alternative doctor anti-aging header
HOME body stuff mind stuff soul stuff love and sex wise dentistry
THE BLOG cancer cures specials nutrition Diet Wise (book) Virtual Medicine
Prof. Keith's BIO allergies anti-ageing vaccination feedback links

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.

Vaccinations and the Right to Refuse

Copyright Richard Moskowitz MD.

Stolen (!) from this page. Read it in full: http://www.healthy.net/scr/article.asp?Id=1121

I want to begin with a brief history of the measles vaccine, because its dramatic career highlights so many of the issues pertaining to the others as well.

In its natural state, the measles virus enters the body of a susceptible person through the nose and mouth and incubates silently for about 14 days in the lymphoid tissues of the nasopharynx, the regional lymph nodes, and finally in the liver, spleen, bone marrow, and the lymphocytes and macrophages of the peripheral blood. The illness known as the measles is the process by which the virus is expelled from the blood, through the same orifices that it came in, and involves a concerted and massive effort of the entire immune system. Once specific antibodies have succeeded in targeting the virus, the ability to synthesize them on short notice remains as a coded "memory" of the whole experience, a virtual guarantee that people who have recovered from the measles will never get it again, no matter how many times they are re-exposed.

In addition to conferring this specific immunity, the process of recovering from the natural disease also "primes" the organism nonspecifically to respond promptly and efficiently to other micro-organisms in the future. A crucial step in the maturation of a healthy immune system, the ability to mount a vigorous, acute response to infection unquestionably represents a major ingredient of optimum health and well-being in general.

Finally, measles is about 20% fatal in populations exposed to it for the first time. It has taken us many centuries of adaptation and "herd immunity" to convert it into an ordinary childhood disease, such that, when I first encountered it at the age of 6, nonspecific mechanisms were already in place to help me deal with it effectively. In that historical sense, the permanent immunity acquired by recovery from the natural disease represents an absolute net gain for the total health of the race as well. However the vaccines act inside the human body, true natural immunity or any other qualitative benefit cannot be ascribed to them: their effectiveness is a mere statistic, and the resulting "immunity" a narrowly defined technicality.

Thus, in contrast with the natural disease, the vaccine virus produces no local sensitization at the portal of entry, no incubation, no massive outpouring, and no acute disease of any kind. It can elicit long-term antibody production solely by surviving in latent form in the lymphocytes and macrophages of the blood. But then the vaccinated individual would have no way to get rid of it, and the technical feat of antibody synthesis could at most represent the memory of this chronic infection. Nobody would be foolish enough to argue that vaccines render us "immune" to viruses if in fact they merely weakened our ability to expel them and forced us to harbor them permanently instead. On the contrary, such a carrier state would tend to compromise our ability to respond to other infections as well, and would have to be regarded as immunosuppressive in that sense.

The laws mandating vaccination against the measles were enacted in the early 1960's, when the disease was limited almost entirely to children in elementary school, and both deaths and serf us complications had already reached an all-time low. There was very little public debate, and the decision appears to have been made purely as a matter of policy, almost as soon as the vaccine became available. With very few people requesting exemptions, the compliance rate averaged well over 95 per cent. From an average of over 400,000 cases annually in the prevaccine era, the incidence of measles in the United States dropped to less than 5000 in the early 1980's (4), and it looked as though the disease would soon be eliminated.

In the 1980's, however, this comforting mythology began to unravel, as measles began to reappear even in fully vaccinated populations, and public health authorities began to grapple with the mysterious phenomenon of "vaccine failure."

Thus in 1984, 27 cases of measles were reported at a high school in Waltham, Mass., where over 98% of the students had documentary proof of vaccination (5). In 1985, 157 cases were reported over a 3-month period in Corpus Christi, Texas, and the surrounding Nueces County, despite a vaccination rate of over 99% and significant antibody levels in over 95% (6). In 1989, an Illinois high school with vaccination records for 99.7% of the students reported 69 cases over a 3-week period (7).

In all of these outbreaks, the authors concentrated on the documented vaccination rates of the target populations, and curiously neglected to mention the number of actual cases that had not been vaccinated. But they all implicitly refuted the hypothetical "reservoir" of the disease in the unvaccinated, an argument still popular with health departments for frightening wavering parents into compliance.

As the data from these various outbreaks were collected and analyzed, tentative generalizations were made and new strategies formulated. A survey of over 15,000 Canadian cases in 1985-86 indicated that 60% of the patients had documented vaccination records, with 28% "unvaccinated," and the status of the other 12% "unknown" (8). Since the "unvaccinated" group would also have been identifiable only by their own statements, the category "unknown" presumably refers to those who claimed to have been vaccinated but could no longer prove it.

A comparable American survey (9) of 152 separate outbreaks comprising over 9000 cases in 1985-86 yielded similar results:

  1. A large majority of cases (69%) were children of school age, i.e., 5 to 19 years of age.
  2. Of these, 60% had been "appropriately vaccinated," i.e., at 15 months or more (the schedule then currently in vogue), and another 20% "inappropriately vaccinated" (at 12-19 months, the schedule recommended before 1979), with the number of unvaccinated cases again omitted.
  3. A significant minority of cases (26%) were children less than 5 years old, most of them unvaccinated and belonging to black, Hispanic, or other indigent minorities in urban ghettos.

All of these data indicated a resurgence of the disease mainly in older children and adolescents of high-school and college age, groups with much higher rates of serious complications. The usual explanation was that vaccine-mediated immunity was time-limited, and "wore off" with increasing age, presumably leaving the child otherwise unaffected and susceptible as before. This usually unstated assumption also formed the principal rationale for mandatory revaccination at a later date.

Unfortunately, this assumption had already been disproved by an earlier study, which demonstrated that previously vaccinated children with declining antibody titers responded minimally and for an unacceptably short time to booster doses of the measles vaccine (10).

Another refutation came from a sustained outbreak of 235 cases in Dane County, Wisconsin, over a 9-month period in 1986, although the authors of the study declined to take it seriously. As in earlier studies, they found that the vast majority of the cases were in the school-age group (5 to 19 years), but that only 6% of these had not been vaccinated (11). Their most unexpected finding was that "mild measles," with typical rash but minimal fever, was much more likely in children who lacked vaccine-specific antibodies than in either the unvaccinated or those whose vaccinations had "taken" properly. This apparent reversal suggested some kind of inapparent or latent activity of the virus that had not been suspected before and did not show up on routine serological investigation.

Yet, despite these warnings, none of these investigators dared consider the possibility that the "immunity" conferred by the measles vaccine might not be genuine.

return to top



Join Me