Rand Paul is right. Vaccines can cause profound mental impairment. It happened in my family

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This morning on Morning Joe, resident smartass Mika Brzezinski took potshots at Rand Paul for something he said about vaccines. Paul was quoted as saying:

Sen. Rand Paul’s blunt style led to a combative interview with a female reporter and controversial comments defending his insistence on voluntary vaccinations on Monday.

During the interview, with CNBC’s Kelly Evans, Paul yawns, interrupts Evans and at one point motions for her to be quiet with a finger to his lips.

He also reproaches her for a “slanted” interview that he says “got no useful information because you were argumentative, and you started out with so many presuppositions that were incorrect.”

Paul, who is an ophthalmologist, also asserts that he’s heard of cases where vaccines have caused “profound mental disorders.”

“I’ve heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking, normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines,” Paul said. “I’m not arguing vaccines are a bad idea. I think they’re a good thing. But I think the parents should have some input.

Over at The Week, Jeff Spross called Paul “dead wrong” and “kooky.”

Rand Paul is right. There are time vaccines can have crippling neurologic effects. I’ve seen it. It happened in my own family.

I have a cousin who is a quadriplegic and has been permanently bound to a wheelchair for nearly all of his life. When he was born he was an entirely normal child. Absolutely normal. Then he received his first pertussis vaccination. Following the vaccination he became febrile and lethargic for an entire day. He recovered from that but following the second administration he again suffered what at first seemed a similar reaction except that he did not recover. Days go by, then weeks go by. He was unable to move his limbs or vocalize. The terrible truth sank in- Ken (not his real name) had suffered a severe encephalopathy. To this day he remains wheelchair bound, unable to communicate, unable to feed himself, unable to walk, unable to even stand.

Flash forward a couple of decades. My infant son was given a DTP vaccination (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis). For eight hours he was febrile and lethargic. It frightened my wife and me more than I can explain. For what seemed an eternity I held him, praying he’d come around. Then, gradually he did. The red flags went right up in my mind and I knew why. Typical reactions to the vaccine are fever, erythema and swelling.

But there can be more. Much more:

Severe Problems (Very Rare)
•Serious allergic reaction (less than 1 out of a million doses)
• Several other severe problems have been reported after DTaP vaccine. These include: ◦ Long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness
Permanent brain damage.

Further, the CDC states:

Approximate rates for the occurrence of adverse events following receipt of DTP (regardless of dose number in the series or age of the child) are shown in (Table_6) (60,61). The frequencies of local reactions and fever are substantially higher with increasing numbers of doses of DTP, while other mild-to-moderate systemic reactions (e.g., fretfulness, vomiting) are substantially less frequent (59-61).

Concern about the possible role of pertussis vaccine in causing neurologic reactions has been present since the earliest days of vaccine use. Rare but serious acute neurologic illnesses, including encephalitis/encephalopathy and prolonged convulsions, have been anecdotally reported following receipt of whole-cell pertussis vaccine given as DTP (62,63). Whether pertussis vaccine causes or is only coincidentally related to such illnesses or reveals an inevitable event has been difficult to determine conclusively for the following reasons: a) serious acute neurologic illnesses often occur or become manifest among children during the first year of life irrespective of vaccination; b) there is no specific clinical sign, pathologic finding, or laboratory test which can determine whether the illness is caused by the DTP; c) it may be difficult to determine with certainty whether infants less than 6 months of age are neurologically normal, which complicates assessment of whether vaccinees were already neurologically impaired before receiving DTP; and d) because these events are exceedingly rare, appropriately designed large studies are needed to address the question.

Despite these methodologic difficulties, the National Childhood Encephalopathy Study (NCES) and other controlled epidemiologic studies have provided evidence that DTP can cause acute encephalopathy (64-68). This adverse event occurs rarely, with an estimated risk of zero to 10.5 episodes per million DTP vaccinations (68). A detailed follow-up of the NCES indicated that children who had had a serious acute neurologic illness after DTP administration were significantly more likely than children in the control group to have chronic nervous system dysfunction 10 years later. These children with chronic nervous system dysfunction were more likely than children in the control group to have received DTP within 7 days of onset of the original serious acute neurologic illness (i.e., 12 {3.3%} of 367 children vs. six {0.8%} of 723 children) (69).

After reviewing the follow-up data, IOM concluded that the NCES provided evidence of an association between DTP and chronic nervous system dysfunction in children who had had a serious acute neurologic illness after vaccination with DTP. The committee proposed three possible explanations for this association. First, the acute neurologic illness and subsequent chronic nervous system dysfunction might have been caused by DTP. Second, DTP might trigger an acute neurologic illness and subsequent chronic nervous system dysfunction in children who have underlying brain or metabolic abnormalities. Such children might experience similar chronic dysfunction in the absence of DTP vaccination if other stimuli (e.g., fever or infection) are present. Third, DTP might cause an acute neurologic illness in children who have underlying brain or metabolic abnormalities that would inevitably have led to chronic nervous system dysfunction even if the acute neurologic illness had not developed (6). IOM concluded that the NCES data do not support one explanation over another.

For all the abuse that Paul is taking, it wasn’t so long ago that both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had questions about vaccinations:

On more than one occasion, Obama echoed common anti-vaccine arguments that vaccines, including ones based on long-retracted research that vaccines have a tie to autism.

“We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it,” then Sen. Obama said.

The president’s words contrast his current position that there is no reason not to get vaccinated. The president said over the weekend that the scientific evidence in support of vaccines is “overwhelming.”

“There are some people who are suspicious that it’s connected to vaccines and triggers. But the science right now is inconclusive,” Obama said.

Likely 2016 Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton had a similar statement while speaking to an anti-vaccine group on the campaign trail in 2008.

“I am committed to make investments to find the causes of autism, including possible environmental causes like vaccines,” said Clinton in a written response to the group.

Having said all of this, I am a staunch advocate of vaccination. My son got the balance of the D and T portions of his scheduled vaccinations and suffered no more untoward reactions. I also chose to omit the pertussis vaccination for my next two children based on the positive family history. My children were vaccinated for everything else as recommended.

We come to Paul’s bottom line argument- choice. He believes that parent should be free to choose whether or not their kids are vaccinated. I agree. If vaccination was mandatory and I had no choice, my son might well be a quadriplegic as is my cousin.

In the Washington Post, Aaron Blake misinforms readers and makes an ass of himself as did Jeff Spross above:

Paul, it should be emphasized, is on his own island when it comes to suggesting vaccines could lead to adverse health risks — something not backed up by science.

Nothing could be more wrong. Vaccines absolutely CAN cause encephalopathy. Fortunately it is very rare but it is real. The outright dismissal of the possibility is reckless and dangerous. The science is settled.

Following vaccination parents need to carefully observe the reactions in their kids. There are fairly clear classifications of symptoms of reactions. The vast majority will be minor. The CDC makes them readily available. For DTP, they are:

Mild Problems (Common)
•Fever (up to about 1 child in 4)
• Redness or swelling where the shot was given (up to about 1 child in 4)
• Soreness or tenderness where the shot was given (up to about 1 child in 4)

These problems occur more often after the 4th and 5th doses of the DTaP series than after earlier doses. Sometimes the 4th or 5th dose of DTaP vaccine is followed by swelling of the entire arm or leg in which the shot was given, lasting 1-7 days (up to about 1 child in 30).

Other mild problems include:
•Fussiness (up to about 1 child in 3)
• Tiredness or poor appetite (up to about 1 child in 10)
• Vomiting (up to about 1 child in 50)

These problems generally occur 1-3 days after the shot.

Moderate Problems (Uncommon)
•Seizure (jerking or staring) (about 1 child out of 14,000)
• Non-stop crying, for 3 hours or more (up to about 1 child out of 1,000)
• High fever, over 105°F (about 1 child out of 16,000)

Severe Problems (Very Rare)
•Serious allergic reaction (less than 1 out of a million doses)
• Several other severe problems have been reported after DTaP vaccine. These include: ◦ Long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness
◦ Permanent brain damage.

Many vaccinations are given in multiple doses over time. Know the possible side effects and carefully observe to the reactions that follow.

By all mean, have your kids vaccinated. Just pay attention. Severe side effects are rare, but they are real. Asserting otherwise is both ignorant and plain stupid.

DrJohn has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. In addition to clinical practice he has done extensive research and has published widely with over 70 original articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. DrJohn is well known in his field and has lectured on every continent except for Antarctica. He has been married to the same wonderful lady for over 30 years and has three kids- two sons, both of whom are attorneys and one daughter on her way into the field of education. DrJohn was brought up with the concept that one can do well if one is prepared to work hard but nothing in life is guaranteed. Except for liberals being foolish.

17 Responses to “Rand Paul is right. Vaccines can cause profound mental impairment. It happened in my family”

  1. 1

    Bill

    I think everyone should be vaccinated against communicable diseases and sicknesses. However, it IS a choice. I have no idea how I would feel if I had a child of mine (all of whom HAD all their inoculations) vaccinated and it resulted is some terrible side effect. However, the wisdom is to vaccinate.

    Yet, we have another opportunity for liberals to utilize the misery of others to an unrelated political end. Christie and Paul both say everyone SHOULD be vaccinated, but equivocate that with the truth that it should be a personal choice. The bovine, Behar, of course, jumps hooves-first into this by accusing conservatives of being anti-vaccine “Neanderthals” while, of course, ignoring the fact that fellow liberal and View host, Jenny McCarthy, spotlighted the accusation of vaccinations being a cause of autism and such famous know-it-alls as Obama and Hillary concurred.

    Perhaps the pro-abortion crowd would like to submit to government whim as to whether or not it would be the choice of the individual to select an abortion for convenience.

  2. 2

    Nanny

    I’m old enough to where most of today’s vaccinations came out as I was growing up.
    So, as one became used in large scale I got A shot, of just one disease’s shot.
    I can recall the polio vaccines, the whooping cough one, one for ”lockjaw” as we called tetanus back then. (And we knew someone who died of it, too.)
    Small pox vaccine was memorable because it left a mark.
    I got measles.
    There was no vaccine.
    Mumps went through the whole family made dad and oldest bro VERY ill.
    Got chicken pox, too.

    So, a few years ago my doctor wanted to give me a shot against shingles also a booster against tetanus as well and also a pneumonia vaccine and a flu shot.
    I was in my 60’s yet he spaced these shots out over several weeks!
    If he would do that as a general rule for an adult… WHY is it standard procedure for MDs to give babies these multiple shots?
    I don’t understand that.

    Babies and children are NOT property of the state, but PUBLIC schools are.
    I can completely agree with a politician who allows parents to forego vaccinations AS LONG AS they also forego having that child in public school.
    Home school the non-immunized child to protect those immune-deficient children who cannot get vaccines at all but who are in the public school system.

  3. 3

    Ronald J. Ward

    If Paul was so right, why did he do a 180 damage control flip flop?

    He said something utterly stupid and had to immediately correct it.

    Paul- “I have heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines”. Paul couldn’t validate that and he knew it. It was right up there with his Ebola sky falling/government conspiracy silliness.

    The thing about the new GOP war on vaccines is that just a few years ago, this wouldn’t even be an issue as only abject fools would be advocating such things. But today’s main selling point of the corporately funded tea party is to get “government out of our lives”, government is intrusive, etc. And you can’t accept a need for government on any level because, well, that would be so not bashing Obama, or something. You cannot acknowledge the reality that we need some of those “government regulations” on any level because that would weaken that plutocratic argument that folks like the Kochs have demanded of you.

    Let me toss an argument your way Dr. John that I had on something similar . I know you won’t likely answer because you’re an argumentative fraud and a cowardly plant. When your weak tea and quite often already debunked nonsense is exposed, you pretty much tuck tail and run.

    Out in the country where I live a land owner with less than 10 acres must have a government inspected septic tank installed if he builds a residential dwelling which can run $4,000 to $7,000. Some properties of more than 10 acres may also require this.

    The the person I was arguing with was much like you and your cloned patrol of lapdog merry-men who just couldn’t stand an intrusive government and simply wouldn’t accept the reality of contaminating drinking water and diseases and plagues and such which history proves so dangerous. I. of course, was a tree hugging liberal or such that voter for Obama and hated America and all you worn out logic of addressing a legitimate argument.

    So he tells me, “Ronald, what I want is the government off of my property, out of my life, and you out of my bathroom”. Typical Obama basher brain washed gibberish. And I suspect you and your water toters agree.

    My response, “No, what I want is your bathroom off of my property. And if you won’t keep it off, I want a government that will make you keep it off”.

    And I don’t need your infested kids spreading their diseases and plagues to my kids and grand kids either.

  4. 4

    Bill

    @Ronald J. Ward:

    Paul- “I have heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines”. Paul couldn’t validate that and he knew it. It was right up there with his Ebola sky falling/government conspiracy silliness.

    What did he say that was so stupid? Right above, you have cases of harm coming after vaccination. Though rare, it certainly happens. Though rare, who wants their child to be the exception?

    As to stupid, are you too stupid to realize or remember that it was none other than Hillary AND Obama taking that exact same view? Of course, when their view is shown to cause harm, they IMMEDIATELY pretend they have never had such a stupid view and, as you are assisting with just now, switch to the “Republican war on vaccinations” mode. If you could see how hopelessly shallow and transparent you leftist are with your lack of morals about assuming positions on issues.

    The genesis of the entire discussion was from a liberal, Jenny McCarthy, who first shone the spotlight on the accusation that these vaccinations cause autism. In fact, who do you think mostly rejects vaccinations?

    http://www.realclearscience.com/journal_club/2014/10/20/are_liberals_or_conservatives_more_anti-vaccine_108905.html

    Hey, Ronald, that’s right!! Areas where stupid, insipid, elitist, know-it-all liberals tend to congregate. In fact, one writer that has studied the issue says if you want to find the areas that reject vaccinations, look around a Whole Foods market.

    But, liberals charge conservatives with being the genesis of the problem. Typical lying, dishonest, corrupt liberals that create a mess, walk off from it and blame everyone else for the damage they themselves have wrought. Liberals instigated this entire mess, now scores of children and adults are infected (beginning in California… go figure) and all liberals worry about is blaming Republican Presidential candidates (ignoring, again, the fact that Hefty Hillary has, again, flipped her flopping to go with the grain of the day).

    If you don’t like “infested” kids, why do you cheer on your Dear Leader as he invites them, by the train load, illegally into our country, then distributes them, untested and un-monitored, throughout the country?

    You are more full of what your neighbor’s septic tank holds than his septic tank.

  5. 5

    Ronald J. Ward

    @Ronald J. Ward:

    Intruding on a comment not sent to you. Trolling coward.
    No mention of Rand’s reversal. Coward.
    No response to septic tanks. Coward.
    Obama invites train loads of infested kids in country. Lying dishonest coward.

    Trolling dishonest intrusive sockpuppet rodeo clown sticks nose in others business to allow coward Dr. John to exist stage left.

    Nothing new here. Yawn.

  6. 7

    DrJohn

    author

    @Bill:

    Our Ronald doesn’t read the post. He just opines based on something from Kos.

    All of the evidence is there, including the info from the CDC. If Mr. Ward chooses to be ignorant, it is his right, but it does speak poorly of Mr. Ward that he so cavalierly dismisses my invalid cousin.

  7. 8

    Bill

    @Ronald J. Ward: You post herein, especially with your far left, stock, off the shell, liberal talking points that contain no truth, you can be assured the first person with the facts are going to leap at the opportunity to rub your brown nose right in the steaming pile you just left on the page.

    If you only want a response from the person you responded to (oh, by the way… Dr. John did not solicit your stupid, idiotic response and you directed your comment at no one in particular…. TROLLING, IGNORANT COWARD) they perhaps you should notate that. In case you haven’t notice, it is fairly common practice to answer whatever challenge appears.

    First, show me Rand’s reversal. Next, why don’t YOU go burrow into a septic tank and stay there. Third, there was a small incident this summer where tens of thousands of children, lured by the promise of amnesty and “free American taxpayer goodies” swarmed our borders. Accompanying them was disease and infestations, heretofore extinguished in this country. Obama then ordered them dispersed throughout the country. There were protests, there were road blockages… and there was disease.

    I know you only know what you are told to know, lying, dishonest, stupid, insipid, sycophantic coward, Ronald J. Ward, but this was covered pretty extensively. Only the most stupid of the stupid missed it and… oh. Sorry.

    Speaking of cowards running away from a not-so-difficult question, when would you be getting around to answering the question as to why Obama chose Ferguson to use, before the UN and the world, as an example of racial injustice and social unrest in America when he had indications that the accusations were false? And, how do you address the fact (hidden from most view) that the DOJ found NOTHING in their fishing expedition for civil rights violations in Ferguson? Hmmm, cowardly, trolling, running away, non-answering, avoiding questions that reveals the racism and cowardice of your Lord and Leader, little man, Sir?

  8. 9

    Bill

    @DrJohn:

    Hate to crash your party, but which Republican said not to get vaccinated

    I am not aware of any that has. The most heinous thing they have said is that individuals have a choice!

  9. 12

    Greg

    People should consider the vastly higher number of adverse events that resulted from the various diseases themselves, before vaccinations were available. The reason people don’t think about that much is because diseases that were once recurring deadly epidemics are now largely absent. A walk through any old cemetery can reveal how very common the deaths of young children used to be.

    It all comes down to weighing the relative risks involved in vaccinating children vs. not doing so. It’s probably best to leave politics out of the decision altogether.

  10. 13

    Ronald J. Ward

    @DrJohn:

    Our Ronald doesn’t read the post. He just opines based on something from Kos.

    Well, your diatribes have grown redundantly predictable. As far as Kos goes, that’s just you making up whatever you like and passing off as concrete evidence or such.

    It’s not that I’m unfeeling of your family but this isn’t the first time you’ve used a family member to help you in your Obama bashing or pro-plutocratic mission. I mean, how many times do you wanta play that card?

    Your argument rings hollow as encephalopathy induced by vaccines or even flu shots are so rare (and even questionable as the actual culprit) while the lives saved through vaccines are huge.

    This seems to be another case of nonsensical arguments that today’s so-called conservatives want to have both ways. You advocate kicking 10 million people out of life saving health care access because of,,? Oh yeah, a few folks were inconvenienced because their policy changed or something, and of course, all them there freedoms and all. So if I come across cold by “”so cavalierly dismisses my invalid cousin”, I happen to have some dear friends and family who desperately need health care (which they couldn’t previously acquire through no fault of their own). Wasn’t it your very ilk that cheered the Paul family on the idea that they could just “go home and die”?

    My kids and grand kids have a right to go to schools that I’ve paid for without being exposed to unnecessary diseases and plagues that could otherwise been avoided. When you start demanding the government out of such areas, disaster awaits.

  11. 14

    John

    It is that darned big government nanny state interesting in places they don’t belong
    Vaccinations should be optional just like kids cat seats
    The only place government has a right to interfere in people’s lives is
    Abortion !!!
    Sign up now make your voice be heard sign up on fb republicans against vaccinations
    10s of thousands have already signed
    Children are not property of the state !!

  12. 15

    Bill

    @Ronald J. Ward:

    Well, your diatribes have grown redundantly predictable. As far as Kos goes, that’s just you making up whatever you like and passing off as concrete evidence or such.

    Hey, Ronald, my good friend, would you like to know how much respect I have for your demand that no one answer a post except for the person you feel is allowed to?

    If you aren’t going to read the post, then why don’t you keep your emailed opinions to yourself?

    Here is the most fantastic element of the issue (and, of course, the party you have chosen to avoid addressing); this is something that, while not a liberal/conservative, Democrat/Republican issue, was promoted by a liberal Hollywood personality, the type of person liberals grovel over. Further, while people such as yourself (those who leap upon whatever liberal band wagon the left rolls by you) have jumped to this conclusion that some Republican Presidential candidates are against vaccination when, in fact, all they have said is that it is a choice… though they ALL strongly recommend vaccination. Now, take the opinions of Hillary and Obama who have been on record expressing doubts of the wisdom to vaccinate, based on the knowledgeable advice of Jenny McCarthy (whom I’ve seen naked).

    Why is the left so desperate for an advantage over Republicans that they are constantly, repeatedly, predictably taking whatever tragedy arises and immediately trying to find a Republican culpability? Too much failure to abide by?

    My kids and grand kids have a right to go to schools that I’ve paid for without being exposed to unnecessary diseases and plagues that could otherwise been avoided. When you start demanding the government out of such areas, disaster awaits.

    What’s wrong… didn’t you have them vaccinated?

    @Greg: Vaccinations should be promoted and encouraged as the sensible, scientific, concerned thing to do. However, there are cases where they cause harm and I, for one, would not want to be the person that mandated something that caused irreversible harm to their child.

  13. 16

    DrJohn

    author

    @Greg:

    I agree, Greg. As I said, I believe kids should be vaccinated but for someone to say that terrible untoward reactions aren’t possible is flat out wrong.

  14. 17

    Bill

    @John:

    The only place government has a right to interfere in people’s lives is
    Abortion !!!

    Aren’t you kind of making the opposite point? Should parents have the right to decide to vaccinate or not? Should those who want abortions of convenience, which take a life each and every time, have that choice… or not?

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