By Dr. Mercola
There needs to be an open, rational discussion about vaccination, infectious diseases and health. After all, don't all of us want our children to be healthy and safe from unnecessary harm?
If we want to protect the health of all children, we cannot continue to ignore the signs that public health policies making mandatory use of multiple vaccines in early childhood as our nation's No. 1 disease prevention strategy have gotten to the point where we have no idea how children's lives are being sacrificed in the name of "the greater good."
From my point of view, there can be little doubt that we need to review the safety and effectiveness of the current vaccination program in the U.S., and that this review needs to include methodologically sound investigative studies that are not compromised by conflicts of interest within industry and government. If we don't do that now, we may not be able to stop further damage to the health of future generations.
Vaccine History Is Shameful
Many are aware of the unethical and manipulative marketing of today's vaccines. But the roots of the greed-based marketing — battling over markets, patents, intellectual property, profits, "turf" and prestige — could be seen 20 years ago with the Children's Vaccine Initiative (CVI).1
The CVI was founded in 1990 after the World Children's Summit in New York City by the Rockefeller Foundation, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO) with an overarching goal of vaccinating all the children in the world with vaccines endorsed by the WHO and governments.2
Reportedly, CVI has been marked by a rivalry for leadership between the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the U.S. The CVI was created as a means for UNICEF to fund research and development of vaccines for distribution globally without directly giving money to WHO.
There were difficulties inherent in coordinating the efforts of different governments and public-private partnerships. Also, there were questions about vaccine production itself, such as would the ability of drug companies and governments to quickly produce large quantities of vaccines end up compromising the quality of vaccines?
According to the book, "The Politics of International Health: The Children's Vaccine Initiative and the Struggle to Develop Vaccines for the Third World," the U.S. Department of Defense was a cooperative partner with CVI:3"The Army, unlike the public sector generally, worked closely with private pharmaceutical companies to make sure that the vaccines it needs were actually produced. It could not afford to leave decisions to the marketplace."
Overseas Vaccine Disasters
Increasingly, Big Pharma produces, tests and sells its vaccines in poorer, undeveloped countries — sometimes with disastrous results. This is what happened with Gardasil, a Merck vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is linked to venereal warts and cervical cancer. As reported by Counterpunch:4
"Merck attempted to cast the vaccine as lifesaving — even in poor countries with much more pressing disease risks — but Pap smear tests are equally effective in preventing [through detection] cervical cancer and cost much less. Nor are the vaccines clearly safe. [In 2015], judges in India's Supreme Court demanded answers after children died during a trial of Gardasil and Cervarix, GlaxoSmithKline's counterpart vaccine.5"
Young tribal girls as young as 9 were given Gardasil and Cervarix HPV vaccines with no informed consent or even awareness that they were participating in an experimental vaccine trial. The study was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.6
The pharmaceutical industry likes overseas clinical trials because regulations are less strict and sometimes nonexistent, and product liability lawsuits involving personal injury are unlikely. In fact, trial participants often welcome the test drugs thinking they are being given important or needed medical care.
Clinical trial participants in foreign countries, especially those who live in poverty with little education or access to medical care, are also "drug-naïve" — they have not used the antibiotics, statins, psychiatric and GERD medications so common in industrialized countries.7 Clinical trials require that participants have a "washout" period to ensure any drug residues in their bodies do not confound the trial results, and subjects in poor countries have no drugs to "wash out."
Many medical ethicists also question whether trials of pharmaceutical products should be conducted on people who don't need them or won't receive them after the trial. If the drug (or vaccine) will not be available free or for a reasonable cost for a significant time afterward, the trial itself is unethical in that it is "exporting the risk of research to those who will, in the end, not be able to afford the resulting medical products,"8 say ethicists.
And informed consent? Some ethicists have argued that videotapes of informed consent statements by trial participants would protect them much better than the current written consent forms being used because of language barriers and the fact that some trial participants in impoverished countries cannot read.
Big Pharma Conflicts of Interest Abound
Mainstream media are financially linked to Big Pharma through drug ads (estimated to account for as much as 72 percent of commercials)9 and through allowing drug company representatives to serve as board members. Here is how Organic Consumers Association (OCA) describes the conflicts:10
"There are brazen and unhidden conflicts of interest between mainstream media and vaccine makers which color reporting and discourage safety questions.
'According to a 2009 study by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, with the exception of CBS, every major media outlet in the United States shares at least one board member with at least one drug company,' reports Mike Papantonio, of the 'America's Lawyer' TV show. 'These board members wake up, they go to a meeting at Merck or Pfizer, and then they have their driver take them over to a meeting at a TV station,' says Papantonio."
The government is also in the vaccine "biz." Vaccine safety activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. reported that the CDC owns more than 20 different vaccine patents and sells $4.1 billion in vaccines each year, noting that those patents create a significant undisclosed conflict of interest when it comes to the agency's involvement in vaccine safety. It is a case of the fox guarding the henhouse.
The New York Times reported that most experts who served on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panels to evaluate flu and cervical cancer vaccines had potential conflicts that were never resolved.11 The vaccine industry also "gives millions to the Academy of Pediatrics for conferences, grants, medical education classes and even helped build their headquarters," according to a CBS investigative report.12
Unscientific 'Conclusions' Reached By News Outlets
Almost all news sites parrot the Big Vax party line in shocking abdication of journalistic ethics. For example, no news outlet would declare "all drugs safe" because they clearly are not, yet they obligingly declare "all vaccines safe," which insults the public's intelligence. In addition to published reports of vaccine injuries,13 there are many reports of vaccines recalled for safety issues.
No, all vaccines are not "safe" and every pharmaceutical product carries a risk of injury or death that can be greater for some people than others.
To get a clearer understanding of the many safety concerns raised by vaccine researchers, get a copy of Neil Z. Miller's book, "Miller's Review of Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Summarized for Parents and Researchers." In it, he reviews the vaccine safety and efficacy concerns raised by 400 peer-reviewed published studies.
Imagine a news outlet blaming motor vehicle accidents in which the motorist fell asleep and harmed others on the motorist's refusal to take stimulants for sleepiness. As outrageous as that would be, headlines from respected news sites do exactly that when they blame disease outbreaks on "anti-vaxxers."
As scientists and reporters with integrity know, causation can almost never be claimed; the preferred terms are "linked, "associated" and "correlated." "Anti-vaccine activists spark a state's worst measles outbreak in decades," trumpeted The Washington Post in May.14 "Anti-vaxxers brought their war to Minnesota — then came measles," screamed Wired.15
"Attempts by anti-vaccine activists to influence the Somali parents of Minnesota have ended with a measles outbreak that has made dozens of kids sick," declared The Daily Beast.16 "Anti-vaccine groups blamed in Minnesota measles outbreak," charged CNN.17 Conveniently ignored is the fact that the CDC maintains a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) that in February revealed 416 deaths from measles vaccines MEA, MER, MM, MMR or MMRV.18
The Science Is Ignored
Earlier this year, Kennedy, chairman of the World Mercury Project, actor Robert De Niro and others held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., calling for an open and honest discussion about vaccine safety. Appearing in a video was the late Dr. Bernadine Healy, who was the first female director of the National Institutes of Health, serving from 1991 until 1993.
She was also professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, professor and dean of the College of Medicine and Public Health at Ohio State University and president of the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association.19 In the video, Healy expresses concern that no government attempts have been made to see if a population of susceptible people exists for whom vaccines are risky.
She said she did not believe "the public would lose faith in vaccines" if such a population were found, a fear she said was expressed at the Institute of Medicine. She also lamented how animal studies which suggest vaccine links to neurological damage have been ignored. One such study was savaged by pro-vaccine scientists. As reported by OCA:20
"A 2010 paper published in Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis, a quarterly peer-reviewed scientific journal covering neuroscience, found that 'rhesus macaque infants receiving the complete U.S. childhood vaccine schedule' did not 'undergo the maturational changes over time in amygdala volume that was observed in unexposed animals.'
Pro-vaccine scientists pounced. Not enough monkeys were used to establish a scientific finding, said one scientist. Opposite findings about the amygdala have been reached, which invalidate the study, said another scientist.
One angry scientist was even willing to discredit the monkey study by claiming that monkeys are not a valid model for human disease — thus annulling millions of experiments including the ones on which human drugs are approved! Of course, many in the animal welfare community have questioned the validity of animal 'models.'"
'Vaccine Court' Protects Vaccine Makers' Interests, Not the Public
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington D.C. handles contested vaccine injury and death cases in what has become known as "vaccine court." The vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) is a "no-fault" alternative to the traditional civil court lawsuit and was established in 1986 after a string of high-profile lawsuits by parents of vaccine injured children had hauled vaccine manufacturers into court to have their cases heard in front of juries.
At the time, parents were suing vaccine manufacturers after their children were brain injured or died following federally recommended and state mandated DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) vaccines, or children were left paralyzed by live oral polio vaccinations (OPV).
Several DPT injury lawsuits against the vaccine makers in the 1970s and early 1980s resulted in multimillion-dollar jury verdicts. At that point, vaccine manufacturers threatened to stop producing DPT, MMR and oral polio (the only childhood vaccines at the time) if civil litigation were allowed to continue.
Common sense would have dictated that such lawsuits were a sign that vaccine manufacturers needed to raise safety standards and produce less toxic vaccines. Instead, Congress buckled to industry pressure and gave vaccine manufacturers the legal protection they demanded through the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.
As a result, vaccine makers have no incentive to produce the safest vaccines possible, especially when many childhood vaccines are state mandated for school attendance and 2 out of 3 vaccine injured children are turned away from the VICP with no compensation.
Vaccine Court Cases Are Usually Dismissed and Seldom Publicized
Many Americans do not even realize the vaccine court exists because the Department of Health & Human Services does not publicize the existence of a federal vaccine injury compensation program and few VICP claims are ever disclosed, let alone publicized. In fact, two-thirds of claims received are dismissed.
The desire for secrecy on the part of public health officials is understandable. If Americans were routinely informed of the vaccine injury and death claims processed through the VICP, public doubts about vaccine safety would escalate. Still, disturbing vaccine-related injuries have surfaced, often though legal firms, according to Opednews:21
"In 2011, in a report in the Pace Environmental Law Review, the researchers identified 83 NVICP cases in which victims demonstrated evidence of autism (though the cases often emphasized other injuries) resulting in more than $96.7 million in settlements.
In addition to 32 cases which included the presence of autism-like symptoms, there were 51 cases interviewed by the researchers in which parents said their child's vaccine injury led to "an autism diagnosis, autistic features or autistic-like behaviors."
"In another case, petitioners claim that within 48 hours after their baby received a DPT vaccine, he began to seizure and an MRI subsequently revealed suspicious black lesions. Like many children with seizure disorders he needed around the clock care and supervision. Eight years after a claim was filed, the boy received $7 million for a lifetime of medical care from the NVICP."
In yet another case, described by Opednews, a 2-month-old baby girl "started to have seizures, abnormal breathing [and] irregular heartbeats" hours after receiving a the same, routine DPT vaccine. In the following six years, the girl suffered from cognitive delays, cerebral palsy, encephalopathy and seizures.
Mercury Is Not the Only Vaccine Risk
While Kennedy focuses on the potential role of thimerosal in vaccine damage, researchers have presented a number of other potential mechanisms of vaccine harm, including the long-acknowledged ability of vaccines to cause brain inflammation (encephalitis/encephalopathy), the toxic effects of aluminum adjuvants and other toxic vaccine ingredients, and the hazards of immune overstimulation by virtually any means.
For example, pertussis toxin and live measles virus can cause brain inflammation and permanent brain damage — regardless of thimerosal. Moreover, vaccine safety is not simply a matter of proving or disproving the link between vaccines in general and autism specifically.
There are many other, potentially severe side effects, including immune system dysfunction, that can lead to or exacerbate any number of health problems. Veterinary scientists have even noted increasing rates of autoimmune problems in dogs following vaccination.
Research has shown an increase in death following receipt of inactivated vaccines suggesting vaccine adjuvants can also be culprits. Aluminum adjuvants might be a factor, but it appears inactivated vaccines may also program your immune system in a way that decreases your body's ability to fight off disease later.
Moreover, the gut-brain axis and the compelling synergy between compromised gut flora and autism can be triggered by vaccines. The potential for DNA fragments and retroviral contaminants in vaccines to produce an exaggerated and potentially lethal immune response is also possible and underreported. Clearly the presentation of vaccines as "always safe" and the vilification of vaccine activists comes out the greed-based vaccine business model.