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The Jenny McCarthy-Autism paradox

Jenny McCarthy Autism

Perhaps I titled this article wrong… paradox should be plural.

If you’re an avid Jenny McCarthy fan and have some very strong beliefs in certain things, this may upset you but I still ask that you read with an open mind.

1998

Wakefield releases a study stating ties between the MMR vaccine and Autism… not stating exactly that one causes the other, or that you should stop taking vaccines… but that’s the message that the public receives. The media doesn’t help much nor does Wakefield in subsequent interviews.

1999

Thimerosal is removed from almost all vaccines in the US, except for some flu vaccines.

As a side note… Thimerosal was never in the MMR vaccine.

May 18th 2002

Jenny McCarthy’s son, Evan, is born.

2005

Evan, 2, begins having seizures so severe that he’s repeatedly rushed to hospital emergency. – http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1968100-2,00.html

Evan is diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2.

Remember, Evan was 2 in 2005 until May.

2006

Jenny writes about her “crystal child” in Insights of an Indigo Mom: A Mother’s Awakening… in which she writes about chain smoking and cheeseburgers up until his birth at which point she changed to Hepa air filters and eating vegetarian.

I wonder why she never blamed the chain smoking and cheeseburgers… also, one would wonder why she’d write about Cystal/Indigo stories if he was diagnosed with Autism 

2007

Jenny changes her story in May, saying that he’s not really a “crystal child”, he’s actually Autistic. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenny_McCarthy#Activism_and_autism_controversy

She claimed that the MMR vaccine specifically caused his Autism… and began campaigns against Thimerosal despite the fact that it never contained Thimerosal and he was born several years after Thimerosal was removed from most vaccines.

Jenny goes on a book writing spree over the next several years, publishing several books on motherhood as well as “healing Autism”.

2008

Jenny begins her crusade against Autism, becoming a spokesperson for Generation Rescue and TACA and appearing on several radio and television programs, including Oprah. Each appearance includes endorsements for her books.

Jenny also claims that Evan has “recovered”… which isn’t the same as cured. But it doesn’t stop the media from using that word a lot in articles about her and her son.

Jenny and Jim Carrey begin a “march on Washington” to “green our vaccines”. When interviewed, Jenny claims that Evan was “undiagnosed with Autism”.
Jenny also reinforces that she is not anti-vaccine but rather for safer vaccines and spaced out schedule. An excerpt:

Don’t do more than one shot in a visit. Do you see what I’m saying? Not to not vaccinate. Space them out, ask for mercury-free. Make sure your child is not sick before you vaccinate. Your child does not have a good immune system. How is it supposed to detox the vaccine? Test your child for an immune system. Make sure they have really good glutothion. Glutothion is your body’s naturally antioxidant to detox these things.

2010

Doctors and scientists start to question McCarthy and the diagnosis that her son received, claiming that his symptoms more closely resemble Landau-Kleffner syndrome… very similar to Autism but treatable. – source http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1968100-2,00.html

Despite the possibility that he never had Autism to begin with, Jenny confirms that she’ll continue to “be the voice” for the disorder. She also begins to realize that it wasn’t really the MMR vaccine after all, stating that she just wants vaccines to be safer, rather than getting rid of them entirely.

2011

Jenny joins the Generation Rescue board in January.

Jenny speaks out in support of Wakefield, claiming “I know children regress after vaccination because it happened to my own son” and asking “Why have only 2 of the 36 shots our kids receive been looked at for their relationship to autism?”

One would wonder why there’s any need to check the other vaccines if she’s so certain it’s the MMR.

Jenny continues onward, claiming that “kids do recover from Autism” as her son did, with a gf/cf diet and vitamins. Previous articles went into more details of his treatments including “a gluten-free, casein-free diet, vitamin supplementation, detox of metals, and anti-fungals for yeast overgrowth that plagued his intestines. ”

What can we take from all of this?

Well, first, we have the fact that the blame she has shifts radically from Thimerosal (ethyl-mercury) to the MMR vaccine itself to the vaccine schedule (multiple vaccines at one time) to simply vaccines in general, asking for more research.

Secondly, she seems very conflicted about what exactly her child may actually have. First there’s crystal child/indigo mom theories, then it’s Autism and now there’s questions of Landau-Kleffner syndrome which, from what I can tell in my research, she has never actually explored.

Third, almost everything she gets involved with seems to have a heavy self promotional feel to it. Many praise her for getting into the spotlight for Autism awareness but at the same time, there are many people who believe she does it simply to get herself into the spotlight. Most notably when she recently offered to pose nude once again for Autism awareness reasons.

Finally, and this is a big one… she has become the leader of the anti-vaccine movement despite the fact that she never once said she is anti-vaccine herself…. and in fact, professed many times to wanting more research, safer schedules and “greener” vaccines.

Much like Wakefield, who had his own patent for a vaccine as partial replacement of the MMR vaccine (who would patent a vaccine if he was anti-vaccine?!?), her concerns over vaccine safety lead to hysteria and paranoia among parents who now place their children at much greater risk than they ever were before.

In my opinion

Seriously, as others have said before… stop listening to a Playboy bunny/actress for medical advice. That’s not to say that she’s not allowed to have an opinion. She is… but she’s doing the same research you are. She’s not a doctor nor a researcher.  She’s a mom just like every other mom and her opinion holds the same weight.

Also, stop putting words in her mouth that she didn’t even say. She never said she was anti-vaccine and she never told you to not vaccinate. Don’t tell me she did. Whether you hate me right now for writing all this or not, don’t assume I haven’t researched this. I have. I know she’s “pro-safety” and not “anti-vaccine.”

Lastly, and this is just my opinion… people of high influence, such as celebrities, should be very very careful about what they randomly put out there. These are our children and unless you are absolutely certain (and when it comes to vaccines, no matter what you think you know, you are NOT absolutely certain), you should not be putting fears and doubts and unproven concerns into the minds of people that could put themselves and their children at risk.

The point is, there is a chance that what you *think you know* may be wrong. There is an even bigger chance that the way people interpret what you say may be wrong.

The one clear message through this entire post, that I’d like for you to take from this is, Wakefield and McCarthy are not anti-vaccine!!!

Despite them both saying that they are for safer vaccines, they have not made it abundantly clear that they are not anti-vaccine.

Wakefield needs to stop putting out articles on studies, McCarthy needs to stop putting out articles on recovery and her own story.

What they need to do (if they insist on continuing) is write articles and do interviews that consist of nothing except them telling parents “Vaccinate your children! Do not withhold vaccinations. Vaccines save lives!” They need to explain their stance, clearly and definitively. If they are pro-safety and not anti-vaccine… then why are anti-vaccine activists praising their work?

If they have no intentions of making this clear, then they should no longer be in the media, in my opinion. Because the message they think they are sending is not the message that some parents are receiving.

This is the Jenny McCarthy paradox as I see it. On one hand, I respect her work to raise awareness. On the other hand, I despise the self promotion and her willingness to let parents continue to be anti-vaccine in her name.

Is it any wonder that people’s opinions of her are so conflicting?

Comments { 53 }

Vaccine Math

vaccine mathAs you may or may not know, I try to avoid this topic but sometimes, for the health of those that are unable to protect themselves, I feel the need to speak up.

Recently I read a news article about how the “Vaccine Mistrust Spreads To The Developing World“, where obviously a news story from a place like Afghanistan can be completely accurate or a total farce. I have no way of verifying any of it.

However, it is very concerning and down right scary to think that people would be choosing to brave Polio than take the (unfounded) risk of Autism, or any of the other associated risks of being vaccinated.

(I included a link to the Polio wikipedia page because I think it’s important to take a minute to recognize just how devastating Polio can really be)

Vaccine Math

Now, this isn’t exactly math so much as a comparison but just follow me on this for a moment:

Your options:

  1. You know that vaccines prevent X, Y and Z… and despite the fear that it may cause Autism, you get your child vaccinated.
  2. You deny vaccinations for your child and now risk contracting X, Y and Z… and despite the fear that it may cause Autism, your child could STILL be Autistic.

Summarized:

  1. Your child may become Autistic.
  2. You now risk contracting X, Y, Z and becoming Autistic PLUS you also put babies, children and others at risk of X, Y, Z that are not yet or unable to be vaccinated.

Outcomes:

  1. A child that may become impaired/disabled, with a possibility for life long dependence on a guardian/care provider.
  2. A child that may face illness, life long health issues, neurological impairment/disability, disfigurement, paralysis, death… PLUS, you also put babies, children and others at risk that are not yet or unable to be vaccinated.

The Logic

To me, the logic is pretty straight forward.

I’m not saying that I don’t recognize the rather questionable ingredients that are used… I’m not saying that vaccines couldn’t be safer.

However, to not vaccinate for fear of Autism really makes no sense to me at all. Mostly because even non-vaccinated children can be Autistic. But also because of the HUGE RISK in doing so.

And it’s not just your risk. You put others at risk as well. A baby may not be able to survive a battle with vaccine preventable illnesses… people with weakened immune systems may not be able to survive them either. They are either not yet vaccinated or unable to be vaccinated. They depend on you and I.

Safe Vaccine Advocacy

Being pro vaccine safety is entirely different than being anti-vaccine.

If you push for safer vaccines, I’ll support you. Even vaccine makers can admit that they could be safer.

Safer schedules? I’m no scientist. I can find articles arguing back and forth, from doctors no less, so I’m not in a position to say but I don’t question it so long as the vaccines are still given.

I’ve written about this before, I’ve also taken a stance earlier this year and this post is an extension of that stance.

Not saying something might mean another innocent baby being infected with whooping cough, or further measles outbreaks.

Don’t react emotionally, don’t base life and death decisions on a Youtube video. 

Do the math for yourself and ask yourself, what risks are you really avoiding and more importantly, what risks are you really taking?

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A response to: “How to claim that that there is less autism in the World.”

This is the original “note” that was posted on Facebook, I included it here in case you don’t have a facebook account or any desire to go to it there.

1. Change the DSM criteria to include Aspergers and tell everyone that the reason autism numbers have exploded is because there are more people with Autism because we are now including Aspergers .The mild forms of autism.

2. Claim it’s genetic even though there are clearly clusters of autism in certain areas. Families were there who had autism explain that they are all related and therefore it’s genetic.

3. Never study identical twins with autism and look at differences.

4. Make up thousands of names of autism but don’t call it autism.

5. Make up reasons for autism. Mom is too old, too young, too fat, too thin, too cold.

6. If you go to vaccine court and claim autism as your vaccine injury, you will lose your case.

7. If you have autism in vaccine court you must never say autism, say encephalopathy instead and if you do say autism you will lose your settlement.

8. If you go to the doctor after a vaccine and say you were injured from it then there must be some other reason for the injury.

9. If the child dies after a vaccine injury make up another name like Suddenly your infant dies. SIDS>

10 If the parent was touching the child when they die from vaccine injury send them to jail.

11. If the parent is persistent that there was a vaccine injury make up a disease so that there is something wrong with the parent. Munchhausen By Proxy or Shaken Baby Syndrome. There must be something wrong with the parent.

12. Side Effects from Vaccine Injury are normal and therefore nothing to worry about.

13. Take a lot of money to study vaccines and autism and use it to buy a house.

14. Make up pandemics once a year and give vaccines that haven’t been tested.

15 If you still get the disease that the vaccine was suppose to protect you from tell them it’s a milder form.

16. Give multiple vaccines at once so that it’s impossible to tell which one was the problem.

17. Never study vaccines together in different combinations.

18. It’s never the doctors fault or the vaccine manufacturers under any circumstances.

19 Never teach doctors about vaccine side effects.

20 . Bribe the parents to get vaccinated.

21.Bribe the doctors to their patients vaccinated.

22. Bribe the schools to get the students vaccinated.

23. Compare vaccinated vs unvaccinated but give the unvaccinated the same amount of mercury.

24. Any doctor that looks at vaccinated children and finds any link whatsoever beat him up and ruin his credibility at all costs.

25. Tell everyone that the rates of autism went down by taking out cases of Aspergers that were added back in when the rates had increased.

I have no interest in adding this person as a friend simply to reply so I’ll reply here, maybe she’ll see it and ignore it just as she would on her profile.

My responses, point by point:

  1. Dr. Allen Frances, who was the head of the group that created the DSM-IV is the man responsible for adding Aspergers into the diagnostic criteria, after which, he said: “At that point I did an ‘oops,’ ” he says. “This is a complete misunderstanding. It was distressing. Quite distressing.” He inadvertently included a very large group of people into an already growing diagnosed group of disorders called Autism Spectrum Disorder. When you add a large group to an already large group, what happens?
  2. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, autism is genetic. That doesn’t meant that there isn’t a sub group that is genetically predisposed to having their symptoms triggers or made more severe by environmental factors, such as toxins.
  3. Actually, they have studied twins that have autism. Read the results here. Hint, they found it’s genetic. Besides, if one twin has autism and the other does not yet they both had the same vaccines, what would you conclude?
  4. I don’t think they’ve made up any, but some of them have certainly come to light lately, especially with vaccine court cases. However, this claim is actually in reverse as many people were commonly diagnosed with disorders such as schizophrenia when they actually had autism. Many people were misdiagnosed with something else. Now that they are becoming more accurate, there is less schizophrenia and more diagnosed with autism. Meaning more, not less.
  5. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, I will agree with you that most of these studies are just ridiculous at this point but I would think that it goes to show that there’s more autism, not less.
  6. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, there’s a reason for that. You have to prove that the child has autism and that the vaccine specifically caused the autism. It has yet to be done.
  7. I’ll give you this one, but only as it relates to #6. Vaccines do cause injuries and if you can prove it caused or otherwise complicated a pre-existing condition, you may win.
  8. “Vaccine injury” is pretty vague here… so I’ll assume that you’re specifically talking about Autism. First, this doesn’t relate to the claim that there is less autism since the child may very well have autism. Second, again, there needs to be proof that the vaccine specifically caused the autism.
  9. SIDS isn’t new and certainly isn’t made up. Also, it happens with or without vaccines. Finally, what does this have to do with autism? If your child dies of SIDS, there’s a very good chance that your child was far too young for anyone to ever know if they had autism or not.
  10. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, please find me cases where this has happened. Does this happen often?
  11. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, you think shaken baby syndrome was made up to explain away vaccine injury? Like the last point, most likely your child was far to young to know about autism and finally, I invite you to shake your baby a whole bunch and see if they become vaccine injured.
  12. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, side effects from vaccine injury? That’s redundant. But nitpicking aside, no one ever said they’re normal. There are rare cases where children become vaccine injured. No one has ever denied it.
  13. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, I believe Wakefield could have bought a couple of houses with how much he made from lawyers during his vaccine studies. Each side has a doctor on the take. Therefore they cancel each other out.
  14. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, I’m assuming you are referring to the H1N1… which was one year. Can you name 4 others in the last 5 years?
  15. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, no one ever said you won’t still contract the disease which you were vaccinated against.
  16. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, your other points seem to have determined that it’s too many vaccines or mercury or that a vaccine in particular. And yet now it’s a mystery?
  17. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, they do all the time. Why do you think they give vaccines in certain combinations? Also there are studies, such as this one.
  18. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, you are clearly unaware of the incredible amounts of malpractice suits and in other points, you reference vaccine courts, where many people are paid through settlements. Clearly it is their fault sometimes.
  19. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, I’m pretty sure you just made this up.
  20. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, I’ve never been bribed, I wish I had been. You’d be better off with the blackmail route what with schools not accepting unvaccinated children.
  21. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, doctors are paid the same whether they vaccinate your children or not.
  22. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, if the parents are bribed and the doctors are bribed, why bribe the school? And how would that work anyway?
  23. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, there’s just so much wrong with this. You said it was vaccine overload, then it was combinations, then it was a bunch of vaccines so they can’t tell which one. Now it’s mercury which is out of just about all vaccines… actually, never was in any vaccines. Ethyl-mercury was, which is entirely different from methyl-mercury. Not that anyone would ever “give the unvaccinated the same amount”.
  24. First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world? Second, when you say “any doctor”, you mean just one doctor. Which is convenient that you think removing a man’s medical license due to his falsifying his findings and committing fraud is akin to beating him up yet the man that stole money to buy a house was much higher up on your list.. and both somehow add to the claim that there is less autism in the world?
  25. Are you now saying that #1 was actually true? What would you say it proves if Aspergers is removed and the Autism rates go down? Also, Aspergers wasn’t “taken out”, it just isn’t mentioned. Many with Aspergers would still fit the criteria, they’d just have their diagnosis changed to reflect the new “severity” levels in the DSM-V.

For the most part, this is just a big list of attacks on vaccines and really has very little to do with Autism what so ever. It has even less to do with any such claim that there is less Autism.

For each point that I started with “First, how does this add to the claim that there is less autism in the world?”, there was no relation to Autism what so ever. That’s 19 times out of 25? And that was being generous, I could have included a couple of others.

Again, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for making vaccines safer and greener and getting that risk of vaccine injury/reaction down to 0% or as close as possible. I’m also all for parents looking out for their children’s best interest as well as other children’s as well.

However, seeing notes like these just get under my skin. They don’t anger me, but they do bother me.

It’s sad that it’s gotten to the point that people not only think this way but go out of their way to take a whole bunch of vaccine hatred and aim it at Autism.

Many of the points were made up, assumed and just plain wrong. I even included links with some just to prove it.

But more so than that, my son has Autism. He was NOT vaccine injured. In fact, he never even got so much as a fever from his vaccines. You’d never even know he had any.

When you make these notes and make people hate doctors, hate people preventing deadly illnesses and even  make people hate a part of what makes my son who he is… it bothers me.

Yes, some people (children mostly) are vaccine injured. No, vaccines are not 100% safe. That’s all you need to say. Stop dragging me and my child into it.

Comments { 2 }

Autism, Vaccines, Brains, Epidemics, Genes, Wakefield – What does it all mean?

Over the last week, I’ve been tweeting and sharing story after story which only further disproves the whole undying vaccine issue. I’m not sharing them to change anyone’s minds but rather just to share the latest news. But then today, a news story was released that forced me to question whether or not I should be trying to change minds after all.

Measles Invades The U.S.

vaccinesYes, just like last years Whooping Cough story, we have a disease returning to the U.S. that was previously all but wiped out. In this story about the measles, a family decided not to vaccinate their child, took a trip to Poland to pick up another child and brought the measles back with them. Now there are over 1000 people exposed in Utah.

Great, so they decided not to vaccinate their child… is that fair to the 999 other children that are now at risk? The article doesn’t specify but it’s safe to say that some of those children are unvaccinated as well, some may be vaccinated yet still might contract it and very likely, some children are yet too young to be vaccinated… in which case, that is a very scary scenario indeed because children that are too young are at a much higher risk of severe reactions… maybe even death.

Should I be letting that family make their own decisions or should I, in good conscience, be trying to convince that family that really should have been vaccinating their child all along? Perhaps if I (rhetorically of course) had convinced them, this could have been avoided?

I’m going to share the news stories again with you right now and this time, I want to try to show you why these stories are important. Hopefully this will help someone to make the right decision and avoid another outbreak.

Early Brain Overgrowth Linked to Autism

In this study, read more here, it is discovered that children with Autism had a brain size around 10% larger than that of children without Autism. Bigger! Why is this important? Well, first, it is an identifier… anything that helps us identify Autism in children is a plus.

Secondly, if some anti-vaccine people are correct and mercury is a big part of the blame, they’d have some very big explaining to do since one of the symptoms of mercury poisoning is Microcephaly (small head). Also, it should be noted that these are symptoms of methyl-mercury… the stuff that was used in vaccines was ethyl-mercury… which has such a short half life that it’s considered nontoxic.

Children with Autism have larger brains, not smaller heads.

‘Autism Epidemic’ Challenged by UK Study

The biggest fear pill that we’re forced to swallow in every single media/news broadcast is how much the number of Autism cases has risen in the last 20 years. This study, read more here, in the UK, decided to find out if the numbers really have been rising.

Researchers picked 618 random adults (over 16) and performed an assessment on them and what they found was that around 1% of adults did in fact fall on the spectrum.

What has happened is that many people did not know they had Autism, there was no way for them to be diagnosed as children since so very little was known about it back then. And adults today, even if they still feel as though they don’t fit in, find no reason what so ever to question it nor do they see any reason in getting a diagnosis as it would serve no purpose. They’d have the piece of paper but that’s it.

If 1 in 100 people had Autism 16 years ago (remember, the people tested were over 16), and the number is still 1 in 100 right now, then that proves the lack of an ‘epidemic’.

The reason I put that in quotes is important. When I posted the story to Facebook this week, someone asked: “Doesn’t that just mean it has been an epidemic for more years and now we can actually begin to deal with it?”

The answer is no.

The definition of an epidemic: An outbreak of a disease or illness that spreads rapidly among individuals in an area or population at the same time.

Ignoring for a moment that Autism is not a disease (it’s a disorder), we can now prove that Autism does not spread nor is it increasing in numbers. Therefore Autism is most certainly not an epidemic.

What does this have to do with vaccines?

Well, 20 years ago, vaccines had thimerosal, you know, that ethyl-mercury stuff… which should mean that there would be MORE Autism 20 years ago than today since almost all of our vaccines no longer have thimerosal today. Right? We took it out 10 years ago, the number of Autism cases should have gone down.

If we rule that out, then perhaps it’s the number of vaccines given in such a short time. Which, if the epidemic theory was correct, would make sense. But now that we can show that the rate of Autism was around 1 in 100 back then, when children had less vaccines than they do now…. we must conclude that the number of vaccines is not a factor either.

The amount of vaccines have changed, the amount of Autism cases has not.

Researchers identify 18 novel and highly significant genetic markers for ASD

In this article, read more here, researchers have broken down Autism into 4 sub types, and have found 18 genetic markers (10 of which are common to 2 or more sub types) that are common in Autistics.

This is big news because it means that they’re narrowing it down. It also means that they’ve specifically determined that Autism is genetic.

Does it mean that there is no “sub type” that is not more likely to have a reaction to environmental toxins that could resemble or cause Autism? No it does not. However, it does prove that genetically, they’ve already got it… it’s just a matter of having something trigger it and when.

Let me put it another way, if a sub type is one that is classified as having Autism lie dormant until triggered by something in the environment… well then, it’s only a matter of time. If vaccines do trigger it… what’s to say that food chemicals don’t too? or acid rain? Or artificial sweetners? or car exhaust? or cigarette smoke?

You get where I’m going with this? If you’re still worried about mercury after all I’ve told you and you now see that Autism is genetic… then chances are, all those vaccines you skipped will be for nothing once your child takes their first bite of a tuna fish sandwich. There’s far more mercury in there than all the old thimerosal vaccines combined.

It’s genetic… That’s why 1 in 100 adults have it, that’s why 1 in 100 children have it. That’s why their brains are 10% larger rather than having smaller heads. This is all beginning to add up.

But Wakefield told me to be Anti-Vaccine

It may surprise you, but I am linking to Age of Autism this one time because this transcript is actually important to point out. Wakefield, the guy often blamed for the anti-vaccine movement, actually never told anyone not to vaccinate their children.

In that interview, he states:

Ralph Nader was for safer cars .. he wasn’t anti-cars.  I am not anti-vaccine .. the vaccine strategy .. the vaccine policy in this country is not safe .. the safety has never been proven.

….

The safety studies of that vaccine are largely inadequate .. not my words .. the words of an international expert .. “largely inadequate”.   The safety studies have not been done .. I’ve not said “Don’t get vaccinated”.  I strongly advocate for the use of single vaccines.

Bold was added for emphasis.

 

He’s certainly not helped in making that message clear, but it needs to be clear. Whether you believe he is an honest man or he’s a thief that lied so that he could have his own vaccine patent in place to make himself rich… it doesn’t matter. What matters is that even he thinks that you need to vaccinate your children.

Actually, let me say that again… he had a patent for his own vaccine! He simply wanted to have the MMR vaccine split up into 3 separate vaccines, one of which he had a patent for.

Why would he develop a vaccine if he wanted you to not vaccinate?

Conclusion

Whether you feel that the vaccine schedule needs changing (it doesn’t actually, but that’s another matter) or you feel that vaccines need more research or you feel that vaccines need to be ‘greener’…..  do NOT STOP vaccinating your children!!!

Seriously people, there is no way in the world that it’s “healthier” or “safer” to not vaccinate… not in a million years.

Now, I do understand that some people simply can not vaccinate… allergies, adverse reactions or what have you… medical reasons do arise that make it unsafe to do so.

But personal paranoia is not a valid excuse! You can’t risk your child’s health and safety, not to mention other children’s health and safety, based on your own unproven fears.

Get all the information in the world, take what ever safety precautions you feel you need to take but vaccines work. You were vaccinated as a child. They may have saved your life and you didn’t even know it. That’s how they work.

If you’re pro-safety or concerned or what have you, that’s fine. However, if you’re anti-vaccine, to the point of not vaccinating your children at all, I no longer accept your opinion. I no longer accept your freedom to choose. Instead, I’ll do my best to change your mind.

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Dr. Paul Offit answered my question this week-end

Dr. Paul Offit did an interview with the fine folks over at the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism this week-end. In preparation, they asked people on Twitter if they had any questions they’d like answered. I have lots, but one in particular that weighed on my mind, so I asked it… as did they… and he answered!

Earlier this month, I wrote a post making official my stance on the whole vaccine – autism thing going on that you may have heard of… in it, I made a very bold statement. In fact, I wrote it in bold.

The way I see it, if they can pump out a newer and better cell phone every 3 months, they can have new and better vaccines as well.

vaccinesI often read sites that list out the ingredients in vaccines, most don’t know what those ingredients really are… they just know that they sound like something else bad that they’ve heard of before and so… they must be bad too.

The one thing that struck me, however, was that the ingredients don’t seem to change from site to site… from writing to writing. Which got me to wondering whether or not they ever do change.

We all know that thimerosal was removed from most of the vaccines in 1991 (UK) and 1998 (US) but other than that, what else has been done?

If you’ve already clicked through to their site, as I’ve linked it above, you’ve probably already read it but for those that haven’t, here is my question along with his answer:

Are vaccines constantly upgraded and monitored for safety and efficacy?

Yes, like no other medical product, including all the drugs you put into your body and certainly more than anything you’d get at the General Nutrition Center. We have a very well-tested, well-worn vaccine schedule.

It’s not a huge answer nor is it very detailed… but I think it answers my question nicely and, with any luck, put some people’s concerns to rest.

I believe it’s very very important for parents to know that the vaccines that they introduced in 1940 are likely not the same vaccines they’re giving today. They’ve been modified, tested, modified, tested, remodified, tested and so on and so forth ensuring it’s as safe as they can possibly get it.

Because let’s be honest, if it was still the same ole same ole from 60 years ago, we’d all be even more scared than we already are.

Plus, he has a point. A drug that is released these days is released as is… with a laundry list of side effects. And so long as it’s up to code, even with those side effects, it never changes. It just continues to be used as it is. Perhaps an extra strength or new type will be released but that’s it.

Quite frankly, that scares me… their continual work on the vaccines is a comforting thought. So for what it’s worth to you, now you know, as do I.

Paul A. Offit, M.D., is an American pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases and an expert on vaccines, immunology, and virology. He is the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine that has been credited with saving hundreds of lives every day. Offit is the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He has been a member of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

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