• Why do we choose to immunize?
    By
     | December 28,2012
     

    Merck’s newly launched infomercial web campaign, “A Lifetime of Vaccines,” says it all. Pressure mounts for cradle-to-grave vaccination, more and more vaccines being recommended for people of all ages, including, disturbingly, flu, pertussis, and other shots for pregnant women.

    Vermont Health Commissioner Harry Chen, citing a cyclical whooping cough outbreak in the state, has recently urged all adults over 19 years old to get the T-DaP (tetanus/diphtheria/acellular pertussis) shot. The immunization schedule required for school entry has tripled since the early 1980s, with more shots continually added. In fact, the Vermont Department of Health Immunization Regulations specifies that, once a new vaccine is recommended by the the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, (ACIP, a branch of the federal agency, the Center for Disease Control), “there will be a two-year phase-in period before children will be required to have the vaccine in order to enroll in a child-care facility or school.” Four new vaccines have recently been added to the recommended schedule; the dangerous, controversial, and exorbitantly expensive and dangerous HPV vaccine Gardasil has been on that list for over two years now.

    Teachers and health care workers are increasingly expected to submit to certain vaccines, under threat of losing their jobs. With literally hundreds of vaccines in the development pipeline, there is no end in sight to the forceful expansion of this highly profitable agenda to vaccinate the populace.

    If vaccines were an unmixed blessing, this might not be a problem. In fact, there are real risks to vaccination, though they are mostly downplayed. The Vaccine Information Statements (VIS), which all who receive shots are required by federal law to read and sign beforehand, all state, “A vaccine, like any medicine, could possibly cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions.” They then go on to list mild, moderate, or severe problems associated with each particular vaccine. The VIS for the pertussis vaccine lists, under Serious Reactions: “Long-term seizures, coma, lowered consciousness, and permanent brain damage have been reported.”

    The Merck Manual, the largest-selling medical textbook, says vaccines can cause encephalitis (brain damage, through swelling of the brain), when “A ... vaccine triggers a reaction that makes the immune system attack brain tissue (an autoimmune reaction).” The Vaccine Adverse Reaction Reporting System (VAERS) maintained by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that at least 10 percent to 15 percent of reactions reported are serious ones.

    Many if not most people believe that vaccines are comprised solely of antigens — substances that induce the production of antibodies. Those who carefully read food ingredient labels will be as horrified as I was when I first read vaccine package inserts, and learned that vaccines actually contain: human and animal cells and their residual DNA, GMOs, micro-organisms/contaminants, allergens, neurotoxins, carcinogens, and poisons.

    In the furor over vaccination it’s easy to forget risk-free, common-sense ways to build immunity and stay healthy: pure drinking water, fresh air, and daily exposure to sunshine. It’s also wise to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and foods rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin D, while restricting intake of sugar and other refined foods. Stress, including negative emotions like fear and anger, directly suppresses the immune system, so, in addition to getting ample rest, incorporating lifestyle changes such as regular meditation and exercise can help prevent illness.

    If you do get sick, stay home to avoid infecting others. Good practices like frequent hand-washing and covering coughs and sneezes helps prevent the spread of infection.

    The right to say no to vaccines (and any medical intervention), after evaluating risks and benefits for oneself, remains of paramount importance. May we keep our freedom of choice alive regarding vaccination and every other medical option.



    Charlotte Gilruth lives in Worcester.

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