Are Vaccines Right for Your Child? Debunking the Myths of the DTaP Vaccine

Families with new babies who query vaccinations in Arizona are being given a wad of paperwork assuring them that vaccinations are safe and effective. Reading through this information, I was shocked to see exactly what these vulnerable parents are being told, because, as usual, they are only being told half the story.

Part one of the paperwork, titled Infections Are the Enemy, Not Vaccines, was written by Karen Lewis, MD, the Medical Director of the Arizona Immunization Program Office for the Arizona Department of Health Services and published by the magazine Immunications. She wrote:

“My first exposure to antivaccine fervor was during my pediatric infectious disease fellowship at UCLA. At that time, whooping cough vaccine was being blamed for encephalopathy, mental retardation, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In Japan there was a period where parents lost confidence in the pertussis vaccines (Whooping Cough), and stopped immunizing their children. The result of not vaccinating was that scores of infants died yearly from pertussis in Japan before new acellular pertussis vaccines won acceptance.”

While this statement is true, it only tells parents part of the truth. It appears that Dr. Lewis seemingly forgot to mention the following important facts.

Inaccuracies Ironed Out

Let us first examine the DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccine. The DTP was first introduced to the vaccine schedules during the 1930s and was problematic from the onset, as adverse reactions quickly began to emerge.

The DTP vaccine is a whole cell vaccine. A whole cell vaccine is a vaccine containing a killed virus or bacteria. The DTP vaccine contains the killed Bordetella bacterium, the bacteria causing the whooping cough infection.

The bacterium is killed using either a physical or chemical process.

The DTP Vaccination’s Tainted History

In 1948, Randolph Byers and Frederick Moll, from Harvard Medical School, had become so concerned about the numbers of adverse reactions being reported following vaccinations that they carried out a study. They concluded that the DTP vaccination caused a number of children to suffer from severe neurological problems, including seizures.

Their study was published in the medical journal Pediatrics. [1] They wrote:

“Inspection of the records of the Children’s Hospital for the past ten years has disclosed 15 instances in which children developed acute cerebral symptoms within a period of hours after the administration of pertussis vaccine. The children varied between 5 and 18 months in age and, in so far as it is possible to judge children of this age range, were developing normally according to histories supplied by their parents. None had had convulsions previously. Many different lots of vaccine, made by eight different manufacturers over a period of eight years, were implicated. The inoculations were given throughout the usual geographic range of children coming to this hospital. All but one, at the time of follow-up or death, showed evidence of impairment of the nervous system, which might still have been in the healing stage in three or four.

During the same period about half as many children were seen in the hospital suffering from the encephalopathy secondary to smallpox vaccination, and about twice as many from the encephalopathy complicating pertussis itself.”

Despite writing an informative paper which was full of facts and figures, their paper was ignored by the medical and pharmaceutical communities. As a result, more and more children began to develop worrisome adverse reactions.

In the early 1970s, Professor Gordon Stewart wrote a series of papers raising his concerns about the vaccine. In the paper, titled Toxicity of pertussis vaccine: frequency and probability of reactions, he wrote:

“To date, File A contains identifying data on 1127 children notified or detected from these various sources. All of these children are reported as having had reactions to triple vaccine (DPT) or, rarely, to pertussis vaccine given alone, followed by severe brain damage. During the same period 17 children have been notified as having had reactions followed by brain damage after receiving other vaccines (seven smallpox, four measles, three rubella, three diphtheria-tetanus).

File B, with 110 variables each with up to nine sub-variables, is built up as independent medical and other evidence is obtained. The present report deals with 197 cases in which the evidence is reasonably complete.” [2]

Once again, despite the vast amount of information contained in his paper, his paper and his concerns were ignored.

The DTP and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

The problems being reported continued to escalate, finally coming to a head in 1975 when Japan took the unprecedented decision to stop vaccinating children under the age of two with the DPT vaccine. Their decision had a dramatic effect as Dr. Viera Scheibner explained:

“JAPAN: In 1975, about 37 Crib Sudden Deaths were linked to vaccination in Japan. Doctors in one prefecture boycotted vaccinations, and refused to vaccinate. The Japanese government paid attention and stopped vaccinating children below the age of two years. When immunization was delayed until a child was 24 months of age, Sudden Infant Death cases and claims for vaccine related deaths disappeared. Japan zoomed from a high 17th place in infant mortality rate to the lowest infant mortality rate in the world when they stopped vaccinating. Japan didn’t vaccinate any children below the age of two years between 1975 and 1988, for thirteen years. But then in 1988, Japanese parents were given the choice to start vaccinating anywhere between three months and 48 months. The Ministry study group studied 2,720 SIDS cases occurring between 1980 and 1992 and they established that their very low SIDS rate quadrupled.” [3]

Despite Japan’s stance and the dramatic results that followed, little action was taken and children continued to be vaccinated with this dangerous vaccine.

Hundreds of Children Died Following the DTP Vaccine Before Action Was Taken

A flurry of reports followed, each and every one of them reporting cases of children dying suddenly from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) after receiving the DTP vaccine.

In 1983, Baraff LJ et al. wrote a paper titled Possible temporal association between diphtheria-tetanus toxoid-pertussis vaccination and sudden infant death syndrome, which was later published in Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

They wrote:

“Because diphtheria and tetanus toxoids pertussis (DTP) vaccine is routinely given during the period of highest incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), this study was undertaken to determine if there is a temporal association between DTP immunization and SIDS. Parents of 145 SIDS victims who died in Los Angeles County between January 1, 1979, and August 23, 1980, were contacted and interviewed regarding their child’s recent immunization history. Fifty-three had received a DTP immunization. Of these 53, 27 had received a DTP immunization within 28 days of death. Six SIDS deaths occurred within 24 hours and 17 occurred within 1 week of DTP immunization.” [4]

Still no action was taken.

In 1980, Professor Gordon T. Stewart wrote a further paper titled The Whooping Cough Vaccination which was published by the magazine Here’s Health. He wrote:

“There is no doubt in my mind that in the UK alone some hundreds, if not thousands, of well infants have suffered irreparable brain damage needlessly and that their lives and those of their parents have been wrecked in consequence.

There are also, to my certain knowledge, a number of deaths after vaccination in the UK and the USA which await explanation. I see no use or justification for this kind of medical policy, and I think that the use of pertussis vaccine should be discontinued until, by better research or a better vaccine, these doubts are resolved.” [5]

In 1996, Harris L. Coutler wrote the paper titled SIDS and Seizures, in which he stated:

“”Crib death” was so infrequent in the pre-vaccination era that it was not even mentioned in the statistics, but it started to climb in the 1950s with the spread of mass vaccination against diseases of childhood. It became a matter of public and professional concern and even acquired a new name, “sudden infant death of unknown origin.” or, for short, SIDS.” (sic) [6]

All of these papers were in line with Dr. Viera Scheibner’s ground-breaking paper titled Dynamics of critical days as part of the dynamics of non-specific stress syndrome discovered during monitoring with Cotwatch breathing monitor, which was full of scientific evidence proving that babies can have severe adverse reactions to vaccinations at critical intervals following their vaccinations. [7]

Replacing One Dangerous Vaccine With Another

Beginning to worry slightly, instead of suspending the whooping cough vaccine until further notice, as one would expect, world governments decided that it would be a great idea to replace one dangerous vaccination with another, and in 1991, many replaced the DTP with the DTaP on their vaccine schedules.

The DTaP is an acellular vaccine, meaning that the vaccine contains two or more antigens but no whole cells. (An antigen is a harmful substance that causes the body to produce antibodies.)

Within a few years of this vaccine being introduced, papers began to emerge stating that this vaccine was another vaccine not to be trusted.

In 1998, Kris Gaublomme, MD, wrote a paper published in The International Vaccine titled Acellular Pertussis. Dr. Gaublomme highlighted the fact that data being produced on the safety issues of the acellular vaccine was contradictory. He wrote:

“The data on the safety of the new acellular vaccine are contradictory. The Japanese study (I) e.g. mentions that “the vaccine does not have detectable side-effects”, whereas the introduction of the same article says that “it is less than one-tenth as toxic as whole-cell vaccine …”. How can a quantitative comparison be made if there is “no detectable side-effect” at all? Poland argues that in a recent Swedish vaccine trial, there was no benefit of the acellular vaccine over the whole-cell vaccine as to efficacy nor as to “the frequency of serious adverse events, including hypotonic hyporesponsive episodes.” (sic)

Local side-effects are generally admitted. They consist of redness and swelling.

Systemic reactions, however, also occur. Examples are fever, drowsiness, irritability, prolonged, high-pitched crying and seizures.

In one study there was no difference with the old vaccine with respect to fussiness, antipyretic use, drowsiness, or anorexia.

Uberall noticed convulsions within three days of vaccination occurred in 1/15,912 doses in DTaP recipients.

Persistent inconsolable crying, a sure sign of brain inflammation, was present in 1/497 doses.

High fever (<40.5°C) was observed in 1/16,239 doses. One hypotonic-hyporesponsive episode was observed in 4,273 DTaP recipients.

Fever, injection site redness, swelling, and pain increased in prevalence with increasing numbers of injections. For children receiving DTaP as a fourth dose, injection site redness and swelling occurred more frequently in DtaP primed than in DTwP-primed children.”  [8] (emphasis added)

Despite this paper and many others indicating that adverse reactions to the whooping cough vaccine were still occurring, the CDC continued to bury its head in the sand, and instead of being honest, decided to conceal the facts from the public.

In March 2014, Paul G. King, PhD, wrote a paper titled A fact-based Assessment of blind eye to scientific fraud is dangerous. He wrote:

“According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, vaccination, introduced in the 1940s, brought the number of cases per year down from 107,473 in 1922 to just 1,248 in 1981. Since 1982, however, the number of cases has steadily increased.

As Bass JW, et al. predicted in 1987 and confirmed in 1994, the increase in the reported clinical cases of ‘whooping cough’ since 1982 has been caused by a failed vaccine program.

Moreover, the failure is increasingly evident despite the CDC’s attempt to conceal that failure by adding first more and more doses of the DTaP vaccine and, after the children are 7 years of age, now recommending that children be given a Tdap vaccine since giving a DTaP vaccine to anyone over 7 years of age can be fatal to the inoculated individual.” (sic) [9]

In other words, the DTaP is not only dangerous, but it DOESN’T WORK!!

Dr. Lewis Defends Thimerosal

Throughout her paper, Dr. Lewis wrote about what she calls the ‘anti-vaccine fervor,’ continually mixing up the truth with fiction. She wrote:

“ … Accusations focused on thimerosal, an ethyl-mercury-containing vaccine preservative. There had never been any scientific evidence of adverse effects from thimerosal. Still, to be on the safe side, in 1999 the Public Health Service and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that thimerosal-containing vaccines be removed from vaccines. Thimerosal became the new object of blame.” (emphasis added)

The Public Health Service and the American Academy of Pediatrics may well have recommended that thimerosal should be removed from vaccines; however, many vaccines still contain the preservative today.

What Dr. Lewis Did Not Tell Parents About Thimerosal

Thimerosal is a mercury-containing organic compound used as a preservative in many vaccines since the 1930s. Despite being 49.6 percent ethyl mercury, a highly toxic poison that is geno-toxic and neurotoxic, thimerosal is said to help prevent potentially life-threatening contamination from harmful microbes.

Although the preservative was not used in all vaccinations (for example, it has never been used in measles-mumps-rubella or chickenpox vaccines), it was originally used in the manufacture of many early vaccines and, for many years, has been frequently linked to neurological problems in children, such as autism and ADHD. [10] [11]

As stated by Dr. Lewis in 1999, the Public Health Service and the AAP recommended that thimerosal be taken out of vaccines as a precautionary measure. However, despite their recommendations, it still remains in many vaccinations today, including:

  • DT (diptheira/tetanus, manufactured by Sanofi)
  • Influenza (Fluirin); Influenza (Flulaval)
  • Influenza (Fluzone: standard, high-dose, and intradermal)
  • Meningococcal (MPSV4 – Menomune)
  • TD (tetanus/diptheria – Decavac)
  • TD (Mass Biologics) [12]


As a journalist and a mother myself, I found Dr. Lewis’s paper to be poorly written, lacking in substance and containing very few credible references. If parents are given poor information and very few facts, how can they ever make an informed decision about vaccinations?

Parents are continually being lied to by the medical profession, the mainstream media, the pharmaceutical industry and world governments, and it needs to stop. How can we trust a person paid to vaccinate our children? Let’s face it – Dr. Karen Lewis is, after all, the Medical Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. She is hardly likely to tell parents the truth, is she?


[feature_box style=”17″ title=”References” alignment=”center”]
  1. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/1/4/437.abstract
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/…
  3. http://www.consumerhealth.org/articles/…
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6835859
  5. This paper no longer in print. It is archived at: http://www.whale.to/vaccines/stewart.html
  6. http://www.mojuk.org.uk/Portia/archive%207/seizures.html
  7. http://www.vierascheibner.com/index.php
  8. http://www.healthy.net/scr/article.aspx?Id=892
  9. http://dr-king.com/docs/…
  10. http://www.autismhelpforyou.com/Simpsonwood…
  11. http://vactruth.com/2013/07/04/vaccination-causes-autism/
  12. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook…


Photo Credit

Christina England, BA Hons