Vaccinations seems to be big news at the moment, with more and more countries adopting a 'vaccinate or else' approach to forcing parents to vaccinate their children.
So is vaccination the no-brainer proven approach to maintaining good health that the medical community claims it to be, or is there more to the picture? And are there any religious guidelines to help you decide what approach God might want you to take, when it comes to vaccinations?
The below is my personal take on vaccination:
Vaccination that is PROVEN TO BE EFFECTIVE against serious diseases is broadly speaking a good thing, and should be done. For example, Rebbe Nachman encouraged his followers to vaccinate against smallpox, which had just been invented a little while before he died in 1810. Smallpox was a very serious disease, and many thousands of people were dying from it before the smallpox vaccination was introduced.
The trouble today is that a number of the vaccinations being offered either haven't been proven to work, or are not for serious diseases. To take a couple of common examples: Each year's flu vaccine is based on last year's flu virus, which has already mutated into a different strain by the time people are getting their flu shots. Many people have developed influenza directly as a result of receiving a flu shot, while the vaccine's effect in preventing the flu is questionable.
Another recent addition is the chicken pox vaccine. Chicken pox is unpleasant, but as infectious diseases go its only real serious health risks are associated with pregnant women developing the disease, which could negatively impact the developing foetus.
If there were no health risks associated with vaccinations, then vaccinating against chicken pox would still be a great idea. But there ARE health risks associated with vaccinations, as you're about to learn.
The risks associated with vaccination are as follows:
1) Mercury, which is one of the most potent neurotoxins known to man, is used to 'stabilise' the vaccinations. Injecting poisonous mercury into people is not usually the best idea, and can seriously affect and compromise the immune system over time. Given this, the health benefit of the vaccine (ie, that it's proven to work and could potentially save life or prevent crippling disease) has to outweigh that healthcost (ie, mercury poisoning).
In naturopathic circles, it's believed that if a person has a strong immune system, they are much less likely to develop these sorts of serious illnesses in the first place. Even Western medicine acknowledges that the human colon is home to 500 killer germs at any given time. So there's a lot to be said for the idea that germs are always lurking in the background within our own bodies, and that our innate health and robust immune system is what enables us to resist them.
2) Vaccines can and do compromise the immune system, both because of the mercury used, and also because they are injecting more potentially dangerous bacteria and viruses into our internal ecological system. Once again, a decision has to be made as to whether the benefit of vaccinating outweighs the cost.
If the disease is life-threatening, and difficult to treat by any other route, than vaccination would appear to be the most sensible option.
If you have a rabbi or a spiritual guide who you trust and who's willing to give you an opinion on the subject, then ask them. But usually, you'll have to decide whether to vaccinate or not for yourself, without any outside guidance to fall back on. If that happens, make an effort to educate yourself properly, ask God to help you to make the right decision, then go with your gut instincts.
If you get God involved in making the decision, it can only lead to a better outcome for everyone involved, whatever choice you actually end up making.