Interesting chat: https://www.facebook.com/groups/333274284705/permalink/10151993618639706/
Interesting and scandalous about the swine flu pandemic. http://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.c225.full
The BMJ slightly messed up the info about the Finnish THL’s [Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare] GSK [Glaxo Smith Kline] money source. We got the documents via the Finnish Freedom of Information act. Confusion comes from the fact that Danish media was the first to publish the financial ties – most of media in Finland for some reason is very pro THL and pro vaccine.
Also we later found out the contract is not €6.2 million but more than €10 million. And the conflict of interest continues – Dr. Terhi Kilpi, leader of GSK-funded trial, is now sitting at the WHO vaccine safety committee, giving statements on the safety of GSK’s vaccines.
Now THL has bought HPV vaccines from GSK and the HPV vaccination campaign has started in the last weeks. The misinformation fed to the media by THL and the ministry of health is even worse than it was at the time of Pandemrix, and the media is even more uncritical of THL’s position than at the time of Pandemrix.
“Documents acquired through the Danish Freedom of Information Act by the Danish daily newspaper Information show that Juhani Eskola, a Finnish vaccines adviser on the WHO board, has received £5.6m (€6.2m; $9m) for his research centre, the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare. The money, from GlaxoSmithKline for research on vaccines during 2009, is the institute’s main source of income.”
During the times of Finlandization (1), there was a media phenomenon when “the Soviet Union mustn’t be criticized in Finland” due to foreign political reasons. Sometimes the consequence of this was that other Nordic (e.g. Swedish) media was reporting things which “could not” be said by Finnish media, and then Finnish media could quote these things as the “cat was out of the bag”, so to speak. Apparently vaccines are even more of a sensitive issue than foreign policy – Swedish media quoted the Danish report, but I think only one Finnish newspaper did a small news piece on the Eskola story. Well then there was the public broadcasting corporation which uncritically gave Eskola a place to describe how he thinks things went down.
Wow, someone with some guts!
By the way, BMJ also published one of my comments on the topic of narcolepsy [as connected in Nordic areas with the H1N1 flu jab] in a printed issue. Don’t remember exactly which one, maybe this: “Adjuvanted pandemic swine flu vaccine and narcolepsy” BMJ :
Very interesting posts Jyrki Kuoppala and excellent comment in BMJ
Or maybe it was this one:
For a current update, sad to say, WHO’s policies today appear to be even more closed and secretive than they were back then – [when] I was able to obtain Dr Eskola’s confict of interest report and could see that he hadn’t reported the GSK funding, but this year, repeated requests for Dr Kilpi’s conflict of interest report have not produced any results except vague email responses from an unidentified individual claiming that the documents are not public.
Yes there’s less transparency and more censoring of info as time goes by. Great comment here Jyrki. It never ceases to amaze that however much interest conflicts/financial ties are exposed, the ones who are involved don’t seem to care less. Probably because they have political and pharma backing.
By the way, when looking into the HPV vaccine, I noticed the SPC had a lie or incorrect information about using a “placebo-controlled” trial – when I checked the trail on clinical trials, it was the one carried out in Finland where an experimental hepatitis A vaccine was used as control.
And here’s the article which appeared in print in BMJ – actually my text was just a short quote from the latter of the two comments linked above:
“It is sad to see that even in April 2010, the World Health Organisation, WHO, has not yet changed the policies so as to be more open regarding the publication of financial ties of their WHO advisors”.
The other comment, posted on the article after my comment, was from Margaret Chan, DG of WHO!
Chris (I finally arrived to join in!)
Additionally, on Eskola from his WHO biography:
“During the years of 2000 to 2003, he worked as Senior Vice President at Aventis Pasteur in Lyon, France, being responsible for global medical affairs and clinical development of all vaccines in the company.”
“During recent years his main interest has shifted into …… vaccine safety issues, and into modeling and measuring the impact of wide scale vaccinations.”
Well, who’d have thought it??
Jyrki they used false “placebos” for both Cervarix and Gardasil HPV vaccines: aluminium, hep a vaccine, you name it….
What beats me is that they often say “placebo” instead of “control”, they surely know that this is grossly misleading.
[This use of language is, indeed, interesting. Placebo is non-functional substitute for a reagent, used to provide a non-altered base-line effect. Thus an alcohol free lager could be placebo in an examination of the impact of alcohol on behaviour of lager drinkers, whereas you could not use cider or vodka as, although different from the experimental reagent (lager) both contain alcohol. Sorry for such a pedantic descriptor, but, evidently some experimental scientists require this revision exercise.
In this experiment, the alcohol free group is a realistic control.]
A few Norwegian newspapers most surprisingly published (in 2009) some of my articles about Pandemrix. Here’s one giving details about ingredients, formulation and administration:
“PANDEMRIX H1N1 VACCINE – AN UNWISE CHOICE?”
Pandemrix has recently been suspected of increasing the risk of the auto-immune disorder narcolepsy. This vaccine has the lowest concentration of virus antigen of the H1N1 vaccines which are available on the market.
Because of this the controversial adjuvant squalene (AS03) has been included in order to boost the immune response. (NB. Immune response is not the same as immunity!) Virus antigen is considerably more expensive than squalene.
Squalene has been suspected of increasing the risk of auto-immune disorders, including the Gulf War Syndrome, narcolepsy, multiple sclerosis and several others. Squalene adjuvants are routinely used to induce arthritis in rats in a laboratory setting.
It is known to cause more pain and inflammation at the injection site than squalene-free injections.
Because squalene is an oily substance the emulsifying agent polysorbate 80 (Tween 80) is added in order to blend it with the aqueous phase containing the virus antigen.
Polysorbate has been suspected of increasing the risk of anaphylactic shock. Research shows that it causes reproductive disturbances in rats and infertility in mice. It is suspected of having carcinogenic and mutagenic properties.
Because it makes the blood-brain barrier more permeable, it is used in special injections to facilitate the passage of certain substances through the barrier into the brain tissue (drug targeting).
This property is obviously unwanted in vaccines. Polysorbate in Pandemrix may facilitate the passage of mercury in thimerosal and other substances through the barrier into the brain. Small children are especially vulnerable as they have underdeveloped blood-brain barriers. It is therefore no doubt unwise to include polysorbate 80 in injections for children and pregnant women.
Because of polysorbate’s effect on the fate of mercury and other substances, the actual composition of vaccines should be considered in addition to the amount of mercury and other ingredients
The vaccine may not be given to people who are strongly allergic to eggs. This does not appear to have been considered when Pandemrix was chosen for mass vaccination.
SINGLE DOSE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN MULTI-DOSE VIALS
All injections may normally be manufactured in the form of single dose prefilled syringes or as multidose vials. Single dose products are more expensive to manufacture.
Single dose injections do not normally require preservatives, but these are necessary in multidose products in order to reduce microbial contamination after they have been opened. The preservative in Pandemrix is thimerosal which contains almost 50% mercury.
The presence of mercury is extremely controversial. It is a known neurotoxic that can weaken the immune system and cause neurological damage. Thimerosal has been shown to cause autism-like symptoms in laboratory animals. There are strong indications that mercury is the cause of autism in human beings.
The vials of Pandemrix contain ten doses each of 0.5ml. Before withdrawal of each dose the vial should be thoroughly shaken.
Microbial contamination may occur in connection with the administrator’s technique and from the surroundings, especially when there are many people present. This risk is less in the case of single dose injections. A higher degree of competence may therefore be required for administrating multidose injections.
The virus antigen is in the form of tiny, invisible particles dispersed in the vaccine. Irrespective of the administrator’s technique regarding shaking, the correct amount of virus antigen in each 0.5ml dose cannot be guaranteed. (In the case of prefilled injections it is possible to regularly analyse and control the amount during online processes).
In the case of the multidose vials of Pandemrix, even if the doses of 0.5ml are accurately measured, one cannot know if one receives the correct amount or strength of virus antigen – or if it is the same as that which the next person in the vaccine queue receives!
If the authorities had chosen a more expensive single dose product it would not have been necessary to include mercury, there would be less risk of microbial contamination and a greater possibility that each dose has the correct strength of the virus antigen and other ingredients.
If the authorities had chosen a vaccine which had sufficient strength with respect to virus antigen, the inclusion of squalene and polysorbate 80 would have been unnecessary.
I read somewhere Dr Eskola was part of a process of developing a new tuberculosis vaccine.
Also I think another thing he was involved was some kind of financial model, where governments would cover the losses of vaccine manufacturers when a vaccine development process fails, but the companies would keep the profits when a marketing authorization is gained.
What is the justification for doing those things on taxpayers’ expense is beyond me. Though it’s hard to know on whose expense the THL people do what they do, as they’re so secretive about the money traffic while at the same time declaring to the world how important transparency is as they wrote at their Lancet article:
TB ref is in the WHO biog, above.
For the Deputy Director General at THL, Dr Eskola [has been] very rarely seen in Finnish media after [the]Pandemrix narcolepsy [scandal came to light]. I think I’ve seen the TB reference earlier somewhere else, also.
According to media reports, HPV vaccine coverage based on girls’ and parents’ written notices will be around a third in some places up to two thirds in some other places. This despite (or maybe more probably because of) media being very one-sided on the properties of the HPV vaccine and the THL initiating a mass letter mailing campaign with pink letters [sent] to all girls and their parents. According to THL the coverage for other normal vaccine schedule vaccines traditionally has been > 95%, so looks like things may be changing.
Anyone who can say what HPV vaccine coverage is in other European countries or elsewhere?
[And the conversation lapsed. Presumably no-one had the information]