by Dr. Joseph Mercola, Mercola:
- In 2011, Neil Miller, Ph.D., and Gary Goldman, Ph.D., published a paper in the journal Human & Experimental Toxicology showing infant mortality rates correlated with childhood vaccination rates, with high-uptake countries having higher child mortality
- In January 2022, Goldman discussed the CDC’s suppression of undesirable vaccine data in an interview. In December that year, the Miller Lab at Brigham Young University in Utah, as part of the BYU Bioinformatics Capstone course, reanalyzed the Miller-Goldman paper in an effort to debunk it
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- In response to the critique, Miller and Goldman conducted their own reanalysis, which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Cureus in early February 2023. The paper confirmed their 2011 conclusion that there’s a positive correlation between vaccine doses and infant mortality rates
- Data from the first few months of the pandemic seem to confirm this link, as the death rate for American children under 18 dropped during lockdowns, from an average of 700 per week to fewer than 500 per week during the months of April and May in 2020
- The decades-long work of Christine Stabell Benn, a clinical professor at University of Southern Denmark and her colleague Peter Aaby, a vaccine scientist, shows six of the 10 vaccines investigated increase infant mortality by rendering children more susceptible to other lethal diseases
Do childhood vaccines impact a child’s mortality risk? While controversy around this issue continues to swirl, peer-reviewed research suggests the answer is a yes.
In 2011, Neil Miller, Ph.D., and Gary Goldman, Ph.D., published a paper in the journal Human & Experimental Toxicology showing infant mortality rates correlated with childhood vaccination rates, with high-uptake countries having higher child mortality. As detailed in the abstract:1
“The U.S. childhood immunization schedule specifies 26 vaccine doses for infants aged less than 1 year — the most in the world — yet 33 nations have lower IMRs. Using linear regression, the immunization schedules of these 34 nations were examined and a correlation coefficient of r = 0.70 (p < 0.0001) was found between IMRs and the number of vaccine doses routinely given to infants.
Nations were also grouped into five different vaccine dose ranges: 12–14, 15–17, 18–20, 21–23, and 24–26. The mean IMRs of all nations within each group were then calculated.
Linear regression analysis of unweighted mean IMRs showed a high statistically significant correlation between increasing number of vaccine doses and increasing infant mortality rates, with r = 0.992 (p = 0.0009).
Using the Tukey-Kramer test, statistically significant differences in mean IMRs were found between nations giving 12–14 vaccine doses and those giving 21–23, and 24–26 doses. A closer inspection of correlations between vaccine doses, biochemical or synergistic toxicity, and IMRs is essential.”
Critiques of the Miller-Goldman Study
Through the years, the Miller-Goldman paper has often been cited as evidence that the U.S. childhood vaccination schedule may be doing more harm than good. And, aside from an early debunking attempt by Dr. David Gorski, a surgical oncologist, the paper has stood the test of time.
Gorski argued that Goldman and Miller had conflicts of interest that swayed their analysis — Miller, because he operates a website that promotes informed consent, and Goldman because he founded a medical journal that published papers that were critical of vaccines.2
“What Gorski failed to mention is that Goldman is an expert on the varicella virus and for eight years worked as an epidemiology analyst for the CDC in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Health … to help conduct epidemiological studies of varicella disease at one of the three surveillance sites …
Goldman vaccinated his own children and supported vaccination at the population level during his tenure with the CDC. Goldman has also served as a professional peer-reviewer for numerous medical science journals …” Miller wrote in a rebuttal3 to Gorski’s review.
Goldman had initially joined the CDC thinking that it was the gold standard in unbiased research, but over the years, he realized that wasn’t the case. The CDC barred him from publishing any findings that linked the vaccination program with negative health outcomes, which led to his resignation in 2002, as he did not want to participate in research fraud.
He discussed the CDC’s suppression of undesirable vaccine data in a January 2022 interview.4 Then, all of a sudden, in December 2022, members of the Miller Lab at Brigham Young University in Utah, as part of the BYU Bioinformatics Capstone course, reanalyzed5 the Miller-Goldman paper and tried to debunk it yet again.
The critique, posted on the preprint server medRxiv (which is not peer-reviewed), claimed Miller and Goldman had employed “inappropriate data exclusions” to reach their conclusion, as they didn’t analyze the full dataset, which included 185 nations.
“We re-analyzed the original data used in Miller and Goldman’s study to investigate the relationship between vaccine doses and IMR,” the authors write.
“We show that the sub-sample of 30 countries used in the original paper was an unlikely random sample from the entire dataset, as the correlation coefficient of 0.49 reported in that study would only arise about 1 in 100,000 times from random sampling.
If we investigate only countries with high or very high development, human development index explains the variability in IMR, and vaccine dose number does not.
Next, we show IMR as a function of countries’ actual vaccination rates, rather than vaccination schedule, and show a strong negative correlation between vaccination rates and IMR … From our analyses, it is clear that vaccination does not predict higher IMR as previously reported.”
Critique Prompts Reanalysis
In response to the critique, Miller and Goldman conducted their own reanalysis, which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Cureus in early February 2023. The paper, “Reaffirming a Positive Correlation Between Number of Vaccine Doses and Infant Mortality Rates: A Response to Critics,”6 not only examines the critics’ claims and methods, but also includes additional analyses to assess the reliability of their original findings. As explained in the abstract:7
“The critics’ reanalysis combines 185 developed and Third World nations that have varying rates of vaccination and socioeconomic disparities. Despite the presence of inherent confounding variables, a small, statistically significant positive correlation of r = 0.16 (p < .03) is reported that corroborates the positive trend in our study.
Multiple linear regression analyses report high correlations between IMR and HDI, but the number of vaccine doses as an additional predictor is not statistically significant. This finding is a likely consequence of known misclassification errors in HDI.
Linear regression of IMR as a function of percentage vaccination rates reports statistically significant inverse correlations for 7 of 8 vaccines. However, several anomalies in the scatter plots of the data suggest that the chosen linear model is problematic.
Our odds ratio analysis conducted on the original dataset controlled for several variables. None of these variables lowered the correlation below 0.62, thus robustly confirming our findings.
Our sensitivity analysis reported statistically significant positive correlations between the number of vaccine doses and IMR when we expanded our original analysis from the top 30 to the 46 nations with the best IMRs. Additionally, a replication of our original study using updated 2019 data corroborated the trend we found in our first paper (r = 0.45, p = .002).
Conclusions: A positive correlation between the number of vaccine doses and IMRs is detectable in the most highly developed nations but attenuated in the background noise of nations with heterogeneous socioeconomic variables that contribute to high rates of infant mortality, such as malnutrition, poverty, and substandard health care.”
Striking Decline in SIDS During COVID
In 2020, health authorities bemoaned the fact that COVID fears and lockdowns had the “unfortunate” side effect of lowering routine childhood vaccination rates. Vaccine safety advocates, on the other hand, predicted the decline might actually have a positive impact.
Childhood vaccines have long been suspected of being a contributing factor to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).8 As noted by Australian researcher Viera Scheibner, Ph.D.:9
“Vaccination is undoubtedly the single biggest and most preventable cause of cot-death … The timing of 80% of the cot [crib] deaths occurring between the second and sixth months is due to the cumulative effect of infections, timing of immunizations and some inherent specifics in the baby’s early development.“
Interestingly, data from the first few months of the pandemic seemed to confirm this link. According to a white paper10,11 by Amy Becker and Mark Blaxill, published June 18, 2020, the death rate among children under the age of 18 in the U.S. mysteriously dropped during the lockdowns, from an average of 700 per week to fewer than 500 per week during the months of April and May, as shown in the following graph.