For Immediate Release
Classen Immunotherapies, Inc.
6517 Montrose Avenue Baltimore, MD 21212 U.S.A.
Tel: (410) 377-4549 Fax: (410) 377-8526
Hemophilus meningitis vaccine linked to diabetes increase. Many diabetics may be eligible for compensation.
Baltimore, May 7, 1999: The British Medical Journal (eBMJ; http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/318/7192/1169) published data by Dr. J. Bart Classen, an immunologist at Classen Immunotherapies, supporting a causal relationship between the hemophilus vaccine and the development of insulin dependent diabetes. The data is particularly disturbing because it indicates the potential risks of the vaccine exceeds the potential benefit. The findings are expected to allow many diabetics to receive compensation for their injuries and lead to safer immunization.
The data pertains to a study initiated and funded by Classen Immunotherapies which was performed using medical records of Finnish children. The study looked at the rate of diabetes in children receiving 4 or 1 dose of a weak, early generation, hemophilus vaccine and compared to the rate in children who received no vaccine. The children were followed for 10 years. In the group receiving 4 doses of vaccine the rate of diabetes was elevated by 26% after 7 years compared to children receiving 0 doses. There were an extra 58 cases of diabetes per 100,000 children immunized in the group receiving 4 doses of vaccine compared to children receiving 0 doses. This is equivalent to 2,300 cases of diabetes a year in the US which has an annual birth rate of about 4 million children. However, even more cases of diabetes are expected with newer hemophilus vaccines which are in use today. By contrast immunization against hemophilus is expected to prevent 7 deaths and 7 to 26 cases of severe disability per 100,000 children immunized in Finland.
The data shatters the prevailing myth that the benefits of vaccines far exceed the risks. The data is expected to allow many diabetic children to receive compensation for their illness. Each case of insulin dependent diabetes is estimated to cost on average over $1 million in medical costs and lost productivity. "Many children with diabetes may be eligible to receive compensation for their illness, the data is expected to relieve the tremendous financial burden to their families" says Classen. If the results hold up with other vaccines, as preliminary data suggests, a large proportion of insulin dependent diabetics may be eligible for compensation.
"Unfortunately many public health officials and researchers funded by groups threatened by the findings continue to try to deny the association. This may prolong the financial burden of diabetics deserving compensation" adds Classen. In a letter published by the British Medical Journal (eBMJ), Classen describes analytical methods used by public health officials which may give readers the perception that the effect is smaller than it really is.
The news is not all bad for the vaccine field. The findings are expected to lead to changes in immunization practices which will lead to a decline in childhood diabetes. Immunization starting in the first month of life has been associated with a decreased risk of diabetes and is one method being considered to make immunization safer.
Dr. Classens research has been published in numerous journals and featured in national news reports. For the latest information on the effects of vaccines on insulin dependent diabetes and other autoimmune diseases visit the Vaccine Safety Website ( http://vaccines.net ) .