One Less? Evaluating the High Cost of GARDASIL

by Barbara Loe Fisher

To view a TV news story on the HPV Vaccine controversy, click here.

The debate about whether all young girls should routinely be vaccinated with HPV vaccine continues to be a big topic of discussion in homes and doctors' offices around the country. At the same time, reports of serious reactions to Merck's HPV vaccine, GARDASIL, continue to pile up. Last month, a young 15 year old soccer player and star athlete in Kansas almost died within three hours of being injected with GARDASIL. In September, a 12 year old Florida girl who played softball and ran cross country suddenly collapsed shortly after getting a shot of GARDASIL and became paralyzed. Twenty-eight American women, who were pregnant when they were injected with GARDASIL vaccine, have miscarried their babies.

Last year at this time, Merck was giving marching orders to lobbyists and teaming up with politicians to ram school mandates for 11 year old girls to get injected with three doses of its new and very expensive HPV Vaccine, GARDASIL. Never mind that GARDASIL had only been studied in less than 1200 girls under age 16 in pre-licensure clinical trials and was not tested for safety in combination with other vaccines like meningococcal and TdaP vaccines routinely given to pre-adolescents today.

Merck failed to make the case that the only opposition to the proposed mandates was coming from parents who did not want their pre-teen daughters to get a vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease because of religious beliefs and moral convictions. NVIC argued that, beyond the moral and parental rights issues, there was a legitimate case to be made that GARDASIL should not be mandated because of outstanding product safety issues. At the end of the day, parents across the nation made it made it clear that they did not want three doses of a poorly tested vaccine for a sexually transmitted infection that cannot be acquired in the school setting to be added to school mandates that already include dozens of doses of vaccines.

The proposed HPV vaccine mandates failed in all the states in 2007 but that did not prevent GARDASIL from becoming a blockbuster new product for Merck and it does not mean that Merck and pro-forced vaccination proponents will not try again in 2008 to get laws passed requiring its use. One Wall Street guru has predicted the $300 million Merck made this year will grow to more than $4 billion. In fact, brisk GARDASIL sales was one reason why, despite the $4.85 billion the drug maker had to pay for patients injured by painkiller Vioxx, the company turned a profit in 2007.

NVIC issued three reports in 2007 analyzing GARDASIL reaction reports being filed in the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) by nurses, doctors and patients. To date, the FDA VAERS data reveal that more than 4,000 GARDASIL adverse events have been reported to VAERS through October 2007. Descriptions of these vaccine reaction reports can be viewed and VAERS database searches made on NVIC's website.

(Click here and here to access the GARDASIL reaction reports directly)

On August 15, 2007, NVIC wrote a letter to the Centers for Disease Control accompanied by a detailed NVIC analysis of increased GBS and other serious adverse event reports in VAERS that have occurred when GARDASIL is given at the same time with meningococcal vaccine (Menactra) asking the CDC to issue an advisory to doctors and parents to be cautious when administering GARDASIL with Menactra. The CDC quickly dismissed the significance of the increased risk of injecting GARDASIL simultaneously with Menactra and refused to alert anyone to the potential increased risk.

Now a new study, which was funded by Kaiser (CDC's research partner) and authored by researchers with financial ties to vaccine manufacturers, has been published in a medical journal in a pro-active pre-damage, damage control attempt to dismiss the serious autoimmune and other negative health outcomes following HPV vaccination as "a coincidence." Because teenagers and adult women can talk (while babies cannot), those who are in the business of hyping HPV vaccination for profit and power know they will have a much bigger problem covering up the brain and immune system damage that occurs when healthy girls and women are injected with HPV vaccine. Just like Merck tried to make opposition to HPV vaccine mandates all about sex, so public health officials and doctors promoting HPV vaccination are going to try to sweep HPV vaccine reactions under the carpet using the unscientific but convenient "coincidence" defense.

Lost in all the hype for young girls to be "One Less" is discussion of the basic facts about HPV infection in America :

* The majority of women clear the HPV virus from their bodies naturally but women with risk factors, such as HIV infection, smoking, long-time use of oral contraceptives, and co-infection with herpes simplex virus or chlamydia, are at higher risk for chronic HPV infection.
* Between 1955 and 1992, cervical cancer deaths in American women dropped by 74 percent due to routine pap smears.
* There are about 9,800 new cases of cervical cancer annually diagnosed in the U.S., which represents .007 percent out of the approximately 1,372,000 new cancer cases of all types diagnosed.
* There are about 3,700 deaths in mostly older American women annually attributed to HPV-related cervical cancer, which is about .006 percent of the approximately 570,000 cancer deaths that occur in the U.S.
* Most cervical pre-cancers develop slowly, so nearly all cervical cancers can be prevented with regular pap smear screening and prompt treatment.
"We already are asking our children to get more than 50 doses of vaccines by age twelve!" says the National Vaccine Information Center's Barbara Loe Fisher. If you have a daughter, there maybe one more vaccine on the list. Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia have introduced legislation requiring girls, as young as eleven, to get the vaccine that could prevent the Human Papillomavirus. "As a mother you kind of want to wrap your child in bubble wrap and just protect them from anything you can." Janet Riessman says protecting her daughter, Sage, from the virus which can cause cervical cancer was an easy decision. "For me it was all prevention." But some parents and even healthcare advocates have questions about safety. Barbara Loe Fisher tells, "It was only studied on less than 1,200 girls under the age of 16." This HPV vaccine has been on the market for little over a year. There have already been more than 4,000 reported adverse reactions and at least three people have died. The FDA and the CDC say these numbers may not tell the full story. And they claim most reactions have been minor. "The 4,000 adverse events that have been reported could be just the tip of the iceberg," says Loe Fisher. She says half of those reactions were serious enough to send girls to the emergency room. She's concerned about making the HPV vaccine mandatory." - Lesli Foster, WUSA-TV , November 28, 2007
"A Lawrence couple is furious over a new government-approved vaccine designed to prevent a type of cancer. They say it almost killed their daughter and significantly altered her life. 15-year-old Marissa Omon is an athlete. The daughter of a Nigerian soccer player she played basketball, volleyball and track, until now. Surgeons put a defibrillator inside her chest Monday night fearing her heart could stop at any moment. "HPV [vaccine] cost my daughter. It almost cost her her life," said Edem Omon. Edem Omon is convinced his healthy, athletic teenage daughter Miranda almost died because of a vaccine doctors gave her to prevent cervical cancer....Edem said he reluctantly allowed a doctor to give her the HPV vaccine. "He convinced me the drug was safe," said Edem. Less than three hours later, while practicing basketball at Free State High School, Miranda suddenly collapsed. Her heart stopped. Paramedics needed a defibrillator to revive her. Miranda was rushed to Children's Mercy where she spent several days unable to walk or talk. Doctors ran a battery of tests, CT scans, x-rays and biopsies. They could find no explanation for Miranda's sudden heart problem. They say they do not believe the HPV vaccine has anything to do with it." Larry Seward, KSHB-TV, November 13, 2007
"Christina Bell says she had seen ads for the vaccine so after consulting with her doctor she agreed to have her 12-year-old daughter, Brittany vaccinated. Two months ago the Florida girl suddenly collapsed. Her mother says Brittany used to play softball and run cross country. Now she can't feel her legs. Kelley Dougherty of Merck tells IB News that paralysis is not one of the recognized side effects of Gardasil use and is not even on the warning label." - Jane Akre,, November 14, 2007
"Since June 2006, when the HPV vaccine Gardasil was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, there have been 28 reported cases in which pregnant women miscarried after receiving the vaccine. Nonetheless, based on the clinical trials done prior to approval of the drug - which indicated that miscarriages among pregnant women given Gardasil were statistically consistent with miscarriages among women given placebos and in the general population - the FDA remains convinced the vaccine is safe and is not further investigating its effect on pregnant women. In May, a 24-year-old woman suffered a miscarriage, which an investigator in a report issued to the federal government said, "may have been caused by Gardasil because the patient received the injection within 30 days of the pregnancy." In July, a 17-year-old girl from Texas was unaware she was pregnant when she got her second dose of Gardasil. She miscarried, but the cause of the miscarriage hasn't been determined, according to a report. The reasons for two other miscarriages this year in Florida - one by a 16-year-old and another by a 24-year-old both - are undetermined, according to reports. But it is known that both women had Gardasil vaccinations shortly before the miscarriages." - Fred Lukas, CNS, December 6, 2007
"Concerns about supposed adverse effects of vaccines seem to occur regularly. Usually the evidence for the adverse effect leading to the scare derives from some case reports rather than from trials or carefully conducted comparative studies. Spontaneous reports of suspected adverse drug reactions, including those to vaccines, remain an important source of new information for monitoring the safety of medicines. However, suspicion about an event does not demonstrate causality. Many suspected adverse drug reactions are simply coincident in time with administration of the drug or vaccine. During the next few years, there will be vaccines introduced to groups of people who have not traditionally been vaccinated. Pandemic flu vaccine may be given to age groups who have not been, in large scale, recipients of vaccines. The human papilloma virus (HPV) disease burden and the outstanding efficacy profile of the novel HPV vaccines are such that these vaccines are currently being implemented or considered for implementation in many industrialized countries......We are concerned that the large-scale implementation of HPV vaccines in industrialized countries could reactivate the vaccine-safety debates linking vaccination to autoimmune diseases. This could possibly represent a major issue for the sustainability of HPV immunization programs in industrialized countries, and consequently for their implementation in developing countries where they are most needed...." - Claire-Anne Siegrist, MD et al., Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2008;26(11):979-984 (Subscription required)


Merck Recalls HIB Vaccine: Contamination Risk

by Barbara Loe Fisher

In what appears to be a pattern involving vaccine quality control production problems, on Dec. 12, 2007 Merck & Co. announced that it was recalling 13 Lots containing 1.2 million doses of HIB vaccine (PedvaxHIB and the combination COMVAX containing HIB and hepatitis B vaccines) for possible contamination with the common bacterium called Bacillus cereus (B. cereus). The microorganism makes spores that causes diarrhea and vomiting from eating contaminated foods (also known as food poisoning). Reportedly, a piece of equipment in Merck's West Point, PA manufacturing facility failed a sterility test and the bacterium was identified.

The CDC recommends that infants receive HIB vaccine at two, four and 12-15 months. The 13 lots of HIB containing vaccines began to be distributed in April 2007 and had expiration dates of 2009 and 2010. The FDA has released a list of the HIB vaccine Lot numbers.

At a 5 p.m. Dec. 12 press teleconference, CDC officials reportedly said that there is no proof the 13 Lots of HIB vaccine suspected of being contaminated are, in fact, contaminated. However, they added that if some HIB Lots are contaminated with B. cereus bacteria, then healthy children could experience skin irritation around the site of the injection and children with weakened immune systems could suffer more serious health problems within a week of vaccination In a media advisory, the CDC indicated that a transcript of the press teleconference would be made available.

This is not the first time that Merck has had a quality control problem in its vaccine manufacturing plants. In August 2001, Merck temporarily suspended operations in one of its facilities manufacturing MMR and Varicella (chicken pox) vaccines to address issues raised by FDA inspectors during a plant inspection and to make modifications to its facility. According to the 2002 GAO report, the time it took to make plant modifications and difficulties in meeting FDA manufacturing requirements contributed to shortages of MMR and varicella vaccines between the end of 2001 and summer of 2002.

Almost all of the vaccine shortages that the U.S. has experienced in the past two decades have been due to vaccine manufacturer production and government regulation compliance problems, even though vaccine patent-holders and those advocating mandatory use of all vaccines licensed for children have attempted blame vaccine injury lawsuits for vaccine shortages.

Merck, which produces about half of the 14 million doses of HIB vaccine administered to American babies, will be unable to supply HIB vaccine to the U.S. for at least nine months according to Merck officials. French pharmaceutical giant, Sanofi-Aventis, is reported to be considering ramping up production of its HIB vaccine to fill in the U.S. HIB supply gap.

In the meantime, parents who have recently gotten their infants vaccinated with HIB vaccine are left to wonder if their babies will get sick because they got a vaccine contaminated with bacteria. Only time will tell. All suspected HIB vaccine reactions should be immediately reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).

NVIC has maintained a Vaccine Reaction Registry since 1982. You can report a vaccine reaction, injury or death or to post a vaccine reaction report that will be available to the public on the International Memorial for Vaccine Victims, go to

Sticking It To Children in New Jersey

by Barbara Loe Fisher

It wasn't like any of the parents, who showed up in Trenton on Dec. 10, 2007 to witness members of the New Jersey Public Health Council vote on a new vaccine mandates proposed by state health department officials, were surprised by the thumbs-up 7-2-2 vote by political appointee members of the Council. For the past two decades every time state health department officials have pushed to require children to get another new vaccine to attend school, the new vaccine has been automatically added to state vaccine mandates under rule making authority held by state health officials and without a vote by the people. Hoping to set precedent for other states to follow suit, this time New Jersey officials are ramming through mandates that will ban babies and toddlers from daycare or pre-school without two doses of influenza vaccine and three doses of pneumococcal vaccine while sixth graders will have to show proof by Sept. 1, 2008 that they have gotten a dose of TdaP and meningococcal vaccine.

New Jersey is about to become the first state to make children get flu shots despite a lack of scientific evidence that influenza vaccine is very effective in preventing Type A or Type B influenza in children.
If NJ Health Commissioner Fred Jacobs and NJ Governor Joe Corzine approve the new requirements written by health department officials, then New Jersey will lead the nation in vaccine mandates by forcing children to get 35 doses of 13 vaccines.

Federal and state health officials refuse to publish credible scientific evidence that demonstrates it is necessary or healthy to force children to get so many vaccinations by sixth grade. They also continue to deny that the doubling of the numbers of vaccines mandated for child use over the past quarter century has contributed to the dramatic increase in chronic disease and disability among American children during that same time period. Today, 1 American child in 6 is learning disabled; 1 in 9 has asthma; 1 in 94- 150 develops autism; 1 in 450 is diabetic. New Jersey is reported to have the highest autism rate in the nation: 1 child in 94 living in New Jersey develops autism.

Sue Collins, co-founder of the New Jersey Alliance for Informed Choice in Vaccination (NJAICV at and longtime leader of a grassroots effort to institute conscientious belief exemption to vaccination in New Jersey, said that many parents oppose the new vaccine mandates: "We deserve a choice, not a mandate. It's our right to decide what toxic substances we inject into our children," she said. 1/nyregion/11vaccine.html?_r=1&oref=slogin New Jersey Assemblywoman Charlotte Vandervalk (R- Westwood), who is the sponsor of a bill to insert conscientious belief exemption into New Jersey vaccine laws, told the Council "Children of this state are assaulted with shot after shot before they go to school," she said. "Don't force it on those who have these objections. This is America. What's happened to our freedom?"

The National Vaccine Information Center joins with NJAICV and other organizations representing parents and children opposing the new vaccine mandates and supporting the addition of conscientious belief exemption to vaccine laws in New Jersey, including Advocates for Children's Health Affected by Mercury Poisoning (A-CHAMP), Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), Autism One, Autism Research Institute, Children Having Everybody Upset About Shots (C.H.E.R.U.B.S), Generation Rescue, Holistic Moms Network, National Autism Association (NAA), Network Organization for Vaccine Awareness and Choice (NOVAC), Talk About Curing Autism (TACA), Taper Safely, Unlocking Autism (UA), and US Autism and Aspergers Association (USAAA). Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs (CoMeD, Inc.) supports replacing all state vaccine mandates with "opt-in" laws and SafeMinds opposes continued use of mercury in vaccines.

The fate of the new vaccine mandates proposed by the NJ state health department now rests with the retiring Commissioner of Health, Fred Jacobs, appointed by Governor Joe Corzine and the Governor himself. Fred Jacobs is expected to rule on the new mandates by Dec. 18 and can be contacted at Governor Corzine can be contacted at

In addition, New Jersey residents who are interested in contacting their state Assemblyperson or Senator about the need to secure a conscientious belief exemption to vaccination, can find out how to do that at . To help other parents work in New Jersey on this issue, contact NJAICV's Sue Collins at (See copy of NJ Conscientious Belief Exemption bill below). To find out more about how to educate members of your community about vaccination and the right to informed consent to vaccination, go to NVIC's website at or contact NVIC at

NJ Health Council Votes Dec. 10 On New Vaccine Mandates

by Barbara Loe Fisher

The New Jersey Public Health Council is scheduled to meet on Monday, December 10, 2007 at 11 a.m. to vote on whether to approve adoption of rules written by the New Jersey Department of Health that would require children to get three doses of pneumoccocal vaccine and two doses of influenza vaccine to attend daycare or pre-school and one dose each of tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (TdaP) and meningococcal vaccine to attend sixth grade. If the Council votes to approve the new mandates sought by state public health officials, the mandates will apply to all children entering daycare or school on September 1, 2008.

The NJ Public Health Council meeting will be held on Dec. 10 at 11 a.m in the Auditorium (1st Floor) of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Market and Warren Streets, Trenton, New Jersey. New Jersey would become the first state to require influenza vaccine for daycare and pre-school and the first state to require meningococcal vaccine for sixth graders if the new mandates are approved by the Council. The additional nine doses of vaccines would be added to 26 doses of vaccines (diphtheria (4), tetanus (4), pertussis (4), HIB (3), measles (2), mumps (1), rubella (1), polio (3), hepatitis B (3), chicken pox (1)) the State already requires for daycare or school, bringing the total to 35 doses of 13 mandated vaccines.

The NJ Department of Health has the power under rule making authority given to the agency by the NJ state legislature to mandate new vaccines after holding public hearings and taking public comments. A public hearing was held on these proposed new vaccine mandates on Jan. 26, 2007 and the public comment period ended on Feb. 16. 2007. A 125 page summary of the public hearing and public comments received by the health department reveals that the majority of the 103 comments from the public opposed the new vaccine mandates. s/bc/documents/phc_final_adoption_857_4.pdf

Supporters of the mandates included state public health and education officials, the American Academy of Pediatrics and vaccine manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, which markets three of the new vaccines that would be required (TdaP, influenza and meningococcal vaccines), among others. In a memo from retiring NJ Commissioner of Health, Fred Jacobs, M.D., J.D. to Herbert Yardley, Chair of the NJ Public Health Council, Jacobs notes that "Some parents rights groups, vaccine critics, autism advocacy organizations and alternative medicine practitioners will likely continue to oppose existing requirements, these recently adopted new vaccine requirements, and future immunization requirements as they have since the mid-1980's....There is increasing resistance from the public on new state vaccine mandates and a demand for more informed parental choice in vaccinations for children...." miss/bc/documents/phc_memo_adoption_857_4.pdf

Exemptions to vaccination in New Jersey include a medical exemption that must be written by a medical doctor or a religious exemption, which requires citizens to write a letter explaining how vaccination "conflicts with the pupil's exercise of bona fide religious tenets or practices." The law makes it clear that a "general philosophical or moral objection" to receiving one or more vaccines "shall not be sufficient for an exemption on religious grounds." The law further states that "religious affiliated schools or child care centers shall have the authority to withhold or grant a religious exemption" for students attending their schools "without challenge by any secular health authority." site/NewJersey.htm

The citizens of New Jersey have not had an opportunity to vote, through their elected representatives, on whether they want their children to be required to be injected with nine more doses of vaccines or be denied an education. The power to add or remove vaccine mandates currently resides entirely in the hands of employees of the NJ Health Department and members of the NJ Public Health Council.

NJ Health Commissioner Fred Jacobs can be contacted at

NJ Public Health Council Chair, Herbert Yardley, who is also the Health Officer for Sussex County, can be contacted at

The Governor of New Jersey, Joe Corzine, can be reached at

If you want to change the way new vaccines are mandated in your state and/or support the addition of conscientious belief exemption to state vaccine laws, you must work with the state legislators you have elected to represent you. If you are a resident of New Jersey and want to let your state legislators know how you feel about nine more doses of vaccines being added to vaccine mandates, go to asp

The National Vaccine Information Center has been working in New Jersey and many states as well as nationally since 1982 to educate citizens and their elected representatives about the need to institute vaccine safety and informed consent protections in the U.S. mass vaccination system. Some states have formed local groups, such as the New Jersey Alliance for Informed Choice in Vaccination ( headed by co-founder Sue Collins.

The National Vaccine Information Center stands with other parent organizations such as ACHAMP, Generation Rescue, TACA, NAA, Holistic Moms Network and others in opposing new vaccine mandates for children in New Jersey and supports the addition of conscientious belief exemption to vaccination in New Jersey and all states. If you are interested in working to educate citizens in your community and state about vaccination and the need for informed consent protections in your state laws, contact NVIC at

To report a vaccine reaction, go to
and to post a vaccine reaction report on NVIC's International Memorial for Vaccine Victims, go

NVIC's Vicky Debold Appointed As Consumer Rep on FDA Vaccine Committee

Vicky Debold, RN, PhD has been appointed to represent consumers on the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which votes on the scientific evidence presented by vaccine manufacturers seeking licenses to market new vaccines in the U.S.. Dr. Debold, who is Director of Patient Safety for the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), was appointed by the FDA after she was selected by an independent consumer's representative nominating group. Her two-year term can be extended to four years at the discretion of the FDA.

Dr. Debold has worked as a health policy analyst for the U.S. Congress at the Physician Payment Review Commission; the Michigan Health and Safety Coalition; and the Michigan State Commission on Patient Safety. Additionally she has served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan and an Associate Professor and Director of the Health Systems Management Program at the University of Detroit , Mercy.

Her doctoral degree is from the University of Michigan (1999) - School of Public Health (Health Services Organization and Policy) and the School of Nursing (Health Systems Administration). She was a University of Michigan Regent's Fellow and completed her post-doctoral fellowship in health systems research.

Dr. Debold's son, her only child, experienced serious, long-term health problems following receipt of seven live virus and killed bacterial vaccines at 15 months of age in 1998, including autism spectrum disorder symptoms. She has been involved in research and advocacy for autism-focused non-profit organizations, including SafeMinds, National Autism Association, US Autism and Asperger Association and the Oakland County Chapter, Autism Society of America.

VRBPAC meetings are open to the public and members of the public may speak during public comment times. Dr. Debold's first meeting as consumer representative will be February 20-21, 2008 at the Hilton Gaithersburg Hotel, Gaithersburg, Maryland.

NVIC President and Co-founder Barbara Loe Fisher served as the consumer member of VRBPAC between 1999 and 2003. Online transcripts and background material for VRBPAC meetings held between 1998 and 2008, which contain discussions of the pre-licensure scientific evidence for safety and efficacy presented by vaccine manufacturers for experimental and previously licensed vaccines, can be accessed at

Police with Dogs: Vaccinating Kids in Maryland

by Barbara Loe Fisher

"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up." - Martin Niemueller

I watched them bundled up against the cold winter air on Saturday, November 17, 2007, with their children and the letter from the State of Maryland threatening them with imprisonment or fines of $50 a day for failing to show proof their children had gotten a chickenpox or hepatitis B shot. Confused, angry or scared but mostly resigned, they were working mothers and fathers trudging toward the courthouse to face the Judge ordering them to get vaccinated or go to jail. Patrolling the scene was a SWAT team of policemen with dogs.

There were a few vaccine safety and informed consent advocates who showed up to witness what happened at the Prince George's County Courthouse, among them Washington D.C. Attorney Jim Moody and autism activist Kelli Ann Davis, of SAFEMINDS and Charles Frohman, representing the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) as well as several Moms with children who developed autism after vaccination.

The U.S. media turned out but they were kept behind barricades and denied access into the building, as were the advocates and other members of the general public. There was no public oversight on what was happening to the parents and children inside.

I listened to or spoke with several mothers leaving the building with their children and learned the sad truth about what was happening behind the closely guarded, closed doors of the Courthouse. The parents were not being asked questions about their child’s medical history or whether the children had experienced health problems after previous vaccinations. The parents were not being given information about vaccine side effects or how to monitor their children for signs of vaccine reactions. They were not given forms for religious and medical exemptions to vaccination allowed in Maryland (see the video of my debate on CNN the day before with Vanderbilt’s Bill Schaffner, M.D. plus a video of a Saturday CNN interview with Jim Moody

Apparently, the children were being re-vaccinated with not just hepatitis B and chicken pox vaccines, the two new vaccines added to the Maryland school requirement list, but also with other required vaccines for which the public school system could find no record. One mother told me her children were up-to-date on their shots but the school system lost the records and she had to give her children all the required vaccines on the spot or face jail or fines.

My son, Chris, who became learning disabled after suffering a serious reaction to a fourth DPT shot in 1980, traveled with me to Maryland carrying a camera. After growing up watching his Mom work to change one-size-fits-all vaccine policies that were responsible for his vaccine reaction, Chris recently decided he wants to help NVIC put a face on what it means to be vaccine injured in America and what it means when Americans do not have the right to freely exercise informed consent to vaccination.

Chris set up his camera as I talked with a mother hundreds of yards from the front of the Courthouse door. I was about 12 inches inside a row of large cement balls that apparently were erected as a barrier to prevent terrorist attacks. I did not know I wasn’t supposed to be talking with this Mom inside the barrier. She was telling me about how she wasn’t given any information about vaccines before her children were injected with three vaccines.

All of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye I saw an armed guard with a dog emerge from the Courthouse and walk toward us. I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was the dread that any citizen of any country in any century has ever felt when an armed guard with a dog starts advancing. As if we were common criminals or terrorists, he yelled and gestured to us to move behind the stones.

We moved without a word. And the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach told me we were being shown the power of the State wielded by that armed guard with the dog, just as parents inside the Courthouse were being shown the power of the State wielded by doctors with syringes.

There has been talk this past week about whether or not U.S. vaccine laws are, indeed, laws or whether they are simply recommendations that do not have the force of law behind them. Because the enactment of public health laws was not defined in the U.S. Constitution as a federal activity, in 1905 the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the power of the states to pass public health laws requiring citizens to be vaccinated or re-vaccinated.

There is now more than 100 years of case law reinforcing the U.S. Supreme Court decision and the right of states to exercise police power to enforce vaccine laws. The post-911 enactment of the Homeland Security Law, the Model State Health Emergency Powers Act and Bioshield I and II makes it clear that the State will use police power to enforce quarantine or vaccination whenever the State chooses to wield that power.

The method of punishment for not obeying U.S. state vaccine laws is up to the state legislatures which make the laws. Today, many state legislatures have turned over vaccine law-making to unelected government health and education officials, who may enlist state attorneys and judges in the court system to enforce punishments. One of the punishments which many states have chosen when children have not received all state mandated vaccines is to bar children from attending school unless they file and the State approves exemptions to vaccination outlined by the State.

Those parents, who do not vaccinate their children and do not either make arrangements with the State to homeschool them or successfully file a state-approved exemption, are in violation of another state law: truancy laws. Failure to send your child to school in Maryland between the ages of 5 and 16 is a misdemeanor punishable by fines and jail time or both. This is the law which the Maryland government officials moved to enforce when they enlisted the help of State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey (D) and Judge C. Philip Nichols to turn parents of unvaccinated children into criminals.

In one news report, Judge Nichols was quoted as observing that the children looked unhappy waiting in line for their vaccinations. He is quoted as saying “It’s cute. It looks like their parents are dragging them to church.”

The big difference between being dragged into a Courthouse to get vaccinated and being dragged to church is that an hour of prayer rarely results in catastrophic brain injury or death. I still wonder how many of those children, who were injected with multiple vaccines in the Courthouse, are having vaccine reactions today. Their parents, many of whom are uninformed about how to recognize vaccine reactions, will never know what happened to their children if they regress into chronic poor health after the shots they were forced to get on Saturday.

We know that attacks on the religious and philosophical exemptions to vaccination in America are on the increase and are being led by vaccine patent holders like Paul Offit, M.D. and others who want to force vaccination.

In 1996, a sixteen year old Milwaukee boy was handcuffed, stripped and jailed overnight because he hadn't shown public school or county health authorities proof that he had gotten a second MMR shot. In 1997, I made a presentation to the National Vaccine Advisory Committee defending the moral right to exercise a conscientious belief exemption to vaccination and predicting what would happen if Americans did not win that freedom.

What happened in Maryland this weekend is a final wake-up call for America.

Dozens of new vaccines are being rushed to market in the next decade and most will target children and adults for mandated use. Limiting the power of the State to force vaccination is all that stands between the people and tyranny.

There is only one way we will be free in the future: the laws must be changed so that every state allows a conscientious belief exemption to vaccination. Parents in Texas, after working with Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education (PROVE) to educate the Texas legislature about the need for a conscientious belief exemption, got that exemption added in 2004 ( NVIC provided information and strategic support for PROVE's seven year effort to secure strong informed consent and privacy protections in Texas vaccine laws but it was Dawn Richardson, Rebecca Rex and the people of Texas who got the job done.

If you want to work to educate your community and elected officials about vaccination and informed consent rights, contact the National Vaccine Information Center at For more information about NVIC's 25 years of advocacy work and to learn more about preventing vaccine reactions go to Please donate generously to this non-profit educational public service organization working to protect your freedom to choose the kind of health care you want for yourself and your family, including the freedom to choose which vaccines to use.

CNN: Vaccines or else: Parents Blast Order for Schoolchildren

Associated Press: Maryland Schools Get Tough on Vaccinations

Jail Time for Not Vaccinating in Maryland?

Jail Time for Not Vaccinating in Maryland?

by Barbara Loe Fisher

Tomorrow, Nov. 17, Prince George, Maryland State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivy (D) and the county's public health and education officials are bringing the power of the State down on parents who have not gotten their children injected with vaccines for chickenpox and hepatitis B. In a Nov. 13 press release issued by the Prince George's County Public Schools ( ) and at a press conference that day, state officials made it clear they were going to use whatever means they had to use to force the children to get vaccinated. Ivy said he was prepared to throw the parents whose children had not gotten their shots in jail: "We can do this the easy way or the hard way, but it's got to be done. I'm willing to move forward with legal action." The parents of children, who have been kicked out of school for failing to get their shots and are subject to state truancy laws, are being summoned to the Prince George's County Courthouse in Upper Marlboro on Saturday with their children to get them vaccinated on-site or face fines and jail time.

Yesterday, in two televised debates on CNN with longtime national vaccine policymaker William Shaffner, M.D. of Vanderbilt, and on MSNBC with Prince George's County Health Officer Donald Shell, M.D., I made the following points:

1) Terrorizing and threatening parents with jail time for not getting their children a chickenpox shot is not the way to handle the situation;

2) Some of the children may have had serious reactions to previous vaccinations and their parents are only trying to protect them from harm;

3) Even though it is unclear why all of the parents have not complied with the new vaccine requirements, when government officials use threats and intimidation to force parents to do what they want them to do, parents will fear and mistrust government officials;

4) There are many new vaccines being developed that will be added to the childhood schedule and what has happened in Maryland brings up the question that many parents are asking: How many more vaccines are children going to be forced to get to be able to get a public education? Many parents think too many vaccines are already required;

5) Chickenpox is not smallpox and hepatitis B is not polio. Hepatitis B is not an infection that can be transmitted in the school setting and chickenpox is mild for most children. These diseases do not fit the model of highly contagious diseases with a high rate of complications leading to permanent injury and death that have led to state vaccine requirements in the past;

6) Although Maryland and other states may allow medical and religious exemptions, they are very difficult for parents to obtain. Doctors cannot easily write medical exemptions that are not second- guessed by public health officials, who require strict adherence to narrow contraindications blessed by the CDC. Often parents, who attempt to file religious exemptions, are thrown into rooms and grilled about the sincerity of the religious beliefs;

7) Parents are wondering why every vaccine that industry produces is always automatically recommended for universal use by the CDC and then mandated;

8) The vaccine safety and informed consent debate is becoming more intense because more parents are reporting that their children are regressing into poor health after receiving many vaccines. Vaccines carry risks of seizures, brain inflammation and even death and often high risk children are not screened out of the program;

9) It is time for the people to take back the power - through their elected representatives - to decide which vaccines their children should have to take to go to school. In the past few decades, legislatures have given up their power to vote on which new vaccines will be mandated and have handed that power over to public health officials who have never met a vaccine they did not want to mandate;

10) The ethical principle of informed consent that applies to every other medical procedure that carries risks should also be applied to vaccination. Everyone should have the right to make an informed, voluntary vaccination choice.

There are many reasons why children do not receive vaccines. Some parents want to vaccinate their children but do not have access to public health clinics that are open during times that are convenient for parents. There may be cost and affordability issues. Others want to exempt their children from certain vaccines for reasons of religious belief or conscience but, as is the case in Maryland, cannot file a religious exemption unless they refuse all vaccines. Some may have children who have regressed into poor health after previous vaccinations and believe their children are genetically or otherwise at high risk for suffering vaccine reactions but can't find a doctor to write a medical exemption and do not have religious beliefs that qualify them for a religious exemption. Others are opposed to all vaccine use because they have determined that vaccines are not necessary, safe or effective.

Whatever the reasons for parents not vaccinating their children with all state mandated vaccines, it is inappropriate for state officials to threaten parents with jail time. Reportedly, there are about 6,000 truant students in the state of Maryland. Are the parents of the other 4,000 students who are missing from school also being given deadlines and facing jail time their truant children?

Or could this military action by what some parents are referring to as "The Vaccine Police" be simply a case of an eager State's Attorney looking for a political platform teaming up with over-zealous health and education officials to achieve a 100 percent vaccination rate with all state-mandated vaccines in Maryland?

Whatever the case, hopefully the several thousand children showing up with their parents at the courthouse tomorrow to get vaccinated will be carefully screened for pre-existing health conditions that could put them at high risk for suffering severe reactions and their parents will be fully informed about how to monitor their children for symptoms of vaccine reactions. In the zeal to implement public policy, what health and education officials often forget is that individual responses to pharmaceutical products vary. The one-size-fits-all approach increases the risk of side effects for those genetically and otherwise biologically at higher risk and that is just one of many good reasons why the right to informed consent to vaccination is a human right.

If you live in a state which does not have philosophical or conscientious belief exemption and are interested in educating your elected state representatives about vaccination and the need for informed consent protections in vaccine laws in your state, please contact NVIC at

Maryland Vaccine Exemption Form:

New Chickenpox and Hepatitis B Vaccine Requirements in Maryland:

Total Vaccine Requirements for children living in Maryland:

November 13, 2007 Press Release from Prince George, MD Public School System

School, Health Department Working Together to Immunize All School Children County Schools, Government Go to Court to Provide Children's Immunizations

Putting the educational and health needs of children first, Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS) and the County Health Department announced today that parents have been ordered to appear in court so their children can become compliant with State immunization requirements.

"Children should not be deprived of an education when our County offers free immunizations. This is a public health and children's rights issue that we are determined to correct," said Board of Education Chair R. Owen Johnson, Jr., who made the announcement today outside the Circuit Court of Prince George's County. "Children need to be in school to learn. Every day they are not permitted to attend school because they have not received their vaccinations is a missed opportunity."

On Saturday, November 17, 2007, the first of a series of hearings will be held in the Circuit Court of Prince George's County, 14735 Main Street, Upper Marlboro. Parents will appear with 1,671 children, who will receive needed vaccinations administered by the Prince George's County Health Department's licensed health care professionals.

"One of the most important things parents can do to protect their children from vaccine-preventable diseases is to make sure their children receive all their immunizations," said Donald Shell, M.D, M.A, Health Officer "Working in partnership with our county's schools, our goal is to provide immunizations to all children in need. With immunization of children, parents must partner with Health Department to authorize the delivery of services to their child."

The School System and Health Department have given parents of more than 2,300 students currently out of compliance with State school immunization requirements ample notice of the impending court dates. The following steps have been taken to notify parents of the severity of non-compliance:

1. Letters were sent to the homes of students not in compliance stating the deadline to acquire immunizations. These letters first mentioned the possibility of being summoned to Court.

2. Letters were sent to Physicians on April 24, 2006 to inform them of the new state immunization requirements that went into effect on September 1, 2006.

3. Additional immunization clinics were scheduled on Saturdays, evenings, and at additional sites.

The following steps will be taken if parents/guardians fail to respond:

1. Their name will be forwarded to the Court Liaison for referral to Circuit Court.

2. Parents will receive a letter from the Circuit Court Judge commanding their appearance in Court.

3. When parents appear in Court, the Judge will issue a verbal reprimand and direct them to have their children immunized on site.

4. The Health Department will be on-site to immunize non-compliant students.

5. Students will return to school as soon as they receive their required immunizations.

If a parent refuses to attend the Court hearing and/or allow their child to be immunized at Court, a Pupil Personnel Worker will prepare a packet that will facilitate parental referral to Court for further action

Scientists Say Americans May Be Over-Vaccinated

Scientists Say Americans May Be Over-Vaccinated
by Barbara Loe Fisher

Confirming what many American mothers have instinctively known for a long time, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine yesterday confirmed that Americans may be getting many more doses of vaccines than they need. The researchers aren't pointing out the risks associated with over-vaccination, only suggesting that giving kids lots of booster doses of vaccines like tetanus really doesn't result in any longer lasting protection and is probably a waste of money.

Julie Deardorff, a mother and veteran health correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, reports on this story and also gives some common sense advice to parents to become better informed about the 48 doses of 14 vaccines pediatricians and health officials say children should get before age six.

The study conducted by Oregon Health and Science University researchers urges CDC vaccine policymakers to re-evaluate and adjust timelines for vaccinating and re-vaccinating Americans against infectious diseases. Taking out their microscopes and analyzing 630 blood samples of 45 participants, some several decades old, they measured disease-induced and vaccine-induced antibody responses. They confirmed that recovery from childhood diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox, for example, produced long lasting protection, often lasting a lifetime. They also discovered that vaccine-induced antibody responses may last much longer than previously assumed by health officials.

The results of this small study are important and should be replicated by larger studies so that federal health officials will begin to take seriously the mounting evidence that Americans are getting too many vaccines.


"Doctors have been told the tetanus vaccine, for example, is supposedly effective for a period of 10 years. But based on this study and the work of others, the researchers now believe that once a person has received his or her primary series of vaccinations he or she is are likely to be protected for at least three decades. It's still critical to vaccinate, the researchers say, and overvaccinating the population poses no health or safety concerns – it may just be unnecessary under certain circumstances, according to the study. In fact, switching from a 10-year to a 30-year policy for tetanus shots--something Sweden has done--can save hundreds of millions of dollars on health care. But vaccines can cause adverse effects, which is why there's a Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System in place. (Or, if you find this system too cumbersome, try this link.) Before giving your child shots, ask these questions, suggests the National Vaccine Information Center, a vaccine safety watchdog group that works to prevent vaccine injuries. Is my child sick right now? Has my child had a bad reaction to a vaccination before? Does my child have a personal or family history of: -vaccine reactions, -convulsions or neurological disorders, -severe allergies, -immune system disorders; Do I know how to identify a vaccine reaction? Do I know if my child is at high risk of reacting? Do I know how to report a vaccine reaction? Do I know the vaccine manufacturer's name and lot number? Do I know I have a choice?" - Julie Deardorff, Chicago (November 7, 2007)

Merck HIV Vaccine Fails, Politics Prevails

Merck HIV Vaccine Fails, Politics Prevails
by Barbara Loe Fisher

The recent news that Merck has canceled clinical trials of an experimental HIV vaccine, which was announced after more people who got vaccinated in the trials became infected with HIV than those who remained unvaccinated, is the latest in a series of experimental HIV vaccine trial failures over the past decade.

In 1997, then-President Clinton declared that America must make it a national mission to create an AIDS vaccine by 2007 just like America made it a national mission to send a man to the moon in the 1950's and 60's. A decade ago some scientists, like microbiologist Howard Urnovitz, Ph.D., were warning that it may be impossible to create a vaccine "against a human gene" referring to the fact that HIV appeared to be a simian/human genetic hybrid virus created when experimental polio vaccines derived from SIV contaminated monkey tissues were injected or swallowed by millions of unsuspecting Africans in the 1950's and 60's. Others warned that HIV mutates easily and takes a different form in every individual, making it unlikely any HIV vaccine will be effective. There was also the warning that those who get vaccinated will always test positive for HIV.

But the AIDS vaccine crusade had officially begun and there was a rush to get funding for the testing of experimental HIV vaccines.

Mandatory vaccination proponents and policymakers also began seriously thinking about testing HIV vaccines on children in preparation for the targeting of adolescents for vaccines to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. At the February 12, 1997 meeting of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), Neal Halsey, M.D., then-chairman of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, reminded his colleagues in industry that "One of the things that's happened in the past with vaccines is that sometimes the manufacturers have developed them and tested them primarily in an age group or a population which may not be the final target population that this Committee has considered. Over the last few years we have developed a statement on adolescent immunization and it probably would be worth your reading that, and others, because we really see age 11 to 12 as the target age for introduction of vaccines for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. And I know that, at this time, you are really studying adults and you're also some distance away from the actual - having a [HIV] vaccine in hand that might be licensed and approved - but at least it would be nice if there were studies that were planned in parallel when you move another step in the direction of actually having a candidate vaccine, realizing where WE think we would want to use universal application of such a vaccine."

Last year at this time, Dr. Halsey's exhortation from a decade earlier was echoed by a press release from a hospital affiliated with Brown Medical School, which is a site for experimental HIV vaccine trials for adults in the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). In the press release, the Boston Celtics Foundation announced the launching of a "Team Vaccinates Teens" program with a grant for the "first program in the country that will test and explore vaccine delivery strategies to adolescents." Adolescent girls were urged to get Merck's "highly safe and effective" HPV vaccine, GARDASIL. They said the goal was "for researchers to learn what structures are effective for engaging youth in an extended vaccination program, creating a model that will eventually allow for delivery of an HIV vaccine once one become available." They said "the adolescents targeted in Team Vaccinates Teens are also potential candidates for future HIV vaccine trials."
There are about 30 experimental HIV vaccines in clinical trials in the U.S. and around the world and the development of an HIV vaccine will continue. However, hopefully this latest development in the crusade to bring an HIV to market will prompt even stronger informed consent protections in all clinical trials as well as a serious re-evaluation of other ways to address chronic illness associated with AIDS. Creation of an HIV vaccine is a dream for many suffering with or seeing a loved one suffer with HIV- related illness, but there are legitimate concerns about whether mass, mandatory use of an HIV vaccine could cause more harm than the elusive microorganism being targeted for elimination.

At the very least, our children should not be pulled into this scientific chaos - either in experimental HIV vaccine clinical trials or in future government "adolescent vaccine platform" planning. Many parents have already decided that 56 doses of 16 vaccines by age 12 is quite enough, thank you.

What is needed is a robust public debate about why our children are being automatically targeted for future use of every new vaccine scientists and drug companies create and market, especially a vaccine that could be as potentially risky and ineffective as one created for HIV. In the meantime, informed consent protections in the form of conscientious belief exemption to vaccination should be instituted in every state as soon as possible.

Canadians Follow GARDASIL Money Trail

Canadians Follow GARDASIL Money Trail

by Barbara Loe Fisher

Abraham Lincoln once said "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time." It is getting increasingly difficult for multi-national pharmaceutical corporations to hide the fact that they are engaging politicians from both sides of the aisle in the US, Canada and Europe to provide them with an assured, blockbuster market for new vaccines like Merck's GARDASIL.

It doesn't seem to matter how poorly a new vaccine has been tested or how many people die or become seriously injured after it has hit the streets. Those deaths and injuries are conveniently written off by government officials as a " coincidence" and the exploitation of the people by drug companies for profit continues without a pause.

Wall Street is doing a good job keeping us up-to- date with just how much money big pharmaceutical corporations are raking in now that Congress bowed to Big Pharma pressure and pretty much removed all liability from the business of making and selling vaccines in the 1980's and, again after September 11, 2001, in the name of "national security" and "the greater good" and the admonition that "disease is just a plane ride away." Mandating every new vaccine the drug industry produces and taking away all exemptions to vaccination is another money making guarantee.

Revenue predictions for Merck are that GARDASIL profits will climb from $300 million to $4 billion over the next year. Sanofi Pasteur, another mega giant vaccine maker is growing its vaccine sector by 50 percent. "It's a great trend and I would buy Merck" advises one Wall Street guru.

One day enough voters will figure out that vaccinating 300 million Americans and 33 million Canadians with multiple vaccines from cradle to the grave has more to do with keeping drug companies in the money than keeping people healthy. Then the politicians, who have committed hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to underwrite new product rollouts for pharmaceutical companies selling vaccines while shielding them from all liability for vaccine injuries and deaths, will be looking for another job.


The Stephen Harper Conservative minority government earlier this year made a decision to spend $300 million on a campaign to inoculate females nine to 13 against cervical cancer. Sounds like great leadership on a critical health issue doesn't it? The problem is that the decision appears to be motivated to financially support the U.S. Big Business Pharmaceutical interests that developed the vaccine.... The American-based National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) had released in February 2007 a new analysis of the U.S. Federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) reports of serious health problems following HPV vaccination (Merck's GARDASIL) during the last six months of 2006....Judicial Watch, a U.S. government watchdog, became concerned while noting large donations to key politicians originating from Merck.... The Toronto Star recently reported that Merck Frosst Canada Ltd hired public relations giant Hill & Knowlton to push the immunization strategies using some well-connected lobbyists...." - Paul Chen, The Canadian (October 30, 2007)

"Gardasil, the human papillomavirus vaccine from Merck, is going to be huge, Cramer and's James Altucher agreed. It's going from about $300 million to $4 billion in revenue over the next year, and that's just one vaccine, he said. Plus, now they're doing late-stage trials on a hepatitis-B vaccine. "I think if you want a solid 15%, maybe 20% a year for a long time, Merck is a great bet," Altucher said. "This is a re-energized Merck," Cramer said. "It's a really great Merck. It keeps going up. It keeps beating numbers, but it's still only back to where it was a couple of years ago, so I agree with you, I think there's more [room for it] to climb." When Altucher pointed out Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) , where vaccine growth was 50%, Cramer said it is another company that he likes. For years, vaccines were risky, because if something went wrong, it was only a matter of time before a company had a class-action suit against it. "So the drug companies pretty much decided there was no real money in vaccines," Cramer explained. One of the big changes the analysts didn't pick up on is that since then, the plaintiffs' bar has been beaten back, so the litigation risk of vaccines has declined. "It's a great trend and I would buy Merck," Cramer said." - The (November 2, 2007)



by Barbara Loe Fisher

In 2006, Mayo Clinic's Greg Poland, M.D., who has been a CDC vaccine policymaker and promotes worldwide use of multiple vaccines throughout life, called for mandatory vaccination of all health care workers with flu vaccine.

This year, the CDC issued a formal recommendation for all health care workers to do just that Dr. Poland has also been instrumental in defending the "safety" of the highly reactive anthrax vaccine the U.S. Department of Defense has required all soldiers to get. Last week, he called for all 300 million Americans to get a flu shot every year.

Dr. Poland, like so many doctors in public health and pediatrics today, considers himself a "warrior" in the crusade to kill all infectious microbes that cause human disease. He says, "Vaccines are the singularly most important medical technology ever devised. We administer a series of vaccines over a lifetime to every single human being on earth."

When ideology blinds a doctor, scientific truth is often the first casualty.

A report out of Canada last week reveals that two of the three strains (Soloman Islands A, Wisconsin A, Malaysia B) selected by doctors at the World Health Organization and the CDC for North America "appear to be drifting and mutating, raising questions about how much protection this year's flu vaccine will offer." The Public Health Agency of Canada reports that the Wisconsin strain has already mutated into a different form than is contained in the vaccine and the Malaysia strain is also showing signs of mutating. This is similar to what happened in the 2003-2004 flu season when there was a mismatch of circulating flu strains with the ones selected for the flu vaccine.

So just how effective will the flu shot be at preventing death and illness from the flu this year, especially for children, the chronically ill and the elderly?

Probably not any more effective than it has ever been, which is not very effective according to yet another study in the medical literature ( Lancet Infect Dis. 2007;7:658-666). The Lancet reported this month that the elderly over age 70, who have always been targeted for flu vaccination because they account for 90 percent of all flu related deaths, may not be protected at all from dying from complications of the flu. Flu vaccine use by the elderly and those with chronic diseases has increased from 15% to 65% in the US and other high-income countries since 1980 but there has been no decrease in influenza-related mortality among these groups. The few clinical trials that have included elderly people have indicated there is a decrease in antibody responses and clinical benefits of flu vaccination as people age beyond 70 years. This new report reinforces an analysis of flu vaccine clinical trials published last year in the British Medical Journal by Cochrane Collaboration researchers
The 2006 Cochrane Collaboration analysis found that the majority of published influenza vaccine studies were methodologically flawed with selection biases, cofounders and heavy reliance on non-randomized studies. Authors pointed out that potential confusion between respiratory infections caused by flu viruses and those caused by non-flu viruses can result in a misdiagnosis and gross overestimation of the true impact of influenza on death and illness in a given flu season (CDC officials have never produced documented evidence for the 36,000 deaths they attribute to the flu every year).

The 2006 study concluded that too few clinical trials have been conducted to prove flu vaccine safety and current evidence indicates that use of inactivated influenza vaccine has only a modest or no effect on preventing flu in children or the elderly. Co-author Tom Jefferson, an Italian epidemiologist said "There is a big gap between policies promoting annual influenza vaccinations for most children and adults and supporting scientific evidence."

NVIC has taken the position that the CDC should stop recommending annual influenza vaccination for all young children when there is insufficient scientific justification for it.

Unfortunately, when the CDC makes a recommendation for universal use of vaccines, state mandates soon follow. Greg Poland's call for 300 million Americans to get an annual flu shot is a pretty good indicator the CDC will eventually follow suit and drug company lobbyists seeking higher profits will pressure state legislatures to institute flu vaccine mandates. Once every American has been softened up to accept an annual flu shot, more shots and mandates will follow.

Only this time, the vaccine mandates will not just mean being barred from getting an education. Today, parental refusal to get a child vaccinated with all state mandated vaccines means the child can be barred from going to school or getting health insurance. Tomorrow vaccine mandates may mean being barred from getting a job or a driver's license unless you show proof you've saluted smartly and rolled up your sleeve for scores of new vaccines now being developed in more than 200 clinical trials worldwide. And that is a future that drug companies selling vaccines are convincing stockholders they can take all the way to the bank.

AAP Urges Early Autism Diagnosis, Then Drugs Often Used

AAP Urges Early Autism Diagnosis, Then Drugs Often Used

by Barbara Loe Fisher

America's pediatricians, who cannot explain to American parents why so many of their young, highly vaccinated children are developing autism and other developmental disabilities, announced this week at a conference in San Francisco that it is time for doctors to get serious about diagnosing autism early and often.,8599,1677611,00.html?xid=feed-yahoo-healthsci
This push for "early diagnosis" before age two is coupled with a push for "early intervention." Currently that intervention involves doctors prescribing psychiatric drugs for 80 percent of the children diagnosed with autism or Asperger disorder according to a report released at the same conference.

Although few parents would argue that it is important to recognize when a child is regressing physically, mentally and emotionally into autism, many parents are more interested in addressing the biological root causes for the kinds of brain and immune system dysfunction that their autistic children are exhibiting, rather than giving their children psychotropic drugs that only suppress the symptoms. Many parents, like Cindy Goldenberg in the early 1990's and Jenny McCarthy a decade later, have found that eliminating gluten and casein from their child's diet and employing other alternative therapies to repair healthy immune function, can effectively address vaccine-related biological causes for autism and greatly improve their children's health.

However, currently mainstream American pediatricians are overwhelmingly attempting to deal with the autism explosion by drugging children. Tobias Gerhard, PhD, assistant professor at the Rutgers University Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research acknowledged that the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders increased 10-fold in the last decade and presented an analysis of medical care surveys reflecting two million health visits involving autism or Asperger disorder. He found that children were overwhelmingly male and white and that disruptive behavioral disorders were involved with 3 of every 10 cases.

The surveys revealed that about 80% of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder are treated with at least one psychiatic drug; 30% are given antipsychotic drugs, 40% antidepressants, 40% stimulants and about 30% some other drug, including mood stabilizers and anticonvulsants. Some children are prescribed several medications. "As with many psychiatric conditions in children, we really know very little [about] how these drugs actually work and how they should be used in practice," Dr. Gerhard said.

In Canada, where there is a nationalized health care system and long waiting lines for a doctor's appointment, there is a warning by Canadian pediatricians that early screening and treatment for autism is easier said than done. The former president of the Canadian Pediatric Society, Emmet Francoeur, points out that increased screening would involve an increase in the number of evaluation teams and treatment services, all of which is time consuming and expensive. He says "Unfortunately, unlike a broken bone or pneumonia, where you can take an x-ray and come up with a diagnosis, it takes multiple observers looking at multiple aspects of a child's development to diagnose autism."

As hard as it is for pediatricians to figure out how they are going to identify and treat lots of highly vaccinated autistic children, it is much harder for parents searching for answers for why their once healthy children developed autism and how to help them heal. The diagnostic screening tests, the visits to different doctors specializing in different parts of the body and the drug and behavioral therapies that may or may not work, can bankrupt the average middle class family.

One day, the educational and health care costs associated with the biggest epidemic our nation has ever experienced - the chronic disease and disability epidemic - may bankrupt our nation. It is a chronic illness epidemic that makes the polio epidemic of the 1950's look small by comparison. We are all paying a very high price for the failure of pediatricians, drug companies and government health officials to act responsibly in the 1980's when parents of DPT vaccine injured children pleaded with them to conduct methodologically sound scientific studies to investigate the biological mechanisms and genetic factors involved in vaccine-induced regression and neuroimmune dysfunction.

"Today Show" Talks Exemptions & Autism Cases

"Today Show" Talks Law & Autism Cases Skyrocket

by Barbara Loe Fisher

On Friday, Oct. 19, 2007 NBC's "Today Show" featured a 6 minute segment about the rising numbers of parents who are taking exemptions to vaccination for their children. In the live debate, which was moderated by "Today Show" co-host, Meredith Vieira, I faced off with California pediatrician Tanya Remer Altmann, M.D.

In my opening statement, I said:

"I have been a vaccine safety activist for 25 years and I have never seen the public debate about the right of parents to make informed, voluntary vaccination decisions be more intense than it is today. And I think that is because the states are requiring twice as many vaccines as were required in the 1980's and 90's when my children - my three children - were getting vaccinated. And, we are seeing with this increased vaccination 1 in 6 child now learning disabled, 1 in 9 asthmatic, 1 in 150 becoming autistic. We are seeing a child public health crisis that is unlike any crisis we have ever seen, including the epidemics of infectious disease we have experienced in the past."

To view the "Today Show" segment go to

Today, California autism activist Rick Rollens has released another new report on the skyrocking autism cases among young children living in California, all of whom got twice as many vaccines as my children got when they were young. Rick's son developed autism after suffering vaccine reactions and Rick went on to co- found the M.I.N.D. Institute - UC Davis after first warning America about the autism epidemic in 1997. His work with the California legislature to address the autism epidemic has included issuing periodic reports since 1997 about the never-ending increases in the numbers of children developing autism in California.

Rick reports that a record 1,060 new intakes of professionally diagnosed full syndrome DSM IV autism were added to California's developmental services system from July 3, 2007 to October 3, 2007. Children eligible for DDS services are between 3 and 21 years old. Three year old children entering the system today would have been born in 2004.

"According to the most recent report released this past week by California's Department of Developmental Services (DDS) (, California's developmental services system added a record 1,060 new intakes of professionally diagnosed full syndrome DSM IV autism during the 87 day period from July 3, 2007 to October 3, 2007....a rate of 12 new children a day, seven days a week..... or one new child every two hours.

Never in the 40 year history of California's developmental services system have 1000 or more new children been added in any one three month period to it's system. During the past 9 months alone California has added over 2900 new children with full syndrome autism (as always, the numbers of new intakes ONLY includes professionally diagnosed cases of full syndrome DSM IV autism and DOES NOT include any other autism spectrum disorders like PDD, NOS, or Asperger's Syndrome). Keep in mind that it took 16 years (from 1971 to 1987) for California's DD system to see a total population of 2700 persons with autism...during the past 9 MONTHS alone California has added 2900 new cases.

Autism is not only the fastest growing condition in California's DD system, now accounting for over 60% of all the new intakes (the remaining less then 40% being the COMBINED numbers of new intakes with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and conditions that have as part of the condition mental retardation such as genetic diseases Fragile X and Down's), but; now there are more persons in California's DD system with a primary diagnosis of autism than with cerebral palsy.

Unlike any other of the conditions served by California's DD system where you see between 55- 60% of those populations over the age of 22 years old, with autism only 16% of the population is over the age of 22 years old, 84% between 3 and 21, and eight out of ten between 3 and 18 years old."

Attacks on Vaccine Exemptions Increase

Attacks on Vaccine Exemptions Increase

by Barbara Loe Fisher

As more and more Americans witness healthy children regressing after being repeatedly injected with dozens of doses of vaccines and becoming learning disabled, hyperactive, asthmatic, autistic and diabetic, more parents want to be able to make better informed, voluntary choices about vaccination. There is nothing like the first-hand experience of watching your child or grandchild regress within days or weeks of being injected with 5 to 10 vaccines and become a totally different child physically, mentally and emotionally, to persuade you to investigate legal avenues for avoiding more vaccines that could cause more harm. So it is not surprising that the Associated Press found that a greater number of parents today are seeking religious exemption to vaccination in the 28 states that do not allow a personal, philosophical or conscientious belief exemption to vaccination.,0,5771185.story

The vaccine safety and informed consent movement that was launched by parents of DPT vaccine injured children in 1982 has gained momentum with each new vaccine added to the mandatory list for school entry since that time. Primarily a grassroots movement powered by the educated middle class, where most successful social revolutions in technologically advanced countries begin, citizen activists are pointing out serious gaps in the quality and quantity of the scientific evidence supporting the cradle to the grave approach to vaccination adopted by government officials over the past quarter century. They are advocating that doctors be required to adhere to the informed consent ethic when administering vaccines.

It is this intellectual challenge to the validity of the science and ethics of forced vaccination policies that makes the doctors who operate and profit from mandatory vaccination policies so angry. They are not used to well informed, articulate health care consumers challenging their wisdom and demanding equality in making health care decisions for children. Angry that their authoritarian, paternalistic stance is not playing well in middle America anymore, some doctors are turning their anger into a desire for revenge.

While educated Americans challenge the scientific and moral basis for legally requiring citizens to use multiple vaccines throughout life, forced vaccination proponents like rotavirus vaccine patent holder and Merck consultant, Paul Offit, M.D., are leading an unprecedented assault on the philosophical and religious belief exemption to vaccination. Dismissing parental concern about vaccine risks as an "irrational, fear based decision," he and his colleagues want to socially ostracize and legally punish those who approach maintaining health and wellness in a different way and decline to purchase and use every vaccine industry produces and government recommends.

On September 15, Dr. Offit sponsored a "Vaccine Education Symposium" at the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania which featured speakers such as Dan Salmon, Ph.D., who has alleged that exemptions to vaccination are not protected by the U.S. Constitution and should be eliminated or severely curtailed
(, as well as lawyers, vaccine manufacturers and CDC officials. At the symposium, discussions involved (1) requiring vaccination of all nurses and other health care workers as a condition of employment; (2) passing laws to facilitate prosecution of parents of unvaccinated children for economic damages when vaccinated children contract vaccine preventable diseases; (3) routine posting and publishing of lists of unvaccinated individuals in public places in communities; and (4) prosecuting parents who homeschool their children for child neglect if they do not vaccinate them.

The military approach to dissent is a risky one as it threatens to fatally compromise what is left of the sacred trust that exists between pediatricians and parents. But this approach has become much more common since September 11, 2001, when doctors and public health officials viewed that tragic event as an opportunity to aggressively promote vaccination and disease control as a matter of national security.

State mandatory vaccination laws have their roots in the 1905 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Jacobsen v Massachusetts. A Swedish Lutheran pastor, Reverend Henning Jacobsen and his son objected to a law requiring revaccination with smallpox vaccine because they had suffered severe reactions to the first vaccination. The nine Supreme Court justices at the turn of the century denied Jacobsen and his lawyers the right to present scientific evidence for harm caused by the smallpox vaccine, preferring to believe the lawyers representing public health officials who convinced them that doctors could predict ahead of time who would be injured by vaccination.

In the majority opinion, the Justices demonstrated a remarkable blind faith, bordering on religious conviction, in the infallibility of medical doctors and the safety of smallpox vaccination. The Court stated that "The matured opinions of medical men everywhere and the experience of mankind as all must know, negative the suggestion that it is not possible in any case to determine whether vaccination is safe."

Only briefly did the Justices address the issue of individual susceptibility to the potentially harmful effects of vaccination when they stated that mandatory vaccination must not be forced on a person whose physical condition would make vaccination "cruel and inhuman to the last degree. We are not to be understood as holding that the statute was intended to be applied in such a case or, if it was so intended, that the judiciary would not be competent to interfere and protect the health and life of the individual concerned. All laws should receive sensible construction."

Of course, in the succeeding 100 years since that Supreme Court decision affirming the power of the state to "keep in view the welfare, comfort and safety of the many and not permit the interests of the many to be subordinated to the wishes or convenience of the few," it has become clear that doctors cannot determine ahead of time who will be harmed by vaccination and that many more than a "few" have been injured or died from the effects of mass use of multiple vaccines in childhood as evidenced by the nearly two billion dollars paid to vaccine victims by the government since 1988.
An interesting historical fact about the fallout of the ethically flawed Jacobsen v Massachusetts decision is its citing by US Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendall Holmes in 1927 to justify the eugenics- movement inspired forced sterilization of a mentally retarded girl. Holmes agreed that the state could compel the young girl to be sterilized because "the principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the fallopian tubes."

Since 1905, the majority of states have provided for medical, religious and/or philosophical, personal belief or conscientious belief exemption to vaccination. Today, all but two states allow religious exemption to vaccination.
Since 1905, the numbers of vaccines recommended by doctors and required by state law has increased from one vaccine - smallpox - to nearly three dozen doses of 10 to 12 vaccines.

In the past, some states have required that an individual belong to a church or religion that adheres to a tenet opposing vaccination. However, when that restrictive language has been challenged at the state Supreme Court level, it has been struck down as unconstitutional (Sherr v. Northport-East Northport Union Free Sch. Dist., 672 F. Supp. 81, 89-90 (E.D. N.Y. 1987). Today, the exercise of religious exemption to vaccination usually requires a citizen to hold a sincere personal spiritual or religious belief that does not have to be tied to a specific church or religion. In some states, parents are required to either write a notarized statement and/or also obtain a letter from their spiritual advisor attesting to their sincere religious beliefs regarding vaccination.

The religious belief exemption is provided under the law for citizens who believe in a Creator and engage in prayer and may also consult scripture for guidance in making vaccination decisions which are spiritually based. Many parents of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and non-denominational spiritual beliefs, who already have a vaccine injured child, are engaging in prayer and consulting scripture for guidance in making vaccination decisions for their other children. It is important for the religious exemption to vaccination to only be taken by those who truly hold sincere religious or spiritual beliefs regarding vaccination.

The 18 states which allow philosophical, personal or conscientious belief exemption to vaccination are the states which come the closest to allowing voluntary, informed consent to vaccination in America. NVIC supports the addition of conscientious belief exemption to all state vaccine laws, such as the law in Texas obtained in 2004 by parents led by Dawn Richardson, president of Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education (PROVE), so citizens without sincere religious beliefs opposing vaccination can exercise a conscientious belief exemption.

Although pro-forced vaccination proponents are promoting the demonization and punishment of parents who advocate informed consent to vaccination, including the right to take a religious or conscientious belief exemption, they do not have a strong ethical basis for their position. The genetic co-factor involved in adverse responses to vaccination make one-size- fits-all forced vaccination laws a de facto selection of the genetically vulnerable for sacrifice and that kind of government policy should not be tolerated by any state.

As more children regress into poor health after vaccination and more parents discover that vaccines carry far greater risks than pediatricians and public health officials have admitted to date, there will be a greater public demand for flexibility in mandatory vaccination laws. Paul Offit and his cohorts would do well to respect and acknowledge genetic diversity and the need for informed consent protections in mandatory vaccination laws rather than attempt to turn enforcement of those laws into a military operation. That primitive approach will not survive the test of time.