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May 7, 2024 Big Pharma Health Conditions News

Health Conditions

Watch: Dr. Wakefield’s ‘Protocol 7,’ Premiering May 29, Takes on Merck’s Mumps Vaccine Fraud

In an interview with Children’s Health Defense President Mary Holland, filmmaker and vaccine safety advocate Dr. Andrew Wakefield discussed his upcoming film “Protocol 7: A Whistleblower Story,” which takes on pharmaceutical giant Merck and its alleged fraud regarding the effectiveness of its mumps vaccine.

protocol 7 poster and merck vaccine syringe

“If they come for us, they come for us, but we must never make a decision based in fear,” said Dr. Andrew Wakefield, reflecting on the risks of “taking on the might of Merck” with his upcoming film, “Protocol 7: A Whistleblower Story.”

Wakefield discussed writing and directing the film in an interview with Mary Holland, CEO of Children’s Health Defense (CHD), on the May 4 episode of CHD.TV’s “Good Morning CHD.”

Based on real-life events, the film offers a fictional take on pharmaceutical giant Merck’s alleged fraud regarding the effectiveness of its mumps vaccine.

The film features a lawyer who is also the mother of a vaccine-injured child, a renegade doctor exiled from the medical profession, and a vaccine laboratory virologist turned corporate whistleblower.

‘It’s a story for this moment’

Considered “one of the most controversial, misrepresented figures of recent times,” Wakefield became infamous in the 1990s when his study in The Lancet suggested — but did not say “proved” — a link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism.

By the time Wakefield wrote and directed the documentary, “VAXXED: From Cover-up to Catastrophe” in 2016, he was convinced of the vaccine-autism connection.

In 2020, he directed “1986: The Act,” a documentary about the impact of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, and in 2022, he directed “Infertility: A Diabolical Agenda,” which CHD co-produced.

Over the years, Wakefield said he has become a “repository for whistleblowers” from federal agencies and the pharmaceutical industry.

“Protocol 7” is based on one such case, which Wakefield decided to turn into a film after years of disappointment with the legal system and the pharmaceutical industry’s apparent ability to evade accountability.

“It’s a story for this moment,” Wakefield said, noting how the experience with COVID-19 vaccines “has brought many, many, many people in the world to our side of this question, this debate … about vaccine safety.”

However, Wakefield said many still believe “childhood vaccines are fine [because] ‘They’ve been tested.’”

“This film kind of takes them back over the bridge to say, ‘No, guys, actually, this has been going on in the childhood vaccine program for many, many years,’” he said. “This is the way they behave. Please understand.”

Wakefield credited films — especially when they are entertaining — with their ability to engage people in discussion and change minds “in a very short space of time.”

‘A story that goes to the heart of a mother’s instinct’

“Protocol 7” tells the fictional story of a mother’s journey as she fights for justice after her child experiences a catastrophic regression following multiple vaccinations in a single day.

“It’s really a story that goes to the heart of a mother’s instinct” and her “trust in her innate knowledge of what happened to her child,” enabling her to overcome numerous conflicts, Wakefield said.

Wakefield explained that the film’s fictional narrative is set against the backdrop of real-life allegations brought by whistleblowers who claimed Merck committed fraud by “deceiving the regulators and the public as to the effectiveness, the protectiveness of its vaccine.”

He said that to meet regulatory requirements for its mumps vaccine, Merck had to either spend millions to create a new effective and safe version or “fake the data on the vaccine they had.”

“The levels of fraud have never really been denied by Merck,” Wakefield said. “What they said is it’s irrelevant because the FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] knew about much of this and they allowed us to go on making the vaccine anyway.”

The judge dismissed the lawsuit, originally filed U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, without deciding whether Merck had actually committed fraud. Instead, the judge ruled that the alleged fraud was not significant enough to the case to allow the lawsuit to proceed.

The plaintiffs argued that Merck defrauded the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), not the FDA, because the CDC’s Vaccines for Children program bought the vaccine.

“That makes me very cross because the people who have been hurt by this are not the CDC — it’s the children of this country,” Wakefield told Holland.

The case is currently in the appeals process at the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Oral arguments are set for July.

“It may well go all the way to the [U.S.] Supreme Court and perhaps it should,” Wakefield said.

How mumps vaccine ended up on childhood schedule

Wakefield discussed the history of the mumps vaccine’s inclusion in the childhood vaccination schedule. This history informs the factual background for the film.

He cited interviews with Dr. Donald Henderson, the former head of the World Health Organization’s smallpox eradication program, and Maurice Hilleman, Ph.D., who developed the mumps vaccine at Merck.

According to Wakefield, Hilleman initially approached the CDC with the mumps vaccine, but the agency declined, stating that mumps was a trivial disease in children and did not warrant a vaccine.

Undeterred, Hilleman went state by state, starting in Massachusetts, convincing public health officials to add the mumps vaccine to their recommended schedules. Eventually, so many states adopted the vaccine that the CDC relented and added it to the national schedule.

“The science upon which … mandatory mumps vaccination is based in this country,” Wakefield said, derives from an “‘Oh, to hell with it’ call by the CDC from their own mouth.”

Hillman persuaded the CDC that a combined vaccine “would be equally efficacious, but would require only one jab” — the MMR.

Wakefield told Holland that the safety of combining the vaccines was “never appropriately investigated.” He pointed out that when chickenpox (varicella) was added to MMR to make it MMRV, it “doubled the number of febrile seizures in children.”

While mumps is a trivial disease in children, it can have serious consequences for older children — in “post-pubertal males in particular or post-pubertal females in whom it can produce testicular or ovarian inflammation with infertility,” he said.

Wakefield pointed to the outbreaks of mumps in highly vaccinated populations worldwide as evidence of the vaccine’s ineffectiveness.

“I don’t care to a large extent what the FDA … or … CDC knew or didn’t know,” Wakefield said, only about the “people [who] were defrauded” and the harm caused to children who were “no longer protected from mumps in puberty.”

Many in cast, crew familiar with vax injuries

Wakefield discussed the casting process for “Protocol 7,” revealing that over 2,500 actresses submitted their resumes and auditioned for the lead role of Alexis, the mother at the story’s center.

“It was absolutely fascinating. There were some really good actors,” he said. “And then Rachel Whittle came along, and she was outstanding.”

Whittle is known for her roles in the TV series “The Purge,” “The Thing About Pam” and “NCIS: New Orleans” and the movie “Girls Trip.”

The actress had to portray “conflict with the company, conflict with the lawyers, conflict with her husband, her mother — everybody,” Wakefield said.

The film also features British actor/singer/producer Matthew Marsden, who starred in the movie “Black Hawk Down” and the miniseries “Helen of Troy” and recorded the hit single “She’s Gone” with Destiny’s Child.

Three-time Golden Globe nominee Eric Roberts, known for his roles in “Runaway Train,” “Star 80” and “King of the Gypsies,” plays the pharmaceutical company antagonist.

Wakefield also praised the child actor who portrayed Alexis’ son, noting that it was a challenging role to play convincingly, especially given the film’s subject matter.

“What a tough role to play,” he said. “I mean, how do you pull that off? … You’re going to have an audience packed with moms and dads who know what autism looks like.”

Holland, who had the opportunity to view an earlier version of the film, also praised the “beautiful child” actor portraying the son for playing the role “incredibly convincingly,” and Whittle, who “brought across that mother’s journey really, really beautifully.”

Wakefield revealed that a substantial number of people on the set, including cast and crew members, had personal experiences with vaccine injury in their own families.

“It was such a joy working on set,” he said. “We had a great crew, great producers. Everything ran very, very smoothly.”

Marsden (left) and Wakefield (right) on set. Photo credit: Sascha Knopf.

‘At some point, we will crack this wide open’

Wakefield stressed the significance of independent filmmaking in pushing the vaccine safety debate forward.

“We must take the risks that are necessary to push this argument out into the open so that it can be resolved,” Wakefield said. “Because [an autism rate of] 1 in 22 [boys] is absolutely unacceptable. One in 200 was unacceptable.”

Wakefield told Holland they both knew this statistic would worsen “long before they take action.”

“How can you restore justice to a child whose life has been taken from them?” he asked. “You can’t. But for future generations, we have an obligation to stand firm and do our duty.”

Wakefield emphasized the importance of not making decisions out of fear. “Move forward, unafraid and together,” he said, “and at some point, we will crack this wide open.”

Holland acknowledged fear as “our opponent’s best weapon … fear of disease, fear of being ostracized, fear of law enforcement, fear of bad things happening to you.”

“Our strongest suit” is “our sense of morality … our sense of love for humanity,” she said, praising the film for delivering that message “very beautifully.”

Wakefield called on supporters to help make “Protocol 7” a success by attending screenings, spreading the word and encouraging others to watch the film.

“Make it worth the trouble, because I’m sure there will be trouble,” he said.

Movie launches May 29

“Protocol 7,” with a runtime of 98 minutes, will premiere in a limited theatrical release on May 29 at theaters across the country as part of a “People’s Premiere” event organized by the film’s distributor, Gathr.

Activists and those interested in vaccine safety and health freedom can host a screening by signing up here.

Additional premiere events will take place in New York City on May 31, Austin, Texas, on June 7 and Los Angeles on June 14. The film will then be released nationwide, followed by streaming and DVD availability.

Wakefield emphasized the importance of the film’s commercial success to help fund future projects.

“Our aim is to be able to continue to make these independent films in the face of all of the corporate cancellation [and] everything that comes our way,” he said.

Watch ‘Protocol 7: Exclusive Interview with Andrew Wakefield’ here:

Readers can connect with and share Protocol 7 on Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter) and Instagram.

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