The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a campaign called: Vaccinate with Confidence. The campaign aims to address hesitancy and strengthen confidence in vaccines. As per the CDC’s own resources, the strategy is based on an extensive framework and collaborative efforts with partners, stakeholders, frontline healthcare workers, and social media platforms. Vaccine hesitancy is perceived as a threat to communities and cause for what the CDC calls “myths and misinformation.”
Vaccines are the crown jewel of modern medicine and one of the most cost-effective ways of communicable disease prevention. However, vaccination has also been a subject of controversy since its very conception. Additionally, vaccination is a cause of perpetual conflict between diametrically opposed camps. A growing number of concerned citizens argue that the burden of vaccine injury risk has been grossly underestimated and overshadowed by the perceived benefits of this poorly tested procedure. The vaccine debate is a worldwide issue and social media has become one of the primary battlefields.
On January 27, 2020, the CDC created an entry for Wikipedia called Vaccine Hesitancy. Vaccine hesitancy is ”the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines;” and it has made the WHO’s top ten list of threats to global health for 2019.
Is Vaccine Injury As Rare As The CDC Claims?
The CDC’s campaign is a response to a growing number of parents and individuals who have serious concerns and unanswered questions about the safety of vaccines. Many of these individuals choose to vaccinate on a delayed schedule, vaccinate selectively, or refuse vaccines altogether for themselves and their children. The medical community claims vaccines are safe and the risk of injury is minute. However, the hundreds of millions of dollars paid every year ($4.1 billion to date) through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to injured individuals, strongly supports the arguments for the presence of harm.
Public health agencies maintain that vaccine injury is extremely rare –1 in 1,000,000. This estimate has recently been given a critical revisit revealing the actual vaccine injury ratio to be 1 in 39. The $1 million government-funded Harvard Pilgrim project was designed to evaluate and develop strategies for optimizing the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). VAERS would streamline clinician reporting of adverse events in order to improve the surveillance process. While the official number of vaccine injury marks the infamous 1 in 1,000,000 risks of harm, the results of this investigation revealed a different reality:
Preliminary data were collected from June 2006 through October 2009 on 715,000 patients, and 1.4 million doses (of 45 different vaccines) were given to 376,452 individuals. Of these doses, 35,570 possible reactions (2.6 percent of vaccinations) were identified. This is an average of 890 possible events, an average of 1.3 events per clinician, per month.
The researchers concluded that ”fewer than 1 percent of vaccine adverse events are reported.”
Adverse Events Post-Surveillance Highly Problematic
The researchers’ conclusions point out some of the pitfalls of the post-surveillance process. The top concerns are lack of clinician awareness and uncertainty about what would be considered an adverse event worth reporting. An additional concern is the challenge of incorporating reporting into the clinical practice on a routine basis.
Unfortunately, the CDC did not demonstrate an interest in collaborating with further system performance assessments and appears to have unilaterally discontinued communications on this matter, despite multiple inquiries by the project team. The Harvard Pilgrim study was designed to improve the VAERS, and could have been an opportunity for the CDC to demonstrate a commitment to product safety and transparency.
The troubling findings of this federal study and the CDC’s counterintuitive disengagement doesn’t work in favor of boosting vaccine confidence. Additionally, it creates a whole new set of questions and concerns that further solidify public distrust.
A major part of the CDC’s multifaceted strategy to boost vaccine confidence is built around identifying unvaccinated and under-vaccinated communities and implementing measures to increase vaccine intake. The medical establishment has given the CDC its endorsement by entering into an unholy doctor-agency alliance. The alliance places the ethical aspect of the patient-doctor relationship on the back burner. The trust in vaccines, health agencies, legislators, and the medical profession is broken. The voices of those affected by vaccines are a groundswell and it is gaining momentum.
The CDC’s “Vaccinate With Confidence” campaign is misleading in its presentation of facts about vaccine safety. It relies on poor science and empty platitudes. Both, no longer satisfying the growing number of concerned consumers. It is no surprise that the CDC’s overly ambitious message is met with public skepticism and demands for transparency.
“Anti-vaxx” or “Vaccine Inquisitive”?
The vaccine debate has created its own terminology and common parlance. The word “anti-vaxx” is effectively a slur. It is inflammatory and distracts from the critical vaccine safety discourse that vaccine-inquisitive parents have been inviting for years to no avail. The “anti-vaxx” label is meant not simply to identify one’s position on the subject, but to vilify and belittle.
The vaccine conflict is not a trendy hype. Considering the adversarial nature of this 300-year-old conundrum, pro- and anti-vaccine positions have existed since the conception of the vaccine paradigm. The word “anti-vaxx” and its various iterations are systemically being utilized by public health agencies (i.e., CDC, WHO) and perpetually bandied about by mainstream media. “Anti-vaxx” has become a derogatory term used to segregate and discredit anybody who has reservations, questions vaccine safety, or advocates for pro-medical choice and the right to informed consent. The mainstream media does an awfully good job at spreading the pro-vaxx propaganda and fueling the antagonistic message by inciting hate and slander as recently demonstrated by the CDC’s Marketplace Program.
The term “vaccine hesitancy” is a patronizing all-inclusive label used to describe those with opposing views. The vaccine hesitance is largely for those who are on the fence and undecided. The CDC’s “Vaccinate with Confidence” campaign is arguably a marketing tactic strategy to sway opinions and win the doubter’s trust, as well as to ensure that those who are committed to the cause remain on board.
Vaccinate With Confidence: The Mission
The CDC claims its mission is to protect the health and lives of Americans by conducting critical science. Along with, making public health decisions based on the highest-quality, objective scientific data. Is the CDC observing this pledge to the American people? Or has the agency abandoned its high purpose over bad publicity concerns that might give vaccines a bad name?
Zara is a Certified Homeopath with special interest in women’s health, organ therapuetics and natual approach to cancer. Zara holds B.Sc. in Geology and received formal training in Chemistry and Biology. In her free time, she is a singer and writer.
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