Vaccines are dangerous

  • 2 Oct 2009
  • Reading time 9 mins
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Almost 2,000 girls given the cervical cancer vaccine have suffered serious side-effects. One claims to have been paralysed, another may have died. About 900 women die from cervical cancer a year and statements that the vaccine (either Cervarix, the one currently being rolled out in Britain, or Gardasil) offers 70% protection are claimed by experts to be false. In Germany, 13 distinguished professors have complained that the jab makers, have been guilty of giving “incorrect” information. The level of protection, which is far from proven, may be as low as 20%.

Professor Martina Doren, of the Charities Hospital in Berlin, said: “What concerns us is that the two manufacturers of the vaccine aren’t always using facts. They claim that a lot of high-risk strains of cancer-causing virus are protected against but equally there are others that are not. If protection is not more than 20 per cent then that is an awful lot of money to be spending, particularly as the vaccines have quite serious side-effects.” The fact is these vaccines are far from proven and, if 20% effective, may save 180 lives. If the current pattern of adverse effects continues thousands of girls will suffer, some permanently and some may die. Is it worth it?

The ones who clearly gain are the makers of the vaccine. Merck, which produces the anti-cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil, made $3 billion in 2007 and 2008 and won the industry award for 'the Pharmaceutical Brand of the Year' for creating 'a market out of thin air'. GlaxoSmithKline is also doing well out of Cervarix, the drug used in the British vaccination programme. The most considered view on this vaccine, and others is that of Dr Richard Halvorsen whose book The Truth About Vaccines is the one I’d recommend reading, especially if you have children. Children can now have up to 25 vaccines if they follow standard medical guidelines. MMR risks continue to be downplayed despite thousands of cases of children with autistic-like syndromes following vaccination.

The General Medical Council hearing against Dr Andrew Wakefield, who was one of the first to alert to potential dangers, is soon to enter its third year. Don’t shoot the messenger. The swine flu vaccine is also potentially dangerous and, as yet, unproven. Coming soon are vaccines against drugs. Research is underway to launch a vaccine against cocaine, for example, that encourages the body’s immune system to attack the drug. An interesting study found that the more IgG antibodies a child has the more inflammation they have and the thicker are their carotid arteries. The purpose of vaccines is to generate antibodies and it appears that many vaccines for many people have the effect of hyping up their immune systems and creating inflammatory reactions that could be fatal, severely damaging or debilitating.

Personally, I don’t think any vaccine should be undertaken lightly for this very reason and, as I have long advocated for the MMR, that children be screened such that those with inflammatory conditions and compromised immunity be excluded. The alternative is to reduce the body’s antibody load and to strengthen the body’s own immune system with key nutrients such as vitamin C, zinc and others. I recommend getting tested for IgG antibody reactions against food, and eliminating those reactive foods. If you do this strictly for 3-4 months, and improve digestion, many people stop producing antibodies against these foods. In other words, a healthy person has less IgG sensitivities. For £10 you can find out if you do have a significant level of IgG antibodies against foods (see

Specific nutrients and herbs help defend against specific infectious agents. For example, black elderberry is good against cold viruses while Artemsia (wormwood) is good against malaria. I have written about this in relation many types of infection or infection-related diseases. Have a look at my swine flu blog. My book, co-authored with immunologist Jennifer Meek, explains How To Boost Your Immune System. There are no dangers, only benefits with this kind of approach. Here’s what Dr Richard Halvorsen has to say about the HPV vaccine for cervical cancer, currently being rolled out in British schools. Although not compulsory, you have to opt out your child otherwise they will be given it. "Evangelists for mass vaccination like to claim that these programmes are of universal benefit to public health. Indeed, so zealous is their enthusiasm for vaccines that, through a cocktail of scaremongering and propaganda, they attempt to suppress all debate. The result is that people, especially parents, feel bullied or patronised if they dare to challenge the official drive to vaccinate against every possible risk of disease.

Moreover, this climate of fear is ruthlessly exploited by the big pharmaceutical companies, which see vast profits in exaggerated health concerns. Yet the sudden death of Coventry schoolgirl Natalie Morton after a jab against cervical cancer highlights the reality that vaccination programmes are not without their risks.The tragic irony for Natalie was that the injection may have triggered a reaction far more lethal than any future, distant threat of a comparatively rare disease. And this exposes a fundamental problem about the Government's growing obsession with vaccinating children and teenagers. We have to be absolutely sure that the medical and political establishment's growing reliance on vaccines does not ultimately do more harm than good.As a doctor, I have been concerned for some time about this issue.

I should stress that I am not in any way opposed to vaccinations. Indeed I run an immunisation clinic which offers a wide range of vaccines as a protection against various diseases. But I am increasingly disturbed by the lack of any debate either about long-term vaccine safety or about the excessive influence of commercial interests. Contrary to what Government officials and pharmaceutical giants pretend, the health of future generations could be compromised if we are not allowed to question this official fixation with mass vaccination. In the research for my recent book on this subject, I discovered that not only are inoculations being introduced with less and less research on their safety, but, just as worryingly, they are being promoted for diseases which do not represent a widespread danger to the public.

For all the hysteria that the Government and big business generated in support of the vaccine programme for teenage girls, cervical cancer only comes in 19th place on the list of cancers that kill women in modern Britain. In 2005, just 911 women died of the disease. Though every death was obviously a terrible blow to the victim's family and friends, this figure pales beside the 12,000 who died from lung cancer or the 11,000 who succumbed to breast cancer. Indeed, cancers of the brain and the kidneys proved more deadly to women than those of the cervix, yet there is little publicity about these diseases. The fact is that the huge nationwide programme - which has already led to the vaccination of a large number of young women against cervical cancer - has partly been driven by naked commercial pressure. For decades, vaccines were the Cinderella sector of the medical industry, neglected because there was little money in them.

But all that is changed. Vaccines are now the fastest growing part of the pharmaceutical business so the giants, such as GlaxoSmithKline and Merck, which manufacture the two leading anti-cervical cancer drugs, have a vested interest in deliberately whipping up public anxieties. One of the insidious ruses of the pharmaceutical companies - in which the medical establishment colludes - is to heighten the pressure for vaccines by drawing a false comparison between the present and the past.In the Britain of the late Victorian age, tens of thousands of children died of tuberculosis, measles and whooping cough, but today such fatalities are almost non-existent.This is taken as evidence of the effectiveness of vaccines and is therefore used as an argument for an extension of programmes.But such a claim is historically false. In fact, the death rate from measles and TB had fallen dramatically during the mid-20th century, well before any vaccines were introduced.

This decline was mainly due to social factors, such as improvements in diet, housing and hygiene, as well as the discovery of antibiotics. For all the noisy public relations campaigns, it is not clear that these vaccines even work anything like as effectively as their proponents claim. For instance, the jabs Cervarix and Gardasil only prevent a fraction of the number of viruses that can lead to cervical cancer. In truth, by suppressing those particular viruses they may encourage the growth of others in their place. Given that these two drugs have been introduced in such haste with such limited testing, it will be 20 years before we know whether they are truly effective in achieving their primary purpose: that of fighting cervical cancer. Nor should we be dismissive of the side effects of all these vaccines. It is now normal for a British child to be given no fewer than 25 vaccines by the age of 15 months. The Government's advisers, led by the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, say they are relaxed about this figure.

Indeed, they have implied that there may be no upper limit to the amount of vaccines that a young child can take. There is mounting evidence that, by artificially stimulating the body's immune system, a barrage of vaccines can actually promote auto-immune disorders such as multiple sclerosis in susceptible people. Furthermore, some vaccines contain toxic metals such as aluminium and mercury. The fact is that the human body is a finely balanced eco-system, which overzealous vaccination can upset. What this all means is that we have to be more careful about vaccines. Colluding with the pharmaceutical giants, the Government has become far too cavalier about their use, promoting them as a risk-free solution to all sorts of medical conditions, no matter how low the incidence. It has been madness, for example, to talk of vaccinating the entire population against swine flu, when the number of deaths from this illness is tiny compared to the annual toll for ordinary flu.

Vaccines cannot be used to build some medically controlled utopia, in which all disease has been banished. Indeed, the attempt to do may end up undermining the health of future generations." Dr Richard Halvorsen, author of The Truth About Vaccines What are your views, experiences and concerns about vaccinations and other approaches to infectious diseases?