Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thimerosal, Vaccines, and Autism

I will state this up front, I remain unconvinced that the small amounts of thimerosal used in vaccines causes autism, but at the same time I am not ruling out a connection. And I will be perfectly frank in that I believe the refusal to vaccinate on the basis of what amounts to the scientific equivalent of hearsay is the height of parental irresponsibility. At the same time, I am not in favor of mandatory vaccination.

However, if you are worried about thimerosal in vaccines this is a good link for you, John Hopkins compilied a list of common vaccines and their thimerosal levels. It would appear that most contain no thimerosal. Now if you are truly worried still, look at that list and ask the doctor to use one of those on the list and ask them to pull the dose in front of you so you can see the bottle if you are truly paranoid. If they refuse, you can always find a new doc.

This list also brings up something else. A common reason some people are citing for risking their child's health is the thimerosal link to autism. The companies have heard the people's concern and are no longer using it as a preservative, which removes the one objection to vaccinating I could understand. Again, if you are really worried, check the list and don't be afraid to ask. It is a reasonable request to ask the doctor to use a viable alternative and these Thimerosal free vaccines are a reasonable viable alternative.

The other objection, I have heard that companies are pushing vaccines just to make a buck, isn't even worth much of a comment. Do you complain about somebody making some money off the toilet paper you used to wipe your bum?

1 comment:

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

I don't necessarily have a problem with someone trying to make a buck off their product as much as trying to go to efforts to make it mandatory; and having it be used for another intention than it was created for (and making that mandatory), in order to make a buck..or billions of bucks, especially over non-life threatening diseases such as chicken pox, which wear off, and then leave the person more vulnerable at an age where it is more dangerous.

I personally do not vaccinate, not because of a fear of thimerosol, because the thimerosol argument is negligable at this point. Almost all vaccines have been cleared of it.

It does prove another though...that the medical industry will add preservatives, etc. to things or use things for a benefit, without adequately researching the negative effects.

I've seen my own child have a reaction to the DPT that was at a level where the AAP recommended that no further vaccinations occur, and then had the doctor tell me it was no big deal and the danger was higher that he not be vaccinated. I don't agree.

I believe that one of the autism/vaccination issues is that we are giving vaccinations to children before their immune systems can deal with them and before they need them, in the name of giving it when we can. The Hepatitis B vaccine is often given before the baby leaves the hospital and without performing a test on the mother or without regard to whether her lifestyle puts the baby at risk. But the majority of the vaccination schedules have been reworked over the years in order to get them all in the first two years, because parents are more likely to bring their babies in for well-baby checkups than later. The mulitiple shots also can overwhelm the immune system.

And my main reason is the increased use of fetal tissue used in order to grow the vaccines.

Stephanie Cave has a very good, non-reactionary book that my doctor recommended for me. It is called "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations." I found it unbiased, and she is providing information and leaving the decision up to the parents.

Honestly, I think that the medical approach regarding vaccinations is much more panicky and reactionary across the board, but there are definitely some reactionary non-vaccinators. I do believe that they do some good in our society and have been effective at curbing disease, but given the above issues, I believe they are doing harm as well. Very few things in this sinful world are black and white, and as I take the responsibility very seriously regarding my children's health, I am thankful that God currently has given us a life situation where I can continue to be the main judge of this in my family's life.