The issue of vaccine usage and safety serves as a sad reflection of how poorly we communicate with each other on serious topics. Each side often views the other as simply stupid and without sense, while oftentimes lacking any real understanding as to why each is arguing its point. Statements like, “Vaccines cause autism,” or “There is no scientific evidence that says vaccines cause autism,” are both inherently flawed because neither can be said with certainty given the current research, and yet they often dominate the discussion. On the issue of whether or not vaccines are in general harmful, and whether or not that harm outweighs whatever good they might serve, the only thing separating both sides of the issue is misinformation and a lack of information. And, quite frankly, the strongest argument either side can possibly make is that, given the amount of evidence we have, it seems as if vaccines ________________ (fill in the blank).

With that being said, each of us ought to be informed as to what current information is available regarding vaccine safety, and should take this issue seriously.  The aim of this article is to present information that is both unavoidably evident and necessary to consider in developing a viewpoint on vaccine safety and usage, as well as to encourage more informed discussion. Below are 5 things to consider on the topic of vaccination.

1.) Correlation and Causation

This is perhaps the most important bit of information when reading any article or research related to vaccines. When something is “correlated,” “associated,” or “linked” to something else, it does NOT necessarily mean that it is the cause. It would nearly impossible for scientific research to show that vaccines cause autism, or any kind of disorder. Because there are hundreds if not thousands of things going on at once, it cannot be said that one particular thing is the sole cause of any particular effect.

A good way of looking at this is in two contrasting situations. As in example, we know that the incidence of our waking up every morning is strongly linked to the sun rising every morning. The correlation between these two things is so high that we can say every time we awake each morning the sun will rise, or vice versa, but we would be foolish to say that our waking causes the sun to rise, or vice versa. This is important because we have to recognize the limitations of science. For example, scientific research has not definitively proven that smoking causes lung cancer. However, because we know that the toxins in cigarettes are inherently harmful to the body, and because we have seen time and time again that the incidence between the two things is high, we can say with confidence that smoking probably causes cancer, and we can say with certainty that it is associated with cancer.

All of this is important, because when someone says that science has not shown vaccines to cause disease or harm, we cannot take that statement, however true or untrue, to mean anything by itself.

2.) We Cannot Simply Accept the Positions of Experts As Fact

Simply put, experts in the field of health and medicine disagree on this issue. Many doctors are pro-vaccine, many are anti-vaccines, and some still are on the fence. It is simply impossible for all of these conflicting opinions to be correct. Unfortunate as it is, listening to your health care provider does not mean you will walk away with correct information.

3.) Many Vaccines Contain Toxic Heavy Metals

Not only has aluminum been linked to a variety of different diseases and disorders, we know that it is inherently toxic to the body. This is not a debate, but simply known and agreed upon information. Even the CDC’s Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) notes that aluminum can trigger negative effects in the musculoskeletal, neurological and respiratory systems of the body1. Perhaps most importantly, it can cross the blood brain barrier and exert these toxic effects on the brain. Again, this is not debatable information anymore.

Aluminum is not alone. Lead is another inherently toxic heavy metal, and even low levels of it have been shown to yield toxic effects2.

If these were the only two toxic substances found in vaccines, they would be more than enough for us to have to carefully consider the safety of vaccines, but they are still not alone. The most widely talked about toxin in vaccines, mercury (in the form of Thimerosol) has been shown to elicit neurotoxic effects, and has convincing evidence to suggest that it might have a direct link to autism3,4.

Most worrisome of all perhaps is the fact that just as recently as last year a study done by a group of independent researchers from the National Council of Research of Italy and the International Clean Water Institute found that a number of common vaccines are contaminated with different kinds of particulate. In fact, every vaccine that was tested contained unlisted particulate5. Among those unlisted include aluminum and lead.

4.) Vaccines Have Been Associated With Numerous Neurodegenerative Disorders

Research continues to show more and more links between vaccine usage and neurodegenerative disorders, and this should make anyone at the very least question whether or not vaccines might be the cause of some of these issues.

5.) The Oversight For Vaccine Safety Is In a Conflict of Interest

The Immunization Safety Office of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) claims to continuously monitor the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and to determine the appropriate public health response to vaccine safety concerns as well as to communicate the benefits and risks of vaccines6. The CDC determines the immunization schedule, and failure to comply with this schedule can prevent children from being admitted into public schools, as well as health care workers to their employment. This oversight and these decisions are incredibly important, and one would hope that an unbiased party would do such crucial decision-making, but this is not the case.  

Mark Blaxill, an intellectual property expert found that the CDC has 56 patents on vaccinations, including patents for: flu, rotavirus, Hepatitis A, Pneumococcal disease, gastroenteritis, SARS, Zika, and others6. This is the ultimate example of appointing the fox to guard the hen house, and it is absolutely ludicrous to assume that the billions of dollars the CDC spends on patents for vaccines would not add extreme bias as to the oversight of their education and determination of their safety.

Developing an understanding on the current evidence related to vaccine safety is an important and difficult process to navigate. Certain evidence has made this a very real and significant topic, and to dismiss any caution about vaccine exposure as some kind of conspiracy or ignorance is simply ignorance itself.  We must educate ourselves with the available information and understand that the issue of vaccination might not be as black and white as many make it out to be.

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