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.)