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Archive for the ‘Vaccination’ Category

A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing. ~ Albert Einstein

I’m told as parent to trust my instincts, listen to my gut…but for some reason my parental intuition is irrelevant if I happen to question the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Then I’m supposed to turn off my brain and believe the popular belief of today despite my mind telling me there’s more than meets the eye.

This post is not an attempt to convince anyone that they are wrong and I am right, far from it. I do not judge you if you believe that vaccinating your child is the best route to go in combating disease. We are fortunate enough to live in a country where we have the freedom to choose whether to vaccinate or not. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be guilt-tripped, bullied and shamed for not vaccinating your child.

I have experienced the judgement and heard story after story from friends and acquaintances. It typically sounds like this: your child is a health risk; I won’t let my kids play with your kids; you are ignorant; you’re paranoid; you’re doing your child a disservice; you’re being selfish by relying on everyone else to get vaccinated so that you don’t have to, and on and on it goes. I’ve even had a comment directed my way that included the words “daft-fucking pseudo-witch doctors” are pulling the wool over my eyes. And that’s just the straight up in your face stuff. Then there’s the more subtle, manipulative and self-righteous comments that are said with all the diplomacy in the world and saturated with condemnation, i.e. “…it really worries me when people choose their own fears over the community’s health.”

Speaking of fear, how about the fear tactics used to scare people into vaccinating such as a YouTube link that appeared one day on my Facebook feed showing a couple of well-known entertainers scolding those who don’t vaccinate. Don’t you know, it only takes 31 seconds to prove that vaccines are both safe and effective.

Why is it that almost every other health measure we encourage each other to question and even try available alternatives (i.e. natural-pathetic vs. antibiotics) but vaccination is infallible and indisputable? Clearly, it is disputable since there are medical professionals who advise that vaccines are not proven to be as safe and effective as claimed to be. Why aren’t these doctors acknowledged by the health authorities? Why don’t you hear more from them? Why do we not know more about what they have to say about vaccines?

You say you trust your family doctor. So do I and so did our parents and grandparents back in the forties when doctors told them x brand of cigarettes would ease throat irritation. They felt the same way you do today about  modern advances and having a better understanding of health and medicine but obviously there was still much that they were wrong about. Jennifer Doudna, a professor of Biochemistry, Biophysic and Structural Biology of U C Berkley wrote “The more we know, the more we realize there is to know.”

Advertisement: “A report on the findings of a group of doctors.*”

Advertisement: “A report on the findings of a group of doctors.*”

I take all this personally because one, it is dished out quite personally and two, I am assumed to have hopped on a fear-fueled band wagon rather than having based my decision from hours, weeks, months and now going on years of research. This assumption blows my mind, especially when it comes from people who know me, even friends. The very people who praise me for what a good mother I am and how I take such good care of my boys are some of the same ones who are quick to assume that I read one article that stated vaccines are linked to autism and am now basing my decision not to vaccinate on that.

It’s getting to me, people. I am tired of my decision being discredited, mocked, shamed. I am frustrated from being put in the ring again and again as people try to riddle me with guilt and insinuate that I am being a negligent member of society not to mention parent to my child.  I am exasperated that I have to defend my choices or else be seen as some crunchy mama who has her head in the clouds while she eagerly laps up any and all non-conformist viewpoints. I’m blown away by the double standards this nation imposes: tolerance and acceptance are crushed under the weight of mass media influence if interests aren’t aligned. Feel free to disrespect your neighbour in the name of what is accepted as the greatest achievement in modern medicine. That there, friends, is one dangerous attitude and if you don’t think it is, you might want to talk your doctor about how the track to nutrition got derailed and the health authorities accepted toxic ingredients such as Aspartame, Bisphenol A (BPA), Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), High Fructose Corn Syrup and Sodium Nitrates that are still found in our food and packaging.

As for me, I continue to strive for open-mindedness regarding vaccination and respect everyone’s decisions and all the more so if they are doing even a bit of research rather than vaccinating because “everyone else is doing it.” Just maybe it is possible to encourage respectful discussion amidst opposing view points if we’re brave.

* Journal of the American Medical Association 271 (1994): 1273–1275. [PubMed]

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Every ounce of my cynicism is supported by historical precedent. ~ Glenn Cook

A good friend of mine posted a comment on her facebook page asking people what they thought about vaccination. She herself felt there was a lot of compelling evidence that leads her to question the efficacy and safety of vaccines. I wrote a response and then several more when another person wrote a very pro-vaccine response. These are my thoughts which I conveyed in a debating manner.

The research I have done has led me to question just how safe and effective vaccines are. Doctors will tell you (told me) that there’s no evidence that vaccines lead to autism, the major concern for a lot of parents. While mercury has been discreetly removed from vaccines, there are still toxic ingredients used in the manufacturing process such as formaldehyde, aluminum phosphate and so on. Formaldehyde is described on Public Health Canada’s website as a “carcinogenic to humans” and yet its okay in trace amounts administered through multiply vaccines. There are so many variables surrounding potentially negative impacts of vaccines that the only ones that the medical community will acknowledge as directly a result of the immunization are things like fever, rash and cranky behaviour, etc. but long term effects are clouded by other attributing factors, i.e. pollution, GMOs and lifestyle.  I feel that it is responsible rather than irresponsible to be researching this topic because it is clearly not as without cause for concern as many medical professionals make it seem. And it should be noted that there are many medical professionals that aren’t for vaccination or at least partially. Do these professional’s opinions not deserve credence and recognition?

I am interested in how particular additives to vaccines interact with our body’s natural processes, namely Formaldehyde (a carcinogenic which causes cancer) and aluminum phosphate (a neurotoxin). I understand that Formaldehyde does not build up in the system but nonetheless, it is interacting with cells and since it is recognized as a carcinogenic, the question is how much is too much? How can long term impacts really be measured? I would like to mention that when I was 12 years-old and my brother was four, we both got a full blown case of whooping cough. I was terribly ill as was my brother for two months. The third month, I developed asthma. I was up to date on all my inoculations. I know several people that have also had whooping cough and had been immunized for it. Although Thimerosal is not an issue in today’s vaccines in Canada, it evidently was and was thus removed. It is not a matter to be taken lightly.  A baby’s body is learning how to process and digest regular food let alone toxins such as mercury. A decent amount of research will show that not all babies can eliminate mercury successfully from their systems. I have yet to see a baby under a year-old eating tuna from a can so the argument that you get more eating canned tuna isn’t really a valid point here. The very fact that Thimerosal was ever approved for vaccines in the first place does not instill a lot of confidence in the judgement of the FDA, CDC and other authoritative powers.

It is true that babies are receiving a dose of toxins simply through the mother’s consumption. Good thing that breast milk contains valuable and necessary antibodies to combat any outside harmful substances ingested via breastfeeding. There is also a difference in how a toxin such as Formaldehyde is metabolized via inhalation or digestion and being injected directly in the blood. There are no studies showing the impact of injection, only exposure in surroundings. And once again, a baby’s immune system and blood brain barrier are not fully developed and therefore are less adapt at handling and eliminating toxins from their systems as an adult can. I am not saying that vaccines don’t work because I believe that they can. But I also believe based on scientific data that the blanket of efficacy is not as big as we’re led to believe. Just because x number of babies were able to eliminate mercury from Thimerosal from their systems, what about the vast number who couldn’t? No we don’t all have autism because we are all different and our bodies interactions with toxins are different. But why inject more toxins if we’re already going to get a potentially lethal dose via air pollution, furniture, etc.? A pro vaccine approach says its because vaccines have seen a decrease in disease and a rise in life expectancy. What that is not taking into account with that statement is that sanitation has increased life expectancy even before the introduction of the measles shot. Measles was already on the decline before the shot was implemented throughout society. So was polio for that matter. Smallpox was not eradicated by vaccines. On the contrary, people who received the shot for smallpox often became sicker. And once again, sanitation during the epidemic of smallpox of 1775 to 1782, was greatly lacking. The rate of SIDS has increased dramatically over the last fifteen years not to mention autism. The dose of toxins given to a two, four and six-month year old baby is not relative to its body weight and is in fact, the same dosage an adult would receive. Vaccines work best only if everyone gets vaccinated which is why I got whooping cough? How does this make sense? A vaccines is designed to prevent a disease, when encountered, from occurring in the vaccinated immune system, but since not everyone gets vaccinated, it might not work. Take the example of chicken pox. When contracted normally, you have a 95 per cent immunity and are unlikely to develop the adult version, shingles, later in life. However, the vaccines only projects a 70 to 90 per cent immunity at best. Now anywhere from five to 25 per cent more people are at risk for developing shingles which strikes with a lot more possible complications than childhood chicken pox. I myself got five spots as a baby and when my brothers got it 12 years later, I didn’t even though my baby brother would often crawl into bed with me. Beyond this, outbreaks of measles and other illness have still occurred in populations with 100 per cent vaccine immunity. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as, “listen to physicians and professional medical workers.”  The vast majority of studies surrounding vaccines are conducted within the blanket of the manufacturer. A conflict of interest no?  When non-affiliated research studies are performed by independent scientists who bare no ties to the money trail, widely spread vaccine information will stand a little more credible.

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Beginning

I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me. ~ Dudley Field Malone

The name of my blog comes from the word “moot” the definition of which according to Dictionary.com is…

open to discussion or debate; debatable; doubtful: a moot point.

I find that whenever I am faced with a topic for which I do not possess as much knowledge as I’d like, researching and then writing my findings helps me to better understand and “moot” about it.
So what am I finding mootable these days? Being a new mother to a seven-month year-old boy, I am in a head space that is wrapped up in trying to figure out what is best for my son. And one such matter that is taking up a fair bit of my head space is the debate surrounding vaccination. I have spent hours reading information available on manufacturers webpages, Public Health Agency of Canada’s website as well as websites of medical professionals. And the more I research, the more difficult I have found it to write something conclusive. But what I have research does lead me to conclude a few things…

Photo courtesy: Infinite Unknown

The first one is concerning ingredients of vaccines. The days of mercury in shots are over thankfully. But there are still other toxic ingredients such as formaldehyde and aluminum phosphate.  My quest for how these additives act in our bodies independent of a vaccine led me to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety’s webpage. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has concluded that formaldehyde is  “carcinogenic to humans” and causes nasopharyngeal cancer. Strong but not sufficient data has also been acquired making a link to leukemia. These studies are noted where long-term exposure is experienced.

Health Canada says that the risks of getting one of the illnesses covered by immunizations outweigh any negative effects of the vaccine itself and that the amount of formaldehyde found in a vaccine isn’t bad for the human body. I have trouble trusting this though because the same thing was said about thermisol and when research finally did catch up, it was discreetly removed for vaccines. Even professionals make mistakes is the point here and from what I understand of the human body, everything that enters it affects it. I find it hard to believe that a “carcinogenic to humans” additive even in trace amounts is not going to have some negative effects which may not be necessarily seen in short term studies.
The other contention I have is how tests are conducted on vaccines. Dr. Gary Null has spent years researching this topic and has collected information from medical journals, the Food & Drug Administration and many other reputable sources. His findings show that vaccines pose more than a minimal risk and aren’t even as effective as they are propagated to be.

http://www.garynullforum.com/GNthisArticle.php?article=128

http://www.garynull.com/storage/pdfs/HowSafeorEffectiveAreVaccinesNotVery.pdf

I am no where near being a doctor or scientist. But I am a mother, I am a journalist and I feel that when making such big decisions for my son, it is responsible for me to make sure I am making the best possible choice for him. I have heard it said from several people that people who are on the fence or against vaccines are sluffing off the responsible thing to do for our children and forget how horrible some of the vaccinatable illness are. I agree that we don’t always know the devastation caused by sickness such as polio or meningitis. But I think that seeking to know more than what the FDA or other pharmaceutical influenced organizations say about vaccines is prudent. And as for getting some of the other illnesses…I was vaccinated for pertussis and when I was 12 years-old, I got hit with a full blown case of whooping cough which last over two months. My mom and many kids she knew got measles and mumps growing up, they lived. And who hasn’t had chicken pox. I had five spots as a baby and when my two younger brothers got it when I was about 13, I didn’t. Of course it would be ideal to not get any of these illnesses as would it to not get any of the hundreds that vaccines don’t cover and are just as likely to strike.
Vaccination aside, I also want to use this blog as an opportunity to learn from wise words of the past and present. I will aim to find a felicitous quote to begin each post.

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