Prior to contemporary vaccination programs, ‘Crib death’ was so infrequent that it was not mentioned in infant mortality statistics.** In the United States, national immunization campaigns were initiated in the 1960s when several new vaccines were introduced and actively recommended. For the first time in history, most US infants were required to receive several doses of DPT, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines. Shortly thereafter, in 1969, medical certifiers presented a new medical term—sudden infant death syndrome. In 1973, the National Center for Health Statistics added a new cause-of-death category—for SIDS—to the ICD. SIDS is defined as the sudden and unexpected death of an infant which remains unexplained after a thorough investigation. Although there are no specific symptoms associated with SIDS, an autopsy often reveals congestion and edema of the lungs and inflammatory changes in the respiratory system. By 1980, SIDS had become the leading cause of postneonatal mortality (deaths of infants from 28 days to one year old) in the United States.
Is this true? Basically, it seems to say that we went through a progression from:
- Few vaccines and extremely few cases of SIDS/"crib death"... to
- Increased vaccine rates... to
- Within 10 years of the rate increase, enough cases of "crib death" to create a standardized name/description for it in the medical field... to
- Having SIDS as the highest named cause for deaths over 28 days of age -- with this transition occurring within 20 years of increased vaccination rates
Is this accurate? Were these sorts of deaths "unheard of" before contemporary vaccine schedules (pre 1960s)? Was there an upheaval of "crib deaths" timed with an increase in vaccinations, such that it led to a standardized name/description from health agencies? Are there any alternative views to what led to the increase?