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 15-21, 2003

Posted December 21, 2003:

December 21, 2003 - NNMC, NCI Study Possible Vaccine for Ovarian Cancer -

December 20, 2003 - Corporates Declare Full Support For AIDS Vaccine - - "Business cannot thrive in a society that is sick, said NR Narayana Murthy, chairman, Infosys Technologies, after a high level meeting of business leaders to support development of preventive HIV/AIDS vaccines for the country. Senior corporate leaders here on Friday declared wholehearted support for the country’s vision of developing the first AIDS vaccine."

2003 - Impact of pharmacogenomics on neglected diseases of the developing world. - journal article (Am J Pharmacogenomics)

December 21, 2003 - Flu Vaccine recommendations now target larger groups - AP via

December 12, 2003 - Panel urges more fish-mercury safety advice - AP via CNN

Flu in Denver, Year 2003 - Toxicological Considerations (work in progress) - by Jim West -

December 16, 2003 - British Ignite Debate in U.S. on Drugs and Suicide (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

December 16, 2003 - New Policy on Mercury Pollution Was Rejected by Clinton E.P.A. (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

December 16, 2003 - Doctors Promote Healing, With a Zing of the String of a Harp (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times

December 15, 2003 - Blood Sugar Linked to Deaths in ICU - Ivanhoe - "Even a modest rise in blood sugar during a stay in the intensive care unit can increase someone’s risk of dying, report researchers who studied more than 1,800 consecutive patients admitted to the hospital for various causes."

December 12 & 15, 2003 (part 2) - Schafer Autism Report

December 12 & 15, 2003 (part 1) - Schafer Autism Report

December 15, 2003 - Antidepressants Harmful for Kids - Ivanhoe

December 15, 2003 - The Nation's Top Scientists Speak Out on Mercury Pollution; New Research Suggests Delays May Be Harmful - Hubbard Brook Research Foundation via U.S. Newswire

December 16, 2003 - Bush offers proposal to cut mercury levels - Market-based plan would give plants 15 years to upgrade - Los Angeles Times via San Francisco Chronicle

December 16, 2003 - Schafer Autism Report

December 12, 2003 - FDA hits Fla. doctor in Biopure clinical test - Failure to report deaths, 'events' cited - The Boston Globe - "A Florida doctor who participated in a pivotal clinical trial of Biopure Corp.'s artificial blood waited as long as a year before properly reporting serious complications in the trial, according to a warning letter sent by the US Food and Drug Administration."

December 16, 2003 - School district sues state over No Child Left Behind Act - AP via - "The state's fifth-largest school district sued the Pennsylvania Department of Education, objecting to the state's classifying 13 of its 19 schools as failing to meet academic standards under the federal No Child Left Behind Act."

December 17, 2003 - More parents reject MMR - - "A record number of parents are shunning the MMR vaccine, heightening fears that children will be exposed to a major measles epidemic...In some areas, as many as four in ten children are not having the triple jab which is at the centre of concerns over a possible link to autism and bowel disease... Demand for single jabs is soaring as uptake of MMR has fallen to a new low of just 58 per cent in parts of London, Health Department figures reveal."

December 17, 2003 - Medical check-ups for children to be scrapped - The Scotsman - "Check-ups designed to detect conditions ranging from autism to co-ordination problems in children are to be scrapped under Scottish Executive proposals...The Executive aims to end formal check-ups at eight, 24 and 39 months for the majority of infants, because it believes they are not effective at identifying developmental problems...Instead, most parents will have to rely on the appointments when their children receive immunisation against diphtheria, polio and mumps, measles and rubella, to get health advice. These take place at three, four and 12-15 months and parents will also be offered appointments at 24 months if they have particular concerns they want to raise."

December 17, 2003 - Schafer Autism Report

December 18, 2003 - Broad plan to aid fight on autism - AP via Richmond Times-Dispatch - "The government has developed a broad, decade-long research plan to help fight autism, including hunting genetic causes of the complex brain disorder and providing better educational services for children who have it...Aiding the work will be a research partnership between government scientists and a parents' group, the National Alliance for Autism Research."

December 16, 2003 - Frist Hails Recommendations Of National Vaccine Advisory Committee - - "U.S. Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) today hailed recommendations to strengthen the nation’s supply of childhood vaccines made by the National Vaccine Advisory Commission (NVAC)."

December 17, 2003 - Strengthening the Supply of Routinely Recommended Vaccines in the United States - Recommendations From the National Vaccine Advisory Committee - journal article (JAMA)

December 16, 2003 - Racial differences in influenza vaccination among older Americans 1996-2000: longitudinal analysis of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the Asset and Health Dynamics among the Oldest Old (AHEAD) survey - journal article (BMC Public Health)

December 9, 2003 - Chickenpox: why children's lives are at risk -  - "Chickenpox is a common condition, particularly among children. It's an illness synonymous with red, itchy spots all over the body, even the mouth, but few are aware just how serious this disorder can be. Today, ACA explores the dangers and why children's lives are being put at risk...'He gave us antibiotics, told us to give him a good bath in some oats or Pinetarsol to keep the itching down, just keep the fluids up and lots of bed rest.'...'In the end he [Jesse] was pumped up with adult drugs and we were told about an hour beforehand he was going to die and there was nothing they could do about it,' says Renay."

Comment:  Why was a child who had chickenpox, a virus, given antibiotics, which are only effective against bacteria? What adult drugs?  What else did they do that might have led to this child's demise?

December 10, 2003 - VCH Study Finds Deadly Pertussis Making a Comeback; new study begun - Vanderbilt Children's Hospital - "Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital researchers are alarmed by the deaths of four infants at Vanderbilt Children’s over the last year from pertussis, or whooping cough. Dr. Natasha Halasa, Clinical fellow, Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Dr. Kathryn Edwards, Vice chair of Clinical Research and Professor of Pediatrics have published an editorial in November’s The Journal of Pediatrics encouraging a change in the immunization schedule to better protect very young babies from the bacterial infection...Halasa’s study in December’s Pediatrics found even more disturbing information, that even the most advanced treatments for respiratory illness don’t appear to work effectively for infants with pertussis...The answer, Halasa says, is clearly prevention with a new immunization schedule...The main purpose of this study is to determine if it is safe to administer an additional dose of the pertussis vaccine in the first days of life and also to see if babies can mount an adequate immune response. If it is successful, Halasa hopes an eventual change in the immunization schedule might save babies’ lives."

December 21, 2003 - The Sound of Silence - by Lenny Schafer (with apologies to Simon and Garfunkle) - Schafer Autism Report

December 21, 2003 - Schafer Autism Report

December 20, 2003 - Health officials offer advice on use of nasal flu vaccine - North County Times - "As with the flu shot, the mist's vaccine doesn't exactly match the flu virus that has sickened thousands throughout the state, so doctors don't know how well the mist protects against this year's flu...But the supply of flu shots has dried up in most areas, and health officials say the mist may be a good last resort for healthy people who want at least some protection against the virus..."It's not the best option, but if it comes down to preventing an epidemic, I guess it's probably better than nothing," said Bill Mastin, chief pharmacist for the agency."

Comment:  Not exactly a ringing endorsement. 

December 17, 2003 - Influenza activity further increases and spreads to more countries in northern hemisphere - update 4 - WHO - "According to the UK Office for National Statistics, the number of deaths from all causes is about average for this time of year in the past five years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta report that the proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza in the USA is below the "epidemic threshold" for the time of year."

Comment:  Say what? 

December 22, 2003 - Drug giant linked to immunisation campaign - - "International drug company Wyeth is helping to fund a lobbying campaign by a supposedly independent health group to get the Federal Government to introduce universal immunisation against pneumococcal disease...Wyeth produces the only pneumococcal vaccine approved for use in young children in Australia."

December 21, 2003 - Making Malpractice Harder to Prove (requires registration or subscription) - The New York Times - "Slowly and quietly, the rules regarding expert witness testimony in medical malpractice cases have been changing: a handful of states have passed legislation in the last two years that generally requires physician experts to work in the same field as a defendant doctor, while professional doctors' groups are setting up committees to review the testimony of their members."

December 21, 2003 - Wrongly accused -  Sunday Sun via icNewcastle, UK - "North parents of autism sufferers are being wrongly accused of harming their own children, experts claim...They believe families are being labelled potential abusers by social workers who are basing their decisions on the discredited theories of Roy Meadow...Now, however, experts in autism - a developmental disorder affecting the ability to communicate and socially interact with others - claim parents have been accused of Msbp when raising health fears about their kids."

DAN! Mini Conference - sponsored by The Autism Research Institute - conference alert - January 17-18 in New Orleans, Louisiana

DAN! Spring Conference - presented by The Autism Research Institute - conference alert - April 16-18, 2004 in Washington, DC

Autism One 2004 Conference - Congressman Dave Weldon MD to deliver keynote address - conference alert - May 27-30, 2004 in Chicago, Illinois

December 11, 2003 - FDA, EPA issue new warning on tuna - CNN

December 21, 2003 - Canaries in the mine - Evidence of chemical effects on kids mounts - Scripps Howard News Service - The Gleaner via - "At Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Dr. Martha Herbert is seeing younger and younger children who have been prescribed powerful drugs because their behavior is 'so extreme.'...One 4-year-old was treated with Risperdol, an antipsychotic drug usually prescribed to adult schizophrenics, because she tried to kill a sibling. 'I've had several cases like that,' said Herbert, a pediatric neurologist. 'It's scary because this kind of thing hardly ever used to happen.'...Across the nation, evidence of a growing number of children diagnosed with attention, learning, behavioral and emotional disorders have perplexed doctors and researchers and worried teachers and parents....The disturbing conclusion some experts are reaching is that a significant share of these conditions may be caused by environmental toxins that interfere with brain development in children beginning in the womb and which may be lowering the intelligence of the population at large."

December 21, 2003 - Vaccine costly but vital, pediatrician says - Asbury Park Press - "Dr. Hector Iglesias of Tinton Falls Pediatrics pays roughly $6,000 every six weeks for shipments of Prevnar, a two-year-old vaccination created to ward off the bacteria that can lead to streptococcus pneumonia, meningitis and ear infections...Iglesias, the Hugheses' current pediatrician, said he stocks the vaccine because of how serious bacterial and ear infections can be in children."

December 19, 2003 - Flu-vaccine prices spikes with demand, deaths - Some pay more than twice the normal cost - The Denver Post - "Flu vaccine is becoming a hot commodity, with the tiny vials selling for up to $300, two-and-a-half times the normal price, in some parts of the country...At the beginning of the season, manufacturers on average charged $85 for a vaccine containing 10 doses...Things aren't quite so bad in Colorado. State health officials recently paid $165 a vial, nearly double the early-season $85...That, they said, was the best deal available after an early and deadly flu season led to a vaccine shortage."

December 18, 2003 - Academy Harbor Consortium releases letter on mercury to President Bush - Letter cites EPA proposals to remove mercury from toxics list - New York Academy of Sciences via

December 19, 2003 - New Study Suggests Higher Magnesium Intake May Reduce Risk Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes - PRNewswire via Boerse Pressemitteilung, Germany

December 20, 2003 - Girl's Parents Fault Hospital For Her Death - AP via The Tampa Tribune

December 19, 2003 - Tree rallies support for diabetics -

December 20, 2003 - Law & Disorder: Teacher's aide fired after charge of child abuse - The Florida Times-Union

December 20, 2003 - Group stresses importance of early autism diagnosis -

December 20, 2003 - ADHD: Separating Fact From Fiction - The Exceptional Parent via Mental Help Net

December 20, 2003 - Behavioral Intervention Therapies - The Exceptional Parent via Mental Help Net

December 19, 2003 - Vanderbilt researchers receive fellowships to support early identification, genetic causes of autism -

December 20, 2003 - Flu forces special measures - The Globe And Mail

December 20, 2003 - Hepatitis, Bankruptcy At Issue - AP via

December 20, 2003 - Businesses hope flu won't shut them down -

December 20, 2003 - Employee sick leave policies differ -

December 19, 2003 - Protecting Pregnant Women From Flu Dangers -

December 20, 2003 - Defensive worries, flu plague Tigers - (subscription required) - The Daily Journal

December 20, 2003 - Reporting The Flu -

December 19, 2003 - Flu vaccine in short supply, officials say - Doctors brace for what could be the worse outbreak in years -

Posted December 20, 2003:

December 20, 2003 - The great vaccination debate - With polio vanquished and other deadly diseases in decline, many parents are saying no to the needle. But as more children go unprotected, could some lethal illnesses be poised for a comeback? - Globe and Mail - "Vaccines have become modern-day suits of armour, protecting humanity from deadly pathogens that used to cut us down in great numbers. But with many common illnesses now apparently vanquished, some parents question the need for vaccinating their children, fearing the potential side effects of the shots more than the diseases themselves...In part, the anti-vaccination movement has been fuelled by a growing tendency to question traditional medicine and embrace alternative therapies."

December 19, 2003 - African adventure begins with some scary shots - Chicago Sun-Times - "Despite all the reports of shortages, it's still possible to get a flu shot in Chicago. You just have to be on your way to somewhere else. Somewhere really far away."

December 20, 2003 - CDC Activates Center to Deal With Flu - AP via Newsweek

December 20, 2003 - Flu Experts: Worst Yet to Come -

Deember 20, 2003 - Accusations of bias prompt NIH review of ethical guidelines - (registration required) - Nature Drug Discovery

December 18, 2003 - Violative Advertising and Promotional Labeling Letter -Haemophilus b Conjugate (Meningococcal Protein Conjugate) and Hepatitis B (Recombinant) Vaccine, Comvax (Merck & Co, Inc) - FDA/CBER

December 19, 2003 - Rough flu season highlights economic problems of vaccine industry  - AP via - "This year, the drugmaker again produced 43 million doses - 35 per cent more than were ordered - and it sold out. It isn't supposed to be this way. The flu vaccine business is supposed to be predictable: Customers place orders so manufacturers know how much to produce and they don't lose money throwing away unwanted product."

December 20, 2003 - Health officials declare flu an epidemic - Newsday via The Seattle Times - "The nationwide sweep of influenza now has been classified by federal health officials as an epidemic in the wake of 42 youngsters' deaths and 36 states reporting widespread flu...The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging people not to overwhelm emergency rooms because most influenza infections can be treated successfully at home...The number of flu cases technically has not surpassed the threshold to declare an official epidemic in the United States...But CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding, who long had avoided using the "e" word, yesterday called the nationwide influenza outbreak a bona fide epidemic. 'From a practical perspective, given the number of people affected, it's fair to characterize it as an epidemic,' she said."

December 20, 2003 - Flu has killed 42 children, teens, CDC says - Washington Post via - "Because the federal government doesn't usually collect statistics on flu cases and deaths, Gerberding said it remains unclear whether more children are dying this year than in previous years. But the fact that the agency has taken the unusual step of collecting the data this year and for the first time released a tally is a sign of concern among federal health officials."

December 19, 2003 - Polio prevalence in West Africa is at crisis point - GNA via

December 19, 2003 - Use of rubella vaccine is growing worldwide, but more work remains Pan American Health Organization via

Comment: For another perspective on the advisability of widespread use of rubella vaccine to prevent congenital rubella sydrome, go to Scandals: Is Rubella Vaccination Playing A Role In The Rise In Autism?

December 19, 2003 - Study: 1 in 100 long-haul fliers may get blood clots - Reuters via CNN - "Up to one in 100 long-haul fliers could develop blood clots, and wearing compression stockings, taking aspirin and travelling business class may not help, a study showed on Friday."

December 20, 2003 - Specter of Flu Outbreak Haunts Doctors - AP vua The Herald-Sun - "Some U.S. hospitals are already struggling to deal with the current flu outbreak. But that is nothing compared to what would happen if a powerful new flu strain exploded into a worldwide flu outbreak, known as a pandemic...Patients would overwhelm hospitals, and the overflow would have to be housed elsewhere, such as schools -- which would already be closed. Nurses, already in short supply, could not possibly get to everyone. And there would be even fewer doctors and nurses once they, too, started getting sick...There would not be enough antiviral drugs or ventilators to take care of the elderly, who are most at risk of dying from flu."

December 20, 2003 - Agencies Lack Tools to Track Nurses - The Herald-Sun - "A nurse suspected of killing patients in two states was able to keep his license, even after he was fired from several jobs, because hospitals, prosecutors and state regulators didn't share information."

December 20, 2003 - Taiwan to Release 12 From SARS Quarantine - The Herald-Sun - "Taiwan's health authorities said Saturday they would release 12 more people from home quarantine, saying they have shown no symptoms of SARS since coming in contact with a medical researcher infected with the potentially deadly virus...Meanwhile, doctors said the researcher, identified only as Lt. Col. Chan, was in stable condition Saturday."

December 20, 2003 - U.S. orders probe into Pap smears - State will check Magee-Womens - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - "The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has asked the state health department to investigate charges by a former pathologist at Magee-Womens Hospital that the hospital falsified "hundreds of thousands" of Pap smear reports and destroyed medical records."

December 20, 2003 - Women's reactions mixed to doctor's accusation on Pap smears - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - "Some women expressed shock and disbelief about two lawsuits, filed this week, charging that doctors at the two health organizations had put their electronic signatures on the reports, thus misleading patients into thinking their Pap smears had been reviewed by physicians, when in fact they had not been."

December 20, 2003 - Woman bitten by rabid squirrel - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - "For the first time in a quarter-century, Allegheny County officials have discovered a rabid squirrel...The squirrel met its end Monday after being caught by a dog in Highland Park...But in its waning moments of life, the squirrel bit back."

December 19, 2003 - SARS may be mammal-bird merger - Genetic shuffle might have allowed human infection. - Nature

December 20, 2003 - The Lancet, Table of Contents

December 19, 2003 - Ahhhh! Better Than Red Wine Or Green Tea, Cocoa Froths With Cancer-preventing Compounds, Cornell Food Scientists Say - Cornell University via ScienceDaily

December 19, 2003 - A pair of discoveries helps unravel complex genetics of inflammatory bowel disease - Scientists find first gene involved in causing ulcerative colitis - Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions via

December 19, 2003 - Eli Lilly Prozac UK Fact Sheet: "Not Recommended" for Children - PMDD Withdrawn in UK - AHRP - "The Alliance for Human Research Protection has obtained copies of two Eli Lilly documents that were sent to all physicians in the UK yesterday...A letter informs doctors in the UK that Prozac is no longer authorized for use in (so-called) premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). And Eli Lilly's new Prozac Fact Sheet sent to UK physicians--but not to US physicians--states that Prozac is NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN for any indication."

December 19, 2003 - Hospitals told to share infectious disease data - Gulf News

December 18, 2003 - Fighting flu not a priority - Knight Ridder via The Miami Herald - "The flu kills 36,000 Americans a year, but the federal government spends only about half as much money on research to fight it as it spends to attack the boll weevil, a pest that eats cotton."

December 18, 2003 - China Researchers to Turn in SARS Samples - AP via Yahoo!

December 18, 2003 - Talk to your pharmacist to find the best remedy - The Modesto Bee

December 19, 2003 - Rabies victim bit nurses in despair - The Scotsman

December 18, 2003 - Country Faces Disease Challenges - The Times of Zambia via

December 18, 2003 - Okayama University to test new cancer vaccine - The Japan Times

December 19, 2003 - Wash Hands Often, Sanitize Surfaces To Prevent Flu -

December 18, 2003 - HealthBeat: RSV -

December 19, 2003 - Dean Elementary gets clean bill of health - Manassas Journal Messenger - "For several months, the school's elevated mold levels had plagued some students and staff members. The school will send letters to parents today informing them that the mold levels are no longer elevated."

December 18, 2003 - Fighting Childhood Cancer - HealthDayNews via Yahoo! - "Survival rates for children's cancer in the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland are the best in Europe, says a new report."

December 18, 2003 - Parents, schools bear high cost of autism - The Sacramento Bee - "Jackson's tutoring sessions teach him communication and behavioral skills that are intuitive to non-autistic children -- sessions that put him and thousands of other autistic children at the center of a growing dilemma for California. Experts say these intensive treatments are the only technique proven effective in giving autistic children the skills they need to live independent lives...Yet with the state's autistic population doubling in the past four years, the success of these life lessons and their high costs -- as much as $60,000 a year per child -- threaten to overwhelm school districts already struggling to balance their budgets."

December 20, 2003 - U.S. Offers Advice on When to Seek Flu Care - The New York Times - "'We want to reassure people that the vast majority of people who encounter influenza — and that's about 10 to 20 percent of us every year — do perfectly fine and there are no special health concerns other than the annoyance of having an illness for a few days,' Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, the centers' director, said in a teleconference with reporters."

Comment:  Remind me, then, why just about everyone is supposed to get a flu shot?  Who, exactly, does this benefit, other than the vaccine manufacturers and those with financial ties to them?

December 20, 2003 - Fear of litigation hits supply of flu vaccine - Financial Times - "These factors represent a combination of American dilemmas. Tort liability limits the number of vaccine makers. The profit potential in the vaccine market is often too low to overcome concerns over liability for illnesses that could be traced back to vaccination. And disagreements exist over the appropriate level of government involvement...Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader from Tennessee, last week told a television audience that one cause for shortages was the 'high cost of litigation - the frivolous lawsuits that come from these little, tiny vaccines'."

Comment: "Little, tiny vaccines".  What harm could they possibly do?  Itsy-bitsy atoms.  What harm could they possibly do?  How reassuring.

December 20, 2003 - A Mercury Non-Policy - Washington Post editorial - "Or maybe both federal agencies should take a lesson from the District: Determine what is really hazardous, be clear about it, resist pressure to hush it up -- and then get the cleanup going."

Comment: Sounds like a plan.

December 18, 2003 - Ex-teacher arrested in mercury spill incident - AP via The Enquirer - "A former biology teacher at Sacred Heart Academy was arrested for allegedly trying to clean a small amount of mercury that spilled without alerting school officials...When mercury is spilled in a classroom, the students are supposed to be evacuated and the room sealed off, school and health officials said."

Comment:  But inject huge doses into tiny babies?  Not to worry.  It's the good kind of mercury, the kind that can't hurt you, that we've been injecting into them.

December 18, 2003 - Love and despair: Ohio families struggle to provide medical treatment for their children - Families of sickest kids crushed by soaring costs and state aid cuts - Lancaster Eagle-Gazette

December 19, 2003 - Governor decides not to slash aid to disabled - Plan was a mistake, Schwarzenegger says - The Mercury News - "A month ago, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, long an advocate of programs for the developmentally disabled, shocked backers of these services when he announced he was slashing millions in aid to those with autism, cerebral palsy and mental retardation...Thursday, Schwarzenegger, whose Kennedy family in-laws started the Special Olympics, confirmed he had made an about-face and decided not to trim the aid, saying it was all a mistake.

Posted December 19, 2003:

December 17, 2003 - SARS case in lab worker - Taiwan man working in military lab contracted the virus in early December - The Scientist

December 18, 2003 - AIDS Is Cutting African Life Span to 30-Year Low, Report Says - Reuters via The New York Times

December 18, 2003 - Case of Ill Researcher Underlines Dangers in SARS Laboratories - The New York Times

December 17, 2003 - Ohio Man Wants to Sue Over Botched Test - AP via The New York Times - "A man whose surgically removed lymph node spoiled before it could be tested for cancer wants the Ohio Supreme Court to allow patients to sue doctors and hospitals over the anguish of wondering if a treated disease will return...Attorneys for John Dobran argue he should be able to recover pain-and-suffering damages now that he has lost his best chance of knowing for sure whether cancer cells lurk somewhere in his body...But Dayton Clinical Oncology Program, the physician practice Dobran sued, argues the case would set a precedent for a flood of patient lawsuits, driving up medical costs. The practice asked the justices to reverse an appeals court ruling that the case should go to trial."

The latest Rapid responses to Hear the Silence - by Elliman and Bedford (BMJ)

The latest Rapid responses to Hear the Silence - by Fitzpatrick (BMJ)

December 20, 2003 - Providing the world with clean water - Remains a complex problem, but time is running out - journal article (BMJ)

December 20, 2003 - The power of stories over statistics - journal article (BMJ)

December 20, 2003 - The midwife, the coincidence, and the hypothesis - journal article (BMJ)

December 20, 2003 - Audit of soap usage by a primary care team - "Much discussion has taken place in the medical press recently about the role of handwashing in preventing the transmission of infection in hospital settings. Transmission of infection is also recognised in the primary care setting.1 Semmelweis showed 150 years ago that if doctors performing necropsies washed their hands before delivering babies a reduction in mortality (from 22% to 3%) due to streptococcal puerperal sepsis could be achieved.2 Many studies since have confirmed that doctors washing their hands between patients can reduce the rates of healthcare acquired infection.3 It has become widely accepted that nurses perform better than doctors at this simple measure to prevent cross infection.4 I was unable to find references to any attempt to quantify this and decided to perform an audit of the consumption of handwash soap from soap dispensers that were situated next to the sinks of members of the primary care team."  - journal article (BMJ)

December 20, 2003 - Possible interaction between warfarin and cranberry juice  - journal article (BMJ)

December 20, 2003 - BMJ Table of Contents

December 18, 2003 - Comments re: Flu outbreak worst in 30 years in the West, experts say - The Daily Herald

December 17, 2003 - The puzzle of autism - Congress will vote on a bill that could curtail the right to an education for disabled students; That is not the answer - The Mercury-News via

December 19, 2003 - CDC Checking to See if Flu Season Worse Than Usual - "'We are referring to this as an epidemic of flu like we see every year,' she told a news conference. 'I think what we are experiencing here is a typical pattern of influenza with an early onset.'..Public attention has focused on this year's epidemic for several reasons. Influenza hit the United States early and killed several children early on. Gerberding said at least 42 children have died of flu so far this year...At least 40 percent of the children who died had other medical conditions that made them vulnerable, she said."

December 13, 2003 - Empire covers kids’ intranasal flu vaccine - Crain's New York Business - "Children aged 6 months to 9 years should receive two inoculations four weeks apart for full protection against the flu virus."

Comment:  This must be a mistake!  FluMist hasn't been approved for use by children aged 6 months to 5 years!

December 19, 2003 - Delaware senator´s letter to Bush criticizes mercury emission plan -

December 18, 2003 - Bayh Proposes Flu Protection Law - WTWO News - "It would require the Centers for Disease Control to do a better job of predicting the number of flu shots needed each year."

Comment: How on earth can you require the CDC to predict the future better?

December 18, 2003 - No autopsy sought for infant - The Cincinnati Enquirer - "Olivia had received half a dose of the flu vaccine this fall, the dosage recommended by her doctor, her parents said."

Comment:  Do vaccinated infants and children die because of the flu vaccine or in spite of it?  We'll never know the answer to this question until and unless properly designed population studies comparing the vaccinated to the never vaccinated are  conducted.

December 18, 2003 - Cot death expert to face inquiry - The cot death expert at the centre of a series of high profile cases against women accused of killing their babies is to face a professional conduct committee. - BBC

December 18, 2003 - UK Cot Death Expert May Face Misconduct Charge - Reuters via Yahoo! - "A British pediatrician whose testimony on cot death helped jail mothers accused of murdering their babies could face charges, which, if proved, could amount to serious professional misconduct, a disciplinary body said on Thursday...The General Medical Council, the statutory body that regulates the medical profession, said its preliminary proceedings committee had 'considered allegations' against Professor Sir Roy Meadow...'The committee determined that the allegations, if proved, would raise a question of serious professional misconduct, which could affect his fitness to practice,' it said in a statement."

Comment:  How many lives are ruined because of blind faith in "experts"?

December 18, 2003 - Proper Pregnancy Weight Gain Benefits Mom, Baby - Reuters via Yahoo!

December 1, 2003 - Management of Antiretroviral Therapy in Neonates, Children, and Adolescents - journal article (Current Infectious Disease Reports)

Pediarix - The First 5-in-1 Vaccine - advertisement - GSK - "Proven Safety - Proven safe in 12 clinical trials worldwide, in which 20,739 doses of PEDIARIX were administered to 7,028 infants"

Comment:  How long were these infants followed?  How many adverse effects were reported?  How many infants experienced at least one adverse reaction?  How many infants experienced at least one serious adverse reaction?  Given that incidence and/or long-term effects of these diseases are more or less infrequent (depending on the disease), how do the long-term consequences of the diseases compare to the long-term consequences of the vaccines among infants living in developed nations?

December 12, 2003 - Update: Influenza Activity --- United States, 2003--04 Season - CDC/MMWR

December 17, 2003 - Schafer Autism Report

December 17, 2003 - Health council: Flu not a crisis - via - "There is no precise count of flu cases in the state because so few illnesses are reported to doctors, but officials said they have investigated 17 outbreaks - identified as three to five cases clustered in one location - mostly in nursing homes but also in several schools. Emergency rooms, already crowded with slip-and-fall accidents after a week of icy weather, are nearing capacity, with many reporting a spike in flu cases, health officials said."

December 18, 2003 - Experts: Flu worst in 30 years in West - Could be worse that Hong Kong flu of 1968-69 - AP via Daily Southtown - "The current flu outbreak is the worst for young U.S. children in years, several experts say, perhaps worse in Western states than the Hong Kong flu of 1968-69...A government epidemiologist and other disease doctors predict flu deaths among babies and toddlers will exceed the estimated 92 who die in an average flu year."

December 12, 2003 - New HIV Vaccine Trial Here - New York Blade - "Only nine months after VaxGen reported disappointing results for its AIDS vaccine, the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) are stepping up to the plate...The two groups will test a DNA-based vaccine, called Advax, on healthy, non-HIV infected volunteers in New York and Rochester. The vaccine is specifically targeted at the “C” strain of HIV, the greatest risk to people in China and developing nations where HIV infection rates are skyrocketing."

December 17, 2003 - Race May Be Factor in Who Gets Flu Shots - HealthDayNews via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - "Older black Americans have drastically lower flu vaccination rates than older white Americans, says a Duke University Medical Center study in the online journal BioMed Central Public Health."

December 19, 2003 - Flu is spreading but exact numbers are hard to pin down - AP via Sun-Sentinel - "How many will have died when it is over? Probably tens of thousands. Beyond that, exact numbers are hard to pin down...The reason: Most people who catch the flu never go to a doctor. And even if they do, they usually never get a definite diagnosis...The flu is difficult to distinguish from other winter viruses. In most cases, there is little reason for doctors to go to the trouble of identifying the culprit, which traditionally has required growing the virus in a culture, a process that takes two weeks...Even if they do, chances are good they will find nothing."

Comment:  But, hey, why should the fact that we don't know if it is an epidemic, or if more or less people are dying than usual, or even if it is flu that people are getting, prevent the media and others from creating hysterical demand for the flu vaccine? 

December 18, 2003 - Youth vaccine may see US shortage again, CDC says - Reuters via Forbes - "A childhood vaccine that has been in short supply in recent years may once again be hard to get, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday...The CDC said vaccine maker Wyeth was finding that production constraints of Prevnar could cause delays in shipments in the first or second quarters of 2004."

December 19, 2003 - Laboratories get warning on handling SARS samples - The Japan Times

December 19, 2003 - Extra flu vaccines available for high-risk children - AP via

December 19, 2003 - Flu is now rampant in 36 states, CDC says - Tens of thousands may die. A true toll will be hard to get since many never go to the doctor. - AP via The Philadelphia Inquirer

Comment:  Probably didn't go to the doctor because they got over it just fine without one.

Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism - Institute of Medicine - meeting alert - "The ninth meeting of the Immunization Safety Review Committee will be held on February 9, 2004, at the Keck Center of the National Academies, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001, Room 100. This meeting will be part of the information gathering process of the committee and is open to the public." 

December 17, 2003 - Bad Heir Days in USA Despite Munchausen Proxy and Meadow Meltdown in UK - via - "The bottom line is that unless and until American media investigate the obvious--and any are invited to ask for names of the stalwarts who reported for years to their peril, now reading young writers penning "surprise" at the exposure of once-revered Roy Meadow and his fanciful baseless theory--innocent mothers and parents, never abused but chronically or temporarily confusingly ill children will not spend holidays or perhaps any time ever with each other."

December 17, 2003 - Older Sperm Are More Damaged, U.S. Study Shows - Reuters via Yahoo!

December 19, 2003 - UK ' behind best' on child cancer - Childhood cancer survival rates in some other European countries outstrip those in the UK, say new figures.  - BBC

December 19, 2003 - Influenza Spreads to 36 States But Does Not Rise to Epidemic - New York Times via (abstract)

December 19, 2003 - RM50 Million Project to Help Local Scientists Make Vaccines for the World - New Straits Times (Malaysia) via (abstract)

December 19, 2003 - U.S. Faces Shortage in Meningitis Vaccine - Wall Street Journal  via (abstract)

December 18, 2003 - eBay Pulls Plug on Sale of Flu Shots - Boston Globe  via (abstract)

December 17, 2003 - Hong Kong Researchers Say They Have Safer, Cheaper Method for Developing SARS VaccineAssociated Press via (abstract)

December 17, 2003 - WHO Report Shows Life Expectancy Discrepancies - Boston Globe via (abstract)

December 17, 2003 - Cost of Vaccine for Flu Soars - St. Louis Post-Dispatch via (abstract)

December 17, 2003 - Gates Foundation Gives $10 Million for Malaria Research - Associated Press via (abstract)

December 17, 2003 - India May Begin AIDS Vaccine Trials in Mid-2004 - Reuters via (abstract)

December 17, 2003 - Killer Disease Wiped Out by Free Vaccines - Irish Independent via (abstract)

December 17, 2003 - Pharmaceuticals Giant Unveils SARS Vaccine Effort - Agence France Presse via (abstract)

December 16, 2003 - State Using Pneumonia-Prevention Money to Pay for Flu Vaccines - Associated Press  via (abstract)

December 17, 2003 - Potential anti-cancer agents found in red wine - Pharmaceutical treasure trove may lurk at the bottom of the bottle - Nature

December 17, 2003 - Pesky bed bugs spark public warning - Now plaguing local shelters; private homes could be next - Resurgence in the medieval bugs a worldwide phenomenon - The Toronto Star

December 19, 2003 - Snakes, ladders, and spin - HARLOT plc: an amalgamation of the world's two oldest professions - journal article (BMJ) - "It has finally dawned on us that being good and being poor are causally related: being good doesn't pay. Accordingly, we have decided that it's time for us to find out whether being bad pays better. We're combining the world's oldest and second oldest professions, cashing in on our reputations, and distributing this confidential prospectus for our new company, HARLOT plc. "

December 17, 2003 - When the flu hits children, what do you do? - AP via Daily Southtown

December 17, 2003 - Over-the-counter remedies won't stop killer cases of the flu - Daily Southtown

December 17, 2003 - India May Begin AIDS Vaccine Trials in Mid-2004 - Reuters

December 17, 2003 - Traveling not always a healthy affair - Scripps Howard News Service via  Abilene Reporter-News

December 17, 2003 - Why tai chi? For the health of it - Press of Atlantic City

December 17, 2003 - Tri-state Health Officials Comment On Flu -

December 17, 2003 - Flu panic proves contagious -

December 17, 2003 - Janesville Schools Say Whooping Cough Cases False Alarm - Officials Misread Test Results - AP via

December 16, 2003 - Where parents can find help online - Scripps Howard News Service

December 16, 2003 - Governor's plan targets disabled - San Francisco Chronicle

December 16, 2003 - Repligen Affirms Data Release Timeline for Phase 3 Clinical Trial of Secretin - Repligen Corporation via PRNewswire-FirstCall via

December 17, 2003 - Does Asthma Drug Trigger Attacks? - CBS News

December 17, 2003 - Problems in Learning Can Be Difficult to Diagnose - The Augusta Chronicle via

December 17, 2003 - Chlamydia Linked to Cervical Cancer Risk - American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology via Reuters Health via Medline

December 17, 2003 - Whooping cough report misread -

December 15, 2003 - Parents campaign to help autistic son - Bucks Free Press, UK

December 13, 2003 - A growing interest in new schools -A dozen charter proposals compete for state grants - Concord Monitor

December 15, 2003 - Health minister reminds nation of benefits of exercise - Taipei Times via

December 15, 2003 - Ten percent of state's adults have diabetes, report says - AP via Athens Banner-Herald

December 15, 2003 - CDC launches e-journal on chronic diseases - AP via

December 15,  2003 - U.S. buys Chiron, Wyeth flu vaccines - Reuters

December 15, 2003 - It may may not be perfect, but cancer diagnosis has come a long way - The Scotsman

December 15, 2003 - New Breakthrough In Diabetes Care - (subscription required) - Aventis Announces Launch of Lantus? in United Arab Emirates -

December 14, 2003 - RP’s measles elimination campaign - The Manila Bulletin

December 15, 2003 - 'Lots of sleep is good for your health' - Sapa-DPA, Paris via

December 15, 2003 - Uninsured pose risk to public health -Doctors worry that they are likely to spread disease in epidemics because of inaccessibility or fear of treatment. - St. Petersburg Times

December 15, 2003 - Gambia: Anti-Measles Campaign for 740, 000 Gambian Children - The Independent via

December 15, 2003 - Whooping cough hitting teenagers - Jeffrey Collick never "whooped." - The Philadelphia Inquirer

December 15, 2003 - First confirmation of secondary hepatitis A cases - AP via

December 14, 2003 - Service Clubs On Front Lines Of War Against Disease - The Washington Post  via The Tampa Tribune

December 15, 2003 - Two N.C. boys dead from flu complications - AP via

December 15, 2003 - Health Beat: Flu Vaccine Concerns -

December 15, 2003 - Asthma strikes hard at flu time - The Sacramento Bee via The Modesto Bee

December 15, 2003 - Burden of Proof - Trial lawyers and taxes are crushing manufacturing. -

December 15, 2003 - Anthem now will pay for FluMist vaccine - This season, several health insurers cover it - Cincinnati Enquirer

December 15, 2003 - MedImmune Benefits From 'Free Advertising' - Forbes

December 15, 2003 - Nigerian president hits out at rumours over WHO polio vaccines - AFP via Yahoo!

December 15, 2003 - Decision on flu vaccine sickens experts - AP via The Buffalo News

December 15, 2003 - Sunscreen does not increase melanoma risk - Reuters Health via

December 15, 2003 - Mom's Vitamin D Intake Cuts Baby's Diabetes Risk - Reuters Health

December 15, 2003 - Good News Halts Trial of Drug for Cancer - Boston Globe via

December 15, 2003 - More research needed on peanut allergies: study - Canadian Press

December 15, 2002 - Cod-liver Oil for Babies Can Ward Off Diabetes - Daily Mail via

December 12, 2003 - Guest Viewpoint: Verdict unfair to dedicated doctors - The Register-Guard

December 12, 2003 - Reptile-Associated Salmonellosis - CDC MMWR

December 12, 2003 - In the battle for hope, you can help - The Buffalo News

December 12, 2003 - Whooping cough confirmed - North Adams Transcript

December 12, 2003 - Judge approves new guidelines for Chi-Chi's hepatitis claims - AP via

December 12, 2003 - Nigerian Muslims refuse polio vaccine - UPI via The Washington Times

December 12, 2003 - Flu vaccine decision difficult to make - UPI via The Washington Times

December 12, 2003 - Area officials: Fears of flu fueled vaccine shortage - Fond Du Lac Reporter

December 11, 2003 - Forum to discuss spread of disease in prisons -

December 10, 2003 - Hepatitis C Treatment is Slowly Improving the Odds -

December 10, 2003 - National Employment Council's Stance Against HIV/Aids Commended - The Herald via

December 10, 2003 - Clinics unmask new flu efforts - Area hospitals want patients to cover faces - The Post Crescent

December 11, 2003 - Commissioners fight back against mandates - Seguin Gazette

December 10, 2003 - Doctors warn of whooping cough -

December 10, 2003 - Cancer-Virus Link Growing Quickly - Viral Infections Increasingly Implicated in Cancer Growth and Development -

December 10, 2003 - Denali nurse works to eradicate polio - Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

December 10, 2003 - Hospitals rein in flu - Sneezing, coughing patients asked to wear masks - The Daily Herald

December 11, 2003 - Flu kills teen: Fatal virus suspected - Boston Herald

December 10, 2003 - Sanford Jr. buys land just before he learns of Merck interest - AP via

December 10, 2003 - Only lone case of flu strikes in Stanislaus - The Modesto Bee

December 10, 2003 - State investigates whether 2-year-old Winnetka boy died of flu - Chicago Sun-Times

December 11, 2003 - AMDL Comments on Canadian Lawsuit - PRNewswire-FirstCall via

December 18, 2003 - Flu spurs changes to Communion practices - Oakland Tribune

December 18, 2003 - Aids toll cuts African lifespan - Life expectancy is falling in many parts of Africa due to the Aids epidemic, says a report from the World Health Organization. - BBC

December 18, 2003 - WHO Calls for Boost in Basic Health Care - AP via Yahoo! - "Global efforts to battle HIV (news - web sites)/AIDS (news - web sites) and slash infant mortality rates will flounder unless the international community boosts basic medical care in poor countries, the U.N. health agency said Thursday...Campaigns against individual diseases are essential, but policy-makers also must focus on overall health services because neglecting them increases the risk that epidemics will spread across national borders, the World Health Organization (news - web sites) said in its annual report."

December 18, 2003 - Fighting Childhood Cancer - HealthDayNews via Yahoo! - "Survival rates for children's cancer in the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland are the best in Europe, says a new report."

December 18, 2003 - Gene finding could lead to HIV drug development -

December 18, 2003 - Study evaluates herb for hot flashes - The Manchester Enterprise

The Power of 1.5 Political Action Conference - sponsored by Unlocking Autism, Cure Autism Now, The GRACE Foundation of New York, Talk Autism, The Doug Flutie Foundation and the Dan Marino Foundation - - conference alert - April 21-23, 2004 in Washington, DC - "WHY: Because approximately 1.5 million people in the United States have an autism spectrum disorder.  Simple math tells us that close to 10 million people, most likely registered voters, are related in some way to these children and adults and are significantly concerned about their well being.  That is a lot of power and that is a lot of votes that when harnessed could very well grab the attention of the next President of the United States."

December 19, 2003 - All women in Scots jails to get MMR jab - Evening Times, UK

Comment:  Some people just live right.

December 18, 2003 - Gates Foundation Awards Grant to Center - AP via Newsday

December 18, 2003 - Hong Kong Scientists Work on SARS Vaccine - AP via Newsday

December 18, 2003 - Flu-research money lags other diseases - Knight Ridder Tribune via Tallahassee Democrat - "The flu kills about 36,000 Americans a year, but the federal government spends only about half as much money on research to fight it as it spends to attack the boll weevil, a pest that eats cotton."

December 18, 2003 - Merck says it will shift some local work to N.C. - The Philadelphia Inquirer

December 18, 2003 - WHO report shows life expectancy discrepancies - Of particular note is impact of AIDS - Boston Globe - "At a time when a girl born in Japan can expect to live until 85 and a girl born in Massachusetts can expect to live until 81, a girl in Sierra Leone can only expect to live until 36...The World Health Organization calls that a travesty in a report on global health to be released today."

Comment:  The question is, what is the answer?  Drugs, drugs, and more drugs?  Or food, good water, shelter, and other necessary components of an improved standard of living?

December 18, 2003 - China's Ministry of Health declares mainland China SARS free - Interfax-China

December 18, 2003 - A wave of flu cases is hitting Michigan - Health officials say illness is near its peak  - Detroit Free Press

December 18, 2003 - U.S. judge dismisses military lawsuit - He says 1950 doctrine prevents family's effort - Detroit Free Press - "Even the judge who threw out the case said there ought to be a better law...But under the Feres Doctrine of 1950, a family apparently can't sue the U.S. military for neglect in the questionable death of a boot camp recruit."

December 18, 2003 - Homeland Insecurity - Mother Jones - "Efforts by the U.S. government to create an effective, comprehensive strategy against terrorist attacks have lost momentum, while Americans, paradoxically, have become complacent about the terrorist threat. So says a federal report released this week."

December 18, 2003 - One in three children could get flu this winter -

December 18, 2003 - More Than Flu Vaccine Shortages - JAMA via Ivanhoe Newswire via - "In their new report, NVAC members say, beginning in late 2000, significant "unprecedented and unanticipated" shortages of routinely administered vaccines occurred in the United States. They say 11 childhood diseases are routinely prevented through vaccinations. Of those, eight vaccines were undersupplied."

December 18, 2003 - Taiwan SARS Case Doesn't Worry Officials - AP via The Philadelphia Inquirer - "In fact, no SARS has been reported in any known contacts of the 44-year-old military scientist diagnosed in Taiwan, said World Health Organization spokeswoman Maria Cheng. Nearly 100 people in Taiwan and Singapore have been quarantined because they were exposed to the man."

December 2003 - HIV vaccine candidate fails in Thailand trials - VaxGen’s vaccine candidate was not effective in preventing HIV or slowing the progress of HIV. (requires registration) - Infectious Disease News - "The vaccine candidate did not show efficacy for either primary or secondary endpoints, company officials said, the primary endpoint being the prevention of HIV infection. The secondary endpoints concerned whether vaccination slowed disease progression in those who later contracted HIV. The vaccine candidate appeared well tolerated with no serious adverse events related to the vaccine."

December 2003 - 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) - Infectious Disease News

December 2003 - Getting the pharmaceutical industry to develop antimicrobial medications - IDSA is writing a white paper to find ways to help industry develop new antibiotics. (requires registration) - Infectious Disease News

December 2003 - Human death associated with raccoon rabies - Failure to recall an exposure to an infected animal can complicate treatment efforts. (requires registration) - Infectious Disease News

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) - Infectious Disease News

December 2003 - Polio outbreak in Nigeria raises red flag - A $10 million immunization campaign was recently waged to help stop the outbreak and promote eradication of poliovirus. (requires registration) - Infectious Disease News

December 2003 - Pandemic flu vaccine trials and reverse genetics: foundation for effective response to next pandemic  - NIH officials are hoping to ensure an adequate global supply of influenza vaccine. (requires registration) - Infectious Disease News - "When the last influenza pandemic occurred in 1968, the NIH conducted several clinical trials of inactivated vaccines. The studies had little practical impact because few doses of influenza vaccine were then being used in the United States and other countries. The current situation is very different. In the United States, approximately 90 million doses of influenza vaccine will be used this year. Vaccine coverage among the elderly exceeds 65%, vaccination is increasing among younger adults and recommendations have recently been issued strongly encouraging vaccination of children."

December 2003 - Syphilis rates up for second straight year (requires registration) - Infectious Disease News

December 2003 - We have only just begun to fight the war against AIDS - However, AIDS is a problem with a solution, said the UNAIDS executive director. (requires registration) - Infectious Disease News

December 2003 - Genital ulcers increase during and after acquiring HIV infection - Findings suggest treatment of herpes important in treating HIV and preventing transmission. (requires registration) - Infectious Disease News

December 2003 - Newly approved drugs in 2003 - Perhaps the most interesting newly approved agent for 2003 is daptomycin. (requires registration) - Infectious Disease News

December 18, 2003 - Tobacco industry's 'grab 'em young' methods exposed - The Independent, UK - "The cynical and exploitative methods used by tobacco companies to market cigarettes and snare a new generation of addicts were laid bare for the first time yesterday with the publication on the internet of thousands of previously confidential documents."

Report of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Canine Vaccine Task Force: 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Recommendations, and Supporting Literature via - "The evolution of biologics represents a continuum of advances encompassing efficacy, safety, and usage.  Early vaccines did not enjoy the same safety and efficacy profiles of currently available products, often resulting in adverse reactions or short durations of immunity (DOI).  The resulting recommendations for revaccination reflected these product limitations, and most of the widely accepted recommendations for revaccination were based on a 'better safe than sorry' approach because the diseases these vaccines were designed to prevent were widespread and devastating."

June 2003 - Neurodevelopmental Disorders after Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines: A Brief Communication - journal article (Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine)

December 19, 2003 - Flu Becomes Widespread in 12 More States, for Total of 36 - The New York Times - "Though many emergency rooms in the United States are filled with patients who suspect they have influenza, only about a third have it, the agency said in its weekly report...Some reports, particularly from Western states that were hardest hit early in the season, focused on children becoming seriously ill from the flu. Previously healthy children developed severe brain inflammation or breathing difficulty, requiring support from mechanical respirators and treatment in intensive care...But 'we truly do not know if this is a worse than usual influenza season in children,' said Dr. Margaret B. Rennels, chairwoman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases...'But there is no indication that children are experiencing a higher-than-usual death rate this year', he (Dr. Pavia) said.'"

December 19, 2003 - The Rural Life: Quarantine (op-ed) - The New York Times - "ike half of America, I came down with the flu recently. That means quarantine at the top of the house, in a spare bedroom with a view of the sugar maple and the pasture beyond it, where the horses are standing in falling snow. I was raised to believe that sleep is a sovereign remedy for everything but death itself, so I drift between waking and sleeping, visited mostly by one of the cats, who likes the third floor — a converted attic — as much as I do."

December 19, 2003 - US flu vaccine producers get $85m boost - Fund will help manufacturers ramp up output via animal-cell technology - The Straits Times

December 2003 - SARS - Beginning To Understand A New Virus - journal article (Nature Reviews Microbiology)

December 18, 2003 - Scientists urged to take responsibility for bioterrorism (requires registration) - BioMedNet - "As Nobel Laureate Paul Berg describes the state of security at 'Anti-Plague Institutes' in some countries of the former Soviet Union as "scandalous", David Franz, Director of the US National Agricultural Biosecurity Center, calls on scientists to take responsibility for controlling the threat of bioterrorism...Thousands of vials of the plague organism Yersinia pestis, and hundreds of vials of Bacillus anthrax and other dangerous pathogens, continue to reside in poorly guarded fridges and freezers of the Anti-Plague Institutes, according to Raymond Zilinskas of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, California, who is due to publish a report on the subject...Staff responsible for maintaining the stocks receive salaries as low as US$30 per month, which poses the possibility that terrorists could easily gain unauthorized access through bribery, says Zilinskas."

December 12, 2003 - J&J, Watson Get Subpoenas as Drug Makers Targeted - Reuters via Yahoo! - "Johnson & Johnson and Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Friday said they received subpoenas in separate probes of the way they promote their drugs, a reminder that drugmakers are squarely in the crosshairs of U.S. investigators."

Influenza Virus Vaccine - Fluzone® 2003 -2004 Formula (pdf)

December 18, 2003 - Va. Hospital Accidentally Kills Patient - AP via Yahoo! - "One patient died and another was injured when nurses at Mary Washington Hospital accidentally gave them lethal doses of a narcotic painkiller, state health records show...The incidents occurred in July after the nurses incorrectly programmed the patients' medication pumps, according to the records obtained by The Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg. The patients received doses nearly 50 times the recommended level."

December 19, 2003 - King/Drew Failure Cited in 3rd Death  * A patient who died Sunday was not being monitored properly, officials say. The fatality is similar to two others. - Los Angeles Times - "While the vital signs of a patient attached to a cardiac monitor declined this week, doctors and nurses at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center apparently failed to intervene, and the patient later died, health officials said Thursday...It appears to have been the third such death at the hospital since July."

December 18, 2003 - Ex - Doctor Claims Pap Tests Were Falsified - AP via The New York Times - "The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center certified thousands of Pap tests when they were never reviewed by physicians, putting an unknown number of women at risk of diseases that may have gone undetected, two lawsuits allege."

December 2001 - Pharma Buys a Conscience - Provincial Health Ethics Network - "Why pharmaceutical companies want the goodwill of doctors is no great mystery. The surprise is why they want the goodwill of someone like me. I am a philosophy professor, and I work at a bioethics center...The issue of corporate money has become something of an embarrassment within the bioethics community. Bioethicists have written for years about conflicts of interest in scientific research or patient care yet have paid little attention to the ones that might compromise bioethics itself."

Comment: For more on this go to Not-So-Public Relations - How the drug industry is branding itself with bioethics

December 18, 2003 - Flu spreads across U.S. but no epidemic yet: CDC - Reuters - "Influenza is now widespread in 36 U.S. states and has been found in all 50, but the outbreak is not yet an epidemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday...People may be filling hospital emergency rooms thinking they have flu, but only about a third of suspect cases actually are influenza, the CDC said in its weekly report on death and disease."

December 18, 2003 - Why U.S. supply of flu vaccine fell short - Knight Ridder via The Seattle Times - "What went wrong?...U.S. health officials and drug companies say it was mostly bad luck, and the difficulties inherent in making vaccines...Critics say it was flawed decisions by both of the above. And they say officials should be more candid that this year's flu vaccine was formulated to protect against three older strains of the virus, but not against the new strain racing across the country."

December 19, 2003 - Vaccine shortage a question of timing - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - "If international health officials had discovered the Fujian strain of influenza a little earlier or if manufacturers had been able to speed up production, perhaps there would have been time enough to make a vaccine that was both the right type and the right quantity...That's not the case now."

December 18, 2003 - EBay pulls plug on sale of flu shots - The Boston Globe - "'Sure, this is unethical, but it's not a lot different from stuff we do in medicine every day,' Annas said."

Posted December 18, 2003:

December 17, 2003 - Study illustrates value of kids' behavioral specialist Link to pediatric practice supports better parenting

December 17, 2003 - Rumor of child flu death proves false -

December 17, 2003 - National Vaccine Advisory Committee Issues Recommendations To Strengthen Supply Of Routine Vaccines - JAMA via

December 17, 2003 - Kin Awarded $8M in Death of Girl, 5 - Newsday

December 18, 2003 - Virulent Flu Virus Threatens; Leading Homeopathic Medicine Offers Serious Relief - PRNewswire via Yahoo!

December 18, 2003 - As demand for flu vaccine spikes, so does price - Knight Ridder Tribune via

December 18, 2003 - Taiwan SARS Patient's Traveling Companions Are Visiting U.S. -

December 18, 2003 - Web Winners | Influenza's deadly past and current threat - The Philadelphia Inquirer

December 18, 2003 - Tracking Gulf War Veterans' Health - Ivanhoe Newswire via - "A new study shows the health of Gulf war veterans has improved in recent years, but is still poorer than that of other military personnel. In another study, researchers found Gulf war veterans are not at an increased risk for cancer."

December 17, 2003 - Public Health: Cases of whooping cough top 400 - The Pioneer Press  - "Wisconsin has had about 430 confirmed or probable cases of whooping cough so far this year, more than the total for both of the two previous years combined, the director of the state Immunization Program says."

December 16, 2003 - Area health providers offer options for fighting the flu - Vaccine still available to high-risk patients and children - The Post-Crescent

December 16, 2003 - Demand rises for diminishing flu vaccine - The Cincinnati Post

December 16, 2003 - Flu vaccine available for select groups - Knoxville News-Sentinel

December 17, 2003 - Two new drugs shorten flu, but rarely prescribed - Knight Ridder Newspaper via - "The drugs - marketed under the brand names Tamiflu and Relenza - can reduce the duration of the flu if taken early enough...But they've been slow to catch on among doctors and patients alike."

December 17, 2003 - WHO Official: Safety Ignored in SARS Case - AP via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - "A Taiwanese scientist who tested positive for SARS on Wednesday failed to follow World Health Organization safety guidelines and wear protective gloves and a gown while studying the virus, a WHO official said."

December 17, 2003 - Whooping cough warning - AAP via

December 17, 2003 - More to Come From the Flu This Season, Experts Say - New York Times via Star Banner - "The full impact of this season's influenza is yet to be felt, particularly in the East, federal health officials said yesterday... 'We are probably in for a fair amount of activity yet to come over the next weeks,' Dr. Stephen M. Ostroff, a senior epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said in a telephone news conference...He did not say, however, that this would necessarily be a severe season, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said in the same news conference that 'we are hoping that we have got the worst behind us because it started early.'"

December 17, 2003 - Health measures can help prevent colds and flu - Toledo Blade via Scripps Howard News Service - "Will the bug that's going around come around _ to me? Does my kid's flu virus have my name on it? Will that guy coughing at work today make me sick? How can I dodge it?...The answers depend on the virus, for instance, and your own immune system."

December 16, 2003 - Officials plan for possible SARS outbreak - The Seattle Times

December 16, 2003 - What's up Doc? Pneumonia is serious - Daily News Transcript

December 16, 2003 - Taiwanese Scientist Is Positive for SARS - AP via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

December 16, 2003 - United States: Multistate Evaluation of Invasive Pneumococcal Diseases in Adults with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection: Serotype and Antimicrobial Resistance Patterns in the United States - Journal of Infectious Diseases via

December 17, 2003 - Md. Schools Have Soap Dispensing Dilemma - AP via Newsday - "Frequent hand-washing to fight the spread of influenza is elementary, but it's a challenge at many schools, where soap dispensers have been removed from student bathrooms to curb vandalism...Public schools aren't required to provide soap, according to the Maryland State Department of Education. Local administrators must find their own solutions to such problems, Vicki Taliaferro, a state school health services specialist, said."

Comment:  Gee, maybe finding a way to provide soap to teenagers would be a better way to influence flu and other disease transmission rates than recommending universal flu and other vaccines.

December 16, 2003 - A guide to terms related to child brain disorders - Scripps Howard News Service

December 16, 2003 - Search on for 'normal' brain - Cincinnati Post via - "Human brains are stunningly diverse.  No two are identical, not even those of identical twins...So when scientists are looking at a brain, how do they know when they're looking at one that's normal?...Researchers are now trying to better understand what constitutes a 'normal' brain by studying a newly compiled atlas that contains digitally mapped images of 7,000 of the organs.  A decade in the making, the brain mapping project quietly debuted this summer."

December 17, 2003 - Website 'exposes' tobacco firms - A website which claims to expose the marketing practices of the tobacco industry has gone online. - BBC

December 16, 2003 - Poor fitness increases risk of heart disease: study - AFP via Yahoo!

December 16, 2003 - Pollution Linked To Heart Disease - "It certainly did surprise us when we first observed these results. We just anticipated that breathing particles into your lungs would most likely have a direct impact on your lungs.' - C. Arden Pope III, BYU. - AP via

December 16, 2003 - Stroke victims more likely to develop Alzheimer's - Milwaukee Journal  Sentinel via The Seattle Times

December 17, 2003 - More fruit, veggies key to cancer fight: survey -

December 18, 2003 - Deadly bird flu spreads in South Korea; new farm infected - AP via Canadian Press

December 17, 2003 - Attendance rates drop in face of flu - Jackson Sun

January 2004 -Developmental, behavioural and somatic factors in pervasive developmental disorders: preliminary analysis. - journal article (Child Care Health Dev) - "RESULTS: Preliminary results showed general agreement with the principle diagnostic differences between the PDD subgroups with patients diagnosed with AS showing an increased frequency of skills acquired before symptom onset (two- to three-word phrase speech, toileting skills) and a decreased frequency of regression in acquired skills when compared with other PDD subgroups. Developmental milestones such as the achievement of bowel and bladder continence were also more frequently reported for the AS group..."

December 17, 2003 - Center Aims to Demystify Vaccines - HealthDayNews via ABC News - "Those little vials containing vaccines can frighten parents — enough, in some cases, that they don't get their children immunized...Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, hopes to demystify the vials and the vaccines...'If you look at that little vial, it's mysterious — people don't know what's in there' he says. 'We're trying to make it less frightening.'...The center Offit leads started in 2000 to give parents and physicians accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date information about vaccines."

Comment: Accurate according to whom?  The Committee on Government Reform considered Offit's various conflicts of interest to be important enough to include him in their investigation:  FACA: Conflicts of Interest and Vaccine Development: Preserving the Integrity of the Process, Thursday, June 15, 2000)

December 16, 2003 - Plaudits and condemnation for MMR drama - icWales, UK

December 18, 2003 - Fears over fall in uptake of MMR jab - EveningNews24, UK - "THE number of parents opting to give their children the controversial MMR vaccine has dropped in Norwich and Norfolk...The five per cent drop in uptake of the vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella, but has been linked with autism, reflects the national trend of more parents shunning the treatment."

December 16, 2003 - Inherently difficult vaccine process, plus bad luck, create flu woes - Knight Ridder via The Sun-Herald

1997 - Are serological responses to acellular pertussis antigens sufficient criteria to ensure that new combination vaccines are effective for prevention of disease? - journal article - (Dev Biol Stand) - "Unfortunately, the antibody titres induced by acellular pertussis vaccines do not correlate with vaccine efficacy. Thus, although diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine has been considered a prime building block in the development of new combination vaccines, modifying DTaP by the addition of new vaccine components may decrease the ability of the vaccine to protect against pertussis without a change in serum antibody response. For this reason, immunogenicity is not an adequate or safe basis for licensing combination vaccines containing acellular pertussis."

Posted December 17, 2003:

December 17, 2003 - A question of faith - The MMR debate is now just noisy overkill. I'd rather wallow in ignorance than hear another word of it - The Guardian, UK - "The trouble is that the vaccination question is not merely personal but political. Your Country Needs You to vaccinate your child in order to protect other, vulnerable children in the community, runs the official argument. But you won't get the whole truth when doctors are paid incentive fees to vaccinate and drug companies are involved, goes the counter-spin. This is not so much a discussion as a race for moral high-ground, each side wielding childhood death and damage statistics like light sabres in the dark."

December 17, 2003 - Flu: What is all the hoopla? - by Randall Neustaedter, OMD - The Natural Health Newsletter - "'First SARS, then monkeypox, now the flu. How far can the media go in stirring up public hysteria and fear of diseases? Answer: as far as drug companies tell them. “Jump,” say the drug companies. “How high?” say their media cohorts. “High enough to sell all our new flu vaccine.'”

December 17, 2003 - Docs Fury Over MMR Show - Daily Record, UK

December 17, 2003 - Bill would allow right to free single jabs for MMR - The Herald, UK - "PLANS to give parents the right to free single vaccinations for MMR were presented yesterday by the Scottish Socialists...Carolyn Leckie, SSP list MSP for Central Scotland, who is also a midwife, unveiled a proposed back-bench bill to go before the Scottish Parliament encouraging worried parents to choose single vaccinations instead of the all-in-one MMR jab, which has been suspected by some health experts of being the cause of the rising incidence of autism...Although Ms Leckie's move is unlikely to become law because of executive insistence that there is no scientifically proved case against the single vaccination, it is certain to provoke heated debate at Holyrood."

December 16, 2003 - Edwards proposes new tracking system for flu, other diseases - N.C. Senator Wants To Prevent This Year's Crisis - AP via

December 16, 2003 - China confident it can control SARS, although virus remains mystery - AFP via

December 16, 2003 - Flu Experts Feared Vaccine Shortage - AP via

December 16, 2003 - Why Tonsils Can Be a Pain in the Neck - Newsday - "Once upon a time, getting your tonsils out was almost a rite of passage in childhood...Today, however, opinions about these two little clumps of tissue are changing. Doctors aren't so quick to remove them. And researchers are discovering that the tonsils are actually front-line guards in the defense against bacteria, viruses and other pathogens making their way into the body."

Comment:  How many of our children's immune systems were unnecessarily permanently impaired by the well-meaning, but misinformed removal of tonsils?  How many of our children's immune systems are being unnecessarily permanently impaired by current often well-meaning, but arguably equally misinformed, one-size fits all, "mandatory" vaccination policies?

December 16, 2003 - SARS vaccines ready for clinical test in China: watchdog - Three kinds of vaccine for the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are ready for clinical testing after passing an upcoming experts evaluation, according to China's medical authority. - People's Daily, China

December 16, 2003 - Panel urges fresh focus on terror - Says push to protect US has waned since '01 - AP via Boston Globe

December 17, 2003 - Flu scientist calls for new technique - 'Reverse genetics' method still needs government approval - Rocky Mountain News - "An experimental method called reverse genetics could have been used to create a flu vaccine to protect against the Fujian strain, which sparked this fall's early and intense outbreak in Colorado and other Western states, said Dr. Linda Lambert of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases...'The technology was there to make a Fujian vaccine candidate you could have given to the manufacturers,' Lambert said...But the technique, which targets individual influenza genes, hasn't been approved by regulatory agencies. Patent issues and financial roadblocks could further slow the adoption of reverse genetics and other emerging vaccine technologies."

December 16, 2003 - More Fujian flu vaccine to be available -

December 16, 2003 - Deadly Bird Flu Spreads to Ducks - Korea Times

December 16, 2003 - Health: What to do when the flu hits children - AP via The Charleston Gazette

December 16, 2003 - China confident if SARS returns - AFP via

December 16, 2003 - US buys 375,000 more flu shots - AP via The Seattle Times

December 16, 2003 - State works with MedImmune to distribute FluMist - (subscription required) - The Daily Record

December 16, 2003 - Parents Told To Nurture Autistic Kids -

December 16, 2003 - USFDA Lauds Akunyili's fight Against Fake Drugs - This Day via

December 16, 2003 - Run on Flu Vaccine Highlights Vaccine Woes - Reuters, UK - "The current run on influenza vaccine in United States highlights the neglected status of vaccines in general, health experts said on Tuesday -- but efforts are under way to improve vaccine technology and supply...The group also advised stronger liability protections for manufacturers; a requirement that manufacturers give advance notice if they are leaving the marketplace; and a national campaign to emphasize the safety and benefits of vaccines...'We don't value prevention in this country," said Dr. Paul Offit of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a leading vaccine expert.'"

Comment: By "prevention", of course, Dr. Offit means vaccination, not practicing good health practices like breastfeeding, washing your hands, eating properly, exercising, drinking quality water, getting enough sleep, etc.  And what this article fails to mention is that while some may consider Dr. Offit an "expert", others remain more circumspect about his credentials, given that he is paid by the vaccine manufacturers to teach doctors that vaccines are safe, as well as a vaccine developer.  (See FACA: Conflicts of Interest and Vaccine Development: Preserving the Integrity of the Process)

December 16, 2003 - Poll finds 30 percent of families have children with learning disorders - Sripps Howard News Service via - "One in every three American families has had to cope with a child with a learning disability or a mental illness and most people believe such problems are increasing, according to a poll by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University...In a national survey of 1,054 people, 65 percent said they believe learning disabilities are becoming more common and 72 percent said mental health problems are becoming more common...Thirty percent of poll respondents said they have had a child under age 18 in their family - a brother or sister, son or daughter, niece or nephew, grandchild or first cousin - diagnosed with a learning disability. Eight percent said they have had more than one child diagnosed with a learning disability."

December 16, 2003 - Evidence of chemical effects on children mounts - Scripps Howard News Service via The Albuquerque Tribune - "Across the nation, evidence of a growing number of children diagnosed with attention, learning, behavioral and emotional disorders have perplexed doctors and researchers and worried teachers and parents...The disturbing conclusion some experts are reaching is that a significant share of these conditions may be caused by environmental toxins that interfere with brain development in children beginning in the womb and which may be lowering the intelligence of the population at large...Epidemiologists caution that personal observations or even documented trends in diagnosis are not proof that any of these disorders is increasing in children. Only a national study that investigates and tracks tens of thousands of children - something that has never been done in the United States - would be able to determine the true prevalence of these problems and whether they are actually increasing...Over the years, scientists have repeatedly lowered their estimates of how much mercury people can tolerate. The same is true for lead, which has been known for over a century to cause brain damage."

Comment: What, no mention of vaccines?

Comment:  And, pray tell, given the alarming rise in the number of children with developmental disabilities, why has "a national study that investigates and tracks tens of thousands of children...never been done in the United States"? 

December 17, 2003 - Vaccinating against disaster - The Washington Times - "Parents are in a panic about getting their kids immunized as a flu epidemic spreads rapidly across America. But if Democrats (and some Republicans) get their way, the vaccine shortages will soon spread to medicines for other diseases...    That's because Democrats want to apply the policies that produced the shortages — federal bulk purchase and distribution of old vaccines at government-controlled prices, combined with a refusal to pay for new technology in the name of cost containment — to every drug used for every disease, no matter how fatal."

December 17, 2003 - Rationing for Vaccine for Meningitis - The New York Times - "pot shortages of a vaccine to prevent meningitis in babies have led the American Academy of Pediatrics to notify its members that the vaccine is being rationed and that if a widespread shortage occurs the vaccination schedule will be changed...The vaccine is Prevnar, made by Wyeth. It is not the same as the meningitis vaccine recommended for young adults living in college dormitories or barracks."

December 17, 2003 - MSP bid for single MMR - The Scotsman

December 16, 2003 - Congress seeks $150 million to upgrade flu vaccine production - CNN

Posted December 16, 2003:

December 13, 2003 - Taking your medicine - Gary Hughes and Liz Minchin follow the big pharmaceutical money trail to reveal who is really behind the health advice we are getting. - The Age - "Many of us with chronic health problems rely on advocacy groups and peak medical bodies for independent advice and support. But just how independent is that advice and are we being given the full picture?...The Age has found that many advocacy groups are becoming hooked on sponsorship dollars from drug companies and these international corporations are in turn using them to promote their products in Australia's booming $5 billion drug market."

December 13, 2003 - Summit runs out of flu vaccine - The Akron Beacon Journal

December 13, 2003 - Doctor: Gates' dedication boosts global health effort - Seattle Post-Intelligencer via Houston Chronicle

December 13, 2003 - Seek medical care if flu symptoms emerge - Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

December 13, 2003 - An ounce of prevention - Shot now better than flu later - Knoxville News Sentinel

December 13, 2003 - Every Day Must Be World AIDS Day - A wrenching new documentary about HIV/AIDS seeks to firmly connect the numbing statistics with the faces and names of people suffering from the disease, and the men and women fighting to get them treatment with few or no resources. - IPS

December 12, 2003 - Polio Vaccine Controversy: Datti Ahmed Challenges Nigeria Medical Association On Competence - Daily Trust via - "The president of the Supreme Council on Sharia in Nigeria, DR Ibrahim Ahmed Datti has said that the recent threat by the President of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) to withdraw his licence to practice as medical doctor was very irresponsible and foolish because the NMA is not in charge of medical practice in Nigeria...Dr Datti who is one of the old members of the association received the threat recently following his call to stop the polio immunisation programme in Northern states as a result of suspected contamination of the vaccine with anti-fertility steroid."

December 15, 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 - Hospitals ration flu vaccine - Twin Ports: St. Luke's has some doses left; SMDC is trying to get more. - Duluth News Tribune

December 14, 2003 - Flu likely to hit worldwide - Experts say it's not whether we wind up grappling with pandemic, but when - AP via

December 14, 2003 - As flu fear rises, supplies dwindle - Counties either low on or out of vaccine - Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune

December 13, 2003 - U.S. officials seek flu vaccine from U.K. - UPI via The Washington Times

December 14, 2003 - Flu vaccines in short supply, treatments vary - The Grand Island Independent

December 13, 2003 - State Health Department Asking Providers To Save Flu Vaccine -

December 13, 2003 - Judge OKs rules for hepatitis claims - New regulations will allow chain to pay medical bills - AP via Charleston Daily Mail

December 13, 2003 - New epidemic monitoring rules adopted in China - China's Health Ministry has adopted new regulations to enforce surveillance and reporting of contagious diseases and possible public health threats. - People's Daily, China - "The regulations require that diseases like cholera, the plague, SARS, AIDS, lung anthrax and poliomyelitis should be reported to the relevant departments within two hours of discovery in cities, and six hours in rural areas, according to a circular released by the ministry here Friday...Diseases including typhoid, dysentery, syphilis, hepatitis B, diphtheria and malaria should be reported within six hours of discovery in cities, and 12 hours in rural areas...The regulations also require that possible public health threats like mass food poisoning, should be reported to local health authorities within two hours after discovery."

December 14, 2003 - Ministry: More AIDS cases reported - IPOH via

December 13, 2003 - Drug giant Merck chooses North Carolina for new plant - AP via Newsday

December 12, 2003 - Northeastern Indiana high school has 2nd meningitis death this year - AP via The Indianapolis Star

December 13, 2003 - Scout dies before he can claim his Eagle - Meningococcal disease kills Manchester junior -

December 2003 - Hepatitis B incidence among South Asian children in England and Wales: implications for immunisation policy - journal article (Archives of Diseases in Childhood)

December 2003 - The effect of HIV infection on paediatric bacterial meningitis in Blantyre, Malawi - journal article (Archives of Diseases in Childhood)

December 11, 2003 - U.S. Buys More Flu Vaccine as Outbreak Widens  - The modest increase of 250,000 doses won't make a dent in demand, since the virus has hit all states and is "widespread" in 24.  - HealthDay via

December 11, 2003 - TB Outbreak Still Being Investigated in Washington - Reuters via Yahoo!

December 12, 2003 - Study findings question COX-2 drug cost effectiveness - Express Scripts via

December 11, 2003 - Scientists discover connection between obesity and diabetes - Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and The Bawmann Group via

December 11, 2003 - Antidepressant Danger?  - Worried About Your Child Taking Drugs for Depression? - ABC News

December 12, 2003 - Urgent Flu Dash - New York Post

December 12, 2003 - Vitamins theory unproven solution for HIV/Aids -

December 13, 2003 - Nasal flu spray still available - LaCrosse Tribune

December 11, 2003 - Bioterrorism Preparedness Is Criticized - AP via Las Vegas Sun

December 11, 2003 - Experts Say Flu Vaccine Shortage Just Part of Ailing System in U.S. -  Knight Ridder via - The U.S. flu vaccine shortage -- one of seven vaccine shortages in the past two years -- is just the latest symptom of an ailing national vaccination strategy, public health experts and two federal reports say...'Our vaccine system is broke in that we're having these shortages,' Frank Sloan, a Duke University health economics professor, said Wednesday as federal officials scrounged for more flu vaccine overseas in the midst of a serious influenza outbreak."

December 11, 2003 - Senator wants more done about flu - South Dakota's Johnson: Response plan needed for nation - American News via Sun Herald - "Many states, including South Dakota, have influenza plans. Now, the nation needs such a blueprint."

December 12, 2003 - In Hyping Cancer Vaccine, Geron Ignores Its Partner - (subscription required) -

December 11, 2003 - A shot in Chiron's arm - Emeryville biotech company may pick up flu vaccine slack - Oakland Tribune

December 12, 2003 - Big Pharma's influence on the rise -

December 12, 2003 - The cost of the legal system - - "In its Dec. 15 issue, Newsweek details some of the ways in which lawsuits for personal injuries, medical malpractice and other things have reduced the quality of life in America...Of course, legitimate personal injuries deserve compensation. But, less and less of each dollar awarded in tort suits actually compensates for injury. According to the Tillighast study, only 22 cents on the dollar compensate for actual economic loss. The rest went to lawyers or involved punitive damages or those for "pain and suffering" that went far beyond compensating actual loss...Because juries are now willing to award absurd sums, the court system has become like a lottery, encouraging sleazy lawyers and greedy plaintiffs to take advantage of it."

December 12, 2003 - Scientists report progress in treating deadly Ebola virus - AP via

December 12, 2003 - More accurate, speedy flu vaccine years from distribution - Denver Post via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - "Top influenza researchers have developed a vaccine that they say can more accurately target any flu strain, even mutants like the Fujian bug that is sweeping mercilessly across the country...And scientists say drug companies could develop the vaccine much faster than the current flu shot by growing it in animal cells instead of eggs, where today's vaccine is born."

Comment: Given what we are learning about cross-species transfer of diseases and the difficulty in identifying and removing pathogens, is this really such a good idea?

December 13, 2003 - Flu spreads across country -AP via

December 13, 2003 - Nationwide, Many Clamoring For Dwindling Flu Vaccine - The New York Times via The Tampa Tribune

December 13, 2003 - Flu vaccine available in nasal form - The Abilene Reporter-News

December 12, 2003 - As flu's swath widens, vaccine is rationed - The Seattle Times

December 12, 2003 - Flu spreads to all 50 states, CDC says - AP via Houston Chronicle

December 12, 2003 - Flu cases creep into region - Daily Globe

December 12, 2003 - Some N.C. hospitals impose flu restrictions - AP via

December 12, 2003 - Health experts: Firms should be ready for flu threat - The Advocate

December 12, 2003 - Over-The-Counter Flu Remedies Big Sellers - AP via

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 via The Seattle Times

December 12, 2003 - Anonymous donor gives schools $10,000 gift - The News-Times

December 13, 2003 - It's a good year for makers of flu drugs - AP via The Wichita Eagle

December 12, 2003 - Who's prepared? Money crisis harms public health -

December 12, 2003 - Flu likely a factor in deaths of elderly - Rocky Mountain News - "Several hundred of Colorado's elderly likely have died of flu-related complications in the past 30 days, a Denver geriatrician said Thursday..."It's very much underreported, even by doctors," said Dr. Greg Gahm, who tracks influenza at Colorado nursing homes. "If they meticulously tracked every death in the last month, they'd find several hundred elderly deaths, maybe more," attributable in part to the flu."

Comment:  If they haven't been tracking it meticulously, how do they know when there are more or less flu deaths among the elderly?

December 12, 2003 - Parents of N.S. baby with high heavy-metal levels want funding for treatment - Canadian Press

December 13, 2003 - Towson, Md., Doctor Solicits Patients for Donations to Offset Rising Costs - (subscription required) -

December 12, 2003 - Mother may know best in delivery room - New York Times via Houston Chronicle

December 14, 2003 - Scientists take a closer look at disease - AP via - "The first high-resolution images of the West Nile virus reveal a tiny microorganism that looks something like a bumpy gum ball...The three-dimensional images obtained by Purdue University researchers give scientists their most detailed look yet of the virus and could help them design drugs to disarm it."

December 14, 2003 - Number of county whooping cough cases at 197 - Fond Du Lac Reporter

December 12, 2003 - If you're sniffling, don't visit - Daily Globe

December 12, 2003 - Official: Consumers insulated from actual health-care costs - The Daily Sentinel - "Over-utilization of the health-care system by consumers, the growing number of uninsured people who delay treatment of serious conditions until they warrant an expensive trip to the emergency room and the failure of state and federal governments to adequately reimburse doctors and hospitals for treatment of Medicare and Medicaid patients are among the factors driving health-insurance costs upward, panelists said."

September 25, 2003 - Influenza Vaccine Dosing Chart - CDC

December 11, 2003 - Influenza summary update: Week ending December 6, 2003—Week

December 11, 2003 - CDC recommendations for influenza prevention and update: Influenza activity 2003--04 season - CDC
December 14, 2003 - Hepatitis link suspected - AP via The Topeka Capital-Journal

December 14, 2003 - Scientists warn of coming worldwide influenza outbreak - AP via News Tribune

December 14, 2003 - A host of new remedies for cold and flu - Sun-Sentinel

December 12, 2003 - 24 States Hit Hard By Flu Outbreak - Washington Post

December 14, 2003 - Vaccine for deadly flu scrapped - Experts alerted to dangerous Fujian strain, but found shot too risky - San Mateo County Times - "A leading national expert on infectious diseases told a Food and Drug Administration committee in February and again in March that it would be a mistake if this year's vaccine didn't guard against a potentially lethal strain of influenza that was beginning to emerge in the Southern Hemisphere... Dr. Peter Palese warned that the flu strain -- known as A-Fujian/411/2002 -- seemed likely to hit the United States and that drastic measures were required to protect public health. Creating a vaccine that offered only moderate safeguards against the new strain was a bad idea, he warned, according to official transcripts of FDA meetings earlier this year."

December 13, 2003 - UK's record on sickness is not what Reid ordered - Independent, UK - "Sustaining the National Health Service over the next 20 years will be made harder by the poor state of the British population, an interim report by Derek Wanless shows."

December 14, 2003 - Flu vaccine injects a dose of confusion - Questions are raised over its usefulness against the virus. - The Sacramento Bee - "'People who get vaccine have a much lower chance of dying,' said Dr. Roger Baxter, an infectious disease consultant with Kaiser Permanente. 'Vaccine is to prevent death, not to prevent flu.'"

Comment:  Where on earth did he come up with that 'fact'?  The only way of getting even close to knowing that would be to compare matched populations that did and did not get the flu vaccine.  Although they clearly should be conducted, such studies simply are not being done.

Comment:  And all of a sudden the vaccine is not to prevent the flu?  What's that all about?

December 14, 2003 - Medical Decisions Too Complicated - Medical Decisions Too Complex: Doctor's Orders No Longer Enough Neurosurgeon, cancer survivor and local author offers 6-step program to avoid disastrous decisions (book review) -

December 12, 2003 - Doctors say flu outbreak not a cause for panic - The News-Times - "In the past, parents didn’t worry about their kids getting the flu. This year, for a variety of reasons — the deaths of 23 children nationwide, a shortage of vaccine, saturation coverage of the flu outbreak on cable news shows — they are...Dr. Jack Fong, chairman of pediatrics at Danbury Hospital, is trying to make sure unease about the disease doesn’t balloon into any real panic...Fong added that because of the communication revolution — cable TV, the Internet, all-news stations — people hear about any unusual illness much sooner than in the past."

Comment:  First, there is only a shortage because of increased demand due to the creation of a panic atmosphere.  And if there is, in fact, no need for panic, the following question should be asked: Is there anyone who serves to gain from a panic and increased demand for flu vaccine?

December 13, 2003 - Autism school may close - Tribune Chronicle

December 14, 2003 - Tri-state Families Sacrifice To Care For Special Needs Kids - - "Thousands of Tri-state families are being forced to make tough choices every day that ultimately affect whether their children live or die...Often these children are severely disabled and because of the cost of their medical bills, their parents sometimes have to choose between food and medicine."

December 14, 2003 - Let it flow, let it flow? - by Molly Ivins - Star-Telegram - "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 George W. Bush & Co. is beyond my political or theological understanding...We are talking about the rollback announced last week in regulating mercury pollution. Except, of course, that it wasn't announced as a rollback -- it was announced as a great step forward." size="2">

December 10, 2003 - Nasal Spray Vaccine - A Better Flu Vaccine? New Data Suggest Nasal Spray Vaccine May Give More Protection Against "Drifted' Strains. Such Strains Are Now Circulating, Says Saint Louis University Doctor Who Helped Develop the Vaccine - size="2">December 16, 2003 - Toddler Dies Of Flu Complications - "Doctors said Trevor Hamilton's missing pituitary gland and cleft pallet had an impact on his immune system. That put him at high risk for the flu."

December 13, 2003 - Cot deaths not affected by sleeping position - - "Making babies sleep on their backs may not prevent cot deaths, a specialist claims today...The fall in cot deaths seen around the world over the last two decades may instead be the result of the natural variation witnessed in all diseases, a review of research indicates."

December 11, 2003 - Aetna to Cover Flumist® During the 2003-2004 Flu Season - Actions Enable Healthy Individuals to be Vaccinated, While Allowing Health Workers to Redirect Limited Supplies of Injectable Influenza Vaccine to High-Risk Individuals -

December 15, 2003 - Parents Concerned About Vaccine Safety - Most Docs Surveyed Had Parents Who Refused Vaccinations for Their Kids - WebMDHealth - "'Parents are asking more questions about the safety of the vaccines their children are getting, and that is a good thing,' researcher Sarah J. Clark, MPH, tells WebMD. 'Our findings point to a need to get the safety message out there, and not let the alarmist [antivaccine] groups frame the debate.'"

December 16, 2003 - Flu, staph infection deadly - Newhouse News Service via Bridgeton News via size="2">

December 16, 2003 - Government To Purchase FluMist at A Discount - Deal Could Give Boost To MedImmune Vaccine - The Washington Post - "The company that makes FluMist, the needle-free influenza vaccine, agreed to sell up to 3 million doses to public health officials at less than half the $46 wholesale price amid a shortage of flu vaccine, the federal government said yesterday, which may ultimately boost faltering sales of the drug." size="2">Comment: Agreed to sell at less than half price a drug that wasn't selling???  Every where you turn the vaccine manufacturers get breaks no other company gets.  And they will continue to get them as long as the public is hysterical about disease.  For more on the cozy deal the vaccine manufacturers have, the dream business plan at the public's expense, click here.

December 16, 2003 - New support for MMR doubts - - "The safety of the MMR vaccine has again been called into question as a study appeared to back the British doctor who first linked it to autism and bowel disease...Dr Andrew Wakefield's findings have been dismissed as flawed by Government scientists and the Department of Health, who say they have not been replicated by other researchers...But experts at New York University School of Medicine have found independent support for his concerns over the measles, mumps and rubella jab."

December 12, 2003 - Fighting Back With Synthetic Antibodies - Financial Times via

December 12, 2003 - HHS to Fund Early Warning Disease Surveillance System Along the U.S.-Mexico Border - HHS News Release via

December 12, 2003 - U.S. to Assist Emergency Workers Hurt by Smallpox Vaccine - Associated Press via

December 13, 2003 - Mainland Encephalitis Vaccine to Be Tested - South China Morning Post via

December 13, 2003 - Prevent Liver Cancer Through Hepatitis Vaccine - Philippine Daily Inquirer via

December 14, 2003 - Global Flu Outbreak Lurking and Unstoppable, Experts Say - Chicago Tribune via 

December 14, 2003 - Many People Resist Flu Shots - Miami Herald via - "The CDC is concerned about the lack of interest in a flu vaccine and is looking for ways to understand patient apathy so that it might change the attitude in the future. Doctors note that many patients believe that the flu shot can make them ill, though the injected vaccine is not made with live virus and presents no risk of causing sickness. Other reasons cited for avoiding the flu vaccine include having gotten the shot in the past and feeling sick afterwards, general distrust of vaccines in general, and being healthy."

December 15, 2003 - FluMist to the Rescue - Washington Post via

December 15, 2003 - Scientists Agonized Over Choosing Less-Than-Perfect Flu Vaccine - Associated Press via

December 15, 2003 - Spotlight Shifts to Flu Drugs - Los Angeles Times via

December 15, 2003 - A penny a month could bolster kids' immunization practices - Health Behavior News Service via - "Researchers from the University of California at San Diego, writing in the January issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, calculate that $0.013 per child per month is needed to make recommended innovations such as patient education and feedback to doctors a regular part of immunization practice."

December 15, 2003 - All I want for Christmas is to avoid the flu bug - Newhouse News Service via Pioneer Press - "Don't kiss anyone. In fact, don't hug or even shake hands. And for crying out loud, toss those disgusting tissues...Flu infection rates are soaring. Vaccines are in short supply. So if you're sick, avoid others, and if you're well, protect yourself, doctors say."

January 2004 - Delivering the vaccination mail  - journal article (Trends in Biotechnology) via BioMedNet - "The impact of preventative and therapeutic vaccines continues to expand in the fields of infectious disease and cancer, but their full potential is currently limited by drug-delivery challenges. Synthetic delivery systems that incorporate principles of biological design could improve vaccine efficacy significantly."

December 2003 - Therapeutic vaccines against infectious diseases - journal article (Current Opinion in Microbiology) via BioMedNet - "Therapeutic vaccines against chronic infectious diseases aim at eliciting broad humoral and cellular immune responses against multiple target antigens. Importantly, the development of such vaccines will help to establish surrogate markers of protection in humans and thus will augment the subsequent development of efficient prophylactic vaccines."

December 2003 - New technologies in therapeutic antibody development - journal article (Current Opinion in Pharmacology) via BioMedNet

December 15, 2003 - Not-So-Public Relations - How the drug industry is branding itself with bioethics - - "To promote the drug, Lilly has hired a public relations agency; the PR campaign they've created is called 'The Ethics, the Urgency and the Potential,' and its premise is that it is 'unethical not to use the drug.'...It is a brilliant strategy. There is no better way to enlist bioethicists in the cause of consumer capitalism than to convince them they are working for social justice."

December 15, 2003 - Medics slam 'distorted' MMR drama - Leading child health experts have called a drama about the MMR vaccine "distorted" and "entirely unbalanced". - BBC

December 16, 2003 - 'Antibiotics link' to MMR and autism - - "Antibiotics may be to blame for hundreds of children developing autism after having the controversial MMR jab, it has been claimed...More than two-thirds of youngsters with the condition received four or more antibiotics in their first year, a survey revealed."

December 15, 2003 - MMR TV Drama 'Reckless and Misleading', Say Experts - The Scotsman - "Top child health experts today criticised a TV drama about the controversial measles, mumps and rubella vaccine as 'irresponsible, reckless and entirely unbalanced'...Hear the Silence, due to be broadcast on Five tonight, tells the story of a woman whose child has autism which she believes to be linked to the triple jab...But in a open letter signed by 11 leaders in child health issue, they accused the docu-drama of increasing the anxiety of parents whose children were due to be given the jab."

December 16, 2003 - TV drama sparks MMR fear - This is London - "Health chiefs today feared a huge slump in MMR uptake after a television drama portrayed the triple vaccine as unsafe...Thousands of parents are expected to reject the controversial jab after the screening of Hear The Silence by Channel Five last night...The drama, seen by up to two million viewers, suggested a strong link between MMR and autism and bowel disease."

December 14, 2003 - E-News: MMR RIP? - The Sunday Times Magazine, UK via - "NVIC Note: This is a long article to read but well worth the time to understand the controversy over MMR and autism and the battle of Andrew Wakefield."

December 12, 2003 - Acambis Files US Licence Application for ARILVAX Yellow Fever Vaccine - PRNewswire-First Call via BioExchange

December 12, 2003 - Hepatitis chef triggers screenings - AAP via The Australian - "A Sydney RSL club will conduct mass screenings of its patrons for Hepatitis A after a chef was discovered to have the disease."

December 12, 2003 - Flu virus has now spread to all of state - The Wichita Eagle

December 12, 2003 - UK's Acambis in U.S. application for vaccine drug - Reuters via Forbes

December 12, 2003 - More flu shots on way for children - Most providers in Hall, Hamilton, Merrick counties out of vaccine - The Grand Island Independent

December 11, 2003 - Scientists report encouraging progress in treating deadly Ebola virus - AP via The San Diego Union-Tribune

December 11, 2003 - Flu Spreading in U.S. But Not Scary Yet -Officials - Reuters via Yahoo! - "The flu is spreading across the United States and the government is concerned enough to buy up 250,000 available doses of vaccine to make sure it goes to those who need it most, officials said on Thursday...But the influenza season is not especially serious yet and has not reached the level of an epidemic, said Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites)...Nonetheless, Gerberding and Health and Human Services (news - web sites) Secretary Tommy Thompson said they were happy with the media attention being given to the flu...'There has been a greatly increased interest in the flu this year. We hope that translates into more people, especially those at high risk, getting their flu shots early in future years,' Thompson told a news conference."

Comment:  How is it that a "not especially serious (flu season) yet" got so hyped up that what resulted was a frenzied demand for flu vaccine?

December 12, 2003 - Mom Still Finds A Mean Vaccine Scene - New York Post via Yahoo! - "In this, you should be looking at a photo of my son Zeke getting his first flu shot, along with a list of places where parents can get their hands on the scarce vaccine...Unfortunately, I have neither."

December 12, 2003 - Flu Outbreak Spreads Fast; Vaccine On Way To States - AP via The Tampa Tribune

December 12, 2003 - Minorities often forgo flu shots - Detroit Free Press - "Elderly African Americans and Hispanics are far less likely than non-Hispanic whites to get flu shots, public health officials say. The disparity is even greater for shots against pneumococcal disease, a sometimes deadly lung bacterial infection that hits African Americans at high rates."

December 12, 2003 - Severity of flu in state is rising - Some health agencies getting more vaccine - Detroit Free Press

December 12, 2003 - UNMC receives grant to conduct breast cancer research - Daily Nebraskan

December 12, 2003 - State ranks high for bioterror readiness - AP via Jackson Sun

December 11, 2003 - Flu shots sought as bad news spreads - Press of Atlantic City

December 11, 2003 - A holistic approach to flu treatment - Fresh fruit juices and herbal supplements can keep your immunity strong -

December 11, 2003 - A New Vaccine For Herpes - AP via - Experts from the CDC estimate that 75 million Americans have herpes, a painful and debilitating S-T-D. Once you're infected, the virus stays in your body for life. Now as CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reports a new vaccine may keep you protected from infection in the first place...Chemical engineering student Mishele Kieffer is making medical history, 'I just had my third vaccination today and it’s been six months.'She’s testing what could be the first vaccine ever to prevent the sexually transmitted disease herpes."

December 11, 2003 - N.C. boy who died of flu had health problems, but stayed active - AP via

December 11, 2003 - Flu Clinic Cancelled As Vaccine Supplies Dwindle -

December 12, 2003 - HealthBeat: Flu Fix Hard to Find -

December 11, 2003 - HealthBeat: Following the Flu -

December 11, 2203 - Deal Paves Way for Generic HIV Drugs - Drug Companies to allow sales in sub-Saharan Africa - The Boston Globe

December 11, 2003 - Epidemic Threat of Minor Bugs - Bacteria and viruses that appear to pose little threat to humans may be on the verge of causing major epidemics, say researchers. - BBC - "Experts from the US and France have calculated that some bugs are gaining enough of a foothold in humans to pose a significant threat...Even those thought to be virtually eradicated by vaccines may be only one genetic twist away from returning...In the journal Nature they predict epidemics are 'waiting to happen'."

December 11, 2003 - State scrambles to redistribute remaining vaccine - AP via The Boston Globe - "A proclamation that the state was not suffering widespread shortages of flu vaccine this week came as a surprise to frustrated parents who were unable to get shots for their children."

December 11, 2003 - 2003 Begins With SARS, Ends With Flu - AP Via

December 15, 2003 - Homeopathy: Fighting flu before it gets a grip - Provided by Newsquest (Brighton & Hove) Ltd via

December 16, 2003 - Diluted vaccine offered as flu shots disappear - Skeptics say no proof homeopathic alternative is effective - Akron Beacon Journal

December 14, 2003 - Flu vaccine injects a dose of confusion - Questions are raised over its usefulness against the virus. - The Sacramento Bee - "American consumers are hearing what sound like contradictory messages this flu season. On the one hand, they are being told to get vaccinated against the disease. On the other, they are hearing the vaccine may not protect them from this year's flu...The confusion has left many scrambling to find someone to give them the vaccine, and others wondering whether it's worth all the trouble."

December 16, 2003 - My Conscience Is Clear, Says Doctor - The Bath Chronicle - "The controversial Bath doctor who first raised concern over the safety of the MMR vaccine last night said his conscience was entirely clear as the row over his claims intensified. As a TV drama reignited the debate over the triple inoculation system, gastroenterologist Dr Andrew Wakefield came under renewed fire over his suggestion of a link with autism."

December 16, 2003 - Mothers alarmed after TV MMR drama - The Guardian, UK - "Last night's television drama about the controversial theory linking the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism has made parents even more worried."

December 16, 2003 - MMR row fails to stir audiences - The Guardian - UK - "Despite all the controversy surrounding Channel Five's MMR drama Hear the Silence, the show starring Juliet Stevenson attracted little more than a million viewers last night."

Comment: A million is not chicken feed.

December 15, 2003 - A missed chance to jab the MMR doctor where it hurts - Times Online - "Here was a golden opportunity to put Wakefield on the spot in front of millions of viewers and for a specialist to point towards the mountain of evidence casting such a convincing shadow over his molehill. But, in a disgraceful pique of high- mindedness, the opportunity was squandered. Instead, the defence of the triple jab was left largely to people such as Dr Evan Harris, MP, and Dr Michael Fitzpatrick, who has a son with severe autism and remains fiercely pro-MMR."

December 16, 2003 - Trust me, I'm a doctor - The Guardian, UK - "Hear the Silence's power lay in its believability, one which no amount of out-of-hand dismissal will dispel."

The latest Rapid responses to Hear the Silence - by Elliman and Bedford (BMJ)

The latest Rapid responses to Hear the Silence - by Fitzpatrick (BMJ)

Posted December 15, 2003:

December 13, 2003 - HIV-1 seroprevalence rates in women and relinquishment of infants to the state in St Petersburg, Russia, 2002 (requires registration) - - "In women who were HIV-1 positive, 26% (30 of 114) of those without prenatal care and 4% (13 of 371) of those with prenatal care relinquished their infants to the custody of the state, compared with 1% (354 of 37 621) of HIV-1-negative women (p<0·0001)."

December 13, 2003 - US 'wants British flu vaccine' - US health officials are considering buying thousands of doses of flu vaccine from Britain because it is running short of supplies. - BBC

December 13, 2003 - Flu Outbreak Strains Demand for Test Kits - AP via Yahoo! - "Manufacturers of tests used to determine if a patient has the flu say the current outbreak has strained their ability to meet demand from hospitals, medical laboratories and doctors' offices."

November 28, 2003 - Global Progress Toward Certifying Polio Eradication and Laboratory Containment of Wild Polioviruses --- August 2002--August 2003 - CDC

Comment:  For another perspective on the what is happening with polio, go to Scandals: What Do We Really Know About Polio and the Polio Vaccine?

December 14, 2003 - State toughens oversight of doctors - 1985 case helps spur probe of Newburyport physician - The Boston Globe

December 14, 2003 - States Accept Suspect M.D.s - - "The lawsuit against St. Mary's, which outlined a number of possible scenarios for the incident, raised a key question: Was Paul equipped to handle the critical task required of him that day?...His educational resume, in fact, included a worrisome entry: He attended Spartan Health Sciences University, a Caribbean medical school that has sparked such serious concerns about educational standards that its graduates are banned from practicing on its home island and in six states...But not New York."

December 22/29, 2003 - Obesity: Not just a phase kids outgrow - Addressing weight issues with children and adolescents requires a multifaceted approach from physicians that often involves the entire family. -

December 2003 - Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Among Children Recently Diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder - journal article (Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics) - "The authors' review of 284 charts of children seen at the Regional Autism Center of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, found that more than 30% of children were using some CAM, and that 9% were using potentially harmful CAM. Having an additional diagnosis was protective against CAM use and being Latino was associated with CAM use. Having seen a prior provider regarding the child's health condition was predictive of potentially harmful CAM use."

December 9, 2003 - Drug-Resistant Bug Complicates Flu - Bad Staph, Vaccine Shortage Add to Flu Worries - WebMD with AOL Health

December 15, 2003 - Health Canada to review use of psychiatric drugs on kids - CBC News - "Health Canada is reviewing whether a class of drugs - known as SSRIs - is safe for the treatment of depression in children and adolescents. The review is looking at data on many of the top-selling psychiatric drugs, including Paxil, Prozac and Celexa. None of the drugs is licensed for use in children, but doctors often do still prescribe them."

December 14, 2003 - Mercury Pollution - The Issue: Report targets Indiana for high number of "hot spots." Our View: Given the number of nearby power plants, this information should concern Tri-Staters. -

December 13, 2003 - Africa isn't dying of Aids - The headline figures are horrible: almost 30 million Africans have HIV/Aids.  But, says Rian Malan, the figures are computer-generated estimates and they appear grotesquely exaggerated when set against population statisics. - The Spectator, UK

December 15, 2003 - 'Hospital superbug' MRSA spreads to animals - The Guardian, UK - "The hospital superbug MRSA has been found in pets for the first time in Britain, prompting fears that animals could infect their owners...The discovery that the deadly bacteria have crossed the species barrier will make it harder to limit their spread and could make the common antibiotics used to treat infections far less effective...MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), which kills 5,000 patients a year, is carried harmlessly by one in three people. But it can prove fatal in the elderly, those recovering from surgery and those who have a weakened immune system. Newborn babies are also susceptible."

December 3, 2003 - Gregory Bryant-Bruce, who made news in custody fight as baby, dies - - "Bryant-Bruce and the child's father, Gregory Bryant-Bruce Sr., lost custody in December 1993 after doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center said that bleeding around the baby's eyes was evidence that he had been shaken or dropped repeatedly...Doctors there determined his complications were from the disorder...The Bryant-Bruces filed a lawsuit against Vanderbilt, seeking $75 million. The couple said Vanderbilt doctors misdiagnosed their son's internal bleeding as child abuse and that DHS used the diagnosis to keep the child away from them for almost 18 months, despite medical proof that the bleeding was from the rare disorder...A settlement was reached."

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 - Tests could leave some children behind - - "But Education Secretary Rod Paige recently said officials will revise the regulations to allow no more than 1 percent of a school's students to use alternate special education tests, instead of the PSSA tests. Pennsylvania education officials say they have been allowing the most severely disabled children to take alternate PSSA tests for some years...But the question is whether that 1 percent figure under the new federal No Child Left Behind law is adequate."

Comment:  Giving the skyrocket rates of disability, it certainly would, sadly, seem as if 1% would be inadequate.

December 12, 2003 - Meeting Shows Power Politics In Children's Health – “Is there a hotter topic right now than flu shots? Maybe child protective services in Nebraska. Or how to get a handle on government spending, especially for health care and education…A Thursday night meeting in Omaha combined all three with a look at whether mercury in childhood vaccines is causing the skyrocketing rates of autism and other learning disabilities, and what's being done about it.”

December 6, 2003 - Subduing SARS -

December 6, 2003 - Threat Of Killer SARS Remains Warns Minister -

December 8, 2003 - CDC director: 'Doing everything we can' to distribute flu vaccine - A severe and early flu season is prompting many Americans to rush to get flu vaccines. Health officials said the illness is particularly lethal this year, especially in Colorado, where eight children with the disease have died. - CNN


December 5, 2003 - SARS vaccines speed towards clinic  - Researchers urge caution to avoid jabs pitfall. - Nature

December 8, 2003 - Bioject Announces National Institutes of Health Begins Human Ebola Vaccine Trial Utilizing Biojector(R) 2000 - PRNewswire-FirstCall via Yahoo!

December 9, 2003 - Early Success for SARS Vaccine (requires subscription) - ScienceNow

December 8, 2003 - Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise in Mice - Reuters Health

November 25, 2003 - Evaluating plague and smallpox as historical selective pressures for the CCR5-{Delta}32 HIV-resistance allele - journal article (PNAS Online)

December 9, 2003 - Gateses give $27 million for West Nile vaccine effort - Seattle Times - "An effort to stop the spread of Japanese encephalitis, a deadly Asian cousin of West Nile virus, has received a $27 million boost from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation."

December 9, 2003 - Vaccine likely effective against flu variant - Salt Lake Tribune

December 9, 2003 - Vaccine Protects Mice from Deadly Ebola Virus - The Scotsman

December 9, 2003 - WHO: Flu Vaccine Shortage Only in U.S. - AP via ABC News

December 10, 2003 - Ebola outbreak in Congo grows to 47 cases - CIDRAP News

December 9, 2003 - Ebola virus-like particles prevent lethal Ebola virus infection - U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases via

December 9, 2003 - High Level Of Antibiotic Resistance In Bacteria That Cause Food Poisoning - BioMed Central via ScienceDaily - "More than 40% of bacteria found in chicken on sale in Switzerland is resistant to at least one antibiotic, says research published this week in BMC Public Health. The findings could have implications for treating food poisoning."

December 9, 2003 - History of frog deformities suggests emerging disease - University of Wisconsin-Madison via  

December 10, 2003 - New weapon to combat resistant bacteria - Swedish Research Council via - "The problem of hospital infection, severe disease caused by antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus bacteria, entails major costs and great suffering. Group A streptococcus bacteria, also called meat-eating killer bacteria, are another growing problem. A team of Lund scientists has now developed a substance called Cystapep, which seems to work on bacteria that nothing else seems to be able to knock out...If Cystapep delivers what it promises, this is nothing short of sensational. Sweden is in a better position than other countries when it comes to antibiotic resistance, but in other parts of the world dangerous strains of bacteria have developed resistance to most of the antibiotics doctors have in their arsenal, and the problem is growing worse every year in Sweden as well."

December 11, 2003 - Drug shows promise for Ebola virus treatment in primates - U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases via


December 11, 2003 - Drug treatment for Ebola shows promise -

December 13, 2003 - Experts predict big rise in dengue fever in South East Asia - journal article (BMJ)

December 11, 2003 - Flu Outbreak Now Widespread in 24 States -

December 11, 2003 - Infectious Behavior in a Parasitoid (requires subscription) - Science

December 13, 2003 - New plan launched to tackle Britain's high rate of hospital infection - journal article (BMJ) (You had already done this with the other BMJ ones)

December 12, 2003 - Scientists Report Progress in Ebola Treatment - New York Times

December 13, 2003 - Seven international companies join global fund -  journal article (BMJ)

December 11, 2003 - Use of antivirals by HIV-infected persons reduced their ability to infect partners - University of California - San Francisco via

December 12, 2003 - Flu Outbreak Spreads to All 50 States - 

July 7, 2003 - Optimization of neural network architecture using genetic programming improves detection and modeling of gene-gene interactions in studies of human diseases - journal article (BMC Bioinformatics)

December 12, 2003 - Tuberculosis' self-defense - Genes identified that may help Mycobacterium tuberculosis resist host immune system - The Scientist

December 12, 2003 - Ebola haemorrhagic fever in the Republic of the Congo - update 5 - Disease Outbreak Reported -

December 11, 2003 - Influenza Update - News Conference Transcript - CDC

December 12, 2003 - SARS coronavirus part bird - part mammal: study - University of Toronto via  

December 14, 2003 - Flu Virus From Bird Infects Boy in Asia - Experts Worried About Global Pandemic - Washington Post - "While the start of this year's flu season has been especially wretched, flu experts say it is not the killer pandemic they have been worrying about for years. They are more anxious about a little-noticed case that emerged last week in Hong Kong, where a 5-year-old boy was infected with a bird flu virus, because that is the sort of event that could spark a long-feared global health emergency."

December 14, 2003 - No SARS case in Chinese mainland - Xinhuanet

December 15, 2003 - Promising results for Ebola drug - A treatment for the terrifying Ebola virus boosted survival rates in animal tests, scientists report. - BBC

December 14, 2003 - Scientists agonized over flu vaccine - AP via Mercury News via - "Late last winter, a committee of vaccine experts designing this season's flu shot considered their choices. They had two, and both seemed bad...Should they stick with last year's formula, even though a new strain of the bug was ominously building strength? Or should they try to make a new vaccine and risk complications or delays that could result in a shortage or maybe even no vaccine at all?"

December 14, 2003 - Scientists predicting worldwide flu plague - It's certain to come, and to be a deadly, drawn-out disaster - AP and files from Staff Reporter Charlie Anderson - "Think the flu warnings are gloomy now? You haven't heard anything yet...Consider this instead. It's only a matter of time until there's a worldwide outbreak of a strain so severe that in the industrialized nations alone, it will kill a half-million people, flood more than two million hospital beds -- and all in a sudden, unexpected crisis that no flu shot will prevent."

December 14, 2003 - Scientists agonized over flu vaccine - AP via Mercury News via - "Late last winter, a committee of vaccine experts designing this season's flu shot considered their choices. They had two, and both seemed bad...Should they stick with last year's formula, even though a new strain of the bug was ominously building strength? Or should they try to make a new vaccine and risk complications or delays that could result in a shortage or maybe even no vaccine at all?"

December 6, 2003 - Worried parents snatch up flu vaccine - The Boston Globe

December 7, 2003 - Botched testing led to SARS false alarm in suburban Vancouver - CP via

December 15, 2003 - How to Prevent Another Outbreak - Severe acute respiratory syndrome affected 8,098 people in 2003; 774 died - Newsweek via MSNBC - "At this time of the year, the animal markets in southern China’s Guangdong province are usually crowded with civets, raccoon dogs, snakes and even kittens, destined for local restaurants. Entrees in this part of the world are traditionally kept alive until moments before they land on the dinner table...The practice would be nothing more than a cultural curiosity if it weren’t so bad for the world’s health: animals and humans living in such close quarters tend to pass around viruses until, once in a while, one turns into an epidemic."

December 5, 2003 - AIDS Research: Earmark Draws Criticism, Creates Confusion (requires registration) - Science

December 6, 2003 - Schistosomiasis initiative extended to five more countries - journal article (BMJ)

November 2003 - Beyond the Fire-Hazard Mentality of Medicine: The Ecology of Infectious Diseases - journal article (PLoS Biology) - "All too often when faced with these emerging and re-emerging diseases, says hantavirus researcher Terry Yates (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States), ‘society has adopted a fire-hazard mentality. We have an outbreak and we go in and put out the fire without ever asking why there was a fire in the first place’."

December 5, 2003 - CDC Assessing Influenza Vaccine Now In Supply Pipeline - High risk individuals and health care workers should be immunized - CDC

December 4, 2003 - Cholera in Mali - update - Disease Outbreak Reported - WHO


December 6, 2003 - Concerns Raised Over Supply of Flu Shots - In Year of Brisk Demand, Vaccine Makers Have Shipped Entire Inventories - Washington Post

December 3, 2003 - Ebola haemorrhagic fever in the Republic of the Congo - Update 4 - Disease Outbreak Reported - WHO

December 4, 2003 - European CDC closer to reality - Ministers agree that the EU should have a common public health body - The Scientist

December 5, 2003 - Flu activity widespread in 13 states; vaccine shortage feared - CIDRAP News

December 6, 2003 - Flu Shot Shortage Looms Amid Early Outbreak - Two vaccine makers say they're out as demand rises - HealthDay via

November 2003 - Genomics Research and Malaria Control: Great Expectations - journal article (PLos Biology)

December 4, 2003 - Influenza A/H3N2 epidemic continues in northern hemisphere - WHO

December 5, 2003 - Two Flu Shot Makers Run Out of Vaccine - (It is via myway, it looks like, but since I can't be sure, I'm just giving the link, since it looks like the link includes it being AP)

December 5, 2003 - World Health Organization fighting ebola - UPI via The Washington Times

December 12, 2003 - HHS Purchases 250,000 Doses Of Flu Vaccine - US Department of Health and Human Services via - "The 250,000 doses of flu vaccine were purchased from drug manufacturer Aventis Pasteur. HHS is continuing to explore other options for possibly purchasing additional supplies."

December 11, 2003 - Georgia Running Low On Flu Shot Supply - AP via

December 11, 2003 - “Survival Sex” And Substance Abuse May Hinder HIV Prevention Efforts - Infectious Diseases Society of America via

December 10, 2003 - Flu Vaccine’s Strength Worries Experts - AP via

December 9, 2003 - Gates Gives 27 Million Dollar Grant For Encephalitis - AP via

December 9, 2003 - WHO: Flu Vaccine Shortage Only In U.S. - AP via

December 8, 2003 - Singapore Faces Flu Vaccine Shortage - AP via

December 8, 2003 - U.S. Flu Shot Makers Run Out Of Vaccine - AP via

December 5, 2003 - Butler Cleared on Most Biosecurity Charges, Convicted of Fraud (requires subscription) - Science

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

December 5, 2003 - Anthrax contaminated facility re-opens - The Washington Times via UPI

December 8, 2003 - Boca company patents anthrax-killing treatment - Sun-Sentinel

December 8, 2003 - Butler verdict perplexes - The Scientist

December 8, 2003 - Injections Said to Hamper Bioterror Fight - AP via ABC News - "Coming up with medicines that can be given in a nasal spray or by slapping on a patch rather than injections would be a big help in developing and stockpiling vaccines against major bioterrorism threats, an official involved in the government's Project Bioshield said Sunday...Trying to prepare and administer injections to the entire populations of even just major urban areas would be unwieldy and impractical, Dr. Philip K. Russell said in a talk wrapping up a meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Philadelphia."

December 8, 2003 - Kit developed to fight smallpox terrorism - Japan Today - "Police and the Tokyo metropolitan government have developed a special kit to diagnose smallpox cases in the shortest possible time, on the assumption that Japan may face bioterrorism, police and Tokyo government sources said Sunday."

December 8, 2003 - The High Cost Of Making an Anthrax Drug - Human Genome Sciences Needs Commitment From Government to Proceed With Treatment - Washington Post

December 3, 2003 - US microbiologist Thomas Butler guilty of theft, fraud, and illegally mailing bacteria - Nature

December 9, 2003 - Evaluating plague and smallpox as historical selective pressures for the CCR5-{Delta}32 HIV-resistance allele - journal article (PNAS Online)

December 9, 2003 - Healthwise Handbook ─ New 16th Edition Includes Bioterror Response Information - Business Wire

December 12, 2003 - Bioterror Preparedness Still Lacking, Health Group Concludes - Washington Post

December 11, 2003 - Microbiology: Chemical Warfare and Mycobacterial Defense (requires subscription) - Science

December 11, 2003 - Report says states unready for bioterror - UPI via The Washington Times

December 11, 2003 - Report: States only moderately prepared to handle bioterror - AP via USA Today

December 11, 2003 - Study Finds Federal Bioterrorism Funds Have Yielded Only Modest Improvements in States (PDF) - Trust for America’s Health

December 13, 2003 - The drugs don't work - journal article (BMJ)

December 13, 2003 - The health consequences of the first Gulf war - The lessons are general (and for many patients) rather than specific to that war  - journal article (BMJ)

December 13, 2003 - Gulf war illness—better, worse, or just the same? A cohort study - journal article (BMJ)

December 13, 2003 - Incidence of cancer among UK Gulf war veterans: cohort study - journal article (BMJ)

December 13, 2003 - Delayed prescriptions - Can reduce antibiotic use in acute respiratory infections - journal article (BMJ)

December 13, 2003 - HRT no longer first choice for preventing osteoporosis - journal article (BMJ)

December 13, 2003 - Lancet calls for tobacco to be made illegal - journal article (BMJ)

December 13, 2003 - Huge numbers must change lifestyle to prevent epidemic of diabetes - journal article (BMJ)

December 13, 2003 - City reacts negatively as GlaxoSmithKline announces plans for new drugs - journal article (BMJ)

December 13, 2003 - Adolescents are building up health problems for the future - journal article (BMJ)

December 13, 2003 - Bill Gates boosts fight against virus that threatens three billion - journal article (BMJ)

December 13, 2003 - New plan launched to tackle Britain's high rate of hospital infection - journal article (BMJ)

December 13, 2003 - Patients often choose simpler treatments over latest technology, survey finds - journal article (BMJ)

December 13, 2003 - Rethinking prescribing in the United States - The United States wants to increase senior citizens' access to prescription drugs at a time when spending on drugs is soaring. Is a national list of essential medicines the answer? - journal article (BMJ)

December 14, 2003 - Channel defends MMR jab drama - The Guardian, UK

December 14, 2003 - Pneumonia Shot Urged For Elderly - The New York Post - "'Since the pneumonia vaccine offers protection against one of the most serious complications of the flu, New Yorkers over age 65 and those with chronic medical conditions should also ask their doctor about getting a pneumonia vaccination,' Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said in a statement."

Comment: For another perspective on pneumonia vaccine in those 65 and over, go to Scandals:Something Rotten In The State Of Research - The Twisted Tale Of Pneumonia Vaccine For Adults

December 10, 2003 - Last minute scramble for flu vaccinations - Our Opinion: Full-Scale Inoculation Would Reduce Disease's Toll - The Miami Herald - "The sudden rush to get flu vaccinations is testing the nation's public-health system and raising questions, including what is needed to get more Americans to take responsibility for getting vaccinated. Indications of a more-severe flu season have sent many more people than usual in search of vaccinations. That, in turn, is causing a vaccine shortage."

December 15, 2003 - Scientists agonized over less-than-ideal flu vaccine - AP via The Wichita Eagle - "Late last winter, a committee of vaccine experts designing this season's flu shot considered their choices. They had two, and both seemed bad...Should they stick with last year's formula, even though a new strain of the bug was ominously building strength? Or should they try to make a new vaccine and risk complications or delays that could result in a shortage or maybe even no vaccine at all?..In the end, the committee voted 17-1 to bring back last year's version, even though they feared they were telling millions of Americans to roll up their sleeves for shots that might not work very well."

December 15, 2003 - Drugs industry is accused of putting wealth before health - The Telegraph, UK

December 14, 2003 - Guardsman given discharge, jail for refusing anthrax shots (requires subscription) - The Columbus Dispatch via (includes commentary) - "The first Army Ohio National Guard member charged for refusing to take the anthrax vaccine was sentenced yesterday to 40 days in jail and a bad conduct discharge...Spc. Kurt Hickman, 20, had worried about health risks of the vaccine, but Military Judge Col. Emmett Moran said at the end of the court-martial at Beightler Armory that putting on the guard uniform can be a health risk. Disobeying a lawful order also endangers others, Moran said."

December 15, 2003 - West Virginia to launch nation's first registry to track autism -

December 15, 2003 - Parents show increased concern about vaccine safety - Center for the Advancement of Health via - "Four out of five doctors surveyed in 2000 reported at least one instance of parents refusing to have a child vaccinated during the previous year, according to a new study...More than two-thirds of those doctors said parents showed more concern regarding vaccine safety than parents did in the past."

The latest Rapid responses to Hear the Silence - by Elliman and Bedford (BMJ)

The latest Rapid responses to Hear the Silence - by Fitzpatrick (BMJ)


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