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The hidden story about vaccines, autism, drugs and food… Americas health has been BOUGHT. Your health, your family’s health. Now brought to you by Wall Street… “If you thought they hurt us with the banks, wait till you see what they’re doing to health care.” Vaccines. GMOs. Big Pharma. Three big, BIG, okay… HUGE topics in one film. Why? Why not 3 films, why put all this in one movie? Great question, 2 answers. 1st and most importantly: We need to band together. We need a mainstream film, not another radical movie that only interests the “already converted”. Over 5 million people supported Prop 37 in CA. Reportedly, over 2 million worldwide marched against Monsanto in a global protest. There...ane vaccine expansion, and our love affair with pharmaceuticals- it’s the same villain. It’s a risky story to tell, but would be a tragedy to passively consent to with silence. There is something horribly wrong with health care today. Huge money, billions and billions of dollars flowing into the same pockets. Meanwhile, MD’s aren’t being allowed to actually practice the art of medicine and anyone who questions vaccination safety, pharmaceuticals, factory farms, etc. is ridiculed and belittled. Meanwhile, the billions keep flowing, carried on a river of pain and anguish. Huge corporations funded by individual misery, one broken life at a time. Three huge stories, each worthy of multiple films, but each brought together by one staggering fact: it’s the same villain. These three story lines converge on Wall Street, in a tale of corruption, greed and shocking lack of conscience.

 

Vaccination NewsLetter: Top Stories - posted December 15-21, 2003

Vaccination NewsLetter: Top Stories - posted December 22-28, 2003

FREEDOM OF CHOICE IS NOT FREE

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Note 1: If for any reason you end up in the "frames" version of the website, here's how to create a unique "url".  In Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape 7, in order to bookmark, forward or copy the direct link, right click on the link you are interested in and click on "open in new window".  The page will now open with the correct url.  (If someone knows how to do this in other editions of Netscape, please email me at sandym@touchngo.com and I will publish those directions as well.)

Note 2:  A sentence or two from each article will be included right after the link in quotes in many cases.

Note 3:  A short bio of Sandy Mintz is included in the Scandals column titled: The Homeland Security Act - The Aftermath.

Note 4:  My comments are in red.

Note 5:  INCLUSION OF AN ARTICLE BELOW DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN I HAVE READ ALL OR PART OF THAT ARTICLE.

Note 6:  Articles, for the most part, are no longer copied and pasted, but instead are linked to directly. 

Previous newsletters

Picks of the week - posted 12/29/23

Smallpox/smallpox vaccine

►December 3, 2003 - Report: Pentagon smallpox immunizations run better than anthrax - www.govexec.com - "In September 2002, GAO reported on the limited availability of the anthrax vaccine and a general frustration among military personnel with the information provided about the program."

Comment: The GAO also reported more disturbing news, significantly higher than previously acknowledged numbers of adverse reactions to the anthrax vaccine.

December 23, 2003 - Smallpox Concerns Fading Away? - UPI via The Washington Times - "Although the nation's terror threat level recently was raised to high, Americans appear to have become unconcerned about the possibility of attacks involving biological weapons, including individuals who only a year ago were clamoring for health officials to make vaccines and medications available to the general public...Even smallpox -- one of the deadliest diseases known to man and one of the most likely to be used in a bioterror attack -- no longer seems to instill the fear it did shortly after the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001."

►December 26, 2003 - Researchers intrigued by century-old smallpox scabs - AP via www.kobtv.com - "Government health researchers are going to conduct tests on the contents of a yellowed envelope found in a New Mexico library...The envelope is apparently filled with scabs from 19th-century smallpox vaccinations."

December 26, 2003 - In Medical Mystery, A Hint of Smallpox - Washington Post - "Librarian Susanne Caro was leafing through an 1888 book on Civil War medicine when she spied a small, yellowed envelope tucked between the pages. Freeing it, she read the inscription 'scabs from vaccination of W.B. Yarrington's children' in the corner, with the signature 'Dr. W.D. Kelly,' the book's author...Researchers believe the scabs found in March are either from smallpox vaccine patients or from victims, whose scabs were used in an early inoculation procedure. At the very least, inoculation scabs would shed light on the historic development of American vaccines for smallpox, which though eradicated a generation ago has returned to public consciousness as a potentially devastating weapon for bioterrorists."

►2003 - How to avoid dangerous diseases during pregnancy. - Smallpox - American Baby - "If you're pregnant, you're at a greater risk for serious side effects from the smallpox vaccine and shouldn't receive it. Also if you're breastfeeding, you should avoid getting it; the vaccine could be passed on to the baby.The vaccine would only be advisable for pregnant or nursing women as a method of treatment if they were exposed to the smallpox virus. Other people who should not get the vaccine include those who suffer from eczema or other allergic rashes (even if it's mild or was just a childhood condition) and those with weakened immunity (e.g., due to treatment for cancer or being HIV-positive)."

►December 19, 2003 - Vt. Falls Short on Smallpox Vaccination Goal  - www.wcax.com - "Health officials set a goal of vaccinating 2,000 volunteers around the state. But only 130 have since gotten the shots...But Vermont's health commissioner says 130 people are enough to vaccinate others in the event of an attack."

Senator Frist/Frist bills/Eli Lilly et al protection/VICP  -  for more, click here

►December 22, 2003 - Scandals: Senator Frist Frivolously Dismisses Vaccine Damage by Sandy Mintz - Vaccination News

Other Bioterror-related

December 28, 2003 - U.S. Has New Concerns About Anthrax Readiness (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

December 29, 2003 - Call to stop deadly viruses getting into wrong hands - www.smh.com - "Ian Ramshaw...was critical of US researchers who have genetically modified cowpox virus, which can infect humans, in a way that is likely to make it extremely deadly...The team at the University of St Louis has said the research is necessary to understand what terrorists might achieve. "But I cannot see any scientific justification for it," Professor Ramshaw said...Sufficient knowledge could be obtained by restricting studies to mousepox virus, which is similar to cowpox but cannot infect humans, he said."

►December 26, 2003 - Prioritizing bioterror defenses - The Washington Times Editorial/Op-Ed - "The largest threat to national security is too small to see — the microbes and viruses of bioterrorism. Biological agents are almost an ideal weapon for terrorists because of the relative ease with which they can be made and dispersed."

November 2003 - National Academy of Sciences Releases Key Report on Biomedical Research Liabilities - Arms Control Association

Autism

Art of the M.I.N.D.: The Art Collection of the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute (book for sale) - "The UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute has assembled a significant collection of artwork created by children and adults with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. The pieces of art featured in this book — pencil drawings, watercolors and oil paintings — are on permanent display throughout the institute's building."

December 28, 2003 - Teen disabled by vaccine prepares for life on own - A rare reaction to an immunization crippled J.J. Coffelt's muscles, but not her spirit. - News-Leader - "J.J. is a statistical anomaly, one of 638 kids nationwide who, since 1988, have been compensated by the federal government for crippling disabilities suffered after getting immunized against childhood diseases."

Comment:  For a highly critical view of the compensation program, go to The Victim Friendly National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act: You've Got to Be Kidding!

►November 2003 - Visualizing How One Brain Understands Another: A PET Study of Theory of Mind - The American Journal of Psychiatry via http://mentalhelp.net - "Objective: Theory of mind (TOM), or 'mentalizing,' refers to the the ability to attribute mental states to self and others.  Inferring what people are thinking and feeling is an important aspect of human social interaction, and it is also an important aspect of both psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.  The authors conducted a positron emission tomography (PET) study to examine the neural substrates of TOM, using a task that mimics real-life social interaction."

►December 25, 2003 - Caring For Carter: Mellanby family learns to cope with son's autism - St. Louis Post-Dispatch - "All day long 7-year-old Carter is a verb. He climbs. Bounces. Swings. Tugs. Runs. Swims. Wanders. Climbs some more. Fidgets. Rolls. Hugs. Pulls. Climbs even more. The umbrella verb for Carter's perpetual motion is 'stimming' - or self-stimulation, uninterrupted movement common among children such as Carter who have the neurological disorder autism and need, as one child told his parent, the active repetition to 'organize his brain.'...But at night, Carter rests. He stops being a verb and becomes adjectives. Peaceful. Calm. Tranquil."

►December 19, 2003 - Raw account of autism an essential read - (book review - Riddle Child) - Cape Argus - "It's hard to believe that this is a work of fiction, so real and raw is this account of the agony of 'the task of steering a riddle child through life'...The cold cruelty and abhorrent indifference that greets the daily and nightly battle of Ingrid to find answers to the tragedy that is her young son Alexander, is difficult to bear."

►December 20, 2003 - Group stresses importance of early autism diagnosis - www.thestar.com.my - "One in every 120 children born is affected by autism and early diagnosis is important for them to be trained as a near-normal person."

►December 22, 2003 - Tracking Autism - West Virginia's registry of patients, the nation's first, will aid in research - AP via www.indystar.com

Autism/mercury

►December 26, 2003 - Something fishy - St. Petersburg Times editorial - "In his first public speech as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Michael Leavitt gave Americans a hint of what to expect from the agency under his leadership. "I subscribe to an environmental philosophy called Enlibra. It's a Latin derivative meaning "to move toward balance,' " Leavitt said...Sounds good, until you apply it to an actual threat - such as mercury pollution. In that circumstance, the position sought by the EPA looks more like a dangerous imbalance."

►May-June 2002 - Mercury exposure and early effects: an overview.. - journal article (Med Lav) -"Infants exposed to phenyl mercury from treated diapers and young children ingesting mercurous chloride in teething powders have developed acrodynia (pink disease), and Kawasaki disease and the use of mercurial skin lightening creams has been followed by the development of the nephrotic syndrome...CONCLUSIONS: As mercury can give rise to allergic and immunotoxic reactions which may be genetically regulated, in the absence of adequate dose-response studies for immunologically sensitive individuals, it has not been possible to set a level for mercury in blood or urine below which mercury related symptoms will not occur."

►May 1999 - Marked elevation of myocardial trace elements in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy compared with secondary cardiac dysfunction. - journal article (J Am Coll Cardiol) - "RESULTS: A large increase (>10,000 times for mercury and antimony) of TE concentration has been observed in myocardial but not in muscular samples in all pts with IDCM."

►December 27, 2003 - Florida needs strict rules not to reduce toxic threat of mercury - Herald-Tribune guest columnist - "Mercury is extremely toxic, and there is no safe level of exposure for humans. It can cause brain damage, particularly in children under the age of 6. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that one in 12 women in the United States has absorbed enough mercury to pose a threat to a developing fetus."

Comment:  What, no mention of vaccines?

December 21, 2003 - Mercury is rising - Power plant emissions are fouling area's waters - The Standard Times via www.southcoasttoday.com

►December 22, 2003 - Environmental Working Group Files Legal Challenge to FDA Mercury Health Advisory - Group Seeks Tougher, Scientifically Sound Protections for America's Children - Environmental Working Group - "The Environmental Working Group (EWG) today filed a legal challenge seeking to block the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from issuing a weak proposed health advisory for mercury in seafood. New analyses contained within the filing show that FDA's advice fails to meet the standards for accuracy and scientific integrity of the Data Quality Act (The Act), a law passed in 2000. The Act requires all influential statements by the federal government to be accurate, reproducible, clear and based on the best peer-reviewed science. The FDA's proposed mercury health advisory meets none of these criteria."

December 26, 2003 - Scientists Begin Measuring Pollution in Human Bodies - www.newsmax.com - "Davis Baltz shops for organic food and otherwise tries to live as healthy as he can. So he was shocked to learn that the pollutants collecting inside his body sounded much like a Superfund cleanup site: pesticides, flame retardants and other nasty, man-made chemicals turned up in a recent test...''What that told me is that no matter what I tried to do, the plumes of chemicals that we are passing in and out of everyday give us exposure,' said Baltz, who works for Commonweal, an environmental group in Bolinas."

►December 24, 2003 - Court Blocks U.S. Effort to Relax Pollution Rule (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

Spring 1995 - Milestone development in infants exposed to methylmercury from human milk. - journal article (Neurotoxicology)

►December 23, 2003 - Facts don't support furor over plants' mercury emissions - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - "The growing outrage over mercury emissions by power plants seems a stretch, considering that the connection with health is only theoretical and tenuous."

Comment:  And if you believe this.....

May 30, 2003 - Study: Mercury levels too high - Atlanta Journal-Constitution - "Mercury in the rainwater of several Southeastern and Gulf Coast states exceeds the safe level for lake water, as established by the Environmental Protection Agency, by as much as 96 times, an environmental group reported Thursday."

Comment: Compare to yesterday's guest column (reported earlier today) in the same paper, Facts don't support furor over plants' mercury emissions as well as Chester scientist challenges Mercury rules, posted just below.

IndyStar Ad - www.momsagainstmercury.com (From the moms who gave us the "Billboard".)

►December 11, 2003 - Chester scientist challenges Mercury rules - After 17 years as a biochemist, Nicholas Abrishamian is alarmed at how often he finds high levels of mercury in the blood samples he tests. - Observer-Tribune via www.zwire.com - "The Chester Township scientist analyzes blood samples for people who want to know why they feel especially lethargic or fatigued and from pregnant women who want to make sure their developing fetus is not contaminated by mercury or other heavy metals...'Heavy metal poisonings are on the table all the time,' Abrishamian said on Friday. 'I see it very frequently. The big question is where is it coming from.'"

►December 23, 2003 - High mercury found in eggs - Researcher: Data contradicts Bush policy

Autism/MMR

►December 19, 2003 - Autism and Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Vaccination: A Challenge for Pharmacoepidemiology - Pharmacotherapy via Medscape - "Childhood autism was first described 60 years ago,[1] but this distressing condition has attracted increasing attention recently...Autism tends to appear at around the age when children receive their vaccinations. The onset is usually gradual, so it is difficult to see how parents could reliably link the start of the condition with an event such as administration of a vaccine."

Comment:  This author is ignoring a number of relevant and important points.  First, it may not be a coincidence that autism was first described around the time DPT vaccine first began to be administered.  Second, the fact that autism tends to appear around the time of vaccinations is no reason to assume autism and vaccinations are not related.  Vaccinations are the most obvious potential cause, not the potential cause which should be automatically dismissed as coincidental.  If autism was non-existent or infrequent prior to widespread use of vaccination, that is even more reason to think they may be related.  Third, while the onset may be gradual in some cases, this author is apparently ignoring the significance of a new form of autism, "regressive autism", where a child was developing normally and then lost his or her skills.  While it may not be possible for a parent to "reliably" link the two, where a parent has linked the two, their observations should be taken seriously  Moreover, all efforts to study the question should be directed at determining if there is, rather than disproving, any link between the two, as has been the case with most studies alleging to do so.

November 29, 2003 - 'Why I Support The MMR Immunisation' - www.thisislinconshire.co.uk - "Doctors are warning of a measles epidemic because not enough children are being given the MMR vaccine, which has been linked to autism. MATTHEW BAYES spoke to Lynn Ingall, a mother of two autistic children, about why she believes the controversial vaccine is a life-saver..."
 

►December 24, 2003 - When Blair doesn't care about terror - The Guardian, UK - Why is Britain so reluctant to track down the Dublin bombers? - further down in the commentary: "Last week's Channel Five programme Hear the Silence about the MMR controversy was one of the best dramas I have seen. It was not just a moving true story, beautifully acted. It was also a shocking indictment of the medical establishment."

►December 8, 2003 - Communicating science to the public: MMR vaccine and autism. - journal article (Vaccine) - "Media attention and consequent public concerns about vaccine safety followed publication of a small case-series of children who developed autism after receipt of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Many well-controlled studies performed subsequently found no evidence that MMR vaccine causes autism. However, despite these studies, some parents remain concerned that the MMR vaccine is not safe. We will discuss the origins of the hypothesis that the MMR vaccine causes autism, studies performed to test the hypothesis, how these studies have been communicated to the public, and some suggested strategies for how this communication can be improved."

Comment:  Note that one of the authors of this article is Dr. Paul Offit, of serious conflict of interest fame.  For more on this go to the Congressional report:  FACA: Conflicts of Interest and Vaccine Development: Preserving the Integrity of the Process, Thursday, June 15, 2000.)

►September 1, 2003 - The Autism Bombshell; Worrying Rise in Childhood Cases Sparks New MMR Fears - Daily Mail, UK via www.healthy.net

►December 25, 2003 - MMR film 'reckless' claims expert - icBerkshire, UK - "'But at no time during the two hours of the film does it refer to the fact there are hundreds of statistics and research around the world which have disproved Dr Wakefield's claim.'"

Comment:  Why do they keep playing us for fools?  Surely they know (or should) how easy it is to manipulate statistics. Why do they keep ignoring the research that contradicts the so-called proof vindicating the vaccine and act as if this issue is obviously settled?  Why, indeed?

►December 22, 2003 - Dr. Andrew Wakefield Is Being Blamed for the Decline In Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccination in the UK.  - But That's Not What Really Happened.  The Trend Started Years Before He Published His Initial Research On Regressive Autism. - by RFD columnist Dr. F. Edward Yazbak - Online Autism Conference @ www.redflagsdaily.com

Autism therapies/education/medicine (including high cost of and funding issues) - NEW!

►December 27, 2003 - Center to use method for autistic - Plano facility may be first to try Son-Rise technique in a school - The Dallas Morning News via WFAA-TV

►December 26, 2003 - Private schools low on funds - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - "The schools charged with educating the state's most severely disabled children say they are slowly going broke, and it could mean that some will have to close their doors at the end of the school year."

►December 25, 2003 - Everyday solutions - Oceanside woman making it easy for the Autism community - Herald Community Online via www.zwire.com  - (book review: Everyday Solutions: A practical guide for Families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders)

Autism and vaccines

AIDS/HIV/AIDS vaccine

►December 10, 2003 - Immunisation, Aids And Muslim Skeptism - Daily Trust (Abuja) via www.allafrica.com - "But does the AIDS story stop there? Does the story just like any other issue have only one side? Are people really free to ask questions? Or are we compelled to hear and believe all that is said by the West, the UN or the giant media outfit...As usual the story of AIDS is another slap on the intelligence of Africa and the black man."

December 23, 2003 - China Says to Punish Any AIDS Coverup - Reuters Health via Yahoo! - "China warned against any new AIDS (news - web sites) cover up Wednesday, a day after telling health workers they will be punished if they fail to report new SARS (news - web sites) cases...The official China Daily highlighted a meeting between Vice-Premier Wu Yi with HIV (news - web sites)/AIDS patients in Henan province, where blood-selling schemes led to mass infections in some villages, in which she vowed to punish anyone trying to conceal the disease."

►December 13, 2003 - What Really Causes AIDS? - by Mohammed Ali Al-Bayati, PhD - letter (BMJ)

Alzheimer's disease/vaccine

December 26, 2003 - Scientist is winning converts on Alzheimer's - AP/Wall Street Journal via USA Today - "Ashley Bush, a 44-year-old researcher at Harvard Medical School, was pilloried after he put forth a radical theory of Alzheimer's disease in 1994...Bush's theory is that the real culprit in Alzheimer's is a copper and zinc buildup in the brain — an idea few scientists have looked at...Now scientists are giving Bush more credence. He has a five-year grant from the NIH and this year won an American Academy of Neurology prize for Alzheimer's disease research."

December 15, 2003 - Antibiotic may treat Alzheimer's disease - The Chicago Tribune via www.kanasa.com

Anthrax/anthrax vaccine/Gulf War Syndrome

December 28, 2003 - Anthrax drill shows weaknesses, officials say - CNN - "A drill testing U.S. agencies' ability to distribute and administer antibiotics in the event of an anthrax attack found the federal government unable to respond quickly enough to prevent large numbers of deaths, officials said Sunday."

►December 28, 2003 - GIs in Iraq have mixed reactions on halt to anthrax shots - Stars & Stripes - "But one thing the military assured them they would have some protection against was the specter of anthrax: Before deploying here, each and every U.S. soldier had to take an anti-anthrax vaccine...But after U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan issued a ruling Dec. 22 that ordered the military to stop requiring soldiers take the vaccine, the word in the desert is mixed."

December 27, 2003 - Anthrax protester wants the Marines to apologize - www.signonsandiego.com - "Anthony Fusco would like the Marine Corps to say it's sorry and then some...The Camp Pendleton Marine was demoted from corporal to lance corporal this year for initially refusing to be vaccinated for anthrax...Now a federal judge has ruled that the Pentagon's mandatory vaccination program is illegal, and the program was temporarily halted this week...Fusco, 23, feels he's been vindicated, and he's upset about the reduction in rank and loss of pay."

►December 3, 2003 - Report: Pentagon smallpox immunizations run better than anthrax - www.govexec.com - "In September 2002, GAO reported on the limited availability of the anthrax vaccine and a general frustration among military personnel with the information provided about the program."

Comment: The GAO also reported more disturbing news, significantly higher than previously acknowledged numbers of adverse reactions to the anthrax vaccine.

►December 27, 2003 - U.S. Asks Judge to Lift His Ban on Pentagon's Anthrax Vaccination Program - "The Justice Department has asked a federal district judge here to withdraw his preliminary injunction halting the military's mandatory anthrax vaccination program, or at least limit his ruling to the six plaintiffs whose suit prompted it."

►December 27, 2003 - Marine Upset With Demotion After Refusing Anthrax Vaccine - Demoted Marine Wants Settlement For Service Member Who Refused Vaccine - www.nbcsandiego.com

►December 26, 2003 - Defense Department Seeks Court Approval To Continue Illegal Vaccination Program - Requests Court To Limit Injunction To Six Plaintiffs - Press Release - "'The DoD's Motion seeks to turn the Court's ruling into a farcical exercise. The vaccination cannot be illegal for one person but legal for another, unless informed consent is obtained,' said Mark S. Zaid, Esq., the Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C. law firm of Krieger & Zaid, PLLC, and co-counsel in the litigation. Zaid added that while he understood the legal arguments asserted by the Justice Department to limit the scope of the decision, the effort violates the spirit of the decision, if not the letter of the law.

►December 27, 2003 - U.S. Seeks Military Anthrax Clarification - Justice Department Asks Judge to Clarify Ban on Military Anthrax Shots - AP via ABC News

The Institute of Medicine Weighs in on Anthrax Vaccine; DOD Scores A Knockout - (But read the report, and the Institute doesn't have a leg to stand on) - by Meryl Nass, MD - www.anthrax.org - "The report's conclusions rely on ignoring many pieces of crucial information, and its recommendations give the Department of Defense everything it could have wanted. The report appears to be “spun” to support a number of DOD initiatives, and it provides the needed justification for restarting mandatory anthrax vaccinations over the objections of many in Congress...Strong words. Can I back them up?...If the government may be culpable for making its own soldiers sick, don't hold your breath waiting for the government-sponsored science that will prove it."

►December 26, 2003 - Local Soldier Given Anthrax Vaccine - www.kpvi.com - "Wednesday, a U.S. district judge ordered the military to stop adminstering the anthrax vaccine to service members without their consent until a trial can be held on the matter. Plaintiffs in the case argue that the anthrax vaccine is being used as an experimental drug...But for one local Air Force member, the ruling may have come too late. Bryan Latham explains...'Last Christmas Eve, they had to have an ambulance come and get me because my wife thought that I was dying because I stopped breathing and my eyes rolled in the back of my head.'...It is just one of the many traumas Vance Wasden lives through. But it wasn't always like this..."

►December 26, 2003 - Give It A Shot - Make vaccine voluntary and hope for best - www.fayettevillenc.com - "Anthrax protection has become such a headache for the military that a federal judge's decision to stop the Pentagon from ordering immunizations should come as a relief...The Department of Defense should leave his decision unchallenged. It's a no-win argument. The public debate about the vaccine long ago left the realm of reasonable concern and entered the bizarre."

December 23, 2003 - Heeding Court Order, Pentagon Halts Anthrax Shots - Reuters via http://wireservice.wired.com

December 26, 2003 - Pentagon: Anthrax shots suspended - Stars and Stripes - "Such was the confusion earlier this week among the Pentagon’s leadership that Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, stood behind the Pentagon’s lectern Tuesday afternoon and refused to say whether the department planned to obey the judge’s order."

►December 24, 2003 - No Place for an Experiment - LA Times Editorial - "Soldiers have a special obligation to stay fit and ready to defend their nation. Even so, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan was right to recognize that military fitness does not extend to a requirement that all soldiers get controversial anthrax vaccinations."

►December 24, 2003 - Anthrax shots should not be forced on members of military - The Daily Telegram - "It’s true that when you join the military you have to follow government requirements and live by the rules of the service you’ve chosen. But such rules should not include being forced to get an anthrax vaccination. On Monday, a federal judge wisely ruled that the Pentagon cannot require military personnel to get the vaccinations unless they agree to it."

►December 23, 2003 - Vaccine Ruling - PBS - "A federal judge Monday ordered the Defense Dept. to stop administering anthrax vaccinations to U.S. troops without their consent. The Pentagon responded Tuesday that the practice is necessary to keep soldiers safe. Experts discuss the future of the Pentagon's anthrax vaccination program."

►December 23, 2003 - DOD Temporarily Stops Anthrax Vaccinations Pending Legal Clarification - Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program via www.anthrax.mil

►December 23, 2003 - DOCTORS: Anthrax vaccine decision right for military; now apply it to children. - Press Release - Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.

►December 24, 2003 - Anthrax Vaccinations Suspended - Program for Military On Hold While Legalities Are Explored - Washington Post

►December 23, 2003 - Soldier dies during training in Iraq - Pittsfield man, 24, suffers heart attack - "Allison's mother said she was perplexed by the cause of death because she believed her son was in excellent health. He had been sickened recently by shots he was required to take before entering Iraq, and she wondered if they played a role in his death."

►December 24, 2003 - Soldiers no longer receiving Anthrax vaccinations - www.wfsb.com - "Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., said he will ask the Defense Department to immediately begin a review of all disciplinary actions taken against service members who refused the vaccines, including the more than 200 who were court-martialed...Shays, who conducted a number of hearings on the issue in his Government Reform subcommittee on national security, said he will draft legislation requiring the review if DOD fails to do one...'This decision ends years of coercive practices that has spanned two administrations and shaken the faith of many in the integrity of military medicine and command decision-making,' Shays said."

►December 23, 2003 - Federal judge: Anthrax vaccine not mandatory - Troops not meant to be 'guinea pigs' - www.delawareonline.com - "Sullivan's ruling could be of some help to a former Dover Air Force Base C-5 pilot who was honorably discharged in 2000 for refusing to be vaccinated. Former Air Force Maj. Sonnie Bates at one point faced a possible court martial for his refusal...A lawsuit challenging the vaccine filed by Bates in the Washington, D.C., court in 2001 was dismissed last year. But Sullivan's ruling could provide new grounds for Bates to seek reinstatement or restoration of the military pension he lost, said Bates' lawyer Mark Zaid, a Washington attorney also involved in the lawsuit that led to Sullivan's ruling Monday...'It's about time,' said Bates, now a civilian pilot. 'This may open the door for the walking wounded from this vaccine to get the health treatments they need and for some of the younger lieutenants, captains and airmen who had to end their careers because of this to rejoin the military.'"

►December 23, 2003 - Pentagon will obey ruling on anthrax - USA Today - "The Pentagon will abide by a federal judge's ruling and, at least for now, not give anthrax vaccine to troops who do not want it, a high-ranking Defense Department official said Tuesday...The official, who briefed reporters on the condition that he not be identified, said the vaccinations will continue for those troops who agree to them while the Justice Department, which represents the Pentagon, decides whether to appeal the ruling."

►December 23, 2003 - Myers: Troops Need Anthrax Vaccinations - Air Force Gen. Richard Myers Says Anthrax Vaccinations Important 'To Protect Troops' - AP via ABC News

►December 24, 2003 - Pentagon Criticizes Ruling Halting Troops' Anthrax Shots - LA Times - "Senior Pentagon officials on Tuesday heatedly defended the military's practice of requiring troops to get anthrax vaccinations, and said a federal judge who ordered a stop to the shots was wrong to accuse the military of treating soldiers like 'guinea pigs.'"

►December 24, 2003 - Defense Dept. Halts Anthrax Vaccinations - The New York Times

►December 23, 2003 - Assistant Secretary of Defense Health Affairs William Winkenwerder Briefing - www.defenselink.mil

►December 23, 2003 - Pentagon Defends Anthrax Vaccine Program - Reuters via Wired - "Zaid said if the Pentagon deems the shots 'voluntary,' they must allow service members and civilian contractors directed to get them to opt out with no repercussions...'When the next person is ordered to line up for the shot, they have to, before they inject the shot, say, "Listen, if you don't want to take this, you don't have to." If that person says, "No," they say, "OK, move on." That's informed consent.'...If that was not done, 'then they are in violation of the judge's order and subject to contempt of court.'"

►December 23, 2003 - Anthrax Vaccine a Personal Choice for Military - Lansing’s Bioport Could See Sales Slide - www.wilx.com - "Bioport says it plans to appeal the decision."

►December 23, 2003 - Federal judge: Anthrax vaccine not mandatory - Troops not meant to be 'guinea pigs' - www.delawareonline.com - "Sullivan's ruling could be of some help to a former Dover Air Force Base C-5 pilot who was honorably discharged in 2000 for refusing to be vaccinated. Former Air Force Maj. Sonnie Bates at one point faced a possible court martial for his refusal...A lawsuit challenging the vaccine filed by Bates in the Washington, D.C., court in 2001 was dismissed last year. But Sullivan's ruling could provide new grounds for Bates to seek reinstatement or restoration of the military pension he lost, said Bates' lawyer Mark Zaid, a Washington attorney also involved in the lawsuit that led to Sullivan's ruling Monday...'It's about time,' said Bates, now a civilian pilot. 'This may open the door for the walking wounded from this vaccine to get the health treatments they need and for some of the younger lieutenants, captains and airmen who had to end their careers because of this to rejoin the military.'"

►December 23, 2003 - Anthrax ruling may not help local reservist - The Advocate, Newark - "An Ohio National Guard member from Granville could still go to jail and be discharged for refusing to take the anthrax vaccine, despite a federal judge's ruling Monday that the military no longer may force troops to take the shots against their will without an order of the president...'We are hopeful the national guard will respect the opinion of the federal court in Washington and no longer consider Kurt in violation,' said Kenneth Levine, Hickman's attorney...Hickman's father, Bill Hickman, said he was happy to hear about the federal judge's ruling...'All we wanted was for the prosecutor to observe the law,' Bill Hickman said. 'That's what this court case that just came down says -- they haven't observed the law because it's experimental.'"

►December 23, 2003 - Judge Assails Vaccine Plan Strikes Down Military's Mandatory Anthrax Shots (requires registration) - AP and www.ctnow.com - "The federal government approved the vaccine three decades ago. But plaintiffs in the class action suit - unidentified active duty, National Guard and civilian defense employees - say the license does not include approval for use against inhalation anthrax."

►December 22, 2003 - Judge Halts Military's Required Anthrax Shots (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

►December 23, 2003 - Anthrax Shots Require Consent, Military Told - Washington Post - "A federal judge in Washington yesterday ordered the Pentagon to stop administering an anthrax vaccine to U.S. service members without their consent, ruling that defense officials cannot require troops to 'serve as guinea pigs for experimental drugs.'...Sullivan said he was not persuaded by arguments from Pentagon lawyers that administering the vaccine on a voluntary basis would interfere with military operations in Iraq and elsewhere. But if they believe that is the case, the judge said, federal law gives them the option of obtaining a presidential waiver of service members' right to informed consent. Such a waiver, Sullivan wrote, 'would be an expeditious end to this controversy.'"

►December 24, 2003 - Judge rules US troops were 'guinea pigs' for anthrax jabs - www.theage.com.au

►December 23, 2003 - Judge Halts Forced Military Anthrax Shots - Judge Tells U.S. to Stop Forcing Military Personnel to Get Anthrax Vaccine if They Don't Want It - AP via ABC News - "A court ruling against forcing soldiers to take anthrax vaccinations raises the question of whether officials should reconsider the punishments given those who refused the shots...Ruling that some use of the vaccine is experimental, a federal judge said Monday that servicemen and women should not have to take the vaccine unless they consent."

►December 23, 2003 - Vaccines in the News - War Declared Over Anthrax Vaccine/Flu Panic and Profits - by Randall Neustaedter OMD - Natural Health Newsletter

►December 23, 2003 - Pentagon will obey ruling on anthrax - USA Today - "The Pentagon will abide by a federal judge's ruling and, at least for now, not give anthrax vaccine to troops who do not want it, a high-ranking Defense Department official said Tuesday...The official, who briefed reporters on the condition that he not be identified, said the vaccinations will continue for those troops who agree to them while the Justice Department, which represents the Pentagon, decides whether to appeal the ruling."

►December 23, 2003 - Myers: Troops Need Anthrax Vaccinations - Air Force Gen. Richard Myers Says Anthrax Vaccinations Important 'To Protect Troops' - AP via ABC News

►December 22, 2003 - How anthrax turns into a killer - Scientists in the United States say they have discovered how anthrax turns into a deadly killer. - BBC

►December 22, 2003 - MEMORANDUM OPINION - John Doe #1 et al, Plaintiffs v. Donald H. Rumsfeld et al, Defendants - Decision re: forced anthrax vaccinations in the military

►December 22, 2003 - Judges Halt Forced Military Anthrax Shots - AP via Newsday - "The Pentagon must stop forcing servicemen and women to take the anthrax vaccination against their will, unless President Bush signs a special order, a judge ruled Monday...Millions of shots have been given and hundreds of service members have been punished for refusing them since the mandatory vaccinations started in 1998...The judge ruled that the anthrax vaccinations fell under a 1998 law prohibiting the use of certain experimental drugs unless people being given the drug consent or the president waives the consent requirement."

Comment: !!!!!!!

Autoimmunity/autoimmune disease

►December 23, 2003 - Child eczema 'has tripled since 1970s' - The Guardian, UK - "Nearly one in three children has suffered eczema by the age of three-and-a-half, triple the rate in the 1970s, a study suggested last night...A fifth of babies develop the condition in the first six months according to data on 14,000 children born since 1991...Researchers cannot yet identify reasons for the rise, although improvements in hygiene may mean that there are fewer chances for babies to develop immunity to the condition, and genetics, environment and diet may also be factors."

Comment:  While not mentioned in the article as being among the many speculated causes, vaccinations are implicated in the significant increase in eczema and the many other chronic diseases now plaguing children.  For more on this, go to Scandals: Prescription For Disaster - Is Vaccine Policy A "House of Cards"?

Behavioral disorders, chronic disability - NEW!

►December 24, 2003 - Repeated Bouts of Diarrhea Affect Kids' IQ - Reuters Health - "These results suggest that repeated episodes of childhood diarrhea - a feature of many developing countries - could be detrimental to the brain power of a nation's future adult population, influencing the country's workforce, wealth and productivity, study author Dr. Richard Guerrant of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville told Reuters Health."

Comment:  These results also suggest that the gastrointestinal problems associated with many autism cases may be a cause of (in addition to or instead of) the changed/reduced mental capacity of the disorder.

Cancer/cancer vaccines

December 24, 2003 - Newly Approved Therapy Successfully Targets Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma - University Of Michigan Health System via ScienceDaily

►December 24, 2003 - Technique Lifts Hopes for Surviving Type of Cancer - Reuters - "Receiving two transplants instead of one can double the chances of surviving multiple myeloma, a hard-to-treat cancer that originates in the blood and affects the bones, French researchers said Wednesday."

►December 18, 2003 - Common Cold Fights Cancer - Ivanhoe

Comment:  Do people who get frequent colds less frequently get cancer?

►December 22, 2003 - Blood Vessels Enable Tumors - HealthDayNews via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

►December 13, 2003 - Nanoparticles hunt down and kill tumors - Science News via http://mentalhelp.net

►December 21, 2003 - Citrus nutrient helps to slow down prostate cancer: Study - ANI via The Times of India

Cardiac - NEW!

►May 1999 - Marked elevation of myocardial trace elements in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy compared with secondary cardiac dysfunction. - journal article (J Am Coll Cardiol) - "RESULTS: A large increase (>10,000 times for mercury and antimony) of TE concentration has been observed in myocardial but not in muscular samples in all pts with IDCM."

Chickenpox/chickenpox vaccine

Diabetes

►December 27, 2003 - BYU study could help treat diabetes - www.harktheherald.com - "Brigham Young University researchers are drawing closer to identifying a chemical "holy grail" that may aid future treatment of diseases like multiple sclerosis and Type 1 diabetes...The study Savage is involved in is specifically looking at "natural killer T cells" and the type of antigen the body presents to them during this test. The antigen is transported by a protein. Savage said the research's significant discovery is that mice lacking this particular protein also lack the natural killer T cells; this means the protein is required to transfer the antigen that is presented in natural killer T cell selection...Identifying the protein that transfers the antigen provides an excellent clue into the chemical structure of the antigen. This structure is ultimately what the scientists are looking for."

Diphtheria/diphtheria vaccine

Ebola/ebola vaccine

Flu/flu vaccine or "Everything you always wanted to know about flu, but were afraid to ask"

December 28, 2003 - How Georgia got fooled in hunt for flu vaccine - Atlanta Journal-Constitution

►December 28, 2003 - Flu is expected to reach its peak early in January - Fond Du Lac Reporter - "Whooping cough, flu shots and now measles, are all on the mind of Fond du Lac County Health Officer Diane Cappozzo...Fond du Lac became a communicable disease statistic with its whooping cough outbreak, which Tuesday peaked at 210 confirmed cases out of 430 cases of pertussis reported in Wisconsin so far this year."

December 29, 2003 - Brain damage link to flu in pregnancy - www.theage.com.au - "According to the guidelines, the benefits of immunisation in preventing flu in pregnant women during the second or third trimester outweigh the risks, which can include miscarriage." 

Comment:  Even if there is a "brain damage link to flu in pregnancy", in order to make an informed decision about whether or not to use the flu vaccine during pregnancy, the risks of flu need to be compared to the risks of getting the vaccine.  Given how poorly studied vaccine risks are, a reasonably informed decision is difficult, if not impossible to make. (For a description of how poorly studied the Institute of Medicine found vaccines to be, click here.)

►December 25, 2003 - Officials fall for $1.6 million flu shot scam - (registration required) - Chicago Tribune

►December 25, 2003 - Some turn to homeopathic remedies to combat flu - AP via The Stamford Advocate

►December 27, 2003 - Georgia Suspects Flu Shot Deal Was Bogus - AP via The Herald-Sun - "Georgia's public health director is convinced the state was deceived in a $1.65 million deal for flu vaccine that was never delivered, despite claims by a pharmaceutical vendor that he intended to deliver the medication."

►December 27, 2003 - What to do about the flu? - People seek out alternative medicines to ward off illness - www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com

►December 26, 2003 - Memorial Fund Benefits Young Flu Victim's Family - KMBC-TV via www.thekansascitychannel.com - "Ian had received a flu shot before he became ill."

Comment:  Did this child get sick and die in spite of having been vaccinated against the flu, or because of it?

►December 24, 2003 - Results of AP-Ipsos Poll on the Flu - AP via News day

Comment:  Although the percentage getting the flu vaccine (or not) and getting the flu (or not) was reported, the "crosstab" showing how many of those vaccinated (or not) who got the flu (or not) was not reported.  Why not?

Here is what we know:

Got the flu                   9%     Did not get the flu                 91%

Got the flu vaccine    35%     Did not get the flu vaccine    65%

Here is what we don't know, but should know (in red), where x is the number:

 

  Flu vaccine No flu vaccine  Total
Got the flu        x/%            x/%     x/9%   
Did not get the flu        x/%            x/%   x/91%
Total     x/35%         x/65% x/100%

►December 26, 2003 - Flu 'widespread' in all but 5 states, CDC reports - AP via www.sunspot.net

►December 23, 2003 - Many believe flu shots unnecessary - Capitol Hill Blue - "Health officials are looking for ways to build public interest in the flu vaccine so more doses will be available in future years, Dr. William Schaffner of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases said."

Comment:  Huh?  Create more demand in order to decrease shortages?   Probably the only reason there wasn't enough flu vaccine this year was because hysteria was created about the flu and availability of the flu vaccine.  Had this hysteria not been created, there would have been (more than) enough vaccine for everyone who wanted it.   It sure seems as if this entire exercise is mostly a (somewhat) disguised attempt to sell more vaccines and at the same time try to ensure there will be no excess supply (although were they to increase demand, there is no reason to assume that the increased demand would necessarily be any more predictable than it is now).

►December 23, 2003 - Many Americans at High Risk from the Flu Have Not Gotten Vaccinated This Season - One in 10 Americans Report Difficulty Involving Shortages - Harvard School of Public Health

►December 22, 2003 - However deadly, flu remains 'unreportable' - AP via Newsday - "A 3-year-old who died Thursday at a Paterson hospital may have been the first child in New Jersey to die of the flu this season...But state officials acknowledged Monday that even if they knew for sure that complications from influenza killed the little girl, they could not be certain that Brianna Marie Mantilla of Paterson was the first child in New Jersey to die from the virus this year...That's because influenza is an unreportable disease _ one that doctors, hospitals and other providers are not required to report to state or federal health agencies."

►December 22, 2003 - Ottawa tries to calm fear of the flu - While the influenza season hit early this year, particularly in B.C. and Ontario, it's not out of control, officials say - CanWest News Service via http://canada.com►December 22, 2003 - Shots for Teens - HealthDayNews via Yahoo!

►December 22, 2003 - Don't panic about flu, some advise - Prevention: Common sense goes a long way toward maintaining a strong immune system - "Most of the mercury-containing preservative, thimerosal, was eliminated from flu vaccines after 1999, though some manufacturers use it in trace amounts, said Rhonda Smith, spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)."

Comment:  This appears to be a good example of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing since, also according to the CDC, there is still thimerosal in the flu vaccine, and according to Johns Hopkins University's Institute for Vaccine Safety and at least one flu vaccine manufacturer (Aventis Pasteur), there is still the same old 25 micrograms of thimerosal that there always was(Actually there is now at least one exception.) Kind of makes you wonder what else they are telling us that isn't true and what the truth even is.

►December 24, 2003 - 'Flu Shots' Sold to Georgia Didn't Exist - AP via The Herald-Sun - "Faced with nationwide flu shot shortages, Georgia health officials came across an offer they couldn't refuse -- 100,000 extra flu shots for a hefty $1.65 million...They wired the money. But the flu shots never came -- they never existed, state officials said Wednesday... Georgia has received all but $70,000 of its money back with the help of the FBI. The rest of the money is expected to be returned in the next few days."

►December 24, 2003 - Taking a Shot at Easing Parents' Latest Big Fear - Washington Post - "His mother, Rosina Chazin, is sitting on a wooden bench examining the paperwork, which discloses, among other things, that influenza causes an average of 36,000 deaths in the United States every year, though 'mostly among the elderly.'...But she's not an idiot, either...She knows that the flu is not only striking early and widely this year, but also that it's thought to be unusually dangerous for young people, that at least 42 children and teenagers had already died from it as of Friday (still the most recent data), that the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called the situation "very sobering and very worrisome," and that supplies of vaccine have run out or are quickly running out in most places...Fear!"

Comment:  And how to create it!

►December 23, 2003 - FDA Probing Unlicensed Flu Vaccine Reports - Reuters - "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday it is looking into reports of unlicensed influenza vaccine being peddled by some trying to take advantage of reports of vaccine shortages...Three influenza vaccines have been authorized by the FDA, shots made by Aventis Pasteur and a unit of Chiron Corp. as well as the nasal spray FluMist made by MedImmune Inc."

►December 24, 2003 - Unapproved Foreign Flu Vaccine Peddled in U.S. - The New York Times

►December 23, 2003 - Vaccines in the News - War Declared Over Anthrax Vaccine/Flu Panic and Profits - by Randall Neustaedter OMD - Natural Health Newsletter

►December 23, 2003 - FDA Probing Unlicensed Flu Vaccine Reports - Reuters - "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday it is looking into reports of unlicensed influenza vaccine being peddled by some trying to take advantage of reports of vaccine shortages...Three influenza vaccines have been authorized by the FDA, shots made by Aventis Pasteur and a unit of Chiron Corp. as well as the nasal spray FluMist made by MedImmune Inc."

►December 22, 2003 - Increasing demand for nasal vaccine - The Journal News - "The first time the Katonah Pharmacy held a clinic to offer the new nasal flu vaccine, only four people showed up...That was in October, when the supply of the standard vaccine was thought to be ample, and before the large-scale influenza outbreaks in the West and the highly publicized stories of healthy children dying of the flu...At another clinic on Saturday, 60 people filed through the drug store to have the vaccine, FluMist, squirted in their nostrils."

Comment: For more on how this "increasing demand" came about, go to How The Mass Media In The U.S. Created Flu Hysteria And Helped Drive The Vaccine Markets For The Makers Of FluMist And Fluzone. - by RFD columnist Sherri Tenpenny, DO in the Online Vaccines Conference at www.redflagsdaily.com

►December 23, 2003 - FDA Investigating Reports of Unlicensed Influenza Vaccine - FDA Talk Paper

►December 22, 2003 - Flu warning - The Scotsman - "According to the Health Protection Agency, the type of virus in this year’s flu vaccine was slightly different to the one that has affected thousands of people in the past month...Millions of people vaccinated against flu may not have full protection of the Fujian strain of AH3N2. Doctors say this strain is more virulent than the Panama strain and has a higher mortality rate among young and old people. The Health Protection Agency intends to carry out tests to determine the extent of the problem. There has already been one outbreak of flu in an old people’s home where residents would routinely have been vaccinated...There are also reports that adult males seem to be away from work and suffering from flu a lot more than their wives. Some doctors suggest this is because young mothers pick up lots of infections from close contact with their children. Within a year or two, these women acquire immunity to many viruses...Other doctors have suggested that perhaps men don’t have such efficient immune systems."

►December 21, 2003 - Health Officials Investigating the Flu in Death of 13-Year-Old Girl - First Coast News

►December 22, 2003 - Weekly Report of New Colorado Cases Shows Slight Decline - State of Colorado CDPHE

►December 21, 2003 - Parents of Flu-Sickened Children Encounter More Problems than Remedies - First Coast News

►December 22, 2003 - Experts urge action to ensure nation always has flu vaccine - Billings Gazette via South Florida Sun-Sentinel - "Some specialists want the government to encourage companies to make more vaccine, by buying and stockpiling millions of extra doses every year or guaranteeing their sale, even at the risk that millions of tax dollars worth of vaccine would be wasted...Others suggest the government stabilize the demand by more aggressively urging people to get an annual flu vaccination, perhaps making it mandatory to get into school."

Comment:  Isn't there something terribly wrong with a policy designed to stabilize demand by demanding product use?

►December 22, 2003 - Flu outbreak 'may have passed peak' - Health officials suggest the worst is already over - Canadian Press - "While the flu season arrived earlier than usual, and appears to be more severe than in the past three seasons, "current national and international data indicate that its impact is still within the expected range," Health Canada said in a statement posted on its website."

►December 15, 2003 - Spotlight shifts to flu drugs - * As vaccine supplies dwindle, doctors say antiviral medications can cut illness short or even prevent onset. -  LA Times (requires registration)

►December 2003 - Influenza vaccination options to prevent hospitalization - journal article (Paediatrics & Child Health)

►December 20, 2003 - CDC examines Colorado flu cases -Two new deaths believed linked to outbreak; more vaccinations urged - Denver Post

►December 20, 2003 - CDC asks states to report all child flu deaths in likely epidemic - AP via www.news24houston.com

►December 20, 2003 - Mounting CDC Flu Concern: Kids - "The child deaths from flu are very sobering and very worrisome" CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding - AP via www.cbsnews.com

►December 20, 2003 - Flu blamed for dip in blood donations - AP via Casper Star Tribune

►December 21, 2003 - With Flu in Air, Civility Is Grounded - The Washington Post via The Tampa Tribune

►December 21, 2003 - Number of flu cases declines in Texas - AP via Abilene Reporter-News

►December 20, 2003 - Flu virus continues rapid spread - Danville Register Bee

►December 20, 2003 - Is US flu worse than usual? - At least 40 per cent of the children who died had other medical conditions that made them vulnerable, such as asthma or cerebral palsy - www.itv.com

►December 18, 2003 - 'Reverse genetics' could offer forward-thinking flu vaccine - Early influenza surge has highlighted shortfalls in current jab. - Nature

►December 21, 2003 - Fighting the Flu in Hand-to-Hand Combat - Officials Urge the Public to Limit Physical Contact and Wash, Wash, Wash - Washington Post

Haemophilus Influenza/Hib Vaccine

Hepatitis A/hepatitis A vaccine

►December 23, 2003 - Hepatitis Cases In Connecticut Traced To Restaurant (requires registration) - www.ctnow.com

►December 21, 2003 - Hepatitis rarity in U.S. makes it dangerous - Virus more common where sanitation is poor, but that builds resistance to it - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Comment: For more on the impact of over-cleanliness on the immune system, go to Scandals: Prescription For Disaster - Is Vaccine Policy A "House of Cards"?

Hepatitis B/hepatitis B vaccine

►December 2003 - Kawasaki disease in an infant following immunisation with hepatitis B vaccine. - journal article (Clinical Rheumatology) - "The known association between hepatitis B and vasculitis has been reported in rare cases in adults after hepatitis B vaccination. We here describe a 35-day-old infant who developed Kawasaki disease 1 day after receiving his second dose of hepatitis B vaccine. Although extremely rare, this possible side effect should be noted and further investigated."

Comment:  First, what do they consider rare?  Second, how is it they know it is rare?  The fact is, they probably don't KNOW it is rare; rather, they assume it is rare.  But so-called "absence of evidence" is not evidence of absence.  There have been 23 reports of Kawasaki disease to VAERS since 1990.  Estimates of under-reporting in a passive reporting system range from 90-99%, which means these 23 reports probably reflect between 230 to 2300 actual vaccine-associated reactions.  230 to 2300 is a fairly large range, however, one which makes it almost worthless as a marker for actual vaccine damage.  Shouldn't we know exactly how many cases of Kawasaki disease have been associated with vaccinations?  Shouldn't a biological product (i.e., vaccines) given to healthy children in order to prevent an event (one or more diseases) which in all likelihood will not cause permanent damage, but which itself has the potential to cause permanent damage, be painstakingly followed?  Shouldn't it be required that an active surveillance system (a post-marketing system following all product users) be employed, rather than one that relies on both voluntary compliance and recognition that an adverse event might be related to use of the product?

Hepatitis C

Herpes/herpes vaccine - NEW!

IBD(inflammatory bowel disease) - NEW!

►December 24, 2003 - Repeated Bouts of Diarrhea Affect Kids' IQ - Reuters Health - "These results suggest that repeated episodes of childhood diarrhea - a feature of many developing countries - could be detrimental to the brain power of a nation's future adult population, influencing the country's workforce, wealth and productivity, study author Dr. Richard Guerrant of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville told Reuters Health."

Comment:  These results also suggest that the gastrointestinal problems associated with many autism cases may be a cause of (in addition to or instead of) the changed/reduced mental capacity of the disorder.

Lyme disease/lyme disease vaccine

Mad Cow Disease/CJD - NEW!

December 28, 2003 - Despite Mad-Cow Warnings, Industry Resisted Safeguards (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times - "During a House debate last summer over a possible ban on using sick and injured cows for meat, Representative Gary L. Ackerman, a Democrat from New York, held up a photo of a crippled cow and cautioned that such "downer animals" carried the highest risk for mad cow disease."

Comment:  "Penny-wise but pound-foolish" just about sums up the arguments against prohibiting "downer animals" from being sold.

December 24, 2003 - “Mad cow” in US brings hope to organic producers - The outbreak of the first “mad cow” case in the United States could force a rise of beef prices in the international market benefiting organic producing countries such as Uruguay and Argentina. - Merco Press via www.falkland-malvinas.com

Special Report - Mad Cow Disease (requires subscription) - in the Combat Zone @Redflagsdaily.com

Overview of Vaccine Manufacturing - Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) - FDA - "The nutrient media that are used to support the growth of bacteria and the cell cultures in which viruses are grown often contain animal-derived components and, commonly, bovine-derived (from cows) components. As examples, the cells that are used to propagate viruses generally require calf serum for their maintenance and growth and the nutrient broths that are commonly used to grow bacteria contain beef extracts (e.g., a beef broth)."

December 24, 2003 - “Mad cow” in US brings hope to organic producers - The outbreak of the first “mad cow” case in the United States could force a rise of beef prices in the international market benefiting organic producing countries such as Uruguay and Argentina. - Merco Press via www.falkland-malvinas.com

►December 25, 2003 - Mysterious protein behind mad-cow - AP via The Globe And Mail

►December 25, 2003 - Mad cow disease fatal, but risk is low - The Seattle Times via www.ljworld.com

►December 27, 2003 - U.S. Mad Cow Link Questioned in Creutzfeldt-Jakob Cases - Reuters - "Family and friends of American victims of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, the fatal brain disorder sometimes linked to mad cow disease, on Friday questioned whether the wasting illness that killed their loved ones was actually due to eating contaminated U.S. beef."

►December 27, 2003 - As Probe of Infected Cow Spreads, So Does Worry - Washington Post - "Cattle in other states may have eaten the same contaminated feed that infected a Washington state Holstein with mad cow disease, but investigators who want to track the infection to its source are being confounded by the lack of an organized system that would lead them to the herd where the cow was born, officials said yesterday."

►December 25, 2003 - Expert warns against mad cow overreaction - UPI via ClariNet via www.vaonline.net - "One confirmed case of mad cow disease is not an outbreak, a University of Michigan professor said as he cautioned against overreacting to the news...'Certainly I would not change my own diet preferences, which include eating beef,' Dr. Arnold Monto, an epidemiology professor at the U-M School of Public Health, told the Ann Arbor News."

►December 26, 2003 - Mad cow is tough for Bush administration - Bush Administration Must Balance Consumers, Beef Industry As It Handles Mad Cow Scare - AP via www.abcnews.go.com

December 24, 2003 - 'Mad cow' mechanism may be integral to storing memory - Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research via www.eurekalert.org - "Scientists have discovered a new process for how memories might be stored, a finding that could help explain one of the least-understood activities of the brain. What's more, the key player in this process is a protein that acts just like a prion – a class of proteins that includes the deadly agents involved in neurodegenerative conditions such as mad cow disease...The study, published as two papers in the Dec. 26 issue of the journal Cell, suggests that this protein does its good work while in a prion state, contradicting a widely held belief that a protein that has prion activity is toxic or at least doesn't function properly."

►December 26, 2003 - Mad Cow Scare Lingers in England - Early Missteps Contributed to Public Mistrust of Government and Science - Washington Post

December 23, 2003 - Mad Cow Quotes - AP via Yahoo!

►December 25, 2003 - Safety Advice for Eating Meat (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

►December 25, 2003 - Expert Warned That Mad Cow Was Imminent (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

►December 24, 2003 - A Wasting Disease That Eats Up the Brain, Causing Death - LA Times - "They call it "mad cow" disease, but its scientific name is bovine spongiform encephalopathy. In elk and deer, it is called wasting disease. And when it is transmitted to humans, it is called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease."

Comment:  For more on "mad cow disease", visit the Online Mad Cow Disease Conference at www.redflagsdaily.com .

►December 24, 2003 - Near Quarantine, Rumors Outnumber Facts - The New York Times - "In a hastily called news conference on Tuesday night, Gov. Gary Locke of Washington sought to calm fears about the dangers to the public of the nation's first case of suspected mad cow disease, reportedly tracked to a dairy farm in south central Washington."

►December 23, 2003 - Text: News Conference Regarding Possible Mad Cow Disease Outbreak - The New York Times

►December 22, 2003 - What is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease? - Newsday

Meningitis/meningitis vaccine

►December 22, 2003 - Aventis Submits Application for FDA Approval of Menactra(TM), First Candidate Quadrivalent Conjugate Meningococcal Vaccine - Aventis on Track to Submit Four New Products for Approval In 2003 - PRNewswire-First Call via Yahoo!

MMR/measles,mumps,rubella

►December 28, 2003 - Your donation can help medics fight Africa's measles epidemic - A charity battling against diseases in Africa will be helped by our appeal, which has raised £221,721 so far. Rory Carroll reports from Congo - The Guardian, UK - "Measles is a viral disease spread by infected droplets during sneezing and coughing, and by touching contaminated objects. It causes fever and rash, and can lead to convulsions, pneumonia, bronchitis, mental retardation and death...In the rich world, it is seldom fatal because infected children eat well and have proper medical care, and because immunisation has restricted epidemics over the past 30 years...But in poor countries it kills 800,000 children every year. More than half of them are in sub-Saharan Africa, and about 50,000 in Congo, according to Lieven Desomer, a vaccine specialist with Unicef, the United Nation's children's agency."

Comment:  For Scandals columns on the measles and measles vaccine, go to What Is Wrong With This Picture?;  More confusing disease stats;   Playing With Fire - It's Not EASY To Fool Mother Nature;   Don't Worry, Be Happy;  Measles In The Vaccination Age:  Is It Now Deadlier?;   Why We Won't Take No* For An Answer  (*No relationship between MMR and autism);  and Shoot First, Don't Ask Questions Later

December 28, 2003 - Inquiry after error over baby MMR - An investigation has been launched after a baby was accidentally given the controversial MMR injection.  - BBC - "The three-month-old girl was supposed to have received a meningitis jab. It is understood the mistake was made at Gorbals Health Centre in Glasgow...Guidelines state babies should be at least 13 months old before they get the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine...Public health experts said the incident should not cause any long-term problems for the child...Politicians described the mistake as appalling."

2003 - Atopic dermatitis is increased following vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella or measles infection. - journal article (Acta Derm Venereol) - "The incidence of atopic dermatitis increased after measles, mumps and rubella vaccination and measles infection, which is surprising in view of the hygiene hypothesis."

►December 22, 2003 - Dr. Andrew Wakefield Is Being Blamed for the Decline In Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccination in the UK.  - But That's Not What Really Happened.  The Trend Started Years Before He Published His Initial Research On Regressive Autism. - by RFD columnist Dr. F. Edward Yazbak - Online Autism Conference @ www.redflagsdaily.com

Pet vaccines

►December 27, 2003 - Vaccines help limit rabies cases in pets - Outbreak unlikely with proper precautions - Corpus Christi Caller-Times - "The discovery of a rabid bat earlier this month in Corpus Christi shouldn't alarm pet owners as long as they're taking the right precautions, according to the Texas Department of Health...Annual vaccinations should prevent pets from contracting rabies, and if a pet does have contact with a rabid animal, a booster shot can usually protect the pet from becoming rabid, said Cherrie Stunz, director of Corpus Christi Animal Care _Services."

Comment: Note that annual rabies and other vaccines are no longer being required by many, if not most, states (e.g.  New Jersey, and now, even Texas,), and/or recommended by veterinary schools (e.g., UC Davis).

Pneumonia/prevnar

►December 22, 2003 - Otitis Media Pathogens Skewed by 7-Valent Pneumococcal Vaccine - (registration required) -  Reuters Health via www.medscape.com - "Certain strains of bacteria are more prevalent in children with acute otitis media who have been inoculated with the pneumococcal 7-valent protein conjugate (PNC7) vaccine, researchers report, with strains not included in the vaccine being favored...As lead investigator Dr. M. Catherine McEllistrem told Reuters Health, 'the proportion of cases of pneumococcal acute otitis media due to non-vaccine serogroup strains rapidly increased from 1999 to 2001 in children who received at least two doses of PNC7 vaccine.'"

Comment:  For more on the problem of changing serotypes as a result of vaccination, go to Scandals: Changing Disease Epidemiology Via Vaccines - Are We "Robbing Peter To Pay Paul"?

Polio/polio vaccine

►November 12, 2003 - Preventing Another SV-40 Tragedy: Are Today's Polio Vaccine Safety Protocols Effective?" - Freedom or Choice in Health Care via www.taxtyranny.ca - "Immunization to protect children and adults from infectious diseases has been one of the greatest public health advances of the 20th century. However, no immunization is without risk. It has been widely acknowledged that millions of Americans may have received contaminated polio vaccines. Those vaccines contained the Simian Virus 40 (SV-40), which many researchers believe is capable of causing cancer. There is, however, great dispute over how many Americans may have received the tainted vaccines, and when the hazardous contaminant was finally removed."

Comment: For more on the role SV40 may or may not be playing in cancer, go to Scandals: The Institute of Medicine Review Of SV40 Contamination of Polio Vaccine and Cancer

►December 23, 2003 - Polio Vaccine: Experts Differ On Hormone Content - This Day via www.allafrica.com - "The on-going controversy over the presence of oestrediole Hormone in the oral polio vaccine took a new dimension yesterday, as two research groups took divergent positions on the presence or otherwise of the reproduction inhibiting constituents in the drug."

►December 23, 2003 - Polio Vaccine Controversy Resolved -  This Day News - "The raging controversy over the potency and efficacy of the oral polio vaccine in Nigeria has finally been put to rest. At a press briefing, the Health Minister, Professor Eyitayo Lambo said the tests to prove the safety and potency of the oral polio vaccine was carried out under the auspices of all stakeholders."

►December 23, 2003 - Lawmaker Refutes Report on Polio Vaccine -  This Day News - "'This morning, it was brought to my notice that a story on the front page of one of the national dailies (not THISDAY) misrepresented the outcome of the public hearing. We have audio and visual recordings and based on evidence given before us, no complaint in black and white that the Oral Polio vaccine has contaminants', Safana said."

►December 23, 2003 - FG, WHO, NAFDAC confirm safety oral polio vaccines - www.dailytimesofnigeria.com

►December 22, 2003 - Nigeria debates polio program - Nigeria's National Assembly has begun a hearing to discuss the controversy over the polio immunisation campaign in the north of the country. - BBC

►December 18, 2003 - Prejudice, Poverty, And Polio Palaver - (book review) - Daily Trust (Abuja) via www.alllafrica.com - "In his new book 'Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor,' published in April 2003, Paul Farmer, Boston-based medical doctor and Harvard professor of anthropology, gives us a rare, passionate, eloquent and profound understanding of how global inequality creates massive diseases and large scale death in poorer countries of the world."

Rabies/rabies vaccine

►December 27, 2003 - Vaccines help limit rabies cases in pets - Outbreak unlikely with proper precautions - Corpus Christi Caller-Times - "The discovery of a rabid bat earlier this month in Corpus Christi shouldn't alarm pet owners as long as they're taking the right precautions, according to the Texas Department of Health...Annual vaccinations should prevent pets from contracting rabies, and if a pet does have contact with a rabid animal, a booster shot can usually protect the pet from becoming rabid, said Cherrie Stunz, director of Corpus Christi Animal Care _Services."

Comment: Note that annual rabies and other vaccines are no longer being required by many, if not most, states (e.g.  New Jersey, and now, even Texas,), and/or recommended by veterinary schools (e.g., UC Davis).

RECALLS

SARS

December 28, 2003 - China Quarantines Possible SARS Case - Officials on Alert for Winter Resurgence - Washington Post

►December 28, 2003 - SARS patient to soon be released from hospital - eTaiwanNews.com - "The more significant development is that antibodies have appeared in his system, showing that the amount of viral infection is slowly being reduced, Huang said."

December 28, 2003 - In China, a Possible SARS Case Alters Few Routines (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

December 28, 2003 - China Tightens Health Screenings After Suspected SARS Case (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

►December 27, 2003 - Beijing alert to newly-found suspected SARS case in Guangdong - www.chinaview.cn

December 23, 2004 - Taming SARS: What Worked, What Didn't -  Quarantines, certain drugs helped to contain 1st outbreak of the disease - HealthDayNews via http://drkoop.com

►December 17, 2003 - SARS transmitted among airplanes - UPI via Medline

►December 2003 - For coughs, colds and SARS, wear a mask - journal article (Paediatrics & Child Health)

SBS (Shaken Baby Syndrome)/SIDS

2003 - A "Shaken Baby" Case Study: Judge Reverses CPS Decision That Woman Assaulted Infant - www.childabuselaw.info - "A Washington state woman's care of her foster infant has been vindicated by an administrative law judge. Child Protective Services had found that she had assaulted the baby. The judge found, on the contrary, that she saved the child's life by administering CPR when he went into a seizure."

TB/TB vaccine (BCG) - NEW!

West Nile virus/vaccine

►December 28, 2003 - Testing starts for West Nile vaccine - Trials now taking place on 60 volunteers in Kansas City area - AP via The Lawrence Journal World

Whooping cough/DPT vaccine

►December 23, 2003 - Cazenovia Central School District reports whooping cough - News 10 Now - "Both infected students have received the vaccine."

►December 21, 2003 - Teens to get whooping cough booster - www.abc.net.au

Comment:  Has the whooping cough vaccine now been approved for adolescent use?

Other diseases

►December 2003 - The Virus That Changed My World - PLoS Biology - "When I first read this little poem in The Lancet in January 2003 (Heikkinen and Jarvinen 2003), it elicited little more than a bemused chortle. There are few who would deny the paradox that for all the medical advances providing cures for multitudinous diseases afflicting the human condition, there remains a large hole in the understanding of and treatment for the common cold. We know that it is caused mainly by rhinoviruses and coronaviruses, but that's about it. Having worked on coronaviruses for my doctoral thesis, I knew some of the many open questions."

Other vaccines/screening/vaccines in the pipeline

►December 20, 2003 - Mass Cattle Immunisation in Offing - The Monitor (Kampala) via www.allafrica.com - "Mass immunisation of cattle against the deadly foot and mouth disease (FMD) is expected soon...The minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Dr Kisamba Mugerwa said on Thursday that government has imported 50, 000 doses worth Shs 120 million for the exercise."

Comment: For other perspectives on FMD, go to Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) at www.whale.to.

December 26, 2003 - Nicotine Vaccine - Ivanhoe via www.healthcentral.com

Vaccine incentives/promotion

►December 23, 2003 - Nebraska Receives $624,085 for Immunizations and Vaccines Program - Southwest Nebraska News

Vaccine shortages - NEW!

December 22, 2003 - Vaccine Shortages Affect Child Immunization Programs - Health Behavior News Service via www.newswise.com

Vaccines - combined

Vaccines in general/overview/vaccine research

►December 16, 2003 - Vaccines -- How They are Made, Supplied, and Monitored for the Health and Safety of our Children - (registration required) - www.medscape.com

(Vaccine) ingredients/additives & contaminants

Overview of Vaccine Manufacturing - Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) - FDA - "The nutrient media that are used to support the growth of bacteria and the cell cultures in which viruses are grown often contain animal-derived components and, commonly, bovine-derived (from cows) components. As examples, the cells that are used to propagate viruses generally require calf serum for their maintenance and growth and the nutrient broths that are commonly used to grow bacteria contain beef extracts (e.g., a beef broth)."

Vaccine Ingredients - CDC (pdf)

Vaccine testing

Adverse reactions/VAERS/VICP

December 28, 2003 - Scientists, consumer groups debate individual disasters, general good - Such considerations as mercury's problems and the risks of autism and allergies come to fore. - News-Leader - "Consumer groups raising concerns about the risks say they are not anti-vaccine. But they want federal health officials to use what they know to make vaccines safer. Many scientists, doctors and parents believe that states' overzealous vaccination policies have contributed to dramatic increases in asthma, allergies, learning disabilities, autism, attention-deficit disorder, diabetes and other chronic neuroimmune illnesses."

December 28, 2003 - Teen disabled by vaccine prepares for life on own - A rare reaction to an immunization crippled J.J. Coffelt's muscles, but not her spirit. - News-Leader - "J.J. is a statistical anomaly, one of 638 kids nationwide who, since 1988, have been compensated by the federal government for crippling disabilities suffered after getting immunized against childhood diseases."

Comment:  For a highly critical view of the compensation program, go to The Victim Friendly National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act: You've Got to Be Kidding!

December 28, 2003 - Millions paid out to kids hurt by shots - Congress created fund to ensure companies keep making vaccines. - News-Leader - "The program is 'fair and generous,' Balbier says. 'It serves the needs of families who do have a very, very rare instance of adverse reaction.'"

Comment:  Not everyone thinks the program is "fair and generous".  For more on this, go to The Victim Friendly National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act: You've Got to Be Kidding!

December 26, 2003 - Grant funds childhood vaccinations - Three agencies try to ensure that students receive necessary shots to stay in class. - Statesman Journal

►December 23, 2003 - Suit over vaccine must take federal route - www.thestate.com - "A woman who claims her daughter became retarded because of a common childhood vaccine must first take her case to federal court, the S.C. Court of Appeals ruled Monday...A three-member panel of the court unanimously said federal law requires that Donna Quigley file her claim on behalf of her daughter, Kealy, with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims before she can sue in state court."

►December 2003 - Kawasaki disease in an infant following immunisation with hepatitis B vaccine. - journal article (Clinical Rheumatology) - "The known association between hepatitis B and vasculitis has been reported in rare cases in adults after hepatitis B vaccination. We here describe a 35-day-old infant who developed Kawasaki disease 1 day after receiving his second dose of hepatitis B vaccine. Although extremely rare, this possible side effect should be noted and further investigated."

Comment:  First, what do they consider rare?  Second, how is it they know it is rare?  The fact is, they probably don't KNOW it is rare; rather, they assume it is rare.  But so-called "absence of evidence" is not evidence of absence.  There have been 23 reports of Kawasaki disease to VAERS since 1990.  Estimates of under-reporting in a passive reporting system range from 90-99%, which means these 23 reports probably reflect between 230 to 2300 actual vaccine-associated reactions.  230 to 2300 is a fairly large range, however, one which makes it almost worthless as a marker for actual vaccine damage.  Shouldn't we know exactly how many cases of Kawasaki disease have been associated with vaccinations?  Shouldn't a biological product (i.e., vaccines) given to healthy children in order to prevent an event (one or more diseases) which in all likelihood will not cause permanent damage, but which itself has the potential to cause permanent damage, be painstakingly followed?  Shouldn't it be required that an active surveillance system (a post-marketing system following all product users) be employed, rather than one that relies on both voluntary compliance and recognition that an adverse event might be related to use of the product?

2003 - Atopic dermatitis is increased following vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella or measles infection. - journal article (Acta Derm Venereol) - "The incidence of atopic dermatitis increased after measles, mumps and rubella vaccination and measles infection, which is surprising in view of the hygiene hypothesis."

Vaccine Damage Payments - Department for Work and Pensions, UK

►December 16, 2003 - Vaccines -- How They are Made, Supplied, and Monitored for the Health and Safety of our Children - (registration required) - www.medscape.com

Alternative treatments/prevention

December 26, 2003 - Nursing homes should be quick to adopt pet therapy - Abilene Reporter-News

December 26, 2003 - Therapy in bloom - Program sheds light on healing plants - The Topeka Capital-Journal

►December 26, 2003 - Wrap up like Scandinavians, says health chief - PA News via The Scotsman

►December 25, 2003 - Some turn to homeopathic remedies to combat flu - AP via The Stamford Advocate

December 15, 2003 - Antibiotic may treat Alzheimer's disease - The Chicago Tribune via www.kanasa.com

►December 26, 2003 - Sugar Drink Helpful for Genetic Disease - Ivanhoe via www.healthcentral.com

December 24, 2003 - Newly Approved Therapy Successfully Targets Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma - University Of Michigan Health System via ScienceDaily

►December 24, 2003 - Technique Lifts Hopes for Surviving Type of Cancer - Reuters - "Receiving two transplants instead of one can double the chances of surviving multiple myeloma, a hard-to-treat cancer that originates in the blood and affects the bones, French researchers said Wednesday."

►December 18, 2003 - Common Cold Fights Cancer - Ivanhoe

Comment:  Do people who get frequent colds less frequently get cancer?

►December 21, 2003 - Citrus nutrient helps to slow down prostate cancer: Study - ANI via The Times of India

►December 17, 2003 - Kids - Turn Off the TV and Eat an Apple! - Pediatrics via Ivanhoe

Blood safety/contamination

Breastfeeding (vs. formula)

November 2003 - Breastfeeding status as a predictor of mortality among refugee children in an emergency situation in Guinea-Bissau - journal article (Tropical Medicine & International Health)

Changing epidemiology/serotypes/resistance

►December 22, 2003 - Superbugs lurk in intensive care - Patients in intensive care units may be most at risk from so-called superbugs, according to a study. - BBC

Compensation

"The Condition Our Condition Is In" (The State of Medicine/Science)

December 28, 2003 - Inquiry after error over baby MMR - An investigation has been launched after a baby was accidentally given the controversial MMR injection.  - BBC - "The three-month-old girl was supposed to have received a meningitis jab. It is understood the mistake was made at Gorbals Health Centre in Glasgow...Guidelines state babies should be at least 13 months old before they get the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine...Public health experts said the incident should not cause any long-term problems for the child...Politicians described the mistake as appalling."

►December 28, 2003 - Millions at risk from script errors - The Australian - "Australian doctors are making potentially deadly mistakes in more than 4½ million prescriptions each year...Almost one in 40 prescriptions contain errors, ranging from simple administrative mistakes to dangerously incorrect drug types and doses...Decimal points placed in the wrong spot, illegible handwriting, adult drugs given to children and wrong instructions are some of the mistakes putting lives at risk."

►December 24, 2003 - French doctors face manslaughter charges - The Guardian, UK - "Six top staff, including two surgeons, at one of Paris's leading public hospitals are facing manslaughter charges over the death of a patient who contracted gangrene after undergoing surgery...The case, in which, coincidentally, the deceased had been the hospital's chemist overseeing internal hygiene, has come amid a mounting crisis in France's public health system. Hailed in Britain as a model for the NHS, the French service has been criticised at home for poor hygiene after reports that 10,000 patients a year died from infections contracted in the country's 1,500 state medical institutions."

►December 22, 2003 - Are Nurses Cleaner than Doctors? - Ivanhoe - "Studies show health care workers who wash their hands frequently can reduce the rate of hospital-acquired infections. Now, a researcher publishing in this week’s issue of the British Medical Journal says nurses are more likely than doctors to practice good hygiene."

Conferences

Conflict of Interest

►December 23, 2003 - Nebraska Receives $624,085 for Immunizations and Vaccines Program - Southwest Nebraska News

►December 19, 2003 - NIH avoiding peer review? - Small $7.5 million measure would be awarded at NIH director's discretion - The Scientist - "The $328.1 billion US omnibus spending measure, which funds the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is now in the hands of the Senate, includes a small but unusual $7.5 million appropriation. That amount would be distributed at NIH director Elias Zerhouni's discretion, would be dedicated to research projects whose focuses fall outside traditional interests, and, researchers and advocates say, could help establish how science will be conducted in the future."

Death and Disease, including chronic disease/emerging disease/

December 28, 2003 - Scientists, consumer groups debate individual disasters, general good - Such considerations as mercury's problems and the risks of autism and allergies come to fore. - News-Leader - "Consumer groups raising concerns about the risks say they are not anti-vaccine. But they want federal health officials to use what they know to make vaccines safer. Many scientists, doctors and parents believe that states' overzealous vaccination policies have contributed to dramatic increases in asthma, allergies, learning disabilities, autism, attention-deficit disorder, diabetes and other chronic neuroimmune illnesses."

December 27, 2003 - Health alarm over sunburnt children - Herald Sun, Australia

December 24, 2003 - Mold in Schools Raises Fears of Illness: Unusually Wet Spring, Summer Fed an Ongoing Problem in Several Suburbs - Washington Post

►December 26, 2003 - Death Rate for Salmonella Strain Is Lower - AP via The Herald-Sun

►December 19, 2003 - WHO Warns of Lurking Dangers - Health-e (Cape Town) via www.allafrica.com

►December 19. 2003 - Ill or just old?  Towards a conceptual framework of  the relation between ageing and disease - BioMedCentral

►December 23, 2003 - Child eczema 'has tripled since 1970s' - The Guardian, UK - "Nearly one in three children has suffered eczema by the age of three-and-a-half, triple the rate in the 1970s, a study suggested last night...A fifth of babies develop the condition in the first six months according to data on 14,000 children born since 1991...Researchers cannot yet identify reasons for the rise, although improvements in hygiene may mean that there are fewer chances for babies to develop immunity to the condition, and genetics, environment and diet may also be factors."

Comment:  While not mentioned in the article as being among the many speculated causes, vaccinations are implicated in the significant increase in eczema and the many other chronic diseases now plaguing children.  For more on this, go to Scandals: Prescription For Disaster - Is Vaccine Policy A "House of Cards"?

►December 23, 2003 - Patterns: Shyness and Sickness, Arm in Arm (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

►December 21, 2003 - The nature of miracles: Why do some patients manage to beat the odds? - AP via Newsday

Effectiveness/herd immunity/coverage

►December 17, 2003 - 'Six Degrees of Immunization' Strategy Proposed -  Scientific American - "Reuven Cohen of Bar-Ilan University in Israel and his colleagues note that random immunization programs require that a large fraction of the population, typically 80 to 90 percent, be protected in order to stop the spread of disease. Alternatively, if enough information about the network and its connections is known, targeted immunization of the most highly connected individuals--so-called super-spreaders, who have the potential to infect a high number of people--can be effective. Unfortunately, such information is difficult to acquire. The researchers instead propose a tactic known as acquaintance immunization."

►December 22, 2003 - Invalid Vaccine Doses Would Cost Millions To Fix - Center for the Advancement of Health  - "Children who receive some of their vaccine doses too soon may need to be revaccinated, at an extra cost of $10 to $18 million a year, according to a new study...'The cost of revaccinating these children is substantial and may impact parents, physicians and vaccine purchasers,'...Stokley and colleagues’ sample of national immunization records reveals that 10 percent of children received at least one invalid vaccine dose in 2002. Invalid vaccines are doses administered five or more days before the minimum age for the first dose or before the minimum time between doses has elapsed...Invalid doses need to be repeated to ensure that children are adequately protected from disease, according to the researchers."

Comment:  What does this all mean?  Among the questions that need to be asked are the following: 1) If so many vaccines have been given incorrectly, does that mean they are not responsible for declines in disease incidence attributed to their use? 2)  If the declines occurred in spite of these incorrectly administered vaccines, does that mean far fewer are required for "herd immunity"?  3)  If the declines occurred in spite of these incorrectly administered vaccines, does that mean they are unnecessary?

Ethics/research integrity

►December 25, 2003 - Interviews for HIV study were fabricated - But none of the data from 3 UM employees was used in published report - www.sunspot.net - "Three former University of Maryland employees engaged in scientific misconduct by fabricating 18 interviews with adolescents as part of a study on HIV risk reduction, the federal government has found...The study, which involved 817 youths, was published in the January 2003 issue of the journal Pediatrics, but only after all suspect interviews were deleted from the results, said principal investigator Dr. Bonita F. Stanton, who now heads the pediatrics department at Wayne State University."

►December 22, 2003 - Small Businessman Whistleblower Risks it all in the Name of Conscience - Common Dreams - "Imagine a businessman, consumer advocate and whistleblower all in one person. He is John Munsell, owner of the family business Montana Quality Foods, Inc...Mr. Munsell charged that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) tried to drive him out of business because he exposed the department's failure to act on evidence that the giant ConAgra beefpacking company was shipping E. coli contaminated ground beef carrying the USDA's own seal of approval as wholesome...The USDA's aggressive "do not look, do not tell" non-interference policy with ConAgra backfired when it was finally required to recall over 19 million pounds of ground beef and related trim during the summer of 2002. The reason: Laboratory tests confirmed E.coli 0157:H7 -- the same deadly germ that had taken lives and hospitalized many in previous contamination tragedies."

Funding/money matters

►December 23, 2003 - Nebraska Receives $624,085 for Immunizations and Vaccines Program - Southwest Nebraska News

►December 26, 2003 - Private schools low on funds - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - "The schools charged with educating the state's most severely disabled children say they are slowly going broke, and it could mean that some will have to close their doors at the end of the school year."

►December 26, 2003 - Investors fear they'll lose millions in alleged Ponzi scam - AP via The Miami Herald - "One San Diego investor, who asked to remain anonymous, said he'd invested about $500,000 - most of his net worth - but had been slowly withdrawing several hundred thousand dollars to care for his 4-year-old autistic son...With the firm's collapse, 'I'll have to pretty much sell my house, sell everything,' he said. 'My life's pretty much devastated.'

Genetics (vs. Environment)

Government/science/industry/medicine clearly run amok

December 29, 2003 - Call to stop deadly viruses getting into wrong hands - www.smh.com - "Ian Ramshaw...was critical of US researchers who have genetically modified cowpox virus, which can infect humans, in a way that is likely to make it extremely deadly...The team at the University of St Louis has said the research is necessary to understand what terrorists might achieve. "But I cannot see any scientific justification for it," Professor Ramshaw said...Sufficient knowledge could be obtained by restricting studies to mousepox virus, which is similar to cowpox but cannot infect humans, he said."

►December 27, 2003 - Berkeley scientists create tuberculosis 'superbug' - Virulent bacteria results from attempt to render TB harmless - Oakland Tribune -- "In trying to make tuberculosis less infectious, Berkeley scientists created a superbug that killed every lab mouse it touched...Scientists say their mutant could be a guide to the strange pathogenicity of TB, which can live dormant in humans for decades before triggering disease."

Comment:  How many deaths that the "experts" refuse to consider attributing to vaccines are caused by "inactivated" or "attenuated" pathogens?

►December 22, 2003 - Invalid Vaccine Doses Would Cost Millions To Fix - Center for the Advancement of Health  - "Children who receive some of their vaccine doses too soon may need to be revaccinated, at an extra cost of $10 to $18 million a year, according to a new study...'The cost of revaccinating these children is substantial and may impact parents, physicians and vaccine purchasers,'...Stokley and colleagues’ sample of national immunization records reveals that 10 percent of children received at least one invalid vaccine dose in 2002. Invalid vaccines are doses administered five or more days before the minimum age for the first dose or before the minimum time between doses has elapsed...Invalid doses need to be repeated to ensure that children are adequately protected from disease, according to the researchers."

Comment:  What does this all mean?  Among the questions that need to be asked are the following: 1) If so many vaccines have been given incorrectly, does that mean they are not responsible for declines in disease incidence attributed to their use? 2)  If the declines occurred in spite of these incorrectly administered vaccines, does that mean far fewer are required for "herd immunity"?  3)  If the declines occurred in spite of these incorrectly administered vaccines, does that mean they are unnecessary?

►December 19, 2003 - NIH avoiding peer review? - Small $7.5 million measure would be awarded at NIH director's discretion - The Scientist - "The $328.1 billion US omnibus spending measure, which funds the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is now in the hands of the Senate, includes a small but unusual $7.5 million appropriation. That amount would be distributed at NIH director Elias Zerhouni's discretion, would be dedicated to research projects whose focuses fall outside traditional interests, and, researchers and advocates say, could help establish how science will be conducted in the future."

►December 23, 2003 - The Ghost of Medical Atrocities: What's Next, After the Unveiling? (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times - "Ever since 1972, when the American public first learned about the Tuskegee syphilis research that subjected African-American men to scientific experiments without their consent, the medical profession has had much explaining to do about its past...Since then, several disturbing instances have come to light. In those cases, scientists, physicians and the government-sanctioned research or treatments that we would today consider unethical, like trials of untested vaccines or medications on mentally retarded children and prisoners."

Comment:  What has really changed?

Immunity/Immune system

December 28, 2003 - Scientists, consumer groups debate individual disasters, general good - Such considerations as mercury's problems and the risks of autism and allergies come to fore. - News-Leader - "Consumer groups raising concerns about the risks say they are not anti-vaccine. But they want federal health officials to use what they know to make vaccines safer. Many scientists, doctors and parents believe that states' overzealous vaccination policies have contributed to dramatic increases in asthma, allergies, learning disabilities, autism, attention-deficit disorder, diabetes and other chronic neuroimmune illnesses."

►2002 - 9 Tips for Keeping Baby Germ-Free - American Baby

Comment:  As we are learning, however, being "germ-free" has its down-side as far as developing a strong immune system.  For more on this, go to Scandals: Prescription For Disaster - Is Vaccine Policy A "House of Cards"?

Comment:  Note that one of the authors is the omnipresent Dr. Paul Offit, of considerable conflict of interest fame.

►December 15, 2003 - Build Your Immune System - The Nassau Guardian - "A strong immune system, creates the kind of resistance that may not keep the flu away entirely, but it will not have the kind of devastating effect that it usually have in a body that has not been prepared properly for the uneventful."

►December 23, 2003 - Linking The Immune System With Lipid Metabolism - Scripps Research Institute via ScienceDaily

►December 7, 2003 - Transplant 'fools' immune system - Treating a transplant patient in advance of the operation with cells from the donor could reduce the need for powerful drugs afterwards. - BBC

►December 23, 2003 - Study: Stress weakens resistance to illnesses - The Washington Post via The Seattle Times - "Scientists are gaining new insights into the role of temperament in making some people vulnerable to physical disease through studies exploring how stress influences the immune system, weakening disease-fighting cells and creating fertile environments for pathogens...This month, a carefully done study showed that shy men have much less resistance to the AIDS virus than extroverted men and benefit far less from treatment with antiretroviral drugs. It is the first study to demonstrate through laboratory tests a connection between being introverted and the course of AIDS in individuals, researchers said."

►December 22, 2003 - Stress Found to Weaken Resistance to Illness - Washington Post - "Scientists are gaining new insights into the role of temperament in making some people vulnerable to physical disease through studies exploring how stress influences the immune system, weakening disease-fighting cells and creating fertile environments for pathogens...Although the connection between emotion and disease has long been suspected -- physicians as early as the 2nd century A.D. observed a link between "melancholy" and physical illness -- researchers are finally pinpointing networks of biological systems that connect temperament with the progression of illness."

Inspirational stories

►December 21, 2003 - The nature of miracles: Why do some patients manage to beat the odds? - AP via Newsday

Legal/lawsuits/legislation/re: malpractice

December 27, 2003 - Jikei med school fires three doctors standing trial for malpractice death - The Japan Times

►December 23, 2003 - Suit over vaccine must take federal route - www.thestate.com - "A woman who claims her daughter became retarded because of a common childhood vaccine must first take her case to federal court, the S.C. Court of Appeals ruled Monday...A three-member panel of the court unanimously said federal law requires that Donna Quigley file her claim on behalf of her daughter, Kealy, with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims before she can sue in state court."

December 21, 2003 - Tort reform proponents, foes ready for battle in coming session (requires registration) -  The Post and Courier - "A typical day for Lily includes basic physical therapy, learning to hold her head up, grasp and follow objects with her eyes. She doesn't walk, talk or speak, and her parents don't know that she ever will. They say her 10 or so epileptic seizures every day just make her cry...Lily was left severely mentally handicapped at birth...In a lawsuit they filed... they were able to win a sizable settlement...'It lets us pay for Lily's extensive treatment and a lot of the little things that have helped make life a little easier for us,' said Tony Zionkowski."

►December 24, 2003 - French doctors face manslaughter charges - The Guardian, UK - "Six top staff, including two surgeons, at one of Paris's leading public hospitals are facing manslaughter charges over the death of a patient who contracted gangrene after undergoing surgery...The case, in which, coincidentally, the deceased had been the hospital's chemist overseeing internal hygiene, has come amid a mounting crisis in France's public health system. Hailed in Britain as a model for the NHS, the French service has been criticised at home for poor hygiene after reports that 10,000 patients a year died from infections contracted in the country's 1,500 state medical institutions."

►December 21, 2003 - Eyeless children championed by Observer win $7m test case  - Ten years ago, we revealed the possible link between a fungicide and a tragic birth defect. Now a US court has found a chemical giant guilty - The Guardian, UK

►December 22, 2003 - Scandals: Senator Frist Frivolously Dismisses Vaccine Damage by Sandy Mintz - Vaccination News

*Pending Immunization Legislation - bookmark this link

Medical "mysteries", not including autism - NEW!

New Books/Book reviews - NEW!

►December 25, 2003 - Everyday solutions - Oceanside woman making it easy for the Autism community - Herald Community Online via www.zwire.com  - (book review: Everyday Solutions: A practical guide for Families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders)

►December 19, 2003 - Raw account of autism an essential read - (book review - Riddle Child) - Cape Argus - "It's hard to believe that this is a work of fiction, so real and raw is this account of the agony of 'the task of steering a riddle child through life'...The cold cruelty and abhorrent indifference that greets the daily and nightly battle of Ingrid to find answers to the tragedy that is her young son Alexander, is difficult to bear."

►December 18, 2003 - Prejudice, Poverty, And Polio Palaver - (book review) - Daily Trust (Abuja) via www.alllafrica.com - "In his new book 'Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor,' published in April 2003, Paul Farmer, Boston-based medical doctor and Harvard professor of anthropology, gives us a rare, passionate, eloquent and profound understanding of how global inequality creates massive diseases and large scale death in poorer countries of the world."

Nutrition - NEW!

Parental/health rights/exemptions/mandatory/privacy/health freedom

Pharmaceutical industry/pharmaceutical industry oversight

►December 26, 2003 - Schneider: Drug industry uses 'blackmail' - Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune - "An area lawmaker has asked a state legislative committee to hold hearings on efforts by American pharmaceutical companies to prevent governments from buying less expensive drugs in Canada...State Rep. Marlin Schneider, a Democrat from Wisconsin Rapids, said he has asked the Republican chairmen of the Assembly's Public Health Committee to investigate what he called "blackmail" by the drug industry...'At a time when senior citizens, businesses and state and local governments are facing ever-increasing health-care costs and insurance premiums, it is outrageous that these drug companies should be able to force Canada into denying cheaper drugs to American consumers,' Schneider said in a news release."

►December 25, 2003 - Drug industry political victory doesn't mute underlying problems - AP via Newsday - "Pharmaceutical company executives breathed a collective sigh of relief when the Medicare reform bill excluded two ideas they abhorred: imports of low-priced drugs and government price controls...Industry lobbyists had swarmed the capital before the bill's late-year approval, pressing aggressively against both measures. They emerged victorious _ but it doesn't mean they can relax. The issue of prescrition drug costs will rage into 2004."

►December 27, 2003 - Medicine industry fights bad image - Even a miracle pill might not improve the perception of pharmaceutical giants. - Gannett News Service via StatesmanJournal.com - "Yet, even though drug companies make products that help people feel better and live longer, the industry’s image is on life support...Fewer than half of Americans surveyed in a Gallup Poll in August had a positive view of the drug industry. Drug companies ranked below the federal government and airline companies and just above the legal profession in the public’s eyes."

►December 23, 2003 - Vaccine options - The Washington Times - "An alternative approach involves the application of option theory to ensure adequate supply of vaccine. Financial options are widely used to address uncertainty in markets. Call options give the holder the right, but not the obligation, to purchase a particular asset (the underlying asset, in this case, being additional vaccine doses) at a predetermined price, on or before a given date."

Comment:  Note the advertisers for the Washington Times Editorial/Op-Ed.

►December 21, 2003 - Merck will not have to submit environmental study - AP via www.wcnc.com - "The incentives bill designed to bring a Merck & Co. plant to Treyburn Corporate Park here contains more than just monetary enticements...Merck will not have to submit an extensive environmental study required for projects that involve taxpayers' money...Officials with the N.C. Department of Commerce say they inserted the exemption from the State Environmental Policy Act into the bill so the mandated study wouldn't endanger the company's March construction plans."

►December 22, 2003 - Pharmacists warning on ibuprofen - www.news.com.au - "Pharmacists said the wider availability of the medicine gave the false impression it was safe for everybody...'The only winners are the manufacturers of ibuprofen who have lobbied long and hard to make their products available everywhere, to everyone.'...Currently available only at chemists, ibuprofen is commonly used for headaches, period pain, backaches and other muscular pain."

Comment:  Isn't that fascinating.  Ibuprofen was not sold over-the-counter in Australia until recently.....

Politics/(abuse of) power

►December 26, 2003 - Schneider: Drug industry uses 'blackmail' - Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune - "An area lawmaker has asked a state legislative committee to hold hearings on efforts by American pharmaceutical companies to prevent governments from buying less expensive drugs in Canada...State Rep. Marlin Schneider, a Democrat from Wisconsin Rapids, said he has asked the Republican chairmen of the Assembly's Public Health Committee to investigate what he called "blackmail" by the drug industry...'At a time when senior citizens, businesses and state and local governments are facing ever-increasing health-care costs and insurance premiums, it is outrageous that these drug companies should be able to force Canada into denying cheaper drugs to American consumers,' Schneider said in a news release."

►December 27, 2003 - Florida needs strict rules not to reduce toxic threat of mercury - Herald-Tribune guest columnist - "Mercury is extremely toxic, and there is no safe level of exposure for humans. It can cause brain damage, particularly in children under the age of 6. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that one in 12 women in the United States has absorbed enough mercury to pose a threat to a developing fetus."

Comment:  What, no mention of vaccines?

►December 26, 2003 - Mad cow is tough for Bush administration - Bush Administration Must Balance Consumers, Beef Industry As It Handles Mad Cow Scare - AP via www.abcnews.go.com

►December 24, 2003 - Court Blocks U.S. Effort to Relax Pollution Rule (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

►December 22, 2003 - Pharmacists warning on ibuprofen - www.news.com.au - "Pharmacists said the wider availability of the medicine gave the false impression it was safe for everybody...'The only winners are the manufacturers of ibuprofen who have lobbied long and hard to make their products available everywhere, to everyone.'...Currently available only at chemists, ibuprofen is commonly used for headaches, period pain, backaches and other muscular pain."

Comment:  Isn't that fascinating.  Ibuprofen was not sold over-the-counter in Australia until recently.....

PR/advertising - NEW!

Pregnancy/childbirth

Public Health/health care in general - NEW!

►December 22, 2003 - Two government reports detail shortcomings, successes in U.S. health care system - AP via www.9news.com

►December 9, 2003 - Health and Poverty in the US  - www.zmag.org

►December 19, 2003 - Mixed-race youths may suffer more health problems, study shows - AP via www.islandpacket.com

RECALLS

Research/publishing/funding/other research results

►December 27, 2003 - Man with Lou Gehrig's disease makes startling recovery - AP via www.mmlive.com

December 24, 2003 - Research Team Uncovers New Compound In Human Stomach - University Of Missouri-Columbia via ScienceDaily - "Farmers use ammonium nitrate as a crop fertilizer and plants produce it to use as an energy source in the absence of light. The problem, according to a University of Missouri-Columbia researcher, is that nitrate could be responsible for starting a chain of events in the body that leads to the formation of cancer causing agents."

December 24, 2003 - New understanding of why brain cells die after stroke will lead to development of new treatments - University of Toronto via www.eurekalert.org

►December 23, 2003 - Study says combined PET/CT scans may be better than full-body MRIs - Atlanta Journal-Constitution

►December 22, 2003 - Asthma Drugs Ineffective In Smokers - Reuters Health via http://xtramsn.co.nz

Comment:  Once again it has been demonstrated that individual differences re: both genetics and environment effect how well drugs work. 

Testing/clinical trials -  NEW!

The Wacky World of Changing/Conflicting Research Results

What's THAT About? - NEW!

You've Got To Be Kidding

►December 22, 2003 - Scandals: Senator Frist Frivolously Dismisses Vaccine Damage by Sandy Mintz - Vaccination News

Letters From Parents &others

Miscellaneous

December 24, 2003 - Air Products Makes Strategic Investment in Sterilox Technologies - PRNewswire/First Call/ via Yahoo!

►December 26, 2003 - R.I. Hospital to Resume Stomach Procedure - AP via The Herald-Sun

►December 23, 2003 - Caution: All those warnings can be a downer - Toledo Blade - "But then, on the other hand, maybe there should be a warning sign on warning signs: CAUTION: Reading too many warning signs could be detrimental to your mental health and could turn you into a risk-averse, humorless curmudgeon."

►December 23, 2003 - Arsenic-treated playground equipment faces the chop - The Sydney Morning Herald

►December 23, 2003 - Indoor air is becoming polluted by powerful household chemicals - Don't take a deep breath - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 

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DISCLAIMER:    All information, data, and material contained, presented, or provided here is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed as reflecting the knowledge or opinions of the publisher, and is not to be construed or intended as providing medical or legal advice.  The decision whether or not to vaccinate is an important and complex issue and should be made by you, and you alone, in consultation with your health care provider.