National Vaccine Information Center
|Founder||Barbara Loe Fisher, Jeff Schwartz, Kathi Williams|
|Dissatisfied Parents Together (DPT)|
The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is a public charity anti-vaccination advocacy group. The group was founded in 1982 by parents who blamed routine vaccination for the illness or death of a child. Michael Specter has described the NVIC as "the most powerful anti-vaccine organization in America, and its relationship with the U.S. government consists almost entirely of opposing federal efforts aimed at vaccinating children."
The National Vaccine Information Center was co-founded in 1982 by Jeff Schwartz, Barbara Loe Fisher (aka Barbara Loe Arthur), and Kathi Williams. In 1985, Fisher co-authored with Harris Coulter a critique of the mass vaccination system, DPT: A Shot in the Dark, which presented a view of an association between whole cell pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine in the DPT shot and brain and immune system damage believed by many vaccination critics to cause autism.
In the early 1980s, NVIC co-founders joined with the American Academy of Pediatrics to draft the original legislation for the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which created a federal vaccine injury compensation program, mandated that doctors give parents vaccine benefit and risk information, and required the recording and reporting of vaccine injuries and deaths (see Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System). Since then, NVIC has monitored vaccine research, development, regulation, policymaking, and legislation and has criticized mandatory vaccination policies as lacking informed consent protections for individuals.
Michael Specter has described the NVIC as:
- "... an organization that, based on its name, certainly sounds like a federal agency. Actually, it's just the opposite: the NVIC is the most powerful anti-vaccine organization in America, and its relationship with the U.S. government consists almost entirely of opposing federal efforts aimed at vaccinating children."
The NVIC argues that there has been inadequate research into the link between the rise in the number of children diagnosed with autism and mass-vaccination programs. There have, however, been a number of peer-reviewed studies and meta-analyses which have shown no correlation between vaccine administration and autism diagnosis.
The NVIC received criticism in April 2011 for ads that it placed on a jumbotron in Times Square. The ads criticized childhood immunization and promoted an alternative medicine website. In a letter to CBS, the owner of the jumbotron, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated, "By providing advertising space to an organization like the NVIC . . . you are putting thousands of lives of children at risk."
Another controversial ad produced by NVIC and aired on some of the flights on Delta Air Lines regarding preventive measures for influenza prompted the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics to write a letter to the CEO of Delta on Nov 4, 2011 and urged Delta to 'remove these harmful messages'. An online petition is also set up to urge Delta to remove the ads.
The refusal of Delta Air Lines to immediately stop showing the ad prompted the Institute for Science in Medicine to protest, calling the decision:
- "...indefensible from a public health perspective,..." and "The NVIC ad is, as one commentator aptly observed, a Trojan Horse. Delta passengers in November are being directed to the website of a prominent anti-vaccination organization, one that has tried to thwart national vaccine campaigns for three decades. Moreover, NVIC has the sort of name that sounds like a federal agency, one that passengers might mistake as a source of reliable information."
International Public Conference on Vaccination
In 1997, the NVIC began hosting an anti-vaccine conference to provide a voice to those who argue that vaccines can cause serious adverse effects. The first such conference was held in Alexandria, Virginia. Some notable presenters at the conferences have been Mark Geier, Andrew Wakefield, Boyd Haley, Robert Sears, Joseph Mercola, Gary Null, and Dan Olmsted. All of these hold non-mainstream views toward vaccination. Most dispute large bodies of scientific research, while Geier and Wakefield have lost their medical practice licenses.
- IRS Exempt Organizations Select Check.
- Specter, Michael (2009). Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives. The Penguin Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-59420-230-8.
- Delta’s Decision Doesn’t Fly with Us. Airline Continues to Show Anti-Vaccinationists’ Ad. Institute for Science in Medicine, Nov. 2011
- Steinhauer, Jennifer (October 15, 2009). "Swine Flu Shots Revive a Debate About Vaccines". New York Times. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Arthur v. Offit et al. Barbara Loe Fisher used the name "Barbara Loe Arthur" in this lawsuit against Paul Offit. The case was dismissed.
- NVIC 2011 Annual Report, page 3
- Fisher, Barbara Loe; Coulter, Harris (1985). DPT: A Shot in the Dark. Avery Trade. ISBN 978-0895294630.
- Morales, Tatiana (4 December 2002). "To Vaccinate Or Not". CBS News. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
- Committee to Review the Adverse Consequences of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines, Institute of Medicine (1991). Howson, Christopher P.; Howe, Cynthia J.; Fineberg, Harvey V., eds. "Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines". Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. p. 324. ISBN 978-0309103688. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and Dissatisfied Parents Together conduct more than 8 months of discussions to develop recommendations for a federal compensation program for children with vaccine-related illnesses and injuries
- Mariner, W K (1992). "The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program". Health Affairs. 11 (1): 257. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.11.1.255. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
Parents’ groups, notably Dissatisfied Parents Together (DPT), which joined with the American Academy of Pediatrics to draft the original legislation, believed that agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) were unsympathetic to compensating vaccine-related injuries.
- Fisher, Barbara Loe (May 2, 1997). "The Moral Right to Conscientious, Philosophical and Personal Belief Exemption to Vaccination." National Vaccine Information Center.
- Gerber, Jeffrey S.; Offit, Paul A. (2009). "Vaccines and Autism: A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses". Clin. Infect. Dis. 48 (4): 456–461. doi:10.1086/596476. PMC . PMID 19128068. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- The Rise in Autism and the Mercury Myth. Lawrence Scahill, MSN, PhD and Karen Bearss, PhD
- Article on About.com which links to some informative articles concerning the safety of vaccines
- DeStefano, Frank; Price, Christopher S.; Weintraub, Eric S. (1 April 2013). "Increasing Exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides in Vaccines Is Not Associated with Risk of Autism". Journal of Pediatrics. 163 (2): 561–7. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.02.001. PMID 23545349. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- The ad that could help fuel a health crisis, Salon.com, April 25, 2011
- Doctors demand the removal of anti-vaccine ad from Times Square, The Guardian
- Consumer Health Digest #11-10, National Council Against Health Fraud, April 28, 2011
- Herper, Matthew (November 7, 2011). "Pediatrician Group Slams Delta Airlines For Running Video Made By Vaccine Skeptics," Forbes.
- Khan, Amina (November 16, 2011). "Pediatricians decry in-flight vaccine-questioning ad on Delta," Los Angeles Times.
- Official website
- National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act: Vaccine Injury Table, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- History of Vaccine Safety Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- "National Vaccine Information Center Calls 'Anti-Terror' Bill 'Unconstitutional'", MedicalNewsToday.com, 7 February 2005
- Barbara Loe Fisher at The Skeptic's Dictionary