A couple weeks ago I received an e-mail from the University of Illinois about the MMR vaccine. Here is an excerpt from that message: The Illinois Department of Public Health and Champaign-Urbana Public Health District have recommended that students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign receive a booster shot of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine as soon as possible, even if they have already received one or two previous vaccinations with the MMR vaccine.
This recommendation is based on the ongoing occurrence of mumps infection in a number of students through the recent spring semester and summer sessions. Most cases on campus had two previous MMR vaccinations.
My son is no longer a student at the University, so he doesn’t have to deal with this. If he were a student, I would encourage him to have titers drawn to determine whether he still had immunity before doing another vaccine. He has already had two doses of this vaccine.
According to the CDC’s website these are the ingredients in the MMR: Medium 199, Minimum Essential Medium, Phosphate, recombinant human albumin, neomycin, sorbitol, hydrolyzed gelatin, chick embryo cell culture, WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts. For a full list of vaccines and their ingredients click here.
Knowing what I know now I probably would have refused the vaccine when my son was a toddler. The fact that the rubella portion of the vaccine is developed off of aborted fetal cells (human diploid lung fibroblasts) goes against my view of the sanctity of human life and my faith in God’s design of the immune system. If a child gets the measles or mumps it is possible to support the immune system while they are sick. Measles is most virulent for malnourished individuals. Rest, plenty of oral fluids and vitamin A supplementation (for the measles) is recommended. By getting the measles and mumps in childhood an individual develops lifetime immunity.
As a society we are now in an unfortunate position. The vaccine wears off over time. Women that were vaccinated and did not actually have the measles do not have lifetime immunity. They don’t pass an immunity to their infants, which would last 6 to 9 months. Infants and adults may get the measles if exposed to the virus or even exposed to someone who has recently been vaccinated. (It is interesting that during the outbreak in Palatine, Illinois this year the cases involved an adult and infants. Not school age children. No one died.)
Lee Hieb, M.D. wrote about the effectiveness of the MMR vaccine:
In 2006 an epidemic of mumps broke out in my state of Iowa. Ultimately, 11 states reported 2,597 cases of mumps. The majority of mumps cases (1,487) were reported from Iowa. As reported in “Mumps Epidemic – Iowa, 2006,” “Despite control efforts and a highly vaccinated population, this epidemic has spread across Iowa and potentially to neighboring states.” According to the CDC, “During the prevaccine era, nearly everyone in the United States experienced mumps, and 90 percent of cases occurred among children, although 97 percent of children entering school in Iowa had received two doses of MMR vaccine. ” Of note, this outbreak mostly occurred in young adults of college age who had received the vaccine. Only 6 percent of those affected were known to be unvaccinated, 12 percent received one dose of MMR vaccine, 51 percent had two doses of MMR vaccine, and 31 percent (mostly adults) were not sure of their immunization history.
To read her entire article listing the risks and side effects of vaccines click here.
I am not against vaccines for life-threatening epidemics. Vaccines have been helpful, but more research is needed for our vaccine schedule.
My opinion is that we have become increasingly dependent on medications and vaccines while forgetting to address principles of health that support the immune system. Our medical system encourages a quick fix mentality.
Over years of parenting my husband and I became more actively involved in our family’s health. We have made healthy changes. Of course change in habits is difficult. It took time and persistence and we can still improve. Here are seven practices that our family has adopted to support the immune system.
- Eliminate (begin by reducing) refined sugar and flour from the diet. Sugar, in a variety of forms, is in every processed food. I learned to read labels.
- Less antibiotics. With my youngest son we avoided antibiotics unless truly necessary. We learned that we could wait and see with symptoms of an ear infection. We took milk out of the diet and added garlic for treatment.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet. Once we eliminated refined sugar our appetite for and enjoyment of fruits and vegetables grew.
- Increase the use of garlic and herbs in the diet.
- Get adequate sleep. For children this should be 8 to 10 hours each night. We could have done better during the high school years.
- Raw honey and elderberry syrup are more recent additions that we have made for cold and flu treatment. More about elderberry syrup in a future post. NOTE: Honey should not be given to a child under one year of age.
For additional thoughts on the MMR vaccine, click here.
UPDATE: The MMR is in the news also because data from vaccine safety studies was destroyed by the research team. Documents from a whistleblower have been given to congress. You can learn more and contact your House Rep. and Senators by clicking here.