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Vaccine-related infant deaths - When is enough, enough?

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We Americans are sometimes a bit smug when it comes to our attitudes, especially re: how we compare to other nations and cultures.   So it may come as a bit of a surprise to some of us to learn that we don't always score as high as we might think, and, in particular, that we are mistaken in our opinion that we are inevitably tops when it comes to reverence and regard for life, even the lives of our children.

Just this past week was a situation which dramatically illustrated how wrong this view can be.  After the unexpected death of one, that's ONE, Thai baby girl on the day following administration of the DPT, hepatitis B and polio vaccines, use of the vaccines was suspended, pending an investigation into the possible relationship between the vaccinations and her death. (1,2)

Compare that to what was reported by Fred Francis on NBC's "Now" on March 2, 1994.  It was announced that three "hot" DPT lots had been found on VAERS (the federal government's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System), each known to have caused around 10 deaths and well over 100 adverse reactions, with at least some of them serious and permanent.  The FDA, however, did not recall these lots, allegedly because some magic threshold of reported adverse reactions per lot size had not been reached, lot size being considered "proprietary" information of the vaccine manufacturers and allowed to be kept confidential by the FDA.  Kathi Williams, Director of NVIC noted with frustration, "We cannot find out from the government what the mechanism is to institute a recall".

Compare that to what has been reported to VAERS.  Although I have only begun to tabulate deaths, here is what I have discovered so far:

For the years 1998 to 2000, at least 78 infants were reported to have died BY THE DAY FOLLOWING VACCINATION yet there were no investigations of these deaths.  To the contrary, these deaths have been routinely dismissed as being anecdotal and/or merely "temporally" related or coincidental. 

But isn't a close temporal relationship an obvious red flag? Shouldn't all deaths temporally related to vaccines be thoroughly investigated?  As I said in my February speech, "When a child dies within hours or days of vaccination, the vaccination should be the first thing suspected, not automatically rejected."

How many infant deaths in the United States will it take to equal in value the death of just one baby girl in Trang, Thailand?

Sandy Gottstein                

Date: 10-18-2002