NVIC's Barbara Loe Fisher on Vaccine Debate
By Anne Dachel
Feb 6, 2015, J.D. Hayworth on America's Forum (NewsMax) Vaccine Debate featuring Barbara Loe Fisher
Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center, ended up taking over the discussion. She raised so many important questions and the two men with her could only ask, What if parents get scared and don't vaccinate?
Barbara Loe Fisher: "Vaccines are the only pharmaceutical products that the government recommends and mandates and completely indemnifies. In 1986 Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, gave partial liability protection to vaccine companies who were threatening to go out of the business, leaving this country with no vaccines if they weren't given protection from vaccine injury lawsuits. The pediatricians also got liability protection. In 2011, the Supreme Court said, 'Vaccines are unavoidably unsafe, and therefore there shall be no product liability lawsuits against manufacturers, even if we could provide evidence that the vaccine could be made safer.'
"This means that the ethical principal of informed consent to medical risk taking must apply to vaccines. We cannot be living in a country where government dictates that we use a pharmaceutical product that can cause harm and we cannot hold anybody accountable who makes and profits from the vaccine, who regulates the vaccine, who votes to mandate the vaccine and gives the vaccine accountable in a civil court of law in front of a jury of our peers."
NewsMax co-host Ellis Henican countered by making the claim that vaccines save lives.
NewsMax deputy health editor Nick Tate added,"The debate in science really does not exist. Virtually all mainstream medical groups-CDC, World Health Organization, pediatricians, American Medical Association-all say vaccines are safe, effective and necessary.
Tate expressed concern about what this debate might be "confusing the issue for parents."
Fisher: "Our organization has been here since 1982. . ." She said that the goal of NVIC is to inform the public, prevent injury and death and"to defend the informed consent ethic when it comes to medical risk taking, including vaccine risk taking. And the science is not clear. There is a lot of debate in the medical literature, not only about vaccine risk, but about the long term durability, the effectiveness of these vaccines over time. There's a lot of talk about waning immunity. Certainly pertussis vaccine is an excellent example. The government has already acknowledged that you can be fully vaccinated with pertussis-containing vaccines, you can be infected, show few or no symptoms, you can transmit that infection, whooping cough, to other people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated.
"There is also discussion about measles vaccine and its long-term effectiveness. There have been calls in the medical literature for a new .measles shot because there is waning immunity. So the science is not settled. Science is evolving. We have to be open-minded here and we have to talk about doing the good science that will answer the outstanding questions that parents have had for three decades. About the safety of vaccines, certainly, but now about the long-term effectiveness of these vaccines."
Next the discussion turned to politics. The controversy seems more of an issue for the Republicans in the coming presidential election.
Henican: "Barbara, you know that as you raise doubts about the science and seek to undermine public confidence in that, there will be parents who will not get their children vaccinated. Do you worry that we're going to get a big epidemic of measles or other serious diseases that were all but eradicated in this country. Won't you feel bad if that happens?"
Fisher: "I think we have a duty and a responsibility to question one-size-fits all vaccine policies that don't respect bio-diversity, that try to treat everyone the same when we have genetic, and biological and environmental differences that can make some people more susceptible to vaccine reactions and injuries than other people.
"I think that this conversation has become very ugly and divisive. I don't think it's useful. I think we need to talk substantive policy issues like we're doing on this program. I worry about the fact that we have had calls in the last week for imprisonment of parents who do not give their children every government recommended vaccine, lawsuits against parents. People are being demonized, they're being marginalized. Are we going to be a country where we cannot ask questions about public health policies without being punished?
"I want to read the numbers of vaccines that are in the research pipeline, many of which will be mandated, and we need to have the right to make choices: Hepatitis C and E, syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV, cytomegalovirus, entrovirus, ecoli, adenovirus, obesity, high blood pressure, acne, tooth decay. If there is an ailment out there, you name it, there's a vaccine being developed for it. We have to be very careful about taking away protections in our vaccine laws in the form of non-medical exemptions so that we have absolutely no choice about the use of liability-free pharmaceutical products that the government recommends. I think it's the responsibility of all of us to ask these questions."
Tate acknowledged that Barbara Loe Fisher had made some valid points.
Tate: "I think she's raising a good issue. The one-size-fits-all. . . In this case, really it should be a one-size-fits-most. That's what the scientists and the doctors say. The vast majority of kids who get vaccines are-it doesn't confer lifelong immunity. There are some efficiency questions: Can we make vaccines better? Can we make them safer? Absolutely. Should that research continue? Absolutely. But what doctors will say is that we need to do the best that we can for those vaccines, for those diseases that are communicable. Many of the things Barbara listed are things that will affect you individually. They won't affect other people. When parents decide not to vaccinate their children against preventable diseases, they're often making the choice not only for their children, but for other children in the community. That's the larger, more difficult issue. I commend Barbara for trying to raise the level of debate so we're not demonizing parents on either side.
Parents on either side of this issue are concerned about the safety of their children. That needs to be priority one. . . ."
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism and author of The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, which is on sale now from Skyhorse Publishing.
I just finished watching the program on Frontline concerning Vaccines. I am the Grandmother of a young man that is Autistic. I am one of the people out there that watched him go for shots one day to coming home and being admitted to Emory for seizures and at the same time became completely non verbal and withdrawn. The total opposite of the day up to when he went in for his shots. He was living with me at the time so I was with him daily and knew his personality. I have been blessed with 4 other Grandkids and they thankfully are not autistic. I do not have an issue with children being immunized. What I have an issue with is why is it so hard for people to see the possibility that they do have something to do with each other. To watch my Grandson speaking saying our names to not speaking at all no one will ever be able to tell me that it was not the vaccine. I do not think people should stop vaccinating, but I do think that their needs to be more research on the other ingredients that are going into them. Thank you.
Posted by: Diana Merrill | March 24, 2015 at 11:11 PM
Thank you, Anne and NewsMax for providing the discussion. Thank you, Barbara, and great job. I think it's correct that they are trying to set up a better position to push/mandate all the new, "for yourself" vaccines, and I hope viewers will investigate and see that any loss of freedom on the issue will be very unlikely to increase health in the U.S.
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | February 11, 2015 at 10:23 PM
Thank you for all you do Barbara, I remember you said you started NVIC with a typewriter and a roll of stamps.
Those days are gone but the vaccine industry is still a "Shot in the Dark."
Posted by: go Rand | February 11, 2015 at 08:07 PM
As soon as Dr. Thompson walks out of the CDC and gets him a lawyer --we get in the news 24/7 the ebola virus.
Then a couple of months later we get 24/7 the measles are breaking out all over the place.
We just got a Congressional hearing yesterday?? was it -- that vaccines saves lives and some grey haired woman in a CDC uniform -- a admiral-general is testifying in front of Congress.
She looked a bit like the wild eyed - hair full of static standing on end "Back to the Future" Doctor Emit Brown.
Got this all sewn up with the public and Congress.
Except --- darn that public -- they can of get unreasonable and hard to control when they have kids with autism and link it to vaccines.
Posted by: Benedetta | February 11, 2015 at 03:39 PM
Is it possible that the proposed removal of personal belief and religious exemptions in California is in violation of FAPE laws? I haven't seen any mention of FAPE in these types of discussions. I currently have a personal beliefs exemption for my son, who has neurological problems: autism, anxiety disorder, sensory issues. I don't believe I would be able to receive a medical exemption for his issues- the allowable diagnosis are extremely limited. If the other exemptions are removed, and I choose to not vaccinate, he will not be allowed to attend school (he is currently Special Ed). At the very least, could this be considered coercion under the law?
Posted by: Lisa | February 11, 2015 at 12:50 PM
How many of those idiots, like Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett, who were so incredibly shrill this past two weeks, are now secretly praying that at least one of the kids infected with measles will actually die? If nobody dies or even is injured after this measles outbreak, I hope our community will make a big stink. We need to compile a report of our own from the vaccine injury database to show how many adverse "events" there were from vaccines over the same time period.
Posted by: lisa | February 11, 2015 at 07:45 AM
Tate: "When parents decide not to vaccinate their children against preventable diseases, they're often making the choice not only for their children, but for other children in the community. That's the larger, more difficult issue."
There isn't a parent in the world that demands other parents STOP vaccinating their own child .. so .. to accuse those parents who decide not to vaccinate their own child of making a "choice for other children in the community" is an accusation without merit.
Reading the "common sense" comments by one of my all-time favorite heroes .. Barbara Loe Fischer .. was refreshing.
How odd that Ms. Fischer is NEVER included in the ad nauseam main-stream "panel discussions" that are EVERYWHERE .. EVERYDAY .. since this hysteria over a hundred or so .. isolated instances of measles? Barbara has been the most outspoken voice for "safe vaccines" in our country for a long time .. yet .. all we hear about is Jenny McCarthy and Dr. Wakefield? Why is that do you suppose?
As I understand it .. the symbol of "crisis" is the very same as the symbol of "opportunity" in the Chinese language .. and .. some in our country have learned the political benefit of "never missing the opportunity to benefit from a crisis"
Ergo .. the measles "crisis" has become the perfect "opportunity" to begin political efforts to remove ALL "exemptions" from vaccinations .. as well as .. the "opportunity" to divide our communities causing those who do vaccinate their child to "demonize" and "ostracize" the children of those who don't.
Never let a good crisis go to waste .. it is a "win-win" for them .. as usual.
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | February 11, 2015 at 07:02 AM