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The UK Department of Health publication Immunisation against Infectious Disease 1996 states that “children who are immuno-suppressed, either due to an underlying medical condition or (because they are) receiving immuno-suppressant treatment, should not receive MMR or other live vaccines until they have recovered from their underlying condition or completed immuno-suppressant treatment”. Immuno-suppression is determined by measuring the level of CD4+ T-Lymphocytes in the blood and the proportion they represent of all types of lymphocytes (the ‘soldiers’ which identify and neutralise invaders) present. [1]

The Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin [2] agrees. In the article MMR vaccine - how effective, how safe? (April 2003 p25-30) it warned that MMR should not be given to children: with “untreated malignant disease or altered immunity due to disease or treatment”. [ 3] Examples given were:

  • “a child (who) has an acute (feverish) illness”

  • “a child (who) has received another live virus within three weeks or immunoglobulin within three months” [4]

  • “any child suspected of previously having had a cardiorespiratory (allergic) reaction to egg, gelatine, neomycin or other constituents of MMR vaccines” (ed.- like sorbitol, human albumen, lactose, mannitol, various amino acids). Mild egg allergy, however, is not considered to be a problem [5]

  • “If such a child is given MMR in error, close supervision in hospital is advised”

The then UK Health Minister Melanie Johnson stood by her Department's advice, but when asked whether babies should have a T-lymphocyte count prior to being given an MMR jab, rejected the idea: "Blood tests are unpleasant for babies and young children, and they are not always 100% accurate".

Dr Dick van Steenis argues that children’s vitamin and mineral status should also be checked prior to a jab:

  • Inadequate levels of vitamins A and E can drastically reduce a vaccine’s ability to provide protection. This is of particular concern given that MMR itself depletes levels of vitamin A. Studies have consistently shown that vitamin A or vitamin E supplementation prior to a jab usually increases its effectiveness and durability [6]

  • Low levels of zinc or selenium, or high levels of mercury or cadmium, increase the probability of adverse reactions

The seven essential checks are therefore:

1. Immune status. A child with compromised immunity may appear completely healthy

2. Vaccination history - no live vaccines or immunoglobulin within previous three months

3. Disease status, particularly feverish illnesses and malignancies

4. Allergy status, particularly to MMR’s ingredients (egg, gelatine, neomycin, sorbitol, human albumen, lactose, mannitol, various amino acids)

5. Toxicity status, particularly mercury and cadmium

6. Vitamin status, particularly vitamins A and E

7. Mineral status, particularly zinc and selenium

Parents will know that such tests almost never happen, making a health lottery of every jab. Proper verification of disease, allergy, vitamin, mineral, immunisation and immune status is a long and expensive business, making safe mass immunisation programmes both unfeasible and unaffordable.

Editorial

Of particular interest is the warning that MMR (which contains three live viruses) should not be given to any child who has been given another vaccine containing a live virus during the previous three weeks. If this is an admission that injecting more than one live virus during any three week period may be dangerous, what does this say about the safety of injecting a triple live jab?



References

[1] Gross,PA et al. Clinical Infectious Diseases 1995;21(supp 1):S126-27
[2] published by The Consumers Association for 40 years and endorsed by the UK Department of Health's website. Its aim is to provide consultants, doctors, nurses, other medical officers and medical students with impartial and balanced information and advice on drugs and treatments.
[3] Immunisation against infectious disease. Department of Health HMSO 1996
[4] Khakoo,JA et al. British Medical Journal 2000;320:929-32
[4] American Academy of Pediatrics Committees on Infectious Diseases and on Pediatric AIDS. Pediatrics 1999;103:1057-60
[5] Immunisation of the immunocompromised child. Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. February 2003
[6] e.g. Rahman,MM et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1997;65(1):144-48,
Meydani,SN et al. Journal of the American Medical Association 1997;277(17):1380-86


(11084) Nick Anderson. Green Health Watch Magazine