Much has been written about the
use of the MMR vaccine in the UK due to concerns about its
connection to autism. Ironically, in spite of this, the
recently reported, “New mothers and women hoping to become pregnant are
to be offered the MMR jab because supplies of the single rubella
vaccine have run out.”
In a stunningly
irresponsible fit of pro-vaccine enthusiasm, Dr Elizabeth Miller,
of the Health Protection Agency, reportedly remarked to the BBC that
"There are no potential adverse effects as a result of receiving the
MMR vaccination when women are planning to become pregnant, or after
"NO POTENTIAL ADVERSE EFFECTS"? Aside from
the fact that one can never reasonably say there is NO potential for
side effects, among the things that are known about MMR and its
component vaccines, the following can be stated:
Merck itself has warned about potential adverse effects from
administration during pregnancy and nursing.
2) The Institute of Medicine found that MMR
and/or its component vaccines can cause arthritis, thrombocytopenia,
and anaphylaxis. (1,2)
3) There have been
of adverse MMR vaccine-associated reactions among those 18 and over
Given that the vaccine was designed specifically
for childhood use, it is not clear that much testing of adults has ever
been conducted. Certainly, since MMR has not long been used by
adults, little can be known of its long-term effects in that population.
Beyond the more obvious question whether or not
MMR is safe and if it should be recommended for adult women of
child-bearing age, however, lies a more provocative and critical series
of questions: Has congenital rubella syndrome actually
declined? If so, how much has it declined? How much of that
decline is rubella vaccination responsible for?
Vaccination against rubella is known to result in
subclinical or mild
case of the disease.
Rubella (German measles) is a disease for which
there is a widely used vaccine. (It is generally administered via
the MMR vaccine.) It is, in itself, a mild, often even
disease. The reason it is recommended/mandated is to protect
the developing fetus, which, if exposed to the virus during a
critical period while still in the womb, can develop a serious
There is evidence that the
are getting subclinical cases of rubella, just as is the rest of the
population. What does vaccination accomplish if all it does is
in a subclinical case of an already mild or subclinical disease?
Moreover, what does vaccination accomplish if
previously vaccinated pregnant women not only can get subclinical
cases of rubella, but that such cases can result in
congenital rubella syndrome (CRS)?
Unfortunately rubella vaccine immunity also
over time. On the other hand,
immunity to rubella is thought to generally be life-long.
Would it not be better to expose children,
particularly non-immune teenage girls, to rubella in order to increase
the likelihood that one would be immune during pregnancy, rather than
to risk the possibility of getting rubella while pregnant? As Dr.
Hugh Paul stated in "The Control of Diseases", which was written in
1964, before formulation of the rubella vaccine, "The disease (rubella)
cannot be prevented, and in view of its very mild character, and the
possibility that it may have catastrophic effects if contracted by an
expectant mother, it is questionable if it should be prevented in
childhood and adolescence even if this were possible. It has been
suggested that female children should be deliberately exposed to
infection in order to achieve a life-long immunity from the disease and
possibly from malformation in the offspring in later life.
This idea is not an unreasonable one... Rubella does not kill, and even
complications are uncommon."
And if rubella during pregnancy is often
subclinical among the vaccinated, how diligent are we being in
evaluating newborns for congenital rubella syndrome since
serological testing is necessary to confirm CRS and often even
There are a number
of symptoms associated with the condition. Two of the
possible symptoms are "developmental delay" and hearing loss, both of
which might not be noticed immediately. Are we assuming something
isn't congenital rubella syndrome simply because the mother was
vaccinated? Are we testing every infant or child who shows
"developmental delay" or hearing loss for congenital rubella syndrome?
The textbook "Vaccines"
lists a group of "prominent
clinical findings in congenital rubella syndrome". Among them are
autism and diabetes. Are we testing every infant and child with
autism or diabetes for CRS?
Some of these conditions, including autism and
are thought to be on the rise.
Could these increases be occurring not only
because rubella vaccine is causing more women of child-bearing age to
be vulnerable to the disease, now that they no longer achieve natural
immunity during childhood, but also because the vaccine is causing
Prior to rubella vaccination, often the only sign
that a woman had been infected by rubella was the birth of a CRS
baby. Might widespread rubella vaccination have merely resulted
in more undetected rubella and CRS than has previously been the
case? Might there now be among the signs of CRS, conditions like
autism and diabetes? Might we be overlooking the possible
connection between conditions like autism and diabetes, precisely
because we assume, but don't really test for it, that rubella
vaccination results in the prevention of congenital rubella syndrome?
Are we conducting laboratory testing of every
infant or child who shows one or more of the numerous symptoms
associated with CRS? If not, isn't it possible that we have
been overestimating rubella vaccine's success in eliminating congenital
rubella syndrome? Of even more concern, might rubella vaccine be
at least partly responsible for the rising incidence of some
CRS-associated conditions, including autism?
"Eternal vigilance is
the price of liberty." - Wendell Phillips (1811-1884), paraphrasing
John Philpot Curran (1808)