Managing Editor's Note: Gerson says, "Immunizations are a communal responsibility, and opting out should be difficult." I ask him, if pharma companies have NO liability for their product safety, and consumers have to sue a labyrinthine GOVERNMENT court set up to protect vaccine manufacturers, and deal with the behaviors, medical issues and general family trauma of vaccine injury, will HE PERSONALLY visit each and every one of us, with the $3,000,0000 life time funding needed, to take care of HIS communal responsibility to us? Difficult? Does Gerson care to live in my home for a week, a day, an HOUR to see what is difficult? Has he ever crossed the doorway of a family with a vacccine injured child? Visited a grave? Or is it his job to simply make us all look like "bad Americans?" I did the "right thing" and vaccinated my girls into a lifetime of guardianship and Sesame Street, Mr. Gerson. Honestly - the hypocrisy of the "communial responsibility" company line is appalling - no one in the vaccine injury denialism "camp" gives a rat's ass about injured children or broken families. KRS
By Brooke Potthast
May 3, 2014
Dear Mr. Gerson,
I’d like to ask you a few questions in response to your piece “The Disease of Vaccine Denialism”. First and foremost I’d like to ask you if you think the FDA and drug makers
are infallible when it comes to determining the safety of a medicine? Certainly if you look even in the last five years you can find several examples of drugs approved by the FDA to treat varying medical conditions which had to be recalled due to dangerous side effects. A few that come to mind are Vioxx, Avandia and Avastin.
I don’t understand why we willingly accept that sometimes drug manufacturers and the FDA make mistakes and yet when it comes to vaccines, it is supposed to be an impossibility. Yes, individual vaccines are rigorously tested before being introduced to the US immunization schedule but do you realize that NOT ONE study has been conducted on the safety of combined immunizations? That when a baby is taken to the pediatrician and gets 3, 5 or 7 shots in one day no safety studies have been done on the effects of those vaccines being given together? I attended the Congressional Government Oversight Committee hearings on autism in the fall of 2012 and this question about the safety of combined immunizations was asked over and over to Colleen Boyle of the CDC and she had to admit in front of Congress that those safety studies do not exist.
One doesn’t have to look far to find an example of a recently introduced vaccine that is under scrutiny for safety concerns and has been removed from the immunization schedule of several countries. The HPV vaccine known as Gardasil was fast tracked at Merck’s request by the FDA in 2007. It is easy to find hundreds of families who believe their daughters were seriously injured by this vaccine and two physicians who worked at Merck on the development of Gardasil have publicly stated it is unsafe and ineffective. The doctors are Diane Harper and Bernard Dalbergue. I urge you to look into the history of this vaccine with an open mind and to recognize that when profit and public health are in bed together there is opportunity for much to go wrong.
I’d also like to ask if have you heard of Hannah Poling? She is a little girl with autism who was awarded 1.5 million dollars and $500k every year for the rest of her life because it was determined by the U.S. vaccine court that she got autism from the 7 immunizations she was given in one day. There are more like Hannah where the government conceded that shots did cause autism. So it is incorrect to say that “vaccines don’t cause autism” because it has been determined at least in this case that they can and they did.
And finally I wonder if you think it is possible the American immunization schedule has become an example of what Malcolm Gladwell in his book David and Goliath calls the inverted U scenario? This is where too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. Take antibiotics for example, antibiotics are arguably one of mankind’s most important medical accomplishments. It is impossible to determine the number of lives saved by antibiotics. And yet, scientists are increasingly concerned that we have overdone it. Bacteria not killed by regular strength antibiotics have required stronger and stronger versions to do the job. Coupled with the overuse of these antibiotics, the unintended consequence is that the surviving bacteria are now extremely dangerous.
Is it possible that we are overdoing immunizations? No doubt they have saved millions of lives. But is it possible that we are now administering them so excessively that we are damaging the immune systems of our children, and the result is unparalled rates of chronic childhood illness-i.e. asthma, allergies, ADHD, obesity, mood disorders and autism?
These are a few of the questions I’d like you to consider. I agree with you on one point and that is that parents deserve answers to why we have so much autism in this country. One in 40 boys. Twenty years ago it was one in 10,000 children. It is a crime that the HHS and CDC offer no reasons for this staggering increase. When parents get the answers they need and when the government provides funds and legislation for a scientific, independent study of vaccinated v. unvaccinated populations as well as real studies done on the combined effects of vaccines administered at one time then you can have a problem with parents choosing to not vaccinate or to do so sparingly. Until then you have little ground to stand on.