Debate: Should we vaccinate our children?

By vaccinating our children, are we protecting them or causing them more harm? Two professionals – Dr Pejman Katiraei of Wholistic Kids & Families and Richard Lanigan, a Chiropractor – share their opposing views on whether or not to vaccinate… 

FOR: Dr Pejman Katiraei of Wholistic Kids and Families, Santa Monica, US, says:

“We have created labels such as ‘pro-vaccine’ or ‘anti-vaccer’ as if the conversation about vaccines is that simple and clear cut. One group believes that vaccines and the ingredients in them are harmful to most children and are directly associated with many of the diseases we see today, including autism. Another group believes that vaccines are entirely safe for all and cannot be the cause of any serious disease.

To simplify the physiology of human being in such a manner is silly. Parents often ask of my opinion on vaccines. I tell them that vaccines are like using matches. You can go on an asphalt parking lot and light 1,000 matches and not even cause a smudge on the asphalt. You can also light just one match in a dry forest with lots of dry tinder, and you will spark a massive fire of incredibly destructive power.

The fact is that the vast majority of children (in my opinion 97-99%) have systems that have the resiliency and protection similar to asphalt. They can handle the vaccines. There are other children (1-3%) that have tinder in their systems, and the spark from a vaccine can trigger the manifestation of a serious condition. The vaccines do NOT cause the condition; they are just the spark that sets off the condition.

The reason why all the current studies have not found a correlation between vaccines and diseases like autism is because we have looked to see if vaccines trigger diseases like autism in the general population, and they do not. We have NOT studied specifically the 1-3% to see if diseases will spark in them after a vaccination. I suspect that if we only studied these children, we would find a very different result.

Until recently, the ‘anti-vaccers’ had taken the 1-3% and presumed all children were like them. In my opinion, as a holistic pediatrician, we have created an unnecessary and excess degree of fear toward a treatment that is generally helpful. I hope that no parent ever has to see what it looks like to have an infant on life support because of whooping cough. Do I believe in the DTaP vaccine? Absolutely! I recommend it to most of my families.

Just like with ANY drug, including Tylenol, vaccines can also harm. I have seen rare cases of autoimmune disease after a vaccine like DTaP. We need to become more intelligent about how administer these vaccines.

The capacity of our technology is mind-blowing. If we can now identify the entire human genome with a sample of saliva, why is it that our vaccination policies and protocols have not evolved in 20+ years? We have the ability, now we just need to create the motivation and interest to develop tools to identify the vulnerable children so that 100% of children can be vaccinated safely without any concern.”

AGAINST: Richard Lanigan, Chiropractor in Kingston, UK, and blogger:

accination pic

“Arguably antibiotics were the greatest medical discovery of the 20th century and saved millions of lives. Unfortunately, over-prescribing – especially for viral conditions like colds – has led to some strains of bacteria where to buy diazepam 5mg mutating and becoming resistant to antibiotics and these bacteria now pose a major threat to public health.

As was first observed with antibiotics, vaccines seemed like a brilliant discovery. In 1798, millions were dying from smallpox. Edward Jenner observed that the women milking cows were uniquely not catching the disease and concluded that getting a mild version of the disease from cows was protecting the milkmaids from contracting small pox and set about developing a vaccine.

On the face of it, Jenner’s vaccine reduced incidence of that particular disease, but in a reductionist model of healthcare, which focuses mainly on symptoms and the number of cases of smallpox, it begged the question: could injecting a variety of substances directly into the blood stream have damaging physiological effects on humans?

Vaccination has been a controversial subject in the UK since the Vaccination Act of 1853 made the smallpox vaccination compulsory for all infants in the first three months of life and made defaulting parents liable to a fine or imprisonment.

Remember, until very recently the public was not informed of possible side effects from vaccines and the parents of vaccine-damaged children had to take on governments and the pharmaceutical industry by themselves seeking justice for their injured children.

Notable examples: Vera Duffy’s son, Alan, suffered brain damage after receiving the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine; there were cases of paralysis and death caused by the original cutter polio vaccine of 1955; Sally Clarke’s son Harry had his DTaP vaccination; four hours later he was dead. And these are not isolated cases.

After the birth of my daughters, Molly and Isabelle, in 2003, we were given a ‘vaccination schedule’ and an appointment for the DTaP vaccination at four weeks. The book advised; ‘If you want to know more about immunisations, talk to your health visitor or doctor’.

I asked the health visitor why under ‘immunisation reactions’, the book only states: ‘most children have no reactions’, the reactions described were limited to: ‘being grumpy’, ‘slight fever’, ‘slight swelling and redness at the injection site’ and ‘rashes’.

I asked the health visitor why the Vaccination Information Statements in the US (consent forms for vaccination) state there is a small risk of ‘serious neurological damage and death’.

In deciding on medical intervention, you weigh up the benefits against the risks. Perhaps if a child cuts herself in the garden, you might take her to A&E and consider a tetanus injection. There is no risk of cholera, diphtheria or polio in Europe now due to the excellent sanitation systems we have.

We did have concerns about whooping cough, but studies show the vaccine is not very effective. Our children were diagnosed with it in 2006, including our new two-week-old daughter Eloise, and our experience was nothing like those described by promoters of vaccine programmes.

It was an easy decision for us to make and we have no regrets; the risks of vaccination far outweigh the questionable benefits of preventing infection in this way, when we as a species have evolved by getting infections, surviving them and going on to procreate. If a vaccine ‘believer’ provides evidence to the contrary, I’m all ears.”

This is an edited version of an article originally posted on, republished with permission

Did you decide to vaccinate your children? Was that the right decision? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below…