A compilation of information from several authors with links to additional resources
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is a bacteria that can cause upper respiratory and ear infections, pneumonia, epiglottis, septic arthritis and meningitis. Known and identified sero groups of H influenzae bacteria range from type a to f.
A multi-centred Canadian study published Nov 2007 in Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal states: “Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) immunization has changed the epidemiology of pediatric bacterial invasive disease.” and concludes “In 1996-2001, two-thirds of H. influenzae invasive disease in the 12 IMPACT centers was caused by non-b serotypes, which were associated with significant morbidity and mortality.” Note: There are no vaccines for the non-b serotypes of H.influenzae disease. ‘Invasive Infections Caused by Haemophilus influenzae Serotypes in Twelve Canadian IMPACT Centers, 1996-2001‘
Meningitis is an inflammation of membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord (meninges). Symptoms may include: stiff neck, persistent headache, vomiting, moaning, unexplained fever for 3-4 days (doesn’t have to be high), drowsiness, a rash, irritability and sensitivity to light; in infants they may also include convulsions, bulging fontanels, and shrill cry (due to headache).
Meningitis is caused by: bacteria (Hib, pneumococcus, and meningococcus), viruses, and fungi. Hib meningitis can occur unexpectedly. It most often affects African-Americans and Native Americans, including Native Alaskans. Formula-fed babies are more likely to contract meningitis of any kind.
Researchers have found that Hib meningitis dramatically increased following the increase in vaccines given to babies. Scheibner refers to the work of Smith & Haynes (1972) who found a “399% increase in the incidence of invasive Hib infections recorded from 1942-50 , through 1951-59 to 1960-68. Similar trends were presented by Bjune et al.(1991). The best demonstrable common factor in this period is a documented push for increased mass vaccination. This explanation is especially plausible since the number of cases has not increased in babies below three months of age since 1942.” (9)
The peak incidence is between 6 and 7 months of age. Over 50% of cases are in children under the age of one. It was originally thought to be highly contagious, but recent studies have shown that this is not the case — 1 in 772 got it from close contact in a daycare setting in one study (1).
Dr. Robert Mendelsohn MD writes that doctors are taught to identify meningitis in med school, but don’t often remember it for various reasons (2). If you suspect meningitis, insist on all of the appropriate tests — this will include a spinal tap.
Dr. Wootan MD writes that after a febrile seizure doctors may insist on a spinal tap to “rule out” meningitis. He recommends you withhold permission for the procedure unless you see other meningitis symptoms (your best judgment in co-ordination with the doctors’) (3).
Treatment: Needs to be started promptly. Rush to a hospital for care. Homeopathic suggestion – homeopathic apis mel. every 15 minutes on the way. Antibiotics are given intravenously. Duncan recommends insisting on IV vitamin C as well.(4) See Dr. Cathcart’s website for details on IV vit. C.
Outcome: With prompt care, full recovery from any bacterial meningitis is likely. There is a 5% mortality rate (no one says how this was concluded). Deafness and brain damage are also possible.
- A strong immune system and a watchful eye. Maternal antibodies are thought to provide protection for the first 6 months of life. Breastfeeding provides protection even longer.
- immune globulins: taken from the plasma of vaccinated adults. Effective for a short period of time and runs the usual risks of contamination as any blood product.
The following is a summary taken from Mendelsohn (5) and Miller (6).
The first Hib vaccine was licensed in 1985. This one is no longer in use, but offers an excellent example of the problems with vaccine efficacy and safety, and vaccine politics in general.
The first type of vaccine was a polysaccharide capsule (PRP). It was tested in Finland and was found to have a 90% effectiveness rate. It was given to children at 2 years of age and, before it was pulled, it was given to children at 18 months of age. It was completely ineffective in children younger than this who comprised over 75% of the cases of Hib meningitis.
It was tested in the U.S. in Dallas, northern CA, CT, Pittsburgh, PA and MN. It was found to be 41-88% effective in most studies. These studies left out the data from MN: 41% of the children who got the vaccine got Hib meningitis. The efficacy rate in MN was -58%. The vaccine wasn’t pulled, however.
The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) sent out a bulletin to all of its members recommending that Hib vaccine use be discontinued where it was not effective. No research was done to try to find out why children in MN were more likely to get the disease from the vaccine so it isn’t clear how was one to know where it would be effective. The bulletin also said that the vaccine was “similar to” the one used in Finland, but did not explain what was different. In all populations it was found that the vaccine left a three-week window of vulnerability to develop Hib meningitis (as measured by antibody levels).
Around 1988 researchers discovered that when the PRP (fragments of the polysaccharaide) was joined to a protein carrier (usually diphtheria) the vaccine was more effective and was able to “trick” the systems of younger children with “poorly developed immune systems”(PROHibiT). In 1990, the “new” conjugate vaccines were licensed for use on 2 month olds. It had been tested in Finland again (there were questions raised the first time about accepting test results from a homogeneous population for such a heterogeneous one).
Four doses are now given due to the temporary protection it offers. They are given at 2, 4, 6 months of age and a “booster” at 15 months.
Doctors should take a careful medical history and look for signs of any illness. The vaccine insert also states that a syringe of adrenaline should be ready to inject in case of anaphylactic shock
Product monograph of Act-HIB used in Canada — lists ingredients, side effects
Side effects include: fever, redness, warmth, swelling at injection site, rash, seizures, irritability, restless sleep, diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
There is also a two-week period after the vaccine has been administered before it offers any “protection”. There have been reports of Hib meningitis within 5 days of vaccination with the new vaccine. If you choose to get this vaccination keep an especially watchful eye out for signs of meningitis (7).
Other adverse reactions associated with the vaccine as reported to VAERS include: Guillain-Barre syndrome (an autoimmune illness characterized by paralysis and demyelination of the nerve sheaths), transverse myelitis (paralyzing disease of the spinal cord), and thrombocytopenia (a blood disorder causing clotting and spontaneous bleeding, usually internally-bruising). (8)
One vaccine insert clearly states that the vaccine “has not been evaluated for its carcinogenic, mutagenic potential or impairment of fertility.” The safety and efficacy trials that were done for this vaccine (HibTITER) followed most infants for only seven months.
The vaccine is generally 95% effective (length not determined). In Since the Hib vaccine has been introduced, Hib meningitis has decreased 95%, but meningitis rates have not decreased overall. More are now caused by pneumococcal bacteria which has moved in to fill the void left by the absence of the Hib organism which normally resides in the human respiratory tract without causing disease.
- C. Eugene Emery Jr., “In the Public Health,” The Providence Journal-Bulletin, (December, 1986) in Neil Miller’s Vaccines: Are they Really Safe and Effective? (p. 43).
- Mendelsohn, Robert. How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor.
- Wootan, George. Take Charge of Your Child’s Health.
- Duncan, Alice Likowski. Your Healthy Child.
- Mendelsohn, Robert. Immunizations: The Terrible Risks Your Children Face…. (Second Opinion).
- Miller, Neil. Immunization: Theory vs. Reality and Vaccines: Are they Really Safe and Effective?
- Basson E., et.al. “Haemophilus influenzae meningitis AFTER vaccination. Consequence or Coincidence?” Archives de Pediatrie, April 1996;3(4):342-344.
- and general information: Neustaedter, Randall, Vaccine Guide: Making an Informed Choice.
- Scheibner, Viera, PhD. Vaccination Medical Assault on the Immune System, pge. 131
Other helpful resources
- Lockie, Andrew. The Family Guide to Homeopathy and Zand, Janet, Rachel Walton, and Bob Rountree. Smart Medicine For a Healthier Child.
- Hib vaccine linked to diabetes – Dr. B. Classen research
- More articles on WHALE
- Perilous Haemophilus by Hilary Butler
By Greg Beattie
Is it meningitis? No. Is it epiglottitis? No. Is it septicemia, or pneumonia, or cellulitis, arthritis, middle ear infection, osteomyelitis, conjunctivitis, or respiratory infections? Well, no. But sometimes it presents as these diseases. Then what is it? And what does the vaccine aim to protect our children from? Hib is not a disease. It’s a type of bacteria – Haemophilus influenzae type b.
The term Hib disease applies to any disease where Hib is found in laboratory tests. It can be any of a great variety of diseases including those mentioned above. But that doesn’t mean that all cases of meningitis, or epiglottitis, or middle ear infection etc, are Hib disease. Only some of them. Only when a specimen is sent to a laboratory and Hib is found in it. If some other bacteria are found the disease is given a different name. If no bacteria are found it gets another name again.
So, Hib disease is not like measles, or whooping cough, or polio, or any of the other diseases we vaccinate for, because it is not defined by symptoms. Hib disease can basically be any disease with any symptoms. Whereas whooping cough, measles etc. have traditionally been defined by the symptoms they present, Hib disease is defined entirely by laboratory tests. There is no clinical definition for it.
You may be asking, what does that matter? It matters when we introduce a vaccine for it, because we must be able to see how well the vaccine is working – i.e., how much disease it’s preventing. Measles vaccine was introduced to combat the illness we call measles (fever, skin rash etc), and its associated complications and deaths. Whooping cough vaccine was introduced to combat a different illness, with a different set of symptoms. Rubella vaccine was introduced to combat birth defects. Polio vaccine, to prevent paralysis. What is Hib vaccine supposed to prevent? Which illness was chosen for monitoring to see if the vaccine was beneficial?
The truth is, none. No illness is being monitored. Basically, we don’t know if Hib vaccination is reducing illness at all. The only thing being monitored is the frequency of Hib bacteria found in sick children. There are fewer laboratory tests detecting Hib nowadays so the vaccine is considered to be effective. The primary motive for introducing the vaccine was to combat what are known as invasive bacterial infections. But there is no evidence this has been achieved. In fact, it has not even been looked at.
There are three major types of invasive bacterial infections – Hib, pneumococcal, and meningococcal. Interestingly, the decrease in invasive Hib infections appears to have been accompanied by an increase in the other two. There appears to be no evidence of a decrease in invasive bacterial disease overall.
In Australia, the notifications of meningococcal disease in 1995 were the highest since 1979, the year the health department started counting them again.106 More recently, the Sydney Morning Herald (April 24, 1997) warned that the rise was so significant that doctors have been advised to shift their policy, and administer broad spectrum antibiotics in the event of suspected cases. The article reported: About 400 cases and 40 deaths are reported in Australia each year, and the incidence has been rising gradually in many developed countries, although experts are not sure why. The number of cases in NSW jumped from 18 in 1988 to 154 in 1993.
This rise occurred in parallel with the fall in Hib disease, so what savings in illness have there been? A research team in Finland reported an increase in invasive pneumococcal disease since 1993, suggesting its relationship to the disappearance of Hib disease as follows:107
“…our results suggest that following the disappearance of invasive Hib disease in children bacteraemic pneumococcal infections have increased. A similar, although less striking increase has been reported in Philadelphia… It is tempting to speculate that the increase in invasive pneumococcal infections is causally related to the disappearance of Hib disease.”
A follow up report 108 mentioned an outbreak of invasive pneumococcal disease in Iceland which, “… also arose in the context of Hib elimination by a vaccine programme, and so provides another possible example of upsurge in pneumococcal disease after Hib control.” The World Health Organisation reports109 that cases of meningococcal meningitis (serogroup B) have increased markedly in North America in recent years. So, there seems to be no demonstrated savings in illness in children.
On top of all this there seems to be an association between DPT vaccination and invasive Hib disease.
Dr Viera Scheibner comments on the reported 399% increase in Hib disease since the early 1940s and asks, “Why have developed countries experienced such an increase of invasive infections in the last 40 years?… The best demonstrable common factor in this period is a documented push for mass vaccination.” In summary, Hib vaccination was introduced to prevent the diseases mentioned earlier (meningitis etc). But its success is not measured by how much disease it prevents. It is only measured by how much Hib bacteria are found in laboratory tests. It was primarily introduced to combat meningitis, but we are yet to see any reports of a reduction in meningitis – from all causes.
Haemophilus influenzae is a group of bacteria regarded as normal inhabitants of the upper respiratory tract. They are considered ‘typable’ if they contain a polysaccharide capsule. There are six ‘typable’ varieties named ‘a’ through to ‘f’. The ‘b’ type (Hib) is considered to be one of the causes of the diseases mentioned earlier (meningitis etc). It is, however, also found in up to 5% of normal healthy children. The question is, has disease itself been reduced? Are meningitis, arthritis etc still occurring at the same rate as before, but with different organisms found in association? We are yet to see a report of reduced overall disease due to Hib vaccination.
Actually, this raises a broader question in relation to vaccination in general. Shouldn’t vaccination be measured by its success in reducing disease in the community and its success in promoting wellness? Shouldn’t we be looking at the big picture?