Childhood Vaccination: Is There a "dark side"
Thursday, October 2nd 2003
By Mike Godfrey MBBS, FACAM, FACNEM
In 1995, Prof. Campbell Murdoch, ex-Otago University, wrote in the NZ Family Physician: "It is a brave or foolish medical person who dares to question the wisdom of this wonderful scientific advance for to do this is to challenge one of the sacred cows of modern medicine "espoused uncritically by the medical establishment." "Any doctor who dares to suggest that there may be a dark side to this wonderful miracle is pilloried by the medical establishment and subjected to threat and ridicule." He also wrote: "The important issue here is that our relationship with patients should result in a net benefit to the patient or, at least not cause them any harm."
Successive generations of both doctors and parents have become increasingly convinced that life would be extremely hazardous, if not nearly impossible, without vaccinations against all the previously common childhood infectious diseases. Indeed, media statements in a 1992 vaccination push, became almost hysterical e.g. "If we stopped vaccinating infants, we would lose the next generation." Dr. D. Lennon - National Radio 4.8.92; "If there were no immunisation there would be no children in the playground." Health Dept. Advert. Very few doctors are old enough to have experienced the epidemics of the 1950s but some of the literature from that period and especially from the 1930s, shows that supportive health measures could significantly influence the outcome. For instance, large doses of (injected) Vitamin C could result in a rapid recovery from meningitis, tetanus, polio, pneumonia and typhoid, even when comatose(1). Homoeopathic and anthroposophical remedies were widely accepted. Doctors were far more prepared to look outside the pharmaceutical "square" before the almost reliance on a "pill for every ill" became the established paradigm. Even now, 6-15% of population are scorbutic (<0.2mg vit C/100ml serum) (2) and thus at increased risk of toxicity from pathogen endotoxins whether from vaccines or E.coli. The latter proliferates in the gut of formula-fed infants and produces a toxin from its membrane. Large amounts of this toxin are released if the bacteria are destroyed during a course of antibiotics and, if the vitamin C reserves are inadequate, acute haemorrhagic scurvy (encephalitis or SIDS) could result. A subsequent diagnosis of Shaken Baby syndrome with a parent being falsely accused of killing an infant, could be prevented if serum vitamin C levels were done on all cases.
There is no doubt that the infectious disease epidemics of 60 years ago, have gone. However, although improved hygiene and housing were the real reasons, increased use of vaccines and the apparent resulting benefits backed by intense marketing, ensured that most western children are now vaccinated. 100 years ago a child received 1 vaccine (smallpox), 60 years later there were 5, and today there are 11, with an additional 8 in a combined vaccine currently in preparation. However, by the 1970s, the manufacturers were losing very costly court actions for vaccine-damaged infants. They successfully lobbied the US Congress by threatening to stop manufacture, and in 1986, Congress gave them immunity from prosecution. This unique legislation allowed a commercial organization total freedom to start developing vaccines for all childhood illnesses. It also resulted in a massive commercial drive to mandate vaccination for every child before entering school. Unfortunately, this also resulted in a huge increase in the previously disregarded "side-effects" that then became so obvious that they could no longer be ignored.
Vaccines have a cocktail of adjuvant toxic ingredients, that are either used to sterilize or to increase the vaccine reactivity. These include mercury (thimerosal), alumino-fluoride complexes, formaldehyde and animal proteins. Vaccines also variously contain mixtures of viruses and bacteria, sometimes dead or inactivated. None of the vaccines have been subjected to any long-term safety trials (longer than a few weeks). Most were only studied for a few days and then approved if nothing untoward was detected by the Medical Advisory Committees, many of whom had large share-holdings or other vested interests in the vaccine companies, as recently revealed in US Congressional hearings. Even the impartiality of the recent Scottish expert committee report claiming that the MMR was safe, has been questioned. According to the Scotsman newspaper, even the chairman, the Very Rev. Graham Forbes, Provost of St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh, had invested cathedral endowment funds in Glaxo-Smith-Kline (3). In addition, none of the potential synergistic effects of vaccine adjuvants have ever been properly tested. Vaccines were not tested in long-term, large randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trials, the so-called and normally required gold-standard for research. Indeed, that would now be nearly impossible in many countries where vaccines are Govt. mandated or where doctors are financially rewarded per vaccinated family.
Vaccinations alter the immune system by skewing it to enhance antibody response. However, as a consequence, the body can become hyper-sensitive to numerous other things previously recognized as "safe". In addition, the amount of mercury preservative had increased with the number of vaccines from 50 to over 187 micrograms during the past 50 years. Infants were being exposed to a total exceeding 100 times what was assumed by regulatory bodies as safe or tolerable. (The phasing out of mercury began in 1999 but some vaccines still contain thimerosal and old stocks are not being withdrawn.) The neurological and immunological results were inevitable, with the body's over-active immune system attacking cell membranes in brain, lung, gut or pancreas. Mercury damages the blood-brain barrier. Mercury impairs cell-mediated immunity with a resulting inability to eliminate viruses especially measles (and including vaccine viruses). Mercury also depletes vitamin C stores that are essential to deal with the vaccine toxins. The long-overdue research began to confirm widespread parental fears.
A nationwide investigation mainly through the Healthy Options magazine, was started 2 years ago to compare the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated children. The results are already obvious (Table 1, Fig 1) with the percentages of common illnesses greatly increased with vaccinations. The biomedical literature is also confirming this. There are as yet no NZ data on autism (despite the requirements of the Curry Report), however, in the USA and Britain, the evidence is now available (Table. 2). The latest U.S statistics (April 18th Associated Press report) now admit an incidence of 1:500 children or a U.S total of 0.5million autistics. We are creating a huge pool of permanently damaged children that will be a life-long burden on their families as well as a huge financial burden on the State. Official US and British estimates show that an autistic child will cost the State the equivalent of NZ$6 million over its lifetime. The diagnostic criteria have not changed but two years ago, there were 6 new cases being diagnosed every day in California. This rose to 8 last year and then to 9 a day for the first 3 months of 2002 (for a disease that was regarded as genetic with an incidence of 1:10,000). Notably, despite the predictable reactions of the medico-political establishment, there cannot be an epidemic of a genetic disease.
It was obvious though to researchers that there could be a genetic reason why some infants' reactions were different to others and a recent paper has confirmed that autistic kids' hair has extremely little mercury compared to other age-matched controls exposed to the same amounts of mercury(4) . This confirms that these kids have a genetic inability to excrete mercury and ongoing research is now being directed at the apo-E genotyping of their families. Notably, apo-E genotyping has been confirmed as a useful test to identify those at risk of developing Alzheimer's another disease that previously was of unknown aetiology, but now proven to be caused by mercury with those inheriting apo-E4 being at greatest risk (5).
Autism rates have risen exponentially with the amounts of mercury although there are other factors being investigated. The current debate on the MMR vaccine and autism is the subject of impending legal actions in both the USA and Britain, where over 2000 families of autistic children are currently involved. The incidence of diabetes has tripled after large-scale hepatitis B and Hib vaccination programs in NZ and Finland, with a consistent delay of about 3 years (6), and the average age of onset has lowered from 12 to 5 years (J.B.Classen MD - ACAM Conference Nashville, April 2001). Asthma has been shown to be doubled in vaccinated vs unvaccinated children (7) and occurred in 11% of 450 children following pertussis vaccination vs only 2% in unvaccinated controls (8). All of this obviously implicates vaccination as a major underlying factor.
What can be done? Parents who agree to vaccinate their infants, can help to minimize the potential adverse effects. Breast-feeding is of inestimable value (prevents E. coli overgrowth) and mothers need to maximize their nutrition during and after pregnancy. They must become vaccine "literate" and then discuss choices with properly informed health professionals as "one vaccine does not fit all" even though the Govt. and the vaccine advisors would like it so. Obviously, no vaccines should be given to an unwell or an allergic infant. There must be no mercury. All infants should be "pre-loaded" with vitamin C before, during and after any vaccination (minimum 0.5G/day) as well as having adequate Selenium to help their immune system. Any immediate adverse vaccine reaction should be countered with much larger amounts of vitamin C where intra-muscular or intra-venous injections can be life-saving.
The more long-term adverse events are more difficult to predict or prevent. However, specific treatment protocols for autism with an emphasis on mercury elimination, are showing some very encouraging results, especially if started before the age of 5 years. Other supplemental therapies appear to be able to help minimize diabetes and asthma. Hopefully, we will not need to reword the 1992 quotations to: "If we continue to increasingly vaccinate infants we will lose the next generation" and "If we continue immunisation there will be no children in the playground(except in special schools)".
1. Chakrabarti and Bannerjee Proc.Soc.Exp.Biol.Med.1955;88:581
2. NHANES 111 Survey. FASEB J. 1998
4. Holmes A. et al. International J. Toxicology 2003.
5. Godfrey ME., Wojcik D. and Krone C. J. Alzheimer's Disease June, 2003)
6. Tuomilento, Epidemiology 1995
7. Hurvitz et al. J. Manip. Physiol.Ther. 2000;23:81-90
8. JAMA 1994;272(8):592-3 PMID 8057511
Written by Dr Mike Godfrey, a well known and respected New Zealand Natural Medicine Practitioner. Qualifying in London in 1963, he came to NZ in 1971. He became interested in trying to help damaged kids 10 years ago when others were not successful - when limited to drugs. Mike found that homoeopathy could be very useful. Mike made an interesting observation and realised that most of these kids had been well before they had vaccinations. Mike Godfrey's main field of medicine has been environmental toxicology with emphasis on heavy metals and chemicals.
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products are all useful for Supporting Immune Function:
Immune Booster for Kids
Immune Defence Cough Cold Relief
Kids Defence Herbal Drops
Ester C 1000mg + Bioflavonoids
Olive Leaf Complex
Vitamin C with Hesperidin Complex
Related health information can be found here:
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