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Ask Richard Clark of Merck to Please Return Individual M, M and R Vaccines to Market

Cherry on top From our friends at  New Jersey Coalition for Vaccination Choice

Merck is receiving hundreds of phone calls from concerned parents who question the vaccine maker’s recent decision to stop making the individual (“monovalent”) measles, mumps and rubella vaccines.  Let’s really get their attention.  Starting today, join us in a focused campaign to send to Merck a strong message from parents across the country and all over the world.  Below you’ll find a sample letter which outlines our key reasons why Merck must resume manufacturing the monovalent vaccines.  You can use this letter as-is or edit any part of it.  If you have time, please complete steps #1 through 4:

1)     Send the letter to:  Mr. Richard T. Clark, CEO, Merck & Company, One Merck Drive PO Box 100, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889-0100
2)     Fax the same letter to 908-735-1244  (back up fax 908-735-1500 or 215-993-1220)
3)     E-mail the same letter to Richard_clark@merck.com and copy vaxRSVP@verizon.net
4)     Call them and deliver the message in person: 908-423-1000 and ask for the office of the CEO (back up number (800) 672-6372, press 2, then press 3)
 
Make the contact with Merck and we’ll report back to let you know what we’re hearing.  We also know that parents are searching high and low, traveling the globe and spending thousands of dollars to locate the individual vaccines.  Send your “Finding M, M and R” stories to vaxRSVP@verizon.net
 
Thank you!

The  sample letter (HERE)  is below:

Richard Clark, CEO
Merck & Company
One Merck Drive PO Box 100
Whitehouse Station, NJ -8889-0100

Dear Mr. Clark,

I am writing to express my extreme disappointment regarding Merck’s recent announcement to discontinue production and sales of the individual (monovalent) measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines in the United States.  I am asking you to seriously consider revoking this decision.   I join the ranks of hundreds of thousands of parents who are angry that we are now forced to give our children the combination MMR vaccine.  The ramifications of your corporate decision are deeply troubling.  They will weaken compliance and serve to further widen the trust gap between parents on the one hand and government and industry on the other.  The net effect will undermine public health policy.   Perhaps you have not considered the full impact of your decision.   Please consider the many ways that parents are connecting the dots.  There are urgent reasons why you must continue to manufacture the monovalent vaccines. 

Defacto Increase in Number of Mandated Vaccines

Vaccines are mandated for daycare and school admission at the state level.  All states mandate one dose each of measles, mumps and rubella vaccines around the child’s first birthday.  Many states, however, also mandate a second measles vaccine prior to kindergarten.  By eliminating the option to administer a single second measles vaccine, you have effectively increased the number of mandated shots these children are required to receive.  Some parents will choose to forgo rather than double up.

More Injuries Caused By Combination Vaccines

Combination vaccines are documented to cause more injuries.  The motivation behind the development of combination vaccines had less to do with therapeutic benefit or safety and more to do with cost, convenience, compliance and perceived parental discomfort caused by seeing their baby pierced with multiple needles. 

Simultaneous Shots Neither Recommended Nor Adequately Studied

Merck and other vaccine makers have never studied the merits and safety of giving multiple shots during the same office visit.  You admit as much in your own MMR package insert: “Routine administration of DTP and/or OPV concurrently with measles, mumps and rubella vaccines is not recommended because there are limited data relating to the simultaneous administration of these antigens.”  www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/m/mmr_ii/mmr_ii_pi.pdf

Mr. Richard Clark – March 5, 2009
Page 2

Physician Flexibility to Individualize Patient Protocol is Eliminated

Doctors must have the option to assess a child’s family history and individual circumstances and modify the recommended protocol accordingly.  Many parents are already working with their doctors and are on track to have their children receive their recommended shots using the monovalent vaccines and a modified timeline.  Your decision removes an important option that doctors have to administer the vaccines separately and more safely. 

Ethical and Religious Concerns Regarding Ingredients

The rubella vaccine is cultured on aborted fetal tissue.  Some will choose to avoid this shot for moral or religious reasons.  If the combination MMR is the only option to protect against measles and mumps, some of these parents will skip this vaccine altogether.

Controversy Surrounding Combination MMR Vaccine Affects Compliance

There is a raging debate regarding the safety of the combination measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.  Despite attempts by government health officials to dismiss parent fears, public concern remains.  Offering the option to use either the combination or single dose vaccines supports the informed consent ethic, strengthens the patient-physician relationship and enhances the integrity of the national vaccine program.  Overall compliance is improved.  Without the choice, parents will increasingly opt against vaccination rather than be forced into giving their children the combination MMR shot.
There is a robust market for the individual vaccines.  Please demonstrate to parents that you understand our legitimate concerns.  Merck should act responsibly and continue to offer the individual measles, mumps and rubella vaccines.  Thank you.    
       
Sincerely,

Comments

Jack

I just wanted to take a moment to report that there were no cases of measles in the last two weeks and only 4 all year so far (versus the apparently society devasting 138 last year). Since this doesn't fit the "scare the people into compliance" model it doesn't seem to get mentioned by the CDC, so I thought I'd let you know.

I'm sure they'll eventually say "since the recent court verdict has dispelled people's fear compliance has gone back up and measles cases were down in 2009." What BS that will be.

Jessica McAleer Decatur

I have made numerous calls to Merck and the Dept. of Health the last few days, as my almost 2-yr-old child received a single dose of measles one month ago and now can't receive the single doses of mumps or rubella. Now I am being told he needs the MMR even though he already received the measles shot. I am searching high and low for these vaccines, so thank you for the suggestion to try Children's Hospitals.

AnneS

For those that want individual vaccines, try Children's Hospitals. One parent found them at Children's Hospital in Cincinnati and Boston; another parent found them at Children's Hospital in NJ.

freya fiddes

hi thanks for setting up this info i have followed all 4 steps x will they listen ?? we live in a world with no free choice

Kathy Blanco

What about the girl today in Sri Lanka who died of a single vaccine? Can anyone truly say any vaccine is safe? Plueez...

Debi

It should be just about autism. This is also an issue for women of childbearing age who are tested for titers and given rubella shots postpartum. Now they will be given the entire MMR instead of just the rubella.

Twyla

I wrote a letter and email. I believe it is important for there to be more options available. Thank you, Louise Kuo Habakus and NJ Coalition for Vaccine Choice for your ongoing work. I hope that you are able to get a philosophical exemption law passed in New Jersey.

Alison

Last time I looked into a single mumps vaccine from Merck (4 years ago), they were preserved with thimerosal.

Do we really want them to produce them again?

eastcoast

The issues for me are twofold. I want to give my child the same monovalent vaccines that I had, measles at 1 and 9, mumps at 5 and 9, rubella at 5 and 13. Very spaced out vaxes, under a much different vaccination schedule. I was a late 60's child. The second issue for me, is related to what happens when adults who need to be revaccinated (for whatever reason) only need measles vax and are forced to unnecessarily get rubella and mumps along with it. I am really, really hoping Merck reconsiders, for thse reasons and reasons listed above.

Kathy Blanco

All vaccines are unsafe...disengage from the hype...I can go on, already have, but you all know how I feel about single vaccines...they cause autism too...

Sonja

I'm finished with all vaccines as well. We stopped 9 years ago and all 4 of my kids have never been healthier (except of course for Autism in my last one)! I only vaccinate the dog with a 5 year rabies booster and she also has never had to go to the vet...I'm seeing a pattern.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Just a thought- If no individual vaccines for MMR are available, then no one can do a study on single versus combined outcome.Could it be that few or no kids become autistic after using individual components? Oops, sorry, the kids dont become autistic ;they develop vaccinal encephalopathy

And while we're trying to use correct names, I wonder if we should stop using the term vaccine to some extent, replacing it with "invasive procedure" Probably some would think that a stretch, but they would not have seen the two year old boy brought to my school , who is clearly never going to walk normally. Why? He developed osteomyelitis of the thigh bone at age 6 months and required 3 surgeries (so far).The infective bacteria was one found on the skin, so I think we all know how it got from his skin to his thigh bone- through an invasive procedure known as a vaccine.
When it comes to vaccines we clearly need some new approach to assessing risk versus possible benefit. In our brave new world, the next pandemic is just one new botched vaccine away.

Lisa in Texas

There's a bigger picture here that we need to remember. There are 140+ vaccines pending FDA clearance (in some stage of clinical trials). As CDC continues to add to the childhood vaccine schedule, the "combi" shots are going to be very popular because they are multi dose with only one injection, and much less expensive to produce. This is not just about the MMR, it is about all of the other "combi" shots like DTAP and many others in the pipeline. How can you ever discern if there is an adverse vaccine reaction to one particular vaccine if your child gets 4 in one day or one dose? It's impossible without maybe seeing evidence of measles virus in the gut, or viral titers in the blood, for example. I personally would never give my child MMR because it caused my son to develop autistic symptoms. However, Kim is right. We are not going to win this battle by being anti-vaccine.

Laura Sauls

I agree, Kim. Though I will not vaccinate myself or my boys (for the foreseeable future, I can't think of anything that will change my mind, but who knows - they may actually take all the crap out of vaccines, and one of us may get a deep puncture wound requiring a tetanus shot), I know many friends and family can't take the giant step from total faith in vaccinations to total distrust in vaccinations. (I didn't actually take that giant step - I was pushed along when I did the research and figured out how vaccines could have been a factor in my son's autism, and the more I read, the further away from vaccines I moved.) Those who haven't seen first hand the damage vaccines can do may need lots of time to move very slowly away from total faith in the the motto: "all vaccines, all the time" or "early and often" to the low and slow approach. While some are able to change their minds quickly, others need more patience. For parents who choose the low and slow approach for their kids, or for older kids and adults needing boosters (those who made it through the first shots OK), the ability to have a single shot vs. the triple (or even quadruple, when they add chicken pox to it!) could save countless injuries and deaths, saving many from the difficult and sometimes impossible recovery from vaccine damage. Though I wish the world would wake up to the damage vaccines can cause, I don't wish vaccine damage on anyone in order to do it.

Stagmom

Hey, we all vaccinated our child(ren) to some degree before learning the hard way - but there's a slew of young Moms who don't have the luxury of medical, religious or other exemptions or the painful lesson we got and they need an alternative to straight MMR. We can't expect the average person to go from "my doc says to vaccinate" to "no vaccines ever" in one fell swoop. It's unrealistic. We've been burned. We know better. But think of your friends and family who strongly disagree with you. You couldn't get your sister in law to NOT vaccinate her child, but you might be able to convince her to break up the vaccines into lower, slower doses to protect her child. It's a starting point. And we can't ignore it.

Michelle

I totally agree with the others -- I have lost my faith in all vaccines and would never, ever vaccinate another child.

Look what just happened with the Avian Flu Virus - mistake or not, the end result would have been the same.... so many people dead and the rest screaming for a bird flu vaccine.
http://www.naturalnews.com/025760.html

Not an MD

While I completely agree with all who have already posted here, what happens if one day in the near future, we are all legally forced to give a measles booster to our children? Wouldn't it be better if the single antigen shot existed as an option? Please do not think for a moment that Pharma, the CDC, and your own local health officials are not looking into ways to enforce 100% compliance with the vaccine schedule in every single state in the US. In Mississippi, and in West Virginia, the parents have no right to opt out of vaccination other than for medical reasons. I believe that in West Virginia, right now, the state is looking to find a way to legally compel homeschooled kids to get vaccinated. Our right to our very biological integrity is in jeopardy, no matter what "bullets" we may have been able to avoid thus far for ourselves and for our children. For this reason, and this reason only, I intend to write a letter to Merck.

No vaccines here either

Likewise - why in the world would anyone willingly, knowingly, inject live viruses into their bodies? It is harmful for the human body.

NotBiting

Can I ask them to stop producing all vaccines instead?! I wouldn't put any component of the MMR vaccine into any human body.

Holly M.

Sorry, I've lost my faith in all vaccines - single dose or combo.

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