When it comes to the safety (or danger) of vaccines, it is not only the exposure to the disease the vaccine is supposed to prevent, the reaction to the disease particles in the vaccine, but also the reaction to the other ingredients in the vaccine that we have to consider.
The addition of adjuvants to a vaccine enables a more powerful immune response from the vaccine, however, they also carry a greater hazard for an adverse reaction.
First Flu Vaccine with an Adjuvant
This is the first H5N1 bird flu vaccine that has been approved in the US which contains the adjuvant squalene. According to the FDA, it will be stockpiled and not available for commercial use… not yet.
They are stockpiling the Q-Pan H5N1 vaccine, made by GlaxoSmithKline in the event the H5N1 avian influenza virus develops the ability to spread between humans. If this should happen, some are predicting that it could result in the rapid spread of the disease across the globe in epidemic proportions. It which case, the vaccine will be used on Americans.
It has also been approved in Europe as Pumarix.
Known Problems with the Adjuvant Squalene
Although squalene is an organic compound found in plants, animals and humans and safe when consumed, the human body reacts differently when squalene is injected directly into the body.
This study published in the American Journal of Pathology in 2000 coined the term “squalene-induced-arthritis” and found that one injection of squalene caused arthritis-like symptoms very similar to rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers concluded that,
Our demonstration that an autoadjuvant can trigger chronic, immune-mediated joint-specific inflammation may give clues to the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis, and it raises new questions concerning the role of endogenous molecules with adjuvant properties in chronic inflammatory diseases.
There has been concern about squalene in Finland and other Scandinavian countries where they identified an association between ASO3 adjuvanted A/H1N1 2009 pandemic vaccine (Pandemrix). Clinicians in sleep centers reported a rise in the rare sleep disorder narcolepsy and noted that it was associated with use of the vaccine.
An epidemiological study from Finland reported a 13-fold increased risk in children and young people aged 4-19 who had been immunized with ASO3 adjuvanted A/H1N1 2009 pandemic vaccine.
One would think this would increase the concern here in the US to consider the risk/benefit ratio and pursue other avenues. Not a chance.
Additionally, it has now been determined that adults aged between 20 and 64 who had been vaccinated with Pandemrix were 3 to 5 times more likely to develop narcolepsy than unvaccinated people, as reported by Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare.
Even though these adverse reactions to the adjuvant are well known, drug manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline downplays the problem citing “insufficient evidence” to link the 800 cases of narcolepsy in Europe to the adjuvant.
In the US the squalene adjuvanted H5N1 vaccine has been approved for lack of any other alternatives that are effective.
Squalene Adjuvanted Vaccines Linked to New Autoimmune Disorder
The FDA is well aware of the controversy with squalene adjuvanted vaccines. Risks associated with experimental squalene adjuvanted anthrax vaccines surfaced in the late 1990s when U.S. soldiers in the Gulf War developed serious brain and immune disorders and tested positive for squalene antibodies.
This controversy prevented the FDA from licensing the adjuvant for use in the 2009 pandemic H1N1 vaccines released for public use in the U.S.
In fact, squalene and other adjuvants like aluminum have been acknowledged by scientists for creating a new autoimmune disorder called Autoimmune (Auto-inflammatory) Syndrome induced by Adjuvants.
What is Narcolpsy
Narcolepsy is a rare sleep disorder that is characterized as either an autoimmune or neurological disorder marked by excessive daytime sleepiness, sudden loss of muscle tone and collapse, vivid hallucinations, brief periods of total paralysis and other disabling symptoms. Researchers say genetic factors alone are not sufficient to cause the disease but genes on the HLA antigen immune complex are thought to predispose some individuals to develop narcolepsy.
Many previously healthy children who have developed Pandemrix-related narcolepsy are unable to go to school or participate in daily activities because they are unable to stay awake or concentrate long enough to participate in normal daily activities.
Adults with the disease have trouble functioning in many ways, such as operating cars and other machinery.
Understanding that vaccine risks can be greater for some individuals than others, there is concern that squalene adjuvants may increase the risk for vaccine-induced chronic inflammation and autoimmunity in some children and adults, who are genetically predisposed to atypical inflammatory responses and autoimmunity.
Where Research is Needed
Since vaccinations are a fact of life and more and more are coming down the pike, along with mandatory usage, what we really need is research into testing before a vaccine is administered to determine who might have an adverse reaction.
The other issues are whether these “pandemics” and the need for a vaccine are real or imagined by pharma executive and health officials alike. GlaxoSmithKline is one among many pharmaceutical companies who have been cited numerous times for aggressively marketing their wares.
What are your thoughts on this? Would you be part of the experiment and get an H5N1 vaccine if health officials announced a “pandemic?” Leave a comment and let me know!