In conclusion, by apparently prioritizing vaccination policy over vaccine safety, the JCVI, the DH and the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) may have shown a disregard for the safety of children. Through selective data reporting, the JCVI in conjunction with the DH, has promulgated information relating to vaccine safety that may be inaccurate and potentially misleading, thereby making it impossible for the parents to make a fully informed consent regarding vaccination. Furthermore, by
1) apparently misleading patients about the true risks of adverse reactions as to gain their consent for the administration of the treatment and
2) seemingly siding with vaccine manufacturers rather than public health interests, the JCVI and the CSM appear to have signally failed their fiduciary duty to protect individuals from vaccines of questionable safety. If these provisional conclusions are indeed correct, then the information presented here may help us in understanding the UK government’s and the JCVI’s official position on vaccine damage, that is, one of persistent denial.
This study was done by Lucija Tomljenovic, PhD, of Neural Dynamics Research Group, Dept. of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia, 828 W. 10th Ave, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1L8. The FOI releases used in her study were found here. Since they have been scrubbed from the internet, I have put them into this blog here and here.
As early as 1981, the JCVI had substantial documentation which associated the measles vaccine with serious adverse reactions including death and long-term adverse neurological outcomes. At the JCVI meeting held on 9th April 1981 (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/DH_095169), in discussing a paper that summarised all the reports of adverse reactions to the CSM, the following was noted:
(5.b.) Adverse Reactions to measles vaccine
“All reports since 1970 of encephalitis, encephalopathy or sudden death shortly after vaccination had been reviewed; 60 patients were involved of whom 8 had died, 36 had made an apparent complete recovery and 16 were left with permanent sequelae. The high proportion of deaths and patients with sequelae was surprising in comparison with the findings of the NCES [National Childhood Encephalopathy Study].”
(5.b. Adverse Reactions to measles vaccine)
By 1983, the JCVI appeared to have had more evidence that the measles vaccine could cause encephalitis associated with “severe handicap” in a subset of vulnerable children. At the JCVI meeting on 17th of June 1983 (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/JCVI/DH_120115), the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) received 66 reports of suspected adverse reactions to measles vaccines over the period January 1982 to April 1983. According to the transcript of the meeting:
(7. Suspected adverse reactions to measles vaccine: recent reports to the CSM)
“These included three cases of encephalitis; on follow-up, two of these patients were left one year later with severe handicap and the third patient, after a year, appeared to be developmentally normal.”
By the end of 1981 serious safety concerns have also been raised with regards to another routine paediatric vaccine, the whooping cough vaccine. At the meeting held on 3rd November 1981 (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/DH_095169) in section 5 on Whooping Cough:
(5.d. Comments on Professor Stewart’s letter)
“Professor Gilliatt observed that in the Meade Panel Study one-third of children with brain damage were not admitted to hospital. In both the Meade and Dudgeon studies there were examples of children who had a fit soon after vaccination which was followed by a fit at a later time and then followed by cessation of development. It was very difficult to assess this as a random event.”
“The Chairman concluded that much was not known about the natural history of brain damage in the young.” [p3 of ,pdf]
The JCVI appeared to have had other solutions for dealing with vaccine safety concerns. In a “commercial in confidence” CSM/JCVI/Joint Sub-Committee on Adverse Reactions to Vaccination and Immunisation (ARVI) meeting on 7th February 1986 (http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/
FreedomOfInformation/Freedomofinformationpublicationschemefeedback/FOIreleases/DH_4135306), in a discussion about a surveillance study on adverse reactions to two measles vaccines, the members noted that:
“…results showed that 70 per cent of children were well after receiving Attenuvax and 61 per cent after receiving Rimevax. If children with mild general reactions were added to those who were apparently well then the numbers associated with Attenuvax were 85 per cent and those with Rimevax 80 per cent.” (7.1 PHLS [Public Health Laboratory Service] surveillance of adverse reactions to two measles vaccine (Rimevax and Attenuvax)) In other words, even skewing the data by adding cases of mild reactions to those who were “apparently” well, did far from producing a reassuring statistic in favour of the safety of the measles vaccines, as it still implied a rate of 15-20% of vaccine-associated serious adverse reactions
(as opposed to 30-39% of mild-to-serious adverse reactions in total). After further discussion on this topic:
“…it was agreed there was now enough information to stop the study.” [p4 of .pdf]
So, anywhere from 30-39% of the children were having problems with the shots, but they were okay to go. And that was JUST the measles shots.
By mid to the late 1980s, the JCVI had become increasingly concerned about publicly associating the terms “death” and/or “brain damage” with the word “vaccine”, because of the negative repercussions they perceived this would have on vaccination policy (CSM/JCVI/Joint Sub-Committee ARVI meetings on 7th February 1986; 3rd October 1986; http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/
FreedomOfInformation/Freedomofinformationpublicationschemefeedback/FOIreleases/DH_4135306). Such concerns were also exacerbated by the increasing burden of litigations about pertussis vaccine-suspected injuries (JCVI meeting on 22nd April 1988; 20th October 1988; http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/DH_095169), and the possibility that vaccination could be linked to some cases of SIDS, as evident from the Reports on Yellow Cards quoted above. [p5 of .pdf]
How many babies died from “crib death” that were really vaccine related? How many poor parents were stigmatized as baby killers, when the vaccines were at fault?
The Japanese study found that among 630,157 recipients of the MMR vaccine containing the Urabe-9 mumps vaccine, there were at least 311 meningitis cases suspected to be vaccine related. In 96 of these 311 cases, mumps virus related to the vaccine was isolated from the CSF. Sugiura et al. [p6]
In spite of this, instead of re-evaluating or suspending the existing MMR vaccination policy due to safety concerns, the JCVI called for a specific and concentrated effort aimed at counteracting the growing public and health authorities’ concern over the safety of the Urabe-9 MMR vaccines. [p8]
showed problems with the Urabe vaccine, particularly Mumps Meningitis. Reports had also come from overseas countries, Canada being the most helpful….of 67 reported cases between October 1988 and August 1990, 38 children had definite or probable Aseptic Meningitis and one Encephalitis. Ten of these were definitely caused by the vaccine, and a further 29 were probably caused by the vaccine. [p8]
“In August, Department of Health officials met with MCA [Medicines Control Agency] and the manufacturers. At the end of August SKB, acting on the advice of their lawyers, decided to stop producing vaccine and advise licensing authorities world wide accordingly; the Department had, therefore, to act quickly.” Thus, only when the alarm was sounded by the manufacturers’ lawyers did the DH sense that the matters regarding the safety of the MMR vaccine required some urgency. In addition, it appears that the principal preoccupation of the European Authorities was how to preserve global vaccine policies in face of the Urabe-9 scandal.[p10]
What also continued is the JCVI’s confidential meetings with vaccine manufacturers, which appeared to be focused on vaccine policy and business rather than child health and safety. In reference to the meeting of the Chairman of the JCVI and the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries, the transcript of the JCVI meeting on 23rd October 1987 (http://www.dh.gov.uk/ab/DH_095169) states:
“Also discussed was the availability of scarce vaccines and the introduction of new vaccines into more regular use. The question of financial support for training members of the health service in immunisation was also discussed.” (18. Meeting of the Chairman of the JCVI and
the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries)
It ought to be asked why the Chairman of the JCVI deemed as appropriate for members of health services to be financially supported by the vaccine manufacturers.[p 19]
The paper goes on to describe multiple conflicts of financial interest on the panels. Openly admitted and dismissed in meetings. Children’s deaths downplayed. Manufacturers protected. Even open admission that the vaccines didn’t work–that the illnesses were more widely spread in immunized populations than non.
All that mattered was that the vaccine campaigns continued. To which we must ask: WHY?