Combating Vaccine Extremism in America
2016 will be my 34th year as a vaccine safety and human rights activist.1 For more than 20 years I have been warning that the day would come when vaccine extremists and profiteers would move to legally force Americans to buy and use all government mandated vaccines and punish those who refuse.23 Still, it was a shock to see it happen in California this year,4 even as I know that preparations are being made by vaccine extremists to attack the religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions in more states next year.5 6
But knowing and predicting what will happen is very different from watching it actually happen.
Born in Minnesota to a mother, who was a nurse, and a father, who fought on the beach at Anzio and then re-enlisted in the Army after returning from World War II,7 I was raised with a deep respect for the values and beliefs upon which this Republic was founded and for the natural rights and principles of democratic government outlined in the U.S. Constitution.8 Like so many others who are grateful for freedom of thought and religion in this country, my abiding faith in a Creator of the natural order sustains me during my life’s journey and I believe Americans will not give up the natural rights and cultural values that define who we are as a nation without a fight.
Earlier this year, when vaccine extremists and profiteers used a few cases of measles at Disneyland to attack freedom of speech, thought, religious belief and assembly,9my heart sank. It was painful to watch good people be demonized for simply criticizing poorly tested vaccines and inhumane one-size-fits-all vaccine policies.10 11 Then, when dozens of pharmaceutical and medical industry-backed bills were introduced in multiple states to eliminate religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions so citizens could be tracked, discriminated against, segregated and punished for making vaccine choices that do not conform with government policy, I held my breath.
What would the people do? Would they bow down and cower before their oppressors, or would they stand up and defend their natural rights and civil liberties?
In a remarkable display of outrage, common sense and courage, we witnessed mothers, fathers and grandparents from every walk of life in California show up by the thousands to testify in legislative hearings and hold rallies in Sacramento opposing a forced vaccination law that was rammed through the legislature, despite the biggest public protests in that state Capitol since the Viet Nam war.1213 The same thing happened in Vermont, where industry lobbyists strong armed enough legislators to eliminate the philosophical belief vaccine exemption despite overwhelming public opposition,14 even as spirited citizen action in Texas and nine other states was successful in blocking the passage of bills stripping away personal belief vaccine exemptions.15
Recently, I attended several FDA vaccine advisory committee meetings where I watched vaccine extremists and profiteers hijack the vaccine licensing process so future vaccines targeting seniors and pregnant women can be fast tracked to licensure without first proving safety and effectiveness.16 17There were only a few of us in that room representing the general public to voice opposition to exploitation of the most vulnerable among us.
I felt sick to my stomach as I realized the foxes were not only guarding the chicken coop, they were in the coop having a feast because they were sure that nobody would stop them.
Why are we seeing this unprecedented gutting of informed consent rights and vaccine licensing standards in America? One big reason is that during the past three decades, while the majority of us have been struggling to get an education and work two jobs to pay rent or a mortgage and put food on the table for our children, Congress has directed federal health agencies to create a business partnership with the pharmaceutical industry.18 Politicians have given vaccine extremists and profiteers the money and power to do whatever they want to do to the people, without any legal accountability for their actions,19 20 21 including forcing us to buy and use dozens of doses of vaccines or be denied a school education, medical care and employment.22 23
Now we are facing the biggest public health disaster in our nation’s history as 1 highly vaccinated child in 45 develops autism in America today;24 1 in 6 has learning disabilities; 25 1 in 9 has asthma;26 1 in 10 has ADHD;27 1 in 12 suffers with depression;28 29 1 in 400 become diabetic30 and millions more struggle with other kinds of immune and brain disorders marked by chronic inflammation in the brain and body.3132 33 34 So many of our children’s brains and bodies are on fire, a fire stoked by a poorly tested federal vaccine schedule that starts in the womb and on the first day of birth,35 36 and artificially manipulates the immune response to induce inflammation that may never resolve.
We must combat vaccine extremism in America. We cannot afford to allow this failing public health report card, which has gotten worse with every new vaccine added to the government mandated list, to go unchallenged any longer.
It is going to take a lot of muscle and money to turn this sinking ship around before we all drown. Waking people up is the first step. Getting engaged and voting at the polls to elect men and women with integrity to defend our freedoms, and un-electing those who threaten our freedom, is the second step.
And while we are waking up, engaging and going to the polls, it is also critical to financially support charities uncorrupted by industry and government money that are speaking truth, fighting against extremism and defending freedom. NVIC is one of those charities.
NVIC has been here since 1982 providing accurate, referenced vaccine information to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths and help you educate your family and friends. We have been standing up to vaccine extremists37 and empowering Americans with information they can use to protect the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices.38
So, while NVIC may be a small charity, we are mighty in spirit. We are here every day, year after year, monitoring and reporting on vaccine science, policy, law and ethics; educating, counseling, and encouraging everyone to fight against vaccine extremism.
Please remember the work we do at the National Vaccine Information Center and make NVIC one of your favorite charities. NVIC has been a beacon in the night, a flag on the hill for many, many years. But we cannot continue to be that for families across this country or expand our mission to reach more people without your financial support.
Every dollar you give makes a difference in someone’s life.
Please send NVIC a gift today and ask your friends and family to do the same. Go to NVIC.org and make a tax-deductible donation in memory of someone whose life has been forever changed by a vaccine reaction, or honor someone you love and want to stay healthy.
Please help NVIC combat vaccine extremism in America.
It’s your health. Your family. Your choice.
2 Fisher BL. The Moral Right to Conscientious, Philosophical and Personal Belief Exemption to Vaccination . National Vaccine Advisory Committee May 2,1997.
3 Fisher BL.Statement on Immunization Tracking Systems and Privacy. National Vaccine Advisory Committee May 14, 1998.
4 NVIC. California Enacts Vaccine Law that Forces Parents to Choose Between Human Rights and Civil Rights . NVIC Newsletter July 1, 2015 and NVIC Businesswire Press Release.
5 Infectious Diseases in Children. Elimination of vaccine exemptions serves children’s best interests. Healio Nov. 23, 2015.
9 Fisher BL. Measles in Disneyland: Third MMR Shot and Vaccine Exemption Ban? NVIC Newsletter Jan. 28, 2015.
10 Fisher BL. The Vaccine Culture War in America: Are You Ready? NVIC NewsletterMar. 8, 2015.
12 Fisher BL. We Will Not Give Up Our Human Rights for Our Civil Rights . Rally and Testimony in Sacramento, CA June 9, 2015.
13 NVIC. California Enacts Vaccine Law that Forces Parents to Choose Between Human Rights and Civil Rights . NVIC Newsletter July 1, 2015 and NVIC Businesswire Press Release.
14 NVIC. Over 1,000 Californians Show Up to Testify; Vermont Politicians Cut Parents Out of the Democratic Progress; Texas Pushes Back on Teacher Vaccine Mandates . NVIC Newsletter Apr. 29, 2015.
15 Richardson D. The Fallout from California SB277: What Happens Next? NVIC Newsletter Aug. 5, 2015.
16 Fisher BL. Public Comment Opposing FDA Fast Track Licensure of MF59 Adjuvanted Influenza Vaccine . FDA Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting, Silver Spring, MD Sept. 15, 2015, and NVIC Businesswire Press Release Sept. 16, 2015.
17 Fisher BL. Public Comment Opposing FDA Fast Track Licensure of New Vaccines Targeting Pregnant Women . FDA Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting, Silver Spring, MD Nov. 17, 2015.
18 Fisher BL. Here Comes the 21st Century Cures Act: Say Goodbye to Vaccine Safety Science . NVIC NewsletterJuly 21, 2015.
20 Holland MS, Krakow RJ. Brief of Amici Curiae National Vaccine Information Center, Its Co-Founders and 24 other organizations in support of petitioners. In: Bruesewitz v. Wyeth filed with Supreme Court of the United States June 1, 2010. And NVIC Cites “Betrayal” of Consumers by U.S. Supreme Court Giving Total Liability Shield to Big Pharma. NVIC Press Release Feb. 23, 2011.
21 Fisher BL. Vaccine Injury Compensation: Government’s Broken Social Contract with Parents . NVIC NewsletterNov. 14, 2015.
22 Wrangham TK. Adults Targeted as Federal Government Prepares to Track the Unvaccinated. NVIC NewsletterMar. 18, 2015.
23 Fisher BL. Despite High Vaccination Rates, CDC Calls for Shaming Schools . The Vaccine Reaction Sept. 2, 2015 and Parents Deserve to Know More Than School Vaccination Rates . NVIC Newsletter Sept. 9, 2015.
24 Zabolotsky B, Black LI et al. Estimated Prevalence of Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities Following Questionnaire Changes in the 2014 National Health Interview Survey . CDC National Health Statistics Reports Nov. 13, 2015.
25 Boyle CA, Boulet S et al. Trends in the Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities in US Children 1997-2000. Pediatrics May 23, 2011.
26 Stoner Am, Anderson SE, Buckley JJ. Ambient Air Toxics and Asthma Prevalence among a Representative Sample of US Kindergarten-Age Children. PLOS One 2013; 8(9).
28 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Survey reveals adolescent females are twice as likely as adolescent males to suffer a major depressive episode . SAMHSA May 13, 2008.
31 Zimm A. Chronic Illnesses on rise, study says: Children’s cases in U.S. quadruple . Bloomberg News June 27, 2007.
32 American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association. Growing Number of Autoimmune Disease Cases Reported . AARDA Press Release June 21, 2012.
33 Jackson KD, Howie LD, Akinabami LJ. Trends in Allergic Conditions Among Children: United States, 1997-2011 . NCHS Data brief May 2013; 121.
34 Silverberg JI, Joks R, Durkin HG. Allergic disease is associated with epilepsy in childhood: a population based study . Allergy 2014; 69(10: 1428.
35 NVIC. National Vaccine Information Center Supports Three of Five Recommendations of New IOM Report on Childhood Immunization Schedule Safety and Calls for Transparency. NVIC Business Wire Press Release Jan. 16, 2013.
37 NVIC.org. Cry for Vaccine Freedom Wall featuring testimonials by Americans who have been bullied, threatened, discriminated against and punished by vaccine extremists for attempting to make educated, voluntary vaccine decisions for themselves or their children.