Last month, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices met quarterly to discuss vaccines like they always do, but this time around something was different. The room, which normally is only filled with committee members and pharmaceutical reps, had more company than they probably would've liked. A group of 50+ people were attending the meeting for the same reason: to address concerns surrounding vaccines. Among them was BEMC Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Office Manager, Patricia Neuenschwander. She was one of the few health care professionals who during the public comment addressed the decline in children's health and the much needed safety studies on vaccines that have not been done.
You can watch the video of her speech here!
Her comment is empowering. She emphasizes that during the entire meeting, not once was the safety of vaccines brought up. In closing, she leaves the committee with this: "Please consider placing some urgency on resources and priorities to evaluate the long term safety of vaccines, and the vaccine schedule so that medical providers can provide adequate published research to their patients and not just tell them they should take the vaccines because I say so."
Following her speech, she wrote:
"As many of my you know I have concerns related to the safety of the vaccine schedule in this country and the declining health of our children. I have tried to find answers through extensive research. I have attended numerous town hall meetings, webinars, coffee hours, meetings in Lansing, written my legislators, questioned the Michigan Department of Community Health and several doctors to no avail. They ALL point to the Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (ACIP) and their professional organizations (who all follow the ACIP recommendations) as to their support of vaccinations and the vaccine schedule. So, I decided that’s where I needed to go…the buck stops with them. I wanted to see how they work, how they decide to make recommendations, how they evaluate safety. I am appalled by what I have witnessed on the two occasions I attended. I won’t go into all the details, but I can tell you it is terrifying and if health care providers could witness what happens and how these vaccines are approved and recommended they would be disgusted as well. One of their votes was to approve the childhood schedule for 2019 and they had discussions among the committee members before voting. They discussed changes to the table to try and make it clearer/easier for medical providers to follow, including removing the contraindications to make more room for all the notes. Before that vote, they allowed public comment. Although I missed a couple things in my public comment and request of them, I really wished I would have asked them to either state on the table that this schedule (entire) has not been adequately studied for safety or to list the reference as to the safety of this schedule on the table so medical providers review and refer their patients to it." - Patricia Neuenschwander, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner