MB Comment: This is the introduction to a new vaccine book by Tetyana Obukhanych (Ph.D. in immunology from Rockefeller University, New York, NY). Her e-book is available on Amazon.
by Tetyana Obukhanych
I know of many alternative health practitioners and even of a few pediatricians who have embraced the non-vaccination approach to health. However, I have yet to encounter one among my own kind: a scientist in the trenches of mainstream biomedical research who does not regard vaccines as the greatest invention of medicine.
I never imagined myself in this position, least so in the very beginning of my Ph.D. research training in immunology. In fact, at that time, I was very enthusiastic about the concept of vaccination, just like any typical immunologist. However, after years of doing research in immunology, observing scientific activities of my superiors, and analyzing vaccine issues, I realized that vaccination is one of the most deceptive inventions the science could ever convince the world to accept.
As we hear more and more about vaccine injuries, many individuals are starting to view vaccination as a necessary evil that has helped us initially to overcome raging epidemics but now causes more damage than benefit to our children.
As an immunologist, I have a different and perhaps a very unique perspective. I have realized that the invention of vaccination in the 18th century has precluded us from seeking to understand what naturally acquired immunity to diseases really is. Had we pursued a different route in the absence of that shortcut, we could have gained a thorough understanding of naturally acquired immunity and developed a truly effective and safe method of disease prevention compared to what vaccines can possibly offer.
The biological term immunity refers to a universally observed phenomenon of becoming unsusceptible to a number of infectious diseases through prior experience. Because of the phonetic similarity between the words immunology and immunity, it is tempting to assume that immunology is a science that studies the state of immunity, but this is not the case. Immunology is a science that studies an artificial process of immunization – i.e., the immune system’s response to injected foreign matter. Immunology does not attempt to study and therefore cannot provide understanding of natural diseases and immunity that follows them. Yet, the “knowledge” about the function of the immune system during the natural process of disease is recklessly inferred from contrived immunologic experiments, which typically consist of injecting laboratory-grown microorganisms (live or dead) or their isolated parts into research animals to represent the state of infection. Because immunologic experiments are unrealistic simulations of the natural process, immunologists’ understanding of nature is limited to understanding their own experimental models. Immunologists have confined the scope of their knowledge to the box of experimental modeling, and they do not wish to see beyond that box. Thinking within the box only reinforces the notion of vaccination and cannot provide any other solution to the problem of diseases.
Despite the fact that the biological basis of naturally acquired immunity is not understood, present day medical practices insist upon artificial manipulation of the immune response (a.k.a. immunization or vaccination) to secure “immunity” without going through the actual disease process. The vaccine-induced process, although not resembling a natural disease, is nevertheless still a disease process with its own risks. And it is not immunity that we gain via vaccination but a puny surrogate of immunity. For this reason, vaccination at its core is neither a safe nor an effective method of disease prevention. Yet, immunologists have nothing better to offer because they can only go as far as their deeply rooted immunologic dogma allows them.
Three important factors have contributed to my gradual disillusionment with immunologic paradigms and their applications – vaccines. First, several significant inconsistencies within immunologic theory made me quite unsatisfied with its attempted explanation of immunity. Second, I observed how some seasoned immunologists would omit mentioning the outcome of crucial experiments to make their publication on new vaccine development strategies look very promising. This made me suspicious about the vaccine development process in general and eager to take a look at the other side of the vaccination debate.
The third factor was the birth of my child. This event compelled me to take a break from laboratory research for a few years. I completely shed my identity of an immunologist and became a parent determined to raise a healthy child. I was amazed at how clueless I was about what really matters for health despite my proficiency in all those fancy immunologic theories amassed in the Ivory Tower. For the sake of my child, I had to reconsider everything I knew in immunology. I searched deeper and deeper for the root of vaccine problems we face today and it all came back to me in clear light.
This book is intended to give parents essential immunologic background for making vaccination decisions for their children. Making vaccination decisions is an important personal responsibility that should not be left to any medical or scientific authority. Parents should educate themselves about vaccines and diseases to the extent that they feel absolutely confident and well prepared for taking full responsibility for the consequences of their decisions.
It is important to estimate risks of vaccine injuries versus risks of exposure to vaccine-targeted microorganisms. But the analysis should not stop there. I urge every parent to consider how vaccines achieve their effects, and if the desired vaccine effects truly benefit our children and our society. The implications of vaccination were not acceptable to me, neither as a parent nor as a scientist, and this book is my effort to tell other parents why.
Another goal of this book is to raise awareness in our society about the urgent necessity to change basic immunologic research in a way that will finally bring us understanding of naturally acquired immunity. It is up to future generations of immunologists to rescue this science and put it on the right track. The benefits for humankind will be enormous, as this would make both vaccine injuries and fear of diseases a matter of the past. But to make this happen, the field of immunology must first be cleared from the weeds of immunologic dogma.
And finally, this book is my attempt to heal the schism in our society between those who oppose vaccines due to vaccine safety concerns and those who oppose the anti-vaccine movement due to the fear of diseases. This schism has brought us enormous suffering by dividing families, friends, and health provider communities. But we all have the same goal: we all want the best for our children. Only by uniting our efforts will we be able to find a solution to the problem of diseases without compromising our health by means of vaccines.