When I hear the word Immunity, it sounds synonymous with Protection, Exempt or Unaffected by an assault or trauma, either physical or psychological.
The medically trained side of me thinks more on the lines of Immunology- how our body’s wisdom is capable of warding off infections by micro-organisms and how seemingly mundane organs like the skin, mucous membrane linings of our airways and gut help in regulating our immunity.
But I seek to find a deeper meaning in Immunity, where in Immunity is tantamount to being cradled in one’s mother’s womb. And this is where it all begins anyway. Before birth, the fetus resides in a watery world of comfort and warmth where it is nourished and protected and has no experience of gravity, boundaries or touch. One with the cosmos and one with the mother and the truest definition of Immunity!
But when the contractions begin the cosy pool of warmth collapses on the fetus and activate the sense of touch for the first time, gradually encountering the bony pelvis and rigid pelvic outlet all the way through tight compressions of the vaginal walls, all this while contracting and relaxing itself. Witness the birth of sense of touch, ergo birth of individuality. An altered birth process significantly impacts the immune system that develops later on in life.
Unsurprisingly, a 2017 GUSTO study demonstrated that birth by caesarean section (C-section) interrupts transmission of maternal microbiome and compromises intestinal microbiome programming in an infant. This influences immunological development and has been shown to increase the risk of development of allergic diseases.
Now to address the proverbial can of worms-
A standardized one size fits all approach of our vaccination schedule that determines X amount of dosage of Y vaccines at Z age, in my opinion is flawed and discounts the individuality of the human being. In childhood, the Ego- the spiritual essence of the individual child is gradually entering the physical organism and this process is critical in the development of a normal and healthy immune system.
For eg- Natural immunization against Hemophilus influenza B (Hib) starts at approximately 18 months of age, and this varies for each child. The Canadian vaccination schedule recommends to introduce Hib vaccine along with DTaP-IPV-HB, PNEU-C13, Rotavirus (that is introducing mildly virulent strains of diphtheria, tetanusus, whooping cough, pneumococcal and meningococcal viruses , hepatitis-B, rotavirus starting at just 2 months of age!) which provokes an immune response that is too early. Besides, vaccines given by injection bypass the natural physiological pathway for immune response that occurs when pathogens enter the host body via mucous membranes of the respiratory/ digestive systems. On the contrary, if an infection is allowed to follow its natural course, it would strengthen the child in all biological faculties because it follows a pre-programmed sequence of physiologic and unforced events:
Incubation – prodrome – fever response and acute manifestation of symptoms – detoxification – elimination and finally acquired immunity. Vaccinations do not illicit this natural chain of events. They force the organism to respond when it is not ready to do so.
Don’t get me wrong here- Vaccines have been instrumental in saving millions of lives, but now there is a vaccine for everything. And they are all administered as cocktails! The fact remains that polyvalent vaccines use the following ingredients at the minimum:
- Thimerosal- CDC website states that this form of mercury (ethylmercury) is metabolized differently in the human body and does not cause toxic build-up in the body compared to methylmercury. However, WHO’s posterchild had been widely studied for its toxic effects both in vivo and in vitro and in animals and results are not convincing. Journal of Applied Toxicology concluded that despite lower traces of ethylmercury found in brain tissues compared to the more toxic older mercury compound, ethylmercury however ruined the kidneys and hence further studies are recommended. The study also states that infants are more susceptible to thimerosal, yet we have this as the first ingredient listed in infant vaccines like MMR
- Aluminum salts
- Animal cells/ tissues/ cultures- eg- African Green Monkey kidney cell cultures, Fetal bovine (cow) serum and porcine trypsin
Yes, I have and I still treat children whose parents swear that their child has never been well since that particular ‘immunization’. And by no means do I endorse that vaccines are linked to autism or any other malady that only a parent feels when their child is struck by it. Protein molecules will interact with other protein molecules and what follows is a series of events that given the right (or unfortunately wrong) circumstances brews up lifelong illnesses that anti-vaxxers bank on! What we need is more science behind the safety of these products. Vaccination after all is a medical procedure and like all procedures the risks need to be explained. High handed policies turn away people who pose questions regarding safety and increase vaccine hesitancy rates.
So what choice do you have? (cough… cough… this Flu season?)
Whenever possible, opt for delayed vaccination and choose monovalent vaccines. If history repeats itself, authorities will report that cases are still on the rise and the vaccine is not covering the most prominent strain, but you are still advised to take the shot, since having it is better than having no (ahem, cough! Cough!!) protection at all.
I would also like to speak up here and say there are no Homeopathic substitutes to replace vaccines. There may be some practitioners who do advertize that, but unfortunately this holy grail of no side effect natural immunization remains elusive. The philosophy is simple- I treat the acute presentation and honestly, prevention is better than cure. Practicing good hygiene and optimum nutrition and dressing well has been instrumental in keeping the flu at bay in my household. Yes- there are remedies that have withstood the test of time and when administered before and after a vaccine helps in mitigating the ill effects of vaccine eg- Thuja occidentalis, Sulphur, Antim tart, Malandrinum to name a few.
Vccination has always been a testy subject. It is important to state here that I always present the facts as they are and leave the choice to the individual. The virtue to choose is something we mortals are not immune from once we are born into this world.