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Chickenpox: Christmas is Over, So Time for a New Vaccine

Shingles By John Stone

For the United Kingdom’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation – the JCVI – January is always the month for floating a new vaccine. And the new flavour for 2009 is chickenpox, launched this weekend by articles in the Sunday Times and Daily Mail. What neither report mentioned was a study carried out for our Health Protection Agency, and published only in September. While bloggers speculated helpfully that the new vaccine – obviously on the schedule for many years in the US – might offer protection against the much more serious secondary condition of shingles, they were not told that a recent government report had advised that quite the opposite was the case. Here is the UK Health Protection Agency notice -  which is going to be of at least equal interest in countries which already use the vaccine - in full:

Latest modelling reveals chickenpox vaccination would lead to more shingle amongst the elderly despite introduction of shingles vaccine.



New modelling research presented at the Health Protection Agency’s annual conference in Warwick confirms that vaccination against chickenpox would significantly decrease the burden of this disease but would lead to more shingles among the elderly.

Researchers also found that vaccinating the elderly against shingles would only partially, but not completely, offset this increase.

Varicella Zoster is a virus that causes two diseases: chickenpox (mostly among children) and shingles (mostly among elderly), this is because the virus remains in the body after chickenpox and is able to reactivate as shingles later in life.

In most cases, chickenpox is a mild illness and around 89% of adults in the UK will develop immunity to the illness. Although a vaccine against the varicella virus (which causes chickenpox) is now licensed in the UK it is not part of UK’s routine childhood vaccination schedule.

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.

Post-vaccination research from countries that routinely immunise their children against chickenpox, including the US, has found an increase in cases of shingles among non-vaccinated age groups.

The Health Protection Agency researchers modelled the impact of vaccinating children against chickenpox (with a two dose schedule) and the elderly (60+) against shingles.
Building on previous modelling data the team incorporated virological, epidemiological and recent data on age-specific  contact patterns to see whether a vaccine for the young would impact on the number of shingles in the elderly.

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.

“There are still uncertainties in the research and a lot more work needs to be done examining whether vaccination will be a benefit to all of the population. Also further work needs to be done on the cost effectiveness of any potential chickenpox vaccine before any policy conclusions can be reached.”

The Department of Health has commissioned an expert sub-group of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to look at all the scientific and medical evidence on chickenpox vaccines which will provide its recommendation in due course. (HERE)

So, while the notice anticipates the JCVI review the rhetoric is a little different from the wide-eyed newspaper reports, as well as being highly damaging to the magic bullet school of vaccine propaganda. Of course, it only repeats in essence what Gary Goldman has heroically been trying to tell us all for years, (HERE) & (HERE) but coming from a governmental source it ought to be a little harder to deny. The modelling nevertheless seems to be a little over-optimistic, if they are proposing wiping out wild chickenpox it will also logically eliminate natural protection against shingles altogether.

The Mail report (HERE) also suggests that the vaccine is to be offered to pregnant women despite the fact that the manufacturers’ data sheets clearly state that the vaccine is contra-indicated for pregnant women in both monovalent and multivalent forms. The data sheet for Varixax states under ‘Who should not be vaccinated with Varivax’:

Pregnant women (in addition pregnancy should be avoided for 3 months after vaccination).
(HERE)

Similarly, Merck’s data sheet for the controversial Proquad states under contra-indications:

To individuals who are pregnant: the possible effects of the vaccine on fetal development are unknown at this time (see PRECAUTIONS, pregnancy).

And under precautions:

Female vaccine recipients of childbearing age should be told to avoid pregnancy for 3 months after vaccination

The document has many other warnings which are unlikely to be observed in a mass vaccination campaign.
(HERE)

So, when it all goes wrong the manufacturers will be absolved, and the health official will just deny everything, as usual.

John Stone has an autistic son, and lives in London.

Comments

doxycycline

Thanks for the article Mr. Stone. I guess you will be hearing what we here in the US...."the vaccines has created a super bug...now kids health is at risk because of chickenpox....blah, blah,, blah.

For pregnant women-eh? What a joke.

jen

sickening news. Except that, they push and push until people decide that enough is enough, something doesn't smell right. I vividly recall being on the fence with the vaccine issue (scared to allow them for my small children/babies yet scared not to). Then, lo and behold, I saw an American doctor on t.v. yacking about how with the chicken pox vaccine, parents wouldn't have to take time off work. It was so CLEAR to me that it was all to do with money that my mind did a complete turn and I have not given hardly any vaccines since.
I do believe a lot of people have a threshold for this kind of thing and all that I can say is that they are pushing too hard and people will push back when they feel exploited. It's human nature. This fact of an increase in shingles should be very exposed to illustrate the folly of tampering with nature.

Stagmom for Willie

Willie, will you elaborate? Interesting comment. KIM, Managing Editor

Willie

At this time as a physician my recommendation is not to believe the drug companies about any vaccines period. They are capitalistic bioterrorist that will say anything to anybody to sell their snake oil and the government has been bought off and is complicit. I applaud you people that have figured this out so soon and I wish I had earlier prior to my precious child being injured

moon batchelder

i was of the age when moms did the chicken pox play date...never got it...neither did one of my daughters....
as an adult i got something i thought might be shingles...a blood test showed that i had never had chicken pox, so it couldn't be shingles.
i was of the age when kids got measles, mumps and chicken pox...we have better treatment meds now than we had then...so why are we terrified?
my son had seizures after his 2 month vaccinations...he's not had another regardless of doctors trying to intimidate, pediatricians passing me along to someone else, special requirements of waiver provisions to aid agencies et.al.
he is now only mildly autistic but still has some seizures...
i have only had one flu shot in my entire life...i am 54...after that shot i got the flu...but had never had flu as an adult before that shot, nor have had flu since...
my son has never suffered from flu, chicken pox, or any other disease of childhood...he hasn't developed whooping cough or polio....
what if the monsters are really all slain?
what if they are monsters after all?
what if the diseases for which vaccinations are all but insisted upon really are the far lesser evil?
and in this big pharma controlled media world, how would we learn the truth?
by just this sort of blog i'll say!
because, i thought i was perhaps alone in my convictions. until finding such places online!
thanks

Gatogorra

Had my children gotten the varicella at the time it was being recommended, they would have been much worse off. As it was, they regressed further after getting the shot in combination with a flu vaccine at the age of two, which was apparently a delay (according to a new ped, eager to "complete" the missing vaxes). Only months later, I began to learn about the ravages of thimerosal in combination with live virus vaccines and would have loved a time machine.

Merry Christmas indeed. I see the "joy" spreading to the UK and they need it like another hole in the head.

maggie

My son got this vaccine among many others. He got chicken pox in kindergarden and this disease was less than nothing. He played on the trampoline all day. Why do we have a vaccine for chicken pox?

John Stone

Randy

But it is worse than that. I think you can assume that it will not only be old people who are put at greater risk from shingles, but everybody including the vaccinees, sooner or later.

Randy

If I read this correctly, parents who get their kids vaccinated against chicken pox are contributing to the increase in the rates of shingles in older populations. By vaccinating your child, you are putting the population (the herd) at higher risk.

An powerful and ironic twist to the old "parasites" argument - it would be easy to sling this back around and at these parents - but I won't - I see them as acting on what they consider to be in their child's best interests (whether I agree with it or not). So is it anything less than fair and reasonable to expect the same courtesy and consideration in return when I make my health care decisions based on what's best for my child?

The way we've been "tinkering" with the human immune system, and blind-siding mother nature, it would be absolutely no surprise to find out one day that vaccinated kids have put the herd at greater risk than the non-vax kids in ways we've never dreamed of. Not suggesting vaccines have had no beneficial effect - but I'd say the shingles issue is probably the proverbial tip of the longer term iceberg - another "early" warning sign that big ego's, and playing God - when nobody has the reins - is a tragedy unfolding.

Maurine Meleck

maurine_meleck@yahoo.com

Beth

Maurine, How do I contact you about alternative approach for treating shingles? What is your email address? My aunt has it and is miserable.
Thank you, Beth

Maurine Meleck

This story is of much interest to me since I was an older victim(grandmother to Joshua-autistic) of shingles almost 2 years ago.I did go to the conventional doctor although I already knew what I had. I was told that it was one of the worse cases they had ever seenand that they could not believe how many cases they had already seen that year and numbers were skyrocketing. Fortunately I did not listen to their advice and went the alternative med route and it was completely gone in 2 weeks with no lasting effects(but still not a pleasant illness). I popped into the office after 2 weeks and they wre shocked. Anyone gets shingles-e-mail me for alternative natural meds.
To add salt to the wound-my grandson(with autism) had been vaccinated for the chicken-pox previously and since he lives with me-he was exposed and yep-21 days later he came down with the chicken-pox. Then we purposely exposed his unvaccinated brother and yep-he got them and the kids both did fine.

Maurine Meleck
South Carolina

Maurine Meleck
South Carolina

kathleen

Thanks for the article Mr. Stone. I guess you will be hearing what we here in the US...."the vaccines has created a super bug...now kids health is at risk because of chickenpox....blah, blah,, blah.

For pregnant women-eh? What a joke.

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