Friday, May 24, 2024


“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.”

— William Wilberforce


My Feelings About the Vaccine Debate

two people sitting outside talking

As a physician, my primary area of interest is cardiovascular disease, which a big and complex subject, where anyone questioning the ‘conventional’ ideas gets ruthlessly attacked. However, in comparison to the area of vaccination, the battles in cardiovascular disease pale into insignificance. Mere squabbles in the nursery.

I am a member of an on-line doctors’ community in the United Kingdom called Doctors Net. Not open to the public. Whenever any story about vaccination emerges, the vitriol, anger and naked rage is quite scary to observe.

Whenever the issue of MMR (mumps, measles, rubella) raises its head on Doctors Net, doctors have stated that Andrew Wakefield should be thrown in jail, and never allowed to earn any money ever again, that he is a crook and a criminal—and those are the nicer comments.

It is clear that, in the medical profession, there is an unquestioned faith in vaccination. That is, all vaccinations, for all diseases, everywhere—for everyone. Anyone who dares to hint that, ahem, there could be some negative issues associated with vaccination is subjected to withering contempt. ‘You will be responsible for killing millions of children.’ You don’t understand science.’ And suchlike.

When it comes to the science, it does amuse me that vaccination began before anyone understood any of the science—of anything to do with microbes and the immune system. It all began, so it is recorded, with the observation that milkmaids were much less likely to get smallpox.

This led to the idea that you should deliberately infect people with a bit of cowpox, to prevent them getting smallpox. Bold.

The terms vaccine and vaccination are derived from Variolae vaccinae (smallpox of the cow), the term devised by Jenner to denote cowpox. He used it in 1796 in the long title of his Inquiry into the Variolae vaccinae known as the Cow Pox, in which he described the protective effect of cowpox against smallpox.

[from the website that cannot be named… Wikipedia actually]

This was suggested at a time when all doctors thought infections were spread by Miasma. Basically, a nasty smell. No-one had the faintest idea that there were bacteria, or viruses. Somewhat ironically, vaccination—giving a small amount of a substance to cure/prevent a nasty disease—became the underlying principle of homeopathy—which most doctors now angrily dismiss as ‘woo woo medicine.’

Clearly, vaccination did not start as science. It basically started as a hunch, based on no comprehension of the science at all. Of course, that doesn’t make it wrong, but you can hardly suggest it was founded on a thorough understanding of the human immune system. Edward Jenner did not know that such a thing existed, and nor did anyone else. It was just a good guess.

The science of vaccination then became, what I call, backwards rationalisation. ‘It works, now let us work out how the hell it actually works.’ Again, nothing wrong with this. The best science often starts with observation, not a hypothesis. Graphene is a recent example. Two scientists larking about in the lab with Sellotape and pencils.

Just in case you are wondering. Yes, I do believe that vaccination works. Or, to be more accurate I believe that some vaccination works. Most vaccination, all vaccinations?

However, I do speak as one who has had seven hepatitis B inoculations and, once, just about managed to provide a blood test to show that I had made enough antibodies—to allow me to work as a doctor. A friend, who worked as a surgeon, had twenty-two hep B inoculations, and never managed to raise an antibody. He did explain to me how he continued to work as a surgeon, but I have forgotten how he managed.

Which means that I have personal—and slightly painful—experience that vaccination is not equally effective for everyone. Why not? Does anyone care about such things? It seems not. Just close your eyes and vaccinate away. No-one can question anything. Such as, why do inoculations produce antibodies in some people, and not others? Kind of interesting you would think—but no. Question not, the mighty vaccination.

This is strange, because it has been clearly established that vaccination does not work in many people:

An outbreak of measles occurred in a high school with a documented vaccination level of 98 percent. Nineteen (70 percent) of the cases were students who had histories of measles vaccination at 12 months of age or older and are therefore considered vaccine failures. Persons who were unimmunized or immunized at less than 12 months of age had substantially higher attack rates compared to those immunized on or after 12 months of age.

Vaccine failures among apparently adequately vaccinated individuals were sources of infection for at least 48 percent of the cases in the outbreak. There was no evidence to suggest that waning immunity was a contributing factor among the vaccine failures. Close contact with cases of measles in the high school, source or provider of vaccine, sharing common activities or classes with cases, and verification of the vaccination history were not significant risk factors in the outbreak.

The outbreak subsided spontaneously after four generations of illness in the school and demonstrates that when measles is introduced in a highly vaccinated population, vaccine failures may play some role in transmission but that such transmission is not usually sustained.1

We are told that if you reach a measles vaccination rate of 95 percent, in a population, you cannot get an outbreak. Seems that is wrong. You can get an outbreak in a 98 percent vaccinated population. Wouldn’t it be nice to know why?

It does seem weird that measles is the chosen battleground for the vaccine furies. I am not entirely sure why. You would think the highly vocal pro-vaccinators would point to smallpox, or polio—or suchlike. Although, to be frank, I look at smallpox and wonder. I wonder how the hell we managed to eradicate this disease so quickly and simply. The entire world successfully vaccinated in a few years—with a perfect 100 percent record. No vaccine failures, all populations in the entire world vaccinated? Quite some feat.

An alternative explanation is that some diseases naturally come and go. Measles, for example, was an absolute killer three hundred years ago. Captain Cook introduced it to South Seas islands. The mortality rate was enormously high in native populations that had never been exposed to it before. Gradually the death rate attenuated. In most of the Western World measles was becoming a ‘relatively’ benign disease by the time vaccination came along.

If we look back in history, the black death wiped out half the population of Europe. What was it? It was almost certainly not the plague, although many people claim that it was. From the descriptions of those who died from it, it seems it was possibly a form of Ebola (haemorrhagic fever).

The Black Death of the 1300s was probably not the modern disease known as bubonic plague, according to a team of anthropologists studying these 14th century epidemics. “The symptoms of the Black Death included high fevers, fetid breath, coughing, vomiting of blood and foul body odor,” says Rebecca Ferrell, graduate student in anthropology. “Other symptoms were red bruising or hemorrhaging of skin and swollen lymph nodes. Many of these symptoms do appear in bubonic plague, but they can appear in many other diseases as well.

Modern bubonic plague typically needs to reach a high frequency in the rat population before it spills over into the human community via the flea vector. Historically, epidemics of bubonic plague have been associated with enormous die-offs of rats. “There are no reports of dead rats in the streets in the 1300s of the sort common in more recent epidemics when we know bubonic plague was the causative agent,” says Wood.2

Of course, we cannot be sure what the Black Death was. We do know that it came, it killed, it went. It also appeared to leave a legacy of people with CCR5 Delta32 mutations. People with this mutation cannot, it seems, be infected by the Ebola virus (or, indeed HIV). Ebola and HIV both gain entry to cells using the CCR5 protein, and if it is missing, the virus cannot get in. [Yes, you can cure HIV by giving bone marrow transplant from a donor with the CCR5 Delta 32 mutation—little known fact].

Why would we have this mutation far more commonly in areas of Europe than, in say, Africa—where the Black Death did not occur? Unless it provided a survival advantage at some point, against a virus that was (or was very like), Ebola.

Looking back at smallpox, did vaccination get rid of it? Or did vaccination simply apply the final push to see off a weakened opponent?

The plague itself—where has it gone?

Yes, I do look at the official history of vaccination with a jaundiced eye. The greatest successes… Well, it seems inarguable that vaccination has created enormous health benefits. Polio and smallpox—gone. But has this been entirely due to vaccination—possibly? I am yet to be convinced.

In truth, I find the entire area of vaccination quite fascinating. But the problem, the great problem, is that even by writing this blog I will have said several things that cannot be said.

  • Vaccination does not always work—burn the unbeliever.
  • Vaccination may not have been entirely responsible for ridding the world of smallpox—burn the unbeliever.
  • Measles is not the killer disease that it once was—burn the unbeliever.
  • You can have measles vaccination and still get measles—burn the unbeliever.

To me, these are just facts, and to state them is simply part of valid scientific questioning. For some reason, I am not entirely sure why, to question any ‘fact’ about vaccination is to be flung into the outer darkness. People get very, very, angry. They close their minds and they get polarised. Parts of this blog will almost certainly be taken out of context and used to attack me.

I don’t really know how to open the debate out into something sensible. Something scientific, something questioning and positive. Screeching at people that they simply don’t understand ‘science’ is not a good approach. In addition, yelling that they are ‘killing thousands of children’ is not a way to conduct a debate.

I feel that I do understand ‘science’, whatever that means exactly. Or at least I understand the scientific method. Which primarily consists of questioning everything—and feeling free do to so. One thing I do know is that anyone who states that the science is settled, and inarguable, and all the experts agree, and must therefore be right—clearly does not understand anything about science. At all.

This article was reprinted with the author’s permission. It was originally published at Dr. Malcolm Kendrick.


1 Nkowane M, Bart SW, Orenstein WA, Baltier M. Measles outbreak in a vaccinated school population: epidemiology, chains of transmission and the role of vaccine failures. Am J Public Health April 1987; 77(4): 434–438.
2 Penn State. Medieval Black Death Was Probably Not Bubonic Plague. Science Daily Apr. 15, 2002.

37 Responses

  1. I quite agree with your position. Currently, I hold the position that morbidity/mortality from the disease and vaccine should be weighed against each other, and an informed decision about which poses the greater threat, should be the guide whether to risk the vaccine or the disease. When I was a kid, none of those vaccines, except smallpox, diphtheria, and tetanus existed, so here I am, immune for life to measles, mumps, chicken pox, whooping cough, and German measles through surviving them all.
    As to where the bubonic plague has gone, it’s endemic here in the southwest US, and we do get animal outbreaks most every summer with an handful of human cases most as well, not just rats, however.

  2. Thoughtful sane balanced article. There are some thing I question but overall, I’m impressed by the common sense projected here. Unlike, the recent Tamara Hall show where she literally ambushed a guest and her son she invited on the show to discuss vaccines. Hall was a banshee, pushing misinformation and outright lies to her audience. The show was such a spectacle that it was removed from Instagram days after it was posted. I guess someone with a medical degree looked at the things she was saying and told the higher ups-Houston, you have a problem. One of the things she said was there were 200,00 cases of measles this year. Hopefully the blowback she received from the general pubic on her Instagram account and Facebook has humbled her.

  3. Thank you for a sound, well articulated article! It was nice knowing you. I jest about the last part. It’s simply a matter of brainwashing, fear-mongering and group think unable to express logical conclusions and debate well known science facts. Sad

  4. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick is an amazing guy. I read his book, “The Great Cholesterol Con,” and can’t praise it highly enough. He gives a lot of new information there, as he does here about vaccines, plague, etc. Moreover, he explains things in such a way that I find him instantly believable (because he makes so much sense).

  5. Dear Dr. Kendrick: Thank you so very much for your thoughtful, articulate and intelligent article regarding vaccination. If only individuals AND doctors could be open to and comprehend your message–there might be hope for true dialogue and freedom of choice regarding vaccination. Bless you for weighing in on such a heated and polarized topic with such grace.

  6. Thank you. As an RN, my primary responsibility is to advocate for my patient and their choices, whether or not I agree with them, and to provide informed consent. I think most don’t even realize that many vaccines are actually standard nursing orders in the hospital setting and require a nurse to sign them off for them if contraindicated. Many nurses give them regardless and certainly wouldn’t think of discussing package inserts/ingredient lists. We are not providing informed consent this way. We would need this for any other drug if the patient is conscious!!! Just telling someone “it’s perfectly safe,” is a disingenuous statement. I wouldn’t trust any provider who tells you they have all of the answers to anything. They’re either egotists or liars.

    1. I have been asked as a nurse to give Hep B vaccine to new employees. I won’t, and I suggest they do research before someone else gives it to them. I usually start with…. You know it might cause MS, right?

    2. Thank you Lisa for your comment. You are spot on. I am not only an RN but I am a nursing professor and have done my best to articulate to my students the importance of informed consent for everyone. Furthermore, we discuss the whole “science is settled” argument. The science is never settled. Period. As you mentioned, I emphasize to the students that as nurses we must treat vaccinations like any other medication we give. With proper explanation and the patients right to decline. I am also firmly against mandatory flu shots for healthcare workers. If we are all about evidenced based practice then show me the evidence. Nothing is perfectly safe and certainly not perfectly safe for everyone any as you so aptly stayed anyone who says it is is a “liar” or terribly misinformed.

  7. Clear and transparent thinking such as yours is a rare breath of fresh air; especially on this topic. Your bravery and honesty are to be openly congratulated. Kudos, sir.

  8. There are some excellent books out now about the history of vaccines. They are:
    The Moth in the Iron lung by Forrest Maready
    The Autism Vaccine by Forrest Maready
    Dissolving Illusions by Suzanne Humphries,MD.
    I also recommend Dr. Thomas Cowan’s new book on Vaccination and the Immune System
    I agree with your theme. People have this belief in vaccines like a belief in God. They usually have done no study of it. They need to wake up because they will soon be forced to take vaccines themselves, according to Healthy People 2020. We have 54% of our children ill with a developmental or chronic illness, and these illnesses are listed on the vaccine insert as effects of vaccines. People, please at least read the ingredients in your food and in the injections into your bloodstream. The CDC says the babies born today will live a shorter life than their parents. People would question vaccines if we just had a free press.
    The key to health is nutrient dense good food, not injected toxins.
    See to learn.

  9. Thank you so much for posting Dr. Kendrick’s (the first of two) vaccine blog! He is one of the best the UK has to offer.

  10. Thank you Dr. Kendrick for this well-considered article. It’s really sobering to think about how unscientifically most physicians approach their craft, if they can be so unscientific about the facts about vaccination. The issue of vaccination is a religion and it appears to be outside the realm of science for most physicians. The reason this is such an untouchable issue is that if the “science” of vaccines is finally exposed for the unscientific practice which it is, then all of medicine, especially pharmaceuticals will be up for questioning as well and will have to prove their real “safety and efficacy” for the public to have confidence in them. That situation would be quite problematic for physicians and not only for the pharmaceutical companies as well as for governments.

    Dr. Andrew Wakefield is being proven correct in his connection of the influence of the microbiome on the brain as fecal transplantation is helping restore brain function in some children with autism in promising trials.

  11. The people who condemn Andrew Wakefield have never read his book or listened to him talk. In seeing a connection between the MMR vaccine and digestive issues he and his team recommended giving the vaccines separately. A very rational approach.

  12. Curious if there’s a test we can get to see if we carry the CCR5 Delta 32 mutation? I had never heard of this before and am fascinated!

  13. Your remarks about “The Black Death” intrigued me. I think about that episode in history from time to time and agree that it may not have been “bubonic plague” at all. That event seems to have had profound impact on the development of society as anyone available to work after the outbreaks of “Black Death” had high value in the form of their labor (giving “regular” people greater status). Recently, Europe has been, willingly and unwillingly subject to mass migration and I believe many of those migrants are from the North of Africa. I have the strange sense that just as the Moors were repulsed from the heart of Europe, though they spent centuries in Spain, something will stop the utter transformation of Europe via massive demographic shift. I do not have hostility for people of diverse parts of the world or for people of diverse cultures and religions, but I do find it disturbing that so called “western” civilization seems to be on the verge of death via a (planned?) overrunning of the native population. I cannot say I am right about this, but it is a “gut feeling” or intuition that there will be a repeat of some great plague/flu or such that will affect different populations based on their previous exposures. I don’t think this will be deliberate (on the part of “elites” or whatever) but I think it may be to the saving of the countries of Europe.

  14. …..the RESOLUTE institutional ignorance, scientific illiteracy infecting MOST conventional providers STILL – and ESPECIALLY, narcissist physicians afflicted with stubborn myopia DANGEROUS to their patients – is more alarming than ever now; having personally identified both the vaccine-based pathology contributing to premature deaths from autoimmune disorders since at least 1989 AND underlying dynamic of homeopathy within the last year, I’m truly terrified by an undeniable psychosis, abject lack of intellectual curiosity, EPIDEMIC intellectual dishonesty that has gripped them since the AMA and pharmaceutical industry HIJACKED healthcare around 8 decades ago…..these people, are beginning to CLOSELY resemble sociopaths.

  15. I agree wholeheartedly that science can never be settled, and it blows my mind that there are so many people (doctors, “scientists”, etc) that don’t understand that truth. Thanks for writing this and sharing.

  16. A big problem is that many people are not teachable, judge without evidence, biased, and blindly follow others. Just because most people or an “authority” say that something is true doesn’t make it true. Galileo got into significant trouble by his theory that the earth revolved around the sun, apparently as the result of his viewing things with a telescope.

    “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

  17. It is questionable whether inoculations got rid of smallpox or whether it was better nutrition and sanitation. There were smallpox outbreaks among populations that had been inoculated against it, and there were also people who were harmed by the inoculation.

    On the whole, however, this is a very good article.

    1. I went to the Way Back Machine (where you can get copies of books that are no longer in print). I found a booklet written by researchers in 1947 who had the expertise to interpret the graphs of London childhood diseases and also the U.S. along with graphs of deaths after the vaccines were given. Each time the vaccines were given to a large body of babies/children there were deaths within hours to 3 days after vaccination. Their conclusion was that vaccines were not effective and they did more harm to the population.

      What really got me thinking was clear back then, there was no aluminum, polysorbate 80, formaldehyde, human fetal tissues, etc in those early vaccines, and they were still considered not effective and harmful. Fast forward to today’s vaccines with all the toxic soup they started putting in them in the 1980s, and I would bet that those same researchers would be astonished that modern doctors are giving our youth these harmful vaccines.

  18. In the US, the pediatricians who treat vaccinated, partially vaccinated and unvaccinated children are unanimous in reporting that the unvaccinated children are by far healthier than the vaccinated ones, and that good health outcomes are inversely proportional to the number of vaccines a child has received. It takes a lot of courage for a parent to refuse vaccination in the toxic atmosphere the pharmaceutical industry and its shills have created around the vaccine religion. But the rewards, especially long term rewards, for refusal to vaccinate are incalculable. So many of the vaccines contain neurotoxins…..brain poisons….and these affect intelligence, and mental stability. I have met unvaccinated and vaccinated children both, and the unvaccinated ones are in every way, brighter, more cheerful and happy, more willing to communicate, more playful. I cannot but wonder whether the reason the “pro-vaxxers” are so filled with hatred and fury, so prone to attack those who have a different view, might be the result of their mental toxicity.

  19. Good exposition of the Wakefield affair here:

    Consider that the Wakefield affair is one of the pillars of the vaccine narrative. It goes like this: Wakefield falsified a study that he was paid by lawyers to do and is deceiving millions of people who don’t know that he results were fraudulent; hence, vaccine hesitancy. He started it.

    No, he did not start it and no, he falsified nothing.

    If the Wakefield affair is shown for what it is, then we see what’s really happening in the world of vaccines: we’re being lied to in order to protect the vaccine program and vaccine profits.

    Of note is that in my state, which is considered one of the most liberal-minded in the country (US), Wakefield was attacked so viciously in the press a few years back that they cancelled his speaking engagement.

  20. It seems logic and facts become the enemy to those doctors (and others) who refuse to consider vaccines as anything but sacred. It’s an alarming and also quite interesting demonstration of how brainwashing is real.
    That aside, I once found myself debating one of these doctors online about the safety and efficacy of the MMR vaccine. It was when I asked him to explain to me how the antibiotic neomycin was described as “too toxic to be injected” but was somehow ok to be an ingredient in the MMR (and other) vaccines being injected into every baby that he had his ah-ha moment.
    He actually looked my number up and called me and we had a very in depth exchange and he said I won the debate. He said he was in online forums with just doctors where they would debate a subject until one was convinced by the other. But sadly, they would never have that debate about vaccines. I guess once the “science is settled” you no longer have to question it, discuss it, or debate it. Unfortunately, the “settled science” doesn’t exist and defies logic.

  21. Joel Lord is an author, and his book, Keep Them from Harm, is due out on the market soon. This quote from him explains accurately the situation we are facing, with a completely out of control, greed and profit driven, liability-free, criminal industry.

    “We are now at a cross roads in human history. Our basic health freedom, which we all naturally possess from birth, is being challenged on a global scale. The World Health Organization, acting in coordination with 194 signatory nations, means to crush our inherent rights to independence by claiming de facto ownership over self determination of the body. Vaccine mandates are a reality. Our community is in peril. Never has a groundswell of this magnitude been so prescient, and never has any emergency demanded greater action, or threatened the very fabric of our existence. This crucial document serves as a beacon of hope to bring our many families in need closer together.”

  22. …..that is VERY heartening to hear, Erica – thanks for having so much intestinal fortitude to change at least a LITTLE, one KEY heart and mind!

  23. Thank you for this article! It is clear and concise.

    May I ask another question? I wonder if there is a history of why and how the non-essential adjuvants got put into vaccines (heavy metals like aluminum, thermerisol, etc).

    1. The best recent research I’ve found on the history of metals in medicine have been written by Forest Maready in his books, ‘The Moth in the Iron Lung’ and ‘The Autism Vaccine.’ There’s also a good introductory chapter in his book, ‘Crooked.’

  24. Heretics are sometimes worth their weight in gold. Especially when they use scientific method without commercial bias.

  25. Thanks for this well considered article. It’s always refreshing to find a thoughtful, questioning mind!

    Your questioning of the Black Plague reminds me of similar questioning of the 1918 ‘Spanish Flu’ epidemic. Patient zero for that epidemic has been commonly identified as a army cook from Fort Riley, Kansas. What is not well known is that soldiers stationed at Fort Riley where used as test subjects for experimental bacterial meningitis vaccine cultured in horses by the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York. The experiments where conducted by a Dr. Fredrick L. Gates. You can read his notes here:

    Also you can read the full article where I found this info here:

  26. I can take this, Joann – aluminum compounds act as an agent to – almost literally – SHOCK untested, nascent immune systems and, NOT surprisingly they’re FREQUENTLY traumatized as a result, with somewhat predictable mutagenic expressions of varying severity occurring, while thimerisal derived from mercury, acts to preserve and sterilize such preparations…..

  27. It is difficult to know, but I suspect there are some pro-vaccination people out there. I believe that many of the most vitriolic opponents of vaccine science, the rabid mob of people Kendrick refers to in his article, who want to label anyone in favor of vaccine a witch or an empty-headed anti-vaxxer may not actually exist. Many of these so called people, perhaps most, possibly even all may be avatars, hired by the pharmaceutical companies, government or others to act like enraged “average people” to stifle debate, shame those with any nose for the truth and intimidate government officials. These avatars are known to exist, but we can not easily identify them. Their job is to masquerade as credible individuals with credible personal stories to tell, and to create a fiction of a groundswell of support for vaccination. Exactly how strong this campaign is is far from clear, but I believe it may be far larger than any of imagine.

    The key giveaway here, that indicates that something is rotten in the state of Denmark, is that these on-line posts skewering vaccine questioners NEVER cite research, and NEVER admit any possibility of error. Even with very strong feelings the rules of common discourse and the awareness of the need to persuade others suggests that at least some of the time there would be referencing and appeals to reason. Rather, we see emotions ramped up to high levels to engage the limbic system and shut down higher cortical function. This is the smoke that indicates a fire of coaching, or conscious and deliberate opinion manipulation by those who understand the psychology of marketing.

  28. Thank you for your honesty and willingness to observe & question!

    At the age of 40, I had a nasty reaction (8 weeks of tachycardia+) to the TDAP vaccine that I agreed to have as part of a routine physical as a volunteer firefighter. As a result of that experience, I would not agree to take the mandatory Hep. B series required as an EMR, so I am not allowed to answer medical calls in our community-such a shame. 5 years prior to my reaction, while pregnant with my first child, my husband and I began to research vaccines and had decided that we did not feel there was enough historical data that vaccines worked for all to make us feel comfortable with subjecting our children to the risks listed by the vaccine manufacturers. My reaction to TDAP and the strange & hostile time we live in has only convinced us more that there are many more questions that need to be asked, rather than silenced.

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