The Shingles Epidemic, courtesy of the chickenpox vaccine  -   and a note on the flu

   by Peter Holleran, DC


   There are reportedly more cases of shingles now than ever before: an amazing one in three adults will get it, if you believe the message on TV or ads from CVS and RiteAid - which I don’t. Why not - because I treat shingles? No, but in my practice I see a fair cross section of humanity and should have encountered more than a handful of cases by now; yet, in thirty years it has only been three or four. But the talk is that there are a lot more now, and getting worse. (Ever wonder how there is talk of disaster whenever a new drug or vaccine is marketed? Sometimes a new disease is created, or sometimes an old one is reinvented as more dangerous than it used to be, but always a sense of impending crisis is invoked by the industry. Why? Because it sells: "Be afraid, be very afraid". Right).

   Until recently I was confused about the cause of shingles, but recently - from medical sources - it is becoming clear what is likely happening. Vaccine promoters, such as James Cherry, MD, as well as CDC researcher Dr. Gary Goldman, have warned of a coming "50-year shingles epidemic." Dr. Cherry says we may soon have to repeatedly - perhaps even yearly - vaccinate adults for chicken pox (varicella zoster), in order to prevent shingles (herpes zoster). What is the reasoning behind this? Shingles used to relatively rare, a consequence of a late-in-life waning immunity to chicken pox, among those who had previously been exposed to the disease, which can then cause the dormant chickenpox virus to re-activate and manifest as shingles. In times past, almost all kids got chickenpox and received lifetime immunity from it. They have now found out such natural immunity is not necessarily for a lifetime, but a good thirty or forty years or so. Adults, however, used to be constantly in contact with others, including kids, who have or had chickenpox, which served to 'reactivate' the adults' own immunity to chickenpox - which prevented shingles from manifesting. Dr. Goldman, an expert varicella research analyst, was hired in 1995 to assess Merck's new chickenpox vaccine, Varivax. His findings:

   "Due to the universal varicella vaccination program whereby every healthy child is vaccinated at 12 months, there are no longer the seasonal outbreaks of varicella that occurred in schools and communities. These annual outbreaks and exposures (called exogenous exposures) played a significant role in boosting cell-mediated immunity to help suppress the reactivation of herpes zoster among children and adults who had a previous history of natural or wild type varicella... [Consequently] the universal varicella vaccination program in the United States...will leave our population vulnerable to shingles epidemics...there appears to be no way to avoid a mass epidemic of shingles lasting as long as several generations among adults."

   Since 1995, therefore, when vaccination for chickenpox began, natural immunity to the illness has been waning, and the artificial immunity from the vaccine is short-lived. This is causing entire generations of adults to be much more susceptible to shingles than ever before. Shingles is painful, and can last for a few weeks, or many years, although the average case is a couple of weeks. So by vaccination, in exchange for avoiding the 'one week nuisance' of chickenpox as a kid, we have created a new, more dangerous atypical adult form of the illness, and an epidemic of the more serious condition, shingles. A nice deal with the devil.

   This may be only my hunch, but it may be that any significant assault on the immune system, and not only the waning of immunity to chickenpox, can re-activate the dormant chickenpox virus and cause shingles. (After all, this happens with other forms of herpes viruses, which may lie dormant for years until the immune system is unable to keep them in check). A 70-year-old friend of mine who is a nurse at Marin General Hospital was forced by his employer to take a flu shot and got shingles a few days later. This is anecdotal evidence only, of course, but one may have a hard time convincing him there was no connection. It is likely the experts do not know all of the reasons why something like this can happen. But is not so hard to conceive how, while there is no chicken pox (the virus in shingles) in the flu shot, any insult to the immune system such as a vaccine with toxic metals and other chemicals would certainly be, could allow the latent singles to manifest in a compromised person.

   But don't worry, Merck now has a shingles vaccine, Zostavax, to fix the problem likely caused by its own chickenpox vaccine, Varivax! A couple of problems, however: reports find that it is in fact possible to get shingles, or chicken pox, from the vaccine, as well as actively transmit shingles or chickenpox to others in the general population, a very dangerous development; many in the study used to justify the new shingles vaccine got shingles, and, as stated by the manufacturer: "post-marketing experience with varicella vaccines suggests that transmission of vaccine virus may occur between vaccines...and susceptible contacts." Further, although the initial study did find a small decrease in shingles symptoms in those vaccinated, it was also found that there is a greater chance of getting post-herpetic neuralgic symptoms such as sensory loss and ophthalmic zoster.

   In addition, the product insert for the vaccine reads, "duration of protection after vaccination with Zostavax is unknown." A real confidence-builder! The initial testing for the vaccine did not project beyond three years, so no one knows how long, or, if there is real protection. And, as with many if not all vaccines, since the testing for safety, efficacy, carcinogenicity (ability to cause cancer, which is not done), etc., are all left up to the manufacturer, not the FDA or CDC, there is enormous conflict of interest involved in the process of development and marketing. It is thus hard to trust the claims of these drug companies.

   Even if one does believe that the vaccine provides some effectiveness against shingles, then - as with the marketing of many drugs - there is a data shuffle commonly employed by the manufacturers to make a decreased incidence of 1.6% seem more like 50%! In the link above Dr. Brownstein explains this tactic. For instance, there is a stated 3.3% chance of getting shingles in the general population, and a 1.7% chance in the vaccinated population; this means there is a real decrease chance of getting shingles of only 1.6% if you are vaccinated, not the 50% protection which the manufacturers claim. That claim, moreover, is for for age 60; the claimed efficacy falls to only 18% for age 80 and above, as per the manufacturer. So from this city may be extrapolated that there may well be less than even a 1.6% benefit for the vaccine depending on your age. While the risk of real adverse effects rises. What are some of these? As reported in the study: cardiovascular events, including congestive heart failure and pulmonary edema, respiratory infections and disorders, skin disorder, flu syndrome, rhinitis, weakness, enteritis, and diarrhea. As with all vaccines, the more immunocompromised the patient the greater the possibility of an adverse reaction.


   By the way, this 'data-shuffle' is used in virtually all drug and vaccine promotion, including the annual flu shot campaign. [Ever notice that it is always going to be much worse than last year's, or 'even worse than the 2009 swine flu epidemic'? Except that the 2009 epidemic turned out to be no worse than any other flu year; 300,000,000 doses of vaccine were destroyed when the epidemic didn't materialize as planned, and, moreover, after hundreds of pregnant women aborted due to it; and even more outrageous, today (2018) the CDC is broadcasting the absurd claim that 60,000,000 Americans got the flu in 2009, a bald-faced lie and exaggeration of immense proportions. That is close to what they told the public was going to happen when they were rolling out the vaccine, but not even close to what actually happened when the flu season was over. I guess they got away with calling it swine flu again because they figured the public has a short memory and had largely forgotten the 1976 swine flu fiasco - the largest vaccine disaster in American history - with several thousand deaths from the vaccine.

   On February 1, 2018, theCochrane Database Review ( a global independent network of researchers in more than 130 countries) released its latest findings on the flu vaccine. (1) The scientists studied randomized, controlled trials comparing the flu vaccine with placebo or no intervention. They included 52 clinical trials of over 80,000 people assessing the safety and effectiveness of flu vaccines in healthy adults. The studies were conducted between 1969 and 2009. According to the actual statistics the vaccine may decrease the incidence of flu from 2.3% to 0.9%. This looks like the 60% drop marketed to the public (the estimate in an exceptional year where the vaccine matches the viral strain exactly; in the current year 2018, however, it is only 25-30%), but, importantly, the actual drop is really only 1.4% (2.3 - (2.3 x 0.60) = 1.4%). Dr. Brownstein, MD in his blog states, referring to the Cochrane data above:

   "Therefore, 71 people would need to be treated with the flu vaccine to prevent one case (1/1.4%). In other words, the flu vaccine did nothing for 70 out of 71 who received it. That means this study found the flu vaccine failed 99% (71/72).

   There was more bad news for the flu vaccine in this study. The flu vaccine is touted as decreasing the risk of hospitalizations from the flu. I’m not sure how that happens since the vaccine has never been shown to be very effective against preventing the flu. In this study they found the risk of hospitalization in those that received the flu vaccine declined from 14.7% to 14.1%. That is a 0.6% decline. That means the flu vaccine fails over 99% (165/166) in preventing hospitalizations. Furthermore, the independent researchers found the flu vaccine “…may lead to little or no small reduction in days off work.” To make matter worse, the flu vaccine was shown to cause an increase in fever from 1.5% to 2.3%."


   A Sutter general practitioner who I needed to go to for an exam told me I was 'resistant to treatment' and 'blowing smoke' when I suggested that it didn't seem to me that the evidence justified getting the flu shot, if only to protect others. I wish I had this article with me when I saw her.

   Brownstein summarizes:

   “For over 20 years, I have been writing and lecturing about how the flu vaccine fails nearly all who get it.” Now he says, “Why would anyone get a flu vaccine when it fails 99% who receive it? Why would any physician prescribe a therapy, which is associated with serious adverse effects, that fails 99% who receive it? Why are health care workers forced to receive a flu vaccine when it is consistently shown to fail nearly 99% who get them? And, there is not a single well-done study showing that vaccinating health care workers with the flu vaccine protects against the spread of flu.”

   There are safe solutions to these problems. Aside from the always good idea to boost the nervous and immune systems with regular chiropractic adjustments, early researchers with Vitamin C successfully treated shingles. Dr. F. Klenner, who in 1948 cured 60 out of 60 polio cases in 72 hours with 200 grams of intravenous Vitamin C per day, also cured adults shingles patients with just 2-3 grams intravenous Vitamin C every 12 hours, and 1 gram orally every two hours - reporting the elimination of the severe pain of shingles within two hours of the first Vitamin C injection. Dr. M. Zureick in 1950 similarly cured 327 out of 327 shingles patients in 72 hours with Vitamin C. This is probably the safest healing substance on earth. Going the oral route only requires frequent hi-multi-gram doses until eradication of symptoms. You can more read about it in these books: Vitamin C: The Real Story, by Steve Hickey, PhD, and Andrew Saul, PhD; and Primal Panacea, by Thomas Levy, MD.