[back] Genocide & vaccination
[back] Dirty needles
[NB: HIV infections are just a WHO lie, see: Africa]
Over One Million Die Every Year World Wide By Injections
Lancet December 8, 2001; 358: 1989-92
DR. MERCOLA'S COMMENT:
A hidden dangerous and disastrous side effect of the immunization program is
that nearly ONE THIRD of the vaccinations are done with non-sterile needles
which contributes to the nearly 1.5 million deaths every year from the
spread of infections.
It just doesn't seem to make any sense to me how intelligent professionals
could make such foolish recommendations, to exchange one disease for
Unless, of course, one factors in the billions of dollars of profit that are
generated to the drug companies that produce these vaccines.
Unsterile medical injections are common in the less-developed world, where
most visits to a doctor result in the (generally unnecessary) administration
of intra-muscular, or subcutaneous drugs.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that every year unsafe
injections result in 80,000-160,000 new HIV-1 infections, 8-16 million
hepatitis B infections, and 2.3-4.7 million hepatitis C infections worldwide
(this figure does not include transfusions).1
Together, these illnesses account for 1·3 million deaths and 23 million
years of lost life.1
Even under the auspices of WHO regional immunization programmes, which
constitute 10% of all mass vaccination campaigns, an estimated 30% of
injections are done with unclean syringes that are commonly reused. And, for
other medicinal injections, over 50% are deemed unsafe, with rates as high
as 90% in some campaigns.1
Injections outside of medical practice
Unsterile administration of drugs also takes place on a large scale outside
of formal medical practice. Once restricted to North America and Europe,
intravenous opioids are now taken in more than 120 countries,4 where
millions of drug addicts inject themselves daily using unsterile equipment.
There are between 10 and 15 million people who inject illicit drugs
worldwide,4,5 and this number continues to grow as heroin production is
established in new areas; most notably in Mexico, Colombia, and some of the
republics of the former Soviet Union. Use of illegal drugs is especially
widespread in the former Soviet Union (with 2-3 million injectors), and in a
growing number of countries in Asia,6 Africa, and Latin America.
The growth of injecting in the 20th century
After their invention in 1848 and until the end of World War I, hypodermic
syringes were valuable medical instruments, individually handmade from glass
and metal by skilled artisans, and priced accordingly -- ie, in 1900,
syringes cost about US$50 each (adjusted for inflation).
In 1920, only 100 000 syringes were manufactured worldwide, even after
production processes had been sped up to keep up with the demand associated
with World War I.8 However, beginning in the period between the World Wars,
as their uses expanded -- eg, for injection of insulin -- syringe
manufacture became increasingly mechanized, and interchangeable components
and mass production methods were introduced.
By 1930, global production had reached 2 million units per year, increasing
to 7·5 million by 1952. Between 1920 and 1950 the unit price declined by
The greatest change in the demand for syringes arose when penicillin became
available after World War II. Discovered in 1929, but not manufactured until
World War II, the total amount of penicillin produced in 1941 was only
sufficient to treat about 200 patients.9
But, between 1949 and 1964, US production increased from 76 000 to 1·70
million pounds, and the price of the antibiotic decreased from $1144 to $49
per pound. The mass production and low prices of penicillin led to worldwide
export, with USA generating more than 80% of penicillin available worldwide.
By 1964, penicillin represented more than 50% of the market of all medicinal
chemicals manufactured in USA.10 In this era, penicillin therapy was
synonymous with injections, since although oral antibiotics were under
development, they were far less well absorbed; a waste of a scarce and
precious commodity.10 Accordingly, most human antibiotics were available
only in injectable form.
The increased demand for injectable antibiotics was anticipated by the
manufacturers of injecting equipment, and led to the development of mass
produced and inexpensive single use syringes.8-10
During 1950-60, steriliseable glass and metal units were largely replaced by
these disposable syringes. New, high volume manufacturing technologies for
this plastic injection equipment were developed and production soared.
Prices fell noticeably, and availability increased massively worldwide,8
with global production increasing 100-fold to 1 billion units per year in
This increase was coupled with a 56-fold decline in price to $0·18 per unit
when adjusted for inflation (figure 2).11 Today, a small factory with six
workers can make 100 million sets per year at a cost of about US 1·5 cents.
Public health consequences
The role of injecting in the AIDS epidemic was at first unrecognized. Now
intravenous drug abuse is thought to account for most new incident HIV-1
infections in many cities in USA and Europe,4,7 and is associated with
regional outbreaks of HIV-1 throughout the former Soviet Union and
Of particular concern is the rapid growth of HIV-1 infection among heroin
injectors in Russia, Ukraine, China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and
southeast Asia -- an area with more than 50% of the world's population and
great vulnerability to the economic attractions of illicit drug markets.
Furthermore, although hepatitis C was not identified till 1989 (and is
almost certainly an older human pathogen than HIV), its epidemic spread
seems to be closely associated with 20th century medical developments,
including (unsterile) injections, blood transfusions, and dialysis.13 170
million individuals worldwide are chronic carriers of hepatitis C, including
1-2% of the adult populations of developed countries and 5-10% in some
The first documented large scale outbreak of the disease occurred in the
early 1960s, at the time of a campaign for parenteral treatment of
schistosomiasis in Egypt.15 Between 1964 and 1969 more than 3 million
injections were given per year to over 300 000 individuals. By the mid 1980s
the campaign had infected 10% of the entire adult population of Egypt with
hepatitis C, and it constituted the world's largest iatrogenic transmission
of blood borne pathogens known to date.15
AIDS and hepatitis C pandemics are catastrophic events that establish
massive unsterile injecting as an important factor determining global
patterns of public health.
By altering the ecological balance of the routes of transmission for human
pathogens, massive unsterile injecting creates new biological links between
humans and microorganisms -- ie, every injection with a used syringe risks
introducing the recipient to a sample of organisms circulating in that
syringe's previous user and offering new opportunities for the transmission
and recombination of these organisms.
Unsterile injecting in sub-Saharan Africa
In the 75 years before World War II, a network of colonial and missionary
clinics was the principal base of modern medicine in sub-Saharan Africa.1,25
Specific practices varied, dependent on the medical traditions of the
French, British, or Belgian colonial powers, but most administered
injectable drugs -- largely arsenicals -- for the treatment of syphilis.
This was done under medical supervision, and access to the relatively costly
drugs and injecting equipment was tightly controlled. Sterilization
equipment was available, and sterile injecting procedures were generally
However, in the period after World War II, with independence movements
growing, Europe's control of civic affairs in the region began to weaken --
including its controls on medical practice.26
Despite substantial new investments in educational and administrative
preparation for independence,25 the professional oversight and control of
injection practices by a shrinking colonial medical care system (never
adequate for the indigenous population in the first place) diminished
rapidly, and was not quickly replaced by the newly independent, but
impoverished, African states.25,26
This era saw the rise of injection doctors working in country clinics,1-3
soon constituting an indigenous parallel medical care system that persists
to this day and has access to all sorts of injectable medications.27
The advent of antibiotic therapies, in the 1950s, quickly built popular
faith in the power of the injections1-3,27 and, by the 1960s, injections
came to be expected at every medical visit for the treatment of any
infection or fever, and also for malaise, fatigue, and the common cold.1
Results of studies done in several sub-Saharan countries in the 1960s
indicated that 25-50% of households had received an injection within the
previous 2 weeks and, by the 1990s, injections were being administered at
60-96% of outpatient visits.1
The early 1950s saw the first United Nations sponsored mass injection
campaigns for eradication of Yaws.25 In central Africa, where all the known
strains of HIV-1 emerged during this period, United Nations International
Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) administered over 12 million injections
of penicillin between 1952 and 1957, and 35 million injections by 1963.25
There were some earlier injecting campaigns (that could have facilitated
serial passage and transmission of HIV) in French Equatorial Africa for
direct person to person vaccination for small pox (up to 35 000 immunization
from 1893 to 1910) and another for sleeping sickness (90 000 cases between
1917 to 1919) that used only six syringes.28
Although these certainly could have spread other infections, there is no
evidence that they were associated with the emergence of epidemic HIV in the
se areas at this time. And, if HIV had existed earlier, the social upheaval
of the slave trade (which took over 20 million people to America) would have
carried the virus with it. But, although other retroviruses did arrive in
the New World through the slave trade, HIV did not.
Other important events in the history of sub-Saharan Africa (besides the
rise of unsterile injecting) might explain the emergence of epidemic HIV by
1959. These include, population growth, urbanization and deforestation,
massive rural migration, regional wars, changing sexual practices, and the
increased hunting of simians. But the most important effect of these factors
arose after 1960 -- ie, after the emergence of HIV-1.
Most recently, the contamination of oral polio vaccine by SIV has been
blamed for the emergence of HIV in central Africa.18
However, further research, and the analysis of archived polio vaccine
samples has failed to verify this theory.23 None of these alternatives to
massive unsterile injecting offers a biologically plausible or timely
explanation of the simultaneous appearance of multiple strains of HIV in the
mid-20th century in multiple locations in Africa.
It would be a cruel irony if the introduction of injectable antibiotics into
Africa in the last years of the colonial period should be associated with
the origins of the HIV pandemic.
As with the probable crossover of scrapie from sheep to cattle (as bovine
spongiform encephalopathy [BSE]) via new mass feeding methods in commercial
agriculture, and then of BSE to humans, these results of massive unsterile
injecting seem to be an unintended consequence of large scale technological
innovation in health care.
The emergence of epidemic HIV and hepatitis C virus in the 20th century
suggest that massive unsterile injections can become an important new
catalyst for biological change, capable of greatly accelerating the spread
of many human pathogens and allowing previously isolated viruses to
establish global pandemics.
In this way, massive unsterile injecting can profoundly reorder some
fundamental biological relations between agent, host, and environment, with
unpredicted effects for human parasite ecology and public health.
Although there is greater awareness of this problem today -- eg, the work of
the Safe Injecting Global Network,29 as recently as 1998, WHO still
recommended re-use of syringes up to 200 times in vaccination programmes,30
relying on sterilization routines that WHO's own studies show are usually
And, of course, the huge frequency of use of unsterile medical injections
outside formal health care and the growth of illicit drug use in
less-developed countries have particularly ominous implications for attempts
at control. Accordingly, the discussion of a possible role of massive
unsterile injections in the emergence of epidemic HIV in Africa has some
currency for the larger discussion on emerging pathogens worldwide.
Ultimately, the driving force behind massive unsterile injecting is the
global demand for injectable drugs and their therapeutic effects. But the
risks that injecting these drugs entail are a function of continuing
disparities in access to modern medical care.12,31
If these large political realities and the imbalances in the global
marketplace in drugs and the technology to use them are not addressed,
unsterile injections will continue to spread infectious diseases, and
possibly create new ones, throughout the 21st century.
Lancet December 8, 2001; 358: 1989-92
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