Evelyn Pringle October 2009
In the video commentary titled, Mild Swine Flu & Over-Hyped Vaccine, on the website for the National Vaccine Information Center, the group’s co-founder and president, Barbara Loe Fisher, reports:
“We are witnessing a roll-out of the largest, most expensive mass vaccination campaign in the history of our nation. A rollout that is bigger than even the polio vaccine campaigns of the 1950’s.”
“If you or your child are injured from getting a flu swine flu shot, you are on your own,” Fisher warns.
“Because Congress shielded the vaccine manufacturers and any person giving swine flu shots from lawsuits if people get hurt,” she says. “There is no funded government vaccine injury compensation program for swine flu vaccine.”
“Doctors are telling some children under 10 years old to get 3 to 4 flu shots this year – 2 shots for seasonal flu and one or two more for swine flu,” Fisher points out.
“We have never given young children 3 to 4 flu shots in a single year and there is no information about how safe it is to do that,” she advises.
On October 18, 2009, the Wall Street Journal advised that: “Children ages six months to nine years who have never received a flu vaccine before are recommended to receive two doses of both the H1N1 and seasonal-flu vaccine about a month apart,” citing Paul Offit, chief of infectious disease at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, as the source, without letting readers know how rich he has become profiting off the vaccine industry.
Eight months ago, on February 16, 2009, “Age of Autism” published a report titled, “Voting Himself Rich: CDC Vaccine Adviser Made $29 Million Or More After Using Role to Create Market,” by Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxil, for an investigation that found:
“Dr. Paul Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) took home a fortune of at least $29 million as part of a $182 million sale by CHOP of its worldwide royalty interest in the Merck Rotateq vaccine to Royalty Pharma in April of last year.”
“Based on an analysis of current CHOP administrative policies, the amount of income distributed to Offit could be as high as $46 million,” the report noted.
“In a Moody’s report dated June 2008, CHOP reported net proceeds from the Rotateq transaction of $153 million, a deal basis that would put the value of Offit’s 30% share at $45.9 million,” the authors wrote.
“Unlike most other patented products, the market for mandated childhood vaccines is created not by consumer demand, but by the recommendation of an appointed body called the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP),” the AoA report states. “In a single vote, ACIP can create a commercial market for a new vaccine that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars in a matter of months.
“For example, after ACIP approved the addition of Merck’s (and Offit’s) Rotateq vaccine to the childhood vaccination schedule, Merck’s Rotateq revenue rose from zero in the beginning of 2006 to $655 million in fiscal year 2008,” the authors explain.
“When one multiplies a price of close to $200 per three dose series of Rotateq by a mandated market of four million children per year, it’s not hard to see the commercial value to Merck of favorable ACIP votes,” the authors point out.
From 1998 to 2003, Offit served as a member of ACIP. As a member of the ACIP, Offit “voted to include the rotavirus vaccine in the Vaccines for Children program, which ultimately made his Rotateq product worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Merck,” the National Autism Association reports.
Offit also holds a “$1.5 million dollar research chair at Children’s Hospital, funded by Merck,” according to a July 25, 2008 report by CBS News titled, “How Independent Are Vaccine Defenders?”
Calling them “the most trusted voices in the defense of vaccine safety,” CBS reports that the American Academy of Pediatrics, Every Child By Two, and pediatrician Dr Paul Offit, have something else in common – “strong financial ties to the industry whose products they promote and defend.”
“The vaccine industry gives millions to the Academy of Pediatrics for conferences, grants, medical education classes and even helped build their headquarters,” CBS found. Totals were secret, but documents cited by CBS reveal the following:
A $342,000 payment from Wyeth, maker of the pneumococcal vaccine – which makes $2 billion a year in sales.
$433,000 from Merck, the same year the academy endorsed Merck’s Gardasil vaccine – which made $1.5 billion a year in sales.
Another top donor was Sanofi Aventis, maker of 17 vaccines and a new five-in-one combo shot added to the childhood vaccine schedule in June 2008, CBS said.
“Every Child By Two, a group that promotes early immunization for all children, admits the group takes money from the vaccine industry, too – but wouldn’t tell us how much,” CBS investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports.
In April 2009, the AAP even filed a friend of the court brief (amicus) with the US Supreme Court in support of a petition for a writ of certiorari from vaccine makers Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline to overturn a unanimous ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court that decided a civil lawsuit filed by Marcelo and Carolyn Ferrari on behalf of their autistic son was not barred by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act.
The Georgia decision noted that recognizing presumptive preemption would “have the perverse effect of granting complete tort immunity from design defect liability to an entire industry.”
The Farrari family alleges that the vaccine makers could have manufactured safer childhood vaccines without the mercury-based, thimerosal, that caused their son’s autism. The Georgia court’s ruling would allow a jury to decide the case.
On September 9, 2009, the National Autism Association issued a press release with a headline: “Offit’s Failure to Disclose Jeopardizes Swine Flu Vaccine Program,” referring to his recent appearance on a segment of NBC’s Dateline.
“As autumn approaches and millions of Americans consider taking an H1N1 Swine Flu vaccination, the integrity of all vaccine developers has been called into question by the financial relationship of a leading vaccine advocate and a pharmaceutical manufacturer,” NAA advised.
“If people are to have confidence in the integrity of the Swine Flu vaccination program this fall then we need full disclosure of all financial relationships between proponents and manufacturers on every vaccine on the market,” said Jim Moody, attorney for the NAA, in the press release.
“Who has an objective opinion about a company that has made them rich?” he said.
“Offit has zero credibility in matters of vaccine safety,” says Wendy Fournier, president of the NAA. “Not only does he advance the absurd suggestion that children could safety get 100,000 vaccines at a time, he opposes any studies of the comparative health of unvaccinated children that could shed light on the extent and nature of vaccine-caused injuries, leading to their prevention.”
Beyond Offit’s financial conflicts, autism advocates are also dismayed about his credibility on speaking about autism in general, as he does not treat patients with autism.
“It’s a mystery how such an inexperienced and financially conflicted man has become the go-to guy for information on autism,” Ms Fournier says. “Here’s a man with no real knowledge about autism that again and again appears in media coverage.”
“Not only is he completely unqualified to address autism from a medical standpoint, his financial conflicts of interest disqualify him as a credible source for vaccine safety commentary as well,” she points out.
Too many shots
“Today’s immunization schedule now calls for kids to get 55 doses of vaccines by age 6,” according to the CBS News report.
The four flu shots recommended this year will be in addition to all the other vaccines children receive in complying with the mandatory childhood vaccine schedule.
On the “Age of Autism” website, Mary Podlesak warns that the flu vaccines still contain mercury. “I was reading the package inserts for the H1N1 vaccines from Novartis, Sanofi Pasteur and CSL last night,” she said. “All three state the vaccine contains 25mcg of mercury — not 25mcg of thimerosal — 25mcg of mercury.”
“When I checked the package inserts for the seasonal flu vaccine, they read the same as the H1N1 description,” Podlesak wrote.
The package insert states: “The 5-mL multidose vial formulation contains thimerosal, a mercury derivative, added as a preservative. Each 0.5-mL dose from the multidose vial contains 25 mcg mercury.”
Smaller amounts of thimerosal also remain in some other vaccines, even those marketed as “preservative-free,” according to Age of Autism.
The H1N1 vaccine insert also states: “Pregnancy Category C: Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Influenza A”
“(H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine or AFLURIA. It is also not known whether these vaccines can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed. “
Back on May 20, 2003, after a three year investigation of pediatric vaccine safety, initiated in the US House Committee on Government Reform, the “Mercury in Medicine Report,” was placed in the Congressional record.
“Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines in likely related to the autism epidemic,” the report concluded.
“This epidemic in all probability may have been prevented or curtailed had the FDA not been asleep at the switch regarding the lack of safety data regarding injected thimerosal and the sharp rise of infant exposure to this known neurotoxin,” the Committee advised.
“The FDA and the CDC failed in their duty to be vigilant as new vaccines containing thimerosal were approved and added to the immunization schedule,” the report pointed out.
“At the same time that the incidence of autism was growing,” the Committee said, “the number of childhood vaccines containing thimerosal was growing, increasing the amount of ethylmercury to which infants were exposed threefold.”
Vaccine makers and conflicted public health officials are always claiming that studies show vaccines did not cause the autism epidemic. In a February 24, 2009 Huffington Post article, Robert F Kennedy, Jr, pointed out “that for sixty years the tobacco industry successfully defended a product that was killing one out of every five of its customers against thousands of legal actions brought by its victims and their families.”
“Big tobacco prevailed for six decades,” he said, “even without the help of supportive government agencies deliberately suppressing real science and research.”
“In that sense vaccine victims must leap a much higher hurdle,” he added.