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Why are we so worried about vax vs non-vax? - Page 20

post #381 of 400

Deleted.

post #382 of 400

In all of these examples regarding Syrian refugees, refugees being the most likely groups to be lacking in very basic needs, vaccines are a welcome relief for controlling the disease burden, but in none of these cases are they the only intervention offered:

 

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/jordan_70810.html

http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/91/6/13-020613.pdf

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp/story.asp?NewsID=47088&Cr=syria&Cr1=#.U0xkUlc7ZkZ

 

Futhermore, unlike what some have suggested, the most preeminent driver for these emergency vaccine programs are actually disease outbreaks and not pharmaceutical profits.

I think I sufficiently addressed my thoughts on non-emergency vaccine programs in developing countries in the other post.

post #383 of 400

Actually I didn’t have the refugee scenario in mind.  The food and water handouts under these conditions are temporary.  I was thinking more in terms of permanent communities in developing countries.

Where it concerns developing countries, I understand that most people have good intentions.  But sometimes they are very misguided.  Such was the case when they wanted to get vaccination rates up by using a necessity as an incentive.  They tied a free mosquito net to having a measles vaccine with a vitamin A  supplement.  I think some mothers’ actions were very telling as to what was important to them.

 
Quote:
 

“Three more children have died in Nyanza province, bringing to eight infants

who have suc***bed to an overdose of the measles vaccine in the area...

 

The three died yesterday after their mothers, ignorant of the dangers of repeat dosage of the vaccine and Vitamin 'A' supplements, took their children for fresh vaccination in a span of 15 hours......

Mothers in search mosquito nets donated alongside the vaccine are said to present their children for more that the required single measles dose. The Shinyalu fatality the child died after receiving two jabs at Shikusi Dispensary and at Mukumu Mission Hospital within 24 hours. It developed complications and died as the mother received a second free net.” http://www.mombu.com/medicine/medicine/t-more-children-die-from-double-measles-vaccine-measles-outbreak-exercise-12604468-last.html

post #384 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss834 View Post
 

 

There is no "we" to do all of this work for people on the ground in still-developing countries. "We" can give them tools to accomplish things, but much less often are "we" over there to do the work ourselves. Their doctors and their nurses implement vaccine programs in the vast majority of cases. Their midwives want to protect their patients young babies from neonatal tetanus. The WHO has a major hand in coordinating this, but most countries don't just let foreign workers come and run amok and set the priorities for their people. Believe it or not, people in other countries actually want vaccines (sans some political movements in some places like Pakistan), and perhaps seeing the diseases maim and kill firsthand plays a role in that.

I think the old saying of "he who pays the piper calls the tune" is in effect here.

Most of these developing countries do not have the money to implement their own medical system, and they become beholden to the people/sources that do make financial contributions.  

(I apologize for the Wikipedia link but it had a good compilation of experimentation examples) n.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_Experimentation_in_Africa#Meningitis_testing_in_Nigeria_-_1990s

 
Quote:

“Many African nations cannot afford to offer medicine for their citizens without subsidies from multinational pharmaceutical corporations.[4] To court these pharmaceutical corporations, some African nations minimize legal regulations on the conduct of medical research, which prevents potential legal battles from arising.[4] This forces some Africans to make a Hobson's choice: "experimental medicine or no medicine at all".[12] People living in the rural or slum area are also more vulnerable to experimentation because they are more likely to be illiterate and to misunderstand the effects of the experimentation.”[13]

Quote:
 

"Less stringent ethical review, anticipated under-reporting of side effects, and the lower risk of litigation make carrying out research in the developing world less demanding," said Ames Dhai, director of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa....

According to Sonia Shah, author of The Body Hunters: Testing New Drugs on the World's Poorest Patients, up to 80% of patients recruited in some developing countries are not informed about the nature of the study they are taking part in. In addition, many of them do not feel free to quit the trial, because they think that they or their children will lose out on good healthcare or treatment if they abandon it. ”http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2011/jul/04/ethics-left-behing-drug-trials-developing

Interestingly, in all the years I have been researching and involved in forums, I have yet to meet anyone in N.America or UK/Europe that has volunteered themselves or their children in clinical trials for vaccines.  I have yet to read of anyone in the medical establishment (such as Dr. Offit) or their fanbase/promoters  (spokespeople like Ms.Riess) indicate that they have entered themselves or their children into vaccine trials.  And yet there are several that are recruiting. headscratch.gif 

post #385 of 400

That sounds like a really bizarre situation. Based on comments in that forum from people whom I presume read the article, it sounds like parents deliberately interfered with the vaccine protocol? The page to the news story is not working for me and I can't find it anywhere through a search, so I really don't have much idea of what actually occurred in that situation.

post #386 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by samaxtics View Post
 

I think the old saying of "he who pays the piper calls the tune" is in effect here.

Most of these developing countries do not have the money to implement their own medical system, and they become beholden to the people/sources that do make financial contributions.  

(I apologize for the Wikipedia link but it had a good compilation of experimentation examples) n.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_Experimentation_in_Africa#Meningitis_testing_in_Nigeria_-_1990s

 

I think the fact that there are unethical medical experiments going on throughout the world doesnt necessarily mean that people never have control over their situations. Of course those who have the resources have more control over determining who has access to different medicines. Of course they can operate unethically. We have international laws intended to protect against this. Nevertheless, yes, there are criminals and unethical groups that will defy these laws. Notice that none of the examples you gave relate to major vaccine campaigns. The vaccines being supplied by UNICEF are not "experimental medicine."

 

If you're talking about how drug studies are conducted and the ethics of that, it's a different subject. Even past vaccine experiments are somewhat irrelevant to vaccine programs today because programs, sovereignty and transparency issues are rapidly changing.

 

But the subject we are discussing is whether or not existing vaccines have a beneficial role in international aid programs, and I think that they do.

 

None of what you posted negates my statement that people living in these countries and experiencing these disease do want tools (vaccines, medicines, etc) to help combat the diseases in addition to infrastructure improvements elsewhere. You say that the people need clean water, and I'm not going to argue with that by posting a bunch of examples where companies have gone in to provide "clean water" and it turns out the water is contaminated with something nasty as part of some experiment, just to be contentious.

post #387 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss834 View Post
 

 

I think the fact that there are unethical medical experiments going on throughout the world doesnt necessarily mean that people never have control over their situations. Of course those who have the resources have more control over determining who has access to different medicines. Of course they can operate unethically. We have international laws intended to protect against this. Nevertheless, yes, there are criminals and unethical groups that will defy these laws. Notice that none of the examples you gave relate to major vaccine campaigns. The vaccines being supplied by UNICEF are not "experimental medicine."

 

14 babies died in GSK vaccine trials in Argentina.

 

http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/88922/gsk-fined-over-vaccine-trials-14--babies-reported-dead

 

“These doctors took advantage of the many illiterate parents whom take their children for treatment by pressuring and forcing them into signing these 28-page consent forms and getting them involved in the trials.”    

“Laboratories can't experiment in Europe or the United States, so they come to do it in third-world countries."

I am sure there are other stories as well of unethical  vaccine trials/practices  in developing countries.  

 

If you're talking about how drug studies are conducted and the ethics of that, it's a different subject. Even past vaccine experiments are somewhat irrelevant to vaccine programs today because programs, sovereignty and transparency issues are rapidly changing.

 

No, they are not irrelevant. The Argentina deaths happened in 2008 or so - that was not very long ago.  The idea that that pharmaceutical companies are somehow better or more ethical now, with no evidence to show that, is off.  

 

 


Edited by kathymuggle - Yesterday at 10:07 am
post #388 of 400

The problem is that you are both still talking about experimental trials, and not vaccine programs with vaccines that work. I'm not going to argue that unethical trials aren't unethical because they are... well, unethical.

 

That doesn't mean that giving polio and measles shots to countries that need them, or tetanus vaccines to mothers in countries with high rates of neonatal tetanus is a horrendous, unethical proposition. Yep, there can be some infrastructure solutions for all of these, in addition to vaccines. But that doesn't make proven safe vaccines a bad idea, even if only as a short-term solution.

 

Show me how A = B and then we'll be on the same page.

 

Do you want to submit water projects are a bad idea because I can provide you a list of water projects that have failed, or worse, have led to corporate profits at the expense of rural villagers? Does any of that prove that rural villagers don't need clean water? (Hey, here are some examples: Lesotho Highlands Projects, PlayPump failure, bunch of other failed aid projects)

 

Someone please respond to me why vaccine programs with vaccines that are known to be beneficial and known to reduce disease in communities are a horrible idea and why there is more benefit to waiting until the completion of major infrastructure projects before trying to combat ongoing measles outbreaks with vaccines in any village in the world of your choosing. Because that's what I'm talking about.

post #389 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss834 View Post
 

The problem is that you are both still talking about experimental trials, and not vaccine programs with vaccines that work. I'm not going to argue that unethical trials are unethical because they are... well, unethical.

 

You do not get to set the parameters for discussion.  

post #390 of 400

Oh. Well, I figured the history of the thread would have a little bit of influence on the parameters of the discussion. I'm responding to previous posts, you're responding to me, so I figured I could return to my original point if I wanted. Maybe you should tell me the parameters of the discussion.

post #391 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss834 View Post
 

The problem is that you are both still talking about experimental trials, and not vaccine programs with vaccines that work. I'm not going to argue that unethical trials aren't unethical because they are... well, unethical.

 

That doesn't mean that giving polio and measles shots to countries that need them, or tetanus vaccines to mothers in countries with high rates of neonatal tetanus is a horrendous, unethical proposition. Yep, there can be some infrastructure solutions for all of these, in addition to vaccines. But that doesn't make proven safe vaccines a bad idea, even if only as a short-term solution.

 

Show me how A = B and then we'll be on the same page.

 

Do you want to submit water projects are a bad idea because I can provide you a list of water projects that have failed, or worse, have led to corporate profits at the expense of rural villagers? Does any of that prove that rural villagers don't need clean water? (Hey, here are some examples: Lesotho Highlands Projects, PlayPump failure, bunch of other failed aid projects)

 

Someone please respond to me why vaccine programs with vaccines that are known to be beneficial and known to reduce disease in communities are a horrible idea and why there is more benefit to waiting until the completion of major infrastructure projects before trying to combat ongoing measles outbreaks with vaccines in any village in the world of your choosing. Because that's what I'm talking about.

Bill Gates funds vaccine programs.....he profits in some way or another.  Not that he and other multibillionaires can't afford to do these things out of the goodness of their hearts because they could.  It's no different than the current situation we have in the US with companies like Poland Springs drilling wells in communities and running them dry only to turn around and sell them bottled water back to make a profit off them when they are down and out.  That's a prime example of a corporation profiting off the expense of the communities they destroy.  If it can happen in a well developed nation of course it's going to happen in third world countries.  It doesn't make it right, just makes it easier to get away with.  The problem is that they aren't coming in and changing the infrastructures along with the vaccine programs. 

 

And that link about mother's getting kids double vaccinations just to get a free mosquito net....omg that is just horrible.  How low do you have to be to say you can't get this mosquito net for your family until you consent to vaccination?  These nets cost nothing, they should be available for nothing - no charge, no barter, not as a bribe - just here, have a net and keep your family safe!

post #392 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss834 View Post
 

That sounds like a really bizarre situation. Based on comments in that forum from people whom I presume read the article, it sounds like parents deliberately interfered with the vaccine protocol? The page to the news story is not working for me and I can't find it anywhere through a search, so I really don't have much idea of what actually occurred in that situation.

We are talking about the measles vaccine/mosquito nets here?  It helps when you use quotes because so many posts can happen in between.

 

Yes these mothers ignored what they were told about the vaccine program.  That's because it was tied to something they hold in extreme value-mosquito nets.  This just shows that people will subject themselves to all sorts to get their families the necessities.  This is why it is questionable if not down right unethical.  

post #393 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by sassyfirechick View Post
 

It doesn't make it right, just makes it easier to get away with.  The problem is that they aren't coming in and changing the infrastructures along with the vaccine programs.

 

I keep being asked to prove the claims I make, so I guess I might as well ask you. Which organizations are you talking about that aren't coming in and trying to make additional infrastructure changes along with their vaccine programs?

 

I'm sure we all agree that Glaxo Smith Kline isn't concerned about infrastructure changes when they do experimental vaccine testing on uninformed persons and babies die from it. Experimental vaccine testing does not have a goal of health improvement through vaccination. Their goal is to test a vaccine. Therefore I don't consider that a vaccine program.

 

In the history of this thread, we were discussing legitimate, international health programs that involve vaccines vs those that involve infrastructure and which is more effective. In other words, international aid programs with focused strategies on human health that include vaccines. The Gates Foundation, UNICEF, WHO, UN, others all have international aid programs focused  heavily on vaccines and they all have other infrastructure projects that they fund. Though their grantees (smaller local and regional organizations) may have specific focuses of vaccines or infrastructure, these major organizations that receive the donations directly (presumably many donations from drug companies) focus on all of those aspects of health improvement.

 

Do you have any information about major organizations (not drug companies specifically, but maybe drug company-funded) that do not focus on all of those problems, and instead focus exclusively on vaccines?

post #394 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by samaxtics View Post
 

We are talking about the measles vaccine/mosquito nets here?  It helps when you use quotes because so many posts can happen in between.

 

Yes these mothers ignored what they were told about the vaccine program.  That's because it was tied to something they hold in extreme value-mosquito nets.  This just shows that people will subject themselves to all sorts to get their families the necessities.  This is why it is questionable if not down right unethical.  

 

Yes, sorry. I couldn't open the document so I couldn't read much of it. I think if that program continued without serious changes to prevent double-dosages then it would definitely be unethical. But unethical before the repeated doses and deaths were discovered? I don't know. I do not think the workers could assume beforehand that parents whom they obviously expected to be hesitant about vaccines would repeatedly subject their children to shots and mega doses of vitamin A for extra mosquito nets. They were attempting to reduce multiple serious (deadly) illnesses at once. That in and of itself is not unethical.

 

But it definitely sounds like parents didn't have a good understanding of the dangers associated with mega doses of vitamin A and the possible harm from repeated vaccination (though I suspect the mega doses of vitamin A was more acutely fatal). So that, too, was probably an ethical problem.

post #395 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss834 View Post
 

The problem is that you are both still talking about experimental trials, and not vaccine programs with vaccines that work. I'm not going to argue that unethical trials aren't unethical because they are... well, unethical.

 

That doesn't mean that giving polio and measles shots to countries that need them, or tetanus vaccines to mothers in countries with high rates of neonatal tetanus is a horrendous, unethical proposition. Yep, there can be some infrastructure solutions for all of these, in addition to vaccines. But that doesn't make proven safe vaccines a bad idea, even if only as a short-term solution.

 

Show me how A = B and then we'll be on the same page.

 

Someone please respond to me why vaccine programs with vaccines that are known to be beneficial and known to reduce disease in communities are a horrible idea and why there is more benefit to waiting until the completion of major infrastructure projects before trying to combat ongoing measles outbreaks with vaccines in any village in the world of your choosing. Because that's what I'm talking about.

"Proven safe vaccines"  Where were they proven safe and for whom?

Let's just assume they were proven safe in N.America for healthy children in clinical trials.  Does that mean they are safe for the conditions in Africa?

There are trials in developing countries for vaccines already in use here.  And there are trials for vaccines like HIV that are being developed.  Not a fan of this author, but you can read about some of the ethical issues regarding clinical trials in this paper http://ethicsinhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Caplan-clinical-trial-ethics.pdf

 

Edit- took out something because I couldn't word it right.


Edited by samaxtics - Yesterday at 12:38 pm
post #396 of 400

Hi Everyone, I've removed an inappropriate post implying that an attitude supporting of not vaccinating is currently driving murders of medical worker and I've also removed some posts that responded to the inappropriate. As a reminder of the forum guidelines posted here and here:

Quote:
While no one should be labeled as irresponsible or uninformed for deciding to vaccinate, neither should parents here who have chosen to not vaccinate be accused of irresponsibility, not caring for their child, or presenting a threat to others. Please respect each other and refrain from statements that are condescending, hurtful, judgmental, and belittling.  

Please keep these guidelines in mind when posting here.

post #397 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by samaxtics View Post
 

"Proven safe vaccines"  Where were they proven safe and for whom?

Let's just assume they were proven safe in N.America for healthy children in clinical trials.  Does that mean they are safe for the conditions in Africa?

There are trials in developing countries for vaccines already in use here.  And there are trials for vaccines like HIV that are being developed.  Not a fan of this author, but you can read about some of the ethical issues regarding clinical trials in this paper http://ethicsinhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Caplan-clinical-trial-ethics.pdf

 

Edit- took out something because I couldn't word it right.

 

If the complaint is against unethical, novel drug trials performed on unwilling or unwitting persons then I'm in agreement with everyone else, that's bad.

 

If someone wants to talk about why measles, rotavirus, polio, whooping cough, tetanus and meningitis vaccines routinely used throughout the developed world should be subject to additional trials before use elsewhere to make sure they are "safe for conditions in Africa," when it's well known that measles, rotavirus, polio, whooping cough, tetanus and meningitis the diseases are absolutely not "safe for conditions in Africa" then I might come back to this discussion.

 

Otherwise I don't have much to debate since I agree that corporate malfeasance is bad.

post #398 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss834 View Post
 

 

If the complaint is against unethical, novel drug trials performed on unwilling or unwitting persons then I'm in agreement with everyone else, that's bad.

 

If someone wants to talk about why measles, rotavirus, polio, whooping cough, tetanus and meningitis vaccines routinely used throughout the developed world should be subject to additional trials before use elsewhere to make sure they are "safe for conditions in Africa," when it's well known that measles, rotavirus, polio, whooping cough, tetanus and meningitis the diseases are absolutely not "safe for conditions in Africa" then I might come back to this discussion.

 

Otherwise I don't have much to debate since I agree that corporate malfeasance is bad.

 

Dr. Jacob Puliyel, who is head of pediatrics at St. Joseph's Hospital, has written many articles and letters complaining that Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI's) have gone unrecognized and unreported in India. I would expect that there might be similar problems in Africa.  Currently, there is a push to change the way AEFI's are reported so that...they basically aren't reported any more.  

You can find his arguments here:  jacob.puliyel.com  I think that they should be part of this discussion.

post #399 of 400

Thank you Taximom. 

I've only been able to look at a few of his articles so far. It sounds like he does not reject vaccine use entirely, (to the contrary, he is on the vaccine program advisory panel in India), but has a few serious concerns about expensive, and possibly unsafe vaccines being used in lieu of cheaper, more effective ones.

 

"[there have been criticisms that the]...  Indian government's decision to re-examine [Hib vaccine] usefulness is putting lives at risk. I am a member of the Indian government's National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, and I know of no politician in the opposition that is leading any lobbying group against vaccines. For a vaccine to be introduced into the national immunisation programme, it must reduce the disease burden sufficiently to justify its costs.
India is a country where 50% of the population do not receive the six basic vaccines against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis and measles. The incremental cost of complete immunisation with these basic vaccines is less than $0.75 (30 rupees) per child. This week I had the heart-wrenching experience of explaining to a mother that her eight-year-old daughter had died from diphtheria, which could have been prevented with the DPT vaccine. The push to include expensive new vaccines must be viewed in this context. Any vaccine introduced in developing countries needs to be weighed in relation to its cost and benefit.
 

 

Through his work and the apparent controversy over whether to suspend Hib and pentavalent vaccines in India, this signals to me that vaccine programs, while far from perfect, are being scrutinized by people working on the ground in their own countries and profit motives of drug companies are called into question when safety and usefulness of vaccines don't merit their widespread use. This is exactly how a vaccine program should be implemented in my view-- with plenty of scrutiny regarding safety, efficacy and costs in order to justify the expense of the vaccines themselves.

 

He does say this, and I'm not sure specifically which organizations he is talking about yet (WHO? It seems from other articles that he has been critical of them in this situation), but anyway:

 
 Many of the organisations that are pushing these vaccines have profit margins to protect. To put it bluntly, for them, it is not about lives lost in poor countries – it is all about the cash register.

 

 

post #400 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss834 View Post
 

Thank you Taximom. 

I've only been able to look at a few of his articles so far. It sounds like he does not reject vaccine use entirely, (to the contrary, he is on the vaccine program advisory panel in India), but has a few serious concerns about expensive, and possibly unsafe vaccines being used in lieu of cheaper, more effective ones.

 

 

Through his work and the apparent controversy over whether to suspend Hib and pentavalent vaccines in India, this signals to me that vaccine programs, while far from perfect, are being scrutinized by people working on the ground in their own countries and profit motives of drug companies are called into question when safety and usefulness of vaccines don't merit their widespread use. This is exactly how a vaccine program should be implemented in my view-- with plenty of scrutiny regarding safety, efficacy and costs in order to justify the expense of the vaccines themselves.

 

He does say this, and I'm not sure specifically which organizations he is talking about yet (WHO? It seems from other articles that he has been critical of them in this situation), but anyway:

 

 

Read further.  He is bitterly critical of changes to AEFI recognition criteria.  He has also said that WHO's stats on measles rates and measles death rates are bogus, and are invented to sell vaccines.

He is, as you say, not anti-vaccine.  However, he doesn't seem to have any trouble recognizing bs when he sees it.  And the scrutiny should not have to come from the head of pediatrics in a hospital.  It should have come way, way before that--and it didn't.

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