I’m at a Loss

I titled this category “The Covid Vaccine Blog” not “The Vaccine Blog,” because the carnage caused by the Covid vaccine is an extremely pressing issue, and I figured that everything I had to say about vaccines in general is to be found in my book Will Vaccines Be the End of Us? which you can read on this site.  But now something unexpected and personal regarding vaccines has come up, and since it doesn’t fit into any other slot, I’m putting it here.

On Easter Sunday, which fell on March 31st this year, I was down on Long Island having dinner with my family — my son, my brother and sister, in-laws, nieces and nephews, and a few others.  As usual, I kept all my opinions to myself.  Didn’t want to ruin a wonderful meal and a happy gathering.  After coffee and dessert, my brother produced a small box and said to me, “I was going through Daddy’s stuff and I found some things you might want.”  This surprised me.  After my dear father passed away in 2016, my brother and sisters and I sifted through his private belongings, including some photographs and letters that I wasn’t aware of.  I thought that was the end of it.  But it wasn’t.

Now it may sound strange, but here I am, 70 years old, and among the three items my brother handed to me was an important document I had never seen before — my original birth certificate, with the official Nassau County seal.  He also gave me my original social security card.  This, too, I’d never seen, and I still haven’t signed it!  The third item was an important clipping which I’ll get to.

On the bottom of my birth certificate was some handwriting which I examined later that night.  It was perplexing on several levels.  You see, on page 15 of my book, and in other places, I stated that I received a total of six vaccine doses as a child: one DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus), one smallpox, and two polio vaccines — first the Salk shot, and years later the Sabin sugar cube.  Yet our family physician, who brought me and my three siblings into this ding-a-ling world, had pumped a hell of a lot more vaccine into me than I could have imagined.  At the bottom of my birth certificate, it reads, “When the child is vaccinated against smallpox and inoculated against diphtheria or any other disease, ask the physician or clinic to fill in the spaces below.”  (As an aside, I find it both interesting and inexplicable that the word “vaccinated” applied only to smallpox; for diphtheria and whooping cough [pertussis] one was “inoculated,” while the word “immunized” apparently hadn’t been coined in 1953.  Also, the polio vaccine didn’t come on the scene until seventeen months after I was born, which is why that disease was not listed.) 

So first of all, let me list all the injections here in chronological order, as written in hand by Dr. Gary Piccione, along with his signature.  On the “inoculated against whooping cough” line we read “3 in 1 ’54.” (No date is provided, but I’m sure it was early 1954, and it had to be DPT, which was the only 3 in 1 shot in the 1950s.  As I wrote in my book, this was my first memory in life.  I screamed bloody murder as my mother held me, because it must’ve been very painful, though I don’t remember the pain.)  Smallpox, 1-3-55.  (This shot was discontinued in 1972.)  Booster 3 in 1, 6-13-55.    (Another DPT.)  Polio, 6-2-56 and another on 7-14-56.  Then another DPT booster on 6-9-58.  Then a tetanus shot, 6-59, no day given.  (I believe this followed a deep cut I got while playing.)  Now back to that clipping, which shows that I received my first dose of the Sabin oral polio vaccine, meaning the sugar cube, on 4-19-64, then a second dose on 6-14-64. 

So my first perplexity is this.  I pride myself on my memory, yet with the exception of my very first injection, when I was about four months old, I don’t recall getting any of the shots I just reeled off.  And on second thought, maybe my memory isn’t so great after all, at least from the 1950s, which ended just after I turned six.  There were moments that stand out, so indulge me for a minute.  I dimly remember my second birthday party, and the cheerful adults gathered around me.  I remember sitting on my grandfather’s knee, and I was still very young because he died three months after my third birthday, but I don’t remember his passing.  I remember eating a hot dog on a bun from the top down, and my Uncle John telling me the right way to eat it was from the end.  I remember my father carrying me inside from our 1955 Ford Fairlane when I was half asleep in the back seat.  I remember playing in an empty lot with Lois, a girl around my age who lived in the same apartment building in Great Neck, which had to be before August 1958 when we moved into the house in Williston Park where I grew up, and I remember that Lois’s family had a Boxer named Boots.  I remember a few other things, but I won’t go crazy here, since I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes by now.  But what amazes me are certain events that were later brought to my attention about which I have no recollection.  For example, when we moved into our house in 1958, my brother, who was two at the time, while I was four, remembers that there was a box of Alpha Bits cereal on the kitchen table when we first walked in.  Not only do I have no recollection of that, I don’t even remember moving!  And heavens to Betsy, I don’t remember any of those shots I got, though the evidence is there in black and white, staring me in the face.

Furthermore, I don’t even remember the two doses of oral polio vaccine I got in 1964.  In my book I mention that when I was in the third grade the school nurse lined up all of us kids and fed us the Sabin sugar cube vaccine.  I’m fairly certain that our parents were never told, and I could swear I was in the third grade when that happened, which would’ve been the 1961-62 school year.  That makes sense because that was right around the time that the Sabin vaccine replaced the Salk concoction as the vaccine of choice among the “experts,” while unknown to the public, these two bastards were slinging mud at each other, a fact I recount in my chapter on polio.  But there it is, documented, two doses in April and June of 1964, which puts me not in the third but the fifth grade.  Was it in school, and am I confusing the third with the fifth grade?  Was it at my doctor’s office?  Or maybe a clinic in Nassau County?  I’ll never know.  And by the way, the clipping is headed “Polio Conversion Program,” and below that, “Personal Record.”  What was that supposed to mean?  Probably, “Oh, we’re converting from Salk to Sabin because now we know that Sabin’s vaccine, not Salk’s, is the real deal.”  I searched for that term on the internet and nothing came up.

My second perplexity is that my mother had me shot up so many times before I even started kindergarten in the fall of 1958, when there was no compulsion to do so.  My mother was a “normie” who never knew there was a controversy surrounding vaccines, but she did have good instincts as far as her children’s health.  Compared to other kids, we ate very little junk food, she cooked nutritious meals, and only rarely did she buy an over the counter medication.  We didn’t need them because all four of us hardly ever got sick.  So for crying out loud, Mom, why all those vaccinations?  I’m sure the only reason she brought us in for more shots was that she would never question the advice of our family doctor, which leads to my next perplexity.

Dr. Piccione was truly a good man, a dedicated and caring physician with a wonderful bedside manner.  My parents worshipped him, and before I learned about the pitfalls of allopathic medicine I would’ve put my life in his hands myself.  As I said, he delivered me, and when I got older, on the rare occasion that I felt I needed medical attention, I made an appointment with him.  My twin children were born when I was forty, and I called to ask him if he knew of a pediatrician who would respect my wish that they not be vaccinated.  “Why wouldn’t you want them to be vaccinated?” he said.  There was a chill in his voice that wasn’t like him, that told me that he was hopelessly sold on the dogma, but at the same time I knew him to be sincere.  It was unthinkable that he would withhold from his own children some or all of the shots that he administered to his many young patients, and you can bet the farm that most pediatricians do just that.  But I was still bewildered that he, of all doctors, had given me so many.  One thing my mother liked about him was that he didn’t push prescription drugs like so many others in his profession, but obviously vaccines were a different story.  I’m still dumbfounded that he injected me so many times.

And lastly, getting back to me, I’m bewildered that for more than thirty years, going back to when I began studying this subject, I always believed that I’d had six vaccine doses as a child, but it’s now clear that I had sixteen or seventeen by my eleventh birthday.  (I count a 3 in 1 shot as three doses.)  And apparently all that junk had no adverse effects on me, as I would’ve expected, though I should also add that these days the CDC recommends between 45 and 50 doses for children by age eleven, opening the door that much wider to chronic health problems.

I want to make another admission regarding what I wrote in my book.  I wrote that for years — roughly 1989 to 1993 — my wife failed to conceive because, as I later learned from the fertility doctors, when we decided to do in vitro, there were antibodies on my sperm cells.  I would soon learn in my research — actually from reading the product inserts for the first time — that for some vaccines fertility impairment is listed as a possible risk, and I attributed my unusual autoimmune condition to one or more of the many shots I got in the 1980s when I traveled extensively around the Third World.  That’s a pretty intimate story, and I didn’t want to go overboard with personal details, but now I’ll relate one other fact that I decided not to mention when I was working on my book.   

In 1981 I was living with another woman whom I came close to marrying.  That was the year I made my first trip to Africa, and the year I got my first “travel shots” — one for yellow fever and two for cholera, the last about a month before I left home.  My girlfriend was using an IUD (intrauterine device) for contraception, another gift from the medical industry with risks they don’t tell you about.  When I returned home, in October, I learned that she was in the hospital, so I went there right away.  She told me she’d had a miscarriage.  She had been bleeding heavily but was on the mend and left the hospital the next day.  She must’ve gotten pregnant just before I got the first shot, in the middle of the series, or just after the last shot — it’s impossible to say which.  One thing is clear: all the shots I got as a child did not affect my fertility.  Something happened along the way afterward and common sense led me to conclude that it was one or more of the roughly fifteen shots I got, including boosters, for yellow fever, cholera, typhoid and hepatitis A that messed up my fertility, especially since this risk is spelled out, in fine print, by the criminal manufacturers.

Nothing about the revelations on my birth certificate has changed my position on vaccines.  There’s no reason they should.  I’m only a bit surprised that they didn’t cause me any harm — not even a food allergy, which was fairly common in kids my age, though nothing like today, especially those peanut allergies I’ve read about which can actually be fatal.  I never heard of such a thing when I was young.

In conclusion, I guess I can say that the threshold for vaccine-induced harm in children today is higher than I thought.  By that, I mean that children who get, say, 15 or 20 doses spread out over ten years or more — that is, children whose parents made the mistake of getting them shot up, but out of a sense of caution held back on some vaccines and didn’t follow anything close to the CDC guidelines — and avoided the Covid vaccine, of course —  may be able to live long lives in good health and have children of their own.  At least I hope that’s the case.  And these days, I’ll take all the hope I can get.