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Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, April 8, 2011

The Health Hazards of Disease Prevention
A Personal Viewpoint by Damien Downing, M.D., London, U.K.

(OMNS Apr 8, 2011) "No pharmaceutical drug is devoid of risks from adverse reactions and vaccines are no exception. Vaccination is a medical intervention and should be carried out with the informed consent of those who are being subjected to it." (Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic, University of British Columbia.)

At a conference held in London this month by the British Society for Ecological Medicine, the main topic was vaccinations. Not one person speaking was anti-vaccination; most said they were in favor of vaccination, but even more so of vaccine safety. One speaker summarized it this way: "Most vaccines offer benefit to most children most of the time. Some vaccines do harm to some children some of the time."

Here are some of the surprising facts reported.

How safe are vaccines?

  • There are no studies comparing vaccine safety to a genuine placebo. The only study that claims to do so (1) compared active vaccines to a placebo containing all the adjuvants, including neomycin (a known neurotoxin).
  • Adjuvants, a key component of all vaccinations, have been shown to predispose to autoimmune disease (2).
  • Aluminum is a serious neurotoxin but is used as an adjuvant in many vaccines; between 2 and 18 months of age children may repeatedly receive up to 50 times the FDA safety limit in vaccines alone (3).
  • A Cochrane review of MMR in 2005 found that "The design and reporting of safety outcomes in MMR vaccine studies, both pre- and post-marketing, are largely inadequate"(4).
  • Recorded adverse events following HPV vaccine in the US, which are thought to represent less than 10% of the actual incidence, now stand at well over 21,000, including 93 deaths, 8,661 emergency room visits, 4,382 cases who have not recovered and 702 who have been disabled. (5)

Do we need all these vaccines?

  • Why do we give rubella vaccinations to boys when the only people that rubella seriously affects are pregnant women and their babies?
  • Mumps is very rare and only of serious danger to boys - so why give it to girls? Introduction of the mumps vaccine only served to shift the incidence of the disease from very young children, in whom it was harmless, to older children in whom it was not.
  • Diphtheria had effectively disappeared by the time the vaccination for it was introduced.
  • Catching measles in childhood reduces the risk of asthma by 80% and of allergy in general by 30% (6).
  • Chicken pox, caught under the age of eight, reduces the risk of eczema by 45% and of severe eczema by a dramatic 96% (7).

Who can we trust?

Vera Hassner Sharav writes: "Public health officials on both sides of the Atlantic have lost the public trust because they have been in league with vaccine manufacturers in denying that safety problems exist. If vaccines posed no safety problems why has the US Vaccine Court awarded more than $2 billion dollars to settle 2,500 cases involving vaccine-related debilitating injuries in children?" (8)

When US FDA officials analyzed the data on autism and thimerosal-containing vaccines they found a clear link. Their response, detailed in transcripts of a meeting at Simpsonwood, VA in July 2000 was to "massage" the data to make the link go away (9).

In the UK, JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunization) has known since 1986 that there were serious safety concerns around vaccinations, for measles in particular. JCVI has repeatedly responded to negative data by ignoring it or covering it up, and has downplayed vaccine safety concerns while overplaying benefits (10).

Clearly Not the CDC

If you thought all that was bad, try out the proposal from the National Centers for Immunization and Respiratory Disease in CDC; a study found that the IgA antibodies in breast milk could reduce the potency of vaccines - especially in developing countries; American breast milk is not nearly as good (11). Their proposal: delay breast-feeding. No, you didn't misread; the abstract says; "Strategies to overcome this negative effect, such as delaying breast-feeding at the time of immunization, should be evaluated."

Oh, right. That'll fix it. Not!


(1) Virtanen M, Peltola H, Paunio M, Heinonen OP. Day-to-day reactogenicity and the healthy vaccinee effect of measles-mumps-rubella vaccination. Pediatrics.2000 Nov;106(5):E62.

(2) Schoenfeld Y, Agmon-Levin N. 'ASIA' Autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants. Journal of Autoimmunity 2011; 36 4-8 doi:10.1016/j.jaut.2010.07.003

(3) Tomljenovic L. Aluminum and Alzheimer's disease: After a Century of Controversy, Is there a Plausible Link? J Alzheimer's Dis 2010; 23: 1-32. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-101494.

(4) Demicheli V, Jefferson T, Rivetti A, Price D. Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD004407. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004407.pub2.

(5) VAERS; Accessed February 2011

(6) Rosenlund H et al. Allergic disease and atopic sensitization in children in relation to measles vaccination and measles infection. Pediatrics 2009; 123 (3): 771-8

(7) Silverberg JI, Norowitz KB, Kleiman E et al. Association between varicella zoster virus infection and atopic dermatitis in early and late childhood: A case-control study. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2010; 126: 300-305

(8) Alliance for Human Research Protection.



(11) Shane AL, Jiang B, Baek LJ et al. Inhibitory Effect of Breast Milk on Infectivity of Live Oral Rotavirus Vaccines. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2010; 29(10): 919-923.

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