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Vaccination woes

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Vaccination woes

Postby Graeme » Sat 15 May 2010 16:56 GMT

Interesting post on the Canada board by some gal who wants to have her child in a Canadian school but doesn't want to have the child vaccinated. I'm afraid I unloaded a little bit on her, but I have to admit to being irritated in the extreme by the pseudo-science being tossed about on the net. There are concerns by parents that their child is being exposed to mercury in the vaccines -they haven't used mercury for years and even if they did you'd get more mercury from a half tin of tuna. There is a concern that some vaccines contain adjuvents (these are substances which create a stronger reaction in the body so that the immune system is activated against the injected medium. Many vaccines are adjuvent free and you can always request this if you want, just be aware that the vaccine might not work as well for you. Herd immunity, that is the number of the population which is immune to the virus needs to be around the 75 to 85% mark to protect the rest of the herd, if it drops then the herd becomes susceptible to the virus.
Several years ago a doctor in the UK, Andrew Wakefield, published some data that inferred that Autism is caused by the MMR vaccination, he has since been proved completely incorrect and has been accused of falsifying his data. Unfortunately some do-gooders in the USA picked up on the research and have been very vocal in their attacks on the vaccination schedule. Initially they said all vaccinations are bad, more recently when Wakefield was proved incorrect, they changed their tune to "to much too soon". They also call for the 'greening' of the vaccines, although how you make a vaccination truly 'green' is beyond me. As an aside Autism is essentially determined at birth in the neonate brain, it seems that the neuronal connectivity of the brain is hardwired at this time and Autism children have too many and slightly confused connections (this is a very very simplified descriptor-for more detailed information check out The rate of Autism is on the increase, in part because the classification system has expanded and we now catch all the variations of Autism from Idiot savant to Aspergers, even what was once considered ADHD can be caught in the autism spectrum disorder classification system. Perhaps our way of life is to blame for the other unexplained increase in Autism, but what do we do there, withdraw from life?
Unfortunately due to the adverse press many parents have seized on the incorrect data and have withdrawn their child from the vaccination schedule, the effect is to lower herd immunity to a point that virus are returning. Recently in Chilliwack, BC a large outbreak of mumps occurred, in the USA we are seeing a resurgence of strep pneumonia. How long will it be before the nasties return? Polio could return even though it was on the brink of extinction, hopefully we'll never see any smallpox, but you never know for sure.
Some internet sites have soapboxes for their clients to shout from, the content is not edited and some of these peculiar ideas are proposed to the masses. There are no filters and the information can be highly suspect, two major sites are mainly responsible for this pseudo-scientific content and I'll not name them here. Many doctors and their followers have decided that they can make a name for themselves, they appear on Oprah (a TV host in the USA) and other 'doctor' shows. Some of their information is just wrong, but the public loves a good story no matter how accurate it is.
Thanks for letting me vent, I really don't want my kids or grandkids being exposed to viruses that we really should have eradicated years ago.

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Postby ruggie » Sat 15 May 2010 20:08 GMT

I think it's an MSN service I get that produces medical news snippets accompanied by a 'what does this really mean - what kind of study, what confidence factors, etc.,"

While they are educating kids about life and citizenship and things, do they teach them how to check the likely validity of things they find on the Net?

We're fighting a losing battle. The human brain is actually a natural fit for superstition - we have to make a deliberate effort to be logical.
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Postby Buddyboy » Sun 16 May 2010 14:20 GMT

Graeme: Thanks for a great overview. This is one topic where the many can suffer negative repercussions from the decisions of the few. The days of TB and polio outbreaks years ago were terrible times for the many that caught those and other diseases. There are not too many iron lungs around these days but there were plenty when I was a boy in the fifties. To advocate shunning the vaccines for these and other diseases is absolute folly to me.
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