September 7, 2017
I am flipping furious.
I don’t know about you, but I used to believe that the pediatricians’ professional organization the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), whose professed motto is “dedicated to the health of all children,” actually cared about the health of children.
Even when it became clear that many of its recommendations were misguided at best, I could still convince myself that someone at the top genuinely thought they were doing the right thing.
With its latest recommendation, however, the AAP has made it crystal clear that whatever their agenda is, it has nothing whatsoever to do with promoting children’s health.
In an August 28 piece by Dr. Elizabeth Barnett, the AAP called for the administration of the hepatitis B vaccine to all newborns weighing more than 2,000g (4.4 lbs.) within 24 hours of birth.
The reason given for this is that approximately 1,000 of the 4,000,000 infants born in the U.S. every year are at risk of contracting hepatitis B at or near birth, almost exclusively due to the fact that their mothers are hepatitis B positive. That corresponds to a rate of 1 in 4,000, or a mere 0.025% of newborns who are even at risk. And according to CDC’s own records, the actual number of perinatal hepatitis B infections in the United States as late as 2015 was a whopping 37.
Yes, you read that right: 37 out of 4,000,000 babies born in 2015 contracted hepatitis B at or near birth. That corresponds to a rate of less than 1 in 100,000 newborns or 0.001%.
That fact shouldn’t be too surprising though, because even back in 1990—before the vaccine was recommended for all infants on the day of their birth—the rate of acute infection was less than 1 in 50,000 children aged 0-4. Even if you raise that number by a factor of 10, assuming that 90% of cases are chronic and not acute, you still get less than 1 in 5,000 with most cases concentrated in populations that were well-known to doctors, hospitals, and the CDC.
I feel so much safer now, don’t you?
The AAP justifies the ridiculous extremity of vaccinating everyone’s children, regardless of hepatitis B status, on the day of their birth with the fact that approximately 90% of infants who contract perinatal hepatitis B would go on to develop chronic hepatitis B infections in the absence of treatment. That chronic hepatitis B in combination with cirrhosis (much more likely with high levels of alcohol consumption) could put those children at significant risk of liver cancer someday.
In other words, the AAP is telling us we all need to vaccinate our newborns immediately to keep them from being among the 33 infants per year who could drink themselves into liver cancer someday.
Whew! Thank God we dodged that bullet, eh?
For those who don’t know, hepatitis B is transmitted through sexual contact and contact with infected blood, which means that infections are generally limited to healthcare workers, people who share hypodermic needles when injecting drugs, people having unprotected sex with multiple partners, and the sexual partners of all of the above. Children appear nowhere on that list. In other words, if a child’s mother is not a hepatitis B carrier, there is virtually no risk that the child will contract hepatitis B until adolescence at the earliest (and even that was highly unlikely in the days before the vaccine). In fact, transmission of hepatitis B is so unlikely in a school setting that children who are hepatitis B carriers are allowed to attend school.
But let’s not stop there. CDC and the AAP know that hepatitis B vaccination is less effective in infants than in older children and adults, thereby requiring additional doses to achieve “immunity.” CDC and the AAP also know that for many this immunity will wear off by adulthood, making it less likely to protect an adult who actually is engaging in risky behavior.
Some practitioners have been known to suggest that a child needs the vaccine in the unlikely event that the child will require a blood transfusion at some point in time. Those practitioners are apparently unaware that donated blood is screened for hepatitis B. According to WebMD transfusion-related transmission is “extremely unlikely,” and according to UpToDate.com, which contains organized clinical content by leading physicians, “it is extremely rare for hepatitis B to be spread through blood transfusion or organ transplantation.” The NIH itself says that the risk of a transfusion tainted by hepatitis B is about 1 in 205,000, approximately 0.0005%, of all blood transfusions.
As justification for this change in AAP policy on hepatitis B vaccination, Barnett noted
ACIP [CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices] recommended a birth dose of HepB vaccine in 2005, but the recommendation contained permissive language that allowed practitioners to delay this dose. The decision to delay can be made correctly only when the mother is known to be . . . (uninfected) by the time of the infant’s birth. Therefore, the birth dose of HepB vaccine is a critical safety net for infants born to infected mothers when the mother’s results are not obtained, are misinterpreted, are falsely negative, are transcribed or reported inaccurately, or are not communicated to the infant care team.
I find it interesting that this recommendation includes some butt covering in the event that the mother’s results “are misinterpreted” or “falsely negative.” And just who is doing the misinterpreting if not the very hospital personnel you are relying on to treat your baby properly? And from what I can tell, misinterpretation is more likely to result in false positives than false negatives.
So what about when “the mother’s results are not obtained”? The AAP already recommends that hospitals identify hepatitis B-positive mothers before delivery. Will there be mothers whose hepatitis B status cannot be verified by the time the child is born? Certainly. But as current statistics indicate, it is exceptionally unlikely that the average woman will be at risk of hepatitis B infection and not know it. A responsible mother should be able to determine the risk level for herself.
In any event, the new policy guidelines include the recommendation that infants of women of “unknown hepatitis B status” be vaccinated within 12 hours of birth and recommends a dose of HBIG (hepatitis B immunoglobulin) within 7 days. Why does that recommendation differ from the general recommendation? Because in order to effectively prevent perinatal infection, vaccination should occur in those 12 hours and be followed by a dose of HBIG. Having a different recommendation for the babies of mothers who are hepatitis B-negative, is essentially admitting there is no need to vaccinate the child at all, much less in the recommended 24-hour window!
Now let’s take a quick look at the possible risks of a birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine, especially for the approximately 3,999,000 infants born every year who are not at risk of contracting hepatitis B and thus can derive no benefit from it. A 2007 study found that odds of requiring early intervention services for developmental disabilities were nine times greater in boys who had received three doses of hepatitis B vaccine than in boys who had received zero. A 2010 study found that boys who received the birth dose of hepatitis B had a threefold risk of autism when compared with boys who didn’t. A 2004 CDC study conducted by Thomas Verstraeten was reworked a number of times to get rid of the strong association between early high Thimerosal exposure and adverse neurological outcomes. An early analysis (and the one that made the most sense) found that when the group with the highest exposure at one month of age (virtually all of whom would have received hepatitis B vaccine at birth) was compared with the group with no exposure, the autism rate was 11.35 times higher. And that was just one of several negative outcomes that was associated with early high Thimerosal exposure (others included sleep disorders, ADD, and developmental delays). A dose dependent relationship between early injection of Thimerosal and risk of developmental delays was confirmed by a 2016 study of nearly 50,000 children. An especially damning peer-reviewed 2009 primate study published in the prestigious journal NeuroToxicology, indicating that a single weight-adjusted dose of hepatitis B vaccine at birth resulted in significant neurological dysfunction, was withdrawn after the publisher was pressured to do so.
People argue that even if Verstraeten’s early analysis was accurate and neurological dysfunction is much more prevalent in children who receive early high doses of Thimerosal, “they took the mercury out a long time ago.” Mostly true. However, it is impossible to know from these studies whether the Thimerosal was the sole reason for increased risk or whether some other factor associated with the Thimerosal administration—such as the aluminum in the vaccines for instance—contributed to or was even entirely responsible for the large effect. Unfortunately, due to the fact that this result was suppressed (and discovered only through a Freedom of Information Act request), appropriate follow-up studies were not conducted. And in the Danish study on Thimerosal conducted by fugitive Poul Thorsen, which is often pointed to as “proof” that Thimerosal doesn’t cause autism, the inclusion criteria for autism cases was changed midway through the study period, completely invalidating any conclusions that were made.
At this point in time, all hepatitis B vaccines licensed in the United States contain aluminum adjuvants, adjuvants that have been associated with a dizzying array of negative effects including autoimmunity, allergy, and microglial activation in the brain (inflammation) of the type that is characteristic of a high percentage of autism cases. If you’re interested in the negative effects of injected aluminum adjuvants on the body, VaccinePapers.org and the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute have compiled a great deal of information on the available research.
If CDC really believed that hepatitis B vaccination isn’t causing autism, they could easily use the best data they have in the SEED (Study to Explore Early Development) project (which contains the health records of 1200 children, including 800 confirmed cases of autism) to demonstrate that, but they’re not. In fact they’re not looking at any of the vaccination data at all.
I find it interesting that neurological conditions that begin in the first 24-hours of life are conditions that look like they were there “from birth,” don’t you?
Given that the autism rate currently stands at 1 in 68 thirteen-year-olds, has been rising dramatically for the last two decades, and that the official line is that “we still don’t know” what causes autism or why that rate is rising, it is unconscionable to continue to promote a blanket policy of vaccinating all newborns with an aluminum-containing vaccine, when it is fairly easy to identify the 1 child in every 4,000 who could potentially derive a benefit from such vaccination.
According to the CDC the average price for pediatric hepatitis B vaccine is about $23 in the private sector. That means that we are needlessly vaccinating 3,999,000 children a year at an annual cost of nearly $100,000,000 for the birth dose alone. And that cost doesn’t begin to account for the huge costs—both human and economic—associated with any induced chronic health condition.
The ONLY justifiable change to hepatitis B vaccine policy for newborns is a MORATORIUM on administering it to infants born to mothers who are not infected by hepatitis B.
The new AAP policy—doubling down on their previous recommendation by strongly recommending that doctors vaccinate all newborns within the first 24 hours of life—directly contradicts the idea that physicians should “first, do no harm” and constitutes a huge F%#& YOU to the parents and children of the United States.
Worried about your children’s neurological function?
Well, F%#& YOU.
Worried about the high rates of autism, ADHD, and anaphylactic food allergy in this country?
F%#& YOU TOO.
Worried about how we’re going to pay for all the therapies, treatments, and services for all the special-needs students we already have?
Parents and pediatricians, you are the only ones who can turn this nightmare around. You must realize that you are on your own. The AAP has sold you out, and your children’s health is completely up to YOU.
Take back your agency, and tell the AAP to go F%#& ITSELF.
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