Testimony of Betty D. Fluck for U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, & Human Resources. John L. Mica. Chairman

Effectiveness of Hepatitis B Vaccine

May 18, 1999

I would like to thank you for allowing me to come before you today to share my experience with you. Never did I dream that I would have this opportunity. I am a diagnosed victim of the Hepatitis B vaccine. My husband and I are not anti-vaccine. Each of our three boys has been vaccinated per Health Department Guidelines. However, they will not have the hepatitis B vaccine. On December 2, 1997, I took my second Hepatitis B vaccine in the series of three. I was required to have the immunization for my job. I am a Registered Nurse and have been for twenty years. I had just started a new job as a Public Health Nurse for the local Health Department in Kokomo, Indiana. Part of my job description was to give immunizations in the department's weekly clinic.

Roughly twelve hours after receiving my vaccine, I woke up in severe pain - I developed a 104 F fever, nausea and vomiting, respiratory problems, a rash, severe head, neck and back pain, swollen joints and I was unable to move my legs. When the fever broke several hours later, I regained a small percentage of my leg strength. but the severe damage had already been done. I had to use a cane to move around. I had absolutely no energy and I had constant joint and leg pain. I was sleeping approximately 22 hours per day. I continued to rim intermittent low grade fever.

The first doctor that I went to said that I had a reaction to the Hepatitis B vaccine but was unable to help. I went from doctor to doctor looking for help. I ended up at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis. I first saw a doctor who was very kind and told me that he had read about some of the problems with the vaccine. He promised to do some research into the vaccine adverse reactions. He asked me to see one of his colleagues at I. U. Med Center, a rheumatologist. This rheumatologist from I U. was simply hostile to the idea that the Hepatitis B vaccine could have caused my problems. He suggested that some of my problems could be attributed to a kidney stone. Please be aware that at that point, my fingers were so painful that I could not open a soda can.

I returned to the first doctor at I. U. Med Center one month later for a scheduled follow up. This doctor who had been encouraging and sympathetic one month ago now refused to use the word vaccine and attributed some of my problems to the "aging process". Unhappy with both of these doctors, I requested a meeting with a patient advocate and the I. U. doctors. At this meeting, the first doctor finally told me that I had a "political problem. not a medical one."

My condition continued to deteriorate from cane, to walker, to kneebraces. Finally in September, 1998, 1 was put in full leg braces that run from my toes to my hips. With the use of the braces and forearm crutches, I have some mobility. Eight months after the initial injury, I was able to find an out of state doctor who was treating people for vaccine damage. I must now see him every three months.

The vaccine has caused nerve damage to my legs and hands. The medical name for my problem is Chronic inflammatory Demylenating Polyneuropathy (CIDP). I also have multiple types of auto immune disorders, and I now have an elevated rheumatiod arthritis factor. I undergo weekly IV treatment s that cost several thousand dollars per week. Although I have more energy now there is no real prognosis for my condition.

Immediately after I was injured, I contacted the pharmaceutical company asking them for help. They told me that they had never heard of this problem before. I realized at that point that I was not that unique and decided to write to the FDA through the Freedom of Information Act. I requested any reports on file about adverse reactions to the Hepatitis B vaccine for one particular company from 1991 to present. Four months later I received a box containing a 1045 page report. On each page, there were summaries of approximately eight reactions . These 8000 + reactions ranged from mild to death.

I made an appearance on ABC's 20/20 in January, 1999 on their story about the Hepatitis B vaccine. Since that show was aired. I have received numerous calls from adult victims and parents of children who have been injured after taking the Hepatitis B vaccine. One common theme among victims is that their doctors told them that it couldn't be the vaccine because it was perfectly safe.

I recently testified for the State Senate Committee in Indiana with the intent of removing the mandate for the Hepatitis B vaccine for school entry. The proposed ammendment was designed to give the parents the choice to wave the vaccine for any reason.

On March 2, 1999, it passed the State Senate by a vote of 45 to 4. However, the House sponsor of the original bill killed it rather than bring the bill up for debate.

In Indiana, a doctor from the Department of Health told the Senate Committee that one of the arguments for the vaccine was that it was the "first anti-cancer vaccine." Fortunately, we were able to show that the "anti-cancer vaccine" theme was taken from the PATH website. PATH is an organization within the World Health Organization. PATH suggested that the "first anti-cancer vaccine" theme was a good marketing tool to bring about interest in a "boutique" vaccine.

I have minutes from a CDC Study Group Meeting on the Hepatitis B vaccine held in March, 1997. The minutes of the meeting show that it would take at least a 60 day study to show the onset of MS. Clinical studies done by the two manufacturers were four and five days in length, respectively. It should be noted that the afternoon session of this meeting was chaired by Dr. Robert Sharrar of Merck. This group was to decide how to identify various types of adverse reactions such as MS and demylenating disease and to plan meaningful studies. When Dr. Sharrar appeared on ABC's 20/20 in January he said that he honestly believed that the Hepatitis B vaccine had not caused any problems. Can an employee of a pharmaceutical company that manufactures the vaccine be objective in designing experiments to show fault in a product that generates close to a billion dollars in sales for his company?

The form that people are given about the vaccine was written by the CDC. It does not address serious adverse reactions. When you look at the vaccine insert provided by the manufacturer, several adverse reactions are noted. I have since talked to many Healthcare professionals who are also unaware of the potential adverse reactions listed on the vaccine insert. It makes me wonder why the pharmaceutical company representative that I talked with earlier, the one who was unaware of any adverse reactions, was unaware of what their own company's insert said. A vaccine that still has so many unanswered questions should not be mandated for children. It just does not make sense. The right to decide if it is in the best interest of the child should be made by the parents. After all, it appears that for the most part when a child is severely handicapped by this vaccine. the parents are on their own. No one pushing the mandate is there for help or comfort.

In an article on the Hepatitis B vaccine that was printed in the Washington Post. a spokesperson for the CDC, said that nothing unexpected had been observed in the way of adverse reactions. At first. I thought they meant that their position was that no adverse reactions had occurred. Now, I really don't think it was denial. Despite over 20,000 reports to VAERS for the two manufacturers nothing unexpected had occurred. I really believe that the number and type of injuries is no surprise to the CDC. May be the only surprise for the CDC is just how hard the victims are fighting back.


[Media USA, Jan 2003] Vaccine victims forced to wait

[Burton]  [Vaccination]