Why medical reasons should be the only exemptions from vaccinations

AMA Wire
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As the debate around vaccinations continues to rage in the public, outbreaks of dangerous preventable diseases have continued to increase. For public health experts, the question has become, “Should individuals be given exemptions from required immunizations for non-medical reasons?” Physicians provided some answers with policy passed at the 2015 AMA Annual Meeting.

Immunization programs in the Unites States are credited with having controlled or eliminated the spread of epidemic diseases, including smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria and polio. Immunization requirements vary from state to state, but only two states bar non-medical exemptions based on personal beliefs.

“When people are immunized they also help prevent the spread of disease to others," AMA Board of Trustees Member Patrice A. Harris, MD, said in a news release. “As evident from the recent measles outbreak at Disneyland, protecting community health in today’s mobile society requires that policymakers not permit individuals from opting out of immunization solely as a matter of personal preference or convenience.”

Policies adopted at the meeting call for immunization of the population—absent a medical reason for not being vaccinated—because disease exposure, importation, infections and outbreaks can occur without warning in communities, particularly those that do not have high rates of immunization. That begins with health care professionals involved in direct patient care, who have an obligation to accept vaccinations to prevent the spread of infectious disease and ensure the availability of the medical workforce.

Other policies include:

  • Supporting the development and evaluation of educational efforts, based on scientific evidence and in collaboration with health care providers, that support parents who want to help educate and encourage their peers who are reluctant to vaccinate their children
  • Disseminating materials about the effectiveness of vaccines to states
  • Encouraging states to eliminate philosophical and religious exemptions from state immunization requirements
  • Recommending that states have an established decision mechanism that involves qualified public health physicians to determine which vaccines will be mandatory for admission to school and other identified public venues

These policies aim to minimize the risk of outbreaks and protect vulnerable individuals from acquiring preventable but serious diseases.

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Despite often being touted as though they were some kind of vitamin, vaccines are a shot of chemical soup and are not without risks. It is up to informed, caring parents (with the support of their doctors when necessary) to decide when and whether the benefits of the shot(s) outweigh the risks for their child.<br/> <br/> Bullying tactics by the AMA are shameful and condescending toward parents. Why not put more effort into combating childhood cancers, autism & aspergers - problems that are current and serious for so many children - than trying to coerce parents into giving their child a chicken-pox or tetanus vaccine?
does anyone have a current list of required immunizations?
I believe that "concernedmum" should realize that even with the support of their doctors, most parents have NOT the learning or background to make this decision on a scientific (not emotional) basis. Their doctors also have a goodly amount of other work that needs doing. I can remember having measles and chickenpox--I wonder if she had either? Perhaps if she hadn't, she might consider why not.
google "cdc.gov/acip" for info. that is complete.
You would leave your child vulnerable to tetanus? Unbelievable.
This is, frankly, a nonsense recommendation. Vaccinations are not 'one thing' that should safely be given a "free pass" to be forced on all patients. Some vaccines have proven their effectiveness, some, like the flu vaccine, have clearly proven their ineffectiveness, and lastly - and perhaps most important - new vaccines, like the HPV vaccine will not have scientific results for many years. This type of recommendation can only be supported by people who want to ignore the facts, to support their 'beliefs', beliefs that are simply not supported by science - only by politics.
I enthusiastically endorse the AMA's recommendation regarding immunizations. Too much misinformation has been generated regarding this issue. An excellent book on the subject is "The Panic Virus" by Seth Mnookin. People who genuinely want to learn about the issue can find abundant information at CDC.GOV and from many other trusted sites.
There are many books that present the other side, and physicians should spend some time looking at these-- they may be surprised. Here are a few: "Dissolving Illusions" by a well-known "anti-vaxer" MD goes into some history. We didn't vaccinate bubonic plague away, for example; we just stopped living with the black rat. Smallpox, contrary to popular belief, didn't rely on mass vaccination for its eradication (see "House on Fire.") A very good book that presents more of a rational and legal point of view is "Vaccine Epidemic." "Evidence of Harm" should convince anyone that the ethylmercury disaster is a disaster. "Science for Sale" will explain in detail how Wakefield was viciously and falsely attacked, among other things, and more importantly, it'll explain how science is for sale. "Altered Genes, Twisted Truth" will explain in detail how a mass PR campaign has many thinking that GMOs are perfectly safe, when the science says exactly the opposite, and the lessons this book conveys can be applied to the "science" on vaccines.
Well now, let me see how many medical folks know what SIRVA is without looking it up. Hint: It's caused by vaccines administered with faulty techniques. Oh yes it's painful. I'm NEVER allowing ANYONE to inject anything into my body ever again. The idea that anyone could force people to accept vaccines against their will is absolutely LUDICROUS. Who the heck do you all think you are?
Measles and chickenpox are relatively minor--yes, on occasion they can be serious. But let's weigh this against the harm that vaccines can do. And let's not rely on the "doctors are so educated and parents are so dumb" logic, because the truth is that doctors simply don't have the time to do the necessary research, whereas concerned parents-- such as myself-- might have the time and certainly have the motivation, since it's our children were talking about. For example, let's look at ethylmercury. Why is it after all these years we have no explicit safe reference dose for ethylmercury and have to rely on the safe dose for methylmercury? Why in Pediatrics 2001 did Ball give 6-month averages for ethylmercury doses? Is that what doctors do when a patient comes in with a heroin overdose--average it out over 6 months and say it's OK? And since MDs are so smart, I suppose they can tell us how much a child would have to weigh to get a safe dose of ethylmercury in a multidose flu shot if it might contain 25mcg ethylmercury/dose and the EPA safe reference dose is 0.1mcg/kg? Do the math. Surprised? Guess what? I'm a parent, and I'm telling you this. And with aluminum adjuvant the very best we can say is that we really don't understand its toxicity, and a look at Kawahara 2011 might provide some illumination on that subject, or you can read some papers by Shaw or Exley. So when you tell me that doctors have the background and the knowledge and the wisdom, my reply is that you don't know what you're talking about. You might also want to look at Holland 2011 paper on encephalopathy or some of the work by Deth or Waly or James for molecular mechanisms involved with metal (think mercury and aluminum) toxicity.


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Oct 08, 2018
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