Unfortunately, a member of my husband's family is one. I can't delete her on facebook for reasons, so I see little gems like this one:

On Dr. Phil today, his "expert", a doctor from his new app, Doctor on Demand, stated that a death from a vaccination 3 weeks afterward could happen in about "one case in a million." It almost made me laugh, because when Doc P asked, "What are the odds of a vaccination killing a child?" I sarcastically said, "Oh, one in a million" because that's what every doctor seems to say. And sure enough, that's what she said. Not only has there never been a study which showed such an astronomical figure, anyone can go to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting (VAERS) website and see that many deaths are attributed to vaccination in this county every year, not to mention cases of "autism-like" syndromes and paralysis. This is at the CDC website. Why is it that doctors are aware of the website yet refuse to acknowledge what it actually reports? Just as, when I was pregnant, the lie was, "Home birth= dangerous and hospital birth=safe," now the new lie has been added "non vaccinating=dangerous and vaccinating=safe."

I am too exhausted from fighting with anti-vaxxers to even begin with this pile of nonsense, so this is information from the CDC website:

MISCONCEPTION #3. There are "hot lots" of vaccine that have been associated with more adverse events and deaths than others. Parents should find the numbers of these lots and not allow their children to receive vaccines from them.

This misconception got considerable publicity recently when vaccine safety was the subject of a television news program. First of all, the concept of a "hot lot" of vaccine as it is used in this context is wrong. It is based on the presumption that the more reports to VAERS** a vaccine lot is associated with, the more dangerous the vaccine in that lot; and that by consulting a list of the number of reports per lot, a parent can identify vaccine lots to avoid.

This is misleading for two reasons:

  • A report made to VAERS does not mean that the vaccine, or other vaccines from the same group or lot caused the event. VAERS is a national system for reporting health problems that happen around the same time of the vaccination. Only some of the reported health conditions are side effects related to vaccines. A certain number of VAERS reports of serious illnesses or death do occur by chance alone among persons who have been recently vaccinated.
  • VAERS reports have many limitations since they often lack important information, such as laboratory results, used to establish a true association with the vaccine. For all serious and other clinically significant events (life-threatening events, hospitalization, permanent disability, death), follow-up with the health care provider and/or the parent or vaccinated individual is conducted in an attempt to collect supplemental information on the reports. Because of the limitations of this type of reporting system, causality is difficult to determine. Regardless of the cause, VAERS is interested in hearing about any health concerns that happen around the time of vaccination. In summary, scientists are not able to identify a problem with a vaccine lot based on VAERS reports alone without scientific analysis of other factors and data.

Risk from Disease versus Risk from Vaccines

Measles and Rubella vs. MMR Vaccine

Even one serious adverse event in a million doses of vaccine cannot be justified if there is no benefit from the vaccination. If there were no vaccines, there would be many more cases of disease, and along with the more disease, there would be serious sequelae and more deaths. But looking at risk alone is not enough - you must always look at both risks and benefits. Comparing the risk from disease with the risk from the vaccines can give us an idea of the benefits we get from vaccinating our children.

DISEASE

MeaslesPneumonia: 6 in 100
Encephalitis: 1 in 1,000
Death: 2 in 1,000

RubellaCongenital Rubella Syndrome: 1 in 4 (if woman becomes infected early in pregnancy)

MMREncephalitis or severe allergic reaction:
1 in 1,000,000

DiphtheriaDeath: 1 in 20

TetanusDeath: 2 in 10

PertussisPneumonia: 1 in 8
Encephalitis: 1 in 20
Death: 1 in 1,500

DTaPContinuous crying, then full recovery: 1 in 1000
Convulsions or shock, then full recovery: 1 in 14,000
Acute encephalopathy: 0-10.5 in 1,000,000
Death: None proven

VACCINES

MeaslesPneumonia: 6 in 100
Encephalitis: 1 in 1,000
Death: 2 in 1,000

RubellaCongenital Rubella Syndrome: 1 in 4 (if woman becomes infected early in pregnancy)

MMREncephalitis or severe allergic reaction:
1 in 1,000,000

DiphtheriaDeath: 1 in 20

TetanusDeath: 2 in 10

PertussisPneumonia: 1 in 8
Encephalitis: 1 in 20
Death: 1 in 1,500

DTaPContinuous crying, then full recovery: 1 in 1000
Convulsions or shock, then full recovery: 1 in 14,000
Acute encephalopathy: 0-10.5 in 1,000,000
Death: None proven

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis vs. DTap Vaccine

DISEASE

MeaslesPneumonia: 6 in 100
Encephalitis: 1 in 1,000
Death: 2 in 1,000

RubellaCongenital Rubella Syndrome: 1 in 4 (if woman becomes infected early in pregnancy)

MMREncephalitis or severe allergic reaction:
1 in 1,000,000

DiphtheriaDeath: 1 in 20

TetanusDeath: 2 in 10

PertussisPneumonia: 1 in 8
Encephalitis: 1 in 20
Death: 1 in 1,500

DTaPContinuous crying, then full recovery: 1 in 1000
Convulsions or shock, then full recovery: 1 in 14,000
Acute encephalopathy: 0-10.5 in 1,000,000
Death: None proven

VACCINES

MeaslesPneumonia: 6 in 100
Encephalitis: 1 in 1,000
Death: 2 in 1,000

RubellaCongenital Rubella Syndrome: 1 in 4 (if woman becomes infected early in pregnancy)

MMREncephalitis or severe allergic reaction:
1 in 1,000,000

DiphtheriaDeath: 1 in 20

TetanusDeath: 2 in 10

PertussisPneumonia: 1 in 8
Encephalitis: 1 in 20
Death: 1 in 1,500

DTaPContinuous crying, then full recovery: 1 in 1000
Convulsions or shock, then full recovery: 1 in 14,000
Acute encephalopathy: 0-10.5 in 1,000,000
Death: None proven


The fact is that a child is far more likely to be seriously injured by one of these diseases than by any vaccine. While any serious injury or death caused by vaccines is too many, it is also clear that the benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the slight risk, and that many, many more injuries and deaths would occur without vaccinations. In fact, to have a medical intervention as effective as vaccination in preventing disease and not use it would be unconscionable.

Research is underway by the U.S. Public Health Service to better understand which vaccine adverse events are truly caused by vaccines and how to reduce even further the already low risk of serious vaccine-related injury.

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This is a subject that is very near and dear to my heart. My little brother is severely autistic. As my mother so eloquently says, "I'd rather have an autistic kid than a dead kid." It seems some parents are so afraid of autism, they would rather have the latter. Autism is not life-ending. Autism is not a death sentence. Autism can be beautiful; my little brother is gorgeous. He has an effect on every person in his life and it is always a positive one. My mother is a better mother because of him. My mom and my step-father have a better marriage because of him. His twin brother is kind and patient and empathetic because of him. He can't talk, but he can make you laugh. His teacher once said that watching him play in the snow was one of the most beautiful experiences of her life. He is the master of disaster, he can take one chip and spread the crumbs throughout the house.

I never mourned, I never felt sorry for myself, and I don't feel sorry for Riley. How could I mourn the existence of a child that has given me more than I could ever possibly give him? Is it hard sometimes? yes..but I never complain. Raising kids in general isn't easy. There is no such thing as a perfect child..or a perfect human for that matter. We all have struggles, burdens and hurdles we must live through, meet..and make it. I choose to make it for myself, for my family, and especially for Riley. Autism isn't a death sentence. It's an opportunity..appreciate the differences and learn from one another. I don't see a disability when I look in his eyes..I see his world. It's a world I am proud to be in.

Even if vaccines were the cause of his autism, I wouldn't trade the risk of this beautiful little kid dying from a totally preventable disease.

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