Is vaccination or sanitation more effective against infectious diseases?

Those following the public discussion of vaccines and the known links to bioweapons research—connections that have become increasingly public since the anthrax attack of 2001 that was attributed to Burce Ivins—are not apt to be surprised by published evidence of deceptions and false leads. There are, unsurprisingly, therefore, some who think Ivins was too  convenient a fall guy. Prior to the alleged suicide of Ivins, while the FBI was supposedly hot on his trail, as is well documented, the same government investigators chased the wrong guy, one Steven Hatfill, and ended up losing a $2.85 million dollar settlement to Hatfill that would be paid out at $150,000 per year over the next 20 years at the expense, you guessed it, of the American taxpayer.

The foregoing facts do not tend to inspire confidence in the government’s capacity to protect the public from bioweapons threats. But there is much more to be taken into consideration.

The anthrax attack according to reports about Ivins involved a peculiar variant of the bacterium that could be traced back to the labs at Fort Detrick, Maryland. It can be inferred from this that whoever perpetrated the attack, given a choice would have presumably used a weaponized variant. However, deadly as it was for 5 individuals, the attack largely fizzled as a cruel and frightening experiment in bioweaponry.

Similarly, the so-called “outbreak” of weaponized smallpox in 1971 in Aralsk, Kazakstan in which, according to a published report, Ten persons became infected with smallpox, and three died” (Tucker & Zilinskas, 2002, p. 1), of which 4 of the 10 persons infected had, according to the same source, been previously vaccinated against smallpox.

Nonetheless, in response to revelations coming out in a publicized congressional hearing with defector Kantjan Alibekov, the U.S. government authorities subsequently authorized the stockpiling of 300 million doses of smallpox vaccine to counter the supposed threat. In the murky world of spies, defectors, and the turns and twists of disinformation among the players, it seems reasonable to wonder just how much Kantjan Alibekov, a former director of the Soviet bioweapons research should be trusted. He supposedly defected in 1992 to the west, but his secret revelations suddenly went public when he appeared before a congressional committee in 1998. Why just then? After that, he made a series of additional very public revelations following which the U.S. authorities committed hundreds of millions to the production of an immense stockpile of smallpox vaccine, as if that were the only bioweapon threat on the horizon—and all, evidently, on the basis of the “outbreak” in Aralsk 39 years ago that infected 10 people, 40% of whom had been vaccinated but got smallpox anyway. Was the vaccine an effective preventative?

While thinking persons will no doubt be scratching their heads and wondering just what the CDC experts, not to mention the FBI and the clandestine services are up to, there seems to be little likelihood of the bioweapons people telling the public anything more than they think we can handle.  Independent researchers and thoughtful persons everywhere may be interested in the empirical evidence concerning the century and a half of history of vaccines—this is especially important to examine in view of the virtual flood of praise for the virtues of vaccines flowing from the vested interests involved in the multi-billion dollar industry involved in manufacturing, promoting, and distributing a growing number of vaccines. Is it true that vaccines have saved millions of lives and have protected the world from deadly outbreaks of smallpox?

Is it true, as claimed in a recent broadcast interview with Paul Offit (see his outrage against Andy Wakefield regarding published evidence that MMR is associated with gut disease and that measles virus has been found in a substantial percentage of persons with the autism diagnosis), that his Rotateq vaccine saves 2,000 lives per day from death by diarrhea? Is the CDC, on that basis, recommending the shipment of huge orders of vaccines, especially Offit’s patented Rotateq, say, to Pakistan to prevent dysentery among the tens of thousands of flood victims there? (Thoughtful persons will want to hear the story from Wakefield’s side of the lab in his lecture at Carnegie-Mellon on the autism epidemic, and more recently in his conversation with Joseph Mercola, MD, after his resignation from Thoughtful House.)

Not to make light of any of any disaster, much less of the horrors presently associated with the flooding in Pakistan, it is worth noting that clean drinking water and food, along with adequate waste disposal, and effective temporary sheltering of victims are the rational priorities in Pakistan and in crowded refugee camps and unsanitary conditions wherever they may be found—not rush order vaccination programs.

Why is that?

In addressing this question, we should probably keep in mind that weaponized variants of the supposedly deadly variants of smallpox and anthrax in 1971 and 2001 respectively infected fewer than 50 people in all and resulted in the deaths, if the reports are to be believed, of exactly 8 persons.

Was the rest of the populace protected by having been recently vaccinated against anthrax? The answer is, No. The persons in Congress and the postal workers exposed to the anthrax spores were unvaccinated against it. Did the CDC rush order vaccines to protect them? No, they washed the exposed persons with water and disinfectants and administered prophylactic antibiotics. They also took precautions to disinfect the areas in which the germs were known or believed to have been introduced.

So, why was it that so few were infected and the feared “outbreak” did not occur?

The answer appears to be sanitation rather than vaccination. In fact, the CDC’s own data shows that by the time each of the currently mandated vaccines were introduced to the American public, the deaths formerly attributed to the disease agent in question had, in the much noted case of polio, already bottomed out. Figure 7-9 from Autism: The Diagnosis, Treatment, and Etiology of the Undeniable Epidemic, p. 219, shows that the introduction of each of the currently mandated vaccines produced little or no discernible impact on the declining rate of recorded deaths from infectious disease as reported by the CDC from 1900 to 1996. The chart shown combines data from two different CDC sources and was published for the first time in Autism 2010. It was Dr. Stephanie Cave, MD, who first suggested to me in 2004, that the introduction of vaccines generally came after the disease in question had already been reduced to minimal cases.

Our research found that after the introduction of the polio vaccines cases of polio actually increased. Trevelyan, Smallman-Raynor, and Cliff (2005) note that sanitation played a large historical role during the 20th century in reducing the number of polio cases and according to these experts the Sabin oral polio vaccine itself caused 94% of the 133 confirmed cases that occurred after its introduction. The CDC itself is the ultimated authority for this information (see CDC, 1998). Also, it was through the same polio vaccines that the retrovirus, SV40 , now linked to many cancers and other diseases (see references on pp. 302f in Autism 2010), was distributed to the world population. The CDC admits that the vaccine was the means of the distribution of SV40 but downplays its role in cancers and related diseases. To the contrary, however, leading scientists Urnovitz and Murphy (1996) have argued in a Letter to the Editor of Clinical Microbiology Reviews that the foamy type of simian virus, SV40, may even have transmogrified into human immunodeficiency virus, HIV-1.

This comment has led more than a few in the scientific world, especially those who wonder about the murky realms of bioweapons research, to reflect on World Health Organization efforts to distribute polio vaccine at the time and in the place where the nonhuman retroviruses are suspected of having made the hypothetical jump to the world’s human population. (Just try a Google search on “Polio vaccine in Africa 1970s” and see what pops up. You will be amazed.)

Figure 7-9 from

Oller, J. W., Jr., & Oller, S. D. (2010). Autism: The diagnosis, treatment, & etiology of the undeniable epidemic. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, p. 219.

Cutting to the chase, what caused the spike in deaths beginning in 1914 and peaking in 1918? Answer: World War I. Why? Because of a lack of vaccines? No, but because of crowding, unsanitary conditions, trench warfare, and so forth. As soon as the war ended, in 1918, the number of deaths from infectious disease dropped precipitously. Was this because of vaccines? No, it was because of improved living conditions and sanitation. Men were no longer crowded on ships, in trenches, and so forth.

The fact that epidemics are associated historically with unsanitary conditions is well documented, for instance, in the book, War Epidemics: An Historical Geography of Infectious Diseases in Military Conflict and Civil Strife, 1850-2000, by M. R. Smallman-Raynor and A. D. Cliff (2004) published by Oxford University Press.

More importantly still, as we show in our research book on Autism: The Diagnosis, Treatment, and Etiology of the Undeniable Epidemic (2010), the touted success story of the smallpox eradication, supposedly owed to deliberate exposure to the cowpox, the basis for our very word “vaccine” (from Latin vacca), not only did not prevent epidemics of smallpox, but contrary to the popular story-telling about Edward Jenner, actually caused epidemics of infectious diseases, including smallpox, in England, Japan, Germany, Italy, and notably in the Philippines.

The most notorious case occurred during the U.S. occupation of the Philippines. The record of that epidemic of smalpox was reported to the U. S. President by Chas M. Higgins in 1920. It showed that the population of approximately 10 million Filipinos received 25 million doses of smallpox vaccine at the hands of the U.S. military personnel between 1905 and 1918 when the Philippine population entered into what appears to have been the worst epidemic of smallpox in history: “there were 112,549 cases of smallpox notified, with 60,855 deaths” and yet as Dole (see the same source) points out this grand total amounted to less than 1% of the population. Still, it was remarkable that deaths from smallpox would be at a rate just above 54% with a population that had been vaccinated at an average rate of 250% (that is, with each person being vaccinated on average more than twice).

Not only did the vaccine not protect the people from smallpox, but, on the contrary, the vaccine seems to have been the tipping factor pushing the Philippines into the epidemic. There are other records of similar results, for example, in careful records kept by the people of Leicester, England, who suffered fines by the British government rather than accept mandated smallpox vaccination.

At first the people rigorously followed the recommended regimen of vaccination. Records kept for the whole community from 1849 through 1867 show that during this time, the population of Leicester increasingly submitted to the vaccination requirement until by 1872, 100% of the population had been vaccinated at least once and many individuals more than once.  Then, in 1873, public willingness to submit to vaccination in Leicester fell after the community experienced an epidemic of smallpox and 360 persons died. From then until 1901, the vaccination rate for new birth cohorts continued to fall until by 1901, the rate of vaccinated individuals was less than 10%.

The astonishing outcome of the data kept throughout that period and reported by J. T. Biggs in 1912 (see Autism 2010, pp. 210ff) was that death by infectious diseases in Leicester, including smallpox itself, was higher during the period of higher vaccination rates, while the rate of all such deaths dropped as vaccination rates fell reaching a minimum when the smallpox vaccination rate was its lowest in the decade from  1889 to 1899. During that decade, deaths from smallpox in Leicester were less than half the rate of smallpox deaths during the same period in the British military.

Not to minimize the significance of any epidemic of infectious disease, or any death of any person, but the significance of the threat of smallpox even during the worst periods of history and the most widespread epidemics, has been greatly exaggerated by the promoters of vaccines. In the worst smallpox epidemic in history, the 1918-1920 epidemic in the Philippines, on the average only one person per hundred got sick, and of those who did, fewer than 6/1000 died. Clearly, vaccines were over-rated from the smallpox case forward. It appears that the benefits have been greatly overestimated and the risks have been underestimated.

Considering the fact that the autism epidemic now affects more than 1 child per 100, we may well begin to look questioningly at the current vaccination schedule for infants. The evidence, as pointed out some time ago by Stephanie Cave, MD, an author/researcher/clinician, has shown all along that sanitation is far superior to any number of vaccinations as a rational means to control infectious diseases. This fact was first shown by Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis in 1847 when he insisted that doctors assisting in childbirth should wash their hands before doing so. His procedure reduced deaths from infections from a rate of 19% on the average to less than 2% immediately following the change.

Shortly afterward,experimental demonstrations by Louis Pasteur would take place and the germ theory of disease would be widely accepted at least from about 1864, just about a decade after smallpox vaccination had been mandated by the British government in 1853. All this is documented in the Autism book along with a penetrating look at the theory of immunology in relation to sanitation, hygiene, and the much promoted and growing use of vaccines.

The upshot of that work, which I hope you will read and examine critically, shows that vaccines have been over-sold to the world-wide public. It is now plain that they have served as unintended vehicles for toxins, adventitious disease agents (Simian virus 40, pig viruses, and so forth), and interactions between their disease agents and those other factors which have undoubtedly contributed to, and in well-documented particular cases, have caused neurological problems, disorders, and diseases. For a several cases, consider Hanah Poling, Bailey Banks, and Robert Fletcher. In fact, it is necessary to conclude that the harmful consequences of vaccines themselves are now reaching epidemic proportions.

In each of the specific cases mentioned (with hyperlinks) in the previous paragraph, lawyers wisely eschewed the term “autism” in the complaints they filed on behalf of injured parties. The fact is that the government (the CDC and its subservient entities; see documentation in our Autism book 2010), has taken the stand that vaccines cannot cause autism, presumably on the theory that the government will not be able to pay the freight if it admits that indeed many cases of autism, perhaps the vast majority, are directly linked to vaccine injuries. It seems that a round of vaccinations is often the precipitating cause of SIDS/SUID, seizures, encephalopathies, and so forth. This was determined to be so for Robert Fletcher according to independent researchers who are considering his family’s 18 year battle. Present research evidence shows that vaccines are causally associated not only with multiple encephalopathies (diverse forms of brain damage), SIDS/SUID, gut disease, and a host of neurological conditions, but also with autism.

I urge readers of this blog to follow the ongoing story of what is causing the autism epidemic at the Age of Autism and through the links found there.

The long and short of it is that sanitation ought to be greatly preferred over vaccination. Sanitation is more effective and less risky. In fact, as has often been asked by thoughtful theoreticians, does it make any sense to put disease agents and toxins into the living tissues of human beings, especially tiny infants, in order to help them fight off diseases they might encounter later in life?

When you think about it, as the Italian doctor, Carlo Ruata observed in the latter part of the 19th century,”Whereas the aim of therapeutics is to cure sickness in our bodies, and that of hygiene to maintain them in health by a salubrious environment, vaccination undertakes to modify our robust, healthy bodies in order to adapt them to an insalubrious environment. It belongs neither to therapeutics, nor to hygiene; it belongs to that fatal, fanciful, spurious science which, rejecting the teachings of experience, rests on dogma and creed, which in other departments of sociology have produced as many evils as vaccination has produced in medicine” (Ruata, 1898; quoted in Autism 2010, p. 215).

Sad to say, all this talk about injuries and epidemics could be depressing…

In the next post, I will turn to evidence for a form of therapy for autism and related disorders that offers hope for release from the nonverbal prison to which many individuals with autism have seemed to be consigned.

As always, comments on this post or prior ones are welcome!


About johnwollerjrontheautismepidemic

As a research professor with 16 peer-reviewed books and more than 230 peer-reviewed articles ranging across disciplines I deal with the most abstract, comprehensive, and consistent theory as well as empirical studies of language and communication. This blog is about the autism epidemic. My goal is to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and understanding of communication disorders in general as well as related disorders, disease conditions, and injuries. Causal factors in autism are also involved in many other disorders. By understanding how such factors impact biological control systems from DNA to the unique human language capacity, many former mysteries will also be solved. I do and have worked with researchers around the world and with various organizations including the Autism Society of Acadiana, the Sertoma Club of Lafayette, and Sertoma International. Any errors on this site are my own. I aim to avoid "expert opinions" in favor of sound theory and research. "Experts" are, by definition, merely persons whose opinions differ from those of other "experts." My aim is to pursue the facts, not mere opinions.
This entry was posted in autism, autism epidemic, causation of autism, disease agents as factors in autism, etiology of autism, interactions of toxins and disease agens, toxins as factors in autism. Bookmark the permalink.

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