11/19/2007 01:07 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Over Medicated and Over-Vaccinated: The Unintended Consequences of Medicines Meant to Protect

Several important findings affecting our children's health were reported in the past few months. All of them raising questions about the unintended consequences of widely accepted medical treatments.

In September news reports about Prevnar, a vaccine developed to protect against pneumonia in children, along with the overuse of antibiotics, was "having the unfortunate effect of promoting new superbugs that cause ear infections" that are resistant to all antibiotic drugs approved for children.

A month later it was announced that once routinely recommended infant and cold medications were being immediately and voluntarily recalled by many of the country's largest drug companies because the products were being "misused leading to overdosing," particularly in children 2 years and younger. In addition, physicians and public health officials expressed concern that there were no studies demonstrating the effectiveness of the medications.

In responding to the recall, Dr. Steven Czinn, chair of the department of pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine stated, "In the 21st century, it is unacceptable to be marketing medication to infants and children that may not work."

Are they kidding me? "No studies demonstrating the effectiveness of these cold medications"? Don't we have a whole federal agency; the Food and Drug Administration, whose job it is to make sure drugs are safe and effective? If this data was available, why did it take 35 years to notify parents the medications they were giving their sick children may not work? Where is the evidence-based science that should have been here to prove safety and efficacy?

Just a few weeks ago another study called into question long prescribed vaccination recommendations and added more "fuel to the fire" in the on going controversy over our nation's immunization policies.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine [Nov. 8, 2007] the study, funded by the U.S. Public Health Service, suggests we may want to reevaluate and adjust our nation's current vaccination recommendations.

Scientists from the Oregon Health & Science University found many of the vaccines administered to millions of American's may be providing immunity longer than what was first believed, making the need for some booster shots unnecessary.

"Surprisingly, we found that immunity following vaccination with tetanus and diphtheria was much more long-lived than anyone realized, and that antibody responses following viral infections were essentially maintained for life," stated lead author Dr. Mark Slifka, a scientist at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute. The study also found similar longer than expected immunity for several other vaccines.

According to the study, "it [a booster shot] may just be unnecessary under certain circumstances."

Logically, this would make sense. After all, if vaccines are effective, one should not need another booster shot.

But our kids are getting a lot of booster shots...shots containing heavy metals and viruses. Shots that a growing number of parents, physicians and researchers believe could be contributing to the rise of chronic illnesses and developmental disorders affecting our children. If the booster shots are unnecessary because immunity is present, why expose our children to these toxins?

If this study found there has been no increase in diseases in countries that discontinued the booster shots, as was noted, why is the current policy of over vaccinating our children continuing? Where are the conflict-free studies that prove giving infants and children 49 immunizations - most of them by age 5, are safe and effective?

I'm also starting to think that we should follow the lead being set in veterinary medicine. Studies have provided evidence that the over-vaccination of dogs and cats can result in numerous maladies including cancer, skin and ear conditions, arthritis, allergies, diabetes, aggression, behavior problems and other immune system dysfunctions.

There is even a name for the conditions caused by animal over-vaccination, vaccinosis and it is note worthy to read what veterinarians' say about over-vaccinating our pets.

"Vaccinosis is the reaction from common inoculations (vaccines)...These reactions might take months or years to show up and will cause undue harm to future generations."

"In a general and frightening context, I see the overall health and longevity of animals deteriorating. The bodies of most animals have a tremendous capacity to detoxify poisons, but they do have a limit."

These statements made by seasoned animal health professionals have an eerie familiar ring to them. They bare a striking resemblance to what parents of children suffering from autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders have been claiming.

Why is it that veterinarians have a better appreciation of how over-vaccinating with shots containing various toxins and viruses might overload the immune system of the family pet but mainstream physicians can't quite wrap their arms around such a logical premise when it comes to our babies and young children? If vaccinosis can cause maladies in animals, isn't it possible that like animals, over-vaccinating our children might, not only be unnecessary, but may be contributing to the rising rates of chronic diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders affecting our children today?

It is also interesting to note that the mercury-containing preservative [thimerosal] used in vaccines for over 50 years was removed from animal vaccines back in 1992. Unfortunately for the kids, it remained in children's vaccines for another decade and remains in some vaccines like the influenza (25 micrograms) and tetanus vaccine (25 micrograms) today and in trace amounts (3 micrograms) in some immunizations.

Add this all up and there's still a lot of mercury being injected into our children.

What most people don't realize is that any liquid waste containing more than 200 parts per billion (ppb) mercury must be deposited at a hazardous waste site and that drinking water cannot exceed 2 ppb mercury. But when the influenza vaccines arrive and are injected into pregnant woman and infants as young as six months, those vaccines contain 50,000 ppb mercury. This is an amount that is 250 times higher than hazardous waste. According to EPA guidelines, this amount of mercury can only be considered safe if a person weighs 550 pounds. Even trace amounts of mercury in vaccines can be anywhere from 600 to 2000 ppb.

The CDC and The Institute for Vaccine Safety claim there are "no biological effects" from trace amounts (.3 micrograms) of mercury. So, where are the evidenced based (conflict free) studies that prove the safety of these "trace" amounts and proof that there are "no biological effects" of any amount of mercury being injected into our children and pregnant moms? Also, where are the evidence based studies proving the safety of vaccines given to pregnant moms and our children that contain other toxins such as aluminum and formaldehyde?

I do take issue with the NEJM study opinion that "over-vaccinating the population poses no health or safety concerns". Where is the hard data showing that giving vaccines, where immunity already exists... is not harmful?

Thimerosal has been proven to be a carcinogen, immunotoxic, genotoxic, nephrotoxic and neurotoxic. One study found thimerosal's lethal toxicity to developing human neurons below 1 part per billion (Parran et al., 2005). Another study concluded, "thimerosal...has been found not only to render its primary toxic effect, but also capable of changing the properties of cells. This fact suggests that the use of thimerosal for the preservation of medical biological preparations, especially those intended for children, is inadmissible." (Kravchenko et al., 1983).

These and many other studies would suggest over-vaccinating, certainly does pose some "health and safety concerns."

So here we have several recent findings that all contradict previously long held medical beliefs and raise more questions about the unintended consequences of overuse of some medications and over vaccinating and perhaps the over marketing of these treatments by pharmaceutical companies.

Far too often we are beginning to see physician prescribed drugs (like Vioxx and thalidomide) and vaccines (like the whole cell DPT and Rotovirus) thrust upon the public that are later found to be unsafe.

While physicians warn the public about the over use of antibiotics, it is the physicians themselves that over-prescribed these antibiotics for every ailment under the sun. And like antibiotics, every time a new vaccine was developed, it quickly found its way onto the immunization schedule along with the recommended booster shots. We are now reaping the unintended consequences of the overuse of these medical interventions. Instead of being healthier, we have a nation of very sick children.

Let's open our eyes to what appears obvious to doctors treating animals... we have allowed ourselves and our children to be overdosed through a culture dominated by drug company marketing influence which has now become dangerously out of control and detrimental to our children's health.