The Bitter Pill

The Official Blog of UNITE –

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


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