Mandatory Vaccinations Debate: Attack on Parental Rights or Public Health Risk?

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Air Date: February 4, 2015

Host: Jim Schneider

Guest: Barbara Loe Fisher

Listen: MP3| Order

Should parents have the right to choose whether or not they want their children vaccinated or does refusal to have one’s children vaccinated put the public health at risk?

Joining Jim to discuss this topic was Barbara Loe Fisher. Barbara is the president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a non-profit organization she co-founded with parents of DT vaccine injured children in 1983. For over 30 years she has led a national grassroots movement and public information campaign to institute vaccine safety reforms and informed consent protections in the public health system. Barbara is the author of numerous articles and books including, ‘Reforming Vaccine Policy & Law: A Guide’ published in 2014. She is the mother of three grown children. Her oldest son suffered a convulsion, collapse and brain inflammation within hours of his fourth DPT shot in 1980 when he was 2-1/2 years old and was left with multiple learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder.

Many media stories surfaced after it was reported that visitors to Disneyland contracted measles and presumably infected people in other states. On Monday it was reported that at least 100 measles cases originated at the theme park.

Barbara said we’ve haven’t received full information from the CDC regarding these measles cases that they claim are connected (92% of them) to an original source case. That original source case has not been identified.

The reason Barbara sees this as important is because last year there were 644 cases of reported measles in the U.S. Some of these involved outbreaks in various areas yet we didn’t see the kind of media frenzy that we’re seeing surrounding the Disney case. So now there have been op-ed pieces saying that people who have not followed the government recommended vaccine schedule should be sent to jail or should be sued in court.

One of the reasons why this reaction is disturbing is because out of the first 52 cases said to be associated with Disneyland, 6 individuals had been vaccinated and 4 individuals had at least 2 Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) shots. We also know that in the Disney case the majority of the individuals involved were over 20 years old.

Barbara noted that there’s talk in the scientific literature about waning immunity; meaning that you can get vaccinated but the vaccination only gives you a certain number of years of immunity. So while originally it was thought that one MMR would give you lifelong immunity, in the late ’80’s it was discovered that this isn’t true. Now it’s looking like 2 shots may not be sufficient and that some scientists are actually calling for a third MMR shot.

Part of the problem is that there have been more vaccines added to the recommended schedule in the last few decades. In the 80’s the schedule was 23 doses of 7 vaccines, one of which was the MMR. Now the schedule involves 69 doses of 16 vaccines between the day of birth and age 18 with 49 of those doses coming before age 6.

On this edition of Crosstalk you’ll also hear about the concerns over a possible connection between measles and autism, the use of human fetal cell lines in some vaccines, the use of mercury preservatives in vaccines, the legal immunity of vaccine manufacturers and doctors, the demonizing of parents who want to make selective vaccine choices for their children, the necessity for informed consent protections for consumers in vaccine laws and much more.

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