Vaccination- Friend or Foe? by
I will be honest with you. This is going to be totally off the cuff. I have been
bombarded by questions concerning the safety of vaccines and have been answering
numerous Emails that have been asking my opinion on this vital topic. I am not
complaining, mind you. I have been more than happy to write these dissertations
to those in need, but it has come time to write one that all of you can refer to
collectively. Hopefully, this will stimulate both the reader and the pundits (I
love that word. You hear it a lot on news stations) into addressing the real
issues at hand. This vital concern also illustrates many of the medical
principles that I lay out in my writing, especially in The Answer, so I have an
ulterior motive for taking this one on as well.
The issue at hand is whether we are administering vaccines too frequently to our
pets (and to ourselves). The simple answer is "Yes, we are." But, is it really
that simple? I certainly believe that if it has been proven that immunity from
vaccines lasts much longer than the intervals at which they are administered,
then we should lengthen those intervals. Who can really argue with that? Well,
we know who can argue with that but I promise that I will try not to make a
moral issue out of this topic. But sometimes, it is hard not to mention things
like greed when we know that the money is the object of so many desires. (There.
I managed to get by without saying that it was the root of all evil, didnt I?)
The fact is that studies have now shown that some vaccinations do last longer
than the current recommended intervals. The newest guidelines and formal changes
are forthcoming, much to the chagrin of your local veterinarian.
At this point, let me state something I feel is very important. If the consumer
is met with any resistance on this topic by their local veterinarian, it does
not automatically mean that they are a money-grubbing, no good scoundrel. Most
people really do not understand the economics of a veterinary hospital and think
that we are making money hand over fist like our human counterparts. Hey, look
at our cars and come to our houses. Do they look like your surgeon's or your
internist's? How many vets do you know that have a vacation home at the beach
and travel abroad once or twice per year? So, we really do need to get something
straight here. Veterinarians have a very different economic structure, and the
first clue should be that $30 office call or that charge of a little over a
hundred dollars for a total ovariohysterectomy. I'd like to see a human doctor
come within $5000 dollars of that cost. Point made?
Dr. Becker's Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats: Simple Homemade Food
The fact is that veterinarians have desperately needed the income from
vaccination programs in order to survive while providing relatively low-cost
care for the multitudes of pets out there. Many of the same people who complain
about the cost of vaccinations and veterinary care are the first to pick up
stray pets they find injured or crossing the street and bring them to their
"overcharging vet" so that they will treat it and house it for free. Although
most of us want to help as much as we can in this regard, this honestly does not
always fit into our usually tight budget. Also, we must be the only business on
the planet that will allow people to run up a large bill and walk out without so
much as a credit check in order to demonstrate how much we care about animals
(which the vast majority of us honestly DO). So, please excuse me for stepping
out of character for just a moment, but this idea fits right in with most of the
other concepts about which I write: things are not always what they seem. Our
overhead is tremendous and our bottom line is nowhere near the level of
prosperity that most clients think. So, if your veterinarian does not take this
change totally in stride, please cut him or her a little slack. It may actually
mean the difference between success or failure.
Enough said.... almost. The veterinary client should be ready for the cost of
other services to possibly rise as veterinarians scramble to stay afloat during
this transition. I believe that you will witness a number of hospital closings
as a result of this vaccine trend. Many veterinarians will be forced to join
forces, combining hospitals in a way that we probably should have done years
ago. We pay a dear, dear price for autonomy, operating fully-equipped hospitals
rather than sharing resources like a "real" hospital. Veterinary clients are
very likely to be forced into just what I hear the most complaints about:
multi-man practices in which the client is fortunate to see the same vet twice.
Get ready for this. It is probably on its way.
This sounds like sour grapes but it is not. These are just the facts and I feel
it is important to tell the Truth, the whole Truth, and try your best to tell
nothing but the Truth. The last part is the hardest, isn't it? I spend a lot of
my time uncovering and remedying the "ignorance" of the medical professions,
including my own lack of knowledge. (Ignorance sounds like such a horrible word,
but it really simply means unknowing, unaware, or uninformed. There is much of
which we are all ignorant. We have simply ruined a perfectly good word by
over-using it in a slanderous way.)
So, what are we ignorant of in this vaccination issue? (I'll get off my high
horse and get to the issue, I guess.) I believe the answer lies in the nature of
the vaccines that we use and have used for years and years. Yes, we have made
improvements in the vaccines but we have excluded one of the most important
improvements of all, especially in the canine vaccines.
Let me start with a historical reference. When I graduated from veterinary
school twenty-four years ago, we were administering a modified-live rabies
vaccine. This type of vaccine is one that has been attenuated...made less
infectious...so that it stimulates immunity without causing the actual disease.
The vaccine then contains virus particles that are alive but have been changed
in the laboratory so as not to cause the disease itself while conferring
immunity to that disease.
As most of you know, the other vaccine type is a killed vaccine. This is one in
which, as the name implies, all of the virus particles have been killed so that
it would (hopefully) be impossible to contract the disease from the vaccine
itself. Historically, the killed vaccines have not been able to induce as strong
of a response or as long of immunity as the modified live vaccines. This just
speaks to the way in which our immune system works.
But...BUT...recent technology has shown us that killed vaccines can be very
effective in producing immunity while lowering the risk of long-term side
effects. Short-term side effects like fever and malaise can be greater with the
killed vaccines, but what we are all concerned about now is the long-term
consequences of vaccination. Those will be covered in depth in a moment.
Let's get back to our old modified-live rabies vaccine. Why did we abandon that
vaccine a good while back and begin using a killed vaccine? Because some animals
that received that vaccine actually came down with rabies, especially cats!!!
Oh, oh. Yes, in some cases (fortunately not many), the vaccine actually induced
rabies. Clearly, the attenuation process was not fail-safe. This is also true of
the distemper vaccine in the dog. Occasionally, we will see a dog that develops
vaccine-induced distemper. This is a well-known fact.
So, what am I saying here? It is obvious that the attenuation process does not
protect us from the possibility that there are virulent viruses in that vaccine
that may actually cause the disease. But, more importantly...and be sure that
you get this...we cannot be sure that some of these viruses do not escape the
immune system's valiant attempt to deal with these live viruses and become
latent in the tissues that they would normally inhabit.
Be not ignorant of this one thing.... THIS is the crux of the matter, dear
reader. Take a moment and ponder this thought. Viruses are the enemy in most
medical cases. They are the little "terrorists" that induce so many of the
chronic problems from which man and his pets suffer, including cancer. We are
slowly waking up to the fact that more and more cancers are induced by viruses,
and many believe (including myself) that they are vitally involved in most
immune-mediated diseases. Those of you who have read The Answer know my theories
on their action. Those who have not read them may want to after reading this
I state in The Answer that we need to realize that we are walking "virus
hotels", housing numerous latent viruses that we have acquired over the years,
either naturally or through volunteering for them in the form of vaccines. The
concept of latent viruses is critical for the reader to understand (I know use
that word a lot, but these are critical issues). A latent virus is one that we
acquire at some point in our life and which lays dormant for a period of time
only to become active later and cause other problems. The varicella virus that
causes chicken pox best illustrates this. After having this childhood disease,
this virus...this terrorist...slips away into nerve roots and remains inactive
for years. It is an opportunist and waits until the immune system of the host is
weakened enough to allow its reactivation...its escape. When this occurs, the
host suffers from what we call shingles, a painful condition involving the
affected (infected) nerves. I now use the age at which this re-immergence occurs
to categorize just how unhealthy the victim is in most cases. We can expect
shingles to occur in the elderly, immune-suppressed, or the critically ill. But,
we should not see this condition in 19 year-olds, should we? When this happens,
I want to run to their parents and shake them to awaken them to the fact that
this young person is in potentially serious trouble if they cannot keep this
virus at bay longer than that. Wow!
Another example of viral latency is Epstein-Barr. This is the virus that causes
mononucleosis. According to the medical literature, 50% of our children have E-B
virus in them by age 5. The rest of us are likely to acquire this terrorist when
we are in our teenage years. It has been linked (and rightfully so) to chronic
fatigue and fibromyalgia. You can read about them in my Appetizers section as
well as in The Answer. The bad news is that this virus has also been tied to two
forms of leukemia and a form of lymphoma. Oh, oh.
So, do you get the picture here? These are just two examples of latent viruses
that inhabit our body. How did they get there? How could this happen? Aren't our
immune systems and that of our pet more efficient than that? Weren't we made
better than that? "I'll tell you", "I'll tell you", "used to be", and "yes" are
the answers to those questions, in that order.
We've partially answered the first question. These viruses got there by natural
entry or infections and also through vaccinations. The real question is "Why
didn't we completely eliminate them on entry?" The answer is simple but complex.
We didn't let our body do its job. That's the simple part. The complex part is
how we handcuffed our immune system while we lived our lives. It was like
walking through a minefield without the battery pack to our metal detector being
fully charged. It starts out OK, but sooner or later, we run out of juice. Just
as importantly, many times we put a cover on that instrument that simply kept it
from doing its job. How crazy is that? Let me explain.
You may remember the glaring example of what I mean by this last statement from
The Answer. This was the use of fever-reducers to halt a fever caused by a
virus. Think about that for a minute. Once again, ponder that thought. Got it?
Who in the world came up with that brilliant idea? Who decided that they were
smarter than our body and that it was proper to kill our fever's valiant attempt
to kill that virus? By doing so, we put all of the pressure on our cellular
immunity to handle the invader. The analogy I use is the war in Afghanistan.
What if, at the last minute, we called off the air campaign back then? What if
we decided not to bomb first but rather opted to just go in and take these guys
on the ground? How successful would we have been, especially knowing that these
people were dug into caves and scattered all over the countryside? We would
still be fighting the primary campaign, we would have had countless casualties,
and... get this...many, many more of the enemy would have gotten away. Do you
see it? By killing our fever, we are calling off the air campaign and trying to
take these viral terrorists on the ground.
Heres the bad news. We just aren't well-equipped enough anymore to do this.
There is no doubt that we used to be better at it than we are now. This is
reflected in the incidence studies of diseases such as West Nile. Ever year over
the past 5 years, the incidence of West Nile has increased as has the death
toll. Why? Because we are getting weaker and weaker. Nearly everything has
skyrocketed in incidence in the past five years. Start reading medical
statistics and you will see that cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's,
Parkinson's, ADHD, autism, asthma, and everything else has risen in such a way
that the statisticians no longer compare the incidence of these diseases to
those of twenty or thirty years ago but rather to just five or ten years ago.
What in the world is going on?
Most of you know my answer. We have crushed our immune systems through having
them be overworked and underpaid. We have overloaded them with allergens and
pollutants of all types and have handcuffed them through poor nutrition and
immunosuppressive medications such NSAIDS and long-term cortisones. I will not
go into the malabsorption and malnutrition induced by gluten, casein, and soy in
this treatise. It is already getting long enough. But, I would refer the reader
to other parts of this site to get the in-depth coverage of this vital aspect of
the downward spiral into which we have put the plane of our health. Suffice it
to say that by having 70% of our diet be comprised of the number one and number
two primary human (and pet) allergens...cow milk and wheat... along with
devastating amounts of hydrogenated oils, salt, sugar, and other artificial
ingredients, we are unfortunately getting just what we "deserve".
In the pet, the replacement of corn (which was already bad enough) with wheat as
the primary ingredient was catastrophic to the health of dogs and
cats...absolutely catastrophic. This is one of the most obviously infamous
landmarks in veterinary history. It happened during my career and it is so clear
that I just want to cry. From that moment on, the pet was in dire straits. Vets
spent their lunch hours talking about how the dog's health was going down hill
instead of what kind of shape the golf course was in during their last round. I
remember this like it was yesterday. And yet, it was about 15 years ago. Since
then, it has been a steady downhill trend. We went from a handful of allergic
breeds of dogs to the mutt from the pound having serious allergies. Cancer,
immune-mediated diseases, musculoskeletal and neurological abnormalities, and
the like were rising so fast that our heads were spinning. Studies were launched
to study the phenomenon.
So we now come full circle. We are now faced with the results of one of such
studies: the role vaccines have played in this pandemic of disease. ("Well, it
took long enough", I hear some of you are saying.) The point is that this is not
as cut and dried as the reader may have initially thought. I hope that you have
gained some insights while reading this paper and have seen exactly where I am
headed with this. If not, your waiting is over.
The bottom line? The frequency of vaccines is not the real culprit here. (Before
I go on, ask yourself if you had already suspected that from what you have read
thus far.) It is more the combination of the type of vaccine that we have used
(the modified live virus) and what we have done to our body's ability to handle
that vaccine, isnt it? Yes and yes. Certainly, an immune challenge of any type,
including a killed vaccine or a certain vaccine diluent or chemical component,
could be enough to decompensate a weakened immune system or cause a reaction.
BUT, a truly killed vaccine would be incapable of providing us with more
terrorists. Similarly, if our immune system was in optimal condition, it would
be much more likely to handle the vaccine properly, disposing of the virus while
The fact is that all of the so-called vaccine-related problems have risen
sharply over the recent past. We used modified-live vaccines for years and years
and didn't have as many problems as we have today. Certainly, there were some
because there will always be unhealthy individuals that will stand out in the
crowd. Also, the pet foods of yesteryear were corn-based and corn certainly has
its share of problems. However, theirs are nowhere near the level of problems
associated with wheat, dairy, and soy.
When the reader fully grasps the damage done by these "glue"-containing foods,
including corn, then it should be easy for one to see that the immune system of
pets (and people) has seriously suffered as a result our dietary choices.
Combining this fact with a better understanding of the concept of latent
viruses, we must come to the conclusion that reducing the frequency of vaccines
may do little to alter the incidence of serious disease in the pet. In fact, it
may do little more than change the face of veterinary economy, as we know it.
Is that why I wrote this article? Is that why I took the chance of turning you
off with my opening remarks? Am I simply defending our ability to make money?
Absolutely not! If the reader believes that, then they haven't read this article
or the rest of the site with their mind fully in gear. Making money is not the
issue on this site. Telling what I perceive as the Truth is the issue. And the
Truth as I see it is that unless we develop KILLED vaccines for EVERY disease
that we vaccinate against, we have done little to ward off the problems
associated with vaccines. In lieu of doing that, we must work hard to keep our
(and our pet's) immune systems as healthy as possible to handle the challenges
that befall us, both naturally and through vaccination.
We have identified the enemy and it is called the virus. We have also identified
an accomplice. It is called malnutrition. If we deem that vaccines are
unnecessary altogether, then we should drop them like hot rocks. However, if we
feel that they are still important to protect us and our beloved pets, then we
better make absolutely certain that they are killed before we inject them into
their bodies. Because (and I dont mean to be a fatalist here, just a realist) I
dont envision the day that we stop doing the all of the bad things that we are
doing to our bodies. I have been wheat and dairy free for 2.5 years now and when
people hear that, they look at me like I am from Mars OR that my accomplishment
means that I have some super-power like invisibility or the ability to fly. It
seems so out of reach to most.
With the pet, it is a bit easier. We simply need to stop feeding them the foods
that are doing them in and feed them more of what is healthy, like veggies and
fruits. Feed and protect the immune system. This can be as simple as picking
dogfood B instead of dod food A. Better yet, we can pick dogfood C...the new
human-grade raw food diets that are now available. Then, when our pets are given
those modified-live vaccines, whether it is annually or every third year or once
every millennium, the terrorists in those shots wont get away, hide in caves,
and re-emerge when the host's defenses get run down. An even better solution
would be to kill all of the offenders in the vaccines before we get them
anywhere near our beloved pets. That just makes sense, doesn't it?