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Deirdre Imus Keynotes at Norwalk Vaccine Forum
:

Parents Must Read Up and Speak Up
on Questions About Vaccines

Norwalk, CT, April 2, 2009--During a panel discussion titled "Vaccines: You Do Call the Shots" at the Continental Manor in Norwalk, CT on April 1st, Deirdre Imus urged pregnant women and parents to get up to speed on vaccines so they can discuss preservatives, adverse reactions, scheduling, and other safety issues with their doctors.

In her overview, Ms. Imus said vaccine preservatives such as thimerosal, are part of the larger picture of toxins in our environment. Thimerosal, a mercury preservative associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is still used in some multi-dose vaccines including the flu shot, though thimerosal-free alternatives are available. Mercury is a known neurotoxin. Mercury is also found in many foods containing high fructose corn syrup, dental amalgams, Superfund sites, landfills, fish, CFL bulbs, coal burning plants, and chlorine bleach. Mercury just like lead is highly toxic and impairs a child’s ability to learn and grow properly. Our children are being exposed unnecessarily to mercury in all its ubiquitous forms.

There are toxic threats to children all around. Some of these threats are well known to the public, such as lead, air pollutants, and tobacco smoke. Toxic compounds can be found in many common household products, including household cleaners, cosmetics and baby products, as well as pesticides on produce and other foods. In addition, many children are malnourished, have mineral deficiencies, and are getting too many vaccines, too soon. Consumers may be unaware, however, that our children are exposed to this daily "chemical cocktail" that has caused so many illnesses.

Between birth and age 18, a child can receive up to 53 vaccines under the childhood immunization schedule versus a maximum of 18 in the late 1970s. Without proper national safety guidelines, infants and children continue to receive five or six vaccines in one visit, Ms. Imus said. "Children and babies in the womb are most vulnerable to environmental insults, and some are more susceptible than others. So parents need to know about the vaccine their child is getting and understand the risks and their options," she said.

Over 200 expecting parents, grandparents, physicians and other health practitioners attended the event organized by Passionate Production Presents, with a portion of the proceeds going to the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) and The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center.

Deirdre Imus is founder and president of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology® at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ, and author of The Essential Green You, Easy Ways to Detox Your Diet, Your Body and Your Life, the third volume in the New York Times best-selling Green This! Series. The mission of the Environmental Center is to identify, control and ultimately prevent exposures to environmental factors that may cause adult, and especially pediatric cancer, as well as other health problems with our children. Visit the center's website (dienviro.com) for information on "Green Vaccines."

Other speakers included: Barbara Loe Fisher, Co-Founder & President of National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), Co-Author of DPT: A Shot in the Dark and author of Vaccines, Autism & Chronic Inflammation: The New Epidemic; Nancy O'Hara, MD, a board certified pediatrician and Assistant Medical Director for Defeat Autism Now (DAN): and Bruce Henninger, ND, a neuropathic physician specializing in pediatrics and family medicine.

"We are not anti-vaccine, but we do believe in informed consent," said organizer Ann Katz. "Some pediatricians roll their eyes when a parent starts asking questions and don't give them enough time to read the fine print."

After learning that vaccine regulations vary by state, about 6 to 10 parents expressed interest in organizing a group to inform others in Connecticut. Last year, New Jersey became the first state in the nation to require mandatory flu vaccines for young children, and parents have lobbied for "conscientious exemptions" to mandatory immunizations. Some states with vaccine mandates permit exemptions for religious or medical reasons, and delays if a child is ill.

A Perfect Storm

Dr. O'Hara pointed out that traditional medicine also has biases that favor the safety of the general population, and limit medical liability. Dr. O'Hara said pediatricians must properly weigh patient factors in vaccine decisions. She said children today are exposed to the "Perfect Storm" that also includes other environmental toxins, nutritional deterioration and a decreased ability to detoxify. {Resource link.]

For vaccines to confer general protection to a population, a predominant group must be inoculated. That can prevent general outbreaks and protect those who have not or can not be inoculated due to health, economic or social issues. The percentage needed to confer general protection is an inexact science and varies by disease, the general health of the population, and other factors.

Parents have argued that flu is not a disease, is generally short-lived, and is rarely life threatening. Children can have adverse reactions that may impact them for life. At the same time, the vaccine developed for an upcoming flu season may not, in fact, be a close match for the emerging strain.

Bruce Henninger advised parents to make sure children are healthy for vaccinations, and to boost their children's immune system, particularly before and after inoculations, with proper nutrition, and vitamin supplements. He also talked about homotoxicology and homeopathic care as ways to successfully care for children.

A Constitutional Right

Barbara Loe Fisher of NVIC sees government policies on vaccine mandates as an abridgement to free speech and a serious erosion of personal freedom. People should have a "constitutional right" about what's going into their bodies and those of their children, she said. She notes that legislators can be influenced by those with vested interests and make decisions for entire populations without proper regard for the individual.

Media contacts:

Charles Bins
The Marketing PR Network
201-664-6386

Bonnie Eskenazi
The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology®
201-336-8071

Updated 5-8-09

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Greening Vaccines
"Vaccinations are important, but we must vaccinate safely in order to ensure the health of our children."
 -- Deirdre Imus
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American Academy of Pediatrics database of integrative pediatricians
Flu Vaccine Perspectives