Thursday, October 19, 2006

Stuck

Tonight I opened up my inbox and saw quite a few emails on vaccines. It all started with someone forwarding an announcement from the Health Center to all the people on the Grad-IV list. It recommended that all students receive a flu shot. The following post shows some of the threads that have been going...

______________________
The original email, from Person One

_______encourages all students to get flu shots

Starting Monday, October 16th, McKinley will begin offering flu shots to all students 18 years or older on campus. Hours of availability will be Monday - Friday, 8:00am to 5:30pm. According to the CDC recommendations, October and November are the optimal months for influenza vaccination. Students under 18 will need an approved vaccine that has not yet arrived.

Shots will be provided for ... students at ______ Health Center beginning October 16th and other locations throughout campus as soon as October 18th. Visit the McKinley Calendar for a schedule of times and places - new locations will be listed as they are confirmed.

There is no charge for ______ students who have paid the Health Service Fee. A current ID must be presented and UIN known. If you have questions or concerns, call ____ -____. Also see: CDC Vaccination Information - 2006-07 Influenza Season Tips for Getting Through the Cold and Flu Season

______________________
Person Two's Reply

Hello,
I know [Person 1 and the Health Center] may mean well, but I'd caution you all to think twice before getting a flu shot. The following article lists many of the dangers of flu vaccines and gives links to related articles. 1

In short, with the vaccine are preservatives and other toxic chemical additives which may include:

* Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
* Phenol, also known as carbolic acid (this is used as a disinfectant, dye)
* Formaldehyde, a known cancer-causing agent
* Aluminum, which is associated with Alzheimer's disease and seizures and also cancer producing in laboratory mice (it is used as an additive to promote antibody response)
* Thimerosal (a mercury disinfectant/preservative) can result in brain injury and autoimmune disease
* Neomycin and Streptomycin (used as antibiotics) have caused allergic reaction in some people. The vaccine itself hasn't proven to prevent people from getting the flu, and it's common for people to come down with the flu immediately after getting a flu shot. The vaccine itself is usually a weakened flu virus.

The proper way to avoid the flu is to nourish the body appropriately, following Biblical principles of health and nutrition to strengthen your immune system that God created to fight off every disease in existence.

Why do hospitals like to give flu shots then if they don't work? The pharmaceutical industry wants our money, and they don't care what they inject us with as long as they can convince us that it works. Pharma is run on greed and evolutionary principles, rather than good science and Scriptural principles, and we, as believers, need to stand up to their lies. OK, I'll get off my soap box now and have some organic tea.
Shalom,
[Person Two]

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My two cents

Hey!
Thanks for bringing up a good topic! Which evolutionary principles do you see Pharma running on? I guess there's the underlying trend that some evolutionists believe: the world is gradually improving over time.

One reason why flu shots often don't protect you from the flu is that there's so many different viruses that cause the flu. So to gear up for flu season, Pharma has to guess (or reason from past flu seasons) which strains might be most prevalent. Maybe they'll guess right for the majority of people, but maybe I'll be vaccinated for strain A and then get sneezed on by
someone infected with strain B. So it's basically a lottery, and people have variable immunity to begin with!

I guess I'll head down a rabbit trail... the other thing that complicates the vaccine question is this: Vaccinations are often political. When it's compulsory for kids entering school it can cause conflicts between parents who don't want their kids to be vaccinated, and school officials who do want them to be. There's also the question of money. The problem when
vaccinations become a political tool is that people's consciences get trampled.

The doom approach is -- if your kid isn't vaccinated for mumps, then pretty soon mumps is going to be a normal childhood disease again! But if vaccinations are 100% effective, then how would this be putting immunized kids at risk? Of course, vaccines can't possibly be 100% effective. So if kids with an active case of mumps showed up at school, then the child that got a shot but for some reason didn't develop an adequate level of immunity could come down with the mumps. But then, wasn't the shot just a false sense of security for that child?

Maybe in a perfect world
1) the family could decide whether or not their child needed a vaccination
2) when a person decided to be vaccinated, a few weeks later they would have a titer done to assess their level of immunity.

That way, if for any reason they hadn't mounted an adequate immune response and developed their own antibodies to the antigen they were exposed to, THEY'D KNOW IT.

For people who had a conscience-conflict with having a vaccine, they would realize the risks they were taking and take full responsibility. For people who went ahead with the vaccination, they would realize how much trust they were putting in Pharma. For better or worse they are allowing direct entry into their bloodstream.

But wait a minute -- there wouldn't be any need for vaccines in a perfect world! LOL!

Just on the science level, I think vaccinations are pretty neat. But (like my Mom says), there's still so much to be learned about them.

But I see your point with improving diet, too. I can't see God recommending the "take a pill (or get a shot), and forget the problem" approach. When He healed someone, He often gave them pointers on how to improve their walk. It wasn't just -- BAMMO -- you can see! Allright -- next patient. I think He cares about the entire person: body, spirit, soul. That's why He tells one guy just after healing him, "Now stop sinning or something worse will happen to you!"

Have a good night,
Hannah Ihms
______________________
Person Three's Comments

I know [Person Two] may mean well, but I'd caution anyone about trusting a website that requires you to enter an e-mail address just to look at it...

It's also kind of funny that you attack the pharmaceutical industry for making lots of money off people (no actual arguments with that proposition, though I think that most of them mean well most of the time), but in response you send us to a website whose primary purpose is to present alternative medical information AND SELL THE ASSOCIATED PRODUCTS. Almost every page I looked at has a number of links to Mercola's books or other products the site is selling. Make no mistake: this isn't an independent non-profit entity that has nothing but the public health in mind; this site exists, among other things, to make money.

Finally, I appreciate that there is at least some attempt to cite sources, but it only took me _one try_ to prove that this site at least sometimes misrepresents information in ways that would lower my Rhet students' grades significantly. On this page, one of the recommendations to fight cancer is this: "Have a tool to permanently erase the neurological short-circuiting that can activate cancer genes. Even the CDC states that 85 percent of disease is caused by emotions." This last phrase provides a link (well, actually a series of two links) to a USA Today article, which states, "Up to 90% of the doctor visits in the USA may be triggered by a stress-related illness, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." Mercola takes a cautious and measured statement from the CDC that talks about "doctor's visits" being related to "stress-related illness" and turns it into the overconfident certainty of "diseases" being caused by "emotions." "Doctor's visits" does not equal separate cases of "disease," and "stress-related illness" does not equal "caused by emotions." In this paraphrase, Mercola is fundamentally changing what the CDC says (because after all, being cautious in your thinking doesn't help to sell books, but being confident and appearing to have all the answers does). Maybe the distinction between the two phrases would be lost on most of the general public, but I'd expect a doctor to know better. I'm sure it wouldn't take long to find other misrepresentations and half-truths...

And sometimes Mercola cites information correctly, but then just decides to disbelieve it, such as when he actually cites a JAMA article that suggests that flu shots _do indeed work_ when the flu strains are properly chosen:

As for the specific flu information given in [Person Two's] e-mail, I was unable to track down where the information he cites actually comes from, b/c the link on mercola.com where the author supposedly got his information, from a group called Concerned Parents for Vaccine Safety, is dead, which is never a good sign. You can check it out yourself.

Just offering my own public service announcement.
[Person Three]

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Person Four's Comments

Hello,
I am writing a quick reply to {Person Two's} email. There are some risks associated with taking flu shots (e.g one study has shown one out of every million people who receive the vaccine have an increased risk of Guillain-Barr Syndrome).

However, I want to caution you about the website www.mercola.com , and its founder Joseph Mercola. Mercola's misleading statements have led to more than one warning from the FDA (source: 1, 2.)

David E. Gumpert of Business Week Online reports:

While Mercola on his site seeks to identify with this image by distinguishing himself from "all the greed-motivated hype out there in health-care land," he is a master promoter, using every trick of traditional and Internet direct marketing to grow his business. (source: 1).

Thanks,
[Person Four]

P.S. Just saw [Person Three's] email, but I'd already written mine up.

______________________
Final remarks from Person Two

Last email from me. OK, so I forgot that mercola.com required an email to let you read many of his articles, so I apologize for sending a bad link. Here's a better, though much longer, one. This article is excerpted from the book "The Vaccine Guide" by Randall Neustaedter OMD.

As for the responses blasting Dr. Mercola, I hope you all understand that the intent of my email wasn't to endorse Dr. Mercola, his products, or all of his information (I do disagree with a lot of what he says, but he is right on most of the time.), but to inform you of the dangers of flu vaccines and the pharmaceutical industry in general, while encouraging you all to seek proper nutrition that is Biblically based. That is the best flu prevention possible. One author I highly recommend is Dr. Jordan Rubin, author of The Maker's Diet. I should have mentioned it in my previous email as well. That book presents a model for Biblical health and nutrition, which is basically kosher (Lev. 11), organic, and all-natural (Gen. 1:31). God made us and told us how to best nourish our bodies, so we should listen to Him and do what He said. Anyway, that's all.

Shalom,
[Person Two]

2 comments:

api said...

Well, I wrote a comment, then I could not remember my sign in name. SIGH. I basically said it was a GREAT discussion, thanks for sharing the comments. If we just foolishly follow the crowd then I see no difference in taking a shot then doing drugs. We should carefully consider consequences and risk.
LOVE, my dear. May our LORD bless you for your boldness and grant you GREAT wisdom.

eve said...

Love you! I would like to understand vaccines better. There's some pretty cool things about them: but I wonder if we're still at the level of a monkey with a stick.