vaccines

Government Vaccine Committee Considers How to Build Vaccine Confidence

…but verifying or improving the safety of vaccines is not on the list. Action Alert! [1]

You may remember our article [2] on the National Vaccine Advisory Committee’s (NVAC) plan to increase adult immunizations, which could eventually lead to adult mandates. Now, NVAC’s Vaccine Confidence Working Group has released a draft report [3] that considers “how confidence in vaccines impacts the optimal use of recommended childhood vaccines in the United States.”

It is clear from the first lines of the draft report that, from the perspective of the Working Group and NVAC, parents who disagree with the government’s recommended vaccination schedule need to be steamrolled, not reassured. The very existence of such parents amazes the authors. The draft report states, “[There are] parents whose reluctance, hesitation, concerns, or lack of confidence has caused them to question or forego recommended vaccines.” Imagine!

The report goes on to say that the ultimate goal is to “achieve acceptance of all Advisory Group on Immunization Practices (AGIP) recommended vaccinations by parents and healthcare providers.” This recommended schedule is more or less the same as the CDC’s, which include about nineteen injections in the first six months of life [4].

This is a crucial point. While one could read this report and naively think that there is a good faith attempt on the part of government health officials to answer real questions about vaccine safety [5], the real intent seems to be to find the most effective propaganda techniques to convince everyone of the virtues of the CDC’s vaccine schedule without any review or modification whatsoever. A number of the recommendations made by the Working Group to achieve these ends are particularly troubling.

One such proposal is to ramp up already existing pay-for-performance initiatives, which are financial incentives or mandates for physicians to achieve both “an immunizing standard within a practice” as well as “continued improvement in immunization coverage rates within a provider’s practice.” This recommendation would also provide billing codes for vaccine counseling, so doctors can “gauge how they are performing when taking time to explain the risks and benefits of vaccination to parents or patients.” In fact, docs can just check a box and they will receive even more money from insurance companies, just for trying to convince parents to vaccinate their kids.

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