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Dispelling vaccination myths

by Dr. Tim Thompson

My wife and I recently had a new baby girl, Rachelle, this past January. She is the pride and joy of our life and we love her dearly. Like all new parents we were told at two months of age that she should start receiving her vaccination shots. Like most new parents we brought her to our family physician and were given a schedule of immunization.

I was always taught that vaccinations were a safe and effective way of guarding against childhood illnesses. After all, I received them as a kid, my wife did, our brothers and sisters did...why wouldn't we vaccinate our own daughter?

This was our attitude until a good friend of ours asked us to read some books and information that they had discovered. To my surprise and horror I learned that vaccinations are not the "be all to end all" that they are cracked up to be. I would like to share some of this information with parents and soon-to-be parents so that at the very least you can make a more informed decision about vaccinating your children in the future.

There are a lot of myths about vaccinations. I don't have the space to go through them all, but I would like to touch on a few.

Myth #1: "Vaccines are completely safe...

Each year the FDA receives about 11,000 reports of adverse reactions to vaccines. About 1 percent of these results in death. This figure in itself is alarming, however it is just the tip of the iceberg. The FDA estimates that only 10 percent of adverse reactions are even reported.

What this means is that some of the vaccines that you are immunizing your children against may be more lethal than the illness you are trying to protect them against. For instance, many health care experts seriously question the use of the Pertussis vaccine (the 'P' in the DTP vaccine we give our children). The chances of an adverse reaction to the vaccine is 1 in 1,750 while the chances of contracting pertussis is well over 1 in 100,000. Even if contracted, pertussis is almost always easy for the body to recover from. In fact, the recovery rate is over 99.8 percent. When an outbreak occurred in 1993, hundreds were infected. However, a disease expert from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital said, "The disease was very mild, no one died, and no one even went to the intensive care unit."

When I learned that some of the vaccines that are being given to our kids contain formaldehyde (a known cancer causing agent), ethylene glycol (antifreeze), phenol (used in disinfectants)...I was shocked. How can this be safe?

Myth #2: "The childhood diseases that vaccines protect you against are all extremely dangerous...

This is simply not true. Many childhood infectious diseases have few serious consequences in today's modern world and yet we are still vaccinating our kids against them. For example, the new chicken pox vaccine will immunize your child against chicken pox for approximately 10 years. If effective, it will postpone the child's vulnerability until adulthood, when death from the disease is 20 times more likely. Not only are most infectious diseases rarely dangerous, but they can actually play a vital role in the development of a strong, healthy immune system. Artificial immunity gained from a vaccine is simply not as effective as true immunity that the body develops when it is naturally exposed to something. This is why it is necessary to receive "booster" shots in order to continue immunity into our adult years.

I am just scratching the surface here. My point is not to tell anyone whether or not to vaccinate, but rather, with the utmost urgency, to point out some very good reasons why everyone should investigate the issue before submitting to the procedure. Your health is always your decision, you are the one that has to live with the decisions that you make. The more informed you are, the better your decisions.

. Dr. Tim Thompson can be contacted at Fodor Chiropractic, 1101 Tacoma Ave. in Sunnyside, or by calling 839-5656.

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