By Dr. Mercola
A groundbreaking new drug safety study in Shanghai, China, provides some much needed information about the frequency of vaccine drug reactions among children.
Adverse drug reactions are a serious public health concern and one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide.1 More than a half million children are treated every year for adverse drug reactions in US outpatient clinics and emergency rooms.2
The Shanghai study, based on reported pediatric adverse drug reactions (ADRs) for 2009, found that 42 percent were caused by vaccines, with reactions ranging from mild skin rashes to deadly reactions like anaphylaxis and death. Of all the drugs causing adverse reactions among children, vaccines are the most commonly reported.3, 4
This study is particularly significant because the vast majority of reports came from physicians, pharmacists, and other health care providers. Less than three percent of the reports were from consumers.
Another safety report5 about pediatric drug reactions was just published by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) and lists the top 15 drugs causing serious adverse reactions in children.
Psychiatric drugs and analgesics (especially ibuprofen) figure prominently in their top 15 list. The report also mentions psychological side effects such as aggression and suicidal ideation as frequent symptoms from 10 of the 15 most commonly reported drugs.
Drugs and Vaccines Are More Dangerous for the Very Young
Three major trends emerged in the Chinese drug reaction study:
- Gender: Males (60 percent) were represented more than females (40 percent)
- Age: Young children were more susceptible to harm; 65 percent of the adverse drug reactions were reported for children age 5 and under, and about 40 percent involved children aged 2 months to 2 years. The highest proportion of serious reports was for newborns (0 to 1 month). The ISMP and other researchers have confirmed that the number of adverse drug reactions is highest in the first year of life—so parents of newborns, beware!6
- "Polypharmacy": The more drugs a child is exposed to, the higher the proportion of serious reactions; drug-to-drug interactions (DDI) are increasingly problematic with today's practice of "polypharmacy"(using two or more drugs together)
Vaccine reactions are very difficult to detect because often, multiple vaccines are given together, with synergistic toxicities and multiple adverse interactions occurring, which makes it hard to know what is causing what. Vaccine reactions are also notoriously underreported, as many physicians brush off symptoms as mere "coincidence," denying they have anything to do with vaccination.
The Chinese researchers made the following statement about why they believe vaccines are causing so many adverse reactions:
"The ADR rate caused by vaccines is much higher than other drugs, and this may be related to the types and number of vaccinations being used in China, as the types of routine immunization vaccines in China reach up to 15 kinds, which is much higher than seven kinds in India and Vietnam, nine kinds in Thailand and 11 kinds in America, and most of the vaccines in China are attenuated live vaccines, which may bring a greater potential safety hazard."
High Infant Mortality and High Infant Vaccine Rates—Are They Related?
The US has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the developed world. Yet, American infants are given the greatest number of vaccines—26 doses of vaccines by the end of their first year. Can this really be a coincidence? If vaccines were doing a good job at safeguarding children's health, the US should be enjoying extremely low infant mortality, shouldn't it?
Acute adverse reactions that are actually reported are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more deleterious effects when you consider post-vaccination brain inflammation (encephalitis) and encephalopathy, immune dysfunction, paralysis, and other long-term health sequelae that have been causally related to both live attenuated virus and inactivated vaccines around the world, especially the types used in developing nations. The tragic results of this are poignantly illustrated in the featured study.
If your child's immune system is not functioning properly, he or she may be more susceptible than the average child to suffering a serious vaccine reaction. The unfortunate part is, currently there are few ways to determine in advance whether or not your child has normal immune function or has other biological, genetic, or environmental risk factors that greatly increase individual susceptibility to suffering harm from vaccinations.
This means that an adverse vaccine reaction may be your first indication your child's immune system is vulnerable to atypical manipulation by vaccines —and sadly, in some cases, the brain or immune system damage caused by vaccination is severe and permanent. According to Dr. Kelly Brogan, one of the most fundamental problems with today's vaccine paradigm is that vaccine safety has not been studied—much less proven: "The current schedule has never been studied – not one vaccine in a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated design, let alone multiple delivered at once, or the entire long-term effects of 49 doses of 14 vaccines by age 6."
The Government Gives Vaccine Manufacturers a Free Pass
In 1988, Congress passed a law shielding physicians and vaccine manufacturers from vaccine injury lawsuits. Prior to this law, most doctors were much more cautious about giving vaccines to children who had a prior adverse vaccine reaction—for fear of being sued.
For example, the whole cell pertussis vaccine in the DPT shot was notorious for causing seizures, high pitched screaming, and collapse shock due to brain inflammation. Prior to 1988, pediatricians were warned not to give the DPT to children who had a history of seizures in the first 72 hours following a DPT. But now that doctors and vaccine manufacturers are protected from lawsuits, vaccine reactions are regarded as "less significant," even "coincidental"... of course, they're NOT insignificant when it's your child who is having one! The vaccine manufacturers and physicians are being taken care of... but who is protecting your child?
A Fundamentally Flawed Concept of Immunity
Vaccine manufacturers would like you to believe that the "immunity" you receive from vaccines is equal to or better than what is conferred through natural exposure to the infection, but this simply isn't the case. There are important differences between naturally acquired immunity and temporary vaccine-induced antibody production. Vaccines are never 100 percent protective because they provide only artificial, temporary, typically inferior immunity compared to what your body would receive from natural exposure to a disease.
Immunity is a complicated process with many moving parts—immunological, neurological, and endocrinological—not the dumbed down version the pharmaceutical industry feeds to the public. The common reductionist notion that immunity involves nothing more than a simple antigen-antibody response is a gross oversimplification—not to mention the arrogance that, with a vaccine, they can improve on a biological process that Nature has been perfecting for thousands or even millions of years. Take measles, for example. According to Dr. Suzanne Humphries:7
"Since most vaccines are delivered by injection, the mucous membranes are bypassed and thus blood antibodies are produced but not mucosal antibodies. Mucosal exposure is what contributes to the production of antibodies in the mammary gland. A child's exposure to the virus while being breastfed by a naturally immune mother would lead to an asymptomatic infection that results in long-term immunity to that virus. Vaccinated mothers have lower levels of virus-specific antibodies in the serum and milk, compared to naturally immune mothers, and thus their infants are unprotected."
Prior to the vaccine era, mothers were naturally immune to measles and passed on that immunity to their infants via placenta and breast milk. But vaccinated mothers cannot pass along vaccine-induced "immunity" because of the issue described above. As a result, infants whose mothers were born after 1963 are more susceptible to measles than are infants of older mothers. For a healthy child with normal immune function, measles is not a deadly disease—in fact, 30 percent of measles cases among the unvaccinated are missed because they are so mild.8
It should also be noted that the recently reported pertussis (whooping cough)9 and mumps outbreaks10 have occurred predominantly among the vaccinated –and measles "outbreaks"11 have also involved vaccinated persons —invalidating claims that vaccinated people cannot get sick from or transmit infectious diseases. The fact that a lot of vaccinated people still get sick is a prime example of how getting vaccinated is not a "good health" guarantee. In fact, keeping your immune system healthy through good nutrition, exercise, reduction of stress, and limiting exposure to environmental toxins is a much better strategy for staying well and also for helping you to heal more quickly if you do get sick.
The Truth About Herd Immunity
One of the most commonly parroted sound bites in the vaccine debate is the term "herd immunity," tossed around by vaccine advocates who don't really understand the concept. They suggest that if 95 percent or more of the population can be made "immune" to an infectious disease via vaccination, the disease will be eradicated or controlled. Despite these claims, there is little proof that vaccines are responsible for eradicating diseases even when "herd immunity" vaccination levels are reached. Recent outbreaks of common diseases like measles are evidence of this.
Overvaccination not only exposes people to potentially dangerous adverse reactions, but it may damage the health of the greater community. Take varicella zoster (chickenpox), for example. According to Dr. Humphries:12
"Prior to the universal varicella vaccination program, 95 percent of adults experienced natural chickenpox (usually as school aged children)—these cases were usually benign and resulted in long term immunity. This high percentage of individuals having long term immunity has been compromised by mass vaccination of children, which provides at best 70 to 90 percent immunity that is temporary and of unknown duration—shifting chickenpox to a more vulnerable adult population where chickenpox carries 20 times more risk of death and 15 times more risk of hospitalization compared to children. Add to this the adverse effects of both the chickenpox and shingles vaccines, as well as the potential for increased risk of shingles for an estimated 30 to 50 years among adults."
A young child with active chickenpox, who comes into contact with an adult who had chickenpox as a child, is giving the adult a natural "booster" that will not cause symptoms but will strengthen the adult's immunity to the disease. But since the introduction of the chickenpox vaccine in 1995 in the US, followed by chickenpox vaccine mandates in the states, there are fewer natural boosters for the adult population. Now, there is a shingles (herpes zoster) epidemic among adults – and Merck is the sole producer of both chickenpox and shingles vaccine in the US!
Vaccines Invite New Strains to the Party
Vaccines are having the unintended effect of creating new strains and more virulent strains of disease, in a similar way as antibiotic overuse has led to antibiotic resistance. The B. pertussis organism that causes whooping cough has evolved to evade the DPT/DtaP vaccines that have been used worldwide since the early 1950s. A mutated B. pertussis strain has emerged and is associated with severe symptoms.13
Sometimes, the pressure placed by vaccines on an organism causes non-vaccine strains to become more dominant. This is true of some of the more than 80 pneumococcal strains that are not contained in pneumococcal vaccines (Prevnar-7 and Prevnar-13), and have become prevalent since the vaccines were introduced in 2000.14 Some of these non-vaccine strains are now causing severe disease. This phenomenon is a direct result of the pressure on the organisms to adapt and survive.
The point is, even if vaccines were somehow miraculously able to eradicate all of our most dreaded infectious diseases, it's only a matter of time before new versions will appear—and potentially with heightened virulence! Life has a way of finding a means to survive. And you will be less prepared to fight off these new invaders if your immune system is compromised, as it can be from vaccines. With that in mind, vaccination may very well be promoting infectious disease, rather than eliminating it.15
If you are thinking there MUST be a better way to stay healthy than continuously adding new vaccines, you are right! There is no complicated recipe, no extensive protocols... just good basic lifestyle choices. Eat well, sleep well, exercise effectively and consistently, manage your stress, and avoid toxic exposures whenever possible. Making a few lifestyle adjustments will allow you to build your health naturally, including your resistance to illness. And of course, we can all benefit from the support and care of a good physician!
Finding an Enlightened Physician
If you are a parent, it's up to you to find a doctor you can trust who will avoid administering vaccines in the face of previous vaccine reactions. Don't be afraid to stand up for your right to protect your child. There are enlightened pediatricians who take a "precautionary approach" because they care about preventing adverse reactions, injuries, and deaths. It's your health, your family, your choice.
Search until you find a compassionate and knowledgeable health care practitioner who will work with you to make the best decisions for you and your family. If you are the parent of a newborn, be extremely careful with all drugs and use them ONLY if absolutely necessary. As you have seen, infants are the most vulnerable. If you or your child experiences an adverse reaction to a drug or vaccine, please consult your physician immediately and report it to VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, and encourage your physician to do the same.