Classen Immunotherapies, Inc.

6517 Montrose Avenue                             Baltimore, MD 21212 U.S.A.

Tel: (410) 377-4549                                 Fax: (410) 377-8526

Classen@vaccines.net                               http://vaccines.net

Contact: J. Barthelow Classen, M.D., M.B.A.; President


French Halt School Age Hepatitis B Immunization, Risk of Autoimmunity Cited


Baltimore, October 13, 1998: The Ministry of Health in France recently announced a decision to suspend routine hepatitis B immunization of children in French schools while continuing routine Hepatitis B immunization at birth. The reason for this decision was apparently the increased risk of autoimmune diseases that is associated with the vaccine when it is given starting at school age.


John B. Classen, M.D. an immunologist at Classen Immunotherapies originally published papers linking the hepatitis B and other vaccines to the development of insulin dependent diabetes, an autoimmune disease. At that time certain public health officials attempted to deny an association between autoimmunity and immunization however recently published US government studies have supported the association. One published US government study linked hepatitis b immunization to an autoimmune form of hair loss. Another small study from the US government showed that when hepatitis B immunization was given starting after 2 months of life it was associated with an almost doubling of the risk of diabetes.


"The French decision to continue hepatitis B immunization at birth while discontinuing immunization starting at school age suggests the French Ministry of Health may believe that timing of immunization has an role on the development of autoimmunity. They appear to be accepting our findings." Dr. Classen is referring to his numerous publications indicating immunization starting at birth is associated with lower risks of autoimmunity then immunization starting later in life.


Long term safety studies are typically not performed on vaccines in order to have them approved for marketing. "Without these studies we can not be sure that the benefits of immunization exceed the risks and thus we should not mandate the hepatitis B or other vaccines" adds Classen.


Dr. Classen’s research has been featured in national news reports including ABC World News Tonight. For the latest information on the effects of vaccines on insulin dependent diabetes and other chronic diseases visit the Vaccine Safety Website (http://vaccines.net) .