“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.”

— William Wilberforce

Front Page » Opinion » A Wider Angle on Vaccines and the Immunity Thing
Opinion
Text size:

A Wider Angle on Vaccines and the Immunity Thing

My husband and I indulged in a little prenatal uber-parenting when I was pregnant with our first child, and we interviewed several pediatricians known for being more sensible or holistic to see if we could find a good fit. One of the many questions we asked each doctor was about how they approached vaccination. The last physician responded by saying, “Well, there are many factors involved in supporting the immune system, and vaccines are just one part,” and then went on to talk about the importance of sunshine, breastfeeding, free play and a low-stress home. Bingo—we had our doc.

If we want to arrive at good conclusions about immunity, we have to be sure we are asking the correct questions, and in the correct order. If we start by asking, “Are vaccines good or bad?” or “Which vaccines should we give and are they safe?” we are putting the proverbial cart before the horse. If instead we start with the question, “What is the best way to support our child’s immune system so it is robust throughout his or her entire life?” that leads us to a more comprehensive understanding of immunity that can better guide us in our lifestyle and medical choices.

The human immune system has served us well for millennia, allowing our species to not only survive, but to thrive and grow. So first we must understand how this amazing, complex and highly competent system works. What is the role of fever and inflammation? How do childhood illnesses serve to build lifelong immunity? How does cell mediated immunity differ from antibody immunity? What role does breastfeeding and nutrition play in building immunity? How do bacterial microbes throughout the body serve the immune system? How does the method of birth, environmental toxins, stress, and genetics affect the immune system? What other factors interfere with optimal functioning?

As we explore these questions, we learn the importance of a natural birth, breast milk, loving attachments, regular sleep, sunshine, nutritious foods, an occasional illness and a little dirt. We recognize the compromising effects of toxic chemicals, radiation, discord, stress, disorganized sleep, nutrient deficient “junk” food, genetic modifications, sugar and harmful medications. We learn that happier children are healthier children.  

We come to understand that the immune system is like a muscle—it must be challenged and tested with real threats in order to grow stronger. We begin to see childhood illnesses–colds, stomach bugs, chickenpox, measles and other acute ailments—as necessary challenges that help our body learn to defend itself so it can protect us over the course of our lives. We understand the healing role of fever and we don’t interfere with medications unless absolutely necessary.

We learn that most times chicken soup, popsicles, steamy showers, TLC and bed rest with plenty of cartoons is usually sufficient medicine. We learn that when kids recover from acute illness they seem stronger and more prone to big developmental jumps. We learn that we can make ourselves less susceptible hosts to infections from viruses and bacteria through our lifestyle choices, and therefore we may get sick less often.

We learn that, as we grow older, our immune systems depend on the “boosters” we get when we are around sick kids—that periodic exposure to chickenpox, for instance, helps asymptomatically boost our immunity to chickenpox and protects us against shingles. We stop seeing all illness as a horrible thing to be avoided at any cost, and realize that illness plays an important role in good health.  

Then we want to understand viral and bacterial illnesses, including our individual susceptibility factors. We want to know which illnesses are contagious and whether they are life threatening, or simply mild and inconvenient. We want to know if the illness confers lifelong immunity and whether there are any potentially serious complications. We want to know how best to support the body in dealing with the illness. We want to know what research can tell us about particular susceptibilities: for example, we should know that vitamin A deficiency is correlated with complications in measles and that vitamin D deficiency increases vulnerability to complications from influenza.

Knowledge is power, and we need good information about illness as well as the immune system’s capacity to fight back. We need to understand that there can be risk from both illnesses and treatments, and that we can’t always know ahead of time what course an illness will take.  

When we think comprehensively about illness and immunity we must consider that statistically our children are now at greater risk for chronic illness such as asthma, allergy, autism, autoimmune and attention deficit disorders, than they are for acute illness. An asthma attack can be every bit as scary as a fit of whooping cough, except that a child emerges stronger when he or she recovers from whooping cough, while the asthmatic usually deals with that chronic disease for a lifetime. If acute illness helps to protect us from chronic illness, we have to be sure we understand how that trade-off works.

Once we understand immunity and illness, we can begin to explore the possible role of vaccines in immunity. We want to know whether vaccines offer temporary or permanent immunity (or any at all, for that matter). And if the benefit is temporary, whether waning immunity later in life puts us at an increased risk for complications from having to mount an immune response that is best mounted earlier in life. We want to know if there is any downside to avoiding immune-boosting acute illnesses. We want to know the effects that heavy metals, human and animal DNA fragments, genetically altered components, and chemicals like polysorbate 80 have on the body and, especially, on the developing brain.

We want to know if there is adequate clinical research using double blind placebo controlled studies to evaluate the long-term effects for not just vaccines, but for any medication we put in our bodies. We want to know whether our doctor would recognize an adverse vaccine reaction and what he or she would or could do about it.  We want to know if the information we get from doctors and public health officials is credible and free from conflicts of financial and political interest.  

Every person deserves to have access to accurate information about disease, human immunity and vaccines so they can make good decisions for themselves and their families. They have to decide whether they have more faith in the immune system that has been created and evolved over many thousands of years, or in medical products developed by humans in labs during the last two centuries. Where do we place our trust?  In the presence of fear and cultural norming towards dependency on vaccines by a profit-driven corporate culture and a decidedly pro-vaccine public health policy that employs coercion to attain conformity, those decisions can unfortunately become painfully confusing for many people.

Our family discovered that adequate sleep, nutritious homemade foods, regular family meals, plenty of exercise and manageable levels of stress served us well, and that when those things got too out of balance we could expect to be ill. For the most part, we put our faith in the innate wisdom of the immune system rather than in the medical system.

The funny thing is that taking a more comprehensive view on immunity and actively pursuing health served us so well that we ended up hardly ever seeing that pediatrician we looked so hard to find.

25 Responses to A Wider Angle on Vaccines and the Immunity Thing

  1. Shawn Siegel Reply

    January 17, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Such a fine article!

    There’s one more thing we want to understand about vaccination: beyond the obvious possibility of potential hazards attending injection of the known neurotoxins in vaccines, we want to know if the actual effects of antibodies produced unnaturally – without the participation of the innate immune system – are the same as those produced naturally. After all, it’s been shown that the presence of vaccine induced measles antibodies at the time of exposure in many cases doesn’t prevent infection or accompanying respiratory symptoms, but precludes the display of the traditional rash; and that the consequence is an incomplete elimination of the viral infection and resultant chronic disorders later in life.

    We need to know how deep is the apparent industry misunderstanding of the effects of bypassing the complex, efficient cascade of innate immune reactions, via injection.

    Or whether it’s a misunderstanding at all.

  2. ETG Reply

    January 10, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Thank you for this article! I will share it with everyone I know! So well written, amazing!

  3. Dean DeWitt Reply

    January 9, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Thank you for such a clear view of a troubling situation when one is faced with vaccination decisions. Too many ignore and dispute the wonders of God’s creation and our wonderfully functioning immune system. Our arrogance and ignorance are dangerous. I noted, shingles; that chickenpox exposure is effective in preventing it? Thanks, that’s news to me. Wish I could find some sick kids with chickenpox now.

  4. Paula Reply

    January 8, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    A really well written, informative article. Thanks for sharing it ☺

  5. Innate Power Reply

    January 8, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Beautiful article and very inspiring and true. Our bodies were created so beautifully; it is such a shame that we believe we need to stick something creating in a lab to keep ourselves healthy. We have to admit, they’ve done a great job manipulating the brain of the “heard”. My opinion, the biggest crime of humanity.

  6. Rachel Gertz Reply

    January 6, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    This is by far one of the best articles that I have ever read and lays everything out plainly, clearly and scientifically. In addition, it points not to the subject of vaccination, but the topic that few people ever address and that is the immune system.

  7. Claudia Reply

    January 6, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Beautifully written, and well-rounded discussion of the issues facing thinking parents. As a 60 year old grandmother, I grew up in the time when children got the measles, mumps, chicken pox and the flu during childhood. Though we received few vaccines, one we did receive was the polio vaccine. Unfortunately, many of my age-equivalent peers have developed cancer in their early 60’s as a result of the SMV virus that was knowingly included in our vaccines. If I knew what I now know about the subject, I never would have accepted an adult flu or pneumonia shot, nor would I have allowed our children to have been immunized. Stealth viruses, toxic heavyweight metals and strange DNA do not have a place in genuine “health care.”

  8. Cruz Reply

    January 6, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    The SB277 Vax mandate seriously impacts California families. It denies perfectly healthy children the access to a free and public education and it denies the human right to choose whether or not to vaccinate. Many of us do not know what to do or how to combat these civil and human rights violations.
    I cannot register one of my children for school – even partially vaccinated children are denied access to education. Never in my life did I think I would have my personal belief option and my religious belief option removed from me. It’s a disconcerting time in California.

    Your article is so well written and appreciated!

    • Dean DeWitt Reply

      January 9, 2016 at 10:03 am

      Getting your children out of public school is not such a bad idea either. Does the state own your children?

  9. TeeJae Reply

    January 6, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Excellent article. Thank you.

  10. Anne-Marie Reply

    January 6, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    What an amazing article. Thank you!

  11. Don Reply

    January 6, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Regarding the immune system, vaccinepapers.org presents some compelling and detailed science that immune activation during critical periods of brain development can cause autism– and this is all based on well-established mainstream science. Vaccines cause immune activation– that’s the point. This is fascinating science and should be more well-known.

    • Nomad Reply

      January 7, 2016 at 6:15 am

      I couldn’t agree more…vaccinepapers.org is an excellent site for those looking for scientific research that supports the dangers/hazards of vaccines. I think people will be quite surprised at the information that is presented on their site.

      I never heard of vaccinepapers.org nor had anyone told me about it. Interestingly, how I found out about them was that I recently saw VP engaged in a scientific debate with some vaccine promoters/advocates on another site. He/she (they wish to remain anonymous) demonstrated remarkable resilience and composure amid the onslaught of inflammatory personal attacks from the “self-proclaimed” vaccine experts at the fraternities of RI & SBM.

      Too bad the legislators from California weren’t aware of the information available at vaccinepapers.org.- maybe it would have made a difference.

  12. Consuelo Reply

    January 6, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Excellent article. I think it’s important to recognize the difference in acute infectious disease vs. chronic disease. Acute infections, like colds, flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, childhood diseases, are not really diseases at all, but periodic housecleanings. All the symptoms are about stuff trying to come out: mucus, cough, rash, diarrhea, etc. This is why, if you allow it to run its course naturally, with rest, liquids instead of solid foods, fever,etc., you will feel renewed, stronger in a relatively short period of time. Chronic diseases are a result of storage. When all those periodic housecleanings are stifled with palliative medicine or vaccines, the symptoms may go away, but the gunk (toxins) remains and over time gets stored in cells in organs and glands,impairing function and, years later, can result in cancer or other chronic conditions. Studies clearly show that those who have more acute disease early in life that resolved naturally have less chronic disease later.
    There are many excellent articles on this subject by Philip Incao, MD on his website:

    http://philipincao.crestonecolorado.com/

  13. Patricia Meyer Reply

    January 6, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    An excellent article. I have included it on my Facebook page!
    I was warned off vaccines by a homeopath friend 45 years ago, in South Africa. I am so surprised that this SB277 Vax mandate has so much power in the big old USA. I would have thought medical ethics would have shut it all down. Big Pharma has been very smart bribing young medical students to pray at their altar, and setting themselves up for lives of financial comfort – at the cost of children and public health.
    Thank you Barbara – This all makes perfect sense! There are too many unknowns and untested chemicals forced on everybody by the Pharma Industry. They are in business to make profits, and they do. We need to take care of ourselves and be responsible for our family’s health. Say No to drugs!

  14. Paula Reply

    January 6, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    I echo an earlier comment-this article is so spot-on and explains what I have believed in for so long; it gave me chills to read it this.
    It’s all about the big picture-and it’s confusing for sure, looking at so many factors but wow, this article puts it all in perspective so beautifully.
    Thank you so much.

  15. michelle shervino Reply

    January 6, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Couldn’t agree more with what you wrote!

  16. Earl Staelin Reply

    January 6, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks Barbara for an excellent article. I would suggest adding to your criteria for finding a trustworthy doctor regarding vaccines, that he or she has knowledge of the use of high dose vitamin C with any vaccine to reduce or eliminate the risk of an adverse reaction. Suzanne Humphries, M.D. and others have cited studies showing the value of this approach, with no downside. Based on these studies, one might even argue it’s malpractice not to give high dose vitamin C with vaccines.

  17. Num Guy Reply

    January 6, 2016 at 11:37 am

    In this day and age, knowing that pharmaceutical companies have complete immunity from vaccine related injuries and deaths, and knowing all the toxic ingredients in vaccines, I would prefer not playing Russian roulette with children’s lives.

    • Nomad Reply

      January 6, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      I agree Num Guy…I don’t want to play Russian Roulette with my children either. However, the problem is the emerging trend of state’s introducing legislation that removes personal & religious exemptions from immunization. The disastrous passage of California SB277 puts parents who don’t want to vaccinate in a bind; if you can’t home school then your compelled to vaccinate in order to attend public or even private school. How imperious and tyrannical is that!

      We have a problem here as I’m concerned that more and more states are going to follow California’s lead and pass such overbearing legislation. This is ridiculous as mind controlled legislators buy into the fearmongering from the vaccine promoters/pro-vax intellectuals. And to make matters worse, there’s a growing trend of the vaccinated “terrified” of the unvaccinated/undervaccinated. Of course, when states pass such draconian legislation I’m sure the pharma industry pops champagne corks in celebration, while the CDC assures us that this is for the “greater good” of society. Fear and coercion is a successful psyops against the American people to achieve mandatory immunization…I think we’re are living in George Orwell’s “1984.”

  18. Gem's Gram Reply

    January 5, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Barbara, Thank you for your article. I agree, a healthy child, a healthy life, is not the result of an HMO and following the current CDC vaccination schedule! I would much rather my child have measles or mumps for a week or two than a lifetime of autism! The risk of autism is currently 1 in 68. What is the risk your child could be permanently disabled from measles or mumps or flu?

  19. Emma's Mom Reply

    January 5, 2016 at 12:11 am

    There is no health from vaccinations, drugs and toxins. A relationship with God, quality food, daily outdoor exercise in the sunshine, time spent with people and animals we love, minimal stress and natural living bring good health.

  20. Nomad Reply

    December 31, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    People whose immune systems are at different levels of strength are going to react differently to exposure of viruses and bacteria.

    Poor diet, senedatary life style, inadequate sleep, excessive stress, etc. all contribute to a weaken immune system. Conversely, healthy organic food (especially with animal proteins), plenty of vitamin D3 (sun and/or supps), cardiovascular exercise & adequate sleep maintain a healthy immune system capable of fighting off viruses & bacteria.

    I don’t think the formula gets any simpler than this for most people. And hopefully…this will keep us out of the doctor’s office where we won’t have to deal with the emerging trend in this country of medical tyranny, especially with those darn vaccines!

  21. Linda Lehr Anning Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Thank you for a very informative and thoughtful piece. It helps to know that there are like minded people out there who are interested in advocating for the wisdom of our immune systems and sharing ways to support this remarkable system. I like to think of myself not as an antivaxer but as pro immune system! Thanks again for sharing.

  22. B. Stone Reply

    December 23, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    You have so captured beautifully what I try to convey when I tell people that there are more ways to health than the end of a needle or a pharmaceutical drug.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>