Many Veterans Are Denied Benefits for Vaccine Injuries
- American military service personnel injured by vaccines appear to be routinely denied benefits for vaccine-related injuries
- The U.S. military does not track any vaccine-related side effects or injuries, even though military personnel receive a number of mandatory vaccines
- The anthrax vaccine and the oral polio vaccine have both been linked to Gulf War Syndrome, a cluster of medically unexplained chronic symptoms that can include fatigue, joint pain, respiratory and memory problems
By Dr. Mercola
Children and adults injured or killed by vaccines face a long uphill battle when filing for compensation with the U.S. vaccine injury compensation program (VICP), better known as “vaccine court.”
American war veterans injured by vaccines face even grimmer prospects, as veterans appear to be routinely denied benefits for vaccine-related injuries. Part of the problem is that proving a vaccine caused the illness can be difficult, and it’s even more difficult when side effects are not carefully tracked and documented.
Remarkably, the U.S. military does not track any vaccine-related side effects or injuries, even though military personnel receive a number of mandatory vaccines, and despite the fact that concerns over vaccine-related injuries led to the creation of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Vaccine Healthcare Centers (VHC) Network in September 2001.1,2
Military Personnel Blame Health Problems on Controversial Smallpox Vaccine
Fox News Boston3 recently highlighted the cases of Sean Kelly and Mark Bailey, two Marine veterans who developed chronic pericarditis (inflammation of the pericardium, the protective lining around the heart), which is a known possible side effect of the smallpox vaccine.4,5
Unable to work due to the chronic chest pain, Kelly filed for benefits with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) but was denied. He was also unable to file a claim with VICP, as the smallpox vaccine is not a covered vaccine. Other programs dedicated to compensating people injured by the smallpox vaccine were also unavailable, as too much time had lapsed. Suing the government for damages for injury that occurs during military service is also out of the question (Feres Doctrine).
Dr. Bradley Bender, chief of staff for the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, agreed it can be “quite difficult” to receive VA benefits for a vaccine injury, “especially if you don’t have the records that reflect it. There is no blood test that you can do to say this is myocarditis related to smallpox vaccine.”6 Barbara Loe Fisher, director of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), told Fox News 25:
“That’s just ridiculous, the smallpox vaccine is the most reactive vaccine that has ever been used … They do not want to acknowledge that when these vaccines are given, there are far more people being hurt than they’re willing to admit.”
Is Smallpox Vaccine Wreaking Havoc on US Service Personnel?
Between December 2002 and May 2014, more than 2.4 million service members received the smallpox vaccine.7 This, despite the fact that smallpox (variola) was eradicated in the early 1970s, and routine smallpox vaccination of the American public ceased in 1972.8The U.S. government began inoculating service members against smallpox in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks, ostensibly to protect them against potential biowarfare using the variola virus.
In the last decade (2007 through April 2017), 898 veterans were granted VA benefits for pericarditis; 2,896 were denied. Another 5,703 veterans were granted benefits for myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle itself, while 12,067 were denied benefits for the same.9 Since no one appears to be monitoring, tracking and reporting vaccine side effects in military personnel, there’s no telling how many of these cases of myocarditis and pericarditis might have been related to the smallpox vaccine.
While the DOD does not track vaccine injuries, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has stated that up to 2 percent of vaccinated individuals may experience side effects that “could result in disability or death,” adding that:
“Some service members who received [anthrax and smallpox] vaccines experienced severe reactions such as migraines, heart problems and the onset of diseases including diabetes and multiple sclerosis … Some of these events may occur coincidentally following immunization, while others may truly be caused by immunization.”10
DOD’s VHC Network Is Clearly Failing in Its Mission
According to the GAO, the purpose of the VHC Network is to “meet the health care needs of service members receiving mandatory immunizations. This includes educating service members about how to prevent adverse events and diagnosing and treating those with severe reactions.”11 Yet that does not appear to be happening, at least not routinely or as a matter of course.
Dr. Frank Fisher, Lt. Col. in the Air Force Reserve Medical Corps, claims the technician who gave him the anthrax vaccine refused to answer any of his questions about the shot he’d been given.12 She wouldn’t even disclose the type of vaccine he’d received. Following this injection, Fisher developed bone marrow loss, Tourette’s syndrome and a breathing disorder. His and other vaccine-injured service members’ firsthand accounts are included in the Democracy Now! report above.
Anthrax Vaccine Linked to Gulf War Sickness
In 1997, the DOD announced it would vaccinate all military personnel against anthrax. As noted by Dr. Meryl Nass13 — a leading expert on the anthrax vaccine — there were significant questions about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness from the very start. In a 2002 paper14 published in the American Journal of Public Health, Nass notes that, “The anthrax vaccine was never proved to be safe and effective. It is one cause of Gulf War illnesses, and recent vaccinees report symptoms resembling Gulf War illnesses.”
In her paper, she also pointed out the DOD has acknowledged the systemic reaction rate for the anthrax vaccine is as high as 35 percent, not the 0.2 percent listed on the package insert. Vaccine studies conducted by the military have reported even higher rates of systemic reactions — as high as 48 percent. An unpublished survey at the Dover Air Force Base found the rate of “chronic, unresolved reactions” associated with the anthrax vaccine was 29 percent.
Gulf War Syndrome is a blanket term for “a cluster of medically unexplained chronic symptoms that can include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory disorders and memory problems.”15
Not surprisingly, there were financial conflicts of interest at play when this vaccine was added to the military’s list of mandatory vaccines, which Nass detailed in her interview. Hundreds of military personnel began falling ill once the anthrax vaccine became routine, and many within the military began fighting the mandate. The movement culminated in no less than 13 congressional hearings on the various aspects of the anthrax vaccine program. Yet it continues.
Anthrax Threat May Be Overblown
To this day, the VA downplays the possible side effects of the anthrax vaccine,16 limiting descriptions of signs of serious reactions to things like wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness and dizziness, making no mention of its possible link to the “cluster of medically unexplained chronic symptoms” associated with Gulf War Syndrome.
The justification for the continued use of the anthrax vaccine is that the risk of side effects is better than contracting the disease, which is usually contracted through the skin by direct exposure to an infected animal, or animal waste and by-products, or contaminated soil. Veterinarians, farmers and researchers working with animals are at higher risk of being infected with anthrax, which can enter the bloodstream from a cut in the skin, inhaling anthrax spores into the lungs or by swallowing anthrax spores.
Indeed, anthrax disease is a very serious bacterial infection that can kill within days as lethal toxins from the anthrax bacteria multiply in the body if antibiotics are not given immediately. The mortality rate for skin-acquired anthrax left untreated is 10 to 20 percent, but the mortality rate for anthrax that is inhaled into the lungs or through the gastrointestinal tract it much higher.
Unlike most other bacteria, the anthrax bacterium forms potent spores that can remain alive under harsh conditions for 100 years or longer. Once the ideal conditions are present once again, the spores can open up and start reproducing. If the spores germinate, they reproduce and create additional spores that can again survive for a century or more.
The rugged survivability of the anthrax spore is what makes anthrax a potentially effective threat if weaponized and dropped from an airplane or exploded in a bomb, for example, effectively contaminating an area forever. Once the spores are inhaled they can cause overwhelming infection, and can be lethal in as little as two to seven days.
However, that doesn’t mean an anthrax vaccine given to every soldier is necessary. The anthrax bacterium is very responsive to antibiotics and, if administered before symptoms develop, antibiotics tend to be 100 percent effective, according to Nass. The only type of antibiotic that does not work is the cephalosporins, as anthrax is naturally cephalosporin-resistant. As noted by the NVIC, anthrax bacteria are also destroyed by hydrogen peroxide and diluted formaldehyde.17
Granted, there may be genetically engineered strains of anthrax out there somewhere, designed to resist modern antibiotics. But even then, the threat may not be as great as they make it out to be, because anthrax is not contagious. You must be directly exposed to the spores to get sick, and you cannot spread it to others, which means the vaccine itself is probably a far greater health threat to military personnel than the threat of anthrax infection.
Oral Polio Vaccine Also Linked to Gulf War Syndrome
In 1996, researchers also suggested that the live oral polio vaccine (OPV) contaminated with animal retroviruses may be playing a role in Gulf War Syndrome, prompting the NVIC to call for an investigation into that vaccine, as well as the multiple other vaccines, experimental drugs and environmental toxins that were given simultaneously to soldiers deploying for the Gulf War. At the time, NVIC wrote:18
“The Pentagon directed that military personnel heading for the Gulf receive as many as 17 different live viral and killed bacterial vaccines simultaneously, including polio, cholera, hepatitis B, adenovirus, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcus, plague, rabies, tetanus, diphtheria, typhoid, yellow fever, anthrax and the experimental botulinium toxoid. In addition, they were given the experimental drug pyridostigmine bromide, a nerve agent.
NVIC … has been a vocal critic of the lack of credible scientific studies supporting the safety of simultaneous administration of multiple viral and bacterial vaccines and the lack of scientific studies to identify high risk populations.
‘The question that must be answered immediately,’ said NVIC co-founder and president Barbara Loe Fisher, ‘is whether a significant minority of Gulf War veterans responded with immune suppression to the potpourri of live viral and killed bacterial vaccines given to them and were subsequently vulnerable to further immune and neurological damage when they were given drugs and came into contact with environmental toxins in the Gulf.’”
Indeed, a decade-old VHC Network PowerPoint presentation19,20 claims the smallpox and anthrax vaccines are quite safe, blaming the high rate of injury instead on the practice of giving multiple vaccines simultaneously and/or drug-vaccine interactions. According to that presentation, of 2.4 million vaccinated service members, up to 48,000 of them (2 percent) sustained disability requiring them to be taught new skills and/or died as a result of serious side effects of the vaccines given.
This presentation, dating back to 2007, also touches on myo/pericarditis as a side effect of not only the smallpox vaccine but also the anthrax vaccine. For the smallpox vaccine, the risk of myo/pericarditis is listed as 1 per 6,000 to 7,000 vaccinated, but notes that the “actual risk may be higher.” Slide 12 also notes that “other new adverse events case definitions” are “in progress,” such as “new onset acute urticaria,” and “angioedema evolving to chronic disease after live virus vaccines.”
Vaccine News Around the Globe — The Insanity Spreads
Barring financial motives, it’s near-impossible to understand the current vaccine hysteria sweeping the globe. Italy recently passed a law mandating 12 vaccines for children attending state schools,21,22 and as of June 1, German child care centers and kindergartens are required — by law — to inform health authorities if parents have not submitted proof that they have received counseling about vaccination from pediatricians.
Fines for failing to receive vaccine counseling from a doctor could result in fines of up to $2800 (2500 euros).23 The mandatory reporting by schools of parents who have not received vaccine counseling is because of a spike in measles in Germany; 410 measles cases had been reported by mid-April, compared to 325 for all of 2016.24
Meanwhile, in the U.S., congressional members from Florida are urging the Army to hold public hearings before awarding exclusive rights to Sanofi to develop a Zika vaccine — rights that would give them a monopoly on the vaccine until 2036, without preset conditions on pricing.25
The question no one seems to care about is whether a Zika vaccine is needed at all. Why is the U.S. military partnering with a private drug company over a virus of such low to no concern?26 Puerto Rico recently declared an end to its outbreak, and transmission has evaporated in Brazil, American Samoa, New Caledonia and Saint Barthelemy, as well.27
While the birth defect microcephaly is one of the primary risks allegedly associated with Zika infection, outcome statistics reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control suggest the risk is quite low. In the U.S., of 1,579 pregnant women with lab confirmed Zika infection in 2016 until May 23, 2017, 72 delivered babies with some form of birth defect, and eight women who lost their child to miscarriage or stillbirth had a child with some form of birth defect.28
But is Zika-induced microcephaly really a cause for concern? As far back as 2009, the average annual number of microcephaly cases reported in the U.S. was 25,000 — without a Zika virus in sight.29
Clearly, Zika virus is NOT the only, nor a major, contributor to microcephaly. Also, recall this: In January 2016, models predicted 60 percent of the U.S. population would become infected with the dreaded Zika by that summer30 — 60 percent! Clearly, that did not happen, but there were no mass announcements declaring the doomsday prediction null and void.
Military Abuse: Secret Shots
In my view, the hysterics calling for mandatory inoculations with this-that-or-the-other vaccine are driven by something other than desire to protect public health. If that were their aim, they would not be eager to sacrifice people so wantonly. Even if “only” 2 percent of the U.S. population is predisposed to vaccine injury, we are talking about nearly 6.2 MILLION men, women and children! That’s no small price tag.
That military personnel are used as guinea pigs for experimental vaccines is also morally reprehensible. The video above is a Target 5 News report from 2007, questioning whether our servicemen and women are being recruited into secret medical experiments without their knowledge or consent.
By all appearances, that’s exactly what’s happening. The question is how long will our leaders allow these violations of human rights to go on? If recent legislation is any indication, it appears secret medical experimentation is being weaseled into law, making the American public fair game as well.
The 21st Century Cures Act, which was quickly pushed through Congress and became law in December 2016, allows the waiving of the requirement of informed consent for participants in clinical trials if researchers believe an experimental medical device, drug or vaccine being tested poses no more than minimal risk to the patient’s health, or if the product being tested is deemed by researchers to be in the best interest of trial participants.
The Act also lowers FDA standards for the quality of evidence that drug companies have to provide to the FDA before drugs and vaccines are licensed and sold in the U.S. When you consider the big picture, you’d have to be sticking your head in the sand to not care about vaccine safety these days.
With forced vaccinations spreading like wildfire around the globe, we must all fight back and insist on informed consent to medical risk taking, and the right to say no to any vaccine we deem not in our best interest or the best interest of our child.