I remember what it was like to be staunchly pro-vaccine. No exceptions.
I remember how I would vilify people who didn’t want to get vaccinated themselves or didn’t want to vaccinate their children. I made derogatory comments about them. I called them “stupid” and “irresponsible.” I said that not vaccinating was like blowing cigarette smoke in your baby’s face. It was like letting them go hungry, or depriving them of warmth and shelter.
I couldn’t believe that vaccines could cause harm or not work. That thought was against my “religion”, my dogmatic belief in vaccines. I believed vaccines to be a public health panacea, a one-stop shop to prevent all sorts of horrible deaths and diseases. To choose a different course of action — i.e., not to vaccinate — was akin to a crime against humanity, and anyone who would do this deserved whatever they got, including scourge, misery and death.
And then one day, I found out that I was wrong.
Terribly, painfully wrong.
Amazingly, gratefully wrong.
Three major events opened up my mind to change these beliefs.
First of all, I became a mom.
Motherhood changed me deeply. I never knew I could feel so much love for another being. And let me tell you, pregnancy and childbirth are hard work! There was no way I was going to let anyone hurt my baby after I pushed that big head and those shoulders through a very small hole.
However, at the time my daughter was born, I was still intent on vaccinating her beginning at 2 months of age. It wasn’t until a physician whom I trusted told me to do my homework before we started vaccinating to make sure that it was something we really believed in and felt confident in. (More on that in a minute.)
#2: Hurting hands
Second, I had an adverse reaction to the MMR vaccine 2 days post-partem. I know, right, what was I thinking getting MMR post-partem, when Merck’s vaccine insert says not to give it to breastfeeding women?!
Well, I’ll tell you what happened. My midwife told me that I had no rubella titers, meaning that I probably didn’t have immunity to rubella, also known as German measles. She said I could jeopardize the health of my next baby if I didn’t get the vaccine. Since I didn’t know when I would get pregnant again, now was the best time.
I was really torn about this. I thought, yes, I should get it, but then I thought, no, I should wait. I went back and forth. Finally I said yes. I got the show. Ow!
The next day, the arthritis in my hands started. I didn’t know until I started researching (Event#3, see below) that over 25% of women who get the MMR vaccine suffer from onset of osteoarthritis, which never fully goes away. At the time, I initially attributed it to genetics and the hormones of childbirth.*
#3: Opening Pandora’s box
Third, and this is by far one of the most important steps towards shifting the health care paradigm that I have ever taken in my life, I started to do my homework. This was when all of the pieces fell into place. Pandora’s box was opened, and I could never shut it again.
I started to dig deep into the research. I started to question the lack of research and safety studies about the long-term effects of vaccines. I read about “vaccine court” cases and delved into the ingredients that manufacturers put into vaccines. I read stories about and talked to parents with vaccine-injured children.
It was shocking. Maddening. Infuriating. My world was turned upside down, because all of the faith that I had had in vaccines was gone. Everything I had believed was basically a lie.
And yet I was so grateful that I had hit the pause button before rushing into vaccinating my daughter. Now we could make an empowered decision about something that could negatively impact her for the rest of her life. We could slow down to determine the choice that was right for us.
Over 18 years later
I’m still doing my homework when it comes to vaccines. This continued research is what makes me question the vaccination practices recommended by the CDC and WHO. Are the CDC and WHO decision makers beholden to the pharmaceutical companies and their pocketbooks? Are scientists and physicians threatened professionally if they publish papers going against the status quo of vaccination? (The answer is yes to both.)
Makes me sound like a conspiracy theorist, doesn’t it?
Here’s why I’m not.
The reality is, every time I apply the principles of logic and science to the current vaccines and their recommended administration schedules, the facts don’t add up. If the FDA states that the aluminum in intravenous medications is toxic to a newborn’s nervous system at a dose of 20 micrograms (mcg), or about four to five mcg per kilogram of body weight, then how does aluminum suddenly become a benign substance when you inject the Hepatitis B vaccine — which contains 250 mcg of aluminum — into a newborn? (See a great repost of an article on this topic by Dr. Sears here.)
One vaccine alone — the Pediarix (DTaP, Hep B and Polio), recommended three times, at 2, 4, and 6 months — contains 850 mg of aluminum in EACH dose. Mathematically, it’s beyond toxic. But there are no long-term studies to determine its true negative impact.
Overall, the CDC recommends 69 doses of 16 vaccines from birth to age 18. (See more here.) And yet there is not one study looking at the safety of the mass vaccination strategies that have been in place for the last 50 years. Not a single study.
I am so grateful for the information I have learned over the last 18+ years. Even still, it’s sometimes painful to know what I know because of the irate criticism and judgment that I often face as someone who supports vaccine choice, especially when I am the lone voice in the crowd. It’s painful to see others pile such harsh judgment on those with vaccine injured children or those who are questioning vaccines. The mean viciousness with which people attack those who question vaccination policies is a disgrace to our society, and it needs to stop.
The reality is, the minute we stop questioning, we can no longer call it science. It becomes religion.
I no longer believe in the religion of vaccines. I believe in open, unbiased, independently financed research. I believe in making empowered health care decisions and having a choice about how to heal, support and nourish the body. I believe it is time for us to wake up as a society and ask the hard questions, as painful as they may be. Only then can we effect positive change.
*When I later contacted the hospital to find out the lot number and expiration date of the vaccine that I had been given so that I could report the reaction to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), I was told that there was no documentation in my record of me having received the vaccine, “so you must not have gotten it” (said the hospital’s patient “advocate”). It’s very important to note here that the nurse who administered the vaccine to me violated not only hospital policy but also federal law by not documenting the name of the vaccine, the site where she injected it, and the lot and expiration date. She also violated federal law by not giving me any information about the risks and potential adverse reactions to the vaccine before she gave it to me.
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