Concerns mount as governments fail to conclusively establish safety
By the ANH Team
In the UK, the time has come for the swine flu vaccine to go on trial in readiness for approval and licensing within the next few weeks. One thousand children aged 6 months to 12 years have been volunteered to test two vaccines, GlaxoSmithKline’s Pandemrix and Baxter’s H1N1 jab.
This trial comes immediately after the tragic, untimely death of 14-year-old Natalie Morton hours after receiving the HPV vaccine. This is potentially relevant as it shows that rare, severe, and potentially lethal adverse effects are simply not detected in trials of this size.
Putting it in perspective, statistically, 3,000 subjects are needed to have 95% probability of detecting an event that occurs at a rate of one in 1,000. 6,500 subjects being needed to detect 3 cases. So, what about possible rare effects? What about impacts on fertility? What about neurological effects that might be delayed, such as those that occurred following the development of Guillian-Barre Syndrome following the 1976 swine flu vaccination program? On this basis, at the ANH, we argue that government’s are on a very weak wicket claiming that the vaccines have been evaluated as safe.
On top of this, are the findings from the first published trial, in the New England Journal of Medicine, that shows that 45%—nearly one in two persons—vaccinated, suffered systemic effects (e.g. headache) following vaccination. Headache is a common symptom of a massive immune response from the adaptive side of our immune system, in which immune signaling chemicals, called cytokines, are released in large quantities. An hyper-response of such cytokines, commonly referred to as a ‘cytokine storm’, can be enough to kill someone, as we have seen back in 2006 in the lethal cases of avian influenza (H5N1 virus) which was transmitted to humans.
Mandatory vaccination – is it a possibility?
While it’s disturbing enough to find that there are not nearly enough data to verify safety of the vaccines, what if governments decide to make swine flu vaccinations mandatory?
There is huge speculation at the moment as to whether the swine flu vaccine will be made mandatory in the UK, and a lot of talk about France already having made that decision. It is difficult to find accurate information with a lot of scare stories circulating but we have looked at the French Health Ministry web site and found there is no evidence to say that the vaccination is mandatory in France, despite all the speculation. Ontario has also stated that it will not make the vaccine mandatory for health workers or anyone else. However, in Ottawa the military's surgeon general has said “the Canadian Forces reserves the right to order its soldiers deployed in Afghanistan to take the vaccine meant to prevent swine flu.”
Hajj pilgrims from Russia wishing to travel to Saudi Arabia will have to have the vaccination and will have to provide certification to prove they have had it. The certificate will have to show that they were vaccinated two weeks before the visa issue date.
Many countries have said that they may make the vaccine mandatory but saying it and actually enforcing it are completely different things. Here at the ANH we are very pro freedom of choice and we would hate to see the choice be taken away from the public on this matter. In an ideal world we would have liked to have seen longer test periods but are very pleased that the parents of the children in the trial seem to at least have been warned of the possible side effects or negative outcomes. As these are their precious children they are handing over to medical research, this is the least they deserve.
Taking to the Streets
Rallies are taking place in Albany, New York, and there is a demonstration due to take place outside Westminster in London, the UK. These will be attended by people who are desperate not give up their freedom of choice in vaccination and healthcare.