Antibiotic & Vaccine Pushing Doctors Create "Superbugs"

Antibiotic & Vaccine Pushing Doctors Create "Superbug"

by Barbara Loe Fisher

In the post-World War II days of the 1950's, I remember our family doctor came to our house when I had strep throat and gave me a penicillan shot. By the early 1960's, doctors weren't making house calls anymore but every time my Mom took me to the doctor - whether it was for the stomach flu or a bad cold - the doctor wrote a prescription for a bottle of antibiotics. It didn't matter whether it was a viral or bacterial infection, at the end of the office visit he wrote a prescription for antibiotics.

Today, doctors who listened to drug company salesmen in the 1950's and 1960's and recklessly prescribed antibiotics for every sore throat or sniffle, are trying to blame the deadly increase in antibiotic- resistant superbugs cropping up around the world on the people they told to take the antibiotics in the first place. A quick Google search on the subject took me to a website operated by the Medical College of Wisconsin, which warns that "Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in some way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of the medicines designed to cure or prevent infections. Over time, some bacteria have developed ways to dodge the effects of antibiotics. Widespread use of antibiotics is thought to have spurred evolutionary changes in bacteria that allow them to survive these powerful drugs. The bacteria continue to multiply, causing more harm..... "Our first step toward correcting the problem is to build public knowledge and awareness of when antibiotics work -- and when they don't," said Richard Besser, MD, CDC's medical director of the campaign. "We want Americans to keep their families and communities healthy by getting smart about the proper use of antibiotics."

Hello, Dr. Besser! Antibiotics are prescribed by DOCTORS. People do not "use" antibiotics without a doctor's prescription. They don't wake up and say to themselves "I think I will take an antibiotic today and help bacteria evolve into superbugs that will kill thousands." No, that iatrogenic problem has been caused by a medical profession too narrow-minded, lazy and self-serving to look beyond drugs and vaccines to a more natural, less toxic and less expensive way to help people maintain wellness and heal from illness.

Antibiotics like penicillan should always have been reserved for the most life threatening bacterial infections. The rest of the time, doctors should have told us to get plenty of sleep, drink lots of fluids, eat nutritious food high in vitamin C and D and seek out non-pharmaceutical therapies so we could get well the old fashioned way and strengthen the natural healing ability of our immune systems.

It is too late for doctors to turn the clock back and refrain from pushing pricey antibiotics on patients for everything from an ear infection to a hangnail. The damage has been done.

However, doctors have an opportunity right now to stop making the same mistake with vaccines. The warning signs have been around for a long time but doctors have a habit of closing their eyes and putting their hands over their ears when they don't want to see the obvious: microorganisms which drug companies and government health officials have targeted for eradication by mandatory vaccine use are evolving into vaccine-resistant strains that may well end up killing and destroying the health of more people than would have been killed or made sick if the vaccines had never been used at all.

Case in point: Wyeth's pneumococcal vaccine, Prevnar.

Prevnar vaccine contains seven of the most antibiotic-resistant pneumococcal strains, although there are more than 80 strains of the organism, which live harmlessly in the noses and throats of most people and rarely cause disease. Why some people go on to develop serious pneumococcal disease is unknown but those with dysfunctional immune systems are thought to be at highest risk. In 2001, the CDC told America that pneumococcal infections cause approximately 700 cases of meningitis, 17,000 cases of blood stream infections and 200 deaths in American children under age five every year, with 35 of these deaths being caused by pneumococcal meningitis (Centers for Disease Control. Dec. 10,2001 press release: ACIP Votes to Temporarily Revise Recommendations for Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine).

Even before Prevnar was licensed by the FDA in February 2000 and the CDC immediately recommended all babies under two get four doses, drug company officials heavily promoted it as an "ear infection" vaccine. They did this even though their own clinical studies demonstrated a less than 7 percent efficacy for preventing ear infections (Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories. Sept. 25, 1998 press release: New Investigational Vaccine Demonstrates High Efficacy Against Pneumococcal Disease in Children; Kaiser Permanente. May 4, 1999 press release: Investigational Vaccine Is First To Show Effectiveness Against Childhood Ear Infections).

Prevnar's safety was not scientifically well established, either. In the clinical trials that Wyeth conducted with the help of Kaiser Permanente, the experimental pneumococcal vaccine was compared against an experimental meningococcal vaccine. This meant the trial had no true placebo as the reaction profile was unknown for both experimental vaccines, fundamentally compromising the scientific validity of the safety trial. Children in the Prevnar group suffered more seizures, irritability, high fevers and other reactions. There were 12 deaths in the Prevnar group but they were dismissed by trial investigators as "Sudden Infant Death Syndrome." (Wyeth- Lederle Product Manufacturer Insert Pneumococcal 7- Valent Conjugate Vaccine (PREVNAR). Issued February 2000).

Wyeth remains the sole source for pneumococcal vaccine for American children today. Because company officials deliberately targeted the lucrative ear infection market, Prevnar became the best selling new pharmaceutical in 2000 and generated $461M for Wyeth that year. This spring, a Wall Street report entitled "Wyeth profit rises 12%, helped by vaccine sales" reported "First-quarter revenue for Prevnar, Wyeth's vaccine to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease in infants and young children, rose 43% to $617 million. U.S. net revenue increased 16% due to improvement in compliance rates, the addition of 250,000 doses to the CDC vaccine stockpile, as well as price increases."

Bottom line: The pneumococcal vaccine was developed because doctors had over-prescribed antibiotics for four decades and the most serious cases of pneumoccocal disease were no longer responding to antibiotics.

There is always a big price to pay when doctors fool around with Mother Nature. The Prevnar vaccine that was developed by doctors to solve a problem with antibiotic resistance created by doctors has now created another monster: a vaccine-resistant virulent strain of strep that is causing ear infections in children that cannot be treated with any known antibiotic safe for use in children. This week doctors in Rochester, NY report Prevnar vaccine is becoming "less effective" as vaccinated children are coming down with a new and really nasty type of pneumococcal disease.

An Associated Press article reporting on the new vaccine-induced and vaccine resistant pneumococcal strain of strep said "Because these bacteria easily swap gene components to become even more hardy, "new types may emerge that can both escape containment by vaccine and spread throughout the world," Dr. Daniel Musher of Baylor College of Medicine wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine last year."

Currently, 13 states mandate Prevnar vaccine for daycare entry: Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia. How many of the politicians who listened to doctors and voted for vaccine mandates in those states, knew that their action would contribute to creation of a "superbug" that may end up killing many more than the 200 children under five the CDC said died from pneumococcal infection every year when Prevnar was licensed?

The most sickening part of this story is that, according to the AP article "Wyeth anticipated this and is testing a second-generation vaccine. But it is at least two years from reaching the market, and the new strains could become a public health problem in the meantime if they spread hard-to-treat infections through day care centers and schools."

WYETH ANTICIPATED THIS WOULD HAPPEN? In 2000, when Wyeth was hyping Prenvar as an "ear infection" vaccine, why weren't parents told this would happen? Doctors at Wyeth must have been at work on "second and third generation" vaccines since 2000. Because, after all, there are more than 80 pneumococcal strains which presents scores of opportunities for lots of them to mutate into killer antibiotic and vaccine resistant "superbugs." That should keep pneumococcal vaccine creators and marketeers in the money for at least a century.

Ah, Brave New World. And when will the majority of Americans wake up, stand up, and "just say no" to laws forcing them to serve up their children as guinea pigs while vaccine-obsessed doctors and drug companies ignorantly destroy what remains of the earth's ecological balance and the biological integrity of the human race?


Anne said...

Superbugs are the result of several different behaviors:

Doctors prescribing antibiotics for many illnesses, regardless of cause.

Doctors stopping running cultures (likely due to insurance companies) to determine the actual cause and give the appropriate cure.

Patients who do not take entire antibiotic prescriptions because they "feel better".

Patients who hang onto the unused antibiotics and use the leftovers when they get sick later.

Anti-bacterial cleaning supplies being mass marketed, instead of being kept just for medical use.

Antibiotics being used to keep farm animals healthy in modern farming methods that rely on overcrowding to raise profits.

Unless all of these practices are stopped, the problem will continue to get worse!

ear infection symptoms said...

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Anonymous said...

You are being pretty nasty towards doctors. Doctors have tried to save lives by giving antibiotics and MANY doctors have cut back on prescribing antibiotics unless they are REALLY needed.

As a pediatrician myself, I find I only prescribe them once a week (or less) these days. Many young doctors are much better about this than older doctors. We are doing our best to prevent serious infections (like mastoiditis) when we give antibiotics for ear infections.

It's quite obvious that you think that: 1. all doctors are evil, 2. all drug companies are evil, 3. all vaccines are evil. These are some of the things that have made our quality of life so good these days. We've eradicated small pox and there is so much less morbidity and mortality due to prenvar and Hib being around, it's unbelievable. Perhaps you should consider looking fully at both sides of an issue. Look at the numbers of Hib epiglottitis and Hib Meningitis before and after Hib vaccination came around. Many kids who would have gotten neurologically devastating illnesses or respiratory distress leading to death have been saved from this with the HiB vaccine. Many kids who would have had severe strep pneumo pneumonia, ear infections or meningitis have also been saved.

I agree with anne. There are many reasons for superbugs. She didn't mention natural change and flux in the world, either. Some bacterias increase in prevelance naturally as well. The vaccine Prevnar didn't create the 19A strain of strep pnuemo. It just made it more obvious because now kids are getting as sick with the other strains.

And the reason that the doctor mentions that Americans have to understand this as well is because we have to convince 10 parents / patients a day that antibiotics are NOT necessary. Patients often feel a doctor is keeping something from them that will make them get better faster. Many of us are doing our best, so don't assume we are all horrible!

- A Pediatrician in California

Anonymous said...

Let's be real and be responsible, here. If doctors did not push antibiotics for every sniff and tickled throat parents would not be under the impression that antibiotics are a cure-all. I have many tomes refused antibiotics for myself (for a virus,no less!!) and for my children. I finally quit taking them to the pediatricians and found a more balanced practitioner.