Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dad's corner: That Primate study-Why are we still giving babies the Hepatitis B vaccine?

The following is an excerpt of a paper published in the Journal NeuroToxicity titled “Delayed acquisition of neonatal reflexes in newborn primates receiving a thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B vaccine: Influence of gestational age and birth weight”

Complete reference: Hewitson L, et al. Delayed acquisition of neonatal reflexes in newborn primates receiving a thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B vaccine: Influence of gestational age and birth weight, Neurotoxicology (2009), doi:10.1016/ j.neuro.2009.09.008.

This study demonstrated evidence of abnormal early neurodevelopmental responses in Survival reflexes (root, suck, snout, auditory startle); Motor reflexes (including grasping hand, grasping foot, clasping hand clasping foot) and sensory motor reflex (auditory orientation) in male infant rhesus macaques receiving a single dose of Th-containing HB vaccine at birth.

The study design could not conclude whether it was the vaccine, the thimerosal, or a combination of both, that caused these effects.

According to the clinicians "the outcomes reported here are not included in the current CDC recommendations for Hepatitis B vaccine safety testing (Anon., 1982)". 

The Discusion was the most interesting part of the paper "The developing brain is considered the most vulnerable organ to mercury exposure (Grandjean and Perez, 2008)" The gestational age of the child when the shot is given was directly related to the level of bio-available mercury detected in the bloodstream  and the subsequent damage caused by the single vaccine dose.

The paper goes on to state "The Pathological injury was observed to have started in the brainstem, extending to other areas of the brain at higher exposure levels. In a mouse model, exposure to mercury vapor resulted in a preferential accumulation of mercury in the brainstem, regardless of concentration used (Warfvinge, 1995). Similarly, after intramuscular injection, inorganic mercury accumulated in brainstem motor nuclei of mice (Arvidson, 1992). In clinical studies of mercury poisoning, exposure to organic mercury either pre- or post-natally resulted in brainstem defects in children (Amin-Zaki et al., 1978; Magos et al., 1985; Counter, 2003; Murata et al., 2004; Bernard et al., 2005)".

Here is the scary part "Since the acquisition of motor reflexes is controlled by the brainstem, it is possible that very early exposure to ethyl mercury may adversely affect emerging brainstem function (Wakefield et al., 2008). Brainstem injury may then disturb the development or functioning of higher structures (Geva and Feldman, 2008; Tanguay and Edwards, 1982; reviewed by McGinnis et al., in press)".

Lastly "Stajich et al. (2000) examined blood mercury levels in US infants after receiving a single dose of HB vaccine and found the highest levels of mercury in pre-term infants suggesting that newborns, especially pre-term infants, may have decreased ability to eliminate mercury.

So then I ask you... If the mother is negative for Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis B is passed by sharing needles or by unprotected sex (blood to blood contact with an infected individual), WHY are we giving this garbage to newborns?

A good friend asked me once "yea but your kid can get Hep B at the playground, playing around a kid that is Hep B positive".  I told him that that Hep B+ kid would have to bleed into my kids open cut and even then transfer of the virus is not likely as blood usually flows in one direction (out).

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