Hepatitis B Vaccination
Good Intentions, Bad Science, Worse Policy
Hepatitis B is a viral disease associated with risky
lifestyle choices such as intravenous drug use or promiscuous sex.
This virus causes a dangerous and miserable infection that can have
long-lasting debilitating effects on the liver, so taking steps to
prevent Hepatitis B is a good idea for those at risk.
For infants, Hepatitis B is an especially serious
disease. If a pregnant mother carries this virus, it is
certainly important to protect her baby from the disease.
However, most normal infants are at low risk for
this disease. Infant infections are typically found only in
babies born to a Hepatitis B-positive mother, and tests can
determine who carries or is infected with the virus. By
screening the mothers, only those babies who are at risk would need
to be vaccinated at birth.
Perhaps any attempt at prevention would be a good
bet if the vaccine were harmless, but it's not. Today there
are more reports of adverse reactions from the vaccine than there
are reported cases of the disease in children. Data created by
the governmentís Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in
1996 confirm 872 serious adverse events in children under 14 years
of age who had been injected with Hepatitis B vaccine. These kids
were either taken to an emergency room, had life-threatening health
problems, were hospitalized, or were disabled following the
vaccination. 214 had the Hepatitis B vaccine alone, and the rest
received it in combination with other vaccines. 48 kids died after
being injected with Hepatitis B vaccine in 1996, and 13 of them had
received the Hepatitis B vaccine alone just before they died.
In contrast, in 1996 only 279 cases of Hepatitis B disease were
reported in children under age 14.
The World Health Organization only recommends infant
vaccination for Hepatitis B in areas where carrier prevalence is 2
percent or greater. This does not apply to the U.S., except
for certain ethnic groups in Alaska. But current U.S. health
policy is based on an exaggerated perception of the prevalence of
Hepatitis B, and here vaccination is required for every newborn.
An argument has been made that infants are easier
and cheaper to vaccinate than adolescents. Does this mean we
should vaccinate all infants in order to prepare them for the day
when they might become promiscuous and/or intravenous-drug-using
teenagers? Beyond this insulting presumption, lawmakers also
presume that the vaccination will even last long enough to protect
those kids during the supposedly risky teenage years.
This amazing degree of non-science and arrogance is
shaping the national health policy for our families.
Policymakers based their 1991 infant Hepatitis B vaccination
recommendations on the assumption that the vaccinations would last
from infancy through adolescence. However, scientific
information has not only failed to support that premise, it has
often contradicted it.
The story behind this policy is that the maker of
Hepatitis B vaccine, Merck, makes almost $1 billion USD a year from
this single product. One wonders how many lawmakers this
amount of money could buy.
The cost to our society of all the injuries and
medical services generated by this vaccine is incalculable.
Itís time to require scientific proof that these vaccines are safe,
effective, and necessary before we naively permit state-enforced
injection of an unproven medicine into our newborns.
for vaccination information:
The letter below was published in the Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA). It references several
studies and reports that question the wisdom of the U.S. Hepatitis B
Journal of the American Medical Association,
Vol. 286 No. 5, August 1, 2001
To the Editor:
In their article on the impact of recommendations
regarding the birth dose of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine, Dr.
Daum and colleagues1
concluded that "special efforts may be required to make at-birth
administration of HBV vaccination universal." However, since
HBV vaccination of newborns has never been shown to be better than
vaccination after the maturation of the immune system, this worry
about missing the birth dose seems misplaced.
There is no scientific evidence to justify HBV
vaccination before the age when those risk factors associated with
the HBV transmission (sex, needles, etc.) become relevant.
Recent risk-benefit analyses show HBV vaccination among children
carries one of the largest unjustified risks and substantial
financial costs, second only to the new controversial conjugate
Specifically, HBV immunization has been associated
with 53 deaths and 828 serious injuries, but for 38 million children
younger than age 10 years, the total yearly incidence of HBV
infection is 191. For children younger than age 14 years, the
estimated total mortality secondary to HBV disease is only 11.
With such statistics, it is difficult to rationalize HBV vaccination
Erdem I. Cantekin, PhD
Department of Otolaryngology
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
Bainbridge Island, WA
- Oram RJ, Daum RS, Seal JB, Lauderdale DS. Impact of
recommendations to suspend the birth dose of Hepatitis B virus
vaccine. JAMA 2001;285:1874-1879.
- Horwin M. Ensuring safe, effective and necessary
vaccines for children. Calif West Law Rev. 2001;37:101-148.
- Orient J. Statement by the AAPS in "Vaccines: Public
Safety and Personal Choices" before the Government Reform
Committee of the House of Representatives." Presented to the
106th Congress, August 3, 1999; Washington, DC.
Mercola had the following commentary on the economic realities
behind the U.S. Hepatitis B vaccination policy:
Who's behind the Hepatitis B vaccine policies?
They are called The Hepatitis B coalition, and they
are part of the Immunization Action Coalition which was started by a
$750,000 grant from the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC).
It is financed by the World Health Organization, World Bank,
Rockefeller Foundation, and ongoing funding comes from Smith-Kline,
Merck, Aventis, and Johnson & Johnson. Those are the names on
the bottles of vaccine "your" government has required that you
inject into your newborns.
Three years ago the federal government told the drug
companies to take mercury out of this vaccine. They still have
not done so.
Hundreds of children who were given this vaccine on
the first day of their life have developed autism. Others,
like Michael Belkin's daughter, weren't as lucky, and died
immediately after the vaccine.
In single-dose Hepatitis B vials, drug companies
have replaced the mercury with aluminum, which has been associated
with Alzheimer's disease.
You would hope that these "caregivers" would
understand the damage these neurotoxins will do to the immature
central nervous system of a one-day-old infant. They don't,
they have not been required to study this, and none of the
manufacturers has volunteered to do so. Multi-dose Hepatitis B
vials still contain mercury.
Please understand, Hepatitis B is about as difficult
to catch as AIDS. One needs blood or sexual contact, and often
repeatedly. The main risk factors are shown to be IV drug
abuse and those who engage in sex with multiple partners.
Is Hepatitis B vaccine safe?
Our government has established the Vaccine Adverse
Event Reporting System (VAERS) to report vaccine reactions.
Many believe that only 10 percent of the adverse reactions are
reported, however, as reporting is not mandated by law.
Even with only 10 percent of the problems being
reported, there were nearly 25,000 VAERS Hepatitis B reports from
July 1990 to October 31, 1998, showing 439 deaths and 9673 serious
reactions involving emergency room visits, hospitalization,
disablement or death.
The presence of findings such as brain edema in
healthy infants who die very soon after receiving Hepatitis B
vaccine is profoundly disturbing, especially in view of the
frequency of neurological symptoms in the VAERS. Does this
make any sense?
Is Hepatitis B vaccine effective in newborns?
Vaccine-derived immunity is thought to be
short-lived. Between 30-50 percent of vaccinated individuals
may lose their antibodies within 7 years.
Up to 60 percent of persons who initially respond
will lose detectable antibodies within 12 years. So that means
that these vaccines will provide little to no protection to the real
risks of acquiring Hepatitis B: promiscuous sexual behavior
and IV drug abuse.
How many children are hurt or helped by Hepatitis B vaccine?
Hepatitis B is a rare, mainly blood-transmitted
disease. In 1996 only 54 cases of the disease were reported to
the CDC in the 0-1 age group. There were 3.9 million births
that year, so the observed incidence of Hepatitis B in the 0-1 age
group was just 0.001 percent. In the Vaccine Adverse Event
Reporting System (VAERS), there were 1,080 total reports of adverse
reactions from Hepatitis B vaccine in 1996 in the 0-1 age group,
with 47 deaths reported.
Let us put this in simpler terms. For every
child with Hepatitis B there were 20 that were reported to have
severe complications from the vaccine. Let us also remember
that only 10 percent of the reactions are reported to VAERS, so this
Traditional medicine is harming 200 children to
protect one from Hepatitis B. Does this make any sense?
How serious is a Hepatitis B infection?
The numbers speak for themselves.
Approximately 50 percent of patients who contract
Hepatitis B develop no symptoms after exposure.
However, the exposure ensures that they will have
lifetime immunity. An additional 30 percent develop only
flu-like symptoms, and again, this group will acquire lifetime
The remaining 20 percent exposed to Hepatitis B will
develop the symptoms of the disease. 95 percent of this 20
percent will fully recover, with lifetime immunity.
Therefore, less than 5 percent of people who
contract Hepatitis B will become chronic carriers of the infection.
The numbers get even smaller: of that 5 percent,
nearly 75 percent (or 3.75 percent of the total exposed) will live
with an asymptomatic infection and only 25 percent (or only 1.25
percent of the total number of people exposed) will develop chronic
liver disease or liver cancer 10-30 years after the acute infection
(Hyams, K.C., 1995, "Risks of chronicity following acute Hepatitis B
virus infection: A review," Clin. Infect. Dis. 20, 992-1000.)
Think of that in terms of probability: the
possibility of contracting the disease is exceedingly difficult for
children, and only 1.25 percent of those who are exposed will
actually develop the most serious complication.
This type of a "protecting the needle in the
haystack" medicine is absurd at best, dangerous at worst. It
represents terminal stupidity.
How many safety studies have been done on Hepatitis B vaccine
None. Less than any.
A manufacturer's representative was asked in a 1997
Illinois Board of Health hearing to show evidence that the Hepatitis
B vaccine is safe for a 1-day old infant. The representative
"We have none. Our studies were done on 5-
and 10-year olds." -- The Congressional Quarterly, August
25, 2000, pg. 647.
One would think that these would be mandatory, but
they are not. All that is required is to show efficacy (that
is, that the vaccine stimulates an antibody response after it is
given), not safety. In every other industry, the fraud
represented here would lead to criminal charges.
What can you do?
Tell every pregnant woman you know about this issue.
They need to know the facts BEFORE they are in the hospital and have
time to make an informed objective decision. If they are still
convinced their child needs Hepatitis B vaccine, beg them to make
sure their child does not receive the vaccine as a newborn.
Delay the vaccine until they really are at a possible risk, like
I have shown dozens of times in this newsletter,
drugs that are thought to be safe are pulled from the market after
they have killed dozens or hundreds of people. I hope that
Hepatitis B vaccinations in newborns will be stopped. Medical
science will have to recognize the truth sooner or later.
Folks, drug deaths pale in comparison to the
devastation in lost lives resulting from implementation of this
Hepatitis B recommendation. You can play a large role here.
None of us had a chance to make a difference in the 9/11 tragedies,
but we all can help protect the precious brain cells of a newborn
from this dangerous Hepatitis B vaccination. Don't delay.
Contact every pregnant woman you know immediately. Save a