Author:Handley, J.B.
Position:MEDICINE & HEALTH - Vaccination

IN RETROSPECT, I shirked my duty to research vaccines properly. You do not think of a vaccine as a medical procedure, but it is. I had not done a shred of primary research about vaccines prior to vaccinating my children. I remembered being vaccinated as a kid and thought, "I've been vaccinated, and I'm fine." I trusted the authorities, who all seemed to be saying that vaccines were safe and effective.

I had no idea that in 1986 vaccine makers were given blanket indemnity from liability by Congress. I did not know the vaccine schedule in the U.S. had tripled since the mid 1980s; or that the Federal government had paid out $3,600,000,000 for vaccine injuries; or that other developed countries gave many fewer vaccines, and had much less autism. I did not know the hepatitis B vaccine, often given on day one of life, only provided protection for four years; or that autism, ADHD, asthma, and allergies all were skyrocketing, and that their rise corresponded to changes in the vaccine schedule. I could not know that biological science would show how a vaccine can injure an infant's brain--because it had not been published yet, and I certainly never had read the many published studies showing how vaccines can result in autoimmunity and neurological damage.

I believed the narratives that appealed to emotion and trust in authority that we often hear about vaccines--herd immunity, for instance; nobody wants to be the selfish parent who puts everyone else at risk. Vaccination is important, not only for our own kids, but for the health of the community, especially the vulnerable, right? Well, no one really knows because we never have come close to achieving herd immunity through vaccines.

Today, the science is clear that most vaccines wane in four to 10 years. With the adult population less than 50% up to date on vaccines, we are nowhere near herd immunity and never have been. "Herd immunity" is one of the many sophisticated public relations strategies designed to compel parents into vaccinating their children through emotional manipulation.

"Anti-vaccine" is a slur used to quell debate and a waste of my time and yours. People for safer cars are not "anti-car." We do not have time for these kinds of oversimplified attacks and binary labels. Our kids desperately need us to rise to the occasion of an informed, intellectual, and fact-based debate that examines arguments on their merits.

What I genuinely believe is that each vaccine needs to be evaluated on...

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