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Vaccine Debates

      Some people strongly disagree with our perspectives on vaccines. Here are a few of our spirited discussions.

[A reader responded to the following comments on measles.]

Prior to the introduction of measles vaccines in the 1960s, mothers caught measles in childhood and passed on maternal antibodies to their babies during pregnancy which protected them from catching measles for the first couple of years of life. Today, new moms don't have measles antibodies to pass on to their babies, leaving them vulnerable. However, there have been no deaths from measles in the U.S. for more than a decade.

According to the World Health Organization, Vitamin A protects infants, children and adults from complications of measles. Parents who are concerned about measles can supplement their children's diets with vitamin A.

A large percentage of measles cases during measles outbreaks are in people who were fully vaccinated. Blaming unvaccinated people for an outbreak is an irrational attempt at deflecting blame away from an ineffective vaccine. If the vaccine were effective, vaccinated people would remain protected when exposed to the measles virus. Also, new evidence confirms that people who are fully vaccinated against measles can spread the disease to other people who are fully vaccinated against measles.

Several studies confirm that measles was an important childhood disease that stimulated the immune system and protected against various cancers in later life. Malignant melanoma, Hodgkin's disease and leukemia occur more often in people that did not contract measles in childhood. Health authorities are responsible for the increased cancer rates when they required children to be vaccinated, denying them anti-cancer protection.

Q. When a disease has a higher rate of mortality and life-altering complications than the vaccination, then it's probably safer to vaccinate. Also, there is no conclusive link between cancer and vaccinations. None. There is correlation, but there is also correlation between rise of wearing blue jeans and the drop of cod in the ocean. Just because two things happen at the same time, that doesn't mean they are directly related. And speaking of cod, if you have eaten a piece of ocean fish in the last 20 years then you have ingested more mercury and toxic metals than present in all the vaccinations available to you. The rise in cancer is far more likely to be a combination of improved diagnosis and the rise of toxins in our environment and food. The drop in polio, smallpox, whooping cough, measles, rubella, rabies, and many other diseases is directly related to use of vaccines.

A. Measles does not have a high rate of mortality in developed nations, only in regions of the world where malnutrition is high and medical care is inconsistent. There have been no deaths from measles in the U.S. for 12 years despite outbreaks of the disease.

Regarding your claim that there is no conclusive link between cancer and vaccinations, just a correlation, that is not true and you are spreading false information. It is clear that you are emotional about this topic but have not actually done the necessary research. If you had done the research, you would have known that several studies have confirmed a link between vaccinations and cancer. I will list just a few of these studies:

Albonico et al found that adults are significantly protected against non-breast cancers -- genital, prostate, gastrointestinal, skin, lung, ear-nose-throat, and others -- if they contracted measles (odds ratio, OR = 0.45), rubella (OR = 0.38) or chickenpox (OR = 0.62) earlier in life. [Med Hypotheses 1998; 51(4): 315-20].

Montella et al found that contracting measles in childhood reduces the risk of developing lymphatic cancer in adulthood [Leuk Res 2006; 30(8): 917-22]. Alexander et al found that infection with measles during childhood is significantly protective -- it cuts the risk in half -- against developing Hodgkin's disease (OR = 0.53) [Br J Cancer; 82(5): 1117-21]. Glaser et al also found that lymph cancer is significantly more likely in adults who were not infected with measles, mumps or rubella in childhood [In J Cancer 2005; 115(4): 599-605].

Gilham et al found that infants with the least exposure to common infections have the greatest risk of developing childhood leukemia [BMJ 2005; 330: 1294]. Urayama et al also found that early exposure to infections is protective against leukemia [Int J Cancer 2011; 128(7): 1632-43].

I can list at least 20 more studies that have shown a statistically significant link between vaccinations and cancer. Scientists are fully aware of this scientifically documented link. In fact, it is known that measles can cause cancer regressions (because the measles virus has oncolytic -- cancer-destroying -- properties), so research is currently underway using the measles virus to develop anti-cancer treatments.

Regarding your claim that mercury in vaccines is not significant, that is also a false claim. You claimed that:

"If you have eaten a piece of ocean fish in the last 20 years then you have ingested more mercury and toxic metals than present in all the vaccinations available to you."

Some of the common ingredients that vaccines contain include 2-phenoxyethanol, benzethonium chloride, phenol, polyoxyethylene, glutaraldehyde, formalin, and polysorbate 80, which are known/suspected toxins. By 18 months of age vaccinated babies have also been injected with 4,925 mcg of aluminum. I'd really like to see the evidence that a piece of ocean fish eaten 20 years ago contains more toxic metals than all the vaccinations available. For now, let's just focus on the mercury in vaccines. A common claim by pro-vaccinators is that injecting pregnant women and infants with mercury in vaccines is safer than eating fish contaminated with mercury. However, several studies confirm that mercury in vaccines is dangerous. I will list a few of these studies:

Geier et al found that neurodevelopmental disorders are significantly more common in children that received vaccines containing mercury. This study examined the medical records of 1.9 million infants enrolled in the CDC's Vaccine Safety Datalink project. Children that were diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders were matched to a control group. Each child was then assessed for cumulative mercury exposure from mercury-containing vaccines given within the first 6 months of life. Children that received the most mercury from their vaccines were 3 times more likely to have been diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder (OR = 3.0) or hyperkinetic syndrome (OR = 2.9) and twice as likely to have other developmental delays (OR = 2.3) and tics (OR = 2.2) when compared to the control group. The study protocol was approved by the CDC [Int J Environ Res Public Health 2014; 11(9): 9156-70].

Mrozek-Budzyn et al conducted a study on mercury in vaccines and found that psychomotor development -- the ability to crawl, walk and run -- is adversely affected by neonatal exposure to thimerosal (mercury) in vaccines [Neurotoxicol Teratol 2012; 34(6): 592-97]. Gallagher et al found that boys who received hepatitis B vaccines containing mercury were nearly 9 times more likely than unvaccinated boys to become developmentally disabled (OR = 8.63) [Toxicol Environ Chem 2008; 90(5): 997-1008].

Dorea et al conducted a study encompassing 3 different Amazonian communities to compare neurobehavioral development (motor skills, language development, adaptive behavior and personal social behavior) in 6-month-old infants who were exposed to varying combinations of fish methylmercury and vaccine-related ethylmercury. Infants from the Amazonian community with the lowest exposure to fish methylmercury but the highest exposure to vaccine-related ethylmercury had the worst cumulative neurodevelopmental scores [J Biomed Biotechnol 2012; 2012:132876].

Verstraeten et al conducted a study sponsored by the CDC. Vaccination and demographic data on more than 400,000 infants was analyzed. The study was designed to determine whether infants that are exposed to ethylmercury from thimerosal-containing vaccines are at increased risk of degenerative and developmental neurologic disorders before the age of six. The risk of developing a neurologic development disorder was nearly twice as high (RR = 1.8) in infants who received the highest cumulative exposure to ethylmercury from vaccines at 1 month of age when compared to infants who were unexposed to mercury. They also had twice the risk of developing a speech disorder, 5 times the risk of a non-organic sleep disorder, and were 7.6 times more likely to develop autism when compared to infants who were unexposed to mercury. Sadly, the CDC never published this study. However, after remaining in obscurity for many years the abstract was recently exposed. You can read it here.

In another study, Dr. Gary Goldman, who worked for the CDC for 8 years, found that pregnant women who received influenza vaccines containing mercury had a significantly increased rate of fetal loss [Hum Exp Toxicol 2013; 32(5): 464-75]. There are many more studies confirming that mercury in vaccines is dangerous. Many of these studies are summarized in Miller's Review of Critical Vaccine Studies.

Q. I know that you have dedicated your life to this. I don't expect you to change your mind. Throwing up long lists isn't very helpful. For every study you have listed there are counter studies. If anyone is interested, just googling it will bring up plenty of results. The question is, where is the weight of evidence? If most peer-reviewed and reproduceable studies point in one direction, that's most likely to be the truth.

Using chemical names as scare tactics isn't very helpful either. Is polysorbate in fish? Probably not, but it's in ice cream, chocolate, and skin cream. Anything is toxic if you use enough of it. Many "toxins" are beneficial in small amounts. For example, high doses of vitamin A or Iron will kill you. That doesn't mean you should avoid eating carrots and spinach. Just copy and paste the chemical names in your search bar and look them up. My point is that you use big walls of text with references to scare people into believing you. A little bit of independent, amateur research combined with a healthy dose of logic and critical thinking pokes a lot of holes in your arguments. That doesn't mean that they aren't good arguments. I'm all for doing research to make good decisions. I'm not in favor of using bully tactics in rhetoric to scare people. I'm also not a fan of trying to convince people who have made up their minds. It doesn't work. People don't deal well with cognitive dissonance, or when the world presents them with something that does not fit with their accepted reality.

A. I find it odd that you are calling my list of studies "big walls of text with references to scare people." If I used an emotional appeal by mentioning a family whose child died from vaccines, you would surely be critical. But when I posted valid peer-reviewed studies to help people make informed decisions, you found fault with that as well. Where is the logic in that?

You were the one who made two very outrageous claims without any substantiation. You were the one who used bully tactics. You claimed that there was no link between cancer and vaccinations. Then for added emphasis, you repeated, None. Well, that was a lie. I presented some of the abundant evidence showing that there is a tradeoff between increasing vaccination rates and increasing rates of cancer. People need to understand this information if they are to retain their informed consent and human rights.

My responsibility is not about convincing people because I respect their right to accept or reject vaccines. I believe my responsibility is to present the evidence and to protect parents from the lies and bullying that occur from people like you and others who think that its okay to present false information with great fanfare and authority due to some internal sense of self-righteousness, as though the end justifies the means. In the world of science, it is quite well known that infections in early life protect against various cancers in later life. Later born children have less cancer than first born children because they are exposed to more infections in early life from their siblings. Children that go to daycare in early life are more protected against cancers for the same reason -- they are exposed to infections. Vaccinations denied babies opportunities to become naturally infected, and with this reduction in exposure to disease there was a tradeoff -- increased rates of cancer. People may legitimately argue over whether the reduction in disease is a good thing or a bad thing but the tradeoff is a real thing that must be considered when weighing the honest risk-to-benefit ratio of vaccinations.

You also claimed that mercury in vaccines is insignificant, that eating fish should be a greater concern. One of the studies that I presented actually compared an Amazonian community that subsisted mainly on fish tainted with mercury. The other communities received vaccines laced with mercury. This study showed that the vaccinated children were worse off than the fish-eating children. I also provided the abstract of a study conducted 15 years ago by the CDC. This study unequivocally confirmed that mercury in vaccines is damaging our children. The CDC quashed the study. Read the abstract if you'd like to expand your understanding of what is occurring.

Q. Okay, fine. I'll bite. I said "bullying" because in addition to calling me emotional, a common rhetorical tactic used to discredit someone, you also used shotgun argumentation (also known as argument by verbosity) to ensure that you would not be answered. If this were a debate competition then that might be appropriate. I generally try to keep things informal and on topic.

No, wealthy kids in the U.S. don't usually die of measles. There are a large number of reasons. Vaccines don't protect 100%. No one claims they do. But the rate of measles complications including disfigurement and brain damage are higher than the rate of complications from measles vaccine. That's in healthy people. I'll cite the WHO for that, and I have trouble believing that there is a global conspiracy to hurt kids in order to make money through vaccines. The population as a whole benefits from most of us being healthy. I've got a few friends who are HIV positive. They're pretty scared right now. As is everyone with repressed immune systems. Introduction of the vaccine has lowered measles related child mortality. That is not to say that measles was a death sentence before. In developing nations the rate is 1 in 1000. If we were to be generous and lower that to 1 in 10,000 that would still mean 400 deaths just for infants born in the U.S. in 2014 (if all contracted measles). So even if chances are your kid would live, that's still a lot of dead kids.

I don't typically give specific sources (unless asked) because I don't think cherry-picking information for others is ethical when powerful research tools are free and available, but here you go -- a few on-topic sources: http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/102/4/341.short; http://www.jstor.org/stable/25187591; http://www.jstor.org/stable/2695210

A. When you made the claim that "There is no conclusive link between cancer and vaccinations. None." it was clear that you had no actual knowledge about a topic that you were so willing to make false claims about. That is an irrational process based on emotion. It is also a form of bullying, an attempt to intimidate people into believing what you say because it sounds authoritative. Regarding argumentation by verbosity, that is nonsense. When I originally mentioned the link between vaccinations and cancer, you shot it down so I provided the evidence. Finding fault with my truthful claim (which I originally presented without evidence), and then finding fault with my presentation of evidence to support my claim -- first calling it "a wall of text with references to scare people," and now calling it "argument by verbosity" -- is illogical and absurd. I presented several studies, with summaries. The parents, health practitioners and other people who read my books and follow me on facebook appreciate my research. I am not trying to convince you of anything that doesn't resonate with your own beliefs, research and experiences.

Now, back to measles. Wealthy kids in the US are not the only children unlikely to die from measles. Good nutrition to build a strong immune system is one of the reasons that children in developed nations are unlikely to die from measles. Another reason is that many diseases lose their virulence after being introduced to a virgin population, mainly as the surviving hosts gain immunity and the microorganism develops a symbiotic relationship between killing its hosts (which it needs to survive) and simply infecting them, continuing with its transmission to other hosts. By the late 1950s and early 1960s, prior to the measles vaccine, the measles death rate in the U.S. had already declined significantly, by about 98% since the early 1900s.

Regarding your claim that vaccines don't protect 100% and that no one claims they do, well that is true. However, we were originally promised that 1 dose would protect everyone for life. Then they introduced 2 doses because protection from 1 dose waned after a short period. We may be close to having health authorities demand 3 doses from everyone.

Regarding the rate of complications from measles, figures from WHO are mainly pertinent to third world nations. Also, they greatly underestimate the true rate of damage from the vaccine. Numerous peer-reviewed studies document increased rates of emergency hospitalizations, thrombocytopenia (a serious blood disorder), bowel disorders, sensory impairments, seizures/convulsions, immune system damage, brain damage and death. I don't believe there is a global conspiracy to hurt children to make money from vaccines but there is a conspiracy to cover up the actual damage that occurs. (I already posted the abstract of a CDC study confirming a link between mercury in vaccines and autism, which the CDC buried. This is just one example of many. It's also important to realize that vaccines administered in third world nations still contain mercury because WHO refuses to remove it, saving about 15 cents per dose. And we should not forget that vaccine manufacturers are traded on Wall Street and have a fiduciary responsibility to make as much money for their shareholders as possible, so money is a factor.)

Regarding your statement that the population as a whole benefits from most of us being healthy, I agree with that statement, unless by "healthy" you really mean "vaccinated." These terms don't mean the same thing. People with compromised immune systems are being used as pawns by health authorities to bully resistant parents into vaccinating their children. Did you know that vaccines made with attenuated live viruses shed for up to 3 weeks? Read the manufacturers' product inserts warning recently vaccinated people to stay away from people with suppressed immune systems. Do your friends with HIV know about this? When they go shopping, how do they know if other people in the store were recently vaccinated against chickenpox, live influenza, or MMR, and whether they are shedding the disease? Why haven't the authorities publicly warned everyone? That is a hypocritical double standard, especially if they are truly concerned about people with compromised immune systems.

Regarding herd immunity, people who were vaccinated against measles can contract the disease and spread it to other recently vaccinated people. The authorities know this because it has been scientifically documented. Also, the vaccine was more effective when wild measles was freely circulating, re-boosting both natural and vaccine-induced immunity. Now that nearly everyone is vaccinated, the virus is not as prevalent and these exogenous boosts are no longer available, so the vaccine will continue to lose its effectiveness. This occurred with the chickenpox vaccine, causing epidemics of shingles.

Thank you for providing the opportunity to share this information with you and others. This was a long response!

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