Shots In The DarkSince they were introduced in the early 20th century, vaccines have been a tremendous medical and scientific success. Today perceived as a necessity, they are so familiar to us that their potential risks are rarely mentioned.

However, the stakes are significant. Based on recommendations of health agencies, North American children receive about 48 doses of 14 different vaccines before the age of 6 - double the amount prescribed 25 years earlier. Despite this extraordinary increase, few studies independent of the pharmaceutical industry have been conducted into their long-term side effects. This is a disturbing situation given the numerous toxins, including mercury and aluminum, contained in some commonly administered vaccines.

Several worried pediatricians and scientists are sounding the alarm. Some of the research underway indicates that vaccination is directly responsible for immune or neurological disorders among certain people genetically or neurologically predisposed to react badly to vaccine components. Cases of autism, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, macrophagic myofasciitis, encephalitis, paralysis and neuropathies indicate the seriousness of the situation.

Despite these findings, the pharmaceutical industry and government authorities deny there is a serious problem. Relying on perfunctory studies, some of which date back to the late 1920s, they reject out of hand any cause-and-effect relationship. Given the known fact that adding preservatives such as thimerosal (mercury) helps reduce production costs, the reaction of the pharmaceutical industry is at the very least puzzling. Preferring not to question a system that has proved its worth, a majority of the medical profession's members reject any potential toxicity in vaccines.

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