As part of CDC's project canvasing the public to find out about their vaccine safety concerns, they have hired a research/policy group, The Keystone Center, to take public statements at a series of "Stakeholder Meetings".
They will be holding public meetings in early January in these three cities, Ashland, OR specifically because they have a very low vaccine uptake rate and want to know why so many families are oping out of vaccinating.
If you are a parent with vaccine safety concerns, please consider attending and sharing your concerns.
I have participated in this project already, and believe that Keystone is earnest in their information gathering effort, however I will be shocked if CDC actually takes the information seriously, and earnestly (and honestly) addresses the problems in the vaccine program. It think that the more likely scenario is that this is PR busywork to make it look like they are taking things seriously, and they will continue on the same path they are on. Full steam on vaccines. (At their recently "Stakeholder Meeting" with vaccine manufacturers, vaccine safety was not the issue, greater liability protection and the elimination of regulatory hurdles for new vaccines was the issue. It was as if the increasingly loud public vaccine safety discussion didn't even exist.).
Because bottom line, CDC already knows ALL of the things that parents like us believe about the problems with vaccine safety and will be presenting during this project. As I told my interviewer at Keystone, "there is nothing that we are telling you that CDC doesn't already know. CDC reads my blog almost every single workday, and visited my site 5 times yesterday. They know all this, and they have not done jack with the information. They don't care".
However... despite my cynicism about this effort, I am encouraging you to participate. Let's get this all on the record so that when CDC ignores it yet again, or designs more bullshit studies that don't actually examine the questions in play, their brazen corruption will only be further highlighted.
Perhaps Tom Daschle will take over HHS and actually clean up this mess and make me look like a fool for doubting. Wouldn't that be nice.
One final note. Keep in mind as you read this that as low as the vaccine uptake rates are in Ashland, with one school having as many as 66% of children opting out of at least one vaccine, if not all, there have been no disease outbreaks. This is a town that should be closely watched. Just how low do vaccine rates have to go in a town before disease outbreaks occur? David Tayloe, head of AAP, claimed that vaccine uptake must be above 90% to prevent disease outbreaks on the Today Show this year.
This is a town that CDC should be doing serious research on, like the Somali's in Minneapolis and the Amish in PA. It would be a good place for CDC to start in doing a vaccinated v. unvaccinated study. But we all know they won't.
December 27, 2008