A recent guest column in The Tahoe Daily News prompted a well-thought out response by Dawn Winkler. Below is an excerpt from the column, written by a Public Health official, and the response. We are pleased to see that the paper posted the response, allowing for cogent debate on the topic of vaccination safety.
Recent headlines declared, “Whooping cough cases rise dramatically,” “Measles outbreak in Orange County, worst in two decades,” and “Polio declared a global public health emergency.”
What do these diseases have in common? They can be prevented with vaccinations. Recently, however, we started seeing more people choosing not to vaccinate. Anti-vaccination celebrities and others have made emotional but unfounded claims that have fueled an increase in personal belief exemptions (PBEs) to school-aged vaccination.
For example, a significant percentage of parents still question if there is a link between vaccination and autism even though very large, well-done studies from multiple countries have answered that question with a resounding “No.”
As public health officials, parents and community members, we are very concerned about the rise in the number of people choosing not to vaccinate themselves or their children.
The reduction in disease from vaccination is undeniably one of the greatest achievements of mankind. Smallpox, which killed an estimated 300 million people in the 20th century, has been eradicated. The last case of smallpox in the U.S. was in 1949, and people have forgotten how terrible it was.
The world is 99 percent of the way to getting rid of polio, but this year it is re-emerging in countries that were previously polio-free. In the U.S., about 16,000 Americans were paralyzed every year from polio before vaccination. We should not forget that. We need to keep vaccinating until polio, like smallpox, is gone worldwide. Read the full column HERE.
Here is Dawn's response: Not So Fast.
To The Editor,
I would be remiss if I did not respond to today’s guest column titled “Vaccination key to maintaining health, fighting disease” by Ken Cutler and Robert Oldham.
Had either of them taken the time to look at actual statistics of ANY pertussis outbreak anywhere in the country over the past two decades, they would have seen that the vast majority of those diagnosed with pertussis, or whooping cough, were either fully or partially vaccinated. In fact, vaccinated children may be more likely to contract the disease according to several studies.
As for measles, this once common, beneficial childhood disease conferred lifelong immunity, something the vaccine simply does not and cannot offer. Vaccination of any kind induces what is known as temporal or humoral immunity. Not the lifelong, cell mediated immunity that is gained by either contracting or being exposed to the disease. My own grandmother, who is still alive, is one of seven children all of whom had both pertussis and measles. She actually had both diseases simultaneously.
Vaccination literally bypasses a good portion of the immune system, stimulating only half of the Th1/Th2 cell response, leaving the recipient at risk for Th2 mediated, autoimmune disorders. I highly recommend “Vaccine Illusion” by Tetyana Obukhanych, PhD (immunology) to better understand this issue. It is available as an e-book.
Dr. Cutler and Dr. Oldham state that “very large, well done studies from multiple countries have” answered the question about whether or not there is a link between vaccines and autism with a “resounding No”. I guess they have not read the now eighty-six peer reviewed, published studies that do support a link.
It is rather presumptuous to state that parents have become “complacent” with respect to vaccination simply because there are apparently increasing exemption rates. Those of us who have consciously chosen not to vaccinate our children have spent thousands of hours researching the vaccine issue in peer reviewed medical literature and have ascertained the truth for ourselves. Vaccination has nothing to do with promoting good health and everything to do with destroying it.
Parents unfamiliar with the subject need only read a product insert for any of the 49 doses of 14 vaccinations children now get by Kindergarten to realize that vaccination is tantamount to poisoning your child. Vaccination has never been proven safe, effective or necessary. Parents have the right to opt out of any and all vaccinations for their children when it comes to school and daycare entry and by excercising that right, do not assume that anyone has become “complacent”. If anything, I was “complacent” when I fully vaccinated my own daughter “on time, every time” and watched her health deteriorate until she died. Her “doctor” repeatedly assured me that she was fine despite numerous concerns. She would be nineteen years old now and her unvaccinated, incredibly healthy younger brother is now almost eighteen years old and an only child.
Vaccinations ensure chronic illness which is extremely profitable for doctors and pharmaceutical companies alike.
In Health and Liberty,
Information below not meant for publication but rather as backup documentation for the editor in the hope that they can realize most medical practitioners do not know the truth about supposed “vaccine preventable diseases” while we parents actually do. We research the issue in depth in the medical literature and by calling local health departments for actual statistics.
"The rise in pertussis doesn’t seem to be related to parents’ refusing to have their children vaccinated for fear of potential side effects. In California, pertussis rates are about the same in counties with high childhood vaccination rates and low ones. And the C.D.C. reports that pertussis immunization rates have been stable or increasing since 1992." http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/16/vaccination-is-steady-but-pertussis-is-surging/
· Children can be susceptible to pertussis even if they are completely vaccinated. http://www.inewsource.org/2011/03/28/experts-zero-in-on-waning-immunity/
· The acellular pertussis vaccine’s failure to deliver durable infection protection to children aged 7-10 years led to the 2010 California pertussis epidemic. http://www.internalmedicinenews.com/news/conference-news/infectious-diseases-society-of-america-conference/single-article/acellular-pertussis-vaccine-s-waning-immunity-caused-california-epidemic/71de9826f4.html
· The pertussis vaccine has been found to wane after only 3 years, leaving a much larger population of fully vaccinated children susceptible to pertussis than unvaccinated children. KPBS and the Watchdog Institute performed a joint investigation into the recent increasing pertussis rates in California and found the majority of cases of pertussis were occurring in fully vaccinated populations of children in the 8-12 year old age group. They went on to show that the vaccine wanes after only 3 years. http://www.kpbs.org/news/2011/sep/20/whooping-cough-vaccine-wanes-after-three-years/
In 1997, there was an oubreak of pertussis in Northern Idaho. I lived just over the border in Washington State. The outbreak spilled over into my community. I was terrified as I was not vaccinating and still researching and had a 6 month old son at the time. When the outbreak was over, I contacted the Panhandle Health District and obtained statistics and reports that were completed after both they and the CDC studied the outbreak. The CDC report states, and I quote, “the myth of vaccine refusal played no part in this outbreak”. I can scan that document and email it to you if you like