The Rotavirus Vaccine: A Case Study in Government Corruption and Malfeasance • Children’s Health Defense
Paul Offit is currently director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). He also holds the Maurice R. Hilleman Chair in Vaccinology, created in honor of the former senior vice president of Merck, which provided a $1.5 million endowment to the hospital and the University of Pennsylvania to “accelerate the pace of vaccine research”.
Offit joined the ACIP in October 1998 and three times voted in favor on decisions related to the use of the rotavirus vaccine, including a vote to add the vaccine to the CDC’s “Vaccines For Children” program—all while sharing ownership of a patent for a rotavirus vaccine being developed under a grant from Merck.
A member of the CDC’s advisory committee until June 2003, Offit’s vaccine was approved by the FDA in 2006 under the trademark “RotaTeq”. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was listed alongside Offit as a patent owner on the filing certificate issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office, and the hospital sold its stake in RotaTeq in 2008 under a deal in which Offit profited handsomely; he has acknowledged that he made “several million dollars, a lot of money”.
Offit also happens to be a routinely cited go-to “expert” on vaccines for the mainstream media. He once penned an op-ed for the New York Times accusing parents who choose not to vaccinate their children of child abuse on the grounds that Jesus, were he with us in the flesh today, would advocate forcibly vaccinating children against their parents’ will.
As it so happened, in October 1999, the first rotavirus vaccine licensed for use in the US, Wyeth’s RotaShield, was withdrawn from the market because it was found to be causing intussusception, an often excruciating and potentially fatal condition in which part of the intestine telescopes into itself.