An Inside Job: The DHHS-Funded RAND Corp. Vaccine Safety Review

Posted: 8/12/2014 10:19:06 PM | with 7 comments
The U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services (DHHS) enlisted the help of a controversial corporate-funded think tank, RAND Corporation, to conduct a “systematic review of the literature” on the safety of federally recommended vaccines. Authors of the DHHS-funded RAND review concluded that “the evidence showed that vaccines are very safe” and serious vaccine reactions are “extremely rare.” The review, which was requested and funded by the National Program Office (NVPO) in the Office of the Secretary for Health through the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) was published July 1, 2014 in Pediatrics, a journal published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
 
RAND/DHHS Vaccine “Safety” Report: Ignoring Evidence Gaps
 
An executive summary of the 750-page report prepared by RAND for AHRQ states that the report “will be used by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) to identify the gaps in evidence.” The “evidence” used to write the report extended beyond peer- reviewed studies published in the medical literature and included data sources such as “Scientific Information Packets requested from vaccine manufacturers.”  
 
No Public Transparency or Diversity: Unlike reviews of vaccine safety science funded by DHHS and conducted by Institute of Medicine (IOM) committees, whose members are drawn from a diversified pool of experts and include public workshops to ensure transparency, RAND and DHHS did not hold public workshops. Instead, they confined their vaccine safety review to information controlled by industry and government.
 
In the DHHS-funded and RAND conducted vaccine safety review, 9 out of 10 study authors were employed by RAND, which has served primarily as a Department of Defense contractor since the corporation was founded in 1948. Among RAND’s many corporate and government funders are GlaxoSmithKline, a major vaccine manufacturer, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which partners with international vaccine corporations and is one of the leading funders and promoters of global mass vaccination programs.
 
National Media Campaign Fails to Disclose Conflicts of Interest
 
During the July 1, 2014 holiday week, DHHS and RAND spearheaded a national media campaign to promote the study’s “sweeping” conclusion that federally recommended vaccines are “very safe.” What the public did not know is that the vaccine safety review was significantly influenced by federal government officials with a big stake in finding no significant vaccine safety science gaps.
 
  • Of the seven members of the Technical Expert Panel assisting with design of the federally funded study, two are high ranking DHHS officials responsible for ensuring vaccine safety; two are employed by health care maintenance corporations that partner with DHHS to provide electronic patient medical records for DHHS to conduct vaccine safety studies; and one is an academic vaccine researcher with significant DHHS funding ties;
  • Of the four peer reviewers asked to review the federally funded study, two are DHHS employees (one is a high ranking CDC official responsible for ensuring vaccine safety) and one is a Department of Veteran Affairs employee;
  • A conflict of interest disclaimer for technical experts and peer reviewers of the report stated that those individuals “must disclose any financial conflicts of interest greater than $10,000 and any other relevant business or professional conflicts of interest. Because of their unique clinical or content expertise, individuals with potential nonfinancial conflicts of interest may be retained.” 
There was an interesting analysis published in The Daily Sheeple on July 2, 2014 analyzing media “spin” around the RAND/DHHS vaccine “safety” review.  
 
Future Vaccine Safety Research: Not Really a Priority
 
In the report’s conclusion, there is more than enough evidence to conclude that federal health officials have little intention of making vaccine safety science research a priority in the future so that biological high risk factors can be identified in order to identify and spare the lives of those more susceptible to vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths:
“Careful consideration should be given to the investigation of research gaps, including patient risk factors that may be associated with adverse events; however important factors must be taken into account when determining whether studies are warranted, including the severity and frequency of the adverse event being studied and the challenges of conducting sufficiently powered studies when investigating rare events.”
 
The DHHS/RAND review of vaccine safety science does nothing to reassure educated health care consumers that vaccine reactions are rare, that most federally recommended vaccines are safe for everyone and that there is no urgent need for additional vaccine safety research to be conducted.
 
AHRQ Evidence Report/Technology Assessment: Safety of Vaccines Used for Routine Immunization in the United States.
 
 
Maglione MA, Das L, Raaen L, Smith A, Chari R, Newberry S, Shanman R, Perry T, Goetz MB, Gidengil C. Safety of Vaccines Used for Routine Immunization of US Children: A Systematic Review.  Pediatrics July 1, 2014; 134:1-13.
 
 

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Back-to-School Vaccines: Know the Risks and Failures

Posted: 8/12/2014 11:25:52 AM | with 9 comments


By Barbara Loe Fisher

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As summer comes to an end, the drumbeat promoting back-to-school vaccinations grows louder and louder in America. Unlike children in Canada and the European Union,1 2 our children must get dozens of doses of vaccines or they can’t get a public school education.3
 
No Shots, No School, No Exceptions
 
Over the past century, denial of a public school education has been used like a club by public health and medical trade officials demanding that state legislators enact “No Shots, No School, No Exceptions” vaccine laws.4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 In 1914, children had to get one dose of smallpox vaccine to go to school.13 In 2014, children entering kindergarten must get a minimum of 29 doses of 9 vaccines.14 Babies enrolled in daycare get even more vaccines.15
 
Medical Exemptions Rarely Granted
 
Parents in 48 states can file a religious or personal belief vaccine exemption but some states make those exemptions very hard to get.16 A medical exemption is allowed in all states but doctors rarely grant them to children anymore because almost all medical reasons for delaying or withholding a vaccine have been eliminated.17 18 19
 
Government and medical trade officials have narrowed medical contraindications to vaccination after Congress shielded doctors and vaccine manufacturers from vaccine injury lawsuits.20 Today, even children with severely compromised immune systems are given most vaccines.21
 
Doctors Practicing Authoritarian Medicine
 
Now that everybody is a candidate for vaccination all the time, liability free doctors have been given a green light to practice authoritarian medicine.22 23 24 Distraught parents are contacting NVIC and telling us that pediatricians are dismissing their child’s vaccine reactions as unimportant and refusing to make a report to the federal vaccine adverse events reporting system. Mothers describe how pediatricians are screaming at them if they decline a vaccination or simply ask for fewer shots to be given to their child on the same day.25
 
Recently, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics26 proclaimed publicly that he is justified in getting angry at and discriminating against parents disobeying his orders to give their children every federally recommended vaccine on schedule27 which, by the way, means 49 doses of 14 vaccines between day of birth and age 6 with 20 more doses of vaccines by age 18.28
 
Calling those parents “a public health menace” and comparing them to “substance abusers,” he refuses to treat their children. He said – QUOTE - “That person is a danger, not only to themselves but is a danger to society, a danger to other children in my practice, a danger to old people, a danger to everyone.”29
 
Pediatricians Exempt from Vaccine Injury Lawsuits
 
It is sad and frightening when doctors demonize and threaten parents making thoughtful medical risk decisions for their children. The American Academy of Pediatrics knows that vaccines carry serious risks for some children because AAP leaders successfully lobbied Congress to be exempt from vaccine injury lawsuits.30 31
 
Some People More Susceptible to Vaccine Reactions
 
But even if $3 billion dollars in federal vaccine injury compensation had not already been awarded to vaccine victims in America,32 and even if the Institute of Medicine had not published a series of reports confirming that vaccines can cause injury and death,33 34 35 36 37 everybody knows that people do not all respond the same way to pharmaceutical products38 like vaccines.
 
Each one of us is born with unique genes and a unique microbiome39 influenced by epigenetics,40 which affects how we respond to the different environments we live in. Some of us are more susceptible to vaccine complications.41 42 Public health officials have known this for a long, long time.43 44
  
Learn How to Identify Vaccine Reactions
 
With so many pediatricians denying vaccine risks and failures, it is even more important for parents to do their own research. If your child is getting back-to-school shots, you should know how to identify symptoms of a vaccine reaction. Once your child has had a vaccine reaction, revaccination may cause a more serious reaction.45 Plus, you only have two years to file a claim in the federal vaccine injury compensation program after a vaccine-related death or three years after a vaccine injury.46 47

A few of the more serious vaccine reaction symptoms are:
 
  • Convulsion or seizure symptoms include eyes fluttering and rolling back in the head; twitching, trembling, jerking, shaking or sudden rigidity of one or more parts of the body.53 54  55  56
  • High Fever between 103 and 105 degrees F. or more.48 49
  • High Pitched Screaming, also known as the encephalitic cry, is described as a shrill scream, shriek or wail that goes on for hours. Mothers often say they have never heard this type of crying before. Sometimes babies arch their backs while screaming, which can be a sign of brain inflammation.50
  • Collapse/Shock. The child may be pale, have bluish lips and suddenly go limp and appear to be unconscious.51 52
  • Excessive Sleepiness is when the child sleeps deeply without moving for hours after vaccination and does not respond to noise, touch or light and cannot be easily awakened to eat.57 58 59
  • Brain Inflammation, also called encephalitis or acute encephalopathy,has been recognized as a very serious complication of vaccination since the first vaccine for smallpox. Symptoms can include convulsions, high-pitched screaming, collapse, and hours of unconsciousness.60 61 62 63 64 65 66
  • Encephalopathy or chronic brain dysfunction can include physical and mental regression, dramatic personality and behavior changes, loss of muscle control, speech and other abilities, or the child may be unable to continue to meet developmental milestones.67 68 69 70 71
Vaccine Reactions May Take A Week or Longer to Appear
 
This is not a full list of vaccine reaction symptoms and there are other types of reactions affecting immune and brain function involving the skin,72 73 74 joints,75 76 blood77 78 and other parts of the body that can be warning signs a child may be sensitive to one or more vaccines. Some reactions develop within hours of vaccination while others, like convulsions following MMR vaccination, can take a week or more to appear.79
 
Review Vaccine Manufacturer Information & Vaccine Ingredients
 
Before vaccination, read the vaccine manufacturer’s product inserts so you are aware of the types of serious health problems reported in pre-licensure clinical trials and during post-marketing surveillance.80 Take a look at vaccine ingredients as well, because some children are allergic to antibiotics, gelatin, MSG, Thimerosal, yeast, egg protein and other vaccine ingredients.81 82
 
Vaccine Immunity Not Permanent: Pertussis Vaccine Failures
 
Parents also need to know that vaccine acquired immunity is not permanent and fully vaccinated children can still get and transmit infectious diseases.83 Vaccine failures and waning immunity is a real problem for vaccines like B. pertussis,84 85 also known as whooping cough. The FDA reported last year that vaccinated persons still can be infected with and transmit pertussis, sometimes without even showing any symptoms.86 The majority of children in many pertussis outbreaks have been vaccinated.87 88
 
Learn Symptoms of Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
 
Signs of B. pertussis whooping cough range from a low fever, loss of appetite and a mild cough to violent paroxysmal coughing with choking and vomiting of large amounts of sticky mucus for many weeks.89 Small infants can suffer brain damage or die from pertussis if they cannot clear mucus clogging their airways.90
 
Understanding vaccine risks and failures is a vital part of conscious parenting today.
 
Ask 8 Questions Before Vaccination
 
At NVIC.org: 
  • You can find well-referenced information about vaccines and diseases, including vaccine manufacturer product inserts, and a brochure that lists 8 questions you should ask yourself before your child is vaccinated;
  • You can review vaccine reaction reports made to the federal vaccine adverse events reporting system.
  • You can read testimonials on the Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall by Americans describing how they are being persecuted when they try to make informed, voluntary decisions about vaccination for themselves and their children.
  • You can signup for the free online NVIC Advocacy Portal and work to secure informed consent protections in your state’s vaccine laws. 
It is really important to find an intelligent, enlightened doctor you can trust, who treats you with respect and your child with compassion. Plan to spend at least as much time empowering yourself with information and carefully thinking about vaccines and diseases as you do when you buy a new car or a new home.
 
It’s your health.  Your family.  Your choice.
 
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