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Bias, conflict of interest and non-disclosure
Dquixote1217 Views: 7,611
Published: 10 years ago
This is a reply to # 1,413,884

Bias, conflict of interest and non-disclosure

Dr. Salmon reports serving on the Merck Vaccine Policy Advisory Board; Dr Orenstein, receiving research funds from Novartis, Merck, and Sanofi Pasteur and a training grant from the Merck Foundation and serving on data and safety monitoring boards associated with GlaxoSmithKline and Encorium; and Dr. Halsey, receiving research funds from Wyeth and Berna, lecture fees from Sanofi, and payments for testimony to the Department of Justice regarding several vaccine compensation cases and serving on data and safety monitoring committees associated with Novartis and Merck. No other potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

Looks like some pretty serious "potential conflicts of interest" to me - and that is just what some of the authors chose to report.  The truth is that what was reported was far, far short of all the "potential conflicts of interest".  Every author of this article is up to their eyebrows in the vaccine industry and their livelihoods are dependent upon vaccinations. 

I guess Dr. Halsey, one of the leading investigators and advocates in the area of vaccines, had a lapse of memory when failing to report that he has received frequent reimbursements for travel expenses and honoraria from companies such as Merck. Or that his institute for vaccine safety at John Hopkins University began with start up funds from Merck, Wyeth Lederle, and others WHICH HE SOLICITED.

It would not be Dr. Halsey's first such lapse in that regard. At the time of the Rotashield approval meeting he played a key role in, Dr. Halsey failed to mention that he had already received $50,000 from Merck and was awaiting funds from Wyeth Lederle.  Dr. Halsey also participated in the rotavirus working group of the ACIP. 

Also, Dr. Halsey was the Chair of the Committee on Infectious Diseases and representative of the American Academy of Pediatrics which, in conjunction with the CDC, sets and advertises the recommendations for schedules and dosages of immunizations.  He was granted a waiver for participation,  participated during the morning session and then recused himself at the beginning of the afternoon session due to conflicts that were not disclosed in the minutes for the meeting. 

Dr. Halsey Serves on the advisory board to the Immunization Action Coalition, an advocacy group funded by vaccine makers including: Aventis Pasteur, Chiron Corporation, Glaxo Wellcome, Merck & Co., Nabi, North American Vaccine, SmithKline-Beecham, Wyeth-Lederle Vaccines.

Dr. Omer has worked on research studies in the United States, Guatemala, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Uganda and South Africa.  Besides industy funding, his studies have been funded by groups closely tied to the vaccination industry (such as the CDC, NIH,WHO, etc)

According to his bio, "He has been involved in vaccine trials and large-scale surveillance of vaccine preventable diseases. Dr. Omer and his colleagues have conducted several studies to evaluate the roles of schools, parents, health care providers, and state-level legislation in relation to immunization coverage and disease incidence. He has conducted research and performed policy analysis on public health preparedness including pandemic influenza preparedness and has worked on identifying and addressing deficiencies in preparedness of the American public health workforce."

Patricia deHart is with the Immunization section of the Washington State Department of Health and has played major roles in such projects as the immunization of tribal children, vaccination of nursing home patients and others.  She is frequently cited in articles vouching for vaccines and promoting expanded vaccinations.  Though deHart appears to have no direct industry ties, do you imagine that she at least gets some nice Christmas cards from the vaccine makers?

So, what we have with this article is a group of authors with numerous ties to the vaccination industry, whose livelihoods depend on vaccinations, and who have a history of authoring articles  - often in combination with one another - which not only vouch for vaccinations safety and effectiveness, but also favor expanding vaccinations further and implementing tougher mandatory vaccination laws.

None of the above in and of itself invalidates the article.  But it surely does introduce an odor of day old fish.


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