NYVIC (New Yorkers for Vaccination Information and Choice)


Vaccine Scene 1999: Overview & Update

Article courtesy of the Woodlands Healing Research Center
Quakertown, PA

Updated 12/01/1999

We are frequently asked our opinion and position on vaccination in both children and adults. This lengthy monograph is an attempt to express a minority view and position that is contrary to current government, public and medical opinion on the subject. However, whatever position on the vaccination decision one chooses to adopt, we feel the under riding, most important point is Parental Choice! Therefore, we ardently believe the best approach to this very controversial subject is to present both the pro and con, good and bad, known and unknown about immunizations and then help guide the patient or parents to choose what is best for them or their children. This is termed "informed consent" and should be the basis of every medical test or treatment; vaccinations being no exception. Consequently, our Healing Research Centers honor and respect the patient's or parent's choice in this matter and will immunize or not immunize accordingly.

Any medical therapy must balance the "effectiveness" versus the "safety" of its actions on the human body. For instance, aspirin therapy is effective in preventing a second heart attack after having a first heart attack and it is quite safe, only having a very small incidence of stomach or intestinal bleeding as a potential long-term side effect. As you read the following monographs, please keep these key points in mind in terms of "effectiveness" versus the "safety" of vaccinations:

  • Scientific evidence does support the effectiveness of immunizations. They do prevent infectious diseases; some better than others, but this point is not disputed.

  • Scientific evidence does not support the safety of immunizations.

    • Safety studies on vaccinations are limited to short time periods only: several days to several weeks. There are NO (NONE!) long-term (months to years) safety studies on any vaccination or immunization.

    • There is small but increasing scientific evidence of long-term side effects from immunizations that need much more study.

In early August of this year Congressional hearings were held in Washington D.C. dealing with questions of vaccine safety. Congressman Dan Burton, Chairman of the U.S. House Government Reform Committee, called the hearings. On the weekend of October 2nd and 3rd, 1999, an autism conference was held at Cherry Hill, New Jersey, sponsored by the Autism Research Institute of San Diego, California. Over l,000 people were in attendance, the great majority of whom were parents of autistic children. At one point in the meeting, when those parents who thought their child's autism was caused by vaccines were asked to stand, a large majority of the audience stood. With these and other indications of growing public concerns about current childhood immunization programs, it is hoped that this review will be of timely interest.

Inadequate Proof of Benefit of Vaccines
It is true that there may be situations where extreme measures may be justified to preserve life and health as the lesser of two evils. The basic question, therefore, is whether the benefits of current childhood vaccines outweigh the harm, or whether the reverse is true. As to the benefits of vaccines, polio has been eliminated from the Western Hemisphere; smallpox may have been eliminated worldwide, although there are disturbing reports that it is still to be found in parts of the Far East.

Vaccine proponents would have us believe that vaccines have been largely responsible for controlling virtually all of the former epidemics of killer diseases in the U.S.A. With the exceptions cited above, the facts do not bear this out. According to the records of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, from 1911 to l935 the four leading causes of childhood deaths from infectious diseases in the U.S.A. were diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), scarlet fever, and measles. However, by l945 the combined death rates from these causes had declined by 95%, before the implementation of mass immunization programs1. By far the greatest factors in this decline were sanitation through public health measures, improved nutrition, better housing with less crowded conditions and the introduction of antibiotics. Also, the virulence of microorganisms tends to become weakened or attenuated with the passage of time and serial passages through human hosts2, one example of which is whooping cough (pertussis) which is clearly a much milder disease today in Western nations than it was l00 or so years ago3.

Safety Not Proven
It should be pointed out that today's children receive 22 or more vaccines before school age, whereas today's senior citizens received only one, the smallpox vaccine. Some of these vaccines contain mercury, although the impact of this potentially toxic metal remains unknown as concerns the vaccines. With growing public concerns about potential adverse reactions of these heavy burdens of foreign immunologic materials on the immature immune systems of children, it is reasonable to ask ourselves what is known about these reactions.

A small but growing minority of physicians and scientists are becoming aware that safety testing for the various vaccines has been woefully inadequate. As one of many examples, a l994 special committee of the National Academy of Sciences published a comprehensive review of the safety of the hepatitis B vaccine. When the committee, which carried the responsibility for determining the safety of vaccines by Congressional mandate, investigated five possible and plausible adverse effects, they were unable to come to conclusion for four of them because they found that relevant research had not been done4.

The clear implication of this and other revelations5 concerning a general deficiency of safety testing in the vaccine field, especially as concerns possible long-term side effects, is that adverse reactions may be taking place on a large scale without being recognized as to their true nature.

There is a school of thought that the so-called minor childhood illnesses of former times, including measles, mumps, rubella (German measles) and chicken pox), which entered the body through the mucous membranes, served a necessary and positive purpose in challenging and strengthening the immune system of these membranes6. In contrast, so the theory goes, the respective vaccines of these diseases are injected by needle directly into the system of the child, thereby bypassing the mucosal immune system. As a result, mucosal immunity remains relatively weak and stunted in many children, complications of which may be the rapid increase in asthma and eczema now being seen, both in terms of frequency and severity7.

This concept tends to be confirmed by four controlled studies, widely separated geographically, in which vaccinated children were found to have significantly more atopic disorders than controls8, 9, 10, 11. In commenting on the increased incidence of asthma and other atopic disorders in the United Kingdom in the article, "Measles and atopy in guinea-Bissau," cited above, the authors made the following comment:

"The rise of allergic disease among children in the UK over the past 30 years remains unexplained. One hypothesis is that infections in early childhood prevent allergic sensitization, and that successive generations of children have lost his protection as their exposure to infectious disease in early life has declined. Consequently the prevalence of atopy and concomitant allergic disease has risen."

It is true that in former times there were occasional serious complications from these childhood diseases, but this is an area in which nutritional approaches and homeopathy traditionally have been at their best. If these approaches were made widely available, it is probable that most of these complications could be eliminated. No one wants to see serious complications in our children, but the vaccine route may in time prove to be the worst possible choice that could have been made, as concerns the minor childhood diseases.

Threat of Brain damage from the Vaccines
Perhaps the greatest concern with vaccines today rests with their possible causal relation to the growing epidemic of childhood autism, developmental delay and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Regarding the latter, recent news item stated that ADHD has increased from 900,000 in l99l to nearly 5 million today12. Parenthetically, statistics may be open to question, but one cannot question the observations of veteran elementary school teachers who, in our experience, unanimously and emphatically report a marked increase in this disorder in recent years. Regarding autism, a recent survey mandated by the California state legislature found an increase of 273 percent in California in the past eleven years13. Reports from education departments of several states and reports to the U.S. Congress on the rapidly increasing needs of classrooms for developmentally delayed children reflect comparable changes throughout the nation14.

At present primary suspicion for this epidemic of neurobehavioral disorders rests with the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. Although scientific evidence has not yet reached the standards of scientific proof, one pioneer researcher in this area, Dr. Vijendra Singh with the Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan, has published the report of a study in which he found that a large majority of autistic children tested had antibodies to brain tissue in the form of antibodies to myelin basic protein. He also found a strong correlation between myelin basic protein antibodies and antibodies to measles (almost all of the children had been immunized with the MMR vaccine, and none had had these diseases)15.

This study tends to confirm the results of a similar study published in The Lancet in l998 by Dr. Andrew Wakefield and coworkers of the Royal Free Hospital in London, indicating a possible link between MMR vaccination and Crohn's disease of the bowel and autism16.

If the MMR vaccine were causing an autoimmune reaction involving the brains of autistic children, what would be the mechanism? Although research in this area is in its infancy, we do know some things. Both the measles and mumps fractions of the MMR vaccine are cultured in chick embryo tissue. As purely genetic material, viruses are highly susceptible to the process of "jumping genes," in which they may incorporate genetic material from tissue in which they are cultured17. Furthermore, protein sequences in the measles virus have been found to have similarities to those found in brain tissues18. As a result, once this foreign genetic material is introduced into the child, it may set in motion an immunologic battleground, a process, which the work of Dr. Singh would tend to confirm.

Stealth Virus
A similar process may have taken place with the oral (Sabin) polio vaccine, which is cultured in monkey kidney tissue. Years ago Dr. John Martin, then serving as director of the viral oncology branch within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, found foreign DNA in contemporary polio vaccines. He later learned that a simian (monkey) cytomegalic virus had been found in all of the eleven African green monkeys imported for production of the polio vaccine

After leaving the FDA Dr. Martin took a position as professor of pathology with the University of Southern California. There he tested blood samples from patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, autism and other nervous system disorders. This work led to his discovery of unique cell-destroying viruses that were not recognized by the immune system. Termed "stealth viruses," some of which he thought had clearly originated from the simian cytomegalic virus, these viruses were missing specific genes, which, if expressed, would induce immune responses from the host20, 21. It should be admitted that this work is preliminary. No definitive conclusions can be drawn from it, but the need for further intensive investigation should be apparent.

Overdue in the opinion of many, on June l7, l999 US government officials voted to withdraw their recommendation for the use of the live oral polio vaccine and to recommend exclusive use of the inactive (Salk) polio vaccine, because the former has been the only remaining source of polio cases, though rare, in the USA since l979.

In summary, it is possible that either the MMR or the oral polio vaccines, by mechanisms described above, may induce a process of encephalitis or brain inflammation, which may be highly prevalent but as yet rarely recognized for its true nature.

Genetic Implications of "Live Virus" Vaccines
In a letter-to-the-Editor of Science magazine in October l967, Joshua Lederberg, Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, warned about live-virus vaccines:

"In point of fact, we (are practicing) biological engineering on a rather large scale by use of live viruses in mass immunization campaigns …Crude virus preparations, such as some in common use at the present time, are also vulnerable to frightful mishaps of contamination and misidentification.22"

With this sobering warning, made over 3 decades ago, it may sadly prove to be prophetic for what we are seeing today.

Damage May Yet Escalate
As another concept, it is highly pertinent that many of today's children are second-generation vaccines; that is, they are born to mothers previously vaccinated with the measles, mumps, and/or rubella vaccines. It is possible that the reaction rates in the second-generation vaccines may be happening on a much large scale due to previous sensitization of mothers from their vaccines, this sensitization being transmitted in turn to the fetus during pregnancy23. If this process is taking place, something we cannot know until appropriate research is done, there predictably will be additional increases in autism beyond that already taking place, should the process be continued into yet another, a third generation.

Time may prove that vaccine programs went awry when they deviated from the most basic of all medical ethics, the right of parents to accept or reject vaccines for their children. Freedom-of-choice provides a system of checks and balances now lacking. At the very least, this would provide the parents the power to compel better safety screening of vaccines. The remedy? Parents should be allowed the right of informed consent, or the right to accept or reject vaccines for their children based on full and uncensored disclosure of pros and cons.

Today we have a system in which vaccine production by the pharmaceutical companies is largely self-regulated. Naturally these companies are interested in profits from their products which, in itself, is not wrong. However, when arbitrary decisions in the mandating of vaccines are made by government bureaucracies, who are highly partisan to the pharmaceutical companies, with no recourse open to parents, we have all the potential ingredients for a tragedy of historical proportions.

In closing, it may be appropriate to cite an item which, though seemingly small in itself, may be indicative of the problems with which we are faced. In January l993 a scientific journal published the results of a study of 89 children with adverse clinical reactions following administrations of various combinations of vaccines24. Detailed case histories were taken and blood tests were done to examine various parameters of cellular and humoral immunity. It was found that children with adverse reactions had marked increases in abnormal blood parameters as compared with children who had had no reactions.

The first study of its kind as far as we are aware, perhaps the most striking and significant feature of the report is not the results of the tests, which might have been anticipated, so much as the fact that it came from a foreign country, Czechoslovakia. American science has been foremost in the development and promotion of vaccines. That it should be laggard in basic safety testing, of which this study may represent one of the modest beginnings, is a sad reflection on the American scientific community. Do we not have a right to expect better?

Woodlands Healing Research Center

Family, Environmental & Preventive Medicine

5724 Clymer Rd. Quakertown, PA 18951

215-536-1890  800-517-9545

Fax 215-529-9034  Email: foffice@woodmed.com

Web Page- http://www.woodmed.com


1Dublin, L. Health Progress, l935-l945, New York: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, l948, Page l2.
2Diodati, CJM, Immunization: History, Ethics Law an Health, Integral Aspects Incorporated, Windsor, Ontario, l999, pp. 104-l06.

3In the text,Vaccination, l00 Years of Orthodox Research Shows that Vaccines Represent a Medical Assault on the Immune System, by Vera Scheibner, Ph.D.,l993, available from New Atlantean Press, PO Box 9638-925, Santa Fe, NM 87504, pp. 33-46. (The Swedish experience with pertussis exemplifies the relative mildness of this disease today in Western nations compared with earlier times. In l979 Sweden banned the pertussis vaccine because of a return of the disease in fully vaccinated children and also because of unacceptable side effects, including brain damage. In spite of this ban, which remains in effect today, Sweden has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world. Pertussis remains mildly endemic in Sweden, but complications remain uncommon and virtually unchanged since l979.

4Stratton, KR, CJ Howe, and RB Johnston, Jr., Editors, Adverse Events Associated with Childhood Vaccines; Evidence Bearing on Causality, Institute of Medicine, National Academy Press, Washington, DC, l994, pp. 2ll-236.
5Buttram, HE, The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act: A Critique, The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Oct. l998, pp. 66-68.
6Incao, Philip, Supporting children's health,, Alternative Medicine Digest, Issue l9, pp. 54-59.
7One survey showed a 46% increase in death rate nationwide from asthma between l977 an l99l (Phildelphia Inquirer, December 8, l994, A22). In some areas, the incidence of asthma has increased 200% in the past 20 years (The Human Ecologist (National HEAL), fall l992, (55):6.
8Shaneen, SO et al, Measles and atopy in Guinea-Bissau, Lancet, Vol 347, June l9, l996, pp. l792-l796.
9Odent, MR, Pertussis vaccination and asthma: is there a link? J Am Med Ass'n,, Vol 27l, l994, pp. 229-23l
10Alm, JS et al, Atopy in children of families with an anthroposophic lifestyle, Lancet, Vol 353, May l, l999, pp. l485-l488.
11Kemp, T et al, Is infant immunization a risk factor for childhood asthma or allergy? Epidemiology, Vol 8(6), Nov. l997:pp. 678-680.
12Lisa Jennings, Increasing Ritalin doses in school children questioned, The Intelligencer (newspaper, Doylestown, PA), September 2l, l998, pp. Dl-D2.
13Changes in the Population of Persons with Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders in California's Developmental Services System: l987 through l998, a Report to the Legislature, March l, l999, Department of Developmental Services, l600 North Street, Room 240, Sacramento, CA 958l4.
14Assessment, Evaluation and Support Unit, Special Education Division, California Department of Education.
Total Enrollment and Percent of Pupils with Disabilities by Federal office of Special Education Programs, New Jersey State Department of Education.
Illinois State Board of Education Report (8/20/98). Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, annual Statistical Reports.
Sixteenth through Twentieth Annual Reports to Congress on the implementation of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, <http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/OSEP/OSEP94-98AnlRpt/>
15Singh, V & Yang, V. Serological association of measles virus and human herpes virus-6 with brain autoantibodies in autism, Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology, Vol 88(l):l998, pp. l05-l08.
16Wakefield, AJ et al, Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children, The Lancet, Vol 35l, Feb. 29, l998, pp. 637-64l.
17Kumar, S & LK Miller, Effects of serial passage of Autographa California nuclear poly hedrosis virus in cell culture, Virus Reseach, Vol 7, l987: pp. 335-349.
18Jahnke, U et al, Sequence homology between certain viral proteins and proteins related to encephalomyelitis and neuritis, Science, Vol 29, July l9, l985, pp. 242-284.
19Horowitz, Leonard, DMD, MA, MPH, Emerging Viruses, AIDS and Ebola, tetrahedron Publishing Group, Rockport, MA, l997, pp. 488-493.
20Martin, WJ et al, African green monkey origin of the atypical cytopathic "stealth virus" isolated from a patient with chronic fatigue syndrome, Clinical and Diagnostic Virology,Vol 4, l994, pp. 93-l03.
21Martin, WJ et al, Stealth virus epidemic in Mohave Valley, I: Initial report of virus isolation, Pathobiology, Vol 65(l), l997, pp.35l-356.
22Lederberg, Joshua, Letter-to-the-Editor, Science, Oct. 20, l967, p. 3l3.
23Gupta S et al, Dysregulate immune system in children with autism, beneficial effects of intravenous globulin on autistic features, J of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Vol 26(4);l996, pp. 439-452. (In this article on page 450 it is stated, "We theorize that the high titers of rubella antibody…presented in mothers of children with autism would be transplacentally transferred and may persist for a prolonged period in the child. When such a child gets MMR immunization, rubella antigen may complex with preexisting antibodies, and such complexes might play a role in pathogenesis of autistic features.")
24Immunologic findings in children with abnormal reactions after vaccination, Czechoslovakia Pediatrics, Vol 48(l), January, l993, pp. 9-l2.



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