Debunking Myths of Immunizations from Dr. DeMeyere-Coursey
As a physician, my goal is to be respectful of my patients’ wishes while also educating them, to the best of my knowledge, on all things medically related. Immunizations have risen as a controversial topic, really spiking since a well-known celebrity mother voraciously purported that vaccinations can lead to autism. Since then, I’ve watched the debate grow, I’ve done my own research, and I’ve come to a few conclusions of my own that I believe are useful to know – For all parties, pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine alike. Here are some of the more common statements I hear and my take on those statements:
1) Vaccines cause autism – Let’s get this out of the way first. In the 1990’s, a paper was published linking immunizations to autism. In later years, this study was proven to be fraudulent by subsequent papers. What’s more, 10 out of 13 of the original authors retracted their contributions to the paper. I invite my patients to draw their own conclusions from this.
2) Big pharma is in it for the money – This one puzzles me, because the numbers don’t add up. Yes, pharmaceutical companies will make money from vaccinations by virtue of selling them. However, sickness is far more expensive. In fact, my research has shown me that between the years of 1994-2013, vaccines created a net savings of $295 billion dollars directly and $1.3 trillion societally. What’s more, pharmaceutical companies make 2 to 5 times as much money from the drugs that they sell for illness, as compared to the annual flu vaccine. In fact, if you look up the top 20 drugs that are sold yearly by large pharmaceutical companies, the flu vaccine doesn’t touch the list. If you’re looking for a direct comparison of cost for the vaccine versus cost of the illness, think on this example: The whooping cough vaccine costs roughly $100 for the series. The whooping cough, itself, has the potential to cost $10,000 to treat. If big pharma were in it for the money, wouldn’t they rather my patients get whooping cough than the vaccine?
3) Vaccines contain toxic chemicals like aluminum and mercury – Dosing is important here. If anyone ingests any large amount of a substance, it can become toxic. Indeed, if a person drinks too much water, this can also be toxic and deadly. To my point, the amount of aluminum in a vaccine averages to around 0.125mg per dose. The average human consumes 30-50mg of aluminum in their daily diet. Additionally, while the amount of mercury used in a vaccination falls under the same umbrella, it was removed from almost all childhood vaccines in 2001 after the public started to protest its presence.
I imagine the debate will continue, and I invite all my patients to bring me their questions if they are sitting on the fence. At the end of the day, it remains my medical opinion that vaccinations are safe, they are life-prolonging, and their benefits by far outweigh their risks. Talk to your physician if you have concerns or worries regarding immunizations for yourself or those you love.