Measles

     Measles was once considered a harmless childhood disease just like Chicken Pox.  You exposed your child to it so they caught it and ‘got it over with’. No one feared measles, just as they did not fear Chicken Pox.

     The Measles vaccine had a low uptake in the past as parents did not want a vaccine for a virus such as Measles because it was considered self-limiting and benign. Children began receiving the vaccine more widely only after the 1977 Childhood Immunization Initiative  and school vaccine mandates were enforced.

     

     Measles can be a very useful disease in children. They can build a super immune system after having gone through measles. Children with eczema are often cured or relieved of any signs of the condition. Their speech often improves and they go through a maturation process. Many children have been known to make tremendous developmental strides after measles. In the past, when a child was on dialysis, a hospital might have encouraged parents to naturally expose and infect their child with measles because they saw great improvements in the child’s condition.

Even today, the childhood Immunization Initiative is in full force, but it has not stopped Measles from being eliminated.

  

History

 
     From 1963 – 1967 the U.S. had used the killed Measles vaccine. It had a very low uptake which was a good thing in retrospect as it was a disastrous vaccine. It was made with killed measles virus, which skewed the recipient’s immune systems, making them more susceptible to measles after just two years, but in a new form- “atypical measles”.  It was characterized by pneumonia, high fever, atypical rash and a high fatality rate. It was a disease which could be gotten repeatedly.  The vaccine was quickly and silently removed.

 

     A new live vaccine was licensed in 1967, but even that was not used extensively.  At first it was to be given to all infants at approximately 12 months of age. Then it was changed to 6 months, especially if there was measles going around. By 1979, they knew they had problems with this one as well. Babies vaccinated at 6 months of age developed what they called an ‘altered immune response’ which resulted in booster shots at 15 months. Nature published an article which showed that babies under one year of age have very different immune functions and responses than adults do, and simply could not handle the measles vaccine given at that age. It caused immune “energy” rather than an “altered” immune response. Again, these issues were kept quiet and uptake continued to be low. Doctors were encouraged not to report measles cases if possible, so that parents wouldn’t lose confidence in the vaccine. Therefore, you would hear terms such as ‘morbilli-like, or “red measles’.

 

     Since most epidemic outbreaks in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s occurred in  95 – 100% of vaccinated children, a second MMR ‘booster’ vaccine was added to the schedule. By 1990 the actual disease was much rarer, and was simply a continuation of a trend which had been going on right up until the 80’s even in the totally unvaccinated communities. (Clinical Pediatrics). Speaking of Booster shots, do all children need them? No.  The second dose, or booster shot, is to revaccinate the approximated 5% of people for whom the vaccine never worked the first time, also known as primary vaccine failure. That leaves us with roughly 95% getting revaccinated who may never have needed to be. Secondary vaccine failure is due to waning immunity, and even with a second dose schedule in childhood or early adulthood, outbreaks continue to occur in the vaccinated population.

 

 

     Health Departments like to say that keeping unvaccinated children away from vaccinated children will protect vaccinated children. They will also say that vaccines protect children. So isn’t that an oxymoron? If vaccines protect, aren’t they already vaccine ‘protected’?  Unfortunately the answer is no. In 1991 over 60% of Measles cases were in vaccinated children, and cases of Measles continue to occur in the vaccinated.

 

 

     If anyone should be wary of Measles transmission it is the unvaccinated from the vaccinated. Right in the package insert, it states that MMR vaccinated children can excrete Measles Virus and the Mumps virus into the environment. The Chicken Pox vaccine can also be excreted with the MMR-V or Varicella vaccine. Babies, unvaccinated, the immunodeficient, and even older persons can be at risk from newly vaccinated people. Why aren’t parents being told this?

 

 

Detection of measles vaccine in the throat of a vaccinated child.

 

Mumps vaccine virus genome is present in throat swabs obtained from uncomplicated healthy recipients.

 

 Some Basic Facts:

 

     The measles vaccine had nothing to do with the decline in deaths, and has not affected the number of children hospitalized during epidemic years since its introduction.

 

     Concerning the 1991 USA measles outbreak, over half the deaths were in the vaccinated and most deaths were in immunodeficeint people. (Washington Post. June 14, 1991, BMJ, 11 May, 1991). When news reports talk of Measles reported deaths or more serious injury, why don’t they tell the whole truth?

 

     In Africa, children who have a natural measles infection have half the asthma, allergies and eczema compared with their vaccinated peers. (Lancet, June 29, 1996) 
 
 
 

 

 

     The Germans considered the risks of the vaccine too high given  the fact that deaths and disease severity had decreased without any reference to a vaccine.  
 
     In the pre vaccine era, mothers’ antibodies protected babies for at least a year to a year and a half. Measles was mainly an infection of 5 – 9 year olds and by 15 yrs, 99% had antibodies. Today, adults and infants under one year of age are acquiring Measles which can be very serious.
 
     Vaccinated mothers cannot give protective antibodies to their babies, like Mothers’ who have had naturally acquired Measles, can. Therefore, young babies for whom measles can be more serious are no longer protected.  In the pre-vaccine era, babies rarely got measles before 18 months because maternal antibodies were very high as a result of natural immunity. Today maternal antibodies are generally so low from a vaccine that it simply does not prime the immune system like natural infection will. Babies are at risk of getting measles at younger and younger ages, because maternal antibodies no longer last 15 – 18 months. So if there is even the slightest nutritional or immunological problem, babies will have an increased danger from the measles virus, as there is a difference between the immune system of a baby and a toddler. Vaccinated babies who have maternal antibodies, or people who have measles suppressed with gamma globulin, can have a higher rate of  immunoreactive diseases, sebaceous skin diseases, degenerative cartilage,  bone disease, and certain tumors.  (Lancet, 5 Jan 1985) Also see:
Maternal antibodies interfere with measles vaccination.

 

 

     Now think about this…A study published in BMJ years ago found that a select group of children tested, 50% of those with antibodies to measles had never had any clinical disease, and a small subgroup with rising titers also had no clinical symptoms. Non-symptomatic clinical measles was a common entity. This is also shown for Chicken Pox, and several other diseases. To use antibody statistics as proof of either how dangerous or widespread a disease is is a false argument. Measles, like some other diseases, are also dependant upon regular exposure to the bacteria. Which is why in the U.S. Measles is becoming common amongst older adults, who had it clinically as children. Their long term immunity has been jeopardized by the interruption of the bacteria in the environment, so that their levels are no longer automatically boosted every few years.

 

 

 

Measles Basics-

 

     One sign or symptom specific to measles is Koplik Spots which look like bluish-white grains of salt which can be seen on the inside of the cheek, near the second upper molar, but may also be on the gums anywhere in the mouth.  In the early stages there is also cough, runny nose and fever. This will last for a few days. (Medicine International, 1984, pg 20, Viral Diseases in Man, 83rd Edition, pg 412.)

 

     The treatment and cure for Measles is called Vitamin A.  As early as 1932, doctors used cod-liver oil to reduce hospital mortality by 57%.  When antibiotics became the timely treatment, Vitamin A was thrown out, up until the mid-80’s that is. Published studies have found that 72% of hospitalized Measles cases in in the U.S. are Vitamin A deficient. The worse Vitamin A deficiency, the worse the complications and the higher the death rate will be. (Pediatric Nursing, Sept/Oct 1996.)

 

     Measles does not kill children. It is the complications from measles that might attack an already weak immune system. When it knocks down the immune system, the child may become susceptible to other diseases, or develop a secondary infection due to mismanagement of the illness, such as using fever reducing medication, or with a Vitamin A deficiency.  One of the big reasons why third world children suffer from complications of measles and other diseases can be viewed here

 


     Vaccinations will always be the higher priority. The focus will be on vaccinating as many as they can and fixing the cause of death is secondary to vaccination. If these children were properly nourished and had access to clean water, they wouldn’t be dying. The substitution of vaccination over proper nutrition, sleep, clean water, etc., will not prevent more serious illness or death.

 

     There will be some who will say the theory of herd immunity is real, that Measles has declined due to a vaccine; deaths have been prevented, etc. However, when you factor in mild and subclinical cases which often are not counted, what have we really prevented? Incidence data ignores these cases which make it appear to be something it may very well not be. What about the number of deaths and injury from the vaccine itself? Maybe a financial cost factor needs to be done between treating naturally acquired Measles vs. the injuries and death associated with the vaccine.

 

Speaking of which…MMR and MMR-V coming soon!

 

 

 

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11-valent pneumococcal vaccine comes knocking

Safety of the 11-valent pneumococcal vaccine conjugated to non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae-derived protein D in the first 2 years of life and immunogenicity of the co-administered hexavalent diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis, hepatitis B, inactivated polio virus, Haemophilus influenzae type b and control hepatitis A vaccines.

Prymula R, Chlibek R, Splino M, Kaliskova E, Kohl I, Lommel P, Schuerman L

Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Military Health Sciences, University of Defence, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.

This randomized (1:1), double-blind, multicenter study, included 4968 healthy infants to receive either the 11-valent pneumococcal protein D (PD)-conjugate study vaccine or the hepatitis A vaccine (HAV) (control) at 3, 4, 5, and 12-15 months of age. The three-dose primary course of both vaccines was co-administered with combined hexavalent DTPa-HBV-IPV/Hib vaccine. The pneumococcal PD-conjugate study vaccine did not impact the immune response of co-administered hexavalent vaccine and the control HAV vaccine induced seropositivity (antibodies >/=15mIU/mL) in all infants. The incidence of solicited symptoms was higher with the 11-valent pneumococcal PD-conjugate study vaccine, yet similar to that induced by concomitant DTPa-HBV-IPV/Hib vaccine. Overall, the reactogenicity and safety profile of the 11-valent pneumococcal PD-conjugate vaccine when co-administered with the hexavalent DTPa-HBV-IPV/Hib vaccine, as well as the immunogenicity of the co-administered hexavalent vaccine, were consistent with previous reports for the licensed DTPa-HBV-IPV/Hib and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.

Vaccine
Volume 26, Issue 35, 18 August 2008, Pages 4563-4570

True safety..time will tell. There doesn’t appear to be a true placebo. They compared one group given  the trial vaccine and the other group given Hep A. And then, ‘both vaccines was co-administered with combined hexavalent DTPa-HBV-IPV/Hib vaccine.’

Rotavirus and the Vaccines

Rotateq package insert 

It is a LIVE vaccine so it can shed to others:

Shedding was evaluated among a subset of subjects in REST 4 to 6 days after each dose and among all subjects who submitted a stool antigen rotavirus positive sample at any time. RotaTeq was shed in the stools of 32 of 360 [8.9%, 95% CI (6.2%, 12.3%)] vaccine recipients tested after dose 1; 0 of 249 [0.0%,95% CI (0.0%, 1.5%)] vaccine recipients tested after dose 2; and in 1 of 385 [0.3%, 95% CI (<0.1%,1.4%)] vaccine recipients after dose 3. In phase 3 studies, shedding was observed as early as 1 day and as late as 15 days after a dose. Transmission was not evaluated. There is a theoretical risk that the live virus vaccine can be transmitted to non-vaccinated contacts. The potential risk of transmission of vaccine virus should be weighed against the risk of acquiring and transmitting natural rotavirus.  

RotaTeq contains five human-bovine (cow) reassortment rotaviruses out of many more for which there is no vaccine for.
 

T
here were no long term studies of RotaTeq in combination with 7 other vaccines, even though RotaTeq is given in addition to them. 

 The number of cases of intussusception in the clinical trials of the Rotateq was similiar to the old Rotashield which was recalled.

 Kawasaki Syndrome and RotaTeq Vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a revised label for RotaTeq®, a rotavirus vaccine manufactured by Merck and Co., Inc., to include information on reports of Kawasaki syndrome occurring before and after the vaccine’s licensure in February 2006. FDA has not made any changes to its indications for use of RotaTeq nor has it issued new or revised warnings or precautions. Likewise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not made any changes in its recommendations regarding the use of RotaTeq. Healthcare providers and parents should remain confident in using RotaTeq in infants.

The number of cases of intussusception in the clinical trials of the Rotateq was similiar to the old Rotashield vaccine which was recalled.   

Rotarix: was approved in 2008.

Just 2 months before the approval:

FDA ties pneumonia deaths to infant vaccine.

GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s rotavirus vaccine is associated with increased pneumonia-related deaths and other adverse reactions, U.S. regulatory staff said in documents posted on Friday.

FDA staff said its analysis of 11 studies revealed that in the largest trial, there was a statistically significant increase in deaths related to pneumonia compared with placebo, documents posted on the FDA’s Web site said.

That study, which enrolled about 63,000 children, also found an increase in convulsions in children given the drug, named Rotarix. Another study found an increased rate of bronchitis, compared with placebo. (Reuters 2/15/2008)

Infant diarrhea when managed properly is rarely fatal in the US and thus provides natural immunity. Does the vaccine? No one knows. Besides, a fully breastfed baby is naturally protected from Rotavirus.