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Our 53rd Year

Immunization – An “Adverse Event” By Beth Topp

The following is a letter from Beth Topp, a mother of a child who suffered serious mental and physical injury from a “routine “Hepatitis B vaccination required by his school. The letter was written prior to Congressional hearings on the wisdom of involuntary immunization in the military which ended inconclusively. BethTopp’s experience is not unique. You may want to join with her in reminding our elected representatives that there are serious risk factors in immunizations which calls into question the policy of mandatory vaccinations.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to you because I would not be able to live with myself if I didn’t try to prevent other people from having to experience the same tragedy that our family did this summer.

Last month, I was required to have my children immunized against Hepatitis B. I didn’t feel that my children were at risk for this disease, so I called the school and was informed that it was a new California law and my children couldn’t attend school without having the shots. I still didn’t agree that this was something they needed. I reviewed the benefits and “risk” information with our doctor. I read the pamphlets from county and state health departments. This is a new type of genetically engineered vaccine and everything said this vaccine was safe! In fact, the literature stated that “no known serious reactions have been associated with the Hepatitis B vaccine.” Like many of you, I think time with my children is precious so I try to choose my battles carefully. I made what I thought was an informed decision based on this information. I didn’t think this battle was worth the effort.

On May 28, 1999 my 10-year old son and his 13 year old brother received the first of three “mandatory” Hepatitis B vaccines. My 10-year old son experienced mental, physical and personality deviations almost immediately. Five days later the left side of his face was paralyzed, followed shortly by his left arm, then his abdominal muscles and legs. He has been diagnosed with Central Nervous System Demyelination/autoinunune Disorder from serious adverse reaction to Hepatitis B. The prognosis and severity of both are unknown. There are no practice standards of treatment.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration), CDC (Center for Disease Control) and MERCK, the maker of the vaccine, don’t know how to cure him. They do, however, keep a record of these reactions in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System in order to monitor the frequency of very serious reactions. They classified what was done to Robert as an “Expected Expeiience.” I certainly didn’t expect it!! Since then I have learned that many others have been injured by vaccines. Recently the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons spoke out against this vaccine on their website ( after new studies have shown there is 100 times greater chance of being injured from the vaccine than the actual disease.

There seems to be an underlying misconception that only a few members of society are at risk of being injured. Individuals killed or damaged by immunization policies aren’t always statistically classified as being injured. It is not only these individuals who are being put at risk. Every member of our society is being subjected to the same risk. We don’t know who will be injured or ldlled. Imagine if the law required all children entering 7th grade must first have a gun put to their heads and the trigger pulled before they will be allowed to attend school. Remember, by law they must attend school. Would it make a difference if they only. loaded 100 bullets, 1000 bullets or 100,000 bullets? Would it matter how many other children were having a gun put to their heads? Or how many times they pulled the trigger? Or how many times your child had to go back and take another risk? Everyone must realize that we are all being subjected to the same risk.

Inununization laws are based on the idea that the risk to the individual doesn’t outweigh the benefit to society. When there is no imminent danger to society, what possible benefit could outweigh the risk of losing a life? Public confidence and financial factors cannot be allowed to justify risk to health and safety. The FDA, CDC, MERCK and everyone involved in this policy use terms like “adverse event” and “expected experience” to distance themselves from the lives that are at stake. They discuss the numbers and make casual decisions without ever having to aclmowledge that the numbers are really lives being destroyed.

If you have ever visited the Vietnam Memorial Wall, you lcnow the dramatic impact acknowledging the individual lives lost in this action makes when presented this way. I couldn’t conceive it until I could see it. Reading a number could never have touched me the same way. It was just another chapter in my history class. Until the events, reports and claims stop being another statistic and somehow become a person with a future, hopes, dreams and a family, the policies won’t change. They need to have a face and a name for every claim they evaluate for the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. We don’t want the Department of Justice performance goals of closing defensive cases with at least 85% of the amount claimed against the Government being defeated. It should not be established without considering all the children who are suffering. They need to conceive the number of people impacted by their decisions.

People, like myself, should begin to send emails or letters to local, state and federal government officials, the media and other decision makers to remind them that every statistic has a name and people who love them. Tell everyone you know to do the same. We are calling this the Immunization Vaccination & You (IVY) campaign. Ivy grows quickly and we hope our campaign will, too. We plan to contact these officials as frequently as possible and ask others to do the same. It is our intention to build a “Virtual Memorial Wall” out of email and letters instead of bricks. It is our hope that our personal stories will assist our government in putting names on these claims and realizing they are not just numbers but lives.

Everyday more people risk their lives and the number of injuries grows. I don’t want to wait for more people to be hurt before we are finally heard. Ironically, my family is no longer at risk because we learned the hard way what really can happen. It is the rest of society who is at risk: you, your loved ones and an entire generation of children.

I don’t expect anyone to write a paper quoting sources and statistics. Just a message, short or long. It is up to you to tell them your concerns or what has happened to you. Your support is greatly needed. You can send not only emails and letters, but fax, telegram, telephone or whatever you choose. You can forward my story if you would like or just a brief note. But please, anyway you can, do this. Every life damaged or lost deserves a brick in this “Virtual Memorial Wall.” Don’t let them be forgotten.

This is not something any parent can accept. My family needs to focus on accepting our current situation and begin healing so that we can overcome this challenge. God doesn’t give more than we can handle and I believe he has a reason for everything, even for this. Perhaps we will become stronger or one day find a more acceptable answer. Until then I am compelled to do what little I can to prevent this from happening to others. I know that human beings can do miracles and I have felt the power of prayer. Please read this, share it and say a prayer for Robert and all the other vaccine injured children, both those we Icnow and those we don’t. I couldn’t have known that before the shot, but maybe together we can let someone else know before it happens to them. Please help me to help them and pass this information on to everyone you possibly can. I live in fear that the person I didn’t tell will one day tell me about their child being injured like mine.

Thank you for all your support,
Beth Topp, Robert’s Mom