Two weeks ago AoA published an unsigned letter to European Parliamentarians about a proposed resolution on "vaccine hesitancy" to Members of the European Parliament which could lead to the extension of vaccine mandates across the Union and a clamp down on free speech. The resolution in its present form asserts vaccines to be "safe" without any qualification. I have now sent my own letter individually to all of the 73 British member of the Parliament. A final vote on this could happen as early as the beginning next week - so we are close to the last opportunity to lobby the Parliament. European citizens can find the details of their representatives here.
I am writing to all British members of the European Parliament with the deepest concern about the proposed “vaccine hesitancy” resolution. The Parliament is poised to further protect an industry from scrutiny which in itself urgently requires investigation. In its present form it will not lead to confidence.
The resolution comes before the Parliament amid mounting evidence of vaccine harm in published scientific literature. For too long politicians around the globe have depended on bureaucracies to wage war against infectious diseases without taking adequate steps to ensure the independence of the advice, and contenting themselves with bland assurances that everything they collectively sanction is safe and effective. By now infants are met not long after birth with a barrage of vaccines for diseases which in many cases are either not so dangerous or not so common, without any wider evidence that this is a safe thing to do - meanwhile each of the products have acknowledged risks and side-effects in the small print, even before we consider the problems of cumulative exposure, bad synergies, contamination in manufacture, toxic excipients etc. The bureaucracies choose whatever “facts” suit them, and they have created a pipeline for their products to be administered to children at public expense.
Absurdly, the EP Health Committee have complained about the relative expense of vaccinating children compared with the beginning of the millennium without considering all the expensive new products governments have willingly added to the schedule in the interim - nor the expense of all the new products the industry connected bureaucracy are likely to sanction in future. In the UK the director of Oxford Vaccine Group which develops vaccines is also chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation which recommends them to the schedule.
The invidiousness of the process was recently demonstrated in successive complaints by Nordic Cochrane against the European Medical Agency, first to the agency itself and then to European Ombudsman over its handling of reports about HPV vaccines. The complaints involved conflicts of interest, exclusion of contrary expert evidence, bias in selection of data, lack of evidence for the safety of aluminium adjuvants (which are contained in the majority of other vaccines as well). The fact that both the EMA and the EO rejected these representations out of hand does nothing to enhance the reputation or trustworthiness of those institutions, or of the programme. By now there is a large bibliography on the harmfulness of aluminium in scientific literature but our governments march on regardless. Most disturbingly we now have the Italian parliamentary commission into military deaths written by senior scientists declaring the risk of multiple vaccines. There is nothing open and shut about vaccine safety.
All this might count for little if our child population in the UK (where we have a long schedule and high compliance) was bursting with good health, but actually we are drowning in disability and chronic disease, particularly neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. While this escapes the main news (or is hidden in stories about lack of provision) the official schools data shows the problem to be completely out of control (not to mention completely unexplained). A BBC news report from SW London last year hinted at 300 new cases of autism per borough per year. Last year the number of diagnosed autism cases in Scottish schools leapt by 11.5% from 1 in 51 to 1 in 46 (but for younger children the rate will be much higher). In Northern Ireland the level was already reported at 1 in 40 in December 2016. Everywhere the trend is dynamically upwards. These are cases which will cost multiple millions each over a lifetime. Having scapegoated Dr Wakefield the Department of Health prefers to say nothing, but the situation is already catastrophic in population terms, and the costs increasingly unsustainable.
It is always possible to highlight this or that statistic which shows an infectious disease to be on the rise, nor is the death of any single child to be taken lightly, but we are getting into dangerous waters if we place the programme on a pedestal, unable to discuss its dangers while deliberately suppressing evidence of harm by waging hate campaigns against the people who report it. This is not privileging science, it is privileging the bureaucracy and pharmaceutical industry over ordinary citizens. Inevitably, such moves must lead to distortions of policy and harm to the community. Nor is it a proper way to conduct policy in a democratic, open society.
John Stone (UK and European Editor, AgeofAutism.com)