Examining the benefits of a decrease in childhood vaccinations.

Pharmaceutical medicine tells us that childhood vaccines are lifesaving necessities, responsible for the fall in infant mortality and improved life expectancy. Images of polio-stricken children are often posted whenever shots are questioned; side effects are dismissed as “coincidental.”

But does the medical establishment protest too much? An unexpected benefit of the stay at home orders and new studies raise more doubts surrounding the “official” story. 

Childhood Vaccines On Pause

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, there was a significant drop in vaccination numbers in early 2020. Compared to the first four months of 2019, there were over 3 million fewer non-influenza shots ordered. As for measles-containing doses, 400,000 fewer doses were administered.

With the COVID-19, we’ve seen parents become more reluctant to take their children to doctor’s offices. Part of this is likely due to fear of catching the coronavirus. It is also likely that children spending more time at home are seen as having a much lower risk of infectious disease. 

The Silver Lining To Stay At Home Orders

The drop in vaccinations coincides with what may be the only upside to stay-at-home orders. Normally, the U.S. child mortality rate hovers around 700 deaths per week. This fell sharply to under 500 by mid-April, remaining there throughout May. Almost the entire change came from a drop in infant mortality. While some of this may be from fewer infections being passed onto babies, some doctors have reported a rapid decline in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) cases. 

SIDS is a tragic situation where seemingly-healthy infants suddenly die. Multiple studies, however, indicate that the risk of SIDS is much higher in the days following vaccination. One using microprocessors placed under babies’ beds found a greater risk of breathing difficulties after pertussis vaccination. Population research in Japan showed that raising the minimum age of vaccination was associated with a drop in infant mortality. When childhood vaccines started at two years instead of early infancy, their death rate dropped by 60 percent. 

New Research Questions Childhood Vaccines … Again

A study published on November 22, 2020, analyzed the medical histories of children born into a pediatric practice over ten years. A total of 3,324 patients were studied. All had to have been born between  June 1, 2008, and January 27, 2019. Their first visit had to be before two months of age and their last visit after two months. Some were fully vaccinated, others partially, while 561 were completely unvaccinated. There was also a wide variation in the number of vaccines given to children. Many had less than ten, and only a small minority had 30-40. 

They found that vaccinated children were more likely to visit the doctor for:

  • Asthma and other breathing difficulties
  • Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) 
  • Eczema, itching, and, to a lesser extent, dermatitis
  • Ear infections and ear pain
  • Conjunctivitis and other eye disorders
  • ADHD and other behavioral issues
  • Anemia, which may be explained by aluminum’s ability to bind to transferrin, preventing it from depositing iron in the bones.
  • Respiratory infections and other infectious diseases

Did These Observed Benefits Survive Analysis?

Some of these higher risks became non-significant when different analytic methods were used, such as controlling for the duration of care. Additionally, rates of developmental disorders were difficult to analyze as they were low across all groups. Both autism and ADHD were only half as prevalent as in the general population. This may have been caused by many parents stopping vaccines after adverse events.

However, no unvaccinated children had ADHD, while 0.063 percent of partly and fully vaccinated children were affected.  Thirty-one percent of unvaccinated children had a family history of autoimmune disease, compared to 25.16 percent of vaccinated children. As for infectious diseases on the vaccine schedule, there were only 34 instances of “vaccine-preventable” disease in the unvaccinated group. Twenty-three of these were chickenpox, and none were fatal. 

One limitation of this study was that younger patients’ parents chose to vaccinate less frequently, which may shift results in favor of remaining unvaccinated. The researchers tried to compensate by matching children with vaccinated counterparts who had stayed in the practice for a similar length of time. Parents who avoid childhood vaccines may also be more aware of diet, environmental, and lifestyle factors that contribute to chronic and infectious disease. 

But Wait, There’s More…

The authors describe other studies suggesting that unvaccinated children are healthier. A survey of 415 homeschooling families found a 30.1 times higher risk of hay fever; a 5.2 times higher risk of learning disabilities; a 4.2 times larger risk of both autism and ADHD; and a 2.4 times higher risk of chronic illness.

Although this paper is passed around frequently on social media, the unvaccinated group was likely too small for a statistically significant comparison. In another study published in 2020, researchers found roughly double the risk of developmental delay and ear infections, and over four times the risk of asthma in vaccinated children. This paper used data from three separate practices.  

The Flaw Found In Some Safety Studies

Many safety studies only compare fully vaccinated children to those who have only missed one vaccine. For example, a German study only found a higher risk of atopic disorders (e.g. allergies and eczema) in unvaccinated children. However, they defined “unvaccinated” as including those who received vaccines for chickenpox, influenza, rotavirus, pneumococcal, meningococcal disease, and other infections. Other research on the DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) shot found higher all-cause mortality and asthma in the vaccinated group. The hepatitis B vaccine has been linked to a greater risk of autism too. 

Childhood vaccines are not the pure, innocent treatments they’re made out to be. As a result, we hope that the reduction in their use during the stay at home order improves children’s health enough for some parents to take notice. Toxic adjuvants and an overstimulation of the immune response can lead to higher rates of both chronic illness and infectious diseases.

Personalized information on how to boost your children’s immunity, prevent infection, and space out or avoid vaccines altogether, is best. We recommend individual support from a holistic or integrative health professional. 

Alexandra Preston is an Australian naturopath, passionate about empowering others to take charge of their health and healing the planet. Her special area of interest in natural health is antiaging; she also loves the beach and is a semi-professional dancer.

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