I was recently introduced to Jonathan Sarfati, a Creationist, young-earth scientist who is doing really good things in scientifically disproving evolution and the old earth theories. He also has a stance on vaccines that is predictably pro-vaccine, and he wrote out a very well-thought-out blog on creation.com, representing their view on the subject, and I just want to go over his article, point by point, and give myself a little bit of a mental/research workout and point out the misinformation and fallacies of his arguments. I will do this with great respect because I truly think he is a great man, and is doing much good in the world, but after reading his arguments for vaccines, I think he has only scratched the surface, done some confirmation bias research and has not done a deep dive into the actual science, which is something I wish people would do more of, especially scientists. I know medical science is not his specialty, though, so maybe he hasn’t heard much about pubmed, etc.
I’m not going to apologize for the length of this post, but I will warn you; you might want to grab some popcorn and settle in. His blog post was very long, and I respect the lengthiness. This subject is one that deserves our time. And in our soundbite culture, I think that as adults, we should all make a concerted effort to fight against our short attention spans, and pay attention to things that take longer than 4 or 5 minutes. It’s so good for our brains, who are like muscles, and grow stronger with exercise. Feel free to read this over a few days though! It’s taken a few days in the writing, for sure. Please read his entire post. I will be taking only pieces here and there, pointing out where I think he is wrong. Because I know this is going to be long the way it is, I won’t be copying and pasting his entire article here.
He starts out with some good points that I actually agree with, or feel neutral on, but then he says this: “Note that the influenza virus kills tens of thousands of people in the US alone every year, and statistics show that most of these victims are unvaccinated.” He provides no source for this, and I believe it to be completely false. To start your defense on vaccines with the flu shot is to pick the weakest vaccine available to stand on, which to me, is a warning sign this man hasn’t done much reading.
First of all, the CDC has no real data collection for the flu. It’s based on modelling and mathematical guesswork, along with mixing the flu and pneumonia numbers together to inflate and incite fear.  Their fear tactics to promote the flu vaccine are embarrassing, well documented, and public.  If there is no data collection, I don’t know how he can truthfully say that more unvaccinated people die from the flu than not. Which is why he didn’t provide a source. The science actually points to the exact opposite. [3, 4] (please see my influenza blog post for more details).
Smallpox: since he gave no sources, and basically told the same, tired, old story everyone has heard all their lives, I’m not going to say much to refute it. It would be a blog post in itself. Just suffice to say, believing the simplistic story, “Smallpox was killing everyone and then Jenner made a vaccine that saved us all.” Is the same as believing Christopher Columbus came to America, made friends with the Indians, and everyone was one big, happy family. It’s a nice story, but actually, very far from the truth.
Actual history is usually much more complex and harder to unravel. For example, if we’re going to say the vaccine eradicated smallpox, which vaccine was it? Because the range of different smallpox vaccines is extreme. The Lancet declared, “no practitioner knows whether the lymph he employs is derived from smallpox, rabbit-pox, ass-pox, or mule-pox. Our own Ministry of Health has long confessed complete ignorance of the ultimate source of its own supply of lymph; but last year Dr A. Downie stated in the British Medical Journal that “the strain of vaccinia virus used in the routine preparation of lymph in this country (England) is believed to have been derived from a case of smallpox in Cologne during the last century.” That, of course, disposes of the whole theory of cow-pox vaccination.”  And if we want to get into the whole cow-pox theory itself, it is documented that, “the cow doctors could have told him (Jenner) of hundreds of cases where small-pox had followed cow-pox…”  And why was it mandated? I find it shocking that the scourge of the earth, killing so many people, something so universally feared, the prevention of which had to be forced on large populations that didn’t want it. People willingly went to jail, had large protests, and formed leagues against the “three pillars of vaccination–Fraud, Force, and Folly.”  How can this be? Why would anyone (much less large groups of people), be so against the vaccine that would save their lives, if it was indeed, so safe and effective? Is it possible, we aren’t told the whole story?
And then there’s the brave town of Leicester, proving sanitation and quarantine were much more effective in preventing smallpox (even though unvaccinated), than their neighboring towns who died in much larger numbers while being fully vaccinated. Indeed, the longer the amount of time between being fully vaccinated, and having more and more children who were unvaccinated, the greater and greater their drop in death and illness became. They actually had their method of sanitation and quarantine named the Leceister Method because it was so effective they became pretty famous for it. 
After studying this for some time, I believe the vaccine prolonged the eradication of smallpox, as I believe the oral polio vaccine is prolonging the “eradication” of the polio virus.
Using this picture as proof that every hospital had over 30 iron lungs full of patients at any given time, is very misleading. This picture was used to reassure the public that when needed, iron lungs were to be available. But the truth is, hospitals had one or two iron lung machines each. It was a staged photograph, to document this moment in history and then they distributed these iron lung machines to hospitals across the country. If you look closely, you’ll find balloons on some of them. There were never wards full of 100’s of people in iron lungs. Not to discount how horrible polio was, or how many people it harmed, but the fear of returning to an era of thousands of people in iron lungs is based on a false premise, and this picture is being used falsely. Los Angeles had the largest polio ward in the country, and it contained 11 iron lungs. Boston was the second largest and contained 8. The reality is that most hospitals had one or two iron lungs.
Sarfati says, “Many anti-vaxers claim that these diseases were eradicated not by vaccination but by improvements in hygiene and nutrition. No one doubts their important roles. However, if they were the main causes of infectious disease reduction, then we would have seen these diseases disappear almost simultaneously. But the contrary is true: the diseases disappeared at different times, which correlated strongly with the introduction of specific vaccines for these diseases in both the USA and Australia—many in modern times where there was negligible further improvement in hygiene and nutrition.”
I went in search of the graphs he mentions and as per usual, every graph starts right before the vaccine, ignoring what the disease was doing in the previous years. Here’s what happens when you discard the tunnel vision and the magnifying glass, and take a look at the whole picture:
“There were still outbreaks in the hygienic 1950s, because sanitation actually made the disease (polio) more prevalent, because it reduced contact with the disease germ in the environment that sometimes conferred natural immunity—so the dirty environment was acting like a crude vaccine! So, polio mainly hit the prosperous and clean places.”
Yes. Polio was more prevalent in the sanitized population. But the dirty environment conferring natural immunity is quite a weak argument. There is no science to back it up, and when you read the actual history, it becomes laughable. There are multiple reasons polio seemed to effect the middle-to-upper class populations more. Edited to add: I have two polio blogs now going over this and many more factors that are overlooked in the telling of the story of polio; first one here, second one here.
Here are some questions that might be good to know the answers to:
Why did the polio virus suddenly start paralyzing people? What changed that made people more susceptible? Did all 3 strains of the virus suddenly mutate to become more virulent and dangerous? Did all the people in the U.S. and beyond suddenly have a genetic mutation that caused us to be more susceptible to the virus and being paralyzed? How does the virus get from people’s GI tract and into their spinal cord? What is the mechanism by which the virus sometimes paralyzes movement, but does not effect sensation? Did everyone who became paralyzed during this time that received a diagnosis actually have the polio virus? What is happening with polio today? Why do we get the inactivated injection while the rest of the world gets the live, oral polio vaccine? How many children are being paralyzed here in the USA today? Polio is gone, but is paralysis gone? So many good questions. I will do a blog post about this eventually, and answer all of them. But for now, isn’t it interesting that mainstream medicine has very little to say about all of these questions? The story again, is oversimplified to we were all dying and suffering, and then the vaccine came along and saved us all. No history to back it up, not even much science. Just a pretty fairy tale based on assumptions, correlation, and hope in the power of heroic man to overcome nasty mother nature.
Please read this rare moment of honesty by science magazine, and ask yourself one more question: How are we going to eradicate a disease when we’re giving a vaccine that CAUSES the disease? For a glimpse of how the latest outbreaks are going, scroll through this list by the World Health Organization.
He makes the statement, “Vaccines are very safe” but offers no source for this assumption, and then goes on to say, “If you think your child’s immune system is strong enough to fight off vaccine-preventable diseases, then it’s strong enough to fight off the tiny amounts of dead or weakened pathogens present in any of the vaccines.” I’m trying to keep my tone from being condescending, but my only response to this is, “you poor, misguided man. No one is complaining about the amount of antigens. At least not that I know of. Although being exposed to hepatitis B, rotavirus, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hemophilus influenza type B, pneumonia (13 strains, mind you), and all three strains of polio all in a single day at 2 months old, is a reeeeally bad day. But honestly, it’s the neurotoxins we have a problem with. That’s potentially 1,425 mcg of aluminum alone in one day for a two month old (depending on how many jabs you want, and if you opt for less jabs, which most people do, the amount goes up), when the FDA limit on IV aluminum per dose is 25 mcg (a limit they put into place after babies were being killed and neurologically damaged by parenteral nutrition containing high amounts of aluminum, given in NICU’s across the US). And that’s not getting into the formaldehyde, polysorbate 80, aborted fetal cells, animal products, and all the other problematic ingredients.”
He carefully details the dangers of not vaccinating. But all of these do not take into account nutrition or the fact that choosing not to vaccinate is also (in most cases, I would hope) a choice of taking responsibility for your child’s health as opposed to simply trusting the experts for everything. A choice to build up their immune systems and give them the gift of good health in more ways than people knew of before there were vaccines. It also does not take into account the fact that medicine has advanced since the times before vaccines. We now know that vitamin A (recommended by the WHO as treatment for measles) virtually puts the risk for complication at zero for measles. We know that whooping cough is effectively treated by vitamin C even in infants as young as 2 months old. And we know that vitamin D decreases the risk of complications of influenza, or even contracting it in the first place. Again, I have to ask. Where does the flu go between seasons? If it weren’t based on nutrition, sunlight, and good habits, why are people so much more susceptible to it during winter? Choosing not to vaccinate is not choosing to return to the era of filth and drinking our own sewage. And one can easily profile the risk of not vaccinating, but can one profile the risk of vaccines? Spoiler alert: not even close. No honest person could say the risk of vaccines has been scientifically profiled. Ever. Because there is no data on this. So most people go on faith. They trust the authorities. But why is science now faith-based? Shouldn’t we want evidence?
And for the toxins in vaccines, he uses both of the worn out arguments, the dose makes the poison, and we eat more of these than we get in vaccines, completely missing the point that our digestive tract and even our respiratory system were DESIGNED to rid our bodies of toxins. We do an excellent job of excreting aluminum, for example, when ingested.  Which is the study the CDC bases the entire claim of aluminum being safe in vaccines on. One study. On ingested aluminum in ionic form. Ignoring the fact that injected aluminum bypasses both the respiratory and digestive systems, with the goal of inciting an inflammatory state because otherwise, the body wouldn’t recognize the small amount of attenuated virus/bacteria, so the result is widespread inflammation that must last long enough for the immune system to build antibodies, so the very goal of aluminum as an adjuvant is to stay in the body for an extended amount of time, long enough for the body to build long-lasting antibodies. We do not excrete most of it in 24 hours as we do when ingesting it , it is in a completely different form (nano-particles, not ionic), we may excrete some, but more and more studies are showing it creates granulomas in the muscle, creates increased inflammation throughout the body, revs the immune system in unnatural ways (rise of autoimmunity and allergies in our children across the nation, anyone?), and possibly stays in our bodies forever, hanging out inside our macrophages (white blood cells) , and in our brains.  If you want an in depth look at its role in autism, read the actual mountain of scientific evidence compiled here.
Vaccines cannot cause the disease, since they are made from dead germs. Some people get sick with the illness being vaccinated against just after vaccination, but before their immune system has been trained, so falsely think that the vaccination caused the illness. This is the post hoc ergo proper hoc fallacy. In other cases it is because it is a different illness (common cold rather than influenza, e.g.). You are correct. When the vaccine contains “dead germs”, that is. Applying it to all vaccines is simply dishonest and verging on willfully ignorant. When it’s a live vaccine, there are multiple case studies proving how wrong this statement is, especially pertaining to measles. (see my blog post Herd Immunity #2 for more information about this). This argument always makes me grin, though. Especially since all of the inserts to the live vaccines literally list the possibility in black and white for all to see. Does anyone else get tired of hearing, “It was just a coincidence!”?
“Vaccines cause autism. This is a very common claim, infamously promulgated by former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy, who claimed that her son became autistic after being vaccinated. It also gained some credibility with a study published in Lancet by British doctor Andrew Wakefield. Later, he was “held guilty of ethical violations (they had conducted invasive investigations on the children without obtaining the necessary ethical clearances) and scientific misrepresentation (they reported that their sampling was consecutive when, in fact, it was selective).” Lancet retracted the study in February 2010.”
A common method of vaccine proponents in silencing the autism debate is by controlling the narrative, building a strawman argument, and saying it all started with Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield which makes it an easy fix to “debunk” because she was a playboy model and his study was retracted, along with his license and his entire career. But the fact is, they were both actually kind of latecomers in the actual story. She came on the scene at least a decade after multiple people were complaining about the DPT vaccine and how it was causing autism in their children. She brought some attention to it, finally, and the media couldn’t help but cover it, but AUTISM was one of the “common complaints” the pharmaceutical companies were getting sued for back in the ’80’s and STILL in the IOM report from 2012, the DPT/DTaP has the conclusion, “The evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship between diphtheria toxoid–, tetanus toxoid–, or acellular pertussis–containing vaccine and autism.”  And THIS is the study the CDC cites as proof that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism”.
As for Andrew Wakefield. His study proved a connection between gut disbiosis and autism. His conclusion states, “We did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described.”  It bothers me that a scientist would rather go with the media narrative that is so obviously biased instead of actually just reading the original study. It was a case study of 12 children and in these cases, one is not seeking to prove anything, but simply list all of the evidence in order to understand something better. It’s actually a moral obligation to mention all the details, no matter how obscure and unlikely, if the parents or patient thinks there might be a connection. He simply stated that 8 of the 12 children’s parents said their child’s autism had started shortly after the MMR vaccine. He never even tried to prove an association. He was pointing out the association between gut problems and autism. Since then, he has been proved correct in everything this pilot study indicated, over and over. Autistic children are being healed through diet as a result of what he found so many years ago. As for the MMR, he says it right there, not even an association, and for this, he lost everything. As for the ethics, he wasn’t the one doing the colonoscopies, the group who was with him had full permission from everyone involved, the other doctor whose license was taken has since had it reinstated, but because Wakefield asked for his license back too soon and was denied, he will never get it back because there is no re-appeal system available. His study has been fully exonerated and proven absolutely correct. Do people read what it says, though? Apparently not.
“Over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism. We urge that all children be fully vaccinated.” It’s a shame they never took the time to look at all vaccines. They’ve only ever looked at the MMR (one of 16 vaccines) and thimerosal (one of 80+ ingredients), and of all these meta-analyses and amazing cohort studies including thousands of children, they never once measured the vaccinated kids against unvaccinated children. It’s always been children who were fully vaccinated plus the MMR and children that were fully vaccinated but hadn’t gotten the MMR. And the thimerosal studies were always measured in children who got a lot of mercury versus those who got a little less. The IOM disqualified the Guyer and Guyer study that shows the DTaP does have a correlation with autism. Their reason for disqualifying it was “no unvaccinated group” but one can reasonably conclude that it was the result of the study they may have had a problem with since the double standard is so obvious. And this somehow turns into “extensive research” and “thorough”? Examining one vaccine and applying it to the rest without ever having a group of unvaccinated children to measure against? I would have thought a scientist would have higher standards…
His argument that we’re just getting better at diagnosing autism and that it’s always been here has me so confused. How is it possible that a thinking person can believe this? I’m only 29-ish (haha), and I only knew ONE autistic person growing up. Do you even realize that the number is 1 in 36 now? Have you seen the classrooms of children lately? The number was 1 in 10,000 in the late 70’s (no mention of autism, no description of anything resembling it by the greatest diagnosticians in our history; they must have missed it, I guess), and if this exponential curve continues, the number will be 1 in 2 by 2032.
Okay let’s say it’s ALL due to better diagnosis (I’m cringing), do we have a good handle on diagnosis now, do you think? Because in the next few years, when the CDC admits that autism is now 1 in 20, will it STILL be because we’re diagnosing it better? Because they’ve literally been using that line since the ’90’s. *sigh* If you think this has always been around, if you know a lot of adults and old people that fit the criteria but somehow went undiagnosed, then I guess since we’re really good at diagnosing it now, maybe it will even out. I guess we’ll see. Since everyone is downplaying it and refusing to do anything about it, the numbers will definitely be revealing.
His defense of VAERS and the NVIC left me baffled. He never mentions the Harvard study  that estimates that less than 1% of vaccine adverse events are ever even reported, and acts like this whole system isn’t an absolute catastrophe waiting to happen. If we have never proved a vaccine’s safety because they are exempt from the rigorous testing drugs must undergo, if pharmaceutical companies are admittedly corrupt in every other area, and if they do all their clinical trials themselves …shouldn’t we have a good surveillance system after it’s unleashed on the public and we all agree to become a part of this great experiment? Instead, he points to the fact that these reporting systems are flawed and that it’s voluntary, pointing to how unreliable it is, and thinks this proves safety! I can’t.
Let’s give a different example. Seat belts are often compared to vaccines because they’re kind of mandatory. So if Ford is making their own seat belts, doing their own safety tests, and is actually exempt from having to do proper safety tests because these seat belts are just assumed to be safe, no matter what they’re made with. They’re never tested by a third party, never verified by someone who isn’t profiting from their sale, and then, after they’re sold, anyone saying they’re failing and killing people is mocked and laughed at. Even if they die. Because the eye witness accounts are just “anecdotal evidence.” And instead of having someone step in and say, “let’s at least look into this”, the common response is discrediting the people claiming injury because the system they report to is so flawed and faulty. And no matter how injured or dead you are, they are liability free, so you cannot sue. You cannot speak to them in the only language they can understand: money.
Sign me up! (not)
“Vaccines contain aborted fetal cells. As it stands, this claim is false. There are no baby parts in vaccines. There are not even fetal cells.” Ummm…did you even bother to look up the ingredient list? It’s all right there. And the term is “human diploid cells” and “human diploid fibroblast cell cultures”.  But maybe that’s just in the manufacturing process and there are not human “parts” left once the purifying process is over, you say? Wrong: “Each 0.5-mL dose also contains approximately 18 mg of sucrose, 8.9 mg hydrolyzed gelatin, 3.6 mg of urea, 2.3 mg of sodium chloride, 0.36 mg of monosodium L-glutamate, 0.33 mg of sodium phosphate dibasic, 57 mcg of potassium phosphate monobasic, and 57 mcg of potassium chloride. The product also contains residual components of MRC-5 cells including DNA and protein and trace quantities.“  And then there’s the results when a third party lab looks at it. Here is what they had to say about the MMRV: “The presence of fetal DNA was confirmed in large quantities: 1.7 μg on the first lot and 3.7 μg on the second lot, about 325 times higher than the maximum limit of 10 nanograms and as many as 325,000 times higher than the minimum limit of 10 picograms, limits that EMA told us to refer only to cells that are known for carcinogenic activity.” 
“However, no new embryos are being generated for the purpose of culturing vaccines—this would be immoral. Rather, these vaccines use the cell lines from a baby already killed decades ago, and that not for the purpose of creating vaccines. Any cultures from these original lines are likely to be now removed by tens of thousands of generations. That deed was unfortunately done, and cannot be undone. There is also no evidence of any ‘moral hazard’—that it would lead to more abortions.”
I don’t even know how to address this level of ignorance. Please start with reading this heavily referenced article by Children of God for life. Right now, aborted fetal tissue is being used to create the Zika vaccine, HIV drugs, and drugs for Parkinsons. 
And then we come to WALVAX 2,  an aborted female fetus at 3 months gestation, aborted in China via the waterbag method.  Why China? Because that kind of abortion is illegal here. It ensures the baby is born intact and alive. So it can be immediately dissected for parts. Without anesthesia, I’m told. Because it isn’t human, you know. This new cell strain is going to replace the strains in place now, because the older these cell lines become, the more tumerogenic they are. Yes, you heard that right. Injecting our children with other children’s DNA is a possible cause for the rise in childhood cancers. There’s a stem cell scientist with evidence for that along with the fact that this fetal DNA is contributing to the rise in autoimmunity (remember that 54% of children today have a chronic illness, most of these due to some form of the immune system not functioning as it should). She has an open letter to legislators, detailing her concerns. 
I just have to say it. This is not a gray area. Vaccinating your children with the vaccines that contain fetal DNA is being a part of the market that creates a high demand for baby parts. This is, of course, between you and your conscience; between you and God. But have you ever noticed that when you have to do mental gymnastics to justify something, it might just be you trying to be able to live with yourself more than it being something God is okay with? And when you have to lie to yourself to be okay with something? That should raise some red flags. Paul Offit is the man who invented the narrative that there were only ever 2 babies used in the manufacturing of vaccines. Everyone else took that line and ran with it, but when you examine the truth, you find out that only one trial, concerning one vaccine (rubella), chopped up 76 babies for the “greater good”.  I’m not going to say that choosing to vaccinate is going to send you straight to hell. I’m just saying that you should not base this decision on lies and misinformation. The truth is this: There were never “only 2 babies.” They weren’t going to be “aborted anyway”.  It isn’t something that happened “a long time ago”. It’s ongoing. It is happening now. So. If you’re okay with that, if there’s a path of thought I haven’t discovered that brings you to the point of deciding to vaccinate (with these vaccines) despite being pro-life, and feeling at peace with this decision between you and God, then more power to you, and blessings. But please. Stop believing the lies that are promulgated by those who profit from vaccine sales [27, 28] and please be careful in absolving others. I would be absolutely terrified to claim God is okay with this for everyone. If you’ve come to peace with it, then maybe share why you feel that way, but making a blanket statement that there is no “moral hazard” when you’re basing that on a lie…that’s just scary. As Christians, we have a responsibility to the truth, to not absolving someone’s conscience because that’s what is convenient. To making sure we have all the facts and search this out carefully before we make claims that possibly thousands of people will read and use as evidence in a decision they might make differently if they had all the facts.
- “Studies in Vaccinia,” The Lancet, vol. 199, no. 5150, May 13, 1922, pp. 957-958.
- M. Beddow Bayley, MRCS, LRCP, “Innoculation Dangers to Travelers,” speech at the Caxton Hall Westminster, October 2, 1952. Published by the London and Provincial Anti-Vivisection Society.
- Walter Hadwen, MD, The Case Agaist Vaccination, Goddards Assembly Rooms, Gloucester, January 25, 1896, p. 12.
- “A Demonstration Against Vaccination,” Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, April 16, 1885, p. 380.
- Paul Offit, MD, The Cutter Incident, Yale University Press, 2005, p. 89.