Vaccines in the News

Written by Jane Sheppard   
Wednesday, 13 May 2009 12:06
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Vaccines in the News
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Mercury in Vaccines

In June 1999, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed that some infants who receive multiple doses of vaccines containing the preservative thimerosal could be exposed to total amounts of mercury that exceed federal guidelines. Thimerosal, a mercury salt, is used as a disinfectant and preservative in many vaccines. Its toxic effects on the nervous system and kidney are well documented. The FDA sent a letter to vaccine manufacturers on July 1, 1999, requesting plans to remove thimerosal from vaccines or justify the continued use of this preservative. Vaccine manufacturers were forced to eliminate mercury from childhood vaccines by January 2000, but critics wonder why the FDA waited nine years after the World Health Organization expressed concerns about mercury exposure due to vaccines before European and American forces admitted a potential problem with the cumulative dose of mercury in infants. And what about the toxicity of aluminum and formaldehyde added to vaccines? When will we receive a report that exposure to these substances in childhood vaccines is dangerous? And what about the millions of babies who have already received this toxic burden of mercury in their vaccinations?

Multiple Sclerosis and the Hepatitis B vaccine

In October 1998, France became the first country to end hepatitis B vaccination requirements for schoolchildren after reports of chronic arthritis, symptoms resembling multiple sclerosis and other serious health problems following hepatitis B vaccination became so numerous that the Health Minister of France suspended the school requirement. Health Minister Bernard Kouchner said inoculations were stopped because of fears that the vaccine could cause neurological disorders, in particular multiple sclerosis. Hundreds of case reports have been filed that associate the hepatitis B vaccine with nervous system disorders, and a French court ruled that there was sufficient evidence to conclude there was a connection between a vaccine produced by British drug maker SmithKline Beecham and multiple sclerosis symptoms in two people. The French government's decision led vaccine researchers to initiate at least six research projects to determine if a link can be found between the hepatitis vaccine and MS or other similar nervous system damage.

Rotavirus Vaccine Recalled

In August 1998 a vaccine was licensed for use in children to combat viral diarrhea. Less than one year later the vaccine was withdrawn from the market because of reports that as many as 99 infants developed a life-threatening bowel obstruction after receiving the vaccine, and two of these babies died. The withdrawal of this vaccine represented a serious blow to the vaccine industry's reputation for safety, but subsequent news was even worse. Data revealed that during clinical trials of the vaccine this bowel problem occurred at a level 30 times the expected rate in a normal population. As a result, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has requested a congressional investigation of the process by which all vaccines are tested, approved, and recommended.