By John Stone
An unusual correspondence has been appearing beneath the abstract of an article in Pubmed led by redoubtable vaccine safety campaigner Jacob Puliyel (possibly chosen as a venue by him so that the discussion could take place on the open web). The paper by Tozzi et al including veteran Johns Hopkins Institute of Vaccine Safety professor Neal Halsey assesses the World Health Organization Adverse Event Following Immunization criteria which further dilute the possibility of adverse vaccine events ever being acknowledged. Alberto Tozzi is lead the author of the notorious CDC funded Italian thimerosal study which received widespread media publicity in 2009 despite the fact that the data could have been specially selected not to discover anything. This being the case the new paper finds Tozzi on fine form. Dr Puliyel’s letter headed ‘DEATHS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES WILL COUNT FOR LESS’ reviews how the system has worked in practice rather than whether health officials like it. It states in conclusion:
“Under the new scheme, fatal AEFI in developing countries will be falsely recorded as ‘Not an AEFI’, simply because some time or test criterion was not met. Death is the worst AEFI possible. Continued use of the CIOMS [Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences]/WHO scheme will result in missing an important opportunity to pick up signals that could save lives…”
There are further contributions from Paul G King, Brandon Horn, Y Mahdavi, Lokesh Tiwari, Toni Bark and Akash Malik, an Indian government official, but no response so far from the authors. In the original paper - which is not available on the open web - Prof Tozzi acknowledges research grants from Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur MSD. Read further here.
John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.