By Dr. Mercola
Even as the US measles "outbreak" has slowed, the vaccination debate rages on. It has become increasingly heated, at times inappropriate and oftentimes personal, as parents attack one another about their beliefs.
One of the "facts" commonly cited by vaccine supporters is that the non-vaccinated pose a risk to their communities. By choosing not to get their children vaccinated, parents are putting other children at risk of those diseases, particularly children who are not old enough or not able to get vaccinated.
Most likely you've seen this propaganda being circulated widely in the media. Some parents of children who are immunocompromised and therefore unable to receive the vaccines themselves, for instance, have targeted non-vaxing parents, calling them irresponsible and even killers.
It is sad to see so many lies and misinformation being spread, including those about herd immunity. Another important factor that isn't widely appreciated is that recently vaccinated individuals may actually spread disease.
This is why, in the Johns Hopkins Patient Guide for immunocompromised patients, it makes no mention about avoiding non-vaccinated individuals… but it does mention avoiding "contact with children who are recently vaccinated."
It also stated to "Tell friends and family who are sick, or have recently had a live vaccine (such as chicken pox, measles, rubella, intranasal influenza, polio, or smallpox) not to visit.1
At least, it used to state this. As of March 2015, the guide has been revised and this language has been removed, likely because of all the press it's been receiving. Still, the fact remains that recently vaccinated individuals can and do spread disease.
Recently Vaccinated Individuals Can Spread Disease
Barbara Loe Fisher is the co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), a non-profit charity dedicated to preventing vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and defending the legal right for everyone to make vaccine choices.
She explains how you can shed live virus in body fluids whether you have a viral infection or have gotten a live attenuated viral vaccine:
"Live attenuated viral vaccines (LAV) that use live viruses try to, in essence, fool your immune system into believing that you've come into contact with a real virus, thereby stimulating the antibody response that, theoretically, will protect you," she says.
"When you get these live viral vaccines, you shed live virus in your body fluids. Just like when you get a viral infection, you shed live virus. That's how viral infections are transmitted.
Because viruses, unlike bacteria, need a living host... in order to multiply. What these viruses do is they try to disable the immune system and evade immune responses."
Barbara has compiled a special report, "The Emerging Risks of Live Virus and Viral Vectored Vaccines" containing over 200 references, which delves into virus shedding and vaccine virus shedding.
In it, she raises valid questions about whether or not scientists, public health officials, and vaccine manufacturers truly understand the impact live attenuated viral vaccines and vaccines using viruses as vaccine vectors, have on our immune function, genetic integrity, and the environment.
Are Non-Vaccinated Children Being Unfairly Blamed?
Live-virus vaccine shedding and transmission may also affect the evolution of viruses that infect humans and animals because vaccine strain viruses are released into the environment, where recombinations and further mutations can occur.
Smallpox, for example, is transmitted by contact with body fluids. And, when you get a live attenuated smallpox vaccine, which contains live attenuated vaccinia virus, you can develop vaccinia virus (VACV or VV) strain infection, which you can then transmit to others. The same is true for polio and the live oral polio vaccine (OPV).
Measles virus RNA was also detected in the urine of 10 of 12 children, and all young adults tested, following measles vaccination.2 As Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, said:
"The public health community is blaming unvaccinated children for the outbreak of measles at Disneyland, but the illnesses could just as easily have occurred due to contact with a recently vaccinated individual… Evidence indicates that recently vaccinated individuals should be quarantined in order to protect the public."
Have You Heard of Vaccine-Related Measles?
It is possible to come down with measles after receiving an MMR vaccine. In 2013, for instance, a 2-year-old fell ill with vaccine-related measles 37 days after receiving the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.
This was well beyond the typical incubation period for measles transmission, and it occurred in the context of an outbreak investigation of measles cluster. So at first it was assumed to be a wild-type measles infection, when in fact it was vaccine-related. We have no statistics about how often this assumption is made when it may actually be inaccurate.
As reported in Eurosurveillance:3
"The incubation period of measles is typically eight to 12 days from exposure to rash onset, with a range from seven to 21 days. Public health interventions are based on this established incubation period for determining the epidemiological links between cases and for estimating periods of exclusion for contacts in high risk settings.
Based on our review of the literature, this report documents the first case of MMR vaccine-associated measles, 37 days post-immunization, well beyond 21 days and the routine 30 days post-MMR immunization period used by the Canadian adverse event following immunization (AEFI) surveillance system.
…Although this is the first such reported case, it likely represents the existence of additional, but unidentified, exceptions to the typical timeframe for measles vaccine virus shedding and illness."
Measles Outbreaks Can Occur Even in 'Highly Immunized Societies'
Another factor not being addressed by most media or public health agencies is that the vaccine provides absolutely no assurance of long-lasting immunity and even two doses of MMR vaccine will fail to provide long-term protection.
Like B. pertussis whooping cough and other infectious diseases, measles has natural cyclical increases and decreases every few years in populations. These may occur even in highly vaccinated populations.
Public health agencies have been reporting measles outbreaks in the US for the past few years, which they often blame on unvaccinated individuals, despite the fact that in 2012, 95 percent of children entering kindergarten had gotten two MMR shots and so had more than 90 percent of high school students.
With this high degree of compliance with a supposedly effective measles vaccine, many people have been wondering why the US is seeing a resurgence of measles cases.4 The answer may lie in an ineffective vaccine.
In the medical journal Vaccine, Dr. Gregory Poland, the journal's editor-in-chief, professor of medicine and founder and leader of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, made public statements about the poor effectiveness of measles vaccine in the MMR shot.5 According to Dr. Poland, who is conducting research at Mayo Clinic to develop new measles, mumps and rubella vaccines:6
"…the immune response to measles vaccine varies substantially in actual field use. Multiple studies demonstrate that 2–10% of those immunized with two doses of measles vaccine fail to develop protective antibody levels, and that immunity can wane over time and result in infection (so-called secondary vaccine failure) when the individual is exposed to measles.
For example, during the 1989–1991 U.S. measles outbreaks 20–40% of the individuals affected had been previously immunized with one to two doses of vaccine. In an October 2011 outbreak in Canada, over 50% of the 98 individuals had received two doses of measles vaccine… this phenomenon continues to play a role in measles outbreaks.
Thus, measles outbreaks also occur even among highly vaccinated populations because of primary and secondary vaccine failure, which results in gradually larger pools of susceptible persons and outbreaks once measles is introduced. This leads to a paradoxical situation whereby measles in highly immunized societies occurs primarily among those previously immunized."
Vaccinated Individuals Can Be Asymptomatic Carriers of Disease
One of the dangers of any viral disease outbreak is that people often fail to realize is that you can be an asymptomatic carrier of a viral infection; so while you show no symptoms or only mild symptoms, you may still be able to transmit the virus to others. Even fewer people understand that this is also true for live-virus vaccines! Yet, government health officials do not conduct routine active surveillance of vaccinated people to find out if they are experiencing asymptomatic or atypical measles and transmitting it to others.
For instance, in an animal study, while whole cell DPT and acellular-pertussis-vaccinated baboons did not develop serious clinical disease symptoms—such as loss of appetite and cough—when they were exposed to the B. pertussis bacteria, they still colonized B. pertussis in their throats and were capable of transmitting the infection to other baboons.7 The study's lead author Tod Merkel also explained that when exposed to B. pertussis after recently getting vaccinated, you could be an asymptomatic carrier and infect others, saying:8 "When you're newly vaccinated, you are an asymptomatic carrier, which is good for you, but not for the population."
The Truth About Herd Immunity
The issue of "herd immunity" as it pertains to vaccinations is a widely misunderstood subject. As reported by Barbara Loe Fisher:
"According to Dr. [James] Cherry, [a prominent UCLA pediatrician and infectious disease expert], measles-vaccine-acquired herd immunity is in effect with a measles vaccination rate of more than 90 percent. Well, that has been true in America since 1981 with one dose of MMR vaccine and since 2000 for two doses of MMR vaccine, which is one reason why the CDC declared measles eradicated from the U.S. in 2000.
But, clearly, measles virus has not been eradicated from the U.S., just like measles has not been eradicated from any other country and emerging scientific evidence suggests it never will be—no matter how many doses of MMR vaccine are mandated for every man, woman and child in the world."
The science clearly shows that there's a big difference between naturally acquired herd immunity and vaccine-acquired herd immunity, even as scientific knowledge about the biological mechanisms involved in naturally acquired and vaccine acquired immunity is incomplete. For instance, most Americans born before 1957 experienced measles and have naturally acquired life-long permanent immunity to measles, which allowed women to pass antibodies on to their babies to protect them from measles during the first year of life.
Things have definitely changed in the past 60 years. Because vaccine antibodies are different from naturally acquired measles antibodies, young vaccinated moms today cannot give longer lasting naturally acquired measles antibodies to their newborns.9
Vaccines simply do not confer the same kind of long-lasting immunity that is obtained from experiencing and recovering from the natural disease. This is why booster shots are necessary, and why some are recommending that a third MMR vaccine to the US vaccine schedule. The vaccine simply cannot provide life-long immunity the way getting a naturally acquired infection can. So, what many people don't realize is that there is such a thing as natural herd immunity. However, vaccines do not confer the same kind of immunity as experiencing and recovering from the natural disease.
Your Human Right to Make Voluntary Health Care Decisions Is Under Attack
Earlier this month, a Chicago mother signed a consent form for her 16-year-old daughter to get a sports physical at school. During the physical, a nurse also administered four vaccines -- chicken pox, hepatitis A, meningitis, and the HPV vaccine. The mother states she did not give consent for three of the vaccines, which were given without her consent and without her daughter's knowledge.10 She has taken the issue to the school and school board, but they are fighting back.
Do you want to live in a world where your child can be given a vaccination, a medical procedure that carries risks of side effects, without your knowledge or consent? Do you believe in the right to make voluntary decisions about which vaccines you receive and which you choose to give to your children? This is one of the biggest public health issues of our time, and in light of the gaps in vaccine science, having the legal right to know and freedom to make an individual, voluntary choice about vaccination is essential.
You can't simply assume that they are safe. There's gross underreporting of vaccine reactions, injuries, and deaths to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), even though it's been a matter of federal law since 1986. Any doctor or other vaccine provider who gives a vaccine is supposed to monitor the person they vaccinated and report any subsequent injuries, hospitalization, or death to VAERS. But there's no enforcement or penalties for failure to comply with the vaccine safety informing, reporting, and recording provisions in the 1986 law.
"What's happening is a lot of the providers of vaccines, the doctors, are determining that when something bad happens after vaccination, it's not the fault of the vaccine; it's just a coincidence. You have less than 10 percent, or perhaps less than one percent of all vaccine providers actually reporting to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System," Barbara says.
Adding insult to injury, there's also an attempt to censor public conversation about all these vaccines that we're using, and the hundreds of vaccines in the research pipeline – including live-virus vaccines and genetically engineered viral vectored experimental vaccines for Ebola and HIV. Already, we've traded longer lasting naturally acquired immunity for a temporary, artificial vaccine acquired immunity against an entire array of infectious diseases—most of which never led to mass casualties in the first place.
In the last 30 years, the US has tripled the number of vaccines given to infants and children during their most critical period of development—the first three years of life. Could the ramifications of this be reflected in the current abysmal chronic disease and disability statistics in the US?
"We do not understand the impact we've had on the immune function of several generations of children, whose immune systems have been atypically manipulated over and over again with inactivated bacterial vaccines and live virus vaccines," Barbara says. "We don't know the impact on their epigenetics, on their DNA, and on their immune function."