Vaccination Nation

“Right now, what’s on the line in this country is whether or not we’re going to have the legal right in the future to make choices about federally recommended vaccines.”-Barbara Loe Fisher

On this edition of Real Politik James speaks with Barbara Loe Fisher, president and co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center, a non-profit charity established in 1982. For the past three decades, she has led a national, grassroots movement and public information campaign to institute vaccine safety reforms and informed consent protections in the public health system.

Loe Fisher has researched, analyzed and publicly articulated the major issues involving the science, policy, law, ethics and politics of vaccination to become one of the world’s leading consumer advocacy experts on the subject. NVIC is not “anti-vaccine,” as mainstream news media might encourage the public to believe. Rather, it is pro-safe vaccines and exists to ensure the informed consent of the parents and patients who chose to vaccinate.

One of the most important things parents can do is recognize the clinical signs of an adverse reaction their children may exhibit to one or more vaccine administrations. Understanding, for example, the symptoms of brain inflammation is essential “because brain inflammation has been associated with vaccinations since small pox vaccine” since the early 1900s. “Almost any vaccine can do that.”

When Loe Fisher’s son was two-and-a-half, he suffered an adverse reaction to the DPT vaccine.

I knew what my child was before the reaction. My son was extremely bright. He was saying words at seven months. He was speaking in full sentences by the age of two. He knew his upper and lower-case alphabet. He knew his numbers up to 20. He could identify the words in the books we read together.

Yet after the DPT shot, “he regressed, physically, mentally, and emotionally,” she recalls. “He no longer knew his alphabet. He could no longer identify words. He became very, very chronically ill, with constant diarrhea, respiratory and ear infections. He became emotionally fragile [with a] low frustration level, no concentration—he couldn’t concentrate for more than a few seconds at a time.”

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