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From what the mainstream media would have us believe, there is a near-unanimous consensus that vaccines are completely safe and effective without any negative side-effects at all, and that those who dare even question that narrative are either fringe lunatics or being willfully dishonest for personal financial gain. Though in a survey by the American Osteopathic Association barely over half of the 2 000 respondents answered that “vaccines are safe and effective” and didn’t have a sliver of doubt on the matter, the prevalence of this conviction is rather notable. Even many libertarians appear hesitant to touch this topic beyond critiquing State mandates thereof; to investigate the actual contents of the vaccines, their effects, and the current relationship between the pharmaceutical industry, their regulatory agencies and the academic departments publishing studies on their products. This is despite the fact that two critical aspects of the libertarian doctrine are self-ownership and skepticism of State activity in general.
I think a plausible hypothesis to explain this is that vaccines are often perceived as an integral part of the Capitalist, free-market trend of innovation, progress and economic growth towards modernity and that its involvement thereof is taken for granted as a part of the achievement of the remarkable decrease in illnesses we’ve witnessed the last centuries. The more wide-spread conception of vaccines by non-libertarians is similar, in my view, but is often rather attributed to some collectivist notion of “human achievement” towards societal progress as if anyone other than the innovators, producers, and salesmen thereof weren’t the only to be credited for such a development.
With the issue of vaccines so deeply entrenched in the minds of the general public vis à vis such abstractions, and having been conditioned by the media and the school system to react with outrage and emotional manipulation rather than curiosity and critical thinking to the confrontation with alternative perspectives, it’s no wonder it has become a taboo subject. I will here try to provide clarity to the issue with the most solid and credible material I can find and arguments I can think of, and leave it up to the reader to judge whether there are, in fact, more to the story than what the State and the mainstream media continuously peddles, or whether I’m just another misinformant spreading nonsense on the issue. Most of the references used here are primary sources from academic journals, many of which are accessible on the official American medical database PubMed. Some secondary sources are also provided to get a better overview of the material, and to present different perspectives on the issue.
In this article I will not argue that vaccines don’t have any beneficial uses (because that’s not my conviction), but rather introduce facts indicating that we likely aren’t told the full story on the issue by governmental agencies and the mainstream media and challenge the narrative of vaccines being entirely safe and effective as “settled science”. To do this, I will start by referencing numerous historical cases where vaccination programs went tragically wrong; then show evidence for and reasons why illnesses reduced significantly already before the introduction of vaccines thereof; discuss evidence of conflicts of interests between the pharmaceutical industry, the regulatory agencies and the academic chairs conducting studies on the effectiveness and safety of their products, as well as the media; elaborate what vaccines usually consist of, how they work, and what the research suggests to be the biochemical effects of these ingredients; briefly touch on what the motivations may be behind the collusion on the issue; and in the end discuss the risks and benefits of vaccines, and precautionary measures you can take if you find vaccination against certain diseases absolutely necessary.
For the sake of orderliness, I will, in the following, use Harvard referencing for my sources rather than hyperlinks. I highly recommend fact-checking my claims at those and other sites rather than merely accepting or rejecting my word at face value. Though I’ve tried to make this article as comprehensive on the issue as possible, it is more meant as a means to prompt you, dear reader, to think more critically about and further investigate the topic yourself, than to settle every dispute on the matter once and for all. Two large repertoires of resources on the issue have been put together by me and a friend here and here, respectively, for research beyond the contents of this article. Additional resources are also listed at the bottom.
Table of Contents
Principles of Vaccine Skepticism
The History of Vaccine Injuries
The Tuskegee Study
Thousands of Guatemalans Intentionally Infected With Syphilis
The Cutter Incident
Simian Virus 40 Contamination
Polio Vaccine Causing Severe Paralysis in India
Dengue Vaccination in the Philippines
Are HIV and AIDS Man-Made Diseases?
Lessons From History
Declines in Illnesses and Mortality Rates Preceding Vaccines
Conflicts of Interests With the Pharmaceutical Industry
Lobbying by Big Pharma
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act and Compensation Program of 1986
Has the CDC Been “Captured”?
The Function and Ingredients of Vaccines
The Science Behind Vaccines
Why Would They Do This to Us?
Is it All for the Cash?
…Or More Malignant Motives?
Precautionary Measures to Minimize Risks of Adverse Injuries
Principles of Vaccine Skepticism
Those critical to the safety and efficacy of vaccines are often claimed to prefer illness over health – as favoring the well-being of germs and viruses above that of human beings – and get thrown at them grotesque pictures of the diseases that vaccines are purported to have significantly mitigated or eliminated. “Why do you want to turn back the clock on the significant progress vaccines have contributed to in the treatment of these diseases?”, the vaccine apologists  cry. It’s completely incomprehensible to them why anyone would even consider questioning the legitimacy behind vaccines – the science behind their ingredients and how they may affect our biochemical processes. Quite to the contrary, however, vaccine skeptics prefer health over illness and the absence of pain over its presence, just like the supporters of vaccines and pretty much all other human beings in general.
The ultimate question that distinguishes proponents and opponents is whether vaccines provide a net benefit or harm for the client’s health and well-being. Do they really provide you with long-term immunization? How do they work? What ingredients are included? How efficient are they? Are there any negative side-effects? All these are important questions for a better understanding of vaccines and are critical for those skeptical thereof. Being a vaccine skeptic, as I use the term, doesn’t by itself bond you to one side or the other; it merely means that you seek to understand how and why vaccines work and research for yourself to be able to make a properly informed decision of whether to vaccinate yourself or your children. An important principle for vaccine skepticism I’d recommend adopting before we begin is to abandon the perception of “vaccines” as an aggregate concept which as a whole is either perfectly “safe” and “effective” or not, and rather judge individual vaccines and their ingredients independently. Additionally, as people have differences in genetics and strengths/weaknesses of their immune systems, we should also realize that the same vaccines and ingredients do not provide any uniform health effects to all clients, but rather increases the probability of their manifestations.
If you read through this entire article, consider the arguments I lay forth, and investigate some of the important references, you may still remain completely unmoved from your position for, against, or undecided on the issue, but through this critical investigation I hope at least that you end up with a level of knowledge on vaccines far beyond what most people can even imagine may be going on here. To quote the late Milton W. Cooper,
It is possible that one or more conclusions may be wrong. The purpose of this book is to convince you (the reader) that something is terribly wrong. It is my hope that this work will inspire you to begin an earnest search for truth. Your conclusions may be different but together we can build a better world.
The History of Vaccine Injuries
There are numerous cases where vaccines have caused grave harm to large populations scaling all the way from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of individuals (perhaps even millions indirectly). Some of these will be delineated in-depth to show that vaccines historically have been used for unethical purposes and studies at the behest of the well-being and lives of domestic and third-world populations. Though the common understanding of vaccines is that it’s “the simplest, safest and most effective form of prevention, and vaccines have achieved legendary success against viruses (Matthews & Bolognesi, 1988),” it’s important to note that they can also be used for harmful purposes, and have frequently been used that way in the past. To grasp the possibility that such events could still be happening today, it’s crucial that we have an adequate understanding of the history, for as George Santayana remarked, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
The Tuskegee Study
The most well-known of these is the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male”, conducted between 1932 and 1972 on 600 African Americans (399 diagnosed with syphilis and 201 being a control group without the disease). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2015a), the study was originally intended “to record the natural history of syphilis in hopes of justifying treatment programs for blacks.”
Despite the researchers insisting that the subjects would be treated for their illness, however, they “were not told they had syphilis, not given counseling on avoiding spread of the disease, and not given treatment throughout the course of the study (Corbie-Smith, 1999).” Another paper on the study also reports that “on several occasions, the USPHS [US Public Health service] actually sought to prevent treatment (Brandt, 1978).” The CDC further writes, “there was no evidence that researchers had informed them of the study or its real purpose. In fact, the men had been misled and had not been given all the facts required to provide informed consent.”
The study, originally intended to last only six months, ultimately ended only after forty years, when a story by the Associated Press on the issue sparked outrage and led to an investigation by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare which eventually terminated the study. The CDC doesn’t go into detail on what impact it ultimately had on the subjects, but Elizabeth Nix (2015) contends that
In order to track the disease’s full progression, researchers provided no effective care as the men died, went blind or insane or experienced other severe health problems due to their untreated syphilis. […]
By that time [the study’s termination in 1972], 28 participants had perished from syphilis, 100 more had passed away from related complications, at least 40 spouses had been diagnosed with it and the disease had been passed to 19 children at birth.
She also quotes Bill Clinton to have apologized in 1997 to the subjects for the unethical nature and consequences of the study:
The United States government did something that was wrong—deeply, profoundly, morally wrong… It is not only in remembering that shameful past that we can make amends and repair our nation, but it is in remembering that past that we can build a better present and a better future.
Why did this study persist for so long, despite its clear unethical implications? Brandt (1978) suggests Social Darwinism played an important role. “By the turn of the century”, he argues,
Darwinism had provided a new rationale for American racism. Essentially primitive peoples, it was argued, could not be assimilated into a complex, white civilization. Scientists speculated that in the struggle for survival the Negro in America was doomed. Particularly prone to disease, vice, and crime, black Americans could not be helped by education or philanthropy. Social Darwinists analyzed census data to predict the virtual extinction of the Negro in the twentieth century, for they believed the Negro race in America was in the throes of a degenerative evolutionary process.
From such a mindset, it’s not surprising that several physicians in the late 19th century and early 20th century also speculated that this purported deterioration of the black population was the result of the abolition of slavery. Rather than just letting this purported “degenerative evolutionary process” of African Americans pass naturally, some racialists apparently found it to be their calling to speed up this development, under the guise of “research” and “population control”.
Unsurprisingly, the revelations from the Tuskegee study led to a significant decrease in trust among African Americans to the medical establishment and of their willingness to participate in similar experiments and studies in the future (Shavers, Lynch & Burmeister, 2000; Kennedy & Woods, 2007; Corbie-Smith, Thomas & St. George, 2002; Jones, 1992). Understandably, it’s not very compelling to have chemicals pumped into your veins when you’re well aware that many others in a similar situation have been exploited and gravely injured that way before.
Thousands of Guatemalans Intentionally Infected With Syphilis
Despite the Tuskegee study being the best-known instance of the US government conducting unethical studies and treatments through vaccines, it’s far from the only one. Nix also references Barack Obama’s apology in 2010 for another US-sponsored medical study, conducted in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948 and directed by the same principal investigator as in the Tuskegee study (Rodriguez & García, 2013). To “determine whether penicillin could prevent, not just cure, syphilis infection,” Nix writes,
nearly 700 men and women—prisoners, soldiers, mental patients—were intentionally infected with syphilis (hundreds more people were exposed to other sexually transmitted diseases as part of the study) without their knowledge or consent.
Rodriguez & García (2013) claims, on the other hand, that of the 5128 participants in the study, “health officials intentionally infected at least 1308 of these people with syphilis, gonorrhea, and chancroid and conducted serology tests on others” without the informed consent of the subjects. This was done both through infusing pin-prick vaccines and pills taken orally with bacteria known to cause such STDs. They describe many horrific anecdotes of the study, asserting that “The researchers systematically and repeatedly violated profoundly vulnerable individuals, some in the saddest and most despairing states, and grievously aggravated their suffering.” A report by the Guatemalan government (Espada, 2012) even accused it of being a “crime against humanity”, and charged that
Racism, with its weight of prejudice, contempt and discrimination, was present throughout the entire process of the experiments, in an explicit and conscious way. This constitutes an aggravating factor against the victims and the dignity of the country.
As in the Tuskegee study, Rodriguez and García contend, “the US government engaged in concededly immoral and unethical actions: conducting nonconsensual human medical experiments, not treating infected victims, and deceiving victims and the public.”
The Cutter Incident
In April 1955 there was another major occurrence of vaccines leading to significant harm (and risk thereof) for large populations, even after it had been declared “safe and effective” (Offit, 2005). In what has since been labeled the “Cutter Incident”, between 200 and 400 thousand American children  were given the first polio vaccine from 18th to 27th April, “in which the process of inactivating the live virus proved to be defective (Fitzpatrick, 2006).”
After several participants reported experiences of paralysis following the inoculation, the program was quickly abandoned, only lasting about nine days in total, though many hundred thousand doses had already been administered (Nathanson & Langmuir, 1963). Later investigations also found that the vaccine had caused “40 000 cases of polio, leaving 200 children with varying degrees of paralysis and killing 10.”
Preceding the program, the trial of the vaccine had included about 1.8 million children, who were provided with vaccines developed by either of the pharmaceutical companies Eli Lilly and Parke-Davis. After it was declared “safe and effective” on 12 April, an advisory committee to the Laboratory of Biologics Control (a U.S. federal agency at the time responsible for licensing biological products) recommended that five pharmaceutical companies were to be licensed for the distribution of the polio vaccine: Eli Lilly, Parke-Davis, Wyeth, Pitman-Moore, and Cutter. The pediatrician Paul Offit claims that the licensure process took about two-and-a-half hours.
It was ultimately the last – Cutter Laboratories – that was responsible for the incident, causing a great deal of suffering through paralysis and death. One might say this was a failure of the licensure process, rather than the vaccines per se, and I would agree, but one must also recognize that this is an inherent risk in acclaiming someone to be trusted who has not yet demonstrated the competence to earn it  and that centralized decision-making of health care can often lead to difficulties in acquiring sufficient information to either foresee or prevent such tragic occurrences . Both of these should, in my opinion, be reasons for skepticism of the government controlling what to be put into our bodies and who to administer it – if not for malevolence, at least for its potential of incompetence, ignorance, and corruption.
Simian Virus 40 Contamination
The Cutter Incident isn’t the only case emmenating concern from polio vaccines, however. Between 1955 and 1963, about 10-30% of these vaccines had been contaminated with the simian virus 40 (SV40) (CDC, 2015b), and was rapidly removed once discovered. It has been a matter of much controversy whether there is a causal relationship between SV40 infection and cancer.
The Immunization Safety Review Committee reviewed the contemporary evidence on the connection between SV40 and cancer in 2002, and concluded that “the evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship between SV40-containing polio vaccines and cancer,” because the epidemiological studies were deemed “sufficiently flawed”. They did find evidence, however, that the SV40 was a transforming virus, and that exposure thereof had at least the potential to lead to cancer under natural conditions.
Though the SV40 was removed from most vaccines in the early 1960s, a major eastern European manufacturer maintained the inclusion of infectious SV40, trying to inactivate it through the presence of the salt Magnesium chloride. A study found later, however, that it did not sufficiently inactivate the virus, and that the polio vaccines manufactured from that company up until 1978, therefore, placed customers and patients all over the world at risk (Cutrone et al., 2005).
The lesson I think should be derived from this, whether or not it actually caused cancer, is that there still might be risks in vaccines and other medicines that were not previously considered. To determine whether or not a new vaccine is in fact “safe and effective” or not, they need to know what potential causal relationships could arise. A contamination thereof could last long and cause a lot of suffering before its discovery, so just because a new vaccine is said to be “safe and effective” by medical studies shouldn’t be a complete cause of relief.
Polio Vaccine Causing Severe Paralysis in India
Another horrific incident resulting from polio vaccination took place in India. Succeeding a strong effort to eradicate polio, Indians saw a significant increase in Non-Polio Acute Flaccid Paralysis (NPAFP) a year after the country had been classified as “polio-free”. The diagnosis may be defined as a “sudden onset of weakness and floppiness in any part of the body in a child < 15 years of age or paralysis (Hota, 2005)” which is “Clinically indistinguishable from polio paralysis but twice as deadly (Vashisht & Puliyel, 2012) [my italics].”
A later study confirmed that the increased NPAFP can be causally linked to the vaccination program, and that “Now that India has been polio-free for over 6 years, […] we may be able to reduce NPAFP by further reducing pulse polio rounds (Dhimian et al., 2018).” Regarding the extent of this, they report that “A total of 640,000 children developed NPAFP in the years 2000–2017, suggesting that there were an additional 491,000 paralyzed children above our expected numbers for children with NPAFP.”
While the expected rate was merely 1-2 per 100 000 of Indian residents, it actually reached 11.82, and “The average increase in the NPAFP rate was 1.31 per 100 000 population […] with each dose of OPV.” In one state (Uttar Pradesh), as much as “35.2% of patients were found to have residual paralysis, and 8.5% had died (Vashisht, Puliyel & Sreenivas, 2015).
This means, in short, that tens of thousands of Indian children were subjected to a disease-causing paralysis twice as deadly as the one from which they were vaccinated against, causing an immense degree of suffering across India.
Dengue Vaccination in the Philippines
In November 2017, the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi discovered and announced that their dengue vaccine Dengvaxia significantly increased the likelihood of developing and becoming hospitalized for dengue if the vaccinated had not previously been exposed to the disease (Larson, Hartigan-Go & de Figueiredo, 2019; Fatima & Syed, 2018). By this time, the vaccine had already been approved in 19 (but at the time only yet used in 11) countries and administered on approximately 830 000 Filipino children (Dyer, 2017). Fatima and Syed documents that
Considering dengue infection rates reach up to 90% in Philippines, majority of the school children who were inoculated with Dengvaxia will get the protective benefits of the vaccine. This projection, however, means that at least 10% or around 80 000 of those children who do not have a prior history of dengue infection are now at an increased risk of developing severe dengue.
The outrage fueled by this revelation eventually led the authorities to clamp down on the sale and distribution of the vaccine and demanded a full refund for the 3.5 billion pesos (~$69M) paid for the program. The scandal was by no means unforeseen, however. As Dyer notes, the campaign “continued unmodified despite a World Health Organization warning on July 2016 that Dengvaxia may pose a threat to people who had never been infected.”
Sanofi also had their registration certificates for Dengvaxia products revoked by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to “brazen defiance” of the agency’s directives, and failure to “comply with post marketing authorization requirements as of December last year (Lema, 2019) .”
This incident too was naturally followed by a decrease in trust of vaccines among the Filipino people. As Larson, Hartigan-Go & de Figueiredo report, The Vaccine Confidence Project found that the share of those “strongly agreeing” about the safety of vaccines decreased from 82% in 2015 (before the incident), to 21% in 2018, and that the rate of those “strongly agreeing” that they are effective similarly decreased from 82% to 22%.
Are HIV and AIDS Man-Made Diseases?
An even more controversial topic is whether sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and AIDS were deliberately created and spread through the smallpox vaccine for ill intents. Given the importance of the issue, I’ll investigate the evidence for and against this proposition, but I will first note, with Carl Sagan, that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
This proposition is often claimed to have stemmed from Soviet propaganda during the Cold War through the so-called “Operation Infektion”. This is at least the narrative that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) presents, for which Boghardt (2010) claims that
The emergence of the mysterious illness [HIV/AIDS] so soon after revelations about US biological warfare experiments therefore provided Soviet active measures specialists an opening to exploit. […]
All Moscow had to do was add a twist to its time-tested biological warfare disinformation theme by introducing the idea that US government scientists had created the AIDS virus. In the words of two former Soviet bloc disinformation officers, the AIDS disinformation campaign “virtually conceptualized itself.”
Though one should not outright reject the testimony of such whistleblowers, it’s also worth mentioning that if the CIA actually were involved in or at least familiar with that the “US government scientist had created the AIDS virus”, it would’ve been the perfect red herring for them to present Soviet as the scapegoat in the midst of the Cold War to absolve such doubts. I’ve previously written about horrific misdemeanors perpetrated by the CIA, such as Operation Northwoods, Project MK-ULTRA, and Operation Mockingbird, and with knowledge of those (as well as the several unethical historical studies I’ve delineated above), similar “conspiracy theories” like the AIDS virus being man-made appear far less unlikely (Kløvning, 2019a) than otherwise.
Such speculation is far from proof, however, so let’s investigate how HIV/AIDS is commonly acclaimed to have arisen. According to the medical historian and winner of the George Salton Medal of the History of Science Society Mirko D. Grmek (1993, p. X),
AIDS is necessarily new in the sense that it was inconceivable until the 1970s. A disease was either defined by its symptoms or by its associated anatomical lesions . Neither sort of definition characterized AIDS: a disorder without its own specific symptoms; marked only by invisible, subcellular lesions; and induced by an agent undetectable before the most recent analytical methods. Yes, AIDS is also a new disease with respect to the extent of its current epidemic spread. And at the same time, no, AIDS is not a truly new disease, in the sense that its virus has been around for a long time: in the shadow of other infectious states, it has been there, triggering various pathological conditions that, whether isolated or sometimes even collective, were highly confined in time and space.
The big question is thus how this virus created an entirely new kind of disease and became so prevalent in the late 1970s and onwards. Grmek mentions a CDC bulletin from June 1981, which reported that five young homosexual men had suffered severe pneumonia between October 1980 and May 1981, attributable to the fungus species Pneumocystis carinii. He notes that while this is commonly found in the human body, it can only cause a series illness when fostered by a deficit in the immune system, “either in newborns or in adults receiving immunosuppressive drugs (p. 4) [my emphasis].” Grmek asserts that “if this document [the CDC bulletin] as not the birth certificate of AIDS, it was certainly the witness to its civil birth registration.” Regarding its spread, he reports that cases originally began in homosexual communities in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, but that up to 15 states reported cases (200 in total) of the disease by the beginning of 1982, and was finally named by the summer. What kind of “immunosuppressive drugs” might the five men have been taking to experience such severe pneumonia? Grmek notes that all of them were using amyl or butyl nitrate inhalers, but later adds that “Inhaled nitrate exposure had no effect on initiating the disease.”
May there thus be some other drug that suppressed their immune system, such as, for instance, the smallpox vaccine? “If smallpox were to be used as a biological weapon,” Tasker, et al. (2004) purport,
public health officials would need to rapidly vaccinate large civilian populations, in which the potential for undiagnosed HIV infection is much greater than it is for military personnel who have undergone prior HIV screening. These unscreened populations would likely include individuals with more advanced stages of disease who would be at higher risk for complications due to smallpox vaccination.
Pearce Wright (1987), praised in the Financial Times as having been among the “three giants” in science journalism (Cookson, 2009), firmly claimed that to be the case:
The Aids epidemic may have been triggered by the mass vaccination campaign which eradicated smallpox. The World Health Organization, which masterminded the 13-year campaign, is studying new scientific evidence suggesting that immunization with the smallpox vaccine Vaccinia awakened the unsuspected, dormant human immuno defence virus infection (HIV).
As evidence of this, he reports that “While doctors now accept that Vaccinia can activate other viruses, they are divided about whether it was the main catalyst to the Aids epidemic,” and cites an anonymous adviser to the WHO to have told the London Times (for which Pearce writes) that “I thought it was just a coincidence until we studied the latest findings about the reactions which can be caused by Vaccinia. Now I believe the smallpox vaccine theory is the explanation to the explosion of Aids. In obliterating one disease, another was transformed.” Further evidence from the Washington-based Walter Reed Army Medical Center also suggests, he asserts, that
Routine vaccination of a 19-year-old recruit was the trigger for stimulation of dormant HIV virus into Aids. […] The recruit who developed Aids after vaccination had been healthy throughout high school. He was given multiple immunizations, followed by his first smallpox vaccination. Two and a half weeks later he developed fever, headaches, neck stiffness and night sweats. Three weeks later he was admitted to Walter Reed suffering from meningitis and rapidly developed further symptoms of Aids and died after responding for a short time to treatment. There was no evidence that the recruit had been involved in any homosexual activity.
He additionally reports how “Other doctors who accept the connection between the anti-smallpox campaign and the Aids epidemic now see answers to questions which had baffled them.”
How, for instance, the Aids organism, previously regarded by scientists as ‘weak, slow and vulnerable,’ began to behave like a type capable of creating a plague. Many experts are reluctant to support the theory publicly because they believe it would be interpreted unfairly as criticism of WHO.
He cites one doctor specifically, Robert Gello (who first identified AIDS in the United States), to have said that
The link between the WHO programme and the epidemic in Africa is an interesting and important hypothesis. I cannot say that it actually happened, but I have been saying for some years that the use of live vaccines such as that used for smallpox can activate a dormant infection such as HIV. No blame can be attached to WHO, but if the hypothesis is correct it is a tragic situation and a warning that we cannot ignore.
As an even stronger piece of evidence for the theory, Wright claims that “The greatest spread of HIV infection coincides with the most intense immunization programmes,”
with the number of people immunised being as follows: Zaire 36,878,000; Zambia 19,060,000; Tanzania 14,972,000; Uganda 11,616,000; Malawai 8,118,000; Ruanda 3,382,000 and Burundi 3,274,000. Brazil, the only South American country covered in the eradication campaign, has the highest incidence of Aids in that region. About 14,000 Haitians, on United Nations secondment to Central Africa, were covered in the campaign. […]
The smallpox vaccine theory would account for the position of each of the seven Central African states which top the league table of most-affected countries; why Brazil became the most afflicted Latin American country; and how Haiti became the route for the spread of Aids to the US. It also provides an explanation of how the infection was spread more evenly between males and females in Africa than in the West and why there is less sign of infection among five to 11-year-olds in Central Africa.
Despite all of this, a later study has concluded that the smallpox vaccine provided protection from HIV/AIDS and that it was the ending of the vaccination program (rather than the vaccine itself) that somehow caused the outbreak (Weinstein, et al., 2010). This tells us nothing new about the origin of HIV/AIDS, but it does set into doubt the proclaimed link between the smallpox vaccine and the disease.
On the differing theories of the origin besides the smallpox vaccine, Brian Martin (2007) notes that
Two theories have received the bulk of scientific investigation over the past decade. (1) The bushmeat, cut-hunter or natural transfer theory proposes that a hunter, in the course of butchering a chimp, got chimp blood in a cut, or that SIVs [Simian Immunodeficiency Viruses] were transferred by a chimp biting a human or in the course of some other human-chimp interaction. (2) Oral polio vaccines (OPVs) given to more than a million people in central Africa in the late 1950s were contaminated by chimp SIVs. This is called the polio vaccine or OPV theory.
Edward Hooper (2001), a British journalist who created much controversy for laying out some alleged evidence for the OPV theory in his book The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS, points out that
While there is no direct evidence that cells from these [common chimpanzee] kidneys were used as a substrate for growing Dr Koprowski’s oral polio vaccines, there is a startling coincidence between places in Africa where his CHAT vaccine [a type of OPV] was fed, and the first appearances in the world of HIV-1 group M and group-M-related AIDS.
Elaborating this point, Martin contends that
In support of the [OPV] theory, there is a remarkable coincidence in time and place between the vaccination locations and the earliest known cases of AIDS and HIV+ blood samples, both found predominantly in certain areas in what are today Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Polio vaccines were – and in many cases still are – cultured on monkey kidneys, providing a route for SIV contamination. There was no screening of vaccines for SIVs until after their discovery in 1985. There is a precedent: tens of millions of people were given polio vaccines later found to be contaminated by another simian virus, SV40. The theory thus includes a plausible mechanism – contaminated polio vaccines – and fits well with the early epidemiology of AIDS.
The other theory, according to Martin, however, “is poorly developed”, because
It offers no explanation for why SIVs entered humans, and became contagious, in the past century rather than hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of years ago. It gives no explanation beyond chance for the physical location of the earliest HIV+ and AIDS cases. It can offer no direct evidence of the specific events that led to AIDS. Its advocates typically believe that SIVs entered humans prior to the 1950s but that AIDS maintained a low profile until commerce and urbanization led to wider contacts with infected individuals, though they do not mention the massive flows of humans in Africa prior to the 1950s, for example during the slave trade. […]
Despite these shortcomings, the bushmeat theory is commonly adopted as the default option: if flaws can be found in the OPV theory, then the bushmeat theory is taken to be true. Thus, the OPV theory is treated by one standard and subject to intense scrutiny and rejected if any apparent flaw is found, while the bushmeat theory is assessed by another standard and subject to little scrutiny and assumed to be true if other theories have any apparent flaws.
The result is a considerable body of literature supporting or opposing the OPV theory, with very little on the bushmeat theory.
Hooper also notes how the implications of this theory were from the beginning bound to be met with opposition:
Because of the enormous implications of the hypothesis that AIDS may be an unintended iatrogenic (physician-caused) disease, it is almost inevitable that this theory will engender heated opposition from many of those in the scientific establishment, and those with vested interests.
Martin further adds that
The stakes in the origins debate are high. AIDS has killed over 20 million people, with tens of millions more at risk. If people believed that medical research was responsible, however inadvertently, for the origin of the disease, this would do tremendous damage to the reputation of medicine, and would make many people more apprehensive about vaccinations.
Antagonists have therefore strongly denounced the connection, proclaiming that “the circulating virus is phylogenetically distinct from all strains of HIV-1, providing direct evidence that these chimpanzees were not the source of the human AIDS pandemic (Worobey et al., 2004).” Gellin, Modlin & Plotkin (2001) similarly assert that “Testimony by eyewitnesses, historical documents of the time, epidemiological analysis, and analysis of ancillary phylogenetic, virological, and polymerase chain reaction data all indicate that this hypothesis is false.”
Hooper (2004) quickly responded to the Worobey study, accusing it of severe methodological errors as well as the authors having conflicts of interests. Much of this repudiation appears to me to include highly technical details which may require a deep understanding of epidemiology to fully grasp and on-site presence to confirm, so I won’t go into depth on them here, but I recommend the interested readers to check out his response and conclude for yourselves.
Still, Martin concedes that there is some merit to the studies rejecting the OPV theory, noting that
The most likely precursor of HIV-1M is one of the SIVs found in some chimps. The most powerful argument against the OPV theory is that there is no evidence that polio vaccines were ever produced using chimpanzee kidneys. The polio vaccines used in Africa in the late 1950s – attenuated strains of live polio virus – were developed by the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and shipped to Africa. Testing of samples provided by the Wistar revealed no SIV, HIV or chimp cells, but instead suggested that the vaccines had been produced using various species of monkeys.
In his interviews with local witnesses, however, Hooper (2005) claims to have heard otherwise:
During my 2001 visit to Kisangani, I conducted further interviews with the surviving Lindi “caretakers”, including Joseph Limbaya Mwenge, the camp nurse, who was in charge of the other Africans working at the camp. Crucially, some of these witnesses report that blood and organs were being obtained from anaesthetised chimps just before they were sacrificed. Such organ removals from living chimpanzees bear no relation to the “official” polio efficacy and safety experiments. Furthermore, they are entirely different from the liver biopsies that Stanley Plotkin [recall: Gellin, Modlin & Plotkin (2001)] has disingenuously insisted the African workers must have been describing. […] These witnesses reported that tissue culture had indeed been prepared at the LMS [Laboratoire Medical de Stanleyville], that it had been prepared “mainly from chimpanzees”, and that moreover the head of the virology department, Paul Osterrieth, had been “making the polio vaccines” in his lab.
Additionally, Marx, Alcabes & Drucker (2001) substantiate the narrative of HIV/AIDS being linked to vaccination or other forms injection in their conclusion that “increased unsterile injecting in Africa during the period 1950-1970 provided the agent for SIV human infections to emerge as epidemic HIV in the modern era.” Similarly, albeit more elaborate, Chitnis, Rawls & Moore (2004) suggest that “the origin of the disease [HIV-1] may lie in the interaction between colonial practices (e.g., labor camps, nonsterile vaccination campaigns) and traditional bushmeat hunting in French Equatorial Africa.”
There seems, thus, to be a lot of controversy in the scientific literature on the issue, and that it’s as of yet in no way “settled”. You’ve at least hitherto been provided with a good chunk on different sides on the issue, and can think for yourself whether you’ve seen sufficient evidence for a conclusion or whether you want to conduct further research the issue.
Lessons From History
Now that we have gone through all of these cases, what lessons may be derived that could be applied to understand the present? There are at least five important ones:
- The producers and distributors of vaccines may have ulterior motives besides merely seeking to immunize individuals and populations. These may include financial gain, racialist/eugenicist attitudes, etc.
- Certain scientists have a mentality of “the ends justify the means” in the sense that individuals and entire populations may have their health and lives put at severe risk for the purported sake of finding certain cures. This appears at least to have been what occurred in the Tuskegee and Guatemala cases.
- In many cases, the government will only stop sponsoring – and terminate – unethical studies as described in (2) if the outrage thereof reaches a sufficient intensity to harm its reputation significantly. That’s what happened with the Tuskegee study.
- The licensure system and CDC and FDA regulations are far from a guarantee that harmful products won’t enter the market; they may either create a misplaced trust in the licensed treatments or increased distrust in the government for incompetence. The Cutter Incident is a clear example of this.
- Vaccines may in certain cases be unknowingly (or in some cases even by intent, for reasons like (1) and (2) in the case of Guatemala) contaminated with dangerous viruses or superbugs, and still pass clinical trials as researchers could not be expected to have discovered and tested these in particular. That’s what led to SV-40 being present in so many polio vaccines in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and possibly also what may have happened to the OPV in Africa if that was the cause of HIV there.
Declines in Illnesses and Mortality Rates Preceding Vaccines
Vaccination is often credited for the great reduction in illnesses which has occurred in the past couple of centuries, but a brief look at the data indicates that this is misguided at best. A study in the Pediatrics on the health trends of Americans during the 20th century asserted outright that “vaccination does not account for the impressive declines in mortality seen in the first half of the century” and that “nearly 90% of the decline of infectious disease mortality among US children occurred before 1940, when few antibiotics or vaccines were available (Guyer et al., 2000: 1315).”
Using data from the Pediatrics study, CDC, and Econ Hist Rev. (Daveport, Schwartz & Boulton, 2011), the site Learn the Risk (“Did Diseases Decline Because of Vaccines? Not According to History…”), created by a former pharmaceutical representative, shows graphically that this is the case with at least tuberculosis, pertussis, diphtheria, measles, scarlet fever, typhoid fever, polio, and influenza, as they declined significantly already before vaccines were introduced and widespread.
The death rate from tuberculosis, for instance, reduced by about 94% between 1900 and 1953, before the vaccine TB was introduced for national surveillance in the US (Villarino et al., 1995). It may be countered that it reduced just as much from 1953 through 1984 and that the shorter time frame for the decline shows that the vaccine had an important impact. I must concede that may well be the case, for the sentence following the quote cited from the Pediatrics study says, after all, that “The reductions in vaccine-preventable diseases, however, are impressive.” This still does not refute the main point with this section: that vaccination cannot have been the only – or even main – reason for the decline in illnesses and death rates, and that other factors were also rather significant, possibly even more so.
A similar trend can be seen with many of the other diseases as well, including the so-called “Vaccine-Preventable Diseases”, as can be seen in the other graphs in Vital Statistics Rates in the United States 1940-1960 (Grove & Hetzel, 1968: 80-96). Looking at measles prior to its vaccination campaign which started in the United States in 1963 (CDC, 2019a), the CDC contends that approximately 1 in 1 000 (400 to 500 of 500 000) of the reported cases died, whereas the Vital Statistics paper reported that a mere 0.2-0.3 in 100 000 (p. 547) died from measles in the late 50s up until 1960. That means a mere 1-1.5 in 500 000 according to statistics published on CDC’s own website!
Furthermore, despite the CDC’s insistence that “Since then, widespread use of measles virus-containing vaccine has led to a greater than 99% reduction in measles cases compared with the pre-vaccine era,” the great reduction of the measles death rate in the first half of the 20th-century shows that the later vaccination campaign clearly cannot take much credit here.
If not vaccines alone, what may the decline instead have been caused by? The researchers in the Pediatrics study instead attribute the decline to “a combination of improved socioeconomic conditions in this country and the public health strategies to protect the health of Americans,” which includes state and local health departments implementing measures such as
water treatment, food safety, organized solid waste disposal, and public education about hygienic practices. […] improvements in housing and decrease crowding in US cities are linked to the reductions in mortality from tuberculosis and other diseases attributable to person-to-person airborne transmission.
The CDC (2012) concurs with the significance of water treatment in this trend, calling it “one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.” They also document its historical development:
In 1908, Jersey City, New Jersey was the first city in the United States to begin routine disinfection of community drinking water. Over the next decade, thousands of cities and towns across the United States followed suit in routinely disinfecting their drinking water, contributing to a dramatic decrease in disease across the country
On the related problems that still remains today, the WHO (2018) has also contended that
Some 842 000 people in low- and middle-income countries die as a result of inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene each year, representing 58% of total diarrhoeal deaths. Poor sanitation is believed to be the main cause in some 280 000 of these deaths.
The CDC (2016) further adds that
Water, sanitation and hygiene has the potential to prevent at least 9.1% of the global disease burden and 6.3% of all deaths. The impact of clean water technologies on public health in the U.S. is estimated to have had a rate of return of 23 to 1 for investments in water filtration and chlorination during the first half of the 20th century.
Combined with the toilet being perfected and popularized, improved sanitation and water treatment thus led to a significant decrease in infection and death rates and has much potential to reduce it further globally still. In a poll of what readers of the British Medical Journal considered the “most important medical milestone since 1840”, 15.8% of the 11 300 participants voted for “introduction of piped water to people’s homes and sewers rinsed by water” (BMJ, 2007). Meanwhile, antibiotics and vaccines received 15% and 12%, respectively.
We’ve thus seen that vaccines can hardly take the full – or even the majority of – credit for the great decline of illnesses and death rates thereof during the last century, and that improved sanitation, water treatment, waste disposal, as well as increased prevalence and use of toilets, were arguably more significant causal factors behind this great achievement. Furthermore, prioritizing the investments of further improvement in such infrastructure over vaccines in the third world today appear to likewise have the potential of having more effective and practical results.
Conflicts of Interests With the Pharmaceutical Industry
As a great deal of the history of vaccines has now been revealed, let’s turn to the present. Even if you may grant that all – or most – of these events did in fact occur, you’ll respond that they don’t by themselves prove that much similar is going on today and that the research, media, and regulatory agencies of Big Pharma are lying when they say that vaccines are safe and effective. I’d certainly agree, so let’s take a closer look to investigate these three individually.
The ideal in science is to acquire as objective an understanding of reality as possible through the use of the scientific method without the negative influences of human biases and personal interests that hinder humans from achieving this. Though one may have wished or imagined that truth is the ultimate goal of everyone, that unfortunately isn’t the case, and when this imperfection is infused to the academy and research too, then its conclusions may misguide also those who really do seek the truth through such empirical investigations.
This tendency, I will argue, appears to have gotten an especially strong foothold in the research on pharmaceutical products. According to a 2007 study by the Journal of the American Medical Association, as much as 60% of medical academic department chairs had
some form of personal relationship with industry, including serving as a consultant (27%), a member of a scientific advisory board (27%), a paid speaker (14%), an officer (7%), a founder (9%), or a member of the board of directors (11%).
Additionally, “Two-thirds (67%) of departments as administrative units had relationships with industry (Campbell, Weissman & Ehringhaus, 2007).” Another study in JAMA, published a few years earlier, documents the historical trend in this matter:
Industry support of biomedical research in the United States increased dramatically in the last 2 decades. Industry’s share of total investment in biomedical research and development grew from approximately 32% in 1980 to 62% in 2000, while the federal government’s share fell. During this period, the relationship between academic institutions and industry flourished, spawning medical advances, creating new biotechnology markets, and providing needed support for further discovery. However, an entanglement of relationships among industry, investigators, and academic institutions also emerged.
They further elaborate on the potential problems of this entanglement, in that “Financial interests are not the only, or necessarily the most powerful, secondary interests faced by investigators and academic institutions.”
For investigators, other pressures, including the desire for professional recognition and the need to compete successfully for research funding, are intrinsic to the research process. Institutions also confront myriad pressures arising from balancing the needs of diverse departments and constituencies. However, financial interests related to biomedical research are nonobligatory and often unrecognized unless disclosed (Bekelman, Li & Gross, 2003).
Though it is a possibility that this may lead research astray from adhering to the scientific method, it might be objected, is there any evidence that this is the case? After all, in the former study they also found that “More than two-thirds of chairs perceived that having a relationship with industry had no effect on their professional activities […]” However, this might be nothing more than a case of cognitive dissonance on their part, as the latter study’s authors found that
Eleven studies concluded that industry-sponsored research tends to yield pro-industry conclusions. The quality of these studies was relatively strong, as all 11 explicitly defined study outcome a priori, although only 7 used a blinded review. […]
A 1998 study compared authors’ financial relationships with industry with their published positions about the safety of calcium channel blockers. Authors who had financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies were significantly more likely to reach supportive conclusions than authors without such industry affiliations (51% vs 0%; P<.001). Similarly, a 1998 analysis of 106 review articles on the health effects of second-hand smoking showed that industry-sponsored reviews were significantly more likely to yield pro-industry conclusions than nonindustry-sponsored studies (94% vs 13%; P<.001). […]
Four studies investigated the relation between sponsorship and study design. In an analysis of multiple myeloma RCTs, industry-sponsored studies were substantially more likely to use inactive controls (ie, placebo or no-therapy controls) than were nonindustry-sponsored studies (60% vs 21%; P<.001). The authors also found that the use of inactive controls increased the likelihood of positive study results. An analysis of 159 RCTs also reported that trials funded by for-profit organizations were more likely to use an inactive control.
Recall that this study was published in 2003, so much may indeed have changed in the years that have passed since, but I find no evidence suggesting that the trend of increasing entanglement up until then has reversed thereafter. Rather the contrary, in fact, as a 2010 study on the influence of financing of drug trials by pharmaceutical companies found that “Financial support from a pharmaceutical company influences multiple aspects of the performance of drug trials and often leads to a favorable result for the corporate sponsor of the trial.” Some of these aspects include that
A number of studies revealed that many trials financed by pharmaceutical companies—in some cases, as many as half of all such trials—are never published. Moreover, multiple publications of the same findings were found, and some reports were found to include selectively published data. Further studies revealed evidence of other problems including incomplete trial registration, constraints on publishing rights, withheld knowledge of adverse drug reactions, and the use of ghostwriters who were supplied by the pharmaceutical companies (Schott et al., 2010).
Another investigation, looking at the New England Medical Journal in particular, also concluded that
Even though no effort was made to evaluate systematically all evidence on the same topic (eg, meta-analyses including all studies published before and after the specific NEJM articles), the proportion of medical reversals seems alarmingly high. At a minimum, it poses major questions about the validity and clinical utility of a sizeable portion of everyday medical care (Ioannidis, 2013).
It’s also to the great benefit of those wanting to skew such studies that “No regulations govern placebo composition. The composition of placebos can influence trial outcomes and merits reporting (Golomb et al., 2010).” Accordingly, “Most studies did not disclose the composition of the study placebo,” indicating they could just as well have used another vaccine as a “placebo” to find their product as having no relative risk.
As even further evidence for a tight financial relationship between Big Pharma and the academy, Sharyl Attkisson (2008) of CBS News reports that the Academy of Pediatrics, the world’s leading publisher of resources for pediatricians and child health professionals, has received millions by the vaccine industry for “conferences, grants, medical education classes and even helped build their headquarters.” She contends that “The totals are kept secret, but public documents reveal bits and pieces.” The findings include
- A $342,000 payment from Wyeth, maker of the pneumococcal vaccine – which makes $2 billion a year in sales.
- A $433,000 contribution from Merck, the same year the academy endorsed Merck’s HPV vaccine – which made $1.5 billion a year in sales.
- Another top donor: Sanofi Aventis, maker of 17 vaccines and a new five-in-one combo shot just added to the childhood vaccine schedule last month.
With these four meta-studies, as well as the documented donations from Big Pharma to AoP, a clear pattern emerges that researchers have increasingly been receiving funding from Big Pharma, and are thus more inclined to conclude in favor of the latter’s products and treatments. I think, therefore, that we ought to be cautious in investigating the studies thereof rather than accepting them all (or at least those which match with our preconceptions) as empirical facts. We should also be asking: cui bono? – who benefits? This point will be especially important to remember when investigating studies on the ingredients of vaccines and their effects further on.
Also in the media business can one find concerning conflicts of interests negatively impacting what information the general public gets exposed to about medical issues. The British Medical Journal (BMJ, 2017) has documented, for instance, that Coca-Cola donated $1 million to the University of Colorado for holding journalist conferences shifting the focus on the causes of the obesity rate from sugary drinks and the like to the lack of exercise. Amid controversy sparked from the funding, the university later returned the currency, but Coca-Cola kept sending tens of thousands of dollars to finance such conferences in cooperation with the Washington-based National Press Foundation. The associate professor at the University of Ottawa Yoni Freedhoff has since commented that “It’s great business for Coca-Cola to fund the indoctrination of journalists in Coca-Cola friendly dogma, a fact I’d wager was clear to those experts who helped Coca-Cola to hide their involvement.” Though this example doesn’t concern the pharmaceutical industry per se, I think it shows how easily journalists can be misled on medical issues.
The pharmaceutical industry also has a quite firm influence on the mainstream media. Dr. Joseph Mercola (2017) goes as far as to purport that “Mainstream media is essentially owned by the drug industry, so positive messages about new drugs are unfiltered Pharma messages.” As an example, he cites the observation by the Center for Research on Globalization (2016) that two of the largest newspapers in the United States have on their boards of Directors many figures who were previously or presently affiliated with large pharmaceutical companies (as well as other industries with possible conflicts of interests on the issue). They write that
The New York Times has on its board people who are past or presently affiliated with: Schering-Plough International (pharmaceuticals), the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chevron Corporation, Wesco Financial Corporation, Kohlberg & Company, The Charles Schwab Corporation, eBay Inc., Xerox, IBM, Ford Motor Company, Eli Lilly & Company [pharma], among others. Hardly a bastion of impartiality.
And the same could be said for the Washington Post, which has on its board: Lee Bollinger, the President of Columbia University and former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and individuals associated with (past or presently): the Coca-Cola Company, New York University, Conservation International, the Council on Foreign Relations, Xerox, Catalyst, Johnson & Johnson [pharma], Target Corporation, RAND Corporation, General Motors, and the Business Council, among others .
Such conflicts of interests are bound to influence the reportage on the relevant issues, regarding medial ones especially with Schering-Plough, Eli Lilly, and Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Mercola thus comments sarcastically:
No wonder the dangers of the bone drugs bisphosphonates, hormone replacement therapy, statins, SSRI antidepressants (especially Paxil), heartburn drugs (PPIs), antibiotics such as Levaquin and arthritis drugs like Humira seldom reach the public.
Pharmaceutical companies also spend large sums on advertisements for their products on such sites and shows. According to John Swallen (2017), Chief Research Officer for Kantar Media Intelligence North America, it became the 7th largest ad category at a total of $6.4 billion in 2016. He further observes: “Looking at the top 10 prescription drug brands ranked by 2016 ad investments, eight had double-digit growth rates year-over-year and all of them spent over $100 million.” Such a financial relationship appears at least worth consideration of the degree to which it may affect their partiality on such matters, promoting their products and treatments more in general.
Government & Regulatory Agencies
In his landmark work The Machinery of Freedom, David D. Friedman (2014 : 42) argued that regulatory agencies and licensing tends to become “captured” by the industries they’re intended to regulate: “A politician who can regulate an industry gets much more by helping the industry, whose members know and care more about the effects of the regulation,” he contends, “than by helping the mass of consumers, who do not know they are being hurt and who would not know if they were being protected.” Furthermore,
An astute politician can – as many have – both help the industry and get credit for protecting the consumers. The consumers whose relationship to the industry is a very small part of their lives, will never know what prices would have been if there were no regulation.
The same principles apply to licensing. Once it exists, it must inevitably be taken over by the profession. Who else has either the concentrated interest in how it is done or the special knowledge required to do it? And the interest of the profession is directly contrary to the interest of the rest of us – in favor of keeping down its numbers instead of expanding them.
Is this thesis of regulatory capture pure speculation or does it actually have some connection to reality? If it’s true, it still doesn’t say anything about the extent of the problem, so investigations are certainly warranted for whether there are reasons to believe it applies to regulators of large and important industries. If this is the case with the pharmaceutical industry, for instance, it could have a significant impact on medical patients, especially in the United States, whose medications may have harmful side-effects ignored by the industry-sponsored studies thereof, as well as the companies manufacturing them being legally protected from lawsuits for such.
Lobbying by Big Pharma
We may first follow the money: How much does this industry lobby the government for, and what does it gain in return? In the case of Big Pharma, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (2019), it tops the list after having lobbied up to $4 152 801 221 from 1998 to 2019. This is almost 50% more than the insurance lobby in second place with $2.8 billion. Theoretically one may then expect that regulatory capture would apply the best for the pharmaceutical industry, so let’s see whether there are any symptoms of this.
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act and Compensation Program of 1986
A notable piece of legislation on the issue is the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which
Provides that no vaccine manufacturer shall be liable in a civil action for damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death: (1) resulting from unavoidable side effects; or (2) solely due to the manufacturer’s failure to provide direct warnings.
However, it still
Provides that a manufacturer may be held liable where: (1) such manufacturer engaged in the fraudulent or intentional withholding of information; or (2) such manufacturer failed to exercise due care. Permits punitive damages in such civil actions under certain circumstances (Congress, 1986).
Though many a reader may think this policy sounds at least somewhat reasonable, the result has been, according to one study, that
vaccines that were licensed after legislation that preempted most product liability lawsuits are associated with a significantly higher incidence of adverse events than were vaccines that were licensed under a previous regime that permitted consumers to sue (DeLong, 2018a).
Additionally, the author found in another study that “the average market return to the licensing of a new vaccine increases after the passage of legislation that removed most product liability for vaccines (DeLong, 2018b).”
The legislation also created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), which in its 30-year history has compensated over $4 billion to 6 726 petitioners (while 11 260 were rejected) (HRSA, 2018). However, this still does not mean that the pharmaceutical companies are held financially liable, as it’s funded through excise taxes on the vaccines recommended by the CDC (HRSA, 2019), punishing the customers of the vaccines to the benefit of the producers.
An analysis by the Emory Law Journal also suggests that there are numerous problems with the program, such as that it has “not lived up to the expectations Congress set out for it—to be fair, consistent, non-adversarial, and speedy (Holland, 2018).” For instance, the author cites an HHS document acknowledging that NVICP judgments are inconsistent, as well as research claiming that the program “on average takes two and a half times longer to process claims than the traditional tort system—sixty-six months in the NVICP compared to 25.6 months for tort cases.”
Has the CDC Been “Captured”?
We may also look at the credibility and independence of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, established in 1946, according to the agency, “to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S.” by recommending health treatments and regulating the distribution thereof accordingly (CDC, 2019b). They further insist that
Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.
CDC increases the health security of our nation. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.
Thus, we now have two principles to judge the agency by: The degree to which they (1) effectively cure and prevent diseases; and (2) increase the overall health security of the United States. The CDC boasts much about such achievements, so let’s endeavor into how well (or not) they’ve actually met them.
Conflicts of interests and corruption have, as we’ve seen, large potential to incline people to violate such principles, so if we find any indicators of that, there’ll be some reason to cast doubt on the raison d’être of the CDC. One such indicator is a letter to the then-Chief of Staff Carmen Villar by whistleblowers from the agency calling themselves the CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research (CDC SPIDER), contending that “our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests” and “is being circumvented by some of our leaders.” They further write,
What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviors. Others see it and turn the other way. Some staff are intimidated and pressed to do things they know are not right. We have representatives from across the agency that witness this unacceptable behavior. It occurs at all levels and in all of our respective units. These questionable and unethical practices threaten to undermine our credibility and reputation as a trusted leader in public health (CDC Spider, 2016).
The scientists include three examples in their letter:
- The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP – CDC department responsible for chronic disease treatment) made an effort to “bury” the facts that
screening numbers for the WW [Wise Woman] program were misrepresented in documents sent to Congress; screening numbers for 2014 and 2015 did not meet expectations despite a multimillion dollar investment; and definitions were changed and data ‘cooked’ to make the results look better than they were.
An internal review of the involved staff at the CDC was suppressed to prevent media and Congress from becoming aware of the problems. Furthermore, “now that both the media and Congresswoman DeLauro are aware of these issues, CDC staff have gone out of their way to delay FOIAs and obstruct any inquiry.”
- The doctors Barbara Bowman and Michael Pratt had “irregular (if not questionable)” relationships with Coca Cola and ILSI representatives.
Neither of these relationships were necessary (or appropriate) to uphold our mission. Neither organization added any value to the good work and science already underway at CDC. In fact, these ties have now called into question and undermined CDC’s work. A cloud has been cast over the ethical and excellent work of scientists due to this wanton behavior.
- Additionally, Pratt has held positions at Emory University and the University of California – San Diego while being an active duty Commissioned Corps Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. CDC SPIDER asserts,
Most staff do not enjoy such unique positions supported and approved by a Center Director (Dr. Bauer). Dr. Pratt has scored a sweet deal (not available to most other scientists at CDC). Concerns about these two positions and others were recently described in The Huffington Post and The Hill. His behavior and that of management surrounding this is very troubling.
Furthermore, it isn’t a rare occurrence that those in the leadership of agencies like the CDC and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) leadership have had conflicts of interests with the industry and later transferred to high positions in companies like Merck. Some of these include
- Alex Michael Azar: Deputy Secretary at the HHS (2005-2007) -> President at Eli Lilly & Co (one of the largest pharma companies in the U.S., 2012-2017) -> Secretary at the HHS (2018-present) .
- Brenda Fitzgerald: Resigned from CDC Director (2017-2018) after revelations of her partnership with Coca Cola in fighting child obesity, and having tens of thousand dollars investments in companies involved with tobacco (Japan Tobacco), pharmaceutical products (Merck & Bayer) and health insurance (Humana) (Karlin-Smith & Ehley, 2018; Kaplan, 2017).
- Carmen Villar: CDC Chief of Staff (1997-2017) -> Vice President of Social Business Innovation at Merck (2017-present) .
- Julie Gerberding: CDC Director (2002-2009) -> President at Merck Vaccines (2010- 2014) .
- Keagan Lenihan: Lobbyist for McKesson Specialty Health (distributor of pharmaceutical products)
- Robert Califf: FDA Commissioner (2015-2017). He had previously been deeply affiliated with the industry and reported on a financial disclosure form that part of his salary was provided by the pharmaceutical companies Amylin, Bayer, BMS, Eli Lilly, Janssen Research & Development, Merck, and Novartis .
- Thomas Verstraeten [who will be discussed in further detail in the section on thimerosal]: EIS Officer at the CDC (1999-2001) -> Head epidemiology at GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals (2003-2005) .
These are far from the only ones. The California Health Line reports that up to
Nearly 340 former congressional staffers now work for pharmaceutical companies or their lobbying firms, according to data analyzed by KHN and provided by Legistorm, a nonpartisan congressional research company. On the flip side, the analysis showed, more than a dozen former drug industry employees now have jobs on Capitol Hill — often on committees that handle health care policy (Lupkin, 2018).
The watchdog group Public Citizen (2017) also identified “133 executive branch employees appointed so far with a history of serving as registered lobbyists at some time in their careers.”
Additionally, Jeanne Lenzer of the British Medical Journal (BMJ, 2015) has uncovered more information about the high prevalence of financial ties between the CDC and the industry. She reports that it started in 1983 when the agency was first authorized to accept grants from the industry and other private parties. Nine years later, Congress passed legislation establishing the non-profit CDC Foundation to encourage a stronger relationship between the CDC and the industry, which started its operations in 1995. As of how it has become today, Lenzer writes,
The CDC Foundation raised $52m in fiscal year 2014, of which $12m was from corporations. The CDC itself in fiscal year 2014 received $16m in conditional funding from sources such as corporations, individuals, and philanthropy, including the CDC Foundation. Conditional donations are earmarked for specific projects. For example, in 2012, Genentech earmarked $600 000 in donations to the CDC Foundation for CDC’s efforts to promote expanded testing and treatment of viral hepatitis. Genentech and its parent company, Roche, manufacture test kits and treatments for hepatitis C.
Numerous manufacturers give donations to the CDC Foundation. Janssen also contributed $1.5m in 2012-13,1 and in 2011-12 contributors included Merck ($915 149), Genzyme ($762 000), Sanofi-Aventis ($600 000), and Abbott Laboratories ($550 000).
The CDC has recently issued controversial recommendations for screening tests and drugs, and is currently overseeing several equally controversial studies. Some of these are associated with “conditional” industry funding […]”
As it turns out, then, the relationship between the CDC and the pharmaceutical industry appears to match the criteria of regulatory capture set by Friedman quite consistently. Jerome R. Hoffman, emeritus professor of medicine at UCLA, comments on these findings:
Most of us were shocked to learn the CDC takes funding from industry. Of course it is outrageous that industry apparently is allowed to punish the CDC if the agency conducts research that has the potential to cut into profits. But it was our government that made this very bad arrangement, so the way to fix it is not to ask the CDC to ‘pretty please be more ethical, and avoid conflicts of interest’; rather, as a society, we have to get the government to reject this devil’s bargain, by changing the rules so this can no longer happen.
That the CDC takes funding from the pharmaceutical industry may, however, not even be the most alarming factor regarding its credibility on vaccines and other medical supplies – they also own plenty of vaccines. The law firm Weltchek Mallahan & Weltchek Attorneys At Law (“CDC Members Own More Than 50 Patents Connected to Vaccinations”) claims that “In total, 56 individual patents were found to be owned or shared by one or more members of the ACIP [CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices] committee or other committees within the CDC,” concerning
- “Nucleic acid vaccines for prevention of flavivirus infection” – This patent comes into play during the manufacturing process of vaccines for yellow fever, Zika, Dengue, West Nile virus and more.
- Various vaccination testing methods – When pharmaceutical companies need to test aspects of a new vaccine, they may utilize one of the CDC’s patented testing methods including an artificial lung system for aerosol vaccines and a process that screens new vaccines for human rhinoviruses.
- Adjuvant patents – Adjuvants are components within vaccinations intended to create an intensified immune reaction; members of the ACIP own patents on adjuvants used specifically in vaccinations created for premature babies and full term newborns.
- Assays that assist vaccine development – During the vaccine development process, manufacturers will often observe biological samples for specific antibodies; the CDC owns a patent on an assay that facilitates this monitoring system.
- Vaccine quality control – patents on various aspects of quality control for vaccinations are utilized by pharmaceutical companies on a large scale once a new vaccine is actively distributed to the public.
They don’t provide any references for this claim, but it’s substantiated by GlobalPossibilities.org (“Robert Kennedy Jr.: CDC Is A Privately Owned Vaccine Company”), linking to search results for US patents with the CDC as the assignee . The author delineates the different patents in further depth:
There are CDC patents applicable to vaccines for Flu, Rotavirus, Hepatitis A, HIV, Anthrax, Rabies, Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Group A Strep, Pneumococcal disease, Meningococcal disease, RSV, Gastroenteritis, Japanese encephalitis, SARS, Rift Valley Fever, and chlamydophila pneumoniae.
There is a CDC patent for “Nucleic acid vaccines for prevention of flavivirus infection,” which has applications in vaccines for Zika, West Nile virus, Dengue fever, tick-borne encephalitis virus, yellow fever, Palm Creek virus, and Parramatta River virus.
CDC also has several patents for administering various ”shots” via aerosol delivery systems for vaccines.
There’s a CDC patent on a process for vaccine quality control by “quantifying proteins in a complex preparation of uni- or multivalent commercial or research vaccine preparations.”
There’s a CDC patent on a method “for producing a model for evaluating the antiretroviral effects of drugs and vaccines.”
CDC has a patent for companies who want to test their respiratory system applicable vaccine on an artificial lung system.
If a vaccine maker is concerned that their vaccine might contain a human rhinovirus, CDC has a patent on a process for determining if such contamination exists.
CDC has a patent on an assay to assist vaccine makers in finding antigen-specific antibodies in a biological sample.
CDC holds a patent that provides vaccine makers with a method of “reducing the replicative fitness of a pathogen by deoptimizing codons.” Asserting that, “pathogens with deoptimized codons can be used to increase the phenotypic stability of attenuated vaccines.”
The agency also holds a patent on adjuvants for a vaccine used on premature infants and young babies.
There is a CDC patent to cover a vaccine for an infection induced by a tape worm found in pork.
He thus asks rhetorically “Does this seem like a public health agency making ‘independent’ vaccine recommendations, or a private company with an impressive portfolio to which one might look for investment opportunities?” Furthermore, he argues,
The vaccine business is currently a $30 billion per year industry in which organizations like the World Health Organization have urged increased investment, projecting that it will become a $100 billion per year industry by 2025. Thus, it is evident that the CDC and their business partners need the public to not only be okay with the 69 doses of recommended childhood vaccines, but to begin to adhere to the additional 100 plus doses of vaccines recommended by the new adult schedule, and to be ready to inject their families with the additional 271 vaccines in the development pipeline.
Do you now think it’s fair to say, then, that the CDC appears not only to have been “captured” by the industry but also that it’s become integrated therein?
The Function and Ingredients of Vaccines
You may wonder why I, in such a long investigation on vaccines, have not discussed how they are intended to work before over ten thousand words written on the issue. The reason for this is that the studies on the effects of some of the ingredients have become remarkably controversial, thus warranting an investigation into the (historical) intentions behind the distribution of such vaccines, as well as possible conflicts of interests in the academy, media, and government. As those matters have now been delineated, we should now have firm ground upon which to investigate the theory and ingredients behind it all.
The Science Behind Vaccines
What do vaccines actually consist of, and how are they intended to work? The HHS-based Vaccines.gov (2017) explains vaccines primarily as a mixture of two components: antigens and adjuvants.
Antigens, they proclaim, are weakened or dead germs which can cause diseases, injected into the body with the intention to strengthen the immune system to become better prepared for when it later potentially gets exposed to a similar germ or virus albeit stronger. Just by looking at the vaccination schedule by the CDC (2019c), however, one can clearly recognize that it does not provide a definitive, permanent immunization against the disease one is vaccinated against. Infants, for example, are recommended up to three and four doses of the same vaccines (i.e. DTP, Hib, PCV13, and IPV) during their fifteen first months. If it was 100% “effective” in any meaningful sense of the term, why would anyone have to take a vaccine more than once? Additionally, there are plenty of cases where people have been infected with the disease vaccinated against and/or carried it and infected their associates (the cases with India and the Philippines in the section “The History of Vaccine Injuries” are also examples of this point):
- December 1968-February 1969: “A review of the clinical illness of the 25 children who had been given the [measles] vaccine and 22 who had not revealed little difference in the severity of the disease (Baratta et al, 1970);”
- January 4 – May 13, 1985: 82 children in a Blackfeet Indian reservation in Northwest Montana infected with measles despite “A total of 64 (82.1%) of the 78 patients on the reservation who were born after 1956 and were above the recommended age at vaccination had a history of adequate measles vaccination” meaning “measles transmission may persist in some settings despite appropriate implementation of the current measles elimination strategy (Davis et al., 1987);”
- February 8 – April 4, 1986: Based on “284 cases confirmed in 18 counties” in the State of Arkansas, a study found that “compared with students vaccinated against measles at ages 15 months or older, those vaccinated at ages 12-14 months had a three-fold increased risk of measles (Robertson, 1992);”
- Early 1988: “[A]n outbreak of 84 measles cases occurred at a college in Colorado in which over 98 percent of students had documentation of adequate measles immunity (physician diagnosed measles, receipt of live measles vaccine on or after the first birthday, or serologic evidence of immunity) (Hersh et al., 1991);”
- 1985: “An outbreak of measles occurred among adolescents in Corpus Christi, Texas […] even though vaccination requirements for school attendance had been thoroughly enforced,” where “Only 4.1 percent of these [sample] students (74 of 1806) lacked detectable antibody to measles […], and more than 99 percent had records of vaccination with live measles vaccine (Gustafson et al., 1987) ;
- 1989: “In the Quebec City area (pop. 600,000) 1,363 confirmed cases of measles did occur,” where “vaccination coverage among cases was at least 84.5%” and “Vaccination coverage for the total population was 99.0% (Boulianne et al., 1991) ;”
- March 1991 – April 1992: “250 measles suspected cases were studied in the Municipality of Niterói, State of Rio de Janeiro” where “76.4% of them had received measles vaccine before their first birthday (de Oliveira et al., 1995) ;”
- August 1992: Cape Town witnessed “an outbreak […] with cases reported at many schools in children presumably immunised” where “during the last 4 months of the year, 757 cases were notified in Cape Town, compared with 144 in the first 8 months” despite a 91% rate of immunization coverage at and an estimated vaccine efficacy rate of 79% (Coetzee et al., 1994);
- 2008 (Croatia): “18 cases of vaccine-associated mumps were reported that has resulted from transmission of the mumps component (L-Zagreb) to close contacts of children who had received primary vaccination with this trivalent [MMR] vaccine (Kaic et al., 2010);”
- 2009-2013: “[O]ver a quarter of cases of measles in Tianjin, China had received >=1 dose prior to contracting the disease” and “8.5% of cases in the surveillance dataset and 26% in the case series contracted measles despite 2 or more doses of MCV (Masters et al., 2019);”
- July-August 2017: “nine measles cases occurred among vaccinated Israeli soldiers […] in an adult population with high 2-dose measles vaccination coverage (Avramovich et al., 2018)”; and
- May 2019: 24 cases of mumps at the University of Florida, all vaccinated (Patrick, 2019).
There are many more examples , but I find this at the very least to be sufficient evidence to contend that antigens in vaccines could for obvious reasons (1) lead to infection in the vaccinated patient and/or (2) become a carrier of the virus to infect others. Even the CDC itself admits point 1 openly: “Mumps outbreaks can still occur in U.S. communities of people who previously had one or two doses of MMR vaccine. This is particularly common in close-contact settings (CDC, 2019d).” Still, they contend, “High vaccination coverage helps limit the size, duration, and spread of mumps outbreaks.”
Vaccines.org describe adjuvants as “substances that help your immune system respond more strongly to a vaccine. This increases your immunity against the disease.” These have been included as an ingredient in many vaccines since 1920, and are only needed in those in which “the initial innate immune response is not activated such that an effective downstream adaptive response occurs (Pesquale et al. 2015).”
So, how exactly do these substances “help” the immune system respond more strongly to vaccines? Pasquale et al. explain that
All adjuvants appear to stimulate components of the innate immune system, but the diversity of mechanisms used by even a short list of well-studied adjuvants is impressive. […] Adjuvants can act like PAMPs [pathogen-associated molecular patterns], triggering the innate immune response through a variety of mechanisms, to identify the vaccine components as a “threat”, with activation and maturation of APCs [antigen presenting cells] and initiation of downstream adaptive immune activities.
They further provide the following illustration:
This sounds all well and good in theory, in the sense of making the immune system target the antigens (and also, it is proclaimed, future viruses and germs) more effectively, but an objection that should be levied here is why the immune system reacts this way. If it makes more of an effort targeting the vaccine components by including adjuvants, isn’t this an indicator that the immune system identifies the adjuvant to be a threat, and if it is, doesn’t that mean that it could potentially damage the vaccinated’s health at least to some degree?
The CDC (2019e) concedes that “Adjuvanted vaccines can cause more local reactions (such as redness, swelling, and pain at the injection site) and more systemic reactions (such as fever, chills and body aches) than non-adjuvanted vaccines,” but insist that “In all cases, vaccines containing adjuvants are tested for safety and effectiveness in clinical trials before they are licensed for use in the United States.”
To investigate the effects of adjuvants, we may first settle the different types and which vaccines they are used in. CDC provides the following overview of the adjuvants used in different vaccines:
Given that aluminum is used in so many vaccines in comparison to the other adjuvants, that will be the primary focus here. Aluminum has been used in vaccines since the 1930s, they explain, further insisting that “Scientific research has shown the amount of aluminum exposure in people who follow the recommended vaccine schedule is low and is not readily absorbed by the body.” As evidence of this, they link to a paper by Mitkus et al. (2011), which concluded that “episodic exposures to vaccines that contain aluminum adjuvant continue to be extremely low risk to infants and that the benefits of using vaccines containing aluminum adjuvant outweigh any theoretical concerns.”
I think one should be wary with just accepting this at face value, however, not only for concern of conflicts of interests and the like but also because many studies are concluding the exact opposite, some samples of which are cited below:
Even though the element is present in small amounts in mammalian tissues, its toxic effect on living organisms has become clear only recently. Aluminium is now being implicated as interfering with a variety of cellular and metabolic processes in the nervous system and other tissues (American Academy of Pediatrics, 1996).
Aluminium is considered a potentially toxic metal which may even be related to various neurological diseases. Aluminium poisoning may lead to 3 types of disorders: aluminium-induced bone disease, microcytic anaemia and encephalopathy (Pérez-Granados, 2002).
Aluminium is neurotoxic. Its free ion, Al(3+) (aq), is highly biologically reactive and uniquely equipped to do damage to essential cellular (neuronal) biochemistry. This unequivocal fact must be the starting point in examining the risk posed by aluminium as a neurotoxin in humans (Exley, 2014).
It appears that [Merck’s HPV vaccine] Gardasil via its Al adjuvant and HPV antigens has the ability to trigger neuroinflammation and autoimmune reactions, further leading to behavioral changes (Inbar et al., 2017).
The observation of predominantly intracellular aluminium in these tissues was novel and something similar has only previously been observed in cases of autism. The results suggest a strong inflammatory component in this case and support a role for aluminium in this rare and unusual case of CAA (Mold et al., 2019).
The pre-eminence of intracellular aluminium associated with non-neuronal cells was a standout observation in autism brain tissue and may offer clues as to both the origin of the brain aluminium as well as a putative role in autism spectrum disorder (Mold et al., 2018).
Nineteen more studies on the issue can be found at Learn the Risk (“Aluminum: What Does the Science Say?”), linking it to food allergies, autoimmune issues, and brain damage. Chris Shaw, Professor of Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia, explains that
The difference between injectible aluminum versus dietary aluminum is that aluminum that you eat is excreted fairly rapidly. Injectible aluminum, however, is meant to stick around – that’s precisely why it’s there in the first place, that’s what an adjuvant does.
He further explains his findings in experimenting with aluminum on mice:
We were quite surprised to see how rapidly the behavior symptoms emerged, they showed not only behavioral deficits in motor functions, but they ultimately showed cognitive deficits as well. And, once we sacrificed the animals and started looking inside their brains and spinal cords, we found massive damage to motor neurons. And so we may be creating the conditions for Parkinson’s disease, Lou. Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease. Maybe not immediately, but maybe 20, 30, 40 years down the road.
This is supported by Classen & Classen (1999) who warned in an entry in the British Medical Journal that “vaccines may have long term adverse effects”, and concluded from their study on “the effect of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine on the incidence of diabetes” that
diabetes induced by vaccine should not be considered a rare potential adverse event. The incidence of many other chronic immunological diseases, including asthma, allergies, and immune mediated cancers, has risen rapidly and may also be linked to immunisation.
To avoid having to take this as a matter of words against words, we may rather look at whether the testing of the safety and effectiveness of aluminum in vaccines is conducted appropriately. Lyons Weiler and Ricketson (2018) investigated this and found that “With the exception of extraneous proteins, no component safety testing is required for vaccines or vaccine schedules,” in contrast to the requirement for drugs. They further report that
The dosing of aluminum in vaccines is based on the production of antibody titers, not safety science. […] Our calculations show that the levels of aluminum suggested by the currently used limits place infants at risk of acute, repeated, and possibly chronic exposures of toxic levels of aluminum in modern vaccine schedules (Lyons-Weiler & Ricketson, 2018).
Similarly, other researchers conclude that
Mitkus et al. (Vaccine, 2011) only considered solubilized Al, with erroneous calculations of absorption duration. Systemic Al particle diffusion and neuro-inflammatory potential were omitted. The MRL [minimal risk level] they used was both inappropriate (oral Al vs. injected adjuvant) and still too high (1mg/kg/d) regarding recent animal studies. Both paucity and serious weaknesses of reference studies strongly suggest that novel experimental studies of Al adjuvants toxicokinetics should be performed on the long-term, including both neonatal and adult exposures, to ensure their safety and restore population confidence in Al-containing vaccines (Masson et al., 2018).
Human exposure to aluminium is burgeoning with significant implications for human health. ABAs [Aluminum-Based Adjuvants] are effective and cheap but are they safe? Confirmation of their safety remains to be addressed and will only come from further research on their biological activities at injection sites and beyond. […] aluminium adjuvants used in clinically approved vaccines are chemically and biologically dissimilar with concomitantly potentially distinct roles in vaccine-related adverse events (Shardlow, Mold & Exley, 2018).
[…] it is recommended that the use of aluminium salts in immunisations should be discontinued and that adults should take steps to minimise their exposure to environmental aluminium (Morris, Puri & Frye, 2017).
These are some important indicators that aluminum may provide significant health risks, so how much of this mineral is included in vaccine doses? Only “small amounts” per CDC (2019f), but what does this mean? Vaccinesafety.edu (2018) provides the following overview of aluminum composition in various vaccines :
Putting this into perspective, James Lyons-Weiler (2018a) contends that
The Hepatitis B vaccine, for example, contains 250 mcg of aluminum hydroxide. For a median-weight male child (7.5 lb), that means on the first day of birth, the child is given a dose of 73.5 mcg/kg on the day of vaccination — so 73.5 mcg/kg/day from vaccines alone, in addition to any other sources like diet .
How “small” or “big” are these amounts relative to the level at which neurological disorders or other health issues may emerge? Lyons-Weiler provides an overview of what eight different studies (cited in the references) have estimated as the “safety limit” of aluminum as measured with mg/kg/day:
However, he points out that this research isn’t completely adequate to judge the safety of aluminum in vaccines, emphasizing, like Dr. Shaw, that the difference between ingested and injected aluminum is rather significant:
In terms of relative exposures, which is of little assurance because toxicity is additive, only 0.03% of aluminum from food and water is metabolically available, compared to 100% that must be processed (eliminated or stored) from vaccines.
Based on this, he further warns that
The intracorporeal (within body) exposure at the incorrect MRLs allows children to be exposed to 666 times the amount of intracorporeal aluminum than the amount that was considered safe in 2007. We are almost certainly looking at a global neurotoxicity disaster.
A “global neurotoxicity disaster” sounds like a rather apocalyptic claim, but as we’ve seen, there is quite a bit of research that underpins it, showing aluminum injections may lead to Autism Spectrum Disorder (Shaw, Li & Tomlenjovic, 2013; Mold et al., 2018; Mold et al., 2019) , Gulf War illness (Petrik et al., 2007; Shaw & Petrik, 2009) , Alzheimer’s disease (Tomljenovic, 2011; Shaw & Petrik, 2009; Shaw & Tomljenovic, 2013; Exley & Vickers, 2014; Kawahara & Kato-Negishi, 2011), breast cancer (Darbre, Mannello, Exley, 2013), dementia (Shaw & Petrik, 2009), and hastened brain aging (Bondy, 2014).
In addition to antigens and adjuvants, Vaccines.org reports that two further categories of ingredients are included in some vaccines: preservatives and stabilizers (the latter will be discussed briefly along with other additional ingredients of concern below).
Preservatives are only included in vaccines with more than one dose and are intended to protect them from outside bacteria and fungus. CDC (2015c) elaborates that
Each time a vaccine dose is drawn from a multi-dose vial, bacteria or fungi can enter the vial. Receiving a vaccine contaminated with bacteria or fungi can be dangerous. Preservatives are needed to prevent contamination of multi-dose vials each time individual doses are drawn.
Thimerosal is a “mercury-based preservative”, as the CDC (2015d) explains, insisting that “There is no evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site.” Because it exposed infants to a higher degree of mercury than recommended by the EPA (Ball, Ball & Pratt, 2001), however, “in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure.” They further point out that thimerosal was removed from many childhood vaccines in 2001, and claims that “Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines do not and never did contain thimerosal. Varicella (chickenpox), inactivated polio (IPV), and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines have also never contained thimerosal.” Those that still have thimerosal as a preservative, according to Vaccinesafety.edu, include various influenza vaccines as well as vaccines against Japanese Encephalitis, Meningococcal, Tetanus, and Diphtheria.
The influenza vaccine is by far the most widespread of these. As the CDC (2018) notes that “Vaccine manufacturers have projected that they will supply as many as 163 million to 168 million doses of i flu vaccine for the 2018-2019 season.” However, not all of these include thimerosal. They proclaim that “More than 80 percent of projected vaccine supply produced for the 2018-2019 flu season will be thimerosal-free (i.e., preservative-free).” Though this may be seen as a cause of relief for vaccine skeptics, it still means that around 30 million thimerosal-containing flu shots (as a conservative measure ) are being issued in a single season, the potential consequences of which we will investigate below.
In defense of Thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs), the CDC (2015e) cites DeStefano et al. (2013), Immunization Safety Review (2004), and nine further thimerosal-related studies “by CDC or with CDC’s involvement” (CDC, “Science Summary: CDC Studies on Thimerosal in Vaccines”). They thus feel justified to conclude that “The evidence is clear: thimerosal is not a toxin in vaccines.” Many vaccine skeptics have, however, disputed this narrative. James Lyons-Weiler (2018b) has investigated in-depth the “48 ‘Key Studies’ cited by organizations such at the American Association of Pediatrics, or listed by CDC and two reviews as evidence of no association between ‘Vaccines’ and autism, or allegedly demonstrating the ‘safety’ of thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCV),” and provides some harsh feedback on the methodology and procedure thereof:
The studies evaluated fell far short of high-quality science: twenty did not estimate ASD prevalence; twenty-two did not study “Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated”; thirty-two only examined association of a single vaccine; twenty publications studied thimerosal containing vs. non-thimerosal containing vaccines; at least twenty-one studies had insufficient statistical power; thirty-three had evidence of flawed study design; twenty-eight had flaws in the design of analysis, in some cases leading to false negatives on the question of association; thirty-four made unwarranted conclusions about negative results given the sample size and type of study. All but one study were retrospective studies; none were blinded, prospective randomized clinical trials. […]
Combined, these studies have been cited by over 6500 other studies or reviews and form the basis of public health policy and practices. The single meta-analysis conducted included low-powered studies that had already been rejected by the IOM as flawed. None of the studies were designed to test the hypothesis that a heterogeneous subgroup of humans carries susceptibility to neurodevelopmental disorders compared to the general population, nor did any of the studies conducted determine whether such individuals could be detected prior to vaccination. The bolus of studies cited by CDC and AAP conspicuously exclude studies that show a positive association of neurodevelopmental disorders and vaccines.
Children’s Health Defense (2017) has, for instance, set up an overview of 89 peer-reviewed studies indicating a link between mercury and autism. The CDC (2015d) counters that
Two types of mercury to which people may be exposed — methylmercury and ethylmercury — are very different. […] Thimerosal contains ethylmercury, which is cleared from the human body more quickly than methylmercury, and is therefore less likely to cause any harm.
This proposition is supported by Burbacher et al. (2005) and Dórea et al. (2014), but there’s also quite a bit of research backing the claim that thimerosal – through the ethylmercury it contains – could also have devastating neurological effects. For instance, Dórea (2017) later published another paper in which he concluded that
While the immunogenic component of the product has undergone more rigorous testing, Thimerosal, known to have neurotoxic effects even at low doses, has not been scrutinized for the limit of tolerance alone or in combination with adjuvant-Al during immaturity or developmental periods (pregnant women, newborns, infants, and young children). Scientific evidence has shown the potential hazards of Thimerosal in experiments that modeled vaccine-EtHg concentrations. Observational population studies have revealed uncertainties related to neurological effects. However, consistently, they showed a link of EtHg with risk of certain neurodevelopment disorders, such as tic disorder, while clearly revealing the benefits of removing Thimerosal from children’s vaccines (associated with immunological reactions) in developed countries.
Hooker et al. (2014) have arguably done the best job compiling this “scientific evidence”, citing “over 165 studies that focused on Thimerosal and found it to be harmful” . Most of these were conducted on animals and adult humans, but of the 16 which “focused on human infants and/or children,” they claim,
the reported outcomes following Thimerosal exposure were (1) death; (2) acrodynia; (3) poisoning; (4) allergic reaction; (5) malformations; (6) autoimmune reaction; (7) Well’s syndrome; (8) developmental delay; and (9) neurodevelopmental disorders, including tics, speech delay, language delay, attention deficit disorder, and autism.
They also refer to a paper by the CDC epidemiologist Thomas Verstraeten, who, according to Hooker et al., found “a 7.6-fold increased risk of autism from exposure to Thimerosal during infancy” based on the CDC Vaccine Safety Database (VSD) with vaccine files on over 400 000 infants born between 1991 and 1997. This study has, however, been rather difficult to find online. The Google Scholar link  which Hooker et al. cite doesn’t take us directly to any particular research; only a search for the title and authors of the paper. An abstract thereof has still been discovered and circulated widely among vaccine skepticism-based websites , but vaccine supporters may be excused for objecting that this may be a forgery without further context. Though the Google Scholar link doesn’t show the study in itself, it does show a citation thereof, providing some evidence that it hasn’t merely been made up out of nothing.
Verstraeten also discussed his findings at the 2000 Simpsonwood CDC conference, further laying out that
For the overall category of neurologic developmental disorders, the point estimates of the categorized estimates suggest potential trends, and the test for trends is also statistically significant above one, with a P value below 0.01. The way to interpret this point estimate which seems very low is as follows. That’s an increase of .7% for each additional microgram of ethylmercury. For an example, if we would go from zero to 50 micrograms of ethylmercury, we would have to multiple these estimate by 50, so that would give us an additional increase of about 35%, which is pretty close to the point estimate for this category. Or for the overall, we would have to multiple 75 micrograms to .7 and that would give us about one and a half for the relative risk (CDC, 2000).
This passage is completely ignored by vaccine apologists like Emily Willingham (2014), who rather focus on Verstraeten assertion that, in contradistinction to the leaked abstract, that on autism, “we don’t see much of a trend except for a slight, but not significant, increase for the highest exposure. The overall test for trend is statistically not significant.” She also provides no mention of his earlier explanation that, based on their risk analyses,
we have found statistically significant relationships between the exposure and the outcome for these different exposures and outcomes. First, for two months of age, an unspecified developmental delay which has its own specific ICD9 code. Exposure at three months of age, Tics. Exposure at six months of age, an attention deficit disorder. Exposure at one, three and six months of age, language and speech delays which are two separate ICD9 codes. Exposure at one, three and six months of age, the entire category of neurodevelopmental delays, which includes all of these plus a number of other disorders.
Later in the discussion, Dr. Isabelle Rupin also pointed out that
I can tell you from my own experience that 20 or 30 years ago I barely diagnosed autism unless it was so blatant that it stared me in the face, and now I see at least two new ones a week. And not so severe as the previous ones, so I think there is a tremendous change in the threshold of ascertainment. And yes, I have seen the California statistics which says it has increased 300 fold, but I would interested to know whether it has increased 300 fold in areas where there are physicians who have been trained in this recognition, as opposed to areas in which there are not.
Ironically enough, she soon after said that she considered genetics a far more important factor for such developmental disorders than the environment, and her observation appears to have gone completely unaddressed.
As Willingham further noted, a paper was published by Verstraeten and other CDC epidemiologists in November 2003 concluding that “No consistent significant associations were found between TCVs and neurodevelopmental outcomes (Verstraeten et al., 2003),” but there appears to be more than the story than that they merely found less of a relationship as they fixed methodological issues and sample size. In a 1999 email to his co-workers titled “It just won’t go away,” Verstraeten wrote that when mining the data and adding an exposure variable which “looks at the increase of mercury each month for the first three months, divided by the average bodyweight in the first, second, and third and takes the maximum value of this,” he found that “This does not do much, to which I would conclude that, except for epilepsy, all the harm is done in the first month.” He further contends that
As these neurologic developmental conditions are very much related (odds for having one when also having the other go from 20 to 100!), I added the first five (called mix), and checked what happened to the RRs. (You get some sort of average.) I will explore the possibility of some sort of factor analysis to replace the conditions by one variable.
As you see some of the RRs increase over the categories and I haven’t yet found an alternative explanation… Please let me know if you can think of one. Frank [DeStefano] proposes we discuss this on a call after NewYear (Verstraeten, 1999) [my italics].
If this email is authentic and was indeed sent by Verstraeten at the time, it provides significant credence to the claim that the CDC was making a real effort to cover up the original findings of the investigation into their VSD, and slowly but surely managed to manipulate the data to deny any kind of relationship between thimerosal and neurological damage.
Another relevant document to investigate is the Mercury in Medicine Report by the Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness, Committee on Government Reform, presented to the House of Representatives in early 2003 (Congressional Record, 2003). Similarly to those by Hooker et al. and Lyons-Weiler, the findings of the report include but are not limited to that
- Mercury is hazardous to humans.
- Manufacturers of vaccines and thimerosal have never conducted adequate testing on the safety of thimerosal.
- Studies and papers documenting the hyperallergenicity and toxicity of thimerosal (ethylmercury) have existed for decades.
- Autism in the United States has grown at epidemic proportions during the last decade. By some estimates the number of autistic children in the United States is growing between 10 and 17 percent per year. The medical community has been unable to determine the underlying cause(s) of this explosive growth.
- At the same time that the incidence of autism was growing, the number of childhood vaccines containing thimerosal was growing, increasing the amount of ethylmercury to which infants were exposed threefold.
- A growing number of scientists and researchers believe that a relationship between the increase in neurodevelopmental disorders of autism, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, and speech or language delay, and the increased use of thimerosal in vaccines is plausible and deserves more scrutiny. In 2001, the Institute of Medicine determined that such a relationship is biologically plausible, but that not enough evidence exists to support or reject this hypothesis.
- The FDA acted too slowly to remove ethylmercury from over-the-counter products like topical ointments and skin creams. Although an advisory committee determined that ethylmercury was unsafe in these products in 1980, a rule requiring its removal was not finalized until 1998.
- The FDA and the CDC failed in their duty to be vigilant as new vaccines containing thimerosal were approved and added to the immunization schedule. When the Hepatitis B and Haemophilus Influenzae Type b vaccines were added to the recommended schedule of childhood immunizations, the cumulative amount of ethylmercury to which children were exposed nearly tripled.
- No amount of mercury is appropriate in any childhood vaccine.
- The CDC in general and the National Immunization Program in particular are conflicted in their duties to monitor the safety of vaccines, while also charged with the responsibility of purchasing vaccines for resale as well as promoting increased immunization rates.
- There is inadequate research regarding ethylmercury neurotoxicity and nephrotoxicity.
- To date, studies conducted or funded by the CDC that purportedly dispute any correlation between autism and vaccine injury have been of poor design, under-powered, and fatally flawed. The CDC’s rush to support and promote such research is reflective of a philosophical conflict in looking fairly at emerging theories and clinical data related to adverse reactions from vaccinations.
This report proves that Congress has known for well over a decade that thimerosal could have devastating health effects and that the CDC appears to have conflicts of interests on the issue; still being either indifferent to or actively supportive of TCVs.
Based on the information presented here, do you consider it an exaggeration when Geier et al. (2015) contend that “The culmination of the research that examines the effects of Thimerosal in humans indicates that it is a poison at minute levels with a plethora of deleterious consequences, even at the levels currently administered in vaccines”?
Further vaccine contents and some research thereof are presented well by Learn the Risk (“Do You Know What’s in a Vaccine?”):
Human and animal cells. Vaccines.gov contend that “Cell culture (growth) material, like eggs” are included in vaccines “to help grow the vaccine antigens.” This means, Learn the Risk asserts while citing CDC (2019g), animal cells derived from “Golden Retrievers, monkeys, pigs, cows, rabbits, guinea pigs and more,” indicating that “If you don’t eat MEAT for health or ethical reasons, you need to think twice about vaccines.” Especially vaccines like Pentacel, Vaqta, Flucelvax, FluMist, Ixiaro, MMR-II, MMRV (ProQuad), IPV – Ipol, RabAvert, RotaTeq, Vivotif Ty21a, Varivax, YF-Vax, and Zostavax. The human cells, they further claim, come from aborted fetuses. Though this may sound unbelievable at first, it has been openly admitted by Stanley Plotkin without regret, who contributed much the development of vaccines against rubella, rotavirus, rabies, anthrax, and others (The HighWire with Del Bigtree, 2019), in a single study including up to 76 aborted fetuses. Besides the significant ethical concerns on this issue, Learn the Risk also claims these cells could have significant negative health effects based on the logic presented above by figures like Chris Shaw and James Lyons-Weiler:
Whatever is injected into the body bypasses our body’s detox filters and most goes straight to vital organs, causing numerous potential SIDE EFFECTS like sudden death, seizures, paralysis, diabetes, MS, cancer, arthritis, asthma, allergies, mental health disorders, lupus, anxiety, IBS and more.
I haven’t found any studies discussing this question, but Dr. Theresa Deisher (2019) further elaborated on the biochemical reaction in her testimony to legislators on the issue:
It works like this: fetal DNA fragments from a baby with about 300 base pairs in length are found in a pregnant mother’s serum. When they reach between 0.46-5.08 ng/mL in serum, they trigger labor via the TLR9 mechanism. The corresponding blood levels are 0.22 ng/mL and 3.12 ng/mL. The fetal DNA levels in a child after being injected with fetal-manufactured vaccines reach the same level that triggers autoimmune rejection of baby by mother.
Anyone who say that the fetal DNA contaminating our vaccines is harmless either does not know anything about immunity and Toll- like receptors or they are not telling the truth.
If fetal DNA can trigger labor (a naturally desired autoimmune reaction), then those same levels in vaccines can trigger autoimmunity in a child. Fragmented fetal DNA contained in vaccines is of similar size, ~215 base pairs.
This is direct biological evidence that fetal DNA contaminants in vaccines are not in low innocuous amounts. They are a very strong proinflammatory trigger [her emphasis].
The Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute (“Studies and Researches on Autism Disorders”) has also documented the changes in the trend of autism prevalence to coincide perfectly at three times with when certain vaccines were approved in the United States, attributing the change to the inclusion of human fetal cells as an excipient:
In 1979, human fetal cell produced MMR II was approved in the US. Compliance campaigns brought MMR II use up from as low as 49% for children born before 1987 to over 82% for children born in 1989 and later. A second dose of MMR II was also introduced to the vaccination schedule for children born in 1988 and later. The third changepoint corresponds to the approval of human fetal cell produced Varivax (chickenpox) in 1995 (See figure below).
Vaccinesafety.edu’s overview of vaccine excipients illustrate how many of them include human and/or animal cells:
Formaldehyde. This is included, according to Vaccines.org, “to weaken or kill viruses, bacteria, or toxins in the vaccine .” Regarding the health effect of this, even the National Cancer Institute (governmental institute part of the National Institutes of Health) concedes that “In 1980, laboratory studies showed that exposure to formaldehyde could cause nasal cancer in rats,” and the EPA in 1987 classifying “formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure.” Furthermore, they report that later studies
have suggested that formaldehyde exposure is associated with certain types of cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies formaldehyde as a human carcinogen [i.e. cancer-causing]. In 2011, the National Toxicology Program, an interagency program of the Department of Health and Human Services, named formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen in its 12th Report on Carcinogens.
They additionally advise on questions such as “How can people limit formaldehyde exposure in their homes?”, but they don’t even mention the use of it in vaccines, although, as shown by Vaccinesafety.edu, it’s included in at least 29 different ones:
Other carcinogens in vaccines include Beta-Propiolactone (Roe & Glendenning, 1956; Searle, 1961; Parish & Searle, 1966; Wattenberg et al., 1987; Uittenbogaard et al., 2011), as well as Polysorbate 80 which makes it easier for other vaccine ingredients (such as the neurotoxins aluminum and ethylmercury discussed above) to pass the Blood-Brain Barrier (Pardridge, 2005; Ren et al., 2009; Huang et al., 2016).
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG). Yang et al. (1997) found that “Headache (p < 0.023), muscle tightness (p < 0.004), numbness/tingling (p < 0.007), general weakness (p < 0.040), and flushing (p < 0.016) occurred more frequently after MSG than placebo ingestion .” Lorden & Caudle (1986) also found through dosing mice with MSG that “single injections of the toxin reduced hypothalamic dopamine levels.” A more comprehensive overview of the neurological effects of and the scientific literature on MSG is provided by Blaylock (2007). MSG is included in the vaccines FluMist Quad, ProQuad, Varivax, and Zostavax.
Neomycin Sulphate (antibiotic). The Prescriber’s Digital Reference (“neomycin sulfate – Drug Summary”) warns that this antibiotic may lead to toxic reactions such as
Dehydration, hearing impairment, neonates, nephrotoxicity, neurotoxicity, ototoxicity, renal disease, renal impairment […] Botulism, myasthenia gravis, neuromuscular blockade, neuromuscular disease, parkinsonism, respiratory depression, respiratory insufficiency.
Drugs.com (2018) provides a similar overview, contending that “toxic reactions may occur,” like “neurotoxicity, ototoxicity, and nephrotoxicity.” Neomycin and neomycin sulfate can be found in the following vaccines:
Why Would They Do This to Us?
An important question we may levy on the narrative on vaccines illustrated here is why the people creating, distributing, and recommending them are engaging in this seemingly far-reaching conspiracy. It’s not easy to dissect the exact motivations that may lie behind the relevant actors, and I’d consider it a likely scenario that they may differ on this but still cooperate on their means to achieve various ends. We cannot read their minds, but as a methodology , we may first think out a priori some possible motivations for this, and then go on to determine their probabilities based on the available evidence afterward.
- Acquiring currency  relatively easily.
- Decreasing the health and well-being of the population generally.
These two possibilities differ primarily in the sense that the potentially damaging effects of many vaccines are merely side-effects of the main intention for the former but are done purposively for that end by the latter.
Is it All for the Cash?
It isn’t difficult to assess the likelihood of the first possibility. The pharmaceutical companies can benefit greatly financially by pumping out new vaccines without having to spend much on conducting adequate safety testing and the like. Additionally, by intently making the vaccines less safe and effective than optimal they could also increase their demand as their customers would have to purchase their products repeatedly rather than be permanently (or at least long-term) immunized and have to seek other treatment for the adverse effects occurring as a result. This claim is backed by Goldman Sachs analyst Salveen Richter’s assertion on other forms of medical treatment that
The potential to deliver ‘one shot cures’ is one of the most attractive aspects of gene therapy, genetically-engineered cell therapy and gene editing. However, such treatments offer a very different outlook with regard to recurring revenue versus chronic therapies. While this proposition carries tremendous value for patients and society, it could represent a challenge for genome medicine developers looking for sustained cash flow (Kim, 2018).
The German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care also found that of 216 drugs approved between 2011 and 2017, “More than half of the drugs that have entered the market in Germany since then have emerged from these assessments without any proven added benefit,” for the three following reasons:
Often simply no studies are available comparing the new drug with the standard treatment for the disease. In other cases studies are available, but the control treatment is unsuitable, for example, because it is not approved for the patients investigated. In this situation, there is no information that could support the decision by patients and physicians for one of the available treatment alternatives. In a smaller number of cases, suitable studies comparing new drugs and standard treatment are available, but do not show any clear advantages or disadvantages (Wieseler & Kaiser, 2019).
One might consider this only to be a special case in Germany, and that we cannot from this deduce to which degree it applies with vaccines as a related category to “drugs”, but as Stewart Lyman (2014) points out, “multi-national firms market the majority of medicines.” The kind of products and treatments they get through in different countries will thus vary in terms of their regulatory frameworks, State interference in the health care sector, and easiness of competition (i.e. the presence or lack of barriers to entry in the market). Lyman further cited the Milken Institute to have measured the portion of “new chemical entities” created in the United States to have been 57% between 2001 and 2010, though he questions the methodology thereof.
As we’ve seen, Big Pharma also provides a great degree of funding to the government (lobbying), the media, and the academy, all of which accordingly have the financial incentive to play along by silencing whistleblowers and covering up or manipulating data indicating negative health outcomes from certain vaccines . Through comprehensive government interference in the US health care sector, it has been cartelized accordingly, protecting such practices from market competition in a variety of ways (Hyman & Silver, 2018).
…Or More Malignant Motives?
The common saying to “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ,” can be a useful rule of thumb in many circumstances, but we must not forget that there indeed are people, albeit a small minority, with pathological tendencies. A study by the Southern Methodist University found, for reference, that the District of Columbia, also known as Washington, D.C. (where Capitol Hill is located and a population that is otherwise barely a fifth a percentage of the overall nation ), had the highest concentration of psychopaths in the United States (Murphy, 2018). I’ve explained in a previous article (Kløvning, 2019c) how the incentive structure behind the State encourages making the public overall less healthy and intelligent, as it makes the legitimacy of their institution, as well as the wealth and power of its participants, less of a subject to intellectual criticism.
Another subject of controversy in this theme is whether the U.S. government is involved in some form of depopulation campaign. In 1974 (declassified in 1989), for instance, the NSSM 200 report (also called the Kissinger Report) was published by the National Security Council on the “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth For U.S. Security and Overseas Interests”, warning about the dangers of population growth and as a counter-measure advocated, among other things, to be “concentrating on the education and indoctrination of the rising generation of children regarding the desirability of smaller family size (p. 80, my italics).” They additionally contended that “No country has reduced its population growth without resorting to abortion.” As we’ve seen in the historical section on the Tuskegee study and other cases, vaccines also have great potential to be used for such purposes, and Bill Gates has contended that “if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that [population growth from 6.8B to 9B] by, perhaps, 10 or 15 percent (Kasprak, 2017) .” Furthermore, it also appears that the American government isn’t very tolerant of any questioning of vaccination at all, as a 1984 entry in the Federal Register contends that
Although the continued availability of the vaccine may not be in immediate jeopardy, any possible doubts, whether or not well founded, about the safety of the vaccine cannot be allowed to exist in view of the need to assure that the vaccine will continue to be used to the maximum extent consistent with the nation’s public health objectives (Govinfo.gov, 1984) [my italics].
No matter the intentions behind it all, the results appear overall to be the same. Given the aggressive push of recommended and mandated vaccination, I think therefore that we should first of all be questioning why we’re supposed to have all of these mystical ingredients pumped into the bodies of ourselves and our children, and do our own research to make more informed decisions.
Precautionary Measures to Minimize Risks of Adverse Injuries
We’ve thus finally arrived at the ultimate question: Should you take that vaccine? I won’t here provide any solid “yes” or “no” as there’s a variety of circumstances where they could be more or less beneficial, but I’ll illustrate a methodology with questions that you may find useful as a basis upon which to think about this subject if you consider it appropriate.
First of all, the primary goal may be said to be optimally healthy and have a strong immune system. Vaccines are far from the only way to achieve this, and as we’ve seen may in many instances make matters even worse. Eating healthy, avoiding junk food and sugary drinks, exercising, being out in nature at least two hours a week (White et al., 2019), and getting an appropriate degree of sleep are all prominent ways to become more healthy, and I can say from personal experience that fasting has been effective in this sense as well .
A recent article in TheScientist called “Could Tolerating Disease Be Better than Fighting It?” also shines a light on the often-ignored idea that the immune system might be better off experiencing and counteracting relatively benign diseases (such as most vaccine-preventable diseases) by itself naturally rather than actively fighting them through drugs and vaccines (Yeager, 2019). The author reports that
fighting infections doesn’t have to be all-out war. Instead of trying to obliterate pathogens that have invaded the body, [Janelle Aires] proposes, organisms may give them what they want and ultimately push them to evolve into something benign, lessening the damage done by the pathogen and the immune system. This phenomenon known as disease tolerance, is something that the body can do naturally by tapping into different physiological systems, such as metabolism, to prevent illness. […]
As they come to appreciate that disease tolerance exists in animals, including humans, researchers want to tap into its mechanisms—analogous to the way they are tapping into the immune system to develop disease-fighting immunotherapies. Specific kinds of supplements, as Ayres has shown in mice, may be one solution. And bacteria that live in the body as part of its microbiome have been shown to help mice tolerate malaria, Salmonella, and pneumonia infections. […]
One beneficial function may be connecting disease tolerance and immunity. Metabolic pathways have a tremendous effect on immune cells, and glucose is at center stage in all of that. Macrophages and many other immune cells require glucose to kill viral and bacterial invaders, while glucose also drives certain disease tolerance pathways. It seems that metabolism, Soares says, may serve as a link between disease tolerance and the immune system, increasing the body’s chances of surviving an infection.
As a case-in-point on this matter, we need only look at the CDC’s (2019h) own words:
If you have been infected with hepatitis B in the past and cleared the virus, you cannot get infected again. Once you clear the hepatitis B virus, you have antibodies that protect you for life from getting infected again. An antibody is a substance found in the blood that the body produces in response to a virus. Antibodies protect the body from disease by attaching to the virus and destroying it.
However, they continue, “some people, especially those infected during early childhood, remain infected for life because they never clear the virus from their bodies.”
Before taking a vaccine, it can thus be practical first to question how exposed one is to the disease at hand, and how dangerous it can be if one is at significant risk for exposure. Using HepB further as an example, we may see that the WHO (2019) insists that it’s most commonly “spread from mother to child at birth (perinatal transmission), or through horizontal transmission (exposure to infected blood), especially from an infected child to an uninfected child during the first 5 years of life,” and that “80–90% of infants infected during the first year of life develop chronic infections.” If someone based on this considers it important and beneficial to get his infant vaccinated (i.e. if the mother or another near contact is a carrier of the disease), he may thereafter look at which vaccine against this disease has the least risk. For instance, if he wants to use a HepB vaccine without aluminum, he should stay away from Engerix-B, Recombivax, and Twinrix, and perhaps rather stick with Heplisav-B. This still has polysorbate-80 in it, so the parent may research further whether polysorbate-80 is potentially harmful by itself or only as a medium for neurotoxins like ethylmercury and aluminum to pass the blood-brain barrier more easily. It’s also important to consider the particular physiology (such as weight) of the infant as well in such instances, however, as the Toxicology Data Network (“Polysorbate 80”) reports that “Polysorbates have also been associated with serious adverse effects, including some deaths, in low birthweight infants intravenously administered a vitamin E preparation containing a mixture of polysorbates 20 and 80.” In other words, to minimize the risks for adverse effects if one considers taking a vaccine absolutely necessary, I’ll advise analyzing and researching the ingredients in-depth, and then eventually choose the least harmful vaccine available.
Another concern is that of mandatory vaccination. If one is forced to take a vaccine with potentially harmful health effects, is there anything that can be done to minimize the risk? Michael Edwards (2015) recommends that
If a vaccination is being forced on you, do not agree to pay for it and do not sign any kind of release or consent form. If you are about to choose to vaccinate or you feel the risks are better than the consequences (loss of job, CPS, vaccine mandate laws), you can minimize the risk by detoxifying the body of heavy metals, strengthening the immune system, and ensuring the gut flora is balanced and healthy.
He further advises: “On the day of the vaccination, take an ice pack with you. Apply it to the injection site immediately after receiving the shot to lessen the immune response.” MD Russell Blaylock (2009) has made the same assessment, adding that “Once you get home, continue using a cold pack throughout the day. If you continue to have immune reactions the following day, have cold showers  and continue with the cold press.”
Besides just keeping one’s immune system as strong as possible through the activities I mentioned above, Learn the Risk (“Detox”) also provides a lot of resources of how to detox such heavy metals and substances from the body. Some examples of the advice provided include an increased intake of Omega 3 oil , vitamin C , and otherwise choosing healthy drinks such as juice, smoothie, and water over soda and other sugary drinks. Cline (2015) also provides a comprehensive overview of dos and don’ts regarding detoxification through diet:
You should, however, really do your own research before you plan to alter your intake of specific supplements and/or substances in your diet based on such recommendations. There are a lot of bloggers and doctors recommending a myriad of different diets, and all I’m advising here is that you try to figure out through researching and experimenting what’s most healthy for you, and what may be most effective to remove harmful substances from your body. Remember that being healthy is not a goal, but a process, and can be maintained only if you keep up with the habits and activities required for it. Through investigating the different opportunities in this field, you may even find that there are alternatives out there that provide you with a far more safe and effective immunization than vaccines ever would.
The common assertion that vaccines are generally “safe and effective” turn out to lie on faulty foundations and become subject to scrutiny when uncovering the veil of the real research, theory, and history of the issue. Historically speaking, vaccines have at many occasions been used for purposes in direct violation of the well-being of the subjects, and have unleashed a great degree of damage in part due to the pursuit of cronyistic profits, faulty regulatory frameworks, and racialist/eugenicist attitudes. Furthermore, the rapid decline of mortality from “vaccine-preventable illnesses” in the last two centuries often attributed to vaccines turns out mostly to have been the result of a cultural change in hygienics, the popularization of sewage systems (i.e. toilets) and improved water treatment. This trend also started before vaccines for the particular illnesses were introduced, so although they steepened the rate somewhat afterward, they cannot take all, or even most of the credit, for this great achievement.
There appears to be far-reaching collusion between the pharmaceutical industry, the government, the academy, and the media regarding the production and distribution of vaccines. Whereas the pharmaceutical companies create the vaccines, their financial and personal relationships with the academy enables them to acquire faulty studies “proving” the safety and effectiveness of their vaccines, and their extensive lobbying also makes it possible for them to get their products approved by the FDA and recommended by the CDC based on said studies (also recall that many in the CDC have their own vaccine patents). In some cases, the government additionally mandates the administration of certain vaccines, and the media has further parroted the narrative of vaccine safety and effectiveness as being “settled science” to the degree that even a sliver of doubt thereof is often met with scorn and emotional manipulation. The exact motivations of the conspirators have not been decisively proven here, but certain evidence and lines of reasoning have been presented for the reader to contemplate further. We may still, however, be approaching a time in which, as Aldous Huxley wrote, “Medical science has made such tremendous progress that there is hardly a healthy human left.”
The theory behind vaccines is relatively simple: weakened or killed viruses/germs are injected into the body to lightly provoke the immune system to train it up in case of exposure to a stronger version thereof. The problem with vaccines is not necessarily so much in the antigens (though it does, of course, increase the probability of infection for those otherwise unexposed) as with the other ingredients, given all the harmful substances like neurotoxins (aluminum and ethylmercury), carcinogens (formaldehyde and Beta-Propiolactone), antibiotics (neomycin), and human and animal cells (i.e. aborted fetal cells) often included. With research indicating the dangers of each of these individually, combined they compound into a great neurological and biochemical risk, which could possibly lead to disorders and diseases like tic disorder, speech delay, ADD, ADHD, asthma, autism, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and so on. If one still considers it necessary to take a vaccine or is forced to due to governmental mandate, the immune reaction can be mitigated by applying a pack of cold ice on the spot of the injection, and healthy habits to strengthen the immune system is a further hedge against the potential risks in such vaccines. If those habits are continually maintained, the immune system may at one point become strong enough to counter even the most viruses and superbugs one is exposed to without any need for vaccines to prepare for such occurrences. Learn the risk both of taking and abstaining from vaccines, and continue to accumulate a solid understanding of the pros and cons before making such potentially life-changing decisions.
P.S.: If you discover any empirical or logical errors in the above document, feel free to send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with argumentation and evidence supporting such an impression. I will issue corrections and updates accordingly where I consider so appropriate. Also please come with questions and additional material in the comment section below to contribute to the discussion on the issue for our mutual benefit.
Despite the comprehensiveness in my writing on the issue above, I highly recommend that the reader does further research on the issue, especially if considering having yourself or your children(s) vaccinated. A lot of questions and aspects of vaccines have been laid out here, but there’s a lot more that could’ve been mentioned, so I hope that it at the very least will be a medium to make people more aware of the different sides of this issue and that the references cited be consulted to see if my claims and documentation match their sources. Though vaccine skeptics are often perceived as being completely illogical and having no valid material to back their points, there are also many more people who have channeled the information available in a similarly analytical and orderly manner. For further comprehensive resources to investigate in addition to those provided in the references, see:
- The Dark Side of Vaccines – Presentation series
- Learn the Risk – Info and studies
- Vaccine Papers – Documentation and studies
- Are Vaccines Safe? – Documentation and studies
- Vaccine Guide – Documentation and studies
- Deadly Allergy – Documentation and studies
- Informed Consent Action Network – Documentation and studies
- Vaccination Information & Choice Network – Documentation and studies
- The Vaccine Agenda – Documentation and news
- The Vaccination Racket – Documentation and research
- Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute – Documentation and research
- Dare to Question Vaccination – (Book) Documentation and research
- Vaccination Debate – Documentation and research
- Australian Vaccination-Risks Network Inc. – Documentation and resources
- World Association for Vaccine Education – Documentation and resources
- The Informed Parent – Documentation and resources
- The Weston A. Price Foundation – Documentation and resources
- Centre for Research on Globalisation – Documentation and news
- Immunity Education Group – FAQ
- Smartvax – FAQ, news, and resources
- Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute – Research
- Green Med Info – Research
- Vaccines Revealed – Documentary series
- The Truth About Vaccines – Documentary series
- The Greater Good Movie – Documentary, resources, and news
- VAXXED TV – Anecdotes and documentation
- Following Vaccination – Anecdotes and resources
- Vactruth – Anecdotes, news, and resources
- Vaccine Choice Canada – Anecdotes, news, and research
- circle of mamas – Anecdotes and News
- Vaccination News – News
- Vaccine Impact – News and research
- National Vaccines Information Center – News and research
- Children’s Health Defense – News and research
- Med Science Research – Research
- The Highwire with Del Bigtree – Updates and news
- Jeremy R. Hammond – Opinion pieces (also see his booklet 5 Horrifying Facts about the FDA Vaccine Approval Process)
- A Voice for Choice – Resources
- In this article, I’ll make a clear distinction between “vaccine supporters” and “vaccine apologists”: The former merely considers the benefits of vaccines to outweigh their risks, while the latter generally rejects the possibility that they could have any meaningful risks at all and uses rationalizations and emotional manipulation to counter its criticisms. A simplified model of my terminology on the issue can be seen below:
Though I contend in the article that anyone with a high level of research conducted on the issue may be classified as a “vaccine skeptic”, the box in which I’ve placed that term is where I personally appear to have landed from my experience (which I lay out in the article), so this model is more intended to get an idea of how I generally use them qualitatively rather than quantitatively.
- The sources differ on the exact number. Fitzpatrick (2006) says the vaccine was given to “more than 200 000 children in five Western and mid-Western USA states”, while Offit (2005) says the number was 380 000 administrated doses. One might suggest a possible reconciliation in that some children received several doses, but Nathanson & Langmuir (1963) claims that 400 000 “persons” (supposedly meaning unique participants rather than doses), so the exact number isn’t easy to dissect from this information alone. The latter sources may be seen as a closer estimate, but Fitzpatrick provides useful details about the consequences of the program that the others don’t.
- I won’t go much more into detail about the licensure system here, but to put it in short: Restricting supply means an increase in prices, not even necessarily leading to better quality (sometimes rather the contrary). A further reflection on the matter can be read in chapter 9 of Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom, as well as Murray Rothbard’s Power and Market and articles like The Problem with Government Licensing Schemes, Occupational Licensing — An Unnecessary Evil, Why Should Anyone Need a License for Anything?, Occupational Licensing Is Just Another Form of Cronyism and Does Occupational Licensing Protect Consumers?. See also Ronald Hamowy’s paper on the competitive and diverse nature of the medical industry before the introduction of licensing: The Early Development of Medical Licensing Laws in the United States, 1875-1900.
- Commonly termed the “knowledge problem”, the concept is discussed more in-depth by Hayek in his 1945 paper “The Use of Knowledge in Society“, and in Thomas Sowell’s book Knowledge and Decisions.
- On the legitimacy of FDA regulations, it should be noted that an estimated 98% of them are unconstitutional in the sense that they were issued by “low-level officials and employees with no authority” to do so. See: But Who Rules the Rulemakers? A Study of Illegally Issued Regulations at HHS
- Lesions are, according to the National Cancer Institute, “An area of abnormal tissue. A lesion may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).” WebMD similarly reports that “A lesion is an area of tissue that has been damaged through injury or disease.”
- This is openly admitted at her LinkedIn account and on Concordia.
- Reuters report this here and FierceBiotech here, and her LinkedIn account confirms the reportage. She has since become Merck’s Executive Vice President for Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy, and Population Health.
- The pages showing the boards of directors of the respective newspapers have since been removed, but the archived versions can be found with the New York Times and Washington Post here and here, respectively.
- Califf’s LinkedIn page and financial disclosure form.
- Verstraten’s LinkedIn page. He later acquired higher positions in GSK before he moved to the Belgium-based pharma consulting firm P95.
- The authors further assert that “Incomplete vaccination coverage is not a valid explanation for the Quebec City measles outbreak.”
- The authors concluded that “outbreaks of measles can occur in secondary schools, even when more than 99 percent of the students have been vaccinated and more than 95 percent are immune.”
- The authors also clarify that “The history of previous vaccination did not diminish the number of complications of the cases studied.”
- See, for instance, Rota et al. (1995), Bonwitt et al. (2017), Smith (2016), and Pickrell (2019). Many of these incidences appear to contradict the often-cited dogma of “herd immunity”, which they contend “arises when a high percentage of the population is protected through vaccination against a virus or bacteria, making it difficult for a disease to spread because there are so few susceptible people left to infect (Vaccines Today, 2015).” This theory has been comprehensively disputed theoretically and empirically by Holland & Zachary (2014), so I won’t go more into detail on it in this investigation.
- Other researchers, however, contend that
The concentration of total aluminium in the vaccine can be as much as 63 mM (1.7 mg/mL) and immediately upon its dilution into interstitial fluid its concentration in the immediate vicinity of the injection site will remain high, mM, for minutes if not hours following the injection (Shardlow, Mold & Exley, 2018).
- The math adds up: 0.5 mg/mL in the HepB vaccine multiplied with a 0.5 mL dose is 0.250 mg, translated to 250 mcg. Furthermore, 7.5 lbs equal about 3.4 kg, and finally 250 mcg divided by 3.4 kg is about 73.49 mcg/kg.
- For info on how the Gulf War Syndrome may have emerged through the mandatory administration of the Anthrax vaccine to American soldiers in the Gulf War, see the documentary Vaccine Syndrome.
- In addition to the studies cited on the relationships between the neurotoxins ethylmercury and aluminum individually, Learn the Risk has an overview of 29 studies on the impact of various such ingredients on the regression into autism. A Voice for Choice has also set up one with 24 studies. Ginger Taylor of Maine Informed Consent has gone even further, finding 157 peer-revied studies indicating an association with vaccination and autism. See also the Children’s Health Defense’s overview of the studies available on the vaccinated vs unvaccinated. For information about the CDC whistleblower William Thompson exposing the coverup by the agency of this connection, see Canary Party (2015). Sharyl Attkisson (2016), similarly to Lyons-Weiler, has shown the inadequacy of many of the government-funded studies finding no relationship between vaccination and autism and presents several studies indicating otherwise. Others have tied the increasing degree of autism in the last couple of decades to the development of glyphosate in corn and soy crops, which is an idea outside the scope of the current study but which the reader may investigate further if interested.
- The search results can be found here.
- The authors have compiled an excel-file with all the studies categorized and described which they link to in the study. I recommend at the very least that you take a brief look at the list and the studies therein if you’re planning to have yourself or your child injected with a TCV.
- See: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Verstraeten+T+Davis+RL+Gu+D+DeStefano+F+Increased+risk+of+developmental+neurologic+impairment+after+high+exposure+to+thimerosal-containing+vaccine+in+first+month+of+life+49+Proceedings+of+the+Epidemic+Intelligence+Service+Annual+Conference+2000+Atlanta,+Ga,+USA+Centers+for+Disease+Control+and+Prevention+
- This estimate is derived from the conservative measure of 163 million doses, 80% of which is 32.6 million. As the CDC claimed it’ll be “more than 80%”, I rounded it down to 30 million. It should be noted that it could be all the way from 81% to 98%, so the error margin is large due to the CDC’s vagueity.
- The three instances I found were Children’s Health Defense, The Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs, and A Shot of Truth. Brian Hooker also cites the Verstraeten study in the documentary Vaxxed.
- May this be some sort of Freudian slip admitting that there indeed are toxins in vaccines?
- The P-value, according to Statsdirect.com (“P-values”), is “the probability of finding the observed”. Furthermore, “Most authors refer to statistically significant as P < 0.05 and statistically highly significant as P < 0.001 (less than one in a thousand chance of being wrong).” This means here that there was less than 2.3% chance of being wrong in the observation that headaches occurred more frequently after MSG ingestion; 0.4% with muscle tightness; 0.7% with numbness/tingling; 4% with general weakness; and 1.6% with flushing. For more information about flushing as a physiological symptom, see Villines (2018).
- This methodology is called “praxeology”, first developed and elaborated by the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises. See Kløvning (2019b)
- I use the term “currency” here in contrast to money as the former (fiat/paper) is purely trust-based, while the latter (precious metals) is considered valuable independently of its use as a medium of exchange. For more on this, see: https://goldsilver.com/hidden-secrets/episode-1/
- A notable example of this is Merck’s coverup of the potentially negative health outcomes of their vaccine Vioxx by intimidating and “neutralizing” whistleblowers, which Luke Yamaguchi has shown excellently his 16-minute-long well-referenced presentation on the issue.
- Entitled “Hanlon’s razor” and named after the American science-fiction writer Robert J. Hanlon.
- Math: 2019 population numbers in the District of Columbia and the United States are 711 571 and 329 093 110, respectively. Divide the former with the latter and multiply by 100, and you get 0.21622…%.
- To make this perfectly clear: I do not mean that Gates necessarily has any malignant intent behind his activism with vaccines, but as an indicator that it could be effective as a means to reduce population growth (this could be done either through decreasing birth rates or increasing death rates).
- If you want to start experiment with fasting, remember that the degree your body can tolerate it depends on your Body-Mass Indicator (BMI) and body-fat ratio, as well as that you should drink a lot of water during these periods. I’ve found the mobile app “BodyFast” very useful for the personalized fasting schedule it has provided me with.
- Cold showers also have a variety of health benefits by itself, including strengthening immunity and alleviating depression. See Pang (2019).
- Redshaw (2017) documents that
Omega-3 fats have been proven to increase muscle mass, improve muscle composition, and anabolic response, reduce cortisol levels, decrease pain and inflammation, improve PCOS and chronic inflammatory diseases (like crohn’s, colitis, lupus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis), prevent depression and ADHD, give your skin that glow-stick glow, benefit the cardiovascular system, ward off strokes, protect your nerves from damage, promote weight loss, help your neurons fire, regulate your hormones, protect your DNA, and pretty much everything else in between saving the planet and preserving the human race.
- Though some dispute the scientific evidence of the benefits of an increased vitamin C intake (Gillespie, 2018), but there’s research indicating it may “influence fatigue, heart rate, and perceptions of exertion during moderate exercise in obese individuals (Huck et al., 2013),” and that it “palliates blood pressure, cortisol, and subjective response to acute psychological stress (Brody et al., 2002).” A study by the University of California, Berkeley also found that “Participants who took about 500 milligrams of vitamin C supplements per day saw a 24 percent drop in plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) levels after two months,” which is “a marker of inflammation and chronic disease risk in humans (Yang, 2004). “
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