The Possible Role of Vaccines in Causing Retrogressive Changes

The Possible Role of Vaccines in Causing Retrogressive Changes: Reminiscences of America’s Children in the 1930s, and the Profound Changes That Have Taken Place Since Then.

Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines Meeting
Vaccine Safety Advocate Harold E Buttram, MD, Presentation
September 2, 2010, FDA, Rockville, MD

As one of America’s senior citizens who grew up in a Midwestern state in the 1930s, and as a doctor who treated many children with autistic spectrum and related disorders in the later years of my practice, I may have a special vantage point of time and experience in regard to the changes that have taken place in the health of America’s children since the relatively innocent times of the 1930s. At a summer camp in the New Mexico Mountains which I was fortunate to attend, no boy had allergies, no boy was on medication, and no boy was sick with the common ailments of today. It was much the same in the schools. I don’t recall ever seeing a child with easily recognized behaviors now described as hyperactive attention deficit disorder or autism.

Today, in stark contrast, approximately one third of our youngsters are afflicted with the 4-A disabilities (Autism, ADHD, asthma, allergies), as described and documented by Dr. Kenneth Bock. (1) School budgets are being strained to the breaking points in providing special education classes for autistic and learning disabled children.

Could today’s infant and childhood vaccine programs with their steadily increasing numbers of vaccines be a contributory cause of this ominous health trend?

As reflected in the US Congressional Hearings on issues of vaccine safety (1999-Dec., 2004), in which major deficiencies in vaccine safety testing were disclosed, a situation little if any improved today, the possibility of such a causal relationship cannot be disproven or denied. I think I can prove my point with one simple illustration:

In 1984 a study from Germany was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in which a significant though temporary drop in T-helper lymphocytes, a class of white blood cell that governs the immune system, occurred in 11 healthy adults after receiving routine tetanus vaccinations. Special concern rests in the fact that in four of the subjects their T-lymphocytes fell to levels seen in active AIDS patients. (2) If this was the result of one vaccine in healthy adults, it is sobering to think of the possible consequences from today’s multiple vaccines routinely administered to infants and children. And yet, to the best of my knowledge, this test has never been repeated. One must wonder why.

There is great concern today about America’s steadily increasing national financial deficits and indebtedness, but of even greater danger to America’s future is the steadily increasing patterns of compromised health among America’s children and youth, about which current health authorities apparently remain impotent.



(1)   Bock, Kenneth and Stauth, C. Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies. Ballantine Books, New York, 2007.

(2)   Eibl M et al. Abnormal T-lymphocyte subpopulations in healthy subjects after tetanus booster immunizations. (letter) New England Journal of Medicine, 1984; 310(3):198-199.

About the author

Harold E. Buttram, M.D.