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Infant Vaccine Deaths - But Who's Counting? (No news is NOT good news.) by Sandy Gottstein (aka Mintz)

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Scandals - 2/22/02

Infant Vaccine Deaths - But Who's Counting? (No news is NOT good news.) 

NOTE:  Slight correction on 1998 figures due to duplicate reports under different VAERS IDs.  If any more are discovered, additional corrections will be made.

"The benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks." How often have you heard that? 

How about "there is no evidence vaccination causes X"?

Well, it would be nice if it were true.

But it is not. There is evidence against vaccines and plenty of it. Unfortunately, vaccine "experts," who often represent vaccine makers or otherwise serve to gain from vaccine sales, hide the evidence by failing to consider, review or publicize it.

However, seek and ye shall find. Well, I sought, and I have found.

In 1986, Congress mandated that all adverse events following vaccination be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Looking for deaths of infants, in the now over 100,000 adverse reactions reported to VAERS between mid 1990 and the end of 2000,  I learned some very disturbing things, including that a surprisingly high number of infant deaths were reported. 

For instance, there were 88 deaths reported for infants receiving vaccines in 1998 in the United States during that period, with most of them occurring within days of vaccination.  (To read most of the actual 1998 cases included in this analysis, click here.  For cases added so far for other years, click here*.)

Among those 88 infants that died, the following "temporal" associations occurred:

39% of the infant deaths, or 34 of them, occurred by the day following vaccination.

55% of the infant deaths, or 48 of them, occurred by the 3rd day.

72% of the infant deaths, or 63 of them, occurred by the 6th day.

This may not be proof, but it sure as heck is evidence.  Clearly, such "temporal" associations should not be cavalierly dismissed.

Unfortunately, however, 88 is not even the whole story.

Former FDA commissioner David Kessler has said that, according to one study, 1% of serious drug reactions are reported to the FDA.  A vaccine manufacturer testified that in their experience, a passive system (which is what VAERS is) results in around 2%, regardless of seriousness.

Now, I don’t know what percent of actual vaccine associated adverse reactions are reported.  I do know that parents are being told by their doctors that even deaths within hours are not related, and are being discouraged from filing reports.  Although reporting is required, there is a great deal of resistance to doing so. Consequently it is certainly possible that only 1-2% of serious adverse vaccine associated reactions are reported to VAERS.  

What could all this mean?  Hundreds, even thousands, of infants could be dying each year within days of receiving one or more vaccinations.

Makes you kind of wonder if the benefits of vaccinating really do out weigh the risks.

Why don't we know for sure how many infants have died within days or weeks of receiving vaccination?

Why do we allow anything less than 100% reporting of serious vaccine-associated reactions?  How many infant and other deaths are occurring as a result of vaccination that we don't know about and may never know about? 

Why do we allow the fact that virtually all infants are vaccinated become an excuse for the "experts" to label these vaccine-associate deaths as merely coincidence and reject them out of hand, when they should instead be viewed as further compelling reason to compare the vaccinated to the "never vaccinated", in order to determine if there is, in fact, increased incidence of these adverse events among the vaccinated?

When are vaccines going to not only be considered a possible cause, but the most likely culprit, as should be the case when a drug is "temporally associated" with an adverse event?

Why don't we insist upon meaningful follow-up of serious adverse vaccine-associated reactions, including biologic  and properly controlled epidemiological studies?  When are we going to start demanding the kind of research that all this "anecdotal" evidence screams for?

As has been said many times before, the "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".  When are we going to stop accepting relatively unstudied reactions as such?  When are we going to stop allowing the "experts" to continue pulling the wool over our eyes? (Fool me once, shame on you.....)

When are we going to start paying attention to the growing evidence against vaccines? 

When are we going to stop letting our children down?

*Data reported re: infant deaths for 1998 should include all deaths reported by the end of 2000.  Additional 1998 infant deaths, reported later, are not included, however. All other years are incomplete, and do not, as yet, include all infant deaths reported to VAERS by the end of 2000.

Sandy Gottstein

Date: 2-22-2002