[Here is a classic Government (Salisbury) position on vaccine deaths. "You have provided media reports, opinions of parents, and decisions of tribunals or courts. These are not evidence of causality that implicates the Urabe vaccine." You can get away with just about anything if you are running a monopoly. As B Trower says in the case of EMF pollution: The Government's scientists will often ask for conclusive proof when they are challenged. It is a word often used when you wish to win your side of the argument. Scientifically conclusive proof is impossible to obtain.]
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Parliament was misled over the safety of the MMR triple vaccination that was used for four years in Britain, the FOIA Centre can reveal.
Following a series of disclosures under the free-dom of information act (FOIA), we are able to expose how parliament and the public were given a false assurance about the triple vaccine that was used by the UK when it launched its national MMR programme.
MPs were assured that MMR was launched in the UK after other countries had used the triple vaccine successfully.
However, we can reveal that none of the countries that were named in
parliament used the same form of MMR that made up most of the triple vaccines
injected into children in Britain for four years from 1988.
In addition, one country that had used the same MMR withdrew it after linking it to a series of adverse reactions.
In March 1997, a Conservative junior health minister, John Horam, answered several parliamentary questions to the health secretary about the safety assessment of MMR before its introduction in 1988.
He said: “The joint committee on vaccination and immunisation decided at its meeting of November 7, 1986 to recommend to ministers that a combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine be introduced into the United Kingdom childhood immunisation programme as a replacement for single antigen measles vaccine. This recommendation was made following consideration of the experience of several other countries which had successfully used MMR vaccine for a number of years.”
“Before the introduction of MMR vaccine, the JCVI gave careful consideration to available information from Finland, Sweden and the USA on the safety, efficacy and efficiency of the vaccine and from trials conducted by the public health laboratory service communicable disease surveillance centre in about 10,000 immunised UK children.”
In the UK’s national programme launched in 1988, 85% of the MMR injections contained a particular strain of mumps, called Urabe, for four years.
This type of MMR is known to cause encephalitis adverse reactions, including meningitis, among some children. These conditions – which variously involve swelling of the brain or of the lining of the brain or spinal chord – can lead to brain damage, deafness or even death.
We reported two months ago that Whitehall documents, released under FOIA, show how government health officials and experts gradually learnt from 1987 of the dangers of Urabe MMR.
Contrary to the impression given in Horam’s parliamentary statement, neither Finland, nor Sweden, nor America used Urabe MMR. They used MMR containing the Jeryl Lynn strain of mumps, which also replaced the Urabe version in the UK in 1992. It had only made up 15% of the UK injections between 1988 and 1992.
Following the FOIA disclosures, Dr David Salis-bury, the department’s director
of immunisation, has admitted to the FOIA Centre that none of three countries
named by Horam actually used Urabe MMR, the type that was predominantly used in
Britain following the roll out of the nationwide programme.
He denied, however, that the Parliamentary ans-wer was misleading.
However, Horam also failed to mention one count-ry that actually had used Urabe MMR at the time: Canada. Officials there swiftly stopped using Urabe MMR after spotting a link between it and encephalitis reactions.
As we reported two months ago, the FOIA documents show that Canadian officials warned British counterparts of the problems that they had experienced with Urabe MMR: eight months before it started to be injected into British children.
By 1990, Canada had also withdrawn its licence for Urabe MMR. Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore followed suit. Japan reported similar problems the same year. But it took the UK department of health until 1992 to stop using Urabe MMR.
Horam’s parliamentary statement in 1997 made no reference to the alert from Canada.
There is no evidence that Horam was aware of the true position when he made his statement, and so there is no suggestion that he intended to mislead.
Indeed, minutes of Whitehall meetings about the introduction of MMR, released under FOIA, suggest that there was confusion among government officials and experts about what type of triple vaccine was being used where and their relevance to the UK programme.
The minutes of the JCVI meeting in November 1986, to which Horam referred in his parliamentary statement, records that one committee member, during a discussion about MMR, “enquired about the risk of adverse reactions.”
Another member “stated that favourable results on safety had been reported both from Finland and USA.”
This reference in the minutes appears to be reflected 11 years later in Horam’s parliamentary statement. However, it has no bearing on the safety of Urabe MMR. (In addition, later minutes refer to less reassuring data from America and Sweden on Jeryl Lynn MMR.)
But only later did officials learn that Britain was to use Urabe MMR.
The revelation of the false parliamentary assurance comes after our disclosure earlier this month that the high court judge who blocked legal aid for children bringing a group claim for damage allegedly caused by MMR has a brother who sits on the board of a drugs company embroiled in the litigation.
The ruling by Sir Nigel Davis – whose brother, Sir Crispin Davis, is a non-executive director of GlaxoSmithKline – to dismiss the attempt to restore legal aid left many unable to continue with their legal struggle, and the group dwindled, with only 32 children thought to be remaining.
Meanwhile, a further hearing to decide on procedural issues in the group action is due to begin today at the high court. Pharmaceutical companies are understood to be seeking the dismissal of all but two of the remaining claims.
Documents on MMR were obtained by the FOIA Centre acting on behalf of one of the parents of a child in the group litigation against various pharmaceutical companies.
I write this on the exact 17th anniversary of my
son's MMR vaccine on June 13, 1990. I have studied biochemistry and microbiology
at University in the UK and have always known that my son's regression into
autism occurred because of MMR.
Had my son been as unwell on that Wednesday as he became three days later on the following Saturday he would never had had the vaccine because he was so unwell. After the MMR, he had a febrile convulsion, his head rapidly enlarged, he had a total loss of appetite, he screamed incessantly, became withdrawn and developed excessive salivation – all within ten days following the MMR.
He then continued to regress into autism. Any mother would make the same association: the reactions of the baby were a direct result of the MMR vaccine. Mothers have instincts about their babies. It was formally recorded (on September 21, 1990) in his GP notes that I had serious concerns on the "rubella" vaccine. My son had only had the one rubella vaccine, namely MMR.
I found out that it was the Urabe-containing MMR that had been withdrawn from Canada three weeks previous to his vaccination. Canada had withdrawn its licence, having previously suspended its use. But it took our health agencies a further two years to stop using Urabe MMR in the UK. Even then, it is debatable whether all condemned vaccine was removed from circulation given that there was a shortage of the “safer” Jeryl-Lynn mumps strain.
My son received the Urabe vaccine because of where we lived: it was a postcode lottery. Our lives would change forever and nothing ever will bring back the child I lost on that day, 17 years ago today.
Eunice O'Connell, Liskeard, Cornwall 13.06.07
We are from America and my son received three
MMR jabs, the second one being the triple vaccination you discussed (Urabe MMR).
The doctor's office called me a few months after the second MMR and told me that
kids were getting the mumps so come back and get another shot of MMR. My son
then began to regress in a fog.
MMR and the mercury in the other vaccines are causing brain injury (ie inflammation of the brain). The three viruses in MMR do not happen naturally at the same time of the year, and combining them is dangerous. The vaccine program in America is crumbling. After the three deaths from the HPV vaccine, I think that parents are getting smart.
The British government statement, ‘The benefit out-weighs the risk,’ is something out of Nazi Germany.
My 20-year-old son is 80% improved through therapy, anti-virals, dietary changes and nutritional supplements. I did not file with the vaccine injury compensation fund. The vaccine makers are pro-tected against lawsuits in America. There is a fund created to help those damaged by vaccines. To date, autism has not been deemed a reason to compensate parents. Next month, June 11, the first of 5,200 cases will be heard in front of a court.
I filed for disability, and my son receives a cheque each month: I proved to the social security administration that he has mercury poisoning and viral inflammation of the brain from the MMR. At least they believed me with all his test results.
Elaine Dow, Annapolis, Maryland, USA, of Advocates for Children's Health Affected by Mercury Poisoning (ACHAMP) 26.05.07
This whole brouhaha reminds me of the report
some years ago where the editor of the Bulletin of Medical Ethics accused the UK
health authorities of scaring the public into lining up for the jab because of a
purported epidemic of measles coming up, when, first, there was no good evidence
of such a pending event, and, second, it turned out that one component of the
jab was reaching its use-by date.
How good it is that in our day and age we have the benefit of such a scanner of info as the FOIA Centre. Keep up the good work.
Stan Stanfield, Forres, Moray 25.03.07
As time moves on, more incriminating evidence is
coming to the fore. The individuals responsible will soon have nowhere to hide.
Our children have suffered unnecessarily.
The vaccine measles virus has been detected in CSF (cerebral spinal fluid) and intestines of children and was identified in my son's brain tissue. Where's the major official investigation that should have begun at least a decade ago?
Wendy Pickering, Brighton 25.03.07
Now that we know the dangers of the first MMR
vaccine were ignored by government officials, I have absolutely no confidence in
their continuing assertion that there is absolutely no link between MMR II and
autism in children. One day it will become clear that we have been told lies and
there has been a huge cover up. To all those parents seeking the truth: do not
Anthony Fleet, Liverpool 12.03.07
Your article was brought to my attention by my
in-laws in the UK. I now live in the US. I wonder whether any children have
developed other illnesses close to receiving MMR administered in 1988.
My son was diagnosed with acute lymphablastic leukaemia (ALL) ten days or so post-MMR dose. I realise this is not one of the side-effects that you mentioned. I have been reassured many times that it had nothing to do with triggering ALL. My son is alive, 19 now and persevering against side-effects of treatment 18 years ago.
Jessica Mullan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA 09.03.07
I note that you have implied that Urabe-based
MMR vaccines could cause death from mumps meningitis/encephalitis. I am not
aware of any deaths that were shown to have been caused by the Urabe mumps virus
in the MMR vaccines used in this country between 1988 and 2002.
Please could you provide details that support your statement, or please remove this misleading information.
Dr David Salisbury, director of immunisation, department of health, London 08.03.07
FOIA Centre reply
Our report in fact said: “It [Urabe MMR] was blamed for the deaths of several children after being withdrawn by the department of health in 1992.”
In a discussion with Dr David Salisbury, he clar-ified that his objection was that, irrespective of whether Urabe MMR had been blamed for causing deaths, he does not accept that any such deaths have in fact resulted from Urabe MMR or any other MMR.
We referred him to the judgement, of March 13, 2003 of the Osaka district court in Japan, which ruled that the death of two children (among numerous other serious conditions) were caused by Urabe MMR.
He said in response that Japan had a different Urabe MMR from the two Urabe MMR vaccines that were used in the UK.
However, it remains that it was established in this case – to the satisfaction of a court in Japan – that the deaths of two children were caused by Urabe MMR.
In addition, we referred him to several British cases where parents who claimed that their children had died as a result of Urabe MMR had received compensation under the “vaccine damage payment” scheme.
He said in response that this does not establish that the deaths were in fact caused by the vaccine.
However, in one case a tribunal ruled against a previous assertion by the department of health that the claim by a mother that her daughter’s death had been caused by Urabe MMR was unproven. Her claim was established at tribunal.
A separate tribunal awarded compensation in relation to another case where a child died after suffering brain damage caused by Urabe MMR. And another tribunal was persuaded that Urabe MMR was the likely cause of death in a further case.
Parents who have received compensation in such cases have indeed blamed MMR, including Urabe MMR, for causing the deaths of their children. Moreover, in some cases, their conclusions were endorsed by tribunals.
There can be no doubt, therefore, that we were entirely correct to say that Urabe MMR was blamed for the deaths of several children. We did not say that Urabe MMR had caused such deaths, merely that it had been blamed for doing so. We do not accept that the conclusions of tribunals should be dismissed.
We agree, however, that, despite such rulings, others may take a different view and may continue to insist that no MMR ever caused any death. This, it seems, is the department of health’s position.
Dr Salisbury asserted that he was not expressing a view but stating the fact.
We disagree. Readers can form their own views as to whether they prefer the conclusions drawn from the available evidence by tribunals or by the department of health.
There have been several newspaper reports in which their main thrust was to claim that deaths had been caused by MMR (including Urabe MMR). By contrast, this was not the main point in our reports.
We referred all the cases cited to Salisbury. Here is his response on whether Urabe MMR caused any deaths.
I asked you for evidence that demonstrated that
deaths were actually caused by the Urabe strain, and you have singularly failed
to provide any evidence whatsoever. You have provided media reports, opinions of
parents, and decisions of tribunals or courts. These are not evidence of
causality that implicates the Urabe vaccine.
Nobody would disagree that deaths have been reported after MMR vaccines. But deaths after vaccination are very different from deaths caused by vaccination.
Dr David Salisbury, director of immunisation, department of health, London 19.03.07
I have just read your article on MMR with
interest. Soon after my daughter, Amy, who was born in March 1989, had the MMR,
she had a febrile convulsion. At the hospital, the doctors gave her oxygen
immediately (we were lucky the doctors had just dealt with another similar case
and had the oxygen and paracetamol at the ready as we ran in).
She recovered well but had hearing difficulties later. Grommets were fitted on, I think, three occasions. Amy was deaf in one ear by the time she was 10 years old. The consultant gave her a brain scan and we were told that she must have had a virus when she was young.
Jim Maamoun, Ashford, Kent 05.03.07
We wish to congratulate you on your excellent
reports on MMR. In January 1991, our son was given Urabe MMR. That same day, he
displayed symptoms of both encephalitis and meningitis. He was left with serious
brain damage and has since been diagnosed with severe autism and associated gut
Due to this damage inflicted by the government, we have been given this life sentence to cope with, and left with a medically and mentally very ill teenager, of unpredictable behaviour and prone to violent outbursts. This is only exacerbated further by no appropriate treatment available to him, the removal of our legal aid by that same government, ensuring that such embarrassment remains undetected.
It is for this reason that we, and so many others, are enormously thankful to you for uncovering what you have, in the interests of our damaged children.
Elaine & Andrew Butler, Dartford, Kent 05.03.07
I just wanted to say how impacted I was by your
news article about this Urabe strain of MMR. One summer afternoon in 1992, my
middle son, Toby, had a very sudden and alarming series of febrile convulsions.
He was kept overnight for observation at Wycombe General Hospital, but has never had a convulsion before or since. This happened exactly 10 days after his MMR injection, but when I told the doctors this, they didn't want to know, and vigorously denied any connection (except for one nurse, who seemed interested).
I think that it is appalling that the government knew of these risks and never made that information available. I suspect many more children have been affected than is admitted, though fortunately my son has not suffered long-term damage, although he alone of my three sons is prone to noticeably frequent headaches.
Fiona Maccabe, High Wycombe, Buckingham-shire 05.03.07
They were aware of the problems; they knew there
was a risk; so why are they not acknowledging the children who have suffered?
Wendy Stephen, Stonehaven, near Aberdeen, whose 16-year-old daughter, Katie, has been left deaf in one ear and is in the group MMR litigation 05.03.07
These documents confirm our worst fears… The
government knew prior to introduction, that the very same product had been
withdrawn on safety grounds in Canada.
Andy Stewart, west London, whose 15-year-old son, Toby, suffered what his father describes as “low-scale brain damage” and is in the group MMR litigation 05.03.07