Vaccination has been a controversial topic for years yet the medical establishment continues to assure us that vaccines are not only safe but also essential. In the first of a two-part series on the subject, naturopath Philip Weeks exposes the truth about vaccines.


“The greatest threat of childhood diseases lies in the dangerous and ineffectual efforts made to prevent them through mass vaccination…there is no convincing scientific evidence that mass inoculation can be credited with eliminating any childhood disease.” Dr Robert Mendelsohn, Paediatrician, 1979

This quote is from nearly 30 years ago and since then the debate on the safety and effectiveness of vaccination has continued to rage, especially over the last decade. As a naturopath I am asked almost daily about my view on vaccination and whether it is a good idea for someone to vaccinate their child or indeed themselves.

It is a complicated issue with one side of the debate stating that vaccines are the only way to prevent dangerous disease, and the other proclaiming that they are ineffective, dangerous and a potential medical time bomb.

There is a common perception that vaccines were the reason that infectious diseases declined in the 19th and 20th century. This is certainly being disputed by some researchers. According to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, childhood diseases decreased by 90% during the 100 years between 1850 and 1950. This is attributed to advances in sanitation and hygiene which resulted in widespread reduction of disease and the improvement of overall public health.

The first inoculation produced was the cowpox vaccine. It was believed to protect people from smallpox. However, there was already major decline of this disease before the vaccine was introduced. In England in 1867 a mass compulsory vaccination programme began. Within four years, 97.5% of people between the ages of two and fifty had received the vaccine. The following year England experienced the worst smallpox epidemic in its history with almost 45,000 deaths. Between 1871 and 1880 the incidence of smallpox escalated from 28 to 46 per 100,000. Some medical historians have concluded that the smallpox vaccine had little to do with the reduction of the disease.

Vaccination in the early 20th century was not without its critics. A growing number of physicians were publicly opposing it. Indiana physician, Dr. W.B. Clarke, stated “Cancer was practically unknown until compulsory inoculation with smallpox vaccine began to be introduced. I have had to deal with two hundred cases of cancer, and I never saw a case of cancer in an unvaccinated person.”

From 1911 to 1935 in the USA, the four leading causes of childhood death by infectious diseases were diphtheria, whooping cough, scarlet fever and measles. However, by 1945 the total death rates form these causes had declined by 95% – this was before the implementation of mass immunization programs.

In modern times, death rates from polio had reduced dramatically by the 1950s in the USA before the introduction of the vaccine in 1955. However there was a 50% increase of reported cases from 1957 to 1958 and an increase of 80% from 1958 to 1959. By 1960, death rates from polio started to rise. Jonas Salk, the inventor of the Salk polio vaccine, himself testified before a Senate subcommittee that nearly all outbreaks of polio in the late 1950’s and 60’s were caused by his polio vaccine.

In Europe, polio declined in countries that both embraced and rejected the vaccine. In 1989, the country of Oman experienced a widespread polio outbreak six months after achieving complete vaccination of its population.

The protective nature of other vaccines is also under dispute. A World Health Organisation (WHO) trial involving 260,000 people, that was undertaken on the BCG vaccine for tuberculosis, found more cases of TB in the vaccinated group than the unvaccinated and concluded that there was no evidence of a protective effect from the vaccine.

Vaccine researcher Adam Phillips concluded that: “It is certainly unclear what impact vaccines had, if any, on the decline of infectious diseases in the 19th and 20th centuries”

How do vaccines work?

As written by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry: “When we catch a disease naturally, we usually produce antibodies to the organism that causes it. Antibodies are proteins in the blood which remember the organism which caused the disease, and can recognise it and inactivate it when we come into contact with it again. Without us actually experiencing the disease, vaccines teach our body’s immune system to produce antibodies and identify certain potentially infective organisms even though we have never come into contact with them.”

However, some scientists have discovered that the presence of antibodies only indicates that the immune system has come into contact with an antigen and not that there is necessarily protection from a specific disease.

What is in a vaccine?

Although there is much academic dispute about the ability of vaccines to prevent disease, there is even more controversy about the safety of the seemingly bizarre cocktail of substances present in vaccines.

Vaccines contain incredibly toxic and poisonous ingredients. They contain agents such as antifreeze to improve shelf life and stability. Some of these agents are to prevent the vaccine from becoming infected or to improve its performance. Common ingredients like formaldehyde are known to be carcinogenic, while aluminium has been linked with senility and autism.

I discussed mercury in the previous issue of this magazine to raise awareness of this substance’s toxic nature. However, not only is it being put in peoples teeth; it is also being injected into them! Its technical name in vaccines is ‘thimerosal’, which is a mercury-based vaccine preservative. It has been recently withdrawn from the DPT vaccines (diphtheria-pertussis (whooping cough)-tetanus, given to infants in the UK in three separate shots administered at two, four and six months of age) because of possible autism links. However, it is still present in plenty of others.

Due to the ‘thimerosal’ and aluminium content of the annual flu vaccine, an expert at the 1997 International Vaccine Conference related that a person who takes five or more annual flu vaccine shots has increased the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s Disease by a factor of 10 over the person who has had two or fewer flu shots

Vaccines are manufactured using a disturbing array of animal and human tissue including foetal calf blood, chick embryo fluid, monkey kidney cells and human diploid cells which are derived from aborted human foetuses.

There has been a very public debate regarding vaccination and its link to autism. In the past 10 years, the number of autistic children has risen by between 200% and 500% in every state in the US. Some believe that this sharp rise in autism is linked to the introduction of the MMR vaccine in 1975.

In my clinic I frequently see cases of vaccine damage. With bio-resonance testing I find that is a common toxicity factor which blocks people’s ability to heal themselves. Many cases of chronic fatigue, particularly in young people, can be tracked down to a vaccine such as Meningitis C or a Tetanus booster.

I find that people’s overall immune capacity is depleted by vaccinations and that this needs to be addressed in order for them to become well again. My findings are not uncommon. The Arthur Research Foundation in Tucson, Arizona estimates that up to 60% of our immune system may be exhausted by multiple vaccines. This is not surprising when you consider that many people have received up to 40 vaccines by the time they reach adulthood!

I find that when patients have multiple allergies such as to foods, pollen and other substances, vaccines are often the root cause. In a New Zealand study into the effects of vaccination, 23% of vaccinated children in the study group develop asthma, as compared to none of the unvaccinated children.

Overall, vaccines have a suppressive effect on the immune system, creating cellular conditions that prevent the body from responding to viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi, and seriously impairing its ability to overcome disease.

Philip Weeks is a Master Herbalist, Naturopath and Licensed Acupuncturist. He sees patients from all over the world at his clinics in Hereford and London. For more information see or telephone 01432 265565.

This is an abridged version of an article which appeared in the Autumn 2007 issue ofGet Fresh! magazine.

Buy the Winter 2007 issue for part 2, where the author discusses the solutions to the problem: safe alternatives to vaccination, what you can do to remove the toxic effects of past vaccines, and alternatives you can employ when travelling to areas where vaccination is recommended.