Mercury-based thimerosal, used as a preservative in childhood vaccines until recently, is now being blamed for a host of neurological problems, including autism, ADD, ADHD, and other learning disabilities.
The number of children with these problems can vary greatly depending on who you listen to. Some experts say there are about 800,000 learning disabled children in the US, while others put the number as high as eight million, according to Dr. Jay Gordon.
Dr. Gordon is a California pediatrician who has worked as a consultant for CBS on children's programming. He was ABC’s medical correspondent for the Home Show for five years and has appeared on Good Morning America to discuss vaccines. On his website, appropriately called Dr. Jay Gordon, he addresses many of the issues related to vaccine policies in the US.
Granted, there are plenty of research studies to document the fact that some vaccines are necessary to protect against serious diseases. However, there is very little data to support the methods that are used to vaccinate children in the US.
In a March 7, 2005 article in the LA Times, Dr. Gordon broke ranks and disputed claims that all vaccines are safe. Parents choose Gordon as their pediatrician because of his stance on vaccinations. They know he will lend a sympathetic ear to their concerns about the possible adverse side effects of childhood vaccinations, according to the Times.
On his website, Gordon explains how he addresses the issue of early vaccination: “In my office, with families I know well, I believe that the main idea I convey is that we should vaccinate later and slower. One shot at a visit starting later in the first year and perhaps in the second year of life. I have many families in my practice who have chosen to give their children no vaccines,” he adds.
“In my opinion, we vaccinate in an unscientific and potentially dangerous way,” he says.
Gordon also doesn’t “like the financial ties that vaccine researchers have to the manufacturers because some of these same experts help make the official decisions about which shots will be approved and/or required.”
Over the past 15 to 20 years, the number of cases of autism in children has gone from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 150 today. Learning disabilities were first noted in 1963, but the problem was rare and very few children were identified with the disorder. Today, one child in six is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD).
According to Dr. Gordon’s website, ADD or ADHD affects millions of children. Currently accepted statistics say that as many as 10% of the school-aged population have ADHD, and about another 20% have symptoms suggestive of ADHD. These children will continue to manifest these symptoms and problems in adulthood, according to the site.
The number of recommended vaccines in the Federal immunization schedule has nearly tripled since 1988. The agency now recommends vaccines for 12 diseases. Because some shots must be given more than once, a child may receive as many as 23 shots by age 2 and might receive as many as six shots during a single visit to a doctor.
The biggest source of parental concern about vaccines is the claim that vaccines are linked to a rise in autism rates. For example, in California, between 1987 and 2002, there has been a more than six-fold increase in autism cases, according to a 2003 report by the California Department of Development Services.
Although government “experts” continue to maintain there is no link between autism and vaccines, they offer no alternative theory for the skyrocketing number of cases.
Because the onset of autism usually begins during the period when children are receiving many vaccines, most parents are convinced that vaccines trigger the disorder. Thousands of parents have filed lawsuits in the Court of Federal Claims alleging that thimerosal used in vaccines until 2002 is the cause of autism and a host of other neurological disorders.
Ann Dachel -- A Mother's Perspective
If all these problems are not caused by vaccines, “I wish the medical community would explain where all the damaged children are coming from,” Ann Dachel says.
Anne is from Chippewa Falls, WI. She is a school teacher, a member of the National Autism Association, and the mother of a boy with autism and a daughter who developed epilepsy after receiving a Hepatitis B vaccine.
She firmly believes the Hepatitis B vaccine her daughter Kate received is the direct cause of three years of seizures that followed the vaccine. “No one seems to want to look into the correlation of the use of known neurotoxins in vaccines and the epidemic in neurological disorders among children,” Ann says.
“Our Federal health agencies,” she notes, “took years to even recognize an increase in the autism rate.” Once they were forced to acknowledge the rise in autism, Ann says, their feeble explanations for the epidemic range from “better diagnosing and an expanded spectrum of autism disorders” to a “genetic cause.”
She disputes these claims. “Doctors aren't suddenly smarter and believe me, no one can ‘miss’ an autistic child,” Ann says, “genes don’t cause epidemics,” she adds.
“Do they need children dropping over dead in the doctor’s office or setting off metal detectors at airports before they’ll blame the deadly neurotoxin for the neurological damage done to our children?” Ann asks.
In her teaching capacity, Ann works with a group of ADD and ADHD kids and she says, “almost all of them have health problems like asthma, allergies, chronic ear infection, etc.”
“I was at a talk the other night by a speech therapist and nutritionist who works with children in hospitals and schools,” Ann reports, “she brought up the fact that today's children are the sickest in history.”
Are So Many Vaccines Really Necessary?
Currently, between birth and six months, newborns get a total of 13 doses of vaccines. Between 12 and 24 months, they get another 10 vaccines.
When asked which vaccines should be given the first year, Gordon advised, “I prefer to give no vaccines or just the DPT during the first year,” the Times reports. “DPT is relevant because you can get whooping cough-diphtheria,” it adds.
Many of these vaccines are unnecessary because some diseases are virtually nearly non-existent in the US today. There have been no new polio cases in the last decade, and it's highly unlikely that a baby would contract Hepatitis B. There are only a few dozen cases of tetanus each year, according to Gordon.
“The diseases against which we vaccinate used to be much more common,” he explains, “but we are now down to an average of one case of diphtheria (the “D” of the DPT) per year ... a few thousand cases of Pertussis (“P”) and 30 or so cases of Tetanus each year.”
The best example of unnecessary vaccines used solely to boost profits for the drug companies is the Hepatitis B vaccine. Hepatitis B is a disease transmitted through high-risk adult behavior involving intravenous drug use and unprotected sex.
When following the Federal Immunization Schedule, infants receive a shot of Hep B within hours of birth, and six weeks later they get shots of Hep B, Hemophilus Influenza B (HIB), Polio, and Prevnar, the latest vaccine to be added to the schedule.
While Gordon admits the Hep B vaccine works very well, he says it may have autoimmune complications and should only be given after a careful evaluation of the risks and benefits to the child.
In a report titled, “The Saga of Pediatric Hepatitis B Vaccination,” F Edward Yazbal, MD claims government health authorities have been lying to the public about the need for the Hep B vaccine, and mandated a vaccine for babies when there was no reason to do so. He says the CDC has contradicted its own previous pronouncements about the numbers of Hepatitis B cases in America to justify adding this vaccine to the schedule.
The Prevnar vaccine was produced to protect higher-risk people from a specific group of dangerous bacteria,” Gordon explains. “It was never intended to be, and is not very effective, as an ‘ear infection’ shot.” “The diseases that it prevents are extremely rare,” he adds.
Dr Gordon acknowledges that Meningitis is a dangerous, potentially fatal infection and the vaccine given to combat Meningitis is effective and has eliminated over 95% of this illness. However, “I personally have not seen a case if HIB meningitis in at least 7 or 8 years, maybe more,” he says, but “some scientists and others now think that the vaccine may cause “autoimmune” problems -- the immune system mistakenly attacks one’s own body -- such as diabetes,” he warns.
“The MMR vaccine merits an entire page of its own,” Gordon says, “But there is enough evidence that these “live-virus” vaccines may not be as safe as we thought to convince me that we need much more study before we can stop looking,” he adds.
“Chickenpox is a relatively benign disease in childhood,” Gordon maintains. He says this vaccine was invented in the 1970s to protect children on chemotherapy or high dose steroids for asthma and other illnesses. He explains that “normal kids get immunity from the illness which might actually have been better than that acquired from the shot.” Gordon recommends trying to get children natural chickenpox for four or five years and then get the shot later if that is not successful.
Thimerosal Is Still In Vaccines
Drug companies began claiming they were reducing the amount of thimerosal in vaccines back in 1999. Some drug makers said there was only a trace amount of mercury in their products and others claimed they are producing mercury-free vaccines.
Wanting to determine whether mercury was truly absent from vaccines today, the group, Health Advocacy in the Public Interest (HAPI), recently sent four vaccines off to be tested. The test results showed that all four vials contained mercury, despite claims by two drug makers that their products were totally mercury free.
HAPI also discovered that thimerosal is still being used in the manufacturing process of most vaccines. However, drug makers claim they filter the thimerosal out of the final product. But Boyd Haley, who is the Chemistry Department Chair at the University of Kentucky, told HAPI that claim is false because mercury binds to the antigenic protein in the vaccine and cannot be completely filtered out 100%.
It is more than apparent that at this point in time no one can guarantee parents that all mercury has been removed from childhood vaccines. In fact, drug companies admit that flu vaccines still contain an unsafe amount of thimerosal and the government still recommends flu vaccines for pregnant women and some children.
Ann Dachel wants to know, “How long the CDC and FDA will make claims that deadly mercury is perfectly safe when injected into tiny babies? How many children will have to be damaged before we stop this? How long will they just deny the obvious?”
Until they can be assured with absolute 100% certainty that thimerosal has been eliminated from all vaccines, no parent should be forced to inject their children with potentially poisonous vaccines.
Evelyn J. Pringle is a columnist for Independent Media TV and an investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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