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Acute Flaccid Myelitis and Routine Childhood Vaccinations: This is Nothing New

girl in a wheelchair

The connection between childhood vaccination and paralysis has been known since the polio outbreaks in the 1940s and 1950s…

In the last several weeks there has been a growing concern about the number of children who have developed Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), which the media has reported is a “mysterious polio-like illness.” Daniel Ramirez died on Sunday, Oct. 30, after being hospitalized for two weeks with paralysis. The doctors at Seattle Children’s Hospital are “scrambling” and “desperate” to find the cause.1

KOMO News in Seattle talked with Daniel’s mother before his death in a heart-breaking video report.2 Daniel’s mother knew her son was dying. She also knows something else the media is not reporting: Daniel was vaccinated two weeks prior to getting sick.

The connection between childhood vaccination and paralysis has been known since the polio outbreaks in the 1940s and 1950s, and the knowledge was not confined to Australia. It also happened in the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, and England. There is a good article by Stephen Mawdsley in The Lancet, titled “Polio Provocation: Solving a Mystery with the Help of History.”3 Mawdsley reveals some interesting facts about the association between vaccination with diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, and the increased risk of paralytic polio in recently vaccinated children.

According to Mawdsley:

… it was not until the end of World War II that injection-induced polio emerged as a public health concern. The application of epidemiological surveillance and statistical methods enabled researchers to trace the steady rise in polio incidence along with the expansion of immunisation programmes for diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus. A report that emerged from Guy’s and Evelina Hospitals, London, in 1950, found that 17 cases of polio paralysis developed in the limb injected with pertussis or tetanus inoculations. Results published by Australian doctor Bertram McCloskey also showed a strong association between injections and polio paralysis. Meanwhile, in the USA, public health researchers in New York and Pennsylvania reached similar conclusions. Clinical evidence, derived from across three continents, had established a theory that required attention.3

Mawdsley goes on to discuss the theories about the mechanism behind polio provocation, which included the hypothesis that the act of piercing the skin during injection drove the polio virus (an enterovirus similar to EV-D68, which has been associated with the “mysterious polio-like illness” circulating in the U.S. for the last few years) into deep tissue, and from there, into the central nervous system, where it led to paralysis and sometimes, death.

“The impressive volume of literature on polio provocation by the 1950s fueled changes in health policy,”3 writes Mawdsley. “U.S. health organisations and charities, including the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Public Health Association, accommodated the possibility of polio provocation and encouraged health professionals to avoid ‘indiscriminate’ injections and ‘booster shots’ during epidemics.”3

Mawdsley adds:

In New York City, child health stations were closed and laws mandating paediatric vaccinations before school attendance were relaxed. Most health professionals reformed their immunisation practices and accepted that seasonal factors and cycles of disease were important to consider before immunising children.3

In the 1940s and 1950s, the mechanisms of provoked polio were hypothetical. They did not remain hypothetical. In an article titled “Mechanism of Injury-Provoked Poliomyelitis,” published in the Journal of Virology in 1998,4 researchers reported their findings, which confirmed the suspicions of nearly half a century earlier:

Skeletal muscle injury is known to predispose its sufferers to neurological complications of concurrent poliovirus infections. This phenomenon, labeled ‘provocation poliomyelitis,’ continues to cause numerous cases of childhood paralysis due to the administration of unnecessary injections to children in areas where poliovirus is endemic. Recently, it has been reported that intramuscular injections may also increase the likelihood of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis in recipients of live attenuated poliovirus vaccines. We have studied this important risk factor for paralytic polio in an animal system for poliomyelitis and have determined the pathogenic mechanism linking intramuscular injections and provocation poliomyelitis. Skeletal muscle injury induces retrograde axonal transport of poliovirus and thereby facilitates viral invasion of the central nervous system and the progression of spinal cord damage. The pathogenic mechanism of provocation poliomyelitis may differ from that of polio acquired in the absence of predisposing factors.4

The virus that is associated with the more recent hospitalizations of children is Enterovirus D68. It is not polio, but it is a very similar virus and belongs to the family of enteroviruses, which includes polio virus.

There are some doctors who remember provocation polio. One of those doctors is Alan S. Cunningham, MD, a retired pediatrician. Dr. Cunningham’s concerns were published in The BMJ in January 2015:

Since August 2, 2014 our Centers for Disease Control has received reports of 107 cases of ‘acute flaccid myelitis’ (AFM), a polio-like illness in children in 34 states. During the same interval there have been 1153 cases of respiratory illnesses associated with enterovirus D-68 (CIDRAP News 1/16/15. CDC update 1/15/15. Catherine Saint Louis, NY Times 1/13/15). AFM affects motor neurons in spinal cord gray matter, resulting in asymmetrical limb weakness; 34% of patients have cranial nerve motor dysfunction. Median age of patients is 7.6 years/range: 5 months-20 years (MMWR 63: 1243–January 9, 2015). So far only one child has fully recovered. EV-D68 is a suspected cause but, thus far, no viruses have been found in the spinal fluid of patients, and only a minority have had an antecedent illness associated with EV-D68. Case-control studies are planned to look for clues, but presently AFM is a mystery disease of unknown cause.

It is taboo to suggest a role for vaccines, but some old-timers remember “provocation poliomyelitis” or “provocation paralysis.” This is paralytic polio following intramuscular injections, typically with vaccines. PP was most convincingly documented by Austin Bradford Hill and J. Knowelden during the 1949 British polio epidemic when the risk of paralytic polio was increased 20-fold among children who had received the DPT injection (BMJ 2:1–July 1, 1950). Similar observations were made by Greenberg and colleagues in New York City; their literature review cited suspected cases as far back as 1921 (Am J Public Health 42:142–Feb.1952). I first became aware of PP 10 years ago while browsing through “Krugman’s Infectious Disease of Children” (page 128 of the 2004 edition). AFM may result from a direct virus attack on the spinal cord, or by an immune attack triggered by a virus, or by something else.

If a polio-like virus is circulating in the U.S., the possibility of its provocation by one or more vaccines has to be considered.5

The United States has a history of doing the right thing when this happened in the 1950s. The question is, will the U.S. and the doctors, government health departments, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) do the right thing now? And if not, how many more children like Daniel Ramirez will be sacrificed as a result of that decision?

As Mawdsley writes in his Lancet article, concerns about polio provocation resurfaced in the 1980s, as vaccination programs increased in developing countries, and as a result, increasing numbers of children were being paralyzed.3 In the 1980s, the U.S. government went on record as choosing the vaccination program over the well-being of children, publishing the following in the Federal Register on June 1, 1984 in regard to the polio vaccine:

… any possible doubts, whether or not well founded, about the safety of the vaccine cannot be allowed to exist in view of the need to assure that the vaccine will continue to be used to the maximum extent consistent with the nation’s public health objectives.6


References:

1 de Graaf M. Boy, 6, dies two weeks after contracting mysterious polio-like disease that is sweeping the US. Daily Mail Nov. 1, 2016.
2 KOMO Staff. Health officials investigate 8 cases of kids at Children’s with neurological illnessesKOMO News Nov. 3, 2016.
3 Mawdsley SE. Polio Provocation: Solving a Mystery with the Help of History. The Lancet 384(9940): 300–301 July 26, 2014.
4 Gromeier M, Wimmer E. Mechanism of Injury-Provoked PoliomyelitisJ Virol 72(6): 5056–5060 June 1998.
5 Cunningham AS. Do we need a new approach to making vaccine recommendations? BMJ 350: h308 Jan. 30, 2015.
6 Food and Drug Administration. Additional Standards for Viral Vaccines; Poliovirus Vaccine, Live, Oral. Federal Register 49(107): 23004-23007 June 1, 1984.

20 Responses to Acute Flaccid Myelitis and Routine Childhood Vaccinations: This is Nothing New

  1. Edward Papier Reply

    November 19, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    To the people who say things like “I would not want my child to sit next to a sick child who has not been vaccinated” I ask, if your child is vaccinated, what to you have to worry about, the protection afforded by vaccination will prevent their getting ill, won’t it?

  2. David Reply

    November 7, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    According to the text the problem is not in the content of the vaccination but rather the methodology of administration of the vaccine.

    The needle penetrates the skin & drives the polio-like virus where it could not otherwise migrate.

    Two potential solutions flow from the article:
    1. Detect & destroy the polio-like virus living on or in the skin – prior to injection.
    2. Use a different non-mechanically invasive (no needle) methodology to administer the vaccination.

    If the article is correct in describing the problem as such then it will be far less problematic to build alliances to address the problem.

    Attempts to ban vaccines are doomed to failure. A polio-proof/AFM-proof remedy should be easy to market to the public – who will then demand action.

  3. Meredith Reply

    November 7, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    This seems like the perfect cluster of cases to find answers. We’re the other 6-8 children who have fallen ill recently vaccinated prior to getting sick like Daniel? Why isn’t someone in the media following up on that simple, straight forward question?

  4. Marsha Willey Reply

    November 7, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    My heart breaks for the parents of the children who have had what appears to be reactions to vaccinations. As awful as that is, how more tragic would it be to have the diseases that these vaccinations are protecting our children from, take hold and infect our young ones. There are thousands and thousands of children who are vaccinated every year and suffer no reactions. We need to continue to study why there are reactions, but also need to continue to vaccinate our children. I am for mandatory vaccinations to protect our children. I would not want my child to sit next to a sick child who has not been vaccinated. Think about it.

  5. Helen Landau Reply

    November 6, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    here is a good article about the quality of their “evidence-based” research analysis.
    https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2014/09/re-analysis-of-clinical-trial-data-can-change-conclusions–say-r.html

    The concept of sacrificing individual lives to the “Greater good”of the present society or the “future happiness” is not anything new. Firstly, it has an obvious religious connotation (life here and now has no value) and –AMAZINGLY — it was the stuff of the standard rhetoric and everyday propaganda to promote any type of policies in the USSR. The present generation must always suffer for the good of the future (unborn) generations. Sounds familiar? Chomsky speaks about how the Soviet and western propaganda machines often cross-pollinated each other’s ideologies. And how many, in fact, were originated in the USSR. The “Greater good” of the entire people/race is clearly a soviet-fascist idea. I grew up there, I remember.

  6. Lundy Bancroft Reply

    November 6, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    I do some writing and speaking about vaccine risk, so it would be helpful for me to learn how it is known that Daniel was vaccinated two weeks before he died. Can anyone point me to sources on this fact?

  7. Barbara fitzgerald Reply

    November 6, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    No the medical community and big pharma backed by bought and paid for politicians will not do the right thing. Look at the CDC vaccine whistkeblowercase, two years later no action. When a CDC scientist is caught saying their 2004 study looking at MMR vaccine and autism correlation study shows huge correlation (increased risk of autusm with MMR vaccine before age 3), but the results are altered (research fraud) to show no correlation and data is disposed, we’ll we know this too will be hidden. Refuse to vaccinate your children!!!

  8. Paul Kramer Reply

    November 6, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Damn the torpedoes (the truth), full speed ahead (with vaccinations)!!!

  9. mary59 Reply

    November 6, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    This is horrifying. The association has long been known, and yet, no one is seriously trying to study this?

  10. Gary Ogden Reply

    November 6, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you so much for this excellent, timely article. Much of this I was unaware of, and it helps explain the 20-fold increase in paralysis in “polio-free” India. Our government most certainly won’t do the right thing, as tomorrow we have a choice between awful and horrifying.

  11. Karen Reply

    November 6, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    The question now is, how many we will be sacrificing for the “greater good”? And I also wonder “the greater good” of whom are we talking about?

  12. Lori Reply

    November 6, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    It’s very sad that the US won’t change the vaccine policies and continues to promote consequences for people who don’t want to allow their children to be part of this sick “greater good” idea, which pushes people to vaccinate. All the hate people spew about parents who choose not to have their kids vaccinated just seems like its jealous, insecure parents, who deep down question if they’re doing the right thing. No parent wants to believe they may have willingly put their child at risk for “the greater good”. Hilary Clinton promotes mandatory vaccine schedules for children federally. No, I’m not a trump supporter. Why are we allowing this in America? Children are suffering but America won’t wake up until it’s an epidemic.

    • Tanya Reply

      November 7, 2016 at 8:15 am

      I agree. But if we elect Hillary ALL our rights will be stripped. Their agenda is truly evil.

      • Helen Landau Reply

        November 7, 2016 at 12:02 pm

        What do you think Trump and the republicans will do to your rights?

      • Num Guy Reply

        December 3, 2016 at 8:19 pm

        It is already an epidemic!! The Gadarsil vaccine alone has caused nearly 300 deaths.

        If you search the VAERS database, it will tell you

        “Found 267 cases where Vaccine is HPV2 or HPV4 or HPV9 and Patient Died”.

    • redpill1 1 Reply

      November 7, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      Could you please provide the exact information where Clinton has stated that she will implement mandatory vaccines for children. I have asked dozens of people over the last 6 months and everyone repeats the same rhetoric but no one has provided me with direct quotes or policy statements. Please provide. The only comments Clinton has made on vaccines is she believes the science is in and they are safe & effective. Other than that no one has questioned her.

      Trump on the other had has stated this:
      Sharyl Attkisson: “Viewer question: What’s your position on freedom of choice regarding various vaccines that could be dangerous for some children and why is the mere discussion of making vaccines safe censored?”

      Donald Trump: “It’s the most unbelievable discussion I’ve ever been involved in. If you say anything about vaccines that is slightly, like…holding back the hate mail, the level of vitriol, it’s incredible when you see it. First of all, I’m a big believer in vaccines. But there could something to the theory that these massive doses that are given to children have an impact on autism. There could be something to it. Now some people say no, some people say yes, I’d like to see studies. The bottom line is they have to get vaccinated. When I was going to school as a young guy, polio was a really big problem and vaccines knocked it out. So the vaccines are very important, but we have to study the vaccines and we have to be very, very careful with vaccines.”
      https://sharylattkisson.com/trump-on-vaccines-and-autism-pro-vaccine-but-cautious/

      This was the last statement Trump made on vaccines. He has made numerous statement on vaccines prior to that:

      -Donald Trump quotes: Vaccines, Ebola and Universal Health Care
      http://webcache.googleusercontent(dot)com/search?q=cache:f1MgXxCjOnIJ:outbreaknewstoday.com/donald-trump-quotes-vaccines-ebola-and-universal-health-care-52395/+&cd=40&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
      Via Twitter:

      “If I were President I would push for proper vaccinations but would not allow one time massive shots that a small child cannot take – AUTISM.”
      “To all haters and losers: I am NOT anti-vaccine, but I am against shooting massive doses into tiny children. Spread shots out over time.”

      -“Trump says he favors vaccines”
      The Science of President Trump
      http://blogs.scientificamerican(dot)com/guest-blog/the-science-of-president-trump/.

      –Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2014
      I’m not against vaccinations for your children, I’m against them in 1 massive dose. Spread them out over a period of time & autism will drop!

      -Trump: I’m ‘Totally Pro-Vaccine’ But I’ve Seen Them Cause ‘Horrible Autism’
      “It’s amazing that it’s never discussed,” he added, saying that he’s gotten thanks from people who are “incensed in terms of what’s going on with vaccines.”

      Trump, oddly, went on to state that he is nevertheless “a huge fan of vaccines” and “totally pro-vaccine.” He suggested they be given in smaller doses.
      (I put the first comment in so you won’t accuse me of cherry picking)
      http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/donald-trump-vaccines-autism

      Trump has never comment on Parental choice.

      Johnson and Stein have stated they support vaccination.

      All the candidates are PRO-VACCINE.

  13. Luccim Reply

    November 6, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Dr Suzanne Humphries has a great youtube video on this very topic see Suzanne Humphries, MD, speaking on Polio at the Association of Natural Health Conference
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=Twch-T-n8Ns&app=desktop

    • jamie meehan Reply

      November 7, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      Apparently, Suzanne Humphries has a message tailor made for any side of the issue that she is called upon to speak on. A malleable mouthpiece for either side of the issue.

  14. Num Guy Reply

    November 6, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that vaccines cause great harm, but the Center for Deceit and Corruption (aka CDC) will not let any studies be conducted. Big Pharma wants no studies to observe the health of the vaccinated vs the vaccinated! Big Pharma will continue to poison future generations!! Unless, we seriously start mobilizing in huge numbers.

    Let’s start by repealing the “1986 Vaccine Injury Law Information”. This law has been shielding Big Pharma for over 30 years from all lawsuits.
    Please google “Repeal Immunity for Drug Companies Against Vaccine Injuries” and sign the petition. This 1986 law must go. Otherwise, no amount of talk will make things better.
    Please take a moment to sign and please share with friends and family.

    • Tanya Reply

      November 7, 2016 at 8:14 am

      I looked up the info and signed the petition. Thank you for sharing the info. I was a microbiologist, but quit and began a cleaning business after I realized what my career choice was contributing to. I have a son who has never been vaccinated and my husband and I clued in around 2002….and we have been much healthier…

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