Friday, October 18, 2013

Vaccines: A Descent Into Madness: BBC Correspondent Malcolm Brabant

Until April 15th 2011, I was a great believer in vaccines. My son was born prematurely and very ill and in order to protect him he had every vaccination available because I trusted the doctors and the pharmaceutical companies when they told me that vaccines are safe and prevent diseases and death.

Now I know better – because on that April afternoon disaster struck. My husband, BBC Correspondent Malcolm Brabant, went across a busy road to a vaccination-centre in a suburb of Athens, Greece, where we lived, to have a yellow fever vaccination in order to go on a business trip to the Ivory Coast in Africa.

20 minutes later he was back. I didn’t know it at the time, but the vaccine had already begun its devastating journey through his body towards his brain.

The alarm bell sounded less than 24 hours later, when I found my husband in our living room burning up with fever. We both instantly knew it was a reaction to the vaccination.

My husband had been told to expect “flu like symptoms” but his fever was above 40 degrees (104 F) and his shivers were so violent that our big double bed rocked so much that things fell off the bedside table next to it. I kept the fever down to a bearable 38 degrees by plying my husband with Ibuprofen, but as soon as I didn’t, the fever shot up again.

Then the insomnia started. My husband who usually passes out the minute his head hits the pillow, could not sleep. He became irritable and irrational. He began to do things that I found very hard to put into a normal context – like the afternoon he decided to go and sit in the sunshine on our patio dressed in his thick winter coat, a huge woolen scarf, shorts and slippers because “he was going to sweat the fever out”.

My husband was hospitalized and his treating physician knew him very well having treated him for pneumonia two years earlier. We recently saw this doctor again and she went over the notes she wrote on his admission.

“Confused, animated and aggressive”, was how she described my husband’s mental state.

The morning after his admission it became even more obvious that something was terribly wrong with my gentle giant of a husband as he chased a doctor out of his hospital room apparently – or so my husband said – because he had been asking inappropriate questions.

My husband’s biochemistry results were abnormal. His liver enzymes were elevated and continued to head north over the coming days.

And the fever persisted. The doctors ran an abundance of tests, but there was nothing that could explain the high fever and the abnormal blood results – apart from the yellow fever vaccine.

Mentally he was disappearing into a place where it was becoming more and more difficult to follow him. He told me his electronic e-reader flew across the room. He started firing off crazy emails and he cried a lot.

He began thinking that he was the Messiah and explained to me how dear, departed friends would “buzz” him – that’s how he described the messages he said he received – to tell him what to do.

On April 28th 2011 – 13 days after my husband had the vaccination – the Greek doctors broke the fever using steroids, but by then he was so far gone mentally that he was transferred to a psychiatric clinic a few days later.

The psychiatrist diagnosed my husband with an “acute, organic psychosis” a condition which ended up haunting my husband more than a year after the vaccination. He has spent over 8 months in locked-up psychiatric wards and has suffered beyond belief.

Sanofi Pasteur, the maker of the yellow fever vaccine, denies any link between the vaccine and my husband’s illness.

However in May 2013 the vaccine-maker for the first time admitted that my husband is not the only one who has been sent mad by the yellow fever vaccine.

Sanofi Pasteur admitted to “fewer than 10 reports of mental disorders related to the vaccine, including Mr Brabant’s”, but I have investigated this and found hundreds more.

At the WHO Monitoring Centre in Uppsala they have gathered at least 400 reports of yellow fever vaccine-related adverse events involving mental disorders over the past ten years.

Only about 3-10 percentage of all drug-related adverse events  are reported, so there are bound to be thousands of people around the globe who have been sent mad by the yellow fever vaccine.

 I am in touch with people from several countries who have all suffered psychotic episodes after having Sanofi Pasteur’s yellow fever vaccine.

With so many reports of yellow fever vaccine-related events involving mental disorders, it is fair to say that Sanofi Pasteur and the relevant regulatory agencies have known for years that the yellow fever vaccine can cause these problems.  

Yet, they have done absolutely nothing to investigate the vaccine and the psychiatric complications it can cause.

There is, however, a growing realization that the yellow fever vaccine is unsafe and unstable. Doctor Thomas Monath is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on the yellow fever vaccine. He recently appeared in a PBS-programme called “The Great Fevers” and said this about the yellow fever vaccine:

“This vaccine was considered one of the safest vaccines ever developed. And there were no real concerns about safety. That has now changed in the last decade and we now recognize that there are some really severe and significant, serious adverse events.”

The issue of how safe all of Sanofi Pasteur’s vaccines really are has also surfaced recently. In 2012 the FDA issued a stern warning letter to Sanofi Pasteur after inspections found numerous safety breaches at their vaccine-manufacturing plants in France and Canada.

And just a few weeks ago I was contacted by a whistleblower who shared some very disturbing internal Sanofi Pasteur documents with me. The whistleblower alleges that Sanofi Pasteur is involved in illegal behavior in order to cover up recurring safety issues with their vaccines.

As soon as Sanofi Pasteur became aware that I was in possession of this material they sent their legal attack dogs after me, but I am not afraid of Sanofi Pasteur and have handed over these documents to the relevant authorities.

Sanofi Pasteur has done nothing to help my husband. We have shared all his medical records with them. They refuse to share any of the findings of the investigation they say they have carried out.

Sanofi Pasteur asked for and received a list of my husband’s treating physicians, but they have not contacted any of the doctors on the list we provided – the maker of the yellow fever vaccine is simply not interested in finding the truth.

My husband is finally doing better, but he is still medicated and his mental prognosis is uncertain.

As a family we are slowly trying to claw our way back to a normal existence after my husband’s vaccine-injury, but life has changed dramatically. We take one day at a time. We dare not plan and we dare not hope.

One thing, however, is certain. I will keep on fighting for justice and I will not give up until Sanofi Pasteur acknowledges that its yellow fever vaccine sent my husband mad.

New Year’s Eve 2011, and a psychedelic blaze of colour and sound erupted as a fireworks display heralded the start of the evening’s celebrations in the centre of Copenhagen. In his hospital room in the outskirts of the capital, the veteran BBC correspondent Malcolm Brabant calmly removed the belt from his trousers and tied one end around his neck, and the other to the end of his bed. He was convinced that he was the Devil and unless he killed himself by midnight, the apocalypse would be unleashed.

''That night I was absolutely convinced that the only way to stop the end of the world was for me to commit suicide,” says Brabant, 57, wryly. It was the latest of several troubling delusions that had haunted the award-winning reporter ever since a sudden illness in April 2011. At that time he was the Beeb’s “Man in Athens”, reporting on the Greek economic implosion. He, his Danish wife, Trine, and young son, Lukas, were enjoying an enviable lifestyle in a five-bedroom, three-bathroom villa. Yet less than a year later Brabant was unemployed and detained in a secure psychiatric ward, his family uprooted to a tiny two-bedroomed apartment in Copenhagen.

The reason, Brabant believes, for the catastrophic events that overtook him, was a dose of Stamaril, a yellow fever vaccine, which he had received on April 15 2011. Since then he and Trine, 53, have sought answers about why he should have so quickly descended into a series of psychotic episodes after a routine jab. Now Malcolm has written a brutally honest – and often darkly funny – account of his breakdown: Malcolm is a Little Unwell.

Sitting in their cramped but spotless apartment (paid for by Trine’s mother), looking at photographs of past assignments in trouble spots across the world, the toll of the past two years is evident. No longer the dapper, besuited correspondent, he is dressed in crumpled shorts and shirts. Medication has affected his thyroid so that he has gained a significant amount of weight. There are huge gaps in his memory and for a man with a famously outgoing personality, he appears muted. Trine pats his arm continually and gently corrects him as we share a meal of Greek salad – made by Brabant, in a poignant nod to their past life.

Before April 2011, Brabant was a familiar face and voice to many via the BBC, for whom he was a regular ''stringer’’ – a freelance reporter. He had covered the siege of Sarajevo in 1993 (it was there that he met Trine, a journalist for Danish television), and Grozny during the Chechen war in 1995, before moving to Miami and then Athens. In the spring of 2011 he had agreed to go to the Ivory Coast on a non-BBC assignment to make a film for Unicef. A yellow fever certificate was required to enter the country as evidence of vaccination against a disease which kills 30,000 of the 200,000 who get it each year in sub-Saharan Africa and South America….

So how safe are Sanofi Pasteur’s vaccines?
According to a whistleblower Sanofi Pasteur’s vaccines are not safe at all. They are produced under dirty conditions on old equipment by untrained workers.
And they are failing safety tests again and again.
A few days ago someone entrusted me with documents alleging illegal behaviour in order to cover up severe safety issues at one of Sanofi Pasteur’s vaccine-manufacturing plants.
According to the whistleblower these safety issues are CURRENT and are taking place even though the FDA inspected  two of Sanofi Pasteur’s plants in the Spring of 2012 and found so many breaches of safety procedures that the world’s  largest vaccine-manufacturer was sent a very stern warning letter.

The  internal Sanofi Pasteur-documents were sent to me supposedly by a senior employee at a Sanofi Pasteur plant, but when I contacted this individual, the person denied having sent anything to me.
However Sanofi Pasteur immediately fired off an email with threats of all sorts of actions against me if I did not return the documents straight away.
At this point in time, I am not returning anything. I think it is important that these allegations of improper, illegal and dangerous behaviour are thoroughly investigated by the regulatory agencies set up to protect public safety.

Concern has been raised over the safety of the vaccine for the deadly disease yellow fever following several deaths.

Scientists say research must be carried out to try to understand why some people are highly sensitive to the vaccine.

Vaccination programmes have increased over the past 20 years as the disease has spread to urban areas in these settings. It is also given to protect international travellers.

The vaccine is made from a weakened form of the 17D strain of the virus. It has been regarded as one of the safest virus vaccines, with few side-effects or adverse events.

However, The Lancet medical journal contains reports of people from around the world who died after taking the vaccine.

Vaccination programmes have increased over the past 20 years as the disease has spread to urban areas in these settings. It is also given to protect international travellers.

The vaccine is made from a weakened form of the 17D strain of the virus. It has been regarded as one of the safest virus vaccines, with few side-effects or adverse events.

However, The Lancet medical journal contains reports of people from around the world who died after taking the vaccine.

Two deaths were recorded by a team from a specialist World Health Organization centre in Brazil.

In the first case, a five-year-old girl suffered fever, headache and vomiting three days after being given the vaccine. She died after a five day illness.

The second patient - a 22-year-old woman - developed a sore throat and fever, accompanied by headache, muscle pain, nausea, and vomiting four days after vaccination.

She then developed symptoms including jaundice and renal failure, and died after six days of illness.

The cases were similar to a third fatality reported by the South Western Area Pathology Service in Sydney, Australia.

In all three cases the victims demonstrated symptoms of infection by the form of yellow fever virus found in the wild.

Further cases

Three further deaths of elderly patients were recorded by US scientists from the Centres for Disease Control, Atlanta.

In each case the victims suffered from fever, muscle pain, headache and confusion followed by a general deterioration.

However, unlike the cases in South America and Australia, the symptoms pointed to a new post-vaccination syndrome.

Writing in The Lancet, Philippe Marianneau and colleagues from Institut Pasteur, Lyons, France, suggest that the virus strain used in the vaccine may occasionally mutate, either before or after it is administered.

Alternatively, the problem may be that the vaccine triggers an inappropriate immune system response in some people.

They conclude: "The use of 17D vaccination remains highly advisable for people living in or travelling to endemic and epidemic zones.

"However, these three reports raise relevant questions about the mechanisms of attenuation (weakening) of yellow fever virus that should be urgently investigated." …
Nervous system side effects have very rarely included neurotropic disease (YEL-AND, post-vaccinal encephalitis) which has been fatal in rare instances. Symptoms have included diaphoresis, rigors, fever, malaise, headache, confusion, expressive aphasia, arm numbness, loss of fine motor control, severe dysarthria, loss of consciousness, elevated WBCs and protein in CSF, and/or leukocytosis. Immunosuppression and age < 9 months are known risk factors. The estimated incidence for all ages is 5.3 cases per million vaccinees.

Fifteen cases of neurotropic disease were reported before 1960, 13 of these occurred in infants < 4 months and 2 in infants 6 and 7 months old. Six cases were reported worldwide between 1960 and 1996, 3 of these occurred in adults, and the other 3 in a 1-month-old infant, a 3-year-old, and a 13-year-old. A genetic variant of the vaccine virus was isolated from the brain of the 3-year-old, who died of encephalitis.

Seven cases of YEL-AVD were reported between 1996 and 2001, 4 of them in U.S. residents. All patients (ages 5 to 79 years old) were considered healthy and did not have immunodeficiency. Six of these patients died 8 to 11 days after vaccination (1 had been vaccinated with the 17D-204 strain and 2 with the 17DD strain). A liver biopsy revealed rare yellow fever virus antigen within Kupffer cells. In 3 of the fatal cases, hepatic midzonal necrosis, microvesicular fatty change, and Councilman bodies were observed, which are characteristic of wild-type yellow fever. Vaccine-type yellow fever virus was isolated from blood and autopsy material.

Vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (YEL-AVD, multiple organ system failure), which may be fatal, has been reported rarely. It is characterized by initial symptoms of a nonspecific febrile syndrome with fatigue, myalgia, and headache. It quickly progresses to severe illness including respiratory failure, elevated hepatocellular enzymes, lymphocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, hyperbilirubinemia, hypotension with poor tissue perfusion, and/or renal failure requiring hemodialysis. Causality has not been clearly established. 

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