| ||Vaccination: The Vaccines||
- Tetanus is a potentially life-threatening disease.
- Infection occurs through wounds.
- Incidence of tetanus is approximately 50 cases per year for the past 10 years; less than 10 of these cases are under 30 years old, and these cases are rarely fatal.
- A series of tetanus toxoid injections does provide protection from tetanus for at least 10 years. Tetanus immune globulin protects unvaccinated individuals if they receive an injection soon after injury.
- Immediate vaccine reactions are usually mild, though many severe reactions have been reported, some of them causing permanent disability and a few fatalities. Long-term adverse effects are unknown.
- No cases of wild polio have occurred in the United States since 1979. The risk of a child acquiring polio in the United States is zero, except from the vaccine itself.
- The vaccines have questionable effectiveness.
- Oral, live-virus vaccine (OPV) does cause polio in vaccine recipients and contacts. It has caused Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in recipients. It also may contain live monkey viruses that have been associated with human diseases, including AIDS.
- Killed polio vaccine (IPV) may have some adverse effects, but does not cause polio in recipients.
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
- The vaccine is associated with severe reactions including encephalitis, seizures, brain damage, and deaths.
- The disease itself has these same risks, though the incidence of pertussis is now low in the United States.
- The vaccine has limited efficacy—60-80 effective in various studies.
- The disease can be treated with homeopathic medications.
Acellular Pertussis Vaccine
- Severe reactions to the whole-cell pertussis vaccine have spurred worldwide efforts to produce a safer vaccine.
- The acellular form of the pertussis vaccine seems to diminish mild-type reactions compared to the whole-cell vaccine.
- Severe reactions to the acellular vaccine also occur, including encephalitis and possibly death.
- Diphtheria is a potentially serious disease, but extremely rare in the United States, with an incidence of less than 5 cases per year.
- The vaccine has questionable effectiveness.
- Long-term effects of the vaccine are unknown.
- Measles has historically been a common childhood disease with rare complications.
- Mass vaccination has resulted in a dramatic decline in measles incidence, but outbreaks now occur in older populations and in infants born to women whose immunity from vaccination has deteriorated. Periodic epidemics continue to occur.
- The vaccine is associated with serious adverse reactions including permanent nervous system damage and thrombocytopenia (a decrease in blood platelets responsible for blood clotting with accompanying spontaneous bleeding) all resulting from autoimmune disease triggered by the vaccine. Long-term effects are unknown.
(Excerpted from The Vaccine Guide: Making An Informed Choice ISBN: 1556432151)