Saturday, November 7, 2009

Adult Vaccination - the Final Frontier

Dear Friends,

We are all adults. Have you chosen to get the H1N1 shot or flu shot this year? If so, why--or why not? Are you surprised at the push to get pregnant women and workers vaccinated? Have you examined the hype we have been getting in the media daily, at virtually every newscast or in every daily newspaper? In previous years, only about 35% of adults got flu shots. Pretty dismal rates. But that's changing this year.

As adults, we are used to hearing about vaccinations for our children. Until now, we basically have not heard much about immunizations for adults. However, as with all other health policies, these have been long in the making. We really have been getting articles over the last decade trying to get adults to vaccinate. Most of you just were not paying attention. Now, the "crisis" is here and the opportunity is being used to manipulate everyone, for if we will not vaccinate voluntarily, then create ways, especially using fear, to get us to do so. Therefore, below is a little history and time line which I think explains it pretty well:

Update on Adult Immunization: Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP), Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Recommendations and Reports, November 15, 1991 (Vol. 40, No. RR-12),
"The National Coalition for Adult Immunization (NCAI) was formed in 1988 to improve adult immunization levels." As usual in these endeavors, “the coalition consists of professional, private, public, and voluntary organizations with the common goal of improving vaccine use among adults by educating health-care providers and patients... To reduce further the unnecessary occurrence of these vaccine-preventable diseases, health-care providers for older adolescents and adults should provide vaccinations as a routine part of their practice... A systematic approach to vaccination is necessary to ensure that every adult is appropriately protected against vaccine-preventable diseases.”

The Report was comprehensive and listed age groups from 18-65, travel, immigrants, special occupations, life-styles, permanent vaccination records, the different vaccines—live and inactivated.

The October 16, 1992, issue of MMWR had an article “National Coalition for Adult Vaccination: Activities to Increase Influenza Vaccination Levels, 1989-1991,"

“Project activities included combinations of 1) physician presentations at county and state medical society meetings and hospital grand rounds; 2) feature articles on vaccination in health-care provider newsletters; 3) increased media attention to influenza vaccination (including newspaper articles, radio interviews, advertisements in weekly newspapers, bus-advertising placards, milk-carton and grocery-bag art and billboards); 4) distribution of approximately 100,000 physician newsletters and an estimated 400,000 vaccination pamphlets, posters, and promotional buttons and stickers encouraging influenza vaccination; 5) distribution and completion of adult-vaccination cards.”

“...vaccination programs for adults have been difficult to implement for at least four reasons: 1) comprehensive adult vaccine-delivery systems are not available in the public and private sectors; 2) although statutory requirements exist for vaccination of children, few such requirements exist for adults; 3) reimbursement mechanisms and coverage by third-party payors are limited in the public and private sectors; and 4) vaccination programs have not been established in most settings where adults congregate (e.g., the workplace and retirement communities).”

“Attainment of this objective will require multifaceted strategies involving collaboration of public and private organizations to improve awareness regarding vaccine delivery and develop publicly-supported delivery mechanisms that remove cost and accessibility constraints. National Adult Immunization Awareness Week draws attention to efforts...”

The National Vaccine Advisory Committee adopted a report on adult immunization in January, 1994, that was printed in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) for October 12, 1994 (article available for purchase from JAMA at The summary of “Adult Immunization” included 5 goals and 18 recommendations for improving adult immunization. “Discussion of how to improve adult immunization must be included in the debate over health system reform in the United States... there is strong evidence that adult immunization is highly cost-effective. Thus, the choice we face is not simply deciding whether to pay for adult immunization, it is whether to pay more for the costs of treating un-prevented illness or less for preventing it in the first place.” The report went on to list some of the goals which should be familiar to us all:

“... increase the demand for adult vaccination by improving provider and public awareness; the CDC and other federal agencies assume increased responsibility for assuring that adults are appropriately immunized... Business and labor leaders and state health insurance regulators should encourage inclusion of adult immunization as a covered benefit for those insured... The cost-effectiveness of adult immunization must be further assessed; current evidence suggests that influenza and pneumococcal vaccination are highly cost-effective when compared with other preventive, screening, and treatment interventions in common use among elderly persons.”

“Given the promise of new and improved vaccines, the Children’s Vaccine Initiative has become the organizing focus to coordinate the transfer of new technologies for vaccine production and vaccine delivery to developing countries. Many aspects of this program have direct implications for the development of new and improved vaccines for adults.”

“Finally, the committee encourages greater collaboration between federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, professional associations, and vaccine companies in the United States and their counterparts in international organizations and in countries throughout the world.”

From “Grown-Ups Need Their Shots, Too” in the February, 2003, issue of the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) Bulletin: “First-ever adult schedule for immunizations issued.”

Let me bring everything to a "local" level--here in New York State.

Upon the failure of childhood vaccinations, especially in regards to the MMR vaccine, vaccine advocates realized they were in trouble in the early 1980's. As "outbreaks" of measles erupted on college campuses, health bureaucrats realized they needed to somewhat quietly make changes. Thus began the first Adult Immunizations with the passage of Section 2165--Immunization of certain post-secondary students, passed by the New York State Legislature (and other states) in 1989. Initially, this was just for the second-dose measles shot, but eventually became MMR. And, for good reason. According to the Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, by Drs. Mandell, Douglas & Bennett, 1985 (and earlier editions), the measles vaccine has "a persistence of antibody for up to 15 years. Mumps vaccine--satisfactory titers are maintained for at least 10 1/2 years and Rubella vaccine--there is reinfection in up to 80% of persons who had shots and who were subsequently exposed to rubella during an epidemic. Reinfection is more common in those vaccinated than in those who had natural rubella." This also accounts for why we are now hearing once again that MMR is "on the rise."

Unfortunately, instead of reevaluating giving MMR shots in the 1980's and discontinuing their use, health care bureaucrats preferred adding more doses to a person's body and also to exposing our children and future generations to life-long risk of disease. (Also now add the chickenpox vaccine.)

Then, in 1999 the NYS Legislature passed Article 21-A "Long-term Care Resident and Employee Immunization Act" which became effective in 2000. Section 2193 of the Act calls for residents of long-term care facilities to get the flu and pneumococcal shots and Section 2194 provides for employees to get the same shots.

Although Section 2195 provides for medical and religious exemptions, the reality is that no one will refuse--especially if you need to be in a long-term care facility or if you need a job. The phrasing is quaint: "...the facility shall provide or arrange for the necessary immunization."

In 2003, effective in 2004, Section 2168 Statewide Registry was passed and provided that ALL infants born after 2004 in NYS would be included in the Statewide Immunization Registry. What, you ask, does this Act have to do with adults? Well, basically, this is a tracking system. Initially, to get States and the public on board, it was an "opt in" or "opt out" system. Then, gradually, over time, lawmakers decided it had to be for all in order to work. And, it will follow or "track" everyone into the future--as adults--basically, from cradle to grave. Of course, it will take about 18 years (2022) to really get working, and until then, other opportunities will be used--such as those we see now. Plus, the bureaucrats have time on their hands; we older, more knowledgeable ones will die within the next 20 years. Then, the ones living will have "grown up" on getting vaccinated.

Also, since the 1990's there have been "Wellness in the Workplace" programs that are now including vaccination for employees.

And, vaccination is part of the Health Care Reform proposals in the current proposed legislation, especially since vaccination is considered "preventive care." Now, with the push for all electronic medical records (already part of the tracking system), no one will be able to hide and evade the health police of the future.


In a pamphlet I wrote for my 2001 Rally in Albany, "13 Reasons Not to Vaccinate," #13 was: The principle of "First, do no harm."
"Risks may be taken with a patient who is desperately ill or in danger of contracting some serious disease that should never be taken with a normal subject. It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecesarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967). Contrary to this principle, vaccines are given to healthy children and adults and the extent of harm is unknown." The major reason for this is that the government and health- care leaders do not believe that vaccines cause any damage or harm to most people and accept that those who are injured pay the price for the common good.

I hope you have all realized that I have been building upon each previous installment and that what I wrote earlier quoting "Vaccine Fevers" is happening now. Stop and think about it--vaccine advocates and bureaucrats have been working steadily since 1988 to 2003 to have in place the infrastructure to see that we all get vaccinated. And, now to see that the public DEMANDS it. They are working on getting the mob angry regarding a MILD disease. And they are being successful. Too many of us have forgotten or not learned how to do the simple things to take care of our health and are willling to accept the quick fix of a vaccine.

I have said it before and it bears repeating: Time is running out and we are losing our freedom of choice. Our lives are getting more and more out of our control and under the control of others. What are you going to do about it before it is too late?

Bonnie Plumeri Franz