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Shocking study: Countries with the highest vaccination rates also have the highest infant mortality rates

by | Jun 21, 2016

By David Gutierrez in

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Here is the report from Kopp Online. . .

Rich countries with the highest immunization rates for children under the age of one also have the most deaths in this age group. That’s according to a study conducted by an independent computer scientist and a scientist from the Think Twice Global Vaccine Institute and published in 2011 in the journal Human & Experimental Toxicology .

The study was based on the finding that the United States still ranks 34th on the international list of infant mortality rates, despite requiring more vaccinations than any other country in its official immunization schedule.

For the study, the researchers defined a “vaccination dose” as “an exact amount of a drug or active ingredient administered.” Triple vaccines such as DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) or MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) were each counted as three vaccinations because three active ingredients were administered at the same time.

The US vaccination schedule prescribes 26 vaccinations in the first year of life.

The more people get vaccinated, the more babies die

The researchers compared the infant mortality rates of the 34 richest nations in the world. Four of these – Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino – had so few infant deaths (less than five) that their infant mortality rate was considered statistically uncertain; therefore these countries were excluded from the analysis.

For the remaining 30 countries, an association was found between more mandatory immunizations and higher infant mortality rates – refuting the argument that more immunizations improve overall child health.

In fact, most of the vaccinations recommended for babies under the age of one are not intended to prevent diseases that could pose a risk to this age group. Rather, vaccination policy is aimed at vaccinating children as early as possible – also against diseases that can only become dangerous later in life.

Countries were then divided into five groups according to the doses required for children under one year: 12 to 14, 15 to 17, 18 to 20, 21 to 23, and 24 to 26 doses, respectively. The researchers found that countries in the 12-14 dose group had significantly lower infant mortality rates than countries with 21-23 or 24-26 doses.

What are these babies dying of?

The researchers found that many factors contribute to infant mortality, which is considered one of the most important indicators of a country’s overall health. The rather high rate of infant mortality in poor countries is due to the lack of or insufficient basic medical care and infrastructure, including a lack of sanitary facilities.

Infectious diseases are more common in these countries, mainly due to poor medical infrastructure and malnutrition.

However, in richer countries, such as those examined in this study, the factors contributing to infant mortality are less clear. In the United States, for example, there was an increase in preterm births between 1990 and 2006, but this cannot really explain the infant mortality rate, which is unusually high for a wealthy nation.

The researchers write:

“Apparently, depending on what stage a country occupies on the socioeconomic scale—after the basic necessities for infant survival (good nutrition, sanitation, clean water, and medical care) are met—it comes down to a paradoxical relationship between numbers of vaccines given to infants and infant mortality rates: Countries with higher infant mortality rates give their babies more vaccines on average.

This leads to the important question: Are some infant deaths related to overvaccination?”

According to the study, even in poorer countries one cannot infer a low infant mortality rate from a high number of vaccinations. The Gambia, for example, requires 22 vaccinations in the first year of life and has a vaccination rate of between 91 and 97 percent, but has an infant mortality rate of 68.8. Mongolia also requires 22 doses and has a 95 to 98 percent immunization rate, but has an infant mortality rate of 39.9.

“These examples seem to confirm that in countries that can provide clean water, good nutrition, hygiene and medical care, infant mortality rates will remain low,” the scientists conclude.



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Gerhard Schneider

Gerhard Schneider

DPT, Buchautor, Methodenentwickler

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