No, No, No, and No!

It looks like someone over at the “daily web newspaper of the (non-existent) autism epidemic” is all worked up over people telling her the truth. In a weird blog post, an anti-vaccine activist asks 15 questions of us “vaccine bullies”. Go read them. Every answer, from me, is a resounding “NO”. The best question was number 14:

“If a parent has independently researched vaccines, possibly to a level that exceeds that of any healthcare practitioner they might see, and is confident that they have reached the best decision for their family, would you be okay with that parent exempting their children from vaccines?”

I needed a good laugh after this week. (Work gets rough as the cold and flu season picks up in the capital area.) People “doing their own research” “to a level that exceeds that of any healthcare practitioner they might see”? Please. The only way this is true is if they’re seeing a chiropractor. Continue reading

Anti-vaxxers ask, I answer

From an anti-vaccine Facebook group claiming to “cure” you of “DNA damage” allegedly caused by vaccines and to do so in 12 weeks provided you pay a $25 fee and listen to a teleconference comes this statement:

I haven’t done a ton of research my eyes have just been opened within the last year to this! One thing I did find and I found very odd on the CDC website they list some of the ingredients but at the bottom it has in italics if any person is allergic to these items they should (essentially) not get the VAX. My question to them is how do you know when your newborn baby is taken to get their VAX if they are allergic?! You don’t!!! Its also startling how much more VAX a kid gets now vs the 1980’s and how many more sicknesses there are now.

Well, I don’t work for CDC, nor do I ever want to, but, still, I’ll take a stab at the question I highlighted in bold up there…

Dear anti-vaccine activist,

First of all, let me just warn you that you are exhibiting a phenomenon called “confirmation bias”. In this bias, you only take in information that supports your already-made-up mind. If you see information that doesn’t agree with you, you attack it or blame it on Big Pharma or something. So just be warned that you sound/read ridiculously unreasonable.

That said, the answer to your question is easy. Newborn babies are not born with allergies. We develop allergies as we grow. See, babies are born with a very basic immune system, and one that has not been exposed to anything in the womb (so long as the mom didn’t catch something like rubella, a vaccine-preventable disease that causes severe malformations in newborns). We develop allergies when something like cat hair or eggs is inhaled or eaten by us and causes an immune response. The immune system then goes into “standby” against these things — these “allergens” — until the next time you encounter them. That’s when you have an anaphylactic reaction and get allergy symptoms. Some symptoms may be mild while others may be serious.

There are those of us who get over our allergies and everything is fine. The science is still out on how this happens. I got over a severe cat allergy. Some long hairs still make me sniffle, but I certainly don’t get the throat-closing reaction that I used to.

Further, you don’t get an allergic reaction to eggs if you are in the same room as an egg. Obviously, you need to ingest it. The same goes for allergies to grass; you need to inhale them. And, like with many other things in life, the dose makes the poison. You need a certain dose of allergens to trigger an allergic reaction, and that dose or “trigger point” varies from person to person.

The people who recommend vaccines know this, but they still need to warn you against possible allergic reactions because it’s the right thing to do. If you have had a previous reaction to polysorbate 80, found in ice cream, then you probably don’t want to be exposed even to the incredibly tiny amount of it in some vaccines because that tiny amount may be beyond your personal trigger point.

So, please, for the sake of your children and everyone around them, schedule an appointment with a licensed healthcare provider to talk about getting their vaccines. The many “sicknesses” you’re seeing out there have always been out there. You’re just noticing more because of, you guessed it, confirmation bias.

But there is good news. You know what sicknesses are not out there as much as they used to (or at all) because of vaccines? Sicknesses that could do this to your child:





Congenital Rubella Syndrome

But, you know what, keep on doing “your own research“, comfortable in the knowledge that vaccine campaigns around the world are keeping the above diseases away from your kids. Just don’t spread around your fears and misinformation. I don’t want to ever see another child with meningitis.