HEALTH ARCHIVE HOW TO READ A NEWS SCRIPT
INDEX OF PREVIOUS EYE ON HEALTH SCRIPTS
HEPATITIS B NEW INFORMATION!!! MORE
[AIR DATE=6pm Monday 4-27-98][REPEAT=11pm Monday 4-27-98]
EVERY DAY, IN CLINICS NATIONWIDE, CHILDREN GET VACCINATED TO PROTECT THEM FROM DISEASE. WE, AS PARENTS, TRUST THOSE IMMUNIZATIONS WILL SAVE LIVES-- AND NOT HURT PEOPLE.
BUT, EYE ON HEALTH REPORTER KRISTI KRUEGER HAS FOUND ONE VACCINE IS CAUSING CONCERN AMONG SOME DOCTORS, AND IT'S A VACCINE THAT'S MANDATORY FOR *YOUR* CHILDREN.
THIS REPORT ISN'T MEANT TO SCARE YOU! BUT, I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO KNOW THE VERY REAL CONCERNS A GROWING NUMBER OF DOCTORS *WORLDWIDE* HAVE ABOUT THE HEPATITIS B VACCINE.
A SERIES OF THREE SHOTS ARE SUPPOSED TO PROTECT PEOPLE FORM A HORRIBLE VIRUS THAT ATTACKS THE LIVER. THE PROBLEM IS, SOME EXPERTS FEAR IT MAY BE THE *VACCINE* IS DOING THE ATTACKING.
ON FRENCH NATIONAL TELEVISION....AT A LAB IN HOUSTON...EXAM ROOMS AROUND THE WORLD...AND A HOME IN SOUTH FLORIDA....CONCERN ABOUT THE HEPATITIS B VACCINE IS GROWING.
DOCTORS SAY THE VACCINE MAY HAVE DEBILITATING SIDE-EFFECTS FOR SOME PEOPLE. MANY STATES, INCLUDING FLORIDA, MANDATE CHILDREN GET IT.
[Super: Dr. Andrew Campbell/HOUSTON IMMUNOLOGIST] "We now are seeing a whole bunch of people very affected whose lives have been destroyed by this product."
IN THIS ADVERSE REACTION DOCUMENT COMPILED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE REPORTED DEVELOPING EVERYTHING FROM FEVERS AND FLU TO ARTHRITIS, BLINDNESS, CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME AND MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS SOON AFTER HAVING THE VACCINATION.
IT'S THE NOT THE FIRST VACCINE LINKED TO ADVERSE REACTIONS. A WHOOPING COUGH VACCINE AND THE SWINE FLU VACCINES WERE BOTH BANNED.
[Campbell] "I think this is extremely dangerous. I think this is an issue that requires the federal government to step in immediately."
ONE CORAL SPRINGS FAMILY HOPES THAT HAPPENS. 15 YEAR OLD LINDSAY KIRSCHNER MIGHT NOT LOOK ILL, BUT SHE IS. LINDSAY'S,PROBLEMS STARTED FOUR DAYS AFTER HER FIRST HEPATITIS B SHOT LAST AUGUST.
[Super: Marilyn Kirschner/MOTHER] "She's constantly dizzy, nauseous, vomiting. She is having problems with her sight, running from blurriness to total black-outs."
IT WASN'T UNTIL LINDSAY'S THIRD SHOT THAT HER DOCTORS AND PARENTS MADE A CONNECTION.
[Super: Lindsay Kirschner/PATIENT] "I used to love to roller blade and play tennis and now that's really hard for me."
[Marilyn] "It's a never ending battle. I don't think there's a day since she's been sick that I haven't spoken with a doctor."
ONE HOUSTON DOCTOR SHE SPOKE TO WAS VACCINE RESEARCHER BONNIE DUNBAR. FOR MOST OF HER CAREER, DR. DUNBAR HAS DEVELOPED VACCINES. SHE'S WRITTEN BOOKS, AND WON NATIONAL AWARDS.
FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS SHE'S STUDIED POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS OF THE HEPATITIS B VACCINE.
[Super: Bonnie Dunbar, Ph.D./BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE]"There are several different types of side effects. But they are all associated with what we call auto-immune disorders. That is the body's immune system has turned against itself."
TWO YEARS AGO, BOTH DUNBAR'S BROTHER AND A LAB ASSISTANT GOT SICK SOON AFTER GETTING THE HEPATITIS B VACCINE. DR. DUNBAR LEARNED THEY'RE NOT ALONE.
[Dunbar] "There's one report from a nurse who reported 15 cases of MS following the vaccine."
HERE'S HOW DR. DUNBAR EXPLAINS IT. SOME PEOPLE ARE PREDISPOSED TO AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS. IN THESE PEOPLE, SHE THINKS THE GENETICALLY-ENGINEERED VACCINE MAY BE DOING A CHANGING ACT CALLED MOLECULAR MIMICRY-- *CAUSING* THE SYMPTOMS IT WAS MEANT TO PREVENT.
[Dunbar]"But what is amazing to me is the number of doctors, nurses, health care workers and people who were totally active and healthy."
[Super: Kristi Krueger/Eye on Health]"From her lab here at the Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Dunbar is putting her career on the line asking the federal government to stop, take a step back, and really study the long term effects of the Hepatitis B vaccine."
[Dunbar]"Doctors need to be warned to look out for these side effects."
DR. ANDREW CAMPBELL IS LOOKING OUT. HE'S TREATING DOZENS PEOPLE WHO HE BELIEVES DEVELOPED A SEVERE RASH AND AUTO-IMMUNE PROBLEMS AFTER GETTING THE VACCINE. DR. CAMPBELL FEARS THERE ARE MANY SICK PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW THE HEPATITIS B VACCINE MAY BE TO BLAME.
[CAMPBELL] "we are going to see some major health concerns throughout the country that is going to decimate the public."
RIGHT NOW, FRENCH DOCTORS AND PATIENTS ARE PRESSURING THEIR GOVERNMENT FOR LONG TERM STUDIES.... DOCTORS IN CANADA AND ENGLAND ARE DOING THE SAME. THE VACCINE MAKERS, AND OUR GOVERNMENT MAINTAIN THERE HAVE BEEN ISOLATED REACTIONS... BUT MILLIONS ARE VACCINATED WITHOUT INCIDENT.
[Dr. Walter Orenstein/Centers for Disease Control] "No vaccine is completely safe or completely effective.. and what we try to do is balance the benefits with the risk."
BUT BACK IN CORAL SPRINGS... THE KIRSCHERS JUST WANT LINDSAY TO
[Marilyn] "I can't even think about the future because thinking about tomorrow is hard enough.. and thinking about how we're going to get through each day."
WE SPOKE TO THE TWO DRUG COMPANIES THAT MAKE THIS VACCINE. WE WERE TOLD IF MORE CASES OF ADVERSE REACTIONS ARE REPORTED, THEY'LL INVESTIGATE.
THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED WITH BOTH THE OLD WHOOPING COUGH AND SWINE FLU VACCINES. ONCE PEOPLE SPOKE OUT ABOUT SIDE EFFECTS, BOTH VACCINES WERE PULLED OFF THE MARKET. ONE MORE NOTE. THE HEPATITIS-B VACCINE WAS MAINLY STUDIED IN ASIA AND AFRICA. BUT DR. DUNBAR SAYS MOST OF THE PROBLEMS SHE'S SEEN ARE IN CAUCASIONS. THAT LEADS HER TO BELIEVE THERE'S SOMETHING *GENETIC* GOING ON HERE. WHAT SHOULD PARENTS DO? DON'T STOP GETTING VACCINES! THEY ARE LIFESAVERS! BUT, INFORM YOURSELF. TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR. HE OR SHE HAS A PHYSICIANS DESK REFERENCE. THIS BOOK CLEARLY OUTLINES ALL POSSIBLE DRUG REACTIONS. FINALLY, NO ONE IS ASKING FOR A BAN ON THIS VACCINE. IT HELPS MANY PEOPLE. BUT, DOCTORS WANT LONG-TERM RESEARCH TO DISCOVER WHY CERTAIN PEOPLE ARE HAVING ADVERSE REACTIONS. TO REPORT AN ADVERSE REACTION TO A VACCINE, OR IF YOU WANT MORE INFORMATION, CALL THE NATIONAL VACCINE INFORMATION CENTER AT (800) 909-SHOT. THEIR WEBSITE URL IS www.909shot.com
HEPATITIS B FOLLOW UP WE HAVE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE HEPATITIS B VACCINE...AND WHETHER IT COULD BE HARMING... NOT HELPING YOUR CHILDREN. EVER SINCE OUR STORY ON THE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF THE HEPATITIS B VACCINE FIRST AIRED LAST NIGHT... OUR PHONES HAVE BEEN RINGING OFF THE HOOK. DOCTORS' OFFICES HAVE BEEN BUSY TOO... FIELDING CALLS.. AND ANSWERING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE VACCINE. EYE ON HEALTH REPORTER KRISTI KRUEGER BROKE THE STORY. SHE'S HERE WITH MORE ON HEPATITIS B. [kRISTI] PARENTS, DOCTORS, AND PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS ARE REACTING TONIGHT TO NEW CONCERNS ABOUT THE HEPATITIS B VACCINE-- A VACCINE ALL FLORIDA CHILDREN ARE REQUIRED TO GET. WE'RE HEARING FROM DOCTORS-- WHO TELL US THERE IS NO REASON FOR PEOPLE TO AVOID THE VACCINE. STATISTICS SHOW IT'S PROTECTED THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE FROM A DEADLY DISEASE. WE'VE ALSO HEARD FROM MORE PEOPLE-- WHO SAY THE VACCINE MADE THEM VERY SICK.
[Super: Kendall/EYE ON HEALTH]
THE PAST FEW MONTHS HAVE BEEN TOUGH FOR PHYLLIS NOE (no-ee). SHE GOT HER HEPATITIS B SHOTS LATE LAST YEAR. NOE IS CONVINCED THE VACCINE GAVE HER SEIZURES.
[Super: Phyllis Noe/PATIENT] "I felt faint, dizzy, so some of the people I work with had me lie down, and then I started having seizure like episodes."
NOE WANTED TO TALK TO US-- AFTER HEARING ABOUT LINDSAY KIRSCHNER'S REACTION TO THE HEPATITIS B VACCINE. THE FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD CORAL SPRINGS GIRL HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME AND HEART PROBLEMS. SHE GOT VERY SICK AFTER BEING VACCINATED.
[Super: Marilyn Kirschner/MOM] "The next day she woke up and couldn't stand up without holding the walls of the house.'
HOUSTON VACCINE RESEARCHER DOCTOR BONNIE DUNBAR-- HAS BEEN STUDYING POTENTIAL PROBLEMS FOR 2-YEARS. TODAY, SHE'S GOTTEN DOZENS OF CALLS FROM PEOPLE CONVINCED HEPATITIS B VACCINATIONS MADE THEM SICK. DUNBAR WANTS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK mAT THESE VACCINES-- SO FAR-- SHE SAYS NO ONE HAS LISTENED.
[(Dunbar]"I was told by one major agency, for which I consulted, that my researchand ideas about this belong in church, not in a laboratory."
IN DUNBAR'S LAB-- SHE'S BEEN LOOKING AT POTENTIAL REACTIONS--SUCH AS FEVERS AND FLU--TO ARTHRITIS, BLINDNESS, AND MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS-- IN PEOPLE WHO'VE HAD THE VACCINATION.
PEDIATRICIANS' OFFICES-- LIKE THIS ONE IN CORAL GABLES-- AND THE MIAMI CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL-- WERE FLOODED WITH CALLS TODAY FROM SCARED PARENTS WHO KNOW THE VACCINE IS REQUIRED FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN. PARENTS ARE BEING ASSURED, THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE PROTECTED BY THE VACCINE-- FAR OUTNUMBER THE PEOPLE WHO'VE EXPERIENCED SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS.
[Dr. Elani Sfakianaki/FLORIDA DEPT. OF HEALTH] "Now side effects occur in one in every 10-thousand vacciantions. That's a very rare occurence."
AND THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT WANTS ANYONE WHO'S HAD MEDICAL PROBLEMS FOLLOWING *ANY* VACCINATION TO CALL:
National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program 800-338-2382
IF YOU WOULD LIKE SOME MORE INFORMATION.. WE'VE SET-UP A HOTLINE NUMBER AT THE STATION... THE NUMBER IS 305-325-2435.
[AIR DATE= 6pm Wednesday 4-29-98 ]
MORE PEOPLE WHO GOT THE HEPATITIS-B VACCINE AND THEN GOT SICK ARE SPEAKING OUT TONIGHT, SAYING IT'S THE VACCINE'S FAULT THEY'RE SICK. KRISTI KRUEGER BROKE THE STORY TO THE COUNTRY THIS WEEK. SHE HAS MORE TONIGHT FROM PATIENTS, DOCTORS AND PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS. KRISTI. THE HEPATITIS-B VACCINE IS REQUIRED FOR ENROLLMENT INTO KINDERGARTEN IN FLORIDA THIS FALL. AND, THAT'S CAUSE A LOT OF CONCERN AMONG PARENTS. BUT, THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH *INSISTS* THE VACCINE IS *EXTREMELY* BENEFICIAL AND SCHOOL KIDS *NEED* THE VACCINE. BUT, SOME PEOPLE WHO SAY THEY GOT SICK nAFTER GETTING THE SHOTS QUESTION THE SAFETY OF THE VACCINE.
[Super: Cooper City]
ANTHONY SIKORA'S MOTOR SKILLS HAVEN'T BEEN THE SAME SINCE HE GOT VACCINATED AGAINST HEPATITIS-B WHEN HE WAS FOUR. HIS COORDINATION WAS SO BAD, THE STAFF AT ANTHONY'S DAY CARE CENTER GOT WORRIED.
[Super: Gale Sikora/ANTHONY'S MOM] "Then his day care teacher called me and said I don't know what's wrong, but when kids bump into him on the playground, he just falls over."
NOW ANTHONY IS SEVEN. AFTER TEST AFTER TEST, HE'S NOW DIAGNOSED WITH ATAXIA. THE BOY'S NEUROLOGIST AND PEDIATRICIAN BOTH SAY ANTHONY'S CONDITION WAS THE RESULT OF HIS HEPATITIS-B VACCINATION.
[Super: Kristi Krueger] "Anthony's doctors did report his adverse reactions to the FDA. But some experts are very concerned that other doctors are not doing that reporting because they just don't know the symptoms."
[Super: Bonnie Dunbar, Ph.D./BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE] "There are several different types of side effects. But they are all associated with what we call auto-immune disorders. That is the body's immune system turnign against itself."
REACTIONS SUCH AS FLU AND FEVER,ARTHRITIS,BLINDNESS, AND MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS HAVE BEEN REPORTED TO THE GOVERNMENT. THESE SYMPTOMS ARE FAMILIAR TO TONY LAMBERTI OF CORAL SPRINGS. THE 24-YEAR-OLD FIREFIGHTER SAYS HIS HEALTH HAS DECLINED SINCE HIS HEPATITIS-B VACCINATIONS. JUST DAYS AFTER HIS FINAL SHOT, HE COULDN'T STAND-UP.
[Super: Tony Lamberti/FIREFIGHTER] "I had hip pain, and it just got worse as the day went on to where at the end of the day I just couldn't walk on it. I felt like knives were being stabbed in my leg."
NOW TONY'S TAKING PAIN MEDICINE.
[Super: Kathy Lamberti/TONY'S MOTHER] "The other night at dinner, we were eating dinner, and my son couldn't cut his own meat. He couldn't walk by himself."
DESPITE NEW CONCERNS, THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SAYS THE VACCINATIONS HAVE LED TO A DRAMATIC DECLINE IN THE NUMBER OF HEPATITIS-B INFECTIONS. THE DEPARTMENT *IS* CONCERNED ABOUT ADVERSE REACTION REPORTS. BUT THE STATE WANTS MORE PROOF THE CASES ARE *DIRECTLY LINKED* TO THE VACCINE.
[Sikora] "Well, it's isolated, until it's your child. Then it becomes a major concern."
AND THE DEPARTMENT SAYS THE VACCINE HAS HELPED FAR MORE PEOPLE THAN IT HAS HARMED.
[Super: Dr. Deise Granado/MIAMI CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL] "Parents have no reason to be alarmed. But they have to be on the lookout for some mild side effects that might derive from this vaccine. And that it is far more important for their children to be protected from the disease itself."
IF YOU'VE EVER HAD AN ADVERSE REACTION TO A VACCINE YOUR DOCTOR MUST CALL THE F-D-A AND REPORT IT.
Doctors should call 800-FDA-1088
AND THEN, YOU NEED TO CALL THE NATIONAL VACCINE INJURY COMPENSATION PROGRAM. THE NUMBER IS 1-800-338-2382. THOSE HURT BY VACCINES MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR DAMAGES. AND IF YOU WOULD LIKE SOME MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HEPATITIS B.. WE'VE SET-UP A HOTLINE NUMBER AT THE STATION... THE NUMBER IS 305-325-2435.
People who have gotten sick from the vaccine can call the National Adverse Reaction Hotline at the FDA. The number is 800-822-7967. Also, report your case to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Tell the operator you've been hurt by the hepatitis B vaccine. You may be eligible for payment. Call 800-338-2382. Your doctor must also make a report to the FDA's Medwatch. Give your doctor this number. 800-FDA-1088.
To reach Dr. Pancheta Wilson, who is investigating adverse reactions, and treating patients in Coral Springs-- call 954-344-2793. Attorney David Krathen is helping patients with lawsuits. Call 954-467-6400.
HEPATITIS B INVESTIGATION [WRITER=STACHOWIAK / KRUEGER] [AIR DATE=6pm Tuesday 5-19-98][REPEAT=11pm Tuesday 5-19-98] THE HEPATITIS 'B' VACCINE IS SUPPOSED TO PROTECT PEOPLE FROM A SERIOUS-- AND OFTEN FATAL-- LIVER INFECTION. AND THE SERIES OF THREE SHOTS IS REQUIRED AMONG FLORIDA CHILDREN. BUT AS EYEWITNESS NEWS FIRST REPORTED-- THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE SUSPECT THEY GOT CHRONICALLY ILL-- AFTER GETTING VACCINATED. AND NOW, SOME RESEARCHERS NOW QUESTION IF THE VACCINE IS SAFE FOR EVERYONE. EYE ON HEALTH REPORTER KRISTI KRUEGER BROKE THE STORY A FEW WEEKS AGO. SHE'S HERE TONIGHT TO TELL US-- WHAT ACTION IS BEING TAKEN-- TO INVESTIGATE THIS VACCINE.
EVER SINCE THE STORY BROKE-- WE'VE RECEIVED HUNDREDS OF CALLS FROM CONCERNED DOCTORS AND VIEWERS. WE'VE LEARNED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS HEARD 250 NEW COMPLAINTS ABOUT ILLNESSES LINKED TO THE VACCINE. AND, WE'VE HEARD ABOUT DOZENS OF SOUTH FLORIDA PEOPLE WHO SAY THE VACCINE MADE THEM VERY SICK. TONY LAMBERTI IS SICK-- IN BED-- AND, HE HASN'T FELT WELL SINCE HE GOT VACCINATED AGAINST HEPATITIS 'B' SEVERAL MONTHS AGO.
THE CORAL SPRINGS FIREFIGHTER WAS IMMUNIZED WHILE HE WAS BEING TRAINED AS A PARAMEDIC. NOW, HE'S IN CONSTANT PAIN.
[Tony Lamberti/PATIENT]"In my wrists, my fingers, sometimes I feel like they're broken, my knees, I get fluid in my knees sometimes, my ankles, the bottom of my feet."
LAMBERTI'S MOTHER, KATHY, SPENDS HER DAYS MANAGING TONY'S CARE. SHE'S WORRIED ABOUT THE MEDICAL BILLS.
[Kathy Lamberti]"I feel that someone should pay for my son's illness."
LAMBERTI'S DOCTOR-- PANCHETA WILSON--IS THE FIRST SOUTH FLORIDA PHYSICIAN TO INVESTIGATE ADVERSE REACTIONS LINKED TO THE VACCINE.
[Dr. Pancheta Wilson/INTERNAL MEDICINE] "This is not a coincidence. There are too many cases right now that have been reported to take this as a coincidence."
DOCTOR WILSON IS SO CONCERNED ABOUT PATIENTS LIKE TONY LAMBERTI SHE WANTS ACTION FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
[Wilson] "...to pull the vaccine, until further studies are completed, and we know how to treat these patients at least."
[Kristi Krueger]"I've talked at length to the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Florida Department of Health. *All* agencies tell me there will be an investigation into the adverse reactions, and each complaint will be taken seriously."
BUT, ANTHONY SIKORA'S FAMILY HAS HEARD *NOTHING* FROM THE GOVERNMENT. ANTHONY'S MOTHER SAYS ADVERSE REACTION REPORTS WERE FILED LAST YEAR BY THE BOY'S DOCTORS-- BLAMING THE VACCINE FOR CAUSING ANTHONY'S NERVE AND MOVEMENT DISORDER.
[Gale Sikora/ANTHONY'S MOTHER]"He comes home and tells me the kids laughed at me and told me I walk funny or they told me I'm stupid because I can't write, then I get really angry."
[Kathy Lamberti/TONY'S MOTHER]"We need help. We all need help."
BUT, HELP FOR TONY LAMBERTI, ANTHONY SIKORA, AND THOUSANDS OF OTHER PATIENTS, MAY COME-- ONLY IF DRUG COMPANIES OR THE GOVERNMENT FUND MORE RESEARCH INTO THIS VACCINE.
RESEARCHER BONNIE DUNBAR DEVELOPS VACCINES FOR A LIVING IN HOUSTON. SHE FOUND OUT ABOUT THE ADVERSE REACTIONS TO THE HEPATITIS 'B' VACCINE-- AFTER HER OWN LAB ASSISTANT-- AND HER BROTHER-- GOT MYSTERIOUS ILLNESSES AFTER IMMUNIZATION.
[Bonnie Dunbar, Ph.D./BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE]"We need to have a large, epidemiological study to look at the effect to the vaccine, both from the positive, who is going to be protected, and the other side, who is going to have an adverse reaction."
BUT, THE VACCINE MAKERS AND THE GOVERNMENT MUST ADMIT THERE'S A POSSIBILITY THIS SHOT MAY MAKE PEOPLE SICK BEFORE ANY MORE MONEY IS SPENT ON RESEARCH.
[Dunbar] "While there are millions of dollars out there to develop vaccines, there's no money for research into adverse reactions for people who admittedly are having these problems."
DOCTOR DUNBAR SAYS-- IN THE MEANTIME-- HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ARE BEING SPENT TREATING THE HEALTH PROBLEMS OF THE PEOPLE WHO SAY THE VACCINE MADE THEM SICK.
AN ESTIMATED 23-THOUSAND PEOPLE WHO'VE COMPLAINED TO THE GOVERNMENT ABOUT ADVERSE REACTIONS FROM THE HEPATITIS 'B' VACCINE.
MEANWHILE, UP TO 25-THOUSAND AMERICANS GET SEVERE HEPATITIS 'B' INFECTIONS EACH YEAR... AND MANY MORE PEOPLE CARRY THE VIRUS, BUT HAVE NO SYMPTOMS. THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT-- AND MANY DOCTORS-- INSIST VACCINATIONS CONTINUE-- BECAUSE THE SHOTS DO MORE GOOD THAN HARM.
HEALTH ARCHIVE HOW TO READ A NEWS SCRIPT INDEX OF PREVIOUS EYE ON HEALTH SCRIPTS HEPATITIS B FOLLOW-UP
[Air date: 6pm 6-15-98]
THE HEPATITIS B VACCINE IS AGAIN UNDER SCRUTINY TONIGHT, FOLLOWING AN EXCLUSIVE EYEWITNESS NEWS INVESTIGATION.
TWO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ARE NOW TAKING A CLOSER LOOK AT THE SEVERE ADVERSE REACTIONS-- THE VACCINE MIGHT CAUSE.
THE RESPONSE FROM OUR INVESTIGATION WAS OVERWHELMING. WE TOOK HUNDREDS OF CALLS FROM CONCERNED PARENTS, AND EVEN FROM DOCTORS CRITICAL OF OUR REPORT. THEN TODAY THE MOTHER OF A BROWARD BOY-- WHO'S BEEN SICK EVER SINCE HE GOT THE HEPATITIS 'B' SHOTS-- FILED A LAWSUIT - AGAINST ONE VACCINE-MAKER.
THE HEPATITIS B VACCINE WAS MADE TO PROTECT PEOPLE FROM A DEBILITATING VIRUS... PATIENTS IN THE ORIGINAL STUDIES WERE FOLLOWED FOR FIVE DAYS.
BUT SOME RESEARCHERS THINK PEOPLE CAN HAVE ADVERSE REACTIONS WEEKS OR EVEN MONTHS AFTER THE INJECTION.
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE REPORTED SERIOUS AUTO-IMMUNE PROBLEMS TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
[Bonnie Dunbar, Ph.D./BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE]
"There's one report from a nurse who reported 15 cases of ms following the vaccine. [Kristi] "But the federal health officials I talked to say those numbers can be deceiving-- that just because people *report* side effects.. doesn't mean the vaccine is to blame. But I have learned the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control.. have started studies to look at the possible link.
ONE STUDY IS FOCUSING ON MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.. THE OTHER ON A MUSCLE DISORDER CALLED MYOSITIS.
GALE SIKORA THINKS THERE' IS A CONNECTION.. HER SON ANTHONY LOST MUSCLE CONTROL RIGHT AFTER HIS FIRST INJECTION.
[Gale Sikora/Anthony's mother] "His daycare teachers called me and said I don't know what's wrong. But when kids bump into him on the playground, he just falls over."
ANTHONY'S DOCTORS FILED ADVERSE REACTION REPORTS WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. NO ONE EVER INVESTIGATED.
SO TODAY, ANTHONY'S MOTHER FILED A LAWSUIT AGAINST MERCK..ONE OF THE COMPANIES THAT MAKES THE VACCINE... CLAIMING THE COMPANY KNEW THERE COULD BE SIDE EFFECTS AND DIDN'T WARN DOCTORS..
THE SIKORA'S ATTORNEY SAYS DOCTORS DID ALERT THE COMPANY ABOUT THE SIDE EFFECTS... BUT WERE IGNORED.
[David Krathan/Sikora's Attorney] "That causes us great concern as to whether or not merck really wanted to know what the answers are. But we'll find that out during the discovery process."
WHILE THE LEGAL PROCESS BEGINS FOR ANTHONY.... THE TREATMENT PROCESS BEGINS FOR TONY LAMBERTI.. TONY'S DOCTOR BELIEVE THE HEPATITIS B VACCINE MADE HIM SICK..... NOW, EVERY SATURDAY, HE HAS HOURS OF GAMMA GLOBULIN THERAPY.... IT'S A TREATMENT PEOPLE WITH THE HEPATITIS B *VIRUS* OFTEN GET.
[Tony Lamberti/Coral Springs Firefighter]
"I couldn't move my arms or legs. I couldn't walk around the house.. and now, I'm practically normal again."
A SPOKESPERSON FOR MERCK... THE DRUG COMPANY INVOLVED IN THE LAWSUIT TELLS ME THE COMPANY NEVER COMMENTS ON PENDING LITIGATION. MEANTIME, SEVERAL RESEARCHERS HAVE SUBMITTED A GRANT PROPOSAL TO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. THE STUDY IS BEING REVIEWED AND WE'LL SOON LEARN WHETHER MONEY WILL BE ALLOCATED FOR A LONG-TERM STUDY ON THE HEPATITIS B VACCINE.
AT THE VERY LEAST, THESE DOCTORS HOPE TO GET PEDIATRICIANS AND THEIR PATIENTS TALKING AND AWARE OF POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS--- ESPECIALLY, PERHAPS, IN FAMILIES WITH A FAMILY HISTORY OFAUTO-IMMUNE DISEASES.