Autism and Vaccines: The Truth Behind the Controversy
Many people are under the impression that vaccinations keep us healthy.
After all, the eradication of both polio and smallpox are well-known public health victories. Unfortunately, there is also evidence showing that vaccinations are harmful, specifically to children.
Not only are the contents of a vaccine worth investigating, but the history of vaccine use is also enough to make a mother think twice about her choice to vaccinate her child or herself, especially if she is pregnant. Did you know?
- The mercury-based preservative thimerosal, still present in trace amounts in some vaccines, has been slowly phased-out of use under the guidance of the FDA and CDC.
- The thimerosal controversy came about because it is known as a neurotoxin.
- The FDA reports that, “Thimerosal has been removed from or reduced to trace amounts in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger, with the exception of the inactivated influenza vaccine.”
Much of this current controversy has to do with the link between the MMR (mumps, measles, rubella) vaccine and autism. As Dr. Andrew Wakefield reports that during his medical education, no one ever spoke about autism. At that time, autism was a rare event and happened maybe 1 in every 10,000 children. Today, autism is a worldwide pandemic. Presently, 1 in every 50 children is affected. (1)
Autism often involves an inflammatory bowel condition, leading researchers to question the relationship between autism and the vaccines that contain the measles virus, such as the MMR vaccine. This is because certain infections, such as measles, naturally attack the bowels.
- Autism is not a genetic or psychological issue.
- Autism is a medical disease that manifests as a behavioral and developmental disorder.
Today, a fully vaccinated child receives 37-50 vaccines during the critical first years of life. These first years of life are especially important because the gut, which is deeply related to immune health, and the immune system are still in the process of being developed.
- Vaccines are structured to bypass the natural immune response.
- Bypassing the natural immune response deprives the immune system of developing a life-long immunity to a specific pathogen.
- The ultimate reach of a vaccine is limited. One vaccine is often followed by several “booster shots.”
This all began in 1986 under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was created in response to the number of reported injuries and fatalities from the DPT vaccine.
- DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) vaccine forces a child to go through an immune response to these three conditions on the same day.
- Sometimes the DPT vaccine would so severely affect a child that permanent brain damage would result.
- While several peer-reviewed medical journals had already documented the possibility of brain inflammation, neurological damage, and shock associated with the DPT vaccine, doctors still were not informing parents.
- Most injuries and fatalities related to routine vaccination were never reported prior to this act. Sadly, parents did not know what was happening to their child or why.
Vaccines have been problematic since they began to be developed. The polio vaccine of the 1950s and 1960s was found contaminated with a monkey virus, SV40.
- The rogue monkey virus was discovered in 1960.
- Children still received the SV40 contaminated vaccine until it was withdrawn in 1963.
- Decades later, SV40 was isolated in brain with bone tumors, lung cancers, and some types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Dr. Jonas Salk, who developed the first polio vaccine, admitted under oath that since 1961, most cases of polio in the States were actually caused by the vaccine.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield is a gastroenterologist who has done a great deal of research investigating autism. Recently, Dr. Wakefield published a book called Callous Disregard, which documents his discoveries and the battles he has faced by simply telling others his observations. (2)
- Dr. Wakefield has been portrayed as a fraud in his field.
- Dr. Wakefield’s most well known study, which proved a relationship between autism and vaccinations in 1998, was later discredited.
- His study did not pass peer review, and his colleagues found his research to be inherently flawed and biased.
Take note: Dr. Wakefield is not alone in his observations regarding a possible relationship between vaccination and autism. For example:
- In April 2008, former CDC Director Julie Gerberding told CNN that vaccines can trigger autism in a susceptible subset of children.
- Again, in 2008, Dr. Bernadine Healy, former NIH Director, told CBS News that public health officials have been too quick to dismiss the autism and vaccines hypothesis as irrational.
- According to both Gerberding and Healy, the medical community has intentionally avoided researching whether certain subsets of children are “susceptible” to vaccine side effects.
While understanding “susceptible subsets of children” is a complex matter that researchers are still piecing together, many vaccines have been reported in peer-reviewed journals to cause inflammation in the brain, such as meningitis.
Because the brain and the gut have such a unique connection, known as the gut-brain axis, any kind of inflammation that takes place in the brain will affect the digestive system. Remember, gut inflammation is ubiquitous in those with autism. Because vaccines affect some children and not others, it is possible that some children are more sensitive and more prone to developing an inflammatory response. What factors could be involved?
- A traumatic birth, leading to head injury, such as the use of forceps.
- A delivery by C-section, which deprives the newborn of friendly microflora that can actually have an anti-inflammatory effect.
- Formula feeding your child, rather than breastfeeding. Again, breastfeeding promotes the proliferation of healthy microbes. Infant formula often contains ingredients that feed pathogenic microbes and disrupt the delicate inner ecology of an infant’s gut.
- A deficiency in vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for proper immune function.
- Multiple antibiotic courses early in life. This can severely weaken the immune system.
Some vaccines, especially those containing a single virus, are reported safer than those that contain multiples, such as the MMR vaccine. If you are interested in vaccinating your child, make sure that his or her immune system is strong. This involves:
- A healthy and thriving population of friendly microbes.
- Making certain that key nutrients, like vitamin D, are at the correct level within the body.
- Knowing that any latent or hidden infections, such as Candida, are resolved.
- Making sure that the gut is in optimal health.
What to Remember Most About This Article:
Although many of us believe that vaccinations can keep us healthy, it is still important to investigate the history of vaccines. Much of the controversy surrounding vaccination has to do with a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Autism is triggered by an inflammatory bowel condition, leading many researchers to question if the MMR vaccine that may inflame the bowels could cause autism.
Autism affects 1 in 50 children today, and some children are more at risk than others. Children at risk for autism may have had a traumatic birth, have been delivered by C-section, have been formula fed instead of breastfed, have a vitamin D deficiency, or have taken multiple antibiotics early on in life.
- Alive with Aadil. Interview with Andrew Wakefield, August 15th, 2011. http://thedrpatshow.com/shows/ap-110815-wakefield.mp3