Thursday, March 31, 2011

vaccine debate.

the recent outbreak of measles in nearby hennepin county sparked my interest in the vaccine debate.

quick read about the outbreak

working in the intensive care nursery i see the harmful effects microorganisms can have on little bodies thus i'm interested in ways to minimize and eradicate such bugs. 
i have informed hundreds of parents about the hepatitis B vaccine and given hundreds of little right legs shots.
health is my career but also my passion.
so i read and read and read.
i truly wanted to be 100% convinced of the safety of the vaccines and i made it to 98%.

however i was convinced the risk of not vaccinating it far too hazardous and the research linking autism with vaccine administration is simply absent.

the danger of the diseases that vaccines protect against well that research IS conclusive.

Andrew Wakefield started this scare with a study published in 1998 that linked the MMR vaccine and autism. This study has been found to be fraud. Wakefield was stripped of his medical license in England and doesn't have one in the United States.
fraudulent study link.

Ironically I found an article that Wakefield spoke at a Somali community meeting in Minneapolis in December 2010. this is ironic because the Somali community is where the measles outbreak in hennepin county has started. he is simply reckless.
link to Somali and Wakefield meeting

I checked out the CDCs stance on vaccines and didn't find anything too impressive and nothing worth posting.

I also looked at Jenny McCarty's website after reading this from the fraudulent study link, "Wakefield now lives in the US where he enjoys a vocal following including celebrity supporters like Jenny McCarthy
The website is packed with recommendations and even links to research. The research seems to be articles about the increased rates of autism (duh). 
Then I read ...
Hepatitis B triple series vaccine and developmental disability in US children aged 1-9 years Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry, September 2008, Carolyn Gallagher and Melody Goodman.
My first thought was woah!  Then I read it. 
The study found  evidence of an association between thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B vaccines and developmental disabilities (more about this mercrey perservitive here)
But wait!! not only is this preservative no longer used in the hepatitis b vaccine but a larger study conducted by Parker et al (that i came across as it was a reference in the Gallagher study) reviewed several studies on the same topic and found "Epidemiologic studies that support a link demonstrated significant design flaws that invalidate their conclusions"
(Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Critical Review of Published Original Data PEDIATRICS Vol. 114 No. 3 September 2004)

I got heated when I read this statement on the website: Vaccines have real documented risks and the U.S. Government knows this. Completely ignoring the much greater risk of NOT vaccinating. Let us not forget vaccines eradicated Smallpox in the 1950s and Polio from the US in 1994 (diseases that historically killed millions) Public health comes with risk. but risks worth taking as more lives are saved this way. think 1918 influenza pandemic. microorganisms are scary. real scary. and the U.S. Government knows that.

Overall I found the website misleading and a rampant of discombobulated numbers. With recommendations lacking research such as delaying vaccine administration which increases the susceptible period for chance of infection. a period where immune systems are not fully developed and have almost no defense against microorganisms; unless the babe is blessed with the passive immunity of the immunoglobilins from breast milk but even that won't stop the harmful effects of hepatitis B if contracted. 
wait to vaccinate->increase time period to contract deadly diseases. simple.
The website does quote physician's whom are on the anti vaccine band wagon. Physicians also are posted in tanning salons promoting skin cancer. Beside the point it is not one person or ten people we should examine but large valid research studies.

A few more reads to examine on your own because I'm out of breath...

The Austim-Vaccine debate: Why won't it go away  

Theoretical aspects of autism: Causes—A review. Journal of Immunotoxicology
, 2011; 8(1): 68–79

I may be out of breath but I will still chant "nana nana boo boo,  catch me if you can" to all those mean microorganism that I am protected against thanks to vaccinations :)


  1. Your mother campaigned hard for vaccines. Feeling benefits far outweighed risk. Harder today with the Internet when people enjoy selling FEAR. Keep up the good work in debunking myths and misinformation. Mom would be proud.

  2. I couldn't agree with you more. I hope everyone reads this! There was also a paper written a few years ago about the autism rates in Canada, which are just as high even though their vaccines have different preservatives. It's incredibly frustrating that people still argue that vaccines are linked to autism when there is so much contradicting research! In my special education program at WMU, there are a TON of students that argue this is true, although most of them only believe it because everyone else does. Thank God my profs have some common sense and disagree. I know it's a really frustrating debate, especially because the risks of not getting vaccinations are deadly and the risks of autism are not. Thanks for the post :) miss you!