When analyzing coverage of the recently reignited vaccine debate, it seems as though there’s not much of a debate occurring at all. Rather, media outlets and commentators have quickly dismissed those that maintain doubts about the safety of vaccines as illogical or misinformed, without understanding the reasoning behind their views. This imbalanced coverage should strike those on both sides of the issue as highly problematic. If scientific understanding is to truly advance, the voices and concerns of minority groups shouldn’t be overtly marginalized or suppressed, especially in light of an abundance of credible supporting evidence.
In the last three decades, extensive research has been conducted by multiple scientists and organizations that demonstrate links between vaccine administration and a risk of chronic illness, disability, and neurodevelopmental disorders. These researchers comprise a group of highly-qualified and experienced scientists from around the world. In 2013, Canadian scientists Dr. Lucija Tomljenovi and Christopher Shaw found that the aluminum adjuvants in childhood vaccines increase a recipient’s risk for developing autism, neurological problems, and autoimmune diseases. In addition to aluminum adjuvants, many vaccines include a number of other toxic elements, including Thimerosal, polysorbate 80 and formaldehyde, to name a few. Dozens of independent research articles have been published on the negative effects of these ingredients, yet the CDC has only relied on a handful of studies, many of which have been identified as maintaining methodological flaws, to support its stance that vaccines pose no threats to recipients.
Immunologists like Dr. J Barthelow Classen have also identified links between vaccines and chronic illnesses like obesity, autism, and diabetes, all of which have increased dramatically among children in recent years. Numerous studies about the adverse health effects of the Gardasil vaccine, flu vaccine, and hepatitis vaccine also provide extensive insight into the potential dangers of vaccination.
There are also a number of prominent health professionals that have made statements in support of the anti-vaccination movement, yet these officials are rarely included in mainstream discussions of vaccination. For example, the former head of the National Institutes of Health, the Red Cross, and the Chair of the White House Cabinet Group on Biotechnology has spoken out against the dismissal of research that suggests a link between vaccines and chronic illness, noting that the research does raise legitimate doubts about vaccine safety. Even Dr. Diane Harper, a developer of the Gardasil HPV vaccine, has stated she now believes the vaccine has the potential to be harmful to recipients. Prominent researchers and faculty from a number of academic and research institutions like the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute have made public their concerns about vaccine safety, yet these voices are not the ones the media , nor the government, has acknowledged.
We may also note that pharmaceutical companies and government health organizations have more to gain from asserting that vaccines are safe than those who question vaccine safety do. Widespread vaccination translates into substantial profits for pharmaceutical companies, while those that question the safety of vaccines have nothing to gain, other than safer vaccinations for their children.
Ultimately, a real debate about vaccine safety, one in which evidence from both sides is presented, will pave the way for more productive discussion and a better understanding of the potential risks of vaccination.