidney function in premature babies. The 250 mcg Hep B vaccine is offered to all newborns, INCLUDING premature babies. Several studies have found that very premature babies have an increased risk of autism [5]. I personally think this correlation is connected to the aluminum in vaccines. Unless the baby's mother has Hep B, infants are at a very low risk of contracting this disease. So in my opinion, this shot should not be given to newborns, especially preemies, unless the mom has Hep B [4]. Even though correlation does not prove causation, I think this correlation does warrant more research regarding the safety of using aluminum compounds as vaccine adjuvants.

Here's my personal hypothesis that I hope some non-biased researcher will test: Based on the studies I've cited and the matching correlations reflected in the chart above, I think that the prenatal flu shot plays a significant role in the cases of classic autism where the child has symptoms from birth, and I believe that aluminum is responsible for a significant number of regressive autism cases because aluminum causes dementia in kidney dialysis patients and although it is still controversial there is a link between Alzheimer's disease and aluminum. With Alzheimer's disease, dialysis dementia, and regressive autism, the patients loose previously acquired skills. I specifically stated that I think these factors are responsible for a significant portion (but not entirely responsible) because there are other known risk factors such as prenatal exposure to certain toxins and because live virus vaccines don't contain aluminum, but they have still been known to cause encephalitis and seizures which can also be harmful.

Side note on the reduced thimerosal levels:
An article on the Age of Autism website brilliantly points out that when a person is allergic to something such as peanuts, it only takes a trace amount to cause a severe reaction. So even though it is my personal hypothesis that aluminum is more responsible for the regressive cases, I still don't think that using thimerosal in childhood vaccines is a good idea either. Both because it is a known neurotoxin and it is believed to lower glutathione levels and glutathione is used by the body to fight viruses and remove toxins such as aluminum. I think it's also interesting to note that food processing plants post warning labels (on foods that don't even contain peanuts) that let the consumer know that the food was processed in a plant that also processes peanuts. By contrast, doctors tell us that vaccines with trace amounts of thimerosal (which do contain thimerosal as an ingredient) contain no thimerosal. There seems to be a lot of bias in the medical community to avoid admitting any possible flaw or bad reactions to vaccines. I highly suggest reading the whole Age of Autism article.

[1] Autism percentages were derived from the Individuals with Autism data on TACA Now, and the total number of live births in California.
[4 Disclaimer] The risks vs the benefits are different for everyone so always ask your doctor before making any medical decision.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Vaccine Levels of Aluminum Exceed the Minimal Risk Level

The FDA limits IV solutions to 25 mcg (or .025 mg) because aluminum was causing neurological delays in premature babies and dementia in kidney dialysis patients. The toxic dose of aluminum for infants is 10 - 20 mcg. The Hepatitis B Vaccine given to newborns contains 250 mcg. Also, depending on the brand of vaccines given, at a typical 2 month old checkup a child receives anywhere from 295mcg - 1225mcg, and these vaccines are repeated at 4 and 6 months. [1] Doctors believe those high levels are okay since the aluminum has to be absorbed by the muscle tissue before it enters the blood stream where it is then (supposedly) filtered out by the kidneys.

However, The NNii concedes that after being vaccinated, childrens' aluminum levels are above the minimal risk level. They then say that is not considered a problem because 50% - 70% is filtered out the next day. They haven't done any studies to determine what happens to the remaining 50% -30%. [2] Does this left over aluminum accumulate in brain and skeletal tissue?
The CDC says that large amounts of aluminum have been shown to cause neurological and skeletal delays in unborn and developing animals. [3]
The CDC also cites a study that found a "statistically valid" association between children with autism and thin bones. This study said that even the boys who were NOT on a casein-free diet had thinner bones than the control group. This surprised the researchers because they expected the group with autism to have thicker bones since they on average weighed more than the control group. [4]
I think this correlation justifies further studies on using aluminum in vaccines.

[1] The Vaccine Book, by Dr. Sears

The Difference Between Ingested and Injected Aluminum

Some vaccine websites state that because we injest high levels of aluminum, the injected aluminum is no big deal. Well, consider this quote from Dr. Sears:

"We know aluminum is a neurotoxin. We also know that humans can ingest huge amounts without harm, since 99% of it passes out through the stools. I’m sure Dr. Offit knows that, so I’m curious as to why he’d use the “babies ingest tons of aluminum anyway” argument." [4]

So only 1 percent of ingested aluminum is absorbed.

Now let's look at the amount of aluminum babies consume:
"Breast milk contains 40mcg/L aluminum, milk-based formulas contain ~225mcg/L, and soy-based formulas contain ~500mcg/L."
1% of each of those amounts equals .4 mcg, 2.25 mcg, and 5 mcg. So their kidneys only have to filter about .4 to 5mcg of aluminum from daily milk/formula consumption.

However, 100% of injected aluminum has to be filtered by the kidneys. So, the amount of aluminum in vaccines is not just 'a drop in the bucket' compared to consumed aluminum.
.4 mcg - 5 mcg of aluminum from food sources pales in comparison to the 295 - 1225 mcg a child could receive in one day from vaccines (The exact amount depends on the brands given).

A very recent study (Here) found that at least 100 mcg of daily aluminum consumption was associated with greater cognitive decline. 1% of 100 mcg of ingested aluminum is 1 mcg, which would imply that breast milk at .4 mcg is perfectly safe, and perhaps soy infant formula isn't such a great idea.

And furthermore, in the book, "Aluminum and Health" By Hillel J. Gitelman, the small amounts of aluminum absorbed by the intestines are usually excreted by the kidneys, and accumulation only occurs in cases of high chronic intake. However, the aluminum in vaccines may not be as easily excreted. With the intention of defending vaccine safety, Dr. Paul Offit said that after 2 weeks, 85% of the aluminum from vaccines has been excreted (and that's for the average healthy person). But, unfortunately, that would mean that we still have 15% of 295 mcg - 1225 mcg of aluminum unaccounted for (equalling 44.25 mcg - 183.75 mcg from just one office visit). Has anyone done any studies to see what happens to the remaining 15% of the injected aluminum? Is it ever excreted, or does it accumulate in brain and skeletal tissue?

I added the above information after reading the study about aluminum consumption.
Here is my old post:
The toxic dose of aluminum for an adult is 350 mcg or .350 mg. A certain brand of OTC extra strength antacid tablets contains 160 mg of aluminum hydroxide in each tablet, and the directions say to take 2-4 tablets up to four times a day. So there has to be a difference between ingested and injected aluminum or else a single antacid tablet would be toxic.

So, the high levels of aluminum found in soy baby formula cannot be used to say that the aluminum in vaccines is safe. Also, already being exposed to a toxic substance puts you at a higher risk of toxicity, not a lower risk.

And really, it just makes sense that ingested would be different than injected. If a child swallows a dime, the whole dime is passed in the stools. It is not digested, and therefore does not enter the bloodstream. However, vaccines are injected into muscle tissue and 100% of the ingredients are absorbed, over time, and therefore have to be filtered out by the kidneys.

So why does this matter? Click on this link to read an excerpt of Dr. Sears' book that shows how high the aluminum levels are and the risks this causes:

The Vaccine Book by Dr. Bob Sears, contains much more information about aluminum toxicity studies and cites, among other things, that aluminum can cause neurological harm, newborns are at increased risk of aluminum toxicity, aluminum toxicity is NOT rare in newborns, and that this toxicity is difficult to detect by observing symptoms.


How Long Has Aluminum Been Used In Childhood Vaccines?

The NNii website says that aluminum is safe because it has been used as an adjuvant for over 75 years. [1] I think they're referring to the Diphtheria vaccine, which was first licensed in 1923. Interestingly enough, the first cases of autism were diagnosed in the late 1930's.

Also, most vaccines on today's recommended childhood vaccine schedule that contain aluminum are not very old at all. Here's a list of the vaccines recommended for children that contain aluminum, and their respective licensing dates:
DTP - first licensed in 1949, (4th and 5th doses replaced with DTaP in 1991, completely replaced with DTaP in 1996) (Both DTP and DTaP contain aluminum)
Hib - first licensed for 2 - 5 year olds (one dose only) in 1985 (note: only some brands of Hib contain aluminum)
new version of Hib approved for infants (4 doses at 2, 4, 6, and 15 months) - first licensed in 1987, but due to shortages not added to recommended vaccine schedule until 1990
Hep B - first licensed in 1987, but universal Hep B vaccination of infants started in 1991
Hep - A 1995
PCV7 - 2000

Click on this link to see a graph on Generation Recue's site that shows the large increase in vaccines from 1983 to 2008:
It shows that in 1983, there were only 5 doses of aluminum-containing vaccines by 2 years. Now, children receive 18 doses by 18 months. Use of this much aluminum is too new to say that there is a proven record of safety as the NNii has implied [1].


How Could Vaccines Harm Some Children And Not Others?

Good question. Most scientists believe that there is both a genetic susceptibility AND an environmental trigger. I am not a scientist, but my personal opinion is that autism is caused by some combination of genetics, health status when vaccinated, environmental factors, and vaccines.

Consider these possible risk factors:

Genetic susceptibility:
There are certain genetic disorders that interfere with the body's ability to remove heavy metals, such as Wilson's Disease which causes the patients' bodies to store dangerous levels of copper. (Interestingly enough, this study found that patients with Wilson's disease may also be more sensitive to aluminum:
"Interaction of trace metal metabolism was studied in a patient with Wilson's dease. Atomic absorption analysis showed markedly increased urinary excretion of copper and aluminum and an increased aluminum content was found in the biopsied liver by neutron activation analysis. These findings suggest a complicated pathogenetic mechanism involving other metals besides copper in the Wilson's disease." Here)
Also, one study found that, "Aluminum absorption is enhanced in the presence of elevated circulating parathyroid hormone. In addition, elevated PTH leads to the preferential deposition of aluminum in brain and bone. Consequently, PTH is likely to be involved in the pathogenesis of toxicities in those organs. PTH excess also seems to lead to the deposition of aluminum in the parathyroid gland. The in vitro demonstration that aluminum inhibits parathyroid hormone release is consistent with the findings of a euparathyroid state in dialysis patients with aluminum related vitamin D-resistant osteomalacia. Nevertheless, it seems likely that hyperparathyroidism is at least initially involved in the pathogenesis of aluminum neurotoxicity and osteomalacia; the increases in tissue aluminum stores are followed by suppression of parathyroid hormone release, which is required for the evolution of osteomalacia. Impaired renal function is not a prerequisite for increased tissue aluminum burdens, nor for aluminum-related organ toxicity. Consequently, it is likely that these diseases will be observed in populations other than those with chronic renal disease." Here
Or if there is no genetic link, prior toxic doses of thimerosol are believed to reduce the body's ability to produce glutathione. Children with autism have been found to have low levels of glutathione. Glutathione is required by the body to remove toxins and fight viruses. Low glutathione levels would make the aluminum-containing vaccines and live-virus vaccines more dangerous for the affected children.

Health Status at the time of vaccination:
The CDC now says that "Children who are severly ill should wait until they recover before being vaccinated". We know that now, but for many years illness wasn't considered a serious risk for vaccines.
Severe dehydration negatively impairs kidney function, and reduced kidney function is an acknowledged risk factor for aluminum toxicity. (See the posts about aluminum on my blog.)
Also, other studies have found that certain vitamin deficiencies impair the body's ability to remove toxins. Children with gastrointestinal problems typically suffer from vitamin deficiencies, so GI problems could make vaccines more risky for these individuals. GI problems are commonly seen in children with autism.

Environmental pollution:
A recent study found that the risk of autism increased in direct correlation to how close the patient lived to a power plant due to mercurial pollution.
A higher level of enviromental mercury exposure combined with the toxins found in vaccines would create a higher risk of reaching toxic levels.
And this study reports finding a "significant association between the concentration of aluminum in drinking water and the incidence of dementia and Alzheimer's disease".Here
FYI: Some vaccines contain(ed) both mercury and aluminum. Mercury thermometers are not allowed on some airliners because mercury damages the protective oxide surface of aluminum.

The contents of each vaccine vary by brand. For example, the amount of alumininum in the 3 DTaP vaccine brands varies from 170 mcg to 625 mcg.
There is also the risk of "hot lots" (bad batches of vaccine). These are recalled, but usually not until after some children have been injured.
The autism percentage rate has increased every time a new aluminum-containing or live-virus childhood vaccine has been added to the schedule. See the Autism Rates and Vaccine Histories chart. Here
Also, see this safety data sheet for thimerosal, (here) which lists aluminum under the reactivity and stability section as a substance to be avoided.
And for me, the most compelling evidence against the use of aluminum in vaccines is the neurological delays in preemies given aluminum-containing medical treatments, dementia in kidney dialysis patients (also caused by aluminum), and the link between Alzheimer's disease and aluminum. It's still a controversial debate as to whether aluminum causes Alzheimer's or if Alzheimer's disease causes the patients' brains to accumulate aluminum. HOWEVER, in both Alzheimer's disease and regressive autism, the patients loose previously aquired skills.

Any combination of these risk factors could produce vast differences to childrens' responses to vaccines.
A best-case scenario would include:
No genetic susceptibility, patient in perfect health when vaccinated, lives in an area with little to no pollution, and only receives the vaccine brands with the least toxic ingredients. This patient would probably be fine after receiving the routine vaccines.
By contrast, here is a worst-case scenario example:
A child with a genetic susceptibility or glutathione deficiency, severly ill at the time of vaccination, lives in an area with high pollution levels, and receives all the vaccine brands that contain the highest levels of toxic ingredients. This child could conceivably be at high risk of an adverse vaccine reaction, possibly even including permanent brain damage.
(However, I am not a doctor. Always consult your doctor before making any medical decision. I am merely stating that vaccines need to be researched further.
I am also not anti-vax. I do think that some vaccines, given at a much slower rate than the current schedule, are valuable. On the other hand, I think some vaccines are not worth the risk. You can read The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears if you want advice on which vaccines are right for your child.)

If vaccines are indeed THE trigger, then the variance in all these risk factors would help explain the wide spectrum seen in Austim cases.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What Can We Do Now?

Demand a VOLUNTARY vaccine program, and more research. If vaccines were as safe as the CDC claims, the government wouldn't have to force parents to vaccinate their children under the threat of jail time. [1] Let your legislators know that forced vaccinations are not okay.

My favorite way to explain the vaccine debate is to compare vaccines to antibiotics.
Antibiotics work great for fighting infections. However, there was a time when doctors were prescribing antibiotics for everything because they worked so well and were generally regarded as safe (similar to vaccines). Now we know that's not a good idea because overuse of antibiotics was creating resistant strains of bacteria. Similarly, I believe the use of vaccines has become excessive, and is causing other chronic health issues. Also, no one can argue that antibiotics have saved lives. However, in a few susceptible individuals, antibiotics have also caused deadly allergic reactions. Every medical treatment has both risks and benefits. This is exactly why the government should not be forcing vaccines at the threat of jail time. The law makers who instituted that legislation have never seen my children. A doctor wouldn't prescribe medicine for a patient he or she has never seen, so why have we allowed law makers to enact forced vaccine policies such as requiring the Hep B vaccine for school?

"This vaccine is a potential death sentence for some children," said Dr. Orient. "Government studies show that children under the age of 14 are three times more likely to die or suffer adverse reactions after receiving hepatitis B vaccines than to catch the disease itself." Hepatitis B is primarily an adult disease, usually spread by multiple sex partners, drug abuse or an occupation with exposure to blood. Children are at a very low risk of exposure, unless the pregnant mother is infected." [2]

I gladly had my daughter vaccinated against polio. But she had a bad reaction to the hepatitis B vaccine with all the symptoms of encephalitis and developed patches of eczema one week later. So I don't want to give her anymore doses of this vaccine because, in her case, the risks outweigh the benefits. I also think the chicken pox vaccine is a bad idea since it doesn't provide lifelong immunity.

And finally, the best thing you can do to evaluate the risks versus the benefits for your family is to educate yourself. I highly recommend the Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears because it covers topics such as the risks of catching each disease compared to how frequent or severe the vaccine reactions are for that particular disease. It also suggests an alternative vaccine schedule and a selective vaccine schedule for parents who don't want to adhere to the AAP's current recommendations.
For some further online reading:
Here's a great article about risks vs. benefits:
Here's a great blog with much more scientific data than I could possibly cover: