Tag: alternative medicine

Alternatives to Getting Vaccinated

Are there any alternatives to getting vaccinated?

Sure. You can read about them all day long from holistic “experts” and on anti-vaccine websites.

Are there any good alternatives to getting vaccinated?

No. At least not if you want to be truly protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Alternatives to Getting Vaccinated

Kids who are born with immune disorders don't have to live in isolation bubbles any more, but they still need protection.
Kids who are born with immune disorders don’t have to live in isolation bubbles any more, but they still need protection. Photo by Baylor College of Medicine

Unfortunately, some folks don’t have other options and they need to look at an alternative for protection from vaccine-preventable diseases that doesn’t include vaccines.

These are the folks with contraindications or true medical exemptions for vaccines.

What do they do?

It depends on the specific circumstances, but in most cases, except for live vaccines or any other specific vaccine that is contraindicated, they usually get vaccinated.

Extremely few people can’t get at least some, if not most, of their vaccines, even if they do have contraindications to some others. And many exemptions are temporary.

“Parents need to balance the need of the immunoreconstituted child (post-transplant SCID) to be protected from exposure to infection from live vaccines and close contact–transmitted vaccine-derived infection with the need of the child to integrate into society and develop social and learning skills in group environments.”

Medical Advisory Committee of the Immune Deficiency Foundation

They also try to avoid people who are sick and  try to make sure that everyone around them is vaccinated to help maintain herd immunity levels of protection.

Neither is always possible though.

Post-Exposure Prophylaxis

Post-exposure prophylaxis is another option that is available to help prevent some vaccine-preventable diseases. For example, if your unvaccinated child is exposed to measles, they can often receive immune globulin to help them avoid getting measles.

Regimens for post-exposure prophylaxis are also available for:

  • chicken pox – varicella zoster immune globulin or immune globulin
  • diphtheria – antibiotics
  • hepatitis A – immune globulin
  • hepatitis B – hepatitis B immune globulin
  • influenza – oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir
  • meningococcal disease – antibiotics
  • pertussis – antibiotics
  • rabies – rabies immune globulin
  • tetanus – tetanus immune globulin

When possible, immunization typically accompanies these post-exposure prophylaxis regimens.

There is one big problem with these types of post-exposure prophylaxis regimens though. You are not always going to know when your child is exposed to someone else with a vaccine-preventable disease. While some exposures might be obvious, like if your child steps on a rusty nail or is bitten by an unvaccinated dog who has rabies, you might miss some others.

Bogus Alternatives to Getting Vaccinated

What other alternatives to getting vaccinated are out there?

Unfortunately, there are none that work.

Many bogus alternatives to getting vaccinated are pushed by those opposed to vaccines as ways to boost your immunity, and they can include:

  • breastfeeding – while breastfeeding is great and always encouraged, the passive immunity it provides will not protect your baby from most vaccine-preventable diseases, as it contains IgA antibodies, not the IgG antibodies you would need to prevent diseases like measles, tetanus, chicken pox, and Hib, etc.
  • homeopathic vaccines – nosodes are homeopathic vaccines that have been diluted so much that they are supposed to retain a memory of the original substance. Even if they did – that’s not how immunology works.
  • herbs – neither echinacea, goldenseal root, nor elderberry syrup is going to boost your child’s immunity
  • vitamins – unless your child is severely vitamin deficient, taking vitamins isn’t going to boost their immunity, whether they are taking extra vitamin C or extra vitamin D
  • foods – Japanese mushrooms, kale, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, avocados, ginger, black currants, graviola, green veggies, onion seeds, and berries might all be great to eat, but they aren’t going to boost your immunity
  • probiotics – they may help prevent antibiotic associated diarrhea, but there is not much evidence that taking them regularly does anything else
  • essential oils – they sometimes smell nice, but they aren’t going to boost your child’s immune system
  • chiropractic adjustments – not going to work
  • sun exposure – in addition to the worries about skin cancer, not only does extra sun exposure not boost your immune system, the WHO reports that “Several studies have demonstrated that exposure to environmental levels of UV radiation alters the activity and distribution of some of the cells responsible for triggering immune responses in humans. Consequently, sun exposure may enhance the risk of infection with viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal infections, which has been demonstrated in a variety of animal models.”
  • fermented cod liver oil – this is not going to boost your child’s immune system, but folks should also know that there have been reports that the products that people have been buying and using for years were rancid and actually making them sick! There are much better ways to get vitamin D and vitamin A in your diet than taking fermented cod liver oil each day.

What about natural immunity?

While natural immunity can in some ways be more effective than vaccine induced immunity, it often comes at a price. You have to recover from the disease, hopefully without any long term consequences, to develop natural immunity.

What to Know About Alternatives to Getting Vaccinated

People who truly can’t be vaccinated rely on herd immunity, because in most cases, there are no effective alternatives for vaccines.

More On Alternatives to Getting Vaccinated

Nurse Practitioners on Vaccines

Victoria Anderson is a Family Nurse Practitioner who understands and promotes childhood immunizations.
Victoria Anderson is a Family Nurse Practitioner who understands and promotes childhood immunizations.

We know that the great majority of health professionals understand the evidence that vaccines work and that they are safe and necessary.

Most parents too.

Some still haven’t gotten the message though.

From the nurses who refuse to get vaccinated, even though they are routinely around high risk children, to other health care providers who push the idea that it is okay to skip or delay some vaccines, they all put our kids at risk.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just vaccine-friendly pediatricians who are pushing non-standard, parent-selected, delayed protection vaccine schedules and who are leaving kids at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases.

“One would anticipate that this medical advance would be universally embraced by both parents and health care professionals. Sadly, however, the antivaccine movement, fueled by a lack of respect for the evidence and a profound paranoia, remains alive and well. It is not an overstatement to lay the blame for a resurgence of deadly childhood infections, stemming from declining vaccination rates, at the feet of this movement. Nurse practitioners (NP) also bear some degree of the blame. While certainly not scientific, the anecdotal evidence from letters to JNP documents that some proportion of our readers buy into the pseudoscience of the antivaccine movement. Comments have ranged from bafflingly uninformed (“I don’t think there is enough evidence to support widespread immunizations”) to profoundly unethical (“I recommend to my patients that they not vaccinate their children”).”

Laurie Scudder, DNP, NP on The Importance of Vaccinations

They are often joined by one or more vaccine-friendly nurse practitioners…

Nurse Practitioners on Vaccines

Of course, most nurse practitioners support getting kids vaccinated and protected though.

That’s reflected in the position statement of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP):

“NAPNAP supports the prioritization of immunization education for parents, guardians and other caregivers of infants, children, and adolescents. This education must include the most current scientific evidence related to vaccine safety, risk, benefits and current resources available to ensure that parents and caregivers receive adequate information about immunizations. This includes, when necessary, relaying the risk of not immunizing their child and potential devastation that can occur when a child is infected with a vaccine-preventable disease. It is incumbent that a PNP also be aware of misinformation in the public domain and provides the correct information to the public as well as the health care community.”

Fortunately, most NPs do a great job educating parents and getting kids vaccinated.

Not all of them though.

You can still find some pushing classic anti-vaccine propaganda about vaccines being made in China, that vaccines don’t work, that vaccine-preventable diseases aren’t dangerous, and that natural treatments work are safer – including many, like essential oils and vitamins that they will be very happy to sell to you.

“It’s time for NPs to be part of the solution. We must preach the importance of vaccines, and then we must practice what we preach and be appropriately immunized ourselves.”

Laurie Scudder, DNP, NP on The Importance of Vaccinations

Actually, it’s time for everyone to get educated and to be part of the solution!

What To Know About Nurse Practitioners on Vaccines

Like the great majority of other health care providers, most nurse practitioners fully support getting kids vaccinated and protected against vaccine preventable diseases.

More About Nurse Practitioners on Vaccines

Homeopathic Vaccines Don’t Work or Why You Shouldn’t Take Immunization Advice from a Homeopath

Get your gourmet coffee on aisle 4 and homeopathic 'medicines' on aisle 3 at your favorite grocery stores or pharmacies.
After you get your gourmet coffee, hop over one aisle and get a homeopathic remedy for sleeplessness (Coffea cruda 3X to 30X – 3C to 30C HPUS) at your favorite grocery store or pharmacy.

Most parents who follow a non-standard, parent-selected, delayed protection vaccine schedule do at least give their kids real vaccines.

Does that mean that some don’t?

Yes, homeopathic vaccines are a thing.

Homeopathy 101 for Parents

Many parents get their first introduction to homeopathy when they go to the pharmacy to buy over-the-counter medicines when their baby is teething or has their first cold.

However, since there aren’t any real symptomatic medicines for infants and younger children to treat coughs and colds or even teething, that leaves parents to buy stuff like Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets, Boiron Cold Calm, or Similasan Kids Cough & Fever Relief.

Most don’t really understand that they are buying homeopathic products – pharmacies, and the pharmacy section of grocery stores, typically sell homeopathic products right alongside real medicine.

“They are nothing but placebos, magic potions based on prescientific notions and with “active ingredients” that are often diluted beyond the point where any original substance is likely to remain. Homeopathic products are therefore literally nothing. Further, clinical trials have consistently shown that they do not, in fact, work.”

Steven Novella

Hopefully, this first introduction will end up being the last time they try homeopathy.

Using principles of shaking and “like cures like” and “the law of the minimum dose,” homeopathy doesn’t work and is not even regulated by the FDA.

Ironically, Samuel Hahnemann, the doctor who made up homeopathy, used Jenner’s smallpox vaccine as an example of his “like cures like” principle. And Hahnemann seemed to support Jenner’s vaccine!

Homeopathic Vaccines Don’t Work

What about homeopathic vaccines, or so called nosodes?

Some parents wanting to skip or delay their child’s vaccines are going so far as to not just look for an alternative immunization schedule, but a complete alternative to standard vaccines.

Should they try homeopathic vaccines?

“Nosodes are essentially diseased tissue or pus diluted out of existence and then the resulting water given to prevent the disease from which the tissue originates. It’s witchcraft.”

Steven Novella

Homeopathic vaccines don’t work.

Of course, when you look at the science, it is biologically implausible that they would. How would ultra-dilutions of the saliva from a rabid skunk (like cures like) prevent or cure rabies?

And of course, it has never been shown that nosodes work.

One can certainly see the appeal of a homeopathic vaccine schedule though.

No shots.

And no side effects, since your baby is basically drinking water (or sometimes alcohol) or eating a sugar pill (can they cause cavities?).

Unfortunately, there is also no protection from any vaccine-preventable diseases either.

That’s why you shouldn’t take immunization advice from a homeopath. They are not immunization experts…

What To Know About Homeopathic Vaccines

Homeopathic vaccines or nosodes do not work and will not provide any protection for your children against any vaccine preventable diseases.

More on Nosodes and Homeopathic Vaccines

About All Of Those Holistic Doctors Being Murdered

Folks continue to push the conspiracy theory that there is a connection between the deaths of holistic doctors.
Folks continue to push the conspiracy theory that there is a connection between the deaths of holistic doctors.

Did you know that someone is going around the country and murdering holistic doctors?

The Health Nut even has an Holistic Doctor Death Series featuring all of the cases.

She is up to over “80 deaths” in her series.

Not that 80 people have died though…

Are Holistic Doctors Being Murdered?

Is anything about her story true?

Again, right off the bat, you notice that she has far fewer than 77 who have died on her list.

That’s because 29 or 30 of them were part of a group attending a German homeopathy conference who were ‘poisoned’ by Aquarust, an hallucinogenic drug that is used recreationally, but it was never determined if they took too much intentionally or were actually poisoned. Either way, these 29 homeopaths weren’t seriously harmed and definitely weren’t murdered.

Dr. Ron Schwartz was indeed murdered, but even the Health Nut states that “We don’t know if he was holistic.” It seems like he is on the list because “he ran an organic lawn service on the side.”

Dr. Lisa Riley was also murdered, and again, the Health Nut admits that “Besides being an Osteopath, I have no idea if she had any holistic or “alternative” training or beliefs.” She is still on the Holistic Doctor Death Series though.

So were any of the other holistic doctors murdered?

Some were, but more often than not, the person who did it was found and can’t be linked to any grand conspiracy. Many others committed suicide or suffered accidents. And again, some weren’t even holistic doctors!

What about her “reporting?”

What should you make of the fact that many family members report that these deaths are sudden, unexpected, and surreal, leaving everyone shocked? She seems to take these quotes from the initial Facebook announcements and posts about the persons death. What do you expect people to say, that they saw it coming for years?

That so many of the first deaths were from Florida gives you a good idea of how the conspiracy got started though (frequency illusion).

  1. Jeff Bradstreet, MD – the only true outspoken anti-vaccine doctor on this list, Dr. Bradstreet, originally from Florida, also claimed that vaccines cause autism and “claimed he could effectively cure kids of their autism, cancer and other maladies simply by injecting them with protein shots.” The day before his death, his office had been raided by authorities looking into his GcMAF cure, as had a clinic he had links to oversees where 5 patients died. His death was ruled a suicide. At least one family member still believes that he was murdered, after reviewing the evidence with a ‘private forensic scientist.’
  2. Baron Holt, DC – only 33, the North Carolina chiropractor who had been struggling with non-life threatening health issues, died on a trip to Florida to “seek correction for his own spine”
  3. Bruce Hedendal, DC – the Florida chiropractor, age 67, was found dead in his car, reportedly of natural causes
  4. Theresa Sievers, MD – with formal training in integrative and functional medicine, the Florida doctor was certified in transcutaneous acupuncture and had become interested in energy healing – she was murdered by two men, one of whom was a boyhood friend of Mark Sievers, the doctor’s husband, who had five insurance policies totaling more than $4 million on his wife, with whom he had lived in an open marriage.
  5. Patrick Fitzpatrick, MD – a retired ophthalmologist (??? holistic doctor) who went missing while hiking in Montana in 2015 and has never been found
  6. Lisa Riley, DO – an ER doctor, she (??? holistic doctor) was murdered by her husband (he has been found guilty already) who was sentenced to life without parole
  7. Dr. Ron Schwartz – a gynecologist (??? holistic doctor) in Florida, he was robbed and murdered by two men who had worked washing Schwartz’s cars and boats and doing other odd jobs for the doctor.
  8. Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez – offered a coffee enema based treatment for cancer and died of an apparent heart attack
  9. Abdul Karim, DDS – an holistic dentist, he died of a heart attack while jogging
  10. Jeffrey Whiteside, MD – a respected pulmonologist (??? holistic doctor), his death was ruled a suicide after he went missing for three weeks
  11. Mary Bovier, DO – a geriatrician (??? holistic doctor), she was murdered in a vacant home she owned
  12. Mitchell Gaynor, MD – an holistic cancer specialist, he was found dead behind his country home in upstate New York – the sheriff’s office said he had killed himself.
  13. Marie Paas, DC – a chiropractor in Alabama, she reportedly killed herself
  14. Jerome E. Block, M.D. – an integrative doctor, he jumped to his death from a 20 story office building. He had recently been fined just over $100,000 for submitting false Medicare claims
  15. Jamie Zimmerman, MD – a doctor who focused on meditation medicine and a medical reporter for ABC, she drowned while on vacation in Hawaii
  16. Christopher D. Robert, DO – an anesthesiologist (not a holistic doctor), it is thought that he fell while walking home from a Christmas party and that alcohol was a factor. He was found on the side of a freeway.
  17. Mark Ernsting, PhD – a biomedical engineer (not holistic, he was working on a nanoparticle based delivery system to deliver drugs to tumors) who worked at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, he was stabbed to death in what has been described as “a random attack, a crime of opportunity” and for which the attacker is being charged
  18. John Marshall, MD – a surgeon at the Spokane VA hospital (not an holistic doctor), his body was found in the Spokane River and his death was ruled an accident, although a private investigator suspects foul play.
  19. Rod Floyd, DC – his wife, in a monthly magazine she publishes, describes his death as “accidental and totally unexpected. My only solace is that he felt no pain and died peacefully.”
  20. Alan Clarke, PhD – a cancer researcher (not a holistic doctor) in the UK, he was found hanging from a tree
  21. Paige Adams, FNP – outspoken against vaccines, this holistic Nurse Practitioner died from complications of her Lyme disease
  22. Cheryl Deboer – a chemist who worked at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (not a holistic center), she killed herself
  23. Armon Anthony Bert, DC – died after having a heart attack
  24. Dr Nadeera De Silva – (??? holistic doctor) was not murdered and his death was drug related
  25. Dr. Weidong “Henry” Han – the herbalist, his wife, and 5-year-old daughter were murdered by Pierre Haobsh, a business acquaintance.
  26. John A. Harsch, MD – (??? holistic doctor) was killed while riding his bicycle as a car attempted to pass another car on a turn and then hit Dr. Harsch from behind
  27. Dr Rose Polge – (??? holistic doctor) a junior doctor in the UK, she killed herself
  28. Vibeke Rasmussen, DC – a retired chiropractor, she was stabbed to death by her 24-year-old neighbor who confessed to the murder
  29. Curtis Clogston, MD – missing for weeks, he was finally found in an overturned car that had crashed and ended up in some brush, just off the road to his home.
  30. Jykri Suutari, DC – a chiropractor in Southern California who killed himself in his garage
  31. Alex Shvartsman, DDS, ND – an holistic dentist who killed himself in his home
  32. Mary Louise Yoder, DC – was murdered – she was poisoned by one of her employees
  33. Robert Sowers, DC – was murdered – he was shot in his office by one of his own patients after an argument
  34. Tiejun Huang Ph.D./MD – was murdered by a man who thought the doctor was having an affair with his wife.
  35. Jenny Shi – the acupuncturist was murdered – she was stabbed 41 times by her sister-in-law, who “had made a series of threat against her husband and had gotten in argument with her sister-in-law in the last year,” and had also “been arrested in China after she got in to a fight with Shi’s business employee”
  36. John Louis Lombardozzi, DC – he died in a motorcycle accident, even though he was wearing a helmet
  37. Dr Sebi – an herbalist and self-taught healer, not a doctor, Alfredo Darrington Bowman (his real name), Dr Sebi died in an Honduran prison where he had been arrested after being charged with money laundering.
  38. Jameth Sheridan, ND – there may be a conspiracy around the death of Jameth Sheridan (his real name is reportedly James Guenthur Dina), but not about how he died, well not that he was murdered as part of a holistic doctor conspiracy. Turns out the supplement company he founded never told anyone that he died and continued to sell and market his products. Anyway, he had apparently stepped down from the company to go “off the grid” to heal his body of kidney cancer naturally, but he had to go to the hospital because he eventually developed a wound/serious blood infection and went into septic shock. It was supposedly the complications of being treated in an ICU that killed him. The Health Ranger, no relation to the Health Nut, reports that he died because his products contain heavy metals that can cause cancer.
  39. Trevor Tice – did the founder of CorePower Yoga die under suspicious circumstances? While he was hooked on yoga, he also “had a history of chronic alcohol abuse and opiate abuse” and died after several drunken falls in his home, where there was no evidence of foul play.
  40. Dr. Silvio Najt – an holistic cardiologist in Argentina, he reportedly died of heart failure
  41. Tricia McCauley – an actress, herbalist, and yoga instructor, she was murdered after disappearing on Christmas day by Adrian Duane Johnson
  42. Robert Ashton, MD – a cardiothoracic surgeon, he died after he jumped off the George Washington Bridge and is talked about by the Health Nut in her series of Holistic Doctor Murders because Dr. Ashton and Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a medical reporter for ABC News, had recently divorced. And… the previous medical reporter for ABC, Dr. Jamie Zimmerman, MD, who focused on meditation medicine, drowned while on vacation in Hawaii. See the connection???
  43. Juan Sanchez Gonzalez, ND – although the Health Nut led with the idea of how many times Dr. Gonzalez talked about Big Pharma wanting him to get “hit by a bus,” he was murdered by the husband of a woman who had died after Dr. Gonzalez had “guaranteed he could cure the man’s wife of cancer.”
  44. Robert Mark Buller, MD – a bioterrorism expert and professor at St. Louis University (definitely not a holistic doctor!), he worked on poxviruses and died after he was hit by a car while riding his bike.
  45. Psalm Isadora – a tantric healer who says that her practices helped her overcome anxiety, depression, and a previous suicide attempt – tragically, she killed herself
  46. Ronald Edward Kibert, DC – the 67-year-old chiropractor in Oregon died after he was found under a large tree limb during an unusually strong windstorm. He was not murdered.
  47. Glenn Towery, DC – a chiropractor and acupuncturist, he was reported missing in May 2017 and has never been found.
  48. John Greg Hoffmann, MD – an expert in chronic Lyme disease, he had his medical license temporarily suspended in 2011. He died in a car accident.
  49. Christopher Bayley King, MDDr. King was shot after an argument and the shooter is in custody. While he was likely murdered, unless the shooter can somehow prove it was self-defence, it had nothing to do with his being holistic, if he was.
  50. Scott William Mieras – running clinics that offered acupuncture, holistic health treatments, and traditional oriental medicine, he died in New Zealand, after the house bus he was living in and driving, smashed through the railings of a bridge and landed in the river below.
  51. Justine Diamond – an Australian holistic healer, cancer researcher, and trained veterinarian, she was shot by a police officer responding to a 911 call about an assault behind her home in a tragic case that has led to the resignation of the police chief of the city
  52. Ron Schmid, ND – a naturopathic physician, he almost caused his own heart to fail by taking high doses of cod liver oil each day, a product that his own company sold! He died in his sleep at the age of 71, still suffering from the effects of the cod live oil he had taken each day.
  53. Glen Scarpelli, DC – the chiropractor and his wife jumped from the roof of his clinic in NYC. They had suicide notes in their pockets.
  54. Andrew Hall Cutler, Ph.D. – Andy Cutler, a chemical engineer, he self-diagnosed himself as being poisoned with mercury from his tooth fillings and later pushed the idea that mercury poisoning causes autism. He even developed his own chelation protocols. He died of a heart attack in his 60s. He left behind a legacy of parents believing their autistic kids have been damaged by mercury poisoning and some suffering from unnecessary chelation treatments.
  55. Ann Boroch – a naturopath, certified clinical hypnotherapist, and Certified Nutritional Consultant, she claimed to have “healed herself of multiple sclerosis,” was an expert on the “silent epidemic” of candida infections, and warned that “vaccines have live and dead strains of viruses, bacteria, mercury, formaldehyde, aluminum, and other substances that can injure your child now and later bring about retroviruses.” Family members had reported that she “passed suddenly of natural causes.” She didn’t. Tami Ann Boroch killed herself in her garage.
  56. Gabriel Goodwin, MD – an anesthesiologist in NYC, he jumped off of the roof of the Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Goodwin was not holistic and he was not murdered.
  57. John Michael Lonergan, MD – Dr. Mike, as he was known, had lost his license to practice medicine in Ohio in 2005 and went to federal prison after he was convicted of tax evasion, mail fraud and healthcare fraud. After he was released from prison, Dr. Mike was allowed to practice in Oklahoma, where he continued to give his so called “Jesus shots” until he died of a heart attack at age 70.
  58. Thomas Fay, ND – a naturopathic doctor – as a retired Marine, Thomas Fay became interested in naturopathic medicine after his wife died of breast cancer, and he died, according to his family of natural causes at the age of 64.
  59. Achutha Reddy, MD – a holistic psychiatrist, Dr. Reddy died after he was stabbed 165 times in the alley behind his office by one of his “ongoing” patients.
  60. Annie Fairbanks – a Master CHEK Practitioner and a doctor of holistic nutrition, Annie Fairbanks was recently murdered, but instead of the murder-suicide that the police are reporting, the Health Nut leads simply leads her story saying that a “Prominent Holistic Doctor and entire family found shot dead in AZ home.” And like other stories like this, the Health Nut is quick to report that some doubted the claim, wondering how they could have completed their investigation so quickly…

Does that put an end to the idea that someone is killing holistic doctors?

Probably not. Those who believe in conspiracy theories will still likely believe that these accidents and suicides were staged.

When writing about chiropractors in car accidents, the Health Nut states that “It could be a big coincidence, but I’ll just report the facts.”

What about the murders that have already been solved? Those can’t be linked to a conspiracy, can they?

What about the doctors who aren’t even holistic doctors?

When their children, grandchildren, or other family members look on the Internet to get more research about a deceased love one, are they going to have to find conspiracy theories about Big Pharma?

What To Know About the Holistic Doctor Murder Conspiracy Theory

The holistic doctor murder conspiracy was thoroughly debunked when it first started, back in 2015.

It is obvious now that it should have ended then, but understanding that it continues will hopefully help folks question (or even better, dismiss outright), anything else they see on sites that continue to push the idea of a holistic doctor murder conspiracy.

More On The Holistic Doctor Death Conspiracies

Updated November 22, 2017

5 Myths About Tetanus and Tetanus Shots

Think you know everything you need to know about tetanus and tetanus shots to make an informed decision about getting vaccinated?

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there about tetanus that can scare you away from getting a tetanus shot or make you think that you don’t really need one.

You can only get tetanus from a rusty nail. (False)

Would a rose smell as sweet if you pricked your finger on a thorn and got tetanus?
Would a rose smell as sweet if you pricked your finger on a thorn and got tetanus? Photo by Cherrie Mio Rhodes. (CC BY 2.0)

Tetanus is caused by the Clostridium tetani bacteria.

Unlike most other vaccine-preventive diseases, tetanus is not contagious. Instead, you can get tetanus after being exposed to tetanus spores in dust, soil, and feces, which then grow and make a powerful neurotoxin. Tetanus spores can even be found in the mouth of many animals.

So why does everyone associate tetanus with rusty nails?

We likely think that an old, rusty nail  is more likely to be contaminated with tetanus spores simply because it has been outside for a long time. Especially as compared to a brand new one that you just took out of a box.

But tetanus is not just about nails.

You can get tetanus after a cat or dog bite, a burn, frostbite, a tractor falling on your leg (crush injury), or falling into a rose bush (puncture wounds from thorns), etc. Almost anything that can cause a non-superficial wound can cause tetanus, especially if the wound is contaminated with dirt, feces, or saliva.

A tetanus shot won’t help after you have already been cut, stabbed, or bitten. (False)

The reason we give the shot is because the tetanus spores take time to germinate.

We are not worried about tetanus bacteria on a rusty nail, cat teeth, rose bush, or on ones very dirty hands through which a clean knife went through.

It’s the tetanus spores on those things and everywhere else, because they are in dirt and dust. And then, after the spores germinate inside a wound, the C. tetani bacteria have to start producing the exotoxin that acts as a neurotoxin, which causes the symptoms of tetanus.

The tetanus vaccine is against this exotoxin.

Unfortunately, it only takes a very small amount of tetanus toxin to cause tetanus. That’s why you don’t get natural immunity after being exposed to tetanus, but you do after getting the vaccine. It would only take about 60 nanograms of tetanus toxin to kill a small child.

Once the spores germinate, start producing exotoxin, and the exotoxin finally reaches your nervous system, that’s when you will start having tetanus symptoms.

If a puncture wound bleeds a lot, then you don’t need to get a tetanus shot. (False)

Many puncture wounds do not bleed a lot, but those that do are still at risk for tetanus.
Many puncture wounds do not bleed a lot, but those that do are still at risk for tetanus. Photo by James Heilman, MD

You don’t need to get a tetanus shot if you have a clean, minor wound and:

  • you have completed a primary tetanus series (a minimum of 3 tetanus containing vaccines), and
  • your most recent dose of tetanus vaccine was within the past 10 years

For most other wounds, including dirty wounds, animal bites, and puncture wounds, etc., you likely don’t need a tetanus shot if you have completed a primary tetanus series, and your most recent dose of tetanus vaccine was within the past 5 years.

In addition to a dose of tetanus vaccine, if has been less than 5 years since their last dose or they are unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated, then they might also need to get tetanus immune globulin (TIG).

How much the wound bleeds has nothing to do with whether or not you need a tetanus shot. After all, a bleeding wound is not going to flush out all of the tetanus spores that might have contaminated your wound, or at least you have no guarantee that it did. What if the bleeding was more superficial and there was a deeper puncture wound that you couldn’t see?

This idea likely comes from the fact that tetanus is an anaerobic bacteria, meaning that it can’t survive around oxygen.

Tetanus is a mild disease. (False)

Tetanus, which people commonly think of as “lockjaw” is hardly a mild disease.

According to the CDC, “Even with modern intensive care, generalized tetanus is associated with death rates of 10% to 20%.”

And tetanus will always be a problem – if you aren’t vaccinated.

Since tetanus isn’t contagious and the tetanus spores are in the dirt and dust around us, you can’t rely on the folks around you to get vaccinated and “hide in the herd” for this vaccine-preventable disease.

Some recent cases highlight this myth:

  • an unvaccinated 7-year-old in Australia who contracted tetanus through an open wound in her foot while playing in her family’s garden. She was in critical condition, remained in the ICU for a few weeks despite quick treatment, and will likely face months, if not years of rehab after being released. (2017)
  • an unvaccinated women who developed obstetric tetanus
  • an unvaccinated 6-year-old in Canada who developed tetanus symptoms 10 days after stepping on a nail (2015)
  • unvaccinated children in parts of the world where vaccines are not longer available, like Ukraine
  • an unvaccinated 7-year-old in New Zealand who developed tetanus after cutting his foot and was hospitalized for almost a month (2013)

Worldwide, there are still about 49,000 deaths a year from neonatal tetanus and 14,500 deaths in children and adults. The incidence of tetanus has dropped tremendously since 1980 though, as more and more people get vaccinated throughout the world.

There are easy, non-toxic ways to prevent tetanus.

This one is actually true, it’s called a tetanus vaccine.

It replaced the previous treatment for tetanus, giving folks tetanus antitoxin, a treatment which began in the late 19th century. The first tetanus vaccine followed soon after, in the early 1920’s. It became more widely used during World War II.

“I myself suffered a fairly severe and deep cut on my ankle from a freak accident a few years ago but the thought of getting a tetanus shot for the injury never even crossed my mind.  I simply soaked my foot and ankle in warm salt water a couple of times a day for about a week to ensure that it stayed clean and contamination free.

The injury healed up nicely and I never exposed myself to the toxins and lingering health problems that can and do result from a tetanus shot.”

The Healthy Home Economist

Of course, when anti-vaccine folks talk about ‘non-toxic’ ways, they mean holistic type treatments without vaccines or other standard medical treatments.

When they tell you to clean the wound and take “extra cod liver oil, natural vitamin C, lacto-fermented foods and plenty of bone broths,” they are basically saying to hope that you are lucky and you don’t get tetanus.

Not only is the tetanus vaccine not toxic, but it helps fight the toxin that tetanus bacteria could produce in a contaminated wound.

What about hydrogen peroxide or colloidal silver? Like simple cleaning, with a deep puncture wound, none of those things will likely get to the ‘bottom’ of the wound. If you have even seen a puncture wound, like when a child steps on a nail, there is not much to clean. The wound typically closes up as the nail or other object exits the skin. Even with other wounds, unless you surgically open and irrigate the wound, you likely won’t clean it well enough to get all of the spores out if they are there.

What to Know About Tetanus and Tetanus Shots

Keeping up-to-date on your tetanus vaccines, which might mean an early shot if you have a dirty wound, is the only way to avoid serious and potentially life-threatening tetanus infections.

More About Tetanus and Tetanus Shots

Chiropractors on Vaccines

greg-werner-vaccines-facts
Most chiropractors list the same 9 to 11 anti-vaccine myths on their websites.

Are chiropractors anti-vaccine?

Although there is overwhelming evidence to show that vaccination is a highly effective method of controlling infectious diseases, a vocal element of the chiropractic profession maintains a strongly antivaccination bias.

Chiropractors and Vaccination: A Historical Perspective

It would be hard to find someone who says that they aren’t. Even their own professional association policy statements don’t endorse people getting vaccinated.

Since the scientific community acknowledges that the use of vaccines is not without risk, the American Chiropractic Association supports each individual’s right to freedom of choice in his/her own health care based on an informed awareness of the benefits and possible adverse effects of vaccination. The ACA is supportive of a conscience clause or waiver in compulsory vaccination laws thereby maintaining an individual’s right to freedom of choice in health care matters and providing an alternative elective course of action regarding vaccination.

That’s the public policy of the American Chiropractic Association that was revised and ratified in 1998. The problem though, is that even with all of their talk of vaccine choice, most chiropractors don’t seem to give their clients must choice, only talking about negative aspects of vaccines and the risks.

For example, many chiropractors:

  • don’t believe in the germ theory of infectious disease – they don’t think that viruses or bacteria actually cause people to get sick
  • think that vaccines are harmful and too risky
  • don’t believe that vaccines work or are necessary
  • think they can stimulate the immune system via chiropractic spinal manipulation, as an alternative to immunization

Of course, many of these are standard myths that other anti-vaccine groups use.

Surprised? You probably shouldn’t be, as many anti-vaccine ‘experts’ give talks at chiropractic conferences, from Sherri Tenpenny to Andrew Wakefield.

And with more chiropractors trying to do “pediatrics,” even seeing newborn babies to do craniosacral therapy, their anti-vaccine message could reach more parents.

We saw that as chiropractors tried to influence the passage of SB277 in California in 2016. Chiropractors overwhelmingly lobbied against the vaccine law.

For More Information on Chiropractors on Vaccines:

False Balance about Vaccines

We live in the land of free speech.

All of our opinions should have the same weight, right?

Well, opinions yes.

Facts no.

Too often now, people are given the opportunity to express their non-professional opinions as facts, often head-to-head with experts, falsely making it seem like those opinions are equally valid.

Or it could even be a professional opinion, but it is still false balance if 99.9% of the professionals in the same field have the opposite opinion.

This type of false balance or false equivalency comes up when discussing many different topics, especially in science and politics.

For example, in a debate about science, you would be providing false balance if you gave an equal amount of time to those who believed that the earth was flat, that gravity isn’t real, or that the moon was made of cheese. Climate change is an even bigger topic that we still see a lot of false balance in the media.

“…it is important to recognise that the balance of media reporting does not necessarily reflect the balance of the argument among the involved professionals – by this is meant that equal weighting might be given by the media (and thus the lay community) to those for and against the vaccine although opponents of vaccination might be a very small number, as for example happened with both pertussis and MMR.”

David Baxter on Opposition to Vaccination and Immunisation the UK Experience – from Smallpox to MMR

False balance is especially common when the media discusses vaccines.

How often do you read an article or see a news report about a measles outbreak or an infant dying of pertussis, and then see it end with a parent who thinks vaccines cause autism?

Vaccines are safe, effective, and necessary. This has been proven time and again.

“There are issues that are not a matter of free thought, on which all opinions have the same weight. This is simply because they are not just ideas, but facts. The safety of vaccines is a fact, as well as their importance for preventing dangerous diseases.”

Robert Villa on Vaccines: a case study of false balance on TV

When you see Bob Sears or Jay Gordon or other ‘vaccine experts’ on the news, you aren’t hearing from doctors with an equally valid view, backed up with scientific research, as vaccine experts from the CDC, FDA, or AAP.

Doctors who push parent-selected, delayed protection vaccine schedules have anecdotal data and their own opinions, which many real vaccine experts view as dangerous.

What To Know About False Balance and Vaccines

False balance is dangerous. It not only scares parents from vaccinating their kids, but leads them away from standard treatments for asthma, eczema, and even cancer, often with tragic results.

More Information About False Balance and Vaccines:

Updated on July 23, 2017