Are Vaccines “Completely Safe”? Maybe, Maybe Not.
Start by reading this article by Dr. Mecola on the science and current politics behind vaccines. The article talks about the controversy behind President Trump asking Robert Kennedy Jr to chair a commission on “vaccine safety and scientific integrity.” (I am not looking to start a political debate. Whether you are for or against Trump is none of my business, and my opinion of our new president is none of yours. The fact is that, like it or not, Donald Trump now holds the title of President of the United States, just like Barrack Obama did for 8 years.)
The root of the question is “Do the risks of vaccines outweigh the benefits.” Frankly, I don’t have the answer to that question, and neither does anybody else, regardless of what they might think. To get a solid scientific answer to that question would require detailed and long-term studies that compare the overall health of people who were vaccinated with the standards and recommendations in place TODAY, with the overall health of people vaccinated with older, less intense schedules and with people who are completely unvaccinated.
There are several problems with a study like that. The first of which is that you can’t study the future health of people vaccinated under today’s schedule because the future has not happened yet.
Yes, you can study the potential effects in a lab setting, but it’s not the same as studying actual outcomes. People are different. They have different body chemistry, different genetics, different diets, live in different places and are exposed to very different viruses and bacteria.
What bothers me about the vaccine debate is the same thing that seems to bother a lot of people –the absolute hatred with which the pro-vaccine people treat the vaccine personal choice people. Even people who choose to vaccinate but do so on an altered schedule are treated like murderers. I’ve seen it happen. Heck, it’s happened to me personally because of my vaccine choices for myself.
I think ongoing debate regarding vaccine safety and effectiveness is a good and very needed thing. But, the debate needs to be based entirely on available SCIENCE and not opinion, feelings, or a sense of “responsibility” for the health of other people. Science isn’t always definitive, and the current vaccine science varies greatly depending on 1. who did the studies, 2. how many people were involved in the studies, 3. what ethnic groups were included in the study 4. who funded the study. I’m sure there are other factors which have led to the very wide results, but these are the ones that stand out with me.
I’d like to see the scientists who perform studies on vaccines release their raw data to the public. I don’t want to read interpretations of the data. The same set of data can be interpreted many different ways. I want to see the raw data so I can draw my own conclusions.
Why? Because several countries have flat-out banned specific vaccinations that are allowed, encouraged and pushed in the US. These countries, Japan comes to mind, have looked at lab studies, and real world results and determined that SOME vaccines are simply too dangerous — kill, paralyze, or intellectually damage– too many people. Yet, doctors in the United States look at the exact same data and decide that these same vaccinations are “perfectly safe.”
Japan isn’t the only country to determine that specific vaccines are dangerous and unsafe, and many countries around the world use a different vaccine schedule than the US does. In most cases the differences are fewer vaccines, spaced further apart and in some cases the vaccines are started later. For the most part, these countries don’t have any higher incidence of “vaccine preventable diseases” than we do in the US. In some cases they have a LOWER incidence of those illnesses. Some of those countries are generally more healthy than the US, and some are equivalent or less healthy.
My point here? Vaccine science is NOT united, the research and real-world results are absolutely not definitive. Different groups of scientists look at the same data and draw different conclusions. Researchers across the word are doing similar experiments on vaccines in the lab and getting wildly different results.
This should give us all cause to pause and stop the judgment, stop the hatred, and stop the blaming. If the vaccine scientists can’t reach a united conclusion then who the heck are we laypeople to judge each other for having differing opinions?