Mercury in Vaccines
Vaccines are big business. Pharma is a trillion-dollar industry with vaccines accounting for $25 billion in annual sales. CDC’s decision to add a vaccine to the schedule can guarantee its manufacturer millions of customers and billions in revenue with minimal advertis- ing or marketing costs and complete immunity from lawsuits. High stakes and the seamless marriage between Big Pharma and government agencies have spawned an opaque and crooked regulatory system. Merck, one of America’s leading vaccine outfits, is currently under investigation for deceiving FDA regulators about the effectiveness of its MMR vaccine. Two whistleblowers say Merck ginned up sham studies to maintain Merck’s MMR monopoly.
Big money has fueled the exponential expansion of CDC’s vaccine schedule since 1988, when Congress’ grant of immunity from lawsuits suddenly transformed vaccines into paydirt. CDC recommended five pediatric vaccines when I was a boy in 1954. Today’s children cannot ¬¬ school without at least 56 doses of 14 vaccines by the time they’re 18.
An insatiable pharmaceutical industry has 271 new vaccines under development in CDC’s bureaucratic pipeline in hopes of boosting vaccine revenues to $100 billion by 2025. The industry’s principle spokesperson, Dr. Paul Offit, says that he believes children can take as many as 10,000 vaccines.
Public health may not be the sole driver of CDC decisions to mandate new vaccines. Four scathing federal studies, including two by Congress, one by the US Senate, and one by the HHS Inspector General, paint CDC as a cesspool of corruption, mismanagement, and dysfunction with alarming conflicts of interest suborning its research, regulatory, and policymaking functions. CDC rules allow vaccine industry profiteers like Dr. Offit to serve on advisory boards that add new vaccines to the schedule. In a typical example, Offit in 1999 sat on the CDC’s vaccine advisory committee and voted to add the rotavirus vaccine to CDC’s schedule, paving the way for him to make a fortune on his own rotavirus vaccine. Offit and his business partners sold the royalties to his rotavirus vaccine patent to Merck in 2006 for $182 million. Offit told Newsweek, “It was like winning the lottery!” A 2009 HHS Inspector General’s report found that the CDC certified financial disclosure forms with at least one omission for 97% of committee members—and most forms had more than one type of omission. The same report stated that as many as 64% of committee members had potential conflicts of interest that CDC did not identify or resolve before certifying their forms. In addition to lucrative business partnerships with Merck, Offit holds a $1.5 million research chair, funded by Merck, at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. From this industry sinecure, he broadcasts vaccine industry propaganda and annually publishes books urging unlimited vaccinations and vilifying safe-vaccine advocates.
The corruption has also poisoned CDC’s immunization safety office, the research arm that tests vaccines for safety and efficacy. In August 2014, seventeen-year CDC veteran, Dr. William Thompson, who is author of the principal study cited by CDC to exculpate mercury- preserved vaccines from the autism link, invoked whistleblower protection, and turned extensive agency files over to Congress. Thompson, who is still employed at CDC, says that for the past decade his superiors have pressured him and his fellow scientists to lie and manipulate data about the safety of the mercury-based preservative thimerosal to conceal its causative link to a suite of brain injuries, including autism.
Thimerosal is 50% ethylmercury, which is far more toxic and persistent in the brain than the highly regulated methylmercury in fish. Hundreds of peer reviewed studies by leading government and university scientists show that thimerosal is a devastating brain poison linked to neurological disorders now epidemic in American children. My book, Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak, is a summary of these studies, which CDC and its credulous jour- nalists swear don’t exist. Although Thompson’s CDC and vaccine industry colleagues have created nine patently fraudulent and thoroughly discredited epidemiological studies to defend thimerosal, no published study shows thimerosal to be safe.
The common canard that US autism rates rose after drug makers removed most thimerosal from pediatric vaccines in 2003 is wrong. That same year, CDC added flu shots containing massive doses of thimerosal to the pediatric schedule. As a result, children today can get nearly as much mercury exposure as children did from all pediatric vaccines combined in the decade prior to 2003. Worse, thimerosal, for the first time, is being given to pregnant women in flu shots. Furthermore, CDC’s current autism numbers are for children born in 2002, when kids were still getting thimerosal in their pediatric vaccines. The best science suggests that thimerosal’s complete removal from vaccines is likely to prompt a significant decline in autism. For example, a 2013 CDC study in JAMA Pediatrics shows a 33% drop in autism spectrum disorder in Denmark following the 1992 removal of thimerosal from Danish vaccines. That paper is among 37 peer-reviewed studies linking thimerosal to the autism epidemic.
Thimerosal has precipitated a journalistic as well as a public health crisis. Big Pharma pumps over $3.5 billion annually into TV, newspapers, and other advertising, targeting news departments, which have become vehicles for pharmaceutical sales and propa- ganda platforms for the industry. Television and print outlets feature spokespeople like Dr. Offit—without identifying their industry ties— while censoring criticisms of vaccine safety andexcluding the voices of informed vaccine safety advocates. Busy journalists parrot the deceptive talking points dispensed by government and pharma officials rather than reading the science themselves. Unable to argue the science, they bully, pillory, and demonize vaccine safety advocates as “anti-vax,” “anti-science,” and far worse. The unwillingness of the press to scrutinize CDC has emboldened both industry and agency to follow the lowest paths of easy profit and bureaucratic preservation.
The measles scare was classic disaster capitalism, with media outlets dutifully stoking public hysteria on editorial pages and throughout the 24-hour broadcast cycle. With Dr. Offit leading the charge, CDC, drug makers, and industry-funded front groups parlayed a garden variety annual measles outbreak into a national tidal wave of state legislation to ban religious and philosophical vaccine exemptions. The national media frenzy over 159 measles cases left little room for attention to the the autism cataclysm which has debilitated 1 million American children since the pandemic began in 1989, with 27,000 new cases annually. CDC refuses to call autism an “epidemic.” In defiance of hard science, and common sense, CDC and Offit have launched a denial campaign to gull reporters into believing the autism plague is an illusion created by better diagnosis.
Big Pharma is among the nation’s largest political donors, giving $31 million last year to national political candidates. It spends more on political lobbying than any other industry, $3.0 billion from 1998 to 2014—double the amount spent by oil and gas and four times as much as defense and aerospace lobbyists. By February, state legislators in 36 states were pushing through over one hundred new laws to end philosophical and religious vaccine exemptions. Many of those state lawmakers are also on the industry payroll. You can see how much money bill sponsors from your state took from Big Pharma on www.maplight.org
Normally plaintiffs’ tort lawyers would provide a powerful check and balance to keep vaccines safe and effective and regulators and policymakers honest. But Pharma’s dirty money has bought the industry immunity from lawsuits for vaccine injury no matter how dangerous the product. An obliging Congress disposed of the Seventh Amendment right to jury trial, making it impossible for vaccine-injured plaintiffs to sue pharmaceutical companies for selling unsafe vaccines. That’s right! No Class Actions. No discovery. No depositions and little financial incentive for the industry to make vaccines safer.
Vaccine industry money has neutralized virtually all of the checks and balances that once stood between a rapacious pharmaceutical industry and our children. With the re- search, regulatory, and policymaking agencies captured, the courts closed to the public, the lawyers disarmed, the politicians on retainer and the media subverted, there is no one left to stand between a greedy industry and vulnerable children, except parents. Now Big Pharma’s game plan is to remove parental informed consent rights from that equation and force vaccine hesitant parents to inject their children with potentially risky vaccines that the Supreme Court has called “unavoidably unsafe.”
Ending exemptions is premature until we have a functioning regulatory agency and a transparent process. The best way to insure full vaccine coverage is for the vaccine program to win back public trust by ending its corrupt financial ties with a profit-making industry.
To educate yourselves about CDC corruption and the truth about vaccine science, I hope you will read Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak and download the important movie Trace Amounts and insist your legislators watch it before voting on any of these bills.
—Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Real-Life Data Show that the CDC Vaccine Schedule is Causing Harm
Image above: Autism results in three groups of children — those who followed the “Vaccine-Friendly” Plan; those who received no vaccines and the CDC’s figures based on their recommended vaccine schedule.
By the Children’s Health Defense Team
In 2015, California’s governor signed SB277, a bill that eliminated the state’s nonmedical vaccine exemptions. The bill placed California families in the difficult position of either accepting the state’s “one-size-fits-all” vaccine mandate or forfeiting their children’s right to any preschool or K-12 classroom education. Not content with eviscerating parents’ right to exempt their children from even one of the nearly six dozen doses of vaccine currently required through age 18, the bill’s sponsor, shockingly, is now going after the sacrosanct doctor-patient relationship and seeking to invalidate doctor-granted medical exemptions. Writing in late 2018 in Pediatrics (the journal of the pro-“pharmaceutical agenda” American Academy of Pediatrics), the California legislator used thinly veiled words of intimidation to threaten disciplinary action for doctors who write “unwarranted” medical exemptions, including revoking their authority to grant such exemptions.
Medical data from an integrative pediatric practice in neighboring Oregon suggest that California and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should instead revoke their unforgiving one-size-fits-all approach to vaccination. Board-certified pediatrician Paul Thomas, who has a thriving practice in Portland, has just furnished a stunning response to officials’ demand that he “show the proof” that the slower, evidence-based vaccine schedule recommended in his book, The Vaccine-Friendly Plan, “is safer than the CDC schedule.” After opening up his practice data to a deep dive by an independent and internationally known health informatics expert, the consultant found results—“more powerful than a study”—that amazed them both: ten years of practice data clearly show that unvaccinated and partially vaccinated children have a dramatically lower risk of autism compared to children vaccinated according to the CDC schedule.
Up until the mid-2000s, Dr. Thomas administered vaccines in lockstep with the CDC schedule. However, when he witnessed previously healthy one-year-old patients regressing into severe autism for four years running, he started questioning this approach. After delving into published research never mentioned in medical school, Dr. Thomas developed the slower and more selective vaccine schedule described in his book. For the past ten years, his practice has put parents in the driver’s seat of making vaccine decisions, offering them a full discussion of vaccine benefits and risks—including the risks of neurotoxic vaccine ingredients such as aluminum—as well as providing detailed advice about how to support a well-balanced immune system. Dr. Thomas reports that while the majority of families in his practice vaccinate, “almost none of them follow the CDC schedule.”
The independent consultant identified a total of 3,344 pediatric patients born into the practice over the ten-year period, including 715 unvaccinated children and 2,629 partially vaccinated children. The medical records showed that the latter received about three to six times fewer vaccines (7 to 18 shots) than same-age children vaccinated according to the CDC schedule (25 to 40 shots).
The practice data showed the following:
- One case of autism in the unvaccinated group—a rate of 1 in 715.
- Six cases of autism in the partially vaccinated group—a rate of 1 in 438.
- In comparison, government data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) show a diagnosed autism rate of 1 in 45 children (aged 3-17 years) as of 2014 and, by 2016, a rate of 1 in 36.
In an interview with Del Bigtree on the show HighWire, Dr. Thomas put his practice data in a wider context, noting that if California followed the modified vaccine schedule, it would spare about 9,000 cases of autism annually. At a national level, the slower schedule would prevent about 90,000 cases of autism annually. Dr. Thomas also explained that the consultant’s findings validate his own waiting room observations of an “incredibly healthy” patient population. On the other hand, he speculated that the autism rate in the unvaccinated group might have been even lower—perhaps 1 in 1,000 or less—if his unvaccinated group came from a low-risk patient population. In his clinic, however, many of the children in the unvaccinated group forego vaccination precisely because they are “high risk” for vaccine injury due to a family history of autoimmunity or autism in other family members. The pediatrician also observed that he watches all of his vaccinated patients carefully—if any show signs of immune system trouble, he calls a halt to vaccination to help the child get back into balance.
Dr. Thomas is not the only pediatrician to have achieved a dramatically lower autism rate in their patient population through a modified vaccine schedule and support for a healthy lifestyle. In a 2013 article in the North American Journal of Medicine and Science, Dr. Elizabeth Mumper described her pediatric practice’s experience between 2005 and 2011 after she implemented changes to address autism risks, telling patients to minimize exposure to environmental toxins, encouraging prolonged breastfeeding, recommending probiotics, providing nutritional counseling, recommending limited use of antibiotics and acetaminophen and allowing a modified vaccine schedule. No new cases of autism occurred in any patients born into her practice over the seven-year period, even though the CDC autism rate would have predicted about six new cases.
Tragic and illogical
In his HighWire interview, Dr. Thomas makes a number of crucial points highlighting why the CDC vaccine schedule is not only illogical but harmful:
- First, most of the organisms for which vaccines originally were developed have adapted and evolved, so that many of the “tired old vaccines” being routinely and repeatedly injected into children across the nation “are almost worthless.” Time and science have revealed that highly vaccinated people’s immune systems are “not as robust and leave them less able to fight off other infections.” Even the annually retooled flu shot has been shown to make people more susceptible to other severe respiratory viruses.
- Second, there are “tons and tons—hundreds—of articles showing that overstimulation of the immune system when [children] are very young—called ‘immune activation’—triggers neurodevelopmental problems” and tips the immune system into autoimmunity and allergy. In fact, a large and growing body of literature shows that today’s highly vaccinated children are the sickest generation in history. As Dr. Thomas points out, one child in two graduates high school taking medication for a chronic condition.
- As a third example of how the CDC schedule “makes no sense,” the hepatitis B vaccine administered to newborns and young infants not only contains many times more neurotoxic aluminum than the daily maximum of injected aluminum allowed for adults but also wears off by the time children get to the age where they might actually engage in the risk behaviors that transmit hepatitis B.
Reminding his fellow pediatricians of their Hippocratic oath, Dr. Thomas states that “We just assumed that vaccines are safe—but we never looked.” The situation as it currently stands, he says, is tragic. Still addressing his professional peers, Dr. Thomas emphasizes, “We don’t need to be causing this much harm.”
Don’t Blame the Critics, FIX THE PROBLEM
Editorial by Alison Fujito, Children’s Health Defense Contributing Writer
Dorit Reiss, whose recent SF Chronicle op-ed was quoted in Michael Hiltzik’s LA Times article on measles, neglected to mention several crucial facts that make her perspective both irrelevant and mean-spirited. Her unreasonable call to punish so-called “vaccine-hesitant parents” is shockingly bereft of recognition of the multiple problems that prevent an accurate risk/benefit assessment of the current measles vaccines used in the US.
1) The MMR vaccine has serious failure issues that make herd immunity impossible, even with 100% vaccination rates.
This was known at least 7 years ago, when Drs. Poland and Jacobson published their findings:
- 2-10% of people receiving MMR are “non-responders,” and fail to produce antibodies. This is called “primary vaccine failure.”
- Another 8-9% who initially develop immunity stop producing antibodies within 10-20 years. This is called “secondary vaccine failure.”
The same year, Drs. Kontio, Jikinen, Paunio, and Davidkin published the results of their study, which showed:
- 15.5% of study subjects vaccinated per current recommendations (2 shots) had zero antibodies within 20 years.
- 18% had antibodies in the low-to-zero range within 5 years of their second shot.
- Even after THREE shots (one more than current recommendations), 10.5% had zero measurable antibodies within 20 years.
Herd immunity can only occur when the herd has lifetime immunity. Temporary antibody production that repeated boosters fail to address cannot result in herd immunity.
Merck initially promised lifetime immunity from a single shot, and the CDC, apparently ignoring the evidence, still bolsters this claim. Measles vaccination was expected to result in eradication of measles by 1967, with an “immune threshold considerably less than 100%.” Despite periodic increases in the target vaccination rates, that never happened, and it’s clear that it cannot happen, not even with 100% vaccination rates and repeated boosters.
In a related issue, an unforeseen consequence of MMR vaccination is that
“Children of mothers vaccinated against measles and, possibly, rubella have lower concentrations of maternal antibodies and lose protection by maternal antibodies at an earlier age than children of mothers in communities that oppose vaccination. This increases the risk of disease transmission in highly vaccinated populations.”
It does more than that; it shifts the risk of disease to a more vulnerable population, who WAS protected before the vaccine was introduced.
Vaccine failure, not threats to sue hesitant parents, should be front-page news. Don’t consumers have the right to know about this issue before they consent to the vaccine? Don’t doctors have the right to know about it before they recommend it?
Do we really want to repeat the same dysfunctional pattern of denial that started the opioid crisis? Haven’t we learned our lesson yet?
2) Merck has been in Federal Court since 2010 on fraud charges, accused by their own virologists of falsifying efficacy data for MMR.
This should be part of any discussion of vaccine policy involving MMR. Evidence of falsification of ANY component of MMR should have prompted the FDA to withdraw or at least suspend licensure. The case has been ongoing for 9 years, and obviously is a strong enough case that Merck has been unable to have it dismissed. Indeed, the Reuters article discusses the accusation that Merck was stonewalling. This, too, should be front page news.
3) The reporting system for vaccine-associated adverse events is not just inadequate, it’s horribly inadequate.
Less than 1% of vaccine reactions are ever reported, according to the 2010 CDC-funded Harvard Pilgrim.
It has long been known that MMR vaccine can cause encephalitis and similar neurological problems: it’s listed in the package insert under “Side Effects.” As a Table Injury in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, MMR-induced encephalitis is automatically acknowledged and awarded compensation.
Currently there are over 7,500 reports of MMR-associated seizure, encephalitis and similar neurological events at the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System in spite of the fact that less than 1% of such reactions are reported. The catastrophic reaction itself is not vanishingly rare; reporting the reaction is.
Unless we know all the potential adverse reactions (including those not reported in the manufacturers’ prelicensure data), have an accurate way to determine how many have occurred, and know which populations are at increased risk for such reactions, it’s simply not possible to accurately assess the risk/benefit balance of MMR vaccine.
4) The U.S. measles death rate in 1962 was only .2 per 100,000.
The U.S. measles death rate in 1962 was only .2 per 100,000, according to CDC data. This was the year before the first measles vaccine was introduced, well before researchers learned that addressing vitamin A deficiency prevents both measles severity and measles complications, and before the advanced medical care offered today. Even as far back as 1922, before such conveniences as washing machines, the measles death rate was listed at 4.3 per 100,000.
Are health officials exaggerating the likelihood of measles complications in order to sell a failing vaccine?
5) Don’t blame the critics, fix the problem.
Telling everyone to get more of a failing vaccine (with troubling safety issues for some) is not going to fix the problems. It will not stop measles outbreaks. It will result in more, not fewer adverse reactions.
Punishing those who refuse to comply because, for whatever reason, they see the problems, only serves to further erode trust in both the government and its vaccine program.
So where do we go from here?
- Invest in producing a better, safer, measles-only vaccine, and hold the manufacturer accountable for vaccine failure and for vaccine injury, like every other drug on the market. More people would opt for a lower-risk, measles-only vaccine.
- Invest in research to learn what susceptibilities there are to measles complications and what susceptibilities there are to vaccine reactions. Studies to date are not set up to look for either one, and known susceptibilities for both are ignored.
- Address the failure of the vaccine injury reporting system. Nobody can make a reasoned recommendation when 99% of adverse reactions go unreported — not health officials, not doctors, not government, and certainly not law professors.
- Offer the current vaccine to those who want it — as long as they are told ALL of the potential risks and benefits, as long as they understand that (for now) manufacturers and medical professionals have no liability for either adverse reactions or vaccine failure, and as long as they understand that the MMR vaccine can’t result in herd immunity. And they should know that Merck is on trial for fraud for this very vaccine.
When we buy a car, we can easily research safety records and crash test reporting, and we can sue the manufacturers for things like stuck accelerators and brake failure because they’re held accountable under product liability laws.
NOBODY is accountable for vaccine failure and vaccine injury. As long as that continues, with Merck on trial for fraud, it is completely unethical to threaten hesitant parents for refusing a liability-free invasive medical intervention that has failed to live up to government claims.
6) We must never forget: UNESCO’S 2005 Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights
Article 6 – Consent
- Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information. The consent should, where appropriate, be express and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without disadvantage or prejudice.
- Scientific research should only be carried out with the prior, free, express and informed consent of the person concerned. The information should be adequate, provided in a comprehensible form and should include modalities for withdrawal of consent. Consent may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without any disadvantage or prejudice. Exceptions to this principle should be made only in accordance with ethical and legal standards adopted by States, consistent with the principles and provisions set out in this Declaration, in particular in Article 27, and international human rights
- In appropriate cases of research carried out on a group of persons or a community, additional agreement of the legal representatives of the group or community concerned may be sought. In no case should a collective community agreement or the consent of a community leader or other authority substitute for an individual’s informed consent.
One Vaccine Size Does Not Fit All—and Researchers Know It
By the Children’s Health Defense Team
In 2014, a top Mayo Clinic researcher admitted something that rarely gets acknowledged: vaccines “work differently” for each of us. Investigating the potential relationship between demographic factors and people’s immune response to rubella vaccination, the researcher discovered that African Americans produce more rubella antibodies than other racial/ethnic groups and “maybe” only need “half the size dose [of vaccine] that we give to Caucasians.”
These “really important” findings have bombshell implications for vaccine delivery, vaccine design and vaccine safety. Although one might expect vaccine scientists to let the public know that current one-size-fits-all vaccine policies could be “adding…potential risk by giving [them] double what [they] actually need,” there is little indication that any such word has trickled down. Instead, U.S. legislators and public health officials are moving in the opposite direction, doubling down on strategies to make vaccination compulsory for all.
Factors affecting vaccine-induced immune response
The Mayo researcher, Dr. Gregory Poland, is a consummate vaccine insider who heads up his institution’s Vaccine Research Group, receives recurrent funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), serves as editor-in-chief of the journal Vaccine and chairs committees for vaccines being developed by Merck. In an interview with Scientific American in 2010, Poland made the surprising admission, however, that he “has never been fully pleased with the existing vaccine paradigm” because his research so often shows that individuals differ in their response to vaccines and in their overt susceptibility to vaccine-related adverse events.
How to explain the fact that at least one in ten individuals who receive the live attenuated rubella virus vaccine “never reach or maintain protective antibody levels”? Poland’s response to this puzzling question has been to devote massive funding and attention to mutations and other genetic factors. Occasionally, the researcher acknowledges that demographic, immunological and environmental factors also influence the development and “longevity” of post-vaccination immune responses. For example, when the Mayo researchers studied “why a range of immune responses occur” following measles vaccination, they found that in children who had received one dose of measles vaccine, measles immunity waned significantly more rapidly in asthmatic children than in children without asthma. Ditto mumps vaccination, which produced lower antibody levels in children with asthma compared to children with no asthma. By and large, however, the research group has remained focused on genetic determinants.
Solutions that are no solution
Poland and colleagues offer several solutions to the vaccine effectiveness challenges posed by variable immune responses—and the vaccine safety challenges posed by vaccine adverse reactions. All of the proposed “solutions” come with some notable question marks. For example, Poland’s promotion of the concept of “vaccinomics”—individualized vaccination—relies on a cheery vision of people walking around with “their genome sequences stored on chips in their health insurance cards,” while doctors and their computers “scan the chips to determine whether the person’s gene sequences have been linked to vaccine side effects or weak responses.” This vision not only raises privacy concerns but also fails to address the fact that decades of genetics-focused research have not been able to account for more than about 40% of the variation in the way people respond to vaccines. Thus, “genetics is just part of the immune-response story”—and “what causes the rest is a mystery.”
Researchers who have been curious about the “mystery” have carried out studies highlighting the important role of environmental factors. One study looked at immune function before and after receipt of flu shots, finding that “genetics had almost no effect on how well individuals responded to the flu vaccine.” In contrast, environmental factors such as diet and past infections played a preponderant role. Emphasizing the importance of paying attention to the “dialogue” between genome and environment, the study’s lead author commented that “sequencing your genome is not going to tell you everything about your health.”
The counterpart of the vaccinomics approach is the concept of “adversomics”—an individualized approach intended to predict susceptibility to adverse events and design vaccine strategies that minimize or eliminate serious vaccine-related reactions. While this sounds like a potential step forward, Poland and colleagues again focus most of their attention on genetics, hypothesizing that adverse reactions may be largely “genetically predetermined.” This stance ignores the critical role that environmental factors—including neurotoxic vaccine ingredients—play in triggering changes in gene expression (epigenetics).
Unfortunately, another of the Mayo researchers’ suggestions is to “boost immunity in those with weak or absent immunity following vaccination” by increasing the “targeted” use of vaccine adjuvants. Considering the evidence that is accumulating about the dangers of aluminum and other adjuvants, it seems ill-advised to bombard weak-immunity individuals with more of the same.
In the future evoked by Poland, providers would “look at somebody’s genes…[and] say, ‘You don’t need the vaccine. You’re not at any risk,’ or, ‘You need twice the dose of the average person or half the dose,’ or, ‘You’re at risk for this kind of side effect.’” This neat and efficient vaccinomics and adversomics scenario sounds, at first gloss, like it would have vaccine recipients’ interests at heart. However, it bypasses some of the most critical protections of all—the hard-won legal right to informed consent and the right guaranteed by many states to decline vaccination based on religious or philosophical principles. Will the public be willing to jettison these protections—walking around with their genome in their pocket or upping their injections of toxic aluminum adjuvants—in exchange for unproven promises of improved safety and effectiveness? Only time will tell.
A Witch Hunt Against Parents of Unvaccinated Children
Measles Outbreaks: How a Witch Hunt* Against Parents of Unvaccinated Children Was Unleashed
We are witness to an orchestrated frenzy that has been revved-up by vaccine stakeholders – i.e., those who have a direct or indirect financial stake in vaccines– through the corporate / academic institutions that employ them. Their unified objective is to achieve maximum utilization of vaccines, and total compliance with vaccination schedules set by the government in collaboration with vaccine manufacturers.
Contrary to the barrage of “fake news” promulgated by government public health officials and the media to influence public opinion, the fact is, most childhood infectious disease “outbreaks” include both vaccinated and unvaccinated children. What’s more, when the infection has been tested, vaccine strain has often been identified as the cause of infection.
In 2015, a “measles outbreak” in California’s Disney Land garnered nationwide front page publicity and dire warnings by public health officials and vaccine “authorities”. They generated high public anxiety. This fear mongering led to the demonization of unvaccinated children, who were perceived as the spreaders of disease.
Never disclosed to the public, but known to CDC officials is the following evidence that has finally been published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology (2017):
“During the measles outbreak in California in 2015, a large number of suspected cases occurred in recent vaccinees. Of the 194 measles virus sequences obtained in the United States in 2015, 73 were identified as vaccine sequences (R. J. McNall, unpublished data).”
Rebecca J. McNall, a co-author of the published report, is a CDC official in the Division of Viral Diseases, who had the data proving that the measles outbreak was in part caused by the vaccine. It is evidence of the vaccine’s failure to provide immunity.
But this crucial information has been concealed, and continues to be withheld from the public. After all, how many have read the belated disclosure in the Journal of Microbiology?
Current Mumps Outbreak Following Vaccination
The Texas Tribune headline announced: Nearly 200 People In Texas Detention Facilities Have Contracted Mumps, March 1 2019. Since October, 186 children and adults contracted mumps at migrant detention facilities across Texas, according to a state health agency. These include immigrants and employees.
Lara Anton, a spokeswoman for the Department of State Health Services, said in an email that patients range in age from 13-66 and that “there has been no reported transmission to the community.” She added that the state doesn’t know the vaccination status of detained migrant adults or the children who entered the U.S. with them but that “all unaccompanied minors are vaccinated when they are detained.”
The Texas cases are not unique! Numerous similar outbreaks of mumps in have occurred in vaccinated children in New York, and in the U.S. Territory of Guam in 2009.
So, the mumps outbreak at Texas detention centers occurred following children’s MMR vaccination! Does anyone fail to see the connection between vaccination and an infectious disease outbreak?
“From 1985 through 1988, 42% of cases occurred in persons who were vaccinated on or after their first birthday. During these years, 68% of cases in school-aged children (5–19 years) occurred among those who had been appropriately vaccinated. The occurrence of measles among previously vaccinated children (i.e., vaccine failure) led to a recommendation for a second dose in this age group.
During the 1989 -1991 measles resurgence, incidence rates for infants were more than twice as high as those in any other age group. The mothers of many infants who developed measles were young, and their measles immunity was most often due to vaccination rather than infection with wild virus. As a result, a smaller amount of antibody was transferred across the placenta to the fetus, compared with antibody transfer from mothers who had higher antibody titers resulting from wild-virus infection. The lower quantity of antibody [in the vaccine] resulted in immunity that waned more rapidly, making infants susceptible at a younger age than in the past.”
CDC further acknowledges that: despite relatively high vaccination rates, small measles outbreaks continue to occur. Since 2008, most of these outbreaks were imported or linked to importation from other countries. In 2011, CDC reported 220 measles cases – “62% were in persons not vaccinated.” That means that 38% of measles cases in the U.S. were in vaccinated persons.
The CDC Pink Book further acknowledges that: “Some studies indicate that secondary vaccine failure (waning immunity) may occur after successful vaccination”. Evidence of MMR vaccine-induced infection undermines the protective rationale for its indiscriminate, mass use, much less, mandating its use against parents’ objections.
The empirical evidence is based on reality; the evidence cannot be wiped out by the faith-based “safe and effective” chant.
Empirical evidence refutes the faked epidemiological vaccine studies that are only draped with the mantle of “science”.
200 measles cases in the U.S. do not justify the current media frenzy; this frenzy is fomented by collaborating vaccine stakeholders with financial conflicts of interest who should be held accountable for subjecting an unknown number of children to defective vaccines – some of which were the cause of infectious disease outbreaks.
Two congressional hearings called for enforcement of mandatory childhood vaccination, citing the current measles outbreaks. The committees invited only vaccine promoters who endorsed mandatory vaccination of children, but not of adults.
February 27th hearing, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce:
Dr. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases declared: “Risks from vaccines are almost non-measurable…” In an earlier interview with Frontline, Dr. Fauci is on record stating:
“We know historically that it’s much more difficult to get adults vaccinated for a variety of sociological and other reasons, whereas when you have the children, you can get it out of the way …”
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC declared:
“I do believe that parents’ concerns about vaccines leads to undervaccination, and most of the cases that we’re seeing are in unvaccinated communities. Outbreaks of measles occur when measles gets into these communities of unvaccinated people. The only way to protect against measles is to get vaccinated.”
March 5th hearing, Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) committee: John G. Boyle, CEO of the Immune Deficiency Foundation (whose core benefactors are bio-pharma corporations) upped the decibel, declaring:
“The current decline in vaccine usage is literally bringing back plagues of the past.”
Senator Rand Paul, a HELP Committee member, was the only member of the committee who voiced some reservations about the stampede toward depriving U.S. citizens of their human right to choose what’s in the best interest of their children!
Why is the public health armamentarium aimed at eliminating “unvaccinated” children rather than on preventing a true catastrophic epidemic of neurodevelopmental injuries in children?
The focus of concern and public anger should be directed at the failure of the public health establishment to methodically investigate the contributing cause[s] of the genuine, empirically documented childhood epidemic – the relentless, ever-increasing rise in the number of neurologically injured children has climbed to 1 in 36 in the U.S. The numbers of those affected is now in the millions.
*Witch Hunt defined: “the searching out for persecution and deliberate harassment of those with unpopular views” Merriam Webster’s; “a rigorous campaign to round up or expose dissenters on the pretext of safeguarding the welfare of the public” Collins English Dictionary.
- Journal of Clinical Microbiology (2017)
- CDC. Pink Book, Chapter 15 Mumps
- CDC Pink Book, Chapter 13 Measles
The Impact of Vaccines on Mortality Decline Since 1900—According to Published Science
Since 1900, there’s been a 74% decline in mortality rates in developed countries, largely due to a marked decrease in deaths from infectious diseases. How much of this decline was due to vaccines? The history and data provide clear answers that matter greatly in today’s vitriolic debate about vaccines.
CHICAGO, Illinois —Since 1900, the mortality rate in America and other first-world countries has declined by roughly 74%, creating a dramatic improvement in quality of life and life expectancy for Americans.
The simple question: “How did this happen?”
Why did the mortality rate decline so precipitously? If you listen to vaccine promoters, the answer is simple: vaccines saved us. What’s crazy about this narrative is how easy it is to disprove, the data is hiding in plain sight. The fact that this easily-proven-false narrative persists, however, tells us a lot about the world we live in, and I hope will encourage parents to reconsider the veracity of many of the narratives they’ve been fed about vaccines, and do their own primary research.
1970, Dr. Edward H. Kass
Standing before his colleagues on October 19, 1970, Harvard’s Dr. Edward H. Kass gave a speech to the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America that would likely get him run out of this same profession today. At the time, Dr. Kass was actually the President of the organization, which made the things he had to say about vaccines and their impact on the reduction in American mortality rates even more shocking, at least by today’s standards. Forty-eight years after Dr. Kass’ speech, vaccines have taken on a mythological status in many corners of our world, hyped up by the people who benefit the most from their use. Of course vaccines saved the world. Of course every child should get every vaccine. If you don’t vaccinate, you will enable the return of deadly childhood diseases. If you don’t vaccinate, your child will die. If you question vaccines, even a little, you’re an “anti-vaxxer” who should be shunned and dismissed!
But what if most of the history about the role vaccines played in declining mortality isn’t even true?
In his famous speech, Dr. Kass took his infectious disease colleagues to task, warning them that drawing false conclusions about WHY mortality rates had declined so much could cause them to focus on the wrong things. As he explained:
“…we had accepted some half truths and had stopped searching for the whole truths. The principal half truths were that medical research had stamped out the great killers of the past —tuberculosis, diphtheria, pneumonia, puerperal sepsis, etc. —and that medical research and our superior system of medical care were major factors extending life expectancy, thus providing the American people with the highest level of health available in the world. That these are half truths is known but is perhaps not as well known as it should be.”
Dr. Kass then shared some eye-opening charts with his colleagues. I’m trying to imagine a President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America sharing one of these charts today at a meeting of public health officials. I picture someone turning the power off for the room where he’s presenting and then he gets tackled and carried off the stage…here’s the first example of a chart Dr. Kass shared in 1970:
But wait a minute, Dr. Kass’ chart doesn’t even include the measles vaccine…what gives? Well, in 1970, the measles vaccine was just beginning to be rolled out, and as you can clearly see, measles had long since experienced a dramatic decline in mortality. With Pertussis (Whooping Cough), he produced a similar chart:
In this case, you can actually see when the Pertussis vaccine was introduced. He also showed a chart for Scarlett Fever, which furthers the confusion about the role of vaccines, because there’s never been a Scarlett Fever vaccine, and yet the chart of a huge decline in mortality from Scarlett Fever looks very similar to measles and pertussis:
What’s the point?
Dr. Kass was trying to make a simple point to his colleagues, but one with profound implications for public health. His point was so important, I’m going to quote him in really big font to try and drive it home:
Dr. Kass pled with his colleagues to be open to understanding WHY infectious diseases had declined so dramatically in the U.S. (as well as other first world countries). Was it nutrition? Sanitary methods? A reduction in home crowding? (We’ve since learned the answer to all three questions is, “Yes.”) He encouraged his colleagues to be careful not to jump to conclusions prematurely and to maintain objectivity and “devote ourselves to new possibilities.”
Luckily for us, Dr. Kass’ speech that day has been saved for posterity, as it was printed in its entirety in a medical journal. In fact, it’s a journal that Dr. Kass himself founded, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, and his speech is called, “Infectious Disease and Social Change.” There are a number of things about Dr. Kass’ speech that I found breathtaking, especially given that he was the President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Namely:
- He never referred to vaccines as “mankind’s greatest invention” or one of the other many hyperbolic ways vaccines are described all the time by vaccine promoters in the press today. Vaccines weren’t responsible for saving “millions of lives” in the United States, as Dr. Kass well knew.
- In fact, he never gave vaccines much credit AT ALL for the developed world’s dramatic mortality decline. Which makes sense, because none of the data he had would have supported that view. Which made me wonder, “has anyone tried to put the contribution of vaccines to the decline in human mortality in the 20th century in context?” Said differently, is there any data that measures exactly how much impact vaccines had in saving humanity? Yes, indeed there is. Read on.
1977: McKinlay & McKinlay: The most famous study you’ve never heard of
It won’t be the world’s easiest read, but I hope you take the time to read every word. In 1977, Boston University epidemiologists (and husband and wife) John and Sonja McKinlay published the seminal work on the role vaccines (and other medical interventions) played in the massive decline in mortality seen in the twentieth century, that 74% number I talked about in my opening paragraph. Not only that, but their study warned against the very behavior we are now seeing in the world of vaccines. Namely, they warned that a group of profiteers might take more credit for the results of an intervention (vaccines) than the intervention deserves, and then use those fake results to create a world where their product must be used by everyone. Seriously, they predicted that this would happen. (It’s worth noting that the McKinlay Study used to be required reading at every medical school.)
Published in 1977 in The Millbank Memorial Fund Quarterly, the McKinlay’s study was titled, “The Questionable Contribution of Medical Measures to the Decline of Mortality in the United States in the Twentieth Century.” The study clearly proved, with data, something that the McKinlay’s acknowledged might be viewed by some as medical “heresy.” Namely:
“that the introduction of specific medical measures and/or the expansion of medical services are generally not responsible for most of the modern decline in mortality.”
By “medical measures,” the McKinlay’s really meant ANYTHING modern medicine had come up with, whether that was antibiotics, vaccines, new prescription drugs, whatever. The McKinlay’s 23-page study really should be read cover to cover, but in a nutshell the McKinlay’s sought to analyze how much of an impact medical interventions (antibiotics, surgery, vaccines) had on this massive decline in mortality rates between 1900 and 1970:
Here are some of the major points their paper made:
- 92.3% of the mortality rate decline happened between 1900 and 1950 [before most vaccines existed]
- Medical measures “appear to have contributed little to the overall decline in mortality in the United States since about 1900–having in many instances been introduced several decades after a marked decline had already set in and having no detectable influence in most instances.”
And, here’s the two doozies…
The paper makes two points that I really want to highlight, because they are so important. The first one concerns vaccines. They write:
“Even if it were assumed that this change was entirely due to the vaccines, then only about one percent of the decline following interventions for the diseases considered here could be attributed to medical measures. Rather more conservatively, if we attribute some of the subsequent fall in the death rates for pneumonia, influenza, whooping cough, and diphtheria to medical measures, then perhaps 3.5 percent of the fall in the overall death rate can be explained through medical intervention in the major infectious diseases considered here. Indeed, given that it is precisely for these diseases that medicine claims most success in lowering mortality, 3.5 percent probably represents a reasonable upper-limit estimate of the total contribution of medical measures to the decline in mortality in the United States since 1900.”
In plain English: of the total decline in mortality since 1900, that 74% number I keep mentioning, vaccines (and other medical interventions like antibiotics) were responsible for somewhere between 1% and 3.5% of that decline. Said differently, at least 96.5% of the decline (and likely more than that since their numbers included ALL medical interventions, not ONLY vaccines) had nothing to do with vaccines.
And then the McKinlay’s wrote something that made me laugh out loud, because it’s the thing we are seeing every day in today’s vaccine-hyped world:
“It is not uncommon today for biotechnological knowledge and specific medical interventions to be invoked as the major reason for most of the modern (twentieth century) decline in mortality. Responsibility for this decline is often claimed by, or ascribed to, the present-day major beneficiaries of this prevailing explanation.”
2000: the CDC puts the final nail in the coffin
In 1970, Dr. Kass raised the idea that public health officials need to be careful to not give the wrong things credit for the twentieth century’s massive mortality rate decline in the developed world. In 1977, Drs. McKinlay & McKinlay put data around Dr. Kass’ ideas, and showed that vaccines (and other medical interventions) were responsible for between 1-3.5% of the total decline in mortality since 1900. In 2000, CDC scientists reconfirmed all this data, but also provided more insight into the things that actually have led to declines in mortality.
Published in September 2000 in the journal Pediatrics and titled, “Annual Summary of Vital Statistics: Trends in the Health of Americans During the 20th Century,” epidemiologists from both Johns Hopkins and the Centers for Disease Control reaffirmed what we had already learned from McKinlay and McKinlay:
“Thus vaccination does not account for the impressive declines in mortality seen in the first half of the century…nearly 90% of the decline in infectious disease mortality among US children occurred before 1940, when few antibiotics or vaccine were available.”
The study went on to explain the things that actually were responsible for a massive decline in mortality:
“water treatment, food safety, organized solid waste disposal, and public education about hygienic practices.” Also, “improvements in crowding in US cities” played a major role. Clean water. Safe food. Nutrition. Plumbing. Hygiene. These were the primary reasons mortality declined so precipitously. At least according to the data and published science.
I get really strong reactions when I share this chart, compiled from CDC data:
This chart is compiled from this dataset provided by the CDC. You can see that nine vaccines we give children today didn’t even exist in the mid-1980s. Moreover, the vaccination rates for the three vaccines that did exist were hovering near 60% or less as late as the mid-1980s. Today, vaccination rates are all well north of 90% for American children. I think it’s fair to ask, “why so much panic”? If you think about this chart for long enough, it makes you realize how silly the oft-invoked notion of “herd immunity” really is, since we obviously couldn’t have been anywhere near vaccine-induced herd immunity in the mid-1980s. In fact, we’re really no closer today, because adult vaccination rates remain so low, and vaccines wane over time.
Why the truth matters
As McKinlay and McKinlay warned, if the wrong intervention (like vaccines) is singled out as the reason Americans and the rest of the first world experienced such a dramatic decrease in mortality in the 20th century, that misinformation can be abused to do things like:
- Rapidly expanding the number of vaccines given to children
- Browbeating parents who chose to follow a different vaccine schedule and making them feel guilty
- Making vaccines mandatory
- Speaking about vaccines in such reverential terms that even questioning them (like I’m doing in this article) is viewed as sacreligious and irresponsible.
- And, denying that vaccines injuries happen at high rates, to keep the whole machine moving in the right direction. (By the way, the best guess of vaccine injury rate is about 2% of people who receive vaccines, according to this study commissioned and paid for by the CDC when they actually automated the tracking of vaccine injuries. The “one in a million” figure thrown around by vaccine promoters is simply an unsupportable lie.)
Africa, and other third world countries
Vaccine promoters will often quote statistics about present-day deaths from infectious diseases that sound deeply alarming. Using examples of a disease like measles, they might explain how many children still die from measles every year, and therefore its gravely important that EVERY American parent vaccinate their child for measles. Of course, what they don’t mention is that these infectious disease deaths are happening in places that still have quality of life conditions akin to American children of the early 1900s. Poor nutrition. No plumbing or refrigeration. Bad hygiene practices. Crowded living conditions. All the things that ACTUALLY impacted the mortality rate the most haven’t yet been addressed in certain parts of Africa and other third world countries, and JUST implementing vaccines won’t change the facts. This was Dr. Kass’ point in the first place: know what actually led to the mortality rate decline, and do more of that!
In fact, we now have some data that shows vaccinating children living in situations where they have poor nutrition and lack of sanitation can actually do more harm than good:
The “Aaby Study”
Published in the peer-reviewed journal EBioMedicine in 2017, the study is titled, “The Introduction of Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis and Oral Polio Vaccine Among Young Infants in an Urban African Community: A Natural Experiment.” Researchers from the Research Center for Vitamins and Vaccines, Statens Serum Institut (Denmark), and Bandim Health Project looked closely at data from the West African nation of Guinea-Bissau. The scientists in this study closely explored the concept of NSEs, “nonspecific effects” of vaccines, which is a fancy way of saying vaccines may make a child more susceptible to other infections. They found that the data for African children who had been vaccinated with the DTP vaccine:
“was associated with 5-fold higher mortality than being unvaccinated. No prospective study has shown beneficial survival effects of DTP. . . . DTP is the most widely used vaccine. . . . All currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children from other causes than it saves from diphtheria, tetanus, or pertussis. Though a vaccine protects children against the target disease, it may simultaneously increase susceptibility to unrelated infections.”
In lay terms, this means that giving an African child the DTP vaccine may make the child sick from other infections. It appears that in Africa, the living conditions are more important than the vaccine (as you would very much expect from Dr. Kass’ and the Drs. McKinlay’s work), and the DTP vaccine did indeed do more harm than good. (It’s worth noting that Dr. Aaby was a highly regarded vaccine researcher until he published this study in 2017. It’s my understanding that he has since lost his funding sources. Welcome to today’s world of vaccine “science.”)
Every Second Child
We have another real world example of this phenomenon from the late 1970s. Dr. Archie Kalokerinos made a simple discovery, as he explains:
“At first it was just a simple clinical observation. I observed that many infants, after they received routine vaccines like tetanus, diphtheria, polio, whooping cough or whatever, became ill. Some became extremely ill, and in fact some died. It was an observation, It was not a theory. So my first reaction was to look at the reasons why this happened. Of course I found it was more likely to happen in infants who were ill at the time of receiving a vaccine, or infants who had been ill recently, or infants who were incubating an infection. Of course in the early stages of incubation there is no way whatsoever that anyone can detect the disease. They turn up later on. Furthermore, some of the reactions to the vaccines were not those that were listed in the standard literature.
They were very strange reactions indeed. A third observation was that with some of these reactions which normally resulted in death I found that I could reverse them by giving large amounts of vitamin C intramuscularly or intravenously. One would have expected, of course, that the authorities would take an interest in these observations that resulted in a dramatic drop in the death rate of infants in the area under my control, a very dramatic drop. But instead of taking an interest their reaction was one of extreme hostility. This forced me to look into the question of vaccination further, and the further I looked into it the more shocked I became. I found that the whole vaccine business was indeed a gigantic hoax. Most doctors are convinced that they are useful, but if you look at the proper statistics and study the instance of these diseases you will realise that this is not so.”
Dr Kalokerinos also said something in 1995 that it appears Dr. Aaby’s study was able to corroborate in 2017:
“And if you want to see what harm vaccines do, don’t come to Australia or New Zealand or any place, go to Africa and you will see it there.”
We actually knew the truth in the early 1900s, even before the rapid decline in mortality Well ahead of his time, Englishman John Thomas Biggs was the sanitary engineer for his town of Leicester and had to actively respond to outbreaks of smallpox. He quickly learned that the public health outcomes from sanitation vastly outweighed the impact of vaccination (where he saw dramatic vaccine injury and ineffectiveness). He wrote a definitive work in 1912, Leicester: Sanitation versus Vaccination. More than one hundred years ago, Mr. Biggs discovered what the CDC reaffirmed in 2000: Nothing protects from infectious disease like proper sanitation. He explained:
“Leicester has furnished, both by precept and example, irrefutable proof of the capability and influence of Sanitation, not only in combating and controlling, but also in practically banishing infectious diseases from its midst. . . . A town newly planned on the most up-to-date principles of space and air, and adopting the “Leicester Method” of Sanitation, could bid defiance not to small-pox only, but to other infectious, if not to nearly all zymotic, diseases.”
Dr. Andrew Weil, the oft-quoted celebrity doctor, reenforces the point, explaining that “medicine has taken credit it does not deserve for some advances in health. Most people believe that victory over the infectious diseases of the last century came with the invention of immunizations. In fact, cholera, typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough, and the others were in decline before vaccines for them became available — the result of better methods of sanitation, sewage disposal, and distribution of food and water.”
Vaccines didn’t save humanity. Their impact was somewhere between 1-3.5% of the total decline in mortality rates. Improvement in sanitation and standards of living really did (nutrition, living conditions, etc.). Did vaccines contribute to a small decrease of certain acute illnesses? Yes, but their relative benefit is often exaggerated to an extreme, and then used to browbeat, guilt, and scare parents.
So am I saying no one should vaccinate? No, I’m not. Vaccines provide temporary protection from certain acute illnesses. Some matter more than others. I personally think we give way too many vaccines, and I think the risk/benefit equation of each vaccine is often obscured. Worse, the lie that vaccines saved humanity in the twentieth century has turned many vaccine promoters into zealots, even though their narratives are simply not supported by the facts. But, by all means, get as many vaccines as you want, I respect your right to make your own medical care choices.
In late 2017, it was reported that Emory University scientists were developing a common cold vaccine. Professor Martin Moore bragged that his research “takes 50 strains of the common cold and puts it into one shot” and that the monkeys who served as test subjects “responded very well.” You should expect to see this vaccine at your pediatrician’s office in the next five years, which will likely be rolled out soon after the stories start to appear in the media about the common cold causing childhood deaths, and that millions of lives will be saved, much as vaccines saved the world in the twentieth century…parents beware, and do your own research!
There are two excellent resources that I would recommend if you are interested in diving down the rabbit hole of the true history of infectious disease. The first is the amazing book, Dissolving Illusions, by Suzanne Humphries. The second is a comprehensive article by Roman Bystriany titled, Measles: The New Red Scare. (If you read it, you will be deeply disillusioned by the media hype—don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
Journalist Lawrence Solomon has also written two excellent articles about measles: 1) Lawrence Solomon: The untold story of measles, and 2) Lawrence Solomon: Vaccines can’t prevent measles outbreaks.
Failure to Vaccinate or Vaccine Failure: What Is Driving Disease Outbreaks?
By the Children’s Health Defense Team
In late February, in testimony on measles for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Dr. Anthony Fauci—director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)—admitted with a chuckle that he and most of the Committee members sitting before him had uneventfully experienced measles as children and had recovered completely. These national leaders reaped many benefits by getting measles in childhood—accruing lifelong immunity and protection against cardiovascular disease, among other benefits—but that has not stopped them from fomenting public panic about measles or pushing for more vaccine mandates. This week, the Senate followed up with its own similar hearing. The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee said that the hearing’s purpose was to consider “what is driving preventable disease outbreaks,” but rather than examine this question fully or fairly, the event featured a hand-picked line-up of speakers who are—one and all—promoters of a “no ifs, ands or buts” vaccine party line.
Congressional hearings on vaccine safety in the early 2000s were more balanced, at least allowing multiple viewpoints to be aired (if not acted upon). Why are current legislators exhibiting so little curiosity and ignoring long-published evidence that infectious diseases “routinely break out in highly vaccinated communities”? Logically, flares of illness in vaccinated groups should prompt some serious questions about vaccine failure, rather than hostile condemnation of families with legal vaccine exemptions—medical, religious or philosophical. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) childhood vaccine schedule currently requires almost six dozen doses of sixteen vaccines by age 18—and counting. In their fixation to scapegoat and corral unvaccinated individuals, the CDC, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Fauci’s own NIAID are displaying a dangerous indifference to vaccination’s unintended consequences.
Increased susceptibility…due to vaccination
Vaccines are supposed to “exploit the immune system’s ability to ‘memorize’ encounters with previously unknown microbes.” As published studies describe, however, this goal often fails or even backfires. In “primary” vaccine failure (estimated to affect at least 2% to 10% of healthy individuals), a vaccinated individual never produces any meaningful antibodies after initial (or booster) vaccination; in the case of “secondary” vaccine failure, protection wanes “after initial effectiveness.”
Many studies illustrate both types of vaccine failure as well as the concerning potential for vaccinated individuals to transmit disease to others. In a 2017 measles outbreak in vaccinated individuals in Israel—reported on by the CDC—all but one patient had laboratory evidence of a “previous immune response” (secondary vaccine failure), and the one patient who did not display such evidence reported nonetheless having received two doses of vaccine (primary vaccine failure). In addition, the index patient—the one who launched the chain of transmission—had received three doses of measles-containing vaccine.
In a 2011 measles outbreak in New York City, “all cases had prior evidence of measles immunity,” and a twice-vaccinated individual—whose “clinical presentation” was just like natural measles—was shown to have transmitted measles to others.
Other recent studies highlight an even more troubling ramification of vaccine failure, which has become more apparent with each successive vaccinated generation: vaccination is increasing the number of susceptible individuals in the population over time. In 2017, Korean researchers warned that measles susceptibility is increasing in that country because:
- “Measles-specific antibodies wane in the absence of boosting by the wild-type virus.”
- “The number of potential measles-susceptible individuals progressively accumulates.”
- “Vaccine-induced immunity is less effective than naturally acquired immunity.”
Other investigators observing the same patterns are scratching their heads. For example, Australian researchers noted last year that “countries with sustained measles control have now demonstrated that measles-specific…antibodies decline with time since vaccination” and helplessly concluded that the implications are “unclear.”
Other notoriously ineffective vaccines
These phenomena do not apply just to measles vaccination but to many other types of vaccines as well. As described by Children’s Health Defense previously, flu shots, which are notoriously ineffective, are even less useful in individuals who dutifully get their shots every year. This is because repeat vaccination “blunts” the protection while actually increasing susceptibility to other strains of influenza. Flu shots also have been shown to make people more susceptible to other severe respiratory viruses.
Vaccine failure problems are also well documented with regard to pertussis vaccination. In fact, the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society just published an article outlining pertussis vaccination “mistakes” and their serious consequences. The author, a high-level UCLA researcher who has made a career out of studying pertussis vaccines, describes:
- The regular occurrence of “major pertussis epidemics” in vaccinated populations;
- A vaccine that is known to be inefficacious and to have a “shorter duration of protection”; and
- Vaccinated children who will actually be “more susceptible to pertussis throughout their lifetimes.”
At a loss for a solution to this vaccine-created conundrum, the UCLA expert says, “there is no easy way to decrease this increased lifetime susceptibility” [emphasis added].
The UCLA researcher’s observations are not “new” news either. Back in 2012, researchers wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine about a pertussis outbreak in vaccinated children in Oregon. A public health official in that state commented, “The [pertussis] vaccine is not going to eradicate pertussis. It isn’t good enough to wipe out the disease, and it’s going to be around indefinitely.” As if in further illustration of these remarks, The Hill, the LA Times and other news outlets just reported on a 2019 pertussis outbreak at an elite, 1,600-student private school in Los Angeles (virtually in UCLA’s backyard). Notwithstanding a “really high vaccination rate,” 30 (almost 2%) of students—all vaccinated—developed pertussis, again demonstrating that “people who have had the vaccine can still get sick.” Meanwhile, none of the handful of unvaccinated students at the school (18 students with medical exemptions) have contracted pertussis. School officials have emphasized that the outbreak cannot be attributed to the unvaccinated students.
A CDC representative made the same point during a 2012 pertussis outbreak in Washington State. Describing pertussis as “a bacterium that’s cyclical in nature,” the CDC spokesman asserted that pertussis outbreaks simply occur “from time to time” and “are probably not the result of the increase in the number of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children.” Ironically, while acknowledging that “even people who are vaccinated may be susceptible to the disease,” the official then fell back on the CDC’s tired mantra: “get vaccinated.”
Our legislators’ failures
The topic of vaccine failure is not new, having been discussed since the earliest days of smallpox vaccination—and modern-day descriptions of vaccine failure continue to multiply. There is also growing evidence that vaccine manufacturers have made false claims about their products’ effectiveness. In MMR-related lawsuits against Merck, former Merck scientists avow that Merck “fraudulently misled the government and omitted, concealed, and adulterated material information regarding the efficacy of its mumps vaccine in violation of the FCA [False Claims Act].” According to a report by Huffpost, the company’s “far-ranging” fraudulent activities were designed to help Merck monopolize the mumps vaccine market, even though Merck “expected outbreaks to occur” as a result of its shoddy vaccine. Merck has also been accused of fraud and negligence related to other vaccines.
A recent article in U.S. News says that many families’ desire for vaccine choice stems from “accumulated distrust of organized medicine, federal regulators and pharmaceutical companies.” Although U.S. News does not say so, this “accumulated distrust” is well deserved!
Rather than tarring and feathering individuals who, for a variety of well-founded reasons, do not vaccinate—or worse, forcing them to inject their children with vaccines that are not only ineffective but harmful—our legislators should be investigating the powerful entities that are trying to hide vaccines’ inability to deliver what they promise.
The Yellow Fever Vaccine: More Questions Than Answers
By the Children’s Health Defense Team
In January, 2019, news outlets reported the death of a leading cancer researcher in the UK, who suffered total organ failure not long after receiving a yellow fever (YF) vaccine. Both the UK and the U.S. recommend YF vaccination for anyone nine months of age or older who is planning to travel to a yellow-fever-endemic country in sub-Saharan Africa or South America.
Public health authorities admit that the YF vaccine—an attenuated live-virus vaccine—can, in “rare” cases, “have serious and sometimes fatal side effects” and that the risks are about four times higher in individuals age 60 or older, but many older travelers continue to be given the vaccine anyway. In the fatal January incident, the deceased scientist was 67 years old; after his death, the medical research institution that employed him instructed The Guardian to amend its news account to say that the death occurred “following,” rather than “as a result of,” yellow fever vaccination.
In the early 2000s, news reporters apparently had a bit more leeway to disclose vaccine risks. A 2001 story about YF-vaccine-related deaths in three countries concluded that the fatalities “underscored yet again that there is no such thing as a perfectly safe vaccine.” A recent search of “yellow fever vaccine adverse events” in PubMed (the National Library of Medicine’s free search engine) pulled up 168 search results for studies published over the past couple of decades. Considering that an estimated 99% of vaccine-related adverse events never even get reported, perhaps it is time to reexamine the yellow fever vaccine’s risks.
Death, madness and organ failure
The UK is no stranger to dramatic stories about YF vaccination gone awry. A former BBC foreign correspondent recently described his journey into psychosis after YF vaccination, noting that others who have contacted him report that they, too, suffered “delusion and hallucinations after having the vaccination.” He received his vaccine in Greece, where, rather unusually, “the doctors…told him they believed he’d had an adverse reaction to the vaccine.” After a difficult period of treatment and eventual recovery, the BBC reporter wrote a book and made a film about the “Kafkaesque” experience and is attempting to have the vaccine’s manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, “admit liability for what happened to him.” Commenting on the film, one individual stated, “It’s difficult to imagine that [a commonly administered] inoculation against disease…could have an effect so darkly devastating on a human being. Yet here it is, recorded in all the pain, misery and anguish for us all to see.”
As scientists have come to admit that modern YF vaccines can cause “invasive and disseminated disease in…otherwise healthy individuals, with high lethality,” they have coined several terms to describe the phenomenon. The acute multiple organ system dysfunction suffered by the UK cancer researcher is called yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (YEL-AVD). Published studies also report serious side effects such as yellow fever vaccine-associated neurotropic disease (YEL-AND)—for example, meningitis or acute disseminated encephalomyelitis—as well as “immediate hypersensitivity or anaphylactic reactions.” According to a 2012 report coauthored by CDC researchers and others, YEL-AVD is fatal in over 60% of reported cases, with a median of 10 days from vaccination to time of death; severe YEL-AVD is characterized by low blood pressure, “hemorrhage, acute renal failure, and acute respiratory failure.” In 2015, an Oregon woman in her 60s died within nine days of receiving a yellow fever shot after suffering a severe reaction involving heart damage and kidney failure.
The CDC report states that YEL-AVD results from out-of-control “dissemination and replication” of the vaccine-strain virus—with studies having documented vaccine virus “in a number of postmortem tissues obtained from YEL-AVD case patients.” Researchers likewise posit that YEL-AND results from “direct viral invasion of the central nervous system by the vaccine virus” or, in some instances, an autoimmune reaction.
How many cases? Who knows?
As of 2010, an international working group identified 60 reports of YEL-AVD (both published and unpublished) from Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. Conservative estimates based on these reports suggest that there may be 3-4 cases of YEL-AVD per million doses distributed, with 14-18 cases per million doses in individuals 60-plus years old and as many as 117 per million reported in a study involving a single vaccine lot.
However, many factors impede identification and reporting of adverse events following yellow fever (and other) vaccines, including “differences in definitions, surveillance system organisation, methods of reporting cases, administration of [YF vaccine] with other vaccines, incomplete information about denominators, time intervals for reporting events, the degree of passive reporting, access to diagnostic resources, and differences in time periods of reporting.” In a systematic review of studies published through 2016—focusing on cases of YEL-AVD in developed countries—the reviewers identified 62 cases but had insufficient evidence to provide “diagnostic certainty” for another 70 cases and excluded three dozen more cases due to “imprecise” coding. The reviewers then reported being unable to compute an overall rate due to the incomplete information. Combined with the known problem of underreporting of vaccine adverse events, official statistics may significantly underestimate the true incidence of adverse reactions following YF vaccination.
Following World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, over two dozen countries in Africa and many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean include YF vaccination on their childhood vaccine schedules, generally recommending an initial shot at 9 to 12 months of age and a booster every 10 years. Gavi (the international vaccine alliance led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, WHO, UNICEF and the World Bank) has been pushing for increased YF vaccine coverage in Africa since 2011. The track record for yellow fever vaccination in Africa is spotty, however—an earlier-generation YF vaccine that was widely administered in francophone Africa was discontinued in 1982 due to “genetic instability” and “high rates of post-vaccination encephalitis in children.” Currently, the occurrence of severe adverse events in Africa is anyone’s guess, because detection of adverse events in low-income countries is particularly time-consuming and resource-intensive. Individuals who suffer reactions may also be less likely to reach health care, making it even less likely that the adverse events will be investigated and published.
Risks across age groups
Although countries like the UK and U.S. warn of YF vaccine risks only for older adults or other vulnerable groups such as immune-compromised individuals, the published literature demonstrates the potential for adverse events in healthy individuals across all age groups. For example:
- In 2001, The Lancet reported two fatal cases of hemorrhagic fever associated with YF vaccination in a 5-year-old and 22-year-old in Brazil, attributing the deaths to “idiosyncratic” host factors.
- A 2017 study by Polish researchers reported a case of YF vaccine-associated meningitis in a 39-year-old male “without evidence of significant risk factors.”
- CDC researchers who analyzed adverse events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) following either primary or secondary yellow fever vaccination (N=938) from 2007 through 2013 ascertained that reactions had occurred in individuals ranging from 5 to 88 years old. They classified 9% of the adverse events as “serious”—including death, anaphylaxis, Guillain-Barré syndrome and organ failure.
- In 2017, Singapore researchers reported systemic adverse events in over 63% of adults aged 21 to 50 years old who received the YF vaccine; they noted a significant correlation between the vaccine’s stimulation of a potent immune response and the probability of an adverse event.
From chickens to tobacco farming
Some of the earliest attempts to develop vaccines focused on yellow fever (although a vaccine developed in 1901 killed 7% of the volunteers in whom it was tested and sickened another 19%). In the 1930s, vaccine scientists started experimenting with YF vaccines prepared from mouse brain cultures and chicken embryos. YF vaccines are still prepared by culturing YF virus in chicken embryos and adding substances like sorbitol and gelatin as stabilizers. Although there have been a few subsequent tweaks to the manufacturing process, the two substrains used to make yellow fever vaccines today both date back to work carried out by the Rockefeller Institute during World War II.
In the U.S., the only FDA-licensed YF vaccine is Sanofi Pasteur’s YF-Vax. However, YF-Vax is currently out of stock, so the FDA has temporarily approved the use of Sanofi’s other YF vaccine, Stamaril—the one that sent the BBC reporter into psychosis. When Sanofi’s head of vaccination innovation was asked about adverse events, he “admitted…that the vaccine hadn’t been reviewed in many years.”
The attention-getting reports of fatalities following YF vaccination “have provoked interest in developing a safer YF vaccine that can be easily scaled up to meet…increased global demand.” Researchers in the U.S. and Brazil think they have found the answer, proposing a genetically engineered (recombinant) vaccine produced using tobacco-based “molecular farming.” Thus far, trials of such vaccines have demonstrated inferior efficacy compared to the live-attenuated vaccines, prompting researchers to speculate on the need to include powerful adjuvants. It remains to be seen whether a tobacco-grown vaccine with strong adjuvants, that could usher in a host of other problems, will prove to be an improvement over the troubling live vaccines currently in use.
CDC, Check YOUR Data: MMR Vaccination Rates are NOT Declining
There’s a narrative being spread that the vaccination rate for the MMR vaccine has fallen lately due to irresponsible parents, and that the only way to fix the declining rate is to tighten up vaccine exemption laws in every state, which led me to ask a fairly obvious question about my home state: “What has the MMR vaccination rate in Oregon been over time (and why can’t I find that in any of the hysterical media)?”
Luckily, the CDC has a super-easy, interactive map that answers this question very clearly, and I hope any members of the media with a brain start to take a look at the actual data, I took a screenshot of Oregon’s and you better take a screenshot of your state’s before the CDC takes down this weblink:
So, what the heck is going on?
Why is the media saying that parents aren’t vaccinating and therefore measles is making a comeback? Let me explain:
- The media abuses the vaccine exemption number, not the MMR vaccination number. Parents file exemptions anytime they don’t get EVERY vaccine required for school for their child. In Oregon, if you get 0 of 24 or 23 of 24 vaccines required for school for your child, you are counted as “exempt.”
- What the Oregon Health Authority knows, and is true in every other state, is that exemptions go up when one thing happens: new vaccines are added to the required school schedule. Quoting the Oregon Health Authority who wrote: “When other vaccines have been added as school immunization requirements, non-medical exemption rates have increased for all vaccines.” Why would that happen? Two reasons: 1. Administrative burden, and 2. Wariness of brand new vaccine requirements (like, “does my kid really need Hep A?”.)
So, basically, here’s how it works: abuse and misinterpret a rising exemption number–guaranteed to go up if you add new vaccine requirements to the schedule–and generalize that it’s happening for all vaccines. Then, NEVER show the historical data, because it decimates your story.
I hope state activists grab the data for their state, share it with their legislators, and ask a simple question:
“Where’s the decline?”
Since Washington State is facing an exemption fight, I grabbed a screen shot of WA data. Why can’t people just be honest about the data? #wheresthedecline
I also pasted below a table of Oregon’s actual numbers, from 1995 to 2017, please show me where the material decline happened (from year to year, there will be some natural variation, because this is a survey.)
Truthful Data Destroys the False Narrative
Note: this data above is for children, aged 19-35 months. By the time these kids get into school, the vaccination rate goes even higher. What’s so important about all this data is that it destroys the false narrative. Vaccination rates haven’t gone down lately. Period. Ask any epidemiologist you know to run these numbers. The trend lines are ALL flat. Since 1995. I also know that each year, here in Oregon, the OHA’s data and the NIS data from CDC are generally the same, so I’d love to see OHA produce the MMR vaccination rate data since 1995 and ask them a simple question: why not tell the truth?
When I looked at the CDC’s numbers, it clearly showed that the MMR vaccination rate has held steady for more than 20 years. I wanted to make sure and corroborate that data with data from the Oregon Health Authority, which they conveniently don’t publish very often, but someone sent me their data from 2014, showing that 97.1% of 7th graders in Oregon have received an MMR vaccine! Where’s the decline?
The Rotavirus Vaccine: A Case Study in Government Corruption and Malfeasance
The major media dismiss public vaccine policy critics as “conspiracy theorists”, but no conspiracy is required to explain how it can be true that the CDC deceives about vaccines.
By Jeremy R. Hammond, Children’s Health Defense Contributing Writer
In a previous article for Children’s Health Defense, titled “Why You Can’t Trust the CDC on Vaccines”, we looked at how it can be true that government agencies are misinforming the public about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. The very prospect is treated by the mainstream corporate media as a “conspiracy theory”, but no such theory is required to explain it. On the contrary, the existence of institutionalized biases within the medical establishment and scientific community are well recognized in the scientific literature, and the Congress itself has criticized the endemic corruption within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
For example, we saw how both agencies were criticized by the June 2000 report of an investigation initiated by the Committee on Government Reform within the House of Representatives. That investigation touched on a particularly salient example of government corruption and malfeasance: the case of the rotavirus vaccine.
Among the Congressional investigation’s findings were that three out of five members of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) “who voted to approve the rotavirus vaccine in December 1997 had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that were developing different versions of the vaccine”, while four out of eight members of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) “who voted to approve guidelines for the rotavirus vaccine in June 1998 had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that were developing different versions of the vaccine”.
Included among the half of ACIP members who had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies while deliberating what CDC policy should be with respect to the rotavirus vaccine was one Dr. Paul Offit.
Corruption and Hypocrisy
Paul Offit is currently director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). He also holds the Maurice R. Hilleman Chair in Vaccinology, created in honor of the former senior vice president of Merck, which provided a $1.5 million endowment to the hospital and the University of Pennsylvania to “accelerate the pace of vaccine research”.
Offit joined the ACIP in October 1998 and three times voted in favor on decisions related to the use of the rotavirus vaccine, including a vote to add the vaccine to the CDC’s “Vaccines For Children” program—all while sharing ownership of a patent for a rotavirus vaccine being developed under a grant from Merck.
A member of the CDC’s advisory committee until June 2003, Offit’s vaccine was approved by the FDA in 2006 under the trademark “RotaTeq”. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was listed alongside Offit as a patent owner on the filing certificate issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office, and the hospital sold its stake in RotaTeq in 2008 under a deal in which Offit profited handsomely; he has acknowledged that he made “several million dollars, a lot of money”.
Offit also happens to be a routinely cited go-to “expert” on vaccines for the mainstream media. He once penned an op-ed for the New York Times accusing parents who choose not to vaccinate their children of child abuse on the grounds that Jesus, were he with us in the flesh today, would advocate forcibly vaccinating children against their parents’ will.
As it so happened, in October 1999, the first rotavirus vaccine licensed for use in the US, Wyeth’s RotaShield, was withdrawn from the market because it was found to be causing intussusception, an often excruciating and potentially fatal condition in which part of the intestine telescopes into itself.
In addition to the conflicts of interest within the CDC, the FDA had approved RotaShield as “safe” despite clinical trials having shown an increased incidence of intussusception in vaccinated infants.
Since the increased risk did not reach statistical significance, this finding was dismissed as “probably due to chance” by the FDA’s advisory committee—which, again, included three out of five members having ties to pharmaceutical companies developing rotavirus vaccines.
Furthermore, while the FDA instructed Wyeth on specific areas it ought to focus its postmarketing safety studies, the risk of intussusception was not one of them.
Researchers monitoring publicly available postmarketing surveillance data nevertheless did pick up on the incoming reports of intussusception after vaccination, and studies were conducted that confirmed the association between vaccination and an increased risk of the intestinal disorder.
As the CDC spokesman John Livengood summarized the findings, “We feel there is a strong causal relationship between rotavirus vaccine and intussusception. It’s of high magnitude and it appears to be about one in every five thousand children who are vaccinated with the vaccine.” Estimates ranged from one in five thousand to one in ten thousand. Prior to being pulled from the market, the vaccine was administered to half a million children. Surveillance data showed that during its short time in use, there were 98 confirmed reports of vaccine-related intussusception, over half of which required surgery and one of which resulted in death.
When the CDC voted on October 22, 1999, to withdraw its recommendation for routine use of RotaShield in children, Paul Offit recused himself from the vote on the grounds that it would create a “perception” of a conflict of interest for him to participate in the vote while he was also serving as a consultant for Merck, which was developing a vaccine to compete with Wyeth’s RotaShield. Instructively, he considered his glaring conflict of interest as a reason only to abstain from voting against the use of the vaccine—not to abstain from voting in favor.
The Government Is the Vaccine Industry
As an additional twist to the story, the virus used in the manufacture of RotaShield was developed by the US government.
With development of a rotavirus vaccine having been considered a priority for researchers since the virus was discovered in the early 1970s, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) created a “live simian-human reassortant virus” for the purpose. (A reassortant virus is one containing two or more pieces of nucleic acid from different parent viruses, produced by coinfecting a cell with the parent strains. The simian virus in this case was from a rhesus monkey.)
The NIH then licensed Wyeth to use its patented vaccine technology for RotaShield.
Yes, the US government patents vaccine technology and licenses it for a fee to private corporations. As another example, the NIH licensed vaccine technology to Merck for development of its Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil.
As you can see, the government isn’t so much a “regulator” of the vaccine industry as an integral part of it.
The CDC itself maintains contracts with pharmaceutical companies and, excepting influenza vaccines, purchases more than half of the childhood vaccines distributed in the US. The CDC is essentially a marketing and distribution division of the vaccine industry.
With no lack of irony, the way the government tells the story of RotaShield, it is a shining example of how the bureaucracies charged with ensuring vaccine safety are highly effective at doing so.
But wait, there’s more!
Viral Contamination of the Rotavirus Vaccine
In March 2010, the FDA advised temporarily suspending the use of GlaxoSmithKline’s rotavirus vaccine, Rotarix, because it was found to be contaminated with a pig virus—porcine circovirus type 1 (PCV-1). It was therefore recommended that patients instead receive Merck’s product, RotaTeq.
RotaTeq was soon thereafter also found to be contaminated with both PCV-1 and porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV-2).
The FDA publicized this finding on May 6, 2010. But rather than advising that RotaTeq, too, be suspended from use until this contamination could be resolved and the threat evaluated, on May 14, the FDA recommended that health care professionals resume use of Rotarix alongside the continued use of RotaTeq on the grounds that there was no known risk to humans from these viruses.
Incidentally, one of the scientific contributions of Maurice R. Hilleman—the former Merck vice president in honor of whom the chair held by Paul Offit was created—was his discovery in 1960 that both the live-virus and inactivated polio vaccines in use in the US were contaminated with a monkey virus known as simian virus 40 (SV40). In May the following year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened to discuss the issue, recommending that the vaccines not be withdrawn from use on the grounds that there was no known risk to humans from the virus.
The way the government tells the story of the rotavirus vaccine, it’s a shining example of how agencies tasked with safeguarding public health responded quickly to the discover of potential harms from a vaccine on the market.
The reality is that the government approved the first rotavirus vaccine and added it to its list of vaccines children are typically required to get to attend public school despite clinical safety trials having indicated that it might cause intussusception.
That fact that the FDA didn’t require further studies with greater statistical power to determine whether the increased risk was “due to chance” or real, but contented itself with the wrong conclusion that the vaccine would “probably” not cause this painful and potentially deadly condition in children, is a clear example of how the government places the interests of the pharmaceutical industry above the interests of the public.
And this should not be surprising, given also the fact that three out of five members of the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee who voted to approve the vaccine had financial ties to the industry.
It should also come as no surprise, then, that after the withdrawal of that first rotavirus vaccine, the FDA approved two more despite both being contaminated with one or more pig viruses.
Also unsurprising is the fact that the CDC pushed the vaccine on the public, given how members of the CDC vaccine advisory committee had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that were developing rotavirus vaccines.
The perception of government agencies like the FDA and CDC as acting in the best interests of public health and “regulating” the industry is illusory. The reality is that the government to a very large extent is the vaccine industry. Both the government and industry powerfully influence the direction of science, resulting in an institutionalized bias favoring public vaccine policy and treating vaccination as the solution for an increasing number of communicable diseases, at the opportunity cost of researching alternatives and simply educating people how to strengthen their immune systems naturally, including through proper nutrition, exercise, and avoidance of toxic exposures.
The government also misleads the public about what science tells us about the safety and effectiveness of its recommended vaccines, which can be explained not only by the institutionalized bias, but also by the endemic corruption within the agencies. This problem is compounded by fact that the mainstream corporate media do public policy advocacy on this issue rather than journalism, attacking rather than substantively addressing the arguments and legitimate concerns of anyone who dares criticize or dissent from the CDC’s routine childhood vaccine recommendations and the state laws that infringe on the parental right to informed consent by making these vaccines mandatory for children to receive a public education.
Jeremy R. Hammond is an independent journalist and analyst, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, author of several books, and father. Read more of his writings at JeremyRHammond.com. To stay updated with his work on vaccines and download his report “5 Horrifying Facts about the FDA Vaccine Approval Process”, subscribe to his free newsletter.
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The Flawed Logic of Hepatitis B Vaccine Mandates
By the Children’s Health Defense Team
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that newborn babies receive the hepatitis B vaccine on their first day of life.
- The infants, toddlers and young children receiving this vaccine face little to no chance of hepatitis B infection, but the vaccines impose significant risks, including the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, autoimmune illness and even death.
- In the 0-1 age group, there is at least a 20:1 ratio of reported vaccine injuries/deaths associated with hepatitis B vaccines compared to cases of hepatitis B infection.
- The constitutionality of hepatitis B vaccine mandates in these populations where there is little risk for disease is arguably questionable.
- Hepatitis B vaccination mandates fail to honor young children’s liberty, equal protection, and health.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly recommend that newborn babies get the hepatitis B vaccine on their first day of life. About 12 million doses are administered to American babies in any given year. However, unless their mothers harbor the virus (determined by routine prenatal blood testing), newborns are probably the least likely human beings on the planet at risk of actually getting hepatitis B. Infection risks are also extremely low for young school-age children, but—in all but two states (Alabama and South Dakota)—three to four doses of hepatitis B vaccine are not only recommended but mandated for preschool attendance, K-12 education or both.
New cases of hepatitis B were low in the 1970s; they began climbing in the early 1980s (coincident with the HIV/AIDS epidemic) but then started falling again. Although the CDC first began recommending hepatitis B vaccination on a limited basis in 1982 for the small population of at-risk adults (and infants of infected mothers), the agency attributes the decline in hepatitis B cases during the 1980s and early 1990s to “reduction of transmission among men who have sex with men and injection-drug users, as a result of HIV prevention efforts.”
At the time, hepatitis B was a relatively “obscure” infection of “little direct relevance to most Americans,” but in the early 1990s the “picture of hepatitis B being held up before Americans” changed, as the CDC began promoting a more comprehensive hepatitis B vaccine dragnet. With a stark shift in policy emphasis toward universal vaccination for all newborns (1991), adolescents (1995) and children through age 18 (1999), “a vaccine with a limited initial target population [came] to be accepted as compulsory for every child in the country.”
A questionable rationale
From the beginning, hepatitis B vaccines have had their critics, who question the public health logic of across-the-board hepatitis B vaccination for infants and children. Whereas the young people being vaccinated face little to no chance of hepatitis B infection, the vaccines impose significant risks, including the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, autoimmune illness and even death. In the decade from 1991 to 2001 (when hepatitis B vaccines contained the mercury-based preservative thimerosal), vaccine exposure in early infancy resulted in an estimated 0.5-1 million U.S. children being diagnosed with learning disabilities, representing lifetime costs in excess of $1 trillion. Other hepatitis B vaccine ingredients (including aluminum adjuvants and yeast) as well as the vaccines’ use of recombinant DNA technology have been linked to a variety of adverse outcomes.
In 1986 (five years before the CDC began pushing for vaccination of all newborns), the nation documented fewer than 280 cases of hepatitis B infection in children under age 14; by 2006, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) had received over 23,000 reports of adverse events related to hepatitis B vaccination in the 0-14 age group, including nearly 800 deaths.
In congressional testimony in 1999, the father of a five-week-old who died immediately following a hepatitis B shot described a 20:1 ratio of VAERS reports compared to cases of hepatitis B infection in the 0-1 age group (likely an underestimate due to VAERS underreporting). Given that the vaccine has been shown—by the CDC itself—to wear off well before the age of any likely exposure to hepatitis B virus, the father concluded that hepatitis B mandates for newborns represented a “teaming up” of “ravenous corporate greed and mindless bureaucracy” against “common sense.”
The out-of-date legal context for mandates
The legal framework that seemingly permits compulsory childhood vaccination, including hepatitis B vaccine mandates for preschoolers, is astonishingly out-of-date. The U.S. Supreme Court has not addressed compulsory vaccination “in any depth” for over a century and has not revisited the issue at all since 1922, despite the fact that “the contours of the vaccine issue have changed fundamentally since the early 1900s.”
These are some of the points made by New York University legal scholar Mary Holland in a far-reaching discussion of hepatitis B vaccine mandates in the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics, published in 2013. As Holland explains, the 1905 Supreme Court decision that set the stage for vaccine mandates (Jacobson v. Massachusetts) did so in response to the “markedly different” one-disease-one-vaccine context of smallpox. Although the Court upheld smallpox mandates, in most cases, noncompliant individuals faced no worse than a “relatively small monetary fine.” Subsequent courts, however, “have used Jacobson to justify results that the original decision did not condone: vaccination mandates exclusively for children with no imminent disease outbreaks and with serious penalties for noncompliance”—not just forfeiture of the right to an education but also outcomes such as “social isolation, parents’ loss of custodial rights, child-neglect sanctions against parents, and, even, forced vaccination.”
Holland finds the constitutionality of hepatitis B vaccine mandates for preschoolers questionable, particularly in light of other legal precedents. What might happen if today’s Supreme Court were to evaluate a legal challenge to a state’s hepatitis B mandate? Although the Court’s historical track record displays a legal tug-of-war between limits set on individual liberty and support for individuals’ “fundamental claims to bodily integrity and autonomy,” Holland suggests that the Court’s fairly reasoned answer to each of the following six questions ought to be a clear “no”:
- Is there a sufficient public health necessity to impose a preschool hepatitis B vaccination mandate?
Holland observes that “neither the federal government nor states have alleged that [hepatitis B] transmission among preschoolers is a serious threat to public health.”
- Does a vaccination mandate for preschoolers constitute a reasonable means of addressing hepatitis B in broader society?
At least two factors undermine the presumption of reasonableness, including shockingly inadequate safety testing in the targeted age groups (infants and young children) and poor long-term efficacy. The prelicensure clinical trials for GlaxoSmithKline’s Engerix-B vaccine monitored about 5,000 subjects (“adults and children”) for just four days following administration of the vaccine, without disclosing the proportion of subjects who were children or their ages. The pediatric prelicensure trials for Merck’s Recombivax HB vaccine involved a grand total of 147 infants and children “monitored for five days after each dose.”
- Is a hepatitis B vaccination mandate proportionate to the risk of disease (i.e., do disease risks outweigh vaccine risks)?
Holland states that “this would be very difficult to prove since incidence of the disease in the preschool population is exceedingly low, yet the risks of adverse events from the vaccine, including anaphylaxis, encephalopathy, and death, are well-documented.”
- Does the government provide for harm avoidance and offer a fair process for allowing medical exemptions?
Medical exemptions were one of the “core requirements” established by the 1905 Jacobson decision. A federal policy that arm-twists parents into vaccinating their newborns—whose medical history is largely a blank slate—“makes harm avoidance almost impossible.”
- Is the hepatitis B vaccination mandate non-discriminatory?
A mandate imposed on young children “not primarily for their benefit” can be construed as “arbitrary” and discriminatory in application.
- Do parents have a “liberty interest in being able to refuse an unwanted medical intervention”?
Holland notes that the Court has “repeatedly acknowledged that the right to bodily integrity and to refuse unwanted medical treatment is deeply rooted in the historical traditions of the United States.”
Holland’s conclusion is straightforward: The hepatitis B vaccination mandate “has failed to honor young children’s liberty, equal protection, and health.” In support of this conclusion, she cites comments by three past Supreme Court Justices over the century since Jacobson:
- Justice Harlan foresaw, in 1905, that mandates “might be exercised…in such arbitrary, unreasonable manner, or might go so far beyond what was reasonably required for the safety of the public, as to authorize or compel the courts to interfere for the protection of such persons.”
- In 1942, Justice Jackson cautioned that “There are limits to the extent to which a legislatively represented majority may conduct biological experiments at the expense of…a minority.”
- And in 1990, Justice Stevens discussed the “sanctity, and individual privacy, of the human body” as “obviously fundamental to liberty,” adding that “every violation of a person’s body is an invasion of his or her liberty.”
Holland also reminds us that the millions of doses of hepatitis B vaccine administered to babies every year represent “a substantial annual income stream” for vaccine manufacturers—in this instance, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline. Vaccine companies’ freedom from liability for injuries and deaths related to childhood vaccines also creates “manifold” financial motivations to continue to expand vaccine recommendations and mandates, even when the latter do not lead to “optimal or even rational public health outcomes.”
Honoring young children’s liberty, equal protection, and health
Across the country, state legislatures are introducing vaccine mandate bills requiring all vaccines for all children, even threatening to go after the medical exemptions that the Jacobson decision insisted were vitally important. Encountering pushback from concerned parents, legislators and the medical/pharmaceutical establishment are resorting to threatening tactics that include forced vaccination, apparently heedless of the fact that all vaccines and medicines, including hepatitis B vaccines, come with sizeable risks. For the sake of children’s present and future health, we must keep up public pressure to resolve financial conflicts of interest, insist on the highest standards of vaccine safety and persist in questioning both the overt and underlying premises of unjustifiable vaccine mandates.
Why You Can’t Trust the CDC on Vaccines
The major media dismiss public vaccine policy critics as “conspiracy theorists”, but no conspiracy is required to explain how it can be true that the CDC deceives about vaccines.
By Jeremy R. Hammond, Children’s Health Defense Contributing Writer
As I have covered in previous articles for Children’s Health Defense, the fundamental assumptions underlying the recommendation of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that everyone aged six months and up should get an annual flu shot are unsupported by scientific evidence. Examining a case study from the New York Times, we’ve seen how the corporate media manufacture consent for public vaccine policy by grossly misinforming their audiences about the science—and how, in doing so, the media are just following the CDC’s example. We’ve seen how the CDC uses deceptive fear marketing to increase demand for influenza vaccines, and how the CDC’s claims that flu vaccination significantly reduces deaths among the elderly have been thoroughly discredited by the scientific community.
So what can explain the CDC’s behavior?
As far as the discourse about vaccines goes in the mainstream media, this problem doesn’t exist. The media treat the CDC as practically the most credible and authoritative source for information about vaccines on the planet and unquestioningly amplify the CDC’s public relations messaging. We saw in our New York Times case study just how blatantly the media participate in misinforming the public, with health writer Aaron E. Carroll supporting his argument that everyone should follow the CDC’s recommendation to get a flu shot by citing a study whose authors actually concluded not only that the CDC’s policy is unsupported by the scientific evidence, but also that the CDC deliberately misrepresents the science to support its policy!
As far as the mainstream discourse is concerned, the idea that the public is being grossly misinformed about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines requires belief in “conspiracy theories”. But no conspiracy theory is required to explain how it can be that the CDC is misinforming the public about vaccines. The media is just demonstrably serving its usual function, as outlined by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in their book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, of advocating government policy rather than doing journalism. This is not a conspiracy. It’s just an institutionalized bias stemming from what Chomsky has called the “state religion”—an undying faith in the fundamental benevolence of the US government and its agencies.
Likewise, no conspiracy theory is required to explain how it can be that the government agency charged with formulating public vaccine policy is misinforming the public about vaccine science. On the contrary, the CDC’s behavior can be explained to a considerable degree solely by good intentions. Public health officials generally are simply convinced that, in performing their individual function in the mechanisms of government, they are doing good and serving the public interest.
But as economist Milton Friedman once pertinently observed, “Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.” The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as the saying goes; or, as reiterated in Psychology Today, “If our interventions cause more harm than good, the interventions are not moral regardless of the loftiness of our intentions.”
It is only human psychology to be resistant to ideas that challenge one’s own self-identity. It’s not difficult to understand how public health officials might be unwilling to acknowledge the possibility that they could be wrong—that they might be doing harm. The idea that government officials are susceptible to what is known as “confirmation bias”, or the tendency to accept information supportive of one’s personal belief system while dismissive of information that contradicts it, should hardly be considered far-fetched or conspiratorial. Doctors working within the confines of the medical establishment, too, succumb to confirmation bias and fail to question the institutionalized way of doing things.
And it’s not as though the medical establishment has not been wrong before! As Dave Sackett, “the father of evidence based medicine”, once quipped, “Half of what you’ll learn in medical school will be shown to be either dead wrong or out of date within five years of your graduation; the trouble is that nobody can tell you which half—so the most important thing to learn is how to learn on your own.”
Too many people just don’t think for themselves, but succumb to groupthink. And this situation isn’t helped by the pharmaceutical industry’s undue influence on the direction of science. As BMJ editor Richard Horton has commented, “Journals have devolved into information-laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry.”
Studies examining this problem have shown that an alarming proportion of medical literature gets the science wrong. As a 2013 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation concluded, “To serve its interests, the industry masterfully influences evidence base production, evidence synthesis, understanding of harms issues, cost-effectiveness evaluations, clinical practice guidelines and healthcare professional education and also exerts direct influences on professional decisions and health consumers.”
One of the authors of that study was John Ioannidis, who’s been described by The Atlantic as possibly “one of the most influential scientists alive”. In a 2005 essay published in PLoS Medicine, Ioannidis wrote that, “It can be proven that most claimed research findings are false.” And false findings might not just be “the majority”, but could be “the vast majority”. Rather than majority expert opinion representing scientific truths, claimed findings “may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.”
Among the numerous other problems affecting the quality of research are financial conflicts of interests and institutionalized prejudices. As Ioannidis elaborated:
“Conflicts of interest are very common in biomedical research, and typically they are inadequately and sparsely reported. Prejudice may not necessarily have financial roots. Scientists in a given field may be prejudiced purely because of their belief in a scientific theory or commitment to their own findings. Many otherwise seemingly independent, university-based studies may be conducted for no other reason than to give physicians and researchers qualifications for promotion or tenure. Such nonfinancial conflicts may also lead to distorted reported results and interpretations. Prestigious investigators may suppress via the peer review process the appearance and dissemination of findings that refute their findings, thus condemning their field to perpetuate false dogma. Empirical evidence on expert opinion shows that it is extremely unreliable.”
As The Atlantic noted, Ioannidis has estimated that “as much as 90 percent of the published medical information that doctors rely on is flawed”, and “he worries that the field of medical research is so pervasively flawed, and so riddled with conflicts of interest, that it might be chronically resistant to change—or even to publicly admitting that there’s a problem.”
That certainly also applies to the CDC, where corruption and conflicts of interest are an endemic problem.
The Endemic Corruption at the CDC
Perhaps the most infamous example is how the head of the CDC from 2002 to 2009, Julie Gerberding, left her government job to go work as president of Merck’s $5 billion global vaccine division. Merck’s CEO understandably described Gerberding as an “ideal choice”. She held that position until 2014 and currently holds the Merck job title of “Executive Vice President & Chief Patent Officer, Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy and Population Health”. That is to say, the former CDC director is now in charge of Merck’s propaganda efforts. One might say she’s basically doing the same job now that she did for the CDC, but even more lucratively. Apart from her salary, in 2015, Gerberding sold shares of Merck worth over $2.3 million dollars.
A more recent example came in January 2018, when CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald was forced to resign after Politico reported that, after assuming leadership of the CDC on July 7, 2017, she “bought tens of thousands of dollars in new stock holdings in at least a dozen companies”—including Merck.
In August 1999, the House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform initiated an investigation into federal vaccine policy, the findings of which were reported in June 2000. As its report stated, “The Committee’s investigation has determined that conflict of interest rules employed by the FDA and the CDC have been weak, enforcement has been lax, and committee members with substantial ties to pharmaceutical companies have been given waivers to participate in committee proceedings.”
Examples of the corruption included the following:
- “The CDC routinely grants waivers from conflict of interest rules to every member of its advisory committee.”
- “CDC Advisory Committee members who are not allowed to vote on certain recommendations due to financial conflicts of interest are allowed to participate in committee deliberations and advocate specific positions.”
- “The Chairman of the CDC’s advisory committee until very recently owned 600 shares of stock in Merck….”
- “Members of the CDC’s advisory Committee often fill out incomplete financial disclosure statements, and are not required to provide the missing information by CDC ethics officials.”
- “Four out of eight CDC advisory committee members who voted to approve guidelines for the rotavirus vaccine in June 1998 had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that were developing different versions of the vaccine.”
- “3 out of 5 FDA advisory committee members who voted to approve the rotavirus vaccine in December 1997 had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that were developing different versions of the vaccine.”
A US Senate report from June 2007 noted how surveys showed that Americans “overwhelmingly” viewed the CDC as doing a good job at keeping them healthy, as well as how the CDC took advantage of that perception by seeking ever increasing levels of funding year after year—and yet the CDC had little to show for its exorbitant spending.
The Senate report named Julie Gerberding as an example of the problem. Under her leadership, bonuses for the people managing the CDC increased dramatically. The top three CDC financial officers, for example, had “taken in more than a quarter million dollars in bonuses” over the previous several years. A New York Times analysis, the Senate report noted, had found that “The share of premium bonuses given to those within the director’s office has risen at least tenfold under Dr. Gerberding’s leadership.”
Another problem was the “revolving door” of Washington. Citing examples, the Senate report commented that, “While CDC employees’ pay may not be equal to those in the private market, contractors who previously were employed by the CDC appear to have found a lucrative way to make their CDC connections pay off.”
The Senate report was appropriately subtitled, “A review of how an agency tasked with fighting and preventing disease has spent hundreds of millions of tax dollars for failed prevention efforts, international junkets, and lavish facilities, but cannot demonstrate it is controlling disease.”
A 2009 report from the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services found that “almost all” financial disclosure forms for “special Government employees”—such as the people who sit on the CDC’s vaccine advisory committee—were not properly completed. For 97 percent of them, there was at least one omission, and most of the forms “had more than one type of omission.” Furthermore, looking at the year 2007, 64 percent of such employees were found to have potential conflicts of interest that the CDC had either failed to identify or failed to resolve. The CDC also failed to ensure that 41 percent of such employees received required ethics training, and 15 percent of such employees “did not comply with ethics requirements during committee meetings in 2007.” In sum, the Inspector General’s office found “that CDC had a systemic lack of oversight of the ethics program” for special government employees.
A particularly salient example was the aforementioned June 1998 recommendation of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) that all infants receive the rotavirus vaccine. We’ll examine that particular case in a forthcoming article. Be sure to sign up for the Children’s Health Defense newsletter so you don’t miss it!
In sum, while the CDC is the mainstream media’s go-to source for information on any vaccine-related story, the public has every reason to be skeptical of the information coming out of this agency. It is certainly no “conspiracy theory” to claim that the CDC is misinforming the public about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. On the contrary, that the CDC does so is demonstrable and recognized in the scientific literature.
It also requires no “conspiracy theory” to explain how this can be so. It certainly does not follow from the assumption that government officials in positions of power are acting out of benevolent intent that therefore their policies are not harmful. The institutionalized confirmation bias and endemic corruption are more than sufficient to explain how it can be that the CDC is misinforming the public about vaccines.
Jeremy R. Hammond is an independent journalist and analyst, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, author of several books, and father. Read more of his writings at JeremyRHammond.com. To stay updated with his work on vaccines and download his report “5 Horrifying Facts about the FDA Vaccine Approval Process”, subscribe to his free newsletter.
Herd Immunity: A False Rationale for Vaccine Mandates
By the Children’s Health Defense Team
Herd immunity is a largely theoretical concept, yet for decades, it has furnished one of the key underpinnings for vaccine mandates in the United States. The public health establishment borrowed the herd immunity concept from pre-vaccine observations of natural disease outbreaks. Then, without any apparent supporting science, officials applied the concept to vaccination, using it not only to justify mass vaccination but to guilt-trip anyone objecting to the nation’s increasingly onerous vaccine mandates.
Apparently, herd immunity bullying sometimes works: A review of 29 studies showed that “willingness to immunize children for the benefit of the community” was a “motivating reason” for about a third of parents. There is one problem with using herd immunity as a motivator, however—the theory of herd immunity relies on numerous flawed assumptions that, in the real world, do not and cannot justify compulsory vaccination policies. In a 2014 analysis in the Oregon Law Review by New York University (NYU) legal scholars Mary Holland and Chase E. Zachary (who also has a Princeton-conferred doctorate in chemistry), the authors show that 60 years of compulsory vaccine policies “have not attained herd immunity for any childhood disease.” It is time, they suggest, to cast aside coercion in favor of voluntary choice.
False logic and troubling consequences
One of the principal arguments made by Holland and Zachary is that herd immunity is not achievable with modern vaccines. In part, this is because the underlying assumptions upon which herd immunity is premised are largely “irrelevant in the real world.” These assumptions include the erroneous notions that all members of the population are equally susceptible to infectious disease and that all persons behave identically in spreading disease. In reality, many different factors shape patterns of risk and susceptibility to disease, including age and sex, race/ethnicity and life circumstances, including stress. Although the NYU scholars do not mention it, a healthy lifestyle and naturally resilient immune system also matter, giving individuals the “upper hand” in encounters with pathogens. In contrast, the artificial immunity engineered by vaccines— administered to children before their immune systems have even had a chance to develop—not infrequently leads to subsequent immune dysfunction and chronic illness.
The flawed logic that ignores individual and population differences and pretends that there is no distinction between natural and vaccine-induced immunity has given rise to many troubling vaccine policies, according to Holland and Zachary. This is particularly the case for children, who are “overwhelmingly” the targets of mandatory vaccine policies. Hepatitis B vaccination offers one example of a disconnect between risk and policy. Whereas hepatitis B is a disease for which only a tiny portion of the U.S. population (mostly adults) is at risk, mandatory hepatitis B vaccination targets low-risk infants and schoolchildren, “selected for convenience.”
The authors also call attention to the problematic assumption of “perfect vaccine efficacy” that undergirds herd immunity, again noting that this assumption has “limited bearing in real-world conditions.” This is because vaccines often fail to perform in the manner predicted. For example, the phenomenon of “primary vaccine failure” occurs in at least 2% to 10% of healthy vaccinated individuals; these individuals are “non-responsive” to a given vaccine, meaning that they fail to mount “sufficient protective antibody responses” after either the initial vaccine or a booster shot.
The legal scholars’ review discusses a number of other problems that make the theoretical concepts of vaccine efficacy and herd immunity highly imperfect in practice and, in fact, unachievable. These include:
- Secondary vaccine failure, defined as waning vaccine-induced immunity that no longer offers protection
- Mutation of the virus against which one is vaccinating, with the mutation plausibly triggered by the vaccine itself (vaccine researchers also allude to the problem of “genotype mismatch” between the vaccine strain and the wild-type virus)
- Viral shedding that allows asymptomatic vaccinated individuals to transmit the vaccine strain of the illness
- Importation of illness due to travel
- Recurrent outbreaks of illness in vaccinated populations that, say Holland and Zachary, “scientists simply cannot explain”
Outbreaks in highly vaccinated populations
The NYU authors note that the herd immunity model “entirely discounts the possible benefits of contracting and overcoming disease naturally, thereby achieving long-lasting immunity.” In the pre-vaccine era, children routinely got the measles—which even the most enthusiastic vaccine proponents recognized as a “self-limiting infection of short duration, moderate severity, and low fatality.” These individuals, once recovered, confidently carried their natural immunity into adulthood without ever worrying about the measles again.
Vaccination, however, has “changed the landscape for disease transmission,” making “preventable illness rarer…[but] also increas[ing] the expected severity of each case.” As childhood vaccination has pushed the average age of infection into the older age groups, adolescents and adults have been exposed to new and historically unprecedented risks. One study suggests that lapsed vaccine immunity has led to negative outcomes that are 4.5 times worse for measles, 2.2 times worse for chickenpox and 5.8 times worse for rubella, compared to the pre-vaccine era.
The various forms of vaccine failure not only make herd immunity impossible to achieve but also feed the occurrence of “vaccine-preventable illnesses” in highly or even fully vaccinated populations. There are numerous examples of this in the published literature. One example cited by Holland and Zachary was a 1985 measles outbreak in a Texas high school where 99% of the students had been vaccinated and 96% had detectable measles antibodies—the authors of the outbreak report acknowledged that “such an outbreak should have been virtually impossible.” More recent studies around the world describe mumps and pertussis outbreaks in highly or fully vaccinated middle and high school populations, including in Belgium (2004), Korea (2006), the U.S. (2007) and Ontario (2015). The Ontario researchers perplexedly stated, “In light of the high efficacy of the MMR [measles-mumps-rubella] vaccine against mumps, the reason for these outbreaks is unclear.”
Astonishingly (or perhaps not), the solution proposed by most of the researchers who recognize various forms of vaccine failure is…more vaccination. However, recommendations for more doses and more boosters ignore the “illusory” nature of herd immunity. As Holland and Zachary painstakingly show, illogical mandates and “imperfect vaccine technology” mean that “herd immunity does not exist and is not attainable.” Even one hundred percent vaccination “cannot reliably induce herd immunity.” Thus, herd immunity is a “weak rationale” to compel all vaccines for all children.
The authors also point out that current vaccine programs are failing citizens on multiple other fronts, including giving little deference to individual choice and bodily integrity and depriving parents of the “discretion to act in their own children’s best interests.” Holland and Zachary argue that the public health would be better served by policies that “take into account all the economic costs and health risks of vaccination,” respect individual autonomy and provide vaccine consumers with complete information—recognizing that “prior, free, and informed consent is the hallmark of modern ethical medicine.”
Vaccine Mandates Results Don’t Safeguard Children’s Rights or Health: How Did We Get Here?
By the Children’s Health Defense Team
For decades, the U.S. government has made compulsory childhood vaccination one of the cornerstones of its public health policy. Outside the U.S., countries’ vaccination policies range from completely voluntary to “aggressive,” with some nations promoting vaccination but leaving the decision up to the individual, and others pushing a little harder by financially incentivizing vaccination. Some of the countries with mandatory vaccination have “modest” policies that focus on a single vaccine such as polio, and some—with broader mandates on the books—choose not to enforce them.
Regardless of the policy, no other country requires as many childhood vaccines as the U.S., but the legal edifice shoring up the compulsory childhood vaccine program is surprisingly flimsy. As New York University legal scholar Mary Holland explains in a 2010 working paper, this edifice relies primarily on two century-old Supreme Court decisions—from 1905 and 1922—and on the game-changing National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986, which fundamentally altered the legal landscape for vaccination by exempting vaccine manufacturers and medical practitioners from liability for childhood vaccine injuries.
The 1986 Act, in particular, resulted in an absence of legal protections for vaccinated children that is “striking compared to almost all other medical interventions.” Examining the legal trajectory of vaccine mandates since 1905, Holland argues that current childhood mandates are not only radically different from what the earlier courts and legislators envisioned but are “unreasonable and oppressive and have led to…perverse results” that do not safeguard children’s rights and health.
From mandates for emergencies to mandates for “prevention”
The Supreme Court’s 1905 Jacobson v. Massachusetts decision, as summarized by Holland, justified the imposition of one vaccine—smallpox—on adults “on an emergency basis” and under circumstances of “imminent danger.” At the same time, the Jacobson decision established medical exemptions, reasoning that it “would be cruel and inhuman in the last degree” to vaccinate someone who was medically unfit. Jacobson also contained “robust cautionary language,” calling attention to the potential for “arbitrary and oppressive” abuse of police power and warning against going “far beyond what was reasonably required for the safety of the public.” Jacobson urged courts to be “vigilant to examine and thwart unreasonable assertions of state power.”
Despite these words of warning, state-level courts did not wait long before broadening the judicial interpretation of Jacobson beyond the notion of imminent danger or necessity—although still within the context of just the smallpox vaccine:
- In 1916, Alabama and Kentucky courts affirmed states’ right to mandate vaccination for prevention of smallpox epidemics, stating that state Boards of Health “are not required to wait until an epidemic actually exists before taking action.” The Alabama court also broadened the rationale for mandates beyond adults to children.
- In 1922, the three-paragraph Zucht v. King Supreme Court decision sanctioned vaccine mandates as a condition for public school attendance. According to Holland, this decision further shifted Jacobson’s “paradigm…by upholding a mandate exclusively for children and not for the entire population.”
- Decisions in Mississippi and Texas in the early 1930s granted public health authorities the leeway to define public health emergencies in whatever manner they saw fit.
- A New Jersey court in the late 1940s interpreted Jacobson as justifying all vaccine mandates, “disregarding its language to reject unreasonable, arbitrary or oppressive state actions.”
- An Arkansas court in the early 1950s suggested that anyone questioning vaccine safety or efficacy should “lodge [their] objections with the Board of Health rather than the court.”
Occasionally, legal officials expressed their disapproval of vaccine mandates outside of emergencies, as with the North Dakota judge who, in 1919, pronounced childhood vaccination in the absence of a smallpox epidemic an act of “barbarism.” The same judge also wrote presciently about the self-interest of the medical profession and vaccine manufacturers—“the class that reap a golden harvest from vaccination and the diseases caused by it.” In comments that bear repeating today, the judge stated,
“Every person of common sense and observation must know that it is not the welfare of the children that causes the vaccinators to preach their doctrines and to incur the expense of lobbying for vaccination statutes. …And if anyone says to the contrary, he either does not know the facts, or he has no regard for the truth.”
The legal sea change in 1986
Although vaccination mandates had become legally “well-entrenched” by the mid-1950s—regardless of emergency and “all but erasing” Jacobson’s cautionary language—Holland emphasizes that this legal framework arose in the context of a single vaccine for a contagious disease considered to be life-threatening. Even when the polio vaccine subsequently came on the scene, the nonprofit organization that helped develop and distribute the vaccine “opposed compulsion on principle.”
According to Holland, the creation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)—“a federal advisory body with little public participation and no direct accountability to voters”—laid the groundwork for far more coercive vaccine policies. In fact, ACIP has become, over time, the “driving force” behind vaccine mandates. Whereas Jacobson justified mandates under specific and rare circumstances, ACIP has created an “infrastructure” that pushes mandates for any vaccine-preventable illness.
By 1981, after ACIP helped ensure that multiple vaccines were obligatory for school attendance in all 50 states, the number of vaccine injuries began increasing. Against this backdrop, Congress enacted the NCVIA in 1986. Although some legislators may have been well-intentioned when they passed the Act, Holland makes it clear that it has been nothing short of a disaster. In essence, the Act located “vaccine promotion, safety and compensation under one [government] umbrella,” thereby creating “the risk of trade-offs among competing goals.” The rather predictable result is that “revenue-generating vaccine development and promotion have enjoyed priority over vaccine safety science and injury compensation since the Law’s inception.”
Holland identifies the paradox at the core of the 1986 Law. On the one hand, the legislation “for the first time publicly acknowledged that universal compulsory vaccination is likely to cause permanent injury and death to some infants and children”; on the other hand, it forces healthy children to give up ordinary legal protections, including informed consent, and takes away from injured children the right to sue manufacturers directly.
Meanwhile, ACIP has continued to promote a shift away from “necessity” as the rationale for vaccine mandates. A number of the vaccines that ACIP now calls for American children to get to attend school—70 doses of 16 vaccines by age 18—are for rarely fatal illnesses and for conditions “not contagious through ordinary social contact.” Holland’s conclusion is that:
“Necessity no longer determines the validity of state childhood vaccination mandates…. New vaccine mandates are guided by financial returns on low prevalence diseases, not protection of the entire population against imminent harm.”
“Ravenous corporate greed and mindless bureaucracy”
Some of the most troubling facts come at the end of Holland’s impressive legal review and concern the power of the pharmaceutical industry. She notes:
- The pharmaceutical industry has been the most profitable industry in the U.S. since the 1980s.
- In a single year in the early 2000s, “the combined profits of the ten largest drug companies in the Fortune 500 had higher net profits…than all the other 490 companies [in the Fortune 500] combined.”
- There are more full-time pharmaceutical industry lobbyists on Capitol Hill than there are legislators in both Houses of Congress.
- The leading manufacturers of childhood vaccines in the U.S. (Merck, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur) have records of documented fraud and criminal/ethical misconduct.
Holland also tackles the extensive collusion between the pharmaceutical industry and government regulators, including a quote about “ravenous corporate greed and mindless bureaucracy” in a related article. Whereas “demonstrably predatory corporations selling compulsory products to a vulnerable population should lead to a high level of government scrutiny and skepticism,” Holland observes that “government appears to ally its interests with industry in the arena of vaccines.”
Coercion is backfiring
Fortunately, the public and even some health professionals are growing increasingly wise to this industry-government shell game. In one community, opposition to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine mandates recently put public health authorities on the defensive about the epidemic of autoimmunity in today’s youth, the “exorbitant” amount of neurotoxic aluminum in vaccines and the requirement to “get a vaccine for something that can’t be caught in a classroom.” A parent responding to the news article stated, “Why should I as a mother trust the Public Information Officer for the state Department of Health when he cannot even name the amount of aluminum in the vaccine?” Thus, it is up to the public—and ethical professionals—to engage in the “scrutiny and skepticism” that the U.S. government has unconscionably failed to exercise.
Vaccine vs. Disease Trade-offs: Cheating Children’s Immune Systems
By the Children’s Health Defense Team
These days, one policy-maker after another seems to be promoting no-exceptions vaccination policies—hawking an incessant and growing barrage of childhood vaccines that begins prenatally and continues throughout childhood. Despite these efforts, the narrative that vaccines are keeping children healthy is rapidly crumbling. Rates of chronic and autoimmune illness in American children have climbed to obscene levels (54% at last count), concurrently with rising vaccination rates—while U.S. life expectancy is falling.
None of the individuals who present vaccination as an unquestioned good ever discusses the trade-offs involved in tampering with the exquisitely sophisticated human immune system, especially during a child’s earliest developmental stages, nor do they acknowledge that two of vaccination’s basic premises are patently false:
- It has become clear that the short-lived antibody production that vaccines seek to induce is nothing like the comprehensive lifelong immunity that results from a natural infection;
- An honest look at health statistics shows that vaccines exact a high cost when they re-engineer children’s immune systems; rather than entering adulthood in robust health, many children are paying the piper via some form of immune dysfunction at some point down the road.
Creating an imbalanced immune system
Scientists admire the immune system as “the most complex system that the human body has.” It is also a “model of versatility,” carrying out an impressive range of essential functions. These include differentiating between “harmless self” and harmful invaders (e.g., bacteria, viruses, fungi or toxins); amplifying the immune response; excreting cellular debris (through mechanisms such as fever, sweating, rash and expectoration); engaging in tissue repair; interacting with the gut microbiome; and more.
This “incredibly precise” system has two coordinated arms. The cell-mediated immune system is characterized by the activity of white blood cells that travel to the area(s) of infection to eliminate the infected cells. The humoral immune system prompts the formation of antibodies that target invader-specific proteins (antigens) for destruction.
The hallmark of vaccination is that it bypasses the cell-mediated response in favor of a “mock infection,” while encouraging a disproportionate humoral response. According to an elegant new book by Dr. Thomas Cowan (Vaccines, Autoimmunity, and the Changing Nature of Childhood Illness), this “reckless” suppression of the cell-mediated response is a very bad idea: “Interfering with such a precise immune response” (the result of “millions of years of evolutionary fine-tuning”) carries with it “massive risk of unintended consequence[s]”—and those consequences are now manifesting in the form of an autoimmunity crisis. Cowan states:
“The deliberate provocation of antibodies without prior cell-mediated activity produces an imbalance in our immune system and a state of excessive antibody production. This excessive antibody production actually defines autoimmune disease. …With millions of people suffering from autoimmune disease, at a number unheard of before the introduction of mass vaccination programs, how can this connection be deemed controversial?” [Emphasis in original]
Immunologic dysregulation—including dysfunction of the type brought about by vaccination—is associated not just with autoimmunity but also with cancer, and childhood cancers are skyrocketing. In contrast, many of the once-universal childhood illnesses were, in fact, protective against various cancers. Stated another way, acute infections, and especially those that caused fever, were historically “antagonistic to cancer.” For example:
- Naturally acquired mumps engendered immunity to ovarian cancer through antibodies against a cancer-associated antigen.
- Individuals who experienced fever-inducing infectious illnesses in childhood (such as rubella and chickenpox) had a lower risk of non-breast cancers, including melanoma and ovarian cancer.
- Acute childhood infections protected against Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and measles, in particular, protected against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Frenzied media stories about “measles outbreaks” notwithstanding, there are multiple reasons to view natural measles infection in childhood as beneficial. As summarized in Cowan’s book, “children who successfully go through measles…have less heart disease, arthritis, allergies, autoimmune diseases, and overall better health than those who never get measles.” Children’s Health Defense has noted previously how the benefits of measles used to be taken for granted—until, says Cowan, the vaccine came along “and changed the way we think about measles.”
Ironically, viruses’ potential to serve as “possible agents of tumor destruction” attracted interest as long as a century ago, when clinical experiences showed that, “given the right set of conditions, cancers would sometimes regress during naturally acquired virus infections.” In the current era, the use of viruses as an anti-cancer treatment has morphed into the “respectable field” of oncolytic virotherapy, even leading to clinical trials—and “measles virus still represents a highly interesting candidate for such an approach.”
Unfortunately, enthusiasm for viruses as “serious contenders in cancer treatment” has further entrenched scientists’ reliance on vaccine strains of measles virus (which are, after all, “amenable to genetic modification in the laboratory”)—fostering zeal for a “new age of engineering immunity” and more of the misplaced faith in “rational manipulation of the immune system” that gave rise to vaccines in the first place. (If anyone has concerns about the potential for these genetically engineered viruses to prompt further unintended consequences, they are keeping their concerns to themselves.) Genetically engineered viral interventions also promise the pharmaceutical industry profits, whereas simply allowing children to get the measles and acquire their cancer protection naturally cannot be monetized.
Circling the wagons
Increasingly, vaccine bullies are employing strategies that would have been unthinkable even five years ago. For example, a children’s hospital in Florida that is under investigation for medical errors and an unexpectedly high mortality rate in its young heart surgery patients recently announced that it will deny services to unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children; the hospital is also taking a “hard line” on flu shots, requiring not just employees but also “non-employee physicians, medical students in training, drug and medical device representatives and volunteers” to get a shot or (in the case of employees) run the risk of being fired. The reason cited for these unnuanced policies is “patient safety.”
As these hard-line tactics multiply, it is vital to keep the failure of the U.S. vaccine program in the public eye. The far-from-uncommon phenomenon of vaccine failure in vaccinated individuals has made it abundantly clear that a vaccine-induced antibody response—the typical indicator of vaccine “protection”—is essentially worthless as a guarantor of real immunity. Even worse, vaccines are disrupting normal immune system function and leaving both children and adults vulnerable to far more serious chronic diseases. The vaccine establishment may not be willing to admit that the vaccination paradigm is fatally flawed, but it is sadly apparent that, in Dr. Cowan’s words, “our communities, hospitals, and schools are filled to the brim with sick and injured children—often suffering from illnesses that barely existed a hundred years ago.”
Primate Vaccination’s Impact on Gut Flora
A recent study published in Nature investigated the gut flora of infant macaques vaccinated with different vaccine schedules. The text of “Microbial structure and function in infant and juvenile rhesus macaques are primarily affected by age, not vaccination status” is available at this link:
However, the usefulness of this study in assessing the gut microbiome as it relates to vaccination impacts on children with autism is limited as outlined in the review below by Children’s Health Defense board member, Dr. Brian Hooker.
Critique by Brian Hooker, Ph.D.
Hasegawa et al.,2018
This particular study was focused on the intestinal microbiome of infant and juvenile macaques who were exposed to either the 1990s or the 2008 vaccination schedule, including thimerosal-containing vaccines. Unfortunately, this study contributes nothing in terms of understanding intestinal health differences in vaccinated versus unvaccinated children.
First, the sample size of each group was insufficient to develop clear differences in the gut microbiome for the different vaccinated and unvaccinated groups. The experimental groups (receiving either the 1900s vaccination schedule or the 2008 vaccination schedule) consisted of just 12 animals each and the control group (receiving no vaccines) consisted of just 16 animals. To pick up a “signal” for a gut microbiome presumably for autism, which has a prevalence of approximately 1 in 36 children in the U.S., each group would need at least 36 subjects. Thus, this study was woefully “under-powered” to find such a signal and it would be rare that with these small groups, such a microbiome would exist. It is therefore logical that there would be no differences in the microbial community among the different groups studied.
Second, the indicators of “gut health” were insufficient to assess a condition that could be consistent with autistic intestinal dysbiosis. The study authors merely looked at the structure of the gut microbial community at the genus level using genetic probes targeted at 16S rRNA sequences (i.e., a genetic signature for the type of bacteria that exist in the macaque’s feces). The method used was not quantitative; thus the relative abundance of microorganism species, relative to each other was never assessed. The authors do call out different genera and families of bacteria typical to the gut but no attempt was made to correlate these to overall intestinal health. To get any quantitative information on microbial species, one needs to run what is called a GI panel, which is the gold standard at identifying gut dysbiosis via microbial species that are problematic, for example, clostridium bacteria or candida yeast. This was not completed on any of the groups of macaques.
Other intestinal markers that would be helpful include parameters of intestinal immune function including total secretory antibody lining the gut mucosa, lysozyme and chymotrypsin enzymes which may be present in quantities to fight intestinal pathogens. These tests were simply not done, leaving a very limited snapshot of some bacteria and other organisms that may be present in significant quantities in the gut. Again, this does not give any type of picture of overall intestinal health, especially conditions associated with neurodevelopmental disorders including autism.
$4 Billion and Growing: U.S. Payouts for Vaccine Injuries and Deaths Keep Climbing
The Health Resources & Services Administration just released new dollar figures reflecting payouts from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The payouts for vaccine injuries just went past the whopping $4 billion mark. Using the government’s own conclusion that only 1% of all vaccine injuries are reported, the $4 billion is just the tip of the iceberg. Despite assurances from CDC and our Federal agencies that all vaccines are safe, the payouts say otherwise. Vaccine injuries can and do happen—to previously healthy children and adults. Consumers deserve to know the facts about the full range of vaccine risks.
By the Children’s Health Defense Team
In most public health communications about vaccination, officials gloss over vaccine risks, dismissing any possible “side effects” as mild. However, vaccination programs have always resulted in more serious vaccine injuries for some. In the 1970s and early 1980s, for example, the diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT) vaccine and its whole-cell pertussis component had chalked up so much vaccine damage that a television documentary likened receiving a DPT shot to playing “vaccine roulette.”
After the DPT debacle began attracting widespread attention, vaccine manufacturers started pressuring Congress for protection from vaccine injury lawsuits. Congress obliged. In 1986, President Reagan signed into existence a radical piece of legislation—the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA)—which launched what the Act described as an “alternative remedy to judicial action for specified vaccine-related injuries.” A key component of the legislation involved creating the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), which was given responsibility for deciding (through the workings of a special “vaccine court”) whether specific injuries and individuals would be eligible for financial compensation.
Over the vaccine court’s 30-year history, individuals and families have filed over 20,000 petitions for vaccine injury compensation. This month, even as 12% of filed petitions remained unadjudicated, the payouts crossed over the $4 billion threshold. This amount was awarded in response to barely a third (31% or 6,276) of the filed petitions. There is no telling how much more money the taxpayer-funded program might have shelled out if the court had not chosen to dismiss the remaining petitions (56%)—possibly doing so fraudulently in at least some cases.
Running the Gauntlet
Over the three decades, despite the stated intent to furnish an “accessible and efficient forum for individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines,” the NVICP has devolved into a protracted and litigious David-versus-Goliath battleground. The vaccine court, in actuality, is “not a court at all but…a consumer-funded government claims program that uses…employees of Health and Human Services (HHS), rather than judges to make decisions on compensation.” While government-funded Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers vigorously represent and defend the interests of HHS and vaccine manufacturers, the consumer-unfriendly system forces the vaccine-injured to meet an exceptionally high burden of proof. For dismissed claims, there is no assurance that the program will even cover attorneys’ fees and costs.
Children’s Health Defense recently called attention to a glaring example of the NVICP’s pro-industry and anti-vaccine-injured bias. In 2007 and 2008, DOJ attorneys exhibited “highly unethical and appallingly consequential official misconduct” during an Omnibus Autism Proceeding (OAP) orchestrated to determine the fate of 5,400 families who had filed claims for vaccine-induced autism. The potential value of the claims exceeded $100 billion—an amount that “would have bankrupted the [compensation] program many times over.” HHS’s Department of Justice lawyers, “under pressure” to deprive petitioners of their rightful relief, successfully achieved that aim through allegedly fraudulent means. In September 2018, Children’s Health Defense Chairman Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Rolf Hazlehurst (parent of one of the vaccine-injured children involved in the OAP) requested that the DOJ Inspector General and Congress investigate this fraud and obstruction of justice by HHS and DOJ officials.
Individuals who file claims with VICP must meet specific “medical criteria” and are out of luck unless their illness, disability, injury or condition is covered in the NVICP’s Vaccine Injury Table and manifests within a specified time frame. As an illustration of the difficulties that NVICP petitioners may encounter, consider someone who experiences myocarditis (heart inflammation) following vaccination. A 2018 article in BMJ Case Reports recently observed that myocarditis is one of “the more serious vaccine-related sequela” and “has been reported following many different vaccines.”
Another recent article in a European medical journal describes post-vaccination reports of myopericarditis (inflammation of both the pericardium and the heart muscle) and other autoimmune disorders and offers two extremely plausible mechanisms “by which vaccines can cause autoimmune reactions.” In the Vaccine Injury Table, however, the only place where cardiac symptoms are mentioned is in connection with anaphylaxis—with the table’s notes indicating that “there are no specific pathological findings to confirm a diagnosis of anaphylaxis”—and most autoimmune illnesses are also conspicuously absent.
Tip of the Iceberg
By anyone’s accounting, the $4 billion paid out to date by the NVICP is an attention-getting amount of money. However, that amount pales in comparison to the billions of dollars’ worth of autism claims that the vaccine court unfairly dismissed. According to HHS, moreover, “fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported,” and studies confirm that many health providers are unfamiliar with the system for reporting vaccine injuries. The shocking underreporting of vaccine injuries also fails to account for the fact that one in six individuals who experience an “adverse event following immunization” (AEFI) have a recurrence with subsequent vaccination, often rated as “more severe than the initial AEFI.” If even a small percentage of these unreported and recurrent vaccine injuries were brought forward for compensation, the entire NVICP house of cards—and the CDC’s deceptive claims of unassailable vaccine safety—would crumble.
A Gold Rush: Liability Protection Encourages More Vaccines
Instead, whether intended or not, the end result of the 1986 Act and the NVICP has been to create a “gold rush” environment that encourages manufacturers to develop even more vaccines, while conveniently exempting them from liability for the injuries and deaths that result from their powerful immune-system-altering products. With no incentive to make vaccines safe and a large and lucrative market guaranteed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s childhood vaccine schedule—as well as a growing effort to foist unnecessary and dangerous vaccines on adults—vaccine manufacturers appear to have it made. The public and vaccine safety advocates must continue to remind the government that the approximately 6,300 claims that have been compensated over the NVICP’s 30-year history represent the very tip of the iceberg.
Vaccines Induce Bizarre Anti-Social Behaviour in Sheep
by: Celeste McGovern, Ghost Ship Media
Just seven injections of vaccines or the aluminum salt added to vaccines caused alarming behavioral changes linked to a fatal nervous system disorder in sheep, a new study from Spanish veterinary researchers shows.
Vaccinated lambs and lambs that received injections of aluminum that is used in human vaccines as well, began aggressively biting the wool from other sheep, pacing restlessly and overeating, according to the study published this week in the journal Pharmacological Research.
Researchers from the Universities of Zaragoza and Navarra, Spain separated 21 male lambs into three groups. These received either common sheep vaccines, an aluminum ingredient called Alhydrogel used in many human as well as animal vaccines, or saline placebo. All other conditions were controlled. The researchers noted that the vaccinated and Alhydrogel animals became more solitary and anti-social than those injected with placebo. “In general, sheep are gregarious, and have a strong drive to be in the company of flock mates,” they said. Antisocial behavior is “uncommon and readily detected by an observer.” Fewer interactions with other animals “might indicate a deleterious effect on animal welfare,” the vets explained.
As well as interacting less with their flock, the vaccinated and aluminum- treated animals were notably more aggressive than untreated animals and began to bite wool off of their pen mates. Wool-biting is a well-documented, serious and relatively common abnormal behavior in sheep that causes significant harm to both the injured animals, and potentially the animal ingesting wool, but there is no accepted explanation for it in the veterinary literature. Within months of their first seven injections, five of seven vaccinated lambs had multiple areas of wool loss on their rumps and withers as a result of wool-biting.
Restless, repetitive behavior
The Spanish vet researchers noticed that the vaccinated and aluminum-treated animals spent less time lying down than did the lambs in the control group. “The changes in the treatment groups reflect restless or excitatory behavior because resting patterns can be used to identify social stress in animal husbandry,” the study says. “Sheep exhibit a consistent and synchronous pattern of activity and resting, which the inoculations appeared to have altered.”
The lambs in the vaccinated and aluminum groups were more inclined to restless pacing and random repetitive behaviors compared to controls as well. These “stereotypies” can be indicators of animal stress or of damage to the central nervous system.
“They also exhibited a significant increase in excitatory behavior and compulsive eating,” the study, led by Lluís Luján, a professor of veterinary pathology at the University of Zaragoza, concluded.
In general, the researchers reported, the uncommon behavior changes were more pronounced in the lambs that received the vaccines rather than those given the aluminum vaccine ingredient only, though both groups were clearly affected while the control group was not.
Some changes were readily apparent in the animals at their first assessment in summer, when they had received only seven injections. Overall, the animals received an accelerated schedule of 16 vaccines over 12 months to study the effects.
Blood tests showed that cortisol levels in the vaccinated and aluminum treated sheep were elevated during winter when cortisol levels fell in control sheep. “Cortisol is a good indicator of stress in animals that are exposed to adverse situations,” the researchers noted. As well, white blood counts (WBC) of the vaccinated animals were significantly higher than those of both other groups -another indicator of stress. “In our study, conditions were not stressful, which suggests that the vaccination was responsible for the increase in the WBC in the Vaccine Group.
The researchers published a separate study on October 31, in the journal Autoimmunity Reviews, which looked at tissue samples of the sheep post mortem following the experiment.
Microscopic examination revealed that the vaccinated and aluminum treated animals had numerous “granulomas” – lumpy, cheese-like nodules up to two cm in diameter under their skin and in lymph nodes far from the injection sites. These nodules were found to contain macrophages – a type of white blood cell that engulfs pathogens, loaded with tiny shards of the toxic metal aluminum. The jagged edges of the aluminum had pierced sacs inside some of the macrophages, spilling out and apparently, triggering programmed cell death responses in the surrounding tissue.
Granulomas, the researchers noted, were more lumpy and prevalent in the vaccinated animals and tended to be flatter in the aluminum-only treated animals. None of the placebo animals had these bodies under their skin.
The experiment was part of a research effort to understand a mysterious new disease that had decimated the Spanish sheep industry between 2008 and 2010 following a government-mandated bluetongue vaccine campaign.
Prof. Luján was approached by farmers at the time who were losing entire flocks to the disease. Animals were affected in two phases: in the first acute phase, only a few animals in a flock became nearly unresponsive with an acute meningoencephalitis, and a second chronic phase, sometimes months later and frequently triggered by an exposure to cold weather, affected up to 100 percent of flocks. The sheep became restless and anxious, then showed extreme weight loss and neurological damage. Eventually, all four limbs were paralyzed and they dropped to their front quarters, comatose, and died.
The disease was reproduced experimentally by repetitive vaccination of sheep. Post mortem exams revealed the animals’ nervous tissue was riddled with the toxic metal aluminum.
Ovine ASIA, as Luján’s team called it, is an animal version of Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA)– an immune system disease first clearly defined in humans in 2011. Immunologists, including leading Israeli immunologist Yehuda Shoenfeld, recognized that adjuvants – foreign substances in the human body including vaccine adjuvants designed to evoke a powerful immune response – can in some individuals hyper-stimulate the immune system into self-attack mode. Autoimmune diseases that are an expression of self attack can manifest as everything from atopic dermatitis and arthritis to severe nervous system disorders including Guillain Barre Syndrome and multiple sclerosis. These diseases now affect up to one in five Americans and are a growing global health concern.
Many of these conditions have repeatedly been linked in medical literature to vaccination. Public health agencies have been aware of problems with aluminum adjuvants since at least 2002 when a public health symposium overseen by Mayo Clinic vaccine researcher Gregory Poland, heard French doctors describe a new disease, Macrophagic Myofasciitis (MMF) which developed after intramuscular injection with vaccines containing aluminum. Patients presented with extreme muscle fatigue and cognitive impairment and one fifth of them developed overt autoimmune diseases. Biopsies of their deltoid tissue revealed granulomas of aluminum in macrophages, much like those found recently in the Spanish sheep.
More recent studies from the French and English researchers studying MMF revealed that in mice, injected aluminum migrates to lymph nodes – as was seen in the Spanish sheep – and to distant sites including brain where it persists for up to a year, activating the immune system in a persistent inflammatory state.
In 2015, more than 75 immunologists and medical doctors and researchers collaborated on a medical textbook, Vaccines and Autoimmunity, which overviews the research strongly suggesting that vaccine ingredients can induce autoimmune diseases.
They focused on aluminum, with more than 1,100 papers documenting its neurotoxicity. Aluminum strongly provokes the immune system and sets off poorly understood chains of immune reaction. It is added to numerous human vaccines including those for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, diptheria-tetanus, meningitis and HPV.
Prominent defenders of injecting aluminum in children include Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia pediatrician and vaccine promoter Paul Offit who tells parents that the neurotoxic metal is not injected in sufficient quantities to cause harm.
Health agencies have largely ignored the issue and vaccine manufacturers have proceeded as usual. The Gardasil 9 vaccine introduced in 2015, for example has twice the level of aluminum of its predecessor.
Childhood OCD and anxiety disorders
Yet anxiety and compulsive disorders like those seen in the Spanish sheep – and like autoimmune diseases—have increased in children dramatically in recent years without satisfactory explanation.
A 2017 Yale/Pennsylvania State University study reported, for example, that pediatric patients diagnosed with neuropsychiatric disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder and anorexia nervosa were more likely to have received vaccinations three months prior to their diagnoses.
Using health insurance claims data, pediatrics professor James Leckman and four other researchers found that significantly higher numbers of vaccinated children were found among those who were diagnosed with anorexia, OCD, anxiety disorder and ADHD as soon as three months after their vaccinations compared to controls.
The anxious, repetitive and aggressive behaviour documented in this latest study of sheep experimentally may provide clues to the pathogenesis of neurological psychiatric disorders.
“In our opinion, all these behavioral changes exhibited by the Vaccine and Adjuvant only lambs in our study are of outmost importance, as they are the first scientific explanation of some of the previously observed behavioral changes in flocks affected by the chronic phase of ovine ASIA syndrome,” the researchers conclude. “Indeed, these changes can be undoubtedly detected by veterinarians and farmers in field conditions but they have never been scientifically linked to vaccination and/or Al inoculations.”
Until now. Why the researchers were unable to re-induce the full-blown ASIA syndrome they had previously described remains a partial mystery. “Ovine ASIA is a multifactorial process where vaccines (or other immune system stimulators) are necessary but many times not totally enough,” Prof. Luján explained. “Clearly, our animals showed behavioral changes similar to spontaneous occurring ASIA (clearly seen in the paper) but to get the full-blown clinical appearance you need some factor we did not have:”
Unlike in the field, all of the experimental animals were young and male and treated well under controlled conditions. “You need external factors, such as cold (a type of stress),” Luján explained, “and we did not have a cold winter that year.”
“Even in these unsuitable conditions that we could not control,” Luján added, “we clearly saw neurological affection, which is the key step. Imagine if you do this with adult sheep under stress in the field…”
And imagine, as clearly public health and oversight agencies have not, that similar pathological mechanisms may be occurring in vaccinated children.
How the CDC Uses Fear to Increase Demand for Flu Vaccines
By Jeremy R. Hammond, CHD Contributing Writer
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that tens of thousands of people die annually from the flu, but what the public isn’t told is that these numbers come from controversial models that may greatly overestimate, which happens to align with the CDC’s stated aim of using fear marketing to increase demand for flu vaccines.
The CDC claims that its recommendation that everyone aged six months and up should get an annual flu shot is firmly grounded in science. The mainstream media reinforce this characterization by misinforming the public about what the science says.
A New York Times article from earlier this year, for example, in order to persuade readers to follow the CDC’s recommendation, cited scientific literature reviews of the prestigious Cochrane Collaboration to support its characterization of the influenza vaccine as both effective and safe. The Times claimed that the science showed that the vaccine represented “a big payoff in public health” and that harms from the vaccine were “almost nonexistent”.
What the Cochrane researchers actually concluded, however, was that their findings “seem to discourage the utilization of vaccination against influenza in healthy adults as a routine public health measure” (emphasis added). Furthermore, given the known serious harms associated with specific flu vaccines and the CDC’s recommendation that infants as young as six months get a flu shot despite an alarming lack of safety studies for children under two, “large-scale studies assessing important outcomes, and directly comparing vaccine types are urgently required.”
The CDC also recommends the vaccine for pregnant women despite the total absence of randomized controlled trials assessing the safety of this practice for both expectant mother and unborn child. (This is all the more concerning given that multi-dose vials of the inactivated influenza vaccine contain mercury, a known neurotoxin that can cross both the placental and blood-brain barriers and accumulate in the brain.)
The Cochrane researchers also found “no evidence” to support the CDC’s assumptions that the vaccine reduces transmission of the virus or the risk of potentially deadly complications—the two primary justifications claimed by the CDC to support its recommendation.
The CDC nevertheless pushes the influenza vaccine by claiming that it prevents large numbers of hospitalizations and deaths from flu. To reinforce its message that everyone should get an annual flu shot, the CDC claims that hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and tens of thousands die each year from influenza. These numbers are generally relayed by the mainstream media as though representative of known cases of flu. The aforementioned New York Times article, for example, stated matter-of-factly that, of the 9 million to 36 million people whom the CDC estimates get the flu each year, “Somewhere between 140,000 and 710,000 of them require hospitalization, and 12,000 to 56,000 die each year.”
On September 27, the CDC issued the claim at a press conference that 80,000 people died from the flu during the 2017 – 2018 flu season, and the media parroted this number as though fact.
What is not being communicated to the public is that the CDC’s numbers do not represent known cases of influenza. They do not come directly from surveillance data, but are rather controversial estimates based on controversial mathematical models that may greatly overestimate the numbers.
To put the matter into perspective, the average number of deaths each year for which the cause is actually attributed on death certificates to the influenza virus is little more than 1,000.
The consequence of the media parroting the CDC’s numbers as though uncontroversial is that the public is routinely misinformed about the impact of influenza on society and the ostensible benefits of the vaccine. Evidently, that’s just the way the CDC wants it, since the agency has also outlined a public relations strategy of using fear marketing to increase demand for flu shots.
The CDC’s “Problem” of “Growing Health Literacy”
Before looking at some of the problems with the CDC’s estimates, it’s useful to examine the mindset at the agency with respect to how CDC officials view their role in society. An instructive snapshot of this mindset was provided in a presentation by the CDC’s director of media relations on June 17, 2004, at a workshop for the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
In its presentation, the CDC outlined a “‘Recipe’ for Fostering Public Interest and High Vaccine Demand”. It called for encouraging medical experts and public health authorities to “state concern and alarm” about “and predict dire outcomes” from the flu season. To inspire the necessary fear, the CDC encouraged describing each season as “very severe”, “more severe than last or past years”, and “deadly”.
One problem for the CDC is the accurate view among healthy adults that they are not at high risk of serious complications from the flu. As the presentation noted, “achieving consensus by ‘fiat’ is difficult”—meaning that just because the CDC makes the recommendation doesn’t mean that people will actually follow it. Therefore it was necessary to cause “concern, anxiety, and worry” among young, healthy adults who regard the flu as an inconvenience rather than something to be terribly afraid of.
The larger conundrum for the CDC is the proliferation of information available to the public on the internet. As the CDC bluntly stated it, “Health literacy is a growing problem”.
In other words, the CDC considers it to be a problem that people are increasingly doing their own research and becoming more adept at educating themselves about health-related issues. And, as we have already seen, the CDC has very good reason to be concerned about people doing their own research into what the science actually tells us about vaccines.
One prominent way the CDC inspires the necessary fear, of course, is with its estimates of the numbers of people who are hospitalized or die each year from the flu.
The Problems with the CDC’s Estimates of Annual Flu Deaths
Among the relevant facts that are routinely not relayed to the public by the media when the CDC’s numbers are cited is that only about 7% to 15% of what are called “influenza-like illnesses” are actually caused by influenza viruses. In fact, there are over 200 known viruses that cause influenza-like illnesses, and to determine whether an illness was actually caused by the influenza virus requires laboratory testing—which isn’t usually done.
Furthermore, as the authors of a 2010 Cochrane review stated, “At best, vaccines may only be effective against influenza A and B, which represent about 10% of all circulating viruses” that are known to cause influenza-like symptoms. (That’s the same review, by the way, that the Times mischaracterized as having found the vaccine to be “a big payoff in public health”.)
While the CDC now uses a range of numbers to describe annual deaths attributed to influenza, it used to claim that on average “about 36,000 people per year in the United States die from influenza”. The CDC switched to using a range in response to criticism that the average was misleading because there is great variability from year to year and decade to decade. And while switching to the range did address that criticism, other serious problems remain.
One major problem with “the much publicized figure of 36,000”, as Peter Doshi observed in a 2005 BMJ article, was that it “is not an estimate of yearly flu deaths, as widely reported in both the lay and scientific press, but an estimate—generated by a model—of flu-associated death.”
Of course, as the media routinely remind us when it comes to the subject of vaccines and autism (but seem to forget when it comes to the CDC’s flu numbers), temporal association does not necessarily mean causation. Just because someone dies after an influenza infection does not mean that it was the flu that killed him. And, furthermore, many if not most people diagnosed with “the flu” may not have actually been infected with the influenza virus at all, given the large number of other viruses that cause the same symptoms and the general lack of lab confirmation.
The “36,000” number came from a 2003 CDC study published in JAMA that acknowledged the difficulty of estimating deaths attributable to influenza, given that most cases are not lab-confirmed. Yet, rather than acknowledging the likelihood that a substantial percentage of reported cases actually had nothing to do with the influenza virus, the CDC researchers treated it as though it only meant that flu-related deaths must be significantly higher than the reported numbers.
The study authors pointed out that seasonal influenza is “associated with increased hospitalizations and mortality for many diagnoses”, including pneumonia, and they assumed that many cases attributed to other illnesses were actually caused by influenza. They therefore developed a mathematical model to estimate the number by instead using as their starting point all “respiratory and circulatory” deaths, which include all “pneumonia and influenza” deaths.
Of course, not all respiratory and circulatory deaths are caused by the influenza virus. Yet the CDC treats this number as “an upper bound”—as though it was possible that 100% of all respiratory and circulatory deaths occurring in a given flu season were caused by influenza. The CDC also treats the total number of pneumonia and influenza deaths as “a lower bound for deaths associated with influenza”. The CDC states on its website that reported pneumonia and influenza deaths “represent only a fraction of the total number of deaths from influenza”—as though all pneumonia deaths were caused by influenza!
The CDC certainly knows better. In fact, at the same time, the CDC contradictorily acknowledges that not all pneumonia and influenza deaths are flu-related; it has estimated that in an average year 2.1% of all respiratory and circulatory deaths and 8.5% of all pneumonia and influenza deaths are influenza-associated.
So how can the CDC maintain both (a) that 8.5% of pneumonia and influenza deaths are flu-related, and (b) that the combined total of all pneumonia and influenza deaths represents only a fraction of flu-caused deaths? How can both be true?
The answer is that the CDC simply assumes that influenza-associated deaths are so greatly underreported within the broader category of deaths coded under “respiratory and circulatory” that they dwarf all those coded under “pneumonia and influenza”.
In his aforementioned BMJ article, Peter Doshi reasonably asked, “Are US flu death figures more PR than science?” As he put it, “US data on influenza deaths are a mess.” The CDC “acknowledges a difference between flu death and flu associated death yet uses the terms interchangeably. Additionally, there are significant statistical incompatibilities between official estimates and national vital statistics data. Compounding these problems is a marketing of fear—a CDC communications strategy in which medical experts ‘predict dire outcomes’ during flu seasons.”
Illustrating the problem, Doshi observed that for the year 2001, the total number of reported pneumonia and influenza deaths was 62,034. Yet, of those, less than one half of one percent were attributed to influenza. Furthermore, of the mere 257 cases blamed on the flu, only 7% were laboratory confirmed. That’s only 18 cases of lab confirmed influenza out of 62,034 pneumonia and influenza deaths—or just 0.03%, according to the CDC’s own National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
Setting aside pneumonia and looking just at influenza-associated deaths from 1979 to 2002, the annual average according to the NCHS data was only 1,348.
The CDC’s mortality estimates would be compatible with the NCHS data, Doshi argued, “if about half of the deaths classed by the NCHS as pneumonia were actually flu initiated secondary pneumonias.” But the NCHS criteria itself strongly indicated otherwise, stating that “Cause-of-death statistics are based solely on the underlying cause of death … defined by WHO as ‘the disease or injury which initiated the train of events leading directly to death.’”
The CDC researchers who authored the 2003 study acknowledged that underlying cause-of-death coding “represents the disease or injury that initiated the chain of morbid events that led directly to the death”—yet they fallaciously coupled pneumonia deaths with influenza deaths in their model anyway.
At the time Doshi was writing, the CDC was publicly claiming that each year “about 36,000 [Americans] die from flu”, and as seen with the example from the New York Times, the range of numbers is likewise presented as though representative of known cases of flu-caused deaths. Yet the lead author of that very CDC study, William Thompson of the CDC’s National Immunization Program, acknowledged that the number rather represented “a statistical association” that does not necessarily mean causation. In Thompson’s own words, “Based on modelling, we think it’s associated. I don’t know that we would say that it’s the underlying cause of death.” (Emphasis added.)
Of course, the CDC does say it’s the underlying cause of death in its disingenuous public relations messaging. As Doshi noted, Thompson’s acknowledgment is “incompatible” with the CDC’s “misrepresentation” of its flu deaths estimates. The CDC, Doshi further observed, was “working in manufacturers’ interest by conducting campaigns to increase flu vaccination” based on estimates that are “statistically biased”, including by “arbitrarily linking flu with pneumonia”.
More “Limitations” of the CDC’s Models
While the media present the CDC’s numbers as though uncontroversial, there is in fact “substantial controversy” surrounding flu death estimates, as a 2005 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology noted. One problem is that the CDC’s models use virus surveillance data that “have not been made available in the public domain”, which means that its results or not reproducible. (As the journal Cell reminds, “the reproducibility of science” is “a lynch pin of credibility”.) And there are otherwise “significant limitations” of the CDC’s models that potentially result in “spurious attribution of deaths to influenza.”
To illustrate, when Peter Doshi requested access to virus circulation data, the CDC refused to allow it unless he granted the CDC co-authorship of the study he was undertaking—which Doshi appropriately refused.
In the New York Review of Books, Helen Epstein has pointed out how the CDC’s dire warnings about the 2009 H1N1 “swine flu” never came to pass, as well as how “some experts maintain that the CDC’s estimates studies overestimate influenza mortality, particularly among children.” While the number of confirmed H1N1-related child deaths was 371, the CDC’s claimed number was 1,271 or more. To arrive at its number, the CDC used a multiplier based on certain assumptions. One assumption is that some cases are missed either because lab confirmation wasn’t sought or because the children weren’t in a hospital when they died and so weren’t tested. Another is that a certain percentage of test results will be false negatives.
However, Epstein pointed out, “according to CDC guidelines at the time”, any child hospitalized with severe influenza symptoms should have been tested for H1N1. Furthermore, “deaths in children from infectious diseases are rare in the US, and even those who didn’t die in hospitals would almost certainly have been autopsied (and tested for H1N1)…. Also, the test is accurate and would have missed few cases. Because it’s unlikely that large numbers of actual cases of US child deaths from H1N1 were missed, the lab-confirmed count (371) is probably much closer to the modeled numbers … which are in any case impossible to verify.”
As already indicated, another assumption the CDC makes is that excess mortality in winter is mostly attributable to influenza. A 2009 Slate article described this as among a number of “potential glitches” that make the CDC’s reported flu deaths the “‘least bad’ estimate”. Referring to earlier methods that associated flu deaths with wintertime deaths from all causes, the article observed that this risked blaming influenza for deaths from car accidents caused by icy roads. And while the updated method presented in the 2003 CDC study excluded such causes of death implausibly linked to flu, related problems remain.
As the aforementioned American Journal of Epidemiology study noted, the updated method “reduces, but does not eliminate, the potential for spurious correlation and spurious attribution of deaths to influenza.” Furthermore, “Methods based on seasonal pattern begin from the assumption that influenza is the major source of excess winter death.” The CDC’s models therefore still “are in danger of being confounded by other seasonal factors.” The authors also stated that they could not conclude from their own study “that influenza is a more important cause of winter mortality on an annual timescale than is cold weather.”
As a 2002 BMJ study stated, “Cold weather alone causes striking short term increases in mortality, mainly from thrombotic and respiratory disease. Non-thermal seasonal factors such as diet may also affect mortality.” (Emphasis added.) The study estimated that of annual excess winter deaths, only “2.4% were due to influenza either directly or indirectly.” It concluded that, “With influenza causing such a small proportion of excess winter deaths, measures to reduce cold stress offer the greatest opportunities to reduce current levels of winter mortality.”
CDC researchers themselves acknowledge that their models are “subject to some limitations.” In a 2009 study published in the American Journal of Public Health, CDC researchers admitted that “simply counting deaths for which influenza has been coded as the underlying cause on death certificates can lead to both over- and underestimates of the magnitude of influenza-associated mortality.” (Emphasis added.) Yet they offered no comment on how, then, their models account for the likelihood that many reported cases of “flu” had nothing whatsoever to do with the influenza virus. Evidently, this is because they don’t, as indicated by the CDC’s treatment of all influenza deaths plus pneumonia deaths as a “lower bound”.
For another illustration, since it takes two or three years before the data is available to be able to estimate flu hospitalizations and deaths by the usual means, the CDC has also developed a method to make preliminary estimates for a given year by “adjusting” the numbers of reported lab-confirmed cases from selected surveillance areas around the country. The “80,000” figure claimed for last season’s flu deaths is just such an estimate. The way the CDC “adjusts” the numbers is by multiplying the number of lab-confirmed cases by a certain amount, ostensibly “to correct for underreporting”. To determine the multiplier, the CDC makes a number of assumptions to estimate (a) the likelihood that a person hospitalized for any respiratory illness would be tested for influenza and (b) the likelihood that a person with influenza would test positive.
Once the CDC has its estimated hospitalization rate, it then multiplies that number by the ratio of deaths to hospitalizations to arrive at its estimated mortality rate. Thus, any overestimation of the hospitalization rate is also compounded into its estimated death rate.
One obvious problem with this is the underlying assumption that the percentage of people who (a) are hospitalized for respiratory illness and have the flu is the same as (b) the percentage of those who are hospitalized for respiratory illness, are actually tested, and test positive. This implies that doctors are not more likely to seek lab confirmation for people who actually have influenza than they are for people whose respiratory symptoms are due to some other cause.
Assuming that doctors can do better than a pair of rolled dice at picking out patients with influenza, it further implies that doctors are no more likely to order a lab test for patients whom they suspect of having the flu than they are to order a lab test for patients whose respiratory symptoms they think are caused by something else.
The CDC’s assumption thus introduces a selection bias into its model that further calls into question the plausibility of its conclusions, as it is bound to result in overestimation. In a 2015 study published in PLoS One that detailed this method, CDC researchers acknowledged that, “If physicians were more likely to recognize influenza patients clinically and select those patients for testing, we may have over-estimated the magnitude of under-detection.” And that, of course, would result in an overestimation of both hospitalizations and deaths associated with influenza.
Caveats such as that, however, are not communicated to the general public by the CDC in its press releases or by the mainstream media so that people can make a truly informed choice about whether it’s worth the risk to get a flu shot.
In summary, to avoid underestimating influenza-associated hospitalizations and deaths, the CDC relies on models that instead appear to greatly overestimate the numbers due to the fallacious assumptions built into them. These numbers are then mispresented to the public by both public health officials and the mainstream media as though uncontroversial and representative of known cases of influenza-caused illnesses and deaths from surveillance data. Consequently, the public is grossly misinformed about the societal disease burden from influenza and the ostensible benefit of the vaccine.
It is clear that the CDC does not see its mission as being to educate the public in order to be able to make an informed choice about vaccination. After all, that would be incompatible with its view that growing health literacy is a threat to its mission and an obstacle to be overcome. On the other hand, a misinformed populace aligns perfectly with the CDC’s stated goal of using fear marketing to generate more demand for the pharmaceutical industry’s influenza vaccine products.
This article is an adapted and expanded excerpt from part two of the author’s multi-part exposé on the influenza vaccine. Sign up for Jeremy’s newsletter to stay updated with his work on vaccines and receive his free downloadable report, “5 Horrifying Facts about the FDA Vaccine Approval Process”.
Don’t Fall for the CDC’s Outlandish Lies About Thimerosal
By the Children’s Health Defense Team
Propaganda experts have long admitted that the “big lie” is an important tool for molding public opinion. A psychological profile of Hitler carried out by the U.S. Office of Strategic Services noted that one of the German leader’s “primary rules” was that “people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one” and “if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.”
CDC FACT SHEET— “The evidence is clear: thimerosal is not a toxin…”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) appears to agree that a big and oft-repeated lie is a powerful public relations tool, because in August, its Immunization Safety Office posted a fact sheet that once again insists that “thimerosal in vaccines is not harmful to children,” despite ample evidence to the contrary. The fact sheet trots out the same handful of thimerosal-related studies (“conducted by CDC or with CDC’s involvement”) that it has used for years to silence thimerosal critics. Fortunately, multiple resource pages on the Children’s Health Defense website make it easy to rebut the CDC’s regurgitated falsehoods. Our website provides a thimerosal FAQ, information dispelling myths about thimerosal’s use in vaccines and countering false vaccine safety claims (including claims about thimerosal), analysis of the flawed studies that the CDC relies on to exonerate thimerosal from any role in the childhood epidemics of neurodevelopmental disorders—and more. Below, we summarize three of the most obvious reasons to ignore the CDC’s latest attempt to pull the wool over the public’s eyes.
Still dangerous and neurotoxic
The CDC says “the evidence is clear” that thimerosal is “merely a preservative” and not a neurotoxin. However, no one who actually takes the time to examine the scientific literature can rationally conclude that mercury in any form—including the mercury in thimerosal—is safe for humans. The handful of CDC-funded or CDC-approved studies listed in the thimerosal fact sheet stand “in sharp contrast to research conducted by independent researchers over the past 75+ years that have consistently found Thimerosal to be harmful”; this independent research has linked thimerosal to “neurodevelopmental disorders, …tics, …speech delay, language delay, attention deficit disorder, and autism.” Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s book, Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak, describes hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific publications and the “broad consensus among research scientists that Thimerosal is a dangerous neurotoxin.”
The CDC falsely claims that “thimerosal was taken out of childhood vaccines in the United States in 2001.” However, 25 micrograms of thimerosal remain in many of the influenza vaccines administered in the U.S., including to pregnant women and infants. In fact, “thimerosal wasn’t so much removed as it was moved around.”
All eight studies included in the CDC fact sheet involve lead or co-authors accused of fraud or known to have been involved in behind-closed-doors data manipulation or weighed down by serious conflicts of interest. Dr. William Thompson, who authored three of the studies in his former capacity as a senior CDC vaccine safety scientist, made a whistleblower deposition to Congressman William Posey and issued statements through his personal attorney about fraud and destruction of data at the CDC. In one of his most egregious examples, Thompson reported that his bosses, including Branch Chief Frank DeStefano (an author on three of the studies included in the fact sheet), ordered Thompson and other CDC scientists to get rid of data demonstrating vaccine-induced autism. As described previously by Children’s Health Defense:
“DeStefano called his four co-authors into a room and ordered them to dump the damning datasets into a giant garbage can. The published study omitted those datasets.”
The bulk of Thompson’s whistleblowing revelations occurred in 40-plus phone conversations and over 10,000 pages of documents shared with Dr. Brian Hooker. In those conversations, Thompson also stated that CDC officials “worked hard” to “dilute Dr. Thompson’s strong and statistically significant finding…that thimerosal exposure via infant vaccines causes tics in boys.” In fact, Thompson asked Hooker to “start a campaign to publicize the fact that multiple CDC-sanctioned publications show that thimerosal causes tics.”
In addition to the studies authored by Thompson and DeStefano, two of the papers held out by the CDC as definitive proof of thimerosal’s innocence are 2003 studies authored by Thomas Verstraeten and Paul Stehr-Green—two participants at the infamous secret meeting held in Simpsonwood in 2000 to discuss the relationship between exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurological damage in children. Both Verstraeten and Stehr-Green were heavily involved in trying to make a clear association between thimerosal and neurodevelopmental effects seem unimportant. Although the Verstraeten study nonetheless went on to report “statistically significant associations between thimerosal and language delays and tics,” the CDC fact sheet dismisses the associations as “weak” and “not consistent.”
As outlined previously by Children’s Health Defense and others, and as indicated in the preceding sections, there are a variety of reasons not to trust the results of the eight studies included in the CDC fact sheet—including CDC funding and other conflicts of interest as well as erroneous and fraudulent reporting of data. The table below summarizes the studies’ major problems.
At this juncture, with over 80 studies connecting the dots between thimerosal and autism alone, and new studies appearing every day that link other vaccine ingredients such as aluminum to the chronic illness epidemics beleaguering today’s children, the CDC has lost all credibility when it makes poorly substantiated claims about thimerosal or vaccine safety. An agency that buys and sells well over $4 billion of vaccines annually clearly has a vested interest in tamping down any discussion of vaccine risks. Fortunately, the public increasingly recognizes that the CDC’s “fact sheets” lies must be read with a large grain of salt.
Flu Vaccine Facts: What You Need to Know for 2018-19
The Children’s Health Defense team has pulled together these resources to help you make informed decisions about the flu vaccine in order to protect you and your family from harm. For instance, mercury is a neurotoxin and contained in some flu vaccines. It has been linked to neurodevelopmental disorders and many diseases. Please download and copy or print the flu brochure below to share with your family, friends, doctors and community leaders.
2018-19 Flu Brochure
Know The Facts
The following are Children’s Health Defense articles and video, chart showing Thimerosal in the flu vaccine supply, and peer-reviewed published references:
Articles by Children’s Health Defense:
- The CDC’s Influenza Math Doesn’t Add Up: Exaggerating the Death Toll to Sell Flu Shots
- The New York Times vs. the Science on the Flu Shot
- Smokin’ New Technology to Produce Flu Vaccines
- Caveat Emptor: Science vs. CDC on Scary Flu Shot Promotions
- Just How Many Shots are on the CDC Schedule?
- Nurses Continue to be Justified in Refusing Mandatory Flu Shots
- CDC Study Shows Up to 7.7 Times the Risk of Miscarriage After Influenza Vaccine
- Flu Shots During Pregnancy & Autism: Cause for Concern
- Should I Get the Flu Shot? CDC Data Raise Concerns
- It’s Time to Pay Real Attention to Children’s Health
- Unvaccinated Children Have Much Lower Rates of Chronic Illness
- Flu Vaccines in Pregnancy and Childhood: What You Need to Know
Children’s Health Defense Video
Flu Shots During Pregnancy: Cause for Concern – Cathy Isaacs was pregnant with twins when against her better judgement her doctor convinced her to get a flu vaccine. Immediately after receiving the vaccine Cathy began miscarrying. She lost her son. Her daughter was vaccine-injured and subsequently diagnosed with Autism. Watch Cathy tell her story.
Thimerosal in the Flu Vaccination Supply
For the 2018-19 Season:
Flu vaccine supply is produced by private manufacturers, so the supply depends on them. The vaccine manufacturers originally projected that as many as 163 million to 168 million doses of injectable flu vaccine (i.e., inactivated and recombinant flu vaccines.) Approximately 33- 34 million of those vaccines will contain thimerosal. ( CDC Vaccine Supply and Distribution)
TABLE 1. Influenza vaccines — United States, 2018–19 influenza season*
*NR = not relevant (does not contain thimerosal).
Flu Brochure References for 2018-2019 Flu Brochure:
In 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that one in every six women has mercury blood levels that could pose a risk to an unborn child.
Mercury rapidly crosses the placenta and accumulates in the fetus at higher levels than in the mother. Two studies in 2012 showed that a mother’s mercury exposure is linked to attention problems in her children.
Scientific studies have documented that ethylmercury used in vaccines crosses into the infant brain and could impact critical stages of brain development.
It is inconsistent to recommend vaccines containing ethylmercury when also counseling pregnant women to avoid seafood high in methylmercury due to the known harmful effects mercury can have on the developing fetus.
Thimerosal-containing flu vaccines contain 250 times the mercury level the EPA uses to classify hazardous waste. Unused thimerosal-containing flu vaccine should be returned to the manufacturer for appropriate disposal.
An Australian study found one in every 110 children under the age of 5 had convulsions following vaccination with the FLUVAX H1N1 vaccine in 2009.
Additional research found a spike in cases of narcolepsy in children associated with the H1N1 vaccine.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns pregnant women and young children not to eat fish containing high levels of methylmercury. Yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends pregnant women and infants get influenza vaccines, many of which contain ethylmercury from the preservative thimerosal. Receiving them may result in mercury exposures exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended maximum levels.
The research on fetal exposure to mercury from maternal flu shots has never been done.
For a 6-month-old infant, the calculation is as follows: The average 50th percentile weight for a 6-month-old is 7.6kg, the maximum recommended daily exposure to methylmercury per the EPA is 0.1 mcg/kg/day (or .76155 mcg for this weight) and an infant flu shot may contain 12.5 mcg of mercury. This yields an exposure 16 times the EPA limit from a single flu shot.
Children’s Health Defense is deeply concerned that the risks of getting mercury-containing seasonal influenza vaccines may outweigh the benefits for pregnant women, infants and children. Mercury is known to be highly toxic to brain tissue and can impact critical stages of brain development.
A 2017 CDC study links miscarriage to flu vaccines, particularly in the first trimester. Pregnant women vaccinated in the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 flu seasons had two times greater odds of having a miscarriage within 28 days of receiving the vaccine. In women who had received the H1N1 vaccine in the previous flu season, the odds of having a miscarriage within 28 days were 7.7 times greater than in women who did not receive a flu shot during their pregnancy.
A study published in 2016 that looked at the safety of flu vaccines found a moderately elevated risk for major birth defects in infants born to women who had received a flu vaccine during the first trimester of pregnancy. A study published in 2017 found an elevated risk of autism spectrum disorders in children whose mothers had a first trimester flu shot.
Flu vaccine administration is documented to cause an inflammatory response in pregnant women. Recent research found inflammation during pregnancy is associated with the development of autism spectrum disorders.
A large study in approximately 50,000 pregnant women over five flu seasons found no difference in the risk for developing influenza or similar illnesses between those who received the influenza vaccine during pregnancy and those who did not.
An independent 2014 review found no randomized controlled trials assessing vaccination in pregnant women. It states, “The only evidence available comes from observational studies with modest methodological quality. On this basis, vaccination shows very limited effects.”
If you decide to vaccinate, insist on mercury-free influenza vaccines for yourself and your children and do not get a flu vaccine the same day as other vaccines.
All vaccines, with or without mercury, pose health risks. However, the influenza vaccine is of great concern, as many brands contain high levels of mercury in their multi-dose vials. Be sure to read package inserts for any vaccine prior to getting vaccinated.
According to flu vaccine package inserts, “Safety and effectiveness has not been established in pregnant women or nursing mothers and should only be given to a pregnant woman if clearly needed.
A study that compared children who received flu vaccine to those who did not found the same rate of influenza in both groups following vaccination. It also found that the group of children who received the flu vaccine had a 4.4 times higher rate of non-influenza respiratory tract infections.
A review in the medical journal The Lancet found a lack of health benefits from influenza vaccine in children under two along with significantly increased rates of vaccine-related adverse events.
According to the CDC over the past 14 seasons, the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine has varied from 10% to 60%.
Simple techniques such as avoiding those with flu-like illnesses, eating a healthy diet and good hand washing can prevent many cases of flu. If you do contract influenza, optimizing vitamin D levels, fluid intake and rest can boost immune function.
Consider the evidence regarding the effectiveness of the flu vaccine in actually preventing influenza. For information, visit summaries.cochrane.org
The Non-Polio Illness That “Looks Just Like Polio”
By Lyn Redwood, RN, MSN, President, Children’s Health Defense
Over the past five years, a rare and serious “polio-like” illness—called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) or acute flaccid paralysis (AFP)—has been cropping up in “unusual” clusters around the U.S., mostly in children. AFM/AFP cases have also been reported in Europe, India and other countries. AFM targets one area of the spinal cord (the gray matter) and can cause permanent disability and sometimes death.
Public health experts view acute flaccid paralysis as “the most common clinical manifestation of paralytic poliomyelitis”—and when laboratory analysis points to poliovirus as the cause of those symptoms, that person is diagnosed with “polio.” However, when there is no confirmed poliovirus involvement, health providers instead diagnose the condition as “AFM” or “AFP,” even though the clinical picture is identical to polio. A Stanford neurologist admits that AFM “looks just like polio, but that term really freaks out the public-health people.”
The current uptick in AFM cases in the U.S. seems to have begun around August 2014, with 362 cases confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since that time. Sixteen states have reported dozens of cases in 2018 in infants and children, including Pennsylvania (3 cases), Minnesota and Washington (6 cases each), Illinois (9 cases) and Colorado (14 cases). Epidemiologists believe that the number of identified cases likely underestimates the number of actual cases. In 2014, a speaker asked several hundred pediatric neurologists attending a conference how many had seen a recent case of AFM: “About one-third raised their hands [and] dozens kept their hands up when asked if they had seen two, three, five or more [cases].” Given that the chances of AFM are ordinarily pegged to be “about one in a million,” a CDC neuroepidemiologist pronounced this show of hands “remarkable”—but what is “remarkable” is that public health officials are studiously ignoring possible environmental triggers that include vaccination.
The checkered history of “polio”
Poliovirus is an enterovirus—a virus that inhabits the gastrointestinal tract but is capable of traveling to the nervous system. From the CDC’s blinkered perspective, only poliovirus is capable of causing the paralytic condition labeled “polio.” However, early polio researchers (publishing not long after the introduction of the first polio vaccine) painted a different picture. In a study describing a 1958 polio outbreak in Michigan (published in the Journal of the American Medical Association or JAMA), the authors reported that “in a large number of paralytic as well as nonparalytic patients poliovirus was not the cause” [emphasis added]. The JAMA researchers also noted that their laboratory analyses had not only identified two different “immunological types of the poliovirus” but also other types of enteroviruses and “there were no obvious clinical differences” among them [emphasis added].
Dr. Suzanne Humphries, who cites the JAMA study, has observed that poliovirus existed as a “common” and “trivial” bowel inhabitant for millennia—not causing paralysis until the 20th century. Humphries suggests that dietary and environmental factors (including exposure to toxins such as arsenic, lead and DDT) as well as the advent of “invasive medical procedures” (such as “intramuscular injections of many types, including…vaccines”) weakened 20th-century individuals’ innate immunity and were capable of fostering the paralysis “uniformly attributed to poliovirus infections.”
Preferential focus on viral explanations
Unlike the one-cause-one-outcome view of paralytic polio, the CDC and other contemporary researchers agree that AFP has a “broad array of potential etiologies.” Some news reports have touched on the likely role of environmental toxins, but virtually all of the published research on AFM has stayed away from that possibility. Instead, researchers have been busy making the case that two non-polio enteroviruses—enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) and enterovirus A71 (EV-A71)—are primarily to blame, even though neither one has shown itself to be a consistent pathogen. Studies out of Colorado published in Lancet Infectious Diseases (2018) and the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2016) not only posit a link between the two enteroviruses and AFM but also describe other mysterious neurologic outcomes “of unknown etiology” that have appeared of late in Colorado children.
A perplexing aspect of EV-D68 (an enterovirus first identified in the 1960s) is that, like the millennia-old poliovirus, the genetically older strains of EV-D68 “had never been known to cause paralysis” before 2014, being primarily associated in otherwise healthy individuals with mild cold-like symptoms. Post-2014, researchers who isolated never-previously-encountered strains of EV-D68 from pediatric AFM cases speculated that “recent genetic virus evolution” might be responsible for EV-D68’s sudden “neurovirulence.”
The case of the oral polio vaccine
“Neurovirulence” is a term very familiar to those who have studied the occurrence of vaccine-associated poliomyelitis in countries that use the live oral poliovirus (OPV) vaccine. The OPV vaccine is acknowledged to be “genetically unstable” and capable of evolving “in the human intestine to regain the neurovirulence and replication characteristics of its parental wild-type strains.” Studies in countries such as Ghana and China have identified vaccine-derived poliovirus in children with paralysis in regions with high OPV coverage—while labeling the children’s illness AFP rather than polio.
Indian researchers recently described the relationship between rates of “non-polio acute flaccid paralysis” (NPAFP) and the country’s practice of “pulse polio immunisation” (periodic OPV vaccination of all children under age five). The number of polio rounds “had a high correlation with the NPAFP rate,” and the mortality rate in NPAFP patients was “twice the mortality rate for wild polio.” When the researchers calculated “the number of paralyzed children each year which exceeded the expected numbers” for the period from 2000–2017, they found that there were “an additional 491,000 paralyzed children” above the expected number of 149,000. Given the strong association of non-polio paralysis “with the number of OPV doses delivered,” the researchers intriguingly speculated that:
“…repeated doses of the live vaccine virus delivered to the intestine may colonize the gut and alter the viral microbiome of the intestine, and this can result in strain shifts of enteropathogens. It is possible that new neurotropic [i.e., preferentially attacking the nervous system] enteroviruses colonizing the gut may induce paralysis.”
Avoiding the “P” word and the “V” word
The United States uses the inactivated poliovirus (IPV) vaccine, which does not colonize in the gut. IPV, therefore, cannot cause viral strains to shift in the manner hypothesized by the Indian researchers in connection with the OPV vaccine. However, there are many other reasons to suspect vaccine-related mechanisms of causation for AFM in the U.S., a primary one being that the scientific literature has documented paralysis as an adverse reaction to vaccination for decades! A 1950 report in The Lancet describing a poliomyelitis outbreak in Australia observed a relationship between paralytic polio and prior pertussis vaccination, and a “considerable increase in the severity of the paralysis in the last inoculated limbs of those children under three who received an injection…within thirty-five days of the onset of poliomyelitis.” A survivor of the outbreak who learned of the Lancet paper discovered that the report had been buried due to “fears of a backlash against immunisation.”
In a recent eNewsletter, retired family physician Dr. Gary Kohls painstakingly outlines studies describing post-vaccination paralysis, several published quite recently (1998, 2003, 2013, 2014, 2016). He also quotes retired pediatrician Allan Cunningham, who discussed the well-known phenomenon of paralytic polio following intramuscular vaccination in a letter to The BMJ in 2015—and, apropos of AFM, stated, “If a polio-like virus is circulating in the U.S., the possibility of its provocation by one or more vaccines has to be considered.” Cunningham explained: “It is taboo to suggest a role for vaccines, but some old-timers remember ‘provocation poliomyelitis’ [PP] or ‘provocation paralysis’…following intramuscular injections, typically with vaccines. PP was most convincingly documented…during the 1949 British polio epidemic when the risk of paralytic polio was increased 20-fold among children who had received the DPT injection…. Similar observations were made…in New York City; their literature review cited suspected cases as far back as 1921.”
A 2018 case report of a five-year-old AFP patient in Taiwan noted that the child “experienced sudden onset of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) involving left arm after fever and respiratory symptoms for 3 days” [emphasis added]. However, the case report—and the many news stories about AFM—have all omitted any mention of the sick and deceased children’s recent vaccinations.
A decade ago, Chinese virologists described the brain stem as a major target of infection with EV71 (one of the two enteroviruses suspected of causing polio-like paralysis), but they noted that prior research had not defined the enterovirus’s “neurotransmission route.” In their research with mice, these investigators found that intramuscular injection of EV71 “resulted in brain infection, flaccid paralysis, pulmonary dysfunction, and death of 7-day-old mice.” The study, which compared intramuscular injection to oral administration of EV71, also observed that the mice were “remarkably more susceptible” to intramuscular versus oral inoculation. Building support for a “retrograde axonal transport theory,” the researchers hypothesized that EV71 spreads “from muscle to [central nervous system] through neuronal pathways as well as the bloodstream at certain times during infection.” Retrograde axonal transport could also explain how injections given at the time of an infection can create an opportunity for bacteria or viruses to enter into the brain.
Most IPV vaccines in the U.S. are aluminum-containing combination vaccines. French researchers have shown that aluminum particles in vaccines play a key role in another mysterious on-the-rise condition called macrophagic myofasciitis (MMF). The MMF researchers have stated that when “poorly biodegradable aluminum-coated particles [are] injected into muscle,” they can subsequently “disseminate…throughout the body and slowly accumulate in [the] brain.” Studies in animals have shown that aluminum-containing vaccines contribute to “a neurodegenerative process…of the gray matter of the spinal cord” and to “hindlimb paralysis” and other neuropathological changes.
Disturbingly, AFM seems to display a unique pattern of weakness and a stubborn lack of response to standard treatments as compared with more “traditional” forms of spinal cord inflammation. In a 12-country study by European researchers of 29 cases of AFM, two of the 29 patients died and full recovery was “rare” in those who survived. Yet instead of asking hard questions about post-vaccination paralysis, the pharmaceutical industry is developing more vaccines. Buttressed by a rushed consensus that EV-D68 and EV-A71 are the dangerous viruses du jour and “the principal causes of AFP,” the industry has already developed an “effective” EV-A71 vaccine, while “an EV-D68 vaccine could be on the horizon.” If the vaccines that children are already receiving are found to be playing a causal role in helping these enteroviruses to get into the brain or causing paralysis via other mechanisms, the pharmaceutical industry and public health officials might find themselves in a public relations quandary. Instead, therefore, we get linguistic games that go so far as to describe AFM as “polio-like” but dare not utter the word “polio” or “vaccine.”
Misconduct, Mitochondria and the Omnibus Autism Proceedings
By Louis Conte
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Chairman of Children’s Health Defense (CHD) and Rolf Hazlehurst, the father of a vaccine-injured child have petitioned Michael Horowitz, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the conduct of two DOJ attorneys, Vincent Matanoski and Lynn Ricciardella. The two attorneys represented the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), otherwise known as the “Vaccine Court”, in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings (OAP). The alleged actions of the two attorneys in the OAP were fraudulent and obstructed justice.
Kennedy and Hazlehurst have also written to the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee and the Senate’s Committee on the Judiciary requesting that the conduct of Matanoski and Ricciardella be investigated.
What is the NVICP?
The 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act established the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) to ensure that children were quickly, compassionately and fairly compensated for vaccine injuries. The 1986 Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, effectively granted vaccine manufacturers freedom from civil tort liability. A petitioner who asserts that their child has suffered a vaccine injury must file a petition for compensation against the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the NVICP.
The Secretary of HHS is defended by DOJ attorneys from the Civil Torts Branch. As originally conceived, the NVICP was intended to a be a non-litigious compensation program that was supposed to lean toward fairly compensating vaccine-injured children. Petitioners were to meet a “preponderance of the evidence” level of proof to establish that a vaccine injury occurred to merit compensation. This burden of proof is much less than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that must be met in a criminal proceeding. However, the program has not functioned as Congress envisioned and now functions in a manner that many observers feel is not favorable to petitioners.
What Were the Omnibus Autism Proceedings (OAP) and Why Are They Important Now?
Special Masters, not judges, preside over cases in the NVICP. In 2002, the Special Masters of NVICP consolidated 5,400 petitioner claims asserting that vaccine injury caused their children’s autism into the Omnibus Autism Proceedings (OAP). The Special Masters then established hearings that would address the 5,400 cases through six test cases. Originally, there were to be nine test cases. These test cases would be used to test three theories of autism causation via vaccine injury: 1) Did thimerosal, the mercury preservative used in vaccines cause autism? 2) Did the MMR vaccine cause autism and 3) Did a combination of thimerosal and the MMR cause autism?
The Hazlehurst case and the Cedillo cases were test cases. Another particularly strong test case, that of Child Doe 77, was removed as a test case, settled and sealed by DOJ and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The government conceded the case stating that the vaccines that Child Doe 77 received resulted in her suffering an encephalopathy (brain injury), seizures and “features of an autism spectrum disorder.” Because Child Doe 77 was removed as a test case, it could not be used to establish precedent on any of the other OAP cases.
The Special Masters ruled, in a series of sharply-worded decisions, that none of the theories of autism causation in the test cases were proven and the petitions were dismissed.
Recently Discovered Evidence Turns the OAP Ruling on Its Head
Kennedy and Hazlehurst allege that Matanoski and Ricciardella acted together to intentionally misrepresent the opinion of one of their own witnesses, Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, to conceal evidence of his true opinion from the Special Masters who presided in the “Vaccine Court” and the petitioners who were seeking justice and compensation. The evidence that Matanoski and Ricciardella concealed was a report authored by Dr. Zimmerman showing how vaccines may cause autism in a subset of children with underlying mitochondrial issues.
Dr. Andrew Zimmerman is regarded as perhaps the world’s leading pediatric neurologist in the field of autism research. He was selected by DOJ as an expert witness and submitted a report on the OAP test case, Cedillo v. HHS in which he rendered the opinion that the MMR vaccine did not cause autism in the Cedillo case. However, he informed the DOJ attorneys that his opinion should not be considered a “blanket opinion” which covered all of the OAP test cases. Indeed, in Child Doe 77, Zimmerman filed a report in which he offered the opinion that vaccines did cause this child child’s autism because Child Doe 77 had an underlying mitochondrial condition. Zimmerman’s report further stated that vaccines could well trigger a regression ending in autism in a subset – perhaps a small subset – of children with a pre-existing mitochondrial disorder.
What is Mitochondria dysfunction, why is it important in autism causation and why was it a critical issue in the OAP?
Mitochondria are organelles found in most cells that are responsible for cellular respiration: they convert food energy into ATP which powers cellular function. Mitochondrial dysfunction can lead to a myriad of functional disorders including muscle fatigue, speech disorders, heart disease, bowel problems and hearing difficulties which make mitochondrial disorders difficult to diagnose. Many of these same symptoms are commonly reported in children with autism and it is likely that a significant percentage of children with autism have mitochondrial dysfunction. Studies indicate that the percentage of people with autism who have underlying mitochondrial issues could be between twenty and fifty percent.
Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a neurologist with the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins, found that the mitochondrial dysfunction in Child Doe 77 was an underlying co-factor that, along with vaccines, that resulted in her regression into autism. While Dr. Zimmerman opined in his report that such events are “rare”, more research needs to be done to determine the true scope of the nexus between mitochondrial issues and vaccine injury.
Zimmerman authored reports on two cases, Cedillo v HHS. and Child Doe 77 v. HHS. Zimmerman wrote that vaccines did not cause autism in the case of Cedillo, but found differently in Child Doe 77. Zimmerman made clear to the two attorneys that his Cedillo report was not intended to be a “blanket” finding that applied to all the other OAP cases. However, Matanoski and Ricciardella selected portions of the Zimmerman report on the Cedillo case that served the interests of the government but failed to disclose his finding on Child Doe 77. The rules governing the NVICP require attorneys to disclose and share all information to all parties involved in proceedings to insure fundamental fairness and due process.
Full disclosure of case information is an expected common practice in U.S. Courts and a hallmark of “acting in good faith.” There are many instances where case decisions have been overturned when attorneys fail to fully disclose information to all parties. Kennedy and Hazlehurst assert that Matanoski and Ricciardella failed to disclose Dr. Zimmerman’s report and findings, “cherry picked” portions of the report favorable to their interests – against Dr. Zimmerman’s explicit request that they not do so – and then engaged in series of actions to keep the report and the subsequent settlement of the Child Doe 77 case from the petitioners and the public.
Kennedy and Hazlehurst then note that the deceptive conduct of Matanoski and Ricciardella eventually led to deceiving the United States Court of Appeals in the Hazlehurst case appeal and even the United States Supreme Court in the 2011 landmark case Brusewitz v Wyeth.
Zimmerman’s full opinion was devastating to the government’s case. Simply stated, it was now entirely possible that the government would lose thousands of the OAP cases. The cost could be into the billions and the fund that compensated the vaccine injured would be bankrupted.
Even worse, the government’s claim that vaccines are “safe and effective” would evaporate and the claim that “vaccines don’t cause autism” would be debunked.
After Dr. Zimmerman submitted his report, the DOJ attorney informed Dr. Zimmerman that he would no longer be needed as a witness on Cedillo or any other OAP test case. The DOJ attorneys then informed the Special Masters that Dr. Zimmerman would not be used as a witness in the OAP.
Instead of informing the Special Masters and petitioners of Dr. Zimmerman’s true opinion, as required by statute, DOJ kept his reports from them. Matanoski and Ricciardella then secretly settled the Child Doe 77. Ultimately, the settlement of the case was leaked and received significant media and public attention. While the attempt to keep the settlement secret failed, the plan to keep Dr. Zimmerman’s true opinion on how vaccines could cause autism was kept a secret – until recently.
It is fair to point out that the science used by the Special Masters in OAP has also come under fire. The research produced by Poul Thorsen for the CDC which seemingly exonerated thimerosal and the MMR vaccine in causing autism has been shown to have serious flaws. Thorsen is currently on the Department of Health and Human Service’s (DHHS) most wanted list. He is a fugitive from justice due to his indictment for stealing over one million dollars of CDC grant money. In 2014, Dr. William Thompson, a co-author of the CDC’s research often sited as proof that the MMR vaccine did not cause autism revealed that CDC researchers manipulated the design of the study inappropriately and even destroyed data that showed that the MMR vaccine did cause autism.
Dr. Zimmerman revealed the information about Matanoski’s and Ricciardella’s conduct during a recent deposition in a medical malpractice case brought against the doctor who administered Yates Hazlehurst’s vaccines in the State of Tennessee. Zimmerman revealed that he finds that Yates Hazlehurst regression into autism mirrors that of the regression in Child Doe 77.
The conduct of Matanoski and Ricciardella that Kennedy and Hazlehurst allege seriously undermines the decisions in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings. Thousands of children may well be victims of vaccine-induced brain damage featuring autism and of a shocking injustice of historical proportions. If true, the civil rights of thousands of petitioners have been violated. The decisions of the Special Masters in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings may now be invalid and strong arguments to re-open the proceedings could well have merit. Decisions on other vaccine injury cases and law, all the way to the Supreme Court, are thrown into question.
The damage is not limited to the legal world. The health of hundreds of thousands of children who have been diagnosed with autism since the alleged misconduct of Matanoski and Ricciardella could well lay at the feet of the US Department of Justice.
The safety of vaccines and the integrity of the nation’s immunization program are now open questions. It is critical that the information that Kennedy and Hazlehurst have brought to light be investigated forthwith.
This CHD action alert will help you ask the OIG and Judiciary committees for an investigation. Thank you.
Louis Conte is a polygraph examiner, writer, retired law enforcement officer and independent investigator. As a leading advocate for people with autism, he has championed their cause in state capitols and Washington, DC. He was the lead investigator for and co-author of a seminal paper on the autism-vaccine controversy, Unanswered Questions from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: A Review of Compensated Cases of Vaccine-Induced Brain Injury, in the Pace Environmental Law Review, which found that the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program compensated many children with autism while publicly declaring that vaccines do not cause autism. He is the author of a novel, The Autism War and co-author with Tony Lyons of a work of non-fiction, non-fiction work, Vaccine Injuries: Documented Adverse Reactions to Vaccines, both published by Skyhorse.
Can Immune Dysregulation Cause Neurodevelopmental Disorders?
By the Children’s Health Defense Team
A common criticism of the Western medical model is that it tends to look at body systems in isolation from one another. Here and there, however, scientific disciplines arise that explicitly acknowledge interactions across systems. Neuroimmunology is one such field, having established that the central nervous system (CNS) and the immune system engage in bidirectional communication and that proper brain function depends on a well-regulated immune system.
As neuroimmunologists have come to accept that “components of the immune system play previously unrecognized roles in the nervous system,” the field has contributed substantially to the understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders and particularly autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Neuroimmunology’s insights about ASD have been sorely needed because, on the surface, autism remains a subjectively defined “mental health” diagnosis (at least according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), characterized by “dysfunction in social behavior and language, abnormal response to sensory input, and…repetitive behavior and cognitive disabilities.” As autism research has grown in sophistication—increasingly highlighting ASD’s underlying biological basis—it has become apparent that immune dysregulation is just as much of a hallmark of autism as brain inflammation is. What is more, the wrong kind of immune influences during pivotal stages of early brain development can have profound effects on both neural and immune function later in life.
Skewed immune response
Under ordinary circumstances, the immune system mobilizes inflammatory molecules in response to infection or tissue damage; once the job is done, the inflammatory response subsides. However, a delicate balance exists between the appropriate activation needed for “beneficial immune maintenance” and the “deleterious over-activation of immune cells” that can lead to systemic dysfunction. ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders perfectly illustrate the situation of immune-inflammatory mechanisms gone awry.
A 2015 review outlined this “pro-inflammatory skew” in ASD, noting that autism is characterized, in part, by “hyperexcitable” and “exaggerated” responses from T cells—the all-important immune cells that attack foreign substances, augment the action of antibody-producing B cells and produce molecular messengers called cytokines. Autism researchers have noted the complex roles played by cytokines in neurodevelopment and have repeatedly observed elevated levels of some cytokines in individuals with ASD—including interleukin-4 (IL-4), interleukin-6 (IL-6), some types of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and others. Elevated IL-4 in neonates has been associated with increased odds of severe ASD later in childhood. These “excessive and skewed cytokine responses” typify the ASD immune profile to such an extent that researchers have proposed using cytokine evaluation as a biological marker for ASD. According to the authors of the 2015 review, skewed immune-inflammatory mechanisms are not just associated with ASD but likely play a fundamental role in autism causation.
Immune Dysregulation Mechanisms and Influences
Blood Brain Barrier. How do immunological challenges contribute to ASD? One hypothesis is that immune dysregulation compromises the integrity of the blood-brain barrier and thereby triggers a chain of neuroinflammatory events. With a permeable and “permissive” blood-brain barrier, pro-inflammatory cytokines are free to pass through and can continue perpetuating a systemic inflammatory response.
Studies of vaccines have illustrated how this process may play out. Chinese researchers who explored the relationship between hepatitis B vaccination and neurobehavioral impairments in neonatal mice found that vaccination induced neuroinflammation through the action of the cytokine IL-4. In combination, the components of the vaccine (including both the hepatitis B antigen and an aluminum adjuvant) dramatically increased levels of IL-4 in the brain through penetration across the “immature” blood-brain barrier, both in the immediate aftermath of vaccination and over the longer term. The researchers explained that the neonatal overexposure to IL-4 triggered by the vaccine increased the blood-brain barrier’s permeability, allowing IL-4 to continue “infiltrating into the brain in the later life of mice.” Vaccine researchers have acknowledged that although vaccination is intended to “educate” the immune system, each new vaccine to which individuals are exposed “will potentially alter the dynamics of their immune system”—with sometimes “detrimental” effects.
Gut Microbiota. Another increasingly studied topic is the influence of the gut microbiota on the immune and nervous systems “and vice versa”—and the recognition that a healthy gut plays a critical role in proper immune system and neural development. When circumstances prompt abnormal development of the gut microbiota, it “can contribute to diseases of the gut as well as the CNS”—including not only ASD but conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorders, multiple sclerosis and even obesity. In a vicious cycle, imbalances in gut microbes “alter the whole-body and brain distributions of neurotoxins produced by [gastrointestinal] tract bacteria,” and the subsequent immune response increases systemic levels of inflammatory cytokines, once again significantly affecting the integrity of the blood-brain barrier.
Maternal Immune Activation. As written about previously by Children’s Health Defense, the concept of maternal immune activation has allowed researchers to zero in on the vital relationship between the immune system of a mother-to-be and fetal neurodevelopment. In combination with factors such as genetic susceptibility, maternal stress and exposure to “additional aversive postnatal events,” maternal immune challenges (and the resulting alterations in inflammatory cytokines) have been shown to be capable of affecting fetal brain development and increasing the risk of ASD, schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental disorders. In a study of over 1.2 million pregnancies, Finnish researchers showed that elevated maternal levels of C-reaction protein (CRP)—a biomarker of “low-grade inflammation”—were related to “a significant increase in risk of childhood autism in offspring.” Calling attention to the importance of respecting the “exquisitely sensitive” developing brain, one group of researchers has emphasized that “the immune system has a critical role in brain development and associated behavioral outcomes for the life of the individual” [emphasis added].
Why the immune system matters
Researchers have pointed out that the interrelationship of an infant’s immune system with natural infections, microbiome development and environmental influences has been evolving “over millions of years”—and vaccination represents a very recent intervention in this evolutionary “maturation process.” What this observation suggests is that the utmost caution is warranted when attempting to jumpstart the fine-tuned immune system through vaccination.
Not everyone is accustomed to viewing neurodevelopmental disorders as conditions involving immune dysfunction, but adopting a neuroimmune-informed perspective is not just an abstract intellectual exercise. Understanding the immune system’s prominent role in the development of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism—and acknowledging that vaccination represents a powerful immune system intervention—will make it far more possible to develop effective strategies for diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and, above all, prevention.
Type 1 Diabetes on the Rise in Young Children: Is Anyone Paying Attention?
By the Children’s Health Defense team
Chronic illness is at epidemic levels in the United States as well as other wealthy nations. Autoimmune diseases, though tending to receive less attention than headline-grabbing afflictions such as cancer and heart disease, have experienced some of the most rapid increases. Comprising more than 80 different diseases, autoimmune conditions arise when the immune system attacks the body’s own organs, tissues and cells.
Type 1 diabetes—also called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile diabetes— is one of the most common and rapidly increasing autoimmune diseases in children. The U.S. has more children with type 1 diabetes than any other country in the world, with a prevalence in children and adolescents that grew by 21% from 2001 to 2009. The U.S. also has the highest number of new cases annually, well ahead of India (with a population four times bigger). From 2001 to 2015, new cases of type 1 diabetes in the U.S. increased by roughly 2% to 4% annually in those age 19 or younger (depending on the region), especially among 10-14 year-olds. Meanwhile, the rate of new cases in adults fell. A study of type 1 diabetes in Colorado spanning the mid-1990s to 2010 reported an even more alarming rate of increase for new cases—5.7% annually—and particularly high rates in the 5-9 year age group. Europe has experienced similar rates of increase but with the most rapid increase reported in the 0-5 age group.
Because of its often early age of onset and its potentially serious consequences, type 1 diabetes is not something to take lightly. A new study in The Lancet reports that about half of those with type 1 diabetes receive their diagnosis before age 14, and life expectancy for individuals diagnosed at younger ages is about 10 years shorter than for those diagnosed at later ages. In addition, individuals with earlier-onset diabetes (before the age of 10) “have a 30-times greater risk of serious cardiovascular outcomes…than those in the general population” (whereas the risk is only six times greater if the type 1 diabetes is diagnosed when the person is in their late 20s). Diabetes often co-occurs with other autoimmune conditions, including celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, thyroid and adrenal disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and the neuromuscular disease myasthenia gravis. A childhood diagnosis of type 1 diabetes has also been shown to result in lower earnings and more unemployment in young adulthood compared to adults who are diabetes-free.
Why the increase?
Puzzling over the dramatic rise of type 1 diabetes in young children over the past several decades, scientists are reaching consensus that environmental factors play a significant role. As early as 1997, a report on the “marked” rise of type 1 diabetes cases in under-five-year-olds in England suggested that “environmental influences encountered before birth or in early postnatal life are likely to be responsible.” Current researchers continue to make the same case, stating, “The substantial increase in the incidence of [type 1 diabetes] among children over recent decades cannot be the consequence only of enhanced genetic disease susceptibility in the population, but largely must be caused by changes in lifestyle and environment.”
Two of the most widely discussed environmental candidates are dietary factors and viral infections. In light of the hypothesis that viruses can be precipitating factors, it has appeared logical to at least some researchers to consider whether live virus vaccines also could be contributors, particularly given the temporal association between expansion of the childhood vaccine schedule and the escalating type 1 diabetes rates.
The question attracted heated debate in the late 1990s, when virologists in Finland stated that “only a few studies are available on the subject and therefore the possibility of a link between vaccination and diabetes mellitus cannot be excluded” but nevertheless concluded that “there is no clear evidence that any currently used vaccine can…induce diabetes in humans.” In response, an immunology researcher named JB Classen wrote to emphatically disagree, citing epidemiology and animal toxicology studies showing a link between vaccination and increased risk of type 1 diabetes for four vaccines: hepatitis B (if started at two months of age), Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), BCG (against tuberculosis) and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR). Regarding the latter, Classen described “a spike in the incidence of type 1 diabetes mellitus…in Finland in 1983 following the introduction of the MMR in both the 0 to 4 and 5 to 9 age groups who received the vaccine starting in late 1982, but not in the 10 to 14 age group who did not receive the vaccine.” In his subsequent work, he continued to identify statistically significant clusters of type 1 diabetes occurring two to four years after receipt of vaccines.
Perhaps most importantly, Classen encouraged researchers to take a careful look at the overall risk-benefit calculus:
“Research into immunisation has been based on the theory that the benefits of immunisation far outweigh the risks from delayed adverse events and so long-term safety studies do not need to be performed. When looking at diabetes—only one potential chronic adverse event—we found that the rise in the prevalence of diabetes may more than offset the expected decline in long-term complications of H influenzae meningitis. Thus diabetes induced by vaccine should not be considered a rare potential adverse event.”
In a 2001 article in Medical Hypotheses, Classen also outlined mechanisms “by which vaccines may affect the onset of [type 1 diabetes] or other immune-induced disorders” [emphasis added]. Numerous mechanisms are plausible, including: molecular mimicry (a phenomenon triggered by the foreign antigens in vaccines, which induce antibodies that cross-react to self-antigens); overstimulation of the immune system (prompting the release of proteins known to cause type 1 diabetes); skewing of the balance between cell-mediated Th1 immunity (the body’s first line of defense) and humoral-mediated Th2 immunity (responsible for the stimulation of antibodies); stimulation of macrophages (innate immune cells that are key players in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes); activation of “smoldering” (subclinical) autoimmunity through the action of powerful aluminum and other adjuvants; and replication and release of viruses (such as rubella) known to cause type 1 diabetes.
The need for long-term studies
Currently, attention is being brought to bear on the methodological flaws that characterize vaccine clinical trials, postlicensure monitoring and meta-analyses as well as the subtle and outright suppression of science that dares to question any aspect of vaccine safety. Illustrating the inappropriate design of some studies, a 2016 community-randomized controlled trial of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in adolescent boys and girls chose to assess safety and new-onset autoimmune disease (NOAD) by comparing an HPV group with a group receiving the hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine, rather than using a control group receiving an inert placebo. Roughly identical proportions of boys in both groups experienced “unsolicited” adverse events within 30 days and “medically significant conditions” by Month 12, allowing the investigators to blandly imply safety and conclude that “no increased NOAD incidences were observed” in HPV recipients compared to HBV recipients. This, despite the fact that type 1 diabetes was the most common NOAD and was one of three types of serious adverse events—all autoimmune—considered “possibly related to vaccination” by the investigators.
Classen chimed in on the topic of flawed study design years ago, calling for longer-term studies capable of detecting slower-to-emerge autoimmune diseases. Even so, one recent study that looked at 120 patients who had experienced adverse events with an autoimmune or inflammatory component after receiving adjuvant-containing vaccines found that “76% of the events occurred in the first 3 days post-vaccination,” including three patients diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome within the three days. Another recent case report discussed a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes ascertained within a few weeks of a 14-year-old receiving a diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) booster; a diagnosis of SLE followed more slowly, several years later.
Unfortunately, little has changed since Classen made the following remarks that are still well worth heeding:
“Vaccine studies have labelled a vaccine safe if it causes few adverse events in a usually small study group followed for no more than 30 days post-immunization. Data linking vaccines to a rise in a wide variety of immunological diseases such as type I insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus…has outlined the pressing need for rigorous long-term vaccine safety studies. It is becoming increasingly clear that the effect of vaccines on the immune system is much more complicated than originally believed, underlining the inadequacy of current safety studies, because vaccines differ from the infections they prevent and have different effects on the immune system.”
Natural Measles Immunity—Better Protection and More Long-Term Benefits than Vaccines
By the Children’s Health Defense team
Stories about vaccines in the popular press tend to be unabashedly one-sided, generally portraying vaccination as a universal (and essential) “good” with virtually no down side. This unscientific bias is particularly apparent in news reports about measles, which often are little more than hysterical diatribes against the unvaccinated.
Although public health authorities have made a case for measles eradication since the early 1980s, 50-plus years of mass measles vaccination and high levels of vaccine coverage have not managed to stop wild and vaccine-strain measles virus from circulating. Routine measles vaccination also has had some worrisome consequences. Perhaps the most significant of these is the shifting of measles risks to age groups formerly protected by natural immunity. Specifically, modern-day occurrences of measles have come to display a “bimodal” pattern in which “the two most affected populations are infants aged less than 1 year and adults older than 20 years”—the very population groups in whom measles complications can be the most clinically severe. As one group of researchers has stated, “The common knowledge indicating that measles [as well as mumps and rubella] are considered as benign diseases dates back to the pre-vaccine area and is not valid anymore.”
A little history
Before the introduction of measles vaccines in the 1960s, nearly all children contracted measles before adolescence, and parents and physicians accepted measles as a “more or less inevitable part of childhood.” In industrialized countries, measles morbidity and mortality already were low and declining, and many experts questioned whether a vaccine was even needed or would be used.
Measles outbreaks in the pre-vaccine era also exhibited “variable lethality”; in specific populations living in close quarters (such as military recruits and residents of crowded refugee camps), measles mortality could be high, but even so, “mortality rates differed more than 10-fold across camps/districts, even though conditions were similar.” For decades both prior to and following the introduction of measles vaccination, those working in public health understood that poor nutrition and compromised health status were key contributors to measles-related mortality, with measles deaths occurring primarily “in individuals below established height and weight norms.” A study of measles mortality in war-torn Bangladesh in the 1970s found that most of the children who died were born either in the two years preceding or during a major famine.
Measles vaccination and infants
Before the initiation of mass vaccination programs for measles, mothers who had measles as children protected their infants through the transfer of maternal antibodies. However, naturally acquired immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are qualitatively different. Moms who get measles vaccines instead of experiencing the actual illness have less immunity to offer their babies, resulting in a “susceptibility gap” between early infancy and the first ostensibly protective measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12 to 15 months of age.
A Luxembourg-based study published in 2000 confirmed the susceptibility gap in an interesting way. The researchers compared serum samples from European adolescents who had been vaccinated around 18 months of age to serum samples from Nigerian mothers who had not been vaccinated but had experienced natural measles infection at a young age. They then looked at the capacity of the antibodies detected in the serum to “neutralize” various wild-type measles virus strains. The researchers found that the sera from mothers with natural measles immunity substantially outperformed the sera from the vaccinated teens: only two of 20 strains of virus “resisted neutralization” in the Nigerian mothers’ group, but 10 of 20 viral strains resisted neutralization in the vaccination group. This complex analysis led the authors to posit greater measles vulnerability in infants born to vaccinated mothers.
The Luxembourg researchers also noted that in the Nigerian setting, where widespread vaccination took hold far later than in Europe, the mothers in question had had “multiple contacts with endemic wild-type viruses” and that these repeat contacts had served an important booster function. One of the authors later conducted a study that examined this booster effect more closely. That study found that re-exposure to wild-type measles resulted in “a significantly prolonged antibody boost in comparison to [boosting through] revaccination.” Taking note of expanding vaccine coverage around the world and reduced circulation of wild-type measles virus, the researchers concluded in a third study that “many vaccinees may eventually become susceptible to vaccine-modified measles…and consequently complicate measles control strategies.”
With the disappearance of maternally endowed protection, what has happened to measles incidence in infants? A review of 53 European studies (2001–2011) focusing on the burden of measles in those “too young to be immunized” found that as many as 83% of measles cases in some studies and under 1% in other studies were in young infants.
At the same time, the predictions of an increased percentage of measles cases in older teens and adults have also come true. Reporting on a higher “death-to-case ratio” in the over-15 group in 1975 (not many years after widespread adoption of measles vaccination in the U.S.), a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researcher wrote that the higher ratio could be “indicative of a greater risk of complications from measles, exposing the unprotected adult to the potential of substantial morbidity.”
In recent measles outbreaks in Europe and the U.S., large proportions of cases are in individuals aged 15 or older:
- In the U.S., 57 of the 85 measles cases (67%) reported in 2016 were at least 15 years of age. U.S. researchers also have conservatively estimated that at least 9% of measles cases occur in vaccinated individuals.
- Among several thousand laboratory-confirmed cases of measles and an additional thousand “probable” or “possible” cases in Italy in 2017, 74% were in individuals at least 15 years of age, and 42% of those were hospitalized.
- Examining a smaller number of laboratory-confirmed measles cases in Sicily (N=223), researchers found that half of the cases were in adults age 19 or older, and clinical complications were more common in adults compared to children (45% versus 26%). Likewise, about 44% of measles cases in France from 2008 to 2011 (N=305) were in adults (with an average age in their mid-20s), and the adults were more than twice as likely to be hospitalized as infected children.
Time to reevaluate
Pre-vaccination, most residents of industrialized countries accepted measles as a normal and even trivial childhood experience. Many people, including clinicians, also understood the interaction between measles and nutrition, and, in particular, the links between vitamin A deficiency and measles: “Measles in a child is more likely to exacerbate any existing nutritional deficiency, and children who are already deficient in vitamin A are at much greater risk of dying from measles.” Instead of inching the age of initial measles vaccination down to ever-younger ages, as is increasingly being proposed, there could be greater value in supporting children’s nutrition and building overall health—through practical interventions that “improve[e]…existing dietaries through the inclusion of relatively inexpensive foods that are locally available and well within the reach of the poor.”
There are many other tradeoffs of measles vaccination that remain largely unexplored, including the important role of fever-inducing infectious childhood diseases in reducing subsequent cancer risks. Ironically, while acute childhood infections such as measles protect against cancer, the rise of chronic childhood illnesses (disproportionately observed in vaccinated children) is linked to elevated cancer risks. These tradeoffs—along with the dangerous loss of infant access to protective maternal antibodies and the higher rates of measles illness and complications in older teens and adults—suggest that measles vaccination deserves renewed scrutiny.
HPV Vaccine’s Likely Contribution to Sweden’s Spike in Cervical Cancer
By the Children’s Health Defense Team
When the U.S. introduced the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in 2006, cervical cancer rates had been steadily declining for several decades, in large part due to successful and routinized cervical cancer screening. A similar trend also was underway in Europe, including in Scandinavia. Within that region, Sweden stood out as having the lowest levels of cervical cancer.
Sweden now appears poised to lose this distinction. Sweden’s Center for Cervical Cancer Prevention reported in 2017 that the incidence of invasive cervical cancer has reversed course and is climbing in nearly all counties. The increase was particularly steep (20%) over the two-year period from 2013 to 2015. Neither the Center, health authorities nor the media offered any explanation for the turnaround in the country’s long-established cervical cancer trends.
An independent Swedish researcher decided to take a closer look. On April 30, 2018, the researcher proposed in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics that the HPV vaccine may be causing rather than preventing cervical cancer in some women. This assertion directly threatens the status quo marketing of HPV vaccines as universally safe and effective. For this reason, the author chose to publish under a pseudonym—in the belief that “the use of his real name would have invited personal repercussions from those opposed to any questioning of vaccines”—but did not inform the journal that the published name and affiliation were fictitious. A week later, this omission became known to the journal’s editors, who were affronted and immediately published a correction. However, the editors also took the unusual and courageous step of keeping the article on the journal’s website because “the issues raised by it are important and discussion on it is in the public interest.”
Young women and the HPV vaccine
As a first step in assessing the unexpected uptick in Sweden’s cervical cancer incidence, the anonymous researcher’s simple analytic strategy was to parse, by age group, the same national data that informed the 2017 report. When the researcher compared cervical cancer rates in younger women (ages 20-49) to rates for older women (over age 50), he found that age made a big difference: “The increase in the incidence of cervical cancer was shown to be most prominent among women 20–49 years of age while no apparent increase was observed among women above 50” [emphasis added]. When he compared changes in invasive cervical cancer incidence in 2006 versus 2015, he again found that the increase mostly affected younger women—and especially women in their twenties. Why should this be the case, when we are told that HPV-induced cervical cancer “often takes years, even decades, to develop after a person gets HPV”?
As one answer, the Swedish researcher points out that the slow-simmer timeline does not apply to all women who get cervical cancer. In fact, rapid onset characterizes roughly 25% of cases, with “a short interval of less than 3 years from negative…screenings to finding of cancer.” This means that an increase in cervical cancer incidence could very well be discernable within the short period of time observed in Sweden:
- The country approved the Gardasil vaccine in 2006.
- By 2010, about four-fifths (80%) of 12-year-old girls were given the vaccine, and about three-fifths (59%) of 13–18-year-old girls were vaccinated through a “catch-up” program.
- By 2012-2013, “most young girls were vaccinated.”
- By 2015, the oldest girls in the “catch-up” group (ages 15-18) had reached their early twenties and thus were “well within” the 20-29-year-old cohort that displayed the greatest increase in cervical cancer incidence.
Disease enhancement and viral reactivation
The Swedish researcher offers two additional (and potentially overlapping) explanations for the surge in invasive cervical cancer in younger women. First, he explains that seven in ten cases of cervical cancer are linked to just two “target” HPV strains (HPV 16 and 18), and the vaccine is useless—and even damaging—to individuals who have been exposed to those strains prior to vaccination. In fact, he shows that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognized this problem in its clinical review of Gardasil in 2006, which euphemistically described the “potential for disease enhancement” in Gardasil-vaccinated individuals who had been exposed to HPV 16/18 before vaccination compared to individuals with no HPV 16/18 exposure (p. 359). Gardasil vaccination in this subgroup produced “a higher level of premalignant cell changes than did placebo.”
To account for the differential subgroup effects, the researcher points to the phenomenon (well recognized in the peer-reviewed literature) of vaccine-induced viral “reactivation,” whereby a vaccine triggers a latent virus to manifest “severe reactivation symptoms.” With over 200 known strains of the ubiquitous human papillomavirus (and over a dozen that are associated with cervical cancer), it is fully plausible that the HPV vaccine could reactivate cancer-causing HPV strains (both “target” and “non-target”) in previously HPV-infected young women. The Swedish researcher concludes:
“The increased incidence among young females, the possibility of virus reactivation after vaccination, the increase in premalignant cell changes shown by the FDA for women who were already exposed to oncogenic [tumor-inducing] HPV types and the time relationship between the start of vaccination and the increase in cervical cancer in Sweden could support [the] view” that the HPV vaccine is “caus[ing] an increase in invasive cervical cancer instead of preventing it among already infected females.”
An appalling record
From their inception, the two HPV vaccines (Merck’s Gardasil and, outside the U.S., GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix) have been aggressively marketed, with their potential benefits oversold and their many risks disguised, particularly through the use of inappropriate placebos. It has been left to independent researchers to critique the regulatory apparatus’s whitewashed evidence. Recent letters published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) have brought forward some stark numbers that illustrate the vaccine’s appalling record:
- A serious adverse event rate of 1 in 15 (7%) and a death rate among the vaccinated (14 per 10,000) that far exceeds the risk of dying from cervical cancer (.23 per 10,000) (BMJ letter, May 2018).
- Reports to the World Health Organization’s global adverse drug reactions database—conservatively estimated to represent 10% of actual reactions—of over 305,000 adverse reactions where the HPV vaccine “is believed to have been the cause,” including 445 deaths (23 of which were sudden) and over 1,000 cancerous tumors (including 168 cervical cancers), among other serious reactions (BMJ letter, December 2017).
Even in countries where the burden of cervical cancer is far higher, researchers are eyeing the HPV vaccine’s dismal performance and are reaching the conclusion that “proven and cost effective methods” of cervical cancer screening “remain the most feasible prevention strategies in low resource countries.”
One group of Indian researchers argues that from an individual perspective, “a healthy 16-year-old is at zero immediate risk of dying from cervical cancer but is faced with a small but real risk of death or serious disability from a vaccine that has yet to prevent a single case of cervical cancer.” From a programmatic perspective, they state that “there is no data in the literature to suggest that vaccination can replace cervical cancer screening. For any population coverage, cervical screening will always detect more pre-cancers and cancers than vaccination can prevent. Cost-effectiveness analyses have shown that cervical screening is more cost-effective than either vaccination alone or vaccination with screening.”
Returning to Sweden, researchers at the Uppsala Monitoring Center have described how easy it is for risks to “escape epidemiological detection.” The implications, according to this group, are that “case reports and case series can no longer be discarded simply as ‘anecdotes’ or ‘coincidence,’ and their contribution to the evidence base should not be ‘trumped’ by the findings of an epidemiological study.” The bottom line is that a corrupt vaccine approval process should not be allowed to sacrifice young women on the altar of industry profits.
CDC Still Paralyzed by Autism Epidemic: Report Shows One in 59 Children in the US Now Affected
By Children’s Health Defense Team
Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released the latest autism spectrum disorder (ASD) prevalence estimate from its Autism and Developmental Disabilities (ADDM) network. Among children born in 2006, in the 11 states included in the report, ASD prevalence at age eight was one in 59 children. In the early 1980s, only 35 years ago, the rate of autism was about one in 5000. That means that autism is about 85 times more common in today’s middle schoolers than it was in their parents. That is why nobody who grew up back then knew a child with autism but today everyone does.
CDC’s complete lack of urgency regarding autism is reflected in the fact that the agency did not even bother to hold a press conference on the report. Instead, CDC repeats the same tired rhetoric that they are concerned, that they need to diagnose children earlier for services and that better diagnosis (this time of minorities) accounts for the increase.
The CDC report might as well be saying that one in 59 children has a hangnail for all the concern CDC expresses, when in fact, this is a public health disaster that will have repercussions for generations. At what point is the CDC going to admit that this disaster requires action? The largest amount by far of research dollars spent on determining causation has been directed towards genetics. “Genes don’t cause epidemics, environmental toxins do,” said Children’s Health Defense chair Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. “Why is the CDC doing nothing to identify the environmental toxins responsible for the most cataclysmic epidemic of our era?”
Watch this two minute CHD video, AUTISM EPIDEMIC: 1 in 59 Children. CDC Remains Paralyzed, to understand that the CDC has failed the public and the children of this country, and that we must act NOW to stop the autism epidemic.
Children’s Health Defense calls for the following concrete actions:
Immediately create a dedicated and independent agency for autism.
- It is time to remove autism from the jurisdiction of an agency that gives it no attention or priority. In 2007, the CDC autism budget was $14 million, and ASDs affected one in 150 children. Ten years later, in 2017, CDC’s autism budget was $23 million and ASDs affected one in 59 —a 250% increase. If the rate of blindness in children had increased 250% in a decade, it would make front page headlines for weeks. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) classifies approximately 600,000 children in the school system as having autism. By way of comparison, CDC spent $394 million in 2017 on 1085 reported cases of Zika virus.
Fix the inadequacies of the current surveillance system under new leadership.
- Compared to the previous 2016 report from the 2004 birth cohort, the new ADDM report eliminates two states and adds two new states. Meanwhile, some of the participating states reduced their surveillance areas, while several states increased their access to educational records. These inconsistencies between reports make it difficult—or impossible—to compare changes over time meaningfully. If you consider the three states that have been consistently monitored and that have full access to educational records (Georgia, Maryland and New Jersey), the prevalence of autism is actually one in 46 children or 2.16%. The lack of rigor in these reports is unacceptable.
Plan surveillance in the 33 states that have never been included in the ADDM network or come up with a representative sampling method.
- The ADDM network has never counted autism cases in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington or Wyoming. This means that CDC has never investigated three of the five most populous states (California, Texas and New York). In addition, most of the surveillance takes place in only part of each state. Overall, CDC surveillance covers only about 8% of American eight-year-olds. In comparison, last month’s Canadian ASD prevalence study covered 40% of five-17 year-olds. We need to know what is going on in the rest of the country.
Confirm the long-term autism epidemic through additional studies of older birth cohorts.
- For a decade, CDC has downplayed the importance of its own findings and speculated that the exponential rise in autism prevalence is simply due to better and broader diagnosis. The simple way to disprove this nonsense is to use Medicaid or insurance data on autism nationwide to count the qualifying cases for every birth cohort. Medicaid eligibility is quite stringent; while it will not include the more able adults, it will include the majority of those with Autistic Disorder and show a trajectory over time. This is straightforward and should have been done 20 years ago. Since CDC has refused to look, it is time to hand this project to someone who will.
Continue to report autism prevalence using both DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5 criteria.
- The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the handbook that health professionals use to make diagnoses, and the most recent version (DSM-5) changed the criteria used to make an ASD diagnosis compared to the prior version (DSM-IV-TR). In its latest ADDM report, CDC shows a 4% decrease in ASDs when using the new DSM-5 criteria compared to the older DSM-IV-TR criteria used for all previous ADDM reports. However, the DSM-5 allows children to be “grandfathered” in—meaning that children who had a previous ASD diagnosis under DSM-IV-TR automatically are given a diagnosis of autism under DSM-5. CDC’s report indicates that 15% of the children who met the criteria for DSM-5 only qualified based on having a previously established DSM-IV-TR diagnosis. This suggests that in future years we will see a large drop in ASDs purely due to different criteria for counting cases, which is consistent with studies that have compared the two sets of diagnostic criteria. This will only further confuse any analysis of long-term trends in autism. CDC’s unthinking response to this ongoing concern is that they will use the DSM-5 criteria starting with the 2016 surveillance year and will apply the DSM-IV-TR criteria in a “limited geographic area to offer additional data for comparison.” This is analogous to counting breast cancer cases for 20 years, reporting huge increases, then changing what types you are counting and being unconcerned about how that affects the trend. Given the critical importance of autism prevalence data for the planning of educational and support needs, the surveillance should continue under both sets of DSM criteria in all states for several more cycles. New leadership needs to address this now.
The CDC is Paralyzed.
The bottom line is that, notwithstanding all of the factors that are (intentionally or otherwise) muddying the waters, the CDC is paralyzed. ASDs are being diagnosed at alarming rates in American children. The agency’s complete lack of urgency regarding autism is an insult to the individuals and families affected. More energy and resources must be dedicated immediately to finding autism’s causes and preventing future cases. Children’s Health Defense is asking all to join our movement to demand that autism be removed from the CDC. We need an institute that will address the childhood epidemics facing our country with real action now!
Molecular Mimicry—Understanding the Link between Vaccines and Autoimmune Disease
By the Children’s Health Defense Team
Autoimmune diseases have become increasingly common in the United States and other high-income countries over the past several decades and now affect an estimated 5%-10% of the population in those countries. The broad category of “autoimmune disease” comprises over 100 different rheumatic, endocrinological, gastrointestinal and neurological conditions that ensue when the body’s immune responses get misdirected against itself. Researchers generally agree that environmental factors (including drugs and chemicals) are strongly to blame for the rise in autoimmune disorders, possibly in conjunction with genetic and epigenetic influences—and studies dating back to the mid-1990s indicate that vaccines, with their unique configuration of viral or bacterial antigens and adjuvants, are a biologically plausible trigger.
The pathogenic hallmark of autoimmune disease is the production of proteins called autoantibodies, whereby the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own organs, tissues and cells instead of fighting external pathogens. Vaccines can prompt autoantibody production through a mechanism called “molecular mimicry.” As explained by Israeli researchers in a new review article in Cellular & Molecular Immunology, significant similarities between the pathogenic antigens contained in a vaccine and human proteins in the person receiving the vaccine can lead to immune “cross-reactivity” and “evolve into an autoimmune process targeting the…self-proteins.”
The Israeli researchers reviewed three examples of probable molecular mimicry, considering the evidence linking the influenza, hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to vaccine-induced autoimmunity.
- Influenza: In 2009, tens of millions of Europeans and North Americans received an H1N1 influenza vaccine containing a novel adjuvant called AS03 (made up of alpha-tocopherol, squalene and polysorbate 80). Soon thereafter, reports began surfacing of sharp increases in two autoimmune conditions, narcolepsy and Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS)—including a two- to three-fold increased risk of GBS in the 42 days following vaccination. In the case of individuals with narcolepsy, research explaining the development of cross-reactivity and autoimmunity identified a similarity between an influenza vaccine nucleoprotein and a human receptor for the HCRT neurotransmitter (which helps regulate sleep-wake states). Molecular mimicry likewise has been posited as a potential mechanism linking influenza vaccine and GBS.
- Hepatitis B: A number of case reports have suggested a role of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccines in the development of autoimmunity, particularly with regard to demyelinating diseases (conditions that damage the protective sheath surrounding nerve fibers in the brain, optic nerves and spinal cord). Demyelinating neuropathies include multiple sclerosis (MS), acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, transverse myelitis and others. A 2005 study established an initial “proof of concept for the theory of molecular mimicry leading to autoimmunity among HBV-vaccinated subjects.” The study looked at similarities between the recombinant (genetically engineered) small HBV surface antigen contained in the HBV vaccine and two human proteins often associated with myelin damage in MS (myelin basic protein and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein) and identified significantly more cross-reactivity in vaccinated subjects versus controls.
- HPV: Research has suggested a link between HPV vaccination and at least two autoimmune conditions: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)—an abnormal heart rate condition that frequently overlaps with chronic fatigue syndrome. In the case of SLE, the Israeli researchers have called attention in other publications to the “homology” (correspondence) between several of the viral peptides in the vaccine and the human peptides known to be dysregulated in SLE, as well as the molecular mimicry between specific HPV vaccine peptides and human proteins potentially associated with cardiac arrhythmias.
Autoantibodies in autism
Aluminum adjuvants are present in the majority of vaccines. The Israeli researchers point out that even though aluminum adjuvants are “applied…with the sole purpose of impairing immune tolerance” and potentiating immune response, most vaccine experts ignore the adjuvants as a potentially significant environmental trigger for autoimmunity.
The willingness to overlook aluminum is somewhat surprising in light of other research linking neurotoxic metals—including mercury and lead—to the emergence of brain autoantibodies in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Mercury is still prevalent in many vaccines worldwide and in some vaccines in the U.S. In a study published in 2015, Egyptian investigators described the presence of anti-myelin basic protein (anti-MBP) autoantibodies in autistic children who had elevated blood mercury levels. Characterizing mercury as “one of the main candidate environmental triggers for autoimmunity in autism,” these researchers hypothesized that exposure to “mercury, dietary proteins and microbial antigens” (such as the antigens in vaccines) can launch a chain of autoimmune reactions that begins with molecular mimicry and generation of homologous autoantigens.
Some researchers hypothesize that autoimmune brain pathology (such as is observed in ASD) requires an “event that increases barrier permeability allowing antibodies to traverse blood-brain barrier and gain access to brain tissue to inhibit and alter neuronal processes.” Both mercury and aluminum can damage the blood-brain barrier and enable vaccine antigens to enter the brain.
Taking autoimmunity seriously
Given the proliferation of over 100 autoimmune disorders since the mid-1940s, it is concerning that the three examples presented by the Israeli researchers are, by the authors’ own admission, still subject to “significant debate.” As they go on to explain, there is an unacceptable lack of high-quality scientific data on vaccine-related adverse events. Some of the many reasons why vaccine safety monitoring is flawed include variable diagnostic classification of cases, manipulation of the post-vaccination risk interval, inability to assess underreporting of adverse events (which the U.S. government acknowledges to be widespread), and “substantial publication bias favoring studies that support vaccine safety.” Instead of trying to bury adverse events as inconvenient to the monolithic vaccine safety narrative, we should be paying attention to the “red flags” that adverse reactions clearly represent.
Vaccines as a Trigger for Early-Childhood Febrile Seizures
By the Children’s Health Defense Team
Febrile seizures (also called febrile convulsions) occur in young children in conjunction with fever and are the most common type of childhood seizure. Somewhere between two and five percent of American children will have at least one febrile seizure by age five, and anywhere from 23% to 43% of those will experience a recurrence.
The incidence of both initial and recurrent febrile seizures is highest in children aged 14-18 months—which happens to be the same developmentally critical time period when young children receive up to nine vaccines for 13 different diseases. A sizeable body of evidence indicates that this synchronous timing is no coincidence, and that vaccines are risk factors for febrile seizures.
Not necessarily benign
In the past, child health experts regarded febrile seizures as mostly benign, but this relaxed attitude is now undergoing reconsideration as atypical “febrile seizure syndromes” become more common. In a study reported in the Annals of Neurology, almost one-fifth (18%) of children who experienced their first febrile seizure had prolonged seizures lasting, on average, 40 minutes. These more complex febrile seizures, when prolonged and/or recurrent, greatly increase the risk of subsequent neurological disorders.
In animal models, investigators have observed long-lasting abnormalities in the cortex and hippocampus of adult animals that experienced complex febrile seizures during early developmental stages. Research in humans has pointed to increased risk for Tourette syndrome and developmental delays following some types of febrile seizures. Studies also have linked a form of prolonged seizure called febrile status epilepticus (5% to 9% of all febrile seizures) to subsequent temporal lobe epilepsy and hippocampal sclerosis.
Vaccines play a part
Studies published over the past two decades clearly indicate that certain vaccines and vaccine combinations “independently increase a child’s risk of developing a febrile seizure.” This consistent finding has generated surprisingly little concern among most vaccine researchers, who dismiss the risk as “small.” However, the challenges to long-term neurological health associated with febrile seizures that occur at the very same young ages when children are receiving numerous vaccines highlight the importance of paying attention to vaccine-induced seizures.
The number of vaccines associated with increased febrile seizure risk is not insignificant. These include:
- Both measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccines (depending on the study);
- The combination vaccine that includes antigens for diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP-IPV-Hib);
- The 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7);
- Trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV3) (when administered on the same day as either the PCV7 or DTaP vaccines);
- H1N1 influenza vaccine; and
- The more “reactogenic” DTP vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus and whole-cell pertussis) used in many low-resource countries.
In 2010, Australia “abruptly” suspended use of seasonal influenza vaccine in children at or under age five after many children experienced “unforeseen severe febrile reactions and febrile seizures” (5-7 seizures per 1000 doses of vaccine administered). Extensive investigations failed to find a definitive cause for the unusual febrile responses but zeroed in on one particular manufacturer as the likely source. The two vaccines produced by that manufacturer generated elevated fever in 23% to 37% of children aged 6-35 months, whereas fever estimates were about 5% for influenza vaccines produced by other manufacturers.
Post-marketing surveillance studies play a critical role in accurately assessing the incidence of vaccine-related febrile seizures (or the incidence of any post-vaccination adverse event). In a 2015 meta-analysis of post-MMRV febrile seizures, a review of clinical trial data (totaling about 40,000 subjects) showed no significant differences in vaccine-related febrile seizure incidence in children receiving MMRV (versus separate MMR and varicella vaccines), but when the investigators pooled eight large post-marketing studies that captured over 3.2 million subjects, they observed an approximately two-fold higher febrile seizure risk in children aged 10-24 months following the first MMRV dose.
The divergent findings from clinical trials versus post-marketing reports may be attributable to the methodological limitations of pre-licensure clinical trials—including relatively small sample sizes, narrow inclusion/exclusion criteria and limited power to spot uncommon or rare reactions or reactions with delayed onset. (Children’s Health Defense also has described how vaccine manufacturers sometimes manipulate clinical trial data through statistical gimmicks and invalid comparisons.) In addition, vaccine safety studies report adverse events inconsistently and mostly do not investigate or identify risk factors for adverse events.
Respecting early-life vulnerability
Although vaccine proponents admit that it is important to “critically examine an intervention that is recommended for all infants” and accumulate “a solid body of knowledge” to ensure that the risk of serious adverse events is low, most researchers use linguistic parlor tricks to downplay observed risks. Given that febrile seizures represent an estimated one in ten vaccine-related adverse events, they deserve more notice. Even though only about 11% of all febrile seizures are attributed to vaccines, the widespread underreporting of adverse events means that this likely is an underestimate.
A 2010 study that focused on the functional consequences of early-life seizures observed that “the distinct age and specific maturational stage of the brain as a whole and of specific seizure-vulnerable regions are important determinants of seizure outcome” and that children who experience seizures at the youngest ages are most vulnerable to post-seizure neurological dysfunction. Whether it is wise, therefore, to overwhelm infants’ and toddlers’ brains and immune systems with multiple combination vaccines that increase their risk of febrile seizures and other adverse outcomes is a topic that should be open for debate.
Worse than Nothing—How Ineffective Vaccines Enhance Disease
By Focus for Health, a Children’s Health Defense Partner
In the current debate over whether or not to legislate the removal of individual vaccine exemptions, the quality of the vaccines themselves gets little attention. According to the CDC, mumps outbreaks are on the rise despite the fact that 94.6% of children in the U.S. have had two doses of MMR vaccine. To combat the situation, the CDC is considering adding a third dose of MMR to the recommended vaccine schedule.
In 2010, California experienced the largest pertussis epidemic since 1958. According to the CDC, the U.S. has experienced increased pertussis disease despite high levels of vaccine coverage. Researchers studying the pertussis outbreaks determined vaccine effectiveness dropped to less than 9% by four years, and that the quality of immunization waned so rapidly that little protection remained 2-3 years after vaccination.
Influenza vaccination has had no beneficial effect on flu mortality. The CDC indicates vaccine effectiveness has oscillated between 10-60% from 2005-2017, while systematic reviews show little to no benefit of inactivated influenza vaccines on flu morbidity.
It’s clear that some vaccines don’t work as well as advertised. And yet, instead of first making a vaccine with better effectiveness, the solution is to use the force of law to make everyone get more shots of the failing vaccine.
Even when significant vaccine failure rates for vaccines are acknowledged, the legislative solution remains fully supported. Concerns over the need for more effective vaccines are dismissed by apologetics pointing out that the current vaccines are better than nothing. The assumption is implicit: low immunity is better than no immunity. So, until a better vaccine comes along, accept the current shot at whatever level of immunity it provides. But the notion that any amount of antibodies is preferable to no antibodies at all, is dangerously wrong. The same exact antibodies that prevent disease at higher concentrations, can enhance the disease at lower concentrations.
Instead of preventing infection, the antibodies permit a more invasive spread of the virus into different cell types, enhancing the disease and making it worse than if the child had never been vaccinated. This phenomenon is called antibody-dependent enhancement of disease, and it is a potential problem for vaccines that induce low levels of antibodies.
It’s not just a theoretical concern. It has happened. Vaccine-induced disease enhancement occurred previously with a measles vaccine that produced low levels of immunity.
From Iankov et al. 2006:
- An unexpectedly severe form of measles (atypical measles) was observed in immunized persons in the mid-1960s;
- Three doses of measles vaccine induced a short-lasting humoral immune response, followed several months or years later by susceptibility to atypical measles;
- Antibodies recognizing measles virus can increase the efficiency of virus entry into cells of the monocytic lineage;
- Antibody-mediated enhancement of infection may also contribute to cytokine alteration and modulation of the innate immune mechanisms during measles;
- The results point to an additional pathogenic mechanism that may be in play during measles virus infections and which may have particular relevance to the pathogenesis of the atypical measles that is seen after immunization.
The effect of vaccine-induced disease enhancement has been seen in clinical trials for a since abandoned HIV vaccine.
From Huisman et al. 2009:
- Certain experimental vaccines have proved to be counterproductive: they rendered vaccinated subjects more susceptible to infection rather than protecting them;
- For candidate HIV vaccines a number of phase III trials have been conducted in seronegative volunteers at high risk for HIV infection;
- The outcome of these trials was far from encouraging, with very limited induction of HIV neutralizing antibodies, and no evidence for protection;
- In one clinical trial, a significant trend towards increased HIV-1 infection was observed;
- Antibody-dependent enhancement of infection remains a significant concern in the development of safe and effective vaccines;
- There may well be a delicate balance between the induction of protective immunity on the one hand and the induction of enhanced susceptibility on the other.
The HPV vaccine exhibited the capacity to enhance HPV infections during clinical trials. Women who tested positive for vaccine HPV serotypes by PCR analysis, and were then administered the vaccine, were more likely to develop high-grade cervical lesions than the non-vaccinated control group. These observations have persisted beyond clinical trials, and antibody-dependent enhancement has been raised as a possible explanation.
From Manos 2009:
- Vaccination of women with previous HPV 16 or 18 infection might actually increase their risk of high-grade cervical disease;
- This observation is strikingly consistent with reports on the quadrivalent HPV vaccine;
- Although each trial’s finding was attributed to imbalances in the baseline characteristics of the vaccine and placebo groups, the biological phenomenon of antibody-dependent enhancement of disease should be considered;
- Perhaps HPV testing should precede vaccination and be contraindicated for women and girls previously infected.
It’s been known for decades that non-neutralizing influenza antibodies can augment the uptake of influenza A virus strains, but it wasn’t until recently that the phenomenon of disease enhancement for influenza vaccination was observationally proven. In 2009, seasonal influenza vaccination increased the risk of pandemic influenza illness in those who received the vaccine. This result was confirmed in four observational studies. Antibody-dependent enhancement of disease has been proposed as the potentiating mechanism.
Vaccines sometimes do nothing ─ they cause no harm as they fail to protect the vaccine recipient from disease. Sometimes vaccines do worse than nothing ─ they cause more cases, and more severe cases of disease in those who opt to be vaccinated. Low levels of antibodies cannot be viewed as less of a good thing. Ineffective vaccines are a bad thing. They stimulate low level immune responses that sometimes potentiate the exact diseases they were intended to prevent.
Legislation that would force the use of an ineffective vaccine must be abandoned. But that’s not enough. The ineffective product itself must be abandoned. According to the FDA, vaccine policy that mandates usage of an ineffective vaccine leads to disease outbreaks in older age groups that are more likely to suffer complications from disease.
Vaccine policy aimed at preventing outbreaks and eradicating disease can only succeed when there is high vaccine uptake of an effective vaccine. If one is missing, there is no point in having the other. New vaccines are required. The continued use of some of the current, poorly-performing vaccines, moots any perceived necessity to legislate forced uptake, because no amount of vaccine uptake will prevent disease outbreaks. Even with 100% compliance, outbreaks would still occur because the vaccines are not effective enough to provide population level immunity sufficient to prevent epidemics. Furthermore, outbreaks will continue to occur in older age groups where complications from disease are more common, and mothers will have little to no immunity to provide to their newborns during those early critical months of life.
Individuals should have the legal right to exempt themselves and their children from using the current products. For practical and ethical reasons, the conversation to mandate the use of vaccines shouldn’t even be considered until more effective products are available.
- CDC. July 29, 2016. Mumps outbreak at a University and recommendation for a third dose of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine ─ Illinois. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 65(29):731/
- CDC. July 9, 2010. Notes from the Field. Pertussis─California, January-June 2010, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly. 59(26):817″>CDC. July 9, 2010. Notes from the Field. Pertussis─California, January-June 2010, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly. 59(26):817/
- Klein et al. 2016. Waning Tdap effectiveness in adolescents. Pediatrics. 137(3):1/
- Simonsen et al. 2005. Impact of influenza vaccination on seasonal mortality in the US elderly population. Archives of Internal Medicine (165):265/
- CDC website on seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness, updated August 24, 2017/
- Jefferson. 2006. Influenza vaccination: policy versus evidence. British Medical Journal. (333):912/
- Takada et al. 2003. Antibody-dependent enhancement of viral infection: molecular mechanisms and in vivo implications. Reviews in Medical Virology (13):387/
- Burton et al. 2000. Antibody and virus: binding and neutralization. Virology (270):1/
- Iankov et al. 2006. Immunoglobulin T antibody-mediated enhancement of measles virus infection can bypass the protective antiviral immune response. Journal of Virology. 80(17):8530/
- Huisman et al. 2009. Vaccine-induced enhancement of viral infections. Vaccine. (27):505
- HPV clinical trial data [clinicaltrials.gov]
- Manos 2009. Lancet. (374):1328
- Tamura et al. 1994. Subtype cross-reactive, infection-enhancing antibody responses to influenza A viruses. Journal of Virology. 68(6):3499
- Janjua et al. 2010. Seasonal influenza vaccine and increased risk of pandemic A/H1N1-related illness: first detection of the association in British Columbia, Canada. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 51(9):1017
- Tsuchihashi et al. 2012. Association between seasonal influenza vaccination in 2008-2009 and pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 infection among school students from Kobe, Japan, April-June 2009. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 54(3):381
- Skowronski et al. 2010. Association between the 2008-2009 seasonal influenza vaccine and pandemic H1N1 illness during spring-summer 2009: four observational studies from Canada. PLOS Medicine. 7(4):1
- Dutry et al. 2011. Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of infection and its possible role in the pathogenesis of influenza. BMC Proceedings. 5(Suppl 1):62
- Hviid et al. 2008. Mumps. Lancet. 371:932
Diseases with Unknown Etiology Trace Back to Mass Vaccination Against Influenza in 1976
By James Lyons-Weiler, Ph.D.
Crohn’s. Lupus. Autism. ADHD. Food allergies. Celiac disease. Sjögren’s syndrome. Polymyalgia rheumatica. Multiple sclerosis. Anklyosing spondylitis. Type 1 diabetes. Vasculitis. Peripheral neuropathy. The list goes on, and on, and on. We are being increasingly diagnosed with these conditions and diseases of unknown origin, and science has very little to say – why would autoimmune diseases and mysterious diseases of inflammation be so prevalent? When did this increase start?
As an observer and participant in modern biomedical research, and a lover of deep history, I tend to focus not on the immediate or last few years, but look for trends of accumulating risk over longer periods of time. Seeking an answer to the question of “when”, I used Pubmed to estimate, per yer, the number of studies and papers discussing diseases and conditions of unknown origin. I search for the term “unknown causes”, and also for the term “journal” to get some idea of the percentage of studies, papers and editorials discussing disease of unknown causes. I had no idea what to expect.
Looking at a trend of topics per year, one has to correct for some estimate of the total number of articles published, because a mere count would, in part, reflect the overall trend in the explosion of total articles published. I chose as my control term the word “journal”, because many titles of publications include that term (e.g., “Journal of Nephrology). Here is the control result, which is not surprising, and completely expected:
Again, this merely reflects the trend in the increase in publications in Pubmed, and so using it would provide a relative control for that trend.
Next I searched for “Unknown Causes”, and calculated the number of articles citing unknown causes per 10,000 articles (again, relative denominator term).
What I found is shocking. Here is a graph of the number of articles per 10,000 discussing “unknown causes” (Y = #articles mentioning “unknown causes” / #articles mentioning “journal”, as in the title of journals).
Because the studies in Pubmed include all sorts of journals studying all sorts of things, the actual number is not as important as the trend. The signature is undeniable. Something changed dramatically in 1976. To the skeptic: the increase is greater if one does not correct for total publications.
What changed was national mass vaccination against influenza.
The follow section is excerpted from “Reflections on the 1976 Swine Flu Vaccination Program” by David Sencer and J. Donald Millar. [Link]
Swine Flu at Fort Dix
On February 3, 1976, the New Jersey State Health Department sent the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta isolates of virus from recruits at Fort Dix, New Jersey, who had influenza-like illnesses. Most of the isolates were identified as A/Victoria/75 (H3N2), the contemporary epidemic strain. Two of the isolates, however, were not typeable in that laboratory. On February 10, additional isolates were sent and identified in CDC laboratories as A/New Jersey/76 (Hsw1N1), similar to the virus of the 1918 pandemic and better known as “swine flu.”
A meeting of representatives of the military, the National Institute of Health, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the State of New Jersey Department of Health was quickly convened on Saturday, February 14, 1976. Plans of action included heightened surveillance in and around Fort Dix, investigation of the ill recruits to determine if contact with pigs had occurred, and serologic testing of recruits to determine if spread had occurred at Fort Dix.
Surveillance activities at Fort Dix gave no indication that recruits had contact with pigs. Surveillance in the surrounding communities found influenza caused by the current strain of influenza, A/Victoria, but no additional cases of swine flu. Serologic testing at Fort Dix indicated that person-to-person transmission had occurred in >200 recruits (4).
In 1974 and 1975, 2 instances of humans infected with swine influenza viruses had been documented in the United States. Both persons involved had close contact with pigs, and no evidence for spread of the virus beyond family members with pig contact could be found (5).
The National Influenza Immunization Program
On March 10, 1976, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the United States Public Health Service (ACIP) reviewed the findings. The committee concluded that with a new strain (the H1N1 New Jersey strain) that could be transmitted from person to person, a pandemic was a possibility. Specifically, the following facts were of concern: 1) persons <50 years of age had no antibodies to this new strain; 2) a current interpandemic strain (A/Victoria) of influenza was widely circulating; 3) this early detection of an outbreak caused by A/New Jersey/76/Hsw1N1 (H1N1) provided an opportunity to produce a vaccine since there was sufficient time between the initial isolates and the advent of an expected influenza season to produce vaccine. In the past when a new pandemic strain had been identified, there had not been enough time to manufacture vaccine on any large scale; 4) influenza vaccines had been used for years with demonstrated safety and efficacy when the currently circulating vaccine strain was incorporated; 5) the military vaccine formulation for years had included H1N1, an indication that production was possible, and no documented adverse effects had been described.
ACIP recommended that an immunization program be launched to prevent the effects of a possible pandemic. One ACIP member summarized the consensus by stating “If we believe in prevention, we have no alternative but to offer and urge the immunization of the population.” One ACIP member expressed the view that the vaccine should be stockpiled, not given.
Making this decision carried an unusual urgency. The pharmaceutical industry had just finished manufacture of the vaccine to be used in the 1976–1977 influenza season. At that time, influenza vaccine was produced in fertilized hen’s eggs from special flocks of hens. Roosters used for fertilizing the hens were still available; if they were slaughtered, as was customary, the industry could not resume production for several months.
On March 13, an action memo was presented to the Secretary of the Department of Health Education and Welfare (DHEW). It outlined the problem and presented 4 alternative courses of action. First was “business as usual,” with the marketplace prevailing and the assumption that a pandemic might not occur. The second was a recommendation that the federal government embark on a major program to immunize a highly susceptible population. As a reason to adopt this plan of action, the memo stated that “the Administration can tolerate unnecessary health expenditures better than unnecessary death and illness if a pandemic should occur.” The third proposed course of action was a minimal response, in which the federal government would contract for sufficient vaccine to provide for traditional federal beneficiaries—military personnel, Native Americans, and Medicare-eligible persons. The fourth alternative was a program that would represent an exclusively federal response without involvement of the states.
The proposal recommended by the director of CDC was the second course, namely, for the federal government to contract with private pharmaceutical companies to produce sufficient vaccine to permit the entire population to be immunized against H1N1. The federal government would make grants to state health departments to organize and conduct immunization programs. The federal government would provide vaccine to state health departments and private medical practices. Since influenza caused by A/Victoria was active worldwide, industry was asked to incorporate the swine flu into an A/Victoria product to be used for populations at high risk.
Before the discussions with the secretary of DHEW had been completed, a member of his staff sent a memo to a health policy advisor in the White House, raising the specter of the 1918 pandemic, which had been specifically underemphasized in the CDC presentation. CDC’s presentation highlighted the pandemic potential, comparing it with the 1968–69 Hong Kong and 1957–58 Asian pandemics. President Gerald Ford’s staff recommended that the president convene a large group of well-known and respected scientists (Albert Sabin and Jonas Salk had to be included) and public representatives to hear the government’s proposal and make recommendations to the president about it. After the meeting, the president had a press conference, highlighted by the unique simultaneous appearance of Salk and Sabin. President Ford announced that he accepted the recommendations that CDC had originally made to the secretary of DHEW. The National Influenza Immunization Program (NIIP) was initiated.
The proposal was presented to 4 committees of the Congress, House and Senate authorization committees and House and Senate appropriation committees. All 4 committees reported out favorable legislation, and an appropriation bill was passed and signed.
The estimated budgeted cost of the program was $137 million. When Congress passed the appropriation, newspapers mischaracterized the cost as “$1.9 billion” because the $137 million was included as part of a $1.9 billion supplemental appropriation for the Department of Labor. In the minds of the public, this misconception prevailed.
Immediately after the congressional hearing, a meeting of all directors of state health departments and medical societies was held at CDC. The program was presented by CDC, and attendees were asked for comments. A representative from the New Jersey state health department opposed the plan; the Wisconsin state medical society opposed any federal involvement. Otherwise, state and local health departments approved the plan.
Within CDC, a unit charged with implementing the program, which reported to the director, was established. This unit, NIIP, had complete authority to draw upon any resources at CDC needed. NIIP was responsible for relations with state and local health departments (including administration of the grant program for state operations, technical advice to the procurement staff for vaccine, and warehousing and distribution of the vaccine to state health departments) and established a proactive system of surveillance for possible adverse effects of the influenza vaccines, the NIIP Surveillance Assessment Center (NIIP-SAC). (This innovative surveillance system would prove to be NIIP’s Trojan horse.) In spite of the obstacles discussed below, NIIP administered a program that immunized 45 million in 10 weeks, which resulted in doubling the level of immunization for persons deemed to be at high risk, rapidly identifying adverse effects, and developing and administering an informed consent form for use in a community-based program.
Obstacles to the Vaccination Plan
The principal obstacle was the lack of vaccines. As test batches were prepared, the largest ever field trials of influenza vaccines ensued. The vaccines appeared efficacious and safe (although in the initial trials, children did not respond immunologically to a single dose of vaccine, and a second trial with a revised schedule was needed) (6). Hopes were heightened for a late summer/early fall kickoff of mass immunization operations.
In January 1976, before the New Jersey outbreak, CDC had proposed legislation that would have compensated persons damaged as a result of immunization when it was licensed by FDA and administered in the manner recommended by ACIP. The rationale given was that immunization protects the community as well as the individual (a societal benefit) and that when a person participating in that societal benefit is damaged, society had a responsibility to that person. The proposal was sent back from a staff member in the Surgeon General’s office with a handwritten note, “This is not a problem.”
Soon, however, NIIP received the first of 2 crippling blows to hopes to immunize “every man, woman, and child.” The first was later in 1976, when instead of boxes of bottled vaccine, the vaccine manufacturers delivered an ultimatum—that the federal government indemnify them against claims of adverse reactions as a requirement for release of the vaccines. The government quickly capitulated to industry’s demand for indemnification. While the manufacturers’ ultimatum reflected the trend of increased litigiousness in American society, its unintended, unmistakable subliminal message blared “There’s something wrong with this vaccine.” This public misperception, warranted or not, ensured that every coincidental health event that occurred in the wake of the swine flu shot would be scrutinized and attributed to the vaccine.
On August 2, 1976, deaths apparently due to an influenzalike illness were reported from Pennsylvania in older men who had attended the convention of the American Legion in Philadelphia. A combined team of CDC and state and local health workers immediately investigated. By the next day, epidemiologic evidence indicated that the disease was not influenza (no secondary cases occurred in the households of the patients). By August 4, laboratory evidence conclusively ruled out influenza. However, this series of events was interpreted by the media and others as an attempt by the government to “stimulate” NIIP.
Shortly after the national campaign began, 3 elderly persons died after receiving the vaccine in the same clinic. Although investigations found no evidence that the vaccine and deaths were causally related, press frenzy was so intense it drew a televised rebuke from Walter Cronkite for sensationalizing coincidental happenings.
What NIIP did not and could not survive, however, was the second blow, finding cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) among persons receiving swine flu immunizations. As of 1976, >50 “antecedent events” had been identified in temporal relationship to GBS, events that were considered as possible factors in its cause. The list included viral infections, injections, and “being struck by lightning.” Whether or not any of the antecedents had a causal relationship to GBS was, and remains, unclear. When cases of GBS were identified among recipients of the swine flu vaccines, they were, of course, well covered by the press. Because GBS cases are always present in the population, the necessary public health questions concerning the cases among vaccine recipients were “Is the number of cases of GBS among vaccine recipients higher than would be expected? And if so, are the increased cases the result of increased surveillance or a true increase?” Leading epidemiologists debated these points, but the consensus, based on the intensified surveillance for GBS (and other conditions) in recipients of the vaccines, was that the number of cases of GBS appeared to be an excess.
Had H1N1 influenza been transmitted at that time, the small apparent risk of GBS from immunization would have been eclipsed by the obvious immediate benefit of vaccine-induced protection against swine flu. However, in December 1976, with >40 million persons immunized and no evidence of H1N1 transmission, federal health officials decided that the possibility of an association of GBS with the vaccine, however small, necessitated stopping immunization, at least until the issue could be explored. A moratorium on the use of the influenza vaccines was announced on December 16; it effectively ended NIIP of 1976. Four days later the New York Times published an op-ed article that began by asserting, “Misunderstandings and misconceptions… have marked Government … during the last eight years,” attributing NIIP and its consequences to “political expediency” and “the self interest of government health bureaucracy” (7). These simple and sinister innuendos had traction, as did 2 epithets used in the article to describe the program, “debacle” in the text and “Swine Flu Fiasco” in the title.
On February 7, the new secretary of DHEW, Joseph A. Califano, announced the resumption of immunization of high-risk populations with monovalent A/Victoria vaccine that had been prepared as part of the federal contracts, and he dismissed the director of CDC.
NIIP may offer lessons for today’s policymakers, who are faced with a potential pandemic of avian influenza and struggling with decisions about preventing it (Table). Two of these lessons bear further scrutiny here.
Media and Presidential Attention
While all decisions related to NIIP had been reached in public sessions (publishing of the initial virus findings in CDC’s weekly newsletter, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR); New York Times reporter Harold Schmeck’s coverage of the ACIP sessions, the president’s press conference, and 4 congressional hearings), effective communication from scientifically qualified persons was lacking, and the perception prevailed that the program was motivated by politics rather than science. In retrospect (and to some observers at the time), the president’s highly visible convened meeting and subsequent press conference, which included pictures of his being immunized, were mistakes. These instances seemed to underline the suspicion that the program was politically motivated, rather than a public health response to a possible catastrophe.Annex 11 of the draft DHEW pandemic preparedness plan states, “For policy decisions and in communication, making clear what is not known is as important as stating what is known. When assumptions are made, the basis for the assumptions and the uncertainties surrounding them should be communicated” (11). This goal is much better accomplished if the explanations are communicated by those closest to the problem, who can give authoritative scientific information. Scientific information coming from a nonscientific political figure is likely to encourage skepticism, not enthusiasm.
Neither CDC nor the health agencies of the federal government had been in the habit of holding regular press conferences. CDC considered that its appropriate main line of communication was to states and local health departments, believing that they were best placed to communicate with the public. MMWR served both a professional and public audience and accounted for much of CDC’s press coverage. In 1976, no all-news stations existed, only the nightly news. The decision to stop the NIIP on December 16, 1976, was announced by a press release from the office of the assistant secretary for health. The decision to reinstitute the immunization of those at high risk was announced by a press release from the office of the secretary, DHEW. In retrospect, periodic press briefings would have served better than responding to press queries. The public must understand that decisions are based on public health, not politics. To this end, health communication should be by health personnel through a regular schedule of media briefings.
Decision To Begin Immunization
This decision is worthy of serious question and debate. As Walter Dowdle (12) points out in this issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the prevailing wisdom was that a pandemic could be expected at any time. Public health officials were concerned that if immunization was delayed until H1N1 was documented to have spread to other groups, the disease would spread faster than any ability to mobilize preventive vaccination efforts. Three cases of swine influenza had recently occurred in persons who had contact with pigs. In 1918, after the initial outbreak of influenza at Fort Riley in April, widespread outbreaks of influenza did not occur until late summer (13).
The Delphi exercise of Schoenbaum in early fall of 1976 (13) was the most serious scientific undertaking to poll scientists to decide whether or not to continue the program. Its main finding was that the cost benefit would be best if immunization were limited to those >25 years of age (and now young children are believed to be a potent source of spread of influenza virus!). Unfortunately, no biblical Joseph was there to rise from prison and interpret the future.
As Dowdle further states (12), risk assessment and risk management are separate functions. But they must come together with policymakers, who must understand both. These discussions should not take place in large groups in the president’s cabinet room but in an environment that can establish an educated understanding of the situation. Once the policy decisions are made, implementation should be left to a single designated agency. Advisory groups should be small but representative. CDC had the lead responsibility for operation of the program. Implementation by committee does not work. Within CDC, a unit was established for program execution, including surveillance, outbreak investigation, vaccine procurement and distribution, assignment of personnel to states, and awarding and monitoring grants to the states. Communications up the chain of command to the policymakers and laterally to other directly involved federal agencies were the responsibility of the CDC director, not the director of NIIP, who was responsible for communications to the states and local health departments, those ultimately implementing operations of the program. This organizational mode functioned well, a tribute to the lack of interagency jealousies.
[End of Excerpt]
This history is fascinating. But the conclusions of those involved in the decision-making about risk is telling: even though they observed Guillain-Barré syndrome in a significant number of individuals, they forged ahead with ACIP telling them it was more important to conduct mass vaccinations.
In 1986, the The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) established the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Guillain-Barré Syndrome was added to the table of vaccine injuries for which compensation is awarded in 2017. It took thirty-one years to add GBS to the table, and they knew about the assocation for ten years before the 1986 act.
When assessing risk, there are the knowns, the unknowns, and the unknowns one does even know to look for. The “Reflections” article, on the CDC website, shows that knowledge of risk of autoimmune disorders like Guillain-Barré Syndrome and deaths from vaccination was present from the beginning.
Serious side effects in a minority of patients is rationalized by the benefits of the flu vaccine, and vaccine risk denialism perpetuates the regulation of perception necessary for continuation of the view that the benefits outweigh the risks.
But, at a population level, evidence is mounting that, due to numerous reasons, mass influenza vaccination is self-defeating.
The facts in the scientific literature that must be considered include:
(1) A/H3N2 disease vaccinated individuals were significantly more likely to report myalgias (OR 3.31; 95% CI [1.22, 8.97]) than vaccinated individuals. [Vaccine-associated reduction in symptom severity among patients with influenza]
(2) Vaccination with Thimerosal induces immunological damage. Specifically, Thimerosal inhibits the protein ERAP1, which shortens proteins headed for the cell surface of MHC Class 1 [“Stamogiannos et al., 2016 Screening Identifies Thimerosal as a Selective Inhibitor of Endoplasmic Reticulum Aminopeptidase 1″]
(3) Vaccination against Influenza with thimerosal-containing vaccines is associated with an increase in non-influenza respiratory infections [“Increased Risk of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated With Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine“]
(4) Repeated vaccination at a young age substantially increases the risk of influenza in older age, by a factor ranging between 1. 2 (vaccination after 50 years) to 2. 4 (vaccination from birth) [“Repeated influenza vaccination of healthy children and adults: borrow now, pay later?“]
(5) B-cells activated by flu vaccine crowds out B-cells for other viruses [“Why Flu Vaccines So Often Fail, Science Magazine“]
(13) The evidence that heterologous immunity and very limited efficacy makes universal vaccination against the flu will create more disease than it prevents is impressive. [Why do people get the flu after getting the flu shot?]
(8) The rate of aerosol shedding among cases with vaccination in the current and previous season is higher than that in people with no vaccination in those two seasons. [“Infectious virus in exhaled breath of symptomatic seasonal influenza cases from a college community“]
(10) Repeated flu shots may blunt effectiveness [“Repeated flu shots may blunt effectiveness“]
These observations also exist at the population level. CDC annually reports both the influenza vaccine uptake and estimates of the adjusted vaccine efficacy (AVE). If the AVE of two years following the efficacy of a given year is regressed, the annual loss in efficacy in the flu vaccine due to the flu vaccine is 1.167 units of AVE per percentage increase in flu vaccine uptake:
These result are from CDC’s own data, and reflect population effects. They are robust to the low coverage value ‘outlier’, data provided here for the interested skeptic. seasonal-flu-vaccine-effectiveness .
Repeated calls for addressing these conundrums fall on deaf ears. The explosion of diseases of mysterious origin – the cost of morbidity and mortality – means there is no excuse for sloppy, lazy vaccinology. The changes needed are known, and there is no excuse. Unsafe epitopes that match human proteins must be removed. Thimerosal must be removed. Aluminum exposure must be minimized.
We desperately need a new generation of technologies for artificial immunization, and those products should (a) not be contracted via the CDC at all, (b) subjected to the same rigorous standards of evidence of safety required of drugs with long-term safety outcomes (total health outcome awareness), (c) vaccine risk denialism must be stopped immediately.
The 1976 risk policy assumptions are summarized by Sencer and Millar:
When lives are at stake, it is better to err on the side of overreaction than underreaction. Because of the unpredictability of influenza, responsible public health leaders must be willing to take risks on behalf of the public. This requires personal courage and a reasonable level of understanding by the politicians to whom these public health leaders are accountable. All policy decisions entail risks and benefits: risks or benefits to the decision maker; risks or benefits to those affected by the decision. In 1976, the federal government wisely opted to put protection of the public first.” (emphasis added)
At this point, in 2018, one must ask: when will protection from vaccine-induced immunological and neurological damage become a factor in the risk equations, or better yet, a priority? When will it be seen as more important than the management of the perception of risk?
A minority of ‘flu’ cases involve influenza [“Influenza: marketing vaccines by marketing disease“] Very few “flu deaths” involve influenza virus infection [“Are US flu death figures more PR than science?”]
Many of the deaths attributed to infuenza may be due to “sudden deterioration” observed due to Tamiflu treatment. [“Oseltamivir and early deterioration leading to death: a proportional mortality study for 2009A/H1N1 influenza“]
The arguments for uniform healthcare worker influenza vaccination are not supported by existing literature. [What, in Fact, Is the Evidence That Vaccinating Healthcare Workers against Seasonal Influenza Protects Their Patients? A Critical Review]
The number needed to treat to prevent one infection is 71, and vaccination has no net positive effect on working days or hospitalization. [“Vaccines to prevent influenza in healthy adults“].
ACIP selectively picks results of science to support influenza vaccine and ignores results that question efficacy and safety. [Guidelines in disrepute: a case study of influenza vaccination of healthcare workers ]
Antivirals if used early can reduce pneumonia and bronchitis, but appear to come with a risk of psychiatric episodes. [Narayana Manjunatha, N et al. 2011. The neuropsychiatric aspects of influenza/swine flu: A selective review Ind Psychiatry J. 20(2): 83–90.]
Studies are needed to determine if “flu infection” after influenza vaccination followed by Tamiflu treatment is a recipe for mortality. [Pediatric advisory committee briefing for Tamiflu – Hoffman-La Roche, Inc. ] FDA Posts Tamiflu Warning.
About the author: James Lyons-Weiler is the president and CEO of the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge, an advocacy group that pushes for accuracy and integrity in science and for biomedical researchers to put people’s health before profits. An established academic and researcher, he has a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in zoology, a PhD in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology, and a postdoctoral in computational molecular biology; and he’s the author of Ebola: An Evolving Story and Cures vs. Profits.
The Association Between Thimerosal Exposure and Tics – The Advisory Committee on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV) Machinations
By Brian S. Hooker, Ph.D., P.E.
Between November 2013 and September 2014, I was in direct contact with the CDC Whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson. I recently wrote about my interactions with Dr. Thompson in an editorial piece that appeared in the winter 2017 edition of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (22:119). One of the key issues that I discussed with Dr. Thompson was the relationship between thimerosal and tics, based on CDC’s own publications.
The literature regarding thimerosal and tics (both motor and phonic) is quite compelling. Several of CDC’s own studies show that high levels of thimerosal exposure via infant vaccines can lead to tics later in life. Thompson et al. 2007 (NEJM 357:1281) showed a clear, statistically significant increase in both motor and phonic tics in boys in a high thimerosal exposure group as compared to a low thimerosal exposure group. This relationship was reaffirmed in 2012 by Barile et al. (2012 J Pediatric Psychol 37:106) when the same data were analyzed using a more rigorous method.
This is not the only time that CDC has addressed the issue of thimerosal and tics. Earlier, a relationship between thimerosal exposure in tics and all children was seen in the Verstraeten et al. 2003 (Pediatrics 112:1039) study. This relationship was dismissed by the study authors as it was not seen consistently in all three Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) studied. A review of study data obtained through FOIA showed a bias against reporting positive results, yet the tic association remained. Also, in a study of children in the United Kingdom, Andrews et al. 2004 (Pediatrics 114:584), tics were seen more often in children exposed to higher levels of thimerosal. In each exposure category studied, this relationship was statistically significant. It should be noted that CDC was directly involved in making the decision to fund the UK study and was apprised of the analyses prior to publication.
The relationship between thimerosal exposure and tics has also been established in literature outside of CDC’s involvement. In 2015, a study by Geier et al. (2015 Indiscipl Toxicol 8:68) showed a higher incidence of tics in both boys and girls exposed to thimerosal (via the Hepatitis B vaccine), when exposure was evaluated at one month, two months and six months of life, as compared to children with no thimerosal exposure.
A significant association between Hg exposure from thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines and a diagnosis of tic disorder (TD) has now been found in six epidemiological studies (Verstraeten et al. 2003, Andrews et al. 2004, Thompson et al. 2007, Young et al, 2008, Barile et al. 2012, Geier et al. 2015). The Thompson study states that, “The replication of the findings regarding tics suggests the potential need for further studies.” Tozzi et al. 2009, also found trends towards increased motor and phonic tics with increased thimerosal exposure but these did not reach statistical significance, possibly because of the lack of a non-exposed control group. The study by Young et al. found a dose-dependent relationship between increasing Hg exposure from thimerosal in vaccines given between birth and seven months and also between birth and 13 months of age and the risk of a diagnosed TD. Researchers observed that, for a 100 μg Hg difference in exposure between birth and seven months of age, the risk for diagnosed TD was significantly increased (3.39-fold). For the same 100 μg Hg difference in exposure between birth and 13 months of age, the risk for diagnosed tics was also found to be significantly increased (4.11-fold).
Given this consistent body of evidence, one would think that the CDC would call for a ban on the use of thimerosal in vaccines. However, this has never happened. In fact, the CDC will not even state a preference for administration of thimerosal-free vaccines. CDC’s own webpage on thimerosal falsely states, “There is no evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site.” This is in direct defiance of a recommendation, made by the Institute of Medicine in 2001 when they reviewed the use of thimerosal in infant vaccines, that: “full consideration be given by appropriate professional societies and government agencies to removing thimerosal from vaccines administered to infants, children or pregnant women in the United States.”
In addition, it is estimated that up to 36 million thimerosal-containing flu shots will be distributed In the U.S. for the 2017-18 “flu season.” These vaccines will be given to infants as young as 6 months of age and pregnant women, in any trimester of pregnancy. When patients question the continued use of mercury in flu vaccines, they are often told it is just a “trace amount” and not harmful. A trace amount of thimerosal is defined by the FDA as being 1 microgram (mcg) of mercury or less. Flu vaccines for pregnant women may contain 25 micrograms of mercury and pediatric flu shots for infants younger than one year contain 12.5 micrograms mercury.
The CDC could have also commissioned the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to further investigate the literature regarding the neurological effects of thimerosal in vaccines, especially after the 2007 Thompson et al. study showed a definitive relationship between thimerosal and tics. After all, the IOM’s final word regarding thimerosal was the 2001 Immunization Safety Review Committee report which stated that the relationship between thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders was “biologically plausible.” This would at a minimum require some type of “revisiting” given the new and compelling data elucidated by Thompson et al. (2007) as well as Verstraeten et al. (2003) and Andrews et al. (2004).
However, when the CDC again commissioned the IOM to investigate vaccine adverse events in 2009, leading to a report released in 2011, the IOM committee was never tasked with investigating any adverse events associated with thimerosal.
Very recently, there was a glimmer of hope that at least one Federal Agency was going to take the relationship between thimerosal exposure and tics seriously. In December 2017, the Advisory Committee on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV), the body that determines which vaccine injuries warrant compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), considered adding tics as an injury to the “vaccine injury table” for which compensation should be received. This was on the basis of a separate citizen’s petition to allow tics to be added to the “table” and thus qualify for compensation. However, it appears that Dr. Mary Nythel Rubin, the DHHS official assigned to evaluate the relationship between thimerosal and tics was “asleep at the switch” as the material she presented to the ACCV was one-sided, inadequate and inaccurate. Much of the literature supporting the relationship between thimerosal and tics was omitted from her presentation or was misrepresented as having nothing to do with tics (e.g., the Verstraeten et al. 2003 and Andrews et al. 2004 papers). Based on this biased presentation, the ACCV voted to dismiss the petition and tics were not added to the vaccine injury table. Children’s Health Defense is committed to working until the association between tics and thimerosal is acknowledged and injured children and adults are appropriately compensated and treated.
This was most likely “a plan” to avoid a flood of tic claims in the NVICP. Surely, the ACCV understood that tics are a common feature in autism (occurring 4 times more frequently in autistic children than in neurotypical ). Given the wrongful dismissal of over 5600 autism claims in the NVICP in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings, the ACCV could not vote to put tics on the injury table as it would eventually bankrupt the entire compensation program. Once again, programs win out over people and the edifice that is the vaccine-industrial complex wins out at the expense of children.
However, it is incumbent that pressure is kept on these Federal agencies to actually read science and see the truth regarding vaccine injuries such as tics.
Unvaccinated Children Have Much Lower Rates of Chronic Illness
By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
The first peer-reviewed study comparing health outcomes of vaccinated children versus unvaccinated was recently published in the Journal of Translational Science by epidemiologists from the School of Public Health at Jackson State University. The study’s conclusions are likely to inflame the fierce debate over whether vaccines and a mercury-containing vaccine preservative may be culprits in the dramatic rise in certain neurodevelopmental disorders in our children, including autism.
The “Pilot comparative study on the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated 6- to 12-year-old U.S. children” implicates vaccines in a host of chronic illnesses now epidemic in our nation’s children. The team of scientists, led by the renowned epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Mawson, the author of more than fifty published studies, concluded that “In a final adjusted model designed to test for this possibility, controlling for the interaction of preterm birth and vaccination, the following factors remained significantly associated with NDD: vaccination (OR 2.5, 95% CI: 1.1, 5.6), nonwhite race (OR 2.4, 95% CI: 1.1, 5.4), and male gender (OR 2.3, 95% CI: 1.2, 4.4). Preterm birth itself, however, was not significantly associated with NDD, whereas the combination (interaction) of preterm birth and vaccination was associated with 6.6-fold increased odds of NDD (95% CI: 2.8, 15.5) (Table 8).” Jackson State is a leading university research center.
The study suggests that fully vaccinated children may be trading the prevention of certain acute illnesses (chicken pox, pertussis) for more chronic illnesses and neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) like ADHD and Autism.In order to find a large population of children who hadn’t received any vaccines, the Jackson State scientists utilized Homeschool organizations in four states and compared the incidence of a broad range of health outcomes in 666 children, 39% of whom were unvaccinated. Among the more concerning findings, vaccinated children had increased risks of autism (4.2 times), ADHD (4.2 times), learning disabilities (5.2 times) eczema (2.9 times), and an astounding 30 times the risk of allergic rhinitis compared to unvaccinated children.
As would be expected, vaccinated children did have lower likelihood of two vaccine-preventable illnesses compared to unvaccinated children: chicken pox (7.9% vs. 25.3%), and pertussis (2.5% vs. 8.4%), but the scientists found no significant differences in rates of other vaccine-preventable illnesses like hepatitis A or B, measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, meningitis or rotavirus. The study suggests that fully vaccinated children may be trading the prevention of certain acute illnesses (chicken pox, pertussis) for more chronic illnesses and neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) like ADHD and Autism.
Despite numerous requests over the years from parents and vaccine safety advocates for just this type of research, the CDC has failed to act. The Jackson State scientists called for more scientific studies to help explain and clarify these findings.
View/Download Unvaccinated-Vaccinated Study
View Download Unvaccinated-Vaccinated Preterm Birth Study
Why I’m Not “Anti-Vaccine”–And Why We Should All Want to Study Vaccine Safety
By Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Chairman, Children’s Health Defense
On January 10th, following a month of quiet negotiations with his transition team, Donald Trump asked me to chair a commission to investigate vaccine safety. A predictable firestorm of protest greeted the announcement. Hundreds of media outlets denounced me as “anti-vaccine” – or worse – and condemned the existence of any commission that would comprehensively examine the safety of our rapidly expanding vaccine regimen.
Let’s be frank. My ten-year advocacy for vaccine safety has been a miserable career choice. It has damaged my credibility, angered journalists and bewildered my friends. It’s cost me income and my standing among many of my colleagues in the environmental community. Even my closest allies wondered how I could make common cause with President Trump, whose policies and appointments are eviscerating 33 years of my work on energy, water and climate.
Contrary to the pejoratives applied against me by my critics, I am pro-vaccine. I had all my children vaccinated and I support policies that promote vaccine coverage.
I want vaccines that are as safe as possible, with robust, transparent science and vigorous oversight by independent regulators who are free from conflicts-of-interest. These goals are consistent with core liberal values that encourage healthy suspicion when government mandates entwine with corporate self-interest.
Many Americans don’t know that the U.S. childhood vaccine schedule has more than tripled since the late 1980s, when Ronald Reagan’s bill, giving vaccine makers immunity from lawsuits, triggered a gold rush by pharma to add new vaccines to the CDC recommended schedule. With downside liability eliminated and $30 billion in annual revenues up for grabs, the vaccine regimen exploded from the handful I received to over fifty doses of 15 vaccines children receive today.
The CDC acknowledges that an astonishing one in six American children now suffers from a neurodevelopmental disorder while an HHS funded study showed that 43% have a chronic disease, including allergy, juvenile diabetes and seizures. These outbreaks – including the explosion of deadly food allergies that my own children suffer became epidemic, coterminous with the dramatic expansion of the vaccine schedule. EPA scientists studying the history of the most concerning neurodevelopmental disorders have confirmed this timing. Peer-reviewed literature associates many of these illnesses with aluminum and mercury; mercury and aluminum exposure levels from vaccines rose dramatically beginning in the late 1980s.
Because of the correlation in timing, the expanded vaccine schedule must be regarded as a suspect in the epidemic of chronic childhood diseases. Shouldn’t we do the research necessary to rule out that hypothesis? Wouldn’t that information help us develop safer vaccines?
But fighting this issue has been like battling an army of ghosts. I’ve found myself enduring an endless barrage of misleading attacks from critics ranging from internet trolls to mainstream media anchors, virtually all unanswered; debate on vaccine safety is a Kafkaesque taboo on network news channels or on the editorial pages of America’s newspapers, many of which have financial ties to drug companies. It’s not just the billions of pharmaceutical advertising money that has silenced news divisions, many journalists genuinely fear that open discussion of vaccine safety will reduce vaccination rates and harm public health. Some openly advocate censoring the topic.
Instead of fact-based debate, we’ve devolved into “argument by insult”. By reducing the issue to a binary choice – you’re either pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine – we are silencing discussion of a complex but critical issue. Instead of adopting the traditional liberal posture of skepticism toward powerful agglomerations of business and government, progressive journalists lump me in with crackpots and conspiracy theorists and, thereby, dodge the need to read the science or answer legitimate questions. Major news outlets routinely refuse to cover this issue.
I entered the vaccine debate reluctantly. During the early 2000s, I was litigating over a dozen lawsuits challenging mercury emissions from coal burning power plants. As I travelled around the nation, mothers of intellectually disabled kids frequently urged me to look at mercury in vaccines which they believed had injured their children. These women did not fit the popular stereotype of the anti-vax hysteric. Many were doctors, lawyers, nurses, pharmacists and psychologists. I was not prepared to simply dismiss their concerns as irrational hysteria.
As I began reviewing the studies on thimerosal -the mercury based vaccine preservative still used in massive doses in 48 million flu shots administered in America, including to babies and pregnant women – I was struck by the vast delta between the dire reports of its profound toxicity described in the peer-reviewed literature and the blithe safety assurances that were orthodoxy in the press and among the public health agencies. That’s when I became persuaded to speak out publicly against the continued use of mercury in vaccines.
The evidence has only piled up since then.
- Three months ago, an internationally esteemed team of scientists, funded by a leading private foundation and the Danish government, published a peer-reviewed study of the DTP vaccine’s effectiveness in Africa, where it is the most heavily used vaccine. The study found a shocking five to ten times the mortality among vaccinated infants compared to unvaccinated infants. While the vaccine was protecting children from the target contagions, it seemed to be damaging their immune systems making them susceptible to other diseases. The scientists concluded that, “all currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children from other causes than it saves from diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis. Though a vaccine protects children against the target disease, it may simultaneously increase susceptibility to unrelated infections.”
- Weeks later, a study from Yale scientists found that certain disorders (OCD, anorexia, anxiety, chronic tics), “may be temporally related to prior vaccinations in a subset of individuals.”
- Last fall, a study from France questioned the widespread use of aluminum adjuvant in vaccines because of its, “unexpectedly long-lasting biopersistence” and “reports of chronic fatigue syndrome, cognitive dysfunction, myalgia, dysautonomia and autoimmune/inflammatory features temporally linked to multiple Al [Aluminum] containing vaccine administrations.”
- And last month, CDC scientists published a meta-review demonstrating that the ethyl mercury in thimerosal is at least as damaging to brains and bodies as is the highly-regulated methyl mercury in fish.
That study demolished the CDC’s age-old justification for leaving thimerosal in vaccines; there is no “good mercury” and “bad mercury” as the CDC has long claimed. In my book, Thimerosal, Let the Science Speak, my co-authors and I were able to identify over 400 peer-reviewed studies supporting thimerosal’s extreme toxicity. We were not able to find a single study showing thimerosal’s safety. In 2004, Dr. William Egan, then the Director of CBER at the FDA testified before Congress that no adequate safety study of thimerosal had ever been performed.
Against this backdrop of evidence, is a commission ensuring that vaccines are as safe as possible really a bad idea?
Critics may point out that the CDC already houses one body with responsibility to assure vaccine safety and efficacy – the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). But blistering investigations by Congress and the HHS Inspector General have found that both the CDC and the ACIP are rife with financial conflicts of interest with the $33 billion vaccine industry, and that the CDC’s and the ACIP’s ethics programs are riddled with abuse and non-compliance.
In fact, over a dozen CDC scientists have recently accused the agency of politicizing science and pervasive research fraud. The CDC’s senior vaccine safety scientist, Dr. William Thompson, says that CDC supervisors have ordered him and his fellow vaccine research scientists to manipulate, bury and destroy data and publish falsehoods to conceal adverse effects of vaccines.
To date, the U.S. government vaccine court has paid out more than $3.36 billion to Americans injured by vaccines. An injury table maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services clearly details the long parade of disturbing ways a child can be injured or killed by a vaccine. In August 2011, the U.S. Government’s Institute of Medicine investigated 158 potential adverse outcomes from vaccines. Of these, 85% were found to have inadequate research to accept or reject a causal association. Of the 23 outcomes where the research was deemed adequate, 18 or 78% were found supportive of harm. Among the long list of adverse effects linked to vaccines were immune dysfunction, seizures, paralysis and encephalopathy (brain damage). These statistics are hardly reassuring to parents.
As responsible citizens in a democracy, our job is to weigh the scientific evidence and to conduct open conversations about the true risk/benefit of each vaccine. The cacophony of name calling and vilification does not contribute to informed debate that we need to assure vaccine safety.
Dr. Peter Doshi, Associate Editor of the British Medical Journal, recently published an editorial seeking balance and honesty in discussing vaccines; his words should be heeded by anyone railing against ensuring vaccines for our children are as safe as possible: “Contrary to the suggestion – generally implicit – that vaccines are risk free (and therefore why would anyone ever resist official recommendations), the reality is that officially sanctioned written medical information on vaccines is – just like drugs – filled with information about common, uncommon and unconfirmed but possible harms…It’s time to listen – seriously and respectfully – to patients’ concerns, not to demonize them.”
The American public is entitled to an honest, probing and robust discussion about this critical public health issue – a debate based on facts, not rooted in fear, nor on blind faith in regulators and the pharmaceutical industry.
DTP Vaccine Increases Mortality in Young Infants 5 to 10-Fold Compared to Unvaccinated Infants
By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
For many years, public health advocates have vainly urged the CDC and WHO to conduct studies comparing vaccinated vs. unvaccinated populations to measure overall health outcomes. Now a team of Scandinavian scientists has conducted such a study and the results are alarming. That study, funded in part by the Danish government and lead by Dr. Soren Wengel Mogensen, was published in January in EBioMedicine. Mogensen and his team of scientists found that African children inoculated with the DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccine, during the early 1980s had a 5-10 times greater mortality than their unvaccinated peers.
The data suggest that, while the vaccine protects against infection from those three bacteria, it makes children more susceptible to dying from other causes.
The scientists term the study a “natural experiment” since a birthday-based vaccination system employed for the Bandim Health Project (BHP) in Guinea Bissau, West Africa had the effect of creating a vaccinated cohort and a similarly situated unvaccinated control group. In the time period covered by this study, Guinea-Bissau had 50% child mortality rates for children up to age 5. Starting in 1978, BHP health care workers contacted pregnant mothers and encouraged them to visit infant weighing sessions provided by a BHP team every three months after their child’s birth. Beginning in 1981, BHP offered vaccinations at the weighing sessions. Since the DPT vaccine and OPV (oral polio) immunizations were offered only to children who were at least three months of age at the weighing sessions, the children’s random birthdays allowed for analysis of deaths between 3 and 5 months of age depending on vaccination status. So, for example, a child born on January 1st and weighed on April 1st would be vaccinated, but a child born on February 1st would not be vaccinated until their following visit at age 5 months on July 1st.
In the primary analysis, DTP-vaccinated infants experienced mortalities five times greater than DTP-unvaccinated infants. Mortalities to vaccinated girls were 9.98 times those among females in the unvaccinated control group, while mortalities to vaccinated boys were 3.93 times the controls. Oddly, the scientists found that children receiving the oral polio vaccine simultaneously with DTP fared much better than children who did not. The OPV vaccine appeared to modify the negative effect of the DTP vaccine, reducing mortalities to 3.52 times those experienced among the control group. Overall, mortalities among vaccinated children were 10 times the control group when children received only the DTP.
Mogensen and his colleagues hypothesize that the DTP vaccine might weaken a child’s immune system against non-target infections. They conclude, “Though protective against the target disease, DTP may increase susceptibility to unrelated infections… DTP was associated with 5-fold higher mortality than being unvaccinated. No prospective study has shown beneficial survival effects of DTP.”
The Mogensen study supports the conclusions of previous investigations into child survival following vaccination. An earlier study by Dr. Peter Aaby, of the introduction of DTP in rural Guinea-Bissau, indicated a 2-fold higher mortality among vaccinated children (Aaby et al. 2004a). The Aaby report is one of several early studies that documented vaccination status and followed children prospectively. All of them indicated that DTP-vaccinated children died at rates far exceeding mortality amongst the control group. A meta-analysis of all eight known studies found a two-fold higher mortality for DTP-vaccinated compared to DTP-unvaccinated (Aaby et al. 2016) (Appendix A).
In 2014, The World Health Organization (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) conducted its own literature review of the potential non-specific effects (NSEs) of several vaccines, including DTP, and found that the majority of studies reported a detrimental effect of DTP (Higgins et al., 2014; Strategic Advisory Group of Experts of Immunization, 2014) due to its penchant for increasing susceptibility to unrelated infections. SAGE recommended further research.
Moreover, Mogensen and his colleagues observe that the studies reviewed by SAGE probably underestimated the lethal effect of the DTP vaccine because of unusually high mortality in the control groups, ”Unvaccinated children in these studies have usually been frail children too sick or malnourished to get vaccinated and the studies may therefore have underestimated the negative effect of DTP”. The Mogensen study sought to avoid this pitfall by using controls selected by birthday and by eliminating underweight children and orphans from both the study group and the control group. It included only children who were breastfed. All the infants were healthy at the time of vaccination. Nevertheless, the Mogensen authors point out that, even in their study, the unvaccinated children had slightly worse nutritional status and travelled more – biases that would tend to increase mortality. They conclude that, “The estimate from the natural experiment may therefore still be conservative.”
The significance of the Mogensen study findings is underscored by the observation that, “Unfortunately, DTP is the most widely used vaccine, and the proportion who receives DTP3 is used globally as an indicator of the performance of national vaccination programs.”
The authors close with a bracing rebuke to public health regulators, “It should be of concern that the effect of routine vaccinations on all-cause mortality was not tested in randomized trials. All currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children from other causes than it saves from diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis. Though a vaccine protects children against the target disease it may simultaneously increase susceptibility to unrelated infections.” Those words should serve as a cold water wake-up call to the World Health Organization (WHO), the CDC and other public health officials. The public in both poor and rich countries has a right to scientifically-based evidence that international vaccine programs are as safe as possible and that they have been thoroughly safety-tested. The best metrics for measuring safety are studies comparing health outcomes of vaccinated versus unvaccinated cohorts. Yet, both the CDC and the WHO have aggressively discouraged the pursuit of such studies.
Finally, it’s important to note that the DTP vaccine used in Guinea-Bissau in the early 1980s almost certainly contained high concentrations of both mercury and aluminum. Vaccine makers first created the combined diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine in the 1940s, mixing in an aluminum adjuvant and a mercury preservative (thimerosal) from its inception. At that time, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended DTP for mass use in children. Prior to 1990, DTP was the only thimerosal-containing vaccine recommended for infants.
Five manufacturers supplied UNICEF with the DTP vaccines used in West Africa in the late 1970s and early 1980s. One of these, Biken of Japan, described the industry standard in its 1987 lab report: “Outline of Method of Manufacture—The preparation [of DTP] also contains thimerosal as a preservative.”
By the early 1980s, a cascade of lawsuits filed across the United States on behalf of vaccine-injured children were driving DTP manufacturers from the market and threatening to shut down production of the DTP shot and other vaccines. That threat led the U.S. Congress to bestow legal immunity on vaccine makers via the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Program in 1986, followed in December, 1987, by the rollout of “Vaccine Court.” Following the recommendation by the Institute of Medicine, vaccine makers removed thimerosal from the American DTaP between 2001-2003. However, multi-dose DTP vaccines given to tens of millions of children across the African continent continue to contain massive doses of thimerosal (25mcg of ethylmercury per injection) that exceed the EPA’s maximum exposure levels by many times. Neither the CDC nor the WHO has ever published a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study that would be necessary to determine the overall health impacts of this potent toxin on African children. The Mogensen report is a loud call for such a study.
Yale University Study Shows Association Between Vaccines and Brain Disorders
By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
A team of researchers from the Yale School of Medicine and Penn State College of Medicine have found a disturbing association between the timing of vaccines and the onset of certain brain disorders in a subset of children.
Analyzing five years’ worth of private health insurance data on children ages 6-15, these scientists found that young people vaccinated in the previous three to 12 months were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with certain neuropsychiatric disorders than their non-vaccinated counterparts.
This new study, which raises important questions about whether over-vaccination may be triggering immune and neurological damage in a subset of vulnerable children (something parents of children with autism have been saying for years), was published in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, Jan. 19.
More than 95,000 children in the database that were analyzed had one of seven neuropsychiatric disorders: anorexia nervosa, anxiety disorder, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and tic disorder.
Children with these disorders were compared to children without neuropsychiatric disorders, as well as to children with two other conditions that could not possibly be related to vaccination: open wounds and broken bones.
This was a well-designed, tightly controlled study. Control subjects without brain disorders were matched with the subjects by age, geographic location and gender.
As expected, broken bones and open wounds showed no significant association with vaccinations.
New cases of major depression, bipolar disorder or ADHD also showed no significant association with vaccinations.
However, children who had been vaccinated were 80 percent more likely to be diagnosed with anorexia and 25 percent more likely to be diagnosed with OCD than their non-vaccinated counterparts. Vaccinated children were also more likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and with tics compared to the controls.
In a carefully worded conclusion, the researchers caution making too much of these results while also urging further investigation. “This pilot epidemiologic analysis implies that the onset of some neuropsychiatric disorders may be temporally related to prior vaccinations in a subset of individuals,” they write. “These findings warrant further investigation, but do not prove a causal role of antecedent infections or vaccinations in the pathoetiology of these conditions.”
We all know that correlation (in this case, vaccine administration in the previous 12 months and new diagnoses of brain disorders) does not necessarily mean causation.
But if certain vaccines or a combination of vaccines are actually triggering brain disorders, it is imperative that we figure out which vaccines, or combination of vaccines, are the culprits and what risk factors may make some children more susceptible than others.
Of particular concern is the influenza vaccine. In this study, influenza vaccination was strongly correlated with both anorexia and OCD. At the same time, new research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientists has shown the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal to be as toxic and as brain damaging as other forms of mercury. Yet multi-dose flu vaccines still contain thimerosal, and flu vaccines are recommended for pregnant women and infants in America despite questions about efficacy and the scientifically documented risks.
Why look for a correlation between vaccination administration and brain disorders?
As the researchers point out, two major studies, one from researchers in Norway and one from an international team of researchers from Finland, Italy and Denmark, have shown an increased risk of narcolepsy following administration of the H1N1 flu vaccine.
Another study from China found an increased risk of narcolepsy after the H1N1 flu itself, which was unlikely to be linked to vaccinations.
If we look at this data from the H1N1 flu outbreaks, we see that immune responses—whether to the disease itself or to vaccination against the disease—can damage the brain.
While new discoveries about the human immune system are being made all the time, it is well understood that the immune system plays a role in brain development and in certain psychiatric conditions, including attention disorders, eating disorders, obsessive disorders and depression.
It is also well understood that the body’s immune response involves inflammation, which is when tissue swells in response to harmful stimulation. Harmful stimulation includes infectious diseases (that is, illnesses themselves), environmental toxins like mercury, and allergens like pollen or dust mites (which are actually benign, though an over-stimulated immune system perceives them as threats).
We further know that vaccination can cause inflammation, which is part of the body’s natural response to foreign substances.
Previous scientific studies have shown that when an immune reaction causes inflammation, it can negatively affect the brain.
So it is scientifically plausible and more than reasonable to investigate whether vaccination itself, which provokes inflammation, may also negatively affect the brain.
I agree with these researchers that the correlation between anorexia, OCD, tic disorder, anxiety disorder and vaccinations warrants further scrutiny. This study suggests that the seemingly inexplicable increase we have seen in brain disorders among young children may not be so mysterious after all.