The Bitter Pill

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Flu Vaccinated Kids More Likely to be Hospitalized

Evelyn Pringle May 26, 2009

On May 19, 2009, researchers presented a study that found children who received the trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine [TIV] had a three times greater risk of hospitalization for the flu than kids who were not vaccinated at the International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego.

To determine whether the vaccine was effective in reducing the number of hospitalizations over consecutive flu seasons for 8 years, the researchers conducted a study of 263 children between the ages of 6 months and 18, evaluated at the Mayo Clinic between 1996 and 2006, with laboratory-confirmed influenza and reviewed records to determine which kids had received a flu shot before the illness and hospitalization.

The CDC currently recommends that “all children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday get a flu vaccine,” on its website.

However, according to the study above, not only did the vaccine not prevent the flu, the kids who received it got sicker than those who did not. Which means that for the 8 year period studied, health insurance companies, government programs and parents were bilked for the cost of useless vaccines, doctors office calls and three times more flu-related hospitalizations, with the children following the expert’s advice suffering the most.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, an organization that claims to represent “60,000” pediatricians, also recommends that children be required to receive a flu shot annually, along with a host of other useless and harmful, but highly profitable vaccines throughout childhood.

Last July, CBS News reported that the vaccine industry gives millions to the Academy for conferences, grants, medical education classes and even helped build their headquarters. Totals were secret, but documents cited by CBS revealed the following:

A $342,000 payment from Wyeth, maker of the pneumococcal vaccine – which makes $2 billion a year in sales.
 
$433,000 from Merck, the same year the academy endorsed Merck’s Gardasil HPV vaccine – which made $1.5 billion a year in sales.
 
Another top donor: Sanofi Aventis, maker of 17 vaccines and a new five-in-one combo shot added to the childhood vaccine schedule in June 2008.

In April 2009, the AAP even went so far as to file an amicus brief (friend of the court) with the US Supreme Court in support of a petition for a writ of certiorari from vaccine makers Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline to overturn a unanimous ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court that decided a civil lawsuit filed by Marcelo and Carolyn Ferrari on behalf of their autistic son was not barred (preempted) by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act.

The Georgia decision noted that recognizing presumptive preemption would “have the perverse effect of granting complete tort immunity from design defect liability to an entire industry.”

The Farrari family alleges that the vaccine makers could and should have manufactured safer childhood vaccines without the mercury-based preservative, thimerosal, that caused their son’s autism. The Georgia court’s ruling would allow a jury to decide the case.

“The AAP can be counted to be the strongest supporters of the vaccine industry,” says Ann Dachel, the mother of an autistic son and the media editor for “Age of Autism.”

“And why not?” she points out, “What would a well-baby check be like without the lineup of shots every time a visit is scheduled?”

It should be noted that roughly four million new customers in need of well-baby checks are born every year, according to CDC stats. Some vaccines given to children, such as flu and tenanus, still contain thimerosal.

Other organizations that signed on to the AAP brief to help vaccine makers defeat the lone family include: “American Academy of Family Physicians, AAP Section on Infectious Diseases, American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians, American Medical Association, American Public Health Association, Every Child By Two, Immunization Action Coalition, Infectious Disease Society of America, Pediatric Infectious Disease Society, and the Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia,” according to an April 9, 2009 AAP press release.

Last summer, in addition to listing the vaccine maker funding of the AAP, CBS News reported on pediatrician, Dr Paul Offit, described as “perhaps the most widely-quoted defender of vaccine safety.”

Offit has went so far as to claim babies can tolerate “10,000 vaccines at once.” In responding to the CBS report, Offit reportedly told the Orange County Register, “what I actually have said is at least 10,000. It’s probably closer to 100,000.”

According to CBS, this is how Offit described himself in a previous interview: “I’m the chief of infectious disease at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor of pediatrics at Penn’s medical school.”

But Offit also holds a $1.5 million dollar research chair at Children’s Hospital, funded by Merck, CBS found. And he holds the patent on Rotateq, an anti-diarrhea vaccine he developed with Merck.

At the time of the report, future royalties for the vaccine were just sold for $182 million cash. “Dr. Offit’s share of vaccine profits? Unknown,” CBS New noted on July 25, 2008.

Offit also wrote the book, “Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure.” According to a summary on the Amazon site in September 2008:

“In this book, Paul A. Offit, …. challenges the modern-day false prophets who have so egregiously misled the public and exposes the opportunism of the lawyers, journalists, celebrities, and politicians who support them. Offit recounts the history of autism research and the exploitation of this tragic condition by advocates and zealots. He considers the manipulation of science in the popular media and the courtroom, and he explores why society is susceptible to the bad science and risky therapies put forward by many antivaccination activists.”

In a February 24, 2009 article in the Huffington Post, Robert F Kennedy, Jr, most appropriately pointed out that: “it’s worth recalling that for sixty years the tobacco industry successfully defended a product that was killing one out of every five of its customers against thousands of legal actions brought by its victims and their families.”

“Big tobacco prevailed for six decades even without the help of supportive government agencies deliberately suppressing real science and research,” Kennedy says. “In that sense vaccine victims must leap a much higher hurdle.”

In 1982, American children were given only three vaccines: a live oral polio vaccine; the MMR; and the DPT vaccine, according to the National Vaccine Information Center. By 2007, children were being told by government health officials and pediatricians to get 48 doses of 14 vaccines by age six and 53-56 doses of 15 or 16 vaccines by age 12.

On April 7, 2008, Kalorama Information issued a press release on a market research study and reforecast of the vaccine market titled, “Vaccines 2008: World Market Analysis, Key Players, and Critical Trends in a Fast-Changing Industry,” and reported that stronger than anticipated revenues for flu vaccines and the “surprising commercial success” of Merck’s Gardasil, had led to $16.3 billion in vaccine sales in 2007, “an increase of 38% over 2006 sales of $11.7 billion.”

According to the report, “new products approved in recent years, in particular Gardasil, but also RotaTeq, Pentacel, Zostavax and FluMist, are now having an impact on the market,” the release says. “These new products, combined with a continued emphasis on flu vaccines in the U.S. healthcare system, have created a healthy environment for vaccine products.”

Kalorama “expects vaccine sales to more than double in five years,” the release notes.

Filed under: 2009, autism, CDC, Farrari, flu, Gardasil, Glaxo, Merck, thimerosal, vaccines, Wyeth

End Profit Driven Mandatory Vaccination Racket

Evelyn Pringle February 12, 2008

The push to keep adding more vaccines to the mandatory schedules comes directly from a purely profit motivated industry and a recent investor report estimates that the world-wide market will quadruple from about $4.3 billion in 2006 to more than $16 billion in 2016, with the biggest boost coming from kids in the US.

A November 2007 report entitled, “Pipeline and Commercial Insight: Pediatric and Adolescent Vaccines,” authored by vaccine analyst, Hedwig Kresse, for the independent market analyst Datamonitor discusses the future outlook for vaccine profits.

The report provides an assessment of products and a patient-based forecast of market size and coverage rates to the year 2016, and predicts that the introduction of high price vaccines will induce rapid growth in the pediatric and adolescent vaccines market.

The report predicts that due to the “promising commercial potential” of new, high-price vaccines, the pediatric and adolescent market will quadruple from approximately $4.3 billion in 2006, to over $16 billion by 2016, across the US, the EU-five including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, and Japan.

The crucial factor for success in the pediatric market, the report notes, is the introduction of a product into national vaccination schedules. “Along with reimbursement, this virtually guarantees the rapid uptake and continuously high coverage rates in the target population,” Ms Kresse states.

As an example, she cites Wyeth’s Prevnar, as the first premium price vaccine launched in the US in 2000 for vaccinating infants against pneumonia and meningitis.

Since then, Prevnar has been added to the childhood vaccination schedules in the US and EU-five despite its high price of nearly $320 for the 4-dose regimen. In 2006, Global sales reached almost $2 billion, making Prevnar the first vaccine to attain blockbuster status, according to the report. By 2016, Datamonitor expects the total value of the infant market for pneumococcal vaccines to increase to $2.3 billion.

In June 2006, Merck’s Gardasil was approved for cervical cancer. Because it was the first vaccine offered as a preventive measure for a form of cancer, its approval generated tremendous public attention along with pressure for healthcare authorities to make the vaccine available to teenage girls at a cost of $360 for 3 doses.

“Although most cases of cervical cancer in the developed world can be prevented through the existing pap smear screening programs, the expensive HPV vaccination has been recommended and is reimbursed for teenage girls across the US and Europe,” Ms Kresse reports.

She notes that this decision is driven more by public pressure and excitement about the opportunity to vaccinate against cancer rather than by real need. The widespread publicity has led to a good uptake in the target group of adolescent girls, which is usually hard to reach for vaccination, Ms Kresse points out to investors.

Datamonitor sees a huge commercial opportunity in HPV vaccines, with annual sales of $1.4 billion in teenage girls for the seven major markets by 2016 and a cumulative catch-up opportunity in women aged 13-26 that could add up to over $17 billion until 2016.

But Ms Kresse warns investors that the “lack of medical need” for rotavirus vaccines such as RotaTeq will limit their uptake in most markets. RotaTeq is advertised to combat diarrhea that usually affects infants under the age of two, and was introduced by Merck in the US in 2006, at a price of $200 for the three-dose regimen.

According to Ms Kresse, many countries, but not the US, have refused to add the vaccine to their schedules due to cost-benefit reasons. “In the developed world, rotavirus diarrhea is rarely severe for small infants and quick and efficacious treatment is already available,” she writes. “Consequently, healthcare authorities see no need to widely introduce a very expensive vaccine.”

Datamonitor estimates that annual sales will remain limited to approximately $1 billion across the 7 major markets by 2016 and predicts that the US will account for the majority of sales, being the only country to have recommended the rotavirus vaccine for all infants.

Wyeth’s Prevnar vaccine came on the market in 2000 and is recommended for children under 2. The vaccine was hailed as a breakthrough and had sales of more than $1.5 billion in 2006. Prevnar is given as four shots to children between 2 and 15 months.

On September 18, 2007, NewsMax reported that the vaccine has dramatically curbed pneumonia and other serious illnesses in children but is also having an unfortunate effect: “promoting new superbugs that cause ear infections.”

According to NewsMax, doctors reported finding the first such germ that is resistant to all drugs approved to treat childhood ear infections and 9 toddlers in Rochester, N.Y., have had the bug and that it also may be turning up elsewhere.

It is a strain of strep bacteria not included in the pneumococcal vaccine. Prevnar prevents seven strains responsible for most cases of pneumonia, meningitis and bloodstream infections. But dozens more strains exist and some have become resistant to antibiotics since the vaccine combats the more common strains.

If the new strains continue to spread, “it tells us the vaccine is becoming less effective” and needs to be revised, Dr Dennis Maki, infectious diseases chief at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Hospitals and Clinics, told NewsMax.

A new study in the November 8, 2007 New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University, supported by the United States Public Health Service, suggests that the schedule for vaccinating and revaccinating against diseases should be reevaluated and adjusted.

The study found that in many cases, the established duration of immunity for vaccines is greatly underestimated, which means that people are getting booster shots when their immunity levels do not require it and those antibody responses caused by viruses such as measles mumps, and rubella remained at protective levels for several decades and in most cases, for life.

The research also reconfirmed a previous finding by Slifka and his colleagues: that the duration of immunity after smallpox vaccination is much longer than previously thought. In that earlier study published in the journal Nature Medicine in 2003, these OHSU researchers observed surprisingly long-lived antiviral antibody responses but they were unable to measure the slow rate of decline.

The study indicates that the duration of immunity after smallpox vaccination is maintained with a calculated half-life of 92 years and that a person who has received the primary series of tetanus vaccine is likely to be protected for 3 decades.

Experts say we have allowed ourselves and our children to be overdosed through a culture dominated by industry marketing influence which has now become dangerously out of control and detrimental to our children’s health. “In the 21st century, it is unacceptable to be marketing medication to infants and children that may not work,” Dr Steven Czinn, chair of the department of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, told Reuters on October 11, 2007.

In the November 19, 2007 Huffington Post article, “Over Medicated and Over-Vaccinated: The Unintended Consequence of Medicines Meant to Protect,” Deirdre Imus asks, “Where are the conflict-free studies that prove giving infants and children 49 immunizations – most of them by age 5, are safe and effective?”

She points out that studies have provided evidence that the over-vaccination of dogs and cats can result in numerous maladies including cancer, skin and ear conditions, arthritis, allergies, diabetes, aggression, behavior problems and other immune system dysfunctions. “There is even a name for the conditions caused by animal over-vaccination, vaccinosis,” she notes.

Ms Imus also points out that the mercury-containing preservative, thimerosal, used in vaccines for over 50 years was removed from animal vaccines in 1992.

“Unfortunately for the kids,” she writes, “it remained in children’s vaccines for another decade and remains in some vaccines like the influenza (25 micrograms) and tetanus vaccine (25 micrograms) today and in trace amounts (3 micrograms) in some immunizations.”

She says most people do not realize is that any liquid waste containing more than 200 parts per billion (ppb) mercury must be deposited at a hazardous waste site and that drinking water cannot exceed 2 ppb mercury.

“But when the influenza vaccines arrive and are injected into pregnant woman and infants as young as six months, those vaccines contain 50,000 ppb mercury,” Ms Imus notes.

This amount of mercury is 250 times higher than hazardous waste, she notes, and according to EPA guidelines, this amount can only be considered safe if a person weighs 550 pounds. “Even trace amounts of mercury in vaccines can be anywhere from 600 to 2000 ppb,” she warns.

On November 13, 2006, PutChildrenFirst.org, a parent-led organization advocating vaccine safety, issued a press release to announce the results of a survey conducted October 27-30, 2006, by Zogby International of over 9,000 Americans to learn their plans for getting flu shots, their knowledge of its ingredients, and who they hold responsible for making sure vaccines are safe.

The survey showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans were unaware that most flu shots contain mercury and that they would refuse a shot with mercury. After learning that mercury is an ingredient, 74% of those polled said they were less likely to get a flu shot and 86% of parents said they were less likely to allow their child to get a shot.

Lisa Handley is a founding parent of PutChildrenFirst.org, whose son Jamison had an adverse reaction to a flu shot with mercury in 2003. “I know firsthand how life-changing a flu shot with mercury can be, since our son began his regression into autism after his flu shot,” she states.

“With everything we know about the dangers of mercury and the havoc it can wreak on young, developing brains, there is no excuse for any vaccine to contain mercury,” says Lyn Redwood, RN, MSN, President of SafeMinds, a nonprofit organization committed to ending mercury-induced neurological disorders.

“The survey reveals that Americans are overwhelmingly in the dark about what is in most flu shots,” Ms Redwood stated in the press release.

“They do not want a known neurotoxin injected into their children, and they believe Congress and medical professionals must be more vigilant about keeping vaccines safe and mercury-free,” she added.

PutChildrenFirst also advises that two recent studies in leading medical journals admitted that limited data exists to support the effectiveness of flu vaccines. One study, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, noted that, “there is scant data on the efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccine in young children,” the release notes.

According to Ms Imus, we are beginning to see prescribed vaccines, like the whole cell DPT and Rotovirus, which are later found to be unsafe.

“While physicians warn the public about the over use of antibiotics,” she points out, “it is the physicians themselves that over-prescribed these antibiotics for every ailment under the sun.”

“And like antibiotics,” she writes, “every time a new vaccine was developed, it quickly found its way onto the immunization schedule along with the recommended booster shots.”

“We are now reaping the unintended consequences of the overuse of these medical interventions,” she states. “Instead of being healthier, we have a nation of very sick children.”

Forcing parents to inject poisonous concoctions into innocent, helpless children against their will is a gross violation of their most basic parental rights.

Filed under: 2008, autism, flu, Gardasil, Prevnar, rotavirus, thimerosal, vaccines

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