Group calls for independent vaccine safety agency

The Coalition for Vaccine Safety has called for creation of an independent vaccine safety agency according to a news report by the Biloxi Sun Herald.

This, along with planned congressional hearings on the government’s lax attitude on safety issues comes, on the heels of a three-part investigative series written by Mark Blaxill, director of Safe Minds and editor of the Internet newspaper Age of Autism.

The three-part investigative series focused on safety issues with Merck’s cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil, according to the Sun Herald report. The series also focused on numerous conflicts of interest between Department of Health and Human Services agencies in the development, approval, safety and surveillance of vaccines.

The investigation by Blaxill unearthed an unprecedented public-private partnership between the DHHS’s National Institutes of Health and drug companies. NIH teams have created methods to underpin cervical cancer vaccines, according to the report.

“The technology was patented and licensed to pharmaceutical giants Merck and GlaxoSmithKline through the NIH Office of Technology Transfer," Blaxill’s investigation revealed. “When new products invented at NIH clear the regulatory hurdles at FDA and reach market, OTT shares in the profits and distributes them back to NIH and its staff inventors.”

Although the clinical trials lacked true placebos, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved Gardasil for use and it was then shortly thereafter recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for universal use by girls, according to Blaxil’s investigation.

“This situation creates unprecedented web of conflict, one in which the same departments that are tasked with regulating the health and safety of medical products are also profiting from them,” Blaxill told the Biloxi Sun Herald.

Blaxill noted there have been hundreds of claims of injury or death from Gardasil, some of which are only just now reaching Federal Claims Court.

“Here too there are serious potential conflicts of interest as DHHS jointly administers the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and is also the defendant against the claims of vaccine injury instead of the vaccine manufacturer Merck,” Blaxill said.

“DHHS has chosen to minimize other safety issues like mercury and viral contamination in vaccines,” CVS representative Mary Holland told the Biloxi Sun Herald. “We need a stronger vaccine safety oversight agency which is independent of DHHS.”

Holland said the CVS has called on Congress to investigate the agencies responsible for the national vaccine program.

"These federal agencies have not complied with the terms of the 1986 Vaccine Injury Compensation Act to provide critical vaccine safety science," Holland told the Biloxi Herald Sun.

Organizations in this story

National Institutes of Health 9000 Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD 20892

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