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Chiropractic and Immunization: pro or con?

Posted Jul 31 2009 11:40am

Within the Chiropractic or alternative provider “community” there is some topics that are rather controversial and immunization is one of them. Previously, we talked about drugs and their overuse. This week I would like to talk about vaccinations. But instead of me just writing about our ideas, I want to share an article written by reporter Dan Olmsted UPI Senior Editor CHICAGO, on December 7th.

As a Chiropractor, I try to keep up with the liturature on immunization.  Thousands of children cared for by Homefirst Health Services in metropolitan Chicago have at least two things in common with thousands of Amish children in rural Lancaster, PA: They have never been vaccinated. And they don’t have autism.

“We have a fairly large practice. We have about 30,000 or 35,000 children that we’ve taken care of over the years, and I don’t think we have a single case of autism in children delivered by us who never received vaccines” said Dr. Mayer Eisenstein, Homefirst’s medical director who founded the practice in 1973. The autism rate in Illinois public schools is 38 per 10,000 according to the state’s Education Department data; The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the national rate of autism spectrum disorders at 1 in 166 – 60 per 10,000.

While this observation is not a scientific study the sample is large enough to see a trend. Illinois allows religious exemptions if parents object based either on tenets of their faith or specific personal religious views. Dr. Eisenstein is critical of the CDC’s vaccination policy in the 1990s, when several new immunizations were added to the schedule, including Hepatitis B as early as the day of birth. Several vaccines contain a mercury-based preservative called Thimerosal. This preservative, which is 49.6 percent ethyl mercury by weight, was phased out of most U.S. childhood immunizations beginning in 1999, but the CDC recommends flu shots for pregnant women and children 6 to 23 months old. These shots contain thimerosal.

In the alternative-medicine network which Homefirst is part of, there are virtually no cases of childhood asthma, in contrast to the overall Blue Cross rate of childhood asthma which is approximately 10 percent. Asthma diagnosis is based on emergency-room visits and hospital admissions which is measurable and not based on the doctor’s perception of asthma. These patients also have significantly less juvenile diabetes compared to national rates. Florida pediatrician Dr. Jeff Bradstreet said there is virtually no autism in home-schooling families who decline to vaccinate in his practice.

So, where is the simple, straightforward study of autism in never-vaccinated U.S. children? Based on this anecdotal and limited reporting among the Amish, the home-schooled and Chicago’s Homefirst, this is a significant omission.

If you would like a reprint of the entire article, feel free to call me at 860-620-9523 or send a self addresses envelope and I will get it to you. If you would like me to e-mail it to you, just let me know your e-mail address. And if you would like to discuss this further, feel free to e-mail me at

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