You may have noticed that vaccine debates are dominating the news right now.
The headlines are blaring:
“Wife of White House communications director pushes false anti-vaccination claims”(CNN)
“Facebook may hide anti-vaxx posts after it’s accused of spreading fake health news” (USA Today)
“The Measles Debate: Why some are strongly for, or against, vaccinating their children” (KAVL)
In several states, including Colorado, Washington, and Oregon, some lawmakers are proposing bills to take away a family’s right to medical freedom.
They want to outlaw non-medical exemptions to vaccines.
The justification for abolishing this anti-parent hysteria goes something like this:
“I, your lawmaker, must protect ‘innocent’ children from you, their parents, and your ‘stupid’ choices. I know better than you do. Your concerns about vaccines are all ‘nonsense.’ But even if they were valid, I wouldn’t care less. I should be the judge of your family’s medical decisions, not you. Your vaccine and other medical decisions are best made in the state legislature, under my direction, not in the privacy of your doctor’s office.”
That’s the anti-parent mainstream media narrative in a nutshell: Parents who don’t vaccinate are “stupid,” concerns about vaccine safety are “nonsense,” and no one has an ulterior motive in vilifying parents and dismissing vaccine safety concerns.
Furthermore, children who are unvaccinated are “in danger.”
And, OH MY GOD, these children are also a “danger” to others.
The journalists writing these articles against medical freedom and against parents, for the most part, aren’t fact checking.
They’re not interested in science.
They aren’t taking the time to consider whether what they’re being told is actually true.
Instead of reporting on the facts, spending even just half an hour reading the current science, and presenting the attack on medical freedom in a fair and balanced way, the mainstream media foments anti-parent hysteria.
It doesn’t matter that over 250 doctors and research scientists have called for an independent vaccine safety commission.
It doesn’t matter that our autism rates are rising and not a single mainstream doctor has a clue about why but every mainstream doctor knows it cannot be related to vaccination.
(Spoiler #1: this is a logical fallacy. Spoiler #2: we’ve known for over a decade that vaccines can and do cause autism.)
It doesn’t matter that hundreds of pro-vaccine pediatricians are concerned we are giving too many vaccines too soon.
Or that there is an organization, Physicians for Informed Consent, made up of thousands of doctors who believe we must provide informed consent and protect medical freedom.
The science might not matter to most journalists, but it does matter to me.
So let’s take a closer look: Are parents who decide not to vaccinate their children really stupid, misinformed, or misguided?
What about parents who decide simply not to do one vaccine, like rotavirus or chickenpox, are they stupid too?
It turns out that parents who don’t vaccinate their children at all are actually more affluent and better educated than parents who do.
You won’t see that fact reported in the media.
But that’s what this 2004 study that surveyed over 150,000 children published in the peer-reviewed journal Pediatrics found.
It also turns out that people who have objections to vaccines show greater analytical thinking.
You won’t see that fact reported in the media.
But that’s what this 2016 study published in the peer-reviewed journal Vaccine found.
Vaccine safety advocates back up their concerns with science, while those justifying vaccination make fear-based arguments.
Here are five more scientific concerns about vaccines that should make you think twice about abolishing medical freedom:
- Giving a flu vaccine every year seems to make the vaccine less effective, according to this Canadian study.
- A child vaccinated against pertussis can harbor the illness and spread it to others, The pertussis vaccine fails to prevent colonization or transmission of the disease, according to this research.
- There are serious scientific concerns about the cumulative totals of aluminum, a known neurotoxin present in several vaccines as an adjuvant, that children are being exposed to. Because aluminum is biopersistent, it may be “insidiously unsafe” for some children.
- Doctors and researchers are themselves concerned that the timing of the vaccination schedule is not evidence based. Unfortunately this debate is behind a paywall. In this article in the BMJ, one of the most respected and credible peer-reviewed medical journals, doctors are eager to talk about why the current schedule may not be safe and what we can do to fix it.
- Several studies, including this one and this one, suggest that vaccinated children may actually be less healthy than their unvaccinated peers. These studies tend to be small-scale and not well designed. Vaccine safety activists have been asking the CDC for two decades now to do a well-designed study with a statistically significant group of completely vaccinated children versus completely unvaccinated children. A study like this (which could definitively put fears to rest if the current program is indeed safe or give us the direction we need to fix it if it is not) has never been conducted.
But it’s not just that we’re ignoring the facts.
The mainstream media categorizes parents who make careful and judicious choices about which vaccines they give to their children as “anti-vaccine.”
Since when did being in favor of safety equate to being anti anything?
I champion the safe and judicious use of antibiotics.
Does that make me anti-antibiotic?
I believe in safe car seats.
Does that make me anti-car?
As anyone who’s ever had a baby knows, there’s tremendous pressure on all parents to vaccinate their children against every disease on the CDC schedule at the age the CDC recommends.
And these days it seems that the majority of parents who are choosing not to vaccinate are parents who started out completely in favor of vaccines. Like this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one.
These parents are people who did vaccinate, and even continued to vaccinate, often for quite some time, even as they saw their children’s health spiral downwards after every doctor’s visit.
They saw it with their own eyes. In spite of their belief in the safety, necessity, and efficacy of vaccines, their children were getting sick after getting vaccines.
They followed their doctor’s orders, often to the letter.
I interviewed a mom whose son was diagnosed with autism. She was such a rule follower that she made sure to take him to the doctor on the same day he was born. He was born on March 15. So she scheduled each well baby visit for the 15th of the month.
What changed for these “pro-vaccine” parents? They saw their child become debilitated with autism, autoimmune issues, or other health challenges.
So when their next child came along they chose to do fewer vaccines.
Or perhaps they stopped altogether.
Does that sound like being “anti-vaccine” to you?
To me it sounds like being a smart parent who makes evidence-based decisions about a child’s health.
Why is this so hard for people to understand? Are you saying to yourself right now, “My child was fine. My child didn’t have a reaction to vaccines.”
Thank goodness your child was fine. (Mine were too.) That should make you even more sympathetic to children who have been harmed by vaccines.
In the same way that some children will not be able to tolerate antibiotics, some children cannot tolerate vaccines.
We need to approach the vaccine debate without anti-parent hysteria.
We need to be curious, open-minded, interested, observant, and scientific in our approach to these issues.
And we need to understand that one size never fits all when it comes to medical intervention and medical treatment.
Let’s trade out the anti-parent hysteria for some pro-parent compassion.
If you believe that you should have the right to make medical decisions in the privacy of a doctor’s office, please join the fight for medical freedom in your state.
These laws will bar your child from public school, private school, and even daycare if you decide to forgo even just one vaccine.
Which means if you want to do all the vaccines but decide against the HPV vaccine for your nine year old, your child will not legally be able to attend school.
It’s not about being for or against vaccines.
It’s about preserving religious and philosophical freedom.
And respecting a parent’s right to choose.
Readers, what do you think? Do you think families should be forced into compliance with the CDC vaccine schedule or do you believe in medical freedom? Do you think the mainstream media is doing a good job covering the vaccine debates, the measles cases, and the concerns about medical freedom or do you think they’re fomenting anti-parent hysteria? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Stay tuned: We’ll be posting more about the vaccine debate this week and next, so check back soon. We’ll be sharing a letter a smart parent wrote to her legislator urging him to protect her family’s medical freedom and also talking about the four-month old baby who died last week, just a few hours after being vaccinated.