A comparative study was published last year looking at the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated 6-12 year-old US children. While the vaccines appeared to be effective in reducing the diagnoses of chickenpox and pertussis (whooping cough), vaccinated children had a significantly higher risk of developing numerous other disorders, including pneumonia, otitis media (ear infections),allergies and neurodevelopmental disorders, including learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate our kids has been (and will remain) one of the more controversial topics any parent has to face. Much of the debate stems from the scant evidence on safety regarding vaccines. While there is evidence of safety from observational studies on a limited number of single and combination vaccines (including measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and hepatitis B vaccine), there have been no safety or efficacy studies done on the childhood vaccination program itself. In addition, the safe levels and long-term effects of vaccine ingredients (such as adjuvants and preservatives) are also unknown.

If the effects of vaccination on health were limited to protection against the targeted pathogens, as is assumed and propagated to be the case, no health differences would be expected between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups except for reduced rates of the targeted infectious diseases. However, a recent study shows striking differences in a multitude of health conditions between vaccinated and unvaccinated children.

As expected, this study found that vaccinated children were significantly less likely than unvaccinated children to have had chickenpox and whooping cough (pertussis). However, the vaccinated children were significantly more likely than the unvaccinated children to have been diagnosed with otitis media (ear infection), pneumonia, allergic rhinitis, allergies, eczema/atopic dermatitis, a learning disability, ADHD, any neurodevelopmental disorder as well as any chronic illness.

In addition, the study reported a linear relationship between the number of vaccine doses administered at one time and the rate of hospitalization and death. Moreover, the younger the infant at the time of the vaccination, the higher was the rate of hospitalization and death.

A major current controversy is the question of whether vaccination plays a role in neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD), which including learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The controversy has been fueled by the fact that the US is experiencing what has been described as a “silent pandemic” of mostly subclinical developmental neurotoxicity, in which about 15% of children suffer from a learning disability, sensory deficits and developmental delays.

After adjusting for all other significant factors, this study found that vaccination and preterm birth remained significantly associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. Once more, the apparently strong association between both vaccination and preterm birth and NDD suggests the possibility of an interaction between these factors. For a parent of a newborn, preterm baby, this may suggest that holding off on vaccines until the baby’s immune system is more developed may be a good idea.

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