GlaxoSmithKline guilty!

Last Monday (22nd March) U.S. FDA health officials recommended that doctors temporarily stop using the Rotarix vaccine, used to prevent the diarrhea  bug rotavirus  in kids.

It has been established that the current vaccine supply is contaminated by a pig virus (PCV-1). While the FDA is anxious to smooth things over for their buddies at GlaxoSmithKline, they could not deny that this vaccine is filthy with contaminants and would only have been released to the public by a criminally negligent company, with complete disregard for kids’ health and public safety issues.

Being told that the FDA doesn’t think the virus is a threat is not reassuring, given the negligent record of the FDA itself. It’s true that PCV-1 is not known to cause sickness in humans.

But so what?

Rotavirus is a common cause of severe diarrhea among children and is responsible for more than 600,000 children’s deaths each year worldwide. The disease causes vomiting and watery diarrhea for three to eight days, along with fever and abdominal pain, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vaccination is a good alternative to dead kids. But the fact it works does not absolve drug companies from proper standards of manufacture. The FDA is now investigating, to establish how the contaminant virus came to be in the vaccine.

The other vaccine used to protect against rotavirus is RotaTeq, made by Merck.

SOURCES: March 22, 2010, press conference with: Margaret Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; March 22, 2010, news release, GlaxoSmithKline