My kids won’t be getting the Measles vaccine.

Let me set the record straight on this write up. It is not short and sweet. Read some, all or none — this is why I will never vaccinate my kids for the Measles.

The following paragraphs cover many of the questions/myths that some parents have to wade through. Like almost any health article, this isn’t meant to be medical advice. Talk to a trusted physician, but make sure you are educated going into the appointment, so you know how to ask the right questions. I am not writing this post to debate people. I do not consider blogs nor Facebook as optimal places for debate. This post is for the parent who really wants information on why they should not vaccinate — specifically in regards to the measles hysteria that is currently taking place.  In my experience, most pro-vaccine people are clueless and ignorant. This is not intended to be overly harsh; I mean it in the literal sense of the words. Most have not spent the time to actually research vaccines; they just spew out the same misinformed rhetoric that they heard on the evening news. Anyone who goes against the mainstream tends to be crucified if they don’t have their facts straight. I tend to find parents who do not vaccinate, or follow an alternative vaccine schedule, spend the time needed to be able to speak intelligently on the topic. Is it a generalization? Yes. Has it still been my experience? Yes.

One glaring example is the ordeal with Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Everyone hears about how his research article started the” MMR can cause Autism” debate. To start, Dr. Wakefield’s appeal is pending. His co-author was completely exonerated. Second, this study has been replicated several times in recent years with similar results. Third, Dr. Wakefield et al’s study never even recommended not to vaccinate, but rather to switch from the combo MMR vaccine to a single shot vial. Finally, this study was nowhere close to being the first study that pointed to a problem with the MMR vaccine and it hasn’t been the last. This study doesn’t “close the book” on the autism/vaccine debate as many people have been reiterating off their local news broadcast.  When speaking about vaccines, I am normally even-keeled, understanding and civil. Recently, however, I have seen people call for doctors to lose their licenses, parents thrown in jail and for everyone to lose their right to be exempt from mandatory vaccines. It has me seeing red. I’m losing my patience. Sometimes, you just have to call a spade a spade.

Let me start by saying that I am not opposed to the idea of vaccinology. If one of my children were bitten by an animal with unknown rabies status, I would definitely get them a rabies vaccine. However a line must be drawn between that scenario and the current pediatric vaccine schedule which is absolutely crazy. Much of it has been based on profit and unsound research. In the next 5 years, profit from vaccines will nearly double.1 Much of this is due to the fact that the general public has been taught that vaccines saved us from all of the terrible diseases. In reality, public health issues are mainly to credit for “saving the day.” Regarding the case of measles, the amount of deaths caused from measles was declining long before the vaccine.2 One problem that should be noted with the current vaccine schedule is summarized by Vaccine Researcher Neil Miller:

“Every doctor in the world knows that if you prescribe a drug for a patient it might interact with another prescribed drug. The odds of an adverse reaction increase with each additional drug prescribed. Toxicologists refer to this as synergistic toxicity. Yet, the CDC requires 4 million infants every year to receive 8 vaccines simultaneously at 2, 4, and 6 months of age without a single study to document that this cocktail of drugs is safe. Pro-vaccinators like to claim that there is no science behind anti-vaccination sentiments but they are hypocrites when they turn a blind eye to the anti-science of the very immunization schedule they have no problem compelling every child to follow. The FDA required safety tests for the individual vaccines but not in combinations recommended by the CDC. Please provide one (1) study that confirms that the CDC’s recommended infant immunization schedule is evidence-based rather than convenience–based (fewer visit to the doctor’s office). Provide the science, one study that the CDC relied on, to confirm that toxic synergy does not occur and that giving 2, 4, and 6-month-old infants 8 vaccines simultaneously, is safe. When you provide this study, we can continue this conversation.”

The current studies on vaccines not only disregard toxic synergy but they all refuse to compare vaccinated to the non-vaccinated in overall health scores. No studies ever actually compare the vaccinated to non-vaccinated because they call it “unethical” for some kids to not be in the vaccinated group. Isn’t the whole hullabaloo over the measles “outbreak” in California due to there being too many kids not getting their vaccines? Can anyone say “control group already established”?

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On to the current topic of Measles; the pro-vaccine crowd will commonly throw out the 145,000 deaths globally due to Measles stat. What they fail to mention is that the majority of those deaths are in underdeveloped countries in Africa and Asia, whose children are malnourished and impoverished. Are we really comparing those children to our children? Should I go around screaming for people to shove calorie dense candy bars in their children’s mouths because 3.1 million kids around the world die from malnutrition? So wait…am I saying that maybe what happens in third world countries may not exactly apply to us living in the United States? Ding, ding ding….we have a winner folks! Of all the measles cases in the US in the last 10 years, there hasn’t been a single death. I saw one article reference a child who died from the measles, but when I looked closer, the death was from 25 years ago! Let’s compare the number of people who have died in the United States from Measles in the last ten years to how many have died from getting the MMR vaccine. Deaths due to the MMR vaccine are over 100. We also know that vaccine injuries are grossly under-reported.  Prior to the marketing of the vaccine, the hysteria over measles just wasn’t there. Check out this YouTube video mashup of the “Donna Reed show”, “Flintstones” and “The Brady Bunch” and how they viewed Measles.

In starting to explore other alternatives to vaccines, I would implore the reader to consider that perhaps nutritional deficiencies could play a role in the severe cases. Have we seen nutritional deficiencies cause “outbreaks” in any other diseases that could serve as a template on how to handle this? The answer is yes. Reading an article by Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez reminded me of one. Keshan’s disease, a deadly cardiovascular disease was running rampant in certain parts of China during the 1960’s. No one could figure what was causing it. Scientists finally discovered that the geographical areas that were hit hardest by the outbreaks had soil that was depleted of selenium. Selenium is needed to form an anti-oxidant to help curtail free radical reactions. Simply adding selenium helped make the disease a rarity.3 Now bringing this back full circle to Measles, is there any vitamin/nutrient that could be helpful? It’s a good question and the answer is a resounding yes! Adding a Vitamin A supplement has been demonstrated to cut Measles deaths from anywhere between 50-70%. This means that half to over two thirds of all the Measles deaths in the world could be avoided with Vitamin A supplementation.4, 5 There is also a evidence that anti-pyretics (fever reducing medication) can increase the rate of complications with measles. Dr. Mayer Eisenstein MD, JD, MPH highlighted this fact in his book “Make an Informed Vaccine Decision”. He writes:

“When doctors give fever reducers to control the rising temperature in measles patients, greater problems are likely. In one study during a measles epidemic in Africa, children were divided into two groups. One group received fever reducers–typical treatment at many hospitals. Mortality was five times greater than in the group that did not receive this treatment. Researchers concluded that children with the most violent, highly febrile form of the disease actually had the best prognosis. In another study, 200 children with measles were divided into two groups. Once again, members of one group received a fever reducer. Children who received the anti-pyretic had prolonged illness, more diarrhea, ear infections and respiratory ailments such as pneumonia, bronchitis and laryngitis and significantly greater mortality rates…. Authors of the study noted that the adverse effect of [fever reducers], which makes the course of the disease longer, facilitates super infections which give rise to high mortality.”6

If people would just make sure those that contracted measles were given a Vitamin A supplement and were not given an anti-pyretic….mortality rates would plummet. With the death rate so low in the United States, I like how a colleague of mine Dr. Mike Bucknell puts it. He says:

“If I see that there’s only a five percent chance of rain outside, you know I’m not going to bring an umbrella. So if I see that there’s a 0.000 percent chance of my child dying from measles, I’m not concerned.”

Some people, when their stats fail them, will try and play on your emotions. They will throw a guilt trip on you saying, “you should vaccinate to protect the immunocompromised.”  I feel for children who fall into that category, but what a ridiculous argument it is to say that mandates for the whole population should be put in place  for the benefit of a very select few. I have personally treated patients who struggle with severe asthma attacks. In some cases, these attacks could be brought on by certain perfumes/colognes. By that same logic, we should make everyone throw away all their scented fragrances in order to not potentially harm those children. Starting to see the rabbit trail? What makes this argument even more comical is that the exact argument they use against the non-vaccinated can be used for those who do get the vaccine. We now know that if you get the vaccine you can actually infect those around you through the process of “viral shedding”. So yes, if you get the vaccine, you can actually harm the immunocompromised.7 So much for that argument.

Additionally, some will bring up the topic of babies being too young to be vaccinated. It has been demonstrated that babies that are breast fed from mothers who had a naturally occurring case of measles had better protection than babies who breastfed from mothers who got the vaccine.8 I do understand, some cannot breastfeed and some mothers have not had a measles infection. However, the point does show that getting a naturally occurring case of Measles can provide additional protection to a newborn child. Let’s not pretend that the process of being vaccinated equals 100% protection. In some individuals, we see primary vaccine failure, where the vaccine failed to produce immunity in the individual. We also have secondary vaccine failure, where there is a waning of immunity much quicker than expected. There is a possibility that adults who have not received any measles boosters are also a risk. Throw in the problem of viral shedding, and no matter what you are being told, the disease spreading is not just an unvaccinated issue. We cannot assume that the vaccine has been shown to always work, even if vaccine coverage wasn’t an issue. We are seeing outbreaks of Measles in China in highly vaccinated population groups.9 In addition, there are many areas and population groups that the vaccine does not have high efficacy rates with.10 One reasoning that has been suggested, is the falsifying of data in regards to Merck’s MMR vaccine. Chemist Shane Ellison writes:

“Unfortunately, the MMR vaccine won’t bolster your immune system. It’s a complete failure.  That science is indisputable and proven both in the lab and the courtroom.   In 2012, a class action lawsuit —United States v. Merck & Co. and Chatom Primary Care v. Merck & Co. – two virologists from Merck proved that the drug giant “falsified testing of the efficacy of the drug and misstated the drug’s efficacy to the government as having a 95 percent efficacy rate. Merck incorporated the use of animal antibodies to artificially inflate the results, but it too failed to achieve Merck’s fabricated efficacy rate. Confronted with two failed methodologies, Merck then falsified the test data to guarantee the results it desired. Having reached the desired, albeit falsified, efficacy threshold, Merck submitted these fraudulent results to the Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) and European Medicines Agency (“EMA”).” 11

Bottom line is that many people have been misguided when it comes to the Measles hysteria. The MMR vaccine is not the lifesaver that some would have you believe. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I write this for the informed parents, who like us, have chosen not to vaccinate and don’t need to feel inferior for doing so. You will have to excuse the language but I love the quote in the movie “The Matrix”:

Commander Lock : “Goddamn it, Morpheus, not everyone believes what you believe!”
Morpheus : “My beliefs do not require them to.”

Finally, I also wanted to remind the reader that not only do we need to highlight the dangers of the vaccine but also the potential benefits of getting a case of the Measles. If you get a naturally occurring case, unlike what the vaccine gives you, you will receive lifetime immunity. Secondly, if you are a female and plan to breastfeed your children, you can rest assured you are giving them greater protection than if you got the vaccine. Thirdly, there is some evidence that childhood infections (like the Measles) can help prevent other illnesses later (i.e. cancer, autoimmune disorders, etc). Like a muscle, during development, the immune system gets stronger by resistance. Shifting into overprotect mode can be more damaging to your child than helping their bodies learn how to fight off illness. 

I do believe that vaccines can play a small role in preventing certain diseases. I view it more as fine tuning than being solely responsible for the drop offs in certain diseases. Remember, scarlet fever, typhoid and others never had a wide-scale vaccination program and those diseases declined to virtually nothing. For the small benefit that vaccines may offer, in my opinion, it is not worth the potential for great harm that they can cause. The trade off is not there. There are many other things you can do to build your health. I will end this with a thought from a colleague of mine that I believe is an accurate portrayal of how people decide on vaccines. Dr. Ben Rall writes:

There is a famous quote from Albert Einstein where he states “there are two ways to live – you can live as though nothing is a miracle, or you can live as though everything is a miracle”

Here is a slight modification as it relates to your health:

“There are two ways you can view your health/body. You can view your body as parts and pieces that are destined to fail and breakdown and require drugs, vaccines, expensive tests and diagnosis, or you can view your health/body as an incredible self healing, self regulating, highly intelligent organism with tremendous abilities to heal when interference is removed and/or health and healing are supported.”

How you view your health/body will dramatically affect the choices you will make to care for you and your families health. I used to live the first way. Thank God someone showed me another way to view my health…it changed everything! How do you see it? ‪#‎vitalism‬

6Eisenstein, M., MD, JD, MPH & Miller, N.Z. 2010. Make an Informed Vaccine Decision For the Health of Your Child. Santa Fe, NM: New Atlantean Press. p. 80.
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