Your March 29, 2009 article “California schools' risks rise as vaccinations drop” was full of biased information without any research to back up the fear-based statements. As a healthcare provider who has spent hundreds of hours researching the subject, I am surprised at your failure to present both sides of the issue. I am happy that you at least pointed out that vaccination is optional as most people, especially those in low socioeconomic regions are seldom told, hence their high vaccination rates.
You state that many parents do not vaccinate their children because they “fear the shots could trigger autism, a concern widely discredited in the medical research.” However, the director of the CDC, recently stated on CNN that they are aware that vaccines do indeed cause autism in certain populations with a mitochondrial disorder. This disorder has been estimated to be present in up to 2% of the population.
The article points out that the diseases that the vaccines reportedly protect against are deadly, yet this is rarely the case and you fail to point out that children die from vaccines every year. A search of the Vaccination Adverse Reporting System (VAERS) database revealed 80 cases of death following vaccination in 2008 alone. VAERS is a passive surveillance system and depends upon voluntary reporting of serious health problems following vaccination, even though safety provisions in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 mandated that health care providers report vaccine adverse events. There have been estimates that fewer than 10 percent, even as low as 1 to 4 percent, of adverse events which occur after prescription drug or vaccine use are ever reported to government adverse event reporting systems. Given that estimates are that only 1-10% of incidents are actually reported to this system, the number of deaths of infants in this country alone could be an astounding 8000 per year.
Your article focused on what you believe to be unfounded fears of parents, while the information above clearly shows just cause for such fear. Studies show that the higher the educational level the more likely parents are to not vaccinate their children. In these affluent areas in which your article focused, parents have both the time and means to further educate themselves on the subject instead of blindly accepting the information the CDC and your paper would have them believe.
In regards to the San Diego outbreak, you failed to tell us which students contracted measles? Was it only unvaccinated children or had they already been vaccinated and supposedly “immunized” to these diseases? Outbreaks occur frequently in vaccinated populations lending very little credibility that the vaccines work as claimed.
You pointed out Andrew Wakefield and the conflict of interest in the funding for his study. What about the billions of dollars the vaccine manufacturers rake in with each vaccine? They are the ones conducting the research on their own vaccines safety and efficacy. Can you say “fatal conflict of interest” here as well?
In closing your article you resort to fear tactics once again by reporting the death of a young unvaccinated child from infection of the H Influenza B virus (Hib). Data taken directly from the VAERS database between 1991 to current reveals 1170 deaths following Hib vaccination. In 1995, out of 74 Hib disease cases where age and vaccination status were known, 41 or 55 percent had received at least one Hib shot; 22 were appropriately vaccinated for their age; and 18 had completed the primary series.
Finally, the following entry coming directly from the VAERS database serves as a haunting reminder of how we have come to accept the sacrifice of a few for the alleged protection of the many.
“Pt recvd 2nd dose of Hep B vax @ one month of age; subsequently, pt developed fulminant Hep B & was hospitalized for a liver transplant; In mid-November 91, pt died @ 5 months of age”
Steve Tullius, DC