Saturday, May 10, 2008

Vaccines - how urgently do we need them?

As people who know me, know, I am very against hard advertising of medical procedures and drugs to the public. As for vaccines, I don't know HOW I feel about them. I'm not totally against them but I feel perhaps, they are overused in our society and have become a cash cow.

Gardasil the so called HPV vaccine is being more heavily (and emotionally) advertised than many other drugs and I ask myself - why does the pharmaceutical company feel it has to spend this type of money on advertising this vaccine.

Perhaps because the side effects of the vaccine are a bit much for many people? Apparently the CDC has received thousands of complaints and some of them are serious things like serious illness and death.

Also according the ads, gardasil does NOT cover all the viruses causing HPV. According to one article I read, it only covers FOUR of the 100 some HPV viruses. That doesn't seem very many.

But another niggling doubt I have, is this business of "blaming" unvaccinated kids for the outbreaks of things like measles, AMONG vaccinated kids. We would think that if a kid was vaccinated, they would be IMMUNE to the viruses, right? I mean isn't that the idea of vaccination in the first place?

The only "excuse" I've heard is "well vaccines aren't 100 percent effective".

Well duh. If they have a measles outbreak among vaccinated kids, it seems they are a lot LESS than 100 percent effective. It seems they are not very effective at all.

This year's flu vaccine covered apparently none of the flu's going around. "OOPS" said the manufacturers.

But I've seen that the flu vaccine only seems to cover the prevailent flu about once in every 10 years. I experienced that myself when as a good girl, following my doctor's advice when I was pregnant, I took the flu vaccine that year. I still got the flu which was going around. I decided forget that vaccine and have never taken it again. So when the swine flu vaccine came around which was supposed to "protect us" from the threatened "pandemic", I skipped taking that one too. Good thing, because 40 percent of those who took it, got a serious complication from it, much worse than the flu it was supposed to protect against, like Guillan Barre or "French Polio". And the threatened pandemic like so many of the other "media crisis" never arrived.

So again, why take it especially when it's one of the vaccines that still contains mercury as a preservative?

And really I would like to hear more about how "not completely effective" these vaccines are because today's new born baby has received a bunch of vaccinations before he or she is even 3 months old. And some studies (which the pharmaceuticals have tried to discount) have found a connection between some vaccines like the MMR and autism.

Maybe there are good reasons to take vaccines but it seems that no one is talking to us - except the anti vaccine folks who have come up with some rather good reasons to say "no" to many vaccines.

And to those questioning like myself, seems that the pro vaccine folks ought to be able to answer some of my questions and doubts about vaccines if vaccines are REALLY as great as these folks are claiming.

I do remember when the Salk vaccine came out. We were shown photos of kids from the 1940's in the "iron lung" wards and sufficiently scared about polio. We were never told that modern sanitation and good medical care is all that is needed in most cases to prevent disability.

We knew a post polio guy who was a quadriplegic. One of his Dad's favorite tricks was to stick his head in the toilet where there was usually urine (Mom didn't flush the toilet after going most times). The house they lived in was more than filthy and he surely, an unwanted kid, didn't get much medical care when he GOT the disease.

But frankly I didn't know any kids in any school I went to who got polio. And my mother wisely kept us out of park swimming pools because in the 1950's they didn't know that chlorine didn't work if the water was not of an acid PH.

We just accepted that it was a "grave danger" based on the photos from the 1940's and early 1950's of the "iron lung" wards.

Later on, the Sabin vaccine came out. Our son had that but I had my doubts about it. We knew it caused a certain percentage of cases of polio because it was a "live virus" vaccine. And in the last decade, the Sabin vaccine (taken by mouth) has all but disappeared - why? Because they realized that most of the cases of polio they were seeing in the 1st world were CAUSED by the vaccine.

I do know that if a person wants to keep immune using the vaccine "system" they have to get the full compliment of vaccines every 2 years. And of course, that's something even the pharmaceuticals with heavy duty emotionally based advertising couldn't push down our throats.

But since vaccines have prevented some of us from HAVING those childhood diseases like measles and mumps and German measles which gave us a lifetime immunity, I think many folks are walking around and NOT immune to these diseases (because they are not getting vaccinated every 2 years to keep up their immunity) but in our modern sanitized society, it apparently isn't that much of a danger.

Great sell for the manufacturers, isn't it? Did anyone do the math about the profits on vaccinating babies (breast fed babies are immune and don't need vaccination because the mother's anti bodies are passed through breast milk) and lining up our kids for one time vaccinations? I suspect it even makes the diet industry profits pale by comparison.

Don't get me wrong. I am not against vaccines, but I think if they are so important as the media seems to feel, why can't those folks answer some of my questions better than "well, it's better than nothing" or "well vaccines aren't 100 percent effective". I think if they want us to take these jabs, they should give us better information than that? Unreasonable of me? So bite me! :)

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