Joe Rogan Experience #1261 – Peter Hotez On Vaccines and Tropical Diseases

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Key Takeaways

Peter Hotez is a professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology, his daughter has autism

“Vaccines don’t cause autism because autism is already underway [and visible in MRIs] in early brain development”

  • An MRI at 6 months of age can now predict autism with 90% accuracy
  • Anti-Vax Whack-A-Mole:
    • First, it was the MMR vaccine – Debunked
    • Then it was Thimerasol preservative – Debunked
    • THEN it was about spacing vaccines too close together – Debunked
    • THEN it was the Alum/Aluminum in vaccines
    • And it will likely continue like this…
  • Also, children are exposed to thousands of Antigens every day, more vaccines today is not a significant increase to the human system
  • Autism does become apparent around the same time (~18 months) as when many vaccines are given (correlated does not equal causation)
    • Peter’s daughter wasn’t diagnosed with autism until she was 19 months old

Peter references a new study that looked at one million kids and saw no difference in autism between kids that got the MMR vaccines and those who didn’t

Peter attributes the rise in autism to two reasons:

  1. Broader diagnosis, “we are including individuals in the autism category that we didn’t before”
  2. Improved female diagnosis: Doctors are now able to better diagnose autism in women–”Women are more verbal and can camouflage it better”


Peter Hotez (@PeterHotez), M.D., Ph.D. is Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine where he is also the Director of the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) and Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics.

Books mentioned:

Who is Peter Hotez?

  • “My day job is developing vaccines for tropical diseases. We develop the vaccines no one else will make because it is for the world’s poorest people.”
    • Peter’s daughter has autism
      • Peter’s daughter has trouble doing simple math or counting money, but she has been able to find work sorting clothes at Goodwill Industries

Learning About Autism

  • The number of people diagnosed is going up because scientists have realized that a lot of past diagnoses are part of the autism spectrum such as “mental retardation”
    • People with autism can have varying levels of IQ (verbal, performance)
  • A new study revealed that there are 99 genes linked to autism and it begins to form in the second and third trimester of pregnancy
    • “Vaccines don’t cause autism because autism is already underway in early brain development”
      • Why does it seem that children develop autism after getting vaccines?
      • “The full clinical expression of autism often doesn’t happen till 18 or 19 months of age”
        • Peter’s daughter wasn’t diagnosed with autism until she was 19 months old
          • Around this time period, there is a big increase in the volume of the brain
      • An MRI at 6 months of age and predict autism with 90% accuracy

Learning About Vaccines

  • “When you get the measles mumps rubella vaccines, many times kids cry and things like that, and then autism will then begin sometime between the first and second year of life so it’s logical to want to connect the two, but now we know it’s not even plausible because we know if you go back to that MRI at 6 months of age or go back prenatally, we can determine which kids will go on to develop autism”
    • Peter references a new study that looked at one million kids and saw no difference in autism between kids that got the MMR vaccines and those who didn’t
  • The risk of getting a severe reaction to a vaccine is roughly “one in a million to one in ten million”
    • You have higher odds of getting struck by lightning than getting a severe reaction to a vaccine
      • Peter says it is not possible to get autism from a vaccine as far as he can tell (side note – It is always impossible to disprove a negative, honest scientists accept this, anyone who is 100% confident isn’t a scientist)
  • There is a Vaccine Court, however there has never been a case showing that vaccines cause autism (the most common issue is shoulder injury from the injection going in the wrong place – still 1/Million)
  • Most vaccines are now combined to decrease the number of shots needed to prevent FATAL Diseases
    • “There are all sorts of studies showing it is safe to combine them and it’s fantastic, now you can vaccine with one shot against six diseases”
    • KEY POINT: Vaccines don’t overwhelm a newborn baby’s immune systems since they are already being exposed to hundreds of new antigens everyday
      • This is important for parents who are looking to “space” out vaccines”
      • “phony baloney stuff put out by the anti-vaccine lobby”

Anti-Vax Movement

  • “The Anti-Vax Lobby Owns the Internet”
    • There are about 500 anti-vaccine websites that misinform people
      • There are also a lot of anti-vax books on Amazon
    • There is no robust system of pro-vaccine advocacy to counter
    • “I’m an academic, I wrote a book, what chance do I stand against this major media empire”
  • Who gains from the anti-vaccine movement?
    • Phony therapies that claim they can help people with autism
      • Bleach Enemas – for CHILDREN to “cleanse the immune system”
      • Chelation Therapy – Very Dangerous chemical to chelate metals, BUT it can also chelate your calcium and create a fatal arrythmia
      • Hyperbaric Therapy: Not helpful for autism for sure, but unknown risk for small children
    • Russian bots and trolls that want political instability
      • Investigative journalism is needed to find out deeper motives behind the movement
      • Perhaps Amazon, Facebook, and other tech companies could hire chief scientists to review the legitimacy of certain information
  • In Texas, 60K are not vaccinated, that we know of (we don’t know about the 325K homeschooled children (maybe another 40K)
    • Measles is on the rise, there were 80,000 measles cases in Europe in 2018 and “now it is coming back to the U.S.”
  • When talking about big pharmaceutical companies, Peter says “I don’t take a penny from them”
    • Side Note: Most vaccines are old and generic, which means Big Pharma isn’t marketing or making any money from them

Drivers of the Growth of Autism

  1. Better/Broader Diagnosis: “we are including individuals in the autism category that we didn’t before”
  2. Better/More Female Diagnoses–”Women are more verbal and can camouflage it better”

There are about 5 or 6 chemicals that if pregnant women are exposed to can increase the chances of a child having autistic characteristics

Flu Vaccines

  • Over 150 children died in 2018 from the flu despite the recommendation for getting the flu vaccine
    • Joe Rogan comments that he heard there was something wrong with the flu vaccine, Peter says “Last year there was not a perfect match between the virus and the vaccine, but it was good enough to prevent you from dying and likely prevent you from being hospitalized”
      • “There was enough cross-protection that it would mitigate the symptoms”
        • Peter gets most of his vaccines from a supermarket pharmacist
      • After getting a vaccine it is possible that people feel sore and a slight fever for a day or two–”The vaccine is stimulating the immune system and stimulating the inflammatory system”
        • Peter recommends Joe to take the flu and shingles vaccine
  • Peter says vaccines are not chemicals but antigens and “they are macro-molecules”

Tropical Diseases

  • Peter also founded PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases–a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal devoted to the study of neglected tropical diseases
  • Peter works with non-profits to develop vaccines for people in poor countries with tropical diseases

By the Numbers:

  • “The estimate are around 800 million people have ascariasis roundworm in their bellies” – That is More than 2X the US Population
  • “400 million have hookworm infection”
  • There is a hookworm vaccine in clinical trials
  • “400 million have whipworm”
  • “200 million people with scabies”
  • Many of these diseases are found in areas of poverty and it also enforces poverty because they make people too sick to go to work
  • These diseases also “shave IQ points off kids”
  • What Reduces Disease?
  • You should be worried about Ebola it simply will never spread that far, we SHOULD be worried about Chagas Disease, Lyme Disease, Malaria and Others

Drivers of Disease

  • Mosquitoes, poverty, political instability and war are all big drivers in infectious diseases because it interrupts public health control measures
  • Economic Collapse: Since the collapse of the Venezuelan economy, there has been a rise in measles
  • Climate change: Malaria has recently returned to Greece after it was gone for 70 years
  • Feral Cats/Dogs:
  • A lot of poor neighborhoods have feral cats and dogs who have some kind of worm in them and spread disease through feces


  • Malaria is “one of the leading killers of children globally right now”
  • Malaria Vaccine: Mosquirix–which was funded by the Bill and Melinda and working with a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, has been approved for use in children by the European medicine agency and is being introduced to three countries in Africa
  • “Individuals who have the sickle-cell trait seem to be partially resistant to malaria”

Lyme vaccines cannot cause Lyme diseases because “the vaccine is not a live vaccine, it is a recombinant protein-based vaccine”

  • The vaccine was pulled off the market voluntarily “not because it wasn’t working but because of market perception” at a time when the market was much smaller than it was today

Challenges to Developing New Vaccines

  • A tough sell for investors – Massive costs to develop, risk of failure in development, low pricing potential and extremely challenging to conduct clinical trials
  • Trials can take up to two decades and need very large sample sizes

What is underappreciated, is that the Poor in Rich Countries like the USA, account more most the world’s poverty-related diseases

  • If Pharma companies realized this, they might have more of an incentive to develop more treatments

These notes were edited by RoRoPa Editing Services

Joe Rogan Experience : , , ,
Notes By Alex Wiec

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