Dr. Weeks’ Comment: This opinion piece is well worth reading.
Anti-Vaccination; Pro-Science; Pro-Health; Anti-Industry
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“There are unanswered questions about vaccine safety. We need studies on vaccinated populations based on various schedules and doses as well as individual patient susceptibilities that we are continuing to learn about. No one should be threatened by the pursuit of this knowledge. Vaccine policy should be the subject of frank and open debate, with no tolerance for bullying. There are no sides – only people concerned about the well being of our children.”
Dr. Bernadine Healy, MD, Former Director, National Institute of Health (NIH)
The concept of intrusive protection has existed since a very long time. They were directed against smallpox as the disease was persistent and deadly. Prior to vaccinationthere were three practices; olfaction, inoculation and variolation. These failed because of three reasons; they led to serious adverse effects, increased the death rate and helped the disease to spread among populations where they were practiced. By 1728 the medical profession knew very well that these concepts would not work.
Therefore when Jenner came out with similar concept eyebrows were raised. The smallpox vaccination was accepted upon a single case of James Phipps who after operation in May 1796 survived a disease challenge, and it was assumed the immunity was for life. However the incidence rapidly increased and the promised period of immunity reduced progressively from a lifetime to six months. Repeated revaccination was suggested which suited those implementing the practice for a handsome fee.
Opposition to the vaccine grew as people witnessed deaths and very serious adverse effects. Parents preferred to pay fines and even accept jail terms rather than having their wards vaccinated, particularly as they had previous children who had succumbed. Growing rejection of the vaccine and protests against it led to mandates in 1864-68 in Leicester, England leading to the launch of the Anti-Vaccination League in 1870. The Anti-vaccination Society of America came up in 1879.
The members were stalwarts from all sections of society and received inputs from the medical profession and public health officials who engaged in documenting vaccination harm, designed pamphlets warning the public, analysed statistics, and submitted detailed petitions to governments against mandates. Public meetings were held where political leaders pointed out mandates went against the right to liberty and bodily integrity; a point relevant to this day.
The Royal Commission gathered evidence for seven years and repealed England’s compulsory vaccination law. Statistical analysis showed the epidemics increased dramatically after 1854 – the year the compulsory vaccination law was imposed. In England and Wales, 44,840 people died of smallpox when official estimates showed 97 percent of the population were vaccinated.”
The National Anti-Vaccination League of Britain exposed statistical manipulation, “The Ministry of Health has admitted that the vaccinal condition is a guiding factor in diagnosis.” If a person who is vaccinated comes down with the disease he was protected against, the disease was recorded under another name. Chickenpox, measles, rash and eczema were diagnostic options. This increased the efficacy of the vaccine.
Many regions including Leicester rejected the vaccine and adopted sanitation, hygiene, isolation and nutrition and the disease rate declined remarkably. Ironically smallpox when it disappeared all over the world disappeared also in regions where people shunned the vaccine and adopted them. It is known the WHO too was forced to adopt these measures alongside.
The anti-vaccination movement, its accusations and alternative solutions were vindicated.
The wave of a future movement was sown in 1943 when Dr. Leo Kanner, a psychiatrist, made a case study of children who suffered from a novel disorder he termed Autism. Documenting details of these thoroughly unresponsive children he mentioned they were vaccinated for smallpox and DPT.
However it was an epidemic of encephalopathy observed in children leading to deaths and a lifetime of disability that spurred parents in the USA to question vaccines again. Their anger was not unfounded. As early as 1933 the DPT vaccine was linked by Dr. Madsen to deaths in children. In 1947 Dr. Brody linked it to brain damage. A 1948 study by Dr. Byers et al linked it to deaths, blindness, deafness, spasticity, convulsions, and other severe neurological disorders. There was open admission of guilt by eminent immunologists in a US TV show broadcast in 1982 where children who had turned into vegetables after receiving the shots were also featured. The US vaccine industry faced bankruptcy paying compensation to parents who went to the Court against them. The manufacturers shifted to the acellular pertussis vaccine, the DTaP as it was found the pertussis component was guilty.
The anti-vaccine crowd was proven right again.
This second wave was dealt with in the most brazen manner possible. The industry approached the US government and pleaded they needed protection or they would go out of business. The government of Ronald Reagan provided limited liability to vaccine manufacturers in October 1986 and set up a federal compensation programme to be funded by an excise duty on each vaccine component that would ironically be borne by the purchaser.
The New York Times of 15th November 1986 reported, “The increase in the cost of liability insurance and the unpredictable nature of such liability has forced some manufacturers to consider abandoning production of vaccines.” Also, “Mr. Reagan’s action came after heavy lobbying in favour of the bill by a broad-based coalition including drug companies, physicians.”
There still remained a possibility that parents could opt out of the system to sue manufacturers. This loophole was blocked when the US Supreme Court supported the US Congress view in the Bruesewitz v. Wyeth case of 2011. The Court judgement noted, “No vaccine manufacturer shall be liable in a civil action for damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death associated with the administration of a vaccine after October 1,1988, if the injury or death resulted from side effects that were unavoidableeven though the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied by proper directions and warnings.” In short it agreed that vaccines were “unavoidably unsafe” and therefore awarded absolute immunity to vaccine manufacturers.
The pro-vaccination group won and left the industry with no incentive or intention to produce safe and effective vaccines. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was consequently instructed to submit safety reports to the government every year acceding to public concerns. “The Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. sued the US government in an attempt to reveal the safety reports. According to a legal document entitled, “Mandate for Safer Childhood Vaccines,” Health and Human Services (HHS) openly admitted to not having filed any vaccine safety reports in over 30 years!”
Thus vaccine safety depends upon clinical trials of the manufacturers. How capable are they for revealing adverse effects? “According to the “2013 WHO Expert Consultation on the Use of Placebos in Vaccine Trials“, the following replacements are used in lieu of a true saline placebo: “In place of a placebo, a vaccine against a disease that is not the focus of the trial is given to participants who do not receive the trial vaccine.” or, an “add-on” vaccine can be used: “In this design, the trial vaccine or placebo product is mixed with an existing vaccine not studied in the trial, and the subjects are given either (a) the trial vaccine mixed with the existing unrelated vaccine or (b) the combination of a placebo and the existing unrelated vaccine.” Thus the trials can never provide a genuine risk assessment.
The WHO admits: “A methodological disadvantage, however, is that trials using these types of placebos provide a less perfect control. It may be difficult or impossible to assess fully the safety and reactogenicity of the trial vaccine.” The reasons offered are vaccines are classified as biological – therefore they do not require stringent safety tests, and it would be unethical to deny the control group the use of a vaccine.
This is the same WHO which considers those questioning vaccines to be the greatest public health threat, which has decided to launch a vigorous grassroots campaign to promote vaccines involving all its stakeholders and feels there should be no right to refuse.
The third wave of the anti-vaccination movement was focussed on autism discovered in 1943. It appeared in children all over the globe and became unmanageable by the 1990’s. The severity is reflected by the fact that in California the prevalence increased 600% in the period 1990 – 2002. It was the parents who raised their voice only to be ridiculed and demonized. They were asked to deny their own eyes as they watched and even video recorded their children regress after taking vaccines.
A lot happened during this period. In 3rd April 2000, a study titled “Autism, a unique type of mercury poisoning” by Sallie Bernard et al found 200 symptoms of autism to exactly match mercury poisoning and ascribed it to the use of the mercury containing compound Thiomersal in vaccines. Published in Medical Hypotheses in April 2001 after a thorough review, it created quite a stir and was vehemently criticized.
The din refused to fade and became shriller still when a freedom of information act petition by David Welden exposed the minutes of a high profile meeting of 51 officials belonging to the CDC, vaccine manufacturers, and highly placed government officials who had met in Simpsonwood, Northcross Georgia, USA on 7th – 8th June 2000 to discuss two CDC studies that found undeniable association between mercury containing vaccines and autism. The relative risk found in both the studies was 7.62; any figure above 1 being a sure indication.
CDC correspondence between the author Thomas Verstraeten and top notch scientists revealed he had manipulated the data at his level and unable to do so any further sent an SOS for help, “The association will not go away.” Consequently the meeting was held where the guests decided to bury the association even as a member conceded his grandchild would not receive vaccines, another expressed concerns over targets to be met, while a third highlighted a similar role of the vaccine adjuvant aluminium which he felt had equally disastrous consequences. All of them agreed that these results should not reach the public.
Verstraten left the CDC to join the vaccine giant Glaxosmithkline, and one study published in the November 2003 issue of the journal Pediatrics concluded, “No consistent significant associations were found between TCVs (thiomersal containing vaccines) and neurodevelopmental outcomes. Conflicting results were found at different HMOs for certain outcomes”; in short, nothing to worry. Dr. Mark Geier managed to access the raw data through the freedom of information act and found a relative risk of 7.62 as in the original. The other study showing the same remains with the CDC and is available in its archives.
CDC provided a grant to Dr. Poul Thorsen of Denmark to conduct the famous Danish studies. They found that Thiomersal in vaccines and the MMR vaccine were not associated with autism. The studies came under a cloud when a CDC insider squealed that Dr. Thorsen had misappropriated the grant. The case was investigated and Thorsen was found guilty of 22 counts of money laundering and wire fraud in April 2011.
US Attorney Quillian Yates remarked, “This defendant is alleged to have orchestrated a scheme to steal over $1 million in CDC grant money earmarked for autism research. We will now seek the defendant’s extradition.” Thorsen remains on the “Most Wanted” list of the Office of Inspector General, US DHHS, and awaits extradition as Denmark does not have an extradition treaty with the US. The CDC feels his financial misdemeanour has not affected his scientific integrity and defends the studies.
Another investigation was conducted on September 18, 2017. “The new evidence, uncovered by Children’s Health Defense, showed that Thorsen and his collaborators did not obtain permission from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to conduct their research, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 and Pediatrics in 2003. In 2009, when CDC discovered that Thorsen never applied for the IRB approvals, staff did not report the errors and retract the studies. Rather, FOIA documents show that CDC supervisors ignored the missteps and covered up the illegal activity.”
The next CDC study to run into a controversy was when Dr. William Thompson, CDC Immunization Safety Researcher, turned whistleblower and handed over 10,000 documents he was asked to destroy to the US Congress that revealed gross incongruities in the CDC DeStefano study published in 2002 that investigated the role of MMR vaccines in autism and refuted the 1998 investigation by Dr. Andrew Wakefield. “After Dr. Brian Hooker’s requests through the Freedom of Information Act for original MMR study documentation Dr. Thompson, the co-author, buckled under the pressure of his conscience to hand over documents that demonstrated a 3.4 fold increase in the incidence of autism in African American boys, expunged from the final study results in an act of scientific fraud.” Dr. Brian Hooker accessed the raw data to confirm the allegations. The matter is currently under Congress investigation.
The studies that strongly deny the vaccine autism connection are thus weak in their foundations. It must also trouble us that of the cases of vaccine injury compensated under NVICP, there exist 85 cases of autism awarded for encephalopathy. The association is denied under the plea that they only resemble symptoms of autism. But autism is a symptomatic diagnosis.
In 13th January 2019 The Hill reported, “Pediatric neurologist Dr. Andrew Zimmerman who originally served as the expert medical witness for the government, which defends vaccines in federal vaccine court signed a sworn affidavit. During a group of 5,000 vaccine-autism cases being heard in court on June 15, 2007, he took aside the Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers he worked for defending vaccines and told them he’d discovered “exceptions in which vaccinations could cause autism. “I explained that in a subset of children, vaccine-induced fever and immune stimulation did cause regressive brain disease with features of autism spectrum disorder.” His opinion was based on scientific advances and his own experience with patients.” However his confession was disregarded and the cases dismissed.
The anti-vaccine movement spread worldwide with a very strong base when the HPV vaccine against cervical cancer introduced in 2007 became associated with clinical trial fraud, and numerous cases of deaths and serious disabilities. These cases received huge media publicity in Japan, Sweden, UK, Ireland and the USA. The vaccine adverse effect reporting system (VAERS) of the USA reveals up to 14th January 2019, 61,060 adverse events that include 464 deaths and 8936 cases classified as serious. The agencies admit VAERS records 1% of actual.
Activists in India filed a case in the Supreme Court when it emerged that PATH and the ICMR had conducted an illegal clinical trial in the year 2009 that killed nine tribal girls and sickened almost every girl that it was administered to defying informed consent norms and local laws.
Afrikaners were jolted in November 2014 when the Catholic Doctors Association found evidence from reports of nine accredited laboratories that beta hcg, a birth control hormone, was present in tetanus vaccines being used by WHO and Unicef in Kenya targeting 14 to 49 year old women. “In February 2018 the Kenyan president Raila Odinga made a public televised statement acknowledging a tetanus vaccine given in 2014 – 2015 to approximately 500,000 women was confirmed to contain a sterilization hormone. The licence of the manufacturer was cancelled.”
In 2017 the Philippines erupted in anger when it was revealed that the Dengue vaccine manufactured by Sanofi approved in the country and administered to 800,000 children had ignored a warning that it could increase the cases of severe dengue in persons previously exposed to the disease. The official death toll is 154 as on Sept 26, 2018. Severe internal haemorrhage has been found in many cases. “Legal authorities have revealed there is a clear case against six Sanofi officials, mostly country representatives of the firm, and 14 current and former Philippine health officials including former Health Minister Janette Garin for 10 confirmed deaths.” Meanwhile the parents of the 800,000 children, and 100,000 more in Brazil, dread the day their wards would come down with dengue.
What is the strategy being used to push vaccines into an increasingly unwilling population? It starts with naming vaccines to be “immunization” whereas 100% of the suffering population can turn out to be “fully immunized” and the discovery of cellular immunity has all but negated this claim in 1944. Portraying vaccines to be about “public health” and “preventive medicine” when vaccines have been linked so far to 248 diseases and disabilities including death by scientific published studies, and research proves preventing most infectious diseases simply opens the flood gates of chronic disorders. Is it a wonder that people turn against vaccinations?
What should be done to stem the crisis? Dr. Pushpa Mittra Bhargava, founder director of The Institute of Cellular and Molecular Biology, had suggested some steps to the author to ensure safe vaccination programmes when he was interviewed in the year 2009 at Secunderabad.
There is a system for introducing vaccines into India. Many factors have to be considered. What is the incidence of the disease in the country; are there some regions where it is concentrated? Does the incidence justify a vaccine?
What is the mortality rate from the disease? Is it high enough to justify a vaccine? What is the safety profile of the vaccine? Has it been tested on Indian populations and found safe? What safety issues are being ignored? What are the alternatives to the vaccine? Can other safer public health measures control the disease better than the vaccine? Is the disease easily treatable at a lesser cost? Vaccines are a costly measure as they also involve logistics and staff to administer. Is there a cost benefit in using the vaccine or by avoiding it?
“Who are the children who should receive the vaccine and who should not? What are the contraindications of the vaccine? Must the vaccine be given to all or can it be restricted to regions of high incidence? Is there a mechanism in place to monitor the above process that consists of capable members free from conflict of interest? Is there a system of monitoring adverse effects and addressing them in a transparent manner and which too is free from conflict of interest? Is there pressure from international agencies to introduce the vaccine and influence the process?
“All these are important non negotiable issues whenever a vaccine is introduced into the country. I protested the oral polio vaccine because it is a hasty decision considering that the vaccine has a history of causing paralysis. We also do not know how it will affect the gut microbes. Are the cases of encephalitis we are witnessing in regions where intensive drives are on because of the vaccine?
“I am not opposed to vaccines but systems and procedures must be in place if we are to behave responsibly. Vaccines cannot be included in any schedule simply because someone somewhere is manufacturing them.”
These sage words must reverberate in all members of the scientific community who are interested in vaccine safety. We are aware of vaccination warnings being ignored in India. Dr. Vipin Vashishtha, senior executive committee member of the IAP voiced his concern about 15 additional vaccines being given by IAP members. He alleged that the amount of Rs. 25,000 to 30,000 per child that led to annual revenue of Rs. 8100 crores was driving the urge to vaccinate. Dr. Vashistha was physically assaulted at an IAP function and expelled from the IAP for raising his voice.
Doctors in India have expressed concerns about the Pentavalent vaccine in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, and suggested it could be behind around 8100 deaths annually in Indian children. The WHO responded to the global reports of deaths by revising the reporting system such that the deaths could not be ascribed to the vaccine making Dr. Jacob Puliyel lament, “Even deaths are no longer a contraindication to vaccination.”
An RTI query in 2018 made the Indian government concede 10,612 deaths after vaccinations provided under the universal immunization programme from 2008 to 2018. It also revealed upwards of 600,000 adverse effects are reported every year. Government officials hint at coincidence. The OPV vaccine being given with religious fervour in India has been attributed to 491,704 cases of paralysis in Indian children from 2000 to 2017 and the criticism against the study methodology has been countered effectively. Such figures do not inspire confidence, nor does the response. The private sector in India vaccinates 2.7 million children or more annually and has no monitoring system.
Parents in India have approached two High Courts; at Kerala, and New Delhi after children started dying and were hospitalized in hordes after being vaccinated with the measles rubella vaccine in a school based campaign. Deciding on the petitions the clear judgement in both cases has been, the risks have to be revealed and informed written consent taken. Preparations are on to challenge the decisions. It has been acknowledged by government sources that vaccination campaigns cannot succeed unless the parents are kept ignorant and the vaccines forced on the children.
Our children are today in a deplorable state. According to a report in The Lancet, 54% of children today suffer from chronic disorders. 1 in 10 children have asthma. 1 in 13 suffers from food allergies. 1 in 6 children suffer from developmental disorders. 1 in 8 suffers severe neurological disorders. The CDC’s latest report released in April 2019 reveals 1 in 59 children suffer autism. In the past 8 to 10 years: juvenile diabetes increased by 23%, cancer increased by 29%, ADHD increased by 43%, food allergies increased by 50%, asthma rates rose by almost 50%, Autism increased 150%. There is enough to be worried about.
Where is the healthy childhood that vaccines promised? Must a campaign that raises crucial issues, seeks scientific interventions, and expects the medical profession to ensure health be attacked just for being anti-industry?
We can no longer ignore the elephant in the room. Vaccination mandates being imposed in the USA in response to anti-vaccination sentiments and the censoring of social media is not the solution. The scientific society must proceed on observation, evidence and facts and not be swayed by the manipulations of the vaccine industry and its lobbyists. History will judge the custodians of children according to what their response will be at the present moment. Let that decision be sane and scientific. We need courage and determination to face the bullies. Our children are precious, not the profits of an industry that stands exposed.
For more on why vaccination is so hotly contested, visit the GreenMedInfo database on the subject.
Jagannath Chatterjee is a vaccine researcher and author of a number of articles on the subject that have appeared in newspapers and journals in India. He also writes for websites. A campaigner of 30 years standing against vaccines he is a vaccine victim being affected severely by the MMR vaccine in 1979 when he was 17 and preparing for a career in medicine. He blogs at www.currenthealthscenario.blogspot.inDisclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.