Institutional Inertia: Is Enough Being Done to Protect Children from Aluminum Toxicity?

Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust. For most of human history, aluminum was not bioavailable; however, it became so in the late 1880s when chemists developed and patented the smelting process that helped turned the metal into the fixture of modern life—and the omnipresent “ecotoxin”—that it is today. Roughly 130 years later, it is no exaggeration to say that aluminum has become an active (albeit unhelpful) “participant in human evolution.”

The scientist citing aluminum’s outsized biological influence—Professor Chris Exley of the United Kingdom’s Keele University—is one of the world’s foremost aluminum experts. He points out that because aluminum exposure is largely insidious, complacency about aluminum’s effects persists despite the nearly universal body burden that human beings now carry. While the metal’s effects appear to be “invariably deleterious,” variables such as age and gender also shape vulnerability. Infants in their first year of life are particularly susceptible to aluminum bioaccumulation, raising concerns about the high levels of absorbable aluminum reported in infant formula and in the parenteral (intravenous) nutrition solutions given to premature babies. Suggesting that these reports represent the “tip of an iceberg,” one group of researchers cautions that not only does aluminum constitute a “significant component of newborns’ exposure to xenobiotics and contaminants,” but the consequences of aluminum overload in the perinatal period can have pathological consequences that persist into adulthood.

Two routes of early exposure

Studies documenting aluminum contamination of infant formula date as far back as the mid-1980s, and many have recommended doing something about it. Yet, a quarter of a century later, when Professor Exley and a coauthor examined the aluminum content of fifteen leading brands of formula, they found that 2010 levels remained virtually unchanged—and were about 10 to 40 times higher than the amount of aluminum in human breast milk. Depending on the brand, the aluminum content ranged from 200 to 700 micrograms per liter of formula—the equivalent of up to 600 micrograms ingested per day based on standard formula intake. At these levels, a healthy six-month-old boy weighing 7.9 kilograms would take in almost 80 micrograms of aluminum per kilogram per day (?g/kg/day), far in excess of the maximum daily dose of 4 to 5 ?g/kg/day recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of “accumulation and toxicity.”

One out of every 10 U.S. infants is born preterm, and the preterm birth rate has risen every year since 2015. These premature babies face a particularly elevated risk of “systemic aluminum intoxication.” Due to the immaturity of their gastrointestinal (GI) system, it is common practice to administer nutrients parenterally, sometimes for weeks on end. However, parenteral nutrition (PN) solutions exhibit the same “unresolved” (and decades-old) aluminum toxicity problems as infant formula. One study reported that keeping within the FDA’s recommended aluminum limit of no more than 5 ?g/kg/day would only be “feasible” in PN patients weighing 50 or more kilos—and most preterm infants weigh well under three kilograms at birth. Even worse, after premature infants leave the hospital, they often transition to a diet of aluminum-containing formula.

Infants—including preemies—are more vulnerable to aluminum toxicity than adults for several reasons. First, infants have a blood-brain barrier that is highly susceptible to disruption by drugs and toxins. Second, infants lack adequate GI protection, and oral ingestion of aluminum worsens the problem by damaging gut homeostasis (to the point that researchers consider it a risk factor for various inflammatory bowel diseases). Third, whereas the kidney is the organ that the body relies on to excrete aluminum (both ingested and intravenous), the neonate’s kidney is “functionally immature,” making aluminum accumulation “inevitable.” Even in adults with normal kidney function, studies show that only 30% to 60% of the PN aluminum load gets excreted, resulting in build-up of aluminum in the bones and tissues (notably the brain, liver and kidney).

Inertia and its consequences

Taking stock of manufacturer inertia with regard to infant formula’s aluminum content, Professor Exley speculated in 2010 that manufacturers either are failing to monitor their products’ aluminum content or “are not concerned at these levels of contamination.” In either case, he notes, manufacturers have little excuse for their inaction: “Manufacturers of infant formulas have been made fully aware of the potentially compounded issue of both the contamination by aluminium and the heightened vulnerability, from the point of view of a newborn’s developing physiology, of infants fed such formulas.”

Early exposure to high levels of aluminum can have varied harmful effects, increasing children’s longer-term disease susceptibility as well as contributing to conditions such as uremia (a type of kidney disease), bone disorders and neurologic disorders, among others. A study that followed preterm infants for 15 years into adolescence found that the teens who had been exposed to parenteral aluminum had reduced bone mass in the lumbar spine and hips—risk factors for later hip fractures and osteoporosis.

Other routes of exposure

Infant formula and PN are not babies’ only routes of exposure to high levels of aluminum. Studies point to possible toxic effects for the embryo and fetus (including effects on fetal metabolism) resulting from maternal use of antacids and other aluminum-containing pharmaceutical products. Moreover, common components of a pregnant woman’s diet (such as the citric acid found in fruit) increase absorption of the aluminum in these products.

Aluminum adjuvants in vaccines are another significant source of early exposure. Young children receive multiple aluminum-containing vaccines in their first three years, and more as adolescents. A two-month-old infant may receive up to 1,225 micrograms of aluminum from the vaccines administered at a single well-baby visit and a cumulative 4,925 micrograms by 18 months of age. Regulators have never properly assessed these astronomical levels of aluminum for safety. Co-exposure to aluminum and mercury (still present in influenza vaccines) makes matters synergistically worse.

Injection as the route of exposure is another important consideration. Toxicologists note that “Depending on the type and route of exposure,” aluminum clearance may have multiple half-lives estimated in hours, days—or years. Evidence indicates that the body does not easily eliminate vaccine forms of aluminum, which can make their way into the brain; in fact, manufacturers have expressly designed the aluminum used in vaccines to provide “long-lasting cellular exposure.”

In 2018, Exley published another groundbreaking study that confirmed the presence of consistently high levels of aluminum in the brains of individuals who had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Other studies have linked aluminum to autism severity. In a recent letter published in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology by an independent scientist, the writer describes three converging lines of evidence supporting a link between aluminum adjuvants (Al-adjuvants) and ASD: ecological correlations of vaccination and aluminum adjuvants; experiments in mice; and the discovery of aluminum in ASD brains. He concludes:

While there may certainly be not enough “hard data” evidence to claim that Al-adjuvants in vaccines are responsible for ASD, there is even less evidence supporting the opposite conclusion that Al-adjuvants are completely safe to use without any long-term downfall.

Banishing complacency

Thus far, regulators and manufacturers—whether of infant formula, PN solutions, vaccines or other aluminum-containing products—have been largely tone-deaf to the crescendo of studies pointing to aluminum toxicity in the very young (or, for that matter, in individuals across the life span). Among those sounding the alarm, many have taken pains to distance themselves from conceding the potential risks of aluminum adjuvants, cavalierly dismissing the aluminum in vaccines as a “relatively small amount.” Even without accounting for adjuvant risks, though, aluminum experts recognize the importance of banishing complacency. Reducing “aluminum-related human pathology, not only in neonates but even in children and adults,” they admit, is also likely to contribute to “the prevention of the epidemic increase of neurodegenerative diseases of elderly people.”

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Thousands Gather To Mark The 33rd Anniversary of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act

Government’s gift to Pharma of liability-free vaccines puts children’s health at risk states Children’s Health Defense (CHD) Chairman, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Washington, DC – Thousands of advocates for children’s health will gather Thursday at the Vaccine Injury Epidemic (VIE) Event on the National Mall to mark the 33rd anniversary of National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA). The rally on Nov. 14th will spotlight the devastating impact NCVIA has had upon the state of children’s health. While children continue to be injured by vaccines daily, vaccine makers cannot be held accountable, thereby eliminating incentive for vaccine safety.

In his remarks, RFK, Jr. will address the ramifications of NCVIA and honor those whose lives have been impacted by vaccine injury and death. “It’s time to call out Congress, the CDC, and drug companies for allowing industry profits to trump children’s health,” said Kennedy. “There is no crisis more urgent than the epidemics of chronic health conditions among our nation’s children.”

Following NCVIA’s passage creating the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), the childhood vaccine market sparked a gold rush for Pharma as more vaccines for routine childhood illnesses were developed. Coterminous with the burgeoning vaccine schedule, chronic health conditions in children rose from 12% to 54%. As vaccine industry profits grew to $50 billion annually, so did diagnoses of asthmaautismADHDallergiesanxietydepressiondiabetesobsessive-compulsive disorder and auto-immune diseases.  Here are the facts:

  • An HHS-funded study found only 1% of vaccine injuries are reported.
  • Despite NVICP’s high burden of proof and two out of three claims dismissed, over $4.2 billion has been paid for claims of vaccine injury or death.
  • The vaccine-injured find NVICP to be a years-long, litigious program with no jury, discovery and precedent. While medical bills mount, the injured are up against DOJ lawyers and HHS “Special Masters” that act as judges.
  • The Department of Justice and the NVICP are accused of fraud and obstruction of justice in the Autism Omnibus Proceeding.
  • The Institute of Medicine reports that the vaccine schedule as recommended has never been studied for long-term health effects despite independent research suggesting that unvaccinated children are healthier.
  • Modern medicine acknowledges that not everyone responds the same to vaccination and the “one size fits all” vaccine policy is not science based.

Children’s Health Defense’s created these six steps to vaccine safety. RFK, Jr. interviews are available upon request.

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America’s Fifty-Fold Increase in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – What’s Going On?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), considered a neurobiological condition, is an often “long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions), and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.” Although the specific obsessions and compulsions vary widely from person to person, the common denominator is that they “create stress and interfere with daily life.”

U.S. researchers estimate that OCD affects 1%-2% of children and up to 3% of adolescents and adults. The current lifetime prevalence estimate of around 2.7% is 54 times higher than the estimated pre-1980s prevalence (for the U.S. population as a whole) of around 0.05% (1 in 2000). In a retrospective hospital-based study that looked at OCD prevalence over time, researchers who examined psychiatric discharge diagnoses from 1969 to 1990 reported that something changed in the 1980s, with a marked increase in the frequency of OCD diagnoses over the decade.

Reflecting the disorder’s growing prominence, the American Psychiatric Association’s 2013 diagnostic manual revisions eliminated OCD as a subcategory of “anxiety disorders” and gave the diagnosis its own category of “obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.” OCD experts now urge busy neurologists “to be aware of OCD…and to have a high index of suspicion for this disorder.”

OCD is just one of numerous neurodevelopmental disorders that have gone from relatively rare to common since the late 1980s—over the same time frame in which the childhood vaccine schedule exploded. There are at least three reasons to suspect a potential vaccine-OCD link:

  1. Proper brain function depends on a well-regulated immune system.
  2. Vaccination’s acknowledged aim is to “perturb the immune system.”
  3. Immune dysregulation is a documented contributor to OCD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

As Duke University researchers have stated, “the immune system, both in the central nervous system (CNS) and in the periphery, is crucial in shaping and influencing normal brain functions, and any disruption of immune function could adversely impact the brain too.”

Not only OCD

Studies show that OCD is more severe when it is early-onset; when diagnosed before puberty, children have “a longer duration of illness [and] higher rates of comorbid tics” as well as more frequent compulsions and greater psychosocial difficulties. In addition to comorbid tics, OCD often presents alongside autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other diagnoses that are not only increasingly common in American children but often persist into adulthood. In a study of adults with OCD, three out of four (75%) had one or more other neuropsychiatric diagnoses. Researchers also believe that some types of OCD may be closely related to PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections).

Compared to girls, boys tend toward a greater neuroinflammatory response, reflecting sex differences in how the brain’s principal immune cells (the microglia) function. This may be one of the reasons why early-onset OCD is two to three times more common in boys. (In early adulthood, however, OCD symptoms appear more frequently in women.) In this respect, OCD is no different from a number of other neurodevelopmental and health conditions, including ASD, that also disproportionately affect boys.

The Yale study

In 2017, researchers from the Yale Child Study Center published a retrospective case-control study in Frontiers in Psychiatry that considered a possible association between prior vaccination and increased incidence of seven neuropsychiatric disorders, including OCD. Recall that at the start of the 1980s, children received three vaccines for seven illnesses (totaling two dozen doses by age 18), whereas fully vaccinated children now get almost six dozen doses for sixteen conditions.

The Yale researchers looked at a national sample of privately insured children and adolescents (ages 6-15) for the six-year period from January 2002 through December 2007. They found that for four diagnoses—OCD, anorexia nervosa, anxiety disorder and tic disorder—the affected children were more likely than matched controls to have received a flu shot in the preceding 12 months. In addition:

  • For OCD, flu shots just three or six months prior also increased the risk.
  • There was an association between OCD and hepatitis A vaccination.
  • Children with OCD, anorexia or a tic disorder were more heavily vaccinated overall compared to children without these disorders.

All three vaccines marketed in the U.S. for hepatitis A—GlaxoSmithKline’s Havrix and Twinrix and Merck’s Vaqta—list anorexia as adverse reactions reported during clinical trials. The Yale authors considered the “high comorbidity rates” between OCD and anorexia significant and also highlighted that OCD and anorexia have a number of “immune-mediated mechanisms” in common.

OCD is also frequently comorbid with a variety of autoimmune diseases. A recent Swedish study reported that individuals with OCD had a 43% increased risk of any autoimmune disease (compared to those without OCD), and “significantly elevated” risks for autoimmune conditions “across all organ systems”:

  • Moisture-producing glands: Sjögren’s syndrome (94% increased risk)
  • Small intestine: Celiac disease (76%)
  • Peripheral nervous system: Guillain-Barré syndrome (71%)
  • Gastrointestinal tract: Crohn’s disease (66%)
  • Thyroid: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (59%)
  • Pancreas: Type 1 diabetes mellitus (56%)
  • Platelets: Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (51%)
  • Large intestine: Ulcerative colitis (41%)
  • Central nervous system: Multiple sclerosis (41%)
  • Skin: Psoriasis vulgaris (32%)

Beware the adjuvants

Given the extensive overlap between OCD and autoimmunity, the growing body of research that links vaccine adjuvants to autoimmunity is relevant for OCD. In fact, adjuvants—intended to intensify the immune response to a vaccine (immunogenicity)—present vaccine makers with a dilemma: “[I]ncreased vaccine reactogenicity [adverse reactions to vaccination] is the inevitable price for improved immunogenicity.”

Pointing to their influenza vaccination findings, the authors of the Yale study note that six European countries and China linked H1N1 influenza vaccination in 2009 to autoimmune narcolepsy, and some speculated that the H1N1 vaccine’s adjuvant—a squalene-based oil emulsion called AS03—was the culprit. Researchers caution:

A major recurring concern is the potential association between oil emulsion adjuvants and autoimmune disease induction as seen in animal and fish models. A single intradermal injection of a range of oil emulsions, including squalene emulsions, induces adjuvant arthritis in susceptible murine and rat models. […] There is a theoretical risk that any humans who share similar genetic susceptibility features to these models could similarly be prone to develop adjuvant arthritis, lupus, autoimmune hepatitis, uveitis or some other form of autoimmune disease after exposure to oil emulsion adjuvants alone or when combined with other potent innate immune activators [emphasis added].

Aluminum-based vaccine adjuvants—and especially the proprietary AAHS [amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate] adjuvant that Merck includes in its Gardasil 9, hepatitis A, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines—are also a prominent suspect in the autoimmunity epidemic. Researchers who compared AAHS to two other types of aluminum adjuvants found that AAHS was “substantially” different from the other two in revving up the immune system. As Italian researchers have stated, “the specific mechanism of action of each single adjuvant may have different effects on the course of different diseases.”

Hear no evil, see no evil

Pharmacotherapy with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is a “first-line” treatment for OCD; because remission is uncommon, “long-term management is often necessary.” Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline—two of the four companies that lead the U.S. vaccine market—make some of the top-selling SSRIs prescribed for individuals with OCD; the two pharma behemoths completed a joint venture in 2019 to integrate their consumer health care businesses. From their point of view, OCD represents an attractive market.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, the federal government and the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program turned down citizen requests to add asthma, autism, tics and several neuropsychiatric disorders—including PANDAS—to the Program’s Vaccine Injury Table. The feds’ refusal was not terribly surprising: very few new injuries have made it onto the Table since the Program came into being in 1986, despite the large number of vaccines piled onto the childhood schedule after that year. The government’s resolute refusal to conduct needed studies and its denial of even the possibility of vaccine culpability for conditions such as OCD leaves individuals no choice but to ferret out answers on their own.

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

New Study Explains How The HPV Vaccine Can Trigger “An Extremely Wide Spectrum of Autoimmune Diseases”

The powerful government-pharmaceutical industry partnership that has been foisting human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination on girls and boys around the world since 2006 now has working-age adults within its sights. Merck’s Gardasil 9 received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for expanded use in the 27-45 age group in late 2018, and there are signs that a campaign is afoot to achieve the same end result in other countries.

HPV vaccines have been linked to over 100,000 reported adverse events globally, including disabling autoimmune conditions and deaths, but officials seem unconcerned. Merck set the tone for the truth-stretching claim that HPV vaccine risks are “negligible” when it conducted its initial clinical trials for Gardasil and dismissed as irrelevant the serious medical conditions that arose—within seven months—in half of all participants who received the vaccine.

With the accumulation of studies since those early trials, it is getting harder to deny the existence of a disabling post-HPV vaccination syndrome. Although researchers admit that they do not yet fully understand the mechanisms whereby HPV vaccines wreak their autoimmune havoc, the phenomenon of immune cross-reactivity offers one highly plausible explanation. In a new study in Pathobiology, two of the most-published researchers on this topic report on the overlap between human proteins and HPV antigens. The authors consider their results indicative of “a cross-reactivity potential capable of triggering an extremely wide and complex spectrum of autoimmune diseases.”

Molecular mimicry

Scientists view autoimmunity as the prolonged and pathological response that arises when the immune system gets confused between “self” and “non-self” due to molecular similarities between an environmental agent and the host. The specific hypothesis—called molecular mimicry—is that “either a virus or bacteria…initiate and exacerbate an autoimmune response through sequence or structural similarities with self-antigens.”

Although the molecular mimicry concept has been floating around for at least three decades, relatively few researchers have been willing to make the conceptual leap to inquire whether the viral or bacterial antigens in vaccines provoke the same pathological response. In their Pathobiology study, however, the two authors—Drs. Darja Kanduc (Italy) and Yehuda Shoenfeld (Israel)—do just that, looking at HPV through the lens of both HPV infection and “active immunization.” Using cutting-edge molecular biology techniques to look at matching peptide sequences in HPV “epitopes” and human proteins, Kanduc and Shoenfeld examine epitopes from 15 different HPV types, including eight of the nine types included in Gardasil 9. (An epitope is the portion of an antigen capable of stimulating an immune response.)

Confirming that there is an “impressively high extent” of peptide sharing between HPV epitopes and human proteins, the two authors then outline numerous pathological implications of their results, giving examples of “human proteins that—when hit by cross-reactions generated by HPV infection/active immunization—may associate with diseases and autoimmune manifestations.” The latter include:

  • Reproductive abnormalities, including “ovarian dysgenesis, anovulation and male infertility, altered gene expression during oogenesis, premature ovarian failure, diminished ovarian reserve, accelerated primordial follicle loss, oocyte DNA damage, as well as susceptibility to breast/ovarian cancer” and “disorders in spermatogenesis, sperm-egg fusion, or spermatid maturation and male infertility”
  • Neuropsychiatric diseases, including “epilepsy, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and brain cancer”
  • Lupus manifestations
  • Circulatory effects, including “altered control of the vascular dynamics, pain, fevers associated with the menstrual cycle, depression, hypotension, and dysregulation of blood pressure”
  • Cardiac effects, including “cardiac autoimmunity and sudden unexplained death”

The role of adjuvants

As Kanduc and Schoenfeld state, the HPV-human protein overlap documented in their study is not unique to HPV; many other microbial sequences share significant commonalities with human proteins as well. Because the overlap is so widespread, some researchers are skeptical of cross-reactivity and dismiss it as more “fantasy” than “fact.” To explain why cross-reactivity is plausible in the context of vaccination, the two authors describe, in other publications, another important piece of the puzzle: vaccine adjuvants and comparable environmental “stimuli.” In fact, they argue, the “sole purpose” of a vaccine adjuvant is to gin up an immune response that otherwise would be unlikely to occur—and when the adjuvant is paired with foreign peptides that are similar to human peptides, a “reasonable outcome may be the development of crossreactivity and autoimmunity.”

Schoenfeld is coauthor on another recent study published in the Annals of Arthritis and Clinical Rheumatology. The study describes post-HPV-vaccination autoimmunity in Japanese girls, and it reiterates that vaccine adjuvants are an essential consideration for understanding the girls’ “unexpected” and “abnormal” immune responses. The authors write: 

Vaccination results in the iatrogenic production of useful antibodies in the human body, but it cannot be ruled out that the exposure to an external stimulus including adjuvants induces unexpected abnormal immune responses, such as a newly evoked situation with an autoimmune abnormality [emphasis added].

With 500 micrograms of aluminum adjuvant, Gardasil 9 has more than double the amount of aluminum contained in the original Gardasil vaccine. How this double-whammy “external stimulus” will play out in terms of autoimmunity requires assessment.

Distraction and deception

From the beginning, manufacturers and officials have relied on gimmicks to promote HPV vaccination while distracting the public from the tsunami of adverse events that has followed in the vaccines’ wake. It is unlikely that we will hear anything about a just-published South Korean study describing almost 100 safety signals among the nearly 4800 HPV-vaccine-related adverse events reported to the Korea Adverse Event Reporting System database between 2005 and 2016; 19 types of serious adverse events were not even listed on the country’s HPV vaccine inserts. The 19 are: neuralgia, tremor, neuritis, depersonalization, axillary pain, personality disorder, increased salivation, peptic ulcer, circulatory failure, hypotension, peripheral ischemia, cerebral hemorrhage, micturition disorder, facial edema, ovarian cyst, weight increase, pain anxiety, oral edema, and back pain.

Instead, it appears that we should prepare to see more smoke and mirrors as HPV vaccination’s promoters gear up for the intended rollout of Gardasil 9 among working-age adults. In its press release announcing approval of the vaccine for that age group, the FDA claimed that Gardasil (and, by the FDA’s logic, also Gardasil 9 “since the vaccines are manufactured similarly and cover four of the same HPV types”) is “88% effective”; French doctor Nicole Delépine rightly points out that the agency could only come up with this “misleading” statement by using a scientifically absurd hodge-podge of combined endpoints—persistent infection, genital warts, vulvar and vaginal precancerous lesions, cervical precancerous lesions and cervical cancer related to HPV types covered by the vaccine—“instead of presenting the results of the vaccine on each targeted pathology.”

Aware that “the incidence of invasive cancers has increased sharply (sometimes exceeding 100%) in the vaccinated age groups” in countries with mass HPV vaccination, Dr. Delépine finds the FDA’s effrontery “incredible.” Others agree, describing the aggressive hawking of HPV vaccination as an “obscene public farce.” Discussing regulatory bodies’ lack of transparency and rigor, two researchers wrote in 2016, “ No public health intervention should be shrouded in so much secrecy that it gives rise to suspicion.”

Watch Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s video exposing the details and many problems with the development and safety of Merck’s third-highest grossing product, Gardasil. 

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

Getting the Measles in Modern-Day America—Not Nearly as Dangerous as Portrayed

Throughout the 20th century, the U.S. and other Western nations made progress tackling problems related to nutrition, sanitation, hygiene, water, garbage and pests. With these improvements, the death rates from childhood infectious diseases plummeted—long before the advent of vaccines for those illnesses. U.S. vital statistics affirm that the measles mortality (death) rate had dropped 99.4% before introduction of the first measles vaccine in 1963.

Fuzzy measles math

Prior to the measles vaccine’s U.S. introduction, the estimated number of measles cases annually was between 4 and 6.5 million (depending on the source). The government-reported mortality rate—pre-vaccine—was approximately 1 in 10,000 cases. So why do today’s media often report it as 1 in 1,000 cases? This appears to be an attempt to exaggerate the facts and promote fear to drive the vaccine mandate agenda. Ninety percent or more of all measles cases were so mild that they were never reported because parents never took their children to the doctor. Only 10% of overall cases were severe enough to warrant seeking medical care, but even in that subgroup, not all cases were reported. It was only among the 10% that sought medical care and were reported that the fatality rate was about 1 in 1,000. Modern news outlets get away with inaccurately reporting the death rate as 1 in 1,000 by leaving out the crucial word “reported” and referring only to “cases.”

But even a death rate of 1 in 10,000 cases does not accurately reflect the situation for the majority of the population, for whom measles mortality was far less. Socioeconomic factors are very important in this discussion but often overlooked. In the middle of the last century, U.S. children living in poverty had poorer nutrition, less sanitary living conditions and less access to medical care. As one might expect, this resulted in less viable and resilient immune systems that made them more vulnerable to measles complications and death.

Two Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studies support the observation that poorer children suffered more serious complications and a higher measles mortality rate. One study, titled “Measles mortality: a retrospective look at the vaccine era” (authored for the CDC’s Bureau of Epidemiology and published in 1975 in the American Journal of Epidemiology), reviewed statistics from 1958-1963. A 1980 study from the CDC’s Immunization Division, titled “Measles mortality in the United States 1971-1975” and published in the American Journal of Public Health, reviewed records from 1971-1975. Both studies showed that children who lived at or below the poverty level, and especially in rural settings, were significantly more likely to die from measles than those in the higher income brackets. In fact, the second study found a ten times (1,000%) higher death rate for those below the poverty level than for the more affluent population.

As I thought about those numbers and the 1000% greater incidence of death in poverty-stricken children, I became curious as to how disproportionate those numbers might be when considering the population as a whole. Remember, the overall mortality rate for the entire country was reported as approximately 1 death for every 10,000 cases of measles. In the pre-measles-vaccine era from 1959-1962, the total U.S. population was from 178 million (1959) to 189 million (1963), and the percentage of families living at or below the poverty level was about 8% (approximately 14 million). If that 8% had a 1,000% higher mortality rate than the more affluent population, it would stand to reason that the mortality rate for that affluent segment must be far less than 1 in 10,000 cases. Here are the CDC measles mortality numbers for 1971-1975 reported in the American Journal of Public Health:

  • Families with incomes of less than or equal to $5,000/year: 1 death in 237,467 (population)
  • Families with incomes between $5,000 and $10,000/year: 1 death in 1,009,437 (population)
  • Families with incomes over $10,000/year: 1 death in 2,190,837 (population)

In other words, for higher-income households, there was less than a one in two million measles fatality rate.

Even lower mortality today

In modern-day America, there are many variables that would contribute to a dramatically lower measles mortality rate. What follow are but a handful:

  • The percentage of people living in poverty in the United States has decreased about 50% since the early 1960s (dropping from 8% to 4%). This alone would translate into a much lower measles mortality rate today.
  • Individuals living in poverty today have better access to sanitary water, nutrient-enriched foods, vitamins and medical care than 60 years ago.
  • Today, rural America has better access to medical care and doctors than in the middle of the last century.
  • Knowledge of personal hygiene and its importance has become part of the fabric of society. This helps to reduce the spread of disease and improves outcomes.
  • Since 1960, much has been learned about the power of vitamin A in reducing complications and deaths from measles. The World Health Organization (WHO) has touted the success of its vitamin A campaign in developing countries for reducing measles-related complications and deaths.
  • Many other herbal and natural antiviral compounds have been discovered in the last 60 years.
  • Immunoglobulin therapy is available today for individuals who are vulnerable to measles complications.

When it comes to advances in quality of living and easier access to all the resources that can promote better health, wouldn’t you agree that most people in the U.S. are experiencing the polar opposite of what people living in abject poverty in low-income nations experience? Today, more American families and children benefit from a higher standard of living than ever before; more are able to afford nutritious food and even nutritional supplements; more enjoy clean living conditions; more have access to better medical and social services; and more are knowledgeable about key health principles. In this context, it only makes sense that measles morbidity and mortality rates would plummet.

Contrary to what the pharma-controlled media would have us believe, the United States today is not equivalent to an impoverished low-income country. Yes, measles can be a deadly illness in those parts of the world where living conditions are similar to those that prevailed in large overcrowded U.S. and European cities in the 1800s and early 1900s—yet big pharma would have everyone in the U.S. and the West believe that if they don’t take all the vaccines that officials can muster, they will be in danger of sliding back to the Dark Ages, with millions of people ravaged by infection and hanging on by an extremely fine and frayed thread.

The MMR vaccine’s history and risks

It is impossible to say for sure what the mortality rate would be if measles were to return to the U.S. on a wider scale, but the evidence just described and the continued advances in treating infectious diseases both holistically and medically indicate that the rate could well be one death per 200,000 cases—or less. If there were four million measles cases, that would amount to around 20 deaths.

Many will say that one death is one too many—and I would agree. But we must contrast the complications and deaths that might be caused by natural measles infection with the rates of injuries and deaths attributed to the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. We must also consider the probability that the MMR vaccine—along with the ever-increasing childhood vaccine schedule—may well play a role in the meteoric rise of neurodevelopmental disorders, autism, learning and behavioral problems, gastrointestinal disorders, reproductive disorders and autoimmune and other chronic diseases. All of these conditions are at epidemic levels, and the human and financial costs are becoming astronomical!

In a historical look at the adverse reactions and deaths due to the measles and MMR vaccines, titled “Can measles vaccine cause injury and death?,” we learn the following: “As of May 31, 2019, there have been more than 94,972 reports of measles vaccine reactions, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following measles vaccinations made to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), including 468 related deaths, 7,127 hospitalizations, and 1,820 related disabilities.” And these statistics are most certainly just a drop in the bucket. According to CDC-sponsored research, less than 1% of the adverse reactions from vaccines are ever reported to VAERS. The report describing the widespread problem of underreporting was titled Electronic Support for Public Health-Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (ESP:VAERS) and is often referred to as the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care study. Multiply the May 31 statistics about adverse reactions and vaccine injuries just from the measles/MMR vaccines by 100 (or add two zeros to those numbers), and you are closer to the actual number of measles-vaccine-related adverse reactions. Given that VAERS receives total reports of somewhere in the neighborhood of 60,000 adverse reactions annually, the true number of vaccine-related adverse events in the U.S. alone is more likely to be around six million annually.

While the media portray the MMR vaccine as the 21st-century “holy grail” of vaccines, the MMR has many skeletons in its closet. For example, a 215-page internal Merck document recently came to light thanks to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on behalf of the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN). It reports on the pre-licensure studies that were performed on the MMR vaccine. Among many interesting observations, one of the most glaring is a summary of findings on page 43 where it states: “Upper respiratory and gastrointestinal infections were reported in about 55% and 40% of vaccinees respectively.” Oh, the irony—it appears that Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s findings regarding the pathological changes in the gastrointestinal tracts of the children in his famous since-retracted 1998 study have been vindicated by Merck’s own pre-licensure studies! In other words, Merck and the vaccine industry knew about the evidence that Dr. Wakefield presented all along, yet they ruined his career to protect their investment in the MMR vaccine.

In addition, there are several scandals surrounding the MMR’s pre-licensure and post-licensure studies. First, two whistleblower scientists (Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski) who worked on the pre-licensure studies to gain FDA approval for the mumps component of the vaccine have accused Merck of “spiking” samples of human blood with mumps antibodies from rabbit’s blood. They brought a case under the False Claims Act, alleging fraud against Merck that is still working its way through the courts. According to an article in Global Research titled “Merck senior management tried to pay off its own vaccine scientists to remain silent about scientific fraud,” the filing accuses Merck of lying about the safety and effectiveness of MMR vaccines, tampering with study data, defrauding the U.S. government and various other high-level crimes.

Second, Dr. William Thompson, a senior CDC scientist working on a major study to determine whether the MMR vaccine was associated with increased rates of autism, came forward in 2014 alleging CDC fraud. Dr. Thompson stated that when the data showed a significant vaccine-autism association, supervisors ordered the CDC researchers working on the study to bring all of their notes and study-related documents to a meeting to deposit them into a large trash can to be destroyed. Suspecting foul play, Dr. Thompson kept a full copy of all the records. Several years later, compelled by his conscience, he contacted Brian Hooker, PhD with a full confession. Dr. Thompson provided Dr. Hooker with over 10,000 pages of documents supporting his allegations and other examples of malfeasance.

On September 10, 2019, Children’s Health Defense published a response by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to a misleading article in The New Yorker—which The New Yorker itself refused to publish—that made several more critical points about vaccine risks:

  • Merck’s MMR pre-licensure studies found that 40% of children receiving the MMR suffered gastrointestinal illnesses within 42 days of the injection, and 55% suffered respiratory illnesses. These are symptoms that might persuade rational consumers to choose the infections over the vaccine.
  • The MMR’s package insert includes an almost two-page listing of over 60 adverse reactions ranging from vomiting and irritability to permanent brain damage and anaphylaxis. The Institute of Medicine has repeatedly pointed out the CDC’s failure to perform the studies necessary to confirm whether the MMR vaccine is causing these injuries.
  • Merck acknowledges that an astonishing 26% of post-pubertal females might develop arthritis and arthralgia from the MMR vaccine.
  • A 2017 letter published in The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) cited research showing that children receiving the MMR vaccine had five times the seizure rate of children with measles infections. A 2004 JAMA study found that an additional 1 in 640 children has seizures after MMR vaccination compared to unvaccinated children; about 5% of these will progress to epilepsy.

For further information, download my free eBook, 1200 Studies: Truth will Prevail. It has easy search and navigation features and links directly to article abstracts on PubMed or the source journal. These features make it an invaluable research and reference tool. Now 718 pages long, the eBook covers over 1,400 published studies—authored by thousands of scientists and researchers—that contradict what officials are telling the public about vaccine safety and efficacy.

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

5 Falsehoods About The Measles Vaccine That Continue To Be Perpetuated By Mainstream Media

[CHD Note: Page numbers referenced throughout the article are from 1200 Studies- Truth Will Prevail, Dr. Palmer’s free eBook. You will find the download link in the bio at the end of the article.]

Five key talking points—all of them false—are driving the campaign of measles-related fear and coerced vaccine compliance:

  1. If measles return, thousands of children will die annually in the U.S.
  2. The two-dose MMR vaccine regimen will provide lifelong protection in most people.
  3. Previously vaccinated adults with waning antibody protection can receive effective and lasting protection from MMR booster shots.
  4. We must achieve and sustain a 95% vaccination rate to maintain herd immunity.
  5. The MMR and the MMR+varicella (MMRV) vaccines will protect against all strains of measles.

What follows are my rebuttals to each of these falsehoods.

Falsehood #1: If measles return, thousands of children will die annually in the U.S.

Hyper-exaggeration of the measles threat—and the fear that this exaggerated threat produces in the population—are what the vaccine industry and public health officials are counting on to drive public compliance and legislative action to remove freedom of choice. However, it is time to put this unreasonable fear of measles to rest. The real risks from measles in modern-day America pale in comparison with vaccine injuries and adverse effects on our children’s health (pages 561-564). The measles vaccine has been responsible for serious vaccine injuries, permanent disabilities and deaths.

Although the vaccine industry likes to take credit for the decline in measles deaths, U.S. government statistics tell a very different story. When the first ineffective and problematic measles vaccine was introduced in 1963 (with a second vaccine introduced in 1968), the rate of deaths attributed to measles had already declined by over 98%—between 1900 and 1962—and was continuing its downward trajectory. Some government statistics even say that the measles death rate had decreased by 99.4% prior to the vaccine’s introduction. Regardless of which figure one uses, that is nearly a 100% decline. Moreover, there is no reason to believe that the death rate would have stopped falling if no vaccine had come along. Thus, to suggest that the measles vaccine had anything to do with the decline in measles mortality is dishonest and a poor attempt at rewriting history.

Prior to the introduction of the vaccine, the government-reported mortality rate for measles was approximately 1 in 10,000 cases. However, in another attempt to exaggerate the facts, officials now often report the rate as 1 in 1,000 cases. What needs to be understood is that 90% of all measles cases were never reported because parents never took their children to the doctor. Most measles cases were mild, lasting just a few days, at which point kids went back to school and life went on. No big deal. In the 1950s and ‘60s, people viewed measles as an inconvenient yet harmless condition that virtually everyone got and recovered from, leaving them with lifelong protection.

Only about 10% of overall cases were severe enough for those affected to seek medical care, and among the subset of cases that sought medical care and were reported, the fatality rate was about 1 in 1,000. By leaving out the crucial word “reported,” news outlets thus inaccurately present the death rate as 1 in 1,000 cases instead of the far more accurate 1 in 10,000 cases.

There is another crucial fact to consider. Studies show that measles fatalities were 10 times higher in extremely low-income, poverty-stricken communities compared to middle-income communities (pages 487-488). The increased incidence of fatalities in poor communities drastically skewed the overall death rate. The death rate in middle- and upper-income areas may have been around 1 in 100,000 cases.

The measles mortality graph confirms that measles was more deadly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the U.S., and this was also the case in Western Europe. In fact, in the 1800s and early 1900s, large cities were ripe for the spread of infectious diseases, due to malnutrition, overcrowding, inadequate personal hygiene, poor sanitary conditions, lack of vitamins and vitamin-fortified foods and limited access to appropriate medical care. In addition, horses were the main mode of transportation and left the narrow streets full of manure. Flies and rats were everywhere. All of these factors weakened people’s immune systems.

In the present age, measles remain deadlier in some countries than others. This is because conditions in impoverished parts of the world today are similar to urban conditions in the industrialized world in the mid to late 1800s and early 1900s. It is still commonplace for poorer countries and communities to be afflicted by many of the same problems that large American cities once experienced. As already noted, these conditions create an environment ripe for infectious disease and weaken people’s immune systems to the point where they are unable to fight even the mildest of infections. However, these descriptions and pictures certainly do not represent the standard of living that prevails in the U.S., Western Europe and other advanced societies today! This is why the fear-mongering, hysteria and lies about measles returning and decimating our children are so disingenuous.

As the insatiable, profit-driven vaccine makers push measles hysteria, the media—beholden to the pharmaceutical industry for advertising revenue—are their mouthpiece. None of these parties want people to know that solutions other than vaccines exist. Yet we know that vitamin A is a powerful weapon in the arsenal to reduce rates of measles complications. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) promotes vitamin A supplementation in developing countries where measles is epidemic, and its vitamin A campaigns have been heralded as huge successes (see pages 470-471, 481-483 and 687). In addition to vitamin A, modern-day Americans have access to herbal and natural antiviral compounds that can reduce the risk of complications and shorten the illness’s duration. Immune-compromised persons also have access to immune globulin therapy, which is extremely effective in bolstering the body’s resistance to infection and reducing measles complications.

To understand the dynamics of why measles was so deadly 70 to 100 years ago, what makes it deadly in impoverished parts of the world today AND why the death rates declined for measles and other infectious diseases nearly 100% without vaccines, read the section titled “The Truth about the Decline of Infectious Diseases” in my free eBook, 1200 Studies. (Link at the bottom of the article.)

Falsehood #2: The two-dose MMR vaccine regimen will provide lifelong protection in most people

On its website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states the following:

People who receive MMR vaccination according to the U.S. vaccination schedule are usually considered protected for life against measles and rubella. While MMR provides effective protection against mumps for most people, immunity against mumps may decrease over time and some people may no longer be protected against mumps later in life. Both serologic and epidemiologic evidence indicate that vaccine-induced measles immunity appears to be long-term and probably lifelong in most persons.”

This information is outdated and has been proven completely wrong! The information may have been somewhat accurate when there were still large numbers of aging people in the population who had wild measles as children—giving them lasting immunity—and when some children still experienced wild measles, thereby providing adults with natural “boosters.” However, that dynamic changes over time as more people are vaccinated.

Over the last few years, we have learned that antibody levels produced by the measles vaccine wane rapidly, dropping approximately 10% per year, with efficacy lasting no more than 10 years after the second vaccine dose. A 2018 article published in the journal Vaccine (titled “Measles, mumps, and rubella antibody patterns of persistence and rate of decline following the second dose of the MMR vaccine”) confirms this fact, and a 2017 study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases (titled “Measles virus neutralizing antibodies in intravenous immunoglobulins: Is an increase by revaccination of plasma donors possible?”) explains how additional vaccine doses provide no lasting protection. These two factors—the waning of the vaccine and the inability to effectively revaccinate back into protection—leave the previously vaccinated adult population completely unprotected.

In essence, measles vaccination programs may work initially (scientists call this the “honeymoon period”), but only when many children have already experienced wild measles at baseline, developing lifelong immunity and staying safe and immune as adults. That natural immunity can keep measles infections in check for several years. As vaccinated children age out of protection and vaccination rates for younger children remain high, there are no longer (as in the pre-vaccine era) young children with wild measles in the population to provide natural boosters to adults. Over time, vaccine-induced antibody levels drop throughout the aging population, leaving people vulnerable to infection. Sadly, the honeymoon is then over (pages 503-504).

The measles vaccine has destroyed the natural herd immunity we used to enjoy—and the pseudo “herd immunity” highly touted by vaccine proponents turns out to be a complete fallacy, falling apart due to the vaccine’s failure to provide the promised lifelong immunity (pages 572-578). This explains why such a high percentage of the people contracting measles in recent outbreaks are vaccinated adults. For example, during the infamous 2015 Disneyland outbreak and subsequent U.S. measles cases that year, laboratory virus sequences were available for 194 cases. Of those, 73 (38%) were identified as MMR vaccine sequences. While officials like to blame the unvaccinated for measles outbreaks, these and other statistics show that the vaccinated are susceptible. In addition, the age of the California cases ranged from six weeks to 70 years old, with a median age of 22. In the pre-vaccine era, half of all children had measles by age six, with the rest acquiring the illness in the years shortly thereafter—this is when measles are mildest and have the lowest rate of complications. The fact that so many of the California cases were in their 20s or older indicates a significant upward trend in measles incidence at older ages due to vaccine failure.

There is another unintended consequence resulting from low measles antibody titers in previously vaccinated adults: women of childbearing age do not have enough antibodies to pass sufficient amounts to their newborn babies. This makes their infants more susceptible to contracting measles (pages 574-578). Of the 110 California cases from the Disneyland outbreak, 12 (11%) were infants too young to be vaccinated. These infants most likely would have been protected if their mothers had contracted wild measles as children.

In short, the science shows a shift in the demographics of measles cases due to the vaccine program. This shift has effectively transferred the risk to the two groups most vulnerable to serious complications, namely newborns and adults. Scientists are also recognizing the same pattern of vaccine failure for other infectious diseases over which we thought we had achieved control (pages 588-591).

Falsehood #3: Previously vaccinated adults with waning antibody protection can receive effective and lasting protection from MMR booster shots

Research published in 2017 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases demonstrated that additional doses of MMR given to adults have minimal effect on raising antibody levels, and the increased titers are very temporary—decreasing in under four months! Therefore, the kneejerk reaction by some vaccine proponents to mandate adults to get MMR shots every five to 10 years won’t work. It is readily apparent that we cannot vaccinate our way out of this problem (pages 577-578). So, what do we do now? It’s like squeezing toothpaste out of the tube. You can’t put it back in!

Falsehood #4: We must achieve and sustain a 95% vaccination rate to maintain herd immunity

We hear this all the time: “We have to get all children vaccinated to maintain ‘herd immunity,’ and this is what will protect the vulnerable who can’t be vaccinated.” The narrative about “herd immunity” is designed to prop up vaccination efforts and public compliance, but it does not hold water. With an unprotected adult population (as discussed in previous sections), we are nowhere close to the 95% “immune” rate for measles that is supposed to promise herd immunity. In fact, CDC statistics prove that we are nowhere close to 95% for any of the infectious diseases that vaccines are given for.

The CDC website has a section titled Trends in Adult Vaccination Coverage: 2010 to 2016. It reports on results from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and shows the percentages of the U.S. adult population who say they have been vaccinated against various infectious diseases. Conspicuously, measles, mumps and rubella are absent from the survey. I have searched extensively and have not found any other surveys that include them. One has to ask the question—why aren’t national surveys asking about the MMR vaccine, when it is one of the mainstays of the U.S. vaccine paradigm (if not the holy grail itself)? Is it because the vast majority of adults are post-vaccine-era age (i.e., under 60 years old), most of whom would not have received an MMR vaccine since pre-kindergarten? Is it because the survey designers know that the percentage of adults affirming vaccination against M, M or R would be extremely low? Vaccine researchers have known for some time now that the antibody titers wane rapidly and that adults are not protected. Whatever the reason for the survey’s blind spot, the answers to hypothetical questions about MMR vaccination just wouldn’t fit the narrative that officials are pushing, now would they?

The NHIS asks adults if they have been vaccinated for various infectious diseases, but many of the adults answering in the affirmative—and included in the “vaccinated” percentages—would most certainly have lost their temporary immunity, given what we know about waning vaccine immunity over time. Therefore, those individuals do not really belong in the “vaccinated” cohort, which implies that the “vaccinated” percentages should be even lower. Consider also that while children aged 2-6 years have high vaccine coverage rates (in the range of 80% to 90%), that age group represents a small part of the “herd” (maybe 5%), and persons under 18 years of age account for less than 20% of the entire population.

The pro-vaccine “herd immunity” argument might hold water if all young children were kept in a bubble—fully sequestered from all adults who are either unvaccinated or have lost vaccine immunity—but we know that is not the case. We all live together, with cross-exposure in this big “herd” we call humanity. Thus, the fake talking point about herd immunity has no basis in fact but is an intentional strategy—creating the appearance of a “solution” in order to achieve the objective of full vaccination compliance in all children.

Something else to consider is the phenomenon of “primary vaccine failure,” which refers to the subset of children in whom a given vaccine never produces a sufficient antibody response at all. Vaccine proponents claim that this number is only about 5%, but data suggest that the number may be higher. Even with 100% vaccine compliance in children, this phenomenon means that nearly 1 out of every 10 children will never be protected.

As already discussed, vaccines have destroyed the natural lifelong herd immunity that came from the immune response produced by wild measles infection. This has led to a change in the demographic profile of people who get measles, away from 4- to 12-year-olds (pre-vaccine)—in whom the illness is mildest—toward infants and adults (post-vaccine)—the very populations in whom measles cause the most complications (pages 500-504 and 579-581).

Falsehood #5: The MMR and MMRV vaccines will protect against all strains of measles

Evidence is emerging that the measles virus is mutating as a result of intense vaccine pressure. A 2017 article in the Journal of Virology warns of this ominous signal, a discovery of what they are calling the D4.2 subgenotype. So far, researchers have isolated this “mutant” in France and Great Britain. Moreover, the mutant strain was not effectively neutralized when tested against sera from approximately 70 North American vaccinated individuals. Experts are calling these strains “escape mutants” and are warning that with an unprotected adult population (whose titers cannot be boosted, as mentioned earlier), we face the potential of unprecedented outbreaks.

The concern is that, under conditions of high vaccination coverage, the measles virus is finding ways to survive. In the pre-vaccine era, childhood exposure to wild measles conferred protection for the whole population through maintenance of robust lifelong immunity against all measles variants. Now that vaccines only provide short-term immunity, we are at risk for widespread outbreaks (pages 578-579). The research is signaling a looming crisis, similar to what we have created with antibiotics. The overprescribing of antibiotics has created mutations in bacteria that have outpaced the development of new antibiotics. Not only that, but these “superbugs” are much more virulent (deadly), with well in excess of 100,000 Americans now dying annually from antibiotic-resistant infections. Is it possible that we are setting ourselves up for a similar scenario with vaccines?


For further information, download my free eBook, 1200 Studies: Truth will Prevail. It has easy search and navigation features and links directly to the article abstracts on PubMed or the source journal. These features make it an invaluable research and reference tool. Now 718 pages long, the eBook covers over 1,400 published studies—authored by thousands of scientists and researchers—that contradict what officials are telling the public about vaccine safety and efficacy.


 Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

The Mental Health Morass: Good for Pharma, Bad for Youth

When several hundred Colorado high school students walked out of a post-school-shooting vigil last May to protest the event’s politicization, their departing chant was, “mental health, mental health.” While this response may have unsettled the event’s organizers, it was unsurprising in the context of widespread media accounts of an “epidemic of anguish” among American youth. According to this narrative, not only is “the increase in mental health issues among [U.S.] teens and young adults…nothing short of staggering,” but around the globe, mental illness is set to become the “next major global health challenge” and “pandemic of the 21st century.”

Without making light of the problem or minimizing anyone’s personal suffering, it is clear that one entity that stands to benefit mightily from a deepening mental health crisis is the pharmaceutical industry. Psychiatric medications have long been “growth superstars”—generating billions in sales for companies like Pfizer and Eli Lilly “as the U.S. became Prozac Nation, antipsychotics also became antidepressants, and ADHD [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder] a byword.” Already in the mid-2000s, a Harvard economist reported that spending on psychotropic drugs had substantially outpaced overall prescription drug spending—no mean feat given the drug market’s exponential growth.

Outsized drug company profits and clever marketing tactics have prompted many to question the industry’s “oversized role in determining how mental illness is treated.” Even in conventional medical circles, clinicians acknowledge the need for “radical change in the paradigm and practices of mental health care,” including interventions that emphasize prevention and non-pharmacologic treatment modalities. These sorts of recommendations are urgently needed—not least for the young people for whom there is scant evidence of psychotropic medication safety or efficacy.

Overlapping trends

Modern psychiatry situates an alphabet soup of diagnoses under the broad rubric of “mental, emotional and behavioral” (MEB) disorders. It is no longer uncommon for children and adolescents to receive one or more of these diagnoses: anxiety disorder; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; autism spectrum disorder; bipolar disorder; conduct disorder; depression; disruptive behavior disorder; drug abuse or dependence; eating disorders; obsessive-compulsive disorder; oppositional defiant disorder; pervasive developmental disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder; and schizophrenia.

The proliferation of mental health diagnoses in young people overlaps considerably with trends in diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition, mental health diagnoses frequently intersect with physical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and epilepsy, which are more often present in children with mental disorders than in children without such disorders. Pediatric hospital admissions for non-behavioral disorders result in higher costs and longer stays when they are comorbid with behavioral disorders.

One of the few large-scale surveys to focus on MEB disorders in children (rather than adults) was the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), conducted from 2001 to 2004. The NCS-A found that half of U.S. youth (ages 13-18) had been diagnosed with at least one MEB disorder—including one in five with behavior disorders and three in ten with anxiety disorders—with the impairments rated as “severe” in roughly one-fourth of the affected teens. For many of the young people, onset and diagnosis occurred well before adolescence. Reviewing the evidence, the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine reported in 2009 that “early MEB disorders should be considered as commonplace as a fractured limb: not inevitable but not at all unusual.”

The impact

Recent research has documented some of the impact of these “commonplace” diagnoses in young people. Between 2011 and 2015, for example, visits by U.S. youth to psychiatric emergency departments increased by 28%. By age group, the largest increase—54%—was seen in adolescents (as compared to younger children or youth in their early 20s), in whom the researchers also reported a 2.5-fold increase in suicide-related visits. As of 2010, mood disorders (which include both bipolar and depressive disorders) were the most frequent principal diagnosis given to hospitalized children ages 1-17—up 80% since 1997. The hospitalization rate for bipolar disorders increased fourfold between the two time points (1997–2010), especially in the 10-14 and 15-17 age groups.

Researchers describe comorbid ADHD as “nearly universal” among youth with bipolar disorder, with ADHD and anxiety disorders viewed as common precursors of bipolar disorder. The trend toward increased diagnosis of both ADHD and bipolar disorder has prompted increased use by young people of both inpatient and outpatient mental health services as well as an exponential increase in the prescribing of medication. In office-based settings, where mental health care for young people has increased more rapidly than for adults, psychotropic medication prescriptions for younger patients are often provided by physicians with no psychiatric training.

For both ADHD and bipolar disorder, pharmacologic treatment relies heavily on powerful psychostimulants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. Reporting on data collected in 2011–2012, researchers noted that a large proportion (44%) of very young children diagnosed with ADHD (2- to 5-year-olds) were taking medication, most commonly central nervous system stimulants. Nationally, a survey of children with special health care needs conducted in 2009–2010 found that 74% of ADHD-diagnosed children ages 4-17 had received medication in the past week.

Both the scientific community and mainstream media have raised questions about whether widespread administration of mind-altering psychostimulants to young children is safe or “meaningfully beneficial.” In 2016, a Washington Post reporter cited CDC findings when noting that “The long-term effects of those [ADHD] drugs on a young brain and body have not been well studied, and the side effects can be numerous, including poor appetite, sleeplessness, irritability and slowed growth.” Other risks of these freely prescribed drugs include the potential to actually worsen mania, foster addiction or lead to further medication. In the push for increased treatment, clinicians have largely ignored these risks.

In some states, special education funding policies create financial incentives to actively identify and medicate children with ADHD. In those states, children are “about 15 percent more likely to report having ADHD and…about 22 percent more likely to be taking medication for ADHD.” As a medical ethicist has commented, these patterns raise questions about the “muddier” aspects of psychiatric diagnosis and the variability “as regards who and what drive [diagnostic] practices.”

The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) commonly prescribed for depression and anxiety disorders have also raised serious concerns—particularly about their potential to promote suicidality, aggression or other unwanted outcomes in children and adolescents. In 2016, the Nordic Cochrane Centre systematically reviewed clinical study reports from 70 trials of SSRIs and similar drugs and described substantial under-reporting of harms. Even with the under-reporting, the reviewed evidence linked the drugs to a doubling in the risk of suicidality and aggression in children and adolescents.

Why is this happening?

Researchers have floated many hypotheses about the underlying causes of the burgeoning youth mental health crisis. But while the mainstream media have been more than willing to give airtime to social explanations such as smartphone use and academic stress, the public has seen far less discussion of other plausible factors such as the gut-brain connection. For example, there is a complex interplay between the gut microbiome, the immune response and vaccination—and experimental evidence links vaccines and vaccine adjuvants to adverse mental health symptoms. There is also ample experimental evidence showing that gut microbiota disruptions caused by subchronic and chronic exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides can increase anxiety and depression-like behaviors at virtually any age. Moreover, research findings are suggestive of potential transgenerational effects of both vaccines and glyphosate. Rather than acquiesce to the perpetuation of hair-splitting mental health diagnoses—and the pharmaceutical “solutions” that always seem to follow close behind—it would seem wise to scrutinize these pervasive environmental threats while keeping in mind the age-old question of cui bono.

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

Infant and Child Mortality in the U.S.—Nothing to Brag About

The United States spends over $230 billion annually on children’s personal health care, representing about 8.4% of total U.S. health care spending. Spending jumped by 56% between 1996 and 2013—with some of the increase likely covering vaccine program costs that began “dramatically” escalating in the 1990s—but these substantial outlays are not translating into a rosy health picture for American children.

Instead, leading child health indicators seem to be giving new meaning to the phrase “geography is destiny.” International comparisons show that the U.S. has ranked lowest among twenty developed nations for child mortality since the 1990s and currently ranks behind 55 other countries worldwide for infant mortality. The U.S. also lags behind other developed countries in terms of the rate at which infant mortality is declining—in fact, infant mortality due to prematurity or low birthweight began trending upward in the late 1980s. At present, U.S.-born children are 76% more likely to die before their first birthday than infants in other wealthy nations—with 1 out of every 270 American babies dying in their first year of life as of 2015. Thus, from infancy on, young Americans are confronted with the challenge of beating terrible odds.

Welcome to the world…

Considering deaths that occur on the first day of life, it is sadly noteworthy that more American newborns die the day they are born than in any other developed nation. Globally, 68 other countries have a better standing than the U.S. in terms of newborn deaths.

Many of these tragic deaths are related to the higher percentage of premature births that occur in the U.S. compared to other developed countries. Could this have anything to do with the United States’ non-evidence-based administration of vaccines during pregnancy, and influenza vaccines in particular? Babies born to women who received flu shots during pregnancy are at greater risk of preterm birth as well as low birthweight and fetal death. Internationally, researchers have objected to across-the-board influenza vaccination of pregnant women in the absence of “strong and consistent” randomized clinical trial evidence—and in the U.S., no vaccines have ever been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “specifically for use during pregnancy to protect the infant”—yet the CDC continues to tell pregnant women that flu shots are safe.

Black babies in the U.S. are at particular risk of dying in their first month or year, with a 2.5 to 2.8 times higher risk of mortality compared to white infants. Common causes of excess mortality in black infants include perinatal conditions and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Running the first-year-of-life vaccine gauntlet

When it comes to postneonatal deaths of American infants—those that occur between 28 days and one year—SIDS is the leading cause. By definition, SIDS refers to death in a “seemingly normal, healthy infant under one year of age” that is both unexpected and unexplainable, but again, there is mounting evidence that at least some of the phenomenon may be “medically induced” through vaccination. Without even counting the vaccines administered prenatally, American infants receive more vaccines in their first year than infants anywhere in the world. Many of those vaccines are administered in bundles at well-baby visits around two and four months—exactly when nine out of ten SIDS deaths occur.

U.S. researchers have largely ignored the important question of a potential SIDS-vaccine connection. However, European investigators have examined the issue as it pertains to some combination vaccines. For example, a study by Italian researchers described the case of a three-month-old infant who died within 24 hours of receiving the Infanrix hexa vaccine manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. (The six-in-one vaccine includes antigens for diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type B, poliovirus and hepatitis B.) After examining clinical data, postmortem findings and immunohistochemical and laboratory analyses, the investigators concluded that “acute respiratory failure likely due to post hexavalent immunization-related shock was the cause of death.”

Recently, an independent Italian research group studied the chemical composition profile of Infanrix hexa and was surprised to find that it showed zero evidence of the six antibody-inducing antigens that the vaccine is supposed to provide. Instead, the hexavalent vaccine contained numerous chemical contaminants and toxins, bacterial peptide toxins as well as an “insoluble and indigestible macromolecule” unrecognizable by any protein databases—in short, “a compound with an unknown and unpredictable toxicity and efficacy.”

Another set of Italian researchers conducted histological examinations of over 100 young SIDS victims for whom detailed clinical and environmental information was available; in 12% of the cases, the SIDS deaths occurred within one to seven days of hexavalent vaccination. The authors deemed it plausible that “vaccine components could have a direct role in sparking off a lethal outcome in vulnerable babies.”

Considering precisely this question of “vulnerable babies,” a group of Spanish researchers reviewed clinical and surveillance studies of hexavalent vaccination in infants born premature or low birthweight. Although casually dismissive of most vaccination risks in this delicate subpopulation, the authors nevertheless reported that 13% to 30% of “medically stable” babies with a history of prematurity or low birthweight had experienced an adverse cardiorespiratory event (cessation of breathing or abnormally low heart rate) following just one dose of hexavalent vaccine.

Back in the U.S.

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) employs evasive semantics to avoid too many troubling questions about the causes of SIDS. It does so by lumping SIDS under the broader three-pronged umbrella of “sudden unexpected infant deaths” (SUID), which separates SIDS events from deaths from “unknown causes” and “accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed” (ASSB). As a result, the agency likes to claim that SIDS rates fell in the 1990s and have remained stationary since then.

However, a 2006 analysis by some of the CDC’s own researchers showed that most of the apparent decline was an artifact of the CDC’s changes in cause-of-death classification away from SIDS in favor of “cause unknown/unspecified” and ASSB. Other factors point to considerable underreporting of SIDS deaths, including reporting anomalies, the inadequacies of death certificates as a source of complete information and the “complicated” and “convoluted” process involved in creating and registering causes of death for public records.

In a surprising concession, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled in 2017 that there was “preponderant evidence” supporting a claim that vaccines “caused or substantially contributed” to a 2011 SIDS death. The court, which has a notoriously high burden of proof, also ruled that the death could not be attributed to non-vaccine-related factors. Unfortunately, the ruling has had no consequential impact on childhood vaccine policies. Au contraire—states like California, New York and Maine are now stomping on the human rights of even the most medically fragile children and sanctimoniously denying that vaccine-related injuries and deaths even occur. Moreover, despite the various studies highlighting hexavalent vaccine dangers, the FDA just saw fit, in December 2018, to approve the U.S.’s first hexavalent pediatric vaccine; Vaxelis, jointly manufactured by Sanofi and Merck, will be made available to the pediatric vaccine market sometime in 2020.

With the disproportionately high rates of premature birth, low birthweight, birth defects and other infant health challenges that prevail in the U.S., policy-makers should be acknowledging that vulnerable babies abound. At the same time, they should be taking note of the fact that vulnerabilities are not always apparent and are not the whole story—more than four in ten sudden unexpected deaths in infancy occur in seemingly healthy babies born full-term. The success of early 20th-century initiatives to reduce infant mortality occurred “before widespread use of vaccination and medical technologies” but instead of learning from history or recognizing the need to avoid exposing young children to unnecessary risks, the U.S. public policy mantra seems to be “full speed ahead.”

Note: To read more information about infant mortality and the childhood health epidemics get the FREE Children’s Health Defense eBook, The Sickest Generation: The Facts Behind the Children’s Health Crisis and Why It Needs to End. The eBook describes how children’s health began to worsen dramatically in the late 1980s following fateful changes in the childhood vaccine schedule in combination with other environmental exposures. At this critical juncture, when states are rushing to eliminate vaccine exemptions even for medically fragile children, it is important to take stock of our children’s shockingly poor health and question whether existing vaccine and child health policies are serving our children well. The FREE Children’s Health Defense eBookConflicts of Interest Undermine Children’s Health—exposes the big-money interests that jeopardize children’s health.

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

 

Is Doctors’ Cash Incentive Sidelining the Hippocratic Oath?

California likes to brag about its “outsized influence” on the rest of the United States and its vaunted tendency to “experience the future earlier than other parts of the country.” However, having just passed the most draconian vaccine law in the nation—one that decimates the doctor-patient relationship and tells medically fragile children that they have no right to bodily integrity—it would appear that the state’s lawmakers and the medical trade groups that were only too happy to co-sponsor the legislation think it is trend-setting to model medical tyranny and the overthrow of the Nuremberg Code.

Within hours of the California Assembly’s 48-19 passage of SB 276, California Senators followed with their approval (28-11)—with all “ayes” in both chambers being Democrats—and the Democratic governor signed it along with last-minute companion bill SB 714. Illustrating the arrogant attitude prevailing among officialdom, the state health director (who recently resigned) casually dismissed the thousands who showed up to oppose the bill as “flat-earthers” and “booger-eaters.”

The editor of the independent news website California Globe called attention to the unseemly haste with which antidemocratic lawmakers “jammed through” legislation that essentially eliminates vaccine medical exemptions, quoting one dissenting Republican Senator as saying, “This Legislature is even scaring our medical community.” Is the Senator right? Just what doCalifornia doctors think about the unprecedented legislation that disses their sacrosanct relationship with patients and allows state bureaucrats to “illegally practice medicine over the top of the doctors”?

Some physicians were clearly concerned, turning out to testify against SB 276 or writing letters to ask the governor to veto the legislation. One physician wrote that the two bills “have created a climate of fear and anxiety,” leaving practicing physicians “afraid to speak up for fear of retribution, of being targeted by the state, for public censure and loss of professional respect.” Another doctor agreed that the legislation imposes “tremendous risk and liability—personally, professionally and financially”—on physicians who write valid medical exemptions, yet physicians bear “NO liability for giving contraindicated vaccinations, even if they cause foreseeable yet preventable harm.”

The climate of intimidation is one consideration. However, vaccination also offers doctors numerous financial incentives to toe the line. In fact, the majority of physicians appear to be willing participants in the U.S. vaccine program, no matter how many vaccines the CDC tells them to administer and no matter the evidence of vaccine damage that may be playing out before their eyes. Why not, when—as a private-practice physician affiliated with the CDC wrote a few years ago—nationally recommended vaccinations not only furnish “steady revenue” but can also improve a practice’s “financial viability.”

Follow the money

In 2015, the physician then serving as liaison to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on behalf of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) wrote an article reminding fellow AAFP members that “minimizing costs and maximizing reimbursement can make immunizations profitable.” In addition to offering tips on how to be a “savvy vaccine shopper” and obtain manufacturer discounts for ordering multiple vaccines, the doctor discusses how physicians can make money on administration fees for pediatric vaccines by “properly coding for the service.”

Every two-year old is worth $400 if they meet the “Combination 10 Criteria” (View full size graph.)

As he explains, “proper coding” involves not just billing for the vaccine itself (and including a diagnostic code that “reminds the insurance company that this is part of the routine immunization schedule”), but also billing for the fee that “is supposed to cover the time, energy, and supplies required to administer the vaccine as well as the overhead associated with managing the vaccines.”

The good doctor then goes on to describe the pediatric vaccine administration codes that he considers the “most important” from a “financial point of view”:

These codes, which include a counseling component…can be used only for patients 18 years old or younger. The reason these codes are so valuable is that they pay per vaccine component. For example, if you administer an MMR vaccine, you may bill for three components (measles, mumps, and rubella). If you administer a DTaP/IPV vaccine (Kinrix) you may bill for four components (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and polio).

He notes that the codes were new as of 2011; prior to that year, combination vaccines actually resulted in lower rather than higher physician reimbursement.

Giving a “real life” example and again emphasizing that “the results are most dramatic for vaccines with multiple components,” the AAFP member describes billing for a two-month well-child visit at which the baby receives a five-component combination vaccine (DtaP/IPV/HepB) as well as three other vaccines—Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), pneumococcal conjugate (PSV13) and rotavirus.

Without any vaccine counseling, the practice would only be able to bill for $125 total, but with additional billing codes for “brief counseling,” the total reimbursement (as of 2015) would shoot up to $300—an extra $175 for a few minutes’ effort. Noting that the counseling codes do not cover counseling provided by nurses, he adds that he can also make the extra $175 by providing “a short vaccine-counseling visit” himself, when possible, in lieu of scheduling a nurse visit. Proudly, he notes that vaccine reimbursement often exceeds reimbursement for the rest of the visit.

When it comes to the number of vaccines, the sky’s the limit

The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) is a leading vaccine front group that receives significant funding from both vaccine manufacturers and the CDC and lobbies for the removal of vaccine exemptions. On its “Ask the Experts” webpage, the IAC tells physicians, “There is no upper limitfor the number of vaccines that can be administered during one visit.” Even though researchers have never tested this assertion—with zero studies on the safety of the full vaccine schedule or the effects of so many simultaneous and cumulative vaccines—the AAFP rep’s description of the financial benefits accruing from “proper” coding provides one reason why so many physicians may be willing to pile the vaccines on without question.

At a time when Medical Boards are going after doctors who overprescribe opioids, one might expect doctors to have concerns about inflicting vaccine injuries through over-administration of vaccines. Not to worry, says the IAC, which reassures doctors (on the same “no upper limit” webpage) that the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program confers medical professionals with liability protection for “all vaccines that are routinely administered to children.”

Bolstered by the Hippocratic oath, patients generally “trust that the physician will act in their interest, or at least will do no harm.” The first principle of the Nuremberg Code emphasizes voluntary consent and interventions free of “any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion.” As Children’s Health Defense General Counsel Mary Holland writes, “SB 276 is a clear example of government overreach.” However, while doctors who support compulsory vaccination and the revocation of vaccine exemptions are on the wrong side of history where the Nuremberg Code and their Hippocratic oath are concerned—clearly the case for the physician-author of SB 276 who has never acknowledged vaccine-injured children—for many, the absence of liability and the financial payoffs appear to be acceptable tradeoffs.


Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.