In late 2014, the Ministry of Health of Brazil announced the introduction of the Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis) vaccine for all pregnant women in that country as part of its routine vaccination program. The move was aimed at trying to contain the resurgence of pertussis in Brazil.
In December 2015, the Brazilian government declared an emergency after 2,400 Brazilian babies were found to be born with shrunken heads (microcephaly) and damaged brains since October.
Brazilian public health officials don’t know what is causing the increase in microcephaly cases in babies born in Brazil, but they are theorizing that it may be caused by a virus known as “Zika,” which is spread by mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti)—in the same way as is the West Nile virus.
The theory is largely based on the fact that they found the Zika virus in a baby with microcephaly following an autopsy of the dead child. The virus was also found in the amniotic fluid of two mothers whose babies had the condition.
Note that Zika is not a new virus; it has been around for decades. No explanation has been given as to why suddenly it could be causing all these cases of microcephaly. No one is seriously asking the question, “What has changed?”
There is no theorizing about the possibility that the cases of microcephaly could be linked to the mandating of the Tdap vaccine for all pregnant women in Brazil about 10 months earlier. The government has “assumed” the cause is a virus.
FACT—Drug companies did not test the safety and effectiveness of giving Tdap vaccine to pregnant women before the vaccines were licensed in the U.S. and there is almost no data on inflammatory or other biological responses to this vaccine that could affect pregnancy and birth outcomes.
FACT—According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) adequate testing has not been done in humans to demonstrate safety for pregnant women and it is not known whether the vaccines can cause fetal harm or affect reproduction capacity. The manufacturers of the Tdap vaccine state that human toxicity and fertility studies are inadequate and warn that Tdap should “be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.”
FACT—There are ingredients pertussis containing Tdap vaccine that have not been fully evaluated for potential genotoxic or other adverse effects on the human fetus developing in the womb that may negatively affect health after birth, including aluminum adjuvants, mercury containing (Thimerosal) preservatives and many more bioactive and potentially toxic ingredients.
FACT—There are serious problems with outdated testing procedures for determining the potency and toxicity of pertussis vaccines and some scientists are calling for limits to be established for specific toxin content of pertussis-containing vaccines.
FACT—There are no published biological mechanism studies that assess pre-vaccination health status and measure changes in brain and immune function and chromosomal integrity after vaccination of pregnant women or their babies developing in the womb.
FACT—Since licensure of Tdap vaccine in the U.S., there have been no well designed prospective case controlled studies comparing the health outcomes of large groups of women who get pertussis containing Tdap vaccine during pregnancy either separately or simultaneously compared to those who do not get the vaccines, and no similar health outcome comparisons of their newborns at birth or in the first year of life have been conducted. Safety and effectiveness evaluations that have been conducted are either small, retrospective, compare vaccinated women to vaccinated women or have been performed by drug company or government health officials using unpublished data.
FACT—The FDA has licensed Tdap vaccines to be given once as a single dose pertussis booster shot to individuals over 10 or 11 years old. The CDC’s recommendation that doctors give every pregnant woman a Tdap vaccination during every pregnancy—regardless of whether a woman has already received one dose of Tdap—is an off-label use of the vaccine.
FACT—Injuries and deaths from pertussis-containing vaccines are the most compensated claims in the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) and influenza vaccine injuries and deaths are the second most compensated claim.
FACT—A 2013 published study evaluating reports of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) following vaccination in the U. S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) and in a European vaccine reaction reporting system found that pertussis containing DTaP was among the vaccines most frequently associated with brain inflammation in children between birth and age five.
Tdap is manufactured by two pharmaceutical companies: Sanofi Pasteur of France and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) of the United Kingdom.
The Sanofi Pasteur product contains aluminum phosphate, residual formaldehyde, residual glutaraldehyde, and 2-phenoxyethanola, along with the following growth mediums and process ingredients: Stainer-Scholte medium, casamino acids, dimethyl-beta-cyclodextrin, glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde, aluminum phosphate, modified Mueller-Miller casamino acid medium without beef heart infusion, ammonium sulfate, 2-phenoxyethanol, water for injection.
The GSK product contains aluminum hydroxide, sodium chloride, residual formaldehyde, polysorbate 80 (Tween 80), along with the following growth mediums and process ingredients: modified Latham medium derived from bovine casein, Fenton medium containing bovine extract, formaldehyde, Stainer-Scholte liquid medium, glutaraldehyde, aluminum hydroxide.
Unsurprisingly, the Brazilian government announced on January 15, 2016 it will direct funds to a biomedical research center (Sao Paulo-based Butantan Institute) to help develop a vaccine against Zika. Development of the vaccine is expected to take 3-5 years. Again, no consideration to the irony that you may be developing a vaccine to address a problem that may have been CAUSED by a vaccine, and that that new vaccine may COMPOUND the problem No consideration to the possibility that the answer to the problem may not be to do MORE, but rather to do LESS (simply STOP giving Tdcap to pregnant women).
The number of cases iof microcephaly in Brazil has grown to 3,530 babies, as of mid-January 2016. Fewer than 150 such cases were seen in all of 2014.
Most of the microcephaly cases have been concentrated in Brazil’s poor northeast, though cases in Rio de Janeiro and other big cities have also been on the rise, prompting people to stock up on mosquito repellent. Health officials are warning Brazilians—especially pregnant women—to stay inside when possible and wear plenty of bug spray if they have to go out.
Wanna look up the ingredients in mosquito spray? Oh, and what deadly insecticide do you reckon they’ll mass fumigate with? DDT perhaps?
(Note: Contains information pieced together—often copy and pasted—from newspaper articles and information from the National Vaccine Information Center.)
— Marco Cáceres