By Dr. Mercola
Most of us wish for our children to be healthy and free of disease. We wish the same for ourselves as adults, too. But it’s time to critically examine and have an open conversation about whether multiple vaccines in early childhood should be our nation’s No. 1 disease-prevention strategy.
In fact, such a conversation is long overdue. Many red flags have appeared that suggest vaccines not only have the potential for failure but also for harm. There can be little doubt that we need to review the safety and effectiveness of the current vaccination program in the U.S.
If you're not sure this is necessary, just consider some of the recent vaccine failures that have made headlines. The one-size-fits-all vaccination schedule in the U.S. is not safe for every child, and there comes a point when we may well be sacrificing too many children's lives in the name of "the greater good."
Gut Infections May Cause Vaccine Failure
Researchers from the University of Virginia School of Medicine conducted a study involving malnourished children in Bangladesh. One of the hallmarks of malnutrition is stunted growth.
Despite being given regular medical care, vaccinations and food, stunted growth increased among the children, from 9.5 percent at the start of the study to nearly 28 percent by 1 year old. Children with stunted growth were found to have infections in their intestines more often than non-affected children.1
The researchers believe the children may not be digesting their food properly, and the infections likely play a role. Similar results were found among U.S. children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The study also found that vaccines given orally to these malnourished children (and presumably to children with IBD or other gut infections) become less effective. The worse the gut inflammation in the child, the less effective the vaccines (including those for rotavirus and polio) became.
Gut inflammation is widespread throughout the world, including in the U.S. where poor diets prevail. Before blindly vaccinating, we should be looking into how such vaccines may react in children with IBD and other gut issues.
Are they even effective? No one really knows. According to a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases:2
"Most vaccine assessments have occurred in well-nourished populations of higher socioeconomic status. However, vaccines are often used in populations with high incidences of malnutrition and infections, in whom the effectiveness of some vaccines is inferior for unknown reasons.
The degree and extent of vaccine underperformance have not been systematically studied for most vaccines across differing epidemiologic settings."
Vaccine-Derived Diseases Now Circulating the Globe
There are three strains of wild poliovirus still circulating in the world, but vaccine-strain polio viruses also circulate.3
A large part of the problem is the polio vaccine itself, specifically the live attenuated oral polio vaccine (OPV) that is not being given to children in the U.S. any more but is used in many other countries.
[The U.S. stopped using OPV in 1999 when the only cases of polio in the U.S. were being caused by the live virus vaccine. Children in the U.S. today receive four doses of the injected inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) that cannot cause vaccine strain polio.]
In Ukraine, two children were recently paralyzed by vaccine strain poliovirus type 1 after they received live OPV. The World Health Organization (WHO) noted:4
"The risk of further spread of this strain within the country is deemed to be high."
In early December 2015, the WHO was also notified of two additional cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV1) in Lao People’s Democratic Republic in Xaisomboun, a previously unaffected province.
To date, five cases have been associated with this outbreak, including a 7-month-old who received oral polio vaccine in September and a 14-year-old who has a history of receiving the vaccine.
Both suffered from Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) that was officially classified as confirmed vaccine derived polio virus cases.
Worldwide in 2015, there were 24 cases of cVDPV reporded with 10 of them in Madagascar, a country that somehow slipped under the radar when it came to cVDPV news reports this year.
The type1 vaccine derived polio virus (cVDPV1) has also been isolated from the stools of 16 healthy people in other area provinces since the beginning of the outbreak.5
Not only can the oral polio vaccine cause vaccine-strain polio in the recently vaccinated individual, but some people who receive OPV are capable of shedding the virus in their body fluids for decades and can infect others with vaccine strain polio virus, particularly people who are immune compromised.6
Vaccine-Caused Polio is a Growing Problem
At this point in time, as health officials are declaring a victory in eliminating the wild polio virus in large portions of the world, vaccine-caused polio is a growing problem.
The polio virus in the vaccine can mutate into a deadlier version in the intestines of a recently vaccinated person or someone who “catches” the vaccine strain polio virus from that person, igniting new outbreaks.
According to a 2010 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, outbreaks of vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs) have been occurring at a rate of once or twice per year since the year 2000.7
So are we really any better off? Polio can cause difficulty breathing and paralysis as the virus attacks and kills motor nerve cells that control your muscles. It can also cause death in its most severe form.
However, what is not often shared is that in most cases of wild polio virus infection, it is a mild illness, causing flu-like symptoms that disappear in two to 10 days. Often, polio can occur and show no symptoms at all. Even the Mayo Clinic states:8
"The vast majority of people who are infected with the polio virus don't become sick and are never aware they've been infected with polio."
Although polio vaccine has been promoted as the best way of preventing polio, the vaccine has certainly not been the only, nor the ultimate, solution to prevent this disease.
Maintaining a strong and well-functioning immune system will always be the first line of defense, as this reduces the risk of any number of diseases, including polio.
Many Americans Dubious of Flu Shot's Effectiveness
The flu shot is one of the most controversial vaccines of all, not only because it's recommended every year, but also because of its many years of dismal failures. Not surprisingly, many Americans are now dubious of its effectiveness.
A recent Harris Poll of more than 2,200 Americans revealed one-third don't believe the flu shot will protect them, while only 43 percent "strongly believed" it would. A sizeable number also correctly believed there were other ways to protect against the flu than a flu shot.9
Strategies mentioned included frequent hand washing, staying well rested, eating healthy and taking vitamins. Perhaps more people are becoming aware that the flu vaccine is often a major flop. For instance, last year's (2014-2015) flu vaccine had an abysmal 18 percent effectiveness rate.
What are the Risks of Long-Term Annual Flu Vaccination?
The long-term effects of annual flu vaccination are unknown, but it appears this strategy may be backfiring, leaving those who have been vaccinated annually less protected than those with no prior flu vaccination history.10
Research presented at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego revealed that children who get seasonal flu shots are more at risk of hospitalization than children who do not. Children who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of hospitalization as children who had not. Among children with asthma, the risk was even higher.11
There remain more questions than answers when it comes to vaccinations, which is why we regularly see "mysterious" side effects – like narcolepsy – popping up after vaccinations enter widespread use. The swine flu (H1N1) vaccine (Pandemrix), for instance was causally linked to an increased risk of narcolepsy among children and adolescents.12
About 1,000 people who received the swine flu shot developed the neurological disorder and will live with it the rest of their lives. If this is news to you, it's probably because few media outlets picked up on this story at the time.
NYC Judge Tosses Flu Shot Requirement for Preschoolers
In 2014, New York City began requiring pre-school children to get an annual flu shot in order to attend city-regulated, nonfamily daycare facilities. The NYC health department rule, instituted during the final days of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration, affected more than 100,000 children between the ages of 6 and 59 months.
Earlier this month, state Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez judged the NYC flu shot mandate issued by public health officials to be “invalid and unlawful” because it is in “direct violation of the New York State Public Health Law.”13 Basically, the city’s health department officials do not have the regulatory power to impose a flu shot requirement on children without getting approval from elected representatives in the state legislature.
Immediately after the NY Supreme Court struck down the NYC unlawful flu shot mandate for pre-school children, a Bronx Assemblyman introduced a bill (AO8633) in the legislature to require all pre-school children in the whole state to get an annual flu shot.14
With your legal right to make independent vaccine decisions for yourself and your family being eroded at a rapid clip these days, the NY Supreme Court decision temporarily gives parents in New York City at least some control over which vaccines their children will get. But the new bill pending in the New York legislature, which would make annual flu shots a statewide mandate for all pre-school children, could be a huge problem if parents do not make their voices heard in Albany in 2016.
Thousands of Girls Come Forward to Speak Out About HPV Vaccine Side Effects
In many states across the U.S., public health department officials are increasingly joining with medical trade and pharmaceutical industry lobbyists to severely restrict or eliminate religious and philosophical or conscientious belief vaccine exemptions for all children. This year, California became the first state to eliminate the personal belief vaccine exemption for both religious and conscientious beliefs after heavy industry lobbying in the state legislature.
Children attending daycare and public or private elementary, middle and high schools in California now must receive every federally recommended dose of 10 vaccines or provide a medical exemption signed by a medical doctor or other state-approved medical worker in order to get a school-based education.
Connecticut and New Jersey, for instance, already have annual flu shot mandates in place that force parents to vaccinate infants and young children or they cannot be enrolled in daycare. And Rhode Island has a requirement that students be vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV), another controversial vaccine, before entering seventh grade.
A growing number of teens are speaking out against the HPV vaccine (Gardasil and Cervarix) after suffering debilitating side effects. Gardasil vaccine victims include more than 130 girls in Ireland and more than 1,100 girls in Denmark. You can watch and listen to the experience of one Gardasil victim in the video above.
Among the more serious HPV vaccine side effects reported are chronic fatigue, chronic regional pain syndrome, postural tachycardia syndrome, and fibromyalgia.15 Jesper Mehlsen of the Frederiksberg Hospital in Denmark explained, “We have noted a pattern of symptoms in a relatively large group of patients and that these symptoms seem to have a temporal association to the vaccination.”16
Its also been reported that the HPV vaccine may make you more susceptible to being infected with strains of HPV not included in the vaccine. In an analysis of nearly 600 women between the ages of 20 and 26, 60 percent of those who had received the original Gardasil vaccine, which protects against only four strains (types) of HPV (6,11,16,18), had a higher risk of being infected with another non-vaccine HPV virus strain.17
The unvaccinated women had lower rates of the non-vaccine high-risk strains of HPV, which suggests getting vaccinated may make you more susceptible to being infected with other strains of HPV. And, even though Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil, is now marketing a new nine-strain version of Gardasil vaccine in the U.S., there are several hundred strains of HPV and 40 of those strains are sexually transmitted.
When HPV infection is cleared by more than 90 percent of sexually active women and men without symptoms and decades of evidence shows that cervical cancer associated with chronic HPV infection can be prevented and treated with regular pap screenings, there is an urgent need to re-evaluate the risks of HPV vaccine reactions and failures.18 It’s yet another example of the many unanswered questions that could be putting people’s health at risk when it comes to vaccination.
Father of Five Becomes Quadriplegic After Whooping Cough Vaccine
In the video above, you can hear from Ben Hammond, a previously healthy Australia man who was given a Tdap (tetanus/diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) booster required by the hospital, where his son was born prematurely. After the ‘routine’ pertussis vaccine containing shot, which he was forced to receive so he could visit his son in the neonatal intensive care unit, he developed Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM), an immune-mediated brain inflammation.
The Tdap-induced brain inflammation left him a quadriplegic for several months. Although he has regained some mobility, he has suffered permanent brain damage and other disabling health problems that make it impossible for him to work, leaving the family in financial and emotional ruin.
It is well known that whole cell and acellular pertussis vaccine in DPT and DTap/Tdap vaccines can cause brain inflammation and permanent brain damage in both children and adults. Nearly 3,000 cases of pertussis vaccine induced brain injury and death have been awarded compensation in the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) under the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.19
As reported by Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center:
"A 2013 published study evaluating reports of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) following vaccination in the U. S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) and in a European vaccine reaction reporting system found that seasonal influenza vaccine was the most frequently suspected cause of brain inflammation after 18 years old, representing 32 percent of the total cases reported, and pertussis containing DTaP was among the vaccines most frequently associated with brain inflammation in children between birth and age 5."
Adding insult to injury, the practice of “cocooning,” which is what led Hammond to get the Tdap vaccine in the first place, is a controversial practice. It’s a strategy being promoted by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and government health officials as an effective way of protecting babies from B. pertussis whooping cough by vaccinating their parents and other adult caregivers.
However, there is little evidence to show that this works. A Canadian study investigated how many parents would need to be vaccinated in order to prevent infant hospitalizations and deaths from pertussis using the cocoon strategy, and the results were dismal. They found the number needed to vaccinate (NNV) for parental immunization was at least 1 million to prevent 1 infant death, approximately 100,000 for ICU admission, and >10,000 for hospitalization.20
Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions
With all the uncertainty surrounding the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, it's critical to protect your right to make independent health choices and exercise voluntary informed consent to vaccination. It is urgent that everyone in America stand up and fight to protect and expand vaccine informed consent protections in state public health and employment laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and educating the leaders in your community.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.
National vaccine policy recommendations are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.
It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations, and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.
Signing up for NVIC's free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your Smart Phone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up-to-date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choice rights and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community.
Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips.
So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know
If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury, or death, please talk about it. If we don't share information and experiences with one another, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.
I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the "other side" of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.
We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination.
The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than "statistically acceptable collateral damage" of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn't be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
I encourage you to visit the website of the non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), at www.NVIC.org:
- NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries, and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
- If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
- Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment and sanctions by doctors, employers, and school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.
- Vaccine Failure Wall: View or post descriptions about vaccines that have failed to work and protect the vaccinated from disease.
Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One That Will Listen and Care
If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.
However, there is hope.
At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents.
It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.
So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.