Note: The following was written by a young person, well under the age of 18 for a school assignment. She is also the artist who created the graphic. She is EXEMPT from having to declare a name here at Age of Autism. The author has tested in the top 1% of her state for both reading and math. This student would not be allowed to go to school if vaccine exemption rights were to be revoked.
Please consider the writer's tender age when commenting. Thank you.
As a mother-to-be, the question of whether to vaccinate your new baby against deadly diseases, or take the risk of them getting sick looms over you. There is pressure from your doctor, your friends, and your family to do it, even though you have heard otherwise. Finally, you have made up your mind; you want to protect your child and everyone who they interact with. You vaccinate your newborn.
Three years later, your fully-verbal, bright, and cheery toddler gets their MMR shot. You wouldn’t want them to get measles, mumps, or rubella, now would you? You try to bear their shrieks as the doctor injects your squealing child. Twenty-four hours later, you notice something: your child is acting strangely. They don’t laugh or smile anymore. They won’t make eye contact. They don’t have an appetite. They have stopped talking.
What could it be? What could have caused your child to regress so dramatically, and suddenly? Then it hits you: it was the vaccine. How could you have done this to such an innocent child? Your child? You get a blood test done, the vaccine didn’t even immunize your child. It did more harm than good. You vow to never vaccinate them again.
Ten more years later and the state has the audacity to propose a bill that mandates vaccines. This isn’t right. You know that people should be able to choose what is right for their child.
This is a reality of many parents across the United States today. Legislation has been, and is currently being proposed to take away the choice around vaccinating their children. As you can imagine, taking away this choice has angered many parents across the nation. The concept of vaccines is based on that of natural immunity: when you get a disease, you won’t get it again because your body knows how to fight it. Vaccinations are injections that expose one’s immune system to a virus. This activates one’s immune system, creating a memory of that virus, but not actually getting them sick. Then, when the virus actually attacks, the body is theoretically immune to it.
Two point five percent of the United States’ children are exempt from one or more vaccines, and one percent of children across the country have never been vaccinated at all, but citizens, and governments alike seek to shrink this number. Proponents of vaccine mandates argue that everyone should be vaccinated to protect the community as a whole, and that the benefit of the immunization outweighs the risk of the vaccine. While some people believe that vaccinations should be mandatory, people should actually have the right to make an informed decision about vaccinating their child because the theory of artificial herd immunity is fraudulent, the government shouldn’t have control over such personal choices, and vaccines are not indisputably safe.
Initially, vaccines should not be mandated because the concept of artificial herd immunity is a falsity. Although some would say that everyone should be vaccinated to “protect the herd” for the “greater good”, herd immunity from vaccines has never actually been proven. The concept of herd immunity is that if a certain majority of the population has been immunized against the disease, then the rest of the population would be protected.
This, however, has only been conceptualized, never actually documented, with vaccines. One article from the informational online publication, The Vaccine Reaction,explains that Dr. Arthur W. Hedrich, a health officer in Chicago, Illinois was the first to document the idea of herd immunity. “He observed that, ‘during 1900-1930, outbreaks of measles in Boston, MA appeared to be suppressed when 68 percent of the children contracted the virus.’ Later in the 1930s, Hedrich observed that after 55 percent of the child population in Baltimore, MD contracted measles the rest of the city’s population appeared to be immune to the disease.” Furthermore, another article from that website describes, “Numerous outbreaks of pertussis have occurred in the U.S. in recent years in communities where 80 to 90 percent of those infected had been vaccinated. The theory of herd immunity, as it relates to vaccinated populations, has been repeatedly shown to be false.”
These instances prove that herd immunity supposedly provided by vaccines doesn’t work. Dr. Hedrich initially conceptualized herd immunity before the widespread use of vaccines. He observed that this natural phenomenon worked when, at maximum, sixty-eight percent of the population had contracted the disease. Only sixty-eight percent. Currently, mandating vaccines for the two point five percent of the population who dare to question vaccines would be pointless, according to Hedrich. With the largely recognized 90-95% of the population being vaccinated for herd immunity to work, the country as a whole should be safe. So, why should more mandates beimplemented if the immunization rate for the country has already exceeded both the initial conceptualization, and the current threshold? Furthermore, natural herd immunity was observed regarding the measles.
How can this observation of the natural spread of one virus logically be applied to artificial immunity against so many other communicable diseases? Moreover, vaccines do not always provide immunity to a singular vaccinated person. As The Vaccine Reaction mentions, those who have been vaccinated are still able to get the disease that they have been supposedly immunized against, depending on how their body reacts to it. If vaccines can’t keep one person immunized against an illness, then how would they prevent an outbreak from unleashing on an already mostly vaccinated population? In sum, vaccination mandates would not actually protect those who can’t get vaccinated, but they would infringe on personal freedoms.
Moving on, vaccine mandates put very personal choices into the hands of the government. Expounding, each person’s body is completely and drastically unique. Although the opposition would argue that the government knows best, as this is a “public safety issue”, each person knows their body and their children’s body better than any government could. The government cannot possibly know what is better for you or your children than you can. "If the State can tag, track down and force citizens against their will to be injected with biological products of known and unknown toxicity today, there will be no limit on which individual freedoms the State can take away in the name of the greater good tomorrow." Says National Vaccine Information Center President, Barbara Loe Fisher. To continue, Colorado’s Democratic governor, Jared Polis, states, “It’s important that parents vaccinate their children, but you can’t do that at the point of a gun. When the government tries to force parents to do this, it creates distrust in both vaccinations and distrust in government.”
Books such as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, George Orwell’s 1984, and Lois Lowry’s The Giverexemplify possible situations in which the government has total control over people’s bodies and minds. Unlike the brainwashed citizens in these fictional dystopias, people today are still capable of individual thoughts. As Fisher and Polis mention, too much control does not solve the problem, it creates more of them. People today are expected to blindly put their faith in the government, however, the protagonists of these novels are the ones who question society, the ones who decide it is best to make personal choices for themselves. Citizens today should retain the right to make personal choices and look into the safety of what goes in their bodies.
Last, but most definitely not least, vaccines are not unequivocally safe. Despite the popular opinion that there is little to no risk when getting vaccinated, vaccines do pose risks. For instance, there are many commonly cited side effects of numerous vaccines. The Human Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) has, to date, paid over $4 billion in compensation to thousands of people for vaccine injuries. Additionally, not all of the ingredients -- or vaccines, for that matter -- have been safety tested. It is not even possible to test all ingredients and vaccines for safety and effectiveness. HRSA cites all of the filed vaccine injuries on their website. Common injuries include everything from pain at the injection site and fainting to more extreme reactions like anaphylaxis, encephalopathy, and Guillain-Barré Syndrome, some of which can’t be cured
Furthermore, David Kirby, a New York Times investigative journalist, and award-winning author, states that when only a singular vaccine ingredient and a singular vaccine have been tested, “...It is illogical to exonerate all vaccines, all vaccine ingredients, and the total US vaccine program as a whole, based solely on a handful of epidemiological studies of just one vaccine and one vaccine ingredient. It is akin to claiming that every form of animal protein is beneficial to people when all you have studied is fish.” It can be observed that vaccines, however beneficial, can and often do cause suffering, and permanent damage. Although some would argue that vaccines shouldn’t be administered to those who are allergic to the ingredients, for many, it is too late to know if they are allergic until after the damage has been done. What’s more, is that there have never been clinical or true placebo tests, as there should be. Only one ingredient, thimerosal, has been tested, and yet the general consensus is that vaccines are miraculously one-hundred percent safe, or at least safe enough.
How is it even possible, logically and scientifically, to test the safety of all vaccines when there are so many variables? To ensure the safety of vaccines about 1.6 * 1016 tests would have to be run. This number is the product of the mean number of ingredients in a given type of vaccine times the number of recommended doses of that vaccine, times that of all the other recommended vaccines administered from ages zero to eighteen. These experiments would test the safety of each ingredient, by itself, in each possible dosage of it, and its effect in relationship to each and every other ingredient. This is a simplified version of the number of tests that need to be run in order for ensured definite safety in vaccines. As soon as a double dose is administered, as soon as a different type of flu shot is developed, as soon as ONE ingredient in one vaccine changes, then most of the tests would need to be run again. This doesn’t factor in the minor biological, anatomical, and genetic discrepancies between each person either. Would the effect of a given ingredient on a 75 pound ten year-old differ from that of a 125 pound one? Some might say that the epidemiological studies prove that vaccines are safe enough, but they are merely statistical analyses. The vaccinated population, the children of the future, become the guinea pigs for the pharmaceutical industry’s “tests”.
Furthermore, the scientific method has extremely specific procedures. When conducting an experiment, one has a singular dependent variable (that which is being measured), a singular independent variable (that which is being changed on purpose), and a control group (that which remains constant). In this instance of testing vaccine safety, when there are 1.6 * 1016things that need to be measured, each relying on one another to be measured accurately, and having no control group since every body is different, how can any progress towards an accurate answer be made?
When applying this strict method to the statistical, and epidemiological studies that are often referenced, the constant group would be the unvaccinated population. If vaccines were mandated, there would be no way to test the effects of new vaccines against a control group, since the control group would be eliminated. How could safety studies be continued if the control group is eliminated, and there are too many variables to measure? How are these safety studies safely conducted when children are the test subjects? Thus, the current vaccine program is illogical and inhumane due to the lack safety testing.
To conclude, some people believe that mandating vaccinations is the right thing to do. But, the public should have the right to maintain their freedom regarding vaccinating their children because conceptual artificial herd immunity is deceptive, government doesn’t need to be so draconian, and vaccines are not guaranteed to be safe. Although, the supposed “crazy anti-vaxxers” are “anti-science”, vaccination safety, and artificial herd immunity in and of themselves have not been clinically tested, studied, or proven to an irrefutable standard. The ever tempting conformity, the becoming of blind devotees to government and to society, draws so many people so close. Yet, in literary and historical examples the questioners and the rebels are the heroes. There are few people in today’s society who are actually questioning the popular and predominant vaccine paradigm, but, paradoxically they are also the ones being shunned by society. Don’t take what you are told for granted. Be the hero of YOUR story. Question what is known because questions, not answers, are the basis of science.
- Governor Polis
- Barbara Loe Fisher
- David Kirby