DTaP Side Effect: Autism. Now You See It. Now You Don’t.


Age of Autism

VHCN  _the page that is now under revision you can view here.

The Pentagon — A Voice of Reason on Vaccines and Autism?

The Pentagon — A Voice of Reason on Vaccines and Autism?

David Kirby

Recently, several documents have been brought to my attention which, when viewed together, suggest that the Department of Defense has legitimate concerns about vaccine injuries and their possible connection to autism, perhaps more so than other branches of the Federal Government.

These documents raise several questions that I am currently trying to get answered from DOD officials:

1) Autism may be an “adverse event” of Tripedia (DTaP) use

According to the website of the Vaccine Healthcare Centers Network, run by DOD and CDC, autism is listed as an “adverse event” associated with use of the Tripedia triple vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.

My questions are: Why does autism appear here? Does VHC consider autism to be a possible adverse event of DTaP use, or has it simply been reported that way by parents?

2) Patients who have bad vaccine reactions should avoid multiple vaccines in the future

According to this VHC slide, any patient who has a “Systemic Event” following immunization – defined as “symptoms and signs of illness after vaccination” and “any reaction that does not involve the injection site” – should avoid multiple vaccines in the future, if possible.

My questions are: Is that standard DOD policy? Is there an alternative schedule for these patients? Does this advice apply to children of service members as well? Why is this information not shared with civilian doctors and pediatricians?

3) Patients who develop serious neurological diseases might need vaccine exemptions in the future

This VHC slide says that a patient who develops a severe neurologic disease following vaccination might need temporary or permanent exemption from future vaccines. Such diseases include peripheral neuropathy, encephalopathy (including autism, presumably) Guillain-Barré syndrome and progressive focal neurologic disease. Such patients should be given temporary exemptions from future vaccinations.

Meanwhile, risks for recurrent reactions should be assessed before additional doses are given, and “permanent vaccine exemption may be required.”

Again, is this DOD policy? Are such exemptions given? Because autism is listed as a “severe neurological disease,” would those patients (ie, children of service members) also be exempt from future vaccinations? And, on a related note, does VHC consider autism to be a “neurological disease,” as opposed to a developmental/behavioral disorder?

4) Mercury, and possibly thimerosal may cause autism and dementia

According this slide (#22) on the vaccine preservative thimerosal, from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), “exposure to mercury in utero and children may cause mild to severe mental retardation and mild to severe motor coordination impairment.” The slide also seems to indicate that autism and dementia might questionably be “health effects” of mercury or thimerosal exposure.

My question is: Why does autism appear on a list of health effects on a slide about thimerosal, even if it is followed by a question mark?

5) Alternative biomedical treatments may be prescribed for thimerosal exposure

The same slide says that “treatments” for thimerosal exposure include: “Methyl-B12, ointment DMPS, & glutathione (GSH).” These are all alternative (some would say fringe, radical and dangerous) treatments being used today by thousands of autism parents and their children’s physicians, with varying degrees of success (including reports of full recovery).

Methyl-B12 – has been shown to repair damage to the process of methylation, and to restore methionine and glutathione levels in patients with autism to within normal ranges.

DMPS – is a sulfur-based amino acid used in the process of chelation – in which sulfur molecules bind with heavy metals such as mercury, and eliminate them from the system.

Glutathione – is a sulfur-based protein that binds with heavy metals and eliminates them from the system. It is also a powerful anti-oxidant. Many children with autism show signs of glutathione depletion, heavy metal accumulation and oxidative stress.

My questions are: Was the speaker simply refering to treatments that some people have tried, or is the AFID endorsing these treatments for thimerosal toxicity and/or autism? On what evidence is this based? Are Methyl B-12 and GSH, like chelation, considered standard of care in the military for mercury toxicity? Can you explain why autism families in the military have these treatments covered, (at thousands of dollars a year), even if they also have an autism diagnosis? Is this why military insurance will pay for visits to doctors in the Defeat Autism Now network, which advocates the use of these non-traditional treatments?

I eagerly await the replies from VHC and AFID officials, and will update this blog as soon as I hear anything.

Meanwhile, regardless of the Pentagon’s positions on the above questions, we know for certain that DOD is concerned about the risk of injury from multiple vaccines.

In fact, it may even need to reconsider the practice.

“We have preliminary findings from one of our many on-going research studies that suggest a relationship between adverse events and multiple vaccinations exist,” US Army Colonel Renata J. M. Engler, MD, director of the VHC, (a “collaborative network” of the Defense Department and the CDC), wrote to Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). “These findings will require validation, but heighten our concern for the current clinical practice of multiple vaccinations.”

“The more drugs one is exposed to, the greater the likelihood of having an adverse event so as vaccine numbers increase, and (sic) we will see more people who have efficacy or safety issues,” Col. Engler said. “The standard of care (ie, in the context of mixing vaccines) is to minimize drug exposures because of the recognition that the more drugs being used, the greater the chance of a reaction and potentially a serious adverse event.”

I wonder when the CDC and America’s pediatricians will issue an equally thoughtful and cautionary statement, instead of their usual reassurance that small children can easily get 100,000 shots at once, without a single “serious adverse event” among them.


Age of Autism

VHCN  _the page that is now under revision you can view here.

Hospitals Push Tdap Vaccine On New Mothers

(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.



If you’ve had Pertussis yourself, that means you also have naturally-acquired antibodies to pertussis, which would have been passed to your baby through the placenta in utero.


 In the Swedish study that initially determined the safety and efficacy of the DTaP vaccine, they tested a subset of babies before giving them any doses of DTaP and found “some prevaccination samples contained high levels of maternal antibodies against pertussis.” Obviously, some of these babies didn’t need the vaccine. It’s documented from other research on other diseases and vaccines that maternal antibodies prevent vaccines from working the way they are intended to. The antibodies themselves detect the vaccine and get rid of it before the immune system can respond. Meaning, vaccinating a young infant who very likely has maternal antibodies already is pointless.

Maternal antibodies are known to dissipate from around 6-12 months after birth. After 6 months of age pertussis is way less of a concern. Most deaths have been in infants younger than 4 months old.

The Swedish study Highlights:

1) only healthy infants were enrolled in the study–infants with any history of chronic illness, seizure, immunosuppressant, etc. were excluded, but in practice, all infants receive the vaccine. So it’s not safe or ethical to test a vaccine in a child with impaired health status, but those kids get the vaccine later anyway.


2) Children were contraindicated for receiving the vaccine if they had a fever or had received another vaccine recently. Children get shots regardless of fevers or other vaccines received.

3) Children were contraindicated for further doses and dropped from the study if they  had an adverse event such as persistent crying, high fever, shock, etc. This was a 2-year study to determine long-term safety and efficacy of a 3-shot series, but the children, who reacted worst, and soonest, are not represented in the final results.
4) The old whole-cell version of DPT, given until about 1997 in the US, was bad.  It had a high rate of serious reactions, and these researchers calculated its effectiveness at only around 48%. But for the previous 20 years, parents in the US were being told their children must have this vaccine. The real truth about a particular vaccine being kind of dangerous and ineffective doesn’t come out until the pharmaceuticals decide they have something better.

In 1993-the JAMA published reports of adverse reactions , including death , following pertussis vaccines. Journal of American Medical Association 101(3) (1993) pp 187-88. See also:

  • Cherry JD et al (1993). Pertussis immunization and characteristics related to first seizures in infants and children. J Pediatr 122(6):900-3 1993. Department of Pediatrics, University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine.
  • Blumberg DA, et al.    Severe reactions associated with diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine: detailed study of children with seizures, hypotonic-hyporesponsive episodes, high fevers, and persistent crying. Pediatrics. 1993 Jun;91(6):1158-65. PMID: 8502521; UI: 93275702.  
  • Nielsen AO, et al.    [Aluminum allergy caused by DTP vaccine]. Ugeskr Laeger. 1992 Jun 29;154(27):1900-1. Danish. PMID: 1509548; UI: 92376915.
  • Griffin MR et al (1990). Risk of seizures and encephalopathy after immunization with the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine. JAMA 263(12):1641-5 1990. Department of Preventive Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn 37232-2637. Miller D, et al (1993). Pertussis immunisation and serious acute neurological illnesses in children. BMJ. 1993 Nov 6;307(6913):1171-6. PMID: 7504540; UI: 94072962.

In 1948 Pediatrics published reports of irreparable damage and death following pertussis vaccine inoculations. Pediatrics, 1(4), (1948) pp. 437-457

In 1950 Lancet published a report describing severe neurological complications, mental retardation and paralysis, following a combined pertussis-diphtheria vaccine.
Lancet , (March 25, 1950) pp537-39. See also: Medline

The British Medical Journal published several studies showing a connection between the polio , diphtheria ,measles , tetanus ,and smallpox vaccines , and the development of Multiple Sclerosis several years later. British Medical Journal , Vol.2,(1967) pp 210-213.


 A study in The Journal of Infectious Diseases confirms that the DPT injections induce polio. (The oral polio shot is given at the same time and the only known cases of polio have come from the shot since 1980).  The Journal of Infectious Diseases (March 1992) pp 444-449. Source Neil Z. Miller’s Vaccines : Theory vs. Reality.


The pertussis vaccine is used in animal experiments to create allergies in order to test allergy medicine.


New Zealand -Based on a study in VACCINE, decided to use the acellular vaccine which tested the most effective, which is the five component one, which supposedly had a 78% effectiveness rate. In the final year report from the health department public surveillance, they admitted that in reality it only has a 33% “effective” immunization rate.   (Source: Theor Biol. 2003 Sep 21;224(2):269-75. Estimation of effective vaccination rate: pertussis in New Zealand as a case study.
Korobeinikov A, Maini PK, Walker WJ. Centre for Mathematical Biology, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.)


In some cases vaccination is unreliable. For example vaccination against pertussis has comparatively high level of primary and secondary failures. To evaluate efficiency of vaccination we introduce the idea of effective vaccination rate and suggest an approach to estimate it. We consider pertussis in New Zealand as a case study. The results indicate that the level of immunity failure for pertussis is considerably higher than was anticipated.

“The obtained figures indicate that in New Zealand the effective vaccination rate against pertussis is lower than 50%, and perhaps even as low as 33% of the population. These figures contradict the medical statistics, which claim that more than 80% of the newborns in New Zealand are vaccinated against pertussis (Turner et al., 2000). This contradiction is due to the mentioned unreliability of the available vaccine.”

There are a lot of VICP death cases. Some are compensated, but more are dismissed because the deaths either did not fit the government’s onset timeline or rigid causation and/or doctors refused to testify, etc. Many deaths were initially ruled as SIDS by the coroner. When you look at the bacteriology, immunology, virology and toxicology reports, they point to clear indicators.


DTaP is effective in preventing Pertussis?

That depends on what you mean by effective. An effective vaccine would require only one dose to achieve immunity. The DTaP requires that you get up to five doses for an 80% chance at immunity. That’s the lowest efficacy of any vaccine on the market. And despite high vaccine coverage, the incidence of pertussis is increasing.

DTaP contains aluminum, a potent neurotoxin that enters the brain when injected as a vaccine adjuvant. The amount of aluminum injected in a single vaccine dose is sufficient to alter gene expression in the brain. These are things that will manifest adversely in the long-term: they are not included in the parameters of the vaccine safety studies that monitor only short-term effects.

There isn’t much data on the efficacy and protection from one or two doses of DTaP. Pertussis vaccine trials are difficult to do. Virtually everyone who has looked at this issue uses 3 doses as the benchmark. We know that if you get 3 doses into a child, you are looking at 80%-85% efficacy.
Information on efficacy studies, etc.


 Since 1991, seven studies conducted in Europe and Africa have evaluated the efficacy of eight DTaP vaccines administered to infants. The vaccines, produced by different manufacturers, contained a varying number and quantity of antigens. The derivation and formulation of the individual antigens also varied among vaccines (Table_1). Four doses of vaccine were administered in one study (Wyeth-Lederle Vaccines and Pediatrics, ACEL-IMUNE{Registered} package insert); the other six studies involved three doses (14,15,23-25). These studies also differed in other ways (Table_2)


The efficacy of three doses of acellular pertussis vaccines in preventing moderate to severe pertussis disease was within the range expected for most whole-cell DTP vaccines. Point estimates of efficacy ranged from 59% to 89%.


  This report supplements the statement from CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices regarding use of acellular pertussis vaccines and summarizes data regarding reactogenicity of acellular pertussis vaccines when administered as the fourth and fifth consecutive doses. Increases in the frequency and magnitude of local reactions at the injection site with increasing dose number have occurred for all currently licensed DTaP vaccines. Extensive swelling of the injected limb, sometimes involving the entire thigh or upper arm, after receipt of the fourth and fifth doses of DTaP vaccines has been demonstrated for multiple products from different manufacturers.


 There are 3 types of DTaP:








 DTaP combo vaccines:





 Contradictions to all:

If the child is sick with something more serious than a mild cold, DTaP may be delayed until the child is better.


If the child has had any of the following after an earlier DTaP, consult with the health care provider before the child receives another injection of the vaccine:


  • seizures within 3 to 7 days after injection

  • any serious brain problem within 7 days after injection

  • worsening of seizures or other brain problem (at any time)

  • mouth, throat, or face swelling (serious allergy) within a few hours after injection

  • difficulty breathing (serious allergy) within a few hours after injection

  • temperature of 105 degrees F or higher within 2 days after injection

  • shock or collapse within 2 days after injection

  • persistent, uncontrolled crying that lasts for more than 3 hours at a time within 2 days after injection


 What is the difference between DTP and DTaP:


The DTaP is made by removing many of the poisons (toxins) found in the whole-cell B.Pertussis bacteria that are used in the DTP vaccine. What remains are just a few components of the bacteria rather than the whole organisms. These components are detoxified using formaldehyde, and then thimerosal and aluminum are added. This acelluar, rather than whole cell, version of the pertussis vaccine is then combined with the DT vaccine to create DtaP. Removing these toxins from Pertussis also significantly reduces but does not eliminate the number and potency of the adverse effects associated with the vaccine. (Source Stephanie Cave 2001)


*note- Thimerosal content to date in the US –

Thimerosal has been reduced to traces; however, some of the older vaccines may be on the shelves and used until as late as 2007.


 A Not-so-Perfect Vaccine :

The Diphtheria, Tetanus and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine: An Investigation


 The Disease


Pertussis or Whooping Cough is an acute infectious disease caused by Bordetella pertussis.  The disease has been described for centuries; the organism was first isolated in 1906. Whooping cough is transmitted through the respiratory route usually by droplets of secretions.


The incubation period is usually 7 to 14 days but may be as short as 5 days and as long as 21 days. The disease evolves in three phases. Patients are most contagious during the initial catarrhal stage consisting usually of minor cold symptoms and a slight nocturnal cough. During the paroxysmal stage, which may last for several weeks, the patient has the more characteristic coughing spells, which culminate in an inspiratory whoop and are often followed by vomiting. There is usually a marked leucocytosis (increased white count) and lymphocytosis (increased lymphocyte count). In newborns and young infants, whooping cough may present as apnea and cyanotic spells. During the convalescent stage, the paroxysms subside; the patient coughs less and clinical improvement becomes evident.


Erythromycin is the antibiotic of choice for the treatment of whooping cough. If given early, it shortens the course of the illness and reduces its severity. Because it also eradicates the organism from the secretions, it decreases spread and communicability.

Erythromycin or trimeththoprim-sulfamethoxazole prophylaxis is of value for close contacts and is recommended regardless of vaccination status.


 The following statements are true about whooping cough and whooping cough vaccination


  1. The incidence of whooping cough in the United States had decreased before the introduction of the pertussis vaccine.

  2. It has continued to decrease since the vaccine has been in use.

  3. Whooping cough may be a serious and potentially fatal illness in young and vulnerable infants. 

  4. DTP vaccination has been associated with many severe and permanent adverse events including encephalopathy, brain damage, seizures, and even death. The reactions have been attributed to the pertussis component.

The DTAP Vaccine


The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of DTAP for booster doses in 1991 and for all doses in 1996. All DTP and DTAP products used in the US contained thimerosal, a mercury derivative. In 1999, the AAP and FDA recommended that thimerosal be removed from pediatric vaccines. 


Several acellular pertussis vaccines were developed and licensed in the United States. They contained different purified inactivated components of B. pertussis in varying concentrations and were always combined with diphtheria and tetanus toxoids. No single antigen pertussis vaccine has been available commercially for sometime. According to the CDC “Contraindications to further vaccination with DTP or DTAP are severe allergic reactions to a prior dose of vaccine or vaccine component and encephalopathy, not due to another identifiable cause, within 7 days of vaccination…Certain infrequent adverse events following pertussis vaccination will generally contraindicate subsequent doses of pertussis vaccine. These adverse events are: Temperature to 105°F within 48 hours, not due to another identifieable cause, Collapse or shock-like state (hypotensive-hyporesponsive episode) within 48 hours, Persistent, inconsolable crying lasting 3 hours or more and Convulsions with or without fever occurring within 3 days…Acellular pertussis vaccine should not be substituted in children who have a valid contraindication to whole cell pertussis vaccine. If a valid contraindication or precaution exists, DT should be used for the remaining doses on the schedule.” (9)


The manufacturer of one of the still available DTAP products lists the same contraindications as those of the CDC; specifically that encephalopathy (not due to other identifiable causes) within 7 days of vaccination is a contraindication for further pertussis vaccination. According to that manufacturer, encephalopathy consists of major alterations of consciousness, unresponsiveness, generalized or focal seizures that persist for more than a few hours and failure to recover within a few hours. (10)


Interestingly, and most unfortunately, as shown in the box below, filing for “on-table” vaccine compensation is allowed only if encephalopathy has occurred in the 72 hours following vaccination with a pertussis antigen-containing vaccine (11)



When DTP was used exclusively, many studies were published regularly to convince physicians and parents that the vaccine was quite safe. The fact is that the DTP vaccine was not safe and that it had to be replaced by the DTAP vaccine.

Now, the CDC and vaccine manufacturers consistently downplay the side effects of DTAP vaccination. Indeed, though minor reactions following DTAP are fewer than with DTP, more serious reactions occur in rather disturbing numbers. This is supported by a report that was issued by a committee of US Scientists and published in 1987 in the Journal of the American Medical Society (JAMA). In “Acellular and whole-cell pertussis vaccines in Japan. Report of a visit by US scientists”, the authors stated:


“Since the introduction of acellular pertussis vaccines in Japan late in 1981, more than 20 million doses have been administered, mostly to children 2 years of age and older. Clinical studies indicate that mild local and febrile reactions are less frequent after administration of acellular pertussis vaccines than after whole-cell vaccines. Serious adverse events with sequelae occurred in 2-year-old children at approximately the same low rate during the period 1975 through August 1981, when whole-cell vaccines were used, and during August 1981 through 1984, when acellular vaccines were used exclusively.” 

Clearly multiple reports of serious DTAP-associated reactions have been filed with VAERS. Again, one must keep in mind that less than 10% of adverse events after vaccination are ever reported.


Delaying DPT Vaccination May Reduce Incidence of Childhood Asthma 

Medscape News. Laurie Barclay, MD. April 14, 2008. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008;121:626-631.


Childhood asthma is reduced by half when the first dose of diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (DPT) is delayed by more than 2 months vs given during the recommended period, according to the results of a retrospective longitudinal study reported in the March issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology.

“Early childhood immunizations have been viewed as promoters of asthma development by stimulating a TH2-type immune response or decreasing microbial pressure, which shifts the balance between TH1 and TH2 immunity,” write Kara L. McDonald, MSc, from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and colleagues. “Differing time schedules for childhood immunizations may explain the discrepant findings of an association with asthma reported in observational studies. This research was undertaken to determine whether timing of diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DPT) immunization has an effect on the development of childhood asthma by age 7 years.”

The investigators analyzed data from the complete immunization and healthcare records of a cohort of children born in Manitoba in 1995, from birth until age 7 years. Using multivariable logistic regression, they computed the adjusted odds ratio for asthma at age 7 years according to the timing of DPT immunization.

Among 11,531 children who received at least 4 doses of DPT, the risk for asthma was halved in children in whom administration of the first dose of DPT was delayed by more than 2 months. For children with delays in administration of all 3 doses, the likelihood of asthma was 0.39 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.18 – 0.86).

“We found a negative association between delay in administration of the first dose of whole-cell DPT immunization in childhood and the development of asthma; the association was greater with delays in all of the first 3 doses,” the study authors write. “The mechanism for this phenomenon requires further research.”

Limitations of this study include possible ascertainment bias; findings not yet confirmed with the diphtheria, acellular pertussis, tetanus (DaPT) vaccine; and inability to refute the issue of early-life infections as an explanation for the association between delayed immunization and protection against the development of asthma.

“Further study is vital to gain a detailed understanding of the relationship between vaccination and allergic disease, because a perception that vaccination is harmful may have an adverse effect on the effectiveness of immunization programs,” the study authors conclude.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research supported this study. Some of the authors have disclosed various financial relationships with the Western Regional Training Center for Health Services Research, the National Training Program in Allergy and Asthma, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Allergen, and/or Novartis.

Epidemiologic evidence linking DPT immunizations to childhood asthma is inconsistent. Some studies show an increased or decreased risk of developing asthma, whereas others show no association. This study assessed whether timing of DPT vaccination affects the risk of developing childhood asthma by age 7 years.