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Why Is Immunization so Controversial?

A recently discovered link between a flu vaccine and increased rates of narcolepsy should pour some fuel on the fire.

by
Theodore Dalrymple

Bio

March 9, 2013 - 7:00 am
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For some reason that I have never quite fathomed, immunization against infectious diseases has from its very inception in Jenner’s time been one of the most viscerally feared and bitterly opposed of all medical techniques. Perhaps people felt that to immunize was to interfere sacrilegiously with the course of nature, and that people, especially children, had the duty to die of infectious diseases just as Nature “intended.” Perhaps they felt that, if it worked, it would allow the survival of the unfittest. At any rate, few medical procedures have been as persistently, minutely, and fervently examined for harmful effects as immunization has.

In general, the results have been disappointing for those who wished to show that immunization was invariably followed by Nature’s retribution, particularly in the neurological sphere. Scare has succeeded scare without ever being confirmed, though those who hold to the anti-immunization faith refuse to abandon it. Now, at last, there seems to be evidence of a genuine association between a certain type of immunization and a neurological condition.

That association is that between the immunization of children with an anti-influenza virus and narcolepsy, a condition characterized by chronic, excessive daytime sleepiness and a tendency to cataplexy, that is to say a loss of muscular tone triggered by strong emotion. It was first observed in Finland and Sweden; subsequent studies in other European countries and in Canada failed to find an association, but a further study, this time in England, and reported in the British Medical Journal, confirmed that the Finnish and Swedish findings.

In October 2009, children at risk of pulmonary complications during a pandemic of influenza were immunized against it with a vaccine against the causative virus. Most of the children immunized suffered from asthma (interestingly, one of the theories to account for the recent rise in the proportion of children suffering from asthma and other allergic conditions is that, having been immunized against all the common childhood infectious diseases, their immune systems have not developed as Nature “intended”).

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All Comments   (31)
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Perhaps you should read what the protectors actually said instead of philosophizing that they had stupid reasons for protesting. We should not forget how many people died from the smallpox vaccination when it was introduced. I was excited that you even dared to question a single vaccine, but you just couldn't do it without insulting everyone who has agonized over the choice and come to a conclusion that disagrees with you.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's never a harmless procedure. It activates the body's immune system to create a programmed response to the virus, so that the body will repel it if infected. There's always some percentage of people with serious or fatal consequences from this provoked response.

The thing is, for things like measles and polio, we have a historical record of a public school system with epidemics. Yes, inoculating all children for measles may kill 80 children annually across the country. However, we know as a matter of historical record, that every 10 years or so a small town could expect that kind of death toll from epidemics.

For such viruses, mandatory vaccination with a reliable vaccine is a slam dunk.

But that doesn't mean only a kook would question whether every vaccine is necessary or even justifiable. You're causing illness. Maybe that happens frequently enough that you're better off risking the actual virus.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Plenty of medical doctors who were 'raised' believing the party line on vaccines have looked at the issue and risked their reputations to stand against vaccine misinformation, especially the main idea that vaccines wiped out any disease. AS if decades of improved nutrition, sanitation, and the discovery of antibiotics had NOTHING to do with the decline of the 'vaccine' diseases.

IT's not ok to kill and or/destroy the quality of life of a certain number of kids with vaccines in order to theoretically save another certain number of them from diseases that were already in radical decline before the vaccines came out.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Part of the problem is that anytime you tamper with your body with anything chemical/biological, you are taking a risk because everyone's body if unique. No matter how safe a vaccine or medicine is or how many other people have taken it without incident before you, this time could be different and provoke a reaction. Heck, I could suddenly get a bad reaction from my next tetanus booster because this time, my immune system decides to react badly to it.

And you can tell people all you want, until you're blue in the face, that millions get these shots without incident and that many have been spared horrible diseases and much suffering because they're had them, but you can't actually point to any because that's the point of the vaccination - there aren't supposed to be any victims!

BUT, every anti-vaccine scare monger can immeditately and quickly point to any one a of the few who have had, or allegedly had (because some negative reactions can't be conclusively proven to be from the vaccine, itself) bad reactions from the shots. Those are glaringly, frighteningly obvious and hard to ignore, so they seem very immediate, very real and more of an issue than any intangible benefits vaccines offer.

It's hard to get people to walk through old graveyards and really look at all the tiny gravestones.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As the parent of an infant who was vaccinated with old style DPT vaccine, went into a profound sleep for 36 hours from which she could not be awakened and during which she would not respond to the breast; then awakened with savaging seizures that continued for 16 years, during which time she broke one leg or the other at the knee owing to the severity of those seizures; and then died at age 16 -- all of which time she failed to see (doctors call it cortically blind') or learn to speak or learn to walk or learn any voluntary means of movement not induced by seizure activity, which recurred every six to ten SECONDS, it is of small surprise to me and my wife that there is resistance to participating in the national immunization programs.
Our story and others like them -- and there are many such personal stories told among those who have lost children or the health of their children following vaccination -- are said to be "merely anecdotal and unreliable" by doctors, most especially AMA doctors and the immunization specialists at the CDC (I have spoken with them during the early unfolding weeks of our daughter's years-long tragic tale); although they know that were a manifest to travel with each shipment of vaccine from production facility to point of administration, when they could know whether such things as the break down of a tractor trailer or local delivery van refrigeration unit had occurred during transshipment of vaccine -- but historically it is the AMA that has been in the forefront of lobbying AGAINST such a menchanism -- the very mechanism that would eradicate the need to rely upon "merely anecdotal and unreliable" family reiterations because the authorized personnel would have actual paper records for each such shipment. Things happen to vaccines in shipment. CDC and others -- such as the doctors and nurses to administer vaccinations -- should know what happened to any shipment from which they are administering, and should be required by law to make a record notation of the shipment, lot, and batch from which each such administration has come, including to provide parents with a formal written copy of each such vaccination.

Until those things occur, I hold out very little hope that our fellow citizens should be expected to place their full trust in either the national immunizations program or the saccharine words of the AMA, the CDC, their local physicians or the new media that grounds its stories based on the press releases put out by the men and women who represent those interest groups for clearly the interests they represent are not those of the children or others to whom immunizations are administered.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank you for writing. What a terrible story.

As I noted below, I was familiar with a DPT vaccine lawsuit in the 1980's.

Include the FDA in indicting groups with vested interests making decisions about which treatments/drugs make it into the food chain. So many of their approved drugs have had to be withdrawn after they got out into broad administration in the general population.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In the later '40s and early '50s I remember classmates disappearing from school and public swimming pools and theaters closed due to polio outbreaks. Universal polio immunizations ended that threat. Polio is only one of the dread diseases virtually wiped out in the US. What ever harm immunizations may cause, it seems to me their benefits far exceed the costs. Efforts to minimize the hazards of immunizations must continue as must mandatory immunizations.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have a friiend who has polio paralysis, but she can walk with crutches and has had a great life. You can't say the same about someone who had uncontrollable seizures until she died at 16. OR the athletic healthy girls being crippled by the Gardisil vaccine just so a few of them might escape a virus that the body fights off on its own that MIGHT be associated with SOME cervical cancer. I personally would rather live a fairly full life and die of cancer at 40 vs. being crippled by a vaccine at 14 and dying of the complications a couple of years later.

Did you know that according to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, only a few percent of polio cases even progress to paralysis, and that paralysis is treatable? And that we still have infantile paralysis today that some say is just polio in another form? So who says polio was eradicated, or that the vaccine did it, when again, it was already declining before the vaccine was widespread.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Vaccination is NOT immunization. Vaccination does not protect from illness. Stop the mandates. You are free to have this procedure done, just stop forcing me. How do the medical geniuses tell the difference between active infection and antibodies found after vaccination? They can't.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Smallpox was "eradicated" but some labs around the world kept frozen samples and maybe the Soviets sold some of their own samples along with their nuclear stuff to the highest bidders.

And maybe there has been some other nefarious distribution of smallpox virus.

Last week I read that the US government is stockpiling smallpox vaccine for this "eradicated" disease.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Flu immunizations in adults have recently been reported to have a very low percentage of effectiveness, the older the adult, the lower the percentage.

"...interestingly, one of the theories to account for the recent rise in the proportion of children suffering from asthma and other allergic conditions is that, having been immunized against all the common childhood infectious diseases, their immune systems have not developed as Nature “intended”)."

I think there's some validity to that. And that hyper cleanliness isn't all it's cracked up to be, like using anti-bacterial soap on the skin destroys too many (good) bacteria. (Antibiotics kill some of the welcome and helpful bacteria in the intestine.)

In the 80's, I was briefly associated with a law firm that was handling a case of one manufacturer's DPT vaccine. It was the P part, pertussis, that was allegedly tied to brain damage in infants.

Have been a little vaccine wary myself ever since and think we're way over-immunizing now.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Even so, the findings suggest that a large group of elderly people, who are consistently the most vulnerable to influenza, were completely unprotected during this year's flu season."

Interesting, given all the hype that old people must get flu shots.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2282543/Flu-vaccine-protected-barely-HALF-Americans-got--percent-seniors.html
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My kids are fully immunized. My older son was in the group that had more injections than ever, because they had come up with new immunizations that hadn't yet been combined. This was also when there was still mercury in the injections, and the controversy about autism was bigger than ever. I did quite a bit of reading on the subject. If I remember correctly, the amount of mercury in the injections was significantly less than would be found in a can of tuna. They weren't giving normal, healthy children flu shots back then. They were reserved for children with asthma or other health problems.

My 90 year old father-in-law is terminally ill, and he got the flu shot this year. He caught the violent stomach flu going around anyway. It was awful. Wish there was something we could done for him to prevent the additional suffering.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What we call stomach flu has nothing to do with real influenza they try to vaccinate for. Real influenza is more rare than they want you to believe - doctors diagnose many people as having the flu who just have a really bad cold or some other virus. Studies have shown that only a very small percentage of people who get sick during 'flu season' have actual influenza.

We saw this with the phony swine flu scare. THey stopped testing anyone to see what they had actually come down with, and just put everyone down as having swine flu if the clinical symptoms were similar.

Sorry about your dad. But even if the flu shot worked perfectly, it wouldn't have prevented a stomach bug.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The crux of the immunization question revolves around the question of whether they should be forced by government or other related agency to be immunized. If people sincerely feel that they would be better off without it, why not let them make the decision. Where I live local Amish farmers were sellling unpasteurized milk to people who wanted to buy unpasterurized milk. The Obama regime sent a contingency of their FBI jack boots to raid an Amish farm at dawn and to arrest the farmers for defying the will of the almight American State.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The reason is "herd immunity".

When most of a population is vaccinated against a disease, the germs can't find enough hosts to keep spreading, even to those in the population who have not been vaccinated.

That's important with vaccines that only provide partial immunity. The flu shot is only about 60% effective against preventing flu in any one person. But give it to a whole population and you can stop the epidemic in its tracks, so no one has to worry about the flu.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What a failry tale. We would all be for vaccines if this were true! But it's not, sadly. The only real herd immunity anyway is that which comes from a community having the actual disease. There is no evidence at all that vaccines result in herd immunity. Even going by pro-vaccine standards, with the admitted vaccine failure rate, we are not at their own stated necessary percentage level of 'fully immunized' proportion of the population.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yet somehow we are all not dying like flies of all these terrible diseases that it turns out we are not all that protected from. Hmmmm. Could there be a logic problem here?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is an incorrect interpretation of the term 'herd immunity'.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No it isn't. "Herd immunity (or community immunity) describes a form of immunity that occurs when the vaccination of a significant portion of a population (or herd) provides a measure of protection for individuals who have not developed immunity." That's from Princeton U. I didn't go to school but I do immunize my cattle for just this reason, most will survive.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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