Vaccines Can Have Serious Side-Effects
The study just published, “Adverse Drug Reactions of Spontaneous Reports in Shanghai Pediatric Population”, Feb. 24, 2014, reports on drug and vaccine reactions in a population of
0-17 year olds in 2009. Vaccines accounted for 42% of the reports. Of the 3848 reports, there were 3 deaths in infants getting the DTP, and three deaths from antibiotics, and one death from an infant who was given pseudoephedrine and dextromethorphan (a cold medicine). Realize that these reports likely represent millions of children, so these severe side effects are extremely rare.
The details of the individual cases are not described, so it is possible that the antibiotic deaths were in very ill children getting antibiotics for what could have been a fatal infection. The article does not list which type of DPT vaccine was used. In the USA, we had many more deaths in the 1980’s and prior when we were using the whole cell DPT. The switch to the DTaP (acellular) almost completely ended the severe side effects and deaths that were more common with the DPT (whole cell). While we are seeing more vaccine failures (people getting pertussis even though they are fully vaccinated) since the change to the acellular vaccine, I would hate to see us return to using what was clearly a much more dangerous vaccine (the whole cell DPT).
The death from cold medicine reaffirms the wisdom of not using cold medicines in infants and indeed not until age 6 years.
Please understand that it is quite likely that the vaccine used was whole cell and the risks are much less for most countries where the acellular vaccine is used. It is also very possible that the rates of pertussis in this part of the world would result in far more infant deaths if vaccines were not given. While we mourn the loss of every child, it would not make sense to return to hundreds or more children dying of whooping cough (pertussis) because of fear of an extremely rare but horrible side effect.
Balance and common sense must prevail, and I am most certainly not against vaccines or the DTaP for infants, however too often the only mantra we hear from the establishment is that “vaccines are safe”. They are relatively safe, very effective, and appropriate for many situations, but let us acknowledge that some vaccines are more dangerous than others, and that they are not absolutely “safe”.
Some families have specific genetic vulnerabilities that make vaccines more dangerous for them. We can no longer just follow blindly the recommended schedule without thinking carefully about the risks and benefits of each vaccine for each individual child.