And there are still thousands of other diseases that aren’t vaccine preventable, including African trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease, Chikungunya, Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Dengue fever, Ebola, Herpes Zoster, HIV, Hookworm disease, Leishmaniasis, Malaria, Schistosomiasis, and Zika, some of the most deadly diseases around.
Why Do We Only Fear Vaccine-Preventable Diseases?
So is it true that we only fear vaccine-preventable diseases and that’s why folks get vaccinated?
“Why aren’t you walking around concerned about leprosy every day? Why aren’t you concerned about someone from another country bringing leprosy into Australia or the US and somehow exposing all of our most vulnerable to this illness? I’ll tell you why. Because there’s no vaccine for leprosy. You are afraid of what we vaccinate for because these illnesses are hyped up all of the time. It’s propaganda. You are told what to fear, so they can then sell you an alleged solution.
The only diseases we fear are the ones that a vaccine has been developed and marketed for. We never feared measles and mumps in the early 20th century… Because its what the media tells us to do.”
Learn the Risk – Why aren’t we afraid of all diseases?
Did you know that there actually is a vaccine for leprosy? Don’t expect it to be added to our immunization schedule any time soon or to increase your fears about leprosy, as leprosy is not highly contagious and it can be cured.
And if we only fear diseases that a vaccine has been developed and marketed for, then why are so many parents afraid of RSV and herpes?
How many new parents won’t even let family members kiss their newborns because they are worried about herpes, even if they don’t have a cold sore? How many parents get panicked if they hear RSV, which can cause severe disease in high risk babies, but typically only causes cold symptoms in most others.
It is the diseases that aren’t vaccine preventable that might scare us a little bit…
What to Know About Fearing Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
Anti-vaccine folks push propaganda to make parents afraid of vaccines and to scare them away from vaccinating and protecting their kids. The idea that we are only afraid of vaccine preventable diseases is a good example.
Are they trying to scare parents away from getting vaccinating and protecting their kids, hoping to drag us back to the pre-vaccine era?
What Are the Demands and Goals of the Anti-Vaccine Movement?
Of course, some of the folks who are anti-vaccine don’t actually like to be called anti-vaccine. Instead, they prefer to say that they are pro-safe vaccines. So for them, it is rather obvious – they want safer vaccines without toxins.
Now, since vaccines are already safe and don’t contain any toxic ingredients, it would seem like their work is done already, right?
Another goal is having fewer vaccines on the immunization schedule. Jenny McCarthy often pushes the Turn Back the Clock immunization plan, wanting kids to only get vaccines that were on the 1983 immunization schedule, back when kids still died of meningitis, pneumonia, blood infections, severe dehydration, epiglottitis, and cancer from Hib, pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, chicken pox, HPV, and meningococcal disease, which are now vaccine preventable.
Other members of the anti-vaccine movement talk about vaccine choice. They want to be able to choose whether or not they should have to vaccinate their kids.
“I also warn them not to share their fears with their neighbors, because if too many people avoid the MMR, we’ll likely see the diseases increase significantly.”
Dr. Bob Sears in The Vaccine Book
What are other goals of the anti-vaccine movement?
Have you heard about the anti-vaccine folks who want to quarantine all kids who have recently been vaccinated for at least six weeks? Why quarantine kids who have been vaccinated? They are worried about shedding…
Would anyone go so far as wanting to ban vaccinations? Yup. So much for vaccine choice.
Some others want to rescind the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which they think will help make it easier to sue vaccine manufacturers. That’s one of Andrew Wakefield‘s demands in his movie VAXXED. He and others never mention that if you are suing in civil court, then you must meet a higher burden of proof for vaccine injury than you do in Vaccine Court.
Remember when Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. thought he would be appointed to some special Trump commission on vaccines?
“We want safe vaccines, robust transparent science and an honest and independent regulatory agency focused narrowly on public health rather than industry profit.”
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on Mercury, Vaccines and the CDC’s Worst Nightmare
Kennedy’s vaccine commission never happened, but that hasn’t stopped him from pushing for an independent regulatory agency.
I’m not sure who would run or be a part of Kennedy’s independent regulatory agency though, as he believes that “Congress, the regulatory agencies, FDA and CDC, the IOM, the NIH, the AAP, the science journals, the university science departments and the press” have all been compromised by Pharma.
Kennedy also wants thimerosal out of vaccines, which, as most people know, is already out of all vaccines on the immunization schedule, including about 100 million doses of flu shots this past year. But like others, he seems to be moving on to aluminum as his new target.
What to Know About the Demands and Goals of the Anti-Vaccine Movement
Whatever their demands and goals of the anti-vaccine movement, the effect is that they are scaring parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids from life-threatening vaccine-preventable diseases for no good reason.
More on the Demands and Goals of the Anti-Vaccine Movement
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
Having disagreements about getting kids vaccinated and protected are not rare these days.
“Many parents have questions about their children’s vaccines, and answering their questions can help parents feel confident in choosing to immunize their child according to the CDC’s recommended immunization schedule.”
They understand that terminating the physician-patient relationship over vaccines truly is a last resort for “when a substantial level of distrust develops, significant differences in the philosophy of care emerge, or poor quality of communication persists.”
Whether you find yourself on opposite sides about immunizations with a friend, your spouse, an ex, or your pediatrician, agree to get educated about vaccines using these recommended and reliable sources of information and then talk about it some more.
This is only because most people don’t remember the pre-vaccine era when measles, polio, small pox, and diphtheria, etc., were big killers. So even though vaccine side effects are about the same as they always have been, they can become a much bigger focus for some people because they don’t see any of the mortality or morbidity from the diseases that the vaccines have gotten so good at preventing.
It is at this crossover point that anti-vaccine folks are able to get away with pushing myths, such as like more people die from the MMR vaccine than from measles.
How Many People Die in the USA Every Year from Being Vaccinated?
Although vaccines are not perfectly safe, it is extremely rare for a vaccine reaction to be deadly.
“As for vaccines causing death, again so few deaths can plausibly be attributed to vaccines that it is hard to assess the risk statistically.”
WHO on Six common misconceptions about immunization
So why do anti-vaccine folks think that they are more common than they really are?
That’s an easy question to answer.
“Differentiation between coincidence and causality is of utmost importance in this respect. This is not always easy, especially when an event is rare and background rates are not available.”
Heininger on A risk-benefit analysis of vaccination
They often believe than anything and everything that happens after someone is vaccinated, even if it is weeks or months later, must have been caused by the vaccine. This discounts that fact that most people have a basic risk, often called the background rate, for developing these conditions that can coincide with getting vaccinated. It also explains why they believe in so many so-called vaccine induced diseases.
Another reason is that they also misuse VAERS reports when talking about vaccine deaths.
“In a review of reports of death following vaccination submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) from the early 1990s, the Institute of Medicine concluded that most were coincidental, not causally associated.”
Moro et al on Deaths Reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, United States, 1997–2013
Of course, worldwide, especially in developing countries, the number of deaths are much higher, which is a good reminder of what would happen if more of us stopped vaccinating!
And it is an even better reminder that you have to look at the number of deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases today in the context that most people are vaccinated and protected.
If you are truly looking at a risk vs benefit analysis of whether or not to get vaccinated, it is still the great benefit of avoiding vaccine preventable diseases vs the very small risks of getting vaccinated that you should think about.
“I also warn them not to share their fears with their neighbors, because if too many people avoid the MMR, we’ll likely see the diseases increase significantly.”
Dr. Bob Sears in The Vaccine Book
It is also the small risks of getting vaccinated vs the much greater risk of going back to the pre-vaccine era if you decided to skip or delay any vaccines.
“Millions of vaccinations are given to children and adults in the United States each year. Serious adverse reactions are rare. However, because of the high volume of use, coincidental adverse events including deaths, that are temporally associated with vaccination, do occur. When death occurs shortly following vaccination, loved ones and others might naturally question whether it was related to vaccination. A large body of evidence supports the safety of vaccines, and multiple studies and scientific reviews have found no association between vaccination and deaths except in rare cases.”
Miller et al on Deaths following vaccination: What does the evidence show?
It is not that the risk of getting a vaccine preventable disease is low because you might be able to get away with hiding in the herd.
It is not that the risk of getting a vaccine preventable disease is low because you are counting on everyone else in the world to get vaccinated and eliminate or eradicate the disease and your risk.
If too many parents who are on the fence start believing that their kids have zero risk of getting polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases and continue to skip or delay vaccines, then boom, we are back to the days when outbreaks would close schools and kids would suffer from the devastating effects of these diseases.
While anti-vaccine folks won’t have such an easy time convincing people that these diseases are mild anymore, none of us want to wait for more outbreaks to occur before folks get the message that vaccines are safe and necessary.
What to Know About Vaccine Deaths
Despite what anti-vaccine folks would have you believe as they try to scare you away from vaccinating and protecting your kids, vaccines are safe and necessary and vaccine deaths are very rare.
It shouldn’t be a secret that vaccines are made in China.
There are over 1.3 billion people in China, and no, they don’t import all of their vaccines from the United States.
Neither does India, for all of their 1.2 billion people.
For example, the Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. makes many vaccines, including:
GeneVac-B – hepatitis B
Quadrovax – DTP-Hib combo
Pentavac – DTP-HepB-Hib combo
Tresivac – MMR
Poliovac – polio
Triple Antigen – DTP
MenAfriVac – meningococcal group A
And there are over 34 vaccine manufacturers in China, including:
Chengdu Institute of Biological Products Co., Ltd
Hualan Biolgical Bacterin Co., Ltd
Jilin Brother Biotech Co., Ltd
Wuhan Institute of Biological Products
Lanzhouz Institute of Biological Products
These vaccine manufacturers in China, a mix of state run, private, and international joint ventures, help produce the vaccines used in China’s immunization program.
Some US vaccine companies even have vaccine manufacturing plants in China and other countries, but they make vaccines that are used in nearby parts of the world.
For example, Merck recently opened a new vaccine plant in Hangzhou, China to make vaccines to be used in the Asia Pacific region.
Should We Be Concerned About Vaccines Made in China?
If you are getting vaccinated in China, then you likely want to know more about where and how your vaccines are made. Everyone else should probably be wondering why anti-vaccine folks make such a fuss about this.
In addition to implying that vaccines are made under unsafe conditions, much of this anti-vaccine propaganda includes racist themes.
Parents who are concerned should understand that the United States doesn’t get any vaccines from China or India, or from Brazil, Cuba, Indonesia, or Russia for that matter.
The concern, of course, would be that it might be hard to test and verify these vaccines if they were.
“Following approval, FDA also carefully monitors the quality of vaccines—all manufactured lots must pass tests before they can be used. And as with all manufacturers of medical products, vaccine manufacturers must follow strict manufacturing standards. In addition, FDA conducts routine inspections of manufacturing sites.”
FDA on How does FDA assess the safety of vaccines?
Instead, vaccines that are used in the United States are made by:
Emergent Biosolutions – USA – Anthrax vaccine
ID Biomedical Corp – Canada – Fluvaval
GSK Vaccines – based in Belgium, but vaccines are made in Belgium (Boostrix, Cervarix, Energix-B, Havrix, Hiberix, Infanrix, MenHibrix, Kinrix, Pediarix, Rotarix), Germany (Boostrix, Fluarix, Infanrix, Kinrix, Pediarix, Rabavert), and Italy (Bexsero, Menveo)
MedImmune – USA – FluMist
Merck – USA – BCG, Gardasil9, MMRII, PedvaxHIB, PneumoVax23, ProQuad, RecombivaxHB, RotaTeq, Vaqta, Varivax, Zostavax are made at Merck’s vaccine manufacturing plants in West Point, Pennsylvania, Elkton, Virginia, and Durham, North Carolina
PaxVax – USA – their Vivotif typhoid vaccine is made in Thörishaus, Switzerland
Pfizer – USA – (Prevnar, Trumenba)
Protein Sciences Corporation – USA – Flublok
Sanofi Pasteur – Canada (Adacel, Daptacel, Pentacel), France (IPOL, Pentacel), USA (Menactra, YF-Vax, ),
Seqirus – USA – Afluria, Flucelvax, Fluvirin
Valneva (Intercell USA) -their Japanese encephalitis vaccine (IXIARO) is made in Livingston, Scotland, UK
Valneva Sweden AB – their Dukoral cholera vaccine is made in Solna, Sweden
A little competition in the vaccine industry wouldn’t be a horrible thing though.
Although plenty of vaccines are made in China, the vaccines that are used in the United States are not, although anti-vaccine folks use this as a talking point to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.
For More Information on Vaccine Manufacturer Sites: