A local physician wrote us a letter on Aug. 17, in response to my Aug. 12 column, complaining that I "add to a gross misunderstanding" by expressing my "consistently erroneous opinion that shots ... cause brain defects in children. This has been soundly disproved by extensive medical research. The shots are to prevent serious injury and death."
Let us see whether we can locate anyone else who shares the "consistently erroneous opinion" that vaccinations can cause serious injuries - including injuries to infant brains and their development.
At www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/index.html we find the website of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. There we're informed that under a 1988 law - championed by liberal lion Ted Kennedy - the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was created as "a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system for resolving vaccine injury claims that provides compensation to people found to be injured by certain vaccines."
You'll search quite a while to find out how much this trust fund - financed by a tax on vaccine makers - has paid out to shield Big Pharma from such meritorious lawsuits. For a short cut, visit Vactruth.com at http://tinyurl.com/8b8tgo9, where you'll learn that said federal agency "held a public meeting of the FDA's Advisory Committee on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV) in Rockville, Maryland, September 2-3, 2010, at which several charts were distributed. The chart below ... indicates just how pervasive and costly vaccine damage actually is in dollars and cents.
"Petitioners' Award Amounts for fiscal years 1989 thru 2010 totaled almost Two Billion Dollars ... representing 2,503 awards. ...
"In excess of an additional Forty-six Million Dollars ... was paid out for Attorneys' Fees/Costs Payments, which probably represented an additional 2,293 claims that were dismissed."
Goodness. Why is the federal government paying out billions to people "found to be injured by certain vaccines" if the theory that "shots cause brain defects in children ... has been soundly disproved by extensive medical research," as our letter writer contends?
Flawed claim, reporting process
And, unfortunately, this is the tip of the iceberg. While autism and other diagnoses can arrive years after an infant receives the shots in question, the federal compensation program sets a time limit for proving harm - a time limit which has passed before many parents even realize there's a problem.
The federal program also requires that medical doctors certify the damage in question was caused by vaccines. Given that most medical doctors belong to a guild that energetically denies any such harm is even possible - as our letter-writer of Aug. 17 so ably demonstrates - one can imagine how this requirement further reduces the number of successful claims.
All this leads the folks at Vactruth to conclude: "These figures represent only a fraction of damages that rightfully should be paid to families that suffered vaccine-induced damages. Thousands, maybe a million or more families, are left with life-long-damaged children and medical bills that will be overwhelmingly expensive and probably not compensated for."
Both of my first two books contained chapters documenting vaccine injury case histories. In my column of March 17, 2000, I wrote: "A 1985 federal report prepared for the United States Institute of Medicine concluded that if 3.6 million American children receive three pertussis vaccinations each as recommended, 22 to 36 of those infants will suffer permanent brain damage each year from the vaccine.
"This vaccine is intended to prevent whooping cough, mind you - a disease which can now be treated with commonly available antibiotics. Though in fact, even the level of that 'protection' is highly debatable. In a recent outbreak of whooping cough in Cincinnati, more vaccinated children came down with the disease than children who'd received no shots. ...
"Donna Burns of Gardner, Mass., whose son Ryan had been normal until he received his recommended pertussis shots, but who immediately thereafter developed high fever, screaming, and swelling of the head and brain, leading to his permanent partial disability (epilepsy, hearing loss, motor problems, learning disabilities) says more than 18,000 permanent damage claims have been filed under the federal Vaccine Compensation Act.
"At one point, after she and her witnesses gave statements in Ryan's case: 'The stenographer told us she knew exactly what we were going to say because all the cases are the same.' "
One family's nightmare
But being dragooned into inoculation, we're told, is for the children's own good. Let's see if that applies in the case of little Kameron Justin Demery, age 2½ and described by his mother, Jacqueline Bishop, as "a mellow, laid-back" kid.
According to reporting by Cheryl Romo in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, which covers legal matters for Southern California's attorneys, Kameron and his twin sister, Karissa, appeared to be doing fine until one early morning after the Christmas holiday, 1995.
That was when Karissa was taken to the hospital emergency room by her mom, suffering with what would later be diagnosed as bronchitis.
The first thing hospital officials requested from Ms. Bishop (then 29) were the children's immunization records. Because Ms. Bishop had been persuaded by her own mother, a licensed vocational nurse, not to immunize the twins because of the very real health risks, she didn't have any immunization records.
The next day, Ms. Bishop received a call from a social worker with the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services. She ended up getting into an argument with the bureaucrat. Next came an unannounced inspection of her Long Beach home, where Ms. Bishop was caring for the children alone, while their father was doing time in state prison. This resulted in a state finding of "dirty home" being added to the initial report of "medical neglect" - failure to volunteer for immunizations.
Within days came the late-night government raid in which the twins and their 7-year-old brother were seized from Ms. Bishop by brute force. The DCFS raid was carried out because the mother "basically had a personality conflict" with the social worker, contends attorney Mark Wood of Beverly Hills, later retained by the family. "Nothing else would explain the ferocity of what happened. They came in with police at 1 a.m."
The twins, Kameron and Karissa, were placed in the foster care of a couple who previously had all foster children in their care removed by the DCFS because of "excessive discipline."
Little Kameron died. His state-licensed foster care provider reported his fatal injuries were caused by a fall from a chair.
Government forensic experts disagreed. Rather, doctors testified at trial, he had been struck six times in the head with a blunt object, most likely his foster mother's cane. The woman went to prison. Little Kameron Demery became one of six children murdered in 1996 while under the supervision of the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services.
On Valentine's Day, 1997, the Juvenile Court ordered Karissa returned to her mother, permanently. Ms. Romo does not report whether little Karissa ever got her shots, or whether the Juvenile Court even bothered to ask.
Was little Kameron Justin Demery one of those kids who was "saved from death" by the medical community's single-minded, strong-arm promotion of universal vaccination?
Make an informed decision
Vaccinators claim credit for eliminating even diseases whose serious consequences already had declined by more than 80 percent before their vaccines were introduced. They claim all the credit for their vaccines - attributing no share of benefits to the introduction of modern sanitation, sanitary engineering and antibiotics. Nor do they seem anxious to point out that former employees have sued major vaccine manufacturers in this country, contending the companies falsely certify inflated efficacy rates for their nostrums.
I've never proposed that vaccines be outlawed, nor that the chance of harm outweighs the potential benefit in every case. I only argue that parents should read the books of Neal Z. Miller and others skeptical of the vaccination orthodoxy and then be allowed to make their own, informed decisions.
And steer clear of doctors who try to deny you that right - a problem that will only grow as medical care is funded less by patients, and more by collectivists in Washington.
Vin Suprynowicz is author of "Send in the Waco Killers" and the novel "The Black Arrow." See www.vinsuprynowicz.com.