Making sure your child has all his or her vaccinations may seem as normal as giving him or her multivitamins, but there is a growing voice of dissent against these seemingly “harmless” shots. Some say that vaccinations can cause real and serious harm to your child and others avoid them for numerous reasons, including religious reasons, either due to dogma or the ingredients used. For example, Christian Scientists and Wiccans do not vaccinate at all, while sects such as the Amish choose to avoid all things modern. Some Catholics also do not vaccinate and the same goes for Seventh Day Adventists. Whatever your personal view may be, it would be prudent to investigate the ingredients and known side effects of the range of vaccinations your child will receive before making a decision.
The South African schedule
Each country has its own vaccination requirements and these change every so often. In South Africa, several options are available which give different shots and combinations at different times in the first 24 or so months, but the sum total remains the same. Your child will receive, if you are giving all the shots, around 18 vaccinations indicated for 38 immune responses. After that, up to the age of six, another four immune responses in three shots will take place and then, at 9 or 10 years, another and again another shot at 12. That is a total of 51 immune responses of which the bulk take place in the first two years. The shots include several shots for polio, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough (Pertussis), influenza, pneumococcus, Hepatitis A and B, measles, mumps, Rubella (German measles), chickenpox, Rotavirus and tuberculosis. Later shots include a vaccination against cervical cancer and more boosters against tetanus, diphtheria, polio, and whooping cough.
Who makes these shots?
The South African government spends around R80 million a year3 on its immunization campaign as these shots are free at your local clinic. Private facilities too offer immunization, but at a fee which is covered by medical aids. Interestingly, the World Health Organization (WHO) says on its website that transport costs may vary from just over double to nine times the cost of the vaccine and that in their budget, they also calculate anywhere from 5% to 40% extra cost due to wastage of the vaccines. By far the bulk of the vaccinations used in South Africa are made by GlaxoSmithkline and Sanofi-Pasteur. Wyeth, Merck and Novartis are also in there but with single shots. These pharmaceutical firms are making millions off immunization schedules across the world and they look set to make more. Natural News5 reported in 2010 that in Denver, Colorado, the government was launching a vaccination programme in schools funded by government (tax payer) and insurance companies (increase in premiums) where schedules were to include experimental vaccines. At the time in Colorado, each child’s schedule of vaccines cost in the region of R4 000. It does not take much of a critical mind to consider that underhanded dealings, payoffs and other benefits may possibly come into play when it comes to the selection of “necessary” shots.
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