Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V is for . . .

Image Source: NIAID

Vaccine controversy. In Hart Johnson's short story, The Seventeen, she paints a horrifying picture of a society where there are no controls and no ethics in using human subjects for medical experiments. The consequence of the PharMagna's malpractice is one of the most delicious ironies I've ever read. You can experience it yourself on May 3 with the release of Parallels: Felix Was Here.

My own stance with vaccines is complicated. Growing up, I got the recommended vaccines. I take my children for their recommended vaccines. I thought people who didn't vaccinate were a little strange. 

Then in 2012, I started researching Gardasil after it came up as a possible solution to the mystery of The Leroy Twelve. The more I learned, the worse I felt about allowing my daughters to have this vaccine. The body can heal itself from the majority of HPV infections. The chances of dying from cervical cancer are pretty small, especially with routine PAP smears. This type of cancer is more typical in older women. In other words, HPV is a different thing than meningitis, which affects school-age children and can kill a person in a day. 

So unlike every other vaccine, I chose not to get my 11-year-old vaccinated with Gardasil. This is something I never would have done had I not spent hours reading about the vaccine and the stories of young women whose lives fell apart (or ended) after taking the vaccine. (See The Truth About Gardasil: Injuries if curious, or this documentary from Denmark.)

Maybe I shouldn't let the horror stories of a few (hundred? thousand? no one knows for sure) influence me, but there's a bit more to the story. 

Vaccines are designed to provoke a response from the immune system. To boost this response, they contain what is called an adjuvant. Critics of Gardasil and other vaccines are worried that substances such as aluminum in the vaccine's adjuvant are dangerous. The concern is that the vaccine and/or the adjuvant can trigger not just a reaction, but an over-reaction in the immune system with dire consequences.

Image Source: Honorem Veritas

Cases of motor neuron and autoimmune diseases such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, lupus, MS, and rheumatoid arthritis among other horrible things have occurred in vaccinated patients. (But how to link them definitively to the vaccine or adjuvant? Might the disease have developed anyway over the course of time or with another trigger? Excellent questions!)

Here's another. What does the nurse ask before a vaccination: Have you or anyone in your family ever had a serious reaction to a vaccine before?

I'm not sure how to answer. You see, when my youngest daughter was 20 months old, we discovered she had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. There is no family history, but it surfaced at the age where she right in the thick of her vaccination schedule. So how should I answer? Yes? Or no?

Do you feel vaccinations are safe? Ever had a bad reaction to a vaccine? 


  1. Wow. I had no idea. I always thought it was great that kids today would have a protection against cervical cancer. My grandmother had cervical cancer so I'm at risk for it. Isn't HPV something that goes up in risk with the more sex partners you have? If that's the case, I should be safe! Haha.

    1. Yes, that's true. We could avoid a lot of the worry over this one by being chaste. (Easier said than done in a lot of cases.)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Interesting. I always took it for granted that the doctors knew best and my boys needed their shots. But people are different, and some have bad reactions to the vaccinations. I knew a family whose oldest son ended up in a wheelchair as a child, with mental problems too. They suspected his shots were the cause. Never could prove it. They didn't give their next son the shots. Maybe things are better today. I don't know. Great information.

  3. The idiots who say vaccines are 100% safe are full of crap. Nothing is 100% safe for 100% of the population and all the mercury crap they use in them and such can screw with people. I know kids who were one day alert and bright, next day screwed up for life. Thanks to vaccines and flu shot. Now maybe the odds are only 1 in a million. And I think it has to do more with what a person has in their DNA, maybe some little thing that gets activated by one of the vaccines. Some vaccines sure are needed, but I'd only get them for kids sparingly.

  4. Oooo that is a complex subject for the A to Z. I did (just the once) have the flu vaccine and felt terrible that entire winter, so I have refused it ever since.

  5. Not having children I have not spent much time thinking about this but I agree that nothing is 100% safe. Interesting reading.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends

  6. I had vaccines when I was little, but I was well into adulthood when the Gardasil so that didn't affect me. I don't know enough about it to say if it's safe or not, but if a parent wants to consider it for their child, they should research it.

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  7. I join you on this one. I think that one has to be careful. Do your research. There are so many illnesses and diseases that the body can heal from within itself if we only would eat properly and take a homeopathic preparation. Of course it will take longer to heal but I believe it is healthier.
    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

  8. When it comes to shots and pills, there's so much we don't know or aren't told. I only had mumps and measles shots when I was a kid and tetanus as an adult.

  9. I got all the important vaccines done at their allotted age. I never really gave it much thought.

  10. I agree that research is important when it comes to vaccines. I was given the recommended shots as a baby and I had no reaction that I'm aware of, but I still plan on researching those vaccines if I have children of my own.

  11. Back in the day my kids had all the recommended vaccines, and I didn't question it. But today, vaccines concern me. And I really wonder how large a role they play in cancer in animals.
    Sorry to hear about your daughter:(
    Have a good one, Tam.

  12. So agree with you over this one - my children are vaccinated, and thank goodness my daughter was too old to catch this vaccination when it appeared, but I leo read about it and would not recommend it. After all, there are many hpv infections, and the vaccination only covers some of the most common ones So you have to use a condom anyway... I understand about the fact that hpv puts you at more of a risk of cervical cancer, but there's a good, non-invasive test for that with excellent results. ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com (Animals, facts and poems)

  13. My sons have had all of theirs. It's a hard question to answer because I don't have daughters. Myself, I have too many allergies to food items and medications. I trust no medication. I say that right before I give myself a shot of a new drug for cholesterol - I'm in a research study. It's amazing stuff, my cholesterol dropped over 100 points the first two months. Now I consider myself a guinea pig - I'm old and it's worth it. :)

  14. I give blood every three months but hate the needles, its tricky
    popping by from No190 on the AtoZ

  15. Nothing is ever 100 per cent effective. I also believe that diet has a lot to do with diseases. For example, I realised that if I took store-bought cereal which contains nuts, after a while, my joints begin to ache, much like someone suffering from arthritis. Now that I avoid nuts, I'm fine.
    But I agree: more research is needed.

    Aneeta from
    How to Tell a Great Story

  16. They used to test/study everything so much longer before they dished it out to people. Meanwhile, everybody complained it took too long to get the medicine, but it was safer when they were done and ready to give it to the masses.
    Now, the masses push too hard to get results and then get upset when the results harm them.

    I think you made the right choice for your family.


I will do everything in my power to visit commenter's blogs unless I've been abducted by aliens or my children get sick. (If my children get abducted by aliens, I will be very busy, of course, catching up on my sleep.)