CDC: Corruption, Deceit and Cover-Up

With the global vaccine market now at tens of billions of dollars, vaccine safety should be of utmost concern to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). But instead, rather than testing and monitoring the health effects of vaccines and patient injuries truthfully to the American public and making critical and necessary corrections in the program, the CDC has become a mouthpiece for industry and has protected the ‘all vaccines for all children’ policy despite peer-reviewed science to the contrary.

According to a UPI Investigative article written in the early 2000s, the CDC owned at least 28 vaccine patents. They are also in charge of vaccine promotion (getting the public to take vaccines) and vaccine safety. The CDC, like other large bureaucratic agencies, also has a revolving door to industry that comes with inherent conflicts of interests. Common sense should have told us that this system was doomed to fail.

The documents below, some of which obtained by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show a pattern of deceit perpetrated by the CDC on the American public and world stage for over 25 years. The Children’s Health Defense believes that the vaccine safety should be taken from the CDC.

How You’re Being Lied to about the Risks of Getting a Flu Vaccine Annually

The government and media systematically deceive the public about what science tells us about the risks of getting an influenza vaccine every year.


By Jeremy R. Hammond, Children’s Health Defense Contributing Writer

Every year as the “flu season” approaches, the public is inundated with messages from the government and media about the importance of getting an annual flu shot. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that the influenza vaccine be given to everyone aged six months and up, including pregnant women. According to the CDC, the influenza vaccine is safe, effective, and even “the best way” to prevent the flu. The media uncritically parrot the CDC’s claims to the public as though scientifically proven fact. But the reality is that what the government and media say science says about vaccines and what science actually tells us are two completely different things.

This is the third installment of a series of articles exposing influenza vaccine propaganda that serves to manufacture consent for public vaccine policy. In part one, using a case study from the New York Times, we saw how the mainstream media systematically deceive the public about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. While The Times claims that science shows that the vaccine confers “a big payoff in public health”, its own source from the medical literature actually concluded that the CDC’s universal flu shot recommendation is unsupported by scientific evidence. While the Times claims that science has proven that harms from the vaccine are “almost nonexistent”, its own source from the medical literature actually highlighted the alarming lack of high quality safety studies and concluded that for young children such studies are “urgently required”. Furthermore, we saw how, by so deceiving its readers about what the science says, the Times was simply following the example of the CDC.[1]

In part two, we looked more closely at how the CDC uses fear and deception to increase market demand for the pharmaceutical industry’s influenza vaccine products. We saw how the CDC views increasing health literacy among the public as a problem—an obstacle to be overcome in order to meet its declared goal of increasing vaccination rates. We also examined how the media uncritically parrot as fact the CDC’s claims that every year hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and tens of thousands of people die because of the influenza virus, when the reality is that the CDC’s estimates are highly controversial because they are based on dubious assumptions and may greatly overinflate the numbers. Additionally, the CDC’s claims about the great effectiveness of the vaccine in reducing flu deaths among the elderly have been thoroughly discredited by the scientific community.[2]

In part one, we saw also how the CDC’s universal flu shot recommendation is based on the unsupported assumption that vaccination decreases transmission of the virus. But as we learned in part two, one recent study actually found that vaccination increases viral transmission, with vaccinated individuals shedding more than six times as much aerosolized virus in their breath than those who didn’t get a flu shot.

That same study also mentioned “recent literature suggesting reduced protection with annual vaccination” (emphasis added). In this third installment, we’ll take a look at that literature, and you’ll see that there is important scientific evidence that has been systematically concealed from the general public by the government and mainstream media.

The government serves the pharmaceutical industry rather than properly educating people so that they have the knowledge they need to make a truly informed decision about whether to vaccinate. And the establishment media serve the state by advocating public policy rather than doing journalism.

Part two also looked at the endemic corruption at the CDC and how public vaccine policy with its one-size-fits-all approach to disease prevention constitutes an all-out assault on the right to informed consent. Consequently, public policy represents a serious threat to both our health and our liberty.

In this third installment, we will dive much deeper into the question of vaccine safety. You will learn:

  • How the media lie about the safety of the CDC’s routine childhood vaccine schedule;
  • Why claims that serious adverse events from the influenza vaccine are “rare” cannot be trusted, and how serious negative consequences could be far more common than publicly acknowledged;
  • How public vaccine policy effectively treats the entire US population as the subjects of a mass uncontrolled experiment;
  • How the government has prioritized the goal of maintaining public policy over the goal of bettering public health by granting the pharmaceutical industry legal immunity from vaccine injury lawsuits;
  • How studies have found that the diphtheria, tetanus, and whole-cell pertussis (DTP) vaccine is associated with an increased risk of childhood death, and why the lessons from this are relevant to the question of whether you should get an annual flu shot;
  • How studies have shown that getting an annual flu shot can actually increase your risk of illness and why this is so.

In a forthcoming fourth installment, we will continue to carefully examine the question of influenza vaccine safety, and you’ll learn how the CDC lies about the toxicity of the mercury that is contained in some flu shots, and why the CDC’s recommendation that pregnant women get a flu shot is criminally irresponsible.

If you have not already, please be sure to read the first two installments of this series because they contain important contextual information that you will need in order to get the most benefit out of reading this third installment:

Read Part 1: Should You Get the Flu Shot Every Year? Don’t Ask the New York Times.

Read Part 2: How the CDC Uses Fear and Deception to Sell More Flu Vaccines.

I am presenting the information in this third part of the series on the assumption that you already have the knowledge provided in the first two essays. So with that understood, let’s proceed.


This is the third installment of a multi-part exposé on how the government and media systematically deceive the public about the safety and effectiveness of the influenza vaccine, and how public vaccine policy constitutes a threat to both our health and our liberty. This is a 100% reader-funded project.Click here to learn more about this project and to support this mission with a donation.

How the Public Is Lied to about the Safety of the CDC’s Childhood Vaccine Schedule

You’ve already witnessed in part one how the New York Times grossly deceives readers about what science tells us about the influenza vaccine. And the case study I presented therein is not an anomaly. The mainstream media systematically misinform the public about vaccine safety. This is true not just for the influenza vaccine, but the CDC’s entire routine childhood vaccine schedule.

In 1953, the CDC recommended 16 doses of 4 vaccines by age six. By 1983, the childhood schedule had expanded to include 23 doses of 7 vaccines by age six. Since 2013, the CDC has recommended 50 doses of 14 vaccines by age six. By age eighteen, children following the CDC’s schedule in 2013 would have received 69 doses of 16 vaccines. Today, by age eighteen, children may receive upwards of 72 doses of 19 vaccines.[3]

This has naturally led many parents to wonder whether getting too many vaccines or too many at once might be potentially harmful to their child.

As another illuminating example of how the media serve to manufacture consent for public vaccine policy, in order to persuade parents that there is no reason to be concerned about this, the Washington Post brazenly lies that “No new immunization is added to the schedule until it has been evaluated both alone and when given with the other current immunizations.”[4]

The truth is just the opposite: no vaccine on the CDC’s schedule has been studied for safety when given in combination with every other vaccine on the schedule.

As the Institute of Medicine (IOM) observed in a 2013 report on the safety of the CDC’s schedule, “existing research has not been designed to test the entire immunization schedule”; “studies designed to examine the long-term effects of the cumulative number of vaccines or other aspects of the immunization schedule have not been conducted.[5] (Emphasis added.)

Neil Z. Miller, in an article published in 2016 in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, similarly points out (emphasis added):

Although CDC recommends polio, hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, rotavirus, Haemophilus influenza type B, and pneumococcal vaccines for two-, four-, and six-month-old infants, this combination of eight vaccines administered during a single physician visit was never tested for safety in clinical trials…. The safety of CDC’s childhood vaccination schedule was never affirmed in clinical studies. Vaccines are administered to millions of infants every year, yet health authorities have no scientific data from synergistic toxicity studies on all combinations of vaccines that infants are likely to receive.[6]

I contacted the Washington Post numerous times sharing the above information and requesting them to issue a correction to their recklessly irresponsible falsehood. The article’s author, Lena H. Sun, confirmed to me via telephone that the Post had received my request and that it was under review. She also told me that she had looked at the IOM study; but rather than acknowledging her error, she stood by her lie by meaninglessly accusing me of having taken the quotes from the IOM report “out of context”. To this day, despite knowing that studies designed to determine the safety of vaccinating children according to the CDC’s schedule have not been done, neither Lena H. Sun nor her editors have issued a correction, and the article on the Washington Post website continues to falsely claim otherwise.[7]

The fact that no such studies have been done is especially troubling in light of the fact that numerous vaccines on the schedule contain aluminum as an ingredient. Additionally, multi-dose vials of influenza vaccines contain mercury as a preservative. Both aluminum and mercury are known neurotoxins associated with a wide range of harms, including autoimmune and neurological diseases. While flu shots do not contain aluminum, the subject does provide another relevant illustration of how the public is being systematically misinformed about vaccine safety.

How the Public Is Lied to about the Risks from Aluminum in Vaccines

The government, of course, has long maintained that the aluminum in vaccines is safe. The assumption underlying this bold and counterintuitive claim is that the aluminum is rapidly eliminated from the body through the urine.

However, that simply is not true.

As noted in a study in Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry published in December 2017, in fact, aluminum particles from vaccines are persistent in the body and can be taken up by immune cells and transported to other tissues and organs, including the brain, where it accumulates.[8]

Another study, published in November 2017 in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, looked at the brains of children who died with autism and found that aluminum levels were consistently and “extremely” high.[9]

The US mainstream media, unsurprisingly, has been utterly silent about both of these studies.

One of the authors of both is Christopher Exley, a professor at Keele University in the United Kingdom who’s among the world’s leading researchers on aluminum toxicity. With respect the media’s silence about his team’s findings, he commented:

I was aware of the emotive nature of our research and especially as I knew that it would bring into focus a possible link between aluminum adjuvants in vaccines and autism, though this link was not discussed in the paper. However, I am not sure that I was prepared for the nature of the response to our research. Perhaps the most deafening response has been the tsunami of silence perpetuated by all mainstream media, almost globally! Compliant with this has been my own University that did not even deem the research ‘worthy’ of a mention in its own weekly news outlet. When one considers the nature of much of the science that makes headline news one is left wondering what it is about a link between aluminium and autism that is not deemed newsworthy.

The only exception to the media’s silence that Exley could find was a piece in the UK’s Daily Mail that went viral on social media. Exley further remarked:

While I remain completely in support of the need to communicate scientific research as widely as possible, I was not prepared for the vitriol, largely anonymous, which accompanied our publication. I have been elucidating upon the potential dangers of the aluminium age for 34 years now but I have never before had my life threatened openly. I can only assume that our research has weighed very heavily on the toes of those who will not counter the possibility that not all vaccines are 100% safe.[10]

To support its claim that the aluminum from vaccines “is not readily absorbed by the body”, the CDC cites a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) study by Robert J. Mitkus et al. published in the journal Vaccine in 2011.[11]  The FDA, too, has naturally touted the Mitkus study as demonstrating that “the risk to infants of aluminum in vaccines” that they receive during their first year of life “is not significant.”[12]

The Mitkus study, however, amounts to nothing less than scientific fraud.

For starters, it was based on a “minimal risk level” for humans determined by the FDA based on a single rodent study that found no adverse effects from aluminum fed to mice below the amount of 26 milligrams of aluminum per kilogram of body weight per day. Yet subsequent studies had determined that adverse effects in animals were observable at much lower levels—as low as 3.4 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day.

Mitkus and his coauthors thus relied on a “minimal risk level” that had already been falsified and was more than seven times higher than quantities of aluminum that were already known to cause adverse effects.[13]

Furthermore, the FDA knows perfectly well that comparing the effects of ingested aluminum with injected aluminum is scientifically invalid.

This is because the gut lining protects the body from ingested aluminum so that no more than about 1 percent is absorbed into the body—whereas injecting it bypasses the body’s innate immune system (of which the gut lining is a part), resulting in 100 percent of it being absorbed.

Here is the FDA in its own words, from the Federal Register in January 2000: “Generally, when medication and nutrition are administered orally, the gastrointestinal tract acts as an efficient barrier to the absorption of aluminum, and relatively little ingested aluminum actually reaches body tissues. However, parenterally administered drug products containing aluminum bypass the protective mechanism of the gastrointestinal tract and aluminum circulates, and it is deposited in human tissues.”[14]

Yet another problem with the Mitkus study is that, to achieve the desired result of a total “body burden” of aluminum that did not exceed the already fallaciously high “minimal risk level”, Mitkus et al. simply pretended that most of the amount of aluminum that individuals are actually exposed to from vaccines does not exist. They considered only the amount of aluminum found in the blood and disregarded the entire quantity of aluminum remaining elsewhere in the body.

Mitkus et al. acknowledged that aluminum particles from vaccinations are taken up by immune cells known as macrophages, that “aluminum accumulates in the brain”, and that “only a fraction” of aluminum injected into the body from vaccines is absorbed into the blood within 28 days of vaccination. Yet their conclusion that the aluminum in vaccines is safe rested on the false assumption that aluminum that’s not absorbed into the blood is harmless and therefore doesn’t contribute to the “body burden” of aluminum toxicity.

But aluminum in the body’s tissues and organs is not harmless, and there is absolutely no scientific basis for the FDA researchers to have assumed otherwise.

In sum, the FDA researchers arrived at a conclusion that was evidently predetermined. They arrived at it by selecting a minimal risk level already known to be more than seven times too high; by assuming that absorption from injection is the same as from ingestion, despite knowing this to be completely false; and otherwise by simply not including most of the aluminum from vaccinations as contributing to the “body burden” of aluminum, even while acknowledging the fact that it can be transported by macrophages from the area of injection to other areas of the body, including into the brain.[15]

Furthermore, brain inflammation is a known cause of autism,[16] and the whole purpose of including aluminum as an ingredient in vaccines is because it stimulates a more inflammatory response.

To quote Mitkus et al., “Aluminum adjuvants are important components of vaccines, since they stimulate the immune system” to produce “an inflammatory reaction and a downstream . . . antibody response”.[17]

It’s important to understand that, as mentioned in part one, to gain licensure by the FDA, vaccine manufacturers don’t actually have to demonstrate that their products are effective at preventing the target disease. Instead, the FDA uses the surrogate measure of an antibody level deemed to be “protective”, which is unscientific for reasons we’ll come to shortly.

That is to say, the reason aluminum is such an “important” ingredient in vaccines is not because exposure to it is necessary for the development of immunity, but essentially because it helps the pharmaceutical companies gain the FDA’s approval for their products to be sold on the market.

In the aforementioned study in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, Chris Exley and his coauthors critically analyzed the studies used by the FDA and CDC to support the claim that the aluminum from vaccines passes through the body harmlessly and is rapidly eliminated.

Pointing out the egregious flaws in these studies, including the Mitkus study, they remarked that regulatory agencies should “avoid the propagation of hazardous information on the rapid elimination of Al [aluminum] adjuvants”—given what scientists know about how it persists in the cells and can migrate to the brain, where its neurotoxicity may have serious implications for childhood development, especially in children who may have a genetic susceptibility impairing their ability to detoxify and eliminate the aluminum from their bodies.[18]

Just How “Rare” Are Serious Harms from the Flu Shot?

The New York Times, as we saw in part one, tells its readers that “The negatives of a flu shot are almost nonexistent, and significant side effects are very rare.”

We have also already seen how the influenza vaccine was associated during the 2009 – 2010 flu season in Australia with a 1-in-110 risk in children of having febrile convulsions, as well as how the pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine in Europe was associated with a 1-in-55,000 risk of developing narcolepsy, a neurological disorder affecting the brain’s ability to control sleep-wake cycles, resulting in uncontrollable daytime sleepiness.

As Science magazine noted in July 2015, “The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic left a troubling legacy in Europe: More than 1,300 people who received a vaccine to prevent the flu developed narcolepsy, an incurable, debilitating condition that causes overpowering daytime sleepiness, sometimes accompanied by a sudden muscle weakness in response to strong emotions such as laughter or anger.”[19]

A paper published in Science Translational Medicine offered some clues as to why this had happened. Researchers had determined that “many people who develop narcolepsy—and just about everyone with the vaccine-associated form—have a specific variant in a gene in the HLA family, which helps the body distinguish its own proteins from those made by microbial invaders.”

When these individuals received GlaxoSmithKline’s Pandemrix flu vaccine, it triggered an autoimmune reaction leading to narcolepsy.

Specifically, they found that an antigen component of the vaccine closely resembles a protein produced in the brain’s hypothalamus that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, called hypocretin. The vaccine seemed to stimulate the production of antibodies that not only attacked the influenza nuceloprotein, but also the hypocretin protein molecules in the brain.[20]

The risk of the vaccine causing narcolepsy was estimated at between 1 in 57,500 and 1 in 52,000.[21]

This case illustrates one of the fundamental problems with public vaccine policy: it treats vaccination as a one-size-fits-all solution, which endangers individuals who have a genetic (or environmentally caused) predisposition to vaccine injury. The CDC simply does not take the existence of such subpopulations into consideration with its policy recommendations.

The CDC has acknowledged that the Pandemrix vaccine was associated with an “increased risk of narcolepsy”, but offers the reassurance that it had “reviewed data from the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) and found no indication of any association between U.S.-licensed H1N1 or seasonal influenza vaccine and narcolepsy.”[22]

Unfortunately, for reasons we’ll come to, this isn’t particularly reassuring.

A salient point to keep in mind is that every year, every influenza vaccine is a new vaccine. This is because there are so many influenza viruses and they adapt so quickly that the most widely circulating strains change from year to year.

The vaccine contains only three or four viral antigen components, so to determine which ones should be included, each year, scientists working for the World Health Organization (WHO) make a best-guess recommendation based on surveillance data from the previous five to eight months. Countries then have only six to nine months to manufacture and deploy the vaccine for flu season.[23]

That doesn’t exactly leave a lot of time to conduct new clinical trials to assess the safety and efficacy of each year’s new batch of seasonal influenza vaccines—which should certainly be concerning to anyone thinking about getting an annual flu shot.

During the 2017 – 2018 flu season, for the first time, there was an inactivated influenza vaccine available that doesn’t use egg embryos during the manufacturing process to replicate the virus. (For how the use of eggs negatively impacts the effectiveness of the vaccine, see part one.)

Instead, it is made using cells from a dog kidney.[24]

Seqirus, Inc, the manufacturer of the new vaccine, called Flucelvax, notes in the product’s package insert that “adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a vaccine cannot be directly compared to rates in clinical studies of another vaccine, and may not reflect rates observed in clinical practice.” (Emphasis added.)

That warning is included because comparing rates of adverse reactions in other vaccines and assuming similarity is precisely how the FDA does its safety evaluation for purposes of flu vaccine licensure.

This, too, can be seen right in the package insert information. For Flucelvax, a number of clinical trials cited to support the manufacturer’s claim of efficacy were conducted with the older, egg-based version of the vaccine.

The FDA approved Flucelvax for use in children as young as four, even though no clinical trials were done to assess whether the vaccine is actually effective in preventing influenza in children aged four to seventeen.[25]

Furthermore, as noted in part one, the FDA uses seroconversion, or a demonstrated antibody response, as a surrogate marker for immunity, and the CDC likewise regards a high antibody titer as equivalent to immunity. This is unscientific, but by using antibody titers as a surrogate measure of immunity, the FDA allows pharmaceutical companies to get their vaccine products to market without having to conduct studies demonstrating that they are actually effective at preventing disease.

The reason using antibodies as a surrogate for immunity is scientifically invalid is because, while a high antibody titer may frequently be correlated with immunity, an antibody response is neither always sufficient nor even necessary for the development of immunity.

To put it another way, it is unscientific because it ignores the fact that an antibody response is not the only kind of immunity.

For example, children with agammaglobulinemia, a disorder in which the immune system is able to generate only a low concentration of antibodies, are still able to acquire lifelong immunity to measles.

This is because of the importance of cell-mediated immunity, as opposed to an antibody response, which is called “humoral immunity” and is merely one component of the immune system’s response to pathogenic invasion.

With measles, cell-mediated immunity appears to play the more important role. By contrast, children who are able to produce sufficient antibodies but who have defective cell-mediated immunity can still die from measles infections.[26]

As we’ll come to, cell-mediated immunity also plays an important role when it comes to protecting against influenza viruses. The point for now is simply this: Just because the FDA approves a vaccine for the market doesn’t mean that it has actually been shown to be effective at preventing the target disease.

In fact, the pharmaceutical manufacturers are required by law to disclose this, as they do in their package inserts. The Flucelvax insert admits that “Specific levels of hemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibody titers induced by vaccination with inactivated influenza virus vaccine have not been correlated with protection from influenza illness.”[27]

Other flu vaccine brands include similar warnings on their package inserts, which you can find listed on the FDA’s website.[28]

Furthermore, as we can also glean from the Flucelvax insert, no placebo-controlled trials were conducted for the four-to-seventeen age group to assess the vaccine’s safety in children.

Instead, the FDA determined that the vaccine is “safe” based on two clinical trials in which the “placebo” used for the control group was another influenza vaccine. (A five-year-old included in one trial developed a type of rash called erythema multiforme, which is a serious hypersensitivity reaction that can be life-threatening. This was acknowledged to be “related to vaccination”.)

No clinical trials were conducted to assess the safety of Flucelvax when administered concomitantly with other vaccines.

The package insert contains the usual influenza vaccine warnings about the lack of safety studies in pregnant women and nursing mothers.

The only study done to determine whether the vaccine might cause female infertility was done in rabbits.

No studies were done to determine the potential for impairment of male fertility.

Like usual, the vaccine has also “not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential”, meaning it is unknown whether it can cause cancer or genetic mutations.

Also standard with influenza vaccines is the warning that the 1976 pandemic “swine flu” influenza vaccine “was associated with an elevated risk of Guillain­-Barré syndrome (GBS).”[29]

Influenza Vaccines and Guillain­-Barré Syndrome (GBS)

This brings us back to Aaron E. Carroll’s claim in the New York Times that adverse events from influenza vaccines are “very rare” (see part one). To support this assertion, he cited a page from the CDC’s website. That webpage refers specifically to GBS—an autoimmune disorder in which a person’s own immune system attacks the nerves, causing weakening and possible paralysis in the legs that can resemble paralytic polio.

In fact, according to a paper published in the Journal of Medical Biography in 2003, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt most likely had GBS, not polio.[30]

The CDC webpage states that even though some studies have found an association between the flu shot and GBS, the estimated risk is “fewer than 1 or 2 cases of GBS per one million people vaccinated.” The CDC argues that people should still get a flu shot on the grounds that “GBS is more common following flu illness than following flu vaccination.” It cites no studies in order for readers to be able to examine that claim more closely.[31]

As indicated in the Flucelvax insert, the association between the influenza vaccine and GBS was first identified during the 1976-1977 “swine flu” pandemic, and the alarming rate of reported GBS cases following vaccination led to the halting of the campaign.[32]

As a 2015 meta-analysis published in the journal Vaccine has pointed out, studies have found “a small but statistically significant association between influenza vaccines, particularly the pandemic ones, and GBS”.[33]

A 2004 study in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association, noted that GBS was “the most frequent neurological condition reported after influenza vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)”. From July 1990 through June 2003, there were 501 reports of GBS reported following influenza vaccination in adults, and the authors acknowledged the “possible causal association”. For the 1976-1977 “swine flu” pandemic, the evidence that the vaccine caused GBS was “strong”.[34]

As stated in the 2010 Cochrane meta-analysis that we examined in part one, studies finding a statistically significant association between the influenza vaccine and GBS “demonstrate the danger of commencing a large vaccination campaign without adequate harms assessment.”[35] (All emphasis added.)

Let that sink in.

That observation is relevant not only for that specific pandemic flu season’s vaccine, but for every flu season’s vaccine. Commencing a large vaccination campaign without adequate safety testing is precisely what the CDC does every year by virtue of the fact that every year the vaccine is manufactured differently.

To make matters worse, as indicated by the authors of the aforementioned 2004 JAMA study (which was conducted by researchers from the CDC), the risk of getting GBS from the influenza vaccine could be significantly greater than one in a million.

That’s because VAERS, the surveillance system that enabled researchers to find this association, is a “passive surveillance system” that’s “subject to underreporting”.[36]

As we’ll come to, that’s a significant understatement.

The Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD)

As we’ve seen, to reassure the public that the influenza vaccines licensed for use in the US won’t cause narcolepsy, the CDC claims to have looked for an association using data from VAERS and the VSD.

The VSD is a collaborative project between the CDC and eight health care organizations. It does not release the raw data from this database publicly. Instead, the CDC keeps the data as a closely guarded secret, allowing independent scientists restricted access to the VSD only by permission. The ostensible reason for this is the need to protect the privacy of the patients from whom the data is collected. However, in practice, the CDC’s reasons for withholding VSD data from independent scientists have appeared to be quite different.

For example, when Peter Doshi, a vocal critic of the CDC with respect to its influenza vaccine recommendation, requested access to virus circulation data, the CDC refused to allow it unless he granted the CDC co-authorship of the study he was undertaking—which Doshi appropriately refused.[37] (For more on Doshi’s criticisms, see part two.)

As another illustration, when researchers Mark Geier and David Geier obtained access to the VSD to study whether the diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine was associated with an increased risk of acute or chronic adverse events, they were scolded by the CDC for conducting analyses “that were not approved in advance”.

Specifically, “the Geiers compared autism rates in those receiving 100 mg of thimerosal from DTaP to those receiving zero mg from DTaP.”

Thimerosal is a preservative used in vaccines that is about half ethylmercury by weight. One would think the question of whether the use of mercury—a known neurotoxin—as an ingredient in childhood vaccines would be relevant for determining whether the vaccine was associated with an increased risk of adverse events, but evidently the CDC disagrees.

(Note that, while thimerosal is no longer used in most childhood vaccines in the US, it is still used in some influenza vaccines, as we’ll return to.)

Additionally, the Geiers were accused of trying “to merge datasets across studies to create a composite data file” that would have allowed them to create “more complete medical records on subjects” in a way that risked “a breach of confidentiality.” Their work was halted and they were prohibited from further access to the data.[38]

Challenging the legitimacy of the CDC’s pretext of protecting patient privacy, however, the Geiers in response pointed out that “the datasets assembled by CDC contain no names, addresses, zip code, state of residence, phone number, HMO membership information or center of examination for each patient. In addition, patients are identified by an encrypted randomly assigned patient number that is different for each dataset. No dataset contains more than one vaccine administered and one patient could have numerous randomly assigned patient identification numbers.” (Their emphasis.)

They also observed that if a statistically significant relationship was found between the vaccine administered and any acute or chronic conditions, “this information should be vitally important to … the CDC.”[39]

One would surely like to think so, but this isn’t obvious, given independent researchers’ lack of easy access to the CDC’s tightly controlled data.

So what about VAERS?

Legal Immunity for Vaccine Manufacturers

The topic of VAERS brings us to another particularly salient fact that Aaron Carroll and the New York Times editorial board judged their readers needn’t concern themselves with, which is that, for vaccines on the CDC’s routine childhood schedule, the US government has granted vaccine manufacturers near total legal immunity against vaccine injury lawsuits.

This was done under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (NCVIA).

The Supreme Court in 2011 upheld this legal immunity on the grounds that certain adverse reactions to vaccines are “unavoidable” and “design defects” are “not a basis for liability.”

It is precisely the “unavoidability” of a given vaccine injury that establishes “a complete defense” against lawsuits, given that the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied with adequate warnings (which are found in the manufacturer’s package inserts).

To illustrate, this means that if a vaccine ingredient is found to be causing severe injuries or deaths, the injured parties or their families cannot sue the vaccine manufacturer. Since (1) any harmful ingredients are intended to be in the vaccine; (2) the product packaging included an insert containing directions and warnings approved by the FDA (whether or not the patient is actually made aware of these warnings by the medical practitioner administering the vaccine); and (3) the vaccine is recommended by the CDC for routine childhood use, therefore the vaccine manufacturers cannot be held liable under US law.

Justice Antonin Scalia described this special accommodation for the vaccine industry as a “societal bargain”.[40]

That’s certainly questionable, but what is undoubtedly true is that the law was a bargain for the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture vaccines recommended for routine childhood use by the CDC, which includes the influenza vaccine.

The situation during the mid-1980s was that the industry was experiencing so many lawsuits for vaccine injuries—particularly related to the diphtheria, tetanus, and whole-cell pertussis (DTP) vaccine—that it was putting vaccine manufacturers out of business.

This risked a supply shortage that, in turn, threatened to undermine public policy; and that, the US government decided, was something that simply could not be tolerated—hence the granting of legal immunity to vaccine manufacturers. The overarching goal was to preserve public vaccine policy. Setting aside the Orwellian pretexts under which this law was passed, the safety of public vaccine policy with respect to the health of our children was literally only an afterthought (as we’ll come to).

The US government on one hand insists adamantly that vaccines are safe. On the other hand, as of November 2018, it has awarded approximately $4 billion to petitioners under what is known as the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).[41]

Under the VICP, there are certain injuries that—in the words the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), which is the division of the department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that administers the program—“are presumed to be caused by vaccines unless another cause is proven.”

Covered vaccines and injuries are listed in what’s called the “Vaccine Injury Table”. If the requirements aren’t met to obtain compensation for a covered vaccine, the petitioner “must prove that the vaccine caused the injury and/or condition.” The government may also reach a settlement with the petitioner. As HRSA states, “Settlements are not an admission by the United States or Secretary of Health and Human Services that the vaccine caused the petitioner’s alleged injuries. In settled cases, the United States Court of Federal Claims does not determine that the vaccine caused the injury.”[42]

Thanks to the dutiful reporting of the mainstream media, which do public policy advocacy on this issue instead of journalism, it’s safe to say that most Americans have probably never heard of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program—or, for that matter, of the fact that vaccine manufacturers have legal immunity.

Funded by an excise tax on vaccines, the VICP was established under the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which essentially shifted the financial burden of vaccine injury away from the pharmaceutical industry and onto the consumers—all, of course, in the name of keeping our children safe from harm.

One consideration the Congress overlooked completely is the fact that the lawsuits threatening to undermine public vaccine policy were a highly compelling incentive for the pharmaceutical companies to develop safer and more effective methods of preventing communicable diseases.

As a consequence of the government granting legal immunity to vaccine manufacturers and shifting the financial burden for vaccine injuries onto the taxpaying consumers, that critical market incentive has been eliminated.

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The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)

Another product of that 1986 law was VAERS, the surveillance system that CDC researchers have acknowledged is “subject to underreporting”.

Congress had not originally intended the so-called National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act to include provisions to ensure the safety of vaccines on the CDC’s schedule. It was the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC),[43] founded four years prior by Barbara Loe Fisher and other parents of DTP-injured children, who tirelessly worked on all our behalf to ensure that the law included safety provisions, including the establishment of VAERS. The NVIC opposed legal immunity for manufacturers, but since Congress was intent on granting legal immunity anyway, they argued that there ought to at the very least be a surveillance system in place to be able to detect adverse outcomes from vaccination.[44]

The US Congress has long been well aware that VAERS reports “represent only a fraction of the serious adverse events” (to quote from an October 2000 Congressional report paraphrasing a former FDA Commissioner).[45]

The Department of Health and Human Services, under whose auspices the CDC also operates, likewise acknowledges that “VAERS receives reports for only a small fraction of actual adverse events.”[46]

As noted in a 1993 JAMA article discussing the problems with VAERS, “Only about 1% of serious events are reported to the FDA, according to one study.”[47]

A 1995 study in the American Journal of Public Health looked at the question and found that “reporting sensitivities for adverse events surveillance in the United States varied widely, ranging from 72% for vaccine-associated poliomyelitis to less than 1% for acute thrombocytopenic purpura following the MMR vaccine and hypotonic-hyporesponsive episodes following the DTP vaccine. This underreporting of known outcomes highlights the limitations of passive surveillance in measuring the incidence of vaccine adverse events.” (All emphasis added.)

Among other “known” adverse reactions mentioned by the researchers were seizures following vaccination with both the DTP and measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) combination vaccines.[48]

With respect to vaccine-caused paralytic polio, the CDC acknowledges that every case of paralytic polio originating in the US since 1979 was caused by the oral polio vaccine.[49] The CDC in 1997 implemented a policy of phasing out the live-virus oral polio vaccine (OPV) in favor of the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV),[50] but the live-virus vaccine is still used in developing countries. The medical rationale for this is that the OPV is more effective at preventing wild-type polio infection, but the vaccine itself can cause polio outbreaks, and evidence strongly indicates that it’s now doing considerably more harm than good.[51]

The remaining reasons it’s still used, despite the known harms, are that it’s easier to administer and cheaper to make.[52]

The DTP vaccine, too, is one that’s no longer used in the US because it’s too dangerous, but still widely used in developing countries under WHO initiatives because it’s cheaper.[53]

How the DTP Vaccine Increases the Risk of Childhood Death (and the Relevance for the Flu Shot)

The DTP vaccine offers a particularly useful lesson about “the danger of commencing a large vaccination campaign without adequate harms assessment”, to borrow the wording from the 2010 Cochrane review.

As noted, the DTP vaccine has been discontinued in the US and other developed nations due to the known higher rate of adverse events attributed to whole cell pertussis component. In the US today, an acellular pertussis vaccine is used instead, known by the acronym DTaP (or Tdap for the version given to adolescents and adults).

The assumption behind public policy with respect to the DTP vaccine—as with the DTaP vaccine—is that, by reducing the incidence of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, it would reduce the rate of childhood mortality.

That hypothesis was never tested before US government policymakers decided to universally recommend the vaccine.

However, scientists have since done studies considering the question of the vaccine’s effect on childhood mortality in countries where it’s still used, and the findings are startling. Contrary to policymakers’ assumption, studies show that while the DTP vaccine is effective at reducing incidence of the target diseases, it’s associated with an increased risk of death from other causes.

One of the most recent of these studies, published in February 2017 in the journal EBioMedicine, stated researchers’ findings bluntly (all emphasis added):

DTP was associated with 5-fold higher mortality than being unvaccinated [with DTP]. No prospective study has shown beneficial survival effects of DTP. Unfortunately, DTP is the most widely used vaccine, and the proportion who receives DTP is used globally as an indicator of the performance of national vaccination programs.

It should be of concern that the effect of routine vaccinations on all-cause mortality was not tested in randomized trials. All currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children from other causes than it saves from diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis. Though a vaccine protects children against the target disease it may simultaneously increase susceptibility to unrelated infection.[54]

One would think this information would be newsworthy, but the mainstream media establishment has so far managed to dutifully ignore it—the New York Times certainly being no exception.

We have already seen how the CDC’s policy justification that universal influenza vaccination reduces mortality is unsupported by scientific evidence.

It is quite possible that getting an annual flu shot might not only fail to protect you from getting the flu, but even increase your risk of serious illness or even death.

Nobody can say for sure one way or the other because it hasn’t been adequately studied.

Furthermore, public health officials oppose doing the kinds of studies that could best determine this—randomized controlled trials—on the grounds that they already know what’s best for us and have already made up their minds about what the government’s policy should be.

The finding that the DTP vaccine is associated with an increased risk of death raises the question of causality. How might vaccination cause children to become more susceptible to other diseases?

As the authors of the EBioMedicine study hypothesized, “Though protective against the target diseases, DTP may increase susceptibility to unrelated infections.”[55]

They didn’t elaborate, but we know that vaccine-conferred immunity differs from natural immunity. And we know that this difference in how our immune systems are trained to function might result in adverse “non-specific effects”, as scientists term such unintended consequences, which most safety studies aren’t designed to look for.

As it happens, the influenza vaccine offers a particularly useful illustration.

How the Flu Shot Can Increase Your Risk of Illness

A CDC information sheet given out to parents at pediatricians’ offices states: “Vaccines are made with the same bacteria or viruses that cause disease, but they have been weakened or killed—or only parts of them are used—to make them safe. A child’s immune system produces antibodies, just as it would after exposure to the actual disease. This means the child will develop immunity in the same way, but without have to get sick first.”[56] (Emphasis added.)

This is from a handout purporting to explain “How Vaccines Work” to parents facing their baby’s first vaccinations.

And it is a bald-faced lie.

Vaccines emphatically do not confer immunity “in the same way” as natural infection. The CDC certainly knows this, but it would undoubtedly be counterproductive to its aims to inform parents that vaccines are designed to permanently affect the development of a child’s immune system—to develop immunity differently than it would through natural infection.

The experience with the DTP illustrates not only how substantial the CDC’s lie is, but also how dangerous.

The influenza vaccine provides some additional insights.

In April 2010, a study was published in the journal PLoS Medicine reporting the “unexpected” finding from four epidemiologic studies in Canada that receipt of the influenza vaccine for the 2008 – 2009 season, while apparently effective in reducing the risk of illness due to the seasonal flu, was associated with an increased risk of illness due to the pandemic influenza A(H1N1) “swine flu” virus during the spring and summer of 2009.

While cautioning that their result could be due to some unidentified confounding factor or selection bias, they suggested that, if real, this finding could be due to the difference in the way the vaccine affects the immune system compared with natural infection.

Under this hypothesis, repeated vaccination “effectively blocks the more robust, complex, and cross-protective immunity afforded by prior infection.”

When unvaccinated people are infected with the seasonal influenza virus, they have an opportunity to develop a robust cell-mediated immunity that not only protects against that strain of the virus, but is also cross-protective against other strains.

People who’ve annually received the influenza vaccine, on the other hand, “may have lost multiple opportunities for infection-induced cross-immunity.”

This is because the vaccine is designed to stimulate a strong antibody response, or humoral immunity, but does not confer the same kind of robust cell-mediated immunity as natural infection.

In short, unvaccinated individuals who’d been infected with the seasonal influenza virus had also gained protection against the pandemic H1N1 virus, whereas the vaccine conferred no such benefit.

In other words, there are opportunity costs of vaccination. And the CDC simply does not take the opportunity costs into consideration when determining public vaccine policy.

Other proposed mechanisms to explain this finding were “original antigenic sin”, which is the idea that one’s first exposure to the influenza virus helps determine the immune system’s response to subsequent infection, and “antibody-dependent enhancement”, which is the idea that the high level of ineffective antibodies stimulated by vaccination might counteract the production of antibodies that could otherwise neutralize the pandemic virus.[57]

Another study published in 2011 in the Journal of Virology confirmed that annual influenza vaccination indeed hampers the development of a robust cell-mediated immunity.

The authors pointed out that, while seasonal influenza vaccines were designed to confer humoral immunity against influenza A(H3N2), A(H1N1), and B viruses, they “inefficiently induce protective immunity to other influenza A virus subtypes” such as avian influenza A(H5N1), the “bird flu”.

As they explained, seasonal influenza vaccination “prevented the development of influenza A virus-specific CD8+ T cell immunity otherwise induced by infection.” These immune cells, unlike the antibodies stimulated by the vaccine, would provide protection against not only the infecting strain of influenza, but also other subtypes.

Annual vaccination for influenza, the authors concluded, “may render young children who have not previously been infected with an influenza virus more susceptible to infection with a pandemic influenza virus of a novel subtype.”[58] (Emphasis added.)

Putting these findings to the test, another team of researchers conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Published in March 2012 in Clinical Infectious Diseases, they found that in the nine months following vaccination, “recipients had an increased risk of virologically-confirmed non-influenza infections”. (All emphasis added.)

The study found no significant difference between vaccinated versus unvaccinated children in terms of risk of acute respiratory illness or febrile acute respiratory illness.

Furthermore, despite the vaccine’s observed effectiveness in producing high antibody levels in vaccinated children, there was “no statistically significant difference in the risk of confirmed seasonal influenza infection”. (Emphasis added.)

(Recall that the FDA uses antibody production as a surrogate marker for vaccine “efficacy”, eliminating the requirement for the manufacturers to produce studies showing that their products actually work to produce the desired outcome.)

On the other hand, vaccinated children had a statistically significant increased risk of infection with non-influenza viruses, including rhinoviruses (i.e., the common cold), coxsackie viruses, and echoviruses.

In conclusion, even if the antibody levels seen in the vaccinated children did protect against the influenza virus, which they found no evidence for, the supposed benefit “was offset by an increased risk of other respiratory virus infection”.[59]

In other words, their findings indicated that the vaccine produced no detectable benefit, only harm.

While most studies have looked at only one or two flu seasons and failed to consider the long-term effects of repeated annual vaccination, a CDC-funded study published in September 2014 in Clinical Infectious Diseases did consider that question by looking at five years of vaccination data.

What the CDC researchers found was that the more that people had been vaccinated in prior years, the less effective the vaccine had been at preventing the most recent season’s dominant H3N2 virus.

As they put it, “vaccine-induced protection was greatest for individuals not vaccinated during the prior 5 years.”

They acknowledged the possibility that this might be due to what they termed “vaccine interference”. One possible contributing factor they found “particularly intriguing” was the idea of “original antigenic sin”. This postulates that the immune system’s response to influenza antigens can depend on an earlier original infection. Essentially, the immune system remembers the original infection and puts out a rapid defense against it, at the expense of developing a new but more appropriate response specifically to the currently infecting strain.

As the CDC researchers put it, it may be that “exposure to influenza antigens can preferentially expand preexisting memory responses to historical virus antigens at the expense of de novo responses to the current vaccine or infecting strain. In most people, vaccination appears to boost preexisting memory responses against antigenically related, previously circulating strains.” (Emphasis added.)

Noting that their study “raises relevant questions about the potential interference of repeated annual influenza vaccination and possible residual protection from previous season vaccination”, the authors called for further studies.

Specifically, they noted that a multi-season randomized clinical trial was needed; but such a trial couldn’t be done in the US, they opined, due to the objection that it would be unethical since vaccination was already universally recommended by the CDC.

Illustrating that the problem wasn’t really ethical at all, but political, they advised that “it may be feasible in countries that do not currently recommend influenza vaccination for healthy adults.”[60]

Curiously, the CDC researchers didn’t include in their study people who had not received any flu shots during any of those five years, to see how well unvaccinated people did against the H3N2 virus compared to those who’d been vaccinated for one or more consecutive years.

That’s a question the CDC evidently did not wish to know the answer to.


The US mainstream media tell the American public that the influenza vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent the flu. The reality is that it is highly ineffective and may even increase your risk of illness. By grossly deceiving the public about what science tells us, the media are just following the example set by the CDC itself.

The public is told that harms from the flu shot are “rare”, but the truth is that we don’t really know how frequently the vaccine causes serious adverse events.

The government and media lie to the public that the safety of the CDC’s routine childhood vaccine schedule has been demonstrated, when in truth studies designed to properly test it have not been done.

The government and media lie that the aluminum and mercury in vaccines are harmless, when in truth both are known neurotoxins that pregnant women, infants, and young children should not be deliberately exposed to.

The official dogma that vaccines are “safe and effective” is further belied by the fact that the government has granted legal immunity to vaccine manufacturers on the grounds that certain vaccine injuries are unavoidable, and while administering a “Vaccine Injury Compensation Program” to shift the financial burden for such injuries away from the pharmaceutical industry and onto the taxpaying consumers.

In the next installation of this multi-part exposé of how the government and media systematically deceive the public about the safety and effectiveness of the influenza vaccine, we will continue examining the safety of the flu shot.

Specifically, you will learn why the government’s claim that the mercury in vaccines is harmless is a lie, and also why the recommendation of the CDC that pregnant women get a flu shot during any trimester is criminally irresponsible.

Read Other Articles in This Series

This has been the third part of multi-part exposé on how the government and media lie to the public about the safety and effectiveness of the influenza vaccine. To read other installments:

Click here to read part one.

Click here to read part two.

Additional installments are forthcoming.


[1] Jeremy R. Hammond, “Should You Get the Flu Shot Every Year? Don’t Ask the New York Times.”, February 7, 2018,

[2] Jeremy R. Hammond, “How the CDC Uses Fear and Deception to Sell More Flu Vaccines”,, April 2, 2018,

[3] Barbara Loe Fisher, “Is the Childhood Vaccine Schedule Safe?”, National Vaccine Information Center, October 1, 2017, “CDC Recommended Childhood Vaccine Schedule: 1983 vs 2017”, National Vaccine Information Center, accessed November 6, 2018, Note that the numbers provided by the NVIC for vaccines administered treat the trivalent combination vaccines (DTaP and MMR) as three vaccines each. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Recommended Immunization Schedule for Children and Adolescents Aged 18 Years or Younger, United States, 2018”,, updated February 6, 2018 and accessed January 12, 2019,

[4] Lena H. Sun, “Why it’s a bad idea to space out your child’s vaccination shots”, Washington Post, April 17, 2017,

[5] Institute of Medicine, The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety (Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2013), p. 6;

[6] Neil Z. Miller, “Combining Childhood Vaccines at One Visit Is Not Safe”, Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Summer 2016,

[7] Jeremy R. Hammond, “Washington Post Lies about Safety of Giving Multiple Vaccines at Once”,, January 12, 2018, Jeremy R. Hammond, “WaPo Writer Brazenly Lies About Vaccine Safety, Refuses to Issue Correction”,, January 23, 2018,

[8] Jean-Daniel Masson et al, “Critical analysis of reference studies on the toxicokinetics of aluminum-based adjuvants”, Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, December 28, 2017,

[9] Matthew Mold et al, “Aluminum in brain tissue in autism”, Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, March 2018, Note that while no healthy non-autistic brain samples were available to compare to (it was not a controlled study), as coauthor Dr. Chris Exley has explained, “However, we have more data on the Al content of human brain tissue than anyone else and so we are in a position to compare our autism data with other data relating to almost 100 human brains. This is how we can come to our judgement that the values measured were some of the highest values ever measured in any individuals.” See: J.B. Handley, “International scientists have found autism’s cause. What will Americans do?”,, April 2, 2018,

[10] Chris Exley, “Autism and aluminium: The din of silence”, Hippocratic Post, January 14, 2018,

[11] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Adjuvants help vaccines work better.”,, updated October 22, 2018 and accessed November 6, 2018, Robert J. Mitkus et al, “Updated aluminum pharmacokinetics following infant exposures through diet and vaccination”, Vaccine, November 28, 2011,

[12] Food and Drug Administration, “Study Reports Aluminum in Vaccines Poses Extremely Low Risk to Infants”, 2011,; archived copy from December 29, 2011, accessed on November 6, 2018,

[13] Neil Z. Miller, “Aluminum in Childhood Vaccines Is Unsafe”, Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Volume 21, Number 4, Winter 2016,

[14] Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, “Aluminum in Large and Small Volume Parenterals Used in Total Parenteral Nutrition”, Federal Register, Volume 65, Number 17, January 26, 2000,

[15] Mitkus, et al, op. cit. Neil Z. Miller, op. cit.

[16] Diana L. Vargas, et al, “Neuroglial Activation and Nuroinflammation in the Brain of Patients with Autism”, Annals of Neurology, November 15, 2004, Dario Siniscalco, et al, “Inflammation and Neuro-Immune Dysregulations in Autism Spectrum Disorders”, Pharmaceuticals, June 4, 2018, Marc D. Rudolph, et al, “Maternal IL-6 during pregnancy can be estimated from newborn brain connectivity and predicts future working memory in offspring”, Nature Neuroscience, April 9, 2018, See also: “Autism & Aluminum Adjuvants in Vaccines: How Aluminum Adjuvants in Vaccines Can Cause Autism”, Informed Consent Action Network, August 18, 2017,

[17] Mitkus, et al, op. cit.

[18] Masson et al, op. cit.

[19] Gretchen Vogel, “Why a pandemic flu shot caused narcolepsy”, Science, July 1, 2015,

[20] Ibid. Syed Sohail Ahmed et al, “Antibodies to influenza nucleoprotein cross-react with human hypocretin receptor 2”, Science Translational Medicine, July 1, 2015,

[21] Elizabeth Miller et al, “Risk of narcolepsy in children and young people receiving AS03 adjuvanted pandemic A/H1N1 2009 influenza vaccine: retrospective analysis”, BMJ, February 26, 2013,

[22] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Narcolepsy Following Pandemrix Influenza Vaccination in Europe”, updated March 22, 2017 and accessed January 29, 2018,

[23] Paules et al, op. cit.

[24] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Cell-Based Flu Vaccines”,, updated November 7, 2016 and accessed January 30, 2018,

[25] Seqirus, Inc., Flucelvax Package Insert, April 2016,, accessed January 30, 2018, Guillain­-Barré syndrome (GBS),

[26] B. J. Ward, et al., “Cellular Immunity in Measles Vaccine Failure: Demonstration of Measles Antigen-Specific Lymphoproliferative Responses despite Limited Serum Antibody Production after Revaccination”, Journal of Infectious Diseases, December 1, 1995,

[27] Seqirus, Inc., op. cit.

[28] Food and Drug Administration, “Vaccines Licensed for Use in the United States”, last updated November 16, 2018 and accessed December 3, 2018,

[29] Seqirus, Inc., op. cit.

[30] Armond S Goldman et al, “What was the Cause of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Paralytic Illness?” Journal of Medical Biography, November 1, 2003,

[31] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Flu Vaccine Safety Information”,, updated October 5, 2017 and accessed January 30, 2018,

[32] Tom Jefferson et al, “Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults”, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, July 7, 2010,

[33] L.H. Martín Arias et al, “Guillain-Barré syndrome and influenza vaccines: A meta-analysis”, Vaccine, July 2015,

[34] Penina Haber et al, “Guillain-Barré Syndrome Following Influenza Vaccination”, JAMA, 2004,

[35] Jefferson et al, Cochrane, 2010

[36] Haber et al

[37] Peter Doshi, “Trends in Recorded Influenza Mortality: United States, 1900–2004”, American Journal of Public Health, May 2008,

[38] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Re: Protocol #CN-03MGeie-01-H”, Letter from the CDC to Northern California Kaiser Permanente, February 13, 2004,

[39] Idem, Letter from Dr. Mark R. Geier and David A. Geier to California Kaiser Permanente, March 1, 2004.

[40] Supreme Court of the United States, Brueswitz et al. v. Wyeth LLC, FKA Wyeth, Inc., et al., February 22, 2011, The only grounds for suing a vaccine manufacturer remaining open are if the vaccine was not properly prepared according to the manufacturer’s specifications or is not accompanied by proper directions and warnings (i.e., the manufacturers package insert).

[41] US Department of Health and Human Services, National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Monthly Statistics Report, November 2018, accessed November 30, 2018, To access the most recent report, visit

[42] Health Resources & Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Resources, “Frequently Asked Questions”,, September 2018, accessed January 9, 2019,

[43] The NVIC’s website is: It was originally established as “Dissatisfied Parents Together” (DPT), which was changed to National Vaccine Information Center in the 1990s.

[44] “NVIC’s History”, National Vaccine Information Center, accessed November 8, 2018, “Report Vaccine Reactions. It’s the Law!”, National Vaccine Information Center, accessed November 8, 2018, Barbara Loe Fisher, “Statement on Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting & Data Collection”, National Vaccine Information Center, November 6, 1995, Barbara Loe Fisher, “No Pharma Liability? No Vaccine Mandates.”, National Vaccine Information Center, March 2, 2011,–No-Vaccine-Mandates-.aspx.

[45] 106th Congress, 2nd Session, House Report 106-977, Sixth Report by the Committee on Government Reform, The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: Addressing Needs and Improving Practices, October 12, 2000,

[46] US Department of Health and Human Services, “Guide to Interpreting VAERS Data”, accessed January 30, 2018,

[47] David A. Kessler et al, “A New Approach to Reporting Medication and Device Adverse Effects and Product Problems”, JAMA, 1993,  The paper is behind a paywall on the JAMA website, but the full text is available from the FDA’s website at

[48] S Rosenthal and R Chen, “The reporting sensitivities of two passive surveillance systems for vaccine adverse events”, American Journal of Public Health, December 1995,

[49] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Vaccines and Preventable Diseases: Polio Disease – Questions and Answers”,, updated April 6, 2007, This page has since been removed, but is accessible via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine (archived on January 10, 2009) at As the CDC states, “The last cases of naturally occurring paralytic polio in the United States were in 1979, when an outbreak occurred among the Amish in several Midwestern states. From 1980 through 1999, there were 162 confirmed cases of paralytic polio cases reported. Of the 162 cases, eight cases were acquired outside the United States and imported. The last imported case caused by wild poliovirus into the United States was reported in 1993. The remaining 154 cases were vaccine-associated paralytic polio (VAPP) caused by live oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV).”

[50] “Poliomyelitis Prevention in the United States: Introduction of A Sequential Vaccination Schedule of Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine Followed by Oral Poliovirus Vaccine; Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)”, MMWR, January 24, 1997,

[51] Neetu Vashisht and Jacob Puliye, “Polio programme: let us declare victory and move on”, Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, 2012, As the authors state, “while India has been polio-free for a year, there has been a huge increase in non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP). In 2011, there were an extra 47,500 new cases of NPAFP. Clinically indistinguishable from polio paralysis but twice as deadly, the incidence of NPAFP was directly proportional to doses of oral polio received.” As noted in the Journal of Infectious Diseases more than a decade ago, “The time is coming when the only cause of polio is likely to be the vaccine used to prevent it. Ample molecular data are now available to demonstrate that vaccine viruses can revert to full neurovirulence.” See: Harry F. Hull and Philip D. Minor, “When Can We Stop Using Oral Poliovirus Vaccine?”, Journal of Infections Diseases, December 2005, In the first half of 2017, there were only six reported cases of wild polio infection in the world, whereas there were twenty-one cases of vaccine-derived polio. See: Jason Beaubien, “Mutant Strains Of Polio Vaccine Now Cause More Paralysis Than Wild Polio”, NPR, June 28, 2017, Nicholas Weiler, “New Polio Virus Evolution Insights Could Lead to Improved Vaccine”, University of California San Francisco, March 27, 2017,

[52] European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, “Disease factsheet about poliomyelitis”, accessed January 30, 2018,

[53] World Health Organization, “Biologicals: Pertussis”,, updated May 21, 2015 and accessed January 30, 2018, As the WHO notes, although the DTaP vaccine is considered safer, the DTP vaccine is “relatively inexpensive”.

[54] Søren Wengel Mogensen et al, “The Introduction of Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis and (OPV)… A Natural Experiment”, EBioMedicine, March 2017,

[55] Ibid.

[56] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vaccine Information Statement, “Your Baby’s First Vaccines: What You Need to Know”, November 16, 2012. I obtained this handout from a pediatrician’s clinic in the summer of 2013.

[57] Danuta M. Skowronski, “Association between the 2008–09 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine and Pandemic H1N1 Illness during Spring–Summer 2009: Four Observational Studies from Canada”, PLoS Medicine, April 6, 2010,

[58] Rogier Bodewes et al, “Annual Vaccination against Influenza Virus Hampers Development of Virus-Specific CD8+ T Cell Immunity in Children”, Journal of Virology, November 2011,

[59] Benjamin J. Cowling, “Increased Risk of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated With Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine”, Clinical Infectious Diseases, June 15, 2012,

[60] Huong Q. McLean et al, “Impact of Repeated Vaccination on Vaccine Effectiveness Against Influenza A(H3N2) and B During 8 Seasons”, Clinical Infectious Diseases, September 29, 2014,

Why You Can’t Trust the CDC on Vaccines

The major media dismiss public vaccine policy critics as “conspiracy theorists”, but no conspiracy is required to explain how it can be true that the CDC deceives about vaccines.


By Jeremy R. Hammond, Children’s Health Defense Contributing Writer

As I have covered in previous articles for Children’s Health Defense, the fundamental assumptions underlying the recommendation of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that everyone aged six months and up should get an annual flu shot are unsupported by scientific evidence. Examining a case study from the New York Times, we’ve seen how the corporate media manufacture consent for public vaccine policy by grossly misinforming their audiences about the science—and how, in doing so, the media are just following the CDC’s example. We’ve seen how the CDC uses deceptive fear marketing to increase demand for influenza vaccines, and how the CDC’s claims that flu vaccination significantly reduces deaths among the elderly have been thoroughly discredited by the scientific community.

So what can explain the CDC’s behavior?

As far as the discourse about vaccines goes in the mainstream media, this problem doesn’t exist. The media treat the CDC as practically the most credible and authoritative source for information about vaccines on the planet and unquestioningly amplify the CDC’s public relations messaging. We saw in our New York Times case study just how blatantly the media participate in misinforming the public, with health writer Aaron E. Carroll supporting his argument that everyone should follow the CDC’s recommendation to get a flu shot by citing a study whose authors actually concluded not only that the CDC’s policy is unsupported by the scientific evidence, but also that the CDC deliberately misrepresents the science to support its policy!

As far as the mainstream discourse is concerned, the idea that the public is being grossly misinformed about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines requires belief in “conspiracy theories”. But no conspiracy theory is required to explain how it can be that the CDC is misinforming the public about vaccines. The media is just demonstrably serving its usual function, as outlined by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in their book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, of advocating government policy rather than doing journalism. This is not a conspiracy. It’s just an institutionalized bias stemming from what Chomsky has called the “state religion”—an undying faith in the fundamental benevolence of the US government and its agencies.

Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.

Likewise, no conspiracy theory is required to explain how it can be that the government agency charged with formulating public vaccine policy is misinforming the public about vaccine science. On the contrary, the CDC’s behavior can be explained to a considerable degree solely by good intentions. Public health officials generally are simply convinced that, in performing their individual function in the mechanisms of government, they are doing good and serving the public interest.

But as economist Milton Friedman once pertinently observed, “Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.” The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as the saying goes; or, as reiterated in Psychology Today, “If our interventions cause more harm than good, the interventions are not moral regardless of the loftiness of our intentions.”

Doctors working within the confines of the medical establishment, too, succumb to confirmation bias and fail to question the institutionalized way of doing things.

It is only human psychology to be resistant to ideas that challenge one’s own self-identity. It’s not difficult to understand how public health officials might be unwilling to acknowledge the possibility that they could be wrong—that they might be doing harm. The idea that government officials are susceptible to what is known as “confirmation bias”, or the tendency to accept information supportive of one’s personal belief system while dismissive of information that contradicts it, should hardly be considered far-fetched or conspiratorial. Doctors working within the confines of the medical establishment, too, succumb to confirmation bias and fail to question the institutionalized way of doing things.

And it’s not as though the medical establishment has not been wrong before! As Dave Sackett, “the father of evidence based medicine”, once quipped, “Half of what you’ll learn in medical school will be shown to be either dead wrong or out of date within five years of your graduation; the trouble is that nobody can tell you which half—so the most important thing to learn is how to learn on your own.”

Too many people just don’t think for themselves, but succumb to groupthink. And this situation isn’t helped by the pharmaceutical industry’s undue influence on the direction of science. As BMJ editor Richard Horton has commented, “Journals have devolved into information-laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry.”

Studies examining this problem have shown that an alarming proportion of medical literature gets the science wrong. As a 2013 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation concluded, “To serve its interests, the industry masterfully influences evidence base production, evidence synthesis, understanding of harms issues, cost-effectiveness evaluations, clinical practice guidelines and healthcare professional education and also exerts direct influences on professional decisions and health consumers.”

One of the authors of that study was John Ioannidis, who’s been described by The Atlantic as possibly “one of the most influential scientists alive”. In a 2005 essay published in PLoS Medicine, Ioannidis wrote that, “It can be proven that most claimed research findings are false.” And false findings might not just be “the majority”, but could be “the vast majority”. Rather than majority expert opinion representing scientific truths, claimed findings “may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.”

Among the numerous other problems affecting the quality of research are financial conflicts of interests and institutionalized prejudices. As Ioannidis elaborated:

“Conflicts of interest are very common in biomedical research, and typically they are inadequately and sparsely reported. Prejudice may not necessarily have financial roots. Scientists in a given field may be prejudiced purely because of their belief in a scientific theory or commitment to their own findings. Many otherwise seemingly independent, university-based studies may be conducted for no other reason than to give physicians and researchers qualifications for promotion or tenure. Such nonfinancial conflicts may also lead to distorted reported results and interpretations. Prestigious investigators may suppress via the peer review process the appearance and dissemination of findings that refute their findings, thus condemning their field to perpetuate false dogma. Empirical evidence on expert opinion shows that it is extremely unreliable.”

As The Atlantic noted, Ioannidis has estimated that “as much as 90 percent of the published medical information that doctors rely on is flawed”, and “he worries that the field of medical research is so pervasively flawed, and so riddled with conflicts of interest, that it might be chronically resistant to change—or even to publicly admitting that there’s a problem.”

That certainly also applies to the CDC, where corruption and conflicts of interest are an endemic problem.

The Endemic Corruption at the CDC

Perhaps the most infamous example is how the head of the CDC from 2002 to 2009, Julie Gerberding, left her government job to go work as president of Merck’s $5 billion global vaccine division. Merck’s CEO understandably described Gerberding as an “ideal choice”. She held that position until 2014 and currently holds the Merck job title of “Executive Vice President & Chief Patent Officer, Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy and Population Health”. That is to say, the former CDC director is now in charge of Merck’s propaganda efforts. One might say she’s basically doing the same job now that she did for the CDC, but even more lucratively. Apart from her salary, in 2015, Gerberding sold shares of Merck worth over $2.3 million dollars.

A more recent example came in January 2018, when CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald was forced to resign after Politico reported that, after assuming leadership of the CDC on July 7, 2017, she “bought tens of thousands of dollars in new stock holdings in at least a dozen companies”—including Merck.

In August 1999, the House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform initiated an investigation into federal vaccine policy, the findings of which were reported in June 2000. As its report stated, “The Committee’s investigation has determined that conflict of interest rules employed by the FDA and the CDC have been weak, enforcement has been lax, and committee members with substantial ties to pharmaceutical companies have been given waivers to participate in committee proceedings.”

Examples of the corruption included the following:

  • “The CDC routinely grants waivers from conflict of interest rules to every member of its advisory committee.”
  • “CDC Advisory Committee members who are not allowed to vote on certain recommendations due to financial conflicts of interest are allowed to participate in committee deliberations and advocate specific positions.”
  • “The Chairman of the CDC’s advisory committee until very recently owned 600 shares of stock in Merck….”
  • “Members of the CDC’s advisory Committee often fill out incomplete financial disclosure statements, and are not required to provide the missing information by CDC ethics officials.”
  • “Four out of eight CDC advisory committee members who voted to approve guidelines for the rotavirus vaccine in June 1998 had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that were developing different versions of the vaccine.”
  • “3 out of 5 FDA advisory committee members who voted to approve the rotavirus vaccine in December 1997 had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that were developing different versions of the vaccine.”

A US Senate report from June 2007 noted how surveys showed that Americans “overwhelmingly” viewed the CDC as doing a good job at keeping them healthy, as well as how the CDC took advantage of that perception by seeking ever increasing levels of funding year after year—and yet the CDC had little to show for its exorbitant spending.

The Senate report named Julie Gerberding as an example of the problem. Under her leadership, bonuses for the people managing the CDC increased dramatically. The top three CDC financial officers, for example, had “taken in more than a quarter million dollars in bonuses” over the previous several years. A New York Times analysis, the Senate report noted, had found that “The share of premium bonuses given to those within the director’s office has risen at least tenfold under Dr. Gerberding’s leadership.”

…contractors who previously were employed by the CDC appear to have found a lucrative way to make their CDC connections pay off.

Another problem was the “revolving door” of Washington. Citing examples, the Senate report commented that, “While CDC employees’ pay may not be equal to those in the private market, contractors who previously were employed by the CDC appear to have found a lucrative way to make their CDC connections pay off.”

The Senate report was appropriately subtitled, “A review of how an agency tasked with fighting and preventing disease has spent hundreds of millions of tax dollars for failed prevention efforts, international junkets, and lavish facilities, but cannot demonstrate it is controlling disease.”

A 2009 report from the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services found that “almost all” financial disclosure forms for “special Government employees”—such as the people who sit on the CDC’s vaccine advisory committee—were not properly completed. For 97 percent of them, there was at least one omission, and most of the forms “had more than one type of omission.” Furthermore, looking at the year 2007, 64 percent of such employees were found to have potential conflicts of interest that the CDC had either failed to identify or failed to resolve. The CDC also failed to ensure that 41 percent of such employees received required ethics training, and 15 percent of such employees “did not comply with ethics requirements during committee meetings in 2007.” In sum, the Inspector General’s office found “that CDC had a systemic lack of oversight of the ethics program” for special government employees.

A particularly salient example was the aforementioned June 1998 recommendation of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) that all infants receive the rotavirus vaccine. We’ll examine that particular case in a forthcoming article. Be sure to sign up for the Children’s Health Defense newsletter so you don’t miss it!


In sum, while the CDC is the mainstream media’s go-to source for information on any vaccine-related story, the public has every reason to be skeptical of the information coming out of this agency. It is certainly no “conspiracy theory” to claim that the CDC is misinforming the public about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. On the contrary, that the CDC does so is demonstrable and recognized in the scientific literature.

It also requires no “conspiracy theory” to explain how this can be so. It certainly does not follow from the assumption that government officials in positions of power are acting out of benevolent intent that therefore their policies are not harmful. The institutionalized confirmation bias and endemic corruption are more than sufficient to explain how it can be that the CDC is misinforming the public about vaccines.

Jeremy R. Hammond is an independent journalist and analyst, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, author of several books, and father. Read more of his writings at To stay updated with his work on vaccines and download his report “5 Horrifying Facts about the FDA Vaccine Approval Process”, subscribe to his free newsletter.


Republishing Guidelines


Increasing Awareness and Uptake of Influenza Immunization

As pharmaceutical companies bombard American consumers with ubiquitous billboards, drugstore enticements and radio announcements to “get your flu shot now,” the CDC has advised the industry to hike demand through the use of a “recipe ” of scare-mongering messaging. CDC recommends “creating concern, anxiety and worry” among the American public. This is a CDC presentation by Glen Nowak, Acting Director of Media Relations, discussing the “recipe” given at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

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“Something is Rotten, But Not Just In Denmark” Remarks of Rep. Dave Weldon, M.D. (R-FL)

It is a pleasure to be here with you today. I am pleased to see that the Autism community is more united today than they have ever been. I have said repeatedly that the Autism Community is the 900-pound gorilla that has not had its voice heard adequately on Capitol Hill.

That is largely due to the endless demands on your time, effort, emotions, and money in caring for the unique needs of your children. There is little left to engage the public at large and the Congress in particular. I see that changing. Certainly, last week’s Institute of Medicine “report” has had one positive effect, it has united and reinvigorated you and the parents of autistic and vaccine injured children across this nation.

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Dr. Brian Hooker’s Official Statement Regarding Vaccine Whistleblower William Thompson

Brian S. Hooker, Ph.D., P.E. | Science Adviser, Focus For Health

Dr. William Thompson, senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) contacted me during 2013 and 2014 and shared many issues regarding fraud and malfeasance in the CDC, specifically regarding the link between neurodevelopmental disorders and childhood vaccines. Dr. Thompson and I spoke on the phone more than 40 times over a 10 month period and he shared thousands of pages of CDC documents with me. Eventually, Dr. Thompson turned this information over to Congress via Rep. Bill Posey of Florida.

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CDC & FDA Committee Members Have Financial Conflict of Interest with Vaccine Pharmaceuticals

A House Government Reform Committee staff report published this week criticized the FDA and the CDC for routinely allowing scientists with conflicts of interest to serve on two influential advisory committees that make recommendations on vaccine policy.

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OSC Calls for Further Review of Whistleblower Disclosures on Zika Testing

Today, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) reported to the White House and Congress on an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) into the whistleblower disclosures of Dr. Robert Lanciotti, a CDC microbiologist. Dr. Lanciotti is the chief of the CDC’s Diagnostics and Reference Laboratory within the agency’s Arbovirus Diseases Branch.

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CDC Spider Letter

August 29, 2016
Dear Ms. Villar:
We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency. It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders.

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CDC: Off Center

A review of how an agency tasked with fighting and preventing disease has spent hundreds of millions of tax dollars for failed prevention efforts, international junkets, and lavish facilities, but cannot demonstrate it is controlling disease.

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