EATON — A small group of activists gathered on the corner of Main and Baron Streets – near the Preble County Courthouse – during a protest on Tuesday, Nov. 10, holding picket signs condemning the use of vaccinations on children.
Interestingly enough, the group wasn’t anti-vaccination per se, but instead was against the idea of mandatory vaccines.
“There are some of us that still believe in the vaccinations but don’t want to give up our right to choose. They are trying to make vaccines mandatory – that’s giving up our right that we shouldn’t give up,” said Laura Adams, a supporter of the Vaccine Free to Victory movement.
Adams cited the Healthy People 2020 movement from the United States Department of Health and Human Services as the foreground for the claim.
She referred to a current act that legislators are trying to pass that will make vaccinations mandatory in every state for both adults and children by the year 2020.
“That’s a right that shouldn’t be infringed upon. You shouldn’t be told that you have to inject certain chemicals and toxins into your body,” she said.
The bill Adams was referring to is the Vaccinate All Children Act of 2015, which was introduced to Congress in May. If passed, it will “amend the Public Health Service Act to prohibit the Department of Health and Human Services from awarding grants to public entities of a state for preventive health service programs unless the state requires each student in public elementary or secondary school to be vaccinated in accordance with the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices,” as stated on www.congress.gov.
The bill does provide an exception for students whose health would be endangered by vaccination in the opinion of a physician conforming to the accepted standard of medical care.
The Register-Herald was unable to find information supporting the claim that all people will be required to receive vaccinations by the year 2020, however.
The other issue the group was protesting was that they want vaccinations to be made safer.
“I don’t believe vaccinations are safe. My son was injured after getting a vaccine. He became severely autistic and had a seizure and everything after his MMR,” said Adams. “The rates of autism, ADHD, asthma, all those things have increased over 600 percent since they’ve added the new vaccines. The best way I can put it is in a book I read that says ‘genetics loads the gun, environment pulls the trigger.’ Environment in this case being the vaccines. Kids are already being born with auto immune issues or immunities that aren’t capable of handling the toxins in the vaccines.”
Adams added that there was a whistleblower, William Thompson, a senior researcher at the CDC who worked on a report linking an increase in autism to vaccinations.
It’s worth noting that this linkage stemmed from reports from 1998 about a similar study in the Lancet – a medical journal in the United Kingdom. The report published in that journal has since been retracted after being heavily discredited by a number of researchers.
Similarly, claims that Thompson made remarks, using the study from the Lancet which linked the two have also been disputed. On Aug. 27, 2014, Thompson did release a statement via his lawfirm Morgan VerKamp, LLC, addressing these claims.
In part of his statement, he says:
“I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.
“I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.”
Erik Balster, Health Commissioner at the Preble County Public Health Department also disputed the claim.
“From a scientific standpoint, to my knowledge, there is no evidence one way or the other. I think you can draw a lot of conclusions based on coincidence,” he said. “I think from a standpoint of freedom of choice to vaccinate, that’s very valid concern. You should always educate yourself best you can on what you’re putting in your body and the best way to protect your body and the people around you. I think the intention behind the mandatory school vaccines, at least from the state on down, is that the more people you have vaccinated, the less likely you’re going to be spreading disease. That’s been pretty evident throughout history.”
But Adams and other concerned parents are still addressing the government on the issue.
“In a few months, we will be hopefully talking to legislatures to get them to push and get (Thompson’s report) subpoenaed, showing there is a link between vaccinations and autism,” she said. “That way we can start pressing for the government to make safety regulations. There are more safety regulations on what kind of car seat you use, what kind of chemicals are in bottles. But none of those safety checks are done for vaccines.”
Adams just wants guaranteed safer vaccines for her children and for all children. She is not anti-vaccinations completely, although because of her experience, she does not currently take her child for the shots.
“I’m in the middle where, if they were made safer, then I could see giving them,” she said.
Jeremy can be reached at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.