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My Turn; Vaccines raise many questions; parents shouldn’t be bullied

I am deeply concerned that our individual freedom to make informed medical decisions is in jeopardy. Recently a reader found my choice to share publicly that I do not vaccinate my children “irresponsible and dangerous” (“Dubious claims in chiropractic ads,” Monitor letter, Aug. 2).

Rather than pass judgment, we should respect parents who have researched, soul-searched and even prayed to make the right decision. Too often parents are coerced, fooled or bullied into vaccinating our children by government experts, doctors and schools without proper explanation or discussion as to each vaccine’s safety or validity.

Why is the Hepatitis B shot generally administered to babies in hospitals at only 12 hours old?

This vaccine is for a blood-borne, sexually transmitted disease. Not only do most infants have little risk of contracting this disease, but the Centers for Disease Control’s own head epidemiologist stated that this vaccine has 10 times more serious reactions than other vaccines.

Why do we now vaccinate for chicken pox? Contracting chicken pox was once a rite of passage among kids, conferring a lifetime of immunity. In 1983, only 23 doses of seven vaccines were given by age 6. Today kids are pin-cushions, with the CDC recommending 49 doses of 14 different vaccines by age 6. I’d say we’re being sold unnecessary vaccines for merely inconvenient diseases.

Can we trust the studies funded by the manufacturer who stands to profit? In the seven months following licensure of Gardasil, more than 600 vaccine reactions were reported, many involving serious neurological symptoms and death. According to the National Vaccine Information Center, the HPV vaccine was studied for less than three years and didn’t include a “true placebo” in its safety trials.

No one can guarantee any vaccine’s safety for your child. Decades ago Congress created a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and special court to quietly deal with vaccine injuries and deaths. Since its 1980s inception, billions of dollars have been paid to compensate the families of vaccine-injured children.

I am not anti-vaccine; rather I am pro-health, pro-informed decision-making and pro-individual liberty. I am grateful to the health-care providers who take the time to discuss and create customized vaccine schedules. Here’s hoping that the New Hampshire Legislature gives us a conscientious objection option in the future. A great place to start educating yourself is at NVIC.org.

(Stephanie Foisy Mills is clinic director at Crossroads Chiropractic & Crossroads Chiropractic Lakeside.)

Here is a link to one article that contains a lot of other links to vaccine studies relevant to this issue: http://www.medicaldaily.com/autism-and-vaccines-fears-persist-despite-overwhelming-evidence-mmr-vaccine-safe-251333

Comments that stereotype the motives or beliefs of any individual or group, i.e., chiropractors, are not worth the paper they’re not written on. But similarly unhelpful are chiropractors seeking to identify resistance or skepticism to allopathic vaccination as being necessarily associated with their discipline. However, there is one philosophical divide between fairly well-defined opposing scientific camps: between allopathic medicine and homeopathic medicine. Each has support in “Medical Science fundamentally informed by scientific method.” That is a matter of law, because under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938, the FDA, since its inception, has included among substances deeemed acceptable for sale as medicines those listed in homeopathy’s official compendia, the United States Pharmacopeia-National Formulary and the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States, the latter being a list of homeopathic remedies first published by the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1897 and now published and maintained by the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States, an independent body. Neither form of medicine is “immune” from controversy cocnerning the science used to support their vast arrays of medicines. Human patients are best-served by an open mind and critical thinking.

Dr. Foisy Mills states she is "..not anti vaccine.." but in her ad she claims that her daughters "...have never been vaccinated." This is because "I have more faith in the human body than most." Sounds like she is very much against vaccines. If everyone felt that way, we'd be back to the days of iron lungs, male sterility due to mumps, and many pregnant women giving birth to rubella affected babies (or miscarrying) Here is an interesting viewpoint about the trend to avoid vaccines: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/08/14/rich_kids_and_vaccination_is_not_vaccinating_your_child_a_new_status_symbol.html Apparently it is a weird type of status symbol.

I hope some medical professionals weigh in on this topic, which for parents of newborns and young children is a serious one. However, those who choose not to vaccinate for the most common childhood diseases (such as chicken pox) are increasing the risk of their child getting the disease, and getting the disease can be much worse than the vaccine. It also increases the likelihood of spreading chicken pox to others--pregnant women, those with compromised or weakened immune systems. Those who chose not vaccinate are essentially free-riders on the wider population that does have immunity via vaccines to many once-common diseases. If the % of people without immunity/vaccination to a particular disease falls dramatically in a community, that community is more likely to see an outbreak of illness. Several such outbreaks have occurred recently in different parts of the country, and are believed due to reduced vaccination rates.

Permitting yourself or your child to be vaccinated is essentially playing Russian Roulette with you or your child’s health. On the other hand, refusing to permit yourself or your child to be vaccinated is essentially playing Russian Roulette with the public’s health. That Hobson’s choice is why state law specifically provides for conscientious objection to child vaccinations. In exercising that choice, information is critical. The information provided by DawnC and Ms. Mills is supported by source citations; the purported information provided by you, Mr. Currie, is not, making yours the more hysterical and less reasonable commentary. To make informed choices, health consumers need reason, not hysteria.

Exactly. "To make informed choices, health consumers need reason, not hysteria." http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/varicella-vaccination-program-success/ http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/13/opinion/13herbert.html http://www.immunizationinfo.org/science/decline-chickenpox-deaths http://www.immunizationinfo.org/science/impact-varicella-vaccination-program http://www.immunizationinfo.org/science/chickenpox-and-life-threatening-infections http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130313095258.htmhttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130401075241.htm http://www.cdc.gov/chickenpox/ http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2011/07/25/how-does-chickenpox-kill/ http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/a-look-at-each-vaccine/varicella-chickenpox-vaccine.html

Chiropractic famously holds to an anti-immunization stance, and has been consistently criticized by healthcare professionals for such typically unscientific doctrine. And this is what it really comes down to in terms of fundamental life choices for commitment and belief. To make informed choices, we must discover and decide upon just what informs us. In such cases as these will we choose Medical Science fundamentally informed by scientific method, or cultish alternatives insisted upon by simple assertion of such as joint dysfunction requiring manipulation as pretty much the sole cause of disease? Gosh, I might not convince everyone in this particular set of posts, and I'm not out to dramatically alter free choice in law, but I will nonetheless close with a link to what I consider a reasonable general introduction to the point of view I have in mind: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiropractic

Stephanie Foisy Mills and the Concord Monitor deserve a standing ovation. I never questioned vaccines until my baby and I were injured by them in 2007. I suffered from permanent partial hearing loss from a rubella vaccine and he suffered from high-pitched screaming (encephalitis), cellulitis, seizures, and so much more from his DTaP, HIB, and IPV vaccines. I cannot tell you the nightmare that my family has endured to recover him from his injuries. He had extensive damage to his central nervous system. I became so angry that every symptom that we experienced was listed as a potential side effect to the shots we were given! It was that same year that I realized there were 3 other victims in my family - to include one death. Yes, the website Stephanie cites is wonderful. You can also google "Vaccine package insert" to see the side effects listed. Lastly, be sure to read "Fear of the Invisible" by Janine Roberts and "Vaccine Safety Manual" by Neil Z. Miller to further educate yourself. You simply cannot argue the hundreds of government sources cited in these books.

Note to monitor. Having An advertisement for the business of the letter writer on the same page opens doors to all sorts of questions.

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