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Originally published February 15 2008

Building a Child's Immunity the Natural Way

by Cathy Sherman

(NaturalNews) New Jersey's Public Health Council gave its citizens a Christmas present that will not please the health-conscious, as it became the first state in the nation to require flu shots for preschoolers. Starting in September of 2008, all children attending preschool or licensed day care centers will have to get an annual flu shot. The state will cover the cost to low-income families, and private insurers will generally cover the cost to their customers. But cost is not the objection to this ruling that is sure to ignite controversy.

This law is problematic not only legally, as a challenge to our liberties, but in its health effects as well. Vaccines are dangerous for the health of any individual, but when administered to small children in their important developmental years, they are especially damaging. Medical "experts" have not even determined the correct dosages for small children, who in this regard are not just small adults. When we talk about daycare, we are talking about babies as young as a few months of age. Additionally, not only do vaccines usually contain mercury, but many lack effectiveness and can cause problems with the development of the child's natural immune system.

Mercury and thimerosal are preservatives used in vaccines, including most flu vaccines. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no proven link between autism and the preservatives. Coincidentally, New Jersey happens to be the state with the country's highest rate of autism; one in 94 children there is on the autism spectrum, with behavioral and communication problems ranging from barely noticeable to completely debilitating. The usual rate for autism is one in 150. So parents are not so sure they are being told the truth by the CDC.

In fact, on the CDC website you can find statements such as "Years of testing are required by law before a vaccine is licensed and distributed. Once in use, vaccines are continually monitored for safety and efficacy. As a result, the United States currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in history." This is contradictory to evidence presented below. Another CDC statement is of interest, in light of the New Jersey ruling: "Two groups are most vulnerable to methyl mercury: the fetus and children ages 14 and younger."

Dr. Lawrence D. Rosen, a Hackensack pediatrician, disagrees with the CDC as to vaccine safety and opposes the new requirement. He believes the majority of US-produced flu vaccines contain significant amounts of thimerosal, which he considers a concern for children's health because it contains ethyl mercury, a known neurotoxin. He has support from other doctors, as the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons also oppose the ruling.

Even if the evidence of a relationship between vaccine use and autism is disregarded, there are more
debilitating results of vaccine administration to children. Due to the availability of new health
information, a growing number of scientists and doctors have realized the problems revealed by recent
immunology research and have begun to challenge the foundational tenets of vaccination. Because it seems that vaccines have eradicated many diseases in the last 100 years, many doctors have been reticent to question them. Such claims have mainly been based on epidemic studies rather than on clinical evidence.

For example, Europe never used the polio vaccines, yet it experienced the same rise and fall of polio cases as did the U.S. Also, many diseases that were believed to be wiped out have re-appeared under different names. As an example, spinal meningitis and polio have almost the same exact symptoms. There have never been any studies that proved the vaccines actually did cause the eradication of any disease; it has only been assumed by the fact that that the epidemics seemed to have ceased. The CDC uses the concept that a relationship does not prove causality to downplay the autism-thimerosal link, yet ironically, they don't apply the same standard to the relationship between vaccination usage and the end of an epidemic.

Recent studies have shown a more causal relationship between vaccine use and immune system problems in children. Evidence exists that vaccines could be disabling our body's ability to react normally to disease and creating the climate for autoimmune self-destruction. The many reports of autoimmune phenomena that occur as reactions to vaccinations provide significant proof that tampering with the immune system causes devastating disease. In just one example of many, a study published in Clinical Pediatrics in 1988 looked at illness patterns observed in babies before and after vaccination. If vaccines caused a weakened immune system, investigators expected to see a higher incidence of illness following vaccination.

In this Israeli study, the incidence of acute illnesses in the 30-day period following DTP vaccine was compared to the incidence in the same children for the 30-day period prior to vaccine. The three-day period immediately following the vaccination was excluded because children frequently develop fever as a direct response to vaccine toxins. A total of 82 healthy infants received DTP, and their symptoms were reported by parents and observed by a pediatrician at weekly intervals. Those babies experienced a dramatic increase in fever, diarrhea, and cough in the month following DTP vaccine compared to their health before the shot.

All vaccines depress our immune functions. The chemicals in the vaccines depress our immune system; the virus present depresses immune function; and the foreign DNA/RNA from animal tissues depresses immunity. Studies have found that some metabolic functions were significantly reduced after vaccinations were given and did not return to normal for months. Other indicators of immune system depression included reduced lymphocyte viability, neutrophil hyper-segmentation, and a reduced white cell count. So we are trading a small immune depression for immunity to one disease, our only defense against all known disease for a temporary immunity against one disease, usually an innocuous childhood disease. Vaccines have been linked to AIDS and other immunodeficient disorders as well. The trade-off is not at all fair and not worth the risk.

There may be only two or three varieties of flu viruses in each shot, hence the names "Asian-Flu", "Japanese-Flu", "Indian-Flu", or "Swine-Flu". But there are literally thousands, possibly millions of flu-causing viruses. The drug companies don't know which strains will be prevalent when they create the vaccines, and they basically are guessing. As a result, many people end up getting flu even after inoculation.

Alternative health practitioners agree that, clearly, the best method to avoid the flu is to strengthen our immune system by eating properly and getting all of the essential vitamins and minerals that our body needs. Only good nutrition can build and support a strong immune system, and that good nutrition starts in the womb. Babies are born with an immune system that develops antibodies when exposed to antigens such as viruses and bacterium.

The best nutrition for babies is that of breast milk, at least for their first six months. Breastfeeding is the first immune booster which is totally natural and costs nothing, other than diligence on the mother's part to eat properly. Not only does it contain protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in just the right amounts, but breast milk also provides an array of protective components that are important for a baby's natural immune system, including antibodies, prebiotics and nucleotides. Colostrum, the milk produced in the first few post-birth days, is full of antibodies and white blood cells that help protect the baby against potentially harmful bacteria.

At about six days after birth the serum concentration of specific antibodies rises sharply, and this rise continues until adult levels are achieved by approximately the end of the first year. Maternal immunity gradually disappears during the first six to eight months of life. It takes seven to eight years for a good immunity to be built up, so the parents will have to accept that their child will have his or her bouts with sickness. The immunity gained naturally will also provide long-term effects, rather than only seasonal immunity.

After weaning, and as the child grows, the immune system can be further helped by making sure the child is given needed nutrients. One of the most crucial is Vitamin D. Instead of directly killing bacteria and viruses, this steroid hormone increases the body's production of a remarkable class of proteins, called anti-microbial peptides. The 200 known anti-microbial peptides directly and rapidly destroy the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, including the influenza virus, and play a key role in keeping the lungs free of infection. Because we cannot eat an amount of food great enough to provide the needed amounts of this hormone, it must be taken in through the skin from sunlight or taken as a supplement.

In addition to Vitamin D; Vitamins A, E and C, and other essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, zinc and selenium, are vital for a strong immune system. Cod liver oil is recommended by some nutritionists, but it shouldn't be overdone. Basically a good balanced diet emphasizing lots of fresh fruits and vegetables provides for a child's nutritive needs.

Heather Bauer, a registered dietitian, lists recommendations on her website, ( . Basically she recommends Vitamin C-rich fresh fruits and vegetables; anti-oxidant-rich foods such as whole grains, legumes and nuts, and salmon; Beta-carotene (vitamin A), found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cantaloupes and dark leafy greens. Basic advice also includes lots of exercise and adequate sleep each night. Items to be avoided are those that weaken the body's defenses such as alcohol, excess sugar and refined carbohydrates, excess fat, and fried and processed foods. Also check ( for an immunity-boosting tea recipe you can make from scratch.

New Jersey parents have several options in dealing with their objections to this new ruling. They may be able to obtain a waiver, but this has been difficult in the past. Many concerned parents are therefore urging New Jersey citizens to lobby for a bill, #A165, which would allow parents to opt out of the vaccine mandates by filing a "conscientious exemption" form with the local health department. Also, if people want to file objections to this ruling with the state of New Jersey, then they can take action at: ( .

New Jersey has just set a precedent; will other states follow? It has been shown that flu vaccinations plus others that are now being given infants are more detrimental than helpful. Immunity is much more effective when left to develop naturally and encouraged with lots of sunshine and good nutritious foods, with supplementation as necessary.

Additional information:

Randall Neustaedter, OMD, FLU: Alternative Treatments and Prevention, North Atlantic Books, 2005
Jane Sheppard, Super Healthy Kids, Strengthening Your Child's Resistance to Disease



About the author

Cathy Sherman is a freelance writer with a major interest in natural health and in encouraging others to take responsibility for their health. She can be reached through

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