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Thimerosal scandal

Time for CDC to Come Clean. Correspondence newly obtained under the Freedom of Information Act raises troubling new questions about CDC's role in the Thimerosal scandal. Thimerosal is the mercury-based vaccine preservative that has been linked to epidemics of neurological disorders, including autism, in American children born after 1989. Responding to scientific studies linking dangerous levels of mercury to a range of health disorders, the CDC in July 1999 recommended that the nation's vaccine makers eliminate Thimerosal as a preservative, "as soon as possible."

Early Downward Trends in Neurodevelopmental Disorders Following Removal of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines

Analysis of two independent government databases shows that the alarming increase in reported cases of autism not only slowed but actually reversed since thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines, according to the lead article in the spring 2006 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

The Age of Autism: Mercury creeps back in

New calculations suggest children today can be exposed to more than half the mercury that was in vaccines in the 1990s, even though manufacturers began phasing it out in 1999. Adjusted for a child's body weight at the time of the shots, there's virtually no reduction at all, according to this analysis.

The source: Flu vaccines, which have been recommended for millions more kids over 6 months old and pregnant women in the past few years. Most of those shots still contain the mercury-based preservative called thimerosal that some fear is behind a huge rise in autism diagnoses. "It's been under the radar and it's allowed health officials to say, 'We've taken it out of all the childhood vaccines,'" said Dr. David Ayoub, an Illinois anti-thimerosal activist who put the data together along with Maryland researchers David Geier and Dr. Mark Geier. "They don't consider influenza one of the mandated childhood vaccines yet," Ayoub said. But because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends flu shots for all pregnant women and all children between 6 months and age 5, doctors routinely give them.

Fluvaccin without Thimerosal - FluMist neusspray

Don’t Eat the Fish?

In March, 2001, the FDA issued a statement warning pregnant women and young children not to eat fish containing high levels of mercury for fear of causing neurological problems in children. Yet, the CDC's National Immunization Program (NIP) has continued to allow these same sensitive populations to be exposed to mercury from routinely administered flu shots which contain more mercury than seafood. Why?

In 2001, the CDC and its Office of the NIP contracted with the Institute of Medicine to create the Immunization Safety Review Committee in order to examine the scientific evidence regarding a number of vaccine injury hypotheses including the correlation between reception of thimerosal containing vaccines and the onset of neurodevelopmental disorders including autism.

The IOM’s first report on thimerosal was issued in October, 2001 (Immunization Safety Review: Thimerosal - Containing Vaccines and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (2001) Institute of Medicine) and addressed the question if exposure to thimerosal containing vaccines could be associated with adverse neurodevelopmental disorders. The committee stated they found the hypothesis “biologically plausible.” The committee recommends that infants, children and pregnant women should not be exposed to thimerosal containing vaccines.

ABC 7 Medical: Autism Study Prompts Debate

A new study shows a dramatic decrease in the rate of autism since mercury has been removed from most childhood vaccines. But the whole topic of childhood vaccines remains controversial, as the centers for disease control disputes the study. medical reporter Kathy Fowler joins us with a look at this study. Kathy Fowler: local researchers looked at three different federal and state data bases to determine what they say is absolute proof that thimerosal or mercury in vaccines has been responsible for an epidemic of autism in this country. But the CDC calls the study misleading. one local mother says all she wants is the truth.

Merck Misled on Vaccines, Some Say

The firm supplied shots containing a mercury compound after saying it had halted its use

Drug maker Merck & Co. continued to supply infant vaccine containing a mercury-based preservative for two years after declaring that it had eliminated the chemical. In September 1999, amid rising concern about the risks of mercury in childhood vaccines, Merck announced that the Food and Drug Administration had approved a preservative-free version of its hepatitis B vaccine.

?Now, Merck's infant vaccine line,? the company's press release said, ?is free of all preservatives.?

But Merck continued to distribute vaccine containing the chemical known as thimerosal, along with the new product, until October 2001, according to an FDA letter sent in response to a congressional inquiry. The thimerosal-containing supplies had expiration dates in 2002.

We have traded treatable childhood illnesses for lifelong, extremely costly disability and disease

Why Do Pediatricians Deny The Obvious?

It’s 2006, and for the first time in history, U.S. children are sicker than the generation before them.

What happened? Many have argued that the increasingly aggressive vaccination schedule is partly to blame. (18-23) In the 1980s, more vaccines were given earlier in infancy, as were more multivalent doses, most of which contained mercury. In the 1990s, genetically recombined vaccines came into use for the first time, and were used universally on day-old infants, who had never before been vaccinated with anything. Indeed, children are currently advised to get 54 vaccine doses by age 12 — a circumstance unprecedented in human history, and one that coincides neatly with the escalation in child health problems. If true, by vaccinating so zealously, rather than making children healthier, as school districts, federal health programs, corporate health infrastructures, and pediatricians insist, we have traded mostly benign or treatable childhood illnesses for incurable, lifelong, extremely costly disability and disease. It means that current vaccine policy and practice create more morbidity and mortality than they prevent in U.S. children.

91 Memo Warned of Mercury in Shots

A memo from Merck & Co. shows that, nearly a decade before the first public disclosure, senior executives were concerned that infants were getting an elevated dose of mercury in vaccinations containing a widely used sterilizing agent.

The March 1991 memo, obtained by The Times, said that 6-month-old children who received their shots on schedule would get a mercury dose up to 87 times higher than guidelines for the maximum daily consumption of mercury from fish.

When viewed in this way, the mercury load appears rather large,? said the memo from Dr. Maurice R. Hilleman, an internationally renowned vaccinologist. It was written to the president of Merck's vaccine division.

The memo was prepared at a time when U.S. health authorities were aggressively expanding their immunization schedule by adding five new shots for children in their first six months. Many of these shots, as well as some previously included on the vaccine schedule, contained thimerosal, an antibacterial compound that is nearly 50% ethyl mercury, a neurotoxin.

Deadly immunity

When a study revealed that mercury in childhood vaccines may have caused autism in thousands of kids, the government rushed to conceal the data  and to prevent parents from suing drug companies for their role in the epidemic.

In June 2000, a group of top government scientists and health officials gathered for a meeting at the isolated Simpsonwood conference center in Norcross, Ga. Convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the meeting was held at this Methodist retreat center, nestled in wooded farmland next to the Chattahoochee River, to ensure complete secrecy. The agency had issued no public announcement of the session -- only private invitations to 52 attendees.

There were high-level officials from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, the top vaccine specialist from the World Health Organization in Geneva, and representatives of every major vaccine manufacturer, including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Wyeth and Aventis Pasteur. All of the scientific data under discussion, CDC officials repeatedly reminded the participants, was strictly "embargoed." There would be no making photocopies of documents, no taking papers with them when they left.

The federal officials and industry representatives had assembled to discuss a disturbing new study that raised alarming questions about the safety of a host of common childhood vaccines administered to infants and young children. According to a CDC epidemiologist named Tom Verstraeten, who had analyzed the agency's massive database containing the medical records of 100,000 children, a mercury-based preservative in the vaccines -- thimerosal -- appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and a host of other neurological disorders among children. "I was actually stunned by what I saw," Verstraeten told those assembled at Simpsonwood, citing the staggering number of earlier studies that indicate a link between thimerosal and speech delays, attention-deficit disorder, hyperactivity and autism.

Since 1991, when the CDC and the FDA had recommended that three additional vaccines laced with the preservative be given to extremely young infants -- in one case, within hours of birth -- the estimated number of cases of autism had increased fifteenfold, from one in every 2,500 children to one in 166 children.

Autism cover-up video -MSNBC

Interview with Robert F. Kennedy

Serious researchers are pushed around

Risks of mercury in vaccins

The results of the Generation Zero analyses are striking and more supportive of a causal relationship between vaccine mercury exposure and childhood developmental disorders (especially autism) than any of the results reported later

• Relative risks of autism, ADD, sleep disorders and speech/language delay were consistently elevated relative to other disorders and frequently significant. Disease risk for the high exposure groups ranged from lows of 1.5X-2 times to as high as 11 times the disease risk of the zero exposure group.

• Many other outcomes showed no consistent effect, while a few appeared to show a
protective effect from vaccine mercury exposure (most likely children with these diagnoses were immunized later).

• The strongest effect was for the highest levels of mercury exposure at the earliest time of exposure, consistent with the idea that infant brain development is most sensitive to the earliest exposures.

• The elevated risk of autism for the highest exposure levels at one month ranged from 7.6 to
11.4 times the zero exposure level. This increased risk level corresponds to the tenfold
increase in autism rates seen since vaccine mercury exposures increase starting in 1990.

FDA still says it is safe

However, depending on the vaccine formulations used and the weight of the infant, some infants could have been exposed to cumulative levels of mercury during the first six months of life that exceeded EPA recommended guidelines for safe intake of methylmercury.

As a precautionary measure, the Public Health Service (including the FDA, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics issued two Joint Statements, urging vaccine manufacturers to reduce or eliminate thimerosal in vaccines as soon as possible (CDC 1999) and (CDC 2000). The U.S. Public Health Service agencies have collaborated with various investigators to initiate further studies to better understand any possible health effects from exposure to thimerosal in vaccines.

A two-phased population epidemiological study of the safety of thimerosal-containing vaccines: a follow-up analysis

Med Sci Monit, 2005; 11(4): CR160-170

Despite conclusions by the Institute of Medicine that there is no relationship between thimerosal and autism, and that no further studies should be conducted to evaluate the relationship between thimerosal and autism, it is clear from these data and other emerging data that has been recently published, additional neurodevelopmental disorder research should be undertaken in the context of evaluating mercury-associated exposures, especially when thimerosalfree vaccines are a readily available option for the most vulnerable populations. It should be a priority to improve access to thimerosal-free vaccines.


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