These are desperate times for those denying vaccine risks. We know it because we are witnessing so many acts of desperation being committed by doctors determined to shut down the public conversation about vaccination and health. Vaccine risk deniers are working overtime to restrict public access to information, cover up vaccine injuries and deaths and violate the human right to informed consent to medical risk-taking.
No Flu Shots? No Employment.
2013 was only a few days old when public health agencies and medical trade groups called for veteran nurses and other health care workers to be fired for refusing to obey orders to get annual flu shots – no exceptions and no questions asked. 1 It did not matter that the risky and notoriously ineffective influenza vaccine turned out to be almost useless in preventing infection with the most prevalent influenza strains circulating in the U.S. this year. 2
Proposed State Legislation to Force Vaccine Use
This was followed by the introduction of legislation backed by public health officials and Pharma-funded medical trade groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics in states like Texas, Oregon, Arizona and Vermont. 3 Their goal is to remove or restrict non-medical vaccine exemptions in state laws so doctors have more power to force vaccine use by children and adults - no questions asked and no exceptions.
Institute of Medicine Report: Where Is the Good Vaccine Science?
In mid-January came the eye-opening Institute of Medicine committee report acknowledging that only 37 scientific studies have examined the safety of the current U.S. vaccine schedule for newborns and children under age six,4 which now totals a stunning 49 doses of 14 vaccines 5 compared to 23 doses of 7 vaccines recommended in 1983. 6 The lack of enough good scientific studies meant the committee could not determine whether the numbers of doses and timing of government recommended vaccinations is - or is not - associated with development of chronic health problems like seizures, autoimmunity, allergies, learning disabilities and autism in the first six years of life. 7
New U.S. Autism Prevalence Statistic: 1 Child in 50
In March, a report was issued by the National Center for Health Statistics estimating that among children attending school in America, today 1 child in 50 has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). 8 In 2004, that number was 1 child in 150. In 1992, it was 1 child in 500 and in 1986 it was 1 child in 2000. 9
By April, which is Autism Awareness Month in the U.S., there was a full court press by doctors inside and outside of government to dismiss any association whatsoever between steep increases in the numbers of vaccinations given to children during the past 30 years and corresponding steep increases in the numbers of children developing autism. Those doctors know, but a lot of young parents today don’t know, that the public conversation about vaccine-induced brain inflammation and chronic brain and immune system dysfunction, including autism, began 16 years before a study was published in The Lancet in 1998 examining the potential association between MMR vaccine and autism. 10 11
CDC Study Fails to Confirm Offit’s Claim 10,000 Vaccines Safe for Babies
On Good Friday, April 1, during Easter and Passover observances, a study conducted and funded by the Centers for Disease Control was released by the Journal of Pediatrics declaring that “increasing exposure to antibody stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines is not associated with risk of autism” and, therefore, vaccines don’t cause autism. 12 It was a pathetic attempt to validate a Machiavellian hypothesis forwarded in 2002 by pediatric vaccine developer Paul Offit claiming that an infant could safely respond to 10,000 vaccines given at any one time. 13
However, an eighth grade science class student with an elementary understanding of health research methods, 14 the bioactivity of various vaccine ingredients 15 16 17 18 and the difference between naturally acquired and vaccine acquired immunity, 19 could figure out that the absence of an unvaccinated control group meant the study was fatally flawed. It proved absolutely nothing about the potential relationship between administration of multiple vaccinations in early childhood and the development of autism among genetically diverse children with and without increased biological susceptibility to adverse responses to vaccination. 20
Pediatricians Label Social Networking Parents “Nonconformers”
On April 15, Pediatric News published an online survey stating the obvious: a person’s knowledge, values and beliefs, as well as the opinions of friends and families in social networks, strongly influences decisions about vaccination. 21 Parents, who expressed doubts about vaccine safety and used alternative vaccine schedules for their children, were pejoratively labeled as “nonconformers.
Pediatricians commenting on the survey suggested that nonconforming parents did not base their vaccine decisions on “rational logic” and “scientific evidence” because they were influenced by non-conforming friends and misleading information on nonconforming websites. 22 Apparently, there was no consideration given to the fact that nonconforming parents found the poor science and empty rhetoric buttressing one-size-fits-all vaccine policies entirely unconvincing. 23
Journalist & Magazine Attacked for Article Questioning Gardasil Safety
April was also the month that a veteran journalist and radio show host was personally attacked by pediatricians and public health officials in Buffalo, New York for daring to write an article questioning the safety of Gardasil vaccine and urging parents to make informed vaccine choices. 24 Outraged doctors threatened to financially ruin the magazine that published the article by destroying the magazine’s paid advertising base unless the article was retracted. 25
Offit Plays Class & Race Card to Demonize Smart Nonconforming Parents
By the end of April, a CNN reporter quoted doctors blaming outbreaks of whooping cough, measles and mumps on unvaccinated people in developed nations, who spread their vaccine safety doubts on the Internet and jeopardize the health of people around the world. 26 Crassly playing both the class AND race card, the magical thinking, attention seeking Dr. Offit offered the opinion that “It is the upper middle class, well-educated Caucasian parents who are shunning vaccines. They have generally gone to graduate school, are in positions of management and are used to being in control,” he said flatly.
Doctors playing the blame game apparently disagree about whether nonconforming parents asking questions about vaccines are simply stupid and irrational or are just over-educated, rich white folks refusing to acknowledge the intellectual superiority and infallibility of those with M.D., PhD or MPH written after their names regardless of the color of their skin or how much money they make.
Doctors like Offit, 27 Halsey, 28 29 30 Plotkin, 31 32 Omer 33 34 35 36 and others denying vaccine risks are blaming everyone but themselves for the miserable statistic that 1 child in 50 in America develops a type of brain and immune dysfunction labeled autism when it used to be 1 child in 2000 before they dumped three times as many vaccinations on babies.
Regression Into Poor Health After Vaccination: A Universal Experience
What doctors drowning in denialism 37 refuse to accept is that, today, everybody knows somebody who was healthy, got vaccinated and was never healthy again. 38That pattern of regression into poor health, 39 that universal experience of suffering after use of a pharmaceutical product that has a long, well documented history of risks 40 41 42 and failures, 4344 is why the public conversation about health and vaccination in the 21st century must and will continue. It will continue until doctors, who are pushing more and more vaccines on children and adults already more highly vaccinated and sicker than ever, come up with a much better explanation than it’s “bad genes,” “better diagnosing” or all “a coincidence.”
Vaccine Makers and Doctors Shielded from Liability Have Ethical Duty
In the U.S., vaccine manufacturers are shielded from product liability in civil court and doctors promoting and administering vaccines are also shielded from vaccine injury lawsuits. 45 46 Doctors without legal accountability have an even greater ethical duty to encourage patients and parents of minor children to become educated about all risks and honor the vaccination decisions patients or parents make, even if the doctor does not personally agree with the decision made. 47 48
Freedom of thought, speech and conscience are deeply valued and constitutionally protected rights in America. 49 The public trust in the integrity of public health policies is destroyed when defensive doctors unwilling to share decision-making power fail to respect the human right to informed consent to medical risk taking and behave like schoolyard bullies instead of compassionate healers committed to, first, doing no harm.
1 Fisher BL. Women, Vaccines & Bodily Integrity. NVIC Vaccine Newsletter Jan. 14, 2013.
2 Centers for Disease Control. What You Should Know for the 2012-2013 Flu Season: Can I Get Vaccinated and Still Get the Flu?
3 LaVigne P. New State Vaccine Bills Threaten Vaccine Choices. NVIC Vaccine Newsletter Apr. 22, 2013.
4 Institute of Medicine Committee on the Assessment of Studies of Health Outcomes Related to the Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule.
The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence and Future Studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press 2013.
5 Centers for Disease Control. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Recommended Immunization Schedule for Persons Aged 0 Through 18 Years – United States, 2013. MMWR 2013; 62(01): 2-8.
6 Centers for Disease Control. Recommended schedule for active immunization of normal infants and children 1983.
7 Businesswire. National Vaccine Information Center Supports Three of Five Recommendations of New IOM Report on US Childhood Immunization Schedule Safety and Calls for Transparency. NVIC Jan. 16, 2003 Press Release.
8 Blumberg SJ, Bramlette MD, Kogan MD et al. Changes in Prevalence of Parent-reported Autism Spectrum Disorder in School-aged U.S. Children: 2007 to 2011-2013. National Health Statistics Reports 2013; 65: 1-11.
9 Newschaffer CJ, Falb MD, Gurney JG. Autism Prevalence Trends from United States Autism Special Education Data. Pediatrics 2005; 115(3).
10 Coulter HL, Fisher BL. DPT: A Shot in the Dark. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1985 (Warner 1986, Avery 1991, Penguin - current).
11 Institute of Medicine Vaccine Safety Committee. Appendix B: A Brief Chronology of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccine (1982) Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines. Washington, D.C: The National Academies Press 1991.
12 DeStefano F, Price CS, Weintraub ES. Increasing Exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides in Vaccines Is Not Associated with Risk of Autism. Journal of Pediatrics. Published online April 1, 2013.
13 Offit PA, Quarles J, Gerber MA et al. Addressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Multiple Vaccines Overwhelm or Weaken the Infant’s Immune System?Pediatrics 2002; 109(1): 124-129.
14 Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library. Study Design 101: Case Control Study. November 2011.
15 Centers for Disease Control. Vaccine Excipient and Media Summary. February 2012.
16 Sato H, Ito A, Chiba J. Monoclonal Antibody Against Pertussis Toxin: Effects on Toxin Activity and Pertussis Infections. Infection and Immunity 1984; 46(2): 422-428.
17 Tomljenovic L, Shaw CA. Mechanisms of aluminum adjuvant toxicity and autoimmunity in pediatric populations. Lupus 2012; 2(21).
18 Santucci B, Cannistraci C, Cristaudo A et al. Thimerosal posivities: The role of SH groups and divalent ions. Contact Dermatitis 1998; 39(3): 123-126.
19 The Free Dictionary. Acquired Immunity.
20 Institute of Medicine Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines. Adverse Effects of Vaccines Evidence and Causality. Increased Susceptibility (page 82). Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press 2012.
21 Brunson EK. The Impact of Social Networks on Parents’ Vaccination Decisions. Pediatrics published online April 15, 2013.
22 Rajaraman M. Social networks play a key role in parents’ vaccination decisions. Pediatric News April 15, 2013.
23 Fisher BL. The Safety of the Childhood Vaccine Schedule: A Public Perspective Institute of Medicine Committee on the Assessment of Studies of Health Outcomes Related to the Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule Feb. 9, 2012 meeting.
24 Tokasz J. Column critical of vaccine for teen HPV stirs outrage. The Buffalo News Apr. 11, 2013.
25 O’Connor L. Writer Defends Column Critical of Gardasil Vaccine. “Parent Talk” radio interview with Barbara Loe Fisher on risk of HPV and Gardasil and informed consent rights of parents. The Breeze (FM102.9 & AM1230). April 13, 2013.
26 McCafferty G. Vaccines shunned by some as others struggle for access. CNN Apr. 26, 2013.
27 Fagone J. Will this Doctor Hurt Your Baby? Philadelphia Magazine June 2009.
28 NBC-TV. Debate with Neal Halsey, M.D. and Barbara Loe Fisher moderated by Matt Lauer on vaccine safety, chronic disease increases and informed consent. Today Show March 1997.
29 O’Reilly KB. Time to get tough? States increasingly offer ways to opt out of vaccine mandates. American Medical News Sept. 8, 2008.
30 Salmon DA, Halsey NA. Keeping the M in Medical Exemptions: Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Children. J Infect Dis Aug. 29, 2012 (published online).
3131 Plotkin S, Orenstein WA, Offit PA, editors. Vaccines, 6th Edition. Saunders Elsevier Inc. 2012.
32 Plotkin S. History of Vaccines: A New Website by the Oldest Medical Society in the U.S. Shots of Prevention.com Nov. 3, 2010.
33 Omer SB, Pan WK, Halsey NA et al. Nonmedical exemptions to school immunization requirements: secular trends and association of state policies with pertussis incidence. JAMA 2006; 296: 1757-1763.
34 Salmon DA, Omer SB. Individual freedoms versus collective responsibility: immunization decision-making in the face of competing values. Emerging Themes in Epid 2006; 3: 13-15.
35 Omer SB, Salmon DA, Orenstein WA, deHart PM, Halsey N. Vaccine Refusal, Mandatory Immunization and the Risks of Vaccine Preventable Diseases. N Engl J Med 2009; 360(19): 1981-1988.
36 Stadlin S, Bednarczyk RA, Omer SB. Medical Exemptions to School Immunization Requirements in the United States – Association of State Policies with Medical Exemption Rates (2004-2011). J Infect Dis Aug. 29, 2012 (published online).
37 Diethelm P, McKee M. Denialism: What is it and how should scientists respond? Eur J Public Health 2009; 19(1): 2-4.
38NVIC.org. Vaccine Freedom Wall.
39 MedAlerts.org. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) searchable database.
40 Institute of Medicine Vaccine Safety Committee. Adverse Events Association with Childhood Vaccines: Evidence Bearing on Causality. Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press 1994.
41 Institute of Medicine. DPT Vaccine and Chronic Nervous System Dysfunction: A New Analysis. Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press 1994.
42 Health Resources Services Administration. National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Statistics Report.
43 He Q, Vijanen MK et al. Whooping Cough Caused by Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella parapertussis in an Immunized Population. JAMA 1998; 280: 635-637.
44 Dayan GH, Rubin S, Plotkin S. Mumps Outbreak in Vaccinated Populations: Are Available Mumps Vaccines Effective Enough to Prevent Outbreaks?Clin Infect Dis 2008; 47(11): 1458-1467.
45 Businesswire. National Vaccine Information Center Cites ‘Betrayal’ of Consumers by U.S. Supreme Court Giving Total Liability Shield to Big Pharma. NVIC Press Release Feb. 23, 2011
46 Evans G. National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act: Revision of the Vaccine Injury Table. Pediatrics 1995; 98(6): 1179-1181.
47 University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine. Informed Consent.
48 American Medical Association. Informed Consent.
49 American Library Association. Quotations: First Amendment, Censorship and the Freedom to Read.
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