It seems that there are many people out there who are vehemently against vaccines of any kind. These people often seem to be particularly triggered by the COVID-19 vaccines (whether Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson).

Well, honestly, if you are absolutely, 100% against all vaccines … well, there is probably nothing I can write or do to change that. But I still want to address it a little.

Vaccines have been around for a while in one form or another. There is evidence that, although the Chinese did not use actual vaccines, they were already using the practice of exposure to smallpox (called variolation, which I won’t go into here) as early as 1000 AD. This resulted in the patient developing a mild form of smallpox that was not as fatal. It was NOT always safe, but it was much safer compared to normal smallpox. Variolation was later used in Europe in the 18th century.

The idea of ​​vaccinating a person with a vaccine made from a weaker or less deadly form of a disease began with Edward Jenner in 1796. You probably learned about it in high school biology – how Jenner discovered that milkmaids who contracted cowpox rarely got smallpox. even if it is exposed. He went on to use cowpox material from an infected person as a vaccination and it was generally successful.

Of course there were also people against vaccinations back then. A satirical cartoonist drew pictures in the newspaper suggesting that people vaccinated with cowpox would become part cow and grow horns!

Smallpox vaccination has become both popular and widespread over the years. I have my own smallpox vaccination scar. Because of the effectiveness of the vaccine, the once devastating and deadly disease has been almost eradicated. You will no longer see these vaccine scars in most younger people because they are not needed.

Vaccines have helped us defeat polio and have enabled us to virtually eradicate tetanus, whooping cough, measles, mumps, and other diseases that have historically killed or destroyed the lives of millions of people. This of course applies to developed countries where the vaccines are available and used.

Now you may be wondering why a holistic health practitioner speaks positively about vaccines. It’s really simple: I’m intelligent and informed.

I don’t mean that by watching videos online of actresses or other non-medical individuals who provide anecdotal evidence about vaccines, I am informed. Sure, when I look for them, I can occasionally find out that someone reacted badly to a vaccine and got sick or died. I can do the same when exposed to peanuts, pine pollen, or dairy products. I’ve also seen documented evidence that exposure to certain houseplants, perfumes, or even the chemicals in carpets get terminally ill! Some people, because of their body chemistry, react very poorly to certain substances that do not bother the average person.

Research shows that a person is far more likely to be seriously or fatally injured by a disease that is prevented by vaccines than by the vaccine itself. But many people make a living from spreading irrational fear that is not backed up by facts. So you hear and see horror stories about (for example) the MMR vaccine that causes autism. A doctor named Wakefield published a study in 1998 in which he said he found evidence linking the MMR vaccine to the development of autism.

However, in 2004, Wakefield was found to have received large sums of money from attorneys trying to sue drug companies for saying these things. A few years later, the journal that published his “research” (The Lancet) withdrew the story. In addition, he was stripped of Wakefield’s license to practice medicine because of his fraudulent testimony and portrayal of “calloused disregard” by children by posting such lies.

Another fear tactic is to call up thimerosal. However, this chemical has not been used in children’s vaccines since 2001. If you are concerned about this as an adult, you can ask for a vaccine that does not contain thimerosal (which is about 80% of the vaccine anyway).

Now back to the COVID-19 vaccine. Of course, it is up to each individual to decide for themselves whether to take the vaccine. And again each individual will react differently. My 85-year-old father and I both had injections of the Pfizer vaccine and had no ill effects for a day other than a mildly sore arm. However, one of my aunts was very sick for a few days, although she is fine now.

Holistic medicine is not about avoiding all of modern medicine. It’s about taking the whole person into account: body, mind and spirit. Sometimes this involves using the best possible means to avoid disease, be it social distancing, masking, vaccinations, or all of the above.

Anthony Burton, Ph.D., owns and operates Spectrum Holistic, is a Reiki Master, EFT practitioner, and certified meditation teacher. Further information can be found at www.spectrum-holistic.com.

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