Self-Care Thrive

Vaccination Points to Review

Written by Jessika Firmage

I often get asked for information and resources regarding vaccines, by parents who vaccinate, by parents who are trying to figure out if they should, and by parents who choose not to vaccinate their children.  It’s a hard decision to make, especially with our generation.  Many of us have parents and grandparents who will make us feel guilty because “we’ve never seen what these diseases can do.”  Add onto that the tactics that big pharma, and those who are getting their wallets filled by them, use to scare you into thinking your child will absolutely die if they are not vaccinated on schedule, and according to their rules.

Here is a good starting point to get your self on the road to being secure in your decision, whatever it may be.  I hope to give you the power to make a more informed decision with confidence, despite what others may say.  Let’s get started.

1) It is important to have a better understanding of these diseases which we have vaccines for.  It is better to research each individual disease, than to take your grandmother’s word for it.  The best most reliable source of information would be an official source, wouldn’t you say?  So something like the Centers for Disease Control might suffice?  Okay, here is the link to the CDC’s Pink Book.  An up do date record of infectious diseases.  In the CDC’s words:

“The Pink Book provides physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and others with the most comprehensive information on vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Typical chapters include a description of the disease, pathogenesis, clinical features, laboratory diagnosis, medical management, epidemiology, risk factors, trends in the United States, vaccine details, vaccination schedule and use, contraindications and precautions to vaccination, adverse reactions following vaccination, vaccine storage and handling, and reference or publications.

The appendices are a wealth of reference materials including: minimum age and interval table, current and discontinued vaccines, ingredients tables, vaccine administration guide, etc.”

That’s about as official as it gets.  Dig in.

2) It is important for every parent to understand what adverse events are associated and reported after vaccinations.  And even more important for parents who choose to vaccinate to know what to do in the case of an adverse event, severe reaction, and the like.  Physicians are required to report adverse events to VAERS (The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System), however the CDC and FDA “the keepers” of the VAERS database estimate that only 10% to 15% of adverse reactions are ever reported at all.  Parents are also able to, and I encourage them even after reporting the reaction to your child’s doctor, file a report with VAERS.  It is YOUR responsibility to make the report.  Not the doctor’s, they often do not even know where to report.  You owe it to your child, and the rest of us doing research to have VAERS be as complete a resource as possible.    Remember, when accessing the VAERS database, that if there were 5,485 reports associated with the MMR vaccine in 2010, you can safely multiply that number by 10 for a more accurate count…ready?  54,485  (**This is just an example, please see VAERS/MMR for the correct numbers for 2010)  An exerpt from the VAERS database:

“Underreporting” is one of the main limitations of passive surveillance systems, including VAERS. The term, underreporting refers to the fact that VAERS receives reports for only a small fraction of actual adverse events. The degree of underreporting varies widely. As an example, a great many of the millions of vaccinations administered each year by injection cause soreness, but relatively few of these episodes lead to a VAERS report. Physicians and patients understand that minor side effects of vaccinations often include this kind of discomfort, as well as low fevers.  On the other hand, more serious and unexpected medical events are probably more likely to be reported than minor ones, especially when they occur soon after vaccination, even if they may be coincidental and related to other causes. “

My main issue with this is whether or not parents know the VAERS database even exists, let alone whether they know they have the right and ability to make such reports.  Then you have to wonder if parents ever put two and two together.  Do they realize the seizure their child had four days after receiving a vaccine was very likely related?  I hope so.  But I am not so confident.  Many parents I know who do vaccinate have never been told about VAERS at all.  Maybe they don’t want you to know it is there.

3) Have a thorough understanding of your states laws regarding vaccination.  Again, many parents I know who fully vaccinate were led to believe that they are absolutely mandatory for school admission or otherwise.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  All states have exemptions.  And all states but two allow exemptions for philosophical or religious reasons.  Information regarding Vaccine Exemption by State.

4)  Read the package inserts for each and every vaccine you are considering for you or your children.  Be sure to find out from your doctor who the manufacturer is of each vaccine they carry. Often doctors will hand out information sheets to you in advance of the next appointment.  Do not mistake these one sided, often inflammatory accounts of the infectious diseases for the package inserts written by the vaccine manufacturers and included with the actual vaccines.  I know of more than one occasion where parents have been told that the doctor’s office “throws them away” when they have asked to see them.  I wonder why that would be.  Package inserts will give you more information than you would ever have hoped for such as studies & outcomes, contraindications, and adverse reactions associated with the vaccine.  All admitted and written by the manufacturer.  Reliable…more so than they would have hoped.

5)  Vaccine ingredients are often not studied at all, let alone studied for long term effects, or how they work (or don’t) in conjunction with one another.  Many of them are carcinogenic, and most of them are toxic.  Your body is equipped to deal with some of these ingredients in their natural form in the environment because our body uses it’s respiratory and gastrointestinal systems as filters.  When you inject them directly into your blood and muscle tissue, you bypass your body’s ability to effectively filter them out.  The link I included for vaccine ingredients is one of many available.  I highly recommend you research this topic more in depth.  23 vaccines on the market currently contain aborted fetal tissue, which contains human DNA, and countless others that contain DNA from a myriad of animals from guinea pigs to monkeys.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to starting to research vaccines.  Weigh the pros and cons, but have a thorough understanding of the diseases you are trying to prevent.  Vaccines do not guarantee immunity, the manufacturers will tell you on the package inserts that the vaccine is not 100% effective, if even 80% effective.

About the author

Jessika Firmage