by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths
In my last article, “Orthodox Jews and Vaccines”, a number of commentors replied strongly against my position. Here’s some samples…
- To the statement “30% of children died by age 5”, “I don't believe that is true. May Hashem have mercy on us all.”
- “Your post is so riddled with inaccuracy and brainwashed talking points…Go to the CDC and just look at the vaccine inserts for each vaccine”.
- “Beyond inaccurate…but too much science disproves your statements.”
- “While vaccines were created to prevent deaths, they have been usurped and redesigned to create illness and death.”
Statistics and data analysis very quickly give us FACTS. Of course facts are subject to interpretation, and sometimes cause is mixed up with correlation. But if you’re going to bring arguments against data, bring data…not anecdotal evidence (a few stories).
“I don’t believe that is true”. It’s normal to believe the stories you hear in synagogue, like “so and so’s baby got a shot and then was sick” over some far away gathered statistics and history, like recent rabbi statements in Israel that the community is suffering an unprecedented number of tragedies as a few young mothers passed away and a few newborns passed away – which everyone heard about, versus the statistics that those same communities have the highest life expectancies in Israel, BUT the data shows that the stories going around are indeed much more rare than 10 years ago, 30 years ago, 50 years ago, and 100 years ago. Indeed child mortality rates 120 years ago were HORRIBLE, and nowadays the numbers are 1000 times lower…THANK G-D and modern medicine and modern sanitation and modern water systems and modern food processing.
“Go to the CDC and look at the inserts for vaccines”… Years ago I wrote one of the first drug interaction and side effect checking and reporting programs. The average medicine has around 100 side effects, interactions and bad reactions, many of them life threatening. One of the most dangerous drugs in the Western World is Tylenol / Paracetamol / acetaminophen / Acemol, the #1 over the counter pain and fever reliever.
In the U.S., 1,567 people, often children, DIED from taking TYLENOL over the last 10 years, with an average of 150 people, often children, dying PER YEAR from TYLENOL.
In the U.S., 122 people (mostly children), died from vaccines…out of 33,000,000 children vaccinated.
FACT – More children die from being given TYLENOL than from being vaccinated. (Sources – CDC, Politfact, Punditfact)
One will find a similar number of deaths and reactions from normal antibiotics as well. Yet few people avoid antibiotics or fever reducers due to possible death – when these things have HIGHER death rates than vaccines.
“Too much science disproves your statements.”
A frequent anti-vaccine claim is that autism is caused by vaccination. And autism is truly a terrifying concern, having DOUBLED from the year 2000-2010 (statistics from the U.S.), going from 1 in 150 children to 1 in 68 children. It’s similarly increased within the Jewish religious community as well.
But have vaccine rates changed from the year 2000 to 2010? From my review (of CDC recommended vaccination schedules), the answer seems to be the addition of 2 – rotovirus and varicella (chicken pox). On the other hand, there is a clear statistical increase in autism with older aged mothers…and an even higher risk with older age FATHERS – and a corresponding increase in older age of mother at birth in the U.S. (can we safely assume older age couples?)
First birth rates for women aged 35–39 started to increase in the mid-1970s and rose six-fold from 1973 to 2006.
First birth rates for women aged 40–44 were …increased more than four-fold from 1985 through 2012.
…science is showing clear ties being other risk factors , such as FATHER’s age, to autism.
“While vaccines were created to prevent deaths, they have been usurped and redesigned to create illness and death.”
Research continues to surprise. For example, it is now understood that 70% of cervical cancer, a major killer of women, is caused by a VIRUS. So they created a vaccine against it. Take the vaccine, eliminate 70% of cervical cancer…and the disease known as genital warts.
Besides that, with people living longer than ever and healthier than ever into older ages, I’m not sure what you mean by “redesigned to create illness and death”. The statistics seem to show the opposite, they save lives…at a small statistical cost which is lower than the death rate from over the counter medicine. (That doesn’t mean that any death caused by a vaccine or medicine reaction is not a tragedy.)
There is a general point here. EVERY medicine, shot, vaccine, even vitamin, has a risk of a negative reaction…up to and including DEATH. Every time a tylenol or advil is given, any time an antibiotic is taken, any time any human is exposed to a new medicine, chemical, or shot, there is a real risk of a bad reaction. Not to mention other side effects. Rare is the person taking 3 or more medication who is NOT having some side effects. Therefore, one should always weight the risk of bad effects against the value of taking the medicine / shot / vaccine.
But the negative history of most childhood diseases is SO high with risk of death or permanent disability that my analysis is it’s worth the risk. (Exception – the chicken pox vaccine.) Therefore I choose vaccination, I chose for my children, and I generally recommend it.
Now if someone wants to point me towards some DATA that shows the negative outcomes of vaccines are reaching even 1% of the historical negative outcomes of the diseases they prevent, I’d be interested in that argument.
Just to belabor the point, in 2013, there were 184 child deaths in CARS in the U.S. from just SITTING in the car, almost 50% more than vaccines. (Non-traffic fatalities including heat stroke, falling from car, and strangulation by power window.) [There were 32,000 traffic fatalities in the US in the same year, 90% in the car, 10% being hit by the car.] So why do we continue to allow this very deadly form of travel??? Especially for children?
Risk versus reward. We accept the 10 per 100,000 people DYING by car for the societal and personal value it provides. And we accept the 1 per 270,000 children dying by vaccine for the societal and personal value it provides.