Vaccinations and Immunity
By Patrick Quanten MD
The controversy surrounding the possible side effects of vaccinations is not going away. In fact, more and more voices are heard about important issues such as the real effectiveness of the vaccines, the toxic constituents of vaccines and the heavy burden on an immature immune system by multiple vaccinations.
In this article we are not going to repeat the main points we have made elsewhere (See "A Critical Look at Vaccination"), but we want to concentrate on explaining in a little more detail how our immune system works and how it is adversely affected by vaccinations.
However, before we do that, may I just point out that the burden of proof for vaccine reactions should not rest on parents, as it does now in our medical-legal system. The burden of proof for the safety of vaccines; that is, that the vaccines are not causing adverse genetic changes, should rest on the manufacturers, state government health agencies, and the schools who are now mandating the vaccines. Until this matter is settled, does anyone at any level truly have the right to force vaccines in ever growing numbers on a generation of children?
Traditionally our Western medical system sees our immune system as functioning comparable to the fortifications of a Medieval castle. Using this analogy, first there might be outlying outposts with sentinels, then a moat, then the main castle wall, and finally the inner defenses surrounding the castle itself, in which reside a royal family. The latter of course represents the human genetic system, which the human immune system is designed to protect at all costs.
The sentinels would be represented by a subdivision of lymphocytes (a form of white blood cell), which are called “memory cells” because of their having memory of former exposures to foreign invaders, and which will begin an explosion of cloning on re-exposure to the same invader. The main castle wall would be represented by the mucous membranes of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract, and the inner defenses by the antibody-producing plasma cells (another form of white blood cell) located in the bone marrow.
This is the basis for the division of our immune system into two parties: the inner defense system called the humoral immunity, and the outer or cellular immune system.
For countless millennia in human evolution, the cellular immunity of the mucous membranes of the human system have been the primary route of entry of disease-causing micro-organisms into the human body, and therefore through evolution, the mucous membranes have evolved into the major defense system of the body. In health, these membranes are coated with an “antiseptic paint” consisting of untold billions and trillions of molecules of secretory immunoglobulin A antibodies, whose role it is to recognize every single molecule passing into or through these tracts. These membranes sort out the nutrients in the case of the intestinal tract, and intercept all foreign and alien substances (toxins), including incompletely digested foods (toxins). It would take several very large computers to equal the intelligence of this system when it is working as it should. In addition to this antiseptic paint, the primary agent of defense of the mucous membranes against infectious micro-organisms is a cellular immunity, the primary agents of which are phagocytic (gobbling up) macrophages and cytotoxic T lymphocytes.
The inner defenses are represented by plasma cells in the bone marrow with their antibody production, which normally serve as a secondary defense for the body, coming into action as an accessory of the mucosal (cellular) immunity, or as a primary defense when cellular immunity has been breached. This immunity is referred to as humoral immunity. Plasma cells can produce macroglobulins, immunoglobulin G antibodies and IgE antibodies. Macroglobulins appear first with an acute infection, being more primitive, and serve somewhat like a non-specific natural antibiotic. Immunoglobulin G antibodies are highly specific for a given foreign invader and appear somewhat later after the onset of an infection. IgE antibodies are produced in response to allergies.
There is a school of thought that the so-called minor childhood illnesses of former times, including measles, mumps, chicken pox, and rubella, which entered the body through the mucous membranes, served a necessary and positive purpose in challenging and strengthening the immune system of these membranes. Vaccines in contrast are injected directly into the body, consequently bypassing the mucous membranes, leaving the mucosal immunity relatively weak and stunted whilst surprising the humoral immune system by the form and severity of the presentation of the "invader".
In health the human body can stand a great deal of abuse, toxic or otherwise, but when these outer defenses are stripped away leaving our genetics relatively unprotected (as with vaccines), it is in this type of scenario where, theoretically, genetic damage could take place. Situations leading to this genetic vulnerability could include one or more of the following:
- At a conference a number of years ago, Dr. H.H. Fudenberg, world-renowned immunologist with hundreds of publications to his credit, made the following comments: “One vaccine decreases cell-mediated immunity by 50%, two vaccines by 70%…all triple vaccines (MMR, DTP) markedly impair cell-mediated immunity, which predisposes to recurrent viral infections, especially otitis media, as well as yeast and fungal infections.”
- Severe and/or prolonged stress raises both endogenous adrenalin and serum cortisol levels. It has long been known that cortisone medications tend to depress the immune system. Endogenous elevations of cortisone can do the same.
- Toxic chemicals, as in the Persian Gulf War Syndrome (Urnovitz in May 1999) or toxic industrial waste sites, have been associated with increases in chromosomal congenital anomalies in residents living near these sites. (Vrijheid M, Dolk H, Armstrong L et al,Lancet, January 26th 2002)
- Nutritional deficiencies, especially deficiencies in folic acid, which performs a critical function in making and repairing chromosomes. As reviewed in a monograph on folic acid by Sidney M Baker, M.D., pre-cancerous chromosomal damage has been found in cell cultures when the culture medium contains low levels of folic acid. Smokers with low blood levels of folic acid have more pre-cancerous chromosomal changes than smokers or non-smokers with normal folic acid levels.
- As reviewed in standard pediatric textbooks, newborn babies and infants, having little immunity of their own, are largely dependent on antibodies received from their mother for about 6 months following birth, as indicated by their small lymph nodes, few plasma cells in their bone marrow, and very low rates of immunoglobulin synthesis. Normally about 6 years are required before various immune parameters are well established. At least theoretically, because of the immaturity of the immune system in infancy and early childhood, the child’s genetics during these early ages would be more vulnerable to injury.
- Although final proof is as yet lacking, there is much indirect evidence that vaccines may be skewing the human immune system away from cellular immune system, which is normally dominant in health, towards the weaker humoral system, which is associated with allergies and auto-immunity as well as increased vulnerability to viral and fungal infections. This conclusion can hardly be escaped because most, if not all, childhood vaccines in current use are injected directly into the body and are directed at stimulating antibody production in the bone marrow. Bypassing the mucous membranes of the body as they do, the cellular immune system remains weak and relatively stunted due to lack of stimulation.
The genetics of our immune system are not well understood by scientists. However, there are many studies that ask serious questions. As one example, MG Montinari and colleagues investigated the relationship between post-vaccine central nervous system (CNS) diseases and human leukocyte antigens (HLA), which essentially strips the body’s brain and nerve tissues of their outer myelin coating.
By way of explanation, the HLA system is one which aids an individual’s immune system to differentiate that which is “self” from that which is “non-self.” Although the mechanisms are complex, it is a system which, during embryonic life, learns to recognize healthy or normal cells of the body as “self” so that these cells will remain unmolested by the search and destruction mechanisms of the immune system, leaving the latter free to protect the body from foreign invaders.
Of special concern is that the HLA system also carries an increased proneness to polymorphism (mutation), the mutations in turn possibly resulting in an impairment of self-recognition. This process may be the fundamental cause, or one of the primary causes of underlying auto-immune disorders in which the immune system attacks the cells within the body. The HLA system plays an integral part in this process.
Dr. Urnovitz and his colleagues have been studying the implications of vaccines in cancer, Persian Gulf War Syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS. Urnovitz, who holds doctorates in Immunology and Microbiology from the University of Michigan where he studied vaccines, has become one of the most vocal proponents for scientists to become aware of vaccine-associated genetic mutations. His work in this area has supported the concepts that:
- Our bodies have a “genetic memory” of foreign substances it encounters, including vaccines.
- There is a limit on how much foreign material our bodies can handle before genetic damage occurs and/or progresses into a chronic illness.
- Each person has their own unique genetic blueprint which responds to foreign substances differently.
Some conclusions can already be drawn:
- Vaccinations lower the immune response by weakening the outer defense system.
- Increasing the toxic load so dramatically in the inner workings of the immune system may be responsible for the surge in auto-immune diseases we are seeing.
- The increased toxic load is responsible for genetic modifications of the cells, leading to serious illnesses for which modern science is hoping to find "gene-cures".
- Vaccination of children with nutritional deficiencies (more likely in bottle-fed babies) will lead to serious damage to the chromosomes.
- We are all unique in our response to foreign substances such as vaccines and general use of these techniques will inevitably lead to individuals being damaged.
Short History Lesson
The pernicious after effects of vaccination upon the system are similar to those of the various serum and antitoxin treatments. The first inoculations aimed at preventing an infectious disease were used by a Circassian woman who in the year 1672 startled Constantinople with the announcement that the Virgin Mary had revealed to her an unfailing preventative against smallpox. The genuine smallpox virus was used for the inoculation. But even long before this, the principle of isopathy (curing a disease with its own disease products) was explicitly taught a hundred years before by Paracelsus, the great genius of the Renaissance. And even he was only voicing the secret teachings of ancient folklore, sympathy healing and magic dating back to the Druids and Seers of ancient Britain and Germany.
Popular superstitions run a course very similar to that of epidemics. They have a period of inception, of virulence and of abatement, and they die as a natural result of their own falsities and exaggerations. It soon became evident that inoculation with the virus did not prevent smallpox, but on the contrary frequently caused it; and therefore the practice gradually fell into a state of innocuous disuse, to be revived by Edward Jenner about one hundred years later in a modified form. He substituted cowpox virus for smallpox virus. From England vaccination gradually spread over the civilised world and during the nineteenth century the smallpox disease constantly diminished in virulence and frequency until today it has become comparatively rare. "Therefore vaccination has exterminated smallpox", say the disciples of Jenner.
Is that really so? Is vaccination actually a preventive of smallpox? This seems very doubtful, especially since the advocates of vaccination themselves do not believe it. If they truly did so why should they be afraid of "catching" it from those who are not vaccinated? If they are thoroughly protected, as they claim to be, how can they catch the disease from those who are not protected? In the years 1870-1871 smallpox was rampant in Germany. Over 1,000,000 persons had the disease and 120,000 died. Ninety-six percent of these had been vaccinated, and only four percent had not been so "protected". Indeed most of the victims were vaccinated shortly before they took the disease.
Certainly the disease has diminished. But the plague, the "Black Death", cholera, the bubonic plague, yellow fever and numerous other epidemic pests which until recently occasionally decimated entire nations have also diminished and, in fact, nearly disappeared. Not one of these epidemics was treated by vaccination. Why, then, did they abate and practically disappear? The answer is, because of the more general adoption of soap, bathtubs, all kinds of sanitary measures, such as plumbing, drainage and ventilation, and because of more hygienic modes of living.
The question is now in order, why of all the dreaded plagues of the past smallpox alone survives to this day? The answer is, because of vaccination. Thanks to the oft-repeated compulsory vaccination of every citizen, young and old, we as a nation have become saturated with smallpox virus. Is it any wonder that occasionally this latent taint breaks out in acute epidemics? By weakening the system's reactionary powers against one disease, its reactionary powers against all diseases are weakened. In other words, creating in the body a form of chronic smallpox by means of vaccination favors the development of all kinds of chronic disease. And just think about how many different infective disease we are keeping alive today as a result of our multiple vaccination policy, and how the combination of all those generally weakens the immune system's power and efficiency.
Specific Immunity and Prevention
Henry Lindlahr MD affirmed that the kind of vaccination and immunisation procedures which are used in orthodox medical circles are a perversion, distortion or misapplication of homoeopathic principles and methods.
Somewhere about the year 1500 Paracelsus used and advocated the idea of isopathy, the theory that a disease may be cured by administering one or more of its own products. Paracelsus proved the worth of his ideas by curing almost every case of cholera that he had to deal with whilst his colleagues were utterly helpless. Homoeopathy has made a special study of this particular idea of therapeutics, and homoeopathic physicians of the older school were uniformly successful in protecting their patients by the administration of potentized products of disease. These were administered orally, not hypodermically, and that is the significant difference. These so called nosodes are used in very high potencies (extremely diluted), which means that there is no possibility of any of the original material or molecules being present in the remedy given. The physician's intention was to amplify the energy of the remedy by diluting and shaking the solution, so that the energy that was released in the body of the patient would act as a sounding keynote that would aggravate every symptom in the body to such an extent that it would result in the neutralisation of the disease particles or entities within the body. The homoeopathic physician is dealing with energy only. In serology, the practitioner is using gross amounts of material that, in themselves, are highly dangerous to the human body, to say nothing of the fact that these materials are injected hypodermically, which is not a natural way of putting anything into the body.
The anti-vaccinationists would find their task very much easier if they could be in a position to point to an alternative by which the protection, which the various vaccines and serums are said to provide, can be harmlessly achieved in another way.
It should also be noted that the fever and bacterial action which takes place in acute diseases are constructive and useful and in some cases are the only means by which pathogenic substance in the body can be broken down and eliminated. Therefore, it would seem doubtful whether it is desirable to try to produce an absolute immunity to all infectious diseases, even if this is possible. It would appear that the protection which one would hope to afford by a nosode or other homoeopathic remedy would be relative rather than absolute and that it would work by causing the body to make a favourable reaction to an infection rather than to be unaffected by it. The ultimate aim should be to produce a general condition of health so perfect that immunity will naturally arise.
Natural immunity is strengthened by our experiences and encounters. As the body learns from experience who the "enemies" are and how to fight them, it becomes better and better at it. This translates into a more efficient immune system. The only way the body can learn this is via its natural methods. When it encounters the enemy in places where it would expect the enemy to be, it will produce appropriate defenses, both on a cellular and a humoral level. Repeated meetings will ensure further sophistication of the system and a continual updating of the defense systems used. Vaccination by way of its by-passing major defense lines, does not allow for an appropriate learning process to take place, which consequently will not result in proper immunity. Hence the continuing high infection rates of vaccinated children as opposed to non-vaccinated.
This leads us to conclude that the best natural prevention is exposure to diseases at appropriate times during our lives. Childhood diseases used to be just that: diseases in childhood. These provide a first, almost innocent, step towards building a decent natural immunity and will equip us with an active and highly skilled immune system that is capable of protecting us through its learning capacity rather than via the actual antibodies it momentarily carries.
Building this natural immune system can be helped by using nosodes as a stimulation, an extra boost, to the natural methods used by the body to protect and defend.