A Review of the Institute of Medicine’s “Immunization Safety Review: Multiple Immunizations and Immune Dysfunction”

Immunization Safety Review: Multiple Immunizations and Immune Dysfunction Kathleen Stratton, Christopher B. Wilson and Marie C. McCormick, Editors, Immunization Safety Review Committee, Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10306.html     ISBN: 0-309-50866-5, 152 pages, 6 x 9, (2002) Institute of Medicine.

The recent IOM vaccine survey restricted itself to the last 10 years of studies, referencing the 2002 survey as having looked at the impact of multiple vaccines in depth up to that time. I wanted to be sure I hadn’t missed any earlier important studies that might contain cogent evidence against the hypotheses of multiple vaccine damage vectors. So I went to
see what they were relying on. The 2002 study states:

The scope of the committee’s inquiry can be summarized in the following
three questions:
1. Do multiple immunizations have adverse short-term effects on the developing
infant immune system that are reflected in increased susceptibility to heterologous
infection (infections other than those targeted by the immunization)?
2. Does exposure to multiple antigens, as administered in vaccines, directly
and permanently redirect or skew the immune system toward autoimmunity, as
reflected in type 1 diabetes?
3. Does exposure to multiple antigens, as administered in vaccines, directly
and permanently redirect or skew the immune system toward allergy, as reflected
in asthma?
The committee was unable to address the concern that repeated exposure of
a susceptible child to multiple immunizations over the developmental period
may also produce atypical or non-specific immune or nervous system injury that
could lead to severe disability or death (Fisher, 2001). There are no epidemiological
studies that address this. Thus, the committee recognizes with some discomfort
that this report addresses only part of the overall set of concerns of
some of those most wary about the safety of childhood immunization.

Note for starters that they explicitly conclude that there is no published evidence to address whether multiple vaccinations can cause death or severe disability or mental damage. This is a problem because autism comes under mental damage and animal studies show mental damage and there is significant epidemiology, even some discussed in this IOM survey, to indicate death. So its interesting already to see how anybody could conclude vaccines are safe, when the IOM is saying there isn’t published information to address whether the series will kill you or damage your nervous system.

Next note that they don’t address the safety of the aluminum at all, as may be verified by searching the pdf on “alum”. There is some discussion about the merits of alum as an adjuvant, but zero consideration of iatrogenic effects or toxicity. Also the document doesn’t contain the term “contaminant” or “retrovirus” or “circovirus”. My contention is that the scientific literature strongly supports the hypotheses that vaccine aluminum is highly toxic in the quantities administered, that early and or multiple vaccines are damaging brain and immune system development, and that contaminants such as animal viruses are damaging, and that there are no papers in the peer reviewed literature whatsoever providing cogent evidence against any of these three hypotheses. Apparently the IOM 2002 aren’t going to rebut most of that.

They claim to review 2. multiple antigens and auto-immunity and 3. multiple antigens causing asthma, but I haven’t reviewed that part because antigens seems to be a less interesting vector, as we saw in discussing De Stefano et al 2014.  DTP has over 3000 antigens and almost nothing else has more than a handful. Both sides of a study are going to have had multiple immunizations and aluminum and multiple opportunities for contaminants, which may largely mask any effect of multiple antigens if one exists. If you read them and find something striking let me know. The IOM report itself says “the committee concludes that the epidemiological and clinical evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship between multiple immunization and an increased risk of allergic disease, particularly asthma.”
So they haven’t claimed its safe wrt asthma. Isn’t the law that the FDA is supposed to certify drugs are safe before they go on the market? How can they when the IOM admits they don’t have evidence on the subject? Shouldn’t patients at least be warned vaccines may cause asthma and allergies?

Now lets review what the IOM say about (1) heterologous infection.
“Heterologous Infection
The committee reviewed several case-control or cohort studies (Black et al.,
1991; Burstein and Fleisher, 1994; Davidson, 1991; Griffin et al., 1992; Kristensen
et al., 2000) and a randomized controlled trial (Otto et al., 2000)…
Despite these variations and limitations, the overall findings from the studies consistently demonstrated either no effect or a beneficial effect of multiple immunizations on heterologous disease. Therefore, the committee concludes that the epidemiological and clinical
evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between multiple immunizations
and an increased risk of heterologous infections.[Bold in the original].

So I reviewed the studies they reviewed. As I will detail, my conclusion based on my review is that all the studies they reviewed but one are so hopelessly confounded as to provide no useful evidence on the subject. The one study remaining suggests strongly that the vaccines are causing damage. It has been confirmed by other independent studies since their study.

General Non-specific Morbidity is Reduced After Vaccination Within the Third Month of Life – the Greifswald Study S. Otto, B. Mahner, I. Kadow, J. F. Beck, S. K.W. Wiersbitzky and R. Bruns, Journal of Infection (2000) 41, 172–175, doi: 10.1053/jinf.2000.0718

Otto et al is the only “randomized controlled trial” so lets start with that. Otto et al randomly selected some kids to go into a pool to have their 2 month vaccines at 3 months and then asked the mothers to keep a record of whether the kids had any symptoms, “unspecific, morbidity-related signs… with a diary card.” 

The Placebo effect is the very well established effect that something like 1/3 of patients are helped if the Doctor prescribes a placebo. The exact flip side of this is patients who don’t get a placebo have to think they are worse off than the patients who do. In this case, you have Mothers being told they have to wait for their kid’s vaccine, which they have been repeatedly told is highly necessary to his health. Its clear they were anxious, because 13 of them insisted on changing to the early vaccination group. Then the study doesn’t even ask that the kids be sick, or even go to the Doctor. They have the mothers keep a journal. Since the disparity in reported symptoms is much less than I would have expected from the placebo effect, I would say this study is perfectly consistent with the vaccines actually doing a lot of damage to the immune system, being masked by an even bigger placebo effect given the way the experiment was carried out.

The authors comment on not doing the experiment double blind by giving all the kids injections at 2 months half of which would be placebos. They say that would be unethical because it would expose half the kids to an extra saline injection. Let me get this straight. It would be unethical, with parental permission, to give half the kids in one experiment an extra saline injection, but its just fine giving all the kids in the world dozens of injections full of aluminum and antigens without any RPC tests against actual placebos?

This study also suffers from the common problem that putting kids who get vaccinated exactly on time into a “high vaccine” pool is highly prejudicial because (a) parents who succeed in getting them vaccinated exactly on time are being selected by a real world intelligence/achievement test which is likely a proxy for prior propensity to produce smart/healthy children and (b) kids miss the date because they are sick (or in other experiments because they’ve had a prior vaccine reaction) which puts sick or vaccine damaged kids into the “low vaccine” group. This was not a small effect in this study: 114 out of 335 kids (36%) who were assigned to the early vaccine group were dropped because they didn’t get it on time.

Next we have Black SB, Cherry JD, Shinefield HR, Fireman B, Christenson P, Lampert D. Apparent decreased risk of invasive bacterial disease after heterologous childhood immunization. Am J Dis Child. 1991;145:746–769.

This is yet another paper that finds a protective effect for vaccines that is not expected,
and ignores a plausible hypothesis explaining this protective effect but invalidating
or even reversing the study’s impact on vaccination safety.

Black et al compare invasive bacterial disease victims to controls drawn from a sample of patients. Its clear from their table 2, that the invasive bacterial disease victims
are drawn from a distribution that doesn’t go to the doctor often for well care visits.
73 of the cases had 0 or 1 well care visits in the previous 6 months, against only 23 with 2; whereas for the controls the ratio was 15 to 22. Presumably patients who don’t go for a well care visit, for whatever reason, are a priori unlikely to have been vaccinated, since
vaccinations typically occur at well patient visits. Clearly, however, there is no basis in their data to conclude the vaccines failed to make the disease more likely, without some better understanding of the subpopulation from which  invasive bacterial disease patients are drawn. They missed the lede. Their data are demonstrating nothing about vaccines, because they demonstrate there is a sub-population highly susceptible to invasive bacterial disease which isn’t getting medical care, perhaps children of drug addicts.

Does recent vaccination increase the risk of occult bacteremia?
Burstein JL, Fleisher GR. Pediatr Emerg Care. 1994 Jun;10(3):138-40.

Burstein et al compare patients who are sick with one complaint to patients who are sick with other complaints and all of who are getting lots of antibiotics, as well as lots of vaccinations. Perhaps that would make sense if you were interested in one complaint, or one vaccine. Obviously its not going to tell you anything reliable in a climate where multiple vaccinations are causing multiple complaints, which is precisely what the evidence indicates.They are compared on the recency of vaccination, which also biases patients who got the vaccine further from the disease also got it younger, yet another confounding factor. But perhaps the biggest problem is, the animal data reports vaccine simulants damage immune systems permanently, they damage development. So you need to look for lasting or even increasing damage from vaccines as well as damage proximate to the vaccine.

DTP Immunization and Susceptibility to Infectious Diseases Is There a Relationship?
Michael Davidson, MD, MPH; G. William Letson, MD; Joel I. Ward, MD; Angela Ball, MD; Lisa Bulkow, MS; Peter Christenson, PhD; James D. Cherry, MD, MSc
Am J Dis Child. 1991;145(7):746-749. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160070046020.

I haven’t read the article, because it is critiqued in the paper itself, as described in the IOM study. “The authors note that a possible explanation for the lack of difference
observed in the study is overmatching. Overmatching is where cases and controls
closely resemble each other on factors related to the exposure of interest. In
this study, matching based on the number of DTP vaccines received may have
resulted in the lack of difference in the timing of DTwP immunization between
cases and controls. However, the authors observed that matching according to
the number of DTP vaccines was necessary and reduced potential confounders
such as those related to health status.”
Apparently the controls got the same number of DTP’s as the cases, so again not very informative.

For the second part of the study, the IOM notes:
“The authors note that the higher frequency of disease in the pre-DTP group compared to the post-DTP group may have resulted from a “well-child effect,” whereby immunization of children with illnesses was postponed until they were well.”

Seems sensible. If some of the parents wait till the kids have been healthy for 30 days before administering DTP, which might be a sensible precaution, then you are definitely going to get distorted results.
Finally the IOM committee read:
Kristensen I, Aaby P, Jensen H. Routine vaccinations and child survival: Followup study in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. BMJ. 2000;321:1435–1438.

In rural Guinea-Bisseau, scientists polled 15,351 mothers of 6 month olds to see which infants were vaccinated, and then came back a year later to see who was still alive. Kids who’d gotten at least one vaccine had a relative mortality of .74 compared to kids who’d gotten none. After cluster, age, and other vaccines were adjusted for, BCG was associated with mortality (0.55 (0.36 to 0.85)). However, recipients of at least one dose of DTP had relative mortality (1.84 (1.10 to 3.10)) and recipients of one dose of OPV had relative mortality 1.81 (1.07 to 3.05). Recipients of measles vaccine had a mortality ratio of 0.48 (0.27 to 0.87). When deaths from measles were excluded from the analysis the mortality ratio was 0.51 (0.28 to 0.95).

The difference between this study and the previous studies reviewed above is: this study is a lot cleaner, it is looking at mortality in a very clean before and after fashion, and the result it is finding is opposite to the very obvious bias that the kids getting vaccines are also getting better care and have wealthier parents and better sanitation. All the previous studies, as we have seen, are worthless. This study actually is interesting evidence that DTP at least is doing damage.

Since the IOM report in 2002, a second study in Guinea-Bisseau confirmed the first, reporting that having previously gotten DTP in addition to OPV more than doubled mortality for kids in the pediatric ward up to 5 years of age compared to kids who only got OPV, from 6% to 15%.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15297050 Vaccine. 2004 Aug 13;22(23-24):3014-7. Oral polio vaccination and low case fatality at the paediatric ward in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. Aaby P, Rodrigues A, Biai S, Martins C, Veirum JE, Benn CS, Jensen

These results suggest that DTP, and possibly OPV, are doing harm. As I have reviewed, there is significant literature indicating vaccine aluminum, vaccine interactions with brain and immune system development especially as shown in the animal literature, and vaccine contaminants are doing harm. So its a plausible hypothesis that DTP is damaging the immune systems of the recipients so that they die of various causes. Moreover, BCG is a scratch, not an injection, so it seems unlikely to contribute to the vaccine damage vectors I have identified, and it’s effectiveness is controversial even among people who usually accept vaccines. A hypothesis consistent with these facts is that BCG vaccine is serving largely as a placebo, doing neither harm nor good but merely a proxy for propensity to get vaccinated, a hidden factor representing parental circumstances and child raising skills. If that is the correct explanation, then the true increased mortality compared to a placebo for DTP in Guinea-Bisseau would be at least 3. Since measles deaths were not a factor, and MMR is given at 18 months and does not contain adjuvants, MMR could have a similar role here as a proxy for good care.

I have also previously reviewed, of course, much other evidence that the vaccines are damaging. Here our purpose was to review the IOM 2002 study, demonstrating that it had no rational basis for claiming safety, and that it cited  no papers cogently opposing our remarks on the dangers of vaccine aluminum, contaminants, or developmental interactions as reported in the animal literature. Its worth emphasizing however, one thing I discovered in this review, that the IOM survey explicitly declined to claim safety in several aspects after examining the literature. They said they found insufficient literature to state that multiple vaccines weren’t causing atypical or non-specific immune or nervous system injury that could lead to severe disability or death, nor did they find sufficient literature to state that they weren’t causing asthma or allergies.


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