Vaccine Safety: What You Don't Know
Disclaimer: views expressed in this article solely reflect the research of Darcy Greenwald, L.Ac, and do not necessarily reflect the views of other practitioners at Denver Community Acupuncture.
Measles. Whooping cough. Smallpox. There is tremendous fear associated with these infectious diseases, and a large scale collective sigh of relief around the globe that vaccines have virtually eliminated these potentially deadly exposures. Once upon a time in our not-so-distant past, these infectious diseases indiscriminately preyed upon us, and with this collective misery still alive in our memory, vaccines are generally regarded as one of the greatest medical advancements of the 20th century.
There is therefore great anger directed at those who question the long-term safety of vaccines, vaccine theory itself, and its ultimate role in disease prevention. This is understandable, coming from a place of primal survival and protection of our most vulnerable--our young. There is no question that vaccines can significantly reduce the incidence of targeted infectious diseases, and can play a pivotal role in protection against outbreaks.
Yet we tend to forget that vaccines are not inert placebos; vaccines are powerful drugs--injected substances containing at least 37 ingredients each. These ingredients include established neurotoxins such as mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde, and aborted fetal cell lines including injected DNA that have received no established safety studies at this time but which have been questioned as a potential carcinogen. In fact, only two of these ingredients have ever been independently tested for safety; as a result, mercury has been slowly phased out, and aluminum hydroxide continues to receive increasingly negative attention due to international safety studies proving neurological toxicity.
We also tend to conveniently shrug off the fact that vaccines do cause damage and even death in a percentage of the population. “It’s a tiny fraction of a percentage,” we say. But is it? Statistics actually do not back up that assumption.
The group of people examining vaccine safety are largely concerned parents, scientists, educators, pediatricians and medical professionals who are seeing the dramatic rise of pediatric illnesses in their children or pediatric population, and they are expressing concern. Indeed, chronic pediatric illness has risen from 12.8% in the 1980s to 54% currently. As the vaccination schedule has quadrupled since the 1980s, they are asking questions, as any concerned and inquiring person should: are vaccines really as harmless over the long-term as they are purported to be? Have we just substituted one health risk (infectious disease) for another (a drastic increase in chronic disease)? Do the benefits truly outweigh the risks? Is the collective more important than the individual? And if so, what are the acceptable risks?
As a health practitioner I have been one of many increasingly alarmed at the epidemic of autoimmune disease, allergies, food sensitivities, gut dysbiosis, and neurological issues seen in children and young people, and asking where is it coming from? I have no doubt the causes are complex and multifaceted, compounded with individual genetic susceptibilities and environment. But could vaccines be a contributor?
The answer as of this article, is that we have a growing handful of biological studies on a few of the vaccines pointing toward some troubling evidence that these vaccines can indeed lead to chronic illness and neurological damage. With regard to most vaccines, however, we don’t have evidence of anything, because the long-term studies that would reveal chronic illness or injury have never been done. This startling fact should by itself be a red flag. Though I have sympathy for both sides of the vaccination issue, I decided to do a little more digging into the question of safety studies around vaccines. I was undeniably disturbed at what I found.
Let’s look at 8 common assumptions about vaccines, and see whether they hold water.
Note: all underlined text below are links to sources. Given the complexity of the topic, this article is lengthy. One suggestion for interested readers with little time, would be to read one assumption section a day, and take time to digest the information.
Assumption #1: Individual vaccines receive rigorous safety testing, before they are introduced into the CDC recommended pediatric vaccine schedule.
The assumption is that vaccines, like all other drugs, are subject to rigorous double blind, placebo-controlled studies that prove safety before they are introduced to the vaccination schedule. Major federally-backed vaccine regulation agencies such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institute of Health (NIH), and the American Pediatric Association (AMA) state unequivocally that vaccines have been proven to be safe, and that they undergo rigorous safety testing. However, a closer scrutiny yields two alarming contradictions.
The gold standard of safety testing, used on every single FDA-approved drug on the market, requires an inert (chemically inactive) placebo, typically a sugar pill or a saline solution in the control group. Why a sugar pill or a saline solution? Because we need a standard substance that will create no symptoms in the vast majority of individuals to compare with the substance being tested, in order to clearly ascertain side effects. But here’s the shocker: There is not a single vaccine safety trial to date that has used this gold standard. Instead of saline or other chemically inactive solutions, control groups are given other vaccines which have already been brought onto the vaccine schedule. Let me state this again: a true placebo such as saline has never been used in control groups for vaccine safety trials; other “proven” vaccines have instead been used, which is a grievous violation of the basic tenements of the scientific method.
No vaccine on the current CDC vaccination schedule has undergone more than several days to a few weeks of safety testing. This is compared to all FDA-approved drugs on the market, which receive several years’ of double blind, placebo-controlled clinical safety trials. As an example, one of the most contested mandatory vaccines provided to infants on their first day of life--the Hepatitis B or Hep B vaccine--is licensed by both Merck and GlaxoSmithKline. Merck’s Hep B vaccine was licensed by the FDA after safety trials lasting only five days after vaccination. GlaxoSmithKlines’s Hep B vaccine was licensed after only four days of trials.
Some of the most critical recent science coming from China, specifically three clinical studies in 2015, 2016, and 2018 involving the Hep B vaccine conducted by Dr Zhibin Yao (see more below), is revealing brain damage occurring in infant mice after receiving the Hep B vaccine, damage that appeared cumulatively over a period of time. This latency period from the administering of the vaccine to the appearance of symptoms, is not caught when safety trials last only several days to a few weeks.
Why is there this striking difference in length of safety testing, and the elimination of a true “gold standard” placebo, when it comes to vaccines? After all, vaccines are being injected into the most vulnerable segment of the population--our infants and toddlers. With regard to length of testing, the CDC and FDA claim this is because it is “unethical” to withhold a critical vaccine, which needs to be rushed onto the schedule in order to “save lives”. They are so certain that the benefits will outweigh the risks, that they simply do not do the necessary studies to find out whether or not the benefit really does outweigh unknown potential risks.
The government and the pharmaceutical industries consider the battle against infectious diseases to be a numbers game. They are so sure that administering the vaccine will save thousands of lives and promote an increased quality of life, that they are waiving critical safety studies in their rush to get the product into their population. So let’s take a look at the numbers game for a minute. Does it hold up under scrutiny?
(By the way, a great resource for vaccines and safety is this document, The Vaccine Safety White Paper, compiled by a group called ICAN and presented to the heads of the National Institutes of Health with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr in May of 2017.)
Assumption #2: Vaccine damage and especially vaccine-caused deaths are extremely rare--so rare that the benefits for protection far outweigh the risks.
This begs the questIon: how do we know how many people are actually vaccine damaged, and how many deaths are connected to vaccines? Currently, the United States only has one tracking system for reporting adverse vaccine events. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (or VAERS) is a voluntary, online site established by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) where you can submit the adverse events you experience yourself or for your child following a vaccine. But let me ask you: have you ever heard of VAERS? Has your doctor, pediatrician, or pharmacist ever told you about VAERS, and the importance of reporting any adverse effects you may have from a vaccine here?
There has been a lot of talk about automating VAERS, or a system like VAERS, so that hospitals and medical clinics would be required to report to VAERS, and to provide information about VAERS to all vaccine recipients. This would, of course, create a far more reliable tool for evaluating national vaccine adverse events, and with the technology of today, would be fairly simple to put into place. Unfortunately, there has been little indication on the part of the CDC, the FDA, or the DHHS that they would support such an effort.
While VAERS does not offer analysis of vaccine adverse events with regard to individual vaccines, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) does summarize data from VAERS. Looking selectively at the MMR (measles mumps rubella) vaccine, the NVIC found that as of November 30, 2018, there have been more than 93,000 reports of measles vaccine reactions, including 460 related deaths, almost 7,000 hospitalizations, and 1,700 related disabilities. Over 50% of those adverse events occurred in children three years old and under.
However, the NVIC also states clearly that “the numbers of vaccine-related injuries and deaths reported to VAERS may not reflect the true number of serious health problems that occur after vaccination.” Even though the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (more on that below) legally required pediatricians and other vaccine providers to report serious health problems following vaccination to VAERS, many doctors and other medical workers fail to report vaccine-related health problems, and may not even know of VAERS' existence. There is evidence that only between one and 10 percent of serious health problems that occur after use of prescription drugs or vaccines in the U.S. are ever reported to federal health officials.
So if the numbers listed above regarding the MMR vaccine are only representative of 1-10% of the actual adverse events, that would mean that since VAERS’ inception in 1990, there have been anywhere from 930,000 to 9,300,000 incidences of MMR reactions, almost 70,000 to 700,000 hospitalizations, 17,000 to 170,000 disabilities, and 4600 to 46,000 deaths. On an annual basis, that is the equivalent of 33,000 to 330,000 MMR adverse reactions, 2,500 to 25,000 hospitalizations, 625 to 6,250 disabilities, and 160 to 1600 deaths per year! If we hold these numbers up to adverse events, injuries and deaths reported in 1963 from contracting the actual measles virus, these amounted to 48,000 hospitalizations, 1000 cases of encephalitis (brain swelling), and between 400-500 deaths (taken from the CDC website).
The statistic of 160-1600 annual deaths from the MMR vaccine versus 400-500 deaths from the actual wild measles virus (out of a pre-vaccine estimated 3-4 million of the population infected annually) by itself would seem not a drastic enough difference to warrant a mandate of the vaccine, which effectively pits death caused by vaccinations against deaths caused by natural occurrences. The first rule of medicine is to do no harm. With numbers like these, it is not hard to see why people are questioning what the true risk to benefit ratio of vaccines really is. You can go between VAERS and the NVIC and make your own calculations with each individual vaccine. How many were injured and died from the disease? How many are injured and die from the vaccine? Isn’t this a critical comparison to make?
Complicating risk to benefit ratio analysis, is the fact that infectious diseases are highly individual. Rates of infection, transmission, injury, long-term complications, and even death from these diseases vary widely, making it difficult to generalize about how effective vaccines as a whole really are in saving lives. Measles is highly infectious, for example; smallpox dies quickly within a few feet of airspace and is easily quarantined.
Let’s look at two individual vaccines backed up by clinical studies that illustrate a more complete risk to benefit analysis. We can start with Hep B, routinely administered at birth, with two follow up boosters at 2 and 4 months of age, which is the only vaccine so far to receive gold standard, placebo-controlled studies. We’ll also take a look at the DPT or DPaT vaccine, which is probably the closest to a failure in terms of preventing outbreaks of the whooping cough, and one of the vaccines historically proven to be connected to vaccine damage and increased mortality rates.
Risk to Benefit Analysis: Hepatitis B Vaccine
Dr Zhi Bin Yao, educated at the University of Pittsburgh, and working currently at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China, conducted three critical studies on infant mice in 2015, 2016, and 2018, using the hepatitis B vaccine. In 2016, he gave one group of mice Hep B vaccine (in a size proportionate dose provided to a human infant) and another group an (actual) placebo, and measured the brain cognition and socialization behaviors. He and his peers concluded major changes in the chemistry of the brain in the mice receiving the vaccine, showing a massive uptake in certain cytokines. (Cytokines are proteins in the body that mediate either pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory processes.) The cytokines they observed, specifically inflammatory cytokine IL-4, when found in the brain are known to contribute to autism. Dr Yao and his associates observed significant changes in both social, learning, and cognition behaviors.
In 2018, Dr Yao followed up to determine if IL-4 cytokines were being produced as a response to the Hep B vaccine. He subsequently injected one group of mice with IL-4 cytokines, and the other group with the Hep B vaccine to see if they would get the same reaction. They did, and this proved that the Hep B vaccine could cause an elevation in IL-4 cytokines in the brain, which could then lead to brain inflammation and neurological damage, including autism. The work these Chinese scientists are doing is unequivocal biological evidence that the Hep B vaccine can cause brain damage.
The key word here is: latency period. It took a period of weeks for these neurological symptoms in the vaccinated mice to start to present themselves. In other words, there was a delay in terms of when the neurological symptoms appeared; it wasn’t always immediate.
As pointed out above, the Hep B vaccines approved for the CDC vaccination schedule were only studied up to a week--therefore, it is has not been acknowledged that the vaccine could be causing neurological damage. If you have a latency period, you can have an epidemic hiding in plain sight. A connection is likely never to be made with a child who developed a learning disability at age five, who got the Hep B vaccine at six months.
To be fair, we need to ask about the benefit of the vaccine. The Hep B vaccine is actually quite effective in preventing hepatitis B infection. But how prevalent is the infection? Why is it necessary to inject our entire infant population with this vaccine? Hepatitis B is indeed a serious illness, with currently no known cure, and long-term liver damage a common result. However, it has incredibly low communicability. What does it take to get it? You have to cut yourself and share blood, have unprotected sex or share a needle. By far the largest at risk groups in the United States have traditionally been drug users (sharing needles), homosexuals (similar to HIV), the sexually promiscuous, medical providers, and immigrants typically from Asia and the Asian Pacific. Unless you are a carrier of hepatitis B as a mother, which is easily tested before or during pregnancy, there is really no reason to get this vaccine for your infant or young child who is neither sexually active, or likely to be sharing drug needles. Many pediatricians with decades-long practices in the US, even before the introduction of the Hep B vaccine in 1990, had never seen a single case of hepatitis B. At the very least, wouldn’t it make more sense to give these vaccinations later in life, and have a greatly diminished potential of risk?
One other study I would like to mention: predating Dr Yao’s studies are the Goodman and Gallagher studies from late 2000. These studies looked at the Hep B vaccine series and autism rates. Results of the 2000 study indicated that US male infants vaccinated with the Hep B vaccine prior to 1999 incurred a threefold greater risk for autism. Non-white boys bore a disproportionately higher percentage of those affected.
Risk to Benefit Analysis: DPT (Diptheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine
The pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine is included as a component in "combination" shots that include tetanus and diphtheria (DPT, DTaP, Tdap). Whole cell pertussis vaccines in DPT, used in the US from 1949 until the late '90s, were estimated to be between 30 and 85 percent effective, depending upon the type of DPT and vaccine manufacturer, with protection lasting only two to five years. The DPT vaccine was highly reactive and carried a high risk of serious allergic reactions and brain inflammation leading to permanent brain damage, as detailed in the groundbreaking 1985 book "DPT: A Shot in the Dark," co-authored by Barbara Loe Fisher.
An interesting study published in 2000 looked at DTP administration within an urban African community of Guinea-Bissau, a community with a high child mortality rate. The study showed that DTP administration was associated with a 5-fold higher mortality than being unvaccinated, despite that fact that most of the unvaccinated population were children deemed too frail for vaccination. The elevation in mortality after the DTP administration was thought to be related to non-specific effects (NSE) of infections that are complications of the DTP vaccine, and which overshadowed the reduction in deaths from diptheria, tetanus and pertussis. They then conducted two randomised trials to reduce exposure to DTP, and both trials suggested this was beneficial.
As an interesting side note, it was observed in this study that administration of the BCG (tuberculosis) and MV (measles) vaccines halved child mortality rates, and it was only when the DPT was randomly added that mortality rates were negatively affected. They theorized that the aluminum adjuvant in the DPT, which activates a different branch of the immune system, was responsible for the NSE. Neither BCG or MV vaccines contain aluminum. This study illustrates clearly the need for more rigorous safety studies on individual vaccines, including their individual ingredients, before their wide scale administration.
Recently, there have been an escalating number of studies internationally on injected aluminum toxicity. One study was completed by Dr Christopher Shaw of the University of British Columbia in Canada in 2009. Dr Shaw was asking the question: were vaccines causing Gulf War syndrome in Canadian soldiers? Dr Shaw and his associates did the really simple experiment of taking the same stuff out of vaccines, the aluminum hydroxide, and injecting it into the muscles of mice to see what would happen if he tried to mimic the vaccine schedule. Dr Shaw’s findings were deeply troubling. As he says, “We were quite surprised to see how rapidly the behavioral symptoms emerged. They showed not only behavioral deficits of motor function but they ultimately showed cognitive deficits as well. Once we sacrificed the animals and started looking inside their brains and spinal cords, we found massive damage to motor neurons.”
Aluminum hydroxide is found in many of the vaccines on the pediatric vaccine schedule, including high amounts in the Hep B vaccine discussed above. I actually couldn’t find any information on injected aluminum hydroxide safety on the CDC website, but one argument I have heard from other sources is that “ingested” aluminum is safe for humans (we just poop it out). The obvious immediate question is: what about injected aluminum, entering directly into the blood stream? The following five points about injected aluminum versus ingested aluminum were recently published in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology:
Aluminum levels in vaccines are based on immune efficacy and ignore body weight for safety.
Several critical mistakes have been made in the consideration of pediatric dosing of aluminum in vaccines.
Safety inferences of vaccine doses of aluminum have relied solely on dietary exposure studies of adult mice and rats.
On Day 1 of life, infants receive 17 times more aluminum than would be allowed if doses were adjusted per body weight.
Revised MRL calculation based weights are provided, but are also based on derived speculation, not on safety data.
Another study, this time by French scientists Drs Gherardi and Cadusseau from the Universite Paris-Est in 2013, demonstrated that aluminum adjuvant, when injected into the body of a mouse, ended up in the brain one year later. The scientists expressed concern with the vaccine schedule, stating, “Continuously escalating doses of this poorly biodegradable adjuvant in the population may become insidiously unsafe, especially in the case of overimmunization or immature/altered blood brain barrier.”
Dr Christopher Exley, a biologist and expert with more than thirty years' experience in the field of aluminum adjuvants and aluminum toxicity, together with his colleagues published a paper in late 2017 that for the first time looked at the brain tissue of subjects with autism to determine the level of aluminum found. In performing autopsies on the brains of five autistic individuals, they found that not only was aluminum content shockingly high, but the location of the aluminum in the brain tissue suggested that aluminum had entered the brain in pro-inflammatory cells that had become loaded up with aluminum in the blood and/or lymph--as has been demonstrated for monocytes at injection sites for vaccines. Sound eerily similar to Dr Yao's findings (Hep B increasing IL 4 cytokines in the brain)?
Dr Exley subsequently wrote a private letter to the CDC, the FDA, and the NIH stating that, "as an expert in the field of aluminum adjuvants and aluminum toxicity I solemnly declare that more research on the role of aluminum adjuvant in vaccines and neurological disorders, including ASD (autism), is essential and urgently required."
If you wish to learn more about the accumulating science behind aluminum adjuvant in vaccines and brain inflammation, the entirety of chapter 5 in JB Handley's 2018 book How To End the Autism Epidemic is dedicated to it. You can also view the science at www.vaccinepapers.org.
DTaP shots — which contain the less reactive acellular pertussis vaccine licensed for infants in the United States in 1996, and are far less likely to cause serious allergic reactions — may have yielded very different results in the Guinea-Bissau study above. DTaP shots are given five times to children under age six in the US, with additional Tdap booster doses recommended for teenagers and adults. Yet, another problem has surfaced with the DTaP. Since the late 1980s, CDC data shows that kindergarten children in the US have maintained a high vaccination rate with more than 94 percent of kindergarten children receiving four to five DTaP vaccines. Despite these high vaccination rates, whooping cough outbreaks have been rising for decades. I remember when my daughter developed whooping cough in 2008, speaking with a nurse who told me that she had seen many fully vaccinated children develop whooping cough, including her own three children.
As you can see, a cursory look at actual numbers of adverse MMR vaccine events, and studies behind the Hep B and DPT, reveal that damage and death may not be as rare as we might believe. Yet even then, we don’t have to “throw the baby out with the bathwater”. When a vaccine such as the DPT is found to be damaging, it is possible to create a less damaging alternative (the DTaP now used), although the less damaging alternative may not be as effective. In which case more research may need to be done to increase effectiveness safely. We should be examining all of our individual vaccines with this type of scrutiny. Sadly, we are not.
Finally, I have come across many articles like this one, entitled "A Shot in the Dark Revisited", refuting that clinically significant numbers of death or neurological damage occurred with the DPT. Yet, if you look at the very "evidence" they bring forth, they end up contradicting their own argument. The top two points listed in this article rejecting the DPT allegations, state: first, "In 1993 the Institute of Medicine conducted their own review of the evidence and concluded that the evidence is insufficient to indicate either the presence or absence of a causal relationship between DTP vaccine and permanent neurological damage." How is this a plausible counterpoint? If the evidence is insufficient, this means there is not enough evidence to show a causal relationship. Why? The only explanation is that they feel sufficient studies simply have not been done.
Second, even worse, the article states, "But a later (1994) extensive population-based case control study did not find any statistically significant increased risk of onset of serious acute neurological illness in the 7 days after DTP vaccine exposure for young children." This is the same argument we have presented above: 7 days is nowhere near long enough to establish a connection between a drug or vaccine and long-term effects such as neurological damage.
Assumption #3: Vaccines do not cause autism.
The CDC and other vaccine regulatory agencies tell us that there are “numerous studies” debunking the MMR and autism connection. Yet, how solid are the studies? And why only study the MMR? What about other vaccines and autism?
We’ve already seen that there are a growing number of international clinical studies that are showing clear connections between aluminum adjuvant in vaccines and brain damage, and the Hep B vaccine in particular and brain damage. Yet we never hear about these critically important findings from our news sources. Apart from the MMR, which is a live vaccine and so it does not contain aluminum, no other vaccine has been critically studied by the federal agencies that regulate vaccine safety in order to determine the vaccine-autism connection. Shouldn’t we at least look at other aluminum-containing vaccines, such as Hep B, Hep A, DTaP, Hib, and flu vaccines?
Let’s look at the two major quoted studies “debunking” the MMR vaccine connection to autism that are often used by the media and vaccine safety sites to disprove the MMR-autism association. That they then jump from that position to state that this proves that ALL vaccines don’t cause autism, doesn’t seem very grounded in science. This is like saying: we’ve proven Losartan doesn’t cause heart attacks; therefore, all drugs don’t cause heart attacks. But OK: let’s take a closer look.
First, there’s the MMR-autism study by Lewin Group under Dr Anjali Jain--often quoted as a large study showing definitively that rates of autism are the same in vaccinated and unvaccinated kids. This study looked at 95,000 “vaccinated and unvaccinated” children to see if there was a statistical difference in autism rates between the two populations.
Second, there’s the new Danish MMR study whose conclusions state that the MMR is not associated with increased autism risk. This was a large-scale retrospective study based on Danish registries of all children born between 1991 and 1998 in Denmark, totaling a little over half a million. Of these children, they found 316 with an autism disorder and 422 diagnosed with other autism spectrum disorders.
The following shared factors call these study findings into question:
Vested interests: the Lewin Group study was funded by four large US pharmaceutical companies; the Danish study by two large European pharmaceutical companies. In addition, the Lewin Group study was designed by three employees of the Lewin Group, a healthcare consulting group that works for pharmaceutical companies.
Both studies looked at a single vaccine, the MMR, and its potential impact on incidences of autism.
Both studies stated that they looked at both vaccinated and unvaccinated children; however, what they meant by “unvaccinated” was children who had not received the MMR. In other words, many if not most of the “unvaccinated” children had probably received all of their other vaccines, just not the MMR. No attempt was made to clarify what other vaccines the “unvaccinated” children had received, or not received.
In the Lewin Group, only 23 of the 95,000 children studied fit the criteria for: one older sibling with autism (who had received the MMR), and the child themselves with autism (who had not received the MMR). So they based all the conclusions of this study on 23 children.
Healthy user bias: this is a significant problem with many epidemiology studies like these. A healthy user bias is created when people with health problems stop vaccinating. When this occurs, unhealthy and unvaccinated subjects are used as the control group. Consequently, the vaccinated group has better health at the outset, which is erroneously attributed to the vaccines. As a clear example, parents have a child they are vaccinating. By 12 months, the child isn’t doing well, and is missing milestones, so they become afraid and stop vaccinating. The MMR often isn’t given until 12-15 months, so the child never gets the MMR. Yet he continues to go on and develop autism. In this case, the study states that this “unvaccinated” child nevertheless developed autism--disregarding the fact that this child received multiple other vaccines as an infant.
Inherent study flaws aside, let’s say for argument’s sake, that the two above studies definitely prove that the MMR doesn’t cause autism. Even if that is the case, with our children currently receiving upwards of 56 injections of 30 vaccines, we would still have a long way to go to prove that all vaccines do not cause autism.
With Dr Yao’s new research on the Hep B vaccine, it would be critically important to ascertain whether or not the MMR-free children in either study had in fact received the Hep B at birth. As it turns out, only the children in the Lewin Group would have received the vaccine. In the Danish group, none of the children would have received the Hep B, as they don’t vaccinate for Hep B in many European countries, including Denmark. The Danish also do not vaccinate for chickenpox, flu, or rotavirus. In this case, it’s interesting to note that the Danish children had a 1 in 100 rate of autism versus the current 1 in 36 rate in the United States. Could the significantly reduced vaccination schedule in Denmark play a role in this? This factor was not mentioned in the study.
This brings us also to look at infant mortality rates. Do you know that the United States’ infant mortality rate lags far behind other comparable countries? The US is currently ranked 45th in infant mortality, behind Cuba and Slovenia. Denmark is ranked 22nd. Given that we have the most aggressive vaccination schedule in the world, you would think that our high vaccination rates would push us somewhere toward the top? Obviously other factors must be at play, however, it is also entirely possible that too many vaccines presented too young have contributed to this embarrassing high rate of infant deaths.
Japan, for example, who has one of the most flexible pediatric vaccination schedules, ranks 4th--just behind Singapore, Sweden and Bermuda. Hep B vaccination is not compulsory in Japan. Japan is also the only country who switched from providing the MMR in 1993 to individual vaccines of measles, mumps and rubella, after a surge in aseptic meningitis related to the MMR vaccine. With regard to Singapore, who ranks first, the Hep B vaccine is only compulsory for babies born to mothers who are Hep B positive. This is in spite of the fact that at between 5-6 percent of the population, Hep B is considered endemic to Singapore.
Are there other studies out there with conflicting information on the MMR and autism link? There was a study completed by the CDC in 2004 in Atlanta, a study led by CDC senior scientist Dr William Thompson, who still works for the CDC today. Results of this study showed a clear correlation between autism and the MMR vaccine; in fact, the study showed that African American males had a three-fold elevated risk for developing autism after the MMR vaccine. The study also showed that if the vaccine was delayed in these children until after three years of age (36 months), this elevated risk was dramatically reduced.
Apparently afraid of the public response, the CDC decided to report only part of the data in the final published paper--omitting data that revealed the causal relationship between the MMR and autism. Perhaps plagued by guilt, in 2013 Dr William Thompson reached out to biologist Dr Brian Hooker, and in a series of recorded phone calls, provided him with the confidential data that had been destroyed by his colleagues at the CDC. The recorded phone messages are aired in the documentary movie Vaxxed. In a public statement shortly after this information was leaked to the public, Dr Thompson stated, “I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.”
So there appears to be mixed results even in the MMR-autism studies that have been conducted. Regardless, as discussed above there are many biological studies internationally going on that are pointing to a clear connection between aluminum-containing vaccines and brain damage (including autism), and the Hep B vaccine and brain damage (including autism). These studies are not being discussed in the media, or being introduced to the American public. At this time, given the new accumulating evidence, it is far from conclusive that (all) vaccines do not cause autism.
Assumption #4: If you have a vaccine-injured child, you can sue the pharmaceutical companies for compensation, the way you can for any other drug on the market.
The shocking answer, that many politicians, parents and pediatricians don’t even know? You cannot. While pharmaceutical companies remain liable for injuries caused by their non-vaccine drugs, they have no liability for injuries caused by their vaccines. In the 1980’s the vaccine industries were receiving so many complaints and were being sued by so many parents for alleged vaccine damage (particularly for the DPT vaccine), that they felt they could not profitably continue producing vaccines. They brought this issue to the federal government, and in 1986 Congress passed a law called the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which effectively granted pharmaceutical companies near complete financial immunity, or freedom from liability, from injuries caused by vaccines. (Complete financial immunity was finally granted through the Supreme Court in 2011.)
Recognizing that the 1986 Act eliminated the incentive for vaccine makers to assure the safety of their products, the Act then placed this responsibility into the hands of the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). If a parent has a vaccine damaged child, since 1986 they have been required to submit their complaints and requests for compensation through the federal government itself. This process is arduous, as you can only imagine a court case through the government could be, and most parents do not receive compensation. Those who do, receive their compensation from taxpayer money, which since 1986 amounts to 4.4 billion dollars.
Since the passage of the 1986 Act, the number of required pediatric vaccines has grown rapidly. In 1983 the CDC’s childhood vaccination schedule included 11 injections of 4 vaccines. As of 2017, the CDC’s childhood vaccine schedule includes 56 injections of 30 vaccines. This year, the number of recommended vaccines will reach 75 injections by the age of 18 years. There are over 200 new vaccines in production, with no capped limit in sight. Adult mandates are in the works, and adults may require 55 vaccines to catch up.
Some concerning facts:
The global vaccine market is estimated to surge to $58 billion by 2025, on a par with the oil and gas industry.
Fifty percent of the CDC’s budget goes to selling and promoting vaccines; the CDC owns 56 vaccine patents and collects money on them.
The FDA gets 75% or three fourths of its budget from the pharmaceutical and vaccine industries.
The FDA owns part of the Gardasil patent, probably the most damaging vaccine to date, with thousands of serious neurological injuries and deaths reported worldwide. The FDA gets a $420 kickback per shot series, and division chairs within the FDA get $150,000 in royalties each year.
Reread those statistics.
As a relevant aside: many years ago, I completed some exhaustive health research on monosodium glutamate, or MSG, and its presence in a very large percentage of processed foods in the United States. I was deeply disturbed to learn that scientists as early as the 1950’s had clearly shown that feeding MSG to infant mice caused brain lesions, leading to thyroid abnormalities and obesity. Despite these scientists testifying in court and presenting their findings, large food corporations were able to pay their way out of litigation, and with the blessings of a paid off US government, continued adding MSG to processed foods for many decades to come--including baby formulas and foods fed to infants and toddlers. Now of course, it’s common knowledge that MSG can be neurologically toxic to many individuals. This experience taught me a lesson: that we must not be blind; we must examine profit-based interest, and we must be aware of who is funding the studies that we base our beliefs on. Finally, we must be smart about the products we decide to put into our bodies.
Assumption #5: Most of the world’s deadly diseases are now history because of vaccines.
Vaccines and vaccine series do prevent outbreaks of infectious disease, and provide limited (in the best cases, up to 8-10 years) protection, after which a booster is required. Yet, contrary to what most people believe, the lion share of the credit for the decline of infectious diseases overall came long before vaccine programs were introduced. I invite you to visit this article on the CDC website “Achievements in Public Health”, and check out the strikingly telling graph illustrating the decline in fatalities due to infectious disease throughout the twentieth century.
The graph clearly reveals that the crude death rate from all infectious diseases was in a steady, ongoing decline that began around 1918, many decades before any vaccination program was put in place. The rate of decline for both diseases we never have developed vaccines for--including scarlet fever, typhoid, cholera, dysentery, plague, and malaria--declined at the same rate as diseases for which we later developed vaccines. According to the CDC’s graph, by 1955, when Salk’s polio vaccine came into the picture, the mortality rate from infectious diseases was roughly at the level it was in the late 1990s, which is not very different from today.
So what was responsible for the dramatic decline?
We find the answers within this same article. The CDC cites “overcrowding in poor housing served by inadequate or nonexistent public water supplies and waste-disposal systems” as the major contributing factors to disease outbreaks. The agency explains that by 1900, the incidence of many of these diseases had begun to decline due to public health improvements such as clean drinking water through chlorination and other treatments; improved housing conditions, which reduced overcrowding; animal, pest, and mosquito control programs; and the establishment of health departments. The CDC goes on to explain that state and local health departments made substantial progress in disease prevention activities including sewage disposal, water treatment, food safety, organized solid waste disposal and public education about hygienic practices, such as food handling and hand washing. The first medical use of penicillin in 1940 further supported the steady decline in fatalities.
OK, so let’s get back to that list of infectious diseases that we have never developed a vaccine for--and yet, they have declined at the very same rate as the diseases for which we are vaccinating. This is an extremely important point. Why is it that hardly anyone these days gets typhoid, for example? According to current statistics, around 300 US citizens contract typhoid each year, the vast majority of them travelers from third world countries. Yet, in 1920, 100 out of 100,000 people were contracting typhoid annually in the United States. With a population of 76 million at the time, that means 76,000 people each year came down with typhoid. Now we have a nearly zero infection rate (if we exclude travelers to third world countries) without any vaccination program implemented. How can that be? Once again, we can postulate based on the CDC’s own evidence that radically improved living conditions and hygiene are at the root.
What about scarlet fever, a type of group A streptococcus bacterial infection? In the 1800s and first half of the 1900s scarlet fever, predominantly a childhood illness, was commonplace. In fact, in the early twentieth century, scarlet fever was a leading cause of death in children, resulting in mortality rates reaching 15-20 percent; complications could include kidney damage, congestive heart failure and hepatitis. It turns out, with the advent of antibiotics, mortality rates are now far less than 1%: there was one scarlet fever-related death over a 16 year period from 1980-1996. This begs the question: why is it so mild a disease now? We can make an educated guess that improved hygiene, nutrition, and access to antibiotics is the answer. It certainly wasn’t vaccines.
Here is a series of graphs that illustrate numbers of deaths from infectious diseases in the 1800s and 1900s (to current), and which illustrate clearly that deaths had dramatically declined in nearly every case before vaccines were introduced.
Assumption #6: Herd immunity, or community immunity, is required to prevent outbreaks of infectious disease.
This concept--the most influential force behind the current sweeping push for mandatory vaccinations, and the concept behind the adoption of California’s SB 277 law mandating vaccines for entry into public and private schools--assumes that if we get our vaccination numbers up to 90-95 percent of the population, we will eliminate outbreaks of the illness. (It also assumes that the immunity benefit to the majority trumps any suffering of the minority related to vaccine damage.)
However, this concept deteriorates under a quick and cursory scrutiny. In fact, the United States has never ever been close to herd immunity for the prevention of any vaccine-preventable disease for two obvious reasons. First, the overwhelming majority of adults in the United States are not up to date on their vaccines. There are roughly 180 million adults walking around, working in schools, restaurants and stores, co-mingling in communities, with no vaccine-provided protection from many diseases that we are supposed to have hit herd immunity thresholds for.
Second, the efficacy of vaccines to ward off disease wears off over time, meaning its protection wanes over time, at best over an eight to ten year period. Think about this carefully for minute. Immunity wanes at different times for different people, with varying lengths of protection. The only way we could achieve a 90-95% herd immunity, would be to forcefully mandate vaccines against every targeted infectious disease, complete with optimally timed boosters at 10-year or less increments, for 90-95% of our entire US population (not just pediatric). To achieve that, we would require a totalitarian approach, such as Argentina's recent new law mandating complete vaccination records for everyone--or you can’t get a driver’s license or a passport. Are we really OK with such forceful mandates--especially when, despite achieving only a 60-65% immunity rate at best, we have nevertheless succeeded in drastically reducing and sometimes even eliminating outbreaks in many infectious diseases?
Assumption #7: Vaccinated children are healthier than unvaccinated children.
As stated earlier, chronic disease in our pediatric population has soared from 12.8% in the 1980s to 54% currently. Something we are doing for our children isn’t working. It’s probably a host of somethings, but shouldn’t we be trying to get as clear as we can about the causes, and address these causes? With close to 95% of the US pediatric population fully vaccinated (according to the current CDC schedule), if vaccinations were improving health, you would think that our chronic disease picture would look a little better.
Could we find out if vaccines are playing a role in chronic pediatric illness? Yes, there is a simple way to find out. The only way to truly know if the benefits of our current vaccination program outweigh the risks is to perform a dedicated long-term study of high numbers of fully vaccinated versus fully unvaccinated (i.e. zero vaccines) children. Yet, this study has never been performed, even on a small scale--until very recently.
Published in 2017, a comparative study was finally performed out of Jackson State University that examined acute and chronic illness in vaccinated versus unvaccinated and partially vaccinated six to twelve year olds. This population consisted of 666 children represented in 415 questionnaires of homeschooling families in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Oregon, of which 261 were unvaccinated, 208 were partially vaccinated, and 197 were fully vaccinated according to the CDC schedule. The results were as follows.
With regard to acute illness:
both the fully vaccinated and partially vaccinated were significantly less likely to have had the chicken pox and whooping cough
vaccinated children were significantly more likely to have developed ear infections and pneumonia. Odds of otitis media (ear infection) were 4-fold higher in vaccinated children, and ear tube replacements were 8-fold higher.
no significant differences were seen with regard to measles, mumps, hepatitis A or B, meningitis, influenza, or rotavirus.
With regard to chronic illness:
vaccinated children were significantly more likely to develop a range of chronic illnesses. These included allergic rhinitis (10.4% versus 0.4%), other allergies (22.2% versus 6.9%), eczema (9.5% versus 3.6%), learning disability (5.7% versus 1.2%), ADHD (4.7% versus 1%), any neurodevelopmental disorder or NDD (10.5% versus 3. 1%), any chronic illness (44% versus 25%).
partially vaccinated children had an intermediate position between vaccinated and unvaccinated children in chronic illness in regard to several but not all health outcomes. These included: ADHD, allergic rhinitis, eczema, and learning disabilities.
among the vaccinated, boys were more likely than girls to be diagnosed with chronic illness, especially with allergic rhinitis, NDD, and ASD (autism spectrum disorder).
Limitations of this study included:
Mothers’ reports could not be validated by clinical records because the survey was designed to be anonymous. Had mothers been asked to provide copies of their children’s medical records it would no longer have been an anonymous study and would have resulted in few completed questionnaires.
The vaccinated were more likely to have seen a doctor for a routine checkup in the past 12 months. Could the unvaccinated have artificially reduced rates of illness because they are seen less often by physicians, and would therefore have been less likely to be diagnosed with a disease?
This was a small epidemiological study, with all of the inherent flaws of such a study. However, the results indicate that further, much larger studies are warranted. Fascinating to confirm is a clear elevation in chronic illness, especially in fully vaccinated children. Yet until we have a much larger study available, we won’t know with certainty whether our current rapid upward trend in pediatric chronic illness is or is not partly attributable to vaccines.
FINALLY: Assumption #8: Measles is deadly. Measles outbreaks are escalating, and threatening the entire country with an epidemic.
I’ve been saving this assumption for the conclusion, as this assumption is driving the current massive political effort and public pressure to mandate vaccines for all. For those who have been following the news, you will be aware that there is a big national push to remove vaccine exemptions, and enforce mandatory vaccinations. This includes our own state: Representative Kyle Mullica in February of this year proposed a bill to remove vaccine exemptions from the state of Colorado. Vaccine exemptions--for those who may be unaware--are legally-binding medical, religious, or philosophical reasons provided so that parents can exercise judicious control over the vaccinations that their children receive or do not receive.
Without these exemptions, children are vaccinated uniformly according to the CDC’s recommended pediatric vaccination schedule. With exemptions, there are always pockets of children that are either unvaccinated, or vaccinated according to a slower, alternative vaccination schedule. And of course--these pockets of children may increase risks of particularly infectious disease outbreaks, such as measles, in the population at large.
So why the sudden intensive push to mandate vaccines? It is stemming from higher than normal measles outbreaks this year, the largest outbreaks which have occurred in Washington (74 cases so far) and New York (over 300) largely within unvaccinated communities. To clarify and contextualize, measles outbreaks have always occurred annually within the United States, and within both vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. But numbers appear to be on the rise since 2014, when 667 cases were reported--the largest number since measles was supposedly eliminated in 2000. The rise in measles is being attributed largely to a growing hesitancy to vaccinate, and it is true that the majority of cases come from either unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated individuals.
But is the measles deadly? Recall our statistics quoted from VAERS earlier in this article. In 1963, between 400-500 deaths from wild measles virus were reported. And yet annually, we appear to be looking at between 160 and 1600 deaths from the MMR vaccine. The question is: do these parents have a right to not vaccinate their children with the MMR, given these numbers? And if the decision to not vaccinate then subjects us to more outbreaks, how “deadly” have these outbreaks truly been in recent years?
According to my research, there have been exactly nine deaths reported from association with wild measles virus in the last 15 years in the United States, with the last death reported in 2015. Despite the “wild outbreak” of almost 400 people this year, no deaths have been reported. Measles even back in the 1960’s was considered such a mild childhood illness, as to be considered a free “ticket from school” to ecstatic, only semi-sick children. Their reward? Complete immunity for life, free of risks associated with vaccine ingredients, and free from required boosters.
There are also other issues affecting risk of outbreaks, apart from unvaccinated or partially vaccinated pockets of children. We talked about the “elephant in the room”: the vast majority of unvaccinated adults, over 180 million Americans walking around with no immunity. Also increasing risk of infectious disease spread, are a percentage of vaccine recipients who for unknown reasons never properly develop immunity, and cases of infectious diseases being contracted from the vaccine itself if it contains a live virus. This is called "vaccine shedding" (from a live virus vaccine) and although a plethora of articles can be found discrediting this "theory", there have been a number of documented cases.
With impending policies threatening to remove our civil liberty to determine what does and does not enter the sanctity of our most precious resource--our own human body, and that of our children--how can we not take the time to thoroughly research the issue of vaccine safety? At the very least, we need to be 100% certain that vaccinating for all of these diseases is the right way to go.
If we are going to go ahead without proper safety studies and mandate vaccines, we at least need to ask questions about who may be more susceptible to vaccine damage than someone else. A basic tenet of 3000-year-old Chinese medicine, is to treat everyone as an individual. Ten people with migraines might be treated ten different ways, with different points and herbs based on their individual constitution and the unique factors that have formed the causes of their migraines. Chinese medicine is clear: that when we treat with a “one size fits all”, we lose our effectiveness in restoring health.
We now know that genetics can play a huge role in determining our health and prospects for disease. I myself just learned that I have genes that cannot detoxify properly, and thus I cannot eliminate toxins such as mold spores and bacterial fragments from circulating air in water damaged buildings--toxins that 75% of the population clear with ease. These toxins instead make me very ill. At the very least, shouldn’t we be combining our knowledge of genetics with our vaccine programs, and carefully testing our babies and children for these genetic abnormalities before we start filling them with vaccines? We must remember the basic tenet of all true medicine, and vaccines are no exception: First, do no harm.