As measles returns, Indiegogo joins other tech platforms in banning Anti-Vaccine campaigns

2 months, 18 days ago

The last year has been the worst on record in the US for measles outbreaks since the disease was declared ‘eradicated’ in 2000. Even though vaccination rates across the country are still high, (according to the CDC) there remains some communities where disinformation campaigns which claim that ‘vaccines are dangerous’ (often called ‘anti-vaxx’ campaigns) have led to parents refusing to vaccinate their children. Sadly, this can lead to a deadly outbreak when members of the public are exposed to someone who has picked up the disease, often overseas. Measles is highly contagious and can be fatal, especially amongst children.

And despite President Trump telling Americans to “get their shots”, 45 has previously appeared to link vaccines and autism. Public health experts say there is no link.

At the same time, over half a million children in Britain have been left unprotected against measles in the past decade and Unicef has called for a renewed focus on immunization.

It’s with this background that some tech companies are starting to realize they may have been part of the problem.

Yesterday Crowdfunding site Indiegogo said it would no longer allow anti-vaccine fundraisers or similarly unscientific, so-called “health campaigns”, to use its platform.

The move came after $86,543 was raised for a documentary, called Vaxxed II, based on the false claim that vaccines cause autism. Although the organization behind it, The People’s Truth, will still get their cash, minus the site’s 5% fee, Indiegogo said it was now planning a new policy to keep similar anti-vaccine projects off its site, a company spokesperson told BuzzFeed News Friday.

The fundraiser did not violate IndieGoGo’s existing policies on untruthful campaigns, but Indiegogo never promoted it on its site, said a company spokesperson. Executive directors of the “documentary”, Polly Tommey and Brian Burrowes, have criticized tech companies’ ‘de-platforming’ of their film as “censorship”.

Indiegogo is the latest in a line of tech companies coming round to the idea of cutting off the oxygen of publicity and cash to such campaigns.

Last month, Facebook said it would be removing anti-vaxx groups from ads and recommendations and making it harder for users to find anti-vaxx pages and posts using Facebook search. Instagram (owned by Facebook) said it would also do something similar to stop recommending inaccurate information about vaccines on its hashtags and in search. YouTube has also reiterated a previous pledge to stop anti-vaxx content from generating advertising cash on its platform.

Meanwhile, Amazon has looked to remove books promoting an unscientific connection made between vaccines and autism, and anti-vaccine documentaries like Vaxxed. Furthermore, GoFundMe has banned fundraising campaigns from anti-vaxxers.

Read more: techcrunch.com

Anti-vaxxers on both right and left are endangering Americans with ignorance

3 months, 22 days ago

It’s been a banner week for anti-vax, anti-science, anti-sense information that is anti-American in the most fundamental sense: because it directly threatens the health and lives of Americans. And unfortunately, one of the most prominent voices for anti-vax on the left is contributing to this threat in a way that could raise the body count as much as those on the right could.

On Thursday, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin let it be known that he had intentionally exposed his nine children to chickenpox rather than give any of them the chickenpox vaccine. Bevins was smugly proud of this, explaining that “it all turned out fine.” Except that it didn’t, because this exposure set his children up to develop shingles later in life, a condition that can be not only extremely painful, but potentially disabling or blinding. And that’s far from the limit of what might have happened, or what might still happen. 

Chickenpox may strike children, but it’s not kid’s stuff. Previous to the development of the vaccine, nearly 13,000 Americans ended up hospitalized each year for complications related to chickenpox. Between 100 and 150 of them died. The availability of the vaccine dropped the number of deaths by 87 percent, but in encouraging people to not get vaccinated, Bevin in setting up a situation that could easily—easily—lead to increased deaths, disability, and disfigurement. 

Unfortunately, he’s not alone. And his companions in attempting to murder Americans via ignorance aren’t limited to parents who refuse vaccines for measles or whooping cough because they’ve been falsely convinced of a nonexistent link between vaccines and autism. On Thursday, Robert Kennedy Jr. used the prominence of his family name—again—to suggest that there’s a connection between increased rates of anxiety and depression among American teens and the Gardasil vaccine. This vaccine protects Americans, both men and women, from developing life-threatening cancers caused by human papillomavirus. In particular, these viruses are a leading cause of cervical cancer in women. In the United States, there are an estimated 24 million active cases of papillomavirus infection, leading to between 100,000 and 200,000 cases of cervical cancer each year, and around 12,000 deaths.

Anti-vaxxers made the Gardasil vaccine a target shortly after it became available, using claims of toxicity and playing off parents’ fears that the vaccine would somehow license young people to be “more sexually active.” Those claims have already resulted in decreased use of the vaccine in some areas, and have made the effort to deploy the medication more difficult. Even the most casual Google search for information on papillomavirus or cervical cancer is likely to turn up false information on “the dangers of vaccines.”

Read more: feeds.dailykosmedia.com

WHO, Pharma, Gates and Government: Who’s Calling the Shots?

5 months, 9 days ago

By Barbara Loe Fisher

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a report on January 16, 2019 ranking “vaccine hesitancy” as one of the top “10 Threats to Global Health in 2019,” alongside air pollution and climate change, noncommunicable diseases, global influenza pandemic, antimicrobial resistance and infectious diseases such as ebola, dengue fever and HIV.1

Throughout history, the greatest contributors to disease and early death in human populations have been poverty, poor sanitation and poor nutrition,2,3,4 but infectious diseases with pharmaceutical solutions dominated this list.

And, there was no mention of the major opioid addiction crisis crippling and killing tens of thousands of people in the U.S. and Europe,5,6 or the iatrogenic medical error epidemic that every year claims more than 750,000 lives in Europe7 and 250,000 lives in the U.S., where it is the third leading cause of death.8

The immediate mainstream media response to the WHO’s announcement was to focus on “vaccine hesitancy,” with The Editorial Board of The New York Times declaring January 19 that “anti-vaxxers” are “the enemy” and calling on the U.S. government to “get tough” by waging a “bold and aggressive” pro-vaccine campaign that includes “tightening restrictions around how much leeway states can grant families that want to skip essential vaccines.”9

By January 23, The Hill announced Washington state had declared a state of emergency because of 23 cases of measles reported in an “anti-vaccination community” near Portland, Oregon,10 and there was a public call in the U.K. for social media platforms to “clamp down on fake news” and censor “misleading information and negative messaging around vaccination.”11,12

The New York Times’ editorial headline, “How to Inoculate Against Anti-Vaxxers,” was a theme repeated in articles reacting to the WHO’s suggestion that people wanting to make informed, voluntary decisions about vaccination are a global menace. One doctor suggested that parents who don’t vaccinate their children are selfish: “[I]t’s a matter of ‘I don’t care about other people in the community, I only care about the health and welfare of my own child.'”13

There was no discussion about institutionally acknowledged gaps in vaccine safety science14,15 or the fact that most parents dutifully follow the advice of pediatricians and public health officials and only became vaccine safety critics after the risks of vaccination for their children turned out to be 100 percent.16,17

There was no discussion about the fact that since 2011, pharmaceutical companies have no liability for injuries and deaths caused by the vaccines they sell in the U.S. that are government recommended and mandated.18

Instead, parents of vaccine injured children and others concerned about vaccine safety, who for decades have been asking government and industry to produce better quality vaccine science and more humane vaccine policies that respect genetic and biological diversity, were stereotyped as “anti-vaxxers” and demonized as a “threat” to public health.

The Editorial Board of The New York Times explained, “It’s no mystery how we got here. On the internet, anti-vaccine propaganda has outpaced pro-vaccine public health information.”

Authoritatively, “the Board, its editor and the publisher” of The New York Times stated that, “Scientists, especially, are uncomfortable with black and white statements, because science is all about nuance. But, in the case of vaccines, there are some hard truths that deserve to be trumpeted. Vaccines are not toxic, and they do not cause autism. Full stop.”

There was no discussion about why people are legitimately concerned about vaccine ingredients19 and Pharma paying the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to fast track new vaccines to licensure without adequate testing.20

There was no discussion about the fact that doctors giving children 69 doses of 16 vaccines starting on the day of birth21 — three times as many vaccinations as they got in 198322 — cannot explain why so many highly vaccinated children in the U.S. today are sicker, not healthier today: 1 child in 6 is learning disabled23 and 1 in 40 has autism.24

Millions more suffer with asthma, diabetes, severe allergies, epilepsy, cancer, schizophrenia, depression and other chronic disease marked by chronic inflammation in the body.

The CDC states that “90 percent of the $3.3 trillion in annual health care expenditures are for people with chronic and mental health conditions.”25 The largely unexplained chronic disease and disability epidemic in the U.S. is bankrupting the U.S. health care system and there is no research being funded to investigate the role that ever-increasing numbers of vaccines given to infants, children and adults may be playing.

Multinational pharmaceutical corporations26,27 in command of a global $34 billion vaccine market28,29 are holding billion-dollar contracts with mass communication companies30 and public-private partnerships with governments to purchase vaccines and create vaccine marketing campaigns31,32,33,34 that dwarf the relatively small number of websites and blogs labeled “anti-vax” simply for criticizing vaccine science and government policy.35

Yet, there is no recognition by mainstream media articles of the fact that wealthy corporations and philanthropic foundations with political agendas,36,37 well-paid medical doctors38,39,40 and government health officials in charge of operating the vaccine system41 are in privileged positions of power with a distinct advantage over ordinary people subjected to vaccine laws that place an unequal risk burden on individuals with genetic and biological susceptibility to suffering harm from vaccination.42,43

‘Bio-Populism’ Blamed for Vaccine Hesitancy in Europe

In the U.K., The Economist published an article entitled, “The Campaign Against Vaccination,” in which an anonymous author declared, “Across Europe, the rise of populism is damaging public health. A common feature is skepticism of vaccines.”44

Pointing to Italy, Austria and France as hotbeds of political support for “parental choice” about vaccination, the author attempted to politically tie growing public support for vaccine choice to a fear of migrants and coined a new term: “bio-populism,” saying:

“It is increasingly clear that Europe’s populists want for the body what they want for the nation: purity, unity and self-governance. Populist health policies mean citizens being free from outside influences — whether vaccines devised by doctors, regulations invented by politicians or diseases supposedly carried by migrants — and in control of their own epidemiology.”

He (or she?) went on to explain that bio-populism is a “combination of me-first libertarianism and anti-expertise herd mentality.” Quoting Italian medical professor Dr. Roberto Burioni, who has stated authoritatively that “Vaccines are not an opinion” and offered an explanation for “Why science can’t be democratic,” The Economist article ended with a warning that, “At least one pandemic will probably sweep the interconnected world in the next decade. Viruses, after all, know no borders.”

There was no discussion of the fact that most parents and physicians calling for better quality vaccine science and informed consent protections in vaccine laws are ideologically diverse and do not all identify with one particular political party. In fact, a 2015 Pew Research Center survey revealed that age and parenthood had more to do with vaccine hesitancy, with young adults and parents with children under age 18 being less supportive of mandatory vaccination.45

Vaccines, Autism, Erosion of Trust in Drug Companies and Doctors

In the U.S., Live Science trumpeted: “Anti-Vaccine Movement Joins Ebola, Drug Resistance on List of Top Global Threats.”46 A doctor at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security was quoted as saying the reason that noncommunicable diseases and not infectious diseases made the WHO’s top 10 global threat list is “a testament to how powerful vaccines are.”

Pointing to the jubilant public response to the release of polio vaccine in the 1950s, he commented, “We need to get back to that era when vaccines were celebrated the way a new iPhone [is].”

The headline People Magazine chose was “World Health Organization Names Anti-Vaxxers As a Top Threat to Global Health in 2019.”47 At the beginning of the article, the following statement appeared: “There is no scientific link between vaccines and autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control.”

It ended with the statement, “To tackle the rising levels of vaccine hesitancy, WHO plans to push forward with the goal of eliminating cervical cancer with greater application of HPV vaccine …”

U.S. News & World Report ran this headline: “WHO: Anti-Vaccine Movement a Top Threat in 2019.”48 That author stated, “So-called anti-vaxxers refuse the required shots for their children on religious or philosophical grounds. An increase in unvaccinated children has, in part, been tied to the medically discredited belief that vaccines cause autism spectrum disorder.”

Pointing out that a recent U.S. survey found that public trust in vaccination is on the decline, she added, “The heightened mistrust, researchers said, was especially prevalent in small pockets of people in insular communities or like-minded communities online.”

Pacific Standard asked, “Are Anti-Vaxxers a Major Health Threat? The World Health Organization Says Yes.”49 This article included a quote from a pediatrician:

“The ongoing erosion of trust in the medical establishment as a whole is also to blame, as frequent reports of dubious financial relationships between physicians, professional medical societies, and the pharmaceutical industry leave many questioning whether or not physicians can be trusted. Unsure of what to do and whom to listen to, many seek answers to their questions elsewhere, or simply rely on their gut feeling …”

Salon created the most sensational headline that asked the foreboding question, “The Anti-vaxxocalypse: What Happens to Humanity if Vaccine Hesitancy Continues?”50 The author explained to readers, “In other words, the anti-vaccination movement, which has inspired many in first-world countries to refuse or hesitate vaccination for easily-preventable diseases, is now a threat to global health and, ergo, stability.”

The exaggerated response to the WHO announcement by corporations owning mainstream media outlets has been curiously uniform. Often using identical talking points, perspective from parents and physicians in the U.S. and Europe rationally calling for reform of the vaccine policies and laws is left out.51

The politics of vaccination are in full swing, but where is the money coming from to fund these vaccine marketing campaigns using name calling, threats, shaming and misinformation to demonize and call for discrimination against those who criticize vaccine science and government policy?

The WHO Markets Vaccines

Immediately after World War II in 1945, the United Nations (U.N.) voted to establish a new international health organization. In 1948, WHO was founded by the U.N. after ratification by 26 member states and given a budget of $5 million.

WHO is a specialized agency of the U.N. headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and is composed of six regional offices operating in different parts of the world, including the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Washington, D.C.

Today, 194 member states of the U.N. are impacted by the activities of the WHO, which has a broad mandate to “act as the directing and coordinating authority on international health work.”52

The WHO Constitution, revised in 2006, states that its objective “is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health,” and health is defined as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”53

The WHO Constitution also states that “Informed opinion and active co-operation on the part of the public are of the utmost importance in the improvement of the health of the people.” The top priorities of the WHO when it was founded 70 years ago were malaria, tuberculosis, venereal diseases, maternal and child health, sanitary engineering and nutrition.

During the first 30 years of WHO’s operation, the U.N. agency spearheaded a global smallpox eradication campaign (1958 to 1980); prevention and control of yaws, endemic syphilis, leprosy, trachoma, cholera and yellow fever (1960s); fertility regulation and birth control (1970s); childhood vaccination programs (initiated 1974); and the institution of primary health care of all national health systems (initiated 1978).54

Today, the WHO is the world’s largest and most influential public health agency with an annual budget for 2018 to 2019 of $4.4 billion.55 Slightly more than 21.6 percent ($956.9 million) of the WHO budget is funded by assessments on member states and the remaining is funded by “voluntary contributions.”

The biggest individual programs funded by WHO are for polio eradication vaccine campaigns ($903 million); vaccine campaigns for other communicable diseases ($805 million); and corporate services/enabling functions ($715.5 million).

Currently, the top 10 U.N. member state annual funders of WHO are the governments of the U.S. ($125 million); Japan ($49 million); China ($40 million); Germany ($33 million); France ($27 million); United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ($23 million); Brazil ($19.5 million); Italy ($19 million); Canada ($15 million) and Australia ($12 million).56

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest non-state funder of the WHO, having donated more than $2 billion in earmarked grants to the international health agency since 1998, and is the second largest WHO funder overall (after the U.S. government). Because Gates Foundation grant money is earmarked for specific programs, such as vaccine purchase, delivery and promotion, the Gates Foundation significantly influences the setting of WHO’s program priorities.57

In 2010, after a joint investigation by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in collaboration with the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an article was published in the BMJ revealing that three key scientists — who influenced the WHO’s decision to declare a swine flu (H1N1) influenza pandemic in 2009 and recommend that all countries use and stockpile vaccines and pandemic flu drugs — had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies profiting from the WHO recommendations (GlaxoSmithKline and Roche).

WHO was also criticized for lack of transparency for refusing to release the identities of the 16 members of an emergency committee formed in 2009 to guide pandemic policy.58

The 2009 pandemic H1N1 vaccine, which was rushed to market to address a WHO declared pandemic that did not happen, triggered an autoimmune reaction in more than 1,300 people in Europe who got GSK’s Pandemrix vaccine and left them with narcolepsy, an incurable immune mediated neurological disorder.59

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Marketing Vaccines

The WHO and the U.S. government are founding partners of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. In 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided $750 million in seed money to spearhead the creation of Gavi, a public-private partnership and multilateral funding mechanism involving the WHO, governments, the vaccine industry, the World Bank, philanthropic foundations and civil society groups to “improve access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.”60

Of the more than $15 billion raised by Gavi since 2000 to vaccinate the world’s children, U.S. government contributions have totaled $1.9 billion or 12 percent of all contributions received by Gavi. The United Kingdom has contributed $2.2 billion or 14 percent of Gavi’s total contributions.

The single biggest funding source for Gavi is the Gates Foundation, which has donated more than $3 billion or 20 percent of Gavi’s total income.61 Between 2000 and 2013, only about 10 percent of total funding provided by Gavi ($862 million) was used to strengthen health systems in developing countries, such as improving sanitation and nutrition, while nearly 80 percent was used to purchase, deliver and promote vaccines.62

Gavi is headquartered in Geneva with an office in Washington, D.C. that carries out day-to-day operations, and one of Gavi’s core goals is to “shape markets for vaccines and other immunization products.”

In 2008, Gavi announced that five countries — Italy, Norway, Canada, the U.K. and Russia — had joined the Gates Foundation to pledge $1.5 billion in Advance Market Commitments (AMC) to accelerate access to pneumococcal vaccines with donors providing up-front funding commitments to support vaccine purchase and speed the introduction and use of vaccines in countries partnering with Gavi.

Currently, the AMC incentivizes vaccine manufacturers to sign contracts to provide pneumococcal vaccine to developing countries at lower per dose prices and be reimbursed by Gavi funds. By March 2015, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline had received more than $1 billion from Gavi’s AMC funds.63

CDC officials provide Gavi with technical support and guidance. In 2015, the U.S. Congress pledged to appropriate $1 billion to Gavi that was spread over four years (2015 to 2018).64

At the World Health Summit in Berlin on October 16, 2018, Gavi CEO Dr. Seth Berkley announced that 11 heads of the world’s leading health and development organizations had signed a “landmark commitment” to find new ways to accelerate achieving goals of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals created in 2015.

The new Global Action Plan vaccine marketing initiative is being coordinated by the WHO.65 Relating Sustainable Development Goals to vaccination of all the people in the world, Gavi states that:66

Immunization protects people from being forced into poverty by high out-of-pocket expenses
Vaccines protect child health and support cognitive development, allowing children to perform better at school and have more opportunities
Vaccinated healthy children grow into a productive workforce and become strong contributors to the economy, and healthy children free up parents’ time so they are able to work
Vaccines are critical to building people’s resilience to and mitigating the risk of disease outbreaks tied to climate change
Good health is a critical determinant of peace and well-being in a society. People-centered health systems are core social institutions in every country, and immunization is often the first point of contact between these systems and the population

In 2016, Berkley and other Gavi executives came under criticism in the U.K. for taking excessively high salary packages. According to an investigative news report:67

“Seth Berkley has taken home more than £2 million over the past four years as chief executive officer of Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi), which has been given £1.5 billion by Britain. Another official at the Geneva-based group collects a pay package of more than £500,000 a year. Incredibly, Dr. Berkley was given a housing allowance on top of his £623,370 pay package.”

In December 2018, Berkley told CNN that “while measles is one of the few diseases we could potentially eradicate, that will never happen if wealthy countries like the United States can’t maintain herd immunity. Because a measles case anywhere is a threat everywhere.”

He said parents in the U.S. are delaying their children’s vaccinations “perhaps because they believe in immunization but are worried by some of the anti-vaccine scaremongering. This needs to stop.”

Echoing the idea that parents who don’t go along with the vaccine program are selfish, he added, “In countries like the United States we need to stop thinking about vaccination as something you only do to protect the ones you love, and instead view it also as a goodwill act for the benefit of others.”68

According to the CDC, in 2017 to 2018 “vaccination coverage among kindergarteners remained high,” with 94 percent of children having received two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine; four or five doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine; and two doses of varicella zoster (chickenpox) vaccine (among many other vaccines required by states for school attendance). Only 2 percent of kindergarteners had an exemption from one or more state required vaccines.69

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Marketing of Vaccines

The Gates Foundation was established in 2000 by Microsoft Corporation founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda.70

Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, the Gates Foundation is the largest philanthropic foundation in the world with a $43.5 billion trust that makes grant payments of more than $3 billion annually to advance the foundation’s goals for reforming education systems, such as the institution of Common Core curriculum in all U.S. schools,71 and funding public health initiatives, primarily global vaccination programs.72

A major goal of the Gates Foundation is to make sure every child in the world is vaccinated.73 Investor businessman Warren Buffet, who took control of textile manufacturer Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. in 1965 and went on to amass a personal fortune of more than $60 billion, pledged $31 billion and became a co-director of Gates Foundation in 2006.74

In 1998, the same year that the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft Corporation,75 Bill and Melinda Gates committed $100 million to create the Bill & Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine Program. One purpose of that program was to establish an international consensus on vaccine use recommendations:

“Efforts will be made to support international conferences and the development and dissemination of strong international consensus statements and recommendations for the use of the new vaccines.”76

The homepage of the Gates Foundation proclaims ALL LIVES HAVE EQUAL VALUE and states77

“We believe we can save lives by delivering the latest in science and technology to those with the greatest needs. We work with partners to provide effective vaccines, drugs and diagnostics and to develop innovative approaches to deliver health services to those who need it most. And we invest heavily in developing new vaccines to prevent infectious diseases that impose the greatest burden.”

In 2016, Global Justice Now published an investigative report, “Gated Development: Is the Gates Foundation always a force for good?” Authors were critical of the unchecked political power and influence on global health programs and agricultural policies of Bill Gates and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF):78

“To say that the BMGF has become an important actor in international development would be an understatement. When it comes to global health and agriculture policies, two of its key grant areas, the BMGF has become probably the most influential actor in the world.

It is also likely that Bill Gates, who has regular access to world leaders and is in effect personally bankrolling hundreds of universities, international organizations, NGOs and media outlets, has become the single most influential voice in international development.

But the BMGF’s increasing global influence is not being subjected to democratic scrutiny. Unlike governments, which are formally accountable to their electorates, the BMGF is a private U.S. foundation, and remains unaccountable to public bodies (except for tax reporting purposes).

Even worse, the BMGF appears to have bought the silence of academics, NGOs and the media who might otherwise be expected to criticize aspects of the foundation’s work.”

Money Makes the World Go Around

Congress appropriated nearly $90 billion to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2018, and the biggest line item in the CDC’s $11 billion budget was the Vaccines for Children program (VFC) ($4.5 billion), which was created by Congress in 1993.79

Under the VFC program, the federal government purchases CDC recommended vaccines from vaccine manufacturers to administer to children who are on Medicaid, are uninsured or whose health insurance plans do not fully cover CDC recommended vaccines.80,81 Hundreds of millions of dollars are additionally allocated in the HHS budget for vaccination programs, including $700 million for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

One of the most politically powerful public-private partnerships in the world today is the lucrative one that has been forged by the pharmaceutical industry with government,82,83,84,85,86 mainstream media87 and wealthy philanthropic foundations with political agendas.88,89

In the past decade, these public-private partnerships have come under scrutiny by public policy analysts. In 2015, authors of a special report published by the Global Policy Forum observed:90

“However, it is not only ‘big business’ but also ‘big philanthropy’ that has an increasing influence in global development policy, particularly large philanthropic foundations. The scope of their influence in both past and present discourse and decision-making processes is fully equal, and in some cases goes beyond that of other private actors.

Through the sheer size of their grant-making, personal networking and active advocacy, large global foundations, most notably the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have played an increasingly active role in shaping the agenda-setting and funding priorities of international organizations and governments.”

For example, the Gates Foundation has given Johns Hopkins more than $100 million in research grants since 2015, including for vaccine development and promotion.91 At the same time, Johns Hopkins University receives more than $2 billion per year in funding from U.S. government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), to conduct research, including for vaccine development and vaccine use promotion.92

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal health agencies give millions of dollars in taxpayer dollars to academic institutions and vaccine manufacturers to improve vaccine technology, find new lucrative vaccine markets and boost vaccine marketability.93 The U.S. government also partners with the Gates Foundation to develop and promote vaccine use.

For example, in 2013, the CDC Foundation received three grants totaling $13.5 million from the Gates Foundation to globally “advance the implementation” of meningitis and rotavirus vaccine programs.94

The Centers for Disease Control and the CDC Foundation have received more than $167 million from the Gates Foundation.95 Vaccine manufacturers have also received millions of dollars in grants from the Gates Foundation, including GlaxoSmithKline (over $50 million);96 Merck ($1.4 million);97 Pfizer ($16.5 million);98 and Sanofi Pasteur ($3.6 million).99

Big Media: Under the Influence 

Mass media corporations also are under the influence of Big Pharma and Big Philanthropy money. For example, National Public Radio has received $20 million in grants100 and Solutions Journalism Network has received $4 million101 in grants from the Gates Foundation. Recently, Gates’ Microsoft Corporation partnered with NewsGuard Technologies Inc.,102,103 a new corporation that is rating websites and online publications to “fight false news, misinformation and disinformation.”104,105,106

The NewsGuard corporation is also collaborating with other corporations, such as Google,107,108 which owns over 90 percent of the internet search market.109 One of the biggest investors in NewsGuard is Publicis, the oldest advertising company in the world and the third largest mass communications company today.110

Publicis is paid billions of dollars by pharmaceutical companies to market vaccines,111 including a $1.5 billion media contract with GlaxoSmithKline.112 PDI, a Publicis health company, states:113

“Vaccination coverage in the United State is high, but in the face of the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases such as pertussis and measles, the existing gaps in the vaccination coverage of the U.S. population have become worrisome.

Gaps exist because not every patient who needs a vaccination gets it at the recommended age. Moreover, the recommendations for new vaccines, including vaccines for influenza and human papillomavirus (HPV), have been expanded …

PDI’s field-based medical sales representatives and inside medical sales representatives from our health care contact center can increase adoption of vaccines by responding to questions and concerns … To increase immunization rates, we must build sustainable systems for vaccination within the context of a changing health care system.

Here [are] some recommended steps toward achieving this goal: assessment of the actual vaccination rate in a provider’s practice; consistently making recommendations for timely vaccinations to both the parents of pediatric patients and adult patients; standing orders for non-physician personnel to carry out vaccinations at the scheduled time without physician involvement; educating physicians on emerging research of vaccine risks and on how to interact with parents who are concerned about the detrimental effects of the MMR and HPV vaccines; and educating physicians about state-sponsored and other programs that can help patients overcome financial barriers to vaccination.”

It is clear that mass media communication today is being controlled by corporations financially tied to pharmaceutical companies and influenced by powerful political institutions in society. It goes a long way to explaining why mainstream media outlets have been nearly united in attacking parents and physicians who defend the ethical principle of informed consent, including informed consent to vaccination, and are calling for vaccine exemptions to be severely restricted or eliminated.114

The five largest companies in the world today are Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook.115 These and other technology corporations dominate online communications and sales and are positioned to join together to aggressively market vaccines and promote “no exceptions” vaccine use policies endorsed by the WHO and governments.

The threat to autonomy and freedom of thought and speech posed by these companies, especially in censoring online public conversations about vaccination and health, is considerable.116,117

The People Are Not Represented

Today, everybody knows somebody who was healthy, got vaccinated and was never healthy again. The people whose lives are being impacted by business deals between governments, Big Pharma and Big Philanthropy increasingly are being marginalized in the top-down public policymaking process by wealthy and powerful institutions in society financing the global multibillion-dollar vaccine industry.118

This is evident when the people raise their voices to ask for better vaccine science and more humane public health policies and are demonized, discriminated against and punished by those in control of those wealthy and powerful institutions.

A system that will not bend will break. The responsibility for the crisis of trust in the global vaccination system lies squarely at the feet of those who operate the system and refuse to acknowledge the suffering of the people harmed by vaccines.119,120

Read more: articles.mercola.com

Why Snopes Gets an ‘F’

5 months, 10 days ago

In the barrage of information you come across daily online, how do you know what’s true and what’s nothing more than hearsay, gossip or all-out lies? Some people use Snopes as their go-to source for online fact-checking, believing it to give the unbiased and credible final word on all those widely-circulated stories.

If you’re relying on Snopes as your arbiter of truth, however, you’re in for a surprise: Snopes engages in massive censorship of natural health and general promotion of industry talking points. What started as a tool to investigate urban legends, hoaxes and folklore has manifested into a self-proclaimed “definitive fact-checking resource” that’s taking on topics like whether or not vaccines can cause autism.

Yet, in their purported fact-checking of a Full Measure report1 by award-winning investigative reporter and former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson,2 Snopes simply spewed propaganda, not real facts, in an attempt to discredit the report and the potential vaccines-autism link. In the end, though, they actually ended up confirming the main point of Attkisson’s report. For this, Attkisson wrote, “Snopes gets an ‘F’ for predictable propaganda in [the] vaccine-autism debate.”

Snopes Attempts to Discredit Investigative Report on Vaccines-Autism Link

Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a pediatric neurologist, is a pro-vaccine expert witness the U.S. government used to debunk and turn down autism claims in vaccine court. “Zimmerman was the government’s top expert witness and had testified that vaccines didn’t cause autism.

The debate was declared over,” Attkisson reported. “But now Dr. Zimmerman has provided remarkable new information,” she said in the Full Measure report, adding:3

“He claims that during the vaccine hearings all those years ago, he privately told government lawyers that vaccines can, and did cause autism in some children. That turnabout from the government’s own chief medical expert stood to change everything about the vaccine-autism debate. If the public were to find out …

And he has come forward and explained how he told the United States government vaccines can cause autism in a certain subset of children and [the] United States government, the Department of Justice [DOJ], suppressed his true opinions.”

Zimmerman declined to be interviewed for the report, but referred Attkisson to his sworn affidavit, dated September 7, 2018, in which he stated that, in 2007, he told DOJ lawyers he had “discovered exceptions in which vaccinations could cause autism.

“I explained that in a subset of children … vaccine-induced fever and immune stimulation … did cause regressive [brain disease] with features of autism spectrum disorder,” Zimmerman wrote.

This reportedly “panicked” the DOJ, which subsequently fired him, saying his services would no longer be needed, but essentially attempting to silence him. According to Zimmerman, the DOJ then went on to misrepresent his opinion in future cases, making no mention of the exceptions he’d informed them of.

“Meantime, CDC [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] — which promotes vaccines and monitors vaccine safety — never disclosed that the government’s own one-time medical expert concluded vaccines can cause autism — and to this day public health officials deny that’s the case,” according to the Full Measure report.4

Attkisson’s report also reveals how Congressmen who wanted to investigate the autism-vaccine link were bullied, harassed and threatened. Dan Burton (R-IN), Dr. Dave Weldon (R-FL) and Bill Posey (R-FL) are among 11 current and former members of Congress and staff who told Attkisson they were warned by PhRMA lobbyists to drop the vaccine safety issue.

Snopes Gets an ‘F’ for Fact-Checking

In an article that attempts to fact-check Attkisson’s investigation, Snopes calls out many of the claims as false while clearly attempting to “debunk” vaccine-autism claims. However, in a rebuttal, Attkisson explains that Snopes earned a failing grade for its reporting.

“[T]he Snopes article debunks claims that were never made and uses one-sided references as its sources — other propagandists — without disclosing their vaccine industry ties.”5

For starters, Snopes labeled Zimmerman as a supporter of vaccination, as though this was something that Attkisson hid. In contrast, this point was central to Attkisson’s story and a large part of what makes his statements regarding vaccines and autism so noteworthy. Some of the additional egregious tactics Snopes used to try to discredit Attkisson’s report included the following:6

Snopes claimed Attkisson’s reading of Zimmerman’s sworn affidavit was flawed when she “simply quoted from the affidavit”

Snopes states that Zimmerman’s view is “not held by many scientists,” but did not survey several reputable scientists who hold the view

Snopes fails to address what its headline promises: the question of whether the government censored its own expert witness’ opinion

It’s important to note that Snopes also wrote their article without contacting Attkisson, who went on to state that they also listed claims she never made, then declared them to be false, and even were incorrect in one of their own claims, specifically that the existence of a potential link between vaccines, mitochondrial disorder and autism was not news at the time of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services omnibus autism proceedings in 2007.

“In fact, this suspected link was not previously known before the so-called ‘omnibus’ groups of vaccine-autism cases litigated a decade ago, and it is not widely known among doctors or the general public today; at least as of recently. That’s why it has proven to be so newsworthy,” Attkisson wrote, adding:7

“Snopes demonstrates reckless disregard for the truth when disparaging my reporting by falsely stating that it contains ‘misleading claims’ …

Refuting claims never made in my report and putting out one-sided vaccine propaganda makes one wonder whether Snopes author Alex Kasprak even read or watched the report he attempts to criticize, or just blindly printed the propaganda provided to him by vaccine industry interests.”

Snopes Author Uses Industry Sources for ‘Facts’

November 16, 2016, Snopes looked into claims made by Food Babe that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) might have shut down its residue testing of glyphosate due to complaints from Monsanto. “False,” Snopes declared.8 Ironically, the page declared that no corporate influence played a role and “the broad scientific consensus is that [glyphosate] is not a risk.”

Yet, a Twitter exchange clearly showed that the fact-checker for Snopes, Kasprak — the same author who wrote the critical review of Attkisson’s investigation — got his information about glyphosate’s safety from Kevin Folta, Ph.D.9

Folta, a University of Florida professor and a vocal advocate of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), who vehemently denied ever receiving any money from Monsanto, was caught lying about his financial ties to the company in 2015. The most flagrant piece of evidence against Folta shows that not only did he solicit funds from Monsanto, but he did so with intent to hide the financial connection between them.

Ironically, getting back to Attkisson’s case, the Snopes report ended up confirming exactly the point she was trying to make, stating, “Zimmerman, a scientist with serious credentials who was once a government expert on vaccines, believes that narrow circumstances might exist in which the combination of preexisting mitochondrial dysfunction and vaccination could trigger ASD [autism spectrum disorders].”10

“Snopes fabricates claims that were never made, debunks the fabricated claims,” Attkisson wrote, “and then ultimately agrees that the report I produced was accurate.”11

Snopes Founders Embroiled in Controversy

It’s dangerous to rely on any one source or group of individuals as authorities on truth, as it sets up the path for inevitable censorship. Even under the best circumstances, everyone is subject to their own biases, but in the case of Snopes, it was founded on fabrications from the start.

Snopes was created in 1995 by Barbara and David Mikkelson, who posed as “The San Fernardo Valley Folklore Society” in the beginning in order to gain credibility. Such a society does not exist as a legal entity, according to an investigation by the Daily Mail.12

The company soon expanded, but ultimately its founders divorced — amid claims that David Mikkelson embezzled company money for prostitutes and Barbara Mikkelson took millions from their joint bank account to buy property in Las Vegas.

According to Daily Mail, Mikkelson’s new wife, Elyssa Young — a former escort, self-proclaimed “courtesan” and porn actress who ran for Congress in Hawaii as a Libertarian in 2004 — was then employed as a Snopes administrator, even though the company claims to have no political leanings.

In response to the allegations, Forbes published an article weighing whether it was just another case of fake news, but ultimately was astonished by the lack of transparency given by the company’s founder when asked for comment, who stated that he was unable to respond due to a confidentiality clause in his divorce settlement. According to Forbes:13

“This creates a deeply unsettling environment in which when one tries to fact-check the fact-checker, the answer is the equivalent of ‘its secret’ …

At the end of the day, it is clear that before we rush to place fact-checking organizations like Snopes in charge of arbitrating what is “truth” … we need to have a lot more understanding of how they function internally and much greater transparency into their work.”

Hardcore Censorship of Alternative Health and Media in Progress

Whether it be the recent flu shot stunt at the Golden Globes or the industry-driven “facts” published by Snopes, it’s clear that industry propaganda and censorship of health and media information that strays from the mainstream is a growing problem.

In a 2017 Gallup/Knight Foundation Survey on Trust, Media and Democracy, 73 percent said they believe the proliferation of “fake news” on the internet is a major problem, and only half feel confident that readers can get to the facts by sorting through bias.14 And the fact is, fake news is a real problem. But it’s important to do your own research before believing even “fact-checked” sources like Snopes.

NewsGuard is another outlet to be wary of. The entity is setting itself up as the self-appointed global arbiter of what information is “trustworthy” — based on nine “credibility and transparency” factors — not only for information viewed on private electronic devices, but also for information accessible in public libraries and schools.

Once you’ve installed the NewsGuard browser plugin on your computer or cellphone, the NewsGuard icon rating will appear on all Google and Bing searches and on articles featured in your social media news feeds.

These icons are meant to influence readers, instructing them to disregard content with cautionary colors and cautions, but I believe the true intent will be to bury this content entirely from search results and social media feeds.

It is very likely Google, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms will use these ratings to lower the visibility of content — making nonconformist views disappear entirely. It’s a concerning prospect, especially since NewsGuard received much of its startup funds from Publicis Groupe, a global communications group whose history of clients includes the drug and tobacco industries.

Now more than ever, it’s important to be aware of what companies may be filtering your news media and how their own agenda may color what you see. In your search for the truth, always follow your own guiding light — not one maintained by Snopes or any other internet watchdog or censorship authority that tries to lead you down their own biased path.

Read more: articles.mercola.com

Top Tips to Avoid Pharmaceutical Injury

5 months, 23 days ago

30 Tips in 30 Days Designed to Help You Take Control of Your
Health

This article is included in Dr. Mercola’s All-Time Top 30 Health Tips series. Every day during the month of January, a new tip will be added that will help you take control of your health. Want to see the full list? Click here.

Vaccines have quickly become Big Pharma’s most lucrative profit center. Currently valued at more than $34 billion a year, the vaccine industry is projected to exceed $49 billion by 2022.1 There are several reasons for this rapid growth. Not only are vaccines priced much higher than pills, but governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are also engaged in the marketing of vaccines.

These unethical partnerships, which use both taxpayer and NGO money, advance misleading research intended to frighten the public. Worse, they discredit vaccine critics who raise legitimate safety and efficacy questions and even discredit the families and victims of vaccine injuries themselves.

To cash in on vaccine profits, Big Pharma, governments and NGOs have cast all vaccines as “life-saving.” One of the clearest examples is the attempt to present the HPV vaccine as an “anticancer” vaccine, even though there’s not a single shred of evidence that it actually has an impact on cervical cancer rates. Meanwhile, mounting evidence of serious harm and death caused by the HPV vaccine is being ignored or cast aside as “coincidental.”

To Avoid Vaccine Injury, Educate Yourself About the Risks

The official stance repeated by most mainstream media is that vaccines have been thoroughly researched, that “hundreds” of studies have proven their safety, and that no link between vaccines and health problems, such as autism, have ever been found.

It sounds definitive enough, and is often repeated as established fact. Yet it’s far from the whole truth. Importantly, the vaccine industry has long shied away from evaluating vaccinated versus unvaccinated populations to determine potential differences in general health outcomes.

The few independent scientists who have attempted such an investigation have little comfort to give to those who believe vaccines are essential for health, and mandatory use of vaccines by all children is the only way to protect society from disease.

Vaccine May Actually Be Doing More Harm Than Good

One such study,2 published in 2017, examined health outcomes among infants 3 to 5 months old following the introduction of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) and oral polio vaccine in Guinea-Bissau, which took place in the early 1980s. This population offered the rare opportunity to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated children due to the way the vaccines were rolled out in the West African country.

Shockingly, researchers discovered “DTP was associated with fivefold higher mortality than being unvaccinated.” According to the authors, “All currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children from other causes than it saves from diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis.”

In short, the researchers concluded that DTP vaccine weakened the children’s immune systems, rendering them vulnerable to a whole host of other often deadly diseases and serious health problems.

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that children receive 69 doses of 16 vaccines by the time they’re 18 years old, with 50 doses of 14 vaccines given before the age of 6.3

This, despite the fact that no thorough investigation has ever been conducted to determine how all of these vaccines actually affect a child’s health. What’s worse, no one is tracking the health outcomes of children who adhere to the federally recommended childhood vaccine schedule and state mandatory vaccination programs.

Lawyers with the U.S. Justice Department also defend vaccines in the federal vaccine injury compensation program (VICP), commonly referred to as “vaccine court,” which means the U.S. government has a stake in maintaining the illusion that vaccines are a necessary lifesaving measure that causes minimal harm.

High Vaccination Rate Does Not Translate Into Better Infant Health

What we do know is that:

• The U.S. has the highest vaccination rate in the world, with 94 to 96 percent of children entering kindergarten having received multiple doses of vaccines4

• The U.S. also has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates of any developed nation5,6

• 1 in 6 American children has a developmental disability, which includes ADD, ADHD, autism, hearing loss, learning disabilities, mental disabilities, seizures and stammering — many of which are also listed or known side effects of vaccines

• 54 percent of children have a diagnosed chronic illness, including anxiety, asthma, behavioral problems, bone and muscle disorders, chronic ear infections, depression, diabetes, food and/or environmental allergies and epilepsy.

This list again mirrors many of the acknowledged side effects of vaccines, and the rise in prevalence of these diseases parallel the rise in required vaccines, yet vaccine promoters insist that these illnesses are in no way associated with vaccinations

Common Vaccine Side Effects

Both the U.S. Congress and the Supreme Court have also admitted that government licensed and recommended childhood vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe,”7 and possible side effects that are actually listed on vaccine inserts include:

Autoimmune diseases

Food allergies

Asthma

Eczema

Type 1 diabetes

Rheumatoid arthritis

Tics

Tourette syndrome

ADD/ADHD

Autism

Speech delay

Neurodevelopment disorders

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Seizure disorder

Narcolepsy

Vaccines also have the highest number of recalls of any drug, which speaks to their “unavoidably unsafe” nature. Victims have also received compensation from the federal vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) for the following (and other) injuries:

Guillain-Barre syndrome

Transverse myelitis

Encephalopathy

Seizure disorder hypoxic seizure

Death

Brachial neuritis

Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP)

Premature ovarian failure

Bell’s palsy

Type 1 diabetes

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura

Rheumatic arthritis

Multiple sclerosis

Fibromyalgia

Anaphylaxis

Ocular myasthenia gravis

Infantile spasms

The Vaccines-Autism Link Revived

According to the latest survey,8,9 1 in 40 American children between the ages of 3 and 17 is now on the autism spectrum. This shocking update was published in the journal Pediatrics in December 2018. In 2014, the rate was 1 in 59; in 2010, it was 1 in 68; in 2000, it was 1 in 150.10 To say we’re looking at exponential growth would be an understatement. But do vaccines have anything to do with this trend?

According to a Full Measure report11 by award-winning investigative reporter and former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a pediatric neurologist, was the pro-vaccine expert witness the government used to debunk and turn down autism claims in vaccine court.

“Zimmerman was the government’s top expert witness and had testified that vaccines didn’t cause autism. The debate was declared over,” Attkisson reports. “But now Dr. Zimmerman has provided remarkable new information.

He claims that during the vaccine hearings all those years ago, he privately told government lawyers that vaccines can, and did cause autism in some children. That turnabout from the government’s own chief medical expert stood to change everything about the vaccine-autism debate. If the public were to find out …

And he has come forward and explained how he told the United States government vaccines can cause autism in a certain subset of children and [the] United States government, the Department of Justice [DOJ], suppressed his true opinions.”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., chairman of The World Mercury Project, was the one who convinced Zimmerman to speak out about the cover-up. In a sworn affidavit, dated September 7, 2018, Zimmerman states that, in 2007, he told DOJ lawyers he had “discovered exceptions in which vaccinations could cause autism.”

“I explained that in a subset of children … vaccine-induced fever and immune stimulation … did cause regressive [brain disease] with features of autism spectrum disorder,” Zimmerman writes.

A week after this 2007 meeting, the DOJ fired him, saying his services would no longer be needed. According to Zimmerman, the DOJ then went on to misrepresent his opinion in future cases, making no mention of the exceptions he’d informed them of. Kennedy has now filed a fraud complaint with the DOJ Inspector General.

William Thompson, Ph.D., a senior scientist at the CDC’s National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases, has also confessed to covering up links found between vaccines and autism, in this case the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

According to Thompson, this scientific fraud was committed for the express purpose of covering up potential safety problems so the agency would be able to maintain that the MMR vaccine had been proven safe to give to all children. By eliminating the incriminating data, the link vanished, and this research has been cited as proof ever since that vaccines don’t cause autism.

Attkisson’s report also reveals how Congressmen who wanted to investigate the autism-vaccine link were bullied, harassed and threatened. Dan Burton (R-IN), Dr. Dave Weldon (R-FL) and Bill Posey (R-FL) are among 11 current and former members of Congress and staff who told Attkisson they were warned to drop the vaccine safety issue by PhRMA lobbyists.

Vaccines Can Have Serious Consequences for Adults Too

While children are more susceptible to vaccine damage than adults, grownups can and have been seriously injured and killed by routine vaccinations as well. It’s important to realize that no vaccine is 100 percent safe for everyone. As reported by CNN, an oncologist with London’s Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust recently died following a routine yellow fever vaccination:12

“Martin Gore, 67, died Thursday morning after receiving the vaccine, which is recommended to travelers visiting sub-Saharan Africa, most of South America, and parts of Central American and the Caribbean …

Gore’s death casts light on the heightened risk associated with the yellow fever vaccine and the over-60 demographic. Typical side effects of the vaccine include headaches, muscle pain, mild fever and soreness at the injection site …

However, the vaccinations can, in rare circumstances, cause more severe side effects, including allergic reactions and problems affecting the brain or organs …

The WHO reported that all cases of viscerotropic disease — a rare but dangerous side effect of yellow fever vaccinations where an illness similar to wild-type yellow fever proliferates in multiple organs — have occurred in primary vaccines, starting two to five days after vaccination.”

Might Vaccine Reaction Rate Be as High as 1 in 10?

In the video above, Del Bigtree,13 an Emmy Award-winning producer of “The Doctors” talk show for six years, and one of the producers of the documentary, “Vaxxed,” discusses vaccine safety, or rather the lack thereof.

In it, he recounts how, in 2010, the CDC hired a company to automate the federal vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS) in such a way that any potential vaccine reactions reported to doctors participating in the Harvard Pilgrim HMO would automatically be uploaded into the VAERS database.

Remarkably, preliminary data showed that out of 376,452 individuals given 45 different vaccines, 35,570 possible vaccine reactions were identified. This means nearly 1 in 10 people suffered a reaction after vaccination concerning enough to be reported, yet the official CDC mantra is that the risk for serious vaccine injury or death is 1 in 1 million.

Unfortunately, while the creation of VAERS in 1986 was an opportunity to get a firmer grasp of the number of potential vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths occurring after vaccinations given in the U.S., the CDC didn’t follow through, and the project fell by the wayside.

Medical Errors Are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the US

While I’ve focused a lot of attention on vaccines and the necessity for educating yourself about their risks in this article, vaccines are by far not the only hazard presented by the medical industry. In fact, medical errors in general are the third leading cause of death, killing an estimated 250,000 Americans each year,14,15 an increase of about 25,000 people annually from data published in 2000.16

Side effects from drugs, taken as prescribed, account for the vast majority of iatrogenic deaths, but unnecessary surgeries, medication errors in hospitals, hospital-acquired infections and other medical errors occurring in hospitals also claim their fair share of lives.

Research17 published in 2013 estimated that preventable hospital errors kill 210,000 Americans each year — a figure that comes very close to the latest statistics. However, when deaths related to diagnostic errors, errors of omission, and failure to follow guidelines were included, the number skyrocketed to 440,000 preventable hospital deaths each year.

10 Tips to Avoid Medical Harm

How can you avoid becoming one of these statistics? Aside from educating yourself on the risks and benefits of vaccines, here are several additional suggestions:

Ask your doctor whether a recommended test and/or treatment is really necessary, and do your own homework — According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, an estimated 30 percent of all medical procedures, tests and medications may be unnecessary,18 any one of which can put you at risk for a potentially serious or lethal side effect.

An investigation19 by the Mayo Clinic published in 2013 also revealed between 40 and 78 percent of the medical testing, treatments and procedures you receive are of no benefit to you — or are actually harmful — as determined by clinical studies. To learn which tests and interventions may do more harm than good, browse through the Choosing Wisely website.20

Avoid hospitals unless absolutely necessary — According to 2011 statistics, 1 in 25 patients in the U.S. end up contracting some form of infection while in the hospital,21 and 205 Americans die from hospital-acquired infections each and every day.22

Do your due diligence before undergoing endoscopy — If you’re having a colonoscopy or any other procedure using a flexible endoscope done, you can significantly reduce your risk of contracting an infection by asking the hospital or facility how the scope is cleaned, and which cleaning agent is used.

Some esophagoscopes and bronchoscopes have sterile sheaths with disposable air-water and biopsy channels, but many others do not, and must be cleaned between each use. If the hospital or clinic uses glutaraldehyde, or the brand name Cidex, cancel your appointment and go elsewhere.

About 80 percent of clinics use glutaraldehyde because it’s a less expensive alternative; however, it does not do a good job of sterilizing the equipment. If they use peracetic acid, your likelihood of contracting an infection from a previous patient is slim.

To learn more about this, see my interview with David Lewis, Ph.D., in “How Improper Sterilization of Endoscopes Could Put Your Health at Risk.”

Enlist a health care advocate — Once hospitalized, you’re at risk for medical errors, so one of the best safeguards is to have someone there have someone there with you. It’s important to have a personal advocate present to ask questions and take notes.

For every medication given in the hospital, ask questions such as: “What is this medication? What is it for? What’s the dose?” Most people, doctors and nurses included, are more apt to go through that extra step of due diligence to make sure they’re getting it right if they know they’ll be questioned about it.

To learn more, listen to my interview with Dr. Andrew Saul in “What Hospitals Won’t Tell You — Vital Strategies That Could Save Your Life,” or pick up a copy of his book, “Hospitals and Health: Your Orthomolecular Guide to a Shorter Hospital Stay.”

In it, he discusses the dangers of hospital stays, the type of patient that tends to get killed most frequently, and how you can protect your health and life in the event you have to be hospitalized. For example, reminding nurses and doctors to wash their hands and change gloves before touching you can go a long way toward avoiding contamination with potentially lethal microbes.

Do your own prep for surgery — If you or someone you know is scheduled for surgery, print out the WHO surgical safety checklist and implementation manual,23 which is part of the campaign “Safe Surgery Saves Lives.” The checklist can be downloaded free of charge here. Print it out and bring it with you, as this can help you protect yourself, your family member or friend from preventable errors in care.

Know the most effective protocol for sepsis — Sepsis is a progressive disease process initiated by an aggressive, dysfunctional immune response to an infection in the bloodstream, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as blood poisoning. Each year, an estimated 1 million Americans get sepsis24,25 and up to half of them die as a result.26,27,28

Symptoms of sepsis are often overlooked, even by health professionals, and without prompt treatment, the condition can be deadly.

Unfortunately, conventional treatments often fail, and most hospitals have yet to embrace the use of intravenous (IV) vitamin C, hydrocortisone and thiamine,29 a treatment developed by Dr. Paul Marik, which has been shown to reduce sepsis mortality from 40 to a mere 8.5 percent.30,31 Common signs and symptoms of sepsis to watch out for include:32

A high fever
Inability to keep fluids down
Rapid heartbeat; rapid, shallow breathing and/or shortness of breath
Lethargy and/or confusion
Slurred speech, often resembling intoxication

Should a few or all of these be present, seek immediate medical attention to rule out sepsis. Also inform the medical staff that you suspect sepsis, as time is of the essence when it comes to treatment, and urge them to use Marik’s protocol (currently the standard of care for sepsis at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where Marik works). You can learn more about this protocol by following the hyperlink provided above.

Optimize your vitamin D instead of getting the flu vaccine — Research33,34 shows vitamin D optimization is a more effective flu prevention strategy than flu vaccination, reducing respiratory infections such as influenza by 50 percent in those with vitamin D blood levels below 10 ng/mL. People with higher vitamin D levels at baseline may reduce their risk by about 10 percent, which the researchers stated was about equal to the effect of flu vaccines.

Aside from vitamin D, loading up on vitamins B1 and C may go a long way toward keeping you healthy through the flu season and beyond. Influenza has also been successfully treated with high-dose vitamin C.35 Taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of a cold or flu can also be helpful.

Avoid antibiotics — Drugs are vastly overprescribed and misused, and this is particularly true for antibiotics. Avoid using them unless absolutely necessary, and remember they don’t work for viral infections. Unnecessary use of antibiotics is one of the driving causes of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Turn a deaf ear to drug ads — While drug makers are required to inform consumers about potential side effects in their ads, they’ve perfected drug ad narration to make them less frightful.36

Avoid drugs, unless absolutely necessary — As mentioned, drugs — taken as prescribed — account for a majority of the 250,000 people who die from medical mistakes in the U.S. each year. A great many, if not most, diseases can be effectively addressed using simple lifestyle changes.

Key factors include diet, exercise and nonexercise movement, sleep and stress reduction. To investigate your options, you can search my database of tens of thousands of articles simply by entering your condition in the search engine.

Among the most lethal drugs right now are the opioids, which need to be used with extreme care and only in the short term. For treatment options, see “Treating Pain Without Drugs,” and “Study Reveals Previously Unknown Mechanism Behind Acupuncture’s Ability to Reduce Pain,” which also provides a long list of other drug-free pain relief strategies.

Tip #21Make Magnesium a Priority

Read more: articles.mercola.com

Busting the Myths About Vaccination

6 months, 26 days ago

Many parents are still wary about getting their children vaccinated as there still exist a lot of myths around the same. However, it is utmost important to realize that getting your kids immunized will increase their immunity to fight against various life-threatening diseases.
Here we share with you some of the most common myths facts about Vaccination. So parents must read this carefully so as to make up their minds to immunize their children.
MYTH: Vaccines are not necessary if better hygiene and sanitation is maintained as it will make diseases disappear.
FACT: The diseases we can vaccinate against will return if we stop vaccination programs. Better hygiene, hand washing and clean water do help in protecting people from infectious diseases but many infections can spread in spite of one’s cleanliness. Diseases that have become uncommon, such as polio and measles, will quickly reappear if people aren’t vaccinated.
MYTH: Vaccination can be fatal because vaccines have several damaging and long-term side-effects that are yet unknown.
FACT: Vaccines are very safe and not at all harmful! Usually, vaccine reactions are minor and temporary, such as a sore arm or mild fever. Only in extreme rare cases does a very serious health event occur which are carefully monitored and investigated. The chances of getting seriously injured by a vaccine-preventable disease are higher than by a vaccine.
For example:-
a. In the case of polio, the disease can cause paralysis.
b. Measles can cause encephalitis and blindness.
c. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can even result in death.
While any serious injury or death caused by vaccines is highly unlikely, the benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the risk, and many, many more injuries and deaths would occur without vaccines.
MYTH: A sudden infant death syndrome is caused due to combined vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) and the vaccine against poliomyelitis.
FACT: There is no causal link between the administering of the vaccines and sudden infant death. However, these vaccines are operated at a time when babies can suffer sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In other words, the SIDS deaths are co-incidental to vaccination and would have occurred nevertheless. It is important to remember that these four diseases, that are diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and poliomyelitis, are life-threatening and babies who are not vaccinated against them are at serious risk of death or severe disability.
MYTH: There is no need to get vaccinated as vaccine-preventable diseases are almost eradicated in my country.
FACT: The infectious agents that cause vaccine-preventable diseases continue to circulate in some parts of the world even though they have become uncommon in many countries. In a world that is highly inter-connected, such agents can cross geographical borders and infect the unprotected. Thus, two key reasons to get vaccinated are to protect ourselves and to protect those around us.
Successful vaccination programs, like successful societies, majorly depend on the cooperation of every individual to ensure the good of all.
MYTH: Vaccine-preventable childhood illnesses are nothing but an unfortunate fact of life.
FACT: Illnesses like measles, mumps and rubella can lead to grave complications in both children and adults, including pneumonia, encephalitis, blindness, diarrhea, ear infections, congenital rubella syndrome and death. All these diseases and suffering is preventable with the help of vaccines. If one gets vaccinated then vaccine preventable diseases do not have to be ‘facts of life’.
MYTH: By giving a child more than one vaccine at a time, there is an increased risk of harmful side-effects, which overload the child’s immune system.
FACT: Scientific evidence has proved that giving several vaccines at the same time does not have any adverse effect on a child’s immune system. Every day, children are subjected to several hundred foreign substances that trigger an immune response. The simplest of acts like eating food also introduces new antigens into the body, and numerous bacteria reside in the mouth and nose. It is a fact that a child is subjected to far more antigens from a common cold or sore throat than from vaccines.
Key advantages of having several vaccines at once are:
1. Fewer clinic visits which also save time and money.
2. Children are more likely to complete the recommended vaccinations on schedule.
3. Also, having a combined vaccination like for measles, mumps and rubella results into fewer injections.
MYTH: The vaccine for Influenza isn’t very effective and Influenza is just a nuisance.
FACT: Influenza is a serious disease that takes the lives of 3, 00,000-5, 00,000 people around the world every year. Pregnant women, small children, elderly people with poor health and anyone with a chronic condition, like asthma or heart disease, are placed at a higher risk for severe infection and even death. Vaccinating pregnant women has the added benefit of protecting their newborns as there is currently no vaccine for babies less than six months.
Vaccination is the best way to lower your chances of getting severe flu and of spreading it to others. Avoiding the flu means avoiding extra medical care costs and lost income from missing days of work or school.

MYTH: Getting immunized through disease is better than through vaccination.
FACT: Vaccines interact with the immune system to cause an immune response very similar to that caused by the natural infection, but they do not trigger the disease or put the immunized person at risk of its potential complications. In contrast, there are massive implications for getting immunity through natural infection such as-
1. Mental retardation from Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).
2. Birth defects from rubella.
3. Liver cancer from hepatitis B virus.
4. Death from measles.
MYTH: Vaccines contain mercury and are very dangerous.
FACT: An organic, mercury-containing compound called Thiomersal is added to some vaccines as a preservative. It is the most widely-used preservative for vaccines that are provided in multi-dose vials. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the amount of Thiomersal used in vaccines pose to be a health risk.
MYTH: Vaccines cause autism.
FACT: A 1998 study which raised concerns about a probable link between measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism was later found to be seriously flawed, and the paper was retracted by the journal that published it. Unfortunately, the damage was already done as its publication set off a panic that led to dropping immunization rates, and subsequent outbreaks of these diseases. There is absolutely no evidence of a link between MMR vaccine and autism or autistic disorders.

This article has been written by Dr. Somendra Shukla, Pediatrics Neonatology, W Pratiksha Hospital

Read more: momspresso.com

‘Vaxxed’ — The Hidden Story of How Vaccine Safety Has Been Undermined and Suppressed

8 months, 29 days ago

Can vaccines trigger autism? This is the topic of the film “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe,”1 directed by Andrew Wakefield and produced by Del Bigtree, an Emmy Award-winning producer of “The Doctors” talk show.

The film became the center of controversy when it was pulled from the Tribeca Film Festival lineup in 2016 by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, the two founders of the well-known film festival. According to Rosenthal, other filmmakers had threatened to withdraw their films from the festival if “Vaxxed” was shown.

While De Niro admitted feeling pressured to pull the film, he urged people to see it, saying there are many issues relating to the way the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evaluates and monitors the safety of vaccines that are not being openly spoken about, and really should be addressed.

Are Vaccines as Thoroughly Researched as Claimed?

The official stance repeated by most mainstream media is that vaccines have been thoroughly researched, that “hundreds” of studies have proven their safety, and that no link between vaccines and health problems, such as autism, have ever been found.

Again and again, you hear that the autism-vaccine link was based on a single study published in 1998 by a now-discredited doctor (Wakefield), and the hypothetical association between vaccines and autism has since been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked. It sounds definitive enough, and is often repeated as established fact. Yet it’s far from the whole truth.

Importantly, the vaccine industry has long shied away from evaluating vaccinated versus unvaccinated populations to determine potential differences in general health outcomes. The few independent scientists who have attempted such an investigation have little comfort to give to those who believe vaccines are essential for health, and mandatory use of vaccines by all children is the only way to protect society from disease.

One such study,2 published just last year, examined health outcomes among infants 3 to 5 months old following the introduction of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) and oral polio vaccine in Guinea-Bissau, which took place in the early 1980s. This population offered the rare opportunity to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated children due to the way the vaccines were rolled out in the West African country.

Shockingly, researchers discovered “DTP was associated with fivefold higher mortality than being unvaccinated.” According to the authors, “All currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children from other causes than it saves from diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis.”

In other words, the researchers concluded that DTP vaccine weakened the children’s immune systems, rendering them vulnerable to a whole host of other often deadly diseases and serious health problems.

Other clinical trials in West Africa revealed that a high titer measles vaccine interacted with the DTP vaccine, resulting in a 33 percent increase in infant mortality.3 In this case, the finding led to the withdrawal of that experimental measles vaccine targeting very young infants, but what would have happened had those studies never been done? Clearly, we need many more like them.

In the U.S., the CDC now recommends that children receive 69 doses of 16 vaccines by the time they’re 18 years old, with 50 doses of 14 vaccines given before the age of six.4 How does this affect their health? And is anyone actually tracking the health outcomes of children adhering to the federally recommended childhood vaccine schedule and state mandatory vaccination programs?

The answer is no. We do not know if or how all of these vaccinations are affecting the general health and mortality of our children.

We do, however, know that the U.S. has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates of any developed nation,5,6 and we also have the highest vaccination rates with 94 to 96 percent of children entering kindergarten having received multiple doses of vaccines.7 This high vaccination rate among kindergarten children, mostly due to state vaccine laws that require vaccinations for school attendance, has been maintained in the U.S. since the 1980s.8

Whistleblower Admits CDC Manipulated Data

A central part of “Vaxxed” storyline centers around William Thompson, Ph.D., a senior scientist at the CDC’s National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases (NCIR), who confessed that he conspired with colleagues to cover up links found between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism.

According to Thompson, this scientific fraud was committed for the express purpose of covering up potential safety problems so the agency would be able to maintain that the MMR vaccine had been proven safe to give to all children. Thompson explained they simply eliminated the incriminating data, thereby vanishing the link.

How FDA Hid Evidence of Mercury Poisoning

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., chairman of the World Mercury Project, has also released and written about documents showing that officials at the CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “knew that infant vaccines were exposing American children to mercury far in excess of all federal safety guidelines since 1999.”9 According to Kennedy:

“[T]he regulators realized that a [6]-month-old infant who received thimerosal-preserved vaccines following the recommended CDC vaccine schedule would have received a jaw dropping 187.5 micrograms [mcg] of mercury …

There was no point in time from birth to approximately 16 to 18 months of age that infants were below the EPA guidelines for allowable mercury exposure.

In fact, according to the models, blood-and-body burden levels of mercury peaked at [6] months of age at a shockingly high level of 120 nanograms/liter [ng/L]. To put this in perspective, the CDC classifies mercury poisoning as blood levels of mercury greater than 10 ng/L.”

The reason you’ve never heard about this is because federal health officials concealed it with a statistical trick. By averaging the mercury exposure over a period of six months, the spikes in mercury on the days of vaccination disappeared. By massaging the way the data are reported the effect went from being 12 times over the level of mercury poisoning to being inconsequential. As noted by Kennedy:

“An analogy would be to compare taking two Tylenol tablets a day for a month to taking 60 Tylenol tablets in one day; the first exposure is acceptable, while the other is lethal.”

This is why journalists who merely parrot the approved FDA and CDC talking points do readers such a tremendous disservice. Both federal health agencies have been accused of malfeasance and cover-up of important drug and vaccine safety data and, until the truth is known, it is unwise to blindly accept them as the final arbiters of what’s safe and what’s not. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which includes the CDC, FDA and NIH, also owns a number of vaccine patents and sells $4.1 billion in vaccines each year while simultaneously being responsible for vaccine regulation, policymaking, monitoring of vaccine safety and promotion of universal use of all CDC-recommended vaccines.

How can these federal health agencies effectively meet all of these different goals when they have inherent conflicts of interest? They cannot. Yet, these conflicts of interest are rarely if ever mentioned by the media.

What You Need to Know About Wakefield’s ‘Discredited Autism Study’

In the film, Wakefield explains the genesis of his now infamous paper, the so-called “discredited autism study” that vaccine advocates insist is the sole evidence for a link between autism and vaccines.

What many people don’t know is that Wakefield and 12 other coauthors of the paper never actually performed a study to ascertain whether the MMR vaccine caused autism. They also did not state that MMR vaccine causes autism in the paper, but simply called for more research into the potential association.

It all began when a mother contacted Wakefield about her son, whose gastrointestinal and autism symptoms began after he received his MMR vaccination. An academic gastroenterologist, Wakefield told her he couldn’t help, as he had no knowledge about autism. She insisted, saying her son had terrible digestive problems but no one was taking them seriously.

Wakefield decided to look into it and, in 1998, he and 12 colleagues published a case series paper in The Lancet, reporting that parents of 9 of 12 children, who had been seen for chronic gastrointestinal symptoms, reported their children’s health deterioration began shortly after MMR vaccination.

It’s important to realize that a case series paper is very different from a case control study. A case series simply describes the experiences of a single patient or group of patients with a similar diagnosis.

As Wakefield points out in his book, “Callous Disregard,” the purpose of a case study is to “generate new hypotheses.” It is not supposed to determine or investigate possible causality — and Wakefield’s paper did not make any causal claims. Rather, he and his colleagues concluded:10

“We have identified a chronic enterocolitis in children that may be related to neuropsychiatric dysfunction. In most cases, onset of symptoms was after measles, mumps and rubella immuni[z]ation.

Further investigations are needed to examine this syndrome and its possible relation to this vaccine.”

The paper also explicitly stated that:

“We did not prove an association between measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described …

If there is a causal link between measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and this syndrome, a rising incidence might be anticipated after the introduction of this vaccine in the U.K. in 1988. Published evidence is inadequate to show whether there’s a change in incidence or a link with measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.”

Was Wakefield’s Paper Fraudulent?

Wakefield’s paper was eventually retracted after generating massive international controversy and denials by public health officials and doctors giving vaccines to children, who claimed the paper unnecessarily frightened and caused parents to question the safety of MMR and many other vaccines.

But to use Wakefield’s case series paper as “proof” that there is no link between vaccination and autism simply because this paper was retracted is grossly misleading.

It wasn’t a case-controlled clinical study designed to investigate or determine causation by comparing health outcomes of two different groups of patients; it was merely a case series paper that described similar health outcomes in patients and presented a hypothesis, nothing more.

According to detractors, including Bill Gates, Wakefield’s paper was based on fraudulent, completely made-up data, but such accusations have been rebutted by David Lewis, Ph.D.,11 a research microbiologist and director of the Research Misconduct Project12 of the National Whistleblower Center in Washington, DC.

A summary of the Wakefield case can be found on AHRP.org in the article, “How the Case Against Andrew Wakefield Was Concocted.”13 In fact, Lewis’ investigation led him to accuse The British Medical Journal of institutional research misconduct14 for publishing false accusations of fraud against Wakefield. According to Lewis:15

“Documents recovered from Dr. Wakefield’s files during my investigation at the National Whistleblowers Center reveal that a pathologist associated with the study, Dr. Andrew Anthony, interpreted a number of the children’s biopsies as evidence of colitis.

Altogether, the evidence contained in Wakefield’s files suggested to me that the BMJ’s fraud theory was more tabloid news than science.”

In the end, what happened to Wakefield is powerful testimony of the danger that research scientists and physicians face if they draw the ire of the vaccine industry, government health officials and medical organizations promoting mandatory vaccination. The threat to one’s livelihood is in and of itself a factor that prevents much-needed independent vaccine safety research.

Does Age of Exposure to MMR Vaccine Influence Autism Risk?

According to Wakefield, the history of the MMR vaccine may offer valuable clues to its safety, or lack thereof. The original MMR vaccine was linked to meningitis,16,17,18 and the filmmakers cite research suggested the age of exposure was a significant factor. The younger the patient at time of the vaccination, the higher the risk of developing meningitis.

Wakefield wondered if perhaps there might be a similar age-related link between MMR vaccine and autism. This research was ultimately done by the CDC, and Thompson was part of that team. As explained in the film, CDC whistleblower Thompson ended up contacting Brian Hooker, Ph.D., and advising him on how to obtain this and other vaccine data from the CDC.19

Copies of the files Hooker obtained from the CDC — about 10,000 in all — can be downloaded from the Vaxxed website.20 While Thompson could not legally give the studies to Hooker, he told Hooker to file a citizen’s request to the CDC, and guided him on which studies and data sets to ask for.

Among them was a study21 Thompson cowrote that looked at autism rates and time of MMR vaccine administration, and found evidence for a heightened risk for autism when the first MMR dose was given at 15 months — a finding that was subsequently covered up.

A letter22 requesting the retraction of this study has been sent, based on the evidence of fraud presented by Thompson.

Protecting MMR Vaccine Program More Important Than Protecting Children’s Health

Wakefield also describes the research he did into the testing and licensing of the MMR vaccine and how, based on that research, he could no longer support the use of the combination MMR vaccine. After he urged parents to avoid the triple vaccine and get the single vaccines (i.e., the individual vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella), demand for the single vaccines dramatically increased.

However, rather than allowing parents to choose between MMR and individual vaccines, the U.K. stopped importing the single vaccines and Merck decided to cease production of the single vaccines in the U.S. This action effectively removed parental choice altogether, compelling parents to use the combination MMR vaccine if they wanted to vaccinate their children.

When Wakefield questioned the rationale behind the U.K.’s decision to eliminate the single vaccines, a senior representative at the British department of health told him that if parents were allowed to choose between the triple MMR and single vaccines, it would destroy the MMR program. “In other words, the concern was for the protection of the program, over and above the protection of children,” Wakefield said.

CDC Whistleblower Admits Omitting Data Showing MMR-Autism Link in African-American Boys

Thompson also cowrote a widely cited 2004 CDC study23 that concluded there was no link between the MMR vaccine and autism. However, Thompson admitted this conclusion is actually false, as the team simply excluded the data that showed a link.

According to Thompson, he and the other scientists who worked on the study were pressured “from the top” to come to conclusions that would support the government’s policy on MMR vaccine safety. The omitted data, Thompson claimed, showed a distinct link between early MMR vaccination and a risk for the development of autism in young African-American boys.

Hooker published a reanalysis of the 2004 CDC data set in 2014, in the journal Translational Neurodegeneration,24 concluding that African-American boys who receive their first MMR vaccine before the age of 36 months have a 3.36 times greater risk of developing autism, compared to those who receive the vaccine after the age of 36 months. (The CDC’s childhood vaccination schedule recommends getting the MMR vaccine between 12 and 18 months.)

For males in general, regardless of race, the risk for autism was 1.69 times greater when MMR was given prior to 36 months of age. Just how was Thompson’s team able to hide this rather obvious connection? In short, data was originally obtained on 2,583 children living in Atlanta, Georgia, born between 1986 and 1993.

The original scientific analysis plan specified that school records and/or birth certificates were to be used to obtain race data. By excluding children who did not have a valid state of Georgia birth certificate, they were able to reduce the cohort size by more than 40 percent, and by including fewer subjects — through the introduction of the arbitrary criteria of a valid birth certificate to ascertain race — the statistical power of the findings were eliminated.

How Vaccines May Cause Harm

While a lot of attention has been given to thimerosal, a mercury compound used in some vaccines as a preservative, it’s a mistake to think thimerosal is the sole problem when it comes to vaccine safety.

Thimerosal preservatives are not present in live virus vaccines such as MMR, and are not even included in significant amounts in most inactivated childhood vaccines anymore, yet vaccine-related injury and death, including the unexplained big increase in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders among children in the past three decades, is still a pressing reality.

What’s more, 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 vaccine side effects, including immune system dysfunction, that can lead to or exacerbate any number of health problems.

Examples of other vaccine ingredients and factors related to vaccination that may be harmful to health include:

Lack of research into the safety of the CDC’s recommended childhood vaccine schedule that subjects infants and young children to 50 doses of 14 vaccines during the first six years of life, starting on the day of birth, including receipt of six to 10 vaccines on the same day.25

Failure of one-size-fits-all vaccine policies and laws to acknowledge increased individual susceptibility to harm from vaccination that include genetic, biological and environmental high-risk factors often not identified, or, dismissed as unimportant by doctors and other vaccine providers.26

Research27 showing an increase in death following receipt of inactivated vaccines. 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. To learn more about this, please follow the hyperlink provided.

The gut-brain axis, and the compelling synergy between compromised gut flora and autism, where vaccines can act as a trigger. To learn more, please see the hyperlinks, as I’ve written about this on previous occasions.

The association between autism increases and the introduction of vaccines using human fetal cell lines and retroviral contaminants.28

The potential for DNA fragments in vaccines to produce an exaggerated and potentially fatal immune response.29

What Do Statistics Suggest About Vaccine Safety?

Barring large-scale studies comparing unvaccinated and vaccinated populations, general health statistics can give us an inkling as to how well the U.S. vaccination program protects our children’s health, and it doesn’t look promising. 

One in 6 children today has a developmental disability,30 which includes ADD/ADHD, autism, hearing loss, learning disabilities, mental and behavior disorders and seizures, which have been associated with vaccine side effects.
Fifty-four percent of children have a diagnosed chronic illness,31,32 including anxiety, asthma, behavioral problems, bone and muscle disorders, chronic ear infections, depression, diabetes, food and/or environmental allergies and epilepsy.

This list again mirrors brain and immune system dysfunction that has been reported following vaccination. The rise in prevalence of these chronic diseases among children and young adults parallels the rise in the numbers of required vaccines, yet promoters of mandatory vaccination insist that these illnesses are in no way associated with vaccinations.

In his book, “Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies,” Neil Z. Miller also provides eye-opening information about vaccine safety. He downloaded the entire vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS) database and created a program to extract all reports involving infants. In all, the reports of 38,000 infants who experienced an adverse reaction following the receipt of one or more vaccines were extracted.

Another program was then created that was able to determine the number of vaccines each infant had received before suffering an adverse reaction.

Next, reports were stratified by the number of vaccines (anywhere from one to eight) the infants had received simultaneously before the reaction took place. They specifically homed in on serious adverse reactions requiring hospitalization or that led to death. Here’s what he found:

Infants who received three vaccines simultaneously were statistically and significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die after receiving their vaccines than children who received two vaccines at the same time
Infants who received four vaccines simultaneously were statistically and significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die than children who received three or two vaccines, and so on all the way up to eight vaccines
Children who received eight vaccines simultaneously were “off-the-charts” statistically in that they were significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die after receiving those vaccines
Children who received vaccines at an earlier age were significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die than children who receive those vaccines at a later age

Why We Must Protect Vaccine Exemptions

All of these facts are why we simply must protect the legal right to exercise voluntary, informed consent to vaccination and to obtain vaccine exemptions in the U.S. We must have the right to choose, which includes the right to refuse one or more vaccines for ourselves or our children if we determine the risks are too great.

Make sure you take action to protect and expand the legal right to make voluntary vaccine decisions in your state by signing up to use the free online NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Moreover, when an individual experiences a deterioration in health after vaccination, doctors need to understand the danger of giving more vaccinations until or unless the vaccine can be conclusively exonerated as a causative or contributing factor to that health deterioration.

Physicians who recommend and administer vaccines to people, particularly to vulnerable infants and children, need to apply the precautionary principle of “first do no harm.” This is critically important when the foundation of science supporting the safety of any given vaccine, alone or in combination, for any given individual is so weak — and in some cases, based on outright fraud.

If you haven’t watched “Vaxxed” yet, I hope you will take the time to view it now, while you can watch it for free.

As an exclusive offer, Mercola readers will receive 15 percent off the single “Vaxxed” DVD by entering the discount code MERCOLA15 at checkout. Want to share the important information in this film with friends and family? “Vaxxed” 10-packs are now available! To receive free worldwide shipping on the “Vaxxed” 10-pack, enter MERCOLA10PACK at checkout. CLICK HERE to purchase the single DVD or 10-pack of Vaxxed.

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