Whether or not people vaccinate themselves or their children is a very personal decision, and not one to be taken lightly. Parents often struggle with this issue because there has been so much controversy surrounding it.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield — once stripped of his medical license and publicly criticized for his implication of a link between vaccines and autism — has been vindicated. Information has surfaced proving his research was on par with the truth. A senior researcher from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. William Thompson, came forward in 2014 with evidence that the CDC had performed their own study and found an astronomical increased risk of autism alongside the MMR vaccine — evidence which the researchers, all but Dr. Thompson — threw out and intended to cover up. This information rests in the hands of the United States Congress now pending further investigation thanks to the efforts of Dr. Wakefield (director), and Polly Tommey and Del Bigtree, producers of the film Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe. So, do parents have every right to question the safety of vaccines? Surely.
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What’s in a Shot?
During pregnancy, women are routinely encouraged to be vaccinated for both the flu and whooping cough. The biggest problem most people have with this is that neither has been tested for safety during pregnancy. Sadly, these are also the two vaccines that have garnered the greatest number of reports for vaccine injuries. In addition to the viruses, these vaccines contain thimerosal (flu only) and aluminum — both known neurotoxins— as well as polysorbate 80 ( which is a proven carcinogen), formaldehyde, and more. Injecting these heavy metals leaves the body with no filtration system like the renal system provides when we ingest them. Instead, they go straight into the bloodstream and to the brain.
Risks of the Vaccines
The biggest problem most parents have when considering whether to vaccinate during pregnancy is that neither the TDAP nor the flu shot have ever been tested on humans or during pregnancy for safety. In addition, the vaccine inserts for the flu shot note that they should never be administered to children under six months old, but parents are then expected to believe its safe for a baby that hasn’t even fully developed yet in utero. Furthermore, many conflicts of interest are present regarding testing on these vaccines; the same people that are manufacturing them have a financial interest in their approval.
The flu vaccine is classified as a category B drug, meaning there could be risks but they haven’t been found yet. Many would argue this isn’t true though, given the rate of reactions and the ingredients. Rather, the risks may not have been found in clinical studies simply because no one is looking for them. The truth on this is unknown, so many women choose to abstain from getting these vaccinations until it becomes clearer. The TDAP vaccine is classified as a category C drug, meaning no studies have been performed on humans, but that animal studies have shown adverse effects on developing fetuses. You can see these drug classifications at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
Both the flu vaccines and TDAP vaccines list warnings in their inserts that caution against the use of either during pregnancy unless clearly needed. A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives notes transgenerational effects have not been determined. The former Tripedia insert, per the Food and Drug Administration, actually listed a slew of adverse reactions to the vaccine, such as:
- Sudden infant death syndrome
- Anaphylactic reaction
- Grand mal convulsions
Risks of Not Getting Vaccinated
Certainly, the flu and whooping cough are both scary illnesses that no one wants to see their newborn baby come down with. However, the odds of contracting such illnesses may be far lower than the rate at which children are being injured by vaccines. It’s an individual choice that parents must make based on weighing the pros and cons of their individual situation. Many doctors claim that women should receive these vaccines while pregnant so that they can pass their immunity on to their growing baby. In all actuality, it’s been proven that natural immunity — acquired from contracting and fighting off a wild variant of an illness — is passed on in utero, but not vaccine-induced immunity. In 2012, Australia went as far as to end their free TDAP vaccine program for expecting mothers, noting that vaccinating women does not provide any protection from pertussis to the infant, per the Australian News.
Many people succumb to getting vaccinated without any prior research because they believe what they were always told — that vaccines work. But the truth is a little fickle on that topic. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu vaccine was just 18 to 23 percent effective during the 2014 to 2015 flu season. In reality, the flu shot that drug manufacturers come out with each year is nothing more than a guess at which strain is going to be circulating. The current shot rarely protects against the current strain. Most people who are suspected to have the flu test negative for it.
The truth is, there are better ways to protect oneself. Frequent hand-washing should be common sense. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also reports vitamin d was 42 percent effective at preventing contraction of the flu. Anything that strengthens the immune system strengthens Mom’s resolve against illness, and thus baby’s, too. Probiotics for Mom and baby are a great idea to promote good gut health. Still, the most beneficial thing any mother can do for the health of their child is to breastfeed.
If after researching, you still feel the best choice is to move forward with vaccination, do yourself and your growing baby a favor first. Both Mom and Dad should be tested preemptively for MTHFR — a genetic mutation that hinders an individual’s ability to detox from heavy metals and other toxins. These individuals are at increased risk of suffering from vaccine reactions and injuries, like neurodevelopmental disorders. In a Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons study of autistic children, 98 percent of them had at least one, if not two, copies of this mutation.
What is most concerning is the lack of testing comparing the health of vaccinated populations with non-vaccinated populations. The CDC admits they’ve completed no such testing. The Immunization Awareness Society completed a study in 1992 comparing these two populations in New Zealand and found the non-vaccinated children were much healthier. Another study of over 15,000 children performed in 2001 produced similar results. The data on safety, the risks of the illnesses, the risks of the vaccines, and their efficacy should be carefully considered prior to opting for vaccination.