Providing you background facts on smallpox and monkeypox so you can evaluate what you are hearing

You can relax now, says WHO, as it releases a clever statement to introduce the idea of mass monkeypox vaccination:

The World Health Organization (WHO) maintains that the growing monkeypox outbreak remains “containable,” and that there’s no immediate need for mass vaccination against the orthopoxvirus; since May 7, a total of 131 confirmed cases and 106 suspected cases have been reported in countries where it usually does not spread. (Reuters)

Below I try to give you the basics on smallpox and monkeypox:

1.  If there is a monkeypox vaccine it has not been tested for efficacy (because there have not been enough human cases to do so) and therefore I promise that the antibody test for it could not have been validated (may or may not actually reflect immunity).

2.  The smallpox vaccine is said to be 85% effective against monkeypox…but without many human monkeypox cases, that 85% number cannot possibly have been established.

3.   The smallpox vaccine causes a huge number of myocarditis cases and other known cardiac problems, making it almost certainly more dangerous than the risk of getting monkeypox.

4.  Smallpox vaccine was considered the most dangerous vaccine available, killing an admitted 1 in a million babies who received it in the 1950s.

5.  I received smallpox vaccines in 1951 and 1972 and believe I had insignificant reactions.  I expect I would be fully immune to smallpox.  Tests done in people in 2003 published in NEJM suggested immunity was lifelong.

6.  The US smallpox vaccine last used routinely in civilians was the NY Department of Health version, and it was made similarly to the vaccine of the 1700s.  Infectious fluid from pustules was scratched on the belly of a calf, and then when new pustules occurred it was collected as the vaccine substrate, and could only be minimally cleaned up.

7.  Ever wonder why the smallpox vaccine is scratched on while all others are injected? Because it was so dirty, contaminated with other animal viruses and junk, which might cause a serious infection if injected beyond the skin.

8.  It was hoped, 20-30 years ago, that a newer, cleaner, purified vaccine would avoid the many severe side effects. Two newer vaccines GM vaccines were purchased by the Clinton and Bush administrations for all Americans.  It turned out, unfortunately, that the cardiac side effects persisted.  They were due to the actual vaccine antigen, not to the ‘junk.’

9.  I keep repeating that 2 studies revealed rates of 1 in 30 people receiving a smallpox vaccine developing subclinical myocarditis, and one of the studies, out of Walter Reed, showed that 1 in 220 recipients got a definite case of myocarditis.  Both studies were done in military service-members, who may be the age that is most susceptible. 

More coming with links.

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