Solomon: Get dirty and avoid vaccines

While we generally support the use of vaccines, Financial Post columnist Larry Solomon asks an important question: Who has an incentive to curb needless or even harmful use of vaccines and medications?

Solomon writes,

… It should come as no surprise to any scientist that a sanitized environment can be dangerous, as can be medical procedures that change the human body’s chemical balance. Our bodies are ecosystems for trillions of microorganisms that, each doing its own thing, somehow keep the body’s impossibly intricate circulation, muscular, hormonal, digestive, skeletal, respiratory, and nervous systems in balance and functioning. We have thousands of known species of bacteria in our bodies with more being discovered every year. For the great majority of these species, we have no inkling of their functions. Blasting our bacteria with blunderbuss antibiotics, or bludgeoning other systems in the human ecology with equally blunt weapons such as vaccines, will almost certainly cause collateral damage, some of which may not be known for decades to come.

Who has an incentive to curb needless or even harmful use of vaccines and medications? Not the government health bureaucracies that enlarge their influence with each new dictate that they deliver. Not the medical research establishment that depends on grants from the health bureaucracy. Not the pharmaceutical companies that lobby for and then profit from government mandates that require their products be used. In the case of vaccines, a $30-billion a year global business, the pharmaceutical companies have even been exempted from any liability whatsoever in the U.S. market in the event that their products debilitate or kill.

The only people with an overwhelming incentive to protect children are parents. Dr. Ben-Shoshan and his cohorts will be hearing more from them in the years to come.

Read Solomon’s entire commentary.

8 thoughts on “Solomon: Get dirty and avoid vaccines”

  1. Steve
    this is a complicated problem because of some developments.

    When people got obsessed about mercury, they started condemning vaccines with mercury preservatives.

    the autism epidemic is not an epidemic at all, retarded kids are being labeled autistic because of social and medical judgments. the number of retarded goes down, the number of retarded labeled autistic goes up.

    asthma is on the increase–no problem, a lot of it is due to relabeling bronchitis after the big push on reactive airway disease in the early 90s. problem–failure to identify another factor, which is the increased hypersensitivity and allergic tendencies, which may, indeed relate to the more hygienic environment and less early childhood illnesses and exposures to allergens.

    so solomon is a silly man.

    he proposes that vaccines, which have nothing to do with the hyperallergenicity problem, should be eliminated.

    Solomon proposes that our reduction in exposures to non hygienic environments, for example mud and dirt, are a culprit. wrong ont the vaccines, right on the hygiene or dirt problem. .

    dirt and exposure to common allergens does probably reduce hypersensitivity–and probably reduces the rate of allergic disease, including asthma. excellent and logical.

    vaccines for the common childhood diseases? Mr. Solomon better show an advantage, and he can’t do anything but repeat anxieties. Not enough. vaccine for tetenus, whooping cough, diptheria, good. vaccines for measles, mumps and german measles–good. vaccine for hemophilus influenza and streptococcus pneumonia–the major cause of severe respiratory disease and meningitis. vaccines that have change my practice of emergency medicine, so we consider these kids to be protected and non vaccinated kids as at risk??? what’s the question?

    vaccines for hepatitis B and HPV, sexually transmitted diseases, get people going, but the vaccines for the childhood diseases are not deserving of any criticism.

    as for the claims against hepatitis B vaccine–well the disease is sexually transmitted, but also blood, and the issue should be risk versus benefit. same with the HPV vaccine, with the political agendas turned off.

  2. Mixing of the hygiene hypothesis and vaccines is confusing. Childhood vaccines are proven effective. The hygiene hypothesis — which is just that — has nothing to do with vaccines.

    I would like to see infant mortality data as well as expanded detection/diagnosis considered in connection with the hygiene hypothesis.

    What I thought was interesting was the questioned posed as to who parents should trust.

    The medical/public health community has so damaged its credibility that parents are now throwing measles parties.

  3. We forget the millions and millions of lives saved by vaccines. I was in the third grade when I got the polio vaccine. My mother had polio as a child. I had relatives who were crippled by polio. The fear of polio huanted my summers as a child (polio cases upticked in the summer). The relief Americans and later people all over the world felt when polio was mostly eliminated was HUGE. But people today have forgotten. I have lived in a house with a baby that had whooping cough and it brings tears to my eyes 45 years later. At the turn of the 20th century half of the children born would die before age 5, mostly from diseases that vaccines have saved us from. Pseudo-science and pure ignorant superstition based belief systems will force many of us to relive the history we forgot. Who said “alternative” health care is harmless?

  4. Civil engineering (read flush toilets) had a lot to do with the decline of disease, especially polio, which is shed and spread through feces. Interesting fact about polio: it was a result of bottle feeding. Breast fed infants do not get it because it cannot survive in their healthy gut flora. I recommend NVIC if you want to learn more about vaccine risk and safety.

  5. GWTW, you are ignoring the entire point of Mr. Solomon’s opinion piece. Who IS accountable? Doctors who have a vested interest in giving vaccines, and don’t take the time to properly attain informed consent? Bureaucrats who are looking to the pharmaceutical industry for a lucrative job after they leave the public sector? Politicians who accept campaign contributions from that same pharmaceutical industry? The pharmaceutical industry itself, which has a poor record on policing itself? No, parents are IT. Parents are the ONLY real defense vulnerable children have.

    Yes, polio was terrible. So was the Spanish Flu of 1918. So was smallpox. Yet, infants are NOT immunized against smallpox or Spanish Influenza. Infants ARE, however, turning autistic in number FAR too great to be dismissed as “it’s always been that way, they’re just being diagnosed more often today.”

    No one is saying vaccines should be outlawed, here. The call is for accountability, and for parents to take informed consent far more seriously than is typical today. I’m on Mr. Solomon’s side here. OBVIOUSLY there are well-worn paths to adding new required vaccines. Who decides when a vaccine is no longer a good idea? Anyone?

  6. My brother is retarded, but he is not autistic. To say they are one in the same means you have no experience with people like them.

    Also, how can one not once ever question the validity of anything pro-vaccine stated by people who gain financially the more children are vaccinated, but also lose financially when the opposite occurs? Why do so many, parents included, dismiss the even the idea that these people with vested interests are only looking out for themselves? It’s human nature to do what benefits us first, yet I’m supposed to believe that all these people supposedly wish to put my child first? They’re doing whatever is financially beneficial to them. Doctors get paid more by the government for each child they vaccinate on schedule. They also get paid more the less unvaccinated children they have as patients. I would have to ignore all of these things to believe their only goal is to do what’s best for my child.

    Furthermore, I will never be convinced that vaccines eradicated diseases because I grew up in a third world country without most vaccines and saw the diseases decline to negligible levels on their own. That was not a fluke, and parents were not afraid of childhood diseases. They threw parties for a lot more than chickenpox and their children were very healthy.

  7. “Infants are not immunized against smallpox or the Spanish flu” – Maybe because the former was eradicated due to vaccines and the other just weeded out?

    “There are more autistic kids today” – You never think it’s because women wait too long to have children, thereby increasing the odds of having children with genetic problems, or that there is indeed a thing called misdiagnosis?

    I think you’re hinting at the “vaccines cause autism” myth and ignoring the other causes of it.

  8. “Furthermore, I will never be convinced that vaccines eradicated diseases because I grew up in a third world country without most vaccines and saw the diseases decline to negligible levels on their own.” – Because of vaccines/Western influence, else they would have never existed in the first place. Or, better yet, the infected people DIED. Rest assured, without help, you would have died of the disease on your own. There’s a reason why the Third World is what it is – it is filthy, backwards, and a love grove for disease. Add some basic sanitation and good agriculture and your life expectancy increases. I’m guessing you didn’t put two and two together.

    Compare the life expectancy of the Third World to that of the First World. How healthy is it? Not very much, mind you.

    “Parents were not afraid of childhood diseases” – Please name the diseases they are not afraid of, and please name these celebrations. Vaccines have saved lives. Billions of them.

    “They believe their only goal is doing what is best for your child” – So you won’t protect your child against diseases that would otherwise cripple them, such as measles. One of the reasons why measles is on the rise is because parents, ill-informed ones, believe that they are simply retarding their children and that it’s just best for their kids to wait it out.

    So, the idea of “I grew up in the Third World/never saw vaccines help anybody/therefore vaccines don’t help anybody” is a really, really shoddy line of thinking. Or that the scientists who go against the status-quo and want to use vaccines and medicine that WORK are just part of the pay-roll. Sorry, but that sounds like alarmist thinking. But think of the children! Your children deserve to be healthy and not ravaged by diseases that ravaged others.

    One of the reasons why diseases declined – to a point – in the Third World is proper sanitation, better food, cleaner cities, and medicine. Take those away and they go up again.

    If parents should be concerned for their children, they need to learn about the diseases their children will be up against, and what vaccines should be needed. If not, well then, they’re naturopaths and will soon have their kids on anti-oxidants and those other pseudo-medicine pills.

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