By Anne Dachel
It is my pleasure to introduce Age of Autism readers to Dr. Paul Thomas from Portland, Oregon. As I’ve talked with Dr. Thomas and read about him, I can’t help but be hopeful for the future. I have some amazing information in this article, so I invite you all to watch the Skype videos where he explains his views on vaccines safety and what has to change, and to share this with others.
I first heard about Dr. Thomas when I looked into a new medical organization called Physiciansfor Informed Consent, PIC. Just when it seems that our doctors universally back the CDC’s ever-expanding vaccine schedule for every child in America, suddenly, we have a determined, courageous group of medical providers who say parents have rights over health choices for their children.
On their website their position is clear: “PIC is the first physician organization dedicated to safeguarding informed consent in vaccination.” Doctors, several hundred doctors, are organized in their opposition to medical tyranny.
I was able to interview Paul Thomas about vaccines, their link to autism, and what he’s learned with his Vaccine Friendly Plan.
Q: I asked Dr. Thomas if we’re doing anything to protect children who may be susceptible to a vaccine reaction?
A: “The answer is an absolute resounding yes, [there are vulnerable kids out there]. We now know family histories and certain genetic risk factors that make you less able to deal with toxins, for example. If you have a strong family history of autoimmune issues, you’re going to be more vulnerable to aluminum-containing vaccines,
“Aluminum, the adjuvant in most vaccines, is the largest and most powerful trigger of autoimmunity. There’s an entire book about it called, Vaccines and Autoimmunity, edited by Schoenfeld. There are hundreds of articles pointing to this issue. That’s just a small piece.
“If you take folks, for example, who have just a real glitch in methelation pathways— Some of the folks who are a little more knowledgeable have heard of the MTHFR enzyme… If you are homozygous, meaning you got the C677 from each of your parents, your enzyme, your MTHFR enzyme doesn’t work very well at all. And that’s the enzyme that takes foliate to methelfoliate…So you have major disruption of your biochemistry if you have that genetic glitch—And that’s one of tens of thousands.
“Here’s the complexity folks: We can’t just say, ‘Vaccine are safe and effective.’ …because that’s lumping tens of thousands of …polymorphisms,… those genetic glitches that make you more vulnerable to the environment.
“I think the misunderstanding when you start hearing GENETICS in the public’s mind, …when I hear that autism’s genetic, I’m thinking, I’m hardwired; it’s hopeless. Oh well, I might as well vaccinate, I’m going …There’s nothing I can do about it.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is, the genetics they’re finding, ninety-five percent or more, it’s epi-genetics, these things like single type nuclei type polymorphisms that make you vulnerable to toxins, for example.
“So the first chapter in my book, The Vaccine Friendly Plan, is TOXINS, TOXINS, TOXINS, because it’s a lot of toxins. We know that herbicides and pesticides, and plastics, BPA, we know that flame retardants …aluminum in vaccines—these things are extremely toxic. And when you’re pregnant, you have a body burden of toxins, some of which get shunted to your baby—It’s not your fault, moms. I always tell families in pre-natal, us guys are just as toxic, it’s just the world we live in.
“But babies are going to get a toxic hit in the womb. So when you say, oh well, they had genetics at birth, it always could have been toxin related. And it makes absolutely no sense to be injecting vaccines which contain toxins, and they all do, while you’re pregnant. Talk about amplifying the toxicity!
“So it’s TOXINS, TOXINS, TOXINS, and then your baby’s born, and the first thing they do is give your baby a hepatitis B vaccine with a huge dose, 250 mcg. of aluminum, TEN TIMES THE MAXIMUM TOXIC DOSE, according to the FDA. [The FDA] has had an active policy up since 2000 stating not to exceed 5 micrograms/Kg/day of parenteral aluminum
“So yes, there are children who are more vulnerable. We need to do a better job of identifying them. We’re not currently doing that, except a handful of informed families who get their own genetics screened ahead of time. And then they can come to an informed doctor, and those are few and far between, and say, ‘Hey, am I at greater risk?’
“And those doctors who happen to be aware, might be able to say, ‘You know what, you have this family history, like a family history of autism, a family history of auto-immune issue, a family history …”
Q: What should we be doing to keep our children safe?
A: “We need to do family histories, and then if you have the ability to do some basic genetic screening, and you have a doctor who can help you interpret that, this too would be important. I really think that the families that have a strong family history of autism, autism spectrum, other neurological issues like severe anxiety, severe bi-polar, schizophrenia, and all the auto-immune conditions—We’re talking type one diabetes, we’re talking Hashimoto's thyroiditis, we’re talking rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammatory bowel disease—the list is fairly long. If you have a lot of that in your family tree, or if you have the autism issues and other neurological things I’ve talked about, you are at higher risk. I would love to see us getting away from the one-size-fits-all.
“And this is also where mandatory vaccine laws are just harmful. I mean you’re literally forcing high-risk kids to take a tremendous risk with—there’s really no need for it.
“I think what we have here is a huge fear: ‘Oh my gosh, these epidemics are going to return, if we stop vaccinating.’ Some of that is based on this whole issue of herd immunity, and there’s this concept out there that if we vaccinate enough people, and then nobody else will get sick. Well, that does possibly apply a little bit to a couple of them. I think measles and chicken pox for example, when you’ve had the vaccine, you usually need boosters, but you get a pretty high rate of immunity. That does cause some protection in the population.
“But for many of them, it’s a whole non-issue. You get no protection from having had hepatitis B or even the pertussis vaccine, whooping cough. People vaccinated can still transmit the disease. It’s way more complicated than just do all these vaccines, and we’re all protected.
“We need to get back to real science-based decisions, and we need informed consent, and we definitely need to find ways of determining who’s at high risk so that we don’t put those poor kids at an even greater risk of having vaccine damage.”
Q: What was your reaction to the news that President-elect Trump has asked Robert Kennedy, Jr. to head a vaccine safety panel?
A: “…I am thrilled.
“Now that’s odd coming from a board-certified pediatrician—but it shouldn’t be folks. Think about it. We have at the AAP, my Academy, the Academy of Pediatrics, and the CDC, Centers for Disease Control, whose mission is to protect the public from infectious diseases, and in the case of the Academy of Pediatrics, it’s to promote the well-being of children.
“What would be better than to actually put a commission together that’s going to really dig into this? Because we know we have a problem.
“When I was a child, I knew nobody with autism. When I was in medical school, 1981 to 1985, I saw not one single case of autism. When I was in residency training, from ’85 to ’88, I saw a couple of cases of mild, what we used to call PDD-NOS, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. None of these severe, rapid regression into autism, when you had had previously a normal child, let’s say, at age one. And then in the 2000s, this just started exploding.
“So if you’re paying attention CDC, AAP, …you just need to open your eyes and acknowledge, first of all, we have a problem. …I know there’s attempts to say, ‘It’s not a real epidemic.’
“When I give talks sometimes I’ll ask a room full of people—Let’s say there’s 200 people, and I’ll say, those of you who are sixty years and older, raise your hands if you grew up and knew someone growing up who had autism.
“Usually not a single hand goes up. I had one talk where one hand went up.
“Then I’ll say, ‘All right, for the rest of you who are under age thirty or forty, how many of you either have a child with autism or know a child with autism, and just about every hand goes up.
“It is not better diagnosis. Sure there’s a little bit of that. …We need to figure out why, and there’s nothing better than putting some minds that are serious about digging into this. We just can’t close our eyes, put our blinders on and say, ‘Vaccines are safe and effective, end of story, we’ve looked at it, we’re done.’
“You see the problem is, the IOM Report that said this has been studied, study it no further, that is the most unscientific approach I’ve ever heard of, especially when you have an ongoing epidemic.
“Many of you may have seen the reports out of California, the kindergarteners last year, compared to the year before, there was a 17 percent increase in autism, just for the kindergarten class.
“This is not going away, it’s getting worse. So no, the science isn’t settled. The time is now to look at it carefully.
“What’s needed is we’ve got to get William Thompson at the CDC to come testify. He said he would, and this group could make that happen.
“There are a group of researchers who are worried about the scientific integrity at the CDC.
“And then it’s time… We have a million cases of autism this past decade, and it is growing at a rapid rate, and that’s the tip of the iceberg. For every autistic kid, there’s five or ten other kids with more subtle neurological issues: learning problems, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, and then all the autoimmune and immune system disruption that goes on.
“We’ve got to look at this. If you don’t like the idea, then you’re not willing to get to the truth, because really it’s just the truth that we’re after.
“We all want safe vaccines, we want a safer way to protect our children. We want healthy children who are not damaged by what we are actually doing.
“In medical school they teach you about iatrogenic disease. If you see something new that’s coming up in your population or in your patient, the first thing you think about is, ‘Did I do something to cause this?’
…Why is it that somehow with vaccines, we just can’t look. It’s like, ‘No, we’re not going to look there; they’re safe.’ Nonsense.
“So this is the best thing that’s ever happened, and I hope this goes forward because once the truth starts coming out, we can start unraveling this disaster that we’ve created.”
Q: What is the different approach to vaccination that you’ve outlined in your book, The Vaccine Friendly Plan?
A: “…There is a schedule, I would call it a selective schedule, that’s in that book, you’re wondering why won’t health officials or other doctors endorse that plan, or try it.
“Here’s the problem: ….a very close friend in medical school today, and they tell me that the vaccine issue is just: They’re safe, don’t listen to the anti-vaxxers out there. And of course, anybody who questions the CDC or questions the science, is categorically labeled ‘anti-vaccine.’
“If you question the CDC schedule, somehow you’re anti-vaccine. That’s the problem.
“And there’s this other issue. Many of you know of Wakefield. Andrew Wakefield [back in 1998] he’d been publishing prolific [science]—an incredibly intelligent man. He’d been publishing on issues of vaccines. He’s a pediatric gastroenterologist from England. He wrote that famous article. He was looking at the gut issues in autistic children and found that there was a much higher prevalence of vaccine strain measles in the lymph nodes of the autistic kids. So he published that literature, and wow, what a firestorm.
“He ended up after almost a decade of going after him, losing his license, and basically unable to practice medicine. …
“So you’ll hear the term ‘Wakefielded.’ Physicians are afraid. They are afraid that if they go up against the vaccine issue, they’re going to be ostracized, or potentially even lose their license.”
Dr. Thomas mentioned Dr. Bob Sears and his book. “He’s under investigation for giving a vaccine exemption. That process that goes between physician and patient has gone under the microscope of the medical board in California. …I can assure you, physicians are scared.
“I am a director on the board for PIC, Physicians for informed consent. One of the issues we hear over and over again, is that physician are scared to be public about their concerns with vaccines.
“So this a real issue. …”
Q: Have you faced any repercussions because of you stand on vaccines?
A: “…It’s interesting. When you’re in medical school, you’re taught about all the safety issues, vaccines are safe and effective, and if you do anything to challenge that, you’re looked upon as anti-vaccine.
“I am not anti-vaccine. I am pro-science, and I’ve studied the science extensively over the last fifteen years.
“…So Bob Sears came out with his book, The Vaccine Book, in about 2008, and he had several plans he had outlined in that book. He was immediately discredited by The Academy of Pediatrics. Both he and I are a member of The Academy of Pediatrics.
“Many people have heard of the term—it’s now a new word probably—‘wakefielded.’ In the medical community, he was ostracized and ultimately lost his license for going up against the vaccine/pharmaceutical industry.
“There’s real fear folks. I’m one of the directors of PIC, Physicians for Informed Consent. We have over 200 members, we’re growing rapidly. There are lots of us who are concerned about vaccine safety with the current schedule. We’re concerned about some of the ingredients in some of the vaccines. But it is very difficult to find physicians willing to be vocal and open about that.
“I welcome the RFK, Jr. commission that Trump is trying to put together to get at the vaccine safety issue and openness in scientific research.
But back to my book, The Vaccine Friendly Plan. This is a pro-vaccine book…It’s science-based.
There are about 300 references, and they’re available on drpaulapproved.com.
“You can go to the reference link, and all the references are there, or at least most of them that I could get a hold of.
“You will find that there is good scientific reason to do a vaccine schedule that’s different than [the one] that the CDC and the AAP are promoting.
“The easy examples are during pregnancy, we’ve never studied long-term outcomes for injecting aluminum into a pregnant mom, or giving flu shots to pregnant moms. We just don’t have the long term data. The package inserts for those vaccines explicitly state that. So we shouldn’t be injecting pregnant moms—that’s a no brainer.
“Another easy example is the hepatitis B. Less than one percent of moms in America have hepatitis B…. Just removing that off the schedule is a no brainer. It’s common sense. A layperson with a sixth grade education understands that, but somehow the CDC and the AAP, and most pediatricians are not able to.
“Let me explain a little bit why that might be. As a pediatrician, I am graded on the quality of the care that I give. …Somebody has to decide what are the criteria by which we determine if this is a good doctor. So what are our quality measures? In pediatrics, invariably, vaccine rates are a quality measure.
“One of the health plans in our town for a few years—I fought it and finally got that one removed—but for a few years, it was, how many of your two year olds were completely vaccinated? In other words, they’d had all twenty—it’s been a while since I counted the total number, but a lot of vaccines. If you’re using common sense, you don’t do the hepatitis B for ninety-nine percent of the babies because they’re at zero risk.
“So my complete vaccination rate, it’s all or none, was less than one percent. So I am one of the ‘worse doctors.’ So doctors are under this kind of pressure. Whether it be from the health plan or whether they’re simply afraid of their medical board coming after their license, they don’t want to speak up, and that’s a sad state of affairs.
“We should have open scientific inquiry, and I’m hopeful that we’re going to head that direction with this new panel that Trump has suggested that RFK head up.
“As to The Vaccine Friendly Plan, we have data showing no new autism in the group that was studied.
“When I opened my new practice, Integrated Pediatrics, in June of 2008, …So we did an informed consent process. Here’s what you’re supposed to do, which is the entire vaccine schedule, according to the CDC, here’s what I would do if it was my kid and why. And you choose.
“I would say ninety-nine percent of the patients, once informed, for example, about the hepatitis B situation, chose to put it off. So that plan is outlined in my book. It’s no Hep B at birth, you’re going to do that closer to the teen years when they’re going to be at risk. …
“In The Vaccine Friendly Plan, you don’t do any vaccines if you have a strong family history of autism or autoimmune. You put off the MMR until age three. We have great data that giving the MMR at age three, just one shot, gives you ninety-nine percent chance of protection down the road. We have that data. We put off the Hep A, we wait on the chicken pox, and you only do one aluminum-containing vaccine at a time. So you still protect against pertussis, which can kill infants,… The Hib and the Prenar that prevent meningitis, against these are small numbers, but we don’t want to leave a child unprotected from meningitis. Those are given as well, but spaced out, so that you have the protection, but it’s a less toxic system.
“We had success with this. We closed the data set in February 2015. We had over a thousand patients who followed this plan, not a single new case of autism. You had to be at least two years and three months old to be in the study, so there was at least a chance that you would have autism have developed. The average age in the group was four years. No new autism.
“The second group unvaccinated, 238 children, not a single case of autism. They were hands down the healthiest kids.
“The third group, we had about 900 kids who were more heavily vaccinated, …and we had fifteen cases of autism or autism spectrum, a rate of one in 60.
“Why won’t people follow this other plan, The Vaccine Friendly Plan?
“All I can say is fear and ignorance. And honestly, we need more data anyway. I’m not saying my plan is perfect. I’m sure it’s not, but it’s certainly a start. We’re going to have to start looking at long term studies to compare unvaccinated, that compare perhaps the vaccine-friendly approach and it compares the CDC approach. If it’s done with informed consent, it should be completely ethical. I have patients beating down the door to my office. We grew from 1,000 to 13,000 patients in the last seven years. We’ve had waiting lists. We closed our practice for two years; we just couldn’t absorb the volume. If you’re a pediatrician, thinking oh, I can’t do that, I’m going to lose all my patients. It’s the opposite.
“Families, as they’re waking up to this issue, want doctors who will honor informed consent and give them reasonable options. You’re going to have to educate yourself, because where I stood when I didn’t know any of this information, I couldn’t possibly recommend anything other than the CDC schedule. I was of that mind that those are the smartest doctors, they must know best. If you really start to think about it, and this was the last straw that broke the camel’s back for me, was back in the early 2000’s, when they moved the hepatitis B from teenagers to newborns, and did it to everyone. It made absolutely no sense. …It was sold to us maybe we’ll develop a population that’s immune to hepatitis B. We know that’s not the case. Infants who get that series today are at a much higher risk for autism. We have that data in the literature. Infants who get this series as an infant have a 24 percent of being immune at age twenty. When do you need protection against hepatitis B? When you’re twenty, right? …
“We have an opportunity to do things better, and I urge you, if you’re listening to this, if you’re a parent, look into this. Don’t just accept what you’re being told to do by a pediatrician, family doctor, or a doctor who is not aware of all the studies. Read The Vaccine Friendly Plan, do your research, and we’re going to make a difference for America.”
Q: What are your views on the compensation program and the lack of liability on the part of doctors and vaccine makers?
A: “…Here’s my concerns. You just need to know that physicians have no liability for giving vaccines. In fact, there’s movement going on, pressure from the pharmaceutical companies—oh, by the way, they don’t have any liability either. Why? This is a product with known inherent risks, and they’re completely free of liability. Why would they make a safer product or spend the research dollars to make better vaccines? They don’t have any liability, nor do the doctors, and the push across the country is for pharmacists to do vaccines. If we can’t get enough doctors to prescribe them, if we just put ads on TV that scare you to go get this or that vaccine, you can just go to the pharmacy and get it. …And they have no liability either.
“This is unprecedented that you can have a product that has, in many cases, very little efficacy. If you look at the efficacy of the flu shot, go to the CDC website and look up flu shot efficacy, and there’s a table. For the last ten years, it’s around thirty, forty percent, sometimes lower. …
“…The Vaccine Injury Act only compensates people who qualify for certain predetermined known vaccine side effects. So you have to have literally an allergic reaction immediately after getting the vaccine generally to qualify. …
“If vaccines trigger your child to become autistic, good luck. So you’ve got a lifelong damaged child, and it’s not recognized as a side effect of vaccines. Nor are any of the developmental delays, neurological damage…”
Dr. Thomas then talked about the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, known as VAERS.
“Ask your pediatrician, or your family practice or your doctor, … ‘How many VAERS reports have you done over the last ten years, or in your career?’ And what’s embarrassing to me personally… It could take weeks, months, or years to develop [a disruption of your autoimmune system], and you can’t now go back and say, you know for sure it was this or that vaccine. …The problem sometimes is the whole schedule. …”
Dr. Thomas said that he doubts that VAERS even catches one percent of the cases of vaccine injury. He said that doctors “don’t even make the connection. Pediatricians, we’re probably the worst. It’s not because we’re bad people …We just were trained to believe that we were doing the best thing we possibly could for kids by giving them these vaccines, and we bought the story that they’re completely safe. It’s just not so. …It’s very hard to pinpoint it to one vaccine or the other, hence the problem with our current system.
“We’ve got to do research that looks at the whole health of the person. And that’s why I say that when we compare unvaccinated to vaccinated, unvaccinated to selectively vaccinated, selectively vaccinated to fully vaccinated, we’ll start getting answers.
“Until we do that, you cannot say that the research is settled, or that vaccines are safe. We need more data and we’re going to get it folks. The time is now. We’re not turning back, we’re not looking back. Insist on more data, and until you have it, I urge caution when it comes to vaccines. I hope you’ll read The Vaccine Friendly Plan.”
I am very grateful to Dr. Thomas for daring to challenge the sacred dogma “vaccines are safe, vaccines save lives.” He knows that currently we’re putting millions of children at risk.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.
(Technical assistance, John Dachel)