From an empirical perspective, one of the first questions that needs answered concerns the historical record of vaccine's protection. There is no question a number of diseases have been eradicated. The question is, “Are vaccines responsible for eradicating those diseases?” For example, even if one could prove global warming from temperature data, that doesn’t establish human activity as the cause of the temperature change. Correlation of two factors does not establish a cause and effect relationship between them. The same issue exists with respect to vaccination.
Leonard A. Sagan is a pro-vaccine, pro-evolution, government medicine physician who also happens to be an epidemiologist. One of his books is called Health of Nations: The True Causes of Sickness and Well-Being. It’s a fascinating book that proves a number of startling propositions drawn from his research of large scale studies regarding factors influencing health. For example:
- “According to studies of the health of people belonging to an organization, ‘joiners’ show remarkably better health than ‘non-joiners.’”
- Or, “the existence of a loving and supportive wife was sufficient to reduce the risk of angina pectoris by 50%.”
- “The evidence suggests that improvements in the availability of medical care have played little role in reducing death rates from their historically high levels” and that “the benefits of improved sanitation have been oversold,” in “that improvements in health preceded rather than followed improvements in environmental sanitation.”
In his discussion on the role of immunization he discusses smallpox concluding that it is unproven that the smallpox vaccine was responsible for eradicating smallpox. He said, "There is therefore reason to speculate that a decline in smallpox deaths may have occurred in parallel with the introduction of vaccination – not necessarily because of it.”
Commenting more broadly, he says later, “There is still another reason for reserving judgment regarding the contribution of vaccination to the decline in mortality.” He goes on to show that decreases in these diseases did not reduce the death rate. And in many cases the diseases were under control before the introduction of the vaccine. For example, see his data below regarding Whooping cough and measles.
- “No data exists regarding post-exposure efficacy of the current varicella vaccine.” “Vaccinated persons have a less severe out break than unvaccinated” MMWR July 12, 1996/45(RR11); p. 12
- "The findings of efficacy studies have not demonstrated a direct correlation between antibody response and protection against pertussis disease.” MMWR March 28, 1997/Vol.46/No. RR-7, pg. 4.
- “Neutralizing antibodies are reported to reflect levels of protection, although this has not been validated in the field.” JAMA, June 9, 1999; Vol. 281, No. 22, p 2131
Before we can have a meaningful discussion about the risks vs benefits of vaccinations, we really need to understand what exactly the benefits actually are. But we are not even to first base on that front as we really don’t know very much about immunology, something even government medicine acknowledges:
- “One of the greatest mysteries yet to be unraveled in biology is the mechanism by which the fetus… is able to survive the immunologic defenses of the mother without being rejected. That a successful pregnancy so often is the outcome seems even more remarkable since it defies the basic tenants of the field of transplant immunology.” JAMA (Nov 27, 1987), Vol 258, No 20, p2983.
Things don't seem to be much better today, at least according to Dr. Gary Fathman, MD:
- “. . . the immune system remains a black box,” says Garry Fathman, MD, a professor of immunology and rheumatology and associate director of the Institute for Immunology, Transplantation and Infection . . . “It’s staggeringly complex, comprising at least 15 different interacting cell types that spew dozens of different molecules into the blood to communicate with one another and to do battle. Within each of those cells sit tens of thousands of genes whose activity can be altered by age, exercise, infection, vaccination status, diet, stress, you name it. . . . That’s an awful lot of moving parts. And we don’t really know what the vast majority of them do, or should be doing . . . , [B. Goldman, “The Bodyguard: Tapping the Immune System’s Secrets,” Stanford Medicine, summer 2011, as quoted in An Honest Look at the Historical Evidence that Vaccines Eliminated Diseases]
After all, would you trust an engineer to design a refrigerator if he couldn't explain the principles of science by which we can take heat from food at 35°F and put it into a room at 70°F? If government medicine can’t even explain, immunologically, a basic pregnancy, why should we believe their unproven immunological claims about vaccines? Maybe they are true, but as the vaccine supporters are so fond of saying, show us the data that proves it.