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The Benefits Of Cold Therapy & How You Can Get Started

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For at least 95% of our time on Earth, Humanity has lived in close connection to nature, experiencing the cues and changes of the natural world. Electricity was only harnessed around 150-years ago and since then, mechanical transportation, refrigeration of food with access to nonlocal, nonseasonal varieties, artificial lighting, thermostat air-conditioning and other creature comforts have provided us with an “endless summer”. This might sound awesome but it has also made us fragile and disconnected us from perhaps the greatest source of our health and power – the rhythms of nature.

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Modern living has given us many benefits but they haven’t come without a cost and some negative consequences. Living in tune with the seasons and with the light and dark cycles of the day, circadian rhythm, has been shown to be crucial in performing our best, preventing dis-ease and healing.  In fact, the Nobel Prize in Medicine for 2017 went the researchers who spent 30-years fleshing this out.

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There are many things to consider when trying to get back to natural rhythms and their benefits, in this article, I’m only going to focus on one, my favourite, being cold. I discuss more here and provide support in this area of health for those ready to reach their full potential with nature-based practices.

Trading Comfort for Cold to Unleash Your Potential

Outside of the warm cozy box most of us live in is a world where the temperature can’t be controlled with a knob, where it can be too hot or too cold and if we had been living a mere 100 or so years ago, we’d have to do something requiring effort to change that. In fact, for most of human existence on this planet, we’ve evolved in an environment that was somewhat uncomfortable. However, these days it’s basically an endless summer – we have warmth and fruit twelve months a year.

Perpetual comfort leads to fragility. Some even say it leads to our bodies creating aches and pains. Regardless, I’m looking for resilience and maybe you are too. That’s why I’ve embarked on a 365-day cold thermogenesis/therapy challenge. Say what?

Simply put, cold thermogenesis is the act of your body generating internal heat to compensate for the cold stress you are experiencing which leads to a whole bunch of different physiological reactions as well.

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Good Stress, Bad Stress, Just Enough Stress

Stress can be bad depending on the type and the quantity. Looking at your allostatic load is a reference to the combined effect of all the different stresses, types, intensities and duration, on your well-being. We don’t want our allostatic load to be too great.

On the other hand, we don’t want to be without any stress. A tree that never gets the stress of wind on its trunk never grows strong and is highly susceptible to snapping when the first windy day arrives. We are like trees – in many ways, which I’ll get into another time. We want some stress. The kind of stress that is beneficial is called a hormetic stressor. It is the right amount of the right kind of stress to make us more resilient.

Hormesis can improve our body, brain, immune system and even, perhaps, our spiritual well-being. Examples of hormetic stressors are exercise, fasting, problem solving, exposure to germs, feeling a little too hot or a little too cold, and others. This takes us back to my seemingly crazy challenge of getting cold daily for a whole year.

Warning: Not For Everyone

For some people, this is not a good idea. There are contraindications, the main one being a preexisting heart condition, and there are the considerations of the other stressors in your life. For me, I’ve been practicing cold thermogenesis (CT) for about three years. I’ve built up my tolerance to temperature and time of exposure. I understand the warning signs and the factors that making it harder, easier and safer. It should be obvious that anytime you play with cold and aren’t diligent, you risk getting hypothermia or frostbite.

In the end, it’s up to you to make the decision and/or to consult your physician about this as an approach. I will say even if it’s not for you, we all can benefit from getting a little more uncomfortable here and there, shifting away from the “endless summer” lifestyle which has led to rises many diseases of excess like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases and more as well as significant environmental destruction. Bonus, you’ll also save money on heating and clothing.

The Benefits of CT

Before I give away my secrets and tips let me clarify some of the benefits so you don’t think I’m  crazy for spending a year being cold. Cold thermogenesis, or cold therapy as it’s generically called, is the act of using cold exposure to improving your health and resilience. By being a little cold many good things happen. We used to get this effect naturally but since we are living in an “endless summer”, it has slipped away to obscurity as many people suffer from dis-eases of excess.

Cold therapy aids in:

Just a Little Science

There’s more but that’s probably an enticing enough list. To get these benefits, you have to feel the cold. To get some of them, you need to get cold enough for long enough to shiver for a while and/or stimulate the white adipose tissue (WAT), white fat often found around the midsection and regarded as dangerous, to convert to brown adipose tissue (BAT) and/or create new BAT. Brown adipose tissue is a great source of energy for heat and has a much greater concentration of mitochondria in it. This is really good for a lot of things, including extending your lifespan.

All mammals have BAT and human babies also carry significant amounts of it but as most of us age, we lose it. Having more BAT is strongly linked to being leaner and even connected to telomere lengthening, an indication of increased longevity.

That BAT will give you accessible fuel for many body functions and supports glutathione production which is regarded as the master antioxidant, preventing you from getting sick or helping you get well faster.

There’s plenty of studies on the benefits of cold exposure, brown fat and the results of the hormone and neurotransmitter associated with cold therapy. If that’s your bag, check out the links in the list of benefits or contact me for more.

That being said, there’s a lot more research to be done to figure out the exact mechanisms and ideal duration, temperature and protocol for maximum benefits.

Getting Started  

Different advocates of cold therapy have different approaches and I’ve tried many of them. Through this experience and my own self-experimentation, I’ve whittled it down to what I think is the most simple but still effective. I don’t proclaim to be on the level of Wim Hof, his breathing methods have many benefits beyond cold tolerance, but I have found more than breathing it is mindset that enables me to go to the next level.

To this point, I have maintained a fairly regular practice with my aim at a daily CT for a minimum of 5-minutes for all of 2018.

I practice various types of CT from shirtless or t-shirted shiver walks in below freezing temperatures to cold showers to my favourite type, cold water immersion – rivers, lakes and ocean. I also practice sustained mild CT with my home heating rarely on so I am functioning and sleeping in 14 degrees Celsius/57.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

Intuitively, with some science backing, I believe the ocean offers the best benefits followed by other natural bodies of water. That being said, the farther away from a warm up place like a car, home or hospital (yikes), the more caution is warranted.

My stats thus far:

Coldest water temperature: 0C/32F for 5 minutes in a river with a hole cut through the ice (see photo here)

Coldest air temperature: -30C/-22F for 10 minutes (see photo here)

Longest cold water immersion: 10C/50F for one hour

Longest shiver walk (shirtless with hat and gloves): -10C/14F for 50 minutes

Longest consecutive days in a row: 31 (aiming to break that and as I write this I’m on 17)

This is a really quick summary of moving from hating the cold to getting (more) comfortable being uncomfortable somewhere along the CT spectrum. This is a gentle process of cold adaption – the ultimate goal.

Step 1:

Turn down the heat and wear fewer clothes. As you embrace the feeling of being a little chilly, your body improves its ability to handle it. Soon you won’t notice.

Step 2:

Try dunking your face in the coldest tap water you can handle. Try holding it there for as long as you can or until you need to breath. Repeat until it’s easier.

Step 3:

Experiment with turning down the shower temperature until you’re able to handle cold showers. You can cycle hot and cold while making this transition if that is easier.

Step 4:

Fill a tub with the coldest tap water you can get out. Sit in it with your hands and feet outside of the water and wearing a hat. If this is too hard, keep your torso above the water too.

Once this is manageable and you can submerge your torso, add ice – try one of those bags you can get from a convenience store or that amount. I believe it’s around three pounds.

No problem or at least, tolerable, move to two or three bags.

With immersion, start with one minute and build on that. The first 30 seconds is usually the hardest. If you can breathe or focus through it, you might be able to tolerate it more.

Some people might need to use neoprene booties or wool socks and gloves if they submerge their extremities. These are usually the most painful and sensitive parts to cold. Don’t be too macho (foolish) and push past true pain.

Step 5:

While it might not be any colder, the act of practicing CT in natural bodies of water is the highest level in my opinion.

Being outside in cold air can certainly be a challenge, especially with windchill, but cold water immersion takes much more body heat away faster through conduction and being in nature makes it more therapeutic and more complicated at the same time.

Note:

To reap the full rewards you need to be submerged past your collarbone and shoulder blades. When your neck is getting cold (and wet), you are activating the brown fat. Dunking your head can feel awesome but is not really necessary for the majority of the benefits. It can also make it harder to tolerate adequate duration. Wear a winter hat and stay in longer for better results.

Cryotherapy, done in a chamber with cold gas, definitely offers some of the benefits but is much more costly and has been shown through various studies to not be as effective or as comprehensive as cold water immersion. It’s more convenient though. Still, I’d like to point out that too much convenience is what got us into this mess in the first place.

After the Cold

Most likely you’ll need some help warming up after an advanced CT session. People use hot showers, saunas, campfires or a blast of car or home heat. That’s fine and dandy but to get the best bang for the cold buck, try to warm up through shivering and innate mechanisms. Obviously, don’t be miserable doing it but it’s something to aim for.

Other Factors

Can’t handle it? Tried it but some days are way harder than others?

Consider these things…

  • Exercise a few hours prior to CT might leave you with very little reserves to tackle the cold.
  • An empty stomach can make it harder to generate your own heat
  • Protein and healthy fat prior to CT can make it easier
  • Having adequate amounts of DHA and other omega-3s in your diet can make it easier
  • Counterintuitively, drink 8-16oz of cold water prior to CT can make it easier too

The Higher State of Cold

There’s something magical about the practice of cold thermogenesis. Something that goes beyond the science and the physical benefits. If you are having a bad day or struggling with depression, it is truly a needle mover. A quick 5-minute session whisks away the cobwebs, the blues and the monkey mind like nothing I’ve experienced before. I’m not the only one, these reports abound.

Besides the after effects, the time you spend in the cold is like a zen state. Thoughts often disappear. You aren’t mulling over the past or anxious about the future. Your focus is on the cold. This often starts as a focus on the pain but that is just a disguise. Cold is not pain. It is your doorway to Now. It’s a quick opportunity to feel connected to something beyond yourself and the day to day – no ingesting needed.

When I go for a solo, nighttime cold immersion in the Pacific ocean with the stars above me and no human or manmade structure in sight, I transcend and the cold becomes timeless.

The cold is a great teacher. If you have received, or do receive, any lessons from her, let me know. I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Follow my 365-day CT Challenge on Facebook here and Instagram here.

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CDC Director: ‘Masks May Offer More Protection From COVID-19 Than The Vaccine’

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    CDC director Robert Redfield said on Wednesday that wearing a mask might be "more guaranteed" to protect an individual from the coronavirus than a vaccine.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is there so much conflicting information out there? Why is it so difficult to arrive at any concrete truth? How does the politicization of science play a role?

What Happened: Centers For Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield recently stated that wearing a mask may be “more guaranteed” to protect an individual from the coronavirus than a vaccine. This calls into question the efficacy of the vaccine, which is set to make its way into the public domain at the end of this year, or shortly after that. We thought we’d cover this story to bring up the efficacy of vaccines in general, and the growing vaccine hesitancy that now exists within a number of people, scientists and physicians across the world.

“I’m not gonna comment directly about the president, but I am going to comment as the CDC director that face masks, these face masks, are the most important powerful public health tool we have.” – Redfield

Not long ago, many scientists presented facts about vaccines and vaccine safety at the recent Global Health Vaccine Safety summit hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. At the conference, Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project emphasized the issue of growing vaccine hesitancy.

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen… still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider…”

Redfield’s comments came after President Trump downplayed the effectiveness of wearing mask, and Trump also stated that Covid would probably go away without a vaccine, referring to the concept of ‘herd immunity’ as practiced in Sweden, but has also been quite outspoken about the fact that a vaccine may arrive by November.

When it comes to the COVID vaccine, multiple clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines have shown severe reactions within 10 days after taking the vaccine. You can read more about that here.  The US government and Yale University also recently collaborated in a clinical trial to determine the best messaging to persuade Americans to take the COVID-19 vaccine. You can read more about that here.

Are Masks Effective?

Multiple studies have claimed to show definitively  that mask-wearing effectively prevents transmission of the coronavirus, especially recent ones. This seems to be the general consensus and the information that’s come from our federal health regulatory agencies. There are also multiple studies calling the efficacy of masks into question. For example, a fairly recent study published in the New England Medical Journal  by a group of Harvard doctors outlines how it’s already known that masks provide little to zero benefit when it comes to protection a public setting. According to them,

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.

You can read more about that story here and find other complimenting studies.

When it comes to masks, there are multiple studies on both sides of the coin.

Then we have many experts around the world calling into question everything from masks to lockdown. For example, The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) recently published a report titled “Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) Compares COVID-19 to Previous Seasonal and Pandemic Flu Periods.” According to them, the infection/fatality rate of COVID-19 is 0.26%.

They are one of many who have emphasized this point.

More than 500 German doctors & scientists have signed on as representatives of an organization called the “Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee” to investigate what’s happening on our planet with regards to COVID-19, and also make similar points. You can read more about that story here.

Again, there are many examples from all over the world from various academics, doctors and scientists in the field.

This is why there is so much confusion surrounding this pandemic, because there is so much conflicting information that opposes what we are hearing from our health authorities. Furthermore, a lot of information that opposes the official narrative has been censored from social media platforms, also raising suspicion among the general public.

How Effective Are Vaccines?

Vaccines have been long claimed to be a miracle, and the most important health intervention for the sake of disease prevention of our time. But as mentioned above, vaccine hesitancy is growing, and it’s growing fast.

According to a study published in the journal EbioMedicine,

Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts, and science. These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviors and attitudes varying according to context, vaccine, and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services. VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines..

In the United States, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) shows what vaccines have resulted in deaths, injury, permanent disabilities and hospitalizations. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury act has also paid out nearly $4 billion dollars to families of vaccine injured children.

According to a MedAlerts, the cumulative raw count of adverse events from measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines alone was: 93,929 adverse events, 1,810 disabilities, 6,902 hospitalizations, and 463 deaths. What is even more disturbing about these numbers is that VAERS is a voluntary and passive reporting system that has been found to only capture 1% of adverse events.

The measles vaccine has also been plagued with a lack of effectiveness, with constant measles outbreaks in heavily vaccinated population pointing towards a failing vaccine. You can read more about that in-depth and access more science on it here. In 2015, nearly 40 percent of measles cases analyzed in the US were a result of the vaccine.

It’s not just the MMR vaccine that shows a lack of effectiveness. For example, a new study published in The Royal Society of Medicine is one of multiple studies over the years that has emerged questioning the efficacy of the HPV vaccine. The researchers conducted an appraisal of published phase 2 and 3 efficacy trials in relation to the prevention of cervical cancer and their analysis showed “the trials themselves generated significant uncertainties undermining claims of efficacy” in the data they used. The researchers emphasized that “it is still uncertain whether human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination prevents cervical cancer as trials were not designed to detect this outcome, which takes decades to develop.”  The researchers point out that the trials used to test the vaccine may have “overestimated” the efficacy of the vaccine.

It’s one of multiple studies to call into question the efficacy and safety of the HPV vaccine. It’s also been responsible for multiple deaths and permanent disabilities.

Another point to make regarding vaccine injury is that data was collected from June 2006 through October 2009 on 715,000 patients, and 1.4 million doses (of 45 different vaccines) were given to 376,452 individuals. Of these doses, 35,570 possible reactions (2.6 percent of vaccinations) were identified. This is an average of 890 possible events, an average of 1.3 events per clinician, per month. This data was presented at the 2009 AMIA conference. This data comes 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) that found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million. You can access that report and read more about it here.

The Takeaway: 

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1 Million + People Download Study Showing Heavy Aluminum Deposits In Autistic Brains

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A landmark paper published in 2018 showing high amounts of aluminum in autistic brains has not been dowloaded more than 1 million times.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are federal health regulatory agencies ignoring the emerging science showing concerns with regards to injected aluminum? Why don't they address the concerns and conduct safety studies?

What Happened: In 2018, Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry at Keele University, who is considered one of the world’s leading experts in aluminum toxicology, published a paper in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine & Biology showing very high amounts of aluminum in the brain tissue of people with autism. Exley has examined more than 100 brains, and the aluminum content in these people is some of the highest he has ever seen and raises new questions about the role of aluminum in the etiology of autism. Five people were used in the study, comprising of four males and one female, all between the ages of 14-50. Each of their brains contained what the authors considered unsafe and high amounts of aluminum compared to brain tissues of patients with other diseases where high brain aluminum content is common, like Alzheimer’s disease, for example.

It’s now been downloaded by more than 1 million people. The photo below was posted recently via his Instagram account.

Here is a summary of the study’s main findings:

-All five individuals had at least one brain tissue with a “pathologically significant” level of aluminum, defined as greater than or equal to 3.00 micrograms per gram of dry brain weight (μg/g dry wt). (Dr. Exley and colleagues developed categories to classify aluminum-related pathology after conducting other brain studies, wherein older adults who died healthy had less than 1 μg/g dry wt of brain aluminum.)

-Roughly two-thirds (67%) of all the tissue samples displayed a pathologically significant aluminum content.

-Aluminum levels were particularly high in the male brains, including in a 15-year-old boy with ASD who had the study’s single highest brain aluminum measurement (22.11 μg/g dry wt)—many times higher than the pathologically significant threshold and far greater than levels that might be considered as acceptable even for an aged adult.

-Some of the elevated aluminum levels rivaled the very high levels historically reported in victims of dialysis encephalopathy syndrome (a serious iatrogenic disorder resulting from aluminum-containing dialysis solutions).

-In males, most aluminum deposits were inside cells (80/129), whereas aluminum deposits in females were primarily extracellular (15/21). The majority of intracellular aluminum was inside non-neuronal cells (microglia and astrocytes).

-Aluminum was present in both grey matter (88 deposits) and white matter (62 deposits). (The brain’s grey matter serves to process information, while the white matter provides connectivity.)

-The researchers also identified aluminum-loaded lymphocytes in the meninges (the layers of protective tissue that surround the brain and spinal cord) and in similar inflammatory cells in the vasculature, furnishing evidence of aluminum’s entry into the brain “via immune cells circulating in the blood and lymph” and perhaps explaining how youth with ASD came to acquire such shockingly high levels of brain aluminum.

Following up this paper, Exely recently published recently published a paper titled “The role of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines raises issues that deserve independent, rigorous and honest science.” In their publication, they provide evidence for their position that “the safety of aluminium-based vaccine adjuvants, like that of any environmental factor presenting a risk of neurotoxicity and to which the young child is exposed, must be seriously evaluated without further delay, particularly at a time when the CDC is announcing a still increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders, of 1 child in 54 in the USA.”

In the interview below, Exley answers a lot of questions, but the part that caught my attention was:

We have looked at what happens to the aluminum adjuvant when it’s injected and we have shown that certain types of cells come to the injection site and take up the aluminum inside them. You know, these same cells we also see in the brain tissue in autism. So, for the first time we have a link that honestly I had never expected to find between aluminum as an adjuvant in vaccines and that same aluminum potentially could be carried by those same cells across the blood brain barrier into the brain tissue where it could deposit the aluminum and produce a disease, Encephalopathy (brain damage), it could produce the more severe and disabling form of autism. This is a really shocking finding for us.

The interview is quite informative with regards to aluminum toxicology in general, but if you’re interested in the quote above, you can fast forward to the twelve minutes and thirty seconds mark.

Why This Is Important: There are many concerns being raised about aluminum in vaccines, and where that aluminum goes when it’s injected into the body. Multiple animal studies have now shown that when you inject aluminum, it doesn’t exit the body but travels to distant organs and eventually ends up in the brain where it’s detectable 1-10 years after injection. When we take in aluminum from our food or whatever however, the body does a great job of getting rid of it.

When you inject aluminum, it goes into a different compartment of your body. It doesn’t come into that same mechanism of excretion. So, and of course it can’t because that’s the whole idea of aluminum adjuvants, aluminum adjuvants are meant to stick around and allow that antigen to be presented over and over and over again persistently, otherwise you wouldn’t put an adjuvant in in the first place. It can’t be inert, because if it were inert it couldn’t do the things it does. It can’t be excreted because again it couldn’t provide that prolonged exposure of the antigen to your immune system. – Dr Christopher Shaw, University of British Columbia. (source)

Furthermore, federal health regulatory agencies have not appropriately studied the aluminum adjuvants mechanisms of action after injection, it’s simply been presumed safe after more than 90 years of use in various vaccines.

It’s also important to note that A group of scientists and physicians known as The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) have discovered a crucial math error in a FDA paper regarding the safety of aluminum in vaccines.

If you want to access the science and studies about injected aluminum not exiting the body, and more information about aluminum in vaccines in general, you can refer to THIS article, and THIS article I recently published on the subject that goes into more detail and provides more sources, science and exampels. 

The Takeaway: When it comes to vaccine safety, why does mainstream media constantly point fingers and call those who have concerns “anti-vax conspiracy theorists?” Why don’t they ever address the science and concerns being raised that paint vaccines in a light that they’ve never been painted in? What’s going on here? Would more rigorous safety testing of our vaccines not be in the best interests of everybody? Who would ever oppose that and why?

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CDC Virologist: OP Vaccine Has Created Polio Outbreaks

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to Mark Pallansch, a CDC virologist, the oral polio vaccine has created more disease outbreaks than they've stopped. The oral polio vaccine is now responsible for many outbreaks across multiple countries.

  • Reflect On:

    Can these outbreaks caused by the oral polio vaccine really be brought under control by another vaccine used to combat the oral polio vaccine outbreaks? Is that such a good idea or is more caution warranted here?

This article has been updated and corrected. 

What Happened: In 2019 Mark Pallansch, a virologists with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, told sciencemag.org that by using mOPV2 (oral polio vaccine), “we have now created more new emergences of the virus than we have stopped.” This is known as “vaccine-derived poliovirus.” Yes, you read that correctly, and it’s one of multiple examples of vaccines causing disease outbreaks. For example, A study published in 2017 in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology found that “During the measles outbreak in California in 2015, a large number of suspected cases occurred in recent vaccinees. Of the 194 measles sequences obtained in the United States in 2015, 73 were identified as vaccine sequences…” This means 37 percent of the cases analyzed were a result of the vaccine. You can read more about the measles and the MMR vaccine specifically, here.

Why This Is Important: The spread of the virus due to the oral vaccine is plaguing Africa,

The global initiative to eradicate polio is badly stuck, battling the virus on two fronts. New figures show the wild polio virus remains entrenched in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, its other holdout, where cases are surging. In Africa, meanwhile, the vaccine itself is spawning virulent strains. The leaders of the world’s biggest public health program are now admitting that success is not just around the corner—and intensively debating how to break the impasse. (source)

Children’s Health Defense explains,

The oral polio vaccine (OPV) is in use around the world and constitutes the “workhorse” of global polio eradication efforts due to its low cost and ease of administration. The OPV contains live but weakened polioviruses that match up to wild polioviruses. Vaccine researchers have long known that these OPV-derived viruses can themselves cause polio, particularly when they get “loose in the environment.” In settings with poor sanitation and iffy hygiene, the vaccine viruses can easily “find their way into water sources, and onto contaminated hands or foods,” where they can then launch a self-perpetuating chain of transmission. Researchers concede that an OPV virus “can very rapidly regain its strength if it starts spreading on its own,” acquiring “mutations that make it basically indistinguishable from the wild-type virus.” In other words, there is no meaningful difference between a wild and OPV-derived poliovirus “in terms of virulence and in terms of how the virus spreads.”

The oral vaccine has been causing outbreaks in multiple countries for a long time, in fact,  it has been responsible for close to 90% of the vaccine-derived polioviruses circulating since the year 2000, but it was only recently when the World Health Organization (WHO) brought more attention to the issue via their website in September of this year.

In fact, between August 2019 and August 2020, there were 400 recorded cases of vaccine-derived polio in more than 20 countries worldwide

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), headed by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation had scientists actually predict predict that some vaccine-virus-derived outbreaks would indeed occur, but they thought they could handle these outbreaks with another vaccine.

Now,

The frequency with which type 2 vaccine-derived outbreaks are occurring has far exceeded projections—and the rush to administer the new monovalent type 2 vaccine appears to be exacerbating rather than stemming the problem. In an astonishing admission, a CDC virologist has stated that due to the stop-gap use of the new type-2-only vaccine, “We have now created more new emergences of the virus than we have stopped.” Another vaccine expert has remarked, “if you just keep trickling in with a little bit of [monovalent] vaccine every time you think you have a problem all you’re doing is reseeding [more transmission chains].”

There had been no cases of wild poliovirus on the African continent since September 2016, but by July 2019, the WHO was cautioning that there was a high risk of ongoing type 2 vaccine virus spreading across Africa. Outbreak investigators have been documenting an uptick in circulating vaccine-derived  poliovirus type 2 in both human and environmental samples since mid-2017 (two years after the “switch”), generally obtaining human samples either from children presenting with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) or from “healthy community contacts.” Although the WHO describes polio as just one of AFP’s possible causes, African labs have been isolating type 2 vaccine virus in case after case of AFP.

To date, surveillance reports have noted the presence of the vaccine-derived type 2 poliovirus in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, and Somalia. In Nigeria, type 2 has spread from the north of the country to Lagos—Nigeria’s largest and most densely populated city. In Ghana, soon after investigators found type 2 vaccine viruses in sewage in the capital of Accra, a toddler 400 miles away was diagnosed with vaccine virus paralysis—representing Ghana’s “first ever” reported outbreak of type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus.

And to think in Pakistan they were jailing parents who were refusing to give their children the oral polio vaccine, perhaps they still are?

Something else to consider: According to fact-checker Health Feedback, “Vaccination has been effective in eradicating polio from the vast majority of developing countries, preventing an estimated 16 million cases and 1.5 million deaths worldwide. While vaccine-derived polio cases do occur, they are very rare and can be avoided by improving sanitation and vaccine coverage in vulnerable communities.”

They go on to state that

While vaccine-derived polio cases currently exceed wild poliovirus cases, this is only because polio vaccination campaigns have eradicated the wild virus from the vast majority of countries. Only one of the three original strains of wild poliovirus remains. In contrast to the estimated 350,000 children paralyzed by polio in 1988, which is the year when the GPEI launched the vaccination program, the WHO reported only 539 polio cases worldwide in 2019. In the absence of the oral vaccine, the virus could have paralyzed more than 6.5 million children in the past ten years.

You can read more about what they have to say, about polio and the polio vaccine here.

The Takeaway: Why is so much credible information about the safety concerns regarding vaccines never addressed by the mainstream media? Why do they never address and counter the concerns, and why instead do they constantly use ridicule and terms like “anti-vax conspiracy theorists?”  Would more rigorous safety testing of our vaccines not be in the best interests of everybody? Who would ever oppose that and why?

Related CE Article: Scientists Call For Safety Testing of Aluminum Based Vaccine Adjuvants

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