Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Shooting Mercury  

Robert Kennedy's recent article about the possible link between thimerosal (mercury) in childhood vaccines and autism has once again raised the issue of vaccine safety to the forefront of public debate. I am appreciative of his efforts to aid the cause of those who want more research in this area and also the cessation of the use of mercury in vaccines. The fact is that there is no reason to continue to have mercury in vaccines. It is absolutely unnecessary. The idea that anyone would continue to support such a possible danger is unconscionable.

As new parents, my wife and I began to become familiar with the retinue of vaccines that our daughter is supposed to receive. As we learned more, we became more troubled about some of the information which we found about possible dangers associated with vaccines. We read stories about parents whose healthy children suddenly became completely different shortly after the child had received a shot. Seemingly overnight, parents became parents of an autistic child. We also learned about the history of people who had fought for safer shots back in the 1980s when it became clear that one of the shots (DTP) was very problematic. All of this was information which we had never even heard about, much less given any thought.

As a child, I had simply been administered all of the required shots. My parents were not concerned about any possible side effects. Now as we looked into the information, my wife and I began to move from naive acceptance that all is fine with vaccines to what I would consider a very healthy skepticism. We were not reading quacks or cranks, but thoughtful parents, doctors, and nurses, who, although often motivated by personal experience, were nonetheless rational and thorough in expressing their concerns. As others have said, the parents who are concerned are not opposed to vaccines, they are opposed to unsafe vaccines. In addition, parents are also concerned that there is an attempt to "overvaccinate" children.

One example of this "overvaccination" is the Hepatitis B shot. In many states, the policy is to administer this shot to a newborn before the child leaves the hospital. In other words, a child who is only several days old is to be given a shot for Hepatitis B. A child that is, who unless the mother has Hepatitis B, is not in the least bit at risk for contracting Hepatitis B. In fact, it will be many years before the child could be in a population group who is at risk of getting Hepatitis B. According to the CDC, the people at risk of getting Hepatitis B are IV drug users, prostitutes, prisoners, sexually promiscuous persons, and babies born to infected mothers. The mentality that wants to require shots like this, at even such a tender age, is one that keeps parents up a night trying to figure what is best for their child. Anyone who wants to help by pressing for more research and information about the possible dangers of vaccines is very welcome indeed.

Posted by David at 3:30 AM  |  Comments (0)  | Link


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