I don’t think they really want to hear it. It’s easier to blame a group of people, than to take responsibility. The word I’m looking for is: scapegoat.
Scapegoat /ˈskāpˌɡōt/ 1. a person (or group of persons) who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others.
Isn’t that what’s really happening? The reason why children need medical exemptions is much more nuanced and complex than the claim of ‘fraudulent doctors.’
Who should decide who receives a Medical Exemption? That is what is on the table. Does a doctor decide that? Does a State Bureaucrat decide that? Does the CDC decide that? And does the patient–or his or her parents–have any say?
A Misplaced Public Health Crisis
Despite California boasting the 5th largest economy in the world, the health outcomes of its residents are in dire straits compared to its economic peers. California’s Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is 4.3 deaths per 1,000 live births, which puts us behind at least 36 other nations, including all of Europe (Sweden, Norway, Iceland, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, etc) as well as Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Israel, Ireland, Slovenia, Taiwan, and many more.
Some individual counties within California have IMR’s on par with developing nations: 8.1 per 1,000 lives births for Fresno County, 6.4 for San Bernardino County, 7.4 for Mendocino County, 7.6 for Yuba County.
Not only that, but the racial disparity of California’s IMR is not something to be ignored: In 2018, African American infants had 9.55 deaths per 1,000 live births, whereas white infants were at 3.75 per 1,000 live births. In 2015, the figures were 9.35, and 3.92, respectively.
Clearly, we have major problems, but higher vaccination rates and compliance does not translate into fewer infant deaths, or better health outcomes.
Let’s Look at the Facts
- California has the 6th highest vaccination coverage in the United States.
- California also has the 3rd lowest total exemption rates in the country.
- New York’s exemption rate of 1.1% didn’t prevent the biggest measles outbreak in decades–so are we sure that low exemption rates correlate with ZERO outbreaks when we have evidence of the opposite?
- From 2011 to 2018, the percent of students in California enrolled in Special Education has increased 19% (from a rate of 10.5% in 2011, to 11.3% in 2014, to 12.5% in 2018).
- Overall statewide student enrollment declined 0.8% from 2014-15 to 2017-18 (as more students are opting for homeschooling).
- The counties with higher than average rates of medical exemptions also have higher rates of students enrolled in Special Education.
- For example, Calaveras County has a higher than average rate of ME and Conditional Entrants that is consistent with a higher than average Special Education enrollment of 21%–state average is 12%.
- School districts throughout the state range from 1.7% to 23.4% Special Education enrollment, which is positively associated with observable fluctuations in medical exemptions by district.
- Children with medical conditions, especially conditions brought on by vaccination, will seek out medical exemptions to future vaccinations. These are special needs children. They are students with disabilities.
Are the Kids Alright?
On the whole, American children are 70% more likely to die before adulthood than kids in other comparably wealthy countries.
In the last several decades, we have collectively witnessed a transformation in the health of our nation’s children. And it’s not for the better.
Acute febrile illnesses like Chickenpox (only a few European countries even vaccinate for this) have been replaced by life-long chronic conditions such as auto immune conditions, autism, food allergies, hyper immune disorders, asthma and epilepsy, and childhood cancer.
Some people look for answers in the hygiene hypothesis. That we’re too clean and use too many disinfectants. Some people think it may stem from a lackluster microbiome due to many factors like antibiotic use, cesarean delivery, pesticide use, and vaccination. Yes, vaccination.
Why should vaccination be off the table? It’s something nearly every baby receives shortly after birth. This deserves our complete attention.
- From 2010 to 2015, a current epilepsy diagnosis in children increased 13%.
- From 2000 to 2015, an autism diagnosis increased 150%.
- From 1997 to 2011, the prevalence of food allergy in children increased 50%.
- From 2001 to 2011, the number of Americans with asthma increased 28%.
- The biggest increase in asthma was for African American children who experienced a 50% increase in asthma diagnosis from 2001 to 2009.
- From 2000-2016, a diagnosis of childhood cancer has increased 22.9%.
This is the urgent problem that needs our attention. This is the reason for the increase in students in Special Education. This is why families get medical exemptions. This is why families are asking questions, including questions about the CDC vaccine schedule.
We don’t need to punish doctors for ‘doing no harm’ or parents for protecting their children. What we need is to hold drug companies and our government agencies who are supposed to regulate and monitor them, accountable.
Are Vaccines Safe?
To answer this question, we need the data. We need the science. What did the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report from 2013 have to say?
“No studies have compared the differences in health outcomes that some stakeholders questioned between entirely unimmunized populations of children and fully immunized children. Experts who addressed the committee pointed not to a body of evidence that had been overlooked but rather to the fact that existing research has not been designed to test the entire immunization schedule.”
Institute of Medicine. 2013. The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13563.
What we want to know is: Is the CDC recommended vaccine schedule safe? And to properly answer that question, we would need a fully unvaccinated control group. The unvaccinated kids who are often the butt of pro-vax memes. Suddenly, they become a crucial component in vaccine safety research. We need these unvaccinated children in order to see clearly the physiological and neurological effects of long-term exposure to vaccines.
What Studies Do We Have?
1. Association Between Estimated Cumulative Vaccine Antigen Exposure Through the First 23 Months of Life and Non–Vaccine Targeted Infections From 24 Through 47 Months of Age, Glanz J, et al. JAMA. 2018; 319(9):906-913.
Notes: Comparing health outcomes for different ranges of antigen exposure. The lowest antigen exposure reference group is 0-198 antigens. So, no unvaccinated group.
Notes: 5 case-control and 5 cohort studies. Studies were included that looked at either MMR vaccination, cumulative mercury (Hg) or cumulative thimerosal dosage from vaccinations. No individual study had an unvaccinated control reference group.
3. Patterns of childhood immunization and all-cause mortality. Natalie L. McCarthy, et al. 2017
Full study here —–> McCarthy, et al
Notes: Study compares mortality rates between children following the ACIP recommended vaccine schedule against children considered “undervaccinated” which are children missing at least one dose. Curiously, 3.3% of the “undervaccinated” group received no vaccines but they are not examined distinctly from the “undervaccinated” group. So, no unvaccinated reference group.
Notes: This study wanted to examine the relationships between prenatal and infant ethylmercury exposure from thimerosal-containing vaccines and or immunoglobulin preparations and ASD, but it forgot to include unvaccinated kids. No unvaccinated reference group.
Notes: They tried to evaluate the association between autism and the level of immunologic stimulation received from vaccines administered during the first 2 years of life, but forgot to keep the ZERO exposure group all by itself. The reference groups are: 0-25 antigens, 0-125 antigens, and 0-311 antigens. And then for an even more sensitive analysis, their reference group for a single day exposure was 0-25 antigens, 0-25 antigens, and 0-100 antigens (compared to kids with 3000-6258 antigens). Sadly, this was another missed opportunity. No unvaccinated reference group.
6. Number of antigens in early childhood vaccines and neuropsychological outcomes at age 7-10 years. Iqbal S, et al. 2013
Full Study —-> Iqbal, et al
Notes: They used a publicly available dataset to evaluate the association between antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides from early childhood vaccines and neuropsychological outcomes at age 7-10 years. Lowest exposure reference group is <100. So, no unvaccinated group.
7. On-time Vaccine Receipt in the First Year Does Not Adversely Affect Neuropsychological Outcomes. Michael J. Smith 2010
Full Study —–> Smith, et al