MB Comment: Bill Gates and his henchmen celebrated and applauded their new malaria vaccine at an invitation-only vaccine-fest in Seattle this week. But when you read the fine print, it turns out this vaccine ‘was 34.8% effective in reducing severe malaria for the combined age-group category.’ But it’s not only ineffective, it’s dangerous. The so-called placebo they used was a rabies vaccine known to cause neuroparalytic accidents. If you wanted to flatter your experimental vaccine, you couldn’t have picked a better so-called placebo, since rabies vaccine side effects are so dangerous.
But the ruse didn’t work. Meningitis and seizure rates were far higher for the new Gatesian malaria vaccine than for the rabies vaccine ‘placebo.’ ‘Meningitis occurred in 11 of 5,949 children aged 5 to 17 months given the malaria vaccine and 1 of 2,974 children of the same age given the control (rabies) vaccine (relative risk [RR] 5.5, 95% CI 0.7 to 42.6). Seizures occurred 1.04 times per 1,000 vaccinations in the malaria vaccine group compared to 0.57 times per 1,000 vaccinations in the control group (relative risk 1.8, 95% CI 0.6 to 4.9) in the older age category.’
Gates is conducting the Emperor’s New Clothes method of vaccine development, by dumbing down effectiveness measures and covering up adverse reactions. No self-respecting modern scientist should stoop to signing onto a vaccine that is 35% effective. Imagine the carnage if they deploy this dangerous and ineffective vaccine to undernourished populations in Africa.
Gate’s lapdog researchers said they believed the meningitis was not vaccine-related. Yeah, right. What do you expect vaccine cult scientists to say? Undernourished African children who develop immediate meningitis or seizures from this ineffective vaccine (with no malaria protection) might have a different opinion on that issue.
Gateses honor the ‘boldness’ of malaria fight
October 20, 2011 By Carol M. Ostrom
Seattle Times health reporter
There was much gray hair in the audience Tuesday as Bill and Melinda Gates applauded a trial vaccine and other significant successes in the fight against one of the top global killers of children: malaria.
The gray-headed ones, among some 300 attending the invitation-only Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Malaria Forum this week, represent decades of wisdom and experience. Many have worked tirelessly against diseases in their countries; a handful even fought in such long-ago battles as the one against smallpox, officially eradicated in 1977.
No one said it aloud, but everyone in that downtown hotel meeting room knew the truth: Many of these policymakers, health leaders, scientists, government officials and advocates won’t be around when — this crowd would say when, not if — malaria is scrubbed from Earth.
This is a battle that will take decades — likely 40 or 50 years. Buckets of money — much more than the $1.75 billion that the Gates Foundation has committed to the fight — will be required.
“What matters is our staying power,” Melinda Gates told the audience of about 300, because the fight is in the early stages and the road ahead is “long and arduous.”
Four years ago, the Gateses held the foundation’s first malaria forum, stunning many with a call for eradication of the disease, a goal some felt was simply unattainable.
On Tuesday, early results of a malaria vaccine candidate in trials in Africa — the first in the world effective against a parasite — were announced. Among 5- to 17-month-old children, the vaccine prevented clinical malaria in 56 percent over a year, and prevented severe malaria in 47 percent.
The vaccine, named RTS,S, developed jointly by GlaxoSmithKline and the Malaria Vaccine Initiative of Seattle-based PATH, is the first vaccine candidate to be tested against malaria.
This vaccine is not perfect, as experts at the forum acknowledged. Half-effective isn’t good enough to win the battle. There’s no data to know how long the protection conferred by the vaccine could last. And there were reports that seizures and meningitis rates were higher among children who received the vaccine, although researchers said they believed the meningitis was not vaccine-related.
Despite those issues, people were cheered by the trial results. “The results today do represent a huge milestone,” Bill Gates told those attending the forum, headlined “Optimism and Urgency.”
Developing a vaccine is a “long and frustrating process,” and parasitic diseases represent an even greater challenge, he said. “The scientific complexity is quite substantial.”
He ticked off other promising ideas — the “new tools” he believes will be needed to kill malaria once and for all. These include “transmission-blocking” vaccines that could prevent malarial mosquitoes from infecting people, spatial repellents similar to current mosquito coils, and better treatment drugs, including single-dose treatments that increase the likelihood that people will receive a full course of medicine.
“Countless cups of tea”
The Gateses spoke during the second day of the forum, a combo pep-talk and reality check in which participants from around the world gathered information from one another for a fight that now involves hundreds of organizations and agencies.
They listened Monday as panelists discussing “Lessons Learned from Disease Eradication Efforts” spoke about the need for good surveillance systems — you need measurements to know if you’re having an effect — and about how to get political and community buy-in.
Several emphasized the need to integrate disease-control programs with community leaders — an effort requiring “countless cups of tea” with village elders, recalled D.A. Henderson, who headed a smallpox-eradication effort for the World Health Organization (WHO) for 11 years.
During breaks, conference attendees browsed such technical displays as “How to give a mosquito a blood meal.”
Breaking through apathy
When the Gateses began the foundation a decade ago, Melinda Gates said during her presentation Tuesday, a fight against malaria wasn’t on anyone’s radar. Families in malaria-stricken areas didn’t use bed nets, available drugs were essentially ineffective, and governments and health agencies were barely spending enough to control mosquitoes.
If you had asked any reasonable person then to predict the course of events, they would have said “a lot more disease,” she said.
But together, the “malaria community” working for eradication has scored many successes, she said, not only against a tough parasite, but against profound apathy.
“You really broke through that inertia,” Melinda Gates told the crowd. “Your boldness has really stoked our ambition.”
At a reception at the Gates Foundation headquarters near Seattle Center on Monday night, William H. Gates Sr. addressed the crowd enjoying wine and .
What has changed in his lifetime is “people’s sense of who their neighbors are — and what is possible,” he said.
“We now believe we have obligations to even the poorest people in the poorest places in the world, and we believe we have the ability to meet those obligations. That is new, and it is powerful,” he told the crowd. “Our ambition is great, and our confidence is high. … “
A long road ahead
Even so, Bill and Melinda Gates emphasized in their addresses Tuesday that there is difficult work to be done. “As you know better than anyone else,” Melinda Gates told the audience, “malaria fights back.”
Eradication, her husband said, is an ambitious, long-term goal. Many basic science questions about malaria remain unknown, he said, but field data plugged into sophisticated models will help “deepen our understanding and use our limited resources in a very exciting way.”
Eliminating malaria entirely will take tools that have yet to be developed, and money that has yet to be dedicated, the Gateses said. It will take building up health systems in countries that don’t have them now, and political commitment from countries buffeted by financial troubles.
Money committed to this fight, Melinda Gates said, needs to double and the speed of work needs to increase. She said she and her husband spend a lot of time asking governments to pitch in.
She referred to an earlier address by Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the WHO, who likened the fight against malaria to the Greek myth of Sisyphus, condemned to push a boulder uphill, only to watch it roll to the bottom again and again.
“We are not stuck in a Greek myth,” Melinda Gates told the audience. “We’re not eternally doomed, like Sisyphus. … We will push the boulder, and push it, until it crests the mountain and rolls down the other side, until every child is safe.”
The two said they are “100 percent committed” to the struggle. And boiled down, it seems their motivation is simple.
“Our children will not die from malaria, thank God,” Bill Gates said. “Since that is true, no child should die.”