The “Weigh The Risks” analysis provides a quantitative comparison of the theoretical risk of permanent injury or death from vaccine-preventable diseases to a child if not vaccinated by age 5 versus the theoretical risk of vaccine-injury by age 5 to a child that is vaccinated per the USA schedule. This theoretical exercise was not intended to encourage non-vaccination, as vaccination is an important aspect of public health to protect against disease. Instead, this exercise was intended to encourage an individual assessment of whether for each disease and vaccine, the vaccine-injury risk is at an unacceptable level in comparison to disease-injury risk.
- Risk is only calculated from the perspective of whether or not the child is vaccinated by age 5. This analysis will apply to all children who remain unvaccinated until age 5 whether they start vaccination after age 5 or not. Vaccine-injuries that occur or remain after the age of 5 are included if the injury is due to a vaccine received before 5. Disease injuries and deaths that occur or remain after age 5 are included if due to a disease contracted before the age of 5.
- The risk analysis applies only to the child, not to any other individuals who might be infected. The analysis assumes that parents will first ensure that the risk/benefit analysis of vaccination is maximized for their child prior to considering benefits to others. Secondary risks of infection are highly theoretical and very difficult to quantify, and must be calculated for the secondary individual independently.
- For the hypothetical child who does not vaccinate by age 5, disease risk is calculated in two separate analyses:
- Risk in highly vaccinated population – for this analysis, this is defined as the risk to that hypothetical child if the vaccination rate in the population is comparable to the current vaccination rate in the USA for the vaccine associated with the disease
- Risk in population with low vaccination – for this analysis, this is defined as the risk to that hypothetical child if the vaccination rate in the population is significantly lower than the current vaccination rate in the USA for the vaccine associated with the disease
- Disease-Risk is a theoretical model for the risk in Y2011 to a child in the USA. Pre-vaccine disease mortality and morbidity rates are sometimes not applicable to the 21st century. For example, pertussis mortality in the 1930’s, prior to antibiotics and modern medical care, is not applicable to the Year 2011. Good disease mortality/morbidity data in modern times is often difficult to gather, but in general this analysis has strived to use modern disease-risk data from the USA or similar developed countries where possible.
- Because there is some risk from disease to a vaccinated child, an unvaccinated child’s disease risk is calculated as an incremental risk equal to the risk of disease if unvaccinated minus the risk of disease if vaccinated.
- Deaths due to vaccines, whether occurring immediately or months/years later, have generally not been studied. Even acute vaccine-deaths are poorly reported. Since this is an evidence-based analysis, and there is little credible data available, vaccine-induced deaths are considered “unknown” and thus not included in the comparative summary results of this analysis.
- The WTR analysis only analyzed four of the potential vaccine-injury conditions that are considered to have the highest prevalence: asthma, autism, ADHD, and allergies. A future version of this analysis could also potentially incorporate additional potential vaccine-injury conditions such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile Type 1 diabetes, narcolepsy, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and others.
- This analysis utilizes research papers that show a quantifiable risk of vaccine-injury, and is not intended to include an exhaustive list of all research.