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The Vaccine Controversy

by Debra Raybern, BS, MH, CNC, Christian Nutritionist

Vaccines have been proclaimed by many as one of the miracles of modern medicine. They are credited with having wiped out many contagious diseases and saving lives. Most people in this country consider them to be a mandatory part of health care. There are however, many natural healers and concerned citizens who disagree with this point of view. These “radicals” believe vaccines do more harm than good, and are unnatural and un-necessary. The controversy over vaccines even runs deep within the Christian and home-school community. Our forefathers fought for freedom of choice to worship and obey Jesus Christ, and informed consent (regarding laws). We have the right and the responsibility to examine the data on vaccinations. It is your choice whether or not to vaccinate, but please make an informed decision. I urge you to research all the facts before your next visit to the doctor for vaccinations. It is my personal belief that God has given us an amazing body, that when properly nourished, has the ability to defend against virus or bacteria, and heal itself of disease. We must take time to learn about the wonderful healing herbs and foods God has given us for the restoration and maintenance of a healthy body, “temple,” fit for his service.

At the time our daughter was born, (1990), we knew little about the vaccine controversy and though reluctantly, we began the process of vaccinations. At age 5 we stopped the process after meeting a family with a child left totally helpless and mentally incompetent after her first infant vaccine. We then sought the Lord, read the book, Vaccines: Are They Really Safe And Effective? Neil Miller, Atlantean Press, 1992, and did much research before proceeding with any more vaccines.

God made us with wonderful and complex bodies. There is no question that our immune system is capable of developing immunity to a disease to which it is exposed. This natural immunity is then on the look-out for the presence of that foreign agent, ready to destroy it. A vaccine is an all-out assault on the immune system. Instead of “catching” the mumps through the inhaling of the mumps virus, the virus is injected directly into the bloodstream, by-passing the natural defense mechanisms found in the nasal passages and lungs.

If the immune system is strong enough, the body will successfully respond to the vaccine. But if the body is depleted by malnutrition, stress or other illness, this vaccine may actually backfire. This backfire is known as “side effects” which include such serious problems as convulsions, fever, paralysis, coma and death. This speaks nothing of the latent side effects, which may occur later in life.

Vaccines have been linked to diseases such as Cancer, Autism, ADHD, SIDS, MS, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, even AIDS. This is due, in part, to the other toxins found in vaccines. In June 1999, the FDA concluded that, “infants who received thimerosol-containing vaccine at several visits may be exposed to more mercury than recommended by Federal guidelines for total mercury exposure.” Recent reports state that this can cause a significant neurotoxicity, (Autism), in infants, children and adults. Thimerosol is put into multi-use vials as a preservative. If you do choose to vaccinate, please ask your doctor for the single-use vial. According to Dr. Mercola ( American children by the age of two, have received 237 micrograms of mercury through vaccines alone. The EPA regards a safe level to be .1 microgram per day. The average multiple-shot vaccines contain from 12 mcg to 62.5 mcg of mercury in the Hepatitis, Polio and DPT vaccines.

A live vaccine contains the targeted disease “germ” in a weakened form. It is weakened by passing the germ through animal tissue, or the tissue of an aborted fetus, several times to reduce its potency. The polio virus is passed through monkey kidneys; measles through chick embryo cells, rubella through dissected organs of an aborted fetus, duck or rabbit cells, and diphtheria is injected into the bloodstream of a horse over a 6-month period. When the horse is sick enough, blood is drawn for the manufacture of the vaccine. The weakened germs are then combined with stabilizers, other drugs, antibiotics, disinfectants, preservatives, and antibody boosters. Things like sodium hydroxide (lye), sodium chloride (salt), aluminum hydroxide (allows the vaccine to stay in the body longer, stimulating the immune system for long periods, which places a strain on the immune system and has been linked to cysts, nodules, and a type of arthritis), sorbitol, hydrolyzed gelatin, formaldehyde, streptomycin, neomycin and the mercury derivative called thimerosol. While some of these agents are used only during the initial phase of manufacturing, trace amounts do remain in vaccines. This is nothing to say about the millions of viruses, bacteria, and bits of DNA and RNA picked up along the way from the animal and human tissue used in the weakening process. In a live vaccine the disease germ is still a living organism. Authorities generally blame vaccine deaths on “Hot Batches,” or live vaccines. Killed vaccines are inactivated by heat, radiation or chemicals such as thimerosol.

Over 20 million Americans will receive the influenza vaccine “Fluvirin,” manufactured in England by Medeva. In 1999, investigators from the U.S. FDA were horrified by the conditions found at the plant during a routine inspection. They found that the plant had failed to clean, maintain and sanitize equipment to prevent contamination of toxins and bacteria; take measures to ensure all established standards and characteristics were met; and prove that the vaccines on doctors’ shelves were free from bacteria and fungi. An FDA spokesperson confirmed that it had re-inspected the plant and was satisfied that the problems were being dealt with and would allow the import of the vaccine into America.

The flu vaccine is prepared on a chicken embryo, which means that persons allergic to chickens and their eggs can have allergic reactions. Makers claim their product is 98% purified, which leaves 2% of several billion viruses that can potentially cause diseases including cancer. The flu vaccine also contains pork stomach enzymes. Taking this vaccine by certain religious groups would violate their convictions. Manufacturers are currently in the process of creating the flu vaccine for use next flu season. How do they know what strain of flu will be rampant then? Many, many people will contract the flu shortly after taking a flu shot.

In 1960 it was discovered that millions were infected with Simian Virus 40 (SV40) from polio vaccines, which had been passed through the kidneys of rhesus monkeys. SV40 is a powerful immuno-suppressor and cancer-causing virus, which has been found in human brain tumors, leukemia and other cancers. Since 1961, though the government has required vaccine manufacturers to produce SV40-free polio vaccines, this virus has still been found in babies born after 1964 and in vaccines as late as 1985. SV40 is also a prime suspect in the search for the origin of AIDS. Smallpox vaccines have been found contaminated with bovine and sheep virus, a lethal combination also linked to AIDS.

So if they are so effective, aren’t they worth the risk? Well, the truth is they are not as effective as we have been led to believe. According to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, there was a 90% decrease in childhood diseases between 1850 and 1940. This decrease is attributed to the sanitation efforts that were coming into practice well before mandatory vaccinations were introduced. Thus, the data shows that contagious disease was already on the decline long before most vaccines were developed.

When the pertussis vaccine for whooping cough became mandatory, incidence of whooping cough went up 300%. There was a notable decrease in polio prior to the initiation of the vaccine. Upon introduction, there was a rise in incidence. In 1979 Sweden refused to mandate pertussis vaccinations. Sweden noted improved health statistics by eliminating this vaccine, whereas the U.S. saw an increase in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) after inoculation. An estimated 60,000 shots given annually are followed by convulsions, shock, collapse and fever.

Considering that Jonas Salk refused to give his own children his polio vaccine, we wonder why it is still so prevalent in early childhood health care. He even testified before a Senate subcommittee remarking that since 1961 the Sabin Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) “is now the only known cause of polio in the U.S”.

In 1986 Congress took initiative on vaccine-induced injuries and initiated the National Childhood Vaccination Injury Compensation Program. This program compensates individuals who have been damaged by vaccines. Since its inception, the government has paid an estimated $650.6 million dollars to parents that have lost their children to death or illness due to vaccination. The Vaccine Injury Alliance, Houston, TX is vigorously prosecuting vaccine injury claims. If you believe that you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a vaccination, they may be able to help you. Call them at 1-888-709-6674 or visit their website at

One group opposed to “mandatory” vaccines is the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc. They voted in November 2000 to pass a resolution calling for the end to mandatory vaccines. See their fact sheet at Jane M. Orient, MD, AAPS Executive Director said, “Our children face the possibility of death or serious long-tem adverse effects from mandatory vaccines that aren’t necessary or that have limited benefits.” She went on to say that “This is not a vote against vaccines.” “This resolution only attempts to halt blanket mandates by government agencies and school districts that give no consideration for the rights of the parents or the individual medical condition of the child”.

So, with a mountain of evidence that vaccines are not a marvel of modern medicine and you choose not to vaccinate, how do you go about this legally? Currently the U.S. has allowed exemptions for the following reasons:

1. Medical Exemption – All fifty states allow a medical practitioner to exempt a child from immunization. Only a few of those states, however, allow a naturopath or chiropractor to issue those exemptions. Certain pediatricians will administer risk indicators prior to vaccination to determine validity of an exemption, though. Some of the medical exemptions are: epilepsy, severe allergies and a sibling’s previous adverse reactions, although there are a large number of other possibilities.

2. Religious Exemption – Nearly all states allow for religious leaders to vouch for vaccination exemption. This may require membership at that particular institution.

3. Philosophical Exemption – Although less than our previously-mentioned exemptions, some states do allow exemptions on the basis of said controversy. Your local state health officials should be able to direct you to the latest laws in your state. Contacting the State Department of Epidemiology may be all that you need to get an exemption form mailed to you.

The information contained in this article just barely scratches the surface of the subject of vaccines, and is intended for educational purposes only. My prayer is that you will take the time to pray and investigate the issue of vaccinations. Just like your decision to homeschool came with much prayer and research, the decision to vaccinate completely or selectively, delay the administering of vaccinations until your child is a bit older, or give separate vaccinations rather than multiples, lies totally with you as the parent. Then and only then will you know that you have made the right decision for your family. Those choosing to vaccinate, but still concerned with the risk of side effects, have several options to naturally combat some of the negative side effects. And if you choose to forgo vaccinations altogether, rest assured that God has provided us with ways to combat disease naturally, but that is a topic for a future article. God Bless You.

References not listed in the text on the subject of vaccinations: How To Raise A Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor – Robert Mendelsohn, MD, Contemporary Books, 1984; Vaccinations Deception & Tragedy – Michael Dye, Hallelujah Acres, 1999; Immunization Theory vs. Reality, Neil Miller, Atlantean Press, 1996; What Every Parent Should Know About Childhood Immunization, Jamie Murphy, Earth Healing Products, 1993; and Natural Alternatives to Vaccines, Zoltan Rona, Alive Books Publishing. (Ed. If unavailable through your local bookstore, these titles, except the Michael Dye book, are available at

Websites with credible vaccine information include:

Debra Raybern is a Master Herbalist, Certified Nutritional Counselor, Certified Natural Health Professional, and a member of The Texas State Naturopathic Medical Association. She has a Bachelors Degree in Health Sciences and a Master’s Degree in Herbology. Debra and her husband of 20 years, Paul, have one daughter, Sharon, who is homeschooled.

Debra has been married to her husband Paul, for twenty years, and is the mother of one daughter, Sharon who is schooled at home. They own and operate NutriTech – a training center and business, providing educational materials, nutritional and herbal products, workshops, and wellness consulting for those wishing to take responsibility for their health. For a free catalog and sample of the monthly newsletter, write Debra Raybern, NutriTech, 12 Fawn Drive, New Waverly, TX 77358 or e-mail through

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