National Vaccine Information Center

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National Vaccine Information Center
Founded 1982
Founders Barbara Loe Fisher, Jeff Schwartz, Kathi Williams
Type 501(c)3
Formerly called
Dissatisfied Parents Together (DPT)

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is an American anti-vaccine organization which has been widely criticized as a leading source of vaccine misinformation and fearmongering.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] While NVIC describes itself as the "oldest and largest consumer led organization advocating for the institution of vaccine safety and informed consent protections",[9] it promotes false and misleading information including the fraudulent claim that vaccines cause autism,[10][11][12] and its campaigns portray vaccination as risky, encouraging people to consider "alternatives".[13]

The organization was founded under the name Dissatisifed Parents Together (DPT) in 1982.[14]:5 It is registered as a public charity[15]


The organization was co-founded in 1982 by Jeff Schwartz, Barbara Loe Fisher, and Kathi Williams under the name Dissatisifed Parents Together (DPT).[16]:8 Each of them had observed the health of one of their children deteriorate at some point after receiving a dose of the DPT vaccine and had watched a television broadcast of the film DPT: Vaccine Roulette, which drew an erroneous causal link between DPT vaccines and illnesses of some children who received them;[16]:1–6 Fisher and Williams each called the television station after the broadcast, and Fisher was given Wallace's contact information by the station.[16]:6–8 In 1985, Fisher and Harris Coulter co-authored a book, DPT: A Shot in the Dark, which asserted an association between the whole cell pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine in the DPT shot and autism.[17] The CDC now recommends the newer acellular pertussis vaccines (DTaP and Tdap), and whole cell pertussis vaccines are no longer used in the U.S.[18][19] though for unrelated reasons.[20]

In the early 1980s, the organization joined with the American Academy of Pediatrics to draft the original legislation for the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986,[21][22] 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). The organization changed its name to the National Vaccine Information Center in the early 1990s.[16]:8


Journalist 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."[1]

NVIC asserts 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.[23][24][25]

Skeptic and science communicator Phil Plait notes that while "On their site they take "vaccine injuries" as given", the "litany of effects is interesting, given that to the best of my knowledge (and I've looked) none of them has actually been linked to vaccines in real medical studies".[8] The NVIC received criticism in April 2011 for ads that it placed on a jumbotron in Times Square.[26][27] 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."[28]

A controversial ad produced by NVIC regarding preventive measures for influenza was aired on some Delta Air Lines flights, prompting the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics to write a letter to the CEO of Delta on Nov 4, 2011, urging Delta to 'remove these harmful messages'.[29][30] An online petition was also set up to urge Delta to remove the ads.[29][30]

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 saying "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."[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 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. 
  2. ^ Wheeling, Kate (January 13, 2017). "A Brief History Of Vaccine Conspiracy Theories". Pacific Standard. Social Justice Foundation. 
  3. ^ Salzberg, Steven (November 3, 2014). ""Shocking" Report On Flu Vaccine Is Neither Shocking Nor Correct". Forbes. 
  4. ^ Understanding and Managing Vaccine Concerns, Julie A. Boom, Rachel M. Cunningham
  5. ^ "Stop antivaxxers. Now. - Bad Astronomy". Bad Astronomy. 2011-12-29. Retrieved 2018-01-26. 
  6. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (October 15, 2009). "Swine Flu Shots Revive a Debate About Vaccines". New York Times. Retrieved April 17, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Would You Like Some Anti-Vaccine Propaganda With Your Halloween Candy?". Mic. October 27, 2014. Retrieved January 26, 2018. 
  8. ^ a b Plait, Phil. "Antivaxxers Using Billboards to Promote Their Dangerous Message". Slate. 
  9. ^ Canon, Gabrielle (March 2, 2015). "Is Your State Trying to Outlaw Vaccine Exemptions?". Mother Jones. Mother Jones and the Foundation for National Progress. 
  10. ^ Haelle, Tara. "Sears and Gordon: Should Misleading Vaccine Advice Have Professional Consequences?". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-01-29. 
  11. ^ Park, Alice. "Study Linking Vaccines to Autism Is "Fraudulent"". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2018-01-29. 
  12. ^ Haberman, Clyde (2015-02-01). "A Discredited Vaccine Study's Continuing Impact on Public Health". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-29. 
  13. ^ "On the Internet, anyone can speak persuasively about vaccines". Los Angeles Times. 
  14. ^ Boom, Julie A. (2014). "Chapter 1: History of Vaccine Concerns" (PDF). In Boom, Julie A.; Cunningham, Rachel M. Understanding and Managing Vaccine Concerns. Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-07563-1_2. ISBN 9783319075631. 
  15. ^ IRS Exempt Organizations Select Check
  16. ^ a b c d Offit, Paul A. (2010). Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All. Basic Books. ISBN 9780465023561. 
  17. ^ Morales, Tatiana (4 December 2002). "To Vaccinate Or Not". CBS News. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  18. ^ "Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis Vaccine Recommendations". CDC. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. 
  19. ^ "Pertussis Vaccination: Use of Acellular Pertussis Vaccines Among Infants and Young Children Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)". CDC. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. March 28, 1997. 
  20. ^ Halperin, S; Scheifele, DE; MacDonald, NE (1992). "Acellular versus whole-cell pertussis vaccines". The Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases. 3 (2): 57–58. ISSN 1180-2332. PMC 3328021Freely accessible. PMID 22529731. 
  21. ^ 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 
  22. ^ 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. 
  23. ^ 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 2908388Freely accessible. PMID 19128068. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  24. ^ The Rise in Autism and the Mercury Myth. Lawrence Scahill, MSN, PhD and Karen Bearss, PhD
  25. ^ 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. 
  26. ^ The ad that could help fuel a health crisis,, April 25, 2011
  27. ^ Doctors demand the removal of anti-vaccine ad from Times Square, The Guardian
  28. ^ Consumer Health Digest #11-10, National Council Against Health Fraud, April 28, 2011
  29. ^ a b Herper, Matthew (November 7, 2011). "Pediatrician Group Slams Delta Airlines For Running Video Made By Vaccine Skeptics," Forbes.
  30. ^ a b Khan, Amina (November 16, 2011). "Pediatricians decry in-flight vaccine-questioning ad on Delta," Los Angeles Times.
  31. ^ Delta’s Decision Doesn’t Fly with Us. Airline Continues to Show Anti-Vaccinationists’ Ad. Institute for Science in Medicine, Nov. 2011

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