Related Scientific Articles. Kawai AT, Li L, Kulldorff M, Vellozzi C, et al. Absence of associations between influenza vaccines and increased risks of seizures, Guillain-Barré syndrome, encephalitis, or anaphylaxis in the 2012-2013 season external icon external icon. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2014 May;23(5):548-53.. Nordin JD, Kharbanda EO, Vazquez-Benitez G, et al. Monovalent H1N1 …
I’m going to say that again though because of the magnitude of what I’m saying.
Vaccines have changed the life expectancy of our world population.
Life expectancy is the key metric for assessing population health. Broader than the narrow metric of the infant and child mortality, which focus solely at mortality at a young age, life expectancy captures the mortality along the entire life course.It tells us the average age of death in a population.
Another thing that is important to address is adverse reactions. They happen. Do we know how often they happen? No. You want to know why? We have the VAERS reporting system, but there are no hard stops or incentives for providers or facilities to report adverse events. So, for instance, my friend contracts Guillain-Barre from a flu vaccine, there is nothing to compel the provider who is presented with this to report this event. That provider’s main concern is to treat that patient—not do more paperwork. When my son had a severe reaction to the measles vaccine I had to really push to get a note from a doctor confirming it. I had to push through the state to get a lifetime medical exemption so that the school systems did not keep telling us he had to go get vaccinated with that again, putting his life at risk of death from an allergic reaction. These are things that the general public might not do because they might not be as nerdy as me.
Which leads to the question: How can we have accurate data on adverse events with vaccines when the reporting system we have is not mandated or utilized to the extent with which it was designed? This is a study that addresses these concerns:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conduct post-licensure vaccine safety monitoring using the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a spontaneous (or passive) reporting system. …
I would encourage you to read the “What are the limitations” section of that study. It has a ton of good information and research that you can follow up on if you’d like.
So. On a personal level, there’s some unknown risk for taking a vaccine, that could be mitigated if we really knew what the numbers of reactions were. I think people who want to be educated about what they are putting in to their bodies would benefit from more transparency. But I think that most people prefer to think in binary opposites. The establishment has a more population-based agenda where this approach benefits them to create a culture where vaccine = good and non-vaccine = bad. Which leads me to a bigger point. There are two perspectives (well there are many-but I’m going to point out two) on vaccines, the personal level where we are concerned with what we are putting in our bodies, and the global level where we back up and look at percentages and evaluate the health outcomes of the population in relation to the adverse events. This is important because as an educated human evaluating the risk to my kids of getting the measles, for instance, related to our ability to recover from the disease, I might prefer that challenge that will give them natural immunity as opposed to taking a vaccine. Does everybody evaluate this way? Probably not. Fear of the unknown motivates most of our decisions with lack of information.
Placebo-Controlled Infant DTaP Trials. Sweden’s suspension of its pertussis vaccine program in 1979 meant that it was a suitable country to conduct placebo-controlled efficacy trials of acellular pertussis vaccines. 32-35 The first was a placebo-controlled trial which evaluated the two Japanese acellular pertussis vaccines in infants and estimated an efficacy after 2 doses of 69% for the 2 …
What did I do with my kids with vaccinations? I’m going to tell you but this, by no means, is a claim that this is the right way to do this. It worked for me and my family and we were fortunate. Also take into consideration that at the time, pertussis was still a live vaccine. And pertussis is a scary, life threatening disease for children. Also at the time, the chicken pox vaccine had just come out as my kids were aging out of those vaccines. Yes, I purposely exposed my kids to chicken pox at a young age. They totally remember it and think it’s pretty sketchy that their mom would purposefully get them sick, which if you recall back to the development of the first smallpox vaccine is what the dude did when he dried chicken pox pustules and had people inhaling them—well it’s a little different😜 but you get my meaning. But it’s also what we do when we take a vaccine, we are exposing our body to a pathogen so that our body can manufacture the proper defense mechanism to kill the pathogen if it reappears.
Origin of Smallpox. The origin of smallpox is unknown. Smallpox is thought to date back to the Egyptian Empire around the 3 rd century BCE (Before Common Era), based on a smallpox-like rash found on three mummies. The earliest written description of a disease that clearly resembles smallpox appeared in China in the 4 th century CE (Common Era). Early written descriptions also appeared in India …
So I waited till my kids immune systems were better developed. I controlled their environment, because I was fortunate and I could, to limit exposure to deadly viruses. I tried to evaluate each vaccine independent of the others. I spread them out so that they weren’t getting multiple vaccines so I could better isolate if there was a reaction, and I would know what they were reacting to. But I also spread them out so that their bodies were only dealing with one at a time.
The thing that bothers me about the binary opposites of this debate is that people get really emotional about either side of it instead of admitting the weaknesses of each side. This is detrimental to the process. Completely.
Ultimately, vaccines save lives. This is indisputable.
The adverse reporting system and the emotional culture of the medical community buying into the idea that all vaccines are harmless damages our ability to collect accurate data and truly measure adverse reactions.
People on both sides of this issue would do well to set aside their fear and emotional bias and be more objective in their search for the truth. This is what science is about, asking questions, evaluating data. I have sat in many classrooms that touted evidence-based science and critical thinking skills while simultaneously imbuing the fear that ‘if you believe something different you’re an idiot.’ That’s not teaching people critical thinking. That’s teaching them what they should think, instead of how to question, and how to evaluate data.
Yes, I do think our health system has a fundamental problem with money as a motivator for science and for pharmaceuticals (and everything else about healthcare delivery for that matter).
Yes, I want to limit the amount of medications I put in my body. But also yes, if I need it and if the risk is small I want to take it.
Yes, I think it may be unconstitutional for the government to require you to alter your body with a medication. But at the same time, it is important to keep you from harming others if you refuse treatment for something like tuberculosis, or in our current situation, COVID with the PPE recommendations.
If you made it this far, I commend you. Welcome to the some of the intricacies of my thought processes. 🤓🧐😂🤗🙏🏼❤️