The Medical Time Bomb:
Immunization Against Disease
By: Dr. Robert S. Mendelsohn, M.D.
The greatest threat of childhood
diseases lies in the dangerous and
ineffectual efforts made to prevent
I know, as I write about the dangers
of mass immunization, that it is a
concept that you may find difficult to
Immunizations have been so artfully and aggressively marketed that most
parents believe them to be the "miracle" that has eliminated many once-feared
Consequently, for anyone to oppose them borders on the foolhardy. For a
pediatrician to attack what has become the "bread and butter" of pediatric
practice is equivalent to a priest's denying the infallibility of the pope.
Knowing that, I can only hope that you will keep an open mind while I present
my case. Much of what you have been led to believe about immunizations
simply isn't true. I not only have grave misgivings about them; if I were to
follow my deep convictions in writing this chapter, I would urge you to reject
all inoculations for your child.
I won't do that, because parents in about half the states have lost the right to
make that choice. Doctors, not politicians, have successfully lobbied for laws
that force parents to immunize their children as a prerequisite for admission to
Even in those states, though, you may be able to persuade your pediatrician to
eliminate the pertussis (whooping cough) component from the DPT vaccine.
This immunization, which appears to be the most threatening of them all, is the
subject of so much controversy that many doctors are becoming nervous
about giving it, fearing malpractice suits.
They should be nervous, because in a recent Chicago case a child damaged
by a pertussis inoculation received a $5.5 million settlement award. If your
doctor is in that state of mind, exploit his fear, be-cause your child's health is at
Although I administered them myself during my early years of practice, I have
become a steadfast opponent of mass inoculation because of the myriad
hazards they present. The subject is so vast and complex that it deserves a
book of its own.
Consequently, I must be content here with summarizing my objections to the
fanatic zeal with which pediatricians blindly shoot foreign proteins into the
body of your child without knowing what eventual damage they may cause.
Here is the core of my concern:
I. There is no convincing scientific evidence that mass inoculations can be
credited with eliminating any childhood disease. While it is true that some
once common childhood diseases have diminished or disappeared since
inoculations were introduced, no one really knows why, although improved
living conditions may be the reason. If immunizations were responsible for the
diminishing or disappearance of these diseases in the United States, one must
ask why they disappeared simultaneously in Europe, where mass
immunizations did not take place.
2. It is commonly believed that the Salk vaccine was responsible for halting the
polio epidemics that plagued American children in the 1940s and 1950s. If so,
why did the epidemics also end in Europe, where polio vaccine was not so
Of greater current relevance, why is the Sabin virus vaccine still being
administered to children when Dr. Jonas Salk, who pioneered the first vaccine,
points out that Sabin vaccine is now causing most of the polio cases that
Continuing to force this vaccine on children is irrational medical behavior that
simply confirms my contention that doctors consistently repeat their mistakes.
With the polio vaccine we are witnessing a rerun of the medical reluctance to
abandon the smallpox vaccination, which remained as the only source of
smallpox-related deaths for three decades after the disease had disappeared.
Think of it. For thirty years kids died from smallpox vaccinations even though
no longer threatened by the disease.
3. There are significant risks associated with every immunization and
numerous contraindications that may make it dangerous for the Shots to be
given to your child. Yet doctors administer them routinely, usually without
warning parents of the hazards and without determining whether the
immunization is contraindicated for the child. No child should be immunized
without making that determination, yet small armies of children are routinely
lined up in clinics to receive a shot in the arm with no questions asked by their
4 While the myriad short-term hazards of most immunizations are known, but
rarely explained, no one knows the long term consequences of injecting
foreign proteins into the body of your child. Even more shocking is the fact
that no one is making any structured effort to find out.
5. There is growing suspicion that immunization against relatively harmless
childhood diseases may be responsible for the dramatic increase in
autoimmune diseases since mass inoculations were introduced.
These are fearful diseases such as cancer, leukemia, rheumatoid arthritis,
multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, lupus erythematosus, and the
Guillain-Barre syndrome. An autoimmune disease can be explained simply as
one in which the body's defense mechanisms cannot distinguish between
foreign invaders and ordinary body tissues, with the consequence that the
body begins to destroy itself. Have we traded mumps and measles for cancer
I have emphasized these concerns because it is probable that your
pediatrician will not advise you about them. At the 1982 Forum of the
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a resolution was proposed that would
have helped insure that parents would be informed about the risks and
benefits of immunizations.
The resolution urged that the "ALA? make available in clear, concise language
information which a reasonable parent would want to know about the benefits
and risks of routine immunizations, the risks of vaccine preventable diseases
and the management of common adverse reactions to immunizations."
Apparently the doctors assembled did not believe that "reasonable parents"
were entitled to this kind of in-formation because they rejected the resolution!
The bitter controversy over immunizations that is now raging within the
medical profession has not escaped the attention of the media. Increasing
numbers of parents are rejecting immunizations for their children and facing
the legal consequences of doing so.
Parents whose children have been permanently damaged by vaccines are no
longer accepting this as fate but are filing malpractice suits against the
manufacturers and the doctors who administered the vaccine. Some
manufacturers have actually stopped making vaccines, and the lists of
contraindications to their use are being expanded by the remaining
manufacturers, year by year.
Meanwhile, because routine immunizations that bring patients back for
repeated office calls, are the bread and butter of their specialty, pediatricians
continue to defend them to the death.
The question parents should be asking is: Whose death? As a parent, only
you can decide whether to reject immunizations or risk accepting them for
Let me urge you, though-before your child is immunized to arm yourself with
the facts about the potential risks and benefits and demand that your
pediatrician defend the immunizations that he recommends.
Mumps is a relatively innocuous viral disease, usually experienced in
childhood, which causes swelling of one or both salivary glands (parotids),
located just below and in front of the ears. Typical symptoms are a
temperature of 100-l04 degrees, appetite loss, headache, and back pain. The
gland swelling usually begins to diminish after two or three days and is gone
by the sixth or seventh day. However, one gland may become affected first,
and the second as much as 10-l2 days later. The infection of either side
confers life-time immunity.
Mumps does not require medical treatment. If your child contracts the disease,
encourage him to stay in bed for two or three days, feed him a soft diet and a
lot of fluids, and use ice packs to reduce the swelling.
Most children are immunized against mumps along with measles and rubella
in the MMR shot that is administered at about fifteen months of age.
Pediatricians defend this immunization with the argument that, although
mumps is not a serious disease in children, if they do not gain immunity as
children they may contract mumps as adults. In that event there is a possibility
that adult males may contract orchitis, a condition in which the disease affects
the testicles. In rare instances this can produce sterility.
If total sterility as a consequence of orchitis were a significant threat, and if the
mumps immunizations assured adult males that they would not contract it, I
would be among those doctors who urge immunization.
I'm not, because their argument makes no sense. Orchitis rarely causes
sterility, and when it does, because only one testicle is usually affected, the
sperm production capacity of the unaffected testicle could repopulate the
world! And that's not all. No one knows whether the mumps vaccination
confers an immunity that lasts into the adult years.
Consequently, there is an open question whether, when your child is
immunized against mumps at fifteen months arid escapes this disease in
childhood, he may suffer more serious consequences when he contracts it as
You won't find pediatricians advertising them, but the side effects of the
mumps vaccine can be severe. In some children it causes allergic reactions
such as rash, itching, and bruising. It may also expose them to the effects of
central nervous system involvement, including febrile seizures, unilateral
nerve deafness, and encephalitis. These risks are minimal, true, but why
should your child endure them at all to avoid an innocuous disease in
childhood at the risk of contracting a more serious one as an adult?
Measles, also called rubella or "English measles" is a contagious viral disease
that can be contracted by touching an object used by an infected person. At
the onset the victim feels tired, has a slight fever and pain in the head and
back. His eyes redden and he may be sensitive to light. The fever rises until
about the third or fourth day, when it reaches 103-104 degrees.
Sometimes small white spots can be seen inside the mouth, and a rash of
small pink spots appears below the hairline and behind the ears. This rash
spreads downward to cover the body in about 36 hours. The pink spots may
run together but fade away in about three or four days. Measles is contagious
for seven or eight days, beginning three or four days before the rash appears.
Consequently, if one of your children contracts the disease, the others
probably will have been exposed to it before you know the first child is sick.
No treatment is required for measles other than bed rest, fluids to combat
possible dehydration from fever, and calamine lotion or cornstarch baths to
relieve the itching. If the child suffers from photophobia, the blinds in his
bedroom should be lowered to darken the room.
However, contrary to the popular myth, there is no danger of permanent
blindness from this disease.
A vaccine to prevent measles is another element of the MMR inoculation given
in early childhood. Doctors maintain that the inoculation is necessary to
prevent measles encephalitis, which they say occurs about once in 1,000
After decades of experience with measles, I question this statistic, and so do
many other pediatricians. The incidence of 1/1,000 may be accurate for
children who live in conditions of poverty and malnutrition, but in the
middle-and upper-income brackets, if one excludes simple sleepiness from the
measles itself, the incidence of true encephalitis is probably more like 1/10,000
After frightening you with the unlikely possibility of measles encephalitis, your
doctor can rarely be counted on to tell you of the dangers associated with the
vaccine he uses to prevent it. The measles vaccine is associated with
encephalopathy and with a series of other complications such as SSPE
(subacute sclerosing panencephalitis), which causes hardening of the brain
and is invariably fatal.
Other neurologic and sometimes fatal conditions associated with the measles
vaccine include ataxia (inability to coordinate muscle movements), mental
retardation, aseptic meningitis, seizure disorders, and hemiparesis (paralysis
affecting one side of the body).
Secondary complications associated with the vaccine may be even more
frightening. They include encephalitis, juvenile-onset diabetes, Reye's
syndrome, and multiple sclerosis.
I would consider the risks associated with measles vaccination unacceptable
even if there were convincing evidence that the vaccine works. There isn't.
While there has been a decline in the incidence of the disease, it began long
before the vaccine was introduced.
In 1958 there were about 800,000 cases of measles in the United States, but by
1962-the year before a vaccine appeared-the number of cases had dropped by
300,000. During the next four years, while children were being vaccinated with
an ineffective and now abandoned "killed virus" vaccine, the number of cases
dropped another 300,000.
In 1900 there were 13.3 measles deaths per 100,000 population. By 1955,
before the first measles shot, the death rate had declined 97.7 percent to only
0.03 deaths per 100,000.
Those numbers alone are dramatic evidence that measles was disappearing
before the vaccine was introduced. If you fail to find them sufficiently
convincing, consider this: in a 1978 survey of thirty states, more than half of
the children who contracted measles had been adequately vaccinated.
Moreover, according to the World Health Organization, the chances are about
fifteen times greater that measles will be contracted by those vaccinated for
them than by those who are not.
"Why" you may ask, "in the face of these facts, do doctors continue to give the
shots?" The answer may lie in an episode that occurred in California fourteen
years after the measles vaccine was introduced. Los Angeles suffered a
severe measles epidemic during that year, and parents were urged to
vaccinate all children six months of age and older-despite a Public Health
Service warning that vaccinating children below the age of one year was
useless and potentially harmful.
Although Los Angeles doctors responded by routinely shooting measles
vaccine into every kid they could get their hands on, several local physicians
familiar with the suspected problems of immunologic failure and "slow virus"
dangers chose not to vaccinate their own infant children.
Unlike their patients, who weren't told, they realized that "slow viruses" found
in all live vaccines, and particularly in the measles vaccine, can hide in human
tissue for years. They may emerge later in the form of encephalitis, multiple
sclerosis, and as potential seeds for the development and growth of cancer.
One Los Angeles physician who refused to vaccinate his own
seven-month-old baby said: "I'm worried about what happens when the
vaccine virus may not only offer little protection against measles but may also
stay around in the body, working in a way we don't know much about."
His concern about the possibility of these consequences for his own child,
however, did not cause him to stop vaccinating his infant patients. He
rationalized this contradictory behavior with the comment that: "As a parent, I
have the luxury of making a choice for my child. As a physician... legally and
professionally I have to accept the recommendations of the profession, which
is what we also had to do with the whole Swine flu business."
Perhaps it is time that lay parents and their children are granted the same
luxury that doctors and their children enjoy.
Commonly known as "German measles" rubella is a non-threatening disease
in children that does not require medical treatment.
The initial symptoms are fever and a slight cold, accompanied by a sore throat.
You know it is something more when a rash appears on the face and scalp
and spreads to the arms and body. The spots do not run together as they do
with measles, and they usually fade away after two or three days. The victim
should be encouraged to rest, and be given adequate fluids, but no other
treatment is needed.
The threat posed by rubella is the possibility that it may cause damage to the
fetus if a woman contracts the disease during the first trimester of her
pregnancy. This fear is used to justify the immunization of all children, boys
and girls, as part of the MMR inoculation. The merits of this vaccine are
questionable for essentially the same reasons that apply to mumps
There is no need to protect children from this harmless disease, so the
adverse reactions to the vaccine are unacceptable in terms of benefit to the
child. They can include arthritis, arthralgia (painful joints), and polyneuritis,
which produces pain, numbness, or tingling in the peripheral nerves.
While these symptoms are usually temporary, they may last for several months
and may not occur until as long as two months after the vaccination. Because
of that time lapse, parents may not identify the cause when these symptoms
reappear in their vaccinated child.
The greater danger of rubella vaccination is the possibility that it may deny
expectant mothers the protection of natural immunity from the disease. By
preventing rubella in childhood, immunization may actually increase the threat
that women will contract rubella during their childbearing years.
My concern on this score is shared by many doctors. In Connecticut a group
of doctors, led by two eminent epidemiologists, have actually succeeded in
getting rubella stricken from the list of legally required immunizations.
Study after study has demonstrated that many women immunized against
rubella as children lack evidence of immunity in blood tests given during their
adolescent years. Other tests have shown a high vaccine failure rate in
children given rubella, measles, and mumps shots, either separately or in
Finally, the crucial question yet to be answered is whether vaccine-induced
immunity is as effective and long lasting as immunity from the natural disease
of rubella. A large proportion of children show no evidence of immunity in
blood tests given only four or five years after rubella vaccination.
The significance of this is both obvious and frightening. Rubella is a
non-threatening disease in childhood, and it confers natural immunity to those
who contract it so they will not get it again as adults. Prior to the time that
doctors began giving rubella vaccinations an estimated 85 percent of adults
were naturally immune to the disease.
Today, because of immunization, the vast majority of women never acquire
natural immunity. If their vaccine-induced immunity wears off, they may
contract rubella while they are pregnant, with resulting damage to their unborn
Being a skeptical soul, I have always believed that the most reliable way to
determine what people really believe is to observe what they do, not what they
say. If the greatest threat of rubella is not to children, but to the fetus yet
unborn, pregnant women should be protected against rubella by making
certain that their obstetricians won't give them the disease. Yet, in a California
survey reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, more than
90 percent of the obstetrician-gynecologists refused to be vaccinated.
If doctors themselves are afraid of the vaccine, why on earth should the law
require that you and other parents allow them to administer it to your kids?
Whooping cough (pertussis) is an extremely contagious bacteria disease that
is usually transmitted through the air by an infected person.
The incubation period is seven to fourteen days. The initial symptoms are
indistinguishable from those of a common cold: a runny nose, sneezing,
listlessness and loss of appetite, some tearing in the eyes, and sometimes a
As the disease progresses, the victim develops a severe cough at night. Later
it appears during the day as well. Within a week to ten days after the first
symptoms appear the cough will become paroxysmal. The child may cough a
dozen times with each breath, and his face may darken to a bluish or purple
hue. Each coughing bout ends with a whopping intake of breath, which
accounts for the popular name for the disease.
Vomiting is often an additional symptom of the disease.
Whooping cough can strike within any age group, but more than half of all
victims are below two years of age. It can be serious and even life threatening,
particularly in infants. Infected persons can transmit the disease to others for
about a month after the appearance of the initial symptoms, so it is important
that they be isolated, especially from other children.
If your child contracts whooping cough, there is no specific treatment that
your doctor can provide, nor is there any you can apply at home, other than to
encourage your child to rest and to provide comfort and consolation.
Cough suppressants are sometimes used, but they rarely help very much and
I don't recommend them. However, if an infant contracts the disease, you
should consult a doctor because hospital care may be required. The primary
threats to babies are exhaustion from coughing and pneumonia. Very young
infants have even been known to suffer cracked ribs from the severe coughing
Immunization against pertussis is given along with vaccines for diphtheria and
tetanus in the DPT inoculation. Although the vaccine has been used for
decades, it is one of the most controversial of immunizations. Doubts persist
about its effectiveness, and many doctors share my concern that the
potentially damaging side effects of the vaccine may outweigh the alleged
Dr. Gordon T. Stewart, head of the department of community medicine at the
University of Glasgow, Scotland, is one of the most vigorous critics of the
pertussis vaccine. He says he supported the inoculation before 1974 but then
began to observe outbreaks of pertussis in children who had been vaccinated.
"Now, in Glasgow" he says, "30 per-cent of our whooping cough cases are
occurring in vaccinated patients. This leads me to believe that the vaccine is
not all that protective."
As is the case with other infectious diseases, mortality had begun to decline
before the vaccine became available. The vaccine was not introduced until
about 1936, but mortality from the disease had already been declining steadily
since 1900 or earlier.
According to Stewart, "the decline in pertussis mortality was 80 percent before
the vaccine was ever used." He shares my view that the key factor in
controlling whooping cough is probably not the vaccine but improvement in
the living conditions of potential victims.
The common side effects of the pertussis vaccine, acknowledged by JAMA,
are fever, crying bouts, a shock-like state, and local skin effects such as
swelling, redness, and pain. Less frequent but more serious side effects
include convulsions and permanent brain damage resulting in mental
The vaccine has also been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In
1978-79, during an expansion of the Tennessee childhood immunization
program, eight cases of SIDS were reported immediately following routine DPT
Estimates of the number of those vaccinated with the pertussis vaccine who
are protected from the disease range from 50 percent to 80 percent. According
to JAMA reported cases of whooping cough in the United States total an
average of 1,000--3,000 per year and deaths five to twenty per year.
Although it was one of the most feared of childhood diseases in Grandma's
day, diphtheria has now almost disappeared. Only 5 cases were reported in
the United States in 1980. Most doctors insist that the decline is due to
immunization with the DPT vaccine, but there is ample evidence that the
incidence of diphtheria was already diminishing before a vaccine became
Diphtheria is a highly contagious bacterial disease that is spread by the
coughing and sneezing of infected persons or by handling items that they
have touched. The incubation period for the disease is two to five days, and
the first symptoms are a sore throat, headache, nausea, coughing, and a fever
of l00-l04 degrees.
As the disease progresses, dirty-white patches can be observed on the tonsils
and in the throat. They cause swelling in the throat and larynx that makes
swallowing difficult and, in severe cases, may obstruct breathing to the point
that the victim chokes to death.
Today your child has about as much chance of contracting diphtheria as she
does of being bitten by a cobra. Yet millions of children are immunized against
it with repeated injections at two, four, six, and eighteen months and then
given a booster shot when they enter school. This despite evidence over
more than a dozen years from rare outbreaks of the disease that children who
have been immunized fare no better than those who have not.
During a 1969 outbreak of diphtheria in Chicago the city board of health
reported that four of the sixteen victims had been fully immunized against the
disease and five others had received one or more doses of the vaccine. Two
of the latter showed evidence of full immunity. A report on another outbreak in
which three people died revealed that one of the fatal cases and fourteen of
twenty-three carriers had been fully immunized.
Episodes such as these shatter the argument that immunization can be
credited with eliminating diphtheria or any of the other once common
childhood diseases. If immunization deserved the credit, how do its defenders
explain this? Only about half the states have legal requirements for
immunization against infectious diseases, and the percentage of children
immunized varies from state to state.
As a consequence, tens of thousands-perhaps millions-of children in areas
where medical services are limited and pediatricians almost nonexistent were
never immunized against infectious diseases and therefore should be
vulnerable to them. Yet the incidence of infectious diseases does not correlate
in any respect with whether a state has legally mandated mass immunization
In view of the rarity of the disease, the effective antibiotic treatment now
available, the questionable effectiveness of the vaccine, the multimillion dollar
annual cost of administering it, and the ever-present potential for harmful,
long-term effects from this or any other vaccine, I consider continued mass
immunization against diphtheria indefensible.
I grant that no significant harmful effects from the vaccine have been identified,
but that doesn't mean they aren't there. In the half century that the vaccine has
been used no research has ever been undertaken to determine what the
long-term effects of the vaccine may be!
This is my favorite childhood disease, first because it is relatively innocuous
and second because it is one of the few for which no pharmaceutical
manufacturer has yet marketed a vaccine. That second reason may be
short-lived, though, because as this is written there are reports that a chicken
pox vaccine soon may appear.
Chicken pox is a communicable viral infection that is very common in children.
The first signs of the disease are usually a slight fever, headache, backache,
and loss of appetite.
After a day or two, small red spots appear, and within a few hours they enlarge
and become blisters. Ultimately a scab forms that peels off, usually within a
week or two. This process is accompanied by severe itching, and the child
should be encouraged not to scratch the sores. Calamine lotion may be
applied, or cornstarch baths given, to relieve the itching.
It is not necessary to seek medical treatment for chicken pox. The patient
should be encouraged to rest and to drink a lot of fluids to prevent
dehydration from the fever.
The incubation period for chicken pox is from two to three weeks, and the
disease is contagious for about two weeks, beginning two days after the rash
appears. The child should be isolated during this period to avoid spreading
the disease to others.
Parents should have the right to assume, and most do assume, that the tests
their doctor gives their child will produce an accurate result.
The tuberculin skin test is but one example of a medical test procedure in
which that is definitely not the case. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics,
which rarely has anything negative to say about procedures that its members
routinely employ, has issued a policy statement that is critical of this test.
According to that statement:
Several recent studies have cast doubt on the sensitivity of some screening
tests for tuberculosis. Indeed a panel assembled by the Bureau of Biologics
has recommended to manufacturers that each lot be tested in fifty known
positive patients to assure that preparations that are marketed are potent
enough to identify everyone with active tuberculosis.
However, since many of these studies have not been conducted in a
randomized, double-blind fashion and/or have included many simultaneously
administered skin tests (thus the possibility of suppression of reactions),
interpretation of the tests is difficult.
That statement concludes: "Screening tests for tuberculosis are not perfect,
and physicians must be aware of the possibility that some false negative as
well as positive reactions may be obtained."
In short, your child may have tuberculosis even though there is a negative
reading on his tuberculin test. Or he may not have it but displays a positive
skin test that says he does. With many doctors, this can lead to some
devastating consequences. Almost certainly, if this happens to your child, he
will be exposed to needless hazardous radiation from one or more x-rays of
his chest. The doctor may then place him on dangerous drugs such as
isoniazid for months or years "to prevent the development of tuberculosis."
Even the AMA has recognized that doctors have indiscriminately over
prescribed isoniazid. That's shameful, because of the drug's long list of side
effects on the nervous system, gastrointestinal system, blood, bone marrow,
skin, and endocrine glands. Also not to be overlooked is the danger that your
child may become a pariah in your neighborhood because of the lingering fear
of this infectious disease.
I am convinced that the potential consequences of a positive tuberculin skin
test are more dangerous than the threat of the disease. I believe parents
should reject the test unless they have specific knowledge that their child has
been in contact with someone who has the disease.
SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME (SIDS)
The dreadful possibility that they may awaken some morning to find their baby
dead in his crib is a fear that lurks in the mind of many parents. Medical
science has yet to pinpoint the cause of SIDS, but the most popular
explanation among researchers appears to be that the central nervous system
is affected so that the involuntary act of breathing is suppressed.
That is a logical explanation, but it leaves unanswered the question: What
caused the malfunction in the central nervous system? My suspicion, which is
shared by others in my profession, is that the nearly 10,000 SIDS deaths that
occur in the United States each year are related to one or more of the vaccines
that are routinely given children. The pertussis vaccine is the most likely
villain, but it could also be one or more of the others.
Dr. William Torch, of the University of Nevada School of Medicine at Reno, has
issued a report suggesting that the DPT shot may be responsible for SIDS
cases. He found that two-thirds of 103 children who died of SIDS had been
immunized with DPT vaccine in the three weeks before their deaths, many
dying within a day after getting the shot.
He asserts that this was not mere coincidence, concluding that a "causal
relationship is suggested" in at least some cases of DPT vaccine and crib
death. Also on record are the Tennessee deaths, referred to earlier. In that
case the manufacturers of the vaccine, following intervention by the U.S.
surgeon general, recalled all unused doses of this batch of vaccine.
Expectant mothers who are concerned about SIDS should bear in mind the
importance of breastfeeding to avoid this and other serious ailments. There is
evidence that breastfed babies are less susceptible to allergies, respiratory
disease, gastroenteritis, hypocalcaemia, obesity, multiple sclerosis, and SIDS.
One study of the scientific literature about SIDS concluded that:
"Breast-feeding can be seen as a common block to the myriad pathways to
No one who lived through the 1940s and saw photos of children in iron lungs,
saw a President of the United States confined to his wheel-chair by this dread
disease, and was for forbidden to use public beaches for fear of catching polio
can forget the fear that prevailed at the time.
Polio is virtually nonexistent today, but much of that fear persists, and there is
a popular belief that immunization can be credited with eliminating the disease.
That's not surprising, considering the high-powered campaign that promoted
the vaccine, but the fact is that no credible scientific evidence exists that the
vaccine caused polio to disappear.
As noted earlier, it also disappeared in other parts of the world where the
vaccine was not so extensively used. What is important to parents of this
generation is the evidence that points to mass inoculation against polio as the
cause of most remaining cases of the disease.
In September 1977 Jonas Salk, the developer of the killed polio virus vaccine,
testified along with other scientists to that effect. He said that most of the
handful of polio cases which had occurred in the US since the 1970s probably
were the by-product of the live polio vaccine that is in standard use in the
Meanwhile, there is an ongoing debate among the immunologists regarding
the relative risks of killed virus vs. live virus vaccine. Supporters of the killed
virus vaccine maintain that it is the presence of live virus organisms in the
other product that is responsible for the polio cases that occasionally appear.
Supporters of the live virus type argue that the killed virus vaccine offers
inadequate protections and actually increases the susceptibility of those
This offers me a rare opportunity to be comfortably neutral. I believe that both
factions are right and that use of either of the vaccines will increase, not
diminish, the possibility that your child will contract the disease.
In short, it appears that the most effective way to protect your child from polio
is to make sure that he doesn't get the vaccine.
By: Dr. Robert S. Mendelsohn, M.D. 1984
Article: The Medical Time Bomb: Immunization