Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mar2009 Neurodevelopmental disorders skyrocket in NJ

March 5, 2009
We noticed that the list of neurodevelopmental disorders linked to vaccine components is nearly mirrored in the list of disorders that qualify children in NJ for Early Intervention Services. Since all of NJ is looking at costs lately, let’s check some out…
In January of 2009, Maureen Drummond, on behalf of the Coalition, made an inquiry to her own district representatives. She cited several articles linking vaccine components with the same neurodevelopmental disorders which qualify children for Early Intervention Services (EIS). Ms. Drummond sought to establish the correlation between the increased number of vaccinations and the rising cost of EIS. She asked:

Q: What is the State's overall budget for Early Intervention Services in education, per annum, from years 1998-2008?

A: The DHSS appropriations for the years FY 1998- FY 2009 for Early Intervention Services, for infants and children up to three years of age are below. Please note that these amounts do not include federal funds and parent co-payments/ cost sharing.

FY 1998: $15 million
FY 1999: $18.7 million
FY 2000: $22 million
FY 2001: $22.3 million
FY 2002: $27 million
FY 2003: $40.7 million
FY 2004: $42.9 million
FY 2005: $52.9 million
FY 2006: $71.7 million
FY 2007: $90.5 million
FY 2008: $100.1 million
FY 2009: $100.1 million

Maureen's note: This reflects an $85.1 million increase in just one decade. What more are the qualified children getting for this $85 million increase? Or do we just have that many more children needing EIS?

The information was coalesced into a 2 page brief, which was distributed at a legislator event in March 2009. (file download to follow)

A subsequent letter has been written to request the data on Special Education Services which covers children beyond age three. We speculate that these numbers will be even more staggering.

Feb2009 NJDHSS postpones deadline after all

Feb 3, 2009
Children are allowed back into daycare and preschools around NJ without their flu shot. The HD cites flu shot shortages, and sets up emergency flu shot clinics in a few locations.

Jan2009 Children around NJ kicked out of school/ daycare *

Jan 15, 2009
Children around NJ without flu shots are barred from school until the “end of the NJ flu season” on April 1, 2009.
Children are excluded from school if they cannot produce one of the following: proof of receiving the flu shot; an appointment card from their doctor stating that they are waiting on a mercury free vaccine and the expected date of vaccination; a valid medical or serological exemption; or their religious exemption letter. Ms. Angela Sorrells told Maureen Drummond in the October 2008 phone conversation that the state would not force parents to have their children receive the mercury-containing flu vaccines.

Jan2009 NJDHSS refuses to regulate pediatric flu shots

January 2, 2008
Immunization Program Administrator Jeni Sudhakaran explains that given the looming deadline for the flu shot in about 2 weeks: (notes on this phone call to be posted shortly)

Jan2009 NJDHSS allows grace period until January 14

Jan 1, 2009

Dec2008 NJCVC meets NJ Health Commissioner Howard

December 3, 2008
NJCVC leaders meet with Commissioner Howard and her staff, making a 3 hour presentation about why NJ needs vaccination choice. She was not convinced.
Coalition co-leader, Louise Kou Habakus, prepared and presented an in-depth, documented, and quite professional presentation to Health Commissioner Howard, her Deputy Commissioner, Brownlee, Drs.Tina Tan and Barbara Montana, among other members of Commissioner Howard's staff. Louise was joined by several other coalition members at this 3 hour round table.

The Coalition supported arguments that the number of vaccines is too many, that vaccines cause neurodevelopmental injury, that vaccine safety testing is seriously lacking and the rate of chronic illness in children is epidemic. We discussed the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, vaccine reactions and risk factors, the conflicts of interest in policy making and the shameful infant mortality rate in the United States despite vaccines alleged to be the cornerstone of disease prevention. NJCVC members also urged the Department to investigate the trust gap between parents and the health department and the alarming rate of autism in NJ. Finally, we reminded Commissioner Howard and her staff of all the FDA failures that have plagued the population--Thalidomide, the Dalkon Shield, Vioxx, Premarin, the Rely Tampon and cigarettes to name a few.

The Commissioner politely excused herself before the meeting was over. Despite the volumes of information presented, which deserved her ample consideration although she did not give it, when asked if the Commissioner would please throw her support behind the conscientious exemption bill, her Chief of Staff announced that he thought the Commissioner was clear that she would continue to oppose the legislation. NJCVC has serious reservations about our state health officials who ignore plausible evidence of harm from vaccines.

Dec2008 NJDHSS memo clarifies Religious Exemptions

December 1, 2008
Attempts to eliminate inconsistent and arbitrary denials of religious exemptions occurring across NJ.
NJDHSS released a memo (read it HERE) to all NJ County and School superintendents, all principals, and public /private school administrators, clarifying and proposing amendments to the current religious exemption. This memo was the health department's attempt to make obtaining the religious exemption more uniform and concrete. For some time, health and school administrators have arbitrarily and incorrectly either denied or accepted religious exemptions. Citizen complaints forced them to take action.

The proposed amendment to the current Statute is the addition of specific wording meant to alleviate any confusion among administrators as to what legally qualifies as a religious exemption.
N.J.S.A. 26:1A-1 will add: "When a parent or guardian submits their written religious exemption to immunization, which contains some religious reference, those persons charged with implementing administrative rules at N.J.A.C. 8:57-4.4 should not question whether the parent's professed religious statement or stated belief is reasonable, acceptable, sincere and bona fide. In practice, if the written statement contains the word 'religion' or 'religious' or some reference thereto, then the statement should be accepted and the religious exemption of mandatory immunization(s) be granted."

The memo also specifies that "Objections to vaccination based on grounds which are not medical or religious in nature and which are of a philosophical, moral, secular or more general nature continue to be unacceptable."

Nov2008 NJDHSS comes out against Vaccination Choice *

November 26, 2008
Health Department issued a position statement about our bill, A260/S1071 explaining the reasons they oppose parents' rights to Conscientious Exemption to Mandatory Immunizations. Read their position statement along with the fact-based response that Dr. Paul King wrote on behalf of the NJCVC HERE.
Dr. King provides the same documentation and facts to debunk the Health Department’s sweeping assertions that he asks the Health Department to provide to the citizens of NJ. To date, the NJCVC has not received such a well-documented response from NJDHSS; they regularly and vaguely cite other health authorities (the CDC, AAP, etc). The NJ Department of Health has ultimate responsibility, however, to NJ citizens to have solid data and clinical proof of safety upon which they base our public health policy.

Especially troubling is the lack of ANY study looking at the safety of combining the vaccines already on NJ’s mandated schedule, yet the State has added new vaccines. By and large, they are conducting medical experiments on children in this state- not only without the informed consent of their parents, but forced by vaccine mandates proffered “in the public good” but with NO PROOF of their collective safety to substantiate these claims. NJCVC demands proof of the vaccine safety our state of NJ stands upon, before they further increase mass vaccination mandates.

Nov2008 Response to NJDHSS: HPV flyer is FALSE

November 6, 2008
NJCVC Co-Founder Maureen Drummond explains how the HPV flyer flies in the face of informed consent. See Maureen's letter HERE.
She points to numerous groups in NJ and the US that provide more of the story on vaccine safety, in order that consumers can conduct their own risk/benefit analysis. She goes on to decry how the Health Department persists in dodging responsibility for thrusting lies on the public. Further, she offers an alternative Q&A flyer on HPV, one based on full information and aiming at true informed consent. Drummond also asks Deputy Health Commissioner, James Brownlee, in the letter, if he holds the opinion that the public might reject Gardasil if presented with the facts in her own HPV flyer rather than the health department's propaganda. Mr. Brownlee has yet to respond.

Oct2008 NJDHSS phone conversation passes the buck

October 17, 2008
Topics include why the Health Department has not ensured an adequate thimerosal-free vaccine supply, anaphylactic shock as an adverse reaction, and safely handling biologicals in the chip aisle of the grocery store.
Co-founder of the NJCVC, Maureen Drummond called Heather Howard, explaining that she represented thousands of Coalition members across NJ with concerns over the new flu shot mandate. Angela Sorrells-Washington, Program Manager, NJ’s Vaccine Preventable Disease Program returned the call a few days later and the following was discussed:

When asked why the Health Department has not ensured an ample supply of thimerosal- free flu shots across NJ? Ms. Sorrells responded that they “cannot tell doctors to use one product over another.”
Options were actually few if a pediatrician was in fact trying to avoid administering regular flu shots to his patients, which are loaded with 25 mcg of thimerosal (an amount the EPA says exceeds the safe, allowable mercury limit for a 550 pound person). They could either buy the live virus Flumist vaccine (which many oppose) or the Sanofi FluZone single dose vials or pre-filled syringes. While Sanofi is the only manufacturer licensed to sell flu shots in America for the 6 month- 2 year old population, it is interesting to note that the clinical trials performed to bring their product to market were conducted during the 2003-2004 flu season. In the 6-24 months old group, clinical trials were conducted on only NINETEEN (19) children, although the vaccine will be given to millions! As the flu shot formulations change every year, NJCVC questions whether testing Fluzone on just TWELVE (12) children in the 2-3 years old age group, and then following the trial participants for just THREE (3) days after their flu shot, consists of a thorough and efficient safety review process by the FDA. In fact, during the post-approval use of Fluzone, reports of events from patients who received the shot include: anaphylaxis, blood & lymphatic disorders, immune system disorders, convulsions, facial palsy/ tics, and vascular, respiratory and skin disorders among others. Every package insert for every vaccine states that vaccinating mass populations will reveal adverse reactions not observed in the clinical trials.

Regarding sketchy availability of the thimerosal-reduced flu shots, Ms. Sorrells suggested that if one's regular pediatrician doesn’t have them, to look outside of the practice.
Few parents are eager to start shopping a la carte medical care for their children. Their pediatrician knows their child, and will be best able to track reactions. Ms. Sorrells said that if any parents were having trouble locating a thimerosol-free flu shot that they should contact the office and that the NJDHSS would help them find it.

Every package insert for the influenza vaccines lists as a contraindication, an allergy to eggs. How would a parent know if their child is allergic to eggs when most 6 month olds are not eating solid food yet? The risk of reaction is anaphylaxis. Ms. Drummond told Ms. Sorrells that NJCVC thought this posed a greater and disproportionate risk for those infants whose potential allergies may not yet be determined.
Ms. Sorrels suggested that children’s health and safety is ultimately up to the parents, and that it is possible to test for allergies, however, that is not routinely done unless evidence of allergies emerge. Allergy testing would also be an out of pocket expense borne by concerned parents.

Regarding flu shot clinics being held across NJ in drug and grocery stores, Ms. Drummond asked Ms. Sorrells what sort of regulation or oversight is carried out by the Health Department. The possibility of a multi-dose vial of mercury-containing vaccine breaking in the chip isle of the grocery store was specifically raised.
Ms. Sorrells offered that the protocol for biological agent cleanup is that the area would have to be cleared and that a masked and gloved person would have to clean up the broken glass and spilled components and then disinfect the area with whatever was appropriate to that substance. When asked how it would be determined safe for people to enter the area again considering airborne material that cannot be accounted for, Ms. Sorrells deferred that protocol to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, because the store is a place of business.

In a separate conversation with an industrial hygienist at OSHA, Maureen explained her earlier conversation with Angela Sorrells and related the fact that they claimed no regulation nor oversight where influenza vaccine is distributed in retail stores. He expressed surprise and wondered why the Health Department would defer to OSHA, as they are only responsible for the safety of employees in the workplace in the private sector. He hoped they were using sharps containers as required for all hazardous medical waste, however, without public health oversight, how would we know? When asked if OSHA could step in to check it out, he said their role is enforcement. An employee would first have to file a complaint expressing concern over safety hazards in the workplace. With regard to a vial of vaccine breaking on the floor of the grocery store; OSHA would be required to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols for cleaning up blood borne pathogens, involving sealing off the area, and utilizing gloves and respirators.

Oct2008 Big Vaccination Choice Rally in Trenton

October 16, 2008
Nearly three dozen speakers, over 700 people attended, national press coverage, and a handful of engaged legislators participate. See pictures and media response at: Rally Reaction

Unfortunately, hundreds of passionate voices, and broad bi-partisan support and co-sponsorship for a conscientious exemption bill to mandatory vaccines in NJ are not enough.

Oct2008 Letter from NJDHSS passes the buck

October 2008
The NJDHSS finally responds to Maureen Drummond's query to the Attorney General from April 2008.

The department ignores her requests for hard facts to back up their statements, and throws out all the information she provided which did not agree with the folks they prefer to listen to. The Health Department response entirely passes the buck, citing that NJDHSS is simply following the lead of the AMA, AICP, AAP, CDC, etc. Again, no data is provided proving the safety of NJ’s collective vaccine schedule. See file.

Read the letter from the NJ Health Department HERE

Sep2008 Weeks late, NJDHSS puts it in writing

September 30, 2008
Immunization Regulations Q&A
The Health Department provides its first explanation in writing directed at parents detailing the new mandates and their enforcement. It attempts to clear up confusion, but leaves many questions still unanswered.

Sep2008 Four new shots required for school

September 2008
Calls from parents flood the Immunization Program at the Department of Health and Senior Services phone line in Trenton, as many school nurses and pre-school directors are applying new regulations inconsistently around the state.

Jun2008 NJ State Epidemiologist joins big pharma

June, 2008
As NJ’s State Epidemiologist for 8 years, Mr. Bresnitz unfailingly promoted and actively pushed vaccine mandates for the youngest of NJ’s children. He has stated how proud he is of securing two of the state's mandatory vaccines for children. Mr. Bresnitz was instrumental in getting NJ’s flu shot mandate through. The other mandated vaccine he promoted, Merck's Haemophilus influenza type B (HIB) vaccine, unfortunately had 1.2 million contaminated doses recalled in Dec. 2007. Upon his resignation, Eddy Bresnitz immediately went to work for vaccine manufacturer Merck as Medical Director of their Adult Vaccines Program.

Jun2008 NJ Attorney General shirks responsibility

June 2, 2008
NJ Attorney General replies, passing off any responsibility; “The Attorney General of the State of New Jersey is only authorized to render legal advise to departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the State government....I will forward your correspondence to the Department of Health and Senior Services for review."
Read the full text HERE.

Apr2008 Debunk NJDHSS’s HPV flyer to NJ Atty General *

April 2008
NJCVC Co-Founder Maureen Drummond responds to false assertions made in the flyer. She documents each claim thoroughly, and asks our state watchdog to step in. She exhorts the Attorney General to hold the Health Department accountable for disseminating false information. View her letter HERE

Mar2008 Coalition meets Gov. Corzine's Policy Advisor *

March 18, 2008
Nancy Belonzi met with several coalition members to hear our concerns about the toxic components of vaccines. Having her background in environmental protection, it was easy for Ms. Belonzi to recognize the hazards posed by these chemicals.

"We can't clean the State House with these chemicals, but we can inject them into our children?" she mused at our meeting. While it was clear she understood and recognized our fears, it is also apparent that she has been unable to influence the Governor's decision to reject the additional mandates.

Feb2008 NJDHSS releases HPV “educational materials”

February 2008
HPV Vaccine - Questions and Answers for Parents This two-page flyer is distributed to middle and high school students across NJ in their backpacks. It actually reads more like a Gardasil marketing piece, rather than the fact-based, objective information one might expect from our Health Department.

Jan2008 Heather Howard becomes Health Commissioner

Jan 1, 2008

Dec2007 Health Commissioner Jacobs resigns

Dec 31, 2007

Dec2007 Health Commissioner Jacobs adopts new regulation *

Dec 16, 2007
Governor Corzine supports the appointed NJ Health Commissioner, Fred Jacobs, who, with the stroke of his pen, adopts the most sweeping mass vaccination policy of any jurisdiction in the world just 15 days before his retirement.

Dec2007 Public Health Council meeting

Dec 10, 2007
Members vote 5 to 2 (with one abstention) to recommend adding 4 new vaccines to NJ’s mandated schedule.
NJ’s Public Health Council (PHC) is comprised of 10 Governor appointees. For many years it has created public health policy ranging from regulation of animal shelters, to protecting sea turtle eggs, to mass human vaccination mandates. In 2005, Gov. Richard Codey took away their authority to make policy, and the role of the PHC shifted to advisory. Presently, they only make recommendations, which are often rubber stamped anyway by the Health Commissioner and then go on to become NJ health regulations enforced by the NJ Dept of Health & Senior Services.

Troubling aspects of the PHC’s role in this system include their lack of discourse with, or accountability whatsoever to the public, the PHC’s unfilled posts, as well as the individuals serving on the PHC, including those with conflicts of interest, and/or no experience whatsoever in the wide-ranging subject matter.

Nov2007 Gov. Corzine appoints new Health Commissioner *

Nov 29, 2007
Gov. Corzine appoints Heather Howard to succeed Fred Jacobs as commissioner of the Health Dept.
Ms. Howard knows the Governor well, as she formerly served as Corzine’s Legislative Counsel and then Chief of Staff. Does a law degree prepare one well for making unilateral decisions on the health and well-being of every New Jersey citizen?

Jan2007 Public hearing on proposed new regulation

Jan 26, 2007

Just over a month later, comments from the public are invited from the Health Department. Almost all of the 103 comments at the meeting opposed adding more mandated vaccines. No representative from the NJ Department of Health nor the PHC was at this public hearing. Only a stenographer was present to record the hearing.
There was an armed security guard, however. After oral comments, 5 binders of peer-reviewed studies and other information demonstrating the toxicity of thimerosal (mercury) were left with the moderator for distribution to the health department. Sanofi-Aventis utilized their public comment time to support the regulation as it stood. They stand to profit hugely as the sole manufacturer of flu vaccine presently licensed in America for use in children age 6 months to 2 years old.

Dec2006 Notification of proposed new regulation

Dec 18, 2006

By publication in the New Jersey Register, the State notifies the public that 4 more mandated vaccines have been proposed for daycare and school entry, amongst other changes.

This occurred during the crush of the holiday season when people were less likely to be watching. The rule-making process by NJ regulation takes a year from the time the change is announced to the time the regulation is finalized. It ends with advisory approval by the Public Health Council (PHC) and final approval by NJs Health Commissioner. The announcement that NJ would be the first jurisdiction in the world to mandate these new vaccines is thus nearly buried in the holiday rush.