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Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008

Childhood Vaccines: Protection or Peril?

The Wellness Warriors

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We consider ourselves old school. Our parents are baby boomers; our grandparents tell stories of World Wars and the Great Depression. They lived in a society that changed so rapidly that it’s nearly unrecognizable today. The one certainty amid these changes has been the improvement of living standards for the next generation: lowered infant mortality rates, increased life spans and a higher quality of life for everyone participating in our society. So why are we falling behind other industrialized nations?

With the World War II generation growing smaller by the day and 84 million boomers sliding into retirement, we see a generation gap wider than any other. As fathers of children 8 and under, and teachers of 20-somethings, we are on hand for the changing of the guard. Unfortunately, we are seeing the health of average Americans lagging behind other First World countries.



What’s going on? As we live in this supposed Golden Age, with the most wealth of any nation in history, why are we dropping in the world health rankings?



Though the question is certainly complex, a brief walk down the money trail reveals some of the usual suspects.



When the “Greatest Generation” returned from their victory, they applied the same strategies to the problems at home that had worked abroad. Industrialization of education, nutrition, health care: Everyone became a piece of the mighty American machine. But the effects of introducing synthetic materials into every aspect of our existence were disregarded. We are all unwilling participants in a grand experiment. Years later we have often found that various additives which were designed to lower costs or extend shelf life, for example, had devastating side effects. Decisions were often driven more by profit maximization than by what was the best product for the patient or general public.



In the ’90s we had a new twist on an old favorite, childhood vaccines. The ingredient list that we put directly into the blood of the most vulnerable among us changed to include a variety of additives and preservatives designed to increase the shelf life of the vaccine by eliminating the need for refrigeration. That, of course, would boost profits.



But the list of constituents that makes up vaccines is worth a look: ethylene glycol (otherwise known as antifreeze), phenol (a disinfectant), formaldehyde (which the Environmental Protection Agency lists as a possible carcinogen), aluminum (linked to Alzheimer’s disease and cancer), thimerosal (a mercury-based substance that is supposed to be phased out of American vaccines, and which has been linked to neurological disorders including autism). Foreign animal proteins are also used, including monkey kidney tissue, chicken embryo, embryonic guinea pig cells and calf serum; some say these can be linked to autoimmune disorders.



Today, children routinely receive 21 vaccinations before they enter kindergarten—more than double what they received a decade ago. But are they helping? A study from Japan showed a 50% decrease in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) after changing the vaccination schedule in that country to begin at age 2, after a child’s digestive and immune systems have further developed.



So we have to ask: Is there a link between the advent of mass vaccination programs and a rise in the rates of autism, dyslexia, attention deficit disorder and other neurological diseases?



We highly recommend that all parents do their own research on this important parental decision. Despite the growing pressure to inject more synthetic compounds into our children, it is crucial that we make informed decisions.



Sources: www.mercola.com, www.newmediaexplorer.com, www.909shot.com.



Ty Wade, D.C. has a private practice in Saukville that focuses on holistic family care. David Wade teaches at Blue Sky School of therapeutic massage.