Monday, October 20, 2008

CDC: 1-2% of anthrax vaccinees may die or become disabled...but consider expanding vaccinations

CDC published a report October 1 on its very expensive, 43 month-long trial of anthrax vaccine, but inexplicably discussed only the first 7 months and only 65% of the subjects. No explanation was given for why only partial data were provided in this important paper.

Bloomberg may provide the reason; the selected data discussed in the paper do not explore the 229 serious adverse events that occurred. But the selected data will be used to support new recommendations for expanding vaccinations to civilians that CDC's Advisory Committee will consider on October 22, 2008:
"After seven months, all the groups showed a comparable immune response, leading the researchers to say the three doses of the vaccine are "non-inferior.'' The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice may make new recommendations on use of BioThrax that take the study's findings into account, said Curtis Allen, a CDC spokesman."
Yet other CDC officials told GAO in 2007 that 1-2% of vaccinees might have severe adverse events leading to disability or death.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting this together Meryl! You've got a great Blog here which many are following!

Mark Century

Anonymous said...

What kind of penalties are assessed for falsely reporting results of a medical study? Is it possible that the main report, discussing the rest of the trial, is classified? Classifying a document is trivial -- stamping it suffices, if I understand correctly.

daedalus2u said...

Falsely reporting the results of a medical study in any journal is scientific fraud.

The "penalty" is that all scientists consider your work to be unreliable and never bother looking at what you have published again. No one will collaborate with you either because they don't want to get tainted.

Reporting results that a powerful funding agency doesn't want you to publish has consequences of a different kind.