Responsible Nurses, and Then There's This
Jan 17, 2012

Recently a friend and nurse, who I adore, shared a video with me.  Now I know my friend to be a very diligent nurse and she’s often discussed how frustrating it is to come across Facebook pages and YouTube videos where nurses dangerously suggest that people should not vaccinate their children.  After reviewing this video, I knew it must have been a major dissapointment to my friend, both personally, and professionally.  While I wasn’t completely surprised by the comments this particular “Patriot Nurse” made, I am a bit concerned about the information she presents.  http://youtu.be/riM4xfrzjAY
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riM4xfrzjAY&feature=youtu.be]
At the beginning, the “Patriot Nurse” states that the comments are turned off, but explains this is because she is only interested in “intelligent debate”.  As far as I’m concerned, debate only happens when both sides get to present their position.  So, after viewing the video I figured that we could certainly help facilitate debate for the “Patriot Nurse”.
(Interestingly enough, it’s unclear whether this video is tied in any way to Rachel Greene of the Patriot Nurse blog.  Could this be the same Rachel Greene who works as a nurse in a TN birthing center?  I certainly hope not.  As far as the informed consent she calls for in her video, I would have to wonder if the parents giving birth in that center are fully informed about her views on vaccines. )
To kick off the discussion, I wanted to begin with comments I received from another nurse with serious objections to what the “Patriot Nurse” states in the video above.  As a Canadian nurse, with an additional background in biology, who works at a large teaching hospital, she’ll tell you… don’t’ take her word for anything, but instead, be wary of individuals who use You Tube to spout off misinformation and try to convince you not to protect your children from preventable disease.
Of course, as always, we welcome your comments in an intelligent debate below.  

Canadian Nurse comments as follows:

1) The “Patriot Nurse” talks about the additives present in vaccines.
As we all know there is no mercury in vaccines – there was never mercury in vaccines. There WAS thimerosal, which is a mercury compound. Table salt is a chlorine compound. Basic chemistry teaches us that simply because something has a compound in it that might be dangerous on its own doesn’t mean that it’s dangerous in all cases. H2o is obviously not dangerous, but take away that “o”, and it becomes combustible.
This is thimerosal: C9H9HgNaO2S
This is mercury present in fish – methyl mercury: [CH3Hg]+
She gives an example of a tuna sandwich. She may claim that because the “gut” is a semi-permeable membrane that eating fish with mercury would be different than injecting mercury.
Two issues:
a) As discussed, there is no mercury in vaccines. And the two types of “mercury” you’re discussing are not molecularly similar.
b) The gut does NOT stop mercury from reaching the bloodstream. In fact, Health Canada states: “When fish or other foods contaminated with methyl mercury are consumed, approximately 95% of the methyl mercury is absorbed through the stomach and intestinal tract, then transferred to the blood stream and distributed throughout the body.”

Which means that ingestion of mercury is not a protective mechanism.
Aluminum is the most abundant element in our environment. We ingest sizable amounts of it on a daily basis. Aluminum is more plentiful in breast milk than vaccines; an infant will ingest more aluminum from breastfeeding than all the childhood vaccines put together.
“During the first 6 months of life, infants could receive about 4 milligrams of aluminum from vaccines. That’s not very much: a milligram is one-thousandth of a gram and a gram is the weight of one-fifth of a teaspoon of water. During the same period, babies will also receive about 10 milligrams of aluminum in breast milk, about 40 milligrams in infant formula, or about 120 milligrams in soy-based formula.” (http://www.chop.edu/export/download/pdfs/articles/vaccine-education-center/aluminum.pdf)

Aluminum – regardless of route of entry is excreted very efficiently by the kidneys.
“Most of the aluminum that enters the body is eliminated quickly. Though all of the aluminum present in vaccines enters
the bloodstream, less than 1 percent of aluminum present in food is absorbed through the intestines into the blood. Either way, most of the aluminum in the bloodstream is immediately bound by a protein called transferrin, which carries aluminum to the kidneys where it is eliminated from the body. About 50 percent of aluminum in vaccines or in food is eliminated in less than 24 hours; 85 percent is eliminated in two weeks and 96 percent is eliminated in three years. The ability of the body to rapidly eliminate aluminum accounts for its excellent record of safety.” (http://www.chop.edu/export/download/pdfs/articles/vaccine-education-center/aluminum.pdf)
2) The “Patriot Nurse” states that vaccines “bypass the gut, which is our natural defense mechanism”.
Many pathogens bypass the gut, so I don’t see how this is relevant.  I assume she’s trying to make some point that vaccines bypass the mucous membranes. And? We vaccinate against the diseases we do, in part, BECAUSE we are susceptible to them as they EASILY bypass our innate defenses.  Mucous membranes cannot kill a pathogen.
3) The “Patriot Nurse” trots out the autism canard.
As we all know, the big concern was thimersol causing autism. After the removal of thimersol from vaccines, the rate of autism went UP – which is not what we would expect to see if thimersol was a causative factor. There have been so many studies showing zero correlation between vaccination and autism that I’m amazed every time I even see this brought up.
Has she seen the scientific studies showing a DROP in autism amongst vaccinated versus unvaccinated children?
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2010/09/13/peds.2010-0309.full.pdf+html?maxtoshow&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT&fulltext=vaccine+mercurfy&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT
http://resources.cpha.ca/CCIAP/data/1017e.pdf
http://www.safeminds.org/research/library/20021107.pdf
http://www.pediatricsdigest.mobi/content/113/2/259.full
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18180424
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14519711
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15342825
So, either she’s mistaken about vaccines and autism, or she believes there is a worldwide conspiracy of biomed professionals who want to poison our kids.
4) The “Patriot Nurse” talks about the vaccine schedule.
Does she know that despite the increasing number of vaccines available, there is a smaller amount of adjuvant and pathogen per vaccine. The load on the body is actually LESS than it was 20 or 30 years ago.  “Vaccines do not overwhelm the immune system. Although the infant immune system is relatively naive, it is immediately capable of generating a vast array of protective responses; even conservative estimates predict the capacity to respond to thousands of vaccines simultaneously.” 
5) The “Patriot Nurse” states that vaccines cause “over-stimulation”.
Of what? The immune system that encounters literally thousands of pathogens on a daily basis?
“Vaccines do not overwhelm the immune system; conservative estimates predict that the immune system can respond to thousands of viruses simultaneously.”
6) The “Patriot Nurse” goes on to discuss allergies and autoimmune disorders, stating that she couldn’t figure out anything OTHER than vaccines that could have caused a spike in said conditions.
I must point out that simply because SHE can’t think of something doesn’t necessitate that there ISN’T something. I am a nurse with an additional degree in biology. I respect and love nursing. But we are not scientists. We are not immunologists. And we shouldn’t be speaking authoritatively on the causative factors of allergies or autoimmune disorders – that’s not within our scope.
“Only in a few rare cases, however, has autoimmune pathology been firmly associated with particular vaccines.” (http://image.thelancet.com/extras/02art9340web.pdf)
7) The “Patriot Nurse” talks about breast milk being the only thing necessary to protect a neonate.
Breast milk can only provide antibodies to a child for things that the mother is immune to. If the mother has never HAD MENINGITIS she does not have antibodies to pass on that will protect her baby from meningitis.  Additionally, it’s also well known that anti-bodies in breast milk taper greatly at the 6 month mark.
Vaccines are safe and effective. Scientific study has shown this to be true, beyond a shadow of a doubt. No vaccine – or any medication – is without risks, and I would encourage people to speak to their physician if they are having doubts or questions. Remember that anyone can post anything they wish on the internet – be it true or not. And simply because something SOUNDS authoritative does not make it correct.


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