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AAPS on Vaccine Exemptions

PassBy Anne Dachel

On December 14, 2011, Marketwatch.com (a site connected to the Wall Street Journal) ran the story, Physicians Oppose Mandatory Flu Vaccine for Health Workers.  It was a press release from the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons  and this is what it said:

In a letter to Colorado public health officials, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) opposes a rule requiring workers in health care facilities to have an annual influenza vaccination or lose their jobs. Workers who had a rare religious or medical exemption would be required to wear a mask in patient care areas from November through March.

The religious exemption is too narrowly drawn, AAPS writes, and should be a philosophical exemption, as accepted in many states, to "to avoid inquisitions into matters of faith." The mask requirement "seems to be nothing more than a punitive retaliation against those who decline the vaccine" and should be dropped, the AAPS letter states, as both immunized and nonimmunized individuals can transmit influenza or other illnesses.

The New Mexico study cited in support of the policy shows a tiny effect: an adjusted odds ratio of only 0.97 for confirmed influenza "outbreaks" (at least one case) in residents of long-term care facilities where 60% of direct-care workers were immunized compared with facilities with a 51% immunization rate. This means that in facilities where more workers were immunized, residents were still 97% as likely to get influenza. "Many other factors could account for the small difference," states AAPS executive director Jane Orient, M.D.

In the age of ‘evidence-based medicine,’ AAPS notes that there is surprisingly little evidence supporting the efficacy of influenza vaccine, and evidence of safety is also scant. According to a 2006 article in the British Medical Journal by Tom Jefferson (here) , the coordinator of the vaccines section of the Cochrane Collaboration, safety data are reported in only five randomized studies with 2,963 observations. Many repeated doses of similar vaccines likely increase the risk of allergic reactions, and no data exist on the safety of a large number of doses, states Dr. Orient, citing a 2006 article in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.”

I was stunned to see a story connected to the Wall Street Journal in opposition to the medical community’s constant promotion of the flu vaccine and it was right there on Google News. In the first place, it was hard to believe any medical organization would take the bold step of disagreeing with the health officials, Wal-Marts, and doctors telling us to get that annual flu shot.  Instead, a group of doctors was publicly challenging the safety and efficacy of a vaccine.

On their website, the AAPS is described as “one of the only national medical organizations fighting against government and insurance company control of medicine. AAPS has stood for patient and physician freedom since 1943.”  It seems that not every doctor in the country is willing to meekly follow pharma-backed, government mandates on health care.  Regarding the power and influence of pharmaceutical corporations, I found this:

“AAPS is completely funded by membership dues and contributions, so we answer to and advocate for our physician members and not big corporate donors or government funding sources. The AMA’s deal with HCFA gave it a monopoly on the CPT codes, from which it derives at least $70 million in revenue annually. AAPS was one of the first to expose this conflict of interest.

“All elected AAPS Board members and officers serve on a volunteer basis and even pay their own way to board meetings. We do not have a big building, or a bloated staff. Every dime in dues goes directly to the fight for freedom in medicine.”

I immediately thought of the report, How Independent are Vaccine Defenders? by CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson in 2008 where she described the stunning financial ties that exist between the vaccine makers and the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

I contacted AAPS Executive Director Dr. Jane Orient about the story on the MarketWatch site and about her organization.  These are her remarks.

Dr. Orient, the statement, “AAPS notes that there is surprisingly little evidence supporting the efficacy of influenza vaccine, and evidence of safety is also scant,” puts your organization at odds with much of mainstream medicine. 

 Why is it that other professional groups seem to have closed their eyes to ‘evidence-based medicine’?

Dr. Orient: What is called ‘evidence-based medicine’ is all too often authority-based medicine. The authority defines ‘evidence,’ often picking the studies that have the outcome they prefer. Most research funding is controlled by government or companies dependent on government to preserve their dominance, as by regulations too costly for upstart competition to comply with.

“Physicians don't have time to study everything for themselves and generally trust their professional organizations, not recognizing the conflicts of interest that may taint the work of highly intelligent and accomplished researchers. Then there's human nature, with its reluctance to challenge long-held assumptions. We still, alas, have sacred cows.”

Are the safety concerns of the flu vaccine being ignored?

Orient: “Safety concerns are acknowledged, but downplayed. Severe adverse reactions are uncommon enough that most doctors may never have seen them personally, or have seen only one or two, which might have been attributed to something else. A lot of things you might miss if you are not looking for them.”

Are doctors free today to provide the care they feel is in the best interest of their patients?

Orient: Doctors face serious repercussions if they don't go by the guidelines of their employers or third-party payers. Licensure boards can also be extremely unfriendly to dissent or innovation, plus there is always the risk of getting sued for ‘falling below the standard of care.’ Independent physicians, who work directly for their patients, are increasingly hard to find.”

How intrusive is the government with regard to our health care?

Orient: “Government is involved in every aspect of care, and is determined to have everyone's records in an interoperable electronic database for ease of monitoring compliance. The authorities' presumably well-intentioned public health goals trump the wishes and even the health of individuals.”

What is your opinion of the power and influence of the pharmaceutical industry over both doctors and health officials?

Orient: I think there is pervasive corruption, which is probably inevitable in the "public-private partnership.”

What do you see as the main purpose of the AAPS? 

Orient: “To preserve private medicine.”

What medical needs of Americans are not being met? 

Orient: “I can't give a global answer to this question. People need individualized care by a physician they can trust. Some get excellent care (not necessarily highly expensive), and some are getting something similar to veterinary care (except that vets generally like the animals and really care about doing their best).”

Dr. Orient”s answers were succinct and damning.  Parents in the autism community have long questioned the safety claims regarding the government mandated vaccine schedule and the science that supposedly shows no connection between vaccines and autism.  Many of us are in disbelief over an epidemic affecting one percent of children that has no known cause or cure and is left as a perpetual mystery by doctors. Dr. Orient’s answers make it clear, it’s not just about the science.

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism. Subscribe to her new site at AnneDachel.com

Comments

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Excellent post, Anne!

Medical freedom is a God-given right that we all share. We must defend this right. I strongly support medical freedom. The Canary Party supports medical freedom. The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons supports medical freedom. An AAPS lifetime member (U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, MD) is running for U.S. President.

Vaccine mandates violate our right of autonomy and sovereignty over the integrity of our bodies. The State does not own our bodies. Cancer treatment is another example. If you have not yet seen the film "Cut, Poison, Burn", here's the link to a trailer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCmr2OGmMDQ

Medical freedom should be the new litmus test for elected office. Man-made law notwithstanding, we should defend our God-given inalienable right to refuse vaccination, our right to choose or refuse cancer treatment, and our right to biomedical recovery. We cannot let our health freedom be taken away from us. This freedom needs to be protected in law.

If you work in health care system for 30 years and receive influenza vaccine each year,then after 5-10 years you will have a higher chance for alzheimers or develop other neurological illnesses.Pharma is getting more and more agressive and tries to control every aspect of our lives.
We need to keep our health freedom,the right to informed choice,the right to accept or decline and vaccination
should never be mandatory.

Beautiful. Can't wait to forward to all my friends who are doctors.

I wish the AAPS had a published list, or one available, of it's members. If they did, I would make a point to see only doctors who were members of this outstanding association.

Are doctors free today to provide the care they feel is in the best interest of their patients?

Orient: “Doctors face serious repercussions if they don't go by the guidelines of their employers or third-party payers. Licensure boards can also be extremely unfriendly to dissent or innovation, plus there is always the risk of getting sued for ‘falling below the standard of care.’ Independent physicians, who work directly for their patients, are increasingly hard to find.”

IN MINNESOTA THIS IS ESPECIALY TRUE.

Not only are there the obvious repercussions to those who might wish to help sick kids with autism from the sources mentioned by Dr.Orient, it is important to recognize the political implications.

In Minnesota the Legislators on both sides of the aisle with the most tenure and political power are those who have the large hospitals in their districts. They likely get backing both financially and behind the scenes from those who have economic interests in the medical industry. If they want to stay they have no choice to follow the directions of their sugar daddies.

I am utterly disgusted that I have to leave the state to get help for my son's gastro intestinal disease. Some things are covered, but the real things that improve my son's health (vitamins, diet, etc.) are not recognized as "medically necessary" and are very costly.

Our past pediatrician actually went to Thoughtful House for a week, and promised to help our son when he was in his most teribble pain. I beleive she knew what we would find when we finally did a pill cam. For more than a year we were led to believe that help was at hand, at least until we asked to be referred to a gastro-intestal doctor. She said that our son's condition "did not tell her enough to warrant the referral" and then brought in pshyciatrists and suggested psych meds. We left and never went back. I wonder if the same thing happened to her child would she make more of an effort to get a referral? Sorry for the sarcasm, but I am still pissed off. While I recognize the pressure she was under, she was more concerned for her career than the pain and sufferring of my child.

Even more frustrating is when you want to work with other interested parties on some things and then we are told not to "push the envelope". The groups and legislators that worked so hard to remove mercury from cosmetics would not let us include vaccines in the legislation because it would make it impossible to pass, too much for the politicians to deal with at one time.

From what I have read about autism insurance legislation it seems it will only be dealing with "therapies". What will happen if I were to even suggest during those conversations that autistic enterocolis as described by Wakefield, Krigsman and others be made a recognizable disease that needs to be seriously dealt with in Minnesota?

I will be told to let it be. I will be told it is too much for the politicians to deal with at one time. I will have to keep driving to Texas to properly treat his gut. Other parents will just have to watch their children suffer needlessly for a few more years.....

All because doctors are NOT free today to provide the care they feel is in the best interest of their patients.

bensmyson:

Thanks for the Mnookin link. Notice that he says NOTHING about the financial ties between the AAP and pharma.

Nice to know that Seth Mnookin reads our blog!

Anne

No job is worth it if they are going to force vaccination. It is absolutely disgusting they make people choose between their career or their health.

My daughter and I discussed this with each other, recently.
She is a nurse and during nursing school she was forced (forced) to comply.

She said there was no way she could have gotten out of taking the other two Hep Bs. She said that the nursing school was cruel and just plain mean about it.
She said she witnessed one girl that had not taken hers put out -- in her second semester - right during class.

As a nurse she maybe in danger of catching the Hep B, so the shot they said was nessacary.

But she has a strange immune system and we knew it. She had Kawasakis as a child, and constantly throwing up, stiffness, muscle aches, depression, and we knew it.

I do not understand why only religious exemption philosophical exemptions and not any consideration that someone can not or should not risk it because of health reasons ????

When she took the three shots, we well knew that an adverse event was more of a risk than the disease, and yet she felt there was no choice.

Not only that ;but Hep C and AIDS are still out there, and the same procedures of caution must be followed to keep from getting them as Hep B-- Does that make sense? You must follow procedures of wearing gloves, and handeling patients anyway - nothing has changed there?

If nursing school was not bad enough - her work place also piled it on with the flu shot. The first year of working in a hospital with kids with mental problems - she was forced to take the flu shot. At the time she took it she had high Sed rates still from the Hep B. She had stiffness still from the Hep B. She was suffereing reoccurring leg pains like she had as a child from Kawasakis from the Hep B. Does it make sense to make such a person take a flu shot. Does it sound compassionate to encourage (force) someone like her to take a flu shot?

She is still working for them. She certainly seems to understand her patients more than most of the other nurses. But it is not fair that she cries with depression in her room all the month of December. That still at times she becomes obsessive with things, esp scary when she starts picking at her hand. She says the scar tissue bothers her and thinks at times she can cut it and pop it out. It is not fair that she has had to miss a lot of work and her father got on to her (like she could help it; like she was still a child for heaven sakes!!) for missing too much work.

She is on some kind of list at work for someone that has a condition that requires them to miss work now and again. It has changed this year, and she is going to have to figure out what she has to do, what papers to fill out, where to get them, where to send them and so forth.

As sick as she was two years ago, cutting her hands and arms, not able to walk into Wal Mart without fear written all over her face, not able to drive -- she still got this all filled out and takeen care of. The mind is an amazing thing!

So ottoschnaut they can publish all they want or not publish all they want -- but the higher ups in the medical field is not just stubborn about small children they are also dictators to the people under them.

Whenever the Sebellius's and faux organizations like Autism Speaks get me down, I try to focus on the heroes such as AAPS, Wakefield, the Geirs, Dr. McCandless.

These courageous voices risk career, reputation, and standing to state the truth are what is going to finally bring the truth out. . . they and AgeOfAUtism!!!

My Mom worked as an activities coordinator at a nursing home and was required to get flu shots yearly. I truly think that is why she is now in a nursing home herself with dementia issues. It sure reminds me of what my child looked like when he first slipped into autism.

The Canadian vaccine schedule.

17 vaccines by age 6

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/immun/pdf/schedule.pdf

no heb b at birth (option at age 12)

no Offit RotaTek vaccine

Not sure what the Autism rates are there...

The HepB is a joke (both medically and timing of it)

awesome, thanks Anne! Love the AAPS.

Dr.Orient published the Geier's early work on HepB with and without thimerosal in Journal American Physicians and Surgeons. The original landmark study showing 400% to 600% increase in nerodevelopmental problems with the thimerosal group.

http://www.jpands.org/vol8no1/geier.pdf

AAPS publishes viewpoints regarded as controversial and outside the realm of mainstream medicine quite frequently. As a result, they are sometimes villifed and called ugly names in the mainstream media.


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