By Hilary Butler.

This is an issue which has been rumbling around since I first entered the immunisation debate. I believe there is a need for a database, but not the sort envisioned by the present politicians.

Overseas there is a huge outcry about the Hepatitis B vaccine, and again, diabetes has been mentioned. This subject was raised some time ago in relation to the Hepatitis B vaccine, but on Radio Rhema recently, Nikki Turner made the statement that the New Zealand Health Department had investigated Dr Classen’s allegations that the Hepatitis B vaccine caused an increase in diabetes in New Zealand children. She said "we" went through the New Zealand register, and that while diabetes had increased in the last 10 years, it had not increased "since childhood vaccinations started". This ambiguous statement needs urgent clarification. What does Nikki Turner mean by "since childhood vaccinations started"? All childhood vaccinations, or just Hepatitis B childhood vaccination?

There is no doubt in the media reports and diabetes register that a distinct rise appeared to start shortly after Hepatitis B vaccines were introduced. On August 13 1997, the Herald (A7) reported:

"Diabetes is becoming more common but less severe in Auckland, a new study of children has shown. The findings of the University of Auckland study were released at the Australian and New Zealand Paediatrics Conference, which opened in Christchurch yesterday. The research was carried out because doctors realised they were seeing more children with diabetes than 10 years ago, but they were not as sick with the disease. The study looked at glucose levels, length of stay in hospitals and insulin treatment."

They never looked to see if at least 10% of children had not received a vaccine.

Not long before this, the Herald also said (22nd May 1996) under the heading "Big Macs start chaos under the palm trees", that the Pacific has one of the world’s highest rates of diabetes. They blamed Samoans who bought 50 – 60 Big Macs a day. Quite how they can afford that was not elaborated on. However, what they did not say, until this year, was that Samoa has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. There has been no discussion of that.

Finland showed a 57% increase in diabetes between 1965 and 1984 in children aged less than 15 years, equivalent to an annual increase of 2.4%.

They introduced the MMR vaccine in 1982, and by 1991 were decrying a further huge increase in diabetic children (Diabetologia 1991;34:282-287), but no vaccine has ever been investigated to see if there is a link, in spite of the fact that these children show a rate of 40/100,000 – the highest in Europe (Lancet 1992;339:905-9). The question needs to be asked: Why is it that the older, unpunctured generation has a far lower rate of diabetes? In Karachi, Pakistan, the rate of diabetes is 1.02/100,000 (Arch Dis child 1997; 76:121-123) – they have not yet complied with WHO’s desire for saturation puncturage with everything. Last year there was much debate in the British Medical Journal about funding Pakistan to start the Hepatitis B schedule in their country. Long may Pakistan remain poor, if that is the only reason why they don’t use it. So, why is diabetes so interesting?

"Geographical differences in the incidence of IDD, the increase in frequency (e.g., four-fold*) of the disease during the past 30 years, the two-third discordance rate for IDD between identical twins, and the fact that most new cases of IDD are in individuals with no family history of the disease, all implicate environmental factors (e.g., diet, viruses, stress) in the pathogenesis of this disease. (Lancet 1996; 347:1464-65).

*four-fold increase in European countries, worst in the North, less so in the South.

When there was a finding that 100% of newly diagnosed IDD patients had antibodies to bovine serum albumin, they tried to blame milk. However, studies comparing babies fed cow’s milk with breastfed babies whose mothers had never had milk products found that they all had antibodies; which is to be expected since these breastfed babies are given vaccines cultured on 10% fetal bovine serum. There is another very important fact to be considered:

"IDD may exist in a symptomless, autoimmune state for months to years (e.g., up to 35 years) before the onset of symptoms." (Lancet 1996; 347:1464-1465.)

USA: "… the incidence is markedly age-dependent, increasing from a near absence during the early months of life to a peak coincidence with pubertal development. The disease can however, occur at any age, with a small midlife peak in incidence."

Could this midlife blip be delayed diabetes from childhood vaccines?

In November 1994, there was a huge blast in all the papers about how an anti-diabetes vaccine was due to trial here "after an international breakthrough by a New Zealand researcher". Our very own Bob Elliot designed it. That was five years ago, and nothing else has been heard of since. So, what has happened to the diabetes rate in our "civilised countries"?

"Several reports have shown an increase in the incidence of type 1 diabetes in the UK and other

countries. This trend implicates an increasing influence of environmental trigger factors against a backdrop of genetic susceptibility. The incidence of IDDM in Europe is increasing rapidly, with the rate in many countries roughly doubling over the past 20 years. The highest reported rates have been in Finland and other Scandinavian counties."

"…this study was conducted because of concern about the increasing incidence of type 1 IDDM in Scottish children… from 13.8/100,000 between 1968 and 1976 and up to 21.0/100,000 from 1977 to 1983 for children aged less than 19 years. This increase of about 2% a year, though small, is statistically significant, the effect over 10 years is a large increase." (Arch Dis Child 1997; 77:210-213)

Then came a bombshell. A study in children under 5 years in the Oxford region in England showed an annual increase of 4% from 1985 to 1996. BUT

"This was mainly due to a rapid increase in children aged 0 – 4years, in whom there was an annual increase of 11%the cause of the increase is unknown, but environmental influences encountered before birth or in early postnatal life are likely to be responsible" (BMJ 1997; 315:713 –717.) (My emphasis.)

Is or is not a vaccine an environmental influence?

I believe that all vaccines have the ability to cause diabetes, but that MMR and the hepatitis B vaccine have a particular infinity with the pancreas. I believe that the huge increase in diabetes in Samoa has little to do with Big Macs, and everything to do with both vaccines, and processed foods. I also believe that the reason Nikki Turner is able to say there is no diabetes increase is that she has not asked the right questions; doctor’s believe that vaccines do no harm – ever; and that CARM is as useless as the USA VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) which does not establish causation, but looks at long-term trends.

Many years ago, when Michael Soljak and I debated the data-base idea, I wanted it. The reason was that if the data-base was linked in with the Centre of Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM), and if the health of every child was studied i.e. vaccinated and unvaccinated, then there would be two groups imme-diately, with their permission, to do a retrospective study on their health. If we did this, I believe that it would be found that diabetes, and other chronic illness would be far more common in the vaccinated majority, and would occur at far lower rates amongst the unvaccinated. You only need a 5% total population child cohort of unvaccinated children to have enough numbers to do a proper scientifically valid study.

But it seems the only "will" to do anything now, is to track vaccinated children, and then what?


Recently, Ralph Wiles was quoted in the Herald (Friday, June 11, 1999 A11):

"Are all those doctors, scientists and other health professionals wrong? Do a few people who can seldom bring to mind a specific instance of immun-isation danger that they’ve read about, let alone had any personal experience of, know something the rest of us don’t? If they do, we’re still waiting for the conclusive evidence."

I was going to write an article about the disease Hepatitis B, but under the circumstances, it seems more appropriate to show readers some of the evidence which will never get into Ralph Wiles’s orbit. Even if he saw it, I doubt it would receive a cursory read, let alone careful consideration.

But you, the reader, need to know that the Hepatitis B vaccine could well become the most dangerous item ever to be offered to you. These concerns are being expressed by doctors and nurses, who are described by Ralph Wiles in the following terms:

"It is deplorable that some of those in the group that decries immunisation are health professionals who seem to have set aside that profession’s usual standards of empirical proof…"

When you have finished reading the following three submissions, make up your own mind just who has set aside the standards of proof that we expect from people who consider it their right to decide what our choices should be.

[Vaccination]  [Hilary Butler]