Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 27(11):1030-1032, November 2008.
Hendrickson, Debra J. MD; Blumberg, Dean A. MD; Joad, Jesse P. MD; Jhawar, Sanjay MD; McDonald, Ruth J. MD
A retrospective review of medical records for all pediatric parapneumonic empyema (PPE) patients admitted to our hospital from 1996 to 2006 revealed that PPE increased 5-fold in the post-heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) period (2001-2005) relative to the pre-PCV7 period (1996-2000), from 13 cases to 65. Most of this increase was associated with culture-negative empyema, which accounted for 61% of all post-2000 cases; 19% was culture-positive pneumococcal empyema. Our analysis indicates that non-PCV7 serotypes became more prevalent at our institution after introduction of the vaccine.
A previously healthy boy who had received varicella vaccine developed herpes zoster with meningitis. The vaccine strain recovered from scabs of 3 skin lesions had the wild-type allele at position 108111, a vaccine marker never previously associated with vaccine-associated adverse events. The vaccine strain from cerebrospinal fluid also contained mutations never previously observed at vaccine-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms that would alter amino acid sequences in ORF54 and ORF59. The presence of distinct strains in skin lesions and cerebrospinal fluid indicate that >1 variant strain may reactivate to cause herpes zoster.
Bayer Aspirin With Supplements Is Illegal, U.S. Warns
By Justin Blum
Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) — Pills made by Bayer AG that combine aspirin with dietary supplements to fight osteoporosis and high cholesterol are being sold illegally and could harm consumers, U.S. regulators said.
The non-prescription products are Bayer Women’s Low Dose Aspirin + Calcium and Bayer Aspirin with Heart Advantage, which contains plant-based substances called phytosterols, the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement today. The agency has also sent warning letters to the company.
Dietary supplements generally don’t need FDA approval. The agency is responsible, though, for approving new drugs and has in the past warned companies they need clearance to sell products that combine the two. The regulators focused on the Heart Advantage product after it was introduced this year.
“The marketing of these unapproved drugs is troubling,” said Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a statement. “The overuse or misuse of these aspirin-containing products can put consumers at risk for internal bleeding and other adverse events.”
The FDA isn’t aware of harmful side effects from the products, the agency said in its statement.
Bayer, of Leverkusen, Germany, gained 63 cents, or 1.6 percent, to 38.52 euros at 1:52 p.m. New York time today in Frankfurt trading. The shares have lost 38 percent of their value this year, compared with a 13 percent decline in the Bloomberg Europe Pharmaceutical Index.
Bayer “stands behind the marketing of both products,” said Anne Coiley, a Bayer spokeswoman, in a telephone interview. The products contain language telling consumers to consult with their doctors, she said. The company will review the warning letters and respond to the FDA, she said.
The FDA said the products’ combination of aspirin and the supplements — along with their beneficial health claims — cause them to be classified as new drugs, requiring agency approval.
The FDA began examining Heart Advantage after it was introduced earlier this year, said Michael Levy, acting assistant director of compliance in the FDA’s drug division. The agency was especially concerned about that product because “it is a combination that we have not seen before,” Levy said in a telephone interview.
Other Product Review
The FDA also decided to examine the women’s aspirin, introduced in 2002, “in the interest of consistency,” he said.
The calcium in the women’s aspirin is intended to help against osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease, while the phytosterols are intended to lower the bad form of cholesterol.
Aspirin can be combined with calcium for use in buffered aspirin, according to the agency. When combined to make an aspirin product that claims to fight osteoporosis, the product becomes a new drug that needs FDA approval, according to the agency.
Companies that don’t resolve FDA violations raised in warning letters risk sanctions such as injunctions or seizures, according to the FDA.
Two House Democrats — Representatives John Dingell and Bart Stupak of Michigan — wrote to the Health and Human Services Department, which oversees the FDA, on Oct. 14 questioning whether the Heart Advantage product violates agency rules. They cited a May 2000 letter from the FDA saying that the agency recommends that companies refrain from marketing products that combine drugs and dietary supplements.
WASHINGTON – An independent panel of science advisers is taking issue with the FDA’s assessment that a controversial chemical is safe.
In a report to the agency, the panel concluded: “The margins of safety identified by FDA as ‘adequate’ are, in fact, inadequate.”
The chemical, known as bisphenolA, is used to makeand sealants for cans that contain food. Environmental groups are seeking to have it banned in products for young children.
The advisers found that the FDA had not considered all the scientific evidence available in concluding that BPA is safe.
AMERICAN HOME PRODUCTS CORP. ET AL. V. FERRARI ET AL. (S07G1708)
Attorneys for Appellants (Manufacturers): Lowell Fine, Leslie Suson, Robert Hays, Matthew HarmanAttorney for Appellees (Ferraris): Lanny Bridgers
Filed under: Autism News, News Articles, State/U.S. Laws | Tagged: AMERICAN HOME PRODUCTS CORP. et al. v. FERRARI et al | Leave a Comment »
Is Science What You Think it is?
What is Science? According to Wikipedia it is defined as:
Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge” or “knowing”) is the effort to discover, and increase human understanding of how the physical world works. Through controlled methods, scientists use observable physical evidence of natural phenomena to collect data, and analyze this information to explain what and how things work. Such methods include experimentation that tries to simulate natural phenomena under controlled conditions and thought experiments. Knowledge in science is gained through research.
Science is ultimately about discovery and discovering ‘new’ laws of nature that have existed since the beginning of time. Science gets its foundation from mathematics as it provides the methods to compose, correlate, model, analyze, and predict. Statistics, on the other hand, is something that can be misused due to suppression of data, misinterpretation of data, poorly designed experiments, and passing off fiction as fact. Science relies on experiments which have to be reproducible. Experiments should be large (population size, racial, economical, and social for instance) and double blind. Only the product(s) you wish to test should be in the experiment to be truly ‘double blind’. The placebo effect must also be taken into consideration.
Real Science should begin with no conclusions because the scientist is searching for truth and they don’t know what that truth is yet. They would do this by forming a hypothesis, make predictions for the hypothesis, and then test the predictions. The research would then reject or revise the hypothesis. Real science will point out flaws in their research, while junk science pretends there is none. Is raw data really ‘raw’? No, because it is what you planned from the start. The whole experiment from the theory, structure, system, what you believe, what you test, and how you test, etc. will be based on preconceptions. Truth will become what the structure says it is from the very start. The hypothesis will control what science does and will control all the details. So is it truly 100% objective? A hypothesis can be strong, and the belief held that it is correct, which could make things be seen that are not truly there. Some investigations and research end up being left ‘unfinished’ if it looks like the results contradict an accepted view or don’t meet the expected hypothesis.
Myth 1: Hypotheses Become Theories Which Become Laws
This myth deals with the general belief that with increased evidence there is a developmental sequence through which scientific ideas pass on their way to final acceptance. Many believe that scientific ideas pass through the hypothesis and theory stages and finally mature as laws. A former U.S. president showed his misunderstanding of science by saying that he was not troubled by the idea of evolution because it was “just a theory.” The president’s misstatement is the essence of this myth; that an idea is not worthy of consideration until “lawness” has been bestowed upon it.
Myth 2: A Hypothesis is an Educated Guess
The term hypothesis has at least three definitions, and for that reason, should be abandoned, or at least used with caution. For instance, when Newton said that he framed no hypothesis as to the cause of gravity he was saying that he had no speculation about an explanation of why the law of gravity operates as it does. In this case, Newton used the term hypothesis to represent an immature theory.
Myth 3: A General and Universal Scientific Method Exists
…The steps listed for the scientific method vary from text to text but usually include, a) define the problem, b) gather background information, c) form a hypothesis, d) make observations, e) test the hypothesis, and f) draw conclusions. Some texts conclude their list of the steps of the scientific method by listing communication of results as the final ingredient.
One of the reasons for the widespread belief in a general scientific method may be the way in which results are presented for publication in research journals. The standardized style makes it appear that scientists follow a standard research plan. Medawar (1990) reacted to the common style exhibited by research papers by calling the scientific paper a fraud since the final journal report rarely outlines the actual way in which the problem was investigated.
Myth 4: Evidence Accumulated Carefully Will Result in Sure Knowledge
… Scientists formulate laws and theories that are supposed to hold true in all places and for all time but the problem of induction makes such a guarantee impossible…
The nature of induction itself is another interesting aspect associated with this myth. If we set aside the problem of induction momentarily, there is still the issue of how scientists make the final leap from the mass of evidence to the conclusion. In an idealized view of induction, the accumulated evidence will simply result in the production of a new law or theory in a procedural or mechanical fashion. In reality, there is no such method. The issue is far more complex — and interesting –than that. The final creative leap from evidence to scientific knowledge is the focus of another myth of science.
Myth 5: Science and its Methods Provide Absolute Proof
The problem of induction argues against proof in science, but there is another element of this myth worth exploring. In actuality, the only truly conclusive knowledge produced by science results when a notion is falsified. What this means is that no matter what scientific idea is considered, once evidence begins to accumulate, at least we know that the notion is untrue…whether scientists routinely try to falsify their notions and how much contrary evidence it takes for a scientist’s mind to change are issues worth exploring.
Myth 6: Science Is Procedural More Than Creative
Induction makes use of individual facts that are collected, analyzed and examined. Some observers may perceive a pattern in these data and propose a law in response, but there is no logical or procedural method by which the pattern is suggested. With a theory, the issue is much the same. Only the creativity of the individual scientist permits the discovery of laws and the invention of theories. If there truly was a single scientific method, two individuals with the same expertise could review the same facts and reach identical conclusions. There is no guarantee of this because the range and nature of creativity is a personal attribute.
Myth 7: Science and its Methods Can Answer All Questions
Philosophers of science have found it useful to refer to the work of Karl Popper (1968) and his principle of falsifiability to provide an operational definition of science. Popper believed that only those ideas that are potentially falsifiable are scientific ideas.
…Science simply cannot address moral, ethical, aesthetic, social and metaphysical questions.
Myth 8. Scientists are Particularly Objective
… contributions from both the philosophy of science and psychology reveal that there are at least three major reasons that make complete objectivity impossible.
Many philosophers of science support Popper’s (1963) view that science can advance only through a string of what he called conjectures and refutations. In other words, scientists should propose laws and theories as conjectures and then actively work to disprove or refute those ideas…. From a philosophical perspective the idea is sound, but there are no indications that scientists actively practice programs to search for disconfirming evidence.
Another aspect of the inability of scientists to be objective is found in theory-laden observation, a psychological notion (Hodson, 1986). Scientists, like all observers, hold a myriad of preconceptions and biases about the way the world operates. These notions, held in the subconscious, affect everyone’s ability to make observations. It is impossible to collect and interpret facts without any bias…. Certain facts either were not seen at all or were deemed unimportant based on the scientists’s prior knowledge. In earlier discussions of induction, we postulated that two individuals reviewing the same data would not be expected to reach the same conclusions. Not only does individual creativity play a role, but the issue of personal theory-laden observation further complicates the situation.
…scientists work within a research tradition called a paradigm. This research tradition, shared by those working in a given discipline, provides clues to the questions worth investigating, dictates what evidence is admissible and prescribes the tests and techniques that are reasonable. Although the paradigm provides direction to the research it may also stifle or limit investigation. Anything that confines the research endeavor necessarily limits objectivity. While there is no conscious desire on the part of scientists to limit discussion, it is likely that some new ideas in science are rejected because of the paradigm issue. When research reports are submitted for publication they are reviewed by other members of the discipline. Ideas from outside the paradigm are liable to be eliminated from consideration as crackpot or poor science and thus do not appear in print.
Myth 9. Experiments are the Principle Route to Scientific Knowledge
…True experiments involve carefully orchestrated procedures along with control and test groups usually with the goal of establishing a cause and effect relationship. Of course, true experimentation is a useful tool in science, but is not the sole route to knowledge.
… Scientific knowledge is gained in a variety of ways including observation, analysis, speculation, library investigation and experimentation.
Myth 10. All Work in Science is Reviewed to Keep the Process Honest.
… professional scientists are also constantly reviewing each other’s experiments to check up on each other. Unfortunately, while such a check and balance system would be useful, the number of findings from one scientist checked by others is vanishingly small In reality, most scientists are simply too busy and research funds too limited for this type of review.
The result of the lack of oversight has recently put science itself under suspicion. With the pressures of academic tenure, personal competition and funding, it is not surprising that instances of outright scientific fraud do occur. However, even without fraud, the enormous amount of original scientific research published, and the pressure to produce new information rather than reproduce others’ work dramatically increases the chance that errors will go unnoticed.
What is Junk Science? Junk science is defined by Wikipedia as:
Junk science is a term used in U.S. political and legal disputes that brands an advocate’s claims about scientific data, research, analyses as spurious. The term conveys a pejorative connotation that the advocate is driven by political, ideological, financial, or other unscientific motives.
The term was first used in relation to expert testimony in civil litigation. More recently, it has been used to criticize research on the harmful environmental or public health effects of corporate activities, and occasionally in response to such criticism. “Junk science” is often counterposed to “sound science“, a term used to describe studies that favor the accuser’s point of view. It is the role of political interests which distinguishes debate over junk science from discussions of pseudoscience and controversial science.
So basically, junk science is scientific data and analysis that is ‘faulty’ and used to advance hidden agendas. Who then uses Junk Science?
1. The media for attention-getting headlines, and/or used for social or political agendas.
2. Social Activists to achieve social or political gain/change or to change beliefs.
3. Injury lawyers to award compensation and win large verdicts.
4. Government regulators as a way to increase budgets or expand their authority.
5. Individual Scientists to achieve fortune, fame, and can be used by the government for their purposes.
6. Businesses to make negative claims against their competitors.
7. Politicians to gain favor with activist groups.
Junk Science, or otherwise known as pseudoscience, has no single ‘test’ that distinguishes it between science and junk science. There are differences that can become apparent and these differences are consistent. For instance:
1. The primary goal of science is to achieve a more complete and more unified understanding of the physical world.
Pseudosciences are more likely to be driven by ideological, cultural, or commercial goals.
2. Most scientific fields are the subjects of intense research which result in the continual expansion of knowledge in the discipline.
Pseudosciences -The field has evolved very little since it was first established. The small amount of research and experimentation that is carried out is generally done more to justify the belief than to extend it.
3. Science-Workers in the field commonly seek out counterexamples or findings that appear to be inconsistent with accepted theories.
In the pseudosciences, a challenge to accepted dogma is often considered a hostile act if not heresy, and leads to bitter disputes or even schisms.
4. Observations or data that are not consistent with current scientific understanding, once shown to be credible, generate intense interest among scientists and stimulate additional studies.
Pseudosciences – Observations or data that are not consistent with established beliefs tend to be ignored or actively suppressed.
5. Science is a process in which each principle must be tested in the crucible of experience and remains subject to being questioned or rejected at any time.
Pseudosciences – The major tenets and principles of the field are often not falsifiable, and are unlikely ever to be altered or shown to be wrong.
6. Scientific ideas and concepts must stand or fall on their own merits, based on existing knowledge and on evidence.
Pseudoscientific concepts tend to be shaped by individual egos and personalities, almost always by individuals who are not in contact with mainstream science. They often invoke authority (a famous name, for example) for support.
7. Scientific explanations must be stated in clear, unambiguous terms.
Pseudoscientific explanations tend to be vague and ambiguous, often invoking scientific terms in dubious contexts.
How is Junk Science used in public relations? Most often it is in the disguise of public ‘health’ or ‘environment protection’. They will seek to prove conclusions are true for an economic profit. It is often done by attaching famous ‘scientists’ names. Only when it becomes too obvious to hide the truth, will a quiet phase out take place. Anyone who speaks out against the agenda, that is bought and paid for, will be debunked and labeled ‘junk science’, even if it is true. What is often deemed ‘junk science’, by those in a higher standing in the scientific community, defends something that threatens the health agenda or the environment for the good of all.
..to be continued
The New Way Parents Avoid Vaccination (whole article in link)
Parents choose to home-school their children for economic reasons or to provide what they feel is a better education — but a growing number of moms and dads are choosing to teach their kids at home to avoid forced immunizations.
While some states allow kids to obtain medical or religious exemptions from the immunizations, most states don’t require home-schooled children to be vaccinated at all.
But with recent outbreaks of measles being tied to unvaccinated, home-schooled children, health officials want to change the rules.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, exemptions from immunizations should be harder to get and home-schooled children should be required to get them as well….
I am not at all surprised by this and expected it to come about as more parents are choosing to homeschool their kids. More and more parents are choosing to homeschool, not because of the vaccine issue, but because they are fed up with the public schools educational system, crumbling schools, and what have you. For the CDC to stick their nose in-what gives them the right when vaccines for many parents is still at the bottom of the list in terms of their decision. This is simply another attempt to further ’control the herd’.
The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is calling on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to publicly release the study design, data and names of principal investigators involved in a statement this week maintaining that Gardasil vaccine is safe with no serious side effects. NVIC will also be calling on the newly elected President and members of Congress to remove the nation’s vaccine safety monitoring system from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and place it in a separate entity reporting directly to Congress to restore trust in the nation’s public health laws based on federal mass vaccination policies.
The CDC and FDA are alleging that the vast majority – if not all – of the approximately 9,000 HPV vaccine adverse events, including 27 deaths, reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) are not causally related to the Gardasil vaccine based on internal analysis, including review of medical records of girls and women vaccinated in HMO’s participating in the federal Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) Project and other closed government operated databases.
“Transparency in government is essential to trust in government and replication is the hallmark of good science,” said NVIC co-founder and president Barbara Loe Fisher. “Parents of young girls and women cut down in their prime – some of them paralyzed or dead within hours or days of getting Gardasil vaccine – deserve better answers than a whitewashing of this vaccine’s very serious side effects. Until there is an independent confirmation of these unverified findings by individuals and companies without financial ties to the government or industry, it is not credible.”
- In June 2006 NVIC questioned the quality and quantity of Merck’s pre-licensure Gardasil vaccine safety data in girls under age 16 and, in 2007, issued three reports analyzing serious Gardasil adverse events reported to VAERS;
- In 2007, Merck lobbied in many states for Gardasil vaccine mandates but failed in most;
- During 2008, about 20 percent of all vaccine adverse event reports to VAERS were related to Gardasil even though it is not a mandated vaccine like most others;
- Last week, reports that Merck’s Gardasil sales are falling dramatically and are not offsetting similar declining sales of other drugs associated with safety concerns prompted Merck to lower profit projections and layoff employees.
NVIC was founded in 1982 and worked with Congress on the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. The non-profit watchdog group advocates for safer vaccine policies and the legal right for Americans to make informed, voluntary decisions about vaccination.
Barbara Loe Fisher
National Vaccine Information Center
Includes: MMR, HepB, Tetanus, HPV, Influenza, autism
Robert Krakow on why he believes a flu vaccine caused autism in his son
The study highlights an amazing change that takes place in a mother’s body when she begins producing breast milk. For years before her pregnancy, cells that produce antibodies against intestinal infections travel around her circulatory system as if it were a highway and regularly take an “off-ramp” to her intestine. There they stand ready to defend against infections such as cholera or rotavirus. But once she begins lactating, some of these same antibody-producing cells suddenly begin taking a different “off-ramp,” so to speak, that leads to the mammary glands. That way, when her baby nurses, the antibodies go straight to his intestine and offer protection while he builds up his own immunity.
This is why previous studies have shown that formula-fed infants have twice the incidence of diarrheal illness as breast-fed infants.
Until now, scientists did not know how the mother’s body signaled the antibody-producing cells to take the different off-ramp. The new study identifies the molecule that gives them the green light.
“Everybody hears that breastfeeding is good for the baby,” said Eric Wilson, the Brigham Young University microbiologist who is the lead author on the study. “But why is it good? One of the reasons is that mothers’ milk carries protective antibodies which shield the newborn from infection, and this study demonstrates the molecular mechanisms used by the mother’s body to get these antibody-producing cells where they need to be.”
Understanding the role of the molecule, called CCR10, also has implications for potential future efforts to help mothers better protect their infants.
“This tells us that this molecule is extremely important, so if we want to design a vaccine for the mother so she could effectively pass protective antibodies to the child, it would be absolutely essential to induce high levels of CCR10,” said Wilson.
Speaking broadly about the long-term applications of this research, BYU undergraduate Elizabeth Nielsen Low, a co-author on the paper, said, “If we know how these cells migrate, we’ll be able to hit the right targets to get them to go where we want them.”
Daniel Campbell is a researcher at the Benroya Research Institute in Seattle, a nonprofit organization that specializes in the immune system, and was not affiliated with this study.
“The molecular basis for this redistribution [of the mother’s cells] has not been well characterized, but Dr. Wilson’s work has begun to crack that code and define the molecules responsible for this cellular redistribution and passive immunity,” Campbell said. “It is important work that fundamentally enhances our understanding of how immunity is provided to the [baby] via the milk. Dr. Wilson’s study will certainly form the basis for many other studies aimed at uncovering how the immune system is organized, particularly at mucosal surfaces.”
To conduct their research, the team used so-called “knock-out mice” that had been genetically engineered to lack the CCR10 molecule. Whereas normal lactating mice had hundreds of thousands of antibody-producing cells in their mammary glands, the BYU team found that the knock-out mice had more than 70 times fewer such cells. Tests verified that the absence of CCR10 was responsible for the deficiency.
Surprisingly, the research also showed that CCR10 does not play the same crucial role in signaling antibody-producing cells to migrate to the intestine. Another molecule is their “traffic light.”
The findings will be published in the Nov. 1 issue of the Journal of Immunology.
The study was supported by Wilson’s grant from the National Institutes of Health, funding which continues for another 18 months and supports his and his students’ further investigation into the cells behind transfer of immunity in breast milk.
The immune system consists of at least two parts which are the humoral and the cellular. When one is activated the other is suppressed. Because of this, the new approach has been to try and prevent suppression.
Dr. Rebecca Carly explains:
The mechanism by which the immune system is corrupted can best be realized when you understand that the two poles of the immune system (the cellular and humoral mechanisms) have a reciprocal relationship in that when the activity of one pole is increased, the other must decrease. Thus, when one is stimulated, the other is inhibited. Since vaccines activate the B cells to secrete antibody, the cytotoxic (killer) T cells are subsequently suppressed. (In fact, progressive vaccinia (following vaccination with smallpox) occurs in the presence of high titers of circulating antibody to the virus1 combined with suppressed cytotoxic T cells, leading to spreading of lesions all over the body). This suppression of the cell mediated response is thus a key factor in the development of cancer and life threatening infections. In fact, the “prevention” of a disease via vaccination is, in reality, an inability to expel organisms due to the suppression of the cell-mediated response. Thus, rather than preventing disease, the disease is actually prevented from ever being resolved. The organisms continue circulating through the body, adapting to the hostile environment by transforming into other organisms depending on acidity, toxicity and other changes to the internal terrain of the body as demonstrated by the works of Professor Antoine Béchamp. He established this prior to the development of the “germ theory” of disease by Louis Pasteur. Pasteur’s “germ theory” was a plagiarist’s attempt to reshape the truth from Béchamp into his own “original” premise – the beLIEf that germs are out to “attack” us, thereby causing dis-ease. Thus, treatment of infection with antibiotics as well as “prevention” of disease with vaccines are both just corrupted attempts at cutting off the branches of dis-ease, when the root of the cause is a toxic internal environment combined with nutritional deficiency. However, since Pasteur’s germ theory was conducive to the profits of the burgeoning pharmaceutical cartels that only manage dis-ease, no mention of the work of Professor Béchamp is made in medical school curricula.
To make matters worse than the suppression of cellular immunity which occurs when vaccines are injected, adjuvants (which are substances added to vaccines to enhance the antibody response) can actually lead to serious side effects themselves. Adjuvants include oil emulsions, mineral compounds (which may contain the toxic metal aluminum), bacterial products, liposomes (which allow delayed release of substances), and squalene. The side effects of adjuvants themselves include hyperactivity of B cells leading to pathologic2 levels of antibody production, as well as allergic reaction to the adjuvants themselves (as demonstrated in Gulf War I soldiers injected with vaccines containing the adjuvant squalene, to which antibodies were found in many soldiers). Note that the pathologically elevated hyperactivity of antibody production caused by adjuvants also results in a distraction from the other antigens that the immune system encounters “naturally”, which must be addressed to maintain health.
When a B lymphocyte encounters an antigen, it is stimulated to mature into a plasma cell, which then produces antibodies (also called immunoglobulins, or Ig). Antibodies protect the body by helping other immune cells ingest antigens, by inactivating toxic substances produced by bacteria, and by attacking bacteria and viruses directly. Antibodies also activate the complement system. Antibodies are essential for fighting off certain types of bacterial infections.
Each antibody molecule has two parts. One part varies; it is specialized to attach to a specific antigen. The other part is one of five structures, which determines the antibody’s class-IgG, IgM, IgD, IgE, or IgA. This part is the same within each class.
IgM: This class of antibody is produced when a particular antigen is encountered for the first time. The response triggered by the first encounter with an antigen is called the primary antibody response. Normally, IgM is present in the bloodstream but not in the tissues.
IgG: The most prevalent class of antibody, IgG is produced when a particular antigen is encountered again. This response is called the secondary antibody response. It is faster and results in more antibodies than the primary antibody response. IgG is present in the bloodstream and tissues. It is the only class of antibody that crosses the placenta from mother to fetus. The mother’s IgG protects the fetus and infant until the infant’s immune system can produce its own antibodies.
IgA: These antibodies help defend against the invasion of microorganisms through body surfaces lined with a mucous membrane, including those of the nose, eyes, lungs, and digestive tract. IgA is present in the bloodstream, in secretions produced by mucous membranes, and in breast milk.
IgE: These antibodies trigger immediate allergic reactions (see Allergic Reactions: Introduction). IgE binds to basophils (a type of white blood cell) in the bloodstream and mast cells in tissues. When basophils or mast cells with IgE bound to them encounter allergens (antigens that cause allergic reactions), they release substances that cause inflammation and damage surrounding tissues. Thus, IgE is the only class of antibody that often seems to do more harm than good. However, IgE may help defend against certain parasitic infections that are common in some developing countries.
IgD: Small amounts of these antibodies are present in the bloodstream. The function of IgD is not well understood.
INNATE IMMUNITY = This can best be described as GENETIC IMMUNITY or that immunity an organism is BORN WITH. This type of immunity can be an immunity that applies to the vast majority of the members of a species (SPECIES IMMUNITY), or it can be an immunity that applies to only a certain subgroup within a species down to a few individuals within that species. For example, cattle suffer from the cowpox virus, but appear to have a SPECIES IMMUNITY to the closely related smallpox viruses, whereas smallpox is a deadly disease to humans , but cowpox is a mild localized skin infection. Humans are susceptible to the HIV virus, but most of our related primates are immune to HIV, but they suffer from HIV-like viruses to which we appear to be immune. Within a species there may exist SUBGROUPS that are STATISTICALLY immune or resistant to particular pathogens. For example, the Northern Europeans appears to be more resistant to tuberculosis than are most Africans, whereas Africans are naturally resistant to a variety of African diseases that readily kill the “whites”. Finally, because of the genetic variation within every species INDIVIDUALS are statistically more resistant to some diseases, and more susceptible to other diseases. Most of you know those within your own families that “rarely” get colds or the flu, while other family members catch one respiratory infection after another. While there are many factors (diet, stress etc.) that could explain these individual differences, one of them is that certain COMBINATIONS OF GENES render some more resistant to the common cold viruses, whereas others of us are very susceptible. This type of immunity has NOTHING TO DO WITH the type of specific immunity we are discussing in this section.
ACQUIRED IMMUNITY = This refers to immunity that one acquires in one of two ways, active or passive. These are subdivided into the following further categories:
a) ACTIVE NATURALLY ACQUIRED IMMUNITY = This occurs when individuals suffer from
a natural infection of a pathogen and become immune to that pathogen upon recovery (e.g.
b) ACTIVE ARTIFICIALLY ACQUIRED IMMUNITY = This occurs when individuals are
actively vaccinated with an antigen that confers immunity.
c) PASSIVE NATURALLY ACQUIRED IMMUNITY = This occurs when individuals receive
antibodies from their mother by a natural process, such as in BREAST MILK or in-utero transfer of
antibodies from mother to fetus. In mammals, mother’s milk is know to contain a large concentration
of antibodies and other antiviral and antibacterial substance that protect the newborn infants. Further,
the mother’s antibodies cross the placental barrier, particularly near the end of term. In both these
circumstances the infant is only resistant to whatever the mother is resistant to.
d) PASSIVE ARTIFICIALLY ACQUIRED IMMUNITY = This occurs when individuals are
injected with POOLED serum from immune individuals that contain antibodies against a large number
of pathogens. In the case of humans, a fraction of blood serum, GAMMA GLOBULIN, that is
highly enriched in antibodies is injected into individuals that have been exposed to certain pathogens.
The GAMMA GLOBULIN is obtained from pooled sera from many individuals and thus contains a
broad spectrum of antibodies.
PASSIVE acquired immunity is short lived as the antibodies eventually die off or are themselves removed from the body as foreign protein. Since the person receiving the passive dose DOES NOT PRODUCE their own antibodies, the immunity is TRANSIENT.
The ACTIVE forms of immunity are generally long lived, particularly in the case of recovery from a CLINICAL INFECTION. Sometimes this immunity it lifelong, but in other cases it is not. Vaccinations may induce long-lived immunity, but recent data indicate that vaccinations may not last as long as once was hoped. For example, there is a very effective vaccine against tetanus, but it lasts only a few years and every year hundreds of people who have been vaccinated against this bacterium die because they have not gotten their BOOSTER SHOTS (vaccinations given periodically to booster the immunity of previous vaccinations) every three to five years.
Dr. Tedd Koren, D.C. stated, “Whenever we read vaccine papers, the MD researchers always assume that if there are high antibody levels after vaccination, then there is immunity (immunogencity). But are antibody levels and immunity the same? No! Antibody levels are not the same as IMMUNITY. The recent MUMPS vaccine fiasco in Switzerland has re-emphasized this point. Three mumps vaccines-Rubini, Jeryl-Lynn and Urabe (the one withdrawn because it caused encephalitis)- all produced excellent antibody levels but those vaccinated with the Rubini strain had the same attack rate as those not vaccinated at all, there were some who said that it actually caused outbreaks.” [Ref: Schegal M et al Comparative efficacy of three mumps vaccines during disease outbreak in Switzerland: cohort study. BMJ, 1999; 319:352-3.]
According to Trevor Gunn, B.Sc., “Many measles vaccine efficacy studies relate to their ability to stimulate an antibody response, (sero-conversion or sero-response). An antibody response does not necessarily equate to immunity….the level of antibody needed for effective immunity is different in each individual….immunity can be demonstrated in individuals with a low or no detectable levels of antibody. Similarly in other individuals with higher levels of antibody there may be no immunity. We therefore need to stay clear on the issue: How do we know if the vaccine is effective for a particular individual when we do not know what level of antibody production equals immunity?”
Dr. John March, a developer of animal vaccines, wrote, “Particularly for viral diseases, the ‘cellular’immune response is all important, and antibody levels and protection are totally unconnected.”
It is clear that immunity does not come from antibodies or even ‘memory cells’, although memory cells may play a small part in the much larger processes of protecting health. If a person is healthy, first time natural exposure to a virus does not necessarily result in disease. In fact, the majority of first time exposures result in no symptoms but do result in ‘antibodies’ which ‘prove the exposure’ but also prove that immunity was present before the exposure. Total body health is the only true immunity. The concept that immunity comes from ‘memory cells’ is none-the-less valuable in that it points out that booster shots are totally unnecessary. Knowing that total health equals immunity is a basic key to understanding that vaccinations are unnecessary and ineffective.
A “titer” is a measurement of how much antibody to a certain virus (or other antigen) is circulating in the blood at that moment. Titers are usually expressed in a ratio, which is how many times they could dilute the blood until they couldn’t find antibodies anymore. So let’s say they could dilute it two times only and then they didn’t find anymore, that would be a titer of 1:2. If they could dilute it a thousand times before they couldn’t find any antibody, then that would be a titer of 1:1000.
A titer test does not and cannot measure immunity, because immunity to specific viruses is reliant not on antibodies, but on memory cells, which we have no way to measure. Memory cells are what prompt the immune system to create antibodies and dispatch them to an infection caused by the virus it “remembers.” Memory cells don’t need “reminders” in the form of re-vaccination to keep producing antibodies.
This just doesn’t apply to humans but pets as well.
NVIC President Barbara Loe Fisher says government denies Gardasil risks and calls for transparency.
by Dr. King, PhD
The pharmaceutical companies and government health authorities don’t want the “vaccine-autism” theory in civil courts.
It is so important you understand this idea, I’ll say it again.
The pharmaceutical companies and government health authorities don’t want the “vaccine-autism” theory in civil courts.
That’s why the recent unanimous Georgia Supreme Court decision allowing plaintiffs to sue for vaccine injuries in civil court if the damage is due to a “design-defect” is so important.
Cavities or chemicals? That’s the dilemma for parents worried about a controversial substance found in the popular sealants that are painted on children’s molars to prevent decay.
The chemical is bisphenol-A, or BPA, which is widely used in the making of the hard, clear plastic called polycarbonate, and is also found in the linings of food and soft-drink cans. Most human exposure to the chemical clearly comes from the food supply. But traces have also been found in dental sealants.
Although the Food and Drug Administration has reassured consumers that the chemical appears to be safe, it has received increasing scrutiny in recent months from health officials in the United States and Canada.
(NaturalNews) An article posted at HattiesburgAmerican.com reports that Forrest General, a hospital in south Mississippi, is trying to push new mothers into having the Tdap vaccine (which immunizes for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) before they leave the hospital.
CDC Study Finds 3 Million U.S. Children have Food or Digestive Allergies
The number of young people who had a food or digestive allergy increased 18 percent between 1997 and 2007, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2007, approximately 3 million U.S. children and teenagers under age 18 – or nearly 4 percent of that age group – were reported to have a food or digestive allergy in the previous 12 months, compared to just over 2.3 million (3.3 percent) in 1997.
The findings are published in a new data brief, “Food Allergy Among U.S. Children: Trends in Prevalence and Hospitalizations.” The data are from the National Health Interview Survey and the National Hospital Discharge Survey, both conducted by CDC′s National Center for Health Statistics.
The report found that eight types of food account for 90 percent of all food allergies: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. Reactions to these foods by an allergic person can range from a tingling sensation around the mouth and lips, to hives and even death, depending on the severity of the reaction.
Children with food allergy are two to four times more likely to have other related conditions such as asthma and other allergies, compared to children without food allergies, the report said.
The mechanisms by which a person develops an allergy to specific foods are largely unknown. Food allergy is more prevalent in children than adults. Most affected children will outgrow food allergies, although food allergy can be a lifelong concern.
The full report is available here.
October 22, 2008
“The Supreme Court of Georgia on Monday upheld a state appeals court ruling that could open the door to product liability claims against vaccine manufacturers by the parents of autistic children. Justice George H. Carley wrote for a unanimous court that a Fulton County suit against manufacturers filed by the parents of an autistic child may to go to trial. The justices rejected what Carley described as a “far-reaching interpretation” of a federal vaccine statute that defendant vaccine manufacturers argued gave them sweeping immunity from liability….. Carley specifically focused on Congress’ intent. He wrote that a reading of the federal vaccine act “and the congressional intent behind it show that the Vaccine Act does not pre-empt all design defect claims.” Instead, Carley noted, the federal vaccine law “provides that a vaccine manufacturer cannot be held liable for defective design if it is determined, on a case-by-case basis, that the injurious side effects of the particular vaccine were unavoidable.” But, the judge added, “The conditional nature of this clause contemplates the occurrence of side effects which are avoidable, and for which a vaccine manufacturer may be civilly liable. In order to bar all liability for defective design and to permit liability only for manufacturing and warning defects, Congress could easily have ….. made the bar to civil liability conditional on proper preparations and warnings.” “As the statute is actually written, however,” Carley continued, “it is best understood as barring liability only for those side effects which were unavoidable by means other than proper manufacturing and packaging. Conversely, if such effects were avoidable by a feasible, alternative design, liability is not completely barred.” Neither can federal law nor, by extension, Congress unilaterally pre-empt state causes of actions, Carley said. Instead, the justice noted that the question of whether a particular vaccine is unavoidably unsafe — and therefore subject to immunity from liability — is a question of fact for a jury to decide.” – R. Robin MacDonald, Law.com (October 7, 2008) http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202425070398
“A Missouri appeals court Tuesday upheld an $8.5 million judgment for a St. Louis man who contracted polio after receiving an oral vaccine as a child. A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals’ Eastern District also ruled that the vaccine’s manufacturer owed about $2.8 million for prejudgment interest on top of the award because it refused to accept a pretrial settlement offer that was less than the amount awarded by a jury. Cortez Strong contracted polio in June 1987, shortly after receiving a second dose of the vaccine Orimune, which was made by American Cyanamid Co…..Strong sued American Cyanamid and the pediatrician who administered the vaccine. In 2005, a St. Louis jury cleared the doctor of liability but ordered American Cyanamid to pay Strong $1.5 million for pain and suffering, $2 million for future lost earnings and $5 million for future pain and suffering. The company appealed, contending there was insufficient evidence that it was legally liable for Strong’s injuries. The company also sought to have the judgment reduced or set aside or that a new trial be ordered. Strong also appealed, seeking to be allowed to introduce rebuttal evidence against the physician and to have American Cyanamid be ordered to pay interest on the award. The appeals court rejected each request except Strong’s appeal for prejudgment interest. “ – Chris Blank, Associated Press (October 8, 2008)
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October 19, 2008
In 2006, Indiana’s insurance commissioner ruled that a law adopted earlier required private health insurers to cover applied behavior analysis, a specific and costly type of autism therapy. In the past two years, other states have adopted their own laws ordering insurance coverage for this treatment.Arizona: Effective June 30, 2009. Covers therapy costing as much as $50,000 per year up to age 9, $25,000 per year up to age 16.
Florida: Effective April 2009. Covers $36,000 per year, $200,000 lifetime up to age 18.
Louisiana: Effective Jan. 1, 2009. Covers $36,000 per year up to age 17.
Pennsylvania: Effective July 1, 2009. Covers $36,000 per year up to age 21, no lifetime cap.South Carolina: Effective July 1, 2008. Covers $50,000 per year up to age 16.
Texas: Took effect Jan. 1, 2008. Covers children over age 2, up to age 6.
Source: Autism Speaks and state insurance commissioners
Black elderberries have been clinically proven to reduce the symptoms of cold and flu and may be the solution to maintaining a healthy immune system this winter.
In a recent randomised, double blind, placebo controlled study, black elderberry extract was shown to reduce the duration of influenza by around four days1. This study adds weight to earlier research which found that within three days, the symptoms of influenza were relieved in nearly 90 per cent of cases treated with black elderberry extract, compared to six days in the placebo group2. And most recently, in an in-vitro study, black elderberry extract was also found to be 99 per cent effective against the H5N1 strain of Avian Flu 3.
Native to hedgerows in the UK and Europe throughout October, black elderberries are thought to contain a unique compound, which coats viruses and prevents them from penetrating and infecting healthy cells. As a result viruses, such as flu, are unable to replicate. The body’s white blood cells are then able to ingest the infected cells, effectively removing the virus from the body.
Black elderberries also contain high levels of natural antioxidants known as flavonoids which help strengthen the immune system against attack. As the black elderberry has twice the antioxidant capacity of blueberries and significantly more than cranberries4 this dark purple berry may be the unsung hero of the English countryside.
Though black elderberries should not be eaten directly from the bush, the immune health benefits of this delicious ‘superfood’ can still be enjoyed by cooking the berries and using them in recipes for jam or fruit pies. It is also worth noting that the immune health properties of elderberries can only be found in the fruit of the black elderberry bush and not in its elderflowers.
Expert immunologist and registered medical herbalist Dr Serene Foster says: “Black elderberries have been traditionally used to help protect against a range of viral ailments, including colds and flu, because of their natural immune health properties. Recent research has confirmed that these dark purple fruits contain a unique compound which helps the immune system to fight back against viruses.”
For more information and research on clinical trials on black elderberry visit the website http://www.blackelderberry.info/.
Eczema can be an autoimmune response gone haywire, or an allergic response. It can also be a manifestation of the inability to metabolise essential fatty acids.
In 1931 Dr. Arild Hansen found that children with this condition had abnormal levels of omega 6 EFA’s in their blood. People with eczema, hayfever, and asthma lack a key enzyme that converts essential fatty acids into prostaglandins.
Evening primrose oil and blackcurrant seed oil can relieve symptoms.
Dr. Leo Galland ( Superimmunity for Kids, 1989) recommends that toddlers recieve 2 X 500 mg capsules of Evening Primrose Oil per day by piercing them and rubbing them on the skin of the inner thigh or arm. If you don’t see improvement increase the dosage to 4 capsules per day (8 per day for adults. Half the dosage with blackcurrant oil). Other necessary co-factors are vitamins A and B, magnesium, zinc and iron.
Supplementation with lecithin can help some but watch the source if you’re allergic to soy, as soy lecithin is everywhere. Lecithin is an emulsifier. It may not work if there is a wheat allergy either.
Vaccines may not be in the best interests of a person with eczema because they already have a skewed immune response and is sensitive to a number of allergens, or has a biochemical challenge that they need to cope with.
Absolutely avoid all trans fats, as they compete with essential fatty acids.
For infants-Do not give grains as first foods. Stick to fruits, veggies, meats and egg yolks for the first year at least.
Books you may find helpful:
“Breaking the Vicious Cycle” by Elaine Gottschall
“Enzymes for Autism” by Karen DeFelice
“Superimmunity for Kids” by Leo Galland MD
(Supplementing with essential fatty acids and probiotics is the essential first step in treating eczema)
“Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon
HOMEMADE ELECTROLYTE SOLUTION
1 quart water
2 ounces dextrose (corn syrup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Combine all ingredients
Electrolyte is a general term for sodium, potassium, chloride and magnesium.
Electrolyte supplements help to restore electrolytes that may be lost by dehydration or used for the stress associated with moving, sorting, or vaccinations.
Homemade Electrolyte Solution
2 quarts water
1-teaspoon baking soda
7 Tablespoons sugar
1 packet Sugar-Free Kool-Aid
1/2-teaspoon salt substitute
The salt substitute and Kool-Aid are optional. Store in the refrigerator. Be creative; use your special Kool-Aid to make ice cubes so it will stay cool in their bottle or sippy-cup. Or, insert toothpicks into your ice cubes before freezing and make homemade popsicles. This contains sugar; it will eventually go bad so check any that has sat for a long time.
How to take the itch out of poison ivy :
When your child gets poison Ivy give them a vinegar bath. Put two cups of vinegar in running warm water. It will help take the itch out.
Instant Relief for Cough:
Take vapor rub and put on the child’s or adult’s feet all over and then put on a pair of socks. Your child won’t cough for at least 8 hours. Great for the nighttime when you don’t want to wake them for medicine.
Home-made Cough Syrup
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Mix this together.
Take 1/2-1 teaspoon as needed or cough. Can be used for kids as well as adults.
A highly contagious acute disease characterized by fever, cough, coryza, conjunctivitis, eruptions (Koplik’s spots) on the buccal and labial mucosa, and a spreading mucopapular cutaneous rash.
Caused by a virus infections that can be spread by physical contact or through the air via respiratory droplets. One bout usually gives immunity for life, but it is possible for some children to get measles twice. The incubation period is between 7 to 14 days, and is most communicable from 2 to 4 days before to 5 days after the rash appears.
Measles is characterized by fever, red eyes with light sensitivity, runny nose, dry and sometimes severe cough, white spots (Koplik’s spots) on the inside of the cheeks, seen 2 days prior to the red rash near the scalp, later involving the upper body. After 3-4 days it has a brownish bronzy appearance with peeling also occurring. The rash lasts 7 days and the child usually begins to feel better by the fourth day.
The herbal contribution to treatments of measles is based upon alleviation of symptomatic distress. The primary areas to address include fever, itching, eye sensitivity and coughing.
· The fever will be helped with diaphoretic teas such as Catnip (Nepetacataria), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and Linden (Tiliaspp.). For details of appropriate infusions please refer to pgs. 2-71 to 2-79
· Alleviation of itching can be achieved by the use of the anti-pruritic herbs. An example is Distilled Witch Hazel dabbed onto the itching skin will usually soothe immediately, but very temporary. Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a particularly effective anti-pruritic.
· Eye strain due to photosensitivity is common, and so the child will prefer a darkened room. An Eyebright (Euphrasiaspp.) wash and a Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) compress. Ms. Riggs instructions for making the Eyebright eyewash:
1/2 oz. Eyebright
1 cup water
Paper coffee filter
Clean cotton washcloth
1. Combine the Eyebright and water in a covered pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Strain the liquid very thoroughly through the coffee filter and discard the herbs. There should be no floating particles in the solution.
3. When the tea has cooled to a tepid temperature, comfortably warm for the eyes, it is ready to use.
4. This herbal wash is to be used only once. Discard any leftovers and make a fresh batch each time.
Application: Make sure the infant is not hungry or tired before proceeding with the application. Hold the infant securely in your arms and place yourself in a comfortable position on the floor or on a bed. Put the washcloth into the pot of warm tea and place it close to you. Wring out the washcloth with one hand so that it is not dripping but is still quite moist. Gently lay the washcloth across the infant’s eyes and hold it there with very minimal pressure. The infant will close his or her eyes. This is normal and the tea will still be of benefit. Leave the cloth in place over the eyes for 3 minutes, let the infant rest for 3 minutes, then rinse the cloth in the tea and repeat the process 2 more times. The infant will relax at first, then may try to remove the cloth. Keep replacing it gently until the skin around the eyes gets a little red. This is a good sign since it means that blood is circulating in the area. This process may be performed once or twice each day until the infant’s eyes have returned to normal (up to about 1 week). If the infant’s eye disorder seems to cause severe discomfort, or if it persists or gets worse after 1 week of treatment, consult a physician.
Demulcent expectorants will help with both the cough and any sore throat. Herbs to consider include Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), Mullein(Verbascum thapsus) and Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra).
Recovery will be further facilitated by good nutrition and possibly using bitter tonics such as Gentian (Gentiana lutea) or Horehound if the cough is persistent.
Mumps is a viral infection of childhood that affects the salivary glands, most commonly the parotid glands, located near the ear (hence its medical name, parotitis). The illness begins with a fever, headache, loss of appetite, malaise, and muscle aches. Pain in the ear and under the jaw begins about twenty-four hours later. Over the next one to three days, the salivary glands swell and become very tender. The swelling typically lessens over a course of three to seven days.
The illness is spread by contact with infected saliva. It is somewhat less contagious than either measles or chickenpox. Once a child is infected with the virus, it can incubate for two to three-and-a-half weeks before signs of infection appear. A child is contagious from about six days before the onset of illness to nine days after the glands have become swollen.
Mumps is most common in children from age five through fifteen. It is usually self-limiting and runs its course without complications. One possible long-term complication that does exist occurs in boys, when the virus attacks the testicles. This may result only in pain and swelling initially, but in some cases it can cause infertility the long run, especially if a boy contracts the disease as a teenager or young adult.
Do not give a child aspirin if you think he may have the mumps.The combination of aspirin and a viral infection has been linked to the development of Reye’s syndrome, a dangerous liver disease.
Because mumps is a viral illness, antibiotic therapy is ineffective and therefore not appropriate.
Warm or cool compresses applied to the site of the swollen glands may help relieve the pain and tenderness.
If your son has a case of mumps that causes testicular pain, bed rest is particularly important. It may help lessen the pain if you support the scrotum by using cotton held in place by an adhesive-tape “bridge” between the thighs, and/or if you apply ice packs. In rare cases, where pain and swelling are extremely severe, a corticosteroid may be prescribed to combat these symptoms.
Mumps causes pain when chewing or swallowing, therefore a diet of soft foods may minimize discomfort.
Avoid citrus fruits or other acidic foods, which can be painful to swallow.
Keep well hydrated. Offer fruit-juice popsicles, spring water, herbal teas, soups, and diluted fruit juices. Once the acute phase of the infection has subsided, immune-boosting astragalus and vegetable soup is very good for supporting recovery.
Eliminate fats as much as possible. Fats are difficult to digest under normal circumstances, and are even harder to digest when the digestive system is weakened by infection. Undigested fats contribute to a toxic internal environment.
Vitamin C and bioflavonoids help to stimulate the immune system.
Zinc stimulates the immune system and promotes healing.
Arnica or peppermint oil, used as a rub, can help to relieve headache. Rub arnica tincture into the temple or forehead area; rub peppermint oil into the temple area. Be very careful to keep tinctures away from your child’s eyes and do not use them on broken skin.
Note: If you are using peppermint oil as well as a homeopathic preparation, allow one hour between the two. Otherwise, the strong smell of the mint may interfere with the action of the homeopathic remedy.
Feeling restless? A cup of chamomile tea, twice a day, as needed.
Echinacea and Goldenseal combination formula helps to fight viruses and boost the immune system. It also soothes mucous membranes.
Shiitake mushrooms have immune-stimulating properties. They may be taken in capsule form.
Castor oil packs can be soothing to swollen glands. Heat castor oil to a soothing (but not too hot) temperature, soak clean cotton cloths in it, and apply these compresses as often as needed.
A child with the mumps should be isolated until the swelling of the glands has gone down, to decrease the possibility of spreading the disease.
Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks plenty of fluids. The increased metabolic rate that results from a fever causes the body to lose fluids rapidly.
Apply warm or cool compresses to ease the discomfort of the swollen glands.
Be alert for signs that a secondary infection may be developing. If symptoms seem to get worse, or if new symptoms develop, seek medical treatment.
Meningitis is an infection and inflammation of the three meninges, which are thin membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. The infection can be caused by either a virus or bacteria. Hemophilus influenzae, or “H. flu.,” is the most common among the bacterial organisms that cause meningitis in children. An infection in the blood (bacteremia), ears, jaw, or sinuses can also lead to an infection of the meninges.
A newborn with meningitis may have poor muscle tone, difficulty feeding, a weak suck and cry, vomiting, irritability, sleepiness, and/or jitteriness. In infants, symptoms of meningitis include a high-pitched cry, irritability, loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy, and possibly a fever or convulsions. An older child is likely to have a fever, chills, vomiting, irritability, headache, and/or a stiff neck. Seizures and changes in consciousness, such as stupor or coma, are possible as the infection progresses.
Meningitis is a serious infection that is potentially life threatening and can cause such long-term consequences as hearing or vision problems. It requires immediate medical attention. If treated early and appropriately, there is a low likelihood of complications or lasting harm to your child.
The nutritional supplements listed below are aimed at supporting your child’s recovery from meningitis. They should not be considered a substitute for appropriate antibiotic therapy.
Floradix is an herbal iron supplement that will give your child v,itamins and minerals necessary to rebuild his strength.
GreenMagma is a product that supplies trace minerals and beta carotene end helps to restore strength.
Lactobacillus acidophilus and/or bifidus is very good for restoring bowel health after a regime of potent antibiotics.
Vitamin C and bioflavonoids help stimulate the immune system.
Herbal treatment for meningitis is aimed at supporting your child’s recovery from the illness. It should not be considered a substitute for appropriate antibiotic therapy.
The antibacterial properties of garlic will help resolve infection.
American ginseng is an excellent source of trace minerals and micronutrients. It will also support and strengthen your child’s immune system.
Note: This herb should be used during recovery only. It should not be given if fever or any other signs of infection are present.
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous), with its rich concentration of trace minerals and micronutrients, will help strengthen your child’s immune system. Note: This herb should be used during the recovery phase only, not while fever or any other signs of acute infection are present.
During the acute phase of meningitis, a quiet, dimly lit room will help ease the headache pain.
Bacterial meningitis- be aware of the possibility of a subtle injury to the brain. Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor if you are worried about persistent hearing loss, problems with balance or coordination, difficulties with schoolwork, or similar difficulties.
Judicial Watch has posted links to the adverse event reports below and continues to monitor VAERS reports submitted to the FDA in relation to Gardasil.
You can view the following documents at Judicial Watch
News Stories, Reports and Informational Links
Here’s a list of things to talk with your doctor about in relationship to vaccines:
Is there any reason I shouldn’t vaccinate?
Are you vaccinated with every vaccination you’re recommending me to give to my child? Have your own children had all of these vaccines?
What studies have been done to prove their safety? Who funded these studies (if any exist)?
What studies have been done to prove their efficacy? Who funded these studies (if any exist)?
Vaccines contain mercury; even residual amounts, formaldehyde, aluminum, MSG, phenol, etc. What are the safety studies on their use?
Vaccines sometimes contain 3-5 viruses in one shot. Would a baby normally contract 3-5 diseases at one time? Is it really safe to expose my baby to many different diseases at one time?
Why don’t vaccines give life long immunity?
Do we know if my child is not allergic to eggs? Do we know if my child is not allergic to antibiotics?
What genetic material is being injected into a child’s body along with the vaccine? What are the possible consequences to those ingredients? What studies have been preformed to prove that it’s safe?
Have vaccines been tested for carcinogenic material?
Have vaccines been tested for teratogenic (gene altering) effects?
Have vaccines been tested for reproductive system affects? What studies prove their safety?
What is the National Vaccine Injury Act?
What is VAERS?
Insurance companies do not cover for damage to life and property due to:
*Acts of God
*Nuclear war and nuclear power plant accidents
Why is vaccination on this list?
Do we legally have to vaccinate? Are there exemptions?
If my child suffers adverse reactions to any vaccine can I file suit against the manufacturers of the product?
These questions are very important and it’s your right to know for a fully informed consent.
Fear and the Vaccine Decision:
Fear is the biggest emotion in connection with the vaccine issue. That is why your fear must be addressed before making a decision. Things to think about:
Once you face your fear, then you are ready to make a decision. A parent who addresses the vaccine issue and how it relates to their lifestyle, health, diet, etc., will not have a philosophy based on fear any longer. Those who vaccinate will typically believe their child is protected for life and fear stagnates, as they no longer feel they have to think about the issue. Only if their child has a vaccine reaction, or if their child gets the disease anyway, will fear again be addressed.
What happens after your decision is made?
If you believe a vaccine equates to 100% protection and no risk of disease, yet your child gets the disease, or a vaccine reaction occurs, how are you going to react? if you choose not to vaccinate and your child gets a disease, how are you going to react? Will the former blame the medical profession for vaccine damage or death because of the choice you made to accept them? If you don’t vaccinate and your child catches a disease and gets very ill from it, are you going to blame others? Well, here is a NEWSFLASH: Others are NOT your scapegoat. Your choice is exactly that-Yours to own. You did your own research, you know about exemptions, the immune system, diet, etc., and you made your choice. Like anything else in life; you live with the choices you make based on what you know at the time.
The decision to not vaccinate will mean you go against the grain of the majority, so a thick skin and strong convictions in your beliefs are necessary. Vaccinating parents will simply get a smile, a pat on the head, and be the good sheep the pharma industry and government wants them to be.
The decision is not easy and can be one of the hardest you will ever make for your child.
Questions to think about when looking at the vaccine issue:
1) What is your decision to be based on? The science or guided by your own fears? Pressure of health professional, or your own gut feeling? Faith?
2) What is your personal parenting philosophy?
3) Do you know how to treat the diseases we have vaccines for, whether you decide to vaccinate or not?
4) If something goes wrong such as complications, side effects, or even death, whether you vaccinate or not, do you have a faith or support system which will see you through the crisis?
5) How are you going to achieve daily good health?
6) Do you have convictions that will not be compromised no matter what pressures and arguments are thrown your way?
7) Once you make your decision, are you prepared to accept responsibility for it?
8) If you are unwilling to make a well-informed decision, then you have to allow someone else to make it for you. If you allow your responsibility to be made by another person, are you prepared to accept the outcomes without blame?
Inactivated vaccines are produced by killing the disease-causing microorganism with chemicals or heat. They cannot revert to the virulent, disease-causing, form. They often do not require refrigeration, which makes them accessible to virtually everyone. Inactivated vaccines can stimulate a relatively weak immune response and must be given more than once. Vaccines that require several doses or boosters can have a limited usefulness, especially for people who have limited access to regular health care. The flu shot, polio(ipv) hepatitis A are examples of inactivated vaccines.
Live, Attenuated Vaccines
A live, attenuated vaccine, is made by growing the disease-causing organism under special laboratory conditions that cause it to lose its virulence, or disease-causing attributes. Live vaccines require special handling and storage in order to maintain their potency. They produce antibody-mediated and cell-mediated immunity and require only one dose or booster. Most live vaccines are injected with the exception of oral polio (opv), oral Rotavirus (Rotateq), and flumist (flu) which is intranasal ( administered in the nose). The injected live vaccines are all components of the MMR( Measles, Mumps, Rubella), Chickenpox(Varicella), Shingles(Zostavax), and smallpox.
Live vaccines do have drawbacks. They can mutate and there is the possibility that the organism may revert to a virulent form and cause disease. People with compromised immune systems should not given live vaccines nor be around those who have recently received them due to possible vaccine shedding.
A toxoid is an inactivated toxin, which is a harmful substance produced by a microbe. Many microbes that infect people are not harmful. It is the toxins they produce that can cause illness. Tetanus is an example of this. The bacterium that causes tetanus can be found everywhere around us, but with plenty of oxygen, it is harmless. If, however, it is put into an environment without oxygen, the organism changes and produces tetanus toxin. To inactivate such the toxins, the vaccines are treated with materials that cripple their disease-causing ability. Formalin, is often used to inactivate toxins and produce toxoids. Toxoid vaccines are used against tetanus and diphtheria.
For conjugate vaccines, proteins or toxins from a second type of organism, one that an immature immune system can recognize, are linked to the outer coats of the disease-causing bacteria. This enables a young immune system to respond and defend against the disease agent. The creation of an effective immunogen is most often used in bacterial polysaccharides for the prevention of invasive bacterial disease such as, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and Meningococcus, and Pneumococcal.
These vaccines contain purified antigens rather than whole organisms. The disadvantages of subunit vaccines are that the antibodies produced against the subunit may not recognize the same protein on the pathogen surface. Therefore, an isolated protein may not stimulate the immune system as well as a whole organism vaccine. The effectiveness of subunit vaccines is increased by adding adjuvants. Alum (aluminum salts) is a common adjuvant used in vaccines. Pertussis toxin, one of the components of the DTaP, acts as an adjuvant in that vaccine. Subunit vaccines are used to protect against pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and against a type of meningitis.
Recombinant subunit vaccines like hepatitis B is made by inserting a small portion of the hepatitis B virus’ genetic material into common baker’s yeast. This process induces the yeast to produce an antigen, which is thus purified. The purified antigen is then combined with an adjuvant.
Recombinant Vector Vaccines
A vaccine carrier, or vector, is a weakened virus or bacterium which genetic material from another disease-causing organism can be inserted. The vaccinia virus is used to make recombinant vector vaccines such as smallpox. There are currently no recombinant vector vaccines are licensed for routine use in the United States.
These vaccines use both the whole organism and its parts; the microbe’s genetic material. A DNA vaccine against a microbe could evoke a strong antibody response to the free-floating antigen secreted by cells, and would thus stimulate a strong cellular response against the microbial antigens displayed on cell surfaces. The DNA vaccine wouldn’t cause the disease since it doesn’t contain the microbe, just copies of a few of its genes. DNA vaccines being tested are influenza, bird flu, and herpes.
Filed under: Types of Vaccines | Tagged: Attenuated Vaccines, Conjugate Vaccines, DNA Vaccines, immuno globulins, Inactivated Vaccines, Live, Recombinant Vector Vaccines, Subunit Vaccines, Toxoids | Leave a Comment »
A collection of some of the research done in the past…
History of Thimerosal
* Invented in the 1920′s by Eli Lilly, thimerosal is 49.6% ethlymercury, a neurotoxin known to be more than a hundreds times more powerful than lead.
* Eli Lilly’s safety testing of the product consisted of a 1930 study of 22 patients dying from mengiococcal meningitis in an Indiana hospital. Patients were injected with the solutions and followed until their death, which was within days. Because the patients died of meningitis, they were declared to show no adverse reaction to thimerosal, and the product was declared safe for use.
* Thimerosal was then introduced for use in vaccines and in over the counter remedies as a preservative to kill bacteria in the product.
* When the FDA was created, Thimerosal was grandfathered in and is not subjected to any additional safety testing. The 1930 study remains the only safety testing done on the substance even after being in use for 75 years.
* Through FOIA requests and documents acquired as part of a discovery process in lawsuits against Lilly; it showed they have been warned about and have been aware of the dangers of the product since at least 1947.
* In the 1950′s, the use of thimerosal in teething powders for infants leads to a fatal out break of Acrodynia, or “Pink’s Disease”, which is a form of mercury poisoning. This illness has many symptoms in common with Autism.
* In 1963 Eli Lilly was forwarded an article that read in part:
“There is another point of practical significance: does the parenteral injection of thimerosal – containing fluids cause disturbances in thimerosal-sensitive patients?” “It is known that persons that are contact sensitive to a drug may tolerate the same medications internally, but it seems advisable to use a preservative other than thimerosal for injections in thimerosal-sensitiv e people.”
* On August 17, 1967 the Medical/Science department requested that the claim “non-toxic” on thimerosal labels be deleted in next printing run. Two weeks later the label was changed to “non-irritating to body tissues,” and the phrase ‘non-toxic’ was omitted.
* In 1972 The British Medical Journal reported cases of skin burns resulting from the chemical interaction of thimerosal and aluminum.
“Mercury is known to act as a catalyst and to cause aluminum to oxidize rapidly, with the production of heat.” The manufacturers who supply us with thimerosal have been informed.” [Thimerosal is being used in vaccines which also contain aluminum].
* In the 1970′s, six newborns at one hospital died as a result of having a thimerosal containing antiseptic wiped on their wounds.
* In 1982 the FDA reviewed the use of thimerosal. Their statement reads in part:
“At the cellular level, thimerosal has been found to be more toxic for human epithelial cells in vitro than mercuric chloride, mercuric nitrate, and merbromim mercurichrom)”…
“It was found to be 35.3 times more toxic for embryonic chick heart tissue than for staphylococcus areus.” A 1950 study showed that thimerosal was no better than water in protecting mice from potential fatal streptococcal infection.”
“The Panel concludes that thimerosal is not safe for over the counter topical use because of its potential for cell damage if applied to broken skin and its allergy potential. It is not effective as a topical antimicrobial because its bacteria static action can be reversed.”
Additional language added to some Lilly labels: “As with any drug, if you are pregnant or nursing a baby, seek the advice of a health professional before using this product.”
* The FDA orders the withdrawal of over the counter, thimerosal containing products within a 6 month period. They did not order removal from vaccines, but recommends that the issue be studied and that the incidence of neurological problems in unvaccinated populations like the Amish be compared to the vaccinated population. (22 years later no such study has yet been done). On July 19, 2005 Dr. Julie Gerberding, head of the CDC, says that such a study would be difficult to undertake because of genetic confounders.
* A Merck internal memo is obtained during discovery and disclosed that in 1991 a Merck researcher added up the amount of mercury that is in the new vaccine schedule and sounded an alarm to the company that children who are vaccinated according to the new schedule would receive amounts of mercury far above what is considered to be safe by the EPA. Merck took no action in regard to the information.
* During the 1990′s, autism rates begin to rise dramatically. Parents complained to the health authorities that they believe that their children’s developmental disorders are related to their vaccines.
* In 1998, a researcher at the CDC does the same math that Merck did 7 years previously. She found that children are getting as much as 125 times the EPA limit of mercury for their weight. The EPA limit is based on the ingestion of methlymercury in food by a healthy adult. Because 90% of ingested mercury is excreted in the digestive track and never enters the blood stream, even the EPA limit may be drastically lacking considering that thimerosal is injected directly into the blood stream and is not subject to the bodies natural defenses against toxic poisoning.
* In 1999, the CDC and the American Association of Pediatrics issued a joint statement saying that although they find no “evidence of harm” from the mercury exposure that children are getting in their vaccines, they are calling on vaccine manufacturers to remove it from vaccines on a voluntary basis as a precautionary measure because “some children may” get more than the EPA limit for mercury at their 6 month visits. Manufactures begin the process in 1999, but do not remove it from all vaccines.
* No legal ban on thimerosal is issued. No recall of the mercury laden vaccines is issued and companies continued to sell lots already manufactured. No statement is issued to pediatricians to alert them to the symptoms of mercury poisoning. No recommendation is made to pediatricians to screen children who suffered the onset neurological impairment after vaccination for mercury toxicity.
* In November of 1999, the CDC commissioned one of its new employees, Thomas Verstraten, to study the Vaccine Safety Datalink to find the risk of autism and other NDD’s in relation to thimerosal exposure. Verstraten’s first draft of the study found a relative risk above 7 for children who receive the highest dose of thimerosal to develop autism. In other words; these children have a more than a 600% higher chance of developing autism than children who don’t receive any thimerosal. (A relative risk of 2 is sufficient proof in U.S. courts to find for vaccine injury) Verstraten and other scientists at the CDC spent 4 years trying to change the study so that the relationship between the preservative and NDD’s is significantly reduced or eliminated. The Center for Disease Control will later describe these changes to the study as “improvements”. When the study is published in 2003, it concludes that “no consistent significant associations are found between thimerosal containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental outcomes.” By this time Thomas Verstraten, who is listed as a CDC employee on the study, had been an employee of GlaxoSmithKlein (a defendant in thimerosal law suits) for more than 2 years.
* In 2001 Bernard et al. published their hypothesis: Autism: A Novel Form of Mercury Poisoning. It reads in part: “Exposure to mercury can cause immune, sensory, neurological, motor, and behavioral dysfunctions similar to traits defining or associated with autism, and the similarities extend to neuroanatomy, neurotransmitters, and biochemistry. Thimerosal, a preservative added to many vaccines, has become a major source of mercury in children who, within their first two years, may have received a quantity of mercury that exceeds safety guidelines. A review of medical literature and US government data suggests that: (i) many cases of idiopathic autism are induced by early mercury exposure from thimerosal; (ii) this type of autism represents an unrecognized mercurial syndrome; and (iii) genetic and non-genetic factors establish a predisposition whereby thimerosal’s adverse effects occur only in some children.”
* In 2001 the Institute of Medicine is commissioned by the CDC to undertake a comprehensive review of all research into the thimerosal/autism connection. At their first meeting, Dr Stratton, head of the commission, when discussing what the process and product of the working group would be states that, “We said this before you got here, and I think we said this yesterday, the point of no return, the line we will not cross in public policy is to pull the vaccine, change the schedule. We could say it is time to revisit this, but we would never recommend that level. Even recommending research is recommendations for policy. We wouldn’t say compensate, we wouldn’t say pull the vaccine, we wouldn’t say stop the program”. When the transcript of the meeting is made public through a FOIA request, many interpret this to mean that no matter what they find, they will not publicly say that there is any link between the thimerosal and autism.
* In 2001 Verstraten presents a version of his study to the IOM. He began his presentation by telling the panel that he had become an employee of Glaxo Smith Klein. Despite the conflict of interest and the drastic changes made over the course of the study, the IOM will rely heavily on the study in making their determination. Dr. Verstraten returns to Belgium and except for a letter published in Pediatrics, little is heard from him again.
* In 2003 the Verstraten Study is published in Pediatrics with no mention of the conflict of interest of the lead researcher. Later, a private contractor would testify before congress that he was ordered to destroy the original data sets used in the 1999 version of the study that found the dramatic link between thimerosal and autism in the interest of “patient confidentiality”. The entire Vaccine Safety Datalink is eventually moved to an offshore private company and can no longer be accessed by FOIA request.
* In February of 2004, the IOM rushed to hold public hearings where researchers on both sides of the issues presented their studies. A link is neither proved nor disproved, but new research in to the mechanism of how mercury can trigger autism and NDD’s in a genetically vulnerable sub population is presented, along with case studies of successful treatment of autistic symptoms based on the new research.
* In May of 2004, the IOM issued their final conclusion on the link between Thimerosal and NDD’s. They stated that, “the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. The committee further finds that potential biological mechanisms for vaccine-induced autism that have been generated to date are theoretical only.” They then go on to recommending that research into a link between the two be abandoned and funds be spent on other lines of inquiry. The conclusion relies heavily on Verstraten and several other epidemiological studies that are considered to implement fatally flawed methods and to be riddled with conflict of interest by members of the autism community. Parent groups are enraged. The IOM panel disbands.
* Later that year, Thomas Verstraten published a letter in Pediatrics in response to those who criticize his study and his conflict of interest. His letter did not address the substance of the charges made against the study and the changes that were made to it over it’s four year evolution. Instead it said that continuing to debate the validity of the 1999 study would be a “waste of scientific energy and not to the benefit of the safety of US children or of all children world wide that have the privilege of being vaccinated.” He also stated that any suggestion of impropriety on the part of himself, the CDC or GSK is an insult and accuses his critics of having “pitiable attitudes”.
* In July of 2005, in the face of continuing criticism of the IOM findings, the head of the IOM, Dr. Harvey Fineberg, issued a letter stating that Dr. Stratton’s 2001 comments that they would not say “pull the vaccine” or “change the schedule” were taken out of context and did not suggest that the IOM decision was compromised. Dr. Fineberg has not, despite requests, offered an alternative interpretation of what her comments meant in context.
* In March of 2005, Author David Kirby released his book, Evidence of Harm, detailing the history of thimerosal in vaccines and its relationship to autism.
* In April of 2005 the CDC posted a notice on their web site stating that they were in the process of reviewing the book Evidence of Harm and would be responding to the book.
* In June of 2005 Robert F. Kennedy Jr. echoed the information found in the book and charged the CDC and Eli Lilly of malfeasance in covering up evidence of a causal effect between thimerosal and autism in an article published in Rolling Stone and Salon com. It was entitled “Deadly Immunity: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. investigates the government cover-up of a mercury/autism scandal”.
* July 19, 2005. The CDC held a press conference to: communicate the importance of infants and children receiving their recommended vaccinations on time, and reassure parents that vaccines are safe. The renewed attention to the potential causal link between thimerosal, a vaccine preservative, and autism was addressed during the press conference. Vaccine safety groups were not informed of the press conference nor invited. The conference presented no new information and did not answer important questions raised in Evidence of Harm or Deadly Immunity about the conduct of the CDC the IOM or the reliability of the research that continues to be used to show no link between thimerosal and autism.
* As of 2007 the CDC had yet to issue its response to Evidence of Harm or to Deadly Immunity.
CDC Transcript from Simpsonwood conference center in Norcross, Ga.
SAFE MIND’s recently obtained the transcribed minutes to the Simpsonwood meeting held June 7-8, 2000 in Norcross, Georgia where the finding of the Vaccine Safety Datalink analysis of Thimerosal containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental outcomes were reviewed by a panel of experts. There were a number of additional findings not previously reported in the VSD data contained in this document.
SAFE MIND’s has summarized a number of comments made by the participants that we feel deserve special consideration. These comments will be categorized as introductory concerns related to the issue of thimerosal containing vaccines made by participants, CDC’s presentations of the VSD data, and discussion comments made after the presentations. The comments in Italics are that of SAFE MIND’s made in reference to the discussion.
Introductory comments expressed by participants.
Dr. Johnston: Page 16 comments made in reference to a prior meeting on thimerosal
“As an aside, we found cultural differences between vaccinologist and environmental health people in that many of us in the vaccine arena have never thought about uncertainty factors before. We tend to be relatively concrete in our thinking. Probably
one of the big cultural events, at least for me, was when Dr. Clarkson repetitively pointed out to us that we just didn’t get it about uncertainty (factors), and he was actually quite right.”
Dr. Johnston: Page 20: Referring to the mixture of both aluminum and mercury in vaccines…there is absolutely no data including animal data, about the potential for synergy, additivity or antagonism, all of which can occur in binary metal mixtures that relate and allow us to draw any conclusions from the simultaneous exposure to these two salts in vaccines.”
Dr. Clarkson: Page 21: “There is an issue that pharmacokinetics might be different too. Again this is all animal work, but the animal studies suggested, for example, a suckling animal does not eliminate methylmercury until the end of the suckling period, and there is a mechanism on the study for that. So there could be an age difference in the excretion rates.”
Dr. Weil: Page 24: “One, up until this last discussion we have been talking about chronic exposure. I think it’s clear to me anyway that we are talking about a problem that is probably more related to bolus acute exposures, and we also need to know that the migration problems and some of the other developmental problems in the central nervous system go on for quite a period after birth. But from all of the other studies of toxic substances, the earlier you work with the central nervous system, the more likely you are to run into a sensitive period for one of these effects, so that moving from one month or one day of birth to six months of birth changes enormously the potential for toxicity. There are just a host of neurodevelopmental data that would suggest that we’ve got a serious problem. The earlier we go, the more serious the problem. The second point I could make is that in relationship to aluminum, being a nephrologist for a long time, the potential for aluminum and central nervous system toxicity was established by dialysis data. To think there isn’t some possible problem here is unreal.”
CDC’s presentation of the VSD data by Dr. Verstraeten and Dr. Rhodes.
Dr. Verstraeten: Page 31: “ It is sort of interesting that when I first came to the CDC as a NIS officer a year ago only, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but one of the things I knew I didn’t want to do was studies that had to do with toxicology or environmental health. Because I thought it was too much confounding and it’s very hard to prove anything in those studies. Now it turns out that other people also thought that this study was not the right thing to do, so what I will present to you is the study that nobody thought we should do.”
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Dr. Verstraeten: Page 40: “…we have found statistically significant relationships between the exposures and outcomes for these different exposures and outcomes. First, for two months of age, an unspecified developmental delay, which has its own specific ICD9 code. Exposure at three months of age, Tics. Exposure at six months of age, an attention deficit disorder. Exposure at one, three and six months of age, language and speech delays which are two separate ICD9 codes. Exposure at one, three and six months of age, the entire category of neurodevelopmental delays, which includes all of these plus a number of other disorders.”
Dr. Verstraeten: Page 42: “But one thing that is for sure, there is certainly an under-ascertainment of all of these because some of the children are just not old enough to be diagnosed. So the crude incidence rates are probably much lower that what you would expect because the cohort is still very young.”
Dr. Verstraten: Page 44: “Now for speech delays, which is the largest single disorder in this category of neurologic delays. The results are a suggestion of a trend with a small dip. The overall test for trend is highly statistically significant above one.”
Dr. Verstraten: Page 45: “What this represents is the overall category of developmental delays, of which I have excluded speech delays because of the impression we had was some of the calculations were driven by this speech group, which was making up about half of this category. After excluding this speech group, the trend is also apparent in this group and the test for trend is also significant for this category excluding speech.”
Dr Verstraeten: Page 68: “However, among prematures that becomes significant and we get relative risks up to two and three, whereby the ones that got more thimerosal are at a higher risk than the ones who got the combination vaccine.”
Dr. Weil: Page 75: “I think that what you are saying is in term of chronic exposure. I think that the alternative scenario is that this is repeated acute exposures, and like many repeated acute exposures, if you consider a dose of 25 micrograms on one day, then you are above threshold. At least we think you are, and then you do that over and over to a series of neurons where the toxic effect may be the same set of neurons or the same set of neurologic processes, it is conceivable that the more mercury you get, the more effect you are going to get.”
Dr. Verstraeten: Page 78: “Then the last slide I wanted to show, there was a question of if there was any way from this data that we could estimate what would happen in the future if there is Thimerosal-free HepB and Thimerosalfree haemophilus influenza vaccine and only DTP has Thimerosal.” Page 79 “The second column would be the same scenario but now at six months. Assuming they have received two additional DTPs, so between three and six months of age they have increased their ethylmercury amounts by 50 micrograms. If I do in this current cohort with all its limitations, because there is also the HepB that exists in this cohort*, I can’t really take it out. It is significant for this one disorder which is language delay and it is quite high. Together with that, speech or language delay which is a combination of these two disorders, also becomes significant.” * Dr. Verstraeten could not determine which children got HepB at birth in some cases so it was difficult to back the birth dose of Hep B out of the data.
Dr. Davis: Page 88: “Now one might imagine that [relative risk of 1.018] would just disappear once we actually confirmed these diagnoses from chart review, but in fact it did not. You see if the diagnosis was mentioned in the chart, the relative risk increases ever so slightly.”
Dr. Rhodes: Page 93: “I think I had two purposes in mind going through the analyses I’ve done. One was a very quick verification that there wasn’t some crucial missing statement in 4,000 lines of programming, and there wasn’t. Tom’s programming was perfectly clear. I also wanted to try to take a different look at the data because I think sometimes we make choices in our analyses. We conceptualize the problem very quickly and then everything else kind of depends on those initial choices and we don’t always go down other pathways…I think we will see that I will approach the data analysis in somewhat of a different way, and I will talk about what some of the results are when I look at the data in somewhat of a different fashion.”
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Dr. Rhodes; Page 99: When you take the three month classification and see what happens to these kids a little later on…even seven to fourteen days later, you can see that there has been substantial movement from zero and the 12.5 mcg group. For example, after seven days at NCK, fully 27% of the zero group has received some sort of vaccination the next seven days and 42% have received some vaccination in the next 14 days. This finding would argue that the proposed thimerosal cohort study involving neurodevelopmental testing should classify exposure by actual exposures the first year of life and not just on the first three months of life.
Dr. Rhodes: Page 104: “I am not advocating totally throwing them [the low mercury exposure group] away and never considering them in any analysis, but at least for now let’s think if we can establish if there are differences in this group of 37 to 75, then in a sense we really don’t need them.”
Dr. Rhodes: Page 105: “The other thing that happens at NCK is that even a year or two years after the policy change has been made and all kids are supposedly receiving the combination, there is an odd, small group of kids that supposedly receives separate DTP and Hib (note: with more thimerosal) and an unusually high percentage of those kids are outcomes.”
Dr. Rhodes Page 106 “For example, if 1,500 kids were receiving one vaccine combination in that month of birth and 20 were receiving some other, I have removed the 20 completely from the analyses.
Dr Rhodes: Page 107. “So you can push, I can pull. But there has been substantial movement from this very highly significant result down to a fairly marginal result.”
Dr. Rhodes recommends excluding the lowest exposure cases, claiming that the fact that their exposures were low suggested family behavior that made them unusual. The low rate of outcomes in this group, of course, added significance. He also suggests excluding some cases that had unusually high exposures and outcomes at the same time, as any high exposure, high outcome group would support the signal.
Dr. Verstraeten: Page 142: “But if I can have the next slide, here instead of the proportional hazard model, we did a logistic regression model. I didn’t use person time here and it’s a bit tough to define exactly the control group. However, if I do it for all ages and not looking at different years, and this is for speech, the outcome is almost identical to the proportional hazard model, which suggests to me that it is not a question of bringing the diagnosis forward, but it is really the overall number that drives this estimate.”
Dr. Chen: Page 151: “One of the reasons that led me personally to not be so quick to dismiss the findings was that on his own Tom independently picked three different outcomes that he did not think could be associated with mercury (conjunctivitis, diarrhea and injury)and three out of three had a different pattern across different exposure levels as compared to the ones that again on a priority basis we picked as biologically plausible to be due to mercury exposure.”
Dr Brent: Page 161: “Wasn’t true that if you looked at the population that had 25 micrograms you had a certain risk and when you got to 75 micrograms you had a higher risk.”
Dr. Verstraeten: Page 161: “Yes, absolutely, but these are all at the same time. Measured at the same age at least.”
Dr. Brent: Page 161: “I understand that, but they are different exposures.”
Dr. Verstraeten: Page 161: “Yes”.
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Dr. Brent: Page 161: “What is your explanation? What explanations would you give for that?”
Dr. Verstraeten: Page 161: “Personally, I have three hypotheses. My first hypotheses is it parental bias. The children that are more likely to be vaccinated are more likely to be picked up and diagnosed. Second hypothesis, I don’t know. There is a bias that I have not recognized, and nobody has yet told me about it. Third hypothesis. It’s true, it’s Thimerosal. Those are my hypotheses.”
Dr. Brent: Page 161: “If its true, which or what mechanisms would explain the finding with?”
Dr. Verstraeten: Page 162: “You are asking for biological plausibility?”
Dr. Brent: Page 162: “Well, yes”
Dr. Verstraeten: Page 162: “When I saw this, and I went back through the literature, I was actually stunned by what I saw because I thought it is plausible. First of all there is the Faeroe study, which I think people have dismissed too easily, and there is a new article in the same Journal that was presented here, the Journal of Pediatrics, where they have looked at PCB. They have looked at other contaminants in seafood and they have adjusted for that, and still mercury comes out. That is one point. Another point is that in many of the studies with animals, it turned out that there is quite a different result depending on the dose of mercury. Depending on the route of exposure and depending on the age at which the animals were exposed. Now, I don’t know how much you can extrapolate that from animals to humans, but that tells me mercury at one month of age is not the same as mercury at three months, at 12 months, prenatal mercury, later mercury. There is a whole range of plausible outcomes from mercury. On top of that, I think that we cannot so easily compare the U.S. population to Faeroe or Seychelles populations. We have different mean levels of exposure. We are comparing high to high in the Seychelles, high to high in the Faeroe and low to low in the U.S., so I am not sure how easily you can transpose one finding to another one. So basically to me that leaves all the options open, and that means I can not exclude such a possible effect.”
Discussion comments made by participants after the presentations.
Dr. Johnson: Page 198: “This association leads me to favor a recommendation that infants up to two years old not be immunized with Thimerosal containing vaccines if suitable alternative preparations are available. I do not believe the diagnoses justifies compensation in the Vaccine Compensation Program at this point. I deal with causality, it seems pretty clear to be that the data are not sufficient one way or the other. My gut feeling? It worries me enough. Forgive this personal comment, but I got called out a eight o’clock for an emergency call and my daughter-in-law delivered a son by C-Section. Our first male in the line of the next generation, and I do not want that grandson to get a Thimerosal containing vaccine until we know better what is going on. It will probably take a long time. In the meantime, and I know there are probably implications for this internationally, but in the meantime I think I want that grandson to only be given Thimerosal-free vaccines.”
Dr. Weil: Page 207: “ The number of dose related relationships are linear and statistically significant. You can play with this all you want. They are linear. They are statistically significant. The positive relationships are those that one might expect from the Faroe Islands studies. They are also related to those data we do have on experimental animal data and similar to the neurodevelopmental tox data on other substances, so that I think you can’t accept that this is out of the ordinary. It isn’t out of the ordinary. The Seychelles Island studies and somebody said the Faeroe Islands studies both, were chronic exposures. We are not talking necessarily about chronic exposure. We are talking about a series of acute exposures and at one point in time that exposure is much greater on one day than any of the Seychelles Islands. The increased incidence of neurobehavioral problems in children in the past few decades is probably real…I work in the school system where my effort is entirely in special education and I have to say that the number of kids getting help in special education is growing nationally and state by state at a rate we have not seen before.
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Dr. Weil: Page 208: “The rise in the frequency of neurobehavioral disorders whether it is ascertainment or real, is not too bad. It is much too graphic. We don’t see that kind of genetic change in 30 years.”
Dr. Brent: Page 229: “The medical legal findings in this study, causal or not, are horrendous and therefore, it is important that the suggested epidemiological, pharmacokinetic, and animal studies be performed. If an allegation was made that a child’s neurobehavioral findings were caused by Thimerosal containing vaccines, you could readily find a junk scientist who would support the claim with “a reasonable degree of certainty”. But you will not find a scientist with any integrity who would say the reverse with the data that is available. And that is true. So we are in a bad position from the standpoint of defending any lawsuits if they were initiated and I am concerned.”
Dr. Clements: Page 247: “I am really concerned that we have taken off like a boat going down one arm of the mangrove swamp at high speed, when in fact there was not enough discussion really early on about which way the boat should go at all. And I really want to risk offending everyone in the room by saying that perhaps this study should not have been done at all, because the outcome of it could have, to some extent, been predicted, and we have all reached this point now where we are left hanging, even though I hear the majority of consultants say to the Board that they are not convinced there is a causality direct link between Thimerosal and various neurological outcomes. I know how we handle it from here is extremely problematic. The ACIP is going to depend on comments from this group in order to move forward into policy, and I have been advised that whatever I say should not move into the policy area because that is not the point of this meeting. But nonetheless, we know from many experiences in history that the pure scientist has done research because of pure science. But that pure science has resulted in splitting the atom or some other process which is completely beyond the power of the scientists who did the research to control it. And what we have here is people who have, for every best reason in the world, pursued a direction of research. But there is now the point at which the research results have to be handled, and even if this committee decides that there is no association and that information gets out, the work that has been done and through the freedom of information that will be taken by others and will be used in ways beyond them control of this group. And I am very concerned about that as I suspect it is already too late to do anything regardless of any professional body and what they say…”
Dr. Bernier: Page 113: “We have asked you to keep this information confidential. We do have a plan for discussing these data at the upcoming meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on June 21 and June 22. At that time CDC plans to make a public release of this information, so I think it would serve all of our interests best if we could continue to consider these data. The ACIP work group will be considering also. If we could consider these data in a certain protected environment. So we are asking people who have a great job protecting this information up until now, to continue to do that until the time of the ACIP meeting. So too basically consider this embargoed information. That would help all of us to use the machinery that we have in place for considering these data and for arriving at policy recommendations.”
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Among the growing number of studies and reports confirming a possible link are the following:
Thimerosal has been shown to be toxic to brain cells. (Haley)
Mice injected with thimerosal develop autism-like symptoms. (Hornig)
Some children who have mercury chelated (chemically bound and removed) from their bodies show a reduction in autism symptoms. (Rimland)
Coincident with the decline in thimerosal use in vaccinations for infants and children, the incidence of autism appears to be declining as well, at least in California. (safeMinds)
Dr. Haley’s website for more information on Thimerosal and vaccines:
Alan E. Moses November 21, 2006
Early Downward Trends in Neurodevelopmental Disorders Following Removal of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines. Volume 11, Number 1, Spring 2006 of the peer-reviewed Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Study Links Mercury from the Thimerosal in Vaccines with Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Study in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences , the official journal of the World Federation of Neurology , links mercury from the Thimerosal in vaccines with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
Read the abstract online here :
Thimerosal exposure in infants and neurodevelopmental disorders: An assessment of computerized medical records in the Vaccine Safety Datalink.
The study evaluated possible associations between neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs) and exposure to mercury (Hg) from Thimerosalcontaining vaccines (TCVs) by examining the automated Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD). A total of 278,624 subjects were identified in birth cohorts from 1990–1996 that had received their first oral polio vaccination by 3 months of age in the VSD. The birth cohort prevalence rate of medically diagnosed International Classification of Disease, 9th revision (ICD-9) specific NDs and control outcomes were calculated. Exposures to Hg from TCVs were calculated by birth cohort for specific exposure windows from birth-7 months and birth-13 months of age. Poisson regression analysis was used to model the association between the prevalence of outcomes and Hg doses from TCVs. Consistent significantly increased rate ratios were observed for autism, autism spectrum disorders, tics, attention deficit disorder, and emotional disturbances with Hg exposure from TCVs. By contrast, none of the control outcomes had significantly increased rate ratios with Hg exposure from TCVs. Routine childhood vaccination should be continued to help reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with infectious diseases, but efforts should be undertaken to remove Hg from vaccines. Additional studies should be conducted to further evaluate the relationship between Hg exposure and NDs.
Study links vaccines containing mercury with autism By Roman Bystrianyk
Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology (2008) 18, 326–331; doi:10.1038/sj.jes.7500606; published online 12 September 2007.
Dental amalgam is a mercury-based filling containing approximately 50% of metallic mercury (Hg0). Human placenta does not represent a real barrier to the transport of Hg0; hence, fetal exposure occurs as a result of maternal exposure to Hg, with possible subsequent neurodevelopmental disabilities in infants. This study represents a substudy of the international NIH-funded project “Early Childhood Development and polychlorinated biphenyls Exposure in Slovakia”. The main aim of this analysis was to assess the relationship between maternal dental amalgam fillings and exposure of the developing fetus to Hg. The study subjects were mother–child pairs (N=99). Questionnaires were administered after delivery, and chemical analyses of Hg were performed in the samples of maternal and cord blood using atomic absorption spectrometry with amalgamation technique. The median values of Hg concentrations were 0.63 g/l (range 0.14–2.9 g/l) and 0.80 g/l (range 0.15–2.54 g/l) for maternal and cord blood, respectively. None of the cord blood Hg concentrations reached the level considered to be hazardous for neurodevelopmental effects in children exposed to Hg in utero (EPA reference dose for Hg of 5.8 g/l in cord blood). A strong positive correlation between maternal and cord blood Hg levels was found ( =0.79; P<0.001). Levels of Hg in the cord blood were significantly associated with the number of maternal amalgam fillings ( =0.46, P<0.001) and with the number of years since the last filling ( =- 0.37, P<0.001); these associations remained significant after adjustment for maternal age and education. Dental amalgam fillings in girls and women of reproductive age should be used with caution, to avoid increased prenatal Hg exposure.
THE TRUTH BEHIND THE VACCINE COVER-UP by Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.
It should also be noted that it is a misnomer to say “removal of thimerosal” since they are not removing anything. They just plan to stop adding it to future vaccines once they use up existing stocks, which entails millions of doses. And, incredibly, the government allows them to do it.
Even more incredibly, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Practice similarly endorse this insane policy. In fact, they specifically state that children should continue to receive the thimerosal-containing vaccines until new thimerosal-free vaccines can be manufactured at the will of the manufacturers. Are they afraid that there will be a sudden diphtheria epidemic in America or tetanus epidemic?
The most obvious solution was to use only single-dose vials, which requires no preservative. So why don’t they use them?
Oh, they exclaim, it would add to the cost of the vaccine. Of course, we are only talking about a few dollars per vaccine at most, certainly worth the health of your child’s brain and future. They could use some of the hundreds of millions of dollars they waste on vaccine promotion every year to cover these costs for the poor. Then, that would cut into some “fat cat’s” budget and we can’t have that.
…Therefore, what they are admitting is that we have a form of mercury that has been used in vaccines since the 1930s and no one has bothered to study its effects on biological systems, especially the brain of infants. Their defense throughout this conference is “We just don’t know the effects of ethylmercury.” As a solution, they resort to studies on methylmercury, because there are thousands of studies on this form of mercury. The major source of this form is seafood consumption.
It takes them a while to get the two forms of mercury straight, since for several pages of the report they say methylmercury is in thimerosal rather than ethylmercury.
… First, what is a vaccinologist? Do you go to school to learn to be one? How many years of residency training are required to be a vaccinologist? Are there board exams?
It’s a stupid term used to describe people who are obsessed with vaccines, not that they actually study the effects of the vaccines, as we shall see throughout this meeting.
Most important is the admission by Dr. Johnson that he and his fellow “vaccinologists” are so blinded by their obsession with forcing vaccines on society that they never even considered that there might be factors involved that could greatly affect human health, the so-called “uncertainties.”
Further, he and his fellow “vaccinologists” like to think in concrete terms. That is, they are very narrow in their thinking and wear blinders that prevent them from seeing the numerous problems occurring with large numbers of vaccination in infants and children. Their goal in life is to vaccinate as many people as possible with an ever-growing number of vaccines.
… if these outside groups had not become involved, these “vaccinologists” would have continued to add more and more mercury-containing vaccines to the list of required vaccines. Only when the problem became so obvious — that is of epidemic proportion (close to that now) and the legal profession became involved — would they have even noticed there was a problem. This is a recurring theme in the government’s regulatory agencies, as witnessed with fluoride, aspartame, MSG, dioxin and pesticides issues.
It is also interesting that Dr. Johnson did admit that the greatest risk was among low birth weight infants and premature infants. Now why would that be if there existed such a large margin of safety with mercury used in vaccines? Could just a few pounds of body weight make such a dramatic difference?
In fact, it does but it also means that normal birth weight children, especially those near the low range of normal birth weight, are also in greater danger. It also would mean that children receiving doses of mercury higher than the 72 ug in this study would be at high risk as well because their dose, based on body weight, would be comparable to that of the low birth weight child receiving the lower dose.
This was never even considered by these “vaccinologist experts” who decide policy for your children.
… The data is convincing enough that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Practice, as well as the regulatory agencies and the CDC along with these organizations all recommend its removal as quickly as possible because of concerns of adverse effects of mercury on brain development, but not for the children in the developing countries.
…In fact, we know that aluminum is a significant neurotoxin and that it shares many common mechanisms with mercury as a neurotoxin. For example:
• They are both toxic to neuronal neurotubules.
• Interfere with antioxidant enzymes.
• Poison DNA repair enzymes.
• Interfere with mitochondrial energy production.
• Block the glutamate reuptake proteins (GLT-1 and GLAST).
• Bind to DNA.
• Interfere with neuronal membrane function.
Toxins that share toxic mechanisms are almost always additive and frequently synergistic in their toxicity…. significant number of studies have shown that both of these metals play a significant role in all of the neurodegenerative disorders. It is also important to remember, both of these metals accumulate in the brain and spinal cord. This makes them accumulative toxins and therefore much more dangerous than rapidly excreted toxins.
…Contamination of vaccines is a major concern in this country as well, as these regulatory violations make plain. It is also important to note that no fines were given, just warnings.
Dr. Loren Koller, pathologist and immunotoxicologist at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, is to be congratulated in that he recognized that more is involved in the vaccine effects than just ethylmercury. (page 192).
He mentions aluminum and even the viral agents being used as other possibilities. This is especially important in the face of Dr. RK Gherardi’s identification of macrophagic myofascitis, a condition causing profound weakness and multiple neurological syndromes, one of which closely resembled multiple sclerosis. Both human studies and animal studies have shown a strong causal relationship to the aluminum hydroxide or aluminum phosphate used as a vaccine adjuvants.
Here are some of the neurological problems seen with the use of aluminum hydroxide and aluminum phosphate in vaccines. In two children (ages 3 and 5), doctors at the All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., described chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, urinary retention and other findings indicative of a generalized loss of autonomic nervous system function (diffuse dysautonomia).
The 3-year-old had developmental delay and hypotonia (loss of muscle tone). A biopsy of the children’s vaccine injection site disclosed elevated aluminum levels.
In a study of some 92 patients suffering from this emerging syndrome, eight developed a full-blown demyelinating CNS disorder (multiple sclerosis). (Authier FJ, Cherin P, et al. Central nervous system disease in patients with macrophagic myofasciitis. Brain 2001; 124: 974-983.) This included sensory and motor symptoms, visual loss, bladder dysfunction, cerebellar signs (loss of balance and coordination),cognitive (thinking) and behavioral disorders.
Dr. Gherardi, the French physician who first described the condition in 1998, has collected more than 200 proven cases. One-third of these develop an autoimmune disease, such as multiple sclerosis. Of critical importance is his finding that, even in the absence of obvious autoimmune disease, there is evidence of chronic immune stimulation caused by the injected aluminum, known to be a very powerful immune adjuvant.
The reason this is so important is that there is overwhelming evidence that chronic immune activation in the brain (activation of microglial cells in the brain) is a major cause of damage in numerous degenerative brain disorders, from multiple sclerosis to the classic neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and ALS).
In fact, I have presented evidence that chronic immune activation of CNS microglia is a major cause of autism, attention deficit disorder and Gulf War Syndrome.
Dr. Gherardi emphasizes that once the aluminum is injected into the muscle, the immune activation persists for years. In addition, we must consider the effect of the aluminum that travels to the brain itself. Numerous studies have shown harmful effects when aluminum accumulates in the brain.
A growing amount of evidence points to high brain aluminum levels as a major contributor to Alzheimer’s disease and possibly Parkinson’s disease and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). This may also explain the tenfold increase in Alzheimer’s disease in those receiving the flu vaccine five years in a row (Dr. Hugh Fudenberg, in press, Journal of Clinical Investigation).
It is also interesting to note that a recent study found that aluminum phosphate produced three times the blood level of aluminum, as did aluminum hydroxide. (Flarend RE, hem SL, et al. In vivo absorption of aluminum-containing vaccine adjuvants using 26 Al. Vaccine 1997; 15: 1314-1318.)
…Dr. Rapin notes that a study in California found a 300 percent increase in autism following the introduction of certain vaccines. She quickly attributes this to better physician recognition. Two things are critical to note at this point.
1. Dr. Rapin makes this assertion or better physician recognition without any data at all, just her wishful thinking. If someone pointing out the dangers of vaccines were to do that, she would scream “junk science.”
2. Dr. Weil, on page 207, attacks this reasoning when he says, “The number of dose-related relationships are linear and statistically significant. You can play with this all you want. They are linear. They are statistically significant.” In other words, how can you argue with results that show a strong dose/response relationship between the dose of mercury and neurodevelopmental outcomes? The higher the mercury levels in the children, the greater the number of neurological problems.
He continues by saying that the increase in neurobehavioral problems is probably real. He tells them that he works in a school system with special education programs and “I have to say the number of kids getting help in special education is growing nationally and state by state at a rate not seen before. So there is some kind of increase.
…Dr. Johnson seems to be impressed by the findings as well. He says on page 199, “This association leads me to favor a recommendation that infants up to two-years-old not be immunized with thimerosal containing vaccines if suitable alternative preparations are available.”
Incredibly, he quickly adds, “I do not believe the diagnosis justified compensation in the Vaccine Compensation Program at this point.” It is interesting to note that one of our experts in attendance is Dr. Vito Caserta, the Chief Officer for the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
… mercury, even in low concentrations, is known to impair energy production by mitochondrial enzymes. The brain has one of the highest metabolic rates of any organ and impairment of its energy supply, especially during development, can have devastating consequences. In addition, mercury, even in lower concentrations, is known to damage DNA and impair DNA repair enzymes, which again, plays a vital role in brain development.
Mercury is known to impair neurotubule stability, even in very low concentrations. Neurotubules are absolutely essential to normal brain cell function. Mercury activates microglial cells, which increases excitotoxicity and brain free radical production as well as lipid peroxidation, central mechanisms in brain injury.
In addition, even in doses below that which can cause obvious cell injury, mercury impairs the glutamate transport system, which in turn triggers excitotoxicity, a central mechanism in autism and other neurological disorders. Ironically, aluminum also paralyzes this system.
Yet when the final study was published in the journal Pediatrics, Dr. Verstraeten and co-workers reported no consistent associations were found between thimerosal-containing vaccine exposure and neurodevelopmental problems. In addition, he listed himself as an employee of the CDC, not disclosing the fact that at the time the article was accepted, he worked for GlaxoSmithKline, a vaccine manufacturing company.
So how did they do this bit of prestidigitation? They simply added another HMO to the data, the Harvard Pilgrimage. Rep. Weldon noted in his letter to the CDC director that this HMO had been in receivership by the state of Massachusetts because its records were in shambles. Yet, this study was able to make the embarrassing data from his previous study disappear.
Attempts by Weldon to force the CDC to release the data to an independent researcher, Dr. Mark Geier, a researcher with impeccable credentials and widely published in peer-reviewed journals, have failed repeatedly.
President Bush’s Executive Order 10789 was put into place that protects a
In a study in The Lancet, Pichichero et al 1 argued that ethylmercury administered to infants through vaccines is eliminated rapidly from the blood and effectively excreted in stool. Our analysis of this data, combined with a more recent analysis2 of mercury excretion in baby hair suggests a more worrisome interpretation, one that offers support for the hypothesis3 linking early mercury exposures with autism.
Our calculations suggest that Pichichero et al. overstated the significance of their excretion findings. Although their data support a rapid rate of ethylmercury elimination from blood, instead of similarly rapid stool elimination, their findings demonstrate slow stool excretion in many infants, suggesting that significant amounts of ethylmercury from vaccines may be retained in infant tissue.
Most methyl mercury is eliminated from the body through stool and ethyl mercury from vaccines most likely follows the same path. Both mercury species must pass out of the blood to allow excretion in feces or (in lesser amounts) hair. 4 Nevertheless elimination from blood also allows for mercury transport into tissue, without prompt excretion. Our analysis of mercury excretion in autistic and control baby hair demonstrated that, although mercury was excreted at high rates in hair of normal infants, hair of autistic infants contained very little mercury, only 0.47 mcg/g versus 3.63 mcg/g in controls. This finding raises the possibility of increased mercury retention in the tissue of autistic infants, who also had higher rates of prenatal mercury exposure.
Pichichero et al provide data specific to infant mercury excretion through feces. They measured mercury concentrations in stool of 22 normal infants exposed to thimerosal in vaccines, ages two and six months, and found a range of 23-141 nanograms of mercury per gram of stool (dry weight). The authors interpreted these levels, mere parts per billion, as positive evidence of mercury elimination.
But these mercury concentrations are extremely low, not nearly enough to allow rapid excretion. Infant dry weight stool volumes have been measured at between 1-3 grams per kilogram (kg) per day.5 Based on the 50th percentile weight progression from 3.5-8 kg in the zero-six month period, infant stool volumes may be expected to range from 6-18 grams (dry weight) per day. Taking the stool concentration range for mercury from Pichichero et al, we calculated the time required for an infant to excrete the ethylmercury (187.5 mcg) that U.S. infants received by six months of age during the 1990s.
Stool Hg concentration Daily Hg excretion Days to excrete 187.5 mcg
(ng/g) (mcg/day) (days)
Minimum: 23 0.14-0.41 457-1,339
Maximum: 140 0.84-2.52 74-223
In the case of maximum excretion, early vaccine exposures are eliminated within the time period of exposure, but for those children with stool concentrations at the low end of the range, the infant elimination rate rises to nearly four years. For autistic infants, with evidence of reduced excretion in hair and additional fetal exposures2 (from maternal amalgam filling, fish consumption and Rho D immunoglobulin injections) these excretion times were likely far longer.
Our analysis contradicts the optimism expressed by Pichichero et al and suggests that low mercury excretion rates in some infants may underlie the link between mercury exposures and autism.
Mark F. Blaxill Director, Safe Minds
Boyd E. Haley, PhD Professor of Chemistry and Department Chairman University of Kentucky
ALL Thimerosal Vaccine In The 1990s Had Mercury MORE TOXIC Than Hazardous Waste
From AUTISMconnectThe Dots
Please review the following post from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and consider the following. Every thimerosal containing vaccine which was administered during the 1990′s (a large number of the total mandatory vaccine protocol) contained levels of mercury which were hundreds of times more toxic than hazardous waste according to the EPA’s own website.
This is a federal law that applies to all states:
“If mercury levels in a waste exceed the Toxicity Characteristic Leach Test (TCLP) level of 0.2 mg/L for mercury, then the waste is identified as a hazardous waste based on the toxicity characteristic”.
Journal of American Medical Association 1948 publication on thimerosal
It should be noted that Mr. Engley has subsequently published in the Annals
of the New York Academy of Sciences## an article, “Evaluation of Mercurials
as Antiseptics” in which he declared regarding mercurial compounds such as
Thimerosal, “…mercurials are ineffective in vivo and may be more toxic for
tissue cells than bacterial cells, as shown in mice (Nungester and Kempf, 1942) (Sarber, 1942) (Spaulding and Bondi, 1947) tissue culture (Salle and Catlin, 1947) and embryonic eggs (Witlin, 1942) (Green and Kirkeland, 1944), and with leucocytes (Welch and Hunter, 1940).”
It is clear from this research supported by a grant from the American Medical Association that Thimerosal is neither efficacious nor safe, and should be removed as a preservative in prescription biologics and pharmaceutical products, as well as from topical over-the-counter products such as Butt-Balm that have Thimerosal present in their formulations as an active ingredient.
** It should be noted that this article was published in the January 1948 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
** It should be noted that this article was published in 1950 in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.
Thimerosal and Vaccine Risks by Neal A. Halsey, M.D.
Types of Mecury:
Ethylmercury(Thimerosal) is what is used as a preservative in vaccines, also fungicides, antibiotic eye drops, nasal sprays, ear preparations, some cosmetics and some contact lens solutions
Other names for ethylmercury:
Ethyl (2-mercaptobenzoato-S) mercury sodium salt
[(o-carboxyphenyl)thio] Ethylmercury sodium salt
Dimethylmercury(pure) is a liquid that can be absorbed thru the skin. Elemental mercury or pure mercury=metal mixtures such as dental fillings-toxic when released into the environment, mercury thermometers, fluorescent light bulbs, exists in the earths crust.
Methlymercury-Organic Mercury(mercuric salts) is the fish association and its environmental.
Also used medically as fungicides and antibacterials
Ionic Mercury-coal burning emmissions, formed in the atmosphere from elemntal mercury vapors
Synonyms and Trade Names for Thimerosal
Mercury Free-Is it Really Free?
Removal means that Thimerosal was used during the production process but was
Removed /filtered at a certain stage during production resulting in residual traces remaining in the vaccine.
Reduction of thimerosal means that it is still used but reduced in comparison with the amount in the already licensed vaccine.
Elimination means it is not used in any stage of production and considered truly Thimerosal-free.
In order to know what you are getting, you can ask to see the package insert and read thru the ingredients list first. However, mercury goes under different names and the FDA allows vaccines to be labeled “mercury-free” even though they can still legally contain a certain amount of mercury, as mercury is actually part of the antiquated process of manufacturing vaccines, which has pretty much remain unchanged over 60 years. Source
Virtually every thimerosal vaccine administered during the 1990’s contained levels of mercury which were hundreds of times more toxic than hazardous waste according to the EPA’s website.
Ronald Reagan himself was troubled by the vaccine compensation bill and was quoted as saying, “Although the goal of compensating those persons is a worthy one, the program has…serious deficiencies.”
…The Reagan administration seemed to be particularly concerned with two issues: who was going to pay for the compensation required for vaccine injury, and the precedent of the federal government indemnifying private companies from liability.
…The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was actually part of a larger bill, the Omnibus Health Bill (S. 1744), that was introduced in the waning days of the 99th Congress in late 1986. Leading a four-year effort to pass the controversial legislation on vaccine liability was a Congressman from the 30th District of California, Henry Waxman. Waxman’s bill was supported by vaccine manufacturers, who were lobbying very hard on its behalf, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
…In the waning days of the 99th Congress, the bill’s passage was up in the air, with the White House declaring plans to veto the entire Omnibus package, due almost exclusively to the provisions in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. Congressman Waxman, the bill’s author, was unyielding, and worked the press to his advantage in the final days declaring:
“This bill is the first step to taking care of children hurt in the process of protecting society from epidemics and to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines. If the President vetoes it, he will leave these children to fend for themselves and leave the country with risks or shortages or skyrocketing prices. If he vetoes it, I hope he has some emergency plans to start making vaccines himself because the manufacturers tell us they may very well stop.”
And, with the final threat of losing the entire manufacturing base of vaccine makers coming from Henry Waxman and the AAP, Ronald Reagan made the bill law on November 15, 1986 “with mixed feelings.”
That might be his part in it but this is far from the whole story. I urge you to read A Stolen Life. It is also backed up in the 1985 senate hearing S827(you can get a free copy) which will educate you on how it all came about and by whom. This is the SOLE reason we have the system we have today and those are the key players you have to thank for it.
By Chris Berrie
BERLIN — October 8, 2008 — The reported use of paracetamol (acetaminophen) in the first year of life is associated with increases in reported symptoms of asthma and risk of severe asthma symptoms in children aged 6 to 7 years, according to analysis of data from the multicentre, multicountry, cross-sectional International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Children (ISAAC).
The study also found an association between use of paracetamol in childhood and an increased risk of symptoms of rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema in childhood, said principal investigator Richard Beasley, MD, Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.
The increased international use of paracetamol over the last 40 years occurred contemporaneously with an increased prevalence of asthma, Dr. Beasley said during a presentation on October 7 at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) 18th Annual Congress.
“[This study] was based on a hypothesis that was raised 10 years ago, where it was proposed that the switch from aspirin to paracetamol in childhood may have contributed to the increase in asthma prevalence that was noted in many countries in the 1980s,” he said.
Therefore, Dr. Beasley and colleagues conducted a study to investigate the association between paracetamol use in infancy and self-reported symptoms of asthma in children aged 6 to 7 years participating in the ISAAC program, which was formed in 1991 to facilitate research into asthma, allergic rhinitis, and eczema.
Data were obtained from 2 groups (children aged 6 to 7 and 13 to 14) from random samples of schools in defined geographical areas worldwide. Samples were collected using 2 simple standardised questionnaires that were completed by the children’s parents or guardians.
The prevalence questionnaire obtained data regarding symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema in these children, while the environmental questionnaire obtained data on a wide range of putative protective and risk factors for asthma and allergic disorders, including paracetamol use for fever in the first year of life.
A total of 194,555 children from 69 centres in 29 countries were included in the analysis, with the multivariate analysis based on 105,041 of these children with complete covariance data.
This multivariate analysis of the associations with paracetamol use showed significant odds ratios (ORs) as follows: asthma, 1.46 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.36-1.56); rhinoconjunctivitis, 1.48 (95% CI, 1.38-1.60); and eczema, 1.35 (95% CI, 1.26-1.45).
When severe asthma symptoms were defined as wheezing causing sleep disturbance or limiting speech, or 4 or more attacks of wheezing in the past 12 months, a similar significant association was seen at the multivariate level for the use of paracetamol (OR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.30-1.58).
Dr. Beasley noted, “While paracetamol has been shown to be safer than the alternatives and is the recommended treatment … what we found in this study was that there was a very widespread use of paracetamol beyond its indication for relief of high fever.”
Indeed, as he stressed, “What we need now is randomised controlled trials to really sort this out properly, and from these trials, there will be the basis for making firm guidelines in terms of management.”
The study was published in The Lancet in September 2008 (Beasley R et al. 2008;372:1039-1048).
Filed under: Antibiotics and Fever Reducers, News Articles | Tagged: asthma, paracetamol (acetaminophen) in the first year of life | Leave a Comment »
Oct 14, 2008
Some infants, toddlers and pregnant women may have received influenza immunizations containing mercury last year in violation of a new Missouri law requiring mercury-free vaccines, a state audit says.
The audit cites the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services for doing a poor job of publicizing the law, which took effect in April 2007.
The department didn’t undertake any widespread publicity until after the law had kicked in, which was after many medical providers already had ordered their vaccines for the 2007-2008 winter flu season.
But the audit said the health department received complaints from about 100 medical providers during the 2007-2008 flu season asking why they had not been notified about the law.
The department also received about 10 calls from medical providers who said they had already purchased flu vaccines containing mercury before they became aware of the law and planned to continue administering the vaccines to young children and pregnant women, the audit said.
—Garth S. Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell, Propaganda and Persuasion
Propaganda through pictures whether it be magazine ads, posters, banners, bumber stickers, television, or brochures are messages aimed at influencing opinions or behaviors of people. It is acheived through emotion rather than a fully informed information. It seeks to change the way people perceive or understand an issue for the sole purpose of changing their actions that are desirable to the propagandist.
Propaganda can appeal to fear, demoralize the opposing viewpoint, cherry-pick their information, use virtue words, oversimplify, print misinformation, to name a few.
Let’s look at some of the vaccine propaganda using pictures:
Message: Vaccinate no matter what at every opportunity. (But is it in your best interest or theirs?)
Court Cases and School Mandates
How do exemptions to mandated vaccines apply? Some people will have medical conditions that increase the risk for adverse effect and should not receive vaccines. Therefore, all state vaccination laws have exemptions for children with medical conditions. Others have religious beliefs that are in opposition to vaccination, while some may oppose vaccination on philosophical or personal grounds. Not all vaccines may be opposed, but rather, may oppose the concept of mandatory vaccination or being given specific vaccines. So what then is a parent’s constitutional right to a religious exemption from mandated vaccination? Challenges to mandated vaccination laws which are based on religious or philosophical beliefs have led many courts to state that no constitutional right exists to religious or philosophical exemptions.
In 1879 the Supreme Court ruled that freedom of belief is absolute, freedom of action is not. Acts or conduct of our citizens must conform to all reasonable regulations adopted by governmental agencies acting within the scope of their authority. In other words, religious followers have a right to their beliefs but have no right to endanger others by practice of their beliefs as scientists see it.
Further authority to force vaccination of children comes under the doctrine of parens patriae in which the state asserts authority over child welfare. In the 1944 case of Prince v. Massachusetts, which involved child labor under an asserted right of religious freedom, the U.S. Supreme Court summarized the doctrine, noting that:
Neither rights of religion nor rights of parenthood are beyond limitation. Acting to guard the general interest in youth’s well being, the state as parens patriae may restrict the parent’s control by requiring school attendance, regulating or prohibiting the child’s labor, and in many other ways. Its authority is not nullified merely because the parent grounds his claim to control the child’s course of conduct on religion or conscience. Thus, he cannot claim freedom from compulsory vaccination for the child more than for himself on religious grounds. The right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill health or death. (321 U.S. at 166-7, 64 S.Ct. at 442)
Religious refusal of medical treatment may be penalized by the state under this clause. There was a leading case in 1903 in N.Y. that stated ‘the proposition that the right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community of a child to communicable disease, nor to expose the child himself to ill-health and death.’
When the exercise of the right to religious liberty comes into conflict with public health laws, medical practice acts, parental obligations to provide medical care to minors, courts were upholding the validity of public health laws.
Jacobson was essentially a public health law case. In 1905, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, which upheld the right of states to force vaccination. The Court declared that smallpox vaccination, under health regulations, was reasonable and that it did not violate the liberty rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Police power could be used because it is the authority reserved to the states by the Constitution and embraces “such reasonable regulations established directly by legislative enactment as will protect the public health and the public safety” (197 U.S. at 25, 25 S.Ct. at 361).
In Jacobson, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts had enacted a statute that authorized local boards of health to require vaccination. Jacobson challenged his conviction for refusal to be vaccinated against smallpox as required by regulations of the Cambridge Board of Health. While acknowledging the potential for vaccines to cause adverse events and the inability to determine with absolute certainty whether a particular person can be safely vaccinated, the Court specifically rejected the idea of an exemption based on personal choice. To do otherwise “would practically strip the legislative department of its function to [in its considered judgment] care for the public health and the public safety when endangered by epidemics of disease” (197 U.S. at 37, 25 S.Ct. at 366). The Court elaborated on the tension between personal freedom and public health inherent in liberty: “The liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint. There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good. On any other basis organized society could not exist with safety to its members” (197 U.S. at 26, 25 S.Ct. at 361).
The beginning of the Lochner Era in constitutional law began in 1905-1937. Lochner Era represented an unwarranted judicial interference with democratic control over the economy to safeguard public health and the environment. Lochner was a form of judicial activism that was unreceptive to protective and redistributive regulation. Lochner vs. N.Y.
In 1922, the Supreme Court addressed the constitutionality of childhood vaccination mandates in Zucht v. King. The Court denied a due process Fourteenth Amendment challenge to the constitutionality of city ordinances that excluded children from school attendance for failure to present a certificate of vaccination holding that “these ordinances confer not arbitrary power, but only that broad discretion required for the protection of the public health”. (260 U.S. at 177, 43 S.Ct. at 25).
The Numberg Code was initiated in 1947.
“This judgment established a new standard of ethical medical behavior for the post World War II human rights era. Amongst other requirements, this document enunciates the requirement of voluntary informed consent of the human subject. The principle of voluntary informed consent protects the right of the individual to control his own body.
“This code also recognizes that the risk must be weighed against the expected benefit, and that unnecessary pain and suffering must be avoided.
This code recognizes that doctors should avoid actions that injure human patients.
The principles established by this code for medical practice now have been extended into general codes of medical ethics.
Forward to 1951, there was a conviction for violation of the Georgia statue which required vaccines as a prerequisite for school attendance, which was appealed on the grounds that it violated freedom of religion. It was also a N.Y. decision in 1944.
The civil rights movement also changed the social structure which began with Brown vs. Board of Education in 1951.
The 1971 U.S. Supreme Court in Lemon v. Kurtzman (Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602, 91 S.Ct. 2105) was a case involving state supplementation of parochial school salaries, and defined a three-pronged test for determining whether a state religious accommodation complies with the Establishment Clause: “First, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose; second, its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; finally, the statute must not foster ‘an excessive government entanglement with religion’ ” (403 U.S. at 612-3, 91 S.Ct. at 2111 [citation omitted] [quoting Walz v. Tax Commission, 397 U.S. 664, 674, 90 S.Ct. 1409, 1414 (1970)]).
The 1972 Wisconsin vs. Yoder case (Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 92 S. Ct. 1526) wasn’t about vaccine mandates but still centered on the right to practice ones religion. Members of the Amish religion were convicted of violating Wisconsin’s compulsory school-attendance law by declining to send their children to public or private school after they had graduated from the eighth grade. Amish objection to formal education beyond the eighth grade is firmly grounded in their central religious concepts. ”Although the trial court in its careful findings determined that the Wisconsin compulsory school-attendance law “does interfere with the freedom of the Defendants to act in accordance with their sincere religious belief” it also concluded that the requirement of high school attendance until age 16 was a “reasonable and constitutional” exercise of governmental power, and therefore denied the motion to dismiss the charges. The Wisconsin Circuit Court affirmed the convictions. The Wisconsin Supreme Court, however, sustained respondents’ claim under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and reversed the convictions. A majority of the court was of the opinion that the State had failed to make an adequate showing that its interest in “establishing and maintaining an educational system overrides the defendants’ right to the free exercise of their religion.” (49 Wis. 2d 430, 447, 182 N. W. 2d 539, 547 1971).
Court claims of religious freedom under the Free Exercise Clause do prevail, such as the case of Wisconsin v. Yoder in 1972. “[W]here fundamental claims of religious freedom are at stake,” the Court will not accept a state’s “sweeping claim” that its interest in compulsory education is compelling; “despite its admitted validity in the generality of cases, we must searchingly examine the interests that the State seeks to promote . . . and the impediment to those objectives that would flow from recognizing the claimed Amish exemption” (406 U.S. at 221, 92 S.Ct. at 1536).
The Frazee vs. Illinois case in 1989 centered on the refusal of a temporary retail position because the job would have required him to work on Sunday in violation of his personal religious beliefs, and was thus denied unemployment compensation benefits.
“Held: The denial of unemployment compensation benefits to appellant on the ground that his refusal to work was not based on tenets or dogma of an established religious sect violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment as applied to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment. Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U. S. 398, Thomas v. Review Bd. of Indiana Employment Security Div., 450 U. S. 707, and Hobbie v. Unemployment Appeals Comm’n of Florida, 480 U. S. 136, rested on the fact that each of the claimants had a sincere belief that religion required him or her to refrain from the work in question, not on the consideration that each of them was a member of a particular religious sect or on any tenet of the sect forbidding such work. While membership in a sect would simplify the problem of identifying sincerely held beliefs, the notion that one must be responding to the commands of a particular religious organization to claim the protection of the Free Exercise Clause is rejected. The sincerity or religious nature of appellant’s belief was not questioned by the courts below, and was conceded by the State, which offered no justification for the burden that the denial of benefits placed on appellant’s right to exercise his religion. The fact that Sunday work has become a way of life does not constitute a state interest sufficiently compelling to override a legitimate free-exercise claim, since there is no evidence that there will be a mass movement away from Sunday employment if appellant succeeds on his claim.” Pp. 489 U. S. 832-835.
In the 2001 Wyoming Hepatitis B case, the Pages successfully sued the Wyoming State Department of Health for denying the Pages’ request for a religious exemption from the Hepatitis B vaccine. The Wyoming Supreme Court held that the Health Department had to grant the exemption request and had no right or ability to consider the sincerity or credibility of those requesting exemptions.
An Arizona Court of Appeals rejected the argument that an individual’s right to education would trump the state’s need to protect against the spread of infectious diseases short of confirmed cases of measles in the particular school. The court in Maricopa County Health Department v. Harmon took action by excluding unvaccinated children from school when there is a reasonably perceived, but unconfirmed, risk for the spread of measles (156 Ariz. at 166, 750 P.2d at 1369). The court in Maricopa specifically noted that Jacobson did not require that epidemic conditions exist to force vaccination. (156 Ariz. at 166, 750 P.2d at 1369)
Arkansas had introduced a religious exemption in 1967. The exemption then stated that vaccines could be exempted if it conflicts with the religious tenets and practices, but you had to be a member of a recognized church, along with statements from the church, etc. In the 2002, McCarthy vs. Boozeman and Boone vs. Boozeman case, the state’s religious exemption was challenged based on the establishment and free exercise clauses of the first amendment, and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment. The court agreed and found that the exemption provision was unconstitutional under the test in Lemon vs. Kurtzman, which violates the establishment clause. However, it upheld the mandated vaccine laws. In 2003, the Arkansas General Assembly rewrote the religious exemption provision and added a philosophical exemption.
The First Amendment
Religious freedom, or the right to believe in your religion, is considered absolute under the First Amendment. However, the freedom to act in accordance with one’s religious beliefs “remains subject to regulation for the protection of society.” This was stated in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Sherbert v. Verner in 1963. This established a balancing test for determining whether a regulation violated a person’s First Amendment right to free exercise of religion. The test, which prevailed until 1990, required the government to justify any substantial burden on religiously motivated conduct by a compelling government interest and by means narrowly tailored to achieve that interest (374 U.S. at 406-8, 83 S.Ct. at 1795-6).
Forty-eight states do provide religious exemption laws today. However, due to the earlier court rulings, both parens patriae and police power grounds apply and the U.S. Supreme Court upholds state interest in mandating vaccination of children by sighting these reasons; a health threat to the community and to the children themselves, disease risks, and mandatory vaccination should also meet the criterion of Sherbert.
In another court case, before Yoder, the Wright v. DeWitt School District, (Wright v. DeWitt School District, 238 Ark. 906, 385 S.W.2d 644 Ark. 1965), a decision and enactment of a statutory religious exemption by the Arkansas Supreme Court held that no First Amendment right existed to a religious exemption given the state’s compelling interest in mandating vaccination under its police power to protect the public health. (238 Ark. at 913, 385 S.W.2d at 648).
The compelling interest test is moot now due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that significantly lowered the bar for states to prevail. In 1990, a decision in Employment Div., Dept. of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, (Employment Div., Dept. of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872, 110 S.Ct. 1595 (1990) the Supreme Court rejected the compelling interest test and established a new standard that states: “the right of free exercise does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a ‘valid and neutral law of general applicability on the ground that the law proscribes (or prescribes) conduct that his religion prescribes (or proscribes)” (494 U.S. at 879, 110 S.Ct. at 1600 [quoting United States v. Lee, 455 U.S. 252, 263, n. 3, 102 S.Ct. 1051, 1058, n. 3 (1982)]).
In 1993, Congress attempted to legislatively override the ruling in Smith by enacting the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA). This would bring back the compelling interest test as the standard for considering the constitutionality of free exercise claims. In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of City of Boerne v. Flores (City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507, 117 S.Ct. 2157 refused to allow the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. They stated that Congress had exceeded its constitutional authority in implementing the statute (521 U.S. at 510-37, 117 S.Ct. at 2160-72). Therefore, the Smith standard is the current law.
The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment establishes a constitutional limit within which a state which may accommodate a religious exemption based on a law of general application. This includes whether an exemption is allowed and how detailed the exemption must be defined.
In Brown v. Stone in 1979, the Mississippi Supreme Court vetoed the religious exemption that appeared in the Mississippi school vaccination statute. They held that the statutory religious exemption violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because it would “require the great body of school children to be vaccinated and at the same time expose them to the hazard of associating in school with children exempted under the religious exemption who had not been immunized.” (378 So.2d at 223).
In Sherr v. Northport-East Northport Union Free School District in 1987, the plaintiffs were denied a religious exemption under the state’s religious exemption statute by the school district because they were not “bona fide members of a recognized religious organization” whose teachings oppose vaccination, as required by New York law (672 F.Supp. at 84 [quoting subsection 9 of N.Y. Pub. Health L. § 2164]). The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York stated that New York’s limitation of the religious exemption violated the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses of the First Amendment. This limitation violated the Establishment Clause by going against two prongs of the Lemon test. The first by inhibiting the religious practices of individuals who oppose vaccination of their children on religious grounds but are not members of a religious organization recognized by the state and two by restricting the exemption to “recognized religious organizations” requires that the government involve itself in religious matters to an inordinate degree through such government approval (672 F.Supp. at 89-90. The court also stated that the limited language violated the Free Exercise Clause because no compelling societal interest existed to justify the burden placed on the free religious exercise of “certain individuals while other persons remain free to avoid subjecting their children to a religiously objectionable medical technique because they may belong to a particular religious organization to which the state has given a stamp of approval” (672 F.Supp. at 90-1). There “surely exist less restrictive alternative means of achieving the state’s aims than the blatantly discriminatory restriction . . . the state has devised” (672 F.Supp. at 91). By striking down New York’s limitation, the court stated that “sincerely held religious beliefs” in opposition to vaccination, whether or not as part of a recognized religion, should suffice (672 F.Supp. at 98).
The 1st Amendment to the Constitution of 1791 declares: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” These provisions are limitations only in federal government. There is no language requiring states to guarantee religious liberty.
The Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses have been held applicable to the States through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. (Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 303-4, 60 S.Ct. 900, 903 (1940).
In Davis v. State, (294 Md. 379, 451 A.2d 107 Md. 1982) this held that “limiting religious exemption to children whose parents were “members” or “adherents” of a “recognized church or religious denomination” opposing vaccination violated the Establishment Clause. On the basis of rules of statutory construction in Maryland, the court severed the offending religious exemption from the statute and upheld the conviction of Davis under the remaining statute that compelled vaccination (294 Md. at 382-5, 451 A.2d at 114-5). Rules of statutory construction vary so that in the Sherr case the court vetoed the limiting “bona fide members of a recognized religious organization” language but upheld the religious exemption. In addition, the court enjoined enforcement of the “bona fide” language as to one of the two sets of plaintiffs, who otherwise qualified, and further enjoined the state from enforcing the offending language in the future (672 F.Supp. at 97-9).
Individual rights were described in broad terms when it came to the Bill of Rights. In democracy, with no official ideology or religion, any interpretation of such abstract concepts could be attacked by the justices own personal philosophy. During the second half of the 20th century, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that liberty can be protected by the 14th Amendment including most of the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
1868: “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Religious freedom concept was written into the Federal and State Constitutions. Article VI of the Federal Constitution in 1789 states: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States…”
Under the U.S. Constitution, most power to protect the public’s health and safety or police powers is reserved for the states. Each state passes its own laws mandating vaccines for school and permits various exemptions. What is police power? It is power inherent in the state to enact and enforce laws to protect and promote the health, safety, morals, order, peace, comfort, and welfare of the people. Power was possessed by the states before the federal constitution was adopted in 1789, and was not surrendered to the national government at that time. Public health is primarily the responsibility of the states and they delegate this duty to political subdivisions and agencies such as school boards, counties, and the Board of Heatth.
What about Philosophical opposition? Should it also be included as religious? Two conscientious or philosophical objector cases and decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court points out that some philosophical opposition to vaccination may be religious and incorporated into a religious exemption, regardless of whether a state law details or provides for a philosophic exemption.
In 1965 United States v. Seeger, (United States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163, 85 S.Ct. 850) and 1970 Welsh v. United States, (Walsh v. United States, 398 U.S. 333, 90 S.Ct. 1792) the Court interpreted “religious,” as it appeared in a federal statutory religious-based conscientious objector exemption from military conscription, very expansively to extend beyond traditional religious beliefs. Seeger defined the test as “[a] sincere and meaningful belief which occupies in the life of its possessor a place parallel to that filled by the God of those admittedly qualifying for the exemption” (380 U.S. at 176, 85 S.Ct. at 859). The Court elaborated in Welsh: “to be ‘religious’ . . . this opposition . . . [must] stem from . . . moral, ethical, or religious beliefs about what is right and wrong and that these beliefs be held with the strength of traditional religious convictions” (398 U.S. at 340, 90 S.Ct. at 1796). The Welsh Court, however, clarified that “moral, ethical, or religious principles” do not incorporate “considerations of policy, pragmatism, or expediency” (398 U.S. at 342-3, 90 S.Ct. at 1798).
In the 1988 court case of Mason v. General Brown Central School District, (Mason v. General Brown Central School District, 851 F.2d 47 (2d Cir. 1988) they rejected fear of the possible side effects from vaccination, although it was based on strong convictions, near the level of religious beliefs because of evidence that the plaintiff’s beliefs were “simply an embodiment of secular chiropractic ethics.”(851 F.2d at 51-2).
Vaccination laws and mandates were first enacted to control epidemic diseases. Today, they are also used to increase vaccine coverage to protect the public’s health even in the absence of epidemics. Their constitutional basis rests in the police power of the state and in parens patriae doctrine. Although most states allow religious exemptions and some allow philosophical, no constitutional right exists. Courts, however, have generally upheld these exemptions. The current laws can be expected to be upheld by the courts as long as the balance of protecting the public health or the ‘herd’ is achieved.
The Jacobson case in 1905 was based on public health and safety issues. The Hepatitis B and HPV vaccines, along with others coming up the pipeline, don’t meet this basis as they are not medically essential in preventing the spread of disease. The concern in the 20th century was government power itself. Today, it is the medical unnecessary exercise of power because many of the vaccines being mandated today are not medically necessary to prevent disease from spreading, or to protect public health.
Model State Emergency Power Act was a law designed to provide responsible state officials with powers needed to detect and contain a potentially catastrophic disease outbreak and protect individual rights and freedoms. Many states have passed some version of this law.
How School Vaccine Mandates Came About
In 1809, the first state law mandating vaccination was enacted in Massachusetts. By 1855, Massachusetts became the first state to enact a school vaccination requirement for Smallpox. By the twentieth century, roughly half of the states had enacted vaccine mandates for children before they could enter school; however, they were not strictly enforced. The Diphtheria vaccine was introduced in the 1920’s, but only a few states made the Diphtheria vaccine compulsory for two decades. By the early 1950’s, with the licensure of the Diphtheria and Tetanus vaccines, state and local health departments began more aggressive vaccination programs. When the Salk Polio vaccine was licensed in 1955, only a few states passed laws that mandated it for school entry. The polio vaccine also led to federal funding of state and local vaccine programs. In 1962, the Vaccination Assistance Act established a federally coordinated program that would supply funds for the purchase and administration of childhood vaccines. By 1963, several vaccines were mandated, but there was no enforcement by all states. The New York City health commissioner opposed making the Polio vaccine mandatory in 1965.
Compulsory vaccination made some radical changes by the late 1960’s and 1970’s. In 1970 a nationwide rubella vaccine campaign was launched. It was recommended by the Department of Health for all 11-13 year old girls. Then the CDC moved on and began leading a nationwide effort to eradicate Measles. In 1968, only a half the states required one or more vaccines for school entry. By the early 1970’s, the Measles Initiative program was started. By 1976-77, health officials strictly enforced the vaccine mandate for Measles under the Childhood immunization Initiative. Its purpose was to raise vaccination coverage in children to 90% by 1979. The largest component of this initiative was to enact and enforce school vaccination mandates.
By 1981, all fifty states mandated Measles vaccine along with all others for school entry. Nearly all states had school vaccination mandates covering Kindergarten through 12th grade levels, and mandates for licensed preschools. State mandated vaccine laws specified which vaccines would be required and the number of doses. Some states authorized the public health boards to designate which vaccines and doses would be required. States were not uniform in what vaccines they require, or how many doses. This still holds true today. In 1980, the state of Wisconsin passed the No-immunization-No School law and was enforced by March 1981. Other states soon followed.
In 1998–1999, all but four states (Louisiana, Michigan, South Carolina, and West Virginia) enacted mandates which covered Kindergarten through 12th grade. In 48 states, with the exception of Iowa and West Virginia, daycare mandates and Head Start program mandates were enacted. Thirty states mandated some requirements for college entrance. School vaccine mandates included:
All 50 states required: Diphtheria toxoid, Polio, Measles and Rubella vaccines
49 states required: Tetanus toxoid
46 states required: Mumps
44 states required: Pertussis
28 states required: Hepatitis B
During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, state vaccine laws were tightened to make religious and philosophical exemptions harder to obtain. By the end of the 1990’s, the trend was reversed. Religious and Philosophical exemptions were made less restrictive through rewriting exemption clauses.
The Task Force on Community Preventive Services is an independent body carrying out evidence-based reviews of the literature to assess the claims that preventive interventions directed to populations are effective. One of the 17 interventions reviewed for vaccine-preventable diseases was mandatory vaccination requirements. The Task Force found that sufficient evidence existed to demonstrate the effectiveness of these requirements in increasing vaccine coverage, thereby reducing disease incidence, and so recommended their use.
U.S. Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in 1986 and the Vaccine Compensation Amendments in 1987 and 1995. The NCVIA establishes a compensation system for people who may be injured by routine vaccinations. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, Public Law 99-660, was signed by President Reagan in November 1986, however, it did not contain a funding mechanism to enable the compensation system to operate. In 1987, Congress passed amendments to the law and developed a plan to fund the system, which comes from a surcharge on each mandatory vaccine. The main purpose of the law was to create safety provisions for the administration of vaccines to help prevent future vaccine injuries, to promote the improvement of existing vaccines and develop safer vaccines. Another element was to create a no-fault compensation system alternative to suing vaccine manufacturers and physicians on behalf of injured or deceased people from reactions to mandated vaccines. Children and/or adults injured or killed from these vaccines are divided into two categories; those who were damaged or killed before October 1, 1988 and those who were damaged or killed after that date. In 1990, the FDA and the CDC developed the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which allows public and private physicians to use one standard reporting form to report reactions.
Next, we’ll take a look at some of the court cases that further fueled the school vaccine mandates.
Filed under: State/U.S. Laws | Tagged: Childhood immunization Initiative, Compulsory vaccination, Measles Initiative program, National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in 1986, The Task Force on Community Preventive Services, vaccine state mandates, VAERS | 4 Comments »
ROCHESTER, N.Y., Oct. 6 — Immunizations did not reduce emergency department visits or hospitalizations for children younger than five during two recent flu seasons, researchers here reported.
Looking at data from the 2003-2004 and the 2004-2005 flu seasons, there was no evidence that the immunization made any significant difference, although the vaccine was not a good match for circulating flu strains in those years, said Peter G. Szilagyi, M.D., M.P.H., of Strong Memorial Hospital, and colleagues.
The case-cohort study, reported in the October issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, compared cases of acute respiratory illnesses in children six months to 59 months treated in hospitals — as inpatients or in the emergency department or outpatient clinic — with a control cluster sample of children treated at pediatric practices.
…The vaccine effectiveness ranged from 7% to 52% across all settings and three age groups (six-23 months, 24-59 months, six-59 months), they said.
Earlier studies had suggested that vaccination could reduce hospitalizations or emergency department visits, but those studies were limited by the use of nonspecific endpoints rather than laboratory-confirmed diagnoses or a narrow focus that concentrated on only a single healthcare setting — such as emergency departments — or a single flu season, Dr. Szilagyi wrote.
This study, he said, attempted to address those limitations, only to discover other factors that “contributed to the difficulty in demonstrating a positive [vaccine effectiveness].”
Chiefly, during the “2003-2004 season, 99% of the strains in these three communities were due to influenza A virus, but only 11% of influenza A specimens across the United States were similar to a strain included in the vaccine.”
And a year later, when the flu season was less severe and the vaccine was considered a better match, still “only 36% of the virus isolates were antigenically similar to vaccine strains,” they wrote.
Moreover, they acknowledged, the case-cohort design may have been a poor choice since it might be particularly susceptible to bias because parents who have had their children vaccinated might be more likely to seek medical care for their children than other parents.
In any case, they said, more studies are needed to adequately “assess the yearly impact of influenza vaccination programs for children.”
…In the New York area, I’m hearing, the rubella component is on backorder at many pediatricians’ offices and in neighboring pharmacies known previously to carry it. This comes at a time when schools are asking for forms proving students are up to date with their vaccinations. This creates quite a conundrum.
Parents are now facing the possibility of having to give their child the combined shot they worked to avoid, on top of the two individual dose shots they’ve already administered, in order to be up to date. Needless to say they’re not pleased. Which might be why rumors are running rampant that the (big bad!) pharmaceutical companies are purposely not releasing individual doses as a way to combat demand for them. It’s also, parents surmise, a way to counteract concern over the triple dose vaccine.
… But when a nurse friend told me her Merck rep said the single doses soon won’t be produced any longer, hence the current backlog in the rubella doses, I felt compelled to contact Merck & Co myself to set the record straight.
Here’s the response I got from Nalini Saligram Merck’s Director, Global Communications re whether or not they’re discontinuing the single dose shots, thereby making it impossible for parents who want to split up the vaccines:
“As you know, our trivalent combination measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (M-M-R II vaccine) is widely recommended and widely used in the US. In the US, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and other policy makers recommend the use of combination M-M-R vaccine to help protect against all three diseases – measles, mumps and rubella. Merck has prioritized the production of M-M-R II, and is committed to meeting the medical need for vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella by providing M-M-R II in adequate supply to meet demand. M-M-R II has been administered to millions of infants worldwide (over 500 million doses distributed to date)and has a well established safety and efficacy profile. We also make very limited quantities of the monovalent vaccines available in the US.”
As for the current rubella backlog, she says, “Because quantities are limited, there may be supply interruptions / unavailability of individual products from time to time. We do provide M-M-R II vaccine to meet the needs for vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella.”
This doesn’t speak to exactly how limited the quantities are, or if they’re more limited than they used to be. But apparently they have not been discontinued for now.
An Atlanta couple’s lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers can go to trial on claims a childhood vaccine caused neurological damage to their young son, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday.
In a landmark decision, the state high court unanimously ruled that Marcelo and Carolyn Ferrari’s lawsuit is not barred by the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act. The court upheld a prior decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals, which was the first appellate court in the nation to make such a ruling.
When the Ferraris’ 18-month-old son, Stefan, received his vaccines, he was a healthy verbal boy. Now 10, Stefan has not spoken since, according to court records.
A year after Stefan received his vaccines, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that thimerosal, a preservative used for multi-dose vaccine vials, be removed from childhood vaccines. The Ferraris filed suit, contending that the manufacturers should have made vaccines without the preservative before Stefan was vaccinated.
The companies argued that the 1986 vaccine act shields manufacturers from liability in civil lawsuits for damages caused by vaccines given after Oct. 1, 1988.
In Monday’s ruling, written by Justice George Carley, the state Supreme Court said the vaccine act “clearly does not preempt all design defect claims against vaccine manufacturers.”
Instead, it provides “that a vaccine manufacturer cannot be held liable for defective design if it is determined, on a case-by-case basis, that the injurious side effects of the particular vaccine were unavoidable,” the ruling said.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution October 06, 2008
Georgia family challenges federal vaccine law
Stefan Ferrari got his required vaccines before he was 18 months old. At the time, his parents said, he was a healthy, verbal boy.
But after his last round of booster shots, Stefan stopped speaking and, now 10 years old, he has not spoken since.
vaccines caused neurological damage to their young son. On Tuesday, the family’s lawyer asked the Georgia Supreme Court to let the case against two vaccine manufacturers, Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline, go forward.
Lawyer Lanny Bridgers told the court it was bad timing when Stefan received his last shots. A year later, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that thimerosal, a preservative used for multi-dose vaccine vials, be removed from childhood vaccines. The Ferraris contend that manufacturers should have made vaccines without thimerosal before Stefan was vaccinated.
But a lawyer arguing on behalf of the manufacturers told the state high court that the suit is barred by the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act.
The law says no vaccine maker shall be held liable in a civil action for damages arising from an injury or death caused by vaccines given after Oct. 1, 1988.
The exceptions are if the vaccine was improperly prepared or contained improper directions or warnings. Neither of these were involved in Stefan’s case, Daniel Thomasch, a lawyer for the manufacturers, told the court.
“It was the clear intent of Congress to pre-empt precisely the claims that are at issue here,” he argued.
Congress passed the law after hundreds of lawsuits were filed against vaccine manufacturers. The litigation increased insurance costs, drove out some manufacturers and threatened the continued production of some vaccines, even though the lawsuits were largely unsuccessful, Thomasch said.
“It has been a remarkably successful program,” he said of the 1986 law. “This wasn’t a rescue of the industry. It was an important step to make sure vaccines remained available in the United States.”
Seven of eight courts to consider challenges to the 1986 act have ruled in favor of the manufacturers. Last year, the Georgia Court of Appeals became the first court in the nation to rule the act did not pre-empt state law allowing such lawsuits. The manufacturers are appealing that decision to the state Supreme Court.
Bridgers, the Ferraris’ lawyer, told the justices that courts should review vaccine challenges on a case-by-case basis, not bar them completely. Otherwise, complaints must be brought in Washington before the U.S. Court of Claims where there are restrictions on the amount of awards, he said.
“Did Congress really intend to create an opt-out provision that allows the child to be thrown out of court?” Bridgers asked the justices. “I think not.”
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 05/20/08
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 WAS one the worst things that could have happened to our children in this country. If it wasn’t for NCVIA, our nations children would have better protection instead of vaccine manufacturers hiding under the act and acting like they have no accountability! It’s been 20 years too long and it’s time as a country we stand up and hold them accountable!
Everyone should get a copy of the Senate hearing S.827 and read it cover to cover. It’s free to all U.S. citizens. You’ll learn why we have NCVIA it, how it came about, and who the key players were. If you don’t want to read that, then read A Stolen Life. What Marge Grant wrote in her book can also be found in the Senate hearing, so it is officially on record.
The Food and Drug Administration will rewrite decades-old federal regulations governing how over-the-counter cold and cough medicines are marketed to children amid concerns over whether the products are safe and effective.
As part of that effort the agency held a daylong hearing Thursday to solicit views about how the rules should be changed. While the effort is expected to take years, the end result could be a tougher regulatory environment for many over-the-counter cold and cough products — such as requiring drug makers to seek approval for their products in a manner similar to that for prescription drugs.
An estimated 95 million packages of children’s over-the-counter cold and cough medicines are sold each year in the U.S. under a range of brand names, including Johnson & Johnson‘s Tylenol Plus Cold, Novartis AG’s Triaminic and Wyeth’s Robitussin, according to industry estimates.
John Jenkins, the FDA’s office of new drugs director, said the system that currently governs over-the-counter cold and cough products was really designed to grandfather the over-the-counter medicines that were on the market in the 1960s. The system allowed certain active ingredients (such as those in decongestants) to be legally marketed without obtaining prior FDA approval for each individual product. The studies used to establish the safety of those ingredients were mostly done in adults; current dosing recommendations for kids are simply reduced from adult doses.
Something that can explain why flu epidemics also occur both in warm and cold climates is this: During a flu epidemic, wherever it may be, the atmosphere blocks ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation from the Sun. In the temperate zones above latitude 35 degrees North and South, the sun is at a low enough angle in the winter that the ozone layer in the atmosphere absorbs and blocks the short-wavelength (280–315 nanometers) UVB rays. In the tropics during the wet season, thick rain clouds block UVB rays.
Skin contains a cholesterol derivative, 7-dehydrocholesterol. UVB radiation on skin breaks open one of the carbon rings in this molecule to form vitamin D. The activated form of vitamin D (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D) attaches to receptors on genes that control their expression, which turn protein production on or off. Vitamin D regulates the expression of more than 1,000 genes throughout the body. They include ones in macrophages, cells in the immune system that, among other things, attack and destroy viruses. Vitamin D switches on genes in macrophages that make antimicrobial peptides, antibiotics the body produces. Like antibiotics, these peptides attack and destroy bacteria; but unlike antibiotics, they also attack and destroy viruses.
Vitamin D also expresses genes that stop macrophages from overreacting to an infection and releasing too many inflammatory agents – cytokines – that can damage infected tissue. Vitamin D, for example, down regulates genes that produce interleukin-2 and interferon gamma, two cytokines that prime macrophages and cytotoxic T cells to attack the body’s tissues. In the 1918–19 Spanish flu pandemic that killed 500,000 Americans, young healthy adults would wake up in the morning feeling well, start drowning in their own inflammation as the day wore on, and be dead by midnight, as happened to my 22-year-old grandmother and my wife’s 24-year-old grandmother. Autopsies showed complete destruction of the epithelial cells lining the respiratory tract resulting, researchers now know, from a macrophage-induced severe inflammatory reaction to the virus. In a terribly misguided way, these victims’ own immune system attacked and killed them, not the virus, something in future pandemics vitamin D, in appropriate doses, can prevent.
A creditable hypothesis that explains the seasonal nature of flu is that influenza is a vitamin D deficiency disease. Cannell and colleagues offer this hypothesis in “Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D” (Epidemiol Infect 2006;134:1129–40). They quote Hippocrates (circa 400 B.C.), who said, “Whoever wishes to investigate medicine properly should proceed thus: in the first place to consider the seasons of the year.” Vitamin D levels in the blood fall to their lowest point during flu seasons. Unable to be protected by the body’s own antibiotics (antimicrobial peptides) that this gene-expresser engineers, a person with a low vitamin D blood level is more vulnerable to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections (e.g., respiratory syncytial virus).
Studies show that children with rickets, a vitamin D-deficient skeletal disorder, suffer from frequent respiratory infections; and children exposed to sunlight are less likely to get a cold. Given vitamin D’s wide-ranging effects on gene expression, other studies, for example, show that people diagnosed with cancer in the summer have an improved survival compared with those diagnosed in the winter (Int J Cancer 2006;119:1530–36).
A growing body of evidence indicates that rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults (both a softening of bones due to defective bone mineralization) are just the tip of a vitamin D-deficiency iceberg. Tuberculosis and various autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, and type I diabetes have a causal association with low vitamin D blood levels. Vitamin D deficiency plays a causal role in hypertension, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, and stroke. It is also a risk factor for metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes, chronic fatigue, seasonal affective disorder, depression, cataracts, infertility, and osteoporosis. At the bottom of the vitamin D iceberg lies cancer. There is good evidence that vitamin D deficiency is a causal factor in some 15 different common cancers. (NEJM 2007;357:266–81.)
The increased number of deaths that occur in winter, largely from pneumonia and cardiovascular diseases, are much more likely due to vitamin D deficiency than to an increased prevalence of serologically-positive influenza virus (which also results from vitamin D deficiency).
Experts reckon that an optimum blood level of vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) is 50–99 ng/ml. (Children need a blood level >8 ng/ml to prevent rickets. It takes a concentration >20 to maintain parathyroid hormone levels in a normal range. A level >34 is needed for peak intestinal calcium absorption. And in elderly people neuromuscular performance steadily improves as vitamin D blood levels rise to 50 ng/ml.) The government’s recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 400 IU (international units) a day, an amount sufficient to prevent rickets and osteomalacia but not vitamin D’s other gene-regulating benefits. To achieve all of vitamin D’s benefits one has to take an amount ten times the government’s RDA – 4,000 to 5,000 IU a day.
A light-skinned person will synthesize 20,000 IU of vitamin D in 20 minutes sunbathing on a tropical beach, at which point vitamin D synthesis shuts down for the day (it takes a dark-skinned person 6 to 10 times longer to make this amount). Human breast milk does not contain vitamin D, since, from an evolutionary standpoint, our African ancestors’ infants, reared near the equator, could readily synthesize this gene regulator from sunlight in their skin. Food contains very little vitamin D. (The highest concentrations are in wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, and cod liver oil.) Federal regulations now require that some foods, like milk, be fortified with vitamin D. But one would have to drink 200 glasses of milk to obtain the amount of vitamin D a light-skinned person can make in 20 minutes sunbathing.
The majority of Americans are vitamin D deficient, with a 25-hydroxy D blood level <20 ng/ml, or insufficient, with a level of 20–<30 ng/ml. Cheap vitamin D supplements (D3, not D2) provide the only way most of us can maintain a year-round vitamin D blood levels greater than 50 ng/ml. That requires taking 4–5,000 IU of vitamin D a day (50,000 IU every ten days or 150,000 IU a month).
Taking vitamin D in these doses is safe, far safer than a flu shot with all the bad chemicals it contains. Concerns about vitamin D toxicity are overblown. One can take a 10,000 IU vitamin D supplement on a daily basis without any adverse effects. In healthy persons, long-term consumption of more than 40,000 IU a day is necessary to cause an elevation in the blood calcium level (hypercalcemia), the first manifestation of vitamin D toxicity (Am J Clin Nutr 2006;84:694–97). Check your vitamin D (25-hydroxy D) blood level. People with granulomatous diseases like sarcoidosis should also check their blood level of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, the active form.
Can a shot (or tablets) of vitamin D prevent influenza better than a flu shot? There is good reason to believe that it can.
Doctors in India and Canada give people a once-yearly injection of 600,000 IU of vitamin D (MJA 2005;183:10–12). That would be better, and safer, than having a flu shot. Daily, weekly, or monthly vitamin D tablets work just as well. For more on this subject see my article “Vitamin D in a New Light” and visit Dr. Cannell’s Vitamin D Council website.
Investigators have completed one double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial that shows vitamin D prevents colds and influenza significantly better (P <0.002) than a placebo pill (Epidemiol Infection 2007;135:1095–6). A large multi-center randomized trial conducted over multiple flu seasons comparing vitamin D to a flu shot can show conclusively which is better, and safer. But given the financial stakes underpinning flu shots, and unpatentable vitamin D, who will fund it?
October 05, 2008
By Amer Malik
THE fate of 117 School Health and Nutrition Supervisors, Sargodha district, hangs in the balance as Health Department suspended them after one year of their service on basis of not filling recruitment rules.
However, the affected officials alleged that they had been penalised for detecting polio cases during their health and nutrition campaign in schools in Sargodha district. The issue has raised warning that polio cases in Punjab may have been under-reported to hide failure to control the alarming spread of polio virus in Punjab this year….
They further said that they had been made a scapegoat for detecting some polio cases in schools in Sargodha, which caused their own suspension. “The District Health Department, Sargodha, had warned us against making polio cases public, which ultimately became reason of their suspension,” they added.
The medical experts and officials of Health Department that Punjab’s health authorities were facing a challenge to control the spread of polio virus, which had emerged like an epidemic in different districts of Punjab during this year. Presently, there are 16 reported polio cases in Punjab out of total of 65 cases across Pakistan. Out of total of 65 polio cases, 50 cases are of P-I strain of polio and 15 cases of P-III strain of polio virus. All 16 cases in Punjab are detected as attacked with P-I strain of polio virus.
However, medical experts and officials of Health Department said there might have been many more cases of polio as against moderately reported 16 cases in Punjab, as reporting of greater number of polio cases reflected failure of Health Department’s anti-polio drives through low coverage of immunization of each and every child below five years of age or raised questions about the substandard or expired vaccines being used during the vaccination campaigns under Expanded Programme of Immunization or special three-day anti-polio campaigns under National Immunization Days (NIDs). “It has prompted health authorities to under-report polio cases to conceal their own failure to control the spread of crippling polio disease among the children in the province,” they added….
Anti-U.S. views fuel polio growth in Pakistan
To date, Farah is the lone case of polio in this city of 10 million inhabitants. But health officials fear the polio virus is re-emerging across Pakistan. It is especially serious, they say, in the lawless tribal North West Frontier Province along the border with Afghanistan where the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban rule and many families have refused vaccinations on religious grounds…
In 2007, the World Health Organization recorded 32 cases of polio in Pakistan, up from 28 in 2005. Between January and August, 31 more cases have been recorded, with one-third in the tribal areas.
Since a door-to-door immunization program began in 2001, tens of millions of children have been vaccinated or given polio drops, according to health authorities. But in tribal areas, radical Islamic clerics such as Maulana Fazlullah have convinced residents that U.S.-manufactured polio drops are designed to sterilize Pakistanis and reduce the Muslim population.
Health authorities say polio vaccines used in Pakistan are produced in WHO-accredited laboratories not only in the United States but in Japan, Belgium and India. Pakistan has no such laboratory.
Kahn says recent air strikes in tribal areas have also contributed to residents refusing to allow vaccinations for their children. Since Aug. 13, there have been at least seven reported U.S. missile strikes, as well as a ground force operation, in tribal territories.
“Due to the security situation in these areas there is a lot of resentment against America,” said Kahn. “The perception that this vaccine is a U.S. product holds strong in these areas, leading to refusals” to accept vaccinations.
Khan also noted that Fazlullah’s sermons have stressed that those who become crippled or die from polio are martyrs. The vaccine is considered haram, or that which is forbidden for Muslims.
“There are other diseases also – like hepatitis, typhoid, etc. Why is everyone concentrating on polio?” asked Kahn. “See, this is an American conspiracy.”…
Khilji says that aside from conspiracy theories, religious beliefs can also play a role in keeping children from being vaccinated. “Some parents say it’s un-Islamic to vaccinate their children because it’s akin to tampering with the will of Allah,” said Wahaeed Khan, a former EPI official…
I think their views and feelings are justified. Who is to say vaccines aren’t contaminated? In fact, we know right here in the U.S. and Canada it happens. Air strikes? What type of toxins and pollutants are being distributed in their region which could lead to higher polio cases? Religious beliefs are always valid and should be upheld.
Proper Name: Influenza Virus Vaccine
Manufacturer: CSL Limited, License No. 1764
Indication: For active immunization of adults 18 years of age and older against influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B present in the vaccine
Proper Name: Influenza Virus Vaccine, H5N1
Manufacturer: Sanofi Pasteur Inc, License #1725
Indication: For active immunization of persons 18 through 64 years of age at increased risk of exposure to the H5N1 influenza virus subtype contained in the vaccine
Proper Name: Influenza Virus Vaccine
Manufacturer: ID Biomedical Corporation of Quebec, License #1739
Proper Name: Influenza Virus Vaccine Live, Intranasal
Manufacturer: MedImmune Vaccines, Inc, License #1652
Proper Name: Influenza Virus Vaccine
Manufacturer: GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, License #1617
Proper Name: Influenza Virus Vaccine
Manufacturer: Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited, License #1750
Proper Name: Influenza Virus Vaccine
Manufacturer: Sanofi Pasteur, Inc, License #1725
Fluzone, a sterile suspension for intramuscular injection, is supplied in four presentations:
DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS FLUVIRIN®, a sterile suspension for intramuscular injection, is supplied in two presentations:
AFLURIA®, a sterile suspension for intramuscular injection, is supplied in two presentations:
Flumist-intranasal and live: