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Meningococcal Vaccine Fails International Tests

Published: Thu 19 Oct 2006 02:47 PM
Meningococcal Vaccine Fails International Tests
Barbara Sumner Burstyn, Writer/Researcher
Ron Law, Risk & Policy Analyst
French and Norwegian officials have condemned a meningococcal vaccine, injected into countless New Zealand children.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has been criticized by Norwegian and French pharmaceutical controls for their production of the MenBvac vaccine exported to France.
This same vaccine was used in the New Zealand MeNZB trials. Considered bio-identical to the final Italian manufactured product, thousands of doses were also used in the public roll out of the vaccine.
French and Norwegian auditors, basing their assessment on European Commission guidelines found numerous breaches of ‘good manufacturing process.’ Breaches included substandard vaccine levels and unacceptable production, control and dispatch
At the time of licensing in New Zealand in 2004, assessments raised concerns about quality issues. A New Zealand Ministry of Health official and Dr Stewart Reid a government advisor were sent to the United Kingdom to resolve more than 30 quality concerns.
The official and Dr Reid - whose conflicts of interest include working for vaccine manufacturer Chiron - found the quality issues were of no concern. Dr Reid has no ‘good manufacturing process’ qualifications.
Despite this provisional licensing of Chiron's experimental MeNZB vaccine was approved. In a unique twist the vaccine is still used under a recently renewed provisional license, legislation that was designed for experimental drugs to be restricted to limited numbers of patients.
This vaccine is now being injected into New Zealand babies without parental consent. The Health and Disability Commissioner has today confirmed that this practice is illegal and in breach of the Health and Disability Code of Practice.
The Commissioner, following complaints by distraught parents, is currently investigating this state sanctioned abuse.
These new concerns add weight to our calls for an official inquiry into the experimental MeNZB vaccine.
ENDS

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