By Barbara Loe Fisher
As summer comes to an end, the drumbeat promoting back-to-school vaccinations grows louder and louder in America. Unlike children in Canada and the European Union,1, 2 our children must get dozens of doses of vaccines or they can't get a public school education.3
No Shots, No School, No Exceptions
Over the past century, denial of a public school education has been used like a club by public health and medical trade officials demanding that state legislators enact "No Shots, No School, No Exceptions" vaccine laws.4, 5, 6 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
In 1914, children had to get one dose of smallpox vaccine to go to school.13 In 2014, children entering kindergarten must get a minimum of 29 doses of 9 vaccines.14 Babies enrolled in daycare get even more vaccines.15
Medical Exemptions Rarely Granted
Parents in 48 states can file a religious or personal belief vaccine exemption, but some states make those exemptions very hard to get.16 A medical exemption is allowed in all states, but doctors rarely grant them to children anymore because almost all medical reasons for delaying or withholding a vaccine have been eliminated.17, 18, 19
Government and medical trade officials have narrowed medical contraindications to vaccination after Congress shielded doctors and vaccine manufacturers from vaccine injury lawsuits.20 Today, even children with severely compromised immune systems are given most vaccines.21
Doctors Practicing Authoritarian Medicine
Now that everybody is a candidate for vaccination all the time, liability-free doctors have been given a green light to practice authoritarian medicine.22, 23, 24 Distraught parents are contacting NVIC and telling us that pediatricians are dismissing their child's vaccine reactions as unimportant and refusing to make a report to the federal vaccine adverse events reporting system.
Mothers describe how pediatricians are screaming at them if they decline a vaccination or simply ask for fewer shots to be given to their child on the same day.25
Recently, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics26 proclaimed publicly that he is justified in getting angry at and discriminating against parents disobeying his orders to give their children every federally recommended vaccine on schedule27 which, by the way, means 49 doses of 14 vaccines between day of birth and age 6 with 20 more doses of vaccines by age 18.28
Calling those parents "a public health menace" and comparing them to "substance abusers," he refuses to treat their children. He said, "That person is a danger, not only to themselves but is a danger to society, a danger to other children in my practice, a danger to old people, a danger to everyone."29
Pediatricians Exempt from Vaccine Injury Lawsuits
It is sad and frightening when doctors demonize and threaten parents making thoughtful medical risk decisions for their children. The American Academy of Pediatrics knows that vaccines carry serious risks for some children because AAP leaders successfully lobbied Congress to be exempt from vaccine injury lawsuits.30, 31
Some People More Susceptible to Vaccine Reactions
But even if $3 billion in federal vaccine injury compensation had not already been awarded to vaccine victims in America,32 and even if the Institute of Medicine had not published a series of reports confirming that vaccines can cause injury and death,33, 34, 35, 36, 37 everybody knows that people do not all respond the same way to pharmaceutical products38 like vaccines.
Each one of us is born with unique genes and a unique microbiome39 influenced by epigenetics,40 which affects how we respond to the different environments we live in. Some of us are more susceptible to vaccine complications.41, 42 Public health officials have known this for a long, long time.43, 44
Late-Breaking News Addition to This Commentary: Girl Dies Hours After HPV Vaccination
Individual susceptibility to vaccine reactions may have been in play when 12-year-old Meredith Prohaska died within hours an HPV vaccination on July 30, 2014. According to the NY Daily News, Meredith's mother took her daughter to the doctor for a sore throat and, while Meredith was at the doctor's office, she was given an HPV shot.
Within 30 minutes of the shot, Meredith, who was a healthy athlete entering seventh grade, became very sleepy and slept all afternoon. When her mom came back from a short trip to get food, she found Meredith face down on the floor with purple lips and no pulse. Her mom is an EMT for the National Guard and performed CPR, but could not save her.
The initial autopsy report was "inconclusive" and further tests are being done. However, Meredith's death is not the first to occur after HPV vaccine. By June 14, 2014, there had been 171 deaths following HPV vaccinations (Gardasil or Cervarix) reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).
One week before Meredith's HPV-vaccine related death, another Wisconsin teenager collapsed in her home shortly after receiving HPV and meningococcal vaccinations. Her mom reported that when her 17-year-old daughter got home after getting vaccinated, she could barely walk and collapsed, complaining of chest pain and that she was having trouble breathing. Her mom immediately took her to an Urgent Care facility and the doctors there called 911 and rushed her to the hospital ER, where she was treated and recovered.
Fox News recently discussed the Wisconsin HPV vaccine reaction cases and pointed out how difficult it is to get compensated for a vaccine injury or death. Even if parents do have enough information to understand their child has suffered a vaccine reaction and meet deadlines for filing a federal compensation claim within two years of a vaccine death or three years of a vaccine injury and an award is made (two out of three claimants are denied awards), compensation is capped at $250,000 for pain and suffering and $250,000 for death. There is no cap for those who require life-long care.
Learn How to Identify Vaccine Reactions
With so many pediatricians denying vaccine risks and failures, it is even more important for parents to do their own research. If your child is getting back-to-school shots, you should know how to identify symptoms of a vaccine reaction. Once your child has had a vaccine reaction, revaccination may cause a more serious reaction.45 Plus, you only have two years to file a claim in the federal vaccine injury compensation program after a vaccine-related death or three years after a vaccine injury.46, 47 A few of the more serious vaccine reaction symptoms are:
- Convulsion or seizure symptoms include eyes fluttering and rolling back in the head; twitching, trembling, jerking, shaking or sudden rigidity of one or more parts of the body.48, 49, 50, 51
- High fever between 103 and 105 degrees F. or more.52, 53
- High-pitched screaming, also known as the encephalitic cry, is described as a shrill scream, shriek, or wail that goes on for hours. Mothers often say they have never heard this type of crying before. Sometimes babies arch their backs while screaming, which can be a sign of brain inflammation.54
- Collapse/shock. The child may be pale, have bluish lips, and suddenly go limp and appear to be unconscious.55, 56
- Excessive sleepiness is when the child sleeps deeply without moving for hours after vaccination and does not respond to noise, touch, or light and cannot be easily awakened to eat.57, 58, 59
- Brain inflammation, also called encephalitis or acute encephalopathy, has been recognized as a very serious complication of vaccination since the first vaccine for smallpox. Symptoms can include convulsions, high-pitched screaming, collapse, and hours of unconsciousness.60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66
- Encephalopathy or chronic brain dysfunction can include physical and mental regression, dramatic personality and behavior changes, loss of muscle control, speech, and other abilities, or the child may be unable to continue to meet developmental milestones.67, 68, 69, 70, 71
Vaccine Reactions May Take A Week or Longer to Appear
This is not a full list of vaccine reaction symptoms and there are other types of reactions affecting immune and brain function involving the skin,72, 73, 74 joints,75, 76 blood 77, 78 and other parts of the body that can be warning signs a child may be sensitive to one or more vaccines. Some reactions develop within hours of vaccination while others, like convulsions following MMR vaccination, can take a week or more to appear.79
Review Vaccine Manufacturer Information and Vaccine Ingredients
Before vaccination, read the vaccine manufacturer's product inserts so you are aware of the types of serious health problems reported in pre-licensure clinical trials and during post-marketing surveillance.80 Take a look at vaccine ingredients as well, because some children are allergic to antibiotics, gelatin, MSG, thimerosal, yeast, egg protein, and other vaccine ingredients.81, 82
Vaccine Immunity Not Permanent: Pertussis Vaccine Failures
Parents also need to know that vaccine-acquired immunity is not permanent and fully vaccinated children can still get and transmit infectious diseases.83 Vaccine failures and waning immunity is a real problem for vaccines like B. pertussis,84, 85 also known as whooping cough. The FDA reported last year that vaccinated persons still can be infected with and transmit pertussis, sometimes without even showing any symptoms.86 The majority of children in many pertussis outbreaks have been vaccinated.87, 88
Learn Symptoms of Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Signs of B. pertussis whooping cough range from a low fever, loss of appetite, and a mild cough to violent paroxysmal coughing, with choking and vomiting of large amounts of sticky mucus for many weeks.89 Small infants can suffer brain damage or die from pertussis if they cannot clear mucus clogging their airways.90 Understanding vaccine risks and failures is a vital part of conscious parenting today.
Ask Eight Questions Before Vaccination
- You can find well-referenced information about vaccines and diseases, including vaccine manufacturer product inserts, and a brochure that lists 8 questions you should ask yourself before your child is vaccinated.
- You can review vaccine reaction reports made to the federal vaccine adverse events reporting system.
- You can read testimonials on the Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall by Americans describing how they are being persecuted when they try to make informed, voluntary decisions about vaccination for themselves and their children.
- You can sign up for the free online NVIC Advocacy Portal and work to secure informed consent protections in your state's vaccine laws.