If you are a mother, or a health nut you may have heard of the controversy surrounding vaccinations. If not let me explain both sides and allow you to choose what side you are on or how to approach the material. Let’s just say that a more controversial subject hasn’t come up since abortion.
The scientific community in the last 50 years has been resolved to solving the most major health issues of the 19th and 20th century mainly infectious diseases like pneumonia and influenza, as well as pandemic diseases like small pox, measles, rubella, etc. For this reason an emphasis was placed on vaccinations which fall basically into two categories, those with active particle and those with inactive. Vaccinations are usually just chopped up pieces of the infecting agent with other agents called excipients which may include aluminum, thimerasol, or MSG. These additions can be preservatives like the mercury containing thimerasol, or help to make the agent more bioavailable (easier for the body to absorb).
There is no disregarding the fact that vaccinations have eliminated some of the worlds most pandemic diseases like small pox. Short history of small pox, Edward Jenner heard a story of a milkmaid who said she would never get small pox because she had cowpox. So he took the pus from the hand of a milkmaid with cowpox and then inoculated an 8 year old boy. According to some texts they were inoculating small pox in India and China as far back as the 10th and 11th century (possibly even further back depending what scholars are to be believed) and Indian medical texts knew about microbial pathogens describing them as animalculae floating invisibly in the air that is the root cause of all epidemical disease especially small pox.
Autism is a disorder involving neural development. This means that while a child develops his nervous system a change occurs that “screws” with the way nerve cells interact with each other through synapses. Symptoms include social interaction and communication problems, as well as brain development and cognitive impairment. Jenny MCcarthy, a well known TV celebrity originally for MTV, has asserted that her son acquired autism directly following a vaccination series in 2007. She has been a strong influence on the autism debate since her claims were made. There has been criticism that one of the studies used to link autism and vaccinations was flawed and the doctor who did the research has lost his license (see Dr. Andrew Wakefield).
Fact: Vaccinations halt the spread of major viral diseases. The invention of vaccinations stopped small pox pandemic.
Fact: Some parents have noticed that in some children that autism onsets immediately following a visit to the doctor’s office where the child was administered vaccines.
Fact: Autism is on the rise. America is like 1 out of every 150 and some reports in UK have their numbers at 1 in every 58.
Fact: Decreased use in certain vaccines has led to a rise in previously declining diseases like German measles which can be fatal to children.
Fact: Many 3rd World countries have less vaccinations and experience less cases of autism, though their count of those diseases may be greater.
Theory: Herd Immunity. When say 95% of a population is vaccinated the remaining 5% may be protected by sheer number of those vaccinated. This theory has been used in both sides of the argument.
A delayed vaccination schedule – Many babies are inoculated moments after they are born and sometimes as a group of 3 or 6 (ie MMR) together, not because of bioavaibility issues or interaction of the vaccines, but becuase of economic efficiency. The immune system of a baby and children are sensitive and though most times no adverse reactions occur, no parent wants to be the one who allowed a doctor or nurse to inject a substance that could harm the mentality of their child. A delayed schedule where the vaccinations are introduced slowly over time and not in heavy batches seem to provide less cases of autism following vaccination.
Other factor that influence the debate
– Pharmaceutical companies who produce millions of liters of vaccinations for the 1st and 3rd World countries have an incredible stake in research and can often times sway public opinion through funding non-independent research.
– Autism research, though plentiful, rarely is focused on it’s causes. The research is usually directed towards medication and behavioral therapies, not epidemiological studies (cause of the disease).
– Alternative medicines. So many exist and all without regulation and or research that many parents desperate for a “cure” will try. Some have worked for individuals and some have not. Because of the regulatory agencies and laws regarding supplements, research on efficacy is difficult to deduce. Some methods include chelation therapy, supplementation, acupuncture, etc. None of these, I repeat none of these, even medical solutions is a cure for autism as no “cure” exists, but therapies to prevent the progression have been noted to be successful. There are also some highly specialized chiropractors that use their knowledge in Neurology to bring patients out of seizures and calm epileptic and ADHD disorders. They have been very successful with autism patients, but the Neurology Diplomate takes years of training and chances are that your chiropractor is not one of them.
Remember that if you wish to have a vaccination schedule different from normal hospital procedures, you must tell the nurse and doctor or they will automatically vaccinate them.
Let me know what you think. Would you vaccinate your children yes? no? delayed schedule?