After the recent Supreme Court decision shielding vaccine manufacturers from certain vaccine related lawsuits, the vaccine advocacy group Every Child by Two, imagining an industry unable to exist if subjected to the same tort laws as the rest of American business, began floating the idea of a world without vaccines.
Every Child By Two (ECBT) asked:
It’s a difficult question really? If companies were no longer willing or able to manufacture vaccines, how many people would suffer, and perhaps die, from dangerous and contagious diseases, and how many would be children?
Surprisingly, the piece never actually answers its own question. For answers we have to look to ECBT board member Dr. Paul Offit, the de facto leader of the vaccine establishment, who, in his 2007 book Vaccinated, also wondered about a world without vaccines:
Imagine what would happen if some combination of forces caused pharmaceutical companies to stop making vaccines or a critical number of people in the United States to stop using them.
He again addressed the issue of vaccines being sued out of business in a 2007 Boston Globe article, and made a number of claims having no basis in reality.
Offit began the piece with the obligatory show of respect directed at vaccines, stating:
No single medical advance has had a greater impact on human health than vaccines
Before vaccines, Americans could expect that every year measles would infect four million children and kill 3,000
Yet the CDC, the textbook Vaccines, the American Association of Pediatrics and even Offit’s own ECBT state the number of reported cases was ~450. Even considering that some cases could have gone unreported, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which thousands of measles deaths went unaccounted for.
Next in regards to rubella a.k.a. the German measles, Offit claims:
Before vaccines, Americans could expect that every year…rubella (German measles) would cause 20,000 babies to be born blind, deaf, or mentally retarded…
But Americans could expect nothing of the sort. The rubella epidemic Offit describes as happening over one year actually occurred, according to Wikipedia, the Journal of the American Medical Association and emedicine over several: 1962-1965. The 20,000 babies he describes were the victims of a once in a generation epidemic, so to expect that such carnage would occur on an annual basis is absurd.
Especially when reported cases of CRS settled into the mid double digits following the aforementioned epidemic. According to the textbook Vaccines, pregnancies affected by CRS plunged from 100 per 10,000 during the mid sixties to 4-8 per 10,000 during the later part of the decade and before the introduction of vaccination. And in 1970, shortly after the licensure of the vaccine, and well before its distribution could reduce by much the incidence of rubella in those of child-bearing age, only 68 cases of CRS were reported.
Additionally it is my belief that, vaccination or not, an epidemic of this magnitude would never have again occurred. Awareness of the risks presented by the German measles to those of child-bearing age would have motivated families to ensure their children contracted an illness that one prominent doctor of the time, called “a pipsqueak disease”
And finally, Dr. Offit arrives at the topic of pertussis, asserting that:
…Americans could expect that every year… pertussis would kill 8,000 children, most of whom were less than one year old
And again he’s wrong. According to The Encyclopedia of Public Health
Between 1940 and 1945 in the United States, an average of 175,000 cases and 2,700 deaths occurred from pertussis each year.
And while 2,700 deaths is still a high number, one must remember pertussis mortality was in the midst of a virtual freefall and those deaths would have likely continued to plummet with or without a vaccine.
And it’s not just this one article that contains so many mistakes; Offit commits these errors (if they are errors) repeatedly.
In his book Vaccinated, on page 181, there’s the claim (no footnote included) that:
Before the pertussis vaccine was first introduced in the 1940s, pertussis killed as many as eight thousand babies every year in the United States.
In the Wall Street Journal his specious claim about the measles appears:
In 1963 the first measles vaccine was introduced in the United States. Measles is a highly contagious disease that can infect the lungs causing fatal pneumonia, or the brain causing encephalitis. Before the vaccine, measles caused 100,000 American children to be hospitalized and 3,000 to die every year.
And finally, his book 2005 book, the Cutter Incident, contains, in its prologue, the rubella delusion.
In his latest book, Deadly Choices, Offit asks us to trust the vaccine establishment. But that’s difficult since as we’ve seen above, those that comprise that establishment either just don’t know what they’re talking about or they, in order to make vaccines look more important than they actually are, are actively spreading misinformation
Either way, I don’t see much of a basis on which to build a trusting relationship. After all, trust is earned, not given.