Hepatitis B Vaccine Hearings/House of Reps/Patty White R, School Nurse Perspective
To the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources
of the Committee on Government Reform
U.S. House of Representatives
RE: HEPATITIS B VACCINE HEARINGS
SCHOOL NURSE PERSPECTIVE
Submitted by Patti White, RN
May 17, 1999
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:
This is a school nursing perspective for the congressional hearings to be held on May 18, 1999 regarding the safety of the hepatitis B vaccine that is being mandated for newborns and now older children in America. We ask you to please consider the following information and submit it into the congressional testimony. As nurses we continually see more and more damaged children entering our schools, and we are very concerned that a major portion of that damage may be due to the hepatitis B vaccine's assault on the newborn neurological and immune system.
My name is Patti White, R.N. I am a registered professional nurse and the district health services coordinator for a multi-school district. I am writing on behalf of the school nurses in our district. We have very grave concerns about the hepatitis B vaccine.
For the past three or four years our school district has noted a significant increase in the number of children entering school with developmental disorders, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders and/or serious chronic illness such as diabetes, asthma and seizure disorders. Each of the past four years has been worse than the year before. There is only one common thread we have been able to identify in these children: they are the children who received the first trial hepatitis B injections as newborns in the early 1990s.
As the hepatitis B compliance rate in newborns has gone up in our community, so has the percentage of damaged children. This is very alarming. Because of having so many damaged children we have tried to find the long term clinical trials that ruled this vaccine "safe and effective". We discovered through an exhaustive Medline search that the FDA based its decision to approve hepatitis B vaccine for administration in the first hours of a newborn baby's life upon clinical trials and upon post-marketing surveillance studies in which patients and their doctors were asked to report any adverse effects they noticed within 4-5 days after each injection [4 days for SmithKline and 5 days for Merck].
The problems being reported in increasing numbers as occurring after hepatitis B vaccination appear to be autoimmune and neurological in origin. Such problems take weeks to months to produce noticeable symptoms, and cannot be spotted in a 4-5 day observation period. These are the only clinical studies that have been done by Merck or SmithKline. There is not one long-term study that we could find.
The CDC and FDA have no idea what the long term effects will be on the newly developing neurological and immune systems of the infants who are injected with this vaccine. They seem to only be concerned with denying the connection between these damaged children and the hepatitis B shot they received within a few hours of birth. The CDC even admits the lack of study and states they do not even know how long the vaccine will be effective. We found this amazing since the vaccine was developed for a population at risk for hepatitis B: IV drug users, high risk medical professionals and those who are involved in high risk sexual practices.
In 1950 (before mass immunizations began), the USA had the third lowest infant mortality rate in the world. By 1986, the USA dropped to 17th place. In 1995 the USA dropped to 23rd and now the USA has dropped to the appalling position of 24th in the health of its children. But the USA is now first in vaccine compliance through government mandates.
The elementary grades are overwhelmed with children who have symptoms of neurological and/or immune system damage: epilepsy, seizure disorders, various kinds of palsies, autism, mental retardation, learning disabilities, juvenile-onset diabetes, asthma, vision /hearing loss, and a multitude of new conduct/behavior disorders.
We have come to believe the hepatitis B vaccine is an assault on a newborns developing neurological and immune system. Vaccines are supposed to be making us healthier, however, in twenty-five years of nursing I have never seen so many damaged, sick kids. Something very, very wrong is happening to our children. The census of ill children treated in our health rooms each day has increased by 300% in only four years.
In our last school nurse meeting we discussed whether the combination of so many vaccines/viruses at one time (hepatitis B vaccine at the same time of the DPT, OPV or MMR) is causing the infant's immune system to be overwhelmed and unable to mount a sufficient defense response. We are advocating clinical studies to determine: Is the combination of all these viruses at one time an assault on an infant's immune and neurological system that increases the chances for adverse reaction AND what are the long-term neurological and immune system responses to these vaccines. We are all continuing to research this issue and will be happy to share the many resources we have found with you. I hope you will do the same as you open up this issue.
We have talked many times about the possible cause(s) of the continuing increase in pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), such as autism. From the literature we have found, we should expect a rate for PDD of about 2-5 in 10,000. In our community the rate in 1st and 2nd grade is about 1 in 150 and in kindergarten, 1 in 100.
As school nurses, we have had many parents calling and asking how they can exempt their children from the hepatitis B vaccination (HPB). Many of them have spent long hours in study and research perplexed over this issue. For the past six months we have been studying documents, books and research articles published by internationally respected doctors and scientists that cause us grave concern. You must understand that we began this study to reassure our parents and show them the truth about how safe vaccines are.
Unfortunately, our sincere, honest, dedicated study has caused a complete reversal of our once strongly held beliefs. Instead of being able to reassure the parents, we have found ourselves being drawn deeper and deeper into this unbelievable controversy over vaccines that is raging among physicians, scientists, researchers, parents, and the government. We pray you will have the courage to shine the light on this controversy through these hepatitis B hearings.
My daughter's own experience with the hepatitis B vaccine made me much more open-minded to the information we have been receiving from parents, teachers and other nurses in our community. I personally have had to research this on my own to determine if I have been enforcing a policy that is actually harming more children than it will ever help. I have spent countless hours reading books, vaccine-hearing testimony, research papers, medical journal articles and Internet web-sites from around the world. I did not come to my decision easily or lightly, I assure you. Twenty-five years of total belief in something does not shake that easily.
I have repeated the well-rehearsed refrain "Be Wise; Immunize" thousands of times during those years and reassured countless parents that they were doing the right thing by vaccinating their precious children . . . even the ones who came to me with serious doubts and reservations. I will now have to live with that.
We are all now faced with a moral dilemma: will we protect the "sacred cow of conventional vaccine philosophy" or will we stand up and speak out for the "health and well being of innocent children"? We choose children. We wonder, which will our government choose?
Because the hepatitis B vaccine was developed for those at risk of disease, including IV drug users and sexually promiscuous individuals, efforts to require administration of the vaccine to most, if not all of the U.S. population is very controversial. The increasing number of adverse reaction reports connected with this vaccine exacerbates the controversy. The controversy stems to a great extent from our lack of understanding of the mechanisms of the immune response to the hepatitis B surface antigen and lack of long term follow-up of individuals who have received the vaccine. In a January 27, 1999 press release, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) released figures which show that the number of hepatitis B vaccine-associated serious adverse event and death reports in American children under the age of 14 outnumber the reported cases of hepatitis B disease.
During our research we discovered a copy of the grant proposal submitted recently to the National Institute of Health by Dr. B. S. Dunbar, who has worked in autoimmunity and vaccine development for over twenty years and was honored two years ago by the National Institute of Health. Dr. Dunbar is working with a team of veteran vaccine researchers from all over the world. Their grant is requested for the purpose of studying the hypothesis that: hepatitis B recombinant vaccine does cause adverse autoimmune reactions in genetically susceptible individuals. This study will also provide new insights into the predictability of determining adverse side effects of the hepatitis B vaccine in individuals at risk as related to their histocompatability subtypes. Their study of auto-immune diseases/symptoms caused by the hepatitis B vaccine include: lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, vascular disorders, Guillain Barre syndrome, demyelinating disorders such as optic neuritis (blindness), Bellís palsy, demyelinating neuropathy (multiple developmental disorders), multiple sclerosis, diabetes mellitus and chronic fatigue syndrome to mention the most common.
This group of internationally respected vaccine researchers headed up by Dr. Dunbar also point out that, "The studies (for the approval of HPB) were not designed to assess serious, rare adverse events; the total number of recipients were too small; and the follow-up was too short to detect rare or delayed, serious, adverse reactions." Finally they point out that "overall the number of examples of adverse neurologic outcomes following receipt of hepatitis B vaccine are of concern, particularly those resulting in demyelinating neurologic disease."
They continue, "In view of these observations. . . it is medically crucial to evaluate the nature of the autoimmune reactions (i.e. risks) associated with the hepatitis B vaccine and to determine if individuals who will have these adverse reactions can be identified in advance of receiving the vaccine". There are critical questions that must be addressed to establish the risk/benefit of the current hepatitis B vaccines in the United States. These questions are particularly important in view of recent mandates to vaccinate all children including newborn infants."
Many groups have called for a moratorium on hepatitis B vaccination until some of these questions can be answered adequately. The NVIC reported "Newborn babies are dying shortly after their shots and their deaths are being written off as sudden infant death syndrome. Parents should have the right to give their informed consent to vaccination and Congress should give emergency, priority funding to independent scientists, who can take an unbiased look at this vaccine, instead of leaving the search for truth in the hands of government officials who have already decided to force every child to get the vaccine". We agree completely. The NVIC can be contacted at http://www.909shot.com for further information.
Our own school district's confidential health statistics show at least 20% of our children (K-3) have significant neurological damage and/or chronic illness. The last three years have shown an acceleration in the numbers of children who are entering our schools with these "developmental disorders". (Could these be the same infants who received the first trial doses of hepatitis B as only a few hour-old newborns?) As school nurses, working with these damaged children on a daily basis, we pray this is not true. If it is, the ramification to this generation of children is unthinkable!
Should we not pause, call for a moratorium on these poorly tested, rapidly approved vaccines, and allow independent American physicians and researchers to study them before blindly injecting an experimental vaccine into an entire generation? (We have found the only ones declaring the vaccine's safety are the ones who are making millions of dollars from its sales, whose employment depends on it or the ones being supported by the drug companies vast number of grants and fundings. The independent researchers seem to be coming up with an entirely different report.)
Vaccine producers have nothing to lose since our U.S. Congress has made them immune from responsibility or liability for injuries caused from their vaccines. The push is on for them to create more and more vaccines. There are huge amounts of money being made by these people who no longer worry about the consequences of their inadequate clinical trials. The United States government has had to pay out nearly a billion dollars in damages to families who can prove their children have been damaged or killed by vaccines, and there are thousands more cases pending.
We believe, as medical professionals, that we are doing a great disservice to our country by forcing government mandated vaccines on all children. Please research this and we pray you have the courage to speak out and tell the nation what you find.
(The views expressed are my personal beliefs and observations and do not necessarily reflect those of the school district.)
Patti White, RN