Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it.
That factor is attitude.
….William James, American Philosopher & Psychologist (1842-1910)
Why in the world would I open a report about a vaccine meeting at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in Rockville, Maryland, with such a quote? My answer is quite simple: Both sides of the vaccine injury issue need to interact intelligently because, as one member at that meeting said privately, “We’re both on the same page only at different paragraphs.”
That remark has resounded in my consciousness numerous times since I heard it at the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines Meeting September 2 and 3, 2010. Furthermore, after listening to the committee and my making a three-minute presentation on Shaken Baby Syndrome, I’ve begun to realize that there just may be some truth to that unapparent statement. However, there’s a caveat, which is: The perspective from which government and vaccine safety advocates approach the “page” differ somewhat.
As I and other lay-advocates sat there listening to impressive information, I began to wonder about a few things. I am a consumer healthcare researcher for over 35 years and a journalist. I believe I know how to research and cite statistics and information. I value the moral integrity of factual information. I appreciate transparency. I truly believe in the principles of public health, safety, and welfare. I also wonder how, on an issue as important as vaccine safety and adverse reactions, there can be palpable differences.
Here’s a case on point.
On the last day of the meeting a report was given about the H1N1 Vaccine Safety Update wherein a statement was made that there were no pregnancy and/or fetal adverse reactions reported. Within a few minutes of hearing that remarkable statement, advocate Eileen Dannemann of the National Coalition of Organized Women (NCOW) made her astounding three-minute presentation that highlighted the 178 VAERS reports on H1N1 vaccine-related miscarriages. Ms. Dannemann’s presentation was totally serendipitous, as no one had access to what was going to be presented at the meeting. Can you imagine the look on committee members’ faces as Dannemann made her presentation? Personally, I sat there feeling sorry for everyone involved. There is nothing more humiliating than being contradicted by valid government agency data, which Dannemann pitched with aplomb. How come Dannemann had those statistics and the person who made that apparently erroneous statement didn’t? I’ve thought about that almost constantly since I heard the contradictory presentation and wonder just how much more information is not being shared with government advisory committees who, in turn, make recommendations regarding health issues and particularly, vaccinesâ€”the apparent ‘sacred cow’ of public health policy.
I truly believe that every member on that vaccine committee is an honest and dedicated professional who wants to make a difference in the safety of vaccines. However, I wonder just how informed they truly are. After my presentation I was approached by several members of the committee who expressed their concerns about Shaken Baby Syndrome being a vaccine adverse reaction, something they had never equated with vaccines before. I thought, “How enlightening. I’m glad I made the effort.” I could see real concern expressed in their faces. I hope they will follow through and make a recommendation to higher-ups within the CDC and FDA so that parents will not be prosecuted legally for damages caused by vaccines. Please read my presentation Brain Swelling and Damage Associated With Vaccines Inappropriately Labeled Shaken Baby Syndrome that will be published on VacTruth as part of a series of several advocates’ presentations made at that meeting.
The presentations will be published as a series in the rotation they were made by the advocates at the meeting:
First: Catherine J Frompovich, Shaken Baby Syndrome
Second: Laraine Abbey, RN, about the dangers of adjuvants and, in particular, aluminum
Third: Harold E Buttram, MD, The Possible Role of Vaccines in Causing Retrogressive Changes
As a result of attending that meeting, I came away with a resolve that lay-advocates for vaccine safety need to interact with CDC and FDA and their respective committees in a truly advisory capacity since they don’t seem to get itâ€”that is factual information. Vaccine safety advocates need to divest themselves of emotional issues and pitch from the perspective of science, statistics, and preferably government agency published information that seems to be embargoed from its employees and/or committees.
I further believe it is imperative that vaccine safety advocates realize that we need to work from the bottom up because there are powerful forces working from the top down, e.g., lobbyists with deep pockets and other interests who promote agendas that may not be in the public’s interest. We saw that happen with the World Health Organization and the 2009 pandemic. Consumers need to become informed and as they say, “proactive” if they want to safeguard both their health and children. If what we experienced at the vaccine meeting with regard to blatant misinformation being disseminated, healthcare consumers must become more informed to make correct decisions regarding their right to self-determination.
In closing I offer my resources to CDC and FDA as a vaccine safety advocate. I feel I ferret out more accurate information that just may be helpful to those agencies, IF they really want it.
To be continued … Next: see Catherine J Frompovich’s presentation tomorrow.