Forward: Vaccines, Autism and Chronic Inflammation

July 31, 2011

This review of scientific evidence that complications of vaccination can cause acute and chronic inflammation and subsequent brain and immune system dysfunction, including autism and learning disabilities, was first published in June 2008 as a chapter in the book Envisioning a Bright Future, Patricia S. Lemer, Editor, by OEP Foundation, Inc. I researched and wrote it in the spring of 2006 and revised it for this book in the summer of 2008.

In early 2006, my mother was entering the final months of her life, ending long years of suffering with migraine, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and, eventually, lupus. As she was reaping the final consequences of decades of medical misdiagnoses and poly-pharmacy, I divided my time between doing what I could to make her last days more bearable and immersing myself in the medical literature in search of evidence that vaccine induced acute and chronic inflammation in the body is similar to acute and chronic inflammation caused by infectious disease.

Much to my amazement, I discovered that the new University of Google located in cyberspace had made much of the medical literature accessible to me whether it was 3 p.m. in the afternoon or 3 a.m. in the morning. It was an opportunity Harris Coulter and I did not have in the early 1980’s when we were conducting research for DPT: A Shot in the Dark the old fashioned way: getting in a car and making a pilgrimage to the Library of Medicine or sending a letter of request to the author of a recently published study by snail mail. With each click of the mouse, I could gain entry into the world of science and medicine and stay there as long as I wanted. The door to that world always opened when I turned on my computer, whether I was sitting at my kitchen table or in a hospital waiting room.

This intellectual journey, which coincided with the emotional journey I took with my mother and family that spring, would end with a confirmation of the validity of an hypothesis that the basis for a significant amount of vaccine related neuroimmune dysfunction associated with the development of learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD and autism in previously healthy children is caused by vaccine induced acute inflammation in the body that remains unresolved and becomes chronic. Further, that those at highest risk for suffering chronic inflammation are individuals genetically predisposed to chronic inflammatory responses, a vulnerability that may remain unidentified or can be manifested by a personal or family history of autoimmune disorders or allergy. (My family history of allergy and autoimmunity with origins in our Scottish, Irish, Norwegian, English and German heritage was central to my intuitive understanding that some individuals are genetically more vulnerable than others to atypical inflammatory responses to vaccination). Further, that complications of infectious disease can induce similar unresolved inflammation in various parts of the body leading to chronic disease and disability, which is highly probable  because the same organisms associated with infectious disease are contained in lab altered form in vaccines.

My conclusion was that

  1. natural experience with most generally benign childhood infections, such as chicken pox, mumps, hepatitis A, rotavirus, and influenza, likely produce less chronic inflammation and subsequent long term chronic illness and disability than does repeated atypical manipulation of the immune system via use of multiple vaccines often given simultaneously in early childhood; and that
  2. during the past quarter century, as mass vaccination policies have eliminated most natural experience with infectious disease in early childhood, there have been fewer opportunities for the developing immune systems of children to mature and learn how to successfully mount and naturally resolve acute inflammatory responses; and that
  3. the unprecedented chronic disease and disability epidemic which began in the early 1980’s and has caused nearly 20 percent of American children to become chronically ill with 1 child in 6 becoming learning disabled; 1 in 9 suffering with asthma; 1 in 150 or more developing autism and 1 in 450 being diagnosed with diabetes, is related to government vaccine policies directing doctors to give children 48 doses of 14 vaccines by age six and 69 doses of 16 vaccines by age 18 while failing to identify and screen out children who are genetically or otherwise biologically vulnerable to vaccine induced chronic inflammation.

American government health officials, pediatricians and vaccine manufacturers have yet to answer the question on the minds of many parents: Why are so many highly vaccinated children so sick and disabled rather than enjoying better health? There are hundreds of new vaccines being created in more than 2,000 clinical trials worldwide. Without answering that fundamental question, public health officials, doctors and drug companies race to develop and advocate everyone use more and more vaccines from birth throughout life in an effort to eliminate all natural experience with infections through the mass, mandatory use of multiple vaccines.

When I witnessed my first born child, my son, Chris, suffer what I now know was a convulsion, collapse/shock and brain inflammation within hours of his fourth DPT shot in 1980, I did not understand the changes that fateful day would bring to our lives. My mother and I both held two and a half year old Chris down on the table so the DPT shot could be given while he struggled to break free.

A former nurse who trained at Mayo Clinic, Mom took care of Chris during the year he was so sick after his vaccine reaction. She and Dad cared for all three of my children while they were young and I worked for the National Vaccine Information Center.

This review is dedicated to my mother, Adah Sahr Loe, whose keen intellect, strong will and big heart taught me about independent thought, courage and why caring about those less fortunate and taking action to lessen their suffering gives meaning and purpose to life.

Copyright Barbara Loe Fisher.  2008