The chicken pox vaccine, also known as the varicella vaccine, was added to the childhood vaccination schedule for babies aged 12 to 15 months in 1995. In light of waning vaccine effectiveness, it was later recommended that kids aged four to six also get a second booster shot. There might be fewer cases of chicken pox now, but what we’re seeing a lot more of is a related and more serious problem, herpes zoster, or shingles. Of course they are now promoting the shingles vaccine for adults which has been shown to be less than 50% effective. Fortunately, studies show you can support your immune system without the vaccine.
Are vaccines actually weaken our ability to prevent disease?
When you get chicken pox, the virus will remain latent in your body. If it’s reactivated later in life, it can reappear as shingles. Before the vaccine was introduced, most adults were able to avoid getting shingles because their exposure in their communities to natural chicken pox regularly boosted their cell-mediated immunity to it.
In other words, exposure to chicken pox in adults helped protect them from getting shingles.
Science warns us about the dangers of the chickenpox vaccine
In fact, the authors of a 2002 study warned that mass chicken pox vaccination would spur a serious shingles epidemic that would strike more than half of those who were between the ages of 10 and 44 at the time it was introduced.
Researchers in Belgium recently published findings that showed when children within a population were vaccinated at about one year of age for chickenpox, there was double the incidence of shingles among adults aged 31 to 40.
The reason? Those adults likely had chickenpox as children. Being re-exposed to the illness later in life by being around children with the disease would have given a boost to immunity that helps to guard against shingles virus.
But with far fewer children contracting chickenpox because of the vaccine, that effect would disappear, and adults would be at much higher risk of shingles.
Now, research published in the Annals of Clinical Pathology claims that the CDC and the Los Angeles Department of Health Services actually colluded to bury research showing a link between its Universal Varicella Vaccination Program and the national rise in shingles cases.
Author Gary S. Goldman is a former research analyst for the Los Angeles Department of Health, and he monitored the introduction of the chicken pox vaccine. He says that by 2000, he was hearing a lot of anecdotal accounts from school nurses about an inexplicable rise in shingles cases among students. He found that the vaccine was not only accelerating the recurrence of shingles among children who had naturally gotten chicken pox, but it was also boosting the chances of adults getting shingles.
Goldman says the CDC stopped him from making his data public. He listed 23 actions they took to try to downplay his findings, including attributing them to incorrect subgroups, statistically disguising them, manipulating their own data, printing selective studies, and pressuring the editors of journals into delaying the publication of his work. He recounts how they masked the upsetting trend by averaging the vaccine’s effectiveness over several years instead of listing it year by year, and he says they also tried to discredit him.
Chicken pox vaccine driving demand for the shingles vaccine
Not surprisingly, the CDC’s answer to the rise in shingles is to recommend the shingles vaccine. As Goldman points out, this move sees people shelling out $200 a dose for protection that they would have gotten for free from childhood chicken pox. Moreover, it’s not terribly effective, with one study on adults over the age of 50 showing the vaccine is only 50 percent effective during the first year, and it has “no effect” five years after vaccination. That’s too bad, because shingles causes a very painful rash that oozes fluid and can take up to four weeks to heal.
While chickenpox is certainly uncomfortable and not an experience most of us would like to repeat, it’s actually pretty mild when you look back on it. Few people would say the same about shingles. There is growing evidence that immunity to the virus – brought about by the vaccine – can be short-lived. This leaves adults vulnerable to contracting the disease later in life, when complications can be much more serious, even deadly, after missing out on its milder symptoms in childhood.
Protecting Yourself from Shingles WITHOUT a Vaccine
Please skip the vaccine!
Treat with B-12, Lysine and Vitamin C under the care of a natural practioner
Why not just prevent shingles with B-12 (which also is an excellent treatment for them once you get them) and lysine (which also can be used to treat them).
“I had shingles once…and badly: Zoster ophthalmicus affects the eyes and can even cost you your vision. I was working on a ship (enclosed, recirculated air environment), and had had some poor dental work in port. From that I got the flu, had to stay up late treating patients, and that led to shingles. I was one miserable guy, but I had the nurse give me B-12 shots every day for 3 days and that was the end of it (though my vision was foggy for a week before clearing).” -https://hsionline.com/2011/11/10/home-to-roost/
Bumping the ratio
When I asked Dr. Spreen about preventing shingles with vitamin B-12, he suggested that 500 mcg per day would probably be a good insurance policy because B-12 protects the nerves. Supplementing with lysine (an essential amino acid) is a little more complicated.
Dr. Spreen: “With lysine you have to be more careful, as you’re playing with something called the lysine/arginine ratio. Lysine competes with arginine in the body, and arginine is a stimulant of growth hormone, so you don’t want to drive that down unless you have a real reason. And an arginine supplement isn’t a solution because you’re trying to alter the ratio to make it less favorable to the virus.
“That said, if you GET shingles, then 3 grams (3,000 mg) of lysine daily can do a lot (a LOT) to shorten the duration and lessen the pain/itch right off). Given that a person has developed shingles (or, rather, gets them fairly often), at that point I’d go on 500 mg of lysine daily (between meals) as insurance after kicking the previous outbreak. But I wouldn’t take lysine just because I had chicken pox as a kid.”
In supplement form, high doses of lysine may increase gallstone risk and raise cholesterol levels, so lysine supplementation should be monitored by a nutritionally oriented physician.
Treatment of Shingles with Vitamin C
The clinical response of shingles to vitamin C therapy is decidedly different from its response to traditional therapies. While there are not many reports in the literature on vitamin C and shingles, the studies that do exist are striking. Frederick Klenner, MD, who pioneered the effective use of vitamin C in a wide variety of infections and toxin exposures, published the results of his vitamin C therapy on eight patients with shingles. He gave 2,000 to 3,000 mg of vitamin C by injection every 12 hours, supplemented by 1,000 mg in fruit juice by mouth every two hours. In seven of the eight patients treated in this manner, complete pain relief was reported within two hours of the first vitamin C injection. All patients received a total of five to seven vitamin C injections. Having had shingles myself years before I knew of the efficacy of vitamin C therapy, I can assert that this is nothing short of a stunning result on what is usually a painful and debilitating disease.
Furthermore, the blisters on Dr. Klenner’s patients were reported to begin healing rapidly, with complete resolution within the first 72 hours. As with other infectious conditions, Dr. Klenner hastened to add that treatment needed to continue for at least 72 hours, as recurrence could readily occur even when the initial response was positive. Dr. Klenner also found a similar regimen of vitamin C just as readily resolved the blistering lesions of chickenpox, with the recoveries usually complete in three to four days. Similar clinical response by chickenpox and shingles to vitamin C is further evidence, albeit indirect, that the chickenpox virus and the later appearing Herpes zoster virus are the same pathogen (Klenner, 1949 & 1974).
Even before Dr. Klenner’s observations were published, another researcher reported results just as astounding when measured against today’s mainstream therapies. Dainow (1943) reported success with 14 shingles patients receiving vitamin C injections. In another study, complete resolution of shingles outbreaks was reported in 327 of 327 patients receiving vitamin C injections within the first 72 hours (Zureick, 1950). While all of this data on vitamin C and shingles is quite old, there is an internal consistency among the report in how the patients responded. Until further clinical trials are conducted, these results stand. They clearly show that vitamin C should be an integral part of any therapeutic approach used on a patient presenting with shingles.
The most important factor in the treatment of any virus with vitamin C is to give enough, for a long enough period of time. Certain chronic viral syndromes do not promptly resolve with vitamin C administration, but there is yet to be an acute viral syndrome that vitamin C cannot resolve promptly, unless the patient already has extensive tissue/organ damage and is literally only moments away from death.
Vitamin C therapy can never be considered a failure in an acute viral syndrome until multiple forms have been used in large doses together. While a majority of acute viral syndromes will rapidly resolve with properly-dosed vitamin C of any kind, resistant cases need to be subjected to a multi-pronged approach to vitamin C administration. Such a regimen can include, but not necessarily be limited to:
- 1,000 to 5,000 milligrams of liposome-encapsulated vitamin C orally daily
- Bowel tolerance doses of vitamin C as sodium ascorbate orally daily
- 1,000 to 3,000 mg daily of fat-soluble ascorbyl palmitate orally daily
- Intravenous vitamin C, 25,000 to 150,000 mg per infusion, depending on body size, as frequently as daily, depending on the severity of the infection
Vitamin C accumulating inside viral particles can rapidly destroy viruses by that approach. The spike of the bacteriophage virus is laden with iron, and the focal Fenton reaction is probably how it penetrates its host cell membrane (Bartual et al., 2010; Yamashita et al., 2011; Browning et al., 2012). Viruses accumulate iron and copper, and these metals are also part of the surfaces of viruses (Samuni et al., 1983). As such, wherever the concentrations are the highest, vitamin C will focally upregulate the Fenton reaction, and irreversible viral damage will generally ensue. Fenton activity and its upregulation is the only really well-documented way by which viruses, pathogens, and also cancer cells can be killed by vitamin C, and it is the stimulation of this reaction by vitamin C that makes it therapeutically effective in resolving many infections and cancers (Vilcheze et al., 2013).
Vitamin C helps resolve infections of all varieties, but its effect on acute viral syndromes are especially dramatic and prompt, and it should always be part of any treatment protocol for an infected patient.
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