Common Vaccine Myths
Michael Loewen RN, Church of God in Christ, Mennonite.
Vaccines cause autism
A myth fueled by Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent behavior. In 1998, he published a paper in a British medical journal claiming a link between vaccines, bowel disease, and autism. The paper gave the impression that the author had been scrupulous with his work and documenting the patients’ cases in the study, but when the details were dissected by an investigative panel, multiple discrepancies were noted. Wakefield’s study only involved 12 children, most of whom had preexisting, documented disorders before the MMR vaccine was administered. During the investigation it was discovered that Wakefield had been working together with Richard Barr, a lawyer who was hoping to bring a lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers, for two years before the paper was published. When brought under scrutiny, Wakefield’s research crumbled and was found to be fraudulent. However, it ignited a firestorm of controversy, and as a result over 1.25 million children from multiple countries, working with multiple researchers and scientists using multiple research models, funded by multiple sources, have been studied for over two decades. Absolutely no link between autism and vaccines can be found to exist. This is likely the most thoroughly disproven vaccine myth to date.
Infants’ immune systems can’t handle so many vaccines, at least not at once It is theorized that an infant could safely handle up to 100,000 vaccines given at once–we grossly underestimate the ability of the immune system to respond to antigens. Its capacity exceeds the mind’s ability to comprehend. Countless hours have been spent in determining the optimum dosage and timing for vaccination schedules in order to safely provide the maximum protection to our children when they are most at risk. Vaccines are not randomly chosen and placed on the recommended schedule; on the contrary, mountains of research give guidance as to what vaccine and when they are most effectively administered. Delaying vaccines leaves infants vulnerable to diseases without offering any benefit or advantage. Research indicates that stress hormones from the pain of getting a shot are essentially peaked after one injection, multiple injections in one visit are significantly less stressful for a child than giving one shot at a time. Natural immunity is better than vaccine-acquired immunity Some contend that an actual exposure is better than being vaccinated, but fighting off a disease like measles is such an insult to the immune system that it can become impaired and less able to fight off other infections for 2-3 years after recovery. Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis (SSPE) is a complication that can occur after an apparent recovery from measles. It is caused by the measles virus hiding out in neural tissue (much like chicken pox reappearing as shingles) and causing irreversible brain inflammation and death as long as 10 years after the initial illness. When the measles vaccine is launched in a community, there is a substantial reduction in other childhood diseases as well. Some vaccines produce a better immune response than the actual disease itself! Vaccines contain unsafe toxins
It seems like the word “Toxins” is the foundational bedrock on which the modern-day person builds his philosophy upon. The expression “Everything is poison, there is poison in everything, only the dose makes a thing not a poison” was attributed to Paracelsus, a German-Swiss physician who researched the role of chemistry in medicine in the 1500’s. Virtually any substance can be toxic if the dose is large enough. Whether or not a chemical is man-made or naturally occurring tells us nothing about its toxicity. Hydrogen is a colorless, tasteless, odorless, diatomic chemical element that is extremely flammable and explosive, yet we consume large amounts of it on a daily basis when mixed with oxygen in the form of water. The most commonly cited ingredients or additives present in vaccines that raise questions or engender fear in some are formaldehyde, aluminum, and mercury. We are inclined to have an aversion toward formaldehyde because it is the toxic chemical with which dead bodies are embalmed. The human body also produces and uses a surprising amount of formaldehyde on a daily basis as part of its metabolism. Apples, pears, bananas, grapes, potatoes, zucchini, spinach, carrots, and onions all naturally contain formaldehyde. A single pear can have 120-150 times more formaldehyde than a dose of vaccine. FDA reports that there is 50 to 70 times more formaldehyde present in an average newborn's body than in a single dose of vaccine. The trace amount of formaldehyde present in a vaccination is broken down by the infant’s body in around 2 minutes. Aluminum is the most abundant metal on earth and is found in plants, soil, water, and air. It is impossible to avoid exposure to aluminum and is found in every human at an average amount of 5-10 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. It enters the body from the food we eat, water we drink, and air we breathe. Some of the same varieties of aluminum salts found in vaccines are commonly used in our kitchens in the form of baking powder and alum used in making pickles. Aluminum salts are added in extremely small amounts as adjuvants to vaccines. An adjuvant boosts the immune response to a vaccine, making it possible to give lower quantities and fewer doses of a vaccine without reducing the effect. It is true that more aluminum contained in a vaccine enters the bloodstream if the vaccine is injected versus that same dose being swallowed. However, the amount of aluminum from the environment present in the bloodstream of every person, even infants, is so great in comparison to the amount given with vaccines that there is hardly a noticeable increase–even immediately after having a vaccination–in the base amount naturally found circulating in the body. Around half of any measurable increase of aluminum above baseline is already eliminated from the body in 24 hours. Aluminum has been safely used in vaccines for over 60 years with no known scientific evidence proving otherwise. If a baby received every recommended vaccine in the first 6 months of life, he or she would get approximately 4 milligrams of aluminum in sum total from vaccines. During the same time frame the same baby would get about 10 milligrams of aluminum if exclusively breast fed, about 40 milligrams if formula fed, and 120 milligrams if given soy-based formula. Mercury is another naturally occurring element found in the earth’s air, soil, and water. Every person has a small amount of mercury in their body. There are different forms of mercury, and the body handles each form differently. Methyl mercury is the kind of mercury most commonly encountered in the environment and tends to accumulate in the body. Some species of ocean fish are the largest contributors to methyl mercury in humans. Methyl mercury at high levels is a known health hazard and can be particularly harmful to the nervous system. The unborn child is exposed to methyl mercury through the placenta and it is also present in the mother’s milk. Methyl mercury is not used in vaccines. Ethyl mercury is another form of mercury and is used in a preservative called thimerosal found in some multi-dose vials of vaccines and other medications. The form of mercury found in thimerosal is easily eliminated via the gut and does not accumulate in the body. Thimerosal has been the subject of numerous studies to evaluate possible risks and has a long record of safe and effective use with no ill effects noted other than minor reaction at the injection site.
Out of abundance of caution because of concerns over mercury, and in an effort to improve public perception of vaccines, the U.S. Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, and American Academy of Pediatrics determined that thimerosal should be removed from all childhood vaccines. This instead led some parents to suspect that thimerosal was a cause of autism. Since 2001, vaccines in the United States no longer contain thimerosal with the exception of the flu vaccine, and thimerosal free options are available. To put toxins in perspective, consider this: 2.5 nanograms of tetanus toxoid per kilogram of body weight is enough to kill an adult. 1 nanogram is 1 billionth of a gram, or 1 million nanograms to make one milligram. There is an effective vaccine for tetanus, but no natural immunity. Better hygiene & sanitation are actually responsible for less infections, not vaccines While it is true that prior to the development of vaccines, there was a progressive decline in child mortality thanks to improvements in housing, nutrition, and sanitation, it is undeniable that vaccination has made enormous contributions towards improving human health. It is difficult to fully grasp and appreciate how vaccines have revolutionized medicine. There is no medication, lifestyle change, public health innovation, or medical procedure ever developed that has even come close to the life-saving, life-extending, and primary prevention benefits associated with vaccines. To sum it up, vaccines have been and continue to be astonishingly successful.
Vaccines aren’t worth the risk
A child is around 100 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to have a serious reaction from a vaccine. Billions of doses have been given and years of cumulative data continues to substantiate that vaccines are effective and freer from adverse effects than nearly any other medical intervention that exists. Vaccines can cause the disease they are trying to prevent Vaccines are not perfect, but they are far better regulated and exhaustively studied and tested for safety and efficacy than any other medical intervention we have—better than the antibiotics a child might take for an infection or a cast for a broken arm. In medicine, we ‘never say never’ but the chance is so exceedingly unlikely for disease to be caused or spread by vaccination that we would say that it is ‘virtually impossible’. We don’t need to vaccinate in the United States because the infection rate is so low
Successful vaccination programs are precisely why infection rates are low. Unless a disease is completely eradicated, it will make a comeback as vaccination rates fall. Vaccines contain aborted fetus tissue A few vaccines are cultured in human cell lines that originated from two legal, elective pregnancy terminations in the 1960’s. The abortions were not performed in order to create vaccines. These pregnancies were terminated because of the risks of CRS (congenital rubella syndrome), not to provide material for vaccines. The fact that some of these cells would be useful for creating a vaccine was an incidental finding. These babies were not aborted to make vaccines; in fact, no child has ever been aborted for vaccine production, and no aborted fetal tissue, or even tissue
descended from the cell tissue of an aborted child, is in the vaccine itself. Viruses need cells to grow in, just like vegetables need soil as a growth medium. Soil contains rotting organic material, fertilizer, worms, insects, fungus, bacteria, dead animal remains and manure. These are all vital and necessary elements that enrich the soil and ensure a vegetable is nourished. It would be false to suggest a carrot contained all of those things inside it, just because it needed those things to grow. Fetal cells are not an ingredient in vaccines. It is also completely and utterly untrue that babies are continually aborted and supplied for vaccine manufacture as the single source for the entire world’s vaccines using fetal cells as a growth medium are from the two abortions mentioned earlier. “As for receiving benefits from past immoralities, that is a common feature of our fallen world. Human history is filled with injustice. Acts of wrongdoing in the past regularly redound to the benefit of descendants who had no hand in the original crimes. It would be a high standard indeed if we were to require all benefits that we receive in the present to be completely free of every immorality of the past.” (Ethics & Medics, Volume 24) Diseases vaccinated for are only mild diseases It is easy to dismiss illnesses that are almost never heard of anymore.
Vaccines aren’t created for trivial diseases Herd immunity isn’t real
When a child is immunized, he or she is not the sole beneficiary. That child’s immunization is contributing to the control of disease in the population. That sheltering or protective effect is called herd immunity: a population that is highly immunized makes for a virus that cannot spread easily because it eliminates vectors for the disease to spread, providing protection to the community – or the herd – as a whole. DTP vaccine causes SIDS This belief came about because the age for sudden infant death syndrome peaks when infants are 2 to 4 months old. This coincides with the timing of the 2- and 4-month shots on the recommended vaccination schedule. Using this logic, we could also assume that eating bread causes car crashes because the majority of people involved in car crashes have probably eaten bread in the last 24 hours. Multiple studies have found no link between vaccines and SIDS.
This is a companion paper for my essay on vaccines. Much effort has been made to verify the accuracy of facts contained in this study of vaccines and vaccinations. Only sources that had strong indicators of reliability and dependability were used for the information compiled herein. Facts and figures were not selected from a sole source and used if they were not able to be verified from another reliable source. To avoid plagiarism, wherever directly quoted material was copied into this document effort was made to note that fact. If something was overlooked, it was not intentional.
References (Accessed 1 October-4 November 2019)