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To Vaccinate or not to Vaccinate

Government mandated vaccinations create a lot of controversy and may not offer a cure.

For some time now, there has been debate about the effectiveness and adverse reactions of vaccines.

Groups such as Doctors Against Vaccines have researched and put together an amazing amount of information and made it available to all of us internet users. I reiterate, us internet users, because although some alternative sources of radio and television exist where these facts are told to the people, mainstream media focuses on the other version, where vaccines are seen as safe, reliable and necessary.

On on Mountain View Patch there is mention to the fact that 30% of the children are still not vaccinated. Let’s suppose the parents of those children are all concerned about the vaccine being safe for their kids and they have submitted their exemption document. That is a big chunk of our community folks and although it remains a minority, their concerns and understandings should be explored and addressed by the community as a whole.

This is definitely a touchy subject for it involves our children and their safety and health. If the vaccines are safe and effective, their efficacy might drop by not having every kid vaccinated. However, if the vaccines are unsafe and harmful or not efficient, having our children vaccinated might not be a good idea.

In any case, what are the facts?

There is no proof vaccinated children are healthier. No studies on vaccines long term side effects have been done or published at least.

More and more health practitioners have started speaking against vaccination. Most of the cases where injury is related to vaccinations, go unreported and are catalogued as something else.

There are many more facts available on the internet. Since we are in the heart of Silicon Valley, we have very few excuses to get information.

Nowadays most of us own a computer or have access to one giving us the power, but also the responsibility to inform ourselves and stop relying on mainstream.

There is a lot more to read and research about the subject, at least for me, before I can feel knowledgeable enough to make the right decision about my kids getting the vaccines or not, therefore I can’t recommend parents to avoid or go for the vaccine.

However, I hope that at least the few facts I brought up to your attention are strong enough to incite some kind of research or awareness from your part, and hopefully, it can be shared with us all , so we can learn and grow as a community.

Douglas June 13, 2011 at 04:03 PM
You obviously don't have any facts on the matter at all. That 'Doctors Against Vaccinations' link? Those are chiropractors, homeopaths, & other New Age frauds selling snake oil. The right decision is to go out & get your kids vaccinated, & ignore crazy people like Jenn McCarthy & Oprah. This is a non-debate. There are fringe groups everywhere. Andy Wakefield has since been debunked. Shame on you for dispensing misinformation.
Mindano Iha June 13, 2011 at 08:16 PM
In connection with vaccination one should first investigate so that one may be able to give informed consent. Doctors do not always have time or opportunity to give sufficient satisfactory information. The most practical way to find out about specific vaccines is to find the package insert, they are all in the internett. After studying them one is more able to give informed consent.
Douglas June 13, 2011 at 09:07 PM
Mindano, stop trying to sugar-coat it. Vaccinations work, the jury is in (has been for decades), & there are no good studies linking them to autism. This isn't a debate: it's a bunch of uninformed laymen who don't even check to see if the parameters of autism have changed (which they have, not long ago). A big problem in this country, is that any yahoo can have an opinion, and somehow possessing an opinion validates it. Ain't so. If someone is doing actual research, the proper approach is to examine the facts objectively, not depend on someone to interpret them for you.
Rose Voltaire June 14, 2011 at 02:12 AM
Guess what. Chiropractors and homeopaths are licensed doctors also. I know you do not like that fact. There are plenty of medical doctors who advocate against vaccines and will not give them in their practice after years of seeing so much damage. Vaccine damage is something that parents have to live with. Therefore, parents will have the last word in the matter. Get your facts straight.
John June 14, 2011 at 03:25 AM
Its interesting how those that choose to vaccinate condemn other parents for choosing not to. One thing I do understand is that parents do whats best for their families. Unfortunately, most parents do not educate themselves prior to making a decision. They trust a "white coat" who has other interest. I believe there are around 49 doses of vaccines by the time a child turns 6 that is pushed. Now, it does not take a scientist to figure out that if in fact theses diseases have been eradicated, why do we need more then we ever have? Why is childhood disease at their highest? There is a lot of money behind pushing these vaccines and cover ups. Look at when polio vaccine was first exposed; meningitis increased while polio diminished but they want to call the polio vaccine a miracle. Look at the lives that were affected through vaccines. Science can not explain everything and you have to understand that. Certain papers state that vaccines do not trigger autism, but tell that to families who have experienced it first hand. For those that do not know, every time you vaccinate a child you cause cellular damage. That is a 100% shot of compromising a child's immunity! Disease continue to break out mainly because of ignorance in injecting these kids. If you want to take a risk...a greater risk with your child's health so be it. Paul Offit once said that you can give a newborn all of their vaccines at once and nothing will happen. That my friend is plain ignorance.
Angel Santuario June 14, 2011 at 06:48 PM
Thanks for your comment Douglas, It is very unfortunate that I was perceived by you as "dispensing misinformation". I was hoping to incite research within the community about the subject, not to tell people what to do or which persons to ignore or listen to. The subject at hand is a difficult one because of the big number of people disagreeing on it, and the vast amount of information coming from both sides. As you say, having an opinion doesn't validate it, however, although I lack the security you seem to have on the subject, I still believe it is imperative and greatly beneficial (for both, parents and children alike) to take the time to get some information on our own and explore both sides of the coin. Here is the link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a government website with the official information on vaccines: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/ However, I'll also list a few of the references I came across before I wrote the column to talk about the other side of the coin: (no relation to Oprah or snake oil) Vaccination: A Business Based on Fear. (Dr. Gerhard Buchwald M.D.) ISBN:3833401621 The Vaccination Nonsense. (Dr. Gerhard Buchwald M.D.) ISBN:3833425083 A Shot in the Dark. (Harris Livermore Coulter, Barbara Loe Fisher) ISBN:089529463X http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OORHqEedtUY (video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbNRdx1_7aU&feature=related (video) Thank you for your comment.
Angel Santuario June 14, 2011 at 07:06 PM
Thank you for your comment John: I agree with you on many things you say. Also, I came across all those facts you mentioned and I felt the need to communicate it to more people. Most of the information that is shared with us (the public) and is taken as common knowledge or the norm, has been funneled through layers and layers of people that pick and choose what is told to us and how it is presented. In most cases, completely corrupting the information itself, manipulating it to their own private benefit. In the end, as you say, educating ourselves is one of our duties as parents, for our kids depend on us. Thank you for your comment John.
Angel Santuario June 14, 2011 at 07:26 PM
Great point Rose, I appreciate you making a point on homeopaths and chiropractors being licensed doctors. Also, on presenting the fact that there are many doctors who refuse administering vaccines. Homeopathy is on the rise thanks to a growing interest from the medical community and the public in general. To most people it is a serious practice, although there are some who still consider it a scam or fraudulent practice. Thank you for your comment Rose, and to the homeopaths and chiropractors out there, my salutations and appreciation for their effort in helping others with safe, non intrusive, alternate methods for healing.
Steve Chandler June 15, 2011 at 02:18 AM
Angel, Thank you for the article about vaccinations. I hope more people decide to do more thinking. So think about it. Vaccinations are cheap to produce and they translate into big profits. Maybe some vaccines are a good idea. However, massive vaccines do not make sense. After thinking, how about some research? Please remember the motives. Some of what you read or hear is propaganda and some is true. The number one reason for propaganda is profit. My opinion? Probably most vaccines are dangerous and unnecessary, (and very profitable).
Maria June 15, 2011 at 02:27 AM
Angel, many, many thanks for bring up this subject. I really appreciate your efforts. My deep gratitude to all on behalf of me and other grandparents who hope to see their grandchildren growing healthy and strong. Respectfully I urged to all of YOU, to find more reliable information so we can act as a community protecting our most precious treasure: the kids.
Jigar June 16, 2011 at 05:35 PM
Let's get a bit more specific. In fact, there ARE studies about the impact of vaccinations on communities. Here's a useful link about financial impact of vaccinations which points to some really interesting things about the overall community. Many vaccine nay-sayers like to point out that choosing to get vaccinated should be a personal choice and never like to talk about their choice on the overall community or just allude to the whole idea of there being a vast money-making conspiracy based on fear about disease. In fact, there is a huge impact since even a small percent of non-vaccinated kids can lead to outbreaks. Look at this study for data about vaccinate outbreaks and how it relates to the non-vaccinated portions of various communities. If you don't read through the details, in short, the data show us that measles outbreaks are much more common in non-vaccinated communities and it can cost a lot of address: http://blogs.plos.org/thepanicvirus/2011/05/25/the-financial-implications-of-the-us-measles-outbreaks/
Douglas June 17, 2011 at 03:07 PM
What I like or dislike is irrelevant. I care more about the reality than my little feelings. Chiros & homeos are simply NOT DOCTORS. Otherwise they'd be employed in hospitals tending the sick,not bilking the gullible. What you have been told is garbage. There isn't any proof of this alleged 'damage'.
Douglas June 17, 2011 at 03:14 PM
It's not 'unfortunate' that I 'perceive' you as doing so. It's a fact. Again, it doesn't matter how many people disagree about a topic - reality's not up for a vote. & again, a person should do research. I would however, shy away from youtube, as it is the Nat'l Enquirer of the Internet. I'd also give a wide berth to idiots like Oprah and Jenna McCarthy. And as to some doctors being against it - doctors are people too, being a doctor isn't likely to make a person more accurate. Coulter's a homeopath, so I wouldn't listen to him anyways.
Douglas June 17, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Oh great. Big pharma, conspiracy to distribute medicine? Nonsense. People are always going to get sick, the medical community doesn't really need the dough.
Douglas June 17, 2011 at 03:17 PM
Already I get misquoted. I said there are no GOOD studies, not that there weren't any. You refuse to get your kid vaccinated, you take the risk of killing your kid. That simple.
Jigar June 17, 2011 at 05:37 PM
Douglas, chill out man. I wasn't talking about you in the first place. And in fact, I'm a vaccine proponent! I was talking about people saying that there's no evidence of the downside of NOT vaccinating whereas there's a lot of evidence of the efficacy of vaccines, it's just that people choose to ignore the overwhelming evidence in FAVOR of vaccines and choose to believe the little doubts that people might have and take that to be the whole-hearted truth as evidence to NOT vaccinate their kids.
Douglas June 17, 2011 at 06:11 PM
My bad, Jigar. You're right, I was wrong.
Douglas June 17, 2011 at 06:14 PM
Your best way of protecting your children (& grandchildren) is to get them vaccinated. Influenza has a 6% fatality rate.
Angel Santuario June 18, 2011 at 05:45 AM
Thanks Jigar and Douglas, The information we have, collides. Although I have spent hours and hours reading and gathering information on the topic, I found just as much going against it. Hence I don't tell people what is right or wrong, or what to do or not to do. I can tell you guys that I've read way more on the subject than many parents I know, who have or have not vaccinated their children, solely because someone told them it was right or that it was wrong. Knowledge is power. To rely on what other people claim to know is to relinquish our power and a neglect of our responsibilities as rational, sentient beings. Therefore, again, I suggest that if there are any people out there with doubts as to how to go about vaccinations and their kids, investigate. The information is out there... we only need a bit of time, an open mind to explore different points of view, and patience Take the time to read the many links posted through out the column and the comments section. They come from both sides of the debate and they have facts, easily verifiable... if you take the time to do so.
Douglas June 18, 2011 at 07:40 AM
In most cases, that would be good advice. However, on this issue there is no debate. There's no collision. It's a trumped-up bunch of nonsense. Andy Wakefield (who started all this) was caught out massaging his data. If these people were right, we'd be surrounded by autistic children, because millions get vaccinated annually. The parameters of actual autism have been changed recently. Youtube is nowhere near being anything that resembles a reliable source, let alone an objective one. The media plays this out because a bunch of TV & movie stars think they know what they're doing. I like Bill Maher, but on this topic, he's simply wrong. What you have, Angel, is misinformation. It's one thing to weigh viable options, another to lend credence to something that has none, simply because it's voiced. The insuination here is that doctors & big pharma would actually put children in harm's way for a profit. Anybody with 1/2 a brain can see how that business model would come apart at the seams from day one. The other thing, is that people have a (foolish) fear of putting foreign substances into their bodies (like aspirin) - when in actuality, all people ever do is put all kinds of foreign substances into it regularly, & ubiquitously. Jury's in, anti-vax is out. Advising people to not vaccinate their kids is tantamount to putting them at serious risk.
Jacob Ells June 20, 2011 at 05:09 PM
John, what exactly are you trying to say here: "Science cannot explain everything..."??? Are you saying that there is something supernatural going on? Science can and does explain everything, and if there is something that is currently unexplained by science, then eventually it will be explained by science. The decision vaccinate or not to vaccinate should be based on data, not feelings.
Douglas June 22, 2011 at 12:04 AM
I ignored John's comment "Science cannot explain everything" because it's a good bet that anyone who leads w/a comment that stupid isn't worth listening to in the 1st place.
Douglas June 22, 2011 at 12:19 AM
John, you have no clue. Meningitis/polio vaccinations aren't the topic here, it's autism. So that's a red herring you've committed, fallacy #1. "Science can't explain everything" is an argument from certitude, which is idiotic, since there are almost no absolutes in science or medicine. "Tell that to the parents..." is anecdotal, not acceptable in a lab or in court. FYI, when a child inhales automobile emissions, there's cellular damage. Gorging on the wrong foods causes damage. In fact, just about everything we do from cradle to grave involves some sort of cellular damage - Dosis facit venenum. I'd listen to Paul Offit before I'd listen to you - apparently he has a clue or two.
Angel Santuario June 22, 2011 at 05:41 AM
Thank you for all your comments, First of all, I'd like to thank all of you who e-mailed me sending me your personal stories and words of encouragement. They are greatly appreciated. Secondly, I'd like to share with you one of the stories that came to me via e-mail from a very reliable source. This person was 5, and happened to have an ear infection at the time she received a vaccine. This resulted in a condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome. To this date, this person is told by Stanford doctors, not to get any flu vaccines, for fear of having the syndrome return. You can read more about the syndrome at http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/gbs/gbs.htm , the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, or a more complete history and description, accompanied by plenty of references at this link on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillain%E2%80%93Barr%C3%A9_syndrome . As my last word on this matter, I'd like to thank all of you who took the time to e-mail me and comment here, for all the information you have provided the community and for your many different points of view and say on the subject. Some of of us believe in all vaccines, some vaccines or no vaccines at all. And hopefully, this column has served the community to better inform themselves and be more comfortable with their decision, whatever that may be.
Douglas June 22, 2011 at 06:03 AM
Guillain-Barre syndrome is not autism. She had a pre-existing condition that was affected. Of course an occasional vaccination can have an adverse effect, but you have yet to prove that there's any causal link between autism & vaccinations. In fact, the evidence points heavily in the opposite direction. And it does NOT MATTER what people believe or don't believe: the evidence is out there, just measure it objectively. & no, this column has done nothing to serve the community: it's stoking the fires of the anti-vax fringe groups, making them think they have a point when they certainly don't. Sowing the unnecessary seeds of distrust & putting children's lives at risk for nothing but psychobabble.

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