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The Coalition for Vaccine Safety Calls for Congressional Hearings on Federal Agencies' Failure to Provide Adequate Safety Research
Date:2/24/2010

CASE NOT CLOSED ON GOVERNMENT VACCINE SAFETY CLAIMS

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of House and Senate Committees charged with oversight of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Coalition for Vaccine Safety (CVS) is calling for hearings to investigate HHS, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other government agencies for failure to fully address issues of vaccine safety as intended by the Mandate for Safer Vaccines in the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act.

With the federal government claiming "case closed" on possible damage to children caused by compulsory vaccines, too much evidence exists and too many unanswered questions remain, according to the letter.  Key concerns are: insufficient and flawed data knowingly and willing used by government entities to reach conclusions that science dictates simply cannot be reached; conflicts of interest of individuals and government agencies involved in vaccine safety research; and ignored statements from experts regarding the un-answered question of a link between thimerosal (mercury) in vaccines and autism.

"The question has not been answered." (former Chairman of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Dr. Bernadine Healy)

"[T]here's been grossly insufficient investment in research on the safety of immunization." (former head of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Louis Cooper)

"Yet the study had significant weaknesses and they knew it."  (former Congressman David Weldon, MD, R-FL in reference to a CDC study regarding thimerosal and autism)

"[T]he committee cannot rule out, based on the epidemiological evidence, the possibility that vaccines contribute to autism in some small subset or very unusual circumstances." (The Institute of Medicine's (IOM) 2004 report on thimerosal and autism)

The Coalition for Vaccine Safety urges Congress to view the claims of HHS and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that vaccines are safe with a jaundiced eye.  The existing evidence on vaccine safety is grossly insufficient and fails to meet the requirements of public confidence.  In fact, significant evidence points to suppression of science that could prove or disprove vaccine safety.  This suppression may be due to potential liability and financial conflicts of interest involving individuals and organizations responsible for scientific studies and vaccine safety policies.  Furthermore, "HHS has blatantly disregarded laws passed by Congress requiring it to properly and thoroughly study vaccine safety," reads the letter.

The letter also notes pending National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program decisions at stake, "An important additional reason for Congress to act now is that the Court of Federal Claims is likely to release its Omnibus Autism Proceeding 'test cases' on the possible link between the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal and autism soon.  Suppression of science or significant conflicts of interest contaminating the research that undergirds the Court's determinations creates an urgent need for Congress to act."

In light of the growing number of questions and concerns regarding vaccine safety, it is imperative that the U.S. government rely on the best, most thorough and rigorous science possible.  The Department of Health and Human Services is legally and ethically bound to do everything reasonably possible to ensure the safety of vaccines.

The letter can be found at http://www.coalitionforvaccinesafety.org/letters .  Recipients are:

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY), Ranking Member, Cong. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) Chairman, Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Cong. Nathan Deal (R-GA), Ranking Member.

For more information, contact Cheri Jacobus at (202) 547-7358 cherijacobus@aol.com

or Pamela Felice at 404-394-2857 pfelice@safeminds.org

SOURCE Coalition for Vaccine Safety

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SOURCE Coalition for Vaccine Safety
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