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Game Changer of the Year: Barbara Loe Fisher

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • Each year, we recognize a Game Changer, someone whose work stands as a great service to humanity by making a significant contribution to improving people's health
  • This year, we present the Game Changer Award to Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a nonprofit charity that provides information on vaccine safety and efficacy on the internet
  • Fisher’s oldest son suffered a vaccine injury in 1980 following his fourth DPT shot, leaving him with mild brain damage resulting in learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder
  • Fisher worked with Congress to develop the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which acknowledges that federally licensed and recommended vaccines mandated by states for children to attend school can and do cause injury and death
  • Amendments to the 1986 Act have severely weakened protections for vaccine injured Americans, making vaccine exemptions for medical and philosophical reasons all the more important. NVIC is a leading advocate for informed consent protections

Each year during the anniversary week of Mercola.com, we recognize a Game Changer, someone whose work stands as a great service to humanity by making a significant contribution to improving people's health. Previous recipients include:

  • Dr. Fred A. Kummerow for his life’s work on trans fats who has since passed at the age of 102
  • Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D., for his advancement of cancer as a metabolic disease
  • Dr. Lee Cowden for his advancement of integrative medicine through the creation of the Academy of Comprehensive Integrative Medicine
  • Carole Baggerly, director and founder of GrassrootsHealth, a nonprofit public health research organization dedicated to moving public health messages regarding vitamin D from research into practice

This year, we present the Game Changer Award to Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC),1,2 a nonprofit charity that provides information on vaccine safety and efficacy on the internet.

The National Vaccine Information Center

NVIC was founded in 1982 by parents of vaccine injured children — Fisher being one of them. Fisher’s oldest son suffered a vaccine injury in 1980 following his fourth DPT shot, leaving him with mild brain damage resulting in learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder.3

NVIC’s goal is to “[prevent] vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and safety reforms,” Fisher told The New York Times in 2001.4 Fisher’s two other children received all recommended vaccines with the exception of the whole-cell pertussis that injured her oldest son.

“The vaccine-safety and informed-consent movement has never been about telling parents not to vaccinate. We're pro-education and pro-informed consent, not antivaccine.

There is a difference. It is immoral to write off an unknown number of children as expendable in the name of the greater good to justify public health policy,” Barbara told The New York Times.5

This is a stance Fisher and NVIC have maintained ever since its inception, even though critics choose to portray the organization as a source of dangerous antivaccine propaganda.6

Vaccine safety is being heavily censored in 2019

In recent months, the push to censor negative press about vaccines has reached unimaginable levels, with “vaccine misinformation” — meaning anything critical of vaccines — being blocked, censored and deplatformed across the internet:

YouTube has demonetized “anti-vaccine” channels, barring them from advertising on the platform.7

Facebook is “hiding” vaccine critical content and barring “ads that contain misinformation about vaccines.”8

Pinterest is blocking search terms related to vaccines, as well as “memes and pins from sites promoting anti-vaccine propaganda.”9

Amazon has removed films critical of vaccine safety from its Prime Video streaming service, including the award-winning 2011 documentary, “The Greater Good,”10,11 as well as books discussing vaccine risks and failures and/or biomedical and holistic health treatments for autism.12

Google is burying and essentially censoring content and videos relating to vaccine safety issues.13

Instagram is blocking vaccine-related hashtags such as #vaccinescauseautism and any hashtag found to be “spreading misinformation” will be added to an ever-growing list of banned hashtags.14,15

Mailchimp — an email marketing service used by many organizations to deliver online newsletters — started removing “anti-vaccine activists” from its service without warning in June 2019, refusing to release email subscriber lists to boot,16 leaving organizations suddenly without a subscriber base or a way to reach them.

A Mailchimp spokesperson told NBC News,17 “Spreading misinformation about the safety and efficacy of vaccines poses a serious threat to public health and causes real-world harm. We cannot allow these individuals and groups to use our Marketing Platform to spread harmful messages and expand their audiences.”

As noted by journalist Jefferey Jaxen on his personal blog,18 Mailchimp has been partnered with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 2018, which may explain the company’s sudden censorship overreach. He writes:

“The CDC Foundation lists what it expects from those it partners with. One expectation is to ‘demonstrate opportunities for return on investment for public health, CDC, the CDC Foundation and its partners.’

It should come as no surprise that the CDC, and many government representatives, view any barrier that comes between you or you child and a pharmaceutical company’s vaccine product as a risk to public health.

The CDC Foundation defines public health as ‘… protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country or region of the world.’ Nowhere in the CDC’s public health definition is a word about the individual, their choices, concerns or medical vulnerabilities making them susceptible to an adverse vaccine reaction.

Looking deeper into the ‘opportunities for return on investment’ the CDC Foundation expects from its partners is where conflicts of interest may lie. The CDC Foundation lists as its partners vaccine makers Pfizer, Novartis, Merck, Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, and others.

Would censoring the flow of factual information showing the shortcomings, harm and inconvenient facts about pharmaceutical company products be considered an opportunity for a ‘return on investment’ for the CDC Foundation’s corporate partners?

Would directing the editorial decisions of public companies to omit the bad press, comments, evidence of public harm and scientific studies of corporate products constitute a good ‘return on investment’ for its corporate partners?

The CDC Foundation also asks for ‘Deference to CDC’s final judgment on all matters of scientific findings, facts or recommendations’ as a ‘characteristic for collaboration.’

CDC Foundation partners must show obedience not to American ideals, free speech, open debate, fearless journalism, democracy, the People’s right to get be involved in legislation but rather to a captured agency’s over simplistic ‘safe and effective’ talking points and inaccurate, derogatory ‘anti-vax’ slurs.

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Justifications fail

The “justification” given for all this anti-American, anti-democratic censorship is that information detailing the potential problems with vaccines is preventing people from making sound medical decisions, thereby jeopardizing the health of the nation as a whole.

What’s really happening is that Big Pharma and government are blocking parents of vaccine-injured children from sharing their stories and letting the truth be known that there are risks involved. It’s really a showdown between a largely pharma-run government and parents of vaccine injured children — not government against creators of fake news.

There’s nothing fake about vaccine injuries. There’s also nothing fake about the data, oftentimes obtained from government documents, that are unfavorable for the vaccine manufacturers.

The current censorship is blocking out those real-world stores of injury, along with important data demonstrating that government and industry are not telling the whole truth about what is known about vaccines.

To that aim, health authorities and government officials have, and continue to, push an agenda that vilifies (if not outright criminalizes) those who express concerns about vaccine safety. We’ve also seen a rapid and disturbing increase in tyrannical measures, forcing people to get vaccinated or face loss of employment, significant fines or jail time.

Attempts to eliminate parental rights are underway

Legislation is also being introduced allowing health care workers to circumvent parents. As just one example, Washington D.C. is currently considering legislation for the city that would allow minor children of any age to get vaccinated without a parent’s knowledge or consent if the doctor believes the child is “mature” enough to make the decision.19,20

The possible result of such legislation should be obvious to anyone familiar with the fact that vaccine injuries can and do occur. If parents are not even permitted to be involved in the decision to vaccinate, how could they possibly suspect a vaccine injury, should it occur?

This epitomizes the kind of governmental overreach Fisher and NVIC oppose. As noted by Fisher during the 2008 Rally for Conscientious Exemption to Vaccination:21

"We are standing publicly for the legal right to follow our conscience when making educated vaccine decisions for our families.

Among us are parents with healthy children and those with children who have been hurt by one-size-fits-all vaccine mandates that ignore the genetic and biological differences which make some people more vulnerable than others for having severe reactions to prescription drugs and vaccines.

No American should be legally forced to play vaccine roulette with a child’s life... If we cannot be free to make informed, voluntary decisions about which pharmaceutical products we are willing to risk our lives for, then we are not free in any sense of the word.

Because if the State can tag, track down and force individuals against their will to be injected with biological products of unknown toxicity today, then there will be no limit on which individual freedoms the State can take away in the name of the greater good tomorrow."

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986

Among her many noteworthy accomplishments, Fisher worked with Congress for four years to develop the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. With this historical Act, the U.S. government acknowledged that:22

1. Federally licensed and recommended vaccines mandated by states for children to attend school can and do cause injury and death

2. Vaccine safety should be a priority for health agencies, vaccine manufacturers, doctors and other vaccine administrators

3. Individuals injured by government recommended and mandated childhood vaccines should have access to a federal vaccine injury compensation program administrative alternative to filing a vaccine injury lawsuit in civil court. Furthermore, they should have access to the civil court system in cases where:

  • Federal compensation is denied or is inadequate
  • There is evidence a pediatrician or other vaccine administrator negligently administered a vaccine
  • A vaccine manufacturer engaged in criminal fraud or negligence
  • A vaccine manufacturer could have made a vaccine less harmful (design defect)

The 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act is broken

The original intention was to offer those injured by vaccines a choice — either suing the vaccine manufacturer in civil court, or applying for compensation through the vaccine injury compensation program, which was meant to serve as an easier and faster route.

As such, the 1986 Act did not immunize vaccine makers and doctors from legal action, although there were some restrictions (see Point 3 above). All of that changed in 2011, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided drug companies could not be sued for design defects or failure to make the vaccine as harmless as possible.

As it stands, the 1986 Act is no longer serving vaccine injured Americans as it was intended. As noted in the NVIC’s position statement on the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986:23

“… [B]etween 1987 and 2016, Congress allowed amendments and broad rule making authority granted to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to alter and weaken the original Act.

The Act’s safety and research provisions, which parents fought hard to secure in the original Act to help prevent vaccine injuries and deaths, have been seriously compromised.

Neglect and lack of congressional oversight on the Act for more than 30 years has enabled DHHS and the Department of Justice to turn what was supposed to be a non-adversarial, expedited, less expensive, fairer and more predictable federal vaccine injury compensation program, which Congress promised parents in 1986, into a highly adversarial, lengthy, traumatic and unpredictable imitation of a lawsuit in front of a one-person jury …

During three decades of congressional amendments to the Act and abuse of authority by federal agencies, the government has broken the social contract with Americans being required to purchase and use FDA licensed and CDC recommended vaccines.

The U.S. government has assumed liability for harm caused by government licensed and mandated vaccines, but government officials cannot be sued in a civil court in front of a jury for failing to warn and protect the people from unsafe vaccines.

The reality today is that nobody developing, manufacturing, selling, licensing, recommending, mandating or giving vaccines in the U.S. has real incentive to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths.”

It is for these reasons that vaccine exemptions for medical and philosophical reasons need to remain sacrosanct. Alas, in recent years, many states have rammed through legislation that disallows exemptions if you want your children to be able to attend day care and school. As noted by NVIC:24

“The federal government is encouraging adoption and enforcement of “no exceptions” vaccination laws, which require use of federally recommended vaccines and severely restrict or eliminate flexible medical, religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions.

Forcing people to use products that can cause injury and death without voluntary informed consent is a violation of basic human rights, including autonomy and freedom of thought, conscience and religious belief.”

Fisher has dedicated her life to your children’s safety

This year, we recognize Fisher with our annual Game Changer award for her decades of public education and tireless advocacy for safer vaccines and informed consent protections.

The right to informed consent to medical risk taking is a human right, and her work is, at the heart of it, a human rights issue. Once our right to refuse vaccines for ourselves or our children is eliminated, there’s no telling where it will end.

To learn more, consider picking up one or more of her books: “DTP: A Shot in the Dark,” “Vaccines, Autism & Chronic Inflammation: The New Epidemic,” and/or “The Consumer’s Guide to Childhood Vaccines.” You can also sign up to receive her biweekly online journal, “The Vaccine Reaction.”