Category Archives: Anti-Vaxxers

Anti-Vaccination Becomes Anti-Vitamin And Anti-Baby

When my sister’s husband said that he wouldn’t vaccinate my niece if they didn’t make it so hard to get them into school, I about slapped him silly. That is the ultimate sign to me of lazy and uneducated parenting, which unfortunately can endanger the lives, not only of those children who are not vaccinated, but others who may not be old enough for example who are exposed to them, but it’s going even further. Anti-vaxxers aren’t going to stop or bother to think now. They have recently started to reject a simple vitamin K injection that has been a standard part of newborn care for years, since the 1960’s in fact.

What happens is parents who find themselves in the emergency room with a baby with vitamin K deficiency bleeding. Chris Mooney reports, This rare disorder occurs because human infants do not have enough vitamin K, a blood coagulant, in their systems. Infants who develop VKDB can bleed in various parts of their bodies, including bleeding in the brain. This can lead to death in some cases.

The problem has been going on for a while, but really came to light just recently this spring. Tom Wilemon, writing for the Tennessean, noticed 7 babies being admitted to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in just 8 months with vitamin K deficiency bleeding. Doctors believe they were directly caused by parents refusing the injection, because apparently they’ve heard that the shot causes leukemia. Just like vaccines, which most kids get, vitamin K injections have never been proven to have this effect. In fact, followup studies disproved that theory, according to Vanderbilt doctors.

For one of the families, twins were both diagnosed with the same issue after they found out about the lack of a vitamin K shot. For the twin who had already developed bleeding though, the damage was done. Tests showed multiple brain bleeds, and he will now be undergoing physical therapy for neuromuscular development issues. They have not determined whether or not he will be mentally handicapped.

Ironically, doctors have found that women who breastfeed exclusively are under an even greater need to provide their babies with the vitamin K shot. Considering how we hold breastfeeding up like the holy grail of child care, especially in the communities where vaccinations are low, it’s a bit scary.

VKDB can show up in 2 basic forms: an early form (in the first week of life) and a late form, which is considerably more dangerous. It tends to strike between 2 and 12 weeks, and it strikes in infants who have not received vitamin K and are exclusively breastfed. The irony is that vitamin K levels are significantly lower in breast milk than in formula.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that infants who don’t get vitamin K injections are 81 times more likely to experience the late form of VKDB. This equals out to about 4.4 and 7.2 infants out of every 100,000. What we can say is that vitamin K injections do not cause cancer, but a vitamin K injection is virtually 100% protective against this brain bleed.

The Dangers of Anti-Vaxxer Denialism

We’re breaking records in the US. Call it records in Darwinism. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles is at a 20 year high in the United States. More than 288 cases as of just May 23 for the year. Comparatively speaking, we had only 37 cases in all of 2004, and in 2002, we declared measles eliminated. Since then, we have discovered certain pockets of the un-vaccinated as well as celebrities who want to be experts (but know nothing about reality) like Jenny McCarthy.

The CDC has reported that most of the Americans have contracted measles before, are immune, or have received the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, which is considered one of the most effective vaccines. Now, measles has been declared an epidemic, despite the wide availability of the best way to eliminate it. A 2.5 year old child was originally identified as patient zero in the journal Pediatrics in Minnesota, which led to the exposure of 3,000 people in the community.

Originally, the child went with his family to Kenya, contracted the measles, and then spread it to family and other toddlers in his daycare. The parents believed that vaccines were dangerous. So they did not have him vaccinated. Personally, if I had kids, I would be looking for a daycare where they require proof of vaccinations. When I take my dogs to a doggy daycare, I only go to those that require that kind of documentation. I would bet that Measles is a lot more dangerous than the vaccine.

The family lives among a small group of Somali immigrants, and the rates of MMR vaccination are low at best. In fact, they have seen a significant decrease in vaccinations from 91% in 2004 to just 54% in 2014. Out of the 3000 who were eventually exposed, 21 showed symptoms and 16 were not vaccinated. So in other words, there are people who will not respond to vaccines by developing immunity. They are protected if everybody is vaccinated, as most people WILL respond to the vaccines.

Dr Abdiraham Mohamed of the Axis Medical Center in Minneapolis says, Every family will tell you that We’re not going to give our children the MMR. We’re afraid that they’re going to get autism. Not only is there nothing to suggest that vaccines have any connection to autism. This case in Minnesota clearly shows what happens when we get caught up in the lies. Worse, this is not an isolated case by any means. Unfortunately, we run into a situation where this has happened before, and it continues to happen among largely un-vaccinated communities. The misinformation spreading like wildfire across many smaller communities is disturbing, to say the least.

After a congressional hearing in 2000, the anti-vaxx movement was first gaining real steam. Sarah Depres wrote:

In 2000, I was a counsel for the Democratic staff of the House Government Reform Committee working on public health issues, including immunization policy. The committee was in its second year of hearings whose purpose on paper was to oversee various aspects of the nation’s immunization program. But in reality, these hearings had become a forum for spouting unproven, and eventually disproven, allegations, linking the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine to autism.

[…] One by one, the committee summoned its witnesses. [Dr. Andrew] Wakefield and other anti-vaccine advocates told the committee stories about children who stopped speaking after receiving their MMR vaccines and spun complicated theories about how the vaccine could prevent children from absorbing nutrients, leading to neurological problems. The experts from CDC and NIH explained that the epidemiology and biology of autism and vaccines did not support what Wakefield and others were professing.

Wakefield is now a disgraced former doctor whose medical license was revoked due to unethical practice and behavior. He published a paper asserting that the MMR vaccine was officially linked to autism, which was contradicted by various other studies, including his own. His research is still used by the anti-vaccine movement as proof, a movement that has cost countless children their lives. So far, it seems that it will continue to cost children their lives.