In Memoriam: Infant Deaths & Vaccination
by Barbara Loe Fisher
Memorial Day is for remembering those, who have fought and died to defend America and preserve our civil liberties, including freedom of thought, speech, religious belief and conscience. So every Memorial Day I remember the children, who have died after receiving state mandated vaccines, and honor their mothers and fathers, who grieve for them.
Death Has Always Been A Vaccine Complication
From the first human vaccines developed two centuries ago, smallpox and rabies vaccines, death has always been a complication of vaccination.1 2 In 1933, the whole cell pertussis vaccine’s ability to kill without warning was first reported in the medical literature when two infants died within minutes of a pertussis shot.3 In 1946, American doctors detailed the sudden deaths of twins within 24 hours of their second diphtheria-pertussis shot.4 In 1986, the U.S. Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act and has awarded over $2 billion dollars in compensation for deaths and injuries caused by vaccines.5
U.S. Infant Mortality Rate High
According to the most recent National Vital Statistics Report, more than 26,000 American babies born alive in 2009 died before their first birthday, which gives the U.S. a very high infant mortality rate of 6 infant deaths per 1,000 live births.6 In 1960, America ranked 12th in infant mortality among all nations of the world. In 2005, we had fallen to number 30. Today in America, there are more premature babies than ever before and more full term babies die before their first birthday than in most European countries.7
Some people argue that not every country calculates their infant mortality statistics the same way, which artificially inflates the poor ranking for the U.S.8 Even if adjustments would boost the U.S. ranking up several notches, there can be no question that a nation, which spends more per capita on healthcare 9 and legally requires their children to get more vaccines than any other country, should have one of the best – not one of the worst – infant mortality rates, especially for healthy babies born full term.
New Study: More Vaccines = Higher Infant Mortality Rate
Now there is a new study published in a peer reviewed medical journal that NVIC has helped to make publicly accessible to everyone, which reveals that developed nations with poor infant mortality rates, like the U.S., tend to give their infants more doses of vaccines before age one.10 The study’s authors found “a high statistically significant correlation between increasing numbers of vaccine doses and increasing infant mortality rates.” To put this into perspective, doctors give American babies 26 doses of vaccines before age one, which is twice as many vaccinations as babies in Sweden and Japan get.
Is it really just a “coincidence” that the infant mortality rate is twice as high in America compared to Sweden and Japan, where half as many vaccinations are given to very young babies?
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome & Vaccination
A mother and father’s worst nightmare is to watch their baby die before reaching their first birthday. When a healthy baby dies unexpectedly shortly after routine vaccinations, often parents ask legitimate questions about whether the vaccines did it. They are usually met with quick denials by doctors and public health officials anxious to defend the safety of vaccines.
The death certificates of many babies, who die shortly after vaccination, list Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS as the cause of death, which means that no specific symptoms or other reason for death could be found.11 That was true in the 1980s, when I was interviewing parents of babies, who died suddenly after DPT shots, for the 1985 book DPT: A Shot in the Dark,12 which Dr. Harris Coulter and I wrote at a time when SIDS – a newly created medical term - was becoming the leading cause of infant mortality in the U.S 13
Vaccine Deaths Described in 1985 Book
What I found and detailed in our book is that most babies dying after DPT shots were not found dead in their cribs without any symptoms before they died. They were dying after suffering plenty of vaccine reaction symptoms within days of their DPT shot, symptoms like high fever; sudden collapse; hours of persistent crying or high pitched screaming with arching of the back that can be a sign of brain inflammation; severe diarrhea; redness, swelling and pain at the injection site and signs of seizures that too many pediatricians were blowing off as unimportant. Other babies, who received several DPT shots, were described by their mothers as suffering a progressive mental and physical deterioration that got worse after each shot before the baby was found dead in the crib.
Inconvenient Truth: More Full Term Babies Dying in America
Several studies in the 1980s showed an association between infant death and DPT vaccinations.14 15 Today, it is thought that genetic and environmental risk factors combine to leave SIDS babies with signs of petechial hemorrhages, lung congestion and brainstem and neurotransmitter dysfunction.16 Most doctors continue to deny that vaccination is a risk factor for SIDS17 and say that SIDS has declined since pediatricians launched a national campaign in the 1990s to put babies on their backs to sleep,18 but others point out that the only reason SIDS death statistics have gone down is because, today, fewer infant deaths are labeled “SIDS” by doctors and coroners.19
The inconvenient truth remains that the numbers of pre-term births continues to increase in America and there are more full-term babies dying before their first birthday than in most developed nations of the world. 20
Half of U.S. Children Chronically Ill
Health officials have no explanation for this horrible child death statistic. They also have no explanation for the fact that, today, an estimated 43 to 54 percent of all American children suffer with at least one chronic illness requiring health insurance reimbursement, including a staggering 26 percent of children under age six years at high risk for developmental, social or behavioral delays.21 Government officials now admit that, In the past decade, developmental disabilities among American children has increased by a whopping 17 percent and is led by a rise in autism and ADHD.22 23
American Children Used To Be Healthier
This is not the way it used to be in America when I was growing up in the 1950s and early 1960s. Back then, women were not getting vaccinated during pregnancy 24 and there were only a few vaccines given to babies25 and there were few children suffering with learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, asthma and severe allergies,26 27 diabetes,28 29 bi-polar disorders30 and taking a cocktail of prescription medications.31 And the U.S. was ranked number 12 among all nations in infant mortality, not near the bottom of the list.
Child Health Report Card: F
This is not a very good health report card for a nation that, in the last 50 years, has paid tens of trillions of dollars to the pharmaceutical industry, public health agencies and pediatricians telling us to trust their advice about how to keep our children healthy. More health insurance and more “medical homes” will not turn F’s into A’s on that bad health report card.
May 1986: Parents Reported Vaccine Infant Deaths to CDC
Exactly 25 years ago, in May 1986, I joined with mothers and fathers, whose babies died after DPT shots, and gave a presentation to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. We told physician members of the CDC’s vaccine policymaking committee, who wanted state legislators to strictly enforce laws legally requiring children to get 23 doses of 7 vaccines starting at two months through age six, that doctors did not really know how many children were dying after vaccination. You can read the transcript of that 1986 CDC meeting32 on NVIC’s website and decide for yourself whether anything has really changed in 25 years except the fact that, now, public health officials are ordering doctors to give children 48 doses of 14 vaccines starting on day of birth through age six, with half of those doses given before age one.
On NVIC’s website at NVIC.org, you can also visit the virtual International Memorial for Vaccine Victims to read about or post a description of a vaccine-related death;33 you can research and read descriptions of deaths following vaccination made to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System;34 and you can learn more about vaccine reactions so, if your pediatrician does not educate you, you will be armed with that life saving information.35
Vaccine Safety Assumptions Are Dangerous
A death is a death, no matter what the cause. Every death that occurs after vaccination cannot be automatically presumed to be causally related to the vaccines recently given. However, to assume that all or most infant deaths, which occur within hours, days or weeks after vaccination, are just a “coincidence” and not related to vaccination is both scientifically implausible and dangerous.
It is especially dangerous for individual families, as well as for our entire population, to make assumptions about vaccine safety in a vacuum of knowledge. When high infant mortality rates in America correspond with the high numbers of vaccines babies are being given in the first year of life, credible investigation into the child death and chronic disease epidemic should be our highest national priority and vaccination should not be left off the table.
We must remember these children.
Click here to read the new study by Miller & Goldman: Infant mortality rates regressed against number of vaccine doses routinely given: Is there biochemical or synergistic toxicity?
Click here to order the book A Shot in the Dark by Coulter & Fisher.
Click here to read a partial transcript of the May 12, 1986 Meeting at the CDC.
3 Madsen T. 1933. Vaccination against whooping cough. JAMA 1933; 101(3): 187-88
4 Werne J, Garrow I. Fatal anaphylactic shock occurrence in identical twins following second injection of diphtheria toxoid and pertussis antigen. JAMA 1946; 131(9): 730-35.
7 MacDorman MF, Matthews TJ. Behind International Rankings of Infant Mortality: How the U.S. Compares With Europe. National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief: November 2009.
8 MacDonald E. Financial Times Gets It Wrong on U.S. Infant Mortality Rates. Fox Business News. April 13, 2011.
10 Miller NZ,, Goldman GS. Infant mortality rates regressed against number of vaccine doses routinely given: Is there a biochemical or synergistic toxicity? Human and Experimental Toxicology: Published online May 4, 2011.
May 4 Press Release: Think Twice Global Vaccine Institute.
14 Torch WC. Diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT) immunization: a potential cause of the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). American Academy of Neurology, 34th Annual Meeting, 1982. Neurology 32(4).
15 Walker AM, Jick H et al. Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis immunization and sudden infant death syndrome. Am J Public Health 1987; 77:945-951.
17 Centers for Disease Control. Vaccine Safety: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Vaccines.
18 Robert Woods Johnson Medical School. News Release: Study Identifies that Multiple Risk Factors Existed in 78 Percent of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Cases. February 15, 2010.
21 Bethell CD, Kogan MD et al. A National and State Profile of Leading Health Problems and Health Care Quality for US Children: Key Insurance Disparities and Across-State Variations. Academic Pediatrics 2011; 11(3S): 22-33.
22 Boyle CA, Boulet S et al. Trends in the Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities in US Children 1997-2000. Pediatrics. Published online May 23, 2011.
23 Ostrow N. Autism Leads Rise in Developmental Disabilities in U.S. Kids. Bloomberg News. May 23, 2011.
24 Brooks M. Jump in Influenza Immunization Rates Among Pregnant Women. Medscape. December 3, 2011.
25 Immunization Action Coalition. Historic Dates and Events Related to Vaccines and Immunization.
27 Enriquez R, Addington W et al. The relationship between vaccine refusal and self-report of atopic disease in children. JACI 2005; 115(4) 737-744.
28 Lee JM, Okumura MJ et al. Trends in Hospitalizations for Diabetes Among Children and Young Adults – United States 1993-2004. Diabetes Care 2007; 30: 3035-3039.
30 Carey, Benedict. Bipolar disorder cases rise sharply in U.S. children. New York Times. September 3, 2007.