Karin Schumacher on the right to choose:

The following article is written in light of the pro-immunization media blitz that has ascended upon the nation. Ostensibly the issue is vaccinations, however, the real issue is Freedom Of Choice.

Along with that freedom comes the responsibility to question, research, and decide if vaccinations are prudent for our own child. For some that may be the choice, for others that may not be. It must nonetheless, be the right of each individual parent to make that choice, not a government entity that has no children.

What I contest here is the "herd" mentality foisted upon us by the medical community, health department, pharmaceutical companies and the government. Vaccinations must be determined on an individual basis, depending on the history and health of each child and only after a parent is fully informed about the risks of the disease vs. the risks of vaccines.

A recent Dallas study concluded that apnea may be a hazard of immunization for pre-term infants. A prospective study of nearly 100 2-month old premature infants showed that 19% had either new or increased episodes of apnea in the 24-48 hours following vaccination with the DPT and HiB conjugate vaccines as found by Dr. Pablo Sanchez.

When I brought my daughter into have her first series of vaccinations at 2, 4 and 6 months, I blindly believed that vaccinations were supposed to protect her. When she had a severe reaction (inconsolable crying for more than 3 hours, an 8 week long knot at the injection site and high fever) to her second set, I was patted on the head by the pediatrician and told pedantically that these reactions were normal and expected. I believed that without question and like a dutiful parent took her in for the third shot.

I even remember taking her in for her MMR and thinking rather sanctimoniously to myself how could anyone not vaccinate their children? It wasn't until I read How To Raise A Healthy Child In Spite Of Your Doctor, by Dr. Robert Mendelsohn that I discovered the existence of risks and dangers of vaccinations.

I have since read, researched and investigated several other books and articles written by a courageous few who have spoken out against vaccinations. I am a concerned parent who has investigated with an open mind the various facets of vaccinations and have discovered many important facts. A National Vaccine Injury Fund (PL 99-660) was set up in 1986 to compensate those injured by vaccines (To date over 1.1 billion dollars has been paid out in compensation for vaccine injuries).

There must be better medical screening for children who may react to a vaccine. (The package insert for the DPT vaccine says: HYPERSENSITIVITY TO ANY COMPONENT OF THE VACCINE INCLUDING THIMEROSAL, A MERCURY DERIVATIVE, IS A CONTRAINDICATION.) A fact sheet given out by CDC asks if the recipient is allergic to > neomycin, streptomycin or polymyxin B (antibiotics) as that might be a > contraindication to the polio vaccine. A parent can't know this if the infant hasn't > had these antibiotics.

A child with the MMR vaccine can still get measles according to the Texas Department of Health. (This occurred in 1987 where 96% of the cases were considered non-preventable, i.e. they were fully vaccinated, had a religious or medical exemption or they were born before 1957).

This also occurred in 1989 where 72% of the cases were considered non-preventable, i.e. they were fully vaccinated, had a religious or medical exemption or they were born before 1957.). Children vaccinated against Pertussis still contract the disease. (The Chicago Department of Health noted that of 186 confirmed Pertussis cases in Chicago, fall 1993 "74% were as up to date as possible on their immunizations for their age.") Reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, July 94.

An infant is subjected to the Hepatitis B vaccine when it supposed to protect against intravenous drug addicts who share unsterilized needles or sexually active people. According to the Public Health Department, the length of the immunity will not be known for years, so a not at risk infant is expected to accept this vaccine with no guarantee that they will be protected at adolescence when it may be necessary.

Deadly known carcinogenic toxins (Formaldehyde and Thimerosal) are being injected into 2/4/6 month old infants whose immune system is not fully developed. In fact the FDA has recently concluded and mandated that all vaccines be made Thimerosal-free.

Tylenol is given to infants and children when the shot is administered to mask a fever that could show there might be a problem with the vaccine. Informed consent means the parent is given time to read, understand and research the information about the risks and dangers of vaccines; it does not mean getting that information at the same time the shot is administered.

Studies show vaccine links to ADD, AIDS, SIDS, CFS, Diabetes, Guillaine Barre, Autism, Arthritis, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Auto immune Diseases and Cancer.

Even the chickenpox vaccine has the medical community split. Many pediatricians are questioning the validity of vaccinating for a benign disease which would put the risk of acquiring the disease at a later date when it is much more severe for an adult.

Vaccinations do not need to be mandated if they are so professedly beneficial to the public. Perspectively speaking, Texas does not have more serious medical outbreaks of diseases when there is a less than 60% vaccination rate of children under 5 years old. In the past 10 years in Texas there were 11,351 cases of measles and 26 deaths. Also during the past 10 years in Texas there were 1,768 cases of Pertussis and 10 deaths.

The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) collects about 12-14,000 reports of adverse events following vaccinations. In addition, the FDA has conceded that only 10-15% of all adverse reactions are ever reported because the physicians refuse to believe they are vaccine related. VAERS says that the parent can and should report the event, if the doctor refuses. However the vast majority of the public don't know this. The FDA refuses to pull any vaccines off the market in over 15 years even though nearly 700 deaths have been reported to the FDA.

The Department of Health uses scare tactics to promote their view. (A bogey man commercial, gun rack symbology and "Shots Across Texas" "NO SHOTS, NO SCHOOL" campaigns). In addition, the Department of Health states one main reason they want early vaccination is purely logistical: it is easier to get infants and kids vaccinated.

Even in states such as California that have a Personal Belief Exemption (Philosophical), the vast majority of the parents don't even know there is an option. They are told correctly they are required to vaccinate, but they are not given the entire statute that allows for an exemption. Parents are afraid to experience a relatively minor disease like mumps, measles and rubella which when experienced will confer life-long immunity.

An infant receives the exact dose of a vaccine that a 5 year old receives. Jonas Salk, the inventor of the IPV, injected polio vaccine, testified before a Senate sub-committee that nearly all polio occurrences since 1961 were caused by the vaccine and not the wild virus.

More physicians who know of the links between vaccines and long term detrimental effects need to speak out. Parents need to know all 50 states have a medical exemption, every state except Mississippi and West Virginia have a religious exemption, and 15 or 16 states have a philosophical exemption.

There needs to be a larger public outcry to this mass vaccination program that is infringing on our Freedom Of Choice and that may be doing more harm than good. Parents must be empowered to question their doctors on the dangers and risks of vaccinations. Too many parents are being blindly led into vaccinating their children.

More scientific, medical, objective media investigations must be conducted to ascertain the facts that arise out of the vaccination issue. Because of my research I started:

Vaccine Information and Awareness
12799 La Tortola
San Diego, CA 92129
619-339-5498 (voicemail)
619-484-1187 (fax) (website)

The group has members all over the United States and the world. Many parents have chosen not to vaccinate their children and are afraid of the legal ramifications of Statewide Immunization Mandates and of publicly announcing their choice. Many parents here and across the US have children who experienced severe vaccine reactions and have been compensated by the government, many more have not. Parents voice outrage at not knowing any of the risks or having had the risks downplayed by the medical community.

The New Yorker, Money Magazine, The Boston Globe, Mothering Magazine, Vanity Fair, Science, The Lancet, Susan Powter, Caryl and Marilyn show, NOW, 20/20, American Journal, and Crusaders have done articles and shows on the dangers and risks of vaccinations. We also need concerned people to contact their Congressman and Senators, both state and federal to voice their convictions and to demand accountability from the pharmaceutical companies. Thankfully 1999 has been a great year for the government to listen. There have been congressional hearings addressing Anthrax, Hepatitis B, Vaccine Safety v. Personal Choice and the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

This will only change from parents taking charge of their child's health care. Once again, we are not anti-vaccination, we are pro information and pro choice. We need to get this information out to the public and let them know there is another side to this issue.

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