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Defending Informed Consent to Vaccination in America

Written by Barbara Loe Fisher   
Saturday, 01 March 2008 00:00
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Vaccination is a medical intervention performed on a healthy person to theoretically prevent infectious disease that could harm that person or be communicated to someone else and cause harm. Many people experience infectious diseases, such as chicken pox and mumps, and do not develop complications that cause permanent health problems or death. Others do.

Unlike recovery from infectious diseases, which often provides lifelong immunity, vaccination does not give lifelong immunity. For some people, vaccination does not work at all and fails to provide even temporary immunity.

All pharmaceutical products, including vaccines, carry a risk of harm. Just as individuals can react differently to prescription drugs, some people are at greater risk than others for adverse responses to vaccination that can lead to chronic illness and disability or even death.

In 1986, Congress acknowledged the reality of vaccine injuries and deaths when it passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. By 2007, nearly $2 billion had been awarded to vaccine casualties by the U.S. Court of Claims—even though federal officials continue to fight every claim and two out of three vaccine victims are turned away for compensation.

In 1991 and 1994, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published reports reviewing the medical literature for evidence that vaccines can injure and kill. IOM confirmed that vaccines can cause damage to the immune system and brain, as well as death, and admitted there are “many gaps and limitations in knowledge bearing directly or indirectly on the safety of vaccines.” These include “inadequate understanding of the biologic mechanisms underlying adverse events following natural infection or immunization…”

Since the early 1980s, every new vaccine developed by drug companies for children has been recommended by U.S. federal health officials for universal use by all children in America. Today, Americans are required to buy and use more vaccines than citizens in any other nation in the world.

In 1982, pediatricians were giving children 23 doses of 7 vaccines, including vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella. By 2007, the numbers of doses of vaccines the federal government recommended for universal use by age 12 years had more than doubled to 56 doses of 16 vaccines: diphtheria (6 doses), pertussis (6 doses), tetanus (6 doses), polio (4 doses), measles (2 doses), mumps (2 doses), rubella (2 doses), HIB (4 doses), hepatitis B (3 doses), chicken pox (2 doses), hepatitis A (2 doses), pneumococcal (4 doses), rotavirus (3 doses), influenza (5 doses), meningococcal (1 dose), and HPV (3—for girls).

More than twice as many American children are suffering with chronic brain and immune system dysfunction today than there were in the 1970s and 80s, when half as many vaccines were given to them. Today, 1 child in 450 in America becomes diabetic; 1 in 150 develops autism; 1 in 9 suffers with asthma; 1 in 6 is learning disabled.