Immunization Rates and Healthcare Utilization

scalesIt is assumed that immunizations reduce illness and save lives, and I have lived through the era when hospitals were full of children with meningitis from H. flu and Strep pneumococcus. The Hib (against the H. flu bacteria) in particular and later the prevnar (against pneumococcus) definitely reduced and almost eliminated childhood meningitis from these number 1 and number 2 causes of bacterial meningitis. Our grandparents lived through polio and saw the eradication of that disease. Since there has not been a new case of polio acquired here in the USA for about 30 years, this danger has passed in the USA.

Immunizations are a procedure and as with all medical procedures, there should be a risk/benefit analysis and patients ( or their parents) should be given all the facts about the risks and the benefits so they can make an educated decision about the right choice for their child with regard to each and every vaccine. The era of one size fits all, and every child is given the full schedule of vaccines without consideration of what are a families risk factors needs to end. Families with autoimmune disorders, autism or even ADD and ADHD or other neuro-developmental concerns, and perhaps those with anxiety and depression, should think long and hard before injecting their infants and young children with the full schedule of vaccines.

This article below is a step in the right direction. I look forward to getting the full raw data. Study analysis may have been to prove that lower vaccination rates are risky. It appears that there may also be some benefits to the lower vaccination rates:

http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1558057#qundefined

Dr. Paul

3 comments

  • I totally agree with Dr. Paul. There is no medical intervention, whether pharmaceutical, surgical, or natural that is appropriate for every person. Vaccination is a medical intervention and as such, each and every vaccine should be considered carefully by the parents and physician with full disclosure of the risks and benefits. Kudos to you, Dr. Paul for all you do to help us keep ourselves educated and our families healthy!

  • A comment on this point: “Families with autoimmune disorders, autism or even ADD and ADHD or other neuro-developmental concerns, and perhaps those with anxiety and depression, should think long and hard before injecting their infants and young children with the full schedule of vaccines.”

    They should. People with some of these disorders (and co-morbidities that often accompany them) should consider themselves at greater risk for complications from disease. For this reason, ACIP recommends to the CDC how to handle immunizing people with certain medical conditions. And the recommendation is almost always to immunize since preventing disease is always preferable to trying to manage it.

    • admin

      Thank you for your comment and it reflects the thought system of the “authorities” who have a desire to protect against diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. I don’t disagree with you that in many cases these children are even more vulnerable to some of these diseases. That is absolutely correct and for those diseases, say pertussis as an example, they absolutely should get the full vaccine schedule as early as it is recommended. On the other hand, we know that those with auto-immune challenges, or autism may be particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of heavy metals like aluminum. It is especially important in these situations that we not inject 250 micrograms of aluminum to a newborn whose mother is immune to Hep B or has been tested and does not have Hep B and is aware of the risk factors for hep B and has none of them.

      I might have you ponder the results of the JAMA study just published Feb 13 “Association Between Maternal Use of Folic Acid Supplements and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children” by Suren et. al. In this study out of 85,000 moms in Norway, those who had folate in their prenatal there was a 1/1000 chance of their child ending up with the ASD diagnosis. For moms who did not have folate the rate was 1/500. You might ask what this has to do with vaccines? Everything! One has to know what to look at and think about. In Norway they do not give the Hep B vaccine at birth, 2 months , 6 months as we do here in the USA. Autism/ ASD rate in the USA over the same period of time using what looks like very similar criteria is 1/100. I’m not claiming that this study proves aluminum in the Hepatitis B vaccine is causing autism in the USA. There are plenty of studies showing aluminum is toxic to developing brain so the possibility that it is a factor is very real. I’m just asking people to use common sense. If your baby may be at risk for Hepatitis B because birth mom has Hepatitis B or risk factors for it – then by all means that child should follow the recommended schedule. If there is no risk to that baby, spare them that dose of aluminum and start the Hep B vaccine when the blood brain barrier is closed (6 months by most reports) and closer to the time when the protection is needed.

      Studies are ongoing, but it appears giving the Hep B vaccine, as we do in the USA to newborns, 2 months and 6 months, is not providing lasting immunity into the teens and young adult hood so we may want to change these recommendations anyway. Remember that the immunization recommendations are for the population. Parents have an individual child with individual genetic risk factors and circumstances. I encourage that families immunize with that in mind.

      Dr. Paul

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