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Observations from UPENN's "The Science, Ethics and Politics of Vaccine Mandates"

Louise Penn The Science, Ethics and Politics of Vaccine Mandates (When you assume that vaccines are safe)

By Louise Kuo Habakus


This is a long post but I encourage you to read my remarks.  Compulsory vaccination represents a severe limitation of our human, civil, individual and parental rights.  It is very important to understand the arguments and justifications for vaccine mandates offered by doctors and public health officials.  While the public health system usually appears anonymous and impersonal, a conference like the one I attended this week is an opportunity to see the individuals behind the system.  The people who participated in the program are among the leaders upholding vaccine mandates in our country. 

On Tuesday, September 21, 2010, I attended a full day conference on the Science, Ethics and Politics of Vaccine Mandates.  The event took place on the University of Pennsylvania campus, in the Biomedical Research Building.  Conference sponsors were the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the University of Pennsylvania Health System (HUP), the Society for Health Care Epidemiology of America, and the Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy.  Click HERE for the program HERE.  Organizers and participants included including Paul Offit (CHOP), Arthur Caplan (Director of the Center for Bioethics), Dan Salmon (DHHS, Vaccine Safety) and Eddy Bresnitz (former New Jersey Health Commissioner, now head of adult vaccines at Merck).

Although there was a “waitlist,” the room was not full; there were fewer than 100 people in attendance.  They reserved the first row for press and none came, as far as I could tell.  With the exception of some panel members, a friend who joined me, and Susan Kreider - an RN who was crippled (Guillain-Barre) by the vaccines she was mandated to receive while in nursing school twenty years ago - I didn’t recognize anyone there.  I sat in the second row.  


The Presumption of Safety

The most striking feature of the conference was the assumption on the part of the Center for Bioethics that vaccines are safe.  With a presumption of safety, they would not address many of the significant concerns underlying vaccine mandates. 

Yet, on its website (click HERE), the Center for Bioethics describes its mission as:

The field of bioethics… provides a practical language… and a means for our society to talk about its deepest moral concerns, fears and hopes. The Center employs this language to promote scholarly and public understanding of the ethical, legal, social and public policy implications of advances in the life sciences and medicine. It fosters informed dialogue about these issues across a broad spectrum of opinions that not only are the right questions addressed, but that the answers given rest upon solid facts and cogent arguments… [We] engage in careful analysis, thoughtful reflection, and foster public discussion about the critical biomedical questions that put our traditions and values to the test.  [Emphasis is mine]

Legally, vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe.”  A vaccine “is a product that is incapable of being made safe for its intended and ordinary use.”  This is the reason that Congress created the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in 1986; the intention was to protect vaccine makers from most legal liability when vaccines injure or cause death.  I am not sure how they can claim to address “the right questions” and society’s “deepest moral concerns” with “informed dialogue… across a broad spectrum of opinions” when they affirmatively choose to ignore the nearly $2 billion paid out to over 2,500 families in the VICP.  The fact that vaccines are unsafe for many people is a legal given, and yet completely denied by The Center for Bioethics.  At the conference, I observed that neither the “tradition” of cradle-to-grave vaccination, nor the societal “value” of compulsion was put to the test.

A Word About Herd Immunity

The validity of herd immunity undergirds all compulsory vaccination policies.  The theory of herd immunity posits that when a sufficiently high threshold of people in a community is immune to a specific disease, it creates a protective effect, a barrier of sorts.  Society achieves herd immunity when this protective cordon prevents a resurgence of the disease and, as a result, protects vulnerable individuals who cannot receive vaccines (or whose vaccines failed).

After the conference, I approached James Colgrove, PhD, an expert in the history and ethics of public health from Columbia University.  I complimented him on his 2006 book State of Immunity and asked for clarification.  His book reveals that the term “herd immunity” first appeared in 1923.  He describes data limitations and the difficulty in validating the theory empirically.  He quotes one official saying, in 1932, that herd immunity was “a mere hypothesis.”  I asked Colgrove for subsequent evidence-based research upholding the soundness of herd immunity.  He mentioned epidemiological studies on measles in the 1960s and 1970s that provided corroboration.   I challenged him.  

As explained to me by pediatrician Larry Palevsky, the original basis for herd immunity had nothing to do with vaccines.  When sufficiently high numbers of people contracted the wild form of the disease and secured lifelong natural immunity, statisticians observed a protective effect in the community as described above.   Policymakers eager to promote vaccines sought ammunition to increase vaccine uptake.  Researchers assumed that vaccine-induced immunity would operate in the same manner as natural immunity and presumed that vaccines therefore would also create herd immunity.  I am not a scientist but I know that vaccine-induced immunity is not remotely the same thing as natural immunity.  Natural immunity is the gold standard.  Vaccine-induced immunity is qualitatively different; for starters, vaccines do not always work and their protection wanes over time.  Colgrove admitted as much, and I just stood there for a moment, stunned.  We clearly need more inquiry into this critically important subject.  However, it does not take scientific brilliance to understand this key point: discredit herd immunity and the house of cards supporting vaccine mandates comes tumbling down.

My Public Remarks at the Conference

During the program, I offered two substantive comments.

My first comment was during the “Mandates for Children” Panel.  I thanked the organizers for making this event open to the public but expressed disappointment that they did not have balanced representation on the panel. I said you could not simply explain away deep concerns about compulsory vaccination by calling people selfish or irresponsible.  I told them that we must assume that people are fundamentally intelligent and want to do the best thing for their children and themselves and we must do all we can to engage these perspectives.  I said it is dangerous to say that the science is clear; that as physicians and PhDs, they know what evidence-based medicine means and in the absence of randomized controlled studies of the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated, there are strict limits as to what they can and should say about the state of the science.  I stressed that they failed to even acknowledge how devastating vaccine injuries can be, bringing their attention to Susan Kreider.  Offit was cued to cut me off at that point, so I quickly asked why children are expected to uphold the entire burden of herd immunity for all of society.  Not surprisingly, they did not answer my question, but to my surprise, my comments received applause.  Offit came up to me after the Panel and shook my hand.

I addressed my second comment to the Merck representative on the “Mandating HPV Vaccine” Panel who said that Merck is “neutral” on the issue of HPV vaccine mandates.  I told her that she could not tell the room that Merck is neutral on the subject of mandates, that they actively seek mandates as part of their business strategy, and that their lobbying efforts resulted in pending legislation today in over 20 states to mandate the Gardasil vaccine.  I offered that perhaps Merck made the decision to step back from their policymaking involvement due to strong negative public opinion and potential damage to their brand, but it is disingenuous to state that they are neutral on the subject.  I do not recall it, but my friend said there was applause after this statement, too. 

People supportive of vaccines filled the room, but I sensed that some are questioning the wisdom of mandates.  Several of them came to me after my first comment and at the end of the conference to thank me.  Although they uphold a need for vaccines, they said they welcome more participation from those deeply concerned about vaccines.

Other Reflections

The most important message I can bring back from Philadelphia is that our work is making a difference and we must continue to push ahead strongly.  Panel members offered examples when visible vaccine safety and vaccination choice activism thwarted the adoption of even more aggressive vaccine policies. 

While they were comfortable discussing the negative role that our activism plays in decreasing vaccine uptake rates, their silence on the specifics of our issues was both deafening and telling.  They did not discuss society’s collective responsibility to people who are injured and killed while upholding their duty to protect society.  There was not one word uttered about any of the existing and emerging science critical of vaccines and vaccine ingredients.  With the exception of Dr. Diane Harper’s comments during the HPV Panel, there were no remarks about the merits of slowing things down a bit.  Moreover, no one breathed a word about the United States’ precipitous decline among the world’s nations in infant mortality rankings (we lag behind every developed country except Poland) or the mind-numbing increases in the incidence of chronically ill children.  At the conference, what mattered most was compliance with vaccine mandates. 

Their arguments do not address today’s realities or concerns.  Our goal must be to get a fair hearing of our issues in the public domain.  As safety, choice, and autism advocates, there is huge upside for us if we can find ways to clearly articulate common ground and strategically mobilize our supporters within our communities. 

As a side note, the trifecta of doctors, public health officials and industry is strong and clubby.  They know each other well and interact with ease, joking and frequently referencing each other’s work.  They spend time thinking about the opposition in the context of how to solve us as a problem.  They refer to “us” in three different categories: 1) those concerned about individual and parental rights, 2) those who believe that vaccines cause autism, and 3) those who are concerned about the safety of vaccines in general.  Regardless, in their eyes, all three groups possess an “anti-vaccine” ideology.

The best summary of the entire conference is on this slide from Donald Schwartz (see below for bio):

Louise conclusions 

We should expect increased efforts to make exemptions for health care workers (HCWs), children and others more difficult to obtain.

You can view nearly all the conference slides and 16 short video clips HERE to give you a flavor for the content and tenor of the event.  If you can imagine juggling a camera and FlipCam, note taking, and deciding when to speak out, then you might forgive the poor quality of the video and any inaccuracies in this post (another attendee did review it).  Caplan also announced that audio from the full day’s program will be made available on their site.


Art Caplan, PhD, Director of Penn’s Center for Bioethics, welcomed the audience.

Donald Schwartz, MBE, AM is an Associate Fellow at the Center for Bioethics.  His bio is available HERE.  He told the audience he would review 200 years in 30 minutes.  Despite major changes over the past two centuries, the arguments have remained consistent, reflecting a long-standing debate between the role of the state and limits on individual rights.  Schwartz expressed the view that we need mandates in the U.S. because Americans have more of an individual ethos, in contrast with other countries that are more communitarian.   He observed that our country was passing compulsory vaccination laws and compulsory school laws at the same time (1870-1920) and therefore societal views about both were being shaped simultaneously.  He emphasized that public trust in vaccines is key to mandates, and that we need school mandates because of the safety net provided to society as a whole. 

Tom Talbot, MD, MPH is an epidemiologist with Vanderbilt.  His bio is available HERE.  Talbot spoke about the need for HCW vaccine mandates because HCWs are vectors for disease; many are asymptomatic and contagious and 75% of them work while ill.  He said upfront that there will never be any randomized controlled studies of the vaccinated versus unvaccinated HCWs, that it would never get past the ERB (ethics review board) because it is unethical to withhold vaccines from anyone, and that he does not feel we need to have it anyway.  He reviewed other data that point towards the reduction of morbidity and mortality of patients when HCWs are vaccinated.  Talbot said that it is a profound privilege to work with patients, that their safety must come first, and that institutions must take a leadership position and clearly show “it’s who we are, don’t come here if you don’t believe.”  Mandates are necessary because they increase compliance.  He quoted a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistic that 1 in 10 HCWs is under a vaccine mandate policy.  He was not sure if that included those who filled out declination forms.  He asserted that the risk of transmission is greater than the risk of adverse events and that is why mandates are ethically justifiable.  He joked that people are just too busy otherwise, that HCWs are even too busy to wash their hands.  Talbot said that mandatory flu shots are just the beginning and health care institutions would be adding other vaccines including pertussis (Tdap).  He also stated that a cost benefit analysis of mandates must include the opportunity cost of the program in addition to any expenses associated with legal challenges.

Donald Schwarz, MD is Philadelphia’s Health Commissioner. I found his bio HERE.  Schwarz spoke about the key role of Vaccines for Children (VFC), covering all ACIP recommended vaccines, and filling an important gap.  Uniform eligibility for Medicaid in 1989 signaled a new era, that child health was a national priority.  In Philadelphia, VFC covers 70% of children’s vaccines.  Listen to his video clip for more about children’s vaccines and the importance of vaccinating in schools.  Either Schwarz or one of the Panel members said that there is a current push to try to eliminate the philosophical exemption provision (contained in the religious exemption language) in Pennsylvania by creating a more complex opt-out process.

PANEL #1 – Health Care Worker Vaccine Mandates

Caplan introduced the panel and offered three ethical codes that provide the underlying argument in support of vaccine mandates for HCWs: 1) patients first, 2) do no harm, 3) protect the vulnerable.

Chris Feudtner, MD runs ethics at CHOP.  His bio is HERE.  He said he would go as far as to say that people who do not vaccinate are foolish, and HCWs who do not vaccinate are damn foolish.  He said the argument is so simple, his 8-year-old understands it.  Caplan interjected that he would invite Feudtner’s son to next year’s event.  Feudtner listed the seven big reservations about mandates but expressed his support of mandates nonetheless:

  1. The research is sparse.  They use nursing home data and extrapolate to other settings. 
  2. The flu vaccine has “variable effectiveness.”   It is an annual requirement, the disease waxes/wanes, there’s no guarantee it works (that the selected strains are the correct ones), and they do not know any of this upfront when people are asked to be vaccinated.
  3. How can they evaluate the cost/benefit tradeoff when they do not even know how effective the vaccines are?  In addition, it is difficult to evaluate opportunity costs.
  4. Mandates sidestep a provocative question – why can’t they convince HCWs of the merits?
  5. Mandates remove the opportunity to demonstrate professional leadership.  Mandates create followers not leaders.
  6. Mandates fuel anti-vaccine blowback.  They must be careful not to overstate the evidence.
  7. Mandates are a sign of power.  They have the ability to hire and fire HCWs.  They cannot do this lightly.

Mavis Bechtle, RN is a VP and Chief Nursing Officer and ran the flu vaccine mandate program at University Hospital in Cincinnati for two years.  She talked about the importance of making it easy to get the shots.  She made them available 24x7.  Anytime.  She would go to them.  People could get them in the middle of the night.  They required documentation for religious and medical exemptions but not for the vegan exemption.

Megan Lindley, MPH, CDC talked about the justification to use state police power to abrogate individual liberties in service of a social.  She offered a list of practical considerations.  They included: 

  1. Unenforced mandates are not really mandates.  Tracking is essential.  If you don’t follow up, you undermine the credibility of vaccines. 
  2. Large institutions must lead the way.  Don’t wait for others to do it first.  Show leadership.
  3. Mandates are only one way to obtain high immunization.  In addition to mandates, should consider offering multiple points of access, make them free of cost, provide educational information and measure uptake rates.

Neil Fishman, MD, heads up epidemiology and infectious disease at HUP.  His bio is HERE.  He is part of the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine HERE. Fishman introduced himself by describing a conversation he overheard with his 14-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son who depicted the essence of  their father’s job as, “Whenever a new vaccine is introduced, we have to get it.”  He asked what level of evidence is acceptable and practical to drive policy because “We will never have randomized controlled studies.” He (and others) repeated the new flu death statistic of 40,000.  Fishman described flu as the leading cause of vaccine preventable death and  he says that the vaccine can prevent 70 to 90% of disease [I’d like to see the data].  He described anecdotal situations of HCWs’ failure to be vaccinated and how it shut down entire labs and resulted in patient hospitalizations and death.

Amy Behrman, MD, director of occupational medicine at CHOP said that the flu vaccine, around for three decades, is very safe.  She repeated, “it’s safe.”  “It’s one of our safer vaccines.”  She said there are well-documented misconceptions among HCWs about the flu vaccine including adverse events, that the vaccine causes the flu, and its effectiveness.  Prior voluntary approaches yielded a 45-54% flu shot uptake rate.  After the 2009-2010 flu shot mandate, they achieved a 99.3% uptake with 0.6% of staff obtaining exemptions.  Although the vegan exemption is the only one that requires no documentation as proof, no one used it.  Caplan said, “We all eat lunch together.” 

PANEL #2 – Vaccine Mandates for Children

Paul Offit, MD, Section Chief, Infectious Diseases, CHOP, introduced the panel by describing this as an emotional issue for some parents: HERE.  He said that parents are more concerned about vaccines than the breakdown of herd immunity.  He talked about the children who cannot be vaccinated and depend on those around them to be protected.  During the Q&A, someone asked what the Panel members thought about the viability of a lawsuit brought by a parent who accuses an unvaccinated child of making her child ill.  Offit responded, in a word, “No.”  Because diseases are mutable and the replication cycle is rapid, he said it would be very difficult to prove with certainty the origin of the disease. 

Sue Coffin, MD, MPH, CHOP infectious Diseases, spoke about school nurses needing more guidance.  Stay tuned teachers!  She mentioned that schools should be regarded as broader communities and teachers and other adults working in schools should be vaccinated, too, not just the children. 

Dan Salmon, PhD works in the area of vaccine safety for the Dept of Health and Human Services.  I couldn’t find his bio online but found this 2002 article he authored about the risks of exemptions: HERE.  At least twice, he said that the federal government takes no position on the issue of vaccine mandates.  The second time, the audience laughed and I swear he winked.  He offered two stories to illustrate the tension between parental autonomy and public health.  The first is about Susan Walter, a mother with four children who heard that manufacturers culture vaccines on aborted fetal tissues.  She was unable to find out which vaccines were involved and made the decision to stop vaccinating altogether.  One of her children then contracted Hib and almost died.  The second is about a fictitious mother he called Joann Smith.  Her first child was diagnosed with ASD after receiving vaccines.  She did not want to vaccinate her second child.  Since ASD is not a legitimate reason to obtain a medical exemption and since she lived in a state without religious or philosophical exemptions, her only options were to homeschool, move out of state, or vaccinate.  He asked if this is good policy, to put Joann in this position but did not offer any insight or answers to his own question.

Amy Wishner, MSN, RN, represents the Pennsylvania Immunization Education Program HERE. She said the only reason she can think of why people do not vaccinate is, frankly, “increased selfishness” and “no sense of civic responsibility.”  She said that parents should not expect their doctors to certify their unvaccinated children for camp and other activities.

Eddy Bresnitz, MD – Merck Vaccines.  Bresnitz was a New Jersey public health official for many years.  He takes credit for NJ’s flu vaccine mandate, among others.  He now runs adult vaccines at Merck.  I was at a loss why it was acceptable to have representatives from industry on these panels when there was no one talking about safety and choice.  I then remembered; they only want speakers who will assume that vaccines are safe.  Bresnitz talked about the importance of auditing and enforcing mandates. 

PANEL #3 – Mandating the HPV Vaccine

Diane Harper, MD – University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine.  Her bio is available HERE.  Harper said a health mandate is tolerated when:

  1. the disease is rapidly spread,
  2. the disease is lethal,
  3. no other preventive measures exist, and
  4. the benefit to the entire population outweighs individual choice (as evidenced by proven duration of efficacy greater than 15 years). 

Her position is that these points do not hold and there is therefore no health mandate for HPV vaccination: 

  1. HPV infection is spread through deliberate skin-to-skin contact; it is not airborne and contagious. 
  2. HPV is not lethal.  Ninety percent of HPV infections are immediately cleared without symptoms, 5% of infections cause no harm, 5% of infections develop into pre-cancers.  The progression of these pre-cancers is very slow. 
  3. Cytology screening is very effective and treatment is 100% effective.  
  4. Gardasil has proof of duration of 5 years; Cervarix 8.5 years. 

Harper says HPV vaccination should be a choice not a mandate.  New data released this year show that the benefit of vaccination is the same for naïve and previously exposed women and therefore, the age at which she makes the decision to receive an HPV vaccine is no longer critical. 

A man in the audience stood up, announced that he was from Merck Research Labs and declared that Dr. Harper was wrong.  He forcefully said she could not tell the room that the age of vaccination did not matter.  They briefly argued about the new research results.  He was clearly concerned about the risk her comments might pose to the status of the HPV vaccine’s sixth grade ACIP recommendation. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) develops written recommendations for pediatric and adult vaccination schedules.  The CDC publishes these recommendations.

Elizabeth Blowers-Nyman, MPH is Senior Director, Health Policy at Merck Vaccines.  In addition to vouching for Merck’s neutrality on the subject of HPV vaccine mandates, she said “safety and efficacy are very important to us.”  She mentioned ACIP’s rapid decision to recommend immediately after FDA licensure.  She said that the cost effectiveness of vaccinating males rises if enough females are not getting the vaccine.  She did not respond when I challenged her on the neutrality comment. 

Someone asked Blowers about overseas distribution of the HPV vaccine.  She said that 110 countries have licensed Gardasil and there are various demonstration projects to evaluate the role of increased screening and vaccination.  An upcoming meeting with the World Health Organization will focus on how to reach women who are least likely to receive screening.  In Bhutan, she said over 90% of girls 12 years of age have been HPV- vaccinated.  Only the U.S. and Greece have passed mandatory HPV vaccination laws.  Merck is hopeful about this promising product and about the countries (and states) excited to be on the cutting edge.

Isabelle Claxton from Public Policy and Advocacy in the Vaccines Division at GlaxoSmithKline never showed.  Maybe she thought better of it.

James Colgrove, PhD works in the Public Health Department at Columbia University.  His bio is available HERE.  Colgrove listed the reasons why most states did not support mandatory HPV vaccination:

  1. It is a new vaccine and lacked a long-term safety track record.
  2. More education about vaccination and disease was necessary first.
  3. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease.  By giving it to 11-year-old girls, it might force difficult conversations earlier than parents want.
  4. HPV is not contagious.
  5. Media called attention to Merck’s involvement in policy making which created public anger.
  6. The price tag; at $320 for the series of three shots, it is more expensive than other vaccines.

He listed three important factors involved in policy making related to vaccine mandates and how these three are mutually reinforcing with the above six reasons.

  1. Antipathy against government coercion
  2. Impact of activists concerned about a vaccine-autism connection and especially their direct contact with lawmakers.
  3. Inefficiency of the policymaking and legislative process.

Colgrove and others offered that legislation is not the ideal route to pass vaccine mandates because of increased transparency and accountability.  Given the extraordinary authority granted to health officials, this might be the preferred route.  He then offered criticism of the legislative process in making vaccine policy, that it is not an evidence-based process and there is limited time to understand the issues adequately before voting.  Caplan ribbed Colgrove about offering the “typically non-normative commentary of a historian.”  He asked about the degree of accountability provided through health department-driven mandates and Colgrove discussed the role of public hearings and public comment. 

A woman from the Widener Law Society introduced herself as a member of an on-campus advocacy organization.  Caplan said, “We’re from Penn, we don’t care.”  The audience laughed but it unnerved her and created some distraction.  I believe she then asked about the wisdom of imposing a mandate on children as the best way to prevent cervical cancer.


Caplan closed the conference by thanking everyone for attending and participating.  He explained that they start with the assumption that vaccines are safe.  He said that this presumption of safety drove the selection of speakers and the framing of the agenda at the conference, and offered that there are still a lot of meaty issues to discuss.  Caplan complimented the audience on being well-behaved and invited people to email him with ideas for next year’s conference.  He will be hearing from me.

Louise Kuo Habakus is Director of the Center for Personal Rights.


Theresa O

Caplan is in the news again trying to make hay of the recently revealed Guatemalan syphilis experiments. He is quoted here ( “We’ve made some obvious moral progress” in protecting the poor and powerless, said Dr. Arthur Caplan, a University of Pennsylvania bioethicist. “The sad legacy” of past unethical experiments is that “they still shape who it is that we can get to trust medical researchers.”

Note that his concern is about getting people to trust medical researchers, not about the Guatemalans who were taken advantage of in a horrible, horrible way.

Note also his naive/disingenuous (take your pick) statement that "We've made some obvious moral progress." I'm not sure exactly what "moral progress" is--maybe you learn that in bioethics class--but I sure wouldn't define it as the type of behavior exhibited as recently as 1996 in the Pfizer Nigeria meningitis scandal ( I'm sure it wouldn't be too tough to find other, more recent examples, but I don't see any "moral progress" going on in the pharmaceutical industry--just a little more media coverage and a few more payouts to victims.


Here are links to two recent articles by Dr Meryl Nass MD which relate to the topic of vaccine mandates.

Shawn Siegel

I got a good chuckle out of the mission statement of the "Center for Bioethics"; nowhere does it suggest any purpose other than explaining to the public, in psychologically soothing manner, why they (the Center) are doing what they are doing, without a hint that resulting feedback would or could alter or influence their policies in any way - which, certainly, discussion alone will not do.

It was heartening, however, to hear discussed the ameliorating effect activism has had on the aggressiveness of vaccine policies. The "fair hearing of our issues in the public domain" blossoms from here.

Thanks for the report.


KUDOS to NVIC and Barbara Loe Fisher for her recent commentary and influenza mandate talking points PDF. This is exactly what we need. Barbara and NVIC are definitely out in front on this issue. Bravo! The timing is perfect.


CT Teacher - If you have not already found a pediatrician, Dr Lawrence Palevsky is a pediatrician who might be able to refer you to a local pediatrician.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

A vaccine is an invasive medical procedure and no one should have the right to force this on anyone. What more proof do you need that America is sliding into what was once called Communism.?
Louise, Thanks for reporting on the Vaccine Circus and next time could you ask them what could be the consequences if a terrorist or enemy nation were to gain access to vaccine production facilities in their ideal world of mandated vaccines?


CT Teacher - Dr Mayer Eisenstein would be an excellent source of information as to the questions you raised. The late Dr Robert Mendelsohn, was one of his mentors. To me, theirs are voices of reason on the subject of vaccines. Perhaps,Dr Eisenstein could refer you to a local pediatrician, if you haven't already found one.

CT teacher

Thanks to those who posted suggestions and advice to me about our incident and my concern about tetanus. It was helpful. My daughter had the book by Dr. Mendelsohn and one by Neil Z. Miller which I subsequently read. I do not have Dr. Eisenstein's book, but I intend to get it. I did go online and read what he had to say about tetanus in one of his talks and it was reassuring. We will also try looking for a family practitioner.


Should the issue of vaccine mandates ever reach the U.S. Supreme Court, perhaps in my non-attorney's opinion, the Constitutionality of vaccine mandates should be argued in the alternative, on multiple grounds. The applicable Amendments to U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, might include the 1st (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof), 9th (unenumerated rights), 14th (due process and equal protection, and 5th Amendments (due process and equal protection), to the U.S. Constitution.

If ALL of these issues were not argued in the alternative, the Courts might be limited in their ability to interpret the Constitution, as to a particular case and controversy, once federal jurisdiction attaches, for example, under the Federal Declaratory Judgment Act.

Disclaimer: I'm not an attorney. I would invite any of the attorneys to share their opinion on the topic of vaccine mandates.


Sarah - "We should alert the ACLU.. before this movement spreads like the disease it is?"

BINGO! You've nailed it. One of us should forward a copy of Louise's post and this thread to the ACLU. We need ALL the help we can get. It's time to circle the wagons. We're under attack. Every one of us.

“Our Petition - A Universal Declaration Of Resistance To Mandatory Vaccinations” by Joel Lord on February 14, 2010.

Chad Palmer

Thanks for all your hard work and for keeping us up to date Louise.

also for CT teacher

CT teacher, one thing to consider is the availability of a TIG (tetanus immunoglobulin) shot, should symptoms of tetanus develop. More information is available on page 51 of Mayer Eisenstein's *Make an Informed Vaccine Decision for the Health of Your Child.*

Also, you might try looking for a "family medicine" doctor. That's what we have (rather than a pediatrician) for our daughter. Some family doctors have a focus on the child, rather than on society as a whole (thus, the greater flexibility that some of them have regarding vaccinations).

A great resource for your own peace of mind is Robert Mendelsohn's *How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor,* available on Amazon. (On pages 206 ff, he discusses animal bites, and his biggest concern, other than cleaning the wound, is the possibility of rabies infection. He discusses tetanus elsewhere in the book, but not in the section on animal bites. This is likely because of the nature of tetanus--what Benedetta was discussing earlier.)

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Just thinking- I wish I had some magic lenses to peer into the future and see if 20 years hence Dr. Neil Fishman MD's children are still vaccinating their own children.
I believe that it is possible that the vaccine manufacturers and their minions are trying to establish hard and fast mandates before the public realizes how all the autistic kids came to be.


Louise - here's some food for thought. You have written a wonderful synopsis of what went down at the UPENN meeting and provided us with some really incredible insights as to the machinations of the vaccine industrialists.

Have you considered targeting it to a larger segment of the general public? The timing of such may dovetail nicely with the recent FOX news coverage of Autism Omnibus proceedings and the publication of Dan and Mark's new book.

Of course, I'm grateful for your sharing the info with us. Here at AoA, you are pretty-much preaching to the choir. It's the general public that desperately needs to be educated on the topic of vaccine mandates. Thank you again, for a really well-done tour de force!

Teresa Conrick

Thanks, Louise for your comments. Being there I am sure, gave you a real sense of what the audience felt compared with the presenters. It seems that there was much support for your concerns of safety and choice ie- the applause you received.

Cindy Bevington

Patrons99 and anybody else who might want to contact me, my email is [email protected].

CT teacher

Bendetta- thank you for the input. Also, thanks to the other person whom posted "for CT teacher". I obviously was rambling and not making myself clear. My grandson has never had a tetanus shot. The only shots he has had were the dose of Hep B on his 2nd day of life. This began my quest to learn more about vaccines. It never made sense to me and his reaction was not good.,,he screamed all night. He also was jaundiced for many weeks after that. He also received 1 dose of Hib at about 10 wks. Same thing....lots of screaming. By this time I was frightened by what I was discovering about vaccines. My daughter and son in law who by now were researching on their own, decided he would get no more vaccines. I was definitely in agreement but my husband was not and still isn't. However, my 1 big worry was always injury in the absence of tetanus shots. We are so conditioned to believe tetanus shots protect us and several books that I read by alternative practitioners and concerned MD's suggested that these shots might be considered when children are older because they offer protection. So, of course, after this incident fear begins to creep in. I just wish we could find a holistic Dr. My daughter has not been able to keep a pediatrician because of her non belief in vaccines and preference for natural treatment. It is a sad state of affairs. In the meantime we are watching the bite area and will keep it extra Vit C. He refuses to take meds other than vitamins so trying homeopathic meds will not work. I will try not to worry, but the responsibility of the decision can be overwhelming. It would just make me feel better about it to have a Dr. say the same thing.

for CT teacher

Sounds like he already has had a tetanus shot anyway.

At three months of age he reacted to the DTaP vaccine.

You do know that T in the DTaP stands for tetanus????

So he already has been exposed to the antigens.


CT teacher;
CT that is why we all vaccinate because we are all scared of disease.

I am sorry for your worry, but I feel that you are worrying for nothing.

I know you were talking about tetanus!
I repeat it has to be a deep puncture wound because this bacteria Clostridium grows in a no oxygen environment in the soil mostly under cow manure because other bacteria that breaks down cow manure uses all the oxygen up in the area.

It is not the bacteria that causes tetanus by the way it is the toxin that the bacteria produces that causes tetanus.

That is what the tetanus vaccine does by the way.

The tetanus vaccine primes the body to fight againest not the bacteria but the toxin.

My son has not been vaccinated for tetanus since he was five years old. Guess where we live?
On a beef farm!

My husband reacted to a tetanus shot at age 28 and 34 after having many of them throught his teens and early twenties.

I do not know why?

If it is not that deep, if it is a scrap, if it is from a pet dog that don't ear dirt or manure, I would not even worry!


It is disturbing to me that UPenn would have been the venue for such a clearly biased, Orwellian propaganda session. As I was reading earlier about the protests against the mass arrest of anti-war organizers, I started wondering how far government will go in seeking to force the views of this mercenary, vaccinate-at-any-cost group upon us.

CT teacher

Bendetta and Punter-thank you for your input. I hope I made myself clear. We are not worried about rabies but tetanus. We were told he should get a tetanus shot because he was not vaccinated . He is too young for a regular tetanus shot and we do not want to do DTaP. We have been trying to find info about this in several vaccine handbooks written by alternative practitioners...but it is all scary. We cleaned the wound carefully. It is not deep but it did bleed a little and is red . Tetanus is the 1 thing I worried about after the decision was made not to vaccinate and he began playing outside. He had 2 vaccines before 3 mo which caused reactions so my daughter said no more. I was very on board with that decision until now. I am in a quandry because of the fear of tetanus ,mostly put in my mind by doctors. My daughter is looking to me for advice.

former pharma rep

Louise, you are amazing for going to a conference and informing us, once again, what numbskulls these so called "scientists" really are. Forget anything "they say" until they show us the science. I spent years getting paid by big pharma to tell doctors what the company wanted them to hear, which wasn't always the truth (unbeknownst to me at the time). Next time scientists want to have a panel discussion on ethics, tell them to first divulge their ties to "the money" and to come with ACTUAL true unbiased scientific studies. No mother wants her actions to harm another child, but no mother should harm her child because of non factual information/actions forced upon her by our government either. My challenge to the ethics committee: DO THE STUDIES, then speak at a conference. Oh, wait, nobody wants to do the studies, because the TRUTH will come out. SHUT UP Paul Offitt until the studies are done. I dare you to take some of those multiple millions of dollars you have made from pharmaceutical companies and put it toward a true scientific study, if you truly believe what you say.....which I don't believe for one second you do. There is always a handful of shady puppeteers at the top who will lie for a quick buck.


Fear not CTteacher. The rabies vaccine is as useless as all other vaccines - completely. I can't say your child won't get sick, if the bite is deep enough and the dog's saliva goes into a kids bloodstream that might be enough to cause a mild form of poisoning, but I can say that vaccination will not help in the slightest. Germs don't cause disease.

As for the notion of herd immunity - this is the classic shifting goal post. At one time 50 per cent vaccination coverage was considered enough for the mythical herd immunity. But then when 50 per cent vaccine coverage was a reality and outbreaks still occurred they simply increased the necessary coverage rate, and now doctors tell us that every single person needs to be vaccinated umpteen times a day and if not, then the precious herd immunity will no longer be with us. The thing about doctors though is that they don't have the slightest clue what they are talking about. Never did (I am excluding emergency medicine practitioners (and a few other branches of medicine) here).


CT teacher;
the bacteria that causes tetanus is found in the soil, esp around cattle and manure, not in dog's mouths.

Jim Thompson

Good work Louise.

It appears that herd immunity may be nothing more than a self righteous term invented by those that profit from vaccines.

CT teacher

Help! Help! anyone who knows anything about alternative medicine or all of you MD's who have concerns about vaccines. My four yr old mostly unvaccinated grandson was bitten by his dog a few hrs ago. It was not an agressive bite -the dog was trying to get the cat who was in my grandson's arms. It was not really a puncture wound but more of a scrape, but it did bleed a little. We don't know what to do. We are afraid of shots but naturally that's what the peds want to do. We cleaned it really well. I know he is too young for just a tetanus shot and we are petrified of DTaP. Can we hope that just cleansing the wound without a shot is OK? The dog has had his rabies shots. I always worried about this kind of situation. We don't have a holistic doctor. We couldn't find one.


Cindy Bevington - Could you be interested in coming out of retirement? Seriously, might I interest you in co-authoring an article with me, that be of general interest to the public, on this topic?

michael framson

Thanks Louise for reporting on "The Illusion of Ethics of Vaccine Mandates."


Thank you Louise, for fighting for people like me who have been harmed by a vaccine. Why was there no talk of someone like me, compensated by the vaccine compensation program for damage from the flu shot.

Annoyed Again In Philadelphia

I attended a similar event in Philadelphia a couple of years ago at the Franklin In Insititute. The same cast of charachters: Offit, Caplan, Eddy B. from NJ, and someone from the Philadelphia Inquirer. They took questions from the audience (pre written only) and when none of the nonsupportive questions were addressed some of us in the audience started interjecting our own - asking about mercury, etc. Offit started getting huffy then and the moderater quickly moved past this interlude. I was somewhat shocked at the time about their comments regarding mandatory vaccines and really resented their paternalistic attitude (it was all men) - as if they had to keep us poor numbnutzes (sp?) safe via vaccines. A group of Offit's students (I guessed) sat in front of us in the audience and they cheered for him. After it was over, my friend and I saw him get on the elevator with a gaggle of groupies(students - mostly female) and they were laughing at something (dopey I'm sure) he said. I realized at that moment was a big hamosaurus he is and how he loves all the attention. Thanks for sitting through this Louise. I know how annoyed and outraged I was a couple of years ago when I sat through it.

Cindy Bevington

First, to Louise: Thank you so much for

this detailed synopsis of the conference. Next, to Amy: As a former award-winning journalist of 23 years, I can't tell you how many anguished parents have contacted me about their children's adverse reactions to vaccines. You can deny it, the CDC can deny it, and so can Dr. Offit and the rest of his crew who are dependent on that million-dollar Merck-endowed chair in his department. But the truth is, sometimes vaccines injure and/or kill -- more often than anyone would dare to admit. And yes, I meant dare, not care, because admitting it would be like opening up a World War III.

There isn't room here to expand on this comment, but you and your colleagues know this is true, even though you choose to publicly deny it. I have met and interviewed physicians who are terrified of standing up to the system. It was a northeast Indiana physician who clued me in to the HPV vaccine controversy -- a full year before it was public because he'd participated in heated discussions on it at ACOG meetings. But when I wanted this person on the record, they cowered and refused for fear of losing everything.

As far as flu vaccines go, you are grasping at straws. There is absolutely no evidence that they work; indeed, there seem to be more studies to the contrary than supporting them, including a Japanese study from last year that showed Vitamin D worked better than the vaccine.

With the rest, you know dog-gone well that what this is about is the advance market commitments for neglected diseases in third-world countries. From HPV to rotavirus to malaria to pneumococcal and more, these vaccines MUST be sold in developed countries, first, in order to afford them for developing countries.

I challenge you to tell the truth -- and maybe encourage the WHO, Bill Gates, the CDC, and PATH to spend as much money getting clean water and sewage to developing countries as they spend on vaccines. Then address some of the social mores that perpetuate certain diseases, like HPV, hepatitis, Hib and HIV.

One reason I left the newspaper business was because I had become so disillusioned with the way the press reports this information -- or doesn't -- and so disgusted with what I read in the mainstream press that I just didn't want to be part of it anymore. But that's another story for another day.

P.S. I was the reporter who broke the story with Diane Harper calling the move to make the HPV vaccine mandated "A Big Public Health Experiment."


Ralph Fucetola JD - "The issue has never been revisited by the court and it has never ruled on the situation where imminent risk of harm could be shown."

"Imminent risk of harm" sure sounds like the "clear and present danger" to public health posed by vaccine mandates. Who has the burden of proof? How difficult a burden of proof is this to meet if a forceably-inoculated citizen were to raise the issue in federal court?

It seems to me as though the "clear and present danger" and "imminent risk of harm" are different issues than a conscientious objection for personal religious beliefs. Might there be other Constitutional issues that could raised based on the Bill of Rights, e.g., First Amendment, Ninth Amendment?

Healthcare workers have fundamental God-given natural rights, too, including both enumerated and unenumerated Constitutional rights. The State does not own anyone's body. This is still a free country, isn't it?

Government-mandated inoculations violate our natural God-given rights. They are immoral and sacrilegious. They offend our Creator. They violate both enumerated and unenumerated Constitutional rights. Personally, on conscientious religious grounds, I am adamantly opposed to government-mandated inoculations of any kind.

Could a well-informed individual citizen draw up a legally-binding exemption and be prepared to go to court if an inoculation is mandated and administered against their will? See the Bill of Rights to our U.S. Constitution. It is extremely likely that MANY more injuries will occur due to government-mandated inoculations. MIGHT the injured have legal standing to raise the issue of the Constitutionality of the government-mandated inoculation before the U.S. Supreme Court, should the need arise? See also the Federal Declaration Judgment Act.


UPENN is just doing a little more "whoring" for pharma to add to their ill-gotten academic sinecure. Sadly, though, it's NOT just another market-based medicine scam. This one directly affects us all.

Where is the morality in eating cloned or genetically-modified food, and receiving inoculations of non-human DNA and aborted fetal tissue?

It is an affront to God. How is the injection of foreign proteins, known neurotoxins, non-human DNA, aborted fetal tissue, oncogenes, reverse transcriptases, and retroviruses, into our bodies, serially, from cradle to grave, considered moral? Help me understand this.

The vaccine schedules are immoral and sacrilegious. Frankly, the vaccine schedules are much more closely-aligned with voodooism, satanism, and rape, than with Christianity. We call ourselves a Christian nation. Mandated vaccines violate us and deprive us of fundamental God-given rights.

I don't know how much longer we can afford to remain on the sidelines on this topic. Once any one of us is detained, tagged, and inoculated, we are all imperiled. Best to think this out, ahead of time, before fear and hysteria get the best of us.

“Our Petition - A Universal Declaration Of Resistance To Mandatory Vaccinations” by Joel Lord on February 14, 2010.

“VRM: The Problem With Vaccines” by Joel Lord on February 21, 2010.

Theresa O

I'm just waiting to hear from Nurse Amy about the "clear, reproducible science" showing that any particular vaccination is in *any particular individual child's* best interest. How could there possibly be any? (For example, does any physician run tests for mitochondrial disorders before administering a vaccine?) The CDC's recommended vaccination schedule is developed *without* regard for any particular child; it's inherently *not* concerned with any individual child.


This "ethics" argument against a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study is hooey.

This is unethical:

Theodore Van Oosbree

This "ethics" argument against a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study is hooey. There are plenty of unvaccinated children out there to use as a control group. If you don't look, you won't find.

Sandy Gottstein

Thanks, Louise, as always for the superb work you do and for attending and reporting on this conference.

For those of you who are interested, I wrote a column in 2002 on herd immunity titled "Is the theory of 'herd immunity' flawed?" -

And don't forget, every day you can find vaccination-related news and information scoured from the internet at

Theresa O

Amy Wishner: "clear, reproducible science supports that this is in the individual child's best interest"

Cite some.


To Amy Wishner MSN, RN: Your attempt to communicate is noteworthy. But please understand that the "clear, reproducible science" you reference has in many cases been shown to be cloudy, manipulated marketing ploys.
Also, rather than create theories about why parents do not vaccinate, it's best to ask them directly. Better yet, also look at their children's health history and lab tests.
And ask yourself:
- Why would a parent choose for their child a medical product that has no consumer protections and little manufacturer oversight?
- Why do so many health care professionals respond to parents' reports of vaccine adverse events with denial, abandonment, or verbal abuse rather than medical treatment and supportive advocacy?


(They required documentation for religious and medical exemptions but not for the vegan exemption.)

I have a problem with this as a HCW. I'm not sure how all states work, but here in KY, I was denied a religious exemption for myself on the grounds that they are not available for adults. My husband and myself hold them on our children. What recourse do I have if the facility I work for requires one? Using my children's?

Ralph Fucetola JD

Thanks for this very timely and excellent discussion! The legal situation regarding vaccine mandates is based on a 1905 case, Jacobson v Massachusetts which upheld the state's police power to fine people who do not accept a mandated vaccine. Jacobson did not raise the issue of vaccine safety!! Just the power to fine was questioned.

The Supreme Court reserved to the Federal Courts the authority to intervene in vaccination issues. The high court held that the judiciary is “competent to interfere and protect the health and life of the individual concerned.”

The issue has never been revisited by the court and it has never ruled on the situation where imminent risk of harm could be shown.


Louise - Thank you for sitting through this and sharing the details with us.


I have calmed down enough now and thought about the problem

Addressing the concept of "herd immunity"

Some one help me with a name I can not recall who it was - it could have been Tom Insel that said during some meeting that the best thing about vaccines is not that it stop illness but the consequences of these diesease - life long retardness???/

So, if it is not just about the convenince of being sick, or haveing a sick child but to stop life long injuries - the question to be answered here is this really true or has it increased life long retardness.

Amy Wishner MSN, RN

Dear Friends - You misrepresented my comment above re:selfishness and lack of civic responsibility as reasons SOME may choose not to vaccinate their children. I am quite sure I said something along the lines of that an ADDITIONAL reason NOT MENTIONED EARLIER (I did not speak until 2 PM) were the reasons above; many other reasons had previously been mentioned at the conference. My thinking was that I have seen first hand how little corporate loyalty there is to maintaining employment, that people are treated as easy-to-replace, and so I find is a change in our society from a more cooperative social environment to one where people feel forced to kind of fend for themselves as some of the previous trust and mutual loyalty between employers and employees has been damaged with this economy, outsourcing, etc. So, my point was that is is very understandable how parents can feel that no one is going to be as careful with their child as the parents and to be skeptical about recommendations. In the particular case of vaccines, I disagree with many on this website in that I do feel that pediatricians and family medicine physicians recommend immunization because clear, reproducible science supports that this is in the individual child's best interest and in the larger community interest. But I am by no means unsympathetic toward people who believe otherwise.


Thank You for sitting through this meeting and reporting on it.

I was so angry reading this, and there was nothing I could do. So I did something I thought I would never do - I prayed for them!

Don't assume if someone prays for you it is going to be good for you. "Smit" is a word used in my prayer.

Louise - Wash your hands after shaking hands with Offit because he so believes in vaccinating for protection he most likely sees no reason to wash his hands.

Health Care workers can be vunerable too. After all a nurse that was injuried was sitting there for them all to see. That would include my daughter too.
Health Care Workers can become patients too, and there are vunerable health care workers just like in the general population.

When they talk mandatory vaccines to help protect those that are vunerable are they talking about those that react to vaccines and cannot take them? Did thier tongues almost split in half to talk on such!!!!

Can only ancedotal evidence be used by them - as in the case of how a unvaccinated health care worker caused death and hospital emergency room shut downs, this single story supplied by them is okay, but when parents of a vaccine damaged child trys to tell their ancedotal story it is not okay?

"They refer to “us” in three different categories:" I fit into everyone of those categories.

So they are all in one room at one time! I will pray for them again when they meet again next year.

Theresa O

The whole concept of bioethics seems pretty questionable to me. If you operate as an ethical person, with concern for the well-being and autonomy of others, then you wouldn't need to convene panel discussions on how best to trample others' rights in order to attain your own objectives.

I think Benedetta commented on a different thread about the UK and socialism... It's not socialism, but totalitarianism (this time in the service of capitalism, with pharmaceutical firms and the medical industry benefiting). People associate totalitarianism with socialism because of major figures like Mao, but it can be even worse when totalitarianism is combined with capitalism, because then industry works *with* government to take away individuals' rights.

Thank you, Louise, for bringing this to our attention. I'm not sure what we can do... Here in PA, the state congressman's aide who told me that "we need mandatory vaccinations because otherwise some people [Hispanics] would never go to the doctor" got elected this past spring to fill the congressman's vacant seat. (He became a state judge.) It's hard for me to envision a country (or even a Pennsylvania) that would elect people who actually support individual rights. (Mary Holland, want to run?) Instead, we are doomed to Republicans and Democrats who differ very little, except in terms of rhetoric.


"Merck also says it’s looking into cases of ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, reported after vaccination. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Merck and the CDC say there is currently no evidence that Gardasil caused ALS in the cases reported. Merck is also monitoring the number of deaths reported after Gardasil: at least 32. Merck and CDC says it’s unclear whether the deaths were related to the vaccine, and that just because patients died after the shots doesn’t mean the shots were necessarily to blame....Dr. Harper says the risk-benefit analysis for Gardasil in other countries may shape up differently than what she believes is true in the US. 'Of course, in developing countries where there is no safety Pap screening for women repeatedly over their lifetimes, the risks of serious adverse events may be acceptable as the incidence rate of cervical cancer is five to 12 times higher than in the US, dwarfing the risk of death reported after Gardasil.'”

In addition, the types of HPV covered by the vaccine are uncommon in the U.S.:


The concept of so-called "vaccine-preventable diseases" is also mythologic and never-validated. Pharma wants a jab for every purpose and every season. This is madness. It's voodoo medicine in the extreme. It's the epitome of everything wrong with orthodox medicine. Vaccine mandates are immoral and sacrilegious. They can be likened to rape. They offend our Creator. Vaccine mandates are also unconstitutional.


Frankly, the concept of vaccine-induced herd-susceptibility to disease has as much or more data to support, than does the concept of vaccine-induced herd-immunity. The concept of vaccine-induced herd-immunity is mythologic. It's never been validated. It is purely a creation of the pharma cartel.


I can't wait until the government is MORE in charge of our healthcare. Just wait. In order to even be SEEN by a doctor 10 years from now will involve proof of fully vaccinated status. For whatever they deem you need to be vaccinated against. Wouldn't want your unvaccinated body infecting any of the HCW's or other patients in the waiting room.

Louise Kuo Habakus

T - The conference program was one-sided. IMO, the applause reflected audience support for the inclusion of perspectives deeply concerned about vaccine safety and mandates. As for Offit's handshake, who can know? I expressed my views without animus; I choose to view the gesture as a modest tip of his hat to our side. An acknowledgement of sorts.


The presence of Bill 'let's control everyone *elses* population' Gates (because he gets to have THREE kids when he preaches ZPG and NPG to everyone else!) in the mix of vaccine politics (among others, Buffet is another) leads me to put on a tinfoil hat and suspect the ultimate goal of all these layered vaccines during critical growth periods is simply, sterility. Infertility.

If they succeed in making the 'fully vaccinated' population (fully vaccinated being whatever they say it is..) susceptible to 15% sterility and 50% subfertility just think of the population reduction in the 3rd world. Not to mention those kids out of the reproductive game altogether due to ASD.

What garnered my suspicions in this direction was the whole development of a vaccine against HPV. Yes, it kills people. Not nearly as many people as other diseases that we don't have vaccines for. Even in the 3rd world. (why not pick some disease that kills more people and vax for that one first???) BUT, they can justify, since it IS a sexually transmitted disease, giving it to 11-12yr olds.

If we suspect the *timing* of the childhood vaccines damaged our kids development in critical areas that were developing at the time of vaccines...what will it do to vaccinate them at puberty? I wonder, especially, about the boys getting this vaccine at that particular time. Will they ultimately have some type of azoospermia? Did the researchers even bother to check for this stuff?

Talk about delayed reactions...try getting compensation for a vaccine you got when you're 11, when you're 35 and told you have no swimmers...

John Stone


What an amazing insight into vaccine culture. Everyone will be familiar with all these themes, but the assemblage in one place is fascinating. And the point about it is, is not that the beliefs have scientific foundation but that they all belong together.



Apalling. I was wondering when they were going to get around to picking on the teachers.

Not an MD

Thank you, Louise, for such a comprehensive summary of the "bioethics" conference you attended. When the true goal is abolishing parental rights concerning vaccinations for their children, and bypassing state legislatures to put vaccination schedule decisions (or should I say mandates?) into the hands of unelected health officials in our Health Departments, I fail to see how ethics has anything to do with this discussion. This is about industry taking medical decision making out of the hands of parents. This outright abuse of power by industry is incongruous with democracy and human rights. How unsettling, yet how galvanizing to all of us.


Wonderful post, Louise. Thank you!

"Compulsory vaccination represents a severe limitation of our human, civil, individual and parental rights." No kidding!!! You have stated the issue perfectly.

What percentage of UPENN's annual revenue derives either from direct or indirect transfers of value from pharma? Where is UPENN's disclosure?

Mayer Eisenstein, MD, JD, MPH, said it best when discussing the vaccine industry:

"Falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus".

UPENN's "ethics" conclusions as to vaccines and vaccine mandates, may be dismissed, in total. These self-annointed fonts of morality and virtue should leave ethical considerations to those who have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


fascism.. pure and simple.. I never thought I'd see it happen here in the US but here it is..herd immunity is such b.s. I feel there's a hidden agenda here.

I'm always suspect when someone wants something so badly that they try to jam it down our throats.

We should alert the ACLU.. before this movement spreads like the disease it is?

Tracy Chapman said it best:


Question: Did all of the panel members offer proof that they were up-to-date on all of the currently recommended adult vaccines? If not, why not?


UPENN has earned and deserves our scorn. What a disgusting showing. Their conclusions are bought and paid for by pharma. They are completely "in the tank" for pharma. What a sad, sorry, pathethic group of academic medicine shills. They are pitiable moral entrepeneurs who have each made bargains with the devil, at our expense. None of them have abided by the Oath of Hippocrates and their promise to do no harm!


"Offit came up to me after the Panel and shook my hand."


Maurine Meleck

Louise, I applaud you until my hands are red.
What a comprehensive report here. The negative vibes in regards to the autism community are getting more and more pervasive.Even my own local paper(that has always printed my letters to the editor) won't honor them anymore. I am anxious to work with you again.

Teresa Conrick


Excellent job getting all of this information! It sure seemed like a twilight zone event and I applaud your ability to withstand the profound aura of mandates, profits, and lack of safety.

3 things that I just want to elaborate-

1-The Offit hand shake and applause-was it also related to their idea of adult mandates- herd immunity? It seemed he was happy that your mentioning "why must it all be on children" opened that door more for their rationale...their apparent push (and yes, I am a teacher) they are thinking of other strategies to increase profits...

2-The issue of herd immunity seems like a critical area to do some investigation- medically, historically, legally and morally. I agree, it sure seems like it is the "obsession" to their issues and some good sharp points and rationale could definitely damage the whole thing.

3-There is a pervasive domino effect on much of their rationales and what they all bring to the toxic table. Their power is in their use of fear not in science.

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