As long as I have been a chiropractor, I have seen many in this profession oppose vaccinations. Indeed, it has often been taken as a “given” that to be a principled chiropractor requires a curmudgeon’s willingness to hold aloft that banner of opposition.
Early immunology science began in the late 1700s, long before science understood how it worked. Yet observational evidence grew. From the time of Edward Jenner to the time of Louis Pasteur, we realized that milkmaids exposed to cowpox were not contracting smallpox, which was ravaging Europe. Weakened virus exposure / cross-immunization was observed in the late 1700s as an entirely “natural” exposure phenomenon.
Before chiropractors denounce all vaccinations as unnatural, they might do well to remember that it began indeed as a natural observation. Science observed nature and the immunity “light bulb” appeared over science’s head. Are we now claiming that modern lab conditions and antiseptic conditions somehow invalidate the very “natural” immune system that was observed in the real world? That very holistic world we claim to believe in? I see too many chiropractors whose vision is clouded, in my opinion, by conspiracy theories of “Big Pharma” and evil drug capitalists trying to massacre the masses with “poisons.” I didn’t sign up for that paranoia.
I’m not aware that chiropractors oppose heart surgery for crisis heart patients or insulin for diabetics. In fact, some of us partake ourselves. Yet I discern that some chiropractors have decided to take up the cross that being a “drugless profession” somehow equates to opposing vaccinations because we are not into drugs. This is a fundamental mistake, because a vaccine is really not a drug. It is an “exposure” which turns on our natural immune system.
It is an accepted medical fact that our body has three basic lines of defense: 1) natural barriers to disease like our skin, stomach acidity, tears, and even our sweat; 2) nonspecific immune responses, which include the inflammatory response and the various PMNs of the leukocyte family, like neutrophils and their roaming WBC companions; and 3) the specific immune response consisting of the various B and T cells, like plasma cells ready to produce specific antibodies to counter viral and bacterial invaders.
This third line of defense is the defense system affected by immunization. It requires training, largely by our thymus gland and lymph nodes, where these specialized leukocytes can receive the “markers” of potential enemies, thus creating a memory of what to look for. Vaccines expose our specific immune system to less virulent “mug shots” of specific diseases. We are then prepared to destroy them before they can take over our unprepared cells and cause deadly effects.
When we oppose appropriate vaccination and immunization, we further brand our profession as “quacks.” Would you trust your life to a pilot who still thinks the Earth is flat or doesn’t believe in “newfangled radios”?
Immunizations are necessary for our growing populations. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, take it from a “anti-drug” doctor. Make an appointment today.