Vaccines Friend or Foe

 Written by Sandra Brigola 

Vaccine: "a living or dead preparation used to stimulate active immunity in animals." Oxford Veterinary Dictionary.

The purpose of vaccinations is to protect the animal or human from specific diseases.

There are several questions one should ask before using a vaccine.

1. Is the vaccine effective at preventing the specific disease?

2. What are the side effects of the vaccine?

3. How long does the protection stimulated by the vaccine last ( if indeed it protects)?

Within the last 200 years, the incidence, severity and mortality from contagious diseases has declined dramatically. This decline has often been attributed to the introduction and use of vaccinations, especially that of distemper in dogs and smallpox in humans.

In the case of humans, what part has vaccination actually played in the elimination of smallpox? In 1853,vaccination was made compulsory and stringently enforced in 1867. In 1870-72 a smallpox epidemic killed 44,840 people, even though 90% of the population had been vaccinated. No deaths have been reported since 1948 when compulsory smallpox vaccinations were repealed. In the Philippines, 24 million people were vaccinated prior to the outbreak in 1917-1919, resulting in 162,503 cases and 71,453 deaths all of these had been vaccinated.

Japan, Mexico, India and Egypt also showed increased death rates from a vaccinated population; at the same time in Australia; an essentially unvaccinated country, only three cases occurred. Is this a statistical quirk? Medical science would have us believe that diphtheria, whooping cough, rubella, polio and measles have been eliminated by vaccinations. Is this the case? Virtually all these diseases were in decline by the time the patients were vaccinated.

In a role reversal; humans have been the subject of many more studies regarding vaccines as opposed to animal studies and as such there is more information to back up the findings. One such finding was Zintchenko in 1965 and other German authors who showed that vaccinations against smallpox, typhoid, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, diphtheria and rabies were linked to multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatic fever, lupus, erythematosus, scleroderma and periarteritis nodosa, where the patient forms antibodies against his own tissues as a result of an altered immunologic response. 

In the Veterinary field, Dr. Jean Dodds DVM., is one the foremost authority's on the issue of vaccinations and autoimmune disorders.

Dr. Dodds refers to immune reactions following MLV (Modified Live Vaccines) in canine parvovirus vaccinations ; typical signs being fever, stiffness , sore joints, abdominal tenderness, collapse with auto agglutinated red blood cells and icterus, liver and kidney failure, bone marrow suppression, transient seizures, bloat and stained teeth. Phew! 

Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism have been demonstrated in humans to be autoimmune diseases; which are often initiated by vaccinations and are suspected in dogs and cats as well.

Dr. Patricia Stockner, in a 1991 case study with Great Danes, found that combinations of MLV distemper, adenovirus2 and parvovirus may cause marked immunosuppression, severe morbidity and mortality and concluded that genetically susceptible breeds should not be vaccinated with modified live vaccines.

Dr. Norman Ralston DVM, in an article from the Am. Holistic Veterinary Medical Association relates his experience with the use of Live vaccines in the 1950's. Every dog he vaccinated died! Not right away. They all fit the same pattern. They would get sick within two weeks after the injection. At first they would a little lethargic (feverish, dull) and this progressed to a full paralysis and a horrible death that is even now hard for him to confront. He sought help from everyone, veterinary schools, older experienced vets, and of course the company that had produced the vaccine. He says that this was his first lesson of unconcern and greed of a drug company. Their comment to him was that he had given the vaccine to puppies with hookworms. It was at this point that he almost left veterinary medicine. He kept some of that vaccine for more than 25 years and every five years or so when he had an animal to put down , he would give him a dose of the vaccine to see if it was a killer. Without exception, the animals all got sick and when they got too ill they were mercifully put to sleep. Dr. Ralston still practices, but now is a holistic veterinarian. 

Modified Live Vaccines

The most common vaccine available today is the Modified Live Vaccine (MLV) produced as a combination of viral antigens. This is based primarily on economic reasons and that they produce more sustained protection. An all in one shot that is amplified by multiplication is viewed by most vets as desirable because a more potent immunogen presumably mounts a more effective and sustained immune response. Does it? The scenario is something like this; a young puppy with a very undeveloped immune system is given a shot with up to six different viral antigens that are put directly into his bloodstream. This is done two to three weeks apart and his little body is overwhelmed by the viral antigens . Add to this the stress of going to a new home, and you have a recipe for disaster. While adverse effects may not immediately be apparent their immune system has been set up for permanent damage down the road. Introduction of these vaccines some 20 years ago has seen the rise of allergic immunological diseases in unprecedented numbers. The difficulty here, is that most veterinarians do not relate all these allergies and dysfunctions of the immune system to vaccinations that may not show up for some two, three or many years later. Live and modified live viruses pose additional threats. They pose serious health concerns in that they shed residual viruses in the environment and the possibility of new infectious agents to develop and spread poses a threat to both wild and domestic animal populations.

Killed Vaccines

Killed vaccines do not replicate in the vaccinated animal, do not carry the risk of residual virulence and do not shed viruses into the environment. On the otherhand a MLV vaccines are capable of stimulating a more sustained protective response. Killed vaccines are considered a safer way to vaccinate. 

What's in a Vaccine ? 

Jamie Murphy's book, "What every Parent Should Know About Childhood Immunization" (1993) devotes an entire chapter to the chemicals used in the production of vaccines.

Some or all of the following may be in that vial of vaccine:

Thimerosal (mercury preservative)

Aluminium sulfate (vaccine adjuvant)

Formalin (a germicide)

Formalin may not show up as an ingredient; formalin is used extensively to inactivate the viruses used in the production of vaccines. It is a 37% solution of gaseous formaldehyde, a substance so toxic the "Environmental Protection Agency has labelled it both a hazardous substance and a hazardous waste." The irony of a poison like formaldehyde being used to protect us from the deadly part of a vaccine is noted by author Jamie Murphy: "Here we have a chemical formaldehyde, designated by the EPA as a hazardous substance and waste, being used by scientists to make a vaccine safe."

Thimersol is added as a preservative/antimicrobial agent to "prevent the growth of extraneous, unwanted bacteria and yet not harm the bacterial or viral antigens in the vaccine. A delicate balancing act, indeed! Not enough , and we run the risk of injecting bacterial growth and an undetermined vaccine potency. Too much and the vaccine antigens could themselves be destroyed, resulting in a dangerous injection of antimicrobials and other chemicals.

Thimersol has been found to prevent a process called phagocytosis "in which white blood cells called leukocytes ingest foreign micro-organisms, thereby protecting host cells from invaders."

Aluminium is suspected in a wide range of neurological disorders. It was found to be carcinogenic in mice as a vaccine adjuvant; it is also suspected to be a contributing factor in injection site cysts and granulomas and may be a contributing factor in cancers and arthritis as well. 

Just recently, in November of 1992 , Blue Tongue Virus was found in a MLV vaccine. Pregnant dogs in parts of the western states aborted their litter and a short time later their dams died. The question was , " how did the virus get into the vaccine?" The blue tongue virus probably came in as a passenger virus. According to Everman, a professor of virology, it likely came in through the use of fetal cow serum with the live virus in it. The serum was used to culture the proprietary cell line that in turn was used to produce the attenuated canine virus for the vaccine. Blue tongue Virus is a non-infectious disease transmitted by insects to cattle and sheep. The tongue turns blue as the oxygen starved tissues of the mouth progress to death in 80% of animals it infects. This live virus was given to temporarily immune compromised (pregnant) dogs, who all in turn succumbed to the disease.

Further study in Africa found blue tongue virus endemic in wild canines there. Everman theorises, "Could other diseases emerge through the human vaccine production process? Such cases have already occurred and probably will again."

Many people have died doing research on viruses in monkeys. In 1991, a veterinarian died of monkey B virus. The oral polio vaccine was given to thousands of people in the Belgian Congo (now Zaire). This vaccine was sprayed in the mouth . Zaire was also the first hotbed of the Aids virus. Apparently the seed virus for aids still exists and the theory is that the AIDS virus came through the use of a monkey virus contamination of oral polio vaccines.

In his book "Emerging Viruses" by Horowitz; Horowitz says that the transmission of viruses is through vaccines.

Annual Vaccinations?

A Swedish study looked at protective antibody levels in dogs vaccinated against distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus and found that the percentage of dogs with protective antibody levels did not drop even after three years. Another interesting feature of this study is that parvovirus antibody levels did not rise with the repeated vaccinations until the maternal antibodies were depleted , usually about the fifth month of life.

If vaccinations are good for a three year period, why vaccinate on an annual basis ?

In Current Veterinary Therapy X1, 1992 ;Tom R. Phillips and Ronald Schultz , state that "A practice that was started many years ago and that lacks scientific validity or verification is annual revaccinations. Almost without exception there is no immunologic requirement for annual vaccination."

Vaccinosis is already genetically established by the dog's forefathers and is passed on through the bloodlines.

One vaccine shot may be all that it takes to push an animal over the edge or to have problems later on in life - which makes it hard to pinpoint the vaccines as the original cause of the problem.

If vaccines are so dangerous and ineffective what alternatives do we have to protect animals from disease? The first and most important is to keep them in good health through good nutrition, and a low stress environment.