It’s totally understandable, after the public reactions to the H1N1 scare and controversy a few years back, that the drug cartel PR machine would be re-calibrated for the new environment. And this year it seems we’re starting to see some of the next generation of “grey magic” from those quarters. Amy Parker’s story, “Growing Up Unvaccinated”, excerpted below from Slate, and which has been widely reprinted, including in the Toronto Star, takes aim squarely at the advocates of a natural lifestyle, perhaps because they have been vaccination’s most outspoken critics.
It’s also worth noting that there was a recent controversy in Canada recently in which stocks of free vaccine were supposedly depleted and the question was, is it right for a drug store to take advantage of the situation by charging people $20 for a flu shot from the store’s own supply. The (not so hidden) message here is that the flu shot is so popular that stocks run out and people — Canadians even — willingly pay $20 to get it. Could the vaccine makers be taking a page from Steve Jobs’ playbook in creating artificial shortages to boost buzz around their product?
“I am the ’70s child of a health nut. I wasn’t vaccinated. I was brought up on an incredibly healthy diet: no sugar till I was 1, breastfed for over a year, organic homegrown vegetables, raw milk, no MSG, no additives, no aspartame. My mother used homeopathy, aromatherapy, osteopathy; we took daily supplements of vitamin C, echinacea, cod liver oil.
I had an outdoor lifestyle; I grew up next to a farm in England’s Lake District, walked everywhere, did sports and danced twice a week, drank plenty of water. I wasn’t even allowed pop; even my fresh juice was watered down to protect my teeth, and I would’ve killed for white, shop-bought bread in my lunchbox once in a while and biscuits instead of fruit, like all the other kids.
We ate (organic local) meat maybe once or twice a week, and my mother and father cooked everything from scratch—I have yet to taste a Findus crispy pancake, and oven chips (“fries,” to Americans) were reserved for those nights when Mum and Dad had friends over and we got a “treat.”
As healthy as my lifestyle seemed, I contracted measles, mumps, rubella, a type of viral meningitis, scarlatina, whooping cough, yearly tonsillitis, and chickenpox. In my 20s I got precancerous HPV and spent six months of my life wondering how I was going to tell my two children under the age of 7 that Mummy might have cancer before it was safely removed.
So the anti-vaccine advocates’ fears of having the “natural immunity sterilized out of us” just doesn’t cut it for me. How could I, with my idyllic childhood and my amazing health food, get so freaking ill all the time?
My mother would have put most of my current “crunchy” friends to shame. She didn’t drink, she didn’t smoke, she didn’t do drugs, and we certainly weren’t allowed to watch whatever we wanted on telly or wear plastic shoes or any of that stuff. She livedalternative health. And you know what? I’m glad she gave us such a great diet. I’m glad that she cared about us in that way.
But it just didn’t stop me getting childhood illnesses….”
Well, you get the idea. But do read the whole thing here on Slate. I’m sure many people take this story at face value. Bunch of nutters for sure, they must think.
When I read Amy Parker’s account of growing up unvaccinated, it immediately reminded me of Hill and Knowlton’s manufactured “news” story on Iraqi soldiers pulling babies from incubators, that featured the Kuwaiti ambassador’s daughter in a starring role, and which kickstarted the first Gulf war in the early 1990s (see video below). And just as an aside, last time we checked, Hill and Knowlton was also the lobbyist of record, for the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, at Queen’s Park.
But getting back to our main topic — It seems Amy Parker has inspired Maegan Soria to come out with her own story of growing up vaccinated. From therefusers.com
“I have always been quiet about my past experiences with vaccines; however, the popular article by Amy Parker entitled “Growing Up Unvaccinated” clearly deserves an alternative perspective.
I am the 80’s child of normal parents who followed the CDC recommended guidelines for vaccinating their 5 children. As babies, my mother tried breastfeeding all of us, however, she could only produce enough to feed us for 2 weeks. My mother had no other choice but to supplement with formula until we were old enough to drink regular 2% milk. You know, the kind of milk that you buy in grocery stores that have additives like hormones and antibiotics. Of course my parents weren’t aware of that at the time, so needless to say, we were drinking a lot of that kind of milk. My parents also brought us up on an incredibly normal diet like salad, spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni and cheese, pizza, taco’s, lasagna, cereal, chips, candy, LOTS of candy, and even McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, and Arby’s.
We had a normal suburban lifestyle. We grew up with all of our neighbors, played outside, walked everywhere, played sports, and danced. We were allowed to drink soda, and even though we were unaware that the water was fluoridated, we drank plenty of that too.
My parent’s did everything they could to keep us healthy, and like I said, complied with what was expected of them by the CDC vaccination schedule. My siblings and I grew up having every single vaccine on the shelves in the 80’s. I also grew up with developmental delays and cognitive learning disabilities. I was always in those classes at school that assist children who are slow at learning. Let me tell you, it’s not any fun growing up feeling like you are dumber than your peers. Anyway, I’ll get straight to the point.
I specifically remember a time when I was seven; there was this huge deal about getting the Hepatitis B vaccine. There were clinics all over town offering the vaccine; so of course, my mother had all 5 of her children there to get vaccinated. Not even a day after I was vaccinated, I started to become very sick. My lymph nodes in my neck were swollen, so naturally I thought I was developing strep throat. Then the lymph nodes in my pelvic area started to became very swollen to the point where I couldn’t sit down or walk. I also started noticing these little red dots forming on my feet. Eventually those red dots spread all over the bottom half of my legs and spread all the way up to my knee’s to the point where the dots were no longer dots, they were huge purple splots (yes, I called them splots). My head, neck, stomach, and legs were extremely puffy and swollen. No matter how many times my parents took me to the doctor, there was nothing that they could do because they had never seen this illness before. I remember being so sick that I would secretly hope that I would die than to have to keep feeling that sick. At seven years old, I would literally pray to God to take me and relieve me from the pain I was feeling.
It wasn’t until about a month and a half later when I started getting better. After all the tests that were performed on me, they finally discovered that I was having a reaction to “foreign protein” in my blood. So, how in the world would foreign protein get into my blood stream? Well, the doctors wouldn’t discuss this with my parents. Eventually my condition was swept under the rug.
Let’s skip a few years down the road when I was in my 20’s. I too was diagnosed with pre-cancerous HPV. I had to go through the normal process of frequent visits to my doctor. Like most cases, however, the pre-cancerous cells went away on their own. Then I received my first round of Gardasil shots. A day after my shot, my lymph nodes in my pelvic area became extremely swollen to the point where it was too painful to sit down or walk. I made an appointment to see my gynecologist, and all she could say was it looked like I had strep in my pelvic area. How the heck would I get strep in my pelvic area?? At this point I was old enough to figure out that I was having a reaction to the Gardasil vaccine. There were only two instances where I had swollen lymph nodes in my pelvic area, and I knew I had to find out if the illness I had when I was seven was the cause of a vaccine. Luckily, my mother is an avid journal writer (and author), so I was able to look back at my mothers old journals when I was seven. Low and behold, the day after I received the Hepatitis B vaccine, I started having swollen lymph nodes in my neck and pelvic area, my entire body was swollen, as well as the red “splots” that spread on both of my legs.
Let’s skip another few years, I was 27 when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. Given my experience with vaccines, and growing up in a pro-vaccine family, I naturally wanted to do more research in the world of vaccinations before I made the decision to vaccinate my child. I decided to give my old physician’s office a call to see if I could get the past history of my conditions. This was not an easy process, but I eventually found out that the name of the condition I had when I was seven had been “mysteriously” erased from my medical records. Are you serious? So according to my medical records, the condition I had when I was seven, never happened? Hmmm… Something is not adding up here!
I decided to research the ingredients to the vaccines, which to my surprise, I found that they are made with human and non-human biological ingredients (aka “foreign protein”). Hmmm…. Could this add up? Could this be the “foreign protein” that the doctors told my parents my blood was having a reaction to? How else would “foreign protein” get into my blood stream? Through my research, I also saw pictures of little newborn infants who have just been vaccinated from Hepatitis B, with their bodies swollen just like mine had been. Many of those babies actually died and doctors are telling those parents it’s because of some rare disease, and the parents are forced to believe it! If I would have died from my illness, do you think my parents would have known it was because of the Hepatitis B vaccine? No!…”