The world of made up science is full of colourful characters. Perhaps this is why their nonsense gets so much attention. People are listening to and acting on the advice of Jenny McCarthy, Polly Tommey and the like when, really, the correct response should be to pat them on the head and send the poor misguided (and that’s being kind) souls on their merry way.
Recently, a new figure has emerged to persuade parents out of protecting their children from vaccine preventable infections. She calls herself the Patriot Nurse. One look at her very scruffy blog will leave you with the impression that the Patriot nurse is a rather paranoid Patriot Nurse. Her numerous You Tube videos are guides to what to do when the SHTF (shit hits the fan).
I really couldn’t care less if the Patriot Nurse wants to share her conspiracy theories, recipes for coleslaw, or what she recommends storing and stashing in your bunker ready for the day that said shit hits the metaphorical fan. What I do object to, however, is the Patriot Nurse’s pronouncements on vaccines. Freedom of speech is precious and, yes, to paraphrase, I would defend her right to spout this bullshit but let’s put things into some context. She believes that her training as a nurse makes her opinions somehow authoritative. No.
I’m not the only one who feels this way. For another take on the Patriot Nurse visit the wonderful Shot of Prevention.
The Patriot Nurse first came to my attention via a facebook group for mothers who vaccinate their children and take an evidence based approach to childcare – often miscontrued as just a “pro-vax” group. Indeed it was another nurse, whowas utterly, “appalled by her name-calling [of scientists as] ‘geeks with beakers’,” as well as almost everything else that comes out of the Patriot Nurse’s mouth when it comes to vaccines, who introduced the Patriot Nurse to many of us.
In the video itself the Patriot Nurse shows no indication of ever having been exposed to even the most basic principles of pharmacology such as dose-response nor the fundamentals of chemistry such as molecular structure or what exactly a compound is. The Patriot Nurse knows not the difference between an adjuvant and a preservative and yet pontificates and generalises well beyond her expertise on matters far more complex. Scarier still, there is some evidence emerging that the Patriot Nurse cares for new born babies and their mothers though this remains to be substantiated. Judge for yourself, then read on for a refutation by a Canadian nurse at a large teaching hospital with an additional background in biology on behalf of Nurses Who Vaccinate:
I’m also a nurse, and I have some serious objections to what you’ve stated in this video.
1) You talk about the additives present in vaccines.
As we all know there is no mercury in vaccines – there was never mercury in vaccines. There WAS thimersol, which is a mercury compound. Table salt is a chlorine compound. Basic chemistry teaches us that simply because something has a compound in it that might be dangerous on it’s own doesn’t mean that it’s dangerous in all cases. H2o is obviously not dangerous, but take away that “o”, and it becomes combustible.
This is thimersol: C9H9HgNaO2S
This is mercury present in fish – methyl mercury: [CH3Hg]+
a) As discussed, there is no mercury in vaccines. And the two types of “mercury” you’re discussing are not molecularly similar.
b) The gut does NOT stop mercury from reaching the bloodstream. In fact, Health Canada states: “When fish or other foods contaminated with methyl mercury are consumed, approximately 95% of the methyl mercury is absorbed through the stomach and intestinal tract, then transferred to the blood stream and distributed throughout the body.”
Meaning that ingestion of mercury is not a protective mechanism.
Aluminum is the most abundant element in our environment. We ingest sizable amounts of it on a daily basis. Aluminum is more plentiful in breast milk than vaccines; an infant will ingest more aluminum from breastfeeding than all the childhood vaccines put together.
“During the first 6 months of life, infants could receive about 4 milligrams of aluminum from vaccines. That’s not very much: a milligram is one-thousandth of a gram and a gram is the weight of one-fifth of a teaspoon of water. During the same period, babies will also receive about 10 milligrams of aluminum in breast milk, about 40 milligrams in infant formula, or about 120 milligrams in soy-based formula.”
Aluminum – regardless of route of entry is excreted very efficiently by the kidneys.
“Most of the aluminum that enters the body is eliminated quickly. Though all of the aluminum present in vaccines enters
the bloodstream, less than 1 percent of aluminum present in food is absorbed through the intestines into the blood. Either way, most of the aluminum in the bloodstream is immediately bound by a protein called transferrin, which carries aluminum to the kidneys where it is eliminated from the body. About 50 percent of aluminum in vaccines or in food is eliminated in less than 24 hours; 85 percent is eliminated in two weeks and 96 percent is eliminated in three years. The ability of the body to rapidly eliminate aluminum accounts for its excellent record of safety.”
2) You state that vaccines “bypass the gut, which is our natural defense mechanism”.
Many pathogens bypass the gut, so I don’t see how this is relevant.
I assume you’re trying to make some point that vaccines bypass the mucous membranes. And? We vaccinate against the diseases we do, in part, BECAUSE we are susceptible to them as they EASILY bypass our innate defenses. Your mucous membranes cannot kill a pathogen.
3) You trot out the autism canard.
As we all know, the big concern was thimersol causing autism. After the removal of thimersol from vaccines, the rate of autism went UP – which is not what we would expect to see if thimersol was a causative factor. There have been so many studies showing zero correlation between vaccination and autism that I’m amazed every time I even see this brought up.
Have you seen the scientific studies showing a DROP in autism amongst vaccinated versus unvaccinated children?
So, either you’re mistaken about vaccines and autism, or you believe there is a worldwide conspiracy of biomed professionals who want to poison your kids.
4) You talk about the vaccine schedule.
Did you know that despite the increasing number of vaccines available, there is a smaller amount of adjuvant and pathogen per vaccine. The load on the body is actually LESS than it was 20 or 30 years ago.
“Despite the increase in the number of vaccines over recent decades, improvements in vaccine design have reduced the immunologic load from vaccines, such that the total number of immunological components in the fourteen vaccines administered to US children in 2009 is less than 10% of what it was in the seven vaccines given in 1980.”
5) You state that vaccines cause “over-stimulation”. Of what? The immune system that encounters literally thousands of pathogens on a daily basis?
“Vaccines do not overwhelm the immune system; conservative estimates predict that the immune system can respond to thousands of viruses simultaneously.”
6) You then go on to discuss allergies and autoimmune disorders, stating that you couldn’t figure out anything OTHER than vaccines that could have caused a spike in said conditions.
I must point out that simply because YOU can’t think of something doesn’t necessitate that there ISN’T something. I am a nurse with an additional degree in biology. I respect and love nursing. But we are not scientists. We are not immunologists. And we shouldn’t be speaking authoritatively on the causative factors of allergies or autoimmune disorders – that’s not within our scope.
“Only in a few rare cases,however, has autoimmune pathology been firmly associated with particular vaccines.”
7) You talk about breast milk being the only thing necessary to protect a neonate. Breast milk can only provide antibodies to a child for things that the mother is immune to. If the mother has never HAD MENINGITIS she does not have antibodies to pass on that will protect her baby from meningitis.
It’s also well known that anti-bodies in breast milk taper greatly at the 6 month mark.
Vaccines are safe and effective. Scientific study has shown this to be true, beyond a shadow of a doubt. No vaccine – or any medication – is without its risks, and I would encourage you to speak to your physician if you are having doubts or have questions. Remember that anyone can post anything they wish on the internet – be it true or not. And simply because something SOUNDS authoritative does not make it correct.
Of course, whose advice you follow on such matters is your call. You can put your faith in the paranoid rantings of the Patriot Nurse, PlayBoy models and inconsequential actresses or base your opinions on the overwhelming body of scientific evidence that shows, though not perfect, for the vast majority of human beings that receive them, vaccines are safe and the best protection against potentially disabling and deadly diseases that infect us.
Comments on this post are more than welcome. The Patriot Nurse does not extend the same courtesy on her You Tube video.