BEHIND THE VACCINE COVER-UP
By Russell Blaylock, M.D.
Web Site: http://www.russellblaylockmd.com
I was asked to write a paper on some of the newer mechanisms of vaccine damage to the nervous system, but in the interim I came across an incredible document that should blow the lid off the cover-up being engineered by the pharmaceutical companies in conjunction with powerful governmental agencies.
It all started when a friend of mind sent me a copy of a letter from Congressman David Weldon, M.D. to the director of the CDC, Dr Julie L. Gerberding, in which he alludes to a study by a Doctor Thomas Verstraeten, then representing the CDC, on the connection between infant exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental injury. In this shocking letter Congressman Weldon referrers to Dr. Verstraeten’s study which looked at the data from the Vaccine Safety Datalink and found a significant correlation between thimerosal exposure via vaccines and several neurodevelopmental disorders including tics, speech and language delays, and possibly to ADD.
Congressman Weldon questions the CDC director as to why, following this meeting, Dr. Verstraeten published his results, almost four years later, in the journal Pediatrics to show just the opposite, that is, that there was no correlation to any neurodevelopmental problems related to thimerosal exposure in infants. In this letter, Congressman Weldon refers to a report of the minutes of this meeting held in Georgia, which exposes some incredible statements by the “experts” making up this study group. The group’s purpose was to evaluate and discuss Dr. Verstraeten’s results and data and make recommendation that would eventually lead to possible alterations in the existing vaccine policy.
I contacted Congressman Weldon’s legislative assistant and he kindly sent me a complete copy of this report. Now, as usual in these cases, the government did not give up this report willingly, it required a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to pry it loose. Having read the report twice and having carefully analyzed it; I can see why they did not want any outsiders to see it. It is a bombshell, as you shall see. In this analysis, I will not only describe and discuss this report, but also will frequently quote their words directly and supply the exact page number so others can see for themselves.
The official title of the meeting was the “Scientific Review of Vaccine Safety Datalink Information.” This conference, held on June 7-8, 2000 at Simpsonwood Retreat Center, Norcross, Georgia, assembled 51 scientists and physicians of which five represented vaccine manufacturers. These included Smith Kline Beecham, Merck, Wyeth, North American Vaccine and Aventis Pasteur.
During this conference, these scientists focused on the study of the Datalink material, whose main author was Dr. Thomas Verstraesten who identified himself as working at the National Immunization Program of the CDC. It was discovered by Congressman Weldon that Dr. Verstraeten left the CDC shortly after this conference to work for GlaxoSmithKline in Belgium which manufacturers vaccines, a recurring pattern that has been given the name a “revolving door” It is also interesting to note that GlaxoSmithKline was involved in several lawsuits over complications secondary to their vaccines.
To start off the meeting, Dr. Roger Bernier, Associate Director for Science in the National Immunization Program (CDC), related some pertinent history. He stated that Congressional action in 1997 required that the FDA review mercury being used in drugs and biologics (vaccines). In meeting this order, the FDA called for information from the manufacturers of vaccines and drugs. He notes that a group of European regulators and manufacturers met on April 1999 and noted the situation but made no recommendations or changes. In other words it was all for show.
At this point Dr. Bernier made an incredible statement (page 12). He said, “In the United States there was a growing recognition that cumulative exposure may exceed some of the guidelines.” By guidelines, he is referring to guidelines for mercury exposure safety levels set by several regulatory agencies. The three guidelines were set by the ATSDR, the FDA and the EPA. The most consistently violated safety guideline was that set by the EPA. He further explains that he is referring to children being exposed to thimerosal in vaccines.
Based on this realization that they were violating safety guidelines he says, this then “resulted in a joint statement of the Public Health Service (PHS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in July of last year (1999), which stated that as a long term goal, it was desirable to remove mercury from vaccines because it was a potentially preventable source of exposure.”(Page 12)
As an aside, one has to wonder, where was the Public Health Service and American Academy of Pediatrics during all the years of mercury use in vaccines and why didn’t they know that, number one, they were exceeding regulatory safety levels and second, why weren’t they aware of the extensive literature showing deleterious effects on the developing nervous system of babies? As we shall see even these “experts” seem to be cloudy on the mercury literature.
Dr. Bernier notes that in August 1999 a public workshop was held at Bethesda in the Lister Auditorium by the National Vaccine Advisory Group and the Interagency Working Group on Vaccines to consider thimerosal risk in vaccine use. And based on what was discussed in that conference, thimerosal was removed from the hepatitis B vaccine (HepB). It is interesting to note that the media took very little interest in what was learned at that meeting and it may have been a secret meeting as well. As we shall see, there is a reason why they struggle to keep the contents of all these meetings secret from the public.
He then notes on page 13 that on October 1999 the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) “looked this situation over again and did not express a preference for any of the vaccines that were thimerosal free.” In this discussion he further notes that the ACIP concluded that the thimerosal-containing vaccines could be used but the “long-term goal” is to try to remove thimerosal as soon as possible. Now, we need to stop and think about what has transpired here. We have an important group here; the ACIP that essential plays a role in vaccine policy that affects tens of millions of children every year. And, we have evidence from the Thimerosal meeting in 1999 that the potential for serious injury to the infant’s brain is so serious that a recommendation for removal becomes policy. In addition, they are all fully aware that tiny babies are receiving mercury doses that exceed even EPA safety limits, yet all they can say is that we must “try to remove thimerosal as soon as possible.” Do they not worry about the tens of millions of babies that will continue receiving thimerosal-containing vaccines until they can get around to stopping the use of thimerosal?
It should also be noted that it is a misnomer to say “removal of thimerosal” since they are not removing anything. They just plan to stop adding it to future vaccines once they use up existing stocks, which entails millions of doses. And, incredibly, the government allows them to do it. Even more incredibly, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Practice similarly endorse this insane policy. In fact, they specifically state that children should continue to receive the thimerosal-containing vaccines until new thimerosal-free vaccine can be manufactured at the will of the manufacturers. Are they afraid that there will be a sudden diphtheria epidemic in America or tetanus epidemic?
The most obvious solution was to use only single-dose vials, which requires no preservative. So, why don’t they use them? Oh, they exclaim, it would add to the cost of the vaccine. Of course, we are only talking about a few dollars per vaccine at most, certainly worth the health of your child’s brain and future. They could use some of the hundreds of millions of dollars they waste on vaccine promotion every year to cover these cost for the poor. Yet, that would cut into some fat-cat’s budget and we can’t have that.
It was disclosed that thimerosal was in all influenza vaccines, DPT (and most DtaP) vaccines and all HepB vaccines.
As they begin to concentrate on the problem at hand we first begin to learn that the greatest problem with the meeting is that, they know virtually nothing about what they are doing. On page 15, for example, they admit that there is very little pharmacokinetic data on ethylmercury, the form of mercury in thimerosal. In fact they say there is no data on excretion, the data on toxicity is sparse, yet it is recognized to cause hypersensitivity, it can cause neurological problems and even death, and it is known to easily pass the blood-brain barrier and the placental barrier.
Therefore, what they are admitting is that we have a form of mercury that has been used in vaccines since the 1930s and no one has bothered to study the effects on biological systems, especially the brains of infants. Their defense throughout this conference is “we just don’t know the effects of ethylmercury.” As a solution, they resort to studies on methylmercury, because there are thousands of studies on this form of mercury. The major source of this form is seafood consumption.
It takes them awhile to get the two forms of mercury straight, since for several pages of the report they say methylmercury is in thimerosal rather than ethylmercury. They can be forgiven for this. On page 16, Dr. Johnson, an immunologist and pediatrician at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, notes that he would like to see the incorporation of wide margins of safety, that is 3 to 10-fold margins of safety to “account for data uncertainties.” What he means is that there are so many things we do not know about this toxin that we had better use very wide margins of safety. For most substances the FDA uses a 100-fold margin of safety.
The reason for this, which they do not mention, is that in a society of hundreds of millions of people there are groups of people who are much more sensitive to the toxin than others. For instance, the elderly, the chronically ill, the nutritionally deficient, small babies, premature babies, those on certain medications and inborn defects in detoxification, just to name a few. In fact, in this study they excluded premature babies and low birth weight babies from the main study, some of which had the highest mercury levels, because they would be hard to study and because they had the most developmental problems, possibly related to the mercury.
On page 16 as well, Dr. Johnson makes an incredible statement, one that defines the problem we have in this country with the promoters of these vaccines. He states, “As an aside, we found a cultural difference between vaccinologist and environmental health people in that many of us in the vaccine arena have never thought about uncertainty factors before. We tend to be relatively concrete in our thinking.” Then he says, “One of the big cultural events in that meeting —was when Dr. Clarkson repetitively pointed out to us that we just didn’t get it about uncertainty, and he was actually quite right.”
This is an incredible admission. First, what is a vaccinologist? Do you go to school to learn to be one? How many years of residency training are required to be a vaccinologist? Are there board exams? It’s a stupid term used to describe people who are obsessed with vaccines, not that they actually study the effects of the vaccines, as we shall see throughout this meeting. Most important is the admission by Dr. Johnson that he and his fellow “vaccinologist” are so blinded by their obsession with forcing vaccines on society that they never even considered that there might be factors involved that could greatly affect human health, the so-called “uncertainties.” Further, that he and his fellow “vaccinologists” like to think in concrete terms-that is, they are very narrow in their thinking and wear blinders that prevent them from seeing the numerous problems occurring with large numbers of vaccinations in infants and children. Their goal in life is to vaccinate as many people as possible with an ever-growing number of vaccines. On page 17 his “concrete thinking” once again takes over. He refers to the Bethesda meeting on Thimerosal safety issues and says, “there was no evidence of a problem, only a theoretical concern that young infants’ developing brains were being exposed to an organomercurial.” Of course, as I shall point out later, it is a lot more than a “theoretical concern”. He then continues by saying, “We agree that while there was no evidence of a problem the increasing number of vaccine injections given to infants was increasing the theoretical mercury exposure risk.”
It’s hard to conceive of a true scientist not seeing the incredible irony of these statements. The medical literature is abound with studies on the deleterious effects of mercury on numerous enzymes, mitochondrial energy production, synaptic function, dendritic retraction, neurotubule dissolution and excitotoxicity, yet, he sees only a “theoretical risk” associated with an ever increasing addition of thimerosal-containing vaccines. It is also important to note that these geniuses never even saw a problem in the first place, it was pressure from outside scientists, parents of affected children and groups representing them that pointed out the problem. They were, in essence, reacting to pressure from outside the “vaccinologist club” and not discovering internally that a problem “might” exist.
In fact, if these outside groups had not become involved these “vaccinologists” would have continued to add more and more mercury-containing vaccines to the list of required vaccines. Only when the problem became so obvious, that is of epidemic proportion (close to that now) and the legal profession became involved would they have even noticed there was a problem. This is a recurring theme in the government’s regulatory agencies, as witnessed with fluoride, aspartame, MSG, dioxin and pesticides issues.
It is also interesting that Dr. Johnson did admit that the greatest risk was among low birth weight infants and premature infants. Now why would that be if there existed such a large margin of safety with mercury used in vaccines? Could just a few pounds of body weight make such a dramatic difference? In fact, it does but it also means that normal birth weight children, especially those near the low range of normal birth weight, are also in greater danger. It also would mean that children receiving doses of mercury higher than the 75 ug in this study would be at high risk as well because their dose, based on body weight, would be comparable to that of the low birth weight child receiving the lower dose. This is never even considered by these “vaccinologist experts” who decide policy for your children.
Now this next statement should shock everyone, but especially the poor who in any way think that these “vaccinologists” experts have their best interest in mind. Dr. Johnson says on page 17, “We agree that it would be desirable to remove mercury from U.S. licensed vaccines, but we did not agree that this was a universal recommendation that we would make because of the issue concerning preservatives for delivering vaccines to other countries, particularly developing countries, in the absence of hard data that implied that there was in fact a problem.”
So, here you have it. The data is convincing enough that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Practice, as well as the regulatory agencies and the CDC along with these organizations all recommend its removal as quickly as possible because of concerns of adverse effects of mercury on brain development, but not for the children in the developing countries. I thought the whole idea of child health programs in the United States directed toward the developing world was to give poor children a better chance in an increasingly competitive world. This policy being advocated would increase the neurodevelopmental problems seen in poor children (also in this country) of developing countries, impairing their ability to learn and develop competitive minds. Remember, there was a representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. John Clements, serving on this panel of “experts”. He never challenged this statement made by Dr. Johnson.
It also needs to be appreciated that children in developing countries are at a much greater risk of complications from vaccinations and from mercury toxicity than children in developed countries. This is because of poor nutrition, concomitant parasitic and bacterial infections and a high incidence of low birth weight in these children. We are now witnessing a disaster in African countries caused by the use of older live virus polio vaccines that has now produced an epidemic of vaccine related polio, that is, polio caused by the vaccine itself. In, fact, in some African countries, polio was not seen until the vaccine was introduced.
The WHO and the “vaccinologist experts” from this country now justify a continued polio vaccination program with this dangerous vaccine on the basis that now that they have created the epidemic of polio, they cannot stop the program. In a recent article it was pointed out that this is the most deranged reasoning, since more vaccines will mean more vaccine-related cases of polio. But then, “vaccinologist” have difficulty with these “uncertainties”. (Jacob JT. A developing country perspective on vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis. Bulletin WHO 2004; 82: 53-58. See commentary by D.M. Salisbury at the end of the article.)
Then he again emphasizes the philosophy that the health of children is secondary to “the program” when he says, “We saw some compelling data that delaying the birth dose of HepB vaccine would lead to significant disease burden as a consequence of missed opportunity to immunize.” This implies that our children would be endangered from the risk of hepatitis B should the vaccine program stop vaccinating newborns with the HepB vaccine.
In fact, this statement is not based on any risk to U.S. children at all and he makes that plain when he states, “that the potential impact on countries that have 10% to 15% newborn hepatitis B exposure risk was very distressing to consider.” (page 18) In other words the risk is not to normal U.S. children but to children in developing countries. In fact, hepatitis B is not a risk until the teenage years and after in this country. The only at-risk group among children is with children born to drug using parents; mothers infected with hepatitis B or HIV infected parents. The reason for vaccinating the newborns is to capture them before they can escape the “vaccinologist’s” vaccine program. This is a tactic often used to scare mothers into having their children vaccinated. For example, they say that if children are not vaccinated against measles millions of children could die during a measles epidemic. They know this is nonsense. What they are using is examples taken from developing countries with poor nutrition and poor immune function in which such epidemic death can occur. In the United States we would not see this because of better nutrition, better health facilities and better sanitation. In fact, most deaths seen when measles outbreaks occur in the United States occur either in children in which vaccination was contraindicated, the vaccine did not work or in children with chronic, immune-suppressing diseases.
In fact, in most studies these children catching the measles or other childhood diseases have been either fully immunized or partially immunized. The big secret among “vaccinologists” is that anywhere from 20 to 50% of children are not resistant to the diseases for which they have been immunized.
Also on page 18, Dr. Johnson tells the committee that it was Dr. Walt Orenstein who “asked the most provocative question which introduced a great deal of discussion. That was, should we try to seek neurodevelopmental outcomes from children exposed to varying doses of mercury by utilizing the Vaccine Safety Datalink data from one or more sites.” (page 18)
I take from this no one had ever even thought of looking at the data that had just been sitting there all these years un-reviewed. Children could have been dropping like flies or suffering from terrible neurodevelopmental defects caused by the vaccine program and no one in the government would have known. In fact, that is exactly what the data suggested was happening, at least as regards neurodevelopmental delays.
We should also appreciate that the government sponsored two conferences on the possible role of metals, aluminum and mercury, being use in vaccines without any change in vaccine policy occurring after the meetings. These meetings were held a year before this meeting and before any examination of the data which was being held tightly by the CDC, (which was denied to other independent, highly qualified researchers). I will talk more about what was discussed in the aluminum conference later. It is very important and is only briefly referred to in this conference for a very good reason. If the public knew what was discussed at the aluminum meeting no one would ever get a vaccination using the presently manufactured types of vaccines again.
Despite what was discussed in the aluminum meeting and the scientific literature on the neurotoxicity of aluminum, Dr. Johnson makes the following remark; “Aluminum salts have a very wide margin of safety. Aluminum and mercury are often simultaneously administered to infants, both at the same site and at different sites.” Also on page 20, he states, “However, we also learned that there is absolutely no data, including animal data, about the potential for synergy, additively or antagonism, all of which can occur in binary metal mixtures…”
It is important her to appreciate a frequently used deception by those who are trying to defend an indefensible practice. They use the very same language just quoted, that is, that there is no data to show, etc, etc. They intend it to convey the idea that the issue has been looked at and studied thoroughly and no toxicity was found. In truth, it means that no one has looked at this possibility and there have been no studies that would give us an answer one way or the other.
In fact, we know that aluminum is a significant neurotoxin and that it shares many common mechanisms with mercury as a neurotoxin. For example, they are both toxic to neuronal neurotubules, interfere with antioxidant enzymes, poison DNA repair enzymes, interfere with mitochondrial energy production, block the glutamate reuptake proteins (GLT-1 and GLAST), bind to DNA, and interfere with neuronal membrane function. Toxins that share toxic mechanisms are almost always additive and frequently synergistic in their toxicity. So, Dr. Johnson’s statement is sheer nonsense.
A significant number of studies have shown that both of these metals play a significant role in all of the neurodegenerative disorders. It is also important to remember, both of these metals accumulate in the brain and spinal cord. This makes them accumulative toxins and therefore much more dangerous than rapidly excreted toxins.
To jump ahead, on page 23 Dr, Tom Sinks, Associate Director for Science at the National Center for Environmental Health at the CDC and the Acting Division Director for Division of Birth Defects, Developmental Disabilities and Health, ask, “I wonder is there a particular health outcome that is related to aluminum salts that may have anything that we are looking at today?” Dr. Martin Meyers, Acting Director of the National Vaccine Program Office, answers, “No, I don’t believe there are any particular health concerns that was raised.” This is after an aluminum conference held the previous year that did indeed find significant health concerns and an extensive scientific literature showing aluminum to be of great concern.
On page 24 Dr. William Weil, a pediatrician representing the Committee on Environmental Health of the American Academy of Pediatrics, brings some sense to the discussion by reminding them that, “there are just a host of neurodevelopmental data that would suggest that we’ve got a serious problem. The earlier we go, the more serious the problem.” Here he means that the further back you go during the child’s brain development, the more likely the damage to the infant. I must give him credit; at least he briefly recognized that a significant amount of brain development does take place later. He also reminds his collogues that aluminum produced severe dementia and death in dialysis cases. He concludes by saying, “To think there isn’t some possible problem here is unreal.” (page 25)
Not to let it end there, Dr. Meyers adds, “We held the aluminum meeting in conjunction with the metal ions in biology and medicine meeting, we were quick to point out that in the absence of data we didn’t know about additive or inhibitory activities.” Once again we see the “no data” ploy. There is abundant data on the deleterious effects of aluminum on the brain, a significant portion of which came out in that very meeting.
Dr. Johnson also quotes Dr. Thomas Clarkson, who identifies himself as associated with the mercury program at the University of Rochester, as saying that delaying the HepB vaccine for 6 months or so would not affect the mercury burden. (page 20). He makes the correct conclusion when he says, “I would have thought that the difference was in the timing. That is you are protecting the first six months of the developing central nervous system.”
Hallelujah, for a brief moment I thought that they had stumbled on one of the most basic concepts in neurotoxicology. Then Dr. Meyers dashed my hopes by saying that single, separated doses would not affect blood levels at all. At this juncture, we need a little enlightenment. It is important to appreciate that mercury is a fat soluble metal. That is, it is stored in the body’s fat. The brain contains 60% fat and therefore is a common site for mercury storage. Now, they establish in this discussion that about half of methylmercury is excreted over several months when ingested. A recent study found that ethylmercury has a half-life of 7 days.
Even so, a significant proportion of the mercury will enter the brain (it has been shown to easily pass through the blood-brain barrier) where it is stored in the phospholipids (fats). With each new dose, and remember these children are receiving as many as 22 doses of these vaccines, another increment is added to the brain storage depot. This is why we call mercury an accumulative poison. They never once, not once, mention this vital fact throughout the entire conference. Not once. Moreover, they do so for a good reason, it gives the unwary, those not trained in neuroscience, assurance that all that matters here is blood levels.
In fact, on page 163, Dr. Robert Brent, A developmental biologist and pediatrician at the Thomas Jefferson University and Dupont Hospital for Children, says that we don’t have data showing accumulation and “that with the multiple exposures you get an increasing level, and we don’t know whether that is true or not.” He redeems himself somewhat by pointing out that some of the damage is irreversible and with each dose more irreversible damage occurs and in that way it is accumulative.
On page 21 Dr. Thomas Clarkson makes the incredible statement implying that he knows of no studies that shows exposure to mercury after birth or at six months would have deleterious effects. Dr. Isabelle Rapin, a neurologist for children at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, follows up by saying that “I am not an expert on mercury in infancy” but she knows it can affect the nerves (peripheral nervous system). So, here is one of our experts admitting that she knows little about the effects of mercury on the infant. My question is-Why is she here? Dr. Rapin is a neurologist for children at Albert Einstein College of Medicine who stated that she has a keen interest in developmental disorders, in particular those involving language and autism, yet she knows little about the effects of mercury on the infant brain.
This conference is concerned with the effects of mercury in the form of thimerosal on infant brain development, yet throughout this conference our experts, especially the “vaccinologists” seem to know little about mercury except limited literature that shows no toxic effects except at very high levels. None of the well known experts were invited, such as Dr. Aschner from Bowman Grey School of Medicine or Dr. Haley Boyd, who has done extensive work on the toxic effects of low concentrations on the CNS. They were not invited because they would be harmful to the true objective of this meeting, and that was to exonerate mercury in vaccines.
Several times throughout this conference, Dr. Brent reminds everyone that the most sensitive period for the developing brain is during the early stages of pregnancy. In fact, he pinpoints the 8th to 18th week as the period of neuromaturation. In fact, the most rapid period of brain maturation, synaptic development and brain pathway development is during the last three months of pregnancy continuing until two years after birth. This is often referred to as the “brain growth spurt.” This is also not mentioned once in this conference, again because if mothers knew that their child’s brain was busy developing for up to two years after birth they would be les