by Jeremy R. Hammond
The government perpetually lies to the public about important
issues. The mainstream media dutifully serve to manufacture consent
for criminal policies.
I free people's minds by exposing state propaganda intended to keep
them in servitude to the politically and financially powerful. My
writings empower readers with the knowledge to see through the
deceptions and fight for a better future, for ourselves, our
children, and future generations of humanity.
I'm an independent political analyst, journalist, publisher and
editor of Foreign Policy Journal, and author of several books. I'm
also a coach who helps writers communicate their ideas more
effectively to make a greater positive impact.
Jeremy R. Hammond -
Entrance to the headquarters
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Mayer/CC BY-SA 3.0)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
claims that its
recommendation that everyone
aged six months
and up should get an annual flu shot
grounded in 'science.'
literature tells us something else entirely.
This is Part II of a multi-part exposé on public policy
with respect to
the influenza vaccine.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
recommends that everyone aged six months and up should get an annual
flu shot, and public health officials and the media routinely relay
the CDC's recommendation to us by characterizing this policy as
being firmly grounded in 'science.'
However, what the
government and mainstream media say science says about the influenza
vaccine and what science actually tells us are two completely
A useful case study of the divergence between the science and the
public message is the New York Times article "Why
It's Still Worth Getting a Flu Shot".
Its author, Aaron E.
Carroll, characterizes the science as though it fully vindicates
the CDC's recommendation.
To support this
characterization, he cites systematic reviews of the medical
literature conducted by the prestigious Cochrane Collaboration.
However, as demonstrated in
part one of this series, Carroll's
own sources in fact arrived at the opposite conclusion.
To briefly review, Carroll claims that science tells us that the flu
vaccine - even in years such as this one, when it is admittedly
"particularly ineffective" - confers "a big payoff in public
Yet the very Cochrane
review he cites to support this claim in fact concluded that the
available scientific evidence rather seems,
"to discourage the
utilization of vaccination against influenza in healthy adults
as a routine public health measure."
Carroll claims that harms
from the influenza vaccine are "almost nonexistent", yet the authors
of the very Cochrane review he cites to support this claim in fact
concluded that there is an alarming lack of studies demonstrating
the vaccine's safety in children.
As they put it,
"If immunization in
children is to be recommended as a public health policy,
large-scale studies assessing important outcomes, and directly
comparing vaccine types are urgently required."
As also seen in part one,
the New York Times, in so greatly deceiving its readers, was
simply taking its cue from the CDC.
In fact, far from
vindicating public policy, as the Times would have us believe, the
Cochrane researchers actually went so far in their criticism of the
CDC as to accuse the agency of deliberately misrepresenting the
science in order to support its influenza vaccine recommendation.
The example the review authors cited to illustrate this official
dishonesty was a policy document outlining the CDC's rationale for
its flu shot recommendation.
As outlined therein, the
CDC's primary justifications for this policy are the assumptions
that universal vaccination will,
transmission of the influenza virus
reduce the risk
of potentially deadly complications from influenza
And yet, in their 2010
systematic review of the literature, the Cochrane researchers found,
"no evidence that
vaccines prevent viral transmission or complications".
In fact, in a remarkable
illustration of the institutional myopia that exists within the
medical and scientific communities when it comes to vaccines, they
noted that none of the studies included in their review even seemed
to consider the question of whether the central assumptions
underlying the CDC's policy were actually true.
Furthermore, whereas the CDC recommends the flu vaccine for infants
as young as six months, the Cochrane researchers found "only one
study of inactivated vaccine in children under two years" - hence
the need for safety studies being "urgently required".
Whereas the CDC tells pregnant women to get the flu shot, the
Cochrane researchers observed that the number of randomized
controlled trials evaluating the safety for the expectant mother and
her developing fetus was zero. 
In this second installment, we'll dive deeper, taking a closer look
at the claims the CDC makes to support its policy. You will see how
the CDC serves the pharmaceutical industry by using fear and
deception to sell more flu vaccines.
This includes scaring people into getting the vaccine by citing
numbers of influenza-related hospitalizations and deaths that may be
greatly overestimated, as well as relying on thoroughly discredited
claims about the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing deaths
among the elderly, for whom there is the greatest risk of
potentially deadly complications.
And whereas the CDC assumes the
vaccine prevents transmission, one recent study that bothered to
actually look at that question indicates that it might actually
increase the spread of the influenza virus.
Additionally, you'll come to understand how it can be possible that
there is such a shocking disparity between public policy and the
In addition to an institutionalized bias
favoring public policy due to the influence of government on the
science, the disparity is also in part explained by the endemic
corruption that exists at the CDC. Furthermore, and regardless of
why this deception exists, public vaccine policy constitutes a gross
violation of the individual right to informed consent.
That is to say, government policy represents a serious threat to
both our health and our liberty, and this should be concerning to
everyone, regardless of one's own personal choice or individual
risk-benefit assessment about whether or not to vaccinate.
"Problem" of "Growing Health Literacy"
To preface our further examination of the CDC's claims versus what
science actually tells us, it's useful to examine the mindset at the
agency with respect to how CDC officials view their role in society.
An instructive snapshot of this mindset was provided in a
presentation by the CDC's director of media relations on June 17,
2004, at a workshop for the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
In its presentation, the CDC outlined a "'Recipe' for Fostering
Public Interest and High Vaccine Demand".
It called for encouraging
medical experts and public health authorities to "state concern and
alarm" about "and predict dire outcomes" from the flu season.
inspire the necessary fear, the CDC encouraged describing each
season as "very severe", "more severe than last or past years", and
One problem for the CDC is the accurate view among healthy adults
that they are at not at high risk of having serious complications
from the flu. As the presentation noted, "achieving consensus by
'fiat' is difficult" - meaning that just because the CDC makes the
recommendation doesn't mean that people will actually follow it.
Therefore it was necessary to create "concern, anxiety, and worry"
among young, healthy adults who don't regard the flu as something to
be terribly afraid of.
The larger conundrum for the CDC is the proliferation of information
available to the public on the internet. As the CDC bluntly stated
it, "Health literacy is a growing problem". 
In other words, the CDC considers it to be a problem that people are
increasingly doing their own research and becoming more adept at
educating themselves about health-related issues.
And, as we have already seen, the CDC has very good reason to be
concerned about people doing their own research into what the
science actually says about vaccines.
with the CDC's Estimates of Annual Flu Deaths
One prominent way the CDC inspires fear in the public about
influenza is with its estimates of the numbers of people who are
hospitalized or die each year from it.
As we learned from Aaron Carroll in the New York Times, the CDC
estimates that anywhere from 140,000 to 710,000 people are
hospitalized each year due to influenza, and 12,000 to 56,000 people
What Carroll doesn't explain is that these numbers aren't directly
from surveillance data, but are estimates based on mathematical
models.  The problem with the CDC's models is that
they are only as good as the assumptions built into them.
For context, it's important to understand why there are no
surveillance data directly showing how many people infected with
influenza are hospitalized or die as a result. For some clues, we
can conveniently turn once again to the 2010 Cochrane review also
cited by Carroll.
As the authors of that review explained, only about 7 percent to 15
percent of what are called "influenza-like illnesses" are actually
caused by influenza viruses.
In fact, there are over 200 known viruses that cause influenza-like
illnesses, and to determine whether an illness was actually caused
by the influenza virus requires laboratory testing - which isn't
"At best," the authors added, "vaccines may only be effective
against influenza A and B, which represent about 10% of all
circulating viruses" that are known to cause influenza-like
While the CDC now uses a range of numbers to describe annual deaths
attributed to influenza, it used to claim that on average,
"about 36,000 people
per year in the United States die from influenza". 
If that number sounds
familiar, it's probably because it was so routinely cited for so
many years before the CDC switched to using a range after criticism
that the average was misleading since there was great variability
from year to year.
And while the range addressed that problem,
The problem with "the much publicized figure of 36,000", as
Peter Doshi observed in a 2005 BMJ article, was that it,
"is not an
estimate of yearly flu deaths, as widely reported in both the lay
and scientific press, but an estimate - generated by a model - of
flu-associated death." 
Of course, association does not necessarily mean causation.
because a person dies after an influenza infection does not mean
that it was the flu that killed him. And many people diagnosed with
"the flu" may not have actually been infected with influenza, but
any of the great number of other viruses that cause influenza-like
The 36,000 number came from a 2003 CDC study published in JAMA that
noted the difficulty of estimating deaths attributable to influenza
since most cases are not laboratory confirmed.
influenza-associated deaths occur from secondary complications when
influenza viruses are no longer detectable." 
In other words, to look only at the surveillance data on
lab-confirmed influenza-associated deaths would likely underestimate
the number of people whose deaths may have been flu related.
researchers therefore developed a mathematical model to estimate the
number by starting with all "respiratory and circulatory" (R&C)
deaths, which are inclusive of all "pneumonia and influenza" (P&I)
Of course, not all respiratory and circulatory are caused by the
influenza virus. In the CDC's model, this number represents "an
On the other hand, the CDC argues that all pneumonia and influenza
"can be considered a lower bound for deaths associated with
The CDC's website states that pneumonia
and influenza deaths "represent only a fraction of the total number
of deaths from influenza". 
But of course, not all pneumonia deaths are caused by influenza,
In fact, according to the CDC's own estimate, 2.1 percent of all
respiratory and circulatory deaths and 8.5 percent of all pneumonia
and influenza deaths are influenza associated. 
So how can the CDC maintain both,
that the total number of
reported pneumonia and influenza deaths represents only a fraction
of actual influenza deaths
that only 8.5 percent of
pneumonia and influenza deaths,
The answer is that the CDC assumes that influenza related deaths are
so greatly underreported that they dwarf the combined numbers of
reported influenza and pneumonia deaths, and it has built this
assumption into its model.
As Peter Doshi put it in his BMJ article,
"US data on influenza
deaths are a mess."
"acknowledges a difference between flu
death and flu associated death yet uses the terms interchangeably.
Additionally, there are significant statistical incompatibilities
between official estimates and national vital statistics data.
Compounding these problems is a marketing of fear - a CDC
communications strategy in which medical experts 'predict dire
outcomes' during flu seasons."
To illustrate part of the problem, Doshi observed that for the year
2001, the total number of reported pneumonia and influenza deaths
Yet, of those, less than half of one percent were
actually attributed to influenza. Furthermore, of the mere 257 cases
blamed on the flu, only 7 percent were laboratory confirmed cases of
influenza. That's 18 cases of lab confirmed influenza out of 62,034
"pneumonia and influenza" deaths - or just 0.03 percent, according
to the CDC's own National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
Setting aside pneumonia and looking just at influenza-associated
deaths, from 1979 to 2002, the average number according to the NCHS
data was a mere 1,348.
If the CDC's mortality estimates were correct, Doshi further
observed, it would mean that half of all deaths classed as due to
pneumonia in the NCHS data were actually secondary infections, with
a primary influenza infection being the underlying cause of death.
But the NCHS criteria itself indicated otherwise, stating that,
"Cause-of-death statistics are based solely on the underlying cause
of death… defined by WHO as 'the disease or injury which initiated
the train of events leading directly do death'."
At the time Doshi was writing, the CDC was publicly claiming that
annually "about 36,000 [Americans] die from flu".
Yet the lead
author of the CDC study that number came from, William Thompson of
the CDC's National Immunization Program, acknowledged that the
number rather represented "a statistical association" that does not
necessarily mean causation.
In Thompson's words,
"Based on modelling,
we think it's associated. I don't know that we would say that
it's the underlying cause of death."
As Doshi noted, Thompson's acknowledgment is "incompatible" with the
Additionally, the 36,000 estimate represented an 80 percent increase
from the CDC's previous estimate of 20,000 influenza-associated
deaths per year. True, the population of Americans over age 65 had
grown, but only by 12 percent.
Another explanation was that a more
virulent strain of the virus had dominated during the 1990s.
flu deaths recorded by the NCHS were on average 30% lower in the
1990s than the 1980s."
The CDC, Doshi further observed, was,
manufacturers' interest by conducting campaigns to increase flu
vaccination", but "by arbitrarily linking flu with pneumonia,
current data are statistically biased." 
In summary, to avoid
underestimating influenza-associated hospitalizations and deaths,
the CDC appears to have gone too far in the other direction and may
be greatly overestimating these numbers.
The CDC also continues to
present its estimates - and the media continue to relay them - as
though representing known cases of influenza-related illness or
death, as opposed to estimates produced by mathematical models that
are highly problematic.
This apparent overestimation of the impact of influenza on societal
health, of course, is in line with the CDC's goal of using fear to
generate greater demand for the pharmaceutical industry's influenza
The CDC's Debunked Claims about the Flu Shot's Effect on Mortality
The CDC has not only cited what may be wildly overinflated numbers
of annual "flu deaths".
To support its policy, it has also cited
numbers crediting the vaccine with a dramatic reduction in
influenza-related deaths among the elderly.
The problem with the CDC's claims in this regard is that they have
been thoroughly discredited by the scientific community.
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) expressed
concerns about the CDC's mortality claims in a study published in
April 2005 in Archives of Internal Medicine (now JAMA Internal
Their concern was prompted by the observation that,
despite a considerable increase in vaccination coverage among people
aged 65 or older - from at most 20 percent before 1980 to 65 percent
in 2001 - pneumonia and influenza mortality rates actually "rose
substantially during this period" (emphasis added). 
That is to say, to quote from a review published in Virology Journal
in 2008, contrary to the CDC's claims of a great beneficial effect
"influenza mortality and hospitalization rates for
older Americans significantly increased in the 80's and 90's, during
the same time that influenza vaccination rates for elderly Americans
dramatically increased." 
As the authors of the 2005 NIH study commented, this result was
"surprising" since vaccination was supposed to be,
at reducing influenza-related mortality" - an assumption underlying
CDC policy that "has never been studied in clinical trials".
Relying instead on retrospective observational studies, the CDC has
claimed that vaccine efficacy in preventing influenza-related deaths
is as high as 80 percent.
Furthermore, to support its claim of an
enormous benefit, the CDC has relied on a meta-analysis of
observational studies that concluded that vaccination reduces the
number of flu-season deaths from any cause among the elderly "by an
In their own study, however, the NIH researchers found that, over
the course of thirty-three flu seasons, influenza-related deaths
were on average only about 5 percent and,
"always less than 10% of
the total number of winter deaths among the elderly."
The obvious question was:
How could it be possible for the influenza
vaccine to reduce by half deaths during winter from any cause when
no more than one-tenth of deaths in any given flu season could be
attributed to influenza?
The most obvious answer was that it couldn't, and so the researchers
examined more closely the methodology of the observational studies
that the CDC was relying upon.
The conclusion they drew from doing
so was that the CDC's implausible numbers were due to a systemic
bias in those studies. There was a "disparity among vaccination" in
these studies between cohorts that received a flu vaccine and those
Specifically, it wasn't that vaccinated individuals
were less likely to die, but that sick elderly people whose frail
condition made them more likely to die during the coming flu season
were less likely to get a flu shot. 
The CDC's response to the NIH researchers' study was to question
their methodology while reiterating its unshaken faith in the
studies it was relying on to promote the flu vaccine.
Notwithstanding the lack of science to support the statement, and no
doubt prompted by the need for government agencies to show
solidarity on public vaccine policy, the CDC and NIH subsequently
published a joint statement claiming that the seasonal flu shot was
the best way to protect old people from dying. 
Ironically, and tellingly, while commenting on the lack of evidence
that the vaccine was preventing deaths among the elderly and the
observed increase in mortality, the NIH researchers in their 2005
study had also acknowledged the effectiveness of naturally acquired
immunity at reducing mortality:
The sharp decline in influenza-related deaths among people aged 65
to 74 years in the years immediately after A(H3N2) viruses emerged
in the 1968 pandemic was most likely due to the acquisition of
natural immunity to these viruses.
Because of this strong natural
immunization effect, by 1980, relatively few deaths in this age
group (about 5000 per year) were left to prevent.
We found a similar
pattern in influenza-related mortality rates among persons aged 45
to 64 years, an age group with substantially lower vaccine coverage.
Together with the flat excess mortality rates after 1980, this
suggests that influenza vaccination of persons aged 45 to 74 years
provided little or no mortality benefit beyond natural immunization
acquired during the first decade of emergence of the A(H3N2) virus.
We will return to question of natural versus vaccine conferred
immunity in a future installment of this series.
The point for now
is to illustrate once again the institutionalized cognitive
dissonance that exists when it comes to public vaccine policy.
Numerous additional studies have been published highlighting the
lack of credibility of the CDC's claims about the vaccine's
A systematic review published in The Lancet in
October 2005 found a "modest" effect of the vaccine on mortality,
but its authors - which included lead author Tom Jefferson, a top
researcher for the Cochrane Collaboration - cautioned that this
finding must be interpreted in light of the apparent systemic bias
of the observational studies.
They likewise attributed the perceived
effect of the vaccine to a difference in vaccination rates among the
cohorts "and the resulting selection bias".
Randomized controlled trials could minimize any such bias, they
observed, but the evidence from such studies was "scant and badly
Hence, placebo-controlled trials were needed to,
the effects of influenza vaccines in individuals".
The problem was
that such studies were considered impossible "on ethical grounds"
due to the fact that mass vaccination was already recommended as a
matter of public policy. 
The lead author of the 2005 NIH study, Lone Simonsen, was also
coauthor with W. Paul Glezen of a commentary in the International
Journal of Epidemiology in 2006 that reiterated the problems with
the CDC's claims.
Although the vaccination rate for elderly people
had increased by as much as 67 percent from 1989 to 1997, there was
no evidence that vaccination reduced hospitalizations or deaths.
"mortality and hospitalization rates continued to
increase rather than decline".
The studies the CDC cited to support
its claim of a dramatic reduction in mortality suffered from a
selection bias that resulted in,
"substantial overestimation of
vaccine benefits." 
A study in the International Journal of Epidemiology also published
in 2006 confirmed the systemic selection bias of the observational
studies. Its authors concluded that not only had the results of
those studies indicated,
"preferential receipt of vaccine by
relatively healthy seniors", but that the magnitude of this
demonstrated bias "was sufficient to account entirely for the
associations observed". 
Peter Doshi, the author of the 2005 BMJ commentary asking whether
the CDC's flu death figures were "more PR than science", also
followed up with a letter to the BMJ published in November 2006
under the headline "Influenza vaccination: policy versus evidence".
As he summed up the situation,
"Not only is the evidence supporting
the safety and effectiveness of influenza vaccination lacking, but
there are also reasons to doubt conventional estimates of the
mortality burden of influenza."
"influenza vaccines impose their own particular burden
- to the tune of billions of dollars annually." 
"very high cost of yearly vaccination for large parts of
the population" was among the considerations of the 2014 Cochrane
meta-analysis discussed in part one of this series that concluded
that the results of a systematic review of existing studies "provide
no evidence for the utilization of vaccination against influenza in
healthy adults as a routine public health measure." 
A randomized controlled trial studying the cost effectiveness of
influenza vaccination in healthy adults under aged 65 published in
JAMA in 2000 found that this practice,
"is unlikely to provide
societal economic benefit in most years",
...when it generated greater
costs than to not vaccinate. 
Doshi followed up again with a 2013 BMJ commentary.
After all those
years, the CDC was still sticking to its claims. And yet, if the
CDC's claims were true, it would mean,
"that influenza vaccines can
save more lives than any other single licensed medicine on the
Perhaps there is a reason CDC does not shout this from the
it's too good to be true.
Since at least 2005, non-CDC
researchers have pointed out the seeming impossibility that
influenza vaccines could be preventing 50% of all deaths from all
causes when influenza is estimated to only cause around 5% of all
Despite scientists pointing out the "healthy user bias" inherent in
the observational studies that the CDC relied on to support its bold
"CDC does not rebut or in any other way respond to these
"If the observational studies cannot be trusted," Doshi
asked, "what evidence is there that influenza vaccines reduce
deaths of older people - the reason the policy was originally
created? Virtually none... This means that influenza vaccines
are approved for use in older people despite any clinical trials
demonstrating a reduction in serious outcomes."
"Perhaps most perplexing", Doshi added, "is officials' lack of
interest in the absence of good quality evidence."
He further observed how government agencies promote the flu shot by
claiming it's been proven safe.
He cited the example of a YouTube
video produced by the NIH in which the director of the US National
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci,
declared that it was "very, very, very rare" for a serious adverse
event to be associated with the influenza vaccine.
"Months later, Australia suspended its influenza vaccination
program in under five year olds after many (one in every 110
vaccinated) children had febrile convulsions after vaccination.
Another serious reaction to influenza vaccines - and also unexpected
- occurred in Sweden and Finland, where H1N1 influenza vaccines were
associated with a spike in cases of narcolepsy among adolescents
(about one in every 55,000 vaccinated).
Subsequent investigations by
governmental and non-governmental researchers confirmed the
vaccine's role in these serious events."
The NIH's presenter in the video, Anthony Fauci, also happened to be
among the opponents of conducting randomized, placebo-controlled
studies to determine the safety of the influenza vaccine.
reason? Placebo recipients would be deprived of influenza vaccines -
that is, the standard of care, thanks to CDC guidelines."
"Drug companies", Doshi continued, "have long known that to sell
some products, you would have to first sell people on the disease."
Only, in the case of the influenza vaccine,
"the salesmen are public
health officials". 
In sum, there is no credible evidence to support the CDC's claim
that the influenza vaccine reduces hospitalizations or deaths among
The studies the CDC has relied on to support this claim
have been discredited due to their systemic "healthy user" selection
bias, and, in fact, the mortality rate has observably increased
along with the increase in vaccine uptake - which the CDC has
encouraged with its marketing strategy of scaring people into
getting the flu shot.
How the Flu Shot May Increase Viral Transmission
Recall also that one of the CDC's primary justifications for
recommending universal influenza vaccination is the unproven
assumption that it would prevent transmission of the virus.
one very recent study, just published on January 18, 2018, in the
journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of
the United States of America, PNAS, strongly indicates that this
assumption is false.
The researchers set out to answer the question of how the virus
becomes airborne. One would think this was already known, but,
surprisingly, as they pointed out, it hasn't been well studied.
to find out, they screened volunteers with confirmed cases of
influenza and took breath samples.
And among their findings was,
between repeated vaccination and increased viral aerosol
In fact, subjects who had received the influenza vaccine in both the
current and the previous season were found to shed over six times
more aerosolized virus than those who did not get a flu shot during
They speculated that the reason for this is that "certain types of
prior immunity" - in this case, the kind of immunity conferred by
the vaccine as opposed to naturally acquired immunity,
lung inflammation, airway closure, and aerosol generation."
Calling for more studies, they rather understatedly concluded that,
"If confirmed, this observation, together with recent literature
suggesting reduced protection with annual vaccination, would have
implications for influenza vaccination recommendations and
Yes, you read that correctly. In a future installment of this
series, we will discuss the literature being referred to in that
quote, including studies showing than annual vaccination can
actually increase the risk of illness.
The point for now is that the
CDC's assumption that the influenza vaccine reduces transmission of
the virus appears to be false.
Corruption at the CDC
What can explain the CDC's behavior?
How can one explain the lack
of good scientific evidence supporting its flu vaccine
How can one explain its apparent lack of interest in
establishing the safety of the vaccine in infants and pregnant
How can one explain its willingness to mislead the public
about flu hospitalizations and deaths?
How can one explain its
insistence on citing estimates of the flu vaccine's effect on
mortality that the scientific community has thoroughly discredited?
While the media are fond of dismissing critics of public vaccine
policy as "conspiracy theorists", no conspiracy is required to
explain how this situation can exist.
On the contrary, the CDC's
intentions can be explained to a considerable degree by good
It's useful here to recall from part one of this series Milton
Friedman's pertinent observation that,
"Concentrated power is not
rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it."
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as
the saying goes; or, as Izzy Kalman reiterates it at Psychology
"If our interventions cause more harm than good, the
interventions are not moral regardless of the loftiness of our
It is only human psychology to be resistant to ideas that challenge
one's own self-identity.
It's not difficult to understand how public
health officials might be unwilling to acknowledge the possibility
that they could be wrong. The idea that public officials are
susceptible to what is known as "confirmation bias", or the tendency
to accept information supportive of one's personal belief system
while dismissive of information that contradicts it, should hardly
be considered far-fetched. 
It is also not as though the medical establishment has not been
wrong before! 
As Dave Sackett, "the father of
evidence based medicine" once quipped,
"Half of what you'll learn in
medical school will be shown to be either dead wrong or out of date
within five years of your graduation; the trouble is that nobody can
tell you which half - so the most important thing to learn is how to
learn on your own." 
This situation isn't helped by the pharmaceutical industry's undue
influence on the direction of science.
As we saw in part one, BMJ
editor Richard Horton has commented that,
"Journals have devolved
into information-laundering operations for the pharmaceutical
Studies into this problem have shown that an alarming proportion of
medical literature gets the science wrong.
As a 2013 study published
in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation concluded,
serve its interests, the industry masterfully influences evidence
base production, evidence synthesis, understanding of harms issues,
cost-effectiveness evaluations, clinical practice guidelines and
healthcare professional education and also exerts direct influences
on professional decisions and health consumers." 
One of the authors of that study was
John Ioannidis, who's been
described by The Atlantic as possibly,
"one of the most influential
scientists alive". 
In a 2005 essay published in PLoS
Medicine, Ioannidis wrote that,
"It can be proven that most claimed
research findings are false."
And false findings might not just be
"the majority", but could be "the vast majority".
majority expert opinion representing scientific truths, claimed
"may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing
Among the numerous other problems affecting the quality of research
are financial conflicts of interests and institutionalized
As Ioannidis elaborated,
Conflicts of interest are very common in biomedical research, and
typically they are inadequately and sparsely reported.
not necessarily have financial roots. Scientists in a given field
may be prejudiced purely because of their belief in a scientific
theory or commitment to their own findings.
Many otherwise seemingly
independent, university-based studies may be conducted for no other
reason than to give physicians and researchers qualifications for
promotion or tenure.
Such nonfinancial conflicts may also lead to
distorted reported results and interpretations. Prestigious
investigators may suppress via the peer review process the
appearance and dissemination of findings that refute their findings,
thus condemning their field to perpetuate false dogma.
evidence on expert opinion shows that it is extremely unreliable.
As The Atlantic noted, Ioannidis has estimated that,
"as much as 90
percent of the published medical information that doctors rely on is
flawed", and "he worries that the field of medical research is so
pervasively flawed, and so riddled with conflicts of interest, that
it might be chronically resistant to change - or even to publicly
admitting that there's a problem." 
That certainly also applies to the CDC, where corruption and
conflicts of interest are an endemic problem.
As one prominent example, the head of the CDC from 2002 to 2009,
Julie Gerberding, left her government job promoting vaccines to go
work as president of Merck's $5 billion global vaccine division.
Merck's CEO understandably described Gerberding as
an "ideal choice".
She held that position until 2014 and currently holds the Merck job
title of "Executive Vice President & Chief Patent Officer, Strategic
Communications, Global Public Policy and Population Health".
That is to say, she is now in charge of Merck's propaganda efforts.
And her relationship with Merck has proved lucrative. Apart from her
salary, in 2015, Gerberding sold shares of Merck worth over $2.3
million dollars. 
One could say the former CDC director is now doing essentially the
same job she did at the CDC, only for more money than she was making
at her government job.
Just since the writing of this multi-part exposé began, now ex-CDC
Director Brenda Fitzgerald was forced to resign after Politico
reported that, after assuming leadership of the CDC on July 7, 2017,
"bought tens of thousands of dollars in new stock holdings in at
least a dozen companies" - including Merck. 
In August 1999, the House of Representatives Committee on Government
Reform initiated an investigation into federal vaccine policy, the
findings of which were reported in June 2000.
As its report stated,
"The Committee's investigation has determined that conflict of
interest rules employed by the FDA and the CDC have been weak,
enforcement has been lax, and committee members with substantial
ties to pharmaceutical companies have been given waivers to
participate in committee proceedings."
Examples of the corruption included the following:
"The CDC routinely grants waivers from conflict of interest rules to
every member of its advisory committee."
"CDC Advisory Committee members who are not allowed to vote on
certain recommendations due to financial conflicts of interest are
allowed to participate in committee deliberations and advocate
"The Chairman of the CDC's advisory committee until very recently
owned 600 shares of stock in Merck…."
"Members of the CDC's advisory Committee often fill out incomplete
financial disclosure statements, and are not required to provide the
missing information by CDC ethics officials."
"Four out of eight CDC advisory committee members who voted to
approve guidelines for the rotavirus vaccine in June 1998 had
financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that were developing
different versions of the vaccine."
"3 out of 5 FDA advisory committee members who voted to approve the
rotavirus vaccine in December 1997 had financial ties to
pharmaceutical companies that were developing different versions of
the vaccine." 
A US Senate report from June 2007 noted how surveys showed that
Americans "overwhelmingly" viewed the CDC as doing a good job at
keeping them healthy, as well as how the CDC took advantage of that
perception by seeking ever increasing levels of funding year after
year - and yet the CDC had little to show for its exorbitant
The Senate report cited Julie Gerberding as an example of the
Under her leadership, bonuses for the people managing the
CDC increased dramatically.
The top three CDC financial officers,
for example, had,
"taken in more than a quarter million dollars in
bonuses" over the previous several years.
A New York Times analysis,
the Senate report noted, had found that,
"The share of premium
bonuses given to those within the director's office has risen at
least tenfold under Dr. Gerberding's leadership."
Another problem was the "revolving door" of Washington.
examples, the Senate report commented that,
"While CDC employees'
pay may not be equal to those in the private market, contractors who
previously were employed by the CDC appear to have found a lucrative
way to make their CDC connections pay off."
The Senate report was appropriately subtitled,
"A review of how an
agency tasked with fighting and preventing disease has spent
hundreds of millions of tax dollars for failed prevention efforts,
international junkets, and lavish facilities, but cannot demonstrate
it is controlling disease." 
A 2009 report from the Office of the Inspector General for the
Department of Health and Human Services found that "almost all"
financial disclosure forms for "special Government employees" - such
as the people who sit on the CDC's vaccine advisory committee - were
not properly completed.
For 97 percent of them, there was at least
one omission, and,
"Most of the forms had more than one type of
Furthermore, looking at the year 2007, 64 percent of such
employees were found to have potential conflicts of interest that
the CDC either failed to identify or failed to resolve.
The CDC also
failed to ensure that 41 percent of such employees received required
ethics training, and 15 percent of such employees,
"did not comply
with ethics requirements during committee meetings in 2007."
the Inspector General's office found,
"that CDC had a systemic lack
of oversight of the ethics program" for special government
A particularly salient example was the aforementioned June 1998
recommendation of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization
Practices (ACIP) that all infants receive the rotavirus vaccine.
Included among the half of ACIP members who had financial ties to
pharmaceutical companies while deliberating what CDC policy should
be with respect to the rotavirus vaccine was one Dr.
Paul Offit is currently director of the Vaccine Education Center at
the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
He also holds the
Maurice R. Hilleman Chair in Vaccinology, created in honor of the
former senior vice president of Merck, which provided a $1.5 million
endowment to the hospital and the University of Pennsylvania to,
"accelerate the pace of vaccine research".
Offit joined the ACIP in October 1998 and three times voted in favor
on decisions related to the use of the rotavirus vaccine, including
a vote to add the vaccine to the CDC's Vaccines For Children program
- while at the same time sharing ownership of a patent for a
rotavirus vaccine being developed under a grant from Merck.
A member of the CDC's advisory committee until June 2003, Offit's
vaccine was approved by the FDA in 2006 under the trademark "RotaTeq".
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was listed alongside Offit
as a patent owner on the filing certificate issued by the US Patent
and Trademark Office, and the hospital sold its stake in RotaTeq in
2008 under a deal in which Offit profited handsomely; he has
acknowledged that the deal made him,
"several million dollars, a lot
of money". 
Offit also happens to be a routinely cited go-to "expert" on
vaccines for the mainstream media.
He once penned an op-ed for the
New York Times accusing parents who choose not to vaccinate their
children of child abuse on the grounds that Jesus would advocate
forcibly vaccinating children against their parents' will. 
As it so happened, in October 1999, the first rotavirus vaccine
licensed for use in the US,
Wyeth's RotaShield, was withdrawn from
the market because it was found to be causing
often excruciating and potentially fatal condition in which part of
the intestine telescopes into itself. 
In addition to the conflicts of interest within the CDC, the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) had
'approved' RotaShield as "safe"
despite clinical trials having shown an increase in incidence of
intussusceptions in vaccinated infants. 
This finding was dismissed as "probably due to chance" by the FDA's
Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC)
- the FDA's equivalent of the ACIP that at the time had similarly
included three out of five members having ties to pharmaceutical
companies developing rotavirus vaccines.
And while the FDA instructed Wyeth on which specific areas it ought
to focus its post-marketing safety studies, the risk of
intussusceptions was not one of them.
Researchers monitoring publicly available post-marketing surveillance
data nevertheless did pick up on the incoming reports of
intussusceptions, and studies were conducted that confirmed the
association between vaccination and an increased risk of the
As the CDC spokesman John Livengood summarized the findings,
feel there is a strong causal relationship between rotavirus vaccine
and intussusceptions. It's of high magnitude and it appears to be
about one in every five thousand children who are vaccinated with
Estimates ranged from one in five thousand to one in
Prior to being pulled from the market, the vaccine was
administered to half a million children. Surveillance data showed
that during its short time in use, there were 98 confirmed reports
of vaccine-related intussusceptions, over half of which required
surgery and one of which resulted in death. 
When the CDC voted on October 22, 1999, to withdraw its
recommendation for routine use of
RotaShield in children, Paul Offit
recused himself from the vote on the grounds that it would create a
"perception" of a conflict of interest for him to participate in the
vote while he was also serving as a consultant for a company
developing a vaccine to compete with Merck's RotaShield.
Instructively, he did not consider his rather glaring conflict of
interest to have been reason to abstain from the votes to recommend
routine use of the rotavirus vaccine in children in the first place. 
As an additional twist to the story, the virus used in the
manufacture of RotaShield was developed by the US government.
With development of a rotavirus vaccine having been considered a
priority for researchers since the virus was discovered in the early
1970s, the National Institutes of Health created a "live
simian-human reassortant virus" for the purpose.
virus is one containing two or more pieces of nucleic acid from
different parent viruses, produced by coinfecting a cell with the
parent strains. The simian virus in this case was from a rhesus
The NIH then licensed Wyeth to use its patented vaccine technology
for RotaShield. 
Yes, the US government patents vaccine technology and licenses it
for a fee to private corporations. As another example, the NIH
licensed vaccine technology to Merck for development of its Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine,
As you can see, the government isn't so much a "regulator" of the
vaccine industry as an integral part of it.
The CDC itself maintains contracts with pharmaceutical companies
and, excepting influenza vaccines, purchases more than half of the
childhood vaccines distributed in the US.  It is
essentially a marketing and distribution division of the vaccine
With no lack of irony, the way the government tells the story of
RotaShield, it is a shining example of how the bureaucracies charged
with ensuring vaccine safety are highly effective at doing so.
But wait, there's more!
In March 2010, the FDA advised temporarily suspending the use of
GlaxoSmithKline's rotavirus vaccine, Rotarix, because it was found
to be contaminated with a pig virus - porcine circovirus type 1
(PCV-1). It was therefore recommended that patients instead receive
Merck's product, RotaTeq. 
RotaTeq was soon thereafter also found to be contaminated with both
PCV-1 and porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV-2).
The FDA publicized this finding on May 6, 2010. But rather than
advising that RotaTeq, too, be suspended from use until this
contamination could be resolved and the threat evaluated, on May 14,
the FDA recommended that health care professionals resume use of
Rotarix alongside the continued use of RotaTeq on the grounds that
there was no known risk to humans from these viruses. 
Incidentally, one of the scientific contributions of Maurice R. Hilleman - the former Merck vice president in honor of whom the
chair held by Paul Offit was created - was his discovery in 1960
that both the live-virus and inactivated polio vaccines in use in
the US were contaminated with a monkey virus known as simian virus
In May the following year, the
National Institutes of
Health (NIH) convened to discuss the issue, recommending that the
vaccines not be withdrawn from use on the grounds that there was no
known risk to humans from the virus. 
Numerous studies have since found SV40 to be associated with an
increased risk of certain types of cancer in humans, including
non-Hodgkin lymphoma. 
How Public Policy
Violates the Right to Informed Consent
In a 2006 BMJ article, Tom Jefferson (the Cochrane researcher and
lead author of the aforementioned 2005 Lancet systematic review)
returned to the salient issue of "policy versus evidence" with
respect to the influenza vaccine.
As Jefferson explained, to support the claim that the vaccine offers
a significant benefit, government agencies like the CDC and WHO cite
single studies examining data from only one or two flu seasons.
However, because of the genetic variability in influenza viruses, as
well as in the effectiveness of the vaccine from year to year, such
studies are "difficult to interpret" and "not reliable sources for
generalizing the effects of vaccines", especially when the data sets
Systematic reviews are useful for helping to get a glimpse at the
bigger picture. Jefferson therefore searched for relevant systematic
reviews and recognized three immediate problems.
The first problem was the lack of non-randomized studies and the
selection bias of the observational studies.
The "poor study
quality" of the latter was,
"also seen in the outcome of a review of
evidence supporting the vaccination of all children to minimize
transmission to family contacts."
The second problem was,
"either the absence of evidence or the
absence of convincing evidence on most of the effects at the centre
of campaign objectives."
The third problem was,
"the small and heterogeneous dataset on the
safety of inactivated vaccines, which is surprising given their
longstanding and widespread use."
The 2006 Cochrane review of
vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children, for example,
"only one old trial with data from 35 participants aged
Furthermore, by design, the kinds of studies the CDC was relying on
did not consider the long-term effect of repeated annual
This great "lack of
knowledge" about whether annual revaccination might be harmful,
Jefferson commented, "is surprising."
In sum, there was a "large gap between policy and what the data tell
Policymakers seemed to be taking the approach that they had to do
something and couldn't wait for the studies to be done. While
perhaps well intended, this attitude has "two important
First was the opportunity cost: CDC policy resulted in the use of
resources that might otherwise be directed toward more effective
"Secondly, the inception of a vaccination campaign seems to preclude
the assessment of a vaccine through placebo controlled randomized
trials on ethical grounds.
Far from being unethical, however, such
trials are desperately needed and we should invest in them without
Indeed, as seen with the case of Anthony Fauci, apologists for
public vaccine policy do argue that it would be unethical to conduct
randomized, placebo-controlled studies of long-term health outcomes
in vaccinated versus unvaccinated individuals.
reasoning underlying this conclusion is that, since it would
necessitate denying people the benefits of the vaccine, therefore it
would be unethical to include anyone in a placebo group.
According to this twisted logic, subjecting the entire population to
an uncontrolled experiment without their informed consent by
injecting them with vaccines for which such safety studies have
admittedly never been done is somehow not unethical.
In essence, public vaccine policy constitutes a direct assault on
the right of individuals to informed consent.
This includes our right to decide what goes into our own bodies, as
well as the right of parents to decide on behalf of their children
what goes into their children's bodies.
In the wake of World War II and revelations about the Nazis' use of
humans for medical experimentation, the international community
formally recognized informed consent as a fundamental human right.
The Nuremberg Code established medical ethics principles starting
"The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely
This means, among other things, that the subject must be
in a position,
"to be able to exercise free power of choice, without
the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress,
overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion".
Additionally, the subject,
"should have sufficient knowledge and
comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to
enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision."
The right to informed consent has also been codified in the 1966
United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
which states under Article 7 that,
"no one shall be subjected without
his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation."
The updated 2002 edition of the
International Ethical Guidelines for
Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects - guidelines
promulgated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Council
for International Organizations of Medical Sciences - states that,
"For all biomedical research involving humans the investigator must
obtain the voluntary informed consent of the prospective subject or,
in the case of an individual who is not capable of giving informed
consent, the permission of a legally authorized representative..."
This right is codified in the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and
Human Rights, adopted at the United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in October 2005:
diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be
carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person
concerned, based on adequate information…
should only be carried out with the prior, free, express and
informed consent of the person concerned. The information should be
adequate, provided in a comprehensible form and should include
modalities for withdrawal of consent…
In no case should a
collective community agreement or the consent of a community leader
or other authority substitute for an individual's informed consent."
Yet substituting individual informed consent with state authority is
precisely what public vaccine policy does - including by treating
our children effectively as subjects of one massive uncontrolled
One obvious violation of the right to informed consent is state
governments' use of mandates to coerce parents into vaccinating
their children under threat of penalty for disobedience. (The denial
of public education is certainly a penalty for taxpaying parents who
wish for their child to receive it.)
It is also manifest in the fact that it is government policymakers
determining what qualifies a patient for a medical exemption to
vaccination, rather than this being determined by the only parties
possessive of the knowledge necessary to reasonably make that
determination - namely, the doctor and patient (or the patient's
parents or legal guardians).
But a no less egregious violation of the right to informed consent
is how the government - with the help of the compliant establishment
media - manufactures consent for vaccine policy by systematically
deceiving the public about the science.
The general consequence of this mass deception is that, when consent
is given, it is mis-informed, as incontrovertibly demonstrated in
the case of the flu vaccine.
The CDC's own institutionalized prejudice against the right to
informed consent is reflected in its view that growing health
literacy among the public is an obstacle that must be overcome -
including by deliberately deceiving and trying to scare people into
getting the flu shot.
Summary of Part II
As you've seen in part one of this series, the government and
mainstream media systematically deceive the public about what the
science says about the safety and effectiveness of the flu vaccine.
In this installment, you've witnessed further illustrations of the
great extent of this deception.
Rather than encouraging respect for the right to informed consent,
the government views people educating themselves and making their
own health decisions as a serious challenge to be overcome.
Far from properly informing the public, the government uses fear and
deception to incentivize people into getting an annual flu shot.
The mainstream media, rather than performing their duty to
investigate and hold government officials accountable, serve only to
broadcast the government's misinformation and fearmongering, as well
as to fuel the atmosphere of intimidation that permeates society
today - wherein anyone who dares to question public vaccine policy
is derogatorily labeled an "anti-vaxxer" and their views dismissed
as "anti-science", no matter how firmly grounded in fact and reason.
In line with its goal of selling more flu vaccines by scaring people
into getting an annual shot, the CDC tells the public that hundreds
of thousands of people are hospitalized and tens of thousands die
each year from the flu.
What neither the CDC nor the mainstream
media explain to the public is that these numbers are arrived at
through theoretical models built on highly problematic assumptions,
including the arbitrary lumping together of pneumonia and influenza
cases and the failure to account for the fact that most cases of
reported "flu" are not actually caused by influenza.
Similarly, the CDC has cited implausible figures to support its
claim that vaccination reduces deaths among the elderly.
stuck by its claim even though the studies it has cited to support
its claim have been thoroughly discredited by the scientific
community as suffering fatally from an inherent "healthy user"
While CDC policy is premised on the assumptions that mass
vaccination prevents serious complications and prevents transmission
of the virus, systematic reviews of the literature by the
Cochrane Collaboration have found no evidence to support
either assumption - and one recent study found that vaccination
actually increases transmission, with vaccinated individuals
spreading over six times as much aerosolized virus.
Whereas the media frequently dismiss as "conspiracy theory" any
suggestion of a disparity between public vaccine policy and the
science, in fact this disparity is well recognized by expert
scientists writing in the medical literature.
conspiracy is necessary to explain this situation.
intentions clouded by institutionalized confirmation bias goes a
long way toward explaining it, and together with the endemic
corruption found at agencies like the CDC and FDA is more than
sufficient for us to understand how this can possibly be.
The ultimate consequence of the atmosphere of fear, deception, and
intimidation that surrounds the vaccine issue is that individuals'
right to informed consent is being routinely and systematically
Indeed, public vaccine policy not only jeopardizes our
health but constitutes an all-out assault on our liberty.
Hammond, "Should You Get the Flu Shot Every Year? Don't Ask
the New York Times." Jeremy R. Hammond, February 7, 2018,
Ph.D., "Increasing Awareness and Uptake of Influenza
Immunization", Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
presentation at the Institute of Medicine Workshop on
Pandemic Influenza: Assessing Capabilities for Prevention
and Response, Washington, DC, Institute of Medicine Forum on
Microbial Threats, June 17, 2004,
For citation information not provided in the slideshow
presentation itself, see: Stanley M. Lemon and Adel A. F.
Mahmoud, "The Threat of Pandemic Influenza: Are We Ready?"
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice,
and Science, 2005,
Hammond, op. cit.
Disease Control and Prevention, "Disease Burden of
Influenza", CDC.gov, updated May 16, 2017 and accessed
January 29, 2018,
Tom Jefferson et
al, "Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults",
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, July 7, 2010,
Disease Control and Prevention, "Influenza: The Disease",
CDC.gov, December 30, 2003; archived on February 5, 2004 at
Peter Doshi, "Are
US flu death figures more PR than science?" BMJ, December 8,
http://www.bmj.com/content/331/7529/1412. The full text
is available at
Thompson et al, "Mortality Associated With Influenza and
Respiratory Syncytial Virus in the United States", JAMA,
January 8, 2003,
Disease Control and Prevention, "Estimates of Deaths
Associated with Seasonal Influenza - united
States, 1976 - 2007", Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
(MMWR), August 27, 2010,
Disease Control and Prevention, "Estimated Influenza
Illnesses, Medical Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths
Averted by Vaccination in the United States", CDC.gov,
updated April 19, 2017 and accessed January 29, 2018,
MMWR, August 27,
2010. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
"Estimating Seasonal Influenza-Associated Deaths in the
United States: CDC Study Confirms Variability of Flu",
CDC.gov, updated March 18, 2015,
Note that this information has since been removed from this
page, but the older version is accessible via the Internet
Archive Wayback Machine (archived on May 26, 2016) at
Doshi, "Are US
flu death figures more PR than science?"
Lone Simonsen et
al, "Impact of Influenza Vaccination on Seasonal Mortality
in the US Elderly Population", Archives of Internal
Medicine, February 14, 2005,
John J Cannell et
al, "On the epidemiology of influenza", Virology Journal,
February 25, 2008,
Simonsen et al,
"Mortality benefits of influenza vaccine questioned", The
Lancet, April 2005,
Lone Simonsen et
Tom Jefferson et
al, "Efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccines in
elderly people: a systematic review", The Lancet, October
W Paul Glezen and
Lone Simonsen, "Commentary: Benefits of influenza vaccine in
US elderly - new studies raise questions", International
Journal of Epidemiology, April 1, 2006,
Lisa A Jackson et
al, "Evidence of bias in estimates of influenza vaccine
effectiveness in seniors", International Journal of
"Influenza vaccination: policy versus evidence", BMJ,
November 11, 2006,
Demicheli et al, "Vaccines for preventing influenza in
healthy adults", Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,
March 13, 2014,
For further discussion, see Hammond, op. cit. (part one of
Bridges et al, "Effectiveness and Cost-Benefit of Influenza
Vaccination of Healthy Working Adults: A Randomized
Controlled Trial", JAMA, October 4, 2000,
"Influenza: marketing vaccine by marketing disease", BMJ,
May 16, 2013,
Anthony Fauci, incidentally, was also one of the authors of
the NEJM study cited by Aaron Carroll in his New York Times
article, discussed in part one of this series. Note that the
CDC has persisted in its claims despite acknowledging that
"Observational studies that compare less-specific outcomes
among vaccinated populations to those among unvaccinated
populations are subject to biases that are difficult to
control for during analyses. For example, an observational
study that determines that influenza vaccination reduces
overall mortality might be biased if healthier persons in
the study are more likely to be vaccinated." The CDC adds
that "Randomized controlled trials that measure
laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections as the
outcome are the most persuasive evidence of vaccine
efficacy, but such trials cannot be conducted ethically
among groups recommended to receive vaccine annually." See
Anthony E. Fiore et al, Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, "Prevention and Control of Influenza with
Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on
Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2010", Morbidity and
Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), August 6, 2010,
Jing Yan et al,
"Infectious virus in exhaled breath of symptomatic seasonal
influenza cases from a college community", PNAS, January 18,
Hammond, op. cit.
"Principle One: Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions",
Pyschology Today, August 16, 2010,
For a useful
illustration of how confirmation bias can result in one
closing one's mind to any information that contradicts one's
worldview and self-identity, see Jeremy R. Hammond, "Dr.
Mercola Cites My Work on Vaccines: Confirmation Bias of
Doctors", JeremyRHammond.com, March 8, 2017,
To offer one
example relevant today, see Donald J. McNamara, "Dietary
cholesterol, heart disease risk and cognitive dissonance",
Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, May 2014,
As McNamara observes, "In the 1960s, the thesis that dietary
cholesterol contributes to blood cholesterol and heart
disease risk was a rational conclusion based on the
available science at that time. Fifty years later the
research evidence no longer supports this hypothesis yet
changing the dietary recommendation to limit dietary
cholesterol has been a slow and at times contentious
"Thoughts for new medical students at a new medical school",
BMJ, December 20, 2003,
Hammond, op. cit.
Stamatakis, Richard Weiler, and John P.A. Ioannidis, "Undue
industry influences that distort healthcare research,
strategy, expenditure and practice: a review", European
Journal of Clinical Investigation,
Freedman, "Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science", The
Atlantic, November 2010,
John P. A.
Ioannidis, "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False",
PLoS One, August 2005,
Damned Lies, and Medical Science".
"Former CDC head
lands vaccine job at Merck", Reuters, December 21, 2009,
Committee", Merck.com, accessed January 29, 2018,
Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC Form 4, Statement of
Changes in Beneficial Ownership for Gerberding Julie L.,
SEC.gov, May 11, 2015, accessed January 29, 2018,
Thomas Dobrow, "Merck & Co. EVP Julie L. Gerberding Sells
38,368 Shares (MRK)", Dakota Financial News, May 11, 2015,
and Brianna Ehley, "Trump's top health official traded
tobacco stock while leading anti-smoking efforts", Politico,
January 30, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/30/cdc-director-tobacco-stocks-after-appointment-316245.
Adam Cancryn and Jennifer Haberkorn, "Why the CDC director
had to resign", Politico, January 31, 2018,
US House of
Representatives, "Conflicts of Interest in Vaccine Policy
Making", Majority Staff Report of the Committee on
Government Reform, June 15, 2000. archived at
US Senate, "CDC
Off Center", Minority Office of the Subcommittee on Federal
Financial Management, Government Information and
International Security, June 2007,
US Department of
Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General,
"CDC's Ethics Program for Special Government Employees on
Federal Advisory", December 2009,
US House of
Representatives, op. cit.
Hospital of Philadelphia, "Paul A. Offit, MD", Chop.edu,
accessed March 6, 2018, http://www.chop.edu/doctors/offit-paul-a.
University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine,
"The Maurice R. Hilleman Chair of Vaccinology", accessed
February 5, 2018,
Merck Company Foundation, "The Merck Company Foundation, The
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of
Pennsylvania School of Medicine Announce the Creation of The
Maurice R. Hilleman Chair in Vaccinology", Bussinesswire,
March 22, 2005,
US House of
Representatives, op. cit.
"UPI Investigates: The vaccine conflict", UPI, July 21,
United States Patent and Trademark Office, Certificate
Extenting Patent Term Under 35 U.S.C. § 156, Patent No.
5,626,851, Issued May 6, 1997,
Amy Wallace, "An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents
Skipping Shots Endanger Us All," Wired, October 19, 2009,
Paul A. Offit,
"What Would Jesus Do About Measles?" New York Times,
February 10, 2015,
Disease Control and Prevention, "Rotavirus Vaccine (RotaShield®)
and Intussusception", CDC.gov, last reviewed April 22, 2011,
and accessed February 5, 2018,
US House of
Representatives, op. cit.
Jason L Schwartz,
"The First Rotavirus Vaccine and the Politics of Acceptable
Risk", The Milbank Quarterly, June 2012,
US House of
Representatives, op. cit. As Offit stated at the meeting
prior to the vote, "I'm not conflicted with Wyeth, but
because I consult with Merck on the development of rotavirus
vaccine, I would still prefer to abstain because it creates
a perception of conflict."
Institutes of Health, Office of Technology Transfer, "NIH
Technology Licensed to Merck for HPV Vaccine", undated and
accessed March 6, 2018,
Disease Control and Prevention, Office of the Associate
Director For Science (OADS), "For Industry", CDC.gov, last
updated August 17, 2016 and accessed March 15, 2018,
Ibid., "Available Technologies for Licensing and
Collaboration", CDC.gov, last updated April 5, 2016 and
accessed March 15, 2018,
Lance E. Rodewald et al, "Vaccine Supply Problems: A
Perspective of the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention", Clinical Infectious Diseases, March 1, 2006,
See also Schwartz, op. cit.
Daniel J. DeNoon,
"Pig Virus DNA Found in Rotavirus Vaccine", WebMD.com, March
Tom Watkins, "Rotarix rotavirus vaccine contaminated,
officials say", CNN, March 22, 2010,
et al, "Adventitious agents in viral vaccines: Lessons
learned from 4 case studies", Biologicals, September 2014,
F Fisher SG,
Weber L, Carbone M, "Cancer risk associated with simian
virus 40 contaminated polio vaccine," Anticancer Research,
Vol. 19, No. 3B, May-June 1999, 2173-2180,
of Medicine, "Immunization Safety Review: SV40 Contamination
of Polio Vaccine and Cancer", National Academies Press,
Regis A. Vilchez, et al, "Association between simian virus
40 and non-Hodgkin lymphoma," The Lancet, Vol. 359, No.
9309, 817-823, March 9, 2002,
Robert L. Garcea and Michael J. Imperiale, "Simian Virus 40
Infection of Humans," Journal of Virology, Vol. 77, Nol. 9,
May 2003, 5039-5045,
http://jvi.asm.org/content/77/9/5039.full. There is
conflicting evidence, with other studies finding no
association between SV40 and human cancer. But the virus has
been shown to cause cancers in animals and to change human
cells in culture, and the Institute of Medicine in 2002
described studies finding no association "sufficiently
flawed" that they were unable to reject the hypothesis it
might cause cancer in humans. As the subsequent 2003 Lancet
study noted, as more studies have been done, "the case for
SV40 infecting humans and contributing to cancer has become
more compelling, supported by both experimental and
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