Vaccines and the Link to Auto-Immune Disease

by Sarah VaccinationComments: 25

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD devotes an entire chapter in her book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, to the issue of whether or not vaccines cause autism.    Given that many of her patients are autistic children, her practice allows for a unique and very rational perspective of this controversial issue.

Some of the parents of the autistic children in her practice are able to directly link the MMR vaccine to the regression of their child’s behavior into autism.   Other parents clearly link the DPT vaccine to the development of autistic symptoms in their child.   Surprisingly, Dr. Campbell-McBride maintains that most parents are unable to make a connection at all.

So, do vaccines cause autism?   Dr. Campbell-McBride explains that things are rarely so simple as a “yes” or a “no”.    The answer to this question is much more complex and must be considered within the entire topic of vaccination as a whole.

The Law of Natural Selection

In the pre-vaccine era, it was not uncommon for a family to lose one, two, or even more children to childhood infections like measle, mumps, rubella, pertussis and others.   This is called the Law of Natural Selection, and it ensures that only the strongest survive to pass on genes to the next generation, thereby ensuring the ultimate survival of the species.

Our modern society is not prepared to follow Mother Nature’s cue in enforcement of this law.   No Mother would allow her child to die if there is a way in which to prevent it.   Hence the development of vaccines to protect and help the weakest members of the human race survive the onslaught of childhood illness.

Dr. Campbell-McBride’s point is that she does not agree with the anti-vaccine lobby that shots as a preventive measure for childhood diseases should be abandoned completely.    This approach is not feasible unless we, as a human race, are prepared to follow the rule of Mother Nature and let the weaker members die from childhood illness as the Law of Natural Selection intends.

Vaccines Were Originally Designed for Children with Normal Immune Function

The problem with vaccines arises with the rapid increase in the number of imunocompromised children in recent decades.   This type of child was extremely rare back in the days when vaccines were originally developed.

Nowadays, look around – how many truly healthy, non-immunocompromised children do you see?   Not many!  Whereas just a few short decades ago, it was rare to find more than one child in a school classroom with allergies, today, it is rare to find more than one child with no allergies in a classroom!

A complete flip-flop has occurred with most children now falling under the “immunocompromised” label, which is the perfect storm for vaccine damage to occur.  A compromised immune system is not going to react to vaccination in a “normal” or “expected” way.   Dr. Campbell-McBride makes the crucial point that vaccines are an incredible insult to the immune system, and for immuno-compromised children, this insult can be devastating.

For children who already have compromised immune function, vaccines can frequently be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so to speak, leading the way for development of autism, eczema, asthma, allergies diabetes etc.   For children with immune function compromised to a lesser degree, vaccinations will not be the instigator of auto-immune diseases, but will definitely deepen the damage, moving the child closer to the eventual development of such disorders.

Rational Approach to Vaccination

Dr. Campbell-McBride proposes a rational approach to vaccines, rather than the “one size fits all” approach of today.

She advocates that a comprehensive immunological survey of every baby be performed before any vaccines are administered.   This survey would include a questionnaire assessing parental health, a stool and urine analysis to ascertain the health of the baby’s gut, and an immune status test.

Once this procedure has been followed, whether or not a baby should be vaccinated would become immediately apparent.     For some babies, the immune system would be in such bad shape that no vaccines would be administered at all.   For others, a delayed schedule would be recommended until the tests improve.

Vaccinations Should be Single Dose Only

Whether a child is healthy enough for vaccination or not, Dr. Campbell-McBride strongly advocates that standard vaccination protocol be limited to single dose vaccines only.     The current multi-dose approach is extremely dangerous because a child would never be exposed to measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) at the same time in a natural situation!

In the medical literature, in those very rare instances where a child comes down with two childhood infections at the same time, permanent physical and/or mental impairment of the child takes place!

Dr. Campbell-McBride concludes this chapter of the GAPS book by stating that multi-dose vaccines will very likely need to be abandoned altogether given that auto-immune disorders have now reached epidemic proportions in children with further increases projected in the future.


It seems clear to me based on the very rational arguments put forth by Dr. Campbell-McBride that if either of the parents suffer from any autoimmune disorder (even as mild as one or two allergies) or have any gut dysbiosis symptoms whatsoever, their children should not be vaccinated.   Doing so greatly risks devastation of the child’s health.

Do you agree with Dr. Campbell-McBride’s assessment of vaccines and the link to autism and other auto-immune disorders?    Please respond with a why or why not in the comments section.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


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Comments (25)

  • Abbie

    I can’t say whether immunizations cause autism. However, I strongly believe that this should remain the right of a parent to decide. When you are forced to take immunizations you should not be forced to sign a consent to treatment form that releases liability. My oldest child was immunized through 5 years old. She had serious health issues that began at 12 months immunizations, including asthma (severe), allergies, stomach problems, severe crying fits, eczema and other issues. She spent time in the hospital for various diagnostic tests. She had multiple ear infections, strep and was constantly sick. By age 2 she had her tontsil and adnoids removed and a second set of tubes in her ears. We began an aggressive treatment with natural remedies and she is now a healthy child. Was this caused by immunizations? – I don’t know. BUT….I do not the other 5 children were not immunized. None of them have asthma, eczema, or allergies. None of them had repeated ear infections. I don’t think they are a threat to anyone else either. The youngest was exposed to whooping cough (surprisingly enough from a toddler who was fully immunized – at church) our child did not develop whooping cough. I asked our peditrician about it – she stated that of her 200 patients only her immunized patients were being diagnosed with whooping cough. Our 3 year old developed encephalitis – we were told by the admitting ER that it was from lack of immunizations. The team of doctors at the Children’s Hospital disagreed – they tracked down the virus that caused the encephalitis to the common cold virus. The head doctor told us that while immunizations serve their purpose most of the time they are NOT a garuantee that your child will not get a child hood disease. She told us that many vaccines are not even effective and that later testing will show that vaccinated children in fact do not have an immunity to the disease that they were vaccinated for. Last year a close friend’s son went to work with our local fire department. He was current on all his vaccines but yet he developed Tetanus when he was cut at a house fire. He did not die – because we have modern medicine. The fact is that many of these diseases are treatable. Yes, some are life threatening but not all. I would never tell a parent not to immunize but I also want that same right.

    June 22nd, 2015 7:42 pm Reply
  • Christina Waldman

    I did not mean–in saying “While not all autism is “caused” by vaccines, surely some of it is,”(a paraphrase of a sentiment expressed by Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Center)–to detract from the eye-witness testimony of the many parents who have seen their children regress into autism after vaccinations, like Hannah Poling.

    Also, pesticides that attack the “nerves” of insects and accumulate in soil and runoff into drinking water, GMO’s, Electromagnetic frequency fog from cell phones and cell phone towers are all unnatural and have not been sufficiently tested to rule out neurological damage to children. But here is Dr. Russell Blaylock’s video on How Vaccines harm Child Brain Development.”
    He wrote the Foreword to Neil Z. Miller’s “Vaccine Safety Manual, a Handbook for Concerned Parents and Health Practitioners.”

    November 6th, 2013 11:47 pm Reply
  • Sharon

    Great article, I agree with her approach to single vaccines only. My problem is that I can not find combo vaccines as singles. For example, Merck used to make individual doses (instead of the combo vaccine) for Measles, Mumps and Rubella but stopped several years ago. Do you have any recommendations on how to find individual vaccines?

    September 9th, 2013 8:58 pm Reply
  • Tara

    Thanks for the article and the discussion. I think it is important to mention that the following stressors can negatively impact a childs immune system (according to Dr. Natasha), making vaccinations unwise: poor quality flora passed on by the mother (and father) to the child at birth; the dietary absence of fermented and bio-active foods; the excessive dietary presence of chemical additives, processing, yeast and sugar; and the use of prescribed medicines such as the Pill, antibiotics, cancer treatments and steriods which can render the gut flora profoundly abnormal (and toxic) – in a profession that tends to ignore the necessity to rebuild gut flora after it has been compromised (i.e. medical insurance will fund therapeutic strenghth antibiotics, but not therapeutic strength probiotics).

    September 26th, 2011 5:32 pm Reply
    • Tara

      Ooops, Dr. Natasha did not mention Cancer in her writings; however, I have seen digestive devastation in Cancer survivors myself.

      September 26th, 2011 5:35 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    I agree somewhat to the line of thinking that immune-compromised children should not be vaccinated….but the tricky part about the recommendation of the doctor to check their immune status….the problem is kids that are perfectly healthy before vaccines STILL end up with all of the issues caused by the toxin overload. And while the idea of only getting one virus injection at a time instead of the multi-virus shots, is good in theory, but you are now taking on those toxins 3 or 4 more times instead of just once…so it's a draw either way.

    To the anonymous above, you can't claim that the absence of information means that it is "fact" that there was no "autism" prior to 1930. There IS evidence of people having autistic symptoms, but you have to think about how times have changed since then and also different cultures and societies. Back then if you had symptoms like autism you would have been sent away to an asylum or locked away at home, most of the neighbors wouldn't even know about the child, or the family wouldn't speak of them. "Disabled" children were looked down upon as evil or something the parents did wrong, when in many cases as we know now it was simply just a nutritional deficiency or chemical imbalance etc… In many other cultures around the world, people with symptoms like autism would be treated as if they were possessed or evil and even killed and shunned by their family or others. But I'm sure that it wasn't PREVALENT to see people with autistic behaviors because we are learning now how much of it is connected to our environment (diet, toxins (vaccines) and pollution etc…) I've not heard of a child "born" autistic, and that it only seems to start in childhood and not in adulthood, it seems to me that it is definitely environmental and affecting children at a pivotal point in their growth. If we could get doctors to embrace HEALING rather than TREATING SYMPTOMS with drugs, these kids would have a huge advantage, but until then, kids are going to keep getting sick and not get TRUE HEALING. I think this diet can be a pivotal roll in changing how we see autism if we could get more people on board with giving it a try and see if it heals their child's symptoms.

    August 13th, 2010 7:05 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    No, the fact that autism did not exist prior to the introduction of thimerisol is just that, a fact.

    The claim that new diseases created by chemicals existed in the past but that our ancestors were too stupid to diagnose them is one of the most common lies developed by the companies responsible and the scientists on their payroll.

    Another example is this. A number of babies were born in the 1950's with flippers instead of hands and feet. This also never happened before in human history. Do you think that our ancestors could not diagnose flippers instead of hands or feet? The condition was caused by a drug called thalidomide, and even the government admitted it. No thalidomide, no flippers. No vaccines, no autism.

    July 15th, 2010 1:33 pm Reply
    • Carolyn

      Has anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated ever been diagnosed with Autism?

      July 31st, 2012 1:35 pm Reply
      • Christina Waldman

        Sure. Vaccines are not the only cause of autism, but I read somewhere they may be the cause of about ten percent of it (That may be conservative…). They now say don’t give Tylenol with vaccines, or at all.

        We live in a toxic world. Babies are born with already over 200 toxic chemicals in their cord blood, according to the Environmental Working Group’s video “Ten Americans.” According to Prof. Boyd Haley, the EPA and National Academy of Science both say 8-10% of American women have enough mercury in their bodies to give birth to a child with a neurological disorder. Mercury from dental amalgams is one cause. Just as with mercury, chemicals such as lead, fluoride, and aluminum from shots can interact synergistically.

        Americans are not very healthy in general. Many don’t eat right, and smoke or drink alcohol or soda pop all day or take drugs, including prescription drugs, or get vaccinated unnecessarily while they are pregnant (Dr. Russell Blaylock, neurologist, says vaccinating a pregnant woman is insane!).

        Research suggests some of the invasive birth procedures like ultrasound, unnecessarily induced labor leading to too many C-sections, and overuse of antibiotics also contribute. It would seem that often Mother Nature really does know best.

        Dr. McBride says all auto-immune diseases begin in the gut. So it would be important for all of us to heal our guts and detox as best we can and get healthy before having children. I am looking forward to having grandchildren one day. I sure hope they get this autism thing figured out before they come along. I agree that today they give too many shots, and too many at once, and too early to babies, compared to the few vaccines required 30 years ago. I am glad I found this website!

        November 1st, 2013 2:38 am Reply
  • Jennifer

    Sorry, but I need to jump back in here. I think it's more likely that people just didn't use the word "autism" to describe autistic-like disorders pre-1930s.

    Treating people for various mental ailments, and classifying those mental ailments by their unique properties, is a pretty modern thing. Doesn't mean those people didn't exist before modern times.

    That's not to say that autism hasn't grown dramatically, but to say that it did not exist is a bit of a stretch.

    July 14th, 2010 9:02 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    The doctors views on natural sekection disturb me, and they are just not true. They are frighteningly similar to views first held in Nazi Germany, though I am certainly not calling the doctor a Nazi. Many people,including myself, who have been ill, and would have died but for medicine, have become very healthy on a WAPF style diet. Now I never need to take medication. Not for 7 years.

    Autism is caused by vaccines, period. There was no autism, none, anywhere in the world, until the 1930's, when thimerisol was introduced as a preservative for vaccines.

    There was no autism in China,none,until American vaccines were introduced afew years ago. Now there are several million cases.

    Dr. Meyer Eisenstein, in Chicago, whose physician group advocates against vaccines, has never seen a case of autism in an unvaccinated child, not one among the tens of thousands of children cared for by his group during the years.

    Every vaccine contains toxic additives such as aluminumm formaldihyde, and most still contain thimerisol, even now. If the mercury contained in one dose of vaccines commonly given to children was spilled on the floor, the room and quite possibly the building would be evacuated.
    Vaccines are death and disease.

    July 14th, 2010 4:16 pm Reply
    • Lissi

      I disagree that autism is caused by vaccines. I believe it is enhanced by vaccines. My son is 5 and had many autistic symptoms, which many of my friends attest to when comparing him to their diagnosed autistic children (I never got him tested as I didn’t want the medical system involved). He was never vaccinated. My sisters daughter also displays similar symptoms and she was never vaccinated. I believe autism is a triggered thing, when the gut is not working properly, and when vaccinated, it is the straw that breaks the camels back and becomes uncontrollable. My son’s autistic traits were there but manageable and he was highly intelligent but not “very bright” like 2D almost. I suspected this long before I read Dr Natasha’s book. When I read her book, it confirmed what I already suspected, and after 4 months on GAPS, my son is a new person, whole, 3D and bright! He’s interacting normally now, he doesn’t have allergies, he doesn’t have asthma, he no longer gets night terrors every night (AT ALL!!) All these things are HUGE for us and him. I believe vaccines are death and disease and wouldn’t touch them with a 40foot barge pole either, but I believe the bigger picture is the state of the gut – the centre of the immune system – and THAT is what Dr McBride is all about – fixing the gut so the body can withstand this toxic world we live in. Because after all, we can’t control what is in the air around us when we walk out our front door, but we CAN control what we put in our mouths and nourish our bodies with, what we put on our skin, and whether we help our bodies to endure the onslaught of toxins in our world.

      December 23rd, 2011 1:44 am Reply
      • Eva

        Hi Lissi, my son is 6 now and i am looking into the GAPS diet for the same reasons as you have, would it be possible to connect? We live in CA. Thank you.Eva

        July 13th, 2012 6:18 pm Reply
    • Librarygirl

      There might not have been Autism but there was juvenile shizophrenia. We have vastly changed out definitions in the past decades.

      October 13th, 2013 2:45 am Reply
    • Sarah

      Cara at health home and happiness has a daughter with autism who wasn’t vaccinated. You shouldn’t pull information out of your butt, you should do actual research and quote that.

      November 22nd, 2013 4:22 pm Reply
    • ISabel

      There are many cases of autistic children who are unvaccinated and Dr Campbell McBride has treated them. If autism were caused by vaccines then there would be no cure. Since autism can be cured by re populating the gut with beneficial bacteria and starving the pathogens through the GAP diet then obviously that is what causes autism. Our gut bacteria chelate heavy metals and toxins that we are constantly ingesting, including those found in vaccines. If your microbiome is healthy you don’t have to be paranoid of toxins. They are everywhere, in greater amounts than vaccines.

      October 20th, 2015 11:53 pm Reply
  • newhomeeconomics

    "In the pre-vaccine era, it was not uncommon for a family to lose one, two, or even more children to childhood infections like measle, mumps, rubella, pertussis and others. This is called the Law of Natural Selection, and it ensures that only the strongest survive to pass on genes to the next generation, thereby ensuring the ultimate survival of the species."

    — It almost sounds like you're romanticizing the pre-vaccine era. My grandmother lost two young children in the 1930s and 40s to disease, and the pain of it was still very evident in her eyes when she told me about it 60+ years later. Furthermore, many people without strong, healthy bodies still contribute greatly to our society — hello Stephen Hawking!

    I absolutely agree that we need to examine our vaccine-crazed culture, and love the idea of delayed schedules (or opting out if you so choose), but I also think it's a little ethically questionable to be applying the laws of natural selection to human beings.

    I think if we're going to have an honest discussion about all this that we have to acknowledge a couple of things:

    1) people who developed vaccines had VERY good intentions
    2) no mother or father should have to experience watching their child die of a preventable disease

    I think we can at least all agree on those things, yes?

    July 14th, 2010 2:18 pm Reply
  • Gayle

    The American Animal Hospital Association recommends that canines be vaccinated on an individual basis ( Why can't we do the same for our children?

    July 13th, 2010 2:03 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Sarah, Dr. Campbell-McBride does not distinguish between food allergies and other types of allergies such as hay fever. Allergies are allergies and any type of allergy indicates auto-immune issues.

    July 12th, 2010 12:19 pm Reply
  • Sarah S

    When you speak of allergies are you talking about just food allergies or are you talking about hay fever?

    July 12th, 2010 2:40 am Reply
  • Anonymous

    I believe that it is toxin overload that is causing so many heartbreaking ailments. I have had a few conversations with a benefactor to a major medical research group. He was very excited about some of the research that was being done on detecting genetic vulnerability to certain diseases. He was thrilled at the idea that one day medical science could detect what diseases people had no natural ability to survive so they would only get those vaccines. When I asked him about safer vaccines he responded "the technology is close, but like everything else until the public demands it it won't happen." I believe that we as consumers need to demand few toxins in our food, our daily enviroments and our medical system. Until then, my accupuncturist is my primary healthcare provider.

    July 11th, 2010 11:45 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    I should also point out that when I saw Dr. Campbell-McBride MD speak at a Conference a few years ago, a question from the audience was posed that if she could do it all over again, would she vaccinate her own children? She answered that no, she would not do it if given the choice again. Not with single vials either.

    July 11th, 2010 11:28 pm Reply
  • Linda

    I have no doubt that vaccines have been the 'straw that broke the camel's back' in some children who have developed autism and possibly other disorders. I am incredibly thankful that neither of mine did. I think it is a wonderful idea to do single vaccines at a time, and I plan to do that with my now 4 yr old son since he has some due. However, it is extremely, if not impossible to fine mumps, measles and rubella vaccines separated. My husband has an autoimmune disease(Crohn's) and both of my kids have had(daughter still does) food allergies. We are fortunate that it did not cause them any problems to have multiple shots in the past.

    I think her idea of assessment of infants prior to vaccines is an excellent idea. I'm not sure if I believe they should never be vaccinated if found with a compromised immune system, but a delay would probably be a good idea.


    July 11th, 2010 7:51 pm Reply
    • Lissi

      Linda, Dr McBride’s GAPS diet using nourishing foods to heal the gut lining and reestablish good gut bacteria can heal Crohn’s disease as well as allergies. If you do vaccines, it’s a good idea to make sure the gut is working efficiently, as it is the centre of the immune system and is the catalyst for things going wrong with vaccines, if not healthy. I don’t vaccinate my children, but am 4 months into the GAPS diet and have healed my 5yr olds autistic symptoms, his asthma, his milk allergies, his rash around his mouth that he had constantly, and he is now so bright and “with it” I feel like I have a new boy! It is astounding what good nutrition and gut health does! Look into it for your husband’s Crohn’s and your daughter’s food allergies. You won’t look back! I read people stories for a yr and a half before we started doing it ourselves and all of the results are so wonderful!

      December 23rd, 2011 1:32 am Reply
      • Isabel

        Did the Intro Diet and made some changes, kinda sorta GAPS protocol and already the difference is AMAZING in both my toddlers and it’s the only thing that has haelped my lupus and neurological issues.

        October 20th, 2015 11:59 pm Reply

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