Immunizations in foreign countries are unsafe

December 6, 2010 by
Filed under: News 

What?

A new law, sponsored by Senator Klobuchar, allows children being adopted into the U.S. to skip being vaccinated in their home countries because apparently millions of children are being exposed:

to unsafe immunizations in foreign countries.

The news story continues:

The bill also allows U.S. parents adopting foreign-born children to safely immunize their children in the United States within 30 days of their arrivals, rather than have to subject their children to potentially unsafe immunizations in foreign nations. Previously, parents who adopted internationally were frequently required to immunize their children before bringing them to the United States.

We can only hope that all those foreign nations don’t pick up on this news story and wonder why it is okay for children who are remaining in Africa, Asia, South America or Eastern Europe to receive unsafe vaccines.

There are, of course, two obvious answers to why these vaccines are unsafe.

1) Needle re-use.

2) Mercury content. Due to a lack of refrigeration and a shortage of money, most vaccines in the developed world come in 10 dose vials, preserved with that wonderful, inexpensive toxin, thimerosal.

How could the journalists who put together this lovely, upbeat story miss the huge question of why it is okay for some kids (adopted in to the U.S.) to get “safe” vaccines and other children (remaining in their home countries) to receive unsafe vaccines? Why don’t all of those upbeat stories about vaccine campaigns in developing countries mention the hazards of “unsafe immunizations” and ask donors to give that little bit extra so children’s lives can be saved for real?

Stories like this one:

Burkina Faso has become the first country to begin a nationwide campaign to introduce a new meningitis vaccine that promises to rid the entire region of the primary cause of epidemic meningitis.

“This historic event signals the beginning of the end of a disease that has brought sickness and suffering to generations of Africans,” said Seydou Bouda, Minister of Health of Burkina Faso.

We can hope that despite the very inexpensive vaccine the budget for this campaign allows for the use of needles that cannot be re-used and omits the cheap mercury preservative, or some of the sickness and suffering will come as a consequence of the nationwide campaign.

Returning to our fortunate adoptees, how many vaccines are these kids going to receive within 30 days of their arrival in the U.S? If they are expected to catch up on several years worth of vaccination within 30 days they may still end up with some major health problems…

Comments

7 Comments on Immunizations in foreign countries are unsafe

  1. Tolera on Mon, 6th Dec 2010 7:42 am
  2. The word “safe” should not be used concerning vaccines as all vaccines may cause adverse effects.

    The title “Immunizations in foreign countries are unsafe” is not correct. Vaccination is not the same as immunization:
    Immunization means to make someone immune to something. Vaccination, by contrast, just means to inject “a suspension of attenuated or killed microorganisms administered for prevention or treatment of infectious disease.”

    Vaccination does not guarantee immunity.

  3. admin on Mon, 6th Dec 2010 10:39 am
  4. You are right, of course. Perhaps I’ll change the title. Or perhaps not. With the current title it might suck in the vaccine faithful and undermine their trust in the magic shots.

  5. MinorityView on Sat, 11th Dec 2010 6:58 am
  6. A blogger has critiqued this post, twice, and been critiqued in turn.
    1st critique: http://www.vaccinetimes.com/repeat-after-me-scientists-do-science-politicians/
    2nd critique: http://www.vaccinetimes.com/the-story-of-mercury-in-vaccines/

    Read the comments…

  7. maureeen on Wed, 27th Apr 2011 9:12 pm
  8. Can you tell me if this is now law and what the citation is or the what the number of the Senate bill is.

    I am very interested in this. Please advise.

  9. admin on Thu, 28th Apr 2011 7:05 am
  10. Here is the link to Obama signing the new law: http://klobuchar.senate.gov/newsreleases_detail.cfm?id=328798&

    “The bill also allows U.S. parents adopting foreign-born children to safely immunize their children in the United States within 30 days of their arrivals, rather than have to subject their children to potentially unsafe immunizations in foreign nations. Previously, parents who adopted internationally were frequently required to immunize their children before bringing them to the United States.”

    So if you are doing an international adoption you have 30 days after the children arrive to get them caught up on all their vaccines. Doesn’t sound too great to me.

    But better than doing them twice, overseas and in the U.S. as frequently happened before.

  11. maureeen on Fri, 10th Jun 2011 11:24 am
  12. I discussed this law elsewhere and was told that this simply brings the US in line with the protocols of the Hague Convention, makes up for the fact that many children in foreign countries are undervaccinated or the vax records are poorly kept.

    Dodging some facts here, but there it is.

  13. admin on Fri, 10th Jun 2011 7:46 pm
  14. That explanation doesn’t really deal with the “unsafe” part, does it?

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