The Search for Safer Vaccines

Vaccine-injured children who end up with autism are quietly winning their cases in federal court, but only when they focus on using the more general terminology of “brain damage” rather than calling it “autism.”

Take the tragic case of little Elias Tembenis. It could teach us something about how to make vaccination even safer for at risk children. Who could be against the idea of making vaccination–or anything–as safe as it can possibly be?

Yet raising this simple and logical question has largely been made taboo by pharmaceutical interests and vaccine activists who have long fought a PR campaign to squelch any discussion about vaccine safety and the autism connection; and have falsely portrayed journalists and researchers who pursue it as “anti-vaccine.” The vaccine pharmaceutical activists troll the web for scientific studies and articles that investigate vaccine side effects and then use social media, bloggers and other forums to launch their attacks and incorrectly claim the autism link has been “debunked.” They monitor and edit Wikipedia pages in an effort to downplay research that demonstrates associations between vaccines and autism, and to disparage those who investigate the links. They apply pressure to managers of news organizations that employ journalists who dare to explore the factual connections between vaccines and various serious side effects.

Sadly, since the Tembenis case, the government has not — at least publicly — done much to answer the questions that it and many others pose: why are the vast majority of kids apparently vaccinated safely, but a minority become seriously ill, brain-damaged or even die?

If the right people bothered to study the question, we might learn how to identify ahead of time what babies might have the same problem. Perhaps they could be saved, while the rest are safely vaccinated. The former head of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Bernadine Healy, once said that such study would actually protect the integrity of the vaccine program, rather than threaten it (as she said many government officials fear).

Read about Elias Tembenis’ reaction to DTaP vaccination.

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