F. E. Yazbak, MD, FAAPIn its January 22, 2001edition, the Independent published an article entitled "MMR Scare Is Based On Flawed Research: The case for MMR" <<http://www.independent.co.uk/news/UK/Health/2001-01/for220101.shtml >> by Dr David Salisbury, head of the immunization program of the Department of Health. A reply by Dr Andrew Wakefield was also featured in the same edition.
Later on, instead of interviewing parents of children with autism, the authorities smugly appropriated £3m to promote MMR while the Medical Research Councils total budget allocation for medical research into autism was only £300,000, a case of warped and inappropriate values. If the authorities think that their MMR propaganda campaign will be effective, they are in for a great surprise. In this small country with a centralized and vociferous press, not one parent in the UK has not heard about the potential and to date uninvestigated problems with MMR and not a single person has not met someone who knows about a child with autism.
In "MMR or Single Antigen Vaccines: A Better Choice" published earlier this week, we clearly demonstrated that reintroducing the single antigen vaccines alongside the MMR is logical, scientific and right, and enumerated some of the many failures of MMR saturation programs worldwide. <http://libnt2.lib.tcu.edu/staff/lruede/singlevacc.html>
As a Pediatrician, trained in Infectious Diseases and now doing research in the immune causes of autism, I feel I have to respond to Dr Salisburys statements in "MMR Scare Is Based On Flawed Research: The case for MMR"
Salisbury: "Dr Wakefield is on a crusade. In the past, he has asserted that the measles vaccine causes bowel disease and linked MMR to autism, and now that MMR was licensed without proper safety studies."
Yazbak: True so far.
Salisbury: "Before we look at his recent claims, we need to remember that he has been wrong before"
Yazbak: When? Where?
Salisbury: "and his views have no support from experts in vaccines."
Yazbak: One must qualify experts on vaccines; Dr. Salisbury is referring to the body of professionals who have conflicts of interest (on the vaccine manufacturers payrolls) or those who wish to preserve the status quo, because of fear of losing face. The experts who reviewed Dr Wakefields article before publication certainly seemed impressed.
Salisbury: "We also need to recognize that this is not a problem faced by the UK alone. MMR is used all over the world"
Yazbak: This statement will not convince concerned parents that the MMR is safe.
Salisbury: "and it is likely that the US, Canada, Australia and other countries made their decisions on the same data. So were they all wrong?
Yazbak: It is certainly possible that they were and are all wrong, and that these governments based their support of this vaccine on safety studies funded by the vaccines manufacturers or the vaccine authorities and which did not look at long-term autoimmune effects.
Salisbury: "or is Dr Wakefield wrong?"
Yazbak: No serious, convincing evidence so far has proved Dr Wakefield wrong.
Salisbury: "The evidence points to MMR having an excellent safety and efficacy record in use, with hundreds of millions of doses used."
Yazbak: Both Dr. Wakefields and my studies ("An Unconvincing Finnish Study") have shown why the government touted studies should not be taken seriously in reference to autism and IBD; << http://libnt2.lib.tcu.edu/staff/lruede/Fin2.html>>
Salisbury: "In his new paper, Dr Wakefield appears not to know the facts, and fails to report all the evidence. He gives the wrong dates when vaccines were licensed, he misleads readers over just how long follow-up studies really took place, and he uses wrong statistical analyses."
Yazbak: One date, 30 years ago, is in question. The first MMR vaccine was licensed in 1971 in the United States. The vaccine now used, the MMR II was released several years later. The two follow up studies mentioned by Dr Salisbury were never published nor peer-reviewed. Criticizing the statistical methods used by Dr Montgomery is simply naïve.
Salisbury: "He raises scares about MMR safety, such as possible problems from giving three viruses together."
Yazbak: Dr. Salisbury should have an old pediatrician describe to him how ill a toddler with measles, chickenpox and roseola all at the same time can be. He also should show us evidence that combining the three live virus vaccines in MMR is safe. It is the lack of such evidence that is causing the present crisis.
Salisbury: "Here he uses the example of the rare but terrible brain-damaging condition SSPE that results from measles possibly made worse if another infection occurs with it. But the evidence is clear: measles vaccine protects against SSPE, and US and UK data show the condition became even rarer after the switch to MMR. Parents should be reassured that even if this scare had a theoretical basis, in reality the evidence supports MMR."
Yazbak: Dr Salisbury should ask the thousands of parents of children with autism if they would have rather taken their chances with measles and its extremely rare SSPE complication. He should speak to a family whose life has changed because of MMR. Besides as he said "Measles vaccine protects against SSPE". All that parents want is the measles vaccine. They should be given that choice.
Salisbury: "When Dr Wakefield sent us his paper challenging MMR safety we asked our two independent expert committees to review it. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation concluded that "reports from Dr Wakefield's group did not give grounds for concern over the safety of the vaccine", and noted inconsistencies, the lack of rigorous logic and the failure of confirmation by a wide range of independent investigators. The committee concluded that the analyses carried out by Drs Wakefield and Montgomery were intrinsically flawed." The Committee on Safety of Medicine also looked at the paper, especially to check that the licensing had been sound. It concluded that the process was properly conducted and that the licensing followed normal procedure and was based on robust studies"
Yazbak: I would like to challenge Dr Salisbury to name ONE researcher other than Dr Wakefield who would have given the vaccine authorities such a long advance notice to have them prepare for his papers fall-out. Dr Wakefield deserves gratitude for doing so, not criticism. As far as the reaction of the members of the committees to Dr Wakefields paper, it was exactly as expected. None of them was likely to "break ranks" and risk losing his or her job.
Salisbury: "Dr Wakefield wants more research. Independent researchers have not replicated his studies on vaccines across the world."
Yazbak: That is absolutely correct. "Independent researchers have not replicated his studies on vaccines across the world." If they had, they would have found ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia in children with autism and would have isolated persistent measles virus from vaccine in their gut wall. Thousands of parents of children with autism have asked for more research. To date none was ordered and instead millions of pounds are allocated to an MMR propaganda campaign.
Salisbury: "In Japan, measles and rubella vaccines are given separately. From 1992 to 1997, there were 79 deaths from measles. Here, there were none."
Yazbak: The number of deaths from measles in Japan is of significance ONLY if it can be proved that every island and every hamlet in Japan was perfectly well vaccinated with the single measles-antigen vaccine and that the victims were otherwise healthy and had no other serious concomitant illnesses. Japan eliminated the MMR because of thousands of serious reactions. Of the 3,969 medical compensation claims relating to vaccines in the last 30 years in Japan, one quarter had been made by those badly affected by the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.
In fact, the Japanese experience with the MMR is the ONLY epidemiological study we MUST believe. Dr Hiroki Nakatani, director of the Infectious Disease Division at Japan's Ministry of Health and Welfare said that giving individual vaccines cost twice as much as MMR, 'but we believe it is worth it'". It is tragic to hear that there were 25 deaths a year from measles in Japan, but this is not because the measles rather than the MMR vaccine is used there. Significant outbreaks of measles are occurring in many countries where MMR vaccination is nearly 100%. http://libnt2.lib.tcu.edu/staff/lruede/singlevacc.html>
There are thousands of children with autism in the western world. NO ONE has given the parentswho witnessed their perfectly developing child slide into autism, bowel disease and immune dysfunction after their MMRproof that the MMR is not responsible for their childrens tragedy.
Entire families lives are being ruined while the vaccine authorities are playing this media game.
Salisbury: "Yet Dr Wakefield wants us to risk children's lives without a shred of evidence. Children's health is too important to become a victim to his crusade."
Yazbak: The lives of children in the UK are at risk BECAUSE of the vaccine authorities illogical stubbornness, not because of Dr Wakefield. To the parents who are asking for a choice the authorities are saying "No, it is either the MMR or nothing". This is a dangerous gamble.
Childrens health is too important indeed.
Finally, the following statement by the vaccine manufacturer should be noted: "If the prevention of sporadic measles outbreaks is the sole objective, revaccination with a monovalent measles vaccine should be considered" (PDR 2000, page 1748).
F. Edward Yazbak, MD, FAAP January 26, 2001
TL Autism Research, Falmouth, Massachusetts firstname.lastname@example.org
Some statements above may not necessarily represent the opinions of organizations to which I belong.
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