While I don't agree with all the conclusions drawn in this book, the author has dealt honestly with this subject and has added pertinent information to the vaccination debate. In fact, he has uncovered information that is immensely important and that has not been made readily available by the public health establishment to the general public. This thin tome, nevertheless, contains graphs showing the precipitous decline in death rates in such diseases as polio, measles, and pertussis, before immunization programs had been put in place.
The use of vaccines to prevent and eradicate diseases like smallpox and poliomyelitis is one of the great successes of modern medicine. But recent developments supply grounds for skepticism about new vaccine initiatives. The corrupting influences are money and politics.
Supporters of Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education (PROVE) scored a major victory in Texas in May 1999. Thanks to key efforts by Representatives Warren Chisum, Suzanna Gratia Hupp, John Shields, Kyle Janek, and Elvira Reyna (who have been described as champions for parental rights and medical record privacy), H.B. 714, for mandatory tracking of every newborn, was amended to require parental consent for a child with a detected hearing loss to be included in the tracking database.
The issue of mandatory vaccines is becoming increasingly important: Dozens of Americans have given testimony to Congressional committees about adverse effects (including death) of vaccines, particularly in children; military personnel are being court-martialed for refusing required anthrax vaccinations; etc. And yet, the public health establishment in this country has not only downplayed the adverse effects and complications of vaccines, insisting that vaccines are safe and effective, but it continues to support mandatory vaccination programs.
Vaccines --- Kill or Cure?
As the controversial debate over mandatory vaccine policy heats up igniting passions, it is perhaps appropriate we summarize what is known about the manifest benefits of modern vaccines, not forgetting the tremendously salutary impact on health and longevity wrought about by better living conditions, hygiene and sanitation, in general, and the introduction and subsequent widespread use of antibiotics, in particular.
For a half-century, "officials"* have promoted the mass vaccination of the world's population, primarily children. In the United States, recommendations by non-legislative bodies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), have been mandated into state laws by willing legislators who are always ready to promote any action that is for the "good of the children." (Wouldn't you like some laws for the "good of the parents?")
Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths.
Philosophy of Science: A Personal Report," in C. A. Mace (ed.),
British Philosophy in the Mid-Century.
Sir Karl Popper
In early August of last year congressional hearings were held in Washington D.C. on the question of vaccine safety. Congressman Dan Burton, Chairman of the U. S. House Government Reform Committee, called the hearings.
Dear Dr. Faria,
I have been contacted by various news agencies [including ABC News after the article on anthrax in the Medical Sentinel], but so far, few have actually run the story...A reporter said that DC insiders had told him that soon the Secretary of Defense will announce that the anthrax vaccine program will be halted. ABC aired this report earlier today [June 30, 2000]. The Army Times is interested, as are some newspapers here in California.
I agree with the concern about anthrax vaccine expressed in the article by Nicolson, Nass, and Nicolson (Medical Sentinel 2000;5(3):97-101).
The government seems to be placing all its bets on an inadequate vaccine against only one of many possible threats. There are additional, desperately needed protective measures: better technology to detect an attack; better, more widely distributed laboratories for identifying the organisms; stockpiles of antibiotics; nontoxic decontaminants; and shelter.(1,2)
Who should make decisions about the medical treatment of Ohio's children --- state legislators at the beck and call of pharmaceutical companies, or parents across the state? That's the issue before state lawmakers in Columbus as special interests push for another mandatory vaccine for our schoolchildren, this time for chickenpox (varicella). If the bill passes, chickenpox vaccine, manufactured in human fetal tissue, will be the ninth in the cocktail mix of vaccines required for school attendance.
It has been said that every epidemic begins with a single case report. A single case report, however, could just be an anecdote, and most "clusters" turn out to be statistical artifacts.
One can make two types of errors: Type A --- overreacting to a false alarm like Chicken Little; and Type B --- ignoring a sentinel event and behaving like an ostrich.
To limit the mortality and morbidity if there really is an epidemic, we must investigate case reports dispassionately, following the evidence wherever it leads --- even if we must dare to question some sacred cows.