By Anne Dachel
Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump. The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.
May 16, 2015, Age of Autism ran the piece, Action Alert: FEDERAL Vaccine Mandate In Play. It was about a bill introduced in Congress on May 1, 2015, by U.S. Representative Frederica Wilson. This bill would essentially eliminate all personal and religious vaccine exemptions. The story pointed out that Wilson's senior advisor, Keenan Austin, worked for two drug companies, GlaxoSmithKline and Abbott Laboratories, before coming to Washington.
Interestingly, three months before this, Wilson was already getting coverage in the press pushing for the elimination of exemptions. (Notice that no one in the media nor Rep. Wilson had any concern over possible side effects. Instead, vaccines were universally endorsed as safe, necessary and effective.)
Rep. Frederica Wilson Pushes for Federal Vaccination Law Feb 4, 2015, Miami New Times
Well, Miami-area Rep. Frederica Wilson, a former public school principal, will have none of that. She's undertaking what could perhaps be her most high-profile political fight since being elected to the U.S. House by calling for a federal bill that would make some vaccines mandatory for all public schoolchildren.
Though the growing anti-vaccination movement has drawn eye rolls from mainstream medicine and media for a while, the issue came to a head after a measles outbreak at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, spread to 14 states (but not Florida yet). The majority of those affected had not received full vaccinations.
To some, that seems like a simple personal freedom issue: Those who don't get vaccinated know they could contract diseases, but that's their choice.
But as Wilson and several others point out, many people -- including infants, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems -- should not receive vaccines for health reasons. In a society where the vast majority of eligible people have been vaccinated against disease, it won't spread and is unlikely to affect those at risk. Therein lies the public health threat that extends beyond personal freedom.
"As a former elementary school principal, I know the importance of childhood vaccinations. Research has shown that vaccinations are effective; they keep children healthy, save lives, and protect future generations of Americans," Wilson said in a statement.
Despite naysayers, measles vaccinations a must Sun Sentinel-Feb 4, 2015
Now there's talk of the federal government getting involved. Florida Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson of Miami is preparing legislation that would mandate certain vaccinations for students, with some exceptions. Her effort will likely go nowhere, though, as both President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner say a national law isn't needed.
Almost as dangerous as measles are the public figures who are telling parents to think twice about getting their children vaccinated - or not to do it at all.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie backtracked after creating a stir with remarks about how vaccinations should be a matter of parental choice. He now says kids should be vaccinated. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has been quoted saying vaccines can lead to "profound mental disorders," which ignores the science.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, on the other hand, continued to distinguish himself from the pack of 2016 presidential hopefuls Wednesday, saying: "Parents ought to make sure their children are vaccinated. Do we need to get into any detail on that? Parents have a responsibility to make sure their children are protected. Over and out." . . .
One percent notice some swelling in glands. A severe allergy occurs in less than one in a million doses. There is no evidence that the vaccine causes deadly or chronic diseases, as fear mongers have suggested. By contrast, there's tons of evidence these vaccines save lives.
Miami-Dade School Superintendent Supports Vaccinations NBC 6 South Florida Feb 4, 2015
Miami-Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvhalo says he supports any law that mandates children or adults who don't have their vaccinations to get them.
At a meeting with parents and school board officials, Carvhalo explained that his educational background is in science, and that scientific research supports getting vaccinated.
. . . Carvhalo's comments come on the heels of U.S. Democratic congresswoman Frederica Wilson stating that she is preparing to file a bill that would make it a law for all public school students to get vaccinatedn, with minimal exceptions to that law.
CDC: Adults Need Immunizations, Too Patch.com Feb 4, 2015
Meanwhile, a reemergence of the measles virus is raising alarm bells across the country. The Florida Department of Health recently issued a plea for people to get immunized against the disease while U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, is discussing introducing legislation that would make measles shots mandatory across all 50 states, CBS Local is reporting.
In light of the recent outbreak of measles, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson said she plans to file a legislation which would require all students who attend public schools to get vaccinated.
. . . A recent poll found 68-percent of Americans think vaccines should be required.
South Florida congresswoman wants law forcing vaccinations for all ... Sun Sentinel Feb 3, 2015
"The health and safety of children should be our top priority. Children who are not vaccinated put themselves and others in danger of acquiring and spreading preventable diseases, particularly to those individuals who cannot receive vaccinations, such as infants, pregnant women, and individuals with compromised immune systems, including the elderly and those with diseases like HIV/AIDS and leukemia.
"That is why I am introducing legislation mandating vaccinations for public school students. Many Americans are not aware of their vaccination status, and every person who is not immunized gives a debilitating disease another possible host."
Wilson, a former member of the Miami-Dade School Board, said she would file legislation with the vaccine mandate with what her office said would be only "minimal exceptions."
One notable exception to the pro-vaccine coverage was from WND.com on May 13. The website tells us: "WND is an independent news company dedicated to uncompromising journalism, seeking truth and justice and revitalizing the role of the free press as a guardian of liberty. We remain faithful to the traditional and central role of a free press in a free society - as a light exposing wrongdoing, corruption and abuse of power.
"We also seek to stimulate a free-and-open debate about the great moral and political ideas facing the world and to promote freedom and self-government by encouraging personal virtue and good character."
Indeed, WND is a fiercely independent news site committed to hard-hitting investigative reporting of government waste, fraud and abuse.
WND's story, Federal bill requires all public students to be vaccinated acknowledged that vaccines aren't all that safe.
Neither the legislation nor a statement by Wilson addresses the huge cost of negative vaccination reactions reported annually in the United States.
"Research has shown that vaccinations are effective, keep people healthy, and save lives," Wilson said. "As a former educator, I understand the importance of childhood vaccinations." . . .
The idea already has gained momentum in California, but neither the legislation nor the congresswoman's statement recognize the estimated $2 billion-plus that the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid to families of victims of vaccines.
The compensation program was set up to acknowledge "that vaccine injuries and deaths are real" and families that have suffered loss should be compensated.
The site explains that the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 also "preserved the right for vaccine injured persons to bring a lawsuit in the court system if federal compensation is denied or is not sufficient."
The program lists updates to vaccination requirements and programs, noting just weeks ago that the Obama administration was "plotting" requirements for adult vaccinations as well.
Executive Director Theresa Wrangham wrote that adults would be "informed of the recommended adult schedule at every possible opportunity" such as "work, school, church and other community gathers."
Meanwhile, there's autism. . .
Frederica Wilson is from Miami a city with a large number of autistic students in its schools. May 14, 2015 CBS Miami had the touching story, Hundreds Of Students With Autism Celebrate Prom, that showed just how much autism has impacted the education system in her district.
VIDEO: "500 high school students with ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder dressed up their finest dudes. . . ."
Since Wilson was a grade school principal in the 1990s, I wonder if she was worried about the explosion in disabled children that surely must have happened in her school district. Did she think that all the autism was nothing new, just better recognition of a condition kids have always had?
When Wilson served on the Miami-Dade School Board back in the 90s, she introduced an African-American History course. Shouldn't she also be concerned about an official CDC cover-up of vaccine research that showed American-American boys were predisposed to develop autism after receiving an MMR vaccine? I don't think her senior advisor, Keenan Austin, former drug industry insider, is likely to have brought it up to her.
The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD. Lee Silsby is one of the most respected compounding pharmacies in the country and is committed to serving the needs of the Autism community. OurkidsASD is an online retailer for nutritional supplements for patients with special needs. OurkidsASD carries thousands of products from more than 60 brands and offers free ground shipping on all orders.
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.