By Heather Simpson, Vaxxter Contributor
Pro-vaccine pundits argue that vaccines prevented millions of children from becoming paralyzed with polio. However, a deeper look reveals a very different picture. In the remaining few countries in the world still reporting the rare case of polio, the majority of illness is being caused by the vaccine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced in a press release on September 19, 2019, that two new cases of polio infection had been registered in the Philippines, a country that was declared polio-free in 2000. The two isolated cases were associated with type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV2).
Additionally, stool samples taken from sewage in Manila and a waterway in Davao, the largest island in the Philippines, also tested positive for cVDPV2. Not surprisingly, the WHO recommended to increase vaccinations for residents and travelers in the area and increase the monitoring of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP).
Mass Polio Vaccinations: Was it necessary?
In 1988, the WHO passed a resolution to eradicate polio worldwide by the year 2000. Soon thereafter, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was formed. This is a public-private partnership led by national governments with five partners – the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
As much as the WHO and its partners want to believe that polio was indeed a critical disease and a concern in 125 countries in 1988, it was not. The 350,000 cases registered worldwide that year represented only 0.007% of the world population at the time, with many of the countries in the program faced far more concerning diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and malaria.
Dr. Kihura Nkuba is the founder of Greater African Radio, president of The East African World Broadcasters Association and director of the Pan African Center for Strategic and International Studies. In this 2013 video, Dr. NKuba explains how children are being injured and killed in Africa, especially children with HIV, through vaccinations with the oral polio vaccine (OPV). He denounces how money earmarked for vaccines could be better spent in fighting the diseases that were endemic to Uganda.
In the 1990s, vaccine-associated paralytic polio, known as VAPP, occurred in approximately one person for every 13 million doses of OPV distributed. To reduce this risk, the United States began to change the pediatric vaccine schedule from using OPV to IPV (injected polio vaccine) in 1997 and then to an all-IPV schedule in 2000. This policy change resulted in the elimination of VAPP in the United States.
However, OPV is still used worldwide today. The OPV contains three live but attenuated (weakened) viruses. They pass through the body and are eliminated in the feces. The viruses can regain virulence in the environment and return to their original virulent forms, leading to paralysis.
The administration of OPV to children who are positive for HIV or have a family history of HIV infection is not recommended. Nevertheless, the vaccine is administered across Africa multiple times per year, irrespective of the high number of HIV infections in Africa. And sometimes, parents with children are forced to comply at gunpoint.
Polio Eradication Did Not End Paralysis in India
India was declared polio-free in 2011, however, the OPV vaccination did not stop. Since that time, there has been an increase in the cases of non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NP-AFP).
In 2011, 47,500 new cases of NP-AFP were registered in India. Clinically indistinguishable from polio paralysis but twice as deadly, the incidence of NP-AFP is directly proportional to the number of doses of oral polio received.
“…However, in 2005, one fifth of the cases of non-polio AFP in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh were re-examined after 60 days. We found 35.2% had residual paralysis and 8.5% had died (making the total of residual paralysis or death – 43.7%). Sathyamala examined data from the following year and showed that children who were identified with non-polio AFP had more than twice the risk of dying than those with wild polio infection.”
Pediatric researchers Vashisht and Puliye went on to say:
“It is noteworthy that the Pulse Plus program [national vaccination campaign program] was begun in India with a $ 0.02 billion grant from overseas in 1995. At a time when experts in India felt that polio eradication was not the top priority for the country…. It is tempting to speculate what could have been achieved if the $2.5 billion [government money] spent on attempting to eradicate polio had been spent on water and sanitation and routine immunization.”
Wild polio vs Vaccine-Derived Polio
Oral poliovirus vaccines (OPV) are used in third world countries in an attempt to eradicate polio the last vestiges of polioviruses on the planet. There are different types of oral poliovirus vaccine, which may contain one, two, or all three different attenuated serotypes.
The process of attenuation is the serial passage of a virus through tissues to weaken it. The scientific literature admits that attenuation is a haphazard process that relies on trial and error. It is known that the attenuated viruses may revert back to full virulence under specified conditions.
So, the problem with continuing to use the oral vaccine is that the viruses in the vaccine are reverting to active virulence and will continually cause new disease. The first case of vaccine-derived poliovirus infection was reported in 2000. The outbreak in Hispaniola, West Indies, was caused by vaccine-derived, type 1 poliovirus. Since then, infections by vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPV) have been documented every year by the GPEI program.
Most of the outbreaks throughout Africa and Asia are being caused by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDP2). Since 2005, type 2 outbreaks have caused approximately 600 cases of paralytic polio in Africa and Asia.
The Polio Endgame
In 2013, a new strategic plan to stop transmission of polio by disrupting circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) outbreaks within 120 days from confirmation of the index case.
The plan included replacing all of the current trivalent OPV vaccines with doses that contained only type 1 and 3 strains, call bivalent, or bOPV. This move was called “the switch.” It was adopted since no outbreaks with wild poliovirus type 2 since 1999; therefore, vaccinating against this serotype could no longer be justified.
The switch was globally synchronized across 155 countries. It took place between April and May 2016. To mitigate the possible risk of removing the poliovirus type 2 from the OPV, a dose of the injected polio vaccine (IPV) was introduced six months before the change to bOPV. Many different campaigns were used in the run-up to the complete use of only the bOPV.
Then, using mathematical models predicted outbreaks caused by vaccine-strain poliovirus, researchers concluded:
In settings with low routine immunization coverage, the implementation of a single antigen vaccine will increase the risk of vaccine-derived serotype 2 (VDPV2) emergence. If routine coverage is 20%, at least 3 additional vaccine events with the trivalent vaccine will be needed to bring that risk close to zero, and if OPV coverage is low or there are persistently “missed” groups, the risk remains high [for the virus to reemerge.] despite the implementation of multiple SIAs.
In other words, if changing from the current, trivalent OPV vaccine to the bivalent OPV, there will be a reoccurrence of polio illness, necessitating the use of extra doses of trivalent OPV! If that’s the case, then polio will never be eradicated by OPV and why even bother with “the switch?”
And just as the mathematical model predicted, outbreaks caused by the circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) continue to occur. In 2019 alone, there have been 16 cases of cVDPV in countries still reporting polio and 77 cases of cVDPD in countries using OPV that have been declared “polio-free.”
It will impossible to eradicate a virus, especially with a live virus vaccine that spreads the very disease that it is intended to eradicate. Viruses mutate and recombine. They are only attenuated in the lab or the vaccine vial. Once it gains access to the environment it regains its virulence.
Polioviruses – wild and vaccine-derived – are transmitted through the stool of an infected or vaccinated person to the mouth of another person through contaminated objects or contaminated water. Instead of tinkering with vaccine types and dosage programs, and requesting $7.8 billion more from the global community to eradicate a rare infection, as previously described by Drs. NKuba, Vashisht, and Puliye, those billions would be better spent focusing on hygiene, sanitation, and proper nutrition to prevent transmission.
The next time someone says that vaccines eradicated polio, remember that the vaccines now cause polio and contribute to a more deadly disease, non-polio acute flaccid paralysis.
For a much more in-depth discussion about polio and how to discuss this topic without heat, be sure to join the early notification list for the Mastering Vaccine Info Boot Camp Course and Training.
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Heather Simpson is a Canadian journalist who has been dedicated to researching, writing and bringing awareness to some of the most important issues of our time. For the past 6 years, she has been involved in environmental, vaccine choice and human rights activism. She is the mother of a vaccine-injured teenager. Since the realization of her daughter’s injury, she has devoted her time to continued researching vaccines and wellness. With this knowledge and experience, she is motivated to share and educate others about the risks, side effects and real dangers associated with vaccines.