The discrimination begins, always, with the majority in a society pointing the finger at a minority for somehow endangering the public health and welfare. Individuals in the minority group are singled out as different - ethnically, biologically, spiritually, morally - from the majority. The human impulse to fear, judge, marginalize or eliminate those different from the rest has left a blood soaked trail winding throughout the entire history of man from the Great Inquisition to the Holocaust; from the killing fields of Cambodia to Rwanda, Serbia and Tibet; while the persecution of those with leprosy, TB, AIDS, mental illness, and handicaps continues in every society.
It was with a heavy heart that I read the March 21 New York Times article, "Public Health Risk Seen as Parents Reject Vaccines." Then I waded through the venomous comments posted on the NY Times website attacking parents of vaccine injured autistic children and those supporting informed consent to vaccination, specifically legal exemptions.
Some New York Times readers simply engaged in adolescent name-calling, angrily accusing parents of being "stupid" for questioning the wisdom of doctors in positions of authority and "selfish" for wanting to make informed vaccine choices:
"I'm so tired of these morons who refuse to vaccinate their children. It's stupid and selfish and, as usual, the kid suffers because of an hysterical, paranoid mother. What we need is a vaccine against paranoid conspiracy theory nuts. Oh, yeah....and by all means, let's trust a primary care doc from Arizona rather than the AAP and CDC. After all, what does some pinhead in private practice know that the best trained, most informed academic docs at some backwater like Johns Hopkins or CHOP or Children's Boston know, anyhow."
Others ridiculed parents for having faith in God but not in medical science, doctors and the safety of vaccines:
"The irrational decisions of adults, including parents and even physicians, supported by superstition, faith and magical beliefs, rather than data, evidence and proof, cannot stand in the way of science's obligation to create new knowledge to protect the members of a society, especially its most vulnerable members."
"Western religion's relationship with God requires a scapegoat. Since the Satan bit is worn a little thin they have once again decided that science and technology are to blame for all man's evils. As a civilized society we have given far too much deference to religion. Those not wishing to participate should simply not be included in schools, hospitals, etc. Not allowing their children to participate is the cruelist of abuse and should be removed from their "care."
"The parents whose personal beliefs cause them to fail to vaccinate their children should be seen clearly for what they are - child abusers. They are as monstrous as people that allow their children to die because they are convinced that if their god wants their children to live, he'll take care of it."
"Science is not infallible but it works. No one doubts that savagely beating a kid and offering "religious beliefs" as a pretext is a crime. These parents are doing the same thing. They should be prosecuted for endangering the health of their children - and ours."
The idea that the unvaccinated should be made "outcasts" in society and kept in isolation or even banned from being able to go out in public was a popular one:
"To those who demand an exemption, the choice should be clear and simple. No vaccine, no attendance at any public venue, schools in particular. Let these leaches live up in the woods as hermits."
" Parents of immunized children should not allow their children to play with [unvaccinated children]. Being an outcast is a powerful tool to use against these very selfish people."
Doctors defending their belief in vaccination weighed in, too, calling for elimination of the unvaccinated from society:
"As an epidemiologist who believes in the power and strength of herd immunity, I would like to ask these people who forgo vaccination to politely leave the herd."
Several more suggested the unvaccinated be publicly branded and forced to reveal their vaccination history to all who come in contact with them:
"Those making this decision [to not vaccinate their children] should be ineligible for access to public schooling. They should also be mandated to inform any and all people with whom they come into contact of their lack of vaccinations. They should also sign a waiver to any public or insurance pool funding for treatment of avoidable disease and/or long term damage caused by contraction of that disease."
"Should parents get to decide what happens to their child, even when that decision flies in the face of all evidence? Yes. But then should I have a right to know who these children are, so that I can keep my own child away from them? Indeed, I think I should......"
Another went further, calling for hospital and medical care to be denied to the unvaccinated:
"They should not be permitted in clinics and hospitals, where immunocompromised children and adults have the right to safety. No exception, whether based on religious faith or just garden-variety ignorance and superstition."
Several others believe mothers and fathers with unvaccinated children should be not only be charged with a crime but have their children taken from them:
"This should be a reason to notify CPS so that they can remove these children from parents who endanger their lives. This should be a crime."
There was a call for legislators who vote for vaccine exemptions to be punished:
"The parents who unilaterally decide to withhold immunization from their children should be sent to jail. The legislators who voted to condone this behavior should be identified and subjected to recall."
And some wanted to see parents and their unvaccinated children physically harmed:
.....Fine, so long as these parents are forcibly exposed to the illnesses themselves. And if their children either die, or are permanently injured, criminal charges should be laid. Then we'll see how much they still believe in their voodoo- science......"
Like sharks in a feeding frenzy, they gave public witness to their fear and loathing of fellow human beings who do not believe, think or act as they do.
I could not help but think of the children and parents forced to line up last November at a Maryland County Courthouse patrolled by armed police with dogs, a stark reminder that the parents were under threat of imprisonment and fines for failing to show schools proof that their children got chicken pox and hepatitis B shots.
I remembered the news report out of Belgium last month describing how a State court had sentenced mothers and fathers to five months in prison and a $4,000 fine because their children had not gotten vaccinated.
I thought of the persecution of Andrew Wakefield, M.D., who is being punished by his British colleagues for daring to report an association between the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine and neuroimmune dysfunction, including inflammatory bowel disease and autism. Like when the heads of heretics were impaled upon stakes on the Tower of London as a warning for all to see, the Wakefield inquisition is a spectacle designed to persuade all doctors contemplating questioning the safety of current mass vaccination policies to remain silent.
And then I thought of the Jewish orphan from Philadelphia, whose DNA I inherited from several generations back, and whose lineage in my mid-west Protestant family was not known to me for many years. Her blood is my blood, her genes belong to me just as the Norwegian and Scottish-Irish genes that predispose me and my children to autoimmunity and vaccine reactions are part of who I am.
I wondered how many of the readers of that New York Times article, who spewed fear, prejudice and hate into cyberspace and urged discrimination against and punishment of the unvaccinated, remembered that we are who we are because of the genetic strengths and vulnerabilities inherited from our mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers going back generations and generations.
I come from a family of doctors and nurses, physical therapists and social workers, historians and soldiers, artists and writers, pastors and farmers, public administrators and builders; feminists and teachers, who have made the world a little better because they were allowed to live. And all through our family there is a history of autoimmunity, including rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, diabetes, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, severe allergies to foods, prescription drugs and pollen, and vaccine reactions.
My mother died of lupus two years ago this week, her body unable to protect itself from self. A nurse who once took care of polio victims at Mayo Clinic, she left three children and 11 grandchildren, all of whom carry her genes.
We do not choose the genes we inherit that make us the unique individuals we each are, as different from one another as we are similar within the human species.
My mother would have gladly laid down her life for any one of her children or grandchildren in order to protect them from harm, as I and countless other mothers around the world would do. The biological imperative, which prompts mothers and fathers to willingly sacrifice their lives to ensure their children survive, dictates we do that in order to ensure the survival of the human race.
For what is the human race but a collection of individuals from individual families living in different communities, all joined together to make up the whole of humanity? When any one life is devalued and deemed expendable, by extension, the well being and integrity of the whole is compromised.
Individual health IS public health.
Vaccine policies issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) do not recognize the potential biological vulnerability of my family and many other families to be harmed by vaccination. It does not matter if we have a vaccine injured child: CDC and AAP policies turned into law by state legislators do not provide for vaccine injured children or the siblings of vaccine injured children to be medically exempt from vaccination. Children, who have had seizures and other health deterioration after vaccination, often do not qualify for medical exemptions.
In the past quarter century, the numbers of vaccines the CDC and AAP insist that children must get has increased from 23 doses of 7 vaccines to 48 doses of 14 vaccines by age six without any large, credible studies proving it is safe for all children. How many of those genetically vulnerable to repeated atypical manipulation of the immune system through forced multiple vaccine use are among the highly vaccinated American children who are chronically ill and disabled today: 1 in 6 learning disabled; 1 in 9 asthmatic; 1 in 150 developing autism?
The doctors in charge at the CDC and AAP have refused, for more than a quarter century, to acknowledge the existence of a growing number of vaccine injured children and so they have refused to identify and screen out children biologically vulnerable to vaccine-induced brain and immune system dysfunction. One-size-fits-all vaccine policies and state laws have become a de facto selection of the genetically vulnerable for sacrifice. It is a very small step from that kind of societal thinking to the prisons, concentration camps and killing fields that stand as chilling testimony to the human impulse to dehumanize others in order to control, exploit or eliminate them.
Holocaust survivor Elie Weisel has said "When you take an idea or a concept and turn it into an abstraction, that opens the way to take human beings and turn them, also, into abstractions."
Individuals harmed by vaccines are not abstractions. They are human beings who deserve to be spared a lifetime of suffering rather than being thrown under the bus to prop up forced mass vaccination policies that fail to acknowledge biodiversity within the family of man.
In the face of a medical community committed to the utilitarian rationale that a minority of human beings can be sacrificed in service to the majority, the only way parents can protect children from being injured or killed by vaccines is by the free exercise of non- medical legal exemptions for deeply held religious or conscientious beliefs.
Doctors inside and outside of government, who have instilled fear of and discrimination against parents with vaccine injured children, bear responsibility for the hate and prejudice expressed on the New York Times website last week. It is a wake-up call for all Americans who cherish freedom and the human right to make informed, voluntary medical decisions that involve a risk of injury or death.
"The very success of immunizations has turned out to be an Achilles' heel," said Dr. Mark Sawyer, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. "Most of these parents have never seen measles, and don't realize it could be a bad disease so they turn their concerns to unfounded risks. They do not perceive risk of the disease but perceive risk of the vaccine." Dr. Sawyer and the vast majority of pediatricians believe strongly that vaccinations are the cornerstone of sound public health. Many doctors view the so-called exempters as parasites, of a sort, benefiting from the otherwise inoculated majority.....While the picture of an unvaccinated child was once that of the offspring of poor and uneducated parents, "exempters" are often well educated and financially stable, and hold a host of like-minded child-rearing beliefs. Vaccine skeptics provide differing explanations for their belief that vaccines may cause various illnesses and disorders, including autism. Recent news that a federal vaccine court agreed to pay the family of an autistic child in Georgia who had an underlying mitochondrial disorder has led some skeptics to speculate that vaccines may worsen such conditions. Again, researchers say there is no evidence to support this thesis. Alexandra Stewart, director of the Epidemiology of U.S. Immunization Law project at George Washington University, said many of these parents are influenced by misinformation obtained from Web sites that oppose vaccination. "The autism debate has convinced these parents to refuse vaccines to the detriment of their own children as well as the community," Ms. Stewart said." - Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times (March 21, 2008) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/21/us/21vaccine.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin3/21/us/21vaccine.html?hp
"Two sets of parents in Belgium were recently handed five month prison terms for failing to vaccinate their children against polio. Each parent was also fined 4,100 euros ($8,000)....The parents can still avoid prison - their sentences were delayed to give them a chance to vaccinate their children. But if that deadline also passes without their children receiving the injections, the parents could be put behind bars.....The polio vaccine is the only one required by Belgian law. Exceptions are granted only if parents can prove their children might have a bad physical reaction to the vaccine.....Aside from Belgium, only France makes polio vaccinations mandatory by law. In the United States, children must be vaccinated against many diseases including polio, but most states allow children to opt out if their parents have religious or "philosophical" objections. In the U.S. state of Maryland, prosecutors and school officials in one county threatened truancy charges against parents who failed to vaccinate their children.....People who refuse to be vaccinated are "free riders," Harris said. "They can only afford to refuse the vaccine because they are surrounded by people who have fulfilled their obligations to the community." - Maria Cheng, Associated Press (March 12, 2008) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080312/ap_on_he_me/polio_vaccine_prisonp/20080312/ap_on_he_me/polio_vaccine_prison
"One of the most reprehensible weapons being wielded in the witch-hunt against Wakefield is the claim that anyone who gives any credence whatever to his concerns is responsible for the incidence of measles amongst children whose parents are as a result too frightened to give them the MMR vaccination. There are two obvious points to make in response to this piece of moral blackmail: 1) the whole panic could have been avoided by offering single measles, mumps and rubella jabs rather than the triple MMR, and 2) it is surely just as important as avoiding cases of measles mumps and rubella to avoid causing the kind of catastrophic damage to the brain and gut displayed by the children at the heart of this controversy. And there is a further and quite appalling point to note. This whole saga started because parents of such children found that their family doctors were dismissing out of hand their children's gut and brain problems, accordingly refusing to alleviate their suffering. Now, as a direct result of the animosity towards Wakefield that has been whipped up - and the fear that any doctor who suggests he might be right will similarly find him or herself at the receiving end of the medical establishment's fist - children exhibiting this combination of gut and brain damage are finding it difficult to obtain treatment." - Melanie Phillips, The Spectator (March 21, 2008) http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/568226/the-wakefield-witchhunt.thtmlillips/568226/the-wakefield-witchhunt.thtml
A news report out of China, where about 125 million people are hepatitis B carriers, reveals that any child or adult found to be hepatitis B positive faces severe discrimination and societal sanctions while news reports out of Japan reveal that mandatory hepatitis B vaccination programs have transmitted hepatitis B infection. In France, families of hepatitis B vaccine victims are suing drug giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi Pasteur for aggravated deceit and involuntary homicide for the crippling and killing of children and adults, who were required to take the vaccine. The families have been barred from suing two former French government health officials who initiated and promoted the mandatory hepatitis B vaccination program.
For more than 20 years, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) has been receiving reports that adults,children and infants are suffering serious reactions to hepatitis B vaccine. Hepatitis B vaccine reaction reports began to come in to NVIC's Vaccine Reaction Registry in the late 1980's from adult health care workers, who reported extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, joint pain, loss of vision, memory loss, heart problems, and development of multiple sclerosis after hepatitis B vaccination.
When the CDC recommended in 1991 that all healthy newborns at 12 hours of age be given hepatitis B vaccine in the newborn nursery, reports of infants dying after hepatitis B vaccination started coming in and continued all through the 90's. When states started mandating the vaccine for all school children in the late 1990's, parents began reporting that their bright, healthy, honor roll students and star athletes were becoming brain damaged, bed ridden and unable to attend school.
In 1999, NVIC published a report that in the U.S. there were more reported cases of hepatitis B vaccine reactions than reported cases of hepatitis B disease in children under 14 years old, an infection that is primarily transmitted in the U.S. among adult high risk groups such as IV drug users and those with multiple sexual partners.
The U.S., Europe and Canada have had historically low rates of hepatitis B disease. In 1990, one year before the CDC told doctors to give every American child three doses of hepatitis B vaccine, there were 21,102 cases of hepatitis B reported in the U.S. out of more than 300 million Americans. In 2005, there were 5,119 hepatitis B cases reported (MMWR, March 30, 2007)
During the past century, medical doctors in positions of power inside and outside of governments around the world have developed an irrational fear of infectious microorganisms, such as hepatitis B virus, and have instilled that fear in the people they counsel. When irrational fear overtakes rational thought, the first casualty is usually the truth; the second is freedom.
The people in China, who are facing cruel discrimination for testing positive for hepatitis B infection, are being persecuted because of myths and misinformation perpetuated by doctors pushing mass use of hepatitis B vaccine and pharmaceutical drugs. The hype that surrounded CDC-inspired mandatory hepatitis B vaccination laws in the late 1990's had doctors declaring to the media that hepatitis B is highly contagious and could be transmitted in school settings, even though they knew transmission was impossible unless there was a direct exchange of blood. When questioned in a public hearing in 1997, CDC official Eric Mast, M.D. admitted "although [the hepatitis B] virus is present in moderate concentrations in saliva, it's not transmitted commonly by casual contact."
Infants who contract hepatitis B, either from their infected mother or infected blood transfusions, are at highest risk for chronic infection. But for the majority of healthy teenagers and adults, who come down with hepatitis B infection, symptoms include nausea, vomiting, low grade fever, pain and swelling in the joints, headache, and cough for two weeks before the onset of jaundice and enlargement/tenderness of the liver that lasts for three to four weeks. Fatigue can last up to a year but "most patients do not require hospital care" and "95 percent of patients have a favorable course and recover completely" with the case fatality ratio being "very low (approximately 0.1 percent)" according to Harrison's Principles of Medicine (11th Edition).
Those who recover completely from hepatitis B infection acquire life-long immunity. One medical textbook (Robbins Pathologic Textbook of Disease) points out that among those who do not recover completely from hepatitis B infection, fewer than 5 percent become chronic carrriers of the virus, with just one quarter of these in danger of developing life threatening disease later in life. For more information on hepatitis B disease and the vaccine, go to http://www.nvic.org/Diseases/hepbnlr.htm
The tragic consequences of doctors promoting mass hysteria about infectious diseases, like hepatitis B, and insisting on "no-exceptions" vaccine mandates, are becoming clearer every day. The only hope that citizens of every country have to protect their health and the health of their children is to stand up and pass laws which allow informed, voluntary use of vaccines and prohibit discrimination against those who have a disease or are vaccine injured.
No forced vaccination. Not in America.
In an article entitled "Aluminum Adjuvants: What Do We Know, What Don't We Know," pediatrician Lawrence Palevsky, M.D., FAAP, joins NVIC's new internet forum for pediatricians, "The Doctor's Corner" at www.nvic.org. Dr. Palevsky, who is co- founder and president of the Holistic Pediatric Association and past president of the American Holistic Medical Association, questions whether aluminum in vaccines is affecting the health of our children and contributing to the burden of chronic disease and disability.
In his referenced article, Dr. Palevsky explains the importance of maintaining a healthy immune system capable of initiating and resolving inflammation in response to challenges from viruses and bacteria, as well as reviews what is known and not known about the effects of the heavy metal, aluminum, on immune and brain function. He asks "Does aluminum play a role in impairing the overall synergistic, balanced activity of TH1, TH2 and TH3, which is a requirement for a healthy immune system response to the natural environment?"
Dr. Palevsky received his medical degree from the NYU School of Medicine in 1987. He completed a residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC and a fellowship at Bellevue Hospital before joining Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center in the Bronx. He served as Chief of the Pediatric Acute Care Unit at Lenox Hill Hospital for four years and later was in private practice as a holistic integrative pediatrician for the Center for Health & Healing, an integrative and complementary care medical facility affiliated with Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. He provides wellness care for families at the Northport Wellness Center in Long Island and in New York City and participates in community health education programs in New York and nationally.
The Doctor's Corner, sponsored by the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), was created for enlightened pediatricians to publish referenced articles and stimulate dialogue about how and why vaccines cause reactions, injuries and death; why some individuals may be at higher risk than others for suffering a vaccine reaction; and ways in which vaccine risks may be reduced. The discussion on NVIC's The Doctor's Corner will also examine the relationship between infectious disease and vaccination and how early childhood experiences with both can influence immune and brain function.
The National Vaccine Information Center has long supported the forging of a new and more enlightened partnership between pediatricians and parents when it comes to making vaccination decisions for children. Parents in the 21st Century are becoming educated about vaccination and they want something more from pediatricians than inflexible administration of one-size- fits-all vaccine policies that fail to respect bio-diversity or the informed consent ethic. Parents are looking for intelligent, open-minded, compassionate and courageous pediatricians offering an alternative to calls by physicians inside and outside of government issue for forced use of multiple vaccines by all children.
The two pediatricians who have written articles for NVIC's "The Doctor's Corner" - Edward Yazbak, M.D. and Lawrence Palevsky, M.D. - demonstrate that there are enlightened pediatricians who respect and understand parental concerns about vaccines and the risks associated with inflexible vaccine policies. We thank them both for their courage and commitment to preventing vaccine injuries and deaths through public education.
To learn more about Dr. Palevsky and to read his article on aluminum and vaccines, go to http://www.nvic.org/doctors_corner/doctors_corner.htm
Ever since the historic National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Reagan, federal health officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have fought most vaccine injury claims in the U.S. Court of Claims. Even so, special masters in the Court have awarded nearly $2 billion to vaccine victims since 1988. Over the years, there have been several awards quietly made to children, whose autistic behaviors began after DPT vaccine induced brain inflammation, but those awards were vigorously protested by DHHS officials who insisted that vaccines do not cause autism.
This week, however, the news is that DHHS officials have finally "conceded" that vaccines given in 2000 to a 19 month old girl with a pre-existing mitochondrial disorder did, in fact, cause brain inflammation that resulted in a spectrum of permanent brain dysfunction, including autistic behaviors. The child was given DTaP, HIB, MMR, Varicella and polio vaccines all at once and suffered classic vaccine reaction symptoms within 48 hours of the shots and subsequently regressed and was left with permanent disability, including autism.
The parents of the child, Dr. and Mrs. Jon Poling, participated in a press conference in Atlanta today, which was broadcast on CNN. The Poling's attorney for the case was NVIC Board member Cliff Shoemaker, who has represented the vaccine injured in the federal vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) ever since it was created in 1986. Tonight the parents will appear on Larry King Live at 9 p.m. on CNN and there is an on-line poll on autism and vaccines on CNN's website. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains what he thinks the VICP award means.
On tonight's 5:30 p.m. WJLA-TV7 (ABC) News in Washington, D.C., Vicky Debold, PhD, RN speaks out about how her son regressed into autism after his 15 month vaccinations. Vicky's son, who received 7 live virus and killed bacterial vaccines on one day in 1998, suffered nearly identical reactions as the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Poling. During the interview, she said, "I did something stupid. I gave my son 7 vaccines on one day. " She went on to say "I regret this but I can't take it back." Like Terry Poling, who was formerly a pediatric intensive care nurse, Dr. Debold recalls that she was a pediatric ICU nurse and completely trusted the vaccine recommendations by the CDC and AAP. Both Terry and Vicky fully vaccinated their children. Vicky, who is on NVIC's Board, has served as NVIC's Director of Patient Safety for the past few years and has counseled many parents reporting vaccine reactions and regression into poor health to NVIC during the past few years. (View some of these reaction reports at http://www.vaccinememorial.org/)
For more information on the history of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act and NVIC's long- held position regarding need for reform of the Act to make the system less adversarial and compensation less difficult to obtain for the vaccine injured, go to http://www.nvic.org/Loe_Fisher/blfvicp82899.htm
The grassroots vaccine safety and freedom movement in America, which was launched by parents of DPT vaccine injured children in 1982, has been gaining public support during the past quarter century as the numbers of vaccines medical doctors force children to get has more than doubled. From New York and New Jersey to Missouri and Mississippi Americans young and old in big towns and small cities around the nation are joining together to talk about how to change the increasingly oppressive mandatory vaccination laws in their states so they can make informed, voluntary decisions about vaccination.
It is no surprise that decades of collective denial and neglect by the medical community has led to a demand for fewer and more flexible vaccine laws. The calls jamming the phone lines and the emails and letters from desperate parents pouring into the National Vaccine Information Center have never been more alarming or heartbreaking than they are right now.
Mothers describe how they took their child to a pediatrician or public health clinic for a scheduled well baby "check-up" or sick child visit and witnessed nurses and doctors injecting their child with 5 or 8 or 12 vaccines all at once, Then, they say, they watched their children regress into chronic poor health and disability. Many of the children have suffered previous vaccine reactions, which were ignored or dismissed as "a coincidence" by doctors insisting the children be re-vaccinated. Other children are sick and on antibiotics. Others have been born premature or have personal or family histories of severe allergies and autoimmune and neurological disorders.
Over and over again, mothers describe in identical terms what they witnessed, their babies and children suffer following vaccination - seizures, high pitched screaming, collapse, unconsciousness, high fevers, body rashes, head banging, flapping, profound personality changes - cognitive and physical regression that changes the child physically, mentally and emotionally forever. And over and over again, mothers describe how their pediatricians stubbornly deny the vaccines just given had anything to do with what happened.
As someone who has witnessed the proliferation of vaccines and vaccine laws devastate the health of three generations of children, there are no words to adequately describe the pain, despair and fear that has destroyed the once joyful time of young parenting in America today. Children and their parents have become unwilling victims of a medical- industrial complex driven by the profit motive and powered by an ideology that has a callous disregard for individual human life.
It is no wonder that more and more Americans, young and old, are demanding the right to make informed, voluntary vaccination choices for themselves and their families. The grassroots vaccine safety and freedom movement in America is taking root in many states, particularly in those with the fewest exemptions and most vaccine mandates inflexibly implemented.
The conscientious belief exemption to vaccination should be added to the religious exemption in every state and medical exemptions should be widened to provide enlightened physicians with the power to write exemptions for those who do and do not have medical conditions conforming to the narrow one-size-fits-all contraindication guidelines of the CDC and AAP.
The right to informed consent to use of any pharmaceutical product or medical procedure, which carries a risk of injury or death, is a human right. Vaccination should be no exception.
NVIC supports the efforts in every state to change vaccine laws to allow informed, voluntary vaccine decision-making. In Mississippi, parents will be meeting March 17, 2008 at 6 p.m. at the Flowood Public Library, 103 Winners Circle, Flowood, MS to talk about adding a conscientious belief exemption to Mississippi state laws, which only allow a medical exemption. Go to http://parents.meetup.com/465/ for more information.
"As states move to require more vaccines for school-age children, an increasing number of parents are saying no to some of the inoculations. They are seeking exemptions from the state in growing numbers....Rita M. Palma, of Bayport, N.Y., sought a religious exemption from vaccines for her three sons but was turned down after a hearing with school officials. She said she had become increasingly uncomfortable with the vaccines the boys were getting.....After submitting a written request for a religious waiver, she was questioned at a two-hour hearing by the lawyer for the Bayport-Bluepoint School District and turned down last February by the school board. The New York Civil Liberties Union is now pursuing her case. "It is unbelievably traumatic to have your religious convictions questioned," Mrs. Palma said. "For schools to be in the religious sincerity business is just outrageous." Sue Collins, co-founder of the New Jersey Alliance for Informed Choice in Vaccination, said parents often face a variety of roadblocks when seeking vaccine exemptions in the state. "We see schools decline letters, or tell parents that clergy must write letters," she said. "Parents are being harassed and being asked to do things above and beyond the law." Assemblywoman Charlotte Vandervalk, a Republican from Bergen County, who introduced a conscientious exemption bill for vaccines, said parents shouldn't have the burden of proving a religious or medical reason to refuse vaccines. "This is America; you don't force it on everybody," Ms. Vandervalk said." - Fran Silverman, New York Times, (March 2, 2008)
"The point of it is the parents should be in charge of the health care needs of their children," said Drumright, whose daughter is 8 and sons are 6 and 4. "It's not up to the state to dictate to parents how they should make important health care decisions about their children." Sen. John Loudon, R-Chesterfield, said he's considering backing a proposal for a personal exemption. He has headed similar efforts in the past, most recently in 2003. "I am always open to it," Loudon said of the idea of a personal exemption. "I think when a parent does their diligence and has cause for alarm, they should have the authority over government to control the health of their children."......Missouri parents once had the right to exempt their children from immunizations without needing to provide a reason. But the law changed in 1992, and now parents can only opt out of their kids' shots for religious or medical reasons....."As more and more vaccines are being added to the list, that is where you're getting some pushback by parents, and legitimately so," said Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a vaccine safety watchdog agency in Vienna, Va. She said parents are feeling pressured and powerless with all the vaccine mandates. "The one- size-fits all approach to vaccinations ... is simply not medically responsible," Fisher said. "Parents have to be given more flexibility." - Andale Gross, Associated Press (February 29, 2008)
"Tyler's father, Chris Holzinger, said, "After his 2-year-old vaccinations, he became less verbal; eye contact ceased. He started swaying, head-butting, doing a lot of these autistic characteristics." Tyler's parents and 200 others are active in an online support group backing a bill giving Mississippi parents the choice to not have all vaccines....Kellie Bischoff, president of the support group, said,"Well, that's a scary thought, but if you look at the other 48 states with nonmedical exemptions, it really is not an issue. They do not have outbreaks." Just like the other 48 states, the support group wants religious and philosophical exemptions added to the bill. Mississippi and West Virginia are the only states without the exemptions. Even though it's risky, the support group president stopped vaccinating her oldest daughter, Emma, at 2 years old because she had seizures. Her youngest, 2- year-old Addie, hasn't been vaccinated yet. Bischoff said, "If something were to happen and there were a serious vaccine reaction, the parent is ultimately responsible for taking care of this child, not the doctors, not the state, not the school board." - WAPT-TV (ABC affiliate in Jackson, MS) (February 11, 2008)http://www.wapt.com/news
Without scientific evidence that it is both safe and effective to repeatedly administer influenza vaccine to children, the members of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices(ACIP) voted Feb. 28, 2008 to vaccinate all infants and children up to age 18 with influenza vaccine every year. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/health/28flu.ht ml? em&ex=1204261200&en=a727f3655a7f32cc&ei=5087 %0A The vote came in the middle of a flu season that has seen widespread outbreaks of type A and type B strains of influenza that were not included in this year's influenza vaccine. http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN0 850501820080208? feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews&sp=true A report out of Canada last fall indicated that influenza vaccine strains contained in last year's vaccines appeared to be mutating. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNe ws/20071024/flu_shot_071024/20071024hub=TopSto ries
The questionable safey and efficacy of influenza vaccine has been a subject of controversy for decades, despite the insistence by the drug industry and doctors selling the vaccine and government health officials promoting its use that most Americans should get a flu shot every year. Often public health officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) and in the U.S. fail to choose the right influenza strains for the vaccine. http://www.nvic.org/History/News letters/%203770Reaction.pdf
In the past few years, comprehensive reviews of influenza vaccine studies published in the medical literature revealed a stunning lack of scientific support for the safety and effectiveness of giving influenza vaccine to not only children but also to the elderly http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/333/7574/912. The truth is that (1) only 20 percent of all respiratory flu-like illness in a normal flu season is, in fact influenza, and misdiagnosis often occurs; (2) the CDC has never provided published documentation that 36,000 Americans die from actual influenza every year versus respiratory illness that looks like influenza but is not; (3) there is little scientific evidence that influenza vaccine works or is safe for anyone; (4) government policies targeting all infants and children for annual flu vaccination may well endanger the long term health of this and future generations of children by atypically manipulating the immune system with repeated vaccination in an attempt to prevent all natural experience with type A or type B influzenza; and (5) these misguided flu vaccine policies could not only weaken the ability of future generations to experience and successfully heal from a bout with the flu without severe complications or death but also could put pressure on influenza viruses to mutate into more virulent, vaccine resistent forms that will cause future virulent epidemics in populations.
The majority of the American public, including doctors and nurses, refuse to get a flu shot every year despite the millions of dollars spent by the pharmaceutical industry and taxpayer money spent by the CDC to vigorously promote its use. http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/general/news/jul0207 acip.html
Recently, there have been calls by doctors advocating a cradle to the grave approach to vaccination that would require all 300 million Americans to get an annual flu shot. http://www.abcnews.go.com/Health/Flu/s tory?id=3781181
The drug companies selling flu vaccine have one goal: making profit on the millions of doses of vaccine produced every year rather than throwing it away because of poor uptake. CDC officials, eager to help the drug companies out, keep issuing ever widening recommendations to qualify more Americans for getting a flu shot. What began as an effort decades ago to protect those over 65 from complications of influenza that can be deadly for the elderly, has become a boondoggle for drug companies selling and doctors making profit on administering influenza vaccine to everyone, including babies, children and adults.
For the past four decades, every time the CDC has recommended a vaccine for "universal use" by children, those "recommendations" are translated into vaccine laws at the state level. Last year, New Jersey became the first state to mandate influenza vaccine for children as a requirement for attending school. Most states now require nearly three dozen doses vaccines that the CDC has "recommended."
The majority of Americans may not want to get a flu shot every year but the time is soon approaching when they will have no choice. Strident calls by vaccine makers, administrators and policymakers for more vaccine mandates and societal punishments for refusing to comply (" No shots - no education, no health insurance, no job) are paving the way for the day when rolling up your sleeve for a flu shot will become as mandatory and punishable as drinking and driving.
Increasingly, the CDC is guilty of endangering the public health, not protecting it. There is no excuse for issuing vaccine policies not supported by scientific data. The only recourse the public has is to change vaccine laws in the states to allow exemptions for conscientious and religious beliefs, as well as widen the medical exemption to allow enlightened doctors to exempt those with health conditions that are not acknowledged by the CDC as a reason for deferring vaccination. If vaccine laws cannot be made more flexible by allowing wider exemptions, then the day will come when the public will have no choice but to work for the repeal of all vaccine laws.
The National Vaccine Information Center remains committed to working to insert vaccine safety and informed consent protections in vaccine laws in America.
NO FORCED VACCINATION. NOT IN AMERICA.