Children Used As Guinea Pigs For Vaccines

Sunday Express July 22 2007

Children used as guinea pigs for vaccines

By Lucy Johnston
Health Editor

CHILDREN are being used as guinea pigs in a risky and potentially deadly vaccine experiment, a new book claims.

Author Dr Richard Halvorsen said: “The truth is the Government continually misleads us over vaccines. There are unfounded claims about their safety and effectiveness and I believe jabs may be doing potentially serious harm to hundreds if not thousands of children every year.” 

His controversial book, The Truth About Vaccines, to be published later this month, will embarrass the Government, which has promoted childhood jabs and consistently played down possible risks. It also bears out claims by Dr Andrew Wakefield, currently being prosecuted by the General Medical Council after he challenged the safety of the MMR jab. 

Dr Halvorsen, an NHS GP in London , has analysed thousands of scientific papers and interviewed scientists and senior Department of Health officials about vaccine safety. He claims doctors and parents are being grossly misllead. In one example, he says a brand of MMR was brought on the market even though the Government was aware of its dangers. It was withdrawn four years later after increasing reports of deaths and brain damage. 

Paradoxically, says Dr Hal­vorsen, the Government plays down the dangers of vaccines despite paying out millions in compensation to relatives of victims. He says risks have not been properly assessed because, unlike drugs, vaccines do not have to undergo proper long-term safety trials. 

One area that particularly concerns Dr Halvorsen is the use of aluminium – a known brain and nerve toxin – which is being added to the new five-in-one baby vaccine given at two, three and four months. 
Aluminium has been found to help stimulate the immune system, making vaccines more effective. But the amounts added to vaccines exceed the recommended safe level by up to 1,000 times. Although many doctors have expressed concerns, they cannot get funding to research the side-effects. 

“Though we know aluminium is highly toxic and babies are receiving far more than the upper safety limit, there seems to be a conspiracy of silence on further investigation,” said Dr Halvorsen. 

“This may not affect all infants, but premature babies or those with a genetic susceptibility may be harmed.” His analysis is borne out by research in France which suggests aluminium in vaccines may be responsible for triggering MS and other immune disorders. 

“Children are now given 25 vaccines by the time they are 15 months. There's been no proper testing of the long-term effects of this on the developing immune system. We know the rate of immune system disorders such as eczema, asthma and diabetes are rising dramatically in under-fives. 

“It seems entirely possible vaccines have contributed to this. The UK schedule of vaccinating at two, three and four months is one of the earliest and most compact in the world. This comes with a risk of greater side-effects, and I am concerned we may be giving too many vaccines at an early age.” 

He claims there are many vaccine sceptics among the medical profession, but most are afraid to speak out because they risk being discredited and losing their jobs. 

“Whenever a doctor questions a vaccine he is discredited or made out to be a maverick. Many doctors were afraid to talk to me during my research. Some had even signed the Official Secrets Act. This is very worrying. We're not talking about national security. We're talking about the health and well-being of our children and babies.” 

Dr Halvorsen, a father of two who offers single measles, mumps and rubella jabs to his patients in his Holborn practice, also questions the safety of the controversial MMR vaccine. And he cites non-government research showing that measles vaccination can cause serious disorders leading to permanent brain damage. 

Dr Halvorsen also thinks vaccinating against mumps has done “more harm than good” because the vaccine is only partially effective. He said: “Mumps is a mild disease that is rarely dangerous and most people who are affected naturally are immune for life. Vaccine immunity wears off within years. 

This has increased the age at which children catch mumps to an age when side-effects are more likely to be severe, including permanent hearing loss and possibly infertility.” 

But despite his concerns he said some vaccines offer good protection. “I'm not anti-vaccine. Some jabs are important, but they are not being responsibly used. Indis­criminate mass vaccination which is happening now is irresponsible and potentially dangerous.” 

*The Truth About Vaccines by Dr Richard Halvorsen will be published by Gibson Square on July 26. To order a copy, please send a cheque or PO for £9.99 made payable to The Sunday Express Bookshop to Sunday Express Bookshop, PO Box 200, Falmouth TR11 4WJ , tel 0871 521 1302 or order online at www.expressbookshop. com. UK delivery is free. Calls cost 10p per minute from UK landlines.


Sunday Express 15th July 2007

Dangers of the MMR jab 'covered up'.

By Lucy Johnston
Health Editor

Health officials were yesterday accused of covering up serious risks linked with the controversial MMR jab before it was introduced.

According to a secret dossier, five cases were reported of potentially deadly brain inflammation following the use of MMR in Canada before it became part of standard childhood vaccinations in Britain .

The internal documents from the Government's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation also reveal reports that another brand of MMR had caused "neurological complications" from the measles component of the vaccine in the US.

Despite this, from 1988 both brands were administered routinely without any warnings of serious risk until they were withdrawn four years later - because of health fears.

The revelation comes on the eve of a major court battle over the safety of the controversial vaccine. Dr Andrew Wakefield and two colleagues will tomorrow face charges before the General Medical Council relating to research published in 1998 linking the MMR vaccine with autism and inflammatory bowel disease.

In an interview with the Sunday Express , Dr Wakefield said the Government played down the risks of vaccines and questioned critics.

He said:  "The Government vigorously defends the vaccination programme and those who challenge it have been questioned throughout history. But I wouldn't have taken my position if I didn't believe there were genuine concerns about MMR."

Last night, on the eve of his case, he told the Sunday Express he stood by all his claims, adding that he was determined to help the families of affected children.

Dr Peter Fletcher, former Chief Scientific Officer at the Department of Health, is also sceptical of the Government's position and the safety of the jab.

He is due to testify at the GMC hearing and was unable to speak for legal reasons.

But in an earlier interview he said: "The refusal by governments to evaluate the risks properly will make this one of the greatest scandals in medical history."

But he added: "There are very powerful people in positions of great authority who have staked their reputations on the safety of MMR and they are willing to do almost anything to protect themselves."

The minutes of the committee on vaccination meeting in 1988, released under the Freedom of Information Act , blame the mumps component of the vaccine, called Urabe, for five cases of brain inflammation.

The minutes state: "Four of these cases definitely followed the use of vaccine containing Urabe mumps virus and the fifth probably did."

The report added: "In the United States many of the reported neurological complications were clearly related to the measles component." But despite these reports, experts at the meeting decided the rate of adverse reactions to the mumps element from Canada was "in keeping with that expected". They also concluded that a study of the US measles component should be carried out.

Seven months later both brands of MMR were introduced. But the MMR vaccines containing Urabe were withdrawn in 1992 because it caused potentially deadly meningitis. This was two years after it had already been withdrawn in Canada for the same reason.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: "MMR is the safest and most effective way of protecting children against measles, mumps and rubella.

"The Urabe MMR was stopped when the risk of aseptic meningitis was higher than previously thought."

She added that experts still considered the use of MMR "outweighed the risks of not vaccinating."

Sunday Express Opinion
Fears linger over MMR jab

The discovery that the Government ignored warnings that the MMR vaccine carried serious health risks is shocking. Our story on the confidential meetings where cases of potentially deadly brain damage were reported but ignored reopens a distressing chapter in our recent medical history.

Tomorrow Dr Andrew Wakefield and two colleagues face General Medical Council charges concerning their belief that the MMR vaccine is linked to autism and bowel disease.

So what is the truth about this vaccine? Why does Tony Blair still refuse to confirm or deny that his son Leo had the jab? It's time we knew the facts. © John Fletcher 2012