Summing Up – All Children Deserve Vaccinations

In summary, it is imperative that parents allow their children to receive vaccinations. There are many studies that show vaccines to be effective in preventing dangerous diseases that could otherwise be deadly for children, and we have discussed this at length in our blog posts.

Currently, there are no federal regulations in place regarding vaccines, but these regulations are instead determined on a state-to-state basis. This means that because state laws vary, some children may not be required to receive important vaccines. We argue that it is necessary for the federal government to put regulations in place regarding child vaccinations. There should also be strict federal regulations regarding exemptions. We do not think that parents should be able to exempt their children for religious or philosophical reasons, but rather only medical reasons, such as allergies or medical conditions, if they exist.

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After reading our blog, it is clear to see that our main affirmative arguments focus on the reasons it is important for children to receive these vaccinations. The arguments include, the dangers of chickenpox for unvaccinated children, the danger unvaccinated children pose to others and the fact that thimerosal, one of the controversial vaccine ingredients, has been removed from all but the flu vaccine. These are only four of many more arguments that reiterate the point that children need vaccinations. 

This is an important issue because surveys show that fewer parents are vaccinating their children; this is resulting in certain diseases, such as the measles, are returning again in larger numbers than ever before. This, to us, is a negative trend and we believe it is the federal government’s civic duty to step in to protect children whose parents are neglecting to allow them to receive vaccines. Not only do we need to protect these children, but also others in our communities, who may be susceptible to a child who has contracted a contagious and harmful disease.

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We hope this blog has inspired others to speak out for vaccines for children and educate themselves further. This is an issue that is very important and prevalent in today’s society, and it is not something that is going to disappear. We encourage parents and people in society to really do their research when it comes to learning about vaccinations. Getting information from the internet alone is not always the best option, so we encourage parents to consult their children’s doctors to become better informed about the benefits of vaccinations.

We thought it was very interesting that there are many arguments against vaccinations when there is significant evidence that proves vaccinations are safe. We learned that a lot of these arguments stem from the media, celebrities (like Jenny McCarthy), and false medical studies that are against vaccinations.  This results in people believing in false facts about vaccines. At times this posed as a challenge because many sources were biased and misinformed with little scientific or professional support.

Furthermore, we also thought it was interesting that vaccinations have become one of the greatest medical advancements in the 20th century, almost eradicating certain diseases that were so prevalent in past society. We think that one of the biggest takeaways from this assignment, particularly to our topic of childhood vaccinations, is that you should always conduct adequate research and know the different sides to an argument before you form an opinion about something.

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INVESTIGATE BEFORE YOU VACCINATE!!!!

Many people, who are against vaccinations, argue that vaccines have dangerous skull_and_bones_vaccine_ingredients_flyer-rd80ab908a27740409b1b1b949c81a7f5_vgvyf_8byvr_512ingredients in them. Personally, I see where they are coming from. I try to be as natural as I can with what I consume. But actually, after doing the research… vaccine ingredients are not nearly as bad as these people claim. As Katie discussed in the previous post, it is true that in the past, there has been ingredients, such as thimerosal, that have been supposedly linked to diseases. However, these ingredients are not being used anymore.

Let’s look more in depth to a baby’s first scheduled vaccine for Hepatitis B, Recombivax.

Merck Hepatitis B Recombivax Vaccine 149810 (pic 1)

It contains: yeast protein, soy peptone, dextrose, amino acids, mineral salts, potassium aluminum sulfate, amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate, formaldehyde. (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/B/excipient-table-2.pdf)

This vaccine has .225 mg/ dose of Amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate and potassium aluminum sulfate. Aluminium is used to boost the immune response to the vaccine. It seems weird to administer this into our body, but it is actually in a lot of everyday items. Infant formula also contains .225 mg/L, so compared to how much infants are already ingesting, this vaccine is not significant. (http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-safety/vaccine-ingredients/aluminum.html)

Amino acids are added as a stabilizer, to control the vaccine in adverse conditions such as temperature. Amino acids naturally occur in the body to break down food, repair body tissue, and as a source of energy. They also are encountered in everyday foods such as meat. (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002222.htm).

Dextrose,“is a simple sugar that occurs naturally in the body and is the body’s main source of energy”. This is not harmful, even as a vaccination, unless the person is hyperglycemic, severely obese, diabetic, or hyponatremic. Even in these cases, it only is a concern in high doses, which it is not in this vaccine. (http://www.healthline.com/health/dextrose?toptoctest=expand)

Formaldehyde, this sounds like a scary ingredient but according to the FDA, it is only used in the manufacturing process, only residual amounts are in possibly found in the vaccine. This small amount is considered safe, even for babies. It is used to inactive the virus in the vaccine. Like amino acids, formaldehyde is also produced naturally by our bodies and naturally found in the environment. The FDA also says, “Studies have shown that for a newborn of average weight of 6 -8 pounds, the amount of formaldehyde in their body is 50-70 times higher than the upper amount that they could receive from a single dose of a vaccine or from vaccines administered over time”. (http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/ucm187810.htm)

Mineral salts were admittedly the hardest to find information on. They are not naturally occurring but considered an in-organic product that is made with chemical compounds. downloadHowever, this material helps plants grow, which we consume. A common mineral salt is calcium phosphate. This is commonly found in many cosmetic products, medications and cement, and is not dangerous unless in large amounts (http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/poison/calcium-phosphate/overview.html).

Soy peptone is a protein source which is genetically modified as a substitute for protein derived from animal sources.  Examples of soy protein sources are tofu, soy milk and edamame.

A very minimal amount of yeast protein is used in this vaccine, and is only used in the manufacture process.

The ingredients found in this vaccine, are also found in most other vaccines. This research just goes to show, that vaccination ingredients are not as scary as people think, especially in the small amounts that are administered in these vaccines. Furthermore, most of these are naturally occurring in our foods and body in larger amounts than the vaccines.

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Thimerosal Extracted from Childhood Vaccinations

thimerosal1In the early 20th century, there were a lot of cases of children developing deadly bacterial infections once they received all of their vaccinations. Due to this outbreak, preservatives were added to vaccinations contained in multi-dose vials since the 1930’s, in order to prevent this bacteria from forming. (http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-safety/vaccine-ingredients/thimerosal.html)

vaccination3Thimerosal is one of those preservatives that were added to vaccines, and it contains mercury. Mercury is a “heavy silvery-white element occurring principally in cinnabar.” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/mercury) Mercury poisoning can result from exposure to water soluble forms of mercury. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_(element)). Recent research has led to mercury being removed from vaccinations, all except the influenza, or flu vaccination. The whole debacle with parents claiming thimerosal was to blame for their children developing autism spread widely throughout the news, and so thimerosal was eventually removed from these childhood vaccinations. (http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-safety/vaccine-ingredients/thimerosal.html) Doctor’s offices do offer non-thimerosal containing flu shots, for those of you who are still leery about receiving a flu shot with mercury in it, and you can visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/vaccines.htm to find which flu shots contain thimerosal or not. These flu-shots are single dose shots, so they do not need the thimerosal for preservation. The reason for the multi-dose shots is that a lot of people receive the flu-shot in a short period of time, usually in the fall/winter, and they need to produce the vaccines in high volume. The removal of thimerosal was enacted starting around 1997, when the FDA started to determine what food and drugs contained the ingredient. Three vaccinations at the time, DTaP, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae (Hib) all contained thimerosal. The combined exposure of mercury if a child were to receive all three of these vaccinations was higher than the recommended amount of exposure, around 187.5 ug. (see table below)

Agency 5th Percentile
body weight
50th Percentile
body weight
95th Percentile
body weight
EPA 65 ug 89 ug 106 ug
ATSDR 194 ug 266 ug 319 ug
FDA 259 ug 354 ug 425 ug
Exposure limits for mercury in infants less than or equal to 6 months of age by percentile body weight established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Agency for Toxic Substance Disease Registry (ATSDR), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

(http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-safety/vaccine-ingredients/thimerosal.html)

Due to these findings, thimerosal was removed from all childhood vaccinations as mentioned previously. That is why we encourage parents to get their children vaccinated, because the vaccinations do not include thimerosal anymore, and the one that does (influenza), has alternative non-thimerosal shots available.

 

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California Takes Action

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Check out this article, which provides some information on a recent law passed in California. According to the article, if a parent wishes to exempt their child from school vaccinations, all they are required to do is sign a card, then file it. This new bill, to be enacted January 1, 2014, says that all parents will be given information on “the benefits and risks of the immunization” that they decided to exempt their child from. A step forward for California!

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Pre-vaccine era vs post-vaccine era

The following chart gives a quick and easy synopsis of the effectiveness of vaccines.  On the left it shows the pre-vaccine era vs the right shows most recent reports of cases in the US. The bottom line?  Vaccines work.   

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Emergency Import of Meningitis Vaccine

At Princeton University an outbreak of Meningitis B occurred among the students, causing Bexsero, a vaccine licensed in only Australia and Europe, to be approved by the FDA and CDC and to be imported to the U.S. It is now recommended that the 8,000 college students attending the university receive this vaccine. This type of bacterial meningitis is very severe resulting in hearing loss, brain damage, learning disabilities, and even death. This is a prevalent example of the need to support vaccines because they have the power to halt serious diseases and prevent them from spreading.

Watch the video below to learn more about this outbreak that was just released on November 16, 2013

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The Fact: Deadly Diseases are Making a Comeback

Just one person with a contagious deadly disease can infect many others. One woman in this video said vaccinating her child “just didn’t make sense” to her. The facts make sense to us: In Maryland alone, cases of whooping cough have tripled, from 123 cases in 2011 to almost 370 last year. Vaccinations are more important than ever.

Click on the screenshot below to see the video, which warns that parents who don’t vaccinate their children are putting others at risk:

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