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Before You Vaccinate Your Child, Ask Yourself: Is this Worth the Risk?

VaccineNew data has added more evidence supporting a link between the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine and narcolepsy in children and adolescents. The findings suggest that those who were vaccinated had a close to 660 percent increase in risk for the condition.

The Sweden's Medical Products Agency (MPA) examined cases of narcolepsy with cataplexy reported in young people (19 years and under) in Sweden, and found that out of 81 cases examined, 69 (85 percent) had received the Pandemrix vaccine before illness onset. They also found that the incidence of narcolepsy was substantially higher within 3 months of the vaccination -- 14.1 per 100,000 people during that period, compared to just 1.3 per 100,000 people normally.

According to CIDRAP:

"As noted in the new report, signs of a Pandemrix-narcolepsy link has also been seen in Finland, where a population-based registry study pointed to a ninefold increase in risk for vaccinated children and adolescents."

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Since the H1N1 swine flu scare was first initiated in April 2009, our initial alert has received over 1.2 million views. If you review our swine flu section you will see that I have advised against the vaccine for the last two years. It often doesn't work, and appears to have far more side effects than seasonal flu shots of the past, so it has a very questionable risk to reward ratio as this study demonstrates.

Sweden, like so many other countries, carried out a vaccination campaign against the swine flu from mid-October 2009 through March 2010. In Sweden, an estimated 67 percent of all children and adolescents under the age of 20 were vaccinated, and about 51 percent of all adults.

However, it quickly became apparent that this vaccine was different than previous seasonal flu vaccines. The first cases of narcolepsy were reported in the spring of 2010. A year later, in March 2011, a registry study from the Swedish Lakemedelsverket (Medical Products Agency) showed that children and teens injected with the H1N1 vaccine Pandemrix (made by GlaxoSmithKline) had a four-fold increased risk of contracting narcolepsy, a devastating sleeping disorder, compared to non-vaccinated children and adolescents. As a result of these findings the Swedish Medical products Agency (MPA) concluded that the vaccine should be withdrawn from use in children and adolescents.

Finland also noticed a dramatic increase in narcolepsy following vaccination with Pandemrix. There, an interim report issued in January of this year found that the H1N1 vaccine increased the risk of narcolepsy by 900 percent in children and adolescents below the age of 19.

France, Germany and Norway also reported cases of the rare sleeping disorder, causing the EU to launch an investigation as well. In April, the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) issued an interim recommendation, stating that prescribers should "take into account preliminary results from epidemiological studies on Pandemrix and narcolepsy, and to perform an individual benefit-risk assessment when considering the use of Pandemrix in children and adolescents," pending the conclusion of their review, which is expected to be done sometime this month.

Follow-Up Study Confirms: Narcolepsy is a High-Risk Side Effect of H1N1 Vaccine

New data from Sweden, released at the end of June, confirms the narcolepsy-2009 H1N1 vaccine link in children and adolescents, showing the vaccine raises the risk of narcolepsy by nearly 660 percent; some 260 percent higher than originally estimated.

They reached this conclusion by examining all confirmed and suspected cases of narcolepsy with cataplexy reported in Swedish adolescents under the age of 20 during 2009 and 2010. The medical records were examined by clinical experts and the diagnosis of narcolepsy was classified according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine's criteria. They focused on narcolepsy with cataplexy because that's the most severe form of the disorder, hence the most easily defined. (It stands to reason, therefore, that the risk for less severe forms could be even higher…)

The incidence of this most severe form of narcolepsy peaked during the last quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, at the height of the vaccination campaign, with 6.58 cases per 100,000.

According to the study:

"The incidence rates were measured to be 4.2 per 100 000 in the vaccinated cohort, compared to 0.64 per 100 000 in the non‐vaccinated cohort, yielding a relative risk of 6.6 and an absolute risk of 3.6 additional cases per 100 000 vaccinated subjects. The incidence was substantially higher within 3 months of the vaccination, 14.1 per 100 000 compared to 1.3 per 100 000 in the later time window."

What this means is that for every 100,000 children vaccinated, as many as four children are guaranteed to contract severe narcolepsy as a direct result of the vaccine, but the vaccine could potentially harm as many as six or seven per 100,000.

Interestingly enough, those who developed narcolepsy after vaccination were over five times more likely to experience cataplexy as one of the first symptoms. They were also far more likely to experience two initial symptoms. Both of these facts may indicate that the disease progression as a result of vaccination is faster and more severe than the normal onset.

It's worth noting that the Pandemrix vaccine was not licensed for use in the US, and so far none of the flu vaccines licensed here have been linked to narcolepsy. However, these findings definitely serve as a perfect example of how little anyone really knows about the interaction between vaccines and health, and how easily something can go wrong...

Definitions of Narcolepsy and Cataplexy

Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder in which your brain loses its ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. As a result, this causes you to suddenly fall into a deep sleep at any point during the day.  Bouts can last from a few seconds to several minutes. In rare cases, you may remain asleep for an hour or longer. Needless to say, this is a disabling disorder that can have a significantly detrimental impact on your quality of life, not to mention it can be dangerous, depending on where you suddenly fall asleep.

About 70 percent of narcolepsy cases also involve cataplexy -- the sudden loss of voluntary muscle control – along with vivid hallucinations and total paralysis at the beginning or end of your narcoleptic attack. The hallucination is actually your brain dreaming, even though you're conscious.

And the feeling of paralysis is known as "sleep paralysis", which under normal circumstances occurs while you are in deep sleep, so you never notice it.

According to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), it's already been established that genetic factors alone are NOT sufficient to cause narcolepsy. Other factors, such as infection, immune-system dysfunction, trauma or hormonal changes appear to trigger the disease and are typically present prior to disease onset. This, to me, speaks volumes about the hidden impact certain vaccines may have on your body and your brain in particular...

Other Harmful Effects of 2009/10 H1N1 Vaccines Around the World

The 2009/10 H1N1 vaccines clearly appear to have been more reactive than past seasonal flu vaccine, although different brands had different effects. Last year, Australia temporarily suspended its seasonal flu program for children under the age of five after detecting an abnormal number of side effects within 12 hours of vaccination, compared to previous years. The vaccine in question there was Fluvax, manufactured by CSL Limited. Side effects included high fevers and seizures.

One infant also lapsed into a coma. After a three-month long investigation, the Australian Department of Health resumed seasonal flu vaccinations for young children, stating that "the higher than usual occurrence of fever and febrile convulsions appears to be confined to the vaccine Fluvax," and advised parents to continue vaccinating their children with another brand...

In August of last year, the Korea Herald also reported that nearly 2,600 side effects had been reported to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in association with the swine flu vaccine.

There, side effects included fevers, headaches and allergic responses, and 10 deaths. In the US, the H1N1 flu vaccine has been statistically linked with abnormally high rates of miscarriage and stillbirths. As reported by Steven Rubin on the NVIC's blog, the US H1N1 flu vaccine was 60 times more likely to be reported to VAERS to be associated with miscarriage than previous seasonal flu vaccines.

Why Do Vaccines Cause this and Other Reactions?

It is very clear that vaccines do not cause problems for everyone that receives them, but when they do, it can be an unmitigated disaster. I recently had the distinct privilege of interviewing a neurologist from Russia who helped her own autistic child recover.

In her journey, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride helped identify a brilliant strategy to help assess children, who may be at higher risk for developing side effects from vaccines. In her extensive experience it is related to gut flora, which is typically transferred from the mother who was compromised due to poor diet, antibiotics and/or birth control pills. She maintains that children with compromised gut flora are at the highest risk for developing these infections and suffer neurological damage.

Dr. Cambell-McBride suggests there are simple tests that can be done to evaluate whether a child has compromised gut flora or other risk factors BEFORE they are vaccinated. If they are at risk, then a comprehensive protocol may help reverse the problem before any vaccines are administered. This is all carefully described in her wonderful book Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia.

Artificial versus Natural Immunity

I believe it's crucial for people to really understand the difference between vaccine-induced immunity and natural immunity, which is the result of being exposed to and recovering from certain infections that for the majority of healthy people do not involve complications that lead to injury or death.  Many still believe vaccines provide the same kind of immunity as is provided when we naturally heal from an infection, and this widespread misconception needs to be rectified.

Ideally, it is best to acquire natural immunity to viral and bacterial infections by helping our immune systems to function well by incorporating all the healthy elements of a good diet along with exposure to the infection. This way a more robust, longer lasting immunity usually develops that is far superior to the inferior, temporary immunity stimulated by vaccinations.

The presumed intent of a vaccination is to help you build immunity to potentially harmful organisms that cause acute illness. Now, your body's immune system is already designed to do this in response to infectious organisms that invade your body naturally. The major difference between vaccine-induced immunity and natural immunity stems from how you're exposed to these organisms.

Most disease-causing organisms enter your body through the mucous membranes of your nose, mouth, pulmonary system or your digestive tract.

These mucous membranes have their own immune system, called the IgA immune system. It is a different system from the one activated when a vaccine is injected into your body. Your IgA immune system is your body's first line of defense. Its job is to fight off invading organisms at their entry points, reducing or even eliminating the need for activation of your body's entire immune system.

However, when a virus is injected into your body in a vaccine, and especially when combined with an immune adjuvant, such as aluminum, your IgA immune system is bypassed, causing your immune system to mount a very strong inflammatory response. Vaccine adjuvants can also trigger such a strong inflammatory response that the inflammation becomes chronic and leads to chronic illness or disability.

Injecting organisms into your body to provoke an atypical, termporary immunity is clearly contrary to nature. Your immune system simply was not designed to be injected with lab altered disease-causing organisms in this manner, and this is part of why vaccines have the potential to do such serious damage to your health.

Additionally, because vaccines bypass your natural first-line defense (your lgA immune system), they are never 100 percent protective. They are only capable of providing temporary and typically inferior immunity compared to what your body would develop after naturally contracting and recovering from a disease.

The Way Forward: Stay Informed and Make Educated Decisions

Before you make the decision to vaccinate either yourself or your children against anything, I strongly recommend reviewing the side effects and risks involved so that you can make an informed, educated decision.

You can easily stay on top of the latest vaccine news by bookmarking my Vaccine News page. I also recommend visiting and registering for the free NVIC Advocacy Portal to protect your right to make informed vaccine choices in your state.

A few points to remember:

  • Some vaccines can cause serious health problems, and when it comes to pandemic vaccines like the H1N1 swine flu vaccine, these risks may be magnified due to them being fast-tracked
  • There appears to be an association between vaccine complications and learning- and behavioral disorders in children
  • Many of the components of vaccines have never been proven safe
  • In many cases, there are far safer ways to protect your children and yourself against disease. For example, one 2010 study showed that school children taking vitamin D3 supplements were 58 percent less likely to catch influenza A. That's actually a higher effectiveness than many flu vaccines can claim, and doesn't come with a list of potentially devastating side effects.
  • Overall, your best defense against any disease is a robust immune system, which vaccines can compromise. So supporting your immune system should always be a top priority. Research has shown that vitamin D is one crucial component for optimal health, so I urge you to get your children's vitamin D levels tested, and, if found deficient, to follow my recommendations for optimizing their levels.

The information you need to boost your immune system is available for free on my web site in a clear, concise format that is broken down for beginners, intermediate, and advanced. I encourage you to browse through this information today for tips on how to stay healthy, naturally.