UPDATE/NOTE: A bloggist for the Pittsburgh City Paper claimed that in this article, I “denounced the medical professionals” who weighed in during the public comment period in favor of making HPV vaccination mandatory at the Allegheny County Courthouse. Read the article and decide for yourself: did I “denounce” the medical professionals?
THIS EVENING I spent 2 1/2 hours listening to medical professionals and parents and students in near perfect unison call out loudly and clearly for a county-wide HPV vaccination policy in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
I was alerted to the Public Comment period by a parent involved in bringing the movie #VAXXED to Pittsburgh (thank you, Amy Rafferty!) The call for the public forum appeared this afternoon in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at 1:10PM.
The arguments for HPV Vaccination included the points that HPV causes cervical, throat, penile, and anal cancer (which it does) – that cancer is a terrible disease (which is it)- that the cost of treating HPV cancer in the employees in one medical institution had totaled $350,000,000. I heard a variety of statistics thrown around – one retired medical doctor claimed that 99% of all doctors supported the HPV vaccine. I heard that if everyone in the court room was swabbed, that around 7% would test positive for HPV, and that a “percentage” of us would go on to develop some form of HPV-related cancer during our lifetime. We heard from one doctor who said that we should not blame the vaccines for adverse events. That was the most uninformed or disingenuous comment of the evening.
Listening to the impassioned pleas for mandatory HPV vaccine made me wonder if they were not all caught up in a fervor, rather than thinking rationally – and whether they even knew about what the science says about HPV efficacy and about Type Replacement.
The medical doctor who spoke before me told the Allegheny County Health Department that with HPV vaccine, we have a chance to “eradicate HPV”, that the vaccine works, that is it “sufficient”. Each speaker was met with a round of encouraging applause after their 3 minutes were up.
My comments (reproduced below), by comparison, went over like a lead balloon.
There were others who did not support mandatory HPV vaccines – one was Amy Rafferty who read a letter from a parent whose child was injured by the first dose of HPV vaccine. Allison (seated next to me) pointed to the television camera that was taken down during Amy’s 3 minutes.
There will be another session for public comment after the commission considers the public comments. I urged each member after the comment session to look at the studies showing type replacement, which will cause rarer, potentially more pathogenic types of HPV to sweep through the population. I reminded them that CDC’s own study showed no net change in HPV infection rate, and to take a close look at the Guo et al. study that clearly shows clearance of HPV types targeted by vaccines, but that also shows that the rarer, potentially more lethal types of HPV take over in the population.
One thing I noticed was that not one single medical professional offered any potential conflict of interest. I was more interested starting a conversation with them, than in insulting them, so I did not raise the issue.
Being polite and showing decorum paid off. In the hallway after the session, I chatted with five medical doctors, all of whom had spent their three minutes chastising those fringe anti-vaxxers, or deploring HPV-related cancers. One medical doctor reported that we’ve heard the arguments of the anti-vaxxers with every vaccine that comes up, and yet we always make them mandatory anyway (implying there was nothing new or unique). Some of my fellow attendees wondered out loud if the doctor wondered WHY we keep hearing about serious adverse events…
We heard from two others that “mandates work” – that uptake of vaccines went to 85%, showing that mandates work. Sorry, but 85% uptake does not achieve the level required for so-called herd immunity, but that’s just a factoid.
Another factoid I shared with them was the news that US Congressman Jason Chaffetz had announced that an investigation was being started on the issue of Dr. William Thompson, the CDC scientist who revealed that he and fellow scientists working in the CDC Immunization Safety Office (ISO) worked under supervisors who forced them to bury results showing association between vaccines and autism.
As I told them of my Journey from Ignorance, they seemed to search for ways to unseat me from my position. “So” said one “from your comments, I can tell that you are anti-vaccine?”
“Oh, no” I said. “I am 100% pro-immunization. And I used to sound just like you guys”, I said “until I looked at the science for myself. The HPV vaccine only provides partial protection, and mandatory vaccination will not change infection rates, and may well cause a massive increase in the rates of HPV-related cancers.”
“We live in a world where we have to live by calculated risks managed probability” said another, which is a fancy way of saying “Nothing in life is 100% risk-free”.
I replied: “The CDC is not managing probability. They are managing your perception of the probabilities of adverse events.”
I informed them that I had read 3,000 articles on autism, that the product is the book “Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism“, and that vaccines were not off the table.
One of the medical doctors told me that he had grandchildren with autism. I cited the increase from 1/68 to 1/3000 – he cited “improved diagnosis” and I promised to send him the study showing it’s not just improved diagnosis.
I exchanged cards with each of them, and parted ways.
All in all, the three of us registered speakers, Allison, myself and Amy, were the only representatives of the vaccine-risk aware community. I am sad to say we were overwhelmed by sheer numbers. So many in the medical community knew of this public forum – so few in the public knew. There will be another period for public comments, but only after the Commission has rendered a decision.
To the vaccine-risk aware community, your time to get loud is NOW. We must petition the County Commission, we must write op/Ed articles in all of the newspapers in Allegheny County. We must tell everyone the county that vaccine injured individuals cannot sue the companies, that they must go through “Vaccine Court”; we must educate them on the ineffectiveness of the VAERS system; we must educate them on Gardisil(TM) and other HPV vaccine-related injuries.
Don’t comment here – put your comments where they are truly needed. Do not hold back: get the word out that HPV Vaccine Injuries are real. Remind them that Type Replacement also means that those who are vaccinated may be at even greater risk of cancer due to infection by rarer types of HPV. We need to get the message out of the risk of premature ovarian failure. And print this out for your School Board, for your pediatrician, your mayor, your neighbor – educate, educate, educate!
In a side bar after the meeting, I was reminded by Allegheny Health Department Director Karen Hacker that Pennsylvania honors a philosophical exemption for mandatory vaccination.
I told her that parents do not use it, because they are not fully informed. And I wondered now how long before that exemption comes under fire in PA?
Public Comments Submitted to the Allegheny County Health Department, 6/22/2016
Dr. James Lyons-Weiler, PhD
Re: Adding HPV Vaccine to the mandatory vaccine schedule.
Thank you for hearing my comments.
Human papillomavirus is a virus that can cause not only cervical cancer, but numerous other types of cancers as well. I know the scourge of cancer first-hand: I lost my mother to breast cancer when I was five years old. As much as I would like to see cancer defeated, two studies, both performed in the United States on the efficacy of HPV vaccines have provided results do not support use of the HPV vaccine to reduce any type of cancer.
First, let’s be perfectly clear: no studies have ever been conducted that show that HPV vaccine does, in fact, reduce the risk of cervical cancer, or any other kind of cancer, because long-term studies have not yet been conducted.
Second, the CDC’s own study, published in 2016, of the rates of overall HPV infection before and after the introduction of HPV Vaccine showed NO NET CHANGE IN HPV INFECTION RATES (Prevalence (%, 95%CI) Prevaccine Era, 54.4 (49.5-59.2), Postvaccine Era, 58.1 (52.9-63.1), aPR (1.00 (0.9-1.11)); Markovitz et al., 2016).
Third, a study by researchers at the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women’s Health at The University of Texas Medical Branch also found in 2016 that while HPV vaccine can remove the virus types found in specific HPV vaccines, other, rarer, and potentially more deadly HPV viruses that are not targeted by any HPV vaccine do in fact move in to replace the more prevalent types that the vaccine has cleared. This phenomenon is known as “Type Replacement” and is well known to be caused by other vaccines, such as the vaccines against influenza.
According to the flyer for this event, “Exposure to certain strains of HPV can lead to cervical, throat, anal, vulvar, vaginal, and penile cancer. The HPV vaccine protects against the strains that cause the majority of these cancers.” However, it is also well known in virology and epidemiology that the prevalence of a type of virus can be a function of its ability to cause morbidity and mortality. Rare virus types tend to be rare precisely because they are more deadly. This means that partial vaccination for only the most prevalent types of HPV virus could, ironically, and sadly, lead to overall INCREASES in cervical and other HPV-related cancers in the long run via Type Replacement. In the study from The University of Texas, the authors reported:
“The prevalence of high-risk nonvaccine types was higher among vaccinated women than unvaccinated women (52.1% vs 40.4%, prevalence ratio 1.29, 95% CI 1.06–1.57), but this difference was attenuated after adjusting for sexual behavior variables (adjusted prevalence ratio 1.19, 95% CI 0.99–1.43). HPV vaccination was effective against all 4 vaccine types in young women vaccinated after age 12. However, vaccinated women had a higher prevalence of high-risk nonvaccine types, suggesting that they may benefit from newer vaccines covering additional types.”
Other studies have been conducted in demographic groups other than 11 and 12 year olds that do not show type replacement, but also only after “correcting for” increases in risky sexual behavior.
HPV vaccines contain neurotoxins, including aluminum. The cumulative effects of exposure to over 70 doses of neurotoxins in vaccines in today’s pediatric schedule can be very serious. Some children may be more susceptible to these neurotoxins than others. Adding another dose of aluminum, found in HPV vaccines, has not been shown to be safe. Any mandatory vaccination program condemns specific, potentially identifiable children to very serious adverse events.
Mandatory vaccines also violate federal and international laws on informed consent.
Involuntary scientific and medical experimentation on human subjects is nearly universally banned. We learned after World War II, how important it was to protect all human subjects by recognizing and protecting each individual’s right to fully informed consent prior to any medical experimentation.
Unlike drugs and other medical procedures, which are awarded FDA approval after a grueling three Phases of research, including randomized, prospective clinical trials, vaccines are not tested. Instead, CDC relies on post-market surveillance to study rates of adverse events in part using a passive reporting system called the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, which comes with a disclaimer that no cause/effect relationship can be drawn from its contents.
I submit to you that because wholesale changes to the CDC’s vaccination schedule are not properly tested, no one knows the effects of the full schedule on the human body, especially the developing human brain.
The lesson of the serious dangers of involuntary scientific and medical experimentation on human subjects was hard won. Nazi medical atrocities caused the world to condemn involuntary experimentation via the Nuremberg Code, which stated that the “voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.” In 1966, The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights codified a prohibition against involuntary experimentation, stating “no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.” According NYU Legal Scholar Mary Holland, this prohibition
“is now so universally recognized that some courts and scholars have pronounced the right to informed consent in experiments as a matter of customary international law. In other words, it applies everywhere, whether or not a country has specific laws on its books, as customary norms now prohibit slavery, genocide, torture and piracy.”
Medical doctors and other health care providers do not provide sufficiently detailed information during their interviews with patients on HPV vaccination. I know this first-hand; I asked my son’s doctor for the exact risks of any and all potential types of adverse reactions from HPV vaccines, only to be told that the vaccine is “very safe”. When I asked him for the product insert, he mailed it to me, and it, too, did not include the full list of adverse events from HPV vaccine. Instead, it referred me back to my son’s doctor.
Because there has been no – ZERO – properly controlled, long-term randomized prospective clinical trials that have studied the benefits and risks of HPV vaccination, adoption of HPV vaccine into a mandatory vaccine schedule will be the equivalent of enrolling all children in that program as unwitting, unconsented, uninformed participants in an uncontrolled clinical trial.
The net scientific evidence that has been conducted – retrospective clinical studies, which are also known as “correlational” or “ecological” studies – does NOT support the use of HPV for its stated purpose, and a potential consequence of widespread use of HPV vaccine in our youth may in fact condemn them to suffer increased rates of HPV-related cancers if they are required by the state to participate in the HPV vaccination program. While enriching the middle school curriculum with more detailed lessons on safe sex practices may slow the type replacement, not all school districts in Allegheny County provide sufficient detail in their curriculum on safe sex practices that may reduce transmission of HPV. And schools are certainly not going to provide students with barrier technologies to prevent the transmission of the rarer, potentially more dangerous types of HPV, which current vaccines do target.
We should never compel anyone to undergo any medical procedure. Each of us deserves the individual sovereignty and integrity of our bodies, safe from harm, and safe from risk of harm – from the state or from any government institution. We can see the attendant risks and possible risks most clearly from the science on type replacement due to HPV vaccines.
I urge you to focus on enriching the sex education programs throughout the County as a priority and to abandon any further consideration of mandating these incomplete vaccines. I also urge you to re-visit all mandatory vaccination programs in light of the knowledge that wholescale changes to the vaccine schedule are never tested against proper placebo using randomized prospective clinical trials. We need to de-enroll our citizen’s children from these population-wide experiments. I also urge you to conduct a systematic review of the adequacy of the information provided by health care workers and pediatricians throughout Allegheny County on the adverse risks of ALL pediatric vaccines, as they, like HPV, have never been tested against unvaccinated individuals in a proper study, and the information provided to patients is woefully inadequate and misleading.
Guo, F et al., 2015. Comparison of HPV prevalence between HPV-vaccinated and non-vaccinated young adult women (20–26 years) Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics 11: Issue 10, 2015. 11(10):2337-44. doi: 10.1080/21645515.2015.1066948.
Markowitz LE et al., 2016 Prevalence of HPV After Introduction of the Vaccination Program in the United States. Pediatrics. 2016 Feb 22. pii: peds.2015-1968.
With permission, here is the letter read into the record on behalf of Sara Sotomayor’s mom, Kelly. I extend appreciation to Amy Rafferty for arranging the permission.
Hello my name is Kelly Sotomayor. Before I share my daughter’s Gardasil injury story you should know that she was a bright student earning straight A’s and she was very active and played summer soccer. She loved being outdoors playing with her younger sister, roller blading, rock climbing and being carefree.
That ALL changed on Oct. 17th 2006. My daughter, Sara Sotomayor, received just ONE dose of the Gardasil vaccine on this date. She was 13 years old. Directly after the needle left her arm she began screaming and crying but we were told that this was a “normal” reaction from the Gardasil vaccine. So we went home thinking everything was going to be okay. Two days went by and no improvement in the pain in her arm. Unfortunately, that was just the beginning of the downfall into the abyss of Sara’s life threating health issues.
I am now Sara’s 24/7 caretaker. She does NOT have the use of her wrists or legs due to the hypertonia. She is 23 years old now and should have graduated college and been able to live a healthy independent life, instead she is confined to a bed and collects social security disability. She is in constant pain as she watches her future slip by. Her once perfect life and health was stolen from her and she will NEVER get those years back!!!!
Here are just some of her health issues from Gardasil.
- Severe nose bleeds
- Trouble walking
- Severe inflammation in her joints
- Mid brain encephalopathy
- Demyelination of mid brain and peripheral nervous system
- Severe weight loss and muscle atrophy which left her looking like a concentration camp victim
- Bedridden for the last 4 ½ years; on and off for almost ten years
- Severe non relenting body pain
- Unable to tolerate pharma medications
- Severe food sensitivities
- Unable to go to school and had to have teachers from school come to the house to tutor Sara so that she could graduate high school
- Hasn’t been able to walk in 4 ½ years due to hypertonia of her muscles
Having my daughter get the Gardasil vaccine is a decision that I will regret for the rest of my life. This was an uninformed CHOICE that I made. If the Allegheny health dept. takes away a parent’s right to decide then you will have so many injured boys and girls with parents dealing with the after math of the physical, emotional and financial devastation of trying to recover their child’s health.
PLEASE do NOT add the HPV Gardasil vaccination to the adolescent required vaccine schedule, as Sara is proof of the devastation it causes!
Thank you for your time and God Bless you.
Kelly & Sara Sotomayor