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About BayCare's Vaccine-Optional Pediatric Care Policy

The U.S. Centers For Disease Control (CDC) recommends a lengthy list of vaccines for children from birth to adulthood. You can see the CDC recommendations HERE. The CDC also puts out a list of frequently asked questions about childhood vaccines and the CDC responses, which can be seen HERE.

California law imposes certain requirements for childhood vaccines for children enrolled in both public and private childcare centers, preschools, grade schools, and high schools Those requirements can be seen HERE. Medical exemptions are stringently limited by California law. There are two categories of children exempt from these vaccine requirements, children who are home-schooled and special needs children with an approved Individual Education Plan (IEP).

The CDC admits that some parents are concerned about complications of childhood vaccines, especially autism. The CDC tries to allay those concerns, stating that, “studies have shown that there is no link between receiving vaccines and developing ASD.” However, just because the CDC did not find a “link,” that does not mean that there is not a link, only that the CDC has not found it, indeed, may not have looked for it in the right places. But others have found links. The strongest link has been the finding reported in 2010 that the incidence of rigorously established autism among Amish children, who have a far lower rate of vaccination, is much lower that the rate of autism among all U.S. children, almost all of whom are vaccinated. Tellingly, the CDC has not, in all the years since 2010, refuted that finding, nor done any of its own studies of autism in Amish children, who are the largest control group of unvaccinated children.

Homeschooled children represent another control group since, while some are vaccinated, many more are not as compared to the overall US population of children. Homeschooled children have been reported by Professor Mawson and colleagues to have far lower rates of a number of neurodevelopmental disorders and autoimmune disorders as compared to the vaccinated population of children, as seen in the summary chart of the Mawson data below prepared by Prof. Brian Hooker:

The works of Professor Mawson and others are discussed more fully in the recent publication of the book “Vax-Unvax, Let The Science Speak,” by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Professor Brian Hooker.

Until the CDC does such studies of unvaccinated control children and shows that there is no such link by showing rates of autism in those unvaccinated controls similar to U.S. children at large, its claims that there are no such links are not credible and cannot stand, and no parent need defer to or accede to the CDC’s claims that there is no such link. Just because the CDC has supposedly never found evidence of harm from childhood vaccines does not mean that there is no such evidence. As has been said, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. 

The position of the CDC on the question of whether infant vaccines are implicated in some SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) deaths is that, studies have found that vaccines do not cause and are not linked to SIDS.” The CDC goes on to make the categorical statement that, “Multiple research studies and safety reviews have looked at possible links between vaccines and SIDS. The evidence accumulated over many years do not show any links between childhood immunization and SIDS.” Again, we are to conclude that the absence of evidence is evidence of absence. More importantly, in none of those seven papers was there a report comparing the rates of SIDS in vaccinated versus unvaccinated infants or citing to such a report. Again, as in the case of autism, there are no direct, placebo controlled, studies to support that conclusion that infant vaccines are not a cause of SIDS.

Recently vaccine critic Steve Kirsch interviewed a police detective whose job for seven years was to investigate SIDS deaths, at least 250 of them, for any signs of foul play. Her personal observation was that about half of SIDS deaths occur within 48 hours of an infant vaccine and 70% within one week. It was also her observation that this association was common knowledge among police detectives from other jurisdictions who worked these cases. But yet there seemed to be an unspoken rule that coroners and medical examiners, who got and reviewed her reports, never listed vaccination anywhere on the death certificated. Again, the CDC simply has not looked in the right place for the link that is obvious to police investigators. The key question is, why not?

Until the question of whether childhood vaccines cause autism and/or SIDS and/or other childhood illnesses is answered by studies of unquestioned validity and objectivity comparing vaccinated children to unvaccinated controls by a research group comprised of neutral, pro, and con members, this office will not require, or even recommend, the CDC’s childhood vaccines, nor will we recommend against them. Such vaccines will be optional and at the parent’s discretion, and only after they have given consent fully informed as to any issues they feel are material and relevant, as required under California law.