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Are Doctors Actually Giving Patients Any Up-to-Date Vaccine Safety Information?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    How much do doctors really know about vaccines? How much do they rely on pharmaceutical companies? What do they learn abut vaccines in med school? Practically nothing, except for how they work.

  • Reflect On:

    Is it safe to put our trust in doctors, who in turn put their trust in big pharmaceutical companies and science?

In 1986, Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA), a carefully crafted piece of legislation that gave vaccine manufacturers their dream come true: blanket immunity from liability for injuries resulting from childhood vaccines. Throwing a bone to the safety concerns of consumers, the Act also mandated that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (via the CDC) develop and distribute educational materials to inform vaccine recipients and/or their parents about a given vaccine’s risks and benefits.

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The NCVIA stipulated that doctors give out the appropriate materials—currently called Vaccine Information Statements (VISs)—“prior to every dose of specific vaccines,” including before “each dose of a multi-dose series.” Early on, government documentation emphasized the importance of giving VISs every time a vaccine is administered because “the health status of the child could have changed”—and as an example of changes in health status, the CDC cited children with “evolving neurological disorder[s].”

By 2005, however, researchers were calling attention to doctors’ frequent failure to give out VISs, while also noting that the physicians who did distribute VISs “rarely initiated discussions regarding contraindications to immunizations.” To rectify the situation, the same authors carried out a CDC-coordinated evaluation in 2007 and proposed revisions “that would alert the physician to the need to use the VIS.” Neither the CDC nor state-level officials endorsed the proposed revisions.

When it comes to their duty to educate, all signs indicate that doctors and the CDC are falling down on the job.

At present, few researchers are even asking whether doctors comply with their legal responsibility to not only distribute vaccine-specific VISs each time but also give recipients “an opportunity to ask questions about the vaccine.” Nor does anyone appear to be investigating whether health care providers check in with parents about changes in a child’s health status, or whether providers are aware of VIS updates. When it comes to their duty to educate, all signs indicate that doctors and the CDC are falling down on the job.

Dumbing down the content

Post-NCVIA, researchers were quick to laud VISs as “revolutionary” tools for provider-patient education. However, the government has dumbed down the content and process requirements for the vaccine education materials several times since 1986. Currently, instead of the comprehensive 12-page pamphlets only offered for a short while in the early 1990s (which responded to ten very explicit NCVIA requirements), parents receive “concise” front-and-back one-pagers (or their electronic equivalent) that are only expected to cover four “general” areas: vaccine benefits and risks (brief descriptions), a “statement” about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) and “other relevant information.”

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In 2008, the CDC also introduced “pediatric multi-vaccine” VISs, ostensibly to “reduce parents’ reading load” at doctors’ visits where children were routinely receiving as many as nine vaccines in one sitting. How did the agency collapse information from five separate VISs (for the DTaP, polio, hepatitis B, pneumococcal conjugate and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccines) into a single two-page document? It eliminated “some ‘nice to know’ information” and condensed remarks about the NVICP and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)—the two key resources important to know about in the event of an adverse reaction—down to the bare minimum.

Slipping in more changes

Vaccine Information Statements typically list a handful of categories of people who “should not get” the vaccine. For most vaccines, this includes individuals who had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine or who are severely allergic to one of the vaccine’s ingredients. However, parents who want to know what a vaccine’s ingredients are (so that they can assess allergy risks) must take additional steps to find out, because the VISs do not list the ingredients. Instead, the VIS advises parents to “Ask your health care provider if you want information about vaccine components.”

Other categories of people who should not get vaccines, as per most VISs, include individuals with weakened immune systems (due to disease or medical treatments), women who are pregnant or “might be pregnant” (the CDC limits this caution to live virus vaccines and says it’s just fine to administer other types of vaccines to pregnant women) and other groups (depending on the vaccine).

In February, 2018, the CDC added a new “should not vaccinate” category to the VISs for the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine and the measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccine: individuals who have “a parent, brother, or sister with a history of immune system problems.” Although this broadly worded caution was not present in previous (2012) versions, the CDC’s “what’s new with VISs,” dated October 12, 2018, says nothing about the change. Instead, the CDC simply tells health care providers that “updated VISs for…MMR, MMRV, and varicella have been posted.”

The change, seemingly slipped into the VISs without fanfare, raises many questions:

  • First, is the CDC making any effort to communicate the change to pediatricians and other providers of vaccines?
  • To what extent are pediatricians aware of and acting on the change?
  • What types of “immune system problems” does the language refer to?
  • Given how widespread immune problems currently are in both children and adults (with vaccines representing a potent contributor to immune dysfunction), what are the implications of the new caution in terms of vaccine exemptions?
  • Is it time to remind the CDC and physicians that a child’s health status is dynamic rather than static (particularly when it is under recurrent assault from an ever-growing number of vaccines)?
  • Shouldn’t “immune system problems” be on the table as an important topic of discussion when vaccine proponents make the draconian argument that physicians don’t have the authority to grant medical exemptions?
  • And finally, to what extent do doctors hear about important research on vaccine safety concerns not disclosed in the VISs?

Physicians’ one-sided information

From medical school on, the health care system drums the message into doctors that they should focus on “parental compliance” and adherence to the childhood vaccine schedule. Moreover, a recent analysis of VISs notes that it is “the healthcare provider, rather than the parent, [who] will determine if the child is too ill to receive the vaccine,” particularly because many of the phrases found in VISs (such as “immune system problems”?) are worded in a manner that “may not be readily evident to a parent or patient.”

…the CDC gives physicians the green light to administer the vaccines to children who experienced fever, collapse, shock, or lengthy inconsolable crying within 48 hours of a previous dose, as well as to children with a family history of seizures, sudden infant death syndrome or neurologic conditions

Unfortunately, the CDC seems most interested in making sure that health care providers do not defer vaccination and warns providers to avoid confusion about “conditions…commonly misperceived as contraindications.” For example, the CDC says that it is okay to administer vaccines to individuals who have mild acute illness or are convalescing; individuals with autoimmune disease; and preterm babies (to name just a few). The agency also proposes that providers use hospitalization “as an opportunity to provide recommended vaccinations.”

For the DTaP and Tdap (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis) vaccines, the CDC gives physicians the green light to administer the vaccines to children who experienced fever, collapse, shock, or lengthy inconsolable crying within 48 hours of a previous dose, as well as to children with a family history of seizures, sudden infant death syndrome or neurologic conditions. In short, what appears to matter most to the CDC is that health care providers use “every opportunity to administer appropriate vaccines.”

In response, parents need to remind providers that the NCVIA, flawed as it is, guarantees their right to ask questions and carefully weigh vaccine risks and benefits.

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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Ghislaine Maxwell Arrested By FBI on Charges Connected To Jeffrey Epstein

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What Happened: Jeffrey Epstein’s confidant Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested this morning in New Hampshire according to FBI spokeswoman Adrienne Senatore. At this time, charges against Maxwell are sealed, and prosecutors have scheduled a midday press conference in New York to provide more details on the case.

Charges against Maxwell came almost a year after Epstein was arrested by FBI agents on July 6, 2019. Jeffrey Epstein allegedly killed himself in a federal jail in August 2019, although many believe he was killed given he could name many high profile figures connected to his ring.

Why It Matters: Maxwell is heavily connected to sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein who operated a sex/pedophile ring that tailored to high profile individuals, business people, entertainers and politicians.

Her arrest may be important in helping to bring down more people connected to the ring which include Hillary and Bill Clinton amongst other high profile names.

The Takeaway:

Humanity is in a process of ‘Breaking the Illusion’ we have come to accept about our reality. We have been living from a collective story that states we elect good people into government, and they act on our best interest. This categorically is not the case, and part of our collective awakening to creating solutions that can make our world thrive is waking up from this illusion we have chosen to accept.

People are beginning to learn en masse that high profile figures are involved in such acts like extreme occult rituals, sex trafficking and pedophilia, and they are beginning to wonder why. They are also beginning to question why we put our trust and support in people who operate in this manner.

Looking Deeper:

We have interviewed a survivor of elite pedophile rings like the one Epstein and Maxwell ran. Her name is Anneke Lucas and you can watch her full testimony here on CETV.

You can also watch a recent documentary called Out of Shadows that explores this topic in detail on CETV as well.

Read more about Epstein ad Maxwell here.

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Environmentalist Censored For Shifting His Opinion On Climate Change

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Forbes.com deleted a new article from environmentalist Michael Shellenberger. His perspective on climate change shifted, and he decided to write about it. Forbes wasn't having it.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are we deciding to censor different perspectives as opposed to explore them? Is our emotional intelligence so undeveloped collectively that we cannot have civil conversations?

What Happened: Michael Shellenberger, a long time environmentalist who has been in the trenches helping to save the world’s last unprotected redwoods, co-created the predecessor to today’s Green New Deal and led an effort to keep nuclear power plants operating in order to prevent a spike of emissions, has shifted his perspective on climate change. Prior to today, he was holding the perspective that we must be alarmed about the fact that the world will end in a short amount of time if we don’t act to reduce carbon emissions immediately.

He shifted his opinion based on exploring emerging science on the subject. He then went on to write a book called Never Apocalypse, which seeks to help explore what we can do to better our environment from a grounded and accurate point of view, as opposed to alarmism.

He wrote an article on Forbes website titled On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize For the Climate Scare.” Two days laterForbes decided to remove his article.

Why It Matters: The fact that Forbes removed an article that was grounded, calm, well written and explored new conversations illustrates the emerging culture of ‘censor anything that can get us in trouble’ or ‘censor anything that doesn’t agree with mainstream conjecture.”

We’ve come into a time where our collective lack of emotional intelligence is surfacing deeply for us to address. When we disagree on something, we struggle to explore things together. When a company says something they feel might get them in trouble, they run away in fear that the angry mob will come after them.

All that happened here was a man wrote an article that brought some new light to a conversation that has been very polarized and is causing people to react out of emotion instead of logic and the heart. Instead of listening and exploring, censorship ensues.

The Takeaway: I spoke at a high school here in Toronto last year. At the end of my talk, many students came up to me to talk, discuss ideas and share feedback. The vast majority of them explained to me that they were terrified that the world was going to end in just a few years. They felt they had no future because of the acts of generations prior who were causing CO2 levels to rise so high that the world would end.

I thought to myself, wow, an entire generation of kids being pushed into fear, anxiety and depression based on information that isn’t even accurate. This information was created by politicians and pushed out by media. Scientists categorically do not agree with the idea that the world is coming to an end as a result of CO2 emissions. Yet not enough people are telling people this, most of media is staying silent on other perspectives and censorship even shuts down opposing ideas.

What type of world will we create if we can’t discuss basic ideas? What  type of world will we create when we choose to run, hide and censor as opposed to having important conversations? How can we stop identifying so deeply with positions, so that we can be more free to shift ideas when new information helps us understand things better?

Looking Deeper:

I made a film last year called Regenerate: Beyond The CO2 Narrative. After 10 years of researching and investigating climate change, I came to many conclusions that I felt needed to be shared, yet were extremely rare in public discourse. One of the most important aspects of Regenerate was that we simply are looking at our environment from such a limited point of view that we can’t identify the real issues we face, and that our level of thinking, or consciousness, is completely disconnected from the solutions required to truly shift our relationship with earth. Thus, we are creating solutions that never truly address making the environment cleaner or better long term.

I encourage you to check out the film trailer below, and if you wish to watch the film, it’s available on our member platform called CETV. You can start a free 7 day trial to watch it if you like. We also discuss this story in more detail in episode 2 of The Takeway, an orignal show we have on CETV.

Watch the full film here.

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Soft Drink Companies Caught Using Big Tobacco’s Playbook To Lure Young Children

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Documents obtained by researchers clearly outline the unethical and immoral actions Tobacco companies used to 'hook' kids onto sugary drinks. They use the same tactics they did for smoking.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do and have our federal health regulatory agencies allow such products to be approved as safe for consumption when they are clearly linked to a variety of diseases, like cancer?

Many moves made by multiple big corporations are extremely unethical, immoral, and downright shocking. These corporations have completely compromised our federal health regulatory agencies, and it’s quite clear that they do not care about the health of the human race and will do anything when it comes to the success of the products they manufacture, including taking illegal and/or immoral actions.

One of the more recent examples comes from the tobacco industry. Companies within the industry used colors, flavors, and marketing techniques to lure and entice children as potential future smokers. They actually used and applied these same strategies to sweetened beverages starting as early as 1963, according to a study conducted by researchers at UC San Francisco.

As the Sugar Scientists point out:

The study, which draws from a cache of previously secret documents from the tobacco industry that is part of the UCSF Industry Documents Library tracked the acquisition and subsequent marketing campaigns of sweetened drink brands by two leading tobacco companies: R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris. It found that as tobacco was facing increased scrutiny from health authorities, its executives transferred the same products and tactics to peddle soft drinks. The study was published in the March 2019 issue of BMJ.

“Executives in the two largest U.S.-based tobacco companies had developed colors and flavors as additives for cigarettes and used them to build major children’s beverage product lines, including Hawaiian Punch, Kool-Aid, Tang and Capri Sun,” said senior author Laura Schmidt, PhD, MSW, MPH, of the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. “Even after the tobacco companies sold these brands to food and beverage corporations, many of the product lines and marketing techniques designed to attract kids are still in use today.” (source)

The new papers, which are available in the UCSF Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Library, a subset of the UCSF Industry Documents Library, reveal the close and tight knit relationships between the big tobacco and big food industries. In fact, in the 60s and 70s, these companies conducted taste tests with mothers and their children to evaluate sweetness, colors and flavors for Hawaiian Punch product line extensions. The children’s preferences were prioritized.

Kool-Aid Joins Marlboro

Meanwhile, tobacco competitor Philip Morris had acquired Kool-Aid, via General Foods, in 1985. The company flipped its marketing audience from families to children, created its “Kool-Aid Man” mascot, and launched collaborations with branded toys, including Barbie and Hot Wheels. It also developed a children’s Kool-Aid loyalty program described as “our version of the Marlboro Country Store,” a cigarette incentives program. (source)

“The Wacky Wild Kool-Aid style campaign had tremendous reach and impact,” said first author Kim Nguyen, ScD, MPH, who is also with the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. “Lots of kids in the ’80s dreamed of getting swag from the Wacky Warehouse. What is really ‘wacky’ is that the Kool-Aid kid program was modeled after a tobacco marketing strategy designed to build allegiance with smokers.”

The tobacco giant also acquired Capri Sun and Tang, and used similar child-focused integrated marketing strategies to drive those sales.

“The industry claims that these tobacco-inspired marketing strategies are not actually targeting children and should be excluded from these industry-led agreements,” said Schmidt. “But the evidence cited in our research shows that these product lines and marketing techniques were specifically designed for and tested on children.” (source)

The UCSF Industry Documents Library was launched in 2002 as a digital portal for tobacco documents. Today, the library includes close to 15 million internal tobacco, drug, chemical and food industry documents used by scientists, policymakers, journalists and community members in their efforts to improve and protect the health of the public.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, it’s important to recognize that government health authorities and the corporations we buy our food from, among other things, really don’t care about us. This has become extremely evident, as they are responsible for the sharp rise in numerous diseases. It’s not uncommon to see parents buy their children products similar to the ones listed above, and that’s due to mass brainwashing and the fact that we’ve been made to feel that these products are actually safe. This is why awareness is so critical.

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