Good Intentions, Bad Science, Worse Policy
Hepatitis B is a viral disease associated with risky lifestyle choices such as intravenous drug use, sex that involved blood exchange, or for those who have needed a blood transfusion from somewhere where blood was not properly checked. This virus causes a dangerous and miserable infection that can have long-lasting debilitating effects on the liver, so taking steps to prevent Hepatitis B is a good idea for those at risk.
For infants, Hepatitis B is an especially serious disease. If a pregnant mother carries this virus, it is certainly important to protect her baby from the disease.
However, most normal infants are at low risk for this disease. Infant infections are typically found only in babies born to a Hepatitis B-positive mother, and tests can determine who carries or is infected with the virus. By screening the mothers, only those babies who are at risk would need to be vaccinated at birth.
Perhaps any attempt at prevention would be a good bet if the vaccine were harmless, but it’s not. Today there are more reports of adverse reactions from the vaccine than there are reported cases of the disease in children. Data created by the government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in 1996 confirm 872 serious adverse events in children under 14 years of age who had been injected with Hepatitis B vaccine. These kids were either taken to an emergency room, had life-threatening health problems, were hospitalized, or were disabled following the vaccination. 214 had the Hepatitis B vaccine alone, and the rest received it in combination with other vaccines. 48 kids died after being injected with Hepatitis B vaccine in 1996, and 13 of them had received the Hepatitis B vaccine alone just before they died. In contrast, in 1996 only 279 cases of Hepatitis B disease were reported in children under age 14.
The World Health Organization only recommends infant vaccination for Hepatitis B in areas where carrier prevalence is 2 percent or greater. This does not apply to the U.S., except for certain ethnic groups in Alaska. But current U.S. health policy is based on an exaggerated perception of the prevalence of Hepatitis B, and here vaccination is required for every newborn.
An argument has been made that infants are easier and cheaper to vaccinate than adolescents. Does this mean we should vaccinate all infants in order to prepare them for the day when they might become promiscuous and/or intravenous-drug-using teenagers? Beyond this insulting presumption, lawmakers also presume that the vaccination will even last long enough to protect those kids during the supposedly risky teenage years.
This amazing degree of non-science and arrogance is shaping the national health policy for our families. Policymakers based their 1991 infant Hepatitis B vaccination recommendations on the assumption that the vaccinations would last from infancy through adolescence. However, scientific information has not only failed to support that premise, it has often contradicted it.
The story behind this policy is that the maker of Hepatitis B vaccine, Merck, makes almost $1 billion USD a year from this single product. One wonders how many lawmakers this amount of money could buy.
The cost to our society of all the injuries and medical services generated by this vaccine is incalculable. It’s time to require scientific proof that these vaccines are safe, effective, and necessary before we naively permit state-enforced injection of an unproven medicine into our newborns.
Further resources for vaccination information:
The letter below was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). It references several studies and reports that question the wisdom of the U.S. Hepatitis B policy.
Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 286 No. 5, August 1, 2001
To the Editor:
In their article on the impact of recommendations regarding the birth dose of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine, Dr. Daum and colleagues1 concluded that “special efforts may be required to make at-birth administration of HBV vaccination universal.” However, since HBV vaccination of newborns has never been shown to be better than vaccination after the maturation of the immune system, this worry about missing the birth dose seems misplaced.
There is no scientific evidence to justify HBV vaccination before the age when those risk factors associated with the HBV transmission (sex, needles, etc.) become relevant. Recent risk-benefit analyses show HBV vaccination among children carries one of the largest unjustified risks and substantial financial costs, second only to the new controversial conjugate pneumococcal vaccine.Specifically, HBV immunization has been associated with 53 deaths and 828 serious injuries, but for 38 million children younger than age 10 years, the total yearly incidence of HBV infection is 191. For children younger than age 14 years, the estimated total mortality secondary to HBV disease is only 11. With such statistics, it is difficult to rationalize HBV vaccination for newborns.
Erdem I. Cantekin, PhD Department of Otolaryngology University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA
Michael Belkin Bainbridge Island, WA
1. Oram RJ, Daum RS, Seal JB, Lauderdale DS. Impact of recommendations to suspend the birth dose of Hepatitis B virus vaccine. JAMA 2001;285:1874-1879.
2. Horwin M. Ensuring safe, effective and necessary vaccines for children. Calif West Law Rev. 2001;37:101-148.
3. Orient J. Statement by the AAPS in “Vaccines: Public Safety and Personal Choices” before the Government Reform Committee of the House of Representatives.” Presented to the 106th Congress, August 3, 1999; Washington, DC.
Dr. Joseph Mercola had the following commentary on the economic realities behind the U.S. Hepatitis B vaccination policy:
WHO’S BEHIND THE HEPATITIS B VACCINE POLICIES?
They are called The Hepatitis B coalition, and they are part of the Immunization Action Coalition which was started by a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC). It is financed by the World Health Organization, World Bank, Rockefeller Foundation, and ongoing funding comes from Smith-Kline, Merck, Aventis, and Johnson & Johnson. Those are the names on the bottles of vaccine “your” government has required that you inject into your newborns.
Three years ago the federal government told the drug companies to take mercury out of this vaccine. They still have not done so.
Hundreds of children who were given this vaccine on the first day of their life have developed autism. Others, like Michael Belkin’s daughter, weren’t as lucky, and died immediately after the vaccine.
In single-dose Hepatitis B vials, drug companies have replaced the mercury with aluminum, which has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
You would hope that these “caregivers” would understand the damage these neurotoxins will do to the immature central nervous system of a one-day-old infant. They don’t, they have not been required to study this, and none of the manufacturers has volunteered to do so. Multi-dose Hepatitis B vials still contain mercury.
Please understand, Hepatitis B is about as difficult to catch as AIDS. One needs blood or sexual contact, and often repeatedly. The main risk factors are shown to be IV drug abuse and those who engage in sex with multiple partners.
IS HEPATITIS B VACCINE SAFE?
Our government has established the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) to report vaccine reactions. Many believe that only 10 percent of the adverse reactions are reported, however, as reporting is not mandated by law.
Even with only 10 percent of the problems being reported, there were nearly 25,000 VAERS Hepatitis B reports from July 1990 to October 31, 1998, showing 439 deaths and 9673 serious reactions involving emergency room visits, hospitalization, disablement or death.
The presence of findings such as brain edema in healthy infants who die very soon after receiving Hepatitis B vaccine is profoundly disturbing, especially in view of the frequency of neurological symptoms in the VAERS. Does this make any sense?
IS HEPATITIS B VACCINE EFFECTIVE IN NEWBORNS?
Vaccine-derived immunity is thought to be short-lived. Between 30-50 percent of vaccinated individuals may lose their antibodies within 7 years.
Up to 60 percent of persons who initially respond will lose detectable antibodies within 12 years. So that means that these vaccines will provide little to no protection to the real risks of acquiring Hepatitis B: promiscuous sexual behavior and IV drug abuse.
HOW MANY CHILDREN ARE HURT OR HELPED BY HEPATITIS B VACCINE?
Hepatitis B is a rare, mainly blood-transmitted disease. In 1996 only 54 cases of the disease were reported to the CDC in the 0-1 age group. There were 3.9 million births that year, so the observed incidence of Hepatitis B in the 0-1 age group was just 0.001 percent. In the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), there were 1,080 total reports of adverse reactions from Hepatitis B vaccine in 1996 in the 0-1 age group, with 47 deaths reported.
Let us put this in simpler terms. For every child with Hepatitis B there were 20 that were reported to have severe complications from the vaccine. Let us also remember that only 10 percent of the reactions are reported to VAERS, so this means:
Traditional medicine is harming 200 children to protect one from Hepatitis B. Does this make any sense?
HOW SERIOUS IS A HEPATITIS B INFECTION?
The numbers speak for themselves.
Approximately 50 percent of patients who contract Hepatitis B develop no symptoms after exposure.
However, the exposure ensures that they will have lifetime immunity. An additional 30 percent develop only flu-like symptoms, and again, this group will acquire lifetime immunity.
The remaining 20 percent exposed to Hepatitis B will develop the symptoms of the disease. 95 percent of this 20 percent will fully recover, with lifetime immunity.
Therefore, less than 5 percent of people who contract Hepatitis B will become chronic carriers of the infection.
The numbers get even smaller: of that 5 percent, nearly 75 percent (or 3.75 percent of the total exposed) will live with an asymptomatic infection and only 25 percent (or only 1.25 percent of the total number of people exposed) will develop chronic liver disease or liver cancer 10-30 years after the acute infection (Hyams, K.C., 1995, “Risks of chronicity following acute Hepatitis B virus infection: A review,” Clin. Infect. Dis. 20, 992-1000.)
Think of that in terms of probability: the possibility of contracting the disease is exceedingly difficult for children, and only 1.25 percent of those who are exposed will actually develop the most serious complication.
This type of a “protecting the needle in the haystack” medicine is absurd at best, dangerous at worst. It represents terminal stupidity.
HOW MANY SAFETY STUDIES HAVE BEEN DONE ON HEPATITIS B VACCINE FOR INFANTS?
None. Less than any.
A manufacturer’s representative was asked in a 1997 Illinois Board of Health hearing to show evidence that the Hepatitis B vaccine is safe for a 1-day old infant. The representative stated:
“We have none. Our studies were done on 5- and 10-year olds.” — The Congressional Quarterly, August 25, 2000, pg. 647.
One would think that these would be mandatory, but they are not. All that is required is to show efficacy (that is, that the vaccine stimulates an antibody response after it is given), not safety. In every other industry, the fraud represented here would lead to criminal charges.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Tell every pregnant woman you know about this issue. They need to know the facts BEFORE they are in the hospital and have time to make an informed objective decision. If they are still convinced their child needs Hepatitis B vaccine, beg them to make sure their child does not receive the vaccine as a newborn. Delay the vaccine until they really are at a possible risk, like late adolescence.
I have shown dozens of times in this newsletter, drugs that are thought to be safe are pulled from the market after they have killed dozens or hundreds of people. I hope that Hepatitis B vaccinations in newborns will be stopped. Medical science will have to recognize the truth sooner or later.
Folks, drug deaths pale in comparison to the devastation in lost lives resulting from implementation of this Hepatitis B recommendation. You can play a large role here. None of us had a chance to make a difference in the 9/11 tragedies, but we all can help protect the precious brain cells of a newborn from this dangerous Hepatitis B vaccination. Don’t delay. Contact every pregnant woman you know immediately. Save a life!