3 September 2006
Report links 'super dose' to thousands of adverse reactions in US children
Fears new 7-in-1 meningitis jab endangers lives
By Lucy Johnston
Babies given a "super dose" vaccine due to be launched tomorrow risk
serious side effects and even death, a report claims.
Prevnar, will be added to the childhood immunisation programme containing
vaccines against seven strains of meningitis.
The drug is designed to combat bacteria that cause diseases such as
pneumonia and blood poisoning as well as meningitis. It provokes the body's
immune response to the bacteria without causing the diseases.
But a report, The Next Storm, reveals that the jab, combined with other
childhood inoculations, has been linked to breathing problems, brain
damage, convulsions, extreme allergic shock and death.
A similar combination of vaccines has been given to babies in the US for
more than five years.
The report's author, Dr Edward Yazbak, is an American child vaccination
specialist who has analysed reports of side-effects received by the
American Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System.
He discovered thousands of reactions linked with Prevenar.
Since March 2000 there has been 11,611 adverse reports following the jab
including 362 deaths and 1,347 hospitalisations, although Dr Yazbak pointed
out that a report does not prove the jab caused the reaction.
He said: "Such a combination of jabs has been linked with serious
reactions and death in this country. The authorities in Britain should be
very alert to what happens when all these
vaccines are given together."
His study has led to calls for an overhaul of the UK vaccination programme,
which will see babies receiving 25 inoculations by the time, they are 13
Doctors and health expert say there have been no long-term studies into the
Liberal Democrat health spokeswoman Sandra Gidley said: "We shouldn't be
doing this until we know more about what happens long term."
Dr Peter Mansfield, who won a case against the doctor's governing body, the
General Medical Council, for refusing to give the measles, mumps and
rubella jab to infants, said: "We're vaccinating babies when their immune
systems are not ready. We're breaking the rules of nature and we really
don't know what the result will be."
Jackie Fletcher from Jabs, a support group for parents who believe their
children have been damaged by vaccines, wrote to the Chief Medical Officer,
Professor Liam Donaldson, asking for evidence that the new schedule has
been properly tested. She has received no reply.
She said: "Doctors have raised serious concerns about the old schedule.
Surely we need to ensure this is safe before introducing new ones?"
"Single jabs have been phased out without any consultation. Families should
be given a range of options."
In a statement to the Sunday Express, Sir Liam said the new jab had been
introduced, "on the best available scientific and medical evidence."
He added: "This will save many babies' lives a year as well as preventing
hundreds more cases of serious illness and disability."
The new schedule
At 2 months babies will be given the five-in-one - diphtheria, tetanus,
whooping cough, hib meningitis and polio - and Prevenar.
At 3 months they will get a repeat of the five-in-one and a dose of
At 4 months they will receive a third shot of the five-in-one with Prevenar
and meningitis C.
At 12 months hib meningitis and meningitis C.
At 13 months they will get the MMR together with Prevenar, making a total
of 25 jabs.