Maine Voices: Breakdown in Accountability at Heart of Decline in Vaccinations
Ginger Taylor wrote this editorial for the Portland (Maine) Press Herald. Maine Voices: Breakdown in accountability at heart of decline in vaccinations
Opposition to the current U.S. vaccination program is based on its failures, denial and bad law and policy.
BRUNSWICK — I was interviewed for an Aug. 9 front-page article by Joe Lawlor, titled “More Maine families are skipping or delaying childhood vaccines.” What was published was a complete misrepresentation of the interview I gave him.
As I told Mr. Lawlor, I’m neither anti-vaccine nor opposed to vaccination, and I vaccinated my children. My opposition is to the current U.S. vaccine program, which has become corrupted by bad law and policy, the failure to disclose known risks to families, the failure to pre-screen children who are showing symptoms that they are at risk for vaccine reactions and the denial of vaccine injury cases – rather than the proper recognition, diagnoses and treatment of vaccine-injured children.
Ginger Taylor of Brunswick is the HealthChoice.org media director and a co-author and contributing editor of the book “Vaccine Epidemic.” Author of the blog AdventuresInAutism.com, she served on the 2009 Maine CDC Autism Conference steering committee.
In 1986, Congress gave liability protection to all vaccine interests – pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, doctors, nurses, etc. – so no one in this country can sue for vaccine injuries or deaths. As a result of this disregard of Americans’ Seventh Amendment rights, a vaccine injury case hasn’t been brought before a jury in almost 30 years, there is no longer accountability in vaccine safety and the vaccine program has fallen into massive corruption.
The effectiveness of vaccines is overstated, safety claims made are overstated and parents no longer get accurate risk information. Instead, vaccine consumers are offered a single sheet of information in the doctor’s office that leaves out almost all of the side effects listed on the vaccine package insert, on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Vaccine Injury Table and the disorders that HHS has concluded can be caused by a given vaccine.
Doctors are not trained on federal guidelines for vaccine injury, nor are they required to know the side effects listed on the vaccine package insert. Therefore, few physicians know how to recognize adverse reactions in their patients. As a result, such cases are usually ignored or misdiagnosed and are rarely properly medically assessed, and patients can become victims of medical neglect for a lifetime.
Further, the vaccine schedule has tripled since 1986, so a child born today will receive more doses of vaccine by the time he’s 6 months old than I did by the time I went to college. There is almost no long-term safety testing of vaccines, and no safety testing of the overloaded schedule as a whole.
This breakdown in the U.S. vaccine program’s accountability to consumers is at the heart of the country’s decline in vaccinations, because when parents take the time to look into physicians’ safety claims, they find they’re being given incorrect and biased information.
Case in point: The claim that the vaccine-autism controversy began as the result of one debunked study is utter misinformation. In fact, more than 80 research papers demonstrate the associations between vaccines and autism, and the mechanisms by which vaccines can cause autism.
When Mr. Lawlor asked me why I believed my son was vaccine-injured, I directed him to the HHS Vaccine Injury Compensation Table and walked him through the symptoms of pertussis-vaccine-induced “encephalopathy,” the medical term for brain damage, which my son exhibited following his 18-month shots:
n Decreased or absent response to environment (responds, if at all, only to loud voice or painful stimuli).
n Decreased or absent eye contact (does not fix gaze upon family members or other individuals).
n Inconsistent or absent responses to external stimuli (does not recognize familiar people or things).
My son’s case is not unusual. Because few doctors have ever read the federal vaccine injury table, children exhibiting symptoms of vaccine-induced brain damage are often diagnosed with “autism” without ever being evaluated for this vaccine reaction.
The Press Herald has published a follow-up article and an editorial that make clear its agenda is to not investigate and report the facts on this issue, but to coerce families who have safety concerns into vaccinating according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended schedule – against their better judgment, by removing their legal right to exercise informed consent in medicine.
Parents are not declining vaccines because of Jenny McCarthy or because of a 15-year-old British research paper. Parents are justifiably hesitant because the vaccine program has become overly aggressive, dosing is one-size-fits-all, promoters don’t disclose true risks to patients and program managers are not taking responsibility for helping the countless children and adults who have serious adverse vaccine reactions. Parents like me found out the hard way that once your child suffers a vaccine injury, you are on your own.
— Special to the Press Herald
Bravo to you, Ginger, for standing up against bias and inaccuracies. I too have felt that sickening sense of cognitive dissonance when the factual, easily-referenced information you've provided to a reporter gets bizarrely transmogrified into unrecognizable pap.
Bad journalism is a communicable disease, spread at national writers' conferences infiltrated by government health agencies and manufacturers' reps. There the standard "vaccines don't cause autism" formula is laid out for easy replication by anyone unwilling to perform original journalistic research.
A few years back a freelance writer contacted me and we commiserated about the local publishing scene. He complained about the low compensation he'd receive for tackling such a complicated subject. Big red flag. I strongly urged him to avoid using the "desperate mother" stereotype, but sadly its convenience proved too alluring.
Posted by: nhokkanen | September 03, 2014 at 08:19 PM
Excellent, Ginger. Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed, and then to write this response to the propaganda piece put forth by Joe Lawlor.
Important to add that vaccine choice is a fundamental human right which is not respected or adhered to in our country, despite our signing of the Nuremberg Code after WWII.
Vaccine mandates need to be abolished and free choice restored. If vaccines are so safe and effective, people will flock to get them. If not, they will go by the wayside like scores of other dangerous and ineffective medical products and procedures before them. In any event, no one should be required, coerced, or forced to receive any medical procedure or treatment, including vaccines.
Thank you for your continued and tireless advocacy on behalf of all children everywhere. You are an inspiration!
Posted by: Laura Hayes | September 03, 2014 at 04:20 PM
THE real question: Are vaccines on the CDC's Children Immunization Schedule necessary?
The easy answer is NO! All one has to do is review Americans' health stats starting 1940 and going through 1970's, and for the typical childhood diseases mortality had dropped to almost zero. Why? Because availability of good nutrition (via refrigeration, frozen foods such as orange juice, etc.) and valid antibiotics had come on the scene. However, the fad of bottle feeding in place of breast feeding did throw a small monkey wrench into this 30 year era, as did the idiotic DTP shots initiated close to 1950 (they were, and are, completely toxic and unnecessary).
Nevertheless, there is truly NO need for all the vaccines now injected into infants when they are well nourished - and thence childhood illnesses (even if they are clinically noticed which many are not as symptoms are so mild) will be easily endured, and lifelong immunity and health will result. What to do about mal-nourished infants? Dun! - provide nourishment, NOT vaccinations.
So, it is sensible and critically important to take an "anti-vaccine" stance, as shown by a valid history going back to 1940. Sorry, but I must say Ginger's quotes about not being anti-vaccine is probably not her true opinion, but she said it to get her interview published. And, they trashed her anyway. No more compromises, it's simple.
Posted by: david m burd | September 03, 2014 at 03:35 PM
Excellent points! This article turns the table on the ridiculous accusation that parents who speak up about their children's vaccine injury are somehow responsible for disease and death.
I'd add that another reason parents are hesitant to vaccinate is the sheer number of kids with issues including autism, aspergers, ADHD, mental illness, etc coupled with the many parents who are outspoken about their child's vaccine injury. We never saw an obvious reaction in our son, but a good friend's autistic son was vaccine injured, as was our adult friend who was permanently injured by a flu shot and suffers decreased lung and motor function. We know our friends aren't making these things up or imagining things. I'm sure many parents "know someone," but this is never mentioned by the pro-vaccine anti-choice lobby. It's too inconvenient a truth for their PR machine. Better to blame it on one 16 year old study of 12 kids and one blonde celebrity.
Posted by: PANDAS Mom | September 03, 2014 at 02:22 PM
Ginger, if you scroll down to the bottom of the Portland Press-Herald article, it says,
"Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form."
I think you should fill it out (if you haven't already done so) and post it and this excellent AoA article on FaceBook, Twitter, and everywhere else you can think of. Print out copies and leave them at the pediatrician's waiting room, at children's after-school-activities, post them on library bulletin boards, anywhere other parents can read them.
Posted by: HereWeGoAgain | September 03, 2014 at 01:58 PM
I have to say, I thought this was perfectly written and painfully to the point.
Posted by: Not an MD | September 03, 2014 at 10:41 AM