The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) held a special (virtual) meeting on Wednesday July 29 to address considerations for a COVID-19 vaccination. Like many parents and concerned citizens, I was interested in hearing ACIP's discussions on vaccine implementation, most importantly, who would be considered the "priority" for receiving this vaccine (i.e. who would be targeted as the long-term test group) and if there would be any mention of mandates once a COVID-19 vaccine is on the market.
I attempted to register for public comment for two weeks leading up to the meeting because I have serious concerns about this fast-tracked COVID-19 vaccine. To make an oral comment at an ACIP meeting, members of the public have to submit a request to be entered into a lottery system where people are selected to speak at random.
Although it appeared that I had registered for oral comment at one point, I ultimately never received an email confirming this and assumed I simply had not been chosen to speak. As the event neared, I realized that the "register" button had been grayed out, and people were actually unable to register for public comment entirely for a week leading up to the event. Dozens of other people hoping to comment had also tried to register, and experienced the same series of events.
… one after another, the people who stepped up to speak were enthusiastically pro-vaccine in their statements and in fact spent much of their time complimenting the CDC and the ACIP members in particular for their noble efforts.
On Wednesday, as public comment began, I noticed that, one after another, the people who stepped up to speak were enthusiastically pro-vaccine in their statements and in fact spent much of their time complimenting the CDC and the ACIP members in particular for their noble efforts. During the public comment component of all prior ACIP meetings I'd heard, there was a more balanced airing of commentary from those who embraced vaccines in general and those who had been impacted negatively by vaccines in the past. But in this meeting, there were absolutely no comments that did anything except heap praise upon the committee and initiate discussions that would guide the conversation in the preferred direction of the ACIP members.
Among those who stepped up to testify and sing the praises of ACIP and the CDC were Dr. Stanley Plotkin, Alison Singer, and Dorit Reiss.
Dr. Stanley Plotkin, also known as the "The Godfather of Vaccines," pioneered the use of aborted fetal tissue to create the rubella vaccine in the 1960's, and has worked extensively on the development of other vaccines including cytomegalovirus, varicella, rabies, polio, and rotavirus. Dr. Plotkin is currently a Professor Emeritus at both Wistar Institute and the University of Pennsylvania. He also functions as a consultant to the vaccine industry.
Dorit Reiss is a Professor of Law at UC Hastings College of Law. She is known for her work regarding vaccination policies and has spent much of her career focusing on parents who chose to opt out of vaccination for medical or religious reasons. She has long insisted that those who obtain legal exemptions should face legal liability if their children transmit a vaccine-preventable disease to other people. She was a major supporter of Senator Richard Pan and his unconstitutional bill, SB277, which removed most vaccine exemption options in the state of California.