IOM Report: Vaccine Schedule Safe?

syringeThe Institute of Medicine (IOM), claims to serve the public as an independent non-profit organization(see their about statement here). 
I continue to find them lacking when it comes to topics that are controversial.  Clearly, you can pull together a large group of good people who think alike and who wish to maintain the status quo and generate a report that supports that position.  This report claiming that the current vaccine schedule is safe is just that – a report of like-minded individuals who clearly did not want to look at, nor give voice to opposing positions , and as such, I reject this report as biased.  The report states “review of available research revealed no reason why vaccines should not be administered under the current guidelines” and “The IOM Committee examined the immunization schedule and we uncovered no evidence of major safety concerns associated with adherence to the childhood immunization schedule. This should be of reassurance to hesitant parents and other stakeholders.”

I wonder if this esteemed group of our nation’s best and brightest have even read the reports of the toxic effects of aluminum at levels far below the levels of aluminum in some vaccines.  We have known for over a decade that exceeding 4-5 micrograms/Kg/day of aluminum parenteral (IV or IM) causes neurological damage in premature infants.

 

Aluminum Neurotoxicity in Preterm Infants Receiving Intravenous-Feeding Solutions

Nicholas J. Bishop, M.D., Ruth Morley, M.B., B.Chir., J. Philip Day, Ph.D., and Alan Lucas, M.D.
N Engl J Med 1997; 336:1557-1562May 29, 1997DOI: 10.1056/NEJM199705293362203).  The FDA itself responded to this information with the ruling that TPN (the solutions used to feed intravenously) should not exceed 4-5 micrograms/ Kg/ day of aluminum.
A great review with 116 references – 2630 Current Medicinal Chemistry, 2011, 18, 2630-2637
Aluminum Vaccine Adjuvants: Are they Safe?
L. Tomljenovic*,1 and C.A. Shaw2 
– outlines the extensive literature showing aluminum toxicity at levels 100X lower than the amounts being injected into our infants using the current vaccine schedule.

So I find it callus and irresponsible for the IOM to publish such a biased and one-sided report.  IOM – you are loosing credibility in the scientific community by continuing to promote only one side of the vaccine safety issue.  Until there can be an honest and thorough report that includes the concerns outlined above, I suspect you only further erode public trust in the very institutions (CDC, NIH, AAP) that are supposed to protect and serve the public. A look at the totally unacceptable and rising rates of neurologically challenged children (autism, autism spectrum, ADD, ADHD, anxiety, developmental delays, language delays etc.) should be a wake up call.  The precautionary principle would state that we not inject a known neurotoxin like aluminum until studies had proven its safety.  Sadly, the opposite is true of our vaccine schedule.  Aluminum was grandfathered in as safe and never put through prospective animal trials. Numerous studies now point to its neurotoxicity at levels much lower than in the vaccine schedule.  The results of your grand experiment on the population are evident in the health, or lack there of, in the American population.  2012 marked a new low for the vaccine recommendation bodies CDC/ACIP when they recommended injecting at least 330 micrograms to every pregnant mom in America in their attempt to reduce pertussis.  Injecting this dose starting at 20 weeks gestational age may amount to an unprecedented exposure of this neurotoxin to almost 4 million pregnancies.  The outcome of this nation-wide experiment will be in the neurological outcomes of these pregnancies.  Will the connection even be made if we end up with increased numbers of neurologically impaired children?

 

IOM Report: Vaccine Schedule Safe

Patrick M. O’Connell, Digital Content Editor

 A report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released Wednesday affirmed the safety of the federal childhood immunization schedule, stating that a review of available research revealed no reason why vaccines should not be administered under the current guidelines.

“Vaccines are among the most effective and safe public health interventions to prevent serious disease and death,” said Lainie Friedman Ross, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP, a member of the AAP Committee on Bioethics and the 14-person committee which developed the IOM report, touted as a comprehensive overview of the nation’s vaccine guidelines.

The committee also concluded, based on a review of research, that “there is ample evidence that not vaccinating children is putting them at grave risk,” said committee member Pauline A. Thomas, M.D., FAAP, chair of the AAP Section Epidemiology.

 The federal immunization schedule, released every year by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention upon approval by the AAP, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American Academy of Family Physicians, recommends that children receive a series of vaccines timed to protect them from 14 pathogens, vaccinating children when they are most vulnerable. The committee noted that about 90 percent of children in the United States receive most childhood vaccines according to the schedule by the time they enter kindergarten, but some parents choose to spread out the vaccines and others decline the vaccines altogether.

 But the committee said there is a need for better communication promoting the benefits of childhood vaccines and the risks of bypassing immunizations. Pediatricians generally do a good job of communicating the benefits of the vaccines for children to parents, the committee said, but additional work needs to be done to continue to promote the safety and health advantages of vaccines. It will be helpful for national agencies to examine and quantify the concerns of parents in an effort to better address the issues that cause some parents to delay or ignore immunizations.

 Michael T. Brady, M.D., FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, said the report was encouraging because its summary aligns with the AAP’s vaccine recommendations and the committee that reviewed the data and surveyed stakeholders was a diverse, independent body of physicians and laypeople.

“The message is that vaccines are one of the safest public health options available,” Brady said. “This is really a good time (for pediatricians) to have discussions with families that, first, vaccines are safe, and secondly, that the current vaccine schedule is the right schedule.”

Studies demonstrate the health benefits of the vaccine schedule, the report states, including fewer illnesses, deaths, and hospital stays.

 “Because of the success of vaccines, most Americans — and in fact, many young pediatricians — have no first-hand experience with such devastating illnesses as polio or diphtheria,” Dr. Ross said. “The IOM Committee examined the immunization schedule and we uncovered no evidence of major safety concerns associated with adherence to the childhood immunization schedule. This should be of reassurance to hesitant parents and other stakeholders.”

The report also sets a framework for conducting additional studies on the vaccine schedule and its effectiveness, especially as new technologies become available. There also is no evidence available to examine whether modifications to the schedule — for instance, parents who spread out the vaccines for their children — have any benefits or risks, Thomas said. A few researchers have begun to explore those topics, she said, but the data pool is small.

 The Vaccine Safety Datalink is the best tool for exploring future questions about the immunization schedule, the committee said. It can be accessed athttp:/​/​www.cdc.gov/​vaccinesafety/​Activities/​VSD.html.

The report, “The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies,” is available atwww.iom.edu/​childimmunizationschedule. The 2013 Recommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule was published Jan. 28 in Pediatrics.

 

Dr. Paul

 

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