There Is No Freedom Without Health Freedom


Starting in July 2018, Vaccination News will no longer be manually updating the news because I can no longer afford to do it and I get almost no financial help.  I have tried numerous solutions, including charging $10/yr but even that was too much for but a few people.

To see what the news will look like, scroll down the page to the RSS feed articles.

I welcome the opportunity to continue as before by receiving the necessary funding, so am giving everyone enough of heads up to possibly come up with it.  Costs, including legal and technical fees, are about $20,000/year, most of which I have been covering for many years.

All the best,

Sandy Gottstein

President, Vaccination News, A Non-Profit Corporation

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All the News December 8-14, 2003

Posted December 14, 2003:

November 2003 - Risk factors of multiple sclerosis: a case-control study. - journal article (Neurological Sciences) - "In multiple logistic regression analysis, we found independent risk factors of MS to be: familiarity for MS (OR=12.1; 95% CI, 1.3-110.7), autoimmune diseases (OR=3.8; 95% CI, 2.0-7.1) and migraine (OR=8.7; 95% CI, 1.0-75.4); comorbidity with autoimmune disease (OR=6.8; 95% CI, 1.4-32.0) and migraine (OR=13.5; 95% CI, 1.5-116.6); and vaccination against measles (OR=92.2; 95%, 12.1-700.2). Familial susceptibility to MS, autoimmune diseases and migraine, and vaccination to measles are associated with an increased risk of MS."

Comment:  Seems kind of important, this result.  Wonder why nothing much, if anything, has been reported about this highly significant correlation between measles vaccine and multiple sclerosis. 

December 13, 2003 - Panel reluctantly backed flu vaccine to FDA - Members of an advisory panel that backed this year's flu vaccine expressed doubts about its potential effectiveness before recommending it for the Food and Drug Administration's approval. - CNN

December 14, 2003 - Biotech threat scenarios get scary - Toledo Blade - "A newly declassified Central Intelligence Agency report warns that rogue scientists could highjack biotechnology and create super-microbes far worse than the virus staring in "24 Hours," Fox television’s popular drama...The CIA portrays them as viruses and bacteria from hell."

December 13, 2003 - Mercury in water, air a growing concern - EPA coal plant plans, fish linked (requires registration) - Chicago Tribune

Influenza: The Disease & The Vaccine -

November 3, 2003 - My Turn: Reaching the 'Point of No Return' in Public - When 'J' has a fit, spectators assume poor parenting is to blame.  They never suspect that he's autistic - Newsweek via MSNBC

December 13, 2003 - Why flu kills healthy kids a medical mystery - The Denver Post - "The exact cause of death of 14-month-old Jeremy Beaumont and of Joseph Williams, the 8- year-old from Wellington, and of the other Colorado flu victims hasn't been determined. Most of those who died in Colorado were sick before the flu struck, with compromised immune systems, or, in at least one case, heart problems. But some were healthy - normal, exuberant children whose deaths no doubt send shivers down the spine of every parent in the state."

December 13, 2003 - Spread of Crohn's related to use of refrigeration, researcher says - The Toronto Globe and Mail via The Seattle PI - "The researchers believe that exposure to common food-borne bacteria such yersinia and listeria overstimulates the immune system and triggers Crohn's in people who are genetically susceptible. These bacteria are found in a wide variety of foods that are refrigerated, including pork, chicken, sausage, hamburger, cheese and lettuce; they can survive at temperatures near the freezing point."

Comment:  Perhaps, but why are they susceptible?  And since refrigerators have been around for quite awhile, given that Crohn's is on the rise, what has changed to make more and more people apparently susceptible than they used to be? 

December 12, 2003 - Getting heated over mercury - Regulation rollback is boon for utilities, bad for kids - by Molly Ivins - - "I can't tell whether this administration is flaunting its cynicism, its contempt for science or its conviction that when in power you help your contributors and fry your enemies. Although how millions of small children and unborn fetuses came to be enemies of Bush & Co. is beyond my political or theological understanding."

December 7, 2003 - Does Kindergarten Need Cops? - The youngest schoolkids are acting out in really outrageous ways.  Why? - - " 'I'm clearly seeing an increasing number of kindergartners and first-graders coming to our attention for aggressive behavior,' says Michael Parker, program director of psychological services at the Fort Worth Independent School District, which serves 80,000 students. The incidents have occurred not only in low-income urban schools but in middle-class areas as well. Says Parker: 'We're talking about serious talking back to teachers, profanity, even biting, kicking and hitting adults, and we're seeing it in 5-year-olds.' And these are not the kids who have been formally labeled emotionally disturbed, says Nekedria Clark, who works in Parker's department. 'We have our E.D. kids, and then we have our b-a-d kids.'"

Comment:  Why, indeed?

June 9, 2003? - Infant Removed From Vegetarian Household: Child Services Claim Dietary Abuse - Press Release -

December 12, 2003 - No end in sight - The News-Record - "The influenza A virus continues to take its toll on Campbell County and health officials aren't expecting it to get much better...Pediatrician Linda Ammari will see 45 kids today related to viral illnesses, which she says hasn't slowed in the last two weeks."

December 13, 2003 - Scientist warn of flu pandemic - As bad as this year's flu season is, it hasn't brought the worldwide outbreak known as a pandemic. But experts warn that a pandemic is coming, it's just a question of when. - AP via CNN

December 14, 2003 - What Caused Small Town's Leukemia? - Fox News

December 13, 2003 - Stronger vaccine was nixed - March decision by FDA is examined in light of deadly flu season - The Denver Post - "Federal regulators could have approved a flu vaccine that protected the public against the deadly strain sweeping through Colorado and across the country, but would have had to use a controversial and risky method to do it."

December 13, 2003 - Drug firms fund disease awareness - - via Spin of the Day @ PR - "Pharmaceutical companies are pouring millions of dollars into patient advocacy groups and medical organisations to help expand markets for their products...They are also using sponsorships and educational grants to fund disease-awareness campaigns that urge people to see their doctors."

December 14, 2003 - The Big Bad Flu, or Just the Usual? (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times - "For all the public concern over the rapid spread of the new Fujian strain of influenza, health officials and doctors say there is still no way to know whether this year's flu season is particularly severe or just off to an early start. And for all the clamor for dwindling supplies of vaccine, no one knows how effective the current vaccine will be against the Fujian strain...But the flu season has already thrown some realities about the public health system into sharp relief, these experts say. It suggests that the country needs to be far better prepared to deal with influenza — either the conventional strains that cause serious illness each year, or a horrendous strain like the one that caused the 1918-19 pandemic, which killed at least 30 million people worldwide."

December 14, 2003 - MMR RIP?  (requires subscription) - The Sunday Times, UK - "A conspiracy of silence or paranoid scaremongering? Is the MMR vaccine a cause of autism — or is it a vital health programme undermined by this medical maverick?"

December 14, 2003 - Doctors’ fury at MMR drama ‘errors’ - The Sunday Herald, UK - "A spokesman for the Royal Society said last night that members were alarmed at the blurring of the distinction between fact and fiction, especially the failure to include any reference to scientific doubts over Wakefield’s theories or that opinion is split and the majority of scientists believe there is no evidence to suggest an MMR-autism link."

Comment:  Sometimes what is one person's "fact" is another person's "fiction".

December 14, 2003 - Withdrawn Drug May Close Window of Hope for Kids (requires registration) - The Los Angeles Times - "But for the last 18 months or so, he's been moonlighting on the biggest case he'll ever have — proper treatment for his son, Garrett, who began displaying autistic-like characteristics when he was 1 1/2. However, Gurwitz and his wife, Renee, also a deputy district attorney, refuse to describe their son as autistic...Therein lies the backdrop for an emerging medical story that, so far, has left the Gurwitzes and other parents in varying states of frustration, anger and — dare they suggest it? — cautious optimism."

December 12, 2003 - Smallpox Vaccine Victims Can Seek Payment - AP via Yahoo! - "More than 38,000 medical care workers, police, firefighters and other emergency responders have been vaccinated against smallpox under an emergency response plan that went into effect last January. Officials estimate that about 2 percent of those vaccinated experienced some sort of medical injury as a result...Under rules announced Friday, those injured by the smallpox vaccine will be able to seek compensation from a $42 million program that provides both financial and medical benefits."

December 12+, 2003 - Rapid Reponses to Hear the Silence - journal article (BMJ)

    richard m lindley, SpR paediatric surgery - "As doctors, we have a duty of care to protect the health of children in the community. If parents watching this programme will be less likely to have their children immunised, and therefore run the risk of their children suffering serious and/or lethal complications of measles, then we should make every effort to protest against it." - Competing interests: None declared

    Raymond W. Gallup - "It says quite a bit that Andrew Wakefield was sacked at the Royal Free Hospital in London, England and that Arthur Krigsman was prevented from doing his pathology work at hospitals in New York. It says that the people that are against the science that Dr. Wakefield and Dr. Krigsman are producing, do not want the truth to come out." - Competing interests: I have an adult with autism that tested for elevated measles antibody titers and colitis. Also, I'm Founder of The Autism Autoimmunity Project that funded Dr. Andrew Wakefield's independent research.

    M C Feliciello - "Would you consider the censorship of the film "Hear the Silence" from national screening an effective means to restore herd parental trust in public health policy?" - Competing interests: Parent of an Autistic Child.

    L S Lewis, General Practitioner  - "'As a doctor' I feel no doubt about my legal duty to seek VALID CONSENT, VOLUNTARILY GIVEN, AND FULLY-INFORMED. How does censorship of legal material in a free society achieve that?" - Competing interests: Fully-informed consent VS. maximum vaccinations

December 14, 2003 - A travesty of truth - This week's 'drama' about MMR and autism does nothing but reinforce already held prejudices - The Guardian/Observer

December 11, 2003 - Cannings cleared of smothering her two sons - The Herald, UK

December 11, 2003 - Payments by Managers of Drug Plans Face Scrutiny (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

December 9, 2003 - BioMedNet to close? - Internet messages say Elsevier to withdraw several Web portals - The Scientist

December 8, 2003 - Butler verdict perplexes - Scientists' reactions vary, but most want more information following partial guilty finding - The Scientist

June 2003 - Rotavirus vaccines on the horizon offer some hope (requires registration) - Future vaccines may include bovine and attenuated human rotavirus strains. - journal article (Infectious Diseases in Children) - "Future rotavirus vaccines may include both bovine and attenuated human rotavirus strains. They are believed to be unlikely to induce intussusception, and should still be effective, according to Paul Offit, MD, who spoke here at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting...Dr. Offit is a coholder of the patent on bovine-human reassortant rotavirus vaccine currently being developed by Merck."

November 19, 2003 - Experts call for hepatitis A shot - Since 1995, the vaccine has been available to some at high risk. Some say all babies should get it. - The Philadelphia Inquirer - "Outbreaks of hepatitis A like the one that has sickened more than 500 people near Pittsburgh could be prevented if children were vaccinated against the viral disease, experts say...Hepatitis A vaccines have been available since 1995 but the federal government's vaccine committee recommends routine immunization only for children in 11 Western states, where there have been higher-than-average hepatitis A rates."

December 10, 2003 - Tuna may join mercury advisory - FDA meets to consider warnings; Florida could follow -

Health officials looking overseas for more flu vaccine -  WMC-TV

December 10, 2003 - Long Flights Increase Blood Clot Risk - Ivanhoe

December 10, 2003 - Atkins Diet Linked to Curtailing Epileptic Seizures in Children - Ivanhoe

December 10, 2003 - Physician Shortage - Ivanhoe

December 10, 2003 - Preservatives and Additives in Vaccines Studied - Ivanhoe

December 10, 2003 - Preventing Colorectal Cancer - Ivanhoe

November 19, 2003 - New Study In New England Journal of Medicine Says Little Danger From Mercury Exposure In Vaccines and Dental Amalgam Fillings... Experts Claim Study Is Part of Massive Marketing To Mislead Safety Levels to the Public - Uninformed Consent, Seattle via

Posted December 13, 2003:

November 29, 2003 - ADHD's Brain Trail: Cerebral clues emerge for attention disorder - Science News

December 10, 2003 - Autistic, yet energetic, 7-year-old boy in need of adoptive home - Children Who Wait - The Daily Ardmoreite

November 10, 2003 - Children's Day. There is no task more important: Protecting the rights of children - Amnesty International

December 10, 2003 - Gateway for expression - Disabled artists find outlet for their talent at Brookline arts program - Boston Herald via

December 11, 2003 - Innovative treatment for autism proposed in Clayton - Sun Times

December 11, 2003 - Antivirals used by HIV-infected persons reduce ability to infect partners - UC NewsWire

December 10, 2003 - Scientists to probe milk's genes to understand its health benefits - UC Davis News & Information

December 10, 2003 - Health departments set priorities for flu shots - The Seattle Times - "State and King County health officials are recommending that physicians give top priority for the increasingly scarce flu vaccine to children and adults at high risk for complications..."It seems prudent to prioritize the doses we do have. ... It appears our supplies are dwindling," state Health Officer Maxine Hayes said yesterday."

December 10, 2003 - Listen, all you germ factories: Sneeze politely - Portland Press Herald - "It's been a long time since information this useful came out of Maine's state government. This morning's news report, therefore, would not be complete without attributing these two simple pieces of advice to no one less than Gov. John Baldacci."

December 10, 2003 - Maine's supply of flu vaccine holding up, health officials say - AP via Portland Press Herald

December 10, 2003 - State recommends providers reserve flu vaccine for high risk patients - Continued high demand leads to recommended prioritization - Washington State Department of Health

December 10, 2003 - Short supply has officials seeking additional vaccines - Flu Shots - The Miami Herald

December 12, 2003 - Complementary Medicine Out of the Closet - Healthology Press via

December 11, 2003 - Law aimed at protecting U.S. food supply takes effect - Some exporters fear delays - AP via MSNBC

December 11, 2003 - Hospital sees flu surge in pregnant women - Flu cases among young pregnant women surged at a large public hospital, calling attention to yet another group at serious risk of the flu. - AP via CNN

December 11, 2003 - Nigerian immunisation drive misses epicentre of polio outbreak - AFP via Yahoo!

December 11, 2003 - Flu vaccine shortage is a painful U.S. problem - Drug industry can't meet needs - Detroit Free Press

December 12, 2003 - Early, Severe Flu Season Drives New Urgency for Prevention and Treatment - Vaccine, Antivirals Play Crucial Role - PRNewswire

December 10, 2003 - FDA, Mexico Dispute Hepatitis Outbreak - AP via Las Vegas Sun

December 10, 2003 - New Weapon To Combat Resistant Bacteria - Swedish Research Council via

December 11, 2003 - Better Awareness of Meningitis Vaccine Urged - Reuters Health via Yahoo! - "Parents should be better educated about the potentially fatal disease meningococcal meningitis, and the vaccine that helps prevent it, according to experts...They say that although the risk of contracting the disease is low--and the odds of dying even lower--parents should at least be aware they have the option of vaccinating their children against it."

December 12, 2003 - Cash injection - Bill Gates is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to immunise the world's poor children. - Seattle Post-Intelligencer via The Age

December 9, 2003 - Afghanistan Launches 3-Day Polio Immunization Campaign - VOA News via

December 12, 2003 - Flu fear: Virus spread across state, nation - Boston Herald

December 11, 2003 - Three cases of whooping cough identified - Public health officials monitoring - Danvers Herald via

December 11, 2003 - New hepatitis cases linked to Louisville-based Chi-Chi's - (registration or subscription required) -

December 10, 2003 - Judge Rules For HIV Patient In Transplant - AP via Yahoo!

December 11, 2003 - 6 firms honored for technology developments - The San Diego Union-Tribune

December 11, 2003 - 7 area firms named `technology pioneers' - World Economic Forum Lauds The Most Innovative Companies - The Mercury News via

December 10, 2003 - Bioarchitect - Tissue engineer's micro-merger of sciences could change the face of medicine - The San Diego Union-Tribune

December 12, 2003 - Residency ruling set to split family - The New Zealand Herald - "A fit American builder is being ejected from New Zealand because he may one day be a burden on the health system...The immigration decision over Glenn Cliver, who has hepatitis C, is forcing his New Zealand wife, Jan, to choose between her husband and her granddaughter...About 25,000 New Zealanders have hepatitis C, which can cause fatal liver disease."

December 12, 2003 - No meningitis found at NSU - Students exposed last weekend to disease given clean bill of health - American News via

December 11, 2003 - As flu season hits and fear levels mount, expert says SARS will not return - Canadian Press via

December 10, 2003 - Effects of iron therapy on infant blood lead levels - journal article (Journal of Pediatrics)

December 10, 2003 - Classifying Asthma - Disagreement Among Specialists - journal article (American College of Chest Physicians)

December 10, 2003 - Good bacteria in human milk - journal article  (Journal of Pediatrics)

December 10, 2003 - Oral prednisolone in the acute management of children age 6 to 35 months with viral respiratory infection-induced lower airway disease: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial - journal article (Journal of Pediatrics)

December 10, 2003 - Corticosteroids for bronchiolitis - journal article (Journal of Pediatrics)

December 10, 2003 - Corticosteroids for first-time young wheezers: Current status of the controversy - journal article (Journal of Pediatrics)

December 10, 2003 - Acute respiratory disease with special reference to pathogenesis, classification, and diagnosis -  journal article (Journal of Pediatrics)

December 10, 2003 - Complex regional pain syndrome after hepatitis B vaccine - journal article (Journal of Pediatrics)

December 10, 2003 - Human milk is a source of lactic acid bacteria for the infant gut - journal article (Journal of Pediatrics)

December 9, 2003 - Senate Passes Anti-Obesity Bill - Reuters via Yahoo!

December 9, 2003 - U.S. Officials Scramble to Meet Flu Shot Shortage - HealthDay via Yahoo!

December 10, 2003 - Chiron in Talks to Raise Flu Vaccine Supply Levels - Reuters via Yahoo!

December 9, 2003 - FDA: U.S. Hepatitis Outbreak Linked to Mexican Onions - Reuters via Yahoo!

December 9, 2003 - High Level Of Antibiotic Resistance In Bacteria That Cause Food Poisoning - BioMedCentral via ScienceDaily

December 9, 2003 - Flu, and fear, run rampant - USA Today

December 9, 2003 - Bar codes matching drug to patient nears - AP via CNN Health

December 10, 2003 - The legacy of fetal PCB exposure - The editors' perspectives section (op-ed) - journal article (Journal of Pediatrics)

December 9, 2003 - Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in children: epidemiology, presentation and management - journal article (Paediatric Respiratory Reviews)

December 9, 2003 - Flu Shot Shortage Could Help FluMist - AP via Yahoo! - "Shortages of flu shots could boost disappointing sales of the needle-free vaccine FluMist this winter, but analysts say the drug's long term outlook is dogged by a high price and limits on who can use it."

December 8, 2003 - CDC to Monitor Kids Flu Complications - AP via Yahoo! - "The nation's health agency plans to closely watch flu complications among children, who have swamped hospitals in some states and surprised doctors with the severity of their illnesses...A new concern is the rise of a common drug-resistant staph infection that is complicating efforts to treat children with the flu, an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites) said Monday."

December 9, 2003 - Flu Season Hits Western United States Hard - Reuters via Yahoo!

December 8, 2003 - Fear of New Things May Shorten Life: Study - Reuters via Yahoo!

December 8, 2003 - Flu Easily Caught, Easily Prevented - Reuters via Yahoo! - "Want to avoid the flu? Go wash your hands right now."

December 8, 2003 - Doctors Battling Kids Flu Complications - AP via Yahoo!

December 8, 2003 - Oxygen Treatment May Not Help with Whooping Cough - Reuters via Yahoo!

December 8, 2003 - Specialty medical societies offer evidence-based conclusions on inhaled steroid treatment for asthma - ACCP, AAAAI, and ACAAI conclude benefits of ICS treatment outweigh risks - American College of Chest Physicians via

December 9, 2003 - Earlier Treatment for Infant Eye Disease - Ivanhoe

December 9, 2003 - Effect of Orange and Apple Juices on Iron Absorption in Children - journal article (Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine)

December 8, 2003 - Prospective comparative study of the safety and effectiveness of ginger for the treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy - journal article (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology)

December 8, 2003 - High Prevalence of Antibodies to Bartonella henselae among Italian Children without Evidence of Cat Scratch Disease - journal article (Clinical Infectious Diseases)

December 7, 2003 - Kids Who Watch More TV Eat Fewer Vegetables-Study - Reuters via Yahoo!

December 7, 2003 - Early Exercise Wards Off Osteoporosis, Study Finds - Reuters via Yahoo!

December 7, 2003 - Treatments for Flu Are Few and Far-Between - AP via Yahoo!

December 7, 2003 - US Sees Quick Response to Africas AIDS War - Reuters via Yahoo!

December 6, 2003 - Doctor, Patient Need to Manage Diabetes Together - HealthDay via Yahoo!

December 8, 2003 - Child health costs for behavioral disorders similar to those for physical illnesses - Among behavioral disorders, anxiety and depression cost more - Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia via

December 2003 - Allergic Disease at the Age of 7 Years After Pertussis Vaccination in Infancy - journal article (Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine) - "Allergic diseases were evaluated in 667 children, who were randomized to 1 of 4 vaccine groups...The cumulative incidence of allergic diseases was 34.9%, and was similar in the 4 groups...Conclusion:  Pertussis vaccination in infancy with any of these vaccines was not associated with allergic manifestations at the age of 7 years, apart from a higher prevalence of positive skin prick test results after an experimental 2-component vaccine, which is no longer in use. "

Comment:  Although this study purports to vindicate the vaccines in question, it does nothing of the sort.  First, all groups were vaccinated, and all groups had around a 35% incidence of allergies.  What can be concluded is that there is an equally high amount of allergy among children given these vaccines.  What cannot legitimately be said is that the vaccines do not cause allergy because we know absolutely nothing as a result of this study of the incidence of allergy in never vaccinated children.  For more on the problem of poorly designed research, go to Out of Control: Childhood vaccinations and the risk of asthma.

December 11, 2003 - Case opens a can of worms - The Herald, UK

Guardsman's family seeks governor's help in anthrax case - The Granville Sentinel via - "''We implore, and pray, that the governor and our elected officials will stand by this honorable soldier in his time of need,' the Hickmans wrote in the letter. 'He asks only that he not be put through 'friendly fire' ‹ six anthrax injections, or imprisoned for requesting that his military, constitutional and individual rights be honored.'"

December 3, 2003 - Jury delivers split verdict on plague researcher - US microbiologist Thomas Butler guilty of theft, fraud, and illegally mailing bacteria. - Nature

December 15, 2003 - Integrity in Scientific Research - The Scientist 

December 12, 2003 - Children Hit Hard By Flu - CBS/AP via CBS News - "Fueling all the concern is the sobering fact that at least 23 children have died so far this flu season..Some of the people who track infectious diseases call the number alarming, but to date there has been little information available about the deaths that would either allay or confirm fears...But CBS News Correspondent Elizabeth Kaledin reports that more than half of the children who died had an underlying illness such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes, but no information is being made public about whether or not the children were vaccinated."

Comment:  Children with diseases like asthma and diabetes are more vulnerable to the potential ravages of the flu.  Chronic disease among children is significantly on the rise, which means more and more children are potentially at serious risk from the flu.  Why are more and more children suffering from chronic disease?  For more on this, go to Scandals: Prescription For Disaster - Is Vaccine Policy A "House of Cards"? and Scandals: Look Who's Paying.

December 9, 2003 - As FDA, Advisory Panel Discuss Whether to Tell Women About Mercury Contamination, New FDA Tests Show Higher Than Expected Mercury in Tuna - - "Mercury is toxic to the developing brain and nervous system, and it can have permanent effects on intelligence, speech and motor development of children after they are born."

Comment:  What, no mention of vaccines?  The idea that injecting an adult-sized mega-dose into the tiny bodies of infants via vaccines could in any way be benign simply doesn't pass the "straight-face test".  But, you say,  it's a different form of mercury (ethylmercury in thimerosal vs. methylmercury in tuna)?  Well, then thoroughly study the differences and prove they don't have the same effect, rather than avoid studying it, and insist the lack of evidence means thimerosal is safe.

Comment: P.S.  Don't let the vaccine or thimerosal manufacturers (past or present) have any influence, financial or otherwise, over the design or conduct of such studies.

November 13, 2003 - Over 500 Parents Say Schools Coerced Them to Administer Psychiatric Drugs to Children - Press Release - Citizens Commission on Human Rights of St. Louis, Inc.

December 12, 2003 - In the rush to protect children, 'experts' use junk science to accuse innocent parents  -  Evidence is growing of disturbing flaws in the way allegations of child abuse are made and then pursued. James Le Fanu and David Derbyshire investigate - The Telegraph, UK – "First there was Sally Clark, then Trupti Patel, and now Angela Cannings…Three women wrongly accused of serial infanticide - one of the most horrendous crimes imaginable…Each prosecution relied on evidence from Sir Roy Meadow, Britain's leading cot-death expert who decided that, on the balance of probability, these mothers had murdered their children…Yet, according to a growing body of concerned lawyers, doctors and parents, these are not isolated cases but symptomatic of a legal and medical system so determined to protect children that it fails to protect the innocent."

Amendment and New Complaint / Sashi Gore, MD - To Florida Medical Examiners Commission on Nov. 2, 2003 by Alan Yurko (via email) - Free Yurko website

Transplant-Organ Service Verifies Yurko Claim About Florida Medical Examiner's Error - Free Yurko website

Comment:  For more on the question of possible false imprisonment due to shaken baby syndrome, and Alan Yurko's case specifically, go to the Online SBS Conference at

December 12, 2003 - Vaccine protects troops - by Dr. William Winkenwerderis, assistant secretary of Defense for health affairs - USA Today via Yahoo! - "Scientific knowledge behind the anthrax vaccine is impressive. In March 2002, a comprehensive study by the National Academy of Sciences (news - web sites) concluded that the anthrax vaccine is safe and effective. The Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites) approved the vaccine as effective against all forms of the disease. The Department of Defense (news - web sites) has safely administered several million vaccine doses to more than 980,000 servicemembers."

Comment:  And now for at least part of the other side of the story (repeat from December 12, 2003):

Non-vaccine from a non-VA - The Journal Online - "On Nov. 26, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.H.) introduced a Sense of the Senate resolution asking the Pentagon to reconsider its mandatory anthrax vaccine. This welcome move is long overdue.  Senate Resolution 278 restates some acknowledged problems: (including that) a startling 84 percent of personnel who had anthrax vaccine shots from 1998 to 2000 had side effects or reactions, of which 24 percent were `systemic'"

Comment:  According to Senator Bingaman's resolution, 24% were systemic.  That's 24% of 84%, or approximately 20% of those receiving the vaccine! 

Comment:  To learn more about the early history of this issue, go to

December 12, 2003 - Frist Says Flu Vaccine Shortage Points Up Need To Improve Supply - - "'There are a number of varying factors related to the shortage – too few vaccine manufacturers in large part due to costly and unnecessary lawsuits coupled with uncertain market conditions; lack of a coordinated strategy to safeguard against a flu pandemic; reliance on older technologies that slow vaccine production; public complacency about the importance of immunizations; and the caginess of the flu virus itself.'"

December 13, 2003 - Bush blamed for flu vaccine shortage - The Washington Times - "'It's frustrating to hear a Bush health adviser make excuses for drug companies by giving inflated numbers on how much stockholders might lose on vaccine production,' Mr. Edwards said. I wish we could think more about solutions and worry less about profits.'... One Republican source said it was 'incredibly ironic' that Mr. Edwards would complain about vaccine manufacturers....'There would be more companies available to manufacture vaccines if people like John Edwards and his trial lawyer friends weren't putting them out of business with frivolous lawsuits,' the source said."

December 13, 2003 - TV drama on MMR 'could cost lives'  - The Telegraph, UK - "A spokesman added that to ensure viewers were properly informed, a statement before the opening scene would make clear that the film was a dramatised account of a mother's perceptions of what happened to her child and the work of Dr Wakefield and his colleagues at the Royal Free Hospital in the late 1990s."

December 12, 2003 - Read This Before You Get A Flu Shot Or Take Another Pill: By Mary Starrett - - "A senior executive with pharma-giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in the U.K. said that fewer than half the patients prescribed some of the most expensive drugs actually got any benefit from them...Whoa."

December 13, 2003 - With Flu Shots Dwindling, Nasal Spray Vaccine Surges (requires subscription or registration) - The New York Times - "So Mr. Feinberg, a 49-year-old lawyer, dropped into a pharmacy here, sat in a chair and tilted his head back as a pharmacist squirted a liquid vaccine called FluMist into each of his nostrils. He paid $70, before a $25 rebate, several times what he would have paid for a flu shot. But he said it was worth it... 'The time I would have lost from work," he said, "I didn't mind paying at all.'"

December 13, 2003 - Noting High-Risk Flu Groups and a Few Tips on Coping (requires subscription or registration) - The New York Times - "Because it is impossible to predict which strain of influenza will strike in any given season, this year's vaccine was designed for strains other than Fujian A, the dominant strain this year. But health officials say it appears to be close enough to provide some protection. The vaccine takes two weeks to become effective."

December 13, 2003 - Study of Women With Breast Cancer Finds Half Didn't Get All Suggested Chemotherapy (requires subscription or registration) - The New York Times

December 13, 2003 - Why I Chose Not To Have Radiation Treatment For Breast Cancer - by RFD Columnist, Marilyn Holasek Lloyd -

Posted December 12, 2003:

December 2003 - Educate Moms on Breast-Feeding Preterm Infants - Promotional strategies (requires registration) - ePediatric News

December 2003 - SARS Appears to Be Less Virulent in Children - May be true of West Nile virus, too (requires registration) - ePediatric News

December 2003 - S. pneumoniae Resistance Is High, but Not Rising - Analysis of 2002-2003 respiratory season (requires registration) - ePediatric News

December 2003 - Two-Dose Hepatitis A, B Vaccine Combo Appears Effective - Investigational drug (requires registration) - ePediatric News

December 2003 - Combined Hexavalent Vaccine Good for Preemies - DTAP-HBV-IPV/HIB vaccine (requires registration) - ePediatric News

December 2003 - New Hepatitis A Vaccine Efficacy May Last 21 Years - Few local side effects (requires registration) - ePediatric News - "Based upon the slow yearly rate of decline in anti-hepatitis A virus antibodies in the vaccinated children, it was calculated using standard models that the median duration of protection will be 28.1 years. An estimated 95% of children will remain protected for 21.1 years. The advantage of an aluminum-free hepatitis A vaccine over current vaccines that rely upon aluminum hydroxide as an immunopotentiating adjuvant is markedly fewer adverse effects at the injection site. The aluminum-free vaccine uses reconstituted influenza virosomes as a carrier system for hepatitis A antigen."

Comment:  Given how questionable antibodies are in terms of reflecting immunity, it is hard to trust any antibody decay-rate- based extrapolation of a vaccine's duration of immunity.

Comment: Another reason to avoid aluminum in vaccines is the arguable hypothesis that aluminum may in some way be connected to Alzheimer's.

December 2003 - Prevnar ‘Herd Immunity’ Tied to Drop in Pneumococcal Disease - Results from large California study (requires registration) - ePediatric News

December 2003 - Pneumococcal Vaccine Effective Despite Some Missed Doses - Data from eight CDC sites (requires registration) - ePediatric News

December 2003 - FDA Issues Advisory on Suicide, Antidepressants - Expert panel meeting next year (requires registration) - ePediatric News

December 2003 - Vaccine Could Restrain Severe Flu Season - Variant, virulent strain identified (requires registration) - ePediatric News

December 2003 - FDA Panel Backs Silicone Breast Implants - 9-6 vote for recommending approval (requires registration) - ePediatric News

December 2003 - Black-White Gap in Pneumococcal Disease Closing - Prevnar led to a 92% drop in the disease in black children from 1998 to 2002.  Vaccine appears to be reaching both groups (requires registration) - ePediatric News

December 5, 2003 - New Data Suggest That A Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine May Induce Immunity Against Currently Circulating Drifted A/Fujian-Like Influenza Strain - MedImmune, Inc. via PRNewswire

Comment:  It would appear that the study was paid for by MedImmune, the maker of the vaccine.

December 12, 2003 - Merck Strategy in Place to Deliver Long-Term Shareholder Value -

December 12, 2003 - Draft Federal Advisory Warns Some Groups to Limit Tuna (requires subscription or registration) - The New York Times

December 12, 2003 - Flu Illnesses Are Widespread in 24 States (requires subscription or registration) - The New York Times

December 12, 2003 - The Shortage of Flu Vaccines (requires subscription or registration) - The New York Times

December 12, 2003 - Scientists Report Progress in Ebola Treatment (requires subscription or registration) - The New York Times

December 12, 2003 - Paediatric Clinical Trials: Redressing the Imbalance  (requires registration) - journal article (Nature Reviews Drug Discovery) via

December 12, 2003 - 'New' FDA delivers in 2003 (requires registration) - journal article (Nature Reviews Drug Discovery) via

December 12, 2003 - Antidepressant use in children questioned - Recent warnings of suicide risk associated with antidepressant use in children have highlighted the lack of understanding of paediatric depression (requires registration) - drug discovery @

December 12, 2003 - Boom, or bust? - Hundreds of millions of dollars are pouring into US biodefence research. You might expect scientists working on infectious diseases to be unequivocally delighted. But things aren't that simple, says Erika Check. (requires registration) - drug discovery @

December 12, 2003 - Second-hand smoke may harm pets - Many refuse to accept findings/Pet fur traps smoke particles - The New York Times via The Toronto Star

December 12, 2003 - Peanut allergies more common: Studies - Reuters via The Toronto Star

December 12, 2003 - Period peace - A new pill going on sale in the US gives women just four periods a year. But is it safe to staunch the flow, asks Jennifer Fried - The Guardian, UK

December 12, 2003 - Mentor Asks FDA to Approve Silicone Breast Implants - Reuters

December 12, 2003 - Flu in the West: Clinics Filled, Schools Empty (requires subscription or registration) - The New York Times

December 12, 2003 - Cure Autism Now Secures Inclusion of $2.2 Million Appropriation for National Autism Awareness and Physician Education Program - Bill Will Provide $2.24 Million for Centers for Disease Control to Develop And Execute Autism Awareness and Physician Education Programs - PRNewswire

December 9, 2003 - Kids face scary complications from flu - AP via The Jackson Sun

December 8, 2003 - Flu doesn't stop visits to see Santa - AP via Journal Star

December 8, 2003 - Too big for our belts - Here in the land of plenty, talking about obesity - whether in grownups, kids or pets - has become a national obsession. -  St. Petersburg Times

December 9, 2003 - CDC to monitor children's flu complications - AP via CNN - "A new concern is the rise of a common drug-resistant staph infection that is complicating efforts to treat children with the flu, an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday...Dr. Tim Uyeki, epidemiologist with the influenza branch of CDC, said that some children have died from the staph infections -- a phenomenon the CDC has not seen before."

Comment:  Why would children with flu suddenly be dying from staph infections?  Has something happened to impair their immune systems and make them more vulnerable to these infections than normally would occur when they have the flu?  Or is there something about this particular flu that makes them weaker in a way that, for the first time, makes them extremely vulnerable to staph?

December 8, 2003 - Flu vaccine target narrows - Shortage has state focusing on most likely victims -  AP via The Daily Camera

December 8, 2003 - Minimal options available for flu - Vaccines running low during season that started early - AP via The Daily Camera

December 8, 2003 - Doctors take action on flu shot shortage - AP via CNN

December 8, 2003 - CDC director: 'Doing everything we can' to distribute flu vaccine - CNN

December 8, 2003 - 170,000 dogs killed in southern China due to rise in rabies - USAgNet - "The number of rabies infections in Guangdong jumped from 12 cases in 1996 to 115 cases between January to August this year, the China News Service (CNS) said Monday."

December 8, 2003 - Even giants like Merck struggling with hard times - AP via Buffalo News - "The problems besetting pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. also plague most of its competitors: falling profits, patent expirations, generic competition, the lack of new blockbuster drugs and pressures to make medicines more affordable...But the contrast to the heady days and double-digit profit growth of the 1990s is particularly striking at Merck, which has fallen in just a few years from the world's biggest drugmaker to No. 3 as competitors merged and leapfrogged ahead...'Size is not important in this industry. (Revenue) growth is'...."

December 8, 2003 - If You Want A Flu Shot, Better Start Looking - Demand is so high that shortages might come this winter -

December 8, 2003 - Afghanistan launches polio campaign to vaccinate 3.4 million children - AFP via Yahoo!

December 8, 2003 - MMR uptake increases slightly - A slight increase in the number of children being given the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination has been recorded in Scotland. - BBC

December 8, 2003 - US survey probes gays' high risk for hepatitis -

December 8, 2003 - Post-Polio Syndrome - Ivanhoe Newswire - "Polio is a disease that many people don’t think about anymore, but for many polio survivors, the disease is something they can’t forget. Approximately 300,000 polio survivors will experience their polio symptoms again, decades after they had the disease."

December 9, 2003 - Northern California clinics running out of flu vaccine as demand rises - AP via The Mercury News via

December 9, 2003 - News of flu shot shortages, outbreaks rouse many to get vaccinated - Macon Telegraph

December 10, 2003 - Targeted Genetics targets AIDS: Testing under way on single-shot vaccine - The Seattle Times - "AIDS kills 300 people an hour, but in the past two decades, only one biotech company has come close to developing a preventive vaccine...But another biotech — Seattle-based Targeted Genetics — plus an academic research center and a nonprofit institution backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are announcing today they are trying another technique."

December 9, 2003 - Flu a serious threat to kids - This season, more are suffering from severe complications - AP via Tallahassee Democrat

December 9, 2003 - Finding the best medicine is a headache in itself - The Digital Collegian

December 9, 2003 - Vaccine protects mice from deadly Ebola virus - PA News Reporter via The Scotsman

December 9, 2003 - Dog helps boy cope with autism - The Globe and Mail - "Jamil Shah threw long tantrums, and like thousands of other autistic children, could barely communicate with his parents...These days, the 12-year-old is doing better. He cuddles beside his canine companion, Sherlock, whenever he's upset, he's grown aware of his surroundings, but mostly he's more affectionate."

December 8, 2003 - Group helps to meet special needs: Parent support network offers a place to turn for information - Metro West Daily News

December 9, 2003 - Students with autism are moving to Kalamazoo - - "The number of autistic children in one West Michigan county is on the rise. Kalamazoo County has seen an increase of more than 300 percent over the last decade. One reason for that could be a special classroom at Croyden Avenue School."

Comment:  Or perhaps it is an actual rise in the number of children with autism in Kalamazoo County.

December 8, 2003 - Commonwealth Meeting Ends With Zimbabwe Row - IRIN via

December 8, 2003 - General Secretary of RI Expresses Commitment in Eradicating Polio from Ethiopia - WIC

December 8, 2003 - Health Danger Depends On Access - Doctors say the uninsured are a risk to public health - St. Petersburg Times via - "The worry: Because the uninsured are less likely to seek prompt care, they would be more likely to spread disease in an epidemic. While the chances of such an epidemic or bioterrorist attack might be remote, doctors say that ultimately, the barriers to getting uninsured people cared for could help infection spread further and faster than it otherwise would."

December 8, 2003 - Holyrood accused of toeing Westminster line on hepatitis C infection - The Scotsman - "Although the Executive has suggested payouts to those infected, patients say the amounts are derisory and far below those recommended by an expert committee chaired by Lord Ross...They have accused the health committee of letting them down by deciding to stop considering their cause, which includes demands for an independent inquiry. They are also angry the decision was taken in private."

December 9, 2003 - Pocket of Opposition to Vaccine Threatens Polio Eradication - (registration or subscription required) - The New York Times

December 9, 2003 - Breakthroughs lead to better understanding in prevention of transfusion-transmitted infection - American Society of Hematology via Science Daily

December 8, 2003 - Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation Resumes Funding to Kenya's Immunisation Project - African Church Information Service via

December 8, 2003 - An Aetna InteliHealth/Harvard Medical School Look At The News -- Flu Crisis On The Horizon? - With the nation's supply of flu shots dropping rapidly and at least 13 states facing unusually severe flu outbreak, doctors are urging healthy people to opt for a nasal-spray version of the vaccine and save the traditional one for children and elderly. - AP via

December 6, 2003 - Race for flu shots depletes firm's reserves - The Globe and Mail

December 6, 2003 - UNMC To Study Timing Of Breast Cancer Vaccine - Researchers Look To Begin Enrolling Patients In January - AP via

December 5, 2003 - Makers of flu vaccine ship last of season's shots - Shortages reported in some areas - CNN

December 5, 2003 - As the Flu Spreads Early and Quickly, Colorado Expands Its Vaccination Campaign - (registration or subscription required) - The New York Times

December 5, 2003 - Who should be vaccinated - The Seattle Times

December 5, 2003 - Parents warned as flu hits early, hard - The Seattle Times

December 6, 2003 - Some Questions and Answers About Flu - CDC via Yahoo!

December 5, 2003 - Flu likely cause of 2 more deaths - State's outbreak already tops previous 2 seasons combined - Daily Camera - "If confirmed, it would mean at least seven flu deaths in Colorado this season, she said. All of them have been children."

December 6, 2003 - Tiny Bubbles - Vesicles that cells spit out are implicated in cancer and AIDS - Science News

December 5, 2003 - Concern over new federal rules governing special ed - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

December 5, 2003 - Auckland Asthma Achievers Celebrated - Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand via - "Six Aucklanders are being celebrated today in recognition of their individual achievements in meeting and overcoming the extra challenges they face because of a respiratory condition."

December 5, 2003 - Hospital faces another abuse claim -  CP via - "Another case of alleged abuse at a long-term care facility came to light Friday after a patient complained about poor treatment that included being bedridden and deprived of liquids."

December 5, 2003 - Nigeria: Gombe to Fight HIV/Aids Scourge - Goje - Daily Trust via

December 6, 2003 - Cheap drugs give hope to Aids patients in war zone - Christmas charity appeal - Pioneering project begins in isolated Congo province - The Guardian, UK

December 5, 2003 - Red Cross hopes to start testing blood supply for Chagas disease - AP via Tallahassee Democrat

December 5, 2003 - FdL whooping cough cases rise - Fon Du Lac Reporter - "County Health Officer Diane Cappozzo said people who are infected or live with a family member diagnosed with pertussis have been told to remain at home in isolation through a five-day course of antibiotics...While no official quarantine is in place, Cappozzo said officials are strongly recommending both children and adults stay home. An official quarantine would require legal enforcement and posting placards on peoples’ houses."

December 5, 2003 - We should give a monkey's - The government is backing research on non-human primates for economic reasons, to the detriment of public health - The Guardian, UK - "Experimenting on monkeys in the hope of unlocking the secrets of the human brain is an exercise in futility. The most dramatic differences between humans and other primates are in the brain. Our brain is four times larger than that of a chimpanzee, which is four times larger than that of a macaque. Biochemical pathways in the human brain are unique. Gene expression in our brain is dramatically different from that of the chimpanzee...Yet at British universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester and London, macaques and marmosets are still used as models of human brain function. This is despite the fact that human brains can now be studied non-invasively using high-tech scanners."

December 6, 2003 - One of the N crowd - So, you've won a Nobel Prize and all that's left is to revel in fame and funding? Not quite. Some scientists thrive, but many find the going gets tougher. - An edited extract from the book The Road to Stockholm - The Sydney Morning Herald

December 5, 2003 - Clinical Trials Update: -

December 6, 2003 - Events: Maxvax is canceled - Officials cite nationwide shortage of flu vaccine - Grand Forks Herald

December 6, 2003 - `A total disaster': Mold drives family from home - Boston Herald

December 5, 2003 - Post-tamoxifen Use of Femara(R) in Postmenopausal Women With Early Breast Cancer Reduced Risk of Recurrence By Nearly Half (43%) and Significantly Improved Disease-Free Survival, According to Data Presented at Major Medical Meeting - Extended adjuvant data presented at San Antoino Breast Cancer Symposium supported by new data on quality of life with Femara vs. placebo from same clinical trial - PR Newswire-First Call via Yahoo!

December 5, 2003 - Eat Less, Live Longer? - Some Hope Cutting Calories Will Add Years to Their Lives -

December 5, 2003 - Appleton joins Valley effort to combat disease outbreaks - Cities to share  resources in face of bioterrorism, other illnesses -  The Post-Crescent

December 5, 2003 - Health officers prepare to battle whooping cough - Case in Oshkosh has Fox Cities officials planning response - The Post-Crescent

December 5, 2003 - Global Progress Toward Certifying Polio Eradication And Laboratory Containment Of Wild Polioviruses - CDC via

December 5, 2003 - Hepatitis Backlash Hits Pa. Restaurants - AP via Sun herald

December 5, 2003 - West Nile Survivor: Billings man, 92, beats the virus - Billings Gazette

December 4, 2003 - Researchers Use Crippled Poliovirus To Attack Brain Cancer - Duke University Medical News - "In the study, the modified poliovirus rapidly killed cancer cells derived from primary brain tumors as well as cells derived from breast and colon cancer metastases -- all within a matter of four to six hours. In fact, polio is known to be one of the quickest killers of infected host cells, producing approximately a thousand additional infectious viral units per infected cell, he said."

Comment:  Does exposure to wild poliovirus have the same effect?  Given that most (95%) of those exposed to polio experience no apparent symptoms at all, and another 4-8% only mild symptoms, perhaps there is some advantage to allowing circulation of the virus while at the same time determining who those few are that get serious illness and why they are vulnerable to serious polio disease.  Perhaps there could then be a more targeted strategy.

Comment:  It is well established and widely accepted that tonsillectomy and injections (including antibiotic injection) predispose a person to either bulbar or paralytic polio.  It is unknown to what, if any, extent the decline in tonsillectomies and antibiotic injections caused or contributed to the decline in polio. Just as it is unknown to what, if any, extent the polio vaccine caused or contributed to the decline in polio.

December 11, 2003 - ID Biomedical Reports Positive Preclinical Data Against Variant Influenza Strains - Life Science News - "Results from pre-clinical experiments performed by ID Biomedical scientists and recently published in the September 2003 issue of the peer reviewed journal, Vaccine, provides evidence that nasal Proteosome(TM)- influenza subunit vaccines can protect against infection by variant strains of influenza virus that have 'drifted' from the strain present in the vaccine...ID Biomedical is a biotechnology company focused on the development of proprietary subunit vaccine products, including those based on its Proteosome(TM) platform intranasal adjuvant/delivery technology."

December 11, 2003 - Retrospective: The Discovery of HIV as the Cause of AIDS (full text requires subscription the first 6 months after publication) - journal article (NEJM)

Comment:  There are those, on the other hand, who believe that HIV is not the cause of AIDS.

December 11, 2003 - The Meningococcal Vaccine -- Public Policy and Individual Choices (full text requires subscription the first 6 months after publication) - journal article (NEJM) - "On December 11, 2002, a 12-year-old girl from suburban Philadelphia died as a result of serogroup C meningococcal infection. Death occurred within hours after the initial manifestation of the illness. Her parents learned subsequently that a vaccine was available that might have prevented their daughter's death. They asked, 'Why didn't we know about this vaccine?'"

December 11, 2003 - Never mind the facts - Channel Five's new drama about the link between MMR and autism makes great TV. But it gets the story, and the science, disastrously wrong. How did we get to such a level of confusion and hysteria about this vaccine? Ben Goldacre unravels the real MMR story - The Guardian, UK

Comment: As for "never minding the facts", it all gets down to "who do you trust"?  Do you trust the "facts" provided by the vaccine manufacturers and anyone else who benefits financially from the use of vaccines?  Do you trust parents, who may not have proof, but do have evidence implicating vaccines?  Do you trust researchers and others who are willing to chance sacrificing their careers and/or their reputations to champion an unpopular idea?  For an overview of the vaccine issue and how conflict of interest has influenced the process, click here.

December 12, 2003 - Welcome Back, Docs - Wall Street Journal (requires subscription) - "If you're thinking of having a baby in Texas, you now have a better chance of finding an obstetrician. That's because tort reform is beginning to lower costs for doctors who want to practice medicine in the Lone Star State."

December 11, 2003 - Dearly deported - Just months after Zeferino Colunga Sr. lost his GI son in Iraq, the government arrested him and sent him back to Mexico. (requires subscription or free one day pass) - - "Now family members wonder if the deportation of Zeferino Colunga Sr. was connected to their public demand for an independent investigation into the young soldier's death."

December 11, 2003 - Medical expert faces inquiry - Times Online - "SIR ROY MEADOW, the expert whose evidence helped to convict at least three mothers of murdering their children, first came to prominence in the late Seventies...He claimed that many parents deliberately harmed their babies in order to draw attention to themselves, the condition known as Münchausen syndrome by proxy."

Comment:  Isn't it about time we began seriously questioning the "experts"?  Isn't it about time we re-examined the power we have given them over our lives? How many lives have been ruined because of our blind faith in them?  How many families have been ripped apart?  (For more on the question of possible false imprisonment due to shaken baby syndrome, go to the Online SBS Conference at

December 11, 2003 - Husband's long battle to prove wife's innocence - Times Online - "After her eight-week trial last year, Mrs Cannings told an interviewer she had done “everything in my power to show the jury what I was like as a person”; a person known to family and friends as a devoted mother. Yet her performance as a witness was eclipsed by those of expert prosecution witnesses who damned her on the basis of statistics."

December 11, 2003 - Unexplained deaths fall but claim 7 lives a week - Times Online - "According to the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), 89 per cent of all cot deaths in England and Wales occur in babies aged under six months. Boys appear to be at higher risk than girls."

Comment: Boys are also at a higher risk for autism.

Non-vaccine from a non-VA - The Journal Online - "On Nov. 26, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.H.) introduced a Sense of the Senate resolution asking the Pentagon to reconsider its mandatory anthrax vaccine. This welcome move is long overdue.  Senate Resolution 278 restates some acknowledged problems: (including that) a startling 84 percent of personnel who had anthrax vaccine shots from 1998 to 2000 had side effects or reactions, of which 24 percent were `systemic'"

Comment:  According to Senator Bingaman's resolution, 24% were systemic.  That's 24% of 84%, or approximately 20% of those receiving the vaccine! 

Comment:  To learn more about the early history of this issue, go to

December 11, 2003 - Flu Mist anyone? - Does This Smell Bad? from the Health Sciences Institute newsletter via

Understanding the Biology of Autism and Related Disorders: A Guide to Biomedical Interventions - - conference alert - Saturday February 28th, 2004 in Pittsburgh, PA

December 8, 2003 - Cost of developing a new drug increases to about $1.7 billion - Wall Street Journal (requires subscription )

December 6, 2003 - Mortality Rates Drop With Tech Advances - AP via Yahoo!

December 9, 2003 - Insulin Among Several Drugs on Error List - AP via Yahoo!

December 8, 2003 - For hospitals, dirty hands still a danger - Infections: Although the importance of washing was discovered more than 100 years ago, busy health care workers often forget to scrub.-

Comment:  There is simply no excuse for this. Is it laziness?  Is it misplaced faith in, and an over-reliance on, drugs to solve the problems caused by their own bad behavior?  If so, have they not noticed that another "bad behavior", i.e.,  over- and incorrect use of antibiotics, has severely limited antibiotic usefulness and may have even destroyed the "miracle"?

December 10, 2003 - Group Seeks Toss of Patient Privacy Rules - The Washington Post - "A group of doctors and patient advocates asked a federal judge Wednesday to throw out new health care privacy rules, claiming they're inadequate...The federal regulations, which took effect in April, were designed to tighten patient privacy protections. But the group said they instead leave patients powerless to stop disclosures of sensitive information."

July-August 2003 - Reemergence of Pertussis in the Highly Vaccinated Population of The Netherlands: Observations on Surveillance Data - journal article - (Emerging Infectious Diseases) via CDC

December 12, 2003 - Notice to Readers: Request for Information About Acute Encephalopathy Associated with Influenza Virus Infection in U.S. Children -  CDC via MMWR - "Reports of influenza-associated encephalopathy have been uncommon in the United States (3,4). To determine if a similar pattern is occurring in the United States, CDC is requesting information on any case meeting certain criteria. The criteria include a person aged <18 years with altered mental status or personality change lasting >24 hours and occurring within 5 days of onset of an acute febrile respiratory illness, laboratory or rapid diagnostic test evidence of acute influenza virus infection associated with the respiratory illness, and diagnosis of the condition in the United States."

Comment:  Might at least some of this be Reye's syndrome, which can be confused with encephalitis?  If so, and in those cases, might the "influenza-associated encephalopathy" be treatment related, i.e., caused by treating the flu with aspirin, rather than a direct consequence of the flu?

December 13, 2003 - Children have been neglected in flu prevention strategy - journal article (BMJ)

December 8, 2003 - Breathing new life into natural killers (requires registration) - BioMedNet - "A novel approach to the treatment of immunological disorders, which harnesses the activity of so-called natural killer T cells, could make an important contribution to the treatment of a range of diseases including diabetes, report US immunologists."

December 9, 2003 - HIV - tailored to fit (requires registration) - BioMedNet - "New research on HIV shows that the virus mutates throughout its genome to evade each particular individual's immune system, report Australian immunologists. The results could have important implications for vaccine design, they say."

December 12, 2003 - Microbes chill out (requires registration) - BioMedNet - "There's something lurking in the corner of the kitchen - it's square and white and produces an ominous buzzing noise ... is it dangerous? A new hypothesis from French gastroenterologists suggests that the seemingly harmless refrigerator could habor bacteria that are implicated in Crohn's disease."

December 13, 2003 - Hear the Silence - A forthcoming drama about the MMR controversy has angered many doctors. A general practitioner and two child health experts, who have all seen a preview, explain why - journal article (BMJ)

December 12, 2003 – The editor of Lancet on Hear the Silence - letter (BMJ)

December 12, 2003 - Mandatory anthrax shots stir health fears, sap morale - USA Today - "The Pentagon insists its vaccinations are safe. And for most people, they are...But they aren't risk-free. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration warned that 5% to 35% of those who get shots could experience any of 40 side effects. About 6% of reactions can cause death, hospitalization or permanent disability."

Comment: 5% to 35% is a rather large range.  Is the FDA satisfied with such an inexact figure? Should we be satisfied with such an inexact figure?

Comment:  According to the GAO, adverse reaction rates are considerably higher than what is generally acknowledged: "The Pentagon's mandatory anthrax shots caused adverse reactions in most recipients and helped prompt many Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard members to transfer to other units or leave the military between 1998 and 2000, according to a survey by Congress's General Accounting Office (GAO)...The survey indicated that 85% of troops who received an anthrax shot had an adverse reaction, a rate far higher than the 30% claimed by the manufacturer in 2000, when the survey was conducted. Sixteen percent of the survey respondents had either left the military or changed their status, at least in part because of the vaccination program."

Comment: Does the 6% that potentially have had a serious reaction (i.e., "death, hospitalization or permanent disability") apply to the 85%?  If so, that means that around 5% of those who received the vaccine had a serious reaction to it.

For more on this check out Direct Order - "Direct Order tells the story of members of the military who were ordered against their will to receive the controversial anthrax vaccine. Years later, after all the disturbing facts about the vaccine have surfaced, the US military still intends to vaccinate all our troops." - documentary narrated by Michael Douglas 

December 12, 2003 - Alarm as cot deaths double in Scotland - Evening Times Online - "Over the next two years experts are to review many Scots cot death cases to try to learn more about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome."

Comment:  Will the often close temporal relationship between vaccination and SIDS be one of the factors even considered?  For more on this go to Scandals: Whooping cough vs. whooping cough vaccine-associated infant deaths; Scandals: Infant Vaccine Deaths - But Who's Counting? (No news is NOT good news.); Scandals: Vaccine-related infant deaths - When is enough, enough? and A Not-So-Perfect Vaccine: The Diphtheria, Tetanus and Acellular Pertussis vaccine: An Investigation - by RFD columnist F. Edward Yazbak, MD, FAAP in the Online Vaccine Conference at

December 11, 2003 - Advocate Says Government Should Release Flu Shot Data - - "A leading vaccine safety and informed consent advocate is calling on federal health officials and flu vaccine makers to be honest with the American people about the effectiveness of this year's flu vaccine...Transcripts from the February 20 and March 18, 2003 meetings of the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) reveal that health officials around the world knew the genetically mutated Fujian strain was associated with significant morbidity and mortality and that last year's vaccine showed little protection against it.

December 12, 2003 - Miscalculations Lead to Flu Vaccine Shortage - Fox News - "Last year, three manufacturers made 95 million doses of the flu vaccine. Eighty million doses were used, and companies were forced to eat the cost of the unused portions. The outcome was costly — with pharmaceutical giant Wyeth (search) dropping out of producing vaccines this year, and the remaining two companies — Aventis Pasteur (search) and Chiron Corp. (search) — hoping not to make the same mistake...The government does not pay for the extra doses of flu vaccine. It works with drug companies to guess yearly demand based on the previous year's use."

December 13, 2003 - BMJ Table of Contents

Posted December 11, 2003:

December 9, 2003 - Orphan' Drugs Offer Hope - The Ledger

December 10, 2003 - Flu campaign emphasizes etiquette - - "Governor John E. Baldacci, joined by public health officials from the Department of Human Services, Tuesday announced a 'Cover Your Cough and Wash Your Hands' campaign to involve all Maine people in the effort to improve their health during the flu season."

December 8, 2003 - Beers Criteria Medications to avoid in the elderly updated - AScribe Newswire - "Forty-eight medications or classes of medications to avoid in adults age 65 or older have been identified by a national expert panel charged with updating widely used criteria for potentially harmful medications in older adults...Estrogen in older women and the popular over-the-counter antihistamine, Benadryl, were among those on the list to avoid in the update of the 1997 Beers Criteria, published in the Dec. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine."

December 9, 2003 - AVR118 Suppresses Progression of Disease in Animal Model of Multiple Sclerosis Developed at The Weizmann Institute of Science - Business Wire

December 9, 2003 - Whooping cough hits Appleton - The Post-Crescent

December 10, 2003 - Merck boss bullish despite flops, red flags ahead - (registration required) - North Jersey Media Group

December 9, 2003 - Officials: No Link To Hepatitis, Onions - Officials Say There's No Evidence Tying Hepatitis Outbreak in Pa to Mexican Green Onion Growers - AP via ABC News - "There is no evidence linking an outbreak of hepatitis in western Pennsylvania to Mexican green onion growers, officials from Mexico said."  (my emphasis)

December 9, 2003 - Nigeria: Taraba Government Okays Polio Vaccine - Daily Trust via

December 9, 2003 - Whooping Cough Makes Big Comeback - HealthDay

December 9, 2003 - Flu arrives in force - Number of cases reported among Kansans escalates - The Wichita Eagle

December 9, 2003 - Conference in A.C. puts focus on HIV - - "Handing out clean syringes is not the same as telling people to go out and use heroin, Roseanne Scotti, director of the New Jersey Drug Policy Project, said at the South Jersey HIV Training Institute conference on Monday...Arguments for needle exchange are not just moral, but practical, she explained."

December 9, 2003 - How staph develops - The normally harmless bacteria can enter the body through open wounds and cause varying degrees of illness. - York Daily Record

December 10, 2003 - Celebrating Excellence in Health Research - Speech: New Zealand Government -

December 9, 2003 - Deadly scallions traced to Mexico - FDA locates source of green onions that caused outbreak - Reuters

December 9, 2003 - Report: Whooping Cough Cases Increasing - Disease Can Be Fatal -

December 9, 2003 - Whooping cough spreads in Essex County - Press Republican

December 9, 2003 - Whooping Cough on the Rise - Experts report 49 percent rise in the disease in infants in 1990's - Health Day News

December 10, 2003 - Fujian flu vaccine ready by next year - The Star 

December 9, 2003  - Merck expects to make more marketing deals in future -  Dow Jones/AP via Newsday

December 9, 2003 - Gambia Gears Up for Measles Initiative Campaign - American Red Cross

December 8, 2003 - Oxygen Treatment May Not Help with Whooping Cough - Reuters Health, UK

December 9, 2003 - 39 Doctors in 4 African Countries Receive the First Inter-University Degree In 'Organization and Man - 39 Doctors in 4 African Countries Receive the First Inter-University Degree In `Organization and Management of Public Systems of Prevention through Immunization in Developing Countries` - PR Newswire via Yahoo!

December 10, 2003 - Surge in flu among young pregnant women calls attention to another high-risk group - AP via The Boston Globe

December 10, 2003 - Stick it to us: Flu vaccine running dry - Many at an Exeter drug store go away unhappy, with one more clinic set  tomorrow - Times Leader

December 10, 2003 - State gets far fewer flu shots than sought - Indy Star

December 10, 2003 - CDC mulls purchase of British flu vaccine - The Washington Times

December 10, 2003 - Fear of flu sweeping area - Shortages of vaccine, holidays add to worries - Philadelphia Inquirer

December 10, 2003 - This year's flu vaccine is weakest since 1997 - AP via The Wichita Eagle

December 10, 2003 - General Assembly Approves Tax Breaks In Special Session - Incentives Expected To Bring 1,000 Jobs to N.C. - - "State lawmakers agreed Wednesday morning to provide up to $36 million in cash and tax breaks to drug manufacturer Merck to bring a $300 million vaccine plant to Durham County."

December 9, 2003 - Gateses give $27 million for vaccine effort - The Seattle Times

December 10, 2003 - HMOs to Reap Benefits From Medicare Law - AP via Newsday

December 9, 2003 - Flu shuts down school - Daily Globe

December 9, 2003 - Asthma victims turning to ERs - A new study finds 1 of 11 in California has the disease. - Sacramento Bee

December 8, 2003 - Novel strategy to help prevent transplant rejection - via Science Daily - "A study led by Imperial College London has shown for the first time it is possible to help prevent organ rejection using a novel strategy that redirects the body's immune response instead of suppressing it...Unlike current therapies, which leave patients vulnerable to infection by inducing non-specific immunosuppression, this new approach targets a key cellular signal known as Notch, which the researchers found acts as a gatekeeper by governing how immune cells specialise."

December 8, 2003 - Tenn. Reports First Death of Flu Season - AP via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

December 9, 2003 - Flu Kills at Least 6 People in Oklahoma - AP via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

December 9, 2003 - Flu Outbreak Doesn't Scare Neb. Residents - Flu Vaccine Still Available in Neb., Where Virus Outbreak Doesn't Scare Some Residents - AP via

December 8, 2003 - FluMist booms on CDC backing - The Washington Times

December 10, 2003 - Dallas Officials Say Demand for Flu Vaccine Being Met - The Dallas Morning News via Good Housekeeping

December 9, 2003 - Modifying Mother Nature -  St. Petersburg Times

December 9, 2003 - Merck to submit 5 vaccines, drugs over next 3 yrs - Reuters via Forbes

December 10, 2003 - Flu-Shot Frenzy - AP via

December 9, 2003 - Ouch: The Flu bug has bitten - Hope Star

December 9, 2003 - Even doctors seek guidance on flu vaccine - Shortage creates questions  about who should be given shots - Akron Beacon Journal - "An earlier-than-usual flu season. News of influenza-related childhood deaths in Western states. A dwindling vaccine supply. It's a set of circumstances that's creating fear among parents and concern among doctors."

December 10, 2003 - Health officials expect flu to head south - The Press Sentinel

December 9, 2003 - African countries aim to fight pneumonia, meningitis -

December 7, 2003 - Doctors call for at-risk medical staff to be tested annually - Scotland on Sunday - "TOP doctors fear that health workers are passing on deadly diseases, such as HIV and Hepatitis to their patients...The Royal College of Physicians is calling for annual screening of all doctors, nurses, and dentists who might work in surgery or who might come into contact with open wounds."

December 6, 2003 - WHO Announces 2004 to Start Countdown On Polio Eradication - Angola Press Agency via

December 9, 2003 - A Better FLU Vaccine? Nasal Spray Vaccine May Give More Protection Against 'Drifted' Strains - via Science Daily - "The maker of the vaccine, MedImmune Inc., is currently conducting additional studies with FluMist to confirm these findings."

Comment:  Any chance someone without a stake in the results will be doing any research on this?

December 11, 2003 - Prosecution of mothers for baby deaths ‘will cease’ - Times Online - "All three cases highlight the problems in investigating cases where babies die suddenly and unexpectedly. The three mothers protested their innocence but an acquittal can be difficult because juries, experts say, have a revulsion to a mother who may have hurt her child...Joyce Epstein, director of the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, called for an overhaul of the way sudden baby deaths are investigated. She said: 'Many parents are put through a very tough time because of rash unsupported views, quick judgments and incomplete investigations. Evidence should be tested before it reaches any court.'”

December 11, 2003 - Cot deaths mother freed - Times Online - "Future prosecutions of mothers feared to have killed their babies and the safety of dozens of other convictions are now in doubt after Mrs Cannings walked free from the Court of Appeal yesterday."

December 9, 2003 - Blood Money? - The Los Angeles Times' flawed masterpiece about corruption at NIH. - Slate - "Not many newspaper stories can boast that they were five years in the making, and fewer still can claim that they were worth the wait. But David Willman's meticulously researched 11,700-word feature, "Stealth Merger: Drug Companies and Government Medical Research," in the Sunday, Dec. 7, Los Angeles Times is that brilliant exception."

December 9, 2003 - Garlic Beats Hospital Superbug -

December 11, 2003 - A Spoonful of Cinnamon Helps Treat Diabetes - Reuters Health

December 11, 2003 - Rules on medicines 'need big shake-up' - Anti-depressant ban for children reveals flaws in system, says Mind - The Guardian, UK - "'It is totally unacceptable that for a significant period 50,000 children and adolescents in the UK have been prescribed anti-depressant drugs that were not licensed for use but it is only now being demonstrated that they do not help and can indeed cause harm,'  said Richard Brook, Mind's chief executive."

December 10, 2003 - Drugs for depressed children banned - The Guardian, UK - "Modern antidepressant drugs which have made billions for the pharmaceutical industry will be banned from use in children today because of evidence, suppressed for years, that they can cause young patients to become suicidal."

December 11, 2003 - Flood of flu cases using up vaccine - The Navajo Times - "Across the United States, health officials have said this year could be the worst influenza season seen in decades...Michael Murphy, spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Health Services, said that so far two adults and one child have died of influenza related sickness. Murphy said Arizona typically has 20 children deaths a year caused by influenza."

Comment: Okay, so let me see if I've got this straight.  Normally 20 children die in Arizona, and so far one has died.  And yet there is near hysteria over this flu and access to flu vaccine.  Perhaps I am missing something, but is this flu season being hyped up for some reason?  If so, what could that reason be?  And lest we forget, there have been almost 18,000 flu-vaccine associated adverse reactions reported to VAERS since reporting began, including 317 deaths (Note that estimates of under-reporting range from 90-99%, e.g., click here.)

December 11, 2003 - Increase in Demand for Flu Vaccine (requires registration/subscription) - The New York Times

December 11, 2003 - Baby's First Pictures - Three Less-Invasive Prenatal Tests Offer Parents New Early Diagnostic Options -- and Some Tough Choices  -  The Washington Post

December 11, 2003 - Payments by Managers of Drug Plans Face Scrutiny (requires registration/subscription) - The New York Times - "The pharmacy benefit companies that manage drug coverage for most working Americans commonly offer millions of dollars in payments to important customers when contracts with them are signed, according to industry executives and consultants...The practice is receiving widespread attention after Justice Department officials on Tuesday accused Medco Health Solutions, one of the largest pharmacy benefit managers, of violating kickback laws by paying $87.4 million to Oxford Health Plans."

December 11, 2003 - Cases of flu cut in half - The worst of worst Colorado season in years is over, officials say - Rocky Mountain News - "During a typical year, no more than two children and a total of 750 to 800 Coloradans die of complications of the flu or pneumonia."

Comment:  What makes this year the "worst of the worst"?  How many Coloradans died last year? How many have died so far this year?  How many of the allegedly flu-related deaths reported by the media have been confirmed to be flu-related?  How many of the allegedly flu-related deaths reported by the media are actually treatment related?  How many of the allegedly flu-related deaths reported by the media are actually non-flu-related, e.g., the result of asthma and other chronic conditions?  How many of the allegedly flu-related deaths reported by the media are actually vaccine-related deaths?  Will there be a genuine effort to answer these and other relevant questions? 

December 11, 2003 - NAA Action Alert: "On December 9, 2003, an editorial was published in the Wall Street Journal entitled, "Where's my flu shot?" The writer goes beyond merely stating an opinion when the information he/she presents is made to seem factual, but really isn't. In fact, the writer uses erroneous information to take direct aim at government officials who have very much helped the autism community in the past.  He/she also depicts Senator Bill Frist as the hero while blaming our repeal of the Homeland Security rider for the current flu vaccine shortage...Please write to the Wall Street Journal ASAP and let them know that they irresponsibly printed a very misleading editorial without checking the facts first." - to learn more, go to the National Autism Association's Grassroots Center

Moms Against Mercury - Two Moms Fighting For Truth & Justice For Our Children...And Yours - website - BILLBOARD

December 10, 2003 - Experts Question Potency of Flu Vaccine - AP via Yahoo! - "Even as federal officials try to round up extra doses of the flu vaccine, many experts are wondering just how much protection the shots will give the millions who have taken them...Vaccine makers produced 83 million doses this year, but the early and intense outbreak in some Western states has dried up supplies in many places...Even though one of the three is a close cousin of this season's bug, whether that will be enough to help people ward off the flu is unknown. Some experts expect the level of protection to be less than 50 percent...Most agree the vaccine will do at least some good. But the word "some" is about specific as CDC scientists are willing to get."

Comment:  How lovely for the vaccine manufacturers to be able to produce 83 million doses of something that may well not work and enlist the government and medical community in their efforts to sell it.

December 15, 2003 - Should troops get the anthrax vaccination? - NO: Vaccination program rife with unresolved concerns - letter - (Requires registration) - Army Times

December 15, 2003 - Should troops get the anthrax vaccination? - YES: Vaccines give protection against the threat of anthrax - letter  (Requires registration) - Army Times

December 15, 2003 - Deployment health: The proof is in the data - Congressional investigators are “encouraged” by the steps defense officials say they have taken to protect the health of deployed troops, but the proof of compliance will come only when troops’ records are reviewed, the General Accounting Office said. (Requires registration) - Army Times

December 15, 2003 - New anthrax antibody quick-acting in animals - A pharmaceutical company and a Texas university have teamed to develop a way to protect immediately against inhalation anthrax, the bacteria that defense officials say is a potential germ-warfare threat to U.S. troops and civilians. (Requires registration) - Army Times

December 15, 2003 - Resolution questions vaccine programs - A senator wants the Pentagon to reconsider its mandatory anthrax and smallpox vaccine policies — and the health and career consequences of those policies on U.S. troops. (Requires registration) - Army Times

December 11, 2003 - Effectiveness of shots isn't clear-cut - Expert says mismatch may protect half of recipients but adds, 'Biology is messy' - Rocky Mountain News

December 11, 2003 - U.S. to Warn Women of Mercury in Tuna - Newspaper - Reuters Health via Yahoo!

December 11, 2003 - Doubling of flu deaths feared -  The Denver Post - "The FDA and CDC should have warned the public that the vaccine might not be effective against the Fujian strain, said Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center in Vienna, Va., and a member of the FDA committee..."Be honest with the people; tell them they couldn't produce the Fujian strain this year," she said, noting that citizens often incorrectly look at the flu vaccine as a panacea...Worse, Fisher said, is that health officials knew the the vaccine was only marginally effective against Fujian."

Posted December 10, 2003:

December 10, 2003 - FDA mercury warnings come under further fire - Knox News - "The Food and Drug Administration has drafted a health advisory to pregnant women and children that isn't strong enough to prevent brain damage from eating mercury contaminated fish, particularly canned tuna, environmental and consumer groups said Tuesday."

Comment:  As for the problem with injecting an adult-sized mega-dose into the tiny bodies of infants via vaccines - it doesn't pass the "straight-face test" to suggest doing so could be in any way benign.

December 10, 2003 - NIH to launch ethics review - Zerhouni promises comprehensive look at lucrative consulting payments to top officials - The Scientist - "The Los Angeles Times on Sunday (December 7) reported that several high-level NIH scientists and officials had received more than $2.5 million in fees and stock options from drug companies for consulting outside of their government work over the past 10 years."

November 1, 2002 - The Victim Friendly National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act: You've Got to Be Kidding! - by Stanley P. Kops, Esq. - The Litigation Report - via - "Anyone who has yet to engage in practice governed by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act, a step required for all current vaccine injury and death claims as a condition precedent to litigation in a private forum, should proceed with great caution. Though the Congressional intent was to create a victim-friendly statute which provided just and fair compensation quickly and without the uncertainties and proof problems inherent in civil actions, frequent practitioners under the Act are in virtually universal agreement that the program, as it has evolved during the past decade and a half, is a perversion of the Congressional intent."

December 10, 2003 - Vaccines caused my three children's neuro disorders (letter) - The Illinois Leader - "The pharmaceutical companies are so large and almighty that bringing them down is a challenge but one that I and many other parents are slowly doing...I'm not anti-vaccine. I am for safe vaccines - vaccines without known neurotoxins such as thimerosal, and other additives such as aluminum, aborted fetus cells, and formaldehyde."

November 28, 2003 - A shot for the flu, with mercury too - Canadians are getting a dose of something unexpected with their flu shots this season: mercury. - Capital News Online - "Provincial and territorial governments use an influenza vaccine that contains the mercury compound thimerosal as a preservative. They buy it because it's less expensive than vaccines without mercury."

Summer 2003 - The SARS Epidemic: Are Viruses Taking the Rap for Industrial Poisons? - by Jim West for The Weston Price Foundation

December 5, 2003 - Gambia Measles Vaccination Campaign to Vaccinate More Than 240,000 Children in One Week - U.S. Newswire via

December 8, 2003 - CDC: Vaccine Offers Some Protection From Potent Flu Strain - Dow Jones Newswire via

December 9, 2003 - Pocket of Opposition to Vaccine Threatens Polio Eradication - New York Times via

December 9, 2003 - Shortage of Flu Shots Prompts Rationing - Washington Post via

December 9, 2003 - Targeted Genetics Targets AIDS - Seattle Times via

December 9, 2003 - Tetanus Immunization Sets Out to Reach 2.6 Million Women in Ethiopia - Agence France Presse via

December 10, 2003 - A Childhood Killer Once Vanquished Is Returning - USA Today via - "Before a vaccine was developed to prevent whooping cough, or pertussis, up to 10,000 people died every year from the disease, particularly infants. Today, the disease is making a dangerous comeback, again striking infants, many of whom may be contracting the illness from teenagers and adults who have lost immunity against whooping cough. Experts say that the best protection could come from immunizing infants at an earlier age, or from giving teenagers booster shots against pertussis; however, there is no vaccine designed for either of those uses, so doctors are left without a system for protecting the very young."

December 10, 2003 - Hong Kong Child Gets Avian Flu - Wall Street Journal via - "A five-year-old Hong Kong boy was recently diagnosed with a kind of influenza common in poultry but rare in humans. The influenza A strain called H9N2 was the cause of his illness, a development that health officials considered serious, though it is not believed that he transmitted the disease to any other humans. The boy has since recovered from the illness after a brief hospital stay."

December 10, 2003 - Mass Immunization Campaign Planned - New Zealand Herald via - "Following successful completion of clinical trials and receipt of regulatory approval, the Counties Manukau District Health Board area in New Zealand plans to start vaccinating people under the age of 20 against Group B meningococcal disease next year."

December 10, 2003 - Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine Could Take Off, Boosting Maker - USA Today via - "The demand for influenza vaccine has increased due to an outbreak of a strong strain of flu, and Aventis and Chiron have shipped all their inventory of flu shots. This could turn into opportunity for MedImmune, which manufactures the FluMist nasal spray vaccine and whose sales so far have been slow. FluMist's launch was hindered by a number of factors, including its higher price, its limited approval for patients, and the fact that it must be kept frozen. However, MedImmune's marketing partner, Wyeth, has started a freezer distribution program, and higher demand could push sales."

Comment: Is all this a coincidence?  For more on this, go to New Campaign To Market Tough-Sell FluMist® - by Sherri Tenpenny, DO - Online Vaccines Conference @

December 10, 2003 - U.S. May Secure Flu Vaccine From Extra Supplies Overseas - Wall Street Journal via

December 7, 2003 - No more vaccine, say flu shot makers - AP via The Star

December 6, 2003 - Sars vaccine on the horizon - (registration required) - News 24 South Africa

December 7, 2003 - Doc: Vaccine can help protect against flu virus - The Star

December 6, 2003 - Thompson Inspects U.S.-Kenya Health Partnerships - Tours Kenyan clinic and inaugurates new administration building - U.S. State Department via

December 8, 2003 - Washington State's Supply Of Flu Vaccine About To Run Out -

December 7, 2003 - Jittery Colorado parents try to cope with flu outbreak - AP via Star Tribune

December 6, 2003 - Flu Shots Still Available In Louisville -

December 6, 2003 - Flu vaccine supply OK: Health Canada - CBC News

December 6, 2003 - Run on flu vaccine sparks global shortage - 2003 The Straits Times

December 6, 2003 - Flu fears drain stock of vaccine - The San Diego Union-Tribune

December 6, 2003 - Local hospitals see many cases of flu - Texarkana Gazette

December 6, 2003 - Get your flu shot, health officials urge - Bend Bulletin

December 7, 2003 - Ministers' U-turn on foot and mouth strategy - Independent, UK

December 6, 2003 - State: Vaccine shortage won't affect flu season -

December 6, 2003 - S.C. getting more flu vaccine - AP via

December 15, 2003 - Health: Get the Shot, Not the Flu - Parents should be sure to immunize their children before themselves. Those who act now can still get protected - Newsweek via

December 7, 2003 - Experts wonder how bad flu season will be - AP via Tallahassee Democrat

December 6, 2003 - U.S. Moves to Manage Remaining Flu Shot Supplies - Health Day News via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

December 6, 2003 - Behind the heads: Susan Bowler: How bad is this flu season? - Steamboat Pilot & Today

December 4, 2003 - To defeat the enemy - LaJolla Light - ""Most cancer treatments in the past were based on therapy that was destructive," Deisseroth said. 'Cut it out, burn it with radiation or administer intravenous or oral toxins that would not only kill the cancer cells, but would also damage normal tissue.'...What the cancer center is trying to do is to distinguish what is different about cancer tissue."

December 7, 2003 - Cell Genesys Reports Interim Clinical Data From Phase 2 Trial of GVAX(R) Leukemia VaccineUpdated Phase 1/2 Clinical Data from GVAX(R) Myeloma Vaccine Also Reported - (subscription required)

December 7, 2003 - Living healthily with germs: Where The Germs Are - A Scientific Safari - The Star - book review

December 6, 2003 - Experts brace for bad bout with flu - AP via Tribune Chronicle

December 6, 2003 - 700 senior citizens in Singapore get enhanced flu jabs to combat new flu virus strain - Channel News Asia - "Managing Director of Pacific Biosciences, Lloyd Soong, said: 'The elderly are a little different from us healthy adults, so their immunity system is a little different. So if you give the normal flu vaccines then maybe you're protected about 90 percent for healthy adults like us, but for the elderly if you use the so-called normal flu vaccines probably about 30 to 40 percent of the elderly are protected only.'...But while Fluad is also suitable for adults, it is not recommended for young children. They're better off with an ordinary flu vaccine."

Comment:  What's the story on this so-called enhanced flu vaccine?  And how many of the elderly are aware that "normal flu vaccines" probably only protect 30-40 percent of them?

December 5, 2003 - EPA's Mercury Proposal: More Toxic Pollution for a Longer Time - NRDC - "The proposal, an early Christmas gift to the Bush administration's friends in the energy industry, speaks volumes about the administration's unspoken policy toward America's children. Toxic mercury emissions from power plants put 300,000 newborns each year at risk for neurological impairment. But not only children suffer from mercury exposure. Adults also are threatened. Mercury exposure can damage adult cardiovascular and immune systems, and 8 percent of American women of childbearing age have mercury in their blood above EPA's "safe" level. That's nearly 5 million women."

December 6, 2003 - County health officials report adequate supplies of flu vaccine - King County Journal

December 6, 2003 - The well runs dry on flu vaccine - Its two makers say unexpected demand wiped out supplies. - The Sacramento Bee

December 6, 2003 - Supply of flu vaccine is dwindling - The Seattle Times

December 6, 2003 - Flu shot production done - Los Angeles Times via Sun-Sentinel

December 7, 2003 - Mayor: We Have Enough Vaccine -  New York Post

December 7, 2003 - Experts fear mutant flu strain will be deadly - Several children have already died, vaccines are in short supply, hospitals filling up - AP via - "The last time there was a flu strain mutation similar to the one sickening thousands of Americans this year, nearly 65,000 died...And that was only five years ago...Flu experts say it’s clear this flu season will be much worse than in the past few years, but they are not ready to predict it will be one of the deadliest in modern times."

December 2003 - Flu vaccination could mean extra doctor trips - Study reports a high rate of healthy infants who would require and additional visit to receive influenza vaccine. (requires registration) - journal article (Infectious Diseases In Children) - "An important drawback of the recent decision by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to move to a full universal influenza recommendation for healthy young infants in the fall of 2004 is the possibility that the requirement will prompt the need for additional medical visits."

December 2003 - Ipecac no longer recommended by AAP as poison treatment - The AAP notes ipecac has been used abusively by parents with Munchausen syndrome by proxy. (requires registration) - journal article (Infectious Diseases In Children) - "Although it seems to make sense to induce vomiting after the ingestion of a potentially poisonous substance, it was never proven to be effective in preventing poisoning, AAP officials said in a prepared statement...Recent research has failed to show any benefit for children who were treated with ipecac. This is the key reason for this policy change, officials said."

Comment: One has to wonder what the original recommendation was based on.

December 2003 - Can breast-feeding or diet affect rates of atopic dermatitis? - Breast-feeding is the best way to nourish infants, but it does not necessarily prevent atopic dermatitis. (requires registration) - journal article (Infectious Diseases In Children)

December 2003 - Human genome project could alter the face of medicine - The possibilities are limitless, but many questions remain before genetic discoveries become clinically relevant. (requires registration) - journal article (Infectious Diseases In Children)

December 2003 - History of the genome has unfolded much like DNA itself - The history of the human genome project has some eerie parallels with the hereditary aspects of life. (requires registration) - journal article (Infectious Diseases In Children)

December 2003 - Outbreak calls attention to need for hepatitis A vaccination - Extending immunization nationwide could reduce the number of primary cases of hepatitis A by 54% and the number of secondary cases by 76%. (requires registration) - journal article (Infectious Diseases In Children)

Epidemiology of a killer coronavirus - SARS had a sudden onset and a quick departure from the public stage, but it left behind a lasting impression. (requires registration) - journal article (Infectious Diseases In Children)

Wyeth: Prevnar delays were only temporary - A recent temporary interruption in shipments is not an indication of another shortage, company officials said. (requires registration) - journal article (Infectious Diseases In Children)

Ongoing need for influenza immunization - During the third week of October, health officials in Texas reported school outbreaks in the Houston area caused by isolates identified as A (H3N2) strains. (requires registration) - journal article (Infectious Diseases In Children)

December 2003 - Infectious Diseases in Children - Table of Contents (requires registration)

December 10, 2003 - Mother cleared of killing sons - A mother who was jailed for life for murdering her two baby sons, has had her conviction overturned. - BBC - "Ms Cannings, 40, a former shop assistant, always maintained that the two boys died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), or cot death...SIDS was recorded as the cause of death after Ms Cannings' first child, Gemma, died at the age of 13 weeks in 1989...'Still, nobody knows what causes cot death...'"

Comment:  There is good reason to believe vaccinations are implicated in SIDS.  For more on this, go to A Not-So-Perfect Vaccine: The Diphtheria, Tetanus and Acellular Pertussis vaccine: An Investigation - by RFD columnist F. Edward Yazbak, MD, FAAP in the Online Vaccine Conference at

Comment: For more on the question of whether or not parents are being unfairly blamed and incarcerated for the deaths of their infants and children, please visit the SBS (Shaken Baby Syndrome) Online Conference at

December 10, 2003 - A shot in the dark - The U.S. military requires troops to take controversial anthrax shots and court-martials them if they refuse. But critics say the vaccine is too dangerous -- and with Saddam's bioweapons nowhere to be found, needless. -

December 10, 2003 - Bitter medicine - A reaction to vaccinations, including anthrax, probably killed 22-year-old Rachael Lacy -- and her grieving father thinks the Army has a lot of questions to answer. -

February 13, 2003 - Debate: The Case Against Immunisation - Families Online - "Most doctors fervently believe that vaccines are one of medical science's greatest success stories, responsible for wiping out many deadly infectious diseases of the last century...So steadfast is this faith that it prevents doctors from acknowledging clear, factual evidence demonstrating ineffectiveness, adverse reactions and cases of a disease in children who have been vaccinated against it."

December 7, 2003 - Children refused killer flu jabs - The Sunday Mercury - "More children could die of Fujian flu as doctors have been BANNED from giving them vaccinations because of jab shortages...A Sunday Mercury investigation has discovered Midland clinics have been told not to immunise healthy kids from the killer virus - as the government have not provided enough supplies."

Comment:  Given that we don't actually know how many of the children who died from the flu had been given the flu vaccine, perhaps it is a bit premature to draw the conclusion that more children could die unless they get it.

December 7, 2003 - Drama Turns Into A Crisis - The Sunday Mirror, UK - "Docudramas, those half- documentary half-fiction shows beloved of TV programme makers, are usually iffy and dishonest...They are a lazy way of distorting the truth to present a sensational story, while pretending to do some sort of public service...Channel Four did it with The Deal about the - largely inaccurate - relationship between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Now Channel Five has had a go with Hear The Silence, a film about MMR, the triple measles, mumps and rubella jab, and its possible connection with autism, which stars Juliet Stevenson and be screened next Monday."

Comment:  The author, as revealed later in this piece, clearly buys the party line that studies have vindicated the vaccine.  It's a shame that he and others are either unwilling or unable to question the party line and the evidence brought to bear in support of it. 

December 2, 2003 - 'Virtual' exam as effective as standard colonoscopy - The Washington Post - "A "virtual" colonoscopy, a high-tech computerized X-ray scan, can catch precancerous growths as reliably as conventional exams in which a long tube with a camera is snaked through the colon while the patient is under anesthesia, researchers reported yesterday."

December 3, 2003 - Boston children's hospital fights new bacteria strain - Increased risk seen for those suffering from cystic fibrosis - The Boston Globe - "A newly identified strain of bacteria has invaded the lungs of at least 20 patients with cystic fibrosis at Children's Hospital, possibly contributing to the death of one woman and prompting hospital officials to begin isolating patients who carry the bug to prevent its spread."

December 3, 2003 - Advocates for limiting Washington malpractice suits promise retribution against opponents - AP via The Olympian - "The Washington State Medical Association and other advocates for reining in lawsuits promised Tuesday an aggressive push in the Legislature next year and vowed to unseat vulnerable lawmakers who dare to stand against them."

December 4, 2003 - Study says some give up drugs as prices jump (requires registration and/or subscription) - AP via The New York Times - "A study found that when employers switch to a three-tier prescription drug plan that charges a lot extra for brand-name medications, a disturbing number of people simply stop taking their blood pressure and cholesterol pills, instead of switching to cheaper varieties."

December 2, 2003 - That Ounce of Prevention Grew Too Big (requires registration and/or subscription) - The New York Times

December 3, 2003 - Study Questions Some PSA Prostate Tests - AP via Yahoo! - "Almost a third of men over 75 undergo laboratory blood tests each year to check their prostate health, but a new study questions the value of using the PSA test to screen men that old for prostate cancer (news - web sites)...'There is no evidence that screening men of this age would be beneficial to them, so this may not be the best use of health care resources,' said Dr. Siu-Long Yao, a genital-urinary oncologist at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, N.J. He is senior author of the study appearing this week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (news - web sites)."

Comment:  That's certainly an understatement.  If "there is no evidence that screening men of this age would be beneficial to them", why have they been doing it?

December 4, 2003 – New Scanner May Find Cancer Earlier Than Mammogram - Reuters Health via Yahoo!

December 2, 2003 - Vaccines against sexually transmitted diseases  - journal article (Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology)

December 6, 2003 - Children with sore throat may not benefit from penicillin - journal article (BMJ)

December 6, 2003 - Adrenaline in the treatment of anaphylaxis: what is the evidence? - journal article (BMJ)

December 6, 2003 - Giving aspirin and ibuprofen after myocardial infarction - Clinical consequences are still unknown  - journal article (BMJ)

December 6, 2003 - Medical ethics teaching should be overhauled - journal article (BMJ)

December 6, 2003 - Large increases occur in cancers of skin and prostate - journal article (BMJ)

December 6, 2003 - Canada supports agency criticized as an "AIDS denier" - journal article (BMJ)

December 6, 2003 - Infectious diseases expert convicted over missing plague bacteria - journal article (BMJ)

December 6, 2003 - Indirect comparison meta-analysis of aspirin therapy after coronary surgery - journal article (BMJ)

December 6, 2003 - Aspirin, ibuprofen, and mortality after myocardial infarction: retrospective cohort study - journal article (BMJ)

December 6, 2003 - Penicillin for acute sore throat in children: randomized, double blind trial - journal article (BMJ)

Posted December 9, 2003:

December 9, 2003 - Childhood Vaccines Are Safe - Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Comment:  Among those propounding this sanguine view of thimerosal/ethylmercury is Dr. Paul Offit, "director of the Vaccine Education Center and chief of infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia", and the "expert" cited in this article.  What this article fails to disclose, however, is that not only does Offit hold "a patent on a rotavirus vaccine and receives grant money from Merck to develop this vaccine.  He also disclosed that he is paid by the pharmaceutical industry to travel around the country and teach doctors that vaccines are safe.  Dr. Offit is a member of the CDC’s advisory committee and voted on three rotavirus issues – including making the recommendation of adding the rotavirus vaccine to the Vaccines for Children’s program." (From the Opening Statement by Chairman Dan Burton, Committee on Government Reform titled: “FACA: Conflicts of Interest and Vaccine Development: Preserving the Integrity of the Process, Thursday, June 15, 2000) Might these clear conflicts of interest be the real reason Offit holds this benign view of mercury in vaccines?

December 9, 2003 - Vegans vs. Atkins - Animal-rights activists claim that low-carb, meat-heavy diets are killing people. Are they raising legitimate health concerns -- or are they just rabid anti-carnivores? -

Statins For Children - This Is Madness - by RFD Columnist, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick - - "The first thing that I have to point out here is that, in primary prevention trials, statins have never been found to reduce the risk of death. I don’t care if they have been found to reduce the rate of heart disease. Does it really matter if someone is saved from dying of heart disease, only to die of something else?"

December 9, 2003 - Glaxo sees red over 'clanger' - - "GlaxoSmithKline went on the warpath over accusations that one of its top scientists made a gaffe in admitting that most prescription drugs do not always work."

December 10, 2003 - Trends in Pertussis Among Infants in the United States, 1980-1999 - journal article (JAMA) - "Context:  Reported cases of pertussis among adolescents and adults have increased since the 1980s, despite increasingly high rates of vaccination among infants and children. However, severe pertussis morbidity and mortality occur primarily among infants."

December 9, 2003 - CDC vaccines study slammed as cover-up - Data linking mercury exposure, neurodevelopment said 'manipulated' - Insight Magazine via - "Redwood says with a sigh, 'On a scale of one to 10, I give the CDC study a big fat zero. I think it started out good, but when they saw the early numbers it scared the hell out of them. I don't have any faith in the CDC doing a decent study of this matter. It's like having the tobacco industry monitor cigarettes for safety. From a parent's perspective and from a health-care professional's perspective it's maddening that we can't get products that are safe, and yet we're forced by law to use them. They need to just get the thimerosal out. It's barbaric.'"

Comment:  Because yesterday's must-read, exceptional Insight Magazine article by Kelly O'Meara, has been re-published today on, it is also being re-posted on this website.

December 9, 2003 - Nevada congressman loses hearing in ear due to virus, aide says - AP via Las Vegas Sun - "Brooke van Soest, Porter's deputy chief of staff, said Porter was being treated for an unspecified virus in his right ear that could have been contracted on a hunting trip or that might have been a side effect of a flu shot."

December 6, 2003 - Mother Drowns Daughter: Cops - B'klyn mom upset over autism diagnosis -

December 8, 2003 - The children of middle Australia are in crisis - There seems to be something wrong with the way our young are brought up. - The Age - "There is a growing body of evidence that children from the "mainstream" of suburban Australia are displaying serious physical, intellectual and emotional problems...Last month a report was published that added to that body of evidence. It indicates that many more Australian children than previously thought might be at risk of not being able to fulfil(sic) their educational potential...The results revealed that 26 per cent were vulnerable to not being able to achieve their educational potential, and 13 per cent were at high risk, particularly in the cognitive and linguistic skills area."

Comment: For more on this, go to Survey finds 1 in 4 five-year-olds have developmental problems

December 1, 2003 - Next Flu Pandemic Could Wreak Global Havoc, Scientists Warn - USA Today via

November 29, 2003 - Japan Lags Behind in Taking Measures Against Measles - Asahi News Service) via

November 28, 2003 - Virus Proves too Wily for Scientists - Financial Times  via - "Recent failures of experimental AIDS vaccines in early human trials have underlined the difficulty facing researchers in developing a vaccine to fight HIV, with a viable vaccine no closer than five years away, and probably much further. Part of the problem is that people do not develop an immunity against HIV after contracting the disease--like they do for many other illnesses such as measles, smallpox, and mumps--so a vaccine probably cannot confer immunity just by showing the immune system the virus."

Comment:  According to some, there is reason to question whether any vaccine is able to confer immunity in that way.

Comment:  And what if, as some believe, HIV has nothing to do with AIDS?

December 5, 2003 - Hepatitis A/B Vaccination Cost-Effective for STD Clinic Attendees - Reuters Health Information Services via

December 5, 2003 - Aggressive Flu Strain Hits Early and Hard - Los Angeles Times via

December 5, 2003 - As the Flu Spreads Early and Quickly, Colorado Expands Its Vaccination Campaign - New York Times via

December 5, 2003 - Human Trials in Sight for SARS Vaccine - Atlanta Journal-Constitution via

December 4, 2003 - Trials Will Test Whether AIDS Drug Can Also Prevent HIV - Wall Street Journal via

December 4, 2003 - Immunity Challenge for Survivors - Sydney Morning Herald via - "About 60 percent of international travelers to high disease risk areas, such as India, Africa, and the Middle East, travel without proper vaccination, with 43 percent choosing to ignore a doctor's advice and 17 percent not even thinking about the need for vaccination, according to a study by vaccine manufacturer Aventis Pasteur. The expense associated with vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and typhoid is nothing compared to the cost of treatment after contracting one of those diseases, and side effects associated with the vaccines are insignificant compared to the risk to a traveler's health, explains Travel Clinics Australia medical director Jonathan Cohen."

November 28, 2003 - Dangerous Flu Spreads Across USA - USA Today via

November 27, 2003 - Tanzania: Improved Vaccination Procedures Garner New U.S. Aid - Africa News Service via

November 27, 2003 - Cheaper Meningitis Vaccine Reported - Chicago Tribune via

November 27, 2003 - Cote d'Ivoire: Fears of Meningitis and Typhoid in Rebel-Held North - AAfrica News Service via

November 27, 2003 - Moldova Risks Facing Hepatitis A Epidemic - BBC via

December 4, 2003 - Iran: Leader Urges Public Participation in Vaccination Campaign - BBC Worldwide Monitoring via

December 4, 2003 - Liberia: Over 600,000 Children Immunized Against Measles Since August - Africa News Service via

December 4, 2003 - Sixty-Six Hospitalized in Vladimir Region With Hepatitis - ITAR-TASS via

December 3, 2003 - Kenyan Prostitutes Offer Hope for AIDS Vaccine - Reuters via

November 26, 2003 - Solicitation of the Nomination of Candidates to Serve as Members of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee - Federal Register via

December 8, 2003 - Vaccine Versus MS - Los Angeles Times via

December 6, 2003 - Ad Campaign Aims to Boost Immunizations - Houston Chronicle via

December 6, 2003 - Health Officials Join Effort Seeking Funds for Vaccines - Brockville Recorder & Times via - "Ontario public health officials are lobbying to get the provincial government to add the chickenpox, meningitis, and pneumonia vaccines to the government-funded immunization program for children five years of age and under. The province already covers the vaccinations for "high-risk" children under age three, but there is no agreement on who should pay for the wider immunizations."

December 6, 2003 - WHO Announces 2004 to Start Countdown on Polio Eradication in Africa - Xinhua News Agency via

December 5, 2003 - MedImmune Flu Vaccines Show Response Against Current Strain - Dow Jones Newswire via - "A new report from MedImmune indicates that its live, attenuated flu vaccine, FluMist, is 86 percent effective against the A/H3N2 flu strain, which circulated during the 1997-1998 season. MedImmune, which collected data from studies on children and ferrets, noted that the currently spreading strain is a drifted A/Fujian/411/2002 (H3N2)-like strain. "These new data demonstrate that live, attenuated, influenza vaccines may have a greater potential to produce a broad immunity to influenza, including drifted strains, than the inactivated strains," said Dr. Robert B. Belshe, a professor at St. Louis University and the lead investigator for the FluMist pediatric trial."

December 8, 2003 - Health Officials Say Flu Shots Should Go to Most Vulnerable - Wall Street Journal via - "They do not face an easy decision, however; pediatricians, for example, are unsure whether to give the vaccine to first-time recipients, who then need a booster shot after 30 days, or to vaccinate children who have already received a flu vaccine in the past and therefore only require one shot. Meanwhile, the CDC is trying to figure out how much vaccine is really left, with estimates as low as a two-week supply and 200,000 doses left out of 83 million distributed nationwide."

December 8, 2003 - Study Proves Vaccine Safety - Courier Mail, AU via - "The meningococcal C vaccine is being distributed in Australia this year via a mass vaccination program, and there have been 21 serious reactions and no deaths reported, according to the Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee."

Comment:  Just curious how many received the meningococcal C vaccine (pre-and post-marketing) and how their results (including long and short-term adverse reactions and disease incidence) compare to a never vaccinated group.

December 8, 2003 - The Lack of Vaccines Goes Beyond Flu Inoculations - Wall Street Journal via - "On Friday, the two suppliers of influenza vaccine to the United States reported that because of the unusual early and severe flu season, they are running low of vaccine doses, in the eighth major shortage of vaccines for preventable diseases since 2000. Flu vaccines have been in short supply for three years out of the past four..."

Comment:  Wasn't last year a mild year for the flu and one of the years with a severe flu vaccine shortage?  Is this merely a coincidence, or might the shortage of flu vaccine have been at least partly responsible for the mild season?

December 9, 2003 - Merck Talks Up New Drugs To Address Research Doubts (requires subscription) - Wall Street Journal - "In the shorter term, Merck's strongest area is vaccines. It said it plans to submit an application to the Food and Drug Administration in the second half of 2005 for a vaccine against the human papilloma virus, which research chief Peter Kim called "the predominant cause of cervical cancer death" in women. Other vaccines that Merck expects to market in the next few years would prevent shingles, a painful viral infection of the nerve roots, and infection with rotavirus, which is a serious problem especially in less-developed countries."

December 9, 2003 - Targeted Genetics targets AIDS: Testing under way on single-shot vaccine - "AIDS kills 300 people an hour, but in the past two decades, only one biotech company has come close to developing a preventive vaccine...But another biotech — Seattle-based Targeted Genetics — plus an academic research center and a nonprofit institution backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are announcing today they are trying another technique."

December 9, 2003 - Vaccine protects mice from deadly Ebola virus -

December 9, 2003 - New Jersey Child Welfare Commissioner to Step Down - The New York Times - "Since October, when a 19-year-old who had been adopted in Camden County was found so emaciated that he weighed just 45 pounds, senior aides to Gov. James E. McGreevey had been pushing for Ms. Harris to be replaced, administration officials said on Friday."


December 8, 2003 -  CDC to Monitor Children's Flu Complications - Drug-Resistant Staph a New Wrinkle - AP via ABC News

December 9, 2003 - Saint Mum, Saint Doctor and the Evil MMR - The Guardian - "Television companies are usually congratulated for making plays that might lead to viewers fearing the needle: there's a long tradition of anti-drug dramas set in Glaswegian crack-houses. The channel now known as Five, however, has been strongly criticised for a play that seems to advocate abstinence from the syringe...The reason is that Hear the Silence features Juliet Stevenson, as the saintly mother of a young boy diagnosed with autism, teaming up with a dashing and heroic doctor, played by Hugh Bonneville, in an attempt to prove that a new variant of autism is being caused by the combined MMR vaccine."

December 9, 2003 - Pocket of Opposition to Vaccine Threatens Polio Eradication - The New York Times - "Opposition to vaccinations against polio by some Islamic leaders in northern Nigeria has led to the spread of the disease to neighboring West African countries, jeopardizing the World Health Organization plan to eradicate it by the end of 2005."

December 9, 2003 - Why did my son suffer? - The Scotsman - "Watching her son walk through the school gates, Kathleen Yazbak is haunted by a moment in her past. Some days the feeling catches her more than others, as children greet each other; hugging, chatting or racing around before the bell rings. This stab to the heart comes from the fleeting memory of a fateful decision that changed her life for ever when, six years ago, Kathleen let her four-year-old son have his MMR booster."


Bio-Terrorism Countermeasures - Requirements & Funding - Defense Week via - conference alert - Washington, DC - March 9-10, 2003

December 9, 2003 - Records of Payments to NIH Staff Sought  Two congressmen ask health institutes' leader to detail researchers' links to drug companies. (requires registration) - The Los Angeles Times - "Two congressional leaders on Monday called upon the director of the National Institutes of Health to account for all payments that drug companies have made to researchers at the federal agency over the past four years...The leaders — Reps. W.J. "Billy" Tauzin (R-La.) and James C. Greenwood (R-Pa.) — said that their letter was in response to articles in Sunday editions of the Los Angeles Times detailing millions of dollars in consulting fees and stock options paid by companies to NIH employees."

Comment:  This is the follow-up to the December 7, 2003 landmark article Stealth Merger: Drug Companies and Government Medical Research.

March 1998 - Give us this day our daily germs (Volume 19)- journal article (Immunology Today) - "Modern vaccinations, fear of germs and obsession with hygiene are depriving the immune system of the information input upon which it is dependent. This fails to maintain the correct cytokine balance and fine-tune T-cell regulation, and may lead to increased incidences of allergies and autoimmune diseases. If humans continue to deprive their immune systems of the input to which evolution has adapted it, it may be necessary to devise ways of replacing it artificially."

Comment:  This just about says it all.  I would imagine, however, that the drug companies are chomping at the bit to "devise ways of replacing it artificially".  What say we instead stop this madness before it gets any worse?

Comment:  I am reposting this because the original link did not work.  You can now access it via PubMed, and/or the March 1998 issue of Volume 19.

Posted December 8, 2003:

December 8, 2003 - Is It Possible That FluMist®, The Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine, May Be Causing The Flu? - by Sherri Tenpenny, DO - Online Vaccines Conference at

Atishoo! Atishoo! We All Fall Down? - Is the flu such a dreaded disease? - - "There have been many instances over recent years that show how governments and media oulets are adept at creating unnecessary mass anxiety over disease. With the news that UK supermarket Asda (Walmart subsidiary) is now offering the flu jab on-site to its customers (at the bargain price of £11.97 as opposed to the normal £20.00), readers are strongly encouraged to acquaint themselves with the tawdry, unethical nature of today’s so-called ‘flu protection’ programmes, before rolling up their sleeves."

December 8, 2003 - Vaccine Safety Advocates Support Senator's Vaccine Safety Resolution - NVIC via PRNewswire - "Americans for Vaccine Safety and Accountability, headed by the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), are joining with other parent, veteran and health care organizations in support of a proposed Senate resolution asking Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to review the safety of the military's mandatory anthrax and smallpox vaccination programs. The resolution is being sponsored by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) in response to mounting reports of serious health problems, including unexpected deaths, after soldiers are vaccinated."

December 7, 2003 - Stealth Merger: Drug Companies and Government Medical Research  Some of the National Institutes of Health's top scientists are also collecting paychecks and stock options from biomedical firms. Increasingly, such deals are kept secret. (requires registration) - The Los Angeles Times - BLOCKBUSTER ARTICLE!

Comment:  This was posted yesterday, but for some reason the link was not included, so I am re-posting this landmark article.

December 5, 2003 - Smart money is on flu shots - The Telegraph

December 5, 2003 - Dire news has patients lining up for flu shots - S.C. has regional outbreak so far, with most cases in Richland, Charleston counties -

December 5, 2003 - Flu And You -

December 4, 2003 - Flu sickens more than 6,300 in Colorado, kills at least five children this year - AP via The San Diego Union-Tribune

December 5, 2003 - As flu catches on, so do shots - The Wichita Eagle

December  4, 2003 - Trials Will Test Whether AIDS Drug Can Also Prevent HIV - Wall Street Journal via AEGiS

December 4, 2003 - Gearing up to fight the flu - Flu: Getting vaccinated called especially important - The Sacramento Bee

December 4, 2003 - Two More Colorado Children Die of Flu - Health Day

December 4, 2003 - Children of world hit hard by flu - The Washington Times

December 5, 2003 - Killer flu headed for valley - Times Herald-Record

December 5, 2003 - Animal trials raise hopes of SARS vaccine - Reuters via ABC News

December 5, 2003 - Officials urge early vaccinations against flu - Potomac News via Manassas Journal Messenger

December 4, 2003 - Flu virus gets early start in city - Chicago Sun-Times

December 3, 2003 - The AIDS tragedy - The Charleston Gazette (registration required)

December 3, 2002 - Kenyan Prostitutes Offer Hope for AIDS Vaccine - Reuters via

December 5, 2003 - Flu shot makers say they are out of vaccine - AP via The San Diego Union-Tribune

December 3, 2003 - Worst of flu dodged so far -

December 3, 2003 - Flu makes early arrival in

December 5, 2003  - Flu Hits First Coast - First Coast News

December 4, 2003 - Colorado Flu Outbreak Fills Local Health

December 4, 2003 - Flu likely to spread through

December 4, 2003 - Thompson begins trip to observe AIDS implications - The Badger Herald - "'The two big issues being addressed on the trip are prevention and treatment," Gardett said. "We are exploring ways to effectively stop [HIV] in places with little communication and education ... and are hoping to get drugs to those places.'"

December 4, 2003 - Early flu deaths hint of tough season - The Washington Post via The Commercial Appeal

December 4, 2003 - Possible SARS Vaccine Breakthrough - Genetically Altered Virus Triggers SARS Immune Response in Monkeys - WebMD Health

December 4, 2003 - Battling Flu: Disinfectants to Shots - Flu Shots Still the Best Weapon, Plus Hand-Washing - WebMD Health

December 4, 2003 - Kids' Medicine Dosage Test Law Signed  - President Bush on Wednesday signed legislation giving the government the ability to require drug companies to test medicines to ensure that dosages are appropriate for children. -  AP via The Herald News

October 19, 2003 - A Painless Alternative to the Flu Shot - New Nasal spray protects without a needle - Health  Day

Comment: For another on perspective FluMist®, go to Risks of FluMist Vaccine by Sherri Tenpenny, DO - Online Vaccines Conference at

December 4, 2003 - Wyoming flu cases spreading - AP via Billings Gazette

December 4, 2003 - N.M. Flu Cases Up, Vaccine Supplies Down - December 04, 2003 - New Mexico Sees Jump in Number of Flu Cases, While Vaccine Supplies Dwindle - AP via ABC News

December 4, 2003 - Official: FDA Acted Hastily on Hepatitis - Mexico Food Official Says FDA Rushed to Judgment on Green Onions in Hepatitis Outbreak in Pa. - AP via ABC News

December 4, 2003 - ASB recognizes World AIDS Day with STD discussion - The Daily Mississippian

December 4, 2003 - Customs Works With FDA To Inspect Food (subscription required) - Los Angeles Times

December 3, 2003 - Polio Eradication Certificate Pending Regional Situation - Angola Press Agency via

December 5, 2003 - 53rd Victim Dies Of West Nile - AP via 

December 5, 2003 - 326T kids in Cordillera up for measles vaccination - Sun Star, Philippines

December 4, 2003 - Over 600,000 Children Immunized Against Measles Since August - IRIN via

December 4, 2003 - More Fallout From Hepatitis Outbreak - AP via KYW-TV - "Mexico's top food-safety official said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration wanted to hastily affix blame for a hepatitis A outbreak at a Pennsylvania restaurant and didn't properly trace produce from that restaurant."

December 4, 2003  - Africa Seeks to Arrest Spread of Polio Virus - Angola Press Agency via

December 4, 2003 - Hepatitis backlash hits mostly local, Mexican restaurants - AP via The Miami Herald

December 4, 2003 - Human organs not for sale - The Guardian, UK - "The problem may not be new, but it has become no less painful for patients and clinicians. There is an acute shortage of organ donations in the UK."

December 4, 2003 - N.C. special session incentives designed to lure Merck plant - AP via The Miami Herald - "State lawmakers will consider plans next week to provide millions of dollars in tax breaks and incentives to pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. to bring a manufacturing plant to Durham County."

December 4, 2003 - Mexican governor: inspectors found no hepatitis in Baja California - AP via The San Diego Union-Tribune 

December 4, 2003 - Pennsylvania hepatitis cases up to 635 - AP via Tri-City Herald

January 2, 2003 - Vaccine Table of Contents

December 8, 2003 - Attention Deficit Drugs May Have Long-Term Effects - Reuters via ABC News - "Drugs given to children to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder could have long-term effects on their growing brains, studies on rats suggest."

March 1998 - Give us this day our daily germs (Volume 19)- journal article (Immunology Today) - "Modern vaccinations, fear of germs and obsession with hygiene are depriving the immune system of the information input upon which it is dependent. This fails to maintain the correct cytokine balance and fine-tune T-cell regulation, and may lead to increased incidences of allergies and autoimmune diseases. If humans continue to deprive their immune systems of the input to which evolution has adapted it, it may be necessary to devise ways of replacing it artificially."

Comment:  This just about says it all.  I would imagine, however, that the drug companies are chomping at the bit to "devise ways of replacing it artificially".  What say we instead stop this madness before it gets any worse?

December 8, 2003 - HHS: Faulty research removed two years ago - UPI - "Despite news reports that recent, federally funded research on the effectiveness of a sex education program may have included fabricated data, the researchers involved actually were exposed more than two years ago and the skewed information was excluded from the final study, the Department of Health and Human Services said Friday."

December 8, 2003 - CDC Study Raises Level of Suspicion - Insight Magazine - "Canned tuna or canned poison?...'We know that high levels of mercury can impair the cognitive development as well as the growth and development of a young child.'...What the critics of mercury in vaccines find provocative about this report is the acknowledgement by physicians that the high levels of mercury ingested from canned tuna can cause severe health risks. One such critic, the mother of an autistic child, wonders 'why everyone gets up in arms over ingesting small amounts of mercury from fish or from breaking a thermometer but finds it acceptable to inject an even more toxic form of mercury directly into the bloodstream of infants.'"

December 8, 2003 - political action alert - To thank Kelly O'Meara and Insight Magazine for their recent article entitled "CDC Raises Level of Suspicion." - National Autism Association Grassroots Center

December 8, 2003 - Demolished: the myth that allows drugs giants to sell more - The Independent, UK - "For years, the drugs industry has grown fat on a myth - the false belief that all drugs will work on just about everybody...That has essentially been the rationale for a culture that has encouraged doctors to prescribe first and ask questions later - at a cost to the NHS of £7.2bn a year in medicines."

Comment: There is some overlap between this article and the one below.

December 8, 2003 - Glaxo chief: Our drugs do not work on most patients - The Independent, UK - "Allen Roses, worldwide vice-president of genetics at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), said fewer than half of the patients prescribed some of the most expensive drugs actually derived any benefit from them...It is an open secret within the drugs industry that most of its products are ineffective in most patients but this is the first time that such a senior drugs boss has gone public." 

Comment: Note drug efficacy table in the article above.


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