The vaccine more dangerous than the disease itself

The vaccine more dangerous than the disease itself

I’m not sure who the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (formerly SmithKline Beecham) thought they were fooling. Earlier this year, they pulled their product LYMErix™ off the market, blaming poor sales. That seems rather odd considering that LYMErix was the only vaccine for Lyme disease and that it made $40 million for SmithKline. But when you look at what was going on behind the scenes, it all becomes perfectly clear...

Several lawsuits, including a class action suit in Pennsylvania, were filed against SmithKline alleging the vaccine caused arthritis in some people. Twenty to 30 percent of people have a genetic makeup that makes them sensitive to the key ingredient in LYMErix (a protein called OspA). OspA actually triggers arthritis in these people. The lawsuit charges that the drug-maker failed to warn doctors and the public that the vaccine puts a significant portion of the population at risk for developing a degenerative, debilitating disease.

Of course, the drug company denies these claims, stating that they have found “no evidence of an association between LYMErix and autoimmune arthritis.” But that’s not what the hamsters are saying.

The great hamster debate

“I wouldn’t take the vaccine,” said Ronald Schell, a researcher from the University of Wisconsin. “I recognize that’s a prejudice based on my animal research.” He recently published a study in the journal Infection and Immunity that found hamsters injected with the vaccine were more likely to get arthritis-almost 100 percent of his experimental animals contracted Lyme arthritis-none of the controls did.

Dr. Neal Halsey, director of Johns Hopkins University’s Institute of Vaccine Safety, was quick to criticize Dr. Schell’s research, questioning the study’s “relevance.” He said, “Hamsters are prone to develop arthritis.” But Schell countered that hamsters are not particularly prone to arthritis. “There’s no evidence of that in the literature,” he said.

Assuming that Schell is right and Halsey is wrong on the hamster thing, has anyone considered that hamsters have a much shorter life span than humans and so, if they develop arthritis during their relatively short lifetime from the shots, isn’t that possibly significant in relation to the human response to the vaccine? Perhaps this is only the beginning of another long-term vaccination tragedy.

Trust the hamsters, not the FDA and pharmaceutical sheisters

All drugs have potential side effects that may not show up until used in a large population. What is unusual about this vaccine is that the chief researcher, the drug company, the FDA advisory panel that recommended its approval, and the FDA itself all knew beforehand there was the theoretical possibility this vaccine could lead to arthritis.

If researchers won’t listen to their hamsters, why use them for research in the first place? The hamsters voted 100 percent AGAINST the vaccine-they all got arthritis. Now human guinea pigs are getting it, too, and the researchers were content to ignore them as well...until the lawsuits became too much of a threat. Pulling a vaccine off the market after people begin getting sick from it-and are threatening to sue-certainly seems like an admission of guilt to me, no matter what SmithKline gives as its “official” reason.

Actions to take:

If you’re worried about Lyme disease, there are much simpler solutions that don’t involve putting yourself at risk for an incurable disease:

(1) Avoid areas overgrown with weeds and tall grasses.

(2) If you’re a gardener, make sure to cover yourself as much as possible. Wear long sleeves, pants, and socks when you’re weeding.

(3) Golfers should also take special precaution, and cover up accordingly. Ticks love weeds and rough.

(4) Cover yourself completely-from ankles to eyebrows-with a commercial anti-tick spray. RH

References:

“Occurrence of severe destructive lyme arthritis in hamsters vaccinated with outer surface protein A and challenged with Borrelia burgdorferi.” Infection and Immunity 2000;68(2):658-663

“Identification of LFA-1 as a Candidate Autoantigen in Treatment-Resistant Lyme Arthritis” Science 1998; 281(5,377)

“Lyme Vaccine Fears Concerns Newly Approved Drug Can Cause Arthritis” America On Lyme (newsletter) 2000; 3(3); 4-7

 “Vaccine Victims? The Controversy Surrounding SmithKline Beecham’s LYMErix” abcnews.com, 5/17/00