“One of the greatest scandals in medical history.”
That’s an assessment of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine program for children in the UK – a program very much like our own in the U.S. And that quote doesn’t come from a radical on the fringe of mainstream medicine. It comes from someone who was once at the very center: Peter Fletcher, M.D., former Chief Scientific Officer for Britain’s Department of Health.
In several e-Alerts I’ve written about the evidence that links childhood vaccines (specifically, the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal) to the alarming rise of autism over the past 15 years. But now Dr. Fletcher has come forward with a new take on this controversy: It appears that autism is just part of a larger, more serious problem. And he believes the true culprit is the MMR vaccine.
In an article that appeared earlier this month in the UK newspaper The Mail on Sunday, Dr. Fletcher blasted government officials for their “utterly inexplicable complacency” regarding the MMR vaccine.
In recent years, Dr. Fletcher has participated in many MMR-related trials as an expert witness. After a 40-year career in medicine and science, he’s more than qualified to analyze the case-related documents and what he calls the “steady accumulation of evidence” submitted by researchers from around the world.
He’s now convinced that the live measles virus in MMR can cause “brain, gut and immune system damage in a subset of vulnerable children.”
He points out that over the past 15 years we’ve witnessed a “tenfold increase in autism and related forms of brain damage.” This increase roughly coincides with the introduction of MMR vaccines as well as an increase of immune disorders such as diabetes and inflammatory bowel diseases among children.
Dr. Fletcher is clearly very frustrated that government officials continue to promote the MMR program. But he’s been an insider himself and he knows what’s really going on: “There are very powerful people in positions of great authority in Britain and elsewhere who have staked their reputations and careers on the safety of MMR,” he told The Mail on Sunday, “and they are willing to do almost anything to protect themselves.”
The Mail article notes that Dr. Fletcher’s comments come on the heels of a government announcement that additional childhood vaccines will soon be required.
This ever-growing list of required vaccines is a problem for both the UK and the U.S. In a controversial article that appeared in Rolling Stone magazine last year, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., wrote that in 1989, American preschoolers were required to receive 11 vaccinations. Ten years later that number had jumped to 22 required vaccines.
Many children have no adverse reactions to these shots. But as Dr. Fletcher points out, the immune systems of some children simply can’t cope with the three live viruses in the MMR, along with the “ever-increasing vaccine load in general.”
According to William Campbell Douglass II, M.D., it’s this combination that may be the root of the problem.
More than three years ago, Dr. Douglass warned of the danger of multiple vaccines coupled with MMR. In his Daily Dose e-letter he wrote: “The mercury in thimerosal mounts a two-pronged attack: it impairs brain development and, at the same time, damages the child’s immune system and gastrointestinal tract. While MMR contains no thimerosal, other vaccines given prior to it do. So these vaccines cause the initial damage to the immune system. Then, because the damaged immune system cannot cope with three live viruses at once, the triple vaccine triggers autism.”
Slamming the door
Dr. Fletcher believes that some children may be more susceptible to MMR dangers than others. He told The Mail on Sunday that the risks of brain and bowel damage from MMR appear to be much higher in children with siblings who are diabetic or have immune disorders.
But what angers him most is the British government’s response. Instead of devoting funds to MMR research, the government has spent millions on advertising campaigns to promote public confidence in the MMR vaccine.
And while the propaganda budgets get more and more bloated, a government program to supply legal aid to parents who believe their kids were damaged by vaccines was discontinued in 2003. As a result, many parents will not have their day in court. And to add insult to injury (literally), Dr. Fletcher notes that with far fewer cases being heard, “much of this revealing evidence may never come out.”
“Former Science Chief: ‘MMR Fears Coming True'” Sue Corrigan, Mail on Sunday, 2/5/06, mailonsunday.co.uk
“Deadly Immunity” Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Rolling Stone, 6/20/05, rollingstone.com
“Autism, Mercury, and Politics” Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., The Boston Globe, 7/1/05, boston.com
“Autism Cases May be Linked to Mercury in Vaccines” William Campbell Douglass II, M.D., Daily Dose, realhealthnews.com