The following referenced information contains opinion and perspective on a health topic related to vaccine science, policy, law or ethics that is being discussed in public forums, including in medical, law and other professional journals; newspapers, magazines and other print; broadcast and online media outlets; state legislatures and the U.S. Congress.
Readers are encouraged to go to the websites of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for the perspective of federal agencies responsible for making national vaccine policy recommendations; to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for information on regulating vaccines for safety and effectiveness; to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for research related to vaccine use; and to National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for information on the development of new vaccines.
The World Health Organization has stated that “vaccine hesitancy” is one of the top 10 global public health threats.
I recently wrote about the renewed calls for state legislatures to eliminate personal belief vaccine exemptions and restrict medical exemptions, and how California state Sen. Dr. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, is even urging the U.S. Surgeon General to push mandatory vaccinations to the top of the federal public health agenda.1,2
According to Pan, “unwarranted vaccine hesitancy” is a threat to public health as it prevents “community immunity, which protects our children and the most vulnerable.” He believes mandating vaccines, as was done for smallpox during the Revolutionary War, would “protect our right as Americans to be free of preventable diseases.”
Herd Immunity and Vaccination
What he’s talking about is achieving and maintaining so-called vaccine-acquired “herd immunity,” the theory which maintains that once a majority of people have been vaccinated, the infectious disease in question can no longer spread and everyone is protected, including the tiny minority who for whatever reason are not or cannot be vaccinated.
The problem with this argument is that it doesn’t work for vaccines. While there is such a thing as herd immunity among populations in which a majority has had the infectious disease and acquired a long lasting natural immunity, vaccines confer only temporary artificial immunity, and so true herd immunity is unlikely to be fully achieved, even if nearly 100 percent of the population are vaccinated.
The measles vaccine, for example, wears off after about a decade3 or two. 4,5 Whatever temporary artificial protection is obtained from other vaccines also fades in time. If you are an adult, chances are that some of the vaccinations you received as a child are not protecting you today.6 What’s more, between 2 and 10 percent of some vaccines result in “primary vaccine failure,” meaning those who get the vaccine do not gain even temporary artificial protection after vaccination. 7
Indeed, public health officials are now recommending adults born in or after 1957 to get revaccinated against measles.8,9,10 Since the Disneyland-related measles outbreak in early 2015, some public health doctors are even suggesting all adults should get a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) booster shotbecause as many as 1 in 10 previously vaccinated adults may be susceptible to measles due to waning vaccine-acquired immunity.11
Herd Immunity Does Not Work for Measles
It’s quite possible that revaccinating adults still would not achieve herd immunity for measles. Dr. Alexander Langmuir is known as “the father of infectious disease epidemiology.” In 1949, he created the epidemiology section of what became the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He also headed the Polio Surveillance Unit founded in 1955 after polio vaccine safety issues became public.
According to Langmuir and many other experts, one dose of the measles vaccine was supposed to eradicate the common childhood disease. But, of course, that did not happen.
By the early 1980s, more than 95 percent of children entering school in the U.S. had received a dose of measles containing vaccine but, in 1989-1990, there were outbreaks of measles among school-age children and college students. Public health officials responded by recommending a second dose of MMR vaccine for all children. In an article published in Clinical Microbiology Reviews in 1995, researchers stated:
“Measles, which was targeted for elimination from the United States in 1979, persisted at low incidence until 1989, when an epidemic swept the country. Cases occurred among appropriately vaccinated school-age populations and among unimmunized, inner-city preschool children.
In response to the epidemic, measles immunization recommendations have been modified. To prevent spread among school-age populations, a second dose of MMR vaccine is recommended at 5 to 6 or 11 to 12 years of age.”12
A 1994 study13 looking at measles incidence in Cape Town, Africa, indicated that as vaccination rates increased, measles became a disease in populations where the majority of children had been vaccinated. The immunization coverage was 91 percent and vaccine efficacy was estimated to be 79 percent. According to the authors:
“The epidemiology of measles in Cape Town has thus changed as evinced in this epidemic, with an increase in the number of cases occurring in older, previously vaccinated children. The possible reasons for this include both primary and secondary vaccine failure.”
This “startling” surprise challenged the theory that vaccine-induced herd immunity would provide complete protection against outbreaks of measles. The CDC has also admitted, and reports in the medical literature have documented, that measles outbreaks occur both in highly vaccinated school populations and among vaccinated adult populations.14, 15,16 ,17,18,19,20,21,22
Examples of Measles Outbreaks in Highly Vaccinated Populations
A recent example of measles outbreaks in a highly vaccinated population occurred in Israel in 2017 in a military population ranging in age from 19 to 37, which had “high measles vaccination coverage.” The first two patients identified had both received two doses of measles vaccine. Patient zero, a 21-year-old soldier, had documentation of having received three doses. According to the CDC:23
“All patients except one had high measles IgG avidity, which is an indicator of previous vaccination or previous infection. Because all the serum specimens (except that from the primary patient) were collected two to three days after the onset of symptoms, the high avidity IgG was assumed to be a result of patients’ previous vaccination.
Although outbreaks of measles among vaccinated populations have been reported worldwide,24,25,26,27 most outbreaks in Israel have occurred in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated populations).
Measles transmission from a vaccinated person with documented secondary vaccine failure also has been described in New York City in 2011, including among vaccinated health care providers,28 and in the Marshall Islands.29 Waning of vaccine-induced immunity is a phenomenon that needs to be addressed …”
Another example is a 2014 study30 conducted in the Zhejiang province in China. Researchers found that populations which have achieved a measles vaccination rate of 99 percent through mandatory vaccination programs are still experiencing consistent outbreaks far beyond what the World Health Organization expects.
What’s more, 93.6 percent of the 1,015 participants in this study tested seropositive for measles antibodies, which theoretically means they should have been protected against the disease.
The herd immunity threshold for vaccine-acquired artificial immunity is thought to be between 80 and 95 percent,31 depending on the disease in question (for measles, it’s 90 to 95 percent) yet, even though 94 percent of individuals had antibodies against measles in this case, an outbreak still occurred.
Persistent reports of measles and other infectious diseases for which vaccines have been developed and given in multiple doses to most children calls the concept of vaccine-acquired herd immunity into question.
Natural Versus Vaccine-Induced Immunity
Again, a key factor to consider is that many vaccines do not provide long-lasting or lifelong immunity. Vaccines only confer temporary artificial immunity and sometimes they fail to do that. This has been shown to have important generational ramifications as well. Infants under age 1, who used to be protected in the first year of life by getting natural maternal antibodies from their mothers, who had experienced and recovered from measles in childhood, are now susceptible to measles from birth.
That is because most young mothers today have been vaccinated and measles vaccine-acquired maternal antibodies are far less protective than naturally acquired antibodies.32,33 To understand why this is so, you need to understand a little bit about how your immune system works.
There are two systems that fight disease in your body. One is the innate system that is always ready to work and the other is the adaptive arm of immunity. The adaptive arm consists of Th1 and Th2. Both are necessary but Th1 is commonly known as the cell mediated arm, and Th2 known as the humoral or antibody arm.
Most vaccines preferentially stimulate the Th2 or humoral part of the immune system. Measured antibodies in the blood (antibody titers) may be reflective of partial immunity, but it is not a perfect correlate to full immunity that involves both innate (cellular) and humoral (adaptive) immune responses, such as those obtained after recovery from viral or bacterial infections.
The benefit of only measuring humoral immunity as a means of measuring vaccine effectiveness is that it can be easily determined by drawing blood samples and conducting lab tests. If specific vaccine-induced antibodies are present in the blood and judged to be in high enough quantities, the person is presumed to be immune to that infection and protected.
Evidence of the profound importance and effectiveness of the innate and Th1 immune system can be demonstrated in individuals who are unable to genetically generate antibody production, a condition called agamma-globulinemia. When individuals with this condition were exposed to measles, they recovered just as well as those who were able to make normal antibodies.34
They also had protection in the future upon re-exposure. This discovery was made in the 1960s when measles vaccination programs were just getting underway, and demonstrates that production of antibodies is not necessary for the natural recovery from measles and acquisition of protective immunity.
Other research35,36 published in 2011 demonstrated that antibody-mediated immunity is not necessary to neutralize viruses like vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), again calling into question the idea that elevations in vaccine-induced antibody titers are necessary to produce immunity against all infectious diseases.
Delayed Infection Multiplies Risk
The inability to actually achieve herd immunity for many infectious diseases is by far not the only problem.
Using “mathematical analysis to explore how modern-era vaccination practices have changed the risks of severe outcomes for some infections by changing the landscape for disease transmission,” researchers have found that by delaying the age of infection with vaccination, the health risks are exponentially increased in vulnerable age groups within populations. This Lancet Infectious Diseases study37 found that:
“[N]egative outcomes are 4.5 times worse for measles, 2.2 times worse for chickenpox, and 5.8 times worse for rubella than would be expected in a pre-vaccine era in which the average age at infection would have been lower.”
The researchers point out that by making an illness rarer, it also raises the expected severity when the illness arises in vulnerable age groups. Now, the warning issued in this paper is that “remaining unvaccinated in a predominantly vaccine-protected community exposes … children to the most severe possible outcomes.”
What’s not addressed is the fact that routine vaccinations are increasing the severity of illness that apparently cannot be contained, as outbreaks are still occurring where vaccination rates are high enough that the population should have established vaccine acquired herd immunity.
DTaP Vaccine Increases Susceptibility to Pertussis
Yet another problem is that vaccination may raise your susceptibility to that very illness and/or other viral illness. We’ve seen this with influenza vaccination, where the flu vaccine appears to raise your risk of contracting other respiratory infections38 and/or more serious influenza.39,40,41 Another example is pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine.
As detailed in a study published in the February 2019 issue of the Journal of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, researchers stated:42
“The first diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTaP) vaccines were developed in Japan … Afterward, DTaP vaccines were developed in the Western world, and definitive efficacy trials were carried out in the 1990s.
These vaccines were all less reactogenic than DTwP [diphtheria, tetanus toxoids, whole-cell pertussis] vaccines, and despite the fact that their efficacy was less than that of DTwP vaccines, they were approved in the United States and many other countries.
DTaP vaccines replaced DTwP vaccines in the United States in 1997. In the last 13 years, major pertussis epidemics have occurred in the United States, and numerous studies have shown the deficiencies of DTaP vaccines, including the small number of antigens that the vaccines contain and the type of cellular immune response that they elicit.
The type of cellular response, a predominantly T2 response, results in less efficacy and shorter duration of protection. Because of the small number of antigens … linked-epitope suppression occurs. Because of linked-epitope suppression, all children who were primed by DTaP vaccines will be more susceptible to pertussis throughout their lifetimes, and there is no easy way to decrease this increased lifetime susceptibility.”
The most important information is right at the end, so let me repeat it by restating it: Children who receive the DTaP vaccine are more susceptible to whooping cough; this elevated susceptibility persists throughout their life, and nothing can be done about it.
However, what these researchers and public health officials also are not admitting is that the whole cell pertussis vaccines (DTwP) used in the U.S. between the late 1950s and 1997, when the less reactive acellular pertussis vaccine DTaP replaced the more toxic whole cell vaccines, is this: The B. pertussis organism started mutating into vaccine resistant forms shortly after whole cell DPT began to be used on widespread basis by children in the 1950s.
Whole cell DPT was failing to control whooping cough in the 1980s and was found to have inferior efficacy compared to the purified DTaP vaccines tested in worldwide clinical trials in the 1990s.
“As early as 1965 and all through the 1980s and 1990s, public health officials in the U.S. and Europe knew that whole cell pertussis vaccine in DPT was not preventing infections in many vaccinated children and previously vaccinated adults,” said Barbara Loe Fisher, cofounder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) in a report on pertussis vaccines published in this newsletter during Vaccine Awareness Week 2018.
Just like before DPT vaccination programs, pertussis increases continued to be reported in cycles of three to five years, including in the U.S., where 95 percent of children had gotten three to five DPT shots. Between 1986 and 1996, multiple clinical trials confirmed that the less reactive acellular DTaP vaccine demonstrated superior efficacy and effectiveness compared to the old and more reactive DPT vaccine,” she said.43
Despite this knowledge, health authorities feign surprise when pertussis outbreaks occur, and continue to blame it on “vaccine hesitancy” driven by misinformation. You may have heard that “highly contagious” B. pertussis whooping cough is spreading among teenage students at Harvard-Westlake School’s two campuses in Los Angeles County in California.44
As of February 27, 30 students have fallen ill. What’s important to note is that all of the students who contracted the illness were vaccinated. School officials admit that inadequate vaccine coverage is definitely not the problem in this case as only 18 of the 1,600 students in the entire school system have exemptions to opt out of the whooping cough vaccine, and none of those 18 are sick.45,46
NVIC’s Fisher warns that the failures of DTaP vaccine are prompting some researchers today to suggest that the old whole cell pertussis vaccine (DTwP) driven off the market in 1996 should be brought back to the U.S. and given to infants for the first one or two doses. “They want to ‘prime’ little 6- to 8-week-old babies with ALL the bioactive toxins in the whole cell pertussis vaccine’s crude brew. Apparently they think it is worth the risk to pretend like they have fixed the problem,” she said.47
Portion of Measles Outbreaks Are Attributable to Vaccine Reactions
So, is there really a rapid increase in preventable diseases? Or are the vaccine failures just becoming more pervasive and vaccine reactions more noticeable?
Circling back to measles for a moment, a recent paper48 in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology describes new technology developed to “rapidly distinguish between measles cases and vaccine reactions to avoid unnecessary outbreak response measures such as case isolation and contact investigations.” According to this paper:
“During the measles outbreak in California in 2015, a large number of suspected cases occurred in recent vaccinees. Of the 194 measles virus sequences obtained in the United States in 2015, 73 were identified as vaccine sequences.”
In other words, about 38 percent of suspected measles cases in the 2015 Disneyland measles scarewere actually vaccine-related and not caused by transmission of wild-type measles. You may have noticed that each time a measles outbreak occurs, it’s always blamed on the unvaccinated. Yet a portion of those who become sick may actually have been sickened by the vaccine-strain measles virus.
Cracking Down on Vaccine ‘Misinformation’
As I discussed in a vaccine article last week, the media is currently filled with reports of how tech platforms such as Google, Facebook,49 Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and even Amazon50 are fueling “anti-vax” fears and spreading misinformation (or doing nothing to prevent sharing of vaccine safety related material between users).51
Pinterest has already responded to calls for censorship and now blocks all vaccine related searches.52Amazon has also pulled at least five vaccine documentaries from its streaming Prime Video platform, all of which questioned the safety of vaccines.53
It’s difficult to express just how harmful this censorship is for public health, and what the ramifications will be if all these platforms implement censoring tactics to prevent information about vaccine safety (or rather lack thereof) from being accessed.
It’s especially upsetting when health authorities, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) among them, make statements that are in absolute contradiction to established scientific facts.
Health Authorities Lie to Congress
In a January interview with CBS News,54 Fauci flat out denied the fact that vaccines can cause injuryor death — this despite the fact that the vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) created under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 has paid out nearly $4 billion in awards for vaccine damage and death, and that’s just 31 percent of filed petitions for compensation.55
In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court also declared that government licensed and recommended childhood vaccines mandated by states are “unavoidably unsafe.”56
What’s worse, Fauci recently made false statements before Congress about MMR vaccine reactions in what appeared to be an attempt to reassure legislators that vaccines are completely safe and do not cause serious reactions, such as encephalitis (brain inflammation). As reported by NVIC’s Barbara Loe Fisher:57
“On Feb. 27, 2019, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a public hearing on ‘Confronting a Growing Public Health Threat: Measles Outbreaks in the U.S.’58 that was also broadcast live on C-span.
Parents across the nation watched and heard the renowned Anthony Fauci, MD … either tell a bald-faced lie or show his ignorance when he testified, under oath, that MMR vaccine does not cause encephalitis.
This large dose of disinformation drew gasps of protest from parents attending the Capitol Hill hearing and prompted committee chair Diana DeGette, D-Colo., to bang the gavel and warn that ‘manifestations of approval or disapproval of the proceedings is in violation of the rules of the House and this Committee.’
It is really hard to watch a distinguished physician like Dr. Fauci mislead legislators by blatantly denying the damage that serious vaccine reactions like brain inflammation can do to children’s brains.”
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, also misinformed legislators holding the congressional hearing that was broadcast live and watched by families across the nation.
Messonnier stated, “There are rare instances in children with certain very specific underlying problems with their immune system in whom the vaccine is contraindicated,” but she said that the MMR vaccine “does not cause brain swelling and encephalitis” in healthy children, and that parents would know if their child was at risk beforehand, because their child’s doctor would tell them if this were the case.
According to Merck and CDC, MMR Vaccine Can Cause Brain Inflammation
Fisher goes on to present evidence for why Fauci and Messonnier are both wrong, and are in fact presenting Congress with false information. For starters, the MMR vaccine package insert59 published by Merck states that “Encephalitis and encephalopathy have been reported approximately once for every 3 million doses of M-M-R II or measles-, mumps- and rubella-containing vaccine.”
The vaccine information statement (VIS) that doctors are by federal law required to give parents before their children receive a CDC recommended vaccine states that “severe” adverse effects of the MMR60 and MMRV61 vaccines include “deafness; long-term seizures, coma, lowered consciousness; and brain damage.”
One of the “moderate” adverse events associated with the MMRV vaccine is encephalitis. Fisher also goes through some of the medical literature showing the MMR vaccine can cause encephalitis and encephalopathy. For more data, I recommend reading Fisher’s article62 in its entirety.
“Parents, who trusted and did what they were told to do when they took their healthy children into a doctor’s office to be vaccinated and then watched their children suffer brain inflammation and regress into chronic poor health, learn that it is not a good idea to believe everything that doctors say about vaccines.
People who were healthy, got vaccinated and were never healthy again, quickly learn how to tell the difference between a doctor telling the truth about vaccine safety and one who is not, because their lives depend upon it.
If public health officials can go before Congress and provide demonstrably false statements about MMR vaccine reactions, what else are they fooling the public about?” Fisher writes.
Forced Vaccination Violates Human Rights
In a February 25, 2019, letter63 to the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, Physicians for Informed Consent urge the committee to make note of and correct a number of errors in its memorandum for its “Confronting a Growing Public Health Threat: Measles Outbreaks in the U.S.” meeting. Among the errors:
• The claim that one or two deaths occur per 1,000 children who acquire measles is an erroneous calculation error. At most, there is one death per 6,000, but more likely one death per 10,000. (For an explanation of the data for these figures, see the original letter)
• The claim that “CDC has determined that receiving the MMR vaccine is safer than getting any of the viruses” has not been scientifically demonstrated. According to Physicians for Informed Consent:
“In 2017, we reported in The British Medical Journal64 that every year an estimated 5,700 U.S. children (approximately 1 in 640) suffer febrile seizures from the first dose of the MMR vaccine — which is five times more than the number of febrile seizures expected from measles.
This amounts to 57,000 febrile seizures over the past 10 years due to the MMR vaccine alone. As 5 percent of children with a history of febrile seizures progress to epilepsy, a debilitating and life-threatening chronic condition, the estimated number of children whose epilepsy is due to the MMR vaccine in the past 10 years is 2,850.
In addition, we contend that the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), as a passive surveillance system, does not adequately capture vaccine side effects and that serious side effects, including permanent neurological harm and death from the MMR and other vaccines, may similarly be underreported.”
Speaking out against calls for forced vaccinations, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) sent a statement on federal vaccine mandates65,66 to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on February 26, 2019, saying forced vaccinations are unnecessary and violate human rights, and that the AAPS “strongly opposes federal interference in medical decisions, including mandated vaccines.”