Vaccines are a shot in the dark

Vaccinations can be deadly but opting out could cost access to services.

By Jay T. Gilliland, Photo Editor

Parents are forced to risk the health of their child to deadly diseases or risk the rare side effect of a vaccine that could do just as much harm, including death. Fortunately according to the Department of Justice (DOJ) there is already a system in place to compensate vaccine victims. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 led to the establishment of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in 1988. The DOJ, “More than 2,319 people have been paid in excess of $1.8 billion (combined) since the Program’s 1988 inception.” Pharmaceutical companies are preoccupied with profits in direct conflict with public safety and that makes vaccines dangerous.

There is no law mandating vaccination but the fact and the matter is vaccines are profitable. According to the Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy, “The global vaccines industry was valued at $24 billion in 2009 and is expected to reach $52 billion in 2016 at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.5%. The vaccines market, which was once considered a low-profit segment of the top players’ portfolios, showed a turnaround after the resounding success of Prevnar, the first blockbuster vaccine.” The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)shows Prevnar has directly caused 642 deaths to date since the vaccine was approved in 2000.

Well at least the “shot” is voluntary… The federal government has left it to the state to develop a Vaccine Schedule and policies to protect the public. In some states, such as Ohio, child protective services removed two children from the home of Charity J. Schenker on the grounds of child neglect for choosing not to immunize her children due to her religious beliefs. Schenker appealed the decision and lost, losing her kids indefinitely. Though this case was decided in 1986, it sets precedence for future cases in which the state can take away someone’s children for opting-out of the vaccination program. If you’re lucky enough to not be prosecuted for not immunizing your children they have other ways of encouraging you to participate. Vaccination is a requirement to attend public school, join the military, work certain jobs, or travel  outside of the country. For many of us that leaves little “choice” in the matter. Until vaccines can be proven to be safe these policies should be remanded.


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