Secret Government Documents Reveal Vacc...

Secret Government Documents Reveal Vaccines to be a Total Hoax

You can access Dr. Tomljenovic’s full paper here:
http://www.ecomed.org.uk/wp-http://www.naturalnews.com/038598_vaccines_medical_hoax_government

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The vaccination policy and the Code of Practice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI): are they at odds?

Lucija Tomljenovic, PhD

Neural Dynamics Research Group, Dept. of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia, 828 W. 10th Ave, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1L8, lucijat77@gmail.com

Introduction

No pharmaceutical drug is devoid of risks from adverse reactions and vaccines are no exception. According to the world’s leading drug regulatory authority, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), vaccines represent a special category of drugs in that they are generally given to healthy individuals and often to prevent a disease to which an individual may never be exposed [1]. This, according to the FDA, places extra emphasis on vaccine safety. Universally, regulatory authorities are responsible for ensuring that new vaccines go through proper scientific evaluation before they are approved. An equal responsibility rests on the medical profession to promote vaccinations but only with those vaccines whose safety and efficacy has been demonstrated to be statistically significant. Furthermore, vaccination is a medical intervention and as such, it should be carried out with the full consent of those who are being subjected to it. This necessitates an objective disclosure of the known or foreseeable risks and benefits and, where applicable, a description of alternative courses of treatment. In cases where children and infants are involved, full consent with regards to vaccination should be given by the parents.

Deliberately concealing information from the parents for the sole purpose of getting them to comply with an “official” vaccination schedule could thus be considered as a form of ethical violation or misconduct. Official documents obtained from the UK Department of Health (DH) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) reveal that the British health authorities have been engaging in such practice for the last 30 years, apparently for the sole purpose of protecting the national vaccination program.

Here I present the documentation which appears to show that the JCVI made continuous efforts to withhold critical data on severe adverse reactions and contraindications to vaccinations to both parents and health practitioners in order to reach overall vaccination rates which they deemed were necessary for “herd immunity”, a concept which with regards to vaccination, and contrary to prevalent beliefs, does not rest on solid scientific evidence as will be explained. As a result of such vaccination policy promoted by the JCVI and the DH, many children have been vaccinated without their parents being disclosed the critical information about demonstrated risks of serious adverse reactions, one that the JCVI appeared to have been fully aware of. It would also appear that, by withholding this information, the JCVI/DH neglected the right of individuals to make an informed consent concerning vaccination. By doing so, the JCVI/DH may have violated not only International Guidelines for Medical Ethics (i.e., Helsinki Declaration and the International Code of Medical Ethics) [2] but also, their own Code of Practice (http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/ dh_digitalassets/@dh/@ab/documents/digitalasset/dh_115363.pdf).

The transcripts of the JCVI meetings also show that some of the Committee members had extensive ties to pharmaceutical companies and that the JCVI frequently co-operated with vaccine manufacturers on strategies aimed at boosting vaccine uptake. Some of the meetings at which such controversial items were discussed were not intended to be publicly available, as the transcripts were only released later, through the Freedom of Information Act (FOI). These particular meetings are denoted in the transcripts as “commercial in confidence”, and reveal a clear and disturbing lack of transparency, as some of the information was removed from the text (i.e., the names of the participants) prior to transcript release under the FOI section at the JCVI website (for example, JCVI CSM/DH (Committee on the Safety of Medicines/Department of Health) Joint Committee on Adverse Reactions Minutes 1986-1992; http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FreedomOfInformation/ Freedomofinformationpublicationschemefeedback/FOIreleases/DH_4135306).

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Assertions

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In summary, the transcripts of the JCVI/DH meetings from the period from 1983 to 2010 appear to show that:

  1. 1)  Instead of reacting appropriately by re-examining existing vaccination policies when safety concerns over specific vaccines were identified by their own investigations, the JCVI either a) took no action, b) skewed or selectively removed unfavourable safety data from public reports and c) made intensive efforts to reassure both the public and the authorities in the safety of respective vaccines;

  2. 2)  Significantly restricted contraindication to vaccination criteria in order to increase vaccination rates despite outstanding and unresolved safety issues;

  3. 3)  On multiple occasions requested from vaccine manufacturers to make specific amendments to their data sheets, when these were in conflict with JCVI’s official advices on immunisations;

  4. 4)  Persistently relied on methodologically dubious studies, while dismissing independent research, to promote vaccine policies;

  5. 5)  Persistently and categorically downplayed safety concerns while over-inflating vaccine benefits;

  6. 6)  Promoted and elaborated a plan for introducing new vaccines of questionable efficacy and safety into the routine paediatric schedule, on the assumption that the licenses would eventually be granted;

  7. 7)  Actively discouraged research on vaccine safety issues;

  8. 8)  Deliberately took advantage of parents’ trust and lack of relevant knowledge on vaccinations in order to promote a scientifically unsupported immunisation program which could put certain children at risk of severe long-term neurological damage;

Notably, all of these actions appear to violate the JCVI’s own Code of Practice (http:// www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/@dh/@ab/documents/digitalasset/ dh_115363.pdf).

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Evidence

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I here provide the evidence in support of each of the above assertions. (Note: emphasis added throughout the text as underlined are by the author unless otherwise indicated)

1) Instead of reacting appropriately by re-examining existing vaccination policies when safety concerns over specific vaccines were identified by their own investigations, the JCVI either a) took no action, b) skewed or selectively removed unfavourable safety data from public reports and/or c) made intensive efforts to reassure both the public and the authorities in the safety of respective vaccines.

As early as 1981, the JCVI had substantial documentation which associated the measles vaccine with serious adverse reactions including death and long-term adverse neurological outcomes. At the JCVI meeting held on 9th April 1981 (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/ DH_095169), in discussing a paper that summarised all the reports of adverse reactions to the CSM, the following was noted:

(5.b.) Adverse Reactions to measles vaccine

“All reports since 1970 of encephalitis, encephalopathy or sudden death shortly after vaccination had been reviewed; 60 patients were involved of whom 8 had died, 36 had made an apparent complete recovery and 16 were left with permanent sequelae. The high proportion of deaths and patients with sequelae was surprising in comparison with the findings of the NCES [National Childhood Encephalopathy Study].”(5.b. Adverse Reactions to measles vaccine)

By 1983, the JCVI appeared to have had more evidence that the measles vaccine could cause encephalitis associated with “severe handicap” in a subset of vulnerable children. At the JCVI meeting on 17th of June 1983 (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/JCVI/DH_120115), the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) received 66 reports of suspected adverse reactions to measles vaccines over the period January 1982 to April 1983. According to the transcript of the meeting:

(7. Suspected adverse reactions to measles vaccine: recent reports to the CSM)

“These included three cases of encephalitis; on follow-up, two of these patients were left one year later with severe handicap and the third patient, after a year, appeared to be developmentally normal.”

By the end of 1981 serious safety concerns have also been raised with regards to another routine paediatric vaccine, the whooping cough vaccine. At the meeting held on 3rd November 1981 (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/DH_095169) in section 5 on Whooping Cough:

(5.d. Comments on Professor Stewart’s letter)

“Professor Gilliatt observed that in the Meade Panel Study one-third of children with brain damage were not admitted to hospital. In both the Meade and Dudgeon studies there were examples of children who had a fit soon after vaccination which was followed by a fit at a later time and then followed by cessation of development. It was very difficult to assess this as a random event.”

Furthermore:

“The Chairman concluded that much was not known about the natural history of brain damage in the young.”

In spite of this, three years later, at the meeting on 25th of April 1986 (http:// www.dh.gov.uk/ab/DH_095169), the JCVI concluded their discussion on suspected adverse

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reactions for the period 19th September 1985 to 15th of January 1986 with the following statement:

(11.4)

“The Committee agreed to a suggestion from the Chairman that in future it would accept reports on adverse reactions as “for information” only.” [their emphasis added-quotation marks]

It is somewhat perplexing why the JCVI adopted what appears to be a rather passive approach to vaccine safety, in light of the severe adverse reactions that were reported at that meeting. These included cot deaths, convulsions and anaphylaxis (11.4).

The JCVI appeared to have had other solutions for dealing with vaccine safety concerns. In a “commercial in confidence” CSM/JCVI/Joint Sub-Committee on Adverse Reactions to Vaccination and Immunisation (ARVI) meeting on 7th February 1986 (http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/ FreedomOfInformation/Freedomofinformationpublicationschemefeedback/FOIreleases/ DH_4135306), in a discussion about a surveillance study on adverse reactions to two measles vaccines, the members noted that:

“...results showed that 70 per cent of children were well after receiving Attenuvax and 61 per cent after receiving Rimevax. If children with mild general reactions were added to those who were apparently well then the numbers associated with Attenuvax were 85 per cent and those with Rimevax 80 per cent.” (7.1 PHLS [Public Health Laboratory Service] surveillance of adverse reactions to two measles vaccine (Rimevax and Attenuvax))

In other words, even skewing the data by adding cases of mild reactions to those who were “apparently” well, did far from producing a reassuring statistic in favour of the safety of the measles vaccines, as it still implied a rate of 15-20% of vaccine-associated serious adverse reactions (as opposed to 30-39% of mild-to-serious adverse reactions in total). After further discussion on this topic:

“...it was agreed there was now enough information to stop the study.”

While at the same time, there appeared to be no incentive to reconsider the current immunisation policy, in fact, it seemed more reasonable to conclude that some of the suspected adverse reactions to measles vaccine:

“...were unlikely to be associated with the use of measles vaccine and were more likely to be temper tantrums.” (7.2 Suspected adverse reactions to measles vaccine: a summary of recent reports to the CS, June 1983 to September 1985)

The summary of suspected adverse reactions to DTP vaccine administered alone or with oral polio (OPV) during the period 19th September 1985 to 15th January 1986, presented at the same “confidential” meeting (CSM/JCVI/Joint Sub-Committee ARVI, 7th February 1986) were more difficult to ascribe to “temper tantrums”:

(9.(1))

“Ninety such adverse reactions have been registered. These included six patients with convulsions, one a patient with abnormal fever following vaccination and one patient with apparent cerebral irritability; in addition two cot deaths were reported. (i) Case No. 154043 A three-month old boy who after his first dose of Trivax AD and OPV on 17 September 1985 was found dead 18 hours after immunisation....(ii) Case No. 154080 A three-month old girl who received her first dose of Trivax and OPV on the 19 September 1985 and was found dead on the night of 21/22 September 1985. No initial adverse reaction to vaccination was reported and the cause of death was stated as SIDS.” [sudden infant death syndrome]

By mid to the late 1980s, the JCVI had become increasingly concerned about publicly associating the terms “death” and/or “brain damage” with the word “vaccine”, because of the negative

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repercussions they perceived this would have on vaccination policy (CSM/JCVI/Joint Sub-Committee ARVI meetings on 7th February 1986; 3rd October 1986; http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/ FreedomOfInformation/Freedomofinformationpublicationschemefeedback/FOIreleases/ DH_4135306). Such concerns were also exacerbated by the increasing burden of litigations about pertussis vaccine-suspected injuries (JCVI meeting on 22nd April 1988; 20th October 1988; http:// www.dh.gov.uk/ab/DH_095169), and the possibility that vaccination could be linked to some cases of SIDS, as evident from the Reports on Yellow Cards quoted above.

At the meeting on 22nd April 1988 (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/DH_095169), in an ongoing discussion about the Loveday v Renton litigation, the Chairman:

“...reminded members that they had asked for a list of documents disclosed. JCVI (88)1 provided such a list, but it should not be made public. Dr Salisbury said that the Department’s solicitors had advised that a part of the section on whooping cough in the revised Memorandum was in conflict with the judgement in the above-mentioned case. They had recommended that any statement on the risk of neurological reaction should avoid any estimate of the size of the risk of death or permanent brain damage. Dr Salisbury said that paragraph 3.4.1c of the section on whooping cough in the Memorandum had been modified accordingly and this modification was tabled. Professor Miller observed that the conclusion to be reached from the judgment of the Court and from the assessment of the scientific evidence of risk of neurological reactions and their consequences, were not necessarily the same. The legal judgement was that there is insufficient evidence, on the balance of probabilities that the vaccine causes permanent damage to allow any claim for damages to succeed. The JCVI was concerned with the implications of scientific assessment of the evidence for vaccine policy purposes. On this basis he was content to quote the figure for attributable risk of serious neurological illness without giving a figure for the risk of permanent damage, which was consistent with the conclusion of the NCES quoted in the Whooping Cough Report 1981.”(Item 5, page 4 – Loveday v Renton)

The extent of the JCVI’s concerns with the implications of scientific assessment of vaccine safety on vaccine policy explains why they were opposed to any long-term surveillance for severe neurological disorders following vaccination. In fact, as it will be shown below in greater detail, the CSM/JCVI/ARVI

considered such studies “unreasonable” and paradoxically, ARVI even “deprecated the use of the term ‘brain damage’” (CSM/JCVI/Joint Sub-Committee ARVI meeting held on 7th February 1986; http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FreedomOfInformation/ Freedomofinformationpublicationschemefeedback/FOIreleases/DH_4135306).

In 1989, 10 years prior to the “controversial” Lancet report by Wakefield et al. [3], the JCVI appeared to have been fully aware of the outcomes of the investigation carried out by the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), which unequivocally established a link between the mumps component of the MMR vaccine (the Urabe-9 strain) and cases of vaccine- induced meningitis/encephalitis. In response to this, the JCVI appeared to have actively engaged in skewing and censoring data available to the public, continued to use the Urabe-9 containing MMR vaccines and made intensive efforts to reassure both the public and the authorities of the safety of all MMR vaccines.

According to the transcript of the JCVI meeting on 3rd November 1989 (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/ DH_095169), the causal agent of vaccine-induced meningitis/encephalitis was unequivocally identified:

(9. ARVI Committee – Minutes of meeting 6 October 1989 (JCVI (89)25)

“Prof Collee expressed gratitude to the NIBSC for the progress it achieved in developing techniques to identify wild and vaccine virus strains. Dr Schild reported that NIBSC was now able to distinguish clearly the wild strains from each of the two vaccines, and isolates from CSF clearly showed Urabe in all three cases believed to be associated with vaccine-although it should not be assumed that Jeryl-Lynn is not capable of the same result. Professor Collee added that no mumps vaccine could be said to be void of risk. Dr Schild said NIBSC would be happy to continue analysing samples.”

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In the following meeting on 17th September 1990, the JCVI CSM/DH Joint Sub-Committee on Adverse Reactions (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/JCVI/DH_095294), on reviewing the adverse reactions to the MMR vaccine reported on Yellow Cards, applied the following criteria to the assessments:

(6.3.1.)

“Definite=Virus isolated from CSF [cerebrospinal fluid], time course of 14-28 days; Possible/probable=Cells isolated from CSF, no virus in CSF, acceptable time course” [their

emphasis added-underlined]
The transcript then states:
“It was noted that there were 10 definite cases of meningitis/encephalitis.” Both definite and probable cases were then discussed in some detail: (6.3.4.)

“It was noted that the mumps viruses obtained from two out of three cases from Nottingham were sequenced and shown to be vaccine related. The patients had all been vaccinated from different batches and did not live close to each other.”

At the 17th September 1990 meeting (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/JCVI/DH_095294), the JCVI CSM/DH Joint Sub-Committee on Adverse Reactions did recognize the need to do a follow- up analyses for long-term neurological outcomes in all cases of meningitis/encephalitis associated with the MMR vaccine. It was also recognized that the current avenues for adverse reactions reporting (via the Yellow Card, the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit (BPSU) scheme, directly to Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (CDSC) and through Laboratory reports) were inadequate for detailed epidemiological evaluations. The JCVI CSM/DH Joint Sub-Committee then stated that:

(6.4)

“In order to further validate vaccine related illnesses, fuller studies would be required.” Despite these unresolved safety issues, the conclusion reached at the meeting was that: (6.7)

“There should be no change in the present recommendations or supply of MMR vaccine on the evidence available to us at the present time.”

Thus, instead of re-evaluating the vaccination policy, at least until safety concerns were fully evaluated, the JCVI choose to support the existing policy based on incomplete evidence that was available at that time.

Furthermore, at the 17th September 1990 meeting (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/JCVI/ DH_095294), the JCVI appeared to have been fully aware of increasing numbers of cases of mumps vaccine-associated aseptic meningitis occurring in Japan, since at the time of the meeting, they had been presented with a draft of a study by Sugiura et al. [4]. The Japanese study found that among 630,157 recipients of the MMR vaccine containing the Urabe-9 mumps vaccine, there were at least 311 meningitis cases suspected to be vaccine- related. In 96 of these 311 cases, mumps virus related to the vaccine was isolated from the CSF. Sugiura et al. [4] noted that this was an unusually high incidence of vaccine-related adverse outcomes, which they had attributed in part to “adverse media publicity”. Nonetheless, the fact that in almost one third of the cases, the vaccine strain had been isolated from the CSF of children, suggests that safety concerns over the MMR were warranted. Indeed, in 1993 the Japanese suspended the use of the MMR vaccines containing the Urabe strain due to it causing a high incidence of aseptic meningitis, and reverted to the use of monovalent measles, mumps and rubella vaccines. According to Japanese Health Authorities, the withdrawal of the MMR had not caused an increase in deaths from wild

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measles infection. Noteworthy, in a BBC news report (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia- pacific/1808316.stm), a spokesperson for the Japan’s Health Ministry stated that:

“...more children had died from the disease during the period when MMR was being used.” In reference to the Japanese study, the JCVI transcript specifically states:(6.6)“The paper confirmed information from Japan previously disclosed to ARVI.”

This suggests that the JCVI knew for some time that the Urabe-9 vaccine was causing problems and yet, did not consider the possibility to temporarily suspend its use.

Furthermore, four months prior to the 17th September 1990 meeting, at the JCVI 4th May 1990 meeting (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/DH_095169), ARVI expressed concerns regarding the reports from Japan. The major reason for these concerns was not that the JCVI/ARVI were in favour of using the Urabe-9 vaccine which was now associated with increased risk of meningitis/encephalitis in children, but rather:

(9.1.)

“Professor Banatvala was concerned about the possibility of the Japanese experience being published widely in the UK, and urged the gathering of information on the various episodes from all MMR manufacturers.”

ARVI also reached a rather surprising conclusion that:

“The Japanese experience may be due to different reporting/investigating criteria or other local factors.”

However, if this were the case, “the Japanese experience” would have been an isolated event. That this was not the case can be clearly seen from further readings of the JCVI 4th May 1990 meeting transcript (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/DH_095169):

(9.3.a.)

“Dr Thores spoke to the letter, JCVI/90/10, from Dr McIntyre. He highlighted SHHD [Scottish Home and Health Department] concern about the Canadian decision not to use Urabe strain vaccine, the cases of neurological complications in Japan, the seeming bias of the UK adverse reactions towards Scotland, and the continued use of vaccine distribution figures as the denominator when calculating adverse reaction rates.”

In spite of this, instead of re-evaluating or suspending the existing MMR vaccination policy due to safety concerns, the JCVI called for a specific and concentrated effort aimed at counteracting the growing public and health authorities’ concern over the safety of the Urabe-9 MMR vaccines.

(9.3.c.)

“Professor Peckham told the Committee that she was aware of three districts changing from use of Urabe to Jeryl Lynn vaccine, and therefore the Committee needed to reassure authorities of the safety of all MMR vaccines.”

Hence, it appears that the JCVI’s solution to the growing problem regarding the MMR vaccine safety issues was to provide as little information as possible to health practitioners, in order to preserve the JCVI’s vaccination policy. If this assumption is correct, does it suggest that the JCVI was more concerned about boosting vaccine uptake than child safety?

(9.3.e.)

“The Chairman asked the Committee if it thought necessary to draw up a statement about MMR.”

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“Professor Hull suggested a simple sheet with ARVI’s evaluation of the vaccines. This would let doctors know that an expert committee had looked at the situation and perhaps reassure them.”

What appears to be a rather inadequate handling of the MMR safety concerns on behalf of the JCVI did not make the problem go away. Only a year later, at 1st November 1991 meeting (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/JCVI/DH_095050), unable to resolve the continuing MMR safety issues the JCVI turned to vaccine manufacturers for help:

(7.1 Report on MMR)

“On adverse reactions to the vaccine, the most worrying reports had been studies which showed problems with the Urabe vaccine, particularly Mumps Meningitis. Reports had also come from overseas countries, Canada being the most helpful....of 67 reported cases between October 1988 and August 1990, 38 children had definite or probable Aseptic Meningitis and one Encephalitis. Ten of these were definitely caused by the vaccine, and a further 29 were probably caused by the vaccine. Of these 39 children, 37 were followed up at 12 months. 33 (or 89%) were neuro-developmentally normal. Of the remaining four, two had neuro-developmental problems before being given MMR, one had behaviour problems and one had a cerebral astrocytoma. There had been eight reports of nerve deafness although one was pre-MMR; six needed further investigation. The over-all picture was that there were 3.7 cases per 100,000 doses of Urabe vaccine and no cases reported with the Jeryl Lynn vaccine. However, the MSD [Merck Sharp and Dohme] vaccine was generally not well accepted because of pain at the injection site. Urabe is the most reactogenic vaccine but some data suggested that it may also be the most immunogenic. It was impossible to make a firm decision about this until all information had been collected.”

(Note: it ought to be asked why the UK health authorities thought it was appropriate to vaccinate children with neurodevelopmental problems and cerebral astrocytoma with a vaccine that had caused substantial worries to them over its association with adverse reactions affecting the brain).

(7.2 Discussions with Manufacturers)

“Dr Salisbury reported on his recent meetings with Merieux, MSD and SKB [Smithkline Beecham]. Information was shared and details of adverse events discussed. The manufacturers felt that the Department’s line-that is, surveying adverse events and checking immunogenicity-was correct.”

Again, the JCVI appeared to have adopted a passive approach to the problem and made no apparent efforts to identify specific sub-groups of children who may have been more prone to adverse reactions to the MMR. At the meeting that followed on 1st May 1992 (http:// www.dh.gov.uk/ab/JCVI/DH_095050), the same conclusions were reiterated in light of the continuing MMR crisis, with an additional concern that the actual number of vaccine- associated aseptic meningitis cases might have been higher, due to suspected underreporting:

(7.4 Report of North Herts Immunogenicity Study (Dr Elizabeth Miller))

“The report of a cluster of CSF mumps virus positive cases in Nottingham had caused concern that national surveillance may have been underreporting the incidence of cases; a meeting had been held to discuss the Nottingham situation and the national data....In Nottingham all children with febrile convulsions were lumbar punctured, unlike some other areas from where reports had been received (Preston and Ashford) .The Committee agreed that no conclusion could be reached until the full immunogenicity results were available as well as the full analysis of the Nottingham and other data.”

In the meantime, no changes were made to the immunisation policies. Would a seemingly passive approach to child health and safety, suggest that the JCVI in essence agreed to the fact that during the surveillance for the purposes of “for information only”, some cases of

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suspected vaccine-induced convulsions, meningitis/encephalitis and deaths in children would just have to be tolerated?

Note also that for using the same technique of lumbar puncture, 18 years later, Dr Andrew Wakefield who investigated a consecutive series of children with chronic enterocolitis and regressive developmental disorder which appeared to have been linked to MMR vaccination, was charged and found unfit to practice medicine by the UK General Medical Council (GMC). According to the GMC hearing, lumbar puncture in children with MMR-suspected adverse neurological outcome was apparently ”not clinically indicated” (http://www.gmc-uk.org/static/documents/content/ Wakefield__Smith_Murch.pdf).

In July 1992, the data from Nottingham became available, nonetheless, it took another two months before the JCVI and the DH finally decided to take action, apparently not so much because of safety concerns but more so because of the legal advice given to the manufacturers by their lawyers in response to which the manufacturers decided to stop producing the Urabe-9 containing MMR vaccines. According to the transcript of the JCVI meeting on 6th November 1992 (http:// www.dh.gov.uk/ab/JCVI/DH_095050):

(8.1 Report to Sub-Committee on SEAR/CSM: Dr David Salisbury)

“In August, Department of Health officials met with MCA [Medicines Control Agency] and the manufacturers. At the end of August SKB, acting on the advice of their lawyers, decided to stop producing vaccine and advise licensing authorities world wide accordingly; the Department had, therefore, to act quickly.”

Thus, only when the alarm was sounded by the manufacturers’ lawyers did the DH sense that the matters regarding the safety of the MMR vaccine required some urgency. In addition, it appears that the principal preoccupation of the European Authorities was how to preserve global vaccine policies in face of the Urabe-9 scandal.

“On the 3 and 4 September the Chief Medical Officers of European Community countries were advised in confidence of the situation at a routine meeting. ARGOS/SEAR [Sub- Committee on Safety, Efficiency (SEAR) and the Adverse Reaction Group of SEAR (ARGOS)] agreed on 4 September that no action would be taken to revoke the manufacturer’s license as a change of purchasing policy was to be made by the Department; revoking the license would have caused a world-wide vaccine crisis.”

The actual rate of aseptic meningitis after the MMR vaccination was discussed later on the JCVI 6th November 1992 meeting agenda (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/JCVI/DH_095050):

(8.7 Risk of aseptic meningitis after MMR vaccination in UK children: Dr Elizabeth Miller)

“The overall risk of this complication in the UK was 1 per 10,000 immunised children but, in Nottingham, this had increased to 1 in 4,000. Tests in Canada in 1989 had associated the Urabe vaccine with meningitis. The linking of laboratory records of CSE samples with district computer databases on immunisation had been very effective. The Committee was told that all the countries which had had a choice had switched from the Urabe to Jeryl Lynn;”

What is rather astonishing is that the four-year old Canadian concerns over the safety profile of the MMR vaccine (which had been confirmed in 1989), were apparently ignored by the JCVI or at least, not given much credence. While the Canadian Health Authorities suspended the use of the Urabe-9 MMR in 1988, the UK introduced it along with a vigorous promotional campaign. In a confidential meeting of the JCVI Working Party on the introduction of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine on 11th February 1988 (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/JCVI/DH_095297):

(5. MMR vaccination in Canada)

“Members read a report of cases of mumps encephalitis which had been associated with MMR vaccine containing the URABE strain of the mumps virus. The Canadian authorities had suspended the licences of MMR vaccines containing the URABE strain, but Dr Salisbury considered that the data on which the decision had been based was slender.”

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The JCVI also had a specific plan to combat any adverse publicity in case any of this “confidential” information was to reach the public:

“A statement would be prepared in anticipation of any adverse publicity which might arise.”

(7. Publicity)

“A paper prepared by the MMR Publicity Group was presented, by Mr Flaherty and Mr Reid, for the Group to discuss and to approve the general approach it contained. Dr Ross considered that the priority was to get the message across to doctors, health visitors and nurses.”

Finally, the JCVI also had a number of funding strategies in place to promote the introduction of the MMR:

(9. Funding situation)

“£800,000 had been set aside for publicity and £1.4 million had been set aside to cover the period October 1988 - March 1989 to assist health authorities with increased vaccine costs, the education of professionals and for the re-programming of child computers. Members noted that the Statement of Fees and Allowances would need altering to include item of service payment for MMR.”

This latter strategy was further refined on the JCVI Working Party on the introduction of MMR vaccine following meeting, on 17th May 1988 (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/JCVI/DH_095297):

(3. Matters Arising)

“Dr McGuiness suggested that instead of an item of service payment GPs might be paid according to their immunization rates.”

In spite of carefully elaborated advertising and substantial investments, the JCVI did not entirely succeed in countering public concerns over vaccine safety, as on 6th October 1989 (http:// www.dh.gov.uk/ab/JCVI/DH_095294):

(5.2.6)

“The meeting’s further sadness was expressed over the press reports, which could have harmful implications and unnecessarily damage public confidence in vaccines.”

Regrettably, similar sadness was apparently not expressed by the JCVI members over a report of a vaccine-suspected death of a 16 month old child, which was discussed at the same meeting. Rather:

(5.2.4)

“This was a fiscal case and as such was highly confidential. Doubts were expressed about the cause of death, and while it was not possible to give clear judgement, it was felt that there was unlikely to have been a causal relationship with the vaccine and that this was an unusual case.”

Science should be based on facts and experimental evidence, not feelings.

As for the alleged “slender” Canadian data on safety hazards of the SKF (Smith Kline and French) Urabe MMR vaccine, in a confidential JCVI CSM/DH Joint Sub-committee on Adverse Reactions meeting on 7th March 1990 (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/JCVI/DH_095294) the following was disclosed:

(6. Adverse reactions to MMR vaccine)

“In Canada, the MSD vaccine had been used exclusively [Jeryl Lynn strain-containing MMR]. Following the introduction of SKF product, the cases of meningoencephalitis had been

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reported. When distribution of the SKF vaccine was halted, no further cases of meningoencephalitis were reported.”

Yet, from this clear evidence, the JCVI derived a conclusion that somewhat seems to defy logic:

“It was suggested that, due to different reaction criteria and methods of data collection, reporting in different countries should not be compared.”

In summary, the JCVI endorsed and promoted a policy of vaccinating every child in the UK with the Urabe-9 MMR vaccine, in spite of the evidence that this would have caused a greater risk of encephalitis in children, when compared to the alternative Jeryl Lynn version of the MMR. It was only under pressure from a potential legal action that the JCVI and DH decided that it was due time “to act quickly” and withdraw the Urabe MMR from use in routine vaccinations.