New reports find that the cost of healthcare has reached a ten-year high. Thus, if it seems as though your medical expenses were steadily climbing higher, you aren’t alone. Yet, the cost of healthcare isn’t always just about dollars and cents. Though something like an annual physical exam does have a very concrete cost, some healthcare we receive can have additional, unintended costs, too.
Vaccines are one such way in which we might be paying more than the dollar amount we write on a check. A single dose can cost upwards of $150 dollars (keep in mind that the CDC vaccination schedule recommends nearly 50 vaccine doses before a child reaches the age of 6), but perhaps more concerning is the growing body of research that suggests recipients of these vaccines might be paying in terms of their own health and wellness, too.
Countless studies have identified a causal relationship between vaccine ingredients like aluminum and Thimerosal, and an individual’s increased risk for neurodevelopmental and autoimmune disorders. Vaccines that contain these known toxins prove to be the leading explanation for why rates of autoimmunity and autism have skyrocketed over the course of the last two decades. As autoimmunity and autism have become more prevalent, the CDC has increased its recommended vaccine schedule to include an increasing number of vaccines. These parallel trends, in conjunction with papers like those published by Lucija Tomljenovic and Christopher Shaw that demonstrate the specific ways in which toxic vaccine ingredients can produce symptoms often shown by individuals with autoimmune disorders, is highly compelling.
What’s preventing parents from recognizing the true potential costs of these vaccines? Lack of easily accessible information. For example, the Gardasil vaccine—which contains high concentrations of aluminum adjuvants—has been widely touted in marketing campaigns and by health organizations as a wise precautionary measure to protect against HPV. However, consumers are not informed that this vaccine includes aluminum adjuvants, nor are they made clearly aware that the vaccine protects against just four or nine strains of HPV, though there are over one hundred different strains in existence. The new Gardasil 9 contains twice the level of aluminum adjuvant as the original version. Is this ingredient change being disclosed to parents as they consider the risk of this vaccine?
The same can be said of influenza vaccines, many of which today still contain Thimerosal, a mercury-containing ingredient used as a preservative for increased cost-effectiveness. At the advent of each flu season, like Gardasil these flu vaccines are marketed as a responsible, ethical option for ensuring good health. Yet, little discussion centers on the inclusion of Thimerosal and its ensuing risks, the CDC’s acknowledgment that flu vaccines can cause Guillain-Barre Syndrome, or the fact that because of their rapid development, these vaccines cannot be tested in long-term clinical trials. Even more compelling evidence out of Hong Kong, from the only true inert placebo trial on the safety and efficacy of the flu vaccine, was that those who were vaccinated had 5.5 times more respiratory illness than those who received a placebo. Is this the first human evidence demonstrating that vaccines have the potential to increase rather than decrease the rate of illness? Are these costs being identified and measured?
Another important study by Dr. Mark Geier, MD and Dr. David Geier titled “A longitudinal cohort study of the relationship between Thimerosal-containing hepatitis B vaccination and specific delays in development in the United States: Assessment of attributable risk and lifetime care costs” provides evidence of increased lifetime care costs to those who were exposed to thimerosal containing Hepatitis B vaccines that may exceed $1 trillion. That figure represents costs for harm caused by one vaccine. What would be found if the entire schedule was examined using these more rigorous analytical methods?
Organizations like the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute believe that raising public awareness about the true cost of vaccines will be the only way that attitudes about vaccine safety will change. Until we stop thinking about healthcare exclusively in terms of dollars and cents, and instead take a closer look at the real potential for adverse health effects, many more may continue to pay a price.