by Barbara Loe Fisher
On June 13, 2012, a study conducted by government health employees working at the Oregon Health Authority and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was published in Pediatrics
, a medical journal owned by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).1
Government Tracking Systems Identify Oregon Parents
Using electronic vaccine records tracking systems, public health doctors concluded that about 10 percent of parents living in Portland, Oregon are making independent decisions about how many vaccines their babies should get and when they should get them. Those parents are rejecting the CDC’s aggressive vaccination schedule2 promoted by the AAP that directs pediatricians to give two to six month old babies between seven to nine vaccines on the same day –no exceptions.
Doctors Demonize Parents Making Informed Vaccine Decisions
Public health doctors are slapping the label of “shot limiters” on parents giving their babies fewer vaccines. It has become fashionable in medical journals and media circles3 to demonize these parents, who engage in critical thinking about vaccination and follow their conscience instead of saluting smartly and doing what doctors tell them to do – no questions asked.
Can an attack on the legal right for Oregon parents to exercise religious exemption to vaccination be far behind?4
FDA Licenses New Combo Vaccine For Babies
Ironically, on June 14, the FDA awarded GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) a license to sell MenHibrix, a new vaccine that combines two meningitis vaccines into one shot.56 The FDA had rejected the license in 2010 and 2011 because, reportedly, the British drug company giant was having trouble proving the vaccine actually worked.7
FDA Advisory Committee Cut Out of Licensing Process
This time, FDA staff did not bother to ask for an opinion from the agency’s own vaccine advisory committee before giving GSK the green light to market MenHibrix in the U.S. for babies as young as six weeks old. In a letter, FDA official Marion Gruber, PhD, told the company that “We did not refer your application to an additional VRBPAC review because our review of information submitted in your BLA, including the clinical study design and trial results, did not raise particular concerns or controversial issues which would have benefited from an advisory committee discussion.”8
Really? Sounds like some FDA officials didn’t want Advisory Committee members to ask the drug company lots of questions about this new vaccine, just like CDC and AAP officials don’t want parents to ask lots of questions about ANY vaccine.
Nine or Ten Vaccines On One Day: Where’s the Science?
MenHibrix has not yet been studied in combination with every one of the other vaccines already given to babies simultaneously.9 But that is not likely to stop pediatricians from assuming safety and throwing MenHibrix into the mix - for a grand total of nine or ten vaccines given to tiny babies on the same day.10
Even premature babies weighing less than four and a half pounds are subjected to the mindless one-size-fits all “no exceptions” vaccine schedule.1112 Where is the solid scientific evidence that it is safe or effective to give eight or nine vaccines to an eight or nine pound newborn?
Where is the solid evidence that babies, who get more than two-dozen doses of vaccines by age six months, are healthier as they grow up than those, who get fewer vaccines or fewer vaccines on one day? No large, prospective studies have been done comparing the long-term health outcomes of children, who are vaccinated according to the CDC schedule, with those, who are not.13
It is no wonder that smart parents – like the ones in Oregon - are challenging the wisdom of the bloated and expensive vaccine schedule and are telling doctors and legislators: “Show Us the Science, and Give Us the Choice.”14
CDC Officials Might Vote in October: What Will They Do?
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has not yet voted on what to tell pediatricians to do with MenHibrix. That vote is rumored to be taking place in October.15
Will government health officials do the right thing and make this an optional vaccine? Or will they give another big pharmaceutical corporation a guaranteed, liability free market by adding four doses of an expensive new vaccine to the child vaccine schedule so parents can be forced to buy it and give it to their newborns – no questions asked and no choices allowed?
Parents are watching. Stay tuned.
(References at bottom of webpage)
Today, Wed., June 27, 2012 at 1:30 p.m., a public hearing on AB2109 is scheduled in the California Senate Health Committee in the John L. Burton Hearing Room (4203) at the California State Capitol, 1301 10th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.
This bill will force parents, who are filing a personal belief exemption to vaccination for religious or conscientiously held beliefs, to consult and ask a medical doctor or other designated health care provider to sign the vaccine exemption form so their child can attend school. The text of the most current version of AB2109 is posted here
, the committee hearing agenda is posted here
, and hearing proceedings can be heard here
NVIC vaccine choice advocates will attend the hearing. This week, NVIC Director of Advocacy, Dawn Richardson, issued an Action Alert to California users of the NVIC Advocacy Portal and urged everyone to come to the hearing and give oral testimony, submit written testimony or register in opposition to the bill. She said:
“If parents are unable to comply with the requirement in AB2109 to have a health care practitioner meet with them and sign their exemption form, their child cannot go to school! This can lead to truancy charges and a lapse in the child’s education. There are many valid reasons why families, who use the personal belief exemption, may not be able to comply with this burdensome and expensive proposed mandate.”
If you are a California resident and are not already a user of the free, online NVIC Advocacy Portal, register now at http://NVICAdvocacy.org
. You will get added to the California Action Alert email list and tips on how to educate your legislators about why you care about the freedom to make vaccine choices. Help fight this important fight to protect parental rights and health choices in California!
References for NVIC Vaccine News Break