By Dan Olmsted
The July 20 New York Times, which never tires of promoting the germ theory of disease and the need to vax, vax, and vax some more, is my source for the following: “Over the last century, Denmark won significantly more Nobel Prizes per capita than Italy. It also had a lower prevalence of disease-causing germs.”
The correlation, according to Damian Murray at UCLA, holds true in 161 countries based on 5 different metrics of innovation. “Murray speculates that vaccination programs ‘may serve to foster a cultural zeitgeist that is more encouraging and rewarding of innovation.’”
About the only truth in that statement is the first two words: “Murray speculates.” That’s certainly fine – I do it all the time – but I’m not even sure I understand the point. I filed it in my “AOA – Read” folder to await further developments.
They came swiftly. Yesterday, I saw a friend with two preschool sons who knows first-hand the damage FDA-approved, CDC-recommended medicine -- not vaccines in his case -- can do. (He has a lot to do with why I'm writing about autism.) I asked him what vaccination schedule he follows with the kids and he replied, “We’re doing the Norwegian one.”
I’d never heard of someone adopting another country’s schedule, but my friend is pretty cosmopolitan – thoroughly American but with recent roots in Hungary, Germany, and England.
So I looked up the Norwegian vaccination schedule for preschoolers:
• DTP combination vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough)
• Hib vaccine against Haemophilus influenzae type b infection
• Vaccination against pneumococcal disease
• Vaccination against poliomyelitis
• MMR combination vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella
Vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV, for girls from 2009)
Children are usually first vaccinated at 3 months old. MMR vaccination is first given at 15 months of age and HPV is now offered to girls at about 12 years old.
Hepatitis B vaccine is also offered through the immunisation programme to children with increased risk of infection, such as those with parents from countries with high prevalence of hepatitis B infections.
This made me think about the Times' mention of its close Scandinavian neighbor, Denmark. Not surprisingly, their schedule is similar to Norway – oh, “and parents decide whether to vaccinate their children.” While all kids are recommended to get the MMR at 15 months, girls at 18 also get a standalone rubella shot to further cut the risk of congenital rubella syndrome in pregnancy. In January, hep B starting at three months was added as a temporary change.
Then I checked Italy. Compared to Norway and Denmark, they vaccinate more, and sooner. They give the Hep B series beginning at birth; DTaP, polio and HIB starting at three months; pneumococcal and meningococcal (not given in the U.S. till college!); and the MMR and chickenpox as early as 12 months, just like the good ol’ US of A.
I could see why my friend picked Norway viz a viz the USA. No universal birth dose of hep B (the one-question test for vaccine lunacy), no rotavirus, no Hep A, no chickenpox, no mercury-laced flu shot – all ushered onto the U.S. schedule by pharma’s immunity from liability after 1986. And the vaccines Norway and Denmark do list start later than in the U.S.– three months for the first ones, 15 months for the MMR (it used to be that way here but the vaccine itself weakened maternal immunity to the point they had to move it forward to 12 months). And, because my friend has boys, they won’t get HPV vaccine, ever, following Norway's schedule. Of course, it's recommended for both sexes in the USA.
Both Denmark and Norway also appear to have substantially lower autism rates and infant mortality than the United States. (Italy is between those two countries and the U.S.) Lower vaccination rates, fewer germs, less autism and infant death, more Nobel Prizes. I don't get it, and the New York Times certainly doesn't. Maybe my friend does.
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism