Disclaimer: Any information obtained here is not to be construed as medical OR legal advice. The decision to vaccinate and how you implement that decision is yours and yours alone.
The Medical Time Bomb of Immunization
by Robert Mendelsohn
This book by Dr Robert Mendelsohn was the doctor who turned me against vaccination in 1983.
He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from
the University of Chicago in 1951. For 12 years he was
an instructor at Northwest University Medical College, and
an additional 12 years served as Associtae Professor of Pediatrics
and Community Health and Preventive Medicine at the University
of Illinois College of Medicine.
He was also President of the National Health
Federation, former National Director of Project Head Starts
Medical Consultation Service, and Chairman of the Medical
Licensing Committee of the State of Illinois.
He appeared on over 500 television and radio
talk shows, and is the author of Confessions of a Medical
Heretic, Male Practice: How Doctors Manipulate Women, and
How To Raise a Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor. The
latter book appears in the r-hand column - KSM
SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME (SIDS)
I know, as I write about the dangers of mass
immunisation, that it is a concept that you may find difficult
to accept. Immunizations have been so artfully and aggressively
marketed that most parents believe them to be the "miracle"
that has eliminated many once-feared diseases. Consequently,
for anyone to oppose them borders on the foolhardy. For a
paediatrician to attack what has become the "bread and
butter" of paediatric practice is equivalent to a priest's
denying the infallibility of the pope.
Knowing that, I can only hope that you will
keep an open mind while I present my case. Much of what you
have been led to believe about immunizations simply isn't
true. I not only have grave misgivings about them; if I were
to follow my deep convictions in writing this chapter, I would
urge you to reject all inoculations for your child. I won't
do that, because parents in about half the states have lost
the right to make that choice. Doctors, not politicians, have
successfully lobbied for laws that force parents to immunize
their children as a prerequisite for admission to school.
Even in those states, though, you may be able
to persuade your paediatrician to eliminate the pertussis
(whooping cough) component from the DPT vaccine. This immunization,
which appears to be the most threatening of them all, is the
subject of so much controversy that many doctors are becoming
nervous about giving it, fearing malpractice suits. They should
be nervous, because in a recent Chicago case a child damaged
by a pertussis inoculation received a $5.5 million settlement
award. If your doctor is in that state of mind, exploit his
fear, be-cause your child's health is at stake.
Although I administered them my-self during
my early years of practice, I have become a steadfast opponent
of mass inoculation because of the myriad hazards they present.
The subject is so vast and complex that it deserves a book
of its own. Consequently, I must be content here with summarizing
my objections to the fanatic zeal with which pediatricians
blindly shoot foreign proteins into the body of your child
without knowing what eventual damage they may cause.
Here is the core of my concern:
I. There is no convincing scientific evidence
that mass inoculations can be credited with eliminating any
childhood disease. While it is true that some once common
childhood diseases have diminished or disappeared since inoculations
were introduced, no one really knows why, although improved
living conditions may be the reason. If immunizations were
responsible for the diminishing or disappearance of these
diseases in the United States, one must ask why they disappeared
simultaneously in Europe, where mass immunizations did not
2. It is commonly believed that the Salk vaccine
was responsible for halting the polio epidemics that plagued
American children in the 19405 and 1950s. If so, why did the
epidemics also end in Europe, where polio vaccine was not
so extensively used? Of greater current relevance, why is
the Sabin virus vaccine still being administered to children
when Dr. Jonas Salk, who pioneered the first vaccine, points
out that Sabin vaccine is now causing most of the polio cases
that appear. Continuing to force this vaccine on children
is irrational medical behaviour that simply confirms my contention
that doctors consistently repeat their mistakes. With the
polio vaccine we are witnessing a rerun of the medical reluctance
to abandon the smallpox vaccination, which remained as the
only source of smallpox-related deaths for three decades after
the disease had disappeared.
Think of it! For thirty years kids died from
smallpox vaccinations even though no longer threatened by
3. There are significant risks associated with
every immunization and numerous contraindications that may
make it dangerous for the Shots to be given to your child.
Yet doctors administer them routinely, usually without warning
parents of the hazards and without determining whether the
immunization is contraindicated for the child. No child should
be immunized without making that determination, yet small
armies of children are routinely lined up in clinics to receive
a shot in the arm with no questions asked by their parents!
4 While the myriad short-term hazards of most
immunizations are known (but rarely explained), no one knows
the long term consequences of injecting foreign proteins into
the body of your child. Even more shocking is the fact that
no one is making any structured effort to find out.
5. There is growing suspicion that immunization
against relatively harm-less childhood diseases may be responsible
for the dramatic increase in auto-immune diseases since mass
inoculations were introduced. These are fearful diseases such
as cancer, leukemia. rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis,
Lou Gehrig's disease, lupus erythematosus, and the Guillain-Barre
syndrome. An autoimmune disease can be explained simply as
one in which the body's defense mechanisms cannot distinguish
between foreign invaders and ordinary body tissues, with the
consequence that the body begins to destroy itself. Have we
traded mumps and measles for cancer and leukemia?
I have emphasized these concerns because it
is probable that your paediatrician will not advise you about
them. At the 1982 Forum of the American Academy of Pediatrics
(AAP), a resolution was proposed that would have helped insure
that parents would be informed about the risks and benefits
of immunizations. The resolution urged that the "ALA?
make available in clear, concise language information which
a reasonable parent would want to know about the benefits
and risks of routine immunizations, the risks of vaccine preventable
diseases and the management of common adverse reactions to
immunizations." Apparently the doctors assembled did
not believe that "reasonable parents" were entitled
to this kind of in-formation because they rejected the resolution!
The bitter controversy over immunizations that
is now raging within the medical profession has not escaped
the attention of the media. Increasing numbers of parents
are rejecting immunizations for their children and facing
the legal consequences of doing so. Parents whose children
have been permanently damaged by vaccines are no longer accepting
this as fate but are filing malpractice suits against the
manufacturers and the doctors who administered the vaccine.
Some manufacturers have actually stopped making vaccines,
and the lists of contraindications to their use are being
expanded by the remaining manufacturers, year by year. Meanwhile,
because routine immunizations that bring patients back for
repeated office calls, are the bread and butter of their specialty,
paediatricians continue to defend them to the death.
As a parent, only you can decide whether to
reject immunizations or risk accepting them for your child.
Let me urge you, though-before your child is immunized-to
arm yourself with the facts about the potential risks and
benefits and demand that your paediatrician defend the immunizations
that he recommends. If you decide that you don't want to have
your child immunized, but your state laws say you must, write
to me, and I may be able to offer suggestions on how you can
regain your freedom of choice.
Mumps is a relatively innocuous viral disease,
usually experienced in childhood, which causes swelling of
one or both salivary glands (parotids), located just below
and in front of the ears. Typical symptoms are a temperature
of 100-l04 degrees, appetite loss, headache, and back pain.
The gland swelling usually begins to diminish after two or
three days and is gone by the sixth or seventh day. However,
one gland may become affected first, and the second as much
as 10-l2 days later. The infection of either side confers
Mumps does not require medical treatment. If
your child contracts the disease, encourage him to stay in
bed for two or three days, feed him a soft diet and a lot
of fluids, and use ice packs to reduce the swelling. If his
headache is severe, administer modest quantities of whiskey
or acetaminophen. Give ten drops of whiskey to a small baby
and up to one-half teaspoon to a larger one. The dose can
be repeated in one hour and again in another hour, if needed.
Most children are immunized against mumps along
with measles and rubella in the MMR shot that is administered
at about fifteen months of age. Paediatricians defend this
immunization with the argument that, although mumps is not
a serious disease in children, if they do not gain immunity
as children they may contract mumps as adults. In that event
there is a possibility that adult males may contract orchitis,
a condition in which the disease affects the testicles. In
rare instances this can produce sterility.
If total sterility as a consequence of orchitis
were a significant threat, and if the mumps immunizations
assured adult males that they would not contract it, I would
be among those doctors who urge immunization. I'm not, because
their argument makes no sense. Orchitis rarely causes sterility,
and when it does, because only one testicle is usually affected,
the sperm production capacity of the unaffected testicle could
repopulate the world! And that's not all. No one knows whether
the mumps vaccination confers an immunity that lasts into
the adult years. Consequently, there is an open question whether,
when your child is immunized against mumps at fifteen months
arid escapes this disease in childhood, he may suffer more
serious consequences when he contracts it as an adult.
You won't find paediatricians advertising them,
but the side effects of the mumps vaccine can be severe. In
some children it causes allergic reactions such as rash, itching,
and bruising. It may also expose them to the effects of central
nervous system involvement, including febrile seizures, unilateral
nerve deafness, and encephalitis. These risks are minimal,
true, but why should your child endure them at all to avoid
an innocuous diseaze in childhood at the risk of contracting
a more serious one as an adult?
Measles, also called rubeola or 'English measles,"
is a contagious viral disease that can 'be contracted by touching
an object used by an infected person. At the onset the victim
feels tired, has a slight fever and pain in the head and back.
His eyes redden and he may be sensitive to light. The fever
rises until about the third or fourth day, when it reaches
103-104 degrees. Sometimes small white spots can be seen inside
the mouth, and a rash of small pink spots appears below the
hair line and behind the ears. This rash spreads downward
to cover the body in about 36 hours. The pink spots may run
together but fade away in about three or four days. Measles
is contagious for seven or eight days, beginning three or
four days be-fore the rash appears. Consequently, if one of
your children contracts the disease, the others probably will
have been exposed to it before you know the first I child
No treatment is required for measles other than
bed rest, fluids to combat possible dehydration from fever,
and calamine lotion or cornstarch baths to relieve the itching.
If the child suffers from photophobia, the blinds in his bedroom
should be lowered to darken the room. However, contrary to
the popular myth, there is no danger of permanent blindness
from this disease.
A vaccine to prevent measles is an-other element
of the MMR inoculation given in early childhood. Doctors maintain
that the inoculation is necessary to prevent measles encephalitis,
which they say occurs about once in 1,000 cases. After decades
of experience with measles, I question this statistic, and
so do many other paediatricians. The incidence of 1/1,000
may be accurate for children who live in conditions of poverty
and malnutrition, but in the middle-and upper-income brackets,
if one excludes simple sleepiness from the measles itself,
the incidence of true encephalitis is probably more like 1/10,000
After frightening you with the unlikely possibility
of measles encephalitis, your doctor can rarely be counted
on to tell you of the dangers associated with the vaccine
he uses to prevent it. The measles vaccine is associated with
encephalopathy and with a series of other complications such
as SSPE (subacute sclerosing panencephalitis), which causes
hardening of the brain and is in-variably fatal.
Other neurologic and sometimes fatal conditions
associated with the measles vaccine include ataxia (inability
to coordinate muscle movements), mental retardation, aseptic
meningitis, seizure disorders, and hemiparesis (paralysis
affecting one side of the body). Secondary complications associated
with the vaccine may be even more frightening. They include
encephalitis, juvenile-onset diabetes, Reye's syndrome, and
I would consider the risks associated with measles
vaccination unacceptable even if there were convincing evidence
that the vaccine works. There isn't. While there has been
a decline in the incidence of the disease, it began long before
the vaccine was introduced. In 1958 there were about 800,000
cases of measles in the United States, but by 1962-the year
before a vaccine appeared-the number of cases had dropped
by 300,000. During the next four years, while children were
being vaccinated with an ineffective and now abandoned "killed
virus" vaccine, the number of cases dropped another 300,000.
In 1900 there were 13.3 measles deaths per 100,000 population.
By 1955, before the first measles shot, the death rate had
declined 97.7 percent to only 0.03 deaths per 100,000.
Those numbers alone are dramatic evidence that
measles was disappearing before the vaccine was introduced.
If you fail to find them sufficiently convincing, consider
this: in a 1978 survey of thirty states, more than half of
the children who contracted measles had been adequately vaccinated.
Moreover, according to the World Health Organization, the
chances are about fifteen times greater that measles will
be contracted by those vaccinated for them than by those who
"Why," you may ask, "in the face
of these facts, do doctors continue to give the shots?"
The answer may lie in an episode that occurred in California
fourteen years after the measles vaccine was introduced. Los
Angeles suffered a severe measles epidemic during that year,
and parents were urged to vaccinate all children six months
of age and older-despite a Public Health Service warning that
vaccinating children below the age of one year was useless
and potentially harmful.
Although Los Angeles doctors responded by routinely
shooting measles vaccine into very kid they could get their
hands on, several local physicians familiar with the suspected
problems of immunologic failure and "slow virus"
dangers chose not to vaccinate their own infant children.
Unlike their patients, who weren't told, they realized that
"slow viruses" found in all live vaccines, and particularly
in the measles vaccine, can hide in human tissue for years.
They may emerge later in the form of encephalitis, multiple
sclerosis, and as potential seeds for the development and
growth of cancer.
One Los Angeles physician who refused to vaccinate
his own seven-month-old baby said: "I'm worried about
what happens when the vaccine virus may not only offer little
protection against measles but may also stay around in the
body, working in a way we don't know much about." His
concern about the possibility of these consequences for his
own child, however, did not cause him to stop vaccinating
his infant patients. He rationalized this contradictory behaviour
with the comment that "As a parent, I have the luxury
of making a choice for my child. As a physician... legally
and professionally I have to accept the recommendations of
the profession, which is what we also had to do with the whole
Swine flu business."
Perhaps it is time that lay parents and their
children are granted the same luxury that doctors and their
Commonly known as "German measles,"
rubella is a non-threatening disease in children that does
not require medical treatment.
The initial symptoms are fever and a slight
cold, accompanied by a sore throat. You know it is something
more when a rash appears on the face and scalp and spreads
to the arms and body. The spots do not run together as they
do with measles, and they usually fade away after two or three
days. The victim should be encouraged to rest, and be given
adequate fluids, but no other treatment is needed.
The threat posed by rubella is the possibility
that it may cause damage to the fetus if a woman contracts
the disease during the first trimester of her pregnancy. This
fear is used to justify the immunization of all children,
boys and girls, as part of the MMR inoculation. The merits
of this vaccine are questionable for essentially the same
reasons that apply to mumps inoculations. There is no need
to protect children from this harmless disease, so the adverse
reactions to the vaccine are unacceptable in terms of benefit
to the child. They can include arthritis, arthralgia (painful
joints), and polyneuritis, which produces pain, numbness,
or tingling in the peripheral nerves. While these symptoms
are usually temporary, they may last for several months and
may not occur until as long as two months after the vaccination.
Because of that time lapse, parents may not identify the cause
when these symptoms reappear in their vaccinated child.
The greater danger of rubella vaccination is
the possibility that it may deny expectant mothers the protection
of natural immunity from the disease. By preventing rubella
in childhood, immunization may actually increase the threat
that women will contract rubella during their childbearing
years. My concern on this score is shared by many doctors.
In Connecticut a group of doctors, led by two eminent epidemiologists,
have actually succeeded in getting rubella stricken from the
list of legally required immunizations.
Study after study has demonstrated that many
women immunized against rubella as children lack evidence
of immunity in blood tests given during their adolescent years.
Other tests have shown a high vaccine failure rate in children
given rubella, measles, and mumps shots, either separately
or in combined form. Finally, the crucial question yet to
be answered is whether vaccine-induced immunity is as effective
and long lasting as immunity from the natural disease of rubella.
A large proportion of children show no evidence of immunity
in blood tests given only four or five years after rubella
The significance of this is both obvious and
frightening. Rubella is a non threatening disease in childhood,
and it confers natural immunity to those who contract it so
they will not get it again as adults. Prior to the time that
doctors began giving rubella vaccinations an estimated 85
percent of adults were naturally immune to the disease.
Today, because of immunization, the vast majority
of women never acquire natural immunity. If their vaccine-induced
immunity wears off, they may contract rubella while they are
pregnant, with resulting damage to their unborn children.
Being a skeptical soul, I have always believed
that the most reliable way to determine what people really
believe is to observe what they do, not what they say. If
the greatest threat of rubella is not to children, but to
the fetus yet unborn, pregnant women should be protected against
rubella by making certain that their obstetricians won't give
them the disease. Yet, in a California survey reported in
the Journal of the American Medical Association, more than
90 percent of the obstetrician-gynecologists refused to be
vaccinated. If doctors themselves are afraid of the vaccine,
why on earth should the law require that you and other parents
allow them to administer it to your kids?
Whooping cough (pertussis) is an extremely contagious
bacterial disease that is usually transmitted through the
air by an infected person.
The incubation period is seven to fourteen days.
The initial symptoms are indistinguishable from those of a
common cold: a runny nose, sneezing, listlessness and loss
of appetite, some tearing in the eyes, and sometimes a mild
As the disease progresses, the victim develops
a severe cough at night. Later it appears during the day as
well. Within a week to ten days after the first symptoms appear
the cough will become paroxysmal. The child may cough a dozen
times with each breath, and his face may darken to a bluish
or purple hue. Each coughing bout ends with a whopping intake
of breath, which accounts for the popular name for the disease.
Vomiting is often an additional symptom of the disease.
Whooping cough can strike within any age group,
but more than half of all victims are below two years of age.
It can be serious and even life-threatening, particularly
in infants. Infected persons can transmit the disease to others
for about a month after the appearance of the initial symptoms,
so it is important that they be isolated, especially from
If your child contracts whooping cough, there
is no specific treatment that your doctor can provide, nor
is there any you can apply at home, other than to encourage
your child to rest and to provide comfort and consolation.
Cough suppressants are sometimes used, but they rarely help
very much and I don't recommend them. However, if an infant
contracts the disease, you should consult a doctor because
hospital care may be required. The primary threats to babies
are exhaustion from coughing and pneumonia. Very young infants
have even been known to suffer cracked ribs from the severe
Immunisation against pertussis is given along
with vaccines for diphtheria and tetanus in the DPT inoculation.
Although the vaccine has been used for decades, it is one
of the most controversial of immunizations. Doubts persist
about its effectiveness, and many doctors share my concern
that the potentially damaging side effects of the vaccine
may outweigh the alleged benefits.
Dr. Gordon T. Stewart, head of the department
of community medicine at the University of Glasgow, Scotland,
is one of the most vigorous critics of the pertussis vaccine.
He says he supported the inoculation before 1974 but then
began to observe outbreaks of pertussis in children who had
been vaccinated. "Now, in Glasgow," he says, "30
per-cent of our whooping cough cases are occurring in vaccinated
patients. This leads me to believe that the vaccine is not
alt that protective."
As is the case with other infectious diseases,
mortality had begun to decline before the vaccine became available.
The vaccine was not introduced until about 1936, but mortality
from the disease had already been declining steadily since
1900 or earlier. According to Stewart, "the decline in
pertussis mortality was 80 percent before the vaccine was
ever used." He shares my view that the key factor in
controlling whooping cough is probably not the vaccine but
improvement in the living conditions of potential victims.
The common side effects of the pertussis vaccine,
acknowledged by JAMA, are fever, crying bouts, a shock-like
state, and local skin effects such as swelling, redness, and
pain. Less frequent but more serious side effects include
convulsions and permanent brain damage resulting in mental
retardation. The vaccine has also been linked to Sudden Infant
Death Syndrome (SIDS). In 1978-79, during an expansion of
the Tennessee childhood immunization program, eight cases
of SIDS were reported immediately following routine DPT immunization.
Estimates of the number of those vaccinated
with the pertussis vaccine who are protected from the disease
range from 50 percent to 80 percent. According to JAMA. reported
cases of whooping cough in the United States total an average
of 1,000--3,000 per year and deaths five to twenty per year.
Although it was one of the most feared of childhood
diseases in Grandma's day, diphtheria has now almost disappeared.
Only 5 cases were reported in the United States in 1980. Most
doctors insist that the decline is due to immunization with
the DPT vaccine, but there is ample evidence that the incidence
of diphtheria was already diminishing before a vaccine became
Diphtheria is a highly contagious bacterial
disease that is spread by the coughing and sneezing of infected
persons or by handling items that they have touched. The incubation
period f6r the disease is two to five days, and the first
symptoms are a sore throat, headache, nausea, coughing, and
a fever of l00-l04 degrees. As the disease progresses, dirty-white
patches can be observed on the tonsils and in the throat.
They cause swelling in the throat and larynx that makes swallowing
difficult and, in severe cases, may obstruct breathing to
the point that the victim chokes to death. The disease requires
medical attention and can be treated with antibiotics such
as penicillin or erythromycin.
Today your child has about as much chance of
contracting diphtheria as she does of being bitten by a cobra.
Yet millions of children are immunized against it with repeated
injections at two, four, six, and eighteen months and then
given a booster shot when they enter school. This despite
evidence over more than a dozen years from rare outbreaks
of the disease that children who have been immunized fare
no better than those who have not. During a 1969 outbreak
of diphtheria in Chicago the city board of health reported
that four of the sixteen victims had been fully immunized
against the disease and five others had received one or more
doses of the vaccine. Two of the latter showed evidence of
full immunity. A report on another outbreak in which three
people died revealed that one of the fatal cases and fourteen
of twenty-three carriers had been fully immunized.
Episodes such as these shatter the argument
that immunization can be credited with eliminating diphtheria
or any of the other once common childhood diseases. If immunization
deserved the credit, how do its defenders explain this? Only
about half the states have legal requirements for immunization
against infectious diseases, and the percentage of children
immunized varies from state to state. As a consequence, tens
of thousands-perhaps millions-of children in areas where medical
services are limited and paediatricians almost nonexistent
were never immunized against infectious diseases and therefore
should be vulnerable to them. Yet the incidence of infectious
diseases does not correlate in any respect with whether a
state has legally mandated mass immunization or not.
In view of the rarity of the disease, the effective
antibiotic treatment now available, the questionable effectiveness
of the vaccine, the multimillion dollar annual cost of administering
it, and the ever-present potential for harmful, long-term
effects from this or any other vaccine, I consider continued
mass immunization against diphtheria indefensible. I grant
that no significant harmful effects from the vaccine have
been identified, but that doesn't mean they aren't there.
In the half century that the vaccine has been used no research
has ever been undertaken to determine what the long-term effects
of the vaccine may be!
This is my favourite childhood disease, first
because it is relatively innocuous and second because it is
one of the few for which no pharmaceutical manufacturer has
yet marketed a vaccine. That second reason may be short-lived,
though, because as this is written there are reports that
a chicken pox vaccine soon may appear.
Chicken pox is a communicable viral infection
that is very common in children. The first signs of the disease
are usually a slight fever, headache, backache, and loss of
After a day or two, small red spots appear,
and within a few hours they enlarge and become blisters. Ultimately
a scab forms that peels off, usually within a week or two.
This process is accompanied by severe itching, and the child
should be encouraged not to scratch the sores. Calamine lotion
may be applied, or cornstarch baths given, to relieve the
It is not necessary to seek medical treatment
for chicken pox. The patient should be encouraged to rest
and to drink a lot of fluids to prevent dehydration from the
The incubation period for chicken pox is from
two to three weeks, and the disease is contagious for about
two weeks, beginning two days after the rash appears. The
child should be isolated during this period to avoid spreading
the disease to others.
Parents should have the right to assume, and
most do assume, that the tests their doctor gives their child
will I produce an accurate result.
The tuberculin skin test is but one example
of a medical test procedure in which that is definitely not
the case. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics, which rarely
has anything negative to say about procedures that its members
routinely employ, has issued a policy statement that is critical
of this test. According to that statement,
Several recent studies have cast doubt on the
sensitivity of some screening tests for tuberculosis. Indeed
a panel assembled by the Bureau of Biologics has recommended
to manufacturers that each lot be tested in fifty known positive
patients to assure that preparations that are marketed are
potent enough to identify everyone with active tuberculosis.
However, since many of these studies have not been conducted
in a randomized, double-blind fashion and/or have included
many simultaneously administered skin tests (thus the possibility
of suppression of reactions), interpretation of the tests
That statement concludes, "Screening tests
for tuberculosis are not perfect, and physicians must be aware
of the possibility that some false negative as well as positive
reactions may be obtained."
In short, your child may have tuberculosis even
though there is a negative reading on his tuberculin test.
Or he may not have it but display a positive skin test that
says he does. With many doctors, this can lead to some devastating
consequences. Almost certainly, if this happens to your child,
he will be exposed to needless hazardous radiation from one
or more x-rays of his chest. The doctor may then place him
on dangerous drugs such as isoniazid for months or years "to
prevent the development of tuberculosis." Even the AMA
has recognized that doctors have indiscriminately over prescribed
isoniazid. That's shameful, because of the drug's long list
of side effects on the nervous system, gastrointestinal system,
blood, bone marrow, skin, and endocrine glands. Also not to
be overlooked is the danger that your child may become a pariah
in your neighborhood because of the lingering fear of this
I am convinced that the potential consequences
of a positive tuberculin skin test are more dangerous than
the threat of the disease. I believe parents should reject
the test unless they have specific knowledge that their child
has been in contact with someone who has the disease.
SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME (SIDS)
The dreadful possibility that they may awaken
some morning to find their baby dead in his crib is a fear
that lurks in the mind of many parents. Medical science has
yet to pinpoint the cause of SIDS, but the most popular explanation
among researchers appears to be that the central nervous system
is affected so that the involuntary act of breathing is suppressed.
That is a logical explanation, but it leaves
unanswered the question: What caused the malfunction in the
central nervous system? My suspicion, which is shared by others
in my profession, is that the nearly 10,000 SIDS deaths that
occur in the United States each year are related to one or
more of the vaccines that are routinely given children. The
pertussis vaccine is the most likely villain, but it could
also be one or more of the others.
Dr. William Torch, of the University of Nevada
School of Medicine at Reno, has issued a report suggesting
that the DPT shot may be responsible for SIDS cases. He found
that two-thirds of 103 children who died of SIDS had been
immunized with DPT vaccine in the three weeks before their
deaths, many dying within a day after getting the shot. He
asserts that this was not mere coincidence, concluding that
a "causal relationship is suggested" in at least
some cases of DIPT vaccine and crib death. Also on record
are the Tennessee deaths, referred to earlier. In that case
the manufacturers of the vaccine, following intervention by
the U.S. surgeon general, recalled all unused doses of this
batch of vaccine.
Expectant mothers who are concerned about SIDS
should bear in mind the importance of breastfeeding to avoid
this and other serious ailments. There is evidence that breastfed
babies are less susceptible to allergies, respiratory disease,
gastroenteritis, hypocalcaemia, obesity, multiple sclerosis,
and SIDS. One study of the scientific literature about SIDS
concluded that "Breast-feeding can be seen as a common
block to the myriad pathways to SIDS."
No one who lived through the 1940s and saw photos
of children in iron lungs, saw a 'President of the United
States confined to his wheel-chair by this dread disease,
and was for forbidden to use public beaches for fear of catching
polio can forget the fear that prevailed at the time. Polio
is virtually nonexistent today, but much of that fear persists,
and there is a popular belief that immunization can be credited
with eliminating the disease. That's not surprising, considering
the high-powered campaign that promoted the vaccine, but the
fact is that no credible scientific evidence exists that the
vaccine caused polio to disappear. As noted earlier, it also
disappeared in other parts of the world where the vaccine
was not so extensively used.
What is important to parents of this generation
is the evidence that points to mass inoculation against polio
as the cause of most remaining cases of the disease. In September
1977 Jonas Salk, the developer of the killed polio virus vaccine,
testified along with other scientists to that effect. He said
that most of the handful of polio cases which had occurred
in the US since the 197Os probably were the by-product of
the live polio vaccine that is in standard use in the United
Meanwhile, there is an ongoing debate among
the immunologists regarding the relative risks of killed virus
vs. live virus vaccine. Supporters of the killed virus vaccine
maintain that it is the presence of live virus organisms in
the other product that is responsible for the polio cases
that occasionally appear. Supporters of the live virus type
argue that the killed virus vaccine offers inadequate protections
and actually increases the susceptibility of those vaccinated.
This offers me a rare opportunity to be comfortably
neutral. .I believe that both factions are right and that
use of either of the vaccines will increase, not diminish,
the possibility that your child will contract the disease.
In short, it appears that the most effective
way to protect your child from polio is to make sure that
he doesn't get the vaccine!
East West Journal November 1984.