As a parent, one of the hardest decisions that I have had to make was if I was going to get my children vaccinated. It is not what you think, I’m not a member of the anti-vaccine movement, but I was not immunized as a child by my parent’s persona choice. The biggest reason that this was a hard decision for me, was all the superficial and in some cases, inconclusive information. After a lot of reading and research, I made a decision and I wanted to provide the information to you all.
1. The use of Thermisol, which can cause Autism.
One of the first things I have heard by friends and family that oppose vaccines is that they use Thermisol. So what is this thermisol that we hear so much about? Thermisol is a “mercury-containing organic compound” and has been used in preservatives for years in the United States. (CDC, 2014) One of the biggest reasons that people are concerned is the use of the word mercury, as we all know is dangerous in the long term for our bodies. That is where research shows that Thermisol is different. Thermisol, when process by the body becomes a substance called Ethylmercury, which is gotten rid of from the body very quickly, while Methylmercury is the dangerous byproduct of naturally occurring mercury for nature. (CDC, 2014)
So, does that mean it still causes autism? Though there isn’t any scientific proof that Thermisol even caused autism (Luntz, 2014), the point was rendered moot when the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) in cooperation with the Pharmaceutical companies removed Thermisol from vaccines. Since 1999, Thermisol has not been used in vaccines except for the few, rare influenza vaccine preparations. (Offit, 2007)
In discussions that I have had with some co-workers has always brought up the study preformed by Dr. Andrew Wakefield that had supposedly linked MMR vaccine with Autism, but I must point out that his report was discredited years ago as he had a conflict of interest and lied on the report. (Cohen, 2011) The medical journal even retracted the entirety of the article in 2010. (Lancet Editors, 2010)
2. Vaccinations are only temporary immunity while surviving the disease is a permanent vaccination.
I was just a bit skeptical about this one cause I could not only see where proponents were coming from, but this feels like a small scale look at the situation. Yes, one may become stronger for surviving the real decease, but when measles claim 16 people per hour and a 2013 study shows the MMR vaccine has lowered measles deaths by 87%. I think that shows that temporary immunity is better than permanent if more people can survive it. (World Health Organization, 2014)
I am not going to say more on this as there has yet to be any major research projects to end this question with facts. Most of the information I could find are conjecture and even my own words above are just deduction from what I have read.
3. To many vaccinations overload a child’s immune system.
The last point I want to cover is the concept of vaccinations overloading our children’s immune systems. This was the biggest concern of mine when it came to my own children. I, personally, do not believe the doctors and companies are coming up with ways to hurt my children, but time has shown us that new technologies and ideas might have unintended consequences.
What I have found on this subject as scientific study has shown that “In the face of these normal events, it seems unlikely that the number of separate antigens contained in childhood vaccines …would represent an appreciable added burden on the immune system that would be immunosuppressive.” (Stratton, 1994, p. 63)
I think this speaks for itself as I have not found anything to refute the 1994 article.
All I wanted to do is to provide some research information for my readers or anyone who stumbled upon my blog. Being informed about what people say is the most important thing you can do and to make sure that you can verify what people are telling you when it comes important things like immunizations and your children. May you make your decision, whatever it maybe, wisely and informed!
CDC. (2014, August 20). Frequently Asked Questions About Thimerosal (Ethylmercury). Retrieved January 29, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Concerns/thimerosal/thimerosal_faqs.html
Cohen, E., & Falco, M. (2011, January 5). Retracted autism study an ‘elaborate fraud,’ British journal finds. Retrieved January 29, 2015, from http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/01/05/autism.vaccines/
Editors, Lancet (2010, February 6). Retraction—Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children. Retrieved January 29, 2015, from http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(10)60175-4/abstract
Luntz, S. (2014, May 19). Huge Meta-Study Of Vaccines Reveals No Link To Autism. Retrieved January 29, 2015, from http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/huge-meta-study-vaccines-reveals-no-link-autism
Offit, P. (2007, September 27). Thimerosal and Vaccines – A Cautionary Tale. Retrieved January 29, 2015, from http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp078187#t=article
Stratton, K. (1994). Immunologic Reactions. In Adverse events associated with childhood vaccines evidence bearing on causality (p. 63). Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
WHO. (2014, November 1). Measles. Retrieved January 29, 2015, from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs286/en/