E-NEWS FROM THE NATIONAL VACCINE INFORMATION CENTER
"Protecting the health and informed consent rights of children since 1982."
"Medicine remains an inexact science. And when we lose one of our soldiers,
we recognize how much about medicine that we still do not know."
- Dr. William
BL Fisher Note:
A DOD assistant secretary admits that medicine is not "an exact science."
But that does not deter him or his physician colleagues at DOD from forcing
reactive smallpox and anthrax vaccinations on soldiers for a "bioterrorism"
threat that has never been documented as real.
Meryl Nass, M.D., a physician who has evaluated and cared for soldiers
who became chronically ill after suffering anthrax, smallpox and other
vaccine reactions, points out that "the CDC found a much higher rate of
myocarditis in smallpox vaccine recipients than did DOD: 1 in 1,725. In one
smallpox vaccine trial conducted by Acambis, the rate of myocarditis was 1
in 973. A 1978 Finnish study of military recruits found an even higher rate
using looser criteria: 1 in 29.
"If DOD had cases occurring at the same rate, they should have had 580
cases in 1 million vaccine recipients, not 120. However, DOD likely had
even more cases of myocarditis than 580, since it is believed that people
who have never before received the vaccine are at higher risk of
complications than those previously vaccinated. Relatively few military
servicemembers have been previously vaccinated.
"Claiming that no previous smallpox recipients died with myocarditis is
also blatantly untrue. Twenty-two year old Rachel Lacy died in early 2003,
one month after receiving five vaccines in one day (including smallpox and
anthrax) and her autopsy demonstrated myocarditis. Two panels asked to
evaluate her death for DOD agreed her death was probably vaccine-related."
DoD to Continue Smallpox Vaccinations
Despite Soldier Death
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 23, 2006 - The Defense Department has no plans to
discontinue its smallpox vaccination program, despite yesterday's
announcement that vaccinations may have caused a soldier's death.
A panel of military doctors concluded that vaccinations may have caused the
death of Army Pfc. Christopher "Justin" Abston.
Abston received the smallpox and injectable influenza vaccines in November
at Fort Bragg, N.C., and died suddenly in his barracks room 16 days later,
on Dec. 4, Pentagon officials said.
His autopsy revealed an inflammation of the heart muscle, or "myocarditis."
The smallpox vaccine is one of several known triggers of this condition.
Evidence of another known trigger for the condition was found during the
"Evidence of the vaccinia virus, the main ingredient of smallpox vaccine,
was not found in his heart muscle, but evidence of a different virus,
parvovirus B19, was found," a Defense Department release stated. "Natural
infection with parvovirus B19 is another known cause of heart inflammation
A panel of military medical experts determined it is "neither probable nor
unlikely," merely "possible," that vaccinations caused Abston's death.
Abston is the only servicemember whose death has been linked to the smallpox
vaccine. Of 1 million servicemembers vaccinated through the program, 120
developed myocarditis or similar conditions, but all others survived.
DoD initiated the smallpox vaccination program in December 2002 to protect
servicemembers from the highly contagious smallpox disease, Air Force Lt.
Col. Ellen Krenke, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told American Forces Press
Service. The program is used to protect troops assigned to U.S. Central
Command, U.S. Forces Korea, or designated units with homeland defense
"The smallpox vaccine has been given billions of times to Americans and
people all over the world in the last century," Krenke said. Hundreds of
studies have assessed the vaccine, and DoD will continue to monitor the
safety of the smallpox vaccine and all other vaccines it uses to protect
servicemembers, she said.
Dr. William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs,
expressed condolences to Abston's family and regret about his death.
"Medicine remains an inexact science," he said. "And when we lose one of our
soldiers, we recognize how much about medicine that we still do not know."
Pentagon says vaccine may have killed US
Thu Jun 22, 2006 8:07pm ET
By Will Dunham
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A panel of armed forces medical experts has found
that vaccines required by the military may have killed a 26-year-old Army
soldier last year, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
Pfc. Christopher "Justin" Abston died on December 4 in his barracks room at
Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 16 days after getting smallpox and injectable
influenza vaccines, officials said. The panel concluded it was "possible"
the vaccines were the cause of death, the Pentagon said in a statement.
An autopsy showed Abston suffered from an inflammation of the heart muscle,
or myocarditis, a condition the smallpox vaccine is known to cause, the
"The expert panel cautioned that the findings pointing to vaccinations were
neither probable nor unlikely, but they do suggest the possibility that the
vaccines may have caused Abston's death," according to the statement.
Some U.S. troops have expressed concern about the safety of vaccines
required by the military. A small number who have refused to get the shots
have been thrown out of the military.
In November 2003, the Pentagon said medical experts found the death of an
Army combat medic, Spc. Rachel Lacy, 22, in April 2003 may have been caused
by a combination of vaccinations required by the Pentagon, including those
for anthrax and smallpox.
The military requires troops serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea and
in some homeland defense missions to get smallpox vaccinations. The Pentagon
describes the shots as an important "force protection" measure in an era
when potential enemies may be armed with biological weapons.
Of the million U.S. military personnel given the smallpox vaccine since
2002, 120 were known to have developed myocarditis or similar conditions,
but none had died, the Pentagon said.
The Defense Department screens everyone who will get smallpox shots, and as
a result about 8 percent are excluded due to medical concerns.
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