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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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).