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Answers to vaccine questions

POSTED December 18, 2009 10:48 p.m.
Dear Editor,
In answer to the letter about vaccinations which ran in the Dec. 16 Journal, I can offer some answers to the questions. The simple answer to the question, “Did the 98 million doses contaminated with SV40 lead to the HIV epidemic 25 years later?” is no. SV40 is a simian (monkey) virus and often shows no symptoms when monkeys are infected. It is not a human virus like HIV and the comparison of the genetic strands found in each show that they are unrelated. I recommend the book, “Hot Zone,” by Richard Preston for an understanding of the different viruses that came out of Africa and their origins in human populations.
The second question ponders why the same vaccine can cause different reactions in different people. Our bodies contain multiple ways to attack an antigen. The reaction that is caused is determined by the individual’s immune response, not the antigen injected. The same variety of reactions can be seen with seasonal allergies. One person may have no observable response while another may go into anaphylactic shock.
I suspect that vaccine manufacturers are not liable for lawsuits as the immunizations are government mandated. The government offers compensation to those who have an adverse response. Remember, the response is caused by your immune system, not the antigen, as each recipient would have the same response if it were antigen caused.
In response to the claim that vaccines cause autism and the request for controlled studies comparing a vaccinated and unvaccinated group, those studies have been done. The CDC cites 300 of them. Unvaccinated children become autistic at the same time in life as vaccinated children. Autism at one time was thought to be caused by demon possession and then it was blamed on lax parenting. The opposite seems to be true. They are very dedicated parents. The jury is still out, to my knowledge, on the cause of autism. It doesn’t seem to be a disease that you can get from environmental causes. It may just be that they have one of the many ways that the brain develops and their behavior and thought processes don’t match society’s self-imposed “norms.” Left-handed people were once thought to be evil or sinister and we prevented them from using that hand. Autism may, one day, be understood as a variation of the human condition. It may be up to society to adapt, rather than the autistic.
The final question about tens of thousands of mothers who watched their children change completely after vaccination leaves one to wonder where the number came from. When pandemic disease kills tens of millions of people, what about those mothers? What about the tens of millions of mothers who are left with children left helpless after being devastated by a disease that could have been prevented by a simple vaccination? Scientists don’t stop with a successful vaccine but continue to discover new ways to prevent the immune system from overreacting.
— Eric Julien 
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