Dear Universal Vaccination Shamers,
It’s time to point out your hypocrisy. You try to shame parents into injecting their children with all CDC-recommended vaccinations, yet it is not federal law that everyone be vaccinated. Merely existing as a human being does not require vaccination. Certain vaccines are recommended for children to attend public school, but not home school or private school. All but two states have a philosophical or religious exemption for children to attend public school without certain vaccines, and all states allow medical exemptions. Some organizations require health-care workers to get certain vaccines, but that is not part of any state or federal law. (1)
The following will be a very uncomfortable conversation for you.
You Are a Public Health Pawn
Vaccination is a recommendation and not a law because it’s cheaper for our government to use you in the public health campaign to ratchet vaccination uptake toward 100%. Yes, you are a pawn of social engineering. You are key to the program to publicly shame those who don’t vaccinate, and it’s worked.
For thirty years, we’ve had 95% vaccination rates for the most communicable diseases. Despite these herd immunity levels, you still don’t believe in vaccine choice. In your world everyone should be vaccinated because – contrary to the herd immunity theory you espouse – the 5% who are unvaccinated are putting everyone else at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases. When you look at the facts, an outbreak of a “vaccine-preventable disease” is not a social engineering issue solved with shaming tactics, it’s a vaccine science issue. Fixing the scientific issues with vaccine effectiveness does not involve forcing vaccines on the minority of people who do not want them for philosophical, religious, or medical reasons. Below you’ll read how you have overlooked your own role in reaching the herd immunity goal, and it has to do with science, not your public health campaign.
As Mike Adams wrote the other day, pro-vaccine choice people are not necessarily against the theory of vaccination; most of us feel vaccines need further study to make them safer and work better. We want more science. You call us anti-science, but you’ll see that we are into the science, not you.
Your Shaming Strategies
As a Shamer, your strategies are transparent and tiresome. After you call pro-vaccine choice people “anti-science,” you normally cite the smallpox and polio vaccines as some sort of proof that all vaccines work and are not harmful. On a recent vaccine article, I even read a vitriolic comment stream (aren’t they all) where a Shamer actually thought we’d eradicated leprosy with vaccines. Leprosy is cured with antibiotics like Dapsone. I call that a swing and a miss.
Since the science does not exist to prove vaccines are safe and effective, you spend most of your time arguing public health. Then you get personally accusatory. You say the unvaccinated are putting the vaccinated at risk. If you believe vaccines work so well and that you and your fully-vaccinated children are immune to every disease for which you’ve been vaccinated, why, pray tell, would unvaccinated people be a danger to you? If you are in this camp, I don’t understand your argument.
I was talking to an otherwise intelligent Shamer about this point, and he actually thought people carry diseases until the vaccine somehow sanitizes them. Just for the record, the unvaccinated do not carry all the vaccine-preventable diseases and are not standing in corners eager to sneeze on the vaccinated.
You call vaccine choice people “dumb” and say that we just do a Google search and do what Jenny McCarthy says. You think it’s a paradox that the people you put down for supporting vaccine choice are more educated and wealthier than the general population. We are not a paradox. I assure you that the background art on PubMed is not composed of interlocking teddy bears holding hands. We know how to search the U.S. National Library of Medicine and can get access to the full text of any studies we want. We read the science. We critique the science. We know the difference between correlation and causation, and know that the fourteen studies cited as the proof that vaccines don’t cause autism are epidemiological – i.e. correlation studies, which have also been manipulated. (2)
Here’s another contradiction in your position to ponder. You allow that the immunocompromised such as people receiving chemotherapy, can skip vaccines for medical reasons, but you don’t feel children at risk of allergic, diabetic, and neurological disorders should skip any vaccines.
Are You Immunologically the Same as an Unvaccinated Person?
You’ve probably heard the phrase “vaccination is not immunization.” It means that you and your fully vaccinated children might not actually be immune to the diseases for which you were vaccinated.
This is the big point. As a Shamer, you are a hypocrite if you know vaccines don’t cause your immune system to mount immunity 100% of the time. If you are one of the people who never mounted a good immune response to a vaccine or if your immunity has waned over time, you (and your children) may be vectors of vaccine-preventable diseases, just like the unvaccinated. How do you know you are not immunologically the same as someone who didn’t vaccinate? Lack of immunity after vaccination is more common than you might think.
Studies that test people before and after bone marrow transplants actually look at what percent of people are immune to various vaccine-preventable diseases before their transplant. A study published in the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases found that pre-transplant only 82% of people were immune to polio, 77% to tetanus, 64% to diphtheria, and 27-59% to HIB. (3) These levels were true for the healthy marrow donors as well. For diphtheria, an 85% herd immunity threshold is the public health goal, yet if this small study indicates diphtheria only has 64% population immunity, how can the disease be all but totally eradicated? (4)
The solution to vaccine failure is not to vaccinate people against their will just to protect you. That’s selfish and mutually exclusive of the greater good that you always talk about. You have the tools to take self-responsibility for your immunity, but your public health campaign has probably distracted you from this basic science. The main way to test if a vaccine has made us immune is to look at antibodies in the blood. Disease-specific antibodies indicate your immune system now recognizes an illness. If you mount a high enough level of antibodies, you are considered theoretically immune to the disease for which you were vaccinated.
Your Hypocrisy Test
Now that it’s clear you might not be immune to many “vaccine-preventable diseases,” let’s review what you can do about it. It will serve two purposes. You can personally achieve 100% immunity to all vaccine-preventable diseases, allowing you freedom from fearing the unvaccinated. Plus, the higher rate of immunity in those who do want vaccines will help us reach goals for herd immunity.
Here’s how to do it. You should get annual blood draws for antibody titers for you and your children to prove that you remain immune to vaccine-preventable diseases. Since you are worried about being a disease vector, consider quarantining yourself and your children until your tests are back. If titers show you and your darlings are not immune, continue that quarantine until you’ve been re-vaccinated enough times that your titers show immunity. Your doctor euphemistically terms these shots “boosters.” If you aren’t doing regular titers and re-vaccination until immunity is proven, it is your fault if you or your fully vaccinated child gets a vaccine-preventable disease. That’s science, not public health.
Quarantine and titering are highly inconvenient and expensive, which is why it’s not part of our public health recommendations, and never will be. But, since you are running your public health campaign for the greater good, you can now personally help make up for vaccine failure and waning immunity by ensuring you are 100% immune to every vaccine-preventable disease. It’s great you’ve told us so many times that you aren’t worried about vaccine side effects. You will have some, but you’ll be immune to a few diseases, which you say is more important anyway.
The herd immunity threshold is thought to occur when 75% to 94% of people are immune to each communicable disease, with rates varying by disease. Since you are among the 95% of people who want vaccines, and you will now have 100% immunity due to your revaccinations, the minority of people who cannot have or do not want vaccines can exercise their choice, without affecting herd immunity. (4)
People for Vaccine Choice are Healthier & Do Their Research
Since you say you look at the science, maybe you should get to know pro-vaccine choice people a little better. We take more responsibility to maximize our own immunity than those who hold the quaint notion that a vaccine or pill will prevent or cure everything that ails them. People for vaccine choice do consider vaccines and might get some. However, unlike Universal Vaccinators, we painstakingly research the risks and benefits of each vaccine before each decision. In addition to reading the published literature, we read the package inserts, especially Sections 6 (Adverse Reactions) and 14 (Clinical Studies), and check VAERS for the current count of adverse reactions to each vaccine. That way we can roughly calculate a risk-benefit for each vaccine, since we know neither the government nor vaccine manufacturers has provided that critical information. We also know that doctors and vaccine manufacturers are immune from liability, so they have no incentive to ensure we are safe. We are on our own, so we weigh the evidence. Can you still call us anti-science?
Each vaccine decision is based on our circumstances and individual risks. For example, a pre-existing mitochondrial disorder or methylation defect makes the likelihood of vaccine injury much higher. We are aware that all studies of the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated show much higher rates of chronic conditions among the vaccinated, such as allergies, diabetes, and neurological disorders. (5, 6) We know the CDC and NIH have funded none of those studies, but we recognize directional science, if you want to call it that. The question people for vaccine choice ask is this: Is herd immunity worth it, if the risk of lifetime illnesses is so high? Are we just robbing Peter to pay Paul?
You’ve called us parasites, but we don’t feel that way. We take health into our own hands and feel we are healthier for our vaccine decisions. We take Vitamin D and eat nutrient-dense diets to bolster our immune systems. It works. Our children are sick much less often than fully vaccinated children. If we do get sick, we are more likely to stay away from public places as a courtesy to others. I’ve noticed children who are sick all the time get sent to school anyway.
If we get sick, we know how to take care of the problem with natural medicine. You know, the stuff you incorrectly blanket with the term “homeopathy,” usually uttered with a sneer. Some of us do use homeopathic remedies, but mostly we look to foods and herbs, which by the way, can also be researched through PubMed. Despite what you might believe, we will take pharmaceutical drugs if our natural approach fails, and if the safety profile is good.
Speaking of herbs, drugs and research, did you know Tamiflu doesn’t work because it was derived from star anise? Star anise is a weak herbal antiviral. Pharma should have researched their herbs better before trying to chemicalize one that doesn’t work well in its herbal form. It would have been more scientific to select a strongly antiviral herb.
How Committed Are You?
Now that you know how committed vaccine choice people are to their own health, let’s talk about your commitment to your position. To keep your position without hypocrisy, you need to vaccinate, quarantine and titer until you are immune. Let’s take flu shots as an example. When the flu shot first becomes available each year, guess what? Yup, for the greater good, you should get vaccinated the first day that shot is available, or per your logic, you are putting others in danger since you are an unvaccinated vector. Then since the flu shot achieves peak immunity in only 60% of adults (at best), please quarantine yourself for two to four weeks to allow your antibodies to peak. (7) Whether you are in the 60% who do mount enough antibodies, or in the 40% who don’t, some of you will shed and spread your genetically modified vaccine strain flu virus to others, and that is impolite. In my book it is shameful. Repeat your seasonal flu quarantine and titer until you are immune. It might take months each year.
Since you won’t quarantine yourself, I will continue to walk the other way when I see you smugly sporting that little flu shot Band-Aid.
I hope this was uncomfortable for you. Please consider if your Shaming campaign is misdirected at those who exercise vaccine choice. Do we really need people to be vaccinated against their will, or do we need more effective vaccines with immunity that won’t wane over time? Since vaccines do not work perfectly, the onus is on you – the majority of you who favor vaccination without reservation – to take personal responsibility for your own immunity with more vaccines for yourself and your children. It also helps with herd immunity. Then, you have no reason to fear the unvaccinated or have those uncomfortable shaming conversations.
To Your Health,
Paula Onnit is not related to Paul Offit.