In 1977, Dr. Jonas Salk and other scientists who developed the first polio vaccine, themselves testified before the US Senate that mass inoculation caused most polio cases throughout USA since 1961. With improvements in sanitation, polio receded in other countries even before vaccinations began. But polio proliferated following mass vaccinations. The oral polio vaccine has long been banned in USA and other developed nations, but conveniently considered suitable for ‘third world’ countries. India will shortly be awarded ‘polio-free’ status by the World Health Organization (WHO). It bears close examination given that, beyond politics and territorial boundaries, we have many commonalities. Last week, Live Mint, a leading Indian business newspaper linked with Wall Street Journal, reported that far from India being polio-free, the live polio vaccine – which is also being administered in Pakistan – was responsible for explosive increase in paralysis. Not a single polio case was reported since 2011 — made possible by repeated re-definition of polio, leading to questionable ‘reduction’ in cases. This was pointed out to WHO and UNICEF in a 2004 memorandum by Prof. Debabar Bannerjee and other eminent doctors. They complained WHO inflated 32,419 cases of polio to 350,000 to justify the country programme. They said polio eradication was not possible in India, as vaccine viruses had mutated into virulent strains and were circulating. It was reiterated by the Indian Medical Association which demanded identification of and compensation for victims. States Gaia-Health: “this vaccine, consisting of live viruses, is notorious for causing vaccine-induced polio. Because those vaccinated tend to shed the virus in their stool, it can mutate into a virulent form, causing paralytic polio in others, even leading to polio epidemics.” Now children were being hit by Acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), also called ‘floppy limbs’ because of severely shrunken, unusable muscles. In fact, AFP and polio are clinically the same disease, but when the first polio vaccines developed proved ineffective, the disease was renamed! Data from the national polio surveillance project revealed direct links between increased polio vaccine dosages and rising cases of AFP. In 2011, India reported the supposedly ‘last polio case’ — but 61,000 children were paralyzed; 53,563 cases in the last 13 months alone. But they were not labeled polio cases, as they would have been in the past. Health Impact News reported that “the live oral polio vaccine is so dangerous, with so many side effects, that it is being phased out.” In fact, the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on immunization which launched in 1988, is having a complete, global, coordinated withdrawal by the end of 2016, also “to avoid global programme fatigue and control programme cost”. So why is WHO waiting until then? Why not forthwith? Could it be, asks Heath Impact, “that UNICEF, the primary agency used to ‘eradicate polio’ by the pharmaceutical manufacturers, purchased 1.7 billion doses of the oral polio vaccine in 2013, representing billions of dollars of revenue for the vaccine manufacturers, have anything to do with not phasing out the oral polio vaccine immediately?” Health Impact earlier reported how UNICEF bought even more live polio vaccines for mass vaccination following the Philippines typhoon and Syrian refugee tragedies — despite the fact that there’s been no polio in the Philippines since 1993, and none in Syria since 1999! — But used to justify increasing purchases from 1.35 billion doses to 1.7 billion for 2013. “Polio-free certification” creates financial motive for a lucrative global market, since the UN purchases vaccines with member countries’ money. This is why Vidhya Krishnan considers the term “polio-free status” completely meaningless — and more a marketing ploy by pharmaceutical interests. Leading doctors say it’s impossible to eradicate polio — a disease primarily of poor sanitation and nutrition — with a vaccine. Medical literature reveals that exposure to polio viruses seldom cause paralysis, and is actually the best immunity against viral polio, giving permanent immunity to more than 99% exposed. Others may have inherent susceptibility. A holistic approach is required instead, because polio-like paralysis can be caused by other factors too. Vaccines alone constitute a 300 billion dollar global business and rising. It’s costing India $2.5 billion. It would be far cheaper and effective if all governments invested adequately in clean water and sanitation, their main job anyway, automatically providing preventive care so that the poor wouldn’t fall needlessly ill, especially children who are most vulnerable. Our women vaccinators could better teach about essential hygiene and affordable toilets, instead of risking their lives for shameful minimum wages. Dr. A. Majid Katme, MBBCh, DPM, of the Islamic Medical Association, UK, warns against today’s ‘blind acceptance of modern medicine without examining the darker side’. He calls for people to inform themselves. All sides of the issue are readily accessible. One just has to look them up. “Vaccination is based on the long-discredited theory that stimulation of antibodies in the human body equals protection from disease,” states Dr. Katme. “This theory has not only failed to be proved, but has been repeatedly disproved. Stimulation of antibodies does not equal immunity and certainly does not equal permanent immunity. The presence of antibodies is merely a sign of exposure to a disease, which is just one small aspect of what makes up the immune system. Children, with underdeveloped and immature immune systems, receive today about 25 separate vaccines by the age of 13 months. There is no doubt this irresponsible system disrupts and can even destroy the development of their immune systems forever.” He lists ingredients that vaccines draw from, but unmentioned by promoters: monkey viruses, faecal matter, foetal cells, urine, macerated cancer cells, pus from sores of diseased animals, formaldehyde (a carcinogen used in embalming fluid), phenol (a carcinogen capable of causing paralysis, convulsions, coma, and gangrene), mercury, aluminium (damages brain and nervous system; associated with Alzheimer’s), foreign animal tissues containing genetic material (DNA/RNA), antibiotics that lead to antibiotic resistance. He notes many are forbidden for Muslims, Hindus, Jews, or vegetarians. “The one-size-fits-all system lacks individualization and there’s no pre-screening for immune problems and allergies. Overloading the human body with infections and sub-infections will irreparably disrupt and destroy the immune system.” Still want to give your kid polio drops?
The writer is a former journalist and currently director of The Green Economic Initiative at Shirkat Gah, a rights and advocacy group.