Science & Politics of Vaccines

Malnourished children should not be given vaccination as their immune system cannot respond with antibodies which are proteins

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear” — George Orwell

Vaccination is for the whole society while drugs to treat illnesses are for a small cohort of the sick at a given time. Obviously, big business will be more interested in vaccination than drugs. But how much of it is beneficial? Lifelong immunity after an infection is accepted science but immunity from attenuated or dead germs is still only a hypothesis.

We have devised an ingenious method of claiming that we have won the war on polio or any other illness—by changing the name of any such disease after the last case was reported. We have a new disease in India, acute non-polio paralytic illness. What is that label? Developing immunity against any illness is the job of our immune system.

Our immune system needs serum proteins for its good health. Naturally, malnourished children, of whom India has the lion’s share in the world, cannot, and should not, be given any vaccination as their immune system cannot normally respond with antibodies which are proteins. Malnourished children must be treated for their malnutrition before being vaccinated. Oral live polio vaccine drops, Japanese encephalitis vaccination and many others are not only useless but dangerous for malnourished children.

Now comes a bombshell from a prestigious government teaching institute where an upcoming young teacher, who has superb academic credentials, has been denied his due promotion as he had written some excellent scientific articles on the rational use of vaccines which had embarrassed the government policymakers. Unfortunately, the details of this problem cannot be revealed as the young teacher fears for his career. It brings to mind that half-page article by Dr Pushpa Bhargava, the then deputy chairperson of Indian Knowledge Commission, in The Hindu some years ago titled Politics of Polio. Dr Bhargava later resigned from his job because of his strong views against polio vaccines for malnourished kids.

I can understand the government’s attitude as they are more interested in the health of the corporate segment and the pharma industry rather than the health of the poor malnourished and dying kids. The latter have no votes anyway! Our sarakari scientists are there to dance to the tune of their political masters to hang on to their posts and also to get ‘cushy’ parking lots after retirement. Many of them manage to get a stint at the WHO or UNESCO, thanks to their earlier connections.

The WHO has even tried to dilute the diagnostic criteria of vaccine-related deaths and disability. What worries a thinking person is the apathy of our so-called champions of freedom of speech and our guardians of science. If science is echoing the sentiments of our masters in the government, science becomes another fanatical religion. We seem to have twisted our definition of vaccine-related deaths and disability to suit the industry.

When small matters like banning a book or so crop up, the great champions of freedom of speech jump in to condemn such a ban. But when people play with human lives to make money, the whistleblowers are not backed by anyone!

Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS.

Comments
Moreshwar Vanamali
8 years ago
I am usually reluctant to offer adverse comments on the articles by authors with impressive academic qualifications. Yet, in the present case, the author seems to have abandoned the normal method of evaluating, the theory, research and practice in empirical sciences. Like other sciences, the medical science has its own, time honoured rational criteria for evaluation of its theory, research and practices. Often, even the established theories and practices are questioned and re-examined for their validity in the light of new findings. This is why one sees the impressive advances in modern medicine. The author has shown total disregard to this scientific evaluation of medical practice ( in this case , vaccination). The result , one suspects, is a “hate speech” delivered for not so unknown purpose.

skarchuli
Replied to Moreshwar Vanamali comment 1 year ago
This is the main problem, the people behaving as sheep's and following the leader whereas some reputable scientist saying a relevant thing doesn't click to you, btw this Dr.pushpa Bharhava who originally came with banning oral polio vaccination got PhD in age of 21 and have worked in UK us Germany just check out her wiki page and you will know, even WHO admits that oral way is not working but just to keep minting money they carry on vaccination orally for developing countries, it's such a shame and I feel gutted that people like you don't believe in whistleblower
Moreshwar Vanamali
8 years ago
I am usually reluctant to offer adverse comments on the articles by authors with impressive academic qualifications. Yet, in the present case, the author seems to have abandoned the normal method of evaluating, the theory, research and practice in empirical sciences. Like other sciences, the medical science has its own, time honoured rational criteria for evaluation of its theory, research and practices. Often, even the established theories and practices are questioned and re-examined for their validity in the light of new findings. This is why one sees the impressive advances in modern medicine. The author has shown total disregard to this scientific evaluation of medical practice ( in this case , vaccination). The result , one suspects, is a “hate speech” delivered for not so unknown purpose.

Suresh Ramasubramanian
8 years ago
This article is even worse, he seems to be a committed "anti vaxxer" besides promoting other hokum like chelation.

I certainly won't be taking my kids to him for any treatment and would recommend that moneylife stop carrying his articles

http://www.moneylife.in/article/vaccinat...
Meenal Mamdani
8 years ago
I agree totally with Suresh Ramasubramanian.
This is not the first time that Prof Hegde has given dangerous advice.
A few years ago he recommended chelation therapy for all kinds of diseases, an expensive treatment that could harm and bankrupt a gullible patient.
If MoneyLife wants to maintain its reputation as a site for trustworthy information, please do not air Prof Hegde's views unless they have been vetted by a knowledgeable scientist in the field.
Suresh Ramasubramanian
Replied to Meenal Mamdani comment 8 years ago
I fully support your suggestion.
Suresh Ramasubramanian
8 years ago
That is an interesting theory but one utterly unsupported by facts.

This NIH study for example has facts backed by hard data.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/73558...

Of 193 children without a smallpox vaccinationscar 97% were successfully immunized against smallpox. These rates of immune response were independent of age, sex, and nutritional status of the children.

***Since measles is a very severe disease, which in malnourished children can carry a case fatality rate as high as 50%, malnutrition should be a prime indication for measles immunization, and certainly not a contraindication.***

There are enough uninformed myths against vaccines that previously eradicated diseases keep coming back to infect people who have little or no resistance to it.

Moneylife folks - I would request that you stick to finance and the stock market if necessary, and cars of course (veeresh malik is very well informed about them), but please stop spreading these frankly dangerous myths and misinformation about vaccination. Thank you.
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