I’ve had several requests from patients, family, and friends for more information on how vaccines may be contributing to the dramatic increase in neurologic conditions in our country’s youth (ADD/ADHD, Autism, Asperger’s, etc.). I’d like to preface this article with the following disclaimer: I am a Chiropractor, not an M.D. My scope of practice forbids me from either prescribing pharmaceutical drugs or taking someone off of them. However, the patient is always free to make an informed decision on what treatment they want for themselves and their children. Rarely are both sides of a medical issue given equal time and preference. It is for this reason that I will be presenting the alternative story to the “vaccines are safe and effective, period” routine. It is no secret that I am anti-vaccine. I have never had one and my children won’t either. This is not some blind faith I have, but rather it is the logical conclusion my wife and I have come to after consuming a wealth of research and information on the subject. I will do my best to include all of the proper citations for what’s included in this article. Let’s get started.
Vaccination is a controversial subject, and rightfully so. Many of the practices regarding vaccine administration are untested and poorly controlled. The current vaccine schedule calls for 36 different vaccine injections (when counting each vaccine in a combination shot individually) within the first two years of life, including 8 at the two month check-up, when the baby is just beginning to produce its own antibodies. Vaccines have never been tested when used synergistically in such large amounts, especially 8 at one time.
The Hepatitis B vaccine is administered within the first 24 hours of birth (without any logical explanation as to why this is so). When a baby is born, its immune system is essentially unable to produce its own antibodies. It is protected by the antibodies that crossed the placenta from Mom and is further protected by the antibodies in Mom’s breast milk, which changes to meet baby’s needs. This complete reliance on Mom continues until about 2-3 months of age. Literally, this means that we are injecting a vaccine containing aluminum (implicated in Alzheimer’s), thimerosol (only under the Engerix-B name), and formaldehyde into a baby whose immune system cannot adequately perform the intended response to the injection.[i]Those ingredients are taken directly from the vaccine ingredient list on the CDC’s own website. Now for the kicker: Hep. B is more difficult to contract than HIV. It is only contracted by sexual contact and dirty needles. “In addition, vaccine-derived immunity is thought to be short lived. Up to 60 percent of persons who initially respond will lose detectable antibodies within 12 years.”[ii]This means that, even if somehow the baby responds to the vaccine, it will more than likely lose protection against Hep B before it could ever be exposed to it. The following is an excerpt taken from the website of Dr. Joseph Mercola, M.D.:
“The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) was developed by the government to report vaccine reactions. Many experts believe that only 10 percent of the adverse reactions are reported though, as reporting is not mandated by law. (Some surveys put this number closer to ONE percent.)
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 (prior to adding the Hep B vaccine to the immunization schedule), showing 439 deaths and 9,673 serious reactions involving emergency room visits, hospitalization, disablement, or death.
Now, 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.
Meanwhile, in that same year VAERS received 1,080 total reports of adverse reactions from hepatitis B vaccine in the 0-1 age group, including 47 deaths!
Put in simpler terms: for every child that contracted hepatitis B there were 20 immunized babies that were reported to have severe complications. Let us also remember that only 10 percent of the reactions are ever reported, which means traditional medicine is harming about 200 children to protect one from hepatitis B!
Knowing all of this, is it worth exposing an infant less than a day old to the pain of an injection and to known neurotoxins when they cannot even produce antibodies to benefit from the vaccine?
How Does This Relate to Autism?
In order to understand how a vaccine can cause autism or autism-like symptoms, you must first understand what an “adjuvant” is, and why and how it is used. Adjuvants are defined as “pharmaceutical agents that modify the effects of other agents while having few or no direct effects themselves,” similar, in theory, to adding a catalyst to a chemical reaction. In the case of vaccines, adjuvants cause a chronic, unrelenting spike in the immune response to the material injected. Simply put, this allows a smaller amount of actual vaccine material to be used in order to achieve the desired effect. In a perfect world, these adjuvants would truly have no other effects, but this is not the case. The most common adjuvant in use today is aluminum (used in vaccines as aluminum hydroxide, aluminum potassium sulfate, aluminum phosphate, etc.). Aluminum has long been known to be a toxin, especially when injected.
Despite its toxic properties, aluminum is widespread in our environment. It is regarded as the third most abundant element on earth. We even use it in thin sheets to cook with. However, there is a distinct difference in how our bodies process and eliminate aluminum when it is injected versus when it is ingested.
In healthy subjects, only 0.3% [average absorption] of orally administered aluminum is absorbed via the GI tract and the kidneys effectively eliminate aluminum from the human body. It is only when the GI barrier is bypassed, such as IV infusion [injection] or there is advanced renal dysfunction, that aluminum has the potential to accumulate. As an example, with intravenously infused aluminum 40% is retained in adults and up to 75% is retained in neonates.[iv]The other 99.7% of ingested aluminum is generally eliminated in feces.
If a significant load exceeds the body's excretory capacity, the excess is deposited in various tissues, including bone, brain, liver, heart, spleen, and muscle. [. . .] Aluminum causes an oxidative stress within brain tissue. Since the elimination half-life of aluminum from the human brain is 7 years, this can result in cumulative damage via the element's interference with neurofilament axonal transport and neurofilament assembly.[v]
What the above basically means is that children are far less able to eliminate aluminum when injected than are adults, and that aluminum that is retained interferes with the brain’s normal function as well as with its development by hindering it’s abilities to form new connections (learning). According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, vaccines are no more harmful than breast milk, infant formula (topic for another newsletter), antacids, or aspirin in terms of aluminum exposure because they contain similar amounts of aluminum.[vi]However, again they fail to recognize the difference between ingesting those common substances and injecting a vaccine (which bypasses almost all of our defense mechanisms).
The CDC’s “Toxicology Guide” for aluminum is readily available in PDF format at:
In that pamphlet, they freely state that “the most sensitive target of aluminum toxicity is the nervous system. Impaired performance on neurobehavioral tests of motor function, sensory function, and cognitive function have been observed in animals. Neurobehavioral alterations have been observed following exposure of adult or weanling animals and in animals exposed during gestation and/or lactation. [. . .] Respiratory effects, such as impaired lung function and fibrosis have been observed in aluminum workers.” What’s even more startling, the “intermediate Minimum Risk Level (MRL),” which includes a time period of 15-364 days, is 1mg of aluminum per Kg per day. Basically stated, the CDC recognizes the level at which aluminum can cause symptoms resembling toxicity to be 1mg/kg body weight per day for an adult. This means that a 160 pound adult would be able to tolerate about 72mg of exposure via ingestion per day, which has been shown to only result in 0.01% to 5% absorption. No acute toxicity guidelines have yet been established. Thus, over a 15 day period, a cumulative 1.08g oral exposure is considered borderline toxic in adults.
Now that you know the numbers, why are they important?
As the usage of vaccines has increased steadily, so has the prevalence of autism. Twenty-five years ago, the autism rate was about 1 in 10,000. Today, some studies have it at 1 in 100 with males more affected than females, possibly down to 1 in 10. Autism is defined as “a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old.”[vii]Recent studies are showing glaring similarities between the behaviors in mice and autistic children when exposed to similar amounts of aluminum as a child would be under a routine vaccine schedule.
A recent study in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry examined the possible neurotoxicity of aluminum. “In this new study (also termed experiment 2), mice received 6 aluminum hydroxide injections over a 2 week period. These mice along with control mice were subjected to a more rigorous behavioral testing regime than the original experiment.
The investigators found "the multiple aluminum hydroxide injections of experiment 2 showed profound effects on motor and other behaviors... Multiple aluminum injections produced significant behavioral outcomes including changes in locomotion behavior, and induced memory deficits on water maze tasks." The researchers literally showed aluminum hydroxide, when injected, causes neuron death. This is alarming!
The mechanism for neuron cell death via aluminum hydroxide exposure is complicated, but simplistic when broken down into how and why. One recent study concluded that “one mechanism by which aluminum may induce neurotoxicity is by selective alteration of the transport systems of the blood-brain barrier.”[viii]Essentially, the authors showed that certain cellular waste products were blocked from leaving the brain to enter the bloodstream for excretion at the kidneys. This led to neuron cell death.
The mechanism that I believe is the most likely is as follows (taken directly from www.mercola.com):
“Every vaccine has two components, the agent that you’re seeking to elicit an immune response to, such as a measles virus, and an immune adjuvant, which enhances the immune response and is typically made from a variety of highly toxic compounds including aluminum compounds, MSG, and mercury. The purpose of immune adjuvants is to boost your immune system, or to make it react as intensely as possible for as long as possible.
Unlike a natural immune boost that would come from, say, eating healthy and exercising, artificial immune adjuvants can be dangerous in and of themselves. Says Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D., a board-certified neurosurgeon and author:
“Studies have shown that these adjuvants, from a single vaccine, can cause immune overactivation for as long as two years. This means that the brain microglia remain active as well, continuously pouring out destructive chemicals.
In fact, one study found that a single injection of an immune activating substance could cause brain immune overactivation for over a year. This is very destructive.”
When you or your child is injected with a vaccine, the aluminum compounds it contains accumulate not only at the site of injection but travel to your brain and accumulate there. In your brain, aluminum enters neurons and glial cells (astrocytes and microglia).
Studies have shown that aluminum can activate microglia and do so for long periods, which means that the aluminum in your vaccination is priming your microglia to overreact.
The next vaccine acts to trigger the enhanced inflammatory reaction and release of the excitotoxins, glutamate and quinolinic acid, Dr. Blaylock points out.”[ix]
In simpler terms, the adjuvants in the vaccine prompt the immune system in the brain to kick into overdrive. The specialized cells in the brain, microglia, are stimulated to release cytokines (chemicals that destroy cells). Normally, these cytokines are reserved to be used either when a bacterial or other cellular organism has infected the brain, or when a viral infection is so rampant that it is best to destroy the infected host cells so that no more viral material can be made. When stimulated by an immune adjuvant (i.e. aluminum), these cells continue to secrete cytokines, which, since there is truly no infectious agent present, only act on the neighboring neurons.
In short, aluminum works as an adjuvant to stimulate the immune system. The immune system is over-stimulated (again, for periods over a year from a single shot) to the point that the brain’s defense network is activated. The brain’s immune system then secretes chemicals that kill brain cells. Although this sounds counter-intuitive (why would the brain kill itself?) it’s actually a common mechanism. The body often will destroy its own cells in order to stop the spread of the infection even though it is damaging to the body’s tissue. This is similar to destroying a building that is on fire to limit the fires spread knowing that you can rebuild later. However, with the brain, there is very little neuron regeneration. This destructive pathway is occurring throughout the first few years of life, which is when children are learning social interaction, developing motor pathways, and learning new behaviors. This is the worst possible time to put a developing brain at risk.
What Can I Do to Protect My Child?
Many of these vaccines are unnecessary in the developed world. Varicella (chicken pox) is now commonly administered despite the mild severity of the disease. A new hypothesis is that all of these childhood diseases act as a primer for the immune system, and that vaccinating for them is detrimental to the development of the immune system. Measles is not a serious illness, mumps has very few common complications, and diphtheria is practically unheard of. Polio has been deemed eradicated in the U.S. by the vaccine. I respectfully disagree. Polio is only transmitted via a fecal-oral route. This literally means that the best way to prevent infection is by washing our hands after we use the bathroom and before we eat. Polio is still endemic in third world countries that lack sophisticated plumbing and sewage systems despite widespread vaccination programs. If it were truly the vaccine that wiped out polio, then this would not be the case.
The common misconception among parents is that their children must receive these vaccines in order to attend public schools. This is also misleading at best. Several states, including Maine, allow for the parents to opt out of injecting their children. Maine’s law states that as long as "The parent states in writing a sincere religious belief that is contrary to the immunization requirement or an opposition to the immunization for philosophical reasons," then they do not have to vaccinate. We have these forms in the office if you would like one in order to provide a copy to your child’s school nurse.
For your interest, here is the direct link to what additives are in each vaccine:
[iv]Brown RO, Morgan LM, Bhattacharya SK, Johnson PL, Minard G, Dickerson RN. Potential aluminum exposure from parenteral nutrition in patients with acute kidney injury. Ann Pharmacother. Oct 2008;42(10):1410-5.