Vaccine concerns

To the Editor:

People concerned about automobile safety are not anti-car. The same goes for vaccines.

In an Islander op-ed last month, Dr. Dora Ann Mills wrote about vaccines but omitted inconvenient but important facts.

She acknowledged that “Just as no vaccine is 100 percent effective, no vaccine can claim to be 100 percent risk-free, much like other medicines and daily activities.” Such a generalization skillfully avoids the vital need to balance risk against benefit for both individuals and society, and for each vaccine and the whole vaccination schedule.

It also ignores the fact that unlike other medicines and daily activities, vaccinations are often mandatory. Punishments for those who refuse vaccines due to valid safety concerns have included denial of public or private education, denial of access to pediatric care, even removal of children from their parents and forced vaccination. What has become of that most traditional requirement in medical procedures – fully informed consent?

Putting aside the complex issue of efficacy for now, consider the issue of safety.

Safety testing has never, ever been done on the whole vaccine schedule that is required for virtually all children. This, despite (a) the phenomenon of new, unexpected side effects from combining vaccine disease antigens (viruses or bacteria or toxins), and (b) the fact that certain problematic vaccine adjuvants and preservatives have been shown to persist and accumulate in the body.

Safety testing also has never been done comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Just this year, a preliminary effort was made to do this using home-schooled children (the only large pool of unvaccinated kids remaining) and found significant increases in chronic ailments among the vaccinated.

The safety testing that is being done is incapable of establishing safety.

Many types of people are excluded from the testing – people such as pregnant women, sick people, children with genetic risks – who will nevertheless be required to be vaccinated.

Mills wrote, “We are fortunate that our vaccine supply is among the safest of all medications, with oversight by the CDC, National Institutes for Health, Institute of Medicine, Food and Drug Administration … .”

Oversight? These are the very “captive agencies” notorious for revolving doors with industry and serious financial conflicts of interest among safety decision-makers.

There are solid scientific, institutional and political grounds for being concerned about vaccine safety, and vital risk-benefit ratios are hard to determine when valid investigation into risks is denigrated or suppressed and safety flaws are ignored.

Dick Atlee

Southwest Harbor


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