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First Ever Shingles Vaccine Will Hit Shelves Soon

June 17, 2008 | 92,668 views
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shingles, chickenpox, varicella, vaccines, shingles vaccine, zostavaxThe U.S. FDA has approved the first vaccine for adult shingles. The vaccine, known as Zostavax, is intended for use in adults age 60 and older. Studies have shown that it can prevent shingles roughly half the time.

The market for the vaccine is large, according to spokespeople for Merck, the vaccine’s manufacturer. There are approximately 50 million Americans over age 60 and more than 95 percent had chickenpox as children. The company originally sought approval to sell the vaccine to adults 50 and older, but the FDA restricted it to those 60 and older because it had not been studied in patients younger than 60.

Dr. David Markovitz, said that doctors may be tempted to offer "off-label" vaccinations to adults age 50 to 59, but he stressed that the vaccine remains unstudied in such patients and that researchers still don‘t know how long immunity lasts after vaccination.

"I don‘t think I would rush out and get it myself," said Markovitz, who is 52.

Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions

With all the uncertainty surrounding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, it's critical to protect your right to make independent health choices and exercise voluntary informed consent to vaccination. It is urgent that everyone in America stand up and fight to protect and expand vaccine informed consent protections in state public health and employment laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and educating the leaders in your community.

NVIC Advocacy poster


National vaccine policy recommendations are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact. It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations, and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.

Signing up for NVIC's free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your Smart Phone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up-to-date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choice rights and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips.

So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know

If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury, or death, please talk about it. If we don't share information and experiences with one another, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.

I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the "other side" of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.

We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than "statistically acceptable collateral damage" of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn't be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I encourage you to visit the website of the non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), at www.NVIC.org:

  • NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries, and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
  • If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
  • Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment and sanctions by doctors, employers, and school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.

Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One That Will Listen and Care

If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.

However, there is hope.

At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.

So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

For those of you who have anxiously awaitedthe next prescription for disaster from Big Pharma, the wait is over with the advent of yet another installment in a whole line of unnecessary and dangerous, vaccines.

What is Shingles?

Shingles occurs when the chickenpox virus lying dormant in nerve cells becomes reactivated. It is generally a disease of the elderly but can also develop in insulin-dependent diabetics and those who have immunodeficiency diseases such as AIDS and leukemia. 

A shingles outbreak can also be triggered by stress (either emotional or physical) or by certain medications, including steroids such as prednisone, chemotherapy and radiation, regardless of whether you’re over the age of 60 or not.

However, unlike the childhood disease of chickenpox, a shingles outbreak is anything but benign.

The first sign is usually unilateral tingling, itching, or stabbing pain on your skin. After a few days, a red, blistering, severely painful rash appears that can last anywhere between two to four weeks. At its peak, symptoms range from a mild itch to intense pain.

When the outbreak resolves, it can leave numbness, skin discoloration and permanent scars. More serious complications, including facial paralysis, hearing loss or encephalitis (inflammation of your brain) can occur, and if the infection includes your eye, it can result in glaucoma, cataracts and even permanent blindness.

Approximately 20 percent of shingles cases can result in what’s called post-herpetic neuralgia. This condition manifests as unrelenting pain that can persist anywhere from 30 days to months or even years.

There is no conventional treatment for post-herpetic neuralgia and even the strongest pain medications are rarely helpful.

Dangers of the Shingles Vaccine

In 2002, a study published in JAMA pointed out that vaccinating children against chickenpox (varicella) increases the risk that adults develop shingles.

The team, at Britain's Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS), said that although vaccination would save thousands of young lives over time (which may also be a total lie, which I’ll explain below), thousands of elderly people could also die from the complications of shingles.

By attempting to eliminate an essentially harmless childhood disease – chickenpox -- another unnecessary disaster is being created. And Big Pharma is now hard at work, creating vaccines to treat problems caused by vaccines.

That’s exactly what this shingles vaccine is: a vaccine to treat a delayed side effect of the childhood varicella vaccine.

Marc Brisson and his team said their research showed that adults living with children have more exposure to the virus that causes chickenpox, and from that enjoy high levels of protection against shingles.

Being close to children means that adults are exposed to the virus, which acts like a natural booster vaccine against shingles, they believe. But if all children are vaccinated, adults who have had chickenpox are no longer protected against developing shingles.

Not one to miss an opportunity, Merck – the maker of the varicella vaccine for children – joined hands with the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and set up The Shingles Prevention Study, which eventually led to the unveiling of Zostavax.

None of this makes sense, or maybe it does if you want to sell loads of expensive vaccines and increase your sales through the forced mandate of  public school exclusion if you aren’t vaccinated.

Wouldn't the logical solution be to STOP the chickenpox vaccination and allow this mild virus to do its job?

Chickenpox is a mild childhood viral infection; a self-limiting disease characterized by fever, malaise and an itchy, vesicular rash that covers the entire body that usually resolves within 4 to 5 days, leaving you with lifetime immunity.

The deaths from chickenpox complications that they scare you with are not caused by the virus itself, but rather by overly aggressive medical “care” in treating the symptoms. Some misguided physicians treat the children with more and more antibiotics, analgesics, or steroidal medications as their condition grows progressively worse. Each new symptom getting another drug until the child dies.

Unfortunately, there is a notorious  lack of compassionate concern when it comes to the development of new vaccines.

You should also be aware that Zostavax contains live varicella virus that can easily overwhelm your immune system unless you’re in optimal health -- in which case your immune system will likely keep the virus at bay anyway! 

Additionally, the vaccine has only been tested on whites over the age of 60 – on whom the vaccine worked only about half the time -- and according to FDA drug reviewer Dr. David Markovitz, African Americans, Hispanics or Asians may have varying immune responses to the vaccine that have not yet been determined.

What’s Your Best Defense Mechanism Against Disease?

Your immune system!

Regardless of your age, rather than getting a vaccine that will LOWER your natural immune system, following healthy eating habits tailored to your nutritional type and appropriate exercise are two of your best immune system boosters.

For example, a 2007 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that the practice of tai-chi was able to prevent the incidence of shingles among older folks.

UCLA researchers monitored the health of 112 healthy adults, aged 59 to 86, half of whom participated in tai chi classes three times a week for about four months, while the rest took weekly health education classes. Then, all patients were given injections of the needless Merck chickenpox vaccine, Varivax.

By itself, the practice of tai-chi alone was responsible for increasing a patient's immunity to that comparable of a 30-40-year-old adult.

And the tai-chi patients doubled their immunity to shingles as compared to the control group during the entire 25-week study, and reported great improvements in mental health, vitality, overall pain and physical functioning -- all benefits one can expect from regular exercise.

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