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Vaccine Awakening Blog: Doctor-Heroes Standing For Better Vaccine Science

No harm Note: Here is Barbara Loe Fisher's response to the Larry King Live program.

By Barbara Loe Fisher

The cry that was heard around the world in the early 1980's, when mothers and fathers realized an old, crude pertussis vaccine was killing and damaging the brains of their children, is being echoed today by new generations of parents struggling to raise vaccine injured children. As in the 1980's, mothers and fathers today are forced to watch doctors hold the needles, pull the trigger and then turn their faces away when children are cut down at the beginning of their lives.

Over the decades, we have seen a handful of doctors demonstrate intellectual honesty and rare courage by standing up publicly to acknowledge that vaccine injuries and deaths are real and that more scientific research is needed to fill the gaps in knowledge about why and how vaccines cause harm. Despite criticism and even threats from colleagues to remain silent, these doctor-heroes have chosen commitment to good science and respect for human life to take precedence over protection of the status quo.

On April 3, 2009 on CNN's "Larry King Live," the only woman to have served as director of the National Institute for Health, Bernadine Healy, M.D., firmly countered allegations that scientific research into the vaccine-autism connection should be ended because science has proven "vaccines do not cause autism." Politely disagreeing with Margaret Fisher, M.D., a pediatrician spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and pediatric neurologist Max Wiznitzer, M.D., who testified against compensation for vaccine injured autistic children in the U.S. Court of Claims, Healy said "I really don't believe that this is a closed case from a research point of view." She said that doctors must "listen to the families of these [autistic] children" because when doctors "listen to the patients the patients will teach." She added that there is an "embarrassing recognition that we know so little about [autism] in terms of what causes it, in terms of how to treat it" and she called for a "comparison of children who have and have not been vaccinated."

As I watched Bernadine Healy, M.D., mother of three, former director of the Red Cross and member of the Institute of Medicine, eloquently argue for good science, common sense, compassion, and cooperation, I remembered the brave physicians in decades past who chose to speak out at critical moments in the history of the vaccine safety and informed consent read more go to


Robin Nemeth

Dr. Healy did a fine job on Larry King. However, there is one mistake that she made, a while back, when she was being interviewed by Don Imus. The interview can still be found on Autism Speaks website. In the interview, both Mr. Imus and Dr. Healy tell listeners that thimerosal has been removed from childhood vaccines. This is NOT true. There is still toxic levels (twenty five micrograms) in flu shots that are now given to babies, children, pregnant women. This can be seen simply by looking at the FDA’s website titled ‘Thimerosal in Vaccines’, table 1.


I’ve written Dr. Healy twice to inform her of this. Don’t you think that, given the concern of so many about thimerosal, given the promises, so long ago, from the public health officials and the vaccine makers, that this is a very dangerous misstatement of the facts? And given that so many keep on saying that “oh the mercury was removed but the rates keep on going up”, when, in fact, the mercury HASN’T been removed?

Dr. Healy is being honored at the Autism Speaks sponsored Rock Til it Stops benefit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this April 25 in Cleveland. I’ve asked her to please clarify this fact—to please tell those present that there is still thimerosal, toxic levels of thimerosal, in flu vaccines. In addition to Dr. Healy, WKYC health reporter and noon anchor Monica Robins will be honored. I wrote Ms. Robins last fall, asking her if she could please do a story about autism and vaccines. She sent me back and email saying she has (not just on autism, but specifically on autism and vaccines), and yet, when I look through WKYC archives I find nothing. I emailed her asking her what stories she has done—where and when they were published or aired. I heard back nothing.

It seems to me that, at least here in the Cleveland area, nothing much has changed in recent years. There is still no effort made by either the autism support organizations or the media to raise public awareness of vaccine damage.

Bob Moffitt

Right alongside those courageous doctor-heroes there should be a place for courageous mother-heroes like Barbara Loe Fisher...who I have had the pleasure of hearing speak on a number of occasions.

I used to wonder what kind of leader it required for men to voluntarily climb aboard Washington's small the middle of a dark night to cross the Delaware attack the strong forces gathered in Trenton, New Jersey.

Now I know...Barbara Loe Fisher is that kind of leader. Her words are an inspiration to those lucky enough to hear her speak.

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