Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Current Rotavirus Issue.

Many parents of children with autism are skeptical about vaccine safety.  The circumstantial evidence seems to be in large supply, mostly from parents of kiddos with regressive autism.  You child is fine, and then sometime after their 12 month or 18 month appointments, they start to go downhill... fast.  I'm not sold on either side of the argument yet, as there has been just as much if not more to prove the safety of vaccines as there is to disprove it.  And I could break off here into a whole discussion surrounding undiagnosed Mitochondrial Dysfunction and how vaccines and/or any kind of viral infection play a role in the development of autism... but that's for another day.

What I'd like to focus on is the recent recall of the rotavirus vaccine that largely went under the media radar last month.  And this really has nothing to do with autism, but if you have a child, you might want to take a look at this.  We've been made recently aware of pig virus DNA contaminates in both GlaxoSmithKline's Rotarix (PCV1) and Merck's RotaTeq (PCV1 and PCV2) vaccines.  Just the idea that there is a contaminate that unknowingly entered into the vaccine is enough to make me squirm, but did you know the one that contaminated the RotaTeq vaccine has parts of a pig virus (PCV2) that have been known to severely harm pigs and mice?  And why is it the latter of the two was completely missed in CNN's report of the recall last month?  Maybe because the FDA didn't recall RotaTeq.


And they've now decided to continue to allow the administration of these vaccines.  (See the first link above).  But why now is GlaxoSmithKline choosing to fix it?  I mean, if it's safe, then what's the problem?  "FDA and the manufacturers will continue to investigate the findings of PCV in rotavirus vaccines, and will evaluate information from ongoing testing by FDA and the manufacturers.  As noted by the firm during the May 7, 2010, VRBPAC meeting, GSK plans to rederive its vaccine, in consultation with FDA.  Merck is in the early stages of its investigation, and has not yet determined next steps in this regard."

Nice, isn't it?  They are going to continue to evaluate the ongoing testing, and yet they're still giving the vaccines their blessing.

And notice it's not just a matter of quality control, GSK is going to "rederive" it.  That says to me that it really isn't a contaminate, but a normal occuring phenomenon in the components of the vaccine.

And truly, PCV1 has no known major effects to pigs, so I would think GSK would be right in not being too concerned, but Merck with it's PCV1 and 2?

My skin is crawling right now.

Mostly because the lack of quality control that seems to be associated with several childhood medications as of late.  They could have found saline in there that wasn't supposed to be and I'd still squirm, just because they lost control of their quality process.

I'm not trying to be a wierdo conspiracy alarmist.  You'll find the FDA has this information available for all to see.  But we must remember, so far there isn't any documented evidence that either vaccine has caused any harm since it's been on the market, and it has, I am certain, saved many lives.  But I believe the public still needs to be informed.

For more on this including a large section of sources cited, please check out this blog.  It is from the president of the National Vaccine Information Center.  And it's worth reading.

And what they're doing about it.

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