3 Easy Steps Parents Can Use to Form an Opinion About Vaccines
Just like reading a label on products purchased at the grocery store, parents should read and understand what a pediatrician could be injecting into their child – before they vaccinate them. Often times parents are discouraged from looking deeper into the matter because some pediatricians act like playground bullies more than doctors. Below are 3 easy steps for any new parent to start their own investigation and form their own opinion on vaccines.
Step 1 – What is in This Vaccine?
New parents can find a summary of ingredients from official government sources. The Centers for Disease Control has a ‘Fact Sheet’ on vaccine ingredients (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/additives.htm). Two links are available on this page for additional information:
- Vaccine ingredients sorted by ingredient (pdf) – (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines…)
- Vaccine ingredients sorted by vaccine (pdf) – (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines…)
For example, if a parent wanted to know the ingredients (excipients) of the MMR vaccine, they would look at the Vaccine ingredients sorted by vaccine PDF. Below is a buffet of ingredients the parent would discover in the MMR vaccine, and that’s just the beginning.
Amino Acid, Bovine Albumin or Serum, Chick Embryo Fibroblasts, Human Serum Albumin, Gelatin, Glutamate, Neomycin, Phosphate Buffers, Sorbitol, Sucrose, Vitamins
Please remember this point: the CDC links are a good starting point, but parents often require more information. The information parents need is located on what is called the vaccine insert. Sticking with the MMR vaccine example, the vaccine insert for the MMR-II vaccine can be found online. (http://www.merck.com/product/usa…) (pdf)
Reading the vaccine insert reveals not only the ingredients, but also the fact the vaccine has not been tested for carcinogenesis (cancer causing), mutagenesis (DNA changing) or impairment of fertility. We’re not done yet.
Parents should also be interested in the “ADVERSE REACTIONS” and “CONTRAINDICATIONS” sections of the document. A contraindication is a condition or factor that serves as a reason to withhold a certain medical treatment. Many pediatricians do not test for contraindications prior to vaccinating babies.
If parents don’t understand the technical medical jargon, that’s okay. Resources like the Merck Manual (http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/index.html) can help decipher some of the medical code.
*** Vactruth.com has a list of all of the vaccine inserts. Find them here (http://vactruth.com/vaccine-inserts/) or scroll to the bottom of the website and look under the hyperlink “Vaccine Inserts”. Parents may want to see how old their child is to determine what vaccine to look at first. The CDC vaccine schedule (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines…) (pdf) will show the parent what vaccines are recommended for a specific age.
Step 2 – What Are These Ingredients Anyways?
You think I’m exaggerating, don’t you? Read on.
Each chemical in the vaccine has a “social security number”. The specific name for the chemical number is called a CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) number. Humbolt State University Library describes CAS numbers like this,
Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) has a registry system for all completely identified chemical compounds or substances. There are over 113 million chemical substances & sequences currently registered … Each individual chemical substance is assigned a CAS Registry Number which may be thought of as that substance’s “Social Security number.” (http://library.humboldt.edu…)
Once a parent has the CAS number for a chemical in the vaccine, they can look up the chemical with precision. Where would the CAS number be useful? Parents could type in the CAS number or the chemical name on a number of helpful sites.
- Pubchem (http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/)
Free database of chemical structures of small organic molecules and information on their biological activities
- TOXNET (http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/)
Databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases.
- MSDS (http://www.msds.com/)
Access to the widest selection of material safety data sheets (“MSDS”) to a large group of people.
Step 3 – What Could This Vaccine Do to My Baby?
I saved the best for last. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) (http://www.medalerts.org/vaersdb/index.php) will show the parent researcher adverse reactions reported by parents and physicians on specific vaccines. VAERS is a passive system which means there could be many more adverse events to vaccines that go unreported.
I’ve never been more serious than right now. Parents can blindly trust their pediatrician’s word that vaccines are safe and ignore this advice at their own peril. Or, parents can start to investigate vaccines for themselves and form their own opinions about the safety of the chemicals in vaccines.
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Did you find the resources mentioned in this article helpful? What other resources could be used to help new parents? What helped you decide to vaccinate or not vaccinate your child?