Sunday Express May 21 2006
5-in-1 jab 'made baby boy blind'
By Lucy Johnston
A baby boy was temporarily blinded after being given the controversial
five-in-one vaccine jab, the Sunday Express can reveal today.
Kobi Hampshaw was three months old when he was given the jab and lost his
sight two days later.
His father Martin, 39, said: "One moment he was smiling up at his mother
while breast feeding and the next his head was moving violently from side
to side and he was trying to look over his shoulder. He was very confused
and upset.
"He could no longer fix and follow and couldn't see a light shining in his
eyes. He had been such a smiley baby. After the vaccine he just lay in his
cot not interested in anything. He looked brain damaged."
Kobi was given the first of his three doses of the five-in-one - which is
designed to protect children against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough,
Hib influenza and polio - in November 2004.
He had to be taken to hospital and over the following weeks had a series of
tests, including a brain scan. Doctors could only conclude that the
vaccination caused his blindness. With the support of their doctor and
leading eye specialists, the family now believe they have helped to
re-stimulate twenty-month-old Kobi's vision.
Print firm manager Martin said at the family home in Huddersfield: "We used
ultraviolet toys in a black booth and touchy feely toys.
"We never gave up. After two months he started to follow his favourite
black and white snoopy toy dog. Day by day little things have come back."
But Martin, and his wife Nicky, a 38-year-old child minder, are still
worried about Kobi's future.
Martin said: "He still trips up and his eyes don't look right. This is a
new vaccine, no one can tell us what will happen, no one knows. He may stop
learning, he may not come out of nappies until he is seven. Not a day goes
by when we are not tortured by what happened."
The Sunday Express can also reveal that doctors have reported 457
side-effects linked to the five-in-one jab since it was introduced 18
months ago. These include disorders of the heart, eyes, stomach, immune
system, nervous system and breathing problems.
The doctors' reports, including Kobi's case, were obtained by the Sunday
Express from the drug safety watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare
Products Regulatory Authority, under the "yellow card" adverse
drug-reporting scheme.
Experts believe the true number of cases could be more than 4,500 because
doctors only notify an estimated 10 per cent of adverse drug reactions. The
MHRA has reports of up to five children who have experienced sight problems
following the jab, known as Pediacel.
Nicholas Kitchen, medical director of the vaccine's manufacturers Sanofi
Pasteur, said all drugs and vaccines had side-effects and those associated
with the five-in-one jab were all in the information leaflet inside each
dose "which parents should know about".
He added that the company logs all adverse reactions in order to spot any
patterns that might emerge. Blindness, he added "is not an expected
reaction to the jab." Last week the Sunday Express exposed clinical trials
which showed that babies risk brain damage, convulsions and even death
following the jab.
Sunday Express
Your Letters 21 May 2006
Tell truth on jabs
Congratulations on exposing the dangers of the new 5-in-1 vaccination
("Alert over new 5-in-1 'superdose' baby jabs", Sunday Express, May 14),
based on our report, available on
All drugs must first prove their safety and parents reasonably assume the
same must apply to vaccinations for their children.
A Department of Health spokesman in your article tells readers that an
agency 'thoroughly assesses the evidence on the safety and efficacy of all
new vaccines'.
What we aren't told is that vaccines aren't always tested in the UK but in
countries with different test criteria.
It's time our health agencies put politics second and the welfare of our
children first.
Bryan Hubbard