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Phyllis Schlafly
by: Phyllis Schlafly

Emerging Scandal in Vaccine Mandates

July 28, 1999

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A scandal in mandatory mass vaccinations of infants is beginning to surface. Vaccine-caused injuries have just forced the Clinton bureaucrats to make four sensational announcements that bugle temporary retreat from their plans to force all American children to submit to government-dictated medical treatment.

On July 15, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) halted the use of the oral rotavirus vaccine, which is given to infants to prevent one of the major causes of diarrhea, after reports that the vaccine caused a bowel obstruction in some infants that required surgery to repair.

The bowel obstruction, called intussusception, results when one portion of the bowel slides inward, like a telescope, into another part of the bowel and causes blockage. A previously healthy infant suddenly screams in paroxysms of pain.

In its initial trial, the rotavirus vaccine appeared to cause intussusception at 30 times the average rate, but the government pretended that those injuries were insignificant. Instead of testing further, the CDC and the vaccine manufacturer subjected babies to more than a million doses of this unnecessary, expensive, and inadequately tested vaccine.

While the risk of intussusception may have been mentioned on the package insert, it was not on the vaccine information statement given to parents. The arbitrariness of government vaccine mandates is shown by the fact that, for the previous year, CDC was demanding that the vaccine be given to all infants, and now suddenly a CDC spokesman is saying, "No one should now be giving rotavirus vaccine to anyone."

The second sensational vaccine announcement came on July 9, when the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) and the AAP issued a joint statement cancelling their previous recommendation to inject all newborns while they are still in the hospital with the hepatitis B vaccine. PHS and AAP now recommend that vaccination of newborns be limited to those who are at risk of getting hepatitis B from their infected mothers.

Their remarkable backtracking from the universal mandate for newborns must have resulted from the widespread publicity given to the many cases of vaccine damage causing lifetime injury or death reported on ABC's 20/20 and at the May 18 hearing conducted by the U.S. House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources. PHS and AAP continue to recommend the hepatitis B vaccine for infants at 2 to 6 months of age, even though few of them are at risk.

Meanwhile, 42 states require the hepatitis B vaccine for schoolchildren, although teachers and health care workers are not required to receive it. The legislator who sponsored the hepatitis B mandate in Ohio admitted that he did so at the request of a vaccine manufacturer lobbyist, while Governor Christine Whitman is trying to impose a New Jersey requirement administratively without legislation.

In another announcement the same day, PHS-AAP issued a joint statement that revealed the risk to children of vaccines containing mercury and called on the FDA to "assess the risk of all mercury-containing food and drugs." A mercury product called thimerosal is used as a preservative in many vaccines, even though the FDA last year banned its use in over-the-counter products for safety reasons.

Under the current CDC schedule, most infants receive a total of 15 doses of mercury-containing vaccines by the time they are six months old, many given simultaneously. The fact that the FDA has prohibited the use of thimerosal for most products, but continues to allow its use for vaccines, sounds like political corruption in the vaccine approval process.

The National Vaccine Information Center has been criticizing the use of mercury in vaccines for many years. Contact lens solution bottles routinely advertise that they contain "no thimerosal," yet any damage to adults from contact lens solutions must be minuscule compared to the same product ingested or injected into infants.

The fourth announcement came on June 17, when government officials voted to withdraw their recommendation for the use of the live poliovirus vaccine, and to recommend the "exclusive" use of the inactivated poliovirus vaccine. Since 1979, the only polio cases in the United States have been caused by the live vaccine because, taken by mouth, it travels through the child's body and can cause polio in a parent changing the diaper.

The unjustified delay in converting to the safer polio vaccine is due to mandatory vaccination laws that require the public to use a certain product. The government still demands that babies be given four doses of polio vaccine, even though, according to Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., "The Western Hemisphere was certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as polio free in 1994, and no case of polio has been reported in this region since 1991."

We are long overdue for a Congressional investigation into the validity of research and licensing standards for vaccines, the results of clinical trials (if any), the motivations of the vaccine policymakers, and the lobbying activities of the cash-rich pharmaceutical corporations whose profits depend on universal mandates rather than on sales to those at risk for various diseases.

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