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A major paper was just published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) titled The unofficial vaccine educators: are CDC funded non-profits sufficiently independent? As more prominent vaccine advocacy organizations are pushing for greater mandatory vaccination laws the BMJ article asks if these groups are really providing the public with independent information.
Over the last year both Italy and France have aggressively moved to mandate certain vaccines for school entry against massive public protests. The UK, whose public health leaders have long resisted mandatory vaccination, is also making a renewed push in attempting to force vaccines upon its population. The recent BMJ paper explored two prominent vaccine advocacy organizations: Every Child By Two (ECBT) and Immunization Action Coalition (IAC). The paper also focused on the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The BMJ paper states right out front on the first page that the IAC, ECBT, and the AAP all receive funding from both vaccine manufacturers and the CDC. The paper goes on to write about the organizations, “…in their advocacy for compulsory vaccination, they all have in common a goal that pushes beyond official governmental policy and, in the case of influenza vaccines, the evidence.” Both the ECBT and the IAC are publicly non-transparent with the amount of money they receive from vaccine manufacturers. The ECBT and the IAC receive $800M and $1.3M respectively from “non-governmental sources.” The ECBT refused to answer the BMJ’s queries about how much it receives from vaccine manufacturers. While the IAC website lists five major vaccine manufacturers among its supporters, however it too did not list contribution amounts.
The CDC’s influence, mixed with vaccine manufacturer funding, continues to be a common theme that enters into the vaccine advocacy organization’s space. During the run-up to California’s Senate Bill 277 in 2015, the CDC’s top vaccine official sat on ECBT’s board of directors. In addition, a recent investigation from the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) writes,
A non-profit organization, ECBT actively lobbies in state legislatures and in Congress to promote mandatory vaccination and the elimination of vaccine exemptions, as well to secure increased funding for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other government agencies developing, licensing, making policy for and promoting universal use of federally recommended vaccines.
NVIC also commented on the following regarding IAC’s conflict of interest:
The California Immunization Coalition is a network member of the non-profit Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), which is funded by Astra Zeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi Pasteur and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Among members of IAC’s Advisory Board are vaccine developers and current or former CDC officials and mandatory vaccination proponents, including developers of Merck’s rubella and rotavirus vaccines, Stanley Plotkin, MD, PhD and Paul Offit, MD.
Under Section 317 of the Public Service Act, the CDC receives federal funding. The BMJ paper points out that in 2006 the IAC and ECBT formed the ‘317 Coalition’ which, according to its website engages in “grass roots advocacy” and is solely focused on “advocating for increased 317 funding.” The 317 Coalition is represented by the Washington, DC based government relations and lobbying firm Cornerstone Government Affairs. The BMJ paper writes:
Over the years, with money from GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Wyeth, MedImmune, Pfizer, Novartis, and Sanofi Pasteur, Cornerstone Government Affairs has grown the coalition and achieved substantial increases in CDC’s Section 317 funding.
The BMJ calculated that the CDC granted over $2.5M to five members of the 317 Coalition.
Quoted in the BMP paper is journalist Gary Schwitzer who heads HealthNewsReviews.org who makes the point that the IAC, ECBT, and AAP are “…not financially independent. And it would appear they are also not philosophically and intellectually independent, which is just as important – if not more so – in this discussion.”
Outside of the various conflicts of interests chronicled in the BMJ paper, the entire US vaccine program as a whole shows a major lack of scientific evidence to justify the CDC’s recommended vaccine schedule, has not done proper pre-licensure vaccine safety studies, and has lacked sufficient oversight and monitoring. In fact, a recent legal notice was served to the Acting Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Eric Hargan alleging failure to perform the duty of vaccine safety and oversight of the US vaccine program.
How long will silence be allowed from vaccine advocacy organizations, oversight agencies, and leaders with conflicts of interests when the BMJ, NVIC, over 55 organizations whose members exceed 4 million signed onto the HHS legal notice and a large growing sector of the American public continue to ask vital questions about the failures of the entire vaccine paradigm.