VACCINATIONS

Mandatory vaccines
Contra-indications
Efficacy
Side effects
What vaccine to give?
When to vaccinate?
Some more suggestions
Homeopathic treatment

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You can visit our site for questions concerning the vaccination of yourself or your child.
Whether you have yourself vaccinated or not must be a deliberate and free choice. Vaccination is a full medical act and is not to be underestimated as to its possible consequences. It should, therefore, be considered with utmost care and full knowledge of its side effects.

Most vaccines only protect partially and temporarily, others do not protect at all. Moreover, every vaccine includes a number of risks, ranging from transient inconveniences to lifelong damage to health or death. This means that thorough information and reflection are necessary before a decision is being made. An attitude of "just acting normal, doing what everybody does" could turn out to be a serious mistake because different people react in different ways to a particular vaccine.

The basic idea of vaccination is to increase specific immunity to one particular disease before the patient catches it. We, on the opposite, are convinced that it is far more efficient to stimulate general, a-specific immunity instead, allowing our system to react promptly to ANY infection by bacteria, virusses, fungi etc.



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MANDATORY VACCINES


Whether vaccines are mandatory or not depends on the national or state legislation.
As far as we are aware, following vaccines are mandatory: (please corrrect or complete if incorrect or incomplete)
BELGIUM: polio (IPV)
FRANCE: tetanus, diphtheria, polio (IPV)
GERMANY: none
ITALY: polio, diphteria, whooping cough, hepatitis B
NETHERLANDS: none
SPAIN: none
U.K.: none


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CONTRA-INDICATIONS


These are the states in which vaccination is unacceptable on medical grounds.


• Any child which is not in perfect health should NEVER be vaccinated. Even a common cold or a slight fever increase the risk for complications.

• A severe reaction (see SIDE EFFECTS) to a former vaccination compels to stop using that vaccine, because every subsequent administration may lead to fatal reactions.

• An allergy for any of the components of a vaccine is also a compelling reason not to administer it.

There are two ways to know whether your child is allergic to a vaccine or not: 1° if it developped an allergic reaction to an earlier dose of the vaccine; 2° if it has a known allergy to any of the components of the vaccine.

Examples of substances which are often present in vaccines and regularly lead to allergic reactions are the antibiotic neomycin (polio, DPT, MMR), the mercury derivate thiomersal (hepatitis B, tetanus, influenza) which is used also in solutions to keep contact lenses, and aluminumhydroxide.

• In case of a suppressed immune system (for example by cortisone or cancer drugs or HIV treatment) one should not be vaccinated.

• Likewise, people suffering from chronic fatigue should not have themselves vaccinated.

• Manifest irritability after birth should inspire us to utmost care and eventually to postpone or even abort all vaccination plans.

Allergy in the patient himself OR in a sibling or close relative increases the risk for side effects .
By "allergy" we mean, among other expressions, asthma, hay fever, food allergies ( milk, eggs, sugar etc.).

• Serious affections of the nervous system (e.g. M.S., A.L.S.), AIDS, serious skin disorders, systemic affections (Lupus, reumatoid arthritis, erythema nodosum, insulin dependent diabetes), even in close relatives, are valid reasons to decline vaccination.

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EFFICACY


No vaccine is 100% effective. With some people the vaccine will not protect at all; in almost every instance, if protection is offered, it will subside in the course of time. There are no clear rules to know whether one is protected or not. Even the presence of antibodies is no absolute guarantee for protection.

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SIDE EFFECTS


General side effects which may occur after any vaccine are:

** local swelling with heat and redness at the site of inoculation. Also a pink, elevated rash (urticaria) or little red, dry spots (rash) may occur all over the body.

** Fever:a raise of temperature above 39°C is not a normal reaction, and must be reported to the doctor who administered the vaccine.

** The vaccinated person may vomit, become flatulent, or develop a diarrhoea.

** Within minutes after vaccination, the vaccinated person may become pale, cold, flabby and unconscious. This means he is going into a shock. This situation is life threatening. Immediate reanimation and admission into the nearest hospital are necessary.

** Also convulsions are possible, in which case the patient loses contact, or becomes stiff, or starts moving eyes, arms and legs in an uncontrolled way. In this case start to cool off the patient progressively and call a doctor. The patient must remain under close surveillance because of a risk for permanent brain damage.

** Some children start shrieking uncontrolably, most commonly high pitched, are inconsolable, and do not stop crying until they fall asleep from exhaustion. This kind of behaviour indicates brain involvement and certainly is an alarming symptom! A doctor must be called at once.

A child may become uncommonly sleepy, or sleepless, or develop a completely disturbed sleeping pattern.

** Cot death is a tragic complication which is statistically related to vaccination.

** A child may develop a chronic coryza, or manifest recurrent ear- and throat infections, bronchitis or asthma.

** An allergy develops more frequently after vaccination against whooping cough or measles.

** Diabetes increased 60% after hepatitis B- and Hib-vaccination in New Zealand.

** Different kinds of paralysis may occur, e.g. Guillain-Barré paralysis.

** Auto-immune diseases (reumatoid arthritis, lupus, erythema nodosum, periarteritis nodosa, Goodpasture syndrome) have been diagnosed after different vaccines (tetanus, BCG, measles, Hepatitis B).

** In the long run vaccines can lead to hyperkinetic behaviour, learning disabilities, behaviour problems (aggression, autism) and changes in character.

** Sudden death may be the result of an acute complication like shock or encephalitis.

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WHICH VACCINE TO GIVE ?


Every vaccine must be considered separately. Not ever should a vaccination be thought of as a routine matter. Every vaccine given must have a specific, individual indication. We cannot approve mass vaccination against ANY disease.

Some professions may justify the use of a certain vaccine, e.g. tetanus vaccine in metal workers, or hepatitis B vaccine in surgeons or personnel working in blood transfusion or haemodialysis units.


POLIO still is mandatory in some countries. The disease hardly occurs in the West anymore, except as the result of vaccination. There is hope vaccination can be abandoned world wide within the next few years.

DIPHTHERIA (croup) is a serious bacterial infection. The upper respiratory tract may swell to such an extent that the patient chokes. Also the heart is frequently affected. Vaccination only has a mediocre protective effect and produces a number of side effects. Fortunately the disease does not occur anymore in most countries. Some outbreaks have been reported in the former Soviet Union, which does not constitute a threat to western society. Vaccination, therefore, is unnecessary. In case of infection one can still be treated.

TETANUS generally can be prevented by accurate treatment of the lesion. The most capital measures are: to have the wound bleeding, rince it copiously with hydrogen peroxide and keep it open to the air. Grazes or wide, bleeding wounds do not produce tetanus. The only risk is when the tetanus germ is locked into the wound and cut off from oxygen, which allows it to muliplicate and produce the feared toxin. Tetanus remains a dangerous condition that may result in death. Whether to vaccinate or not will depend upon the risk for stitches with infected matter.

WHOOPING COUGH is a serious and annoying disease, lasting many weeks, with fatal outcome only in very rare cases. The traditional whole cell vaccine does not garantee protection, and the side effects are numerous and severe. Not to be recommended. The new acellular vaccine causes fewer local side effects but still is responsible for serious neurological trouble.

MEASLES is one of the traditional childhood diseases. The course of the disease can differ from mild and short (about three days) to rather ill during a week. The patient should stay at home. The most feared complication, meningitis, is much more rare than commonly thought, and occurs almost with the same frequency after the disease as after vaccination against the disease. This observation makes us question the very reason for vaccinating. The quality and the duration of immunity are far better after going through the disease than after vaccination. All this makes the vaccine absolutely redundant.

MUMPS is a very benign childhood disease. Generally it does not have to be treated at all, and if occasionally it has to be treated, alternative medicine can take care of it very well. Orchitis (inflammation of the testicles) is rare, and generally one sided. Infertility as a result of mumps, therefore, is extremely rare and does not justify the use of a vaccine and it's risks (diabetes!).

RUBELLA also is a benign childhood disease. The only danger is infection of the foetus in pregnant women during the first trimester, because this could damage the foetus. The best way to prevent this is lifelong immunity. The only way to obtain lasting immunity is... by having the disease during childhood. After vaccination, immunity is either absent, or temporary, but never lasting and, therefore, unsuitable for the goal of a safe pregnancy. Women can have their antibodies determined before they decide to get pregnant. If antibodies are absent, they still have the occasion then to have themselves vaccinated.

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These three childhood diseases have in common that immunity against them is better and longer lasting (life long) after the disease than after vaccination. Going through one of these diseases during childhood is the ideal prevention against infection in adult life, or taking the risk that a mother does not have sufficient antibodies to pass on to her newborn baby. Both those situations imply an increased risk for exactly those complications the vaccines were meant to prevent. Moreover, having these childhood diseases at a young age appears to protect against a number of chronic diseases (rheumatism, allergies, skin affections and cancers) in later life. The ideal prevention, therefore, is to make sure a child has had the diseases before puberty. This does not imply exaggerated risks. So, the idea of 'rubella parties' is not too bad after all!

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VARICELLA fits in with this group. The disease is trivial and perfectly curable if necessary. The only measure parents need to take is to keep the child at home for as long as the fever lasts, and to dry up the vesicles.

HIB is not a vaccine against meningitis in general; it's only target is one subtype of one of the many bacteria, not to mention the many virusses, that can cause meningitis. It does NOT, therefore, offer any protection against these many other forms of meningitis. Neither does it protect against other complications of the infection such as otitis media. Haemophilus influenzae, the bacterium targetted by this vaccine, is commonly present on the mucosae of the throat without doing any harm at all. Vaccination is not without a risk and cannot be recommended.

HEPATITIS B infection is caught, in a large majority of cases, by stitches with infected needles (intravenous drug abuse) or by unprotected sexual contact with an infected person. It is generally a problem in adult life. The vaccine is nothing less than dangerous because of the many severe side effects. Not to be recommended with babies or younger people, neither in adults who are not at severe risk profesionally. Of course the vaccine does not protect against other forms of hepatitis (A, C, G...).

INFLUENZA implies a whole lot of possible side effects. To be advised against! Patients at risk will profit more from general measures to enhance their situation (vitamins, echinacea, rest, holistic treatment...) than from vaccination.

BCG is the vaccine against tuberculosis. A study performed by the WHO itself proved it to be completely ineffective. To be forgotten.


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WHEN TO VACCINATE?


If parents decide to have their children vaccinated with a particular vaccine, it is also important to do so at an appropriate time.

Tetanus is not a problem in infants. Serious side effects are less frequent and more easy to detect at a later age. So, if one decides to vaccinate, it makes sense to postpone this vaccination until the age of 3 years. A booster at 16 and another one at 50 will cover the need for protection for the rest of that patient's life.

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A FEW MORE SUGGESTIONS


** Relax and discuss your concerns with your partner, your best friends... before taking a decision. Never decide in a panic situation.

** In case of vaccination, make sur the name of the vaccine and the lot number are recorded in the medical file.

**If there is any suspicion of a vaccine reaction, do not hesitate to warn your doctor, remind him the child has been recently vaccinated, and make sure the symptoms and diagnosis are recorded in the medical record. Ask your doctor to pass on his observations to the medical authorities.

** Also mention your experiences to your local Informed Choice organisation.

** Antipyretic drugs such as tylenol suppress an appropriate reaction by the recipient of the vaccine and may cover up an adverse effect. So it is better not to give any, but treat the situation with more adequate measures if necessary.

** It is extremely dangerous to vaccinate during an incubation period (that is the time between infection and the outbreak of the symptoms). Never agree with a last minute vaccination during an epidemic!

** Sometimes adverse reactions are observed only after weeks. Even then one must not fail to make the link with the vaccination. The long term consequences can be quite serious. Never allow anyone to turn you down as an overconcerned parent!


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HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT


Homeopathic treatment is capable of reversing a good number of adverse effects from vaccination. Treatment can be based either upon the acute symptoms, or it can be constitutional. Sometimes nosodes (i.e. homeopathic dilutions of the vaccines) will have to be administered to achieve a breakthrough.

The fact that your homeopath will generally be able to reverse the vaccine damage is not a reason to run unnecessary risks! Never forget that preventing vaccine damage is better than curing it!

Systematic use of homeopathic nosodes to prevent side effects cannot be accepted. First of all it is your responsability to make an informed decision. Nosodes may disturb a constitutional homeopathic treatment. Besides, some children are strong enough to survive vaccination without serious side effects, so that they don't need nosodes or homeopathic treatment at all.
Briefly, nosodes are needed only when treatment is indicated and a traditional homeopathic approach does not confer a solution.




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