Disingenuous CDC Study Confirms Danger of Chicken-pox Vaccine

November 05, 2009

By John Stone

A  newly published study co-authored by the US Centers for Disease Control  into the effectiveness of chicken-pox vaccine states in conclusion:

Varicella vaccine substantially decreases the risk of herpes zoster among vaccinated children and its widespread use will likely reduce overall herpes zoster burden in the United States. The increase in herpes zoster incidence among 10- to 19-year-olds could not be confidently explained and needs to be confirmed from other data sources. (HERE)

While the authors are quick to claim causal benefit from the vaccination the negative effects can only be explained by them as aberrant. Yet such effects were also reported by a UK Health Protection Agency last year. Its press release stated:

If a chickenpox vaccine were to be added to the childhood immunisation programme concerns have been raised that there would be an increase of shingles cases in adults as a result. This is because people who have had chickenpox are less likely to have shingles later in life if they have been exposed occasionally to the chickenpox virus (for example through their children) as this exposure acts as a booster...

The modelling suggested that a two dose schedule at the levels of coverage likely to be achieved in the UK would lead to an increase of at least 20% of shingles in the medium term (approximately 15-20 years). This increase could be partially, but not completely, offset by introduction of a vaccination against shingles among those aged 60+.
Albert Jan van Hoek, who performed the research for the Health Protection Agency, said; “Our models suggest that vaccination would reduce the burden of chickenpox in the young. However, it will lead to an increase in shingles in the medium term in adults because they will not get that ‘boosting’ effect from being in contact with cases of chickenpox.

In fact, these effects have long been known about as a press release from Medical Veritas points out:

Interestingly, the published shingles (herpes zoster) incidence rates among vaccinated and unvaccinated children, as well as adolescents reported by VASP/CDC authors in this current study nicely agree with prior research findings by Goldman who served as Research Analyst for the Varicella Active Surveillance Project (VASP) in 2002 and published the incidence rates in 2005 (Universal Varicella Vaccination: Efficacy Trends and Effect on Herpes Zoster. Goldman GS. International Journal of Toxicology 2005 Jul/Aug; 24(4):203-213).
The Medical Veritas document goes on to explain:
In historical shingles studies, shingles incidence generally increases with age.  In his 1965 paper, Dr. Hope-Simpson suggested, “The peculiar age distribution of zoster may in part reflect the frequency with which the different age groups encounter cases of varicella and because of the ensuing boost to their antibody protection have their attacks of zoster postponed.” 
Lending support to this hypothesis that contact with children with chickenpox boosts adult cell-mediated immunity to help postpone or suppress shingles, is the study by Thomas et al. (Contacts with varicella or with children and protection against herpes zoster in adults: a case-control study. Thomas SL, Wheeler JG, Hall AJ. Lancet 2002 Aug 31;360(9334):678-82) that reported adults in households with children, had lower rates of herpes zoster (HZ) than households without children. Also, the study by Terada et al. (Incidence of HZ in pediatricians and history of reexposure to varicella-zoster virus in patients with HZ. Kansenshiogaku Zasshi 1995 Aug.; 69(8):908-912) indicated that pediatricians reflected incidence rates from ½ to 1/8 that of the general population their age.  Older parents, in their late 50s, who no longer have children in their household, demonstrate HZ at an incidence rate of 550/100,000 person-years. (Of course, those very elderly adults do experience a sharp rise in shingles incidence due to age-related decline in immunity.) 

This is testimony to the CDC’s willingness to pursue a policy for which there are known and admitted  harms at a population level, but it also stands in contradiction to the policy elsewhere of targeting the young to protect adults (as with Hepatitis B and flu vaccine) since in this case it does the reverse: the only real consistent aim seems to be to push the most products to the great benefit only of the vaccine industry. 
John Stone is UK Contributing Editor to Age of Autism