Autism Watch: 2007

Pro-safe-vaccine, not anti-vaccine: There is a difference.

Posted on: August 8, 2008

I read a lot about vaccines and autism. It’s unavoidable anymore. Because it’s my job as a mom of a child with autism to stay on top of research, trends in autism, autism politics and the autism community. (It’s not a choice in my eyes; everyone can do what I do, it’s a matter of priority.) I have my feelings on vaccines, and that is plainly that there are too many parents out there who have seen their child literally change within hours of receiving a vaccine. People can say that correlation isn’t causation or that there’s no ‘proof,’ (though reading about Simpsonwood or RFK Jr’s Rolling Stone article might really be an eye opening experience….though I’m sure there’s some ‘proof’ or excuse as to why that won’t count) but the thousands upon thousands of parents who see change has to count for something. (And why go to the expense/time/effort to make pharmaceutical companies immune from lawsuits due to vaccine injuries? Any other industry protected from lawsuits for a product they manufacture, much less a ‘mandatory’ product?)

But, to get to my point. There is a contingency out there who is anti-vaccine, and probably won’t get them no matter how safe they’re made or what changes occur in their ingredients/schedule. And many of them will do so for reasons entirely unrelated to autism. The rest of us are pretty much pro-vaccine — we just want safe vaccines. That means safer ingredients — and we’re not talking necessarily about the ingredients that prevent whooping cough, polio, etc., but the other ingredients, the things that can easily be changed. It makes no sense that there’s opposition to removing aluminum, formaldehyde, and other nasties from vaccines if it won’t decrease the efficacy. (Oh, that’s right, money!) Instead, people would rather focus on calling us names and trying to argue our point than actually looking at the ingredients and looking at ways to appease both sides of the vaccine controversy. We also want to break up the schedule a bit so our children’s bodies and immune systems aren’t expected to handle so much at once. There are ways to do this, and the fact it’s being so hotly argued should make people wonder. It’s an easy request, why not consider it?

In my reading, I see where a lot of people write about us as though we’re some small fringe group of people providing misinformation. Fact is, there are such vast amounts of people who are behind this, it’s not going to just go away. And if misleading information is a concern, there should be equal concern about why the real facts about vaccine side effects aren’t more readily available — bigger print, not buried in medical jargon, or not omitted from commercials. The Gardasil vaccine in particular comes to mind. Oh, and that ‘necessary’ flu shot that still contains thimerasol.

And now Amanda Peet has jumped into the fray. Why? She’s just like any other parent who chooses to vaccinate, except she’s got some celebrity status and is using it to tell us to ignore celebrities. So what do people do? Listen to her? What a paradox, so hypocritical yet really clever! It’s amazing that, like other celebrities who speak up with absolutely no experience about what they speak, suddenly they are experts who attempt tell us what to do…when their real career is in pretending to be someone. Hmmmmmm. Too bad when she says to listen to doctors that those shows that air her ridiculous commentary don’t name some other reknown doctors who believe that vaccines need to be changed, that toxins in our environment contribute to autism, and that the “1 in 10,000″ children at risk for side-effects or whatever is simply too much. 

One thing to consider is that those who speak out so adamantly in favor of vaccines, many of them are heavily involved with the vaccine industry, so if conflict of interest is a concern, look in that direction. If I’m selling a product, of course I’m going to try and make it sound good or it’ll affect my bank balance. (And those of us who want safer vaccines get nothing from it other than safer vaccines, so it’s important to keep in mind the motivation.) Some people who hang out with the celebrities or doctors who encourage vaccines as they stand today have close relationships with the pharmaceutical people. Check it out, it’s rather surprising.

In the end, safer vaccines aren’t going to help our kids that already have autism. For some reason, that fact is frequently overlooked. We want our grandchildren’s generation to experience only decreasing cases of autism. We want babies soon to come to be protected against deadly diseases but not to also have to deal with learning disabilities, autism, seizures, or whatever else can happen from too much garbage injected into small undeveloped bodies.

If vaccines work, unvaccinated people aren’t going to hurt the vaccinated at all. Another important thing to remember. This “herd immunity” thing is thrown around like some big league word when in reality, following along with the herd means doing what everyone else does. No, thanks.

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7 Responses to "Pro-safe-vaccine, not anti-vaccine: There is a difference."

Well said.
The “other side” loves to call us anti-vax, and if we correct them and say we’re pro-safe-vax they essentially call us liars. I think because it works more nicely for them to lump us with anti-vaxers and tell us we’re causing problems that will get their kids sick.

Well, I have to say that after reading this you’ve gotten my attention. I’m going to look up more on this topic. Thanks!

The truth is, there has been an increase in the number of parents that refuse to vaccinate their children.

In part because of misinformation even though
since 2001, with the exception of some influenza (flu) vaccines, thimerosal has NOT been used as a preservative in routinely recommended childhood vaccines.

I agree with the pro-safe vaccine stance, unfortunately there has indeed been a fringe which has set out to demonize the pharm industry (not an innocent entity BTW for plenty of reasons) and have committed a grave disservice to parents as a result of their misplaced efforts.

I have long thought there was a genetic component in all of this and I am happy to see some research progress finally being made on this front which is where the emphasis should be IMO.

Hello! Glad to have you visit my blog! I did want to clarify one thing though — it’s commonly misunderstood that thimerasol hasn’t been used since 2001. However, what actually happened is that manufacturing of further vaccines with thimerasol didn’t occur (except the flu shot, which still has it) on the same level, but the existing vaccines were still in use for years, up until around 2004. Many more children got those vaccines than people would know. If people want to, they can get the lot number out of their files and look it up to check if they got one of the ‘old’ batches, or a new one without it. Still, read ingredients to see if ‘trace’ is listed for thimerasol as ingredient. A “trace” still adds up.

I do agree there is a genetic component, but I believe that toxins (be that a vaccine, the environment, whatever) ‘push the child over the edge,’ so to speak. If the industry itself isn’t going to represent the facts clearly, it’s up to us parents to do so. It’s a disservice on all our behalf in only one side of the facts are presented, with the thimerasol issue being only one part of it that’s clearly still misunderstood.

I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

Oh, Thanks! Really interesting. Big ups!

Read the patient insert. H1N1 vaccine contains thimersol. a small number is apparently being made without it. Bet you will never see a scientific study comparing any side effects between the two so why bother to mfg one w/out it in the first place?

[...] of the key talking points of the anti-vaccine movement is to repeat the claim, “I’m not ‘anti-vaccine.’” Indeed, one of Jenny McCarthy’s favorite refrains has been “I’m [...]

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