8/3/2019 7:30:00 AM OUR VIEW In vaccination debate, pro-vax media needs to be honest
Gregg Walker and Richard Moore Publisher and Columnist
For some time now, those who question the nation's vaccination schedule - the potential for some 69 recommended doses by the age of 18, with sometimes as many as five vaccines at once for young children - have pointed to the nation's vaccine court and its staggering compensation numbers to prove that vaccinations can have deadly effects.
Would the nation even have a vaccine court to award compensation to individuals and their families if there wasn't a significant number of serious vaccine injuries?
It's a real good question.
And why has that court now paid out more than $4 billion in compensation (as of July 1) if vaccines don't indeed cause serious injury and not just in isolated cases?
Another real good question.
Vaccine injury has always been around, of course. Even vaccine proponents acknowledge the reality of collateral damage, but say the public benefits of immunization far outweigh those risks, which they say are rare in any event.
Now those supporters have themselves begun to cite the vaccine court, using it as evidence that vaccines are as safe as they say they are.
To wit, $4 billion has been paid, but the money has been paid on fewer than 7,000 claims, which are themselves, as The New York Times puts it, "few and far between." Boiling it all down, there's only about one claim per 1 million doses of vaccine awarded, and only about two claims per million doses even filed. Case closed, vaccine cheerleaders in the media say.
Well, the case isn't closed, as we look into it in today's edition.
As it turns out, the government's own commissioned reports tell them that vaccine adverse events are vastly underreported, fewer than 1 percent, in fact. Since 30,000 adverse events are reported each year, that's scary.
The general public for the most part doesn't know the reporting system and the vaccine court exist, and health care providers aren't much better. Fewer than half of health care providers who witness a vaccine-induced adverse event bother to report it, one study showed.
In addition, critics of the court allege a government bias toward pharmaceutical companies, say the table of compensable injuries is way too narrow, and a tight three-year statute of limitations precludes many injured from filing claims at all.
The vaccine court won't even consider autism-related cases, based on an omnibus vaccine court finding that vaccines don't cause the disorder, though those proceedings are now being challenged by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., based on alleged fraudulent casework by the government. The national media has managed to cite the findings of the omnibus vaccine court's dismissal of a vaccine link to autism, but somehow missed the very serious charges of witness tampering that have been alleged.
Suffice it to say it is clear that the number of petitions and the number of compensated claims is obviously understated by a large factor, even by the government's own admission, even if it does not quite give those who question vaccines the absolute evidence of vaccine damage they seek.
To say it another way, while the vaccine court may not indict vaccines, neither does it exonerate them, if the issues are fairly and impartially investigated.
Unfortunately, they are not being fairly and impartially investigated.
It's not surprising to us the pharmaceutical industry wanted to forgo any liability for what is quite clearly substantial vaccine injury in this country, by setting up a compensation court to narrowly award obvious claims of injury.
It's not surprising to us that both major political parties and the government went along. Progressives who populate our bureaucracies still believe that they and other "experts" and "scientists" can concoct solutions to every social ill, if only a docile public will obediently follow along.
For the ill of epidemics and other diseases, their solution is vaccination, which also conveniently lines the pockets of Big Pharma companies with gaggles of money, and which in turn hire bureaucrats from the revolving door of government.
It's not even surprising that Democratic politicians, who spend much of their time railing against pharmaceutical companies on other issues, fall in line on the vaccine question. Not surprising because their belief that government should be able to force its way into our bodies with scores of injections represents the ultimate victory of big government liberalism - government's total control over the individual.
These days, the national media has become more compliant in this charade than the public, and that's a shame.
Rather than crowing about how few and far between the vaccine court claims are, the media should be investigating the narrow criteria for those claims, the underreporting that forecloses many claims, and the alleged biases of the vaccine court's decisions, if only to debunk the allegations.
To our knowledge, the major national media has not done so.
To reiterate - we don't think the media should simply begin to agree with those who question the safety of vaccinations, but we do think all the claims, for and against, should be investigated, rather than sweeping all the evidence under a conspiracy rug.
And, rather than merely point to study after study showing no link between autism and vaccines - without pointing out that most are funded by pharmaceutical companies - the national media should point to the equal number of studies that do show a correlation. They do not do so.
Finally, rather than just trying to estimate how epidemics would ravage the country without vaccines, the national media should investigate what chronic-disease epidemics might have been already unleashed by the nation's immunization frenzy, especially in the area of autoimmune diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders.
After all, even the pro-vaccine science community understands that such things should be researched. Here's how a pro-vaccine 2017 study in EPMA Journal put it:
"The vaccination might display autoimmune side effects and potentially even trigger a full-blown autoimmune disease ..... The vaccination decreases the morbidity and mortality of the individuals, especially children. Nevertheless, the dilemma of whom and when to vaccinate remains unresolved and further research is needed to explain the action mechanism."
The media will have none of such straightforward honesty. They simply parrot the pharmaceutical industry line that everyone must be vaccinated all the time for everything. Anyone who disagrees is an evil anti-vaxxer.
And that really gets to the heart of the matter. For the question is not whether one is pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine. The question is, as the scientists above posed it, who should we vaccinate and when?
There may be a question whether the measles vaccine outweighs the risks of the MMR, but it has verifiably reduced the incidence of the disease and perhaps, if delivered in a single dose, it might be clearly superior to avoiding a measles vaccine. The question is not whether a measles vaccine is good, but whether it can be delivered apart from the MMR.
There are other good questions. Do we really need to vaccinate with Hepatitis B at birth? Many nations don't. Should we isolate vaccines and stagger schedules to increase effectiveness? Should we delay polio and mumps vaccines? Can we eliminate some vaccines altogether?
These and other questions about the vaccine schedule need to be asked and answered. It doesn't help when the media divides the issue into two camps - either we vaccinate, or we don't.
It does not help, either, if the media simply looks at a flawed federal vaccine court's scorecard and embraces it without even asking the most basic questions about validity. To pronounce vaccines as safe based on such flimsiness is to put lipstick on a pig and hope no one notices.
There are competing interests on both sides of the debate. The way to move toward resolution is for the media to facilitate a debate of those claims, rather than swallow the pharmaceutical propaganda hook, line, and sinker.
That debate would move us on this question to where we need to be - informed consent. Armed with all the risks of vaccinating or not vaccinating, parents and families could make their choices.
It would be an informed choice, and it would be their choice, the way it should be.
It makes you wonder what the pro-vax media is scared of. And that's perhaps the best question of all.
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