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National Vaccine Information Center press release

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    ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION (AHRP) http://www.ahrp.org Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav Tel: 212-595-8974 e-mail: veracare@ahrp.org FYI
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 8, 2003
      Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
      Tel: 212-595-8974
      e-mail: veracare@...

      WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans for Vaccine Safety and
      Accountability, headed by the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), are
      joining with other parent, veteran and health care organizations in support of
      a proposed Senate resolution asking Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to
      review the safety of the military's mandatory anthrax and smallpox vaccination
      programs.  The resolution is being sponsored by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) in
      response to mounting reports of serious health problems, including unexpected
      deaths, after soldiers are vaccinated.

          "Tragically, national one-size-fits-all vaccine policies are hurting young
      soldiers in the military just as they are hurting young children in civilian
      life," said NVIC president Barbara Loe Fisher.  "Many are dying or being left
      chronically ill after receiving multiple vaccines on one day.  Nobody is being
      screened for genetic or biological risk factors because public health agencies
      and industry have refused to do the scientific studies to identify those
      vulnerable.  Some vaccines, like anthrax and smallpox, are known to be crude
      and highly reactive.  Soldiers are being needlessly sacrificed for a flawed
      policy and it is inhumane when so much more could be done to prevent this
      waste of human life."
          On Nov. 19, the Pentagon admitted that Rachael Lacy, a 22-year-old Army
      recruit, died last April after being injected with five vaccines, including
      anthrax and smallpox.  Military doctors are now saying she may have had a
      predisposition to a fatal autoimmune condition (lupus) that was triggered by
      the vaccinations.
          Meryl Nass, M.D., a civilian doctor who questions the safety of the
      anthrax vaccine and has treated many vaccine-damaged soldiers, reviewed Lacy's
      autopsy report and death certificate and urged the military in September to
      classify her death as vaccine-related.  "The autopsy made it clear and now the
      military has confirmed that there is no other explanation for her death except
      the vaccines she received. There was no evidence of lupus on autopsy, although
      she may have had a genetic predisposition to autoimmunity that would put her
      at high risk for reacting to vaccines.  Ten to 20 percent of the population
      has genetic predisposition to autoimmunity so everyone should have the right
      to informed consent to vaccination," said Nass, who is also a member of NVIC's
      Medical Advisory Board.
          Lacy's death follows persistent reports of other deaths, mysterious
      pneumonia-like illnesses, heart problems, blood clots, memory loss, disabling
      fatigue, muscle weakness and pain, weight loss and other serious health
      problems suffered by young, healthy military recruits after being vaccinated
      with anthrax, smallpox and many other vaccines.
          The Bingaman resolution introduced in the Senate on November 25, cites a
      General Accounting Office (GAO) report that found that an "estimated 84
      percent of the personnel who had had anthrax vaccine shots between September
      1998 and September 2000 reported having side effects or reactions.  This rate
      is more than double the level cited in the vaccine product insert." The
      resolution also points out that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stated
      in June 2003 that 1 in 500 civilians vaccinated for smallpox had a serious
      vaccine event.  Bingaman maintains that a biological attack against U.S.
      troops is far less likely now so the risks of the military's compulsory
      anthrax and smallpox vaccination programs are greater than its benefits.  He
      points out that British and Australian troops have not been required to take
      anthrax vaccine and that other allied nations have declined to use the vaccine
      on their troops.
          Currently, six military servicemembers are seeking a preliminary
      injunction in a U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. that would prevent the
      forced vaccination of U.S. military personnel with the anthrax vaccine and
      allow soldiers to give their voluntary, informed consent.  Attorneys for the
      plaintiffs argue that the anthrax vaccine was never licensed by the FDA to
      protect against inhalation anthrax, which is how anthrax would be used as a
      biological weapon.  Federal statute requires that either informed consent be
      given whenever a drug or vaccine is used for an unlicensed purpose, or that
      the President assumes responsibility by waiving servicemembers' right of
      informed consent.
          A U.S. soldier's refusal to be vaccinated can result in a court martial,
      imprisonment, fines and dishonorable discharge from the military.  One
      decorated Air Force physician was court martialed for refusing the anthrax
      vaccine and fined $21,000.  A breast-feeding soldier was court martialed for
      refusing the anthrax vaccine because she did not want to take the risk of
      harming her child.  A 2002 GAO report found that 69 percent of experienced
      pilots and aircrew members in the National Guard and the Reserve reported that
      the anthrax shot was the major influence in their decision to change their
      military status in 2000, including leaving the military entirely.
          The Bingaman resolution calls on the Secretary of Defense and Board for
      Correction of Military Records "to reconsider adverse actions already taken or
      intended to be taken against servicemembers for refusing to accept the anthrax
      or smallpox vaccine."  The resolution also calls on the Secretary of Veterans
      Affairs to "assess those adverse events being reported" and research causal
      relationships as well as estimate the future cost to treat the resulting
      health problems.
          "The use of prophylactic biodefense drugs and vaccines must be solely
      threat-based and weighed against the health risks to the servicemember.
      Congress should direct DOD to fully disclose all unpublished medical studies,
      non-peer reviewed studies and experimental test data on their biodefense drugs
      and vaccines.  These data should be made available to the DVA, the Institute
      of Medicine and independent researchers for a thorough review of DOD's
      findings," said Steve Robinson, Executive Director, National Gulf War Resource
          Reports of sudden death and chronic illness following receipt of multiple
      vaccines in the military first began to surface in the early 1990's, when
      soldiers deploying for the Gulf War were given up to 17 vaccines, including
      anthrax, as well as investigational drugs.  The constellation of symptoms
      those soldiers experienced, which came to be known as "Gulf War Illness," are
      very similar to the symptoms being experienced by military recruits today who
      get vaccinated with multiple vaccines, including anthrax and smallpox.
          Americans for Vaccine Safety and Accountability (AVSA), a coalition which
      the National Vaccine Information Center, Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education, Unlocking Autism, New Hampshire Citizens for Health Freedom, Virginia Families for Vaccine Information and Choice, Vaccine Awareness of North Florida, Massachusetts Citizens for Vaccination Choice, Missouri Citizen's Coalition for Vaccination Choice, Illinois Vaccine Awareness Coalition, World Chiropractic Alliance, International Chiropractic
      Pediatric Association, Osteomed II, New Hampshire Vaccine Safety Initiative and Mothering Magazine is supporting the Bingaman resolution along with other organizations advocating safer vaccines and informed consent protections in national vaccine policies, including the National Gulf War Resource Center, Military Vaccine Education Center, New Jersey Alliance for Informed Choice in Vaccination, Michigan Opposing Mandatory Shots, Connecticut Vaccine Information Alliance, Kansas Alliance for Informed Choice in Vaccination, Wyoming Vaccine Information Network, Minnesota Vaccine Awareness, Parents Advocating Vaccine Education and The Autism Autoimmunity Project.

          NVIC was founded in 1982 and is the largest and oldest parent-led non-
      profit organization advocating the institution of vaccine safety and informed
      consent protections in national vaccination programs.  AVSA is an activist
      coalition of organizations representing more than 200,000 Americans.

          For more information and to read the entire resolution being sponsored by
      Sen. Bingaman, go to http://www.nvic.org/AVSA/Bingaman.htm

      Meryl Nass, MD
      H  207 276-5092
      W 207 288-5082 ext 220 or pager 441
      C 207 522-5229 
      Dr. Meryl Nass is a board member of The Alliance for Human Research Proteciton 
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