VACCINATIONS AND CHILDREN
Most of what I've shared with you throughout this website might be regarded as good common sense, and an increasing number of parents share the "vitamins yes, junk food no" point of view. Now for the really controversial part: neither of our children got immunizations. My boy had two rounds of shots as an infant, but when my wife and I both saw that the vaccinations made him sick, we halted them. Maybe you are prepared to accept a meatless life-style for children, but are not ready to accept one void of vaccinations. A lot of eyebrows may raise at this point among readers, and that's fine. Let's raise them a bit further.
For years we have been told that without shots, our children are sitting ducks for polio, diphtheria, smallpox, whooping cough and such. This is simply not a proven fact. Dr. William McCormick, M.D., of Toronto, Canada published a series of papers (cited in my References page) showing among other things that inoculations have had very little, if any, influence on the history of these illnesses. Howard H. Hillemann, Ph.D., also published a lengthy paper ("The Illusion of American Health and Longevity") showing similar findings (and cited in References as well). So before your heart stops at the thought of my meatless, shot-less children, read these researchers' papers and start wondering not why my kids aren't "protected" but if yours really are.
If you're a young parent with young children, the question of vaccinations for your family is an important one. If you are single, or a childless couple, or if your children are grown up, it's a purely personal decision whether you choose shots for yourself or not. You choose to remain unvaccinated or not, as you think best. It's harder to choose "no vaccinations" when you have little children. The decision is larger because it affects the lives of others, and not just any others, but your own little persons. When it's your very own kids you're considering, you want what's best. I feel that way about mine; I think all parents do. So what's the right decision, then? Shots or no shots?
There is plentiful evidence that vaccinations are less than beneficial. The venerable British Anti-Vaccination League http://www.vaccination.org.uk/a/navl.html (and, incidentally, George Bernard Shaw) were vociferously against them. Homeopathic medical writers frequently include passages in their texts on how to treat vaccinosis, or the side-effects of vaccinations (Clarke, 1972). Certainly the U.S. Government cannot say without qualification that shots are either safe or essential. After all, this is what was said about the infamous Swine Flu vaccine in a 1976 FDA Consumer Memo in my possession: "Some minor side effects - tenderness in the arm, low fever, tiredness - will occur in less than 4% of (vaccinated) adults. Serious reactions from flu vaccines are very rare." So much for blanket claims of safety, for many persons well remember the very numerous and very serious side effects of Swine Flu vaccine that forced the federal immunization program to a halt.
As far as being essential, in the same memo the FDA said this of the same vaccine: "Question: What can be done to prevent an epidemic? Answer: The only preventive action we can take is to develop a vaccine to immunize the public against the virus. This will prevent the virus from spreading."
This was seen to be
totally false; after all; the public immunization program was abruptly halted
and still there was no epidemic of Swine Flu. If vaccination were the
only defense, literally tens of millions of Americans should have been struck
down with the Swine Flu, for a large percentage of the population of the
Surely there are other factors involved in prevention of illness or epidemic. But try telling that to allopathically-oriented health commissioners and doctors. You'd think that monks and nuns who work with the sick would have to get their patients' diseases... but they seldom do. If germs or viruses are all around us, why aren't we all dead, or at least deathly ill? Is natural resistance more than just a certain level of injected serums that we're supplied with every few years? Naturopaths say yes, there is much more to wellness than just collecting shots. Real wellness is the result of healthful living: natural diet, whole raw foods, plentiful vitamins, internal cleansing through periodic juice fasting, ample rest, peace of mind and appropriate confidence in Nature's preference to keep us alive and well. If we follow these parameters, the essence of naturopathy, we find inoculations to be irrelevant.
Now if you or your kids live on candy, hamburgs, shakes and steaks, you'd best get inoculated. Just as overfed, undernourished laboratory rats get sick at any brush with disease, so do overfed undernourished people. The germ theory and the vaccination theory begin to apply as far as a body is chronically weakened by wrong diet, overwork, chemicals in foods, drugs in the body and other unnatural abuse. A weakened body, a polluted body is fertile ground for assorted microbes to multiply. To the extent that vaccines and drugs deal with microbes only, they are apparently effective.
That phrase was "apparently" effective. Like adding "Drano" to a polluted pond, the chemical intervention results in death of germs. Naturopaths feel that microbe death is at the expense of poisoning the body with the drugs or vaccines. Poison on top of poison fails to get at the root cause of all illness, which is "polluted body" or systemic toxemia. In fact, the added drugs and vaccines compound the body's problem, for they cause side effects and new troubles of their own. The person gets more vaccines and still more drugs, to try to cover all these new illnesses, and then even more illness results. The cycle can go on and on for a lifetime, never solving the real problem.
Body pollution from wrong diet and neglect of natural living principles is the cause of disease. How can inoculations be given for neglect? How can you vaccinate a body against abuse? How can you be immunized against bad diet and insufficient vitamins? It can't be done. The allopathic medical establishment is looking into test tubes for answers that are found at our dinner tables. Drug companies' chemicals and hospitals' equipment cannot eliminate disease because they do not bring health in its place. Only you, yourself, can live in such a way as to become and stay well. Then the underlying causes of illness, including those we're usually immunized against, are eliminated without vaccination.
This applies to children as well as adults. If children are fed vitamin-rich, raw and whole food vegetarian diets, they will not require shots to stay healthy. They will be healthier without the vaccination. We would do well to remember the examples of the Hunza (in Pakistan) and other truly isolated "primitive" peoples who are so healthy they rarely even have names for diseases that we're seeking immunizations for. It's because they don't have much in the way of disease, period. They have no shots, no free clinics and no filled-in vaccination charts... until they start eating "civilized man's" foods. When they start into a diet of processed foods, sugar, white flour and meat, they promptly contract all the "infectious" diseases.
There is proof. Years ago, Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist, went around the world to observe primitive peoples and their diet. He saw that simple, natural diet of mostly raw and always natural, whole foods was the common denominator among all healthy, disease-free primitive peoples. His book is Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (1945, revised 1970) and Dr. Royal Lee, another dentist, discusses it:
parts of the globe where the native population had changed from their natural
foods to the use of commercial products, there began the infiltration of
those dreaded diseases, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and influenza together with
a significant rise in diseased teeth exactly parallel to the increase in
their use of commercial foods. Caries, pyorrhea, deformities of the dental
arch, cleft palate and hairlip were all now present
where unknown before. It made no difference whether the change took place in
a high valley in the Swiss
In the same article, Dr. Lee makes an interesting point about vitamin C in relation to infectious diseases:
"Systematic diseases such as children's diseases, fevers and all infectious processes exhaust the reserves of vitamin C and often rapid degeneration of the dental structures follow... The slow convalescence from fevers, pneumonia, etc. is mainly due to increased requirement (of vitamin C) which is inadequately supplied at this time in the great majority of cases. If the requirement happens to be greater that the intake for any reason, the patient declines into some fatal outcome such as heart involvement or a new infection is made possible by the low resistance. That is why pneumonia so often recurs several times in one winter in the same patient. It is a tragic fact that no patient is known to die until his reserves of vitamin C are completely exhausted. No vitamin C can be found in any of the tissues of a victim of an infectious disease.
This should give the parent encouragement towards using vitamin C for treating, or at least preventing children's diseases.
It is not enough to just say "no" to shots; you must have a viable alternative to affirm. During an illness, we give our kids plentiful quantities of vitamin C every half hour that they're awake. We have found this to be extremely successful. A complete protocol (detailed treatment plan) is contained in Clinical Guide to the Use of Vitamin C (Smith, 1988) and in A Physician's Handbook on Orthomolecular Medicine, chapter 10 (Williams, 1977).
I hope that it can be seen that there are alternatives to having one's children routinely vaccinated. There is the choice of simply not having shots. No one should order you to get shots for your kids or order you not to get them. A lot of people may try, however. I believe that the parents should decide. You should know that many parents, including my wife and myself, have chosen to decline vaccinations for their children after careful deliberation.
They, and we, sometimes run into not unexpected opposition for this decision. Among the reasons people give against no-shots policy are these:
1) "You don't care about your kid's health. You're only thinking of your own ideologies."
2) "Vaccination is legally required. You must have it done or your kids cannot go to school."
3) "Kids will get all the diseases unless they are immunized against them."
4) "Even if you're right, you're taking a chance. Why not get the shots and be safe?"
Let's consider these arguments, because perhaps you will hear them or you've already heard them.
You don't care
It's the law
The simplest way is to take religious exception to vaccination on personal, moral and spiritual grounds. This is Constitutionally valid; remember that the First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion. Of course I am not an attorney and I speak only from personal observation and research. There are two religious avenues to consider, and we have used them both.
It should not be necessary for you to attend any hearing or any other such intimidating appearance, nor should it be necessary for your children to in any way be singled out in school. My kids once or twice have been interrogated by a new school doctor or nurse. Questions included "What church do you go to?", "How far away is it?" and "How often do you attend?" I called the principal and politely complained. Believe it or not, even though he was cooperative, it actually took more than one call before the doctor and nurse desisted. Be prepared.
Home schooling is certainly an option. Ivan Illich's Deschooling Society (1971) and the later works of educator John Holt are very supportive of home schooling and other alternative education environments. There are families in your community who teach their own children at home, and there are state education requirements that they must meet to do so. For example, you need to keep a daily lesson plan book to prove you had organized learning experiences. Education can be, and is, being done without inoculations. (After all, Abraham Lincoln managed to get all the way through law school without shots!) You can keep the government happy and your kids' minds open at the same time by home schooling. It is labor intensive, to be sure.
Unvaccinated kids are sitting ducks
If an organism isn't truly sound and thriving, nature sends disease. It's not a punishment; it's just nature's way of indicating weaknesses. We can strengthen our bodies with our natural diet of whole foods, supplement it with vitamins, eat no meat, and get the rest we need. Health is a natural, unavoidable result. It is the "nature" of Nature to promote health in us. Our kids are healthy and will continue to grow in health not because of injections but because of correct eating and naturally strengthened immune systems.
It may be that the real "sitting ducks" don't know it. According to an article (backed with 68 footnote references) by Neil Z. Miller appearing in the Spring 1994 issue of Mothering:
In 1976, Dr. Salk,
creator of the killed-virus (polio) vaccine, testified than the live-virus
(Sabin oral) vaccine had been "the principle if not sole cause"
of all reported polio cases in the
In New Directions,
Summer 1991, an article by John Riker tells us that there are actually three
types of polio virus. "Types 1 and 3 were responsible for almost
all the polio cases worldwide... as much as 97% of paralytic
polio." Type 2, making up the remaining 3%, seems to be the only
type against which the Salk vaccine is truly effective. "In 1959 there
was a Type 3 outbreak in
Argument 4: Just
in case, be safe
Why face side effects, contraindications, reactions and covering over poor health, and add toxins to the body to boot? How is that being safe? No shots results in simplicity: nothing is hidden. When our kids have a fever or cough, we know what it's for: a warning to take better care. We put them to bed with a temporarily all-fruit diet or a mostly vegetable-juice diet, saturation levels of vitamin C, and make them rest. They got better when they were toddlers, and my now-adult daughter and son still do not get any vaccinations. And they have never had whooping cough, nor polio, nor diphtheria, nor measles. Was it just dumb luck, or was it smart eating?
Although I have offered my family's personal vaccination viewpoint to the reader, I do not pretend to tell anyone to get shots or to not get shots. Immunizations, in my opinion, fail to offer adequate protection against illness while actually increasing the risk of mortality. Each parent must make their own decision based on all the facts they can gather. To assist in this search, I suggest reading any of the books by Robert S. Mendelsohn, M.D. such as How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor (1984) and Confessions of a Medical Heretic (1979). A Shot in the Dark by Harris L. Coulter and Barbara Loe Fisher (1991) focuses on the pertussis vaccine. I most earnestly recommend Vaccinations: The Rest of the Story (1993) published by Mothering magazine, which I think is the most valuable reference of all.
The only reason an old rusty nail is associated with tetanus is that it might now be where horses had once been. Encased spores of tetanus bacteria can survive in a dormant state, like seeds, for eighty years. Stepping on a nail delivers the tetanus bacteria spores into the body as if from a dirty hypodermic needle. So tetanus shots are given to this day, even though horses are so rarely around us any more.
During the Civil
War, horses were like trucks and cars are today, performing the same function
of personnel and equipment transport. Wagons, cannons, ambulances and
officers were all horse powered. Confederate cavalrymen J.E.B Stuart and
Why are we horsing around with all these numbers? Let me get to my "mane" point: it is remarkable that there were so few cases of tetanus during the Civil War. Battlefield wounds were very numerous, very severe and very dirty. Blood and tissue and horse droppings were everywhere. Lockjaw cases were not. During the 1860's, surgeons did not even wash their hands, let alone their instruments. Tetanus bacteria must have been literally everywhere, with countless infected, ghastly wounds to match. After a typical battle, thousands of men might lay with their innards on the ground. Forget your visions of neat uniforms and waxed mustaches and glory. Pain and disease and mud and filth and horses were this war.
In the course of the Civil War, medical records and statistics were maintained and published. This is how we know that many more soldiers were killed by sickness (fever and diarrhea in particular) than by bullets or cannon. Of the over 600,000 soldiers who died in the four years of conflict, at least two out of three died of disease.
We know the death rates from various types of amputation, which ranged from 20 to nearly 90 percent, depending on location. And, we know that "lockjaw" cases placed far down on the casualty lists, and numbered surprisingly few: 2,050 cases per 100,000 wounds, a rate of just over 2 percent (Miller, 1994). That, with no sterilization of medical instruments, and not a pair of clean hands in sight. And with all those horses around.
There were still
one or two Civil War veterans alive when I was a very little boy in
When it comes to eradicating tetanus, I think you could make as glowing an argument for the internal combustion engine as you can for vaccination. As gasoline powered vehicles totally replaced horses, there must have been drastic reductions in our exposure to tetanus bacteria.
To bend the needle a bit further, let's look at another kind of injection against tetanus. Over forty years ago, Frederick R. Klenner, M.D. cured tetanus with massive doses of vitamin C (Klenner, 1954 a, b). In some treatments, Dr. Klenner used as much as 250,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day, most of it intravenously. Between 350 to 1,000 mg of vitamin C per kilogram body weight per day was his standard therapeutic oral dose. (Klenner, 1979). While he was indeed in favor of vaccination, Dr. Klenner described tetanus fatalities as being due to conventional medical treatments for the disease and not due to tetanus itself (Smith, 1988).
I offer neither an argument against horses nor against those who freely choose vaccination. This chapter is presented, like one side of a good debate, to get you past the sound bytes and to look into the subject yourself. The human body is almost unbelievably resilient. Perhaps a bridle needs to be put on over-praising or over-using the tetanus shot. Today, horses are rare and shots are the rule. Let us take a moment and accurately recall the days when it was the other way around.
Copyright C 2003 and prior years Andrew W. Saul.
Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at http://www.doctoryourself.com/review.html ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html )
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