Vaccination Article #1– updated November 7, 2019

Heather Herington BSc, NMD, DHANP

Except for the Wicked Witch of the West and the people in charge of putting people in cages at the southern border, I suspect most people genuinely care about children being and staying healthy. Unfortunately, the vaccination question has created this almost unmanageable divide between friends, families, doctors and government officials, all who feel they have the informed and compassionate answer.

So as I scrolled through Facebook, I paused at a post that read PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS WHO DON’T VACCINATE THEIR BABIES! Staring at the capitalized anger, my breath a series of sharp inhales, I wondered why the yelling, the intense judgment. I knew this woman; I had had lunch with her several years ago although a friendship had never developed. I remembered she had said something as vehemently on Facebook about GMOs shortly afterwards.

I sat down to mull over the divisiveness in the vaccination issue, what I could say to Testy Woman who was missing a few key concepts. During this time I returned to Canada and learned my thirteen-year old grandson already had an opinion after a discussion at his Montessori school, again based on lies from the CDC and Big Pharma that have so neatly wrapped Senator Pan in their claws. (This is for you, too, Oscar.)

As a naturopathic medical doctor, I have witnessed the onslaught of chronic disease – asthma, allergies, autoimmune disorders – and developmental disorders – autism, Tourette’s and other neurological conditions—for over 30 years. Statistics show that child chronic illnesses in the US have more than doubled since 1994 with 33% of these having an environmental link.1, 2, 3

Natural medicine specializes in both the innate immune system, using a variety of modalities—food, botanicals, homeopathy, right thinking and so on—to prevent illness, and when ill, to support the acquired (also called adapted) immune system to ensure full recovery. I am continually on the lookout for pieces in the puzzle of healing specifically with roots in environmental toxicity apropos Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, so I was shocked to learn that scientists at the University of British Columbia—just a few miles from my former clinic—have had their studies on vaccines and aluminum retracted by research platforms. Why on earth is research being suppressed when we need to understand why this is happening from every angle?

As a society, especially at a time like this when everything seems off- kilter, we grasp on to certain myths like a scared child to apron strings. We don’t get that vaccinations today are not the same vaccinations as yesteryear. Not only are the number and doses of vaccines required by schools today far greater, they contain additives that have the ability to cross the blood brain barrier and cause permanent injury. These substances, many adjuvants—probably not a word in your vocabulary unless you have a child who has been vaccine injured—used in a vaccine to stimulate the immune system or create fluidity, while other chemicals are used for preservation and longevity. Coupled with a minimal dose of an antigenic piece of virus (antigen), an adjuvant may provoke a higher antibody level against the virus, allowing for a reduced number of injections, therefore considered more efficient. However, aluminum, the most common adjuvant (in 18 of 32 vaccines), is a heavy metal, a neurotoxin that accumulates in the tissues of the brain, spinal cord and bones. Its toxicity was recorded in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) as far back as 1911! 4

The use of additives adjuvants began mid-century with peanut oil but it is the neurotoxins like aluminum and mercury and DNA fragments that do the most damage, as the brain is enormously susceptible to them especially during a period of rapid brain development in a baby or young child. At this time the blood brain barrier is not complete and gives a green light to dangerous substances, allowing them to infiltrate delicate brain tissue.

“NOTHING is known about the toxicology and pharmacological kinetics of aluminum compounds in infants and children,” researcher Lucija Tomljenovic Ph.D. writes. “After almost a century of use its safety is based on assumptions rather than experimental evidence.” 5,6,7 The FDA itself admits safety assessments are often not included in toxicity studies. Dr. Tomljenovic also discusses the flawed study design of vaccine trials wondering how it can be known that a vaccine is safe when aluminum is used as the adjuvant containing placebo or another vaccine as control group rather than a saline control. 5

According to the FDA, the maximum allowable dose of parenteral aluminum is 25 mcg/d yet the content in DTaP (DPT) ranges from 170-625 mcg, HPV has 500 mcg with other vaccines contain from 125 mcg to 1500 mcg. 24. Hepatitis B on the first day of life exposes a newborn to 14 times the acceptable level of Aluminum! 8

The JAMA article from 19114 describes aluminum in all its forms as toxic and cautions it should never be eaten (remember being told to eat only non-alum baking powder?) or injected. One study correlated detrimental exposure prenatal exposure to aluminum.9 Yet aluminum continues to be used in DTaP, Hepatitis A and B, Haem. influenzae, and the pneumococcal vaccine.

Other adjuvants in vaccines include formaldehyde,10 a known carcinogen; polysorbate 80 11 – a detergent that enables substances to cross the blood brain barrier; thimerosal,12 a form of mercury, another neurotoxin; and free amino acids and proteins from cows, chickens and aborted fetuses. Referring to the latter, Thomas Cowan, M.D. cautions, “spillage of {foreign} DNA from inside the cell into the bloodstream…”13 can happen, setting off an antibody-mediated immune reaction; as new antibodies to this foreign DNA are created, the cycle becomes a destructive loop. Dr. Helen Ratajczak 14 noticed this in 1995, almost a quarter of a century ago, and correlated non-typed human DNA in vaccines to autism. Knowing blood transfusions must include genetic “typing” for compatibility, she wonders why this is not being done with vaccines on a routine basis.

Another problem is inadvertent inclusions. Citing an ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp, MIT scientist, Dr. Stephanie Seneff warns, “glyphosate could easily be present in vaccines due to the fact that certain vaccine viruses (including measles in MMR and flu virus) are grown on gelatin derived from the ligaments of pigs fed heavy doses of glyphosate in their GMO feed. Livestock feed is allowed to have up to 400 PPM of glyphosate residues by the EPA, thousands of times higher than has been shown to cause harm in numerous studies.”15

Researchers are uncovering the insidious nature of adjuvants and additives as you read this, implicating a growing range of immune-mediated diseases triggered by these noxious additions. In fact, Israeli researcher, Yehuda Schoenfeld, has named this syndrome, ASIA, short for Autoimmune/inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants. Developing slowly over months to years, the mechanism of action is not completely understood but one thing seems sure – these contaminants hit their target organ (brain, gut etc) and are not easily flushed from the body.16, 17

Thomas Cowan, M.D. writes in his book Vaccines, Autoimmunity and the Changing Nature of Childhood Illness, “Unfortunately the last century is a story of reckless interference with our immune system and, in particular, interference with our cell-mediated immune response.”13 He is referring to the fact vaccines only use the humoral or antibody response (a Th2 reaction) that has no elimination stage. Basically, how can the adjuvants/additives get out of the body efficiently if we aren’t allowing the cell-mediated (Th2 response) that has this capability? The innate immune system will try to excrete them but complete clearing is a difficult if not an impossible task, and is also dependent on your genetic ability to do so. Those with the MTHFR gene have diminished ability to excrete dangerous substances like neurotoxic adjuvants.

Cowan goes on: “We have been taught to fear cell-mediated immunity (i.e., symptoms) or at least to see it as a nuisance. In traditional cultures, the activity of the cell-mediated immunity was often approached with a kind of reverence.”

On the other hand, innate immunity, when the virus enters through natural routes such as mucous membranes it causes symptoms – fever, coughing, rash – makes a pathway for immune cells to kill and then eliminate the virus. Both parts of our acquired immunity – cell-mediated (symptoms generated) (Th1) and the humoral system (antibodies produced) (Th2) – are activated. In vaccination only Th2 is activated.

Activating both TH1 and TH2 means that immunity lasts a lifetime to that particular virus. With vaccination, the antibodies can wane and boosters are needed, adding even more adjuvants that are unable to be easily eliminated, especially in children with a genetic disadvantage. This is the crux of the problem.

It’s not just scientists and progressive doctors sounding the alarm. Suzanne Humphries MD, a board certified hospital nephrologist, came to understand the effect of the flu vaccine on the kidneys in a geriatric population yet her assessments were dismissed. She asks in her book, Dissolving Illusions: “What else is being ignored and misinterpreted today?” I see Humphries and other truth sayers akin to Carson who in her 1962 book, Silent Spring, warned about toxins in the external environment; these doctors and scientists warn of the internal environment affected.

Vaccination, considered by society at large to be the greatest medical procedure of all time, has strayed from its beginning needs hoping to eradicate the horror of smallpox.

Originally from rodents, smallpox was described in Indian texts as early as 1500 BCE, 18-25 found on an Egyptian mummy in 1145 BCE and hit Japan in 735- 737 CE 22 killing one-third of the population. It roamed Africa, the Middle and the Far East for thousands of years and by the 16th century was blowing across Europe like an evil wind. Becoming the leading cause of death in the 18th century, it killed Chief Sitting Bull, Aztec Chief Cuitlåhuac, Inca ruler Huayna Capac and 80% of First Nations through exposure to often intentionally contaminated blankets.18-25 No wonder people were looking for a way to deal with this deadly and disfiguring disease.

But we aren’t in Kansas anymore. Smallpox has been eradicated and it was aided by a revolution in sanitation, public health and personal hygiene. Vaccination’s initial discovery, a global response to smallpox, is way past its sell by date. Yet, it is not to be questioned, not to be disputed in professional circles or with people like Testy Woman. It’s imperative we realize we are holding on to a procedure that has become a myth that has never been scrutinized in the way other drugs must be in terms of clinical trials.

For its time and the depth of the tragedy of smallpox, there was an incredible genius regarding variolation, the precursor to vaccination. I first learned about this procedure – from the Latin word for smallpox, Variola – when I homesteaded in Nova Scotia in the 1970s. Midwife and herbalist, Marie- Henriette LeJeune aka Granny Ross, emigrated from France in the late 1700s, bringing a vial of smallpox serum with her to protect her family and community. This intrepid Acadian was courageous and a visionary. Variolation would have been a very good thing in the 1700s, and had been used for a few thousand years all over the world.

Using ground up scabs and fluid from pustules, this is either blown up a person’s nose (Chinese 1000 BCE) 18 or scratched into the skin with a lancet or bifurcated points (Middle East, Africa, Nova Scotia). Variolation still caused a risk of death but much less, .5 to 2 % compared to 30 to 35% if contracted the disease itself. 18, 19 Another technique, used again in late 1700s, this time in Sudan, is similar to the goal of chicken pox parties today. A mother would barter with the mother of an infected child and after agreeing on a price per pustule, tie a cloth around the child’s arm and return home to tie it around their own child’s arm.

In Turkey, 1718, another brave woman, Lady Montagu, wife of the British ambassador, learned variolation from old women, taking the technique back to England where the Royal Society of Medicine failed to see its value. Edward Jenner came along several decades later, using the same procedure but with pus from a cow disease and again the Royal Society balked. Jenner vaccinated more people, changing the name variolation to vaccination from the Latin word “vacca,” for cow. (Oh branding, catches a person unaware.) Jenner was “mocked by scientists and pilloried in press” with cartoonists drawing cows growing out of his head. Yet the rest is history; a history that embodies “the greatest medical discovery of all time.” 18, 19, 25

But can we really say that now? No, we can’t, or we shouldn’t. Because of that strange word: adjuvants, harmful neurotoxins or other contaminants injected into a muscle that may end up in a vulnerable brain causing permanent injury.

These weren’t included in the brilliant discovery by desperate people around the world to eliminate a deadly disease that had occurred for hundreds if not thousands of years. But they are now, in almost every vaccine.

And this is why I helped in the fight against SB276 – a California bill that affects fragile children. I have been shocked to tears to witness the trauma these families are experiencing. “Death by vaccination” stories sat on my desk now, sixteen of them; devastating to read. The health authorities and government need to know these stories to conduct appropriate studies. People, children mostly, have died and continue to die from vaccinations. Or they have seizures and/or develop autism, no matter who denies this. Or go on to have any number of immune-mediated diseases. This tragedy is not being taken seriously to the extent parents are being both mocked and attacked, a la Testy Woman. It crushes my heart.

I have started to write the hashtag, #theparentsknow. Because they do. They are the ones who bear the brunt of the paucity of research on vaccine safety who, twenty-four hours a day, tend a harmed child or suffer the grief of one who has succumbed.

The brilliance of variolation has been turned on its head. Adding adjuvants without proper studies or recourse for injury has caused extraordinary misery through disease and death. How ironic that this is exactly what was hoping to be eliminated in the first place!

When I was studying Biology for my first degree I was told in no uncertain terms that it is essential to keep an open mind. Yet the culture of heads-in-the- sands medical professionals and government officials predominates, perpetuating the myth of vaccines being harmless. The media broadcasts this message far and wide, brainwashing the public, creating the least scientific and perhaps the lowest point in the history of allopathic medicine.

It is unconscionable that California is not just forcing regular children to be vaccinated with damaging adjuvants and additives but has taken away medical exemptions from fragile children; families traumatized for no scientific basis.

We bathe in the belief that vaccines are created equally, that the extraordinary benefit of vaccines must extend to ALL vaccines and ALL people when that is simply not true. No one wants to harm children, not even Testy Woman. We just refuse to look at the facts. Why the medical establishment and the government are not willing to even consider heavy metals and other incompatible substances are crossing the blood brain barrier and causing irreparable damage is beyond me.

What is needed is right in front of us: good research without pressure from the CDC or Big Pharma. If society only had an ounce of the curiosity and courage of the original “variolators” – the old women, mothers including Lady Montagu and Granny Ross, and Dr. Jenner, we might find a way out of this mess. Until then, children will be injured; babies will die.

Isn’t it time we smartened up?


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  8. US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration. Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, April 1, 2019
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  10. Pontel LB et al. “Endogenous Formaldehyde is a Hematopoietic Stem Cell Genotoxin and Metabolic Carcinogen.” Mol Cell 2015 Oct 1; 60 (1): 177-88
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  12. Budwik LT et al. “Mercury Pollution in modern times and its socio-medical consequences.” Elsevier Vol 654, 2019, Mar 1, pp720-34
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BOOKS (if not already cited):

Diamond, Jared M. Guns, Germs and Steel: a short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years. Random House 1998

Humphreys, Suzanne MD and Bystrianyk, Roman. Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History. 2015

Paul, Gill. A History of Medicine in 50 Objects. Firefly Books 2016

Moskowitz R, MD. Vaccines, A Reappraisal. Skyhorse Publ 2017