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Sunday, May 26, 2024
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HomeCOVID-19State's hostility on vaccine injury is not confined to Covid 

State’s hostility on vaccine injury is not confined to Covid 

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VACCINE injury is not confined to Covid injections. There are controversies surrounding smallpox, measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), swine flu and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, and this is not an exhaustive list of jabs with dangerous, unwanted effects.

The smallpox vaccine can cause encephalitis and spread the virus to others, the MMR was blamed for an increase in autism, swine flu caused narcolepsy and now the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the US drug monitor, say HPV vaccines have caused an increase in premature ovarian failure/insufficiency (POF or POI), also known as premature menopause. Can you imagine anything more devastating for young women who receive the vaccine aged 12? Their dreams of having a family shattered before they even reach adulthood.

The NHS website says that early menopause can be caused by ‘some medical treatments’ or because an ‘autoimmune response attacks reproductive tissues’. The HPV is designed to provoke an immune response so whether it can cause POF should be the first line of investigation. Predictably, it’s not even on the list.

According to the US Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) the numbers of POF have risen from 1.4 per year before 2006, the year the jab was introduced to girls, to 22.2 per year post HPV rollout.

Widely regarded as one of the most safe and effective vaccines, the HPV is currently being tested in court. Last October saw the launch of a lawsuit against Merck’s Gardasil, used in the US and introduced to the UK in 2021. It replaced GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix.

The 19-year-old plaintiff, Julia Balasco, alleges she sustained permanent injuries including postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (PoTS), which causes dizziness, fainting on standing, chronic pain, abdominal pain, brain fog, blurred vision, weakness, fatigue, headaches, heart palpitations, chest pains, exercise intolerance, nausea, fatigue, bladder dysfunction, insomnia, sweating abnormalities, weakness and tremors.

Our Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have received nearly 4,000 reports of serious adverse reactions caused by HPV since its launch.

The numbers are bad, but what is it like to live with this type of vaccine injury? Rebecca Ramagge, 27, from Surrey, had three Cervarix jabs between September 2008 to March 2009 when she was 12. A few days after the first, knee pain began, after the second she suffered shooting pains in her legs and hands, and was misdiagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter disease, a repetitive strain injury affecting children with growth spurts. She needed crutches and her school attendance dropped from 98 per cent to 60 per cent. After the third, she collapsed and has been bed-bound ever since.

Instead of exhaustive investigation into what went wrong, doctors berated her parents for allowing her to have all three jabs, although Rebecca’s state school had insisted. Doctors agree the vaccine was to blame but refuse to go on record, scared for their careers. But, worse, they went on to gaslight her and her family, and now withhold treatment.

The most heinous of their medieval interventions was to commit Rebecca, who has symptoms of PoTS and a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), to a psychiatric unit for 16 months.

Her mother Clare, 62, said this happened because Rebecca failed to respond to graduated exercise therapy (GET) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), routinely prescribed to CFS/ME patients in hospital until 2020. Doctors insisted her condition was psychiatric. To test their theory, nurses at one hospital propped Rebecca up on the bed believing she would hold herself up. She fell on to the floor. Panic ensued as they tried to get her into a wheelchair.

Clare said: ‘Rebecca was then admitted to a prominent London teaching hospital in 2009 for six alternate months over a year. In 2010, they refused to have her back because she wasn’t responding to treatment.

‘The adolescent unit where she was admitted is psychiatric-led. In the many multidisciplinary meetings, attended by a physiotherapist, medical doctors and psychiatrist, the psychiatrist always had the final say. Doctors had no clout.

‘In 2010, Rebecca, aged 15, was admitted to a unit in north London which treated patients with anorexia and bulimia. It was completely inappropriate. We wanted to take her home, but were told if we removed her, we would never see her again.

‘They claimed that her condition was psychiatric. They didn’t tell us why at first but, over the months, they suggested Rebecca could have been sexually assaulted by her older brother or father, and that I was suffering from Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy (a rare condition where a parent fabricates the illness of their child). They also suggested that Rebecca was a lesbian and couldn’t deal with it. As a family, we would not have cared if that was the case, as long as Rebecca was happy.’

Rebecca’s PoTS means that if she sits up, she will faint after about ten seconds, but clinic staff insisted she try. Rebecca said: ‘They were determined I would sit up and blackmailed me. They said if I didn’t get into the chair, they would take away my nice carers and leave me with ones without sympathy.’

It was a dystopian nightmare. On one occasion, Rebecca’s parents were told that she could be strapped into a straitjacket and wheeled into the garden for a picnic. The straitjacket was there to prevent her falling when she fainted or suffered a fit.

Now, medical authorities have recognised that CFS/ME sufferers are not hypochondriacs. In 2020, NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) told doctors to stop recommending GET and CBT to them.

For Rebecca, this came too late.

She finally ‘escaped’ after a patient told them she could not be held against the family’s will unless she had been sectioned, or that they had a Section 47 order, a safeguarding order issued to protect children under threat. They had neither. ‘Not one of the doctors told us this,’ Clare said. ‘We were in absolute despair watching our daughter go from bad to worse.’

Rebecca relapsed at home after her ordeal but gradually clawed back some form of a life, although for the last eight years she has been confined to a hospital bed in a darkened room in the family’s basement.

They are desperate for recognition and have spent more than £100,000 trying to get help for Rebecca over the last ten years, including having to pay for a private ambulance to take her to hospital for tests.

Solicitor Peter Todd tried to bring a class action against GlaxoSmithKline to claim compensation, but legal aid was denied and now the ten-year limit to claim has passed. He said: ‘There is a hard cut-off and no way to extend that. Our only option is to claim from the government Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme. I’d like to do that for them to get recognition at least. Cases like this have weighed heavily on me.’

Before the jab, Rebecca was an active tennis, netball, and football player with a bright future ahead of her. She had friends and a social life, and dreamed that she would have a family of her own one day.

Her symptoms are legion. As well as PoTS and CFS, she has complex regional pain syndrome in her cheek and right leg which means excruciating pain if she’s touched there. Gastroparesis affects her digestion because weak stomach muscles prevent the stomach from emptying. She has a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube, which feeds fluids into her stomach because she can’t swallow. Cluster headaches have plagued her, although they’re better with medication. Her adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels were off the scale. ACTH controls the production of cortisol, which is important to respond to stress, regulate blood sugar and fight infection. Normal levels are 21 and under; Rebecca’s are 418! Too much causes fatigue.

There are treatments that help but the NHS refuses to administer them, citing cost. One is intravenous gamma globulin therapy (IVIG) routinely used to treat patients with CFS/ME and PoTS in other countries, but not in the UK.

IVIG is an antiviral treatment used to regulate immune function in those with immune deficiencies or autoimmune disorders. Rebecca’s only access is if her mother Clare administers it herself at a cost of £3,600 for a six-week course, which they can no longer afford after paying for three years. ‘If she had the opportunity to have IVIG that might give her body the chance to recover,’ Clare said.

The effect on Rebecca has been devastating but the whole family has suffered. Clare and her husband ran a garage business together, but Clare now cares for Rebecca 24/7 and the business folded. She has also been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. ‘I shake the minute a medical professional comes into the room that I don’t know,’ Clare said.

The family have suffered ‘utter despair’, compounded by successive governments’ denial of vaccine injury, only ever admitted after lengthy, bitter, expensive fights.

These families followed the government’s advice, but the state’s adversarial approach when things go wrong destroys them. And that’s the point; authorities hope they will simply give up and go away. Many do. This is how our civilised society treats the vulnerable.

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Sally Beck
Sally Beck
Sally Beck is a freelance journalist with 30 years of experience in writing for national newspapers and magazines. She has reported on vaccines since the controversy began with the MMR in 1998.

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