Thursday, April 10, 2008

National Vaccine Advisory Comittee Shutting Out Parent Organizations Concerned with Vaccines

On April 11, the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) will hold their first Safety Group Meeting in Washington.

Their own charter calls for participation by representatives from "parent organizations concerned with immunization." This representation has not been granted. SafeMinds has submitted several requests for participation in the meeting with no response.

The deadline to request attendance was up at 4:00 p.m. today, April 9. I sent a request on behalf of SafeMinds this evening any way. I also sent a copy to my congressman and senators. They should be aware that the government is shutting us out once again.

I ask any one with any level of concern over vaccine safety to do the same. SafeMinds goals are defined below and they are very reasonable.
The following is a copy of my letter to my congressman and senators. It also contains a copy of the email that I sent to NVAC.

Consumer Representation Squashed at Upcoming National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) Safety Group Meeting

Senator Chambliss,
The National Vaccine Advisory Committee has violated their own charter by denying parent advocacy groups a seat at the table for their first meeting in Washington on April 11.

Following you will find a copy of the email that I have sent to them, requesting that SafeMinds be given a seat at this meeting. I thought you should be aware of this situation and the very reasonable and direct goals of SafeMinds.
Copy of email to NVAC
The charter for NVAC calls for participation by representatives from "parent organizations concerned with immunization." In light of this parents and advocacy groups with autism/vaccine safety concerns should have a seat at the table.

SafeMinds has requested of NVAC, without response, an expansion of the current consumer representation of this group to include one of SafeMinds Directors (Dr. Vicky Debold, or Mr. Mark Blaxill) to more accurately balance and diversify views essential to the task of this workgroup.

Currently, adequate consumer representation with regard to vaccines and their safety is trumped by the over-representation by those with a financial stake in increased vaccination (industry and providers) and with a bias in favor of traditional population-based immunization policy.

SafeMinds continues to advocate for the following in order to protect our children from harm.
* A comprehensive study of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated populations, or alternatively vaccinated populations is needed to accurately determine harm from mercury in vaccines and other toxicants. The Amish are one such group and there are others.
* • Vaccine studies must be conducted by individuals free from conflicts of interest with the vaccine industry and public health officials whose livelihood depends on vaccine promotion.
* The vaccine schedule must be tested for safety in terms of multiple vaccines being given during one visit and the overall number of vaccines in use for long-term adverse effects - it has never been done and should be integral to vaccine safety monitoring.
* Greater consumer representation within the work group and specific consumer representation of the autism vaccine concerns by SafeMinds Directors Dr. Vicky Debold and Mr. Mark Blaxill.

I have forwarded a copy of this letter to Congressman Tom Price and Senators Saxby Chambliss and John Isakson.

Pamela Felice
concerned parent


Yesterday the NVAC did agree to give Barbara Lowe Fisher from the National Vaccine Information Center and Peter Bell of Autism Speaks a seat on the Panel. However, a seat has also been given to Lisa Randall from Voices 4 Vaccines. As stated by Andventures in Autism, "Lisa Randall is a an attorney and "policy consultant" for Immunization Action Coalition, or, a group that is funded in part by the CDC and by pharmaceutical companies Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Wyeth, Sanofi Pasteur, Novartis, CSL iotherapies, MedImmune, and Baxter Healthcare Corp."

Voices 4 Vaccines has refused to disclose who sits on their board or where they get thier funding. So the question is, who does Lisa Randall really represent? There is certainly a transparency issue here. For the full story see the post titled "Lisa Randall, Vaccine Safety Working Group , Voices 4 Vaccines, The Task Force for Child Survival, Pharma Dollars and The World Bank"
on Adventures in Autism blog.

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