(What every parent and grandparent needs to know about vaccinations and why health officials always quote safety records from Canada)
Fewer children are having the MMR jab than at any time in the past decade. It's a trend that is worrying health officials in the UK, who are blaming parents' reticence on scare stories about the vaccine, such as the possible link with autism. But What Doctors Don't Tell You (WDDTY), the health journal for consumers, recognizes a deeper - and more disturbing - reason. Parents have lost faith with their health officials, and no longer believe that they are being told the truth about the safety record of vaccines.
Research by WDDTY has discovered parents have every justification for their suspicions: in fact, health officials are playing fast and loose with the truth in order to get immunisation numbers up.
WDDTY research has discovered that:
a.. officials are deliberately suppressing data about the safety of vaccines
b.. they are under-playing the side effects, which range far beyond autism
c.. they are over-stressing the prevalence and seriousness of some diseases in order to scare parents into immunisation
d.. they know new vaccines they're introducing to the UK have killed children in the USA - something they've never told parents.
It's a scandal that health officials are prepared to play with the health and well-being of other people's children - just to keep up vaccination levels.
Governments lie when they tell us vaccines are safe
The UK government has introduced a bold vaccination programme for the nation's toddlers, and doctors are being incentivized with bigger cash bonuses to get more than 90 per cent of the children on their books vaccinated. Under the new programme, a child will have been given 21 separate vaccines by the time he or she reaches the age of 24 months.
This schedule includes the MMR jab, plus three new vaccines - a '5-in-1' jab, and new pneumococcal and meningitis C vaccines.
The 5-in-1, introduced 18 months ago, is designed to protect against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, Hib and polio. It replaces the old 3-in-1 DPT jab, and the Department of Health insists it's far safer. Unfortunately, the safety records supplied by the vaccine's manufacturer don't support the claim. In one study, two-thirds of the 451 infants vaccinated experienced a side effect, which included some severe reactions. These included febrile convulsions, hyporesponsive episodes, where the child loses consciousness, and high-pitched and inconsolable crying, an early warning of encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain.
Other reactions included dyspnoea, or breathing difficulties, cyanosis, which is the discolouring of the skin due to lack of oxygen, hives, oedema, hypotension and anaphylaxis.
Why governments quote Canadian safety records
At the age of just three months, a baby should receive its first vaccine against meningitis C. Again, health officials reassure parents that the vaccine is safe - but, again, WDDTY researchers have discovered this is a blatant lie.
In one study, 92 per cent of vaccinated children suffered a systemic reaction of moderate to severe intensity within the first seven days of being inoculated. And yet the manufacturer has gone on record with WDDTY to state that "there are no safety concerns" with the vaccine.
Amazingly, the new vaccine has never been through safety checks. Instead the UK officials relied on data on a similar vaccine being used in Canada - but it's not the same, as the manufacturer has confirmed with WDDTY.
It's also more than mere coincidence that UK officials have looked to Canada for its safety check. In Canada there is no compulsory requirement to report a reaction to a vaccine, unlike in the USA where every possible or likely reaction must be reported to the drug monitoring authority, the FDA.
It's left to the manufacturer to voluntarily report an adverse reaction to its vaccine - and according to research by WDDTY, this is a loop-hole that's well used. Manufacturers can also use a 'time window' - a period of time when it might reasonably be expected to see a reaction. Any reaction that falls outside that window again can be immediately ignored.
So, when health officials say a vaccine is safe "because of research in Canada", you know the deck is stacked, and you should treat it with extreme caution.
So can we trust our health officials to tell us the truth about vaccinations? From what we've discovered, we don't think so. It's therefore up to every parent and grandparent to take on the responsibility, and become his or her own medical detective.
A 'safe' vaccine that has killed 117 children
This month we've seen the introduction of the latest vaccine to this intensive programme - the pneumococcal conjugate, or PCV. It's designed to protect against pneumococcal meningitis, septicaemia and pneumonia, and it's been hailed by Britain's chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson as a "life-saver. It's already done much to safeguard children in the USA, and will do the same here".
Unfortunately for Sir Liam, the USA keeps very good safety records for vaccines, and it makes for disturbing reading. In the first two years since the vaccine has been used in the USA, there have been 4,154 reports of serious side effects, including 117 deaths. Overall, serious side effects were reported in 15 per cent of all children given the vaccine, an alarmingly high figure.
And just how many lives will the new vaccine save? According to figures unearthed by WDDTY, 11 children died of pneumococcal meningitis, 2 died of pneumonia, and 10 died of septicaemia in 2004.
These are, of course, 23 tragic deaths - but so were the 117 who died after receiving the vaccine. Furthermore, there's evidence to suggest the vaccine is not always effective. The USA records show that 34 children who had been vaccinated still went on to develop invasive pneumococcal infection, suggesting the vaccine offered no protection whatsoever.
Don't you need all the facts - the pros and the cons - before you allow your child or grandchild to be vaccinated? These facts are available in our special vaccine information pack that is sent out - FREE OF CHARGE - to all new subscribers to What Doctors Don't Tell You. To claim your pack, click here: http://www.wddty.co.uk/shop/detail.asp?id=4622&did=&Curr=GBP
Why we do the work we do - and why it's so important
Finally, there might be one question left hanging in the air: why should we support a journal like What Doctors Don't Tell You in the first place? Well, here's a little behind-the-scenes glimpse of the issues we faced when researching the vaccine report for you.
We'd already gleaned a great deal of data from 'insiders' who tell us things they really shouldn't - but we needed more, and the only people who had it were the vaccines manufacturers. We wanted to know the real safety records of the vaccines, something the government hadn't released to the public.
Immediately we were met with a blanket 'no'. Helpfully we were told by one drug company spokesperson: "You could try to get the data under the Freedom of Information Act, but you won't succeed. The data is commercially sensitive."
So we did the one thing we could do - we threatened that we would print what we knew anyway, and they wouldn't be able to put their side of the story (we suspected what they knew was more damning than the data we'd collated, but they weren't to know that). There followed an awkward period of five days' silence. With an hour to go before the deadline passed, the drug company came back with the data, although it was in a style that would be unfathomable to any but those most familiar with the scientific jargon employed.
This was a major breakthrough - and, of course, we were the only ones outside of the drug company to have this data. You couldn't get it on the web, in drug safety books, in reports to government committees.
And that's what we do all the time, and that's why we matter, even in this age of the Web and free information. We work very hard to get you the information that really matters, the key to a long-standing illness, perhaps, or the real facts that not even your doctor may know.
It's work we've been doing for the public for 16 years - and our paymasters are only you, the public, whose contributions keep us going. That's why we need your support - because if we're not around to tell you, who is?
Medicine has been taken over by the drug industry, the world's most powerful - and secretive - industry group. We can fight them together, but we need your support to do so. But we don't take that support for granted. That's why we are always putting together special 'thank you' packs for new subscribers. To claim the vaccine pack, click here:
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