Thank you to Deirdre Imus for sharing this important article with us. Please bookmark her site Imus Environmental Health for health info you can use.
In a recent article on TIME.com, editor-at-large Jeffrey Kluger snidely compares the similarities between manmade ingredients in vaccines and those naturally occurring in bananas, blueberries, and eggs. It’s an attempt not only to be cute, but also to discredit and demean those of us who are concerned about the safety of childhood vaccines. Or as the mainstream media and others prefer to flippantly call us, “the anti-vaccine crowd” or “anti-vaxxers.”
Such terms are used purposefully and pointedly to make the other side of the argument seem illegitimate. How could the concerns of a bunch of naïve, overwrought parents compare to the scientists proclaiming the safety of vaccines?
Perhaps public health officials and elected representatives have been willfully dishonest on this issue. Maybe they should stop to think why parents are so skeptical about vaccinations in the first place. While some fears might be unfounded, others are based in reality. Maybe one child had a bad reaction to a vaccine, and they’d rather avoid this outcome for a sibling. Maybe they’re uncomfortable with the number of shots children receive at each doctor’s visit, and would prefer to spread these injections out. Or maybe they’ve heard about the possibly devastating side effects vaccines can have, and would rather not take the risk.
To start, there is a big difference between declaring something “safe” and stating there is no “evidence of harm.” That is what public health officials have claimed regarding the mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde currently present in trace amounts in childhood vaccines. But are trace amounts really “trace” when they are present in every vaccine a child receives over the course of his or her life?
There’s no promise of outright safety, because sometimes vaccines have heartbreaking consequences. If not, why would the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) exist? Through this program, any child or adult who has suffered an injury (or worse) following a vaccination can file a claim.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the VICP, also known as vaccine court, has paid out approximately $3.18 billion in compensation since 1988. This includes the 2010 case of Hannah Poling, whose family received more than $1.5 million in the first-ever court award for a vaccine-autism claim.
To my knowledge, there is no other consumer product with a court dedicated solely to adjudicating claims filed against it. Just vaccines. Just something all children in this country are basically required to get from the time they are very small and into adulthood.