facts every parent should know
by Susan DeSimone
I recently gave birth to a healthy, happy baby girl. A few weeks after returning home from the hospital I started receiving “The Welcome Addition Club” Newsletter from the makers of Similac Infant Formula. (Needless to say, my baby will never taste a drop of formula in her lifetime!). It pains me to read the “Ask Your Doctor” column, especially when it gives advice such as: “Always follow the vaccination schedule recommended by your baby's doctor…Reactions to vaccinations, such as a mild fussiness or fever, may occur but are rarely serious.”
Well, I've done my homework, and beg to differ with the American Academy of Pediatrics. The Food and Drug Administration's Adverse Events Reporting System collected nearly 32,000 reports of adverse reactions following vaccination, with more than 700 deaths in a 39 month period ending in November 1993. The DPT vaccine was associated with more than 12,000 of these reports, including 471 deaths. (source: The American Chiropractor, Nov/Dec 1994). Bear in mind, as mentioned in part one of this article, since the FDA reporting system is voluntary, only 10% of actual reactions are ever reported – and the FDA concurs with this figure.
Numbers however, are cold and remote – they don't convey the feelings of emotional devastation experienced by parents and family members following one of these “rare” incidents. The following excerpt from an article of Money magazine (Dec. 1996) gives statistics a human face:
“When Miriam Silvermintz of Fairlawn, N.J. took her seven month old son Nathan to the pediatrician for his third series of vaccinations on Feb. 18, 1991, she was thrilled to hear the doctor say her baby was growing beautifully. Just five hours later, as Nathan lay in his crib, he shrieked in pain. Terrified, Miriam ran in and cradled her baby in her arms. Nathan collapsed, his eyes rolling back in his head, as he suffered a severe seizure. 'We called 911, and they worked on him for 45 minutes,' says Miriam, 'but I knew when I held him in my arms that he was dying.'
What killed Nathan? 'When I first called the pediatrician after the ambulance arrived, he said Nathan was probably having a reaction to his DPT shot,' Miriam recalls. 'But when Nathan died, the doctor did an about-face and said it had nothing to do with the vaccine.' Nathan's death was officially attributed to a congenital heart defect. But Miriam, now 36, and her husband Steven, couldn't shake the feeling that Nathan's death was somehow linked to the shot.”
Barbara Loe Fisher, Co-Founder and President of the National Vaccine Information Center told of similar cases at a forum in 1996:
“In 1988, Tina and her husband watched their healthy three month old son, Evan, get his first DPT shot and within hours, react with a swollen leg, bouts of high pitched screaming, and a fever. In the following days he was unusually lethargic, then lost head control and, finally, suffered a seizure, collapsed and died. The coroner listed Evan's death as heart failure but told his parents that Evan was a victim of sudden infant death syndrome.
In 1994, Tina gave birth to a healthy baby girl. When nine month old Miranda got her second DPT and HIB vaccinations, within 48 hours she woke her parents up with a scream that ended in a loud shriek. Tina ran to her daughter's crib and found her in the middle of a seizure that was followed by a collapse. Tina gave her baby CPR to try to revive her but Miranda died at the hospital an hour later. This time the pathologists concluded and the coroner agreed, the cause of death was a fatal reaction to DPT and HIB vaccines.”
Aside from obvious reactions such as these, there are also very subtle changes which occur after a child has been vaccinated. These changes were observed by Viera Scheibner, a retired Principal Research Scientist living in Australia, and her late husband Leif Karlsson, a biomedical engineer who specialized in patient monitoring systems [for more on Dr. Scheibner see Healing Newsletter, Vol. 12 No. 4]. Together they designed Cotwatch, a breathing monitor for babies who were thought to be at risk for “cot death” (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). “Initially we did not know about the controversy surrounding vaccination,” explained Scheibner in the Aug/Sep. 1991 edition of Natural Health. “We merely observed that vaccination was the single greatest cause of stress in small babies, as indicated by the standard Cotwatch equipment, and also the single greatest factor preceding cot death in a large number of cases. We concluded that the timing of 80% of cot deaths occurring between the second and sixth months is due to the cumulative effect of infections, the timing of immunizations and some inherent specifics in the baby's early development.” Scheibner conducted one study which focused on the breathing patterns of children who received the highly reactive DPT vaccine. She commented that researchers who concluded there was no correlation between SIDS and DPT “had little idea what they were looking at or what to look for. Most researchers arbitrarily accept that only deaths within 24 hours of administration of the vaccines can be attributed to the effect of the vaccine. Yet, babies may and do die for up to 25 or more days after vaccination, still as a direct consequence of the toxic effects of the vaccines. How do we know this? Because of the observed repetition of the pattern of flare-ups of Stress-Induced Breathing in a number of babies over a long period of time.”
Scheibner's book, Vaccination: 100 Years of Orthodox Research Shows Vaccines Represent a Medical Assault On the Immune System, summarizes 30,000 pages of medical papers. In addition to the causal link of the DPT to SIDS, Scheibner concludes that there is no evidence that vaccines are effective and that they are in fact highly noxious. Based in her findings, Scheibner was able to assert that “if vaccination’s were to be suspended, the cot death rate [SIDS] would at least be halved.”
It is clear that the DPT is the most dangerous of all childhood vaccinations. The culprit is the pertussis microbe (the 'P' element), known as Bordetella pertussis. In a study published in the Feb. 1979 issue of Pediatrics, where parents were asked to observe their children for reactions after the pertussis vaccine, only seven percent were unable to observe a reaction. There have been numerous studies conducted on the DPT indicating that there is “a high potential for damage to the neurological system, and that many cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning disabilities may be attributed to the pertussis vaccine itself,” stated Neil Miller, author of numerous books and articles on the topic of vaccination, in a 8/24/93 radio interview. A recent survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association brought to light the fact that children receiving the pertussis vaccine were six times more likely to develop asthma than those not receiving the vaccine.
The American Academy of Pediatrics might do well to study the history of the pertussis vaccine in the two countries with the lowest infant mortality rates in the world: Japan and Sweden. During the 70s, despite a mass vaccination program, an outbreak of pertussis occurred in Sweden. This prompted medical officials to ban the DPT vaccine in 1979 after surveys revealed that 84% of children who had contracted whooping cough had been fully immunized against this disease. Although the rate of whooping cough has increased since 1979, deaths have remained rare. Sweden now has the second lowest infant mortality rate.
In 1975, Japan raised the age of the DPT vaccination to age 2, and since then there has been a steady decline in sudden infant death syndrome and spinal menningitis. Japan has the lowest infant mortality rate in the world, while the international ranking for the U.S., according to a 1993 Center for Disease Control report is an appalling 25.
While it is certainly not as reactive as the DPT, the OPV or Oral Polio Vaccine is also steeped in controversy. The OPV contains the live polio virus, while another form of the polio vaccination, the IPV or inactivated Polio Vaccine contains a killed form of the virus. Jonas Salk, inventor of the IPV, testified before a Senate sub-committee that since 1961, all cases of polio in the U.S. were caused by the Oral Polio Vaccine.
What many parents may not realize is that the live virus can be transmitted through the child's stool for up to eight weeks. Caretakers of children who have recently received the OPV are advised to thoroughly wash their hands immediately after changing the child's diaper. (The IPV may have some adverse effects, but it does not cause polio in recipients).
The fact that polio can be transmitted via a child's feces should be cause for alarm for those living in developing nations where living conditions are unsanitary and sewage systems are minimal or non-existent. The OPV is used in these countries because each dose is about $3 less than the IPV, but the potential for a polio epidemic in nations such as India and Bangladesh is very real. Public Health officials in these countries seem to have blinded themselves to the enormous risk involved following the administration of this live vaccine.
The OPV has also caused Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is a nerve condition characterized by numbness and weakness of the limbs, but what is most frightening about both the OPV and the IPV, is the fact that, since they are cultured in monkey tissue, they may also contain live monkey (simian) viruses. An article in the March 1992 issue of the Lancet provided evidence that “the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may have been created after simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) entered the human population when green monkey kidney tissues infected with SIV were used to produce polio vaccines. [This article] pointed out that scientists at the Food and Drug Administration and [those within the industry] suspected as early as the 1950’s and knew by the 1970’s that polio vaccines had been contaminated with simian viruses and that at least one of these monkey viruses - SV40 - was later found to cause leukemia and cancerous tumors in lab animals,” stated Barbara Loe Fisher at a workshop on Simian Virus - 40 in January, 1997. She continued: “California microbiologist Howard B. Urnovitz, Ph.D. …provided compelling evidence at the Eighth Annual Houston Conference on AIDS in America that the human immunodeficiency virus Type 1 (HIV-1) is a monkey hybrid that was created after more than 320,000 Africans were injected in the late 1950’s with experimental live oral polio vaccines contaminated with live simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV).
Pointing out that endogenous retroviruses can easily recombine with fragments of other viruses, both human and animal, and form new hybrid viruses called chimeras, Dr. Urnovitz explained how SIV could have recombined with the normal genes of the Africans who received the contaminated vaccines, and created a monkey-human hybrid known as HIV-1.” The Measles, Mumps and Rubella or MMR is also cultured in animal tissue, namely chick embryos. With the understanding that a virus can incorporate genetic material from the animal tissues in which they are incubated, the child who receives the MMR may also be receiving other animal viruses. These viruses, in theory, may make the child susceptible later on to immune disorders, including autoimmune diseases.
Harris L. Coulter, Ph.D, medical history scholar and president of the Center for Empirical Medicine in Washington, D.C. reported in April of 1997 to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations that the MMR as well as the DPT may be the root causes of diabetes in the U.S. “Both untreated rubella and the rubella vaccine (part of the MMR inoculation) produce immune complexes that can damage the pancreas and significantly reduce the levels of insulin that organ is able to secrete…As a vaccine, there are now many case reports directly linking the onset of diabetes - sometimes within only a month's time - with receipt of the mumps vaccination,” said Coulter. I myself have seen this happen. Last January, a good friend of mine took her 17 month old son to the doctor for his first MMR injection. One month later, after coming down with a virus that he had difficulty recovering from, he was diagnosed with type I diabetes. Type I diabetes is supposedly a hereditary disease, but neither parents are diabetic, and it is virtually non-existent on either side of the family.
There are other long-term consequences of the MMR that also need to be considered. “Widespread measles vaccinations seem to be shifting the incidence of the disease into older age groups; 80 percent of cases now occurring in people aged 10 to 19 and with atypical, often untreatable symptoms,” writes Richard Leviton in the Jul/Aug. edition of Health Freedom News. Although mass vaccination of the MMR has caused a dramatic decline in the incidence of measles, outbreaks still occur in older populations and in infants born to women whose immunity from vaccination has waned. The July 1995 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine describes the failure of the MMR vaccine in a highly vaccinated high school population in New Mexico. Of all those who contracted measles, 97% had received the measles vaccine.
The issue of whether or not to vaccinate is contentious to say the least. Those in favor of mass vaccination programs contend that it is an issue of public health - it is the only means of preventing widespread epidemics. But activists like Barbara Loe Fisher believe that the price paid to protect the public at large is too great. As she puts it: “ the epidemiologists look at mass vaccination the way a military general studies a battle. A general knows he must sacrifice men to take a hill. This is how government health officials see mass vaccination. They start getting the idea that some children are expendable. I cannot think of any other instance in our society where we say it's ok to kill children, to have them brain damaged, because it's for the greater welfare of society.”
It is no secret among those in the holistic health field that the germ theory paradigm needs to be reconsidered. Many of us realize that health is not merely the absence of disease. Rudolph Virchow, German pathologist and founder of cellular medicine has stated, “If I could live my life over again, I would devote it to proving that germs seek their natural habitat - 'diseased' tissue - rather than being the cause of 'diseased' tissue.” Dr. Gerson taught us that disease is merely a symptom of a weakened immune system. He knew that the best way to attain healthy immunity was through eating a healthy diet of organically grown foods – foods that are unrefined and free of preservatives. In add-ition to a proper diet, one cannot discount the value of adequate rest and sanitary living conditions, not to mention lots of love! “When we build our children's immunity this way,” notes Dr. Harold Buttram in the Winter 1985 issue of Mothering magazine, “many diseases will pass as subclinical infections without acute illness, or if there is illness, it will be relatively mild.”
It is important for parents to realize that they do have a choice – it is up to us to decide which vaccinations our children will receive – if any.
Before Your Child Receives a Vaccine,
Ask Yourself the Following:
A motto to remember: Educate before you vaccinate.
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