In a fascinating and thorough examination of the vaccine debate, Elliott Freed poses four interesting questions:
Question #1: Did vaccines save us from the deadly pandemics of the past?
We’ve explored this question before and seen that sanitation had a much more dramatic effect on target diseases than the vaccines did. Mr. Freed agrees:
The only vaccine available in the 19th century was for small pox. Invented by Edward Jenner in 1796, throughout the 19th century it was always associated with outbreaks of small pox. Most of the people who died of small pox in these outbreaks had been vaccinated. In 1885 the city of Leicester turned away from vaccination and embraced quarantine and sanitation. Small pox virtually disappeared in Leicester within a couple years. Within a decade quarantine had replaced vaccination throughout the country and by 1902 small pox was very rare in the U.K.
Quarantine is now the preferred method of containing infectious outbreaks. It is how we dealt with SARS and ebola. It is also how we eradicated small pox around the world. While people credit vaccines, they were only one part of the eradication drive. When cases were identified they were quarantined and vaccinated. Much of the world never had extensive small pox vaccination campaigns.
Cholera, typhoid and scarlet fever are all now very rare in the first world. There are no vaccines or significant vaccine campaigns for any of them. They faded for other reasons.
Question #2: If vaccines are not saving us from deadly pandemics are they at least protecting us from getting the illnesses and thereby improving our health?
This seems pretty straightforward from the data. Vaccines lower incidence rates of the diseases they target:
But Freed takes a different approach. He says, rightly, that vaccines don’t prevent disease—they are in fact intended to spread disease, though only incrementally, which then allows patients to create the immune response to ensure the disease isn’t debilitating:
Vaccines cause diseases. That is the whole point of vaccines. The theory is they cause a mild form of the disease that prepares the body to fight off the more severe natural form later. When somebody uses the phrase, “vaccine preventable disease,” proceed with caution. There is no such thing. Vaccines are intended to cause diseases. It is quite likely that anybody who does not know this may also not know other important things about vaccines. When we vaccinate we are choosing the vaccine version of the disease over the natural version.
Question #3: Are vaccines safe?
This question has been answered definitively—sometimes. Of course, some people want you to think that vaccines are ALWAYS safe for every patient, but that’s simply not true. As Freed points out:
As part of the 1986 law the Department of Health and Human Services maintains the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). This is a passive reporting program that is thought to capture a very low percentage of total adverse events. Nonetheless there are tens of thousands of reports filed every year. What are the real numbers? With a passive reporting system we’ll never know. Why are we not making a greater effort to count these cases and how can a doctor feel comfortable saying vaccines are safe if they are full of toxins and we are not studying the reactions people are having to them?
As part of this court program they maintain the Vaccine Injury Tables. This is a list of injuries that are uncontested and recognized as clearly due to vaccines. In theory these injuries are immediately compensable. The list includes brain damage, paralysis, arthritis, death and more. Other injuries have to be more convincingly demonstrated in court.
The fourth and final question is a no-brainer, the author wants you to believe based on the answers to the previous three.
Question #4: What is the true cost benefit ratio of vaccines?
Once we realize that vaccines are not responsible for reducing deaths from infectious diseases we must evaluate them more closely. 
Have they reduced incidence of infectious diseases? It appears that way until we think more deeply. Official statistics may show declines in rates of infectious diseases but when we understand that everybody who receives the vaccine gets the manufactured version of the disease, we have to look more closely. We have replaced the natural infectious diseases which were already slowly fading away with the manufactured variety that every child now has injected into them multiple times before they begin kindergarten.
Through this process thousands of years of inherited, cultivated immunity are lost. The long term developmental and health benefits of natural viral infections are lost. The brain may be damaged. The immune system may be further handicapped. We must therefore be more astute in our cost-benefit analysis.