Reminder: Comments Due 3/31 on National Vaccine Plan
Posted Mar 30 2009 12:00am
Public comments are due on the draft National Vaccine Plan (NVP) by 5:00 pm EDT Tuesday, March 31. The NVP is being developed by the National Vaccine Program Office of HHS and will guide U.S. vaccination activities for the next 10 years. The draft Plan fails on many points. To paraphrase Jenny McCarthy's slogan from the Green the Vaccines rally last June “Too many, too soon”, the Plan calls for “More, Sooner.” And rather than a “Safety First” approach, the Plan reflects the same “Safety Last” perspective of the existing global vaccine enterprise, giving far more weight to vaccine development and promotion than to safety considerations.
The call for public comment is by far the most important opportunity for public participation in setting vaccine policy in over a decade. Electronic comments should be submitted to NVPComments@hhs.gov. The Federal Register notice contains a snail mail address. The notice (HERE) seeking comments was published in the Federal Register on January 14.
This opportunity for public input is part of a major federal effort to re-examine vaccine policy caused in part by declining public confidence in vaccines, increasing mistrust and skepticism of CDC research and oversight, increased use of exemptions and “alternative” schedules, concerns raised by pediatricians reflecting significantly increased parental uncertainty about both the safety and benefits of vaccines, and recent public actions such as Jenny McCarthy’s/Jim Carey’s Green the Vaccines rally at the Capitol last June, calls by prominent scientists such as Bernadine Healy for improved safety science especially with respect to autism, and the Government’s concession in February, 2008, in the Poling case that vaccines can cause autism.
A sample draft letter to submit for comment is provided below, which you can cut and paste into your own comment and modify or personalize as desired. We cannot overstate the importance of broad participation. These comments should guide development and implementation of the Plan and make a record for Congressional and media oversight of what the public wants and expects for future vaccination activities.