Do Vaccines Disable The Immune System?

While I plan to look at this subject further, I found this article extremely interesting. If vaccines really do cause immunosuppression & autoimmune problems, it seems that it would be even worse to vaccinate a child with Down Syndrome. Why? Because they are already prone to automimmune diseases, immune suppression & weak immune systems.

Do Vaccines Disable the Immune System?

Randall Neustaedter OMD, LAc

  Parents watch with proud satisfaction as their infant, just a few months old, begins to reach out into the world—tiny hands grasping at toys and gently twirling locks of their mother's hair. Just when they have begun to take a lively interest in the world, rolling-over, cooing, and smiling, the first illnesses strike.

The baby's runny nose develops into a fever, fussiness, and night-waking. Her previously placid demeanor suddenly changes to obvious discomfort, crying, clinging, refusing to leave her mother's arms. The pediatrician sees red eardrums and prescribes antibiotics. That first infection starts a seemingly endless battle against viral and bacterial illnesses that persists despite repeated treatment with a barrage of different antibiotics. Something is dreadfully wrong. Frequent visits to the pediatrician do nothing to prevent the continuous pattern of €”antibiotic" illness.

  Why do these illnesses begin when babies are three or four months old? What event triggers this frustrating scenario? What happens to babies at two to four months that could initiate this relentless course of symptoms? Perhaps maternal antibodies are beginning to wear out, making babies susceptible to these environmental microbes. But why don't these babies develop their own antibodies in response to the initial viral or bacterial infections? What prevents the immune system from mounting a vigorous response? And why does this pattern of illness with recurrent ear infections occur now, a pattern that seldom occurred prior to thirty years ago? What is weakening the immune function of today's infants?

The only event that all infants routinely encounter at two months of age is vaccination with at least five different vaccines (Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis-Polio-Hemophilus). They are repeated at four months. Could this simple fact explain the onset of the recurrent illnesses that plague so many infants? If vaccines stimulate antibody production to fight diseases, why would they weaken the immune system? Is there any evidence that vaccines do cause illness and immune system dysfunction?

One answer came in a careful study of illness patterns observed in babies before and after vaccination. If vaccines cause a weakened immune system, then we would expect to see a higher incidence of illness following vaccination. In that study the incidence of acute illnesses in the 30 day period following DTP vaccine was compared to the incidence in the same children for the 30 day period prior to vaccine. The three-day period immediately following vaccine was excluded because children frequently develop fever as a direct response to vaccine toxins. A total of 82 healthy infants received DTP, and their symptoms were reported by parents and observed by a pediatrician at weekly intervals. Those babies experienced a dramatic increase in fever, diarrhea, and cough in the month following DTP vaccine compared to their health before the shot (Jaber et al., 1988).

The incidence of asthma has steadily increased in the modern era. During the period 1980 through 1989 the prevalence rate of self-reported asthma in the United States increased 38 percent, and the death rate for asthma increased 46 percent (Centers for Disease Control, 1992). In the five years from 1985 through 1990, projected estimates for asthma's medical costs increased 53 percent. The total estimated cost of asthma rose from $4.5 billion to $6.2 billion, or 1 percent of all US health-care costs (Weiss et al., 1992). This dramatic increase has been attributed to increased exposure to environmental pollutants, and to the toxic effect of asthma medications themselves. Could vaccines be weakening the immune system of our populations and causing asthma and allergies at unprecedented levels? A recent study suggests the answer is yes. A team of New Zealand researchers, found a greater rate of asthma and allergy episodes among immunized children. Of 1,265 children born in 1977, the 23 who did not receive the diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus shot had no recorded asthma or allergy problems before age 10. Of the children who were vaccinated, 23.1 percent had asthma episodes, and 30 percent had consultations for other allergic illnesses (Kemp, et al., 1997).

  How do researchers investigate immune system reactions to vaccines? First, they can observe the incidence of serious disease onset soon after vaccination. They can also study immune functions following vaccines given to children and adults. Two research models have been used to discover the possible adverse effect of vaccines on the immune system. Laboratory researchers observe whether vaccines have any negative effect on white blood cells, the body's primary immune defense system. Clinical researchers study illness patterns preceding and following vaccination. All of these investigative channels have reached the same conclusions—vaccines can trigger immune system suppression.

  Vaccines are destroying our immune systems. Amazingly, the medical profession ignores the incriminating evidence against vaccines, and continues to inflict more unnecessary and harmful vaccines on our nation's infants. A recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine reported by Time magazine and the Associated Press revealed that tetanus vaccine disables the immune system in HIV patients. Tetanus vaccination produced a drop in T cells in 10 of 13 patients, a classic sign of immune deficiency. HIV viral replication increased dramatically in response to tetanus vaccine. Finally, white blood cells from 7 of 10 uninfected individuals became more susceptible to HIV infection following tetanus vaccination. Despite these findings, the authors made no comment about the immune depleting effect of the vaccine (Stanley et al., 1996).

  Why is the public unaware of these findings? Why has the medical profession kept these reports hidden from the public eye? With typical condescension, Dr. Martin Smith, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, explained that the inclusion of this type of information in vaccine brochures "would confuse many parents and could even needlessly alarm them" (AAP News, 1989). An uninformed patient is compliant.

  The cover-up of immune system failure following vaccination is reminiscent of the tobacco industry's continuous denial and disinformation campaign about the dangers of cigarettes. In both instances huge profits are at stake in multibillion-dollar industries. Vaccine manufacturers cannot afford to have their product maligned in a public forum.

Doctors have often stated that broadcasting adverse effects of vaccines to the public would hinder the vaccine campaign. This attitude emerged in congressional hearings more than thirty years ago.

It is hard to convince the public that something is good. Consequently, the best way to push forward a new program is to decide on what you think the best decision is and not question it thereafter, and further, not to raise questions before the public or expose the public to open discussion of the issues (Intensive Immunization Programs, Hearings, 1962).

The medical profession has been aware of the damaging effects of vaccines on the immune system since their introduction. For example, the ability of pertussis and DTP vaccines to stimulate the onset of paralytic polio was first noted in 1909. In every polio epidemic since then DTP injections have caused the onset of polio disease.

In 1950, two careful studies were conducted in the state of New York to evaluate the reports of an association between the onset of paralytic polio and recent injections. Investigators contacted the families of all children who contracted polio during that year, a total of 1,300 cases in New York City and 2,137 cases in the remainder of New York State. A history of vaccinations received in the previous two months was obtained on each child and from a group of matched controls in the same population. Those studies discovered that children with polio were twice as likely to have received a DTP vaccination in the two months preceding the onset of polio than were the control children (Korns et al., 1952; Greenberg et al., 1952).

The association of vaccines with the onset of polio continues in the modern age. During a recent polio epidemic in Oman, DTP vaccination again caused the onset of paralytic polio In that epidemic, 70 children 5 to 24 months old contracted paralytic polio during the period 1988-1989. When compared to a control group of children without polio, it was found that a significantly higher percentage of these children had received a DTP shot within 30 days of the onset of polio, 43 percent of polio victims compared to 28 percent of controls (Sutter et al., 1992). The DTP vaccine suppresses the body's ability to fight off the polio virus.

  The destructive effect of vaccines on the immune system can persist over an extended period of time. One study documented a long-term depressive effect on interferon production. Interferon is a chemical produced by lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) that renders the host resistant to infection. Interferon production is stimulated by infection with a virus to protect the body from superinfection by some other organism. In this study, vaccination of one-year-old infants with measles vaccine caused a precipitous drop in the level of alpha-interferon produced by lymphocytes. This decline persisted for one year following vaccination, at which time the experiment was terminated. Thus, this study showed that measles vaccine produced a significant long-term immune suppression (Nakayama et al., 1988)

Autoimmune Reactions to Vaccines

An 11 year old girl received a routine tetanus booster dose and three days later developed blindness in the right eye and light perception only in the left eye. Her optic discs were swollen on exam. Two days later she had partial paralysis of her legs and loss of bladder control, then more widespread sensory loss including a lack of vibrational and positional senses. Seven weeks later she still had some vision loss and decreased muscle power. Within one year she recovered (Topaloglu et al., 1992).

 A 20 year old woman experienced pain and swelling of her right wrist and fingers 4 days after a hepatitis vaccination. The pain and swelling resolved, but returned again 6 months later with more severe swelling and pain, following a second hepatitis vaccination. Nine years later, X-ray of the hands showed destruction of the bones throughout her wrist joints (Gross et al., 1995).

 A 4 year old girl developed progressive weakness of the legs, pain in the legs and feet, and gradual inability to walk 10 days after Hib vaccination. On the fifth day she had swallowing difficulties, facial weakness, and a monotonous voice. Her symptoms gradually improved, and within 3 weeks she could walk with help (Gervaix et al., 1993).

 A 42 year old man received tetanus toxoid on three separate occasions over a period of 13 years. Following each vaccination he developed acute nerve symptoms diagnosed as Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disease of the nervous system characterized by rapid onset of motor weakness and loss of sensation. (Pollard & Selby, 1978). A nerve biopsy revealed destruction of the myelin nerve sheath. Following his last injection he continued to experience multiple recurrences, and continued to show abnormal findings on examination 15 years later (Pollard, 1993).

What is the effect of long-term immune suppression? Some investigators are concerned that vaccines could be disabling our body's ability to react normally to disease, and creating the climate for autoimmune self-destruction. The many reports of autoimmune phenomena that occur as reactions to vaccination provide incontrovertible proof that tampering with the immune system causes devastating disease.

Federal legislation of 1986 commissioned the Institute of Medicine to establish a Vaccine Safety Committee. The purpose of that committee was to search the medical literature for reports of adverse events associated with the vaccines routinely administered to children, and report their findings. Computer searches revealed 1,800 relevant articles. However, the committee's rigid criteria for establishing a causal relationship between vaccine and adverse event made it nearly impossible for a disease condition to make their short list. Without a case-controlled study proving a relationship, the hundreds of case reports of immune system destruction following vaccines were relegated to coincidence. Case-controlled studies are expensive. They must include tens or hundreds of thousands of children.

  Even the Vaccine Safety Committee acknowledged the onset of several autoimmune diseases as a result of vaccination (Guillain-Barré syndrome following tetanus and polio vaccines, that causes muscle weakness and paralysis; thrombocytopenia, destruction of blood platelets responsible for blood clotting, following MMR; and chronic arthritis following rubella). These types of symptoms have occurred following every vaccine routinely given to children—the suppressed immune system begins to attack the body's own cells, usually the nerves and joints. Thousands of autoimmune incidents following vaccines have been reported in the medical literature and adverse event reporting systems (Neustaedter, 1996). These autoimmune responses to vaccines have resulted in permanent, chronic disease conditions—deforming arthritis and muscle wasting and paralysis.

In their attempt to explain the repeated occurrence of autoimmune diseases that attack and destroy the myelin sheaths of nerves as a direct result of vaccines, the committee members explain:

It is biologically plausible that injection of an inactivated virus, bacterium, or live attenuated virus might induce in the susceptible host an autoimmune response by deregulation of the immune response, by nonspecific activation of the T cells directed against myelin proteins, or by autoimmuniity triggered by sequence similarities of proteins in the vaccine to host proteins such as those of myelin (Institute of Medicine, 1994).

Since the committee's report, a large ecological study in New Zealand revealed that an epidemic of diabetes followed a massive campaign to vaccinate children against hepatitis B. This report, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal in 1996 revealed that a 60 percent increase in childhood diabetes occurred in the years following the 1989-1991vaccination program of chidren aged 6 to 16. The widespread use of the new Haemophilus meningitis vaccine has similarly resulted in diabetes epidemics. Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that has been frequently observed to occur as a consequence of mumps vaccine (Fescharek et al., 1990; Helmke et al., 1986). The dramatic rise in vaccine-induced diabetes has led researchers to raise a warning flag. "We believe the effects of vaccines on diabetes are of tremendous clinical importance and that trials need to be started immediately to address the effect of vaccines on diabetes and other autoimmune diseases (Classen & Classen, 1996).

Vaccines have become a sacred cow of our culture, unassailable to criticism. Now that we know their devastating effects on the immune system, perhaps we need to take a more cautious approach to the vaccine campaigns. The zealous rush to bring new vaccines to market may be setting the stage for the unwitting destruction of our population's immune system integrity.


AAP News Vaccine brochures: AAP proposes changes. June 1989, p 2.

Centers for Disease Control. Asthma - United States, 1980-1990. MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) 1992, 41:733-735.

 Classen, J.B. Childhood immunisation and diabetes mellitus. New Zealand Medical Journal 1996; 109;195.

Classen, J.B. and Classen, D.C. Vaccines modulate IDDM. Diabetologia1996; 39:500-501.

Fescharek, R., Quast U., Maass, G. et al. Measles-mumps vaccination in the FRG: an empirical analysis after 14 years of use. II. Tolerability and analysis of spontaneously reported side effects. Vaccine 1990; 8:446-456.

 Greenberg, M., Abrahamson, H., Cooper, H.M., Solomon, H.E. The relation between recent injections and paralytic poliomyelitis in children. American Journal of Public Health 1952; 42:142-152.

 Gross, K., Combe, C., Krüger, K., Schattenkirchner, M. Arthritis after hepatitis vaccination: report of three cases. Scandinavian Journal Rheumatology 1995; 24:50-52.

 Helmke, K., Otten, A., Willems, W.R. et al. Islet cell antibodies and the development of diabetes mellitus in relation to mumps infection and mumps vaccination. Diabetologia 1986; 29:30-33.

 Institute of Medicine, Adverse Events Associated with Childhood Vaccines: Evidence Bearing on Causality. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1994.

 Intensive Immunization Programs. Hearings before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, 87th Congress, 2nd Session on H.R. 10541. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1962.

 Jaber, L., Shohat, M., Mimouni, M. Infectious episodes following diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccination: a preliminary observation in infants. Clinical Pediatrics 1988; 27:491-494.

 Kemp, Trudi; Pearce, Neil; Fitzharris, Penny; et al. Results of the Christchurch Health and Development Study. Epidemiology 1997, 8:678.

 Korns, R.F., Albrecht, R.M., Locke, F.B. The association of parenteral injections with poliomyelitis. American Journal of Public Health 1952; 42:153-169.

 Nakayama, T., Urano, T., Osano, M., et al. Long-term regulation of interferon production by lymphocytes from children inoculated with live measles virus vaccine. Journal of Infectious Diseases 1988; 158:1386-1390.

 Neustaedter, R. The Vaccine Guide: Making an Informed Choice. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1996.

 Stanley, S.K., Ostrowski, M.A., Justement, J.S., et al. Effect of immunization with a common recall antigen on viral expression in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1.New England Journal of Medicine 1996; 334:1222-1230.

 Sutter, R.W., Patriarca, P.A., Suleiman, A.J.M. et al. Attributable risk of DTP (diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccine) injection in provoking paralytic poliomyelitis during a large outbreak in Oman. Journal of Infectious Disease 1992; 165:444-449.

 Weiss, K.B., Gergen, P.J., Hodgson, T.A. An economic evaluation of asthma in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine 1992; 326: 862-866.