How Safe is Universal Hep B Vaccination References
Dr. F.E. Yazbak, MD, FAAP on Hepatitis B Vaccine
TESTIMONY OF MICHAEL BELKIN BEFORE THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON IMMUNIZATION PRACTICES -- CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION -- February 17, 1999 -- Atlanta Georgia
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There have been several articles on Hepatitis B: The Disease, published lately. Many of these articles listed some true facts purposely intermingled with wrong deductions, apparently to demonstrate how terrible Hepatitis B is, or could be, and how important it was to eradicate it at any price
The following excerpt is an exact, word for word copy, of the clinical features of Hepatitis B : page 225-226, Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, CDC (Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention), 5th Editon, January, 1999. (Unquestionably, the ultimate reference).
The clinical course of acute Hepatitis B is indistinguishable from that of other types of acute viral hepatitis. The incubation period ranges from 45 to 160 days (average, 120 days) . Clinical signs and symptoms occur more often in adults than in infants or children, who usually have an asymptomatic acute course. However, approximately 50% of adults who have acute infections are asymptomatic. When symptoms occur in acute HBV infection, they may occur in the following patterns.
The preicteric, or prodromal, phase from initial symptoms to onset of jaundice, usually lasts from three to ten days. It is characterized by insidious onset with malaise, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, right upper quadrant abdominal pain, fever, headache, myalgias, skin rashes, arthralgias and arthritis, and dark urine, beginning 1 to 2 days before the onset of jaundice. The icteric phase is variable, but usually lasts from 1 to 3 weeks, characterized by jaundice, light or gray stools, hepatic tenderness and hepatomegaly (spleenomegaly is less common). During convalescence, malaise and fatigue may persist for weeks or months, while jaundice, anorexia, and other symptoms disappear.
Most acute HBV infections in adults result in complete recovery with elimination of HBsAg from the blood and the production of anti-HBs creating immunity from future infections.
While most acute HBV infections in adults result in complete recovery, fulminant hepatitis occur in about 1% to 2% of persons, with mortality rates of 63% to 93%. About 200 to 300 Americans die of fulminant disease each year. Although the consequences of acute HBV infection can be severe, most of the serious complications associated with HBV infection are due to chronic infection.
Chronic HBV infection
Approximately 10% of all acute HBV infections progress to chronic infection, with the risk of chronic HBV infection decreasing with age. As many as 90% of infants who acquire HBV infection from their mothers at birth become carriers. Of children who become infected with HBV between 1 year and 5 years of age, 30% to 50% become carriers. By adultdood, the risk of becoming a carrier is 6% to 10%.
Persons with chronic infection are often asymptomatic and may not be aware that they are infected, yet are capable of infecting others. Chronic infection is responsible for most HBV-related morbidity and mortality, including chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver failure, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Chronic active hepatitis develops in over 25% of carriers, and often results in cirrhosis. An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 persons die of hepatitis B-related cirrhosis each year in the United States. Persons with chronic HBV infection are at 12 to 300 times higher risk of hepatocellular carcinoma than noncarriers. An estimated 1,000 to 1,500 die each year in the United States of hepatitis B-related liver cancer”.
May I suggest that any other statistics, of unknown sources, be considered suspicious. Reported vaccine reactions seem to resemble the acute and convalescent phases of the disease. Now to Hepatitis B and the newborn : The following is again the exact, verbatum quotation, from page 230 of the same CDC manual: “Over 80% of acute HBV infections occur among adults. Adolescents account for approximately 8% of infections, and children and perinatal transmission account for approximately 4% each. Perinatal transmission accounts for a disproportionate 24% of chronic infections.”
I personally interpret this to mean that in the newborn period, the only way an infant can be infected is by vertical transmission from an infected mother. Babies born to such infected mothers should promptly receive the Hepatitis B immune globulin, and the Hepatitis B vaccine. Indeed, more vigilance should be exercised to identify ALL such infected mothers. Until then, it is prudent, to continue immunizing infants born to mothers who had no prenatal testing, whose results are unknown twelve hours after delivery, or who belong to populations with high risk of early childhood Hepatitis B.
The huge controversy present today surrounds the mandated routine Hepatitis B vaccination starting at birth ie : the vaccination of all newborns whose mothers have no risk factors whatsoever, and whose tests are negative. Many such parents, and as many doctors feel that an immunologically fragile newborn should be spared the trauma of receiving a vaccine on the first day or the first few weeks of life, if he or she does not really need it. It seems clear from the above, that the CDC itself feels that indeed there is no immediate risk to such infants.
The CDC reacted responsibly this week when it halted the use of the Rotavirus vaccine because of only twenty reported complications. With all the problems associated with the Hepatitis B vaccine, now is the perfect time for CDC to review the multitude, literally thousands, of Hep B vaccine VAERS reports, interview parents of victims, and act promptly and appropriately. Resuming routine vaccination of the newborn period with a Thiomerosal - free vaccine will not be prudent, as the reported reactions seem auto-immune, and do not suggest a heavy metal poisoning.
The decision on when to routinely vaccinate children against Hepatitis B should be left to the parents.
F. Edward Yazbak, MD, FAAP.
The above comments reflect my own views and not those of the organizations to which I belong.
My name is Michael Belkin. I am a father, businessman, former quantitative strategist at Salomon Brothers and Director of the Hepatitis B Vaccine Project of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC).
The NVIC has studied Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act covering the last nine years on hepatitis B vaccine adverse events -- and in 1996 there were more than three times as many reported serious adverse reactions as reported cases of the disease in the 0 to 14 age group. Of the total 2,424 adverse event reports made between 1990 and October 1998 in children under age 14 who only received hepatitis B vaccine, there were 1,209 serious events and 73 deaths. Thus, one half of the reports for children under age 14 who received only hepatitis B vaccine were for serious events that required an emergency room visit, hospitalization, or caused life-threatening health problems or permanent disabilities.
As a UC Berkeley graduate and advisor to some of the largest financial institutions in the world, I am qualified to analyze and make conclusions about statistics. Based on that experience, I am astonished that the scientists on this Committee would disregard or cover up data showing the number and severity of adverse reactions to this vaccine. Science is observing and learning from what is observed. The assertions of the CDC that the many reported adverse reactions to this vaccine do not exist or are a coincidence violates the basic principle of science, which is rooted in the observation and analysis of data.
A benefit/risk analysis of the hepatitis B vaccine for the average infant in America, not born to infected parents, must conclude that the VAERS data on adverse reactions shows the real-world risk of a newborn infant dying or being injured by the hepatitis B vaccine is a greater threat than the remote chance of contracting the primarily blood-transmitted disease.
My 5-week old daughter, Lyla Rose died within 16 hours of her hepatitis B vaccination, which she received because of the universal vaccination policy this Committee instituted in 1991. At her death, Lyla had four of the eight highest-reported symptoms in the VAERS hepatitis B vaccine adverse reaction data. The NY Medical Examiner observed brain swelling at the autopsy but refused to record that or mention the hepatitis B vaccine Lyla received in the autopsy report.
I hold each one of you who participated in the promulgation or perpetuation of that mandated newborn vaccination policy personally responsible for my daughter’s death and the deaths and injuries of all the other beautiful, healthy infants who are victims of the hepatitis B vaccine. Your negligence is the proximate cause of my daughter’s death and you have failed to exercise reasonable care.
At the NVIC, we are overwhelmed following up constant new reports of deaths, seizures and autoimmune reactions following hepatitis B vaccination. Because the CDC refuses to acknowledge this large number of serious adverse reactions, hospitals and doctors who have been misled about the risks continue to administer the vaccine and then deny any vaccine connection when children die, get ill or have seizures within hours or days. CDC officials tell parents they have never heard of hepatitis B vaccine reactions.
That is a lie. For this government to continue to insist that hepatitis B vaccine adverse reaction reports do not exist is negligent, unethical -- and is a crime against the children of America.
It is a sad day for the US when the nation’s children need protection from the official medical authorities who are charged with protecting them from disease.