Vaccine Scene 1999: Overview And Update
By Harold Buttram, MD

Taken from "Healthy News You Can Use" #112  -

As an introductory comment, virtually all of the world's religions, in their origins, have taught the importance of maintaining cleanliness and purity of the human body. Although it is an accepted practice to maintain a separation between matters of science and religion, in issues surrounding childhood immunizations there is sufficient overlap to justify mention of the religious aspect.

The most basic long-term concern with current childhood vaccines, one as yet largely theoretical, is that the introduction of foreign genetic material, especially in the forms of live-virus vaccines, into the system of the child may bring about genetic changes. These in turn may bring about disease-creating situations due to the presence of alien, incompatible genetic elements in the child. Research in this area being in its infancy, we have a long way to go before such a theory can be proven scientifically, but the concept does have roots in folklore from the earliest dawn of human history as well as in religious faiths.

It is true that there may be situations where extreme measures may be justified to preserve life and health as the lesser of two evils. The basic question, therefore, is whether the benefits of current childhood vaccines outweigh the harm, or whether the reverse is true.

As to the benefits of vaccines, polio has been eliminated from the Western Hemisphere; smallpox may have been eliminated worldwide, although there are disturbing reports that it still to be found in parts of the Far East.

However, vaccine proponents would have us believe that vaccines have been largely responsible for controlling virtually all of the former epidemics of killer diseases in the U.S.A. With the exceptions cited above, the facts do not bear this out. According to the records of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, from 1911 to 1935 the 4 leading causes of death from infectious diseases in the USA were diptheria, scarlet fever, whooping cough (pertussis) and measles. However, by 1945 the combined death rates from these causes had declined by 95%, BEFORE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MASS IMMUNIZATION PROGRAMS. (1) By far the greatest factors in this decline were sanitation through public health measures, improved nutrition, and better housing with less crowded conditions.

It should be pointed out that today's children receive up to 35 vaccines before school age, whereas today's senior citizens received only one, the smallpox vaccine. Most infants have been receiving up to 15 doses of mercury-containing vaccines by the time they are 6 months old. It is almost inconceivable that these heavy burdens of foreign immunologic materials, introduced into the immature systems of children, could fail to bring about disruptions and adverse reactions in these in these systems. It is reasonable to ask ourselves, therefore, what is known about these reactions.

A small but growing minority of physicians and scientists are becoming aware that safety testings for the various vaccines have been woefully inadequate. As one of many examples, in 1994, a special committee of the National Academy of Sciences published a comprehensive review of the vaccine safety of the hepatitis B vaccine. When the committee investigated 5 possible and plausible adverse effects, they were unable to come to any conclusion for 4 of them because, to their dismay, they found that relevant safety research had not been done.

The clear implication of this and other revelations (2) concerning a general deficiency of safety testing in the vaccine field is that
adverse reactions may be taking place on a large scale without being recognized as to their true nature.

There is a school of thought that the so-called minor childhood illnesses of former times, including measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox, which entered the body through the mucous membranes, served a necessary and positive purpose in challenging and strengthening the immune systems of these membranes. (3) In contrast, the respective vaccines of these diseases are injected by needle directly into the system of the child, thereby bypassing the mucosal immune system. As a result, mucosal immunity remains relatively weak and stunted in many children, one complication of which may be the rapid increase in asthma now seen, both in frequency and severity.

It is true that in former times there were occasional serious complications from these childhood diseases, but most of these could be eliminated by nutrition, homeopathy, and other simple means, if these approaches were made widely available. No one wants to see serious complications from diseases in our children, but the vaccine route may in time prove to be the worst possible choice that could have been made, as concerns these minor childhood diseases.

Perhaps the greatest concern with vaccines today rests with the possible casual relation with the growing epidemic of childhood autism, developmental delay, and attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder, (ADHD). Regarding the latter, a recent report stated that ADHD had increased from 900,000 in 1991 to nearly 5 million today.  Regarding autism, a recent statistical survey mandated by the California state legislature found an increase of 273% in California in the past 10 years.  Reports from education departments in a number of states, reporting on the rapidly increasing needs of classrooms for developmentally delayed children, reflect comparable increases throughout the nation. (4)

At present, primary suspicion for this epidemic of neurobehavioral disorders rests with the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine.  Although scientific evidence has not yet reached the standards of proof, one pioneer researcher in this area, Dr. Vijendra Singh with the University of Michigan, has published a report of a study in which he found that a large majority of autistic children tested had antibodies to brain tissue, in the form of antibodies to myelin basic protein.  He also found a strong correlation between myelin basic protein antibodies and antibodies to measles, mumps, and rubella (almost all of the children had been immunized with MMR, and none had had these diseases). (5) This study confirms the results of a similar study published in The Lancet in 1998 by Dr. Andrew Wakefield of the Royal Free hospital in London, showing a link between MMR vaccination and Crohn's disease of the bowel and autism. (6)

If the MMR vaccine were causing an autoimmune reaction involving the brains of autistic children, what would be the mechanism? Although research in this area is in its infancy, as previously mentioned, we do know some things.  Both the measles and mumps fractions of the MMR vaccine are cultured in chick embryo tissue.  As purely genetic material, viruses are highly susceptible to the process of "jumping genes," in which they may incorporate genetic material from the tissues in which they are cultured (7-8).  Once this genetic material of chick origin is introduced into the child, it may set in motion an immunologic battleground, a process that the work of Dr. Singh would tend to confirm.

A similar process may have taken place with the oral (Sabin) polio vaccine, which is cultured in monkey kidneys.  Years ago Dr. John Martin, then serving as the director of the viral oncology branch within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, reported to his supervisors that he found foreign DNA in contemporary polio vaccines.  He later learned that a simian (Monkey) cytomegalic virus had been found in all of the eleven African green monkeys imported for production of the polio vaccine. (9) After leaving the FDA he took a position as professor of pathology with the University of Southern California.  There he tested blood samples from patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, autism, and other nervous disorders. This work led to his discovery of unique cell-destroying viruses that were not recognized by the immune system. Termed "stealth viruses," the viruses were able to cause persistent infections because they were missing genes which, if evoked, would express immunity. (10-11)

In March 1995 Dr. Martin communicated to FDA officials that some stealth viruses clearly originated from African green monkey simian cytomegalic viruses, a type of herpes virus that may also infect humans. Dr. Martin asked the FDA to help him investigate the prevalence of this infection in the general population and in polio vaccine lots. His request was denied. (9)

Long overdue, on June 17, 1999 U.S. government officials voted to withdraw their recommendation for the use of the live polio vaccine and to recommend "exclusive" use of the inactivated (Salk) polio vaccine. (Parenthetically, the Salk vaccine is free of the danger of herpes virus contamination.)

In summary, it is possible that either the MMR or the oral polio vaccines, by mechanisms described above, may induce a process of encephalitis or brain inflammation, which may be highly prevalent but as yet rarely recognized for its true nature.

As another basic concept, it is highly pertinent that many of today's children are second-generation vaccinees, that is, they are born to mothers previously vaccinated with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccines. It is possible that the reaction rates in the
second-generation vaccinees may be happening on a much larger scale due to previous sensitization of the mothers from their vaccines, this sensitization in turn being transmitted to the fetus during pregnancy. (12) If this process is taking place, something we cannot know until appropriate research is done, one shudders to think of the unfathomable consequences, should the process be continued into yet another, a third generation.

Time may prove that vaccine programs went awry when they deviated from the most basic of all medical ethics, the right of a patient to accept or reject a medical therapy, or the right of parents to accept or reject vaccines for their children. Freedom-of-choice provides a system of checks and balances now lacking. At the very least, this would provide the parents with power to compel better safety screening of the vaccines. The remedy? Parents should be allowed the right of informed consent, or the right to accept or reject vaccines for their children based on full and uncensored disclosure of pros and cons.

Today we have a system in which vaccine production by the pharmaceutical companies is largely self-regulated. Of course these companies are interested in profits from their products which, in itself, is not wrong. However, when arbitrary decisions in the mandating of vaccines are made by the government bureaucracies, which are highly partisan to the pharmaceuticals, with no recourse open to parents, we have all the potential ingredients for a tragedy of historical proportions.


(1)     Dublin, L. Health Progress, 1936-1945, New York Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., 1948, Page 12.
(2)     Buttram, H. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act: A Critique, The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, October, 1998: 66-68.
(3)     Incao, Philip Supporting Children's Health, Alternative Medicine Digest, Issue 19: 54-59. (
(4)     From information compiled by F. Edward Yazbak, MD, FAAP, available from our office on request. Tel# 215 536-1890.
(5)     Singh V & Yang V. Serological association of measles virus and human herpesvirus-6 with brain autoantibodies in autism, Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology, Vol 88 (1); 1998: 105-108.
(6)     Wakefield, AJ et al, Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children, The Lancet, Vol 351, February 28, 1998: 637-641.
(7)     Kumar S & Miller LK, Effects of serial passage of Autographa California nuclear polyhedrosis virus in cell culture, Virus Research, Vol 7; 1987: 335-349.
(8)     Jahnke U et al, sequence homology between certain viral proteins related to encephomyelitis and neuritis, Science, Vol 29, July 19, 1985:282-284.
(9)     Emerging Viruses, AIDS and EBOLA, Leonard G Horowitz, DMD, MA, MPH, Tetrahedron Publishing Group, Rockport, Massachusetts, 1997:488-493.
(10)   Martin WJ et al. African green monkey origin of the atypical cytopathic "stealth virus" isolated from a patient with chronic fatigue syndrome. Clin & Diagn Virology, Vol 4; 1994: 93-103.
(11)   Martin WJ et al. Stealth virus epidemic in Mohave Valle, I. Initial report of virus isolation, Pathobiology, 65 (1); 1997: 351-356.
(12)   Gupta S et al. Dysregulate immune system in children with autism, beneficial effects of intravenous globulin on autistic characteristics, J of Autism and Develop Disorders, 26 (4); 1996: 439-452, (In this article on page 450 it was stated, "We theorize that the high titers of rubella antibody....presented in mothers of children with autism would be transplacentally transferred and may persist for a prolonged period in the child. When such a child gets MMR immunization, rubella antigen may complex with preexisting antibodies and such complexes might play a role in pathogenesis of autistic features.")

COMMENT: This is an excellent review by Dr. Buttram. He is a wonderfully kind elderly medical doctor in Quakertown, PA. One of my good friends, Dr. Bill Kracht is his associate. If you are from that area of the country, their practice is one of the best around. They are both highly recommended physicians who provide top-notch care. 215-536-1890