any advice on vaccines?

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On Monday my 6 year old is due for his next set of vaccines. MMr, polio and dtp. I have been doing some research and the more I read the more confused I get.. Has anyone here considered not doing this or am I overreacting to the possible though slim chance of something going terribly wrong.. thanks, Kathy Ann

On Feb 10, 2004

I was also reluctant to vaccinate this time around for my 5 yr. old. He received some but not all of his 5 yr. vaccines.

I read a post here by "researchingmom" who posted a link to a small study done in Sweden about the Pertusiss vaccine raising the IGE level. I discussed this w/ my son's ped. who said it was fine to forego the pertussis this time and she agreed that it would raise his IGE response. He is still due for this DT, but they were out at the time. Also didn't get the MMR yet, concerned about the gelatin as he breaks out from eating gelatin. My son, who is now 5, has multiple food allergies, more now than he did at 2 yrs. old and the last thing I want is for his allergic response to increase. I do wonder if the vaccines coupled with an atopic background has made his allergies worse. But no one really knows, do they? If you want I can try to search for that info for you.

On Feb 10, 2004

I have been doing a lot of research on this exact topic and have posted somewhere a few bits of information. These days I don't feel as if I have much time to post but I do want to say that after many hours of researching, speaking to different types of Dr's including allergists, pediatricians and alternative Dr's also with medical degrees that I have decided at this time to stop vaccinating my 14 month old. My soon to be 3 year old is PA and I am dealing with grain allergies/intolerances, blueberry and pear allergy and possible egg allergy with my 14 month old. I made this decision after much research, soul searching and great anxiety but I feel that at this time I need to delay the rest of her vaccinations. I will not get into a huge debate with anyone that is pro vaccine under any circumstance because EVERY Doctor that I spoke to said YES there is a possibility that vaccinations will raise the IGE level and in allergic children can raise the possibility of adverse reactions. In the past I also spaced her shots out over time and only allowed 1 vaccine per visit. There is some really great info out there on these subjects. It is late so I hope you can understand this post. Good luck I know this is a hard one to decide.

[This message has been edited by Danielle (edited February 10, 2004).]

On Feb 10, 2004

Raising next newest topic | next oldest topic Author Topic: immunizations and new food/allergen exposure CVB in CA Member Posts: 322 Registered: Oct 99 posted March 18, 2001 06:05 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Has anyone introduced a new food to their child after immunizations (MMR, etc.) or boosters that caused a reaction? Do you feel your child was more sensitive to allergens in the days following immunizations? Did your child get a cold a few days after immunizations? My kids both seemed to get sick (cold, ear infection, whatever) within a week or two following an immunization shot. Also, seem more affected by enviormental allergies. It seems like this would also be a bad time to introduce new foods to an infant or toddler, but have never heard any medical advice on the subject.

Any comment?

IP: Logged Cindia Member Posts: 143 Registered: Jun 2001 posted March 18, 2001 06:27 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- That's interesting that you should mention MMR vaccine... My son's first introduction and reaction to peanuts was the same day he got his MMR shot. In hind site, we should not have introduced a new food on the same day as his immunizations. So, we weren't sure whether it was the peanut butter cracker or the shot that gave him hives, wheezing, facial swelling. I did some research on the MMR shot reactions and found a study that showed that the shot was made from gelatin and that people with a gelatin allergy can have a severe reaction to the MMR vaccine.

It was not until later that we decided that it was probably the peanut butter that he was allergic too, not gelatin.

For the official word, he will be getting the RAST for peanuts, brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, and walnuts next week.

[This message has been edited by Cindia (edited March 18, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Cindia (edited March 20, 2001).]

IP: Logged Plaba Member Posts: 20 Registered: Mar 2001 posted March 19, 2001 12:27 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As for vaccinations... The MMR shot is attenuated (weakened) through chick embryos/eggs. Children who are allergic to eggs should not have this vaccine. The trouble is that most pediatricians don't tell you this and a lot of parents aren't aware that children have this allergy at the time the MMR is administered. Also, children allergic to neomycin should avoid vaccines (or delay vaccines) that contain this. I'm not sure however whether or not there is a screening test for neomycin for very young children.

I know that my views on vaccinations in general are not the norm, but I personally feel that they are a premature medical assault on the immune system. Children with a family history of allergies should really research as much as they can before inoculating their kids because a family history of asthma, eczema, allergies and arthritis (all immunological disorders)can make a child more susceptable to more serious allergies and bad reactions. Patricia Mom of 3--one severely allergic to nuts, eggs and milk Aunt of a child who nearly died from an allergy to an ingredient in a vaccine--now autistic

IP: Logged CherylB Member Posts: 36 Registered: Dec 2000 posted March 19, 2001 03:22 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My son always gets an ear infection/cold/whatever after he has a shot. I never really put a connection with allergies though. He is due for his chicken pox shot tomorrow. Anyone had any bad effects with allergies due to this one? IP: Logged Pnuts R Evil Member Posts: 29 Registered: Jan 2001 posted March 19, 2001 09:53 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My daughter also had her first reaction and exposure to peanut butter on the same day as some immunizations. As Cindia said, I wish I had not introduced the peanut butter to her that day, although both my pediatrician and allergist say that the shots had nothing to do with the allergy. I have decided to believe this, but have always thought it was a strange coincidence. IP: Logged rilira Member Posts: 688 Registered: Nov 1999 posted March 20, 2001 01:33 AM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My daughter has had the chicken pox vaccine with no problems at all. Also at the last FAN conference they said the MMR vaccines are no longer made with the egg in it. There should not be a problem for egg allergic with that vaccine. IP: Logged Rae Member Posts: 386 Registered: Mar 2000 posted March 20, 2001 12:16 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- One of my daughters couldn't take the chicken pox vaccine because it also uses eggs. It was 2 years ago that she would have gotten it. Does anyone know if the chicken pox vaccine, like the MMR, has discontinued the use of eggs? IP: Logged tkiaml Member Posts: 149 Registered: Jun 2000 posted March 20, 2001 03:27 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My egg allergic son also had the MMR vaccination. We specifically asked about this when we went for his shot. The nurse said it was no longer a problem for egg allergic people to have the mmr vacc. He had no problems whatsoever. He has also had the chicken pox vacc. with no problems. Hope this helps! tkiaml

IP: Logged rosebud83 Member Posts: 4 Registered: Feb 2001 posted March 21, 2001 10:56 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My PA daughter developed a measles like rash and fever exactly 14 days after the MMR vaccination. (She had a preexisting cough.) Little did we know that she also had pneumonia until she developed a high fever less than a week after the rash went away. She had successfully eaten a peanut butter cookie and a peanut butter and chocolate candy prior to the MMR vaccine. It was about 3 months after the vaccine that we noticed a problem after she ate a peanut butter and chocolate cookie - hives and vomiting. IP: Logged sjmaw Member Posts: 1 Registered: Oct 2002 posted April 12, 2001 05:45 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- All of this sounds really familiar. My son had his 15 mth shots (including MMR) on a Friday. His Peanut allergy was discovered on the following Wednesday. The next Friday he was covered in a rash and had a fever of 103. All this sounds to coincidental to me. IP: Logged ARI Member Posts: 35 Registered: Dec 2000 posted April 12, 2001 08:13 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My son is a Class 6 to eggs among the PA and an assorted list of other foods. But he had the MMR and I was scared to death and I think the doc was a little nervous too she made me wait in the waiting room for 90 minutes after the shot checking him every 15 minutes. Thank God no reaction and he was already diagnosed before the shot with PA.

IP: Logged Danielle Member Posts: 384 Registered: Apr 2003 posted April 28, 2003 11:27 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I just delayed ny 4 months old shots because I was thinking the below: My PA allergic child seemed to get sick after a lot of her immunizations. She had terrible RSV in Jan and Feb and I gave her the peanut butter in Feb. which she had a reaction to. Her immune system was shot to heck at that time. Quiet a few people in my family have immune system problems. The alternative medicine Doctors that I have always gone to for myself and now for my kids have suggested that I delay my 2nd childs shots becuase obviously allergies run in the family and the immunizations break down the immune system. Has anyone else opted to delay immunizations or feel as though any of this information seems similar to your own childs history. IP: Logged becca Member Posts: 1880 Registered: May 2001 posted April 29, 2003 07:15 AM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Danielle, we have and continue to avoid the MMR vaccine due to an egg allergy. That said, we did the chicken pox one without incident(I did not know at the time it was a risk for egg allergy). I was always leary of the MMR and was more than happy for a reason to delay to an older age, past the stats relating to autism. I am so glad, as I now have heard that I have at least 2 cousins with children with a form of autism. We do plan to go ahead with it after she outgrows her egg allergy. becca

IP: Logged MeCash Member Posts: 469 Registered: Apr 2001 posted April 29, 2003 09:22 AM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Becca and everyone else... While there is no scientific 'proof' that innoculations or MMR can cause autism, there is a growing belief among people whose children were effected and born in the decade between the early 1990's and ending around 1999 (when the ADA recommending ceasing the use of Thimerosal in childhood vaccinations due to a growing belief that Thimerosal (a form of mercury) can cause varying degrees of autism) that the vaccines are indeed the culprit. Here is one of my favorite links with scientific research:

[url="http://www.safeminds.org"]www.safeminds.org[/url]

My son definitely experienced extreme changes in mood and behavior within days of recieving five innoculations, including MMR and Chicken Pox at the age of 4. Later research (on my part) showed that the other three innoculations combined contained a hefty dose of Thimerosal, enough to be considered toxic to an adult.

One of the University of Calgary's video's on the website link regarding mercury and Alzheimer's shows how mercury, even in tiny doses, can permanently destroy the denudded neurofibers in the brain, leading to Alzheimers, and possibly to different forms of autism.

The ADA recommended the discontinuatation of the use of Thimerosal in vaccines for children. I still ask to see the bottle the vaccine comes in when it comes to my daughter. I have not seen any medical or scientific research regarding the MMR vaccine which can even come close to the connection that has been established between Thimerosal and autistic spectrum disorders.

On an end note, my other reason for believing in possibility that vaccines administered to my son during the mid-90's directly effected the severity of his autistic spectrum disorder (Asperger's) is personal... my brother in-law, after winning a scholarship to study in Ghana, received 11 innoculations simultaneously and has since suffered from grand mal seizures.

I do believe in innoculating my children, however, I won't let them give more than one per doctor visit or anything which I haven't read the ingredients label and accompanying paperwork on. Certain innoculations, such as Chicken Pox, MMR and polio are all live vaccines, which do not contain Thimerosal. Thimerosal is a preservative not needed in live vaccines.

~Melanie

[This message has been edited by MeCash (edited April 29, 2003).]

IP: Logged JoJo&Shane Member Posts: 17 Registered: Jan 2003 posted April 29, 2003 10:18 AM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For most of the reasons listed above, I have delayed my son's final round of DTaP and IPV (polio) vaccinations. He was scheduled to have them at 15 months of age. We are scheduled to have them on May 9th (he will be 32 months old). I'm a nervous wreck. I've read so many unfortunate stories about reactions to these vaccinations that I have worked myself up into a panic over these shots. Has anyone with a food allergic child had adverse reactions to DTaP or polio. Or is there anything I need to be aware of in regards to his allergies and these shots.

Thanks!

JoJo Shane - peanut, milk, soy, sesame, nuts, avoiding all legumes.

IP: Logged MeCash Member Posts: 469 Registered: Apr 2001 posted April 29, 2003 10:59 AM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- JoJo: I didn't mean to cause undo panic or worry or make you afraid to innoculate your child. Please check out the link I provided.

All three of my children, 2 PA, one not, have been innoculated. With my PA daughter, however, I am a little more cautious in how I let them do it. One innoculation per doctor visit. I think it's a lot to expect of a child's immune system if you pop them with 4-5 innoculations at a time, with or without the undue stress of Thimerosal!

Always ask if the vaccinations contain Thimerosal. The ADA has recommended against the use, but I have read there are still stocks of vaccines out there containing it. Your annual flu shot has Thimerosal. I'd rather get the flu, thank you. So to amalgam filings in your teeth, which the film on [url="http://www.safeminds.org"]www.safeminds.org[/url] from the University of Calgary believes can lead to Alzheimers. My step-son needed three fillings and I had to pay extra due to the fact that our very good pediatric dentist refused to use amalgam fillings in children's teeth, claiming they are dangerous and potentially toxic. I love my son's dentist! Kids first!

The polio vaccine is a live vaccine. DTaP is one of the former Thimerosal containing drugs. Just be sure to ask, and if it contains Thimerosal, make another appointment and insist your child receive a non-Thimerosal containing vaccine. They CAN order them. Our pediatrician's office, after dealing with me and apparently several other mom's, sent back their bad stock and no longer use any vaccines which contain Thimerosal. I think this is in part due to the main doctor's son having DSI (Sensory Integration Dysfunction).

Good luck and don't panic. Really, check out that website. It's full of valuable information!

~Melanie

IP: Logged MeCash Member Posts: 469 Registered: Apr 2001 posted April 29, 2003 11:05 AM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Here is the direct link to the University of Calgary's film on mercury... [url="http://commons.ucalgary.ca/mercury/"]http://commons.ucalgary.ca/mercury/[/url]

~Melanie

IP: Logged MeCash Member Posts: 469 Registered: Apr 2001 posted April 29, 2003 11:26 AM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- One more link: [url="http://www.mercurypolicy.org"]http://www.mercurypolicy.org[/url]

1/8/03 Parents and advocates are meeting today on Capital Hill to ask the Nation's leaders and pharmaceutical companies to stop using the mercury preservative thimerosal in all vaccines, to inform Americans about vaccines with mercury, and to recall existing thimerosal stocks from health care facilities. While most infant vaccines are mercury-free, the preservative is still added to formulations for influenza (flu vaccines), diphtheria-tetanus, tetanus, hepatitis B, pneumococcal and rabies. "Why are vaccine makers still using thimerosal and unnecessarily exposing infants, pregnant women an unsuspecting Americans to mercury?" asked Michael Bender, Director, Mercury Policy Project (see press release). "Vaccines are supposed to help prevent health problems and not create them. Continued use of mercury in medical products for any human use, where avoidable, is simply irresponsible and not worth the risk." US health and governmental officials seem to agree. In the FDA and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urged manufacturers to remove thimerosal from childhood vaccines. In 2001, the Institute of Medicine recommended that children and pregnant women avoid thimerosal whenever possible. Also see AP coverage on Yahoo.

~Melanie

IP: Logged dmbb Member Posts: 94 Registered: Oct 2002 posted April 29, 2003 11:29 AM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The CDC has information posted on their website about the contents of vaccines at: [url="http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/pink/VaxCont.pdf"]http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/pink/VaxCont.pdf[/url]

They also have contraindications for the vaccines posted:

[url="http://www.cdc.gov/nip/recs/contraindications.pdf"]http://www.cdc.gov/nip/recs/contraindications.pdf[/url]

Also, some more information from the FDA on thimerosal:

[url="http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccine/thimerosal.htm"]http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccine/thimerosal.htm[/url]

Thought it would be interesting reading.

[This message has been edited by dmbb (edited April 29, 2003).]

[This message has been edited by dmbb (edited April 29, 2003).]

IP: Logged McMelon Member Posts: 85 Registered: Sep 2002 posted April 30, 2003 12:39 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is so scary to read. I was digging in the posts about aspbergers (sp)here yesterday. DS displays alot of similar characteristics. Especially it seems when he is stressed. He also reacted everytime he was immunized (born 7/96) He would run a fever and have cold symptoms. Wonderful dr.s always told me this was normal. Recently, at allergists they were shocked by his history and found it very significant. All three kids seem to have food and other allergies. Baby hasn't been tested yet. Maybe i can do something to protect him. From what I sumised, I should ask if vacine has thimerosol in it? It is so disturbing to discover you may have unwitingly sone something to harm your kids. I put way too much trust in my dr.s. Thanks, Melody IP: Logged Carson's Mommy Member Posts: 42 Registered: Dec 2002 posted April 30, 2003 01:45 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A light just went off in my head! At the sight of the injection my son had major redness and swelling, it was like that for SEVERAL days and it hurt if we even touched it. We had no clue and his doctor said it's just a reaction to the vaccine, now in hindsight I realize since he is allergic to eggs it was probably an allergic reaction to that vaccine. We didn't know he was allergic to eggs at the time of his vaccinations. Take Care, Amy

IP: Logged williamsmummy Member Posts: 610 Registered: Mar 2002 posted April 30, 2003 05:02 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- No tammy, I dont think so , its quite common to have a sensitve bump like that after any immunizations.

There is egg in MMR, but very very very phew very small. If a child has had a severe reaction to eggs its worth going to hospital to have the innoculation, just in case.

I think that immunizations are very important for allergic children. William has had all his immunizations, even the MMR and he is egg allergic. sarah

IP: Logged Kendall'sMom Member Posts: 12 Registered: Apr 2003 posted April 30, 2003 06:10 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My kids have both gotten sick a few days after going to the doctor on several occasions, whether they have had shots or not. I attribute it to the germs floating around the waiting room. Laurie

IP: Logged CVB in CA Member Posts: 322 Registered: Oct 99 posted May 01, 2003 02:27 AM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I don't think it is just germs. When my kids were preschoolers they all went on each other's doctor's visits (and mine). I was not one of those terribly efficient types to schedule them at the same time for all. Only the kid getting shots would be guaranteed of getting an ear infection, etc. Of course, maybe that ear thingy they use to look in the ears has a lot of germs on it? (I thought they cleaned those little cones?)Have to think about that.

My kid has two food allergies. His first PA reaction was the afternoon of an a.m. shot day. PA turned out to be a big deal. His first mango reaction was the evening of an a.m. shot day. Mango allergy is a minor allergy for him. After that we were done with shots until 5 years old.

At 5 nothing happened except illness, but we introduced no new foods and didn't eat anything like strawberries or shellfish.Immune system is also much more mature by then.

We skip the flu shot also. I don't like the mercury (How can they recommend this for 6 month olds?) and they will probably get sick after the shot with something else. Not worth it. There is always a strain running around not covered in the shot anyway.

I knew this was ancedotal when I originally posted it, but was curious if others had some of the same experience.

I just think you shouldn't kick a dog when it is down. When the immune system is very actively manufacturing new antibodies is maybe just not the time to introduce new foods.

IP: Logged Danielle Member Posts: 384 Registered: Apr 2003 posted May 01, 2003 09:15 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Okay guys since my original post a few days ago I have sufficiently worked myself up into a complete frenzy. My soon to be 5 month old is due for shots and I really think I should delay for awhile. I am going to interview some new pediatricians and let them know that they will have to deal with my requests of one shot per visit and letting me see the immunization vial. Nothing I read seems to calm my nerves at all, instead it leads me to more questions and more sleepless nights. Help. I obviously need a lot of it. IP: Logged becca Member Posts: 1880 Registered: May 2001 posted May 02, 2003 12:00 AM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Well, if it is any comfort to anyone, my dd has had all her vaccinations, except for MMR, simply because it was around time for that one when we became aware fo her allergies. I was already leery of it for the autism reasons, and had/have some minor concerns about my dd's social development, loner tendencies and such. I just felt comfortable with delaying and using the egg allergy was good enough for me. It sounds like I really could do it, but feel better waiting for hr allergy to go away. Never, after any shot was she more than a bit sleepy that day. Never a fever, never sick, never needed analgesics(I might have given some for prophylaxis once or twice, but do not recall). In fact she had a cold at 9 months, roseola at a year, and next illness was at 18 months(viral).

Her only health issues have been her food allergies and some eczema. Maybe that makes you feel better! Whwn she started really getting cold after cold was after stopping breastfeeding at 21 months, and starting preschool this year. becca

IP: Logged Nicole1401 Member Posts: 115 Registered: Dec 2002 posted May 24, 2003 02:59 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MeCash, You posted that you only let your child get one vaccination per visit. This makes sense to me, but I have a few questions. How far apart do you space the vaccinations? Does your doctor give you a hard time about this? My first child has all of her vaccinations (until kindergarten) but our second child is due in 6 days so I'm wondering, with the family history of allergies, if I should do things differently this time. Thanks. IP: Logged Danielle Member Posts: 384 Registered: Apr 2003 posted May 24, 2003 03:51 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I actually found a new pediatrician that I like a lot. I interviewed her and let her know my concerns about vaccinations and she said she has a lot of parents now that request 1 vaccination per visit. She spaces them 1 month a part from each other unless the manufacturers state longer. I feel very comfortable about this so I took my baby to have 1 shot last week. I also go to a alternative medicine Doc and she does not do any invasive work so I feel comfortable with her too. I try to schedule visits with her before and /or after the vaccination.

On Feb 10, 2004

[ Handbook ]

The Prevention of

Allergic Disease

Written by Dr Matt Haus

It is important to minimise the effect of non-specific adjuvant enhancing factors for allergy. The 3-in-1 DPT inoculation should possibly be delayed because of the adjuvant effect on IgE stimulation of the pertussis component. Respiratory viral infections should be minimised. In this regard, over-populated day-care centres are not recommended for high-allergic-risk infants, nor is indiscriminate kissing of the baby by well-meaning friends to be encouraged.

Top

IP: Logged researching mom Member Posts: 25 Registered: Jul 2003 posted November 20, 2003 11:57 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In the book "Conquering Your Child's Allergies" written by M. Eric Gershwin M.D.on page 193 it discusses that pertussis in studies has a side effect that has demonstrated in animals to produce more ige antibodies that generate allergies.Children who are atopic and already have a high incidence of allergies make far more ige than they need.Thus,following the administration of the pertussis vaccine ,their allergies may get significantly worse, for this reason they don't recommend pertussis vaccination in any child who has a history of moderate to severe hay fever, asthma, or eczema. This doctor also wrote another book called "Taking Charge of Your Child's Allergies"published in 1998 with a similar discussion on page 195 in that book. I noticed in the preface that it stated that the authors had severely allergic children. Also if you go to nlm gateway and go to pmid#10436392 there is a very interesting study that was published in Int Arch Allergy Immunol. in July of 1999. The abstract is tittled "Pertussis adjuvant prolongs intestinal hypersensitivity".In the conclusion to the study it says:Our findings indicate nonogram quantities of PT,when administered with a food protein, result in long-term sensitization to the antigen, and altered intestinal neuroimmune function. These data suggest that exposure to bacterial pathogens may prolong the normal transient immune responsiveness to inert food antigens." Speaking as a mom who has a son who had a severe reaction to his vaccinations and listened to the pediatrician who said it was perfectly safe to vaccinate again.Shortly after my sons eczema went from a little patch to a mess all over his body, he had severe diarrhea and ended up in the hospital. My little boy has had anaphylactic reactions and is allergic to over 20 different foods.I personally believe that vaccinations played some part in the reason why he is so allergic. IP: Logged Going Nuts Member Posts: 1607 Registered: Oct 2001 posted November 21, 2003 08:14 AM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Quite interesting, my non-PA son's eczema worsened dramatically after his first DPT vaccine. On the other hand, Whooping Cough in a young child is absolutely devastating. Definitely a case for risk/benefit analysis.

Amy

IP: Logged momma2boys Member Posts: 610 Registered: Mar 2003 posted November 21, 2003 10:00 AM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Neither one of my boys got the initial DPT shots, they only got diptheria and tetanus. My reasoning behind this was because I had bad allergic reactions to the pertussis and my dr at the time said that would raise their risk of having a reaction. So I decided not to give it to them. I have since been questioned constantly by dr.s' about why I didnt give it to them. I did eventually give them the last booster with the DTaP. I was told there was less risk with this and they had no problems.

I do have to say we had a whooping cough outbreak here a couple years ago and I was TERRIFIED! Both my boys have asthma and i was so scared they would get it and it would be all my fault. Well, they didnt and it turned out that most of the people who did get it had had the immunization so who knows.

I do know that if youve every heard a child with whooping cough its gut wrenching to listen to. This is the first time Ive ever heard of a dr recommending you not get the vaccine.

IP: Logged All times are ET (US)

On Feb 11, 2004

.

[This message has been edited by deegann (edited February 09, 2005).]

On Feb 11, 2004

I vaccinated my kids and now wish I didn't. I did not complete the vaccinations on my last two children. Did you know that the pharmaceutical companies say that if anyone in your family as atopic dermatitis (eczema) or if any family member has had reactions to vaccines , not to vaccinate other children in the family ? Why don't doctors tell you this ? Or how about this doozy...even though the pharmaceutical companies insist there is no link between mercury poisoning, autism and vaccines they are now protected under the Homeland Security Act against parents who wish to sue them. Hmmm. Now if there truly is no link , why the extensive protection ? Raises too many questions for me. Visit these government sponsored sites...

[url="http://www.909shot.com"]www.909shot.com[/url]

[url="http://www.hrsa.gov/osp/vicp/table.htm"]http://www.hrsa.gov/osp/vicp/table.htm[/url] and this site

[url="http://www.mercola.com"]www.mercola.com[/url]

EDITED: because one of the links didn't work. It does now.

[This message has been edited by Jennifer1970 (edited February 11, 2004).]

On Feb 11, 2004

Kathy Ann,

I have not had either of my children (one is allergic to PN, TN, and Eggs - the other is not allergic to anything) vaccinated - at all. My decision for this was not easy - and based on a lot of research and soul searching. You are not overreacting - and you are not alone.

Liz

On Feb 11, 2004

[i]completely unrelated[/i], but I work in a hospital, come home to my family, (one of which does attend a public school, one of which also works in another healthcare related field) go out to eat, shop in malls, go to public establishments, go to public clinics, etc...........

On Feb 12, 2004

I found this great site. Very thought provoking and full of insightful links.

The Hopewood Children [url="http://www.vaccinationdebate.com/web8.html"]www.vaccinationdebate.com/web8.html[/url]

On Feb 12, 2004

I always seem to get drawn into this debate over and over. Is it possible to have a severe even deadly reaction to a vaccine? Of course and it does happen. The links above indicate there is about a 1 in 110,000 chance. This means that 99.999% of those vaccinated never have a serious reaction resulting in permanent injury. More typical reactions (like my children) are temporary fevers, injection site pain and redness.

Compare that incidence with the incidence of severe allergic reactions (including anaphylaxis) to antibiotics in children (6 mo. - 10 years): The range varries from 0.75-4.5%. On the same scale that is 825-4950 in 110,000! Granted, not all of these reactions would be considered life threatening or causing permanent injury, but you can see that a child would be more likely to become seriously ill after receiving an antiobiotic than being vaccinated. Therefore, what do you do? Following the same anti-vaccine logic you would have to refuse any new antibiotic prescribed for your child and hope that the bacterial infection doesn't put them into the hospital.

I completely agree that thimerosal has no place in anything placed into a child's body. Most vaccines no longer contain this and I know there are thimerosal-free formulations for the one or two that do. Always ask your doctor!

This is definitely a risk/reward decision. The problem lies in the fact that the decision not to vaccinate can adversely effect the health of the general population. This is not a decision that should be taken without A LOT of valid scientific study. Remember, your grandparents feared that polio might strike their children. Today, most of us never even think about it...

Troy

On Feb 12, 2004

I do not want to start a debate but feel I must address two comments made by choguy.I have spent almost a year doing extensive research on vaccines.I am going to pull up a thread on what prompted my research. Regarding Choguys comment about polio.The creator of the polio vaccine Jonas Salk reported that two thirds of polio cases between 1966 and 1976 were created by his own vaccine!The fact is polio naturally began to decline around 1953 and the vaccine was not mass produced until 1957.They no longer use the oral polio version because the only cases of it were coming from the live virus used in it. The decision to vaccinate should be an individual one.Everyones genetic makeup and health history is not the same.My son had an adverse reation to his shots and I listened to the doctor who said my son should still be vaccinated at his 4 month checkup. His health went down hill and he ended up in the hospital.He has severe multiple anaphylactic allergies.He interestingly is allergic to components that were in those vaccines(beef-bovine extract ,soy,yeast,gelatin,and latex)among others (peanut,dairy,egg,wheat,rice,corn,barley,banana,potatoes,peas and more). Your statement that "the decision not to vaccinate can adversely effect the health of the general population"is not supported by any scientific data.

[This message has been edited by researching mom (edited February 12, 2004).]

On Feb 12, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by researching mom: [b]Your statement that "the decision not to vaccinate can adversly effect the health of the general population"is not supported by any scientific data.[/b]

Hi Researching Mom,

I think what Choguy is saying is that if we stop vaccinating our children, the childhood diseases of the past that had been vanquished will make a comeback. Measles, rubella, mumps, polio, hepatitis B, whooping cough, tetanus, diptheria... by not vaccinating our children, there is a higher risk they will ctach one of these illnesses, some of which can cause death.

My personal opinion is that I would definitely vaccinate my child, as the risk of a vaccination is extremely low, and is much lower than the risk of the above illnesses.

(ie: [i]Measles can lead to many different complications: croup, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, conjunctivitis, myocarditis, hepatitis, and encephalitis. [/i] [url="http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/measles.html"]http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/measles.html[/url] )

(ie: [i]Between coughing spells, the child may gasp for air with a characteristic "whooping" sound - although infants may not "whoop" as do older children. Severe coughing spells can cause a child to turn blue in the face or vomit. Infants may actually stop breathing for a few seconds. [/i]http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/whooping_cough.html )

......... I would choose the vaccinations

(hepatitis B is especially dangerous, sometimes leading to liver cancer or liver failure)

[This message has been edited by erik (edited February 12, 2004).]

On Feb 12, 2004

Hi Eric!(and mom who originally posted this question) I challenge you to read this book by Stephanie Cave M.D. it is called "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations" .It was put out by Warner Books copyright 2001.I believe you will think differently about the comments you wrote above.Reread the information presented by the moms above and check out those websites.

On Feb 12, 2004

I just wanted to take a minute to thank all of you who took the time and effort to help me with this problem, I wish I could tell you for sure what we are going to do. I called our allergist who said no problem go ahead and do it . then called the pediatrician to tell them that I will keep the appointment but only to discuss our concerns about the vaccines. They weren't thrilled with me..If we do decide to do these I am getting from all of you to space them out.. They failed to let us know we were behind in his vaccines anyway he should have had them awhile ago.Either way I still have this anxiety headache for the 4th day and I pray I make the right decision.. thanks again I'll keep you posted.. kathy Ann

On Feb 12, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by researching mom: [b]I believe you will think differently about the comments you wrote above.[/b]

Hi Researching Mom,

The World Health Organization reports that [b]800,000 children die[/b] each year from the measles, with the majority being in poor countries with no access to the vaccine. If we stop vaccinating our children, many children will die here in North America as well. That's why I support vaccinations, as many more children will die of measles (and the other diseases) that would otherwise have lived had they been vaccinated.

[url="http://www.who.int/gb/EB_WHA/PDF/EB111/eeb111r5.pdf"]http://www.who.int/gb/EB_WHA/PDF/EB111/eeb111r5.pdf[/url]

I agree that some people may occasionally be adversely affected by vaccinations, but a much greater number of people would be adversely affected by these illnesses.

[i]Immunization is an essential component in reducing U5MR. Among the childhood vaccine-preventable diseases measles is the leading cause of child mortality, over half a million deaths in 2000. Increased routine measles immunization to at least 90 per cent coverage in all countries combined with a

On Feb 13, 2004

Poor countries meaning they have no access to clean water , live on dirt floors ,have a small pond everyone in the community defecates in, and have poor nutrition ? I have never understood why that comparison gets drawn all the time.

As for the World Health Organization , they are owned by the America Drug Trust. Who owns the America Drug Trust ? Pharmaceutical companies. I rarely trust anything I hear from the w.h.o.

On Feb 13, 2004

I am pro-vaccine and vaccinate for everything. We also get a flu shot yearly and the elective chicken pox shot (at least it was elective last time we had to decide...) From my point of view I am more concerned about eliminating the risk from viruses that used to kill children.

On Feb 13, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Jennifer1970: [b]Poor countries meaning they have no access to clean water , live on dirt floors ,have a small pond everyone in the community defecates in, and have poor nutrition ? I have never understood why that comparison gets drawn all the time. [/b]

Hi Jennifer,

Even if these children live in poverty and don't have clean drinking water or nutritious food and live in unsantiary conditions, it does not negate the fact that receiving the measles vaccine [b]will prevent[/b] these 800,000 children from dying of the measles each year.

The poor countries that use measles vaccine have reduced the childhood death rate from measles, as the majority of deaths occur in poor countries that do not use vaccination.

Imagine if no one had received the smallpox vaccine? Millions of people would die each year of smallpox but thatnks to the vaccine, this virus has been eliminated. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

[This message has been edited by erik (edited February 13, 2004).]

On Feb 13, 2004

.

[This message has been edited by deegann (edited February 09, 2005).]

On Feb 13, 2004

deegan, I'm with you. There really are no borders as far as diseases are concerned these days. I have enought to worry about keeping my daughter from dying of PEANUTS - and things without vaccines like SARS and who knows what else next. Oh what I wouldn't give for a vaccine that would prevent her from having the peanut allergy. Even with a small risk involved that it would turn out badly, I would take that small risk if it were similar to the teeny risk with the current vaccines.

On Feb 13, 2004

To those of us whose children did react badly to vaccines , the risk is simply too great. I just don't see how shooting them full of mercury (yes it is still being used even though they claim they 'purify' it), formaldehyde , monkey lung cells ,washed sheep red blood cells , monkey kidneys and aborted fetal tissue is going to make them healthier.

On Feb 13, 2004

Hi Jennifer,

It's not wrong if you decide not to vaccinate your children. Everyone must make their own decisions in life, and there are no rights or wrongs.

In my opinion, I believe the parents of those 800,000 children who die each year of measles wished that their children could have been vaccinated, as then they would still be alive.

My point is that vaccines save many, many lives each day. If we elimate vaccinations from this world, all we will do is increase the death rate of children (an adults) who will suffer from these diseases.

(of course it is not good that there is mercury in some vaccines, but from reading the news, you'd get a lot more mercury in your system from eating food you bought from the grocery store and restaurants (ie: seafood) than you would from a vaccination [url="http://www.cnn.com/2001/HEALTH/parenting/04/12/fish.pregnant/index.html"]http://www.cnn.com/2001/HEALTH/parenting/04/12/fish.pregnant/index.html[/url] )

***************************************

[i]Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world. It's spread by airborne droplets that can linger in the air for hours. A very small dose of measles virus is all it takes for an unprotected person to get ill.

Before the vaccine became available in 1963, everybody got measles. [b]There were as many as 4 million cases per year in the U.S., with 500 deaths. Even a healthy person gets seriously ill.[/b] But when a person is poorly nourished, measles can be a disaster. Among the poorer nations of the world, measles is still a major plague.

"Worldwide measles deaths in 1999 were 875,000 people," Cochi says. "Almost a million children died of measles at the end of the last century. Last year we think the deaths were down to about 700,000."

[b]The decline in deaths is due to a major vaccination effort by the World Health Organization, the CDC, and other health organizations and charities.[/b] Worldwide vaccine coverage now is about 70%. In sub-Saharan Africa, it's just over 50% -- and rising, thanks to the huge international effort. [/i] [url="http://my.webmd.com/content/article/76/90301.htm?lastselectedguid=5FE84E90-BC77-4056-A91C-9531713CA348}"]http://my.webmd.com/content/article/76/9...C-9531713CA348}[/url]

*******************************************

It is still my opinion that it is better to be vaccinated than to get ill and possibly die.

[This message has been edited by erik (edited February 13, 2004).]

On Feb 13, 2004

Here is an article some parents may find interesting with children with allergies.

New Study Shows Vaccinated Children Twice as Likely to Get Asthma and Other Allergy-Related Symptoms A new study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics1 supports the findings of three previous studies that children who receive diphteria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) or tetanus vaccines are more likely to have a "history of asthma" or other "allergy-related respiratory symptoms." The study reviewed data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which was conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics from 1988 to 1994. The survey data included interviews (by proxy with parents) of 13,944 infants, children and adolescents (2 months through 16 years old). The JMPT study addresses an issue that has much supporting evidence:

On Feb 13, 2004

[i]Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain how vaccines might cause allergic or autoimmune diseases. However, flaws in proposed mechanisms are consistent with large well-controlled epidemiologic studies that do not support the hypothesis that vaccines cause chronic diseases. Furthermore, because infections with wild-type bacteria or viruses are more likely to expose self-antigens and induce levels of cytokines greater than that found after immunization with attenuated or avirulent pathogens, some vaccines are probably more likely to prevent or modify than cause or exacerbate auto-immune diseases [/i]

[url="http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/111/3/653.pdf"]http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/111/3/653.pdf[/url]

[This message has been edited by erik (edited February 13, 2004).]

On Feb 13, 2004

This is a study that looked at VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) data. Neurodevelopmental disorders after thimerosal-containing vaccines: a brief communication.

Geier MR, Geier DA.

Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2003 Jun;228(6):660-4.

Comment in:

Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2003 Oct;228(9):991-2; discussion 993-4 PMID: 14530505

The Genetic Centers of America, Silver Spring, Maryland 20905, USA. [email]mgeier@erols.com[/email]

We were initially highly skeptical that differences in the concentrations of thimerosal in vaccines would have any effect on the incidence rate of neurodevelopmental disorders after childhood immunization. This study presents the first epidemiologic evidence, based upon tens of millions of doses of vaccine administered in the United States, that associates increasing thimerosal from vaccines with neurodevelopmental disorders. Specifically, an analysis of the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database showed statistical increases in the incidence rate of autism (relative risk [RR] = 6.0), mental retardation (RR = 6.1), and speech disorders (RR = 2.2) after thimerosal-containing diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccines in comparison with thimerosal-free DTaP vaccines. The male/female ratio indicated that autism (17) and speech disorders (2.3) were reported more in males than females after thimerosal-containing DTaP vaccines, whereas mental retardation (1.2) was more evenly reported among male and female vaccine recipients. Controls were employed to determine if biases were present in the data, but none were found. It was determined that overall adverse reactions were reported in similar-aged populations after thimerosal-containing DTaP (2.4 +/- 3.2 years old) and thimerosal-free DTaP (2.1 +/- 2.8 years old) vaccinations. Acute control adverse reactions such as deaths (RR = 1.0), vasculitis (RR = 1.2), seizures (RR = 1.6), ED visits (RR = 1.4), total adverse reactions (RR = 1.4), and gastroenteritis (RR = 1.1) were reported similarly after thimerosal-containing and thimerosal-free DTaP vaccines. An association between neurodevelopmental disorders and thimerosal-containing DTaP vaccines was found, but additional studies should be conducted to confirm and extend this study.

Publication Types:

Journal Article

MeSH Terms:

Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems Child, Preschool Comparative Study Databases, Factual Developmental Disabilities/*chemically induced/epidemiology Diphtheria-Tetanus-acellular Pertussis Vaccines/*adverse effects/chemistry Female Human Infant Male Nervous System Diseases/*chemically induced/epidemiology Population Surveillance Preservatives, Pharmaceutical/*adverse effects/chemistry Risk Assessment Thimerosal/*adverse effects/chemistry United States/epidemiology United States Food and Drug Administration

Substances:

0 (Diphtheria-Tetanus-acellular Pertussis Vaccines) 0 (Preservatives, Pharmaceutical) 54-64-8 (Thimerosal)

PMID: 12773696 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

From PubMed

On Feb 13, 2004

[i][b]Vaccines not to Blame for Chronic Diseases[/b] PHILADELPHIA (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Childhood vaccinations do not cause chronic diseases like asthma and diabetes, finds a new study.

Publishing in this month's Pediatrics, researchers from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia assure parents the standard shots their children receive are not harmful to the child's health.

According to researchers, the idea that childhood vaccinations cause allergic or autoimmune diseases such as asthma, allergies, multiple sclerosis, chronic arthritis and diabetes has been suggested by anecdotal reports and uncontrolled observational studies in the medical literature. News stories in the general media have furthered the notion, they say, as have reports on the Internet. [b]The result has been a greater willingness among some parents to forego important vaccines for their children -- despite the fact that large epidemiological studies have failed to show a relationship between vaccines and chronic diseases.[/b]

In this report, Paul Offit, M.D., and Charles Hackett, Ph.D., provide detailed evidence indicating the information linking vaccinations to allergic and autoimmune diseases is flawed. Specifically, they debunk theories claiming vaccinations may cause allergic conditions by preventing early childhood infections known to help children build tolerance for allergens. Theories suggesting proteins in vaccines could stimulate immune responses leading to autoimmune disorders are also discredited.

The authors write: "Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain how vaccines might cause allergic or autoimmune diseases. However, flaws in proposed mechanisms are consistent with large well-controlled epidemiologic studies that do not support the hypothesis that vaccines cause chronic disease." [/i] [url="http://www.healthscout.com/news/68/8005594/main.html"]http://www.healthscout.com/news/68/8005594/main.html[/url]

On Feb 13, 2004

MommaBear.. no comments to add??? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] How about some input from an RN...

On Feb 13, 2004

Read the article that was in the United Press International on July 20, 2003 regarding an investigation into vaccine conflicts of interest.I posted it a few messages down.

[This message has been edited by researching mom (edited February 14, 2004).]

On Feb 13, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by researching mom: [b]The United Press International published an investigation into vaccine conflicts. The 9 page article was released July 20 ,2003.Dr.Paul Offit ,who was an ACIP(Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices) committee member until June 2003, had received funding from Merck for thirteen years. [/b]

Hi Researching Mom,

Dr. Paul Offit seems like a well respected doctor to me and an expert on this topic. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] hmm.. no sign of MommaBear yet.. and Choguy vanished...

[i]About the Expert:

Paul A. Offit, M.D., is the director of the Vaccine Education Center and chief of Infectious Diseases at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. An internationally recognized expert in virology, immunology and vaccine safety, he is a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to publishing more than 90 peer-reviewed scientific papers, Dr. Offit is co-author of the book "Vaccines: What Every Parent Should Know." He frequently lectures to national and international healthcare organizations about vaccine safety and efficacy.

Under the direction of Dr. Offit, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia established The Vaccine Education Center in October 2000 to respond to the rapidly growing need for accurate, up-to-date, science-based information about vaccines and the diseases they prevent. The Center is a nationally recognized educational resource for healthcare professionals and parents, providing information on the full spectrum of vaccine-related topics. Approximately 400 people per day visit the Center's comprehensive Web site (vaccine.chop.edu).

Founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is ranked today as the best pediatric hospital in the nation by a comprehensive Child magazine survey. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. [b]Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking second in National Institutes of Health funding.[/b] In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 381-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents from before birth through age 19. Children's Hospital operates the largest pediatric healthcare system in the U.S. with more than 40 locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware [/i] [url="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-03/chop-dvc030303.php"]http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-03/chop-dvc030303.php[/url]

[This message has been edited by erik (edited February 13, 2004).]

On Feb 13, 2004

Conflicts of Interest in Vaccine Policy Making Majority Staff Report Committee on Government Reform U.S. House of Representatives June 15, 2000

Section I

Introduction

In August 1999, the Committee on Government Reform initiated an investigation into Federal vaccine policy. Over the last six months, this investigation has focused on possible conflicts of interest on the part of Federal policy-makers. Committee staff has conducted an extensive review of financial disclosure forms and related documents, and interviewed key officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, including the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This staff report focuses on two influential advisory committees utilized by Federal regulators to provide expert advice on vaccine policy:

1. The FDA

On Feb 13, 2004

I think this is a debate that would never end... probably no one left in this thread by now [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] time to go watch tv

[b](my main point is that vaccines save many lives, and I don't see anyone denying that)[/b]

[This message has been edited by erik (edited February 13, 2004).]

On Feb 13, 2004

Here is that article .

UPI Investigates: The vaccine conflict By Mark Benjamin Investigations Editor Published 7/21/2003 10:42 PM View printer-friendly version

WASHINGTON, July 20 (UPI) -- The screaming started four hours after 8-month-old Chaise Irons received a vaccination against rotavirus, recommended in June 1998 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for every infant to prevent serious diarrhea.

Within a day he was vomiting and eliminating blood. Doctors performed emergency surgery, saving him by repairing his intestines, which were folding in on one another. A doctor later figured out the vaccine caused Chaise's problem.

In October 1999, after 15 reports of such incidents, the CDC withdrew its recommendation for the vaccination -- not because of the problem, the agency claims, but because bad publicity might give vaccines in general a bad name.

But a four-month investigation by United Press International found a pattern of serious problems linked to vaccines recommended by the CDC -- and a web of close ties between the agency and the companies that make vaccines.

Critics say those ties are an unholy alliance in a war against disease where vaccine side effects have damaged, hurt or killed people, mostly children.

"The CDC is a disgrace. It is a corrupt organization," said Stephen A. Sheller, a Philadelphia attorney who has sued vaccine makers for what he says were bad vaccines. "The drug companies have them on their payroll."

The CDC, based in Atlanta, said it is committed to fighting disease and balancing vaccine side effects.

"Our goal is to protect the public health from both disease and from serious adverse events," said Dr. Walter Orenstein, director of the CDC's National Immunization Program.

The agency sets the U.S. childhood immunization schedule, or the list of shots pediatricians give children. Some states say kids can't go to public school unless they have had CDC-endorsed vaccines.

Since the mid-1980s the agency has doubled the number of vaccines children get, up to nearly 40 doses before age 2. The CDC also tracks possible side effects, along with the Food and Drug Administration. This puts the agency in the awkward position of evaluating the safety of its own recommendations.

An advisory committee of outside experts helps the CDC make vaccine recommendations. UPI found:

-- In two cases in the past four years, vaccines endorsed by the CDC were pulled off the market after a number of infants and adults appear to have suffered devastating side effects, and some died. Critics now worry about a possible link between vaccines and autism, diabetes, asthma and sudden infant death syndrome, among other ailments.

-- Members of the CDC's Vaccine Advisory Committee get money from vaccine manufacturers. Relationships have included: sharing a vaccine patent; owning stock in a vaccine company; payments for research; getting money to monitor manufacturer vaccine tests; and funding academic departments.

-- The CDC is in the vaccine business. Under a 1980 law, the CDC currently has 28 licensing agreements with companies and one university for vaccines or vaccine-related products. It has eight ongoing projects to collaborate on new vaccines.

The situation, while legal, gives critics plenty of reason to worry that vaccine side effects are worse than CDC officials say.

"When you take a look at the ever-increasing numbers of doses of vaccines babies have gotten over the past two decades and you see this corresponding rise in chronic disease and disability in our children, it is out of control," said Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center, which does not accept money from vaccine manufacturers.

She worries that vaccines might be linked to ballooning rates of chronic illness like autism, which has increased tenfold since the mid-1980s, and asthma, which has more than doubled since 1980.

Fisher's group wants to overhaul the mass vaccination system.

"The CDC has a very hard time investigating in an unbiased way what is happening to our children because of ideological and financial conflicts of interest," she said. Fisher believes a vaccine injured her son in the 1980s.

Developing a vaccine can cost a half a billion dollars. A recommendation by the CDC guarantees a market and a 1986 law limits manufacturers' liability for side effects.

The annual global market for vaccines is expected to go from $6 billion today to $10 billion by 2006.

The CDC said the best vaccine advisers often have ties to the industry, making potential conflicts unavoidable. Agency officials review possible conflicts.

"The issue of safety is critical and you need people extremely knowledgeable about safety to develop the best policy formulations," said Orenstein. The agency has to weigh possible side effects against dangerous disease. "We need to put safety data in context with risk-of-disease data," he said.

The agency said ethics officials also review partnerships with companies to make new vaccines.

"Each one of those proposed activities is reviewed by the CDC's ethics officials, by our office of general counsel, and by me to make sure that there are no conflicts of interest," said Dixie Snider, CDC associate director for science.

Andrew Watkins, director of the CDC's Technology Transfer Office, negotiates licensing agreements with outside companies. He said agency scientists routinely leave to work with vaccine manufacturers.

"It does happen that some of our inventors end up working for a manufacturer," Watkins said. "In fact, we consider that a wonderful tool of technology transfer, although we do lose a good scientist."

But Watkins said very little money actually changes hands, making it unlikely to influence the CDC. He said companies, including vaccine makers, only gave the CDC around $1 million last year to work on collaborative projects and the agency only got $150,000 last year in licensing fees.

"We are a real cheap date," Watkins said.

Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., who has been investigating vaccines for four years, said conflicts at the CDC are a problem, particularly on the vaccine advisory panel. He believes vaccines triggered his grandson's autism.

"This presents a real paradox when the CDC routinely allows scientists with blatant conflicts of interest to serve on influential advisory committees that make recommendations on new vaccines, as well as policy matters," Burton told UPI. "All the while these same scientists have financial ties, academic affiliations, and other vested interests in the products and companies for which they are supposed to be providing unbiased oversight."

Because of concern over vaccine side effects, Congress in 1986 passed a law setting up a database at the CDC to track reports from doctors, manufacturers and the public of possible side effects from vaccines that started in 1991.

As of the end of last year, the system contained 244,424 total reports of possible reactions to vaccines, including 99,145 emergency room visits, 5,149 life-threatening reactions, 27,925 hospitalizations, 5,775 disabilities, and 5,309 deaths, according to data compiled by Dr. Mark Geier, a vaccine researcher in Silver Spring, Md. The data represents roughly 1 billion doses of vaccines, according to Geier.

The reports do not necessarily show that a vaccine caused a problem.

The pain of Rotashield

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, ACIP, helps the agency decide what vaccines are safe enough to recommend. It is made up of 12 experts from hospitals, universities and state health departments.

In June 1998, the committee recommended that all infants be vaccinated against rotavirus. The virus causes bad diarrhea that can be fatal.

At the time, vaccine maker Wyeth had a vaccine called Rotashield. Merck hoped to soon follow with its own version.

Wyeth ended up pulling its vaccine off the U.S. market in October 1999 after it was suspected of causing an excruciating contortion where a child's large intestine folds over the small one.

Emergency surgery is sometimes required to prevent death. That was the case with 8-month-old Chaise Irons.

"Chaise was vomiting blood and blood was coming out of his stool," said his mother, Jayne Irons, from her home in Malibu, Calif. Doctors performed emergency surgery to repair Chaise's intestines, saving his life.

Jayne said she never questioned her doctor's advice to give Chaise the vaccine. "I had no reason to doubt anybody. I am such a believer in vaccinations," Irons said.

The Irons' will get $25,000 for Chaise's injuries from a government compensation program.

For Rotashield, the CDC's public database contains 664 total reports possibly caused by the vaccine, including 288 emergency room visits, 63 life-threatening reactions, 232 hospitalizations, 10 disabilities and eight deaths.

"Eight deaths," said Jayne Irons. "You just have to thank God that you are not one of the deaths."

Republican staff on the House Government Reform Committee looked into the CDC panel that recommended the vaccination. Their August 2001 report found that "four out of eight CDC advisory committee members who voted to approve guidelines for the rotavirus vaccine in June 1998 had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that were developing different versions of the vaccine."

A transcript from that June 1998 meeting shows the committee voted down an effort by one member to phase in the vaccine because of concern over possible bad side effects. "I'm still a little concerned about the safety issues," Marie Griffin from Vanderbilt University said before that vote.

When asked, members of the committee told UPI their potential conflicts do not affect their judgment.

"I am probably just the kind of person you are talking about," said Paul Offit, chief of infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who was a committee member until last month. At the same time, he shared a patent for another rotavirus vaccine. Merck has funded Offit's research for 13 years.

"I am a co-holder of a patent for a (rotavirus) vaccine. If this vaccine were to become a routinely recommended vaccine, I would make money off of that," Offit said. "When I review safety data, am I biased? That answer is really easy: absolutely not."

"Is there an unholy alliance between the people who make recommendations about vaccines and the vaccine manufacturers? The answer is no."

Merck bought and delivers copies of Offit's book, "What Every Parent Should Know About Vaccines," to American doctors. The book has a list price of $14.95.

"Merck Vaccine Division is pleased to present you with a copy of the recent publication, 'What Every Parent Should Know About Vaccines,'" says a Dear Doctor letter from Merck. "The authors designed the book to answer questions parents have about vaccines and to dispel misinformation about vaccines that sometimes appears in the public media."

Offit said he does not know how many copies of his book Merck purchased. "I don't have any control over that," he said.

The 2001 Government Reform Committee's investigation noted potential conflicts with another committee member. The chairman of the CDC's Vaccine Advisory Committee, Dartmouth Medical School Professor Dr. John Modlin, owned $26,000 in Merck stock.

In a telephone interview with UPI, Modlin said he had sold that stock, but that he had recently agreed to chair a committee to oversee Merck vaccine clinical trials. Modlin, who was the committee chairman until last month, said he does not know how much compensation he receives from that post, but that Merck "pays my expenses" to attend meetings.

In October 1999, the committee reversed its recommendation that all infants should get rotavirus vaccinations. Modlin said the vaccine was safe enough, but the committee reversed itself out of concern that bad press over Rotashield might make some people stop getting vaccinated altogether.

"There could be some spill-over effects that would have a net negative effect," Modlin said. "I thought that was the committee's finest hour."

Meeting transcripts over the past decade showed that at some meetings, half of the members present had potential conflicts with vaccine manufacturers.

The CDC said that in October 2002 it adopted new guidelines for participating on that advisory committee that in the future will preclude people with conflicts like Offit's from sitting on the committee.

"We learned from that experience (with rotavirus) and have now put in force more stringent criteria recently so we do not nominate people with those kinds of conflicts," said the CDC's Snider.

At the June 2002 committee meeting -- the last meeting for which minutes are available -- four of the 11 members present acknowledged conflicts with Wyeth, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer, Bayer and Aventis Pasteur. Two of the four did research or vaccine trials for manufacturers. One of the four was a co-holder of a vaccine patent as well as a consultant to Merck.

At odds over autism

At 8:05 a.m. on Monday, July 16, 2001, a vaccine safety committee of the influential Institute of Medicine convened a public meeting at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Mass.

The purpose: to discuss whether CDC-recommended vaccines might be responsible for a wave of autism and neurological problems in tens of thousands of American children during the 1990s.

The concern: most vaccines contained a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal. Too much mercury has known toxic effects on the brain.

Since the mid 1980s, the number of childhood vaccinations recommended by the CDC had nearly doubled. The agency recommends nearly 40 doses of vaccines for children today. Also since the mid-1980s the autism rate in the United States had soared by 10 times to an astonishing one child in every 300.

Cause and effect or coincidence?

The vaccine manufacturers deny any connection, but the Institute of Medicine -- part of the National Academy of Sciences and a key adviser to the federal government on medical concerns -- wanted to hear from Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, a CDC expert on the issue.

When Verstraeten appeared before the committee, he made a surprise opening statement.

"First, I should mention that as of 8 a.m. European time I have been employed by a vaccine manufacturer," Verstraeten told the panel, according to a transcript. "That means since 2 a.m. American time," just hours before he spoke on behalf of the CDC.

Verstraeten had been working at the CDC on a study of 76,659 children to determine if thimerosal might be causing neurological problems like autism.

Signs of autism usually show up around age 2. Sometimes children who had previously appeared to interact normally will suddenly regress, become withdrawn and stop responding to their parents and the outside world. They may perform repetitive motions, like spinning or flapping their arms, have seizures, scream uncontrollably and resist physical touch.

Manufacturers had used thimerosal, which contains ethyl-mercury, as a preservative in multi-dose vials of vaccine. The vials allow needles to be inserted repeatedly and the vaccine drawn out. The vials are cheaper than packaging doses of vaccine separately, without thimerosal.

Depending on what vaccines a child got during that period, a visit to the doctor during the 1990's may have exposed some children to 125 times the limit on mercury set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

A February 2000 draft of Verstraeten's study, obtained by United Press International, appears to show that thimerosal might cause brain problems.

That draft cites "increasing risks of neurological developmental disorders with increasing cumulative exposure to thimerosal."

"We can state that this analysis does not rule out that receipt of thimerosal-containing vaccine in children under 3 months of age may be related to an increased risk of neurologic developmental disorders," the study said.

To discuss the findings in Verstraeten's study, the CDC convened a meeting at the Simpsonwood Retreat Center in Norcross, Ga., on June 7-8, 2000. The agency invited vaccine experts and representatives of four vaccine manufacturers.

After discussing that study, Dr. David Johnson, a Michigan state public health officer advising the CDC on vaccines, said that the findings were troubling, according to a transcript.

"My gut feeling? It worries me enough," said Johnson. "I do not want (my) grandson to get a thimerosal-containing vaccine until we know better what is going on."

Later in the same conversation, CDC officials agreed to keep the study private.

"We have been privileged so far that given the sensitivity of information, we have been able to manage to keep it out of, let's say, less responsible hands," said Bob Chen, head of CDC's Vaccine Safety and Development unit.

Dr. Roger Bernier, who was then CDC's associate director for science, responded, "I think if we will all just consider this embargoed information, if I can use that term."

The CDC's Walter Orenstein said the agency wanted to look hard at the study before discussing it in public, not cover it up. The CDC never published a study based on the data, but said it would soon.

GlaxoSmithKline declined UPI's request to interview Verstraeten from Rixensart, Belgium, but Orenstein said Verstraeten left the CDC to move back to Europe.

For Lara Bono of Durham, N.C., the connection between vaccines with thimerosal and her son's autism is obvious.

Bono said her son Jackson began to change drastically within days of receiving a group of thimerosal-containing vaccinations.

Bono says that on Aug. 14, 1990, four days after receiving the last of a group of shots, 16-month-old Jackson was becoming withdrawn. Within two weeks he stopped responding or acknowledging his parents. Two weeks after that Jackson no longer would make eye contact. It soon became difficult to get Jackson to eat or sleep. He has had bouts of spinning uncontrollably and seizures.

"Fast forward another couple of months and he was gone. The mercury was in his brain," Bono said.

Years later, Bono discovered that at one point, Jackson's mercury exposure may have been more than 40 times the limit set by the EPA. Nine years later, Bono says, Jackson was diagnosed with mercury poisoning she says came from the vaccines.

Boyd Haley, chairman of the Chemistry Department at the University of Kentucky, has done studies that he says show some children with autism do not excrete harmful mercury from vaccines, but keep it in their bodies. He says the CDC knows the vaccines the agency recommended may have harmed a generation of children.

"I know that they know and that is what bothers me more than anything else," Haley said. "You can't do a study showing it (thimerosal) is safe. It is just too damn toxic."

In June of 2000, the agency's Vaccine Advisory Committee signed on to a statement calling for the removal of thimerosal from vaccines "because any potential risk from mercury is of concern."

"However, there remains no convincing evidence of harm caused by low levels of thimerosal in vaccines," the statement said.

In October 2001, the Institute of Medicine panel that heard from Verstraeten found that it is "biologically plausible" that thimerosal causes autism, but that, "current scientific evidence neither proves nor disproves a link."

To avoid any conflict of interest, that panel specifically excludes "anyone who had participated in research on vaccine safety, received funding from vaccine manufacturers or their parent companies, or served on Vaccine Advisory Committees."

Laid low by Lyme vaccine

The rotavirus recommendation is not the only controversial call made by the CDC. Another involves a vaccine to fight Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that can cause profound fatigue, headache, fever and severe muscle pain.

"It was after the booster shot that I absolutely collapsed," said Lewis Bull, a farmer from East Lyme, Conn. Bull, now 49, volunteered in 1996 to take shots during a clinical study for a new vaccine to prevent Lyme disease developed by SmithKline Beecham, now GlaxoSmithKline. Clinical studies are tests on humans to make sure vaccines are safe and work before going on the market.

In the study, Bull first received placebo shots containing no vaccine and felt fine.

But soon after his second shot of the real vaccine he began to suffer from debilitating arthritis, memory loss and fatigue. Some doctors believe the Lyme vaccine side effects mirror the disease itself.

"For the first six months I could not get out of bed. The memory loss was incredible. I've played guitar all my life and I could not remember how to play guitar. I could not find the town hall and I used to go there four times a week," he said in a recent telephone interview.

Bull said his fatigue was so severe he would sleep for stretches of 22 hours or more. Without medical insurance, Bull was forced to sell his farm.

On Feb. 18, 1999, the CDC endorsed Lyme disease vaccine for people age 15-70 who work or recreate in possible tick-infested areas.

By October of 2000, more than 1.4 million people had received the vaccine, according to the CDC.

But 19 months later, in February 2002, SmithKline Beecham pulled the vaccine off the market because "sales of LYMERIX are insufficient to justify the continued investment."

The company also faced hundreds lawsuits by people who said they suffered side effects, many similar to Lewis Bull's.

Although he never sued, Bull said he complained to the CDC to report what he says were obvious side effects from the vaccine, called LYMERIX.

The government's database of possible side effects for LYMERIX lists 640 emergency room visits, 34 life-threatening reactions, 77 hospitalizations, 198 disabilities and six deaths after people took the shots since the CDC endorsed it.

According to CDC meeting transcripts where the advisory committee weighed its recommendation, five of 10 committee members disclosed their financial conflicts of interest with vaccine manufactures. Three of the five had conflicts of interest with SmithKlineBeecham.

The committee ignored a plea from a consumer advocate to delay a recommendation on LYMERIX because it might not be safe, according to a February 1999 transcript.

"We are just saying there is a wealth of information out there that is different than the information you have been provided. I think the honorable thing to do would be to wait," said Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner, founder of the Lyme Disease Foundation, a patient's advocacy group that eventually opposed the vaccine.

UPI found that the CDC and SmithKline Beecham worked together on a Lyme vaccine. A 1992 CDC activity report obtained by UPI says the agency had an agreement "with SmithKline Beecham that currently funds three positions at (the CDC) for the purpose of providing information of use in developing advanced test methods and vaccine candidates."

In June 2001, the General Accounting Office delivered a report to Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., on this issue. It says that CDC employees "are listed on two Lyme-disease related patents" including "a 1993 joint patent between CDC and SmithKline Beecham Corporation." The report also said that six of 12 consultants working for the CDC on Lyme vaccines "reported at least one interest related to a vaccine firm."

Do babies need Hep B?

In 1991 the CDC recommended that all infants get their first Hepatitis B vaccination just hours after birth. The disease is mostly spread from dirty needles and unprotected sex. It can create deadly liver disease.

The vaccine has been blamed for mysterious deaths following the shots, sometimes filed as sudden infant death syndrome.

One is the Sept. 16, 1998, death of Lyla Rose Belkin at age 5 weeks. She died 15 hours after getting her second Hepatitis B vaccine booster shot.

Michael Belkin said in a telephone interview from Seattle that his daughter was lively and alert prior to receiving the shot. She became agitated and noisy, suddenly fell asleep, and died 15 hours later. Belkin said the coroner indicated that his daughter's brain was swollen; a reaction some researchers believe could be caused by the vaccine.

"So in the CDC and (the Vaccine Advisory Committee's) own words, almost every newborn U.S. baby is now greeted on its entry into the world by a vaccine injection against a sexually transmitted disease for which the baby is not at risk -- because they couldn't get the junkies, prostitutes, homosexuals and promiscuous heterosexuals to take the vaccine," Belkin told a congressional panel on May 18, 1999.

"Parents need to understand that the system providing the vaccines injected into their children's veins is corrupt and scientifically flawed," Belkin told UPI. "Parents should do their own homework and investigate this question: What is the risk of getting a severe neurological vaccine adverse reaction versus the risk of getting neurological complications from the disease?"

The CDC's files contain 32,731 total reports of possible reactions following Hepatitis B vaccinations since 1991, including 10,915 emergency room visits, 685 life-threatening reactions, 3,700 hospitalizations, 1,200 disabilities and 618 deaths.

In October 2002, the Institute of Medicine reported that the "evidence is inadequate" to prove or disprove that some vaccines might be behind some cases of SIDS, and called for more research.

The CDC says, "There is no confirmed evidence which indicates that hepatitis B vaccine can cause chronic illnesses."

Some of the officials involved in the agency's 1991 decision to recommend that all infants receive the Hepatitis B vaccine also had close ties to vaccine manufacturers.

Dr. Sam Katz was the advisory committee chairman at the time. A professor at Duke, Katz said 30 percent of children who get the disease get it from unknown causes, possibly in daycare.

He said the CDC tried to give the shots to teens, but it was hard to get them to show up for all three doses.

"So they said, 'Well, we've got a captive audience and we want to give it to the newborns anyways.'"

Katz developed a measles vaccine now manufactured by Merck, which also manufactures a Hepatitis B vaccine. Katz said when he was chairman of the committee in 1991 he also worked as a paid consultant for Merck, Wyeth and most major vaccine manufacturers.

He said conflicts do not pose a real problem.

"I think it has increasingly become a problem, but it is a perceived problem, not a real problem," Katz said.

Another member of the committee in 1991 was Dr. Neal Halsey, director of the division of disease control at Johns Hopkins University. He continued to advise the committee throughout the rest of that decade, as did Katz.

Halsey is a former CDC employee who has done research paid for by most of the major vaccine manufacturers. When he testified before the House Government Reform Committee in 1999, he disclosed a salary at that time for work on a Lyme vaccine.

He also established the Johns Hopkins Institute for Vaccine Safety, started in part with "unrestricted educational grants in 1997 from several vaccine manufacturers and some private donations," according to Halsey. Congressional investigators said that support included $50,000 in start-up funds from Merck and a payment from Wyeth. Halsey said vaccine manufacturers do not fund the center's vaccine education activities.

Halsey said the CDC needs experts like him to get the best advice.

"In order to get the people with experience, you need people who have done the research," Halsey said in a telephone interview. "To do that, you have to have people who have done research for vaccine manufacturers."

Halsey said, however, that the CDC should not recommend vaccines and evaluate safety at the same time.

"I think it is a problem and I think it would be better if an independent body evaluated safety," Halsey said.

[This message has been edited by researching mom (edited February 14, 2004).]

On Feb 14, 2004

erik, you said: "My point is that vaccines save many, many lives each day." I read this in an article: "Unfortunately, maintaining high immunization rates is becoming more difficult, in part because vaccines have become victims of their own success. Diseases that are preventable by vaccination are no longer encountered by most people in this country; thus, the threat of these illnesses seems less real. In addition, vaccines are not 100 percent effective, and they can have mild or, occasionally, serious adverse effects." I think this is the main problem. People unaware of history are doomed to repeat it. Also, people who don't immunize are counting on the majority to immunize. That way, their un-immunized children will be unlikely to encounter these illnesses. I wonder how many who won't immunize here would send their children un-immunized to parts of the country where these diseases are rampant, because no one else immunizes, either? (You know, before travelling to certain parts of the world, you are asked, "Are you sure you got your shots?") I think choosing to NOT immunize only works as long as the majority arond you still does. Still, it's a risk: "In 1999, an outbreak of rubella occurred in Nebraska among Hispanic meatpackers who had not received rubella vaccine in childhood.3 Because vaccine-preventable diseases continue to be imported from other countries and are a threat to unimmunized persons in the United States, family physicians and other health care workers should continue to maintain high immunization rates in their patients. " (Quotes from the American Academy of Family Physicians.) Also, there is this : "the choice of some parents not to immunize their children increases the risk for children who are immunized." Because immunizations are not 100% every time, the more un-immunized children around you, the greater your risk of catching on of these preventable diseases from them. I believe this is referred to as 'herd immunity.'

One question: are vaccines still required to attend school? Does it differ between public and private school? That is something I will try to check into.

On Feb 14, 2004

I'm just going to throw in my $.02 worth here, again. I [b]believe[/b] in vaccinating. I also have an autistic son who I know was adversely effected by the administration of five vaccinations simultaneously at the age of 4 in 1999. And I have a BIL who, after recieving 11 vaccinations in 1995 before going to Ghana, has ever since experienced grand mal seizures for no [i]otherwise[/i] explainable reason, which he attributes to the vaccines.

I have a wonderful neuro-typical daughter (also PA). She receives all her vaccinations, albiet in a very different way than my son did. Number 1, I will not allow them to administer any vaccinations containing Thimerosal to my daughter. I have had them special order "Thimerosal-free", before they instituted that policy across the board in their office (one of the main doctors children is also autistic and her research led her to the conclusion that thimerosal does have an effect - therefore, she will no longer administer thimerosal to any of her patients).

Number 2, because my daughter has allergies, I do not allow her to receive more than one vaccination in any visit. I do not want to tax her system by overloading it with multiple vaccinations.

She will receive the MMR.

I do not, personally, eat fish. Nor do I feed fish to my children. Not because of mercury in fish (although, that is a consideration), but because of my own adversity to fish in general. The smell of it makes me highly nauseous.

I do not allow myself or any of my children to recieve amalgam dental fillings (which contain mercury). I pay the increased difference to have resin based fillings. My DH even had all his old amalgam based fillings removed and replaced after seeing the University of Calgary movie (link somewhere above) on the [url="http://www.safeminds.org"]www.safeminds.org[/url] website.

The only vaccination I emphatically refuse to receive or allow my children to receive at this point is the flu vaccine, because of all the pediatric vaccinations out there, there is not a 'thimerosal-free' option.

Anyway... vaccinations are GOOD and very necessary. But, we have to be cautious and aware of whether or not we are overloading the immune systems of our children and maybe choose to slow down the administration of them to protect them.

[i]Everything in moderation... [/i] ~Melanie

On Feb 14, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by StaceyK: [b]One question: are vaccines still required to attend school? Does it differ between public and private school? That is something I will try to check into. [/b]

Hi StaceyK,

You make many good points. I agree with everything you wrote.

In Ontario, vaccines have been mandatory for many years in order to attend school. The only exception is for medical reasons if you get a doctor's letter (ie: egg allergy, etc)

On Feb 15, 2004

Thanks, Erik...I checked and I live in one of 17 states that allow people to opt out of vaccination for 'philosophical' reasons.

On Feb 16, 2004

MY 3 kids had all vaccines that they were suggested to have and did fine. A few times they were a bit sore the next day but they did just fine. We have an outbreak of whooping cough going on around where we live and I know my kids were vaccined from that.

On Feb 20, 2004

BEFORE YOU VACCINATE ASK EIGHT QUESTIONS: 1.Is my child sick right now?

2.Has my child had a bad reaction to a vaccination before?

3.Does my child have a personal or family history of: vaccine reactions convulsions or neurological disorders severe allergies immune system disorders?

4.Do I know if my child is at high risk of reacting?

5.Do I have full information on the vaccine's side effects?

6.Do I know how to identify a vaccine reaction?

7.Do I know how to report a vaccine reaction?

8.Do I know the vaccine manufacturer's name and lot number? I got this off the National Vaccine Information Center's website [url="http://www.nvic.org"]www.nvic.org[/url]

On Feb 26, 2004

[url="http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/africa/02/25/africa.polio.ap/index.html"]http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/africa/02/25/africa.polio.ap/index.html[/url]

~found this story interesting and relevant to our discussion~

Nigeria's neighbors guard against polio Wednesday, February 25, 2004 Posted: 7:14 PM EST (0014 GMT)

KANOUA, Ivory Coast (AP) -- Families gathered under the shade of a huge tree in the village square. They looked on cautiously at a half-dozen anti-polio campaigners, who arrived shouting through a loudspeaker: "Bring your children! It will be very quick!"

But a crowd quickly developed, as mothers and fathers dragged crying children into the square -- hauling every child forward to receive two drops of oral vaccine upon their tongues.

More than 30,000 health workers are taking part in Ivory Coast's anti-polio drive, part of a massive 10-nation emergency effort aimed at blocking a polio outbreak spreading from northern Nigeria.

Three predominantly Islamic states in Nigeria's north have banned door-to-door polio immunization since October, calling it a U.S. plot to spread AIDS or infertility among Muslims.

The World Health Organization says the ban has helped spread polio back into seven African countries where it had been eradicated, and threatens global efforts to wipe out the crippling disease entirely by 2005.

WHO and others -- hoping to contain the outbreak -- launched their drive Monday to inoculate 63 million children across west and central Africa. In Ivory Coast, the aim is to vaccinate 4.6 million children in four days.

Local officials said it has been successful so far -- in Ivory Coast, resuming vaccination efforts interrupted by a 9-month civil war broke out in the cocoa-rich country in September 2002.

Anti-polio campaigns, usually a yearly affair, had been called off in the rebel-held north of Ivory Coast in 2002 and 2003. Unrest also hindered vaccinations in parts of the government-controlled south.

In February, Ivory Coast reported its first case of polio in four years -- a local strain, evidently not from Nigeria.

"This medicine is good," said Veronique Kouadio, 19, holding her 6-month-old baby, Jean-Marc, in the village square of Kanoua, 10 miles from the main rebel stronghold of Bouake.

Marcel Kouassi, a polio victim in his 20s in the nearby village of Niangban, said the vaccination campaign was "a very good idea. A tremendous one."

"People have the opportunity to avoid my own problem," said Kouassi, whose shriveled legs force him to rely on a wheelchair to move around.

Another polio victim in the village, this one a 10-year-old boy, wasn't lucky enough to have a wheelchair. He dragged himself along the ground with his arms, with the utmost difficulty.

Despite reports of opposition to the campaign in some villages -- due to rumors that it was part of a conspiracy by Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo to kill off his political opponents -- health workers around Bouake said they had experienced very few obstacles.

The predominantly Muslim rebels, who triggered the civil war with a failed coup d'etat in 2002, allowed the polio campaign's vehicles to pass quickly through roadblocks set up across the highway leading into Bouake, Ivory Coast's second-largest city.

The general acceptance of the campaign among Muslims and Christians in Ivory Coast stands in stark contrast to Nigeria, which accounted for close to half the polio cases worldwide in 2003.

WHO's 16-year effort had reduced polio to six countries -- Nigeria, Niger, Egypt, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Polio cases fell from 350,000 annually in 1988 to fewer than 1,000 last year.

Apart from Nigeria and Ivory Coast, Africa's anti-polio campaign is taking place in eight other nations: Ghana, Togo, Niger, Cameroon, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic and Chad.

On Feb 26, 2004

Please vaccinate your children.

In years past, I read all the research, followed the debates closely, and it seemed as if you could find support for one side or the other that was equally convincing, although it also seemed as if there were risks on both sides that were hard to judge--the small risk of getting a terrible disease that you *probably* would recover from if you got it versus the even smaller risk of having an adverse reaction to a vaccine that you *probably* wouldn't recover from fully.

But then all of my concern over the safety of vaccines was turned on its head when my son was diagnosed with an immune system disorder. Before we knew of his disorder, he got his vaccines and had no adverse reactions. In fact, he had no reactions. It turns out that he has NO immune response to vaccines or viruses, and that his immune system has no memory, so even when he gets a disease, he can get it over and over again. Vaccines do him no good at all, which means that we have to rely on the responsibility and goodwill of everyone around us. If someone around him isn't vaccinated and contracts measels or chicken pox or diptheria, that child will probably be fine. If Connor catches it from this child, he'll probably be dead.

In many ways this is parallel to our struggles with peanut allergies--we do everything we can to make our children safe, but we rely on parents of friends, teachers, etc. to make the environment safe for our kids because something that is fine for most people is deadly for our children. We get angry when people dig in their heels and insist that the needs of the majority overrule the need of one child. We ask that people make reasonable accomodations so that we can send our children into the world without undue concern for their lives.

I now think of vaccines in the same way--I want other people to vaccinate their children, taking on a very tiny risk of a negative reaction, in order to make the world a safe place for my child.

Sarah

On Feb 26, 2004

Please note that in Nigeria they are giving the oral polio vaccine which is no longer used in the US because the only reported cases of polio were coming from the live virus used in it. Here are excerpts from a speech given about the oral polio vaccine being used in Uganda which is in east Africa.

A Transcript of a talk given by Kihura Nkuba at the National Vaccine Information Center's "Third International Public Conference on Vaccination" November 7-9, 2002 - Arlington, Virginia, aired on C-Span 2 on November 7, 2002.

INTRODUCTION by Barbara L. Fisher:

We're now going to look at oral polio vaccination conducted in Africa. Our next speaker, known in the pan-African world as Kihura Nkuba, which means "one who handcuffs lightning and puts thunder in jail", is founder of Greater African Radio and president of the East African World Broadcasters Association, and director of the Pan-African Center for Strategic and International Studies. Several years ago he began hearing from villagers who were being subjected to repeated forced live oral polio vaccinations despite reports of injuries and death among the children. On his radio program he began to speak out and questioned the safety of giving the children - especially children with HIV - so many live oral polio vaccinations, rather than giving them the safer "killed" polio vaccine used in the U.S. and Canada. Since that time, he tells me, he has been persecuted by the government, World Health Organization and UNICEF, and his radio station has been driven into bankruptcy. Kihura is appearing here at great personal and professional risk to tell his story. It is my great honor and privilege to introduce you to the recipient of the National Vaccine Information Center's humanitarian award - my good friend and colleague, Kihura Nkuba.

KIHURA NKUBA: .

So I was told by this preacher that when the government introduced the National Immunization Days in 1997, most of the children after vaccination started dying. The preacher told me that they had so much death that his cassock, that he wears to go and conduct the burial ceremony, got old. He said "I buried the children and my cassock got old."

Now, in 1992 I believed that vaccination was a good thing. I didn't know very much about vaccination like most people, and I thought the doctors must really know what they are doing. So I thought vaccination is a very good thing. But I had an argument with my wife who didn't want my son to receive vaccinations. So I started reading about polio, and I think I knew at that time that there were difficulties with the oral polio vaccine, which I called 'polio Sabin'. So in this lecture I said "I hope it's not the 'polio Sabin'". And that was just the one remark I made. I said "I hope it's not 'polio Sabin'"

Now all my lectures are broadcast every evening, so I'd go before a crowd - I'd give a lecture and they'd broadcast it on radio at night. And the following day the government sent people to me to ask me about my remark - you know, what I meant about "I hope they're not using the 'polio Sabin'." I didn't know that that was the polio vaccination they were using in the country, because I think I had read from literature from the National Vaccine Information Center - the small consumer - I had a small book, the consumer guide, which must be one of the most well-read books in Uganda because everybody wanted a copy of it, including the health officials from the government. So they came to me and asked me - they said "What did you mean by 'you hope it's not polio Sabin'?" I said "Well, I hope it's not polio Sabin because, according to the information I have, it was stopped in America in 1996 because it was a cause of polio in America." And they said "Really? There's no polio in America?" I said "Yeah." The health officials told me they weren't vaccinating in America, and I said "No, that's not true. I know they vaccinate in America." They said "No, because they eliminated wild polio over there."I said "What do you mean wild polio ?" They said "Well, there's two types of polio. One is wild and one is domestic."So I said "O.K. Of these two polios, which one are you trying to eliminate in this country ?" They said "We're trying to eliminate the wild polio so you can have the domestic polio because the domestic polio can be controlled." And I said "Why don't you leave the wild polio in the bush ? Why do you have to bring it - why do you have to go and fight wild polio to introduce it in the house ? At least if it is out there then you know at least it's not threatening inside the house ?"

Now then at that time, the parliament of Uganda, the Minister of Information, the minister in charge of (the) presidency, started writing the attorney general to close the radio station because I was broadcasting anti-government messages. And they sent me civil intelligence to come and interrogate me. At that time they were saying it wasn't really polio they were interested in. It was that I had anti- government views and I was plotting to overthrow the government. Fortunately the intelligence officer who came to interrogate me proved to be very intelligent. When I told him that really the polio (vaccine) they were using in Uganda was discontinued in America because it was the sole cause of polio. And according to the information I had, there was really no polio in Uganda. There had been no polio. I grew up to be twenty five. I didn't see anybody with polio. I started seeing polio when I went to the cities where polio vaccination had taken place. And the more they challenged me, the more I started digging about polio, you know, to educate myself and stand ready to go to court or to be charged. And then what the intelligence officer recommended to government was (that they) bring health officials to debate me at the radio station so that if I was telling lies, then they should come and expose me before my very audience. To this the Minister of Health, who was backed by UNICEF, the United States Agency for International Development and the World Health Organization, said that really it shouldn't be like this. I shouldn't debate polio because I'm not a scientist. Now I have been a broadcaster for more than fourteen years, and all I was saying was not that people should not go for vaccination, but that if they are to go for vaccination, if there is a vaccine that is deemed to be safe, then that's what they should use. And then by a stroke of good luck somebody brought me an insert that comes with the polio vaccine, and it was from Pasteur-Mer???? a French company that manufactures the polio vaccine, and that was the one that was used in 1997 when children started dying in large numbers. And when I looked at the contra-indications it stated that inactivated polio vaccine and not oral polio vaccine should be used in situations where families had HIV - where there was a history of HIV in the family. And when I got this information I was really shocked because since 1984 Uganda has had a very difficult HIV and AIDS problem. In fact it says that if a child is inadvertently given the oral polio vaccine, that that child should be quarantined for four to seven weeks because oral polio vaccine is "live" and they keep shedding it between that period, and they could contaminate other people. So I was saying here is the manufacturer who is writing for anybody who could read English that please do not give this oral polio vaccine to population that have HIV and here is the Ministry of Health which, in its own wisdom, says this has to be used here. So, armed with this insert from the manufacturer, I decided to install wireless internet in the radio station and also to see what other people were saying. At that time one of the main advisors to the government of Uganda was the Centers for Disease Control - one of the most respected agencies in the world. So I tried to see what the Centers for Disease Control was saying about this oral polio vaccine, which should not be used according to the manufacturer, and the Centers for Disease Control was even more clear than the manufacturer. In fact, this is what it says. It says that persons who have congenitally acquired immune deficiency disease -e.g. combined immune deficiency, blah, blah - should not be given oral polio vaccine because of their substantially increased risk for vaccine associated disease. Now, they continue: they say "inactivated polio vaccine and not oral polio vaccine should be used to vaccinate immuno-deficient persons and their household contacts." So I said if this is the Centers for Disease Control which is advising the government of Uganda, and it is saying we should not use oral polio vaccine, and here is the manufacturer saying oral polio vaccine should not be used, now why should oral polio vaccine be used here ?

And then at the time, because of the heightened tension that the Minister of Health was bringing to bear on the radio station, then other people started throwing their own questions. And they went like this: In Africa polio does not kill anybody and they say it's very rare to catch. It's really very rare to get paralytic polio. They say it's in very rare circumstances, so what is it that is killing people in Africa ? Malaria. Every five seconds a child is dying of malaria in Africa. Now to get the dose of life-saving anti-malaria is about $5 but there is no government to give anti-malaria. When somebody gets malaria, if they have no money they even die. So the question I was asking and many people were asking was 'If you really want to help children, why begin with a disease that they don't have ? (applause) Why not look for something that is killing them and save them from what is killing them ?' And then (inaudible) ............. 'you know what, I like you very much. I save your children from this killer disease. Now there are no other diseases apart from this rare polio, so let's go and fight that as well.' But you don't begin with the rarest disease and spend all the government's meagre resources fighting polio, which is not a threat to most people, and then ignore something that is killing them in large numbers like malaria, like AIDS, like cholera, issues to do with sanitation, stunted growth - all the main things that matter to people the government was not fighting. So what they decided to do was to appeal to the president and say... and the president says to them 'What you could do is go and take him to court and if the court decides that he's giving false information, then charge him with sedition which carries and death sentence or a life sentence.' So when they told me this I said 'Well, if I am to die' - I think there is an American poet called McCain, and he had a poem which was "If I Am To Die". So if I was to die, I did not want to take anybody with me, but I really have to give people a run for their money. So I decided to use the experience that I had gained in broadcasting and research for over 14 years to research everything that I could find out about polio to prepare myself for the ultimate challenge if I was to go to court. Now, when they wrote to the attorney general and the attorney general asked me to come and make my representation, and I went to the attorney general and gave him my views of what I thought of inactivated polio vaccine - and basically my case was simple. This oral polio vaccine was discontinued in America. Why ? Because it's a cause of polio, and you're telling me that the minister of health here wants to (use it) to stop polio. You don't stop polio by bringing something that causes polio, and giving it to people. You stop polio by bringing something that will prevent it. That was my first argument. The seond argument was - the manufacturer says don't use it, and since the minister of health and myself are not manufacturers, we have to wait for that time when the manufacturer says 'Use it'. And the attorney general says 'O.K. I don't think he can be prosecuted.' And he wrote to the minister of health and the minister of information and said 'I think you have a weak case. If you took this person to court you'd probably lose.' So what they decided to do then was to use what they call the broadcast council, and the broadcast council is the one that gives licenses for broad- casters. So you couldn't broadcast without the broadcast council. At the main hospital in Mbarara during that month of 1977 more than 600 children had died following polio vaccination. 600 children ! So even some of the timid medical practitioners who were initially afraid to come out, started coming out giving information and saying 'Oh, we knew this oral polio vaccine was trouble because as soon as the child receives it, they get a temper- ature and their health goes downhill and there is nothing that you could do.' So the mothers said they would not take their children for oral polio vaccination. And this information was going back to the government at the capitol. So what the government decided to do was to say let's send a team of experts to come and debate me at the radio (station) on my program. I have to tell you that on that day in the month of July - I think July 22nd - some date like that - all the town sold out of radios and mobile phones because they were ready to ring inside the radio station and tell the doctors that really it should be their choice to decide what is given to their children, and it shouldn't be the choice of the doctors (applause); and that whether they agreed with me or not, that both sides should present their information to the parents so that the parents can make a choice. Now I thought that these doctors were going to come with thousands of books and evidence and references, and I spent two weeks preparing myself. I ordered books from Australia and Britain, and Barbara sent me some literature, and I didn't sleep for almost a week. I was reading day and night trying to educate myself about immunity - how the body's immunity works.

So when they came, here am I in the studio thinking 'God ! These are the real experts. How am I going to handle them ? I'm just a broadcaster - somebody who has questions that any right-thinking member of the society should ask.' And when they came they were more scared than I was, and they started saying 'You know, we really apologize because... one of the leaders of the team of the district medical officer said 'You know what ? I have never read even a medical journal since I left medical school. We have no internet. I cannot afford to buy new books. How would I know what is safe or what is not ? All I know is that the World Health Organization says it's safe. UNICEF says it's safe, and all these other agencies say it's safe. So if it is safe then we must use it.' and then my first question was 'Well, why didn't the World Health Organization say it was safe for America to use ? Doesn't the jurisdiction of UNICEF extend to America. If they stopped it in America why should we use it here ?' And people were saying to them 'O.K. - you are the physicians. You studied the same things as the physicians who manufactured this vaccine.' And they said 'Yeah. You know, when you are a physician you don't want to say No, I didn't study that. I'm sorry - I went to school but I didn't study what you studied.' They said 'Yeah, we did. We studied exactly the same thing.' And I said 'O.K. Why do we have to import the vaccine anyway ? Why can't we manufacture the vaccine here if you know what goes in it ?' And they said 'Oh, that's a problem. We don't have factories.' And then people were ringing in to the studio asking - 'We had our own way of ensuring our childrens' immunity. You know, when a child was born there was an assortment of herbs that were collected from the wild, and then they were boiled, and every day the child would bathe in these herbs for six months, and a little bit of the herbs would be given to the child to drink.' And it was in this debate that most of the physicians admitted that that method was as effective as the immunization that was being carried out. So people were saying 'Well, if we have this method that had proved very good for us all this time, why are you giving us oral polio? And why are you not fighting the diseases that affect us? And most significantly : where are all these so-called paralyzed people - all our people that are physically challenged - that you said existed in villages?'

And at that time we had marshalled the people that had contracted polio after immunization, and they were in the studio with us. In that debate most of the people that had come to debate us ran out of the studio, and they could not answer the questions from the people. And the national newspapers splashed these headlines so that even in other parts of the country where my radio station was not reaching started picking up the story. The World Health Organization got worried. UNICEF got worried. UNICEF representatives came to the station to appeal to me, saying 'Well, we know you have a case but you are giving it to the wrong audience. I mean these people don't understand what you are saying. If you are talking to people in cities - you know, people in villages - they cannot understand the argument. Polio is good. O.K. it may have some difficulties, but why don't you come and join us? Then we will support you and give you more advertising.' And... I didn't think it was an advertising issue. I thought it was a moral issue at the time.

Because in speaking to Barbara I also understand that here you follow a certain regime - like you give certain doses in certain years, and after that it's finished. In Uganda or Kenya or Tanzania it's not like that. You have what they call routine where your children keep getting all these vaccines. And then they have National Immunization Days. It doesn't care whether you go through the immunization or whether you were immunized last year. You come this year and they still give you the same thing. So for polio, and for measles, there is no end. It's that complicated.

And then the people said 'O.K. if it's too expensive, we don't want the cheap one. We think at least we are worth five dollars or ten dollars, or something like this. So if you can't bring the inoculated polio virus, we are not going to have the oral polio.' And that's what they did. But the government was ready for them - not really the government - the minister of health, the World Health Organization and the UNICEF. They mobilized the army, and the police and moved from house to house. They had asked the local authorities to do a list of people who had children, so they moved from house to house grabbing children at gunpoint and vaccinating them. Now those that knew - as soon as the army got into the village - the rest of the people who had children would run into the bush, and they stayed there for a week. Now the thing was - those that went for vaccination came immediately to report reactions, and a good many of them lost their children. Those that did not go for vaccination did not have the same reaction. So they would be ringing in to the radio station and saying 'Well, I vaccinated my child and this is what happened.' I know this is what was happening even before we started, but they had no way of expressing themselves. They had no means. So at this stage most people really got convinced that there must be a relationship between having a history of HIV... I have to tell you HIV is very big in Uganda - very big in East Africa. I was born in a family of eleven, but from 1987 up to today I have lost eight members of my family through HIV. So when the manufacturer says 'Do not give this vaccine to families that have a history of HIV' there are no families in Uganda that have no history of HIV. Everybody knows somebody who has died or has lost an uncle or a brother's wife or his children through HIV. And it's that relationship that people were able to put together saying 'Maybe really the oral polio vaccine, when given to population that has HIV - when live vaccine is given to a population that has HIV, it produces that reaction.'

But for me, up to today, that is still the situation. The oral polio vaccine in Uganda, northern Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo and part of Kenya has become a hotly contested debate. Thousands of people, during the National Immunization Days in the months of July and September, go into the bush and stay there for weeks. The army and the police move house to house looking for children to vaccinate. At the same time, things that kill children like malaria, cholera, issues of stunted growth, sanitation, are completely untackled.

Now - last year I came to Washington to give a lecture to the Voice of America, and I decided to ring the Centers for Disease Control. Normally when I travel I record my travel and I do a travel program. So I tell people what I'm seeing because I know the majority of my people have no chance of travelling - so I describe the situation to them. And I rang the Centers for Disease Control and they have a line of experts that you can ask different questions. And I said 'I am living in America and I want to go to Uganda, and my children have not received oral polio vaccination. And they said 'No, they can't receive oral polio vaccination in this country.' I said 'Why not?' and they said 'Well, you can get polio from oral polio vaccination.' And I said 'Is this the Centers for Disease Control ?' and they said 'Yes'. 'Are you sure you are not the Centers for Disease Uncontrol ?' They said 'No, we are the Centers for Disease Control - the real McCoy.' So I said 'What if I have a history of HIV and I receive oral polio ?' They said 'That would be really pretty dangerous. It could be a death sentence.' (And I said) can I have your name ?' 'No, you can't have my name. You can have a reference number.' I said 'O.K.' but I recorded this, and when I went back I played it on radio. (applause) I said 'Well, this is not me now. You can't arrest me. You have to arrest the Centers for Disease Control, because, I mean, it's them doing the talking. It's not me. I have just given them space on the radio!'

So the minister of health said 'O.K. this is what we're going to do. We're going to invite you and you'll come and sit with all the experts from World Health Organization, from UNICEF and the minister of health, and we'll do a deal.' So what I did - I went to the website of the Centers for Disease Control. I photocopied a big document on vaccine reactions, and I took it with me. So I sat before the minister of health and I said 'Well, before we can do any deal, I just want to see what our very good friends from the Centers for Disease Control say about vaccine reactions - particularly polio.' And the minister gave it to the head of public health, and the head of public health looks at this document and says 'This is not a genuine CDC document. This is from the internet.' And I said 'So what? It's from the internet - the CDC on the internet. This is the 21st Century!' He said 'No, it's not.' And I said 'O.K. At the bottom there is a number, and it says you can ring this number. Why don't we ring the Centers for Disease Control? Here is a mobile phone' And he said 'No, we can't ring them. We wouldn't know if it was the CDC answering.' So what do we do ? They said 'We'll send the document to the embassy and ask the embassy to verify if it's a CDC document.' 'Oh' I said - 'Well, you have an expert from the CDC in Kampala. Why don't you call that expert to verify?' He said 'No, he's sick. He's not available for verification.' So I said 'O.K. I will do a deal with you only after you verify that this is a genuine CDC document. We'll give each other 24 hours. You go and do your verification, and then after that I'll come and we can deal.' -- 24 hours. No reaction. One week - one month - I am still waiting.

But in the meantime I had two radio stations. One of them is now closed. I employed over 60 people. I am 6 months in arrears. I can't afford to pay them. As I speak I have not a single advertiser on my radio station that has an audience of more than 50 million. My radio program, when it goes on air - even buses that carry people stop to listen to my program for one and a half hours. And I have already told you that people even pay to hear me speak. But I have taken a bank loan from England. My house is up for grabs, including all my books and my videos and everything - just for asking simple questions as 'Why don't you fight a disease that kills people instead of one that has a theoretical risk of attacking them? Why don't you deal with issues that people want you to deal with, and maybe after you have dealt with that, then you can deal with oral polio vaccine? Why use a vaccine that was discontinued in America - which is a technological nation where people should know - and you use it here? Why at least can't you say to people "Pay for the killed vaccine" so that they get the vaccine that, according to the manufacturer, would be less harmful?' That is my story. I am not opposed to vaccination. I have not gone out to cause trouble for anybody. It's just I felt as a broadcaster my job is to ask questions that my audiences would have asked had they been in the same position that I was, or had the opportunity to meet the people that matter.

[This message has been edited by researching mom (edited February 26, 2004).]

On Feb 26, 2004

NEW RESEARCH SUGGESTS LINK BEWTEEN VACCINE INGREDIENTS AND AUTISM, ADHD

Exposure to certain neurotoxins may be linked to development of dreaded developmental disorders in children

(2-5-04) BOSTON, Mass.

On Feb 27, 2004

2004-02-17 Canadian says vaccine-autism study is overblown [url="http://www.medicalposting.ca/children/article.jsp?content=20040217_085151_4976&topStory=y"]http://www.medicalposting.ca/children/article.jsp?content=20040217_085151_4976&topStory=y[/url]

U.S. research linking preservative to brain disorders called wild over-extrapolation A Canadian researcher says a highly publicized U.S. study linking a mercury-containing vaccine preservative with autism and other brain disorders is no cause for worry.

"It's probably one of the best examples of wild over-extrapolation in science I've ever seen," says Dr. Brian Ward, a vaccine immunologist at McGill University in Montreal. "At the very least they should be chided for overactive imaginations."

In the study, a team led by Richard Deth, professor of pharmacology at Northeastern University in Boston, found that thimerosal -- a mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines -- could interrupt biochemical reactions critical for brain development.

Although the reactions were studied in special cells in a laboratory, the researchers say the concentrations of thimerosal were similar to those typically found following vaccination in humans.

But according to Ward, the study does not show how thimerosal would actually affect cells in the body, nor is it clear how much of the preservative would make it into the brain.

Furthermore, he says, the findings don't agree with population studies that have failed to show a link between vaccines and autism, attention deficit disorder and other neurological problems.

Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization published a comprehensive review of thimerosal a year ago. The review points out few vaccines in Canada contain the preservative, and then only in trace amounts.

"The risk that thimerosal or its metabolites may affect the neurologic development of infants is, at most, theoretical," the review states.

"Because the risk of any health effect from thimerosal in vaccines has never been substantiated, and because, compared with the real risk of infection from inadvertent contamination of vaccine, the risk of thimerosal-related health effects is negligible. Vaccines containing thimerosal should not be withheld if they are needed."

Still, the committee encouraged vaccine makers to develop alternatives to it.

Thimerosal has been used to a much greater extent in vaccines made in the U.S., where it is also being phased out. In Canada, the preservative is used in vaccines that are distributed in multidose vials, such as influenza and hepatitis B.

"This doesn't mean that the push to get thimerosal out of vaccines is an expression of communal guilt," says Ward, who is an associate professor of medicine and microbiology at McGill University and the Montreal General Hospital Research Institute.

On Mar 5, 2004

MMR/Autism Study Retracted A controversial 1998 study published in The Lancet implied that the MMR vaccine might be a cause of autism. This sparked deep suspicion of the vaccine and prompted a great deal of new research involving hundreds of thousands of children (that has been unable to find any such connection). The original study included on- ly a dozen children, and was based partly on parents' reports. In 2004, serious allegations were raised a- gainst this original paper, asserting that the dozen chil- dren selected in the study were not randomly chosen as described in the paper, but included children involved in a legal action claiming vaccine injury. Perhaps the parents' reports were biased - but either way, the possible conflict of inter- est was not disclosed. Nor was the money received by the lead investigator for helping to prepare the legal action. The Lancet has investigated these claims and issued a partial retraction of the original paper in the Mar. 6, 2004 issue. Ten of the original 13 authors of the paper have retracted the paper's conclusions. I'm in favor of publishing controversial ideas and studies, to provoke discussion and research. But it's important for the readers to have access to possible financial motives that may introduce bias into the discussion

On Mar 6, 2004

Ten of the 13 scientists involved in the 1998 study that suggested a link between childhood vaccinations and autism have renounced the conclusion. They are now saying "no causal link was established between the vaccine and autism, as the data were insufficient. However, the possibility of such a link was raised." One important point here is that Dr. Wakefield, the main researcher who determined this connection, did not sign the retraction. This is an amazing testimony to how corrupt the system has become. That it can convince researchers to actually retract their initial findings is absolutely amazing. While MMR does not cause all cases of autism it has been clearly linked to many of the cases.

On Mar 6, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Jennifer1970: [b] While MMR does not cause all cases of autism it has been clearly linked to many of the cases.[/b]

has infectious disease been linked to death?

On Mar 6, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b] has infectious disease been linked to death? [/b]

MommaBear, the answer is [b]yes[/b], as The World Health Organization reports that [b]800,000 children die each year from the measles[/b], with the majority being in poor countries with no access to the vaccine

[This message has been edited by erik (edited March 07, 2004).]

On Mar 9, 2004

Because I can't let a topic die naturally ? LOL j/k The real reason I posted this link is because I find information that the general public doesn't get and I want to pass it along. Do with it what you will. The article was too long to be posted , but was full of fascinating information re:the fact that pharamceutical companies own the research industry and we can't rely on them to give us the true facts of vaccines.

[url="http://www.upi.com/print.cfm?StoryID=20030718-012134-4422r"]http://www.upi.com/print.cfm?StoryID=20030718-012134-4422r[/url]

On Mar 10, 2004

A lot of this "info" is hyped by the anti-vaccine groups. They only present one very simplistic side of the story because it fits their cause. For instance, it was not mentioned that from 1986-2000 an AVERAGE of 440,000 children under the age of five died EACH YEAR from rotavirus infections around the world. Compare that with the mortality rate of the vaccine alone (six deaths out of a few million doses). I am not saying Rotashield vaccine is perfectly safe, but on a world-wide scale it might have saved far more children than it harmed. These are the sorts of numbers the anti-vaccine groups do not want you to hear about. My son had a case of rotavirus at age 15 months - it is not pretty and quite scary. Rotashield was pulled from the market the year before. I have to admit that after going through his illness I *might* have been tempted to try Rotashield despite its issues. There is a risk in almost everything in life and one has to weigh that against the benefits. In nearly all cases, the risks posed by vaccines are tiny relative to the diseases they prevent.

Troy

On Mar 10, 2004

Quote:

Ten of the 13 scientists involved in the 1998 study that suggested a link between childhood vaccinations and autism have renounced the conclusion. They are now saying "no causal link was established between the vaccine and autism, as the data were insufficient. However, the possibility of such a link was raised." One important point here is that Dr. Wakefield, the main researcher who determined this connection, did not sign the retraction. This is an amazing testimony to how corrupt the system has become. That it can convince researchers to actually retract their initial findings is absolutely amazing. While MMR does not cause all cases of autism it has been clearly linked to many of the cases.

What you didn't say here is that the lead researcher, who did not sign the retraction, has ties to a group of attorneys trying to sue vaccine manufacturers. There is evidence of corruption here, but it is not on the side of the pro-vaccine forces. I have not seen any evidence that "clearly" links the MMR vaccine to autism, and if you have any, other than the retracted findings, I would sincerely like to read it.

On Mar 10, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Kim M: [b] What you didn't say here is that the lead researcher, who did not sign the retraction, has ties to a group of attorneys trying to sue vaccine manufacturers. There is evidence of corruption here, but it is not on the side of the pro-vaccine forces. I have not seen any evidence that "clearly" links the MMR vaccine to autism, and if you have any, other than the retracted findings, I would sincerely like to read it.[/b]

Thank you, Kim, for bringing this to my attention.

On Mar 11, 2004

CDC Knew of Potential Link between Vaccines, Autism

By Melissa Ross First Coast News

Five-year-old Ryan Anderson of Jacksonville Beach is an animated, happy child.

But that wasn't always the case.

"His course of deterioration from a happy, developmentally appropriate child to the problems he began to develop, started right after he received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine," says Ryan's father, Bruce Anderson.

Now, several therapies are underway to restore Ryan's cognitive and behavioral development, which began to show significant impairment at age 18 months. Ryan also presents evidence of a persistent, active measles virus.

Ryan's doctor, Jeff Bradstreet of Melbourne, is a specialist in autism-related disorders. Using clinical diagnostic testing, he has documented a genetic defect in children that Ryan carries. That defect, says Bradstreet, made him vulnerable to a preservative in his vaccinations.

The preservative is called thimerosal, and it contains mercury, a known neuro-toxin. Until just a few years ago, children who received a full schedule of vaccinations were injected with mercury in amounts far exceeding EPA guidelines. Bradstreet says some children's bodies just can't handle the onslaught of the toxin.

"There are children who don't detox heavy metals well.. the more mercury we expose them to the more problems they're going to have," Bradstreet says.

The growing controversy over thimerosal has contributed to its removal from many childhood vaccines, beginning in the late 1990's. But it is still present in some vaccinations, including virtually all flu shots.

The Centers for Disease Control published a study last fall repudiating any possible link between thimerosal and developmental problems like autism in children. However, First Coast News has obtained non-published documents that show the CDC DID have data supporting such a link-- but kept it from the public.

Documents released through the Freedom of Information Act, detail the transcript of a meeting held in June of 2000 between members of the CDC, the FDA, and representatives from the vaccine industry.

The group discusses the results of a February 2000 study that finds a significant association between exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines, and developmental issues like autism in children.

Some of the comments--

"There are just a host of neurodevelopmental data that would suggest we've got a serious problem."

"My gut feeling? It worries me. I don't want my grandson to get a thimerosal-containing vaccine until we know better what's going on."

"We are in a bad position from the standpoint of defending any lawsuits."

Finally--

"We have asked you to keep this information confidential."

And that's what happened. Three years later, the CDC published a study in the November 2003 issue of "Pediatrics" contradicting the earlier results, and clearing thimerosal of any link to neurological problems in children.

"I just feel pretty strongly they haven't been honest in analyzing the problem."

So says Florida Congressman David Weldon, a physician. Weldon sent a letter to the head of the CDC in October of 2003, charging that data was selectively used in the "Pediatrics" study to make the earlier evidence of a mercury-autism connection disappear. He also asked for another review of the data. The CDC has not yet officially responded to Weldon's request.

"Where there's smoke there's fire.. and when you see people reluctant to investigate things properly, it makes you think they really don't want to investigate things properly," he says.

Meantime, parents like Bruce Anderson say, while they are not anti-vaccine, they do want doctors to screen children more carefully before administering shots, taking into account the specialized health concerns of each individual child. Anderson also says it's imperative the government recall any vaccines still containing thimerosal.

"I have to live with the memory of my child's cries as I held him down while he was being vaccinated, never knowing that I was injuring him."

Bradstreet adds, "This is a very potent neurotoxin. Let's do everything we can to reduce exposure, not justify why it's OK to give just a little."

Bradstreet, along with Congressman Weldon and other experts on the issue, reiterated their statements on thimerosal in Washington on February 9th. The occasion was an Institute of Medicine panel hearing information both supporting and rejecting the theory that thimerosal is linked to rising autism rates in children.

A spokesman for the CDC tells First Coast News that the agency plans to undertake an objective review of the data presented at the IOM panel.

Weldon has already expressed strong skepticism with the CDC's position however, telling First Coast News, "I don't believe the CDC can really take an objective position on the issue. They are concerned the fears about thimerosal might lead to parents being afraid to vaccinate their children. But the problem isn't vaccines, it's the thimerosal in vaccines. So parents who are concerned about this need to talk with their pediatrician, and carefully check the product insert in each vaccination to make sure the shot is thimerosal-free."

[url="http://www.firstcoastnews.com"]www.firstcoastnews.com[/url]

On Apr 4, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by researching mom: [b]Critics now worry about a possible link between vaccines diabetes[/b]

[url="http://chealth.canoe.ca/health_news_detail.asp?news_id=10199"]http://chealth.canoe.ca/health_news_detail.asp?news_id=10199[/url]

Study: No link between vaccinations and diabetes Apr. 2, 2004 Provided by: Associated Press Written by: STEPHANIE NANO Researchers determined there is no link between childhood vaccines and the development of diabetes, the latest study to find no such connection.

Using birth and medical registries, Danish researchers checked vaccination records and cases of Type 1 diabetes for the more than 739,000 children born between 1990 and 2000 in Denmark.

They found no more cases of Type 1 diabetes among vaccinated children compared with unvaccinated children. There also was no increase seen in children with a sibling with diabetes, who are at higher risk of developing the disorder, the researchers reported in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.

Type 1 diabetes is increasing in developed countries, where childhood immunization is widespread. That is one of the main reasons some have proposed a link.

"This study will, one hopes, be the last one that is necessary to disprove an association between immunizations and diabetes," Dr. Lynne L. Levitsky of Harvard Medical School said in a commentary in the journal.

Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, mostly afflicts young children. Because their pancreas produces little or no insulin, they need to take insulin daily. There is no known cause, but genetic and environmental factors may play a role.

The Danish children were vaccinated against eight diseases on a schedule similar to that in the United States, said Dr. Mads Melbye, one of the researchers at the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen.

"This really re-emphasizes that vaccines are generally very safe and they are extremely important," Melbye said.

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