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You are here: Back to Home > Vaccines > DTaP > Dangers of the DTaP Vaccine

Dangers of the DTaP Vaccine



The DTaP vaccine has gone through many changes over the years. The P, whole-cell pertussis toxoid was known to cause many problems. The first use of the whole-cell pertussis was made in 1912 by two French bacteriologists. The illness was claiming the lives of hundreds of infants and children and they were desperate to find a vaccine. It was very crude and although there is no evidence it protected children, it may have reduced the severity of the illness. Then, in 1925 Dr. Thorvald Madsen modified the vaccine and was the first to “test” the whole-cell pertussis on a wide scale in the North Sea, Faroe Islands. Little is known about the success of that study but it did appear to reduce the severity of the illness. The first combined DPT vaccine made back to the US in 1942. 

An American scientist, Pearl Kendrick, combined the whole-cell pertussis with the diphtheria and tetanus toxoid to make the first combination “cocktail” vaccine. It was widely used until 1997 but side effects, caused by the pertussis component of the vaccine, were noted by many physicians and parents whose children were suffering severe neurological injuries. That vaccine caused severe neurological problems in a huge segment of the population, leaving them in wheel chairs, on ventilators, crippled with feeding tubes, caused demyelinating disease and left many dead. The vaccine continued in the US market in spite of a safer vaccine used by the Japanese. Scientist, Yuji Sato developed an acellular pertussis vaccine consisting of purified haemagglutinins (HAs: filamentous strep throat and leucocytosis-promoting-factor HA), which are secreted by B. pertussis into the culture medium. Japan started to use this attenuated (weekend) vaccine in 1981 but the United Stated continued to use the old one. 

Studies Ignored by the CDC 

In 1982 the FDA hosted a vaccine symposium where a Japanese scientist stated that the toxic substance produced by B. pertussis may be responsible for the neurological complications in the whooping cough illnesses and also responsible for the neurological problems caused by the vaccine. Again in 1989 at the International Workshop on Neurological Complications Of Whooping Cough And the Pertussis Vaccine, led by John Menkes, MD Neurologist and Pediatrics at UCLA and other scientists agreed that, “There is sufficient data to implicate both endotoxin and pertussis toxin in neurological complications in the disease and in adverse reactions to pertussis vaccine.” (1) This just illustrates how little we knew scientifically back then about the mechanism of the illnesses and how the vaccines could cause injury. 

The US continued to use the old whole-cell vaccine until 1997. There are several companies who make variations of the DTaP vaccine. The updated vaccine referred to the DTaP seems to be less reactive and causes less injures that the first vaccine but is still causing problems. Historically, the whole-cell pertussis component in the DPT is considered one of the most dangerous toxins ever used on a vaccine. 

Injuries Noted with the First DPT Vaccine 

Before the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) was established in 1991, there was no place where vaccine side effects could be officially reported. Doctors who suspected that the vaccine was causing problems were reluctant to disclose these problems. They were concerned about law suits and liability issues. They also trusted the agencies that were mandating the vaccines and in charge of the safety studies. Fortunately, many physicians are no longer ignoring the overwhelming evidence that vaccines are harming people. 

There have been books dedicated to documenting the awful effects of the early DPT vaccine. For 20+ years, a safer vaccine was available used by Japan and other countries but the United States ignored the evidence. In 1978, a study conducted by UCLA and funded by the FDA was the first to look at statistics of injury from the DPT vaccine. Reports from parents recalling how their baby cried uncontrollable for hours after the shot, collapsed into convulsions and died hours later were ignored by the mainstream medical society who continued to promote the use of the shot. In a book written by Barbara Loe Fisher, founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, Washington, DC and Dr. Harris Coulter called, A Shot in the Dark - Why the P in the DPT vaccination may be hazardous to your child’s health, they state the following, “The most striking finding in this preliminary analysis is the relatively high frequency of persistent crying (brain inflammation), convulsion-like episodes and collapse following DPT vaccination.” (1) They found a higher incidence of serious reactions than any other vaccine in the childhood program.

This study still under estimated the severe reactions due to political pressure but was still the catalyst that forced the US to reluctantly move to the vaccine using the weakened form of pertussis (attenuated), the DTaP vaccine. This was historically the beginning of public scrutiny on a large basis. Before this incidence, the public had complete trust in the vaccine programs, the FDA, the CDC and in their physicians who reassured them the vaccines were safe. Only a small segment of the population, like myself, were deeply concerned about the safety of injecting foreign bacteria, viruses and man-made chemicals into the body of infants and children. It would take almost 20 years before the old vaccine was shelved and the newer, safer vaccine would be used. Any child born before 1995 was given the old DPT vaccine.

DTaP Vaccine Causing Pertussis Outbreaks 

Most of the childhood illnesses and death from the illnesses dropped off dramatically between 1920 and 1950. Currently, diphtheria and tetanus are very rare. Pertussis, unlike the previous illnesses, continues to circulate around the United States regardless of vaccine rates. The CDC likes to take credit for eradicating polio and small pox and want to also take credit for the reduction of cases of diphtheria and tetanus. If the vaccine was the real reason, why would we continue to have pertussis outbreaks? Vaccines do cause the body to respond differently to the illness. Many immunologists believe that vaccines cause suppression of the expression of the illness, forcing the body to respond completely different to the injected illness. How do we know this is good? Could the pertussis endotoxin in the vaccine cause pertussis in children and adults? Why are there large pertussis outbreaks in highly vaccinated populations? (In 4 major pertussis outbreaks, over 70% of all who got pertussis were fully vaccinated. (See article DTaP History). 

In 1996, Vermont reported a pertussis outbreak and 74% of all the children stricken with the illness had gotten 3-5-doses of the pertussis vaccine. In 2003, there was a large outbreak again in Cyprus and they reported that 79% of everyone who contracted the disease had 3-5 doses of the vaccine. In 2009, New Jersey had an outbreak and 100% of the children had been vaccinated. (6) I believe the biggest problems is that, “they do not want to know if the vaccine is causing the illness!” That information getting out to the public would cause the whole multi-billion dollar program to crumble. 

The erosion of trust in this country is growing like an ameba in a warm spring pond! People are waking up to the corruption and greed that fuels the whole medical system from the CDC, FDA, Institute of Medicine right down to the local hospitals and the media. 

Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) 

Vaccines have been in use for over 80 years. One would assume that a responsible institution like the FDA or the CDC would have in place a method of reporting where a physician or parent would report a serious injury from a vaccine. There was no such reporting system until 1990 when a “passive reporting system” was set up in Washington. By law, doctors are supposed to report any adverse events they see after vaccinating to this office in Washington. Congressional Records found that only 10% of all events are reported, the rest get ignored. Talk about the fox watching the chicken coop! As I have read dozens and dozens of books on the vaccine problem, one theme is consistent: the doctors will not admit to the parents that the babies are having an adverse event associated to the shots. Some parents report such severe reactions that ambulances are called to rush babies to the hospital where the baby dies or is never the same. Parents know their babies better than anyone and that is why even though the studies claim that the vaccines are safe and not causing problems, parents know better.

Thimerosal in Vaccines

In 2000 – 2003, Congressional hearings exposed that many vaccines contained a form of ethyl-mercury called Thimerosal. Thimerosal was used as a stabilizer, a preservative and an adjuvant (stimulate the response to the vaccine). DTaP is one of the vaccines that contained levels that exceeded the EPA safety levels (0-4 micrograms) (25 micrograms per shot) and still contains traces of Thimerosal. (See “What is a Trace”). Thimerosal is a very toxic form of mercury that is not easily eliminated from the body and can accumulate in the brain and other fatty tissues. Thimerosal is actually more difficult to eliminate than other forms of mercury. When comparing it to methylmercury found in foods, the National Institute of Health in 2005 stated, “Ethylmercury is more toxic than methylmercury because it crosses the blood-brain barrier quicker and converts to inorganic mercury”.(2) When compare eating mercury in fish with injecting it in a vaccine, it is like comparing eating an apples to injecting oranges. Through digestion, the body is equipped to eliminate the mercury providing it is within certain ranges. When we inject Thimerosal via vaccine into the muscle, we are introducing the mercury into the blood system where it can be circulated around the body and absorbed. That is why blood tests done days following vaccination do not show high mercury levels. This is one argument the CDC and other authorities use to claim that Thimerosal used in vaccines is safe.

Is There a Safe Form of Thimerosal? 

The manufactures of Thimerosal, Eli Lilly, know it is toxic and have many warnings about its toxicity. All toxic elements must have a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). The MSDS for Thimerosal reads, "Section 3: Hazards Identification - …may be toxic to kidneys, liver, spleen, bone marrow, central nervous system (CNS). Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage. "Section 3: Hazards Identification - ... Exposure to mercury in utero (during pregnancy) and in children may cause mild to severe mental retardation and mild to severe motor coordination impairment." Section 11: Toxicological Information - Special Remarks on Chronic Effects on Humans: May cause cancer based on animal data. No human data found."

After the Congressional Hearings, the manufactures of vaccines agreed to reduce the Thimerosal in vaccines. To this date, many vaccines still contain Thimerosal as an adjuvant even though it has been shown to be very toxic. Some DTaP vaccines contain Thimerosal along with formaldehyde, latex, aluminum phosphate, Polysorbate 80 and many other chemicals that do not belong in the body. (See article- DTaP Vaccine Ingredients) 

There are many newer studies that the public are not aware of.  In 2007 the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health reported,  "The dangers of Thimerosal has been known and published for decades. Nonetheless, Thimerosal remains in the drug supply, especially in various vaccines manufactured both for the United States and globally. The ubiquitous and largely unchecked place of Thimerosal in pharmaceutical products, therefore, represents a medical crisis in the modern day." Clearly, the top physicians in this country know we are having major problems with Thimerosal but their hands are tied. If they expose the problem the will be destroyed. 

DTaP Vaccine Schedule 

The vaccine is part of the childhood vaccine program and children get the first of 5 shots at 2 months old. If an adolescent is 12 years or older, they may also recommend that child get a booster vaccine. For adolescents and adults there are a few other vaccines recommended that eliminate the pertussis component, TD or the weakened form of pertussis and diphtheria (Tdap).

References:
  1. A Shot in the Dark- DPT - Dr. Harris Coulter and Barbara Low Fisher (pg.9) 
  2. A Shot in the Dark, (Pertussis) Barbara Low fisher and Dr. Harris Coulter (pg. 145) 
  3. National Institute of Health-NIH
                                                                                                                                                               
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