Re: Even covid-19 can’t kill the anti-vaccination movement Katrina Megget. 369:doi 10.1136/bmj.m2184
Written by Joshua Mazer
Dear Editor 5-18-2020
I read with interest Even Covid -19 can't kill the anti-vaccination movement. President Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed,” the crash program to develop a covid-19 vaccine should give any sentient, thinking medical consumer reason for pause. Voices on the left and right, inside and outside of the medical community, are sounding cautionary notes about ignoring established safety protocols to speed development of a covid shot.
Yet Trump is demanding, and getting, short cuts. MSN reported May 5: “Medical staff at the University of Maryland School of Medicine spent early Monday injecting the first few people with a potential vaccine for the coronavirus as part of an accelerated international effort” “We’re not skipping any steps, but we are speeding them up quite a bit,” said Dr. Kirsten Lyke, and “she’s never done one quite…this quickly.”
What could possibly go wrong? A brief history of “rushed vaccines” from the recent past offers some troubling insights
The polio vaccine was rushed to market by firms competing not only to save lives, but to cash in on the opportunity as well. Dr. Paul Offit cited in the Washington Post commented; ”Roughly 40,000 got “abortive” polio, with fever, sore throat, headache, vomiting and muscle pain. Fifty-one were paralyzed, and five died, Offit wrote in his 2005 book, “The Cutter Incident: How America’s First Polio Vaccine Led to the Growing Vaccine Crisis.” It was “one of the worst biological disasters in American history: a man-made polio epidemic.” Further, an estimated 10 million Americans were infected with Simian Virus 40 from the early polio vaccines.
The measles vaccine was rolled out in 1963. It was withdrawn within one year. It caused a more virulent and infectious vaccine strain of “atypical measles” that was deadlier than natural measles.
The Urrabe strain measles mumps rubella (“MMR”) vaccine was introduced in Canada in the early 1980’s and withdrawn immediately because it caused aseptic meningitis. Despite the warning, Britain introduced the same shot and withdrew it in 1993 for the same reason.
The 1976 H1N1 flu shot was hurried to the market under the spectre of an impending epidemic. After killing about 20 people and paralyzing numerous more, it was just as quickly pulled.
The original whole cell pertussis shot caused so many injuries and deaths that it was replaced with a safer, attenuated version.
The 2009 H1N1 shot was touted by Dr. Anthony Fauci as “safe and effective” Australia stopped giving it to children under 5 because 1/110 developed febrile seizures. Over 1500 cases of narcolepsy in Europe, according to the CDC, were caused by this expedited shot.
Ruth Karron at Hopkins has been trying for over a decade to develop a vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus. Early human trials killed two young participants, which highlights the need for careful and staged research protocols.
The dengue vaccine introduced in the Philippines in 2017 by Sanofi was withdrawn. According to NPR, “The Philippines government has indicted 14 government officials over the deaths of 10 children. The government said the officials acted with "undue haste in launching the campaign."
The human papillomavirus vaccine introduced in Maryland in 2007 was “fast tracked” through the regulatory process. The Royal Society of Medicine published in 2020 “A new analysis of the clinical trials of HPV vaccines to prevent cervical cancer raises doubts about the vaccines’ effectiveness.” The HPV shot caused the death of Baltimore County resident Christina Tarsell. There are an additional 720 adverse events described in Maryland, and over 500 deaths worldwide associated with that shot.
Science has been working on vaccines for severe acute respiratory syndrome, Mid-Eastern respiratory syndrome, and even the common cold for decades. The corona virus class experimental class vaccines when tested in animal models do induce the production of disease relevant anti bodies. In each case, the animals have more severe symptoms to the natural pathogens when re-exposed.
William Haseltine wrote in Forbes: “All of the vaccinated monkeys treated with the Oxford vaccine became infected when challenged…. There was no difference in the amount of viral RNA detected… in the vaccinated monkeys as compared to the unvaccinated animals. Which is to say, all vaccinated animals were infected… It is crystal clear that the vaccine did not provide sterilizing immunity to the virus challenge, the gold standard for any vaccine.” Oxford Group is moving ahead with this covid candidate vaccine.
Trump’s Operation Warp Speed may be based more on political expediency than actual science. That this process can be so politicized, and has been over a period of decades, is concerning.
Josh Mazer, CFP®
Competing interests: No competing interests