Vaccines are not safe, and the number of shots children are taking keeps increasing at a tremendous speed. This means huge profits for the big drug companies -- especially when parents are told that it is mandatory. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry7toSjjgXE&feature=player_embedded The Rolling Stone article above is from 2005, but if you haven?t yet read it I strongly encourage you to do so. In it Kennedy explains that in light of the evidence against the use of thimerosal (a mercury-based preservative) in vaccines, he is undoubtedly convinced that the link and the epidemic of childhood neurological disorders are real. Moreover, he describes the collaboration between the government health agencies and the drug industry a "chilling case study of institutional arrogance, power and greed." Perhaps the most stunning aspect of the story is the extent to which many of the leading officials were willing to go to hide the disturbing evidence. In fact, the article details a secret meeting among federal officials and pharmaceutical industry representatives held in June 2000 to discuss a new study that found thimerosal in vaccines appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and other neurological disorders in children. Kennedy wrote: ?[Upon hearing the evidence] instead of taking immediate steps to alert the public and rid the vaccine supply of thimerosal, the officials and executives at Simpsonwood [the conference center] spent most of the next two days discussing how to cover up the damaging data. According to transcripts obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, many at the meeting were concerned about how the damaging revelations about thimerosal would affect the vaccine industry's bottom line.? Today, there is little doubt that thimerosal, a preservative that is 50 percent ethylmercury, is a contributing factor in many cases of autism. It is a well-established fact that exposure to mercury can cause immune, sensory, neurological, motor, and behavioral dysfunctions -- all similar to traits defining, or associated with, autism. Still, the U.S. government has clung to their statement that vaccines do not cause autism, and it wasn?t until 2008 that they made an unprecedented admission and conceded that vaccines, including some with thimerosal, ?significantly aggravated? an underlying disorder and caused autistic symptoms in at least one child. Have Autism Rates Declined Since Thimerosal Was Removed From Vaccines? Thimerosal was taken out of most childhood vaccines at the beginning of the decade. In 2006, studies of two government databases indicated that autism rates went up as thimerosal dosages increased, then began to decline as thimerosal was removed. Yet, if you look at this Time magazine article, it says that autism rates have continued to climb since thimerosal was removed from vaccines in 2001. Why the discrepancy? It could be due to the fact that in 2002 the U.S. government began recommending flu shots to children under 2 (and now recommends them for kids until they?re 18). Well, most flu shots still contain thimerosal; so many infants are still being exposed to mercury. There is also the issue of vaccine timing. According to Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD: ?Giving too many vaccines over too short a time to infants whose nervous system is not yet fully developed can also trigger autism and its spectrum of disorders.? And, according to Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D., a board-certified neurosurgeon and author, multiple vaccines given close together over-stimulate your brain's immune system and, via the mechanism of "bystander injury," destroy brain cells. What Other Damaging Toxins are in Vaccines? I applaud Mr. Kennedy for taking such a courageous position on this sensitive topic, and I believe it is important to share his views here. However, please understand that while I believe mercury is a potent neurotoxin that should be avoided and not be in vaccines, I believe there are a variety of factors that contribute to autism. I am not at all convinced that mercury is the sole culprit. Dr. Cannell has a compelling theory that seems to correlate with the facts in which the massive decrease in vitamin D in pregnant women is a major factor. Additionally there has been a dramatic increase in the number of vaccines, especially given at an earlier age, which also likely plays a major role. And even though many childhood vaccines are now thimerosal-free, you should know that that doesn?t make them safe. The current U.S. immunization schedule calls for children to get 48 doses of 14 vaccines by the time they?re just 6 years old. By age 18, federal public health officials say they should have gotten a total of 69 doses of 16 vaccines from day of birth to age 18. Public health officials have NEVER proven that it is indeed safe to inject this number and volume of vaccines into infants, children, pre-adolescents and teenagers. What's more, they cannot explain why, concurrent with an increasing number of vaccinations, there has been an explosion of neurological and immune system disorders in American children. Another potential toxin that is in many vaccines, and one you might not have heard of before, is aluminum. When you or your child is injected with a vaccine, the aluminum compounds it contains accumulate not only at the site of injection but travel to your brain and accumulate there. In your brain, aluminum enters neurons and glial cells (astrocytes and microglia). Studies have shown that aluminum can activate microglia and do so for long periods, which means that the aluminum in your vaccination is priming your microglia to overreact. The next vaccine acts to trigger the enhanced inflammatory reaction and release of the excitotoxins, glutamate and quinolinic acid, Dr. Blaylock points out. Meanwhile, if you come down with an infection, are exposed to more toxins, or have a stroke or head injury of any kind, this will magnify the inflammatory reaction occurring in your brain due to the vaccines. Research has shown that the more your immune system remains activated, the more likely it is you?ll suffer from a neurodegenerative disease. The aluminum hydroxide used in many vaccines, including hepatitis A and B, and the Pentacel cocktail for diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, and meningitis, has been clearly linked to symptoms associated with Parkinson?s, ALS (Lou Gehrig?s disease), and Alzheimer?s. Even a study in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, admitted that: ?Aluminum is now being implicated as interfering with a variety of cellular and metabolic processes in the nervous system and in other tissues.? This has led some experts to suggest that aluminum in vaccines may be linked to autism. Want to Learn More About Vaccine Issues? I?m not anti-vaccine, but rather pro-vaccine safety. I believe it is extremely important to have the right to choose to be allowed to make informed consent decisions about what you want to inject into your child, and yourself, and when. While there is a lot of misinformation circulating about vaccines, especially from supposedly trustworthy sources like public health agencies, there are still excellent sources of information out there, and one of the best is The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), the American vaccine safety watchdog. Exploring the information on this site, as well as on the many pages of Mercola.com, will help you to get educated. And remember, you still have the legal right to refuse to vaccinate your children. While all 50 states have immunization requirements, 28 allow parents to opt out for medical or religious reasons. Another 20 states allow parents to opt out for personal or philosophical reasons as well. My previous article, How To Legally Avoid Unwanted Immunizations Of All Kinds, explains how you can go about practicing this right, and there is also an entire chapter in my book Take Control of Your Health devoted to this very topic. Knowledge truly is power, and the more you know about vaccinations, the more empowered you?ll be to make the best decision for the health of you and your family. Attend Major Vaccine Conference in Washington DC This October the National Vaccine Information Center is putting together a host of the top speakers in the world on this topic. They only put on this conference every few years. If you have any interest in this topic I strongly encourage you to attend. I will also be speaking there. Read more about it here. It's imperative that you educate yourself about vaccinations, influenza, vaccine risks, and the public health laws in your state, so you know what you're up against, especially if you have children that attend public schools. You need to find out what your rights and options are under new public health laws that may require you and your children to get vaccinated or be quarantined.