No, “vaccine reactions” didn’t kill several children in Mexico

As much time and effort as I spend deconstructing, refuting, and otherwise demolishing the misinformation that is routinely promulgated about vaccines by the antivaccine movement, it’s important never just to reflexly dismiss a claim or news story that gains traction among antivaccinationists. After all, it is always possible that the story is as the antivaccinationists represent it; possible, but not likely. Still, one must be careful not to be so close-minded that one leaps to dismiss a story just because of its source. That is skepticism, and it’s a big difference—or at least should be—between skeptics and cranks.

A few days ago, I saw a story starting to bubble up from the antivaccine underground that was highly concerning. It started showing up on Facebook and Twitter, and then, as these stories nearly always do, ended up on that wretched hive of antivaccine scum and quackery, Age of Autism with a suitably alarming headline, albeit restrained for AoA: Two Mexican Infants Die 29 Hospitalized With Vaccine Adverse Reaction:

Below is a story that is a somber reminder of why we fight for vaccination choice. Vaccines carry serious risks. Regardless of the reason for this medical tragedy – if we ever know, was it tainted product, a deadly combination or something else, we believe parents should have the right to say no to a vaccine for their child. And that pharmaceutical companies should bear liability.

AoA is referring to this story, which was being reported by CNN Mexico and various other news outlets. The English version reports:

Two babies Simojovel rural communities, Chiapas, were killed and about 30 required medical attention after receiving vaccines, according to the evidence, triggered an allergic reaction.

The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and launched an investigation to identify the cause of the facts, and sent a delegation of officials, experts and representatives of other government agencies such as the Federal Commission for Protection Against Health Risks (COFEPRIS) and the National Center for Health of Children and Adolescents (CeNSIA).

The federal agency has suspended the application of preventive vaccine batches that have caused the damage.

Residents of the towns of La Pimienta, San Jose and San Antonio del Monte, in the municipality, said Friday morning went to the premises of the Rural Hospital of IMSS-Prosper program of the town, where the doctor Roberto Calvo León applied to vaccines under age basic picture.

Each child, in total 52, received three doses: BCG (Tuberculosis), Rotavirus and Hepatitis B.

According to these testimonies, after being vaccinated, at least 25 infants fell asleep and did not wake up until 12 hours later.

Two others died and no longer reacted. This is a child of 28 days old, and a girl 30 days old.

It sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? And, make no mistake, it is. Any time children become ill or die, it’s bad, regardless of the cause. However, as I read these news stories, I couldn’t help but get the nagging feeling that there was something wrong here. It would be odd indeed for so many infants to be sickened from the same batch of vaccine if there was nothing wrong with the vaccine and it was causing an “allergic reaction,” as the news story reported. Not surprisingly, though, “natural health” and antivaccine websites were all over this. For instance, NaturalBlaze asked why there was so little media attention to the story (a curious question given that there have been quite a few news stories about this incident) and engaged in—what else?—JAQing off:

Is this lack of media coverage because vaccines are promoted as “safe and effective” and no one wants to tarnish that image?

Is the lack of media coverage because it would negatively impact efforts to make vaccines mandatory and affect the profits of vaccine manufacturers and various other stakeholders?

It is crucial that the international community be informed of these deaths and of the fact that these vaccines have as of now been suspended in Mexico. It is an essential part of the universal right to informed consent.

As always, the ever-reliable Mike Adams cranks the crazy up to 11, as he is so good at doing, asking Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized? and declaring:

As globalists now fully realize, vaccines are by far the best way to cull the human population because most people can be tricked into lining up and asking for them. Thus, there’s no need to resort to all the difficulties used by the Nazis to commit genocide in World War II, involving complex logistics of railroad cars, gas chambers, construction of mass graves, prisoner tracking via IBM computing technology, and so on. (Yes, Nazi genocide and prisoner tracking was powered by early IBM computers. See IBM and the Holocaust, the strategic alliance between Nazi Germany and America’s most powerful corporation…)

As the vaccine industry has now come to realize, it’s so much easier to kill people when they voluntarily comply with the injections. Hence the aggressive media propaganda push to achieve absolute blind obedience to vaccines so that no one will ask questions when sterilization or euthanasia chemicals are used. That’s no doubt why vaccines have been routinely tested for depopulation programs via two primary methods:

# 1) Achieve covert sterilizations of targeted populations by combining sterilization chemicals with vaccines. (The “slow kill.”)

# 2) Directly kill vaccine recipients by intentionally lacing vaccines with euthanasia chemicals that cause death. (The “fast kill.”)

Yes, Mike Adams is a such a lovely man, isn’t he? The great thing about his various conspiracy ramblings is that they don’t have to make any sense or even be internally self-consistent. For example, one thing that never made sense to me is why vaccine manufacturers would want, in essence, to kill their customers. I’ve discussed why the various conspiracy theories claiming that vaccines are laced with chemicals that cause infertility before more times that I can remember. Such conspiracy theories were ridiculous when they first emerged in the Phillipines in the 1990s; they were just as ridiculous when Muslim clerics insinuated that the polio vaccine was a plot to sterilize their women, and remain ridiculous in their most recent incarnation in Africa, where Kenyan Catholic bishops and doctors have promoted the idea that the tetanus vaccine is really a contraceptive designed to sterilize their young women.

It makes even less sense that vaccine manufacturers would make vaccines laced with euthanasia chemicals. I mean, seriously. How stupid does Adams think his readers are? (Plenty stupid, I bet.) How long would people keep letting their children be vaccinated if they died in large numbers after being vaccinated? Think about it. It’s going to be a hard, painful slog to regain the trust of the parents in Chiapas to allow their children to be vaccinated after this incident. As I said, though, internal consistency and logic were never among Mike Adam’s strong suits.

Neither is patience. Antivaccine activists were so anxious to proclaim these deaths as being due to adverse reactions to vaccines that they didn’t take the prudent course, which is to wait until the investigation has been done. Had they done that, they would now know that these hospitalizations and deaths were not due to adverse reactions for vaccines. Rather, as has been reported in the Mexican press, they were due to bacterial contamination. In other words, these babies died of sepsis or were hospitalized for sepsis, not adverse reactions from a vaccine, and their symptoms were entirely consistent with an overwhelming bacterial infection.

What I wonder now is this: How did this happen? Was there a problem with refrigeration after a multiuse vial had been used? It seems unlikely that this would account for so many babies being infected, because there aren’t enough doses in a multidose vial to infect so many children. It seems more likely that the fault occurred at the manufacturing plant, although it’s also possible it was a local storage issue that allowed bacterial colonization and overgrowth. Of course, this is all speculation on my part, given that we do not yet have any definitive evidence telling us what happened. Indeed, we don’t even know yet (as of my writing this last night) which species of bacteria contaminated the vials.

Don’t get me wrong here. I am not in any way minimizing the tragedy that has occurred. Children are dead. Many more were hospitalized, some requiring mechanical ventilation. A full and complete investigation is required urgently to determine what went wrong and how these vaccines became contaminated with bacteria. That was the problem, not some general problem with vaccines inherent in their design that led to severe adverse reactions. It is a distinction that will be lost on people who so fear and distrust vaccines that they view them as inherently dangerous and useless, who are so eager to blame vaccines for every ill suffered by children that they will gladly leap on any story that they think they can use to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt about vaccines.