Vaccine Epidemic:  How Corporate Greed, Biased Science, and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health and Our Children

Edited by Louse Kuo Habakus, MA and Mary Holland, JD

Skyhorse Publishing
Copyright 2011 Center for Personal Rights

Reviewed by Katherine Smith

“I am here to tell you that I didn’t know the harm vaccines could do. I think many parents are like me – they don’t know either.  I thought  vaccines would keep in my children safe and healthy.  That’s what the doctor told me.  I never imagined that a vaccine could do this to my daughter.  My doctor never told me the risks.  No one else did either.  I was never shown anything describing potential side effects of vaccines.  If you do choose to be vaccinated, you had better be very comfortable about the need for each vaccine because every time you vaccinate your child, there is a risk of severe injury and death.  It is crucial that parents understand what is at stake and that the choice is theirs to make.  I am telling you that people who pressure you to vaccinate don’t own the consequences.  Only you, as parents, do.”

– Amy Pingel, whose 13-year old daughter Zeda, previously a healthy girl – “a straight A student and a cheerleader” – suffered seizures after Gardasil vaccination and lost her ability to walk, talk and control her bladder.  Zeda now “lives her life in a hospital bed in our living room with daily round-the-clock care and nursing visits”. She is “mostly unresponsive” and “breathes through her trach and eats with a tube.”

Vaccination is a particularly hot topic in New Zealand at the moment [this book review was written several years ago – Ed]  because on March 24, 2011 the Health Select Committee under the leadership of National Party MP Dr Paul Hutchison produced a report that recommends that the government make children’s enrollment at school and early childhood centres dependent on parents producing proof of their children’s vaccination status and – even more ominously – suggests that government direct the Ministry of Health to consider linking “existing parental benefits” to vaccination.

If the government accepts the recommendations in the report, it appears that parents will be forced to choose whether their child has no vaccinations – or all vaccinations on the schedule – in order to be able to supply the documentation necessary to enroll their child in a school or early childhood education centre.  According to page 33 of the report, eligibility for the 20 Hours Free Early Childhood Education may also be restricted to children who have had all recommended vaccinations (or whose parents have signed a “declination form” (stating that they have decided against vaccination).  This proposal is part of Dr Nikki Turner’s “Six star plan” which the report recommends that the government adopt “where there is a clear evidence base for doing so within the resources available”.    (Dr Nikki Turner is the Director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC). Until 2010, IMAC acknowledged funding from the NZ Ministry of Health and five pharmaceutical companies supplying vaccines to the NZ market. The relevant page was removed from the site after it was publicised in Uncensored magazine and also by Radio Waatea and Maori television. The site now has a Funding page that now acknowledges the Ministry of Health as IMAC’s major funder and that the organisation also receives  financial support from “private industry”. See:  )  [This link is no longer current  due to  changes to the IMAC website – Ed]

The report can be downloaded from the following link:

The report represents a significant attack on parents’ rights to make decisions about their children’s healthcare and is being vigorously opposed by people who are interested in human rights and vaccination choice, including the Immunisation Awareness Society (Since renamed WAVESNZ – Ed) ( and a new group No Forced Vaccines (

Important note:  Since this book review was written the NZ government decided against instituting a coercive vaccination policy in NZ, recognising that it would be incompatible with the human right to make a free and informed choiice about medical treatment.  See the press release “Immunisation decision ‘Important victory for human rights’”  at this link for details:

Dr Hutchison has been a strong proponent of vaccination for many years, and in fact in 2005 at the beginning of the meningococcal B (MeNZB) vaccination campaign went on record as stating  “And I repeat: all preschools and schools make it compulsory for children to present a certificate that either confirms the child has been immunised or confirms the parent has made a firm conscientious objection.”

Under Dr Hutchison’s leadership, the Health Select Committee ignored evidence presented by a number of knowlegable people including t researcher and author Hilary Butler ( and Sue Claridge about how the current vaccination programme was often failing to prevent targeted diseases, contributing to the large number of New Zealand children and adults suffering from serious chonic health problems such as asthma, autism and diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) consequently making the procedure a poor investment of taxpayers’ money – unless the purpose of that investment is to increase the profits to the companies that manufacture both vaccines and medications designed to manage the symptoms of chronic illness.

A number of people (mostly parents) whose children had been vaccine-injured also gave evidence to the Inquiry.  Their contributions were generally ignored, although the report did state that “We were disturbed about the unsatisfactory information flow between agencies and families in this process [of investigating injuries and deaths following vaccination].”   (The actual injuries and the deaths do not seem to worry the author(s) of the report.)   The death of 18 year old Jasmine Renata, who developed symptoms consistent with neurological disease following her Gardasil injections and died in her sleep in 2009 had still not been investigated by the Coroner’s office as of early 2011. Her devastated parents made a number of submissions to the Inquiry.

As everyone in New Zealand knows, Gardasil is still being promoted by the NZ Ministry of Health despite Jasmine’s death and reports of serious chronic illness in other recipients.

The Report of the Health Select Committee on its Inquiry into how to improve [increase] immunisation [vaccination]  completion rates states that uptake of the HPV vaccine Gardasil has been lower in schools situated in wealthier areas.  (The Ministry of Health has managed  to get high compliance in schools in low socio-economic areas which typically have a large proportion of Maori and Polynesian students  by sending in Maori/Polynesian nurses who tell the girls that getting vaccinated with Gardasil is the right thing to do.  Having been thus assured by a kindly authority figure from their own ethnic group about the desirability of the vaccine, most girls aged 16 and over – who can legally given consent without parental permission – consent to Gardasil vaccination.)

In the case of Gardasil, it appears that the high compliance rates that are achievable in economically marginalised groups such as Maori and Polynesian girls (who typically comes from families who have less education than the Pakeha majority) cannot be matched in wealthier communities where parents are generally better educated, have internet access and are able to research the vaccine for themselves.
This is consistent with trends worldwide which have shown that parents who are better educated are increasingly likely to make a choice not to vaccinate.  (See: )

Unfortunately, the natural desire of parents to protect their children from harm (by refusing vaccines that they believe pose unacceptable risks to health) has sparked an international backlash led by Big Pharma – which doesn’t want parents’ legitimate fears about vaccine safety to interfere with its multibillion dollar business.

Manipulation of the political process (such as we have just seen in NZ when a vociferous supporter of vaccination manipulates his way into the the chairmanship of the Health Select Committee and holds an Inquiry into vaccination rates that produces a report that recommends a new coercive vaccination policy) can potentially be used as a tool to maintain vaccine sales.  In the USA, vaccines such as Gardasil can be mandated for school attendance.  Drug companies contribute generously to both the Democratic and Republican parties, thus ensuring that whichever is in government, it will be business as usual for the vaccine industry.

A war is also being fought for the hearts and minds of the public.  Vocal vaccination proponent and co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine, Dr Paul Offit wrote a book called Autism’s New False Prophets in an attempt to restore public confidence in vaccination following disclosures that the MMR vaccine and paediatric vaccines containing extremely high levels of mercury could be contributing to the autism epidemic.

In 2011 he published a new book Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All designed to scapegoat parents who decide against vaccination as a danger to the rest of the community – even though if vaccines worked as advertised, individuals who are vaccinated should be protected and therefore at no risk of developing an infectious disease.

Vaccine Epidemic may be seen as one of the initiatives in the struggle to maintain human rights in an age where corporate interests are increasingly dominating public policy.**

Have no doubt about it: human rights are under threat.  In the USA, most paediatric vaccines have been mandated for school entry for years.  This means that unless parents can obtain an exemption their children cannot attend school.  In most (but not all) states of the USA, it is possible to obtain exemptions from vaccination on medical, religious or philosophical grounds.  The discrimination against unvaccinated children in the USA has led to increased numbers of parents choosing to educate their children at home.  Unfortunately, even after compulsory education ends, institutions of “higher learning” continue the ignoble practice of discriminating against unvaccinated students. In some cases, refusal to admit an otherwise qualified students unless s/he submits to vaccination can have tragic consequences, such as the case of a virtuoso violinist who had been home-educated – and not vaccinated.  The college into which she had been accepted refused to waive its vaccination requirements, so she agreed to having an MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) shot. Despite being healthy before the vaccine, after the MMR jab she developed arthritis so severe that she could no longer play her instrument and her general health deteriorated so badly that she had to go on disability.

Incidentally, chronic arthritis following MMR vaccination is on the US National Vaccine Injury Act list of compensable events, and the datasheet for MSD’s MMR-II vaccine on Medsafe’s website lists chronic arthritis as a possible adverse effect following MMR vaccination. The NZ Ministry of Health does not mention the possibility of arthritis as a consequence of MMR vaccination in its booklet for parents  “Childhood Immunisation”.  Moreover, the Ministry of Health-produced Immunisation Handbook [2006] misinforms health professionals by stating that the MMR vaccine “does not cause chronic arthritis”.  The risk of arthritis following MMR vaccination is higher for adolescent girls and women than it is for younger children and men.

Vaccine Epidemic is an anthology and includes contributions from people with different perspectives.  One message does come through  consistently, however: the tragic results for individuals and their families when people are deceived, coerced, or downright forced into “accepting”  vaccination as part of a policy purportedly designed to protect “public health” at the expense of the rights of the individual.

Captain Richard Rovet, USAF (Ret) contributes the story of how US services personnel were used as unwitting human guinea pigs for vaccines containing illegal squalene-based adjuvants – even though these adjuvants were known to induce autoimmune disease in animals.  When many vaccine recipients predictably developed serious chronic illnesses as a result  of their being used in these immoral experiments, they were accused of being “malingers, liars, whiners and malcontents”.  Those who spoke out about these human rights abuses were threatened with dishonourable discharge.  US military personnel are vulnerable to this sort of abuse because the US military can legally waive informed consent for its members and military personnel cannot sue the government.

“I have personally borne witness to the devastating effects of the anthrax vaccine.  I will forever have etched upon my memory the vision of a young enlisted woman screaming and crying as she was forcibly held down while the needle delivering anthrax vaccine was pushed into her body.  I will never forget the sad day when my dead friend, technical Sergeant Clarence Glover, died after anthrax vaccination.  My memory holds the stories of those who skin literally burned off due to anthrax vaccine-induced Stevens-Johnston syndrome and of the infants under my care who were born with severe birth defects after their pregnant mothers were vaccinated with the anthrax vaccine.”

The news in Vaccine Epidemic is not all bleak, however.  Chapter 14 “A Mother-Son Story” is written by Sonja Hintz, RN and Alexander Hintz who respectively relate their different perspectives of Alexander’s decline into – and recovery from – vaccine-induced autism.

Vaccine Epidemic also discusses the fallacies of the theory of “herd immunity” (now being re-branded as “community protection” – at least in NZ) that provides the rationale for increasingly coercive vaccination policies.  According to the chapter contributed to the book by Sheri Tenpenny (DO) in the USA, most children who contract so called “vaccine preventable” diseases are now fully vaccinated. Nevertheless, the vaccine companies promote rampant germophobia as a sales pitch in an effort to convince the public that they are vaccine deficient. Fewer people are falling for this nonsense. The internet has allowed many people to educate themselves about basic preventative health care choices (good nutrition, healthy lifestyles etc) that reduce the risk of developing infections – or suffering serious complications if they or their children do get sick.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that the vaccine companies don’t like it when the public gets uppity and doesn’t want to take their medicine.

They don’t like it when books like Vaccine Epidemic take a long hard look at the science of vaccine safety and reveal to the public that there has never been a proper long term study comparing the health of vaccinated people with those who are not vaccinated.  (In NZ, applications to conduct such studies have been rejected by ethics committees on the grounds that they are unethical because the unvaccinated would be denied the purported benefits of vaccination.)

Vaccine Epidemic, while being firmly on the side of human rights is generally even handed on the subject of vaccination. Its final chapter “What Should Parents Do?” includes information about books from on all sides of the vaccination issue from the unabashedly pro-vaccine camp, to books by doctors who advocate limited vaccination to doctors who oppose all vaccinations. These references could be very useful for parents who are in the process of making decisions about vaccination for their children.

I’ll give the final word in this review to James Turner, JD:

“In a moral society, there can be no mandated vaccinations.  In a moral society citizens must be allowed to choose which vaccines they and their children receive and when.  Without vaccination choice, society places both public and individual health at risk.  Vaccination choice is a fundamental human right.”


Editor’s note:  If you enjoyed this review, you may likewise find the articles on vaccination that are published in The NZ Journal of Natural Medicine to be interesting…The home page for the Journal’s website is