Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Turning Vaccine Exemptions Into Class Warfare


It is getting uglier and uglier out there, as angry, frustrated doctors inside and outside of government work overtime to foster fear and hatred of parents making conscious vaccine choices for their children. The latest political dirty trick is to brand parents, who send their children to private schools, as selfish and a threat to their communities because some private schools have higher vaccine exemption rates.

Take pediatrician and California Assemblyman, Dr. Richard Pan, for example. He is angry that many parents and health care professionals opposed AB2109, a bill he authored and pushed through the California legislature this year. [1] Dr. Pan misled his colleagues into believing that that forcing parents to pay for a doctor’s appointment to beg a hostile pediatrician [2] or medical worker to sign a personal belief exemption form is all about education.

Educated, Articulate Parents Defending Parental Rights

Medical trade associations that helped Dr. Pan lobby the state legislature included the California Medical Association, Health Officers Association of California, California Immunization Coalition and the American Academy of Pediatrics.[3] In public hearings this year, educated, articulate mothers and fathers stood up to these powerful medical groups and defended their parental and informed consent rights.

In a syndicated Associated Press article, Dr. Pan lashed out at families sending their children to private schools and accused them of becoming too educated about vaccination. Dr. Pan said: “In private schools, these are people who have money, who are upper middle class, and they are going on the internet and seeing information and misinformation.” [4]

Vaccine Information & Vaccine Exemptions Should Be Free

Dr. Pan is correct about parents “going on the internet” to learn, for example, how he refused in his bill to allow local pharmacists to sign a personal belief exemption form because he wanted to force all parents to first pay for a medical office visit. AB2109 clearly discriminates against parents, who cannot afford to pay a doctor to sign the form. [5]  Why doesn’t Dr. Pan post information he wants parents to have about vaccination on the Department of Health website so parents can become educated for free? [6]

Instead of admitting his bill is more about coercion than education, Dr. Pan attacked parents, who send their children to private schools. It looks like what doctors and medical trade groups really want to do is bully and punish parents, who hold sincere religious and conscientious beliefs about vaccination, no matter how much money they have or where their children attend school.

Doctors Engaging in Class Warfare

The same week that Dr. Pan publicly played the “class” card, he was joined by vaccinologists Dr. Saad Omer and Dr. Neal Halsey, who echoed Dr. Pan’s bigoted accusation in the same news article. Just like Dr. Pan, Drs. Omer and Halsey put the blame for higher personal belief vaccine exemption rates at private schools, such as the Waldorf Schools, on “wealthy” parents.

Dr. Omer has published a series of medical journal articles profiling parents taking non-medical vaccine exemptions and criticizing state laws that allow parents to take exemptions. [7] [8] [9] [10] According to the AP article, Dr. Omer said he “surmised that more private school parents are wealthy and have the time to spread five shots over a series of years and stay home should their child get an illness like chickenpox.” 

Dr. Halsey, who I debated publicly in 1997 about informed consent to vaccination, [11] told the AP reporter that “parents who choose private schools are likely to be more skeptical of state requirements and recommendations.”  With that grossly inaccurate generalization, Dr. Halsey attempted to politically stereotype parents filing vaccine exemptions in order to explain why children attending private schools that respect parental rights and health care choices -,like Waldorf schools - have vaccine exemptions.

When doctors politicize vaccine exemptions in order to engage in class warfare, they are crossing a line that reveals more about who they are than the families they are trying to stereotype and marginalize. Dr. Pan, who has assumed the mantle of lawmaker, and Dr. Omer, who enjoys six federal vaccine research grants funded by the CDC or NIH, [12] and Dr. Halsey, who has funding from SmithKline Beecham and the Gates foundation,[13]likely are not struggling to pay the rent or pay for groceries.

Doctors Want Fewer Medical Exemptions, More Power

Drs. Omer and Halsey are now calling for doctors to deny even more children medical exemptions to vaccination because they are unhappy that states with stricter non-medical exemptions have a higher rate of medical exemptions! [14] [15] [16]

So let’s get this straight – what Drs. Pan, Omer, Halsey and medical trade groups really want is for state legislatures to grant doctors police powers to force parents to violate their conscience and deeply held religious beliefs in addition to doctors having the power to deny medical vaccine exemptions to children, many of whom are already vaccine injured.

That is a lot of power. That is power without accountability or liability.

Could it be that doctors with financial ties to medical trade associations, vaccine manufacturers and government health agencies are lobbying so hard to severely restrict or get rid of all vaccine exemptions because, every day, there are more and more Americans, who know somebody who was healthy, got vaccinated and was never healthy again?

 Informed Consent: A Human Right

The human right to informed consent to medical risk taking is a universal ethical principle that should be respected by doctors in every nation, especially in America, where we have a long history of respecting the right to self-determination.[17] Doctors refusing to protect children from vaccine injury and death because they do not want their authority questioned [18] should not be given the legal power to force anyone to violate their conscience or religious beliefs.

Parents, who have witnessed their children regress into chronic poor health or die after vaccination, belong to every class and every race, religion, philosophy and political party in America. Today, they are joining hands with parents of healthy children and fighting to protect medical and non-medical exemptions that it looks like doctors will try to gut or completely take away next year in states like Arizona, [19] Connecticut, [20] Maryland, [21]Oregon, [22] [23] Colorado, [24] New Jersey [25] and many more. [26]

Please sign up to be a user of NVIC’s free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org and volunteer to work in your state to defend the human right to make vaccine choices for yourself and your children.
It’s your health, your family, your choice.

[1] Richardson D. CA Bill Restricting Personal Belief Vaccine Exemption Heats Up. NVIC Vaccine E-News July 2, 2012.
[2] Wang S. More Doctors ‘Fire’ Vaccine Refusers. Wall Street Journal Feb. 16, 2012.
[3] California Immunization Coalition. Director’s Update: AB 2109 Moves on to Senate. May 30, 2012.
[4] Dreier H. Private School Vaccine Opt-Outs Rise. Associated Press/USA Today Sept. 9, 2012.
[5] Richardson D. NVIC Statement Opposing AB 2109. June 20, 2012.
[10] Omer SB, Salmon DA, Orenstein WA, deHart PM, Halsey N. Vaccine Refusal, Mandatory Immunization and the Risks of Vaccine Preventable Diseases. N Engl J Med 2009; 360(19): 1981-1988.
[12] Saad Omer, PhD, MPH, MBBS. Grants.
[13] Johns Hopkins Advanced Studies in Medicine. American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference Satellite Symposium Oct. 17-22, 2011. Activity Faculty: Neal A. Halsey, M.D.
[14] Moyer CS. Medical Vaccine Exemptions for Children Not Always JustifiedAmerican Medical News Sept. 10, 2012.
[16] Salmon DA, Halsey NA. Keeping the M in Medical Exemptions: Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Children. J Infect Dis Aug. 29, 2012 (published online).
[17] Fisher BL. The Moral Right to Conscientious, Philosophical and Personal Belief Exemption to Vaccination. National Vaccine Advisory Committee May 2, 1997.
[18] NVIC. Vaccine Freedom Wall. Public reports of threats, coercion and sanctions for making informed choices about use of one or more vaccines
[19] Fehr-Snyder K. Immunization Exemption Rates on Rise Among Arizona Schoolchildren. The Republic Sept. 12, 2012.
[20] Cuda A. Vaccine Exemptions on Rise in State. Connecticut Post Sept. 3, 2012.
[21] Asaithambi R. Time to get tough on vaccine refusal. Baltimore Sun April 11, 2012.
[23] Anderson J. Religious Exemptions Tilt Immunization’s Balance. Portland Tribune. Feb. 16, 2012.
[24] Stobbe M. Colorado Second in Vaccine Refusals. Associated Press Nov. 28. 0211.
[26] IDSA. Increase of Religious Exemption to Immunization Requirements in New York State. IDSA Conference Poster Presentation Oct. 20, 212.

Friday, November 18, 2011

National Vaccine Information Center Calls Out AAP for Using Public Intimidation to Censor NVIC Flu Prevention Video Offered to Delta Travelers

November 15, 2011 07:48 AM Eastern Time 

WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The non-profit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is calling public pressure placed on Delta Air Lines by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to censor an NVIC video about flu prevention an “act of intimidation” to block public access to full and accurate health information about influenza.

NVIC was offered the opportunity to be a paid sponsor of a video about staying well during the flu season that would be included in Delta’s in-flight programming during November 2011. On Nov. 7, Forbes magazine published an article with a copy of a letter signed by the AAP President Robert Block, MD, accusing Delta of “putting children’s lives at risk” by showing travelers the NVIC sponsored video because it contains “harmful messages.”

In the AAP letter, the Pharma-funded medical trade association alleged that “The [NVIC] ad urges viewers to become informed about influenza and how to stay well during the flu season without resorting to the influenza vaccine.”

NVIC co-founder and president Barbara Loe Fisher responded, “Without cause, the AAP has used their considerable financial resources and political influence to intimidate Delta for simply showing a video that offers accurate information about ways to stay healthy during the flu season, including talking with doctors about getting a flu shot. Censorship and attacks on consumer advocacy groups working to institute informed consent protections in public health policies should not be tolerated in this or any society that cherishes free speech and the right to self determination.”

The AAP letter stated that “influenza vaccine continues to be the best way to protect against the disease,” without acknowledging that a recently published scientific study found that the flu vaccine is less than 70 percent effective in preventing influenza, which confirms previous studies questioning influenza vaccine efficacy and effectiveness. A top flu expert at the CDC has said that about 80 percent of flu-like illness reported in the U.S. every year is not influenza but is caused by other viruses and bacteria.

“The AAP’s leadership is clearly threatened by educated consumers, who have every right to engage in critical thinking when making choices about how to stay healthy,” said Fisher. “Why is the AAP so afraid to admit that washing our hands, covering our mouths when coughing, eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, exercising, and lowering stress are also important ways to stay well during the flu season and all year around?”

In the letter to Delta, the AAP alleged that NVIC “opposes the nation’s recommended childhood immunization schedule and promotes the unscientific practice of delaying or skipping vaccines altogether.” During NVIC’s three-decades of work to secure vaccine safety and informed consent protections in U.S. public health laws, NVIC has criticized one-size-fits-all vaccine mandates and advocated for more and better quality vaccine safety science but has not told individuals to use a particular vaccine schedule or told them not to get vaccinated.

“NVIC is a non-profit charity led by educated health care consumers. We are not doctors and do not tell people how or when to vaccinate or advise people not to vaccinate,” said NVIC’s Fisher. “We have a long public record of promoting well-informed, voluntary health care decision-making.”

This is the second time this year that the AAP has publicly attacked NVIC and taken action to censor information NVIC has made available to the public. In April, the AAP publicized a similar letter sent to CBS in an unsuccessful attempt to strong arm CBS into removing NVIC’s 15-second message shown on the Jumbotron in Times Square through the month of April.

Parent co-founders of NVIC worked with Congress on the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 and were responsible for securing historic informing, recording and reporting safety provisions in that law. The AAP and vaccine manufacturers lobbied Congress to secure a shield from civil liability for vaccine injuries and deaths in the 1986 law.

“Twenty five years ago, the AAP got liability protection for their pediatrician members, who are no longer accountable in a court of law when the liability-free vaccines they give ending up hurting a child,” said Fisher. “Almost immediately following the 1986 law’s passage, the AAP narrowed medical contraindications to vaccination so that, today, almost no child qualifies for a medical exemption to vaccination. Now, the powerful AAP is lobbying in states like California and Washington to strip parents of the legal right to exercise informed consent to medical risk taking for their children or file non-medical vaccine exemptions. This is becoming a civil and human rights issue involving censorship, inequality, discrimination and persecution of citizens by medical doctors wielding too much power.”

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC.org) is a 501C3 charity founded in 1982 by parents of vaccine injured children and is dedicated to preventing vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and protecting the informed consent ethic in medicine.

Barbara Loe Fisher, 703-938-0342

Friday, January 14, 2011

K.N.O.W. Press Release re: Wakefield

PRESS RELEASE January 2011 – Wakefield

Depending on who you talk to these days, Dr. Andrew Wakefield is either a saint or a demon.

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) now accuses British gastroenterologist Dr. Andrew Wakefield of falsifying data in his landmark 1998 Lancet article wherein he hypothesized a possible vaccine-autism connection. Not just heresy, mind you, but purposely undermining the public trust!

BMJ Editor Fiona Godlee, in an editorial reference to the accusation against Dr. Wakefield, laments that without trust, research cannot function and evidence-based medicine becomes folly. KNOW Vaccines (Vaccine Awareness of Florida) agrees that ethics in science matters. Scientific study rigorously scrutinized (with all data published) is trustworthy. Scientific research influenced by political agendas, conflicts of interest or financial ties to vaccine manufacturers is folly and must be exposed.

The persecution of Andrew Wakefield is about restoring the public trust in vaccinations. Make no mistake: the vaccine establishment needs the public trust in order to continue its policy of mandatory vaccination.

Despite the latest attacks on Dr. Wakefield’s research and integrity, the question remains as to why 1 in 110 American children are diagnosed with autism. And why the growing epidemic of auto-immune diseases in vaccinated children? Thus, research into the autism-vaccine connection must continue, and it must be conducted by independent medical researchers not linked to pharmaceutical companies or government agencies.

Meanwhile, the censure and denunciation aimed at those who question vaccine safety distracts us from the fundamental issue in the vaccine debate, which is the right to informed consent. The public deserves truthful data about vaccines and the right to make their own healthcare decisions. A public health policy that denies informed consent rights, dictates medical procedures, discriminates against religious freedom and that negates the doctor/patient relationship violates the legal rights of all people.

KNOW Vaccines promotes informed consent rights in all medical matters, including the right to choose or decline one, some or all vaccines.

Monday, June 14, 2010

New British Medical Journal Report Questions Legitimacy of H1N1 Pandemic, & Other Recent News

New British Medical Journal Report Questions Legitimacy of H1N1 Pandemic:
FOX Charlotte | A new joint report from the British Medical Journal questions the H1N1 pandemic and alleged conflicts of interest between confidential WHO advisors and pharmaceutical companies that produce the vaccines.

WHO probe to examine handling of flu pandemic:
AFP | Harvey Fineberg, chairman of the WHO’s Review Committee of external experts, welcomed the reports published on Friday by the British Medical Journal and a Council of Europe parliamentary committee.

WHO scandal exposed: Advisors received kickbacks from H1N1 vaccine manufacturers:
Mike Adams | Anything you’re likely to hear from the World Health Organization originates with a profit motive rather than a commitment to public health.


Friday, October 2, 2009

[FL] Woman suing over vaccine has 60 days to find attorney


October 02, 2009 8:15 AM Mathew Pelligrino

Florida Freedom Newspapers

MILTON — Carmen Reynolds has 60 days to find a civil rights attorney to handle her lawsuit against the state of Florida.

Santa Rosa County Circuit Judge Ron Swanson on Thursday granted the continuance and denied the state’s motion to dismiss the case.

Reynolds has named Gov. Charlie Crist, Attorney General Bill McCollum and Florida Surgeon General Ana Viamonte as defendants in her complaint that challenges a section in a new statute that allows law enforcement officers to vaccinate a resident in an emergency situation.

The statute says a resident can be forced to be vaccinated, treated or examined if they signify mortality and present a severe danger to the public.

Reynolds, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who has health issues herself, said the statute infringes on her constitutional rights.

“I have health issues, and with this statute in place, that is not a good thing. This goes against our rights at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Reynolds said.





SANTA ROSA - Follow up to a story we told you about last week.

A Navarre woman, who is fighting a vaccination law, had a court hearing in Milton Thursday afternoon.

Carmen Reynolds is suing Florida's governor, attorney general and surgeon general. She is fighting a law that says if there's a severe public danger, the state can force people to be vaccinated. The law makes no exceptions for health conditions or religious objections. The only alternative is quarantine. The statute says law enforcement officers can be called in if necessary. The attorney general's office has filed a motion to dismiss, saying that Reynolds hasn't been directly affected by the law.

Carmen Reynolds: "I served my country for 22 years not to be told that I am a criminal, a 2nd degree misdemeanor offender because I raised my hand and said this isn't right. I don't want toxins in my body because it jeopardizes my health."