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By Dr. Mercola
Dr. Lawrence Palevsky is a board-certified pediatrician who uses a holistic approach to children, wellness, and illness by incorporating nutritional science, environmental medicine, chiropractic, osteopathy, and other natural healing modalities in his pediatric office in New York.
He has also worked in pediatric emergency medicine, pediatric & neonatal intensive care medicine, and in-patient pediatric medicine.
He is one of the leading pediatricians in the United States that advocates a more conservative approach to using vaccines.
I first interviewed Dr. Palevsky back in 2009 and am now happy to share our most recent discussion, which covers some incredibly important information for parents and pediatricians alike.
Questions We Should All be Asking…
Dr. Palevsky started out in the conventional medical field as an ER physician, then went on to become an ICU doctor, working in neonatal intensive care. As he gained experience, he realized there were "questions that I didn't have answers for," which drove his curiosity and pushed him to explore Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, chiropractic, naturopathy, herbology, and other philosophies and healing modalities to use with his patients.
A major turning point came for him in 1991, when New York state passed a law mandating that every newborn get a hepatitis B vaccine. Dr. Palevsky continued:
"It was the first time that I saw vaccines being used for a disease that really wasn't present in the newborn or infant population. All the other vaccines that I had learned about came on the heels of a massive wipeout of disease of different populations. The vaccine was developed after the disease had occurred, but this was one of those preemptive strikes.
It made no sense to me that we were vaccinating a population that really had little to no risk of having a disease. I started to wonder what was really going on…"
Several years later, a patient's mother brought up the fact that there was mercury in vaccines, which he wasn't aware of. This, too, prompted Dr. Palevsky to wonder what else is in vaccines, and as he started to explore package inserts, the manufacturing process and the adverse effects of vaccines, he realized there was much more information to learn than what he had been taught in medical school (which was that vaccines are safe and effective, end of story).
"I did not turn my back when I heard parent after parent – in the dozens, in the hundreds, and then in the thousands – start to say that their children were fine, then they got vaccinated, and then something really bad happened to them acutely or within days, weeks, or even months. Those parents were told 100 percent of the time by the conventional medical system, 'It's a coincidence. It couldn't possibly be related to the vaccine.'
As a person who's curious about science and questioning, it became obvious to me that there may not be a coincidence here and that something more may be going on.
The literature is pretty supportive of the fact that vaccines have much greater adverse outcomes on the genotype of the body, the immune system of the body, the brain of the body, and the intracellular functions of the body than we are willing to tell the public about."
Proper Vaccine Safety Studies Have Not Been Conducted
Vaccine proponents have stated that there are over 20,000 studies that "prove" the safety of vaccines. But a closer inspection of those studies would likely reveal otherwise. Dr. Palevsky explained:
"…in order for us to really delve into those studies, we have to look at who supported the studies. What was the study design? What were the control groups? How big was the actual number of kids or adults that was used in those studies? I think we will see that in most of those studies, the actual safety has never really been proven.
One of the reasons that I think we can fairly say that is that the vaccine manufacturers and the conventional medical organizations have not done studies that compare vaccinated to unvaccinated children. In order for us to really know if children who were vaccinated are having an adverse effect from a vaccine, we have to use a placebo group that's given an injection of maybe normal saline to evaluate whether or not they developed the same symptoms that children who were vaccinated may develop after they're injected with the vaccine.
Those studies are not done. They're not done because the conventional medical system says it's unethical to leave kids unvaccinated for any length of time. But, most of the vaccine safety studies that are being done last anywhere between one and four weeks anyway. The kids are followed within those one to four weeks. Then, they're not followed in a very detailed way to recognize whether any of their health outcomes could be related to the vaccine that they got one to four weeks ago.
What ends up happening is they compare the incidence rates of these vaccine reactions or these symptoms that kids get after they're vaccinated to how often those symptoms are seen in the general population, to check and see if this vaccinated group is in any way getting an increased incidence of these symptoms than the general population would get. But the fact of the matter is that the general population is vaccinated, so they're comparing a vaccinated group with a vaccinated group."
On top of that, the studies are not nearly long enough to show what the long-term implications of vaccinations might be.
"…they are not following children long enough to know whether in three months, six months, three years, six years, or 10 years, there could be some autoimmune antibody or some immune challenge that happens to the body that lingers or that just sits there as a genotypic effect. There's a change in the genetics, there's a change in the DNA, that doesn't necessarily manifest itself until years later because of other stressors, perhaps even from another vaccine that comes years later," Dr. Palevsky said.
None of those studies have been done, so I don't know how you can say that vaccines are safe.
…We're not looking at the micro-molecular levels to see, 'Okay, was there an autoimmune antibody produced? Were there other inflammatory markers produced? Where did those markers manifest? Did they stay in the body? Did they manifest into clinical symptoms? How are they relevant?' None of that science is being done. But we're just saying that vaccines are safe, because we've been doing it for so long. And anyone with a good scientific mind would say that's not adequate."
The World Isn't Flat…
There are increasing reports of pediatricians ostracizing patients that disagree with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) one-size-fits-all vaccination schedule. Some pediatricians will even resist answering your vaccination questions or concerns, or "fire" you as a patient and tell you to seek care elsewhere.
While most pediatricians enter the profession because they have an enduring love for children, many also firmly, and somewhat blindly, believe that there's no room for questions or disagreement regarding vaccinations. They, unfortunately, have not followed the path that Dr. Palevsky, myself and many other physicians have taken in seeking to look beneath the surface at the deeper issues.
Dr. Palevsky continued:
"These adherents are the same people that said the world was flat. This is the big problem, because the world isn't flat. Science evolves. What parents are finding, some physicians are finding, what a lot of scientists are finding is that the science is changing, that science is growing. It's growing to actually show things that we thought we knew are no longer as valid. 'The world was flat' was a very hard concept to accept, until 'The world was round.' I think that's the same thing that we're dealing with here.
That's why parents are being fired from their pediatrician's office: because the world is flat, and there is no possibility that the world could be round. I feel for these families, especially in areas where there are very few physicians for them to go to and to have care for their children."
A "Novel" Idea: You May be Better Off Getting Some Diseases in Childhood
The issue of vaccines potentially causing adverse reactions in the body is one issue. Another, often-overlooked, one is that some of the diseases vaccines are used to prevent may actually have a place in childhood – and may ultimately be beneficial for the child's future health.
Dr. Palevsky explained:
"…many of the illnesses that we vaccinate against are actually important illnesses for children so that their immune systems, nervous systems, and brains mature. I learned this back in the 1980s when I was a medical student being taught by physicians who practiced pediatrics in New York since the 1940s. What they said was that the kids in their practice who would get their measles, mumps, chicken pox, rubella, and flu illnesses, if they were left to their own devices, not medicated, and just left to be supported through their illness, after the illness was over, the physician always saw a developmental growth spurt.
What it speaks to is an understanding of virology, why viruses actually exist, and what they actually do in the body. They're meant to actually help protect the host, to clean the body out of waste, and to remove obstacles for optimal cellular function. This is what we're supposed to learn in medical school, but don't necessarily.
There are so many ways to support a child through many of these childhood viral illnesses… Many of them or most of them are actually pretty benign. They may not be benign in areas of the world where there's poverty, poor nutrition, poor sanitation, and war, which means that the conditions are not viable for optimal healing. But in a community of the United States where optimal healing is pretty reachable and pretty obtainable, most of these diseases are pretty benign."
The measles is a classic example, as in many cases it causes fever, runny nose, cough and rash, but clears up in a few days without serious consequences. In rare cases, however, measles can lead to encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) that can be serious and lead to deafness or retardation… and this was the impetus for developing the measles vaccine. But as Dr. Palevsky explained, what actually happened was that cases of encephalitis increased dramatically after the vaccine was introduced:
"…When it was said that the reason the measles vaccine was implemented in 1963 was to prevent against the massive cases of encephalitis that occurred as a result of slow viral re-ignition of a measles infection months or years later, I went into CDC. I looked it up to see what was the incidence of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis or SSPE.
It showed that it was .0061 percent. There was .0061 percent incidence rate of encephalitis after measles infection. Well, that's not a massive number of cases of measles encephalitis.
But now, we have one in 88 children with autism, and it is pretty well documented in the literature that one of the hallmark pathologies in autism is brain encephalitis or brain inflammation. One in 88 is 1.14 percent brain inflammation or 1.14 percent encephalitis. We've now gone from a .0061 percent encephalitis after measles infection to a 1.14 percent encephalitis rate in children.
Now, I don't know how much measles vaccine plays a role in that, but we have more cases of brain encephalitis after vaccination than we had before we started the measles vaccine. So, how successful are we in reducing some of the bad side effects of the diseases?"
What to Do if Your Child Has a Viral Illness
If your child does get sick, your first inclination may be to go the emergency room. This should be done immediately if your child is:
- Not alert, responsive or interactive
- Has a change in mental status
- Has a change in urine output
- Not breathing
- Skin color is gray or blue
- Limp or lethargic
- Under 3 months old with a fever
If these signs are not present, and your child is stable, Dr. Palevsky suggests the following:
"…one of the most important things that a parent can do is to stay with the child, so that they can monitor the progression. This is because things can change immediately… stay with the child. If the child is breastfeeding, breastfeed the child. If the child is not breastfeeding, hydrate. The best thing you can do for a child who's sick is to hydrate with either room temperature water or broths. If they eat chicken, a chicken broth. Again, nothing that's too strenuous.
I believe in what's called a starvation diet for kids when they're sick. Mostly because they're in such a state of stress that blood flow to the gut is diminished during a state of stress. Therefore, digestion is less efficient in their bodies.
Really keeping the food to a minimum – almost starvation. Really keeping it to broths, teas, soups, clear liquids, and observe. You want to keep the hydration going, open up the kidneys, allow for the flushing of fluids, and put them in warm baths, which will help to relax them and which will encourage bowel movements, which again is another way to get rid of wastes. Most of the reason that kids get sick is to move or get rid of wastes anyway.
The idea is to not put more waste in. You don't want to overfeed them. You don't want to over-stimulate them. You want to keep them in a room that's darker, that has less noise, less sound, and less visual input. You want to really lower the amount of information and activity that's feeding the nervous system and that's feeding the digestive system. And you watch. You continue to watch. You stay with the child. Studies will show that if the parent actually holds the child and breathes with the child, the child's breathing pattern will synchronize with the parent, and healing will occur faster.
…It's really a matter of supportive care, and this is old school. I mean, this is the way in which the pediatricians who taught me took care of their families in the 40s and 50s. They would sit next to the bedside of kids in their homes when the kids were sick. Obviously, physicians can't do that as much, but the parents can. And there are ways to stay in touch with the physician to make sure that things are going properly.
But families in my practice will see shorter durations of fever, shorter durations of illness, if they don't interfere with the body's physiology to get rid of the wastes from that illness, and if they don't overfeed the children, and keep things quiet."
How Can You Legally Opt Out of Vaccines?
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All 50 states have enacted vaccine laws that require proof children have received certain vaccines in order to attend daycare, middle school, high school and college. However, in most states citizens currently have the legal right to opt out of using vaccines.
All 50 states allow a medical exemption to vaccination (medical exemptions must be approved by an M.D. or D.O.); 48 states allow a religious exemption to vaccination; and 17 states allow a personal, philosophical or conscientious belief exemption to vaccination.
The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) recently completed a review of all state laws, so for more detailed information, please see the NVIC State Law & Vaccine Requirements page. However, also be aware that vaccine exemptions are currently under attack in every state because the wealthy and powerful Pharma/Medical Industry lobby is trying to take them away, especially the religious and philosophical or conscientious belief exemptions. In the video above, Barbara Loe Fisher explains tips for opting out using the religious exemption, and Dr. Palevsky shared his advice as well:
"Every state in the United States has a medical exemption on the books, but the physician actually has to be willing to admit that what the child developed was related to the actual vaccination. If the physician writes that medical exemption, it may not exempt the child from other vaccines, because the physician may not be willing or capable of extrapolating that other vaccines might have similar effects being that that one vaccine or that set of vaccines had those effects.
It can be very difficult… Many times those exemptions are being rejected, because somebody in the state – who never saw the kid, who only has an opinion, and may not even know the literature completely – is going to reject it.
…There are about 19 or 20 states in the United States that have a philosophical exemption. What that philosophical exemption means is that the family has a conscientious belief that this is not a safe injection for my child… Then there's the religious exemption. The religious exemption is on the books in 48 states. West Virginia and Mississippi are the two states in the union that do not have a religious exemption as well as the philosophical exemption.
But the religious exemption is coming under increasing attack in different states around the country, because people are being challenged about their religious exemption. They're being challenged about the sincerity and the genuineness of their personal religious beliefs. The parents in this country are not necessarily made aware that they have a philosophical exemption in 19 or 20 states and a religious exemption in 48 states to not get their kids vaccinated.
Then what happens when people are told that they have this option, they'll often say, 'But I'm not religious.' The thing is that the religious exemption – as I understand it – is not about belonging to a specific religion. It's more about your beliefs between you and your higher power – God, Buddha, Allah, you know, whatever higher power each person has. It's a way for people to come to their spiritual beliefs that the injection of these materials would be a desecration of what their higher power has created. And it is against their spiritual or religious belief to desecrate that which their higher power has created.
That's really the lines upon which the religious exemption should be used. Again, I've had families who actually came to their religious exemption through an understanding of the problems and the literature. They did their soul searching and their spiritual searching and found that, in fact, they now have this new belief that they didn't have before. That's what's available for parents in this country."
Joining the Critical Mass for Change
What we currently have is a one-sided policy; a single way of thinking that makes constructive and meaningful debate virtually impossible. Science is truly a field where you ask a question, you find an answer, and you make an ongoing effort to eliminate biases that could shed more light on the reality you are trying to reveal. We are not seeing that with vaccines.
Because the proper safety studies simply have not been performed, and there are many unanswered questions about vaccines' impact on a growing number of serious health conditions, you might be questioning their use yourself.
If so, you can have an open and honest conversation with your physician about your concerns. In both my and Dr. Palevsky's cases, it was a patient who first broached the topic that there could be more to the story. And if enough people speak up, we can reach a critical mass of the population that will prompt real change.
If your physician is not open to change, resources for finding a more supportive physician, and learning more about vaccination choice in general, include:
Think Globally, Act Locally
While it seems "old-fashioned," one of the most effective actions you can take to protect the right to informed consent to vaccination and expand your rights under the law to make voluntary vaccine choices, is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community.
Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights will have the greatest impact.
Signing up to be a user of NVIC's free online Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you access to practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. You will get real-time Action Alerts about what you can do if there are threats to vaccine exemptions in your state. With the click of a mouse or one touch on a Smartphone screen you will be put in touch with YOUR elected representatives so you can let them know how you feel and what you want them to do. Plus, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have all the information you need to make sure your voice is heard.
So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
I also encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website atwww.NVIC.org:
- NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
- If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
- Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors or state officials for making independent vaccine choices.
By Barbara Loe Fisher
It's that time of the year again when drug companies, doctors, government officials and media conduct a national advertising campaign to sell flu shots to every American.1, 2, 3 You can't pass by a pharmacy,4 enter a supermarket,5 shop in a "big box" store6 or catch a plane7 without seeing the "flu shots for sale" signs trolling for customers.
The pharmaceutical industry is cutting out the M.D. middleman and going straight for the gold in places where we shop for toothpaste, clothes and food.8 Even on the evening news, flu shot commercials are becoming as frequent as political campaign ads.
Up until the year 2000, flu shots were not recommended for everyone. Back in the 1990's, doctors were telling seniors over age 65 and younger people with chronic illness to get vaccinated. 9
No Flu Shot? No Job or Daycare!
Now, doctors at the CDC tell every man, woman and child over six months old they need an annual flu shot10 and it is OK for health care workers to be fired if they don't get vaccinated every year.11, 12, 13, 14
In the states of Connecticut and New Jersey, mandates are already in place that force parents to give their six-month old babies a flu vaccine or be banned from daycare.15 This, as state health department officials join with medical trade association lobbyists in many states to severely restrict or eliminate medical, religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions for all children.16, 17
The vaccine liability shield that Congress gave doctors and drug companies in 198618 and the public-private business partnership between government and the pharmaceutical industry that Congress created after Sept. 11, 2001,19, 20 is paying big dividends for liability free drug companies and liability free doctors selling flu shots to more than 300 million Americans.
It doesn't matter if 80 percent of all flu-like illness is really caused by other viruses and bacteria and not influenza,21, 22 or that flu vaccine efficacy is estimated at 60 percent to 80 percent, depending upon age and what kind of vaccine is given.23
Selling Big Mortality Numbers to Sell Flu Vaccine
The selling of influenza vaccine has a lot to do with selling big morbidity and mortality numbers. So how bad were those numbers in the late 20th century to justify government taking a "no exceptions" cradle to the grave approach to flu shots for every American in the 21st century? Let's take a quick look at the hype versus the evidence.
The first experimental influenza vaccines were given to soldiers in World War II. It wasn't until the 1957-58 and 1968-69 influenza pandemics that the vaccine was marketed to civilians.24 Between 1970 and 2000, the trivalent influenza vaccine containing two strains of type A influenza and one strain of type B influenza was primarily recommended for the elderly. That is because respiratory infections, especially with pneumonia complications, have always been a leading cause of death for people at the end of their life span.25
There was only one deadly influenza pandemic in the last 100 years that killed the young and healthy in great numbers and that was the 1918 Spanish Flu. It turns out that bacterial pneumonia is what killed most people, young or old, in the 1918 pandemic. Today, antibiotics would have prevented most of those deaths.26
But just how bad is seasonal influenza today?
Is It 200,000 Influenza Hospitalizations or 37,000?
The CDC has been telling the public for nearly a decade that there are more than 200,000 estimated hospitalizations and 36,000 estimated deaths from influenza in the U.S. every year.27
But are those figures accurate? Well, it all depends upon use of the word "estimate." The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported that, in 2004, there were about 37,000 Americans hospitalized for either influenza or another illness in addition to influenza, and patients over age 85 were twice as likely to die.28
Now, 37,000 influenza hospitalizations is five times less than the 200,000 hospitalization figure the CDC uses. That is because what CDC employees did to come up with their influenza hospitalization "estimate" was to count a lot of people hospitalized between 1979 and 2001 – not just with influenza but also with pneumonia, respiratory and circulatory illnesses – which they counted as probably associated with influenza.29, 30
And they got away with it.
Counting Influenza Deaths & A Whole Lot More
In 2003, CDC employees also used a convoluted statistical modeling scheme to "estimate" that 36,000 people die from influenza in the U.S. every year. Again, they counted not just influenza death cases but also threw in other respiratory, circulatory, cardiac and pulmonary deaths they thought might have been associated with influenza.31
And they got away with it.
In 2005, a young PhD candidate at MIT published an article in the British Medical Journal and asked the question: "Are U.S. Flu Death Figures More PR Than Science?"32 He analyzed the U.S. Vital Statistics Mortality Data, which has been carefully recorded for more than a century by the National Center for Health Statistics. I recently looked at that Vital Statistics data, too, and created a chart of influenza and pneumonia deaths recorded between 1940 and 2010.33
Recorded Influenza Deaths Dropping in 21st Century
Here is what I found: Since 1940, the highest number of influenza deaths recorded in a single year was 21,047 deaths in 1941. In fact, the mortality rate from influenza was NOT rising in the late 20th century – as the CDC employees have alleged – it was dropping.
There were only between 600 and 750 influenza deaths recorded annually between 1995 and 1997.34 The most influenza deaths recorded in a single year since 1979 was about 2,900 deaths and that was in 2009, the H1N1 swine flu pandemic year! (see table here)
CDC Expanding the Flu Vaccine Market Between 2000-2010
But that didn't stop CDC policymakers, along with drug company and medical trade association lobbyists ever present at the policymaking table, from using inflated influenza hospitalization and mortality estimates to justify expanding the influenza vaccine market:
- In 2000, CDC policymakers voted to expand flu shot recommendations to all healthy Americans over age 50.35 Out of a population of 300 million, there were 1,765 recorded influenza deaths that year.
- In 2002, CDC voted to add all healthy babies from six to 23 months.36 There were 727 recorded influenza deaths that year.
- In 2006, CDC voted to recommend flu shots for all healthy children up to five years old as well as all healthy pregnant women in any trimester.37 There were 849 recorded influenza deaths that year.
- In 2007, CDC voted to add all healthy children up to eight years old.38 There were 411 recorded influenza deaths that year.
- In 2008, CDC voted to recommend annual flu shots for all healthy children up to age 18 years.39 There were 1,722 recorded influenza deaths that year.
- In 2009, the Secretaries of Health and Homeland Security declared a national emergency because they said pandemic H1N1 swine flu was sweeping the country and tens of thousands of people could die. Liability free drug companies were told to rush an experimental swine flu vaccine to the market.40
- In 2010, a year when there were 494 recorded influenza deaths, the CDC officials finally reached the ultimate goal of their long game: they told doctors to give annual flu shots to every American, healthy or not, from the year of birth to the year of death.41
And they got away with it.
CDC Does Not Require States to Report All Influenza Cases or Deaths
They got away with it because the CDC does not require states to "report individual seasonal flu cases or deaths of people older than 18 years of age."42 That's right – the CDC is not actually asking for the information they need to accurately assess influenza morbidity and mortality in the U.S. It would be funny if people weren't actually losing their jobs or being denied daycare or becoming paralyzed43, 44 by this "no exceptions" flu shot policy.
Global Flu Vaccine Market: U.S. Biggest Customer
Today, the global market for seasonal influenza vaccine is $3.6 billion and forecasters have recently reported that the U.S. is the single biggest and most profitable market in the world.45 They say the huge U.S. market is "driven by price increases" and high vaccine coverage rates generated by the 2009 influenza pandemic and the government's "universal" flu shot recommendation in 2010. They add that "campaigning by U.S. authorities" will continue to drive up flu shot sales.
CDC: We Don't Know How Many Influenza Deaths There Are
Meanwhile, doctors at the CDC now quietly admit on their website that the "CDC does not know exactly how many people die from seasonal flu each year."46 Having gotten that cradle to the grave flu shot recommendation firmly in place, they are backing away from the 36,000 influenza death figure. CDC now says that "only 8.5 percent of all pneumonia and influenza deaths and only 2.1 percent of all respiratory and circulatory deaths" are influenza related.
You can almost hear those liability free drug companies and doctors laughing all the way to the bank.
1 Bowsher K. Should You Get a Flu Vaccine? MoneyTalksNews Sept. 18, 2012
2 Smartspendingspot.com. Flu Shots – List of Locations and Special Offers, Deals, Promotions – 2012. September 2012
3 Price J. Flu Shot Season Starts with a Bang at Triangle. News Observer (NC). Sept. 18, 2012
4 CVSCaremark. CVS/pharmacy and Minute Clinic Give Consumers Five Reasons to Get a Flu Shot. Press Release Aug. 20, 2012
5 Peebles M. It’s Time for Flu Shots. KTUU-TV (AK). Sept. 2, 2012
6 Christensen D. Walmart Offering Low-Cost Flu Shot Clinics in Stores. Sun-Sentinel Sept. 22, 2011
7 Baskas H. Get Your Flu Shot at the Airport. Stuckattheairport.com. Nov. 11, 2010
8 Martin TW. Retailers Jockey to Market Swine Flu Shots. Wall Street Journal Dec. 29, 2009
9 CDC. Prevention and Control of Influenza – Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP). MMWR May 15, 1992; 41(RR-9)
10 CDC. Influenza Vaccine Information by Age Group [and name of vaccine manufacturer] – United States 2012-13 Influenza Season. Aug. 23, 2012
11 Fisher BL. Forcing Flu Shots on Health Care Workers: Who Is Next? NVIC Vaccine E-Newsletter. Sept. 29, 2010
12 Fisher BL, Wrangham TK. Public Comment of the NVIC on Draft Recommendations of the Health Care Personnel Influenza Vaccination Subgroup of the NVAC
13 Wrangham T. NVAC Says: Mandate Flu Shot for Health Care Workers. NVIC Vaccine E-News. Feb. 12, 2012
14 Mirza B. Is Requiring Flu Vaccination Worth the Risk? Society for Human Resource Management. Feb. 23, 2012
15 NVIC. Map of States and State Vaccine Requirements
16 Fisher BL. Turning Vaccine Exemptions Into Class Warfare. NVIC Vaccine E-Newsletter. Sept. 14, 2012
17 Hawthorne H, M.D. Non-Medical Vaccine Opt-Outs on the Rise. ABC News. Sept. 19, 2012
18 Fisher BL. The Health Liberty Revolution and Forced Vaccination. NVIC Vaccine E-Newsletter. Aug. 23, 2011
19 Biosecurity Commons. Project Bioshield. Mar. 29, 2012
20 Guyton J, Niyogi DG. White Paper: Meeting Public Health Needs Through Public-Private Partnerships. PWC’s PRTM Management Consulting
21 FDA. Feb. 20, 2003. Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting Transcript
22 El-Solh AA, Sikka P et al. Etiology of Severe Pneumonia in the Very Elderly. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2001. 163(3): 645-651
23 Osterholm MT, Kelley NS et al. Efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccine: a systematic review and meta analysis. The Lancet 2011; 12(1): 36-44
24 College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The History of Vaccines: Asian Influenza Pandemic (1957) and Vaccine for Hong Kong Influenza Pandemic (1968)
25 Rozzini R, Sabatini T, Trabucchi M. Is Pneumonia Still the Old Man’s Friend? Arch Intern Med 2003; 163(2): 1491-1492
26 National Institutes of Health. Bacterial Pneumonia Caused Most Deaths in 1918 Influenza Pandemic. Press Release: Aug. 19, 2008
27 Reinberg S. Flu Season Off to A Very Late Start: CDC. HealthDay/U.S. News. Feb. 23, 2012
28 AHRQ. Influenza Most Deadly for the Very Elderly. Press Release Nov. 7, 2006
29 CDC. Seasonal Influenza Associated Hospitalizations in the United States. June 24, 2011
30 Thompson WW, Shay DK et al. Influenza Associated Hospitalizations in the United States. JAMA 2004; 242(11): 1333-1340
31 Thompson WW, Shay DK et al. Mortality Associated with Influenza and Respiratory Synctial Virus in the United States. JAMA 2003; 289(2): 179-186
32 Doshi P. Are U.S. Flu Death Figures More PR Than Science?BMJ 2005; 331 (7529): 1412
33 NVIC. Influenza & Pneumonia Reported Deaths in U.S. 1940-2010 (Chart)
34 National Center for Health Statistics. U.S. Vital Statistics Mortality Data 1979-1998 (Unpublished Worktables). National Vital Statistics System
35 CDC. Prevention and Control of Influenza – Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP), 2000.MMWR April 14, 2000; 49(RR03)
36 Prevention and Control of Influenza – Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP), 2002.MMWR April 12, 2002; 51(RR03); 1-3
37 CDC. Prevention and Control of Influenza – Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP), 2006.MMWR July 26, 2006; 55(RR10)
38 CDC. Prevention and Control of Influenza – Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP), 2007.MMWR July 13, 2007; 56(RR06)
39 CDC. Prevention and Control of Influenza – Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP), 2008. MMWR Aug. 8, 2008; 57(RR07)
40 Fisher B. Politics, Profits & Pandemic Fear Mongering. NVIC Vaccine E-Newsletter May 1, 2009
41 Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines – Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP), 2010. MMWR Aug. 6, 2010
42 CDC. Estimating Seasonal Influenza-Associated Deaths in the United States: Questions and Answers. June 24, 2011
43 NVIC. Flu Vaccine Reaction Leaves Former Nurse a Quadriplegic. NVIC Vaccine E-News. Oct. 31, 2011
44 Schonberger LB, Bregman DJ et al. Guillain Barre Syndrome Following Vaccination in the National Influenza Immunization Program, United States, 1976-19
45 PR Newswire. Market Forecasts: Seasonal Influenza Vaccines. Reportlinker.com Newswire. Sept. 20, 2012
46 CDC. Estimating Seasonal Influenza-Associated Deaths in the United States: Questions and Answers. June 24, 2011.
By Dr. Mercola
If you've ever had qualms about eating genetically modified (GM) foods, you'd likely be deeply concerned about receiving a GM vaccine as well.
Such vaccines are already being produced – some are even on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommended vaccine schedule – even though, as is the case with GM foods, we know very little about their long-term effects.
In the interview above, Vicky Debold, PhD, RN, director of research and patient safety with the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), spoke with me about the many reasons to be very wary of this new technology, which is far more intertwined with other biotech "innovations," like GM food, than you might think.
Nobody Knows What Happens When You Inject People with GM Vaccines
There have been some fair warnings, though. In 2006, researchers wrote in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health:1
"Genetically modified (GM) viruses and genetically engineered virus-vector vaccines possess significant unpredictability and a number of inherent harmful potential hazards... Horizontal transfer of genes... is well established. New hybrid virus progenies resulting from genetic recombination between genetically engineered vaccine viruses and their naturally occurring relatives may possess totally unpredictable characteristics with regard to host preferences and disease-causing potentials.
...There is inadequate knowledge to define either the probability of unintended events or the consequences of genetic modifications."
Though this was six years ago, little has changed even as the technology has advanced. Today we have several different types of GM vaccines in production, development or research phases, such as:
- DNA vaccines: DNA for a microbe's antigens are introduced into the body, with the expectation that your cells will take up that DNA, which then instructs your cells to make antigen molecules. As the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (a division of the National Institutes of Health) put it, "In other words, the body's own cells become vaccine-making factories."2
- Naked DNA vaccines: A type of DNA vaccine in which microscopic particles coated with DNA are administered directly into your cells.
- Recombinant Vector vaccines: Similar to DNA vaccines, but they use a virus or bacteria to act as a vector (or "carrier) to introduce microbial DNA into your cells.
There are experimental GM vaccines being developed that use tumorigenic cancer cells and cells from humans, dogs, monkeys, cows, pigs, rodents, birds and insects. What happens when foreign DNA is inserted into the human body is a mystery. Will it trigger undesirable changes in human cells or tissues? Will it combine or exchange genetic material with human DNA? Will it transfer to future generations? No one knows...
"We don't know what portion of the [GM] DNA can be incorporated into our own genome, we don't know what portion could be inheritable to our children, we also don't know what happens when the immune system is exposed to DNA that has been recombined in lots of ways that the human body, through the course of time, has never had any exposure to...what diseases of the immune system may occur because of these exposures," Debold said.
"Use of foreign DNA in various forms has the potential to cause a great deal of trouble, not only because there is the potential for it to recombine with our own DNA, there is the potential for it to turn the DNA 'switches,' the epigenetic parts of the DNA, on and off."
Vaccine Adjuvants Used in GM Vaccines May be Even More Toxic Than Usual
An adjuvant is added to a vaccine in order to boost the body's immune reaction to the viral or bacterial antigen contained in a vaccine. Under ideal circumstances, the antigen is what your body responds to and makes antibodies against (e.g. the lab altered viral or bacterial organisms being injected). By boosting your body's immune response in this artificial way, the vaccine manufacturer can use a smaller amount of antigen, which makes production less expensive and the product more profitable (although definitely not safer, as adjuvants are usually foreign substances, metals or chemicals which can cause the immune system to overreact and attack the host body.)
Aluminum is a common vaccine adjuvant and also a well-known neurotoxin that can cause chronic inflammation in the body, including the brain. Although aluminum adjuvants have been added to inactivated vaccines used for decades in the U.S., aluminum-based adjuvants are not strong enough for GM vaccines, according to Debold, so drug companies are primarily interested in using oil-based adjuvants, like squalene, and other substances that can hyper-stimulate the body's immune response.
While oil-based vaccine adjuvants like squalene have been proven to generate powerful acute inflammatory immune responses that stimulate increased production of antibodies, they have also been associated with unresolved, chronic inflammation in the body that can cause brain and immune system dysfunction, including autoimmune diseases.3 While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has so far not licensed any vaccines distributed in the U.S. that contain squalene as an adjuvant, squalene adjuvants are used in some vaccines sold in Europe and other countries.
GM Vaccines You May Have Given to Your Kids...
Many are unaware that, despite the completely unknown long-term health consequences, GM vaccines are already in use and have been administered to American infants, children and adults for many years. Among them:
- Hepatitis B vaccine: An inactivated recombinant DNA vaccine licensed for newborn infants and children in 1991, in which parts of the hepatitis B virus gene are cloned into yeast
- Rotavirus vaccine: Live attenuated vaccines first licensed for infants and children licensed in 2006, which either contain genetically engineered human rotavirus strains or human-bovine hybridized reassortment rotavirus strains4
- HPV vaccine (Gardasil or Cervarix): A recombinant vaccine licensed in 2006, which is prepared from virus-like particles (VLP's) and may also include use of an insect-cell Baculovirus expression vector system for production.
Then there are those "hybrid" vaccines that cross the (very narrow) threshold into the GM food realm ...for instance, goats are being genetically engineered to become "pharm animals" that carry vaccines in their milk. If the experiments being conducted by researchers from Texas A&M are successful, they will produce an "edible" malaria vaccine, with the ultimate goal being that children drinking the milk will become vaccinated in the process. If vaccines in your milk sounds a bit to "out there," it shouldn't, as there are many connections between the companies that make GM food and those that make GM vaccines.
The Close Ties Between GM Foods and GM Vaccines
The companies that make vaccines and GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are deeply intertwined, only recently spinning off or merging to specialize in one or the other. Most vaccine revenues are earned by five companies that together held nearly 80 percent of the market in 2010:5
- Sanofi Pasteur
- Merck & Co.
These companies, which use genetic engineering to produce vaccines, are also primarily responsible for the introduction of genetic engineering into the food supply. For instance:
- Genetic engineering giant Syngenta (third in total sales in the commercial agricultural seeds market) is the progeny of parent companies Novartis and AstraZeneca.
- In 2001, Bayer CropScience became a leading genetically engineered crop producer with its purchase of Aventis' agribusiness division.6
- In 2004, Aventis merged with and into Sanofi. The new Sanofi-Aventis Group became the world's 3rd largest pharmaceutical company. Aventis Pasteur, the vaccine division of Sanofi-Aventis Group, changed its name to Sanofi Pasteur. Sanofi Pasteur is the vaccines division of Sanofi Group. It is the largest company in the world devoted entirely to vaccines.
- Prior to splitting its genetically engineered crop business from its vaccine business, Aventis was known primarily for the StarLink corn debacle (a type of GM corn grown for use in animal feed that contaminated the U.S. food supply in 2000). Bayer now sells Aventis's Liberty Link crops, engineered to tolerate high doses of the company's toxic herbicide called Liberty (glufosinate).7
- Stauffer Seeds was a spin-off of Stauffer Chemical, formerly a division of Novartis.8 Stauffer Seeds and Prodigene conducted clinical trials on pigs using an edible vaccine for transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) expressed in corn.9
- Prodigene was caught contaminating the food supply with its edible vaccine and the company went out of business, but not before it "received a $6-million investment from the Governors Biotechnology Partnership, chaired by Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. Vilsack, now the Obama Administration's USDA Secretary, didn't want any restrictions placed on experimental pharma crops. In reaction to suggestions that pharma crops should be kept away from food crops, Vilsack argued that 'we should not overreact and hamstring this industry.'10
- Prior to 1997, Monsanto (the world leader in GM crops) operated under three parts, the Ag Business (for agricultural products), the Chemicals Business, and the Pharmaceuticals Business, which is now Pharmacia, a subsidiary of Pfizer, the biggest pharmaceutical company in the world and the largest manufacturer of vaccines for food animals.11,,12
- GlaxoSmithKline, while producing few products for food or agriculture, has been genetically engineering plants, animals and microorganisms for use in vaccines, pharmaceuticals and medical research.13
Bill Gates, Warren Buffet Supporting Propagation of Both Vaccines and GMOs
The most influential, and, of course, richest advocates for genetic engineering and vaccines are Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. They have business as well as philanthropic interests in these technologies and their Gates Foundation (Buffet has donated over $1.5 billion to the Foundation) allows them to mix business with philanthropy.
They -- and the corporations they invite to join them -- use the tax shelter of a non-profit organization to invest in for-profit enterprises. Gates & Buffet get tax write-offs for putting money in their foundation, but their foundation can give money (both as grants & investments) directly to for-profit corporations creating for-profit products.
This, obviously, creates huge conflict of interests.
For instance, Monsanto and other biotech companies have collaborated with the Gates Foundation via the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to promote the use of genetically modified (GM) crops in Africa. The Gates Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to AGRA, and in 2006 Robert Horsch was hired for the AGRA project. Horsch was a Monsanto executive for 25 years. In a nutshell, the project may be sold under the banner of altruism and 'sustainability,' but in reality it's anything but. It's just a multi-billion dollar enterprise to transform Africa into a GM-crop-friendly continent. The Foundation has also invested heavily in Monsanto stock, purchasing over $23 million worth in 2010.14
The Gates Foundation is also closely partnered with Big Pharma, to whom Bill Gates pledged $10 billion to distribute and administer multiple vaccines to children around the world. This, too, is billed as a humanitarian effort to save lives, but what children living in poverty in developing countries need most is healthy, plentiful food, clean water, better sanitation and improved living conditions. These are the keys to preventing the spread of infectious disease, and they appear to be wholly ignored by Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and non-profit organizations with financial ties to Big Pharma - – at the children's expense.
The Gates Foundation is even funding surveillance of anti-vaccine groups, and the following vaccine companies are supported by the Foundation through both investments and philanthropic projects:
Important Movements on the Horizon for Both GM Foods and Vaccines
It's important to get all the facts before making your decision about vaccination; and to understand that in many state public health laws you still have the legal right to opt out of using a vaccine that you or your child do not want to receive. At present, all 50 states allow a medical exemption to vaccination (medical exemptions must be approved by an M.D. or D.O.); 48 states allow a religious exemption to vaccination; and 17 states allow a personal, philosophical or conscientious belief exemption to vaccination.
However, Washington state now requires parents to obtain the signature of a medical doctor or state-designated medical worker to obtain a philosophical exemption to vaccination. That is because non-medical vaccine exemptions have been restricted in Washington and Vermont and are under attack in California and New Jersey, while there is evidence that medical trade association lobbyists will be working to eliminate or severely restrict vaccine exemptions in Arizona, Connecticut, New York, Colorado and many other states.
Health liberty in America is being threatened by forced vaccination proponents employed by federal and state health departments, who are working with pharmaceutical companies and with Pharma-funded non-profit organizations to encourage government-enforced implementation of "no exceptions" one-size-fits-all vaccine laws. If you want to protect YOUR freedom to make informed, voluntary vaccination decisions in America, you need to take action today. (National vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights will have the greatest impact).
Signing up to be a user of NVIC's free online Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you access to practical, useful information to help you communicate with your elected state legislators and become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. You will get real-time Action Alerts about what you can do if there are threats to vaccine exemptions in your state. With the click of a mouse or one touch on a Smartphone screen, you will be put in contact with YOUR elected representatives so you can let them know how you feel and what you want them to do. Plus, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have all the information you need to make sure your voice is heard.
I also recommend that you join NVIC on facebook, and if you can contribute monetarily, doing so at NVIC.org.
As for GM foods, you can help to pass the United States' first GMO labeling law – Proposition 37 – that will require labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods and food ingredients – and ban the routine industry practice of labeling and marketing such foods as "natural." Prop 37 is the best chance we have of defeating the corporate agri-giants, and of forcing food manufacturers to stop hiding dangerous ingredients in our food, without our knowledge.