Reply To: Vaccine contaminants and safety

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Dr Edd

Paul, you could be waiting a long time for the reports from the institutions commissioned by the Kenyan Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) and the Catholic Doctors Association (CDA). Here, as promised, is further information about those “vaccine tests” which claimed to find traces of hCG. (Thank you for your patience.)

In summary, the tests to which you refer weren’t actually vaccine tests: they were body fluid tests inappropriately applied to vaccine solutions. Those test results did not indicate anywhere near enough quantities of hCG to interfere with the reproductive system in any way. They were subsequently contradicted by (proper) independent vaccine tests by the Kenyan Ministry of Health which found no traces of hCG. The two disputing parties then embarked on a more extensive joint testing programme, which found that the only traces of hCG amongst the 59 samples were in the (opened) vials provided by the bishops’ organisation. They issued a joint statement concluding that the vaccines did not contain hCG and had no effect on reproductive health. Case closed. (Except perhaps for conspiracy-minded individuals who think that all those independent agencies were somehow colluding to deceive the public in order to surreptitiously prevent Kenyan women having babies; even the Catholic bishops must have started conspiring against themselves. Plausibility rating: zero.)

The four laboratories reportedly were the

  • University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences
  • Lancet Kenya
  • Mediplan Dialysis Centres
  • METR POLIS Star Lab.

(One source suggests that samples were also tested at another lab in South Africa, though it isn’t mentioned in the reports.)

These are all credible institutions in their own right, and it would be gauche to accuse them of corruption. However, they didn’t have the specialist equipment required to analyse the active constituents of vaccine samples. Moreover, they weren’t even told what the substances were, so they used tests intended to identify pregnancy hormones in bodily fluids (blood, urine).

The staff in these laboratories could not however tell whether the samples were vaccines or not, as this was not declared to the testing laboratories by the Catholic Doctors Association. The laboratories tested the samples for hCG using analyzers used for testing human samples like blood and urine for pregnancy. There is no laboratory in Kenya with the capacity to test non-human samples like vaccine for hCG.
After these rumours were spread, attempts were made to analyse TT vaccines for the presence of hCG. The vaccines were sent to hospital laboratories and tested using pregnancy test kits which are developed for use on serum and urine specimens, and are not appropriate for a vaccine such as TT, which contains a special preservative (merthiolate) and an adjuvant (aluminum salt). As a consequence of using these inappropriate tests, low levels of hCG-like activity were found in some samples of TT vaccine. The laboratories themselves recognised the insignificance of the results, which were below the reliable detection capability of the kits and were due to a nonspecific interaction between the adjuvant or other substances in the vaccine and the test kit. However, these results were misrepresented by the ‘pro-life’ groups with the resulting disruption of immunisation campaigns.
(Source: Snopes – Is Tetanus Vaccine Spiked with Sterilization Chemicals?)

These flaws were identified by the Kenyan government, and reported in the Catholic Reporter and the Catholic News Agency.

There are two main things to note here: (a) the tests were designed for use with bodily fluids, not vaccines, and thus were not fit for purpose; (b) in any case, the trace amounts of hCG implied by the positive test results were clinically insignificant (as noted in the initial lab reports sent back to the bishops).

The WHO also raised concerns over the methods used by the labs. They noted that while there “is a situation where anti-βhCG antibodies can be produced by the body and that can act as a contraceptive, the levels reported in the independent labs’ results are millions of times less than the amount needed to trigger this contraceptive response”. [my italics]

They also enumerated a list of concerns and observations on the lab results, including a lack of a control reference, blurred-out sections of the results, and their agreement with one of the lab technicians that the results do not “implicate anything that contravenes the use” of the vaccine. This was reiterated by UNICEF, thus:

UNICEF Press Officer Rita Ann Wallace obtained responses from Dr. Peter Okoth, Health Specialist, Child Health, UNICEF Kenya.
As for the assertions made by the bishops, UNICEF’s Dr. Okoth said, “[T]he Catholic Bishops of Kenya are wrong. Their assertions about the tetanus vaccine and hCG are not backed up by evidence. The report from the laboratories that analyzed samples provided by the church shows that the results are invalid. The equipment that was used in the analysis should only be used to analyse human samples such as blood and urine and not vaccines. The samples were not properly identified as required — the laboratories were not informed if these were vaccines, blood or urine samples.”

In effect, these labs were (quite innocently) testing whether the vaccine-producing industrial equipment was pregnant – which is clearly nonsensical. The tests were never validated for detecting hormone subunits amongst highly concentrated vaccines comprising toxoids, adjuvants and preservatives.

Similar methodological flaws inspired the original scare story in Mexico, Nicaragua, Tanzania, and the Philippines, as noted in Reproductive Health Matters:

The vaccines were sent to hospital laboratories and tested using pregnancy test kits which are developed for use on serum and urine specimens, and are not appropriate for a vaccine such as TT (tetanus toxoid), which contains a special preservative (merthiolate) and an adjuvant (aluminum salt).
When the vaccines were tested in laboratories which used properly validated test systems, the results clearly showed that the vaccines did not contain hCG.  The results found in six laboratories in five countries on tetanus toxoid vaccines from seven manufacturers are available on request.  The low levels of hCG-like activity seen in some samples were the result of false positive reactions.  In fact, in a laboratory in Hungary, it was shown that the sterile water supply from the local hospital gave a higher false positive level of HCG than did the TT vaccine.

If even sterile water returns a positive result, then scepticism about the validity of the tests is certainly well justified. But even if hCG had been present in the concentrations implied, it was far, far below anything that could interfere with fertility, and certainly couldn’t cause sterility.

The Kenyan government was aware of these serious shortcomings in the lab reports, but was concerned enough to order its own tests to verify the integrity of the vaccines nonetheless. When the vaccines were tested in laboratories which used properly validated test systems, the results clearly showed that the vaccines did not contain hCG.

Moreover, the Catholic agencies misrepresented the results, claiming that they were evidence of a clandestine sterilisation programme. The bishops pressed ahead with their smear campaign against the vaccination programme, subsequently resolving:

that we shall not waver in calling upon all Kenyans to avoid the tetanus vaccination campaign laced with Beta-HCG, because we are convinced that it is indeed a disguised population control programme.

Yet the hormone was only alleged (in those unreliable tests) to be present in trace amounts. Nobody ever proposed to inject each woman millions of times to build up a sufficient level of βhCG to trigger an antigenic reaction to it.

UNICEF waded into the controversy:

UNICEF Press Officer Rita Ann Wallace obtained responses from Dr. Peter Okoth, Health Specialist, Child Health, UNICEF Kenya.
Asked whether the tetanus vaccine supplied was laced with the Beta-HCG hormone, Dr. Okoth said it was not and that “all vaccines supplied to countries are procured from WHO pre-qualified suppliers that follow a very rigorous control process.”  In addition, he said, “the vaccines are also registered and monitored by the national regulatory authority, including for any adverse event which might follow immunization.”
Dr. Okoth said that “UNICEF categorically denies that it is involved in a ‘disguised population control programme,” and that it “definitely” would support having the vaccine tested by independent laboratories.

Take note that these criticisms weren’t based on assumptions or guesswork, but on the details of the equipment and testing protocols contained in the laboratories’ own test reports. Dr Okoth concluded: “The results shared by the church are invalid.”

As mentioned in that excerpt, UNICEF decided that the best way to resolve the issue was for the Kenyan Ministry of Health to carry out a joint programme of independent testing, in partnership with the Bishops.

“UNICEF is ready to support the Government of Kenya to undertake another independent testing for hCG in a reference laboratory. ”

Great – a joint testing exercise should settle it. So how did that go?

To resolve the impasse, the Kenyan bishops’ conference and the Ministry of Health formed a joint commission that submitted 59 vials of the vaccine from three locations to two laboratories in December 2014. 
Three of the vials were found to contain beta HCG. According to a signed Jan 10 statement released by the joint commission, those three vials were “submitted as open vials having previously been tested in other laboratories.” A Jan. 23 lab report commissioned by the joint commission from AgriQuest indicated the three open vials that tested positive were provided by the Kenyan bishops’ conference.
The joint statement also said, “All the other 56 vials tests were found to be negative for beta HCG, including those with batch numbers corresponding to the three vials that tested positive.”

Hmmm. The three vials supplied by the bishops tested positive for hCG, but all the others tested negative – including samples from the same batch that the bishops had originally tested. Suspicious or what? The samples supplied by the KCCB were not in hermetically sealed packs from the manufacturer: they had been opened and were therefore subject to contamination – or deliberate tampering.

Bear in mind this was a collaborative programme administered by representatives from both the Ministry of Health and the KCCB, and the statements above were approved by both parties. The joint statement concluded:

“Routine tetanus immunization program is safe. Mass immunization campaigns remain a useful public health intervention but quality assurance mechanisms should be applied at all times.” 

Incidentally, the actual tetanus toxoid vaccine would be a very hostile environment for the hCG hormone, as it doesn’t have the same constitution as the carefully balanced compounds used in Prof. Talwar’s 1994 study into the viability of a βHCG-TT contraceptive, in which the TT was only used as a carrier: it didn’t work as a tetanus vaccine. In a November 2014 statement, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) emphasised:

“There is not, and never was, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in any Tetanus Toxoid (TT) vaccine used for tetanus prevention
… because of the adjuvants and preservative contained in tetanus toxoid, it is unlikely that HCG could remain active in a vial of TT.” 

The KCCB’s allegations insinuated that the vaccine caused permanent damage to the reproductive system, effectively rendering the women barren. However, the effects of Prof. Talwar’s hCG-TT contraceptive vaccine were only temporary and reversible; it required regular booster injections to sustain the contraceptive effect. Indeed, it was specifically designed not to cause hormonal imbalances (as with the progesterone-based “contraceptive pill”) and to avoid long-term impact on the reproductive system.

If that isn’t empirical enough for you, then please note the evidence that the TT vaccine did not affect the pregnancy rate in the women who were vaccinated:

Dr. Tabu (Head of Immunization at the Ministry of Health) said the same vaccine has been used for 30 years in Kenya. Moreover, “there are women who were vaccinated in October 2013 and March this year who are expectant. Therefore we deny that the vaccines are laced with contraceptives.”

In their Feb. 13 statement the Kenyan bishops referred to Mexico, Nicaragua and the Philippines, where they said “tetanus vaccination campaigns sponsored and funded by WHO and UNICEF were found to be poisoned with Beta HCG.”

From the National Catholic Reporter:

This is an apparent reference to a longstanding rumor that the TT vaccine used in immunization programs has been contaminated by HCG to reduce women’s fertility. The CDC traces the rumor to the 1994 publication of a report on a small clinical trial in India of a contraceptive vaccine made of HCG and TT. The World Health Organization was not connected to the trial. Further, the experimental vaccine used in the trial was created by the researchers for that study and was not related to the vaccine produced by commercial suppliers, the CDC said.

The CDC said the presence of HCG in TT tests conducted in Mexico and the Philippines in 1994 was clearly shown by subsequent lab tests to be below the limits of accuracy of the test kits used. Six independent labs in five countries ran tests on TT from seven different manufacturers, including those supplying the countries affected directly by the controversy. All the tests were negative for presence of HCG. Global Program for Vaccines and Immunization director Dr. Lee Jong-wook declared in a WHO statement issued in July 1995 that the rumors “are completely false and are totally without any scientific basis,” according to the CDC.

The Kenyan bishops’ conference did not respond to a request for an interview. A representative of the Kenya Ministry of Health initially offered to secure an interview with the director of medical services, but did not do so.

So the Kenyan Ministry of Health, the Catholic News Agency, and the National Catholic Reporter are all in on the conspiracy too? You can read the September 2017 announcement from the Kenyan Ministry of Health affirming:

The Ministry of Health wishes to strongly refute allegations appearing in sections of the press on safety of tetanus toxoid vaccine to women of reproductive age. This is not only unfortunate, but also a baseless pronouncement not backed by any scientific evidence, ill intended to cause fear and despondency among Kenyans in the uptake of much needed essential health services.

In this regard, the Ministry wishes to clarify as follows:
1. This is an old matter raised by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) three years ago and has since been resolved through a joint Tetanus vaccine testing committee which comprised of the Ministry of Heath, Academia and the Catholic Church representatives (KCCB).
2. The joint committee was tasked to sample tetanus toxoid vaccine vials from the contentious batches and qualitatively analyse their safety.
3. The joint committee found the sampled vaccine vials to be safe and free from any contaminants and recommended the vaccine for use.
4. Subsequent consultative meetings between the Ministry and KCCB gave a clean bill of health to the tetanus toxoid vaccine with successful vaccination campaigns taking place in 2016 and 2017.

That’s the last word on it from the KCCB. It’s an old, debunked rumour, which someone seems to have repurposed for nefarious objectives. Bear in mind that Neonatal Tetanus is a very fatal condition responsible for around 215,000 deaths every year worldwide. For whatever reason, you seem determined to keep those numbers high.