Evidence Against Vaccines: Why Parents Should Be Given a Choice


by Sandy Mintz

…thousands of children die and many thousands more are injured, often within hours of receiving a vaccine, and the vaccine is automatically said to be unrelated.

I've been involved in the vaccine safety/choice issue for a long time. Virtually every person I know and love has been vaccinated. The last thing I want is for there to be problems with vaccines. I am not against an informed parent choosing to vaccinate his or her child. What I am against is bad science being used to convince a parent to vaccinate. And, I am against any parent being forced to do something that has even a remote chance of harming their child.

What all parents deserve is good information, untainted by conflict of interest, on the safety of vaccines. They deserve the right to choose whether or not to vaccinate their children. And those that choose to vaccinate, after weighing the benefits and risks, deserve safe vaccines.

Vaccine manufacturers are behind pretty much everything we have been told about the safety of vaccines. As Dr. Samuel Katz, developer of the measles vaccine stated, "Government doesn't fund clinical studies of vaccines. Industry does."

We are letting the fox guard the henhouse. It is similar to trusting the propaganda the cigarette companies provide on the safety of cigarettes. And it only gets worse. Drug companies' advertising dollars support medical journals. Vaccine advisory committee members have financial ties to the vaccine manufacturers and routinely waive their conflicts of interest. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which makes recommendations to our pediatricians, is not immune (pun intended). I have copies of letters to the AAP from three vaccine manufacturers discussing the almost $1 million they donated to the AAP during a five-year period alone!

In 1986, after the vaccine manufacturers threatened to pull out of vaccine production due to all the lawsuits against them, Congress passed a law covering the liability of the vaccine manufacturers. So now we have universally mandated vaccines, no liability for the makers of the vaccines, and the vaccine manufacturers the very suppliers of the information we rely upon to justify vaccine use. And guess who pays for the liability coverage? The vaccinated! There is a surcharge on every dose of vaccine, paid by the consumer, which goes into a fund to pay compensation to known victims of vaccination. So far around $1.2 billion has been paid out.

In spite of these facts, however, some good has come out of the Compensation Act. Parents of children injured by vaccines used to find it difficult, if not impossible, to get money to care for their children. Now, more can. Maureen Forceskie, an Anchorage mom, is one such mom who did.

Along with the Compensation Bill that Congress passed, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) was formed. It is required that all suspected adverse vaccine reactions be reported to VAERS. From mid-1990 to mid-2000, around 150,000 adverse reactions were reported, many of them serious, many of them deaths. That's a lot of adverse reactions. But it's probably only a small fraction of what is actually happening.

Former FDA commissioner David Kessler notes that it is thought a mere 1% of serious drug reactions is reported to the FDA. A vaccine manufacturer testified that in their experience, a passive system (which is what VAERS is) results in around 2%. I don't know what percent of actual vaccine associated adverse reactions are reported. I do know that parents are often told that even deaths occuring within hours of vaccination are not related, and are being discouraged from filing reports. Although reporting is required, there is a great deal of resistance to doing so. Consequently, it may well be that only 1 to 2% of serious adverse vaccine associated reactions are reported to VAERS.

Moreover, there is no good reason why 100% of all possible adverse vaccine reactions shouldn't get reported. To give you an idea why anything less than 100% is a problem, let me share with you some of what I have discovered or uncovered, as the case may be, in my investigation of the VAERS database.

First, the database does not contain a field to record the date a person died. Thankfully, the time between vaccination and death can usually, through considerable effort, be pieced together anyway. It takes reading the reported text to find out, though. Why has such critical information been made difficult, at times even impossible, to obtain?

Second, this initial examination has revealed some startling statistics. To simplify things a bit, I looked at just one year, 1998. Here is some of what I found: Among people vaccinated in the United States in January of 1998 (just one month!) 332 people reported an adverse reaction that began within two days of receiving one or more vaccines. In 22% of those cases, it was recorded that it was unknown whether or not the person had even recovered!

Why was there no follow up? Does anyone from the CDC or FDA monitoring this data even care? Why collect all this information and yet allow it to be incomplete?

Making matters worse, because we don't know what percent of adverse vaccine reactions get reported, we don't know if it was a few hundred, a few thousand, or many thousands of January vaccinees who reacted within 2 days. (40% of those January vaccinees also made a visit to the ER. But, again, because unknown portions of adverse reactions get reported, we don't know if those people represent hundreds or thousands of people who went to the ER after having a serious reaction within two days of vaccination.)

At least 81 infant deaths in the United States were reported to have occurred in 1998, most of them occurring within days, 43% by the day following vaccination. Not only that: 62% had died by the third day, and 73% by the sixth! But we still don't know whether those 81 reported infant deaths mean that hundreds or thousands died. Wouldn't that be a good thing to know?

We must demand answers to these and other important questions concerning our children's health. And perhaps we should question whether our children should be routinely vaccinated, at least until we get and are satisfied with those answers.

There is definitely evidence against vaccines. And in spite of how difficult it is to get such information published, there is plenty in the literature to worry anyone who is paying attention. In addition, VAERS is a gold mine. Although it merely documents an association between vaccination and an event, it is evidence, nonetheless.

In most cases, when an adverse event occurs shortly after taking a drug, the drug is considered the most likely cause. Phenylpropanolamine, or PPA, (which is found in over- the-counter cold medicine), was recently banned for over-the-counter use by the FDA, because strokes were associated with it. This is what should happen when a drug maims or kills.

Yet thousands of children die and many thousands more are injured, often within hours of receiving a vaccine, and the vaccine is automatically said to be unrelated. "It is only a coincidence," they say. When a child dies within hours or days of vaccination, the vaccination should be the first thing suspected, not automatically rejected!

The Institute of Medicine, or IOM, which was mandated by Congress in 1986 to review the safety of the childhood vaccines, found "evidence was consistent with" or "indicates a causal relation" in a number of cases, including between encephalopathy and the pertussis component of the DPT vaccine. That's brain inflammation. Brain inflammation in developing infant brains! Imagine what that could be doing to our children.

The "experts" denied there was a connection right up until the IOM report was published. Dr. James Cherry wrote an editorial, which appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association about one year prior to the IOM report. It was entitled, "'Pertussis vaccine encephalopathy': it is time to recognize it as the myth that it is." Shortly after it was published, however, JAMA issued a "correction" - it seems Cherry had failed to disclose his financial ties to the industry.

Always remember who's paying for the research!

There are many ways to skew research results. One way is to compare the wrong groups. How do you do it in the case of vaccinations? By only comparing the vaccinated to other vaccinated children. You use either the less recently vaccinated, or those receiving another vaccine, and then call them "unvaccinated." Any study that finds no adverse effects from vaccination, which does not use never vaccinated subjects as controls, is meaningless, and, in fact, has no control. Any vaccination whatsoever is intervention. A control group represents those who are not receiving whatever intervention is being studied. When you are studying the effects of vaccination, the only legitimate, meaningful control group is the never vaccinated. All research that finds few to no effects attributable to vaccination should be questioned to see if there is conflict of interest or no legitimate control group.

Is there any research actually supporting the notion that we should be concerned? Yes, and such research is plentiful, in spite of the obstacles against it ever getting published. The following are some of the issues being addressed:

A new form of autism, called regressive autism, is rising at an explosive rate. In some places, the incidence of autism is 1 out of 150 children or more. This autism, unlike the older one, occurs in previously normally developing children who lose their skills, often shortly after the MMR vaccine. This is not a question of improved diagnosis. You would not, could not, have missed these children - many of whom bang their heads, scream through the night, and exhibit all sorts of heartbreaking and frightening symptoms.

The rate of behavioral disorders among children has skyrocketed, now thought by some to be around 1 out of 6. When I was growing up, I don't remember any children in my classroom who could not control themselves. Now such children are commonplace. Remember brain inflammation associated with DPT? Minimal to major inflammation could be causing all sorts of problems in children's developing brains.

Autoimmune disorders and other forms of chronic disease like asthma have also risen dramatically. It is now thought by many that there is a benefit to getting these childhood diseases, which may prime the immune system against chronic diseases. Remember recent news that our children need exposure to germs or they are more likely to have asthma? It is similarly thought that experiencing these infectious diseases of childhood boosts the developing immune system of children. There is also reason to believe that vaccines themselves may suppress the immune system, thereby contributing to chronic disease.

The problem of cell-culture contamination has long plagued vaccines. For instance, the polio vaccine given in the late 1950s and early '60s was found to be contaminated by a carcinogenic monkey virus, SV40. All existing stock of the vaccine was allowed to be used up, rather than "erode confidence in the vaccine" by recalling it. Some time after that polio vaccine was introduced, cancer rates in children rose. SV40 is also now showing up in tumors, including cancerous ones.

Vaccine additives, like thimerosal, a form of mercury, and a known neurotoxin, are thought to be serious problems. Until recently, thimerosal was routinely used as a preservative in vaccines. The symptoms of mercury toxicity are virtually identical to the symptoms that many of these autistic children display. Of course the "experts" say there is no relation between this known neurotoxin and brain or other damage. At the same time, they are warning pregnant and nursing women, and children, to avoid foods containing high amounts of it.

Nature abhors a vacuum. Just as antibiotic overuse has led to drug resistant strains, new vaccine derived strains of disease are emerging, and can be more serious than the original disease. There is also evidence that vaccination may cause chromosomal damage.

Although the so-called experts argue vociferously against there being a connection between things such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and vaccination, vaccines are commonly used to induce or cause demyelination experimentally. MS is a form of demyelination.

A study published in Lancet provided evidence that measles without rash (that is, subclinical measles) causes a significant increase in serious adult disease, including cancer. The vaccinated often get rashless disease. In fact, measles and chickenpox vaccination may be a form of rashless illness. Many parents are comforted by the idea that their children are only getting mild or symptom free cases of these diseases. But should they be? The rash is the body's way of removing the disease. Are vaccination and the suppressed illness it causes going to predispose our children to serious things such as cancer?

A Science article found that two totally harmless herpes simplex viruses recombined in mice, killing 62% of them. We are combining all sorts of diseases in these vaccines and in our children without any evidence that harm will not come of it.

The epidemiology of these diseases has changed so that high-risk groups -- infants and adults who normally don't get these diseases and for whom they are considerably more serious -- are now more likely to get them. We were originally told, without any long-term research to support the claim (after all, these vaccines had just been developed) that immunity from the vaccines would be lifelong. Now that it turns out to be false; we are being told the solution is to revaccinate. But repeated vaccination may neither be safe nor work. Is our future to be filled with large, uncontrollable outbreaks, with infants and adults getting and dying from these diseases? Might it not have been better to get these childhood diseases as children, when they are relatively benign? Have we made these diseases vastly more serious because of vaccination?

In developed nations like ours, most of these diseases were declining both in incidence and severity prior to the advent of vaccination. Many of them were considered a normal part of growing up, some of us never even knowing we had gotten them. We are being manipulated to believe these diseases are more serious than they really are when death rates in developing or Third World nations are used as examples, rather than the rates in developed nations.

And if these diseases have become more serious than they used to be, because of changing epidemiology and other adverse factors due to vaccination, we need to investigate. The solution proposed for vaccine-caused problems should not, however, be more vaccination!

An example of a disease which is really not all that serious, but which we are now required to have our children receive is Hepatitis A. Let me share with you what the textbook Vaccines says about Hepatitis A Virus (HAV).

"Infection with HAV may produce a wide spectrum of outcomes from silent or subclinical hepatitis at one end, through typical acute hepatitis with jaundice, to fulminant hepatitis at the other. The single most important factor in determining the outcome of HAV infection appears to be age. Whereas greater than 90% of infections acquired before the age of 5 years are silent, the proportion of infected individuals with symptoms increases steadily, reaching approximately 25% by 15 years and 90% or above in adults. The duration of illness varies but most patients feel better, have lost their hepatomegaly, and have nearly normal liver function test results within 3 weeks. In the large 1989 Shanghai outbreak, 90% of a subset of 8647 hospitalized patients observed carefully had completely recovered in 4 months and all had recovered in one year. Relapse consisting of renewed symptoms, elevated liver function test results, and possibly detection of virus in stools has been found in up to 10% of cases, but recovery is universal. Hepatitis A never becomes chronic."

Is that a vaccine you feel your child should be required to have?

What about Hepatitis B? Unless an infant is born to a Hepatitis B positive mother, there is virtually no chance that infant will get the disease. Why should infants get a vaccine to protect sexually promiscuous or intravenous drug using teens and adults? Why should anybody have to do that?

And then there's the chickenpox vaccine, developed mostly to avoid the cost of "work days lost." Why not let parents decide? Those that can and want to stay home and care for their not-all-that-sick kids can do so. Their children, upon recovery, could then return to school. Moreover, these children would be able to avoid the not so unlikely prospect of getting chickenpox as adults, when it really can be a problem.

Public Health will say that these vaccines must be mandatory or these diseases will spread. But if the vaccines work, anyone choosing them will be protected! If they don't prevent the spread of the disease to the vaccinated, what is the point? It hardly seems right that those who don't want to be vaccinated should be required to be vaccinated, because vaccines don't always work.

To whatever small extent vaccines are being required because the "immune suppressed" cannot be vaccinated and are more vulnerable to the adverse effects of disease, my heart goes out to such people. However, they are not more important than children who are harmed by vaccines. Nor should the notion that vaccination may in itself be creating immune suppression be left out of this equation. There is now documented proof of outbreaks occurring in 100% vaccinated populations.

Quite simply, we need good information, we need a choice, and we need it now. If we had such a choice, the vaccine manufacturers just might improve their products. Why, on earth, do they need to improve them now, when we are required to have their vaccines, and they are not accountable for the outcome?

We parents deserve the right to choose what we feel is best for the children we love and for whom we are responsible. No one else will be expected to care for our children if the vaccines or diseases maim them. No one else's heart will be broken like ours if they are killed or otherwise harmed.

We must stop ignoring what is happening to our children. The Alaska Legislature will only change our laws if we ask them to. And ask we must. Please join me in this fight. Our children need us.

This article was excerpted from a speech given by Sandy Mintz on April 23, 2001, in Anchorage, Alaska.

Sandy Mintz, M.A., an Anchorage mom and longtime advocate of vaccination safety/ choice, is affiliated with NVIC (www.909shot.com). She can be reached at www.vaccinationnews.com, sandym@touchngo.com, 566-0401, or PO Box 111818, Anchorage, AK 99511-1818.


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