Standard vaccinations recommended by the Standing Committee on Vaccination in Germany (STIKO): against rotavirus in the 6th week of life and in the 2nd and 3rd month of life; against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, pneumococcus, Haemophilus influenzae and hepatitis B in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and again between the 11th and 14th months of life and also several times later; against measles, mumps, rubella (German measles), varicella (chickenpox) and meningococcus (serotype C) between the 11th and 14th months of life and again several times later. (Each vaccination must be given several times to be effective.) In addition, the cervical cancer (HPV) vaccination is recommended for girls at the age of 12 and is also repeated several times. Thus girls receive altogether 63 doses of 14 different vaccines (boys slightly less) between birth and the age of fifteen, 36 of these doses before the 14th month of life. These standard recommendations are in fact routinely carried out on 97% of the children in Germany at their early detection examinations. In addition, the flu vaccine is recommended annually for adults beginning at age 60. The vaccine against tick-borne encephalitis is not part of this recommendation but is advertised and carried out during the whole year at most pharmacies.
by Daphné von Boch
The subject of vaccination causes much emotion. In a recent documentary film produced in Germany, where vaccination (except for measles) is presently optional but is actually carried out on 97% of all children, the parents in the film want to decide whether or not to vaccinate their child. They ask themselves, “How can we decide?” And in fact it is difficult, if only the body, the visible part of the human being, is considered. But nowadays the invisible part of the human being is often not considered. Hence half of reality is missing. Consequently it is no longer possible to understand the visible half of reality and to make the right decisions. This article attempts to give an answer to this question by also considering the invisible, spiritual part of the human being.
But first, a look at the visible part
What might be the consequence if a child is not vaccinated? Would the child be exposed to great dangers that it can endure only with difficulty or even with irreversible damage? To gain insight into this question, one can take a look at the older generation, which was hardly vaccinated.
The 60+ generation
Extensive vaccination against many diseases began around the years 1965 – 1970. Before this time, roughly between 1950 – 1965, vaccinations were only targeted at an epidemic and against a single disease (smallpox, polio). This means that people who are today 60 years old and older were not heavily vaccinated as children.
The diseases which almost everyone went through at that time, and which are vaccinated against today, are first of all childhood diseases: measles, rubella and also mumps and varicella. Lasting complications were not experienced by the vast majority of people of that generation. Many of them also had pertussis. Certainly pneumococci or Haemophilus influenzae bacteria were involved in some of the cases of acute bronchitis they had. Yet basically they survived these illnesses too without harm. Therefore, from observation of the older generation it can already be said that some of the diseases that are vaccinated against today are relatively harmless in developed countries.
Very few people in the 60+ generation today who grew up in a developed country contracted tetanus or diphtheria. But people of that generation did contract polio, and some of them suffered permanent damage. That is why the extensive oral polio vaccination was very useful during the polio epidemic of the 1950s. However, it no longer makes sense today when polio is uncommon worldwide. The recommendation of vaccinating against diseases that are almost non-existent (tetanus, diphtheria, polio, rotavirus) is based on arguments similar to those for diphtheria. It is said that an infected person from a Third World country could meet and infect a child living in a developed country. This is a weak argument. The patient would first have to meet the child. Then the patient would have to be in an infectious stage. Then the child would have to be very weak and the diphtheria patient would ultimately have to come very close to the child.
There is a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm called “Clever Elsie” that characterizes this way of thinking. Clever Elsie’s parents seek a husband for her. This proves to be a difficult undertaking because she is the kind of person who “… sees the wind coming up in the street and hears the flies coughing.” At last a man comes from far away, but he will not marry her unless she is really clever. During the visit Clever Elsie goes down to the cellar to get a jug of beer, and notices a pickaxe that a workman had left on the wall over the barrel. Now she thinks, “Oh dear! If I marry this man and we have a child, when it gets older and goes down to fetch a jug of beer, the pickaxe will fall on its head and kill it.” And she cries and screams with all her might about this impending misfortune, as we are told in the fairy tale. This is how the argument about vaccinations goes. These diseases – even in the countries where they occur – are in fact quite rare. So, if one does not think overanxiously like Clever Elsie, but realistically, it becomes obvious that an everyday activity like riding a bicycle in normal traffic, for example, is much more dangerous for a child than contracting one of these diseases that are now so rare.
What about meningococcal, tick, hepatitis and cervical cancer vaccinations?
Meningococci are one of several bacteria which produce an inflammation of the meninges (the membranes of the brain). In addition, in Germany this vaccine protects against only one of five different types of meningococcal bacterial meningitis, and it is not even the most common one. The brain, which lies deep inside the head, is also very well protected – not only from the outside by solid bones, but also from the inside by the so-called “blood-brain barrier.” Even if bacteria and viruses were in the blood, thanks to this barrier they could not easily reach the brain. To contract a meningococcal infection the body must be extremely weak, because only then does this barrier become porous. This danger exists, for example, in severely undernourished children. Then the therapy should consist not in vaccination, but in feeding. This is where all financial efforts should go. Meningococci are dangerous neither to children nor to adults in a good state of health and nutrition.
Tick-borne encephalitis vaccine (TBE) protects against only one of two diseases transmitted by ticks. It does not protect against the much more frequent Lyme disease. TBE is an inflammation of the brain itself. This disease is very rare. In its more serious form, it tends rather to affect adults over 40-50 years of age, not so often children. Patients get neurological disorders that rarely cause lasting damage. Furthermore, it is rather doubtful whether the vaccine against this disease works at all. In 1995 for example, the Social Insurance Company of Austrian Farmers reported that between 1984 and 1995, despite an increase in the vaccination rate, there was no significant reduction in TBE cases. In contrast, the vaccine itself is not always harmless. For example, it can trigger an inflammatory relapse in the case of a pre-existing rheumatic disease. Since TBE is really very rare and the vaccine is of questionable efficacy and also not quite harmless, it is actually enough for walkers in endemic areas to protect themselves by rubbing the skin of their arms and legs with natural tick repellents such as oil of lavandin (a plant similar to lavender), which is available in health food stores.
Hepatitis B is not very contagious. Contact with the hepatitis patient must be intimate (for example, sexual contact), because the virus has very little resistance to environmental influences (dehydration, cooling, etc.). Thus for an infection to spread by needle, for example, the needle must pass directly from one person to another. It will quickly cease being infectious in the air. For a baby the only danger is if the nursing mother herself has hepatitis B, as she could transmit the disease directly to the baby through her milk. However, this is an individual case and should be treated individually. It makes little sense to perform blanket vaccination on all babies for a disease they are not at risk of contracting because it is not very contagious.
The cervical cancer vaccine (HPV vaccine against human papillomavirus) is the first-ever vaccine against a cancer. Studies clearly show that it is a high-risk vaccine. See below (“The additional, not well-known, effect of fever”) for a discussion of the healing action of fever against cancer as an alternative to vaccination.
What can experience teach us?
A problem of our times is that people no longer trust what they themselves experience. In the past people said, “I don’t see it, but I still believe it.” The attitude today is: “I see it, but I still don’t believe it.” That is today’s “progress,” which makes it impossible for people to use their own judgment. When we can no longer trust our own experience, we are subject to an authority to make our decisions. If, on the other hand, we were to look around and believe what we observe, namely that the 60+ generation survived childhood and youth quite well with hardly any vaccinations, this alone could make it easier to decide whether or not to vaccinate our children. The problem is that it is not enough to observe, we also have to understand what we observe. What is missing today is the understanding that would enable us to trust what we see. This article is an attempt to make this understanding possible.
The great influence of the media as a “pseudo-authority” makes the formation of judgments even more difficult. Their message is by no means suitable as a basis for judgment. This becomes obvious when, for example, one compares the reporting on vaccines with that on alcohol. Every year 74,000 people in Germany die as a result of alcohol consumption (including traffic accidents). Not only is the public poorly informed about this, but there is even abundant advertising for alcohol in the media. Yet if one child dies of measles, all the media call for compulsory vaccination. This type of reporting is anything but objective.
Does illness have any meaning at all?
Conventional medicine answers this question indirectly, but unambiguously through their goals and deeds with “no.” Illness is regarded as meaningless and even dangerous, so that it must be avoided under all circumstances. Accordingly all diseases, from childhood diseases to cancer, should be eradicated one by one. This is the declared aim of the World Health Organization (WHO). Measles, for example, was to have been eradicated by 2010. Hence we are to have vaccinations against all diseases, including those that are largely harmless (children’s diseases, pertussis, pneumococcus, Haemophilus influenzae), almost non-existent (diphtheria, tetanus, polio, rotavirus, meningococcus, tick-borne encephalitis), or not very contagious (hepatitis B).
What could be the meaning of a disease?
How does the WHO define healing, which is the natural positive end of a disease? Healing is defined as a “Re-stitutio ad integrum,” meaning re-storation of health to the initial condition – that is, the condition before the disease. But if someone suffering for example from pneumonia were restored to their “initial condition,” what would happen?… The person would have to become ill again! Because the initial condition must have been one of weakness, otherwise the patient would not have become ill in the first place. So what is true healing? … The creation of a stronger state. And what, then, is the meaning of disease?… Strengthening! The meaning of all diseases is to strengthen the human being! Even if not all illnesses can heal us physically, still the meaning of disease lies in strengthening – if not on a physical level, then on the soul level.
How does strengthening take place? If healthy people stayed in bed day and night, they would not become stronger, but weaker. Strengthening takes place only through one thing: exertion. This is a law without exception. Disease produces an inner exertion to strengthen the body. Disease is indispensable for strengthening. This law applies not just to health. To acquire any capacity requires exertion. However, any exertion, any activity at all, entails a risk (though rare) of leading to damage. And here lies the problem. This “risk” is usually accepted as the price for acquiring a capacity. For instance in sports: children who want to learn to ski must practice – that is, exert themselves. Yet when one child takes a bad fall skiing, even if that child dies nobody thinks of prohibiting all skiing. In medicine, however, this is what is done. If one child dies of measles, all efforts are doubled to eradicate it. Hence the attempt to eradicate all diseases through vaccination, including the harmless, rare or only slightly contagious ones.