Letter: Disappointed about Dr. Mohler’s vaccine column
I was disappointed in Dr. Mohler’s Health column last week (May 16) titled “Childhood illnesses flourish.” He was vague and misleading with some of his information. I could write pages in response, but due to space constraints I will address a few key issues at this time.
The “weak” vaccine exemption law he refers to is HB 14-1288. Here is a link for you to view the bill itself — http://www.leg.state.co.us/CLICS/CLICS2014A/csl.nsf/BillFoldersHouse?openFrameset. This link will allow you to see all the versions of this bill.
This bill was introduced under the guise that it is about increasing vaccine education for parents who opt to take the personal belief exemption for vaccination in school-aged children. In reality, what it did was single out a group of parents and require them to jump through an extra hoop before taking the exemption by requiring the parent to either get a signature from a health care provider licensed in dispensing vaccinations (after being educated about the risks and benefits of vaccinations); or they can view an online vaccine education module, get a certification of completion, and take either one with them for proof before signing the personal exemption form.
I attended both the House and Senate Committee hearings. Unfortunately, I was the only one from the Western Slope to do so. At no time did I see Dr. Mohler at those hearings. He may have however listened to the archived audio of the House hearing — http://www.coloradoga.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=20&clip_id=5370 — or the Senate hearing — http://www.coloradoga.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=49&clip_id=5645. What I learned at those hearings was eye opening. Those parents at the hearings who testified, not only were educated about vaccines but were able to demonstrate their knowledge at a level that could rival or surpass doctors. Many of those parents testifying were once pro-vaccine until their child was injured by vaccines.
The education mandate was taken out of the bill because enough legislators saw the wisdom that these parents didn’t need to be educated. The online vaccine education module will still be created so that parents will still have access to that information. The final bill also states that “(i) Vaccination does carry some risk for the child receiving the vaccination, and parents should weigh the benefits and risks before choosing to have their child vaccinated.”
In regards to loss of herd immunity against whooping cough (b. Pertussis), Dr. Mohler fails to acknowledge that 70 percent of the reported cases are in the vaccinated population. Now no vaccine is 100-percent effective, but even common sense would dictate that something else is going on. What scientists around the world are discovering is that some of those cases in the vaccinated population, when tested, are coming up with a mutated form of the bacteria called Parapertussis Bordetella which is missing the key component that the current vaccine recognizes in order to be effective. Those scientists are even recommending to not promote the current vaccine as it is suspected in driving the mutation (making more kids sick) until the pharmaceutical industry can develop a new vaccine.
The subject of vaccination is a complex one made more so today by the average recommended 49 doses of 14 vaccinations before age 6. It is easy for us doctors to either recommend or not recommend vaccinations. We don’t have to live with the day-to-day consequences of those choices. What I do recommend is for parents to make fully informed choices before deciding whether or not to vaccinate. Request the vaccine insert before that well-baby visit and read it. Go to the FDA and CDC websites. Visit the National Vaccine Information Center website. Get information from both the pro and con sides. You can always vaccinate, but you can never unvaccinate.
Sharon M. Anable, D.C.
Grand Junction, Colo.
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