American Children Need Access to Better Vaccines

As measles spreads, pressures are increasing to force reluctant parents to fully vaccinate their children. Gov. Christie is severely criticized for suggesting that there should be a choice, states the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).

AAPS is opposed to mandatory vaccination, holding that patients have the right to refuse medical treatment, and that vaccines, like all medical interventions, have risks as well as benefits, which vary with individuals and circumstances.

“We should ask why some parents reject MMR (measles-mumps-rubella vaccine),” states AAPS executive director Jane M. Orient, M.D.

One reason is moral. Merck’s MMR vaccine is manufactured using material from aborted babies, she notes.

The other is worry about autism. Though most children tolerate the vaccine well, there are hundreds of reports of children who stopped making eye contact and lost language skills soon after receiving MMR. “Science does not ignore observations,” Orient says.

Autism used to be diagnosed in 1 in 10,000 children. Now it is more like 1 in 85. “This demands an explanation; it can’t just be that we failed to notice this devastating condition in the past,” she states.

“Many factors may well contribute, but it is not unreasonable to suspect that MMR is one of them. Measles itself can cause encephalitis (brain inflammation)—its most dreaded complication. MMR is a live-virus vaccine. And the combination could be riskier than the separate elements.”

“Now that we have more measles cases, the risk: benefit ratio is shifted, and more parents may want to vaccinate their children. Also, the children may be older and past a stage where they might be vulnerable to whatever causes regressive autism.”

Merck no longer makes a monovalent, measles-only vaccine and refuses to license others to make it, according to Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director at Children of God for Life. There is a measles-rubella vaccine made by the Kitasato Institute in Japan, according to the COG for life press release, that does not contain material from aborted babies, but the FDA will not allow importation.

“Why should Americans be restricted to one vaccine preparation and a rigid vaccine schedule, or have to travel to Japan to get a vaccine they consider morally acceptable?” asks Orient.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943 to preserve private medicine and the patient-physician relationship.