Wishy-Washy on Vaccines? Thank You!

The ProfessorTo many people, I hold “extreme” views on vaccines. Unlike many who question the safety of the current vaccine program, I cannot say that I am aggressively, or even mildly, “pro-vaccine.” I have pored through what seems like mountains of scientific and historical data, and my overall conclusion is that, while vaccines looked and seemed like a great idea, they have been undermining the overall health of the population from the start. It’s quite possible that individual vaccines may have prevented significant numbers of acute infections in the short-term, but at what cost?

You see, each vaccine carries a cost that’s paid by the immune system. Many, many people can handle a vaccine, or a few vaccines, without apparent damage. However, as you add more and more vaccines to the pile, your immune system pays a greater and greater price, until it reaches a tipping point. For some, that tipping point comes very soon, and a child dies or is severely injured with his or her first vaccine, like Lorrin Kain or Lyla Rose Belkin. For others, the tipping point may not be reached until after many years of annual flu shots. But, eventually, if given enough vaccines, anyone’s immune system can be damaged beyond repair.  (This is my opinion, based on the synthesis of a great deal of investigation, which I’m not even going to begin to try and piece it together for you in this post.)


Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

That’s at least one of the mechanisms behind the skyrocketing rates of chronic illness in this generation’s children. This generation is the most asthmatic, the most anaphylactic, and the most neurologically dysfunctional in the history of the world. (If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and read up on the history of allergy and anaphylaxis.  Heather Fraser does a fabulous rundown in The Peanut Allergy Epidemic.)  As many people would point out, at least they’re alive. (Well, mostly; not the Lorrin Kains and Lyla Belkins of the world, obviously.)

But is “alive” all that we ask for our children? I spent my life from the age of 11 being chronically ill with allergies and asthma. It has been no picnic, I assure you. Most of the time I can get by without medication of any kind because I made it my business to learn as much as I could about my conditions (and there have been more autoimmune issues added to the list as I got older); however, I still, more than 40 years later, cannot go to the home of anyone who has a cat or dog — or vacuum or dust without specialized equipment — without being ill, no matter how much medication I take. I have spent virtually all the holidays of my adult life sick. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?  The medications all carry risks (sound familiar?) and side effects that are varying degrees of nasty. If I could prevent this for my children, would I? You damned well better believe I would. What’s the use of experience if it can’t be used to spare your loved ones pain?  How much more would I do what I could to avoid inflicting the kind of permanent neurological damage that results in severe autism? Does that mean I’d rather my children were dead than autistic or anaphylactic, as so many people imply? Of course not. It simply means that, like any parent worth their salt, I want my children to have the opportunity to be the best possible versions of themselves — which, in our case, would be highly unlikely if they were vaccinated.


Dr. Martha Herbert

To imply that the choice to vaccinate or not is a choice between autism and death from vaccine-preventable illnesses is absurd, and I think more and more people are seeing the absurdity of that argument. Autism is common in the United States (the CDC’s best estimate is 1 in 68 of today’s 12-year-olds, which corresponds to a likely 1 in 29 of today’s 2-year-olds; that’s more than 3%), deaths from vaccine-preventable illnesses are not. In 1962, the year before the measles vaccine was introduced, there were a mere 408 deaths from measles in this country, out of approximately three to four million cases (the insert shows only 481,530, but that’s reported cases. Measles is generally a mild illness, and the vast majority of cases were never reported.  It is generally estimated by the CDC that the true number is between three and four million.) Would it be great if none of those 408 people died? Absolutely. But the “greatness” level of saving those 408 lives drops if the means of bringing it about sentences half of the population to lifelong chronic illness, doesn’t it? (I’m not even going to go into how those chronic illnesses raise the probability of early death for many of the sufferers.) For a large part of the population, the choice boils down to being miserable for a week with measles or mumps or potentially being miserable for a lifetime.

In other words, “unvaccinated” is far more likely to equal “healthy” than “dead.” And it’s far more likely to equal “healthy” than “vaccinated” is.

Similarly, the rate of hepatitis B in young children (ages 0-4) was less than 2 in 100,000, with the death rate being far, far lower than that, before the development of the vaccine (see figure 1 in the link). And the risk dropped for older children and didn’t rise significantly until children were 15 years old. Would it be great if those few children who died from hepatitis B did not do so? Certainly! And mothers who are hepatitis B carriers might consider it worthwhile to vaccinate their newborns. But risking damage to the immune systems of low-risk infants would do nothing to change that.  Those children were never at risk of encountering hepatitis B before puberty in the first place.  Vaccinating your low-risk child is not going to have any effect whatsoever on the risk that a child of a mother with hepatitis B will develop the disease or not.


David Kirby

Life is inherently risky. There is just no way to eliminate all risk of death, even in childhood. Cannot be done. To live is to risk death. If we could eliminate all risk of “early” death, would we really want to? As Paolo Coelho notes, “A boat is safe in the harbor (well, usually; Pearl Harbor being a notable exception), but this is not the purpose of a boat.”  The most “alive” people I have ever met are those who know deeply that life is full of inherent risk, but choose to live life on their terms anyway. As Paul Tillich says, they have the “courage to be.” They do things that interest and excite them, not things that minimize the risk of death. And the results are often breathtaking: fantastically creative art and inventions and/or adventures that, when shared, make everyone who hears them feel more alive. Rationality (not that I revere rationalism above all else; I don’t) necessitates assessing the real risks we face and choosing our actions based upon those rather than imaginary risks. Is it rational to attempt to shift the already ridiculously low probability of dying of a “vaccine-preventable illness” to an even more ridiculously low probability by deliberately inducing long-term, sometimes debilitating, illness in half the population? I can answer that one for you. No, it’s not. Not even remotely.

But as I said, rationality is not everything it’s cracked up to be. Fear is not rational. Fear that comes from an intuitive understanding of the particular challenges you or your loved ones will face is a powerful force (read security expert Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear and Protecting the Gift, terrific books), and one that should not be ignored. If you have a strong intuition that measles would be devastating for your child, and you really want your child to have the vaccine for that reason, I would support you all the way.


Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D.

But fear that is based on generalized anxiety within the culture should be faced down and seen for what it is. Examine your fears. What are you afraid of and why? Then find out whether or not those fears are actually supported by facts or statistics. Those who wish to profit by us (for power or money), are well schooled in the advantages of instilling fear. Rest assured that the billions of dollars that vaccines rake in make it very likely that vaccine manufacturers and promoters are among the very best practitioners of the art of fear mongering.

On the subject of rationality, people often have a strong irrational “belief” in the power of vaccines that is not based on evidence or facts. Many, including my ex-father-in-law, believe that vaccines can make you well when you are sick. That’s just a complete misunderstanding of what vaccines are intended to do. Vaccines do not cure anything. They are a preventive measure; that’s all. But that irrational belief (exactly the same as the belief behind the placebo effect) can be a powerful thing to harness, and I would not stand in the way of that. If you really believe that a flu vaccine will keep you well this winter, then have at it. In your case, it may actually do so. However, your children don’t automatically inherit or absorb your belief system, especially when they are very young. The placebo effect may have no effect on whether or not a vaccine will help or harm them. For the sake of others in your life, it may behoove you to get the facts.

So, as I said, my vaccine views are considered “extreme” by many, but, as Thursday was Thanksgiving, I felt a strong urge to express my personal gratitude for those whose vaccine views are far less extreme — middle of the roadish maybe, or even “aggressively pro-vaccine” as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. calls himself in his book Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak — but who still have the courage to buck the zeitgeist (and possibly their professional associations) and lend their spoken or written voices to questions of vaccine and vaccine-program safety. Each and every credible criticism made by well-known celebrities, doctors, lawyers, journalists and autism advocates, like Dr. Bernardine Healy, Katie Couric, Dr. Robert Sears, David Kirby, Dr. Martha Herbert, Dr. Kelly Brogan, Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D, William Thompson, Ph.D., and Rebecca Estepp, lends weight and credence to the idea that the extreme position promulgated by the CDC on vaccines is not rational or moral. By the way, each of them has drawn tremendous fire from pro-vaccine extremists, or vaxtremists as we call them, for their statements.  I am extremely grateful for that, because nothing shows the world just how extreme the CDC stance is better than their harsh criticism of people who are obviously making reasonable and valid points.


Rebecca Estepp

I know that there are many who disagree with me and say that these people do not speak for them. To them, I say of course not. Only you speak for you. And I would ask that you continue doing so – loudly! But please don’t try to shut up or squelch the people who may have the very best chance of reaching that significant portion of the population that is currently on the fence about vaccines. As I said in a blog post last year that I called 50 Shades of Grey: Autism Style, if we see the world in black and white, we will have few advocates and many enemies. That’s not the world I care to live in. But if we recognize the many shades of grey for what they are, intersectionality and agreement – not on everything, never on everything – but on enough for us to realize that we have many, many allies in the struggle to get the vaccine program changed so that it really reflects the needs of the entire country as it is now. I am incredibly grateful for those allies, and I want to do what I can to boost their courage, not undermine it.

I want to leave you with a few thoughts . . .

boat harborIf, as seems to be the case, we are winning, by that I mean that the weight of public opinion on vaccine safety has shifted significantly in recent years, what is likely to be the response of the “opposition”? Well, if it were me, I would seek to take us down in the obvious ways – discrediting leading voices, subverting real discussion on social media, outright written and video propaganda, etc. – but, if I saw a community as divided as the autism community is, my prime tactic would be to bring down that community from within, by sowing seeds of distrust and enmity between people who should be natural allies. Because as Margaret Mead advised, I do not doubt “that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” If I wanted to stop that small group of thoughtful citizens from changing the world, I would do my very best to make sure that same group never got the chance to work together to achieve their ends.

I ask that you consider this the next time you see a post that attacks or discredits someone whom the autism or vaccine-choice communities have been looking to for support or leadership. Ask yourself whether, by joining the attacking voices, you just might be aiding and abetting the “enemy” and undermining your own ends. Let’s not be scorpions stinging the turtles who are carrying us across the river. The turtles may not be doing it your way, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t helping you across the river.

~ Professor

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31 Responses to Wishy-Washy on Vaccines? Thank You!

  1. Michael says:

    ‘ the already ridiculously low probability of dying of a “vaccine-preventable illness” ‘

    You, and a lot of the supporters in the comments, have been wishy-washy in your descriptions and talk of probabilities and studies (my favourite line of your blog: ” I’m not even going to begin to try and piece it together for you in this post.”)

    Here’s some straight up, sourced facts about some of the diseases that vaccines prevent against. As far as I can tell, they all prove that the probability of dying from illnesses that could be prevented is significant.

    “People with hepatitis C virus (HCV) die 15 years earlier and have a 12-times greater risk of death”

    “We found that anti-HCV seropositives with detectable HCV RNA had an increased risk of dying from all causes of death, whereas the risk for anti-HCV seropositives with negative HCV RNA was similar to the risk for anti-HCV seronegatives,” write the investigators.

    “Rubella infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, and birth defects. The danger is highest for women who get rubella during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Birth defects caused by rubella include deafness, cataracts, and heart defects. Babies also may have mental retardation.”
    “the largest annual total of cases of rubella reported in the United States was in 1969 when 57,686 cases were reported (58 cases per 100,000 population) with 29 deaths and 31 cases of CRS”

    “Tetanus results in severe, uncontrollable muscle spasms. In severe cases, the muscles used to breathe can spasm, causing a lack of oxygen to the brain and other organs that may possibly lead to death.”
    “the ultimate mortality rate of tetanus in the United States has been reduced greatly. The overall case-fatality rate in the United States has declined from 91% in 1947, to 24% during 1989 to 1991, to 11% during 1995 to 1997. No mortality was observed in the United States between 1995 and 1997 in individuals younger than 25 years of age.”

    Also, as fantastic and convincing as this sentence sounds:
    “Many, many people can handle a vaccine, or a few vaccines, without apparent damage. However, as you add more and more vaccines to the pile, your immune system pays a greater and greater price, until it reaches a tipping point.”
    take a second to read it back and look for any scientific backing or evidence that it’s anything but a hunch or theory presented as rock-solid fact.

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      First off, Michael, you should reread the beginning of this blog. This blog is explicitly presented as my views on vaccines, based on my reading. It was in no way presented “rock-solid fact.” If I were to present something as “rock-solid fact,” I would give the supporting documentation (as I do in all my other blogs about vaccines).

      I assume with the first two links you’re saying that if there were a vaccine for hepatitis C that many lives would be saved. Since there isn’t a vaccine no lives have been saved by a vaccine so far. Did you note that hepatitis C infections have declined by more than 90% without a vaccine? (By the way, the mortality rates of most “vaccine-preventable illnesses” had also declined by similar amounts before their respective vaccines.) You seem to be missing the point that there is a vaccine for hepatitis B, but the decline in incidence has been quite similar to the decline in incidence of hepatitis C, despite the lack of a hepatitis C vaccine, even though transmission routes for both illnesses are almost identical. The best explanation for this fact is that the decline in hepatitis B is due much more to changes in behavior than it is to vaccinating infants who were never going to come in contact with hepatitis B in the first place.

      Rubella? That’s your proof of how awesome vaccines are at saving lives? Rubella is acknowledged to be so mild in the vast majority of cases that people don’t even know they had it. So why does every child have to be vaccinated against it when they are tiny? And why does it come packaged with two other live-virus vaccines? Instead of injecting all children, and incurring the considerable risks of a live-virus vaccine, wouldn’t it make more sense for women who wish to become pregnant to either get the vaccine or see if they already have titers against rubella?

      And tetanus… There’s a lot that could be said about tetanus, which can indeed be fatal. The number of cases before the vaccine was 580 per year (according to your link). In no one’s book can that be considered a high number for a population the size of the United States. And “the case-fatality rate” of tetanus has nothing to do with the vaccine. Vaccines are preventive. If you have a case of tetanus, the vaccine will not affect whether or not you die from it. Tetanus is an anaerobic bacteria. It cannot produce the toxin that kills in the presence of oxygen. Two things have made the biggest difference in “case-fatality rate” of tetanus, proper attention to wound care and the use of antibiotics. Tetanus can also be adequately prevented by a TIG shot, which is not a vaccine, but tetanus immune-globulin. Tetanus boosters are recommended every 10 years for adults, because the “immunity” wears off, and yet most adults do not have these boosters regularly. But the incidence of tetanus, in the population that is most likely to die from tetanus (according to your own link) — those over 50 — does not explode. Tetanus is also not communicable. I see no good argument for anything like mandatory vaccination of the entire population for tetanus.

  2. DevAd says:

    This is one of many threads that frustrates me and the majority of the medical community. We are frequently painted as having some vested interest in vaccines and are part of a huge conspiracy to defraud and injure the population. I’d like to address this first. For the remainder of this comment, I’ll speak only for myself. I’m a child neurologist and do my best to help families of autistic children on a daily basis. I watch the little victories of potty training a 9 year old and celebrations of decreased aggressive behavior. But I also watch the regular visits of crying parents in my office who feel like they can’t make any progress. I do not enjoy human suffering. If I could magically cure autism, I would do it in a heartbeat. I would also speak up if I thought there was any credible data to suggest autism was vaccine-related. I also believe that most researchers are also good people and would speak up if they found otherwise. Please STOP generalizing physicians as part of a conspiracy – it serves you no purpose other than to create an enemy against whom you can fight. We are not the enemy.
    The second concern I have is the “research” that many posters in here perform. I have little doubt that it is not actual research, nor is it valid to put forth as fact. This is how problems are created. What it’s, despite your beliefs and convictions, you’re wrong? What if you succeed in toppling the vaccination schedule? What if your grandchildren are stricken paraplegic because of polio, but autism rates remain the same? The biggest issue with the epidemiology of autism is that hundreds of things have changed dramatically in the last 30 years – vaccines are but one variable that children are exposed to. In the past 30 years, children have been routinely exposed to: computers (with tons of rare earth metals inside), cordless devices, infrared devices, artificial sweeteners, varying baby formulas, new synthetic materials for clothing, cell phones, baby monitors, etc. There has also been an increase in maternal age, maternal education, and maternal employment. Are any of these things bad? Mostly no, but some maybe. What this requires is legitimate, sound SCIENCE. Not “my opinion” or “I believe” but “the research clearly shows.” I, and most physicians like me, are on your side and do what we can to help. Unfairly painting us as manipulative villains out to keep industry rich is uncalled for and counterproductive. We do not become physicians for money or power – if you know any physicians, you’ll know that we have little of each – we do it to help.

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      DevAd, I’m not sure how I see much of what you say is in response to this post. Where is there any implication that physicians in general are part of a “conspiracacy”? I am quite certain that the average physician is doing what he or she thinks is best, based upon the information they have. Nor do I believe that the average physician enjoys human suffering, and would not “magically cure autism in a heartbeat.” But do they have the best information? Not if they haven’t done a great deal of investigation, which is not the case for most doctors. It’s not even the case for many doctors in other fields. Most heart doctors, for instance, are still prescribing low cholesterol diets, despite the fact that there is next-to-no credible evidence that they are worthwhile even for lowering serum cholesterol.

      What is stated here is my opinion (made very explicit, I think), which is based upon a lot of reading, much of it peer-reviewed science, both pro and con on vaccines. There is a great deal of credible data to suggest that autism is vaccine related, some of which comes from the CDC. Granted they didn’t publish that data (and tried their damnedest to hide it), but it was obtained by way of Freedom of Information Act requests, and it is real. Do yourself — and clients — a favor and Google Thomas Verstraeten. Read the paper he published about Thimorosal and early exposure. Make sure you read his conclusion, which is that he could make no conclusion after four years of studying the topic. Then Google Verstraeten Generation Zero and Simpsonwood. That will give you the background on exactly why it took four years to come to “no conclusion.” Verstraetens’ study is repeatedly pointed to as evidence that there is “no link” between Thimerosal and autism, which is patently absurd, as he himself has stated. A “neutral study” by definition cannot be considered evidence of anything.

      Then Google CDC epidemiologist Dr. William Thompson and #CDCwhistlblower. You’ll get another eye-opening account of another CDC study that found a very clear link, this time between autism and the MMR, that was cleverly swept under the rug and treated as if it never existed. Then pointed to as evidence that there is no link! Dr. Thompson says that we have lost 10 years of investigation into the true links as a result of this fraud. The only remedy at this point is to have Congress seize the data and give it to an independent research organization. If that doesn’t make you angry and distrustful of any CDC science, then you are not paying attention. And perhaps at that point, you DO become part of a conspiracy.

      Absolutely agreed that a lot of things have changed in the last 30 years, and many of the them may be contributing to the huge increases in chronic illnesses in today’s children. We believe that any credible environmental component can and should be studied, and actively advocate for such. But surely it makes sense to start with the ones that parents claim a direct link to in their own children. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s only “anecdotal,” but what people seem to be unaware of is that “anecdotal” evidence is generally the first indication of promising lines of research. To ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist — especially when there’s so much of it — is folly at best. Edward Jenner himself would never have thought of exposing people to cowpox if milkmaids hadn’t “anecdotally” reported not getting smallpox.

      I thoroughly agree with you about “legitimate sound SCIENCE,” which is why I read it for myself rather than taking the headlines at face value. You will find if you read any of my other blogs on the subject that they are chockfull of links to CDC pages, vaccine manufacturer information, and peer-reviewed science. If you have any questions or concerns about those, then please be my guest. I enjoy a good discussion about the available science. Tell me specifically what you have problems with. Clearly, as I stated up at the top, that wasn’t what this blog was about. This blog was about my own personal views on vaccines, and those of others.

    • Ed says:

      I agree. There have been a lot of changes in the last 30 years. But how many of them really affect infants and toddlers? How many of them are worldwide? How many of them have access to the brains of infants and toddlers? How many of them cause inflammation? As a child neurologist you must have seen a number of papers that discuss the markers of inflammation that are seen in the autistic brain. Whatever is causing the autism epidemic has to meet all of these criteria. These criteria fit vaccines like the earth’s blanket of air. If you have anything else that fits all of the criteria, I would like to hear it.

  3. GRgal says:

    I’m troubled by the assumption on the part of “expert advisors” that informed consent to risks of vaccines can even happen when there is such a power imbalance between trusting parents and pediatricians, school authorities and government agencies. They have very large vested interests in manufacturing that consent but can’t be held accountable for the abuse of trust when the child’s health and development go kablooey. UNESCO rules state that bribery, trickery, deception, incomplete disclosure, coercion, intimidation and bait-and-switch tactics may not be used to get consent. Yet almost every parent gets subjected to them. Extremism IS called for. What has moderation brought? I’ve been blowing the whistle on thimerosal for twenty years yet kids get more cumulative doses than ever. Effective alternative meds and supps are taken off the market and some that used to be available are now forbidden to be used by MDs. Moderation up to now has not worked. We have more FB pages, more parent advocacy and support groups, yet more vaccines with more toxic and brain-inflaming ingredients, more draconian local and regional public health enforcements, and fewer legal exemptions than ever. Why are we still pretending that we can be nice about this and somehow the CDC goons will finally ponder our ocean of bitter tears and say, “You know, maybe we SHOULD stop lying and start to develop safe, effective public health medicine that doesn’t destroy children.” Slavery had to be abolished through civil war because too many idiot white men thought it just needed a little reform.

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      I agree 100% that you are extremely unlikely to get “informed consent” in a pediatrician’s office. No one is saying that that is happening. What we are saying is that it is possible to be informed and still consent. That is all. Everyone’s path in life is different. There is no decision that would be universally made by everyone, even with the same information, because no one has the same experience. We can and must respect everyone’s right to choose what is right for their own children. That does not in any way imply that we are “being nice about this” when it comes to informing the public about the dangers of vaccines. I guarantee you that this site is high on the list of places that the CDC would love to shut down, because we are getting through to people. (We’ve actually seen a UNICEF report that cites us as “anti-vaccine influencers in Eastern Europe.”) You can get on a soapbox and yell “EVERYONE MUST STOP VACCINATING THIS INSTANT!!” all you want. How far do you think you will get with that approach with people who are very afraid of “diseases”? I can tell you how far, because I have watched the interaction repeatedly. You will get shut out and shut down, and probably deservedly so, because you are not putting yourself in the other’s shoes in order to see what they are seeing. If you did, you would know that your approach only increases fear, and that’s unproductive. If you come from a position of respect, you may soon find your “opponent” becoming your ally.

  4. Ed says:

    I have often been accused of being anti-vaccination. What I really am is an ex-vaccinator.
    I am 60 years old now and my autistic son is 27. I have to say that I am lucky. He has been a real joy to raise and while he still has trouble with speech, he has been able to transcend his difficulties. He drives, has a degree in engineering and is mostly self sufficient.
    I never gave much thought to vaccines and their relationship to autism until a few years ago. My son suffered a number of setbacks before adulthood including loss of motor skill after the HepB shot he received in the 4th grade. Still, while I suspected that there may be something I did not do much investigation.
    Now I can see these things:
    Inflammation markers are found in the brains of autistic children, including in the autopsies. What this says to me is that autistic children suffer chronic inflammation in their brains.
    Vaccines work by causing inflammation. This is the job of the adjuvants. It is what mercury does. It is what aluminum does.
    The thing about mercury and aluminum is that there is no breaking them down into a compound that is not a mercury compound or an aluminum compound. They are inflammatory no matter what form they take. If mercury or aluminum get into the brain they will cause inflammation.
    Mercury and aluminum are not the only ingredients in vaccines that are inflammatory. Polysorbate 80, formaldehyde and others are inflammatory as well.
    Once mercury or aluminum get into the brain they are almost impossible to remove. Once either mercury or aluminum start inflaming the brain the inflammation will be chronic – just like what is found in the brains of autistic children.
    If all mercury or aluminum did was to kill a few brain cells, we probably would not be here. But inflammation is a multiplier. It turns a little bit of poison into a big thing.

    To summarize, there is a mechanism for vaccines to cause autism. That mechanism is inflammation.

    The medical community has told us that correlation does not equal causation. They are right. Correlation does not equal causation. But they leave out a lot more that needs to be said. Correlation does not equal causation, but correlation is necessary to have causation. Jack the Ripper did not cause last night’s murder in Chicago. It does not correlate. What correlations are necessary?
    1. The autism epidemic grew up in the last 30 years. The cause has to do the same.
    2. The autism epidemic is world wide. The cause has to be world wide.
    3. The autism epidemic attacks infants and toddlers. The cause has to have access to infants and toddlers.
    4. The autism epidemic attacks the brains of infants and toddlers. The cause has to have access to the brain of infants and toddlers.
    5. The autism epidemic results in inflammation in the brains of autistic children. The cause has to be able to do the same.
    I cannot find anything that correlates as well as vaccines. Everything that I have heard proposed does not work for at least one of the five correlation criteria. The medical community has had 30 years to come up with something else besides vaccines. So far they have not. Is it any wonder that they gaslight us with the idea that these children have been around all along so there is no autism epidemic?

    To summarize, vaccines correlate with the autism epidemic. Nothing else has been found that does.

    The safety testing that the vaccine industry does is not valid. Vaccines are tested using other vaccines as a placebo. Or they might use a placebo that contains the same base as the vaccine being injected except without the killed germ. The trials are not weight adjusted to the size of the infants they are given to. If any state required vaccines be placebo tested to be on the mandatory vaccine list the medical community would scream. Placebo by definition means an inert substance. Other vaccines are not inert. Neither are any of the vaccine bases.

    To summarize, our children are the safety study.

    Vaccines work by ordering the immune system to do something that it otherwise is not inclined to do. In addition to the autism epidemic we have an epidemic of asthma (1/10 here in the US), allergies and autoimmune issues. All four of the A epidemics have arisen with the vaccine epidemic. We are all expected to believe that vaccines have nothing to do with any of the A epidemics.

    Why are we told to believe that there is no connection? Because by bring the plague of A epidemics the price for vaccinating the world is too high.

  5. Twyla says:

    Cia, you and I have somewhat different views, yet I consider us to be allies. We often argue together in opposition to people who deny vaccine injuries and who wish to deny the right to make vaccine choices. I think that is the point of this article – that we can ally ourselves with people who don’t have exactly the same views. And we can argue about our viewpoints without being hostile. As the Prof wrote, “if we see the world in black and white, we will have few advocates and many enemies.” My views and opinions are not absolute but change and evolve over time as I encounter new experiences and information. That is one of the things that keeps me from judging harshly people with different viewpoints.

    I neither advise people to vaccinate, nor do I advise people not to vaccinate. I can only advise that people make careful choices, considering more than the CDC spin. I know people whom I like and respect who do vaccinate and who don’t vaccinate. Dan Olmsted posted an article on AoA yesterday about an extremely hostile anti-vaccine commenter. Julie Obradovic wrote an article about friendship on her new blog in which she wrote, “True friendship, real authentic friendship, is not about avoiding disagreement, difference, or disappointment. It’s about handling it and yourself in a way that values that friend and that relationship above all else in spite of it.” She was writing about close personal friendships rather than online acquaintances and fellow advocates, but still there is something there that applies — we can value our allies in spite of the differences, and without censoring our own opinions. We can have real differences with good people, whether about strategies or science or all the other things people disagree on, and still be partners in advocating for recognition of vaccine injuries, better science and medicine free of the wrong influences, and the right to make vaccine choices for ourselves and our minor children (without being exiled or sued!) We can argue about differences without hostile animosity. We can do what we think is best and not criticize others who are doing things differently. And as far as public figures (politicians, celebrities, writers, journalists, scientists) anyone who dares to speak out about vaccine problems these days is going way out on a limb, and (to mix metaphors) any chink in the establishment’s armor lets a bit of light in and needs to be encouraged.

  6. rtp says:

    This is a tricky one because without the support of the state there is no way any company would supply much less any person willingly consume a vaccine. The only thing holding the paradigm up is government fiat and popular belief. The evidence they work is nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy – doctors are vastly less inclined to diagnose, eg measles in a child who has received the MMR and so the statistics make it look as though the vaccine reduced the disease when we simply have no way of knowing it is anything other than a circularity.

    This self-fulfilling prophecy becomes obvious when you look at the macro data for our health (ie data that isn’t subject to doctors’ diagnostic biases) such as disability rates (ten times higher in children than just before the polio vaccine came out (five times higher in adults)) and healthcare expenditure (4 times higher as a per cent of GDP).

    The paradigm is a catastrophic failure.

    It is certainly unhelpful for us to fight each other and epistemically, as we are the negative case, there is no strict call on us to be perfectly consistent. But there is no doubt that the medical industry preys on our timidity. We must rid ourselves of the notion that they can be compromised with. Asking them to jettison vaccines (or even make them safer) is asking them to write their own execution orders. A hopeless task. Because doctors are not in a position to ameliorate their position without admitting guilt to an astonishing crime, we must understand there is a strict dichotomous choice between (the disease side of) the medical industry or the future of humanity. I choose the latter.

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      It’s impossible to know for sure whether any company would supply or any person would willingly consume a vaccine without the support of the state, as the support of the state has been implicit pretty much from the start of the practice of vaccination, but I strongly suspect both to be the case. A company would supply them if there were a market, and there certainly IS a market. I have talked to many people who believe deeply in the power of the vaccines and, even when faced with scientific and observational evidence directly contradicting what they believe (e.g. “vaccines (as a group) are safe (as prescribed) for everyone except people who have no immune system”), continue to believe the lie.

      And doctors are less likely to diagnose measles in children who have received the MMR, but there is undeniably a great deal less measles here in the States than there were before the vaccine. There were approximately four million cases a year, most of which required a kid to stay home from school for a week with a fever and itchy red bumps all over their body. That’s pretty hard to miss. They could be being diagnosed as chicken pox, I suppose, but even those diagnoses have dropped significantly since I was a child. My son’s school had 11 cases of chicken pox last month, and the Board of Health for the City of New York was in a total tizzy because of it. The only reason anyone would have taken notice in the sixties (when I grew up and had chicken pox) if there were 11 cases of chicken pox in one school would be the fact that most people had it before they started school.

      • rtp says:

        Thanks for the reply professor.

        Measles is being diagnosed as roseola, fifth disease and a whole host of other things (including chicken pox).

        Rashes are very common in children today. Whether they are any more or less common today than 40 years is something no mere mortal could possibly know.

        The four million cases a year you describe before the vaccine was introduced was purely a guess. They never counted anything like that number of cases. The notification data was in the thousands per year but they just guessed that every child got it and so that meant 4 million cases a year. But now they *only* take notification data into account, completely ignoring the fact that we have no way to account for the prejudice of doctors not to diagnose measles in patients they have vaccinated (it goes without saying that a doctor would be massively prejudiced from admitting that their own treatment was a failure?)

        We don’t have any corroborating data so all we can do is say we have no idea about what truly happened with measles.

        For polio on the other hand, we do actually have corroborating data – in the US we have Census data for childhood disabilities and for developing countries we have rates of non-polio acute flaccid paralysis. In both cases the results are damning for the idea that the polio vaccine did what it was introduced to do – reduce the amount of crippling in children. In the case of the US children are ten times as likely to be disabled today than in 1950. And in India children are 50 times as likely to have acute flaccid paralysis than they did before the large scale polio eradication programme (according to WHO data). We just never call it polio anymore – Guillain Barre, transverse myelitis, coxsackie, Chinese paralytic syndrome.

        We also have corroborating data for the respiratory illnesses petussis and diphtheria and again, the results are damning for the vaccine case. Respiratory syncytial virus is extremely common today amongst children but was only first diagnosed in 1956 – just a few short years after the pertussis/diphtheria vaccine became widely used.

        In other words, where we actually have the data to tell it is obvious that the vaccine was useless at doing what it was advertised as doing and instead doctors just relabelled the condition due to being prejudice against admitting their own treatments were useless (as well as more rigorous diagnostic criteria such as the requiring of lab confirmation).

        As for not having government backing if there was no freedom from liability for the manufacturers I can’t imagine any pharma company producing them.

  7. Twyla says:

    Thank you, Professor — really good article!

  8. What a let down says:

    “The Professor” said: “If the infant whose mother chose to receive the DTaP becomes neurologically damaged, that was a risk that mother chose to take. That is what informed consent means.”

    That’s not what informed consent means. Informed consent means: “permission granted in the knowledge of the possible consequences, typically that which is given by a patient to a doctor for treatment with full knowledge of the possible risks and benefits.”

    The mom did not receive full knowledge of the risks from her doctor nor from Ms. Estepp about the Dtap shot. As for Ms. Estepp advising a “moderate approach” for other families even though she admits she does not take a moderate approach for her own family, Robert Scott Bell responded: “I find this vaccine violence against children is anything but moderate.”

    We should not be giving medical advice to anyone. We should only be supplying information. Anyone who advocates a “moderate approach” is advocating a level of vaccination that’s somewhere between zero and 100%. That’s not our place to advise.

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      Agreed! We should just supply information. And I think it’s very likely that that’s exactly what Ms. Estepp did. We all supply the information we have. That information is based on what we have been told, what we have read, and what we have experienced. It should not be surprising that the information that could be given will be different for each person giving it. How do you know that mother did not receive full knowledge of the risks from either her doctor or Ms. Estepp? Do you honestly think Ms. Estepp did not inform a close relative that there were risks to the DTaP vaccine? Just because her relative made a different choice than you would now, doesn’t mean her consent was not informed.

      • cia parker says:

        I think that telling people the facts about vaccines and VPDs, and giving our own experience, is in fact giving medical advice. And I think we should do it. People can obviously take it or leave it, but the moment we say “I can’t tell you how to handle a child’s fever,” or “I can’t tell you to say no to the MMR because that’s what your doctor recommended,” then we’re saying we’re too scared to tell people the truth. Yes, it is the truth as I see it, but I have a lot of evidence to back up all my opinions and am glad to share it with anyone interested. As soon as we say that any or all vaccines are more dangerous than the doctors will tell you, we’re giving medical advice.

      • ProfessorTMR says:

        Officially, sharing your experience and knowledge is not “medical advice.” Medical advice is “you should do this.” Sharing your experience is “if it were me, I would do this, because…”

      • cia parker says:

        But isn’t that just a tiny semantic difference? Would someone hear and remember it differently if I said, This is what I read, this is what happened to me, this is what I think you should do. or What I would do is… or You should… Would a court of law find you innocent if you could be proven to have said I would… but guilty if you had said You should?

      • ProfessorTMR says:

        Essentially, yes. You can provide information; you cannot “practice medicine.” The practice of medicine should look more like what we do, providing information and helping people find options that work for them, but it rarely is. And legally there is a difference.

  9. Pingback: Wishy-Washy on Vaccines? Thank You! – The Thinking Moms’ Revolution | Polymumof8's Blog

  10. Y Lewis says:

    I agree. I don’t understand the recent push within our community to draw a line between those of us who self-identify as “anti-vaccine” and those of us who identify as “pro-informed consent.” In my opinion, anyone who shares facts and truth from the science, the politics, and his or her personal experience that spurs others investigate for themselves is on “our team.” Division from within is only hurting us.

  11. Thanks for this thoughtful article. There is a lot of work to be done to make things better… we need innovative solutions …

  12. Thank you for this post, Professor, and for entering into this debate with so much thoughtfulness, intelligence, and respect.

    I 100 % respect your opinion on vaccines and will always champion your right to refuse any and all vaccines or other pharmaceutical products for yourself or your children. When medicine works we need not mandate it, bully people into taking it, or shame those who opt out. The fact that there is so much vitriol from people who champion vaccines suggests that something pretty fundamental isn’t working.

    I am one of the most vaccinated people I know. And I also spent a year and a half as a small child on prophylactic asthma and cough medication from an allergy-induced coughing fit that literally lasted that long. I do not know what, if any, damage that has caused to my longterm health. I also do not know if the vaccines I has as a child–when the schedule was a third of what it is now–contributed to my allergies.

    I love the last paragraph of this post:

    “I ask that you consider this the next time you see a post that attacks or discredits someone whom the autism or vaccine-choice communities have been looking to for support or leadership. Ask yourself whether, by joining the attacking voices, you just might be aiding and abetting the “enemy” and undermining your own ends. Let’s not be scorpions stinging the turtles who are carrying us across the river. The turtles may not be doing it your way, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t helping you across the river.”

  13. I think that your statements about a tolerance threshold are on the right track, but I have a slightly different spin on them. I think that autoimmunity is a result of cellular damage. This hypothesis is described in peer reviewed literature, and is summarized nicely in this piece – http://www.hormonesmatter.com/digging-deeper-mitochondrial-dysfunction/

    “I never much liked the war model of health and disease, but it seems to work well as metaphor for immune functioning, as it is far more illustrative and useful than the self-versus non-self-characterization. Really, what army with two billion years of experience, one that contains all of the memories and skills of battles past, would misidentify itself and begin broad scale fratricide – kill itself and its brethren for no other reason but mistaken identify and do so for years on end? Sure, there can be errors, over compensation and other weaknesses in the immune system, but not continued aggression towards itself in some maladaptive response. That makes no sense and contradicts the very notion and function of an immune system – to keep the host organism alive and well. Indeed, when we consider the trillions of microbes – clear non-self entities – that live inside and upon us, the idea that the immune system evolved simply to kill the non selves seems laughable. And so, I reject the concept of autoimmunity, not because the patients who suffer from continued immune system activation are not ill, they are, but because the concept of autoimmunity belies the very nature of immune function and severely limits possible approaches to recovery.”

    Rather, the very real diseases that are categorized as autoimmune diseases, are the result of cellular damage – which is often cumulative and involves a tolerance threshold. In “Mechanisms of Pathogenesis in Drug Hepatotoxicity Putting the Stress on Mitochondria” it is noted that:

    “…damage to mitochondria often reflects successive chemical insults, such that no immediate cause for functional changes or pathological alterations can be established. There is indeed experimental evidence that prolonged injury to mitochondria, such as that which typifies oxidative injury to mitochondrial DNA or to components of the electron transport chain (ETC), has to cross a certain threshold (or a number of thresholds) before cell damage or cell death becomes manifest.”

    What damages mitochondria? All sorts of pharmaceuticals and environmental toxins. Including vaccines, of course. But please don’t let the other culprits off the hook (not that you are – just sayin’).


    • ProfessorTMR says:

      Thanks, Lisa. It’s an interesting theory, but I’m having trouble seeing how it explains a number of things. I will have to investigate further.

  14. What a let down says:

    Your celebration of those who have sold us out is just sickening and it completely negates all the powerful statements you make earlier in the post. What happens if the infant whose mother Becky Esteep advised should receive the DTap becomes neurologically damaged or even autistic? Is that acceptable collateral damage? How sad that the mom was mislead that the shot was an acceptable risk because she believed the Canary Party puts safety first.

    There’s an epidemic of pretending vaccines are safer than they are to try to buy some credibility which is actually worse than what Paul Offit does because at least we know exactly where Paul Offit is coming from. These pretenders within our community are dangerous. And now they’ve even come up with a divisive term for people who don’t believe the way they do: vaxtremists. How is that any better than being called an anti-vaxxer?

    BTW, isn’t this entire blog post “squelching” or “trying to shut up” people you don’t agree with?

    I think you need to disclose in every post you write that you are not the parent of a child on the spectrum. You really have no right to position yourself as a leader in the autism community.

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      If the infant whose mother chose to receive the DTaP becomes neurologically damaged, that was a risk that mother chose to take. That is what informed consent means. It means that given all the information, you weigh the risks as you see them, and choose what you think is best for your family. Not everyone sees the risks the same way you do or the same way I do, and that is their right.

      I frequently “disclose” that I am not the parent of a child on the spectrum. I also disclose the reason why I believe that I am not the parent of a child on the spectrum. I believe that the reason my son does not have autism is simply because I did not vaccinate him. He had a number of the same health issues as do many children on the spectrum, including gut dysbiosis. Why did I not vaccinate? Because many people were generous enough to tell me their experiences, and I listened. For that I am very grateful. I do not “position myself” as anything. I write about the things I care about and research, including children’s health in general, vaccines, and autism. If you, or anyone else, considers me a leader in anything based upon what I write, that’s up to you.

      “Vaxtremist” is a more accurate term than “anti-vaxxer.” It includes only those people who actively try to suppress any discussion on vaccine safety. Applying the term “anti-vaxxer” to anyone who questions any part of the totality of the vaccine program is patently ridiculous. It’s also ridiculous to apply it to people who began their questioning after following the recommended vaccine program religiously.

      And, no, this is not an attempt to “squelch” or “shut up” people I don’t agree with. As I made clear in the post, I don’t “agree” with the people I’m thanking for speaking up. I also requested that the people who don’t agree with me on this subject continue saying their truth — loudly! This post is an effort to persuade people who mostly agree with me to look at the situation in a different way.

    • Twyla says:

      What a Let Down, these are not “pretenders within our community” but people who simply have a different viewpoint than you.

      I grew up at a time when we received a few vaccines for a few very serious prevalent communicable diseases and we were fine. It seems to me that vaccines are a valuable tool in fighting diseases. But they can have adverse reactions, and as we add more and more vaccines to the schedule more people suffer adverse reactions – whether immediate or gradual. I’m not trying to convince you, just trying to say that people have various viewpoints which are sincerely held.

      You are illustrating exactly the kind of animosity that Zoey is discussing in her article. We should be able to unite behind the paramount goals of:
      – the right to make vaccine choices and
      – good science – free from vested interests – on vaccine reactions – who is susceptible, how to prevent, and how to treat vaccine injuries.

      It is not simple to weigh the risks and benefits of vaccines and diseases, and different people come to different conclusions, which should be respected. The important thing is that we all need to have the right to make vaccine decisions for ourselves and our minor children.

    • cia parker says:

      What a let down,
      I agree with you. I also am irritated by those who say they’re not anti-vaccine, just in favor of safe vaccines. I was very irritated by Kennedy’s stance, and think he just hasn’t kept up. I also think it’s an attempt to appear rational and moderate to stay on the good side of the pro-vaxxers, but it’s actually not rational at all. There is and can be no safe vaccine. Even without any of the toxic ingredients, the individual immune system often reacts too violently to the perceived assault of the vaccine, and mounts too vigorous an immune response (encephalitis) or is sensitized to vaccine ingredients into an autoimmune disease. It would be more appropriate to say something like, I know it’s very dangerous, but for these specific reasons in this specific case I think the considerable risk of death or lifelong disability is one I’m willing to pay to get the promised disease protection. I might go along with that in the case of the tetanus vaccine, even though I reacted to a tetanus booster with both arms being paralyzed the same day and MS (from the mercury that was in it back then). I was not fully informed or I would not have taken the risk. My life would have been a lot better without MS, and my chances of dying of tetanus were minimal.

      There is no reason for anyone to get the pertussis vaccine. It won’t protect young infants, and by the time it might offer some protection to a fraction of the total (less than half of toddlers are protected, less than a quarter of school-aged children), the disease is no longer dangerous. And any protection there might be wears off quickly, like in less than three years. Better to keep young infants protected at home and let older kids get pertussis. Treat infants with high-dose intravenous vitamin C. If they have never gotten the vax, they’ll have 30-70 years worth of immunity after recovery. My thrice vaxed baby caught pertussis anyway at 8 months old and gave it to me. It was unpleasant but not dangerous. Already damaged by the hep-B vaccine (encephalitic reaction), she had started saying two words by 18 months, but both were erased forever as soon as she got the DTaP booster, and she was diagnosed with autism two months later. Everyone MUST realize how often the pertussis vaccine causes asthma, allergies, seizure disorders, SIDS, and autism. And I really think that anyone who chooses to get the vaccine for themselves or their children hasn’t understood some of the basic facts and cannot be considered fully informed. You can get the tetanus vaccine alone or with the diphtheria vaccine, and that would be a lot safer than in the DTaP or the old DPT.

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