Questions for the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

 

Subject: Vaccine questions for the AAP
Date: Thu, 04 Jun 2015 16:17:03 -0400
From: Ginger Taylor <ginger@mainevaxchoice.org>
To: Dee Kerry deHaas <dkerrydehaas@aap.net>
CC: Albert, Kenneth <Kenneth.Albert@maine.gov>, Holly Lusk <Holly.E.Lusk@maine.gov>, Beth O’Connor <libertymom1@msn.com>, Eric Brakey <sen.eric.brakey@gmail.com>

Ms. deHaas,

The Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics is currently supporting LD 471, a measure that would require parents to have a counseling session with a health care provider, and obtain written confirmation of the session with the health care provider’s signature, and file the form with the school system, before a child would be allowed to access their free and appropriate public education after forgoing a vaccine.  The theory behind the measure is that parents need to be educated on vaccines, and have a chance to ask the questions they have about vaccination, before their children should be allowed in school. The irony of this measure is that the growing distrust of the current vaccine program in the US exists because parents cannot get their questions on vaccines answered.

The Maine AAP is also currently opposing LD 1076, a measure that would, among other things, require your membership to know and use the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program guidelines on vaccine injury.  The reasoning behind this requirement is that since your membership has been given complete liability protection for causing injury and death when administering vaccines, they must, at the very minimum be required to know and use the guidelines that HRSA has put in place to substitute the litigation process for delivering care and compensation to a child for a vaccine injury.  The irony of your opposition to the bill is that the testimony submitted by your President, Dr. Pelletier, and two of your board members, Dr. Belisle and Dr. Losey, shows that they don’t even know of the existence of HRSA’s VICP, and have it confused with the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System. VAERS is not even mentioned in LD 1076. 

Your leadership literally didn’t even bother to google “Vaccine Injury Compensation Program” to see what it was before submitting written testimony to the state that impacts the health and education of all Maine children.  After such a bold display of ignorance and lack of interest in vaccine safety, it is difficult to see how your organization can make any assertion that they are working in the interests of children’s health and want evidence based information on vaccination to be informing the vaccine debate.

We have submitted testimony, that you can find on our web site, that takes the position that because your organization has not only failed to educated your members on federal vaccine injury guidelines, and because your leadership does not even know about this program themselves, then no pediatrician in Maine can be qualified to either give vaccine counseling nor administer vaccines.   How can one be qualified to vaccinate if one does not even know of the existence of the federal program that is the repository of vaccine risk information in the US?  You can find the write up here: http://mainevaxchoice.org/index.php/news/70-maine-doctors-submit-testimony-showing-that-they-are-not-qualified-to-advise-patients-on-vaccination

As you might imagine, we have a number of questions for the Maine Chapter of the AAP arising from your testimony in the recent hearings.  I have attached them, and we believe that your organization has a obligation to answer these questions to all of our members who have used your members vaccination services, and all Mainers who you believe should be legally forced to seek counsel from your members on vaccination before their children can attend school.

The bizarre experience of our membership has been that the American Academy of Pediatrics presents itself a good faith institution who is eager to engage families in vaccine discussions, but that as soon as those discussions turn to serious questions on vaccine injury, the conversation is shut down and families are ignored or attacked.  If the Maine AAP is indeed a good faith organization, so intent on the well being of its patients that it wants to engage in dialog with those wishing to opt out of vaccines, as your support of LD 471 claims, then we first ask that the AAP engage the Maine Coalition for Vaccine Choice on our questions on behalf of more than 600 of these families in Maine.

While this is not a complete list of questions we have for your organization, these questions represent the basic questions that families need answers to in order to begin to believe that the Maine AAP is a good faith organization that wants to partner with parents, not bully them into buying a medical product for their child against their better judgement, or merely be able to bill for a 90460 CPT code.

We look forward to your response.


Ginger Taylor, MS
Director
Maine Coalition for Vaccine Choice
207-200-8469

Questions for AAP:

In your written testimony on LD 606, you make the unqualified statement that, “Vaccines are safe.”  In your oral testimony you made the qualified statement that, “vaccines mostly are safe.”  In your 2011 BRIEF AMICI CURIAE OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS AND 21 OTHER PHYSICIAN AND PUBLIC HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS IN SUPPORT OF THE RESPONDENT, in the case of Supreme Court case of Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, you advocate that vaccines should not only continued to be considered, “Unavoidably Unsafe,” but you argued that, “Case-by-case consideration of whether vaccines are unavoidably unsafe, on the other hand, would “undoubtedly increase the costs and risks associated with litigation and would undermine a manufacturer’s efforts to estimate and control costs,” this so that you were able continue to enjoy the blanket liability shield you enjoy due to this classification for all vaccines.

How can the AAP argue that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe” in the Supreme Court in order to convince the federal government to grant you liability protection from vaccine injury, and then argue that, “vaccines are safe,” and “vaccines are mostly safe,” before this committee in order to convince the State of Maine to mandate that families receive counseling/buy vaccines from you?

Are vaccines, “safe,” “mostly safe,” or “unavoidably unsafe?”

How do such widely contradictory statements engender trust in vaccines and in pediatricians?

In your testimony on LD 606, you have made the unqualified statement that, “vaccines are effective.”  Yet vaccine package inserts report varying degrees of efficacy for each product, and CDC reports that vaccines for pertussis and flu can have a relatively high failure rate.

How do you reconcile these statements?

How do such arguments engender trust in vaccines and pediatricians?

In your testimony on LD 606, you have made the unqualified statement that, “vaccination saves lives and money.

Can you please submit data to the committee the cost/benefit analysis to support this supposition, that includes costs incurred due to vaccine adverse events?

In your testimony on LD 606, in your discussion on measles vaccine, you have made the statement that, “…think it causes autism, which it doesn’t.  There was a corrupt researcher who published this association from faked data that he later retracted in disgrace.”  Can you please supply the committee with the original source documents for these claims:

1. The statement made in the research claiming that the measles vaccine causes autism.

2. The source of the judgment that the data used in the paper was “fake.”

3. The retraction statement issued by the researcher in question.

In your testimony you argue that families should be mandated to purchase vaccines from you and administer them to their children because, “they are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.”  How is the argument that Maine should push families into your services because you recommend them one that will engender trust in vaccines or the AAP?

In your testimony in opposition to  LD 1076, you make the statement that, “The Federal Vaccine Injury Program provides appropriate venue for reporting and tracking vaccine related side effects.”

In fact there is no “Federal Vaccine Injury Program” in the United States.  There is a Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to compensate vaccine injury victims, but it does not, as you suggest, “track vaccine related side effects.”  There is a program that does track vaccine related side effects, but it is called the Vaccine Adverse Reporting Events System.  That program is not discussed in LD 1076.

LD 1076 would mandate that all AAP physicians be educated on the VICP, its table of injuries and how to help vaccine injury victims attain the needed medical evaluations so that they can access that program successfully in the event of a vaccine injury.

Doesn’t the fact that the Maine AAP is not able to differentiate between VICP and VAERS in responding to this committee when opposing a bill on educating them on the VICP speak to the urgent need for legislation that educates AAP on the VICP?

What is the actual vaccine injury rate in Maine?

How many serious adverse reactions occur each year in Maine, and what is the approximate cost to the state for them? Please give us any information you have on short term medical care v. long term disability cases.

Please forward any data you have on how many vaccine deaths have occurred in Maine since the VICP and VAERS programs were established.  Individual case reports would be helpful if you have them.

Of those reporting an injury, what percentage are your doctors diagnosing with a vaccine injury, what percentage end up being compensated by the VICP?

What does the AAP do to inform their members about newly ruled on vaccine injuries that are coming out of the VICP?

Parents have testified before the committee that their children are suffering vaccine adverse reactions and that they cannot get their pediatricians to assess and treat these children according to federal guidelines, nor are they able to find doctors to testify for them so that they can get these cases compensated in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.  What resources are available to these families?

Does Maine AAP oppose listing the VICP information and table in the Maine CDC Immunization Program Provider Reference Manual?  If so, why?

Please list the AAP pediatricians in Maine who specialize in assessing and diagnosing various vaccine injuries, and who testify for families in the VICP.

What training and direction does AAP give their physicians on assessing and diagnosing vaccine injury, and then testifying on behalf of their vaccine injured patients in the VICP?

When a child presents with the symptoms of vaccine encephalopathy, per the VICP table, in the days or weeks following a pertussis or measles containing vaccine, what is the process by which a Maine pediatrician determines if the symptoms are caused by the vaccine or merely a temporal association?  Please attach research and educational materials.

The Pace Environmental Law Review paper “Unanswered Questions from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: A Review of Compensated Cases of Vaccine-Induced Brain Injury,”  has established that there is an overlap in the compensated cases of vaccine encephalopathy and an autism diagnosis.

What is the AAP doing to re evaluate children with a diagnosis of autism, who also meet the VICP table description of  encephalopathy, to assure that these children have not been missed and are not continuing to suffer from medical neglect for these associated medical conditions such as chronic brain inflammation?

You have stated that you “feel badly for those families that think that their children have suffered side effects,” implying that they merely believe that their children have adverse reactions, but they may not.  Is it not the job of AAP pediatricians to perform medical assessments on these children to make that determination?   What is the Maine AAP doing in response to these families reports of medical neglect because of the failure of pediatricians to perform proper assessments for established VICP table injuries?  Have you contacted the families or the Maine Coalition for Vaccine Choice who brought LD 1076 forward to see if they have availed themselves of the programs that you believe that this bill already provides (making LD 1076 redundant?)

What is the Maine AAP’s position on patients being kicked out of medical practices for refusing vaccines?

Your testimony recognized that parents are concerned about multiple vaccines administered at once, but you testified that when many vaccines are given together they “boost is higher when that is done.”  Can you please provide the committee with the safety and efficacy data surrounding your recommendation to administer Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, HIB, Polio, Hepatitis B, Rotavirus and Pneumococcal vaccines simultaneously to all two month old infants?

We have heard testimony from Dr. Suzanne Humphries that she spent a year at Eastern Maine Medical Center simply trying to get data that showed that the policy of vaccinating her patients in the first 12 hours was safe, and eventually quit the hospital because she was retaliated against for attempting to provide science based medical care.  What is the AAP doing to protect pediatricians in Maine who are not satisfied with the gaps in vaccine safety and efficacy data who are asking challenging questions of medical authorities on vaccine safety, and want to practice the precautionary principle in populations lacking data so that they “first do no harm?”

You stated that we have an obligation to protect each other from communicable disease.  What is the AAP’s position on protecting children from vaccine adverse reactions?

The response:

Subject: Re: Vaccine questions for the AAP
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2015 22:12:33 -0400
From: Dee Kerry deHaas – MAAP <dkerry2014@gmail.com>
To: Ginger Taylor <ginger@mainevaxchoice.org>
CC: Albert, Kenneth <Kenneth.Albert@maine.gov>, Holly Lusk <Holly.E.Lusk@maine.gov>, Beth O’Connor <libertymom1@msn.com>, Eric Brakey <sen.eric.brakey@gmail.com>

Ms. Taylor,

On behalf of the Maine AAP, I acknowledge receipt of your email and list of questions.  I understand that our organizations have different perspectives in the vaccine debate.  Each perspective has been aired in the legislative hearings and sessions with regard to these vaccine bills in the First Regular Session of the 127
th Maine Legislature.

I respectfully decline to respond to your list of proposed questions or to continue the debate with you through electronic correspondence or social media.

Dee deHaas
Executive Director
American Academy of Pediatrics, Maine Chapter

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