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01

The Vaccine Safety Double Standard - Page 2

Author // Lisa K. Sykes, Rev, MDiv

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The Vaccine Safety Double Standard
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This disparity must be corrected rapidly, and preference in production must shift to mercury-free vaccines globally if we hope to avoid accusations of discrimination based on economics or nationality with respect to global immunization policy. No vaccine should be used as a delivery system for an undisclosed poison, for this is a denial of the right of informed consent and of the medical directive to do no harm. No preservative that in repeated studies has been proven to pose a significant health risk leading to autism for some should continue to be foisted upon the most vulnerable among us. This exposure is entirely avoidable, and it must be stopped. Unfortunately, the United States will not act to completely ban the use of thimerosal in the manufacture of vaccines for American children. The FDA refuses to take this action because banning thimerosal use would result in a corresponding closure of markets for these products in developing countries, where regulatory laws are patterned closely after those of the U.S.

Perversely, in order to keep these foreign markets open to unsafe vaccines, the U.S. government is adamantly defending the use of mercury-preserved flu shots for the American market. Moreover, the CDC refuses to even state a preference for no-thimerosal vaccines for pregnant women and children in the U.S. Worse, the American people systematically are being denied their right to informed consent because the facts regarding the known dangers of thimerosal and the availability of mercuryfree alternatives are being suppressed.


Cristina Girardi (left) is a member of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile, and advocated strongly against the use of mercury in vaccines.

Despite the duplicitous nature of the U.S. government’s dealings with respect to thimerosal’s use in vaccines, there is hope. Four years ago, the 11.5-million-member United Methodist Church passed the first global resolution on “Protecting Children from Mercury-Containing Drugs,” which advocates for a ban of mercury in medicine on moral and ethical grounds. This faith-based movement has been spearheaded by the United Methodist Women (UMW), which historically has advocated in the areas of education and health, both in the U.S. and around the world.

Spurred on by the United Methodist Church’s historic resolution, CoMeD and other organizations have advocated relentlessly for a ban on thimerosal’s use. Along the way, CoMeD has picked up numerous allies. Earlier this year, the Health Freedom Congress, comprising 40 health freedom organizations from across the U.S., passed a resolution to support removal of thimerosal from all drugs.

Significantly, not only did the Health Freedom Congress pass the resolution, but all 40 of the organizations involved were listed individually as direct signers. These organizations speak for tens of millions of Americans involved in the Health Freedom Movement. Just as important, unlike the American Academy of Pediatrics or other professional organizations that have a direct financial stake in the vaccine issue, these organizations represent the interests of average Americans who are making health decisions that are best for their families.

In April 2012, Chile adopted legislation making it the first developing country to prohibit the use of thimerosalpreserved vaccines. Ironically, Chile’s decision was announced as the World Health Organization (WHO) was meeting in Geneva, Switzerland—again behind closed doors—to discuss the ongoing negotiations to write a global, legally-binding treaty on mercury. As the world’s largest distributor of mercury-containing vaccines, WHO concluded, perhaps not surprisingly, that thimerosal should not be banned.

All of which brings us to the United Nations meeting this past July in Uruguay. Met with unprecedented resistance to its defense of the use of neurotoxic mercury in vaccines—including an impassioned speech by Cristina Girardi, a member of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile—the World Health Organization finally revealed its 2004 guidelines on eliminating, reducing and replacing thimerosal in vaccines to public health officials worldwide.

This move by the WHO is a huge response to a nascent, global outcry against mercury-containing vaccines and other drugs. Many individual nations and entire continents are now expressing their desire for mercury-free vaccines. But the fight is far from over. Until the U.S. takes action to safeguard its own children from the ravages of mercury in vaccines, not to mention protecting children around the globe, we must continue to pressure the powers-that-be.

In an era when cost-effective, much less toxic, and more effective alternatives are available and, in fact, already in use as in-process sanitizers and preservatives in vaccines and other pharmaceutics, there is no conscionable justification for the continuing use of thimerosal or any other mercury compounds in medicine. A society that values freedom simply cannot continue to diminish the intellects and the potential of its own children by unnecessarily injecting them with neurotoxic mercury.


Pathways Issue 36 CoverThis article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #36.

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Rev. Lisa Sykes at the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON).
Rev Sykes represented the Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs
(CoMeD, Inc.), of which she is the president. A non-governmental
organization (NGO), CoMeD is the strongest voice advocating
for a complete ban of mercury in medicines, especially vaccines.
PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY THE COALITION FOR MERCURY-FREE DRUGS