Hepatitis B Vaccine Not Giving Lasting Protection

vaccine“Infants vaccinated against Hepatitis B in Infancy may have lost surface antigen protection during adolescence“, is the title of the article published by Wu in Hepatology, January 2013.  Has anyone been listening?  The time is now to change the failed policy of vaccinating newborns and infants for Hepatitis B. This is a disease people catch from sex and IV drug use, and we should be giving this vaccine to teenagers as we once did.  The study concludes,

“a significant proportion of adolescents (>50%) who had received primary infantile HB vaccination may have lost their immunological memories against HBsAg.” 

Remember that the Hepatitis B vaccine happens to contain 250 micrograms of aluminum. The adult daily maximum for injected or IV (parenteral) aluminum is 50 micrograms and the maximum for a premature infant is 4-5 micrograms per Kg of body weight per day.  We now have ample evidence to stop the unnecessary poisoning of newborns with this unnecessary vaccine and go back to giving this vaccine to teens where it makes sense as they are at risk for the behaviors that could lead to an exposure. The study also showed that giving 15 year olds a booster shot for Hepatitis B increased the anti-HBs seropositivity from 48% to 84.3%.  While that will be a necessary step for all those who were given the primary series as infants, we can get near 100% protection by giving this series to teens like we used to do 15 years ago.

The JAMA Feb 13th study on the association of maternal folate and autism in Norway showed that maternal folate during pregnancy reduced the autism spectrum rate from 1 in 500 to 1 in 1000. During the same time period the autism rate for folate taking mom’s in the US was 1 in 100 (not part of the study, just a fact).  They do not routinely give Hepatitis B vaccine with it’s 250 micrograms of aluminum to newborns and infants in Norway.  What if by changing the Hepatitis B vaccine timing from newborns to teens, we not only improved the protection our teenagers would have from 47% to near 100% but we reduced autism rates from 1 in  100 to 1 in 1000, saving 36,000 cases of autism a year in the USA? 

This seems like an obvious no-brainer, but alas, I find it difficult to get the establishment to listen.  Adherence to the current vaccine schedule by pediatricians is now routinely looked at as a measure of quality of care.  If a Pediatrician doesn’t have newborns in their practice getting the Hepatitis B vaccine, this will show up on audits, and it will look like that Pediatrician is a “bad” doctor.  Is it any wonder patients are being discharged for not wanting to vaccinate? The science is clear that this vaccine should not be given to newborns unless their mom has Hepatitis B, but should be given to teenagers so they have protection when they may need it. Health plans, are you listening?  Are you looking at the literature?  Are you asking the right questions?  Are you placing the right physicians in the roles of monitoring “quality of care”?

Parents, while the government and vaccine advisory boards ponder this information (that may take another decade), it is up to you to understand the science and make an informed decision.  That is what informed consent is all about.  I shudder to think of the nearly 4,000,000 babies in this country whose parents will not get informed consent since they will not be told about this study. They will not be told that the Hepatitis B vaccine has 250 micrograms of aluminum and that the maximum for a newborn is likely 10-15 micrograms. They will not be told that aluminum is a neurotoxin, nor that the vaccination that they are giving their new baby will not even provide protection when it’s needed.

JUST SAY NO – to Hep B for your Newborn! (unless the birth mom has Hepatitis B).

Dr. Paul

 

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