by Theresa Wrangham, NVIC Executive Director
The holiday season is already upon us and our “to do” lists are getting longer but I wanted to take time to share some of NVIC’s 2011 achievements with you before the year ends. Everything we accomplished this year would not have been possible without the generosity of caring people like you.
There are many worthy charities asking you to make a donation before the end of the year. Please know that your tax-deductible gift to NVIC will make a big difference in the lives of others. Here are a few of the letters we received from those we helped this year and I hope their words warm your heart as much as they did mine:
“I received the DT vaccine in the afternoon, next day I woke up with a colossal headache which turned into bone pain. After a week of that, numbness started up my arms and legs. My doctor denied the vaccine was responsible, denied again after the bone pain started, finally admitted after checking out my leg numbness and weakness that the vaccine might be responsible. My doctor would not make a report to VAERS. NVIC was very supportive, even called me long distance. Helped me make the report to VAERS. A neurologist, who was not able to get a response to tapping my knees with the hammer, came up with the diagnoses that I was allergic to the Tetanus vaccine. I was sent home with the instruction to come back if I didn't get better. What a joke. I felt the medical system completely let me down, without an ounce of help. I want to thank NVIC for the help they provided to me while going through the adverse reaction to the DT vaccine. Please don't stop the work you do!” - A vaccine injured adult healing in Ohio
“Thank you for all the work and knowledge you provide to the autism spectrum community. My prayer is that many more children will exponentially benefit from organizations like yours over this next year. We are so grateful for the recovery of our son. The future that would be laid out for him without organizations like yours that followed their hearts is hard to imagine. We are grateful and hope that this support in some way takes another child to the place where they can know their full potential.” – Thankful parent donors in Georgia
“I live in New Jersey and would like to thank you for sending me this email Alert. The Advocacy Portal made it very simple for me to contact my representatives. I let them know I will continue to vote out of office anyone who opposes providing all taxpayers with the same equal right to make informed healthcare choices.” – An empowered user of the NVIC Advocacy Portal
“Thank you so much for all that you do. Your video commentary message is so factual and needed. I have sent to all that I know and I pray they watch it and consider it in their heart. I am a nurse and I can tell you that we are taught to strongly encourage all parents to follow the rules. But know this, most of us do NOT even know what is in a vaccine and we have been conditioned to believe it is the best for you and your child. We need all of you to stand up with courage to our pressure and educate us on the truth. You would be surprised at the impact you can make when you come into our office armed with knowledge, research, confidence, patience and more professionalism than most of us. Do not back down.” – A nurse posting on an NVIC.org commentary
“Who is protecting our rights to protect our own children? Thank you for going against the grain, fighting for our rights, and receiving the backlash of the harm that comes to you as individuals mauled by big money's greed. Please keep being a voice.” - A grateful NVIC supporter
I also wanted to share with you some of our accomplishments as we continue to meet public demand for vaccine information and support.
- 350,000 new visitors and 1 million page views.
- Re-designed homepage with enhanced navigation and new, referenced content for seasonal influenza, meningococcal, anthrax, chickenpox, shingles, diphtheria and Ask 8 If You Vaccinate.
- Upgrades to the Vaccine Ingredient Calculator (VIC), which attracted over 38,000 new visitors from 133 nations;
- Expanded search features on the MedAlerts database, making it easier to research vaccine reaction reports made to the federal government.
- Significant increases in reports posted on the Memorial to Vaccine Victims and Vaccine Freedom Wall. More than HALF of the 243 harassment reports posted on the Vaccine Freedom Wall were made in 2011!
- Investigate Gardasil Risks Now! Petition has more than 16,000 signatures with descriptions of Gardasil vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths added every week.
- State Vaccine Choice Advocacy
- Over 15,000 subscribers from all 50 states are using NVIC’s free online NVIC Advocacy Portal and are working to protect and expand vaccine exemptions in state public health laws.
- In 2011, 17 volunteer state directors were trained; over 50 bills in 25 states that affect vaccine exemptions were tracked; assistance was provided to citizens filing bills for conscientious or philosophical exemptions in six states; more than 70 bill status announcements and Action Alerts were issued to Portal users in 18 states responding to attacks on vaccine exemptions led by the Pharma/Medical lobby.
Public Education Programs
- Internet-based educational outreach programs brought over 37 million new visitors to NVIC’s Facebook page, which now has more than 30,000 fans. The NVICLoeDown Twitter site and Facebook page each made nearly 3,000 postings. In 2011, Facebook fans and Twitter followers tripled!
- 23 referenced written and video commentaries were published in NVIC’s Vaccine E-newsletters. Video commentaries posted on You Tube attracted more than 277,000 new visitors, and our e-newsletter subscribers doubled!
- The second annual Vaccine Awareness Week, which NVIC co-sponsored with Mercola.com, reached several million people and included an online premiere of a new award winning documentary about the vaccine debate, THE GREATER GOOD, that includes NVIC’s perspective on vaccine safety and choice.
- NVIC co-sponsored the “Vaccine Safety: Evaluating the Science Conference,” at which invited participants gave presentations on the science, policy, law and ethics of vaccination and called for more and better quality vaccine safety science.
- Six national press releases were picked up by hundreds of major news outlets around the world.
- Two national public education campaigns reached millions of people: A 15-second message about vaccine risk awareness appeared hourly on the CBS Times Square JumboTron during March and April and NVIC sponsored a three minute video about flu prevention on Delta Air Lines in-flight programming during November.
Consumer Representation -
NVIC staff and volunteers spent hundreds of hours representing consumer vaccine safety concerns by serving on federal vaccine advisory committees; offering public comment during federal advisory committee meetings; and participating in public engagement meetings on (1) expanding the use of meningococcal vaccine
; (2) testing of anthrax vaccine on children; and (3) exploring options to improve federal vaccine safety oversight
, regulation and policymaking.
Staff & Volunteers
- Two trained vaccine reaction counselors were added and our counseling staff responded to more than 1,600 phone calls, emails and reports of vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths in 2011.
- Our small staff of professionals with expertise in writing, communications and media relations; legislation and grassroots advocacy; video production; website development, and administration is now assisted by 20 volunteers, including those providing major volunteer support in the key areas of research and patient safety, government affairs, MedAlerts and the Vaccine Ingredient Calculator.
Scientific Research Program - Two scientific research projects were funded in 2011, in addition to the one funded in 2010, made possible by donations raised at NVIC’s Fourth International Public Conference on Vaccination in 2009 and from the Albert & Claire Dwoskin Family Foundation. Research is focused on gathering and analyzing information about short and long-term health outcomes for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Results will be published in the peer-reviewed literature.
As always, we strive to make every donor dollar count at NVIC. We were able to touch many lives this year because of donations from people who care, like you. We could double in 2012 the numbers of people our charity served in 2011. All we need is YOUR donation support and vote of confidence!
More Ways to Support NVIC!
NVIC relies on direct donations but there are additional ways to offer support during the holidays and throughout the year when you shop, dine-out, use your credit cards and search the Internet.
- Take Us Shopping: NVIC is a registered charity with GoodShop, a shopping and coupon portal that donates a percentage of almost every purchase from more than 2,500 stores (including Gap, Target, Staples and Macy's) to charitable non-profits. Save money at the same time you are donating to NVIC! Sign up for GoodShop today!
- Redeem Credit Card Points: Convert unused credit card points into charitable donations. Check with your credit card provider to learn more. Both American Express and Citi Card offer this program.
- Give while Searching the Internet: Use GoodSearch.com, a Yahoo!-powered search engine that donates about a penny per search to NVIC when you identify NVIC as your cause.
- Donate While Dining: GoodDining.com donates up to 6 percent of the money you spend on a meal at 10,000 restaurants across the country to designated charities and you could donate to NVIC.
Your tax deductible gift during this holiday season allows NVIC to continue in 2012 the lifesaving work we began 30 years ago - to educate consumers about diseases, vaccines, informed consent and preventing vaccine injuries and deaths.
From our family to yours, Happy Holidays and we wish you many blessings and good health in the New Year!
By Barbara Loe Fisher
During this season of remembrance and thanksgiving, I am grateful for the blessings that I have had in my life, including the hard times, when I learned that faith and hope can overcome fear and doubt. Adversity can make us stronger but it is also an opportunity to feel and offer compassion to others to ease their suffering.
In great numbers,1 Americans reach out to help victims of hurricanes,2 floods, earthquakes,3 poverty,4 violence5 and disease.6 Journalists often profile individuals, who are suffering from adversity: the earthquake survivors in Haiti;7 the victims of hate crimes;8 children living in poverty dying from starvation and neglect.9 These stories of human suffering are reminders of why we should listen to our conscience10 and act in compassionate ways to lessen the suffering of others.
The ability to have compassion for others is an antidote to cruelty, inequality, injustice, and tyranny.
Valuing Individual Life, Freedom & Compassion
America was founded by men and women immigrants, who had personally suffered oppression and adversity, and knew how important it is to treat individuals with respect and compassion. There is a ringing endorsement in the U.S. Declaration of Independence for the individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,11 and in the Constitution for the right to freedom of speech and personal religious beliefs.12 Perhaps it is that fundamental appreciation for the value of the individual, which is part of our history and culture, that has taught us to value conscience and compassion.
Vaccine Injured Not Treated with Compassion
So it is sad to see what happens in America today when babies, children and adults react to vaccines and become permanently injured or even die.13 14 15 16 When healthy people suffer complications from infectious diseases, they are treated with compassion.17 18 19 20 But when healthy people suffer complications from vaccination, often they are not treated with compassion.21 22 Many times, vaccine victims 23 24 25 are victimized all over again by those, who deny the reality of what happened 26 27 28 or use a utilitarian 29 30 31 rationale to dismiss them as acceptable losses in the War on Infectious Disease.32 33 34 35
Media Failing to Protect Vaccine Injured & Safety Advocates
In the past decade, this persecution of a growing minority of vaccine-injured citizens has been facilitated by the fourth estate,36 the free press, which has historically served as a check and balance on inequality and injustice in America.37 The vital function of a free press, ensured in the U.S. Constitution, is failing to do what it could do to protect the health and lives of the vaccine injured38 39 or defend freedom of speech for citizens calling for inclusion of vaccine safety and informed consent protections40 in public health policies and laws,41 42 43 while the chronic disease and disability epidemic destroys the health and economic stability of our nation44 45 46 47 48 and the public health community has no answers, so the band plays on.
Institute of Medicine Acknowledges Vaccine Safety Science Gaps
The Institute of Medicine issued an historic report this year that acknowledged there is not enough quality vaccine science in the medical literature to determine whether or not many of the vaccines routinely given to children and adults cause more than 100 different types of brain and immune system dysfunction.49
These are serious inflammatory brain and immune system disorders, which are part of the exploding chronic disease epidemic in America, and range from heart and blood disorders to strokes, sudden infant death syndrome, asthma, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, GBS, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes and encephalitis that can lead to seizures, learning disabilities and autism.
Institute of Medicine Acknowledges Individual Biological Susceptibility
In that historic report, the Institute of Medicine also acknowledged there are pre-existing biological susceptibilities that can make some individuals more vulnerable than others for suffering harm from vaccination, such as genetic variations; age or developmental stage at the time of vaccination; coinciding illness or other environmental exposures.50
If one-size-fits-all vaccine policies and mandates are putting an unknown number of biologically susceptible individuals at risk for injury and death, why do so few doctors care or want to do something about it?
Doctors Denying Medical Care to Families
It is disturbing to watch doctors, who we have always believed to be the most compassionate among us, coldly turn away families questioning the government policy of giving children 69 doses of 16 vaccines.51 52 Families wanting to choose or delay vaccines, are being denied medical care even if children have experienced previous vaccine reactions or have become chronically ill and disabled after vaccination and could be made sicker if more vaccines are given.53
Doctors Tell Employees: Get Vaccinated or Be Fired
It is shocking that health care professionals are being threatened by doctors running hospitals and medical facilities that, if they do not obey orders to get an annual flu shot, they will be fired 54 55 56 - even if they are pregnant; have had previous vaccine reactions or have medical conditions that could be made a lot worse if they get more vaccines.57
Doctors Strip Parents of Legal Right to Make Vaccine Decisions for Minor Children
It is hard to accept that doctors we have trusted are pressuring our elected state legislators to pass laws stripping us of the legal right to make medical risk decisions for our children so minor children can be given vaccines without a parent’s knowledge or consent.58 59
Pharma Funded Doctor Associations Attack Vaccine Safety Advocates
It is frightening to know that medical trade associations and doctors taking money from drug companies60 61 62 63 are mounting disinformation campaigns to demonize vaccine safety advocates64 and censor public access to information about health and vaccination so the American people cannot make fully informed vaccine decisions.65
Mainstream Media Facilitates Public Attacks on Advocates
And it is tragic to witness the mainstream media facilitating the public attack on vaccine victims and those calling for a move away from one-size-fits all vaccine mandates66 67 that punish individuals, who are biologically vulnerable to vaccine reactions in part because of the genes they inherited.68 69
Vaccine Makers & Doctors Giving Vaccines Shielded from Liability
In 1986, Congress passed a law acknowledging that vaccines can and do cause brain and immune system damage and that more should be done to protect individuals from vaccine injury and death.70 In that law, Congress shielded drug companies selling vaccines and doctors giving vaccines from civil lawsuits when someone is seriously injured or dies after being vaccinated.
So why are doctors, who are shielded from liability, so unwilling to treat vaccine injured children and their families with compassion or understand the need for people to have the freedom to protect themselves and their loved ones from vaccine injury?
Loss of Compassion Leads to Exploitation
When you enter the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., you see an inscription that says “The first to perish were the children…. From these a new dawn might have risen.”71
The loss of compassion and, then, freedom in any society always begins with people looking the other way when those in power justify exploiting a vulnerable minority for what they say is the benefit of the majority.
NVIC: Three Decades of Defending Informed Consent Rights
It has been 30 years since the parent co-founders of our non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center, launched the vaccine safety and informed consent movement in America. We were parents of children, for whom the risks of vaccination had been 100 percent, and we took on the mission of preventing vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and defending the human right to informed consent to medical risk-taking.
That is still our mission.
During this holiday season, please consider sending a donation – no matter how big or small - to the National Vaccine Information Center so we can continue to fight for the freedom for Americans to use every government vaccine, a few vaccines or choose other preventive health care options for staying well. You can make a tax-deductible donation online at NVIC.org.
You can also visit NVIC’s Vaccine Freedom Wall on our website and read the true stories told by Americans, whose parental and informed consent rights are being violated in schools, doctors’ offices, hospitals and state legislatures across our nation.
You can sign up to be a user of NVIC’s free online Advocacy Portal and learn how to stand up in your state for the legal right to make informed, voluntary vaccine choices.
And if you or a loved one has suffered a vaccine reaction, injury or death, please consider going to our website to share your story on NVIC’s Memorial for Vaccine Victims and make a report to the federal vaccine adverse event reporting system.
Compassionate Doctors Will Count & Minimize Vaccine Casualties
During this season of remembrance and thanksgiving, I pray that doctors developing, selling, giving and promoting the use of vaccines will stop to consider the way they are treating the vaccine injured and their families. I pray that they find it in their hearts to replace their fear, anger, doubt and prejudice with compassion and take positive steps to accurately count and minimize the numbers of vaccine casualties rather than dismissing them as a “coincidence” or unimportant.
Thank You for Your Encouragement and Support
Thank you to all who have financially supported the National Vaccine Information Center this year and throughout the past three decades. You have made it possible for us to continue this life-affirming work. We also are grateful for your cards and letters of encouragement as they help strengthen our faith and hope in the future.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and may your New Year be filled with many opportunities to celebrate life and offer compassion to those facing adversity.
Watch a video profile of a family with three generations of vaccine reactions struggling to protect their healthy children from becoming vaccine injured.
Watch a video profile of a Professor of Nursing, who suffered a reaction to a flu shot and was left paralyzed.
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10 Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Definition of conscience.
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12 U.S. History.org. First Ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution: Bill of Rights.
13 Coulter HL, Fisher BL. DPT: A Shot in the Dark. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1985.
14 NVIC. Memorial for Vaccine Victims.
15 MedAlerts.org. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System Database.
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50 Ibid. Page 70.
51 CBS Pittsburgh. Local Pediatricians Refusing to See Non-Vaccinated Patients. CBS-TV. Nov. 2, 2011.
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53 NVIC. Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall. Harassment reports.
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55 Fisher BL. Forcing Flu Shots on Health Care Workers: Who Is Next? NVIC Vaccine E-Newsletter. Sept. 29, 2010.
56 Fox Phoenix. HealthCare Group: Get a Flu Shot or Get Fired. Fox-TV. Aug. 31, 2011.
57 NVIC. Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall. Harassment reports.
58 Neale T. Calif. 12-year olds Can Get HPV Vaccine Without Parental OK. MedPage Today. Oct. 11, 2011.
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68 See Reference #45.
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70 NVIC. National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.
71 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Children’s Tile Wall.