NYVIC (New Yorkers for Vaccination Information and Choice)


Michael Belkin

Testimony to Congress
Tuesday, May 18,1999

My daughter Lyla Rose Belkin died on September 16, 1998 at the age of five weeks, about 15 hours after receiving her second Hepatitis B vaccine booster shot. Lyla was a lively, alert five-week-old baby when I last held her in my arms. Little did I imagine as she gazed intently into my eyes with all the innocence and wonder of a newborn child that she would die that night. She was never ill before receiving the Hepatitis B shot that afternoon. At her final feeding that night, she was extremely agitated, noisy and feisty -- and then she fell asleep suddenly and stopped breathing. The autopsy ruled out choking, The NY Medical Examiner ruled her death Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

But the NY Medical Examiner (Dr. Persechino) neglected to mention Lyta's swollen brain or the hepatitis B vaccine in the autopsy report. The coroner spoke to my wife and I and our pediatrician (Dr. Zullo) the day of the autopsy and clearly stated that her brain was swollen. The pediatrician Dr. Zullo's notes of that conversation are "brain swollen ... not sure cause yet ... could not see how recombinant vaccine could cause problem."

SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion .. "it wasn't this, it wasn't that, everything has been ruled out and we don't know what it was." A swollen brain is not SIDS. Through conversations with other experienced pathologists, I subsequently discovered that brain inflammation is a classic adverse reaction to vaccination (with any vaccine) in the medical literature.

I set out to do an investigation of the hepatitis B vaccine and attended a workshop at the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine on "Neo-Natal Death and the Hepatitis B Vaccine," the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) February' meeting and a debate in New Hampshire between the Chairman of the ACIP Dr. Modlin and Dr. Waisbren about the safety of the hepatitis B vaccine. I also obtained the entire Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database on hepatitis B vaccine adverse reactions and have investigated it thoroughly.

These are my conclusions, supported by the following pages of text and analysis that are too lengthy to present in entirety in the time allotted for this appearance. Please read the results of my investigation, as it will help you understand the magnitude of the hepatitis B vaccine issue.

  • Newborn babies are not at risk of contracting the hepatitis B disease unless their mother is infected Hepatitis B is primarily a disease of junkies, gays, and promiscuous heterosexuals
  • The vaccine is given to babies because health authorities couldn't get those risk groups to take the vaccine
  • Adverse reactions out-number cases of the disease in government statistics
  • Nothing is being done to investigate those adverse reactions
  • Those adverse reactions include numerous deaths, convsions and arthritic conditions that occur within days after hepatitis B vaccination
  • The CDC is misrepresenting hypothetical, estimated disease statistics as real cases of the disease
  • The ACIP is recommending new vaccines for premature infants without having scientific studies proving it is safe
  • The US vaccine recommendation process is hopelessly compromised by conflicts of interest with vaccine manufacturers, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC

Conclusion: If (as with the recently-recommended rotavirus vaccine) hepatitis B vaccine was recommended in 1991 without scientific proof that it was safe in a broad sample of racially and genetically diverse babies less than 48 hours old before they established that recommendation, then the CDC has been experimenting on babies like guinea pigs and this Committee should suspend that universal immunization policy.

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