Part 3 of 3: An Interview About Vaccines with Helen V. Ratajczak, PhD

Dr. Ratajczak was or remains a member of Sigma Xi; American Thoracic Society; American Association of Immunologists; International Society of Chronobiology; Society of Toxicology Immunotoxicology Subspecialty Section; North East Chapter of Society of Toxicology and the Autism Society of America.


Now, to the last of my interview questions.


Q. 15. Why do vaccines increase blood histamine levels?

Vaccines activate the immune system that responds in a specific way to the antigen in the vaccine, but, in the process, the vaccines also cause inflammation, which is a defense mechanism in which there is increased vascular permeability and release of mediators. Mast cells and basophils have receptors for both C3a and C5a, components of the complement cascade, which is intimately involved in inflammation. Reaction of the complement components with their receptors can cause degranulation of the mast cells and basophils, with the release of histamine and other mediators of anaphylaxis and inflammation. (See Golub and Green, 1991a.)


Q. 16. Do vaccines decrease Vitamin C levels? If so, what does that imply?

Yes, vaccines do decrease Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) levels. The adjuvants in vaccines are pro-oxidants that drain the body’s supply of antioxidants including vitamin C (Buttram, 2010). Any infection, even the common cold, causes a sharp drop in the blood leukocyte Vitamin C concentration (Clemetson, 1999; MacLennan, 1977). Vitamin C acts as a coenzyme or cofactor, and promotes resistance to infection through the immunologic activity of leukocytes, production of interferon, process of inflammatory reactions and the integrity of the mucous membranes (Mahan, 1992). The drop in Vitamin C levels implies that the Vitamin C was used in response to the infection or vaccine. Vitamin C deficiency is correlated with a highly significant increase in blood histamine level, which would promote allergic reactions. (See Q15) The Vitamin C promotes the detoxification of histamine by converting it to hydantoin-5-acetic acid and then to aspartic acid. When blood Vitamin C levels fall below 1 mg/100ml, the whole blood histamine level increases exponentially as the ascorbic acid level decreases. Oral administration of ascorbic acid decreases the blood histamine levels (Clemetson, 1980).


Q. 17. Can peroxidation occur in the brain from vaccine adjuvants?

Yes, peroxidation can occur in the brain from vaccine adjuvants. The brain has the highest fat content of any organ of the body with membrane lipids being 60% of the solid matter (Buttram, 2010; Sing, 2005). The adjuvants are pro-oxidants that drain the body’s supply of antioxidants including Vitamin C.


Q. 18. Please talk about lipid peroxidation and brain swelling/inflammation. Is there any impact on myelin development or demylination?

Lipid peroxidation occurs when vaccine adjuvants interact with lipids in the brain. See answer to Question 17 above. The inflammation that results in brain swelling also causes demylination.


Q. 19. Elevated C-Reactive Protein (CRP) blood test results indicate elevated inflammation in the body. Should that be a standard test in assessing Shaken Baby Syndrome or Autism Disorder Spectrum (ADS)?

C-Reactive Protein (named because it binds to the C protein of pneumococci) is an acute phase reactant protein, one that is at low levels in normal serum. Its level increases rapidly to 100X those in normal serum within hours after infection, inflammation, or tissue damage. C-reactive protein binds to the surfaces of a variety of bacteria and fungi and activates complement and increases phagocytosis. (See Golub and Green, 1991b.) Quantitation of CRP could be part of a test to indicate inflammation as a result of Shaken Baby Syndrome or Autism Disorder Spectrum.


Q. 20. Some researchers claim that 2 toxins (e.g., Hg & Al) in a single vaccine increase toxicity ten-fold and that 3 toxins (e.g., Hg, Al, Formaldehyde) in a single vaccine increase toxicity a hundred-fold. What is your comment about that?

The increase beyond additivity in toxicity when 2 or more toxins interact is called synergism. This is a very serious consideration, and safety tests must consider this possibility. [CJF emphasis]


Q. 21. Can vaccines cause ‘cytokine storms’ (hypercytokinemia) in infants? Can you talk about that at length a little, as parents—and maybe some MDs and emergency room docs and nurses—aren’t aware of that type of adverse reaction to vaccines?

Yes, vaccines can and do cause hypercytokinemia, also known as cytokine storms (Ponce, 2008; Binstock, 2009). A cytokine storm results when the body’s immune system rages out of control, resulting in overwhelming inflammation, rapid organ failure, and death if not quickly diagnosed and treated (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 2011). Immunostimulation may develop via modulation of pathways involved in immune system regulation. Binstock gives some side effects of various vaccines, taken from the CDC’s list of possible side effects from vaccines, which are given for individual vaccines. For DTaP: fever, swelling (for 1 to 7 days) of the entire limb in which the shot was given after the 4th or 5th dose of DTaP vaccine; fussiness; tiredness or poor appetite; vomiting; jerking or staring; non-stop crying for 3 or more hours; fever of >105 degrees Fahrenheit; long-term seizures, coma or lowered consciousness; permanent brain damage. For Hib: fever > 101 degrees Fahrenheit. For MMR: fever, seizure; temporary low platelet count (which can cause a bleeding disorder); temporary pain and stiffness in the joints, mostly in teenage or adult women; long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness, permanent brain damage. For Vermicelli: Fever, mild rash, up to a month after vaccination. Binstock notes that the first dose of MMRV vaccine has been associated with rash and higher rates of fever than MMR and varicella vaccines given separately. Seizures caused by a fever are also reported more often after MMRV. In addition, usually occurring 5-12 days after the first dose, vaccines can induce seizure (jerking or staring), caused by fever and other serious problems (which are very rare) including severe brain reactions and low blood count.

Two manuscripts that describe means of ameliorating cytokine storms follow: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (2011) conducted a study on clues to calming a cytokine storm. Included in those suffering from cytokine storm, children with juvenile arthritis and patients with lupus or Epstein-Barr virus infection may also suffer from macrophage activation syndrome (MAS). The study reports development of an animal model of MAS in mice, and differentiates MAS from hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), which also causes a life-threatening cytokine storm in children. HLH is caused by a genetic mutation, but MAS is not. Inflammation from rheumatological diseases like systemic juvenile arthritis causes MAS by acting through immunological pathways. Two important molecules in the immune system control the severity of MAS: Interferon-gamma, which makes MAS more severe, and Interleukin-10, which has a protective effect.

Another study by Boukhvalova et al. (2006) describes a TLR4 agonist, monophosphoryl lipid A, which attenuates the cytokine storm associated with respiratory syncytial virus vaccine-enhanced disease.


Dr. Ratajczak, can you briefly explain respiratory syncytial virus vaccine-enhanced disease. That is something I’m not familiar with.

When vaccines were first made to prevent disease caused by the RNA viruses measles and respiratory syncytial virus, the vaccines were made against killed viruses, and injected with an aluminum-containing adjuvant intramuscularly. The vaccines did not confer protection, but introduced hypersensitivity to the vaccines. Some of the recipients, when they next encountered the vaccine in its natural state, were severely affected and died. After this, the vaccines were made with attenuated viruses, those treated so they would not divide at normal human body temperatures. (See Fulginiti et al., 1967, 1969; Kim et al., 1969, 1971).


I asked Dr. R if I were a dinwitty because I was not familiar with respiratory syncytial virus vaccine-advanced diseases, and she candidly replied, These events received a lot of attention at the time they happened, but once vaccines were produced with the attenuated viruses, the adverse reactions to the inactivated or killed virus vaccines were downplayed.


Lastly, what are your personal thoughts about vaccines and their implications in Autism and other childhood diseases or syndromes?

Vaccines have saved a great many lives throughout the years since they were first developed in the Middle East centuries ago, with the intradermal application of powdered smallpox scabs (variolation) for the prevention of smallpox. However, it is important to remember the wisdom of the Hippocratic oath to “First, do no harm”. Epidemiologic data suggest that vaccines are intimately involved with autism. As more vaccines were given to children, and given at earlier ages, the incidence and prevalence of autism increased. [CJF emphasis]

There are many aspects of vaccines that cause autism. Some examples follow: The pertussis component of the DPT vaccine integrates into the G proteins, which are regulatory proteins, inhibiting their function (Megson, 2000). The metal aluminum in the adjuvant(s) accompanying the vaccine(s) is toxic (Shaw and Petrick 2009). In addition, the mercury in the preservative thimerosal is a known nerve toxin. This preservative was removed from most childhood vaccines around the year 2000 (Schechter and Grether, 2008), but still is present in some vaccines, the most pertinent being influenza, which is sometimes given to pregnant women. The fetus is thus exposed to mercury, a nerve toxin, when the brain is in its most formative stages.

About the time thimerosal was removed from most childhood vaccines, the host for the growth of some viral components of vaccines was changed from animal to human tissue. When a virus grows it takes some of the DNA of the host cells with it. This means that the vaccine using the virus now contains human DNA, which can be incorporated into the vaccine recipient’s DNA by homologous recombination. Now the vaccine recipient has altered DNA or altered self, which is attacked and killed by the immune system. Much of this killing occurs in the brain.

The federal government and Dr. Gerberding, Director of Vaccines at Merck & Co., Inc. say that autistic conditions can result from encephalopathy following vaccination (Child Health Safety, 2010).

It would be very beneficial if tests of the safety of vaccines were conducted on the following:

  • Increasing the age at which the vaccines are given

(Many vaccines are given at 2 months of age, which is the most vulnerable age. At that age, the immune protection given by the mother is on the wane and the infant’s immune system is not yet competent.)

  • The effects of injecting more than one vaccine at the same time, with perhaps toxic levels of the metals in adjuvants
  • Preparation of a thimerosal-free influenza vaccine
  • Cessation of the practice of giving vaccines to children who are ill or are immunologically incompetent
  • Design of safer vaccines (without preservatives and without human DNA)
  • Conduction of safety tests on animal models prior to clinical safety tests


Dr. Ratajczak, your six recommendations listed above to increase vaccine safety represent state-of-the art medical, vaccine, and pharmacological science to my way of thinking. If you, an immunology and toxicology research scientist, understand the need and recommend them, I have to wonder why those who are the driving force behind vaccines in the U.S. and elsewhere have not implemented such basic safeguards to human health, particularly for infants and toddlers—the future of humankind.


As a result of our interaction during this interview, I’ve concluded that your new post-retirement career focus on Autism certainly will contribute much to unraveling the cause of the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Unfortunately, we already know the effects.

Thank you for what you do to bring responsible research into the often-hyped world of vaccines and vaccinations.


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Photo Credit: Andrew Mason





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  • Catherine J Frompovich

    Dr. Ratajczak, after reading Part 3 emailed me that she caught an error that she did not see when approving the article for publication, which she wants to clarify now, and for which both she and I apologize.

    Dr. Ratajczak, can you briefly explain respiratory syncytial virus vaccine-enhanced disease. That is something I’m not familiar with.When vaccines were first made to prevent disease caused by the RNA viruses measles and respiratory syncytial virus, the vaccines were made against killed viruses, and injected with an aluminum-containing adjuvant intramuscularly. The vaccines did not confer protection, but introduced hypersensitivity to the vaccines. Some of the recipients, when they next encountered the vaccine in its natural state, were severely affected and died. After this, the vaccines were made with attenuated viruses, those treated so they would not divide at normal human body temperatures. (See Fulginiti et al., 1967, 1969; Kim et al., 1969, 1971).
    Dr. Ratajczak says this, ” The first “vaccines” should be viruses, and the second “vaccine” should be virus.  Sorry I did not pick that up before.  You know, it seems some mistakes leap out at you after publication, but are glossed over in editing.

    NB: This was brought to CJF’s attention by Dr. Patricia Jordan, VDM, and I thank her. 

  • Patrons99

    Great interview! KUDOS to both Dr Ratajczak and Catherine.

    We are constantly bombarded with the phrase “vaccine-preventable diseases” by pharma, CDC, and AAP. The theory of vaccine-preventable diseases has never been rigorously proven. IMHO, it is a myth promulgated by pharma. It has become a marketing tagline. Today, it does not require one iota of thought to parrot this “conventional” wisdom. Your article does much to show that there is really no valid scientific underpinning for the concept. Importantly, your article begs the very serious question as to whether vaccines actually increase our susceptibility to diseases. From where I stand, this question is the single most important issue in public health today. And yes, physicians are supposed to abide by their promise to “do no harm”.

  • Patrons99

    Here’s a point on which I respectfully disagree:

    “Vaccines have saved a great many lives throughout the years since they were first developed in
    the Middle East centuries ago…”

    “The age-old struggle against vaccination: A rebuttal by Jennifer Craig, PhD; Suzanne Humphries, MD; and Sherri Tenpenny, DO” by Jennifer Craig, PhD on February 22, 2011.


    “Vaccines may have increased swine flu risk” by Annie Guest on Mar 4, 2011


  • Catherine J Frompovich

    I asked Dr. Ratajczak please to reply to your disagreement about vaccines saving lives and she sent me an email with this reply:
    Dear Catherine,


    Please allow me to go through you with my


    The statement in question is “Vaccines have
    saved a great many lives throughout the years since they were first developed
    in the Middle East centuries ago.” 


    William Benton (1961) provides some helpful
    information.  Let’s go back to that time, centuries ago.  Many deaths
    were attributed to smallpox.  A Syrian epidemic of smallpox was mentioned
    by Eusebius in 302 AD.  Bishop Marius used the term “variola” in
    France and Italy in 570.  In the 11th century, Chinese physicians observed
    that the inhalation of smallpox crusts prevented the subsequent occurrence of
    the disease, leading to the practice of variolation used in the Middle
    East.  It was observed that the mortality and morbidity of smallpox
    contracted by variolation was considerably lower than those from the natural
    route.  Even so, smallpox was very prevalent in the western hemisphere in
    the 1400s and 1500s. The American Indians were severely stricken due to
    their habits during sickness, and some believe smallpox was one of the chief
    reasons for the conquest of the land (South and North America) by the white
    men.   Smallpox was pandemic in Europe in 1614, and epidemic in
    England during 1666-1675.  There were some cases in New England during the
    17th century.  Of course there were misdiagnoses, confusing smallpox with
    the great pox (syphilis).  Even in the 19th century there were physicians
    who did not distinguish chicken pox from smallpox.  However, deaths were
    reported all over the world from smallpox, diagnosed by acute, thorough
    observation.  For example, in 1944, in India, there were 216,538 deaths
    reported to be caused by smallpox.  The discovery of vaccination was the
    observation by Edward Jenner (1749-1823) that the repeated transfer of the
    variola virus to the skin of animals caused the virus to be attenated and
    become vaccinia virus (cowpox).  Milkmaids who came in contact with
    cattle infected with cowpox were solidly protected against
    smallpox.  (Bellanti and Robbins, 1985).  The use of vaccination
    spread throughout the world, and increased in the 1970s (Kuby,
    1997).  Since Oct 1977, not a single naturally acquired smallpox case has
    been reported anywhere in the world.  Vaccination is responsible for the
    eradication of smallpox, one of mankind’s long-standing and most terrible




    Bellanti JA and Robbins JB. 
    Immunoprophylaxis: the use of vaccines IN “Immunology III”. 
    Bellanti JA, Ed.  WB Saunders Co., Philadelphia.  1985.  pp


    Benton, W, publisher.  “Encyclopaedia
    Britannica”   Chicago, London, Toronto.  1961.  Vol.
    20.  pp 816-818.


    Kuby J.  “Immunology”. 
    Third Edition.  WH Freeman and Co. New York.  1997. 
    pp 442-458. 


  • Patrons99

    Catherine J Frompovich –

    “Vaccination is responsible for the eradication of smallpox, one of mankind’s long-standing and most terrible diseases.” – Dr Ratajczak

    With all due respect to Dr Ratajczak, I have to differ with her view as to the efficacy of the smallpox vaccine.

    Has smallpox really disappeared from the earth?
    Dr. Kris Gaublomme

    The International Vaccination Newsletter, Dec 1997


    “An 1888 report by Dr. William Farr, Compiler of Statistics of the Registrar General of London and the physician who is responsible for setting up the vital statistics we use today, stated the following: “Smallpox attained its maximum mortality after vaccination was introduced. The mean annual mortality per 10,000 population from 1850 to 1869 was at the rate of 2.04, whereas after compulsory vaccination in 1871, the death rate was 10.24. In 1872 the death rate was 8.33 and this was after the most laudable efforts to extend vaccination by legislative enactments.”

    “Vital statistics and public records reveal a different story than the dogma of “clear evidence of benefit” propagated by the vaccinators. Mortality figures kept by Dr. Walter Hadwen in England from 1872 to 1921, including the vaccination rate per 100 births, show that as the vaccination rate went down, so did the death rate from smallpox. But Hadwen, like all who oppose vaccination, is accused by Poland and Jacobsen here and in their previous paper, of having “low cognitive complexity in thinking patterns and reasoning flaws.” With those deficits, we wonder how Walter Hadwen, J.P., M.D., L.R.C.P., M.R.C.S., L.S.A., accumulated all those credentials.”


    “Jenner and Vaccination – A Strange Chapter of Medical History” by Charles Creighton, M.D.


    “The Research and the History: Smallpox and Polio” by John W. Oller, Jr. PhD.


  • Patrons99

    Catherine J Frompovich –

    “The Research and the History: Smallpox and Polio” by John W. Oller, Jr. PhD.


    “Smallpox vaccine has an interesting history of mandatory use in the UK that generalized to the US at least from about 1853. The historical record shows that in substantial populations that refused the vaccine, infectious diseases claimed fewer lives than in subpopulations where the vaccine was most used. If smallpox had been completely eradicated in 1977, why do American military personnel have to take smallpox vaccine now and why are we stockpiling 300 million doses of it? How is it possible, also, for the vaccine given to a soldier to infect his two year old son? (The point is that the deeper threat of smallpox itself has not been removed by the vaccine. Can it be guarded against by 300 million doses of vaccinia? What does the research show us?)”

    “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2007, May 18). Household transmission of vaccinia virus from contact with a military smallpox vaccine—Illinois and Indiana, 2007. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 56(19), 478-481. (There is a picture of the two-year-old child who was infected by his father’s vaccination at the linked web site.)”

    “Biggs, J. T. (1910). Smallpox Leicester 1838–1910. (There are many other relevant statistics to be found at this linked site showing that smallpox and other diseases were more apt rather than less to infect and harm populations with higher uptake of the vaccinia virus from which we get the word “vaccine” and which formed the basis for the “smallpox” vaccine.)”

    “Koch, W. F. (1961). The survival factor in neoplastic and viral diseases. Detroit, MI: Author. (Dr. Koch points out prior to the U. S. takeover of the Philippines, case mortality from smallpox was about 10%. By contrast, in 1918 and 1919 when more than 95% of Filipinos had been vaccinated as many as three times to protect against smallpox, the Philippines experienced the worst epidemic of smallpox ever recorded with a mortality rate of about 60%. Here also are his credentials.)”

    “Reuters. (2008, 23 April). Acambis PLC-ACAM2000 U.S. Government Contract. RNS Number 90205. (Stockpiling “smallpox”vaccine is a costly reality.)”

    “Alibek [alias Alibekov], K. (1998, May 20). Terrorist and intelligence operations: Potential impact on the U.S. economy. (Why did this defector come forward and why did the “outbreak” of a presumably weaponized variant of smallpox, compare also the anthrax attack of 2001, affect so few people? Consider the evidence concerning the 3 deaths from weaponized smallpox reported from the 1971 incident in Aralsk, as contrasted with the 133 confirmed deaths from polio vaccine not to mention the introduction of Simian viruses into the human population that have been linked to many cancers.)”

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