Common Anti-Vaccination Myths and Misconceptions
1. Antifreeze is an ingredient in vaccines: (False) Antifreeze is ethylene glycol. I have not seen ethylene glycol listed on one single vaccine ingredients list ever. What I have seen are:
Phenoxyethanol is in DTaP, Hep A and B,Td, IPV but is not the same chemical makeup as ethylene glycol and is an organic chemical compound. We found information pointing to phenoxyethanol as toxic. http://truthinaging.com/ingredient-spotlight/what-is-it-phenoxyethanol-and-is-it-safe
Here is the MSDS: http://www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-2_Phenoxyethanol-9926486
This isn’t antifreeze. Do you want it injected into your infant? Many thanks to Helen Tucker’s helpful comment below.
EDTA (ethylene-diamine-tetraacetic-acid ) is an amino acid, also used as a preservative in the Rabies and Varicella (chickenpox) vaccines.
EDTA is also used in chelation therapy, dentistry, as an anticoagulant, and many other things. The official definition per the Merriam Webster Medical Dictionary is:
A white crystalline acid C10H16N2O8 used in medicine as an anticoagulant and as a chelator in the treatment of lead poisoning — called also ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid.
Polyethylene glycol, found in Fluzone, is a surface acting agent (surfactant). Here is a good, clear description of the properties of surfactants. They are often used to “link” together two substances with very different properties (like oil and water) making a mixture with the same composition throughout (homogenization). Polyethylene glycol is used in everything from laxatives (GlycoLax, TriLyte, Colyte) to toothpaste. Additionally, according to this study, it is also used to help B-cells repair severed myelinated axons. Columbia Encyclopedia includes an interesting blurb about polyethylene glycol (PEG) in it’s section regarding glycol.
It can also be attached to other molecules via a process called pegylation. When pegylated to medicinal drugs, it can alter their distribution in the body, metabolism, and excretion. Such alteration can lead to improved dosing intervals and may also have beneficial effects on safety and efficacy. Pegylation can also mask certain drugs, such as interferon, from the immune system, preventing their rejection.
Polyoxyethylene nonylphenol, an ingredient in Fluvarin, assists in the permeation of biological membranes. In the database at ChemFinder.com, it is shown as being synonymous with polyethylene glycol and would share the properties of a surfactant. Polyoxyethylene nonylphenol is considered a hydrophobe. Water repells it, and tends to have a higher contact angle when resting on it. (Basically, this means that when water meets the polyoxyethylene nonylphenol, it will simply rest on the surface- seperating itself as much as possible. This is directly opposite to when water meets a substance that is hydrophilic. When this happens, water completely spreads out on the solid surface and the contact angle is nearly 0 degrees).
Polyoxyethylene nonylphenol is most often used as an emulsifier or a solubilizer. Emulsion is the mixture of two (or more) usually unblendable substances. Solubilizers are used in the pharmaceutical industry to increase bioavailability of drugs (in this case vaccines) with otherwise low solubility. (Solubility is the maximum amount of x that can be dissolved into y at z temperature).
The “antifreeze” error is something of an “urban myth of vaccines” and was born out of a misunderstanding of the ethylene chemical compounds.
Alas, all that is ethylene is not antifreeze.
2. Vaccines contain formaldehyde: (True) However, formaldehyde used in vaccines does not have the same chemical properties as the formaldehyde mixtures used in building materials or the burial process, given that chemical reactions and/or hindrances may have taken place. Vaccines utilize formaldehyde that is identical to the substance found naturally in our bodies as a metabolic byproduct of methanol. (It is commonly excreted in our urine as waste or converted into formalin).
Formaldehyde is frequently used in conjunction with other synthetic chemical compounds. These compounds, solutions, gasses, or resins can be, and often are, toxic.
As a result, when most people hear formaldehyde is in vaccines, they automatically think of the stinky chemical in plywood; an unfortunate error in the anti-vaccination community. This misunderstanding was compounded by FEMA’s recent statements regarding the formaldehyde levels in the trailers provided to Katrina refugees, which in fact was referencing urea-formaldehyde resin commonly used in composite wood products.
Hopefully these chemical formulas will make things clearer:
Formaldehyde in our bodies = H2CO (natural)
Formaldehyde in vaccines = H2CO (synthetic)
Formaldehyde in embalming fluid = H2CO+CH3OH+CH3CH2OH+solvents
Formaldehyde in plywood = H2CO+NH2CONH2+CH3OH+HCOOH+H2O
As you can see, trying to explain the different physical states and chemical properties of formaldehyde is almost like trying to explain the presence of water (H2O) in fog, tap water, ocean water, and mud.
3. The influenza vaccine increases our risk of Alzheimer’s Disease exponentially: (False) This statement was made in 1997 by Dr. Hugh Fudenburg during a speech at the NVIC International Vaccine Conference in Arlington, Virginia, and immediately began making the rounds. Specifically, he said that if a person received consecutive influenza vaccines the chance of getting Alzheimer’s was 10 times greater than if they’d received one, two or none. Upon being questioned, he stated that the accumulation of mercury and aluminum in our brains causes cognitive dysfunction.
Dr. Fudenburg’s evidence was never verified, presented, or documented. His statement was not based on any type of scientific evidence, it was merely a doctor’s personal speculation.
4. There is thimerosal (mercury) in the MMR: (False) Thimerosal, an ethylmercury compound, is not and never has been an ingredient in the MMR.
A simplified list of the MMR-II ingredients are as follows (more specifics can be found in the MMR-II manufacturer’s insert):
Bovine Albumin or Serum,
Chick Embryo Fibroblasts,
Human Serum Albumin,
Nowhere is thimerosal or ethylmercury to be seen. As thimerosal is typically used as a preservative in vaccines, it would have been listed if it were present, including trace amounts. In fact, thimerosal would kill the live virus, so is not used in any live virus vaccine. One can definitively say there is no mercury in the current MMR vaccine.
5. Vaccines are injected into the bloodstream: (False) Vaccines are either injected subcutaneously, injected intramuscularly, given by mouth, i.e. orally (ex. RotaTeq) or squirted up the nose, i.e. intranasally (ex. FluMist). At this point, no vaccines are recommended for injection into your bloodstream via the intravenous method. The CDC Pinkbook includes a Vaccine Administration section (Appendix D Page 5), which demonstrates the correct route of administration for each vaccine.
Since subcutaneous and intramuscular vaccines are injected directly into the body, and antigens and other components are taken into the bloodstream via the lymphatic system (in order to spur antibody production through hyperstimulation of the Th2/humoral response) without passing through our ordinary immune defences, people often erroneously state that vaccines are injected directly into the bloodstream.
Next time: Common Pro-Vaccination Myths and Misconceptions