September 5, 2001
It isn't often that a Governor
vetoes a bill that was passed unanimously by both Houses of the State
Legislature. It reminds us of the old saying of the mother, watching her
son drill for the first time with the troops: "Everybody's out of step
except my son Jim."
This time the one who is out of step is George, as in Governor George
Ryan of Illinois. He vetoed Senate Bill 1304 entitled "An Act Concerning
This bill would have provided that a person is ineligible to serve on
the Illinois Immunization Advisory Committee if the person or his spouse
is an officer, employee, or agent of, or has any ownership or other
financial interest in a pharmaceutical company that manufactures
vaccines. It also would have prohibited Committee members or their
spouses from soliciting or accepting anything of value or any other
economic benefit from a pharmaceutical company that manufactures or
produces vaccines unless it is offered and available generally to
licensed physicians or the public.
That sounds like an excellent rule and we wonder why it hasn't always
been the law. Those who officially advise government agencies whether or
not to force Americans to submit to vaccines should not be on the
payroll of the corporations that profit from the government mandates.
Ryan's veto message states that "Senate Bill 1304 would severely
limit the number of pediatric disease specialists and pediatric
physicians in general, who would be eligible to serve on the Immigration
Advisory Committee." This amazing statement indicates that it's
difficult to find anyone to advise making vaccines mandatory other than
those who are paid in some way by the corporations selling the vaccines.
This conflict of interest was confirmed by an emotional outburst
against S.1304 from one of the members of the Illinois Immunization
Advisory Committee at its meeting on July 12, 2001. He said, "No
infectious disease specialist will be able to serve on this committee!
We all take money from pharmaceutical companies."
Ryan's veto message acknowledged that Illinois depends on vaccine
company contractors for its vaccine policymaking. Here is what Ryan
"Many physicians with expertise in the field of immunizations and
infectious disease have contractual relationships with pharmaceutical
companies with regards to speaking engagements. Also, many medical
schools and academic centers employ infectious disease specialists that
perform research funded by the pharmaceutical industry."
So that's how the racket works! "Experts" who are being paid by the
vaccine manufacturers have an official pipeline through which they
"advise" the state government authorities to mandate vaccines.
This incestuous relationship between the pharmaceuticals and
governmental bodies in not unique to Illinois. A hearing before the U.S.
House Committee on Government Reform on June 14, 2000 produced evidence
that similar conflicts of interest are common practice for the federal
advisory committees: the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products
Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) and the CDC's Advisory Committee on
Immunization Practices (ACIP).
Most children entering public school today have been forced to take
up to 33 immunizations, and more and more vaccines are in line for
government mandates despite widespread controversy over their efficacy
and their side effects.
The hepatitis B vaccine is widely administered to newborns while
still in the hospital, even though there is no scientific evidence to
justify it before the age when the child is subject to risk factors such
as sexual promiscuity or sharing dirty needles. Hepatitis B
immunizations have been associated with 53 deaths and 828 serious
injuries, but the yearly incidence of the hepatitis B disease itself is
only 191 among the 38 million children younger than age 10 years,
according to a letter recently published in the Journal of the American
Medical Association (JAMA).
Furthermore, the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University recently
reported that more than half of the total hepatitis B cases in the
United States are among Asian-Americans. The rate is 70 times greater
for Asians than for whites or Hispanics, and 14 times greater than for
Another letter in JAMA described the benefits to newborn hepatitis B
immunization: (1) it is too confusing to just vaccinate those who need
it, (2) there are some (very rare) cases of young kids at risk, (3) it
gets all the kids on the vaccine schedule right away, and (4) it is
easier to get to babies than adolescents. You don't need to be an
"expert" to understand that those are mighty poor reasons to vaccinate
It looks like the manufacturers have figured out that they can't make
big money selling their hepatitis B vaccine only to those at risk for
the disease, so they have managed to get the vaccine administered
routinely to all newborns. Vaccine advisory committees should not be
beholden to the drug makers.
Phyllis Schlafly column 9-05-01