A User-Friendly Vaccination Schedule
by Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD
by Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD
Vaccination is a controversial subject, and many parents worry about subjecting their children to them. Readers of my article “Mercury on the Mind,” about vaccines and dental amalgams, have asked what vaccines I would recommend their children receive. This article addresses that question.
In the Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule put out by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 12 vaccines are given to children before they reach the age of two. Providers inject them against hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), pertussis (whooping cough), polio, pneumococcal infections, Hemophilus influenzae type b infections, measles, mumps, rubella (German measles), chickenpox, and influenza (the flu).
Infectious disease was the leading cause of death in children 100 years ago, with diphtheria, measles, scarlet fever, and pertussis accounting for most them. Today the leading causes of death in children less than five years of age are accidents, genetic abnormalities, developmental disorders, sudden infant death syndrome, and cancer. A basic tenet of modern medicine is that vaccines are the reason. There is growing evidence that this is so, but perhaps not quite in the way conventional medical wisdom would have it.
A 15-member Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices at the CDC decides which vaccines should be on the Childhood Immunization Schedule. It calls for one vaccine, against hepatitis B, to be given on the day of birth; 7 vaccines at two months; 6 more (including booster shots) at four months; and as many as 8 vaccines on the six month well-baby visit. Before a child reaches the age of two he or she will have received 32 vaccinations on this schedule, including four doses each of vaccines for Hemophilus influenzae type b infections, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis – all of them given during the first 12 months of life. Seven vaccines injected into a 13 lb. two-month old infant are equivalent to 70 doses in a 130 lb. adult.
The schedule states, “Your child can safely receive all vaccines recommended for a particular age during one visit.” Public health officials, however, have not proven that it is indeed safe to inject this many vaccines into infants. What’s more, they cannot explain why, concurrent with an increasing number of vaccinations, there has been an explosion of neurologic and immune system disorders in our nation’s children.
Fifty years ago, when the immunization schedule contained only four vaccines (for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and smallpox), autism was virtually unknown. First discovered in 1943, this most devastating malady in what is now a spectrum of pervasive developmental disorders afflicted less than 1 in 10,000 children. Today, one in every 68 American families has an autistic child. Other, less severe developmental disorders, rarely seen before the vaccine era, have also reached epidemic proportions. Four million American children have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. One in six American children are now classified as “Learning Disabled.”
Our children are also experiencing an epidemic of autoimmune disorders – Type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and bowel disorders. There has been a 17-fold increase in Type I diabetes, from 1 in 7,100 children in the 1950s to 1 in 400 now. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis afflicts 300,000 American children. Twenty-five years ago this disease was so rare that public health officials did not keep any statistics on it. There has been a 4-fold increase in asthma, and bowel disorders in children are much more common now than they were 50 years ago.
Health officials consider a vaccine to be safe if no bad reactions – like seizures, intestinal obstruction, or anaphylaxis – occur acutely. The CDC has not done any studies to assess the long-term effects of its immunization schedule. To do that one must conduct a randomized controlled trial, the lynchpin of evidenced-based medicine, where one group of children is vaccinated on the CDC’s schedule and a control group is not vaccinated. Investigators then follow the two groups for a number of years (not just three to four weeks, as has been done in vaccine safety studies). Concerns that vaccinations in infants cause chronic neurologic and immune system disorders would be put to rest, and their safety certified, if the number of children who develop these diseases is the same in both groups. No such studies have been done, so vaccine proponents cannot say that vaccines are indeed as safe as they think they are. (One proponent, interviewed by Dan Rather on 60 Minutes, who has financial ties to the vaccine industry that he did not disclose, claims that vaccines “have a better safety record than vitamins.” He neglected to mention that the U.S. government has paid out more than $1.5 billion in its Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to families of children who have been injured or killed by vaccines.)
There is a growing body of evidence that implicates vaccines as a causative factor in the deteriorating health of children. The hypothesis that vaccines cause neurologic and immune system disorders is a legitimate one – vaccines given in multiple doses, close together, to very young children following the CDC’s Immunization Schedule. This hypothesis should be tested by a large-scale, long-term randomized controlled trial.
Rather than obediently following the government’s schedule, there is now sufficient evidence, grounded in good science, to justify adopting a more user-friendly vaccination schedule, one which is in the best interests of the individual as opposed to what planners judge best for society as a whole.
New knowledge in neuroimmunology (the study of how the brain’s immune system works) raises serious questions about the wisdom of injecting vaccines in children less than two years of age.
The brain has its own specialized immune system, separate from that of the rest of the body. When a person is vaccinated, its specialized immune cells, the microglia, become activated (the blood-brain barrier notwithstanding). Multiple vaccinations spaced close together over-stimulate the microglia, causing them to release a variety of toxic elements – cytokines, chemokines, excitotoxins, proteases, complement, free radicals – that damage brain cells and their synaptic connections. Researchers call the damage caused by these toxic substances “bystander injury.” (Pediatricians and other professional colleagues who question this should read these two reviews by the neurosurgeon Russell L. Blaylock: “Interaction of Cytokines, Excitotoxins, Reactive Nitrogen and Oxygen Species in Autism Spectrum Disorders,” in the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association [JANA 2003;6(4):21–35], with 167 references. And “Chronic Microglial Activation and Excitotoxicity Secondary to Excessive Immune Stimulation: Possible Factors in Gulf War Syndrome and Autism,” in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons [JAPS 2004;9(2):46–52], posted online, with 54 references.)
In humans, the most rapid period of brain development begins in the third trimester and continues over the first two years of extra uterine life. (By then brain development is 80 percent complete.) Until randomized controlled trials demonstrate the safety of giving vaccines during this time of life, it would be prudent not to give any vaccinations to children until they are two years old. From a risk-benefit perspective, there is growing evidence that the risk of neurologic and autoimmune diseases from vaccinations outweigh the benefits of avoiding the childhood infections that they prevent. An exception is hepatitis B vaccine for infants whose mothers test positive for this disease.
A user-friendly vaccination schedule prohibits any vaccines that contain thimerosal, which is 50 percent mercury. Flu vaccines contain thimerosal, which is reason enough to avoid them. (See my article “Mercury on the Mind” for more on this subject.)
One should also avoid vaccines that contain live viruses. This includes the combined measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine; chickenpox (varicella) vaccine, and the live-virus polio (Sabin) vaccine. This stricture would not apply to the smallpox vaccine (also a live-virus one), if a terrorist-instigated outbreak of smallpox should occur.
Finally, a user-friendly vaccination schedule requires that vaccinations, after the age of two, be given no more than once every six months, one at a time, in order to allow the immune system sufficient time to recover and stabilize between shots.