Did you know that according to the 2016 CIA World Factbook Infant Mortality Rate Country Comparison, a whopping 56 countries have lower infant mortality rates than the US? That number is up from 2009 when only 34 countries had lower rates.
The CDC recognizes that the skyrocketing IMR (infant mortality rate) in the US has been a trend for quite some time. In fact, this 2008 CDC study, Recent Trends in Infant Mortality in the United States reveals, “The US infant mortality rate is higher than those in most other developed countries, and the gap between the US infant mortality rate and the rates for the countries with the lowest infant mortality appears to be widening.” Comparing the 2009 and 2016 IMR data is frankly astounding. It clearly reveals that something the US is doing differently than other developed countries is causing our babies to die.
In 2011, Neil Miller and Gary Goldman published a study, (using the 2009 infant mortality data) in which they researched this phenomenon. One health policy in particular that differs among developed countries is the child immunization schedule. The US vaccination schedule requires more vaccines before age 1 than any other country. This correlation certainly calls for research which is exactly what Miller and Goldman set out to do. The Miller/Goldman study compared the data and concluded, “…nations that require more vaccine doses tend to have higher infant mortality rates.”
How exactly are babies in the US dying?
We know that babies in the US are dying, but what are they dying of? According to the CDC the third leading cause of infant death is SIDS. This 2005 study in Pediatrics states, “Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) makes up the largest component of sudden unexpected infant death in the United States.” This shouldn’t come as a surprise to most of us. Odds are, you know someone or have heard of someone who had a beautiful, perfectly healthy baby that tragically and suddenly died for a completely unexplainable reason. Those types of stories didn’t use to be very common, but these days we are hearing this heartbreaking tale far too often.
The National Institutes of Health defines SIDS as, “the sudden, unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year of age that doesn’t have a known cause even after a complete investigation. This investigation includes performing a complete autopsy, examining the death scene, and reviewing the clinical history.” The NIH SIDS fast fact page includes, “Most SIDS deaths occur in babies between 1 month and 4 months of age.”
What you might NOT know, is that prior to 1969, the term “SIDS” didn’t even exist. As a matter of fact, the term wasn’t coined until 1969 in response to rising unexplainable infant death. According to the Miller/Goldman study, prior to the advent of the national immunization campaign in the 60’s, what was then referred to as “crib death” was so infrequent that it wasn’t even listed in the infant mortality statistics. Referring to the national immunization campaign in the 60’s Miller/Goldman write, “For the first time in history, most US infants were required to receive several doses of DPT, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines…In 1973, the National Center for Health Statistics added a new cause-of-death category—for SIDS—to the ICD (international classification of diseases.)”
How did the government/pediatric medical community respond to exploding SIDS rates?
Miller/Goldman explain that, “In 1992, to address the unacceptable SIDS rate, the American Academy of Pediatrics initiated a ‘Back to Sleep’ campaign, convincing parents to place their infants supine, rather than prone, during sleep.”
All women who have become mothers since the 90’s know all about this. We are told relentlessly not to co-sleep, to ALWAYS place babies on their backs to sleep, remove all blankets and toys from cribs, no more crib bumpers, etc. But, have all of these precautions decreased infant mortality from SIDS? The CDC tells us that it has decreased the SIDS rate dramatically. Here is the CDC graph touting the success of the “Back to Sleep” campaign. It certainly appears effective.
Did SIDS rates really fall or are these statistics smoke and mirrors?
Unfortunately, a closer examination reveals that these CDC statistics are a blatant attempt to mislead the public through reclassification of deaths. Infant deaths that would have been categorized as SIDS prior to the Back to Sleep campaign began being classified in new categories, leading to the false public perception that unexplained infant mortality was actually decreasing.
Here is a CDC pie graph illustrating infant death in 2015. Notice there are now 3 “top” categories for SIDS (in actuality there are multiple new sudden unexplained death categories, but most deaths fall into these top 3):
This 2005 study in Pediatrics revealed, “ …for the period from 1999 to 2001 there was no significant change in the overall postneonatal mortality rate, whereas the postnatal SIDS rate declined by 17.4%. Concurrent increases in postneonatal mortality rates for unknown and unspecified causes and suffocation account for 90% of the decrease in the SIDS rate between 1999 and 2001.” (emphasis mine)
The CDC is clearly engaging in very manipulative and misleading behavior. The Miller/Goldman study includes this graph depicting the data. Notice that the overall infant mortality rate from 99-01 is relatively constant. Only the reported SIDS deaths decline, because they are being re-categorized.
This report published in Pediatrics in 2011 states, “Between 1984 and 2004, ASSB (accidental suffocation and strangulation in bedding) infant mortality rates more than quadrupled, from 2.8 to 12.5 deaths per 100,000 live births, which represents 513 infant deaths attributed to ASSB in 2004 compared with 103 in 1984.”
This article in Parenting magazine reveals one such case of “code shifting” leaving one to wonder just how underreported SIDS deaths have become. Melissa Haberzetti’s perfectly healthy, 3 month old son Jacob passed away in what the coroner originally assessed as a SIDS death. However, after the autopsy, the coroner changed Jacob’s cause of death to viral pneumonia, even though he had never exhibited any signs of illness. Melissa sought a second opinion from a SIDS researcher at Children’s Hospital in San Diego who agreed that the local coroner had incorrectly categorized an obvious SIDS death. He stated, “With viral pneumonia, infants don’t die suddenly without getting sick first…If one has a degree of pneumonia that can be seen only with a microscope, and then the infant dies, he dies with it, not of it.”
Now that we have established that the Back to Sleep campaign is not having an effect on SIDS death, let’s move on to what the CDC says with regard to SIDS and infant vaccination.
What does the CDC say about SIDS and vaccination?
The official CDC statement reads, “Babies receive many vaccines when they are between 2 to 4 months old. This age range is also the peak age for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), or infant death that cannot be explained. The timing of the 2 month and 4 month shots and SIDS has led some people to question whether they might be related. However, studies have found that vaccines do not cause and are not linked to SIDS.”
The CDC provides reviews of these studies, but upon examination a disturbing trend emerges. Many of the reviewers seem to have a conflict of interest. For example, in this report, reviewer Gina T. Mootrey works for the CDC Vaccine and Development Branch; in this study, two reviewers- Thea K. Fischer and Katrin S. Kohl, work for the CDC; this Immunization Safety Review conducted by the Institutes of Medicine states in its introduction, “Support for this project was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…” Conflict of interest = unreliable conclusions.
Conversely, there are multiple independent studies linking vaccines to SIDS. Here’s a sampling:
This Torch study, Evidence Concerning Pertussis Vaccines and Deaths Classified as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, concluded that the DPT vaccine, “may be a generally unrecognized major cause of sudden infant and early childhood death, and that the risks of immunization may outweigh its potential benefits. A need for re-evaluation and possible modification of current vaccination procedures is indicated by this study.” What led Torch to come to this conclusion? The Miller/Goldman study explains, “Torch found that two-thirds of babies who had died from SIDS had been vaccinated against DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus toxoid) prior to death. Of these, 6.5% died within 12 hours of vaccination; 13% within 24 hours; 26% within 3 days; and 37%, 61%, and 70% within 1, 2, and 3 weeks, respectively. Torch also found that unvaccinated babies who died of SIDS did so most often in the fall or winter while vaccinated babies died most often at 2 and 4 months- the same ages when initial doses of DPT were given to infants.”
This study in the Journal of Pediatrics, Adverse Events following Haemophilus influenzae Type b Vaccines in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, 1990-2013 states, “VAERS received 29,747 reports after Hib vaccines; 5179 (17%) were serious, including 896 reports of deaths.[…] Sudden infant death syndrome was the stated cause of death in 384 (51%) of 749 death reports with autopsy/death certificate records.”
The study, “Unexplained cases of sudden infant death shortly after hexavalent vaccination,” published in Science Direct notes, “possible fatal complications after application of hexavalent vaccines.”
The 2011 study, “A modified self-controlled case series method to examine association between multidose vaccinations and death” concluded that based on a review of 300 sudden unexplained deaths occurring after a pentavalent or hexavalent vaccination, “a 16-fold increase after the 4th dose could be detected with a power of at least 90 percent. A general 2-fold risk increase after vaccination could be detected with a power of 80 percent.”
Equally telling, however, is the fact that the government program set up to compensate victims of vaccine injury (VICP) compensated parents over $60 million for SIDS deaths from 1990-1998. Records obtained from the NVICP by the Gannett News Service via the freedom of information act for a 4 month study show, “Of 253 infant death cases awarded more than $61 million by the US Court of Federal Claims int eh 1990s under the compensation program, 224, or 86 percent, were attributed to vaccination with DTP, […] In these cases, mortality was originally attributed to SIDS in 90, or 40 percent, of them…Of 771 total claims filed by parents from 1990 through mid-1998, 660, or 86 percent, contained assertions that DTP was the cause of death. And 43 percent were classified by medical authorities at time of death as SIDS cases.” (John Hanchette and Sunny Kaplan, “Vaccination Nation: Children on the Frontline” Gannett News Service, 1998)
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…
Despite CDC efforts to trivialize the obvious correlation between the heavy handed US infant immunization schedule (primarily at the 2 and 4 month mark) and the corresponding spike of “totally unexplainable” infant deaths ruled as “SIDS” in the exact same months, the evidence is clear. In my opinion and (more importantly) in the opinions of numerous doctors and scientists, the CDC’s attempt to sell the concept of “correlation does not indicate causation” has fallen flat. Renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Russell Blaylock sums up the CDC/vaccine/SIDS relationship perfectly in his preface to Neil Miller’s book “Vaccine Safety Manual,” “In order to avoid admitting that the sudden stoppage of breathing by a baby within hours to weeks of these vaccines was due to the vaccines, the vaccine defender merely created a new disease a gave it the incredible name of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is like naming it the ‘Baby Mysteriously Die of Anything but a Vaccine Injury Syndrome’ (BMDAVIS).”