Throughout history, we have been exposed to misleading and broken statements from agencies that were created with the intent to protect us. Less than fifty years ago, tobacco companies were promoting that cigarettes were not addictive or hazardous to your health. In fact, there were advertising campaigns featuring “nine out of ten doctors” recommend their brand. After 30 years of asbestos manufacturers putting their material throughout our public buildings and schools, it was proven that asbestos causes cancer even though company insiders have known this for years.
In the 1980’s, most studies showed the rate of autism in children to be 1 in 10,000. The latest studies conducted by the CDC (2014) show that 1 in 68 children have autism. There are many possible reasons and many unanswered questions as to why and how this alarming accelerating rate is happening. Sixty percent of parents of children with autism blame vaccines, and thousands of stories are told that all sound very similar. A normal, healthy, developing child goes to get vaccinated. Soon after, the child breaks out in a high fever, may have seizures, then can no longer walk or talk. The child is later diagnosed with autism.
This past March, a documentary, Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, was pulled from the Tribeca film festival. The documentary reveals how the CDC (Center for Disease Control) has withheld information about studies about MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine) and its link to autism. Actor Robert De Niro, the festival’s co-founder, supported its screening at first, but then retracted stating, “The Festival doesn’t seek to avoid or shy away from controversy. However, we have concerns with certain things in this film that we feel prevent us from presenting it in the Festival program.”
Yet TFF had months to study the documentary and accepted it very early on. However, once TFF’s lineup was made public, it being drawing negative attention. Philippe Diaz, chairman of Cinema Libre and distributor of the film, believes the festival’s sponsors were unhappy. The Sloan Foundation is one of the largest and first sponsors of the festival where Dr. Peter Kim, former president of Merck’s Research Laboratories, sits on the board. Merck’s Research Laboratories is the company that holds the MMR vaccine patent and monopoly in the U.S. TFF’s decision caused mass media attention leaving more of a growing demand for the need for further research.
In 1998, British gastroenterologist, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, investigated the MMR vaccine after hearing parents’ stories about their children suddenly being diagnosed with developmental disorders after being vaccinated. His research of the MMR vaccine explained its link to bowel disease and autism. At the time he wasn’t an anti-vaccine doctor. Instead, he believed that vaccines were safe. His studies (and those of many other researchers) explained that there were problems with the threecombo vaccine of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR).
Soon after he was accused of fraud, but it was retracted as other researchers were unable to reproduce Wakefield’s findings. Dr. Wakefield and one of the co-authors of the study, Prof. John Walker-Smith had their medical licenses revoked by the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council regulatory board. Yet, he advised to vaccinate for these three diseases with single vaccines, rather than the combo.
In 2013, Dr. William Thompson placed a phone call to biologist Dr. Brian Hooker and confessed that the CDC had omitted crucial data in the 2004 study of the (MMR) vaccine and its link to autism. Dr. Thompson was the Senior Scientist at the U.S. CDC at that time and led the study that found no link between autism and vaccines. However, the truth was in their final report that showed a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism. The information led to the production of Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe.
MMR is a vaccine intended to prevent kids and adults from developing the measles, mumps, and rubella viruses. These viruses do not happen together and do not have the same effects. The three vaccines (for mumps, measles, and rubella) were combined as a mixture of live attenuated viruses of the three diseases. Licensed in 1971, it was developed by Maurice Hilleman while at Merck to induce immunity less painfully than three separate injections.
The MMR vaccine is the greatest controversy concerning vaccines in general and has received the most complaints. For one reason, if you break up the vaccine into three separate vaccines, Merck will lose its patent as well as the monopoly on this vaccination, which is worth billions of dollars.
In addition, vaccines may not be as effective as people may think. The CDC claims that the mumps vaccine is 76 to 95 percent effective. However, on April 28, 2016, there was a report of an outbreak of about 40 students with confirmed cases of mumps at Harvard University. All of the students who had contracted the disease thus far had already been vaccinated for it. We all have seen the back of every drug ad, so we realize that no drug is 100% safe.
We are also aware that the side effects of the drug can sometimes be more dangerous than the condition it is treating. Vaccines are no different. Medalerts, a health database, reports that 98 deaths from MMR or MMRV vaccinations occurred between 2003 and 2015, and 694 reports of disabilities point to a much higher number since less than 10 percent of vaccine-related injuries get reported. This is why the government has a Vaccine Injury Compensation Program that has paid out over $2 billion in compensation to families who have been damaged by vaccines. Drug companies that produce the vaccines have no liability. The vaccine manufacturers have been granted complete immunity by Congress from any lawsuits.
Big money companies are granted a high amount of power that influences the media, medical professionals, and researchers to be swayed. Dr. Wakefield’s story is all too familiar. Pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu was once deemed a fraud when he discovered CTE, the result of brain damage in football players who suffer repeated concussions. Eventually the NFL was forced to publicly acknowledge the cover up of their own study and its link to concussions in December 2009, seven years after Omalu suffered scrutiny and was forced to relocate his family. So when it comes to MMR, is history repeating itself?
Vaccines need to be tested with the same rigor as other drugs. Vaccine manufacturers, government health agencies, the A.M.A., and the majority of physicians outright reject any suggestion of a cause-and-effect relationship between vaccines and serious illness. However, looking at advancements over the past century, many of these studies may be irrelevant since we weren’t using vaccines with the vigor and intensity that we do now.
Today, the CDC recommends 69 doses of 16 different vaccines for children, starting on his or her day of birth and continuing through age 18—including 49 doses before the age of six. This is more than double the number of vaccines prescribed 30 years ago. However, the amount of doses recommended is almost double those in other countries.
This updated schedule may be too much for some children’s developing immune systems and needs to be further evaluated considering the rising risk of developmental brain dysfunction and autoimmune disorders.
I am not anti-vaccination. I’m about safe vaccination. When the most important health agency in the world is throwing out data and manipulating numbers that point to MMR vaccines, questions need to be seriously addressed and not strong armed by the medical community and big pharmaceutical companies. We have the right to hear the whole truth regardless of the possible uncertainty and devastating effects that these issues may have on the very system that is meant to protect and serve us, especially when it comes to the health of our children. Children are our future, and right now 1 in 68 children have autism for reasons that cannot be answered.
Written by Dr. Scott Mindel. View published article in the Ville Magazine 2016 May/June Health & Fitness issue.