Why on earth should we vaccinate
our newborn baby against Hepatitis B—a virus that is
contracted mostly through intravenous drug use and
sexual contact? That is the question my husband and I
had for the doctors and nurses at the hospital where our
son was born two and a half months ago.
We didn`t get very good answers.
It was “convenient,” “recommended,” and “routine,” the
medical staff assured us. We wanted more information. A
nurse gave us a brochure which explained that babies
whose mothers had the Hep B virus were at high risk of
developing acute Hep B infections. Well, I tested
negative for Hep B. The
Centers for Disease Control named
unprotected sex, IV drug use, and being stuck with a
needle on the job as the likeliest routes of Hep B
transmission. Well, my husband and I both work primarily
from home, our two children stay at home, and neither we
nor our 3-year old daughter nor our baby (for heaven`s
sake!) live the Kid Rock-and-Pamela Anderson Lee
When we told the hospital staff
that we simply wanted more time to think about giving
the Hep B shot to our son—doesn`t
“informed consent” mean we should be truly
informed?— we were badgered aggressively. Some lectured
us about the need to “get on the proper vaccination
schedule.” Others warned that Maryland, like more
40 other states, requires all schoolchildren to be
vaccinated for Hep B. Teachers, however, are not subject
to the mandate, which is driven not just by altruistic
concern for children`s health, but as Ohio legislator
Dale Van Vyven, who snuck a Hep B mandate into a
five years ago admitted, by profit-maximizing
The “everybody does it” and “for
the greater good” arguments worked when we were
overcautious, over-trusting, first-time parents who
submitted our daughter to every single vaccine without
question. This time, we resolved not to be rushed or
bullied. We declined to give our son the politically
correct Hep B shot, decided to do more research, and
then took up the issue with our pediatrician.
Boy, were we in for a rude
awakening. Our doctor parroted the
American Academy of Pediatrics line and mindlessly
emphasized the efficacy of vaccines in eradicating
childhood diseases. Well, we weren`t questioning their
collective efficacy. We questioned what the individual
health benefits and health risks to our newborn were.
Physicians have blindly plied vaccines before that have
done more harm than good. A childhood rotavirus
vaccine, for example, was approved for widespread use in
withdrawn from the market less than a year later
after causing an increase in the incidence of painful
bowel obstruction among infants.
Our doctor, however, pooh-poohed
our inquiries about potential side effects. He seemed to
have no idea what those risks were and no interest in
finding out. He was also incredibly condescending: “95
percent of what you read on the Internet” is unreliable
he sermonized, as if we were too dumb to separate
scientific fact from fraud.
In the end, we concluded that some
of the vaccines were more worth the risks than others.
At my son`s two-month check-up, the pediatrician
expected him to receive a triple-combination shot called
“Pediarix” (consisting of Hep B, inactivated polio,
and DTaP, which covers diphtheria, tetanus, and
acellular pertussis), as well as HiB (for certain
bacterial infections) and Prevnar (for meningitis and
blood infections). I reiterated my refusal of Hep B,
accepted DTaP and HiB, and asked to put off polio and
Prevnar. In response, I received a threat: Get all the
vaccines or get out of our practice.
Ha. This was uninformed coercion.
We`re leaving for another
practice, a little bitter but wiser. The strong-arm
tactics of the medical establishment mustn`t intimidate
parents from challenging the universal vaccine
orthodoxy. When it comes to protecting our children`s
health, skepticism is the best medicine.
Michelle Malkin [email
her] is author of
Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores.
here for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click
here for Michelle Malkin`s website.
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