Vaccines and the media
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Here is an example of the media distorting facts and hiding vaccine damage.

Poliomyelitis, suspected - India: post-vaccination       20001220.2234]

Date: Mon 12 Nov 2001 23:22:27 -0600
From: Henry V. Huang <huang@borcim.wustl.edu>
Source: BBC News Online, Mon 12 Nov 2001 [edited]
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_1651000/1651863.stm>


Morbidity and Mortality after Polio vaccination in Assam
--------------------------------------------------------
CALCUTTA: At least 10 children have died in India's northeastern state of Assam of side effects after being administered a vaccine during an polio immunisation campaign run by the state government. More than 500 children have been admitted to government and private hospitals after falling sick. Angry groups of parents have surrounded offices of the local administration in protest in Assam's southern city of Silchar.

On Sunday, thousands of children were administered a polio vaccine throughout Assam and the rest of the country. But within a day of the massive polio immunisation campaign, reports have come in of large-scale side effects in and around the city of Silchar in southern Assam. Officials say 9 children have died in one village -- Labok -- while one died in Malugram locality of Silchar.

Non-governmental organisations in Silchar who assist the government in this campaign say outdated vaccines were possibly supplied in some areas. But officials were not willing to speculate on the causes of the large-scale side effects.

[Byline: Subir Bhaumik]

Notice the story change. The same group of kids two days later. They now claim it was not the vaccine, but vitamin A that caused the problem!

From: <mailto:antiun@earthlink.net>Cliff Kincaid
To: Kincaid@protectmedicalfreedom.com
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2001 7:12 PM
Subject: Polio Vaccine
http://www.unfoundation.org/unwire/current.asp#contents
 
INDIA: UNICEF, WHO Reject Link Between Polio Vaccine, Child Illnesses Officials from the World Health Organization and UNICEF have categorically denied any link between the oral polio vaccine and children becoming ill this week in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, as reported by BBC and local media Monday.

Some media sources have publicly apologized for making any link between the oral polio vaccine and hundreds of children who have become ill in the region, said UNICEF spokeswoman Liza Barrie.

Any link between the illnesses and the oral polio vaccine is "completely incorrect" and "wrong," said WHO official Christine McNabb, who said the last polio vaccination campaign in the area was completed months ago. According to McNabb, there may have been confusion between Vitamin A and the oral polio vaccine, which are both given in oral formulation, and are often administered together in joint campaigns.

UNICEF is investigating the possibility of a link between liquid doses of vitamin A that were given to children in the region as part of the third round of an anti-blindness campaign and the illnesses that have left one 2-year-old child dead and hundreds of children hospitalized.  According to Barrie, there were no problems after the two earlier rounds of the anti-blindness campaign, and most of the 700 children who became sick have already been released from the hospital.  UNICEF plans to send a team tomorrow, composed of outside experts and UNICEF officials, to work with the government and discover the exact cause of the illnesses, Barrie added.
She also refuted the possibility that the vitamin A supply was outdated, saying the supply had undergone extensive quality control checks (Scott Hartmann, UN Wire, Nov. 14).
 
http://www.unfoundation.org/unwire/current.asp#contents

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20011116/hl/vitamins_2.html
 

No mention of Polio Vaccine at all

 

Probe ordered into vitamin A deaths
-----------------------------------
GUWAHATI: The state government has ordered an inquiry and seized unused vials of vitamin A following the death of at least one infant and thousands of children below the age of 5 being taken ill. The condition of 3 children in the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital is said to be critical.

The UNICEF-Assam campaign has been stopped and all remaining stocks have been seized. "If required we would not hesitate to hand over the inquiry to the CBI," said health minister Bhumidar Burman.

It is said that vitamin A dose supplied by UNICEF and a changed spoon of bigger size might have resulted in an overdose, admitted the state health minister Dr Bhumidar Barman.

Das [deputy commissioner, Cachar] said that a large number of people were rushing to the district hospitals with their children, making it almost impossible for them to [be adequately cared for]. "We have requisitioned help from the army, medical college, and other places and admitted, at least, 500 small children who had developed serious symptoms," he said.

In Nagaon also, it is the same story. There are more than 500 cases in the district alone, while in Nagaon town hospital 6 children with serious symptoms are undergoing treatment.

Talking to the press, Dr Barman said: "It is true that after vitamin A is administered to children who are weak and suffer from malnutrition, they can have after-effects like pain in the abdomen, vomiting and high fever."

UNICEF supplies earlier used to come with a spoon meant for the exact dose of vitamin A. It is for the first time that the spoon size was changed to one capable of holding 5 ml, which is 2-1/2 times more than the normal dose. Carrie Auer, UNICEF's state representative in Kolkata, admitted that this was for the first time that the changed spoon has been used for administering the doses.

Here, they are now convinced it is the Vitamin

Indian Doctors Suspended After Vitamin Overdoses

GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) - Two Indian doctors and four nurses have been suspended after a 2-year-old girl died and at least 700 children fell ill due to a vitamin overdose, officials said Friday.

The children were taken to hospital in the northeast state of Assam after Sunday's anti-blindness campaign in which medical workers administered vitamin A supplied by UNICEF (news - web sites) to 321,000 children.

The children developed fevers and started vomiting after taking the vitamin orally. They have since been released.

"Now we are almost certain that the children were affected because of an overdose of the medicine,"
Assam Health Minister Bhumidhar Burman told Reuters. Action has been taken against the doctors and nurses responsible for it." UNICEF denied reports of vitamin contamination after the Assam episode. Officials said the doses were part of a third round of vitamin A administration in Assam and there had been no complications in earlier cases.

Which do you think is more likely to have caused these deaths? Vitamin A or the Polio vaccine?

 

http://indiabroad.rediff.com/news/2002/jan/21assam.htm

Poor response to pulse polio campaign in Assam

G Vinayak in Guwahati

Alarmed by the poor response to the first phase of pulse polio immunisation drive held on Sunday, the Assam government has decided to undertake a special two-day door-to-door drive to administer the polio vaccine to as many children as possible.

Although 4.2 million children were targeted by the state's health department under the first phase of vaccination held across the state on Sunday, less than 50 per cent of the children turned up as parents feared a repeat of the November 11 tragedy when 23 children died soon after being administered Vitamin A drops.

According to the state director of health and family welfare, Dr SN Thakuria, only 50 per cent of the children in rural areas and about 36 per cent in the urban centres could be given the polio drops on
Sunday.

"It is unfortunate, but true that many impoverished parents are apprehensive about their children's health after witnessing what happened during the Vitamin A campaign," Dr Gokul Sarma, a leading paediatrician in Guwahati, said.

Neither the UNICEF nor the Assam government accepted the responsibility for the death of 23 children in November 2001, although the Assam Human Rights Commission has indicted the state government for negligence in running the campaign and has recommended payment of compensation to the parents of the victims.

Health experts now fear that the target of eradicating polio in the country by 2003 might suffer a setback since the success of such mass campaigns depend upon wider coverage. "Even if a couple of thousand children are left out of the drive, the wild virus may remain within the community leading to polio cases in the future," an UNICEF official said on condition of anonymity.

The door-to-door survey planned for Tuesday may increase the coverage by another 20 to 30 per cent, but that is not enough to meet the targets, health officials said. The second round pulse polio vaccination is slated for February 14, but given the apprehensions in the minds of the people, it is unlikely that many more parents will come out in larger numbers, health officials said'.'

 

(I can't believe it!!!I think someone slips and says its a vaccine reaction)

Infant dies at DYFS office after shot

Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 10/21/05

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEWARK — An infant died Thursday after being stricken at a downtown office of the state child welfare agency, police said.

The month-old boy, who has been in foster care since birth, had just arrived about noon at an office of the state Division of Youth and Family Services from a doctor's visit. He had received immunizations at the doctor's office, said DYFS spokesman Andy Williams.

"When the aide arrived to bring the baby upstairs, he noticed he was having trouble breathing and there was blood in his nose," Williams said.

The aide brought the child to the office nurse, who began resuscitation efforts while emergency medical workers were called. The baby was pronounced dead at 12:46 p.m., Williams said.

"It appears the baby had a reaction to an immunization," Williams said.

 

I knew that was too good to be true.... the spin begins...... now its just suspect.

5-week-old foster child dies at DYFS office

Officials in Newark suspect reaction to routine vaccination
Friday, October 21, 2005
BY SUSAN K. LIVIO

Star-Ledger Staff

A 5-week-old foster child died at a state Division of Youth and Family Services office in Newark yesterday, shortly after a routine visit to a medical clinic where he received a vaccination.

A DYFS aide bringing newborn Zaire Knott from the clinic to the office on Halsey Street noticed the infant was having trouble breathing and was bleeding from his nose, state spokesman Andy Williams said.

The aide rushed the boy inside DYFS District Office #1, where an in-house nurse urgently gave the newborn cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Although the nurse was assisted by emergency medical technicians who managed to regain a pulse, the baby died in the office at 12:46 p.m., Williams said.

"An exact cause of death will be determined at a later date pending the results of an autopsy," according to the police statement.

DYFS officials suspect the immunizations -- for hepatitis B and polio -- "caused the distress or some sort of reaction," Williams said.

"We'll review the circumstances, but it sounds like a medical complication. We'll look at exactly what was done after they discovered the baby was in distress," Williams added. But one expert said fatal reactions to those routine vaccinations are nearly unheard of. "Every (vaccine) has risk," said Susan Morrison, an immunology and pediatric infectious disease specialist at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville. But she added, "I have never, in 25 years, heard of anyone dying within an hour of getting the vaccine for the first exposure time. ... In my experience, I have never had anyone have a life-threatening complication to polio and hepatitis B (vaccines)."

A person can die from a severe allergic reaction to a component of a vaccine, but that requires previous exposure to that substance, Morrison said. "And at this age, I find it very hard to believe that would happen."

Why would a 5 week old baby get a polio vaccine? This typically happens at 8 weeks.

 

Now that is more like it. Vaccines have nothing to do with this death......

http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/12966122.htm
Posted on Fri, Oct. 21, 2005

  No cause yet determined for death of infant at DYFS office

Associated Press


NEWARK, N.J. - The New Jersey Office of the Child Advocate said it does not suspect an adverse reaction to vaccinations or foul play to have been the cause of death for a month-old boy at a state welfare services agency Thursday. Zaire Knott, who had been in foster care since he was born on Sept. 16, suffered respiratory arrest at a state Division of Youth and Family Services office in Newark. The boy was pronounced dead at 12:46 p.m. at St. Michael's Medical Center.

While DYFS officials initially suspected the infant might have died from an adverse reaction to a hepatitis B or polio vaccination that he was given by a private doctor, they said Friday there was no medical evidence indicating that.

(I wonder what that medical evidence is.....)
As of late Friday, no cause of death had been determined, and the Essex County Medical Examiner's Office still had not completed its autopsy, according to representatives for the state Department of Human Services.

Human Services Commissioner James Davy told News 12 New Jersey that DYFS was not at fault in the death of the boy. The infant was being transported to the DYFS office for a visit with his biological mother when an aide noticed that he was having trouble breathing and had blood in his nose. The boy was brought to the office nurse, who attempted to resuscitate him until an ambulance crew arrived.
 

Now they are positive.....Its not a vaccine reaction

 

Autopsy: Vaccines didn't cause Newark baby's death
Saturday, October 22, 2005
BY SUSAN K. LIVIO
Star-Ledger Staff
Authorities still haven't determined why a 5-week-old child died inside a child welfare office in Newark on Thursday, but an autopsy ruled out a lethal reaction to vaccines the boy received earlier in the day, state Child Advocate Kevin Ryan said yesterday.

The Newark Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor's Office also determined that Zaire Knott, born Sept. 16, did not die from "blunt force trauma," authorities confirmed. A person close to the investigation said the autopsy did not find any evidence the child had suffocated or choked.

Still, the cause of death might not be known for weeks. Newark police Detective Todd McClendon said the autopsy was completed, but inconclusive, and Charlotte Smith, the prosecutor's spokeswoman, said the medical examiner's office needs to await the results of toxicology reports. 

"We know it wasn't a homicide, but we're not sure what the exact cause was," McClendon said.

A DYFS aide picked up Zaire from his foster home in Newark Thursday morning after the child had returned from the Forrest Hill Health Center in the city with his foster mother. The baby had gotten shots for polio and hepatitis B, said Ryan, whose office is investigating the case.

At first, the worker "brought the baby back to (the foster parent) because he was concerned about the baby's condition," Ryan said, declining to elaborate. Moments later, the worker returned to his car and drove the child to DYFS district office 1 on Halsey Street. The baby was scheduled to have a visit with his birth mother at the office.

But Zaire was having trouble breathing and a nose bleed, DYFS spokesman Andy Williams said. The worker saw the baby's labored breathing and bloody nose and rushed inside the office to have the child examined by a staff nurse, who began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Williams said.

A call was placed to 911 at 11:55 am, and an ambulance from University Hospital EMS arrived at the DYFS office six minutes later, hospital spokesman Rogers Ramsey said.

The emergency medical technicians continued CPR and obtained a pulse, Williams said.

They transported the infant to St. Michael's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:46 p.m., 16 minutes after he arrived, authorities said.

Although the investigation is still in the early stages, Ryan, the child advocate, said he wanted to announce that an allergic reaction did not cause the boy's death to allay parents' fears about inoculations. DYFS officials had speculated the child died from the shots, but pediatricians told the child advocate's office it was unlikely that could happen.

"It is essential parents fully immunize their children," Ryan said.

Staff Writer Jonathan Schuppe contributed to this story

I wonder when it is a reaction to the vaccine...

Riots in Algeria as vaccine kills seven babies
(Filed: 26/12/2001)

RIOTS swept through the Algerian town of Oued el Abtal after the deaths of seven babies who had received measles vaccinations. Residents fought police and set fire to government buildings when the town's prefect arrived to attend the children's funerals. Police fired warning shots in an attempt to disperse the crowd in the town near Mascara, about 225 miles west of Algiers. The seven victims were between three and 18 months old. Three died immediately after receiving the injections last week as part of a vaccination campaign and four others died within an hour, witnesses said.

Dozens more were taken to hospital in a serious condition. Local doctors claimed that the vaccine had passed its expiry date, but health authorities later denied this and said the vaccination had been administered incorrectly.

www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/12/26/walg2
6.xml&sSheet=/news/2001/12/26/ixworld.html

 

Scientists examine CJD 'link' to polio vaccine

18.12.2001

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?story
ID=333566&msg=emaillink

Senior British Government advisers yesterday sought to head off a potential public health scare after two people with the human form of BSE were found to have shared the same batch of polio vaccine. Although the two victims of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) both swallowed the oral form of the vaccine – which was made using bovine blood –scientists believe the cases are an unlucky coincidence. Professor Peter Smith, chairman of the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (Seac), revealed that an investigation by scientists has failed to find evidence of a link between other cases of vCJD and the polio vaccine.

However, Seac scientists are concerned that even raising the possibility of a link between vCJD and the vaccine could turn parents away from childhood immunisation programmes which have already suffered bad publicity over alleged health risks. "We were worried on the committee that this might affect whether parents would want their children to be vaccinated in this country," said Deidre Cunningham, a public health specialist and new member of Seac.

"We thought that an absolutely infinitesimal risk was absolutely no justification for ruining a vaccination and immunisation programme that actually does protect people’s health," Dr Cunningham said. The two vCJD patients are part of a group of five "geographically associated cases" in the Southampton area. Both patients were given oral polio vaccine from a batch distributed in 1994, six years prior to the vaccine being banned. Each batch consisted of between 70,000 and 80,000 doses of vaccine and was part of a larger consignment of about 5m doses each made by an identical process of growing the vaccine in blood serum drawn from foetal calves.

The Department of Health recalled the vaccine in October 2000 after it discovered that it breached European guidelines banning the use of foetal calf serum from countries affected by BSE. However, a comparison of patients with vCJD and healthy people failed to find evidence to suggest that the vaccine could have caused the transfer of BSE from cattle to humans. "Looking at the cases as a whole, there is really nothing to implicate this source of polio vaccine. The committee did not think that this was in any way persuasive evidence for a link to the vaccine," Professor Smith said.

So far there have been 112 cases of vCJD and most of them have been in people younger than 30, the group most likely to have received polio vaccine over the past 20 years. "Both of these individuals were young adults when they received the vaccine. The vaccine is generally given to infants but quite a lot of us should receive polio vaccine at later ages, as did these two individuals,"Professor Smith said. "The fact that two had received vaccine from this one batch did not strike us as a reason for really changing the advice that had previously been given," he said.

Both patients lived in the Southampton area, were of a similar age and could have shared many other features of their lifestyle, including diet. "It’s highly likely that they would have had polio vaccine from the same batch –that’s why we didn’t attribute any particular significance to this," Professor Smith said. Extensive tests have failed to find any evidence that BSE can be transmitted in the blood of adult cattle with the disease, let alone immature foetuses, said Ray Bradley, a veterinary scientist and member of Seac.

"We’ve tested many components of bovine blood and foetal calf blood by bioassay and can find no detectable infectivity in any of those materials," Mr Bradley said. "Foetal calf serum is used in most viral vaccines at the stage where you grow the cells and there have been literally millions of bovine and ovine vaccines prepared in this manner and no evidence whatsoever that there’s even been any transmission of BSE," he said.
 

 

Another Human Guinea Pig Story with dangerous unproved vaccines

<http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?reportID=16>
Meningococcal epidemic - fighting a killer

18.02.2002
Plans to vaccinate everyone aged under 20 against meningococcal disease depend on the success of a trial starting in Auckland shortly. ANDREW LAXON reports. In a few months volunteers should start walking through the doors of the University of Auckland medical school, rolling up their sleeves and giving blood samples. The 90 human guinea pigs will then be given an injection against meningococcal meningitis, the disease that has killed 184 New Zealanders, many of them children, in the past decade.

Thirty will get a new vaccine, developed specifically for New Zealand. Thirty will get a variation on this vaccine, and the rest will get the Norwegian vaccine, which served as model for our version. The 18-to-50-year-olds taking part in this clinical trial - possibly Auckland Hospital doctors and nurses if other Aucklanders are reluctant to come forward by May - will take away a diary to record any reactions, such as a sore arm or a temperature. Six weeks later, they will be back for another dose and another blood test to see if the vaccine is working. In six more weeks, they will return for their final dose and blood test (all sent to Government laboratories for evaluation, with checks by international experts).

Then scientists will start to know whether the $100 million experiment to stop New Zealand's worst infectious disease is working.

For Professor Diana Lennon, the childhood infectious diseases specialist running the trial, an even more important test will come in the next phase.If the vaccine works on adults, she hopes to start trials among 100 to 150 older schoolchildren this year, before moving on to the same numbers of toddlers and babies. She describes this as the absolute "stop-go" point of the trial - children under 5 with poorly developed immune systems are the disease's biggest victims.

If the second phase works, the vaccine will gradually be introduced into high-risk areas such as South Auckland. If it brings the disease rate down with no severe side-effects, the vaccine will be used to immunise a million New Zealanders under the age of 20. After that, meningococcal B vaccine could become part of the child immunisation schedule given at six weeks, three months and five months (with shots against hepatitis B, diphtheria and measles, mumps and rubella) within the next five years. All this involves a lot of "ifs", but the scale of meningococcal disease has given the search for a vaccine a sense of urgency. Since 1991 New Zealand has suffered 184 deaths and the epidemic is expected to last another decade, with 4000 more cases and 200 more deaths.

One in every 100 Maori and Pacific Island children under 5 can expect to catch meningococcal disease, which is strongly linked to poverty. Although no one knows exactly what causes it to spread, Auckland researchers have shown that the risk here increases with household overcrowding. Overseas research has suggested a link with passive smoking, but not enough to account for all the cases. As a result, public health specialists regard an effective vaccine as the best hope of fighting meningococcal meningitis. The problem is that finding one for the New Zealand strain has been challenging scientists for decades.

All vaccines work by giving the body a tame version of the real disease which gradually builds up the body's natural defences. The trick in developing a new vaccine is to find the substance in the bug carrying the disease which will provoke human antibodies into a hostile reaction. Although the presence of antibodies does not guarantee a successful vaccine, it is considered a reliable guide. Scientists scrutinising the blood tests in the Auckland clinical trial will therefore be looking for a certain level of antibodies - Professor Lennon says the exact "pass rate" is still to be determined - to see if the vaccine is working.

In the case of meningococcal meningitis, the disease comes in three main types - A, B and C. Since the late 1960s, vaccines based on purified sugar molecules known as polysaccharides from capsules on the outer coat of the bacteria have been used against groups A and C. But these vaccines do not work against meningococcal B. There is an added danger that the polysaccharide-based vaccine has a chemical which resembles substances in brain tissue. In theory, this could trick the immune system into attacking the brain as well as the disease.

So researchers in the 1970s decided to change tack. They reasoned that since most people who came down with meningococcal B disease seemed to be immune to second episodes, the meningococcal B bacterium itself must contain the tools for immunity. Studies showed that the blood of patients recovering from meningococcal B contained antibodies which had formed against the outer membrane protein (OMP) and a lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a lipid-sugar molecule.

There have since been encouraging but mixed results with this method in three countries closely studied by New Zealand researchers - Cuba, the Netherlands and Norway. In the 1980s, Cuban researchers reported an 80 per cent success rate among 106,000 students with an OMP-based vaccine. But when the same vaccine was given to 2.4 million Brazilian children aged 3 months to 6 years old, it proved only 47 per cent effective for 2-to-4-year-olds and did not seem to work at all for children under 2. New Zealand eventually rejected the Cuban vaccine. However, Professor Lennon says, the poor result in Brazil may have been caused by a badly conducted trial, rather than the vaccine itself, which later showed promise in Chile. In 1996, New Zealand came close to an agreement with Dutch public health officials, who had been working on a similar vaccine.

But neither country pursued the idea hard enough - Professor Lennon says the epidemic here had waned and some officials thought it might be over - so momentum was lost. Meanwhile, Norwegian researchers had put together a vaccine which initially did not seem as promising. It was only 58 per cent effective when tested on 171,800 children aged 12 to 16 and protection levels later fell away. Not surprisingly, Norwegian public health specialists did not recommend that all children should be given the vaccine. Professor Lennon says the results turned out to be better than they looked. As in the Brazilian trial, the children had been given only two doses instead of three. The vaccine had protected 87 per cent after 10 months, suggesting that a third dose could lock in the immunity.

The other potential problem was that experience showed every strain of meningococcal B was different, so the proteins collected from one strain had limited effectiveness against another. The answer was to take a protein from the New Zealand strain and use the Norwegian technique to make a new "designer" vaccine. That was the approach taken by American vaccine maker Chiron - whose meningococcal C vaccine has been widely used in Britain and Canada - in collaboration with Norway's National Institute of Public Health. Their proposal secured the contract with the Ministry of Health, announced by the Government last month.

Ministry public health specialist Dr Jane O'Hallahan says the Norwegian-Chiron bid was not just the best product. One of the main difficulties in getting a vaccine had been finding a company able to supply more than three million doses for the New Zealand market. Chiron met several important criteria, including manufacturing capacity and company expertise to back up its product. Dr O'Hallahan says she is 90 per cent confident that the vaccine will work, based on positive comments by a panel of international experts which the Health Research Council has commissioned to check on the ministry's work.

For Professor Lennon, the immediate hurdle is gaining ethical approval to begin trials in May. It looks likely, but as the trials continue, obstacles are bound to become tougher. For instance, she says, half the children in the second-phase trials will be given the new meningococcal B vaccine. The other half - the control group - will receive a jab for meningococcal C, which gives limited protection, rather than a placebo such as water. This is for ethical and practical rather than scientific reasons, she explains.  It is hard enough to persuade parents to volunteer their children for tests of an unproven vaccine, without the prospect that the children will not benefit at all.

nzherald.co.nz/health
<http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?reportID=16>

©Copyright 2002, New Zealand Herald

http://www.observer.co.uk/focus/story/0,6903,647858,00.html

An epidemic of fear

Whoever is proved right, the row over vaccination has highlighted the public's lack of trust in science and the Government.

Kamal Ahmed, Gaby Hinsliff and Anthony Browne
Sunday February 10, 2002
The Observer

At 3pm today St Paul's Cathedral will fall silent as more than 200 parents of children with autism gather for a service of prayer. Among them will be Ivan and Charika Corea, whose five-year-old son, Charin, has suffered from the condition for more than three of his five years.

Many others in the congregation will be wondering the same thing as Ivan and Charika. Did their faith in a government policy of inoculation against measles, mumps and rubella lead to the autism now suffered by their children?  'At 18 months Charin was animated and about to talk,' Ivan said. 'He had the MMR vaccine a few months earlier. By 24 months he had turned inwards: no speech, no eye contact. He was in a world of his own, like a different child.'

The past week has been the turning point for the MMR controversy stalking the Government. A measles outbreak, more scientific research and poll after poll revealing public disquiet over the vaccination has again put the issue of children's health at the centre of political and scientific debate.  Downing Street and the Department of Health insist this is just a thin concoction of coincidences whipped by the media into a frenzy that is scaring the country witless. Its roots go deeper, however, involving the public attitude to science and medical advice to trust in the Government.

It is also the story of how easily fear takes flight: how a few pages in a medical journal, written by a team of doctors - who admitted that 'we did not prove an association between MMR vaccine and the syndrome described' - could lead four years later to nationwide panic, the bitterest of political rows and a revolt against the medical establishment that could yet lead to the deaths of children. Its genesis goes back more than a decade.

On a warm autumn morning in 1988 a group of nursery age children gathered at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in central London for a special event. As they munched apples and bananas and the floor beneath them became covered in discarded peel, Edwina Currie, the Tory Health Minister, walked to the rostrum to announce one of the most important changes in child health policy for a decade. The triple vaccine, MMR, would be offered to parents.

Scientists had been warning the Department of Health for more than a year that the measles epidemics periodically sweeping the country could only get worse. In some years in the Eighties more than 80,000 children caught the disease, more than 100 of them died and thousands were left with damaged hearing and eyesight.

The single measles vaccination used then simply was not working, with take-up rates too low to create the crucial 'herd immunity'. How could take-up rates be increased? The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said allowing children to have more than one inoculation per jab would increase participation. Parents would not have to make multiple journeys to clinics. Currie agreed.  In 1987, 11,000 families took part in trials of MMR, used around the world
with no apparent ill-effects and no hint of a link with autism.

Take-up of MMR was rapid, as parents clamoured to protect their children against a nasty disease. By 1 December 1988 a million doses had been dispatched. Measles outbreaks tumbled. Questions were asked in Parliament about why older children could not have MMR. The last death from measles was in 1992. The Government was relieved: the triple vaccine had worked. 

Reel after reel, hour after hour, the stacks of home-made video tapes kept carefully in boxes in the office of a Cheshire solicitor tell the same heartbreaking tale. Made by dozens of families, they show a procession of babies and toddlers laughing, crawling, playing. They are remarkable for only one thing: they represent a way of life now lost.

The home videos belong to some of the 1,000 families preparing to go to court over what they believe is damage caused by the MMR jab. Until the medical establishment can explain to these parents what really causes autism, nothing will convince them that it is not the injections. Eleven years ago, the mother of a baby who had suffered mild meningitis after having the jab in 1990 asked a Norfolk solicitor, Richard Barr, for advice. She was the first of a growing queue of parents approaching Barrabout what they believed were vaccine-damaged children. Was MMR totally safe?

Simultaneously at the Royal Free Hospital in London, Andrew Wakefield, a specialist in bowel disorders, began receiving an oddly similar series of calls from anxious parents. The one thing they had in common was that their children, apart from having inflammations of the gut, were autistic. By 1995 Wakefield had amassed enough cases to tell the doctors' magazine Pulse he believed there was a connection between autism and MMR. It was the
first ripple of a coming tidal wave.

Five months after the 1997 election, the new Public Health Minister Tessa Jowell met a deputation that marked a significant step forward for the anti-MMR campaign. The Labour MP Llew Smith, Barr, Wakefield, and a Cheshire mother called Jackie Fletcher, who set up the pressure group Jabs to campaign over vaccine damage after her son Robert was diagnosed as an epileptic, filed in for what was meant to be a strictly private meeting.

They had come to warn the Government of a bombshell: Wakefield was completing a paper for another medical journal, the Lancet, which he believed proved a link between MMR and autism. Flanked by the Government's chief medical officer, Sir Kenneth Calman, Jowell agreed that once Wakefield had published it, a conference of experts would review the evidence. The two sides parted amicably.

It was February 1998 when Wakefield finally told a press conference at the Royal Free his study of 12 children with an unusual bowel syndrome had discovered traces of the measles virus in their guts. His working hypothesis was that the MMR jab might have damaged their immune systems, letting the virus take hold and leading somehow to the development of autism in some of the group.  For him it was a 'moral issue': the triple jab should be suspended, he said.

Arie Zuckerman, dean of the Royal Free's medical school, interrupted to say he did not believe the evidence warranted stopping the jabs. It was too late: headlines the next day warned of a 'new child vaccine danger'.

Within a month, Jowell organised the promised summit at the Royal College of Surgeons, involving 37 experts. According to confidential minutes seen by The Observer, several conceded that parents might think there was a connection because the MMR jab was given when the first signs of any autism usually become obvious. But, it was pointed out, studies of men with brain tumours had shown their wives regularly remembered head injuries they believed must have caused the growths, even though cancer is not caused by blows to the head. There was a 'basic human tendency to ascribe blame to a specific incident or event', but 'no evidence to indicate a causal link between MMR vaccination and autism', the minutes said.

Outvoted by dozens of his peers, Wakefield could only ask for the minutes to note that he disagreed. The next day Calman issued a categorical statement that MMR was safe, but that more research was needed into autism. Those words have echoed down the years, as doctors in Sweden, the US and Finland tried and failed to confirm Wakefield's results. Paediatricians at his own hospital studied nearly 500 children in 1999 and found no increased risk of autism after the jab.

And while autism cases are rising, there was no sudden jump after 1988 when the vaccine was introduced, suggesting that better diagnosis rather than the jab is the cause. In California, researchers discovered diagnoses of autism shot up in the late Eighties, though the vaccine had been around for 15 years by then. Wakefield's findings were buried under a tidal wave of rejection from the global medical establishment. Yet the scare persisted.

'Parents don't think about whether their child is at a 1 per cent risk of an adverse reaction, or a 2 per cent risk,' Currie said last week. 'For every parent, the risk to their child is 100 per cent.' When early last year the Department of Health commissioned yet another review from the Medical Research Council on the causes of autism, it was quietly confident the result would be the same as that of every other major study since: there was just no evidence for Wakefield's theory.

It did. But by the time the report thudded onto medical journalists' desks last December, the row had taken a sharp new twist: Wakefield had been forced out of his job at the Royal Free by colleagues whose patience had finally run out. The movement had its first martyr. Soon it also had its first serious ethical dilemma: Tony Blair found himself asked repeatedly whether his son Leo had had the jab, and he refused to say. Did one baby's right to privacy really outweigh the dangers to thousands of children if public confidence in MMR collapsed?

The row rumbled on, with the Government convinced as Christmas turned into the New Year that the debate would lessen and vaccination rates would rise again. Then came what everybody had feared. Ten days ago in the heart of south London's 'nappy valley' - a middle class enclave of families with young children - an outbreak of measles emerged. There are a few dozen such cases every year, but this time the atmosphere was politically charged.

Liam Fox, the Shadow Health Secretary, immediately called for the Government to consider making single vaccines available in areas of low uptake. Fox had floated the idea before but this time it coincided with a poll showing most parents now thought the Government should offer a choice. By Wednesday, measles had erupted in a Gateshead school, and Fox again demanded single jabs. More damagingly, the Sun claimed last Wednesday that Blair had ordered a review of the cost of single vaccines, suggesting he was wavering. Alastair Campbell, Blair's director of strategic communications, insisted it was untrue. Blair had not even asked for information on the issue, although Number 10 was preparing a dossier of evidence against any link between MMR and autism to be released later in the week.

Despite the denials, the public saw another chink in the triple vaccination armour. On the morning of the Sun story, Blair's health policy adviser, Simon Stevens, set out from Downing Street for a meeting in Alan Milburn's office. With the Health Secretary were Yvette Cooper, the Public Health Minister, who has just returned from maternity leave, and the Government's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Liam Donaldson.

All four were infuriated by the front-page story in that day's Daily Mail, citing a study by the Dublin virologist Professor John O'Leary showing the presence of measles virus in gut tissue as fresh evidence that MMR might be dangerous. Yet O'Leary made it clear he did not know if the children he studied had had the vaccine. The four agreed it was time for the weapon of last resort: Donaldson, who - as a doctor rather than a politician - has most credibility. A press conference was hastily booked for the next day. There, Donaldson warned that parents rejecting MMR were playing 'Russian roulette' with children's lives. He has a gift for colourful phrases, but the words were heartfelt: he has told friends he would not stand for a change in policy, and is 'passionately' for MMR.

Nobody, however, believes the scare is over. Ministers are working on a new advertising campaign to shore up vaccination rates. The issue is overshadowed by the whooping cough experience in the Seventies, when a fall in vaccinations after a health scare led to the deaths of 51 children. At the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, specialists are combing the medical records of more than two million Britons for evidence of the causes of autism in the biggest study yet. Scientists increasingly believe a complex genetic trigger is to blame, but that could take years to unravel.

Meanwhile Wakefield is now studying the impact on children not just of the first MMR jab but of the booster given before they are five. Without this, a child has only 90 per cent protection. And the parents of the vaccine-damaged children come to court next October, another potential flashpoint. On one point both warring sides agree: the uncertainty cannot go on.' The parents] want a conclusion, and the constant bickering does not help,' said one source close to the families.

'Everybody forgets that these children who, according to their parents, were totally normal. Now they're will need care for the rest of their lives.'

JAMA article (abstract only):
http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v287n11/abs/jtv20000.html

Susan

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=
594&u=/nm/20020319/hl_nm/vaccine_media_1

Better Media Coverage of Vaccines Needed: Study
Tue Mar 19, 5:25 PM ET

By Amy Norton

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Scientists and the media need to do a better job helping the public know what they can realistically expect from vaccines and other medical advances, according to researchers who analyzed news coverage of the rise and fall of the rotavirus vaccine against childhood diarrhea. The rotavirus vaccine was approved in the US in 1998 after more than a decade of research showed it could largely prevent severe cases of diarrhea caused by rotavirus. The virus is the leading cause of serious diarrheal illness in US infants, and in the developing world, babies commonly die of rotavirus infection.

However, just a year later the vaccine was withdrawn from the US market after it was tied to a rare type of bowel obstruction called intussusception, in which one part of the bowel sinks into the next like a collapsing telescope. An estimated one to two vaccinated babies per 10,000 were considered at risk of the complication. To look into how the media covered this turn of events, researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites) in Atlanta, Georgia, analyzed news stories on the rotavirus vaccine published between 1987--when US clinical trials began--and 2001.

They found that before the intussusception risk was established, newspapers, wire services and television outlets were largely positive in their coverage and most stories did not mention the potential adverse effects of vaccination such as fever, appetite loss and irritability. And no news stories mentioned intussusception before the vaccine was suspended--even though there had been scientific reports of an association, according to Dr. M. Carolina Danovaro-Holliday and her colleagues.

After the rotavirus vaccine was linked to bowel obstruction in 1999, however, media coverage "changed abruptly to negativity," the researchers report in the March 20th issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (news - web sites). Soon after, rotavirus all but disappeared from the news. The problem with such an "early idealization-sudden condemnation" pattern in the media is that at either end, the public does not get the full picture, according to Danovaro-Holliday, now at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK.

"Maybe we--the medical community, public health and scientists--need to always provide journalists with all the facts for a vaccine or other medical intervention, the benefits and drawbacks," Danovaro- Holliday told Reuters Health. "If the public is always informed of both sides of each medical intervention, the detection of rare adverse events may be less of a surprise."

In another part of their study, the researchers looked at the public's reaction to media stories on the rotavirus vaccine by analyzing calls to the US National Immunization Hotline. They found that the increase in rotavirus stories in July 1999 was followed by an upsurge in hotline calls. And the number of rotavirus calls that month was 57% higher than for any other childhood vaccine during any month since the hotline's inception in 1997.

Danovaro-Holliday said she thinks it is a "very good thing" that parents turned to this source for vaccine information. She added that the key point seems to be that the public should have as much information about vaccines as possible "from the start, and as their kids are getting vaccinated." Such balanced information, she and her colleagues write, could prevent "abrupt shifts" in media attention and public perception that could undermine
SOURCE: The Journal of the American Medical
Association 2002;287:1455-
 

From Ray Gallup:

I called Dan Burton's office this afternoon at 202 225-5074 and Susan, an aide there told me that the testimony should be up as early as late this afternoon on the web site or as late as early morning, June 21st. I understand that a few people interviewed Andy Wakefield before the hearing....including Mothering Mazagine....naturally the major networks like CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN and FOX dropped the ball. The US press is what you would find in a third-world country....nowhere the equal of the UK press.

You will probably see the testimony on
http://www.house.gov/reform/020619_autism_hearing.html

http://www.house.gov/reform/

 


 


The best source for a hard-hitting, factual analysis that I have ever seen is Nicholas Regush's Health News Analyzer. For $.15/day, you will learn what is really going on in the healthcare industry and how we are being misled by twisted half-truths and stories that are full of errors of omission.

Here's a sample of what you will read:

JUNE 3, 2002: HEALTH NEWS ANALYZER
#36

HEPATITIS B VACCINE REPORT

I hope you had a chance to read the story on hepatitis B vaccine over the weekend and to pinpoint the glaring problem with it. In any case, here is the URL once again. It will take you to the Reuters home page. Then click on the Date Search at the top of the page and click on May 30. The story will then be posted in the menu on the left side of the page. Scroll down and look for the story, entitled, "Hepatitis B, Nerve Diseases Not Linked: US Report."

http://www.reutershealth.com/frame2/eline.html

(If you can't click on the above URL, you can cut and paste it into your browser.) So what's wrong with this story? Plenty. And it is typical of numerous stories about vaccines. The story reports that an Institute of Medicine (IOM) panel concluded that "there is no hard link between hepatitis B vaccination and later development of multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases in adults." The report informs us that "the panel also said not enough evidence exists to connect the vaccine with neurological diseases in infants given the shot. The group recommended further studies of the disorders in vaccinated children, but called for no review of current national immunization policies."

There are other points made in the story that deserve our attention:

1. One IOM member said: "Hopefully our report will ease the concerns of adults who need to be immunized against hepatitis B and are worried about the risk for multiple sclerosis."

2. Reuters informs us that available evidence shows no connection between the vaccine and neurological disorders.

Okay, so on the one hand, we get the message that the IOM really found no connection between hepatitis B and neurological diseases -and this is strongly played up in the piece at the very beginning, in the middle and at the end.

We are being reassured that there is likely no problem. And this reassurance is further linked to public concerns about vaccines in general:

1. "Patients' concerns [about the hepatitis B vaccine] have also worried physicians, who fear that vaccine fears may be steering parents and at-risk adults away from obtaining protection against Hepatitis B."

2. There is a comment at the end of the story that "government and private health organizations work to ease the public's fears about vaccine safety."

If there was a better ad written by a reporter for the hepatitis B vaccine, I haven't seen it.

Mind you, there is some reference in the Reuters story to "theoretical concern" that the vaccine could help trigger damage to the nervous system. And there is also what amounts to a passing reference to the lack of studies searching for a link between a vaccine-neurological illness link other than MS.

The fact is, hepatitis B vaccine, like other vaccines, is poorly-tested for short and long-term safety - THE KEY POINT MISSING IN THIS STORY.

Also missing is the fact that little research was done AFTER the vaccine was marketed. When it comes to vaccines, scientific research is in the Stone Age. And missing big time is any intelligent probing of the wide range of serious side-effects that have been reported in both adults and children.

So what is the value of the IOM Report and why do we continue to get skewed news about what the IOM manages to conclude on the basis of little information? The REAL beneficiaries of the IOM report are the drug companies that make vaccines because news distribution about "the lack of data" is presented in such a way that it suggests a vaccine is safe and that we have little reason to worry about it.

I won't get into this today, but at some point I'll present you with intriguing data on how the IOM routinely makes silk out of a sow's ear, when it comes to comments on so-called "available science."  A hint for a later time: When you see INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE,  think medical politics.

And furthermore: LACK OF STRONG EVIDENCE OF HARM SHOULD NOT TRANSLATE INTO PROOF OF SAFETY OR REASSURANCE!

It just may mean that the science hasn't been done or has been corrupted.
 

Pneumovax Effect Weak in High-Risk Patients-Study

Thu Oct 3, 3:36 PM ET

By Pat Hagan

LONDON (Reuters Health) - The Pneumovax II vaccine, routinely given to those at high risk of pneumococcal infections, may only have a protective effect of around 30% against a specific type of infection in high-risk people, according to the results of a small study.

 

 

Dr. Zhiming Huo and colleagues from St. George's Hospital Medical School in London analyzed 16 adults immunized with the vaccine, and concluded it only resulted in adequate protection in five of them. The results, published in the October issue of Vaccine, follow earlier studies that also raised questions about the vaccine's effectiveness. "The protective effect of Pneumovax II vaccination on specific antigens in high-risk individuals in vivo will at maximum only be around 30%," they write.

Pneumovax II (Aventis Pasteur MSD) is used in high-risk patients in whom pneumococcal infections could be life threatening. These include the elderly, those who have had their spleen removed or suffer from diabetes, and patients with chronic diseases of the heart, kidneys, lungs or liver. After previous research raised doubts about its effectiveness, the St. George's Hospital Medical School team tested the vaccine in the lab to see how effective it was in bolstering immunity.

The researchers reasoned that if the vaccine was to be effective it needed to at least double concentrations of specific antibodies to pneumococcal infection. But it also needed to increase serum opsonic capacity--a measure of capacity to enhance phagocytosis of the pneumococcal bacteria. In phagocytosis, immune system cells "swallow" the infectious agent. The team recruited the 16 male and female patients and measured their level of natural immunity acquired from exposure to infection in the past. They then measured immune response to the pneumococcal S14 antigen, which is one of the components of the Pneumovax II vaccine.

The results showed that only six out of the 16 volunteers experienced an increase of 100% or more in antibodies to S14. Separate tests revealed only five of them also had an increase in opsonic capacity. Huo and colleagues acknowledged the study was small but added: "The results add useful laboratory information to the controversial effect of Pneumovax II vaccination in high-risk individuals." Dr. Jonathan Van-Tam, medical director of Aventis Pasteur MSD, told Reuters Health the findings had to be considered in the context of much bigger epidemiological studies that showed it was effective in preventing infection. "This was a small study and looked at the activity of one strain which is known to show resistance. The whole point about the vaccine is that it's formulated with 23 different serotypes and covers 90% of the organisms likely to be involved."

"Other studies have shown the vaccine is about 65% effective."'

SOURCE: Vaccine 2002;20:3532-3534.

Polio: Kano Residents Shun Immunization

This Day (Lagos)
NEWS
October 11, 2002
Posted to the web October 11, 2002

By Yakubu Musa
Kano
 

The National Immunization Programme against Polio may have failed in Kano State as the people were preventing the vaccination of their children on the suspicion that it could be a population control measure. THISDAY checks revealed that the situation has reportedly forced the immunization workers engaged by the Ministry of Health to pour away the liquid content of the drugs to give the impression that they have carried out the job. THISDAY also gathered that even the elites, who ordinarily were expected to be informed and ready to co-operate with the immunization workers "had turned out to be the worst ." Many people who spoke to THISDAY in the ancient city, alleged that since it was clear that the western world is against the increase in population in African countries, "they could use vaccines to indirectly check our population."

"What arouses my suspicion about this immunization thing is the desperation of the so called developed countries on it. "These are the people that we can simple hold responsible for our woes but now helping us to save our children from dying, I think something is amiss somewhere," said Mallam Ado Hamisu, a civil servant. Speaking further, Hamisu noted that "if the western world is sincere about helping us, let them give us AIDS drugs at affordable price." "Our continent is being ravaged by AIDS and they are not making any tangible effort about it," he added. Hamisu's view was corroborated by many residents, who even believed that the immunization was a way of introducing more killer diseases to African countries, rather than one of preventing Africans from disease or disability. First hand checks revealed that majority of the residents have indeed refused to let their children get the free immunization

MULTAN: Excessive polio vaccination batters immune system
 

By Nadeem Saeed

http://www.dawn.com/2002/11/30/local20.htm
MULTAN, Nov 29: Resistance in children against poliomyelitis virus has been diminishing, perhaps, due to excessive vaccination. This was observed by a senior paediatrician when asked to comment on an alarming number of polio cases in length and breadth of the country, especially in Khairpur (Sindh), Dera Ismail Khan (NWFP) and Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur and Sahiwal (Punjab).

The paediatrician who has a vast experience in the field of preventive health care wanted not to be named though, he said, his views and note of dissent were known to the health authorities as he had brought everything in black and white against the flaws in the polio eradication drive. He said Pakistan had tried to follow the Chinese model in polio eradication without realizing that China opted for oral polio vaccine only when it had developed immunity against polio among 80 per cent of its targeted children through injectable polio vaccine in routine coverage.

But to fetch foreign aid, Pakistan's health authorities presented concocted data before donor agencies, including WHO and Unicef, to show that like China they had also immunized 80 per cent of children through routine coverage, and that now special efforts were required to completely root out the menace from the country. He said the donor agencies which were already impressed with the Chinese experience took no time to give a nod to the request of Pakistani health authorities and the country observed its first national immunization day (NID) for polio in 1994. But, the results were rather discouraging.

He said none of the national and international health agencies could interpret the outcome of the first NID as cases of acute flaccid paralysis were pouring in from here and there after the immunization day. The local health authorities excused for this being their first experience. However, the results of the following NIDs made no difference, and the donor agencies soon realized that they were presented with a fudge data regarding the routine coverage. But, on the other hand, the local health administrators took refuge under the pretext of lack of logistic facilities like cold chain equipment to carry on the vaccine in far-flung areas with its efficacy remained intact.

He said donors dumped in millions of rupees to remove this hitch as well to run the anti-polio campaign successfully, but to no avail. Instead, he said, the funds and cold chain equipment were misappropriated, and it was no secret that the health authorities in Punjab were sitting on the inquiries of embezzlement in polio funds.

He said the dilemma for the donor agencies in their pursuit to eradicate polio in Pakistan had been that despite discouraging results, they could not now leave the programme midway both in terms of technical and moral aspects of the drive. Resultantly the country had been observing NID every year since 1994, and the children had been administered so much quantity of polio vaccine down the years which in a civilized world could hardly be imagined. "Excessive vaccination has battered the immune system of our children drastically," he regretted.

He also criticized the donor agencies for what he termed their ill-conceived approach towards polio eradication besides succumbing to the pressure of local health authorities while making appointments. He said poliomyelitis which caused through the virus was also a water born disease, but the donor agencies had not so far paid attention to ensure supply of clean drinking water, especially in Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur where safe water was available only to five per cent of the population. He said more than half of the polio cases reported this year were found in Dera and Rajanpur.

He said neither donors nor the local health authorities were giving importance to the routine immunization coverage of polio. Contrary to China, the routine coverage in Pakistan was hardly 45 per cent. On the merit violations in appointments, he said this always proved fatal to the projects. The policy of favouritism was the guiding principle of WHO while posting coordinators in DG Khan and Rajanpur. On the other hand, Unicef had gone an extra mile by appointing a lady health visitor against the post of coordinator in Dera, while the basic requirement for the post was MBBS and a vast experience in running campaigns in the health sector.

Moreover, he said, none of the WHO or Unicef coordinators who 'served' in Dera and Rajanpur belonged to these far-off districts despite the availability of professionals who fulfilled the criterion.
 

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/457966?mpid=15565

Sequence of Vaccinations Affects Child Survival

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jun 27 - When diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) and inactivated poliovirus (IPV) vaccines are administered after high-titre measles vaccine (HTMV), female mortality is increased, according to analysis of immunization trials in West Africa. In 1989, the World Health Organization recommended use of HTMV to enable early immunization in the presence of maternal antibodies in areas where the incidence of measles before age 9 months is high. However, studies showed increased female mortality after HTMV immunization compared with standard-titre measles vaccine.

In the June 28th issue of The Lancet, Dr. Peter Aaby, of the Danish Epidemiology Science Centre in Copenhagen, and colleagues describe their analysis of data from trials in Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, and the Gambia. Altogether, 2000 children were randomized to HTMV or control vaccine at 4 to 5 months of age, with a standard measles vaccine administered at 9 to 10 months of age. Their goal was to examine female-to-male mortality ratios among children administered HTMV or standard measles vaccine, and the effect of subsequent DTP/IPV vaccinations. They note that ordinarily, the three doses of DTP and IPV are usually given prior to measles vaccination at age 9 months. However, those given HTMV were more likely to receive DTP or IPV afterward.

They observed no difference in mortality between those given HTMV or standard dose measles vaccine between the first and the second measles vaccination. After the second vaccination, among high-titre recipients who received the DTP-IPV or IPV vaccine at age 9 to 10 months, the female-to-male mortality ratio was 1.84, compared with a ratio of 0.59 among those given standard measles vaccine. If neither DTP-IPV nor IPV vaccines were administered after HTMV, the female-to-male mortality ratio was 0.83. "Hence, the raised female mortality might not have been attributable to HTMV as such, but to subsequent DTP or IPV vaccinations," Dr. Aaby and colleagues write.

Dr. F. T. Cutts and Dr. P. E. M. Fine, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, are not totally convinced by this analysis, however. "An emphasis on the difference in [outcomes among] boys might lead to a very different conclusion about the effects of DTP/IPV than that reached by Aaby and colleagues," they write in a Lancet commentary.

Lancet 2003;361:2183-2188.
 

Dear PROVE Texas Members,
Contrary to the lack of clarity in the article below, you do not have your Medicaid benefits cancelled on you if you don't vaccinate your children as long as you are claiming a medical, conscientious, or religious exemption to vaccination. This restriction only applies when a parent just doesn't vaccinate without claiming an exemption.  The intent behind these new requirements are to promote responsibility by parents to follow the law to either vaccinate or claim a legal exemption.  

I personally contacted the Texas Workforce Commission and spoke with their communications director to confirm this, and Larry Jones confirmed this for me. I requested the agency post that clarification on their web site so parents don't find themselves being lied to and intimidated by Medicaid providers to immunize their previously vaccine injured children extorting them with their health care coverage.

Then I contacted the Statesman reporter who wrote the article.  When he called me back we had a nice conversation and he thanked me for pointing out for him the exemption, that he confirmed what I told him was true with the Texas Workforce Commission, and he said he would include it in the next article.  I said that would be a good idea because from the way the article was written, it may needlessly scare a family into giving a child a vaccine that isn't safe for that child because the family is fearful of losing health care coverage.

Please watch your local papers and news for articles that misrepresent this requirement and take the time to educate the reporters that parents in Texas have the legal right to an exemption to the vaccination requirements for medical, conscientious, and religious reasons, and if a parent claims one of these three exemptions, the immunization contingency for Medicaid benefits does not apply.  Take the time to educate them about all the valid reasons why a family may be claiming one of these exemptions.  The reality is, many vaccine injured children are on Medicaid because the medical costs to care for the child are beyond what most people can afford.

I hope this helps reassure the families who have been concerned that they were being asked to choose between their children's safety and their benefits - that just isn't the case here.  Based on previous behavior, I am deeply concerned that many providers will not be honest about the vaccine exemption applying. 

Please pass this on to any family you know that may be receiving assistance through Medicaid benefits who have vaccine safety concerns for their children so they can understand their rights.  Vaccine exemption information is posted on our web site at www.vaccineinfo.net.

Thank you!
Dawn Richardson
PROVE
   



Here is an example of blowing a problem out of proportion then creating a solution more vaccines.

Three dead in hep A outbreak
From correspondents in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
15nov03

A THIRD person died today and nearly 500 others who ate at a US restaurant have fallen ill in the biggest known outbreak of hepatitis A in the country's history. The incident has made people so scared they are lining up by the thousands for vaccinations and no longer eating out. Health investigators are focusing on whether contaminated produce - perhaps spring onions - caused the outbreak at a Chi-Chi's restaurant in the Beaver Valley Mall, about 40km north-west of Pittsburgh.

"We're very concerned. It's very serious and we've sent a team of people out there to assist," said David Daigle, a spokesman for the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials today met with worried shoppers at the mall to try to squelch rumours that the virus was spreading out of control to other restaurants in the region. About 8500 people have been inoculated at a gymnasium near the restaurant and at surrounding health centres since the cases began appearing at the start of the month. At least 490 people have become ill in the outbreak - believed to be the largest on record in the United States, Daigle said.

The Chi-Chi's has been shut down and the restaurant chain removed spring onions from kitchens at all its 100 locations, said Bill Zavertnik, chief operating officer of the Louisville, Kentucky-based company. In September, about 280 people in Georgia and Tennessee were infected with hepatitis A from contaminated spring onions, including 210 people who ate at restaurants in the Atlanta area. The infections were linked to 12 restaurants - none of them Chi-Chi's.

Hepatitis A symptoms include fever, nausea, diarrhoea, jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. Hepatitis A usually clears up in about two months, but patients can get antibody shots that greatly reduce the chances of contracting the disease if given within 14 days after exposure. The most recent victim, John Spratt, 46, died today from complications of hepatitis A, according to a county coroner.

Dineen Wieczorek, 52, died in a Cleveland hospital Wednesday while awaiting a liver transplant, said her daughter, Darleen Trunzo. Jeff Cook, 38, died on November 7 of liver failure in a Pittsburgh hospital. All three ate at the Chi-Chi's in October, according to family members. Eleven restaurant employees have been diagnosed with hepatitis A.

Look it just so happens a new vaccine is out!!! Hmmmm.,....just a coincidence I'm sure!

http://ww3.peerviewpress.com/misc/fc.nsf/fcwwma/ICAAC2003A?OpenDocument&
video=1&ref=pe&id=372970278BAE4BDC85256DD1003DF7B2


Hepatitis A/B Vaccinations Predicted To Be More Cost-Effective Than Hepatitis
B Vaccinations in a High-Risk Population

A DGReview of :"Cost-Effectiveness of Hepatitis A/B Vaccine versus Hepatitis
B Vaccine in Public Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinics"

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

11/21/2003
By Deanna M Green, PhD

Significant cost and disease-related benefits can be predicted by substituting the hepatitis B vaccine with the hepatitis A/B vaccine in a public sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic setting, according to a recent American study. Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended to high-risk patients in many STD clinics. Notably, many of these individuals may also be at high risk of hepatitis A infection. A new bivalent hepatitis A/B vaccine is now available and would offer additional protection for these individuals. However, the effects on costs must also be considered before widespread changes in vaccination programs.

R. Jake Jacobs, MPA, and Allen S Meyerhoff, MS, with Capitol Outcomes Research, Inc., Alexandria, Virginia, United States, evaluated the cost effectiveness of hepatitis A/B versus hepatitis B vaccination in public STD clinics. The study included a hypothetical cohort of 1 million adults seen at public STD clinics. A Markov model was created to predict hepatitis A incidence based on published literature, US government databases, and expert panel opinion. Future risks and consequences of hepatitis A infection were estimated in this population. Cost effectiveness was estimated based on added vaccination costs and savings from reduced hepatitis A treatment.

Without immunisation, 10,381 overt hepatitis A infections, 1,480 hepatitis A hospitalisations, and 48.4 hepatitis A deaths would occur over 50 years in this population according to model predictions. The analysis found that prevention of 2,263 overt hepatitis A infections, 292 hospitalisations, 8 premature deaths, and the loss of 281 quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) could be achieved if patients were given the hepatitis A/B vaccine instead of only the hepatitis B vaccine. Moreover, the number of hepatitis A-related hospitalisations, liver transplants, and deaths would decline  20%, 19%, and 17%, respectively.

A significant cost-benefit is also estimated, wherein the healthcare system would save $20,892 per life-year or gain $13,397 per QALY. Notably, most savings would occur from fewer hospitalisations (65%), followed by outpatient treatment (27%) and liver transplants (8%). The authors conclude that "for those receiving hepatitis B immunisation at public STD clinics, hepatitis A protection could be conferred through the bivalent hepatitis A/B vaccine," and that this substitution of "hepatitis A/B for hepatitis B vaccine would reduce morbidity and mortality in a cost-effective manner."

Sex Transm Dis 2003 Nov;30:11:859-65. "Cost-Effectiveness of Hepatitis A/B
Vaccine versus Hepatitis B Vaccine in Public Sexually Transmitted Disease
Clinics"

 

http://www.dailyherald.com/kane/main_story.asp?intID=3815743

Knew it was coming. They are using this vaccine in Canada on adolescents.  ADACEL®-Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids Adsorbed Combined with Component Pertussis Vaccine-Manufactured and Distributed by: Aventis Pasteur Limited Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
http://www.aventispasteur.ca/avp_content/docs/ca_products/ADACEL_E.pdf

All the hype on pertussis has been building for months and months. There has been other years outbreaks have occurred, but never the press buildup. For any non believers out there, this is proof positive of the scare tactics for profit. See below also, and check out the date of the article.

Cindy

http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2003/10/06/hlsb1006.htm

Aventis Pasteur expects to submit its adolescent and adult version of the acellular pertussis vaccine to the Food and Drug Administration for approval soon with a likely approval by 2005, said Michael Decker, MD, MPH, vice president for scientific and medical affairs at Aventis. Dr. Decker expects the vaccine to first target 12-year-olds because their original vaccinations, at age 6, are likely wearing off. If the United States does move toward pertussis boosters, it will be a road already taken by Canadians. In August, the Canadian Pediatric Society recommended that all provinces provide a booster shot of acellular pertussis vaccine to adolescents. So far, only a few provinces and the Northwest Territories routinely administer the boosters. Although the Canadian health system doesn't yet cover the cost of the boosters, the pediatric society is recommending that physicians discuss the risks and benefits of the vaccine with adolescents and their parents so they may make an informed decision about whether to pay for the shots themselves.

 

Another example of how the media covers up!

The Himalayan Times Online
Printed from www.thehimalayantimes.com
  
Kids critical after vaccination
 
Himalayan News Service

Biratnagar, September 27:

A medical team has been sent to Dhungesanghu of Taplejung district, where over three dozen children had taken ill three days after being administered anti-measles vaccine on September 21. The health team included WHO representative Jit Bahadur Tam-ang, one representative each from the Regional Education Directorate and District Public Health (DPH), said DPH, Taplejung. RSS said the condition of ten is reported to be critical. The children had vomited blood and have sores in their mouths, locals said. They were administered the vaccine during first phase of the the National Anti-Measles Vaccination Campaign. Asmita Subba, Puspa Subba, Mamata Maswa and Babita Maswa of Dhungesanghu-1, and Sushant Tamang and Januka Shrestha of Ward Nos 4 and 5 of the same VDC are reported to be critical. The sick children's parents said their children suffered from cough, chest pain, high fever, loss of appetite and vomitted blood after being injected with the anti-measles vaccine. Jagannath Adhikari, headmaster of the Party Primary School in Fatyangre, said 25 students have not come to the school after getting the vaccine.

 

Claims that kids ill after vaccination ‘false’
 

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, September 28:

A government official said today that the reports of children taken ill after the anti-measles vaccination are false. “The medical team which visited Dhungesanghu in Taplejung has submitted its report saying that the children were only suffering from pharyngitis and common cold,” said Bal Krishna Suvedi, of the immunisation department of Child Health Division. “They claim that the illnesses has nothing to do with the vaccination.” The Eastern Region Health Directorate, that had sent a team to the VDC has issued a press release today saying that none of the children were in serious condition. “Some of the children had been suffering from cough, headache and nausea and upon examination, were found to have pharyngitis and cold. The children are better now.” Suvedi also said that the reports in the media which claim children coughing up and vomiting blood are ‘totally wrong’. No other cases of such complications have been reported yet said the official.

The national anti-measles campaign, which is to be implemented in three phases, targets to vaccinate 9.5 million children, between the ages of nine months to 15 years throughout the country. The first phase, which started on September 21, vaccinated children in the eastern and central region. In the second phase, beginning on January 4, 2005, the children in 34 districts of western, mid-western and far-western regions will be vaccinated. The third phase of vaccination, starting on April 16, 2005, will target the six himalayan districts. Around 1,50,000 children across the country suffer from measles every year. About 2,669 measles-related death was reported in the year 2003. So this anti-measles campaign aims to reduce the deaths by half and bring it down to 1,335 by the year 2005.
 


 

When this story is first reported the child dies from a vaccine. Look at the next article.

Asheville mother wants answers after 15-year-old son dies suddenly


 

 
Head injury cause of death for Asheville teenager
 

ASHEVILLE - A head injury, and not an allergic reaction, was the cause of death for a 15-year-old Asheville boy who fainted after receiving a Hepatitis B vaccine, a Buncombe County Medical Examiner said Wednesday. Kennie Ray Nelson Jr., 15, died Tuesday morning just minutes after receiving the vaccine, which led his family to question whether he had experienced some type of reaction to it. Lori Watkins said her son fainted, went into convulsions and then died around 11:30 a.m. at Asheville Children's Medical Center. He was pronounced dead at Mission Hospitals, hospital spokeswoman Merrell Gregory said.

OSU-Tulsa Selected To Hold Trials For New Measles Vaccine
http://www.kotv.com/main/home/storiesPrint.asp?id=75984&type=t

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Clinical trials of a new measles vaccine will be conducted at Oklahoma State University's Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa. Doctor Stanley Grogg says the trials are the third phase of a four-phase national study to find a new measles vaccine. Grogg says he hopes to have 30 children between the ages of 1-year and 18-months for the study.

He says the pharmaceutical company that makes the vaccine used a 1967 measles virus to make the original vaccine and that vaccine will be used up in two to three years, so a new vaccination must be found. The fourth phase of the study will involve about ten-thousand people nationwide and must be completed before the vaccine can be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for approval. Grogg says use of a new measles vaccine is still a few years away.

Created: 1/13/2005
Updated: 1/14/2005 12:41:27 PM
(Vaccine used up? Cell lines can last indefinitely. Something is fishy. Patent running out maybe? )

CDC: No Measles Outbreak In Ann Arbor

Fri Nov 2, 5:53 PM ET
 

The Washtenaw County Public Health Department has confirmed that the measles was not the cause of the rash illness suffered by nine Ann Arbor Elementary School children in October.

 

The final round of testing by the Center For Disease Control indicated the results of the tests on the students were indeed negative, including the Angell Elementary student who initially tested positive for measles. The CDC report did not identify any other cause for the rash and fever the students suffered, but they are continuing to test serum samples and viral throat swabs for other infections whose symptoms mimic measles symptoms.

School officials in Ann Arbor told students who haven't gotten their measles immunization shots to stay home until Oct. 29 until after health officials confirmed the possible measles outbreak.

?In this situation, the Public Health Department?s process did exactly what it was designed to do, protect individuals from potential illnesses while we investigated a plausible report of highly contagious disease circulating in the community,? said Dr. Stan Reedy, Medical Director of the Washtenaw County Public Health Department.

No children are currently being being kept at home from Burns Park, Angell, Bach or Wines Elementary.

There are fewer than 100 reported cases of the measles a year in the United States.

Funny how the measles outbreak stories always seem to hit newswires at the same time as other bad press on vaccines -i.e. this week's HPV vax side effects including deaths and wart covered vaccinees. I guess the thinking is that the American public must take a dose of bad news about vaccines combined with a dosage reminder of why they should all continue to get vaccinated anyway.