Monday, December 15, 2014

Hepatitis B vaccine linked to causing multiple sclerosis

vaccine  

A sudden and sharp increase in the number of multiple sclerosis (MS) cases diagnosed in France back in the mid-1990s appears to have its roots in a mass vaccination campaign for hepatitis B that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to new epidemiological data published in the journal Immunologic Research.

In accordance with WHO recommendations, France implemented a campaign in 1992 promoting hepatitis B vaccines, for which 20 million French adults -- or roughly one-third of the country -- agreed to be vaccinated between the years of 1994 and 1997. By 1998, however, massive spikes in MS cases began to dominate headlines in the French media.

Prior to 1993, when the hepatitis B vaccine campaign first began, there were about 2,500 new cases of MS in France annually. Immediately after the campaign was launched, and especially after 1996, that number nearly doubled to 4,500 new MS cases per year. The most obvious cause, according to many health experts, was the vaccine.

Immediately following this revelation, vaccination rates plummeted in France and suspicions about how the hepatitis B vaccine might be triggering MS began to emerge. One hypothesis suggested that a protein in the vaccine might be very similar to a protein naturally found in myelin, the protective coating around nerve fibers that is attacked by the immune system in MS sufferers.

Since that time, multiple research projects have aimed to better understand the correlation between hepatitis B vaccines and MS. One French study found that the actual number of MS cases linked to hepatitis B vaccines is 2.5 times higher than previously assumed, while another case-controlled epidemiological study observed a definitive increased risk of MS within three years following vaccination.


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