FDA rejects new limits on mercury in vaccines
2006-10-24, MSNBC/Associated Press
Federal health officials won’t put new restrictions on the use of a mercury-based preservative in vaccines and other medicines. A group called the Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs petitioned the Food and Drug Administration in 2004 seeking the restrictions on thimerosal, citing concerns that the preservative is linked to autism. The FDA rejected the petition. Thimerosal, about 50 percent mercury by weight, has been used since the 1930s to kill microbes in vaccines. There have been suspicions that thimerosal causes autism. However, studies that tracked thousands of children consistently have found no association between the brain disorder and the mercury-based preservative. Critics contend the studies are flawed. Since 2001, all vaccines given to children 6 and younger have been either thimerosal-free or contained only trace amounts of the preservative. Thimerosal has been phased out of some, but not all, adult vaccines as well. Most doses of the flu vaccine still contain thimerosal. There also are minute amounts of mercury, as thimerosal or phenylmercuric acetate, in roughly 45 eye ointments, nasal sprays and nasal solutions, the FDA said.
Note: Why are they still using mercury in flu shots when it is not necessary? Heavy metals are well known to be toxic to the human body. The studies mentioned above are almost entirely funded by pharmaceutical interests and government bodies working with them.
Merck Suspends Lobbying for Vaccine
2007-02-21, CBS News/Associated Press
Pediatricians, gynecologists and even health insurers all call Gardasil, the first vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, a big medical advance. But medical groups, politicians and parents began rebelling after disclosure of a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign by Gardasil’s maker, Merck & Co., to get state legislatures to require 11- and 12-year-old girls to get the three-dose vaccine as a requirement for school attendance. Some parents’ groups and doctors particularly objected because the vaccine protects against a sexually transmitted disease. Vaccines mandated for school attendance usually are for diseases easily spread through casual contact, such as measles and mumps. Bowing to pressure, Merck said Tuesday that it is immediately suspending its controversial campaign. [Yet] legislatures in roughly 20 states have introduced measures that would mandate girls have the vaccine to attend school. Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Feb. 2 issued an executive order requiring Texas girls entering the sixth grade as of 2008 get the vaccinations. The country has been “burned” by some drugs whose serious side effects emerged only after they were in wide use, including Merck’s withdrawn painkiller Vioxx. The vaccine also is controversial because of its price – $360 for the three doses required.
Note: $360 for every girl in school would amount to quite a hefty transfer of funds from taxpayers into the pockets of Merck. Could profit and campaign contributions be behind the move to make this mandatory?
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the Vaccine Autism Coverup
JOE SCARBOROUGH, Host: Six out of every 1,000 kids get it, and nobody knows exactly why. But my next guest says … part of the blame … needs to fall on government. And it has to do with a drug called thimerosal. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense [Council]. Let’s talk tonight about thimerosal. There are a lot of people out there … very concerned about the impact of this drug, which is found in vaccines, and how it causes autism. KENNEDY: Thimerosal is a preservative that was put in vaccines back in the 1930s. Almost immediately after it was put in, autism cases began to appear. Autism had never been known before. Then the vaccines were increased in 1989 by the CDC and by a couple of other government agencies. We went up from receiving about 10 vaccines in our generation to these kids receive 24 vaccines. And they all had this thimerosal in them, this mercury. And nobody bothered to do an analysis of what the cumulative impact of all that mercury was doing to kids. As it turns out, we are injecting our children with 400 times the amount of mercury that FDA or EPA considers safe. A child on his first day that he is born is injected with a hepatitis B shot. Under EPA guidelines, he would have to be 275 pounds to safely absorb that shot. What happened was that, in 1988, one in every 2,500 American children had autism. Today, one in every 166 children have autism.
Note: For an excellent article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. revealing the severe manipulations around vaccines, click here. For a seven-minute video clip of the above interview, click here. For lots more on autism and vaccines from reliable, verifiable sources, click here
Get kids vaccinated or go to jail?
2007-11-17, USA Today/Associated Press
Scores of grumbling parents facing a threat of jail lined up at a courthouse Saturday to either prove that their school-age kids already had their required vaccinations or see that the youngsters submitted to the needle. The get-tough policy in the Washington suburbs of Prince George’s County was one of the strongest efforts made by any U.S. school system to ensure its youngsters receive their required immunizations. Two months into the school year, school officials realized that more than 2,000 students in the county still didn’t have the vaccinations they were supposed to have before attending class. So Circuit Court Judge C. Philip Nichols ordered parents in a letter to appear at the courthouse Saturday and either get their children vaccinated on the spot or risk up to 10 days in jail. “It was very heavy handed,” [school mom Aloma Martin] said of the county’s action. “From that letter, it sounded like they were going to start putting us in jail.” Any children who still lack immunizations could be expelled. Their parents could then be brought up on truancy charges, which can result in a 10-day jail sentence for a first offense and 30 days for a second. Maryland, like all states, requires children to be immunized against several childhood illnesses including polio, mumps and measles. Several organizations opposed to mass vaccinations demonstrated outside the courthouse. While the medical consensus is that vaccines are safe and effective, some people blame immunizations for a rise in autism and other medical problems. “People should have a choice” in getting their children immunized, said Charles Frohman, representing a physicians’ group opposed to vaccines.
Researchers Question Wide Use of HPV Vaccines
2008-08-21, New York Times
Two vaccines against cervical cancer are being widely used without sufficient evidence about whether they are worth their high cost or even whether they will effectively stop women from getting the disease, two articles in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine conclude. Both vaccines target the human papillomavirus, a common sexually transmitted virus that usually causes no symptoms and is cleared by the immune system, but which can in very rare cases become chronic and cause cervical cancer. The two vaccines [are] Gardasil by Merck Sharp & Dohme and Cervarix by GlaxoSmithKline. “Despite great expectations and promising results of clinical trials, we still lack sufficient evidence of an effective vaccine against cervical cancer,” Dr. Charlotte J. Haug … wrote in an editorial in Thursday’s issue of The New England Journal. “With so many essential questions still unanswered, there is good reason to be cautious.” Researchers have not yet demonstrated how long the immunity will last, or whether eliminating some strains of cancer-causing virus will decrease the body’s natural immunity to other strains.
Just as President George W. Bush is launching an ambitious plan to guard against an avian flu pandemic, an administration program to prepare for a potential anthrax attack is running into new and unexpected hurdles. VaxGen Inc., a California biotech firm … last year was awarded an $877.5 million contract to supply a newly invented, and so far unlicensed, anthrax vaccine. For months, investigators on both sides of the aisle have expressed concerns that the administration may have invested too big a chunk of the nation’s biodefenses in one obscure and relatively untested company. Last year’s decision by HHS to award the contract to the little-known VaxGen is being scrutinized by at least two congressional committees. The company’s product will have to pass more large-scale tests proving its safety and effectiveness on people before it is fully licensed by the Food and Drug Administration for use on humans. A New York Times report last December noted that … the company had faced lawsuits filed by investors who claimed VaxGen misinformed them about an AIDS vaccine that the company had heavily promoted but which later failed to work.
Note: For more on how greed and corruption in the pharmaceutical industry affects your health and wallet, see our Health Information Center.
Deadly Immunity – by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
2005-06-16, Common Dreams/Boston Globe
In June 2000, a group of top government scientists and health officials gathered for a meeting at the isolated Simpsonwood conference center … to ensure complete secrecy. The federal officials and industry representatives had assembled to discuss a disturbing new study that raised alarming questions about the safety of a host of common childhood vaccines administered to infants and young children. A mercury-based preservative in the vaccines — thimerosal — appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism. But instead of taking immediate steps to alert the public and rid the vaccine supply of thimerosal, the officials and executives at Simpsonwood spent most of the next two days discussing how to cover up the damaging data. According to transcripts obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, many at the meeting were concerned about how the damaging revelations about thimerosal would affect the vaccine industry’s bottom line. The CDC paid the Institute of Medicine to conduct a new study to whitewash the risks of thimerosal, ordering researchers to “rule out” the chemical’s link to autism. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who has received $873,000 in contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, has been working to immunize vaccine makers from liability in 4,200 lawsuits that have been filed by the parents of injured children. More than 500,000 kids currently suffer from autism. The disease was unknown until 1943, when it was identified and diagnosed among 11 children born in the months after thimerosal was first added to baby vaccines in 1931. Internal documents reveal that Eli Lilly, which first developed thimerosal, knew from the start that its product could cause damage — and even death — in both animals and humans.
Note: A good, though somewhat watered down version of the above article was published in the Boston Globe on July 1, 2005. To see this article on the Globe website, click here.
Merck’s infant vaccine stirs new controversy
2005-03-08, Newsday/Los Angeles Times
Merck & Co. continued to supply infant vaccine containing a mercury preservative for two years after declaring that it had eliminated the chemical. Thimerosal, which is nearly 50 percent ethyl mercury, has largely been eliminated from most routine childhood vaccines, although it is present in most flu shots. More than 4,200 parents have filed claims in the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, alleging that their children suffered autism or other neurological disorders from mercury in their shots.
The Man Behind The Vaccine Mystery
2002-12-12, CBS News
It’s been a mystery in Washington for weeks. Just before President Bush signed the homeland security bill into law an unknown member of Congress inserted a provision into the legislation that blocks lawsuits against the maker of a controversial vaccine preservative called “thimerosal,” used in vaccines that are given to children. Drug giant Eli Lilly and Company makes thimerosal. It’s the mercury in the preservative that many parents say causes autism in thousands of children. But nobody in Congress would admit to adding the provision, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Acosta – until now. House Majority Leader Dick Armey tells CBS News he did it to keep vaccine-makers from going out of business under the weight of mounting lawsuits. “I did it and I’m proud of it,” says Armey, R-Texas. “It’s a matter of national security,” Armey says. Because Armey is retiring at the end of the year, some say the outgoing majority leader is the perfect fall guy to take the heat and shield the White House from embarrassment.
Note: Though this is old news, it is very important news showing how beholden the government is to the powerful drug companies, and how great the fear of thimerosal lawsuits is.
How to Deal with Swine Flu: Heeding the Mistakes of 1976
2009-04-27, Time Magazine
In February 1976, an outbreak of swine flu struck Fort Dix Army base in New Jersey, killing a 19-year-old private and infecting hundreds of soldiers. Concerned that the U.S. was on the verge of a devastating epidemic, President Gerald Ford ordered a nationwide vaccination program at a cost of $135 million (some $500 million in today’s money). Within weeks, reports surfaced of people developing Guillain-Barré syndrome, a paralyzing nerve disease that can be caused by the vaccine. By April, more than 30 people had died of the condition. Facing protests, federal officials abruptly canceled the program on Dec. 16. The epidemic failed to materialize. Medical historians and epidemiologists say … the decisions made in the wake of the ’76 outbreak — and the public’s response to them — provide a cautionary tale for public health officials, who may soon have to consider whether to institute draconian measures to combat the disease. “I think 1976 provides an example of how not to handle a flu outbreak,” says Hugh Pennington, an emeritus professor of virology at Britain’s University of Aberdeen. Despite modern advances in microbiology, today’s health officials still make decisions in a “cloud of uncertainty,” Pennington says. “At the moment, our understanding of the current outbreak is similarly limited. For example, we don’t yet understand why people are dying in Mexico but not elsewhere.”
Note: To watch two short commercials made in 1976 showing clear scare tactics, click here. Only one person died from the actual flu in this 1976 “epidemic,” yet more than 30 died of the flu vaccine. To explore the serious risks of vaccines reported in the media, click here. For lots more on bird and swine flu scares, click here.
Baxter: Product contained live bird flu virus
2009-02-27, Toronto Sun
The company that released contaminated flu virus material from a plant in Austria confirmed Friday that the experimental product contained live H5N1 avian flu viruses. And an official of the World Health Organization’s European operation said the body is closely monitoring the investigation into the events that took place at Baxter International’s research facility. The contaminated product, a mix of H3N2 seasonal flu viruses and unlabelled H5N1 viruses, was supplied to an Austrian research company. The contamination incident … came to light when the subcontractor in the Czech Republic inoculated ferrets with the product and they died. Ferrets shouldn’t die from exposure to human H3N2 flu viruses. Public health authorities concerned about what has been described as a “serious error” on Baxter’s part have assumed the death of the ferrets meant the H5N1 virus in the product was live. But the company, Baxter International Inc., has been parsimonious about the amount of information it has released about the event. On Friday, the company’s director of global bioscience communications confirmed what scientists have suspected. “It was live,” Christopher Bona said in an email. Accidental release of a mixture of live H5N1 and H3N2 viruses could have resulted in dire consequences.
Note: How on earth did the avian flu virus ever get into vaccines? Could it be that this was planned? For a powerful book by a Harvard-trained dentist suggesting there may be a hidden force behind the spread of deadly infectious diseases, click here. For more revealing reports on bird flu, click here.
Case renews debate on vaccine-autism link
2008-03-05, CNN/Associated Press
Government health officials have conceded that childhood vaccines worsened a rare, underlying disorder that ultimately led to autism-like symptoms in a Georgia girl, and that she should be paid from a federal vaccine-injury fund. Thousands of families are seeking compensation for disabilities they attribute to vaccines and a preservative. Parents and advocates for autistic children see the case as a victory that may help certain others. “It’s a beginning,” said Kevin Conway, a Boston, Massachusetts, lawyer representing more than 1,200 families with vaccine injury claims. “Each case is going to have to be proved on its individual merits. But it shows to me that the government has conceded that it’s biologically plausible for a vaccine to cause these injuries. They’ve never done it before.” Nearly 5,000 families are seeking compensation for autism or other developmental disabilities they say are caused by vaccines and a mercury-based preservative, thimerosal.
A child’s return from autism
2005-05-25, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco’s leading newspaper)
A Lafayette couple, certain that chelation therapy has helped their autistic son, stepped squarely into the controversy surrounding the causes of autism and its treatment Tuesday as they joined 150 other parents in launching an international support group that will aggressively promote the treatment. The Handleys are now among a small minority of parents — who, believing that the autism was caused by the mercury in thimerosal, a preservative that was routinely used in vaccines until recently — are treating their children with chelation therapy, a lotion or pill that strips the body of heavy metals. It has been used for decades to detoxify people contaminated in industrial accidents, but no studies have proved whether it is an effective treatment for autism. For Jamie’s parents, the proof they need is in front of them: Jamie, now 3 years old and several months into treatment, is plump and playing baseball. His smile has returned. The Handleys said the new support group, Generation Rescue, www.generationrescue.com, will offer information on chelation therapy and connect parents with those who can help.
Note: For why the some powerful people may be covering up this important information, click here.
Former Marine Claims Illness From Mystery Vaccine
2007-05-07, WLWT-TV (Cincinnati, Ohio’s NBC affiliate)
An alarming number of U.S. troops are having severe reactions to some of the vaccines they receive in preparation for going overseas. “This is the worst cover-up in the history of the military,” said an unidentified military health officer who fears for his job. A shot from a syringe is leaving some U.S. servicemen and women on the brink of death. Lance Corporal David Fey, 20, has dialysis three days a week. His kidneys are failing, his military career is over, and he feels like his country abandoned him. Fey said he loved every minute of boot camp and combat training at 29 Palms in California. But on Nov. 28, 2005, his life would change forever. Fey was one of a group of Marines who lined up for an undisclosed shot. “After that shot, I started swelling up. I gained 30 pounds of water. My eyes swelled up where I couldn’t see.” Three weeks later, Fey was back in Clermont County on his death bed. Fey is one of a growing number of U.S. servicemen and women who are getting sick after receiving vaccines. And the … Department of Defense medical officer … said that the number is up in the thousands. The symptoms range from joint aches and pains and arthritic symptoms to death.
Texas Governor Defends Vaccine Order
2007-02-22, MSNBC/Associated Press
Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday angrily defended his relationship with Merck & Co. and his executive order requiring that schoolgirls receive the drugmaker’s vaccine against the sexually transmitted cervical-cancer virus. Perry’s chief of staff had met with key aides about the vaccine on Oct. 16, the same day Merck’s political action committee donated $5,000 to the governor’s campaign. In issuing the order, the governor made Texas the first state to require the vaccine Gardasil for all schoolgirls. But many lawmakers have complained about his bypassing the Legislature altogether. The executive order has inflamed conservatives, who said it contradicts Texas’ abstinence-only sexual education policies and intrudes into families’ lives. Critics have previously questioned Perry’s ties to Merck. Mike Toomey, Perry’s former chief of staff, now lobbies for the drug company. And the governor accepted a total of $6,000 from Merck during his re-election campaign. Merck has waged a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign to get state legislatures to require girls to get the three-dose vaccine to enroll in school.
Note: The drug company lobby is the most powerful in the U.S., as reported by the former editor-in-chief of one of the most respected medical journals in the U.S. Click here for more.
Gardasil vaccine doubts grow
2008-08-11, Los Angeles Times
Though most medical organizations strongly advocate using the HPV vaccine, some doctors and parents … are asking whether the vaccine’s benefits really outweigh its costs. A report released in June stirred up more doubts. Although cause and effect were not proved, the report listed serious events — such as seizures, spontaneous abortions and even deaths — among teens, preteens and young women who had earlier had Gardasil shots. The report revealed that since the vaccine’s 2006 approval, when girls began getting it, nearly 9,000 had bad health events after receiving Gardasil. The incidents included 10 miscarriages, 78 severe outbreaks of genital warts and six cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that can result in paralysis. There were also 18 reported deaths.
FDA warns Merck to fix vaccine plant problems
2008-04-30, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
The Food and Drug Administration has ordered Merck & Co. to correct numerous manufacturing deficiencies at its main vaccine plant. The agency … released a warning letter sent to Merck’s chief executive, Richard T. Clark, that states FDA inspectors determined manufacturing rules are not being followed at the plant in West Point, Pa., just outside Philadelphia. The plant, which recalled two vaccines in December over sterility problems, makes a number of children’s vaccines and four for adults. The nine-page letter states FDA found “significant objectionable conditions” in the manufacture of vaccines and drug ingredients during repeated inspections from Nov. 26 to Jan. 17. According to the heavily redacted warning letter, Merck officials didn’t thoroughly investigate when vaccine batches inexplicably failed to meet specifications, even if batches had been distributed, and some combination measles-mumps-rubella shots that failed “visual inspection for critical defects” were distributed anyway.
Fighting the Autism-Vaccine War
2008-04-10, US News and World Report
The independent Office of Special Masters of the Court of Federal Claims — with a 20-year record of handling vaccine matters — recently conceded that the brain damage and autistic behavior of Hannah Poling stemmed from her exposure as a toddler to five vaccinations on one day in July 2000. Two days later, she was overtaken by a high fever and an encephalopathy that deteriorated into autistic behavior. At some level, the decision was a vindication for families who have been battling with the vaccine community, arguing that some poorly understood reaction to components of vaccines or their mercury-based preservative, thimerosal, could cause brain injury.
Bird flu vaccine recommended
2007-02-28, Los Angeles Times
A federal advisory committee on Tuesday recommended approval of the first bird flu vaccine for humans, despite concerns about its safety and evidence that the shots won’t protect most people. The government plans to buy and stockpile enough doses for 20 million people. [The] director of the FDA’s vaccine office told the panel that the vaccine was a stopgap measure. “There are numerous vaccines under development that are potentially better than this one,” he said. Some experts [are] worried about possible allergic reactions to the vaccine because it requires a massive dose — 12 times that of the seasonal inoculation.
Note: Who pays for and who profits from the purchase of these 20 million vaccine doses? It’s pretty clear that the taxpayer covers the costs and the big drug companies make huge profits. Fear is quite useful for driving up profits. For lots more on profiteering from the avian flu, click here.
Chiron Gets Contract for Bird Flu Vaccine
2005-10-2, CBS/Associated Press
A second manufacturer is beginning mass production of a vaccine to protect against bird flu, and the Senate moved Thursday to invest far more — $8 billion — on preparations in case the influenza strain ever sparks a worldwide epidemic. Before the Senate acted, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt awarded a $62.5 million contract to Emeryville, Calif.-based Chiron Corp. to manufacture bird flu vaccine. The Bush administration is putting the final touches on its plan for how to fight the next super-flu … amid growing concern that the H5N1 influenza strain spreading among birds from Asia to Europe could trigger a pandemic if it mutates into a form easily spread from person to person. The massive out-of-budget expenditure … would increase stockpiles of the antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza, thought to be effective against current strains of bird flu.
Note: Isn’t is interesting that over $60 million dollars (potentially $8 billion!) has been “awarded” for a vaccine against a bird flu that hasn’t even mutated yet? How can they know that it will mutate and kill millions of people? How do we know these vaccines will work when it hasn’t even mutated? Note also that the pharmaceutical industry, which manufactures vaccines, has the largest lobby in all Washington and is raking in huge profits.