Misconception About Vaccines: A Review On Dr. Suzanne Humphries’ Claims

The claims made in video are unsupported by any scientific evidence and sound more Pseudoscientific, backed up by emotional phrases to convince people how bad vaccination is, it will easily fool people and make sense to those who are unaware of how vaccines work.

So, starting from the simplest question ‘What is vaccine?’

A vaccine is a substance that stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies against the antigen or a substance that resembles disease causing microorganism is inserted in the body, so that the immune system can recognize it as foreign, destroy it and remember it , so the next time when an actual pathogen attacks, immune system can destroy it before it can harm the body. The antigen inserted is actually a dead or weakened form of the disease causing microorganism. After detecting the antigen, immune system produces antibodies to destroy it, not only that but the antigen is stored in the memory so next time immune system can recognize and kill it without letting it infect the body. Vaccination has actually been practiced for hundreds of years in China, India and Middle East before English Doctor Edward Jenner discovered it in 1796 .

Different types of vaccines:

  1. Vaccine made from dead microorganisms,
  2. Made of live or attenuated microorganisms,
  3. Subunit vaccines that only contain the antigen instead of the whole microorganism,
  4. Conjugate vaccines,in which the antigen is attached with a protein carrier and inserted in the body,
  5. Toxoid vaccine,a vaccine containing “Detoxified” toxins of microorganisms,
  6. DNA vaccines that contain genes that encode for specific disease causing antigens, it is still in experimental stages but its shown to be very effective, and
  7. Recombinant vector vaccines that use attenuated microorganism to introduce DNA in the body.

Now, you know what Vaccine is and how it works. You might be questioning,’Is it safe? Does it always work?’ Yes, it is absolutely safe, but NO – it does not always work. That actually depends on a person’s own immune system that how well a person’s immune system responds to a particular vaccine. Some people cannot produce antibodies due to immune system disorders like immunodeficiency, so vaccines do not work for those people. But guess what? As long as people around them are vaccinated, there is a little risk of them getting an infection the people around them have been vaccinated for. That is called ‘Herd Immunity‘. Its especially true for contagious diseases. Another type of immunity is the ‘Contact Immunity‘, that transfers from one person, who has been vaccinated to the other person who was not vaccinated, through contact. It happens when one person is vaccinated with Attenuated organism. Other factors that affect efficiency of vaccines are – if a person has been vaccinated according to schedule, age and sex of person, strains of vaccines and the disease itself as some vaccines for a particular disease perform better than other vaccine for some other disease.

Another question that has been raised in the video is – ‘Why do babies need to be vaccinated at such young age?’ Some people claim that breast milk provides enough immunity but that’s not true. Yes, breast milk is not only a nutrition for babies but also help improve their immune system, as maternal antibodies are transferred to the baby, but those antibodies are the ones that mother’s body produced against the infections she got or against the diseases she has been vaccinated.

For example,  if a mother never got Yellow Fever neither has she been vaccinated for it, her body will not have antibodies against the antigen that causes Yellow Fever and thus no maternal immunity will be provided to the child against the Yellow Fever and if that child will not be vaccinated, he will not have antibodies to fight Yellow Fever that makes him vulnerable to the infection and its complications.

Besides ,there are many antibodies that cannot be transferred to the milk through breast milk like antibodies for Diphtheria, Whooping cough, Tetanus, Polio and Hepatitis B. Breast milk is a form of passive immunity that only lasts for a few months, but that does not mean you have to select one out of breast milk and vaccination, one cannot replace the other and studies have actually shown that breastfeeding and vaccination complement each other like children who were breastfed are less likely to suffer from meningitis caused by Hib and they produce more antibodies against Hib bacteria after receiving Hib vaccine.

Now a days, combination vaccines are used in which antigens for more than one disease are combined, so instead of 25 injections given till two years of age have been reduced to 10, in some countries. The advantage of combination vaccines is that children are immuned to many diseases as quickly as possible. One may question –  ‘Does not giving so many vaccines at once overload a child’s immune system or cause some other harm?’ No, children are exposed to more antigens in their environment than in vaccines. So a child’s immune system is developed enough to cope with it. If a child were given 11 injections at a time, it would only use one thousandth of their immune system. Besides,vaccines today contain fewer antigens than some years,ago.

After knowing all the details about the process, you can imagine where would we have been if it weren’t for vaccination. People who claim that vaccination did no good are either naive or perhaps are being paid to say such things. If natural immunity and breastfeeding was enough to protect a person for life, than why did smallpox kill 300-350 million people during 20th century when no smallpox vaccination was available? It is vaccines that eliminated small pox and is on verge of eliminating polio.

In 1980s, approximately 350,000 cases of polio were reported annually, while in 2012, there have been only 187 cases of polio,that too in developing countries. Similarly, measles vaccine has led to 99% reduction in occurrence of measles as compared to pre-vaccination era, Hib has reduced to 98%, Pertussis or whooping cough affected 150,000-260,000 people alone in U.S prior to the availability of vaccination. About 450,000 people were affected with Hepatitis B virus in 1980 that decreased to 80,000 in 1990 and the rates are still decreasing, thanks to vaccination.

Before vaccination, epidemics of contagious infections weren’t uncommon, every year or two outbreaks of diseases would kill hundreds and even millions, which are now prevented by vaccines.

Yes, vaccination is not a perfect cure and is not always effective, you still might get infection but it will not be severe, it will heal faster and will not cause complications as it would if you weren’t vaccinated. But these old methods are improving and hopefully DNA vaccination and other new and perhaps 100% effective methods will soon take over. We cannot condemn vaccines because they are not fully effective and may pose some side effects, because there are only a few medical techniques that are perfect, do not cause side effects and work efficiently. Even Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy cause side effects, does that mean we have to give up on those methods because they are not perfect, so we should trust our immune system as Dr. Humphries says and let people die.

If immune system was strong enough to overcome any ailment as Dr. Humphries claims, why would we get infections and cancers in the first place? If immune system has a mind of its own, should not it destroy cancer before it moves to other organs and destabilize a healthy body?

People who promote Pseudoscience are at advantage because most people, despite all the technology available are still unaware of the scientific and medical facts. Most people would rather update their Facebook status than to read an article on a recent scientific discovery. All of us are responsible for the prevalence of wrong concepts because we underestimate the medical technology and take most things for granted. And, to undo the damage we have done, every one of us should play our role and aware other people of the wrong or right.

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30 thoughts on “Misconception About Vaccines: A Review On Dr. Suzanne Humphries’ Claims

  1. I have studied holistic medical approaches in research and there seems to be some efficacy to non traditional health approaches as opposed to traditional medicine(AMA) but those who preach vaccination as poisoning the body are irrational and it is astonishing how much anti vaccination propaganda is out there presented by certified doctors and scientists. The same “flat earthers” don’t accept global warming either.One news article today revealed polls that show an increasing number of people dismiss evolution as opposed to the Biblical account. This ignorance and recalcitrance in the face of all evidence is cyclical in American history as people get tired of academia’s pompous attitudes and those of Eastern Establishment periods of anti intellectualism have appeared. I understand polio is on the rise in some Islamic nations and in Miami they will not allow students to enter the school system without proof of vaccinations because the huge immigration of Haitians has brought in hepatitis and TB as the third world ares of Caribbean have little access to vaccination. And then there are those that see forced or required vaccination as some kind of New World Order imposition of communism. Thanks support my blog. Happy New Year.

    • You’re right. These pseudoscientific concepts will prevail unless everyone is aware of at least some basic science. That can only happen if most people read and understand what science says and spread this awareness to others who have never been science students or readers because those people are prone to fall for pseudoscience.

      And yeah, will do that and Happy New Year to you, too!

    • I’m in the anti-medication/vaccine camp as well, & have been wholistic 12 years now – with phenomenal improvements in health. I shared this on FB – & am following you

      • Thanks for following and sharing your experience, hope you enjoy a healthy life but if you are not vaccinated it could be dangerous. Have you ever thought what if you come in contact (really hope not) with a viral or bacterial particles against which vaccines are a must?

    • Yes, there are side effects and they are not long lasting and it happens in one in thousands persons, so yes, benefit outweighs side effects. In Clinical Trial, adverse effects are seen because they are trials, they are conducted to check how effective or ineffective the product or method is. When there are dangers associated with the product, it is banned to be used on people and when the trial is successful, the product is allowed to be used. As said in the post, most serious side-effects of vaccines are only observed in those who have an allergy to vaccination or have an immune system disorder and such individuals are not even vaccinated.

  2. I think Inese Poga Art Gallery’s comment is interesting. Sure there are problems with vaccines, but, as Mr. Spocks said in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” loosely quoted, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” There are people who have drowned from drinking too much water or milk. Should we do away with water and milk? I think not.

  3. Have vaccine supporters looked at the ingredients of the vaccines? If so what are your thoughts about chemicals like Aluminum Hydroxide, Benzethonium Chloride, Formaldehyde, Thimersol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Glutaraldehyde, Formalin, etc. and the side effects. There’s a huge list of toxins that reportedly in these vaccines. Are they wrong?

    • The substances you are referring to are added as ‘Excipients’, that’s the term used for an inactive substance added alongside an active potent ingredient of medication, its main purpose is to allow accurate dispensation of a drug substance using in dosage form, they also enhance the medication’s ability to be more soluble, increase absorption etc.

      The excipients used in vaccines are -

      Adjuvant are used to activate a stronger and persistent response to vaccine(by immune system). Commonly used adjuvant are ammonium salts or gel like you mentioned Ammonium Hydroxide. Formaldehyde is added to kill any virus or bacteria that may contaminate vaccine. Stabilizers are added to resist change to light, heat, acidity, basicity, humidity, etc. And preservatives are added to more than one vials of vaccines to prevent growth of bacteria that can be harmful to host.

      There you go, these are substances that a vaccine contains other than the antigen, they have all been tested repeatedly and they do not pose any harm to human body and are proved to be safe, there was a rumor that preservatives added can cause Autism but no such evidence is found.

    • If you cannot see how every single detail of composition, types and mechanism of vaccine action is explained in the article, I suggest you do some research on the subject that what your ‘real science’ says about it. Do you consider Wikipedia a valid source of info? If so, you can read vaccine related articles there that will only confirm what is given in this article is the real science and perhaps you will come to understand what pseudoscience is trying to do.

  4. This has been enlightening. It is always good to DISPASSIONATELY discuss such subjects, look at both sides and seek out what is really happening. Pseudoscience (the foundation of which is generally lack of accurate information) leads to some weird conclusions and hinders true knowledge. A site I have gained much from is http://www.ems.psu.edu/~fraser/BadScience.html (“bad science”) which I have found helpful. Sadly, US middle school science textbooks (can’t speak for other countries) are INFAMOUS for bad science (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/ndssun04.htm, http://www.project2061.org/publications/articles/articles/scinews.htm), and not much has changed since this came to light, but students and teachers have often been forbidden to question or point it out because that would invalidate the tests they are using and embarrass the publishers and other powers that be.

    On the other side of the coin, down through the ages, the scientific community itself of given eras or subjects has had a history of getting off track with assertions that “everyone says so/agrees,” or feel too threatened to deal with contradictions or new ideas rationally (behaving as if some religious dogma were being challenged), but happily many of those previously rejected “new” ideas are now recognized as correct, and the obsolete science is (usually) behind us (such as spontaneous generation, embryonic recapitulation, alchemy, eugenics, and so on).

    We must be ever vigilant to correctly and IMPARTIALLY investigate new scientific challenges. So how will we know if we are at risk of closing our minds and behaving like the Catholic Church of of Dark Ages? When we summarily dismiss a new discovery without giving it serious attention and when we immediately resort to name calling and demonizing and “excommunicating” those with whom we disagree, we become guilty of the very errors of thought we rightfully disdain.

    Keep up with the interesting posts!

    • Thanks for sharing your view on the matter and informative links. Yes, you are correct, we mustn’t simply reject something that according to some people goes against the religious dogmas. Scientific concepts improve over time and we must value scientific facts because if it weren’t for science we would have been no different from those in Dark age.

      Lastly, we all must do our best to aware people of the benefits and drawbacks of scientific methods and eliminate the shadows of pseudoscientific concepts imprinted on most people’s mind (who are unaware of real science).

      Thanks again for your time and thoughts!

    • Well to be honest you are not very well informed about history. Those mistakes are pretty common however. First off the people during the dark ages were not stupid, it is not like some magical light bulb of intelligence went off during the Renaissance. Think of the monks that painstakingly saved many of the manuscripts we have from Greece. The system of logic was created in Greece was very, very well known to the intellectuals of that time. Have you never seen the art from the Byzantine Empire at that time? The architecture? You may not like the fuedual system but it was what was needed at the time. Have you ever heard of King Albert the Great, who encouraged learning and military strategy in his kingdom? To dismiss all that and far more in a summary seems unfair. Joan of Arc whose military tactics are still be studied by tacticians to this day?
      Not to say their were not many problems in the middle ages, yes they could be superstitious, but you also realize that as we speak their is an astrology section in every paper in the usa that I have seen. Lucky rabbit’s foot anyone?
      You also realize no one has ever been excommunicated for scientific progress or scientific findings. Yes the church would limit such things as human experimentation. But I think most people would be against that too. Further you realize one of the one of the people who established the usage of vaccines was Louis Pascal a strong catholic. Mendel, the person who discovered genetics was a catholic monk. The idea that science and religion are by necessity opposed to each other is a very Victorian Idea.

      • The main objective of this article is to introduce people of the concept of vaccination and to make them aware of its importance. It has absolutely nothing to do with what Joan of Arc did or how intelligent or stupid ancient civilizations and people of dark ages were. You didn’t have to drag religion or historic figures in the matter that says nothing against religion and all about the well being of humanity. Bet your God will not burn you in eternal fire if you get vaccinated for chicken pox or spread the word on how important it is to be vaccinated. As you have brought the discussion to religion and you are so desperately trying to prove that Religion is superior to science, let me make it clear that creationism is a also a manifestation of pseudoscience, can you prove the existence of God with the Scientific Method of Observation, experimentation and deducing a theory that God is there?What has God to do with vaccination, anyway? As for our ancestors being unintelligent, I never said they were.There have been Incredibly intelligent people in all eras, I respect them all, irrespective of their views on religion. All of them contributed to the improvement of human condition and there is nothing more inspiring than that. Mendel didn’t invent Genetics because he was a priest. That was simply an outcome of his interest, intelligence and love for knowledge. And yes, people still believe pseudoscientific stuff and astrology section in papers is a proof of that and being anti-vaccination is another.

        Kindly, comment with relevance of the subject on which the articles are written. Prevalence of pseudosciences like Astrology, link between History and Science and Science and religion are entirely different topics and you, me and everyone will have a lot to say about that. If you are looking for such topics ,you can go read articles on Pseudoscience, geniuses in history and other related articles available on Sparkonit.

      • It’s okay, my bad I didn’t think you might have replied to the comment, pardon me. I do agree with some of stuffs you said and you seem to know a lot about history. Please forget the misunderstanding!

  5. Great information. I do believe in vaccines. I get a flu shot every year. My husband and daughter get them, too. My daughter will never have to suffer through Chicken Pox due to the vaccine, and she’ll never have to fear Shingles.

  6. I bet Joan of Ark didn’t like vaccinations. Laughed at your response and the drama, the mark of good writing. I have a MS in biotech and did research in biochemistry, so it’s strange to me that people worry about the minute “poison” additives that help stabilize the drug delivery. Great article.

  7. I didn’t watch the video at the start of your post. But, where I live, the concern is not about the efficacy of vaccines themselves, but about the danger to children of the vaccine suspension – the liquid in which vaccines are stored and then delivered through injection. My understanding is that the suspected “harm of vaccines” is not from the function of vaccination itself, but from elements in the suspension.
    Until you have a child whose lifelong heath is impacted by a vaccination, you can’t possibly understand and step down off the pedestal of science. To the comment above -
    Until you have a child with autism or who is on the autism spectrum, and when the child’s exposure to vaccine is the suspect culprit, it’s all well and good to pooh-pooh the “minute ‘poison’ additive” resulting in these individual occurrences – in the name of good science and the benefit to the masses – and to imply ignorance of those w/o a MS in biotech. In this day and age (long after Joan of Arc – with a “c” not a “k” – that would be Noah you are thinking of…), science should do better than to lock even one child into an autistic life.

  8. Here is a link to a map of recent outbreaks of diseases previously thought overcome by vaccination programs, now threatening again due to impact of the anti-vaccination movement: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/one-map-sums-damage-caused-anti-vaccination-movement
    As a baby I became very ill with whooping cough, for which I had been vaccinated. My mother asked her doctor how this could be so; the doctor replied that without the vaccination my case would most likely be fatal, as it had been for the generations of babies before me. My children are all vaccinated; the numbers are very clear with regards to the relative risks of disease versus vaccination. Some people do react badly to vaccinations, and sometimes (very rarely) the consequences are tragic. In my country children are monitored closely after vaccination. But no-one reacts ‘well’ to polio, or small-pox, and even more common illnesses like measles and chicken pox can kill or permanently damage small babies, far more often than vaccinations do. To propose, as the Dr. in the video does, that a new born baby is a perfect organism that can defend itself against all threat of disease merely by its naturally built-in defences is pure and dangerous naivety. Anyone who has spent time in a neo-natal unit can tell you that.

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