Well, the vaccine conference is over, at least for me. There is one last panel tonight on vaccines and political action, but it’s time for me to rest and to catch you up on this amazing event. I had originally intended to blog everyday, but the conference schedule has literally been non-stop and this is the first chance I’ve had to organize my thoughts.
The conference presentations were uniformly excellent, the material diverse and far reaching and the attendees inspired and activated. There is no doubt in my mind that we have reached a critical mass. It is just a matter of time before we resuscitate the informed consent doctrine in the US. Perhaps it is the fear of mandatory vaccines for swine flu that finally will tip the point.
In the spirit of The Seven Traits of Highly Effective People, I want to “start with the end in sight.” I will tell you about the end of the conference and then go back to the beginning. Over the next two weeks, I will blog about what I’ve learned from the sessions.
Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), made her closing remarks joyfully today. Just yesterday, Dawn Richardson, president of Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education (PROVE), suggested that since the government was unwilling to fund research into comparing health outcomes between vaccinated and unvaccinated children, we do it ourselves.
Barbara offered that NVIC would immediately begin to take donations to fund such a scientific study, to be conducted by independent, credentialed researchers and published in an important medical journal. In just the last 24 hours of this conference, NVIC has raised $110,000 for this study and will issue a press release regarding it tomorrow, Monday 5 October 2009. This is an historic moment.
I would suggest that you go immediately to the NVIC website and sign up for their newsletter so that you can receive the press release. While you’re at it, make a donation to NVIC. Family membership is just $25. Their mostly volunteer staff has been doing so much for all of us since 1982 and they operate on a budget of less than $300,000 a year. Barbara said that if they had more funding for the organization, they could:
Mount a national advertising campaign.
Offer a 24 hour a day national vaccine reaction reporting hotline.
Create statewide legal and medical networks.
Coordinate state leaders working for state exemptions.
Dawn Richardson from Texas, who suggested that parents do the study, has developed model state language for a medical exemption. She did a session Thursday night on “State Organizing To Get & Protect Vaccine Choices” and I’ve asked her to write an article for us on this topic. Look for it in early 2010. More tomorrow.