by Barbara Loe Fisher
Without scientific evidence that it is both safe and effective to repeatedly administer influenza vaccine to children, the members of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices(ACIP) voted yesterday(Feb. 28) to vaccinate all infants and children up to age 18 with influenza vaccine every year. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02
The questionable safey and efficacy of influenza vaccine has been a subject of controversy for decades, despite the insistence by the drug industry and doctors selling the vaccine and government health officials promoting its use that most Americans should get a flu shot every year. Often public health officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) and in the U.S. fail to choose the right influenza strains for the vaccine. http://www.nvic.org/History
In the past few years, comprehensive reviews of influenza vaccine studies published in the medical literature revealed a stunning lack of scientific support for the safety and effectiveness of giving influenza vaccine to not only children but also to the elderly http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content
The majority of the American public, including doctors and nurses, refuse to get a flu shot every year despite the millions of dollars spent by the pharmaceutical industry and taxpayer money spent by the CDC to vigorously promote its use. http://www.cidrap.u mn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza
The drug companies selling flu vaccine have one goal: making profit on the millions of doses of vaccine produced every year rather than throwing it away because of poor uptake. CDC officials, eager to help the drug companies out, keep issuing ever widening recommendations to qualify more Americans for getting a flu shot. What began as an effort decades ago to protect those over 65 from complications of influenza that can be deadly for the elderly, has become a boondoggle for drug companies selling and doctors making profit on administering influenza vaccine to everyone, including babies, children and adults.
For the past four decades, every time the CDC has recommended a vaccine for "universal use" by children, those "recommendations" are translated into vaccine laws at the state level. Last year, New Jersey became the first state to mandate influenza vaccine for children as a requirement for attending school. Most states now require nearly three dozen doses vaccines that the CDC has "recommended."
The majority of Americans may not want to get a flu shot every year but the time is soon approaching when they will have no choice. Strident calls by vaccine makers, administrators and policymakers for more vaccine mandates and societal punishments for refusing to comply (" No shots - no education, no health insurance, no job) are paving the way for the day when rolling up your sleeve for a flu shot will become as mandatory and punishable as drinking and driving.
Increasingly, the CDC is guilty of endangering the public health, not protecting it. There is no excuse for issuing vaccine policies not supported by scientific data. The only recourse the public has is to change vaccine laws in the states to allow exemptions for conscientious and religious beliefs, as well as widen the medical exemption to allow enlightened doctors to exempt those with health conditions that are not acknowledged by the CDC as a reason for deferring vaccination. If vaccine laws cannot be made more flexible by allowing wider exemptions, then the day will come when the public will have no choice but to work for the repeal of all vaccine laws.
The National Vaccine Information Center remains committed to working to insert vaccine safety and informed consent protections in vaccine laws in America.
NO FORCED VACCINATION. NOT IN AMERICA.
"All children ages 6 months to 18 years in this country should receive an influenza shot every year, a federal advisory panel said on Wednesday [Feb. 27, 2008] . The recommendation expands by about 30 million the number of children who should get annual flu shots. Current pediatric recommendations call for influenza vaccinations for children ages 6 months to about 5 years....The committee voted unanimously that the expanded immunization should start as soon as possible, but no later than the 2009-10 flu season. The centers expect that the vaccine industry, which made 132 million doses available this year, will be able to produce a sufficient supply in future years. Every state but one has reported widespread influenza this winter....... The C.D.C. has long urged older adults and those with chronic ailments to get influenza shots each season. In 2004, following the advisory committee's recommendation, the centers urged that all infants ages 6 months to 23 months receive flu shots....In 2006, the centers expanded the recommendation to include children ages 24 months to 59 months....- Lawrence Altman, New York Times, (February 28, 2008) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02
The advisory committee to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that the new guidelines go into effect as soon as possible and no later than the 2009-10 influenza season. That would encourage private insurers and taxpayer- funded vaccination programs to pay for flu shots or nasal sprays for an additional 30 million children across the country. "This new recommendation will help parents understand that all children can benefit from vaccination," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. The announcement comes during a flu season that has many parents doubting the vaccine's effectiveness. Some children and adults who received flu shots in recent months still came down with the illness because one of this year's common strains was not included in the vaccine. "(Vaccinating all children) is a waste of money and resources because the vaccine isn't that effective," said Dawn Richardson, president of the Austin-based Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education, a group that opposes universal vaccinations. She said she also worries about side effects of the flu shot.......One driving force behind the expanded recommendation is increased availability of the vaccine, said Carol J. Baker, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Texas Children's Hospital who serves on the advisory panel. She also serves as president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. - Alexis Grant, Houston Chronicle, (February 27, 2008) http://www.chron.com/disp
Panel Advises Flu Shots for Children Up to Age 18
The New York Times
All children ages 6 months to 18 years in this country should receive an influenza shot every year, a federal advisory panel said on Wednesday.
All children older than 6 months should receive a flu shot every year, a federal panel recommended Wednesday, pushing for expansion of the current recommendation that covers children only up to age 5.