Why Healthcare Puts too Much Stock in Herds

There are two individuals I credit for the biggest contributions making up our current baseline thinking of what health looks like. Edward Jenner and Louis Pasteur. These were brilliant men who sought to make the world a better place and their efforts are notable. They gave peace of mind to thousands of people who were living in a state of fear during their times. It was not unlike times of today, but without the internet. Their work still exists today and is the premise of our most basic lifestyle routines and healthcare systems. What they created is both a masterpiece and horrific tragedy to human health at the same time.


Louis Pasteur is known as the father of the germ theory. In 1881 his experiments on cows and sheep created the first rabies vaccine. He went on to study germs and created the foundation of what we know as the importance of hand washing and sterilization. These are important contributions to humans that have prevented numerous illnesses, diseases and deaths since his connection of cleanliness. However, in true human nature form, it has gone to the extreme and contributed to new illnesses, diseases and deaths including super-bugs and weakened natural immunity. The existence of germs became the source of all to blame when it came to illnesses. We soon took on the war against germs that did not entirely look at the scope of the germ role in our health.


Edward Jenner is known as the father of immunology. He created vaccinations that at the time were important against smallpox. During this time, people thought of smallpox like the latest Black Plague. Thousands were dying it seemed like an illness that had no end. His contribution of immunization created what is known as herd immunity; the delicate balance of maintaining a certain level of vaccination in animals and people to control spread of illnesses and diseases. Again, his contribution seemed like a logical step in improving health status but has created a host of issues that persist today.


Jenner’s theory of herd immunity using vaccination became the foundational wisdom supporting childhood immunizations requirements. While his work is praised as a victory in disease management among allopathic and pharmaceutical experts and is generally accepted as a result by most of society; it is a devastating negative impact to human rights posing long term risk and consequences to the health of our society. The most recent occurrence related to his historical work is being seen, and felt, globally with the responses and actions taken with COVID-19, including that of governmental and public mandatory vaccinations in many countries.


Children are targeted as the most common channel for herd immunity through school policies that require vaccination for attendance. Jenner himself is known to have used a young boy to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of his smallpox vaccine. Given the precedence of existing vaccination requirements in schools; the same approach may be promoted in school policy for the COVID-19 vaccine. The fear-based response to the virus, and all its variant forms, using mandates and policy is concerning because in the analysis of COVID-19 data to date, there is minimal data and analysis based on children.


Where Jenner, Pasteur and modern day thinking on the validity of vaccinations and germs continues be short sighted is in considering the long-term impacts to childhood development, growth, mental health and later adult health as a result of being used to promote herd immunity. Additionally, this approach fails to account for the continued question of appropriateness for vaccines in children where risk is low with the disease, vaccine safety data is limited, and most importantly, practical, safe, and effective alternatives for prevention exist. Not all germs are actually bad and we need some of their exposure to build our own immunity function in our bodies.


Maybe more importantly to consider is this; we have become a people afraid of germs and welcoming of medicine as the basis of how to be well and protected from health risks like them. Creating herd immunity is possible through healthy living such as eating a nutrient rich diet, solid rest, hydration, exercise and sunshine. These elements have served man since his existence and continue to be the premise of building good health. Yet, these are simple, inexpensive supports that do not align with modern thinking or profit. Neither are they well talked about in times of crisis when health risks from viruses and diseases are rampant. By living in a state of fear we choose the more radical extreme that requires chemicals that not only destroy germs and viruses but weaken our own health in the process.


The pharmaceutical industry is the largest business industry in the world. Vaccines and immunizations are big money. The messaging around these injections is that they are safe, effective and required. The money behind these messages is so significant and well orchestrated, very few are afraid to question it. Surely, we can trust them right? They have prevented large numbers of people from dying of illnesses we can control so how can they be bad?


Given the experience all of us had with COVID-19, I don’t believe we can simply trust them and more questions need to be asked. If you trace the money, you quickly realize the FDA, the agency installed to help protect us from harmful products, including medications, is funded in large part by the pharmaceutical companies. The American Medical Association is in close ties with pharmaceuticals as well. It is all a close networked matrix of money that often has little to do with the health status of you and me. It goes all the way back to the Carnegie and Rockefeller’s funding of the Flexnor Report that changed how medical universities are funded and structured if you need more proof.


I believe the contributions of these men is great and their work should be respected. However, I believe the extreme ends to which we rely on their work has prevented us from truly evolving health. Logically, it makes sense there would be vaccinations and even immunizations, but I believe we have greatly overused them. We are over reliant on medications such as these to create health rather than living lives that support natural health. We create chemically based immunity bubbles instead of learning how to help our body navigate them and defend itself. The long term ramifications of this are super-bugs, increases in diseases and new viruses.


There are portions of the population that may be better served with a vaccine because of weakened immunity and other conditions that make them vulnerable in their health. However, for the vast majority of people, and children, it is likely not necessary. Dirt, germs, viruses can all be used for the good in strengthening our health. A lot of natural health professionals may disagree with me but I do believe there can be value in having things like vaccines available in certain situations. Again, however, it should not be as widely and generally accepted as normal to inject these chemicals just because we were told they were safe and effective for herd immunity. By doing so, we miss the opportunity to develop our children’s bodies into the healthiest they can be and instead make them reliant on drugs that do not serve them well.


Citations:


Sheppard, Megan. Isaacs, David. Fitzgerald, Dominic A. (2021, July 29) The Accumulating Consequences of COVID-19 in Children. Retrieved January 8, 2022, from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8319046/


Barber, Melissa S. Barrett, Richard. Bradley, Ryan D. Walker, Erin. (2021, November 6) A Naturopathic Treatment Approach for Mile and Moderate COVID-19: A Retrospective Chart Review. Retrieved January 6, 2022, from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8570825/


Kiefer, Kira. The Washington Post. (2021, September 20) Doubters’ push for religious exemptions from coronavirus vaccination may not work. Retrieved January 7, 2022 from: (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/opinions-doubters-push-for-religious-exemptions-from-coronavirus-vaccination-may-not-work/ar-AAOD1hH


The Guardian. (2021, September 9) Los Angeles Schools to Require COVID-19 Vaccinations for Students 12 and Older. Retrieved January 6, 2022 from:https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/sep/09/los-angeles-school-coronavirus-vaccine-mandate


CDC. (2019, November 19) There are Vaccines You Need as an Adult. Retrieved January 7, 2022, from: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/index.html


CDC. (2019, August 5) Vaccine Schedule (Children). Retrieved January 7, 2022, from: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/schedules/index.html

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