Here is an example of the media distorting facts
and hiding vaccine damage.
Poliomyelitis, suspected - India: post-vaccination
Date: Mon 12 Nov 2001 23:22:27 -0600
From: Henry V. Huang <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: BBC News Online, Mon 12 Nov 2001 [edited]
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campaign say outdated vaccines were possibly supplied in some areas.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
[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!
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2001 7:12 PM
Subject: Polio Vaccine
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).
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
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?
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
"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,
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
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
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
(I can't believe it!!!I think someone
slips and says its a vaccine reaction)
Infant dies at DYFS office after shot
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEWARK — An infant died Thursday after being
stricken at a downtown office of the state child welfare agency,
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
"When the aide arrived to bring the baby upstairs, he noticed he
was having trouble breathing and there was blood in his nose,"
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,"
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
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
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,"
"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......
Posted on Fri, Oct. 21, 2005
No cause yet determined for death of infant at DYFS office
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
(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
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
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,
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
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
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
Scientists examine CJD 'link' to polio vaccine
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
"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
"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
Meningococcal epidemic - fighting a killer
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
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
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.
©Copyright 2002, New Zealand Herald
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
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):
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
(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
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
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
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
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
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%
SOURCE: Vaccine 2002;20:3532-3534.
Polio: Kano Residents Shun Immunization
This Day (Lagos)
October 11, 2002
Posted to the web October 11, 2002
By Yakubu Musa
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
By Nadeem Saeed
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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!
Hepatitis A/B Vaccinations Predicted To Be More Cost-Effective Than
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
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
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.
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.
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