A conversation with Dr. Thomas Cowan:
How Vaccinations Cause Chronic ImmuneDysregulation
August 21, 2013
We humans have at least two immune systems. One is called the
cell-mediated response and the other is called humoral response or
cell-mediated immunity and humoral immunity. Cell-mediated means that
we have the system of white blood cells that if you get a new invader,
like a new virus, and because we’ve never encountered this before, the
virus will infect, meaning get inside different cells – like a viral
respiratory tract. So you have infected cells which the white blood
cells have to go after them, shoot them up and spit them out and in the
process you get what we call being sick. Being sick means fever,
flu-like symptoms, cough, runny nose, mucus, etc etera. And the
important point to remember, and this is a really important point, is
that what we call being sick – fever, flu, mucus, cough, rash, etc
etera, that’s because of our cell-mediated immune system. I can’t
emphasize that enough. The reason why I know that is because if you
suppress somebody’s cell-mediated immune system like with Prednisone
and then you infect them with a virus, they don’t get “sick” like
fever, rash, cough, and etc etera. They might even die from the
infection, which is not likely, but they could, but they won’t get what
we normally call being sick.
On the other hand, if you give
somebody the chemicals of their cell-mediated system, which we know
some of them now, so you can stimulate a cell-mediated immune response
without any infection at all – no virus, no bacteria, no nothing, just
stimulate their cell-mediated immune system and they get sick; they
have a cough and fever and rash and mucus and all the rest. So that
which we call being sick is a cell-mediated response. It’s triggered by
a virus or a bacteria or other things, but it’s not because of them. We
make ourselves sick.
After you get the cell-mediated immune system clear, the virus and then
your humoral, otherwise known as antibody system, remembers what
happened. So next time you make antibodies. And that takes about 4 to 6
weeks. Then if you ever get that same virus again, you tag the
components of that virus before it infects the cells. You clear it
before it infects the cells. The cell-mediated immune system never
needs to get involved and the person doesn’t get sick. And in fact
every naturally occurring infection, for instance chickenpox, has both
of those arms of the immune system involved. So you get infected with
the virus then you make a cell-mediated reaction, then you’re sick for
two weeks, then you make antibodies so that if you ever get that virus
again, you will tag it before it infects your cells and you’ll never
get sick again, generally speaking. So that’s how the immune system
works – there’s always both those aspects, always.
There has never been until about the
1940’s a situation where you have the stimulation of one without the
other. So that’s what happens with vaccines, the whole point of a
vaccine is to stimulate the humoral immunity, the humoral antibodies
without a prior cell-mediated response.
Again, I can’t emphasize that enough if you want to understand what’s
happening. This has never happened, as far as we know; this is
unprecedented. So instead if you get the chickenpox virus, the whole
point is to stimulate antibodies because if they stimulated a
cell-mediated response, then the parents would say, “Hey you just make
my child sick, I’m not doing this anymore.” So by definition, a
vaccination program is the attempt to stimulate the antibodies without
a cell-mediated response. The other thing about this is in order to do
that, because the body doesn’t like to do that, you have to put
irritants into the viral products to make the antibody system react.
This is also crucial because if you
just put in attenuated chickenpox virus proteins, the immune system
wouldn’t react. So you have to put counter irritants such as aluminum
and formaldehyde and mercury and something to irritate the immune
system into reacting. There’s no way around that.
That’s interesting because I thought they were just used as
Dr. Thomas Cowan: Their use is as an adjuvant. Adjuvant means something
that’s necessary for the body to recognize and make a reaction. So what
about the people who call for companies to make better, safer vaccines?
Number one, the whole vaccine – its thing is to stimulate antibodies.
Number two, because it’s not the usual way the body recognizes it,
you’re going to have to do something irritating to make it happen.
There’s no way around it. When they call for better and safer vaccines,
the vaccine people just laugh. They know that people don’t understand
what this is about.
So then, the theory of this – and this goes back to people in the 40’s
thing – that if you do this repeatedly to people, you will stimulate a
situation of suppressed cell-mediated immunity and heightened antibody
responses. Why? Because that’s the goal. So if you make a list of the
diseases that are characterized by suppressed cell-mediated immunity
and heightened humoral immunity, you’re talking things like asthma,
allergies, eczema and autoimmune diseases including Crohn’s, colitis,
MS [multiple sclerosis], Sjogren’s syndrome, Hashimoto’s, etcetera. All
of these are characterized by increased antibody production – that is
what we mean by an autoimmune disease.
So the question is how did we go from, and I often tell people to ask your
grandparents or parents – how many children did they know in the 1940
or ’50’s who had food allergies, eczema and allergies, and the answer
is basically none, ‘cause I remember when I was in grade school there
was one guy with asthma and we made fun of him because he was sick,
which probably wasn’t very nice, but it was so unusual like, how could
you be sick? Now, it’s anywhere from 20 to 40% of the children have
some sort of chronic disease. So how did we get there? Well, all these
chronic diseases are characterized by excessive antibody production. So
how did we get that? Well, that was the point of the vaccination
program. I mean that’s the goal. So how would you expect or why would
you expect anything else to happen?
Now people would say to me, “Well this has never been proven.” But interestingly
there’s a study out of Kobe University in Japan where they took I think
rats, maybe mice and they put them on the standard American vaccination
program and they wanted to see if they could develop antibodies not
unlike autoimmune disease. And they found that at a certain threshold
they could consistently and reliably get animals to create an
autoimmune disease by simply vaccinating. So this has been done in
animals, so then the question is, but it’s never been done in humans,
but actually it has and that’s called the last 70 years. We did that.
There’s a reason, the biggest subset
of diseases or rather the fastest growing subset of diseases are
autoimmune diseases. It’s because we’re producing them. It’s a growth
industry. So if people want to invest in something, they should invest
in the growth of autoimmune. By the way, it’s also interesting that
while vaccines have driven such a growth in the number of diseases
which we can now vaccinate, particularly in the last 10 years, it’s
been an explosion and there’s proposed to be at least 10 or 30 more
diseases which we can vaccinate against. And you know part of the
reason for that is the part of the US Patriot Act which I won’t say
much more about, but the part that I’m concerned about is called the
Vaccine Compensation Board where two things; people will probably
remember that part of that whole 9/11 business was the Anthrax scare.
As a result of the Anthrax, part of the Patriot Act made it so that
companies that develop the vaccine, because they will say all of the
companies aren’t developing new vaccines like Anthrax and then we’re
all going to be dead from Anthrax (even though that turned out to be
from a US government lab), so part of Patriot Act was exempting vaccine
manufacturers from any damages in perpetuity, meaning forever from
injury caused by vaccines.
So if you’re Merck Pharmaceuticals
and you make a vaccine and you kill a thousand people, you cannot be
held liable for the damage. Instead the government set up a National
Vaccine Compensation Board so that in return for your silence, because
in order for you to get money to be compensated, you have to waive your
right to disclose what happened forevermore. So if you do that, they
will pay you a certain amount of money which they apparently, it’s not
easy to notice, but they pay billions.
So it’s a great business model for
the development of new vaccines because the rest of the drugs, if they
make Vioxx and people have heart attacks, they get sued and that’s not
good for business – so they don’t want it.
And so, do you generally recommend against all vaccines, or do you
think there are some that are OK?
Dr. Thomas Cowan: So here’s what I’ll
say over and over again. There’s basically three issues:
1. One, is do they work and there’s… I can’t remember the website but I
have it on my iPad. There’s actually a study from a JAMA journal, the
AMA study in 1999 looking at the incidents of vaccines – actually the
death rate from infectious disease since 1940 and what’s clear is that
the death rate was going way down before vaccines were introduced. So
there’s a huge question of whether they work.
2. The second one is what about these
excipients, these adjuvants; mercury, formaldehyde, aluminum, etcetera.
All those are neurotoxins.
3. And the third one, which is the
one that I am mostly concerned about, is the changing of your immune
system. So what I tell people is, given those questions I can’t tell
you whether or not to get a vaccine, but I can tell you the way to look
at it is you have to think about the potential benefit … also knowing
that whenever there’s an outbreak or an epidemic of whatever it is;
whooping cough or measles etc etera, at least half of the people who
gets the disease were already vaccinated.
So number one, you have to think of
the potential – of any efficacy of the vaccine versus the known risk of
injecting your child with a known neurotoxin and an immune-shifting
drug. And there’s not a question about whether that’s going to happen –
it does happen. And it doesn’t necessarily rise to the level of other
diseases, but you cannot repeatedly vaccinate somebody and not expect a
change in their immune system. So given that, you just have to decide
which makes more sense to you. I mean I think it’s a rational decision
for somebody to say, “Yes I know that giving my child a chickenpox
vaccine will shift them more towards allergies, autoimmune disease,
even cancer – those forms of disease. I know it will create some
neurotoxicity, but I’m not willing to live with the chance of them
getting chickenpox.” Fine. What I don’t like is, “Get the vaccine, they
work great, there’s no downside.” I mean that’s a fairy tale. So as
long as people have good information I think they can make their own
Yeah ‘cause some people – they just have a certain risk tolerance. I
have a friend that she said just could not live with herself if her
child got one of these so-called preventable diseases like measles or
mumps or rubella or whatnot. But in my case, there doesn’t seem to be
that many outbreaks of these diseases. I mean you see some whooping
cough and you see some measles here and there. Dr. Thomas Cowan: I’ve
never seen any measles, so I don’t know what you think. I have not seen
one case of measles in 30 years of doing medicine.
That’s good. So I mean for me personally, I don’t want my child
vaccinated because I know so many people with autoimmune diseases at
such young ages that for me the risk of chronic immune dysregulation
and autoimmune diseases and cancer – we have a 50% cancer rate almost –
is a much, much higher risk.
Dr. Thomas Cowan: Right. And you know the ultimate irony is that people
who go on about heard immunity. They vaccinate children their children
so they’re supposedly fine and then they say, “Well, you’re putting my
child at risk.” Why? Because they’re vaccinated! Then they sometimes
say, “Well someday if everybody has it and then we wipe out the
disease, then we won’t need to vaccinate.” First of all if there’s no
risk for vaccines, what difference does that make? And second of all
that will never happened except maybe in small part and no other
vaccine. Even if there’s 20 years of no polio in the Western world,
there’s not even any suggestion that they should stop vaccinating. It’s
not going to happen. So if they’re so confident in these vaccines and
they give them to the children and they have no consequences, no
downside, what difference does it make? They should be fine.
About the Author
Dr. Thomas Cowan is on the board of directors of the much respected
Weston A. Price Foundation and contributor to their quarterly magazine.
Dr. Cowan has served as vice president of the Physicians Association
for Anthroposophical Medicine and is a founding board member of the
Weston A. Price Foundation. He is the principal author of the book, The
Fourfold Path to Healing, which was published in 2004 by New Trends
Publishing. He writes the “Ask the Doctor” column in Wise Traditions in
Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the Foundation’s™ quarterly
magazine, and has lectured throughout the United States and Canada. To
read about how he approaches specific health challenges, see the
articles page of his website. It contains both a compendium of articles
published in the Weston A. Price Foundation journal “Wise Traditions”
as well as articles on such topics as heart disease, cancer and
He has three grown children and currently practices medicine in San
Francisco where he resides with his wife, Lynda Smith Cowan. Dr. Cowan
sees patients at his office in San Francisco, does long-distance
consults by telephone, and is accepting new patients.
Books by Dr. Thomas Cowan
The Nourishing Traditions Book of
Baby & Child Care makes the
principles of traditional nutrition available to modern parents. The
book provides holistic advice for pregnancy and newborn interventions,
vaccinations, breastfeeding and child development, as well as a
compendium of natural treatments for childhood illnesses, from autism
to whooping cough.
The Fourfold Path to Healing merges the wisdom of traditional societies, the most
modern findings of western medicine and the esoteric teaching of the
ancients. The fourfold approach includes: Nutrition using
nutrient-dense traditional foods; therapeutics through a wide range of
nontoxic remedies; Movement to heal and strengthen the emotions; and
medication to develop your powers of objective thought.
Find Dr. Cowan: Visit his website at: