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Someone's Wrong: ESR or Meningococcal 'Experts'

Press Release

Someone's Wrong: ESR or Meningococcal 'Experts'

Ron Law
Risk & Policy Analyst

"Claims by the ESR that British scientist Jeannette Adu-Bobie and ESR staff were not at increased risk when working with meningococcal bacteria suggest that Chiron and its Principal Researcher made false statements to get ethics approval to study Chiron's MeNZB vaccine in ESR staff," says risk & policy analyst Ron Law (0210665088.)

Fragments of Chiron's Clinical Trial Application V60P4, obtained under the Official Information Act, stated that the Ministry of Health's key advisor (Dr Stewart Reid) was the Principal Researcher in his position as a "Member Vaccine sub-committee Medicines Assessment Advisory Committee, Ministry of Health (sic)"

The application itself states, "The laboratory workers at ESR who are working with the meningococcal isolates responsible for the current epidemic are at great occupational risk of contracting meningococcal disease (estimated at 500 times greater than persons of an equivalent age). Therefore, ESR has decided to offer to approximately twelve of their employees involved in the meningococcal testing procedures the strain specific OMV vaccine, NZ MenB OMV, (MeNZBtm)."

An invitation to ESR staff, included as part of the V60P4 application, states, "Laboratory workers at ESR working with the meningococcal isolates responsible for the current epidemic are at great occupational risk (estimated at 500 times greater than persons of an equivalent age) too contract meningococcal disease. ESR has agreed to give their employees, involved in the meningococcal testing procedures, the opportunity to participate in this trial as it may provide them with some protection from disease caused by group B meningococcus."

ESR's denials of increased risk seem at odds with the above statements. Could it be that circumstances have change?

It seems puzzling in the least that when a case is being made to reduce risk through dubious clinical trials the risk is "great" and yet when preparing to defend itself in a court of law there are no increased risks.

"Who is correct?" asks Ron Law. "A global opportunist vaccine merchant whose principal researcher's status is recorded in MeNZB promoting publications in the New Zealand Medical Journal is a mere general practitioner, yet whose stated role in the research was as a member of the licensing committee, or New Zealand's pre-eminent laboratory responsible for identifying and documenting meningococcal disease in New Zealand which now faces legal action?

It is of note that despite the ongoing interests of the Ombudsman, the Ministry of Health continues to refuse to release the details of Chiron's MeNZB(tm) clinical trials. It also refuses to release Dr Reid's CV citing 'maintaining privacy' as their excuse.

Why is the Ministry of Health hiding behind the skirts of the Privacy Act when unprecedented clinical trials predicated on emerging false and manipulated data and fear-mongering continues?

The attached graph show the lack of impact this vaccine is having on the natural decline in meningococcal disease in New Zealand.

Click for big version

"This is further evidence in support of calls for a formal inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the research, licensing and use of the MeNZB(tm) vaccine," says Ron Law


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