Letter to editor mandating vaccine
To the Editor: Re ''Public Health Risk Seen as Parents Reject Vaccines'' (front page, March 21): Parental objections to vaccines highlight the fundamental ethical dilemma inherent in all public health initiatives: the often conflicting values of seeking better societal health and preserving individual liberties.Virtually any action taken in the name of public health -- such as mandating vaccinations -- cuts into the individual's right to make such a decision for him or herself.With guidance from a new doctor, I stopped all immunizations except for polio, knowing that the diseases my son would face were unlikely to kill or irreparably harm him and that if he contracted any of them, I would be able to care for him to ensure his recovery.I was simply unwilling to risk losing or injuring my son to these imperfect shots.One question remains: Whom will they sue when their children die of preventable diseases? Carl Baum New Haven, March 21, 2008 The writer, a pediatrician, is director of the Center for Children's Environmental Toxicology at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital.To the Editor: When my nursing and crawling 6-month-old son went limp, refused to nurse and couldn't raise his head for 36 hours after his third diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus shot, you bet I educated myself about the true risks that accompany immunizations.I’m angry and disappointed at reading about mothers’ vaccine refusal (LNP Sept. I’ve practiced pediatrics for the past 54 years, still examining safely immunized students of Carter & Mac Rae Elementary School in inner city Lancaster.My experience includes watching my 17-year-old high school classmate in an iron lung, completely paralyzed from polio, die of pneumonia. Hundreds, especially teenagers, struggling with complications of “real’’ measles.
Or my fifth grader’s grandfather on a respirator in ICU, weeks after seeing his coughing 10-year-old granddaughter, whose mother said flu shots weren’t necessary. I’m saddened by the deaths of 30- to 40-year-old women from cervical cancer.
Now there is narrative starting to be put forward that unvaccinated adults are costing the economy billions of dollars a year.
This is all based on the premise, one that is repeated as a mantra by those in the medical community, that vaccines are safe and effective and that the science is settled. I never really questioned vaccine safety and I thought I understood the reasoning of why vaccines worked. for many years and I received a number of vaccines during that time and I administered many.
This condition came to light when Eli Lilly came up with a new form of water soluble mercury in the late 1920’s. Leo Kanner of John Hopkins University as early as 1943 published at least 49 research papers supporting the link between autism and vaccines.
It was previously used as an anti-fungal in forestry, a wood treatment product in the lumber business and an anti-bacterial in the medical industry, under the name of ‘Thimerosal’ that was included in the vaccine. (In layman’s terms, bad for the brain.) Another component is formaldehyde (embalming fluid). And he only included autism related information, not research on other vaccine injuries of which he said there were many.
I had been in a pre-med curriculum in my undergraduate study and my children were vaccinated in the 1980s when they were young. I was injured by the hepatitis vaccine series in 1992-93, but no one was very interested in reporting or tracking that injury.