4 comments to “For a More Nuanced Discussion of Vaccine Safety”

  1. ken hudson

    good points raised here! Tribal groupthink among liberals: “people who raise questions are ignorant science-deniers” while corresponding conservative mantra: “vaccines are all a globalist-illuminati conspiracy”…what’s urgently needed is a lot more openmindedness plus sympathy for the afflicted minority who suffer in order that the majority may thrive. Real lives are at stake. Just because “only” a few suffer devastating consequences of public health programs, does not mean they should be held up to ridicule and be considered outcasts. Nor should the obvious widespread benefits of public health policies be cynically discounted by paranoid rightwing fearmongering. Nuanced discussion on this kind of emotionally charged issue (climate change is another perfect example) too often gets eclipsed by tribal/ideological agendas. And, worst of all, science gets hijacked and corrupted.

  2. Wayne Rohde

    I interviewed Sarah Bridges for my book, The Vaccine Court. Over the course of 2 interviews and several email exchanges, I have come to know a very tenacious mother who would not give up and continues to advocate for her son Porter and others who have been vaccine injured. Bravo to you Sarah. Best of luck with your new book.

  3. Allie

    Thank you for posting this. My heart breaks for what you and your family–and thousands of others– went through.

    My son had a similar reaction to yours; within an hour of his 2-month shots, he started what we later learned was a seizure reaction and encephalopathy that lasted for 4 hours. Since he got several shots, including DTP, we have no idea whether it was the DTP alone that caused the reaction, or one of the other shots, or the combination of shots.

    But when I frantically called the pediatrician’s office, the nurse insisted that I was over-reacting, and literally reprimanded me for being hysterical.

    I’ll never forget her words.

    “Vaccines don’t do that.”

    Once I started researching what vaccines can and can’t do, I learned more than I ever wanted to know.

    At this point, I can’t agree with your statement, “vaccines have helped countless millions of people.”

    The truth is, we don’t know the extent of the damage that they can do. We never even figured out the extent of the damage caused by the 1994 schedule, because it was never studied in its entirety.

    Now that it’s basically doubled since then, and vaccines are given to women in all stages of pregnancy, as well as to infants the day that they’re born, WE WILL NEVER KNOW.

    We don’t even know if they contribute to the development of cancer later in life, because that’s never been studied.

    I used to want a more nuanced discussion of vaccines.

    What I’ve learned is that we need to stop talking about “vaccines” as though they were all equally safe, effective, and necessary.

    Vaccines for influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, rotavirus, hepatitis B, human papilloma virus, meningitis, tetanus, pertussis–NONE of the current vaccines are necessary to give to infants in developed countries.
    The first 4 are not dangerous diseases.
    Rotavirus is spread via the fecal/oral route.
    Hepatitis B and hpv are spread by unprotected sex and tainted needles.
    Tetanus isn’t even contagious, and is certainly not a risk for an infant in a developed country.
    Pertussis is certainly very serious in infants–but the current vaccine does not prevent the vaccinated individual from colonizing and spreading the disease; worse, the vaccinated individual may have no symptoms at all when doing so.
    In fact, the same thing is true of diphtheria and HIB vaccines.
    RFK’s excellent cost/benefit analysis of the meningitis vaccine shows that it will cost more lives than it will save.

    That leaves polio.

    The fact is that the diagnostic criteria for polio was changed the year the vaccine was introduced; rates of “acute flaccid paralysis,” “transverse myelitis,” “aseptic meningitis,” “spinal meningitis,” and “Guillain-Barr syndrome” increased to the same extent that diagnoses of polio decreased.

    We need a close look at what the government and the vaccine industry have been doing all along.

    Start by reviewing the CBS documentary on the damage from the swine flu shot in 1976: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpmtH-cYGyg Th

    The conversation will certainly resonate with today’s parents of vaccine-injured children, who will wonder why nobody told them that this was all known 40 years ago.

    Here is a partial transcript:
    MIKE WALLACE: Did anyone ever come to you and say, “You know something, fellows, there’s the possibility of neurological damage if you get into a mass immunization program?”

    DR DAVID SENCER (DIRECTOR OF THE CDC): No

    WALLACE: No one ever did?

    DR SENCER: No

    WALLACE: Do you know Michael Hattwick?

    DR SENCER: Yes, uh-hmm.

    WALLACE: Dr Michael Hattwick directed the surveillance team for the swine flu program at the CDC. His job was to find out what possible complications could arise from taking the shot and to report his findings to those in charge. Did you know ahead of time, Dr Hattwick that there had been case reports of neurological disorders, neurological illness, apparently associated with the injection of influenza vaccine?

    DR MICHAEL HATTWICK: Absolutely

    WALLACE: You did?

    DR HATTWICK: Yes

    WALLACE: How did you know that?

    DR HATTWICK: By review of the literature.

    WALLACE: So you told your superiors – the men in charge of the swine flu immunization program – about the possibility of neurological disorders?

    DR HATTWICK: Absolutely

    WALLACE: What would you say if I told you that your superiors say that you never told them about the possibility of neurological complications?

    DR HATTWICK: That’s nonsense. I can’t believe that they would say that they did not know that there were neurological illnesses associated with influenza vaccination. That simply is not true. We did know that.

    DR SENCER: I have said that Dr Hattwick had never told me of his feelings on this subject.

    WALLACE: Then he’s lying?

    DR SENCER: I guess you would have to make that assumption.

    WALLACE: Then why does this report from your own agency, dated July 1976, list neurological complications as a possibility?

    DR SENCER: I think the consensus of the scientific community was that the evidence relating neurologic disorders to influenza immunization was such that they did not feel that this association was a real one.

    WALLACE: You didn’t feel it was necessary to tell the American people that information

    DR SENCER: I think that over the – the years we have tried to inform the American people as – as fully as possible.

    WALLACE: As part of informing Americans about the swine flu threat, Dr Sencer’s CDC also helped create the advertising to get the public to take the shot. Let me read to your from one of your own agency’s memos planning the campaign to urge Americans to take the shot. “The swine flu vaccine has been taken by many important persons,” he wrote. “Example: President Ford, Henry Kissinger, Elton John, Muhammad Ah, Mary Tyler Moore, Rudolf Nureyev, Walter Cronkite, Ralph Nader, Edward Kennedy” -etcetera, etcetera, True?

    DR SENCER: I’m not familiar with that particular piece of paper, but I do know that, at least of that group, President Ford did take the vaccination.

    WALLACE: Did you talk to these people beforehand to find out if they planned to take the shot?

    DR SENCER: I did not, no.

    WALLACE: Did anybody?

    DR SENCER: I do not know.

    WALLACE: Did you get permission to use their names in your campaign?

    DR SENCER: I do not know.

    WALLACE: Mary, did you take a swine flu shot?

    MARY TYLER MOORE: No, I did not.

    WALLACE: Did you give them permission to use your name saying that you had or were going to?

    MOORE: Absolutely not. Never did.

  4. Matthew Mabey

    This is an important societal issue that too often gets polarized into “vaccines kill kids” versus “people against vaccines kill kids.”
    It is a real-world manifestation of the classic philosophical dilemma of the man at the railroad switch. Leave the switch alone and 5 men die, move the switch an only one man dies. Which is the moral thing to do?
    I have a cousin-in-law (i.e. wife’s cousin) that suffered paralysis, indistinguishable from that produced by polio, in response to receiving the polio vaccine (they apparently now call it VAPP, but at the time the doctors told her family it couldn’t be the vaccine…). Some large number of children were certainly spared a similar fate by virtue of the public health programs that delivered the polio vaccine to her. Yet, by moving that switch, she was sentenced to life in a wheelchair.
    I tend to be a fan of the “greatest good” branch of philosophy, but I think that the zeal and enthusiasm for sparing the 5 men (at the cost of the one) is causing too little attention to figuring out ways to save some of those “1s”
    I was unaware of VICP until reading this article. It absolutely needs to be better publicized. Likewise, more effort need to go into proper reporting of vaccine related adverse events. Only then will the true costs and benefits of vaccination be generally known. Only in that way can the needs of the proverbial “5” be balanced against the needs of those that are the “1” such as Porter and my cousin.

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