On July 1, 2016, Senate Bill 277 became law in California. It is the most stringent vaccination mandate in the country, requiring strict adherence to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccine schedule for all school children in order to attend public or private school, while removing all religious or personal exemptions, and allowing only extremely limited medical exemptions. While SB277 supporters claim the science on vaccines is “settled” and vaccines are proven safe and effective, questions remain.   

Strict Adherence

Since vaccines were first introduced in the 1950s, the number and types of vaccines has gone from a recommendation for polio and smallpox vaccines to seven recommended vaccines in the 1960s and to 69 mandatory doses of 16 vaccines, from infancy to 18 years of age. These include shots to ward off diphtheria, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenzae type b, measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), poliomyelitis, rubella, tetanus and varicella (chickenpox). SB277 also requires mandatory adherence to any new vaccinations added to the schedule by the CDC. At last count, 270-plus additional vaccines are in the developmental pipeline.

A Multibillion-Dollar Industry

Since the 1980s the vaccine division of the pharmaceutical industry has grown into a $30 billion annual enterprise worldwide. As noted by The Guardian in 2017, “Pharmaceutical companies spend far more than any other industry to influence politicians, and have poured close to $2.5 billion into lobbying and funding members of Congress over the past decade.”  It is also an industry plagued by lawsuits, with multibillion-dollar payouts to offset legally proven claims of  deaths and disabilities, unlawful promotion, falsifying data to the FDA, overcharging government programs, kickbacks to doctors and pharmacists, and poor manufacturing practices, to name a few. As citizens, we depend on government agencies, such as the FDA and CDC, to keep them honest. Does it work?

In 2013, a paper published by Harvard’s Center for Ethics in the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics titled “Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs” detailed how the FDA has been neutered  in its capacity to protect the health and welfare of Americans. The culprits: large-scale lobbying and political contributions that influence legislation contrary to the FDA mission, and that has led to underfunding of its enforcement capacities; industry-paid “user fees” to the FDA, $690 million annually since 1992. As Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, observed, this put the FDA on the payroll of the industry it regulates. Industry’s influence over physicians has “undermined their position as independent, trusted advisers to patients,” she wrote. Doctors receive compensation for each fully vaccinated patient.

Proof of FDA failure to protect the public comes with the startling revelation that, “Deaths from prescription drugs — approved by the FDA and properly prescribed by doctors — tops 128,000 annually.” 

VAERS

In 1986 Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act that relieved vaccine manufacturers and the medical industry from any liability for vaccine injuries. A Vaccine Court was established as the only recourse for vaccine injuries with compensation paid by consumers. Without responsibility for harms caused by their products, vaccine makers had little incentive to place safety over profits.

The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) is a voluntary system, mostly unknown to the public and not encouraged by doctors. About 1,700 of the 11,000 “vaccine adverse events” reported annually are serious, and result in problems that include hospitalizations, death or disability. However, The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports that only an estimated 1 percent of vaccine injuries are ever reported to VAERS. In spite of that, $4 billion in federal compensation has been paid to thousands of vaccine victims over the past three decades. Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center, calls the Act “a historic acknowledgement by the US government” that government licensed and mandated childhood vaccines can and do cause injury and death.

Can We Trust the CDC?

The CDC is in charge of the vaccine schedule, but like the FDA, their independence is also in question. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose website The Mercury Project provides information on thimerosal, an ethyl mercury preservative in vaccines, points out numerous studies by Congress, the Senate and HHS that “paint CDC as a cesspool of corruption, mismanagement and dysfunction with alarming conflicts of interest suborning its research, regulatory and policymaking functions.”

In August of 2014,  Kennedy writes, “17-year CDC veteran, Dr. William Thompson, author of the principal study cited by CDC to exculpate mercury-preserved vaccines from the autism link, invoked whistleblower protection and turned extensive agency files over to Congress [revealing] that for the past decade his superiors have pressured him and his fellow scientists to lie and manipulate data about the safety of the mercury-based preservative thimerosal to conceal its causative link to a suite of brain injuries, including autism.”

The Elephant in the Room

The estimated 1,000 percent increase in neurological disorders and learning disabilities for American children, and an astronomical rise of Alzheimer’s disease in adults that appears to correspond with the increase in childhood vaccinations, remains unstudied and unexplained by the medical/ pharmaceutical industry and their partners, the CDC and FDA. Their main focus continues to be providing proof that vaccines are not responsible. In 1999 thimerosal was ordered removed from childhood vaccines by the CDC because of the proven dangers but has been reintroduced in the HepB vaccine, injected into newborns in their first hours of life and now recommended for pregnant women and annually for all children and adults. n