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Why we need to make it harder for parents to refuse vaccines

June 17, 2020

About the Author

photo of Claire McCarthy, MD

Claire McCarthy, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Claire McCarthy, MD, is a primary care pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. In addition to being a senior faculty editor for Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. McCarthy … See Full Bio
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November 1, 2016

Vax are a nasty little secret from our corrupt govt. 2008- present. They have gotten worse since 2008

September 20, 2016

This is not an intellectually respectable piece that relies on circular logic (circular logic occurs when one assumes that which you are trying to prove). 1) The argument from authority is not a scientifically valid form of argument. This has been a basic tenet of sound science since Francis Bacon published the Novum Organon in 1621. Real arguments rely on evidence, not authority. You cannot be taken seriously if you cite a trade organization like the American Academy of Pediatrics as an authority, especially given the enormous funding they receive from vaccine manufacturers. 2) Dr. Claire espouses a false definition of “herd immunity.” Vaccines have never conferred herd immunity. Herd immunity only occurs after a population contracts a disease (and recovers). 3) If vaccines really are effective, then an unvaccinated child would pose little danger to a vaccinated child. Hence, those who advocate mandatory vaccinations are contradicting themselves. 4) Mandatory vaccinations violate Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative and are therefore immoral because they do not treat individuals as ends in themselves. Now I’m all for having a “tough conversation.” But you’d better get your facts and logic right first. Those who advocate faith-based arguments (and the argument from authority is a faith-based argument) are not ready for a tough conversation on vaccines.

September 12, 2016

Mei – you will not meet the disabled because they are marginalized, not a part of mainstream society. They are nonverbal or intellectually challenged, they “graduated” from special Ed and live in group homes, institutions, or with caregivers; some died from seizures, some died immediately following vaccination. Many, many, many have autoimmunity, epilepsy, childhood diabetes, lupus, add, adhd, bipolar disorder, Tourette’s, and other diagnosis’ that no one in previous familial generations had…I guarantee the victims are all around you; you simply need to open your eyes. Heck, I have Narcolepsy and allergies thanks to my childhood vaccines – how would you know this if you met me?!

September 11, 2016

“That’s the thing about medicine: our understanding of diseases and treatments is always evolving. Diseases and treatments can be amazingly intricate and complicated. Sometimes we think we understand something, only to find out that we don’t — or that we misunderstood it. That’s why ongoing research is so important. We must always be questioning and studying — and always applying what we learn to what we do.” Claire McCarthy MD. I wonder if this statement could apply to our understanding of vaccines?

Tracy Anderson
September 9, 2016

I guess, ultimately, we could remove children from parents as soon as they are born and let the government raise them. Because they always have our best interest at heart and “experts” are really the only ones who are truly qualified to read and interpret information. Maybe we shouldn’t teach reading anymore and leave that for the “experts.” We would be a lot safer!!!

September 10, 2016

Totally, maybe we should give them or left and right arms and sex organs as well.

September 7, 2016

Wow. I thought this was the United States of America. You know. That country everybody wants to come to because of it’s freedoms. Isn’t that what George Bush said. They hate us for our freedoms. When did the medical profession take on the consciousness of the Third Reich and when did America turn into Germany?

September 7, 2016

The fact the USA has these freedoms as you mention, people have pushed the limits the past couple decades of what THEY perceive as their personal freedoms. We’ve gone overboard! To foolishly put your child at risk of serious disease or death is incomprehensible! Furthermore, because of YOUR personal beliefs YOU put other kids at risk who truly can NOT safely receive immunizations. Millions and millions of people have safely received immunizations for decades and we’ve nearly eradicated diseases such as polio. But the more people who chose NOT to get their children immunized is jeopardizing the health of ALL these non-immunized kids – including your own. What kind of loving parent puts their children at this risk?!

It seems too often people don’t use commonsense in their daily lives – such as wearing a seat belt or helmets. They don’t want to be told what to do despite the fact research has proven they save lives. But when these same people are getting in accidents and the cost of insurance for everyone else goes up because of a few selfish individuals, this is when the government has to step in and pass laws to protect people from themselves! Yet there are STILL people who see nothing wrong with their kids riding in cars without safety restraint systems. (On a side note I lost my beautiful younger sister to a car accident years ago in a rollover accident where she wasn’t wearing a seat belt and was thrown out and died two days later from massive head injuries. I have no doubt she could have survived this accident if she would have fastened her seat belt.)

Like many others on here, I believe ‘big pharma’ is out of control. At the same time, they also provide lifesaving solutions – such as immunizations. The old saying, “cut off your nose to spite your face” comes to mind and in your little ‘protests’ to stand up to big business, is it really worth the risk involved when it comes to the health and safety of your family? Seriously, stop being the bullies – as we can see by all your over-the-top rants in blogs like this that anyone who doesn’t agree with your warped philosophy is the enemy! Time to get over yourselves and accept REALITY!

September 10, 2016

Yeah we are all asking that question.

Angela Robey
September 6, 2016

Pharma’s really getting desperate. That’s encouraging because it indicates more and more people are coming to their senses about vaccines. …and we’re all pretty tired of having our intelligence insulted by that herd immunity nonsense.

by Jon Rappoport

November 13, 2014

Hail to the group! The group is all!

The concept of herd immunity (protection for the population) is often used by vaccine addicts as a way to push guilt at people who don’t line up, with their children, like robots for their shots.

From the point of view of protecting people who are already vaccinated, herd immunity is flat-out absurd.

Little Jimmy, whose parents have decided not to vaccinate him, will pass diseases on to kids who are already vaccinated? Oh, you mean those immunized kids aren’t really safe? Then why did you vaccinate them in the first place?

From another point of view, herd immunity is the idea that people who “can’t be” vaccinated (for example, those who are obviously allergic to elements contained in vaccines) will gain a measure of protection, if larger and larger numbers of others are vaccinated.

The vaccinated protecting the unvaccinated.

This is foolish, because what actually protects people against disease is the strength of their immune systems, and that strength has nothing to do with vaccination.

If a person has a weak immune system, he will get dangerously sick, and it doesn’t matter how many people around him are vaccinated against how many diseases.

So even if one accepts the (false) premise that vaccines are effective and safe, the premise of herd immunity is ludicrous.

Vaccination is, in fact, a cover story used to conceal the fact that the health of populations has everything to do with good nutrition, adequate sanitation, and an absence of toxic elements in the environment.

There are many doctors who know this, but they refuse to speak out, because they know they’ll suffer consequences.

Vaccination, as a propaganda strategy, is used to medicalize the population—to assert that good health is fundamentally a medical matter.

It isn’t.

Exit From the Matrix

If tomorrow, two things happened, they would change the face of health in any industrialized country:

One, millions more people buying healthy food and/or growing their own food, in yards; and in inner cities, growing food in community gardens;

And two, the courts delivering justice in the form of billion-dollar fines and long, long prison sentences to corporate employees (including CEOs) for severe and real pollution.

Note: That justice would eliminate GMO crops which rely on toxic pesticide use.

I’m not spinning rainbows. I’m just pointing out that, with these two changes alone, hospitals and clinics and doctors’ offices would empty out, and the medical cartel would finally experience vast comeuppance.

Health and life are not medical functions.

Any science that claims they are is false science, and the people who make those claims are liars or morons or criminals, or some combination of all three.

Jon Rappoport

September 10, 2016

Actually did you know herd immunity works on folks just hanging around together, like families and friends? Did you know that herd sharing and immunity also works on common sense ?-LOL

September 6, 2016

Doctors are already having these kinds of conversations with their patients and making it more difficult to opt out of vaccines by making parents sign waivers if not outright refusing them care. A very small percentage of parents actually get non- medical exemptions for their children, of those one study looking at my state showed that students caught up all their vaccines later on, that the risk posed by unvaccinated kindergarteners was exaggerated.

Dorit Reiss
September 6, 2016

I agree that tightening school immunization requirements is both important and challenging. I realize some public law experts see it as eroding trust, but I’m not sure I agree: I think the experience of seatbelt laws and cigarette bans teaches that such requirements become part of the norm and also affect the way people think.

Dan Bland
September 6, 2016

A CDC whistleblower has come forward to say that he and his co-authors trashed data proving vaccines cause autism. There is also very good evidence that vaccines are the reason for the epidemic of more than 100 autoimmune diseases. I beg all of you to trash your belief systems and open your minds so that we can have a civil discussion on this issue. In my mind it’s one of the most important issues and needs to be brought to the public’s attention,

Jeremy Last
September 6, 2016

Your entire claim that “the patient is still contagious” makes no sense whatsoever. Most vaccines contain dead or very very weak forms of the disease. How does one become contagious from a dead contagion? Even very weak forms do not get a chance to take hold, and make the patient contagious.

You are the very example of what the blog has talked about. You haven’t lived through small pox, polio, or measles so you think everything is fine. Go research how many died or had serious complications from these diseases.

Your children’s conditions, that I’m very sorry for, is based on something else. You are confusing correlation with causation. Go learn the difference and stop presenting lies.

September 7, 2016

The patient is contagious according to the FDA:
-Meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Infectious Diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tom Harkins Global Communication Center Atlanta, Georgia December 11-12, 2013.
FDA issued a warning regarding this crucial finding. Furthermore, the 2013 meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors at the CDC revealed additional alarming data that pertussis variants (PRN negative strains) currently circulating in the USA acquired a selective advantage to infect those who are up to date for their DTap boosters (see appendix) for the CDC document Item#3), meaning that people who are up to date are more likely to be infected and thus contagious than people who are not vaccinated.

There are two studies that support what the FDA states:
-Acellular Pertussis vaccines protect against disease but fail to prevent infection and transmission in a nonhuman primate model,”
used infant baboons to test the hypothesis that “current acellular pertussis vaccines fail to prevent colonization and transmission” of B. Pertussis. (there is no vaccine for Bordetella Pertussis bacteria)
-Whooping cough resurgence due to vaccinated people not knowing they’re infectious? Clinical News

Dr. Gregory Poland wrote that the Measles vaccine has not lived up to it’s expectations. The first study he wrote in 1994 where he stated in the conclusion:
Conclusion: The apparent paradox is that as measles immunization rates rise to high levels in a population, measles becomes a disease of immunized persons. Because of the failure rate of the vaccine and the unique transmissibility of the measles virus, the currently available measles vaccine, used in a single-dose strategy, is unlikely to completely eliminate measles. The long-term success of a two-dose strategy to eliminate measles remains to be determined.
Failure to reach the goal of measles elimination. Apparent paradox of measles infections in immunized persons. Poland GA1, Jacobson RM.
-In 2012 he wrote:
“outbreaks are occurring even in highly developed countries where vaccine access, public health infrastructure, and health literacy are not significant issues. This is unexpected and a worrisome harbinger — measles outbreaks are occurring where they are least expected,” he wrote in his 2012 paper, listing the “surprising numbers of cases occurring in persons who previously received one or even two documented doses of measles-containing vaccine.”
Paper: The Re-Emergence of Measles in Developed Countries: Time to Develop the Next-Generation Measles Vaccines?

Similar reports have been written on Varicella, Flu even Polio outbreaks are occurring from the vaccine in 3rd world countries. The information is available, its just buried and you have to dig for it.

September 6, 2016

This is a one-sided view and is surprising to be posted on a reputable site. We need to enforce SAFE VACCINES. Until double-blind placebo studies by 3rd parties are done we shouldn’t be forced to inject our children. My body is my right. And my religious belief is my 2nd amendment right in America. There have been so many injured and we are dealing with a population of weak microbiomes getting injected with a variety of materials while nervous systems are weak, immune systems are immature and livers that aren’t able to detoxify. God’s way is always the way. Much thought needs to be put into reworking the vaccine schedule, stopping unnecessary vaccines, and efforts should be focused on safety to eliminate heavy metals, aborted fetal tissue (??!!) & toxic chemicals currently present in vaccines. See Vaxxed and listen to Dr S Humphries & Dr A Wakefield. As a Mom, I need to do what’s right for my children so they grow to be healthy members of our community as God intended.

Jeremy Last
September 6, 2016

You cited Dr. Wakefield, who has been discredited several times over. And you know this. Every anti-vaxxer knows it.

There’s a saying that if you repeat a lie often enough people believe it. You’ve fallen victim to this. If you want to do what’s right. Protect them from horrible diseases. Give their bodies the tools they need to fight disease, and to help those that can’t. Using tools to help yourself and less fortunate is exactly what God intends.

Andrew H
September 7, 2016

You might want to re-read the Constitution…

Liz P
September 6, 2016

This piece is ill informed and dangerous. Vaccination does nothing to protect others – as a matter of fact, vaccination is not even intended to prevent the vaccines from contracting the disease! Vaccines are supposed to help the vaccinee more quickly mount an immune response when a disease is contracted, to possibly lessen the patient’s course of the disease. The patient is still contagious, and can still spread the disease to others (vaccinated and unvaccinated, alike). It is disingenuous to say vaccines create herd immunity, as this had never Bern demonstrated. Further, the FULLY VACCINATED compose the vast majority of the modern day disease cases – and Harvard’s own scientists have proven antibodies do not equate to immunity (further, are not required to resist disease!). Vaccines have known risks, and too many children have lost their health, their capability, or their life to the CDC recommended schedule. I will happily debate your supposed safety science – there is NO safety research supporting the CDC’s recommended chilfhood (or adult for that matter) vaccine schedule. Please realize parents who opt-out have done their research; they understand the risk of contracting the “VPDs” and the risk of consuming the vaccines – they have read the purported safety and efficacy science and found it lacking (a kind word -fraudulent is often more appropriate). Your trite article is blind to the epidemic chronic illness and lifelong disability this program has wrought. As a parent, who blindly sacrificed two of my three children “for the good of the herd,” and gained a lifetime of disability for one and chronic illness for the other (spend, to-date, over $1.5M; 14 YEARS in “Vaccine court”), living in the first world, I’ll take the diseases and lifelong immunity they provide over the temporary (if any) immunity promised by manufacturers with ZERO liability for the harm their vaccines cause.

Dorit Reiss
September 6, 2016

More quickly mounting an immune response to a virus or bacteria prevents it from replicating enough to cause a disease or transmit it to others.

In other words, yes, vaccines protect both the person being vaccinated and others.

While it’s true that most cases for some diseases are in the vaccinated – simply because when most people are vaccinated, there aren’t as many unvaccinated around – the rates are dramatically higher for the unvaccinated. And for measles, for example, most cases are consistently in the unvaccinated and under vaccinated: Varun K. Phadke, et al., Association Between Vaccine Refusal and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States: A Review of Measles and Pertussis, 315 JAMA 1149(2016).

Serious harms from modern vaccines are very rare, and harms from the diseases not at all, even in a first world. Most injuries blamed on vaccines are not from the vaccine – for example, autism, allergies, etc’ are not from vaccines.

In other words, a parent choosing the diseases over the vaccine is generally acting on incorrect information. School mandates can help prevent such parents from making an error that puts their own kids at higher risk and risks others.

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