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Vaccinations: the Choice for a Lifetime

Written by Larry Palvesky, M.D.   
Tuesday, 07 October 2008 13:51
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…laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.

- Thomas Jefferson

The number of recommended childhood vaccinations has continued to increase over the last twenty years. Parents, health care providers, scientists, lawmakers and citizens are voicing their concerns. They are raising questions about vaccine safety, efficacy and short and long term side effects. Parents wonder about the vaccine manufacturing process and how each ingredient affects the maturing neurological and immune systems of their children. They are curious about contaminants from foreign human and animal tissues. They question how the ingredients interact with each other and whether this interaction can be harmful. They want scientific data about the accumulation and detoxification of these ingredients over time. In all of these discussions the need to protect our children and prevent serious illnesses prevails.

Parents want to know if all the vaccines are necessary and whether they need to be given simultaneously. A growing number of parents want to choose a vaccine schedule that differs from the one that is recommended. Others wonder if the recommended vaccine schedule will ever stop growing. Many want to at least have the opportunity to talk openly and safely about these issues and concerns. Most importantly, people are worried that in our haste to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases with the use of vaccines, we have done so at a grave cost to our health and the health of our children. They are asking the medical profession and pharmaceutical companies to address these concerns more seriously.

The FDA gives approval for vaccines after reviewing the safety and efficacy studies presented to them. These studies are performed by the vaccine manufacturers themselves. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) follows with a recommendation regarding vaccine dose and scheduling. The financial interests throughout this process have been questioned. There is increasing concern that these financial interests have grown to be equal to or greater than the health interests of the children who are meant to be protected. Incomes and profits may coincide with the need to report positive outcomes and conclusions from these studies. Thus, there is growing concern about the evaluation process. Parents and scientists alike are also questioning the validity of the scientific methods and the vaccine study designs. There is growing evidence that many of the conclusions and recommendations from these studies are based on belief systems and opinions of the prevailing medical paradigm and not on the foundations of proper scientific inquiry and analysis.

People who ask tough questions about vaccines have faced tremendous scrutiny. They have found that, whether or not they have dissenting views, there is little room for them to speak. Some inquiring parents have been rejected by their spouses, their parents, their doctor's offices and their friends as well as from members of their own community. Some parents have been accused of neglect and abuse and have received threats to have their children taken away from them. Some have had their children taken away. Others have been well received and respected.