Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Name Can Be Misleading

Harold Buttram, MD
A name can lend credibility to an organization, when it really shouldn’t. The International Medical Council on Vaccination posted an article earlier this year written in 2011 by Harold Buttram, MD and Catherine Frompovich stating that vaccines are turning children’s immune systems inside out. Citing the research of Russell Blaylock, the article claims that repeated stimulation of the brain’s immune system results in intense reactions. All of this is completely false.

The International Medical Council on Vaccination sounds like a legitimate organization, but looking through the history of their site, Vaccine Watch found they aren’t. They have a history of not publishing debates and articles that don’t support their views. Many of the professionals on the International Medical Council on Vaccination site, chiropractors, homeopaths, and doctors, are anti-vaccine activists.

Buttram has been advocating against vaccines for years. Earlier in his career, he blamed Shaken Baby Syndrome on vaccines. The first three sources of the article are all from Russell Blaylock, MD, who claims on his personal website that alphabet organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can’t be trusted.

The article details cellular and humoral immunity. Buttram contends that vaccination establishes the humoral system as dominant, which he claims is the reverse of the natural immunologic scheme that humans evolved with. He further claims that immune systems may be going through progressive atrophy from disuse without the challenges of “minor childhood diseases.” 

Buttram goes on to state, “As a matter of opinion, vaccinations for chickenpox and mumps were totally uncalled for, as they were almost always benign illnesses that likely were serving a useful and positive role in priming and strengthening cellular immunity and response mechanisms.” Buttram never had to deal with the painful and uncomfortable situation children with mumps or chicken pox face.

He then states that death from diseases like measles and whooping cough declined before the vaccines were introduced and that improvements in sanitation and the introduction of antibiotics were more important than vaccines. Again, this is a false statement.

The CDC addresses many of the misconceptions Buttram brings up on their website. For instance, looking at a graph on the rate of measles in the United States from 1950-2001 you see peaks and valleys and the disease rate holding steady in the range of 500,000 cases per year.  When the vaccine was introduced the rate dropped down to near 0 and has remained there.

Every day, the immune systems of babies and children successfully fight off millions of antigens.  Vaccines have antigens from a weakened or killed germ in a fraction of the number that the normal child encounters every day. Vaccination saves lives and prevents serious disease outbreaks. Distorting facts and spreading misinformation like the article in International Medical Council on Vaccination is irresponsible.  Parents with questions about vaccination should speak with their child’s physician.

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