NVIC Vaccine News


By Barbara Loe Fisher
Published December 01, 1996 in Science

"When it happens to you or your child, the risks are 100%"

Vol. 2, No. 4

Published bi-monthly by the National Vaccine Information Center

December 1996

Barbara Loe Fisher, Editor


Suspected Connection Between Contaminated Polio Vaccines and Brain, Lung and Bone Cancers Revealed

From blue chip MONEY and NEW YORK magazines, read by more than 10 million people, to THE STAR tabloid, picked up by nearly four million shoppers in supermarkets everywhere, many more unsuspecting Americans now know that polio vaccines grown on the kidney tissues of monkeys have been contaminated with monkey viruses and that federal government public health agencies have known all along but have covered it up. DPT vaccine dangers and flaws in the mass vaccination system were also highlighted in the comprehensive and hard hitting MONEY magazine article which featured the work of the National Vaccine Information Center and parents whose children were injured or killed by the whole cell pertussis vaccine portion of the DPT shot and victims of the oral polio vaccine.

Monkey Viruses - When Did They Know? - The NEW YORK magazine article (Nov. 11 issue) hit the newsstands the first week in November with the title "A Shot in the Dark" (reinforcing the 1985 book exposing DPT dangers with the same title). Detailing the development and marketing of the historic Salk vaccine given in 1955 to about 10 million American children, NEW YORK described how scientists inside and outside of government and pharmaceutical companies have known for nearly four decades that many polio vaccine batches, especially between 1955 and 1963, have been riddled with Simian Virus 40 (SV40). Readers learned how scientists have also known that SV40 causes cancer in hamsters and, in NEW YORK's most important and disturbing revelation, were informed that scientists have recently identified SV40 DNA and some of the whole virus in the tumors of adults who were vaccinated with the contaminated polio vaccine as children and are now dying from brain, lung and bone cancers.

Follow the Money - Within seven days, the NEW YORK article was replaced on the newsstands by MONEY magazine (December issue) featuring an 11-page article called "The Lethal Dangers of the Billion Dollar Vaccine Business." Writer Andrea Rock chronicled the results of a four-month investigation during which she employed the well known journalistic tradition of "follow the money." The money trail led her to the conclusion that there have been "severe violations of public trust" by federal regulatory agencies; that "health officials publicly downplay the lethal risks [of vaccines];" that medical experts with financial ties to vaccine manufacturers heavily influence government decisions that have endangered the health of immunized kids while enhancing the bottom line of drug companies;" and that "manufacturers put profits ahead of vaccine safety - with impunity." MONEY also examined the growing body of evidence that polio vaccines have been carrying monkey viruses into the human population with possibly lethal consequences.

Some States Got Bad Batches - On the heels of the NEW YORK and MONEY magazine exposes, a familiar tabloid read by shoppers standing in grocery store lines - THE STAR - contained an article in its November 26 issue with the headline "Polio Vaccine and Cancer: What You Need to Know." Condensing information from NEW YORK and MONEY, it warned readers that "If you were one of the millions who lined up for lifesaving shots in the 50's, you may now face deadly disease." The STAR included a list of 19 states which received polio vaccine with extremely high levels of SV40 (MA;NY;PA;MD;DE;VT;NH;RI;CT; MI;IL;IA;MN;WI;WY;UT;OR;WA;and D.C.) and 16 other states (CA;AZ;NM;TX;CO;KS; NE;ND;LA;MI;GA;TN;KY;OH;WV; and NJ) which received polio vaccine with somewhat lower levels of SV40 beginning in the spring of 1955.

Brain Cancer Increase Tied to Monkey Viruses - Highlighted in the MONEY article is a study by Italian researchers published in October 1996 in Cancer Research suggesting that one possible reason for the 30 percent increase in brain tumors in the U.S. over the past 20 years, as well as the mysterious rise in other rare lung and bone cancers, is that SV40 is now being spread sexually between adults and also from mother to child in the womb in much the same way as AIDS is spread. The study's scientists report that SV40 was detected from 1992 in the brain tumors of children born after 1965 who did not receive original polio vaccines containing SV40. The SV40 has also been detected in 25 percent of the blood and semen of healthy study subjects.

SV40 Can Turn Cells Malignant - Michele Carbone, an Illinois molecular pathologist, and his colleagues have conducted studies which suggest that SV40 is a catalyst for different types of cancer in people who received contaminated polio vaccine as well as their children. Dr. Carbone has also discovered SV40 genes and proteins in humans suffering from bone and lung cancers and has shown that SV40 can turn a cell cancerous by switching off a protein that protects cells from becoming malignant. This means that not everyone who is infected with SV40 will get cancer because it takes a number of different kinds of assaults on the immune system to trigger the malignancy; however, SV40 infected individuals could be predisposed to developing certain kinds of cancers.

The Story That Won't Go Away - It was in the fall of 1995 that THE VACCINE REACTION first reported that pathologist John Martin, M.D., Ph.D. had discovered an atypical virus infecting humans and had identified it as being of African green monkey origin using DNA sequence analysis. The genetic code of the cytomegalovirus Dr. Martin detected in patients suffering from a variety of immune and neurological dysfunction was nearly identical to a virus commonly present in African green monkey kidney tissues used to make live polio vaccines given to American children today.

Six months later in the Spring of 1996, THE VACCINE REACTION alerted readers to the work of microbiologist, Howard Urnovitz, Ph.D., who presented a well documented theory that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) is a monkey-human hybrid that was created after more than 320,000 Africans were injected between 1957 and 1959 with lots of experimental live oral polio vaccines contaminated with different monkey viruses, including simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and SV40. Like Martin, Urnovitz maintains that it is highly probable that monkey viruses introduced into humans via contaminated polio vaccines are playing a role in the current epidemic of immune and neurological disorders in the baby boomer generation and in their children.

Government Response Weak - In a November 20 "rebuttal" to the MONEY magazine article, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) developed a "Q & A" list that attempted to answer the most serious questions raised by journalist Andrea Rock. The CDC devoted a total of 16 short lines to answer questions raised about monkey virus contamination of polio vaccines in the MONEY investigation. Even though the CDC admitted that "recently information has been presented that suggests SV40 may be carcinogenic in humans...," readers were advised that "people do not need to be tested to see if they were exposed to the virus."

NVIC Calls For Public Disclosure of Information - In a November 13 press release, the National Vaccine Information Center called on vaccine policymakers at the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics to fully inform parents about the fact that the live oral polio vaccine (OPV) can cause polio in a child or a close contact and that both the live and inactivated polio vaccines (IPV) are grown on monkey kidney tissues that could be infected with monkey viruses. NVIC noted that Lederle Laboratories, which makes and sells OPV in the U.S., and Connaught Laboratories, which makes and sells IPV in the U.S., both use African green monkey kidney cells to make their vaccines. However, Connaught also makes an IPV vaccine grown on human diploid (lung) cells which it sells to other countries, including Canada.


Italian physicians studying the immunogenetic basis for demyelination in the brain have investigated 30 cases of post-vaccination diseases of the central nervous system and concluded that vaccination may cause autoimmune central nervous system diseases in genetically predisposed individuals. In discussing their findings in a 1996 article published in the Mediterranean Journal of Surgery and Medicine, Massimo Montinari, Biagio Favoino and Angela Roberto observed that "autoimmune diseases are more frequent in nations where vaccines are widely used, the so-called "clear" communities."

Genetic Code May Be Involved - The physicians studied patients between the ages of 3 months and 32 years who developed epilepsy, myoclonic epilepsy, evolutive encephalopathy, autism and other neurological dysfunction following documented immediate reactions to vaccination including high fever, seizures and diarrhea. Their data suggests that several gene combinations may make some individuals susceptible to developing autoimmune-induced brain and immune system dysfunction following vaccination. They also suggested that the chemical thimerosal, which is a mercury derivative and has been added to most vaccines as a preservative, may also be involved in both neurological and gastrointestinal dysfunction following vaccination. The researchers are currently studying the association between vaccination and chronic inflammatory bowel disease.

CHRONIC ILLNESS COSTS U.S. $425 BILLION - In an article in the November 13 Journal of the American Medical Association, it was revealed that chronic illnesses that cause autoimmune and neurological dysfunction are costing the nation $425 billion a year in health care expenses and another $234 billion in indirect costs such as from lost days of work. The study said that the vast majority of people classified as having chronic health conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes, are not disabled but require constant treatment and medication. More than 60 percent of chronically ill adults are between the ages of 18 and 64 years of age. It is estimated that by the year 2030, the numbers of chronically ill Americans will rise from 100 million to 148 million and the price tag for their care will increase to $798 billion.


With no information being released to the public to scientifically support the recommendation, the Pentagon has ordered all members of the U.S. armed forces to be vaccinated with anthrax vaccine. In what is reported to be a $120 million dollar plan to vaccinate 1.5 million U.S. military personnel with the experimental anthrax vaccine designed to protect troops against a biological warfare attack, no evidence to back up the plan as being safe and effective is being provided by the Pentagon.

Anthrax, an infectious disease commonly found in cattle and sheep, can be deadly in humans and cause pneumonia and death within days. An experimental anthrax vaccine was among the 17 different viral and bacterial vaccines given to U.S. troops who went to the Gulf War. The chronic autoimmune and neurological dysfunction suffered by more than 70,000 Gulf War veterans has been repeatedly linked to the large numbers of vaccinations and experimental drugs they received before arriving in the Gulf as well as their exposure to chemical toxins after they arrived. The Pentagon denies any association.

I Never Felt So Sick - In just one of many reports by Gulf War veterans to the National Vaccine Information Center, NVIC was told about the effects of a series of anthrax vaccinations one soldier got in 1990 before being deployed to the Gulf. "I was bedridden for a week like many of my colleagues who got the shots. I had high fevers, head and body pain and fatigue so bad I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t move the leg where the injection was given. I had never been so sick in my life." This veteran is now one of the tens of thousands of veterans suffering from chronic fatigue, joint pain and swelling, intestinal problems and neurological dysfunction.


Nearly 15 years after parents of children injured by the whole cell pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine in the DPT shot banded together and called for a safer pertussis vaccine, on July 31 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally licensed an acellular pertussis vaccine for babies under 18 months of age. The FDA's action came on the heels of an NIH Pertussis Conference held June 3-5 at which there were clear indications that the old whole cell pertussis vaccine, which is crude and cheap to produce, would remain on the market even after a purified and more expensive one was licensed. The day the FDA announced it had licensed an acellular pertussis vaccine for infants, the National Vaccine Information Center called for immediate removal of the whole cell pertussis vaccine from the market so that U.S. public health clinics providing free vaccines will not have the option to give it to poor children.

In a Washington Post article, which was reinforced by a report by Dr. Bob Arnot on the CBS Evening News, NVIC Co-Founder & President Barbara Loe Fisher maintained that politics have been played with the pertussis vaccine and children's lives and that "We owe it to our children - all of our children - to take the old vaccine off the market." NVIC Co-founder & Director Kathi Williams added that "Parents of vaccine damaged children have been working for 15 years to get a purified pertussis vaccine that would cut down on pertussis vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. We finally have one, primarily because many hundreds of parents whose children were injured or killed by the pertussis vaccine came forward and would not allow what happened to these children to be dismissed and forgotten."

Japan Did It First - The FDA's action comes 16 years after Japanese scientists in 1981 gave Japanese children a purified acellular pertussis vaccine, which they developed from American research technology. Japan quickly developed the purified vaccine when the whole cell vaccine was taken off the Japanese market in the late 1970's after several babies died following DPT shot reactions. Instead of using the whole B. pertussis bacterium, which contains many toxins, Japanese scientists threw out most of the toxins and retained several components of the bacterium thought to be responsible for stimulating antibodies to pertussis. Japan has been using its acellular vaccine to control whooping cough since 1981 by beginning vaccination at age two years.

U.S. Dragged Its Feet - In 1982, the award winning television documentary "DPT: Vaccine Roulette" produced by NBC reporter Lea Thompson was broadcast and parents of pertussis vaccine damaged children in the Washington, D.C. area founded Dissatisfied Parents Together (DPT). In the wake of national publicity about the whole cell pertussis vaccine's dangers, the FDA and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) officials told the public and Congress they were beginning acellular pertussis vaccine trials in Sweden and that American babies would have a safer pertussis vaccine within five years.

But the Swedish trials dragged on and it wasn't until 1988 that a symposium was held at NIH, where it was widely anticipated by consumer groups that the FDA would announce that an acellular pertussis vaccine would soon be licensed for American babies. Instead, Dissatisfied Parents Together co-founders Fisher and Williams discovered that the only announcement to come out of that gathering of international scientists was that, because the whole cell pertussis vaccine had not been used as a "control," the trials would have to be done all over again. At the time, Fisher told the FDA, CDC and NIH officials at the gathering "You people are supposed to be scientists. You've been responsible for figuring out this problem. Why didn't you set up controlled, double blind studies with the whole cell vaccine and the acellular vaccine soon after 1981 when the Japanese started using the vaccine on a mass basis? Why hasn't this been done? It is simply bad science to be sitting here in 1988 and still not know the answer."

Drug Companies Compete - Eight long years and millions of research dollars later, at the June 3-5, 1996, NIH Pertussis Conference, a half dozen U.S. and foreign vaccine manufacturers presented data on how their different acellular pertussis vaccines performed in international clinical trials in Germany, Italy, Sweden and Senegal, each hoping their vaccine would be the first to be licensed by the FDA for use in infants as young as two months old. The FDA gave the nod to Connaught Laboratories, one of two U.S. vaccine manufacturers making whole cell pertussis vaccine as well as acellular pertussis vaccines already licensed for babies older than 18 months. Connaught's acellular pertussis vaccine has two components, while other companies are making acellular pertussis vaccines containing one to five components. It is expected that acellular pertussis vaccine manufacturers will compete with each other by promoting differences between their safety and efficacy data.

Questions Remain - At the June Pertussis Conference, Fisher gave a presentation on behalf of NVIC. "The Nationwide Multicenter Acellular Pertussis Trial comparing whole cell to acellular pertussis vaccines only included about 2,000 infants and some 6,000 vaccinations," she stated. "Some of the groups studied contained less than 100 babies, such as during the comparison of reactivity when HIB vaccine was injected simultaneously with pertussis vaccine. Even with these relatively small numbers, serious events such as convulsions, hypotonic hyporesponsive episodes, and death did occur in both whole cell and acellular vaccine recipients, as did reports of continuing health problems such as seizures and developmental delays at the one year follow-up. Although study authors go to some lengths to disassociate certain acute adverse events, such as otitis media and respiratory infections, following vaccination to long term health problems, such as continuing seizure disorders and developmental delays, from being causally related to the vaccine, scientifically this remains an open question."

"Causal relationships between vaccines and temporary or permanent health problems will remain an open question until molecular biologists and neuroimmunologists precisely define the biological mechanism for response to vaccination and pathological profiles are developed to distinguish vaccine-associated events from other events," added Fisher. The lack of well designed long term studies comparing vaccinated to unvaccinated children for all morbidity and mortality outcomes in order to determine true background rates for immune and neurological dysfunction occurring in American children further confounds the picture."


The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) will host the First International People's Conference on Vaccination on September 13-15 1997 in Washington, D.C.. In celebration of its 15th Anniversary, NVIC is coordinating the first large international conference organized by the people to bring together scientists, medical doctors and health care professionals representing alternative health care modalities as well as vaccine consumers, parents of vaccine injured children and other individuals chronically ill from vaccine-related immune and neurological dysfunction.

Focus On Alternatives & The Right To Informed Consent - The theme of the First International People's Conference on Vaccination will be "Exploring Vaccines, Chronic Illness, Alternatives and the Right to Informed Consent." The three-day conference will include a combination of formal presentations, panel discussions, and informal workshops that will allow dissemination of new scientific and empirical information as well as provide an opportunity for interaction between conference participants. There will be an exhibit area and, on Monday, Sept. 15, an opportunity for attendees to visit their senators and representatives and make their views heard on Capitol Hill. The conference is being held at a hotel located just five minutes from National Airport and Capitol Hill with easy access to both Washington, D.C. and Virginia historic attractions. More information will be provided about the October 1997 conference in future issues of THE VACCINE REACTION.

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