Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Top Scientists Question Swine Flu Vaccine

Another eye-opening article from Dr. Mercola: "What the Inventor of the Flu Shot NOW Thinks of the Vaccine..."

“Dr. Anthony Morris, a distinguished virologist and former Chief Vaccine Office at the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA), states that “There is no evidence that any influenza vaccine thus far developed is effective in preventing or mitigating any attack of influenza” and that “The producers of these vaccines know they are worthless, but they go on selling them anyway.”

And in November 2007, the UK newspaper The Scotsman, made public warnings by the inventor of the “flu jab,” Dr. Graeme Laver.

Dr. Laver was a major Australian scientist involved in the invention of a flu vaccine, in addition to playing a leading scientific role in the discovery of anti-flu drugs. He went on record as saying the vaccine he helped to create was ineffective and [that] natural infection with the flu was safer. “I have never been impressed with its efficacy,” said Dr. Laver.”

So, to echo Dr. Mercola, "Why is it that when it comes to public health decisions, government refuses to hear but one side of the argument?"

Monday, November 16, 2009

Swine Flu Vaccine (H1N1)

It's being called a pandemic by the World Health Organization and practically every news show is broadcasting about how important it is to get vaccinated. Yet once again, there is another side to the story, and I am encouraging my friends to do their research before getting a swine flu vaccine.

Here are a few interesting links I have viewed over the past couple of days:

From Dr. Mercola: "Swine Flu - One of the Most Massive Cover-Ups in American History"

From About.com: "Some Pregnant Women Fearful of H1N1 Vaccine" (just take a look at the comments - although they are not scientific proof, part of good science is taking a fair look at what seems to be coincidence. After all, if my shoes stink after I step in dog poo, it just might be possible the dog poo caused it.)

And let's take an objective look at the warning from the vaccine package insert: "It is also not known whether Influenza A [H1N1] 2009 Monovalent Vaccine or Fluvirin can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity." (Yet we all know medical sources are encouraging pregnant women to be first in line.)

From a You Tube clip of a program called Know the Cause, an interview with a medical doctor who changed his recommendation after reading the vaccine package insert (thank goodness some doctors take the Hippocratic Oath's "First, do no harm" seriously enough to dare to go against the mainstream): "Medical Doctor Retracts H1N1 Advice After Reading Insert!"

As always, the National Vaccine Information Center site has an extensive amount of information.

I'm not saying it isn't important to take careful consideration of the risks of getting the flu. But I am saying there is much more information available than what the mainstream news will broadcast.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Does Merck Mourn for the Casualties of its Business?

The last time I had an opportunity to read and post about Gardasil, 29 deaths had been reported. That number has grown to 39 and more frightening information is being discussed. Here is a new article from Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, who writes for the Beverly LaHaye Institute and Concerned Women for America in Washington, D.C.:

Women's Issues From A Feminine Perspective
A weekly publication of the Beverly LaHaye Institute
HPV Vaccine Facts All Parents Need to Know

I sat at a picnic table listening to various mothers discussing their hectic schedules trying to keep up with teenage daughters, all on the same sports team. When one mother told of squeezing in an appointment that morning to get her daughter the HPV shot that her doctor recommended, the conversation turned to the necessity to "protect" their girls in such troubling times. I stayed quiet, hoping to learn the values guiding these parents' decisions. Predictably, they had not thought through the issues, nor did they know the facts.

Those mothers were merely following doctors' recommendations and that of all the experts. Gardasil, the HPV vaccine, was approved in 2006 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for females as young as nine and up to age 26. It has been marketed as a protection against four types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Merck, the company that makes Gardasil, claims that the drug will protect against two types of HPV that cause 70 percent of cervical cancers and two types that cause 90 percent of genital warts. Every federal health authority recommends the shots and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about a quarter of the nation's 13-17 year olds have received the immunizations. The vaccine is on the CDC's
vaccine schedule for 11- and 12-year-old girls, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends it.

Even so, some physicians remain wary of the trend to give young children a new, largely untried drug. A study in a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research revealed that about half of the doctors in a survey of over a thousand physicians in Texas did not routinely recommend Gardasil for their pre-teen patients.

What those Texas doctors suspected, we now know for sure - that serious concerns are legitimate regarding the use of Gardasil. The highly-promoted, so-called breakthrough vaccine that was recommended for all girls and given to numerous children and teens to prevent possible future cases of cervical cancer, is related to "adverse events" experienced by thousands of girls after taking the vaccine.

In a just-released article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, federal researchers report that after analyzing 12,424 "adverse events" [out of the 13,758 reports of problems as of May 1] voluntarily reported by girls vaccinated with Gardasil that two problems are common. One - fainting - is not inherently serious, but can be if the girl falls and hits her head. The other side effect - "dangerous blood clots" - is quite troubling. Most of the problems with Gardasil (93 percent) are minor: headache, nausea, and fever. But a disturbing seven percent included hospitalization, permanent disability, life-threatening illness, or death.
"Adverse events" is a terribly clinical sounding description of such tragic outcomes. Perhaps more people should read the personal account of Jenny, a University of California, Berkeley professor's daughter who lost her life after getting the shot. (See Jenny's blog http://jenjensfamily.blogspot.com/).

Few parents would want their child to be among the 39 deaths to girls who had just taken the Gardasil shot. Nor would most parents want their child to take the risk of hospitalization, disability, or a life-threatening illness. Yet, heretofore, accurate information has not been forthcoming, including the fact that many additional reported cases of "adverse effects" had too few details. Thus, those cases were excluded from the study.

Even with the new information, numerous questions remain about the safety as well as the efficacy of the drug. Further, there are questions about the marketing of the drug. In fact, cervical cancer is relatively uncommon in the United States. The American Cancer Society reports under 4,000 deaths per year compared to the 250,000 deaths in other areas of the world, primarily in poor countries.

Plus, there are questions about Merck's grants to professional medical associations who promoted the vaccine's use without fully explaining the risks involved with taking the drug. Some doctors ask if the big push to sell Gardasil is Merck's method of making up the lost sales after their popular anti-pain medication, Vioxx, was banned. These facts raise questions about the appropriateness of recommending such a high-risk drug for widespread use among American children and teenagers.

In the wake of all the side effects, Merck has added warnings to the label on the drug. The warnings on all the labels state that some children receiving Gardasil have subsequent problems, such as autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, paralysis, and seizures. Further, some doctors worry that not enough young girls were included in the clinical trials of the drug; they believe that there is really no way to know how pre-teen and teenage girls will react to such a high-powered vaccine. Merck acknowledges that the drug is effective for only five years, so giving the drug to 11 to 12 year olds hardly seems warranted.

Critics are especially concerned about the risk-benefit ratio of taking the HPV vaccine. Gardasil is very costly and most physicians recommend that women continue to get Pap smears, even if they have taken Gardasil. The known benefit of the regular Pap smear screening in preventing most cases of cervical cancer makes the benefit of the HPV risk uncertain. In fact, Those mothers around that picnic table and the thousands of other parents concerned about the well-being of their daughters need to have all the facts and know the risks involved before subjecting their little girls to this new vaccine. States need to have these facts before discussing the possibility of mandating the vaccines for all pre-teen and teenage girls.

For related links, read this publication online at:

Thursday, March 5, 2009

An Aside

This post has not one iota of relevance to vaccines, but I have such a heart for this family that I wanted to spread the word any way I could. I know many of us know a family that has had trouble starting a family, and in my little sphere of life, this family is that one I am always hoping for.

James and Emily Haughery are the son-in-law and daughter of a family in my church, and they have been through more pain than anyone I know. After miscarriages and general difficulty getting pregnant, they finally had that dream baby in March 2005. But little Alivia was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after her first birthday and tragically, did not live much longer after her second. It is the saddest story I've ever known. The happy part is that Alivia's joy is complete, as we believe she is present with the Lord, and her parents will see her again.

James and Emily also attempted to adopt a baby boy this past October (through the foster care system, I think), but the birth mother changed her mind and they lost that baby as well. I believe that, ultimately, God has many mysterious purposes in the Haugherys' suffering, and that at the end of all days we will finally understand. But for now, those of us who know this family are just hoping they will receive the blessing of healthy children! If you feel so inclined, visit http://hopeforthehaugherys.blogspot.com/ to become a part of helping this dear couple.

Alivia's story can be seen at http://www.aliviarachelhaughery32005.blogspot.com/

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Questioning Vaccines in a Nutshell

If I could sum up in a concise list some of the reasons I don't have absolute trust in the vaccine program anymore, this is it. I may add to this list in the future, but for now, this was a quick list I jotted down to highlight my major concerns.

1. There is too much money at stake for pharmaceutical companies, which lobby Congress and are intricately involved in the nation's public health bodies (According to a 2/23/09 article in The Wall Street Journal, vaccines will generate $21.5 billion in annual sales by the year 2012). They also have an unsettling amuont of control over vaccine studies in scientific journals, as recently reported in the British Medical Journal.

2. Thimerasol (mercury) was used in vaccines for years (and is still in the flu shot, as far as I know) and was given to children in their shots sometimes in levels over 100 times the EPA allowable "safe" limit. The government denies that there is any link between neurological disorders and the neurotoxin mercury given to children in shots. (Read the book Evidence of Harm by David Kirby for the story of parents who discovered their kids were poisoned by mercury and have been ostracized by the medical community.)

3. There exists much information about harm from vaccines in medical journals, but we, the public, don't have the privilege of hearing about it like we do for most other pharmaceuticals.

4. The government had no tracking system in place to monitor adverse events from vaccination until parents of vaccine-injured children lobbied for it (The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986). See the "History of NVIC" section on this page for a brief summary.

5. The government's tracking system for vaccine injury (VAERS) cannot assess causality and there is under-reporting to VAERS. Thus, there is no real paper trail for determining how many children are adversely affected by vaccines, or even if the vaccine caused their problems or not. To me, this is inexcusable. If the government wants me to use these products, it needs to know. Here again, it seems the medical community is in no hurry to protect children from vaccine injury, dismissing problems as "coincidence" all too often.

6. After recognizing a biological marker (a mitochondrial disorder) that supposedly set Hannah Poling up for regressing into autism after vaccination, the CDC was not concerned enough to start screening children for mitochondrial disorders. They said this would be risky, expensive and would raise "ethical questions." To me, this says that protecting kids from vaccine injury is not as important as protecting the vaccine program. Autism is also risky and expensive, and it raises ethical questions for me regarding why the CDC would rather risk my kid getting autism than risk not vaccinating. (See "CDC Responds to Questions About Vaccines," March 28, 2008)

7. The government has never done a comprehensive study on the overall health of vaccinated kids versus unvaccinated. Yet a parents group, Generation Rescue, conducted a survey of 17,674 children in California that found that vaccinated boys compared to unvaccinated boys were 155% more likely to have a neurological disorder, 224% more likely to have ADHD and 61% more likely to have autism. Though this can't substitute for in-depth scientific studies and cannot point to definite conclusions, I wonder then, why won't the CDC take on the responsibility of doing this? We need answers. I think the CDC is afraid that they will find the same things, or worse, and have to deal with answering for a public health disaster.

Boy, this really takes time. Motherhood calls! Perhaps more on this later.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wall Street Journal on the Vaccine Court

I plan to write a "Top Ten" list of sorts for this blog one day. Sort of a "why I question vaccines" nutshell to pull out of pocket, oh, I don't know, at family gatherings or the church picnic. *Ahem* ... alright, that's kind of a joke, since vaccine conversations are usually controversial and not particularly socially acceptable... But, the idea is that I have several valid reasons for this research, many of which point to the question of "Can I trust the government for vaccine safety?" The vaccine court is one major reason I often find myself answering, "No."

Just as a general piece of information on the vaccine court, I am posting an article that appeared in The Wall Street Journal on Feb. 23rd, titled "Vaccine Makers Enjoy Immunity." (You have to subscribe to the Journal to read the whole thing, but some smart person - thanks, Jim - posted a bit more of the content on Age of Autism, which is where I read about the article in the first place.) The comment trail on the Age of Autism blog also contains some very good nuggets of information and is worth a read.

From The Wall Street Journal, 2/23/09:

One of the little-noticed reasons that Wyeth was attractive enough to command a $68 billion price for rival Pfizer Inc.'s planned takeover sits in a building catty-corner from the White House across Pennsylvania Avenue. That is where a special "vaccines court" hears cases brought by parents who claim their children have been harmed by routine vaccinations.
The court -- and the law that established it more than two decades ago -- buffers Wyeth and other makers of childhood-disease vaccines from much of the litigation risk that dogs traditional pill manufacturers and is an important reason why the vaccine business has been transformed from a risky, low-profit venture in the 1970s to one of the pharmaceutical industry's most attractive product lines today.
The legal shield, known as the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, was put into place in 1986 to encourage the development of vaccines, a mainstay of the nation's public-health policy. A spate of lawsuits against vaccine makers in the 1970s and 1980s had caused dozens of companies to get out of the low-profit business, creating a public-health scare.
The strategy worked and the public-health implications have been sizable. Vaccines have driven huge reductions -- and in the case of smallpox, for instance, complete eradications -- of major childhood diseases. Paul Offit, chief of infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who developed a vaccine for rotavirus with Merck & Co., says, "If that Act didn't happen, I think American children would have been at risk."
Vaccines have also become big business. They are poised to generate $21.5 billion in annual sales for their makers by 2012, according to France's Sanofi-Aventis SA, a leading producer of inoculations.
At a time when pharmaceutical companies are being battered by generic competition to their best-selling drugs, vaccines offer an appealing alternative because they are biologic products that can't yet be copied. Another big draw is the partial protection from liability risk offered by the vaccines court, officially known as the Office of Special Masters at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Such immunity makes a product like Wyeth's Prevnar enormously attractive. Designed to protect children against seven strains of pneumoccocal disease, Prevnar had sales of $2.7 billion last year that are projected to grow to $5.5 billion in 2015, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.
Pfizer spokesman Ray Kerins acknowledges that Wyeth's strength in vaccines was an important factor behind Pfizer's interest in the company, but he adds that the deal made sense for a number of other reasons.
Vaccines' transformation into a lucrative business has some observers questioning whether the shield law is still appropriate. Critics say the vaccine court's ruling this month that routine childhood immunizations aren't linked to autism underscored the limited recourse families have in claiming injury from vaccines.
"When you've got a monopoly and can dictate price in a way that you couldn't before, I'm not sure you need the liability protection," said Lars Noah, a specialist in medical technology at the University of Florida's law school who has written about vaccines.
Many plaintiffs' lawyers would prefer to take their lawsuits directly to civil court because the vaccine court limits compensation in death cases to $250,000. They also think that juries could give them a more sympathetic hearing.
Kevin Conway, an attorney at Boston law firm Conway, Homer & Chin-Caplan PC, which specializes in vaccine cases and brought one of the recent autism suits, says the lack of liability for the pharmaceutical industry compromises safety.
"The dire straits of the 1980s do not exist anymore and it calls into question the need for the program, since the ability to sue the pharmaceutical companies would provide a different level of oversight," Mr. Conway says.
Even if they had won their cases, the families of autistic children wouldn't have been paid by the companies that make the vaccines, as is common in other pharmaceutical-liability cases. Instead, the government would have footed the bill, using the funds from a tax levied on inoculations.
The pharmaceutical industry, for its part, argues that the vaccine shield is still necessary. "The Act remains an important and relevant protection against baseless litigation that may dissuade parents from having their kids receive important vaccines," says Wyeth's outside counsel for vaccine litigation, Daniel Thomasch, of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLC.
Mark Feinberg, vice president for medical affairs and policy at Merck's vaccine division, says companies need the government's protection to shoulder the risk of pricey clinical trials. "Today, there are a number of important infectious diseases that don't have vaccines," he says. "The program does provide clarity for manufacturers as they go forward with new development."
To be sure, the vaccine court has been friendly to some plaintiffs. About $970 million has been awarded in its two decades of existence, and 12,890 cases have been filed. The court has relaxed standards about which witnesses and evidence can be admitted, because its judges -- called special masters -- are better equipped to navigate dubious science than a jury.
And injured parties can still sue vaccine makers in civil court if they reject the vaccine court's decision, if the court dismisses the claim or if the claim is stalled in the court for more than 240 days. Rep. Henry Waxman, who introduced the 1986 bill, hails those limits to the liability shield. "Vaccines are products that are completely different from any others. We need to encourage companies to develop vaccines in order to protect the public health," he says. "The manufacturers have long fought for total immunity from lawsuits, but I have fought back hard to ensure that the law preserves access to courts in cases of true negligence or misconduct."
But vaccine suits, when they do get to civil court, face restrictions there on punitive damages and failure-to-warn arguments.
Barbara Loe Fisher, the co-founder of a nonprofit parents' group called the National Vaccine Information Center, says the inclusion of high-priced new vaccines, like Merck's Gardasil, which aren't vital to preventing pandemics, runs counter to the spirit of the original law, which she worked on in the 1980s.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Government Rationed (er, Controlled) Health Care

[EDIT 2/25/09: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is now law, as everyone with a TV, radio or computer has surely heard. I was not able to find anything saying the health care provisions had been removed. In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama made it clear that he wants health care reform to happen this year. Hopefully the majority will allow the people to know what's going on, and we can debate whether or not we want government doing comparative research and making decisions for us.]

Yesterday, the Senate passed the economic stimulus bill, and with it, provisions to move our country toward socialized (government-run) medicine. These provisions are frightening on many levels, and if Americans actually had a chance to vote on this, its failure would be sure. Instead, the majority in the House and Senate are trying to rush it through under the cover of night and get it quickly to President Barack Obama for signature.

The Heritage Foundation's Nina Owcharenko summarizes it this way: "Veiled under this massive economic stimulus proposal are profoundly controversial and far-reaching health care provisions that would set the country on a path toward more fiscal irresponsibility, mounting unfunded entitlement liabilities, and less control of families over their personal health care decisions." She explains that the bill would "establish a framework and funding for comparative effectiveness research and health information technology," which would open a portal to "direct government intervention in the clinical decisions by physicians and other health care providers."

To read more of the Heritage Foundation article, click
here. You can also find more articles at Townhall.com, such as this one by Rep. John Shadegg (R-Arizona). This Bloomberg.com article is also informative. According to Tom Daschle (whose handiwork is reflected in the provisions), doctors have to give up autonomy and "learn to operate less like solo practitioners," the article reports.

For anyone who cares about freedom of medical decisions and doesn't want the government making personal health choices for them, this "economic stimulus" package is impossible to support in its current form. It is of utter importance that as many Americans hear about these provisions and make phone calls and send emails to the Hill. The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121 (you'll need to tell the operator where you're from so he/she can connect you) and you can use the
House and Senate Web sites to look up direct numbers or email addresses for your representatives. Please spread the word.

One Congresswoman who is in the minority party has started a blog to keep us folks "outside the beltway" up to date on happenings on the Hill. I look forward to seeing if it actually turns out to be useful! You can check out her blog here:

To put it like one blog commenter said, "I have a hard time thinking of anything that the government runs better than the private sector." Who is a better decision-maker for your health care than you and your doctor? What about for your children? People living in countries where health care is run by the government would gravely warn us about falling into this trap. Please act.

Sample E-mail (thanks to Nina Owcharenko's article for some of the wording!) to your reps:
Dear ______,
I am writing today to urge you to please do your part to remove or revise the health care provisions in the economic stimulus bill. I ask you to please remove the funding for the comparative effectiveness and health information technology. If Congress wants to enact such provisions, it should do so not tagged on a fast-tracked stimulus bill but with a full and public debate so that the American people understand the impact of these health care decisions on their lives. Any other course would be a betrayal of the President's promise of openness with American people.
Please do not allow this great nation of ours, where personal freedom and entrepreneurship are beacons of our heritage, to move toward socialized medicine. This is not the right direction for the American people.