Barbara Loe Fisher is a leader in vaccine education and safety, and the co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Info Center (NVIC). Over the past 25 years, she’s been appointed to several federal vaccine advisory committees as a consumer agent since of her leadership function in the area of consumer advocacy.
Here, she alerts about the possibility of yet more dosages of another vaccine being contributed to the routine infant vaccine schedule: the meningococcal vaccine for meningitis.
Some parents have already spoken up at a recent forum on vaccines; some testifying for it, others riling versus it.As reported by The Seattle Times:
” What postures the greater risk: vaccines, or the illness they’re made to prevent? Should all children go through vaccination– and its risks– to prevent a relatively unusual, however possibly dangerous disease? … For a full day, more than 100 people wrestled with concerns of safety, cost and efficiency of a vaccine for meningococcal meningitis, one of several types of the disease, which can cause inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.”
Yet another vaccine is now being seriously thought about for addition on the youth vaccination schedule: the meningococcal vaccine for meningitis. Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) recently participated in a vaccine stakeholder engagement meeting sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), where this subject was discussed. She was among the few consumer agents at this meeting.
What is Meningitis?
Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges of your brain; generally, it’s a brain inflammation. It can be caused by a few various type of organisms, consisting of Neisseria meningococcal– which the meningococcal vaccine is tailored towards– pneumococcal bacteria (Streptococcus pneumoniae), and Haemophilus influenza B. (The first vaccines, smallpox, rabies vaccines, in addition to other vaccines like pertussis, MMR and liver disease B vaccine, can also cause brain inflammation in specific cases.)
Symptoms and signs of meningitis include:
- Severe headache
- High fever
- In children: high pitched yelling and arching of the back
- Rigid head and neck and severe pain when attempting to put your chin to your chest.
See also: Risk of Hepatitis B Vaccine in Infants
Meningococcal disease is a serious disease that can lead to the loss of limbs, mental retardation, and death. The start and development can be speedy, and needs urgent medical attention. So when you see the sort of symptoms listed above, you need to get had a look at instantly.
Fortunately, meningitis can be successfully treated with intravenous antibiotics if caught in time, however therein also lies the core.
” Often it moves so quickly that if you’re not paying attention and you don’t get to the hospital– and naturally this has actually been the argument [for the vaccine]– it can lead to brain injury and death,” Fisher states.
” But we need to take a look at the incidence. Right now, 20 percent of us carry Neisseria meningococcal organisms in the back of our throat at any one given time, and we’re asymptomatic. What is it about individuals who could go on to have invasive meningococcal disease? That’s what they really have to be looking at. What are the risk factors?
The other thing is that most of us, by the time we are teens, already have natural antibodies to Neisseria meningococcal … But what’s going to occur when we not have the natural antibodies– when children are getting vaccinated at two, four, 6, and 12 months, and you have vaccine-induced antibodies, which are not the same? [Vaccine caused] antibodies are not the like the natural [antibodies] We potentially need to change everything.”
This is a very important point due to the fact that the majority of people do not understand that there’s an unique difference in between vaccine-induced immunity, which is primarily measured by the number of antibodies in the blood (humoral resistance), and the kind of resistance produced after exposure to and recovery from the disease, which qualitatively superior since it is both cell moderated and humoral.
See also: What Causes Child Ear Infections?
How Meningococcal Disease Spreads
Educating parents and children about how meningococcal disease spreads and can result in severe complications might be much more essential than enforcing a universal use vaccine policy for all babies.
First; understand how it spreads. For instance, you can not capture Neisseria meningococcal simply by standing next to somebody who has it. In order to capture it and spread it, you have to have an intimate exchange of saliva, such as kissing, or sharing tooth brushes or cups. You will not capture it from someone coughing in an elevator.
” People just don’t have the basic info that they need to make informed choices,” Fisher states. “I hope that people will take a serious take a look at this and give the CDC feedback, either at these city meetings or by writing to the CDC. Again, availability of the vaccine is one thing, however recommending it for everybody, which then develops into a state mandate, is something else.”
Meningococcal Vaccine Now Considered for Babies …
The meningococcal vaccine is already suggested for young teens, 11-12 years old, and again at 16 years of age or as college freshmen. Now they wish to add anywhere from three to 4 more doses at two months, four months, six months and 12 months of age.
” Here is the scenario with this vaccine,” Fisher says. “Neisseria meningococcal is just associated with about 1,400 to 3,000 cases [of meningitis] each year in the United States, from 308 million Americans. There are five strains (serotypes): A, B, C, Y, and W135. A third to half of the cases of Neisseria meningococcal disease is caused by strain B. And that strain is NOT in the vaccine.”
In children under the age of five, strain B is accountable for 66 to 70 percent of the cases of meningitis. Infants under the age of one are now the brand-new target age being considered for this vaccine suggestion– in spite of the reality that:
a. The bacterial strain accountable for the large majority of the cases is NOT included in the vaccine, and
b. In the last 9 years, there has actually been an average of 16 deaths each year from the Neisseria meningococcal infection in children under the age of 12 months.
The proposed policy is now to immunize EVERY child at two, 4, six and 12 months, then once again at 11 to 12 years of age, and at 16 years of age. That’s 6 doses of a meningococcal vaccine that does not cover 30 to 70 percent of the cases that in fact happen, depending upon the age!
” You truly have to take a look at the cost-benefit analysis,” Fisher says.
You likewise need to take a look at the insertion of another vaccine into a schedule that currently consists of eight vaccines to be provided at two, 4, and 6 months of age. Where is the evidence revealing that it is safe for a baby to get all these vaccines in mix within the first six months of life? Where are the research studies revealing it will be safe to include a ninth vaccine?
There aren’t any!
Remember that Natural Immunity is FAR Superior to Vaccine-Induced Immunity
Numerous think that an immunization causes the same type of resistance that you would receive from natural exposure to the infection. However that’s just not the case. This is well-documented, and I do not believe any decent researcher, who understands standard immunology, would contest it.
Natural exposure is far more most likely to cause permanent resistance while vaccine direct exposure usually creates a temporary and usually far inferior resistance or fails to promote any immunity at all. This is why one dose of a vaccine does not work and why “booster” dosages are had to attempt to extend vaccine induced immunity.
” This is something that’s not being took a look at either,” Fisher warns. “Are we likelying to become vaccine reliant? Are you going to see a mutation of this Neisseria meningococcal organism into a more virulent and a more prevalent form? …”
The main reason why most break outs of meningitis happen among university student is that many freshmen, far from home for the very first time, don’t live a healthy lifestyle. There is normally a decline in their nutritional status combined with the stress of a brand-new environment and disrupted sleeping practices– all which can have a dramatic and detrimental effect on the healthy performance of their body immune system. A depressed body immune system is going to be far less able to withstand infections.
What is the Side Effects of Meningitis Vaccine
Is Six Doses of Yet Another Vaccine Within the First Year of Life Warranted?
The proposed vaccine policy change would be to recommend 6 dosages of the meningococcal vaccine for each American child, with four of those dosages offered under age 12 months, for a disease that in the last 9 years killed approximately 16 children per year under age 12 months in this country. Do those mortality statistics necessitate investing multi-millions of limited health care dollars to purchase four dosages of meningococcal vaccine for each single child in America under 12 months old?
Meanwhile, a minimum of 106,000 individuals pass away each and every year from taking correctly prescribed prescription drugs. Why isn’t something being done about prescription substance abuse if they’re genuinely concerned about conserving one life every two years?
I need to say that this proposed vaccine policy change does not appear reasonable– unless your primary justification for this suggestion is a monetary one, for the advantage of the drug business.
” I believe the vaccine needs to be available for anybody who wishes to use it,” Fisher states. And I agree on this point. “The concern I have with a universal use recommendation by the CDC for meningococcal vaccine, for children under one, is that whenever the CDC suggests a vaccine for universal use for children, in the last quarter century almost all of those vaccines have become state mandates. Indicating that, you do not have an option.
That’s actually the overarching concern that has numerous parents concerned … It’s not that the vaccines are being recommended; it’s that the vaccines are being mandated. They are being required on you. When anyone attempts to make an informed voluntary choice, they are then thrown away of the doctor’s office. They are pestered. They are threatened.”
This is a circumstance with the potential to obtain explosive …
Has Anyone Done a Cost to Benefit Analysis?
” If you take an objective take a look at this prospective universal-use recommendation by CDC for the [meningococcal] vaccine, you have a few problems,” Fisher says. “First, you have a cost issue … The cost depends upon if you get it in a public health center or in a private pediatrician’s office, however we’re taking a look at … about $60-100 per dose.”
So that’s upwards of $500-600 per child for this one vaccine alone. In the end we all pay for it one method or another given that it’s paid by either the parents or the government, who takes it from federal income taxes. Again, taking a look at the disease stats, and the existing cost of United States health care as a whole, are four more doses of this vaccine truly required for every single baby under 12 months old in the United States?