Dispelling Vaccination Myths – Part 1
Rev. Alan Phillips, Director Citizens for Healthcare Freedom
When my son was set to begin his routine vaccination series at age 2 months, I didn’t know there were any risks associated with immunizations. But the clinic's flyer contained a contradiction: my child’s chances of a serious adverse reaction to the DPT vaccine were one in 1750, while his chances of dying from pertussis were one in several million. When I pointed this out to the physician, he angrily disagreed, and stormed out of the room mumbling, "I guess I should read that [flyer] sometime…" Soon thereafter I learned of a child who had been permanently disabled by a vaccine, so I decided to investigate for myself. My findings have so alarmed me that I feel compelled to share them; hence, this report.
Health authorities credit vaccines for disease declines, and assure us of their safety and effectiveness. Yet these assumptions are directly contradicted by government statistics, published medical studies, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports, and the opinions of credible research scientists from around the world. In fact, infectious diseases declined steadily for decades prior to mass immunizations, doctors in the U.S. report thousands of serious vaccine reactions each year including hundreds of deaths and permanent disabilities, fully vaccinated populations have experienced epidemics, and researchers attribute dozens of chronic immunological and neurological diseases that have risen dramatically in recent decades to mass immunization campaigns.
Decades of studies published in the world’s leading medical journals have documented vaccine failure and serious adverse vaccine events, including death. Dozens of books written by doctors, researchers, and independent investigators reveal serious flaws in immunization theory and practice. Yet, incredibly, most pediatricians and parents are unaware of these findings. This has begun to change in recent years, however, as a growing number of parents and healthcare providers around the world are becoming aware of the problems and questioning mass mandatory immunization. There is a growing international movement away from mass mandatory immunization. This report introduces some of the information that provides the basis for the movement.
My point is not to tell anyone whether or not to vaccinate, but rather, with the utmost urgency, to point out some very good reasons why everyone should examine the facts before deciding whether or not to submit to the procedure. As a new parent, I was shocked to discover the absence of a legal mandate or professional ethic requiring pediatricians to be fully informed of the risks of vaccination, let alone to inform parents that their children risk death or permanent disability upon being vaccinated. I was equally dismayed to see first-hand the prevalence of physicians who are, if with the best of intentions, applying practices based on incomplete—and in some cases, outright mis—information.
This report is only a brief introduction; your own further investigation is warranted and strongly recommended. You may discover that this is the only way to get an objective view, as the controversy is a highly emotional one.
A word of caution: Many have found pediatricians unwilling or unable to discuss this subject calmly with an open mind. Perhaps this is because they have staked their personal identities and professional reputations on the presumed safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and because they are required by their profession to promote vaccination. But in any event, anecdotal reports suggest that most doctors have great difficulty acknowledging evidence of problems with vaccines. The first pediatrician I attempted to share my findings with yelled angrily at me when I calmly brought up the subject. The misconceptions have very deep roots.
"Vaccines are safe…"
…or are they?
The Federal government VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) was established by Congress under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act of 1986. It receives about 11,000 reports of serious adverse reactions to vaccinations annually, which include as many as one to two hundred deaths, and several times that number of permanent disabilities. VAERS officials report that 15% of adverse events are "serious" (emergency room trip, hospitalization, life-threatening episode, permanent disability, death). Independent analysis of VAERS reports has revealed that up to 50% of reported adverse events for the Hepatitis B vaccine are "serious." While these figures are alarming, they are only the tip of the iceberg. The FDA estimates that as few as 1% of serious adverse reactions to vaccines are reported (3,4),, and the CDC admits that only about 10% of such events are reported.(5) In fact, Congress has heard testimony that medical students are told not to report suspected adverse events.(6)
The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC, a grassroots organization founded by parents of vaccine-injured and killed children) has conducted its own investigations.t reported: "In New York, only one out of 40 doctor's offices confirmed that they report a death or injury following vaccination." In other words, 97.5% of vaccine related deaths and disabilities go unreported there. Implications about medical ethics aside (federal law directs doctors to report serious adverse events(7), these findings suggest that vaccine deaths and serious injuries actually occurring may be from 10 to 100 times greater than the number reported.
With pertussis (often referred to as "whooping cough"), the number of vaccine-related deaths dwarfs the number of disease deaths, which have been about 10 annually for many years according to the CDC, and only 8 in 1993, one of the last peak-incidence years (pertussis runs in 3-4 year cycles; no none knows why, but vaccination rates have no such cycles). When you factor in under-reporting, the vaccine may be 100 times more deadly than the disease. Some argue that this is a necessary cost to prevent the return of a disease that would be more deadly than the vaccine. But when you consider the fact that the vast majority of disease decline this century preceded the widespread use of vaccinations (pertussis mortality declined 79% prior to vaccines), and the fact that rates of disease declines remained virtually unchanged following the introduction of mass immunization, present day vaccine casualties cannot reasonably be explained away as a necessary sacrifice for the benefit of a disease-free society.
Unfortunately, the vaccine-related-deaths story doesn’t end here. Studies internationally have shown vaccination to be a cause of SIDS (8,9), (SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is a "catch-all" diagnosis given when the specific cause of death is unknown; estimates range from 5,000 to 10,000 cases each year in the US). One study found the peak incidence of SIDS occurred at the ages of 2 and 4 months in the U.S., precisely when the first two routine immunizations are given,(10) while another found a clear pattern of correlation extending three weeks after immunization. Another study found that 3,000 children die within 4 days of vaccination each year in the U.S. (amazingly, the authors reported no SIDS/vaccine relationship), while yet another researcher’s studies led to the conclusion that at least half of SIDS cases are caused by vaccines.(11)
Initial studies suggesting a causal relationship between SIDS and vaccines were quickly followed by vaccine-manufacturer-sponsored studies concluding that there is no relationship between SIDS and vaccines; one such study claimed that there was a slightly lower incidence of SIDS in vaccinees. However, many of these studies were called into question by yet another study that found "confounding" had erroneously skewed the results of these studies in favor of the vaccine.(12) At best, there is conflicting evidence. But shouldn't we err on the side of caution? Shouldn't any credible correlation between vaccines and infant deaths be just cause for meticulous, widespread monitoring of the vaccination status of all SIDS cases? Health authorities have chosen to err on the side of denial rather than caution.
In the mid 1970's Japan raised their vaccination age from two months to two years; their incidence of SIDS dropped dramatically;(13) they went from an infant mortality ranking of 17 to first in the world (i.e., Japan had the lowest infant death rate when infants were not being immunized). England’s vaccination rate temporarily dropped to about 30% at about the same time following media reports of vaccine-related brain damage. Infant mortality dropped substantially for about 2 years, then rose again in close correlation to rising immunization rates in the late 1970’s. Despite these experiences, the medical community maintains a posture of denial. Coroners don’t check the vaccination status of SIDS victims, and unsuspecting families continue to pay the price, unaware of the dangers and denied the right to make an informed choice.
FDA and CDC admissions about the lack of adverse event reporting suggests that the total number of adverse reactions actually occurring each year may actually fall within a range of 100,000 to a million (with "serious" events being approximately 20% of these). This concern is underscored by a study revealing that 1 in 175 children who completed the full DPT series suffered "severe reactions,"(14) and a Dr.'s report for attorneys stating that one in 300 DPT immunizations resulted in seizures.(15)
England actually saw a drop in pertussis deaths when vaccination rates dropped to 30% in the mid 70's. Swedish epidemiologist B. Trollfors’ study of pertussis vaccine efficacy and toxicity around the world found that "pertussis-associated mortality is currently very low in industrialised countries and no difference can be discerned when countries with high, low, and zero immunisation rates were compared." He also found that England, Wales, and West Germany had more pertussis fatalities in 1970 when the immunization rate was high than during the last half of 1980, when rates had fallen.(16)
Vaccinations cost us more than just the lives and health of our children. The U.S. Federal Government's National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) has paid out over $1.2 billion since 1988 to the families of children injured and killed by vaccines,(17) with money that comes from a tax on vaccines that vaccine recipients pay. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies have a captive market; vaccines are legally mandated in all 50 U.S. states (though legally avoidable in most; see Myth #9), yet these same companies are "immune" from accountability for the consequences of their products. Furthermore, they have been allowed to use "gag orders" as a leverage tool in vaccine damage legal settlements to prevent disclosure of information to the public about vaccination dangers. Such arrangements are clearly unethical; they force an uninformed American public to pay for vaccine manufacturer's liabilities, while ensuring that this same public will remain ignorant of the dangers of their products. This arrangement also diminishes any incentive that manufacturers might have to produce safer vaccines (after all, when the vaccine causes a death or injury, they don’t have to pay for it; they still get their profit).
It is important to note that insurance companies, who do the best liability studies, refuse to cover vaccine reactions. Profits appear to dictate both the pharmaceutical and insurance companies’ positions.
VACCINATION TRUTH #1:
"Vaccination causes significant death and disability at an astounding personal and financial cost to uninformed families."
"Vaccines are very effective…"
…or are they?
The medical literature has a surprising number of studies documenting vaccine failure. Measles, mumps, small pox, pertussis, polio and Hib outbreaks have all occurred in vaccinated populations.(18,19,20,21,22) In 1989 the CDC reported: "Among school-aged children, [measles] outbreaks have occurred in schools with vaccination levels of greater than 98 percent.(23) [They] have occurred in all parts of the country, including areas that had not reported measles for years."(24) The CDC even reported a measles outbreak in a documented 100% vaccinated population.(25) A study examining this phenomenon concluded, "The apparent paradox is that as measles immunization rates rise to high levels in a population, measles becomes a disease of immunized persons."(26) A more recent study found that measles vaccination "produces immune suppression which contributes to an increased susceptibility to other infections."(27) These studies suggest that the goal of complete "immunization" may actually be counter-productive, a notion underscored by instances in which epidemics followed complete immunization of entire countries. Japan experienced yearly increases in small pox following the introduction of compulsory vaccines in 1872. By 1892, there were 29,979 deaths, and all had been vaccinated.(28) In the early 1900’s, the Philippines experienced their worst smallpox epidemic ever after 8 million people received 24.5 million vaccine doses (achieving a vaccination rate of 95%); the death rate quadrupled as a result.(29) Before England’s first compulsory vaccination law in 1853, the largest two-year smallpox death rate was about 2,000; in 1870-71, England and Wales had over 23,000 smallpox deaths.(30) In 1989, the country of Oman experienced a widespread polio outbreak six months after achieving complete vaccination.(31) In the U.S. in 1986, 90% of 1300 pertussis cases in Kansas were "adequately vaccinated."(32) 72% of pertussis cases in the 1993 Chicago outbreak were fully up to date with their vaccinations.(33)
VACCINATION TRUTH #2:
"Evidence suggests that vaccination is an unreliable means of preventing disease."
"Vaccines are the reason for low disease rates in the U.S. today…"
…or are they?
According to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, childhood diseases decreased 90% between 1850 and 1940, paralleling improved sanitation and hygienic practices, well before mandatory vaccination programs. The Medical Sentinel recently reported, "from 1911 to 1935, the four leading causes of childhood deaths from infectious diseases in the U.S. were diphtheria, pertussis, scarlet fever, and measles. However, by 1945 the combined death rates from these causes had declined by 95 percent, before the implementation of mass immunization programs."(34)
Thus, at best, vaccinations can only be examined only for their relationship to the small, remaining portion of disease declines that occurred after their introduction. Yet even this role is questionable, as pre-vaccine rates of disease mortality decline remained virtually the same after vaccines were introduced. Furthermore, European countries that refused immunization for small pox and polio saw the epidemics end along with those countries that mandated it; vaccines were clearly not the sole determining factor. In fact, both small pox and polio immunization campaigns were followed by significant disease incidence increases. After smallpox vaccination was being mandated, smallpox remained a prevalent disease with some substantial increases, while other infectious diseases simultaneously continued their declines in the absence of vaccines. In England and Wales, smallpox disease and vaccination rates eventually declined simultaneously over a period of several decades between the 1870’s and the beginning of World War II.(35) It is thus impossible to say whether or not vaccinations contributed to the continuing declines in disease death rates, or if the declines continued unabated simply due to the same forces which likely brought about the initial declines—improvements in sanitation, hygiene and diet; better housing, transportation and infrastructure; better food preservation techniques and technology; and natural disease cycles. Underscoring this conclusion was a recent World Health Organization report which found that the disease and mortality rates in third world countries have no direct correlation with immunization procedures or medical treatment, but are closely related to the standard of hygiene and diet.(36) Credit given to vaccinations for our current disease incidence has simply been grossly exaggerated, if not outright misplaced.
Vaccine advocates point to incidence rather than mortality statistics as evidence of vaccine effectiveness. However, statisticians tell us that mortality statistics are a better measure of disease than incidence figures, for the simple reason that the quality of reporting and record keeping is much higher on fatalities.(37) For instance, a survey in New York City revealed that only 3.2% of pediatricians were actually reporting measles cases to the health department. In 1974, the CDC determined that there were 36 cases of measles in Georgia, while the Georgia State Surveillance System reported 660 cases.(38) In 1982, Maryland state health officials blamed a pertussis epidemic on a television program, "D.P.T.—Vaccine Roulette," which warned of the dangers of DPT; but when former top virologist for the U.S. Division of Biological Standards, Dr. J. Anthony Morris, analyzed the 41 cases, he confirmed only 5, and all had been vaccinated.(39) Such instances as these demonstrate the fallacy of incidence figures, yet vaccine advocates tend to rely on them indiscriminately.
VACCINATION TRUTH #3
"It is unclear what impact, if any, that vaccines had on 19th and 20th century infectious disease declines."
"Vaccination is based on sound immunization theory and practice…"
…or is it?
The clinical evidence for vaccines is their ability to stimulate antibody production in the recipient. What is not clear, however, is whether or not antibody production constitutes immunity. For example, agamma globulin-anemic children are incapable of producing antibodies, yet they recover from infectious diseases almost as quickly as other children.(40) Furthermore, a study published by the British Medical Council in 1950 during a diphtheria epidemic concluded that there was no relationship between antibody count and disease incidence; researchers found resistant people with extremely low antibody counts and sick people with high counts.(41) Natural immunization is a complex interactive process involving many bodily organs and systems; it cannot be replicated by the artificial stimulation of antibodies.
Research also indicates that vaccination commits immune cells to the specific antigens in a vaccine, rendering them incapable of reacting to other infections. Immunological reserves may thus actually be reduced, causing a generally lowered resistance.(42)
Another component of immunization theory is "herd immunity," the notion that when enough people in a community are immunized, all are protected. As Myth #2 showed, there are many documented instances showing just the opposite—fully vaccinated populations have experienced epidemics. With measles, this actually seems to be the direct result of high vaccination rates.(43) In Minnesota, a state epidemiologist concluded that the Hib vaccine increases the risk of illness when a study revealed that vaccinated children were five times more likely to contract meningitis than unvaccinated children.(44)
Surprisingly, vaccination has never actually been clinically proven to be effective in preventing disease, for the simple reason that no researcher has directly exposed test subjects to diseases (nor may they ethically do so). The medical community’s gold standard, the double blind, placebo-controlled study, has not been used to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated people, and so the practice remains unscientifically proven. Furthermore, it is important to recognize that not everyone exposed to a disease develops symptoms (indeed, only a tiny percentage of a population need develop symptoms for an epidemic to be declared). Thus, if a vaccinated individual is exposed to a disease and doesn’t get sick, it is impossible to know whether the vaccine worked, because there is no way to know if that person would have developed symptoms if he or she had not been vaccinated. It is also worth noting that outbreaks in recent years have recorded more disease cases in vaccinated children than in unvaccinated children.
Yet another surprising aspect of immunization practice is the "one size fits all" aspect. An 8 pound 2 month old baby receives the same dosage as a 40 pound five year old child. Infants with immature, undeveloped immune systems may receive five or more times the dosage, relative to body weight, as older children. Furthermore, the number of "units" within doses has been found in random testing to range from ½ to 3 times what the label indicates; manufacturing quality controls appear to tolerate a rather large margin of error. "Hot Lots"—vaccine lots associated with disproportionately high death and disability rates—have been repeatedly identified by the NVIC, but the FDA consistently refuses to intervene to prevent further unnecessary injury and deaths. In fact, individual vaccine lots have never been recalled due to their greater incidence of adverse reactions. However, the rotavirus vaccine was taken off the market a few months after being introduced when it caused bowel obstructions in many recipients. Incredibly, the FDA and CDC knew about this problem prior to licensing the vaccine, but both organizations still gave their unanimous approval.(45)
Finally, vaccines are administered with the assumption that all recipients—regardless of race, culture, diet, genetic makeup, geographic location, or any other characteristic—will respond the same. This was perhaps never more dramatically disproved than in Australia's Northern Territory a few years ago, where stepped-up immunization campaigns in native aborigines resulted in an incredible 50% infant mortality rate.(46) One must wonder about the lives of the survivors, too; if half died, surely the other half did not escape unaffected.
Almost as troubling was a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine reporting that a substantial number of Romanian children were contracting polio from the vaccine. Researchers found a correlation with injections of antibiotics. A single injection within one month of vaccination raised the risk of polio eight times, two to nine injections raised the risk 27-fold, and 10 or more injections raised the risk 182 times.(47)
What other factors not accounted for in vaccination theory will surface unexpectedly to reveal unforeseen or previously overlooked consequences? We cannot begin to fully comprehend the scope and degree of the danger until public health officials begin looking and reporting in earnest. In the meantime, entire countries’ populations are unwitting gamblers in a game that many might very well choose not to play if they were given all the rules in advance.
VACCINATION TRUTH #4:
"Many of the assumptions upon which immunization theory and practice are based are unproven or have been proven false in their application."
"Childhood diseases are extremely dangerous…"
…or are they, really?
Most childhood infectious diseases have few serious consequences in today's modern world. Even conservative CDC statistics for pertussis during 1992-94 indicate a 99.8% recovery rate. In fact, when hundreds of pertussis cases occurred in Ohio and Chicago in the fall 1993 outbreak, an infectious disease expert from Cincinnati Children's Hospital said, "The disease was very mild, no one died, and no one went to the intensive care unit."
The vast majority of the time, childhood infectious diseases are benign and self-limiting. They usually impart lifelong immunity, whereas vaccine-induced immunity is only temporary. In fact, the temporary nature of vaccine immunity can create a more dangerous situation in a child’s future. For example, the new chicken pox vaccine has an effectiveness estimated at 6 – 10 years. If effective, it will postpone the child's vulnerability until adulthood, when death from the disease, while still rare, is 20 times more likely than in childhood. "Measles parties" used to be common in Britain; if a child got measles, other parents in the neighborhood would rush their kids over to play with the infected child, to deliberately contract the disease and develop immunity. This avoids the risk of infection in adulthood when the disease is more dangerous, and provides the benefits of an immune system strengthened by the natural disease process.
About half of measles cases in the late 1980's resurgence were in adolescents and adults, most of whom were vaccinated as children,(48) and the recommended booster shots may provide protection for less than six months.(49) Some healthcare professionals are concerned that the virus from the chicken pox vaccine may "reactivate later in life in the form of herpes zoster (shingles) or other immune system disorders."(50) Dr. A. Lavin of the Dept. of Pediatrics, St. Luke's Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, strongly opposed licensing the new vaccine, "until we actually know…the risks involved in injecting mutated DNA [the vaccine herpes virus] into the host genome [children]."(51) The truth is, no one knows, but the vaccine is now licensed, recommended by health authorities, and quickly becoming mandated throughout the country.
Not only are most infectious diseases rarely dangerous, they can actually play a vital role in the developing a strong, healthy immune system. Persons who have not had measles have a higher incidence of certain skin diseases, degenerative diseases of bone and cartilage, and certain tumors, while absence of mumps has been linked to higher risks of ovarian cancer. Anthroposophical medical doctors recommend only the tetanus and polio vaccines; they believe contracting the other childhood infectious diseases is beneficial in that it matures and strengthens the immune system.
VACCINATION TRUTH #5:
"Dangers of childhood diseases are greatly exaggerated in order to scare parents into compliance with a questionable but highly profitable procedure."
CONTINUE TO Dispelling Vaccination Myths – Part 2