The Vaccine Question

There seems to be much controversy about the use of vaccines which is surprising to those of us that have studied the immune system. My PhD is focused on immunology which includes the study of vaccine use. During my graduate work it was presented as understood that vaccines were not always effective, sometimes even working the opposite direction – making the individual even more susceptible. It is not surprising, is it, that this is more complieated than we would at first think.

I came from my graduate work and then a stint on the faculty of the veterinary school in Washington, back into practice. I assumed vaccines were overall very safe and effective. It took some time, and reluctance, to admit to myself that I was seeing health problems coming up after vaccine use. I did not like it, yet over time, had to admit that was the case. You can understand it was a disappointment to me as well. Nonetheless, it had to be faced.

To put it briefly, some of the animals I vaccinated became ill after the vaccine in a short ime, just hours or days. Just as often it was not so immediately obvious but for the next period of time, months, they would have, instead, more illness of other types. In other words, the vaccine had made them more susceptible to other diseases.

The use of Rabies vaccine especially ineterestng as a common change in dogs was of behavior. They would become less friendly, more aggressive, more likely to bite, and also to wander far away. These are all symptoms of the Rabies disease which were showing up in these vaccinates.

I want to share with you an example story of what is  often experienced with children. This is not unusual except in that it is not always understood. By this I mean that the changes in  health following are not mentally connected to the giving of the vaccine but other presumed causes given by the health professionals. However, in the story that follows, you can see how obvious it is.

Vaccines, What Is Right for You?
by Kathy Arnos

We, as mothers and fathers, have a commitment, and an obligation to our children to find out as many facts about the unknown as possible, to research things to the best of our ability, and to open our eyes. Then we can make an educated decision as to what we feel is right for our children. Thousand of mothers and fathers make a decision every day on whether or not to give their child the DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) vaccine. If you are like most parents you don’t even know you have a choice. You have no idea of what consequence there could be one way or the other. My husband and I didn’t. I would like to share our story with you.

Our story is not a tragic one; it is one to be shared in the hope that it can help parents recognize signs before it does become a tragic story. My husband and I consider ourselves health-oriented. So how could I let something as important as research on vaccines get by me? To this day, I still ask myself that question! Neither of us had ever seen any of the specials on television (i.e. “DPT Russian Roulette”, produced by Lea Thompson). The book, DPT: A Shot In The Dark, written by Harris L. Coulter and Barbara Loe Fisher, had not yet been published.

There comes a time during pregnancy when you start interviewing pediatricians. What do you look for? Well, you want someone with whom you feel comfortable, someone with a good reputation, someone you can trust. In my case my obstetrician gave me a list. I interviewed three and went with the one that I liked best. Also a friend of mine had been with the same one for years (my friend was a nurse at Children’s Hospital). That made me feel more confident that I had made the right choice. The next step was Lamaze class at a well-known local hospital, where we met some other nice parents-to-be. After my daughter was born, a group of mothers from the class contacted each other and joined a support group at the hospital where our children were born. The woman who ran the group was a trained psychologist and really helped us through the rough spots. The main thing that we all had in common was a new baby, our little miracle.

As a new mother I wanted to do everything right. What’s right? For thirty years I had only been responsible for making decisions for myself. Then I found myself responsible for making decisions for my daughter. We went for our first doctor’s visit and all was well, she gained, she grew, she did everything she was supposed to. The doctor said she would see us again at two months at which time Danielle was to get her first DPT shot and oral polio vaccine. My husband and I expressed our fears about the vaccines at which point the doctor gave us some statistics on reactions and told us the damage from whooping cough was much more dangerous than the chance of Danielle having a reaction.

At the next visit, we expressed our concerns again and she assured us again there should be no problems. Then she asked us to sign a waiver, not holding them responsible if something did happen. Danielle was now two months of age. They gave her the DPT and polio and left the room. Danielle was crying so hard the only thing that helped was to nurse her, so I did. We then went into the doctor’s office where the doctor told me not to give her anything to drink for thirty or forty minutes. But it was kind of after the fact, wouldn’t you say? Then we were told to give her Tylenol twenty minutes after the shot. By the time we got to the car we figured it was time, so we gave it to her as we got in the car. Two minutes later she started vomiting. We were so scared. Danielle slept the rest of the day and when she did wake up she just would nurse and go back to sleep. This went on for 24 hours. She also had quite a knot in her leg for a full week where the shot was administered. When I questioned the doctor, she said it would just go away. And it did.

The next shot was two months later. She had a low fever of 101 degrees, was very cranky when awake, and slept a lot again. This time the knot in her leg was almost the size of a golf ball and it took about two and a half weeks to go away. Just about the time that the knot went away Danielle came down with what they called Viral Syndrome- Bronchitis. I remember she was having a lot of trouble breathing and had blisters in her throat.
She just had gotten over the illness when it was time for her third DPT shot. This time she wouldn’t stop screaming, she wouldn’t nurse; she just kept screaming. She finally fell asleep after a few hours. But every time she woke up she would just cry again. The fever and knot in her leg were the same as before, but this time it took three weeks for the knot to leave. Again we contacted the doctor, and she considered it to be a normal reaction.

The third shot was in July, and from July to May of the following year Danielle experienced repeated ear infections (for which antibiotics were prescribed) and upper respiratory-bronchitis infections. In May she was diagnosed as having another ear infection and had antibiotics again. When we went for a clear ear check, they gave Danielle the MMR vaccine (mumps, measles, rubella). Shortly after that, she started having very restless sleep and dreams. By August. it developed into crying fits while sleeping. She was stuck; neither asleep nor fully awake. She would get violent, crying, kicking, screaming, and become dangerous to herself. If I tried to awaken her it would get worse. It would take a good forty minutes to pull her out of this state. This lasted, off and on, for two months.

At 18 months of age it was time for Danielle’s fourth DPT. She got the shot and didn’t even cry. So off we went to the park. Everything was fine for about three hours when all of a sudden her arm swelled so badly it was sticking straight out in the air. She started screaming at the top of her lungs. Nothing would make her stop. I got her into the car, which wasn’t an easy thing to do as she was still screaming, her face was bright red and I couldn’t touch her arm. She stopped ten minutes after we were on the freeway. Then there was total silence. She became totally unresponsive, just sitting and staring, her tongue kind of hanging from her mouth. Her skin was very pale. Our house was on the way to the hospital so I stopped there to call the doctor to tell her I was bringing Danielle in to be checked. I took her out of the car seat. She was a bit limp and still unresponsive. I made the call, then called my father to meet us there, as he worked close to the hospital. When we got back in the car I kept talking to her, singing, smiling anything to try and get her to respond. During the 15-minute ride she finally started to respond a little. And then a little more when she saw grandpa. The doctor examined her and said she was fine. (Her doctor never told me that she should never have the pertussis vaccine again.) Danielle vomited the rest of the day and night and ran a fever of 102. It took about a week for her arm to return to normal.

We returned to the doctor at two years of age, at which time she gave her the HIB (Hemophilus influenza type b) vaccine. The doctor assured me she wouldn’t have a reaction to this one. Two months later Danielle developed croup. Then just after that cleared up she got the flu. For the next seven months she had repeated bouts with croup, ear infections (antibiotics taken again) and strep throat. Each time the croup would get worse and worse. No cold. No warning. It would just hit in a matter of hours. During this period she also developed terrible fears and anxiety. I was very scared and all our family and friends couldn’t believe the change in Danielle’s personality. I was at my wit’s end and knew that something had to be done. I was very angry and didn’t feel that I could talk to her doctor any more. Two of my friends, one whom is a mother of twin three-year-old girls, and the other who has no children yet, both kept telling me the same thing: break the cycle of antibiotics and look elsewhere.

I really didn’t know where to turn, so I started doing research on Holistic Medicine. I didn’t feel completely comfortable going to someone who wasn’t a doctor, (since we have been programmed to believe that if we are sick we need a doctor) so I found a female MD who also practiced Holistic Medicine. I have to admit that I was a real skeptic, but after just one visit (and one remedy) Danielle no longer had croup!

Danielle is now under what they call in homeopathic treatment, a “constitutional”, and is doing quite well. If I hadn’t seen it happen with my own eyes, I might not have believed it possible. (I plan on doing a follow-up article on homeopathic treatment with children.)
In conclusion, I’m not going to tell you that all of my daughter’s chronic illnesses were due to the pertussis vaccine. But perhaps if the facts were presented more clearly, and more time was taken on the doctor’s part to find out more about family histories, and had I done more research on the DPT vaccine, perhaps I would have seen the warning signs earlier, and stopped it sooner.

As a concerned parent for other children and their families please take the time to research vaccines in general, especially the pertussis, polio, MMR, and flu vaccines.