(not currently used in the UK’s Routine Childhood Immunisation Schedule) Manufacturer: Novartis Generic Name: Neisseria Meningitidis Group C Capsular Polysaccharide Protein Conjugate Menjugate Safety In order to assess the safety profile of the vaccine, the manufacturer divided trial participants into age groups and administered Menjugate together with other vaccines. Solicited (meaning pre-determined) adverse events were then recorded up to 7 days following vaccination. Of course, with this trial design, it is later impossible to know which vaccine caused a certain adverse reaction and that is intentional. It allows the manufacturer to say that there is no evidence that it was their vaccine which was responsible and that it could have been the other vaccine. That is exactly what happened here. A proper placebo control group would be a very easy way of finding out the truth, which is why placebo groups are rarely used. The adverse events that are presented in the product information were numerous and the risk varied from study to study. As an example, diarrhoea occurred in up to 43% of babies, vomiting in up to 34%, high fever in up to 9% and irritability in up to 81%. But exactly which vaccine caused these remains unknown.[1] Novartis were honest enough to publish serious adverse reactions which had been reported once the vaccine was in wider use and they classified most of them as “very rare” (e.g. lymphadenopathy, anaphylaxis, seizures, photophobia, myalgia). They say they divided the number of reports by the number of doses distributed, to arrive at how frequently these reactions occurred. [1] This does not take into account the problem of under-reporting and although it could be argued that under-reporting is not the manufacturer’s problem when presenting data, it is nevertheless very real and contorts the data. Many more serious adverse events could be…

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