Posted by Dr. Mercola | April 17 2010
“U.S. federal health authorities recommended … that doctors suspend using Rotarix, one of two vaccines licensed in the U.S. against rotavirus, saying the vaccine is contaminated with material from a pig virus,” CNN reports.
The Rotarix vaccine, which is made by GlaxoSmithKline and was approved by the FDA in 2008, has already been given to about 1 million U.S. children along with 30 million worldwide. The vaccine was found to contain DNA from porcine circovirus 1.
“The FDA learned about the contamination after an academic research team using a novel technique to look for viruses in a range of vaccines found the material in GlaxoSmithKline’s product and told the company,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told CNN.
One million U.S. children, and about 30 million worldwide, have already received GlaxoSmithKline’s Rotarix vaccine. Now a research team has discovered it is contaminated with “a substantial amount” of DNA from a pig virus.
It’s anybody’s guess, although CNN reported that GlaxoSmitthKline detected the substance in the cell bank and the seed used to make the vaccine, “suggesting its presence from the early stages of vaccine development.”
It is actually common for vaccines to contain various animal matter, including foreign animal tissues containing genetic material (DNA/RNA), but even FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told CNN:
“It [Pig virus DNA] should not be in this vaccine product and we want to understand how it got there.
It’s not an easy call and we spent many long hours debating the pros and cons but, because we have an alternative product and because the background rates of this disease are not so severe in this country, we felt that the judicious thing to do was to take a pause, to really ask the critical questions about what this material was doing in the vaccine, how it got there.”
Disturbing Findings in Rotarix and Two Other Common Childhood Vaccines
Dr. Eric Delwart is the researcher who, along with colleagues, made the discovery of contamination in Rotarix. Their intent was reportedly to “show that live attenuated vaccine only contained the expected viral genomes and no other,” but what they found told a different story.
Using new technology to test eight infectious attenuated viral vaccines, the results showed three of the vaccines contained “unexpected viral sequences”:
- A measles vaccine was found to contain low levels of the retrovirus avian leukosis virus
- Rotateq, Merck’s rotavirus vaccine, was found to contain a virus similar to simian (monkey) retrovirus
- Rotarix (GlaxoSmithKine’s rotavirus vaccine) was found to contain “significant levels” of porcine cirovirus 1
So in their tests, nearly 40 percent of the vaccines they tested contained viral contaminants. The implications of these findings on the alleged safety of the vaccine supply remains to be seen, but clearly there is contamination occurring that was a complete surprise to researchers, health officials and vaccine manufacturers alike.