Re Measles estimated figures - I am not suggesting that it is a surprise. You asked for my take on it.
The point that I was making was that if previous to the Measles Initiative there were very few labs to confirm cases, remote areas and certain African countries political climate made data collection difficult, and if Vitamin A can reduce measles fatality by 50%, then the statement that vaccines have reduced measles by 91% in such a short time frame seems rather high. (A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Vitamin A in Children with Severe Measles N Engl J Med. 1990 Dec 20 ) Other things to consider in mortality in Africa is that more than one cause of death can be registered http://www.statssa.gov.sa/pub
and 40% of deaths in S.A. had 2 or more causes. (Measles is not listed in the top 10 causes of mortality.)
I hope that I can use the term 'if' and 'perhaps'...I do find these words in journals and after all we are debating here. We are looking at the data, comparing and contrasting and trying to make sense of it all.
The inclusion about the dangerous EZ-HT vaccine which was withdrawn, was to give but one illustration that vaccines have the potential to cause higher mortality in other areas. Sorry that I only have Miller's book as a source. However, detailed criticsm of how some anti-vaccine writers (some on our reading list) cite research is http://www.pathguy.com/antiimmu.htm
- I include this site under LINKS on my website. This is a site that is pro-vaccination. Unfortunately, I can't find figures for overall mortality rates in Africa and compare them over time, linked to vaccine programs, so can't look into this further.
I am not saying that the Measles vaccine has not played a part on reducing measles incidence and mortality, I am questioning it's exclusive status and the figures, and the lack of balance addressed with being healthy. I am always trying to put Measles, and other childhood vax diseases, into perspective. For example, visit Water Aid's site and look at mortality figures for Africa, and you will see that 5,000 children die a day from diarroea. Money on Health & Education has nearly doubled since 1990 yet share allocation for sanitation has contracted. Diarrhoea claims more lives in Africa than any other cause. Perhaps there are more basic things which WHO should focus on to save lives. Any ideas why they gave chosen vaccines over clean water?
And in the Western world - 4,000 die on our roads. As a parent, childhood disease is not something that I live in fear with, and the same with crossing the road. I continue to keep informed with improving my children's immune system and recognizing and treating illness, and I drive carefully and teach my children to cross carefully.
The first thread re 'Should parents have the right to refuse' has got lost somewhat but this forum shows how difficult the issues are for many people and how differently people's beliefs are.
I went to an interesting talk by David Kirby, journalist for the New York Times, who was key in reporting the Autism link to the MMR in March in the US. (Which no one has discussed after my post). He said that the Insurance companies in the US were facing increasing payouts for allergy and chronic conditions and were beginning to carry out their own research. I find this an interesting future angle on the whole debate, and should size up the 'Holy Grail' for us all...Do vaccines make us healthier? Risks v. benefits in our developed nation over a long period of time... Perhaps the insurers will carry out randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trials on vaccines!
Joanna puts it like this - "The trials they are referring to aren't true double blinded trials. They would have one group of people who got the trial vaccine and the other group of people got a different vaccine. This skews the results because then the placebo group are also having similar side-effects.
> Merck who made HPV vaccine used aluminum for their 'placebo' group so they would have had 1 group getting side-effects from the vaccine and the other group getting aluminum poisoning.
> Traditionally, a placebo substance is supposed to be harmless and was either a saline injection or a sugar pill. Aluminum and water cannot be considered to be harmless.
> In fact, if you look at the manufacturer's data sheets that come with all vaccines you will see a statement at the bottom of the page, it says 'This product has NOT been evaluated for it's mutagenic or carcinogenic potiential or for impairment of fertility.'
> It says this on EVERY vaccine insert you ever look at. I.e. In any study of vaccines they NEVER study whether the vaccine viruses can mutate into other illnesses, they NEVER study to see if vaccines cause cancer and they NEVER study to see if vaccines cause infertility.
> Considering vaccines are given on mass to 95% of the population you would have thought that they would study first to see if they cause other illnesses or infertility - particularly infertility because if they're injecting so many people with a drug and it turns out it does cause infertility, this impacts on the future reproduction of the human race. Kind of important.
> If you then market a product and say it's safe but you haven't studied for those things, how can you say it's safe? You don't know. Why haven't they undertaken these important studies? They don't want to know.
> You are right in that the only 'real' placebo controlled trial was in India on BCG vaccine. The placebo group truly had 'nothing' - since then it has never been repeated and the placebo group always get some noxious substance, which is not medicine in my opinion, it's junk science."
The reason I want to come back to that point is that if such safety trials have not been done, (and if vaccinated children are still contracting Measles, mumps and whooping cough) can parents be made to have their children to be vaccinated. I expect that as vaccines are always being improved / withdrawn / changed, vaccines should become more effective and safer over time. For example, the FDA inspect vaccine operations and this year they claimed that bulk drug substances for many of Merck's vaccines were adulterated. 49/483 observations of good manufacturing practice was violated.
However, it took 50 years for scientists to calculate the actual amount of mercury a vaccinated baby was receiving on one day, only to find that it far exceeded the safe recommended level for ingested Mercury through Tuna. Source: Dr Halvorsen "The Truth about Vaccines". (Babies in the US were given 17 times the amount of mercury considered to be safe.) It is the mercury which has been linked to Autism in the case of Hannah Poling. I wonder what will come out about Aluminum in the future.
For myself, as a mum with 2 young children, in today's conditions I value my choice not to vaccinate.
Even Sense in Science http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/pdf ... iefing.pdf
say 'That a compulsory vaccination programme, in today's climate is not deliverable and would be counterproductive.' It is worth a read, especially as it suggests that less people will vaccinate. To illustrate 'in today's climate' take a look at The Independent forum after the article this month re the Measles outbreak. Twice as many comments are from people concerned about vaccines. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style ... artindex=0
Indeed, 'top down' policies using health experts and the media, do not seem to be working in the Dept of Health's efforts to immunize more children. They will now be working on 'bottom up' initiatives. Leeds university has worked with groups of parents making the MMR decision and is now working on a computer program to guide parents through the 'evidence'. Research shows that providing people with information and support / discussion groups usually results in them taking the drug / vaccine and taking it on time. (With the exception of HRT & Viagra). I say the results depends who gives the information and prior personal bias, (as we find the opposite outcome within Arnica) but of course The Dept. of Health is funding this research.
This will be my last 'essay' for a while (you will be pleased to learn) as my husband returns and I can't be typing away till the wee hours...
I will try to answer what I can, but meanwhile I am interested to know what you feel the result is from this thread? A few have certainly put in some thinking time. I have enjoyed this forum and felt that it encouraged me to follow my arguments and include references, and made me want to know more about vaccination and health in the third world, but actually did not change my mind on 'Should parents have the right to refuse vaccination'. What you feel has been achieved from all this 'reference ping pong'?
I notice that this thread occurred previously when everyone seemed to think that compulsory vax was the way to go. I wonder where these posters are - it is a shame that they have not contributed this time
all the best