by Barbara Loe Fisher
On April 26, a national public health emergency was declared by officials in the U.S. Departments of Health and Homeland Security. 1,2 We were told it was necessary to declare a national emergency because people were getting sick from a new swine flu virus that began in Mexico and might cause a deadly influenza pandemic.
So far, the vast majority of people who get sick with swine flu have symptoms that are no worse than the regular flu and recover completely. 3,4,5, 6
Three Week Testing of Swine Flu Vaccines
The declaration of a national public health emergency last spring set a chain of events in motion: some schools were closed, 7 some people were quarantined 8, 9 and drug companies were given billons of tax dollars to create experimental swine flu vaccines. 10 These new vaccines are being fast tracked by the FDA. We are being told they will only be tested for a few weeks on a few hundred children and adults 11 before being given to children in schools in October.
Liability Protection for Vaccine Injuries & Deaths
Under federal legislation passed by Congress since 2001, an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) 12,13,14 allows drug companies, health officials and anyone who gives experimental vaccines to Americans during a declared public health emergency, to be protected from liability if people get hurt.
Safety and Informed Consent At Risk in Schools
The National Vaccine Information Center has been a vaccine safety watchdog since 1982. We are questioning the need to turn schools into medical clinics this fall where swine flu vaccines being rushed to market will be given to children first. We are calling on the Obama Administration and state Governors to provide solid evidence to parents that it is necessary to give children experimental swine flu vaccines in schools.
Are the states prepared to obey vaccine safety provisions in the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act,15 which include:
1. Giving parents written information about vaccine benefits and risks before children are vaccinated; 16
2. Keeping a record of which vaccines the children get, including the manufacturer’s name and lot number;
3. Recording which vaccines were given in the child’s medical record;
4. Recording serious health problems that develop after vaccination in the child’s medical record and immediately making a report to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) 17
Will States Compensate Vaccine Injured Children?
And there are more questions that need to be answered: Are the states prepared to provide financial compensation to children harmed by swine flu vaccines given in schools? Are parents going to be given complete, truthful information about swine flu vaccine risks and have the right to say “YES” or “NO” before their children are lined up and vaccinated in the school setting?
Vaccines are pharmaceutical products that carry a risk of injury or death and those risks are greater for some than others. 1 in 6 children in America is learning disabled18. 1 in 9 has asthma 1 in 150 develops autism. 1 in 450 has diabetes and millions more suffer with allergies and autoimmune disorders. Will the swine flu vaccine be safe for them?
Although it is a good idea for health officials to prepare for a worst case scenario and stockpile vaccines, it is a bad idea to turn schools into medical clinics and basically test experimental swine flu vaccines on children first. Especially when nobody has any liability. That has the potential to hurt children instead of keeping them well.
NVIC Oct. 2-4 Conference Addresses Vaccine Risks
This Oct. 2-4, 2009 in Washington, D.C., parents concerned about the lack of vaccine safety and informed consent protections in the vaccination system will gather with doctors, scientists, bioethicists, legal experts, journalists, and consumer advocates at the Fourth International Public Conference on Vaccination to talk about the science, policy, law and ethics of vaccination.
– Special Early Bird registration ends on July 31.
Click here for more information about swine flu, swine flu vaccines, public health laws that govern you and you family, and how you can be better prepared to make well informed decisions during the declared national public health emergency.
1 U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Press Briefing on Swine Influenza with Dept. of Homeland Security, Centers for Disease Control and White House. April 26, 2009.
2 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Determination That A Public Health Emergency Exists. April 26, 2009.
3 Gale J. Bloomberg News. Swine Flu May Be Less Lethal Than Earlier Estimated, Study Says. July 6, 2009.
4 Schmid RE. The Seattle Times. Study: New flu inefficient in attacking people. July 2, 2009.
5 Centers for Disease Control. FluView. 2008-2009 Influenza Season Week 27 Ending July 11, 2009.
6 Food and Drug Administration, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Office of Vaccine Research and Review. Regulatory Considerations Regarding the Use of Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Vaccines. July 23, 2009.
7 US Department of Education. H1N1 Flu & U.S. Schools: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions. May 5, 2009.
8 NBC. Marine Tests Positive for Swine Flu. April 29, 2009.
9 CBS. DHS Sets Guidelines for Possible Swine Flu Quarantines. April 28, 2009.
10 The Independent. Obama earmarks emergency funding to fight swine flu. July 16, 2009.
11 Food and Drug Administration, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Office of Vaccine Research and Review. Regulatory Considerations Regarding the Use of Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Vaccines. July 23, 2009.
12 Project Bioshield Act of 2004 (PL 108-276)
13 The Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006 (PL 109-417).
14 Nightingale SL, Prasher JM, Simonson S. Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Enable Use of Needed Products in Civilian and Military Emergencies, United States. Emerging Infectious Diseases Vo. 13, No.7: July 2007.
15 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (PL99-660)
16 CDC. Fact Sheet for Vaccine Information Statements.
17 MedAlerts. Online Access to the U.S. VAERS Database.
18 Fisher BL. Vaccine Safety Research Priorities: Engaging the Public. National Vaccine Advisory Committee. April 11, 2008.