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LISA RANDALL AND THE VACCINE SAFETY WORKING GROUP

Odd_girl_out_2So this is dedicated to Lisa Randall, who fights against mothers and fathers whose children have a serious disease, without any understanding of the basic science behind their appeal for more research, while she takes cash from vaccine manufacturers.

By Tracy Stewart

I attended the vaccine safety working group in DC on Friday, April 11th. Some of the materials distributed by the committee were interesting, such as the observation that those who suffer the “typical” adverse reactions to vaccines such as fever and seizures were often found to have elevated serum levels of cytokines, the immune-system’s chemical signaling molecules. Of course, this is found in autism as well (which should signal the need for some investigation concerning vaccinations just on its own). The group is considering goals and study of some areas that are surprising and dare I say, encouraging, such as:

• Question A-V (their labeling): Is immunization associated with risk for neurological deterioration in children with mitochondrial dysfunction (although I would add can it cause their mitochondrial dysfunction)?

• Question A-III: Is exposure to thimerosal associated with increased risk for clinically important tics and/or Tourette Syndrome?

• Item B-V: “Simultaneous Vaccination” with a background note that says in part, “Usually simultaneous vaccination is incompletely studied at time of licensure.”

• Goals of “Guidelines for investigating and assessing the causality of individual adverse events” and “Guidelines of minimizing risk of VAEs in immunocompromised persons.”

Surely we could add better questions to their list, and we should. Comments on study ideas should go to isoagenda@cdc.gov and nvpo@hhs.gov. But request and read the Draft ISO Scientific Agenda for the Vaccine Safety Working Group first-I’ve only hit a few topics in this 63-page report HERE.  We should also keep in mind that this is the first meeting of its kind to occur. This is truly a big deal! A long time coming, I know. And you can argue it’s too little, too late, but it’s never too late for the truth.

In my comments to the committee, I noted that pre-natal exposure to vaccines or viral/bacterial infections were linked to schizophrenia and autism in the offspring (which has been shown in many animal studies as well), yet the flu vaccine is still recommended to pregnant women. I asked them to look at subgroups of children who may be more vulnerable to vaccines, because of underlying immune, genetic or other factors. I told them that my son’s mitochondrial markers are impaired in a manner similar to Hannah’s from what has been released on the Poling case coverage. I asked them to do the right thing.

Of course, the meeting was not totally engaging. The worst part of the meeting in my opinion was the testimony of Lisa Randall (whom some of you are familiar with) in the session for how to effectively engage the public. Her basic message was:

1. science completely refutes that autism and vaccines are related and even further, she says no more studies are needed

2. studying safety of vaccines "encourages" irresponsible parents to not vaccinate because it perpetuates the myth of a relationship

3. she's terrified apparently that her completely normal, perfectly healthy kids may develop measles because of our anti-society, uneducated choices. She was the only pro-vaccine person I heard speak, but I left a few minutes before the end.

She also mentioned she's a paid consultant, in addition to becoming a “concerned mom” after hearing parents disparage our vaccination schedule and program. Kelli Ann Davis mentioned in her testimony that Lisa’s employer is a non-profit funded by pharmaceuticals and the CDC. I did tell Lisa about titre tests that determine immunity to quell her measles fear. Unfortunately for us, there's no autism vaccine (tongue in cheek).

Lisa’s organization, Voices For Vaccines, has a website to share stories, presumably about how vaccinated or unvaccinated kids got communicable diseases. I would encourage you to check out their site and enter your own "story" HERE.

It takes guts to stand up in front of twenty people who believe that vaccines may have caused irreparable damage in their children and say you’re afraid that your normal, healthy children might get measles and that you take money from pharma to provide a “voice” for vaccines. The irony that my son has no voice, but she wants one for inanimate objects, did not escape me.

Anyone who cares can find all sorts of research that shows that autism accompanies altered immune system function. This is true by many measures: inflammation, oxidative stress, and of course, abnormal cytokine elevations. Whether vaccines might cause this abnormal function or exacerbate an underlying condition remains to be seen, in the exact studies Lisa doesn’t want seen conducted.

So this is dedicated to Lisa Randall, who fights against mothers and fathers whose children have a serious disease, without any understanding of the basic science behind their appeal for more research, while she takes cash from vaccine manufacturers.

Send a thoughtful research question to the committee, and thank them for engaging the public on this (I know this idea is painful to many of you). I believe we might get somewhere with this, and we have a chance to guide serious scientific study in this area. This is what we've been asking for. Let’s make the most of it.

Tracy Stewart is the mother of a nearly five-year old autistic son who hasn’t said mama in over three years. She’s Vice President of the National Autism Association of Florida and strongly believes more study is needed in this area.

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While researching material to teach my elementary school History class I came across a story about the "straw man". During the days of the black plague, villagers loaded innocent people into a straw structure to be burned.
This effort was made to scare away any evil spirits associated with disease.
In teaching this topic, even an elementary student can understand it was foolish to sacrifice the lives of many so foolishly.
As a parent who has vaccinated 4 children. I feel the same way.

Vaccines injected into pregnant women and babies need to be non-toxic and rigorously safety tested by a 3rd party. The agency that promotes them cannot effective regulate them. And therefore shouldn't.
Anything less than that is totally foolish. A straw man where children become government experiments in vaccine efficacy.


Here's the link to the report referred to above: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/agenda.htm

We also need to start talking about the doctors who get bonuses from the insurance companies (who then deny covering autism services) for having a high percentage of vaccinated kids in their practice. Not to mention the kick-backs, trips, lunches, etc from the pharma companies. They're no better than Lisa!

I keep getting convenient reminders from my insurance company to take my kids to the ped for their "well-child" visit and to keep their vaccinations up-to-date.

It's all about the money folks....

It's so hard to know what to do or what to think. I was one of two parents invited to a workshop sponsored by the IOM called "Research Strategies for Assessing Adverse Events Associated with Vaccines" (http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=9269 ). It was held in either 1993 or 1994 and nothing has come of it as far as I can tell.

Over and over I brought up the issue of never vaccinated controls. Here is what they said (on page 16) about it: "Discussion arose about the issue of the lack of unvaccinated controls in the studies under consideration. Some participants (Note: I think it was only me who commented) felt that a true control group in a study of vaccines and adverse events would consiste of never-vaccinated children (whereas now, control groups often consist of children who had not been vaccinated recently). It would then be possible to look at the frequences in those who had been vaccinated. This might be particularly relevant in studying adverse events with long latencies from the time of vaccination." Of course all the usual excuses were offered.

It is now almost 15 years later and a bill to do just that is stalled in Congress. So while I am hopeful about what will happen, I'm skeptical of their sincerity and motives. Wish I could say otherwise. In fact, in my opinion, our only hope is to keep up the pressure and not let up our guard.

That's a good point Monica. We do need cars to drive people to the hospital and the pharmacy (and for transports of drugs for sale). Sure, lots of people die in car accidents, but it couldn't ever car's fault. Even though I have idea why they die or how to prevent it.

It would be very dangerous to question car safety.

While I'm being absurd, I also think everyone should be given penicillum. Mandatory. Allergic or not. Bacteria are bad.

Thanks in part to Lisa Randall, citizens in my home state of Minnesota are still being injected with mercury in their flu shots.

Ms. Randall twists language to obfuscate the vaccine injury issue. In a recent letter to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, she stated that the Hannah Poling case was about "a mitochondrial disorder" and it "has never been shown to be environmentally acquired." However a quick search on PubMed reveals many articles on environmental triggers of mitochondrial "dysfunction."

It's chilling that a mother who purports to care about public health excludes vaccine-injured children from her realm of consideration.

I hope these NVAC meetings are a wake-up call to her and other misguided "one-size-fits-all" advocates who've distanced themselves from the 24/7 tragedies of struggling families.

One might- almost- feel sorry for Lisa Randall, clearly the least informed person in that room. What an embarrassing display of ignorance and disregard for the pain and suffering of our children. Her testimony, however, was very useful in illustrating how empty the "stop all vaccine research" argument is. It is a pity that the skyrocketing rise of autism have interfered with Lisa's busy life of driving to soccer practices. When the vaccination schedule is broken up and we have to make more trips to the doctor's office because our children will be receiving single vax, let's hope that Lisa will be able to endure such incovenience in order to ensure the neurological health of her children.

"studying safety of vaccines "encourages" irresponsible parents to not vaccinate because it perpetuates the myth of a relationship"

Ugh! She said this? Really? That qualifies for the "most irresponsible statement of the year" award. Imagine if they never questioned why kids were getting polio from the OPV.
Imagine if we stopped studying the safety of cars, for fear that people would stop buying them.


Since the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has become a bureaucratic nightmare, and since the pediatricians along with the vaccine makers are immune from liability, the parents are the only ones shouldering the risks for "herd immunity". So the way I see it, parents and children are now expected to take all the risks to generate a societal benefit. In the case of autism, even the insurance companies bear zero costs. This now means that the CDC must do everything it can to discover any possible connection to the vaccine schedule and adverse outcomes. Do your job, make an honest effort, and you might regain the public's trust.

Tracy, your comments at the NVAC meeting were terrific. It’s wonderful that you can “stand up” for those of us who where not able to comment at the meeting.

It doesn’t surprise me that Lisa Randall is calling for scientific censorship on the autism-vaccine link. For over 3 years, she’s been demeaning and patronizing families of children with autism through her “letters to the editor” published in my local paper and lobbying against mercury-free vaccines at my state capitol. Now she’s taking it to another level. Vaccine safety and vaccine injury are not in her vocabulary.

"It takes guts to stand up in front of twenty people who believe that vaccines may have caused irreparable damage in their children and say you’re afraid that your normal, healthy children might get measles and that you take money from pharma to provide a “voice” for vaccines. The irony that my son has no voice, but she wants one for inanimate objects, did not escape me."

(deep sigh) (enjoying the moment of reading that piece of perfection)

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