Counting Blessings, Remembering the Children

by Barbara Loe Fisher

Every Christmas and New Year, when I give thanks for the people who have blessed my life, I remember the mothers and fathers of severely vaccine injured children, who have taught me the most about love and courage. I know that my son, Chris, who developed brain inflammation within hours of his fourth DPT shot in 1980, could have been hurt so much worse.

Chris’s vaccine reaction at two and a half years old left him with milder forms of brain dysfunction - multiple learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder - but he and I both understand that he could have suffered medication resistant seizures, autism, profound mental retardation, or he could have died that day. So when I meet parents, whose children have died or are more seriously affected, I always wonder what kind of mother I would have been and what kind of choices I would have made if Chris’s brain inflammation following his DPT vaccination had been much more severe.

This past fall, my husband, Paul Arthur, and I traveled to a family wedding in New England and, on the way, we stopped in Connecticut to visit Kim and Mark Stagliano and their three daughters, Mia, Gianna, and Bella, who have autism. Kim is the managing editor of Age of Autism and the author of a new book, All I Can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa. Like Kim’s fascinating, irreverent, often touching book that I could not put down, the time I shared with Kim and her family was a reminder that great courage is often defined by great love.

How many mothers and fathers with healthy preteen and teenage children can imagine what it is like to spend every waking (and sleeping) moment helping their children navigate the smallest details of life? How many can imagine doing that with joy and not despair; with purpose and not resignation; with a sense of humor and not bitterness? It is hard to imagine what we would do if we were responsible for raising not one or two, but three children with autism spectrum disorder, the kind of brain and immune system dysfunction that has exploded among American children in the past three decades and now affects 1 in 110 of them.

When Kim and Mark welcomed us into their warm, inviting home in Trumbull, Connecticut, we soon felt like we were part of their lively Irish-Italian family. Over a home-cooked lunch, we laughed a lot and talked about how they met; their early days as newlyweds; and when Mia, their first daughter, was born in 1994. Then Kim told the all-too familiar story I have heard so many times before: how she took a perfectly healthy baby into the pediatrician, where multiple vaccines were given at once, and everything changed.

In Mia's case, her head started to swell after her first round of vaccinations at two months old; and it became more misshapen after the second round of vaccinations at four months old; and, by the time Mia was six months old, the doctor was worried about Mia's head size but still gave her another round of vaccinations. By nine months, Mia was showing signs of brain dysfunction that would eventually be diagnosed as "autism."

What is it about doctors not understanding that the first vaccine – smallpox – and every vaccine created since smallpox vaccine has had the ability to cause brain inflammation followed by a range of mild to severe chronic brain dysfunction? Why don’t doctors know that it is very risky to give more vaccines to a baby if the baby is getting sicker and regressing after each round of vaccines? Why do doctors unreasonably assume that every vaccine is safe for every person rather than understanding that every vaccine carries a risk that can be greater for some than others?

Kim and Mark talked about their ups and downs, the adventures and near-misses, of raising three daughters with autism. They talked about their faith and their determination to never give up searching for ways to help their girls learn, grow and heal. I found myself waiting for the inevitable sadness for “what might have been” to emerge during our conversation but it never did. Then I realized that this was a man and woman, a mother and father, who had chosen to rise above “what might have been” and had moved on to exploring and celebrating “what can be.”

When it was time for the special ed buses to arrive, we waited outside as, one by one, the girls got off: I met the stunning 16 year old Mia, who has big blue eyes just like Kim’s and loves to watch Sesame Street on the computer; and cute, bubbly 14 year old Gianna, who never stops moving and lights up a room with her bright smile; and the pensive, dreamy 10 year old Bella, who is fascinated with running water and struggles to communicate.

I watched Kim patiently and resolutely juggle the whirlwind of after-school activity with Mia and Gianna, while Mark rushed upstairs to rescue the flooded upstairs bathroom from Bella, and I was spellbound by the symphony of controlled chaos. All through it, I could feel how genuinely happy these three girls with autism are because they know how much they are loved.

But I could not help think about what could have been. The thought of what could have been took my breath away.

Why some people face adversity with love, faith and courage, while others do not, is an age-old question. Kim Stagliano, with her remarkable husband by her side, is a very human woman who may be no Mother Teresa, but has chosen to face adversity with the kind of strength and good humor that we all want to believe we have inside of us. Her fearless, funny autobiography is not just for families raising children with autism. It is a book that everybody should read because it allows us to imagine that we could do it, too.

You can get a copy of Kim’s new book, All I Can Handle: I’m No Mother Teresa by going to the website of the National Vaccine Information Center and ordering through, which helps support NVIC’s public service programs. And while you visit our website, please stay for a while and learn more about how to prevent vaccine reactions to help protect the health of those you love.

During this holiday season, in memory of the many families across America, who are meeting the challenges of raising vaccine injured children with hope, and for a healthier future for all children: Merry Christmas and may you have many blessings to count in the New Year.

Click here to watch the video.

Thousands Of Americans Register for NVIC's New Advocacy Portal During Vaccine Awareness Week

by Barbara Loe Fisher

Thousands of Americans living in all 50 states took action and registered for the new NVIC Advocacy Portal at during Vaccine Awareness Week (Nov. 1-6, 2010) co-sponsored by the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) and The NVIC Advocacy Portal, a free, online interactive database and communications network to help Americans protect and expand vaccine exemptions in state vaccine laws, was launched during the joint weeklong effort to raise public awareness about vaccine safety and informed consent issues.

More Than Two Million People Reached

More than two million people were reached during Vaccine Awareness Week through a series of articles and videos about vaccination published on In a
joint press release issued Nov. 8, Dr. Joseph Mercola urged Americans to join with NVIC and and organize to protect vaccine choices.

"Americans should be free to say "yes" or "no" to using vaccines without being harassed or punished for the informed decision they make," said Dr. Mercola. "Like any drug or medical procedure a doctor recommends, getting a vaccine is a personal health choice and the voluntary consent of the patient is absolutely necessary."

Topics of articles about vaccination published on during Vaccine Awareness Week, included:

· NVIC Advocacy Portal

· Influenza

· Chickenpox & Shingles

· Hepatitis B

· HPV & Gardasil

· Vaccine Mandates & Big Business

Leveling the Playing Field in State Legislatures

Dawn Richardson, NVIC Director of Advocacy, who designed the web-based vaccine choice advocacy communications network, developed the Advocacy Portal to make it easier for average citizens to make their voices heard in state legislatures where vaccine exemptions are under attack.

Dawn said 'This is a dream for smart phone users who can be viewing a vaccine legislative action alert in their state, while also being able to get in immediate contact with their elected legislators to voice their opinion. We, the people, don't yet have the money to fight drug company lobbyists and doctors, who are camped out in state legislatures pushing for more vaccine mandates and the elimination of vaccine exemptions. This gives us an effective tool to help level the playing field."

Those who register on the NVIC Advocacy Portal become NVIC Advocacy Team Members and have access to:

· complete, up-to-date contact information for legislators
· vaccine tutorials
· webinars and conference calls
· tips for communicating with legislators and health officials
· web stickers for posting on websites, blogs, Facebook, MySpace
· urgent Action Alerts notifying NVIC Team Members about breaking vaccine legislation news
· online state and national vaccine newsletters
· "Tell a Friend" feature to send an online invitation to family and friends to join the NVIC Advocacy team

Getting Serious About Defending Informed Consent Rights

NVIC developed the NVIC Advocacy Portal because we know it is time to get serious about legally defending the human right to informed consent to medical risk-taking in America. Big medical organizations and doctors with financial ties to vaccine manufacturers are advocating for the elimination of vaccine exemptions in state vaccine laws. We cannot allow ourselves to become captive consumers of every new vaccine that drug companies produce.

NVIC is committed to making our Number One priority in the second decade of the 21st century the protection of the legal right for all Americans to make fully informed, voluntary decisions about vaccination for themselves and their children. NVIC is working to make sure that every state vaccine law includes:

· a medical exemption that does not require approval of state or federal government health officials;

· a religious exemption that is not questioned by doctors or government officials; and

· a conscientious belief exemption that allows citizens to obey their conscience and their personal or philosophical beliefs regarding vaccination.

NVIC & Partners Since 2008

NVIC's partnership with, which ranks in the top five most visited health information websites in the world, is strengthening and expanding NVIC's three decade call for the institution of informed consent protections in US vaccine laws. hosts and and has worked with NVIC since 2008 to research and disseminate referenced information about vaccination and health.

Click here to make a comment and watch a video interview Dr. Mercola conducted
on taking action NOW to protect vaccine choices.

Become an NVIC Facebook Fan and get a free vaccine report from NVIC.

Click here to register for the free NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Click here to make a donation to NVIC.

Forcing Flu Shots on Health Care Workers: Who Is Next?

By Barbara Loe Fisher

Doctors at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are ordering all employees to get a flu shot every year or be sent home for two weeks without pay to “think about it.” Anyone, who still refuses to get a flu shot after that, is fired.1

60 percent of all U.S. health care professionals don’t want to get an annual flu shot,2 which matches the number of Americans, who choose not to get a flu shot, even in pandemic years.3, 4 Surveys reveal that health care providers know that influenza vaccine can cause nasty, unexpected side effects for some people, like paralysis5 and convulsions.6

Not Just Doctors & Nurses: Everyone

But that has not stopped medical organizations from launching a national crusade to force everyone employed in a “healthcare setting” to get a flu shot every year, whether they have direct contact with patients or not.7, 8 That’s right. Not just doctors and nurses, but every single person who has anything to do with the health care facility, including students, volunteers, and contract workers. An exception could be made if the doctors in charge approve a “medical exemption” to vaccination, which, today, is about as hard to get as a job.

It is not a pretty sight to watch doctors acting more like thugs than healers. When doctors threaten people with financial ruin for refusing to shut up and salute smartly, there is something wrong.

Trust is replaced with fear and anger. People start asking questions. Questions like: Who will be threatened and punished next for refusing a flu shot?

The answer is YOU, me, and every American. We are next in line because when doctors trade in their white coats for military uniforms, going after their own is just the first step on the road to going after the rest of us. If this latest power grab is allowed to set precedent in America, the only question in the future will be: how many vaccines will we be forced to take or lose our jobs, our health insurance, our right to enter a hospital, or receive medical care, or get on a plane, or check into a hotel if we can’t prove we have gotten vaccinated?

1905 U.S. Supreme Court Sets Up Vaccine Pushing & Profit-Making

Vaccine mandates are nothing new in America. After smallpox outbreaks disfigured or killed up to one third of those infected during the 17th and 18th centuries, in 1905 the U.S. Supreme Court gave permission to states to pass laws requiring smallpox vaccination.9 Since then, that precedent setting Supreme Court case, Jacobsen v Massachusetts, has become a kind of holy scripture for public health officials, who have used it to persuade state legislators to pass a whole slew of new vaccine laws barring children from going to school unless they prove they have been injected with dozens of doses of vaccines for infectious diseases that do not come close to being as deadly or contagious as smallpox.10

So, even though the 1905 Supreme Court legal opinion was about Americans getting one or two smallpox vaccinations, since then it has been used by doctors to wage an evangelistic crusade to smack down all microorganisms associated with infectious disease by calling on 300 million Americans to be injected with multiple vaccines from day of birth to year of death.11, 12 This, of course, has created a lucrative boondoggle for pharmaceutical corporations seeking a guaranteed, liability-free market for every new vaccine licensed and sold in America, the third largest nation in the world, which helps these companies finance and develop huge global markets as well.13 , 14 In 2009 alone, multi-national corporations took home profits of $2.8 billion dollars in influenza vaccine sales.15

What most people don’t realize is that those long dead US Supreme Court judges used a pseudo ethic, utilitarianism, to justify their legal opinion that vaccination should be forced in America. Utilitarianism, which argues that an action is moral if it results in the “greatest good for the greatest number of people,” was quite popular at the turn of the 20th century.16

The cruel reality of what can happen to individuals when utilitarianism is used to prop up public health policy was brought home in 1927, when US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes used the Jacobsen vs. Massachusetts decision to facilitate the forced sterilization of a young woman.17 At the age of seven months, Carrie Buck was judged to be mentally retarded like her mother. So Holmes gave the green light to the state of Virginia to employ a eugenics solution advocated by medical doctors and scientists and sterilize Carrie for the greater good of society.18

Justice Holmes said flatly and prophetically, “The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the fallopian tubes.”

It is no surprise that Hitler and the Nazis were big fans of Oliver Wendall Holmes.19 By the way, it turned out that Carrie was not mentally retarded after all.

Crimes Against Humanity & The Informed Consent Ethic

Utilitarianism, like eugenics, was discredited during the Doctor’s Trial at Nuremberg after World War II when medical doctors and scientists, who were charged with crimes against humanity, used the utilitarian rationale to justify medical experiments on captive human subjects.20The Doctor’s Trial in 1946 gave birth to the Nuremberg Code and the ethical principle of informed consent, which has been the guiding principle in the ethical practice of modern medicine since then.21 Respect for the informed consent principle protects ordinary people from exploitation by wealthy and powerful individuals, corporations and institutions in society, who are in charge of defining “the greater good” and can easily invoke that utilitarian argument to commit civil and human rights abuses.

Take Doctors & Scientists Off the Pedestal

Now, we come full circle to 2010, as we witness doctors in positions of authority threatening people with loss of employment and financial ruin if they refuse to get injected every year with influenza vaccine, a vaccine that carries two risks: the risk of injury or death and the risk of not working at all.

Why are we letting fellow citizens with M.D. or Ph.D. written after their names to tell us what kinds of risks to take with our lives or the lives of our children? Why do we continue to put doctors and scientists on a pedestal in America and fail to put boundaries on the power they too often wield with callous disregard for the informed consent ethic, civil liberties and individual human life?

Influenza Vaccine: You Have the Right to Weigh the Benefits & Risks

Whether or not you are a health care provider, the decision about whether or not to get a flu shot every year is a personal health choice that should be yours to make after you become informed and weigh the benefits and risks. Educated health care professionals and consumers alike are perfectly capable of analyzing the facts about influenza and influenza vaccine, including the fact that:

  1. 80 percent of all flu-like illness reported during the “flu season” is NOT caused by influenza but by other viruses and bacteria;22
  2. Only 5 to 20 percent of Americans get type A or type B influenza in an average year and the majority recover without any complications and are left with immunity to the strains they were infected with, which contributes to natural herd immunity in our population;23, 24
  3. Like most infectious diseases, influenza can be prevented or reduced in home and health care settings with hand washing, masking and separating sick and healthy persons;25, 26
  4. Influenza viruses are constantly evolving so, depending upon the year, the flu shot may or may not contain the influenza strains associated with most reported influenza cases;27
  5. The majority of published influenza studies are so poorly designed, they have not demonstrated that influenza vaccine is effective or safe;28, 29
  6. Influenza vaccines containing the pandemic H1N1 “swine flu” strain have generated increased reports of paralysis, blood disorders and convulsions;30, 31
  7. There are no clinical studies to evaluate the long term positive or negative health effects on human populations of being injected with influenza vaccine every year throughout life; and
  8. Nobody knows whether mass use of influenza vaccine from the cradle to the grave by all Americans will put pressure on influenza strains to become more virulent like has happened with other microorganisms and universally used vaccines.32, 33

Intimidation & Retaliation to Force Vaccination Is Unethical

It is unscientific, irresponsible and a gross waste of health care dollars, especially in these hard economic times, for doctors and scientists in positions of authority to conduct an uncontrolled national medical experiment on the American people by threatening societal sanctions for those who refuse to get a flu shot every year. Firing health care workers, already hit by unemployment, for simply exercising their human right to informed consent to medical risk taking, is unnecessary and unethical.

The National Vaccine Information Center, which has defended the informed consent ethic in medicine since 1982, joins with other responsible organizations and enlightened individuals, who oppose use of intimidation and retaliation to force all health care professionals to use influenza vaccine.34, 35 NVIC continues to call for informed consent protections in all vaccine policies and laws in America, including liberal medical, religious and conscientious belief exemptions to vaccination.

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

A British historian, who died three years before the 1905 US Supreme Court justices issued their flawed legal opinion about mandatory vaccination, got it right when he said, “Power corrupts [and] absolute power corrupts absolutely.” 36 History has shown that medical doctors and scientists do not know how to wield power without leaving a trail human suffering behind them.

It is time for Americans to stand up and draw a line in the sand for doctors, who fail to appreciate the difference between offering a medical opinion and giving an order that punishes people for disagreeing with that opinion.

Learn More & Stand Up For Your Informed Consent Rights

Go to for more information on diseases and vaccines. Sign up for our Vaccine E-newsletter and watch for the announcement of NVIC’s Vaccine Advocacy Portal that will give you the tools you need to stand up in your state and protect your human right to informed consent to vaccination.

Remember, it’s your health, your family and your choice.


1 Offit, P. 2010. Mandating Influenza Vaccine: One Hospital’s Experience. Medscape.

2 King WD. Woolhandler SJ et al. 2006. Influenza Vaccination and Health Care Workers in the U.S. Journal of General Internal Medicine.

3 Centers for Disease Control. 2008. State-Specific Influenza Vaccine Coverage Among Adults – US, 2006-07 Influenza Season. MMWR.

4 Centers for Disease Control. 2010. Interim Results: State Specific Influenza A(H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine Coverage – U.S. Oct. 2009 – Jan. 2010. MMWR.

5 Haber P, DeStefano F et al. 2004. Guillain-Barre syndrome following influenza vaccination. Journal of the American Medical Association.

6 Corderoy A. Sept. 19, 2010. Side effects worse than the disease. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia).

7 Infectious Diseases Society of America and Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. Aug. 31, 2010. Press Release: Nation’s Leading Infectious Disease Experts Call for Mandatory Flu Vaccine for All Healthcare Personnel: Vaccines Should be Required for Continued Employment for Healthcare Personnel, Epidemiologists and Infectious Disease Physicians Say.

8 Neale T. Sept. 8, 2010. Flu Vaccine a Must for All Healthcare Workers, AAP says. Medpage Today.

9 Jacobsen v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11(1905. LSU Law Center.

10 CNN. Nov. 15, 2007. Vaccinations or Jail: County’s Threat to Parents.

11 Centers for Disease Control. 2010 Child & Adolescent Immunization Schedules.

12 Centers for Disease Control. Adult Immunization Schedule - 2010.

13 HealthCare Finance News. 2010. Global vaccine market now exceeds $20B.

14 Glorikan H. 2009. Influenza Scare Not the Only Vaccine Driver. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.

15 Kresse H, Rovini H. 2009. Influenza Vaccine Market Dynamics. Nature Reviews.

16 Mautner, T. Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy. and Utilitarianism. The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy.

17 Supreme Court Upholds Sterilization of the Mentally Retarded – Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200, 475 Ct. 584, 71L, Ed. 1000 (1927). LSU Law Center.

18 Encyclopedia of Virginia. Buck v. Bell (1927).

19 Black E. Nov. 24, 2003. The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics. History News Network (George Mason University).

20 Seidelman WE. 1996. Nuremberg lamentation: for the forgotten victims of medical science.British Medical Journal.

21 Katz J. The Consent Principle of the Nuremberg Code: It’s Significance Then and Now. The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 227-239.

22 FDA. Feb. 20, 2003. Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory CommitteeMeeting Transcript.

23 Centers for Disease Control. Seasonal Influenza

24 Simonsen L., Clarke MJ et al. 1998. Pandemic versus Epidemic Influenza Mortality: A Pattern of Changing Age Distribution. Journal of Infectious Diseases.

25 Enstone J. 2010. Influenza transmission and related infection control issues. Introduction to Pandemic Influenza (pp. 57-72). CABI

26 Aledort TE, Lurie N et al. 2007. Non-pharmaceutical public health interventions for pandemic influenza: an evaluation of the evidence base. BMC Public Health

27 Fisher BL. 2004. Flu Vaccine: Missing the Mark. The Vaccine Reaction (National Vaccine Information Center).

28 Jefferson T. 2006. Influenza vaccination: policy versus evidence. British Medical Journal.

29 Jefferson T., Debalini MG et al. 2009. Relation of study quality, concordance, take home message, funding, and impact in studies of influenza vaccines; systematic review. British Medical Journal.

30 National Vaccine Information Center. 2010. Press Release: NVIC Calls for Expanded Monitoring of Pandemic H1N1 Vaccine Reactions.

31 Collignon P, Doshi P, Jefferson T. 2010. Adverse Events Following Influenza Vaccination in Australia – Should We Be Surprised? British Medical Journal.

32 Associated Press. Sept. 17, 2007. Shot may be inadvertently boosting superbugs. MSNBC.

33 Fisher BL. July 8, 2010. Whooping Cough Outbreaks and Vaccine Failures. NVIC.

34 ACLU. 2009. NYCLU Urges Public Education and Voluntary Vaccine for H1N1 Flu, Warns Vaccine Mandate Violates Privacy Rights. Testimony by Donna Lieberman.

35 Sullivan PL. 2010. Influenza Vaccination in HealthCare Workers: Should It Be Mandatory? Journal of Issues in Nursing.

36 John Dahlberg-Acton (1834-1902). Wikipedia.

Click here to watch the video.

Amy Wallace & Yellow Journalism

by Barbara Loe Fisher
On October 17, 2009 I was at the Atlanta airport on my way back to Washington, D.C. when I stopped at a newsstand. Like most weary travelers waiting for a plane, I was looking for something to read that would give me a break from my work, which included, two weeks earlier, hosting the large Fourth International Public Conference on Vaccination 1 for an audience of 700 concerned scientists, health care professionals, journalists, legal experts, ethicists and parents from around the world.

Suddenly, my eye caught the distorted, photo-shopped image of a baby with the word FEAR in bold letters imprinted on the baby’s chest. I paged through Wired magazine2 to find out who wrote the article and discovered it was a woman named Amy Wallace, one of the many journalists I had talked with in 2009, who had contacted the National Vaccine Information Center3, a non-profit, educational organization I co-founded in with parents of vaccine injured children in 1982.

As I scanned the article to find out why it was entitled “An Epidemic of Fear: One Man’s Battle Against the Anti-Vaccine Movement,” I quickly realized it was a puff piece for vaccine patent holder, Dr. Paul Offit, who alleges that vaccine injuries and deaths are largely a myth.
Then, I saw my name. And then, I saw the words, “She lies.”

I felt a knot in the pit of my stomach as I read the unsubstantiated, unchallenged slur made by Offit against me. And in those two words “SHE LIES,” I knew that the propaganda tactic of character assassination was being used to attack the credibility of my nearly 30 years4 of work as a vaccine safety consumer advocate.

Now, I have never met Amy Wallace. We have never shaken hands or shared so much as a cup of coffee together. We had one interview on the telephone in 2009. In a sworn statement5 she stated that she did not use any quotes from our telephone interview in her Wired article. No, she didn’t.

She also did not tell Wired readers what I told her, which is that I have always encouraged everyone to become educated6 about the risks of diseases and risks of vaccines and consult one or more trusted health care professionals before making an informed decision - just like every intelligent person should do before using any pharmaceutical product. Instead, Ms. Wallace said she based her description of me on a speech I gave at a conference, a speech that she did not attend.

Nobody at Wired magazine called me while they were presumably fact checking Wallace’s article to ask me point blank, “Dr. Offit said that you lie. Do you have a response?” Wouldn’t a responsible journalist or editor have made some attempt to verify such a serious attack on another person’s character? No, Dr. Offit’s defamatory statement remained in the article, unchallenged.

I was left with two options: 1) I could ignore it; or (2) I could take action to defend my integrity. After consulting Jonathan Emord7, a constitutional and libel law attorney, I selected option number two. I sought justice in a civil court, which is my constitutional privilege as an American citizen and my responsibility as the president of a non-profit organization, whose supporters depend upon the accuracy, honesty and integrity of what I say and do, as does everyone I know.

Requesting a jury trial in a U.S. civil court to sue for slander or libel is not for the faint of heart. You have to review and be prepared to defend the truthfulness of every statement you have ever made and every action you have ever taken in your life. You, your family, friends and colleagues could be subpoenaed and drawn into a potentially very public, drawn-out battle, especially if those you are suing are wealthy, influential and politically connected.

I had never sued anyone before and I certainly never thought I would find it necessary to sue a journalist. The majority of journalists I have worked with over the years have been honest men and women, who have taken care to do their research and fairly report the facts without prejudice, including accurately describing who I am and what I do.

This was different. I had never been defamed before and I knew I had no choice but to take steps to defend my integrity. I was confident that, if my case was presented to a jury of my peers, I would win. I had no doubt I would win on the facts because I do not lie and there was no evidence that could be produced to substantiate the defamatory statement made by Offit, amplified by Wallace, and printed by Wired magazine published by Conde Nast.

After Mr. Emord filed a Complaint with Demand for a Jury Trial8 on Dec. 23, 2009 in a Virginia U.S. District Court asking for one million dollars in damages, we waited for a response from the defendants. When I read the Motion to Dismiss brief filed on Jan. 22, 20109 by the defendants attorneys, I could not believe what I was reading. That CYA brief is better reading material than anything I can write or say here.

Instead of providing one piece of solid evidence to support Offit’s defamatory statement, Wallace claimed I could not sue her because she is a resident of California. And Offit, who has no trouble keeping a straight face when he states flatly that it is absolutely safe for a child to get 10,000 vaccines at once and 100,000 vaccines in a lifetime, claimed he was simply having an emotional meltdown when he hysterically told Wallace “flatly” that I lie. And to draw attention away from the seriousness of engaging in libel per se, the defendants’ attorneys argued that “the quoted remark ‘she lies’ is not capable of being proven true or false” because the civil court system cannot prove whether vaccines do or do not cause harm.

In my Opposition to Motion to Dismiss brief filed on Feb. 3, 201010, Jonathan Emord and his associates brilliantly outlined why it is inconceivable that the self characterized “dispassionate, objective” Dr. Offit described by Wallace in her article as a “mild mannered” rational man of “science,” suddenly would have lost his mind when maliciously calling me a liar. Mr. Emord points out that it is far more logical to conclude that Dr. Offit knew exactly what he was doing.

Mr. Emord also makes a compelling argument that Ms. Wallace knew exactly what she was doing when she wrote an article “void of balanced criticism” that set me up for ridicule as a person “unworthy of any professional association.” Mr. Emord rightly stated that the libel lawsuit we filed was not about “the intellectual debate surrounding vaccination,” it was about proving before a jury of my peers that Offit and Wallace defamed me in order to discredit my long, successful public record of consumer advocacy to defend the informed consent ethic in medicine11.

On February 12, 2010, the case was argued in front of Judge Claude Hilton, a Ronald Reagan federal court appointee. On March 10, 2010, a Memorandum Opinion12 was issued by Judge Hilton granting the defendants’ Motion to Dismiss.

In his opinion, Judge Hilton explained why he would not allow me to face my accusers in a court of law in front of a jury of my peers. First, Hilton said that protection of First Amendment free speech rights are “at their zenith” in this case because Paul Offit and I are public figures debating an issue of “substantial public concern.” Second, he said there would have to be a discussion about “which side of this debate has ‘truth’ on their side” and that would be impossible to prove based upon a “core of objective evidence.”

Third, Hilton offered the opinion that Offit’s allegation “cannot be reasonably understood to suggest” that I am “a person lacking honesty and integrity” and that Wallace and Wired magazine were only reporting Offit’s “personal opinion” about my “views” and none of the defendants intended to make a “literal assertion of fact” that I lie.

In other words, they really didn’t mean it.

Seriously. That was the substance of their main defense – they really didn’t mean it – and Hilton bought it. However, if all three defendants really didn’t mean it, as they claim in their legal brief, then, ethically, all three defendants should have stated so publicly in a clarification published in Wired magazine to correct the public record. That has not happened.

I weighed the option of taking the case to the federal Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel would have reviewed Hilton’s opinion and had the opportunity to overturn it, as has happened in the past. However, if Hilton’s opinion were overturned on appeal, my case would have gone back to Hilton’s court for a jury trial and he would have been the presiding judge with an obvious bias.

So I did not appeal and moved on. However, Ms. Wallace continues to paint herself as the innocent victim of an uprovoked libel lawsuit, even as she becomes the shameful face of yellow journalism13, a nasty, lowbrow kind of tabloid reporting that “exploits, distorts or exaggerates” to create “sensation and attract readers.”

In an August 30, 2010 article14 published on the Internet, Wallace addressed fellow journalists about the difficulties of being sued for libel and complained about being called bad names by grieving parents of vaccine injured children, whom she had cruelly demonized in her article. Casting herself as a martyr with Offit for the cause, she said “The beast doesn’t tire, it seems, of taking whacks at those who dare to describe it” and suggested that she had been vindicated by Hilton’s opinion and the inclusion of her Wired article in an upcoming book on Best American Science Writing edited by a doctor with financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, including vaccine manufacturers.

Sadly, Wallace is looking into a mirror when she describes the “beast.” She, Offit and Wired magazine have feasted on the shattered lives of vaccine injured children and their parents to sell magazines. They have taken delight in belittling vaccine victims and those who are trying to help them, while defending bad science and one-size-fits-all vaccine policies that create more vaccine damaged children every day. Amy Wallace, who wrote an article full of factual errors and silly quotes from a doctor hyping vaccine mandates like a used car salesman, is a classic example of the bully who can dish it out but sure can’t take it.

During the 1980’s, 1990’s and early 2000’s, I worked with award winning,15,16 truly professional print and broadcast journalists,17,18,19,20,21 who were committed to maintaining high journalistic standards and intelligently covering all sides of the multi-faceted vaccine safety issue. They did not sensationalize and dumb down the conversation to a black and white, “pro” and “anti” slugfest that is the hallmark of tabloid journalism.

There are fewer smart, responsible investigative journalists writing about the science, policy, law, ethics and politics of vaccination in America today. Perhaps that is because, today, health journalists are being warned by those in positions of authority to only report one side of the vaccine safety story.22

Do I regret my libel lawsuit, even though I didn’t get my day in court in front of a jury of my peers to prove who is lying and who is not? Not at all.

I know I did the right thing when I stood up to these schoolyard bullies, who are desperately trying to shut down all public discussion about vaccine risks, a subject that public opinion polls reveal concerns more than 50 percent of Americans today.23 Perhaps that is because, today, nearly everybody knows somebody who was healthy, got vaccinated, and then became sick or disabled for the rest of their life.

Doctors, journalists and judges in denial cannot change that harsh reality. It is a reality that the American people are not going to tolerate for much longer before they rise up, break free, and take back their health and their choices.


1 Fourth International Public Conference on Vaccination: Show Us the Science & Give Us the Choice. Oct 2-4, 2009.
5 Wallace A. Declaration of Amy Wallace, January 22, 2010 in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Motion to Dismiss by Amy Wallace and Conde Nast Publications, Inc.
6 About Us.
7 Emord, Jonathan. Biography.
8 Barbara Loe Arthur (aka Barbara Loe Fisher), Plaintiff, v. Paul A. Offit, M.D., Amy Wallace, Conde Nast Publications, Inc., Defendants. Civil Action No. 01:09-cv-1398. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Complaint with Demand for Jury Trial filed Dec. 23, 2009 on behalf of plaintiff by Jonathan W. Emord with Andrea G. Ferrenz, Peter A. Arhangelsky, Christopher K. Niederhauser of Emord & Associates, Counsel for Plaintiff.
9 Barbara Loe Arthur, Plaintiff, v. Paul A. Offit, M.D., et al., Defendants. Civil Action No. 01:09-cv-1398. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Motion to Dismiss filed Jan. 22, 2010 on behalf of defendants by John B. O’Keefe, Michael D. Sullivan, Seth D. Berlin of Levine, Sullivan, Koch & Schulz, Counsel for Amy Wallace and Conde Nast Publications, Inc. and John D. McGavin, Heather K. Bardot of Trichilo, Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath & Judkins, Counsel for Paul A. Offit.
10 Barbara Loe Arthur (aka Barbara Loe Fisher), Plaintiff v. Paul A. Offit, M.D. et al, Defendants. Civil Action No. 01:09-cv-1398. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Plaintiff’s Opposition to Motion to Dismiss filed Feb. 3, 2010 on behalf of plaintiff by Jonathan W. Emord with Andrea G. Ferrenz, Peter A. Arhangelsky, Christopher K. Niederhauser of Emord & Associates, Counsel for Plaintiff.
12 Barbara Loe Arthur, Plaintiff, v. Paul A. Offit, M.D. et al, Defendants. Civil Action No. 01:09-cv-1398. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Memorandum Opinionfiled March 20, 2010 by Claude M. Hilton, U.S. District Judge.
13 The Free Dictionary. Definition of “yellow journalism” from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2000). Also see the history of yellow journalism.
14 Wallace A. Covering Vaccines: Science, policy and politics in the minefield. Reporting on Health. Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California. Aug. 30, 2010.
15 Lea Thompson, Investigative journalist and producer of the Emmy award winning April 1982 NBC-TV documentary DPT: Vaccine Roulette plus news coverage of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 and licensing of DTaP vaccine in 1996.
16 John Hanchette. Investigative journalist and co-author of The Vaccine Machine, a series of investigative Gannett news reports in 1985 on vaccine risks, gaps in science and operational flaws in the mass vaccination program. And a follow-up Gannett investigative series Vaccine Nation in 1999.
17 NBC News “Now Show.” Investigative report on DPT vaccine risks, “hot lots” and VAERS. Melissa Cornick, Fred Francis, Producers. Katie Courac, Correspondent. Mar. 2 and Aug. 31, 1994. Video Part 1:
18 Rock A. The Lethal Dangers of the Billion Dollar Vaccine Business. Money Magazine. Dec. 1, 1996.
19 ABC News. 20/20: Who’s Calling the Shots? Jan. 22, 1999. Sylvia Chase, producer.
20 Bookchin D, Schumacher J. The Virus and the Vaccine. Atlantic Monthly.
February 2000. The Virus and the Vaccine: The True Story of a Cancer-Causing Monkey Virus, Contaminated Polio Vaccine, and the Millions of Americans Exposed. St. Martin’sPress. 2004.
21 Williams V., Schucker M. Prevnar: A Vaccine Investigation. WFAA-TV (ABC-Dallas). Broadcast Feb. 21-22, 2001. Recipient of 2001 award from Investigative Reporters & Editors.
22 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius quoted in an interview: H1N1: The Report Card. Readers Digest. March 2010.
23 Shute N. Parents’ Vaccine Safety Fears Mean Big Trouble for Children’s Health. U.S. News & World Report. March 1, 2010.

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Using Fear & Prejudice to Attack Vaccine Exemptions

by Barbara Loe Fisher

This summer, inaccurate and misleading information about B. pertussis whooping cough and the pertussis vaccine is being put out there by medical doctors, who should know better. Media campaigns designed to create fear about infectious disease are nothing new. This one appears to have three goals: first, to emphasize pertussis risks while ignoring vaccine risks; second, to place blame for whooping cough cases and deaths on the unvaccinated; and, third, to attack religious and conscientious belief exemptions, which serve as informed consent protections in U.S. vaccine laws.

In 2009, public health officials declared a pandemic H1N1 influenza emergency and played up the potential complications of the swine flu while playing down the potential risks of the untested new swine flu vaccine. 1 When two-thirds of Americans “just said no” to swine flu shots, NBC’s chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman ridiculed them and quipped “Just get the damn vaccine.” 2

Now Snyderman has issued a similar standing order to “get vaccinated” but, this time, she is accusing parents of unvaccinated children for causing the deaths of six California infants, who have reportedly died from complications of B. pertussis whooping cough. On July 28, 2010, Dr. Snyderman further alleged that “most people” with religious objections to vaccination are not telling the truth and that the “needs” of the “community as a whole” are “better than the individual” and “more important.” 3

Ordinarily I would not take the time to address specific comments by a prominent doctor, who is careless with the facts when voicing an opinion. But as more doctors use the bully pulpit of the national media – unchallenged - to disseminate incorrect information, promote personal ideological views and advance political agendas, it becomes more important for informed Americans to speak up.

Responding to recent press releases and media reports, in which California health officials say the state is experiencing the worst whooping cough outbreak in 50 years with about 1500 reported cases and six infants dying from B. pertussis, 4 on July 28 Dr. Snyderman offered the following explanation:

“I think that what we are seeing here is a tipping point in unvaccinated children because the hot pockets are in families where, frankly, parents have under-vaccinated or decided not to vaccinate their children.” 5

A quick fact check reveals that both California health officials and Snyderman have not been entirely honest with the people. The Centers for Disease Control’s published morbidity and mortality report shows that in the past 12 months, between July 24, 2009 and July 24, 2010, there were a total of 809 “provisional” cases of whooping cough reported in California.6 In fact, in the entire United States of America for the week ending July 24, there were only 187 reported cases of whooping cough, with no cases occurring in California.

When disease incidence statistics publicized by state health departments do not match those published by federal health agencies, there is something wrong. It is time for California health officials to fully disclose complete details of the 1500 whooping cough cases they allege have occurred in the state during the past year, including how many cases were lab confirmed as B. pertussis; how many cases were classified as “epidemiologically linked” - which means they were NOT lab confirmed; and the ages and vaccination status of all cases, including whether people with suspected or confirmed cases had been given 1,2,3,4,5,6 or more pertussis shots.

Most doctors know perfectly well that getting 3 to 6 doses of pertussis vaccine or more does not give lifelong immunity to whooping cough, and that other viruses and bacteria, such as parapertussis and RSV - which are not covered by the vaccine - can be misdiagnosed as pertussis if proper lab tests are not done. 7, 8 In addition, public health officials know that B. pertussis bacteria have been evolving and become vaccine resistant, making the pertussis vaccine much less effective. 8

So Snyderman is engaging in pure speculation when she blames whooping cough-related deaths on the unvaccinated. The truth is that infants can be as easily exposed to B. pertussis by coming into contact with a fully vaccinated infected person as with an unvaccinated person. 9

Dr. Snyderman goes on state that, “These are 6 infants who have lost their lives who, frankly, should not have died.”

I agree. It is tragic when babies die from whooping cough and it is tragic when babies get pertussis containing vaccines and suffer convulsions, collapse/shock, high pitched screaming and other signs of brain inflammation and then, die.10 It is a tragedy when any baby dies, regardless of the cause.

No fear campaign about infectious disease would be complete without bringing up polio. Snyderman says, “We were given our polio vaccine and the idea was that, if you get a vaccination, you will not get ill and you will not die.”

Yes, that was the “idea” but it is not a fact. Every vaccine carries a risk of injury and death that can be greater for some than others. There is no guarantee the vaccine will prevent an infectious disease and, depending upon the vaccine, it could actually give you the vaccine strain of the disease it is supposed to prevent.

In 1999, the U.S. abandoned use of the live virus oral polio vaccine to prevent individuals in America from being paralyzed by vaccine strain polio. 11 A lot of people don’t know that, if you swallow the live virus polio vaccine, you can get paralyzed and die. On top of that, recently vaccinated persons shed live poliovirus in their body fluids for weeks. People who come in close contact with them can get vaccine strain polio and be paralyzed or die.

Today, a killed polio vaccine is used in America because parents of vaccine injured children lobbied in the 1990’s to get the polio vaccine policy changed.

But Dr. Snyderman only tells one side of the polio story, charging that: “Now people, frankly, have amnesia from the event. They forget what it was like to see people with these communicable diseases.”

There are plenty of Americans, like me, who remember lining up for polio shots in the 1950’s and 60’s and were informed 40 years later, in the 1990’s, that a lot of those experimental polio shots were contaminated with a monkey virus, simian virus 40, that causes cancer in lab animals and has been associated with brain, bone and lung cancers in children and adults. 12, 13

We do remember polio and the iron lung. But we also remember not being told the whole truth about polio vaccine risks.

Then Snyderman takes out the big club and warns: “I worry that, if we are under-vaccinating our children are you start to see things like whooping cough coming back, this is the canary in the coal mine. Last year we saw children die of measles and I worry that, if we see whooping cough and measles, that polio can’t be far away.”

Let’s take another look at official federal disease incidence statistics to see whether that “worry” is justified or is just a lot of hype. In 2009, out of 300 million people living in the United States, there were 71 cases of measles reported. This year, there have been 32 cases of measles. That’s right: 32. There have been no cases of polio reported in America this year and only 1 case since 2006.14

Get a grip, Dr. Snyderman.

“In a country like this, where vaccinations are available, these communicable and infectious and deadly diseases shouldn’t even be talked about,”says Snyderman.

Most doctors know that vaccines only give temporary immunity at best and that microbes, like B. pertussis, are constantly evolving to survive. 15, 16 That’s why five or more doses of pertussis vaccine still can’t prevent all whooping cough disease. So we will be talking about whooping cough, measles, mumps, chicken pox and lots of other infectious diseases for a long, long time in this country and in every country, whether we get vaccinated or not.

“You know I have been an unabashed, unapologetic advocate for vaccinations. They are safe. They work,” says Snyderman.

Many American doctors are “unapologetic” mandatory vaccination advocates because that is what they are told to be by public health officials and leaders in major medical organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics17 and the American Medical Association.18 In fact, about 40 percent of pediatricians in America today proudly say they flatly deny medical care to families, who refuse to follow their orders to “get vaccinated.”19

As important, though, is the question: How many of these doctors refuse to speak to, associate with, and condemn other doctors, who do treat patients making selective vaccine choices?

The truth is, vaccines are not safe for everyone and they do not work for everyone. When doctors only tell half the truth about vaccine benefits and risks, people can sense it. And when they demean and threaten patients, who ask questions or disagree with them, the fragile bond of trust between doctors and patients is broken.

Like when Dr. Snyderman demeans Americans, who exercise religious exemption to vaccination, an exemption which exists in all but two states. “A lot of people are opting out on them [vaccines] and saying, “Well, it’s against my religion” and I would say, for most people, that is just not true,”she says.

It is annoying when anyone pretends to know another person’s mind, heart and soul. But it is frightening when doctors believe they are entitled to judge the sincerity of another person’s religious or conscientiously held beliefs. With this comment, Dr. Snyderman has assumed the position of an Inquisitor. There is some comfort in knowing that the rack is no longer in fashion and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution 20 has not yet been repealed.

“Make sure your children are vaccinated,”says Snyderman.

This simplistic, one-size-fits-all approach to vaccination is dangerous. Because there are children, who are at higher risk for becoming brain injured or dying after getting pertussis containing vaccines (DTaP, Tdap), including those who have suffered previous vaccine reactions like:21,22

  • Very high fever
  • High pitched screaming or persistent crying
  • Convulsions (with or without fever)
  • Collapse/shock (also known as hypo-tonic/hypo-responsive episodes)
  • Brain Inflammation and encephalopathy

For a full list of precautions for children, teenagers and adults, read the manufacturer product inserts and get more information about how to recognize a vaccine reaction at Find out whether the pertussis vaccine your doctor is recommending for your child has been studied for safety and effectiveness when given at the same time as other vaccines. For example, many pertussis vaccines have not been studied in clinical trials when a flu shot is given at the same time.

“If you are an adult and you are around a child under the age of one, get vaccinated,”says Snyderman.

Again, it is important to know whether you, as an adult, are at high risk for suffering a pertussis vaccine reaction, such as being sick at the time of vaccination.

“If you are a woman of childbearing years, get vaccinated,”says Snyderman.

How many pregnant women, whose doctors urge them to get a booster shot (Tdap), know that the vaccine has not been thoroughly studied in pregnant women? Or that manufacturer product inserts include this disclaimer: 23

Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted…..It is not known whether [the vaccine] can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman, or can affect reproductive capacity. [The vaccine] has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential, or for impairment of fertility.

But wait - Dr. Snyderman even tries to make us believe that unvaccinated people can infect immune compromised people simply by walking past them in the grocery store! No, really. She says:

“And if you think, well, you can opt out [of vaccination], remember that, when you go to the grocery store and you walk by someone who has cancer or MS or any other compromised immune system, you put that person in harms way, too.”

Is that the kind of immunology being taught in medical schools today? 24, 25 That an unvaccinated person can transmit infectious disease without hand shaking or kissing or coughing or sneezing - just a simple walk-by will do? 26

And, finally, Dr. Snyderman gets to the heart the matter and promotes her personal ideological belief, which requires devaluing the individual:

“There is a time, when the community as a whole, their needs are better than the individual and, I think, more important,” says Snyderman.

This kind of thinking is called utilitarianism, 27. 28 a political philosophy that was judged to be a pseudo-ethic by the Nuremberg Tribunal at the Doctor’s Trial in 1946. The judges at Nuremberg exposed what happened when doctors used the utilitarian rationale to conduct scientific research during World War II that forced individuals to risk their lives in drug, vaccine and other medical experiments. 29

The Nuremberg Code, which defined the ethical principle of informed consent, has served as the foundation for the ethical practice of medicine for more than half a century. The informed consent principle makes it clear that the rights of the individual cannot, ethically, be sacrificed to the needs or interests of society. 30

But Dr. Snyderman goes further and marginalizes and condemns individuals, who do not agree with her utilitarian view.

“Right now, individuals are trumping the general populace at large and I find that, frankly, offensive and amoral,”says Snyderman.

It is disturbing when prominent doctors tell half-truths and promote fear, hate and prejudice. We want to believe the doctors we trust with our health and our children’s lives care about us as individuals.

Most people consider it is offensive and amoral to write off a minority of individuals as expendable in service to the rest. Because then, the question becomes: How many individuals can be sacrificed for what some in positions of authority have defined as “the greater good?” Is it 300? 3,000? 30,000? Or can we go as high as three million? That is only 1 percent of 300 million Americans, after all.

The truth is, nobody knows how many vaccine victims there are in America, how many of the 1 in 6 learning disabled children; or the 1 in 9 with asthma; or the 1 in 100 who develop autism; or the 1 in 450 who become diabetic, can trace their chronic inflammation, disease and disability back to vaccine reactions that have been dismissed by public health officials and doctors for the past century as just “a coincidence.” 31, 32

When parents of vaccine injured children held the first public demonstration in front of the CDC in Atlanta on May 12, 1986, the larger question we asked public health officials was “Do you know how many?” After we marched, we made presentations to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, (ACIP) and asked the Committee questions and, then, I gave a report on my investigation into whooping cough outbreaks in 1985, which had been heavily publicized by physician officials at the American Academy of Pediatrics. I found that many of the whooping cough cases reported in eight states in 1985 had not been lab confirmed and the majority had occurred in vaccinated children and adults. (You can read a transcript of what happened at that May 1986 CDC meeting on NVIC’s website) 33

Nothing much has changed in the last 25 years. Whooping cough is still infecting both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. There are pertussis increases every four to five years, no matter how high the vaccination rate.32 Many children and adults survive whooping cough disease without complications but some do not. And some doctors in positions of power are still in the business of creating fear and demonizing those, who make informed health choices that do not include use of 16 government recommended vaccines. 33, 34,35

Dr. Snyderman concludes her diatribe by focusing on her own fears, while wistfully clinging to the myth that vaccines will eradicate all infectious diseases in America - if only every man, woman and child would dutifully comply with doctors’ orders to “get vaccinated.”

“I think this winter, as whooping cough upticks, measles continues to be under-vaccinated, we’re going to increasingly see pockets of communicable infections that a few decades ago we thought, frankly, we had eradicated from the United States. These illnesses should not be seen in the United States with the vaccinations that we have at hand,”says Snyderman.

Abe 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 can’t fool all the people all of the time.”

How long is it going to take for medical doctors, who have abandoned their critical thinking skills and lost themselves in orthodoxy, to stop fooling themselves so they can accurately inform their patients about the benefits and risks of vaccination 36 37 and respect the choices their patients make? 38 39

Whatever doctors decide to do and whether they ever conduct the good scientific studies that will answer outstanding questions about vaccination, individuals should always have the freedom to exercise informed consent to medical risk-taking. That freedom protects individuals and minorities from exploitation by those in positions of authority in society, who do not know what they do, as well as from those who do know what they are doing.

The freedom to make an informed, voluntary decision about what we are willing to risk our lives or our children’s lives for is not just an individual need, it is a human right. It is a human right and a freedom worth defending in this and every century.


1 National Vaccine Information Center. Pandemic H1N1 Swine Flu: What About You & Your Family?

2 MSNBC-TV. “Morning Meeting.” August 25, 2009.

3 NBC-TV. “The Today Show.” July 28, 2010. Meredith Vieira & Nancy Snydernan, M.D.

4 California Department of Public Health. Press Release: CDPH Broadens Recommendations for Vaccinating Against Pertussis: Immunization Key to Controlling Whooping Cough. July 19, 2010.

5 Transcript of Meredith Vieira interview of Nancy Snyderman, M.D. on NBC-TV “The Today Show.” July 28, 2010.

6 CDC. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Vol. 59, No. 29. July 30, 2010.

7 He Q, Vijanen MK et al. Whooping Cough Caused by Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella parapertussis in an Immunized Population. JAMA. 1998; 280: 635-637.

8 Liese JG, Renner C. Clinical and epidemiological picture of B pertussis and B parapertussis infections after introduction of acellular pertussis vaccines. Archives of Diseases in Childhood 2003; 88: 684-687.

8 Preston A. Bordetella pertussis: the intersection of genomics and pathobiology. Canadian Medical Association Journal. July 5, 2005. 173 (1)

9 Mooi F R, van LooI HM, King A. Adaptation of Bordetella pertussis to Vaccination: A Cause for its Reemergence? Emerging Infectious Diseases. Vol. 7, No. 3 Supplement June 2001.

10 HRSA. National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Claims Filed and Compensated or Dismissed by Vaccine. (up to May 5, 2010). and Statistics Report: Awards Paid (as of June 7, 2010).

11 Alexander LN, Seward JF et al. Vaccine Policy Changes and Epidemiology of Poliomyelitis in the United States. JAMA. 2004; 298:1696-1701.

12 Carlsen W. Rogue Virus in the Vaccine: Early Polio Vaccine Harbored Virus Now Feared to Cause Cancer in Humans. San Francisco Chronicle. July 15, 2001.

13 Fisher BL. Congressional Testimony: The SV-40 Virus: Has Tainted Polio Vaccine Caused an Increase in Cancer? U.S. House Government Reform Committee. September 10, 2003.

14 MMWR. See Reference #6.

15 Diavatopoulos DA, Cummings CA et al. Bordetella pertussis, the Causative Agent of Whooping Cough, Evolved from a Distinct Human-Associated Lineage of B. bronchiseptica. PLOS Pathogens. December 2005: Vol. 1, Issue 4.

16 McIntosh M. Bacteria Take Short Cuts to Evolve on Fast Track. UA News (University of Arizona). May 10, 2001.

17 Diekema DS. Responding to Parental Refusals of Immunization of Children. Pediatrics. Vol. 115, No. 5. May 2005; pp: 1428-1431. (Reaffirmed as AAP Policy on May 1, 2009).

18 Medical News Today. AACAP Applauds AMA’s Support for Universal Vaccinations. June 19, 2009.

19 Flanagan-Klygis EA, Sharp L, Frader JE. Dismissing the Family Who Refuses Vaccines. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005; 159:929-934.

20 U.S. Constitution – First Amendment.

21 National Vaccine Information Center. Pertussis (Whooping Cough) and Pertussis Vaccine.

22 Sanofi-Pasteur. DAPTACEL Product Insert. March 2008.

23 GlaxoSmithKline. Boosterix Product Insert. December 2008.

24 Siegel JD, Rhinehart E et al. 2007 Guidelines for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings. CDC.

25 Andre JB, Gupta S. Frank S, Tibayrenc M. Evolution and immunology of infectious diseases: What’s new? An E-debate. Infection, Genetics and Evolution (2004) 69-75.

26 Oklahoma Department of Public Health. Public Health Fact Sheet: Preventing Infectious Diseases Daily With Healthy Behavior. November 2007.

27 Mautner, T. Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy. and Utilitarianism. The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy.

28 Ross KL. The Mummy’s Curse: Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832).

29 Seidelman WE. Nuremberg lamentation: for the forgotten victims of medical science. BMJ 1996; 313:1463-7.

30 Katz J. The Consent Principle of the Nuremberg Code: It’s Significance Then and Now. The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 227-239.

31 Coulter HL, Fisher BL. DPT: A Shot in the Dark (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1985).

32 Fisher BL. Vaccines, Autism & Chronic Inflammation: The New Epidemic. 2008.

33 Transcript (partial). May 12, 1986 Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Transcribed in 1986 from audio tapes.

32 MSNBC. Health Today: Growing outbreaks of whooping cough raise health fears. July 28, 2010.

33 Cox L, Walker E. Doctors May ‘Fire” Parents Who Don’t Vaccinate Children. ABC News. October 23, 2009.

34 Nguyen P. Parents who don’t vaccinate their kids put us all at risk. UCLA Today. June 1, 2010.

35 PBS. Frontline: The Vaccine War. April 27, 2010.

36 Legido A, Tenembaum SN, Katsetos CD, Menkes JH. Autoimmune & Postinfectious Diseases (Chapter 8). Child Neurology – 7th Edition. Lippencott Williams & Wilkins, 2006. Pages 631-634 (Neurologic Complications of Immunizations).

37 Fisher BL. Whooping Cough Outbreaks & Vaccine Failures. NVIC. July 7, 2010.

38 NBC “The Today Show.” March 1997. Matt Lauer, Barbara Loe Fisher, Neal Halsey, M.D.

39 Fisher BL. National Vaccine Advisory Committee. The Moral Right to Religious, Conscientious or Personal Belief Exemption to Mandatory Vaccination Laws. May 2, 1997.

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