I’ve addressed herd immunity here:
https://informed.health.blog/2019/04/10/herd-immunity/ If you haven’t read it yet, please do, because this builds on that.

In the past few years, it has become an actual moral duty to vaccinate. People who choose not to are vilified in no uncertain terms and blamed for the future return of smallpox and polio, every measles outbreak (even this one:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23264672 ), and are becoming discriminated against in very real ways, (the Orthodox Jewish community in Rockland County, NY, for example [1]). We should all do our duty, stop being selfish and ignorant, and just vaccinate our kids. For “herd immunity”. For “the weak, or too young among us who cannot be vaccinated.” To protect them from (16 or less since they’re not all contagious) vaccine-preventable diseases.

Let’s pretend herd immunity is a reality. That getting vaccinated is worth it to protect the weakest among us. The first question, then is, who are the weakest? Is it the immunocompromised? We all get a picture of a bald child with cancer, on chemo, and the visceral response is to want to protect that child at all cost. It’s a good response. Let’s keep those feelings but also look at the facts. Is it children with autoimmune disorders that are on immune suppressing drugs for life? What about someone that’s already been injured by a vaccine? That very small minority that can’t seem to deal with vaccines and have a bad reaction. Like endless seizures, being paralyzed from the waist down, or SSPE?

California is an excellent example of where this is headed and I believe it exposes the motives behind making it a moral issue/discriminating against unvaccinated children.

SB-277 was passed in 2015 [2]. It’s a bill removing all vaccine exemptions except medical. No personal belief or religious belief exemptions. Only the “injury exemption” which is what the medical exemption is. In my opinion, that would be far too late if it were my child. For example, a young girl with severe seizures caused by vaccines as diagnosed by her doctor was one who qualified. She is now growing out of the seizures and they are happening less and less. Or, a young boy diagnosed with transverse myelitis (permanently paralyzed from the waist down) because of vaccines was granted a medical exemption. Both of these parents got exemptions for the rest of their children from fear that they would also be so harmed. In the passing of SB-277, they were promised over and over that doctors would have full reign in making these decisions, that they would, in fact, be encouraged to do so, if there was a medical reason to believe the child would be harmed. But for uninjured children, parents had the choice of vaccinating, moving, or homeschooling. Since then, there have been multiple bills stomped out that tried to get into the homes of homeschoolers. One was “in case of fire”, another was to pass out diapers, but all included the stipulation that your home could be searched by the government to make sure you weren’t neglecting your children, as defined by them. Not vaccinating is considered neglect by many, many people. But they’re not stopping there.

Now, promises are being broken only 4 years later, and a new bill is being passed (here are some doctors’ opinion of the bill:
https://aapsonline.org/re-sb-276-the-elimination-of-physicians-right-to-determine-medical-exemptions-for-vaccines/ ) which will take the power to medically exempt away from doctors, and put it into the hands of the health department. It will be some person looking at a stack of papers, checking boxes. It might be someone who has never seen another person in the uncontrollable and damaging grip of a seizure, who may never have met a paralyzed child, someone who has certainly never laid eyes on your child or can in any way care about them, and who would for sure not exempt the siblings of an injured child. A person who is not a doctor, who is most likely untrained except for in making the decision based on qualifications met. Someone who will never see the results of the decision he/she makes by denying your child a medical exemption. Someone completely devoid of relationship or accountability. A politician.

And these are the boxes they’ll be checking:

“There are very few true contraindication and precaution conditions. Only four of these conditions are generally considered to be permanent contraindications: severe (anaphylactic) allergic reaction to a vaccine component or following a prior dose of a vaccine; encephalopathy not due to another identifiable cause occurring within 7 days of pertussis vaccination; severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and a history of intussusception as contraindications to rotavirus vaccine.

Conditions considered permanent precautions to further doses of pediatric DTaP are temperature of 105°F or higher within 48 hours of a dose, collapse or shock-like state (hypotonic hyporesponsive episode) within 48 hours of a dose, persistent inconsolable crying lasting 3 or more hours occurring within 48 hours of a dose, or a seizure, with or without fever, occurring within 3 days of a dose. The occurrence of one of these events in a child following DTaP vaccine is not a precaution to later vaccination with the adolescent/adult formulation of pertussis vaccine (Tdap).” [3]

Here is a list of conditions that would previously have qualified you for a medical exemption, but do NOT anymore. You would actually qualify for a lot of these if you went by package inserts, but not by the CDC guidelines.

Encephalitis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Seizures, Brachial neuritis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (I remember this one from nursing school–it’s an allergic reaction so severe that your skin literally sloughs off, the pictures still haunt me), hypotonic/unresponsive episodes, severe nerve dysfunction, vasculitis (blood vessel inflammation), spinal cord paralysis, coma, pulmonary embolism, systemic lupus erythematosus (autoimmune disorder), severe nerve paralysis, limb paralysis, apnea (not breathing), cyanosis, thrombocytopenia purpura, multiple sclerosis, wheezing or asthma attacks, exzema, hair loss, syncope, vertigo, chronic tinnitus, facial nerve paralysis, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, permanent arthritis, Kawasaki disease, Henoch-Schanlein purpura (a very severe immune reaction that involves the skin and kidneys), panniculitis (inflammation of the subcutaneous tissues), nerve deafness in the ear, severe eye inflammation that can cause blindness, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (chronic progressive brain inflammation caused by measles or MMR), ataxia (problems with balance and walking), pneumonitis (inflammatory reaction in lungs), autoimmune arthritis, thyroiditis, blood clots in limbs….

The list goes on, but I got tired of typing. You get the gist. And where do all these conditions come from, you might ask? The vaccine package inserts under “adverse reactions”. Now, there’s no proof that vaccines cause these conditions, mind you. But there’s also no proof that they don’t. They’ve simply been reported as connected with the vaccine often enough that they’ve been forced to list them as possibilities. Very rare, of course. Just think, though, if you were able to prove to your doctor that one of these horrible things happened to your child as a result of a vaccine, even if you could convince him the vaccine did it, he would have no power to exempt your child from future vaccines. It would be completely out of his hands. The only medical professional left between you and the pharmaceutical company/government who is obviously very reluctant to allow ANY reason great enough for you to legally opt out of vaccines, is threatened to be taken away. I had always been told an egg allergy is enough to be exempt from the flu shot, but it’s actually not. You should just be sure you’re in a doctor’s office so they can resuscitate you if you die. [4] (under contraindications).

So I think we’ve established that herd immunity is for a very very precious few. A shrinking few. When pushing for this bill, people act as though doctors are passing out medical exemptions like candy and taking advantage of the system, but in reality there are 0.7% of children who have medical exemptions in CA. That’s less than 1%. A Harvard study concluded that adverse events happened in 2.6% of a population which leads us to expect around that many medical exemptions. [5] It is much below that.

In light of the very small amount actually deemed worthy of being medically exempt, the next question becomes, what is the “accepted casualty”? How many is it ethical to sacrifice for the greater good? Do vaccines cause harm? How much harm? Is it really “one in a million” as some trusted people say? Well, fortunately, there’s a system that monitors this. It’s called VAERS (vaccine adverse event reporting system). If your child has a seizure after getting a vaccine, your doctor is supposed to report it to VAERS. If your child has brain swelling and develops a high-pitched cry that goes on for hours or days shortly after receiving a vaccine, your doctor is supposed to report it to VAERS. If your child dies within 24 hours of receiving multiple vaccines, your doctor is supposed to report it to VAERS after all other causes have been ruled out.

So here are the stats for 2018:

58,381 reports, including 412 deaths, 1,237 permanent disabilities, 4,217 hospitalizations. [6] I’ve been learning to play with it and you can look up by vaccine to narrow things down, etc. It’s fascinating and horrifying, especially when you look at longer time spans and the numbers get even more astounding, even though it was only put into place in 1990. So if it’s 1 in a million, there’s 327 million people in the US as of 2018…even if we just count deaths, that’s much more than 1 in a million. If you count disabilities and injuries, it’s much MUCH more.

And it gets worse. On the VAERS website itself, under “interpreting data” it states clearly that “underreporting” is a problem with how this data is collected. There have been two studies done on VAERS itself and both have concluded that vaccine reactions are grossly underreported. Here is the one by HHS (Health and Human Services) that says it is LESS THAN 1% [7]. I’m not good at math, but those numbers suddenly look scary high to me if they are to be multiplied by 100.

So my question now is, are you okay with that? Do you think that’s safe enough? Are you okay with living in a society that willingly sacrifices (at the very least) 412 babies each year so that the rest of the children can live free of disease? And in light of this, are you okay with vaccines being mandated to those who don’t want to take that risk? What if the next death or injury is one of yours?

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/09/new-york-declares-public-health-emergency-over-measles-crisis.html
  2. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160SB277
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/genrec.html
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/vaccine_safety.htm 
  5. https://healthit.ahrq.gov/ahrq-funded-projects/electronic-support-public-health-vaccine-adverse-event-reporting-system
  6. https://vaers.hhs.gov/
  7. https://www.nvic.org/CMSTemplates/NVIC/Pdf/FDA/ahrq-vaers-report-2011.pdf

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