The age-old struggle against vaccination: A rebuttal by Jennifer Craig, PhD; Suzanne Humphries, MD; and Sherri Tenpenny, DO

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 by: Jennifer Craig
Tags: vaccination, myths, health news

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(NaturalNews) In the January 13, 2011 the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), slipped away from its historically solid scientific moorings with the printing of "The Age-Old Struggle against the anti-vaccinationists," by Poland and Jacobson. This reply is limited to just a few points; with so much misinformation in their article, it is not possible to address it all in one rebuttal.

The idea that one disease, (cowpox) could prevent infection by another disease, (smallpox) was a rumor amongst dairymaids. Veterinarians and country physicians of the time knew the rumor was not true and it could easily have been disproved by simply asking patients with smallpox if they had had cowpox. But Jenner, although informed otherwise, was unwilling to believe the idea was false. He went ahead to test the theory on a single subject by spreading pus from cowpox sores into cuts he made in the arms of an eight-year old boy. The boy not only became ill, he developed ulcers on his arms that took months to heal. A few weeks later, he spread smallpox pus into more cuts. The boy did not get smallpox and thus the idea of smallpox vaccination was born.

Poland and Jacobson's first salvo, "In the 19th century, despite clear evidence of benefit, routine inoculation with cowpox to protect people against smallpox was hindered by a burgeoning anti-vaccination movement," is simply not true. Apart from the obvious question of why most people did not accept this new treatment until citizens were forced into vaccination by the 1853 Compulsory Vaccination Act, the authors present nothing to back up their claim of "clear evidence" or any references to support their allegations. The most likely reason for this omission is there was no clear evidence of benefit - nor is there any clear benefit today.

An 1888 report by Dr. William Farr, Compiler of Statistics of the Registrar General of London and the physician who is responsible for setting up the vital statistics we use today, stated the following: "Smallpox attained its maximum mortality after vaccination was introduced. The mean annual mortality per 10,000 population from 1850 to 1869 was at the rate of 2.04, whereas after compulsory vaccination in 1871, the death rate was 10.24. In 1872 the death rate was 8.33 and this was after the most laudable efforts to extend vaccination by legislative enactments."

Vital statistics and public records reveal a different story than the dogma of "clear evidence of benefit" propagated by the vaccinators. Mortality figures kept by Dr. Walter Hadwen in England from 1872 to 1921, including the vaccination rate per 100 births, show that as the vaccination rate went down, so did the death rate from smallpox. But Hadwen, like all who oppose vaccination, is accused by Poland and Jacobsen here and in their previous paper, of having "low cognitive complexity in thinking patterns and reasoning flaws." With those deficits, we wonder how Walter Hadwen, J.P., M.D., L.R.C.P., M.R.C.S., L.S.A., accumulated all those credentials.

Vaccine pushers assume they can negate their opponents simply by calling them names and treating them as if they are stupid. In addition to Hadwen, two other nineteenth century physicians who opposed vaccination would no doubt have been labeled by Poland and Jacobson as having "low cognitive complexity." Dr. Charles Creighton, author of Jenner and Vaccination: a Strange Chapter of Medical History, and E.M. Crookshank, author of History and Pathology of Vaccination, and Professor of Comparative Pathology in King's College, London, were anything but cognitively impaired. They provided data that prove, even in an era rife with smallpox, vaccination did not protect people from infection.

The first smallpox vaccine consisted of pus squeezed from pustules deliberately made on the belly of a calf. The discharge, which contained hair, bacteria and other contaminants, was mixed with glycerin before being injected into patients. While this may seem repulsive, today's vaccines are not much better. In addition to toxic ingredients, vaccines include stray viruses that can mutate, combine with human viruses and incorporate into human DNA. The new combinations have been identified in vaccines and have been injected into infants, children and adults. Cancerous cells, called immortal cells, are used to incubate the viruses grown for vaccines. The FDA has published concerns regarding carcinogenicity of designer cell substrates and stray viruses found in the shots.

Regarding the article's allegation that the anti-vaccine movement is responsible for the resurgence of disease, it has been well documented that recent outbreaks of mumps, measles and pertussis occurred in populations who were highly vaccinated. In some instances, the vaccination rate was up to 87 percent.

There are numerous reports of an attenuated virus mutating to become virulent again. Recently, vaccine-strain rotavirus infected an unvaccinated sibling, causing active disease. Thus, public protection today does not come from vaccination any more than it did in 1870.

Poland and Jacobson may not know that the famous playwright, George Bernard Shaw, was also interested in infectious diseases. In a letter dated July 19, 1931 to Dr. Charles Pabst, Shaw wrote: "I was vaccinated in infancy and had 'good marks' of it. In the great epidemic of 1881 (I was born in 1856) I caught smallpox. During the last considerable epidemic at the turn of the century, I was a member of the Health Committee of London Borough Council, and I learned how support for vaccination is kept up statistically by diagnosing all the vaccinated cases as pustular eczema, varioloid, or what-not, except smallpox. I discovered a suppressed report of the Metropolitan Asylums Board on a set of re-vaccinations which had produced extraordinarily disastrous results. Meanwhile, I had studied the literature and statistics of the subject. I even induced a celebrated bacteriologist to read Jenner. I have no doubt that vaccination is an unscientific abomination and should be made a criminal practice."

Durbach wrote that the opposition to vaccination and the resultant disparaging by conventional pro-vaccinators has been long standing. With the passage of the first compulsory vaccination law in the U.K. in 1853, the first anti-vaccination societies became a national movement by the 1860s. By the 1870s, the Anti-Compulsory Vaccination League (ACVL) had 103 branches and up to 200,000 members and sympathizers in Britain alone. Many became actively involved when their child was injured or killed by a smallpox vaccine. The present-day anti-vaccination movement is no different. Today, thousands of parents and an increasing number of doctors, scientists and health care workers who have observed firsthand the degradation of health in patients and family members by the blind faith doctors have in government mandates are speaking and refusing vaccination.

Today, many physicians who are "anti-vaccinationists" started out vaccinating. As they observed with an open mind the reactions in their patients and their own children, their enthusiasm for vaccines was tempered. They observed those who were less vaccinated thrived and enjoyed far more vitality than those who were fully vaccinated. They vaccinated less and less, despite being pushed, year after year, with ACIP recommendations and the usual fear-mongering around infectious diseases.

The NEJM has long enjoyed the reputation as a respected, peer-reviewed medical journal. However, peer review today disallows a balanced discussion on heated topics, forcing intelligent debate about vaccines onto the internet. Anti-vaccination arguments are subject to censorship by medical journals and often suppressed by the mainstream media. Officials rationalize this as appropriate to "protect public health." However, sustained suppression of opinions contrary to official party lines has historically led to revolt. Millions of people are waking up to the disinformation about vaccines, unwaveringly maintained by the medical profession and the government. Those who have a studied opinion and have observed first-hand, the truth about the devastating consequences of vaccination will refuse to be censored.

Sources for this article include:

Poland, GA and Jacobson, Robert M.The Age-Old Struggle against the Antivaccinationists. N Engl J Med 2011; 364:97-99, January 13, 2011
Jenner, E. Further observations on the Variola Vaccina, of Cowpox.
McBean, E. "The Poisoned Needle." Health Research, Pomeroy. WA, 1993
Hadwen, W. "The Fraud of Vaccination", Truth; January 1923
Jacobson RM, Targonski PV, Poland GA. A taxonomy of reasoning flaws in the anti-vaccine movement. Vaccine 2007;25:3146-3152
Creighton, C. Jenner and Vaccination: a Strange Chapter of Medical History. 1889
Crookshank, E.," History and Pathology of Vaccination, 1889. Reprinted Nabu Press, Feb 2010
McReardon, Benjamin. "What's Coming Through that Needle?"
FDA. "Designer" Cells as Substrates for the Manufacture of Viral Vaccines."
Hirsh, BS et al. "Mumps outbreak in a highly vaccinated population." J Pediatr. 1991 Aug;119(2):187-93
Chen al. "An explosive point-source measles outbreak in a highly vaccinated population. Modes of transmission and risk factors for disease." Am J Epidemiol 1989;129:173-82.
Harnden A, Grant C, et al. "Whooping cough in school age children with persistent cough: prospective cohort study in primary care." BMJ 2006; 333:174 (Published 7 July 2006)
Daniel C. Payne, PhD, et al. "Sibling Transmission of Vaccine-Derived Rotavirus (RotaTeq) Associated With Rotavirus Gastroenteritis." Published online January 25, 2010. PEDIATRICS (doi:10.1542/peds.2009-1901)
McBean, E. "The Poisoned Needle." Health Research, Pomeroy. WA, 1993
Durbach, Nadja. "Bodily Matters: The Anti-Vaccination Movement in England, 1853 to 1907". Duke University Press. 2005.

About the author:
Jennifer Craig holds BSN, MA and Ph.D degrees. She is the author of Jabs, Jenner and Juggernauts: a Look at Vaccination and Yes Sister, No Sister: My Life as a Trainee Nurse in 1950s Yorkshire.

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