I am usually one to use PARENTS magazine as a decent resource. I was horrified to see the article in the magazine issue I received today. The article is named, "Why Babies Need Shots." It is a a completely biased article that literally begins with the following statement "Your infant really does need all those vaccines she's scheduled for in her first year. We'll tell you what she's getting and why each one is vital to her health." Need I say more about the rest of the article? Well, I will anyway.
The article "explains" how there is no vaccine-autism link and how the the shots 'prevent'epidemics etc. One statement reads, "You can limit the number of jabs your baby receives by requesting combination vaccines, which protect your child against multiple diseases with a single shot." (PARENTS, July 2008, p. 36)
The article adds a Q&A section explaining that the vaccines are safe because they are researched "extensively" before and after approval. When delving into the issue of mercury and autism, the article actually states that, "The truth is that a baby typically is exposed to 25 times more mercury by breastfeeding for six months...than by a flu shot...Methyl mercury, found in fish, takes almost two months to break down and leave the body. Thimerisol, which is ethyl mercury, is rapidly eliminated--within a week."
Another horrible coommentary was in response to vaccine overload. Their response was "Your infant is already exposed to thousands of germs on a daily basis (whether or not he's in child care). Even if your baby got 11 shots at the same time, he would need to use only 0.1 percent of his immune system to respond." (PARENTS, July 2008, p. 39).
Finally, they "address" the vaccine court cases and try to debunk Hannah Poling's win by reporting that the court "...did not concede that vaccines caused autism. Turns out Hannah was born with a rare mitochondrial disorder...and the court ruled that the stress of immunizations may have aggravated her condition, leading to autistic-like symptoms." (PARENTS, July 2008 p. 39). They then continue their argument: "If she had gotten a vaccine-preventable disease like the flu or chicken pox, she could have suffered far worse health consequences. Experts recommend that these children, especially, get vaccinated."
I wrote a letter to their "Mailbag" section to request a fair article on "our" side of the vaccine issue (copy below). If anyone else wants to do the same the email is email@example.com". Since the article is brand new, take a look inside next time you are in the store (no one says you have to purchase it). My only problem is that I have my opinions, but I do not feel I have the proper qualifications and facts to respond sufficiently. Any help with multiple emails to them would help.
Oh yes and most of the advertisers are either pharmaceutical companies or for medicines...BIG HUGE SHOCK ON THAT ONE! There's a time and a place for everything, but please...
PS here's the letter i sent:
"Normally, I refer to PARENTS magazine for many baby issues and usually enjoy the
magazine. However, I was very disappointed to read the "Why Babies Need Shots" and "Hot Topic: Vaccines and Autism" in the July 2008 issue. There were many misconceptions in these writings and it was a very biased, one-sided pair of articles.
The original intent of vaccines was to eradicate horrible communicable diseases, however, your articles neglected to show the evolution of the contents of vaccines. Mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, and antifreeze are just a few components that the companies themselves list as ingredients in their immunizations. Pregnant mothers are asked to avoid fish because of the mercury content, yet the shots have far greater amounts in them. Aluminum is one of an array of metals that have horrific effects on the human body as seen in the plethora of people contaminated with heavy metal poisoning. Formaldehyde used to be used in classrooms as a preservative in activities such as frog dissection. This substance is now banned and prohibited because it is a toxic poison. Finally, antifreeze is a toxic liquid used in cars and can be fatal if swallowed. All of these ingredients are toxic, yet parents are supposed to be blindly accepting of them being put in a baby's bloodstream? These ingredients were not always used in vaccinations.
Additionally, there are a multitude of other studies that show the common and dangerous side effects of those injections, and yet other studies that show groups that choose not to vaccinate that have no autism among their people and none of the communicable diseases either. One such study involved the observation of the Amish people.
As a scientist, I would like to know what studies are the basis of these articles, especially the statement about breastfeeding over six months gives a baby 25 times more mercury than a flu shot (PARENTS, July 2008, p. 38). Think of this, if this statement is accurate, the article is equating ONE SHOT given at ONE TIME to SIX MONTHS of exposure to the same contaminate...This statement alone should make one think about inoculations. One shot equals six months of mercury? How should that make a parent feel BETTER about the injection?
Another resource that I would have liked to have been cited is the one that states that. "Even if your baby got 11 shots at the same time, he would need to use only about 0.1% of his immune system to respond." This does not sound right. If this was, then why is this not the recommended schedule?
Also, consider this, pharmaceutical companies back medical textbooks, doctor incentives, and provide almost a million dollars per MINUTE to advertising their product...THEY have a lot to lose if their products do not sell. They are not going to sit with a child that has a reaction to their product, nor are they going to pay or apologize for any side effects they may suffer from either.
Please check the facts: There have been several products on the market, including
vaccines, that have been taken off the shelves for recalls despite their "extensive" research before and after the product was approved.
Please understand, vaccines have their place, but there needs to be an understanding that they are not perfect solutions and need much more research by outside groups with nothing to gain from them. How is it that the side effects are far worse now than in years before? "Cleaner" vaccines need to be considered and produced as well as other alternatives to keeping the communicable diseases out of our children. There are two sides to every story and being fully informed can help parents make educated decisions about the subject rather than being forced into a situation with scare tactics that some in the medical community use to get children vaccinated. This is not an exaggeration, this is the truth and I have experienced this first-hand. Parents need to have the right to decide for themselves what is put into their child/ren not big corporations.
I would love to see some real research into the other side of the vaccine issue and a follow up article. There are wonderful groups, (such as NJ Alliance for Informed Choice in Vaccination, New Jersey Coalition for Vaccination Choice, and the Holistic Moms Network) out there that are simply looking for a "fair shake" within this issue. They do not have the money that big corporations have to shed light on their perspectives, which deserve a look.
MK in NJ"