This blog is a way of sharing the information and resources that have helped me to recover my son Roo from an Autism Spectrum Disorder. What I have learned is to view our symptoms as the results of underlying biological cause, which can be identified and healed. I say "our symptoms" because I also have a neuro-immune disorder called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

And, of course, I am not a doctor (although I have been known to impersonate one while doing imaginative play with my son)- this is just our story and information that has been helpful or interesting to us. I hope it is helpful and interesting to you!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Peter Aaby and Long-Term Vaccination Effects

In January, BBC 4 radio aired a program entitled "The Vaccine Detectives: Part 1 and 2" which is discussed in the article "The Vaccine Casebook" (note- to listen to the podcasts, click on "show all episodes" and scroll way down).  It is a report about a researcher in the African nation of Guinea Bissau, named Peter Aaby, who has been studying the long-term effects of vaccination and has found (as the article puts it) "evidence that could change public health care forever. They have discovered that vaccines and vitamin supplements have unexpected effects - good and bad - on the immune systems of children."  As an aside, I find it fascinating that this report was aired the same week that Dr Wakefield was once again being raked over the coals and we the public were once again being assured that all vaccine are safe all the time.  Here is a larger quote from a brief article about the radio program:

"Their health detective work has generated more than 600 scholarly articles in the world's leading medical journals, and been responsible for the withdrawal of a potentially deadly measles vaccine by the World Health Organisation.

But the WHO has not acted on the most explosive findings yet coming from Guinea Bissau. They show that the world's most commonly used vaccines can strengthen - or weaken - a child's immune system in the long term, and affect their ability to fight off disease. The results directly challenge the WHO's global health advice, followed by most countries in the developing world, and could mean that thousands of young lives, in Africa and beyond, are needlessly at risk.

We'll hear from some of world's most respected public health scientists who back Aaby's findings. The documentary also asks why the WHO has not yet acted on the evidence generated so far. And whether safety tests for new vaccines and vitamin supplements, heavily promoted by donor agencies and pharmaceutical companies alike, are sufficiently far-reaching."

To read my notes of Part 1 of the broadcast, click here.  For my notes on Part 2, click here.  One thing that was discussed in the program was that the health project that Dr Aaby directs was selected in the past as a test site for a new measles vaccine that the WHO wanted to test out.  The trial for the new vaccine ran for a short period of time, and at the end it looked as though the vaccine was a success.  However, Dr Aaby decided to keep his part of the study open to see if there were any longer term effects.  What he discovered was that while the vaccine seemed effective in the short run, in the long run children who received it were dying at a much higher rate.  When the WHO heard about this they pulled the vaccine from use, saying that it may have saved thousands of lives by going back to the previously used measles vaccine.  This raises the question for many people whether vaccine studies are done for a long enough time to pick up on the potential health risks. 

The program also discusses another finding that Dr Aaby has made- that the DTP vaccine used in Africa may actually be doing a lot of harm (he mentions that it is a vaccine for Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis, but I don't know which formulation it is).  He has found that children who have received either this vaccine or the polio vaccine have a higher mortality rate then children who haven't received it.  The abstract for the study, which was published in the British Medical Journal,  can be read here.  Below the abstract are comments which are interesting.  One comment, entitled Vaccination and Immune Balance, suggests this possible mechanism to explain Aaby's findings:

"Dear Sir - The findings of Kristensen et al’s study(1) fall into place if there is a preexisting Th1 weakness / Th2 predominance of immune response in the community. 

That there is such a pre-existing condition in many parts of Africa is supported by the remarkable susceptibility to tuberculosis, measles, and HIV infection, all of which depend on a good Th1 response for successful resistance. BCG and measles vaccine, by stimulating a swing toward Th1 response, may in fact be returning the immune system to a relatively normal balance; diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and polio vaccination stimulate a Th2 response, and may swing the immune system further away from the ideal balance, and inhibit a good Th1 response."

 I find this hypothesis fascinating as it seems that babies born to Th2 shifted mothers in developed countries are more at risk for developing autism, and that the DTaP is one of the vaccines that parents most often site as precipitating regression.  Could this be why?   Interestingly, the same commenter also had this to say:

"Dietary reasons why this preconditioning may exist have been put forward. In an otherwise deficient diet, heavy dependence on maize geographically parallels high incidence of diseases which should be resisted by the cellular immune response. A maize dependent diet is weighted so strongly with n-6 fatty acids that an excessive output of Prostaglandin E2 will occur unless there is also an adequate intake of other fats. Prostaglandin E2 is a suppressor of Th1 function (2). Children with kwashiorkor, an extreme example of what is usually a maize- diet malnutrition, have been described as having a "nutritional thymectomy"(3), and may have no demonstrable cellular immune response to tuberculin during the acute phase of their illness."

 This is also fascinating as some people have postulated that the widespread use of corn in the American diet in recent years may be a predisposing factor causing some children to be more at risk of having an adverse vaccine reaction.  If high amounts of corn in an otherwise nutritionally inadequate diet (which many US babies and children have) is capable of suppressing Th1 function that is very significant. I found this cooment, from another commenter, interesting as well:

"The death of 4% of a nations children due to the use of a vaccine to save life is nothing short of a major catastrophe. 

The only other case which immediately comes to mind is the 2% deformity rate due to the use of thalidomide back in circa 1961. 

An immediate connection then comes to mind. In the thalidomide case and in respect of tetanus, (also diphtheria) a toxic compound is at the heart of the problem. 

The solution here is easier, however - we need to look at the purity of the vaccine, the age of infant, the amount used, the strength, be more careful about possible adverse reactions, where it is administered (can it enter the bloodstream rather than beneath the skin and with what result) and so on. 

The use of the DTP vaccine could also by analogy easily explain the daily death rate put down to cot death in the UK? 

The amount of tetanus toxin to cause death is microscopically small compared to the 0.5 gram injection commonly used. The time to cause death is never immediate and may be 5 hours or as long as three or four days. the link is therefore denied. Because we assume or accept Cot Death or put mothers in jail for murder are we missing a similar response to UK DTP vaccination? 

The same vaccine used on teenage children in the UK caused over 90% adverse reactions with systemic symptoms including difficulty in getting breath, when administered in the 1990s. 

This research again answers the simple question: are toxic chemicals toxic to life. 

The answer is clear: 

Toxic chemicals are indeed clearly toxic. 

When will we realise this and take appropriate care and control?"