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Posted: 4/27/2016 7:34:51 PM | with 5 comments

By Theresa Wrangham, NVIC Executive Director

participation-makes-a-difference.jpgFor many years, NVIC has been stressing the importance of every one of us having the courage to take action against the oppressive attempts in many state legislatures to deprive Americans of the basic human right to exercise informed consent to medical risk taking decisions to accept, delay or decline one or more vaccines for ourselves and our children.

Many of you have taken NVIC’s message seriously and now you are taking positive action and making yourselves heard in state legislatures. Citizens are activating across America to protect vaccine exemptions and defend vaccine freedom of choice. In some states, proactive legislation is also being introduced to expand vaccine exemptions.

Staying Engaged and Alert

During the 2016 legislative session, NVIC’s free online Advocacy Portal has tracked 104 bills in 33 states, as well as four federal bills. Of these bills, 17 were filed in 11 states to restrict or remove vaccine exemptions. NVIC has issued action alerts for bills, which are still active, in the states of Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island.

This year, NVIC Advocacy Portal users were also informed about vaccine-related bills to support in the states of California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and South Dakota.

State vaccine bills currently being monitored, and which could become active in the future and require immediate citizen action, are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

Your Participation Makes a Difference!

People are waking up across the U.S. and, rather than being kept on the defensive, are beginning to go on the offensive and advocate for vaccine informed consent rights. This is a healthy sign of of growing awareness and activism!

The grassroots vaccine education advocacy effort in the state legislature by Coloradoans during the past two years, many of them users of NVIC’s Advocacy Portal, made it possible for NVIC to secure bi-partisan support for an NVIC-sponsored vaccine education day at the state Capitol in Denver this month. It provided an opportunity for NVIC to be a vaccine policy and law information resource to increase the knowledge base of Colorado’s legislators about the importance of preserving informed consent protections in the form of flexible medical, religious and philosophical belief vaccine exemptions in state vaccine policies and laEducational Handoutsws. NVIC was able to set up an information booth in the Capitol building because of positive relationship-building that our volunteer citizen advocates in Colorado have individually created with their own state legislators, which is central to effective vaccine education and advocacy work.

NVIC has added new downloadable handouts to our Ask 8 Vaccine Information Kiosk that were distributed at the Colorado state Capitol. These handouts were an effective tool in educating legislators about protecting vaccine exemptions. Look for more additions soon.

It Isn’t Over, Until It’s Over

Though we had a wonderful educational event in Colorado’s state Capitol, this year Colorado state advocacy director Cindy Loveland and I have also been working with our dedicated volunteers to oppose bad vaccine bills introduced in our state, just like many citizens are fighting bad vaccine bills in other states this year.

Colorado’s HB 1164 proposed to discriminate against parents filing vaccine exemptions for their children by robbing them of their federal privacy protections and requiring that they be actively tracked in the state’s vaccine registry. While the bill has been temporarily laid over and likely to die during this legislative session, it could easily be resurrected before the session is officially over. NVIC was able to force an admission from the Colorado health department that health officials acted before HB 1164 passed and improperly issued misleading vaccine exemption information to parents of children in daycare and schools. Unfortunately, the correction made by the health department this week does little to inform parents properly. NVIC volunteers in Colorado are now focused on getting good information into the hands of all parents to correct the egregious actions of the health department.

Why tell Colorado’s story? We anticipate more of this type of legislation and rule-making activity in other states in the coming year. Colorado’s current situation is also the perfect example of why it is never wise to count any legislative wins or losses until the legislative session is actually officially over. It is not unusual for bills that we thought were “dead” to come back life or to have amendments added to previously non-threatening legislation that quickly turns a good bill into a bad bill threatening vaccine informed consent rights. It is also important to remember that, after legislation is passed, advocacy must continue to prevent government agency overreach when the law is implemented.

Once the 2016 legislative sessions have concluded, NVIC will update our readers on the final outcome of the many vaccine bills we tracked during this years’ legislative session. Until then, please stay engaged and log into NVIC’s Advocacy Portal to stay up to date with what is happening in your state so you can take action!


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Posted: 4/26/2016 6:01:27 PM | with 10 comments


By Barbara Loe Fisher

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Americans have never been big fans of flu shots. During the 2009 “swine flu” influenza A pandemic, only about 40 percent of adults bothered to roll up their sleeves. 1 Last year, flu vaccine rates were still just 47 percent for adults but pediatricians had vaccinated 75 percent of children under two years old. 2

Perhaps it is because parents are being thrown out of pediatricians’ offices if they don’t give their children every federally recommended vaccine – or maybe it is just because adults can talk about how they felt after getting vaccinated and infants and children under age two cannot.

sick-young-woman.jpgHow many times has someone told you: “The year I got a flu shot is the only year I got sick” or maybe you learned that the hard way yourself after getting vaccinated.

Doctors insist that just because we get sick with a fever, headache, body aches and a terrible cough that hangs on for weeks after getting vaccinated, it doesn’t mean the vaccine made us sick. They say it was just a “coincidence” because correlation does not equal causation. 3 4

Well, that may be true some of the time, but now the CDC is admitting that flu shots don’t prevent influenza most of the time. 5 In fact, studies show that a history of seasonal flu shots can even make people more susceptible to getting sick with a fever, headache, body aches and a terrible cough that hangs on for weeks! 6 But just like with pertussis infections, a lot of people also get and transmit influenza infections without showing any symptoms at all. 7 8 9

Previous Flu Shots Raised Risks for Pandemic Flu

During the 2009 swine flu pandemic, scientists in the Netherlands asked a big question: Do annual flu shots preventing natural influenza A infections in infants and young people increase their risk of illness and death when a highly pathogenic pandemic influenza strain develops and circulates? 10 The answer to that big question was “Yes” when, in 2010, Canadian health officials confirmed that school aged children and healthy young adults, who had gotten a flu shot the previous season, were at twice the risk of coming down with pandemic A swine flu in 2009 that was severe enough to require a trip to the doctor’s office. 11 

Then, between 2011 and 2014, researchers in Europe published a number of studies providing evidence that immune responses to natural influenza infections and vaccinations are quite different, and very much affect the quality and length of immunity. 12

Most People Don’t Show Flu Symptoms, Vaccinated People More Likely to Get Sick

flu virusHere is what they found when they studied the 2009/2010 pandemic flu season:

  • First, repeated annual flu shots may hamper certain kinds of immune responses, making young vaccinated children, who have never been naturally infected with influenza virus, “more susceptible to infection with a pandemic influenza virus of a novel subtype.” 13
  • Second, about 75 percent of children and adults who got influenza didn’t show any symptoms, and those who did have symptoms self managed without needing medical attention. Plus, hospitalizations and death rates for confirmed influenza infections were very low in the flu pandemic.
  • Third, many unvaccinated persons, who did not get sick during the pandemic flu season, were “silently” infected with pandemic influenza anyway and mounted a strong T-cell immune response to the new influenza strain. 14
  • Fourth, compared with people who remained unvaccinated, those who got a pandemic flu shot were more likely to get sick with an “influenza like illness” (ILI) caused by a rhinovirus. 15

Rhinoviruses cause the common cold and other upper and lower respiratory infections that give you a fever, headache, body aches and a terrible cough that hangs on for weeks. So correlation does not always equal causation, but sometimes it really does.

Now let’s take a closer look at flu vaccine effectiveness and influenza related hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S.

CDC’s Influenza Morbidity & Mortality Numbers Don’t Add Up

For years, the CDC has been promoting the notion that flu shots are between 70 and 90 percent effective in preventing influenza 16 and everybody needs to get vaccinated because type A and type B influenza causes more than 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. 17

Here are the facts:

FACT: There were about 2.5 million deaths in the U.S. in 2013, mostly from heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases. About 57,000 deaths were categorized “influenza and pneumonia” with the majority occurring in people over age 65. 18 Because pneumonia is not only a complication of influenza, but is also a complication of many other viral and bacterial respiratory infections, the breakdown for 2013 was about 3,700 influenza-classified deaths and 53,000 pneumonia deaths in all age groups, with 20 influenza deaths in infants under age one.19

man getting vaccinatedFACT: A federal health agency reported that, in 2004, there were about 37,000 Americans hospitalized for influenza with patients over age 85 twice as likely to die. 20 The figure of 37,000 influenza hospitalizations is five times less than the number of 200,000 the CDC has been using. That is because CDC officials came up with their influenza hospitalization "guesstimate" by counting a lot of hospitalized people, who also had pneumonia, respiratory and circulatory illnesses, which they counted as probably associated with influenza. 21 22

FACT: Influenza-like-illness (ILI) symptoms, such as fever, sore throat, congestion, cough, body aches and fatigue that are severe enough to prompt a trip to the doctor, rarely turn out to be actual type A or B influenza infection. In the past two years, when the CDC tested specimens of influenza-like-illness cases, only between 3 percent and 18 percent were positive for type A or B influenza. 23 24 Most of the respiratory illness cases making people sick enough to seek medical care were caused by other viruses or bacteria.

So just how effective IS that flu shot your doctor tells you to get every year? 25

Flu Vaccine Effectiveness: From Zero to Low

After studying influenza infections during 2012-2013 in the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Washington and Pennsylvania, U.S. public health officials reported in 2015 that flu vaccine effectiveness was quite low: between 39 percent and 66 percent, depending upon the influenza strain. 26

sad medical personnelHere is what else they learned:

  • For adults over age 65 years, vaccine effectiveness was close to ZERO.
  • There was “unexpectedly low vaccine effectiveness for the influenza A strain among older children compared to other age groups,” especially for those who had gotten previous annual flu shots.
  • S. health officials also found that unvaccinated people were more likely to report their general health status as “excellent” compared to vaccinated people.

In January 2016, U.S. government officials finally publicly admitted that flu vaccines are only 50 to 60 percent effective at preventing lab confirmed influenza requiring medical care in most years. 27  In fact, a CDC analysis of flu vaccine effectiveness for the past decade – from 2005 to 2015 - demonstrated that more than half the time, seasonal flu shots are less than 50 percent effective!

In 2004-2005, the flu shot failed 90 percent of the time, 28 and last year failed 77 percent of the time. 29 Estimates for flu shot effectiveness this year is a not very impressive 59 percent. 30

Public Health Doctors Push Ineffective, Reactive Flu Vaccine

The sad part is that public health doctors have known since the first influenza vaccine was licensed in 1945, that influenza vaccines don’t work very well. 31 3233 But that did not stop them from recommending in 2010 that every child and adult should get an annual flu shot starting at six months old and through the last year of life. 34 And by 2013, health care workers declining an annual flu shot were being fired from their jobs. 35 36 37

woman in painThis is being done, despite the fact that influenza vaccine reactions causing inflammation of the nerves, known as Guillain Barre Syndrome, and other chronic health problems are the number one most compensated vaccine injuries for adults in the federal vaccine injury compensation program, 38 which has awarded more than 3.3 billion dollars to victims of government recommended vaccines under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. 39

Public Health Doctors Admit They Don’t Know Much About Flu Virus or How to Measure Immunity

This is being done, despite the fact that scientists know that there are several hundred types of type A, B, and C influenza viruses that are constantly recombining and creating new virus strains. 40 41 Public health officials admit they still do not know how to accurately predict when and how influenza viruses will mutate and which strains will be dominant in a given flu season, and they still don’t know how to measure immunity and long term protection. 42 43

In 2011, Michigan epidemiologists investigated influenza infections in healthy men and women and concluded that simply measuring the number of antibodies in the blood should not be used as a surrogate for vaccine efficacy because antibody titers “may not protect.” 44 In 2013, the CDC confirmed that high antibody titers, especially in seniors and young children, does not predict flu vaccine effectiveness. 45

If doctors have been using an inaccurate blood test to measure immunity and vaccine efficacy for 70 years, what does that say about the accuracy of 70 years of vaccine studies?

Public health officials also admit they don’t know:

  • how the genetic diversity of viruses and bacteria interact with human genes; 46 or
  • how age, natural immunity, vaccination and genetics affect individual immune responses to influenza infection; 47 or
  • how repeated natural infections and vaccinations affect individual and herd immunity. 48 49

National Vaccine Plan: Flu Shots From Cradle to Grave

National Vaccine PlanIt is shocking that government health officials have devised a National Vaccine Plan that lobbies for every single American to get a flu shot from cradle to the grave before the real science is in. 50 51 Putting vaccine policy before the science is bad public health policy. Conducting uncontrolled vaccine experiments on people, who have been taught to believe and trust government health policy and now are being forced to obey strict “no exceptions” vaccine laws, has far reaching consequences. 52

Go to NVIC.org and learn more. Sign up for the free NVIC Advocacy Portal and become active in your state to protect vaccine exemptions from being eliminated by the Pharma, Medical Trade and Public Health industries.

It’s your health. Your family. Your choice.

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Posted: 3/27/2016 10:12:22 PM | with 11 comments

By Barbara Loe Fisher

To activate and view hyperlinked references, please click here once and then click any superscripted number below to access a hyperlinked reference, or scroll down to the bottom of the article to view all hyperlinked references.

For the past decade, Americans have been subjected to dire warnings that B. pertussis whooping cough cases are on the rise and it is the fault of parents who don’t vaccinate their children. 1 2 3 That myth actually goes back to the early 1980’s, 4 when parents of DPT vaccine injured children in the U.S. were asking for a safer pertussis vaccine while, at the same time, discovering that whole cell pertussis vaccine in DPT shots did not prevent infection 5 and vaccine immunity lasted for only two to five years. 6 7

The same old excuse - “it’s the parent’s fault” - is being invoked again in the 21st century by forced vaccination proponents who want to eliminate vaccine exemptions, 8 9 10 11 just as another generation of parents are discovering that acellular pertussis vaccine in DTaP shots also does not prevent infection 12 13 14 and vaccine immunity is waning, lasting at best for two to five years. 15 16 17

Time to Dispel Myths and Lies About Pertussis and Pertussis Vaccines

Pertussis bacteria, CDCWhat’s old is new again. And it is time to dispel the myths and lies being told about pertussis and pertussis vaccines.

In brief:

  • FACT: Both the reactive whole cell DPT vaccine licensed 1949 and the less toxic acellular DTaP vaccine licensed in 1996 do not prevent infection or transmission, and only provide two to five years of temporary immunity at best;
  • FACT : Millions of vaccinated children and adults are silently infected with pertussis in the U.S. every year and show few or no symptoms but spread whooping cough to vaccinated and unvaccinated children - without doctors identifying or reporting cases to the government;
  • FACT : In response to mass pertussis vaccination campaigns beginning in the 1950s, the B. pertussis microbe evolved to evade both whole cell and acellular pertussis vaccines, creating new strains producing more toxin to suppress immune function and cause more serious disease.

Now, here is the rest of the story in more detail:

High Child Pertussis Vaccination Rates in U.S. for 35 Years

Fully vaccinated individuals spreading Pertussis?Child pertussis vaccination rates in the U.S. have remained very, very high for the past 35 years. 18 Consistently, more than 94 percent of kindergarten children have had four to five pertussis-containing shots either in whole cell DPT or acellular DTaP vaccines. 19 There is a 94 percent pertussis vaccination rate for children under 35 months old20 and, today, 88 percent of teenagers attending high school have gotten a sixth pertussis booster shot. 21

That’s a lot of pertussis vaccination going on in America for a long time among children of all ages, many of whom are now adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s. So why are public health officials reporting that large numbers of fully vaccinated pre-schoolers in Florida, 22 and fully vaccinated teenagers in California, 23 and fully vaccinated sisters and brothers of newborn infants are spreading pertussis whooping cough - 24 even though most have gotten every pertussis shot recommended by the CDC?

Before we examine why the experts are fighting with each other about the answer to that question, let’s do a quick review of the history of pertussis and pertussis vaccine.

DPT Licensed in 1949 and DTaP in 1996 for U.S. Babies

B. pertussis whooping cough has been around since at least the 16th century, and it can be especially serious for babies who cannot breathe when the sticky mucous produced by the gram negative bacteria clogs their tiny airways. 25 26 The first crude whole cell pertussis vaccine was licensed in 1914, 27 but was not given widely to children until after 1949, when it was combined with diphtheria and tetanus vaccines into the DPT shot 28 and used until 1996, when a less reactive DTaP vaccine was licensed in the U.S. 29

By 2014, public health officials reported that 86 percent of the world’s children had gotten at least three pertussis shots, 30 but estimate there are still about 16 million pertussis cases and 195,000 pertussis-related deaths every year globally. 31

75% Drop in Pertussis Deaths Before DPT Licensed in 1949

But what about deaths in the U.S. from pertussis whooping cough?

In our country, deaths from pertussis infections dropped by more than 75% between 1922 and 1948, the year before the DPT vaccine was licensed. In 1948, the mortality rate was less than 1 pertussis death per 100,000 persons and would never be higher than that again. 32 33 In 2013, there were about Death from pertussis infections dropped prior to introduction of first pertussis vaccine29,000 reported pertussis cases and 13 pertussis-related deaths in America, with nine of those deaths in infants under age one. 34

However, reported numbers of pertussis cases do not match the total number of actual cases of pertussis that are happening in America. Most pertussis cases, like most vaccine reactions, are not being diagnosed or reported by doctors to the government. 35 Public health officials admit they still don’t have reliable lab tests to measure pertussis immunity and can’t agree about how to diagnose pertussis when infected people, especially vaccinated people, show up in doctor’s offices with mild symptoms.36 37 38

Millions of U.S. Pertussis Cases in Vaccinated Persons Not Identified or Reported

But what public health officials have known for a long time - and do not publicly talk about – is that millions of vaccinated children and adults living in the U.S. get pertussis whooping cough and are never identified. 39 40 41 42 That’s right: there are millions of pertussis infections going on in America among vaccinated people but doctors are not diagnosing or reporting them.

In fact, whether you or your child have been vaccinated or not, you can get a silent asymptomatic pertussis infection and transmit it to someone else without even knowing it. 43 44 45 That child or adult sitting next to you in the bus, classroom, movie theater or doctor’s office, who has a little cough or no cough at all, could be infected with B. pertussis whooping cough, even though he or she has gotten every federally recommended dose of pertussis vaccine.

No Herd Immunity: Vaccines Do Not Block Infection, Carriage or Transmission

When there are a lot of people with silent asymptomatic pertussis infections, it is impossible to know who is a carrier and who is not, which means that reported cases of pertussis are just the tip of a very big iceberg. It also means that articles blaming whooping cough cases on unvaccinated or partially Tip of the icebergvaccinated children are nothing more than wishful thinking and scapegoating. 46

Bottom Line: Both natural and vaccine acquired immunity is temporary 47 and while vaccination may prevent clinical symptoms, it does not block infection, carriage or transmission. If vaccinated people can get silently infected and transmit infection without showing any symptoms – even after getting four to six pertussis shots - then pertussis vaccine acquired “herd immunity” is an illusion and always has been.

So the big question is: Why has more than a half-century of pertussis vaccination failed to produce true herd immunity like public health officials insist it theoretically can if only more and more pertussis shots are given to more people more of the time? 48 49

Extremely Reactive DPT and Less Reactive DTaP both Have Low Efficacy

The answer is simple and the emerging scientific evidence is compelling: the B. pertussis microbe has evolved over the past 65 years to evade whole cell and acellular pertussis vaccines, which drug companies have marketed and medical doctors have aggressively promoted in a crusade to kill a species of bacteria they still know very little about. 50 51 A review of the medical literature reveals that the

Doctors in a groupexperts are unhappy with how much they still don’t know about the B. pertussis microbe 52 and are arguing with each other about if, when, how and why pertussis vaccines have consistently failed to do the job of achieving herd immunity to prevent B. pertussis whooping cough from circulating in highly vaccinated populations around the world.53 54 55

The inconvenient set of scientific facts they have to work with are these:

  • FACT: The efficacy of whole cell pertussis vaccine in the DPT shot was measured to be between 30 and 85 percent, depending upon the type of DPT and vaccine manufacturer, 56 57 58 59 60 and protection lasted two to five years. 61
  • FACT: After a low of about 1,000 cases of pertussis were reported in the U.S in 1976, 62 it was obvious all through the1980s and 90’s that whole cell pertussis vaccine in DPT shots was not preventing infection or transmission.63 64 65 66 67 Pertussis cases increased in highly vaccinated populations in cycles of three to five years - just like before DPT vaccine was widely used in the 1950s. 68 69 70 71 72
  • FACT: The whole cell DPT vaccine used until the late 1990’s in the U.S. was an extremely reactive vaccine. DPT vaccine reactions like fever, pain, and irritability were experienced by between 50 and 85 percent of children and seizures and collapse/shock reactions followed one in 875 DPT shots. 73 74 Brain inflammation was reported following 1 in 110,000 DPT shots with permanent brain damage after 1 in 310,000 DPT shots. 75 76 Finally, in 1996, the marginally effective and extremely reactive whole cell DPT vaccine was replaced with a far less reactive but marginally effective acellular DTaP vaccine. 77 Similar to whole cell pertussis vaccines, acellular pertussis vaccine efficacy in clinical trials was measured to be between 40 and 89 percent, depending upon the DTaP vaccine manufacturer. 78 79 80
  • FACT: Acellular pertussis vaccines do not prevent infection, 81 82 just like whole cell pertussis vaccines do not prevent infection. In the 21st century, pertussis outbreaks and cyclical increases have continued,83 84 85 – even after a pertussis booster shot was added to the schedule for all adolescents and adults in 2006. 86 87 By 2010, the Tdap pertussis booster shot was found to be only about 66 percent effective in providing temporary immunity for teenagers and adults. 88

Pertussis Microbe Evolved to Evade Both DPT and DTaP Vaccines

Boy getting vaccinatedEighteen years ago, in 1998, molecular biologists and other basic science researchers began warning that the B. pertussis microbe started to evolve to evade whole cell pertussis vaccine after DPT shots were given on a mass basis to children in the 1950’s.89 90 91 92 For the past two decades, these bench scientists have been publishing hard evidence that over the past 65 years, B. pertussis bacteria have efficiently adapted to both whole cell and acellular pertussis vaccines. 93 94 95

New Pertussis Strains with More Toxin Causing More Serious Disease

In a fight to survive, the B. pertussis microbe has created new strains that produce more pertussis toxin to suppress the human immune system and cause more serious disease. Today, the pertussis strains included in the vaccine no longer match the pertussis strains causing whooping cough disease.96 97 98 99 100

Bottom line: There is compelling scientific evidence that B. pertussis bacteria have evolved to survive vaccine pressure. Now, there are more virulent pertussis strains that are more efficiently transmitted by vaccinated children and adults with waning immunity.

As one research scientist commented in 2009, “An important question is whether other childhood vaccines also select for pathogens that are more efficiently transmitted by primed hosts, resulting in increased virulence.” 101

War on B. Pertussis Bacteria & Vaccine Policies Not Driven By Hard Science

The crusade by public health officials to kill the B. pertussis microbe by adding more and more doses of ineffective vaccines to the child and adult schedule – now even invading the once sacred place of the womb and insisting all pregnant women be vaccinated 102 103 - is a cautionary tale. As we witness a bacterial species efficiently adapting in an effort to survive a war that has been declared on it, what Pregnant woman getting vaccinatedhas become painfully clear is that the history of mass vaccination has not been driven by hard science transparently shared with the people. 104 105 It has been driven by the politics of a public health profession working a lucrative government-industry public private partnership to protect failed vaccine policies, while ignoring the hard science. 106 107

We, the people, are not going to pretend the science doesn’t exist. It is up to each one of us to inform public health officials and legislators that it is their responsibility to show us the science and give us a choice when it comes to vaccines, especially when no vaccine manufacturer, no public health official and no doctor is liable in a civil court of law when vaccine reactions and failures lead to injury and death. 108

Learn more on NVIC.org. Sign up for the free NVIC Advocacy Portal and become active in your state to protect vaccine exemptions from being eliminated by the Pharma, Medical Trade and Public Health industries.

It’s your health. Your family. Your choice.


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Posted: 2/22/2016 1:23:00 PM | with 2 comments

By Theresa Wrangham, NVIC Executive Director

It came as no surprise to me that during the meeting of the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV) on December 4, 2015 that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Division of Injury Compensation Programs (DICP) reported that the number of vaccine injury claims for this fiscal year will exceed previous years. I have monitored this committee for the past six years and have seen the number of claims rise every year. Sadly they are likely to represent only a fraction of the Man in hospitalvaccine injured, due to the lack of public awareness1 of the existence of the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) created under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which has a record of dismissing two-thirds of claims received.2

Adults, Not Children, Get Most Vaccine Injury Compensation Awards

The estimated 1,000 claims that the VICP anticipates being filed in 2016 are projected to cost $224 million. Although the VICP was originally created by Congress to shield drug companies producing government licensed, recommended and mandated vaccines for children, today it is not children but adults injured by influenza vaccine who are receiving most of the compensation.

The majority of compensated flu shot injury claims are for nerve inflammation diagnosed as Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an autoimmune disorder that attacks the nervous system and can result in life-long paralysis.3 Also on the rise are government conceded claims for shoulder injuries (SIRVA) caused by vaccine providers failing to properly administer vaccinations. GBS and SIRVA are in the process of being added to the federal Vaccine Injury Table 4 to expedite the administrative vaccine injury claims process for those two injuries.

Injuries from Some Adult Vaccines not Compensated

Under the 1986 law, the only adult vaccine injury claims that can be compensated by the VICP are for injuries caused by vaccines recommended by the CDC for “universal use” by children.5 Most, but not all, of the CDC recommended vaccines for adults are also recommended for children.6 The shingles (herpes zoster) vaccine and 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine (PNEUMOVAX 23) recommended for adults are not eligible for compensation under the VICP7 and federal health officials and the ACCV has wrestled in recent years with how to protect vaccine manufacturers and compensate adult vaccine injuries not covered by the VICP.

Pregnant woman in hospitalVaccine manufacturers are also expanding their reach and developing vaccines solely for use by pregnant women. Currently, there are two vaccines under development for exclusive use by pregnant women for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and group B streptococcal disease.

As a result, the ACCV recommended in 2013 that the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) pursue statutory changes to the 1986 law to extend vaccine injury compensation for injuries caused by vaccines being developed for exclusive use by pregnant women,8 as well as for live born infants injured by a these vaccines in utero (before birth). 9 However, during a December 2015 ACCV meeting, the ACCV’s working group recommended not pursuing statutory changes to the 1986 law that would extend coverage to vaccines given to adults but not recommended for children.

Some Vaccine Injured Adults Can Sue Vaccine Manufacturers

In effect, unlike the legal requirement under the 1986 law that shields vaccine manufacturers from civil liability for government recommended vaccines for children that are also used by adults, vaccine injuries sustained by adults from Vaccine injury compensationvaccines used exclusively by adults (like shingles and PNEUMOVAX 23 vaccines) can pursue civil lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers and negligent physicians in order to obtain vaccine injury compensation.

While ACCV’s recommendations carry no legal authority, it does not appear likely that the DHHS Secretary will pursue legal changes necessary to cover adults. The vaccine manufacturer representative on the working group stated that vaccine manufactures did not support extending VICP coverage to adult-only vaccines, due to a potential risk of “certain groups” weakening the 1986 law’s liability protections if legal changes to the law were pursued.

Adults Targeted for More Vaccination

The implementation of the federal National Adult Immunization Plan (NAIP), which was authored by the NVAC and contains strategies to increase adult vaccination, was also discussed during the NVAC’s February 2, 2015 meeting.

Adults targeted for more vaccinesSince its introduction in 2002,10 the federally recommended adult vaccine schedule has expanded from 53 doses of 9 vaccines to 61 doses of 12 vaccines in 2016,11 a schedule approved by the Advisory Committee on Childhood Immunization Practices (ACIP) at their October 16, 2015 meeting. These numbers assume that by the time you have become an adult at age 19, you have stayed up to date with the CDC’s recommended childhood vaccine schedule and have received 69 doses of 16 vaccines by 18 years of age, and will continue to get all government recommended vaccines at least until 65 years old.

As I reported in March 2015,12 the NAIP cites adults as being delinquent vaccinators and describes detailed strategies for securing increased adult vaccine uptake. These strategies include close monitoring of adult vaccination status in state vaccine registries, incentivizing vaccine providers with rewards and sanctions, and conducting outreach efforts to churches, employers and other community organizations.

Americans can expect to be hearing a lot more about adult vaccines this year, now that the NAIP has officially been launched.

Zika Vaccine Built on Ebola Vaccine Lessons Learned

Recent concerns about the suspected mosquito-borne Zika virus became a focus in a recent NVAC meeting due to a possible link between an increased in cases of congenital microcephaly (small heads) in infants in Brazil, where an outbreak of Zika virus infections was recorded the previous year. The World Health Organization declared a public emergency on February 1st, despite a lack of scientific evidence proving a link between microcephaly and Zika infections during pregnancy.

Zika vaccineDuring this February meeting, the NVAC was updated by the CDC and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) on the Zika virus and Zika vaccines currently being developed for fast tracked licensure. While CDC characterized U.S. risk from Zika as low, the move to develop a vaccine was explained as a better “safe than sorry” move, based in part on criticism of the federal vaccine response during the Ebola outbreak in Africa that dominated headlines during 2014. However, absent from Zika presentations was information on other possible environmental factors, such as pesticides, that may have a role in contributing to the rise in reported cases of microcephaly.13

HPV Vaccine Uptake Remains Low

The NVAC and ACIP have been perseverating over low HPV vaccine uptake in children for several years,14 and the ACIP will be presented with data during their February 24th meeting on HPV vaccine trials underway to investigate reducing the number of recommended doses of HPV 9 valent vaccine from a three dose series to a two dose series. Federal officials are hoping that a reduction in the number of doses in the HPV series with no difference in efficacy data would result in higher uptake of HPV vaccine among children.

HPV vaccine uptake discussions invariably happen without acknowledgment of the CDC’s 2004 report to Congress, 15 which clearly stated that the majority of HPV infections “cause no clinical problems and go away on their own without treatment”. This report cited pap screening as highly effective in decreasing the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer, while contributing to a 90 percent cervical cancer survival rate. Though this vaccine has been marketed as an anti-cancer vaccine, the CDC’s HPV Fact Sheet 16 states that “there is no way to know which people who have HPV will develop cancer or other health problems.” Given these facts, it is difficult to understand how any reduction in HPV related cancers can be measured and/or attributed to the vaccine, regardless of the number of doses.

NVAC Lays State Mandate Groundwork

Over the past six years of monitoring the NVAC, what I find striking is that for a federal committee with no statutory authority, NVAC recommendations are quickly showing up in strong support of proposed state legislation that will repeal or restrict vaccine exemptions, require parent “re-education,” and institute vaccine tracking registries.

Now, more than ever before, it is critical that you engage with your legislators to prevent the destruction of informed consent protections in vaccine laws. Not only must you engage with your elected officials, you must have the courage to speak to your friends and family, because these attempts to destroy the right to exercise informed consent to medical risk-taking impacts everyone. Register on NVIC’s Advocacy Portal to stay up-to-date on legislation that will take away medical freedom in your state and steps you can take to protect it.

To learn more about federal vaccine advisory committees and to read NVIC’s oral and written public comments to these committees, please visit our Vaccine Advisory Committee webpage. NVIC encourages everyone to listen and considering participating in federal vaccine advisory committee public comment opportunities.

References


3 National Institutes of Health. NINDS Guillain-Barré Syndrome Information Page. 

4 Federal Register Notice. National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: Revisions to the Vaccine Injury Table. 07/29/2015. 

5 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (42 U.S.C. §§ 300aa-1 to 300aa-34)

6 Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule – United States 2002-2003. Centers for Disease Control Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Oct. 11, 2002

9 Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines. MIWG Response to Secretary on Compensability of In Utero Injuries from Covered Vaccines. Dec. 3, 2015.

10 Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule – United States 2002-2003. Centers for Disease Control Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Oct. 11, 2002

13  Caceres, M. Jumping the Gun on the Zika-Microcephaly Connection. The Vacine Reaction. Jan. 25, 2016

15 Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Report to Congress: Prevention of Genital Human Papillomavirus Infection. Jan. 2004. Accessed 5 Aug. 2013.

16 CDC. Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Genital Infection Fact Sheet. Access Feb. 18, 2016.


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Posted: 1/27/2016 1:17:46 AM | with 67 comments

"If the state can tag, track down and force individuals to be injected with biologicals of known and unknown toxicity today, then there will be no limit on which individual freedoms the state can take away in the name of the greater good tomorrow."
- Barbara Loe Fisher

Jan 28th Update: NVIC thanks the many Virginians who contacted their legislators in response to this call to action. During the committee hearing today, the bill sponsors requested that the bill be stricken from the 2016 legislative session. If you are a resident of Virginia, go to NVIC's Advocacy Portal and register to stay up to date on any new developments on this bill, including whether it will be referred to another committee or a commission for study before being reintroduced. If you have not yet contacted your legislators in Virginia, please continue your efforts to contact them and educate them. Ask them to oppose any attempted amendment to any bill that restricts or eliminates vaccine exemptions.

Jan 27th Breaking News: A public hearing on this bill (HB1342) has been just scheduled by the House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee (Subcommittee #2) for tomorrow, Jan. 28, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. to about noon in the State Capitol General Assembly Building, Room D, 1000 Bank St (entrance North 9th St. and East Broad St. – first floor), Richmond, VA. Public testimony (3 minutes) is allowed. 

forced vaccinationThe most oppressive forced vaccination bill introduced in any state is being sponsored by an attorney and co-sponsored by an obstetrician for the purpose of eliminating the religious belief vaccine exemption for all children attending daycare and schools in the state, including homeschooled children. The bill (HB1342) would additionally prohibit state licensed doctors and nurse practitioners from exercising professional judgment and delaying administration of or granting a child a medical exemption that does not conform with narrow federal vaccine contraindication guidelines.

31 Doses of 12 Federally Recommended Vaccines, No Exemptions

Current Virginia law requires minor children attending public or private day care centers or schools, as well as homeschooled children, to receive up to 31 doses of 12 federally recommended vaccines administered according to the CDC childhood vaccine schedule unless despair.jpgparents submit (1) a statement from a state licensed physician or nurse practitioner that one or more required vaccines would be detrimental to the health of the child or (2) a signed affidavit from the parent that one or more of the required vaccines conflicts with religious tenets or practices.

In order to grant a child a medical vaccine exemption, HB1342 would force doctors and nurse practitioners to adhere to narrow federal vaccine contraindications that exclude 99.99 percent of children from vaccine exemptions, and it would force parents to violate their conscience by denying a religious belief vaccine exemption, including in cases where a child has already suffered a vaccine reaction, has been disabled or has a sibling who has been injured or died after being vaccinated.

Only 1 percent of VA Children Have Vaccine Exemptions Now

The Bill of Rights of the Virginia Constitution, as well the Virginia 1786 Act for Religious Freedom, the Virginia 2007 Religious Freedom Act and the Virginia 2013 Parental Rights Act contain strong language protecting the exercise of freedom of conscience, religious beliefs and parental rights. According to the CDC, Virginia ranks in the top third of states with high kindergarten vaccination rates for DTaP, MMR and varicella zoster shots and only 1.1% of children have medical or religious vaccine exemptions.

Bill Could Become Law Within Six Weeks

Act Now!The bill was introduced on Jan. 21 and was immediately referred to the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee. It could become law within six weeks. If you are a Virginia resident and want to protect vaccine exemptions, immediately go to the NVIC Advocacy Portal and become a registered Portal user and read the full Virginia Action Alert on HB1342, and find out how to take action today. You will also be able to stay up to date on the bill’s status and what you can do each step of the way. The Portal will put you in immediate electronic contact with your own Virginia state legislators and the Governor so you can make your voice heard. 

Read and download a referenced NVIC Briefing Paper on Virginia HB 1342 


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