Legislative Report Senator Ed Emery District 31

The Hidden Peril of Vaccines

“A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.”  ̶  Nelson Mandela

It has been more than 10 months since most Americans first heard of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Throughout this time, we’ve been told our salvation would come in the form of a vaccine. The long-awaited day has finally arrived. The federal government has granted emergency authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine. The new vaccine – and another expected to be approved soon – will be administered first to health care professionals, essential workers and vulnerable populations, with the rest of us expected to have access to the shots in a few months.

The rapid development of the COVID-19 vaccine is truly remarkable. Spurred by a fast-track public-private project known as Operation Warp Speed, the new vaccine came to market in record time. Initially funded by $10 billion in taxpayer money as part of the federal CARES Act, the goal was to produce a vaccine before the end of the year – a pace never before attempted in vaccine development. As soon as the FDA signed off on the vaccine, many in the nation’s news media focused their cameras on trucks parked outside the vaccine manufacturer’s warehouse, in preparation for distribution of the first doses. Even the president tweeted in celebration: “Vaccines are shipped and on their way . . . Get well, USA. Get well world.”

Not everyone is celebrating, however. Although vaccines are widely credited with ridding the world of a variety of diseases, I believe there is a darker side. A small but vocal faction of the medical and family health community has raised questions about vaccines, especially in regards to negative effects on childhood development. One of the most notable skeptics is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the nephew of our 35th president. Kennedy’s website, Children’s Health Defense, serves as a clearinghouse for information about vaccines and childhood conditions, most notably autism. This site is a good starting point for those who would like to explore this issue.

As I have learned more about vaccines and children’s health, I have come to know and respect Dr. Ronald Jones, a retired pediatrician and occasional public speaker on the topic. Recently, I reached out to him for his thoughts. Dr. Jones told me the widespread belief immunizations are responsible for ending the scourge of deaths from childhood diseases in our nation is largely false. “A look at the timing of vaccine introduction will show that such deaths had virtually disappeared before the vaccines were even introduced,” he said. “It is likely that the death rates were reduced via improved sanitation, better diets and other public health measures.”

Dr. Jones questions the conventional wisdom that childhood vaccines are safe and effective. As evidence, he points to the establishment of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in 1986. According to a report published by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, this program has paid $4.4 billion to compensate 7,705 claims of harm relating to childhood vaccines. How many parents are aware, he asks, of the existence of the national Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, which gathers data on adverse events resulting from vaccination? Dr. Jones tells me he believes 99% of adverse vaccine effects go unreported.

Dr. Theresa Deisher is a Ph.D physiologist who heads the Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute, which works to educate the public about vaccine safety. In particular, Dr. Deisher focuses on the use of human fetal DNA in the development of vaccines. In a 2019 presentation to legislators she alleges the rate of autism has increased nearly three-fold since the development of stem cell-derived rubella vaccines in the 1980s. “Anyone who says that the fetal DNA contaminating our vaccines is harmless either does not know anything about immunity and Toll-like receptors or they are not telling the truth,” she said.

How concerns about childhood vaccinations relate to the COVID-19 vaccine remains to be seen. Children have only recently been added to the clinical trials that led to the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the emergency authorization for the vaccine is limited to those over the age of 16.

Also, we should note the development of the new COVID-19 vaccine followed a different approach than previous vaccines. Instead of a weakened or inactive version of the virus, this new vaccine will contain a protein unique to COVID-19, which will trigger an immune response in the body. The new vaccines currently being distributed are the first “messenger RNA” (mRNA) vaccines ever authorized for use in the United States. According to an article posted on the Children’s Health Defense website, there are concerns about the non-degradable synthetic chemical polyethylene glycol, or PEG, which is contained in these new mRNA vaccines. The article says the use of PEG in drugs and vaccines has been linked to adverse immune reactions, and backs that claim up with one vaccine manufacturer’s admission of possible negative side effects. You’ll find more information if you search online for the article’s title, “Components of mRNA Technology Could Lead to Significant Adverse Effects . . . ”

In my opinion, the COVID-19 vaccine has been presented as a panacea that will end the era of public distancing, lock-down orders and mask wearing. We all long to get past this pandemic, but I believe concerns about childhood immunizations should give us pause. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has created a website to present information about the COVID-19 vaccine and its availability in Missouri. This website, www.covidvaccine.mo.gov, discusses the roll-out of the vaccine and addresses a number of concerns in a questions-and-answers format. I encourage everyone to read the information there as they consider their own willingness to be inoculated.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and we welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.