Part 1 of 3: An Interview About Vaccines with Helen V. Ratajczak, PhD

“The only safe vaccine is one that is never used.”
Dr. James R. Shannon, former Director, National Institute of Health [1955-68]


In today’s environment of mandatory vaccines with no safety studies performed on them by the U.S.FDA—at least according to Congressional Hearings on vaccines and autism held 1999-2004—since they would cost too much per FDA, health consumers are left in the dark as to why their children experience horrible health problems post-vaccination. That is not a rash statement. All one has to do is check out the thousands of vaccine adverse reaction reports filed with the CDC’s VAERS reporting system. See Until September 2, 2010, almost $2Billion in claims was paid for vaccine-related damages. Here’s where to file a vaccine adverse reaction

Wanting to know more from a scientist’s point of view—especially one who worked in the field of immunology and toxicology, I thought that an interview with Helen V. Ratajczak, PhD, could shed some light on a few questions that I had. Dr. R was extremely gracious about the interview. She answered every question I put to her along with providing citations and documentation. She has more than 100 publications and presentations to her credit.

Since retirement, Helen V. Ratajczak, PhD, is focusing on research on Autism. Her most recent pre-retirement position was that of senior scientist at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where she performed safety testing on components of medicines. In addition, Dr. R measured biomarkers and other substances in the peripheral blood of different species of animals and conducted hypersensitivity tests.

Prior to that position, she worked at IIT Research Institute, and was the leader of the Immunology Group. Research there included designing and performing hypersensitivity testing, studying the chronobiology of immunologic endpoints in the mouse and directing the research of graduate students. Ratajczak also taught applied immunology to graduate students at IIT.

Former positions that Ratajczak occupied in her long career included working at medical schools where she studied a mouse model of breast cancer, immunology of the eye, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis in the rabbit model of farmers’ lung disease. Her PhD research was on respiratory syncytial virus in a golden Syrian hamster model. The research for her MS degree was on rheumatoid arthritis in the human. Her BS degree was in chemistry with a mathematics and physics minor.

Throughout Ratajczak’s illustrious career she focused on immunology and toxicology with an emphasis on hypersensitivity.

With such impeccable credentials, Dr. Ratajczak is more than qualified to discuss immunological and hypersensitivity issues currently surrounding mandatory vaccinations for infants, toddlers, and teens in the United States.

During our interview I asked questions pointed at specifics that seem to have become “untouchables” for the media—especially investigative journalists—that provide the foundation of Big Pharma’s vaccine ideology.

Globally, parents are prosecuted at law for harming their children when, in reality more often than realized, the damage to children is vaccine-related brain encephalopathy that medical personnel are quick to label as Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS).

Q. 1. Shaken Baby Syndrome is now suspected as a vaccine adverse reaction when no real trauma is present on the body and/or head. How do vaccines cause intracranial swelling and /or bleeding?

Vaccines cause intracranial swelling and/or bleeding by their action as vaccines. In other words, a vaccine causes an immune response, which involves production of antibodies and sensitization of thymic-dependent lymphocytes that are specific for the antigen (bacterium or virus in the vaccine). In some cases there are cross-reactions of the antibodies specific for the vaccine antigen(s) with brain antigens. For example, measles IgG positive autistic sera were also positive for brain antigens: 90% were positive for anti-myelin basic protein and 73% for anti-neuron-axon filament protein. A cross-reaction was also present for human herpesvirus-6 antibody in autistic sera that was similarly positive for brain antigens. Eighty-four (84) % were positive for anti-myelin basic protein and 72% for anti-neuron-axon filament protein. (See Ratajczak, 2011; Singh et al., 1993, 1998, 2002.) In addition, in children with autism, neuron-specific antigens may cross-react with encephalitogenic proteins from milk, Chlamydia pneumoniae and Streptococcus group A. The antibodies may have been synthesized as a result of an alteration in the blood-brain barrier, allowing preexisting T-lymphocytes and central nervous system antigens access to immunocompetent cells, which may start a vicious cycle (Vojdani et al., 2002). The immune system would react against those targets for which specific reactions (antibody and cell-mediated immunity) were made, killing them.

When cells of the immune system are sensitized, the cells divide. Therefore, there is more cellular mass in the lymph nodes that drain the antigen presentation site. In addition, the cells make cytokines, which cause other cells to come into the area. Inflammation is a protective and restorative reaction of the body. However, when it is not controlled, and becomes chronic, there is continued presence of lymphocytes, polymorphonuclear leukocytes, monocytes, and plasma cells, antibodies and cytokines. Chronic inflammation may be caused by persistence of foreign material, such as a vaccine. The adjuvant in the vaccine causes its absorption by the body to be very long in duration so that adequate sensitization is achieved to provide protection against the antigen in the vaccine.

Q. 2. From 32 to 52 weeks of an infant’s life, there is accelerated brain growth with limited myelin protection. However, during that time infants receive about 21 vaccines. What impact is there upon infants’ CNS, physical brain, and immune system?

In the USA, in 2010, 50 doses of 14 vaccines are given by the age of six years with Hip B given at birth, and again at 2 months along with Rotavirus, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (three vaccines in one injection), Homophiles influenza type b, pneumococcal, and inactivated poliovirus (CDC, 2010). Two months is the most vulnerable age immunologically. Most infant mortality occurs at 2 months because the protection from the mother’s immunity is waning, and the child’s immunity is still immature. At two months, the polymorphonuclear cells are less in number than the lymphocytes in the peripheral blood, opposite the normal situation with the polymorphonuclear cells being about twice the number of lymphocytes (Diem, 1962). In addition, the phagocytic cells and complement system of a newborn are decreased in function (Xanthou et al., 1975; Madden et al, 1989). Thus, the immune system is compromised at two months. A challenge by so many vaccines while the immune system is compromised might contribute to an onset of autism (Ratajczak, 2011). The inflammation caused by the vaccines would damage the central nervous system and brain.

The inflammation persists, resulting in increased head circumference, noted at one month of life and peaking at 6 months with a smaller difference at 12 months, compared to neurotypical controls (Fukumoto, 2008). When the brain is growing so rapidly (between 32 and 52 weeks of age), the infants receive over 21 vaccines (Buttram, 2008).

Q. 3. What can happen if an infant suffered an earlier brain hemorrhage (possibly undetected during birth, i.e., during vacuum extraction or from forceps) and then receives vaccines, e.g., Hep B at birth, then at 2, 4, 6 month schedules. Is there any probability of vaccine-induced lipid peroxidation? If yes, what happens to an infant’s brain?

The hemorrhage would deplete the body of blood cells, and the regeneration of those cells would take more time than in an older host. The infant would be even more vulnerable after a hemorrhage, and the insult of vaccines at birth and at 2, 4, and 6 months could cause death. It is best not to give vaccines to an immune-compromised individual. Vaccines do cause lipid peroxidation, which, along with antibody specific for the antigens in the vaccines cross-reacting with elements of the brain, cause cell death.

Q. 4. What role, if any, do vaccines play in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?

Epidemiology links vaccines with the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Cherry et al. (1988) suggested a link between the Japanese vaccination schedule and SIDS because after infant deaths occurred directly after vaccination between 1970 and 1974 in Japan, some doctors gave no vaccines to infants for two months, and then began vaccinations only to children 2 years old or older. Japan jumped from 17th place in child mortality to the lowest child mortality in the world (Vaccine Awareness Network, 05 May, 2011). Similar results happened in other countries, such as the United Kingdom. The postneonatal mortality dropped in 1976 when there was publicity about the whooping cough vaccine causing brain damage, and the vaccination rate fell to only 10 – 30%, with a concomitant fall in infant mortality rate. Similar results were achieved in India.

Q. 5. Are you familiar with the Pourcyrous brain inflammation studies reported in the Journal of Pediatrics in 2007? If yes, any comments, please.

The Pourcyrous study (2007) was conducted to determine the incidence of cardiorespiratory events and abnormal C-reactive protein level associated with administration of a single vaccine or multiple separate vaccines simultaneously. The subjects were 239 preterm infants at >2 months of age in the neonatal intensive care unit. Each infant received either a single vaccine or multiple vaccines on one day. CRP levels and cardiorespiratory manifestations were monitored for 3 days following immunization. CRP levels were elevated in 85% of those given multiple vaccines and up to 70% of those given a single vaccine. Sixteen (16) percent had vaccine-associated cardiorespiratory events within 48 hours. Abnormal CRP values were associated with multiple vaccines and severe intraventricular hemorrhage. Cardiorespiratory events were associated marginally with receipt of multiple injections and significantly with gastroesophageal reflux. The study was the first of its kind, and presents a unified theory of adverse vaccine reactions (Buttram, 2010). The data provide evidence for a unified theory of adverse vaccine reactions: Brain inflammation, as indicated by elevations of CRP; brain swelling (edema), as one of the cardinal manifestations of inflammation; potentially lethal cardio-respiratory events (bradycardia and apnea); and intraventricular brain hemorrhages.

The brain hemorrhages in the study were intraventricular rather than subdural because the subjects were preterm infants, in whom intraventricular hemorrhages are characteristic. In preterm infants the skull is highly flaccid, providing little if any resistance to a swollen (edematous) brain. In contrast, in term infants, the inner surface of the skull is a relatively firm surface, and when brain inflammation and edema take place from vaccines, it requires very little brain swelling for the outer surface of the brain to impact against the inner surface of the skull, cutting off the passive outflow of blood in the subdural venous network. With cranial arterial blood coming in at much higher pressures, this would bring a precipitous rise in intracranial venous pressure, causing an extrusion of blood into the subdural spaces.

At this point I’d like to interject that Harold E. Buttram, MD, and I co-authored a comprehensive paper on brain encephalopathy using the Pourcyrous study as our “jumping off point” for what we call, “Vaccines and Brain Inflammation.” Our paper is being published in an online vaccine medical journal. I’d be interested in hearing your comments about it. To which Dr. Ratajczak replied, I am looking forward to reading it. Please give me a copy when it is available.

Q. 6. Formaldehyde is an EPA-declared carcinogen that is in many vaccines. Can you please talk about it and how it reacts in the body?

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (2010) has addressed the issue of formaldehyde and concerns for safety. In cells grown in the laboratory, high concentrations of formaldehyde can damage DNA and cause cancerous changes. They state that formaldehyde does not appear to be a cause of cancer in man or in animals. Formaldehyde is essential in human metabolism and is required for the synthesis of DNA and amino acids. In all humans there are detectable quantities of natural formaldehyde. For a 2-month-old child, the total quantity of formaldehyde would be about 1.1 mg, at least five-fold greater than that to which an infant would be exposed by vaccines.

Q. 7. Polysorbate 80 causes infertility in lab rat studies, and it’s an ingredient in vaccines. What can you say about it?

Polysorbate 80 (also known as Alkest TW80, Tween 80, Polyoxyethylene (80) sorbitan monooleate, (x)-sorbitan mono-9-octadecenoate poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), POE (80) sorbitan monooleate, and E433) is a nonionic surfactant and emulsifier derived from polyethoxylated sorbitan and oleic acid, and is often used in foods. Polysorbate 80 is an excipient used to stabilize aqueous formulations of medications for parenteral administration and in some influenza vaccines, and the culture of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. (See Wikipedia, 2011a.)

It is important to remember what Paracelsus said centuries ago: “What is there that is not poison? All things are poison and nothing [is] without poison. Solely the dose determines that a thing is not a poison.” (Eaton and Klassen, 1996.) With this is mind, the amount of any ingredient might be safe in a particular vaccine. However, when combined with other vaccines or when given repeatedly, other mechanisms can be brought into play. For example, vaccines typically contain adjuvants. Several vaccines containing adjuvants, either the same adjuvant or ones of different compositions, can add up to a toxic situation, either additively, or, worse, synergistically. [CJF emphasis added] In addition, the components of the adjuvants can themselves be antigenic, causing immune responses specific for their constituents.

Some toxic aspects of Polysorbate 80 follow: Polysorbate 80 has been identified as the causative agent for the anaphylactoid reaction of nonimmunologic origin in the human. Polysorbate specific IgE antibodies were not identified, confirming the nonimmunologic nature of the anaphylactoid reaction (Coors et al.,, 2005). In addition, delayed effects of neonatal exposure to Tween 80 on female reproductive organs in rats have been documented (Gajdova et al., 1993). Also in rats, a study in 1956 saw no effect of Polysorbate 80 on reproduction at up to 5% of their diet. But reproduction decreased at 20% of the diet. This study was performed when the rats were sexually mature (110 days old). (See Oser and Oser, 1956.) In contrast, a study on neonatal female rats injected with Polysorbate 80 on days 4-7 after birth showed that the Polysorbate 80 prolonged the estrus cycle, and induced persistent vaginal estrus. The relative weight of the uterus and ovaries was decreased relative to untreated controls. These two studies exemplify the critical windows of time during which individuals are more vulnerable (Dietert and Dietert, 2008; Ratajczak, 2011).

The data suggest Polysorbate 80 could cause reproductive problems in vaccine recipients. Therefore more safety tests are needed prior to use of products containing this product. [CJF emphasis added]

Q. 8. Many folks are turned off of vaccines because of aborted fetal cell mediums they are grown on. There’s speculation that diploid cells, as they are referred to, interact adversely within an infant’s brain, almost like turning against brain cells? What can you say about the diploid cell connection to Autism?

The theory about the harm caused by growth in human tissue of viruses to be used in vaccines is that human DNA will be in the resultant viruses. (When a virus grows, it must be inside a cell, and as the virus matures, it takes part of the cell – in this case, DNA – with it.) And that human DNA will be from a different individual that the recipient of the vaccine. When DNA from one human is introduced into another human, there is the possibility of homologous recombination (Wikipedia, 2011b), with the new DNA being incorporated into the recipient’s DNA. Now the recipient of the vaccine would have altered DNA (altered self) in his body. The immune system kills altered self or this altered DNA. This constitutes an autoimmune situation, which is ongoing throughout life. It is known that there are autoimmune components to autism. In recipients of vaccines containing human DNA, the autoimmunity could be caused by the DNA from the human tissue in which the virus was grown. Homologous recombination only occurs if the DNA is from the same species. So the use of viruses grown in tissue from other animals would not result in homologous recombination.

Q. 9. What do you have to say about foreign DNA from insects, monkeys, chicks, pigs, bovine calf, etc. in vaccines?

Foreign DNA from insects, chickens, or mammals other than humans would not be incorporated into the DNA of the recipient of the vaccine. However, there are sometimes other concerns about the use of these sources in which to grow the vaccine components.

Dr. Ratajczak, what are some of those other concerns? Can you please clue us in on that?

For example, viruses likely to be encountered in vaccine production using monkey kidney cells include B virus, miscellaneous simian viruses, “foamy agent”, “measles”-like agent, haemadsorption viruses, lymphocytic chorio-meningitis (LCM) virus and arbor viruses. The B virus, LCM, measles and the arbor viruses are definite human pathogens. (See Tobin, 1960).

There is a possibility that allergies to the tissue in which the vaccine components are grown will develop in recipients of the vaccines.

Continued in Part 2

References listed at the end of Part 3.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Photo Credit: GE Healthcare
About the author

Catherine J. Frompovich

Catherine J Frompovich is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting. Catherine is an editor and writing consultant who helps authors get into publication. For numerous semesters she taught several writing courses for a suburban Philadelphia school district’s Adult Evening School. Her passion is assisting and guiding authors into print. Catherine’s latest book, A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, will be available on and as a Kindle eBook sometime in July 2012. Two of Catherine’s more recent books on are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008).