Barbara Loe Fisher Testimony

April 21, 2010
Updated January 26, 2022

Public Oversight Hearing by Committee on Health on
Proposed Fiscal Year 2011 Budget for Dept. of Health
Council of the District of Columbia
John A. Wilson Building, Washington, D.C.
April 21, 2010

Co-founder & President
National Vaccine Information Center


Chairman Catania, Council Members Barry and Alexander and Members of the Committee:

My name is Barbara Loe Fisher. I am co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a non-profit founded in 1982 to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and defend the informed consent ethic. We have members in every state and in the District of Columbia.

Today, parents of young girls living in the District are required to submit written certification that their sixth grade daughters have gotten three doses of HPV vaccine as mandated under the Human Papillomavirus Vaccination and Reporting Act of 2007.

Reactions to HPV vaccinations reported to the National Vaccine Information Center at and to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System include sudden collapse, brain inflammation, seizures, paralysis, joint pain, muscle weakness, hair loss, stroke, cardiac arrest, blood clots, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and death. Even though fewer than 10 percent of serious health problems following vaccination are ever reported, by March 16, 2010, there have been about 18,000 HPV vaccine adverse event reports made to the government, including 57 deaths; about 7,700 emergency room visits, 1,800 hospitalizations and 3,700 cases where there was no recovery.  

Government HPV vaccine surveillance data is seriously compromised by the fact that the majority of all reports are submitted by drug companies making and selling HPV vaccine and nearly 90 percent of these reports are of such poor quality, they cannot be properly reviewed or followed up by federal health officials. 5

The National Vaccine Information Center supports funding for a strong HPV educational program in the 2011 DC budget. It is easy to produce concise, cost effective vaccine information, similar to the information cards that our non-profit organization has published, to help families make informed vaccine decisions.

Vaccines are pharmaceutical products that carry risks, which can be greater for some than others. When you or your child suffers a vaccine reaction, the risks are 100 percent.

Please don’t leave Washington, DC parents and girls in the dark. Please use the $150,000 appropriated in the 2007 law to produce accurate information about HPV and HPV vaccines and hold well publicized meetings in every ward to make citizens aware about how to recognize and report HPV vaccine reactions and how to opt-out of the HPV vaccine requirement if that is their choice.

Thank you.

Rosenthanl S, Chen R. The reporting sensitivities of two passive surveillance systems for vaccine adverse events. Am J Public Health 1995; 85:1708-9.

Braun M. Vaccine adverse event reporting System (VAERS): usefulness and limitations. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health.

Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. The clinical impact of adverse event reporting. MedWatch. October 1996.

MedAlerts: Online Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) searchable database at

5 Slade BA, Leidel L, Vellozzi C et al. Postlicensure Safety Surveillance for Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Recombinant Vaccine. JAMA 2009; 302(7): 750-75.

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