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American Academy Of Pediatrics Refuses To Back Vaccine Claims With Science

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Please visit The World Mercury Project, they were kind enough to send this article over to us for re-publishing purposes.

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When asked whether it could provide studies to support specific claims it made about vaccine safety, the American Academy of Pediatrics ultimately declined.

On January 10, 2017, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a press release to express its opposition to a federal commission that has been proposed by the Trump administration to examine vaccine safety and efficacy. The AAP argues that since we already know that vaccines are safe and effective, therefore there is no need for further examination into their safety and efficacy.

This argument, however, begs the question — it presumes in the premise the proposition to be proven (the petitio principii fallacy). And the press release itself illustrates why, apart from the question of whether there should be a federal commission, critical examination of public vaccine policy is very much warranted.

In its press release, among other things, the AAP stated that:

  • Vaccines prevent cancer.
  • Claims that vaccines are linked to autism “have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature”.
  • Claims that vaccines “are unsafe when administered according to the [CDC’s] recommended schedule” have likewise “been disproven by a robust body of medical literature”.

According to the AAP, its own claims are backed by solid science. Yet when asked whether it could provide citations from the medical literature to support its claims, the AAP first failed to do so, then essentially offered a “No comment” when pressed for a comment about its failure to do so.

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With respect to the claim that vaccines prevent some forms of cancer, the AAP was asked:

  • Can you please direct me to any studies in the peer-reviewed medical literature showing any vaccine prevents cancer?

With respect to the other two, the AAP was asked the following questions:

  • Can you please direct me to the studies you are referring to in this body of literature that took into account the possibility of a genetically susceptible subpopulation?
  • Can you please point me to the studies in this body of literature that have compared health outcomes, including but not limited to developmental regression (i.e., autism), for children who’ve receive the CDC’s full schedule of vaccinations with children who’ve remained completely unvaccinated?

An initial email to the AAP containing these questions went unanswered.

The email was followed up with a phone call. Lisa Black, the AAP’s Media Relations Manager, assured that she would get back with answers to the questions. In a subsequent email, Ms. Black replied, “Please see information that AAP has posted for parents on this page”, which was followed by a link to a list of studies on the website HealthyChildren.org.

However, none of the listed studies on that page supports the AAP’s claim that “vaccines prevent … forms of cancer”.

None apparently considered the possibility of a susceptible subpopulation with a genetic susceptibility to adverse reactions to vaccines.

And none compared health outcomes of fully vaccinated children with completely unvaccinated children.

The list provided does contain numerous studies finding no association between vaccines and autism, but even the listed safety review by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) doesn’t go so far as to say that the hypothesis has been “disproven”.

On the contrary, the IOM acknowledges that it is biologically plausible that vaccines might cause autism in a genetically susceptible subpopulation, but characterizes this hypothesis is still “speculative” and “unsubstantiated”.

That is a world apart from saying it has been “disproven”.

One would think that the IOM’s conclusion, if its inquiry was a scientific one, would be that since this is such an important question and this specific hypothesis is plausible and not well studied, therefore there should be further study into this question of whether vaccines could trigger autism at least in some children with a genetic predisposition to vaccine injury.

But rather than calling for more research into this area, the IOM actually advocated that no further studies to test this hypothesis be done. Its stated reason for this was partly medical, but at least equally political — and certainly favorable to the profits of the pharmaceutical industry. The IOM’s reason was:

Using an unsubstantiated hypothesis to question the safety of vaccination and the ethical behavior of those governmental agencies and scientists who advocate for vaccination could lead to widespread rejection of vaccines and inevitable increases in incidences of serious infectious diseases like measles, whooping cough, and Hib bacterial meningitis.

In other words, since studying this hypothesis further would undermine public vaccine policy with its one-size-fits-all approach to disease prevention, therefore no further research to test the biologically plausible hypothesis should be done.

The AAP was sent a follow up email noting that none of the studies listed appeared to support the claims it made in the press release. The AAP was welcomed to correct the record, but did not dispute the observation that none of the studies listed showed that vaccines can prevent cancer, considered genetic susceptibility to vaccine injury, or compared health outcomes for vaccinated and unvaccinated children.

The additional follow up questions were also asked:

  • If the AAP cannot produce one or more studies that considered the possibility of a genetically susceptible subpopulation, how can it claim that any association between vaccines and autism has been “disproven”?
  • If the AAP cannot produce one or more studies that compared health outcomes between children vaccinated according to the CDC’s schedule and children who remained unvaccinated, how can it claim that any association between vaccines and autism has been “disproven”?

The AAP did not reply via email to the follow up questions.

In a second phone call requesting the AAP to produce such studies to support its claims, Ms. Black replied that she had provided everything the AAP was going to provide.

When confronted with the observation that none of the studies provided supported the AAP’s claim that vaccines can prevent cancer, she repeated that the AAP was not going to provide any additional information.

When asked whether the authors of the press release, AAP President Fernando Stein and Executive Vice President Karen Remley, would like to comment, Ms. Black abruptly ended the phone call by saying she was going to hang up and then doing so.

Questions Unanswered

The questions seem pertinent, particularly given the fact that the government has acknowledged that vaccines can cause brain damage resulting in developmental regression.

In 2008, then director of the CDC Julie Gerberding offered the following carefully worded acknowledgment:

Now, we all know that vaccines can occasionally cause fevers in kids. So if a child was immunized, got a fever, had other complications from the vaccines. And if you’re predisposed with a mitochondrial disorder, it can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism.

The context in which she was speaking was with respect to Hannah Poling, a child with a mitochondrial disorder who developed autism after receiving numerous vaccines on the same day and whose family was awarded compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

The VICP was established in the mid-1980s under a law that granted broad legal immunity to vaccine manufacturers. The government’s reason for doing so was that vaccine injury lawsuits were threatening to undermine public policy by putting vaccine manufacturers out of business.

The Supreme Court has upheld that legal immunity on the grounds that certain adverse reactions are “unavoidable” and “design defects” are “not a basis for liability.”

Around the same time as Gerberding’s admission, a former director of the National Institutes of Health, the late Bernadine Healy, criticized the refrain that any link between vaccines and autism has been debunked. She pointed out the kinds of studies that would be necessary in order to confidently draw that conclusion hadn’t yet been done.

Specifically, she noted the lack of studies taking into consideration a genetically susceptible subpopulation.

Ms. Healy also slammed the IOM for advocating that no further research be done and noted that as a potential cause of autism, “vaccines carry a ring of both historical and biological plausibility”.

Similarly, in contrast to the AAP’s claim that any association between vaccines and autism has been “disproven”, one of the CDC’s lead researchers on that very question, CDC Director of Immunization Safety Dr. Frank DeStefano, admitted in an interview in 2014 that “it’s a possibility” that vaccines could trigger autism in genetically susceptible individuals.

“It’s hard to predict who those children might be”, DeStefano observed, and trying to determine what underling conditions put children at risk of vaccine injury is “very difficult to do”.

Acknowledging the lack of studies in this area, he added that, “if we ever get to that point, then that kind of research might be fruitful.”

The AAP’s list of studies includes one or more for which DeStefano was an author.

The CDC also admits the need for further study in this area. Its website at the time of this writing acknowledges that “More research is needed to determine if there are rare cases where underlying mitochondrial disorders are triggered by anything related to vaccines.”

So how can the AAP claim that any association between vaccines and autism has been “disproven” when the studies that would be necessary to invalidate the hypothesis haven’t been done?

No comment.

That’s the AAP’s answer to the question, anyway.

The AAP’s attitude should perhaps come as no surprise, given its close relationship with the vaccine industry.

As CBS News reported in 2008, “The vaccine industry gives millions to the Academy of Pediatrics for conferences, grants, medical education classes and even helped build their headquarters.”

A Discussion to Be Had

The AAP argues in its press release against the formation of a federal commission, but its argument would apply to any public debate about the safety and efficacy of vaccines. By the AAP’s logic, like the IOM’s, also unnecessary are any discussion about it in the media and any further scientific inquiry.

But as Daniel Sarewitz observes, “as science approaches the cutting edge, it tends to raise as many questions as it resolves, so there is always room for debate about what the science is actually saying.”

Parents dubbed “anti-science” by the media are naturally curious why that label doesn’t seem to apply to those calling for no further inquiry into pertinent questions.

Parents aren’t just asking legitimate questions about vaccines. They’re doing what most doctors haven’t and spending a lot of time researching vaccines themselves. And they’re not just going to “anti-vaccine” websites to research it. They’re organizing, sharing information, and digging into the medical literature for themselves.

Parents can see the fundamental contradiction between public health officials and the media constantly insisting that vaccines are harmless even while the government grants legal immunity to the vaccine manufacturers on the grounds that vaccines are unavoidably unsafe and while the government manages a Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in order to shift the costs for damages and keep the vaccine manufacturers profitable — all to maintain public policy.

Parents understand how government and industry funding influences the direction and findings of scientific research, and how the medical establishment that has given us soaring costs and a population in which nearly 40 percent are chronically ill will tend to justify itself despite its abysmal performance and a long history of being wrong time and again, from tobacco science (older generations may remember how the industry used to get product endorsements from doctors) to the USDA recommended high-carb diet (which has contributed to the obesity epidemic and is more about satisfying food industry lobbyists than providing science-based advise) to the role of cholesterol in heart disease (scientific research no longer supports the hypothesis that dietary cholesterol contributes to blood cholesterol and heart disease risk).

Parents are aware of how government agencies like the FDA and the CDC serve the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry. They see the corruption and the “revolving door” of Washington, such as how Julie Gerberding left her government job pushing vaccines as head of CDC to become president of the vaccine division for the pharmaceutical giant Merck.

They see how the AAP, too, has an incestuous relationship with “Big Pharma”. They understand how willful ignorance goes beyond the individual operating within the system and becomes institutionalized. And they watch as an organization that influences how their child’s pediatrician practices medicine accepts money from an industry they feel the AAP ought to be protecting them from.

They can witness how the AAP makes statements it claims are solidly backed by science, but which it is unwilling or unable to provide any studies to support. They understand that the truly “anti-science” position is the one that says no further scientific inquiry into an admittedly biologically plausible hypothesis is necessary.

Parents know there are many studies that have found no association between vaccines and autism. They don’t need the AAP to point this out to them. But they wonder why the AAP ignores all the studies that do support the hypothesis.

They wonder how the AAP can claim that the vaccine-autism hypothesis has been “disproven” when the most any of the studies it cites have concluded is that those particular studies, with their own particular focus, designed around their own particular assumptions, using a particular methodology, did not find an association between vaccines and autism.

And parents are asking questions like: What was the actual purpose of the study? What were the underlying assumptions made by the authors? What vaccines were being studied, and what outcomes? Who were the study groups? What were the criteria for their selection? What was the study’s methodology? What are its strengths and weaknesses? Do the conclusions drawn follow from the actual findings? How conclusive is it? What does the study actually prove, if anything?

Parents can see for themselves the huge disparity between what they are told science has to say about vaccines  — by public health officials, the medical establishment, and the mainstream media — and what science actually has to say about it.

The parents who are choosing not to vaccinate their children aren’t doing so because they are uneducated or unintelligent. On the contrary, studies show that they tend to be wealthier and more highly educated than the general population.

They aren’t choosing not to vaccinate because they are ignorant of the science. They are choosing not to vaccinate because they are digging into the medical literature (which can be searched via PubMed.gov) and awakening to the deceit they see coming out of the government and the mainstream media.

They see how mainstream journalists, rather than seriously investigating what the science actually says, rely on statements from agencies like the CDC and industry-funded organizations like the AAP to “inform” the public about the subject.

They see how the establishment is seeking to stifle debate not by respectfully addressing their legitimate questions, but by bullying them into silence and conformity, and they understand how such a phenomenon can arise because institutions with a life of their own feel threatened by the truth and act to preserve the status quo.

The AAP and other actors interested in preserving the public vaccine policy so far seem to have assumed that they can end the discussion by declaring authoritatively that there is no need for further discussion.

But if they ever hope to truly end the discussion, they are going to have to start taking parents’ concerns seriously and answering their legitimate questions with more than disingenuous public relations talking points that might as well have been written by the vaccine industry.

Original article was reprinted with permission in its entirety. Jeremy R. Hammond is an award-winning independent journalist, author, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, and father. Subscribe to stay updated with his work on vaccines and get his free report “5 Horrifying Facts about the FDA Vaccine Approval Process.”

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Nature Valley Ad Shows The Down Side Of Children Addicted To Technology

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Technology has impacted most of our lives in a really big way. We use it daily for everything we do pretty much. Kids today, unlike previous generations, use technology more than ever and spend much less time in nature.

  • Reflect On:

    How much is too much technology for young and developing minds? Is it time to reevaluate our children's relationship with technology and get them back into nature?

Technology has become a staple in most of our lives, really, could you imagine life without it? In the video posted below, Nature Valley asks 3 generations what it was that they did for fun as a kid, the answers from the youngest generation may or may not surprise you, but is it time to cut back on the technology and bring kids back to nature?

Technology is not bad per se, that isn’t the discussion here. This is about how we use it.

Before technology, children would look to nature for entertainment. They would play outside on the lawn, go sledding, build forts, and use their imagination to create their own entertainment. Nowadays it’s all too easy for kids to get sucked into technology, there are video games, tablets, computers, cell phones and television, all of which provide a type of escape from the real world. Although, there are many ways that technology is and has been used for good in the world, is the disconnect that it is causing children and adults to part from nature causing more harm?

With the rise of mental disorders and illnesses, is it possible that the answer to these issues is simply to get kids back into nature, more time with self, using their brains to build things, be creative and connect to the energy from the Earth? We already know how effective a simple walk or hike in nature is and how they both can literally change our brains. Nature appears to be much more important than we generally give it credit for.

In my own experience, disconnecting from technology and going camping on my own proved to be a very cathartic and healing experience for me. I’ve come to realize that although being immersed in nature regularly does have a lot of benefits, but even just making time for it at all can cause a positive impact. For many of us who live in cities, with the constant bombardment of noise and of course EMF frequencies etc., just disconnecting for a short period can make a huge difference.

The following video is a brilliant ad from Nature Valley, check it out.

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It’s easy to get emotional watching something like this as it shows just how far removed the newer generations are from what has been most natural to children for centuries, simply playing in nature. The children are essentially self-proclaimed tech addicts and get their entertainment by playing video games, watching videos or tv shows, texting etc. Is it time to go back to the basics and start evaluating how detrimental too much technology can be on young and developing brains? You can read more about this issue here, Is Your Child Struggling From Nature-Deficit Disorder?

Is it up to the parents to ensure they are setting proper boundaries with the amount of time their children are allowed to use technology? Or is this the future and something we should simply let happen as a natural part of evolution?

Much Love

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6 Proven Ways to Cleanse Your Liver & Release Pent Up Anger

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In Chinese Medicine our liver is directly connected to anger and unfortunately, we live in a world where our liver is regularly taxed by toxic chemicals. Thankfully there is plenty that you can do without medication to keep this vital organ healthy!

  • Reflect On:

    What toxins are you regularly exposed to and what steps are you currently taking to combat them?

A toxic liver can lead to anger. In Chinese medicine, our biggest detox organ – our liver – is the organ connected to anger. When we work at changing our lifestyles and daily habits, we begin to see it having a positive effect on our mood as well as general health.

When toxicity mounts we have a more difficult time controlling or letting go of our angry feelings. Toxic chemicals accumulate in our bodies because we live in a toxic world. We microwave in plastic, we cook food in Tephlon coated pans, we smoke, we take medication, and eat fried and processed foods.

These food-like products contain toxic chemical preservatives, glyphosate; GMOs and pesticides. Ingesting poison daily results in everything from immune deficiency, mood disorders, lowered mental performance, and even life-threatening cancer.

So, besides avoiding many of the contributors of liver toxicity – what can we do?

1. Eat less added sugar & address possible yeast overgrowth in the gut

Yeast can cause fermentation of food in place of digestion and cause bloating and gas. It can contribute to “leaky gut syndrome” – thus in turn can lead to the production of toxins that may affect the brain and nervous system. Yeast overgrowth can produce alcohol as its byproduct, acetaldehyde, giving us a “hangover” feeling. It can also lead to liver damage, and it prevents the proper detoxification of other pollutants, increasing the toxicity of other toxins.

2. Support the liver with botanicals

Plant medicine like Milk Thistle and Dandelion Root can help cleanse the liver. Both extracts are known to be pretty safe and well tolerated, and toxic or adverse effects observed in the reviewed clinical trials seem to be minimal. Only those with a ragweed, iodine or latex allergy should be cautious with dandelion. (Learn more about milk thistle)

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3. Drink organic aloe vera juice

High quality; raw organic aloe vera can be a phenomenal digestive aid. It seals the gut wall, aids in digestion, has anti-inflammatory properties, helps the immune system, and detoxifies the liver, skin, and colon.

4. Cook with more turmeric & black pepper to help the body absorb nutrients better

Black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which increases the bioavailability of food by decreasing activity in the intestinal tract and inhibiting the metabolism of certain enzymes. Better still, cook with lots of turmeric and black pepper together. The combination helps the body absorb more curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric.

This ingredient can heal gut wall permeability due to its amazing anti-inflammatory properties. It also aids in digestion, strengthens the immune system, improves asthma, heals wounds, prevents the progression of memory loss, controls diabetes, improves liver function, lowers cholesterol, and fights cancer. (Note: A great supplement for this that I recommend for is Liver Health)

5. Incorporate liver cleansing foods into your diet

Incorporate liver cleansing foods such as green leafy veggies, avocados, apples, garlic, olive oil, citrus fruit, beets, and cruciferous vegetables into your weekly diet.

6. See An Acupuncturist

Used for thousands of years, acupuncture has been used to detox and balance the liver meridians to reduce anger and other emotional and psychiatric issues.  Simple needless acupressure is often used on children.


Learn more about my family’s healing journey (including everything that has worked for me and many of my clients) in my book Healing Without Hurting. And to receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety and more without medication SIGN UP HERE.

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1 Out of Every 9 Children Have Serious Adverse Reactions To The DTaP Vaccine: New Statistics

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A study from the CDC, among many others, have found that 1 in 9 children have serious adverse reactions to the DTaP Vaccine, and yet they are labelling this as not a concern...

  • Reflect On:

    Why have so many studies come out showing that the science is not clear on vaccine safety, yet they are heavily marketed as one of the safest "medications" out there? Why is it Taboo to question vaccine safety?

Until the 1990s, the vaccine administered to children for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis protection was the DTP vaccine, one of the first combination vaccines ever licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, as a “whole-cell” vaccine (meaning that it contained the entire Bordetella pertussis organism rather than purified components), DTP had a significant downside—including published safety concerns dating back to the 1930s and widespread reports of neurological damage emanating from both the United States and other countries. By 1991, the Institute of Medicine cautiously reported that the evidence was “consistent with a possible causal relation between DTP vaccine and acute encephalopathy” [brain disease].

Characterized pertussis prevention as ‘an unresolved problem,’ nothing the ‘progressive increase’ in pertussis incidence after introduction of the acellular vaccines and the need for even more boosters

To pacify a concerned public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised a phase-out of the whole-cell vaccine around 1991, while promoting an “acellular” version called DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis). By 1997, the switch had taken place for all five doses in the series, recommended for infants and children at two, four, six and 15-18 months and 4-6 years. In the two decades since the changeover, however, the DTaP vaccine has been plagued by embarrassingly low effectiveness. A 2018 article characterized pertussis prevention as “an unresolved problem,” noting the “progressive increase” in pertussis incidence after the introduction of the acellular vaccines and the need for ever more boosters. Another recent commentary flatly stated that “pertussis is…not under control in any country” and that new types of pertussis vaccines are needed.

Nonetheless, on the safety front, health authorities have regularly praised the DTaP vaccines as offering a safer alternative than their whole-cell predecessors. Is this reputation for safety well-deserved? CDC researchers writing in June 2018 in Pediatrics seem to think so—but a closer reading of their findings suggests otherwise.

Examining DTaP’s track record

For their study, the CDC researchers assessed over two decades’ worth of data (1991–2016) from the CDC- and FDA-administered passive surveillance system called VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System), examining adverse events (AEs) reported to VAERS following vaccination with one of five currently licensed DTaP vaccines (see table). The five vaccines included two DTaP-only vaccines (approved for the full five-dose series of shots) and three combination vaccines (approved for some portion of the DTaP series). The combination formulations in question included DTaP plus hepatitis B vaccine (HBV), inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) and/or Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine.

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The researchers used several methods to consider DTaP vaccination risks, including 1) compiling all “serious” and “non-serious” adverse events reported to VAERS in association with the five vaccines over the designated time period; 2) clinically reviewing all deaths reported to VAERS following DTaP vaccination; 3) reviewing a subset (5%) of “non-death serious reports”; and 4) running an automated search of reported anaphylaxis following DTaP vaccination.

Not so safe

The analysis of VAERS reports identified tens of thousands of AEs (N=50,157) in the aftermath of a DTaP-containing vaccine. (A single VAERS report may include more than one AE, so the adverse event categories are not mutually exclusive.) VAERS, by the federal government’s own admission, captures only about 1% of AEs; thus, the 50,000-plus AEs probably vastly underrepresent the number of real-world DTaP-related vaccine injuries.

The study’s results illustrate the heavy burden of vaccines to which children in the U.S. are subjected. For about 88% of the VAERS reports analyzed, children received the DTaP vaccine concurrently with one or more other vaccines, even though the five types of DTaP vaccine in and of themselves already constitute potent combinations. Researchers who have looked at the number of vaccines administered at well-child visits have pointed out that American infants receive more vaccines in their first year than infants anywhere in the world.

…many vaccines (including DTaP) are administered in bundles at health care visits around two and four months—exactly when nine out of ten SIDS deaths occur.

Roughly one in nine (11.2%) of the reported AEs were coded as serious, and 15% of all serious AEs were deaths (844/5,627). (If one were to average these deaths over the 26 years from 1991 through 2016, this would represent over 32 deaths annually.) Of note, the investigators’ perusal of death certificates, autopsy reports and medical records showed that the reported cause for nearly half of the deaths (48.3%) was sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), nearly always in children under six months of age. Although the researchers dismiss the possibility of a causal relationship between vaccination and SIDS, evidence from other corners is strongly suggestive of just such a link. In fact, it strains credulity to deny a plausible connection: many vaccines (including DTaP) are administered in bundles at health care visits around two and four months—exactly when nine out of ten SIDS deaths occur.

Serious but non-fatal AEs cited in 10% to 35% of all VAERS reports included systemic symptoms such as pyrexia (fever), vomiting, seizures/convulsions, diarrhea, lethargy and hypotonia (muscle weakness). Anaphylaxis occurred far less frequently, but most reported anaphylactic reactions arose quickly—within 30 minutes of vaccination. Seizures were the fourth most common serious AE reported. Other studies have detected a heightened risk of febrile seizures when children receive DTaP simultaneously with other vaccines. Febrile seizures are not benign (as once thought), which makes the frequency of post-DTaP seizures concerning.

The authors do not explain why they counted pyrexia as both a serious and nonserious AE, but it accounted for one in five of the latter. As a potential sign of drug allergy and an indicator of a “systemic inflammatory response to a stimulus such as infection,” pyrexia and its prominence are noteworthy. Back in 2004, other CDC researchers commented on the difficulty of ascertaining “the true importance of fever as an [adverse event following immunization]” and noted a lack of clarity regarding “how to interpret fever data derived from vaccine safety trials or immunization safety surveillance.”

What the study leaves out

Although the CDC authors noted that their analysis excluded Quadracel, the most recently approved combination DTaP-IPV vaccine (licensed in 2015), they curiously do not explain why they omitted several other licensed DTaP vaccines that were in widespread use during the time period in question:

  • The Tripedia vaccine (manufactured by Connaught, which through a series of mergers became Aventis Pasteur and later Sanofi Pasteur) was approved as a fourth and fifth DTaP dose in 1992, 1996 and 2000; in 2001, Aventis Pasteur reformulated Tripedia and the FDA approved it for all five doses.
  • Acel-Imune (manufactured by the now-defunct Lederle Laboratories) was approved for the fourth and fifth DTaP doses in 1991 and, in 1996, for the full five-dose series.
  • The Certiva DTaP vaccine (made by North American Vaccine Inc., which was acquired in 2000 by Baxter International Inc.) was licensed in 1998 for doses one through five.

The authors also neglect to mention that all five DTaP vaccines included in their review contain one or more neurotoxic aluminum adjuvants, along with formaldehyde and polysorbate 80, a stabilizer for which information on potential chronic health effects is “not available.” The Tripedia vaccine that the study excluded featured both aluminum and the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal. Adverse events reported during post-approval use of Tripedia included “idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, SIDS, anaphylactic reaction, cellulitis, autism, convulsion/grand mal convulsion, encephalopathy, hypotonia, neuropathy, somnolence and apnea.” By excluding these other acellular DTaP vaccines, the CDC study underestimates the magnitude of DTaP-related adverse reactions still further.

Weighing the risks

The CDC authors wrap up their assessment of DTaP vaccine safety with the boilerplate pronouncement that their analysis “did not identify any new or unexpected safety issues.” Parents might disagree, wondering whether it makes sense to expose their child to a not-insignificant risk of serious DTaP-related injury when the risk of diphtheria is virtually non-existent in the U.S. (zero cases in 2016) and the risk of tetanus is likewise minuscule. (Tetanus, in any event, is non-communicable.)

… pertussis incidence has steadily increased (not decreased) in the U.S. since 1980, despite high vaccine coverage.

Evaluating the risks of pertussis infection versus pertussis vaccination in different age groups is somewhat more complex but requires admitting up front that pertussis incidence has steadily increased (not decreased) in the U.S. since 1980, despite high vaccine coverage. Discussing the problem of waning immunity, a 2012 study reported that “after the fifth dose of DTaP, the odds of acquiring pertussis increased by an average of 42% per year.” In fact, the track record for whole-cell and acellular pertussis-containing vaccines shows that both are fraught with problems. Back in 1993, researchers writing in the New England Journal of Medicine observed that a pertussis epidemic in Cincinnati had “occurred primarily among children who had been appropriately immunized” with the whole-cell vaccine. The same pattern of pertussis outbreaks in fully vaccinated populations has occurred with the acellular vaccines. A related but underacknowledged problem is the role of vaccinated individuals as asymptomatic carriers and reservoirs of infection for vulnerable infants. Finally, some researchers have suggested that pertussis vaccination may result “in selection of more virulent strains that are more efficiently transmitted by previously primed hosts.” Specifically, the acellular vaccines only contain B. pertussis antigens “that hold little or no efficacy against B. parapertussis,” which is another causative agent of pertussis infection; researchers concluded in 2010 that acellular vaccines “interfere with the optimal clearance of B. parapertussis” and may “create hosts more susceptible to B. parapertussis infection.”

Whether one focuses on safety or effectiveness, it is apparent that simplistic slogans and Pollyanna attitudes are no help in evaluating vaccine risks and benefits. Ultimately, it should be up to parents—not CDC researchers biased against a fair consideration of risks—to make their own informed vaccine decisions.

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