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ADVOCACY

by Barbara Loe Fisher

T
Barbara Loe Fisher is co-founder he Great Denial of vaccine risks for ruin the reputations of researchers
and president of the National Vaccine the past three decades by vaccine investigating vaccine-related injuries;4
Information Center (www.NVIC. makers, pediatricians, and government and deny vaccine-injured children federal
org), a non-profit founded in 1982
by parents of vaccine-injured children officials operating the mass vaccination compensation5 while protecting vaccine
to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths system is the reason why more and more manufacturers from liability for vaccine
through public education and defend parents today question and do not trust injuries and deaths.6
the informed consent ethic. doctors who tell them to give their children New attacks on freedom to investigate,
69 doses of 16 vaccines from the day of freedom to speak, and freedom to
She has served on the National Vaccine
Advisory Committee, Institute of
birth through age 18, triple the numbers publish in science are compromising
Medicine Vaccine Safety Forum, FDA of vaccinations that children were given in truth in science. And one only has to
Vaccines & Related Biological Products the 1970s. When Harris Coulter and I co- look at the inappropriate influence of the
Advisory Committee, Vaccine Policy authored DPT: A Shot in the Dark1 in 1985 pharmaceutical industry on the kinds of
Analysis Collaborative, and Consumers exposing flaws in the mass vaccination vaccine studies that get published in the
United for Evidence Based Healthcare system that allowed the highly reactive DPT medical literature7 to understand why good
– U.S. Cochrane Collaboration. She is
the mother of three children. vaccine to stay on the market unimproved vaccine science is not being published and
for more than 40 years, we never imagined bad vaccine science is being used to cover
that those tragic flaws in the system would up what will one day be acknowledged
remain largely intact in 2009. as an unprecedented iatrogenic epidemic
I knew then that the alliance between of inflammation and chronic disease.
industry, organized medicine, and the What gives this tragic epidemic its special
government was powerful. But it is only poignancy is that it is likely that many
after a quarter century of witnessing the more vaccine deaths and injuries will have
Great Denial of vaccine risks, and the to occur before steps will be taken by
refusal to do the credible science that those in power to end it.
will fully evaluate those risks, that the No matter what is done now by
magnitude of that unchecked power has government, industry, and medical
been fully revealed. Even as America organizations fighting to protect the
celebrated the inauguration of a new status quo and deny the reality of vaccine
president promising an unprecedented casualties, they cannot unring the bell that
transparency and engagement by has been ringing in the U.S. since 1982.
government with the people, there are That bell, which tolls for children robbed
new indications that the powerful and of health by poorly regulated vaccines
wealthy Vaccine Lobby is gearing up and one-size-fits-all vaccine policies that
to use the government to minimize the do not acknowledge biodiversity, will
significance of new reports of Gardasil continue to ring louder and louder with
vaccine risks;2 block efforts to conduct each vaccine casualty despite attempts to
research into vaccine-related autism;3 silence it.
34 THE AUTISM FILE | www.autismfile.com REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF THE AUTISM FILE ISSUE 31 2009
 The question on the minds of many
parents today is: Why are so many
highly vaccinated children so sick and
disabled? During the past quarter
century, once prevalent childhood
infectious diseases in America
like whooping cough, measles,
mumps, and chicken pox have been
suppressed with the use of multiple
vaccines, but now 1 in every 6
children8 becomes developmentally
delayed while 1 in 150 or more
children develops autism.9

 Is there scientific evidence to suggest


there could be an association
between increased use of vaccines by
America’s children and increases in
chronic disease and disability among
children? In a new book, Vaccines,
Autism & Chronic Inflammation: The
New Epidemic10 (which is an altered immune system dysfunction caused cells can attack the brain.16
version of a chapter I wrote for by vaccines created using those same Acute brain inflammation, whether
Envisioning a Bright Future edited lab-altered viruses and bacteria. A host/ it follows infectious disease17,18,19 or
by Patricia Lemer) the evidence from disease or host/vaccine interaction vaccination, can become chronic and
the medical literature is presented causes inflammation, which is acute at result in various kinds of mild to severe
to support a “Yes” answer to that first and becomes chronic rather than neurological dysfunction manifested by
question. resolving and leaving the host with good learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, seizure
health. In both cases, the end result disorders, autism, mental retardation, and
Although the U.S. Court of Claims is unresolved inflammation leading to other developmental delays.
recently declined to award federal immune-mediated brain dysfunction The association between vaccination
vaccine injury compensation to three of varying degrees of severity, which is and the development of autistic
children, who regressed into autism the same profile many have observed behaviors in previously healthy children
after vaccination, the several biological in children with autism spectrum was first reported in 1985 in DPT: A Shot
mechanisms being argued were confined disorders.12,13 in the Dark in which Harris Coulter and
to ones involving thimerosal (mercury) Researchers have found evidence of I documented never-before-reported
and MMR vaccine.11 Whether one chronic inflammation in the brains of case histories of DPT vaccine-related
agrees or disagrees about the quantity patients with autism, particularly in the brain inflammation and permanent brain
and quality of the scientific evidence cerebellum. Autistic brains have been damage in previously healthy children.
demonstrating causation or lack of observed to be in “a chronic state of These cases were considered by an
causation with regard to the specific specific cytokine activity.” The suggested Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee
biological mechanisms that were argued biological mechanisms responsible preparing a landmark report Adverse
in these three cases, the fact remains that for the observed brain inflammation Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines
a causal relationship between vaccination included chronic disease or an external in 1991.20
and chronic brain and immune system environmental source.14
dysfunction has been very well Beginning with smallpox vaccine, Vaccines Can Cause Acute and
established in the medical literature for which was the first attempt to prevent Chronic Brain and Immune
more than a century. an infectious disease by injecting a Dysfunction
portion of a microorganism associated The 1991 IOM Committee examining
Complications of Infections and with the disease into human beings, the evidence for and against a causal
Vaccination Similar the most feared complication of both relationship between DPT vaccine and
A review of more than a century of smallpox and smallpox vaccination was neurological dysfunction concluded that
medical literature reveals ample evidence brain inflammation.15 In the early 1930s, “the evidence is consistent with a causal
that neurological and immune system virologist Thomas Rivers studied the brain relation” between DPT vaccine and
dysfunction caused by infectious diseases damaging effects of rabies vaccine and acute encephalopathy, encephalitis, or
are often identical to neurological and provided the first evidence that immune encephalomyelitis. (In that same report,

ISSUE 31 2009 REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF THE AUTISM FILE www.autismfile.com | THE AUTISM FILE 35
the IOM concluded that the “evidence muscle weakness, abnormal tendon children may develop neurological
is consistent with a causal relation” reflexes, hyperactive behavior, unsociable dysfunction after repeated atypical
between rubella vaccine and acute and behavior, vision and hearing losses. It manipulations of the immune system
chronic arthritis, an autoimmune disorder is worth noting that the original 1981 with multiple vaccines in early childhood
involving inflammation of the joints.) NCES found that “the risk of a serious is an hypothesis I first presented to the
In 1994, another IOM Committee went neurological disorder within 14 days after Institute of Medicine Immunization
further after re-analyzing the landmark measles vaccine in previously normal Safety Review Committee in January
1981 prospective, case-controlled British children irrespective of eventual clinical 2001. I stated:
National Childhood Encephalopathy outcome is 1 in 87,000 immunizations” There is a compelling argument to
Study (NCES)21 and concluded in a while the NCES authors found that “the be made that the dramatic increase in
report entitled DPT Vaccine and Chronic attributable risk of a serious neurological chronic brain and immune dysfunction in
Neurological Dysfunction that: disorder within seven days after DTP children, especially the rising number of
The NCES data are consistent with vaccine in previously normal children reports of regression in previously healthy
the possibility that some children irrespective of eventual clinical outcome children, is due to an early exposure
without underlying brain or metabolic is 1 in 110,000 immunizations.” that is being experienced by all children
abnormalities might experience serious A 1994 IOM Committee examining the but which is harming an expanding
acute neurologic illness within 7 days medical literature concluded in the report minority of them…. Many biological
after receiving DPT and that acute Adverse Events Associated with Childhood responses are at least partially under
illness could have chronic nervous Vaccines that “the evidence establishes a genetic control. If, for example, adverse
system sequelae. The NCES data are causal relation between measles vaccine responses to vaccination are tied to the
also consistent with the possibility that and death from measles vaccine-strain genes responsible for predisposition to
some children with underlying brain or viral infection.”23 In 1998, CDC officials autoimmunity and immune-mediated
metabolic abnormalities (which foster published a study of cases of brain neurological dysfunction, then it is
a “triggering” by DPT of an acute inflammation within 15 days of MMR or possible that the addition of more doses
neurologic illness) might go on to develop measles vaccination that ended in death of vaccines to the routine schedule in
chronic nervous system dysfunction or permanent brain injury, including the past two decades has affected more
due to a DPT-triggered acute illness. “mental regression and retardation, and more children with that genetic
Therefore, the Committee concludes that chronic seizures, motor and sensory predisposition…26
the balance of evidence is consistent deficits, and movement disorders.” The Therefore, when all children were
with a causal relation between DPT and authors noted a clustering of cases exposed only to DPT and polio vaccine
the forms of chronic nervous system with signs and symptoms of brain in the early 1960s, a tiny fraction of
dysfunction described in the NCES in inflammation (such as seizures) occurring the genetically susceptible responded
those children who experience a serious on days 8 and 9 after MMR or measles adversely. But with the addition of
acute neurologic illness within 7 days vaccination and concluded that “a causal measles, mumps, and rubella to the
after receiving DPT vaccine….the relationship between measles vaccine and routine schedule in 1979, and then
estimated excess risk ranged from 0 to encephalopathy may exist.”24 In 1999, a HIB, hepatitis B, and chicken pox in the
10.5 per million immunizations.22 study was published in Clinical Infectious late 1980s and 1990s, far more of the
Although the word “autism” did Diseases in which the authors state, “we genetically susceptible have been brought
not appear in the NCES, the types of believe that the present report is the into the adverse-responder group.
DPT-induced chronic neurological first to clearly demonstrate that severe This hypothesis could not be examined
dysfunction that were listed in that study neurological disease can be caused by the by the IOM in their 2002 report on
of neurological dysfunction in children vaccine strain of measles virus.”25 Multiple Immunizations and Immune
were described as “neurologic, motor, Dysfunction. After reviewing evidence
sensory, educational, behavioral and self- Multiple Vaccines, Genetic in the medical literature, the IOM
care dysfunctions” such as severe febrile Vulnerability and Brain and Immunization Safety Review Committee
and non-febrile convulsions, tremor, Immune Dysfunction stated that:
gross and fine motor incoordination, The possibility that genetically vulnerable The committee was unable to address
the concern that repeated exposure of a
[genetically] susceptible child to multiple
A healthy, mature immune system requires an equal immunizations over the developmental
balance of cellular and humoral immune system responses. period may also produce atypical or
non-specific immune or nervous system
A disruption in this balance can lead to development injury that could lead to severe disability
of allergy and autoimmune disorders, including or death (Fisher, 2001). There are no
epidemiological studies to address
neuroimmune disorders.
this. Thus, the committee recognizes
36 THE AUTISM FILE | www.autismfile.com REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF THE AUTISM FILE ISSUE 31 2009
with some discomfort that this report
addresses only part of the overall set Vaccine developers of preventive and therapeutic vaccines
of concerns of some of those most
wary about the safety of childhood
continue to have trouble developing safe and effective
immunization.27 vaccines which mimic the complex interplay between innate
and adaptive immunities involved in the stimulation of the
The Hygiene Hypothesis
The hygiene hypothesis, first proposed immune system during the natural disease process.
in 1989 by researcher D.E. Strachen,
suggests that the reduction of early
childhood infections in technologically who had been vaccinated and developed Because vaccine developers do
advanced countries due to improved autism shortly afterwards, and another not fully understand the biological
living conditions and sanitation, child whose vaccination status was mechanisms involved in the immune
widespread vaccination, and antibiotic unclear.30 response to natural infection or
use in the 20th century has caused vaccination, the achievement of vaccine-
an increase in chronic allergic and Good Health: A Balancing Act induced mucosal (cellular) immunity has
autoimmune diseases in children.28 Humans and infectious microbes have been elusive.35,36 Vaccine developers
Strachen theorized that preventing coexisted for as long as humans have of preventive and therapeutic vaccines
children from being naturally challenged walked the earth, and the human continue to have trouble developing
by exposure to certain viral and bacterial immune system has developed an safe and effective vaccines which mimic
infections during childhood, when the efficient way of dealing with viral and the complex interplay between innate
immune system is maturing and learning bacterial infections. When infected with and adaptive immunities involved in
how to successfully respond to viruses a micro-organism, the body’s first line the stimulation of the immune system
and bacteria in the environment, could of defense is for the cellular or “innate” during the natural disease
weaken the immune system and make it part of the immune system to mount an process.37
more susceptible to immune dysfunction. inflammatory response. This response Newborn infants do
In 2005, researchers at the University then signals the humoral or “learned” not mount a rapid
of Illinois at Chicago conducted a study part of the immune system to produce or strong antibody
relating asthma, hay fever, and eczema anti-inflammatory chemicals and response to
and vaccination status. Working with antibodies that resolve inflammation, so vaccination, which
the National Vaccine Information Center that healing can take place and establish is an atypical
membership, researchers anonymously future resistance to re-infection. A manipulation
identified 515 never vaccinated, 423 healthy, mature immune system requires of the immune
partially vaccinated and 239 completely an equal balance of cellular and humoral system with
vaccinated children. They concluded that immune system responses. A disruption lab-altered
parents of unvaccinated children were in this balance can lead to development
11 times less likely to report asthma for of allergy and autoimmune disorders,
children with no family history of the including neuroimmune disorders.31,32,33
disease and no exposure to antibiotics Vaccination attempts to fool the
in infancy. Parents of unvaccinated body into believing it has come in
children were 10 times less likely to contact with the real microorganism
report hay fever among children with that causes infection. But vaccination
no family history of hay fever. Eczema does not exactly mimic the natural
was also reported significantly less in infection progress and often bypasses
unvaccinated children.29 cellular immunity in favor of humoral
Unvaccinated children also appear immunity.34 Most live-virus and killed-
to have a lower incidence of autism, bacterial vaccines are injected into
according to a 2005 investigation by the body, whereas in the natural
UPI reporter Dan Olmsted, who looked disease process, microorganisms
at an unvaccinated Amish population enter the body primarily through
in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. If the CDC’s the mucous membranes of the
2005 calculation that one in 166 children respiratory and gastrointestinal
was autistic is correct, Olmsted calculated tracts, where the inflammatory
that at least 100 children in Lancaster immune response to the
should have autism. He found only three: challenging microorganism
a girl adopted from China, an Amish child begins.
viruses and bacteria.38 “Babies are born
with a very immature cellular immune Since the early 1980s, there has been a doubling or tripling
system,” says Lawrence Palevsky, MD, of the numbers of children suffering from autism and other
a New York pediatrician and co-founder
of the Holistic Pediatric Association. forms of brain and immune system dysfunction at the same
“Childhood viral infectious diseases time that the numbers of doses of vaccines have tripled, and
like measles, mumps, and chicken-pox
vaccination rates are at an all time high.
initially stimulate the cellular part of
the immune system, which leads to the
production of the signs of inflammation has been accompanied by similar individual vaccines or combination
- fever, redness, swelling, and mucus. increases in autoimmune disorders. of vaccines given and on the child’s
This cellular immune response stimulates Many American children today, individual genetic profile. Additives
the humoral part of the immune system including those with autism, have food such as mercury, aluminum, and other
to produce anti-inflammatory chemicals and environmental allergies, gluten, toxins in vaccines can cause harm
and antibodies that assist in recovery and/or casein intolerance, inflammatory on their own and may contribute to
from these illnesses. The natural process bowel disorders, asthma, and other chronic inflammation that leads to
helps the cellular and humoral immune signs of immune dysfunction. neuroimmune dysfunction.
systems to mature.”39 Unresolved inflammation may play There is an urgent need for
In other words, this natural “exercise” an important role in the development methodologically sound, basic science
of the immune system can make it and persistence of autism in children, research into the biological mechanisms
stronger and better able to maintain and genetic factors that predispose for vaccine-induced brain and immune
good health. When the immune system children to autoimmunity may be very dysfunction at the cellular and
does not function normally, as in many important in the development of autism molecular level. Pathological profiles
children with autism spectrum disorders, in some children. Researchers have must be developed to separate out what
it may become “stuck” on inflammation found that mothers of autistic children is and is not vaccine-induced to identify
and lead to chronic illness. and family members often have a which children are more vulnerable
The elimination of most natural history of autoimmune disorders, such than others for suffering harm from
experience with infectious disease in as thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, vaccination so they can be identified
early childhood, through mass use and other illnesses marked by chronic and their lives spared and to find ways
of multiple vaccines, may disrupt inflammation.44 to address neuroimmune dysfunction so
the balance of cellular and humoral affected children can begin to heal.
immunity, thus causing children to Conclusion Most importantly, there needs to be
be susceptible to developing chronic Since the early 1980s, there has been a re-examination of what constitutes
inflammation and chronic illnesses, a doubling or tripling of the numbers good health and a recognition that
including autism. Those children of children suffering from autism and some experience with infections in
genetically predisposed to inflammatory other forms of brain and immune early childhood may be necessary for
conditions, such as autoimmune system dysfunction at the same time normal immune and brain development.
disorders or allergies, may be at special that the numbers of doses of vaccines Individual and public health is not
risk when they are additionally subjected have tripled, and vaccination rates are measured simply by an absence of
to atypical manipulation of the immune at an all time high. It is possible that, infectious disease as chronic disease can
system with multiple vaccines in early when children are prevented from be more devastating and costly over the
childhood. having any experience with viral and long run.
bacterial infections in childhood and Attempting to prevent all infections
Chronic Inflammation: At the Root are repeatedly subjected to atypical with the use of multiple vaccines
of Most Chronic Disease manipulation of the immune system in childhood and throughout life
Many scientists are now concluding that from vaccination, they may become may play a significant role in the
persistent inflammation is at the root of more vulnerable to chronic inflammation mysterious rise in chronic disease
most chronic brain and immune system leading to chronic illness and disability, and disability, including autism, that
disorders40,41 and that genetic variations including regressive autism. has developed over the past quarter
in the population make some individuals Children, who are genetically century. With several hundred vaccines
genetically vulnerable to inflammatory vulnerable to immune mediated chronic in development in more than 2,000
disease.42,43 inflammation, may be at special risk clinical trials worldwide45 and calls in the
The dramatic increase in autism, for vaccine-induced neuroimmune U.S. for more vaccine mandates and no
learning disabilities, and other dysfunction. The biological mechanisms exemptions,46 a re-examination of what
developmental delays in American involved in the type of injury they will “good health” really means is a matter
children during the past three decades suffer are likely dependent upon the of great urgency.
38 THE AUTISM FILE | www.autismfile.com REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF THE AUTISM FILE ISSUE 31 2009
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