Wyeth Vaccine Causes Super-Strain Ear Infections - OAWHealth

Wyeth Vaccine Causes Super-Strain Ear Infections

Wyeth Vaccine Causes Super-Strain Ear Infections...

Wyeth Vaccine Causes Super-Strain Ear Infections

Byron Richards, CCN

The vaccine model of health care has
taken another nose five as researchers report (see article below) that since
2000, when Wyeth’s bacterial strep vaccine Prevnar was put on the market,
drug-resistant and rapidly mutating bacteria have moved in to fill the void left
by those bacteria treated with the vaccine. While Wyeth sold $1.5 billion of
its vaccine last year, it has now created a major medical problem for children
around the world. A drug-resistant strain of bacteria known as 19A has now
risen to 15 percent of bacterial infections in U.S. children, up from 4% prior
to the Wyeth vaccine introduction. A new substype of 19A has infected children
in New York and was resistant to all approved pediatric drugs. The problem is
expected to spread around the country. 19A strains were responsible for 35% of
antibiotic-resistant infections in 2004-2005, up from 2% prior to the Wyeth
vaccine.

This problem is similar to the overuse of
antibiotics, wherein bacteria have evolved and mutated to the point where only
very toxic doses of antibiotics will work – if they work at all. The “miracle”
of toxic drugs and questionable immunizations has run its course. Western
medical theory is a “shoot yourself in the foot” approach to healthcare. Wyeth
is well aware of the problems its vaccine is causing and is busy working on
“vaccine enhancements” to treat the new super strains. And then what new
strains will emerge? There is no accountability for these problems in the
public health sector, as it is public health policy that has caused them. And
Big Pharma that profits at the expense of human health.

Only natural methods of boosting the
immune system offer sane front-line public health policy, which includes
cleaning up the food supply, improving food choices, and natural ingredients
that offer superior and non-toxic immune enhancement.

Shot may be boosting ear-infection germs

Strains tied to kids’ ear infections flourish as vaccine fights common germs

The Associated Press | Sept 17, 2007

CHICAGO
– A vaccine that has dramatically curbed pneumonia and other serious illnesses
in children is having an unfortunate effect: promoting new superbugs that cause
ear infections.

On
Monday, doctors reported discovering the first such germ that is resistant to
all drugs approved to treat childhood ear infections. Nine toddlers in
Rochester, N.Y., have had the germ and researchers say it may be turning up
elsewhere, too.

It is a
strain of strep bacteria not included in pneumococcal vaccine, Wyeth's Prevnar,
which came on the market in 2000. It is recommended for children under age 2.

Doctors
say parents should continue to have their toddlers get the shots because the
vaccine prevents serious illness and even saves lives. But the new resistant
strep is a worry.

"The
best way to prevent these resistant infections from spreading is to be careful
about how we use antibiotics," said Dr. Cynthia Whitney, chief of respiratory
diseases at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Avoiding antibiotics when they are not needed is the
best way to ensure they will work when they are, she said.

Flourishing
strains

Prevnar prevents seven strains responsible for
most cases of pneumonia, meningitis and deadly bloodstream infections. But
dozens more strep strains exist, and some have flourished and become impervious
to antibiotics since the vaccine combats the more common strains.

If the
new strains continue to spread, "it tells us the vaccine is becoming less
effective" and needs to be revised, said Dr. Dennis Maki, infectious diseases
chief at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Hospitals and Clinics.

Wyeth
anticipated this and is testing a second-generation vaccine. But it is at least
two years from reaching the market, and the new strains could become a public
health problem in the meantime if they spread hard-to-treat infections through
day-care centers and schools.

"I
don't think the new strains are moving fast enough to call it a race, but the
fact is that certain strains are increasing," said Peter Paradiso, a scientist
at Wyeth Vaccines, the Collegeville, Pa., division that makes Prevnar.

"It is
very worrying," said Dr. Keith Klugman, an infectious diseases specialist at
Emory University. "With the eradication of all the other types in the vaccine,
this one is emerging."

Several
research teams reported on the situation Monday at microbiologists meeting.

Losing its
punch

A different pneumonia vaccine has long been
available for adults but it doesn't work in children, so Prevnar was hailed as a
breakthrough. It is used in dozens of countries and had sales of more than $1.5
billion last year. In the United States, it is given as four shots between 2
months and 15 months.

Before
the vaccine, many babies and toddlers developed pneumonia, meningitis and
serious blood infections that led to hearing loss, brain damage and even death.
Drug-resistant ear infections also were a problem.

"Prevnar has done a remarkable job. Over the last seven
years, it's prevented thousands and thousands of infections," not just in
vaccinated kids but also in unvaccinated family members, said the CDC's Whitney.

But it
is a unique vaccine because it covers only seven of the 90-odd strains of the
germ. By contrast, measles is caused by one type of virus. Booster shots are
needed for chickenpox, mumps and measles because immunity wanes, not because the
germ changed.

Prevnar, however, is losing its punch because strains
not covered by the vaccine are filling the biological niche that the vaccine
strains used to occupy, and they are causing disease.

Big
trouble

One strain in particular, called 19A, is big
trouble. A new subtype of it caused ear infections in the nine Rochester
children, ages 6 months to 18 months, that were resistant to all pediatric
medications, said Dr. Michael Pichichero, a microbiologist at the University of
Rochester Medical Center.

The
children had been unsuccessfully treated with two or more antibiotics, including
high-dose amoxicillin and multiple shots of another drug. Many needed surgery to
place ear tubes to drain the infection, and some recovered only after treatment
with a newer, powerful antibiotic whose safety in children has not been
established.

Pichichero refused further comment because he has
submitted a report to a medical journal. His work was paid for by antibiotic
maker Abbott Laboratories and the Thrasher Foundation, which funds projects
related to child health.

All 19A
strep subtypes tend to be resistant to some drugs and have been growing in
prevalence:

Scientists from a drug company and two labs analyzed
more than 21,000 bacterial samples from around the nation and found 19A
increasing. Among children 2 and under, the portion of samples that were this
strain rose to 15 percent in 2005-2006, from 4 percent in the previous three
years.

A
British lab tracking respiratory infections in U.S. kids found that the 19A
strain accounted for 40 percent of drug-resistant cases.

University of Iowa researchers found 19A accounted for
35 percent of penicillin-resistant infections in 2004-05, compared with less
than 2 percent the year before the new vaccine came out.

Because
these bacteria easily swap gene components to become even more hardy, "new types
may emerge that can both escape containment by vaccine and spread throughout the
world," Dr. Daniel Musher of Baylor College of Medicine wrote in the New England
Journal of Medicine last year.

Some
think Prevnar might be destined to be like flu shots that must be periodically
updated to reflect new strains causing illness. But each tweak requires new
safety studies and more expense.

Wyeth
expects to finish testing its updated vaccine next year and to seek federal
approval in early 2009. Review can take a year or more, Paradiso said.

British-based GlaxoSmithKline has a similar vaccine in
final-phase testing that targets 10 strains common in Europe and other
regions.

© 2007
The Associated Press.

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