The Little Seed

tree hugging with style

This is a topic we have thought about a lot and posted on our blog a while back. We still believe its something that needs to b thought about and every family is different. We decided to include it here on our new website so you can discuss if you like.

Due to the recent influx of articles and passionate debate on childhood vaccinations, we thought that it was important to write a post and open up a forum for discussion.  The letter we are about to present was written by pediatrician Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP. 

We know that this is a sensitive issue for families. Whether you are for immunization or strongly against them we want you to feel safe expressing any and all thoughts on this issue.  After all, our goal at THE LITTLE SEED is to create a safe haven not only for parents and children, but to create a community for thoughts and ideas as well.

Thank you,
The Little Seed Staff


An Open Letter on Vaccinations by Dr. Jay Gordon

I don’t give a lot of vaccines.

I still give DPT vaccinations to some children, chicken pox shots to kids who haven’t been able to acquire natural immunity by age ten years or so, and I give polio vaccines very infrequently. The polio vaccines are given for what I call “emotional” reasons because my exposition of the “numbers” (2000 cases of polio out of six or seven billion people) doesn’t counteract the very strong memory of a beloved aunt or uncle who had polio in fifties or sixties. And many parents feel much more comfortable traveling to India or parts of Africa with updated polio immunity for their children and themselves. By the way, 2007-2008 statistics don’t support that discomfort, but I don’t argue much.
In 2007, there were 1314 cases of polio on the planet and 127 of them were in “endemic” countries: 873 in India, 285 in Nigeria, 41 in the Congo, 32 in Pakistan and 17 in Afghanistan.

As of July 1, 2008, halfway through the year, we’re running a similar pace with 714 cases of polio reported worldwide. Nigeria has had 353 cases, India 287.

http://www.polioeradication.org/casecount.asp (World Health Organization Site)

In 1980 I abandoned the recommended vaccine schedule. I received dozens and dozens of phone calls from moms and dads reporting that their child had received shots a couple of days ago and they were acting “a little different.” They couldn’t quite put their finger on it but their child was just not acting quite the same as before I gave the shots. They’d ask if this was okay…was it normal? Initially, as I was trained to do, I replied “yes.” After dozens and dozens and dozens of phone calls, I decided that I had better listen to these moms a lot more.

I stopped some vaccines. I delayed others.

No, I am not “anti-vaccination.”

I am aware of the public health implications of completely abandoning our current vaccine schedule, and I certainly don’t advocate that. What I really want is an honest discussion of the risks and benefits of each vaccine and combinations of vaccines for your child. Just your child. My experience is that many parents don’t have the opportunity to discuss these concepts and these details with their doctors.

Some vaccination problems are completely verifiable and a strategy of delaying vaccines is, in some small way, supported by this recent article:

Delay in diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus vaccination is associated with a reduced risk of childhood asthma.
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Mar;121(3):626-31. Epub 2008 Jan 18.

When it comes to your children and vaccines, we can and must do better.

Your newborn receives a vaccine against a disease he can’t possibly contract in the he first year of life, hepatitis B, because our campaign to vaccinate high-risk groups failed. There has been a large decrease in the number of cases—and therefore serious complications—of hepatitis B since we started vaccinating newborns. But I still believe that the risks to each individual baby far outweigh the benefits in a family where mom’s Hep B status is known.

The combination of vaccines given at two months of age is not anywhere near as safe as it could if the vaccines were given separately, the aluminum were removed and if the vaccines were given at a later age.

Now, when you discuss this topic with your pediatrician, he or she will clobber my ideas and me. So be it. I have watched children getting or not getting vaccines for thirty years. I won’t publish my data because I have none suitable for “peer review.” I can tell you that my very strong impression is that children with the fewest vaccines, or no vaccines at all, get sick less frequently and are healthier in general. I truly believe they also develop less autism and other “persistent developmental delays.”

I know that children still get meningitis and they certainly can get whooping cough. (The past two years have been very “good” for pertussis: 156 cases thus far in California for the year and a total of 228 in all of 2007.) I have not seen bacterial meningitis in a child in at least twenty years although I did have an eighteen-year-old contract the disease a couple years ago. He did well and suffered no consequences. I believe we’ve reached a point where a discussion must include the risk of vaccinations because the diseases are so rare. These diseases did not diminish by “magic” but because vaccines do work. Public health is an important topic and ignoring that aspect of the discussion is irresponsible.

The rarity of the diseases against which we vaccinate has caused me to look much harder at the side effects of vaccines. In what other area of medicine do we deny side effects? If I have to give you antibiotics—amoxicillin—for a urinary tract infection, for instance, I feel almost apologetic about the rash you might get, the diarrhea and the yeast infections that every woman knows about. When we give six shots to your six-week-old daughter, we tell you that, amazingly, there are no side effects. We know you’ve heard about seizures, “collapse syndrome,” autism and more, but these are all coincidences. I think that even doctors are having trouble believing that. Dr. Bernadine Healy was the director of the National Institutes of Health and is still a member of the august Institute of Medicine. Her article is worth reading. She is very unhappy with the government’s and the medical establishment’s decision to stop looking at the connection between vaccines and autism.
http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/brain-and-behavior/2008/04...

In what other area of medicine does a 180-pound man and a twelve-pound baby get the same dose of a medication, the polio vaccine, for example? Please read Dr. Bob Sears excellent article about aluminum in vaccines. There’s far, far too much and it’s a known neurotoxin.

http://www.mothering.com/articles/growing_child/vaccines/aluminum-n...

Mercury has not been removed from all vaccines. Most flu shots still contain 25 micrograms of mercury as do the tetanus boosters. This represents 30-60% of the dose a baby or child would have gotten in the “bad old days” and completely invalidates the argument that “we’ve gotten thimerosal out of shots and autism has not gone down.”

http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/thi-table.html

We must respect pregnant women who may be exposed to toxins in their food, cosmetics, flu shots, and more. We must respect babies whose immune systems should be left quiescent and natural for as long as possible so that they can develop and defend themselves. We must respect our children who should not be exposed to more environmental toxins including those in our air, our vaccines, and our water.

The Government has quietly settled over two billion dollars in vaccine injury claims and is now fighting what will be a losing battle against 5000 families who claim that the FDA and the CDC did not protect their children against doses of mercury sufficient to cause harm.

The CDC says that one out of five children have learning disabilities. I do not know why we have so many injured children now.

Let me say it again: I am not anti-vaccination.

I am proud to be going to Africa at the end of September to bring 5 million Tetanus shots to the Ivory Coast. In Africa, over 100,000 children die each year from neonatal tetanus. (In America, we average 35-40 cases per year, and the average age is sixty-one years old—a collection of older guys who probably shouldn’t be wandering around a construction site barefooted anyway!)

There are so many facets to this discussion, and they’re all important enough to merit attention from doctors, politicians, and all of us. What has led to this incredible increase in autism, ADD, Childhood and ADOL Depression, and learning disabilities, and how do we stop and reverse the trend? We need more funding and more respect for children and families. The debate over vaccines needs to move over and make way for the real research and work to begin.

Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP

Views: 91

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I have a child with Autism and I can say that he was a unique individual right out of the gate. I think there are many people who have allergic reactions to things or differences that are not noticeable until later in life when they are not matching their peers. I have always vaccinated my children. I always will. I do not believe that the vaccinations caused my son's Autism I know he was born with it. He didn't have a sucking reflex, he cried when he was held by anyone and quieted when left alone. He was different from the get go. Now the Autism part never scared me, I have always looked at it as a challenge that we as parents are going to have to face to show him how to adapt to his environment and learn how he learns in order to help him. They thing that I still have nightmare from was his Kawaski's Disease! I cleaned my rental home's carpets and within the week my two year boy at the time was laying in a hospital looking like he was going to die! I think we need to talk more about the everyday toxins we subject our children to!
All I can say is, I watched the Dateline interview special on Dr. Wakefield. And I read the following article- one of the most convincing, because of the reputaion of the Lancet. I HIGHLY recommend viewing and reading both. I have a lot more peace of mind about my decision to vaccinate my kids.

The Lancet retracts paper linking MMR vaccines and autism
By Matt Ford | Last updated February 3, 2010 9:27 AM
This week, after receiving the conclusions of a multiyear ethics investigation of UK doctor Andrew Wakefield performed by the General Medical Counsel (GMC), the editors of British medical journal The Lancet formally retracted a study which purported to find a link between the childhood MMR vaccine, gastrointestinal disease, and autism. It was published in 1998 and has been a source of controversy ever since.

When I started at Nobel Intent, I found that there were five topics that were guaranteed to cause a flame-fest to erupt in the comments: evolution, circumcision, climate change, dark matter/energy, and vaccine-autism links. While people have issues with the scientific consensus for any number of reasons, much of the problems with the final topic can be traced to Wakefield's study.

Wakefield was found to have acted unethically and conducted irresponsible research in coming to his—now thoroughly discredited—conclusions. According to Dr. Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, "It's the most appalling catalog and litany of some the most terrible behavior in any research and is therefore very clear that it has to be retracted."

In this case, the actual paper contained no conclusive evidence, merely the suggestion that bowel leakage in children with gastrointestinal problems could cause the measles vaccine to spread into other parts of the body and affect the brain, possibly resulting in autism spectrum disorders.

It was in a subsequent press conference where Wakefield stated that he believed that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines should not be given as a single shot, and instead be broken up into three shots given a year apart to reduce the chances of autism. The British media had a field day with this, and inaccurate reports spread across the pond to the US, where parents feared that the MMR vaccine could be the cause for the dramatic rise in autism cases.

As a result of Wakefield's unscientific statements and the following media frenzy, vaccination levels dropped across Britain, and outbreaks of measles—and subsequent deaths—began occurring for the first time in decades. As other scientists began looking for a link between vaccines and autism, study after study found there was none. Yet the myth persisted in the popular mind, and people latched on to the belief that vaccines that protect against deadly diseases are not safe. In 2008, after numerous studies discredited the original work, researchers sought to put it to bed once and for all; using advanced technology that was developed in the intervening 10 years, they carried out the original research again and found no link.

While science was doing what it does best, other motives for Wakefield's work came to light. In late 2006, investigative journalists in London found that Wakefield's work was paid for by a legal team that was in the process of suing vaccine manufacturers, and that this same team represented some of the children who took part in the study. New evidence that came to life in the GMC ethics review found that a year before the study was published, Wakefield himself applied for a patent for a new vaccine that would eliminate both the measles virus and treat inflammatory bowel disease.

If the direct financial conflicts weren't bad enough, the results of the GMC's probe found numerous medical ethics violations as well. The panel found that 11 children were subjected to a host of unnecessary, invasive treatments such as lumbar punctures, colonoscopies, and barium meals. Wakefield even paid his son's friends £5 each to for blood samples that were taken at his son's birthday party. Children who did not fit the strict inclusion criteria for Wakefield's work were also added to the study.

As allegations have continued to be brought into the public spotlight over the years since the publication, nine of the eleven original authors petitioned to have their names removed from it ahead of this final retraction.

It is difficult for the work to be more thoroughly discredited, but even with this retraction Wakefield's supporters still believe that a link between the MMR vaccine and autism exists, and have been offering up comments to the media despite the recent findings. This is a case where people will believe what they want to, all other evidence be damned.

The act of publishing this paper has, for over a decade now, caused people to second-guess whether the MMR vaccine—and, by extension, many other vaccines—are safe and a responsible part of medical care. Not only has this created public health issues, but it has interfered with our ability to pursue more fruitful avenues of autism research and help those who are afflicted with this condition.

The Lancet, 2010.
Oh so true!!

Mariposa Jo said:
I have a child with Autism and I can say that he was a unique individual right out of the gate. I think there are many people who have allergic reactions to things or differences that are not noticeable until later in life when they are not matching their peers. I have always vaccinated my children. I always will. I do not believe that the vaccinations caused my son's Autism I know he was born with it. He didn't have a sucking reflex, he cried when he was held by anyone and quieted when left alone. He was different from the get go. Now the Autism part never scared me, I have always looked at it as a challenge that we as parents are going to have to face to show him how to adapt to his environment and learn how he learns in order to help him. They thing that I still have nightmare from was his Kawaski's Disease! I cleaned my rental home's carpets and within the week my two year boy at the time was laying in a hospital looking like he was going to die! I think we need to talk more about the everyday toxins we subject our children to!
In light of your post I would like to start a special needs forum... will you head this up?

Let us know!

Mariposa Jo said:
I have a child with Autism and I can say that he was a unique individual right out of the gate. I think there are many people who have allergic reactions to things or differences that are not noticeable until later in life when they are not matching their peers. I have always vaccinated my children. I always will. I do not believe that the vaccinations caused my son's Autism I know he was born with it. He didn't have a sucking reflex, he cried when he was held by anyone and quieted when left alone. He was different from the get go. Now the Autism part never scared me, I have always looked at it as a challenge that we as parents are going to have to face to show him how to adapt to his environment and learn how he learns in order to help him. They thing that I still have nightmare from was his Kawaski's Disease! I cleaned my rental home's carpets and within the week my two year boy at the time was laying in a hospital looking like he was going to die! I think we need to talk more about the everyday toxins we subject our children to!
sure not a problem!

The Little Seed said:
In light of your post I would like to start a special needs forum... will you head this up?

Let us know!

Mariposa Jo said:
I have a child with Autism and I can say that he was a unique individual right out of the gate. I think there are many people who have allergic reactions to things or differences that are not noticeable until later in life when they are not matching their peers. I have always vaccinated my children. I always will. I do not believe that the vaccinations caused my son's Autism I know he was born with it. He didn't have a sucking reflex, he cried when he was held by anyone and quieted when left alone. He was different from the get go. Now the Autism part never scared me, I have always looked at it as a challenge that we as parents are going to have to face to show him how to adapt to his environment and learn how he learns in order to help him. They thing that I still have nightmare from was his Kawaski's Disease! I cleaned my rental home's carpets and within the week my two year boy at the time was laying in a hospital looking like he was going to die! I think we need to talk more about the everyday toxins we subject our children to!
I am expecting my first child in June and my husband and I have been doing LOTS of research on this topic. Right now we have come to the decision to delay vaccinations. The only vacc. the baby will get is the Vit. K shot at the hospital to help w/ blood clotting. After that we are not vaccinating until atleast 2 years of age. I will be a stay at home Mom so my child will not be going to daycare.
I have Dr. Sears book, and another great book w/ some interesting info. on each vaccine and the disease they "protect" against is The Vaccine Guide. I had strong reactions to shots when I was an infant (1980) and now there are even more additives/preservatives, etc. in each vaccine not to mention there are more given now to babies than there were when I was a child. I've been lucky enough to find a wonderful pediatrician who will go along w/ whatever I decide about vaccinations.
I do believe this is a touchy subject for many people, but I enjoy learning about the topic and hearing both sides. I respect whatever decision a parent makes for their child, afterall it is your child and no one can tell you what's right or wrong, it all comes down to personal beliefs and doing what you believe is best for YOUR child:)
I haven't done a whole lot of research on this topic, mostly because I am a nanny, so most of these decisions aren't made by me, they are made by the parents. However, I am also a graduate student in an academic field and I've heard a lot of things in the media about this. I just really want to advise people not to make choices based on one letter, one journal article, one doctor's opinion, etc. This is obviously a huge debate for a reason. Do your own research and for goodness sakes, make sure that it is peer reviewed (that means other people had to approve of the methods of data collection before the person could publish their research) - that also means that books by celebrities shouldn't be treated as the gospel - they get published because they are celebrities (sorry), and not because they are academically sound). Any study dealing with numbers of less than 200-400 cases shouldn't be taken into consideration, because there are plenty of people to study and that is a very low number. Be sure to look at the sample that the study used, specifically geographically - because especially when dealing with something like this, geography could be huge because there could be other things geographically that are causing certain reactions, diseases, diagnoses, etc. Also, be careful about words like "cause" because no study can 100% say that one thing causes another... they can only say with 99% certainty that one thing causes another, and this usually doesn't include the gazillion other factors that could come into play.

Also, if you're not getting your child vaccinated, think about the potential risks that you could be putting OTHER people's children that are under the age of 1 year old in. If your child has something because you've chosen not to vaccinate (your choice) and that child has not yet been vaccinated for it because of their age, you could potentially pass it on. It's one thing to make a choice for yourself, but it's another to push that choice on someone else. I'm not saying get your child vaccinated, I'm just saying if you're not, you should adjust your behaviour and be aware of your surroundings in making that choice so that everyone can be safe, happy and healthy.
I LOVE it when parents try to say that children who aren't vaccinated pose a threat to other children who are, really, then why did you get them vaccinated? If they are vaccinated aren't they supposed to be protected? This argument makes absolutely no sense if you really think about it. An unvaccinated child poses no threat to children who have been vaccinated.
Also there is LOTS of research out there done by Dr.'s, some of it in other countries b/c the U.S. won't fund such research, but there have been studies done in the U.S as well on the effects of vaccinations on people of all ages. Some of it very good research that was done on LARGE groups and over many years. So there is data out there available if people are willing to do their research.

Erin Cruz said:
I haven't done a whole lot of research on this topic, mostly because I am a nanny, so most of these decisions aren't made by me, they are made by the parents. However, I am also a graduate student in an academic field and I've heard a lot of things in the media about this. I just really want to advise people not to make choices based on one letter, one journal article, one doctor's opinion, etc. This is obviously a huge debate for a reason. Do your own research and for goodness sakes, make sure that it is peer reviewed (that means other people had to approve of the methods of data collection before the person could publish their research) - that also means that books by celebrities shouldn't be treated as the gospel - they get published because they are celebrities (sorry), and not because they are academically sound). Any study dealing with numbers of less than 200-400 cases shouldn't be taken into consideration, because there are plenty of people to study and that is a very low number. Be sure to look at the sample that the study used, specifically geographically - because especially when dealing with something like this, geography could be huge because there could be other things geographically that are causing certain reactions, diseases, diagnoses, etc. Also, be careful about words like "cause" because no study can 100% say that one thing causes another... they can only say with 99% certainty that one thing causes another, and this usually doesn't include the gazillion other factors that could come into play.

Also, if you're not getting your child vaccinated, think about the potential risks that you could be putting OTHER people's children that are under the age of 1 year old in. If your child has something because you've chosen not to vaccinate (your choice) and that child has not yet been vaccinated for it because of their age, you could potentially pass it on. It's one thing to make a choice for yourself, but it's another to push that choice on someone else. I'm not saying get your child vaccinated, I'm just saying if you're not, you should adjust your behaviour and be aware of your surroundings in making that choice so that everyone can be safe, happy and healthy.
Amoxicillin does not treat a urinary tract infection ;) Also, I have a thought that possibly these diseases are not as common now because our elders were vaccinated?? Science only goes so far, and then there is God. Drs are not God, they do not know everything, it is called a practice for a reason. I am not saying that Drs are not good but I am under the impression that alot of people have WAY too much trust in their Drs. Knowledge is power, do your own research, get several opinions, and understand that everything happens for a reason, some children are born with an illness, deformity, or disability, and some develop the exact ones later than birth. I don't recall reading anything about the possibility that a child could have a case because the mother was vaccinated or not, or the mother carried something with or without knowing and passed it on, or even the simple fact that sometimes it is beyond our control, even with science. While one person has been vaccinated and has great health and a great immune system, another with the same vaccinations could be sick and have a terrible immune system. It just may be possible that vaccinations are not the reasons for this ;)

As for me, and my daughter and future children we will gain through adoption, I would rather know that I have done what it takes to protect my daughter in all aspects than find out not doing so has caused her to suffer in any way.

Good luck to you all, knowledge is power

Shannon
My husband in med school just witnessed an family's three-month-old infant die because older sister wasn't vaccinated. It happens all the time.

Dawn Miller said:
I LOVE it when parents try to say that children who aren't vaccinated pose a threat to other children who are, really, then why did you get them vaccinated? If they are vaccinated aren't they supposed to be protected? This argument makes absolutely no sense if you really think about it. An unvaccinated child poses no threat to children who have been vaccinated.
Also there is LOTS of research out there done by Dr.'s, some of it in other countries b/c the U.S. won't fund such research, but there have been studies done in the U.S as well on the effects of vaccinations on people of all ages. Some of it very good research that was done on LARGE groups and over many years. So there is data out there available if people are willing to do their research.

Erin Cruz said:
I haven't done a whole lot of research on this topic, mostly because I am a nanny, so most of these decisions aren't made by me, they are made by the parents. However, I am also a graduate student in an academic field and I've heard a lot of things in the media about this. I just really want to advise people not to make choices based on one letter, one journal article, one doctor's opinion, etc. This is obviously a huge debate for a reason. Do your own research and for goodness sakes, make sure that it is peer reviewed (that means other people had to approve of the methods of data collection before the person could publish their research) - that also means that books by celebrities shouldn't be treated as the gospel - they get published because they are celebrities (sorry), and not because they are academically sound). Any study dealing with numbers of less than 200-400 cases shouldn't be taken into consideration, because there are plenty of people to study and that is a very low number. Be sure to look at the sample that the study used, specifically geographically - because especially when dealing with something like this, geography could be huge because there could be other things geographically that are causing certain reactions, diseases, diagnoses, etc. Also, be careful about words like "cause" because no study can 100% say that one thing causes another... they can only say with 99% certainty that one thing causes another, and this usually doesn't include the gazillion other factors that could come into play.

Also, if you're not getting your child vaccinated, think about the potential risks that you could be putting OTHER people's children that are under the age of 1 year old in. If your child has something because you've chosen not to vaccinate (your choice) and that child has not yet been vaccinated for it because of their age, you could potentially pass it on. It's one thing to make a choice for yourself, but it's another to push that choice on someone else. I'm not saying get your child vaccinated, I'm just saying if you're not, you should adjust your behaviour and be aware of your surroundings in making that choice so that everyone can be safe, happy and healthy.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2014   Created by The Little Seed.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service