By Dr. Mercola
According to a recent national survey by the American Society for Microbiology and Research!America, public confidence in vaccines is waning — a trend blamed on “people either in insular communities or those who are able to connect with like-minded individuals online,” according to U.S. News & World Report.
The percentage of American adults who believe it’s “very important” to vaccinate their children has declined by 11 percent over the past decade, from 82 percent in 2008 to 71 percent in May of this year. The percentage of those expressing “confidence in the system for evaluating the safety of vaccines to determine their proper use” declined by 8 percent, from 85 to 77 percent in that same time frame.
An even greater decline was found among those who believe they’ve benefited from the development of vaccines over the past five decades. A mere 59 percent now believe they’ve benefited, compared to 75 percent in 2008.
- Questioning vaccines ought to be a ‘crime,’ according to a new bill by California Senator Richard Pan
On the other hand, the percentage of people who now agree with the idea that parents who decline vaccination for their children put other children and communities at risk has risen by 10 percent. This is likely due to widespread propaganda about this grossly flawed point, which is being used to justify forced vaccination policies, and has been hammered home again and again in media reports. According to U.S. News & World Report:
“Public health officials find the polling data troubling because vaccines work not only by inoculating individuals from being able to contract a disease but also by creating what is known as ‘herd immunity,’ which occurs when a large enough percentage of a population is immune that, in the event it is introduced, a virus is unable to spread.
Herd immunity protects those who are unable to be vaccinated: the ill, or the very young or very old. Experts calculate that in order to achieve herd immunity, between 80 and 95 percent of a population need to have been vaccinated, depending on the disease.”
The Myth of Vaccine-Induced Herd Immunity
The idea that vaccines confer herd immunity if a high-enough percentage of people in a population are vaccinated, is repeatedly used as a selling point for strict enforcement of mandatory vaccination policies and laws. However, vaccines do NOT work in the same way as natural immunity, and there is evidence that vaccine-induced herd immunity is largely a myth.
It’s important to understand that vaccination and experiencing and recovering from a given infectious disease produce two qualitatively different types of immune responses. This is part of the reason why vaccines, such as pertussis vaccines, only confer a temporary artificial immunity that wanes and makes it likely for vaccinated persons to become infected and transmit infections, sometimes with few or no symptoms.
In his soon to be released book, “Vaccines, Autoimmunity, and the Changing Nature of Childhood Illness,” Dr. Thomas Cowan explains how vaccines cause a distortion in the two branches of your immune response — the cell-mediated immunity (innate) and the humoral immunity (adaptive). This, in turn, radically increases your risk of immune dysfunction, including development of autoimmunity and even cancer.
In a nutshell, when you get a viral childhood disease, the virus enters your body and infects your cells. The subsequent disease process involves your cell-mediated immune response, which activates white blood cells and chemicals that attract them to the site of infection, where the white blood cells basically chew up and spit out the infected cells. The function of that is to clear the virus and rejuvenate the gel-like water inside the cells.
During recovery, your humoral immune system kicks in and starts generating antibodies against the virus to help prevent the same kind of disease process and symptoms from occurring again, should you be exposed to the same viral disease later on.
As long as the cell-mediated immune system is activated first, and the humoral immune system is activated second, you will have a longer-lasting, qualitatively superior immunity against that disease. Naturally acquired herd immunity in a population comes into play when a very high percentage of individuals have gone through this sequence of cell-mediated and humoral immune response.
Viral and bacterial vaccines, however, circumvent the possibility of creating robust herd immunity in a population, as they often avoid a cell-mediated immune response. Instead, vaccines provoke a humoral response. In other words, vaccination triggers the creation of vaccine strain antibodies, but since vaccination skips the cell-mediated response, it only confers an artificial temporary immunity.
This is also why most vaccines, especially inactivated vaccines, require booster shots to try to extend artificial immunity. (Live attenuated viral vaccines, such as measles vaccine, are thought to more closely mimic the natural disease process, but even live virus vaccines confer an artificial immunity that is not identical to natural immunity.)
No vaccine is 100 percent protective. Some vaccines fail to give even temporary immunity to vaccinated persons and may not prevent the spread of infection. If vaccinated individuals can act as asymptomatic carriers of the disease, the idea of achieving vaccine-acquired herd immunity in a population is a total illusion.
Newsflash: Bullying and Insulting Parents Does Not Inspire Trust
Over the years, public health officials and pediatricians have become increasingly aggressive in their insistence that all children receive all federally recommended vaccines, without exceptions, but using bullying, harassment and insults rarely inspires trust and confidence. If you ask me, it’s far more likely that public confidence in vaccines is declining due to more people experiencing firsthand that vaccines carry significant risks and often fail to work as advertised. They are figuring out that:
- Vaccines aren’t working as promised and disease outbreaks are occurring in vaccinated populations
- People are getting injured by vaccines, yet those injuries are being consistently dismissed as very rare or a “coincidence”
- Calls for more vaccine safety research and protection of the freedom to make informed vaccine choices are either ignored or viciously attacked
As just one example of the latter, in 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics tried to strong arm CBS News into banning a 15-second NVIC public service message from airing on the CBS Jumbotron on Times Square in New York City. You can read that whole story in “They Want to Ban Our Times Square Billboard Message.” The message simply encouraged everyone to make informed vaccine choices.
Why is making an informed vaccine choice so important? It’s really just common sense to want to make an informed choice about a medical procedure like vaccination that carries a risk of injury or death for you or your child.
Importantly, by being aware of what a vaccine reaction looks like, and being cautious about revaccinating children who have already had a reaction to a previous vaccine, many severe vaccine injuries and deaths could potentially be prevented. Unfortunately, most pediatricians will not tell parents what to look for, or that there’s even a possibility of a serious vaccine reaction.
Then, when something does happen and the child becomes ill after vaccination and regresses into chronic poor health, the timing is typically written off as “coincidental.”
If you are still unclear about what a vaccine reaction might look like, be sure to download the brochure “If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions” from the National Vaccine Information Center’s website, www.NVIC.org. It contains a list of vaccine reactions to look for, such as high pitched screaming, collapse, shock and seizures. This information is also presented in the video below.
Why Is Bullying of Parents of Vaccine Injured Children Being Tolerated?
In a recent newsletter, Barbara Loe Fisher, cofounder and president of the nonprofit charity, National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) — which is, unquestionably, the best resource for well-referenced vaccine information on the internet — addressed the horror that many parents of vaccine injured children now face, namely bullying and public shaming.
There have even been suggestions in the mainstream media that parents who choose not to vaccinate their children, and people who allegedly spread “lies about vaccines causing autism,” should be put to death.
Now, if a public health policy is truly safe and effective and in the best interest of everyone — without exception — why is there a need to threaten anyone with execution? That kind of extreme authoritarianism has no place in a free and democratic society where freedom of thought and conscience and minority rights are supposed to be respected and protected, along with the health and safety of ALL citizens.
The main focus of Fisher’s article is Dr. Peter Hotez, a pediatrician vaccine developer, director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and former president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute.
At a health lecture at Duke University, he attacked politicians “from the ‘peace, love, granola’ political left, who believe that ‘we have to be careful what we put into our kids’ bodies,’ and politicians from the political right, who tell doctors like him ‘you can’t tell us what to do with our kids.’” Fisher wrote that the “bulk of his venom” was, however, reserved for parents of vaccine injured children:
“Like a schoolyard bully who engages in name calling when he can’t come up with anything intelligent to say, he slapped the label ‘anti-vaccine’ onto parents of vaccine injured children speaking about what happened to their children after vaccination. Then, he … viciously accused those parents of hating their children: ‘Anti-vaccine organizations camouflage themselves as a political group, but I call them for what they really are: a hate group,’ Hotez said.
‘They are a hate group that hates their family and hates their children.’ In an email, he expanded on his personal feelings about the nonprofit charity, the NVIC, founded by parents of DPT vaccine injured children, who have worked for 36 years to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and to secure informed consent protections in vaccine policies and laws.
He said: ‘The National Vaccine Information Center, is the National Vaccine Misinformation Center. It’s a phony website designed to intimidate and spread false and misleading information about vaccines. The NVIC is an important driver of the antivaxer movement and one that places children’s [sic] in harm’s way to perpetuate its twisted ideology’ …
Hotez is a doctor with a lot of titles who brings a lot of prestige, power and money to any academic setting in which he works or appears. He is also the father of a daughter with autism, who he insists is not vaccine injured.
Regardless of the cause of his daughter’s brain and immune system dysfunction, as the parent of a developmentally disabled child, Hotez should know better than to vent his anger and frustration by striking out at other parents with children requiring special education and lifelong care.”
Hotez Instigates Hate and Violence and Makes Defamatory Statements
Hotez was one of the people who, last year, called on the U.S. government and G-20 nations to “snuff out” — meaning to crush or kill — the antivaccine movement. “Hotez chose to use the word ‘hate’ four times in two sentences when he defamed the NVIC by calling it a ‘hate group.’ Branding an organization a ‘hate group’ is not an inconsequential action, morally or legally,” Fisher pointed out.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, hate groups “vilify others because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity — prejudices that strike at the heart of our democratic values and fracture society …” Similarly, according to the FBI, a hate crime is “[A] criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity.”
Based on these definitions, Hotez is behaving like a “hate group” in his own right, instigating hatred toward parents who have already suffered tremendously and who are speaking out about what happened to their children after vaccination to prevent the same tragedy from striking others unaware.
Fisher also wrote in 2017 about how, for years, physicians and lawyers in academia have been systematically whipping up fear and prejudice against parents who dissent from one-size-fits-all government vaccine policies that put children’s lives in danger:
“In a July 2017 commentary, ‘Class and Race Profiling in the Vaccine Culture War,’9 I described how some physicians and lawyers in academia have been systematically fomenting fear, hatred and prejudice against any parent or physician who talks about the reality of vaccine injuries and deaths and defends the informed consent principle, which has been the ethical standard for the ethical practice of medicine since World War II,” Fisher wrote.
“A child health advocacy group that points out vaccine science research gaps, criticizes paternalism in medical practice, and challenges the use of utilitarianism as the moral foundation for public health policy does not qualify as a ‘hate group.’
Prestigious universities like Baylor and Duke, which receive substantial funding from government health agencies to develop and test new vaccines, should have a minimum standard of conduct for professors, whether they are employed to teach students or perform research.
Engaging in defamatory speech and using violent imagery to call on governments to ‘snuff out’ people for exercising freedom of thought, speech, conscience and religious belief does not meet even a minimum standard for civil conduct.”
Why We Must Defend the Right to Informed Consent
As noted by Fisher in an October 2017 article, [P]rotecting informed consent is a matter of tremendous importance. The human right to informed consent to medical risk taking — established at the Doctors Trial at Nuremberg in 1947 — is being aggressively undermined in the U.S. and must be protected lest we lose it.
Who in their right mind would want to live in a society where the population at large can be exploited by pharmaceutical corporations and authoritarian government agencies without the knowledge or voluntary consent of citizens? Yet, that’s where we’re headed. In some respects, we’re already there. As noted by Fisher:
“Informed consent means you have the right to be fully informed about the benefits and risks of a medical intervention and the freedom to make a voluntary decision about whether or not to accept those risks without being coerced or punished for the decision you make. Informed consent applies not just to risks taken by participants in scientific experiments, but also to risks taken by patients under the care of physicians …
There is no liberty more fundamentally a natural, inalienable right than the freedom to think independently and follow your conscience when choosing what you are willing to risk your life or your child’s life for. Vaccination must remain a choice because it is a medical intervention performed on the body of a healthy person that carries a risk of injury or death. And while we are all born equal, with equal rights under the law, we are not born identical.”
Gaps in Vaccine Science Tell Us the Matter of Vaccine Safety Is Nowhere Near Settled
While a great deal of lip service is paid to “science-based medicine,” government health officials now direct pediatricians to vaccinate 99.99 percent of children, without regard for known and unknown risks. It’s important to realize that reports published by physician committees at the Institute of Medicine have in fact confirmed that vaccines, like infections, can injure and kill people, and that:
- Very little is known about how vaccines or microbes act at the cellular and molecular level in the human body
- An unknown number of individuals have certain genetic, biological and environmental susceptibilities that make us more vulnerable to being harmed by vaccines, but doctors cannot accurately predict who they are
- Clinical trials of experimental vaccines are too small to detect serious reactions before they are licensed
- The U.S. recommended child vaccine schedule through age 6 has not been adequately studied to rule out an association with allergies, autoimmunity, learning and behavior disorders, seizures, autism and other brain and immune dysfunction
One-Size-Fits-All Policy Sacrifices Many Just to Maintain an Unproven Health Policy
Indeed, this is the crux of the problem with a one-size-fits-all vaccine policy. Most drugs have indications for use, and doctors will not administer certain drugs to certain patients based on contraindications such as age or medical history. Not so with vaccines, even though some people are more susceptible to vaccine damage than others.
For example, research suggests the makeup of your gut microbiome can affect how you respond to a vaccine. This is the premise of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) program.
Her work shows that children with impaired microbiomes tend to be more prone to vaccine damage, and that by optimizing a child’s microbiome before vaccination, the risk of having a vaccine reaction could be reduced for some children. Now, if everyone does not have identical responses to vaccines, it means the risks are not being borne equally by everyone.
Despite that, there’s been a forceful push to eliminate any and all ways of opting out of vaccines, even for those with suspected biological vulnerabilities, including a previous vaccine reaction, which is a very strong indicator that subsequent vaccinations might trigger even more serious problems.
Without informed consent and the right to choose, the lives of those vulnerable to vaccine complications are clearly devalued and their sacrifice is brushed off as inconsequential. I fail to see how this passes as high moral ground.
Federal Vaccine Court: Designed Specifically to Protect Industry and Clean Up the Trail of Destruction Left by Vaccines
Given the furor that erupts when anybody publicly questions vaccine safety, you would assume the U.S. government considers vaccines completely safe, and has the data to back that up. That’s not the case though.
Not only is there a void where safety studies ought to be, there’s also the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), where victims of vaccine injury can apply for federal compensation. The VICP has awarded nearly $4 billion to vaccine victims since it began operating in 1988, even though 2 out of 3 vaccine injured plaintiffs are denied compensation.
While it’s a tremendously flawed program, the fact remains that since its inception in 1986, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice and the Federal Vaccine Court have been quietly settling cases of brain inflammation and permanent brain damage (encephalopathy) that have included symptoms of autism. Meanwhile, the official line by federal health officials is that vaccines are safe and never cause autism.
The VCIP was established in 1986 when Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which restricted product liability lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers and medical malpractice lawsuits against vaccine providers for injuries and deaths caused by federally recommended and state mandated vaccines.
In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court majority ignored the act’s legislative history and effectively eliminated all vaccine product liability from vaccine manufacturers — even if there was evidence a vaccine could have been made less harmful (design defect). If vaccines are safe for everyone, why did Congress create a federal vaccine injury compensation program specifically designed to compensate those who are permanently harmed or killed by them?
Safety Must Come First; It Cannot Be an Afterthought
In the 1980s, kids received 23 doses of seven vaccines. Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends 69 doses of 16 vaccines, starting the day of birth through age 18. Fifty of these 69 doses of vaccines are given before the age of 6. This regimen deals a heavy blow to your child’s developing immune system, raising his or her risk for brain abnormalities and autoimmune dysfunction.
Although neurotoxic mercury preservatives were removed from many vaccines in the late 1990s, other heavy metals are still used, such as aluminum which, like mercury, is a powerful neurotoxin. There are many other reactive ingredients in vaccines that have not been systematically studied to prove safety, especially for synergistic effects when given in combination.
Unexplained increases in the numbers of children suffering with chronic illness and disability demand our attention and action. Just last month, the CDC admitted that the estimated prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among children in America has increased to 1 child in 59. In the 1990s, the estimated prevalence of ASD was 1 child in 1,000.
Pretending that the science on vaccines is settled and that concerned parents are simply crazy or, worse, actually hate their children and wish them to die and take others with them, is beyond irresponsible. It is immoral and dangerous.
Contrary to what Hotez claims, parents who decline one or more government recommended vaccines for their children typically do so out of an overwhelming concern for their child’s health and welfare. Many have good reason to believe their children are genetically or biologically more susceptible to suffering vaccine injury and death. They’re simply unwilling to play vaccine roulette and put their children’s long-term health at risk, even if public health officials and pediatricians insist the risk is very small.
Distrust of public health officials and pediatricians is magnified by their obstinate refusal to admit there are both known and unknown vaccine risks and their aggressive insistence that preventing infectious diseases is more important than preventing vaccine reactions. Why? Childhood diseases, such as chickenpox and mumps, are rarely deadly. Yet, every “vaccine-preventable” disease on the CDC’s childhood vaccine schedule is now described in terms on par with the plague.
So, while a decline in public confidence in the vaccine industry is blamed on parents of children for whom the risks of vaccination were 100 percent, and on parents taking steps to prevent their healthy children from become vaccine victims, the waning public trust in vaccination is far more complicated than that.
It is more likely due to the public’s desire for good old fashioned honesty and transparency in government; the need for open dialogue by physicians about what is and is not known about vaccine risks and failures; and a recognition that the legal right to informed consent to medical risk taking, which includes vaccine risk taking, is a human right that must be protected.
In light of the gaping holes that exist in vaccine safety science, especially with respect to the safety of multiple vaccines given in combination to children within the first few years of life, it is time for authoritarian mandatory vaccination proponents to stop scapegoating vaccine victims and look at themselves in the mirror.
NVIC Is Your Champion for Informed Consent
Contrary to what Hotez claims, parents of vaccine injured children are not part of a hate group. They do not threaten or discriminate against people who want to follow government recommendations and vaccinate their children. On the contrary, the main reason they’re speaking out about what happened to their children is because they were NOT antivaccine.
They DID choose to vaccinate their children, who then paid the ultimate price. These parents speak up out of love for humanity and children in general, to help prevent the same tragedy from befalling others who might not be aware that there’s a real choice to be made. In closing, Fisher wrote:
“Regardless of what vaccine developers and forced vaccination proponents like Hotez choose to do, the NVIC will continue to publish well referenced information on NVIC.org, anchored with links to the CDC, FDA, NIH, National Academy of Sciences, vaccine manufacturer package inserts, articles published in the medical literature, state vaccine laws and other information resources to assist those making educated decisions about vaccination for themselves and their minor children.
We will continue to provide a forum for Americans to testify about their personal experiences with vaccination, and we will continue to defend the legal right to exercise freedom of thought, speech, conscience, religious belief and informed consent, all of which have been recognized internationally as human rights …
The doctors operating the mandatory vaccination system with an iron fist, who refuse to acknowledge or address the suffering of people for whom the risks of vaccination turned out to be 100 percent, would do well to reflect upon the primary role they have played in the crisis of public trust in the safety of vaccines and doctors forcing everyone to use them.”
Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions
With all the uncertainty surrounding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, it’s critical to protect your right to make independent health choices and exercise voluntary informed consent to vaccination. It is urgent that everyone in America stand up and fight to protect and expand vaccine informed consent protections in state public health and employment laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and educating the leaders in your community.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.
National vaccine policy recommendations are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.
It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations, and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.
Signing up for NVIC’s free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your smart phone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up-to-date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choice rights and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community.
Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips. So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
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 one another, 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 or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines 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 mandatory 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 website of the non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), 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 and sanctions by doctors, employers, and school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.
- Vaccine Failure Wall: View or post descriptions about vaccines that have failed to work and protect the vaccinated from disease.
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.
*Article originally appeared at Mercola. Reposted with permission.