INDEPENDENT NEWS

Dramatic Meningococcal Decline Continues

Published: Tue 12 Oct 2004 10:23 AM
Dramatic Meningococcal Decline Continues
Ron Law
Risk & Policy Analyst
Beyond Alternative Solutions
"The continued dramatic decline in meningococcal disease cases and deaths is very good news for New Zealanders," says risk & policy analyst Ron Law.
Cases of total meningococcal disease have nearly halved since peak levels in December 2001.
Cases due to the strain of bacteria targeted by the MeNZB vaccine have fallen even more.
Deaths due to meningococcal disease have declined some 75% since deaths peaked in 1997.
There have been declines in the rolling 12 month total cases for 9 of the past 10 months. If the MeNZB vaccine had been introduced 12 months ago then the Ministry of Health would have been trumpeting the decline as proof of the vaccine's efficacy.
The Ministry of Health's silence regarding the fact that the meningococcal disease epidemic has declined between 50% (cases) and 75% (deaths) is deafening. The attached figures are total cases of meningococcal disease.
"The declines in the meningococcal B strain targeted by the experimental MeNZB vaccine are even greater," says Ron Law.
"Given that, according to the Ministry of Health, there is no evidence that the MeNZB vaccine actually works, and that hoped for gains due to use of the vaccine have already occurred, the Minister of Health is compelled to review the roll-out of the next phase of the MeNZB vaccine," says Ron Law (09-832 4773).
"Despite being requested to do so nearly two weeks ago, neither the Minister of Health nor the Director General of Health have denied reports of three infants dying post meningococcal B vaccination."
The attached graphs using data from the Ministry of Health's and the ESR's websites and databases shows that there is no scientific or moral justification for continuing with this mass experiment involving 1.15 million New Zealand children," says Ron Law, a member of the Ministry of Health working group that advised the Ministry on the reporting and management of medical injury in the health system.

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