Immunizations and the Immunocompromised
The subject of childhood immunizations is extremely controversial, but it may be an important piece of the puzzle concerning the epidemic of chronic childhood illness.
The divide that exists between those who are vaccine advocates and those who are vaccine safety advocates is wide, but these two sides need to establish a civil dialogue so that we can assure that America€™s childhood infectious disease eradication program is as safe and effective as possible.
Vaccine advocates argue that vaccines have been vindicated by scientific research, and that there is no proven link to autism or other chronic illnesses.
Vaccine safety advocates argue that many of these studies are flawed and that vaccines are either €œpoisoning€ children (citing vaccine additives like aluminum and mercury) or that they are in some way dysregulating the immune system (e.g., causing immune responses to become altered and harmful).
Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of both the National Institutes of Health and the American Red Cross, and a proponent of safe childhood immunization programs, has recently called for a dÃ©tente between the two sides.
Healy agrees with many vaccine safety advocacy groups that a study needs to be conducted that compares the health and wellness (including mental health and cognitive function) of vaccinated to unvaccinated children.
No official studies like this have ever been performed. There are a number of anecdotal studies (non-peer reviewed) that compare completely vaccinated to completely unvaccinated children, but there are no well-designed and controlled studies like this that have come from the €œestablished€ medical community.
Dr. Healy urges public health organizations to fund this sort of study so that we can prove (or disprove), once and for all, that the current childhood immunization schedule is safe for all children.
What are the concerns about vaccines?
American children are the most highly vaccinated children in the world.
In 1979, children were immunized against seven infectious diseases before 6 years of age; today, they are immunized against fifteen, most by the age of 2, and more vaccines are slotted to be added to the existing schedule.
Some parents are concerned about the number of vaccines required of children today and are asking that more research be done to establish safety and efficacy.
While much of the vaccine controversy has circled around the dangers of thimerosal, (the mercury preservative used in virtually all vaccines before 2000), its removal from most vaccines (the notable exception being the flu vaccine) has complicated the vaccine controversy.
Many parents of children with regressive-type autism (autism that was late-onset, as opposed to at birth) argue that vaccines were responsible for their child€™s regression into autism.
Unaware of how vaccines work, or unsure of how vaccines could cause autism, many parents blamed the small amounts of mercury in the vaccines (which, cumulatively, is not such a small amount after all) for their children€™s condition.
However, after the thimerosal was removed from most of the vaccines in 2000, rates of autism continued to climb. Could vaccines still be contributing to autism or to the larger epidemic of chronic illnesses in children?
New research is beginning to bear out the fact that vaccines may cause immune dysregulation (sometimes severe) in certain children, with or without mercury.
In particular, vaccines have been shown to stimulate immune system irregularities such as autoimmunity and excessive €œT-cell skewing,€ (causing repeated imbalanced immune responses that could precipitate chronic disease).
In the short history of modern vaccination, there is quite a bit of evidence demonstrating that vaccines can cause autoimmunity, autoimmune diseases (such as Guillain BarrÃ© Syndrome), €œT-cell skewing,€ and other dysfunctions related to the immune system.
Recent studies show that certain vaccines (containing certain components, such as live attenuated viruses or aluminum adjuvants) may indeed be responsible for causing immune dysregulation.
Vaccine manufacturers have always acknowledged the fact that certain vaccine recipients may experience adverse events.
This is why the government established an elaborate tracking and adverse event reporting system, and why there is an enormous government-sponsored vaccine injury compensation program.
However, these events have always been considered to be extremely rare, and most people believe that the risks of an adverse event do not outweigh the benefit of the protection offered by immunization.
With the rise in the number of children with autism whose parents believe that vaccines in someway played a role, researchers are beginning to examine the possibility that vaccines are causing immune dysregulation on a much wider scale.
It is no longer assumed that vaccines only cause an adverse event in one-in-a-million recipients, for instance.
Also, the possibility that vaccines may cause subtle, or sub-clinical problems in recipients is now being considered.
The hypothesis (that has yet to be proven) is that vaccines cause immune dysregulation through a variety of physiological mechanisms, and this immune dysregulation (in conjunction with other environmental factors such as heavy antibiotic use) may in fact lead to chronic illnesses such as autism, ADHD, or asthma.
Vaccines may be contributing to the epidemic of chronic childhood illnesses because they are being administered to children who could be considered €œimmunocompromised.€
One of the main concerns with today€™s childhood immunization schedule is that a full load of vaccines is being given to children who have severe gut dysbiosis, nutritional deficiencies, and toxic overloads because of their particular environmental exposures.
Yet, no doctor is trained to look for this type of immunodeficiency.
An infant or toddler who has received four or five courses of antibiotics, eats a nutrient-poor diet, and is exposed to a variety of toxic substances (like lead, mercury, BPA, and others) in their environment may actually have a compromised immune system.
This toddler is not atypical; many American children have these sort of environmental exposures€”they are truly a compromised generation.
A child with compromised immunity may not be able to €œkick out€ infectious agents injected into their bodies via vaccination.
Studies have shown that some autistic children have chronic infections in their guts with certain viruses such as the measles virus or the varicella (chickenpox) virus.
The inflammation that can be found in these children is off the charts. It is as if they are in a perpetual battle against some unrelenting infectious agent.
The impact that vaccines have on babies€™ bodies is complex and poorly understood, especially in light of the fact that babies receive so many vaccines so early in their lives. More research is certainly warranted.
SHOULD I GIVE MY CHILD THE FLU VACCINE? CLICK BELOW TO LEARN WHY THE EVIDENCE DOES NOT SUPPORT THE POLICY.
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This document is not a substitute for medical advice, treatment, diagnosis, or consultation with a medical professional. It is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be relied on to make determinations related to treatment of a medical condition. Epidemic Answers has not verified and does not guaranty the accuracy of the information provided in this document.