From www.ageofautism.com: "Paul Offit, co-inventor of Merck’s Rotateq® vaccine, sat on the regulatory body that held the authority to create the market for the rotavirus vaccine category, participated in committee deliberations that bore directly on the commercial value of that category and voted in favor of measures that expanded the resulting market; all this while a vaccine formulation protected by his patented invention in the same category was proceeding through clinical trials."
AoA estimates that Offit has earned upwards of $10 million from Rotateq.
Federal health authorities recommended Monday that doctors suspend using Rotarix, one of two vaccines licensed in the United States against rotavirus, saying the vaccine is contaminated with material from a pig virus.
"There is no evidence at this time that this material poses a safety risk," Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told reporters in a conference call.
Rotarix, made by GlaxoSmithKline, was approved by the FDA in 2008. The contaminant material is DNA from porcine circovirus 1, a virus from pigs that is not known to cause disease in humans or animals, Hamburg said.
Pig virus DNA found in Merck’s Rotateq vaccine
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported May 6 that fragments of two types of pig viruses were found in Merck & Co.’s Rotateq vaccine.
One virus is the same one found in GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s Rotarix vaccine in March. The FDA, at the time, recommended doctors stop using that vaccine and use Rotateq instead, even though the agency said it didn’t think the virus posed any safety risks to humans.
Both vaccines are designed to protect infants from a gastrointestinal illness caused by rotavirus and have been given to millions of babies since Merck’s Rotateq vaccine was approved for use in the U.S. in 2006.
Officials said tests identified fragments of DNA from PCV1 and from a related porcine circovirus, PCV2, in its Rotateq vaccine. PCV1 and PCV2 are common in pigs. Neither PCV1 nor PCV2 are known to cause illness in humans. However, FDA officials said PCV2 may cause illness in pigs.
So Offit's vaccine is tainted with TWO kinds of pig viruses, including one found in a competing brand, which was pulled because of the contamination. Yet official word is that Offit's vaccine is safe (and "necessary"). And Offit, inventor of Rotateq, is a member of ACIP, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and voted to withdraw both RotaShield and Rotarix.