An injection of doubt is required
The effectiveness of vaccination is uncertain and its safety unproven, claims Magda Taylor
Vaccination is a procedure most parents do not question. We have all been led to believe it an absolute necessity and one of the great successes of orthodox medicine this century.
During this century, before any vaccines 'were introduced, there was a major decline in all the infectious diseases. This was due to better and less-crowded accommodation, improve nutrition and clean water. It is well-documented that mortality rates for, say, measles show a decline as high as 95 per cent before the vaccine. Obviously the measles vaccine had no role in reducing the number of deaths from measles and yet parents are constantly reminded that unless they have their children vaccinated, they are risking their child's life.
Scarlet fever was a very serious disease early this century and yet fell into major decline and has become much milder without the introduction of any vaccine.
It can be argued that vaccination programmes have reduced the number of cases of a specific disease. But this too is highly questionable since it is known that many cases of a disease get unreported, and that children's vaccination status affects GPs' diagnoses, for example, when a vaccinated child develops measles and is diagnosed as having a non-specific viral infection.
The effectiveness of vaccines is also debatable. 'Success rates are based on the false assumption that everyone is susceptible to any disease. For example, figures of up to 80 per cent effectiveness are quoted for the whooping cough vaccine. Since only a small number of children would develop the disease anyway, this would suggest the vaccination is only possibly protecting very few. In a fully vaccinated community, the vaccination would be far lower than 80 per cent effective, as a vaccination cannot be said to 'protect' a child who is already immune or protected by nature.
There are also numerous studies which show outbreaks of a particular disease in highly vaccinated communities. During the 1993 whooping cough epidemic in Cincinnati. USA. where 6,335 cases were diagnosed, vaccination records revealed that 74 per cent of the cases, in children aged 19 months to 12 years had received four or five doses of the vaccine.
Vaccines are said to trigger the body into immediately producing specific antibodies against a particular disease. It is assumed production of certain antibodies will guarantee protection. But it has been documented that individuals with high levels of these antibodies have still contracted a specific disease, while others showing low levels have not.
When people naturally contract these diseases, the immune system produces other lines of defence, before producing these specific antibodies. This 'Trojan horse' approach could act as a trauma to the immune systems of young babies, as it bypasses all the other lines of defence and enters the system without any warning. US medic Richard Moskowitz states that when the vaccine is introduced directly into the circulation, it is given free and immediate access to the major immune organs and tissues. Having gained access, elements of the vaccine can stay for prolonged periods or perhaps even permanently, and this constant presence and the body's repeated attempts to expel these foreign substances can lead to a dramatic weakening of the immune system'.
Instead of providing protection against acute disease, vaccination may drive diseases deeper into the system and cause the body to harbour a disease chronically. There may be some link between these early vaccination programmes and the increase in disabling degenerative and auto-immune diseases later in life.
Of course, it is argued that any protection is better than none and that these vaccines are very safe. But first, this ignores the fact that for most diseases there is a good chance that the majority of the community will not contract them anyway. Whereas when vaccinated, you are compelled to risk possible short or long-term effects, as well as potentially contracting the disease itself.
Second, only the most obvious and undeniable side-effects from the vaccines are ever recognised and even then it can be a long battle to have these acknowledged by the medical establishment. Many reactions go unreported as GPs are loth to admit any links between vaccination and the onset of a particular condition.
It has been accepted that the whooping cough vaccine can cause severe brain damage, so this would indicate that it has the potential to cause varying degrees of brain damage. If an eight-week-old baby experiences a bout of high-pitched screaming directly after a vaccination it could easily go unreported, even though this may indicate a small percentage of brain damage, when that same child reaches school and is diagnosed as dyslexic, will anyone think to question why this child should have developed this condition?
Ultimately, the decision whether to vaccinate or not should be based on a logical judgement of the wide spectrum of information available and not on fear, emotional blackmail and the one-sided information available at surgeries. Most GPs have only been presented with the case for vaccination and are under immense pressure to toe the official line. I would strongly urge each and every parent to consider the opposing evidence and exercise their right to an informed choice.
Magda Taylor is co-ordinator of The Informed Parent.