Vaccines, Autoimmunity, and the Changing Nature of Childhood Illness

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Over the past fifty years, rates of autoimmunity and chronic disease have exploded: currently 1 in 2.5 American children has an allergy, 1 in 11 has asthma, 1 in 13 has severe food allergies, and 1 in 36 has autism. While some attribute this rise to increased awareness and diagnosis, Thomas Cowan, MD, argues for a direct causal relationship to a corresponding increase in the number of vaccines American children typically receive―approximately 70 vaccine doses by age eighteen. The goal of these vaccines is precisely what we’re now seeing in such abundance among our chronically ill children: the provocation of immune response.

Dr. Cowan looks at emerging evidence that certain childhood illnesses are actually protective of disease later in life; examines the role of fever, the gut, and cellular fluid in immune health; argues that vaccination is an ineffective (and harmful) attempt to shortcut a complex immune response; and asserts that the medical establishment has engaged in an authoritarian argument that robs parents of informed consent. His ultimate question, from the point of view of a doctor who has decades of experience treating countless children is: What are we really doing to children when we vaccinate them?

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