Let's be clear : infectious diseases had already declined steeply, historically, before vaccines were introduced - this is a matter of public record. The reasons for this included improved nutrition, improved removal of garbage and sewage, availability of clean water, alleviation of poverty and awareness of the most simple and basic principles of personal hygiene. Any time these factors decline anywhere, it can be noted, disease returns. Public health officials are disingenuous to ignore this, and to insist vaccines defeated a wide array of diseases.
The killing illnesses of our time are actually not infectious ones, but chronic degenerative ones : heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and a large range of neurological and autoimmune diseases. Chronic illnesses like asthma and allergies, ADD, ADHD and autism have also increased enormously. A main concerns of people in the vaccine safety and choice movement, is that vaccines CONTRIBUTE to these illnesses. Certain scientific research and concepts not only suggest, but even predict this.
Vaccine safety testing, in the meantime, is almost never done by comparing a vaccinated and an un-vaccinated group ; but rather by comparing a group vaccinated with one vaccine with a group vaccinated with another vaccine. The few studies that have tracked vaccinated versus un-vaccinated people show a two to five times greater incidence of chronic illness, particularly autoimmune illness, in vaccinated groups. More and improved research is urgently needed. If the L.A. Times wants to be adamant about something, this would be a better choice !
I know that there are cases where vaccination is fully appropriate. But there are literally thousands of viral pathogens. Is it our strategy to create a vaccine for each of them ? Or should we learn to strengthen our natural human immune system to resist infection, and/or fight it off successfully with appropriate help ? A comprehensive, rather than single solution approach seems to be in order.
In the meantime, vaccine related injuries and deaths are being reported persistently. What if these most dramatic cases are just the tip of an iceberg ? Such concerns shouldn't be ignored, and those who hold them shouldn't be ridiculed. And the L.A. Times shouldn't be party to undermining a most basic right of citizenship - namely, the right to informed consent.
Jeff Smith RN
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