Vaccinations work, however they are now a subject that evokes very strong opinions and usually stirs up heated debate as to their effectiveness and safety. This is understandable, because we love our children and naturally we want the best for them. If vaccinations worked 100 per cent of the time with no side effects, then there would be no debate. However what polarises people relates to the angst we hear and read about from parents who ascribe the cause of their children’s low-grade chronic symptoms directly to a vaccination program. As a biologist with my main focus on immune system ecology and behaviour, I have found that this one-to-one emotive logic falls short of the raft of causes that together cause chronic immune-related symptoms. Also, we all want to believe that our science and political systems have each person’s interest at heart and do the utmost to provide safe and effective healthcare for all of us. And so, the main question parents need to answer to their satisfaction, is whether to vaccinate their infants or not—and if so, which vaccinations should they accept, and at which age should they be given.
The basic idea behind a vaccination program is to produce an alert status in adaptive immune cells to childhood infectious diseases through the deliberate, artificial stimulation of the body’s defences against specific diseases, using a weaker ‘version’ of the real thing. Ideally the immune system ‘records’ this event and creates an ability to quickly produce antibodies to fight that specific disease, should it ever aggressively occur. Ideally, vaccinations are undertaken without causing any symptoms or signs of chronic or acute illness.
In reality, no immunising biological agent is 100 per cent safe, and all have the potential to inflict side effects. Because of this, it is for ethical reasons that health professionals assess the health of each individual and relate it to the risks known for the particular types of vaccines they are offering, and after weighing all the risks and benefits for that individual, allow the adult or a child’s parents to have the final decision, and honour the choices that these people then make.
Each individual’s immune system is unique. An individual’s immune cells referencing a vaccination will vary in their capacity to obtain and retain the information about the pathogen presented as a vaccination. The degree of immune system alertness to initiate resources against a natural but threatening infection, is also unique to the individual. It is well known in immunology that some immune systems are not stimulated by vaccination at all—and then by definition, these individuals are considered not vaccinated, even though they have had the physical injection.
Although there are publications from organisations such as the National Vaccine Information Center, The Red Book (A Triannual Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases) by the U.S. Academy of Pediatrics and publications such as Morbidity & Mortality, A Weekly Report, by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the United States, there are few publications that clearly and simply give parents the answers to questions such as:
- What are the real health risks to my children, if they contracted an infection which could be mitigated through vaccination?
- What could be the range of consequences of contracting certain infections naturally?
- What is the current safety record of each type of vaccination?
- What is the degree of immunity that each vaccination can provide and how long will it last?
- What is the probability that a specific vaccination will clearly alert the immune system?
- When should I not vaccinate my children?
- Are there alternatives to vaccination—and if so, are they safe and effective?
- What can I do to prepare my children, in order to lessen the chances of complications occurring?
Most people receiving vaccinations or having their children vaccinated are not aware of manufacturers’ warnings and contra-indications to immunising, which include:
- When there is acute febrile illness occurring (and also when being medicated for this)
- When there is chronic allergy or hypersensitivity such as atopic dermatitis or acute skin rashes occurring
- During pregnancy
- When there is a known hypersensitivity to any vaccine component
- In those cases where the patient is undergoing immunotherapy
- In those cases where the patient has altered immunity:
- With a history of anaphylaxis
- When the patient has an autoimmune disorder
- With graft versus host diseases
- When there are immunodeficiency disorders (under certain definitions—cancers)
- Serum sickness
- With transplant rejection
Most doctors giving vaccinations do not direct their patient to ways to prepare the immune system and thus reduce the possibility of complications occurring after a vaccination program.
This is where our Vaccinations and Alternative Options workshop can help. There are steps you can take to prepare your immune system before receiving vaccinations. This workshop will offer a safe, non-judgmental space for everyone to learn:
- How vaccines work in the body and how they often don’t ‘take’
- Why they can cause allergic and other negative immune related responses
- If you are opting not to vaccinate then how homeopathic immunisations can offer a similar level of protection—100% safely
- If you are opting to vaccinate, how you can prepare your children to receive the vaccination with increased safety to reduce the chance of a negative reaction
- A case study of effective homeopathic immunisation programs in other countries in the last several years.
Come along and learn more about vaccinations so you can make your decisions armed with as much information as possible. Knowledge is power!