Originally published November 3 2009
Soldiers Nearly Killed with Military's Bioterrorism Vaccine
by David Gutierrez, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Approximately 200 soldiers have suffered from serious and even life-threatening complications from the government-mandated smallpox vaccine, and one has even died.
Starting in 2002, fears over a bioterrorist attack have led the U.S. government to require that all of its military servicepeople receive vaccination against a variety of diseases before deployment, including anthrax and smallpox. An estimated 1.7 million have been vaccinated against smallpox since then. Yet in a number of cases, the vaccine has led to severe complications such as inflammations of the brain or heart. In 2003, two expert panels concluded that Army Specialist Rachel Ray died in part due to complications from the deployment vaccines that she had been given.
"The reality is, we're never going to have zero risk on a vaccine," said Dr. Michael Kilpatrick of the Military Health System. "There's always going to be that individual that has some untoward event that would occur."
Awareness of the risks over the smallpox vaccine has prevented the government from requiring vaccination of civilians.
One potential side effect is infection with the virus used in the vaccine, a condition known as progressive vaccinia. Back when smallpox vaccination was widespread, the infection had a 15 percent fatality rate.
In a recent case, Lance Cpl. Cory Belken began to suffer from a persistent headache and unusual sleepiness one week after receiving the smallpox vaccine. He was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia, which was destroying his circulatory system, and was immediately placed on chemotherapy.
The cancer treatment destroyed his immune system, leading to progressive vaccinia and no fewer than two infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. He broke out in a rash, had spreading vaccinia lesions all over his body, became delirious with a fever of 104.6 degrees, and began to suffer from organ failure.
Treating Belken required 30 times the dose of Vaccinia Immune Globulin that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has previously assumed would be needed for a single person.
Belken's family said that the leukemia would have been enough for their family to deal with, without vaccine complications on top of it.
"I think it's a big chance they're taking giving them the shots," his mother said.
Sources for this story include: www.columbiamissourian.com.
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