Vaccinations: Adverse Reactions Cover-Up?

Washington, D.C.

2 March 1994

—The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) operated by Dissatisfied Parents Together (DPT) says that a new Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on the association between DPT vaccine and permanent brain damage confirms that the vaccine can cause children to suffer acute brain inflammation which sometimes leads to death or permanent neurological damage.


The parent-consumer activist group also charges that they have obtained evidence through the Freedom of Information Act that the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is failing to properly monitor reports of death and injuries following vaccination and that doctors around the country are failing to report to DHHS deaths and injuries which occur after vaccination.

In a year-long investigation of the Vaccine Adverse Reaction Reporting System (VAERS) operated by the Food and Drug Administration, NVIC/DPT analyzed VAERS computer discs used by the FDA to store data on reports of deaths and injuries following DPT vaccination. A total of 54,072 reports of adverse events following vaccination were listed in a 39-month period from July 1990 to November 1993 with 12,504 reports being associated with DPT vaccine, including 471 deaths.

A wide variation in the numbers of reports associated with different lots of DPT vaccine were discovered, with some lots listing many more deaths and injuries than others. In one DPT vaccine lot, there were 129 adverse events and nine deaths reported between September 1992 and September 1993. Most adverse events occurred within a few days of vaccination and many reports also contained descriptions of classic pertussis [whooping cough] vaccine reaction symptoms.


This particular lot met the FDA's criteria for triggering an "investigation" (i.e., report of one death or two serious injuries within a seven-day period) 11 times within a 12-month period.

"There are some lots of vaccine which are associated with many more deaths and injuries than other lots. These lots are often referred to as 'hot lots'. Even though the FDA's criteria for an investigation were triggered 11 times within a 12-month period on just one of the many lots we looked at, we know for a fact the lot was never recalled.


The FDA has not recalled a suspicious lot of DPT vaccine because of high numbers of deaths and injuries associated with it for at least 15 years," said Kathi Williams, NVIC/DPT Cofounder and Acting Director. "That is because the position of those who operate VAERS is that the DPT vaccine does not cause death or injury.


So the death and injury reports are ignored. It is a shocking example of how little we know about the true extent of vaccine-associated injuries and deaths."
From the Campaign Against Fraudulent Medical Research Newsletter, 1994

The NVIC/DPT investigation was featured on the 2nd March 1994 NBC News "Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric" show. At the end of February 1994, NVIC/DPT also conducted a survey of 159 doctors' offices in seven states, including Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, and Texas. When asked the question, "In case of an adverse event after vaccination, does the doctor report it and, if yes, to whom?" only 28 out of 159, or 18 percent said they make a report to the FDA, CDC or state health department.


In New York, only one out of 40 doctors' offices confirmed that they report a death or injury following vaccination.

"This shameful record of gross underreporting of adverse events following vaccination by doctors around the country coupled with the shameful cover-up of vaccine-associated deaths and injuries by the federal government is an example of why more and more parents are losing faith in the mass vaccination system. Many times our organization must help parents report their children's vaccine-associated death or injury be-cause their doctor refuses to make a report," said Barbara Loe Fisher, NVIC/DPT Co-founder and President.


"Parents are legally required to vaccinate their children. Doctors should be forced to live up to their legal duty to report, and DHHS should be forced to live up to its responsibility to seriously investigate every vaccine-associated death and injury and, especially, to identify and recall lots of DPT vaccine associated with high numbers of deaths and injuries."

In November 1991, while Fisher was a member of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee operated by the DHHS, she presented the Committee with a detailed summary of the stories of 90 families who had reported vaccine-associated deaths and injuries to NVIC/DPT. Most of the 90 families with children or grandchildren who had suffered deaths and injuries following DPT vaccination, said that their doctors refused to make a vaccine adverse event report to the DHHS.


NVIC/DPT had to help the families make the report to DHHS.

Upon analysis of the VAERS computer discs, NVIC/DPT discovered Suppressed Inventions and Other Discoveries that some of the deaths and injuries which NVIC/DPT had helped families report to DHHS were either,

(1) never recorded in the VAERS computer system, or

(2) recorded but the information was inaccurate, or

(3) not adequately followed up.

The IOM recently released a report that stated:

"The committee concludes that the balance of evidence is consistent with a causal relation between DPT and the forms of chronic nervous system dysfunction described in the NCES in those children who experience a serious, acute neurologic illness within seven days after receiving DPT vaccine."

NVIC/DPT has maintained for more than a decade that children can suffer permanent damage and die after suffering a neurological complication following DPT vaccination, and has always cited the validity of the data from the British National Childhood Encephalopathy Study (NCES) which was published in the early 1980s and upheld by IOM in their newest report.

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) operated by Dissatisfied Parents Together (DPT) is a national, nonprofit organization located in Vienna, Virginia, USA. Founded in 1982, NVIC/DPT represents parents and health care professionals concerned about childhood diseases and vaccines and is dedicated to preventing vaccine deaths and injuries through education, and working to obtain the right of all citizens to make informed, independent vaccination decisions.

In the mid-1980s DPT worked with Congress, physician organizations, DHHS and vaccine manufacturers to create the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which set up the nation's first vaccine injury compensation program and also mandated that doctors give parents information on vaccine benefits and risks, record vaccine lot numbers, and record and report to DHHS deaths and injuries following vaccinations.


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