(Full bias disclosure: the author of this post is Pro-Vaccination: Due to herd immunity, I believe it’s important to vaccinate as many people as possible. I’m also old enough to remember Polio: I’m grateful that it was wiped out as quick as it was. And (as further proof, purely to prevent the throwing of tomatoes) when I went overseas to Thailand in 2010, even though I am sensitive to a variety of chemicals and had already lived 7 years with immune dysfunction due to mould allergies, solvents and fragrance induced Inhalant Allergies to various chemical-irritants, I chose to get vaccinated. I didn’t get sick from the vaccination or a disease.
Faced with the same choice now, given what is going on with my body, I’d choose to give the vaccination and the overseas holiday a miss, for now. However, if my children or someone else close to me asked me to get vaccinated for Whooping Cough to protect their child, I’d do it in the blink of an eye.
Also, in the 4 years since writing this personal blog about the trials and tribulations of living a life while sensitive to various chemical-irritants, I’ve avoided doing any posts on the topic of vaccination so far for two reasons:
1), Due to Autism in my immediate family: it’s a touchy subject, having a child who is on the Autism Spectrum: the talents, the quirks, the attention to detail and the child herself were gifts to me. I was insulted by the idea of a highly intelligent child being viewed as a scientific mistake, a slight to human and compassionate nature. Yet, curiously, if given $20 for every ‘my-child-has-high-functioning-Autism conversation’ I ever had where I was asked: “Did you vaccinate?”, I’d have enough to replace all my non-vegan shoes! (I really wish life worked like that.)
2), I was once shamed (well, not really, I chose to feel that emotion as well as confusion) because I said in a post: “… in my opinion, all people should get vaccinated.” Due to having the symptoms and illness that would be called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) if I lived in Germany or Japan, but instead, in Australia under my own helpful specialist, an Allergist and Immunologist, is called Inhalant Allergies to chemical-irritants instead. I was told by one dearly respected reader, on no uncertain terms, that well, apparently, I, being a person with chemical sensitivities, really should know better!
I can’t get into a discussion about Vaccination; yet it’s the Elephant in the Room when you have a small percentage of Australian people, like 2.9% in just NSW alone, one study says; and:
Prevalence in Australia: In a New South Wales Adult Health Survey in 2002, 2.9% of respondents reported having been medically diagnosed with chemical sensitivity and 24.6% of respondents reported “sensitivity to chemical odours”. In the studies in South Australia in 2002 and 2004 (Fitzgerald, 2008) 0.9% reported a medical diagnosis of MCS with more females than males reporting diagnosis. This is commonly observed in people with MCS, that they are predominately women – not unlike that observed with ME/CFS and FM. There were no differences in reporting between urban and rural environments.
So that’s why I’m writing this post, I support my friends and readers who chose not to vaccinate for medical reasons. I mean you can still choose to vaccinate even if given medical advice not to, can’t you? Will I lose Part A Tax Benefit for my theoretical child if I chose to vaccinate when advised not to?
After hearing about the Governments, ‘No Jab; No Play‘ Policy, which I think is unfair on my theoretical child because I am at the lower-socioeconomic end of the scale, at this time in my life: I find that just the freedom of choice being taken away by financial penalty abhorrent and classist. The policy makes no sense for a country that has a problem with some of the population having chemical sensitivities, yet the Government wonder why people who are in the Chemical Caution Community–as opposed to people who are a subsection of the Chemical Sensitivity Community–who don’t or can’t vaccinate because of fear. Can’t or won’t. Choice. Being forced to do something to your child knowing via maternal instinct and illness patterns that it’s not right!
There’s no logical discussion.
I call bullshit: kids have to cope with this ‘penalty’ if their parents decide not to vaccinate them. The kids will be discriminated against. No Jab; No Play. Like they have a choice and must be punished for choosing the wrong one?! Come on, now?
I don’t advise for people to research on the internet too much, there’s a lot of stuff out there that’s just wrong, say on Pinterest. Quick, ban it now!
And then I saw this:
And I’m like WTF?
Is it like only the vaccines made by Sanofi Pasteur Inc, and they apparently contain Thimerosal (a Mercury based preservative). Australian vaccines do not have Thimerosal in any vaccines for patients under 5 years (http://www.nps.org.au/medicines/immune-system/vaccines-and-immunisation/for-individuals/questions-and-answers-about-vaccines/mercury-thiomersal-in-vaccines-for-children)
I also know that, with medical advice you can get the vaccine over a period of months while having each vaccine in singular form; so no triple antigen? I’m not sure. This is not advice. But I was sure this solved the issue for my theoretical child, but apparently not.
Sick children do not have to get vaccinated. I know this? Don’t I?
Thankfully, as a chemically sensitive woman I don’t have to make the decision to vaccinate my theoretical child.
Here’s more from
Under the ‘No Jab, No Play‘ legislation, before enrolling a child, early childhood services must first obtain evidence that the child is:
- fully immunised for their age OR
- on a vaccination catch-up program OR
- unable to be fully immunised for medical reasons.
‘Conscientious objection’ is not an exemption under the ‘No Jab No Play’ legislation.
MTHFR stands for methylene-tetrahydrofolate reductase.
It is an enzyme that converts folate you eat into the active form (5-Methyltetrahydrofolate).
You can see from the pathway below that the folate you eat (DHF – dihyrofolate) has to be converted via many steps to the active folate 5-MTHFR.
The MTHFR enzyme affects this at the last step. So if you have a mutation in the gene then its going to be affecting how much active folate you have available.
There are currently a total of 34 mutations in the MTHFR gene. The MTHFR gene sits on Chromosome 1. The two variants tested (or if for cheapskates like me, (and for only $100 AU)) are found within the 23andMe test, are:
Heterozygous = 1 copy of the gene from either parent
Homozygous = 1 copy of the gene from each parent
MTHFR C677T Heterozygous = 40% loss of function *
MTHFR C677T Homozygous = 70% loss of function *
MTHFR A1298C Heterozygous = 20% loss of function (research not known)
MTHFR A1298C Homozygous = between 50-70%
MTHFR C677T & MTHFR A1298C heterozygous = compound heterozygous = 50% loss of function
However, the link between Autism and Vaccines was disproved because the results were fudged, as I remember it. As a parent, I was off the hook in that regards. However, evidence now suggests the MTHFR deficiency has been found to be related to the development of autism because, in summary from MTHFR Support.com.au:
… scientific study and evidence show that smallpox vaccination is strongly related to adverse events in healthy adults carrying MTHFR SNP rs1801133. In addition, folic acid as a maternal supplement increases autism onset rate possibly due to its effect of increasing survival rate of newborns with MTHFR deficiency. Furthermore, there is not enough evidence supporting the reports of MMR vaccination causing autism, but it is hypothesised that a vaccine component of thimerosal or ethyl mercury may be related to autism in early childhood vaccinations. Finally, there is no currently scientific evidence showing the triple relationship between MTHFR, autism and vaccination; but there are ongoing online discussions guided by known medical doctors and healthcare experts to help parents to better understand current research and information about these topics.
But there is no evidence so far that vaccines cause autism; nor is there a link between having 2 sets of the genes (one from each of both parents) Homozygous MTHFR mutations, autism and vaccinations.
A few months ago, after spitting my saliva into a lab tube for a complete DNA test, submitting it to the 23andMe test: I had my very own personal DNA assessed for the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) deficiency gene: I have one Heterozygous MTHFR gene from one parent (I am adopted so I will never know from which parent, nor do I need to know, however, 23andMe, in regards to family history can only test a female for the maternal side of her genes) (for the father’s, they need to be submitted and linked to the female, just so you know.) All this means to me is that I’m only 20%? at risk of not being able to methylate chemicals, including heavy metals. (Note: just because a person has both sets of of the genes from both parents, making them Homozygous, it doesn’t mean they will get sick unless there is an illness, virus, poisoning or some event within the body that activates it; hence the latest Autism theory.)
It’s not a good enough reason to vaccinate in my opinion, but still, you need to be able to have the choice in regards to medical illness. The rest is a grey area, I don’t know.
23andMe is a surprisingly cheap way of testing your genes for cancer, every disease that’s been mapped. However, you can pay $75 for a test for each MTHFR gene to your local Pathology clinic and this test is not covered under Medicare, as yet. Or you can do it with a Naturapath and claim on Private Health Insurance if you have it.
This is an area that needs more research. Australia has one of the highest incidences of allergies; this includes inhalant allergies to chemical-irritants such as fragrance and mould. Only two of the irritants known to disrupt the immune system. Add the MTHFR mutation into the equation, it’s of my opinion that this needs to be looked into further. And don’t start with the peanut allergies. Less green spaces; more allergies. Simple immunology.
But how could anyone not miss the debate in the media over the last few years? That Dori woman annoyed the crap out of me speaking about children getting Autism like it was some fatal disease. Once again, the analysis of the vaccination debate stopped right there. However, right now, I have have friends who have children with the same immune disorders as me, and they are being forced to vaccinate their kids purely because of their income bracket. Yet, I have doctors and other medical practitioners whom I’ve seen in the past who have personally told me they would never vaccinate their kids. I mean, how irresponsible of them; right? Yet, people in South Yarra and Brighton (the upper socioeconomic areas in Victoria, Australia) and the parents in Mosman and Potts Point (the upper socioeconomic areas in NSW, Australia), don’t have to vaccinate their children and they won’t be penalised; so I guess doctors and politicians can afford to not vaccinate their kids!
I really hope someone in a University somewhere in Australia is able to access records and assimilate the data relating to vaccination rates and socioeconomic status; for that, purely on a social justice level, I will find interesting.
On a funny note, and in regards to vaccinations and the alleged hypocrisy of politicians, more from the John Rapport’s Blog:
‘We’re talking about Tony Abbott, who just ruled from on high that there are no more exemptions from vaccines in Australia.
No more conscientious objections, no more religious exemptions. Only the rare medical exemption, permitted by a doctor. And suddenly, every family who refuses vaccinations for their children will lose up to $15,000 per year, per child, in federal support money. Every family in Australia is eligible for federal money.
Tony has officially ripped away citizens’ right to choose. Australia is now officially a medical police state.
Back in 2006, Tony was singing a very different tune concerning his own daughters.
On November 9, 2006, news.com.au had the story: “Abbott rules out cancer vaccine for his daughters” (see also theaustralian.com.au “I could be seen as ‘cruel’ on Gardasil: Abbott”)… ‘
… ‘”Tony was saying he wouldn’t have his daughters vaccinated with the HPV shot because there was no national program for it.
That’s like saying, “If the supermarket doesn’t sell cherries, I won’t let my daughters eat them.”’
General Practitioner (GP), Dr Mark Donohoe from Mosmon, an upper socioeconomic area in Sydney, NSW, Australia, speaks at a peaceful rally against the vaccinations situation in Australia, No Jab: No Play.
Oh, so that’s why the Liberals ditched Tony Abbot: 9 years ago, he publicly announced that he would not be getting his two girls vaccinated with the Guardisil Vaccine. The ‘No Jab; No Play’ was not mandated or some such woo ha.
More on Dr Donhoe and this rally in 2015:
Dr Mark Donohue is well regarded expert in integrative medicine and spoke at our peaceful No Jab No Pay ? No Way ! Protest which assembled at Sydney Town Hall on Sunday 21st June 2015.
We are a group of individuals and parents who believe in freedom of choice and the right of all parents to make their families medical choices free from coercion, manipulation and blackmail!Information regarding the Australian Government’s proposals to remove informed consent from vaccines. Support #freedomofchoice in all medical procedures
However, having an immune disorder, chemical sensitivities or another illness deemed too dangerous to allow a child to be vaccinated is one thing, but belonging to an anti-vaccination movement (but only for the rich at this time in Australia) based purely on principle and the conviction that all vaccines are dangerous all the time is another thing entirely according to some of the parents, now ex-members at Voices for Vaccines:
“The fallout from changing my views was pretty extreme. Within two weeks of “coming out” on Facebook about my new stance, I lost over 50 friends. People who had cheered me on and supported me through my home birth, who had told me countless times that I was an awesome mother and an inspiration, just dropped me like we’d never been friends at all. I was removed from groups and blocked by people I didn’t even know. I was accused of being brainwashed and told that my girls were going to get autism and have terrible reactions. It hurt.I now view the anti-vaccine movement as a sort of cult, where any sort of questioning gets you kicked out, your crunchy card revoked. I was even told I couldn’t call myself a natural mother anymore, because vaccines are too unnatural. That’s fine. I just want to be the best parent I know how to be, and that means always being open to new information and admitting when I’m wrong.”
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