January 2007 Archives

Muslim urged to shun 'unholy' vaccines


A MUSLIM doctors’ leader has provoked an outcry by urging British Muslims not to vaccinate their children against diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella because it is “un-Islamic”.

Dr Abdul Majid Katme, head of the Islamic Medical Association, is telling Muslims that almost all vaccines contain products derived from animal and human tissue, which make them “haram”, or unlawful for Muslims to take.
Islam permits only the consumption of halal products, where the animal has had its throat cut and bled to death while God’s name is invoked.

Islam also forbids the eating of any pig meat, which Katme says is another reason why vaccines should be avoided, as some contain or have been made using pork-based gelatine.

Alzheimer's vaccine 'in a patch'


A patch which delivers a vaccine against Alzheimer's disease through the skin has been shown to be safe and effective, a study has found.

University of South Florida researchers reported the patch was able to clear brain-damaging plaques from mice.

They say it may be a simpler way of protecting people against the disease than a conventional injected vaccine.

UK experts said the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study was "potentially very exciting".

Alzheimer's is linked with the build up of a protein called beta amyloid in the brain, where it clumps together to form damaging plaques.

Ragweed Vaccine for Allergic Rhinitis


allergic rhinitisAllergen immunotherapy is a powerful and effective treatment option for patients with allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, and allergy to stinging insects. Allergen immunotherapy (ie, "allergy shots") has been used for nearly 100 years, and has been shown to provide both short-term and often long-term relief from allergic symptoms. It may also help prevent the development of asthma, and may reduce the incidence of new allergic sensitivities. Creticos and colleagues evaluated an experimental alternative to the traditional approach to immunotherapy.

The study authors conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial with a ragweed antigen (Amb a 1), conjugated to a phosphorothioate oligodeoxyribonucleotide immunostimulatory sequence of DNA (AIC) in 25 ragweed-allergic adults. Patients were given injections once weekly for 6 weeks. Their allergic rhinitis symptoms were then followed for 2 years.

HPV virusIn the summer, it was announced that authorities in Scotland were considering vaccinating girls as young as 9 years old against the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus in order to combat the cervical cancer that can result from infection, but complaints from parents have stopped the plan in its tracks.

After parents complained the inoculations were inappropriate for such young girls, the government abandoned its proposal, but there are still plans to vaccinate 12-year-old girls against the disease, which is drawing continued fire from parents and advocacy groups. Some opponents say immunizing girls against HPV might encourage them to start having sex at a younger age.

HPV can cause genital warts and is thought to be the root cause of around 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. In Scotland alone, more than 500 women are diagnosed with the virus annually, and about 100 of them die.

Bird flu mutations found


bird fluMutations in the bird flu virus have been found in two infected people in Egypt, in a form that might be resistant to the medication most commonly used to treat the deadly disease, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

The mutations in the H5N1 virus strain were not drastic enough to make the virus infectious enough to spark a pandemic, WHO officials said. But more such mutations could prompt scientists to rethink current treatment strategies.

Samples taken from two bird flu patients in Egypt — a 16-year-old girl and her 26-year-old uncle — were not as responsive as regular H5N1 viruses to Tamiflu, a drug also know as oseltamivir that is used to treat the disease, the officials said.

The girl and her uncle died in late December, as did the man's 35-year-old sister, although she has not yet been confirmed as having had H5N1. The three — who lived together in Gharbiyah province, 50 miles northwest of Cairo — fell ill within days of one another after being exposed to sick ducks.

U.S. awards bird flu vaccine contracts


global vaccinationWASHINGTON - The government awarded contracts Wednesday to three drug makers tasked with developing a vaccine for bird flu using technology that will help stretch the supply of the medicine.

The contracts, valued at $132.5 million, may provide a way for more Americans to have access to a vaccine in the event of a pandemic, said Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt.

The vaccines would use an immune booster called an adjuvant, which reduces the amount of active ingredient per dose that's necessary to achieve protection from the virus.

novartis BASEL (AFX) - Novartis AG said it has received a contract from the US health department worth approximately 55 mln usd to further develop a novel antigen technology that could extend vaccine supplies in a pandemic outbreak.

The contract supports the company's efforts to develop and manufacture its MF59 adjuvant in the US, the Basel-based drug maker said.

An adjuvant is a substance added to a vaccine to enhance the body's immune response to the vaccine's active constituent.

source - AFX 

A Real-World AIDS Vaccine?


Author: Tina Rosenberg

Last month, scientists invented the AIDS vaccine. Missed it? Perhaps that’s because you were still seeking the vaccine fantasy: the magic bullet, the impenetrable shield that finally pitches this disease into the trash bin, the shot that will end not only the AIDS epidemic but our anxiety about the AIDS epidemic as well.

The vaccine thunderbolt didn’t strike — and might never. Drearily, the real AIDS vaccine is likely to be imperfect: one more tool in our arsenal, to be used along with condoms and all our other tools. It will most likely avert millions of infections and save millions of lives. But it will not end the Age of AIDS.

The vaccine of new generation against AIDS


Russians did it?.. Wow. Great.

Institute of Immunology of Russian Academy of Sciences takes up a problem of AIDS in Russia.

Laboratory chief of physiology of immunity and allergy Georgi Gudia says about a new vaccine against AIDS: "Anti-HIV vaccine HIV - Ripol was developed in the Institute of Immunology". Said vaccine has passed all necessary preclinical trials, and, since 2005, has been passing clinical trials with volunteer attraction.

First trial stage is coming to an end, and medical experts claim they can surely say that the vaccine is harmless and well tolerated for human beings. Ripol vaccine is classified as so-called vaccine of new generation. Ripol is a proprietary development of Institute of Immunology and is unique in global practice; moreover, the vaccine affects not only the antigen, but also its carrier.

Flu vaccine in surplus; excess to be discarded


Once again there's an evidence that there was too much of flu vaccine available in US this season. What's going to happen to the surplus? It will be destroyed. Do the Big Pharma companies care? Not at all, the vaccine shots were already paid by the state. Who paid for destroyed vaccine? Correct, the taxpayers. 

By David Singleton, The Times Tribune

The good news, health officials say, is plenty of flu vaccine is available for anyone who hasn’t yet received a shot.

The downside is that probably won’t change even after flu season is over.

Amid a nationwide surplus of flu vaccine, health care providers in Northeastern Pennsylvania and across the state expect tens of thousands of doses to go unused.

Children Won't Get Flu Vaccine


flu vaccineBritain will not be following the lead of America and vaccinating children against flu, it was reported today.

Government advisers have concluded there is not enough evidence that vaccination is effective in children, according to Pulse magazine.

Countries like the USA are rolling out flu vaccination to help limit the impact of a bird flu epidemic should it happen. The vaccines do not protect against the H5N1 bird flu strain but scientists are concerned about the dangers of an epidemic of the two kinds of flu at the same time.

When There Is No Vaccine


Passive immunization is the answer.

Author: Jack Woodall

In 1942, long before the vaccine was available, I contracted measles, went into a coma, but recovered. My younger brother and sister received transfusions of immune serum from our mother, who had had measles as a child, and were protected. My siblings were not the only ones to benefit from serum treatment: In 1970, two people working on Lassa fever at a university research lab caught the illness, and one died. The other was diagnosed in time, received immune serum from a Lassa survivor, and recovered.

Vaccines have saved countless lives. But there are still diseases that cause large numbers of cases and deaths, such as dengue and malaria, for which vaccines have been sought for decades but always seem to be five years in the future. Other important diseases like Ebola and Lassa fevers are crying out for vaccines, which are under development but still predicted to take years before they will be generally available.

Flu Shot Dangers Far Outweigh Benefits


influenze shotGreg Ciola Interviews Mary Tocco

When was the last time you heard an honest debate on the flu shot where experts from both conventional and alternative medicine were allowed to present their facts and debate the issues? There are plenty of independent researchers not beholden to the drug companies that have a wealth of interesting information to share that if disseminated widely, would cause many to stop and think twice before getting jabbed with a flu shot. The one good thing we’ve hopefully learned is to get a second opinion before making any major medical decision. Getting a flu shot is a major medical decision.

Crusador editor, Greg Ciola, is pleased to interview vaccine researcher Marry Tocco about the dangers of the flu shot. Before succumbing to fear thinking that you’ll die or become horribly sick if you don’t get a flu shot, listen to what Mary Tocco has to say first, pray about it, and decide for yourself whether you should take a shot after weighing all the facts.

CDC Updates Kids' Vaccine Schedule


vaccination for childrenJan. 5, 2007 -- The CDC has released its 2007 recommended vaccination schedule for kids 0-18 years old.

The schedule includes two new vaccines and tweaks to recommended flu and chickenpox vaccination.

One of the two new vaccines targets certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), a leading cause of cervical cancer.

The CDC recommends routine HPV vaccination for girls 11-12 years old. Girls can get the vaccine when they're as young as 9 years old.

global vaccinationThe advance market commitment plan aimed at funding the development of vaccines for diseases -- including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria -- that largely affect developing countries is "a new way for partners in the private and public sectors to solve an old problem," Orin Levine, an associate professor of international health at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Michael Klag, the Bloomberg school's dean, write in a Baltimore Sun opinion piece (Levine/Klag, Baltimore Sun, 1/3).

Under the plan, the Group of Eight industrialized nations would provide between $800 million and $6 billion to subsidize the purchase of new vaccines. Wealthy nations also would provide funding to pharmaceutical companies when they produce safe and effective vaccines, and drug makers would sell the vaccines at reduced prices in developing countries when G8 nations have provided the promised amount. 

Survey shows that many people don't desire flu vaccine


survey Although health authorities have provided free flu vaccinations for targeted groups and repeatedly urged the public to get the shots, many respondents to a recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) survey think that such vaccination is unnecessary.

Fifty-six percent of respondents who did not receive the vaccination said that the flu is only a "minor illness" and that there is no need to get a flu shot.

Commenting on the results, CDC Deputy Director-General Shih Wen-yi (施文儀) said the public should not think lightly of the threat of flu, which can lead to serious complications and, in some cases, death.

Shih said risk of death from complications rises with age.

source - Taipei Times 

Human trials for bird flu vaccine


clinical trialsThe first human trial of a DNA vaccine designed to prevent H5N1 avian influenza infection began late last month, when the vaccine was administered to the first volunteer at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Maryland in the US.

Scientists from the Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the NIH Institutes, designed the vaccine.

The study will involve 45 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 60. Fifteen will receive placebo injections and 30 will receive three injections of the trial vaccine over 2 months and will be followed for 1 year. NIAID researchers will measure immune responses to the vaccine, assess its safety, and compare its potency to more traditional vaccine approaches.

Bavarian Nordic arm to start cancer vaccine trials


bavarian nordic COPENHAGEN, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Danish vaccine maker Bavarian Nordic (BAVA.CO) said on Wednesday that its U.S. subsidiary BN ImmunoTherapeutics received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to start clinical trials with the breast cancer vaccine MVA-BN-HER-2.

Patient enrolment in a Phase I/II study in the United States will start as soon as possible, Bavarian said.

BN ImmunoTherapeutics also plans to start a Phase I/II study with the vaccine in Europe.

vaccination for kidsMore than six-thousand students in the Maryland suburbs of Washington were kept out of classes yesterday because they did not have the proper record of vaccinations.

A law requiring students in sixth through ninth grades to provide records of chickenpox and hepatitis B vaccinations took effect with the new year.

The only exceptions were for those who had proof with proof of appointments to get the shots by January 22nd.

'Holy grail' of flu vaccine injections to be tested


Another vaccination breakthrough. Let's hope, these 2 shots will be fully tested and the side-effects will be very minimal. So we will be immune to existing influenza viruses. Ok. What do you think will happen to the virus and to us? The virus will mutate and reappear in more dangerous form. As for us, our immune system will have one less exercise to perform. I don't believe a human can be immune to every diseases. Diseases are keeping our immune system fit. Drugs and vaccinations won't hold for newer variations of viral diseases. This is a vicious circle...

flu vaccineScientists are on the verge of producing a revolutionary flu vaccine that works against all major types of the disease.

Described as the "holy grail" of flu protection, it would fight off all strains of influenza A, the virus behind both bird flu and the nastiest outbreaks of winter flu.

Two injections could give long-lasting immunity, unlike the current vaccine which has to be administered every year.