Doctor: Are We Over-Vaccinating Small Children?

Sep 9, 2016 by

The answer might surprise you.

Jon Miltimore –

I’m not someone who writes about vaccinations. In fact, if I’m at a social event and two people begin to discuss argue about vaccinations, I quickly recall that I forgot something somewhere and excuse myself.

That said, one of my physician-friends recently shared an article from the Scientific Parent that touched on vaccinations.

In the piece, Dr. Alison Shuman, a California-based pediatrician, asks whether or not small children are being vaccinated “too much, too soon.” Shuman, Chair of Pediatrics at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, says that contrary to popular belief, children are actually being exposed to far fewer foreign agents than their parents and grandparents had as children.

We have refined and improved our vaccines so much that our children today are even safer than we were. So when you worry about exposing your children to so many “more” things, don’t worry, you aren’t! You are exposing them to fewer antigens than all of us got. If you are wondering how many antigens are in certain vaccines, the hepatitis B, diphtheria and tetanus vaccines each contain just one antigen.

Essentially, children are receiving more vaccinations but far fewer antigens in those vaccinations. Here’s what she says:

When we were children (70s, 80s and early 90s) we were vaccinated against fewer things (which were nonetheless still deadly). Let’s take the CDC’s vaccine schedule from 1983 for example. There were seven diseases we were protected against including measles, mumps, rubella, (MMR), Diptheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) and polio. Because of how vaccines were made at the time, we were exposed to about 3,000 antigens by the time we were 12 months old and 12,000 by the time we were 4 if we got all of our vaccines.

Antigens are basically any foreign material designed to trigger or stimulate your immune system. In vaccinations, these “foreign invaders” are weakened so human immune systems can easily overcome them and learn how to defend itself from whatever virus or bacteria one is being immunized for.

According to Shuman and the below chart provided by Scientific Parent, advances in the field of medicine have allowed medical professionals to combat twice as many diseases with just a fraction of the antigens.

Will this end the debates on vaccinations? Of course not. Nor should it. Putting foreign agents into our children is serious stuff, and open, inquiring minds can help us better understand what we’re putting into their bodies and why we’re doing it.

I know many people out there are passionate about this issue and know much more about it than I do. So I ask: Did Shuman miss anything or get something wrong? Did she change your mind?

Source: Doctor: Are We Over-Vaccinating Small Children? | Intellectual Takeout

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    bilingualmom

    Yes, I think Dr. Shuman has most definitely missed a lot of somethings. I read her article, and I made several factual comments that can be verified, and they were all removed. It is easy to appear an all knowing expert when you remove any factual, evidence based responses that question anything you say.

    For example, in response to a parent who said that her child had not done well with the rotavirus vaccine (which is recommended, but not required – at least yet – in California), she suggested the parent continue to vaccinate the child. My response was:
    Dr. Shuman, Why would you suggest that a child who does “less than stellar” with the rotavirus vaccine get the vaccine again? Does that really make sense when you look at the extremely low risk from the disease, versus the also low risk (but higher risk than the disease) of intussusception from the vaccine? Wouldn’t it be better for the child’s health to just stop giving the rotavirus vaccine?

    My comment was removed.

    I also had responded, on the same thread, to another poster who claimed that if her child hadn’t gotten the vaccine, “100 of her friends would have babies that died or were disabled”. This comment was particularly ridiculous, and my response, which was also removed by Dr. Shuman, is below:

    (That comment) “…does NOT make sense, especially when discussing rotavirus. According to the CDC, 4 of every 5 children used to get rotavirus. Despite almost all children getting rotavirus, there were only 20-60 deaths a year – again, according to the CDC.”

    I said in the same comment “The CDC says “There is also a small risk of intussusception from rotavirus vaccination, usually within a week after the
    1st or 2nd vaccine dose. This additional risk is estimated to range from about 1 in 20,000 to 1 in 100,000 US infants who get rotavirus vaccine.” This is a type of bowel blockage that results in hospitalization and could require surgery.

    If Dr. Shuman is correct, why is she afraid of the healthy debate of FACTS which have been backed up by EVIDENCE (from the CDC, no less)? I’m an educator, and I find the kind of censorship that happens on blogs by pediatricians and other medical professionals across the country downright scary.

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