Structural Corruption–The Meningiococcal Vaccine For College

by SP

I came across an example of this same type of structural corruption on the website of Meryl Nass, MD, an internist from Maine who specializes on complex medical problems, including vaccine related injury.

(I am pro-vaccine for vaccinations that have been clearly demonstrated to be 1) EFFECTIVE , 2) NEEDED and 3) comparatively SAFE.  These include HIB, Prevnar, MMR after age 3, TDap and a few others in special circumstances.)

The state of Maine was debating whether to require entering college freshmen to prove vaccination against Meningococcus before acceptance.  (So you have the right to refuse the vaccination, but you can’t go to college if you do.  Some informed consent!)

Her letter to the Maine legeslature is here.

On January 3, 2018 the Maine Legislature’s joint committee on health discussed adding the Meningococcal ACWY vaccine to the list required to attend school.  France just added 8 vaccines to its required list last week.  Around the world, a push to get more and more vaccines into schoolchildren, using the threat to withhold schooling, has gained momentum.
Yet some vaccines have nothing to recommend them for schoolchildren.  Such as the  meningococcal (Menactra/Menveo) vaccines.  I summarized the facts for our legislators below.
Be mindful of the following, please, as it is never taught in health class:  meningococcal disease can be effectively treated with antibiotics, if caught early.  When a child has fever, headache, and a rash or stiff neck they should see a doctor IMMEDIATELY for treatment.
January 2, 2018
Dear Legislators:
You finally have an easy decision to make.  There is not a single good reason to add meningococcal vaccine to the schedule required for schoolchildren in Maine.
Only 3 factors need to be considered:
  • 1.   How much benefit?
  • 2.    How much harm?
  • 3.    How much does it cost?
Zero to one cases.  In the entire US, only 185 people had a form of meningitis (C, W or Y) that could potentially be prevented by this vaccine last year.
You have been told that the purpose of vaccination is to protect adolescents and young adults, who are at higher risk of this disease.
Really?  CDC tells us that in children and young adults aged 11 through 23, there were only 21 cases in 2016, in the entire US, that might have been prevented by vaccination.
You may think that vaccination is needed for herd immunity.  But that isn’t actually true. You may be surprised to learn that about 1/3 of people carry meningococcus in their nose at any one time, and the majority continue to carry it–even after they are vaccinated.  So, herd immunity cannot be achieved for this disease using vaccines. (and here)
2.  What are the harms?  The label says that in clinical trials, 1.0-1.3% of adults and adolescents had a serious adverse event. Regarding milder adverse events, over 25% of recipients reported headaches and fatigue. A rare but very serious side effect, Guillain-Barre syndrome [a condition of whole body paralysis that lasts 6 months to a lifetime], may occur.  The Menactra vaccine package insert estimates that between zero and five people, per million vaccinated, may get Guillain Barre syndrome as a result.
So while less than 1 person per million Americans will get a meningococcal C, W or Y infection in a year, an additional 0 to 5 people per million vaccinated will develop Guillain Barre syndrome (within six weeks of their vaccination).  [<—  SP explanation point inseretion here !!!!]
This is a remarkable statistic.  The risk-benefit equation for this vaccine is so bad, it should never have been licensed in the first place.
But it was.  And now you are being asked to expand its use.
3.  Cost?  The cost to vaccinate 183,000 schoolchildren in Maine with 2 doses, at $100/dose, is $40 million dollars, which someone has to pay.
The vaccine proposal is an expensive boondoggle.  The only beneficiaries of this bill are the pharmaceutical industry and its handmaidens.  Please don’t fall for this scam.
Meryl Nass, M.D.
MIT graduate
Currently practicing Internal Medicine in Ellsworth, Maine