According to a patient survey published in “Drug Safety,” doctors frequently ignored or dismissed patients’ complaints about side effects of statin drugs. This study offers strong suggestion that this pattern of dismissal extend to other drugs, including vaccinations, as well.
This pattern highlights the problem of the severe under-reporting of adverse drug reactions, leading both doctors and patients to believe that drugs are far safer than they really are. In reality, as many as 90 to 99 percent of all serious side effects are never reported, and therefore never included in the equation.
Adverse side effects following vaccinations should be reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). However, like all other adverse event reporting, it is still voluntary.
It is estimated that fewer than 10 percent of adverse events after vaccinations are ever reported to VAERS, perhaps even as low as one to four percent.
Most doctors will simply deny the possibility that a vaccine has harmed a healthy patient, and when the vaccine is mandatory, their denial can run even deeper. Most frequently, in the case of mandated vaccines, the strategy used is to highlight the seriousness of the disease, while denying the potential complications from the vaccine itself.
Meningococcal disease and the Menactra vaccine is one such case in point.
Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial inflammation of the covering of your brain and spinal cord that can lead to brain damage, loss of limbs, and death. It is, however, a very rare disease, affecting between 1,400 to 2,800 American adults and children each year.
There are 13 meningococcal organism subgroups, and five serotypes (A, B, C, Y, and W-135) are responsible for nearly all cases of the disease worldwide. In the United States, serotypes B, C, and Y cause the majority of cases.
Sanofi licensed the Menactra vaccine in 2005, and the CDC immediately recommended it for universal use in all 11- to 18-year olds. Menactra protects against serotypes A, C, Y, and W-135, but not B, which causes one-third of all cases in the U.S. and more than 50 percent of the cases in young infants.
Therefore, Menactra actually offers zero protection against meningococcal disease 30 to 50 percent of the time, depending on your age.
Many adverse effects were found during Sanofi’s clinical trials, and two deaths have been reported to VAERS since its release. Within its first year, five cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) were also reported to VAERS, which prompted the FDA to issue a warning for parents and doctors to monitor for signs of GBS after administrating the vaccine. By October 2006, 15 cases of GBS had been reported.
With the current push for the HPV (Gardasil) vaccine, it should also be noted that adverse event reports in cases where Gardasil and Menactra were administered simultaneously have skyrocketed.
When Gardasil was administered at the same time as Menactra, reports of:
Guillain-Barre Syndrome increased by 1,000 percent
Respiratory problems increased by 114 percent
Cardiac problems increased by 118 percent
Neuromuscular and coordination problems increased by 234 percent
Convulsions and nervous system problems increased by 301 percent
Vaccine Awakening September 13, 2007
National Vaccine Information Center August 14, 2007 (Free Full Text PDF Report: Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine Safety: Analysis of Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System Reports)
American Journal of Public Health 1995; 85:1706-9 (Free Full Text Report: The Reporting Sensitivities of Two Passive Surveillance Systems for Vaccine Adverse Events)
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Free Full Text Report: VAERS: Usefulness and Limitations)
MedWatch October, 1996 (Free Full Text Report: The Clinical Impact of Adverse Event Reporting)