If I could sum up in a concise list some of the reasons I don't have absolute trust in the vaccine program anymore, this is it. I may add to this list in the future, but for now, this was a quick list I jotted down to highlight my major concerns.
1. There is too much money at stake for pharmaceutical companies, which lobby Congress and are intricately involved in the nation's public health bodies (According to a 2/23/09 article in The Wall Street Journal, vaccines will generate $21.5 billion in annual sales by the year 2012). They also have an unsettling amuont of control over vaccine studies in scientific journals, as recently reported in the British Medical Journal.
2. Thimerasol (mercury) was used in vaccines for years (and is still in the flu shot, as far as I know) and was given to children in their shots sometimes in levels over 100 times the EPA allowable "safe" limit. The government denies that there is any link between neurological disorders and the neurotoxin mercury given to children in shots. (Read the book Evidence of Harm by David Kirby for the story of parents who discovered their kids were poisoned by mercury and have been ostracized by the medical community.)
3. There exists much information about harm from vaccines in medical journals, but we, the public, don't have the privilege of hearing about it like we do for most other pharmaceuticals.
4. The government had no tracking system in place to monitor adverse events from vaccination until parents of vaccine-injured children lobbied for it (The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986). See the "History of NVIC" section on this page for a brief summary.
5. The government's tracking system for vaccine injury (VAERS) cannot assess causality and there is under-reporting to VAERS. Thus, there is no real paper trail for determining how many children are adversely affected by vaccines, or even if the vaccine caused their problems or not. To me, this is inexcusable. If the government wants me to use these products, it needs to know. Here again, it seems the medical community is in no hurry to protect children from vaccine injury, dismissing problems as "coincidence" all too often.
6. After recognizing a biological marker (a mitochondrial disorder) that supposedly set Hannah Poling up for regressing into autism after vaccination, the CDC was not concerned enough to start screening children for mitochondrial disorders. They said this would be risky, expensive and would raise "ethical questions." To me, this says that protecting kids from vaccine injury is not as important as protecting the vaccine program. Autism is also risky and expensive, and it raises ethical questions for me regarding why the CDC would rather risk my kid getting autism than risk not vaccinating. (See "CDC Responds to Questions About Vaccines," March 28, 2008)
7. The government has never done a comprehensive study on the overall health of vaccinated kids versus unvaccinated. Yet a parents group, Generation Rescue, conducted a survey of 17,674 children in California that found that vaccinated boys compared to unvaccinated boys were 155% more likely to have a neurological disorder, 224% more likely to have ADHD and 61% more likely to have autism. Though this can't substitute for in-depth scientific studies and cannot point to definite conclusions, I wonder then, why won't the CDC take on the responsibility of doing this? We need answers. I think the CDC is afraid that they will find the same things, or worse, and have to deal with answering for a public health disaster.
Boy, this really takes time. Motherhood calls! Perhaps more on this later.