Yesterday, the New York Times ran an opinion piece by a pediatric infectious disease physician named Jennifer Lighter, who argues that the “the Biggest Cause of the Measles Crisis” in the US is “not anti-vaxxers” but “parents who create their own vaccine schedules.”
This is a departure from the typical use of the derogatory label “anti-vaxxers”. The term is usually applied to anyone who dares to question, criticize, or dissent from public vaccine policy. Lighter, however, distinguishes between parents who are totally against vaccinating and the far greater number of parents who do vaccinate their children, just not strictly according to the routine childhood schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
But recognizing that distinction is the only commendable aspect of the article, in which Lighter propagates the Big Lie that the safety and effectiveness of administering vaccines according to the CDC’s schedule has been scientifically established.
Lighter describes as “unscientific” any decision by parents to “delay or deviate from the routine schedule” while describing the CDC’s schedule as “evidence-based”.
This is the same Big Lie that Washington Post reporter Lena H. Sun and her editors propagate when they tell the public that “No new immunization is added to the schedule until it has been evaluated both alone and when given with the other current immunizations.”
In fact, as the Institute of Medicine (IOM) pointed out in a 2013 report titled “The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety”, no studies have compared the differences in health outcomes between children vaccinated according to the CDC’s schedule and unvaccinated children. As the IOM noted, “existing research has not been designed to test the entire immunization schedule”. It reiterated that “studies designed to examine the long-term effects of the cumulative number of vaccines or other aspects of the immunization schedule have not been conducted.”
Lighter attempts to support her Big Lie with another deception by adding that “No other schedule for any vaccine provides better safety or efficacy.”
But note her use of the singular noun “vaccine”. The relevant question here simply is not with respect to the timing of any one vaccine, but with respect to the administration of the total number of vaccines on the CDC’s schedule and the administration of multiple vaccines at once.
In that regard, the suggestion that no other vaccine schedule is safer depends on the assumption that other schedules have been studied and health outcomes compared with outcomes for children vaccinated according to the schedule recommended by the CDC, which is simply untrue.
If we take her statement to mean that she’s only considering individual vaccines, it is deceptive because it doesn’t address the real issue. If we take her statement to mean that she’s considering the vaccine schedule as a whole, it is deceptive because, in this case, Lighter is making a statement of fact from a position of complete ignorance. She is claiming to know something that she cannot possibly know because, contrary to her Big Lie, it has not been studied.
Lighter further attempts to support her Big Lie by describing as “scientifically unfounded” the “notion that more than one vaccine at a time can burden a child’s immune system.”
In fact, the CDC has acknowledged that the administration of many vaccines at once can indeed “burden a child’s immune system”. As then CDC director Julie Gerberding admitted, “Now, we all know that vaccines can occasionally cause fevers in kids. So if a child was immunized, got a fever, had other complications from the vaccines, and if you’re predisposed with a mitochondrial disorder, it can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism.” (Emphasis added.)
Gerberding was referring to the case of a girl named Hannah Poling who had developmentally regressed into autism after receiving nine vaccine doses at once at 19 months of age.
The Poling family is among those who have been awarded compensation by the government under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), which was established under a law granting legal immunity to vaccine manufacturers and effectively shifts the financial burden for vaccine injuries away from the pharmaceutical companies and onto the taxpaying consumers.
In Hannah’s case, the government conceded that “the facts of this case meet the statutory criteria for demonstrating that the vaccinations CHILD received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder.” (Emphasis added.)
One expert whom the government has used as a witness in VICP cases is Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, who, referring to Hannah’s case, has testified in a sworn affidavit that “in a subset of children with an underlying mitochondrial dysfunction, vaccine induced fever and immune stimulation that exceeded metabolic energy reserves could, and in at least one of my patients, did cause regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder.” (Emphasis added.)
In simple layman’s terms, the administration of nine vaccine doses at once did indeed overburden young Hannah’s immune system, as conceded by the government.
This is precisely the kind of outcome that many parents are concerned about when it comes to administering many vaccines or many at once. Parents are rightly concerned about the long-term effects of administering 50 doses of 16 vaccines by age six and upwards of 72 doses of 19 vaccines by age eighteen.
This includes an annual influenza vaccine, multi-dose vials of which still contain thimerosal, a preservative that by weight is about half ethylmercury, which the IOM in a 2004 review of vaccine safety acknowledged as a “known neurotoxin” that “accumulates in the brain” and “can injure the nervous system.”
Numerous other vaccines on the CDC’s childhood schedule contain aluminum, which like mercury is a known neurotoxin that can cross both the placental and blood-brain barriers and accumulate in the brain.
Instructively, while still used in flu shots, the reason that thimerosal ceased to be used in other childhood vaccines around the turn of the century is because it became publicly known that, as the CDC continued adding vaccines to its schedule, it was exposing children to cumulative levels of mercury that exceeded the government’s own safety guidelines.
And this is the same government that Jennifer Lighter would have us trust today with the health of our children!
Naturally, Lighter has a transparent political agenda behind her Big Lie. Upon the basis of her deceptions, she argues that “All clinicians should be required to support the advisory committee’s recommended vaccine schedule for children and adults.”
In other words, no doctors should be permitted to think for themselves and to exercise their own judgment when it comes to the vaccination of their patients, based on their own unique knowledge of individual children that government bureaucrats formulating public vaccine policies do not have.
In short, Lighter is an authoritarian statist who rejects the right to informed consent and is pursuing an agenda to eliminate health freedom, and in the pursuit of this agenda, she is willing to recklessly propagate the Big Lie that the safety of the CDC’s routine childhood vaccine schedule has been scientifically demonstrated.