Vaccine Spending: Promotion & Safety

 
         
 

How Much Money is Spent on Vaccine Promotion & Safety Studies

 

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VACCINE SAFETY SPENDING

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) - Federal spending on vaccine safety is predominantly within the CDC.  
· Base funding within the CDC for vaccine safety research in 2007 was $21.6 million.  (I am still awaiting a breakdown from CDC as to how much of this $21.6 million is spent on actual studies relating to vaccine safety, as opposed to simply paying HMOs to provide CDC with raw data.)
· Of the $21.6 million:
o $16.1 million was spent on the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) and the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA)
o $2.7 million was spent on the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)
o $2.8 million was spent on an international collaboration known as the Brighton Collaboration.
·Of the $21.6 million outlined above, only a small percentage is actually spent investigating adverse reactions, the bulk of the funding is spent on data collection.
·Also, CDC’s vaccine safety research mostly consist of epidemiology (statistical) studies as opposed to looking at specific potential biological mechanisms.  Even Dr. Gerberding and top NIH officials acknowledged in an October 2004 Congressional Appropriations Committee hearing that if there is a subset of children who have a genetic susceptibility, the type of statistical (epidimological) studies that the CDC conducts would not detect a vaccine/autism association.
·Only the CDC’s CISA program looks at biological mechanisms and focuses on understanding specific ways in which a vaccine may cause a certain reaction.  But, CISAs represent a very small amount of spending (roughly $2-$3 million range the last time I looked) and even then the CISAs are not looking at many of the issues that are being raised by parents in America today.
 
National Institutes of Health (NIH)- The NIH will fund a vaccine safety proposal if it gets through peer review and is in the top 20% of grants when scored.  Very few vaccine safety studies reach this threshold, because it is not a priority within NIH.  The NIH has no coordinated effort to consider vaccines safety issues. If NIH funds any such studies it is haphazard.
 
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – The FDA runs the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in conjunction with the CDC.  The FDA does a few studies within VAERS, but the CDC generally takes the lead.
 
 
VACCINE PROMOTION SPENDING BY CDC

It would be safe to say that the CDC spends tens of millions of dollars on vaccine promotion. Here is why:
 

  • It is difficult to get a specific dollar figure from the CDC on how much they spend on vaccine promotion.  Funding dedicated to vaccine promotion is not broken out separately but is within the $500+ million vaccine operations budget.  (The operations budget includes a number of activities including: delivery of vaccines, training of nurses etc.., front line public health professionals, infrastructure support, immunization registries, producing and distributing consumer information (promotion materials), and school-based and community-based delivery programs.
  • In addition to any “vaccine promotion” spending in the above, the CDC will spend over $19 million to encourage more Americans to get the annual flu vaccine.  ($19 million just for promoting the flu vaccine is roughly the same the CDC spends for all vaccine safety research.)

VACCINE SAFETY SPENDING

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) - Federal spending on vaccine safety is predominantly within the CDC.  
· Base funding within the CDC for vaccine safety research in 2007 was $21.6 million.  (I am still awaiting a breakdown from CDC as to how much of this $21.6 million is spent on actual studies relating to vaccine safety, as opposed to simply paying HMOs to provide CDC with raw data.)
· Of the $21.6 million:
o$16.1 million was spent on the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) and the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA)
o $2.7 million was spent on the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)
o $2.8 million was spent on an international collaboration known as the Brighton Collaboration.
· Of the $21.6 million outlined above, only a small percentage is actually spent investigating adverse reactions, the bulk of the funding is spent on data collection.
· Also, CDC’s vaccine safety research mostly consist of epidemiology (statistical) studies as opposed to looking at specific potential biological mechanisms.  Even Dr. Gerberding and top NIH officials acknowledged in an October 2004 Congressional Appropriations Committee hearing that if there is a subset of children who have a genetic susceptibility, the type of statistical (epidimological) studies that the CDC conducts would not detect a vaccine/autism association.
· Only the CDC’s CISA program looks at biological mechanisms and focuses on understanding specific ways in which a vaccine may cause a certain reaction.  But, CISAs represent a very small amount of spending (roughly $2-$3 million range the last time I looked) and even then the CISAs are not looking at many of the issues that are being raised by parents in America today.
 
National Institutes of Health (NIH)- The NIH will fund a vaccine safety proposal if it gets through peer review and is in the top 20% of grants when scored.  Very few vaccine safety studies reach this threshold, because it is not a priority within NIH.  The NIH has no coordinated effort to consider vaccines safety issues. If NIH funds any such studies it is haphazard.
 
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – The FDA runs the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in conjunction with the CDC.  The FDA does a few studies within VAERS, but the CDC generally takes the lead.
 
 
VACCINE PROMOTION SPENDING BY CDC

It would be safe to say that the CDC spends tens of millions of dollars on vaccine promotion. Here is why:

  • It is difficult to get a specific dollar figure from the CDC on how much they spend on vaccine promotion.  Funding dedicated to vaccine promotion is not broken out separately but is within the $500+ million vaccine operations budget.  (The operations budget includes a number of activities including: delivery of vaccines, training of nurses etc.., front line public health professionals, infrastructure support, immunization registries, producing and distributing consumer information (promotion materials), and school-based and community-based delivery programs.
  • In addition to any “vaccine promotion” spending in the above, the CDC will spend over $19 million to encourage more Americans to get the annual flu vaccine.  ($19 million just for promoting the flu vaccine is roughly the same the CDC spends for all vaccine safety research.)

 

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