Statement on Vaccine Adverse Event Report Response Methodologies

By Barbara Loe Fisher, Co-Founder & President

National Vaccine Information Center
Institute of Medicine Vaccine Safety Forum
November 6, 1995

Once the vaccine associated adverse event has been detected, there can be no prevention unless the system responds in appropriate ways. For those of us whose children have paid the price for sometimes dangerous vaccine policies that have failed to identify and screen out high risk children, the issue of how the system has refused to appropriately respond to the reality of vaccine deaths and injuries is a very painful one.

In our view, there can be no greater responsibility on the part of doctors and public health officials than for them to fulfill their promise to care about and protect the health of all the people. We do not expect them to play politics with our lives and implement official policies that place a higher value on the life of a child who suffers from a disease than is placed on the life of a child who suffers from a vaccine reaction. And we don't expect them to lobby Congress for money to be spent on promotion of vaccination and enforcement of mandatory vaccination laws while no money is obtained or spent to detect and prevent vaccine injuries and deaths. And we don't expect them to participate in the kind of destructive action which, last year, resulted in the gutting of the federal vaccine injury compensation program which we fought so hard to provide for victims of vaccine damage.

No matter how hard you try to make parents believe it was our patriotic duty to sacrifice our children in the war on disease, you will never succeed because you have failed to respond to what happened to our children as either caring physicians or good scientists.

Because it is too late for our children, the hope that we can do something to prevent this from happening to others is all we have left. And so parents of vaccine injured children will continue to come forward and demand that public health officials respond appropriately to vaccine injuries and deaths so that other children won't have to suffer like ours have.

     We sincerely hope that this Vaccine Safety Forum will mark the end of protection of the status quo and the beginning of meaningful responses to the detection of vaccine adverse events.

  1. Make the funding of credible vaccine adverse event research a priority. There is more than enough taxpayer money being spent on vaccine development and promotion. Where are the government funded independently run studies to detect vaccine adverse events or identify high risk individuals or develop therapies to help vaccine injured individuals recover their health?
  2. Review and update FDA regulations for vaccine safety screening to reflect the state of the art in scientific technology so that vaccines are being tested for adventitious agents as well as toxicity that may be related to additives such as aluminum and formaldehyde;
  3. Create large prospective studies to evaluate the impact of multiple vaccines on the human immune system over time by comparing groups of vaccinated individuals against groups of unvaccinated individuals. Prove these vaccines are safe and effective so an Institute of Medicine committee evaluating proof of cause and effect in the medical literature doesn't have to come up with the unfortunate conclusion time and time and time again that there is not enough evidence in the medical literature to make a determination whether a vaccine does or does not cause a particular health problem.

In summary, simply be good scientists and physicians and, when there are clear indications that vaccines either singly or in combination may be causing health problems that have not yet been evaluated, don't turn away and pretend it isn't happening. Please do everything in your power to respond appropriately to protect children and adults from suffering vaccine associated death and damage. As public health officials that should be as much a part of your mission as preventing infectious disease-associated death and damage.

We will be watching you and making sure that if you don't, the public will know about it so they can take steps to protect themselves. Because that is our mission.

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