Jewish World Review April 11, 2003 / 97 Nisan, 5763
Drs. Michael A. Glueck & Robert J. Cihak
Are childhood vaccines shots in the dark?
Few issues agitate your Medicine Men, patients and parents, or fill our
e-mail inboxes faster, than vaccination of children. We've often held that
compulsory vaccination has complications that the public health community
and the general public too often ignore. Sometimes we're derided as cranky,
But perhaps not this time.
A new study [http://www.jpands.org/vol8no1/geier.pdf] in the March 2003
issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons by Mark Geier,
M.D., Ph.D., president of The Genetic Centers of America, and David Geier,
B.A., provides alarming evidence of an association between mercury found in
vaccines and neurodevelopmental problems such as speech disorders and
autism, as well as heart attacks.
We usually find claims of new poisons in the environment, food and
medicines to be blown way out of proportion to their real significance.
But, as sometimes happens, new evidence on some particular concerns tips
the balance from respectful skepticism to "Sound the Alarms and Save the
A chemical containing mercury, thimerosal, is a preservative first used in
the 1930s to prevent germs from growing in vaccines packaged in containers
holding more than one dose of vaccine. Most vaccine doses are quite small,
one 50th of a teaspoon, or 0.1 cc., for example, so at that time it made
sense to supply one small glass bottle containing 30 cc. (one ounce) rather
than 300 tiny glass vials.
In the body, this chemical is changed into ethylmercury and thiosalicylate.
The ethylmercury is what we're worried about because a related mercury
compound, methylmercury, is poisonous. In the 1950s, methylmercury poisoned
hundreds in Japan when they ate fish contaminated with mercury.
In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the U.S. Public
Health Service (PHS) issued a joint statement which said "The large risks
of not vaccinating children far outweigh the unknown and probably much
smaller risk, if any, of cumulative exposure to thimerosal-containing
vaccines over the first six months of life."
But "because any potential risk is of concern, the Public Health Service,
the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agree that
thimerosal-containing vaccines should be removed as soon as possible."
The relationship between various vaccines and multiple possible associated
complications has been strongly controversial. Just four months ago, on
Dec. 5, a Wall Street Journal editorial proclaimed "no scientific study has
ever found a link between vaccines and autism."
That's no longer the case.
The Geiers note an 800 percent increase in the incidence of autism since
the mid-1980s, when officials approved and then mandated many new vaccines
TO LINK OR NOT TO LINK
In the Geier study, the authors looked at the B[total] amount of thimerosal
given to children rather than just the amount from any single vaccine.
Other vaccine studies usually looked at only B[one] specific vaccine or
only one specific medical condition.
As always, the dosage determines the effect.
Dr. Jane Orient writes in the January 2003 issue of the Civil Defense
Perspectives newsletter [http://www.oism.org/cdp/jan2003.html]:
"Using data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System maintained by
the CDC and from the 2001 U.S. Department of Education report," Dr. Geier
found "a strong correlation ... between dosage of thimerosal from childhood
vaccines and the incidence of autism, speech disorders, and cardiac arrest,
but not with common vaccine reactions such as fever, pain, and vomiting, or
with other common childhood disabilities."
THE GOOD NEWS
Most vaccines don't contain thimerosal; some other vaccines are available
in thimerosal-free versions. We hope the current study will motivate
manufacturers to package more vaccines free of thimerosal, such as in
sterile, preservative-free single-dose vials. We also hope that scientists
and drug companies will do more research into totally new kinds of disease
Most immediately, our hope and that of the Geiers is that "complete removal
of thimerosal from all childhood vaccines will help to stem the tragic,
apparently iatrogenic [medically caused] epidemic of autism and speech
And the heartbreak that goes with it.
As a parent if the vaccine isn't mercury free; don't agree.
Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., is a multiple award winning writer who
comments on medical- legal issues. Robert J. Cihak, M.D., is past
president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
JWR contributors are Harvard trained diagnostic radiologists.
Comment by clicking here.
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