WASHINGTON — Outspoken vaccine critic Robert Kennedy Jr. said Tuesday that he had accepted a position in Donald Trump’s administration as chair of a panel on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, in what would be the clearest sign yet of the president-elect’s suspicions about vaccines.

Kennedy’s remarks followed his meeting with the president-elect at Trump Tower and immediately sparked outrage from scientists, pediatricians, and public health experts, who fear the incoming administration could give legitimacy to skeptics of childhood immunizations despite a huge body of scientific research demonstrating that vaccines are safe. Many of those skeptics believe vaccines are a cause of autism.

Hours later, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in a statement that the president-elect was “exploring the possibility of forming a commission on Autism,” but said “no decisions have been made at this time.”


Kennedy was unequivocal about an offer when speaking to reporters at Trump Tower in New York after the meeting. He also said Trump has doubts and questions about current vaccine policies.

“His opinion doesn’t matter but the science does matter and we ought to be reading the science and we ought to be debating the science,” Kennedy said. “And that everybody ought to be able to be assured that the vaccines that we have — he’s very pro-vaccine, as am I — but they’re as safe as they possibly can be.”

In an interview with Science, Kennedy said there would be about a dozen people on the panel, a “mix between science people and prominent Americans.”

Asked when the panel would be convened, Kennedy said: “We didn’t talk about the details but [Trump] expressed urgency about it — that he wanted it done. We talked about a one-year commitment.”

Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House who has been advising the president-elect on health matters, previously blasted Kennedy for his criticism of vaccine safety in his book, “To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular Socialist Machine.”

“Perhaps no anti-scientific argument is more dangerous today than the claim put forward by radical environmentalists, most notably Robert F. Kennedy Jr., that childhood vaccinations can cause autism,” Gingrich wrote in the 2010 book. “Numerous peer-reviewed studies have disproved this connection.”

Reached by phone on Tuesday, Gingrich backed away from his earlier criticism of Kennedy. As long as the panel is “appropriately organized” and has a realistic, scientific basis, he said, “I’m very comfortable with him taking the position.”

“I think if he is prepared to sit down with scientists, he may challenge them and they may change his mind,” Gingrich said, in which case “nobody would be more powerful” in changing the minds of anti-vaccination advocates.

Kennedy has repeatedly questioned the safety of vaccines and advanced arguments that there is a link between the immunizations and autism. He has suggested that thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used in vaccines, can be harmful to children, a notion that has been widely debunked.

Public health agencies did suggest manufacturers eliminate or reduce the amount of thimerosal in childhood vaccines and many have done so. But a number of studies have also discredited the idea that thimerosal is a cause of autism.

Scott Badesch, president of the Autism Society, a patient advocacy group, said the long debate over autism should be at an end.

“There’s been a long discussion as to whether vaccines cause autism,” he said. “Everything suggests there is no link.”

“That he [Trump] meets with people doesn’t surprise me,” said Dr. Paul A. Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “That he would take this next step, which is to take a man who has no expertise about science or vaccines and make him the head of a vaccine safety … committee is truly amazing to me.”

Other physicians reacted with disbelief on Twitter.

Boston University School of Public Health Dean Dr. Sandro Galea called the appointment “Troubling.”

Kennedy’s work on autism has created controversy over the years. In 2005 he wrote an expose, co-published by Salon and Rolling Stone, contending that scientists were hiding the link between thimerosal and autism. Years later, Salon retracted the story, noting its basic thesis was inaccurate.

But Kennedy was not finished with the subject. He edited a 2014 book called “Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: The Evidence Supporting the Immediate Removal of Mercury — a Known Neurotoxin — from Vaccines.” The volume makes the case that thimerosal is still causing autism and other neurological problems, and should be eliminated worldwide.

While Trump’s casual remarks on vaccines have alarmed public health advocates, they have energized the anti-vaccination movement. He met over the summer with Andrew Wakefield, a former medical doctor who wrote a well-publicized study that kicked off the movement. Wakefield’s study was later discredited and his medical license was revoked.

During the presidential campaign, Trump said he wants “smaller doses over a longer period of time.” He has previously tweeted: “Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn’t feel good and changes – AUTISM. Many such cases!”

Kennedy is the son of the former attorney general and nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy.

This story has been updated to correct the date of the meeting between Trump and Kennedy and to include the statement from Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks.

  • I am a nurse and a mother of a child who was diagnosed with ASD. I would love to be an advocate. I am a believer in vaccines that cause autism. If your looking for a beautiful strong woman who is intelligent with a beautiful dtr who was diagnosed to be a voice Id love to take part. Please email Im ready for someone to hear the voice of a mother who has seen it all.

    • Jay or anyone else, Do you know why the focus is just on autism with vaccines instead of looking at all neurological and immunological disorders? It would seem that if the lawsuit settlements are focused on encephalitis after vaccination that the outcome could vary greatly with autism like features being the most severe–aside from death that is. There would be many levels before that though it would seem. Also, why do meta studies pick 10 (out of what I know of) 1200 studies on vaccines and autism? That seems like it could be cherry picking. I know that’s a standard practice, but it just seems odd.

    • Andrea,
      The meta-studies (and systematic reviews) will often define their inclusion criteria specifically to (1) avoid cherry-picking and (2) get the best data.
      They’ll collect all of available studies and see which ones meet the entry criteria. If the paper doesn’t define the criteria in the methodologies, it might be a red flag pointing to cherry-picking.

    • The meta analysis did define the criteria, but still 10 out of 1200??? I found about 1000 essentially siding with there not being a link and 200 saying that there is a link. The quality of the studies were a higher level saying that there isn’t a link (there is obviously more money and power behind wanting this as the answer), but the studies seemed to have a narrow scope and the funding for the studies was frequently questionable. As far as the scope, I’m talking about all the different ways encephalitis could manifest- ADHD, learning disabilities, seizure disorders, mental illness, mood changes, migraine, etc.–not sure if any of those are part of autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. The confidence intervals are all over 1 therefore making it legit, but some of the outcomes are shaky. If the encephalitis is connected to mitochondrial disfunction as I’ve heard reported, then there could be many causes with vaccines only being part of the problem–but definitely having a share especially when tied with timing or a significant event reported immediately after with a longer term continued neurological or immunological problem. Personally, I offered to pay out of pocket for mitochondrial testing for myself, but was denied by the geneticist. The other doctors thought it was reasonable given my history, but the geneticist said that “he wasn’t allowed.” I find that to be ridiculous especially if my insurance isn’t having to foot the bill. Thoughts?

    • “I’m talking about all the different ways encephalitis could manifest- ADHD, learning disabilities, seizure disorders, mental illness, mood changes, migraine, etc.–not sure if any of those are part of autism spectrum disorder diagnosis.”

      Sorry, encephalitis is a physical change that can be directly attributed to various behaviors. Autism is the absence of such a physical change. When there is encephalitis it is impossible to determine if autism is present.

      “If the encephalitis is connected to mitochondrial disfunction as I’ve heard reported”

      Then it’s encephalitis, not autism, as is the case with Hannah Polling. NOT autism.

      “but the geneticist said that “he wasn’t allowed.””

      I suspect you’re making it up, actually.

    • Re: “I think you’re making it up.” Nice people skills, but I have the order from the pediatrician. I’ll call the geneticist again today and try to schedule the testing again.

      Re: “If it’s encephalitis then it’s not autism.” I can see when a child gets encephalitis or has absence seizures, both easily missed and what could be happening when the parent reports “wouldn’t stop screaming”, “absent”, “wouldn’t communicate.” Couldn’t that be when the brain damage is occurring therefore leading to autism like traits.

      I personally had chronic reactive arthritis following Lymerix that was (and still is) taken off the market–supposedly for low sales–low sales from all the reactions is more like it if you read the increasing number of VAERS reports over the past 15 years. I got my first non-sinus infection headache right after the time my first joint swelled–not long after my third dose of the vaccine. I had an increase in headaches, but held on to somewhat functional for awhile. It wasn’t until the doctors tried sulfasalazine to try to stop the reactive arthritis when I was hospitalized for aseptic menengitis for the first and only time. My migraines have since increased dramatically. It can be charted by the amount of medication that I have purchased over the years. The original trigger for all this was the vaccine though, we think and so did the VAERS employee looking at all my medical files that I had to release. Essentially, I developed post lyme disease. Btw, no compensation ever. My family, and insurance companies, have had to pay for absolutely everything. I have had to endure the pain, inability to walk at times, caring for my children when I had a swollen joint that hurt so I couldn’t even pick up my kids. I didn’t realize the company was settling quietly for many years–far past the statue of limitations. I believed the published peer-reviewed journal reports. I believed the media reports. It was only when I started tracking the finances of the “researchers” writing those reports and talking to more and more doctors who looked at all the tests excluding known autoimmune disorders that I got super pissed and started understanding litigation science. It’s like we don’t have any way to look at trajectory or maybe we just don’t people in positions of power who are ethical to allow for the trajectory studies. Honestly, I would personally be fine with some kind of liability waiver for past pharma indiscretions if they would open up the transparency of adverse reactions so people injured could get adequate care. To get answers and care is more important to me than $300k. Seriously, that’s a joke compared to the expenses over the years.

    • “but I have the order from the pediatrician”

      Most likely you don’t. As for what the original pediatrician believed, that doesn’t really matter as for what could be established.

      Do you remotely understand correlation isn’t the same as causation?

  • Children around the world are being given three doses of the novel VLP HPV vaccine products Cervarix and Gardasil.

    In regards to the three dose HPV vaccine regimen, I recently contacted Professor Diane Harper, an author of the study re the bivalent HPV vaccine (i.e. Cervarix), published in The Lancet in 2004[1], to ask her if titres were measured after individual doses or after all three doses in that study.

    I was surprised when Professor Harper responded that “The titers were measured one month after the third dose.”[2]

    Professor Harper’s response indicates that titres were not measured after each individual dose.

    So it appears it was not proven that three doses of Cervarix HPV vaccine were required.

    In her email response to me, Professor Harper said: “The need for long-term protection drove the fear that three doses would be needed. As we learned one dose of cervarix provides high titers as well and has proven efficacy. It is unfortunate that the WHO would not recommend one dose of cervarix worldwide.”

    In regards to Professor Harper’s statement “As we learned one dose of cervarix provides high titers…”, another study re Cervarix, published in 2013[3] states: “Antibody levels following one-dose remained stable from month 6 through month 48. Results raise the possibility that even a single dose of HPV VLPs will induce long-term protection.” This study was followed up with further analysis in 2015[4] which also indicates there is no evidence to support the three dose Cervarix HPV vaccine regimen.

    It is shocking to discover there was no evidence to support the three dose HPV vaccine regimen.

    HPV vaccination has been fast-tracked around the world. Children are being given three doses of novel, turbo-charged aluminium-adjuvanted VLP HPV vaccines which produce unnaturally high titres, i.e. HPV vaccination induces antibody titres that are 80- to 100-fold higher than those observed following natural infection, which seems to be a very unnatural response.[5,6]

    Scientists such as Professor Harper admit “the mechanism of immunogenicity from a scientific perspective is poorly understood”.[7] Children are being used as guinea pigs in a massive international experiment – is this ethical? What are the implications here in regards to informed consent?

    While the studies I have referred to are about the Cervarix HPV vaccine, this leads to questions about the Gardasil HPV vaccine – what is the evidence supporting vaccination with three doses of the Gardasil HPV vaccine product?

    Were three doses of HPV vaccines suggested to justify the cost of these vaccine products?

    As for Professor Harper’s suggestion that Cervarix “has proven efficacy”, as far as I am aware, there is as yet no independent and objective systematic review of the efficacy of HPV vaccination in preventing cervical cancer, i.e. untainted by pharma influence or bias.

    I suggest the public is being misled about the promoted ‘efficacy’ of globally fast-tracked HPV vaccination. At this time we have no idea of the long-term effects of this very questionable medical intervention, particularly if the risks will outweigh the touted benefits.

    In my opinion the benefits of HPV vaccination are being over-hyped, and children and their parents are being grossly misinformed about HPV vaccination. At this time there is no independent and objective analysis validating HPV vaccination, and no scientific basis for the three dose regimen.

    This is a massive international scandal.

    1. Diane M Harper et al. Efficacy of a bivalent L1 virus-like particle vaccine in prevention of infection with human papillomavirus types 16 and 18 in young women: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. Vol. 364. November 13 2004.
    2. Email response from Diane Harper, 11 December 2016.
    3. Mahboobeh Safaeian et al. Durable Antibody Responses Following One Dose of the Bivalent Human Papillomavirus L1 Virus-Like Particle Vaccine in the Costa Rica Vaccine Trial. Cancer Prev Res; 6(11) November 2013.
    4. Aimee R Kriemer et al. Efficacy of fewer than three doses of an HPV-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine: combined analysis of data from the Costa Rica Vaccine and PATRICIA trials. The Lancet Oncology Vol 16, July 2015.
    5. Ian H Frazer. Measuring serum antibody to human papillomavirus following infection or vaccination. Gynecologic Oncology 118 (2010) S8-S11.
    6. Diane M Harper et al. Efficacy of a bivalent L1 virus-like particle vaccine in prevention of infection with human papillomavirus types 16 and 18 in young women: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet, 2004; 364: 1757-65.
    7. Diane M Harper. Prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccines to prevent cervical cancer: review of the Phase II and III trials. Therapy (2008) 5(3), 313-324.

    • As mentioned in my previous comment, at this time there is no independent and objective analysis validating HPV vaccination, and apparently no scientific basis for the three dose regimen, certainly not for Cervarix. (I have contacted Professor Ian Frazer to question the evidence base for three doses of Gardasil HPV vaccines. We have had some email correspondence on this matter and I am currently considering his responses.)

      I suggest the public is being misled about the promoted ‘efficacy’ of globally fast-tracked HPV vaccination. At this time we have no idea of the long-term effects of this very questionable novel medical intervention, particularly if the risks will outweigh the touted benefits.

      I also suggest there is much fear-mongering about HPV and cancer. Misinformation about HPV and cancer risk abounds, much of it emanating from the so-called ‘scientific’ community.

      For example, in an article promoting HPV vaccination[1], HPV vaccine entrepreneur Professor Ian Frazer definitively states cervical cancer “kills over 250,000 women world wide every year” and describes cervical cancer as the “second most common cause of cancer death in women”, but provides no evidence to support these statements.

      The use of these alarming statistics is highly questionable in countries where the risk of cervical cancer is very low.

      Professor Frazer’s alarmist annual 250,000 death rate is not relevant to Australian girls and women. Published statistics indicate that an estimated 245 deaths were attributed to cancer of the cervix in Australia in 2014.[2]

      The risk of cervical cancer has been steadily decreasing in Australia. Between 1982 and 2014 cervical cancer was one of the cancers showing the greatest percentage-point decrease in incidence, from 14.2 to 7.0 per 100,000.[3] In the same period, the age standardised mortality rate of cervical cancer decreased from 5.2 to 1.8 per 100,000.[4]

      Cervical cancer is listed as 19th on a list of the estimated 20 most common causes of death from cancers for females in 2010[5] and 2014[6], which is at odds with Professor Frazer’s statement that cervical cancer is the “second most common cause of cancer death in women”.

      Even a report on HPV vaccination in Australia acknowledges the low risk of cancer, saying “Australia has one of the lowest rates of incidence and mortality from cervical cancer in the world.[7] In 2008, there were 9 cases of cervical cancer per 100,000 women of all ages, and in 2007, the age-standardised mortality rate from cervical cancer was 2 deaths per 100,000.[8] These are the lowest rates observed to date. Cervical cancer in Australia now occurs predominantly in unscreened or under-screened women.”[9]

      Which raises the question – why did Australia implement mass HPV vaccination in 2007 when the disease threat was low, screening would still have to take place, and the long-term effects of HPV vaccination were unknown?

      This expensive initiative also took funding away from other pressing medical problems. For example Gardasil vaccination of boys and girls in 2013/2014 cost over $97 million[10], a very questionable expenditure, but a lucrative windfall for bioCSL, Professor Ian Frazer[11], and the University of Queensland.[12] These parties benefit from royalties from the sale of HPV vaccines in developed countries.

      In regards to HPV, the Australian Government’s National Cervical Screening Program webpage notes “Most HPV infections clear up by themselves without causing any problems” and “It is important to remember that most women who have HPV, clear the virus and do not go on to develop cervical abnormalities or cervical cancer”.[13]

      Professor Frazer even acknowledges the low risk of cancer himself in his article promoting HPV vaccination on The Conversation website. In his advertorial, “Catch cancer? No thanks, I’d rather have a shot!” he says: “Through sexual activity, most of us will get infected with the genital papillomaviruses that can cause cancer. Fortunately, most of us get rid of them between 12 months to five years later without even knowing we’ve had the infection. Even if the infection persists, only a few individuals accumulate enough genetic mistakes in the virus-infected cell for these to acquire the properties of cancer cells.”

      Professor Frazer admits only “a few individuals accumulate enough genetic mistakes in the virus-infected cell for these to acquire the properties of cancer cells”.

      Given the admitted low risk associated with HPV and cancer, I question whether it is justifiable to compel millions of children to be repeatedly vaccinated with novel, turbo-charged aluminium-adjuvanted VLP HPV vaccines.

      Who knows what interference with the natural progression of generally benign HPV may throw up in future, with the global fast-tracking of the still experimental VLP HPV vaccines. There is much scope here for ‘unintended consequences’, and the current generation of children and young people are the unsuspecting guinea pigs.

      Parents and children are not being properly informed about still experimental HPV vaccination, their right to ‘informed consent’ is being denied.

      1. Ian Frazer. Catch cancer? No thanks, I’d rather have a shot! The Conversation, 10 July 2012.
      2. See page xiii, Estimated mortality from cancer in 2014. Cancer in Australia: An overview 2014.
      3. See page 20, Cancer in Australia: An overview 2014.
      4. See page 52, Cancer in Australia: An overview 2014.
      5. See page xi, Mortality from cancer in 2010. Cancer in Australia: An overview 2012. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
      6. See page xiii, Estimated mortality from cancer in 2014. Cancer in Australia: An overview 2014.
      7. International Agency for Research on Cancer. CANCERMondial. 2012. (Accessed 11 July 2012). As quoted in NCIRS Evaluation of the National Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program. Final Report. 28 August 2014.
      8. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Cervical screening in Australia 2009-2010. Cancer series no. 67. Cat. no. CAN 63. Canberra: AIHW; 2012. As quoted in NCIRS Evaluation of the National Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program. Final Report. 28 August 2014.
      9. NCIRS Evaluation of the National Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program. Final Report. 28 August 2014.
      10. The National HPV Vaccination Program is a school-based program provided under the National Immunisation Program (NIP). Vaccinations provided under the NIP are free for eligible cohorts. The current contract with bioCSL for supply of Gardasil for the National HPV Vaccination Program is for both the male and female programs for 2013 and 2014, at a total cost of $97,678,540.96 (GST Inclusive). Senate Community Affairs Committee. Answers to Estimates Questions on Notice. Health and Ageing Portfolio. Additional Estimates 13 & 15 February 2013. Question: E13-172.
      11. “Ian Frazer as co-inventor of the technology enabling the HPV vaccines receives royalties from their sale in the developed world.” Disclosure statement on Ian Frazer’s article “Catch cancer? No thanks, I’d rather have a shot!” The Conversation, 10 July 2012.
      12. “The Merck vaccine, Gardasil, was commercially released in 2006. Under the licensing arrangements, milestone and royalty payments from the sale of the Merck and GSK vaccines will be payable to UniQuest and will ultimately flow back to UQ (University of Queensland) and the researchers (Ian Frazer).” Group of Eight Australia. Module 4: Intellectual property and commercialisation. Case Study: Gardasil – an example of university licensing.
      13. About the human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer. Australian Government National Cervical Cancer Screening Program. Webpage accessed 13 December 2016.

    • As mentioned in my previous comment, in regards to HPV ‘immunisation’ inducing antibody titres that are 80- to 100- fold higher than those observed following natural infection, HPV vaccine co-inventor Ian Frazer (2010)[1] cites a paper by Diane Harper et al regarding the bivalent HPV vaccine (2004)[2], i.e. presumably Cervarix. (This study was funded and coordinated by GlaxoSmithKline Bioglogicals.)

      It appears Frazer generalises about high antibody titres after HPV vaccination, i.e. Gardasil and Cervarix, from Harper et al’s paper about Cervarix.[2]

      In a later review paper (2008)[3], Diane Harper refers to high antibody titres after both vaccines, i.e. “the peak response to vaccination was robustly 100-200-fold higher than natural infection titers for both vaccines in neutralizing type-specific antibody titers for both HPV 16 and 18”, although in a later paper (2009)[4] Harper says peak titre after Gardasil vaccination is 104-fold higher than natural infection for HPV 16, and 27-fold higher than natural infection titres for HPV 18.

      In essence though, it appears HPV vaccination with both vaccines creates a much higher antibody response than natural infection, and from my layperson’s perspective I wonder if there is any downside to this unnatural response?

      In her 2008[3] review paper, Harper also states: “Despite both vaccines having a 100% seroconversion 1 month after three doses of vaccine, the mechanism of immunogenicity from a scientific perspective is poorly understood. The measure of antibody induction by geometric mean titers (GMTs) is dependent on the assay system used, and is not comparable between HPV types within one manufacturer or for identical HPV types between manufacturers.”

      It is concerning that the novel virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine products Gardasil and Cervarix have been fast-tracked globally, when “the mechanism of immunogenicity from a scientific perspective is poorly understood”.

      In her 2008[3] review paper, Harper states: “…both vaccines contain a proprietary adjuvant system to improve the immunologic response to the VLP antigens. The adjuvant system, AS04, in Cervarix contains both an aluminium salt and a toll-like receptor-4 agonist (monophosphoryl lipid A); the adjuvant system in Gardasil contains an aluminium salt called aluminium hydroxyphosphate sulfate. Clinical trials in humans show that the HPV 16/18 VLPs adjuvanted with AS04 induce a significantly greater initial antibody response than do the HPV16/18 VLPs adjuvanted with aluminium hydroxide alone, and this superior response continues for at least 4 years…Experiments in mice show that the Merck proprietary amorphous aluminium hydroxyphosphate sulfate used in Gardasil induces a greater initial antibody response to HPV16 VLPs than does the aluminium hydroxide adjuvant alone…”

      A VacZine Analytics press release titled “GSK and Cervarix – is AS04 a double edged sword?” (2007)[5] says the novel adjuvant AS04 contained in Cervarix “is a combination of standard aluminium hydroxide and the new component, monophospholipid A (MPL). MPL is a derivative of the lipid A molecule found in gram-negative bacteria and is considered one of the most potent immune system stimulants known”.

      Merck’s proprietary amorphous aluminium hydroxyphosphate sulfate used in Gardasil also appears to be more potent than aluminium hydroxide adjuvant alone.[3]

      Harper says the purpose of the adjuvant “is to prolong the immune response for as long as possible with the smallest amount of antigen (VLP) possible”.[4]

      Again, I register my concern that the novel Gardasil and Cervarix VLP HPV vaccine products have been fast-tracked around the world, particularly as “the mechanism of immunogenicity from a scientific perspective is poorly understood”.

      If children and their parents were properly informed of the unnaturally high antibody titre induced by both the novel aluminium adjuvanted Gardasil and Cervarix vaccine products, and that scientists such as Diane Harper admit the mechanism of immunogenicity of these products is poorly understood from a scientific perspective, I wonder if they would consent to this still experimental medical intervention?

      1. Ian H Frazer. Measuring serum antibody to human papillomavirus following infection or vaccination. Gynecologic Oncology 118 (2010) S8-S11.
      2. Diane M Harper et al. Efficacy of a bivalent L1 virus-like particle vaccine in prevention of infection with human papillomavirus types 16 and 18 in young women: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet, 2004; 364: 1757-65.
      3. Diane M Harper. Prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccines to prevent cervical cancer: review of the Phase II and III trials. Therapy (2008) 5(3), 313-324.
      4. Diane M Harper. Currently Approved Prophylactic HPV Vaccines. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2009; 8 (12): 1663-1679).
      5. GSK and Cervarix – is AS04 a double edged sword? Press Release. VacZine Analytics. Posted online 19 Dec 2007.

    • If you could stop with the spamming, that’d be great.

      If you have evidence to back up your claims, then I suggest submitting your research to a quality journal for peer review.

    • Brian, I have provided evidence in my detailed comments. Perhaps there are more discerning people than you reading these comments who may comprehend the seriousness of the matter.

      As for your suggestion re the ‘peer-reviewed literature’, the journal industry is thriving on the back of papers often funded by industry and produced by often conflicted academics.

      Papers influencing vaccination policy are being published behind the journal paywall, impeding open scrutiny by citizens. This system is rotten.

    • “As for your suggestion re the ‘peer-reviewed literature’, the journal industry is thriving on the back of papers often funded by industry and produced by often conflicted academics.

      Papers influencing vaccination policy are being published behind the journal paywall, impeding open scrutiny by citizens. This system is rotten.”

      …or instead of this massive conspiracy, could it simply be you lack the expertise in this topic? Go ahead, submit a paper for peer review, and then when it gets torn apart by people who actually know what they’re talking about, we’ll be waiting for you to blame it on CONSPIRACY!

    • Thanks for your info. Ignore people like Brian. I’m not sure how this works, but I’ve encountered people like him and the other one on here. They are paid–pretty sure as they are available 24/7. Seriously, who is??? What I can’t understand is who would pay them? By harassing families, it just pisses people off and makes them more entrenched. It’s like they are trying to turn us against the system–that we already know is a problem. I don’t get it so I don’t bother when it’s obvious they are just trying to be a pain.

    • Hi again Andrea,
      Any evidence that I or anyone else am paid?

      It seems that whenever anti-vaxxers get proven wrong, their automatic response to to accuse the person of being paid (instead of trying to back up their own assertions). It’s very illogical.

    • Also on the subject of ‘peer review’ Brian, in my comments regarding HPV vaccination I have provided an example of an independent citizen, i.e. me, scrutinising so-called peer-reviewed papers.

      It is remarkable that I, a mere layperson, discovered there was no evidence to support the three doses of HPV vaccines being imposed on children. Why didn’t a ‘peer-reviewer’ query this and flag the ethical issues e.g. over-use of vaccine products and lack of informed consent?

      Similarly, I took notice of the fact that HPV ‘immunization’ is reported to induce antibody titres that are many fold higher than natural infection, and queried if this unnatural response was ‘a good thing’?

      Again, it is remarkable that a ‘peer-reviewer’ did not query this.

      And these vaccine products have been fast-tracked around the world, and even scientists such as Professor Diane Harper admit “the mechanism of immunogenicity from a scientific perspective is poorly understood.”[1]

      Fast-tracked HPV vaccination is a massive international scandal and there must be an inquiry into this now.

      1. Diane M Harper. Prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccines to prevent cervical cancer: review of the Phase II and III trials. Therapy (2008) 5(3), 313-324.

    • That’s exactly the point, Elizabeth!

      If what you say is true, and you have the evidence to back it up, then you’ll have no problem getting it published.

      On the other hand, if you keep responding by claiming some vast conspiracy, then you have no one but yourself to blame if people don’t take you seriously.

    • You’re the one missing the point Brian…

      I have self-published here in the public domain, courtesy of STAT’s open comments policy, not behind the paywall of the self-serving journal industry.

      My comments here are published free for those with the wit to understand them.

      As you must have gathered, I’ve become very cynical about the often industry-associated ‘peer-reviewed literature’. Even The Lancet’s Editor-in-Chief, Richard Horton, has confessed that “Journals have devolved into information-laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry”.[1]

      1. As quoted in Richard Smith’s essay Medical Journals Are an Extension for the Marketing Arm of Pharmaceutical Companies, PLOS Medicine 17 May 2005.

    • Again, your cherry picking and your lack of an education in science is YOUR problem, Ms. Hart. Go back to spamming the AVN or whatever that failed organization is called today.

    • Further to my previous comments, on 12 December 2016 I forwarded an email including Professor Harper’s responses to me about HPV vaccination to Dr Tom Jefferson and Professor Peter Gøtzsche in relation to their complaint over maladministration at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) related to the safety of the HPV vaccines. (Correspondence re their complaint is currently published on the Nordic Cochrane website, see their Research webpage.)

      I also forwarded a copy of this email to Professor Harper, and on 13 December 2016 she responded: “Elizabeth – my comment Cervarix has proven efficacy in a single dose against incident HPV infection and incident CIN3 – not against cancer – just be clear about what my intents in my statement referred to. I agree that there is no evidence of cancers prevented – especially the head and neck cancers gardasil9 is being touted to prevent in boys.”

      As Professor Harper acknowledges “there is no evidence of cancers prevented”.

      Commentary published in The Lancet in 2011 also notes “A demonstrable reduction of the burden of cervical cancer – the main goal of HPV vaccines – will take several decades”.[1]

      This is not the message being presented to the public, which instead receives biased propaganda promoting HPV vaccination from the likes of Public Health England which states: “The UK programme has already contributed to preventing future deaths from cervical cancer. We expect it to eventually prevent hundreds of cancer deaths every year.”[2]

      1. Mona Saraiya, Susan Hariri (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). HPV vaccine effect: is the glass half full or half empty? The Lancet. Vol. 377. June 18, 2011.
      2. Factsheet for Health Professionals: Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and Cervical Cancer – Addressing the myths.

    • As we can see, Ms. Hart is still cherry picking her “evidence” and quoting things not within the public sphere.


      This completely debunks what Ms. Hart has claimed.

      Let’s just continue to point out that Ms. Hart is NOT a scientist and has no real qualifications to be making the claims that she’s made. She’s just a blogger.

  • As far as i’m concerned the science is not settled. I went in for a Tetanus booster and ended up leaving with an autoimmune disease. It came on slow but steady. I would say within a month I almost was unable to walk. I went to countless doctors and got every blood test under the sun. All indicated I was in perfectly good health. My Neurologist insisted it was all in my head and handed me a free sample of cymbalta. I asked repeatedly how a vaccine could cause such damage but noone would address the issue at all. The whole issue was ignored by every single physician I went to. I did lots and lots of research into vaccine ingredients. I am not a scientist by any means but the two ingredients that stood out as being the most harmful were mercury and aluminum. Seems the two work in a synergistic fashion once inside the body. Mercury does not leave the body once injected and goes into the organs and brain, when you finally reach a certain level all hell breaks loose inside of you.

    I am not going to say vaccines are the only cause of these because they are not. We have a giant ecological disaster on our hands regarding the use and disposal of cfl bulbs. These things contain mercury in them and although they claim just like the vaccine industry that the amount is so small it’s harmless if one of these suckers breaks it’s enough to contaminate 6,000 gallons of drinking water.

    The use of dental amalgams also needs to be banned in all countries around the world. They off gas mercury vapor into your body and brain for as long as they sit inside your mouth.

    There is undeniable evidence that flu shots contain mercury and we all know doctors are injecting these things into pregnant mothers. The toxic load gets passed on to the child so already before the damn kids are born they have mercury flowing through the blood brain barrier.

    I am partly recovered from my horrible situation buy doing a Mercury detox program. In order to have any success you must remove all dental amalgam before starting and have no further exposure to mercury. This includes any and all vaccinations. I have followed the protocol for a year and have seen a vast improvement. I still can’t lift heavy objects but I can walk again , I am still in a lot of pain but it’s not as bad as it was last year that’s for sure. The same protocol is used to cure people from MS, Lupus and AUTISM ! it can be reversed but the procedure is condemned as unsafe by the FDA. I wonder why ? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    • The methotrexate nurse at the University of Michigan Hospital told me that vaccine represent about 6% of the autoimmune cases. (To the best of the CDC, FDA, and 5 rheumatologist’s numbers. My chronic reactive arthritis came from the Lymerix–taken off the market 15 yrs ago.) I don’t know if that number is accurate or not, but I ran it by a few doctors and they said they had heard of that number before. No idea how it would be measured though???

    • Not sure about that either but I have a feeling in general the number is higher. I didn’t end up reporting my case to anyone for various reasons. I don’t have much trust in anyone at the moment.

      Another thing to factor in here is the fact that people put all their trust in their doctors to know whats right. If you get arthritis or MS or Fibromyalgia and you mention you think it was caused by a shot the doctor will shoot that theory down right away as a mere coincidence. All of these conditions are associated with heavy metal toxicity. Noone can figure it out because there is no such testing available to figure out the body burden of mercury and other metals. My doctor didn’t even know what kind of test to give me for mercury . He finally settled on a blood test but I told him that mercury does not stay in the blood and moves into the tissues. He sadly had no idea what I was talking about. The only way you might even be able to get some kind of an answer is from a hair mineral analysis test and the only way you will be able to make any sense out of it is to see what your mineral derangement levels are because mercury screws up your mineral absorption. I had to see a Holistic doctor to get these answers. Allopathic doctors are not even aware that this is an issue. It’s an epidemic that is out of control.

  • Kennedy is not a “vaccine critic”. He is an anti-vaccination conspiracist crank. He has repeated long debunked anti-vaccine bullshit, and has never once amended his statements in response to the mountain of evidence showing it to be wrong.

  • The facts are plain. Some of the preservatives (particularly Mercury and formaldehyde derivatives) used to increase the shelf life of Vaccines are known to have detrimental effects, especially ‘accumulative; effects. The Scientific Community and Corporations are far too cocky when it comes to ramming their expertise down our throats. Many technological developments had been shown to have detrimental effects after scientific assurances.

    • jay Kanta you are quite a piece of work. At the very least flu shots still contain mercury so I’m not sure where you get your information from but it’s wrong.

      The cdc states so right here:


      They say most single injection flu shots don’t have it but that is a sketchy way of say things at best. What does most mean in this case ? How are you going to know if it does or does not. If you ask the idiot working in Wallgreens they surely won’t have a clue what to tell you.

    • Children do NOT receive shots from multi-dose influenza vaccines, they receive individual syringes that do not use thimerosal.

      Thimerosal is also NOT toxic, it is an ethyl-mercury derivative that is rapidly eliminated from the body, unlike methyl-mercury which is what is found in coal and fish.

      And “mom”, you need to get an education before you attack scientists.

  • The international over-use of vaccine products is going through the roof and we have to challenge this. It is my fear that the long-term consequences of over-vaccination are going to put the over-use of antibiotics disaster in the shade.

    The pharmaceutical industry is driving the growth of the vaccine market, with the apparent enthusiastic support of the scientific/medical establishment and governments.

    The situation is dire in that vaccination policy appears to be dominated by pharmaceutical companies and academics with conflicts of interest, i.e. associations with the vaccine industry. There is no truly independent and objective formulation of vaccination policy, certainly not in my country Australia.

    The mainstream media is also a major part of this shambles, providing little or nothing in the way of critical analysis of vaccination policy. Indeed the media is a major player in vaccine promotion as we have seen in Australia with the Murdoch media’s campaign for compulsory vaccination, i.e. the ‘No Jab, No Play’ campaign, which was obligingly adopted by the major political parties and enacted as the ‘No Jab, No Pay’ law.

    The ‘No Jab, No Pay’ law coerces parents to have their children vaccinated to access benefits. This means parents will have to have their children vaccinated with ALL the vaccine products and revaccinations on the schedule for children up to the age of five years, i.e. they are hindered from evaluating the risks and benefits of each of these medical interventions – this directly conflicts with the obligation to obtain ‘informed consent’ before the medical intervention of vaccination.

    This is extremely problematic as there are questionable vaccines on the schedule, e.g. the arbitrary second shot of live measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (when many are likely to be immune after the first dose of effective vaccine, which can be verified by antibody titre testing but this is generally not offered as an option to parents), and multiple shots of the aluminium-adjuvanted diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine, which is failing, hence the call for more and more so-called ‘boosters’. And older children are being pressed to have three doses of the very controversial turbo-charged aluminium-adjuvanted HPV vaccine(s), along with yet another diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis shot.

    There is also currently persistent lobbying for the aluminium-adjuvanted GSK Bexsero meningococcal B vaccine to be added to the taxpayer-funded vaccination schedule in Australia, despite the fact this product has been rejected three times by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee due to the “multiple uncertainties in relation to the clinical effectiveness of the vaccine”.[1]

    The trashing of the right to ‘informed consent’ before a medical intervention, i.e. vaccination, is a most serious development in our liberal democracies, one which has implications for adults as well as children, with the implementation of an adult ‘immunisation’ register in Australia. And yet this major political and ethical issue, which is important internationally, is going under the radar.

    The general community is being seduced by the idea of ‘magic bullets’ to prevent disease, i.e. vaccines, but there are problems emerging with failing vaccines and adverse effects of vaccination. The possibilities for ‘unintended consequences’ abound. The long-term cumulative consequences of these excessive medical interventions, including annual flu vaccination, are unknown.

    As seen recently in the UK, with the uproar about TV presenter Melinda Messenger’s concerns about the safety of HPV vaccination, the medical establishment quickly rises to stifle any questioning of vaccination safety. The vicious pillorying of Melinda Messenger was disgraceful, including Dr Chris Steele’s arrogant and patronising attitude towards Ms Messenger.[2]

    Vaccine industry gatekeepers, such as science writer David Robert Grimes, are given platforms in the media to aggressively promote vaccine products and deride those who have concerns about these burgeoning interventions.[3] Grimes is not an ‘expert in vaccination’, he speaks with no authority in this area. Let’s have those who are accountable for vaccination policy in the frame, make them answer our questions.

    Parents are entitled to ask questions about vaccination. This recent episode with Melinda Messenger is an illustrative example of the way parents are being bullied into having numerous vaccinations and denied being properly allowed to consider the risks and benefits of these ever-increasing medical interventions, which are proving to be so lucrative for the vaccine industry.

    The medical establishment’s apparent reluctance to acknowledge the possibility of adverse events after vaccination also destroys any confidence in the post-marketing surveillance system. The voluntary reporting system is completely inadequate.

    We are facing an epidemic of gross over-vaccination – this is a massive international scandal.

    There should be an immediate moratorium on new vaccine products and an urgent review of vaccine schedules around the world. Children are being forced to have too many of these lucrative vaccine products and there may be serious long-term repercussions.

    Elizabeth Hart

    1. November 2014 PBAC Outcomes – Subsequent Decisions Not to Recommend.
    2. See for example: “HPV Debate: Melinda Messenger sparks row on This Morning as she’s accused of scare-mongering for not giving her daughter the HPV vaccine”. The Sun, 14 December 2016 and “Melinda Messenger hits back at ‘hostile’ Holly, Phil and This Morning for ‘gagging’ her during HPV vaccine debate”. Mirror, 16 December 2016.
    3. See David Robert Grimes’ contribution, as enabled by the Daily Mail, i.e. inset box in this article: “Why I stopped my little girl from having the cervical cancer jab: TV presenter Melinda Messenger is one of a number of mothers worried about the possible side effects of the HPV vaccination”. Daily Mail, published 30 November 2016, updated 2 December 2016. Also see: Grimes’ article: “We know it’s effective. So why is there opposition to the HPV vaccine?” The Guardian, 12 January 2016.

    • Jay Kanta where is your science ? Elithabeth put together a well thought out statement and I for one agree with these concerns. Vaccines are not magic bullets and further more they do come with a risk, it stated on the inserts. Encephalitis and guillain barre syndrome are listed on the MMR shot as possible adverse reactions. Post your studies and lets see what you have ! As far as I know the current vaccine schedule has not been tested for safety or efficacy.

      Here is some science: flu vaccines contain over 50 ppm mercury, an extremely toxic heavy metal linked to kidney failure, birth defects, spontaneous abortions and neurological damage. This finding has never been refuted by anyone. In fact, it was affirmed by vaccine proponents who insisted that it is perfectly safe to inject pregnant women, young children and senior citizens with mercury even though the flu vaccine insert itself readily admits there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to support the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in such groups.

    • Nice nonsense, Dave!

      First off, inserts do not list side effects. They list adverse events that may or may not be caused by the administration of the vaccine during the trial phases of the design of the vaccine.

      Side effects for vaccines are listed in the table entries of the VICP. The rates of encephalitis and/or GBS from the MMR vaccine is so incredibly small compared to the diseases that it’s ridiculous to even compare them.


      Vaccine’s do have risks, and no where have I said they are 100% safe, neither will any credible doctor.

      “As far as I know the current vaccine schedule has not been tested for safety or efficacy.”

      Any such double-blind study would be unethical and would be horribly biased by a vaccinated public shielding the individuals from pathogens.

      “Here is some science: flu vaccines contain over 50 ppm mercury, an extremely toxic heavy metal linked to kidney failure, birth defects, spontaneous abortions and neurological damage.”

      That’s not science, science comes with evidence. What you fail to understand is that no vaccine contains elemental mercury. Mercury in vaccines is a derivative of ethylmercury, which does NOT accumulate in the body and in the dosages found in multi-dose vial filled syringes is so non-toxic it’s ridiculous.


      That study was completely funded by anti-vax organizations and the conclusions are that thimerosal does NOT cause neurological issues.

      “even though the flu vaccine insert itself readily admits there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to support the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in such groups.”

      Inserts are NOT the only information about groups tested and approved. They are written immediately after the trials and NEVER updated after that. Referring to them as if they are the ultimate arbiter is incredibly ignorant.


      Just one study of hundreds on special needs patients, such as pregnant women. Pregnant women receive individual syringes that do not need thimerosal as a preservative.

      Stop reading those stupid anti-vax blogs and try to get a real education.

    • I’m not sure if this site is blocking comments with links.

      Gadad, B. S., Li, W., Yazdani, U., Grady, S., Johnson, T., Hammond, J., … & Ferrier, C. (2015). Administration of thimerosal-containing vaccines to infant rhesus macaques does not result in autism-like behavior or neuropathology. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(40), 12498-12503.

      A completely anti-vax funded study indicating that thimerosal does not cause adverse neurological conditions.

      Tamma, P. D., Ault, K. A., del Rio, C., Steinhoff, M. C., Halsey, N. A., & Omer, S. B. (2009). Safety of influenza vaccination during pregnancy. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 201(6), 547-552.

      Evaluation of influenza vaccines and pregnancy, one of over a hundred such studies into influenza vaccines and pregnancy.

      The same can be found for children.

      Vellozzi, C., Iqbal, S., & Broder, K. (2014). Guillain-Barre syndrome, influenza, and influenza vaccination: the epidemiologic evidence. Clinical infectious diseases, 58(8), 1149-1155.

      GBS rates with influenza vaccination rates are lower than the general population rates of GBS. In short, the diseases cause GBS far more often than is suspected for the vaccines.

      Shall I go on? I can. I’ve earned my degrees on this, have you?

  • IMHO, with only a couple of exceptions, the Kennedy women are a lot better than the Kennedy men in the later generations…

  • Brian, I hate to break it to you again, but there is a connection between who pharma okays (ie is paying off with other studies) and who gets the governmental contracts to do the “independent” studies that your “science” is based on. I’ve actually tracked this down–so that being the case–anyone could. There is a letter out there asking how much our government is making off vaccines. The response was that they declined to answer. My guess is that most people would like to know. And, again, if it’s the way it is, then let it be public and let people decide if that’s what they want. Hiding it just gives potential enemies leverage against the system.

    • More anti-vaccine conspiracies!

      Hate to break it to you, but pharma companies aren’t actually paying off every scientist, mathematician, statistician, chemist, historian, biologist, doctor, etc… in every country of the world… that studies vaccine safety and efficacy… who publish their results in peer-reviewed journals… that are then made publicly available. They make a whole lot of money, but not nearly enough for the type of conspiracy you’re talking about.

  • Thank Trump there will be an independent audit and review of vaccine efficacy and safety as opposed to the industry PR (in the form of bought-and-paid-for research hacks) who have dominated corrupt research journals with pseudo science over the past 50 years.

    • You do realize that the vast majority of vaccine safety and efficacy studies are NOT performed by pharma companies, right?

      You can look them up yourself, and find thousands, even if you throw out every one funded or authored by pharma companies. That is, if you really want to know about vaccine safety and efficacy.

  • I just looked up VAERS in the Wonder Tool. Why aren’t you seeing what I’m seeing? I just looked up and verified Sweden. What are you talking about? US: Hep B 3 doses, Roto 2-3 doses, DTaP 4 doses, HIB 4 doses, Polio 3 doses, Flu 6 if you get them annually, PVC 4 doses, MMR 2 doses, Varicella 2 doses, Hep A 2 doses. 32-33 doses. Sweden: DTaP 4 doses, HIB 3 doses, Polio 4 doses, PVC 3 doses, MMR 2 doses. 16-17 doses. No Varicella, Hep A, Roto, Hep B (They may add TB?). They only add in Hep B for certain people who are at risk. It’s something I think we should look at doing. Mainly, we need to identify people with certain genetic predispositions and again–track injury better.

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