Myocarditis death in soldier may have been caused by vaccines--DOD press release
June 22, 2006
Please note that CDC found a much higher rate of myocarditis in
smallpox vaccine recipients than did DOD: 1 in 1,725, according to
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report put out by CDC. In a vaccine
trial of smallpox vaccines conducted by Acambis the rate of myocarditis
was 1 in 973. A 1978 study in Finnish military recruits found a much
higher rate using looser criteria (1 in 29).
If DOD had cases occurring at the same rate, they should have had 580
cases in 1 million vaccine recipients, not 120. However, DOD likely
had even more cases of myocarditis than 580, since it is believed that
people who have never before received the vaccine are at higher risk of
complications than those previously vaccinated. Nearly all those who
were vaccinated through CDC had been vaccinated in childhood.
Relatively few military servicemembers have been previously vaccinated.
Claiming that no previous smallpox recipients died with myocarditis is
also blatantly untrue. Twenty-two year old Rachel Lacy died in early
2003, one month after receiving five vaccines in one day (including
smallpox and anthrax) and her autopsy demonstrated myocarditis. Two
panels asked to evaluate her death for DOD agreed her death was
I wrote something about earlier inaccurate DOD statements about
smallpox vaccine-related myocarditis and death in 2003:
Wonder why DOD admitted this death, while denying others?
Meryl Nass, MD
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
On the Web:
Media contact: +1 (703) 697-5131 Public contact:
or +1 (703) 428-0711
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 587-06
June 22, 2006
Vaccines May Have Caused A Soldier's Death
A panel of military physician experts has concluded that
vaccinations may have caused the death of a 26-year-old Army soldier.
The soldier, Pfc. Christopher "Justin" Abston, received
smallpox and injectable influenza vaccines in November 2005, at Fort
Bragg, N.C., 16 days before suffering sudden death in his barracks
Following evaluation of multiple specialized test results,
the panel considered a cause-and-effect relationship to be "possible."
The smallpox vaccine received by Abston is known to cause an
inflammation of the heart muscle or myocarditis, a condition found at
Evidence of the vaccinia virus, the main ingredient of
smallpox vaccine, was not found in his heart muscle, but evidence of a
different virus, parvovirus B19, was found. Natural infection with
parvovirus B19 is another known cause of heart inflammation and death.
The expert panel cautioned that the findings pointing to vaccinations
were neither probable nor unlikely, but they do suggest the possibility
that the vaccines may have caused Abston's death.
Among the one million military personnel given smallpox
vaccine since December 2002, 120 developed myocarditis or similar
conditions, but none of them died. DoD screens all personnel to be
given smallpox vaccinations and about eight percent are excluded due to
screening criteria. It also advises all smallpox vaccine recipients,
who develop chest pain after smallpox vaccination to seek medical care
without delay. In the 120 cases mentioned above, such chest pain most
often occurred in the first three weeks after smallpox vaccination.
The DoD conducts its smallpox vaccination program to
protect troops assigned to U.S. Central Command, U.S. Forces Korea, or
designated units with homeland defense missions.
Meryl Nass, MD
Mount Desert Island Hospital
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
207 288-5081 ext. 220
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