By Mary Holland, CHD Vice Chairman and Marsha Lessard, Virginia citizen, Mother, and Virginia Freedom Keepers Member.
On February 18, more than fifty parents crowded into a Senate room to testify before the Senate Health Subcommittee regarding a bill that requires school immunizations. The bill they considered would transfer the legislature's decision-making authority over vaccine mandates to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Every vaccine on the CDC's recommended list, except annual flu shots, would automatically be required of Virginia schoolchildren. Future CDC-recommended vaccines would be added to Virginia's requirements too, without further deliberation. This would mean 13 additional vaccines against 8 diseases now, including hepatitis A, meningitis and the HPV vaccine for boys, and other vaccines in the future.
The Subcommittee voted 5-0 with one abstention in favor of the bill. But could there be a problem? The educated parents who took time out of their busy lives to testify think so. And notably not a single parent testified in favor of the bill — only physicians and medical representatives with professional and financial interests at stake.
Parents showed up for many reasons:
First, safety. Vaccines do not undergo the kind of rigorous safety testing that drugs do. Because vaccines are "biologics," they can be tested for periods as short as 4 days, as for the hepatitis B vaccine, and are usually tested against other vaccines, not inert saline placebos. This kind of testing masks serious problems that only show up when vaccines are in widespread use.
The notion that vaccine injury is one is a million is a myth. A federal Agency for Health Research Quality study suggests that vaccine injury is as common as 1 in 38 vaccines given. Making matters worse, manufacturers and healthcare providers cannot be held liable — Congress granted them blanket immunity under the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.
In addition, vaccine are not always effective. They don't confer any immunity in up to 10% of the population, and vaccine-induced immunity wanes over time. Outbreaks of pertussis, mumps, measles, and chickenpox regularly occur in vaccinated children.
Conflicts of interest are real. Because the CDC promotes vaccines, holds vaccine patents, and works closely with the CDC Foundation, to which Big Pharma contributes, it is not an unbiased referee. A revolving door between the CDC and the pharmaceutical industry as well as lucrative consulting contracts has led many observers to conclude that the CDC is captured by industry.
Children today are not healthy. Perhaps the most important concern for parents is that children today are not healthy. Indeed, 54% of American children have serious chronic health conditions, including ADD and ADHD, autism, asthma, allergies, arthritis, diabetes, learning disabilities and more.
African American children are at especially high risk, as black children are six times more likely to die from asthma, twice as likely to die in infancy, and 52% more likely to suffer from severe autism than all children.
Dr. Bill Thompson, a Ph.D. scientist at the CDC who was granted federal whistleblower protection, alleges that CDC scientists found that African-American boys are 3.36 times more likely to become autistic from the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine before 36 months than if they received it after 36 months. CDC supervisors then required Dr. Thompson and his colleagues to destroy the data and publish inaccurate results.
Robust evidence now confirms that African Americans have more responsive immune systems than Caucasians do. Leading vaccinologist Dr. Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic acknowledges that African Americans need one half the dose of vaccines that Caucasians do. So the CDC's one-size-fits-all approach imposes an even greater additional risk of injury on African American children.