National Vaccine Information Center

National Vaccine Information Center
National Vaccine Information Center
Founder(s) Barbara Loe Fisher, Jeff Schwartz, Kathi Williams
Type 501(c)3
Founded 1982
Location Vienna, Virginia, U.S.
Mission "Promote and encourage the health and welfare of American children and adults through research and education-oriented programs to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths and to assist individuals (both children and adults) who have been vaccine injured."
Motto Your Health. Your Family. Your Choice.

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) advocacy group which questions the safety and efficacy of commonly used vaccines.[1] The group was founded in 1982 by parents who blamed routine vaccination for the illness or death of a child. Michael Specter has described the NVIC as "the most powerful anti-vaccine organization in America, and its relationship with the U.S. government consists almost entirely of opposing federal efforts aimed at vaccinating children."[2]



The National Vaccine Information Center was co-founded in 1982 by Jeff Schwartz, Barbara Loe Fisher (aka Barbara Loe Arthur),[3] and Kathi Williams, each of whom had children who, they claim, regressed after severe reactions to the DPT vaccine and were brain injured as a result. In 1985, Fisher co-authored with Harris Coulter a critique of the mass vaccination system, DPT: A Shot in the Dark (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich), which presented a view of an association between whole cell pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine in the DPT shot and brain and immune system damage, including autism.

In the early 1980s, NVIC co-founders worked with Congress on the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which created a federal vaccine injury compensation program, mandated that doctors give parents vaccine benefit and risk information, and required the recording and reporting of vaccine injuries and deaths (see Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System). Since then, NVIC has monitored vaccine research, development, regulation, policymaking, and legislation and has criticized mandatory vaccination policies for lacking informed consent protections for individuals.[citation needed]


Michael Specter has described the NVIC as:

"... an organization that, based on its name, certainly sounds like a federal agency. Actually, it's just the opposite: the NVIC is the most powerful anti-vaccine organization in America, and its relationship with the U.S. government consists almost entirely of opposing federal efforts aimed at vaccinating children."[2]

The NVIC argues that there has been inadequate research into the link between the rise in the number of children diagnosed with autism and mass-vaccination programs. There have, however, been a number of peer-reviewed studies and meta-analyses which have shown no correlation between vaccine administration and autism diagnosis.[4][5][6]

The NVIC received criticism in April 2011 for ads that it placed on a jumbotron in Times Square.[7][8] The ads criticized childhood immunization and promoted an alternative medicine website. In a letter to CBS, the owner of the jumbotron, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated, "By providing advertising space to an organization like the NVIC . . . you are putting thousands of lives of children at risk."[9]

Another controversial ad produced by NVIC and aired on some of the flights on Delta Air Lines regarding preventive measures for influenza prompted the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics to write a letter to the CEO of Delta on Nov 4, 2011 and urged Delta to 'remove these harmful messages'.[10] [11] An online petition is also set up to urge Delta to remove the ads.[10][11]

While vaccines do occasionally cause mild adverse reactions (and rarely cause serious reactions), the infrequency of these reactions does little to offset the enormous benefits to public health that vaccines provide.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (October 15, 2009). "Swine Flu Shots Revive a Debate About Vaccines". New York Times. Retrieved April 17, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Specter, Michael (2009). Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives. The Penguin Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-59420-230-8. 
  3. ^ Arthur v. Offit et al. Barbara Loe Fisher used the name "Barbara Loe Arthur" in this lawsuit against Paul Offit. The case was dismissed.
  4. ^ Vaccines and Autism: A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses. Jeffrey S. Gerber and Paul A. Offit
  5. ^ The Rise in Autism and the Mercury Myth. Lawrence Scahill, MSN, PhD and Karen Bearss, PhD
  6. ^ Article on which links to some informative articles concerning the safety of vaccines
  7. ^ The ad that could help fuel a health crisis,, April 25, 2011
  8. ^ Doctors demand the removal of anti-vaccine ad from Times Square, The Guardian
  9. ^ Consumer Health Digest #11-10, National Council Against Health Fraud, April 28, 2011
  10. ^ a b Herper, Matthew Pediatrician Group Slams Delta Airlines For Running Video Made By Vaccine Skeptics, Forbes, Nov. 7, 2011
  11. ^ a b Khan, Amina Pediatricians decry in-flight vaccine-questioning ad on Delta, Los Angeles Times, Nov 16, 2011
  12. ^ Publication by the Canadian Government citing advice from the World Bank

External links

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