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No Real "Informed Consent" with Meningococcal C Vaccine

[Scoop note: The Northland DHB has responded to this release.]


No Real "Informed Consent" with Meningococcal C Vaccine

Public not being told of "serious risks" of vaccine in new meningococcal C vaccination campaign

Information forms prepared for the meningococcal C vaccination campaign in Northland do not include enough information for potential vaccine recipients (or their parents) to make an informed decision about whether or not to be vaccinated.

This shocking revelation was made by Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines, an organisation founded to oppose coerced or forced vaccination. [1]

"It's important that people who are considering any vaccination have enough information about the potential risks and benefits of the vaccine as well as information about any other ways by which they may be able to reduce their risk of becoming ill." Smith says.

"Unfortunately the information sheets available from the website of the Northland District Health Board [2] omit many of the potential adverse effects of Meningitec (TM), the vaccine used in this vaccination campaign. The information sheets do include the more common and less serious side effects. However, according to the datasheet [3] produced by Meningitec's manufacturer, some very serious conditions such as collapse, seizures and Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a life threatening skin condition, have occurred following vaccination with Meningitec(TM)."

According to Smith failing to disclose these (and other) potentially serious side effects on the information forms is "unethical" and "also undermines public confidence in the public health system."

"If parents do consent to their child being vaccinated and he or she subsequently suffers a serious side effect that they did not know could occur because there was no mention of it on the information form, parents naturally become very upset and angry," says Smith.

"Meningococcal disease does not strike entirely randomly," Smith continues. "There are number of well-established risk factors for meningococal disease including including living in overcrowded housing.[4] People who smoke [5] and those who drink heavily [6] are more likely to carry meningococcal bacteria in the back of their throat making them more vulnerable to the disease or passing the bacteria along to others who may be susceptible. Passive smoking also increases the risk for children in the family."[7]

Nutritional deficiencies may also make people more vulnerable to develop meningococcal disease, according to Smith.

"Vitamin C is important for immune system function [8] and iron deficiency [9] is a well-established risk-factor for meningococcal disease." Smith says. "New research also suggests that vitamin D deficiency [10] may also contribute to increased risk of meningococcal disease."

Vitamin D deficiency is more common in winter and early spring because the vitamin is mainly obtained through exposure of the skin to sunshine.

Smith cautions parents about giving children either vitamin D or iron supplements without professional advice as both can be toxic in excess. Moreover, as a general rule, iron supplements should not be given during an acute infection as they may increase the risk of developing a secondary bacterial infection, or worsen an existing bacterial infection. A GP or other doctor can arrange a simple blood test for vitamin D and iron.

"A healthy smoke-free, alcohol-free lifestyle with a nutritious diet and supplements if necessary is one way to reduce the risk of developing meningococcal disease." Smith says. "This sort of approach is also safe for people who cannot be vaccinated because of pre-existing medical conditions or because of pregnancy."

Homoeoprophylaxis [11] is also an option worth considering by people who cannot be vaccinated, Smith adds.

[1] _www.noforcedvaccines.org_ [2] They are available from this link: _http://www.northlanddhb.org.nz/home/read-more/northland-meningococcal-c-immunisation-programme.html_ [3] The datasheet may be downloaded by typing the vaccine name into the search box at this link: _http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/dsform.asp_ [4] _http://journals.lww.com/pidj/Abstract/2000/10000/Household_crowding_a_major_risk_factor_for.9.aspx_ [5] _http://www.abc.net.au/cgi-bin/common/printfriendly.pl?http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/8.30/helthrpt/stories/s1200543.htm_ [6] _http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC228659/_ [7] _http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_8-12-2010-9-53-35_

[8] _http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminC/_ [9] _http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/117-1200/1029/ _ [10] _http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2870688/_ [11] _http://homeopathyplus.com.au/homeopathic-immunisation-for-meningococcal-disease/_

More information about the meningococcal C vaccination campaign, meningococcal disease risk factors and homoeoprophylaxis may be found at this link: _http://www.naturalmedicine.net.nz/articles/ _

ends

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