The latest news from Paul Offit and his cronies is that we can all stop trusting our own eyes and experiences. I know. Nothing new, right?
According to a piece published December 11, 2014 in Medscape Medical News,
Children who receive routine childhood immunizations are not more likely to develop allergies later in life, despite contrary claims from parents, and are even protected against allergic disease, a cohort study indicates.
“What we hear from parents is that vaccination leads to more allergic reactions in later life,” said Olf Herbarth, MD, from the University of Leipzig in Germany.
The study, which compared vaccinated with unvaccinated children, showed “a lower prevalence of allergic disorders if children had been vaccinated, even in children predisposed to allergies, so a higher risk of allergies is not a consequence of vaccination.”
The write-up goes on to describe Dr. Herbarth’s study, giving some information about the participants, and a few snippets of information about the study design. What is missing is a link to anything published. That means we can’t review the actual study itself. That’s a problem. We don’t know how many children were in each cohort. One of the groups is described as coming from a study that was performed on children at increased risk of atopy, based on parental history, but we don’t know anything else about that group, including when they were born. We don’t know the type of statistical analysis that was performed. We don’t have enough information to assess the validity of the study at all. When we don’t have these things to examine, we cannot make any kind of generalizations about the results to ANY population. If the study IS published, it should have been linked in the Medscape write-up.
Here’s what we do know…
- The study was performed in Germany.
- The participants in two groups were children born in 1988-1989 and 1994-1995 (these are referred to as age-cohorts).
- Vaccination of children is not mandatory in Germany.
- Germany did not add the Hepatitis B vaccine to its recommended schedule until 1995.
- Therefore, it is highly likely that NONE of the children in Dr. Herbarth’s study received the Hepatitis B vaccine.
- The Hepatitis B vaccine was added to the United States Childhood Vaccination Schedule in 1990 and was nearly universal by 1992.
What does all this mean? It means any results of Dr. Herbarth’s study CANNOT be generalized or applied to children living outside of Germany and those results certainly cannot be used to imply that there is any relevance to what is happening to children in the United States, who receive more vaccinations, beginning with the Hepatitis B vaccine on the first day of life. Please read this article for an in-depth discussion on Hepatitis B vaccination in the United States.
The author of the Medscape piece writes, “The linking of vaccination to allergies by parents has been going on for years, said Paul Offit, MD, from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. That thinking is likely related to the “hygiene hypothesis,” he explained.”
Dr. Offit is quoted further:
“If you look at children in the developing world — where they are much more likely to be exposed to infections earlier in life and where their intestines are often colonized by toxin-producing bacteria and parasites — the incidence of allergies and asthma is lower than in children in the developed world,” he told Medscape Medical News.
This is what prompted the formulation of the hygiene hypothesis, which, in Dr. Offit’s view, is not a hypothesis but a fact.
“I think the hygiene hypothesis is where this all comes from, but I think it has nothing to do with vaccines,” he said. “All of the diseases that vaccines prevent have nothing to do with the level of sanitation in a country or hygiene in the home. You are not targeting agents with vaccines that are more prone to occur in one country or another.”
Dear Dr. Offit: I would like you to understand something. I do not trust you. I am not going to take your word for anything, just because you say so.
When it comes to vaccines and allergies, I trust Dr. Sicherer, who reported his observations at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology – observations which included the fact that he and his colleagues were seeing anaphylaxis in their patients with milk allergies when they were injected with DTaP, which contains milk proteins.
I also trust Dr. Tim O’Shea, who has researched and written extensively about the association between peanut oil in vaccines and the very significant increase in life-threatening allergies to peanuts in children who received those vaccines.
I also trust myself and I trust the parents of the children I’ve seen. I trust the research, and I trust the lab results.
In response to Dr. Offit’s assertion that we (parents) are just so simple in our thinking that we somehow believe the “hygiene hypothesis” is responsible for vaccines causing allergies, I have this to say:
The linking of vaccination with allergies is not related to the hygiene hypothesis. It’s related to the act of injecting food proteins (eggs, milk, peanut, yeast) along with neuro-immune toxins (mercury, aluminum, polysorbate 80, formaldehyde) and viruses and bacteria, and the fact that because those food proteins are injected along with toxins, what should be recognized by the body as “benign” becomes instead recognized as “toxic.” It’s also because when you introduce a food protein into the blood stream you are bypassing the digestive tract, which is where food proteins belong…. AND because mercury and aluminum deplete essential minerals, including zinc, which is essential for the integrity of the digestive tract (and the blood-brain-barrier) – AND because mercury and aluminum and other toxins damage the immune system, which results in more frequent infections, which results in more frequent antibiotic administration, which results in wiping out the good gut bacteria, which results in overgrowth of pathogens including candida and bacterial infections including clostridia, and because by that time the GI tract is so inflamed it can’t handle certain food proteins – especially gluten and casein, which are extremely difficult to break down, and which are even more difficult to break down because mercury and aluminum deactivate DPP-IV, which is the enzyme that is responsible for breaking them down… And… it’s also because when you assault an immature immune system (prior to the age of two years) with multiple vaccines containing multiple viruses, bacteria and toxins (as many as 10 vaccines at the 2, 4, and 6 month “well-baby checks”), the body is thrown into a state of metabolic confusion trying to figure out what to fight off, and in the confusion, it starts fighting things that should not be considered “enemy” or “pathogen” – the result is autoimmunity and allergies – and ADHD, Autism, and whole host of other chronic conditions. So… No, Dr. Offit. It’s not about the hygiene hypothesis.
As noted above, Dr. Offit and Dr. Herbarth want us to believe that results of an apparently unpublished study, conducted in Germany, on children who were voluntarily vaccinated with a schedule that is significantly different than what is given to children living in the United States are somehow even remotely applicable or valid if applied to our kids. Just because Dr. Offit says so? I don’t think so. And to take that invalid, unpublished information even further and insinuate… NO… ASSERT that vaccination is protective against allergies? Talk about making grand leaps. Evel Knievel couldn’t jump that far.
One last thing… At the end of the Medscape piece, we can read the disclosure information. This is what it says:
Dr. Herbarth and Dr. Offit have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Really? Dr. Offit’s research chair at CHOP (used to be $1.5 million per year; probably has not decreased in the last few years…) is funded by Merck Pharmaceutical Company. Merck manufactures and sells many of the vaccines this piece is promoting as being protective against allergies. Dr. Offit also developed a rotavirus vaccine, with a patent that sold for $182 MILLION dollars.
Interesting he has “no relevant” financial relationships to declare. That’s an awful lot of money. I wonder what Dr. Offit does consider relevant and worthy of disclosure.
NOTE: I tried to link to the Medscape article itself, but that was not possible, as the newsletter requires the reader to establish an account and log in. The photos below contain the entire text of the article, with the citation at the bottom.