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BLOG: May 2008

Mandatory vaccinations

Is mandatory vaccine a good thing? How about a dozen - or more - mandatory vaccines? While the mainstream media doesn't pay much attention to it, there is quite a bit of commotion about the proposed new law in New York state (formally, Assembly Bill 10942) which would make all CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommended vaccines for schoolchildren, infants and toddlers, mandatory.

 The answer to whether mandatory immunization would be a good thing, or not, depends on who you ask. The proponents readily point out to how many lives have been saved by eradicating epidemic diseases, which they seem to be crediting entirely to the introduction of organized and mandatory vaccination. At the same time, they tend to downplay adverse health effects of vaccination, in good part due to such an enormous benefit that it, according to them, provides.

But is it really all of this turn for the better due to vaccinations? Not likely. In fact, very similar degree of life-saving eradication or suppression of epidemic diseases has been achieved in Europe, and other industrialized parts of the world,

with much lower level of public immunization than in the U.S.

The conclusion is rather obvious: for this lucky break we owe more to improved living conditions, hygiene, medical advances apart from vaccination, better general medical care, personal education, level of public awareness, flow of information, and so on, than to organized public immunization itself.

For some reason, not a single study that would evaluate rates of incidence of these diseases in populations of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children, or adults,

has ever been conducted.

As for the adverse health effects directly resulting from vaccination, they are real and - opposite to the credits - very much underrated. There is a lot of scientific research and evidence, spanning nearly three decades, positively linking vaccination - primarily in the early months and years of life - to seizures, brain swelling and other neurological complications, "unexplained" diseases, like paralytic poliomyelitis, mumps-like diseases, hepatitis, aseptic meningitis, sudden death syndrome, and others.

And there is nothing surprising about it. Anyone familiar with the ABC of how vaccines work knows that it

requires efficient immune system
in order to be safe and effective.

Even leaving aside a number of potentially toxic chemicals and impurities contained in vaccines, the benefit-to-risk ratio of vaccination is certain to reverse from favorable in children with strong immune function, to negative in those whose immune function is compromised.

Government's blanket assumption of the universal vaccine safety - and directly related lack of efficient screening for the risk factors -

are unacceptable and dangerous.

Many a parent has witnessed health of their children adversely affected soon, or even immediately after vaccination, and can't reasonably or definitely conclude that it is not immunization related. Not seldom, the link is rather obvious. The official numbers are - expectedly? - nearly meaningless.

For instance, VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) has reported 2,142, deaths and 3,177 permanent disabilities from vaccinations from 1991 to 2001. However, according to FDA sources (Kessler, Wald and Shojan), only 1-10% of the actual adverse effects are reported, with the rate most likely to be less than 2%.

If so, the actual numbers for the last decade of the 20th century are closer to

100,000 deaths and 150,000 permanent disabilities
caused by vaccination.

Part of the problem is that immunization requires well functioning immune system in order to be both, effective and safe. The present level of screening is not sufficiently effective, and simply cannot provide needed level of individual protection for those whose immune system might have a glitch, or who have some other, unknown form of vulnerability to vaccine ingredients. Can anyone ask you to take that risk, for yourself or your child?

Yes, you can expect your child to be left alone if it experiences adverse symptoms to a particular vaccine - that is at present allowed with mandatory vaccines - but how do you tell which particular vaccine has caused the symptoms if your child has received a number of shots in a very short period of time, sometimes several in a single day? And how do you track back to the vaccine for possible longer-term effects?

And what do you do if vaccine caused damage is irreversible?

Clearly, before we even come to answer whether immunization should be mandatory or not,

it needs to be made safe,

protecting the right of the individual - particularly small children and babies - not to be exposed to a risk of unknown magnitude, or seriously hurt by a medical intervention whose specific individual benefit is of rather speculative nature.

Flatly denying the possibility that vaccination can have significant adverse health effects on vulnerable individuals - which is where the officials and medical establishment stand - is not helpful in making this happen. Specific adverse effects of individual vaccines should be objectively evaluated and presented to the public. Directly related to it, the role of immunization in curbing epidemic diseases should be objectively determined, so that an individual can asses more realistically what is the risk/benefit ratio of vaccination.

Simply put, the government can require vaccination

only if it can guarantee the safety.

There is no excuse for playing a double game, as the government does at present, by publicly stating that vaccination is safe, while at the same time having established the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program - which, ironically, is financed from the tax paid by vaccine users themselves - and VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System).

It is crucially important that all those with financial interest in selling vaccines are

excluded from participation in the legislative process.

Mandatory vaccine legislation has been, and still is, heavily influenced - should we say corrupted - by the lobbying of pharmaceutical industry, promoting its financial interest.

And, finally, what should be mandatory is that vaccines are made

free of contaminants and impurities.

Just a couple of years ago, it took a lot of public pressure - after the fact became known - to remove mercury-containing preservative Thimerosal, approved and used in vaccines for decades by those who should have known better.

The sad thing is that the main reason for its use - obviously - wasn't safety, but lowering the cost. For that same reason, vaccines still contain a long list of contaminants and impurities, from aluminum and formaldehyde, to animal remnants (possibly contaminated with various animal viruses and other microorganisms) and remnants of aborted fetuses (diploid cells, see CDC Vaccine Ingredients PDF file).

This illustrates better than anything that the priorities of the government and pharmaceutical industry with respect to recommended and mandatory vaccinations may be very different from what the average Jane and Joe imagine. It is only good if we become aware of it.