When your doctor won’t report a vaccine reaction…

November 24, 2009

Federal law requires doctors or other health care professionals who give vaccines to:

  • REPORT ADVERSE EVENTS (hospitalizations, injuries, and deaths) occurring within 30 days of vaccination, including convulsions, shock, paralysis and other serious events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The doctor or other health care provider that administered the vaccination is not supposed to make a judgment as to whether the adverse event that occurred following vaccination was caused by the vaccine or not caused by the vaccine. The law says it is the duty of all vaccine administrators to report the event to the federal government regardless of whether they believe the vaccine caused the event.
  • RECORD ADVERSE EVENTS following vaccination in a person’s permanent medical record.
  • KEEP A PERMANENT RECORD of the date, manufacturer’s name and lot number of all vaccines given.
  • PROVIDE INFORMATION on the vaccine benefits and risks BEFORE the vaccine is given either to the individual who will receive the vaccine or the parent or guardian of that individual.



If your doctor refuses to report a serious event which occurred following a vaccination given to you or your child within 30 days of vaccination to VAERS, you may:


  • FILE A COMPLAINT OF PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT to your State Board of Medical Examiners.  


      REPORT IT TO THE NATIONAL VACCINE INFORMATION CENTER, (NVIC), a national, non-profit, educational organization founded in 1982 and dedicated to preventing vaccine injuries and deaths through public education. By reporting to NVIC, they can better monitor the effectiveness of the government’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System and gather important data on vaccine reactions for analysis that the government and vaccine manufacturers do not do. Call (703)-938-DPT3 and ask for an NVIC Vaccine Adverse Event Registry questionnaire to be sent to you. You may also report a vaccine reaction to NVIC by accessing their web site at http://www.nvic.org

Death By Lethal Vaccine Infection

November 24, 2009

Today is my daughter’s sweet 16th birthday but we will not be celebrating. Instead I will light a candle and when I blow it out I will make a wish in my daughter’s memory. My wish is for all mother’s worldwide, that you will educate yourselves and that you make informed choices so that you may prevent unnecessary tragedy and be spared from my pain.


Laura’s Story


After 41 weeks of pregnancy, on July 27th, 1986, a perfect and healthy little baby, Laura Marie, made her entrance into the world. We were welcomed home by family and friends anxiously waiting to meet the new family member. They showered her with so many beautiful, little tiny, pink dresses, we joked that she would never be able to wear them all in one lifetime.



Our lives changed completely and now revolved around stroller walks in the park, visiting friends, changing diapers, night feedings and shopping for more little pink dresses. We were parents now, we had a family and life was absolutely perfect.


I took Laura for several baby check-ups at the pediatrician. She was a kind and gentle older woman. At 3 months old, the pediatrician was very pleased with Laura’s development and weight gain and vaccinated her with DPT OPV. I didn’t even question her, I knew that all my friend’s babies had this same vaccine and “all good mothers” vaccinated their children to protect them. I left the pediatrician’s office and walked home.


Laura was very fussy, which was unusual. She was crying loudly all the way home in the stroller. When we got home, I realized she had urinated so heavily she wet everything in the stroller. Then her cry turned into screaming and she developed a fever, her leg was very swollen and red, and felt hot. I called the pediatrician who told me this was “normal” and to give her Tempra. I gave her baby Tempra and I felt better, the pediatrician had assured me this was normal.


Laura continued to scream and I could no longer console her. My every instinct told me this was not normal but I was young with my first child and trusted the doctor. I could not hold Laura in my arms because she screamed louder as any movement of her leg seemed to cause her terrible pain. I put her in the swing and she cried herself to sleep. I was so relieved, the Tempra was working and the doctor must have been right. I began to feel silly for all my worrying. A short time later, Laura woke up screaming and spent the evening screaming and sleeping on and off.


She had no appetite and nothing made her stop crying. Finally it was bedtime and she cried in her crib, until she fell asleep. She had never cried herself to sleep before and I felt very bad for letting her but if I held her, she screamed louder. My husband came home from work and I told him about everything that had happened that day. Laura was sleeping soundly in her crib and we were both relieved that she seemed to be feeling better and decided not to worry… I should have worried.


In the morning I awoke and was startled to realize my husband had slept in for work. I immediately knew something was wrong and the worry from the previous night came rushing back to me. I quickly ran to her crib, with a feeling of dread. She did not look right. I closed my eyes tight and opened them again, and considered the possibility that this was a dream, but when I opened my eyes she looked dead.


I went into shock and after that, much of this day remains a blur. I touched her and she was very warm. I screamed for my husband to call 911.


I watched as he performed CPR, my body was frozen and I couldn’t move. He tried to revive our child to no avail. He was shouting for me to open the door for the paramedics, I was temporarily jolted back to reality and I went and opened the door. I could now move but couldn’t speak. I just stood there numbly shaking my head, feeling completely helpless as dozens of paramedics, police and firemen rushed past me into our home. I didn’t cry, and I wanted to scream at them to leave her alone but I couldn’t speak. She was on the floor and they were shocking her tiny body, in the little bedroom with the yellow painted walls and clown wallpaper. I stood there praying in my head that they would just leave her alone, that they would get out of her bedroom and that I would wake up from this horrible dream.


Then I heard someone saying there was a faint pulse and I suddenly felt hopeful. She was rushed from the house in an ambulance. It was then that the homicide detectives led us into another room and the interrogation began.


They decided that my husband and I needed to be questioned in separate rooms. I immediately realized they suspected that we had done this to our child. We all know that perfect children do not suddenly die for no reason. I was silent, I had already decided in my own mind that this was somehow all my fault and although I wasn’t quite sure what I had done to kill her, I was convinced that I had somehow caused this to happen. Perhaps, I was being punished by god for a sin or perhaps it happened because I had let her cry herself to sleep that night. The fact remained that my child was dead and “good mothers” do not have dead children.


My husband began to protest loudly about the line of questioning and he demanded we be taken immediately to the hospital, to see our child. The detectives finally took us to the hospital and put us in the “bad news room.” The doctor came and insisted we sit down before he spoke to us. He began telling us that they had tried this and that and then finally he said the words that would echo in my ears for a lifetime:


“She is dead.”


The pediatrician whom I so respected and adored broke down and cried when I gave her the news on the phone. She went back and forth defending the vaccine that she was told was safe, and blaming it for killing my child and those who told her it was safe.


She then told me that she also had another patient, an infant boy, die after this same vaccination.


Then the detectives took us home for more questions, often repeating the same questions several times until they grew tired of asking them. The questions constantly centered around our involvement, then they searched the house and checked for signs of forced entry. My husband repeatedly told them that he thought the vaccine had killed our child and told them over and over about her unusual behavior since she was vaccinated.


Everyone we knew arrived at our house. I made coffee and tidied the house, like it was any other day and we were having “guests”. Shock is a strange and wonderful thing and of course you don’t know you are in it.


My parents finally insisted on taking me to their house for a few days, while my husband and his friends had the horrendous task of packing up the nursery because I couldn’t stand to look at it any longer. The room I had so lovingly made was now empty and a source of great pain.


Several days later, after the funeral and the tiny white coffin that was so small my husband carried it alone, I finally came out of shock and allowed myself to cry a river. I cried for all the things I would never do with my daughter. All the ballet classes I would never take her to, the wedding I would never attend, the grandchildren I would never know and all the dreams I would never realize with her. I cried for all that was and all that would never be. There was an emptiness inside of me that threatened to swallow me up whole, as I fell into the depths of grief during the darkest days of my life.


The detectives eventually became satisfied that we had not harmed our daughter in any way and the investigation into her death ended. We were then left without answers.


The doctors did not want to talk about her death being related in any way to the vaccine and, one after the other, refused to answer our many questions. I was repeatedly told that vaccines were for “the greater good.” I was even told that loss of life through immunization was “expected” in the war against disease but these losses were considered to be at “acceptable” levels. However, this did not feel very acceptable or good to me as a mother with empty arms that ached for my child. The coroner finally told us months later that the cause of death was determined to be “SIDS” (sudden infant death syndrome), meaning “no known cause,” and refused to release a copy of the autopsy report to us.


It took almost a year for us to obtain this report and to our great horror, we realized that the autopsy summery was copied directly from the vaccine product monograph under the heading “Contraindications” as follows:


“Sudden infant death syndrome has been reported following administration of vaccines containing Diphtheria, tetanus toxoids, and pertussis vaccine. However, the significance of these reports is not clear. One common factor is the age where primary immunization was done between the age of 2 to 6 months, a period where most sudden infant death syndromes are found to 1occur with a peak incidence being at 2 to 4 months.”


There was no toxicology testing performed and the pediatrician never filed an adverse vaccine reaction report with health authorities. I later learned that most vaccine-induced deaths in this country are listed as SIDS and SIDS statistics are NOT included in vaccine adverse reaction data, even if a child dies only a few hours after receiving inoculation. This data is presented to physicians and the public to reassure them that vaccines are safe.


The government’s own literature advises that there has been little or no testing in the area of vaccine safety or efficacy. Essentially, our children are the test. According to their literature, immunization is “the most cost effective” way to prevent disease. Nowhere in their literature does it claim to be the safest. We are trading our children’s lives to save the government money. We are told that the benefits outweigh the risks but many of the diseases that we vaccinate for are not even life threatening; however, the vaccine itself has the potential to kill.


Vaccines kill at a much higher rate than we are led to believe. We play vaccine roulette with our children’s lives and we never know which child will fall victim next.


If the odds are 1 in 500 thousand for death, 1 in 100 thousand for permanent brain injury, 1 in 1700 for seizures and convulsions or one in 100 for adverse reaction, are you willing to take that chance? Are any odds acceptable enough to convince you to gamble with your child’s life?


I can assure you that death from vaccination is neither quick nor painless. I helplessly watched my daughter suffer an excruciatingly slow death as she screamed and arched her back in pain, while the vaccine did as it was intended to do and assaulted her immature immune system. The poisons used as preservatives seeped through her tiny body, overwhelming her vital organs one by one until they collapsed. It is an image that will haunt me forever and I hope no other parent ever has to witness it.


A death sentence considered too inhumane for this county’s most violent criminals was handed down to my beautiful, innocent, infant daughter, death by lethal injection.


Today, on my daughter’s birthday, I will grieve not only for the loss of my own child but for all the innocent children for which the benefits of vaccines do not outweigh the risks and are unnecessarily sentenced to death by lethal injection, under the guise of “the greater good.” The true war is not against disease; we have somehow become our own worst enemy by putting our faith in science instead of nature. Today, I call on all mothers across the world to join me in putting an end to this senseless slaughter of our most precious resource, our children.


Response from Dawn Richardson, President,
http://www.vaccineinfo.net/PROVE


Dear PROVE Members


I am forwarding this … as a tribute to baby Laura and all the other children who have been injured or killed by a vaccine so that parents can learn another side to the vaccine story.


When I was almost 8 months pregnant with one of my daughters, I had volunteered to go to the Travis County Morgue with Karin Schumacher who, for years before she went to Law School, ran the NVIC news-list. Karin asked me to help her go through autopsy reports of infants listed as SIDS deaths and look at vaccination information. I will never forget the experience. We sat there in this basement buried in infant autopsy reports as my own baby kicked and turned inside of me.


Here were two of our observations: 1) A highly disproportionate amount of SIDS deaths clustered at 2, 4, and 6 months — which are the very times infants are vaccinated. If vaccines had nothing to do with these, the numbers should have been randomly spread throughout the first 6 months of life. Not so. I challenge the naysayers to go to any morgue in the country and to be honest and see what I’m talking about.


2) It was shocking at how rare it was for the vaccine information to be recorded and how little investigating into the cause of death of these babies was actually done. It floored me that the when the vaccine information was even mentioned, it was often so incomplete. Medical examiners routinely missed asking for this indispensable information and failed to note the correlation of the date when the child died to even raise the question.


One of the things that struck me when reading Christine’s story … is that here we are 16 years later and so many doctors are still downplaying and denying the risks of vaccines and healthy babies are still dying after being vaccinated.


One of the most offensive things that
http://www.senate.gov/%7Efrist/Contact/contact.html Senator Frist has in his vaccine bill which shields the drug companies from all liability when a vaccine injures or kills someone is that he is proposing that the federal government increase the amount of money that a parent receives from the government compensation program when their child is killed by a vaccine. Parents are not willing to be bought off with this blood money. Elected officials like Frist who want to eliminate the financial responsibility of the drug companies all together and throw the bone to parents that the government will pay them more if the government mandated vaccine kills their kid need to be voted out of Congress. If you haven’t sent your email notes to your senators to
http://www.vaccineinfo.net/national_issues/oppose_Frist_bill_s2053.htmoppose S 2053 yet – PLEASE do! If drug companies have ZERO threat of liability, the one thing we can be certain of is that stories like [Laura’s] will become far more common.


The key to change is education. Fortunately, the Internet allows parents to educate parents. Please stop for a quiet moment after reading the note and say a prayer for all the babies whose lives were ended before they even got a chance to really start … and then take the time to forward this on to other parents.


Sincerely, Dawn Richardson President, PROVE




http://www.vaccineinfo.net/national_issues/oppose_Frist_bill_s2053.htm


SenatorFrist’s Vaccine Bill S 2053


———-


Dr. Mercola’s Comment:


I strongly urge you to forward this particular piece to everyone — parents, expecting parents, women in their childbearing years, and anyone who may know such individuals – and ask them to forward it on, too. One of the greatest powers of the Internet is that we can spread important information quickly; another is that we are not (yet!) restricted from doing so by government or corporate bodies.


Laura’s tragic story is, sadly, anything but new. For years, as you can see via the links below or by searching on Mercola.com, I have
http://www.mercola.com/article/vaccines/death.htm warned against vaccines, as have other credentialed physicians. The good they may do is overwhelmed by the harm they inflict, from the trauma of being stuck with endless needles to inflicting the very disease they are supposed to guard against to, as this story shows, death.


There are alternate and vastly safer methods that all begin with a truly healthy diet as outlined in my
http://www.mercola.com/nutritionplan/index.htm Eating Plan; of course, drug manufacturers and the government they have purchased don’t want you to believe that the foods you consume and the habits you adopt are the primary solution to establishing immunity to diseases and living longer. They want you to believe that their pharmaceuticals, including vaccines, are essential to your existence, and your children’s.


Their wealth relies on your dependency, and so they will do everything to crush the notion of “natural” – meaning they don’t profit from it, and you take back the control – health. They will
http://www.mercola.com/2002/jul/31/hoax.htm spend three billion dollars this year alone in advertisements for their pharmaceuticals, preying on unsuspecting consumers’ hopes and fears with these carefully crafted campaigns. Apparently, they will not even stop at killing our children to feed their greed.


Again, I encourage you to check out the links below, and to use the powerful search feature on Mercola.com, using terms such as “vaccine” or “pharmaceutical manufacturer,” to find out how the traditional medical establishment is putting your life and the lives of those you love at risk — and how to take back your health.


Related Articles:
http://www.mercola.com/2001/aug/18/vaccine_myths.htm


Dispelling Vaccination Myths
http://www.mercola.com/2002/mar/30/mercury_vaccine.htm


Mercury Poisoning from Vaccines
http://www.mercola.com/2002/jul/31/hoax.htm


Pharmaceutical Advertising: Another 3 Billion Dollar Hoax
http://www.mercola.com/2002/feb/2/vaccine_insanity.htm


Vaccine Insanity “You were created to live in perfect health your entire life… Naturally!”


Rescources
Christine Colebeck. (2009). Death By Lethal Vaccine Infection . Retrieved from http://www.rense.com/general57/ddee.htm

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

November 24, 2009

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexpected, sudden death of a child under age 1 in which an autopsy does not show an explainable cause of death.
There are no symptoms. Babies who die of SIDS do not appear to suffer or struggle.
SIDS rates have dropped dramatically since 1992, when parents were first told to put babies to sleep on their backs or sides to reduce the likelihood of SIDS. Unfortunately, SIDS remains a significant cause of death in infants under one year old. Thousands of babies die of SIDS in the United States each year.
The cause of SIDS is unknown, although there are several theories. Many doctors and researchers now believe that SIDS is not a single condition that is always caused by the same medical problems, but infant death caused by several different factors.
These factors may include problems with sleep arousal or an inability to sense a build-up of carbon dioxide in the blood. Almost all SIDS deaths occur without any warning or symptoms when the infant is thought to be sleeping.
SIDS is most likely to occur between 2 and 4 months of age, and 90% occur by 6 months of age. It occurs more often in winter months, with the peak in January. There is also a greater rate of SIDS among Native and African Americans.
The following factors increase the risk of SIDS:
  • Babies who sleep on their stomachs
  • Babies who sleep in the same bed as their parents
  • Babies who have soft bedding in the crib
  • Multiple birth babies
  • Premature babies
  • Babies with a sibling who had SIDS
  • Mothers who smoke or use illegal drugs
  • Teen mothers
  • Short time period between pregnancies
  • Late or no prenatal care
  • Situations of poverty
SIDS affects boys more often than girls. While studies show that babies with the above risk factors are more likely to be affected, the impact or importance of each factor is not well-defined or understood.
Autopsy results are not able to confirm a cause of death, but may help add to the existing knowledge about SIDS. Autopsies may be required by state law in the event of unexplainable death.
Revised American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) guidelines, released in October 2005, recommend the following:
Always put a baby to sleep on its back. (This includes naps.) DO NOT put a baby to sleep on its stomach. Side sleeping is unstable and should also be avoided. Allowing the baby to roll around on its tummy while awake can prevent a flat spot (due to sleeping in one position) from forming on the back of the head.
Only put babies to sleep in a crib. NEVER allow the baby to sleep in bed with other children or adults, and do NOT put them to sleep on surfaces other than cribs, like a sofa.
Let babies sleep in the same room (NOT the same bed) as parents. If possible, babies cribs should be placed in the parents’ bedroom to allow for night-time feeding.
Avoid soft bedding materials. Babies should be placed on a firm, tight-fitting crib mattress with no comforter. Use a light sheet to cover the baby. Do not use pillows, comforters, or quilts.
Make sure the room temperature is not too hot. The room temperature should be comfortable for a lightly-clothed adult. A baby should not be hot to the touch.
Let the baby sleep with a pacifier. Pacifiers at naptime and bedtime can reduce the risk of SIDS. Doctors think that a pacifier might allow the airway to open more, or prevent the baby from falling into a deep sleep. A baby that wakes up more easily may automatically move out of a dangerous position. However, do not force the infant to use a pacifier. Although pacifier use has been associated with dental problems and breast-feeding difficulties, researchers say the potential benefit (decreased SIDS risk) outweighs the risks. The AAP says that one SIDS death could be prevented for every 2,733 babies who suck on a pacifier during sleep.
Do not use breathing monitors or products marketed as ways to reduce SIDS. In the past, home apnea (breathing) monitors were recommended for families with a history of the condition.  But research found that they had no effect, and the use of home monitors has largely stopped.
Other recommendations from SIDS experts:
  • Keep your baby in a smoke-free environment.
  • Breastfeed your baby, if possible — breastfeeding reduces some upper respiratory infections that may influence the development of SIDS.
  • NEVER give honey to a child less than 1 year old — honey in very young children may cause infant botulism, which may be associated with SIDS.
Until the nature of the disease is fully understood, complete prevention will not be a reality (A.D.A.M., 2009).
If your baby is not moving or breathing, begin CPR and call 911. Parents and caregivers of all infants and children should be trained in CPR (A.D.A.M., 2009)
Reference
 A.D.A.M.. (2009). Sudden infant death syndrome. Retrieved from https://health.google.com/health/ref/Sudden+infant+death+syndrome

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Vaccines – Don’t believe this shit!

November 20, 2009

The following information is from the CDC website on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Vaccines – Don’t believe this shit!  The CDC admits on it’s own site that the research relied on did not accomplish what it was intended to determine and was performed by incompetent people, and should not be relied on, and does not conform to proper statistical sampling, or scientific research standards. 


From 2 to 4 months old, babies begin their primary course of vaccinations. This is also the peak age for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The timing of these two events has led some people to believe they might be related. However, studies have concluded that vaccinations are not a risk factor for SIDS.
With babies receiving multiple doses of vaccines during their first year of life and SIDS being the leading cause of death in babies between one month and onyear of age, CDC has led research studies to look for possible linkages. Results from studies below and continued monitoring reassure us about the safety of vaccines.
  • The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report on Immunization Safety Review: Vaccination and Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy in 2003. The committee reviewed epidemiologic evidence focusing on SIDS, all sudden unexpected death in infancy, and neonatal death (infant death, whether sudden or not, during the first 4 weeks of life). The committee also looked for possible relationships between SIDS and the individual vaccines diphtheria-tetanus-whole-cell pertussis (DTwP), DTaP, HepB, Hib, and polio; and specific combinations of vaccines. The committee did not find enough evidence to show vaccines cause SIDS.
  • A study using Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) data, which included children who were covered by a managed care organization health plan, found no association between immunization and deaths in young children. The study investigated deaths in children one month to 7 years of age between 1991 and 1995. Data were analyzed by comparing vaccination histories for each vaccine during the week and month prior to the date of death for each child. Five hundred and seventeen deaths occurred between 1991 and 1995, most (59%) during the first year of life. Of these deaths, the results did not show an association between immunizations and childhood deaths.

Studies that looked at the age distribution and seasonality of deaths reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). SIDS and VAERS reports following DTP vaccination, and SIDS and VAERS reports following hepatitis B vaccination found no association between SIDS and vaccination.  VAERS also monitors the safety of vaccines. Through VAERS the U.S. Food and Drug Administration carefully investigates all deaths following vaccination that are reported to VAERS

WAKE UP! !   SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion.  When the medial examiner cannot determine a cause of death, he or she records the cause of death to be “undeterminable” or “natural causes”  or ” SIDS “.

No doctor would dare be so bold as to link vaccines to an otherwise healthy infant’s unexplained death following vaccination. When asked why a medical examiner choose not to investigate vaccines as a possible contributor to an infant’s death who died 18 hours after receiving five vaccinations, the Medical examiner claimed there was no way of testing for vaccines.

However, according to the CDC’s website a formal scientific study usually is required to distinguish between coincidences and true reactions. Nearly every death VAERS reports lists SIDS as the cause of death.  Deaths typically occurring the day of vaccination or within a few days after.  The data also shows death occurs  most frequently around 2 and 4 months. Look at the data yourself and tell me there is no link.  WAKE UP!

As a result of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ 1992 recommendation to place healthy babies on their backs to sleep, and the success of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Back to Sleep campaign, fewer SIDS deaths are reported. According to “Targeting SIDS: A Strategic Plan:”

Between 1992 and 1998, the proportion of infants placed to sleep on their stomachs declined from about 70 percent to about 17 percent.

      • Between 1992 and 1998, the SIDS rate declined by about 40 percent, from 1.2 per 1,000 live births to 0.72 per 1,000 live births.
      • These results tell us that most SIDS deaths are due to factors like sleeping on their stomachs, cigarette smoke exposure, and mild respiratory infections.

      Additional “Scientific” Articles

      Institute of Medicine. Immunization Safety Review: Vaccinations and Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (March 2003)
      Jonville-Béra AP, Autret-Leca E, Barbeillon F, Paris-Llado J; French Reference Centers for SIDS.Sudden unexpected death in infants under three months of age and vaccination status: a case-control study. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2001;51(3):271–276.
      Niu MT, Salive ME, Ellenberg SS. Neonatal deaths after hepatitis B vaccine Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine 1999;153:1279–1282.
      Silvers LE, Ellenberg SS, Wise RP, Varricchio FE, Mootrey GT, Salive ME. The epidemiology of fatalities reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System 1990–1997. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety2001;10(4):279–285.
      Silvers LE, Varricchio FE, Ellenberg SS, Krueger CL, Wise RP, Salive ME. Pediatric deaths reported after vaccination: the utility of information obtained from parents. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2002;22(3):170–176.
      Vennemann MM, Butterfass-Bahloul T, Jorch G, Brinkmann B, Findeisen M, Sauerland C, Bajanowski T, Mitchell EA; GeSID Group. Sudden infant death syndrome: no increased risk after immunisation. Vaccine 2007;25(2):336–340.


Why We Worry about Vaccines

November 18, 2009

Even as doctors try to reassure the public, and TV news anchors get their swine flu shots on the morning news, there remains a great unease about vaccinations in the US. People hesitant to take the needle are marginalized as anti-vaccine nuts, regardless of the many justifiable reasons to distrust giant pharmaceutical producers and government regulators. Money can easily trump morality and the five drug companies contracted with the U.S. government to produce the H1N1 vaccines will be paid from $250 to $690 million each for mass production.

Profits are not evil, of course, and making money does not mean a company lacks principle. There are, however, causes for concern. The last time there was a mass vaccination attempt of this scale was the 1976 National Influenza Vaccination Program for swine flu. Vaccinations were suspended when 1,098 people suffered from Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack parts of the nervous system. There was a 1 in 100,000 rate of occurrence. Although we must assume vaccines have improved considerably in the intervening years, the insert on the Novartis swine flu vaccine being administered this fall lists Guillain-Barré as a possible side effect.
The public’s wariness about pharmaceutical companies did not suddenly arise. Distrust is a product of consistent deception ranging from Merck’s Vioxx debacle to the billions in fines paid by drug companies for marketing products “off label,” which is a usage other than what has been approved by the FDA. American cynicism with big business has been born of corruption ranging from Wall Street to the boardrooms of Halliburton, and big pharma has played a significant role in this downfall of capitalism’s image.
The government is also culpable. When Madoff and debt bundlers played no-lose poker under the nose of regulators, they made it even harder to believe that Washington can offer protection from unscrupulous companies. In the pharmaceutical industry, a decade ago, a congressionally mandated study conducted by the FDA recommended the removal of mercury-based preservatives from vaccines. Ethyl mercury, an ingredient in thimerosal, is used to prevent bacterial contamination of vaccines. But because it accumulates in the body as a potent toxin to the developing brain, in July of 1999 the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics agreed that “thimerosal-containing vaccines should be removed [from the market] as soon as possible.” Although the joint statement insisted — based upon no valid evidence — the risk of harm to children was miniscule compared to the risk of disease from being unvaccinated, the change of policy still called for the end of thimerosal’s inclusion in vaccine formulas.
Thimerosal, nonetheless, continues to be used as a preservative in sixteen vaccines, five of which are given to infants. Although it was taken out of the Hepatitis B, Diptheria,Tetanus and Pertussis, and the hemophillus B shots in the US in 2000, the mercury-based additive is included in the multi-dose seasonal flu shots and H1N1, and is also in some childhood formulations of meningitis vaccines. The CDC has identified pregnant women and children as “high priorities” to receive the flu shots with thimerosal. No one seems to know why the mercury has not been removed. In fact, the government has all but ignored the 1986 Mandate for Safer Childhood Vaccines, the Combating Autism Act, and a unanimous decision in June from the National Vaccine Advisory Committee, which all called for safety studies and research comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated humans and animals. This has never been done for thimerosal or even the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine, which an increasing number of parents have associated with the onset of autism in their children.
The failure of health institutions in the government to conduct these studies will eventually do great harm to the uptake of vaccines and will likely jeopardize critical herd immunity.
Private research, in collaboration with universities, is endeavoring to fill this gap and is turning up disturbing results. A new study from a group of scientists, which was just published in the journal NeuroToxicology, has shown that the birth dose of a thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B vaccine given to macaque monkeys caused developmental delays in key survival instincts. A team of scientists led by Dr. Laura Hewitson of the University of Pittsburgh and Dr. Andrew Wakefield of Thoughtful House in Austin, reported findings that indicated newborn rhesus macaques injected with Hepatitis B vaccines adjusted for their body weight experienced critical developmental delays in the reflexes of “root, snout, and suck,” which are essential for survival. The peer-reviewed study was not designed to determine if the harm was caused by the thimerosal or some other ingredient in the vaccine, but revealed the neurodevelopment delays were statistically significant without regard to birth weight or gestational age.
“Had this study been done as a pre-clinical trial, the FDA could have never licensed a mercury-containing Hepatitis B vaccine, nor could the CDC have ever recommended one, at least for infants and young children,” said Theresa Wrangham, president of the group SafeMinds. “We are especially alarmed because the seasonal influenza and swine flu vaccines contain mercury. We think pregnant women and young children should not be given mercury-containing medicines with such significant side effects.”
The main effect on the macaques was measured in the function of the brainstem, which controls autonomic functions like breathing and heart beat. Unvaccinated “control” monkeys, either given saline or nothing, did not experience any developmental problems. Regardless, the CDC continues to insist that there is “no convincing evidence of harm” caused by vaccines, though the studies often cited in support of vaccines are criticized as deeply flawed and are frequently compared to “tobacco epidemiology” as proof of safety.
The Hewitson paper was published in the wake a recent epidemiological report from Stony Brook University Medical Center that demonstrates an association between Hepatitis B and a nine-fold increase in special education services and an apparent triplingof the risk for autism. The data are likely to increase pressure on the government to re-examine already approved vaccines. Health and Human Service’s National Vaccine Advisory Committee, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine, Congress, Dr. Bernadine Healy, the former Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Lou Cooper, the former President of the American Academy of Pediatrics have all said that current research on vaccine safety is inadequate. Even the CDC has conceded that some safety “claims against vaccines cannot be disproved” and that it “does not have complete adverse events surveillance data on which to base health messages.”
Who is reasonably against a reassuring level of “safety” in vaccines? Drug companies continue efforts to marginalize these scientists as anti-vaccine quacks but most of these researchers believe as strongly in the importance of vaccines as do other physicians. They simply demand proof of safety. The University of Pittsburgh study begins to deliver the kind of data required to identify what are clearly preventable vaccine-caused injuries in our children. Doctors and researchers who do not demand a safety-first agenda that is transparent and accountable will ultimately be responsible for the public’s failure to vaccinate. More and more parents will continue to revolt until they are completely confident their children are safe.
Hardly seems like that’s too much to ask.


Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-moore/why-we-worry-about-vaccin_b_306202.html

Vaccines to blame for infant deaths – ABC News

November 17, 2009

The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Gives Hope to Parents of Children with Autism

November 15, 2009

Bernadine Healy, “Fighting the Autism-Vaccine War,” U.S. News & World Report, April 10, 2008. Copyright © 2008 U.S. News and World Report, L.P. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.


“[The vaccine court’s Hannah Poling case] was a vindication for families who have been battling with the vaccine community, arguing that some poorly understood reaction to components of vaccines … could cause brain injury.”


The Hannah Poling case, in which the vaccine court concluded that vaccines led to Hannah’s autistic behavior, was a positive step for those parents who have long believed in the connection between vaccines and autism, maintains Bernadine Healy in the following viewpoint. Vaccines have historically been linked to neurological reactions, which led to a vaccine court. Despite claims by traditional medical organizations that there is no vaccine-autism link, she reasons that the case offers hope for those who disagree. Healy is a cardiologist and health policy analyst.

As you read, consider the following questions:

  1. According to Healy, why do some dismiss Hannah Poling as an anomaly?
  2. What does the author think is the problem with population studies of vaccines?
  3. In the author’s opinion, what calls into question the universal vaccination strategy?

One of the most vitriolic debates in medical history is just beginning to have its day in court—vaccine court, that is. Without laying blame, the independent Office of Special Masters of the Court of Federal Claims—with a 20-year record of handling vaccine matters—recently conceded that the brain damage and autistic behavior of Hannah Poling stemmed from her exposure as a toddler to five vaccinations on one day in July 2000. Two days later, she was overtaken by a high fever and an encephalopathy that deteriorated into autistic behavior. Even though autism has a strong genetic basis, and she has a coexisting rare mitochondrial disorder, I would not be too quick to dismiss Hannah as an anomaly.


At some level, the decision was a vindication for families who have been battling with the vaccine community, arguing that some poorly understood reaction to components of vaccines or their mercury-based preservative, thimerosal, could cause brain injury. Yes, vaccines are extraordinarily safe and bring huge public health benefit. (Remember the 1950s polio epidemics?) But vaccine experts tend to look at the population as a whole, not at individual patients. And population studies are not granular enough to detect individual metabolic, genetic, or immunological variation that might make some children under certain circumstances susceptible to neurological complications after vaccination.


A Trigger?
Families are not alone in searching for a trigger that might explain why autism and autism spectrum disorders have skyrocketed; now they reportedly affect about 1 in 150 kids. No doubt some of the increase is soft, due to broader diagnostic criteria, greater awareness, and—now that the notion of a detached “refrigerator” mom as a cause has blessedly fallen by the wayside—greater openness. But the rise of this disorder, which shows up before age 3, happens to coincide with the increased number and type of vaccine shots in the first few years of life. So as a trigger, vaccines carry a ring of both historical and biological plausibility.


Go back 40 or 50 years. The medical literature is replete with reports of neurological reactions to vaccines, such as mood changes, seizures, brain inflammation, and swelling. Several hundred cases of the paralytic illness Guillain-Barré after the swine flu vaccine were blamed on the government and gave [former president] Gerald Ford heartburn—but eventually led to the vaccine court.


Pediatricians were concerned enough about mercury, which is known to cause neurological damage in developing infant and fetal brains, that they mobilized to have thimerosal removed from childhood vaccines by 2002. Their concern was not autism but the lunacy of injecting mercury into little kids through mandated vaccines that together exceeded mercury safety guidelines designed for adults. But as in all things vaccine, this move too was contentious. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization remain unconvinced that thimerosal puts young children at risk.


A Need for More Research
There is no evidence that removal of thimerosal from vaccines has lowered autism rates. But autism numbers are not precise, so I would say that considerably more research is still needed on some provocative findings. After all, thimerosal crosses the placenta, and pregnant women are advised to get flu shots, which often contain it. Studies in mice suggest that genetic variation influences brain sensitivity to the toxic effects of mercury. And a primate study designed to mimic vaccination in infants reported in 2005 that thimerosal may clear from the blood in a matter of days but leaves inorganic mercury behind in the brain.


The debate roils on—even about research. The Institute of Medicine [IOM] in its last report on vaccines and autism in 2004 said that more research on the vaccine question is counterproductive: Finding a susceptibility to this risk in some infants would call into question the universal vaccination strategy that is a bedrock of immunization programs and could lead to widespread rejection of vaccines. The IOM concluded that efforts to find a link between vaccines and autism “must be balanced against the broader benefit of the current vaccine program for all children.”


Wow. Medicine has moved ahead only because doctors, researchers, and yes, families, have openly challenged even the most sacred medical dogma. At the risk of incurring the wrath of some of my dearest colleagues, I say thank goodness for the vaccine court.




FURTHER READINGS


Books

  • Sue Adams A Book About What Autism Can Be Like. Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley, 2009.
  • Peter Roger Breggin Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry: Drugs, Electroshock, and the Psychopharmaceutical Complex. New York: Spring, 2008.
  • Penny Coleman Flashback: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Suicide, and the Lessons of War. Boston: Beacon, 2006.
  • Ruth Colker When Is Separate Unequal? A Disability Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Robert M. Collie Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Guide for Family, Friends, and Pastors. New York: Haworth Pastoral Press, 2005.
  • Peter Conrad Identifying Hyperactive Children: The Medicalization of Deviant Behavior. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2006.
  • Peter Conrad The Medicalization of Society: On the Transformation of Human Conditions into Treatable Disorders. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.
  • Michelle Genevieve Craske Origins of Phobias and Anxiety Disorders: Why More Women Than Men? Boston: Elsevier, 2003.
  • Padmal De Silva Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: The Facts. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • Barbara Firestone Autism Heroes: Portraits of Families Meeting the Challenge. Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley, 2007.
  • Stephen Ray Flora Taking America Off Drugs: Why Behavioral Therapy Is More Effective for Treating ADHD, OCD, Depression, and Other Psychological Problems. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2007.
  • Ross W. Greene Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges Are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them. New York: Scribner, 2008.
  • Roy Richard Grinker Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism. New York: Basic, 2006.
  • Lara Honos-Webb The Gift of ADHD: How to Transform Your Child’s Problems into Strengths. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2005.
  • David Kirby Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy. New York: St. Martin’s, 2005.
  • Robert McNergney and Clayton Keller, eds. Images of Mainstreaming: Educating Students with Disabilities. New York: Routledge, 1999.
  • Joel T. Nigg What Causes ADHD? Understanding What Goes Wrong and Why. New York: Guilford, 2006.
  • Thomas G. Plante, ed. Mental Disorders of the New Millennium. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2006.
  • Donna Satterlee Ross and Kelly Ann Jolly, eds. That’s Life with Autism: Tales and Tips for Families with Autism. London: Jessica Kingsley, 2006.
  • Robert C. Scaer The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease. New York: Haworth Medical Press, 2007.
  • Karen M. Seeley Therapy After Terror: 9/11, Psychotherapists, and Mental Health. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Terri Tanielian and Lisa H. Jaycox, eds. Invisible Wounds of War: Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Their Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2008.
  • Carol Turkington and Ruth Anan The A to Z of Autism Spectrum Disorders. New York: Checkmark, 2007.
  • Leeann Whiffen A Child’s Journey Out of Autism: One Family’s Story of Living in Hope and Finding a Cure. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 2009.
  • Nancy D. Wiseman and Kim Painter Koffsky Could It Be Autism? A Parent’s Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps. New York: Broadway Books, 2006.
  • Andrew W. Zimmerman, ed. Autism: Current Theories and Evidence. Totowa, NJ: Humana, 2008.

Periodicals

  • Jill Carroll “‘We’re Going to Be Paying for This for a While’: Soldiers Bring the War Home,” Christian Science Monitor, January 1, 2009.
  • Sharon Cotliar “Autism & Vaccines: One Family’s Victory,” People, March 24, 2008.
  • Conor B. McDonough “The Mainstreaming Requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Act in the Context of Autism Spectrum Disorders,” Fordham Urban Law Review, October 2008.
  • Elizabeth Mechcatie “New Warning OK for ADHD Drugs, But No Black Box: FDA Pediatric Panel Gives Second Opinion,” Pediatric News, April 2006.
  • Anton Miller “Special Needs Debate Doesn’t Need Ideology,” Vancouver Sun, March 5, 2007.
  • Paul Offit “Autism and Vaccines—A Careless Ruling,” Dallas Morning News, April 7, 2008.
  • Paul T. Shattuck and Maureen Durkin “A Spectrum of Disputes,” New York Times, June 11, 2007.
  • Stephen D. Sugarman “Cases in Vaccine Court—Legal Battles Over Vaccines and Autism,” New England Journal of Medicine, September 27, 2007.
  • Elizabeth A. Yi “Vaccine Lawsuit Hazards,” Washington Times, June 8, 2008.
  • Alison Young “First Autism-Vaccine Link: How Hannah Made History,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 6, 2008.



Source Citation:
Bernadine Healy. “The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Gives Hope to Parents of Children with Autism.” Opposing Viewpoints: Behavioral Disorders. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Apollo Library-Univ of Phoenix. 15 Nov. 2009 .

The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Is Unfair and Dangerous

November 15, 2009

Paul A. Offit, “Vaccines and Autism Revisited—The Hannah Poling Case?” New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 358, May 15, 2008, pp. 2089-2091. Copyright © 2008 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission.


“The message that the [Vaccine Injury Compensation Program] inadvertently sends to the public will further erode confidence in vaccines and hurt those whom it is charged with protecting.”


In the following viewpoint, Paul A. Offit argues that by concluding that vaccines cause autism absent any evidence to support the claim, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), also known as the vaccine court, has turned its back on science. Established to compensate families who suffer vaccine-related damages, the court also protects pharmaceutical companies from specious claims, he explains. Allowing compensation absent evidence erodes public confidence in the vaccines that protect them, he reasons. Dr. Offit is chief of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylania School of Medicine—both in Philadelphia.

As you read, consider the following questions:

  1. In Offit’s view, what case represents a great deviation from the VICP’s original standards?
  2. According to the author, how many immunologic components do today’s vaccines contain?
  3. What, in Offit’s view, is evident in all children with profound impairments in cognition?

On April 11, 2008, the National Vaccine Advisory Committee took an unusual step: in the name of transparency, trust, and collaboration, it asked members of the public to help set its vaccine-safety research agenda for the next 5 years. Several parents, given this opportunity, expressed concern that vaccines might cause autism—a fear that had recently been fueled by extensive media coverage of a press conference involving a 9-year-old girl named Hannah Poling.


When she was 19 months old, Hannah, the daughter of Jon and Terry Poling, received five vaccines: diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), varicella, and inactivated polio. At the time, Hannah was interactive, playful, and communicative. Two days later, she was lethargic, irritable, and febrile. Ten days after vaccination, she developed a rash consistent with vaccine-induced varicella.


Months later, with delays in neurologic and psychological development, Hannah was diagnosed with encephalopathy caused by a mitochondrial enzyme deficit. Hannah’s signs included problems with language, communication, and behavior—all features of autism spectrum disorder. Although it is not unusual for children with mitochondrial enzyme deficiencies to develop neurologic signs between their first and second years of life, Hannah’s parents believed that vaccines had triggered her encephalopathy. They sued the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for compensation under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) and won.


On March 6, 2008, the Polings took their case to the public. Standing before a bank of microphones from several major news organizations, Jon Poling said that “the results in this case may well signify a landmark decision with children developing autism following vaccinations.”1 For years, federal health agencies and professional organizations had reassured the public that vaccines didn’t cause autism. Now, with DHHS making this concession in a federal claims court, the government appeared to be saying exactly the opposite. Caught in the middle, clinicians were at a loss to explain the reasoning behind the VICP’s decision.


The Poling case is best understood in the context of the decision-making process of this unusual vaccine court. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, American lawyers successfully sued pharmaceutical companies claiming that vaccines caused a variety of illnesses, including unexplained coma, sudden infant death syndrome, Reye’s syndrome, transverse myelitis, mental retardation, and epilepsy. By 1986, all but one manufacturer of the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine had left the market. The federal government stepped in, passing the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which included the creation of the VICP. Funded by a federal excise tax on each dose of vaccine, the VICP compiled a list of compensable injuries. If scientific studies supported the notion that vaccines caused an adverse event—such as thrombocytopenia after receipt of measles-containing vaccine or paralysis after receipt of oral polio vaccine—children and their families were compensated quickly, generously, and fairly. The number of lawsuits against vaccine makers decreased dramatically.


Unfortunately, in recent years the VICP seems to have turned its back on science. In 2005, Margaret Althen successfully claimed that a tetanus vaccine had caused her optic neuritis. Although there was no evidence to support her claim, the VICP ruled that if a petitioner proposed a biologically plausible mechanism by which a vaccine could cause harm, as well as a logical sequence of cause and effect, an award should be granted. The door opened by this and other rulings allowed petitioners to claim successfully that the MMR vaccine caused fibromyalgia and epilepsy, the hepatitis B vaccine caused Guillain-Barré syndrome and chronic demyelinating polyneuropathy, and the Hib vaccine caused transverse myelitis.


No case, however, represented a greater deviation from the VICP’s original standards than that of Dorothy Werderitsh, who in 2006 successfully claimed that a hepatitis B vaccine had caused her multiple sclerosis. By the time of the ruling, several studies had shown that hepatitis B vaccine neither caused nor exacerbated the disease, and the Institute of Medicine had concluded that “evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between hepatitis B vaccine and multiple sclerosis.”2 But the VICP was less impressed with the scientific literature than it was with an expert’s proposal of a mechanism by which hepatitis B vaccine could induce autoimmunity (an ironic conclusion, given that Dorothy Werderitsh never had a detectable immune response to the vaccine).


Like the Werderitsh decision, the VICP’s concession to Hannah Poling was poorly reasoned. First, whereas it is clear that natural infections can exacerbate symptoms of encephalopathy in patients with mitochondrial enzyme deficiencies, no clear evidence exists that vaccines cause similar exacerbations. Indeed, because children with such deficiencies are particularly susceptible to infections, it is recommended that they receive all vaccines.


Second, the belief that the administration of multiple vaccines can overwhelm or weaken the immune system of a susceptible child is at variance with the number of immunologic components contained in modern vaccines. A century ago, children received one vaccine, smallpox, which contained about 200 structural and nonstructural viral proteins. Today, thanks to advances in protein purification and recombinant DNA technology, the 14 vaccines given to young children contain a total of about 150 immunologic components.3


Third, although experts testifying on behalf of the Polings could reasonably argue that development of fever and a varicella-vaccine rash after the administration of nine vaccines was enough to stress a child with mitochondrial enzyme deficiency, Hannah had other immunologic challenges that were not related to vaccines. She had frequent episodes of fever and otitis media, eventually necessitating placement of bilateral polyethylene tubes. Nor is such a medical history unusual. Children typically have four to six febrile illnesses each year during their first few years of life4; vaccines are a minuscule contributor to this antigenic challenge.


Fourth, without data that clearly exonerate vaccines, it could be argued that children with mitochondrial enzyme deficiencies might have a lower risk of exacerbations if vaccines were withheld, delayed, or separated. But such changes would come at a price. Even spacing out vaccinations would increase the period during which children were susceptible to natural infections, giving a theoretical risk from vaccines priority over a known risk from vaccine-preventable diseases. These diseases aren’t merely historical: pneumococcus, varicella, and pertussis are still common in the United States. Recent measles outbreaks in California, Arizona, and Wisconsin among children whose parents had chosen not to vaccinate them show the real risks of public distrust of immunization.


After the Polings’ press conference, Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, responded to their claims that vaccines had caused their daughter’s autism. “Let me be very clear that the government has made absolutely no statement … indicating that vaccines are a cause of autism,” she said.5 Gerberding’s biggest challenge was defining the term “autism.” Because autism is a clinical diagnosis, children are labeled as autistic on the basis of a collection of clinical features. Hannah Poling clearly had difficulties with language, speech, and communication. But those features of her condition considered autistic were part of a global encephalopathy caused by a mitochondrial enzyme deficit. Rett’s syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, fragile X syndrome, and Down’s syndrome in children can also have autistic features. Indeed, features reminiscent of autism are evident in all children with profound impairments in cognition; but these similarities are superficial, and their causal mechanisms and genetic influences are different from those of classic autism.


Going forward, the VICP should more rigorously define the criteria by which it determines that a vaccine has caused harm. Otherwise, the message that the program inadvertently sends to the public will further erode confidence in vaccines and hurt those whom it is charged with protecting.


Dr. Offit reports being a co-inventor and co-holder of a patent on the rotavirus vaccine RotaTeq, from which he and his institution receive royalties, as well as serving on a scientific advisory board for Merck. No other potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.


FURTHER READINGS


Books

  • Sue Adams A Book About What Autism Can Be Like. Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley, 2009.
  • Peter Roger Breggin Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry: Drugs, Electroshock, and the Psychopharmaceutical Complex. New York: Spring, 2008.
  • Penny Coleman Flashback: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Suicide, and the Lessons of War. Boston: Beacon, 2006.
  • Ruth Colker When Is Separate Unequal? A Disability Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Robert M. Collie Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Guide for Family, Friends, and Pastors. New York: Haworth Pastoral Press, 2005.
  • Peter Conrad Identifying Hyperactive Children: The Medicalization of Deviant Behavior. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2006.
  • Peter Conrad The Medicalization of Society: On the Transformation of Human Conditions into Treatable Disorders. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.
  • Michelle Genevieve Craske Origins of Phobias and Anxiety Disorders: Why More Women Than Men? Boston: Elsevier, 2003.
  • Padmal De Silva Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: The Facts. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • Barbara Firestone Autism Heroes: Portraits of Families Meeting the Challenge. Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley, 2007.
  • Stephen Ray Flora Taking America Off Drugs: Why Behavioral Therapy Is More Effective for Treating ADHD, OCD, Depression, and Other Psychological Problems. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2007.
  • Ross W. Greene Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges Are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them. New York: Scribner, 2008.
  • Roy Richard Grinker Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism. New York: Basic, 2006.
  • Lara Honos-Webb The Gift of ADHD: How to Transform Your Child’s Problems into Strengths. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2005.
  • David Kirby Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy. New York: St. Martin’s, 2005.
  • Robert McNergney and Clayton Keller, eds. Images of Mainstreaming: Educating Students with Disabilities. New York: Routledge, 1999.
  • Joel T. Nigg What Causes ADHD? Understanding What Goes Wrong and Why. New York: Guilford, 2006.
  • Thomas G. Plante, ed. Mental Disorders of the New Millennium. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2006.
  • Donna Satterlee Ross and Kelly Ann Jolly, eds. That’s Life with Autism: Tales and Tips for Families with Autism. London: Jessica Kingsley, 2006.
  • Robert C. Scaer The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease. New York: Haworth Medical Press, 2007.
  • Karen M. Seeley Therapy After Terror: 9/11, Psychotherapists, and Mental Health. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Terri Tanielian and Lisa H. Jaycox, eds. Invisible Wounds of War: Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Their Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2008.
  • Carol Turkington and Ruth Anan The A to Z of Autism Spectrum Disorders. New York: Checkmark, 2007.
  • Leeann Whiffen A Child’s Journey Out of Autism: One Family’s Story of Living in Hope and Finding a Cure. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 2009.
  • Nancy D. Wiseman and Kim Painter Koffsky Could It Be Autism? A Parent’s Guide to the First Signs and Next Steps. New York: Broadway Books, 2006.
  • Andrew W. Zimmerman, ed. Autism: Current Theories and Evidence. Totowa, NJ: Humana, 2008.



Periodicals

  • Jill Carroll “‘We’re Going to Be Paying for This for a While’: Soldiers Bring the War Home,” Christian Science Monitor, January 1, 2009.
  • Sharon Cotliar “Autism & Vaccines: One Family’s Victory,” People, March 24, 2008.
  • Conor B. McDonough “The Mainstreaming Requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Act in the Context of Autism Spectrum Disorders,” Fordham Urban Law Review, October 2008.
  • Elizabeth Mechcatie “New Warning OK for ADHD Drugs, But No Black Box: FDA Pediatric Panel Gives Second Opinion,” Pediatric News, April 2006.
  • Anton Miller “Special Needs Debate Doesn’t Need Ideology,” Vancouver Sun, March 5, 2007.
  • Paul Offit “Autism and Vaccines—A Careless Ruling,” Dallas Morning News, April 7, 2008.
  • Paul T. Shattuck and Maureen Durkin “A Spectrum of Disputes,” New York Times, June 11, 2007.
  • Stephen D. Sugarman “Cases in Vaccine Court—Legal Battles Over Vaccines and Autism,” New England Journal of Medicine, September 27, 2007.
  • Elizabeth A. Yi “Vaccine Lawsuit Hazards,” Washington Times, June 8, 2008.
  • Alison Young “First Autism-Vaccine Link: How Hannah Made History,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 6, 2008.





Source Citation:
Paul A. Offit. “The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Is Unfair and Dangerous.” Opposing Viewpoints: Behavioral Disorders. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Apollo Library-Univ of Phoenix. 15 Nov. 2009 .

Flu Myths and Realities

November 13, 2009

  Assistant Surgeon General Dr. Anne Schuchat  dispels myths about the H1N1 flu virus  on “The Doctors”


“Vaccines that contain thimerosal are unsafe for children and pregnant women.”
It is safe for children and pregnant women to receive a flu vaccine that contains thimerosal.
Thimerosal is a very effective preservative that has been used since the 1930s to prevent contamination in some multi-dose vials of vaccines.  There is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site.

The 2009-H1N1 influenza vaccines that FDA has licensed will be manufactured in several formulations, including pre-filled, single-dose syringes and nasal sprayers along with multi-dose vials.  Only multi-dose vials of seasonal influenza vaccine will contain thimerosal to prevent potential contamination after the vial is opened.  Single-dose units, however, will not require the use of thimerosal as a preservative.  You may request this form of the vaccine if it is available.  In addition, the nasal spray version of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine is produced in single-units and will not contain thimerosal.
Read more about thimerosal.


“The H1N1 vaccine includes adjuvants, such as squalene.”
None of the H1N1 vaccines currently distributed by the U.S. government contain adjuvants. 
All H1N1 vaccines used in the United States are licensed by the FDA and are made in the same way as seasonal influenza vaccines are made. Currently, seasonal flu vaccines in the United States are also made without adjuvants.

If needed, an adjuvant is a component that can be incorporated into a vaccine to help to generate a stronger immune response to the vaccine and help prevent disease. Squalene is a compound found in many natural sources, such as olive oil, that can act as an adjuvant and is used as an adjuvant in vaccines in many countries.

The evaluation of any vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration considers the safety, effectiveness, and the immune response and includes consideration of all components of the vaccine.


“The federal government is running a mandatory vaccination campaign.”
The federal government’s vaccination program for H1N1 flu is VOLUNTARY.  Some hospitals and localities are requiring that health care workers get vaccinated for the flu, but that is a local decision.   HHS and the CDC have included health care workers as one of our top priority groups to receive the vaccine, and several places across the country began offering H1N1 vaccination to health care workers this week.

The petition on a few selected internet sites protesting the federal government’s “mandatory” vaccination campaign is simply false in its claims. Vaccination is highly recommended as a protective measure against the flu, but is absolutely voluntary.


“It costs too much money to get an H1N1 vaccine.”
The federal government has purchased the H1N1 vaccine and is providing it to the states free of charge.  This is different in many places from the seasonal flu vaccine.
Public vaccination clinics (sponsored by local health departments at schools or other places) will offer vaccine at no charge.  Some private providers may charge a small fee to administer the vaccine, but cost should not be a barrier to getting immunized.  Many, many people and businesses have stepped up to the public health challenge we all face and are working together for the overall public good to make this vaccine free – or at least affordable – for all those who want it.


“You need to get two doses of the H1N1 vaccine, and it takes a month between each dose.”
There is really good news that has come out of our clinical trials being run by the National Institutes of Health and the flu vaccine manufacturers. The H1N1 vaccine is a really good match with the H1N1 virus currently circulating across the country, and healthy adults and children 10 and older will need only one dose of vaccine.

Though scientists initially thought that two doses might be required, information from clinical trials has since demonstrated the H1N1 vaccine works faster than we expected and works well against the H1N1 virus, which is making millions of Americans sick.

It’s also fine to get the seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 shot at the same time.  It is true that if you get the nasal spray form of the vaccine, you need to wait three to four weeks before getting another nasal spray vaccine.


“This new vaccine is not safe and is untested.”
Clinical trials conducted by the National Institutes of Health and the vaccine manufacturers have shown that the new H1N1 vaccine is both safe and effective.  The FDA has licensed it.  There have been no safety shortcuts.

It is produced exactly the same way the seasonal flu vaccine is produced every year.  It is simply a new virus strain.  In fact, had H1N1 struck this country earlier than this spring, the H1N1 strain probably would have been included as part of this year’s seasonal flu shot.
Millions of Americans get the seasonal flu vaccine each year without any problems. Still, understanding that some Americans have concerns about “new” vaccines, the National Institutes of Health and the vaccine manufacturers have conducted more rigorous tests on the H1N1 vaccine than they do on other flu vaccines, and there have been no red flags from these clinical trials.

Also, CDC has stepped up surveillance efforts to track the H1N1 vaccine and any possible adverse events.  Since it is so closely related to the seasonal flu vaccine, we do not expect to see serious side effects.  But we are taking all the necessary steps to promote and monitor safety.

Our top doctors and scientists believe the risk of the flu, especially for pregnant women, children, and people with underlying health conditions, is higher than any risk that might come from the H1N1 vaccine.


“I got an email that tells the story of someone who got a flu shot and had a miscarriage two days later.” 
Tragically, every day in the U.S., people suffer from heart attacks, miscarriages, strokes, and other health-related events.  Some result in serious illness, even death. For example, there are approximately 8,700 deaths from heart attack, 140 cases of Guillain-Barre, and 14,000 miscarriages in the U.S. every week.  These events are no more common among people who have received seasonal flu vaccine than in people who have not.

The CDC has received no reports of serious adverse events from people who have received the H1N1 vaccine to date in the clinical trials or in the few places across the country where vaccinations have begun.  We have created a strong new surveillance system that will allow us to track adverse reactions and quickly analyze whether there is a link to the vaccine.


“You can get infected with H1N1 virus from eating pork.”
False. The 2009-H1N1 virus is not spread by food. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.


“You can get flu from drinking water or swimming pools.”
Chlorinated tap water and swimming pool water does not put you at risk for flu.  To date, we don’t know of anyone who has acquired flu from drinking water or from a swimming pool.


“A 14-year old girl in the United Kingdom died after being vaccinated with the HPV vaccine.”
British scientists report this particular event was unrelated to the HPV vaccine and definitely unrelated to the H1N1 flu vaccine.

Public health officials in the UK have said the safety of the HPV vaccine was not in question, and no link can currently be made between the girl’s death and the vaccine.  According to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency—their counterpart to the FDA—the girl had a rare serious underlying medical condition that was likely to have caused her death.
Licensed seasonal flu vaccines have a long track record of safety based on use in hundreds of millions of people. H1N1 vaccines are being manufactured by the same methods as the seasonal flu vaccines administered every year.

   

Autism Decisions and Background Information

November 2, 2009