This presentation was made as part of the BSEM conference, A Tablet a Day kees the Patient at Bay, on the 11th March 2011
Dr Halverson opened his talk by describing how, as a GP working in London and doing a bit of medical writing on the side, he had little specific interest in vaccination until he was asked to write an article on the MMR controversy when it broke in 1998.
His research for the article suggested that there was some evidence, if slightly tenuous, that there could be a problem with the MMR vaccine. However, when he turned to the Department of Health and to other government bodies for evidence that the vaccine did not cause a problem, he found none at all.
In 2009 he left the NHS to concentrate on childhood immunisation – he is now medical Director Babyjabs, a childhood immunisation service. www.babyjabs.co.uk
He is not, as he says, anti vaccine but he is concerned about the quantity and frequency of vaccines given to young babies. He is also concerned that the vaccine ‘debate’ is often polarised between those who are either obsessively pro-vaccine or totally opposed to any sort of vaccination, neither of which viewpoints are helpful to parents who are confused and unsure about which immunisations to give their child.
Allergy and infection
Looking specifically at vaccines, Dr Halverson pointed out that most vaccines were both THelperType 2 inducing and IgE stimulating, thus likely to stimulate allergy in an atopic (allergy prone) subject. Moreover, aluminium, frequently used as an adjuvant (a substance included in the vaccine to increase its potency) is a powerful inducer of IgE.
However, actually catching some of the infections against which we are vaccinating our children appears to reduce their risk of allergy dramatically. Catching measles reduces the risk of asthma by 80% and of allergy in general by 30%; chicken pox, caught under the age of eight, reduces the risk of eczema by 45% and reduces the risk of severe eczema by a dramatic 96%.
The timing of the administration of the vaccine also seems to be important. Children who completed the triple course after 12 months reduced their risk of developing hay fever while if the first vaccine was delayed from two month to five months old, the risk of asthma was reduced by 50%.
Dr Halverson also pointed out that the conclusions drawn from scientific papers were often at odds with their results. For example, is was generally concluded that the MMR vaccine was not a risk factor for asthma and eczema, a conclusion that was in direct contradiction to the results of the research.
Aluminium is used as an adjuvant in most vaccines although not in the MMR. It is IgE inducing and carries other significant risks.
The WHO safety level for aluminium is based on aluminium which is ingested (taken by mouth) of which only one part per thousand is actually absorbed. But in a vaccine, which is injected, all the aluminium is absorbed so the safety levels should be adjusted accordingly, which they are not. As a result, UK babies are receiving over 100 times the recommended level of aluminium known to cause damage. Moreover there have been no studies of any kind done on the safety of aluminium absorbed this way.
So – what to do?
Should a vaccine be given later? Should they be spread over a longer period? Should there be fewer vaccinations? Should they include less potentially harmful other ingredients?
Giving them later
Based on the existing evidence, it is reasonable to assume that doing so would reduce the incidence of some allergic conditions such as asthma.
Does the delay matter as far as the protection of the child is concerned? Certainly not as far as vaccinations against polio, tetanus or diptheria is concerned; maybe as far as meningitis or whooping cough.
Giving fewer vaccines
MMR could be given as a single vaccine.
Giving fewer vaccinations together?
There is no reason to administer all the vaccinations together apart from convenience.
Dr David Salisbury, Head of Immunisation at the Department of Health maintains that an baby’s immune system can withstand 1,000 vaccinations yet the case of Hannah Poling in the US has for the first time forced an acceptance that this may not be the case.
Hannah, the daughter of a neurologist, had fallen behind on her vaccination schedule and so, to catch up, she was administered nine vaccines in one day when she was 18 months old. She is now severely autistic and it has been accepted in court that it was the vaccines which caused her to regress into autism. However, it is claimed that the only reason that she reacted this way to this number of vaccines is because she suffered from mitochondrial dysfunction. Which is very possible – but, since one in 200 children in the UK also suffer from some sort of mitochondrial dysfunction, might this not be a cause for alarm?
Most vaccines do offer benefit and probably do no harm to most children most of the time but at what cost? And there is no doubt that some vaccines do some harm some children some of the time.
But the official line is that the more vaccines you have the more diseases you remove. Far more dangerously, not only does the government not allow any discussion of vaccine safety, they actively suppress any discussion on safety.
The way forward?
Honesty and informed choice. An environment in which parents can have a reasonable discussion of the options without being bullied, patronised or threatened with a withdrawal of healthcare, denial of entry to school and even, in the worst cases, of having their children taken into care.
First published May 2011
Cathy Stastny writes:
As a practitioner and parent of a child in the Autism spectrum the vaccine subject is a very important subject for me. My son was vaccine damaged and as Dr. Halverson writes the bulling and misinformation to parents is a huge problem our society is facing. Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy points out
The article didn't cover what I have found to be the most useful guidance for parents to be able to make an informed decision if they should vaccinate their child or not. Dr. Natasha Campbell McBridge in her informative book "Gut Psychology Syndrome" explains very clearly how parents would know if their child is at risk of falling in the Autism spectrum and "breaking the camels back" by vaccinating. If either of the parents have an allergy - any allergy - from food intolerance, to airborne allergies, etc. - then that child is at risk falling into the spectrum. Certain tests need to be carried out before any vaccine is given. If the child has allergies such as eczema, asthma then the immune system is compromised and vaccines are a huge insult to the immune system.
I feel this is important information to get to your readers who in most cases do suffer of allergies. Single vaccines are the only way to carry out a vaccine, in a natural situation a child would never get measles, mumps and rubella at the same time. Combined vaccines will have to be abandoned all together. Vaccines are not the direct cause of autism. However in immune-compromised children (allergies in the family) they can do a lot of harm and may provide the trigger that starts the disorder. The damage from vaccines is irreversible unfortunately. It is a very serious decision which can only be made by parents once they have the correct information.
As Dr. Campbell McBride proposes - a comprehensive immunological survey should be performed with every baby before a decision about vaccination be made.
In Chapter 8 of her book Natasha Campbell McBride asks - Does MMR cause Autism?
NO vaccinations at all if the mum has ME, fibromialgia, digestive problems, asthma, eczema, severe allergies, autoimmune disorders or neurological problems. An infant presenting with eczema, asthma, digestive problems or any disroder , which would indicate compromised gut flora and immunity should be a red flag not to vaccinate! Younger sibling of children on the autism spectrum, children with severe eczema , allergies, ADHD, epilepsy and insulin dependant diabetes should not be vaccinated. At the age of 5 years of age these children can be re-tested and in those cases where the child doesn't have immune deficiencies vaccination with single only may be considered. These single vaccines should be spaced at least six weeks from each other.
My recommendation however would be to consider homeopathic vaccine protocols which are very popular nowadays with young mums. I have a few patients who are carrying this out with classic homeopaths. My bit is to support the child's immune system. Making sure the child is able to absorb enough Vitamin A & C to protect her/him from viruses.
Delayed vaccination until the results of the tests are better. This would apply to infants who have generally healthy mothers and do not present with any particular health problems, but on testing show abnormalities in their immune system. These children should be re-tested every 6 to 8 months and vaccinated with single vaccines only when they are ready.
Again I would advice to consider homeopathic options. As single vaccines will contain toxic cocktails of chemical agents that cross the brain barrier, embryos, heavy metals, preservatives, pesticides, squalene, antibodies etc. Please do research online the ingredients of any vaccine before you have it. That will be a learning curve.
With homeopathic vaccination one is still putting in those viruses into the child's body. The child will have a reaction and the immune system needs to be supported. I would not vaccinate a child before 24 months and only if it is 100% healthy.
Neurologist Margareta Griez-Brisson explains how in vaccine research not one study has proved that they help or work.
Finally, Mc Bride's last point:
My final advice to parents is not to let themselves be bullied by their GP practice or family members. As a parent one usually has a gut feeling and it is very important to follow it not letting social pressures get in the way.
If you want to contact Cathy you can email her here.
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