vaccine safety commission

Media on the topic of vaccine safety is highly biased, because the pharmaceutical industry is responsible for the largest portion of media company revenues.

The Vaccine Safety Commission is interested in constructive dialogue on a complex topic. We were very impressed by a recent essay in the British Medical Journal that addressed President Trump's interest in forming a Vaccine Safety Commission.

Medical response to Trump requires truth seeking and respect for patients The British Medical Journal February 2017

Excerpt: "Many parents of children with developmental disorders who question the role of vaccines had their children vaccinated. Anti-vaccination is an ideology, and people who have their children vaccinated seem unlikely candidates for the title. Secondly, they lump all vaccines together as if the decision about risks and benefits is the same irrespective of disease-polio, pertussis, smallpox, mumps, diphtheria, hepatitis B, influenza, varicella, HPV, Japanese encephalitis-or vaccine type-live attenuated, inactivated whole cell, split virus, high dose, low dose, adjuvanted, monovalent, polyvalent, etc. This seems about as intelligent as categorizing people into "pro-drug" and "anti-drug" camps depending on whether they have ever voiced concern over the potential side effects of any drug.

Thirdly, labeling people concerned about the safety of vaccines as "anti-vaccine" risks entrenching positions. The label (or its derogatory derivative "anti-vaxxer") is a form of attack. It stigmatizes the mere act of even asking an open question about what is known and unknown about the safety of vaccines.

Fourthly, the label too quickly assumes that there are "two sides" to every question, and that the "two sides" are polar opposites. This "you're either with us or against us" thinking is unfit for medicine. Many parents who deliberate on decisions regarding their children's health ultimately make decisions-such as to vaccinate or not vaccinate-with lingering uncertainty about whether they were right. When given a choice, some say yes to some vaccines and no to others. These parents are not zealots, they are decision makers navigating the gray, acting under conditions of uncertainty in perpetual flux.

And among those uncertainties are the known and unknown side effects that each vaccine carries. Contrary to the suggestion-generally implicit-that vaccines are risk free (and therefore why would anyone ever resist official recommendations), the reality is that officially sanctioned written medical information on vaccines is-just like drugs-filled with information about common, uncommon, and unconfirmed but possible harms."