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Green Vaccines?

I had no idea that vaccines could be green…until Jenny McCarthy told me so. And she’s singing a new verse to an old song — the theory that vaccines cause […]

June 12, 2008

I had no idea that vaccines could be green…until Jenny McCarthy told me so. And she’s singing a new verse to an old song — the theory that vaccines cause autism — but now with an environmental twist.

On Thursday, June 4, actress McCarthy and boyfriend Jim Carrey hosted a march and rally to “Green Our Vaccines” in Washington D.C. McCarthy and her group Talking About Curing Autism think that the environmentally unfriendly additives in the vaccines, such as aluminum and thimerosal (which was taken out of most vaccines years ago) cause autism, so they want them removed from the mix.

I’m not really sure how that could be interpreted as “greening” a vaccine, but um… they’re the experts, right?

And it seems like their other slogan “Too Many, Too Soon” has absolutely nothing to do with the environment either. It’s just rehashed theory about how vaccines and autism are linked. They think that all the vaccines given in one visit introduce too many foreign objects into a child’s weak immune system to fight — a theory known as the “immune system overload” theory.

However, doctors have looked into the issue and come up with two explanations that disprove the theory (these arguments can be found in the journal Pediatrics.) They mathematically demonstrated that children’s immune systems can handle the load. And they also pointed out that there are fewer agents in all of the current vaccines combined, than there were in the original smallpox vaccine — which was administered before the current “autism epidemic”.

While McCarthy’s event got a lot of coverage before the rally when she appeared on Larry King Live, there was little recognition of the event after the fact (with the exception of the Washington Independent). I guess they made a smaller splash than they had hoped.

Sorry Jenny, nice try with the greenwashing…but it didn’t work!

Related on Scienceline:

More about the controversy over vaccines and autism.

Read about a promising new vaccine for malaria.

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Dana says:

I could not disagree with you more! “Green our vaccines” means to make them clean!! If you have done any reaserch on this subjest what so ever you will find the crap that is going into our children. example: MSG (Monosodium glutamate) the stuff they took out of food b/c it was dangerous.. its in our childrens vaccines. I found that on the CDC website!
I love your comment when you say “aluminum and thimerosal (which was taken out of MOST vaccines years ago)” like any amount of thimersoal is ok to put in our child! The CDC admits 11 of the vaccines still have TRACE amounts.
ALso the rally was a huge success.. 8500+ people came to an event that did NOT get a lot of coverage. I think it is wonderful what she is doing!

Mary Hirzel says:

Oh….for the days when reporters knew what the hell they were talking about……

Caleb says:

It has been scientifically proven several times over that vaccines are NOT linked to autism – even the ones with thimerosal. The concept of “green” is generally meant for things that are good for the environment…I think what Jenny wants is “Natural” vaccines ;)

The real tragedy here is that people, out of fear conjured up by non-experts, are not getting their children vaccinated. This is irresponsible on two levels: 1) you are needlessly exposing your child to preventable disease and 2) in order to keep these preventable diseases at bay everyone needs to be immunized…otherwise the disease has hosts in which to replicate and mutate.

Science over emotion!

Mary says:

It is an indisputable fact that vaccines damage and kill. More and more parents are actively questioning the vaccination process. This is their right and responsibility. I believe we live in a time when all medical interventions need to be questioned more than ever. When one does question the process of vaccines, the choice parents make needs to be respected.

lisa says:

No thimerosal or aluminmum in vaccines for YEARS? Wow… you need to visit the FDA web site and just see. 11 shots with thimerosal and 10 shots with high doses of aluminum.

Research – just a little – is a beautiful thing.

Taking those ingredients out would be of much benefit to carbon life forms.

Gregg says:

Autism is simply a term from the psychiatric DSM-IV manual. It’s nothing but a smokescreen. It provides an alibi for the drug companies who added mercury to vaccines at levels 250 times higher than hazardous waste levels. It provides an alibi for the CDC, FDA and the other drug company cronies who are responsible for the safety of our children. It provides an alibi for the pediatricans who injected and destroyed our children’s brains with this poison. It provides an alibi for health insurance companies so they don’t have to pay for treatment for these sick kids. It provides a vehicle for psychiatrists so they can force powerfull anti-psychotic drugs on these kids who already are terribly confused.

There will never be an identifiable cause for autism. There are though 11 published papers which identify the underlying medical condition of autism as neuroinflammatory disease. My favorite is ” Neuroglial activation and Neuroinflammation in the Brain of Patients with Autism”. This was published by John Hopkins University. Now, do you want to debate whether mercury, a known neurotoxin, added to childhood vaccines at levels 250 times higher than what the EPA identifies as hazardous waste, causes neuroinflammatory disease? Do you want to debate whether brain damaged kids behave in a way so that some psychiatrist can label them as somewhere on the “spectrum”?

Eric R. Olson says:

Dana wrote:

“MSG (Monosodium glutamate) the stuff they took out of food b/c it was dangerous.. its in our childrens vaccines. I found that on the CDC website!”

Monsodium glutamate is a commonly-used food additive. While food is required to be labeled if monosodium glutamate is added, it still can be, and is widely used.

Tom says:

Seriously, K. take a step back from the propaganda and do a little research. You might want to look at the levels of thimerosal that became part of the standard vaccination protocol, and how nobody even bothered to add for years and years, and when they did they found that it was way above EPA’s maximum exposure guidelines. You need to consider the rise in autism rates that tracks the rise in the vaccinations. You might look at the methodology of the Denmark and other studies (assuming you know something about methodology) and how they dropped out subjects in a way that couldn’t help but make the study worthless. The same goes for the IMO studies. Carl Sagan stated that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The fact that we have been injecting our children with known neurotoxins and the rates of autism have skyrocketed puts the onus on the vaccination program. It is an extraordinary claim that they would not have a deleterious effect on some segment of our population. And the answer isn’t black and white, to vaccinate or not vaccinate, but to try to do everything we can to make sure the vaccinations are safe for everybody. Not push propaganda. Listen to Dr. Healy, former head of the CDC and grab a clue.

Patti says:

wow, research much?

Chandra says:

Greening the vaccines means taking the preservatives out of them, the very preservatives LINKED to those children diagnosed with autism, including my nephew.

Why are people so opposed to this? The vaccines would still work, they just wouldn’t contain the ingredients, the preservatives….it’s not that the parents dont’ want their child vaccinated……they want them vaccinated safely.

Natasha says:

As a parent of a child with Autism, I am always wondering what caused this in my daughter. I watch my beautiful child all of a sudden struggle with common tasks and communication regularly. When she was six months old she said her first words, “Mom, Dad, Dog, Duck” etc.. I dont think it’s a coincedence that two days after the MMR Vacine, My daughter got violently ill and had trouble beathing. She was in the hospital for four days, still no proper explaination as to what was happening to her. I watched my daughter’s eyes change and could tell something was now different about her, she never said anything again for over a year!! COINCEDENCE?? I think not. Please do Your research befor putting our children at risk.

Leila says:

I am the parent of two strong and healthy children. I go back and forth on the vax issue. I do not wish to leave them unvaxed but I also do not wish to put pollutants in their small,growing bodies, ESPECIALLY when I know people whose children have become damaged by vaccines. We are not selfish, we are protective. We demand that BIG PHARMA and the CDC find a way to gree our vaccines, make them safe for little bodies.

transtlantic says:

This article is very good.

It’s plain to all that vaccines are safe and no damage is linked to the vaccines.

get real anti-vax fear mongering idiots!

Natasha says:

Anti-vax fear mongering idiots??? You should do some research befor spouting off insults to injury. It’s plain to see you are uneducated and rude(transtlantic). Here is some actual research to look at if your not to busy insulting people. Check out the experiment by the University of Calgary on Thimerosal(in the MMR vaccine) on Youtube..Thimerosal. it is actual footage of what it does to actual live brain tissue that WAS firing! Also I do believe that vaccines save lives but they should be safe for everyone. It’s also not a coincidence that mercury poisoning symptoms are very similar to the symptoms displayed by people with autism! Autism is the most prevalent developmental disability worldwide affecting 1 in 150 beating Down syndrome 1 in 800 and still no cause is found?? I find that hard to believe! Safe vaccines for all, thats all that Jenny McCarthy and everyone wants for the children of the world!!!

This article is very good.

It’s plain to all that vaccines are safe and no damage is linked to the vaccines

Hali says:

How much are they paying you Karina?

Victoria says:

It has not been “scientifically proven” that vaccines don’t cause autism. That’s the problem actually — people decipher someone saying “there is no evidence linking autism to vaccines” and think that’s what was said. Stop spreading ignorance!

If it’s something that can be scientifically proven, why don’t they do just that?! Study further in and stop brushing the obvious off!

hart says:

as a result of families NOT vaccinating,children are now becoming to susceptible to once beaten diseases,and if you knwe what the vaccine is you would know you are supposed to display small symptoms of the disease you are being vaccinated for,ie flue shot (fever sneezing under the weather), measels (small rashes,fevers,also under the weather)

hart says:


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Chris Barman says:

Victoria, it has been scientifically supported for ages before you made this comment.

If a study with half a million children saying that vaccines don’t cause autism doesn’t prove anything, I don’t know what does.

Derek K says:

“They mathematically demonstrated that children’s immune systems can handle the load.”

If this is true, why don’t we just give our kids one vaccine with all the germs…since their immune system can “handle the load.”

btw – I’m not being sarcastic here. I am being serious.


Derek K says:

“It’s plain to all that vaccines are safe and no damage is linked to the vaccines.”

Simply untrue. If you read any of the vaccine inserts, they give all the possible symptoms and side effects. From redness to apnea and neurological disorders (like Bell’s palsy). While, the extreme injuries are very rare, they do happen.

Side thought: If a vaccine causes sleep apnea, and the child doesn’t recover (dies), is it called a vaccine injury or SIDS?


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