Feature

The unofficial vaccine educators: are CDC funded non-profits sufficiently independent?

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5104 (Published 07 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5104

Political involvement in 'the semi-transparent world of vaccine advocacy'

Peter Doshi has scratched the surface with his investigation of “the semi-transparent world of vaccine advocacy organisations”.

There is much more to do, including examination of political involvement in vaccine advocacy and promotion, particularly in light of governments around the world implementing compulsory and coercive vaccination policies. Who is influencing the politicians and political parties?

Peter Doshi refers to the vaccine advocacy organisation Every Child By Two (ECBT), which has political patronage, being founded in 1991 by Former First Lady of the US Rosalynn Carter and Former First Lady of Arkansas Betty Bumpers, apparently in response to a measles epidemic in the US. According to the ECBT website, "Carter and Bumpers have been working on immunizations since their husbands were [Democrat] governors in the early 70s and have been credited with the passage of laws mandating school-age vaccination requirements in every state during the Carter Administration."[1]

As Peter Doshi notes in his article, "ECBT's website does not disclose its funding sources, and it refused to answer The BMJ's queries about how much it receives from vaccine manufacturers". I similarly received the brush-off from Rich Greenaway, ECBT's Director of Operations and Special Projects, when I wrote requesting transparency for funding of ECBT in May this year. I subsequently tried contacting The Carter Center, another 'non-government, not-for-profit organisation', founded by Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter[2], to try and obtain transparency and accountability for the ECBT organisation founded by Mrs Carter, but was again fobbed off, back to ECBT.

People such as myself, independent citizens trying to obtain transparency and accountability for vaccination policy, are well-used to getting the run-around...

As Miri Sloboda suggests in her rapid response, "in order to get to the truth of any matter, it is always prudent to 'follow the money'", but this is difficult when vested interests are determined to maintain a veil of secrecy.

The ECBT website notes "in 2000, ECBT was instrumental in working with the Clinton Administration to pass a mandate requiring federal agencies serving children to assess their immunization records". [3]

The Clintons are another pair of powerful Democrats wielding influence over international vaccination policy via their 'non-government, not-for-profit' Clinton Foundation and its program “accelerating the rollout of new vaccines”[4]. Donors for the Clinton Foundation include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a major player in global vaccine product promotion.[5] Donor information on the Clinton Foundation website indicates the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated '"Greater than $25,000,000" to the Clinton Foundation.[6]

The Democrats were again to the fore with SB277 in California, a vaccine bill initiated by Democrat Senator Richard Pan, and pushed for by ECBT, as noted by Peter Doshi. The resulting law removed the personal belief exemption that had previously allowed families to defer or decline mandated childhood vaccination, yet another brick in the wall building community compliance to the pharmaceutical industry’s growing vaccine product agenda. Incidentally, Richard Pan is a beneficiary of the pharmaceutical industry’s largesse, receiving US$95,150 in 2013/2014.[7]

The Republicans helped kick start the vaccine industry’s global growth project in the US in the 1980s with the establishment of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, a “no-fault alternative to the traditional legal system for resolving vaccine injury petitions”[8], which essentially provides protection from liability for vaccine manufacturers.

Republican Ronald Reagan was the US president at the time. An article published in the New York Times in November 1986 about Reagan’s signing of a health bill on “drug exports and payment for vaccine injuries”, notes Reagan’s action in this matter “came after heavy lobbying in favor of the bill by a broad-based coalition including drug companies, physicians and groups representing children and the elderly”. The New York Times reports a California Democrat, Henry A Waxman, drafted the portion of the bill relating to vaccines.[9]

According to international market reports, the vaccines market is increasing from US$5.7 billion in 2002 to nearly US$50 billion by 2022[10], i.e. a more than eight-fold increase.

With the emerging global push for compulsory vaccination, there is much more work to do investigating the history of the broad and often sinister web that promotes and protects the burgeoning global vaccine product market.

References:
1. About us. Every Child By Two website. http://vaccinateyourbaby.org/about.cfm
2. The Carter Centre: https://www.cartercenter.org/about/leadership/founders.html
3. About us. Every Child By Two website.
4. Clinton Health Access Initiative – Accelerating the Rollout of New Vaccines: https://www.clintonfoundation.org/our-work/clinton-health-access-initiat...
5. See for example Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Announces $750 Million Gift to Speed Delivery of Life-Saving Vaccines: https://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases/1999/11/Glob...
6. Contributor and Grantor Information, Clinton Foundation: https://www.clintonfoundation.org/contributors
7. Drug companies donated millions to California lawmakers before vaccine debate. The Sacramento Bee, 18 June 2015: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article2491...
8. National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program website: https://www.hrsa.gov/vaccine-compensation/index.html
9. Reagan signs bill on drug exports and payment for vaccine injuries. The New York Times, 15 November 1986: http://www.nytimes.com/1986/11/15/us/reagan-signs-bill-on-drug-exports-a...
10. A recent vaccines market report notes the global vaccines market is expected to reach US$49.27 billion by 2022 from US$34.30 billion in 2017. A FierceVaccines report published in 2012 notes ten years previously, the vaccine market sat at US$5.7 billion, now [2012], that market has soared to US$27 billion. So it seems from 2002 to 2022 the vaccines market will increase from US$5.7 billion to US$49.27 billion.
MarketsAnd Markets Press Release: Vaccine Market worth 49.27 Billion USD by 2022 (undated): http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/PressReleases/vaccine-technologies.asp
FiercePharma report 20 Top-selling Vaccines – H1 2012, 25 September 2012: http://www.fiercepharma.com/vaccines/20-top-selling-vaccines-h1-2012

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 November 2017
Elizabeth M Hart
Independent citizen investigating over-vaccination
N/A
Adelaide, South Australia