Tetyana Obukhanych, PhD,
13 June 2012.
Dr Tetyana Obukhanych, author of the book “Vaccine Illusion” has studied immunology in some of the world’s most prestigious medical institutions. She earned her PhD in Immunology at the Rockefeller University in New York and did postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. and Stanford University in California.
Catherine Frompovich conducted an in-depth interview with Dr Obukhanych which is now transcribed. We will be publishing it in three parts.
Dr. Obukhanych is the author of Vaccine Illusion: How Vaccination Compromises Our Natural Immunity and What We Can Do to Regain Our Health. In her book, she presents a view on vaccination that is radically different from mainstream theories. Something this interviewer finds fascinating is that Tetyana thinks vaccination campaigns compromise natural immunity and endanger the very young. I must admit that I feel exactly the same from my work as a natural nutritionist and consumer health researcher for 35 years. That’s why I requested an interview with Dr. Obukhanych. I wanted to pick her brains and share her knowledge with my readers.
Before we get started with my interview questions, there is something that I’d like to address upfront and it is: What implications do you think may be down the line from vaccines grown on various animal organs, e.g., diploid cells (aborted human fetal cells), chicken eggs, monkey kidneys, mouse brains, porcine lung, insects, and now dog kidneys for a new single vaccine being introduced into the United Kingdom in June/July 2012?
We know pig viral DNA (porcine circovirus) was found in Rotarix vaccine; SV40 cancer virus in the first polio vaccine used in the 1950s to early 1970s; Hepatitis A, rubella, and varicella (chickenpox) were cultured on human diploid cells WI-38 and MRC-5; and recombinant DNA was found in the HPV vaccine, Gardasil®. What do such post-marketing findings portend from your perspective as an immunologist?
As an immunologist, I have a concern that the practice of manufacturing vaccines using yeast, egg, animal, or even human fetal cells implies that vaccines by necessity include some small amount of protein or other products from these cells or media, in which these cells are being cultured. I would really want to know whether and how well vaccine manufacturers test their final vaccine products for such unspecified vaccine “ingredients” and how much contamination they discover.
The reason I am concerned about such contamination is because I believe that the exposure to yeast, egg, animal, or human proteins in the context of immunogenic (antibody producing) stimuli has the potential to result in sensitization to these proteins or even to break human immunologic tolerance to “self.” The latter is especially relevant to infants, since their immune system is only starting to make the distinction between “self” and “foreign.” Setting this distinction the wrong way from the start, in my view, is likely to pave the road to allergic or autoimmune manifestations.
Thank you, Dr. Obukhanych, for that on-point answer, which I agree with totally.
Doctor, will you please explain what you mean by natural immunity.
Immunity is an ancient concept that refers to the observation that many acute infectious diseases occur only once in a person’s life, usually in childhood. The examples of such diseases would be measles, mumps, rubella, or whooping cough, to name a few.
Natural immunity is, in a way, a tautological expression because immunity can only be acquired naturally at this point, only through the exposure to an infected individual, although occasionally such exposure would go asymptomatic while still establishing immunity. Nevertheless, because there is a common misconception that vaccines also confer immunity, it is sometimes necessary to use a qualifier “natural,” when referring to immunity, to distinguish it from vaccine-based protection.
Ah! I appreciate your astuteness in qualifying the term “vaccine-based protection” as opposed to immunity.
Vaccinated children are coming down with the same infectious diseases for which they have been fully vaccinated. Why do you think vaccine ‘immunity’—if we can call it that—is so short lived and not adequate?
We would expect that vaccinated individuals would not be involved (or very minimally involved) in any outbreak of an infectious disease for which they have been vaccinated. Yet, when outbreaks are analyzed, it becomes apparent that most often this is not the case. Vaccinated individuals are indeed very frequently involved and constitute a high proportion of disease cases.
I think this is happening because vaccination does not engage the genuine mechanism of immunity. Vaccination typically engages the immune response—that is, everything that immunologists would theoretically “want” to see being engaged in the immune system. But apparently this is not enough to confer robust protection that matches natural immunity. Our knowledge of the immune system is far from being complete.
What kind of protection can we expect from vaccines, if not life-long immunity?
For live attenuated viral vaccines against communicable diseases, we can expect a very short-term protection (3-5 years). This estimate is indirect and comes from the statistical analysis of vaccination timing relative to the disease occurrence in vaccinated individuals. This is the only empirical evidence we have for the average duration of protection for certain vaccines.
There are other vaccines (e.g. for non-contagious toxin-mediated diseases, such as tetanus or viral diseases spread through animal bites, such as rabies) or even vaccines like Hepatitis B and Gardasil®, where an empirical estimate of the protection duration cannot be made at all, because we simply lack scientifically meaningful data to make such an estimate.
What’s the difference between the focus of the science of immunology and natural immunity?
Immunology does not study immunity. Immunology studies how the immune system responds to immunization—that is, to the injection of a “foreign” protein or particle (virus, bacteria). Immunologic research focuses mainly on the long-term changes that occur in immunologic organs and bodily fluids following immunization. Such changes are collectively referred to as “immunologic memory.”
But the question is: what makes immunologists think, as they surely do, that immunologic memory is the basis of immunity? I see no evidence in immunologic research to allow me to conclude that this is the case. If anything, I see immunologic memory as being the basis for sensitization rather than for immunity. I am starting to doubt that immunologic memory is beneficial to us.
I think you feel immunology studies its own invention—vaccination—rather than natural human immunity. Is that correct? What led you to that conclusion after having earned a doctorate in the science of immunology?
Immunology, as a science, started with the invention of the vaccine (the smallpox vaccine) before the immune system was even defined as such. Afterwards, basic immunologic research was and still is performed in the context of injecting something “foreign” into a research animal, rather than studying natural disease or natural state of immunity to disease.
Perhaps, it is easier to design an experiment around an injection rather than around a natural disease in a laboratory setting. Perhaps, it is only a matter of expediency of research. But whatever the reason might be for conducting the study of injection (vaccination) rather than the study of natural disease/immunity, it has led us to amass the knowledge of the artificial process.
Not surprisingly, the system that we now refer to as the “immune system” is the one that responds to the injection of a foreign antigen. The immune system, in essence, got defined by the process of vaccination, not by the process of natural immunity.
But if the purpose of the genuine “immune” system is to establish life-long immunity following disease experience, what is that system that does the trick? Is it the same system that responds to the injection of a foreign antigen or is it a totally different system?
This is the biggest concern I have: among all the things we have discovered about the immune system in the context of injection, is any of that even relevant to the state of natural immunity? And if so, how would we even know what is relevant if we never study natural immunity directly?
You are asking me what led me to see the problem with how the science of Immunology construed the “immune” system after having earned a PhD in Immunology. You should rather ask me what miracle led me to see this problem despite earning a PhD in Immunology. I can tell you that once you commit yourself to the study of Immunology, you are so heavily invested in the “truth” of the field that the chances of seeing the problem with the most basic assumption becomes nil. The power of “believing” in definitions set up by the field is very strong.
CJF responded with, Touché, Doctor! I admire your intellectual spunk.
Can we then rely on immunology to give us answers about natural immunity?
I don’t think so.
As I mentioned before, none of the well-established and well-respected research in immunology studies the natural process directly. Instead, it sets up contrived (unnatural) models of infection/immunization in research animals and studies the immune responses within those unnatural and non-human settings.
How can we possibly be sure that such research has any applicability to natural process? We simply can’t. Yet, we are tinkering with the human immune system by means of vaccines, simply because this seems to be justified by contrived immunologic models of research, even though such research can only give us partial if not completely misguided understanding of the role of the immune system in the disease process.
Wouldn’t tinkering with nature with such misguided and partial knowledge be dangerous and hasn’t it led to the apparent health mess a great percentage of our young children find themselves experiencing?
I completely agree with such concerns. I have described some of my immunologic concerns with vaccination in Vaccine Illusion and I will summarize them here.
I am very concerned that “immunologic memory” of adjuvant-containing vaccines is actually the basis of sensitization rather than the basis of immunity.
Furthermore, I am very concerned that “successful” prevention of childhood diseases by means of short-term protective effects of live attenuated viral vaccines during childhood has led to the loss of maternal ability to transfer immuno-protection to their young, thereby leaving infants vulnerable to those diseases, should the exposure occur.
I am also very concerned that vaccination campaigns work by disrupting disease transmission, which reduces the chances of exposure, rather than by establishing a population’s immunity. By doing so, vaccination campaigns wipe out population’s immunity to childhood diseases rather than help to maintain it. If in prior decades there was naturally established herd immunity to childhood diseases among the adult population, then I am afraid that vaccination campaigns have ensured that it is long gone.
All of this is a direct outcome of the “desired” vaccination effects, the impact of which hasn’t been carefully thought through in advance of introducing mass vaccination. We thought that vaccines work just like natural immunity. Well, apparently they don’t and we are now reaping the consequences of that.
Now, shall I discuss “undesired” vaccination effects (a.k.a. vaccine injuries), or should we keep that can of worms closed for now?
I’d like to see what kind of worms are in that can, Doctor. Let’s go for it, please.
The can of worms I am talking about are parents’ concerns with adverse effects they observe in their children after vaccination contrasted with “scientifically” sounding claims of the Establishment that parents are wrong and deluded by their suspicions, that true vaccine injuries are so rare that they are statistically improbable to happen to your particular child, and that your fear of vaccination is irrational and unfounded. Let’s come back to this topic a bit later.
If you were a betting person, where would you place your wager: on vaccines or on natural immunity? Why?
Betting on vaccines versus natural immunity to achieve what? Could you please specify the effect you are asking me about? If it’s about making the human race unfit for survival, then I bet on vaccines.
Doctor, I think you read my mind.
To be continued in part 2.
Dr Obukhanych is currently in California, where she lives and teaches.
She offers classes on vaccines and natural immunity. Her classes are intended primarily for parents seeking to make more informed vaccination decisions for their children, but are open to anyone interested in vaccination issues. Her website is www.naturalimmunity.blogspot.com
Catherine J Frompovich is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies.
Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.
Catherine is an editor and writing consultant who helps authors get into publication. For numerous semesters she taught several writing courses for a suburban Philadelphia school district’s Adult Evening School. Her passion is assisting and guiding authors into print.
Catherine’s latest book, A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, will be available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook sometime in July 2012.
Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008).
International Medical Council on Vaccination