So no, childhood diseases have not become deadlier.
They have always been serious and life-threatening!
Of course, not everyone died who got them, but they were rarely a walk in the park. Remember, even a mild case of measles includes a high fever for 4 to 7 days. That’s why folks often end up seeking medical attention multiple times, even if they don’t end up having any complications and don’t need to get admitted to the hospital
But what about the Brady Bunch measles episode, Is There a Doctor in the House? Is that really why you think vaccine-preventable diseases are mild?
In 1969, when that episode first aired, there were 25,826 reported cases and 41 deaths from measles in the United States.
Believe it or not, we still don’t have cures for measles, chicken pox, congenital rubella syndrome, and hepatitis B, etc. So while these diseases haven’t become any more deadly, they haven’t become any less deadly either, even with all of the advances of modern medicine.
“Before a vaccine became available in 1963, measles was a rite of passage among American children. A red rash would spread over their bodies. They would develop a high fever. Severe cases could cause blindness or brain damage, or even death.”
CDC says measles almost eliminated in U.S.
Instead, most people develop 10 days of measles symptoms, including a high fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes, and a rash. Photophobia, irritability, sore throat, headache, and abdominal pain are other symptoms that children with measles might have.
“From 1964 through 1971, 16.7% of the death certificates reviewed noted some underlying pathologic condition.”
Roger Barkin, MD on Measles mortality. Analysis of the primary cause of death.
It is most often children, typically young children, without any medical problems who die.
In the post-vaccination era, no one would be expected to die with measles, but those with immune system problems sometimes do, as most others are vaccinated and protected. As vaccinated rates drop though, even otherwise healthy children and adults can once again die of measles.
“Complications were reported in 672 (9.8%) cases, including otitis media in 318 (4.6%) cases, pneumonia in 178 (2.6%), diarrhea in 171 (2.5%), and encephalitis in five (0.1%). Nine hundred thirteen patients (13.3%) were hospitalized, and 10 measles-associated fatalities were reported (case-fatality rate: 1.5 deaths per 1000 reported cases). Eight of the deaths were reported in children less than 5 years of age, all of whom were unvaccinated. None had a reported underlying illness or immunodeficiency. Most deaths have been attributed to pneumonia.”
Measles — United States, First 26 Weeks, 1989
Probably not, but from 1989 to 1991 there were at least 123 measles deaths across the United States, even after measles had been declining for years with the introduction of the measles vaccine in the 1960s. Most of the deaths were otherwise healthy, without underlying medical problems.
Because we don’t typically hear any details about measles deaths, including the almost 90,000 measles deaths that continue to occur around the world each year, most people likely assume that measles only kills in third world countries, where kids are already sick or malnourished. Of course, that wouldn’t explain how over one hundred people died with measles in Europe over the past few years…
Still think that measles isn’t deadly?
Tragically, there are plenty of stories (although most are never reported in the news and we don’t hear about them) and case reports that will prove you wrong:
Olivia Dahl died with measles when she was 7-years-old (1962)
an unvaccinated 3-year-old died in Maricopa County (1970)
a 13-year-old girl who had previously been vaccinated with one of the first inactivated measles vaccines which were found to be ineffective and were replaced with the newer live vaccines died in Michigan (1978)
a 9-month-old died in Chicago (1990)
an unvaccinated 13-year-old died in Kansas (1990)
Tammy Bowman, an 11-year-old unvaccinated girl died in Michigan (1990)
an unvaccinated 13-year-old became the first person in the UK to die with measles in 14 years (2006)
a 14-year-old died of Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis (SSPE), a late complication of a natural measles infection (2015)
a 16-year-old who had received a heart transplant when she was 2-years-old died in France (2018)
an unvaccinated toddler in Jerusalem (2018)
Measles as a rite of passage?
“We baby boomers were apparently the last generation whose doctors, and therefore parents, accepted the measles as just one more annoying rite of passage of childhood that also happened to prime the immune system and provide lifelong immunity. Medical texts prior to the advent of the vaccine described measles as a benign, selflimiting (sic) childhood infectious disease that posed little risk to the average well-nourished child.”
Darrerl Crain, DC on The Great Measles Misunderstanding
While early pediatric textbooks did a great job describing the symptoms of measles, they also did a great job of documenting that measles was never a benign disease, something anti-vaccine folks still misunderstand because vaccines can do such a good job controlling the disease.
Do benign, self-limiting childhood infections diseases kill hundreds of children every year?
Measles as a rite of passage is something we don’t want to have to go back to. It was a rite of passage that was endured because there was no other choice.
There is plenty of evidence that the standard immunization schedule is safe and effective.
What about the alternative vaccine schedules that some folks push?
Is there any evidence that is safe to delay or skip any of your child’s vaccines?
Alternative Vaccine Schedules
Many people think of Dr. Bob Sears when they think of alternative vaccine schedules.
He created both:
Dr Bob’s Selective Vaccine Schedule
Dr Bob’s Alternative Vaccine Schedule
He didn’t invent the idea of the alternative vaccine schedule though.
Well before Dr. Bob appeared on the scene, Dr. Jay Gordon had been on Good Morning America with Cindy Crawford to discuss vaccines and how she had decided to delay vaccinating her baby.
Where did she get the idea?
After the segment, Dr. Jay stated:
“They edited the segment to make me sound like a vaccination proponent. We also have to understand the impact of a person as well-known as Cindy Crawford delaying vaccines for over six months.”
Dr. Jay has long talked about only giving infants one vaccine at a time and waiting until they are “developmentally solid” before vaccinating.
Similarly, other folks have pushed ideas about delaying and skipping vaccines before Dr. Bob, including:
Donald Miller and his User-Friendly Vaccination Schedule – no vaccines until age two years and no live vaccines and when you begin vaccinating your child, give them one at a time, every six months (first published in 2004)
Stephanie Cave – starts at 4 months and delays many vaccines
homeopaths with immunization schedules that say to wait until six months and then start giving nosodes every five days
chiropractors with immunization plans that say to get regular chiropractic adjustments instead of vaccines
Of course, Dr. Bob is the one who popularized the idea of the alternative vaccine schedule in 2007, when he published The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child.
That’s when parents started to bring copies of his schedule into their pediatrician’s office, requesting to follow Dr. Bob’s schedule instead of the standard immunization schedule from the CDC.
What’s the Evidence for Alternative Vaccine Schedules?
There is no evidence that following an alternative vaccine schedule is safe for your kids.
“No alternative vaccine schedules have been evaluated and found to provide better safety or efficacy than the recommended schedule, supported by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the CDC and the Committee on Infectious Diseases of the AAP (the committee that produces the Red Book).
Pediatricians who routinely recommend limiting the numbers of vaccines administered at a single visit such that vaccines are administered late are providing care that deviates from the standard evidence-based schedule recommended by these bodies.”
American Academy of Pediatrics
What’s the first clue that these so-called alternative vaccine schedules have absolutely no evidence behind them?
They are all different!
Paul Thomas, for example, doesn’t even offer his patients the rotavirus vaccine. Dr. Bob, on the other hand, has it on his list of vaccines that “that could protect a baby from a very potentially life-threatening or very common serious illness” and is sure to give it at 2, 4, and 6 months.
How slow should you go?
Both Dr. Bob and Dr. Paul give two vaccines at a time with their schedules, but Dr. Jay and Dr. Miller say to give just one at a time.
“Would any scientist give SIX vaccines at once to a baby? Asking for trouble. One at a time makes so much more sense.”
And while some start their schedules at 2 or 4 months, others delay until 6 months or 2 years.
There is also the fact that the folks who create these schedules admit that there is no evidence for what they are doing…
“No one’s ever researched to see what happens if you delay vaccines. And do babies handle vaccines better when they’re older? This is really just a typical fear that parents have when their babies are young and small and more vulnerable. Since I don’t know one way or the other, I’m just happy to work with these parents, understand their fears and their worries, and agree to vaccinate them in a way that they feel is safer for their baby.”
Unvaccinated kids aren’t healthier – they just get more vaccine preventable diseases. Most of which are life-threatening, even in this age of modern medicine, with access to good nutrition and sanitation.
So whether you only get one or two vaccines at a time; delay until four months, six months, or two years before you get started; skip all live vaccines or just wait until your child is “developmentally solid” to give them; or go with some other non-standard, parent-selected, delayed protection vaccine schedule, the only things that you can be sure of is that there is no evidence to support your decision and that you will leave your kids unprotected and at risk for getting a vaccine-preventable disease.
“…when I give your six-week-old seven different vaccines with two dozen antigens, I am supposed to try to convince you that the adverse reactions you have heard about are just coincidences.”
Better yet though. Find a pediatrician who will listen and answer your questions about vaccines, concerns about vaccine myths and misinformation, explain that no vaccine is optional, and not just simply pander to your fears.
What to Know About the Evidence for Alternative Vaccine Schedules
There is no evidence that skipping or delaying any vaccines with an alternative vaccine schedules can keep your kids safe from vaccine preventable diseases.
More on the Evidence for Alternative Vaccine Schedules
Some can even help you understand why you are afraid of vaccines.
Worst Vaccine Books
Unfortunately, if you simply search Amazon for books about vaccines, you are going to be hit with a list of anti-vaccine books. These include books that push their own made-up, so-called alternative immunization schedules and use misinformation about vaccines to scare you away from vaccinating and protecting your kids.
“Robert Sears became interested in vaccines as a medical student after reading “DPT: A Shot in the Dark,” a 1985 book that argued that the whooping cough vaccine was dangerous… Sears said the book, which helped spark a backlash against vaccines, exposed him to ideas he wasn’t hearing in school.”
Paloma Esquivel on Vaccination controversy swirls around O.C.’s ‘Dr. Bob’
While it is obvious that some are anti-vaccine, with stories about wild conspiracy theories, and that they have no scientific basis for their recommendations, it is also easy to see how others can fool parents, not knowing that the books “rely on the same tired old fallacious arguments that have been heard before and rejected by knowledgeable scientists.”
“…the book is also dangerous in the way in which it validates the pervasive myths that are currently scaring parents into making ill-informed decisions for their children.”
John Snyder on Cashing In On Fear: The Danger of Dr. Sears
These books, which are often described as anti-vaccine, include:
The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health-from Pregnancy Through Your Child’s Teen Years by Paul Thomas
The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public by Anne Dachel
The Business of Baby: What Doctors Don’t Tell You, What Corporations Try to Sell You, and How to Put Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Before Their Bottom Line by Jennifer Margulis
Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines–The Truth Behind a Tragedy by Andrew Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy
Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and The Forgotten History by Suzanne Humphries MD
Don’t Vaccinate Before You Educate by Mayer Eisenstein
DPT: A Shot in the Dark by Harris L. Coulter and Barbara Loe Fisher
Dr. Mary’s Monkey: How the Unsolved Murder of a Doctor, a Secret Laboratory in New Orleans and Cancer Causing Monkey Viruses are Linked to Lee Harvey Oswald, the JFK Assassination and Emerging Global Epidemics by Edward T. Haslam
Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola: Nature, Accident or Intentional? by Leonard Horowitz
Evidence of Harm by David Kirby
Fowl! Bird Flu: It’s Not What You Think, by Sherri Tenpenny, D.O.
Germs, Biological Warfare, Vaccinations: What you Need to Know by Gary Null
Healing and Preventing Autism: A Complete Guide by Jenny McCarthy and Dr. Jerry Kartzinel
Healing Our Autistic Children: A Medical Plan for Restoring Your Child’s Health Paperback by Julie A. Buckley
Horrors of Vaccination Exposed and Illustrated by Chas. M. Higgins, M.D.
How to Prevent Autism: Expert Advice from Medical Professionals by Dara Berger
Jabbed: How the Vaccine Industry, Medical Establishment and Government Stick It to You and Your Family by Brett Wilcox and Kent Heckenlively J.D.
Lethal Injections Why Immunizations Don’t Work and the Damage they Cause, by William Douglass, M.D
Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism by Jenny McCarthy
Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Summarized for Parents and Researchers by Neil Z. Miller
Melanie’s Marvelous Measles by Stephanie Messenger
Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds by Jenny McCarthy
Queer Blood: The Secret AIDS Genocide Pit, by Alan Cantwell, M.D.
Raising a Vaccine Free Child, by Wendy Lydall
The Sanctity of Human Blood: Vaccination is Not Immunization, by Tim O’Shea, D.C.
Saying No to Vaccines: A Resource Guide For All Ages, by Sherri Tenpenny, D.O.
Shaken Baby Syndrome Diagnosis on Shaky Ground, by Viera Scheibner, Ph.D.
Some Call it AIDS: I Call it Murder, The Connection Between Cancer, AIDS, Immunizations, and Genocide, by Eva Snead M.D.
Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: The Evidence Supporting the Immediate Removal of Mercury–a Known Neurotoxin–from Vaccines by Jr. Robert F. Kennedy and Mark Hyman M.D.
Vaccination: 100 Years of Orthodox Research Shows Vaccinations are a Medical Assault on the Immune System by Viera Scheibner, Ph.D.
Vaccine A: The Covert Government Experiment That’s Killing Our Soldiers – And Why GIs Are Only the First Victims by Gary Matsumoto, Ph.D.
The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child (Sears Parenting Library) by Robert Sears, MD
Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science, and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health, and Our Children by Louise Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland
The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health-from Pregnancy Through Your Child’s Teen Years by Paul Thomas M.D. and Jennifer Margulis
Vaccine Illusion by Tetyana Obukhanych
Vaccine Safety Manual for Concerned Families and Health Practitioners by Neil Z. Miller
Vaccine Whistleblower: Exposing Autism Research Fraud at the CDC by Esq. Kevin Barry and Dr. Boyd E. Haley
Vaccines 2.0: The Careful Parent’s Guide to Making Safe Vaccination Choices for Your Family by Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted
Vaccines: A Reappraisal by Richard Moskowitz MD and Mary Holland
Vaccines Are They Really Safe and Effective? by Neil Z. Miller
Vaccines: An Ounce of Prevention? Or a Pound of Death? by Keidi Obi Awadu
Vaccines Are Dangerous: A Warning to the Black Community by Yoshua Barak
Vaccines: The Risks, the Benefits, the Choices, a Resource Guide for Parents by Sherri Tenpenny, D.O.
The Virus and the Vaccine: Contaminated Vaccine, Deadly Cancers, and Government Neglect by Debbie Bookchin and Jim Schumacher
What The Pharmaceutical Companies Don’t Want You To Know About Vaccines by Todd Elsner, D.C.
When Your Doctor Is Wrong, Hepatitis B Vaccine and Autism by Judy Converse, M.P.H., R.D
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children’s Vaccinations by Stephanie Cave, M.D.
Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide: How to Make Safe, Sensible Decisions about the Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives by Aviva Jill Romm
Most parents will likely have few illusions of what these books are really about, even after simply reading the titles or seeing the names of the authors. For the rest, just read some of the reviews below.
And if you are looking for books to help you make the right decision about vaccinating your kids, try these other vaccine books instead.
What To Know About the Worst Vaccine Books
These vaccine books, many of which are featured on Amazon, mostly rely on the same arguments that vaccines are full of toxins that will poison your kids, that vaccines don’t even work, and that vaccines aren’t even necessary. They are just what you need if you are looking for help to justify your decision to not vaccinate your kids.
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: