Shingles Vaccine Targets Baby Boomers

In response to an article from Web MD, May 25, 2006
FDA Approves First Shingles Vaccine
But Some Experts Express Concerns Over Cost of Vaccine Called Zostavax

BL Fisher Note:
In a vaccine approval frenzy putting big smiles on the faces of drug company execs, the FDA approved Zostavax, a shingles vaccine made by Merck.

Coming on the heels of licensing a controversial HPV vaccine for genital warts and cervical cancer that will target 11 year olds, the FDA approved a shingles vaccine that works half the time in people over 60. Merck really wants to market the vaccine to people 50 and older but the FDA temporarily said "No" to that idea because studies hadn't been done.

Zostavax is actually a booster dose of Merck's varicella zoster (chickenpox) vaccine. It is the equivalent of 14 doses of Merck's pediatric chicken pox vaccine. The safety of injecting a "souped up" version of the pediatric chicken pox vaccine into the often immune compromised elderly is yet another national experiment on one of the two most vulnerable segments of our society: the frail elderly. The elderly, along with children, often bear the brunt of medical science's obsession with eradicating microrganisms and the exploitation by drug companies in search of profits.

Mass use of chicken pox vaccine in American children since 1995 has caused a shingles epidemic in older Americans. Before mass chicken pox vaccine use, Americans who had recovered from chicken pox as children would have their immunity "boosted" naturally and asymptomatically by coming into contact with young children infected with chicken pox. Now, with no chicken pox around to do the boosting for older Americans, they get shingles instead. Chicken pox rarely causes severe complications or death in healthy children with 50 chickenpox related deaths in children occurring annually before mass use of chicken pox vaccine.

Some researchers (Goldman, G., International Journal of Toxicology, 2005) estimate it will take more than 50 years of mass use of chicken pox vaccine before the shingles epidemic will begin to subside and will affect 14.6 million Americans at a cost of $4.1 billion or about $80 million in annual health care costs. Shingles cases result in 3 times as many deaths and 5 times as many hospitalizations in adults as chicken pox cases do in children.

Bottom line: Drug companies double their profit potential when they create vaccines and drugs which create diseases and disorders that require creation and purchase of new vaccines and drugs. It gives special meaning to the phrase "a vicious circle."


Anonymous said...

My healthy son (16) received the meningococcal vaccine on april 07/06. May 01, 2007 my son sailed away from a collapsed lung horror (tension pneumotorax) there any connection with the vaccine and collapse lung?

Anonymous said...

Worse, a child relative received an errant chickenpox vaccination, contracted shingles and spread it to his dad and I (dad recovered quickly after acyclovir and lyrica treatment, but I, who contracted first didn't know of consequences and thus received no treatment and suffered for over a year with allodynia and internal shingles pain as acontinuing result)!

Anonymous said...

I had the Shingles Vaccine about 2 weeks ago and am now extremely tired every afternoon, having to go to bed and, as well, I got a call from my doctor's office that my white blood cell count is low. That blood test was taken right after I received the Shingle Vaccine shot. Do not know if there is any relation, but wanted to report my condition, so very, very tired.

Anonymous said...

OMG -- seriously, I am so sorry for the woman with the fatigue--and the young people - all of you. My Dr. suggested I get this shingles vaccine just today--as I am 60. I declined. I do know a woman from 5 yrs. ago who had shingles. she was in her early 50's and at that time had a young son of 12. I dont feel comfortabel getting this--and it could be very expensive from what I have read. but more than that--I have NO IDEA what REALLY is in that "soup" and that scares me the most.