In my previous posts on vaccinations I covered my concerns with Hep B, polio and to a smaller extent MMR. In general I believe the following illnesses to be normal parts of childhood that actually improve immune health when acquired naturally and that vaccination is pushing the diseases to older populations (see discussion on chicken pox).
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Varicella (Chicken pox)
I probably won’t talk about these much more because they are in the “duh” category for me. It is just silly to choose reactive poisons and chemicals in vaccines over non-life threatening illnesses. If you aren’t convinced about the harm of these vaccines read more information about why fighting off infection normally makes kids healthier.
So, that leaves us these “recommended” childhood vaccinations (see the nice printable list of recommended poisons and toxins here):
These are the disease/vaccines I want to cover because they are “scary” as opposed to the benign disease listed in the first section.
Let’s start with DTaP:
DTaP is a combination vaccine that includes diptheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis, the “a” is for acellular – for some truly frightening reading look up DTP and the injuries it produced before the acellular vaccine was recommended). Let’s take them one by one.
As mentioned, this is a normal childhood disease so I’m not going to spend much time on it except to say two things: (1) the chance of death from whooping cough with medical treatment is .2%, and (2) vaccination is shown to increase, by more than double, the rate of childhood asthma.
Tetanus is a bacterium whose spores are found in soil. Thus it is everywhere and you cannot ‘catch’ it from someone. In anaerobic (no oxygen) environments it creates a toxoid that is poisonous and can cause nerve damage. Tetanus is a big problem in 3rd world countries without good sanitation and access to medical facilities. In the US good wound management makes it very rare. Since tetanus is anaerobic it grows in deep and dirty wounds – often puncture or crush wounds (hence the “rusty nail” fear). In the US if a child has a puncture of crush wound, hopefully they are going to the emergency room. In any ER a person can be given a Tetanus Immunoglogulin (TIG) dose of antibodies to stop the spread of infection. Since tetanus takes 3-21 days to evolve it can be almost completely avoided by immediate medical care.
Does it sound like I’m playing with fire? How about this. From 1980 until today the average number of tetanus cases in the US per year was 40. Yeah, just 40 – I’m not missing any zeros there. And most of those were in persons over 40 (and frequently over 60 since nursing homes are a major hotbed for tetanus due to dirty conditions and bedsores) and IV drug users. Also, cases of tetanus in children under 5 years of age totaled 2 since 1989. Yeah, 2 in almost 20 years. All of this information is directly from the horses (CDC’s) mouth.
Diptheria is also a toxin producing bacterium. This is all numbers: In the 1920s 100 people per 100,000 got diptheria in the US, of these 5-10% were fatal cases. Since 1980 there are .001 cases per 100,000 and no reported deaths. It is endemic in developing countries (hygiene, clean water, etc. could this be why?) despite vaccination efforts. A diptheria anti-toxin is available from the CDC.
Side Effects of DTaP
DTaP has the usual list of yucky side effects as I’ve posted before. You can search for one of the name brands to read the package insert. One of the startling things to me is that DTaP is often THE cause of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome):
“more than two-thirds [of studied SIDS deaths] had been vaccinated with DPT prior to death. Of these, 6.5 percent died within 12 hours of vaccination; 13 percent within 24 hours; 26 percent within three days; and 37, 61, and 70 percent within one, two, and three weeks, respectively.”
Diptheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT) immunization: A potential cause of the sudden infant death. WC Torch – Neurology, 1982
Of course, these studies only prove “temporal” and not “causal” relationships. You already know how I feel about that.