Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.

Dear parents, you are being lied to...

(92 Posts)
Rosewind Sun 13-Apr-14 09:14:33

Hi all,
I very much enjoyed this piece by Jennifer Raff over at Violent Metaphors:

It's very clearly written with lots and lots of links to back up the points she makes. It has sparked quite a bit of discussion in the comments section, and her follow up piece is mainly comments based.

Anyone here got any thoughts?

borderline Sun 13-Apr-14 09:30:07

Could not agree with it more! And don't get me started on that fecking Andrew Wakefield angry

Rosewind Sun 13-Apr-14 09:33:13

It's good, isn't it?

tshirtsuntan Sun 13-Apr-14 09:37:15

Bloody marvellous, couldn't agree more. I thought it was going to be the reverse argument (yet again!) So that makes a very refreshing change smile

TiredFeet Sun 13-Apr-14 09:44:48

... And the lies are having awful consequences. My little baby was really poorly but the a and e drs had a terrible dilemma as there was a mumps outbreak and they were worried about her catching it while in hospital. Luckily a side room was found but it is so frustrating that it was an issue!

notasgreenasimcabbagelooking Sun 13-Apr-14 09:58:10

48 years ago a baby boy was born in the same hospital on the same day as me. As far as I'm aware, there was no vaccine available in those "olden" days.He caught measles at 4yrs old. As did I. His became encaphilitus. He was severely brain damaged and lived in a hospital ward, unable to move or communicate until he died aged 28. Our families were and remain close friends My children were vaccinated. His nieces were also vaccinated. Never ever a doubt that they would be.

McFlurry Sun 13-Apr-14 10:12:00

I so want to send this link to a colleague who is against vaccination and is now apoplectic that her 16 year old is insisting on now being vaccinated. In turn, the very astute 16 yo is apoplectic that his parents didn't have him immunised and, in his opinion, have put him and his younger siblings at risk of all sorts of preventable diseases.

balia Sun 13-Apr-14 10:26:04

That's excellent - wish we'd had access to that before DH's 2 year court case to get DSS immunised. The way she goes through the 'myths' is very effective, although she has missed a couple!

Rosewind Sun 13-Apr-14 10:34:56

I'm hoping it gets shared far and wide. You're right, balia she has missed a couple. One of the rather brilliant ones (the lies) is that anyone who points out that the scientific consensus is that vaccination has been shown to have no causative link with ASD is calling the parents of children with ASD who do blame vaccination liars, and that we are mocking them and their children. Which is fairly far from the truth, which is that the MMR ASD myth served to waste so many previous hours and so much funding which would have been better spent elsewhere looking for actual risks and lines of research that might help those with ASD.

Rosewind Sun 13-Apr-14 10:35:52

Good for the 16 year old, can you send them the link?

cookielove Sun 13-Apr-14 10:41:16

Brilliant post! smile

BoreOfWhabylon Sun 13-Apr-14 10:59:34

Thanks so much for this Rosewind, I'll be sharing it far and wide.

Really interesting site too - I'm going back to read about DNA analysis of early Native Americans!

McFlurry Sun 13-Apr-14 11:38:57

I certainly will share the link, Rosewind smile

Frontdoorstep Sun 13-Apr-14 17:25:21

It's fine to say those things, but as far as I made out the article didn't provide any facts to back up the arguments made.

Nothing in life is 100% safe and that includes vaccines. Children have been damaged by vaccines, that's a fact.

The biggest case that is always made in these articles for vaccinating my child is that my child might pass the disease on to someone who can't be vaccinated. With the best will in the world who would really, honestly put another child before their own child. If my child is damaged by a vaccine, will these people be on hand to help me with care for my child. Something tells me they won't!

ContinentalKat Sun 13-Apr-14 17:35:13

Love the article.

Rosewind Sun 13-Apr-14 17:37:45

If you go back to the article in question you'll notice that some of the words/phrases are "highlighted". In my reading format they are light blue, but I won't assume it's the same for the way you're viewing the article. If you find they are try clicking on them, or dropping your finger on them (if you're using an iPad for example). This should reveal them to be links, which take you to your desired facts which back up the author's points. This is one of the strengths of the article.
An impressive case that should be made for vaccinating your child against most diseases is the protection this offers them against potentially deadly or debilitating illnesses. Diseases like measles. The chances of vaccine damage is greatly outweighed by the benefits to them of such vaccination.

Rosewind Sun 13-Apr-14 17:43:15

For example if you click on the "are saved every year by vaccination" bit in "They say that vaccines aren�t that effective at preventing disease.�But 3 million children�s lives are saved every year by vaccination, and 2 million die every year from vaccine-preventable illnesses."
It takes you to this paper:
"Vaccination is one of the most powerful means to save lives and to increase the level of health of mankind. However, the impact of immunization against the most threatening infectious agents on life expectancy has been the object of a still open debate. The main issues are: the relative influence of nutrition and infectious diseases on demographic patterns of populations; the possibility that lives saved thanks to vaccination are subsequently lost due to other competing causes of death; the positive indirect effect of immunization on other causes of death. With regard to past evidence, several data from the United Kingdom and Scandinavian countries show that the widespread use of smallpox vaccination starting at the beginning of the nineteenth century resulted in a marked and sustained decline not only of smallpox-related deaths, but also of the overall crude death rate, and contributed greatly to an unprecedented growth of European population. As to the present, it is estimated that 3 million children are saved annually by vaccination, but 2 million still die because they are not immunized. Tetanus, measles and pertussis are the main vaccine-preventable killers in the first years of life. Data from Bangladesh show that full implementation of EPI vaccines has the potential of reducing mortality by almost one half in children aged 1-4 years. Recent progress in the development of vaccines against agents responsible for much mortality in the developing countries make it possible to forecast a further substantial reduction of deaths for infectious diseases in the next century."

There are lots, and lots of similar links embedded in the text.

Frontdoorstep Sun 13-Apr-14 17:50:22

Thanks Rosewind, I'll have a better look.

bumbleymummy Wed 16-Apr-14 17:16:34

Oh dear. I read this the other day on facebook and was not impressed. Aside from the fact that she is lumping all 'non-vaccinators' together despite there being quite wide and varied reasons for people deciding to delay/refuse/selectively vaccinate there were a few other things that came to mind when I read it.

1) I haven't heard anyone say that measles isn't a deadly disease. Most people recognise that it can be deadly but that death is more likely in certain circumstances. "More than 95%) of measles deaths occur in countries with low per capita incomes and weak health infrastructures." (WHO) One of the main risk factors for complications of measles is Vitamin A deficiency.

2) Chickenpox isn't usually 'that big of deal'. Yes, there is a risk of serious complications but for the vast majority of children, it is a self-limiting illness. We do not vaccinate against it in the UK (US article?) and there are issues to consider with the vaccination as well eg. waning immunity that can potentially leave adults vulnerable when they are at a greater risk of complications.

3) Yes, flu can be dangerous. I think everyone is aware of that. We do not all get vaccinated against it though because for the vast majority of people it is not dangerous. It is why the the vaccine is usually only offered to at risk groups and quite a large proportion of them don't take up the offer of it. In any case, the flu vaccination isn't that effective. 61% for this year's vaccine in the US and 51%/49% in the UK

4) Whooping cough is not as bad for kids/adults to get in comparison to babies. Babies under the age of 6 months old are at greatest risk. People can not use the 'herd immunity' argument for this one either because immunity from the pertussis vaccine wanes.

5) From the link "Tetanus, measles and pertussis are the main vaccine-preventable killers in the first years of life." As I pointed out earlier, 95% of measles deaths occur in countries with low per capita incomes and weak health infrastructures. These are countries where the children are frequently malnourished (remember vitamin deficiency increases the risk of complications from measles) and have no/limited access to things like antibiotics if complications (Such as pneumonia) occur. RE tetanus. Many tetanus cases are neonatal and maternal and are due to unsanitary birthing conditions. Many more lives could be saved through providing better healthcare (not just vaccines!), food and clean water to these countries - things that we completely take for granted and which many people are only too keen to conveniently forget about when they start talking about vaccines. Vaccination is not a 'get out of jail free' card.

6) IME, when people talk about natural infection being 'better' they are usually talking about the fact that it typically confers lifelong immunity rather than having to rely on boosters (some of which are not as effective in adults) for the rest of your life. They may also talk about the fact that many childhood illness have a higher risk of complications in adults and that if/quite often when vaccine immunity wanes, people are left vulnerable.

7) Some vaccines are tested more than others. Some vaccines are withdrawn due to safety concerns despite all that 'safety testing' eg MMRI. Vaccines are not safe for everyone and unfortunately we do not currently have a way of finding out who will react badly and who will not. With the move towards companion diagnostics for drug development, I would like to think that in the future we will move towards identifying potentially susceptible children prior to vaccination as well.

8) There is under reporting of vaccine reactions and those 'very rare cases' of severe reactions can still result in death or disability. It's not much fun if you or your child is one of those 'very rare cases'.

9) I don't think anyone has said that 'MMR causes Autism' - not even Andrew Wakefield said that. I think the current belief is that it may trigger autism in some genetically susceptible children. It would be nice if we could move towards trying to find a way to identify those genetically susceptible children rather than sweeping them under the carpet and pretending that they don't exist.

10) From the second study linked to:

"At the time the FDA Modernization Act was passed, it was recommended that infants receive 3 different vaccines that contained thimerosal: diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP), hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib). Infants who received all of these vaccines could have been exposed to a cumulative dose of mercury as high as 187.5 μg by 6 months of age.4 This value exceeded guidelines recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) but did not exceed those recommended by the Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR) or the FDA (Table 2).4 Therefore, thimerosal was removed from most childhood vaccines by 2001 as a precautionary measure. "

So clearly they had concerns about it as well which was why it was removed. (not necessarily due to autism)

11) You can not compare ingested Aluminium to injected Aluminium. The GI tract is an effective filter

"In healthy subjects, only 0.3% of orally administered aluminum is absorbed via the GI tract and the kidneys effectively eliminate aluminum from the human body."

Surely a scientist would know this?

12) The fact that vaccine reactions are recognised and that (not enough) compensation is paid proves that they can and do happen. So yes, vaccines can be harmful.

13) I don't see any part of that linked article that proves her 'It isn't' in relation to the number of vaccines on the schedule. AFAIK no studies have assessed this risk - unless of course you count the current 'study' being conducted on children now. I guess we won't see the results of that for a few years.

14) I have actually heard very few non-vaccinators say that they are relying on 'herd immunity'. Bit of a risk to rely on other people's immunity imo. As she points out, vaccines aren't always 100% effective so some vaccinated children may also catch and pass on the disease. There is also waning immunity to take into consideration. You can't guarantee that anyone around you is immune - even if they have been vaccinated.

15) I haven't heard of most of those remedies so I can't really comment on them.

Just my opinion FWIW.

sashh Thu 17-Apr-14 19:00:41

It would be nice if we could move towards trying to find a way to identify those genetically susceptible children rather than sweeping them under the carpet and pretending that they don't exist.

Not difficult really, if one or both of your parents or a sibling has a form of autism, you are genetically susceptible.

There is under reporting of vaccine reactions and those 'very rare cases' of severe reactions can still result in death or disability. I'm fairly sure the death of a child will be reported.

The fact that vaccine reactions are recognised and that (not enough) compensation is paid proves that they can and do happen. So yes, vaccines can be harmful.

Yes but so is everything else in life. As I have said many times you can die from drinking too much water, anyone remember Leah Betts?

There are cases of children who have died due to a severe allergic reaction to cow's milk but it is freely available in supermarkets.

Yes if you have reacted badly to a past vaccination, have allergies, certain medical conditions other precautions should be taken.

You cannot manufacture a product that will be 100% safe for everyone, that no one will ever react to. Some people are allergic to sunlight.

bumbleymummy Thu 17-Apr-14 19:10:20

"Not difficult really, if one or both of your parents or a sibling has a form of autism, you are genetically susceptible."

Genetics are not as simple as that sassh.

"I'm fairly sure the death of a child will be reported."
I said under reporting of vaccine reactions in general. Yes, a death may be reported but it may not be attributed to the vaccine.

The final quote is in response to - "They say that the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (and/or the “vaccine court”) proves that vaccines are harmful.
It doesn’t."

Vaccines can be harmful - do you disagree?

Limited effort is made to identify children who may be more susceptible to vaccine reactions. If a child does react, it can quite often be dismissed as 'false association' and the parents are usually encouraged to proceed with the schedule anyway. Yes, precautions should be taken.

bumbleymummy Thu 17-Apr-14 19:12:16


hm32 Thu 17-Apr-14 19:28:21

I'm all for vaccination - so long as the vaccine being used is licensed for that use. Licensing is important - it means that the company has done research with that age group, and proven the safety of the vaccine being used - in pregnancy, in infants, in the elderly... I am a little 'put out' shall we say, that a certain vaccine that is currently being advocated, is NOT licensed for that use, but there we are - hopefully there will be no problems now or in the future.

The only vaccine I was ever advised against, by a medical professional, was the BCG. I lived abroad at the time, and my parents were concerned that British children, at that age, would be being given it. The advice was that the BCG is not 100% effective, and that once given, it is difficult to test accurately for TB. Either the response seen in the blood test is the body's remembered immunity from the TB, or it's the infection beginning. It is therefore much later in the infection that a once-vaccinated person can begin treatment. I don't know which view is best - that was the view in the (European) country at the time, so I didn't have it.

breatheslowly Thu 17-Apr-14 19:55:32

In case anyone is unaware - chicken pox is not part of the childhood immunisation programme in the UK, but you can get the vaccination privately. Obviously you should do your own research before deciding to do it.

tobysmum77 Sun 20-Apr-14 09:33:21

its straightforward imo and called risk analysis. Mine shows that for a healthy child it is lower risk to vaccinate than not. Plus I feel that parents of healthy children have a responsibility to protect those children who genuinely cannot be vaccinated/ are immuno repressed.

I'm so glad we live now rather than when polio was doing the rounds sad

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now