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Wrap up to vaccination debate



Wrap up to vaccination debate

By Dr. Bernard Sirois

I’m going to try and wrap up our mandatory childhood vaccine discussion. I must admit that it has been way more difficult to stay objective in this conversation than I thought it would be. The strength of my convictions and my disdain for falsehoods projected as science has reached an all time high. This is again why it is such a difficult task to have an open and honest discussion of the facts. That being said, we must insist on this discussion before our well-meaning government officials once again overstep their bounds to mandate things that they know nothing about like school lunches, private health insurance and partial birth abortions.
Our final analysis will consider the point of view and basic arguments of the so-called “anti-vaxxers.” While this phrase is meant to be insulting, inflammatory and controversial by the “pro-vaxxers,” it is still considered better than the name recently coined by the same group. In recent days the label “Pro-Choice,” long associated with those in favor of abortion, instead of Pro-parental Choice, has been thrown around in order to create more disdain for those who choose not to vaccinate their children. I would just state for the record that most of us who are Pro-parental Choice when it comes to vaccines are very much Pro-Life when it comes to the rights of unborn babies. The rhetoric and confusion of attempting to combine these two issues is pathetic.
Back to our discussion. So the Pro-parental Choice folks hold to the claim that the choice to vaccinate or not is a basic civil right. Much like choosing to get a flu shot or not, to home school or not, or which church to raise your kids in or not. I don’t think I would get much argument that these decisions are no one else’s business but the parents who are making them. Many people are against home schooling. The funny thing is, none of those folks home school their children and no one is trying to make them do so. The folks that are against mandatory vaccines for their own children are not trying to take vaccines away from those parents who choose to vaccinate their children. The narrative that unvaccinated children are a threat to vaccinated children is absolutely unfounded and foolish.
The next couple arguments concern the lack of adequate safety and scientific research to validate the efficacy of mass childhood vaccination and herd immunity hypotheses. There has been some research, but no double-blind randomized studies that have become our gold standard today. We are using mostly outdated, inadequate, statistical analysis reviews of almost fifty years ago to “justify” our current vaccine schedule of 72 mandatory shots before the age of 18. You did not read that wrong. We would never allow any new medicines on the market today without the most up to date safety and scientific research to back it up. Sadly, after all that, we still take hundreds of drugs off the market each year, learning that their risks far outweigh their benefits. Of the many medicines that have been pulled from the market over the years, many have had far less harmful consequences than childhood vaccines. We discussed this at length in last week’s article.
The final two arguments of the Pro-parental Choice group concern 1) an individualʼs basic civil rights to make their own health care decisions for themselves and their children, and 2) the biomedical interventions (acceptable alternatives to vaccines) that are available today. As stated earlier, I believe it is always in our best interest to allow parents with informed consent to make their child’s health care decisions. One of the most hotly contested issues in Missouri right now is the enforcement of informed consent when it comes to childhood vaccines. I have still never met a parent of a vaccine-injured child who thought there was any risk involved in vaccinating their child before the injury occurred. They were told nothing. Informed consent, which again is our standard of care in America, by definition, is the sharing of the risks and benefits of any medical procedure so that the person can make a choice how to proceed.
Did you know there are acceptable treatments for all the childhood diseases these vaccines are allegedly being given to prevent? Did you know that in many children the vaccines do not prevent your child from getting that disease? Did you know that, barring extreme circumstances, no one dies from the measles or any of the other diseases children are being vaccinated against? Did you know that there are over 2,000 other diseases surrounding us every day that there are no vaccines for and on average we are still living into our mid 80s? Did you know that a “measles outbreak” in America may only involve 40 cases scattered over the entire country of 330 million Americans?
I hope I’ve at least stirred your curiosity over the past few weeks to become more informed about the healthcare decisions that affect you and your children. These are some of the most important decisions we make as parents. We have probably not settled this debate for now, but hopefully this discussion has opened your mind up to alternative points of view. “Accepted truth” does not always mean the actual truth. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves, whose truth are we going to believe?

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