By Chloe Hall
Rebuttal to “Anti-vaxxers: How badly do we miss polio?”
Tell me science shows vaccines are harmless, and I’ll tell you about my high fever, severe muscle pain and night sweats I had as a child after each mandatory vaccination. Tell me vaccines haven’t been scientifically connected with any significant disorders, and I’ll tell you how scientists reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that the 2009 swine flu vaccine was associated with a “small but significant risk” of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a disorder resulting in paralysis. Tell me virtually no one dies from vaccinations, and I’ll tell you to read a study by Neil Miller and Garry Goldman that found a correlation between higher infant mortality rates and vaccine doses. Tell me I need to ask more questions, and I’ll tell you to do the same.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying people shouldn’t get vaccinated. I’m also not saying I drink organic kale juice on my way to Trader Joe’s after my morning meditation session. Let’s face it: that’s the stereotypical anti-vaxxer. But we’re not all like that.
Unlike some, I’ve done my research on those mysterious, big-word ingredients in vaccinations. According to Cdc.gov, the most common substances found in vaccines include monosodium glutimate (MSG), egg protein, formaldehyde, aluminum and thimerosal. I first discovered I was allergic to MSG, a common preservative and flavor enhancer, when I received my vaccines as a child. While not a problem for many, this preservative caused great distress for my body, which was used to a vegetarian lifestyle with mostly unprocessed, organic foods.
And I’m not the only one with this allergy. Doctor John W. Olney found based on the amount of MSG used in the 1970s that over 25 percent of the American population is allergic to MSG. Dr. Russell Blayock, a board-certified neurosurgeon and the author of Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills, explains MSG is a neurotoxin that has the potential to trigger or worsen learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease, among other things.Today, our MSG use is much higher than a few decades ago. You can imagine the problem.
So why do we use this substance in most of our foods and many of our vaccines? It makes food taste fresh and more flavorful, and it feeds the live virus in vaccines to keep them active longer. Sounds necessary, right? Wrong. According to Mercola.com, MSG is also known as free glutamic acid. Many people have a general idea of what MSG is, but if someone asked if you’re allergic to glutamic acid, you likely wouldn’t have an answer. Here’s where a big problem arises: For many vaccines, such as the Chickenpox vaccine, “free glutamic acid” is listed as the ingredient on any given pharmaceutical or medical website–not MSG. So how are you supposed to know to avoid it?
On Feb. 11, scientists confirmed dietary cholesterol has no effect on total serum cholesterol, debunking what scientists have believed for years, and leaving a small group of scientists saying I told you so. Science is only as good as the tools and technology at any given point. Science is constantly evolving and improving. If you want to bet the life of a child on current science, remember that it’s often flawed. As we all know, the world is round and global warming exists. Try telling a scientist that in the past, and they’d call you crazy, and have evidence to back it up.
Let’s also not forget who pays for all the vaccination research: the pharmaceutical companies. Do you honestly believe the world is perfect and every study ever conducted was published for public knowledge or transcribed with 100 percent honesty? Do you really think peanut oil and egg protein is necessary in vaccinations? Every other country doesn’t seem to need it. But it saves the U.S. a pretty penny.
We need our vaccinations. I won’t deny that. But we also shouldn’t blindly accept the information fed to us from either side. It’s time for anti-vaxxers to stop refusing what they think is bad but don’t know why. It’s not the vaccinations we should be against. It’s the way they’re made and advertised. Next time you get a meningitis vaccine, think about the 11 out of 200 children who died in a Pfizer drug trial during a meningitis outbreak in Africa. Then ask yourself why we test on children in other countries who can’t afford vaccinations. Philanthropy? Or maybe because if 11 American children died, we’d admit there’s a problem.