In the pro- vs. anti- vaccine debate, the “pro” side often accuses the “anti” side of being anti-science. In my observations from the sidelines, nothing could be further from the truth.
What is science but asking questions? Isn’t that the very foundation of the scientific method? The vast majority of non-vaxers that I have had the privilege of interacting with have spent countless hours asking questions and searching for the answers. Of course, they can’t pursue the scientific method themselves in the sense of performing experiments and observing responses when it comes to vaccines, so they are left with sorting through the piles of evidence left behind by other scientists of the past and present.
Science doesn’t mean accepting someone’s word for it. Science means asking questions and not resting until you get reliable answers. Following are some of the questions many moms and dads (and medical experts and yes, even scientists) have had about vaccines. Some of them don’t even have answers yet. Some of them (OK, most of them) have multiple answers that conflict – you have to think analytically and critically to figure out which answer is the right one and who is lying and/or misrepresenting information. (No easy task!) Some of the questions overlap; some of them look at the same issue from a slightly different angle.
And…. each of these questions must be asked about each vaccine. (You can see why the majority of non-vaxers have spent a great deal of time and even money getting to the bottom of these questions in the process of making their decisions.)
If you haven’t personally taken the time to carefully and methodically study BOTH SIDES of the vaccine debate as I have, I would encourage you to do so. I’ve spent many many years studying this issue, many many hours of studying both the Pro and Con sides. In order to truly achieve FULLY INFORMED CONSENT, studying both sides/ALL sides of the controversial debate about vaccines is a must, regardless of how many hours of study it will take.
- Are they safe?
- What are they made of?
- How are they made?
- What are the FDA recommended doses/limits of each ingredient contained in the vaccine?
- How does the body respond to the injection of these ingredients into the bloodstream?
- Is it more or less dangerous for toxic ingredients to be injected into the blood vs. natural exposure to the same ingredients?
- What sort of safety testing do vaccines undergo?
- Are any double-blind placebo tests conducted on the vaccines?
- Has the entire vaccine schedule been tested for safety (double-blind placebo) as it is given?
- Have the vaccines been tested on children the age and size to which they are administered?
- What are the potential side effects of each vaccine according to the manufacturer?
- How often do the side effects occur?
- What is the result of injecting foreign DNA into the body?
- What is the risk of other contaminants (foreign matter, unintended bacteria or viruses, etc.) entering the vaccines?
- Are some people more at risk for developing side effects or adverse reactions than others? If so, how do you determine who is?
- Are infants and small children more at risk than adults?
- How many people have died from vaccines?
- Given that all medical procedures and treatments carry a risk, however slight, what recourse do you have if you or your child is injured by a vaccine?
- Can vaccine manufacturers be sued in a court of law if their product injures, maims, or kills an individual?
- What causes infectious illness?
- How does it spread?
- How can the spread of illness be prevented?
- Is there any way to boost your immune system to help it fight off disease?
- Is a vaccine the most reliable and effective method of preventing the spread of illness?
- When did we first begin to see a decline of infectious diseases in this country?
- How did the introduction of vaccines affect the rate of decline, if at all?
- Are under-developed countries at a greater risk of developing infectious disease and experiencing epidemics? If so, why?
- How exactly does a vaccine work in your body to prevent disease?
- Does the vaccine assist the immune system’s natural method of preventing disease?
- How exactly does the immune system work anyway?
- How is the immune system of an infant designed to work and how does it differ from that of an older child or adult?
- Is an infant’s immune system capable of responding to a vaccine in the way it was intended?
- Does a vaccine confer immunity in every case and with every one?
- How can you be sure your vaccine was effective for you?
- What do antibodies mean?
- Does the presence of antibodies always indicate immunity?
- Which immunity is more effective: natural (from the wild virus or bacteria) or vaccine-induced?
- How long does immunity from a vaccine last?
- How long does natural immunity last?
- Is there any way to guarantee you will not contract and/or spread a disease?
- According to CDC and WHO, vaccines are responsible for eradicating smallpox. Were other factors involved? Why haven’t other diseases been eradicated by vaccines? Will they ever be?
- How did the diagnostic criteria of polio change after the vaccine was introduced?
- How were typhoid fever and tuberculosis virtually eliminated in the United States?
- What is herd immunity?
- What is the basis for the theory of herd immunity?
- Who coined the term herd immunity and what was meant by it?
- Does the concept of herd immunity apply to natural immunity or vaccine-induced immunity?
- What is the threshold where herd immunity is said to have been achieved and how has that number changed?
- Have we achieved that threshold?
- Can vaccine-induced immunity ever create herd immunity if the immunity is known to wane following the shot?
- In what percentage of people does the vaccine not “take”?
- Given that some people will not receive immunity from their shot no matter how often they receive it, that a few people can not receive shots for medical reasons, and that immunity wanes at various rates in various people and with various vaccines (and therefore many older children and adults are effectively unvaccinated) is vaccine-driven herd immunity even achievable?
- Can vaccinated people carry the disease for which they are vaccinated?
- Do unvaccinated people automatically carry the diseases for which most are vaccinated?
Disease & Mortality
- What is the rate of mortality in the diseases for which we vaccinate?
- Of the diseases for which we vaccinate, which ones have high rates of mortality and complications?
- How likely are you to recover from the disease without permanent complications?
- How does the rate of mortality differ between developed and under-developed countries?
- What is the rate of complications of the various diseases?
- How serious are the complications?
- What is the likelihood of contracting the disease in the first place, vaccination aside?
- Is there effective treatment for the disease (either medication or natural remedies)?
- How does the rate of complications and mortality of the diseases compare with the rate of complications and mortality of the vaccine itself?
Information and Conflicts of Interest
- Who is a reliable source of information regarding vaccinations?
- Do government organizations like CDC, FDA and the international WHO profit in any way from vaccinations? If so, is their information trustworthy and accurate?
- Is it true that the CDC has covered up information regarding vaccines, and/or has misrepresented facts and figures?
- Who funds the studies regarding safety and efficacy of vaccines? Is there a conflict of interest there?
- Are there any doctors, immunologists, epidemiologists, or other scientists who disagree with the current vaccination schedule?
- If so, what are their qualifications and what led them to question vaccination as it is practiced today?
- Are their concerns valid? Is their research sound?
- Where can I find unbiased research on vaccinations?
- Has anyone studied the health of the vaccinated vs. the unvaccinated? Why or why not? And if so, what were the results?
- How much education do doctors receive on the topic of immunology and vaccination?
- Do doctors learn about the ingredients in vaccines, how they interact with the immune system, the process of vaccination and how it works? If so, do they share this information with their parents when recommending vaccines?
- Do doctors receive financial kickbacks for vaccinations? If so, does this present a conflict of interest?
- Will the doctor know what to do in the event of an adverse reaction to a vaccine?
- Who has the best interests of my child at heart?
You’ll notice I didn’t link to any information sources, resources or even books about vaccines in this post. That’s intentional. Carefully consider information from any/all sources as long as you’re reading critically and asking questions as you go.
In other words, THINK. Don’t believe everything you read online, whether on a government website, a scientist’s journal, on an anti-vaccine site, or on a blog site, or by ME. Dig to the sources, carefully and methodically analyze the information you uncover and do the work necessary to make a FULLY INFORMED CHOICE for your children and family. Don’t allow anyone to just tell you what you must believe as “truth” about vaccines or any other topic. Put on your thinking cap and READ, and decide what the “facts” are for yourselves.