Tag Archives: adverse reactions

Petition against HPV vaccines – please consider signing this petition!

hThe Institute for the Protection of Natural Health (Institut pour la Protection de la Santé Naturelle), based in Brussels, in conjunction with French oncologist and surgeon Professor Henri Joyeux, has launched a French petition against the HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix.

This petition has currently raised 359,840 signatures. Originally, the goal was to reach 500,000 signatures then submit the petition to government authorities in France.  However, interest in this petition has expanded to other countries where medical professionals, scientists and medical consumers are also seriously questioning universal HPV vaccination programs.

Due to so many requests from people outside France who wish to sign the petition, Professor Joyeux and the Institute for the Protection of Natural Health have agreed to open their petition to every country in the world.

If you are concerned that HPV vaccines are of questionable value, please access and sign the petition via this link:  http://petition.ipsn.eu/papillomavirus/?utm_source=VIDEO&utm_medium=Newsletter-gratuite&utm_campaign=201409-29-HPV_VdT

The petition is in French, but an English translation is available, see below.

You need only fill in four boxes: Your first name, last name, postal code (or country if you do not live in France) and your email address.

More information is available on the SaneVax website, including details of concerns raised by Professor Joyeux:  http://sanevax.org/french-petition-hpv-vaccines/

Also refer to my previous post HPV vaccine promotion and government interference for more background on the questionable implementation of HPV vaccination in Australia

Please consider signing the French petition against HPV vaccines, we need to challenge questionable HPV vaccination on an international basis.

_____________________________________________

English translation of the French petition against HPV vaccines: 

Sign the petition by clicking on this link

Institut Pour La Protection de la Santé Naturelle

The right to alternative treatment

NO to widespread vaccination of children against HPV

Petition

For the attention of The President of the French Republic, The French Minister of Health and Social Affairs, and the French Minister of National Education 

Mr. President, Mme Health and Social Affairs Minister, Mme. National Education Minister,

On the 15th of September 2014, the French High Council for Public Health published a statement recommending that:

  • HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination should be introduced in French schools in an attempt to prevent cervical cancer and other sexually-transmitted diseases;
  • If necessary, the starting age for vaccination of both young girls and young boys would be lowered to 9.

This plan has aroused very deep concern in the French people and the medical profession.

There are a very large number of us who fear that our schools are being used as a front for a widespread HPV vaccination campaign targeting our children, without providing families transparent information on the effectiveness and risks of this vaccine and without allowing them to consider the pros and cons.

May we remind you that the analysis of pharmacovigilance data revealed 26,675 cases of serious adverse effects connected with these vaccines, including 113 cases of multiple sclerosis.

May we also remind you that the only method which has been proven to prevent cervical cancer is the Pap smear.  If precancerous lesions are found, they can then be treated.

The vaccine however does not confer 100% protection, far from it.  All medical sources concur on this point.  It is a very dangerous situation if vaccinated individuals go off thinking that they are fully protected.

We the undersigned therefore demand that the plan for widespread HPV vaccination in French schools be stopped:

  • Until reasonable vaccine effectiveness has been proven;
  • Until we are aware of and can control all the adverse effects of these vaccines;
  • Until we can be assured that such widespread vaccination will not cause a drop in Pap smear screening, the only proven method of preventing cervical cancer.

This is the only way to protect a large number of children from unnecessary accidents and considerable suffering.  You will also be making a step towards maintaining the trust of parents and keeping necessary peace in our schools.

Yours sincerely,

Number of Signatures

 

Request for retraction of the Cochrane Vaccines Field systematic review re vaccine safety and aluminium

Cochrane Lancet Infect DisFurther to my previous posts re my letters to Professor Peter Gøtzsche challenging a systematic review prepared by members of the Cochrane Vaccines Field, i.e. Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidence.

I have now forwarded a letter to Mr John McConnell, editor of The Lancet Infectious Diseases, suggesting this so-called ‘systematic review’ should be retracted, see full letter below:

_______________________________________

11 August 2014

Mr McConnell

I write to you to challenge a systematic review prepared by members of the Cochrane Vaccines Field[1] , i.e. Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidence, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases in February 2004 (behind the paywall).[2]

I have already forwarded letters on this matter to Professor Peter Gøtzsche, co-founder of The Cochrane Collaboration.  Please see attached letters dated 8 July 2014 and 17 July 2014.  My letters to The Cochrane Collaboration are also published on my website: https://over-vaccination.net/cochrane-collaboration/ 

I request that The Lancet Infectious Diseases take urgent action to re-evaluate this review prepared by members of the Cochrane Vaccines Field. 

In my opinion this so-called ‘systematic review’ should be retracted by The Lancet Infectious Diseases 

I suggest this review has facilitated poorly evidenced acceptance of the safety of aluminium-adjuvanted vaccines.  As a consequence, an increasing number of aluminium-adjuvanted vaccines are being added to vaccination schedules around the world e.g. multiple doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccines, and multiple doses of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, amongst others.  The meningococcal B vaccine is the latest to be promoted.[3]  The long-term cumulative effects of the ever-growing list of vaccine products are unknown.

In their systematic review, authors Tom Jefferson, Melanie Rudin and Carlo Di Pietrantonj state: “We found no evidence that aluminium salts in vaccines cause any serious or long-lasting adverse events.”  They also admit that: “Overall, the methodological quality of included studies was low”.  Bizarrely, Jefferson et al conclude: “Despite a lack of good-quality evidence we do not recommend that any further research on this topic is undertaken.”[4]

From my layperson’s perspective, Jefferson et al’s ‘systematic review’ is an example of ‘garbage in, garbage out’. 

Professor Christopher Exley of Keele University has raised this matter with your journal previously.  In a letter published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases in June 2004[5] (behind the paywall) he noted:

“I was surprised that the authors were able to conclude from their review that further research in this field was unnecessary.  It would seem to me that this conclusion did not adequately reflect the findings of the limited resource base underpinning the review.  The authors criticised the quality of the data they had available to them and yet these data were still deemed sufficient to support such a strong conclusion.  In addition, the authors made no reference to the fact that aluminium-based adjuvants contribute to the recipients systemic body burden of aluminium.  We now know that aluminium in adjuvants is dissolved and transported throughout the body, including the brain[6] and we cannot discount the biological availability of this aluminium.  It is a sobering thought that aluminium adjuvants have not had to pass any of the safety trials that would be expected of any drug or treatment.  Their application is historical and this should not necessarily be equated with their safety.  There is no consensus as to whether it is safe to introduce aluminium in prophylaxis or otherwise, and until the requisite research is carried out it is misleading to conclude that aluminium adjuvants are safe for all to use.”  (My emphasis.)

Professor Exley followed up with another letter published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases in April 2006[7] (behind the paywall) in which he stated:

“In 2004, I commented in The Lancet Infectious Diseases that it was too early to conclude that aluminium adjuvants were safe for all to use.[8]  This opinion has been strengthened by recent research highlighting delayed hypersensitivity to aluminium in children who have received aluminium-adsorbed vaccines.[9],[10]  Contact allergy to aluminium has been known for some time[11], although delayed hypersensitivity to aluminium is a recently recognised phenomenon of unknown aetiology.  The observation that the body retains a “memory” of previous exposure to aluminium (as an adjuvant) is intrigiuing and may support research that reported the development of anti-aluminium monoclonal antibodies.[12]  Delayed hypersensitivity to aluminium raises a number of issues relating to the biological availability of this environmental toxin, perhaps not least of which, and pertinent to this moment in time, is the plan to improve the immunogenicity of (bird) flu vaccine by using aluminium-based adjuvants.[13]  It is my opinion that substantially increased use of aluminium-adsorbed vaccines should be put on hold until research has demonstrated their safety, if not to all then to most individuals.”  (My emphasis.)

It appears to me Jefferson et al’s systematic review was biased from the outset, and that the goal was to defend the use of aluminium adjuvants, i.e.: “Assessment of the safety of aluminium in vaccines is important because replacement of aluminium compounds in currently licensed vaccines would necessitate the introduction of a completely new compound that would have to be investigated before licensing.  No obvious candidates to replace aluminium are available, so withdrawal for safety reasons would severely affect the immunogenicity and protective effect of some currently licensed vaccines and threaten immunisation programmes worldwide.”[14] (My emphasis.)

This Cochrane Vaccines Field review plays into the hands of vaccine manufacturers who are keen to develop a mass market for lucrative vaccine products.  A World Health Organisation presentation acknowledges that vaccines are “becoming an engine for the pharmaceutical industry”, creating a global market with a “spectacular growth rate”, growing in value from US$5 billion in 2000 to almost US$24 billion in 2013, and projected to rise to US$100 billion by 2025.[15]

Aggressive vaccine marketing by the pharmaceutical industry and conflicted industry-affiliated ‘experts’ is threatening citizens’ bodily autonomy.  It’s time there was an objective look at the burgeoning vaccine market and independent consideration of whether mass vaccination with all these lucrative vaccine products is justifiable.  The potential conflicts of interests of academics working in the areas of vaccine development and promotion, and the influence of these academics on government policy, needs to be examined.

We need an investigation into the relationships between governments, the vaccine industry, and the industry’s handmaidens in the scientific/medical establishment, but who can we trust to do that? The mainstream media has generally been completely useless on this matter, and incapable of providing critical analysis, merely supporting the status quo.[16]

Likewise medical journals appear to be stalwart promoters for the pharmaceutical industry, and are beset by their own financial conflicts of interest in selling the literature and advertising medical products.  The Lancet’s editor, Richard Horton, has confessed that: “Journals have devolved into information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry”.[17]  In his book Deadly medicines and organised crime: How big pharma has corrupted healthcare, The Cochrane Collaboration’s Peter Gøtzsche notes: “Sadly, and although there are notable exceptions, our medical journals contribute substantially to the corruption of medical science.”[18]

But of course even The Cochrane Collaboration is not above reproach.  It is mystifying that  an organisation which promises “to promote evidence-informed health decision-making by producing high-quality, relevant, accessible systematic reviews and other synthesised research evidence”[19] could give its name to a ‘systematic review’ of such poor quality as Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidenceCan the public rely on Cochrane?

Mr McConnell, I again request that The Lancet Infectious Diseases take urgent action to re-evaluate this review prepared by members of the Cochrane Vaccines Field.  

In my opinion this systematic review should be retracted by The Lancet Infectious Diseases

I request your urgent response on this matter.

Sincerely

Elizabeth Hart 

https://over-vaccination.net/

*Please note, in addition to the cc list below, this letter will be circulated to other parties, and has also been published on my website.

cc:

  • Professor Richard Horton, Editor, The Lancet
  • Professor Peter Gøtzsche, The Cochrane Collaboration
  • Dr Tom Jefferson, Cochrane Vaccines Field
  • Mr Mark Wilson, CEO, The Cochrane Collaboration
  • Professor Paul Glasziou, Bond University
  • Professor Chris Del Mar, Bond University
  • Mr Ray Moynihan, Bond University
  • A/Professor Peter Doshi, University of Maryland
  • Dr Fiona Godlee, British Medical Journal
  • Professor Peter Collignon, Australian National University
  • Professor Christopher Exley, Keele University
  • Professor Chris Shaw, University of British Columbia
  • Dr Lucija Tomljenovic, University of British Columbia
  • Professor Warwick Anderson, NHMRC
  • Professor Ian Olver, NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee
  • Professor Ian Frazer, University of Queensland
  • A/Professor Ruiting Lan, University of New South Wales
  • Professor Lyn Gilbert, University of Sydney
  • Dr Linjie Zhang, Federal University of Rio Grande
  • Professor Ronald Schultz, Vaccination Guidelines Group, World Small Animal Veterinary Association
  • Professor Michael Day, Vaccination Guidelines Group, World Small Animal Veterinary Association
  • Professor Brian Martin, University of Wollongong
  • Ms Bea Mies, Independent Vaccine Investigator
  • Ms Monika Peichl, Independent Vaccine Investigator

References: (All links accessible as at 11 August 2014.  It may be necessary to copy and paste long links into a web browser.)

[1] Cochrane Vaccines Field: “It is the intention of the Cochrane Vaccines Field to contribute to a greater global understanding of vaccine quality by facilitating the identification, assembling, analysis, synthesis, dissemination and updating of information on the effects of vaccines from single studies into reviews.”: http://vaccinesfield.cochrane.org/aims-and-activities

[2] Jefferson T, Rudin M, Di Pietrantoni C. Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidence.  Lancet Infect Dis. 2004 Feb; 4(2):84-90: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14871632  This review is also listed in the Cochrane Vaccines Field Bibliography: http://vaccinesfield.cochrane.org/bibliography-2003

[3] The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation originally rejected the Bexsero Meningitis B Vaccine see for example: Meningitis B vaccine rejected by UK – Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation says there is not enough evidence to justify routine jabs with Bexsero, The Guardian, 24 July 2013: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/jul/24/meningitis-b-vaccine-rejected-uk   This decision was subsequently overturned after a “determined campaign by doctors, health charities, a public petition and a wave of letters to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt”: Babies to get jab on NHS against lethal meningitis B – A life-saving vaccine against deadly meningitis B will be introduced on the NHS for all babies from two months old in a dramatic U-turn announced yesterday, Express, 22 March 2014: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/466236/Jeremy-Hunt-changes-NHS-baby-vaccine-policy-after-huge-letter-campaign  Also refer to the JCVI position statement on use of Bexsero meningococcal B vaccine in the UK. March 2014: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/294245/JCVI_Statement_on_MenB.pdf

[4] Jefferson T, Rudin M, Di Pietrantoni C. Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidence.  Lancet Infect Dis. 2004 Feb; 4(2):84-90: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14871632

[5] Exley C. Aluminium-containing DTP vaccines. Lancet Infect Dis 2004; 4: 324.

[6] Flarend R. Absorption of aluminium from antiperspirants and vaccine adjuvants. In: Exley C. ed. Aluminium and Alzheimer’s disease. The science that describes the link. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2001: 75-96.

[7] Exley C. Aluminium-adsorbed vaccines. Lancet Infect Dis. 2006; 6: 189.

[8] Exley C. Aluminium-containing DTP vaccines. Lancet Infect Dis 2004; 4: 324.

[9] Bergfors E, Trollfors B, Inerot A. Unexpectedly high incidence of persistent itching nodules and delayed hypersensitivity to aluminium in children after the use of adsorbed vaccines from a single manufacturer. Vaccine 2003; 22: 64-69

[10] Bergfors E, Björkelund C, Trollfors B. Nineteen cases of persistent pruritic nodules and contact allergy to aluminium after injection of commonly used aluminium-adsorbed vaccines. Eur J Pediatr 2004; 164: 691-97.

[11] Bohler-Sommeregger K, Lindemayr H. Contact sensitivity to aluminium. Contact Dermatitis 1986; 15: 278-81.

[12] Levy R, Shohat L, Solomon B. Specificity of an anti-aluminium monoclonal antibody toward free and protein-bound aluminium. J Inorg Biochem 1998; 69: 159-63.

[13] Wadman M. Race is on for flu vaccine. Nature 2005; 438: 23.

[14] Jefferson T, Rudin M, Di Pietrantoni C. Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidence.  Lancet Infect Dis. 2004 Feb; 4(2):84-90: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14871632

[15] Miloud Kaddar, Senior Adviser, Health Economist, WHO, IVB, Geneva.  Gobal Vaccine Market Features and Trends: http://who.int/influenza_vaccines_plan/resources/session_10_kaddar.pdf (Powerpoint slides 5 and 6.)

[16] For example in Australia debate on vaccination has been polarised between avidly ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ forces.  The media in Australia is generally supportive of the avidly ‘pro’ vaccination camp and appears to be incapable of providing objective analysis on the worth of individual vaccine products.  Also refer to my letter to Professor Warwick Anderson, CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council, which includes reference to News Corp Australia’s extraordinarily crude pro-vaccination campaign: http://users.on.net/~peter.hart/Letter_to_Warwick_Anderson_NHMRC_re_MMR_vaccination.pdf

[17] Horton R. The dawn of McScience. New York Rev Books. 2004; 51: 7-9.  (As noted in Peter Gøtzsche’s book below.)

[18] Gøtzsche PC. Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How big pharma has corrupted healthcare. London: Radcliffe Publishing Ltd, 2013.  See Chapter 6, Conflicts of interest at medical journals.

[19] The Cochrane Collaboration – About us: http://www.cochrane.org/about-us

 

UPDATE: Vaccine safety and aluminium – a challenge to Cochrane

Cochrane2Re my previous post about my letter to  Professor Peter Gøtzsche, challenging a systematic review prepared by members of the Cochrane Vaccines Field, i.e. Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidence.

Professor Gøtzsche has responded to my letter, encouraging me to “submit a criticism” on this important matter.

I have forwarded a follow-up letter in this regard, which includes reference to my previous correspondence with Dr Tom Jefferson, and also draws parallels between human and animal vaccination, please see below:

______________________

17 July 2014

Professor Gøtzsche

RE:  Vaccine safety and aluminium adjuvants

Thank you for your response[1] to my letter dated 8 July 2014 which challenges a systematic review prepared by the Cochrane Vaccines Field i.e. Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidence.[2]

In your response you encourage me to “submit a criticism” on this important matter to The Cochrane Collaboration. 

As noted in my previous letter, the systematic review in question was prepared by members of the Cochrane Vaccines Field, i.e. Tom Jefferson, Melanie Rudin and Carlo Di Pietrantonj, and was published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases in 2004 (behind the paywall).  The review is listed in the bibliography on the Cochrane Vaccines Field website, but is not accessible online on The Cochrane Collaboration website, so I am unable to make an online comment.

Professor Gøtzsche, as you have encouraged me to make a submission, can you please clarify how I should do this?

For your information, I originally contacted Dr Jefferson directly about this matter in March 2013.  (I had previously contacted Dr Jefferson on other vaccine-related matters.  He is also formally copied on my submissions re controversial ‘gain-of-function’ research[3] in the influenza industry, see my letter to the NSABB Jan 2012 and my submission to the US CDC/HHS Dec 2012.)

Please see below the contents of my email forwarded to Dr Jefferson on 24 March 2013 in regards to his systematic review of adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines.  (Given my previous correspondence with Dr Jefferson, the tone is informal.  I have added some references in the endnotes):

Tom

I’m reading your review: “Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidence”  (The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Vol. 4 2004.)

The summary of your review concludes: “Despite a lack of good-quality evidence we do not recommend that any further research on this topic is undertaken.”   (My emphasis.)

Your review notes:  “The results of our review should be interpreted within the limited quantity and quality of available evidence.  Within these limits, we found no evidence that aluminium salts cause any serious or long-lasting adverse events…”

So, you admit the quantity and quality of the evidence in your review was limited, but you still say that “we do not recommend that any further research on this topic is undertaken“.

Why would you say that?

I suggest you did not have enough information to say “we do not recommend that any further research on this topic is undertaken.”  Your review just plays into the hands of vaccine manufacturers like GlaxoSmithKline and Merck etc who are pushing repeat revaccinations with aluminium adjuvanted vaccines of questionable value. 

Vaccines with aluminium adjuvants such as DTaP (repeat ‘boosters’ being recommended for all ages) and HPV x 3 shots for children, etc are now being pushed on the population.  Who knows what the cumulative effect of this repeated vaccination with these vaccines might be?  Have there been any long-term studies?  I would suspect no…

My investigation into companion animal vaccines has led me to be very concerned about vaccines with an aluminium adjuvant.  Do I have masses of material in the “peer-reviewed literature” to back me up?  No, and neither have I had the time to do a full-blown literature search, what with spending so much of my time investigating questionable MMR ‘boosters’, HPV, flu, pertussis vaccination, etc, because of all the misinformation spread by the ‘scientific’ establishment…  Who would fund such research anyway?

Experts in veterinary medicine have been calling for a decrease of live and inactivated vaccination of companion animals because of the risk of adverse reaction to vaccines.[4]  I’m becoming more concerned about the non-infectious/inactivated vaccines with aluminium adjuvants, (e.g. bordetella bronchiseptica with aluminium) that are given to many dogs every year, and now humans are being pressed to have regular revaccinations with aluminium adjuvanted vaccines (e.g. DTaP and HPV).

For information, see attached a presentation by Michael J Day[5], from a World Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress (2004) in which he says:  “We now recognize that vaccines (particularly multicomponent, modified live products) appear to be able to trigger a range of immune-mediated and autoimmune diseases.  For example, much attention has recently focused on vaccines as an initiator of immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia in the dog.  The mechanism by which this effect occurs is not well investigated.  In theory, three separate components of the vaccine might be involved.  Many vaccines contain adjuvant (particularly alum), the function of which is, in part, to non-specifically activate the immune system.  It is theoretically possible that this activation might include autoreactive lymphocytes, and as alum is very effective at stimulating antibody responses, the activation of B cells and their particular helper T cells (Th2 cells) might readily arise….”  (My emphasis.)

Ref: 29th World Congress of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association October 6-9 2004, Rhodes, Greece.  Michael Day is an author of the WSAVA Guidelines for Dogs and Cats, 2010: http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/VaccinationGuidelines2010.pdf

Also, here’s a quote from a DVM roundtable of vaccine experts, (December 1988)[6], which included Ron Schultz, Jonas Salk, Ian Tizard and others during which Ian Tizard said:  “And yet, the use of poorly understood adjuvants has a long and distinguished history in vaccinology.  We’ve been using alum since the 1920s and are still not sure how it works. It’s also fair to say that we’ve been very conservative in our use of adjuvants.  To the best of my knowledge, alum is still the only adjuvant used in human vaccines…”  (My emphasis.)

In 2013, do we yet know how alum works in vaccines?

It is interesting to note that pregnant women are currently being urged to have DTaP revaccinations because of the resurgence of pertussis.  However, it has been reported that the pertussis circulating is a new strain, so what is the point of revaccinating with the existing vaccine?  Also, I don’t buy this idea of a vaccine that ‘wanes’.  Either a vaccine immunises for life or forget it, we have been conned big time with these annual flu vaccinations and repeat DTaPs etc.  

On the topic of pregnant women and the DTaP, it is interesting to note that vaccination guidelines for dogs say:  “Should a pregnant dog be vaccinated?  Vaccination with MLV (attenuated) and/or killed (inactivated) vaccines during pregnancy should be avoided, if possible, to avoid potential injury to the fetus. There are exceptions, especially in shelters, where vaccination would be advised if the pregnant dog has never been vaccinated and there is risk of exposure to a highly pathogenic virus (e.g., CDV, CPV-2).  (My emphasis.)

Reference: 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines: http://www.aahanet.org/PublicDocuments/CanineVaccineGuidelines.pdf

Are pregnant women being properly informed about pertussis, about the ‘new strain’, and about questionable vaccines that wane?  Have the possible long-term deleterious effects of vaccination of pregnant women with aluminium adjuvanted vaccines been properly researched?  I suspect not…

Tom, I suggest your Cochrane Review of aluminium-containing DTP vaccines is a bit of a worry in that it may have created a poorly evidenced acceptance of the safety of aluminium-adjuvanted vaccines.

Cochrane Reviews don’t always get it right, as we know from Hayashi / Tamiflu[7]

I would appreciate your response on this matter.

Regards

Elizabeth

Dr Jefferson responded to my email saying: “Very simple: it is not a Cochrane review”.[8]  Obviously this brief reply was an inadequate response to the serious matters I had raised.  I was also bemused by his statement that the systematic review prepared by the Cochrane Vaccines Field was “not a Cochrane review”.  The review as published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases clearly identifies the authors as members of the Cochrane Vaccines Field, so surely The Cochrane Collaboration has a responsibility to be accountable for the recommendations of this review?

Professor Gøtzsche, as you have encouraged me to “submit a criticism” on this important matter, I would appreciate your advice as to how I can successfully make a submission to The Cochrane Collaboration.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely

Elizabeth Hart

https://over-vaccination.net/                              

*Please note, in addition to the cc list below, this letter will be circulated to other parties, and has also been published on my website.

cc:

  • Dr Tom Jefferson, Cochrane Vaccines Field
  • Mr Mark Wilson, CEO, The Cochrane Collaboration
  • Professor Paul Glasziou, Bond University
  • Professor Chris Del Mar, Bond University
  • Mr Ray Moynihan, Bond University
  • A/Professor Peter Doshi, University of Maryland
  • Dr Fiona Godlee, British Medical Journal
  • Professor Peter Collignon, Australian National University
  • Professor Christopher Exley, Keele University
  • Professor Chris Shaw, University of British Columbia
  • Dr Lucija Tomljenovic, University of British Columbia
  • Professor Warwick Anderson, NHMRC
  • Professor Ian Olver, NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee
  • Professor Ian Frazer, University of Queensland
  • A/Professor Ruiting Lan, University of New South Wales
  • Professor Lyn Gilbert, University of Sydney
  • Dr Linjie Zhang, Federal University of Rio Grande
  • Professor Ronald Schultz, Vaccination Guidelines Group, World Small Animal Veterinary Association
  • Professor Michael Day, Vaccination Guidelines Group, World Small Animal Veterinary Association
  • Professor Brian Martin, University of Wollongong
  • Ms Bea Mies, Independent Vaccine Investigator
  • Ms Monika Peichl, Independent Vaccine Investigator

References: (All links accessible as at 17 July 2014.  It may be necessary to copy and paste long links into a web browser.)

[1] Email from Professor Peter Gøtzsche, 9 July 2014.

[2] Jefferson T, Rudin M, Di Pietrantoni C. Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidence.  Lancet Infect Dis. 2004 Feb; 4(2):84-90: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14871632  This review is also listed in the Cochrane Vaccines Field Bibliography: http://vaccinesfield.cochrane.org/bibliography-2003

[3] A recent editorial in Nature provides an update on this controversial research: Biosafety in the balance. 25June 2014 (corrected 4 July 2014): http://www.nature.com/news/biosafety-in-the-balance-1.15447

[4] For example the World Small Animal Veterinary Association Guidelines for the Vaccination of Dogs and Cats state “we should aim to reduce the ‘vaccine load’ on individual animals in order to minimize the potential for adverse reactions to vaccine products”.  The Vaccination Guidelines Group also acknowledges that “there is gross under-reporting of vaccine-associated adverse events which impedes knowledge of the ongoing safety of these products” Day MJ, Horzinek MC and Schultz RD. Journal of Small Animal Practice. Vol. 51. June 2010: http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/VaccinationGuidelines2010.pdf  Also refer to the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines webpage: http://www.wsava.org/guidelines/vaccination-guidelines

[5] Day MJ. Infectious Triggers of Immune-Mediated Disease. 29th World Congress of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. October 6-9 2004, Rhodes Greece: http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proceedings.plx?CID=WSAVA2004&Category=&PID=8599&O=Generic

[6] Safety, efficacy heart of vaccine use; experts discuss pros, cons. DVM roundtable. DVM December 1988.

[7] Tom Jefferson. Hayashi’s Problem:  Dr Keiji Hayashi’s question re Cochrane’s Tamiflu/Oseltamivir review: “We have some questions on the conclusion in your Oseltamivir review especially about the prevention of complication. You described that “Oseltamivir 150 mg daily prevented lower respiratory tract complications (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.18 to 0.57).” (in abstract). However, we have found that this conclusion is based on the other review (Kaiser2003) and not on your own data analysis. The authors of the review were four employees of F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd, one paid consultant to F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd and Kaiser. We cannot find any raw data about this conclusion from your review. Kaiser’s review included 10 RCTs; two RCTs (Nicholson 2000 and Treanor 2003) were published as articles in the peer-reviewed medical journal (JAMA and Lancet), but other 8 RCTs were proceedings of congress (5 RCTs), abstracts of the congress (one RCT) and meeting (one RCT) and data on file, Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc, Nutley, NJ (one RCT). The lower respiratory tract complication rates of these articles were summarized on table: there was no significant difference between Oseltamivir and placebo, and their Odds Ratio’s (ORs) were 1.81. But ORs of other 8 RCTs were 4.37. We strongly suppose that the reviewer’s conclusion about the complications was mainly determined by these 8 RCTs, we should appraise the 8 trials rigidly. Without this process it’s difficult to conclude that oseltamivir can prevent lower respiratory tract complications.”  (Powerpoint slide 12): http://chmg.cochrane.org/sites/chmg.cochrane.org/files/uploads/Jefferson_Hayashi’s%20problem.pdf

[8] Email from Tom Jefferson, 24 March 2013.

Vaccine safety and aluminium – a challenge to The Cochrane Collaboration

Internationally, The Cochrane Collaboration undertakes systematic reviews of primary research in human health care and health policy, including reviews of the effectiveness of vaccine products.

Evidence based 2

The Cochrane Collaboration declares its mission “is to promote evidence-informed health decision-making by producing high-quality, relevant, accessible systematic reviews and other synthesised research evidence”.

See below my recent letter to Professor Peter Gøtzsche, co-founder of The Cochrane Collaboration and Director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, challenging a systematic review prepared by members of the Cochrane Vaccines Field, i.e. Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidence.  I suggest this review has facilitated poorly evidenced acceptance of the safety of aluminium-adjuvanted vaccines.

_____________________

8 July 2014

Professor Gøtzsche

I write to you to challenge a systematic review prepared by members of the Cochrane Vaccines Field[1] , i.e. Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidence.[2]

I request that The Cochrane Collaboration[3] take urgent action to re-evaluate this review prepared by members of the Cochrane Vaccines Field. 

I suggest this review has facilitated poorly evidenced acceptance of the safety of aluminium-adjuvanted vaccines.  As a consequence, an increasing number of aluminium-adjuvanted vaccines are being added to vaccination schedules around the world e.g. multiple doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccines, and multiple doses of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, amongst others.  The meningococcal B vaccine is the latest to be promoted.[4]  The long-term cumulative effects of the ever-growing list of vaccine products are unknown.

The systematic review, co-authored by Tom Jefferson, Melanie Rudin and Carlo Di Pietrantonj, and published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases in 2004 (behind the pay-wall), concludes in the abstract: “We found no evidence that aluminium salts in vaccines cause any serious or long-lasting adverse events.  Despite a lack of good-quality evidence we do not recommend that any further research on this topic is undertaken.”  (My emphasis.)

More detail on this conclusion is provided in the discussion, i.e. “Our meta-analysis of the outcome data has enabled us to reach firm conclusions on the limited amount of comparative data available.  Since there was no association with severe adverse events in young children or with induration in older children, we believe any association with chronic outcomes to be unlikely.  The results of our review should be interpreted within the limited quantity and quality of available evidence.  Within these limits, we found no evidence that aluminium salts cause any serious or long-lasting adverse events.  We found no comparative evidence assessing any possible associations between exposure to aluminium adjuvants and rare and hitherto little known outcomes such as macrophagic myofasciitis.”  (My emphasis.)

In their review Jefferson et al admit that: Overall, the methodological quality of included studies was low.  And yet despite a lack of good-quality evidence Jefferson et al advise we do not recommend that any further research on this topic is undertaken.

This recommendation is bizarre, particularly as in an interview with The Telegraph in 2002 titled Vaccines expert warns studies are useless[5], Tom Jefferson candidly stated: “Most safety studies on childhood vaccines have not been conducted thoroughly enough to tell whether the jabs cause side effects”.  Dr Jefferson said: “There is some good research, but it is overwhelmed by the bad.  The public has been let down because the proper studies have not been done.”  Perhaps reluctant to “anger public health officials in Britain and elsewhere, who fear that any discussion will undermine parents’ confidence in national vaccination programmes”, The Telegraph article reports Dr Jefferson “emphasised that there was no evidence to suggest that any vaccine now in use was dangerous” but said “there was a “dearth” of sound studies on the risks and benefits” and “as a result, the information available on the safety of vaccines that are routinely given to babies and toddlers was “simply inadequate”.”  It was reported Dr Jefferson “was especially concerned…because future vaccination programmes were likely to involve giving children “five, six, even seven vaccines all at once”.”  Which of course is exactly what happens now, see for example vaccination schedules in the US[6], the UK[7] and Australia[8] .

Given Dr Jefferson’s apparent appreciation of the ‘dearth’ of sound studies on the risks and benefits of vaccine products, and his concern about future vaccination programmes including “five, six, even seven vaccines all at once”, it is unaccountable that he and his colleagues could conclude in their strategic review “we do not recommend that any further research on this topic is undertaken”.

From my layperson’s perspective, Jefferson et al’s ‘systematic review’ is an example of ‘garbage in, garbage out’. 

It appears to me this systematic review was biased from the outset, and that the goal was to defend the use of aluminium adjuvants, i.e.: “Assessment of the safety of aluminium in vaccines is important because replacement of aluminium compounds in currently licensed vaccines would necessitate the introduction of a completely new compound that would have to be investigated before licensing.  No obvious candidates to replace aluminium are available, so withdrawal for safety reasons would severely affect the immunogenicity and protective effect of some currently licensed vaccines and threaten immunisation programmes worldwide.” (My emphasis.)

This Cochrane Vaccines Field review plays into the hands of vaccine manufacturers who are keen to develop a mass market for lucrative vaccine products.  A World Health Organisation presentation acknowledges that vaccines are “becoming an engine for the pharmaceutical industry”, creating a global market with a “spectacular growth rate”, growing in value from US$5 billion in 2000 to almost US$24 billion in 2013, and projected to rise to US$100 billion by 2025.[9]

In 2009, Associated Press reported: “Vaccines now are viewed as a crucial path to growth, as drug companies look for ways to offset a slowing of prescription-medicine sales amid intensifying generic competition and government pressure to restrain prices under the federal health-care overhaul”.[10]  An article published in New Scientist in late 2011 says: “No longer the unprofitable runt of the pharmaceutical family, vaccines are fast becoming the industry’s breadwinner…While the rest of the pharmaceutical sector struggles to keep afloat as expiring patents send profits plummeting, the vaccine industry has become remarkably buoyant.”[11]  In 2012, FierceVaccines noted: “Thanks in part to the adult influenza market and vaccines such as Gardasil and Prevnar, the global vaccines market has enjoyed a decidedly solid boost in revenue.”[12]

Vaccine products of dubious value are being pressed upon the community.  For instance, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline are pushing universal vaccination with the questionable human papillomavirus vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix, despite the fact the co-inventor of the technology enabling the HPV vaccines, Professor Ian Frazer, has acknowledged that the risk of cancer associated with the HPV virus is very low.  (Refer to my webpage on HPV vaccination[13] for more background.)

Similarly multiple revaccinations with the diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis vaccines are also being ‘recommended’, which means they are effectively mandated for children.[14]  For example, according to the US vaccination schedule, as well as the primary vaccination series at two, four and six months, this vaccination combination is ‘recommended’ again between 15-18 months, a fifth shot between 4-6 years, and another shot between 11-12 years.[15]

In regards to pertussis/whooping cough outbreaks, in March 2012, the UNSW Newsroom reported: “Australia’s prolonged whooping cough epidemic has entered a disturbing new phase, with a study showing a new strain or genotype capable of evading the vaccine may be responsible for the sharp rise in the number of cases…The new genotype also has been detected in other countries, suggesting it has the potential to spark epidemics elsewhere and should be closely monitored…”[16]

One of the researchers, A/Professor Ruiting Lan said: “The vaccine is still the best way to reduce the transmission of the disease and reduce cases, but it appears to be less effective against the new strain and immunity wanes more rapidly.  We need to look at changes to the vaccine itself or increase the number of boosters”. (My emphasis.)

I wrote to A/Professor Lan[17], asking him to clarify how increasing the number of ‘boosters’ of the existing vaccine protects against the new strain.  Professor Lan did not deign to respond to my enquiry.  I subsequently tried to contact his colleague Professor Lyn Gilbert[18] but again received no response.

I also raised the matter with Dr Linjie Zhang[19], an author of the Cochrane Review: Acellular vaccines for preventing whooping cough in children.[20]  Dr Zhang also failed to respond, yet another example of the lack of accountability of the academic community to the concerns of citizens re the promotion of vaccine products.

In the US[21], the UK[22] and Australia[23] pregnant women are being urged to be vaccinated with a dose of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine, even though it is admitted that “specific safety data are limited”.[24]  Other close contacts of young infants are also encouraged to be vaccinated, i.e. the ‘cocoon strategy’.[25]  What evidence is there to support this strategy?  Certainly repeated ‘boosters’ throughout life with these vaccines must be a profit boost for vaccine manufacturers.

Meanwhile others are raising questions about the safety of aluminium adjuvants in vaccine products, e.g. Professor Christopher Exley[26], Dr Lucija Tomljenovic and Professor Chris Shaw.[27]

I suggest it is time to critically consider the ever-growing list of vaccine products and revaccinations being added to vaccine schedules.

Is it possible an over-use of vaccine products may have long-term repercussions similar to the over-use of antibiotics?[28]  Who can we rely upon to objectively review the burgeoning global vaccine product market?  Certainly I have no confidence in the international ‘vaccination claque’ which pushes an ever-growing list of vaccine products.[29]  As I outline in my recent letter to Professor Warwick Anderson, CEO of Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the ethical spotlight needs to be shone on the way vaccination policy and practice is being implemented.[30]  In my letter I provide examples of the lack of transparency and accountability in the vaccination bureaucracy, including the potential conflicts of interest and lack of disclosure by people involved in vaccination policy in Australia.  My arguments are also relevant internationally.

Professor Gøtzsche, The Cochrane Collaboration’s stated mission is “to promote evidence-informed health decision-making by producing high-quality, relevant, accessible systematic reviews and other synthesised research evidence”.[31]  The Cochrane Collaboration has a reputation to maintain and it doesn’t always get it right the first time, as we know from Hayashi/Tamiflu.[32] [33]  I suggest The Cochrane Collaboration cast a more critical eye on the growing list of lucrative vaccine products.

I request your urgent attention to the matters I have raised.

Sincerely

Elizabeth Hart    

https://over-vaccination.net/

*Please note, in addition to the cc list below, this letter will be circulated to other parties, and has also been published on my website.

cc:

  • Dr Tom Jefferson, Cochrane Vaccines Field
  • Mr Mark Wilson, CEO, The Cochrane Collaboration
  • Professor Paul Glasziou, Bond University
  • Professor Chris Del Mar, Bond University
  • Mr Ray Moynihan, Bond University
  • A/Professor Peter Doshi, University of Maryland
  • Dr Fiona Godlee, British Medical Journal
  • Professor Peter Collignon, Australian National University
  • Professor Christopher Exley, Keele University
  • Professor Chris Shaw, University of British Columbia
  • Dr L Tomljenovic, University of British Columbia
  • Professor Warwick Anderson, NHMRC
  • Professor Ian Olver, NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee
  • Professor Ian Frazer, University of Queensland
  • A/Professor Ruiting Lan, University of New South Wales
  • Professor Lyn Gilbert, University of Sydney
  • Dr Linjie Zhang, Federal University of Rio Grande
  • Professor Ronald Schultz, Vaccination Guidelines Group, World Small Animal Veterinary Association
  • Professor Michael Day, Vaccination Guidelines Group, World Small Animal Veterinary Association
  • Professor Brian Martin, University of Wollongong
  • Ms Bea Mies, Independent Vaccine Investigator
  • Ms Monika Peichl, Independent Vaccine Investigator

References: (All links accessible as at 7 July 2014.  It may be necessary to copy and paste long links into a web browser.)

[1] Cochrane Vaccines Field: “It is the intention of the Cochrane Vaccines Field to contribute to a greater global understanding of vaccine quality by facilitating the identification, assembling, analysis, synthesis, dissemination and updating of information on the effects of vaccines from single studies into reviews.”: http://vaccinesfield.cochrane.org/aims-and-activities

[2] Jefferson T, Rudin M, Di Pietrantoni C. Adverse events after immunisation with aluminium-containing DTP vaccines: systematic review of the evidence.  Lancet Infect Dis. 2004 Feb; 4(2):84-90: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14871632  This review is also listed in the Cochrane Vaccines Field Bibliography: http://vaccinesfield.cochrane.org/bibliography-2003

[3] The Cochrane Collaboration: “Cochrane is a global independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making the vast amounts of evidence generated through research useful for informing decisions about health. We are a not-for-profit organisation with collaborators from over 120 countries working together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest.”http://www.cochrane.org/about-us

[4] The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation originally rejected the Bexsero Meningitis B Vaccine see for example: Meningitis B vaccine rejected by UK – Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation says there is not enough evidence to justify routine jabs with Bexsero, The Guardian, 24 July 2013: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/jul/24/meningitis-b-vaccine-rejected-uk   This decision was subsequently overturned after a “determined campaign by doctors, health charities, a public petition and a wave of letters to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt”: Babies to get jab on NHS against lethal meningitis B – A life-saving vaccine against deadly meningitis B will be introduced on the NHS for all babies from two months old in a dramatic U-turn announced yesterday, Express, 22 March 2014: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/466236/Jeremy-Hunt-changes-NHS-baby-vaccine-policy-after-huge-letter-campaign  Also refer to the JCVI position statement on use of Bexsero meningococcal B vaccine in the UK. March 2014: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/294245/JCVI_Statement_on_MenB.pdf

[5] Lorraine Fraser. Vaccines expert warns studies are useless.  The Telegraph, 27 October 2002: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1411417/Vaccines-expert-warns-studies-are-useless.html

[6] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Immunization Schedules. Birth-18 Years & “Catch-up” Immunization Schedules, United States 2014: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/child-adolescent.html

[7] The NHS vaccination schedule: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/vaccination-schedule-age-checklist.aspx

[8] National Immunisation Program Schedule from 1 July 2013: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/nips-ctn

[9] Miloud Kaddar, Senior Adviser, Health Economist, WHO, IVB, Geneva.  Gobal Vaccine Market Features and Trends: http://who.int/influenza_vaccines_plan/resources/session_10_kaddar.pdf (Powerpoint slides 5 and 6.)

[10] Linda A Johnson. Vaccines become drugmakers’ profit boosters. Pharmaceutical companies drawn to development of vaccines for variety of diseases. The Columbus Dispatch, 30 November 2009: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2009/11/30/vaccine_revolution.ART_ART_11-30-09_A10_7NFQQE7.html

[11] Deborah MacKenzie. Vaccines enjoy a healthy return. NewScientist, 28 September 2011: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20877-vaccines-enjoy-a-healthy-return.html#.U7Np2vmSz-s

[12] Alison Bryant. 20 Top-selling Vaccines – H1 2012. FierceVaccines, 25 September 2012: http://www.fiercevaccines.com/special-report/20-top-selling-vaccines/2012-09-25

[13] Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination: https://over-vaccination.net/questionable-vaccines/hpv-vax/

[14] I suggest vaccination ‘recommendations’ are effectively vaccination mandates.  For example, in the US the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) makes vaccination ‘recommendations’: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-combined-schedule.pdf which translate into vaccination ‘requirements’: http://www2a.cdc.gov/nip/schoolsurv/schimmrqmt.asp In Australia, parents of children have to “meet certain immunisation requirements” to obtain “immunisation related payments for parents”: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/related-payments

[15] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Immunization Schedules. Birth-18 Years & “Catch-up” Immunization Schedules, United States 2014: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/child-adolescent.html

[16] UNSW Australia Newsroom. Sharp rise in cases of new strain of whooping cough, 21 March 2012: https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/health/sharp-rise-cases-new-strain-whooping-cough

[17] Email to Associate Professor Ruiting Lan, 4 December 2012: http://users.on.net/~peter.hart/Enquiry_re_JID_Report_pertussis_epidemic.pdf

[18] Email to Professor Lyn Gilbert, 11 December 2012: http://users.on.net/~peter.hart/Whooping_cough_enquiry.pdf

[19] Email to Dr Linjie Zhang, 11 December 2012: http://users.on.net/~peter.hart/Enquiry_re_pertussis_vaccination_Cochrane.pdf

[20] Zhang L, Prietsch SOM, Axelsson I, Halperin SA. Acellular vaccines for preventing whooping cough in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001478. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001478.pub5. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001478.pub5/abstract

[21] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tdap Vaccine – What You Need to Know. “Pregnant women should get a dose of Tdap during every pregnancy, to protect the newborn from pertussis.”: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/tdap.pdf

[22] Whooping cough vaccination in pregnancy.  NHS Choices. “Pregnant women can safely help protect their babies by getting vaccinated against whooping cough (pertussis) when they are 28-38 weeks pregnant.” http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/whooping-cough-vaccination-pregnant.aspx#safe

[23]4.12 Pertussis. The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition 2013. “dTpa vaccine is recommended as a single dose, given either during pre-pregnancy planning, or as soon as possible after delivery of the infant (preferably before hospital discharge). Alternatively, dTpa can be given to women during the third trimester of pregnancy…”: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/handbook10-4-12

[24] 4.12.8 Pregnancy and breastfeeding (re pertussis vaccination). The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition 2013. While attempting to justify vaccination of pregnant women, this section also acknowledges “…specific safety data are limited”: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/handbook10-4-12

[25] 4.12.7 Recommendations (re pertussis vaccination). Persons in contact with infants and others at increased risk from pertussis: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/handbook10-4-12

[26] See for example: Exley C et al. A role for the body burden of aluminium in vaccine-associated macrophagic myofasciitis and chronic fatigue syndrome. Medical Hypotheses. Vol. 72, Iss. 2, Feb. 2009, pp 135-139.

[27] See for example: Tomljenovic L and Shaw CA. Aluminium Vaccine Adjuvants: Are they Safe? Current Medicinal Chemistry, 2011, 18, pp 2630-2637; and Shaw CA and Tomljenovic L. Aluminium in the central nervous system (CNS): toxicity in humans and animals, vaccine adjuvants, and autoimmunity. Immunologic Research, 2013, July 56 (2-3) pp 304-316.

[28] In regards to overuse of antibiotics see for example: PM’s plan on antibiotics not urgent enough, reports says, BBC News Health, 7 July 2014: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-28165152  This is a topic to watch very carefully, particularly in regards to vested interests, as apparently the solution to overuse of antibiotics is…more antibiotics, e.g. “What this demands, according to academic and industry experts, is a new business model that rewards drug firms for developing new antibiotics even if they are rarely used.” How to fix a broken market in antibiotics, Reuters, 6 July 2014: http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/07/06/uk-health-antibiotics-idINKBN0FB0AE20140706  Also see: UPDATE1 – Cameron enlists ex-Goldman economist in global superbug fight, Reuters, 2 July 2014: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/02/health-antibiotics-idUSL6N0PD25O20140702

[29] I suggest the ‘vaccination claque’ consists of the network of vaccine manufacturers, vaccination committees and groups, academics, bureaucrats, and organisations such as the World Health Organisation, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US National Institutes of Health, the GAVI Alliance, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, National Health and Medical Research Council etc.  This is a powerful network and potential conflicts of interest need to be scrutinised.

[30] Letter to Professor Warwick Anderson, CEO, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), re Vaccination policy and practice in Australia, dated 15 April 2014: http://users.on.net/~peter.hart/Letter_to_Warwick_Anderson_NHMRC_re_MMR_vaccination.pdf

[31] The Cochrane Collaboration – About us – Our Mission: http://www.cochrane.org/about-us

[32] Tom Jefferson. Hayashi’s Problem:  Dr Keiji Hayashi’s question re Cochrane’s Tamiflu/Oseltamivir review: “We have some questions on the conclusion in your Oseltamivir review especially about the prevention of complication. You described that “Oseltamivir 150 mg daily prevented lower respiratory tract complications (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.18 to 0.57).” (in abstract). However, we have found that this conclusion is based on the other review (Kaiser2003) and not on your own data analysis. The authors of the review were four employees of F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd, one paid consultant to F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd and Kaiser. We cannot find any raw data about this conclusion from your review. Kaiser’s review included 10 RCTs; two RCTs (Nicholson 2000 and Treanor 2003) were published as articles in the peer-reviewed medical journal (JAMA and Lancet), but other 8 RCTs were proceedings of congress (5 RCTs), abstracts of the congress (one RCT) and meeting (one RCT) and data on file, Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc, Nutley, NJ (one RCT). The lower respiratory tract complication rates of these articles were summarized on table: there was no significant difference between Oseltamivir and placebo, and their Odds Ratio’s (ORs) were 1.81. But ORs of other 8 RCTs were 4.37. We strongly suppose that the reviewer’s conclusion about the complications was mainly determined by these 8 RCTs, we should appraise the 8 trials rigidly. Without this process it’s difficult to conclude that oseltamivir can prevent lower respiratory tract complications.” (Powerpoint slide 12): http://chmg.cochrane.org/sites/chmg.cochrane.org/files/uploads/Jefferson_Hayashi’s%20problem.pdf

[33] Martin Enserink. Armed With New Data, Researchers Again Challenge Effectiveness of Antiflu Drug. ScienceInsider. 9 April 2014: http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/04/armed-new-data-researchers-again-challenge-effectiveness-antiflu-drug

French Vaccine Debates – UPDATE

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Re my previous post France: Aluminium adjuvants and HPV vaccines up for debate (21 May 2014), refer to the SaneVax website for updates, see hyperlinks below:

 

France: Aluminium adjuvants and HPV vaccines up for debate

A recent press release from SaneVax reports:

syringeThe use of aluminum adjuvants and HPV vaccines’ benefit versus risk profile will be under intense scrutiny and open scientific debate on May 22, 2014. 

Stakeholders from both sides of the vaccine debate will have an opportunity to present their case to members of the French Parliament, French Senate, health authorities, medical professionals and the public due to massive efforts on the part of E3M, a non-governmental organization of patients with MMF (macrophagic myofasciitis), and OSTA, a Parliamentary Office for Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Choice.

Obviously, the French government cares enough about the health and well-being of their citizens to listen to both sides of the vaccine debate – the very same ‘debate’ that government health officials in other countries claim doesn’t exist…

Read more on the SaneVax website: France: Aluminium adjuvants and HPV vaccines up for debate

Over-vaccination of dogs with parvovirus and other vaccines remains prevalent practice

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Dogs in Australia and elsewhere continue to be grossly over-vaccinated.  These companion animals and their owners are being exploited by the veterinary industry.

See below my recent email on this matter to Ms Kareena Arthy, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).  

The APVMA is the body responsible for ‘regulating’ veterinary vaccine products in Australia.

_____________________________________________________________

23 April 2014

Ms Arthy

Further to my previous extensive correspondence with the APVMA and others on the subject of over-vaccination of dogs.  (Please refer to hyperlinked list of correspondence below, including correspondence with Dr Allen Bryce, Executive Director of the APVMA’s Veterinary Medicines Program.  My colleague Bea Mies has also undertaken extensive correspondence on this matter.)

The APVMA’s Position Statement – Vaccination Protocols for Dogs and Cats, last amended in September 2010, notes: “The APVMA does not support the retention of label statements that direct or imply a universal need for life-long annual revaccinations with core vaccines.  The APVMA supports the AVA’s vaccination policy and is of the view that product labels should be amended to align with that policy.  The APVMA is working with vaccine registrants with a view to updating labels.” (My emphasis.)

It is now April 2014 and still core vaccine products with an annual revaccination ‘recommendation’ remain on the market.  For example Virbac Australia’s Canigen C4 DHA2PPI Quadrivalent Living Vaccine states: “An annual booster is recommended”.  (Note: The label for Virbac’s Canigen DHA2P Trivalent Living Vaccine is currently not accessible on the PUBCRIS website.)

On what evidence is this ‘recommendation’ for an ‘annual booster’ with core vaccines based?

In August 2013, I forwarded a letter to Professor Ronald Schultz of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s Vaccination Guidelines Group, challenging the confusing and misleading use of the term ‘booster’ in relation to canine core modified live virus (MLV) vaccines for parvovirus, distemper virus and adenovirus, suggesting that use of the term ‘booster’ is resulting in extensive over-vaccination of already immune dogs.  My letter can be accessed via this link:  http://users.on.net/~peter.hart/Query_re_MLV_boosters.pdf

In his email response of 22 August 2013, Professor Schultz said: “I agree that the term “booster” is misleading in that many of the already immune dogs probably receive no beneficial “booster effect” from an infectious vaccine because the virus (e.g. CDV, CPV-2, CAV-2)* is immediately neutralized.  Therefore, it cannot infect the cells and replicate! It is only in those dogs that have no viral antibody that the vaccine will booster the immune system, both the cellular and humoral response to the virus.  It is these antibody negative dogs that I recommend revaccinating, not dogs with detectable antibody.  There are, however, components of the vaccines that are almost always boostered such as fetal bovine serum components and other extraneous proteins that are in all vaccines.  Obviously, these are components of the vaccine we don’t want to boost especially in a dog that genetically is predisposed to an adverse reaction (e.g. hypersensitivity).  That is why we are trying to prevent annual revaccination with the Core Vaccines that provide long term immunity in a majority of most dogs, but not all!” (*Note: CDV, CPV-2 and CAV-2 are the canine diseases distemper virus, parvovirus and adenovirus [hepatitis]).

It is my strong suspicion that annual revaccination of dogs with core MLV vaccine products remains prevalent practice in Australia.  See for example the attached article published in Dogs NSW in September 2013: “The Deadly Canine Parvovirus – Is Your Dog At Risk?”.  My response to this article is attached.  Also attached is the response by pro-annual vaccination vet Robert Zammit, and Virbac/ASAVA’s Mark Kelman.

See also this ‘Vaccination Guide’ from Greencross Vets which recommends revaccination every year with core vaccines for distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus (and non-core vaccines parainfluenza and bordetella).

Pet owners and their pets are being grossly exploited by the prevalent practice of over-vaccination due to the non-evidence based revaccination ‘recommendations’ on APVMA approved core MLV vaccine product labels.  I also strongly suspect most pet owners are not being informed of the option of in-clinic and lab-based antibody titre testing to verify a response to core MLV vaccination.

Ms Arthy, on what evidence does the APVMA continue to re-register canine core MLV vaccine products which recommend repeated revaccination of adult dogs?

I request your urgent response on this matter.

Sincerely

Elizabeth Hart

See below hyperlinks to some of my correspondence, submissions and articles on over-vaccination of pets:

Key documents:

Correspondence with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), and others:

Correspondence with the UK Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD):

Correspondence with Virbac Animal Health (Disease WatchDog):

Submissions on the subject of unnecessary vaccination of pets:

Correspondence to Members of Parliament:

Articles and summaries re over-vaccination of pets:

Media reports re over-vaccination of pets:

UPDATE: NHMRC Ethics Committee and the MMR second dose

Ethics and vax

On 19 March 2014, I forwarded a letter to Professor Ian Olver, Chair of the NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee, challenging the Australian Government’s requirement for revaccination of children with a second dose of live MMR vaccine, as children are likely to be immune after the first dose of effective live MMR vaccine, given at the appropriate age (i.e. after maternally derived antibodies have waned).

Jillian Barr, Director of the NHMRC Health and Research Ethics Section, has acknowledged receipt of my submission regarding the MMR second dose, and advised that this matter will be considered by the NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee at its next meeting in early May 2014.

In the meantime, I have forwarded another letter re the MMR second dose to Professor Olver and his AHEC colleagues, see below:

_________________________________________________________

12 April 2014

Professor Olver

RE:  Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccination – refer to my previous letter dated 19 March 2014

Professor Olver, in my previous letter to you, I argued that most children are likely to be immune after the first dose of effective live Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine, and I challenged the Australian government’s requirement for children to have a second dose of live Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine, which is linked to obtaining Immunisation Related Payments for Parents.

In my letter I questioned the ethics of coercing parents to have vaccinations of questionable benefit for their children.

In this regard I draw your attention to a ‘MEASLES ALERT’ letter (see attached), forwarded to 13,117 parents in Queensland by Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young in September 2013, which tells these parents that “Two doses of measles containing vaccine are needed to provide a high level of protection.”  This advice was also included in a Queensland Government media statement[1] and reported in an article published in The Courier-Mail on 14 October 2013: “Vaccination no-shows prompt top-level measles outbreak warning[2]

Professor Olver, I suggest it is misleading to tell parents that “two doses of measles containing vaccine are needed to provide a high level of protection”.  As I argued in my previous letter, it is likely one dose of effective GSK PRIORIX live MMR vaccine is likely to provide protection for previously seronegative subjects.

A response to live MMR vaccination can be verified by antibody titre testing.  I suggest there may be some cautious parents who would prefer to have an antibody titre test for their child rather than an arbitrary live MMR revaccination, and who might be willing to pay for an antibody titre test themselves.  Yet, in contravention of The Australian Immunisation Handbook’s criteria for consent to vaccination to be legally valid, i.e. that any alternative options be explained to the individual,[3] it appears healthcare providers are not informing parents about the option of antibody titre testing.

In another jurisdiction, the state of New Jersey in the United States, the health department provides information on antibody titre testing.  The Antibody Titer Law (Holly’s Law)[4] allows parents to seek testing to determine a child’s immunity to measles, mumps and rubella before receiving the second dose of MMR vaccine.  The law was enacted in response to the death of five year old Holly Marie Stavola who died of encephalopathy which she developed seven days after receiving her second dose of MMR vaccine.[5]  Holly’s family campaigned for this law, wishing they had known about the option of the antibody titre test before Holly’s arbitrary revaccination with the second dose of live MMR vaccine.[6]

All parents should be informed about the option of antibody titre testing to verify a response to live MMR vaccination.  All parents should be informed of the reportedly high seroconversion rates after live MMR vaccination at the appropriate age.  All parents should be properly informed about the risks and benefits of individual vaccine products.  This is not happening.  Instead, the media is being used as a blunt instrument to bully parents into unquestioning compliance with all vaccination ‘requirements’ mandated by the government’s vaccination bureaucracy and the vaccine industry, see for example:

Professor Olver, we are on a slippery slope when governments dictate questionable medical interventions for citizens (including ‘pre-citizens’, i.e. children).  The arbitrary second dose of the MMR vaccine, often inappropriately described as a ‘booster’[10], is a questionable medical intervention.  Vaccination/immunisation is a complex matter that requires thoughtful discussion, not the polarised discourse currently evident in Australia.[11]  I request that you and your AHEC colleagues urgently consider this matter.

Sincerely

Elizabeth Hart                         

*Please note this letter will be circulated to other parties.

cc:        Members of the NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC)

  • Dr Gary Allen
  • Professor Vicki Anderson
  • Professor Samar Aoun
  • Professor Susan Dodds
  • Associate Professor Ian Kerridge
  • Dr Tammy Kimpton
  • Rabbi Aviva Kipen
  • Reverend Kevin McGovern
  • Professor John McGrath AM
  • Dr Eleanor Milligan
  • Professor Robin Mortimer
  • Ms Kay Oke
  • Professor Margaret Otlowski
  • Professor Debra Rickwood
  • Professor Wendy Rogers
  • Professor Loane Skene

and Professor Brian Martin, Social Sciences, University of Wollongong

Attachments:

  • Measles Alert.  Letter to parents/carers from Dr Jeannette Young, Chief Health Officer, Queensland Government Department of Health, 17 September 2013.
  • Antibody Titer Law – Information for Parents pamphlet.  The Antibody Titer Law gives parents a choice BEFORE they consent to a second dose of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

References:  (All links accessible as at 12 April 2014. It may be necessary to copy and paste long links in a web browser.)

_______________________________________________

[1] Queensland Department of Health Media Statement, 14 October 2013.

[2] Vaccination no-shows prompt top-level measles outbreak warning. The Courier Mail, 14 October 2013: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/vaccination-noshows-prompt-toplevel-measles-outbreak-warning/story-fnihsrf2-1226739273248

[3] 2.1.3 Valid Consent. 2.1 Pre-vaccination. The Australian Immunisation Handbook. 10th Edition 2013:

http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/handbook10-2-1

[4] Antibody Titer Law – Information for Parents. (Holly’s Law) (NJSA 26:2N-8-11), passed on January 14, 2004, concerns vaccination of children with the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine.  The law allows parents to seek testing to determine a child’s immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella, before receiving the second dose of the vaccine.  This brochure has been prepared by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services to assist parents in making the decisions related to the MMR vaccine and the test: http://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/documents/antibody_titer_law.pdf

[5] HopeFromHolly. Providing NJ physicians and pParents with more knowledge about childhood vaccines: http://hopefromholly.com/blog/our-purpose/

[6] Holly’s story – Holly Marie Stavola, January 18, 1995 – February 4, 2000:

http://hopefromholly.com/blog/category/holly-stavola/

[7] Scientists call for end of handouts to parents who don’t vaccinate children. The Telegraph, 6 April 2014: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/scientists-call-for-end-of-handouts-to-parents-who-dont-vaccinate-children/story-fni0cx12-1226874673399

[8] Doctors want vaccination reforms for childcare centres. The Australian, 11 April 2014: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/doctors-want-vaccination-reforms-for-childcare-centres/story-e6frg6n6-1226880381081

[9] Peter Dutton considers plan to withhold family tax benefits if children aren’t immunised. ABC News, 11 April 2014: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-11/govt-may-withhold-family-tax-benefit-if-children-not-vaccinated/5382054

[10] For example the NPS Medicinewise website states: “Separate vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella are not available in Australia. So the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is given in a single injection with a second booster dose.” http://www.nps.org.au/medicines/immune-system/vaccines-and-immunisation/for-individuals/vaccines-a-z/measles-mumps-and-rubella-mmr

[11] In his article “On the suppression of vaccination dissent”, Professor Brian Martin says: “Suppression of dissent, through its chilling effect, can skew public debates, by discouraging participation.  In Australia, critics of vaccination have become aware that if they become visible, they are potentially subject to denigration and complaints.  Because of the level of personal abuse by pro-vaccinationists, many of those who might take a middle-of-the road perspective, perhaps being slightly critical of some aspects of vaccine policy, are discouraged from expressing their views.  The result is a highly polarized public discourse that is not conducive to the sort of careful deliberation desirable for addressing complex issues.”  (My emphasis.) Source: Science & Engineering Ethics. March 2014, doi 10.1007/s11948-014-95303  http://www.bmartin.cc/pubs/14see.html

 

Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccination and ‘informed consent’ – a letter to the NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee

Further to  my letter to the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, challenging government mandated revaccination of children with the second dose of live Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

I have now forwarded a letter on this matter to the NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee, challenging the Australian Government’s requirement for revaccination of children with a second dose of live MMR vaccine, as children are likely to be immune after the first dose of effective live MMR vaccine, given at the appropriate age (i.e. after maternally derived antibodies have waned).

Informed Consent 3The medical establishment, pharmaceutical industry, and governments are imposing an ever-increasing amount of lucrative vaccine products on healthy people.  Vaccines are medical interventions and it is imperative that citizens give their ‘informed consent’ to these interventions.  Children, i.e. ‘pre-citizens’, also have a right to bodily integrity, and it is essential that parents are properly informed before medical interventions for their children.

See below my detailed letter forwarded to Professor Ian Olver, Chair of the NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee.  The letter has also been forwarded to each member of the committee, see membership list also noted below.

______________________________________________

19 March 2014

Professor Olver

RE:    The Australian Government’s requirement for revaccination of children with a second dose of live Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine / lack of ‘informed consent’ / adverse events 

The Australian Government’s National Immunisation Program Schedule stipulates that children receive two doses of live measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccines[1], and meeting this requirement is linked to obtaining Immunisation Related Payments for Parents.[2]

However, according to the GlaxoSmithKline PRIORIX Product Information leaflet, most seronegative children are likely to be immune after one dose of live MMR vaccine.[3]

I question whether parents are being given the opportunity to properly give their ‘informed consent’ to the second dose of the live MMR vaccine (or the MMR+varicella i.e. GlaxoSmithKline PRIORIX-TETRA MMRV vaccine) for their children.  This question is particularly pertinent as adverse events have been reported after MMR and MMRV vaccination.

I request that the NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee respond to me on this matter, and I provide further supporting information below.

According to the PRIORIX Product Information Leaflet, in “a more recent study comparing the formulation of PRIORIX (albumin-free) with the previous formulation containing albumin, antibodies against measles, mumps and rubella were detected in 98.4, 94.8 and 100% of previously seronegative subjects (n=191)”.  The leaflet also contains similarly high seroconversion rates from earlier studies.[4]

The PRIORIX Product Information Leaflet notes that: “Seroconversion has been shown to equate with protection against each of the measles, mumps and rubella viruses.”[5] The National Immunisation Program Schedule recommends the first MMR vaccination at 12 months of age[6], so presumably it is expected that most children will be seronegative at this age, i.e. maternally derived antibodies will have waned.

Despite the fact it appears one dose of PRIORIX MMR live vaccine is likely to provide protection for previously seronegative subjects, the PRIORIX Product Information Leaflet indicates two doses are to be given, i.e. “The Australian NH&MRC Immunisation Handbook recommendations for MMR vaccination are as follows: MMR vaccine is recommended for all children at 12 months of age and again at 4-6 years of age unless there is a genuine contraindication.”[7]

It is notable that neither the PRIORIX[8] nor the PRIORIX-TETRA[9] Consumer Medicine Information leaflets contain information on the reportedly high seroconversion rates after live MMR vaccination.  Does this indicate that parents are not being informed of the reportedly high seroconversion rates after vaccination of previously seronegative children with the PRIORIX MMR vaccine product? 

It is also notable that there is no reference to the option of antibody titre testing to verify a response to MMR vaccination in either the Consumer Medicines Information leaflet or the Product Information leaflet for PRIORIX or PRIORIX-TETRA.

What are the ramifications here for ‘informed consent’?

The Australian Immunisation Handbook provides criteria for consent to vaccination to be legally valid, i.e.:

1.     It must be given by a person with legal capacity, and of sufficient intellectual capacity to understand the implications of being vaccinated.

2.     It must be given voluntarily in the absence of undue pressure, coercion or manipulation.

3.     It must cover the specific procedure that is to be performed.

4.     It can only be given after the potential risks and benefits of the relevant vaccine, risks of not having it and any alternative options have been explained to the individual.[10] 

Professor Olver, I question whether parents are being properly informed by healthcare providers before administration of the second dose of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, (whether via the MMR or MMRV injection). 

In regards to point 2 above, I suggest parents are being pressured/coerced/manipulated to have the vaccine via the reward of Immunisation Related Payments.  While the Immunise Australia website notes that “benefits can be received without a child being fully immunised”[11] this is only the case after completion of an Immunisation exemption: Medical contraindication form[12] or Immunisation exemption: Conscientious objection form[13].  I suggest that neither of these forms in their current format is appropriate in the case of the questionable second dose of the live MMR vaccine.

In regards to point 4 above, I question whether parents are being properly informed of the potential risks and benefits of the second dose of the MMR vaccine.  There are no benefits to the child if the child is already immune after the first dose.  There are risks, i.e. possible side effects, as detailed in the PRIORIX and PRIORIX-TETRA Consumer Medicine Information leaflets and Product Information leaflets.  Are healthcare providers bringing this information to the attention of parents (and others)?

Reports of adverse events after MMR and MMRV vaccination have been submitted to the TGA’s Database of Adverse Events.[14] (Refer to reports attached.)  For example a TGA list of adverse events after vaccination with PRIORIX, generated for the dates 1 January 2012 to 20 November 2013, indicates 674 adverse event reports were made in that period.  253 of these cases occurred in four year olds.  Other age groups, (including adults), also reported adverse events after vaccination with PRIORIX.  As it is likely many of these children had already been vaccinated with PRIORIX at 12 months of age and were likely already immune, (if the PRIORIX MMR vaccine is as effective as claimed), they underwent revaccination for no benefit.

The MMRV vaccine was added to the Australian Government’s National Immunisation Program Schedule in July 2013[15], for vaccination of children at 18 months of age, after vaccination with the MMR at 12 months of age.  A TGA adverse event list generated for the dates 1 July 2013 to 20 November 2013 shows 80 reports of adverse events after vaccination with the PRIORIX-TETRA MMRV vaccine product.  If the children involved in these reports had already been vaccinated with the PRIORIX MMR vaccine at 12 months of age, again it is likely they were already immune to measles/mumps/rubella.

It should be recognised that adverse events after vaccination are likely to be under-reported.  The TGA acknowledges that reporting of adverse events to the TGA is voluntary, and that there is under-reporting in Australia, and around the world.[16]  In regards to the lack of safety information for the MMR vaccine, the Cochrane Collaboration’s systematic review of MMR vaccination notes: “The design and reporting of safety outcomes in MMR vaccine studies, both pre- and post-marketing, are largely inadequate.”[17]

Again in relation to point 4 above, I also question whether “alternative options”, e.g. antibody titre testing to verify a response to MMR vaccination, are being explained to parents by healthcare providers.  It is possible that some careful parents might prefer to pay for antibody titre testing, rather than have their child revaccinated with a probably unnecessary second dose of live MMR vaccine.

Parents of small children might be surprised to discover that vaccination ‘best practice’ for companion animals is now more advanced than that for children, with international vaccination guidelines for dogs re live vaccines recommending antibody titre testing rather than an arbitrary ‘booster’, i.e.: “…the principles of ‘evidence-based veterinary medicine’ would dictate that testing for antibody status (for either pups or adult dogs) is a better practice than simply administering a vaccine booster on the basis that this should be ‘safe and cost less’”.[18]

Professor Olver, I question the ethics of coercing parents to have vaccinations of questionable benefit for their children.  According to the vaccine manufacturer’s data, it appears most seronegative individuals are likely to be immune after the first dose of MMR vaccine.  It appears likely from TGA adverse event database information that children (and possibly adults) have suffered after revaccination with a second dose of MMR vaccine.  I suggest there has been inadequate research undertaken on the possibly deleterious long-term effects of repeated vaccination, and so unnecessary vaccination should be avoided.

As the Australian Health Ethics Committee is responsible to advise the NHMRC on ethical issues relating to health, I would appreciate your urgent response on this matter to my email address elizmhart@gmail.com

Sincerely

Elizabeth Hart                         

*Please note this letter will be circulated to other parties.

cc:        Members of the NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC)

  • Dr Gary Allen
  • Professor Vicki Anderson
  • Professor Samar Aoun
  • Professor Susan Dodds
  • Associate Professor Ian Kerridge
  • Dr Tammy Kimpton
  • Rabbi Aviva Kipen
  • Reverend Kevin McGovern
  • Professor John McGrath AM
  • Dr Eleanor Milligan
  • Professor Robin Mortimer
  • Ms Kay Oke
  • Professor Margaret Otlowski
  • Professor Debra Rickwood
  • Professor Wendy Rogers
  • Professor Loane Skene

and Professor Brian Martin, Social Sciences, University of Wollongong

References:  (All links accessible as at 19 March 2014.)


[1] National Immunisation Program Schedule from 1 July 2013: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/nips-ctn

[2] Immunise Australia Program.  Immunisation Related Payments for Parents. (Webpage dated 12 September 2013): http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/related-payments

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] National Immunisation Program Schedule from 1 July 2013: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/nips-ctn

[8] GlaxoSmithKline PRIORIX Consumer Medicine Information Leaflet: https://www.ebs.tga.gov.au/ebs/picmi/picmirepository.nsf/pdf?OpenAgent&id=CP-2010-CMI-05278-3

[9] GlaxoSmithKline PRIORIX-TETRA Consumer Medicine Information Leaflet: https://www.ebs.tga.gov.au/ebs/picmi/picmirepository.nsf/pdf?OpenAgent&id=CP-2013-CMI-01069-1

[10] 2.1.3 Valid Consent. 2.1 Pre-vaccination. The Australian Immunisation Handbook. 10th Edition 2013: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/handbook10-2-1

[11] Immunise Australia Program.  Immunisation Related Payments for Parents. (Webpage dated 12 September 2013): http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/related-payments

[12] Immunisation exemption: Medical contraindication form: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/spw/customer/forms/resources/immu11.1310p.pdf on the Department of Human Services website: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/forms/immu11

[13] Immunisation exemption: Conscientious objection form: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/spw/customer/forms/resources/immu12-1302en.pdf on the Department of Human Services website: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/forms/immu12

[14] Adverse event information for medicines and medical devices can be accessed in the TGA’s Database of Adverse Notifications (DAEN): http://www.tga.gov.au/safety/daen.htm#.UyjVXfmSz-t

[15] National Immunisation Program Schedule from 1 July 2013: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/nips-ctn

[16] “Adverse event reports from consumers and health professionals to the TGA are voluntary, so there is under-reporting by these groups of adverse events related to therapeutic goods in Australia. This is the same around the world.”  About the DAEN – medicines: http://www.tga.gov.au/safety/daen-about.htm#.UyglSfmSz-t

[17] Demicheli V, Rivetti A, Debalini MG, Di Pietrantonj C. Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children. Cochrane

Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD004407. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004407.pub3.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004407.pub3/abstract

[18] See page 7 under “Serological Testing to Determine the Duration of Immunity (DOI)”  in Day, M.J., Horzinek, M.C., Schultz, R.D. World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA) Guidelines for the Vaccination of Dogs and Cats. Journal of Small Animal Practice. Vol. 51. June 2010: http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/VaccinationGuidelines2010.pdf

 

 

International Medical Researchers Issue Warning about HPV Vaccine Side Effects

Further to my previous post Adverse events after HPV vaccination – international symposium held in Japan, February 2014.

SaneVax reports the international symposium and associated events have “sparked a high-profile debate over HPV vaccine safety, efficacy and need…”

Read more on the Sanevax website.

‘Informed consent’ and the Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine – challenging the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

As I have argued previously on Over-vaccination.net, it’s likely that most children will be immune after the first dose of the live Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

However, mass populations of already immune children are being arbitrarily revaccinated with a second dose of the live MMR vaccine because a small proportion of children may not have responded to the first dose.  

In other words, millions of children are being over-vaccinated with the second dose of live MMR vaccine.

INFORMED CONSENTAre parents being given the opportunity to properly give their ‘informed consent’ to the second dose of live Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine?  

See below my letter forwarded to Professor Jonathan Temte, Chair of the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, challenging government mandated revaccination of children with the live MMR vaccine second dose.

_________________________________________

5 March 2014

Professor Temte

CHALLENGING MANDATED REVACCINATION OF CHILDREN WITH THE MEASLES/MUMPS/RUBELLA (MMR) VACCINE ‘BOOSTER’ SECOND DOSE

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that children in the United States receive two doses of live measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccines at 12-15 months and 4-6 years.[1]  As a result of the ACIP’s recommendation, two MMR vaccine doses are mandated in many US states.[2]

However, according to the Merck M-M-R II Information Sheet, most seronegative children are likely to be immune after one dose of live MMR vaccine.[3]

In regards to measles vaccination, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices report on MMR vaccination (June 2013) admits that: “The second dose of measles-containing vaccine primarily was intended to induce immunity in the small percentage of persons who did not seroconvert after vaccination with the first dose of vaccine (primary vaccine failure).[4]

Given that most children are likely to be immunised after the first dose of live MMR vaccine, I question whether parents are being given the opportunity to properly give their ‘informed consent’ to the second dose of live MMR vaccine, also often described as a ‘booster’.[5]  This question is particularly pertinent as adverse events have been reported after MMR vaccination.

I request that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices respond to me on this matter, and I provide further supporting information below.

According to the Information Sheet for Merck’s M-M-R II (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live) “clinical studies of 284 triple seronegative children, 11 months to 7 years of age, demonstrated that M-M-R II is highly immunogenic and generally well tolerated. In these studies, a single injection of the vaccine induced measles hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) antibodies in 95%, mumps neutralizing antibodies in 96%, and rubella HI antibodies in 99% of susceptible persons.”[6]  (My emphasis.)

The Merck M-M-R II Information Sheet also notes: …a small percentage (1-5%) of vaccinees may fail to seroconvert after the primary dose”.[7]  It is my understanding that failure to seroconvert after vaccination with the primary dose is most likely due to interference of maternally derived antibodies, i.e. if the child is vaccinated at an age before maternally derived antibodies have waned.  Other reasons could be problems with the effectiveness of the vaccine product that results in vaccine failure, or that the individual is a poor responder.

No reference to published details of the “clinical studies of 284 triple seronegative children” is provided in Merck’s M-M-R II Information Sheet.  However, the ACIP report on MMR vaccination appears to support Merck’s information re the high seroconversion rate after primary vaccination, particularly in regards to the measles and rubella components of the MMR vaccine, (although there appears to be some ambiguity about the effectiveness of the mumps component of the MMR vaccine).[8]

Are healthcare providers informing parents (and other individuals) of the high likelihood of seroconversion after the first dose of live MMR vaccine, i.e. that most vaccinees are likely to be immune after the first dose of live MMR vaccine, given at the appropriate age? 

Are healthcare providers informing parents (and other individuals) of the option of antibody titre testing to verify a response to MMR vaccination?  It is possible that some careful parents (and other individuals) may prefer to pay for antibody titre testing before having the medical intervention of repeated MMR vaccination.  Parents of small children (and other individuals) might be surprised to discover that vaccination ‘best practice’ for companion animals is now more advanced than that for children, with international vaccination guidelines for dogs re live vaccines recommending antibody titre testing rather than an arbitrary ‘booster’, i.e. “…the principles of ‘evidence-based veterinary medicine’ would dictate that testing for antibody status (for either pups or adult dogs) is a better practice than simply administering a vaccine booster on the basis that this should be ‘safe and cost less’”.[9]

The blanket recommendation for two live MMR vaccine doses by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices appears to be at odds with the Authorizing Legislation of the US National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, Sec. 300aa-26, i.e. legal representatives of any child or any individual receiving a vaccine set forth in the Vaccine Injury Table should be provided with information on the vaccine, including “a concise description of the benefits of the vaccine” and a concise description of the risks associated with the vaccine”.[10]

In regards to “a concise description of the benefits of the vaccine”, there are no benefits to the individual if the individual is already immune.  Most children are likely to be immune after the first live MMR vaccine dose, particularly the measles and rubella components.  This can be verified with an antibody titre test for those parents/individuals who want evidence of a response.

In regards to “a concise description of the risks associated with the vaccine”, there are risks, i.e. possible adverse reactions, as detailed in the Merck M-M-R II Information Sheet.[11]  Reports of adverse events after MMR vaccination have also been submitted to VAERS (the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System).[12]  Are healthcare providers bringing this information to the attention of parents (and other individuals)?

The VAERS database contains reports of children of four years and over who have experienced adverse events after vaccination with the MMR vaccine.  As it is likely many of these children had already been vaccinated with an MMR vaccine at 12-15 months of age, they were likely already immune (i.e. if the Merck M-M-R II vaccine is as effective as claimed), and they underwent revaccination for no benefit.  (It is also notable that reports of adults suffering adverse events after MMR vaccination are recorded in the VAERS database, which again raises the question whether these people were offered the option of antibody titre testing before MMR vaccination.)

VAERS is a passive surveillance system to which adverse events after vaccination are voluntarily reported.  The FDA has acknowledged that “VAERS is a crude tool” and that adverse events are likely to be under-reported.[13]  In regards to the lack of safety information re the MMR vaccine, the Cochrane Collaboration’s systematic review of MMR vaccination notes: “The design and reporting of safety outcomes in MMR vaccine studies, both pre- and post-marketing, are largely inadequate.”[14]  I suggest there has been inadequate research undertaken on the possibly deleterious long-term effects of repeated vaccination, and that unnecessary vaccination should be avoided.

Professor Temte, I again question whether parents (and other individuals) are being properly informed by healthcare providers about MMR vaccination, in accordance with the Authorizing Legislation of the US National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, Sec. 300aa-26, and whether ‘informed consent’ is being obtained before this medical intervention. 

As the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is responsible for making recommendations on vaccine use, recommendations which have far-reaching impact not just in the United States, but are also influential around the world, I would appreciate your urgent response on this matter to my email address eliz.hart25@gmail.com

Sincerely

Elizabeth Hart                         

*Please note this letter will be circulated to other parties.

References:  (All links accessible as at 5 March 2014.)


[1] Recommended Immunization Schedules for Persons Aged 0 Through 18 Years, United States, 2014: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-combined-schedule.pdf

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. School and Childcare Vaccination Surveys. School Vaccination Requirements, Exemptions & Web links: http://www2a.cdc.gov/nip/schoolsurv/schimmrqmt.asp

[3] Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. M-M-R® II. (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live). Information Sheet. 9912202: http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/m/mmr_ii/mmr_ii_pi.pdf

[4] Prevention of Measles, Rubella, Congenital Rubella Syndrome, and Mumps, 2013. Summary Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Vol. 62, No.4. June 14, 2013: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/rr/rr6204.pdf  (See page 3.)

[5] For example, the CDC “Measles Vaccination: Who Needs It?” webpage states: “A second dose of the vaccine is recommended to protect those 5% who did not develop immunity in the first dose and to give “booster” effect to those who did develop an immune response.”  http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/measles/vacc-in-short.htm  I question the benefit of this so-called ‘booster’ effect for children who are already immune, particularly to measles and rubella.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Op cit. Prevention of Measles, Rubella, Congenital Rubella Syndrome, and Mumps:  http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/rr/rr6204.pdf   (See pages 7-11.)

[9] Day, M.J., Horzinek, M.C., Schultz, R.D. World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA) Guidelines for the Vaccination of Dogs and Cats. Journal of Small Animal Practice. Vol. 51. June 2010: http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/VaccinationGuidelines2010.pdf    (See page 7.)

[10] 300aa-26. Vaccine information. National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/authoringleg.pdf

[12] Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS): http://vaers.hhs.gov/data/index

[14] Demicheli V, Rivetti A, Debalini MG, Di Pietrantonj C. Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD004407. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004407.pub3.  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004407.pub3/abstract

Adverse events after HPV vaccination – international symposium held in Japan, February 2014

dreamstime_xs_17754200A recent SaneVax release reports: Breaking news from Japan: International symposium on the adverse reactions experienced by those vaccinated with human papillomavirus vaccines

Well done to SaneVax for their efforts in helping organise this international symposium, and for their support for people who have suffered adverse events after HPV vaccination.

It’s time for an investigation into the government lobbying and aggressive global marketing for this very questionable and experimental vaccine product.  See Over-vaccination.net’s webpage on HPV vaccination for more background.

Court orders girls must have MMR vaccination against their and their mother’s wishes

dreamstime_xs_17754200Recently a UK court ruled that two sisters must have the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine against their and their mother’s wishes.

A report in Family Law Week, “Children ordered to receive MMR vaccination” (13/10/13) notes that one of the girls was vaccinated soon after her birth.  Given the first dose of live MMR vaccine was effective and administered at the right age (i.e. after maternally derived antibodies had waned), it is highly likely the girl would have been immune after the first vaccine dose.  This can be verified by a blood test (i.e. antibody titre testing).  (See my webpage about the MMR ‘booster’ for further background.)

Have these girls and their mother been advised there is a blood test available to determine if they are already immune to measles/mumps/rubella?  

How can these girls give their ‘informed consent’ before the medical intervention of vaccination if the court rules they must have this medical intervention?  

This case has set a dangerous precedent.  

Are we all on course for compulsory vaccination, as dictated by the state?  Consider for example the prospect of mandated annual influenza vaccination.  This looks like the start of a slippery slope.  We need to be alert to the implications, and mindful of vested interests in the vaccine industry, governments, and the scientific/medical establishment.

See below my email forwarded to one of the solicitors involved in this matter of court ordered MMR vaccination, Philippa Dolan of Ashfords Solicitors.

______________________________________

From: Elizabeth Hart <eliz.hart25@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 11:16 PM
Subject: MMR Case
To: p.dolan@ashfords

Ms Dolan

Re the case about the two girls and the MMR vaccine in which I understand you are involved, i.e. High Court rules sisters must have MMR jab against their and their mother’s wisheshttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/high-court-rules-sisters-must-have-mmr-jab-against-their-and-their-mothers-wishes-8876035.html?origin=internalSearch

Note this comment in the article: “The elder daughter received the MMR jab but not a second dose, and the younger daughter did not receive either.”  (My emphasis.)

The measles/mumps/rubella vaccine is a ‘live’ vaccine.  When vaccinated at the right age with an effective vaccine, i.e. after maternally derived antibodies have waned, most children are likely to be immune for life.  The reason given for the second dose is that a small proportion of children might not respond to the first vaccine (usually because of interference of maternally derived antibodies, or possibly because of a fault in the vaccine).

My argument is, it is not ethical to force people to have a second dose of the vaccine if they’re likely to be immune after the first dose.  At the very least they should be offered the opportunity of a blood test (antibody titre test) to verify a response to the first vaccine, even if they have to pay for it themselves.  I suggest there is a very important principle at stake here, particularly when the state dictates that healthy people have to have medical interventions, it’s a slippery slope….

I suggest both those girls should be offered the opportunity of a blood test to measure antibodies (although it would have been better to have had the check soon after initial vaccination).  Even the second unvaccinated girl should be offered the opportunity in case she has had natural exposure to the disease.

For further background see my webpage: https://over-vaccination.net/questionable-vaccines/mmr-jab/

Also see my letter to Professor Paul Offit on this subject: http://users.on.net/~peter.hart/Letter_to_Paul_Offit_re_MMR_booster.pdf

Given the controversy about the MMR vaccine in the UK, and elsewhere, I think there could be a lot of fallout about this, there are some parents out there who I suspect would be very angry they weren’t given the opportunity of a blood test for their child, rather than an arbitrary second shot.

I request that you bring this information to the attention of the parents and children in this case, plus the presiding judge, Mrs Justice Theis.

I would appreciate your response on this matter.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Hart

More on over-vaccination of pets…

Recently the magazine Dogs NSW published a fear-mongering article, “The Deadly Canine Parvovirus – Is Your Dog At Risk”, promoting annual revaccination for parvovirus, in other words promoting gross over-vaccination of dogs.

See below my response to Dogs NSW on this matter:

Letter to the Editor of Dogs NSW:

dreamstime_xs_30505613

Charlotte Long’s article “The Deadly Canine Parvovirus – Is Your Dog At Risk?” (Dogs NSW, Sept 2013) promotes annual revaccination for parvovirus and fails to address the controversy about over-vaccination of pets, which exploits companion animals and their owners. 

Over-vaccination of pets was raised by the consumer watchdog CHOICE in 2010 with the article: Pet vaccination: Over-vaccinating your pet could be harmful to their health as well as your own hip pocket.[1]  In July 2013 the Sydney Morning Herald reported on another CHOICE investigation which found “the three common areas for “up selling” by vets were unnecessary diagnostic tests, over-vaccinating and mark-ups on products sold by vet practices”.[2] (My emphasis.)

Many vets are failing to advise pet owners about vaccination ‘best practice’, and are failing to obtain ‘informed consent’ before vaccinating their clients’ pets.

Charlotte Long maintains the lack of information by failing to refer to the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s Guidelines for the Vaccination of Dogs and Cats (2010), which advise that after effective vaccination with the core vaccines for parvovirus, distemper virus and adenovirus, duration of immunity “is many years and may be up to the lifetime of the pet”.[3]  The WSAVA Guidelines also warn “we should aim to reduce the ‘vaccine load’ on individual animals in order to minimize the potential for adverse reactions to vaccine products”.[4]

Ms Long also ignores the option of in-surgery or lab-based titre testing to verify a response to core vaccination.  The WSAVA Guidelines 2010 note “the principles of ‘evidence-based veterinary medicine’ would dictate that testing for antibody status (for either pups or adult dogs) is a better practice than simply administering a vaccine booster on the basis that this should be ‘safe and cost less’”.[5]  The latest  WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines for New Puppy Owners (published in May 2013) advise “the presence of circulating antibodies indicates that the dog is immune, and revaccination (with core vaccines) is not required”.[6]

Similarly there is no discussion about the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority’s (APVMA) Position Statement on Vaccination Protocols for Dogs and Cats (first published in January 2010 in response to pet owners’ concerns about over-vaccination) which states “…the aim should be to ensure that all susceptible animals are vaccinated, rather than that already well-immunised animals are re-vaccinated”.[7]  (My emphasis.)

The APVMA is the government regulator of veterinary vaccine products.  In September 2010 the APVMA requested all eight Veterinary Boards in Australia circulate its Position Statement on Vaccination Protocols for Dogs and Cats to veterinarians in their jurisdictions.  It is my understanding that some, if not all, of the Veterinary Boards, ignored this request by the government regulator, an appalling dereliction of duty.[8]  As a result many pet owners still remain unaware of the APVMA’s Position Statement on Vaccination Protocols for Dogs and Cats.

The APVMA’s past failure to ensure that vaccine manufacturers’ revaccination recommendations are evidence based is at the heart of the continuing problem of over-vaccination of pets, coupled with the reluctance of many members of the veterinary profession to keep abreast of and acknowledge the latest science on duration of immunity and vaccination ‘best practice’. No wonder the World Small Animal Veterinary Association warns “there is an urgent requirement for education of practicing veterinarians in this area”.[9]

The APVMA’s Position Statement notes: The APVMA does not support the retention of label statements that direct or imply a universal need for life-long annual revaccinations with core vaccines…The APVMA is working with vaccine registrants with a view to updating labels.”(10)  (My emphasis.) However, more than three years after publication of the APVMA’s Position Statement, core vaccine products with an annual revaccination ‘recommendation’ remain on the market, e.g. Virbac’s Canigen DHA2P (11) and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Protech C3 (12).

Another important omission in Ms Long’s article is discussion about appropriate timing of puppy vaccination, with some vaccine product labels recommending a finish at 10 or 12 weeks(13), which is in conflict with the WSAVA recommendation for a finish around 14-16 weeks. It is possible that, due to the interference of maternally derived antibodies, some puppies may remain unimmunised and unprotected with the earlier finish.  (In this regard, refer to my article Vaccination failure!, published in the dog breeder’s magazine National Dog in 2010.[14])

In short, Charlotte Long’s article fails to include a simple and effective message to promote successful immunisation of puppies to protect against parvovirus, rather than over-vaccinating already immune dogs over and over again.  Instead we are presented with a fear-mongering advertorial promoting lucrative over-vaccination of dogs on behalf of the veterinary vaccination industry.

Readers of Dogs NSW have been poorly served by Ms Long’s biased and ill-informed article.  As a result it is likely many already immunised dogs will be unnecessarily revaccinated.

I request that Dogs NSW take steps to redress the misinformation it has spread in the community.

Sincerely

Elizabeth Hart

References:

1. “Pet vaccination – Over-vaccinating your pet could be harmful to their health as well as your own hip pocket.” CHOICE. Published online August 2010: http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/household/backyard/pets/pet-vaccination/page.aspx

2. Choice urges vets to dump high fees and unnecessary charges. Sydney Morning Herald, 22 July 2013: http://www.smh.com.au/national/choice-urges-vets-to-dump-high-fees-and-unnecessary-charges-20130721-2qck5.html

3. MJ Day, MC Horzinek, RD Schultz. World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA) Guidelines for the Vaccination of Dogs and Cats. Journal of Small Animal Practice. Vol.51. June 2010: http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/VaccinationGuidelines2010.pdf  Also refer to the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines webpage: http://www.wsava.org/guidelines/vaccination-guidelines

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines for New Puppy Owners. (May 2013.): I have highlighted important points in this version of the guidelines: http://users.on.net/~peter.hart/WSAVA%20Puppy%20Vax%20Guidelines%20May%202013.pdf

7. Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority – Position Statement – Vaccination Protocols for Dogs and Cats. 21 January 2010. Revised 25 January, 2 and 13 September 2010. http://www.apvma.gov.au/use_safely/vaccination.php

8. On 19 May 2011 I circulated an email to the veterinary boards in Australia, asking what steps they had taken to forward the APVMA’s Position Statement to registered veterinarians in their jurisdictions: http://users.on.net/~peter.hart/Email_to_Vet_Boards_May_2011.pdf  The veterinary boards of Queensland and the Northern Territory advised they had taken no action to circulate the Position Statement.  My enquiry was ignored by the other veterinary boards.

9. In the ‘read more’ section, the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group webpage notes: “It is clear that the controversy surrounding small companion animal vaccination has not diminished and that there is an urgent requirement for education of practicing veterinarians in this area. The members of the VGG are actively engaged in delivering national and international lectures to help address this demand.” (My emphasis.) http://www.wsava.org/educational/vaccination-guidelines-group

10. Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority – Position Statement – Vaccination Protocols for Dogs and Cats. 21 January 2010. Revised 25 January, 2 and 13 September 2010. http://www.apvma.gov.au/use_safely/vaccination.php

11. Virbac’s Canigen DHA2P label states: “An annual booster is recommended.” and “This product has been assessed as providing at least 12 months protection. Many factors influence the effectiveness if [sic] vaccination and the need for re-vaccination. The vaccination for an individual animal should be determined within a veterinarian-client-patient relationship, taking all these factors into account.”  The label is accessible on the APVMA’s PUBCRIS database: http://www.infopest.com.au/extra/asp/infopest/nra/labels.asp?prodcode=40758

12. The ‘suggested’ revaccination ‘recommendation’ on Boehringer Ingelheim’s Protech C3 label reads: “Annual vaccination Either Protech C3 +Protech C2i and Protech Bronchi-Shield III Or Protech C4 + Protech C2i and Protech Bronchi-Shield I.  Protech C3 and Protech C4 have been assessed as providing at least 12 months protection against canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus and canine parvovirus. Many factors influence the effectiveness of vaccination and the need for revaccination. The vaccination program for an individual animal should be determined within a veterinary-client-patient relationship, taking all these factors into account.”  The label is accessible on the APVMA’s PUBCRIS database: http://www.infopest.com.au/extra/asp/infopest/nra/labels.asp?prodcode=51487

13. For example, Boehringer Ingelheim’s Protech C3 label suggests finishing the primary vaccination program at 10 weeks: http://www.infopest.com.au/extra/asp/infopest/nra/labels.asp?prodcode=51487  MSD Animal Health’s Nobivac DHP Continuum vaccine label recommends final puppy vaccination at 10 weeks:  http://www.infopest.com.au/extra/asp/infopest/nra/labels.asp?prodcode=59043  Virbac’s Canigen DHA2P vaccine label recommends the second primary dose at 12 weeks also stating: “In situations where high maternal antibody and potential challenge is possible an additional vaccination should be considered at 16 weeks of age.” http://www.infopest.com.au/extra/asp/infopest/nra/labels.asp?prodcode=40758

14. Elizabeth Hart. “Vaccination failure! There is a potential for maternally derived antibodies (MDA) to interfere with a puppy’s response to core vaccination.” National Dog. Vol. 14, No.5, pp 29-30 (2010): http://users.on.net/~peter.hart/Vaccination_failure!.pdf

 

Controversial HPV Vaccination – Recent developments in Israel, India and Japan

Gardasil-vaccine-0071

For information, some links to recent media reports on controversial HPV vaccination in Israel, India and Japan:

Israel:

India:

Japan:

Over-vaccination of dogs with unnecessary ‘boosters’

pet vaxFor those people interested in the ongoing over-vaccination of pets scandal, I recently forwarded a letter to Professor Ronald Schultz, a member of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s Vaccination Guidelines Group, and the American Animal Hospital Association’s Canine Vaccination Task Force, complaining about the confusing and misleading use of the term ‘booster’ in vaccination guidelines.

The email below summarises my complaint.  My detailed letter can be accessed via this hyperlink:  Letter to Professor Ronald Schultz re confusing and misleading use of the term ‘booster’

________________________

From: Elizabeth Hart <eliz.hart25@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 3:18 PM
Subject: Re: Confusing and misleading use of the term ‘booster’ in relation to modified live virus (MLV) vaccines

Professor Schultz

Please see attached a detailed letter addressed to you criticising the use of the confusing and misleading term ‘booster’ in vaccination guidelines issued by the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group.  This criticism is also relevant to the 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines.

As noted in my letter, I suggest use of the term ‘booster’ in relation to canine core modified live virus (MLV) vaccines for parvovirus, distemper virus and adenovirus is resulting in extensive unnecessary over-vaccination of already immune dogs.

I suspect that many pet owners are still not being informed that there is no evidence to support revaccination of already immune animals with so-called ‘booster’ shots, nor that there is the option of titre testing to verify a response to core MLV vaccination.

This is especially concerning in light of the WSAVA 2010 guidelines warning “that we should aim to reduce the ‘vaccine load’ on individual animals in order to minimize the potential for adverse reactions to vaccine products”, and the WSAVA 2013 guidelines advice that “it is important to give as few vaccines as possible…” and “…any reaction to a vaccine that is not needed is unacceptable”.

There are serious flaws in the WSAVA guidelines 2010 and 2013 which must be rectified.  In addition, the 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines should also be subjected to review.

I request your urgent response on this matter.

Sincerely

Elizabeth Hart

*This email and letter is also being circulated to the following:

  • Professor Michael Day, Chairperson, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Emeritus Marian Horzinek, previous member of the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Jolle Kirpensteijn, EB Liasison, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Committee
  • Professor Hajime Tsujimoto, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Richard Squires, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Emeritus Richard Ford, member of the AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines Task Force
  • Dr Carmel Mooney, Editor of the Journal of Small Animal Practice
  • Dr Anna-Maria Brady, Head of Biologicals and Administration, Veterinary Medicines Directorate
  • Dr Allen Bryce, Executive Director, Veterinary Medicines, Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority
  • Dr Rick E. Hill, Director, Center for Veterinary Biologics, US Department of Agriculture
  • Professor Brian Martin, Social Sciences, University of Wollongong
  • Bea Mies, independent advocate for judicial vaccine use

and will also be circulated to other parties.

The reluctance to acknowledge adverse reactions to vaccination

Here’s a link to an article that illustrates the medical/scientific establishment’s reluctance to publish material that casts vaccination in a bad light: “Special Report: How vaccine scares cast shadows over science”.

Some quotes:  (Emphasis added.)

At a Finnish medical convention in January 2011, a colleague approached neurologist Markku Partinen, laid a hand on his shoulder and said: “Markku, it’s going to be a bad year for you.”

In the following months, other scientists ridiculed him, questioned his methods and motives, and raised doubts about his mental stability. Colleagues began crossing the street to avoid him, he says. 

Partinen, director of the Helsinki Sleep Clinic and Research Centre, had raised the alarm about a GlaxoSmithKline vaccine called Pandemrix. He had discovered the drug, used to protect people from H1N1 swine flu, may be linked to a jump in cases of narcolepsy, a rare sleep disorder, in children and young people. He knew his findings might help limit the risks of narcolepsy for other children around the world, but was fearful nonetheless. The work was bound to generate scientific suspicion and public anxiety. Indeed, he struggled to get his paper on the vaccine published.

His story underscores an increasingly tough challenge for scientists balancing compelling data with public concern over vaccines and their side effects. Treatments which stimulate immunity to disease are highly controversial. In the past couple of decades – especially after a British doctor made now-discredited claims linking the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism – the field has become even more charged. After the false alarm sounded by British doctor Andrew Wakefield, some scientists say they are more hesitant to credit reports of potential side effects from vaccines.

Partinen is keen to distance himself from Andrew Wakefield, calling Wakefield a “fake”.  It will be interesting to see how history views Andrew Wakefield, time will tell on that score…

The article provides another scientist’s perspective:

At a medical centre on the outskirts of Helsinki, another Finnish scientist agrees with Partinen’s results and is probing the mechanics of the Pandemrix-narcolepsy link, which she thinks may have to do with the vaccine’s super-charging effect on the immune system.

Outi Vaarala previously worked in research on autoimmune diseases and diabetes. Since crossing over into the field of vaccinology, she says she has found herself harangued in emails and phone calls by people on one side accusing her of undermining trust in vaccines, or on the other begging her to join an anti-vaccine crusade. 

“There’s not the kind of open discussion we used to have. You’re afraid you will lose your whole career if you say something bad,” says Vaarala. “When you’re dealing with vaccine it suddenly becomes like working in politics, or religion.”

Partinen tells of the problems he encountered in publishing his results:

Partinen attended another Helsinki medical conference last month, two years after he had been warned about difficult times ahead. But this time he was leading the first Nordic Symposium on Narcolepsy and its links to the H1N1 swine flu vaccine.

“When we found this, we wanted to publish our results and spread the news to the world because we knew Pandemrix was also being used in other countries,” he said. “But there were big problems.” 

Having double- and triple-checked his findings, Partinen approached the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the world’s most respected medical journals, and submitted his study for publication. He says the journal asked for several revisions to the paper, then finally declined to accept it.

“After that we sent it to The Lancet,” he said, stressing that this was the same journal which published the now discredited Wakefield paper.

While it is not unusual for such high-level medical journals to reject many papers, Partinen said he was shocked by the strength of The Lancet’s resistance to his.

“It was quite exceptional, they asked for revision and revision and revision,” Partinen said. “Then they said they’d made an editorial decision – that they couldn’t publish it because we didn’t know the (biological) mechanism (behind the link between narcolepsy and Pandemrix).”

Partinen argues that scientists don’t know the biological mechanisms behind a whole host of diseases – multiple sclerosis and diabetes to name just two – yet The Lancet is full of peer-reviewed papers about those.

Neither The Lancet nor the New England Medical Journal would comment on their editorial decisions.

By the time Partinen’s study was published – March 2012, in the open-access journal of the Public Library of Science, PLoS One – many more scientists had replicated his findings, the H1N1 flu pandemic that Pandemrix was designed to protect against had been declared over, and the vaccine’s use had been restricted.

For those with narcolepsy it was already too late.

“There is no doubt any more that there is a link,” Partinen said. “But it’s taken three years to get here.”

It’s alarming that the medical and scientific establishment, for example highly influential journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet, is reluctant to acknowledge safety problems with vaccines. 

The public is ill-served by this cover-up to protect the status quo.  

With so many vested interests in play, who can be relied upon to provide objective research into vaccine effectiveness and safety?

For more general discussion on flu vaccination see: Annual flu vaccination and the influenza industry

______________________________________________

Reference:

Special Report: How vaccine scares cast shadows over science. Thomson Reuters News & Insight. 21 March 2013: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/21/us-vaccines-narcolepsy-specialreport-idUSBRE92K06620130321