The PR department of the American Academy of Pediatrics, concerned with all the bad press that vaccines are getting since Jenny hit the talk shows and Eli hit prime time, have put out a call to find parents who can counter the message of parents like be who believe that vaccines triggered their child's regression into autism.
From: Susan Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The outspoken JB Handley of Generation Rescue responds to the architect of this manufactured PR blitz (while it is still in the manufacturing stage) by calling attention to the fact that while she needs head hunters to find her parents to make vaccination look appealing, all you have to do to find parents who can tell the story of the destruction that vaccination has brought into their family is to swing a dead cat.
As has now become the norm in this country, rather than taking responsibility for bad practices, dangerous policies and harmful products, the AAP adopts the corporate model of 'why fix the problem when a PR campaign is so much cheaper and easier!'
I wonder how hard Ms. Martin would have to look to find parents who not only had a sympathetic story to tell about why everyone should vaccinate, but to find parents like those of us who have spent thousands of (unpaid) hours on trying to get their vaccine message out. Because those of us with autistic, vaccine injured children who have become active activists are kind of everywhere. We can't leave home too often to give interviews, and writing is our best tool, but we are everywhere.
I am reproducing Handley's article in full, and I will add this to his comments:
Dear Ms. Martin,
You and the AAP need to realize that continuing on the course of denying your blinding love affair with vaccines combined with the permanent damage to our kids health from over vaccinating them (both of which are readily apparent to anyone with eyes) is destroying your credibility very quickly.
Conversations on the playground between mothers about their children's health is not, "Well the AAP says vaccines are safe, thank goodness. I am going to stop by today and get a flu shot for Johnny". They are about your conflicts of interest, your failure to take the questions asked by parents seriously, and "I am not going back to Dr. Smith because he yelled at me when i asked him if getting 4 shots at once was safe for my three month old baby. Do you know of a pediatrician who is OK with not vaccinating on schedule or at all?"
No one disagrees that viral infections suck, but no one on the playground knows any children who have died or suffered long term problems from getting a viral infection. Sadly, most of those mom's saw what happened to little Jimmy with their own eyes. He looked completely normal to them last month, and now, after being vaccinated and getting a little sick right after, Jimmy can't come to the playground any more because he is in therapy and will be for the rest of his childhood. And many of them have sat and cried at the kitchen table with Jimmy's mom who thought she was doing the right thing when she gave him all his shots, and doesn't understand why her pediatrician keeps saying that they could have nothing to do with his autism. Isn't it as obvious to him as it is to her and everyone else who knew Jimmy before?
Please, stop playing PR games and face the problem. Too many vaccines, too close together, not tested in combination, given to soon, to children who have no medical history and are not screened in advance to see if they have a healthy enough immune system to handle the vaccines, is adding up to tens of thousands of children with life long health problems and developmental disabilities.
The AAP has over estimated what children could handle and it is time to roll back the vaccine program and put common sense safety measures in place.
And Please... Please... stop your pediatricians from sticking their heads in the sand and ignoring vaccine reactions in children. Unexplained fevers and crying for three months is not something that just happens. Years of constipation and bowel problems cannot be explained away with, "some kids are just like that". The answers that my pediatricians gave me when I raised these concerns with them about my child were malpractice and they were fed to them by you.
After Chandler was diagnosed and I went back into my ped with all my research and tried to get him to read the safety and risk information on the actual package insert on the first vaccine my child reacted to. Although he was nice about it, he told me he didn't have time to read what I had to give him because he could barely keep up with all that you had to give him. When I asked him, 'who do i talk to about this then', he said, 'Talk to the AAP, I go by their direction'.
But you don't listen to me. Who cares if I raise reasonable and important questions about the shoddy research you use to promote vaccine safety and can offer you video tapes of my son before and after his 18 month vaccination/autistic regression, right?
After all, I am just another "scientifically illiterate" and "desperate" parent looking for someone to blame for my son's autism.
(Wait a minute, so if the public is supposed to dismiss autism parents stories about vaccine triggering their children's regression because those parents are emotional and not scientific experts, then shouldn't the public also be dismissing the stories of the parents that you are planning on trotting out because their tragedy has made them emotional and they are not scientific experts? Are people supposed to be listening to parents anecdotal stories or not... I am confused...)
I stopped listing to you when you stopped listening to me. Parents are asking questions, lots and lots of parents. If you stop listening to those questions, and pass on giving real answers, not thinly veiled BS flackery, but truthful and earnest answers, they are all going to stop listening to you too.
Admit that there is a problem and fix it. Any other faux solution, like this stupid PR move, is just throwing your time and money, and many children, down a black hole.
Ginger Taylor, M.S.
AAP WAGS THE DOG: FIND US SOME SICK KIDS PRONTO!