March 26, 2008

CDC Offers Another Non Response on Autism and Vaccines in the AJC

The CDC has issued a response to David Kirby’s piece entitled, "Give Us Answers on Vaccines" offered to us in yesterday’s AJC by Rear Admiral Anne Schuchat, MD.

I have done a lengthy break down of it, ridiculous assertion by empty statement, and responded to Dr. Schuchat on several of her statements.
"Vaccines' Benefits Outweigh Dangers"

Let’s start here, with the title. Have you heard this one before? Have you hear this one a thousand times before? We keep finding out more and more information about the dangers of vaccination and the increases in the risks, but no matter how much risk of danger is added to the balance, the scale not only never tips, but it never moves.

Vaccines like RotaShield cause so much damage that they get removed from the market, yet, this statement never wavers. There is never any variation like, "although we have discovered that risk of vaccine injury extends to those with mitochondrial dysfunction which must be taken into account when making vaccine decisions, we believe the benefits outweigh the dangers".

And it is all lumped together. Always. Every vaccine seems to have the same benefit/danger risk for everyone. There is never a CDC press release that says, "benefits outweigh dangers, except in the case of the Hepatitis B vaccine for those with mitochondrial dysfunction and an history of vaccine reaction".

No matter how much new information comes to light on the risks of vaccines, 'benefits outweigh risks' remains the mantra.
"Autism claim shouldn't deter parents"

Ok… she has made an emphatic 'should' statement telling parents what to do. Let's look at the information that she offers to justify giving that direction to parents
"By ANNE SCHUCHAT
Published on: 03/26/08
David Kirby's March 20 opinion column, "Give Us Answers on Vaccines," misinterpreted available information about a case before the National Vaccine Injury Compensation program and may have parents wondering what is best for their child when it comes to immunizations.

So Kirby got it wrong… let's find out where.
"That is unfortunate, given that our nation's childhood vaccines are very safe and are proven to protect and save lives."

Well… she has made the "very safe" safety claim, but that is kind of the statement that Kirby and mom’s like me are demanding proof of in light of the Poling case and the research that got HHS to concede it. We are looking to see what she has to offer us.
"Parents should know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with other agencies in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the wide range of scientists and health professionals involved in the nation's immunization programs take seriously questions and concerns related to vaccine safety."

Well… again… we don’t believe that this statement is true, because we don’t see actions that would prove it true. No one at the CDC investigates our vaccine injury claims, when I walked into my Pediatrician’s office with the safety data sheet of the first shot that harmed my son, he wouldn’t even read it because he didn’t have time. He was respectful, but said that he can’t even keep up with what the AAP was sending him.

The AAP takes direction from the CDC, if CDC is so concerned with vaccine safety, then why did my ped, who is only two degrees of separation from them, have no interest in my son’s vaccine injury?

And I myself have raised lots and lots of questions and echoed the questions and concerns of other parents, and CDC has completely ignored them. In the spring of 2005 CDC posted a notice on their web site saying that they would be responding to the questions and concerns raised in David Kirby’s book, Evidence of Harm, and three years later, still no response.

Dr. Schuchat, parents DON’T know that CDC takes questions of vaccine safety seriously, because you completely ignore them. Until you behave differently and actually even discuss and debate the questions and concerns publicly, why in the world would we just accept this easily disprovable statement from you?

I have often compared CDC’s claim of seriousness about dealing with the vaccine/autism connection to my claims of seriousness about dealing with the size of my big behind. If I got up and declared that I was obsessed with fitness, one would merely have to glimpse the size of my two hundred and (cough, cough, cough) pound form to see that such pronouncements, are indeed, malarkey.

You are not addressing the vaccine/autism question any more than I am jogging around the block. Let’s not embarrass ourselves by making claims that are so obviously false.
"Furthermore, our efforts in vaccines, developmental disabilities..."

What efforts in developmental disabilities are you referring to exactly?
"... and the health of children go far beyond our professional interests, as many of the dedicated professionals involved are also parents and grandparents."

While it is nice that many employees have children, I am not sure what that proves. I did note though from your bio that you do not seem to have children, so you are not really in the same risk boat that we are. Vaccine injury will never make you quit your career to care for a sick child as it has for most of us.
"Kirby's column included many inaccuracies related to childhood vaccines."

Great… now we are going to hear what they are and where Kirby was wrong.
"As such,.."

Wait, Doctor… don’t you have to list what those inaccuracies are and counter them with some sort of correction or argument to the contrary? You just made the statement, decided it was true and move onto, "As such"! How is this exactly advancing the vaccine autism discussion?

Are we just supposed to take your word for it that Kirby was wrong?
"As such, it illustrates…"

I guess that we are just supposed to take your word for it.

Except that you have not made your point, and now you want you point to actually prove another point?
"...that when it comes to immunizations, child development and specific medical conditions, the best source of guidance is the child's health care provider."

So now we are supposed to make two leaps here? David Kirby is wrong, which we know because you said so, which somehow also proves that pediatricians are right?
"Parents should not be reluctant to ask their child's doctors or nurses about any health concerns, including immunizations."

Dr. Schuchat, have you ever taken a baby into the office and actually done this? Try this experiment. Take off your uniform, put on a blond wig, borrow a friend’s baby and walk into a pediatrician’s office and say, "doctor, I have concerns that vaccines may cause autism" and watch what happens.

What usually happens to us is that, at best, we get belittled, at wost, reamed and dismissed from the practice. We even get harassed by nurses. I once had a doctor yell at me over the phone and hang up on me.

Is that behavior might make parents 'reluctant' to raise concerns about vaccinations?
"Vaccines are often given early in life in order to protect against diseases that can seriously harm infants and young children. The joint immunization recommendations of CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Physicians do recognize there are instances when a child should not receive a recommended vaccine or when a recommended vaccination should be delayed."

They do? Because that is not what the head of the AAP, Dr. Tayloe, said on the Today show two weeks ago. He was asked the following question:

"Do you believe that all vaccines should be used on every child?"

His complete response:

"Yes. I think any of the vaccines we have today have been tested and proven to be safe, and the credible studies don't show any relationship between vaccines and permanent injury. So we favor this and we know that unless we have vaccination rates that are in the 90 to 95% range we are not going to prevent epidemics from coming into this country of measles, of polio, from countries where these diseases are still endemic. So its very important that we vaccinate all our children."
"Those decisions, however, are best made in consultation with the child's doctor."

This would be the doctor that is the member of the AAP and takes direction from Dr. Tayloe? Because not only does Tayloe not take the vaccine/autism concern seriously, he does not even believe that permanent vaccine injury exists.

How seriously do you think the medical professionals who follow his lead take vaccine injury and parental concerns about autism?
"As the column correctly noted, vaccine injury cases are often handled through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation program administered by HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration."

They are "often handled" there (as opposed to 'always handled' there)because most vaccine injuries are not handled at all.

Many people who are victims of vaccine injury are not told that they are even victims of vaccine injury (raising my hand), and when they do believe they are, don’t even hear about the compensation program until the three year statute of limitations has run out. Their vaccine injury cases are not handled anywhere.
"This program is charged with determining whether a claimed injury meets pre-established criteria or if vaccination may have contributed to a child's serious medical or health condition. If such a determination is made, the program works to provide timely and compassionate compensation."

And by "timely" she means that it takes around 7 to 10 years to have your case heard, and by "compassionate" she means that when you actually win and award, they hold on to it for you and make you apply for your own money when you have a need of some kind.

A great example of this "compassionate" compensation is the family whose disabled daughter grew out of her wheelchair and when her parents tried to access her VICP money to buy her a new one, the "compassionate" program declined the request because they had already purchased a wheel chair for her. The one that she no long fit into.

Can you feel the government compassion!
"Since 1988, HRSA's vaccine injury program has provided compensation in about 2,100 cases, including some that have involved vaccines and encephalopathy (injury to the brain). While Kirby's column suggested otherwise, to date, this program has never determined in any case that autism was caused by a vaccine."

So says you. Let’s see the proof! Kirby says he has a document, you obviously have all the documents from all 2,100 cases. Get a big black marker out and start blacking out names and let’s get to readin'!

With 2,100 cases of proven vaccine injury, who knows how much we could learn about how many medical disorders and their causes and treatments! Not just autism, but who knows how many! Well... you know how many, because you have all the documents... but imagine the expansion of the knowledge base for everyone else!

I mean look how much we learned about the relationship between mito dysfunction and autism from just that ONE Poling document that Kirby released and then Dr. Poling commented on.

The autism world is abuzz with this new piece of the puzzle and talking with mito experts and I am even learning more about what could be going on in my own son’s little body.

Isn’t the thought off that flood of information entering the scientific community an exciting idea for you?! I mean, you and all the other officials at the CDC, NIH, HHS, AAP are so concerned about vaccine safety, and take these questions and concerns so seriously, so I would assume that you guys would be jumping for joy and the thought of such a big giant bolus dose of proven vaccine injuries to pick through and examine and contrast and compare! I know I am excited about the idea of what it could teach me about Chandler’s vaccine induced autism.

And we could even have some kind of open public forum for doctors and scientists and families and health officials and even the families of the settlement recipients (if they want to share more of their stories) can participate in so that we can all just feed off the information that will be out there!

When do we get started?!
"In comparison, during this same time period, about 100 million American children received recommended childhood vaccinations, and cases of vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S. have decreased to record or near-record lows."

That is interesting, but that is not what we are talking about. Whether or not vaccines prevent diseases and whether or not vaccines trigger autism are two completely different, mutually exclusive questions. Both could be true or false and either statement's veracity actually has no impact on the other.

We are not examining the question of whether or not they prevent infectious disease right now. We are examining the question of whether or not they contribute to autism and other autoimmune and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Once we have the correct answer to THAT question, then we can go back and examine your title thesis that the ‘benefits outweigh the dangers” by comparing them to risks associated with disease from non-vaccination.

But you seem to try to get us to ignore the million dollar autism/vaccine question by distracting us with the 'prevents disease' assertion.

So can we set that aside until we actually know the real risk to compare to the benefits?
"Recently, mitochondrial disorders have become the focus of media attention with respect to vaccine injury compensation. Mitochondrial disorders, which occur very rarely in children, are believed to be genetic."

Not by these researchers. They found that thimerosal causes mitochondrial dysfunction.

You claim that the CDC is all about taking questions and concerns seriously. Why then will you not discuss the idea that, as Dr. Poling is asserting, that the first round of vaccines set up his daughter’s mito dysfunction and another round of vaccines interacted with that mito problem to cause the autism? HHS has already conceded the second half, and research clearly shows that the first half is possible too.

So why are you ignoring all this and saying that it is believed to be only genetic?
"Children born with these disorders often appear normal through the first years of life. When placed under severe stress from such things as infections, fever, dehydration, malnutrition or lack of sleep, children with these disorders often experience loss of some brain and nervous system functions."

Or vaccines… you forgot to mention vaccines.
"Some have suggested that infants and children be screened for mitochondrial disorders before getting recommended vaccinations. Unfortunately, mitochondrial diseases are very difficult to diagnose and it is usually not possible to identify children with such disorders until there are signs of developmental decline. A definitive diagnosis often requires multiple blood tests and may also require a muscle or brain biopsy (removal of a portion for testing, usually under anesthesia). Therefore, providing routine screening tests on children who have no symptoms would bring other medical risks and raise many ethical questions."

And honestly, and in all frankness, I don’t care how hard it is to do.

Figure it out.

HHS has admitted that mito dysfunction is a precursor to Autism. I don’t wanna hear "too hard", I don’t wanna hear, "too expensive", I don’t wanna hear any excuses what so ever.

You have billions of dollars at your disposal to figure out this problem. If you want to vaccinate every person in this country then come up with a way to discern which children are at risk for LIFE LONG PERMANENT BRAIN DAMAGE.

DO IT!

Repeating my mantra… My children are not acceptable losses in your war against communicable diseases.
"At present, we do not know definitively if vaccines can trigger neurological or developmental declines among children with mitochondrial disorders."

Then wait just a minute! HHS said that they did in Hannah Poling! They are paying her a million bucks or so because of it!

You guys need to make a decision. Either they do or they don’t. If they do, then you need to get into high gear and figure out exactly what this all means, and if they don’t and as an American tax payer I don’t want one single penny going to the Poling family for their fraudulent claim.

You don’t get to go with which ever theory is convenient to you in the moment. How dumb do you think we are?
"We do know, however, that infections can cause neurological and developmental declines among these children — and we also know that childhood vaccinations protect children against some of the same infections known to cause developmental decline among children with mitochondrial disorders. These include vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, chickenpox and influenza."

Again… distracting us from question A by diverting us to question B which does not help us answer question A in any way what so ever.
"In the case of children with mitochondrial disorders, we do not yet have sufficient evidence to make general immunization recommendations."

And I am betting, from the complete lack of interest in the mito question that you have shown since the Polings went on CNN (and since the concession was made last year for that matter) you will probably never get around to finding that "sufficient evidence" to make changes in recommendations in the vaccine schedule.

It is most likely on your list right under "Get back to David Kirby on that whole 'Evidence of Harm' thing".
"Physicians who care for children with these disorders usually recommend that these children receive their childhood vaccines, but, depending on the child's health status or medical condition, they may change when those vaccinations are provided."

It would be appreciated if the CDC could provide us a list of these physicians who might actually deviate from the vaccine schedule due to the health needs of an individual child. It is hard for us to find them on our own.
"We recognize that developmental disorders, whether related to mitochondrial disease, autism or other causes, are a serious challenge for many families. In the case of autism, CDC has actively supported vaccine safety research in this area."

Are you joking? Can you seriously say something like this and expect autism parents not to scream at you at this point? After years and years of bogus studies and ignoring us?

You should be ashamed at yourself for making this statement.
"To date, the best science indicates that there is no association between vaccines and autism."

Bull-shit.
"As part of our efforts to foster understanding of autism, CDC is currently conducting the largest study to date designed to identify potential autism causes and risk factors."

CDC has not yet addressed 'questions and concerns' with their last disaster of a vaccine/autism study, but actually stands by Verstraten, but you think we will be placated by the next one? How about you open up the Safety Data Link, bring Thomas Verstraten back into the country and have an open examination of that study.

Then when we get all our questions and concerns properly addressed there, we can move onto the next study, making sure it is open and transparent and not a piece of crap like that one.
"We recognize that much of the success of our nation's immunization efforts comes from the trust of parents. We do not take that trust lightly. Rather, CDC, FDA and other HHS agencies are continually working to expand efforts in vaccine safety research and science as well as clinician and parent input and involvement. Like parents, we want the best information possible when it comes to protecting and ensuring children's health."

Clearly you don’t understand that you have already lost the trust of the autism community and the rest of the public has taken notice, and call us for vaccine advice instead of their own doctors, or any of you.
"Our nation's high immunization rates are the reason why very few children suffer from vaccine-preventable diseases that in the past used to harm them in large numbers. These high rates show that parents realize the importance of childhood vaccinations."

Well if you keep insisting on touting the effectiveness of vaccines to distract from the question at hand, then I am just gonna post this:



And this:



"CDC is committed to maintaining that high level of support as well as making sure all our efforts are working to foster the health of children."

…Well not for your specific child, per se, but for most children. I mean if all the children in the US were melted into one big child, that child would be kinda healthy. That is the "children" we are referring to.

So that is the CDC's response. We never did get to find out what Kirby wrote that was incorrect, or get any of our vaccine questions answered, but we did get to hear, once again, that "CDC cares", "Vaccines safe and don’t cause autism", "benefits outweigh risks", and we have now added a new point to the old standbys, "Mito dysfunction too hard to screen for".

Truly Anne Schuchat has calmed our fears and addressed our lengthy and complicated questions with her repetition of the ethos, "Just Trust Us".

Except that blindly trusting government is what got us here in the first place. So we don't.

Wrapping up, I would like to point out that Admiral Schuchat has told us what her personal directive is on her bio:

"My top priority is to improve our ability to do excellent infectious disease science leading to public health impact." - Rear Admiral Anne Schuchat, MD


Her top priority is infectious diseases, and autism is not an infectious disease. It is an autoimmune disorder, a toxic injury and a GI disorder, among other things. This is just another example of the phenomena that I have been complaining about for years now.

When we ask for answers on autism, we are not offered responses by immunologists or toxicologists or gastroenterologists, who might actually offer us some real understanding on the processes going on in our children’s bodies, and how vaccine additives like mercury and aluminum may be triggering the dysfunction of those processes.

Instead we are, time and time again, offered the testimony of government virologists Like Dr. Schuchat who are basically trotted out to defend their life’s work.

Here is a taste of her bio:

"…director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases and has spent over 18 years at CDC working in immunization, respiratory, and other infectious diseases. Prior to her current appointment, she served as the director of CDC’s National Immunization Program (NIP); acting director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID)…" and on and on.

Read the whole thing. The woman has lived and breathed viruses and vaccines her entire professional life. But the CDC expects that we will see her as an unbiased source from whom we should be taking direction from on the safety of vaccines?

(I have long speculated that the reason that they don’t have a toxicologist come out and allay our fears about vaccines toxins, is that they can’t find one who will do it.)

This pronouncement is nothing more than a continuation of the public misinformation, political bullshit and CYA tactics, that we get every single time CDC addresses autism. Year after year I attend conferences and absolutely drown in new information on what is going on causes and treatments for autism. I can’t keep up with all of it.

But CDC hears none of it, recognizes none of it, discusses none of it, shows up at 0 conferences, interviews 0 parents who claim vaccine injury, and investigates 0 cases where parents claim recovery from autism.

But trust them… we may not be able to see it, but down deep, inside, they care.

4 comments:

cchrissyy said...

thanks for another insightful post! I thought I should take a sec to comment, usually I just take a link to my family blog but don't say anything here.

MDMOM said...

What a great post! Thanks for your thoroughness. I am as angry as you are about people's (not just CDC) indifference. Despite this, I have family members and dear friends who STILL don't believe that there's a connection. They are both doctors, as are my husband and myself. And BELIEVE is the key word. It would shake the foundations of their belief system to accept that Big Pharma makes big money off vaccines (and drugs), CDC is controlled by BIg Pharma, 99% of medical research is funded by Big Pharma, and everything taught in medical schools is basically approved by Big Pharma. It's so much nicer to think that you are intelligent and make decisions based on scientific truth than to admit you are a well-paid puppet for Big Pharma.I'm not practicing now and may never again, but if I do it will not be the same as I did before I saw the truth. Here we have pediatricians who refuse to see children as patients if they are not vaccinated.
We have to keep fighting the good fight!! I want to go to that CDC rally in June so badly. If this nonsense keeps up I just might!

Elizabeth said...

I love the way you broke it down. It's my first time on your blog, you're a great writer! We need people all fired up about this mess. I am thinking about holding a sign on the street corner, I don't give a crap how I look, I want people to know what is going on. What the heck, some kids just get sh!t on because the benefits outweigh the risks? My $%#! Go get 'em girl, chew 'em up and spit 'em out!

Infinite Folding said...

The measles mortality graph is an excellent case of lying thru statistics.

Show also the graph of cases of measles per year. Mention also that complications from the measles are pneumonia (and dying from it doesn't count in the measles stats...) and encephalitis.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/98/Measles_incidence-cdc.gif

Mention also that there area a nasty list of complications from the mumps, and that in the US 1962-65 rubella epidemic, 30,000 pregnant women had spontaneous abortions/still births, and a further 20,000 children were born handicapped.