Hep B vaccine challenge launched
Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 October, 2003, 14:59 GMT 
A group of patients are planning legal action claiming they suffered side
effects after being vaccinated against Hepatitis B.

Around 50 patients are now planning legal action, claiming they became ill
after being vaccinated.

Hepatitis B is the most common serious liver condition and is thought to be
the leading cause of liver cancer.

The virus can be transmitted through direct blood-to-blood contact,
unprotected sex, and illicit drug use.

Arthritis is one of the very rare stated associated side effects of the

'It changed my life'

Steve Harrison, who used to be a keen footballer, can now hardly walk.

  Within 10 days of having the Hepatitis B vaccination, his health
deteriorated and he was later diagnosed with severe rheumatoid arthritis.

He told the BBC: "I never had anything wrong with me until I had this

"Within 10 days, it had changed my life. And now I get up in the morning
and I have to take pills. In the afternoon I have to take pills, and every
two weeks I have to inject myself."

A doctor certifying Mr Harrison for disability benefit said his condition
is an adverse reaction to the jab.

Mervyn Fudge, the solicitor representing the group, said: "The majority of
them were not informed of the likelihood of these serious side effects
which they've suffered as a result of the vaccine.

"We believe that the illnesses they are now suffering from are a direct
result of being given the vaccine."

Aventis Pasteur said it could not comment on Mr Harrison's case because he
was planning legal action.

But they said studies had not demonstrated any link between the vaccine and
the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, and that it is used across the world.

Dawn Richardson
PROVE(Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education)
prove@vaccineinfo.net (email)
http://vaccineinfo.net/ (web site)