In a CDC study of the adverse effects of MMR:
Above 1 in 17 toddlers in the study developed a temperature of 39.5C (103F) or greater post vaccination, and 1 in 5.6 a raised temperature.
Nearly one quarter of toddlers in the study (23%) were routinely vaccinated despite being unwell prior to vaccination with fever (7%), diarrhea (12%) and rash (7%)
It is all too revealing to look at this 2006 study by LeBaron et al ‘Evaluation of Potentially Common Adverse Events Associated With the First and Second Doses of Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine’ which was apparently designed to be re-assuring that the effects of a second and third dose of MMR at pre-school and mid-school age are milder than the first in infancy or toddlerhood.
But if so, we might ask, what about the first? We learn that it is quite routine for an infant to develop a raging fever with unknown long term consequences. Again LeBaron et al are frank about some of the limitations of their study:
‘Our study suffers from a number of limitations. Data on adverse events were based on unverified, family recorded symptom diaries. We had no unvaccinated control group. The baseline period for the study subjects lasted only 1 week and was relatively close to vaccination when the “healthy vaccinee effect”14 may well have been present. A 17% attrition rate occurred, mostly during the baseline diary period. The sample size was inadequate to examine rare adverse events or common adverse events with less than a twofold increase over baseline. The study population was atypical of the overall population of US children, in that they were almost all white, rural, healthy, and received vaccinations at the recommended ages. Other vaccines were administered simultaneously with MMR for >80% children in the 2 younger groups and <1% in the oldest group, making attribution of adverse events and comparison of groups more difficult.’
But their concept of what constitutes a healthy child, is somewhat thrown into doubt by figure 2 which shows that 7% of subjects already had fever, 12% diarrhea, 7% rash (23% one or all of these) prior to vaccination. If the target group is adjudged to be healthy by the authors it leaves a disturbing question about the circumstances in which an already unwell child could routinely be vaccinated, and demonstrates that the health and wellbeing of individual children is not what is at stake in the programme: at best it would be the control of the disease at the expense of the sick child.
The gung-ho attitude of this culture is further evidenced by the fact that more than 80% of toddlers received other vaccines at the same time as MMR. Routinely, a temperature of 39.5C or above is an acceptable side effect. Subjects were only monitored for 3.5 weeks after vaccination: the long term health and development of those getting a high fever has probably never been researched, and probably never will be.
LeBaron et al conclude (rounding their figures down):
‘Nevertheless, we believe our study findings confirm that vaccine-associated adverse events occur in ∼1 of every 6 toddlers receiving the first dose of MMR, with high fever occurring in ∼1 in 20, although very few of these events require medical attention.’
But I wouldn’t take their word for it. If the parents of Hannah Poling hadn’t been a particularly determined doctor and a nurse would we be any the wiser? And why are we treating babies like immunological supermen? Is it because they can't answer back??
It’s the culture, stupid.
(With thanks to Alex Snelgrove).
John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.