Thursday, September 27, 2012


My wife asked me to send some professional information to a friend of hers.  This friend has a new baby and wants to get him vaccinated but is conflicted because of all the information she receives from the Internet, popular media, and most importantly, family, telling her that she shouldn't because vaccines are dangerous.  Thankfully my wife shot back to her a quick e-mail that laid out the whole MMR-autism fiasco and told her not to worry about that because it has been so thoroughly discredited it is barely worth even discussing.  But she felt she needed more info, because this lady's mother was particularly concerned as she had been told that vaccines contain mercury and formaldehyde.  So I did what I always do.  I totally went overboard.  My response is below.

"Besides breastfeeding, there is no other childhood intervention that has as much medical evidence supporting its safety and efficacy in preventing debilitating diseases than routine immunizations.  Great article below outlining a well done study on the bottom line on vaccines.  Bottom line is, vaccines are one of the greatest public health discoveries of modern humanity and we choose not to use them at our own peril.

As for components of vaccines, they are in the vaccines that are used in the studies and still they show VERY low rates of adverse reactions.  Pentacel (DTAp-IPV-Hib), one of the first vaccines given, does contain formaldehye, but in trace amounts. 

Aluminum Phosphate (adjuvant)
Polysorbate 80
Tris (hydroxymethyl) aminomethane
BSA, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, neomycin and polymyxin B are present in trace amounts.

Should you be worried about that?  No.  The ingredients are in such small amounts they are of no concern.  Besides, the attached document shows that formaldehyde occurs in high levels naturally in some foods. 

Then there is Prevnar, pneumococcal vaccine for babies.  Contains the following, besides the vaccine components of course.

sodium chloride, polysorbate 80, succinic acid and aluminum as aluminum phosphate adjuvant.

Meningitec: Meningitis vaccine
Non-Medicinal Ingredients
Sodium chloride
Aluminum phosphate
Water for Injection

Priorix-Tetra (measles, mumps, rubella, varicella)
Amino acids for injection
Neomycin Sulphate
Water for injection

Fluviral (influenza vaccine)
sodium chloride
potassium chloride
disodium hydrogen phosphate heptahydrate
potassium dihydrogen phosphate
water for injection

That covers the main routine immunizations for kids. 

And in case those ingredients still scare the hell out of you, consider the ingredient list from:

McDonald's French Fries
Potatoes, canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, safflower oil, natural flavour (vegetable source), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain colour), citric acid (preservative), dimethylpolysiloxane (antifoaming agent) and cooked in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with THBQ, citric acid and dimethylpolysiloxane).

Big Mac
Beef Patty: 100% pure beef.
Big Mac® Bun: Enriched wheat flour, water, high fructose corn syrup and/or glucose-fructose and/or sugar, yeast, vegetable oil (soybean and/or canola), salt, sesame seeds, calcium sulphate, calcium propionate, monoglycerides, enzymes, azodicarbonamide, AND MAY CONTAIN ANY OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING IN VARYING PROPORTIONS: diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides, BHT, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, wheat starch, calcium peroxide, wheat gluten, sorbitol, dextrin, malted barley flour, ascorbic acid, citric acid, calcium stearate, calcium iodate, silicon dioxide. CONTAINS: WHEAT, BARLEY, SESAME SEEDS
Big Mac® Sauce: Soybean oil, relish [pickles, sugar, glucose-fructose, vinegar, glucose, salt, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, spice extractives), prepared mustard [water, vinegar, mustard seed, salt, sugar, colour (caramel, turmeric), spices], water, frozen egg yolk, vinegar, onion powder, salt, mustard flour, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, spices, garlic powder, hydrolyzed plant protein (corn, soy, wheat gluten), colour (paprika, caramel), calcium disodium EDTA. CONTAINS: MUSTARD, EGG, WHEAT, SOY

And of course through wizardry allowed by Health Canada, food companies do not have to list the components of flavors, only to say that it may contain artificial flavor.  Well, here is what is in strawberry flavor:

amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl acetate, ethyl amylketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphrenyl-2-butanone, alpha-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, rose, rum ether, gamma-undecalactone, vanillin, and solvent.

Oy vey.