vaccine

Media pushes 'success' of experimental GSK malaria vaccine while ignoring deadly side effects

Sunday, October 23, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: malaria, vaccine, health news

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(NaturalNews) The mainstream media is abuzz with excitement over GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) latest offering, a malaria trial vaccine that the company claims can cut the risk of clinical and severe malaria in children by 56 percent and 47 percent, respectively. But what GSK and the media are failing to report are the deadly side effects that may accompany the vaccine.

Unveiled at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's recent Malaria Forum conference in Seattle, Wash., the results of the Phase III African study on the malaria vaccine, known as RTS,S, suggest that children who receive three doses of it can derive additional protection against malaria when used in conjunction with other disease control methods. But the findings also show that vaccinated children are at a high risk of serious injury or death as well.

A report by EarthTimes explains that the full gamut of long term side effects associated with RTS,S will not be known until at least the end of 2014. It also states that "serious adverse events (very serious side effects) for [RTS,S] are around the same level as in those who were given a control drug" (http://www.earthtimes.org/health/malaria-vac...). But what exactly was the control drug, and what are these "same level" side effects?

A quick look at the study results, which have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, explain that children in the "control" group received a "non-malaria comparator vaccine" (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1...). Those five to 17 months of age got a rabies vaccine (VeroRab, Sanofi-Pasteur), and younger children six to 12 weeks of age received a meningococcal serogroup C conjugate vaccine (Menjugate, Novartis).

Both of these vaccines carry with them their own list of side effects, which means they really do not qualify as a legitimate study of "controls." But hardly anyone is paying much attention to this because they are too busy lauding praise on GSK for developing the vaccine and allegedly expecting to make no profit from it.

It all sounds so wonderful and humanitarian, but the fact of the matter is that nearly 18 percent of children in the older vaccinated group suffered serious adverse events from the vaccine, while more than 13 percent in the youngest group suffered the same. And more than 150 children from both groups died during the study (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1...).

And since very little is known about how the vaccine affects fertility, neurological function, bodily organs, immunity, and many other aspects of health and well-being in the long term, it is hardly a time to be celebrating.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/18/ma...

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