Wednesday, January 21, 2004 Vol. 8 No. 16
Weldon Tries to Whistle-Blow CDC's Alleged Puppeting of IOM on Mercury Letter calls on CDC Director Gerberding for a time-out to let research smoke to clear.
Dave Weldon is a Member of Congress from Florida and a physician. He has done much public head scratching lately over alleged CDC's self-protective antics over mercury research and autism. A copy of his letter was released today.
Dear Dr. Gerberding: I am writing to ask that you post-pone the February 9, 2004, Institute of Medicine (IOM) Immunization Safety Review Committee meeting. Pressing forward with this meeting at this time, I believe, will further undermine the credibility of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on matters of vaccine safety and do damage to the reputation of the IOM. I believe the proposed date of this meeting, which you have the ability to change, is in the best interests of no one who is seeking the truth about a possible association between vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.
Recent actions and statements by officials within the CDC’s National Immunization Program (NIP) office, the timing of the IOM meeting, and the agenda for the IOM meeting raise serious questions about the purpose, value and objectives of this meeting. Presently, the NIP is engaged in what amounts to an investigation of their own actions, which does not create an air of confidence.
The actions of the CDC regarding their November 3, 2003, article in Pediatrics raise serious concerns about the objectivity of the CDC’s top vaccine safety officials and the value of their input on this issue. They are the very ones driving the IOM meeting and agenda. On the day the Pediatrics study was released, a top CDC researcher and a coauthor of the study was quick to declare in news articles that appeared across this nation, "The final results of the study show no statistical association between thimerosal vaccines and harmful health outcomes in children, in particular autism and attention-deficit disorder." Unfortunately, the study does nothing of the sort, and when called to account eight weeks later, this CDC official was forced to recant. When asked if the children in the study were too young to have received an autism diagnosis, this coauthor stated that yes they were too young. He went on to admit that the study also likely mislabeled young autistic children as having other disabilities thus masking the number of children with autism. There are a host of other flaws in the study that are raised in the attached articles and letters to Pediatrics, which I urge you to personally review.
The CDC’s top vaccine officials spent four years developing this study, and it is a seriously flawed study by their own admission. The fact that the CDC’s top vaccine safety research officials produced such a seriously flawed study does not build confidence in the ability of the CDC to conduct proper vaccine safety monitoring or investigations of past decisions. Even worse, some critics have leveled serious charges that perhaps officials within the NIP manipulated data to "disprove" a theory they find objectionable. A review of the NIP’s July 2000 Simpsonwood meeting, the various iterations of the Pediatrics study, and internal e-mails appear to give support to this claim.
In his December 17, 2003, letter to Pediatrics, Dr. Neal Halsey outlined a number of concerns about the study. Furthermore, in extensive discussions my staff has held with the CDC, your staff made it clear that the CDC will not hand over - to already approved independent researchers - the raw data used by CDC in developing the Pediatrics study. CDC is providing only limited access to the altered data. The NIP’s failure to provide the raw data for reviewing only raises further suspicions. It appears to me not only as a Member of Congress but also as a physician that some officials within the CDC’s NIP may be more interested in a public relations campaign than getting to the truth about thimerosal. At present, I have lost confidence in the ability of officials at the CDC to give an honest evaluation of the matters at hand. It is not just me raising these concerns about public confidence, but also Dr. Neal Halsey who in his letter conveys his concerns about loss of confidence in the NIP.
Further eroding the CDC’s objectivity is the apparent bias in the information shared with the public on the CDC’s NIP website. A review of the information on the website regarding possible associations between thimerosal and autism and the MMR and autism demonstrates a clear bias towards building confidence in the safety of vaccines rather than providing an objective presentation of the data. The CDC’s website presents a very selective reporting of the science. The information provided to the public generally ignores and discounts studies raising safety concerns while focusing instead on highlighting epidemiology studies favoring their position.
Given these concerns, the CDC’s contributions to the IOM discussion would be viewed as suspect and non-objective. Furthermore, the fact that this meeting is being held at this time and according to the parameters put forth by the NIP officials is disturbing. I have already heard concerns expressed by those in the general public that the timing of this meeting is being driven by a desire to short-circuit important research and draw premature conclusions. If the purpose of this meeting is to seriously consider and address these concerns, then this will not be accomplished.
I have reviewed the research recommendations set forth in the IOM’s earlier reports on these issues. The federal government has invested very few resources into examining these areas of research. Furthermore, the research that has been conducted to date by the NIP seems to be tainted by a desire to disprove a theory that they find objectionable.
Additionally, I am concerned that the agenda set forth in the meeting is inadequate and incomplete. With respect to the MMR/autism concerns, the IOM is dedicating one hour. Two witnesses are woefully inadequate to update the committee on the research to date. The time set aside for a discussion of epidemiology relating to thimerosal and autism is heavily biased against those who have raised these concerns and will not allow for a fair and balanced discussion of the literature. The time set aside for a discussion of the biological mechanisms of thimerosal and autism is inadequate to allow a full discussion of the issue. To consider two issues of such significance in only seven hours does not serve the public interest. To the outside observer it does not appear to be a serious effort to examine these critical issues. Any conclusions drawn from this meeting, including any report issued, will be viewed as suspect given the very limited time dedicated to examining very incomplete information.
Again, I am very concerned that the drive to conduct this meeting at this time and force a report by this summer may not only further undermine confidence in the CDC, but it may also harm the IOM’s very good reputation. I ask that you give these concerns your highest consideration and that you postpone the meeting until after additional research has been conducted. Given the slow pace of research and lack of federal support for this research, conducting this meeting prior to late 2004 to early 2005 is premature. The value of any such report at this time would be very limited. We must give the research time to progress if the report is to give meaningful insight into this matter.
The Age of Autism: 'The first casualty'
By DAN OLMSTED
UPI Senior Editor
WASHINGTON, June 27 (UPI) -- The only medical doctor in the U.S. House of Representatives delivered a harsh judgment this week on public health authorities whose job is making sure vaccinations are as safe as humanly possible.
"Federal agencies charged with overseeing vaccine safety research have failed," said Rep. David Weldon, R-Fla. "They have failed to provide sufficient resources for vaccine safety research. They have failed to fund extramural research. And, they have failed to free themselves from conflicts of interest that serve to undermine confidence in the safety of vaccines.
"The American public deserves better, and increasingly parents and the public at large are demanding better."
Weldon concentrated his fire on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends the childhood immunization schedule through its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices -- and has conducted numerous studies that find no association between vaccines and serious health problems, particularly autism.
But Weldon said the federal government in total has failed to do its job.
"Several issues relating to vaccine safety have persisted for years. The response from public health authorities has been largely defensive from the outset, and the studies plagued by conflicts of interest."
It should be noted the CDC stands behind its research and that last year it separated its Immunization Safety Office from the National Immunization Program. Weldon says that's simply not enough to ensure impartial, aggressive investigation.
Weldon introduced a bill -- co-sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. -- that would create a new agency of vaccine safety that reports to the secretary of health and human services; require research to be independent of any vaccine-related decisions; and establish an 18-member advisory committee to create a vaccine research agenda. At least one-third of the committee would be made up of people with vaccine injuries or a vaccine-injured child.
Given the realities of the legislative calendar, Weldon told me, he's hoping to build support and hold hearings this fall on the measure and re-introduce it in the new Congress that convenes in January.
Weldon's approach is wide-ranging. For one thing, he's not putting all his eggs in the mercury-equals-autism basket, so to speak -- he's not asking for more research solely to determine whether the mercury-based preservative thimerosal triggered a huge rise in autism diagnoses in the 1990s.
While that question has been the focus of attention -- and properly so, given the government's own decision to phase out thimerosal from routine childhood immunizations beginning in 1999 -- there is the prospect that other vaccine ingredients, and other side effects, may be insidiously at work.
"There are unresolved questions about the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine that arose in 1998 that should be fully investigated," Weldon said.
Indeed, this column recently reported on a cluster of cases in Olympia, Wash., that suggest a possible risk of autism from getting MMR and chickenpox shots too close together in a susceptible subset of children.
One of the children diagnosed with autism was in a clinical trial of a new vaccine combining all four of those live-virus vaccines, including 10 times as much chickenpox component as the standalone chickenpox vaccine. The manufacturer, Merck & Co., acknowledged that case -- and another from a similar trial in Olympia involving an experimental chickenpox vaccine given at the same time as the MMR -- was not reported to the FDA until March.
That was the same month we first inquired about the cases -- and six months after the new vaccine, called ProQuad, was approved by the FDA for all children 12 months to 12 years old.
Merck, like other vaccine manufacturers, mainstream medical groups and public health authorities, says there is no association between vaccines and autism. Weldon's bill would put that assertion to the test -- without the conflicts he says make such assurances suspect.
Beyond autism, a range of concerns are "out there" about the childhood immunization schedule, which has expanded greatly over the past two decades and now includes a Hepatitis B shot on the day of birth and the prospect of more combinations and components in coming years.
Few argue against the basic premise of mass vaccination against deadly diseases. The legitimate public-policy question is whether the authorities have gotten the details wrong -- vaccinating too soon against too many illnesses, not all of them life-threatening or likely to afflict children, and undertaking too little independent surveillance of possible unintended consequences.
From that perspective, it was hard to ignore the convergence of events at the Capitol Thursday morning -- as Weldon spoke, members were awaiting the arrival of the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, to address a joint session.
In the new book "Fiasco" about the Iraq war by Washington Post Pentagon Correspondent Thomas E. Ricks, the failure of public officials to properly gauge the real risks and potential rewards of the invasion are laid out in devastating detail.
"None of this was inevitable," Ricks writes. "It was made possible only through the intellectual acrobatics of simultaneously 'worst-casing' the threat presented by Iraq and 'best-casing' the subsequent cost and difficulty of occupying the country."
That made me go back and dig out a paper titled "From Safety Last To Children First," by Mark Blaxill of the group SafeMinds and Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center. It was submitted to a CDC panel on vaccine safety in 2004.
"The obvious concern is that benefits may be overstated and that risks will be suppressed," they wrote in terms that eerily echo Ricks'. And they made the war analogy explicit, citing "a mission of fighting a 'war on disease' that disregards the secondary and tertiary consequences of war and views innocent children as inevitable consequences."
"The language of conflict -- the 'war on disease,' 'combating the causes of epidemics,' 'fighting emerging infections' -- is closely connected to the language of military power and, of course, 'Disease Control.' History teaches us that when government officials are determined to fight a war, any war, truth can be the first casualty."
It would be ironic if the same patterns that led to a foreign policy "fiasco" were at work in domestic health policy. Weldon's bill is a first step toward finding out -- and making sure, if that did happen, it gets fixed before more casualties pile up.
Controversy over autism eats at credibility of CDC
Alison Young - Staff
Thursday, April 6, 2006
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rarely the subject of public controversy, is facing an emerging credibility crisis on the emotional issue of whether old-style vaccines containing a mercury preservative caused autism in thousands of children.
The agency is being accused of cover-ups and scientific manipulations by vocal advocates of autism awareness. It also is facing questions from some high-profile members of Congress.
As the debate and controversy increasingly find their way into pediatricians' offices, average parents of healthy children are questioning whether vaccines are safe, sometimes even refusing inoculations.
The CDC and other public health officials insist such questions lack a basis in fact or science. Their greatest concern is that the broadening debate holds the potential to put a new generation of children at certain risk of deadly diseases if confidence in the safety of vaccines is lost and they don't receive recommended shots.
"I think it's huge," said Dr. Julia McMillan, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics committee that makes vaccine recommendations. "There's no pediatrician in practice that doesn't confront this on a weekly basis: families who are questioning the need for --- and in some cases refusing --- vaccines for their children."
But the academy and the CDC are in agreement. They say there is no evidence to support a connection between autism and the mercury-based preservative thimero-sal, which they stress is no longer used in most pediatric vaccines.
"We simply don't know what the cause of autism is," Dr. Robert Davis, the CDC's director of immunization safety, said Wednesday. Nonetheless, the CDC is at the center of criticism.
A full-page ad scheduled to run in today's editions of USA Today, the nation's largest circulation newspaper, accuses the CDC of "causing an epidemic of autism" by recommending that children receive a series of vaccines that until 2001 contained thimerosal.
The ad, placed by various advocacy groups, quotes environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as saying: "It's time for the CDC to come clean with the American public."
But what stings public health advocates more is a letter sent Feb. 22 by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and seven other members of Congress. The bipartisan group asks that the CDC not take the lead on a new study examining the vaccine-autism issue.
"If the federal government is going to have a study whose results will be broadly accepted, such a study cannot be led by the CDC," the group wrote Dr. David Schwartz, new director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health, will convene a panel in May to discuss how to analyze a key CDC database to determine whether autism rates have dropped since thimerosal was removed from vaccines.
The letter was also signed by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fla.), Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y,) and Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.).
Agency officials said Wednesday they are proud of the CDC's work on thimerosal safety issues and that they have looked hard to find a link as well as to find any other cause of autism.
"It was an unfortunate choice of language," Davis said of the Lieberman letter. "They and everyone else are certainly entitled to their opinion. We stand by all the research we have done."
Public health officials who work with the CDC are more blunt.
"I think it's shocking," said Dr. Martin Myers, executive director of the National Network for Immunization Information and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas medical branch in Galveston.
"The loss of public trust in one of the most extraordinary institutions in the world. I'm not quite sure how that has occurred, but it has, and that's one of the unfortunate consequences," Myers said.
The controversy, which erupted as a rally was scheduled on Capitol Hill today in conjunction with National Autism Month, is gaining political traction. It is moving well beyond an initial core of autism activists, the CDC amd public health and congressional officials all agree.
There are many parents of autistic children who believe, as do most pediatricians and scientists, that there is no scientific evidence that thimerosal caused autism and other neurological disorders. That issue was settled for most in a widely publicized 2004 report by an expert panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine.
But the report has been the subject of controversy and intense scrutiny since it was published.
Parents of many autistic children insist that thimerosal caused the disorder, because it appeared around the time their children received vaccinations. Their advocates also point to what they say is intriguing new research in animal models indicating that some individuals may be more sensitive to thimerosal than others. Martin Cowen, whose family lives in Jonesboro, is one such parent.
Cowen is convinced thimerosal-containing vaccines caused his son Lindsey's autism. Lindsey, who turned 8 last week, does not speak, has not been toilet trained and cannot be allowed outdoors without being restrained for fear he'll run into traffic, his father said.
Cowen is highly skeptical of the CDC, a position shared by a cohort of parents and advocates across the country.
"An enormous effort is being made to deny the connection," he said of the CDC. "What do I think their motive is? They are very interested in having the herd vaccinated. . . . They don't think of people as people suffering individually. It's the greatest good for the greatest number."
The National Immunization Program, run by the CDC, coordinates immunization activities across the country. Increasing the rate of immunization against disease is a cornerstone of public health.
At the same time, the CDC also is charged with monitoring vaccine safety. It's an inherent conflict of interest, said Weldon, a doctor before he was elected to Congress.
"They really do have a credibility problem," said Weldon, who serves on the committee that decides the CDC's budget. "Part of the credibility problem is it's asking them to investigate a problem that they may have created."
Weldon became involved in the thimerosal issue seven years ago. "Honestly, at first I was very dubious," he said. "As I looked at it more and more, I began to feel there is some validity to this."
Weldon said the recent interest by Lieberman and others on Capitol Hill is a sign the issue is gaining currency. Lieberman was unavailable for comment.
The controversy and public debate is likely to be further fueled by the full-page ad being paid for by a coalition of the autism activist groups led by Generation Rescue. The ad promotes a sophisticated Web site, www.PutChildren First.org, which includes links to CDC documents, e-mails and transcripts the groups say support their contention of an agency cover-up.
CDC spokesman Glen Nowak said many of the documents on the site have been in the public domain for years, and are presented out of context and in ways that may "look quite ominous" when they're not.
"It's a very challenging issue," he said. The CDC is bracing for a spike in calls today from parents with questions and is increasing staffing at its public help line, 1-800-232-4636.
This advertisement, scheduled to run in today's USA Today newspaper, complains that the CDC has covered up the connection between childhood vaccines and autism.
JUST THE FACTS
A neurological disorder that causes problems with communication skills and the ability to have normal social interactions. Autism and related autism spectrum disorders (ASD) cover a range of symptoms that can vary from mild to severe.
The cause is unknown, affecting more boys than girls.
There is no count of how many people have autism in the United States. Estimates range from 1 in 500 to 1 in 166 children who have autism or an autism spectrum disorder, roughly 24,000 children each year.
A preservative widely used to prevent bacterial growth in vaccines until the late 1990s. It contains mercury. Mercury, at high levels, is known to damage the nervous system. But its effect at low levels is unclear. In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Public Health Service and the American Academy of Family Physicians issued a joint statement concluding that while there was no evidence of harm from the use of thimerosal in vaccines, it should be removed from pediatric vaccines as a precaution. Except for some influenza vaccines, thimerosal has been removed from most vaccines routinely given to children age 6 and younger. Sources: CDC, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program, and the Autism Society of America.
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Original Content at http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_sinead_d_061205_flu_vaccines___open_.htm
December 5, 2006
Flu Vaccines - Open Season
For all the frantic, unvaccinated citizens fearing the "upcoming" peak of flu season-rest assured, coming down with a flu infection is the least of your worries.
Despite the governments statements urging individuals to vaccinate their children, the threat of an infantile influenza fatality is just about as serious as the dreaded hangnail.
Nonetheless, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently declared November 27 to December 3 as National Influenza Vaccination Week. The order stems from the governments "concern" that infection rates will soon come to a season high and, as having the flu is such a dire condition within the general population, the well-being of society rests on mass inoculation.
In fact, government agents are so adamant about protecting the nation that new recommendations have been made concerning vaccine administration, which, by the way, only protects against three specific strains of the countless, ever-evolving strains of the virus.
According to a November CDC publication, children less than two years of age are at high risk for infections and therefore, advocate ALL children aged 6 months to 18 years, in addition to pregnant women, be inoculated at least once a year.
Furthermore, if children under 9 years of age are getting injections for the first time, they are advised to receive two shots a month apart. CDC members say vaccinations should be administered in October or November, but since infections can occur as late as April "getting the vaccine in December or later still offers protection in most [I repeat, most] years."
That being said, one has to question why the Health Industry Distributors Association's (HIDA) April publishing states that demands for flu vaccines are highest in September and October "despite the public campaign to stretch flu shot 'season' into January."
Weird...there must be a mistake somewhere; surely these decisions result from valid scientific studies, as well as endless hours of analyses and discussion regarding the best interests of the public.
Comforting maybe, but accurate-not so much.
Despite lack of publicity, programs have been in place for almost 20 years now that acknowledge vaccine injuries; the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was launched in 1988 as a means of "reimbursing" patients' adversely affected by inoculations, as if any amount of money can make up for a lifetime of suffering or more so, the death of a child. In addition, two years subsequent, the CDC and FDA created the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) so affected individuals or their representatives can report negative reactions occurring post-vaccination, which currently contains hundreds of thousands of documented tragedies.
Currently circulating flu vaccines contain the mercury-based preservative thimerosal. As if further explanation is needed, mercury is a horrible neurotoxin with a toxicity level 1000x higher than that of lead. Previously banned from over-the-counter products, animal vaccines, and ironically, in some states every other vaccine given to children, thimerosal remains in full concentration in flu vaccines.
Knowing that mercury levels in drinking water cannot exceed 2 parts per billion (ppb) without being toxic, or more appropriately, since any liquid containing more than 200 ppb of mercury is considered hazardous waste-it's sickening that circulating vials of flu vaccine has 50,000 ppb of mercury, the only exceptions being Sanofi-Pasteur's preservative free vaccines.
With four out of five manufacturers producing thimerosal-containing flu vaccines, over 90% of the 115 million doses distributed in America will contain 25 micrograms (mg) of mercury. This means that once the remaining 10% of mercury-free doses are used up, pregnant women and children will only have access to vials containing toxins measuring 250x the EPA's safety limit.
For a person to safely receive the amount of mercury in one vaccine, he or she would have to weigh over 550 lbs, making the recommendation for pregnant women and children nothing less than an act of brutality.
As told in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (Summer 2006), pregnant women who get inoculated with thimerosal-containing vaccines will be exposed to 3.5x the organic mercury limit set by EPA officials, but since mercury accumulates in fetal tissue, especially those of the central nervous system, concentrations found in the developing fetus can exceed maternal levels by a factor of 4.3.
The results of such an attack are devastating. "...Brain damage, mental retardation, incoordination, blindness, seizures, and inability to speak" are just a few of the fetal reactions found by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).
In addition, the team clearly identified mercury, of any form, as posing a threat to the nervous system. Children exposed to mercury experience brain functioning difficulties such as "...irritability, shyness, tremors, changes in vision or hearing, and memory problems", which further explains why American children are riddled with neurodevelopmental disorders ranging from autism and ADHD, to Guillain-Barre syndrome and speech disorders.
Americans will soon see for themselves what the selfish, money-driven vaccine industry has done for society. Not even officials will be able to deny the ever excelling autism epidemic when it stares them square in the eye; human flesh and blood, just as themselves, rather than numbers on a page in their office.
When the country's social security trust depletes due to the cost of special education and assisted living facilities for these disabled children, and there are neither enough patients nor finances remaining to support the vicious "damage-treat" circle created by manufacturers and their loyal elected lapdogs-who will be blamed then? Where will the fingers point when greed isn't paralyzing their conscience? Time will soon provide the answer; unfortunately.
For those who still cannot seem to grasp the severity of thimerosal-containing vaccines, perhaps this will put things into perspective: if someone spilled a bottle of thimerosal indoors, the entire building would have to be evacuated immediately and remain so until a time when hazard crews thoroughly cleaned and secured the area.
It makes no sense to jeopardize a human life for a theoretical risk, especially not for a condition where, according to the November 30th publishing American's Concern for Skin Infection, Flu, Spreads Across the County, "Proper handwashing is the simplest and most effective way to prevent these infections."
As far as numbers go, the rate of influenza infections leaves something to be desired of the government's national quest for total inoculation. According to the CDC's Weekly Report: Influenza Summary Update (week ending November 18, 2006), World Health Organization (WHO) and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) laboratories have tested 15,707 samples of suspected influenza viruses, with only 477 testing positive. Of the positive results, 308 were reported from Florida alone.
Now, call it audacity, but that sounds more reassuring than anything. Not only does it show incidence rates to be low throughout the country, it further establishes grounds for the useless vaccine debate. Highly counterproductive on their part, the preceding data shows just how easily misdiagnoses occurs and therefore, shows how ambiguous the reported 36,000 annual flu infections are.
Though that's not all officials have up their sleeves, on top of being uncalled for and dangerous-the vaccines haven't even been proven effective in providing immunity!
Dating back to 1935, a study conducted on thimerosal's antibacterial and antifungal efficiency concluded the dangerous preservative, so to speak, was "35.3 times more toxic for embryonic chick heart tissue than for Staphylococcus aureus", making it, as said by the FDA, "no better than water" in killing bacteria.
Confirming suspicions was the 1948, Journal of the American Medical Association's publishing where authors concluded thimerosal was ineffective as a "disinfectant, germicide, and antiseptic," in addition to stating thimerosal "may not completely kill cultures of...streptococci...in mice receiving an intraperitoneal injection of the culture-germicide mixture, after ten minutes' [sic] exposure of the organisms to the drugs... usually die [all but one of the 17 mice injected], and hemolytic streptococci can be isolated from the heart's blood after death of the mice."
Subsequently, an American Academy of Pediatrics (1985) study revealed thimerosal to be "...only weakly bactericidal...not an ideal preservative", which explains the FDA's 1980 proposal to ban thimerosal from topical ointments, skin creams, and other over-the-counter products, along with the 1999 decision to exclude the chemical from future vaccine production due to "safety and efficiency" concerns.
Though, perhaps 2004 brought the most irrefutable of evidence when the British-based Chiron factory was found to have serious contamination problems. The company's flu vaccine, Fluvirin, was pulled from distribution due to an unspecified number of lots containing an extremely dangerous microorganism, serratia, which is precisely the kind of threat thimerosal is supposed to eliminate.
Officials see the American public naively accepting whatever is put in front of them (i.e.- Hepatitis B vaccines for 12 hour old babies, recent HPV vaccinations, unnecessary flu shots), and with the demolished state of check-and-balance within government bodies, officials are free to do whatever they choose without the fear of consequence.
As long as each scratches the others back, "scientific evidence" favoring the use of flu vaccines, and anything else they can think of, will continue regardless of necessity or safety. Manufacturers' charge between $9.00 to $12.50 for every 10-pack of flu vaccines, so with over 100 million ready for distribution this year its not surprising that every government agency is practically celebrating vaccination.
Though perhaps the true motivation for mass vaccination lies in the Medicare reimbursement rate for flu vaccine administration, which, from 2002 to 2005, increased more that four times from an average of $3.98 to $18.57; or maybe in the five-year, $274 million contract awarded to GlaxoSmithKline in May 2006 to develop cell-based production models for future flu vaccines, but then again, it could be related to the "measly" $429 million reported in Chiron's 2004 fourth quarter Fluvirin revenue, as opposed to the preceding years $555 million.
Whatever the situation, rather than simply accepting what is being pushed on us, its time to use some common sense and question why history is showing us one side of the story, while the government portrays a very different other.
Influenza infections, for the majority of citizens, are not life threatening, and even if they were-the occurrence rates do not justify injecting what both science and history has proven to be POISON into the desperately fragile bodies of infants and children.
(Sinead Dumigan is a freelance investigative journalist who has published a series of articles on vaccination policies in the US)