Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blackout: Military Personnel Banned From H1N1 Vaccine Sites:

If you want to draw attention to a problem, try hiding it. That's the strategy of several military bases when it comes to the H1N1 vaccine.

Shortly after the Pentagon announced that all Armed Services personnel would soon be facing a mandatory H1N1 vaccination program, I started receiving email from soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors because of a previous story I had written on the anthrax vaccine. Mandatory vaccine programs are a sensitive subject in the military, so it's not a huge surprise that swift and visceral reactions to the program gained speed.

With a vaccine that was so new and little known about it, like many
Americans, troops were heading to the web to find answers to their
very legitimate questions -- not only for themselves, but for their
families who have the option of receiving the vaccine on base. What
they found instead is that several websites and blogs with key
information asking critical questions had been blocked from their

Among those that were repeatedly mentioned as blocked sites are the
National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), the site for Gary
Matsumoto's book Vaccine-A, and vaccine expert Dr. Meryl Nass. NVIC is
a national, non-profit founded in 1980s that, through public
education, advocates "vaccine safety and informed consent protections
in the mass vaccination system." Matsumoto's site contains a forum in
which thousands upon thousands of service members have posted
testimonies regarding their experiences with the anthrax vaccine. And
Nass is one of the world's foremost experts on vaccines who has
testified in front of Congressional committees -- and, I might add,
never has had a malpractice suit brought against her.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sites,
however, are all available for military personnel. The official word
from governmental agencies is welcome but critics, regardless of
whether they were considered experts, are not.


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