Vaccines – the Controversies Continue

As a member of a science-based profession I try to ensure that I follow processes that are evidence-based.
Over the past decade I have become disillusioned over the quality and presentation of evidence for drugs which has become more of a marketing exercise than a scientific one.
Even the design of clinical trials have been skewed to derive a particular result rather than an accurate result.
I see these arguments emotively expressed in mainstream media and also in professional publications.
None more so than is illustrated by the pro and anti campaigns regarding vaccinations, where the arguments appear to have little regard for the safety of a patient – particularly a very young patient.

The pro-vaxers base their arguments around the ability of a vaccine to, in principle, protect a patient from contracting an infection for which they have been vaccinated.
There is definite evidence to support this view.
Often however, the argument is incomplete, in that some specifics are ignored e.g. that the active constituent may not be the exact version required, often based on last year’s virus (as for flu vaccines) that are known to rapidly mutate.
There is no evidence that last year’s version is going to work, so why not be truthful and give the patient the information for them to make their own decision?

The anti-vaxers base their arguments mainly about the safety of vaccines, in particular those that contain mercury and aluminium – both neurotoxic substances.
Surely there are less toxic replacement ingredients for these?

So this gives rise to downstream arguments surrounding the potential for nerve damage, as is reasoned in claims for resulting autism.
And here the arguments get muddied because of the special legal protections extended to vaccine manufacturers, mainly because it is impossible to construct ethically, an accurate clinical trial.
So vaccine manufacturers have very little incentive to conduct studies that might uncover adverse events or toxicities.
Claims for autism have to be argued in the Vaccine Court in the US (Australia does not even have this protection if you can call it as such).
Autism may be proven in a court of law to be associated with vaccines, but here is the clincher – in awarding a settlement for the victim the details are sealed under a confidential court order and the results are never to be made available for health professionals or future patients.
And to rub salt into the wound, pro-vaxers can then openly claim no evidence exists for conditions described as vaccine-caused autism.
This gives rise for campaigns by pro-vaxers to penalise parents of unvaccinated children by not allowing them to receive government benefits say, for child care for parental work support.

The arguments run along the lines of a need to create a “herd immunity” by having a certain percentage of people vaccinated to prevent say, an outbreak of whooping cough.
The problem with this argument is that a significant number of children developed whooping cough even though they had undertaken a vaccine program.

Vaccines in practice are an enormous revenue raiser for drug companies, with little risk, because of government protection.
There are no real new blockbuster drugs in the Pharma pipeline, so vaccines are “it” to protect the already enormous profit base for drug manufacturers.

Conscientious objectors do not want to inject their children (or themselves) with what they perceive as toxins.
Government figures show increasing numbers of parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children as conscientious objectors.
The number of parents who are telling the federal government they won’t be vaccinating their children has doubled since 2006.
Federal Health Department figures show 39,523 children were recorded with conscientious objections to vaccinations in 2014, up from 18,899 in 2006.
The latest data means 1.77% of all children were registered as conscientious objectors to vaccination last year.
The figures refer to children younger than seven years of age, whose parents told authorities they were not vaccinating their children because they had a personal, philosophical, religious or medical objection

That there are dangers is already proven by the Vaccine Court awards granted to date.
The Vaccine Court pathway is particularly tortuous so any award earned there is definitely earned on its merits.
Governments going down the pathway of restricting a human right not to be forcibly injected with a toxic substance are entering unstable political territory, and the number of parents  working with existing legislation to register as a conscientious objector, is gaining momentum.

I would urge all pharmacists to independently review all available evidence before participating in a vaccination clinic.
It would appear that pressure will be exerted through drug companies, the medical profession and commentators in the mainstream media in support of the Pharma stance.
Already, one pharmacist has been dismissed in the US for refusing to vaccinate, as published in Pittsburgh Post Gazette,

“Walgreen Co. was within its rights to fire a pharmacist who had moral objections to administering flu vaccines, a federal judge has ruled.
Rodney Prewitt, a 66-year-old pharmacist who had worked at the company for about five years, sued Walgreens after the pharmacy started a program in 2010 offering 20 vaccines, including one for the flu, to customers in its stores nationwide.
It required pharmacists to complete a training program in order to administer the vaccines and immunize customers who asked for the service.

Mr. Prewitt, however, had moral objections to giving the vaccine since a close friend of his reportedly had gotten Guillain-Barre syndrome after getting a flu vaccine. The friend died of complications from the disease, according to the opinion from U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.”

Because this is new territory for Australian pharmacists, exhaustive legal advice should be sought before undertaking any action.
Interpreting the court’s decision for the above, it would seem that in the US (and possibly in Australia), a pharmacists does not have the right to withhold a vaccine unless there is strong medical evidence for it not to happen.
As this is never likely to become a certainty in the area of vaccines, pharmacists should undertake some education on what they can and can’t do.
The Professional Pharmacists Association may also be of assistance here for any of their member pharmacists.
The problem of dismissal is more likely to arise in the corporate chain pharmacy.

To expand knowledge in the vaccine area, i2P will be continuing to publish from two sources.
These are not “anti-vaxer” people, but people dedicated to evidence based medicine and patient safety.
This type of information is not always highlighted in Australian pharmacy publications.
Judy Wilyman, an Australian PhD research student will continue her independent material as separate articles.

The following links refer to the SaneVax organisation oversight of global issues surrounding vaccines:

HPV-vaccines- time-for-science
Norma Erickson

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of January 2014 fifty-two countries have included HPV vaccines, either Gardasil or Cervarix, in their national immunization programs. During the last five years, the SaneVax Team has been contacted by representatives from 24 of those countries who are seeking to understand the vast array of new medical conditions occurring in the wake of these programs…

HPV vaccine controversy in Colombia continues
By Norma Erickson Carmen de Bolivar, 

Colombia has become ground zero in the international debate over HPV vaccine safety, efficacy, and need. After the administration of the 2nd dose of Gardasil in local schools, beginning in March 2014, hundreds of young girls were admitted to the hospital with mysterious new medical conditions. According to local […]

What if HPV does NOT cause cervical cancer?
By Norma Erickson and Peter H. Duesberg, PhD 

The title of a paper recently published by McCormack et al in Molecular Cytogenetics says it all, ”Individual karyotypes at the origins of cervical carcinomas.” If the findings in this paper are true, a vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV) is extremely unlikely to protect against cervical cancer. […]

A new HPV vaccine is approved amid global concerns over Gardasil
By Helen Lobato, Guest Author 

The FDA has approved a new Human Papilloma Vaccine covering 9 strains of HPV. The approval of this vaccine, to be marketed as Gardasil 9 is of great concern for it has double the amount of the aluminium adjuvant – a neurotoxin – as Gardasil. The new HPV vaccine contains 500 mcg of […]

Update: HPV vaccines and the Supreme Court of India
By Norma Erickson 

January 2013, the government of India was ordered by their Supreme Court to file an answer to allegations put forth in a petition filed on behalf of Gramya Resource Centre for Women from Andhra Pradesh. This petition challenged the licensing of Gardasil and Cervarix for use in the private sector as well […]

Treatment Manual for HPV Vaccine Injured

This manual was produced as a joint effort between the HPV vaccine injured youngsters, their parents, Orthomolecular doctors, international researchers, Nutrition Therapist Mr. Frede Damgaard and General Practitioner Stig Gerdes. The treatment has been shown to have a therapeutic effect on those injured by the HPV vaccine.  As of this writing, there are currently 14 […]

HPV vaccines: Colombian Controversy Continues

By Norma Erickson
On February 16, 2015, Colombia enacted a new law (1751 of 2015) which establishes human health as an autonomous fundamental right. As a fundamental right, it means services promoting health, disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, recovery, rehabilitation and palliative care should be ensured under the responsibility of State to all people without distinction […]

 The profesional indemnity insurance company (usually PDL) is an organisation that most pharmacists belong to whether as owners or as individuals.
A new policy has just been prepared by PDL for non-owner pharmacists, so it is timely to review what they will be offering.
If there is no real evidence to support the use of any vaccine what will happen if a pharmacist refuses to vaccinate.
Will legal costs be recoverable by reimbursement?
What if a patient is injured e.g. a 12 year old female who has just been administered HPV vaccine (by you) and you are later sued.
If you read any of the above links you will find plenty of evidence not to administer this vaccine.
Will you have the legal arguments to withstand a lawsuit?
Would you even want to administer this vaccine?
Would a waiver signed by the patient and her parents be sufficient defence in court that they had all been briefed on the potential hazards of this product?

Also, how do vaccines fit in the context of the PSA Code of Conduct.
If you knowingly administer a vaccine that has little or no real evidence to back its claims, are we not describing similar circumstances surrounding homeopathic medicines.
With one major difference.
You are never likely to experience damage through the ingestion of homeopathic medicine, but there is a high probability of being damaged if you are a patient eligible for HPV vaccine.

There is something morally and legally wrong with these circumstances and it would appear, as far as I can see, that everyone is covered for damages, except for the pharmacist and the patient.

Our leadership bodies should be out there asking for clarification and certainty!

And that bastion of free speech the Daily Telegraph (and great friend of pharmacy), has announced a punitive government campaign where Tony Abbott will cut off a range of benefits to conscientious objectors.
It’s a bit like an opportunistic cost grab rather than a health measure- got to prop up the budget somehow!
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