“Gary Goldman has identified an important side effect of mandatory, mass vaccination with varicella zoster (chicken pox) vaccine in the U.S.. His analysis linking an increase in shingles with a decrease in chickenpox disease in a population gives fair warning to those who set national mass vaccination policies. The standard for evaluating individual and public health cannot be one solely based on achieving an absence of infectious disease caused by the forced use of vaccines. Each vaccine recommended for mass use should be adequately studied for all adverse effects, including those which impact not only the individual being vaccinated but also those who do not get vaccinated. However, it is difficult to do this when government health officials do not want data published that conflict with the policy they have set. Idealogical and financial conflicts of interest should not be allowed to stop honest inquiry into and publishing of scientific data about the adverse consequences of mass vaccination.”
Barbara Loe Fisher
National Vaccine Information Center
Data Reveals Threat of Shingles Epidemic From Vaccine Use; Health Officials Threaten Legal Action Against Researcher
Wednesday October 1, 2003
PEARBLOSSOM, Calif., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ — Three different analyses of reported cases of shingles and chickenpox were published today in the October 2003 issue of Vaccine and suggest the threat of a shingles epidemic in the US due to mass vaccination with varicella (chickenpox) vaccine. Data collected under the CDC-funded Varicella Active Surveillance Project (VASP) of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Acute Communicable Disease Control Unit revealed that when chickenpox disease was significantly reduced in a population, there was an unexpectedly high number of shingles cases among unvaccinated children with a previous history of chickenpox. Shingles is usually mild in children and can be severe in adults. Complications from shingles, which is caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus that lies dormant in the body, result in about three times the number of hospitalizations and five times the number of deaths as those from chickenpox disease.
The analyses were authored by Gary Goldman, Ph.D., a former research analyst with the VASP, using capture-recapture methods. Goldman worked from 1995 through late 2002 at one of three projects in the nation assigned to actively study the effects of chickenpox vaccine and received reports from three hundred different public and private schools, daycares, and healthcare facilities. He observed that because the vaccine is eliminating chickenpox disease, children and adults no longer receive the natural boost to their immune systems that they received from periodic exposures to the disease. Due to the dramatic decline in chickenpox, children are now experiencing a higher incidence of shingles and Goldman predicts that a large-scale increase in shingles incidence will soon become manifest among adults — a group more susceptible to serious complications.
Vaccine manufacturers plan to license a booster “shingles” vaccine to substitute for the boosting that naturally occurred when chickenpox disease was previously circulating in the population. “This will likely lead to endless disease-and-cure cycles,” says Goldman. “Varicella vaccination would have been less problematic if all children had the opportunity to gain natural immunity and only those still susceptible at twelve years old were vaccinated.”
Goldman also reports that shortly after communicating on authorship issues with health officials associated with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) concerning the shingles data and analysis, he was threatened with legal action if he published the manuscript in the medical literature. He said, “Whenever research data and information concerning potential adverse effects associated with a vaccine used in a human population are suppressed and/or misrepresented by health authorities, not only is this most disturbing, it goes against all accepted scientific norms and dangerously compromises professional ethics.”
Between 1995 and 2000, shingles was not being studied, and positive aspects of vaccination contributed by Goldman were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and other medical journals. In 2000, after hearing reports that school nurses were seeing cases of shingles in children for the first time, Goldman suggested shingles be added to the active surveillance project. After two years of shingles data collection, Goldman documented the adverse effects that might well be associated with the universal varicella vaccination program. Currently, varicella immunization is mandated in thirty-eight states.
The European journal, Vaccine (Volume 21, Issue 27/28) has devoted eighteen pages to Goldman’s three reports.
Contact: Gary S. Goldman, Ph.D.
Additional note from Dr. Goldman:
With the exception of studies by Goldman, most historical studies of HZ (herpes zoster /shingles) incidence were confounded by reporting crude incidence rates in children that were approximately one-half the true rates since crude rates included observation time of children still susceptible to varicella. By utilizing only the cohort of children with a previous history of varicella, the true HZ (shingles) incidence in children in the prelicensure era was similar to that in the 10 to 19 age group where most individuals have a previous history of varicella. Dr. Hope-Simpson, in 1965, anticipated this result by suggesting that the “peculiar curve” of HZ incidence might be due to the different frequency of exposures to wild-type varicella that each age group had experienced. Thus, given true HZ incidence rates were nearly constant for the first two decades and then increased almost two-fold for the next three decades (adults 20 to 49), this formed a basis to postulate that a reduction in exogenous boosts, rather than a gradual age-related decline in cell-mediated immunity (CMI), is responsible for the higher incidence rates associated with advancing age. Age-related decline likely predominates only in the elderly as demonstrated by sharp increases in HZ incidence occurring in the fifth or sixth decade of life and thereafter.
A study by Brisson et al conducted in England and Wales estimates universal varicella vaccination will contribute 21 million more shingles cases and 5,000 fatalaties due to shingles over the next 50 years. Universal varicella vaccination becomes cost-effective after most of the adult population (95% of which have had chickenpox) dies out. Another case-control study by Thomas et al, also from England, showed there was a protective effect among adults in households with children compared to those without children.
Thus, David Wright, is “right” in that concerning shingles among children aged <10 years old, there will be less concern as this cohort becomes filled with vaccinated children; however, there will be what Brisson et al calls “a major epidemic in the U.S.” among adults. Capture-recapture is a state-of-the-art method that is used by world renown epidemiologists and medical researchers around the world. Dr. LaPorte is one of many proponents and its use will likely continue on a greater basis in the near future. One of my papers indicates that in regard to varicella (chickenpox), capture-recapture methods corrected the incidence rates to within 5% to 10% of those reported by the NHS gold standard. The ascertainment-corrected number of cases was a likely minimum due to the fact that the two ascertainment sources, schools and healthcare providers, were positively dependent. This meant that realistically, shingles among children with a previous history of varicella approached about 432 cases/100,000 person-years, about the same rate found in older adults. The term “speculation” is used solely in the sense that unless one performs laboratory measurements on the blood of a patient prior to and then after onset of shingles, one cannot dogmatically state that the observed data of increased shingles is due to waning of immunity due to loss of boosting corresponding with a 70 to 80% reduction in natural varicella cases. When research is sponsored by agencies that promote vaccination, are reimbursed by the pharmaceutical company itself, and receive enrichment by immunizing children, my experience is that they demonstrate certain biases which allow them to continue operating as profit centers and unfortunately, at least sometimes promoting vaccination to the detriment of public health. Since I could not reconcile while most positive research findings were being published and why adverse or deleterious findings were either being omitted or edited out, I resigned. I felt that I could not perform research objectively, and independently pursued publication as a matter of ethics, receiving no compensation for my time and incurring attorney expenses as well to overcome a notice to “cease and desist publication” in a medical journal.