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MOH: Meningitis Commentary Is Inaccurate Dangerous

MoH: "Jon Eisen's Commentary Is Inaccurate And Dangerous"

Yesterday Auckland-based journalist Jon Eisen issued Scoop with an article examining the safety of New Zealand's Meningococcal vaccine. Scoop approached the Ministry of Health (MoH) to comment on the findings. It has done so and refutes Eisen's claims. Here Scoop publishes both sides of this most important issue and calls for the medical fraternity including researchers and medical students to analyse the findings and claims.

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    Ministry of Health Meningococcal Vaccine Strategy director Dr Jane O'Hallahan says amateur interpretation of complex scientific data is dangerous. This Meningococcal B Immunisation Programme aims to save lives and prevent the maiming and disfiguring of children and young people in this country.

    "This disease, Meningococcal B, is dangerous and can be deadly.

    "Journalists who promote inaccurate and emotive claims are totally irresponsible. If believed, their unsubstantiated claims could lead to more unnecessary death and misery for the most vunerable in our country.

    "The MeNZB vaccine is expected to stimulate a four-fold rise in protective antibodies in most people. Medicines work differently in different people. Most children and young people will experience a minor reaction to the vaccination such as redness at the site of the injection.

    "Expected protection offered by the vaccine and the vaccine's side effects are clearly explained in the consent form, information booklet, website and 0800 20 30 90 service.

    "The vaccine has been rigorously tested and has met the same standards of safety and quality as any other medicine licensed for use in New Zealand," Dr O'Hallahan says.

    Eisen's investigation follows detailing his assertion that: "Maker Admits Meningococcal Vax May Be Dangerous"

    Vaccine Maker Admits NZ Meningococcal Vaccine May Not Work, and Could Be Dangerous

    The manufacturer of the new meningococcal vaccine currently being introduced into New Zealand has admitted that ”complete protection against infection caused by the New Zealand strain (of the bacteria) cannot be guaranteed.”

    In the “package insert” designed to provide guidelines for doctors and nurses administering the vaccine, the CHIRON company also states that the vaccine has a high rate of possible side effects.

    Moreover, it says that much crucial data about the performance of the vaccine, as well as data on “contraindications” (where it should not be used) are incomplete.


    • While the insert says that “the population at risk should be vaccinated with MeNZB to prevent serious systemic disease” it concedes that “data on concomitant use of other vaccines are not yet available.” This means that if a person gets one or more other vaccines at or around the same time as the MeNZB vaccine, there are no data on possible adverse outcomes.

    • The vaccine also “has not been evaluated in persons with thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count) or bleeding disorders.”

    • ”As with all injectable vaccines, appropriate medical treatment and supervision should always be readily available in the rare case of an anaphylactic event (life threatening allergic reaction) following administration of a vaccine.”
    The company neglects to provide any data on these kinds of events.

    • “MeNZB has not been specifically evaluated in the immunocompromised. Individuals with complement deficiencies and individuals with functional or anatomical asplenia (problems with or absence of a spleen) may mount an immune response to MeNZB; however, the degree of protection that would be afforded is unknown.”

    • “Any acute infection and febrile illness (an illness with an associated fever) is reason for delaying the use of MeNZB except when, in the opinion of the physician,withholding the vaccine entails a greater risk.” In other words, inasmuch as the manufacturer does not actually have any meaningful data on risks and benefits, it’s up to the doctor’s “educated guess” as to whether or not to vaccinate a sick child or infant. More: “A minor illness such a temperature of less than 38.5 detgrees such as a minor upper respiratory infection, is not usually reason to postpone immunisation.” However, in that such an infection may or may not be an indication of someone who is “immunocompromised” (a contraindication for the vaccine; remember that there is “no data” on this) the reader is left wondering about this apparent contradiction in the directions.

    • “There are no adequate data from the use of MeNZB in pregnant women.”

    • “Information on the safety of the vaccine during lactation is not available.”

    • “The degree and quality of the cellular immune response is not yet established.”

    • “Clinical efficacy (whether it works or not): No prospective efficacy trials have been performed with MeNZB.” In other words, the company has no idea as to whether or not the vaccine actually does what they say it should do.

    • “Adverse Reactions from Clinical Studies with the Norwegian parent vaccine, Menbvac, an OMV vaccine manufactured with a strain from a different sero-(sub)type (B:15:P1.7,16)
    For MenBvac further adverse events were reported including anaphylactic reactions, flu-like symptoms, haematuria (blood in the urine), Guillain-Barre Syndrome (neurological disorder that may include paralysis), myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome(aka ME). All these reactions were very rare (no data supplied) and occured in adolescents and/or adults. Additional information: Although MenBvac is the parent vaccine of MeNZB the above mentioned adverse events of MenBvac may not necessarily be expected to happen with MeNZB (no reason or data specified).

    TRANSLATION: These are some of the adverse reactions to the parent strain (Norwegian vaccine) from which the New Zealand vaccine was developed. We don’t know what the reactions to the NZ strain will be, and this is the reason:

    “Adverse reactions (to the vaccine in the trial period) were collected on the day of vaccination and each day following for up to 7 days.”

    This means is that the NZ vaccine, which is related to the Norwegian vaccine, may or may not have a similar adverse reaction profile nobody knows yet and the Ministry of Health is not waiting to find out before it releases the vaccine for use in New Zealand.

    Moreover, the company followed up the trial subjects ) only about 1000 people) for only about a week, even though some “adverse reactions” don’t begin to show up until many weeks or months later (or even years with some vaccines, like the cancer connection to the polio vaccine).

    Finally, we come to aluminium hydroxide, an “adjuvant” in the vaccine. This was shown as far back as 1975 to be a possible carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) by US Bureau of Biologics and the US Food and Drug Administration).

    The fact is that the MeNZB vaccine is still highly experimental, despite what the Ministry of Health is telling the people of New Zealand, which is that the vaccine will prevent meningoccocal meningitis, is safe and well trialled.

    “This vaccine has been safely used in clinical trials in Auckland with a range of age groups, including babies and adults.”

    The MoH is not telling the people of New Zealand that we are paying a vaccine company $200 million to experiment on our children with the possibility of long lasting “adverse consequences” like cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses down the track.

    A Precedent

    With the bandwagon rolling along on the new meningitis vaccine, it may be instructive to consider the following, which links an earlier vaccine for meningitis to a marked increase in diabetes.

    The prestigious peer reviewed journal Autoimmunity (August 2002 Vol. 35 (4), pp. 247-253} recently published an article by Dr. J. Bart Classen, an immunologist at Classen Immunotherapies, and David Carey Classen, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Utah, proving a causal relationship between the hemophilus vaccine and the development of insulin dependent diabetes. The data is particularly disturbing because it indicates the risks of the vaccine exceeds the benefit. The findings are expected to allow many diabetics to receive compensation for their injuries.

    The study followed over 100,000 children who had been randomized in a large clinical trial to receive 1 or 4 doses of the hemophilus vaccine and over 100,000 unvaccinated children. After 7 years the group receiving 4 doses of the vaccine had a statistically significant, 26% elevated rate of diabetes, or an extra 54 cases/100,000 children, compared to children who did not receive the vaccine.

    By contrast immunization against hemophilus is expected to prevent only 7 deaths and 7 to 26 cases of permanent disability per 100,000 children immunized. The study showed that almost all of the extra cases of diabetes caused by the vaccine occurred between 3-4 years after vaccination. Furthermore the paper provides new data proving the vaccine causes diabetes in mice and reviews data from 3 smaller human studies, which all had similar results to the current study, but were too small to reach statistical significance.

    "Our results conclusively prove there is a causal relationship between immunization schedules and diabetes. We believe immunization schedules can be made safer," stated Dr. Bart Classen.

    The Classens' research is already becoming widely accepted. An independent group of researchers working at a prestigious Swedish medical center recently published a paper (Annals. N.Y. Acad Sci. 958: 293-296, 2002) supporting their findings. Last year doctors attending a conference of the American College for Advancement in Medicine overwhelmingly agreed that vaccines can cause chronic diseases such as diabetes.

    In the December 1994 Medical Post, Canadian author of the best-seller Medical Mafia, Guylaine Lanctot, MD, stated, "The medical authorities keep lying. Vaccination has been a disaster on the immune system. It actually causes a lot of illnesses. We are actually changing our genetic code through vaccination...100 years from now we will know that the biggest crime against humanity was vaccines."

    After critically analyzing literally ten's of thousands of pages of the vaccine medical literature, Dr. Viera Scheibner concluded that "there is no evidence whatsoever of the ability of vaccines to prevent any diseases.

    To the contrary, there is a great wealth of evidence that they cause serious side effects." Dr. Classen has stated, "My data proves that the studies used to support immunization are so flawed that it is impossible to say if immunization provides a net benefit to anyone or to society in general.

    "This question can only be determined by proper studies which have never been performed. The flaw of previous studies is that there was no long-term follow up and chronic toxicity was not looked at.

    The continued denial and suppression of the evidence against vaccines only perpetuates the "myths" of their "success" and, more importantly, their negative consequences on our children and society. Aggressive and comprehensive scientific investigation into adverse vaccine events and is clearly warranted, yet immunization programs continue to expand in the absence of such research.

    Concerns over vaccine adverse effects and conflicts of interest led the American Society of Physicians and Surgeons to issue a Resolution to Congress calling for a "moratorium on vaccine mandates and for physicians to insist upon truly informed consent for the use of vaccines."

    Approved by unanimous vote at the AAPS October 2000 annual meeting, the resolution made references to the "increasing numbers of mandatory childhood vaccines, to which children are subjected without information about potential adverse side effects"; the fact that "safety testing of many vaccines is limited and the data are unavailable for independent scrutiny, so that mass vaccination is equivalent to human experimentation and subject to the Nuremberg Code, which requires voluntary informed consent"; and the fact that "the process of approving and 'recommending' vaccines is tainted with conflicts of interest."

    In an October 1999 statement to Congress, Bart Classen, M.D., M.B.A., founder and CEO of Classen Immunotherapies and developer of vaccine technologies, stated, "It is clear that the government's immunization policies are driven by politics and not by science."

    FACT: In The New England Journal of Medicine (July 1994) a study found that over 80% of children under 5 years of age who had contracted whooping cough had been fully vaccinated (immunised).

    FACT: The death rate from common infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, whooping cough, measles and diptheria had declined by over 90% BEFORE the introduction of vaccination. (1)

    FACT: A 1992 study published in The American Journal of Epidemiology shows that children die at a rate 8 times greater than normal within three days after getting a DPT vaccination.

    FACT: Many children develop serious conditions as a result of vaccination. How many? Unfortunately, it is impossible to know for sure because only a small fraction (less than 10%) of all "adverse reactions" are ever reported. (2)

    Long-term adverse reactions to vaccines may include:

    Arthritis: This is a known risk of the rubella portion of the MMR vaccine. The risk is higher in and women and adolescent girls.(3)

    Diabetes: According to the NZ Medical Journal (24/05/96), Insulin Dependent Diabetes increased by 60% in NZ children after a mass vaccination campaign using a genetically engineered Hepatitis B vaccine.

    Autism: This once rare (but now common) brain disorder has been linked to the MMR vaccine by several independent researchers and doctors and published in peer-reviewed medical journals like The Lancet and The Journal of Adverse Drug Reactions. Dr Mary Megson and others have also linked the DPT vaccine to this distressing condition. Autism can ruin a child’s ability to learn and develop normal relationships.

    Asthma:British researcher Dr Michael Odent found that children who were vaccinated with the DPT vaccine were four times more likely to develop asthma than children who were not injected with this vaccine.

    Cancer: The polio vaccine has been implicated in some brain cancers where the presence of a cancer-causing virus (SV-40) contaminating the vaccine has been confirmed. (Surprisingly there has never been a study comparing the health of vaccinated vs unvaccinated people, and the medical establishment refuses to conduct one on “ethical” grounds.)

    FACT: Some vaccines such as the rubella (MMR) (4), the Hepatitis A vaccine(5) among others, are cultured on cells from aborted human foetuses.

    FACT: Many vaccines do not prevent disease very effectively, despite what you’ve been told. In the USA where 98% of children are vaccinated, children (and adults) still develop measles, whooping cough and other "vaccine preventable" diseases. A massive outbreak of whooping cough occurred in Holland in 1998, despite the fact that over 90% of the population had been vaccinated against it.

    New Zealand vaccinations are not compulsory. Children DO NOT have to be vaccinated in order to go to daycare or school. Know your rights. Inform yourself about the pros and cons of any and all vaccines before you decide. It is your decision.

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