A serious lawsuit: "An experimental vaccine was given to hundreds of thousands babies in Israel"
Dr. Yaffa Shir-Raz
Dr. Yaffa Shir-Raz (Ph.D., The University of Haifa, Israel) is a health and risk communication researcher, as well as a health journalist, and her interdisciplinary work in this field draws from both professions. She is a researcher at the University of Haifa Health and Risk Communication Research Center, and a lecturer of health communication in the International Communication Program, Sammy Ofer School of Communication, IDC Herzliya, Israel.
An experimental, flawed, dangerous and harmful vaccine was given to newborns and infants in Israel, without informing their parents and without obtaining their informed consent. These serious allegations were raised last Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Attorney Dr. Ahuva Ticho against the Israeli Ministry of Health and Scivac, the manufacturer of Sci-B-Vac. Between 2011 and 2015, Sci-B-Vac, a Hepatitis B vaccine made in Israel, was given, to 428,000 newborns and infants in Israel.
The lawsuit, for bodily injuries allegedly caused as a result of the vaccine, was filed on behalf of two children and their parents. At the same time, a motion for certification of a class action was filed against Scivac last Thursday, by attorneys David Or-Chen and Ahuva Ticho, in the amount of NIS 1,879,500,000. The class action alleges misrepresentation, loss of autonomy, exploiting distress and breach of duty to inform consumers. The motion for certification of a class action was filed on behalf of the two children and their parents.
According to an opinion that accompanies the statement of claim, by Prof. Avinoam Shofer, a pediatric neurologist, there is a reasonable basis to determine that Sci-B-Vac is the cause of the functional-developmental impairment in the two children for whom the lawsuit was filed, in the absence of any other known possible cause. With respect to plaintiff A, the statement of claim alleges that he suffers from Suffers from a severe seizures disease, epilepsy, and a developmental delay. He has multiple seizures, up to 40 a day. At the age of four, he does not speak yet, and apart from the word "father", he does not even make syllables, only sounds. As for plaintiff B, according to Prof. Shofer's opinion, his symptoms and test results indicate that he suffered from a vaccine-associated encephalitis, and today suffers from a developmental delay.
The tip of the iceberg
The Sci-B-Vac story was exposed three years ago, on Ynet, an Israeli news website, following the Israeli Ministry of Health announcement of a recall of the Sci-B-Vac vaccine.
The recall was announced on July 29, 2015, and applied to all the batches distributed since1.1.2012. According to the recall notice, the reason for the recall, was "a technical failure in packaging". The notice emphasized that the recall was only conducted as a precautionary measure only and that there were no reports of concerns regarding the efficacy and safety of the vaccine. Two weeks later, in response to Ynet's investigation, the Ministry of Health issued a clarification notice, stating that the nature of the problem was "a concern about possible cracks in the vials, claimed to be the result of "a problem of a lack of synchronization at the rate of feeding the vials and labels into the machine." However, the later explanation did not reassure parents. In fact, the clarification notice may have increased parents' anxiety, especially given a recall announcement published online at the same time, by the Hong Kong Ministry of Health, where several hundred batches of the vaccine were sold. The latter announcement warned of a risk of infection and sepsis, and instructed the public to consult their healthcare professional, if in doubt or feeling unwell.