Vaccine Timeline 2000-2007

Continued from previous post…

2000: SmithKline Beecham merged with Glaxo Wellcome to become GlaxoSmithKline.

February 2000: The FDA gave Wyeth- Lederle a license for the first 7-valent pneumococcal vaccine (Prevnar) and in June 2000 the CDC recommended it for universal use in all infants.

January 2001: Wyeth-Lederle abruptly announced it had stopped production of tetanus-toxoid containing products, as well as DTaP vaccine, leaving the market to Aventis Pasteur and GlaxoSmithKline. As a result, adult tetanus vaccine lagged behind demand between 2001-2002, temporarily resulting in Td shortages. The 2002 GAO report revealed the reasons behind Wyeth- Lederle’s action: the company had been planning to leave the DTaP and Td market but accelerated its departure when it realized it would be difficult “to respond to requirements set forth in a consent decree with the federal government. To comply with these requirements, the company faced making significant upgrades to its facilities where tetanus-toxoid was manufactured.”

2001: An hypothesis entitled Autism: A novel form of mercury poisoning by Sallie Bernard and others is published in Medical Hypothesis.

2001: Wyeth-Lederle’s Prevnar vaccine became the number one best selling new pharmaceutical on the US market. However, Prevnar supply shortages occurred because Wyeth-Lederle had aggressively promoted the vaccine before and after licensure while failing to gauge public demand so supply fell far short of demand and caused temporary shortages. In addition, there were significant manufacturing problems that reduced Prevnar production and release of vaccine in 2001 and 2002. A 2002 GAO report “Childhood Vaccines: Ensuring an Adequate Supply Poses Continuing Challenges” confirmed that “CDC estimates the monthly national need for this vaccine to be 1.3 million doses, but the manufacturer was only able to provide about half the needed doses during the first 5 months of 2002. Company officials said an extensive pre-education campaign resulted in record-breaking adoption of the vaccine. The company’s production of the vaccine was also hampered by ongoing manufacturing problems. Changes made in the company’s quality assurance procedures, partly to comply with the terms of a consent decree with the federal government, resulted in delays in the release of the vaccine. Manufacturing equipment problems also affected the manufacturer’s ability to meet demand.”

March 2001: The FDA gave Aventis Pasteur a license for thimerosal free DTaP vaccine.

April 2001: The Institute of Medicine issued a report on MMR vaccine and autism concluding that ” the evidence favors rejection of the causal relationship at the population level between MMR vaccine and autistic spectrum disorders” but also stated that “the proposed biological models linking MMR vaccination to autism spectrum disorders, although far from established, are nevertheless not disproved” and urged further research be conducted.

August 2001: Merck temporarily suspended operations in one of its facilities manufacturing MMR and Varicella (chicken pox) vaccines to address issues raised by FDA inspectors during a plant inspection and to make scheduled modifications to its facility. According to the 2002 GAO report, the time it took to make plant modifications and difficulties in meeting FDA manufacturing requirements contributed to shortages of MMR, varicella, DTaP, and Td vaccines between the end of 2001 and summer of 2002.

September 2001: The FDA gave Chiron/Evans a license to manufacture flu vaccine with trace amounts of thimerosal.

September 11, 2001: Terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City. Within weeks, DOD officials suggested terrorists had weaponized smallpox and anthrax that could be used to attack and infect large numbers of Americans. In the name of national security, eventually drug company and government officials persuaded Congress to pass legislation (Homeland Security, MSEHPA, Bioshield, BARDA) giving sweeping new emergency powers to federal and state public health officials while appropriating billions of dollars to develop experimental bioterrorism and pandemic flu vaccines. At the same time, Congress yielded to drug company lobbyists and public health officials seeking liability shields for drug companies and vaccine administrators to absolve them from legal responsibility for vaccine injuries and deaths that occur in the future when the Secretary of Health declares a public health “emergency” and orders mass use of experimental vaccines.

October 2001: The Institute of Medicine issued a report on thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders which concluded that the hypothesis, while not proven, is “biologically plausible” and called for further research.

February 2002: GlaxoSmithKline ceased manufacture and distribution of Lyme disease vaccine, citing insufficient market, after adults and children injured by Osp-A Lyme vaccine speak out about their reactions.

2002: American Home Products changed its name to Wyeth.

September 2002: The FDA gave Aventis Pasteur a license to manufacture a thimerosal-free influenza vaccine.

June 2003: The FDA gave a license to MedImmune for the first live virus nasally administered influenza vaccine (FluMist).

October 2003: The CDC recommended that children 6 to 23 months of age receive an annual flu vaccination.

2003-2004: A mini-epidemic of a more severe type of influenza caused by the A/Fujian strain occurred around the world, including the U.S. In spring of 2003, federal health agencies and the pharmaceutical industry knew the genetically mutated type A flu was emerging out of Asia and causing significant complications, including death, but chose not to include it in the 2003/2004 flu vaccine formula after the WHO voted to stay with strains that had been included in the previous year’s formulation (A/Panama, A/Caledonia and B/Hong Kong). Without informing the public that the flu vaccine did not contain the strain of flu causing severe flu that season, the CDC heavily publicized child flu deaths in the fall of 2003 and Americans stood in long lines that fall and winter to get flu vaccine, which caused a vaccine shortage and subsequent CDC-recommended rationing of flu vaccine supplies. The FDA stated that “between October 2003 and early January 2004, the deaths of 93 children younger than 18 had been reported to the CDC, according to preliminary data” and eventually the CDC would state that 152 flu related deaths occurred in children younger than 18 that year.

May 2004: The Institute of Medicine published a report rejecting a causal relationship between thimerosal containing vaccines and autism, concluding that hypotheses generated to date concerning biological mechanisms for vaccine induced autism are theoretical only. The IOM Committee discouraged further scientific research into the vaccine-autism association.

Summer 2004: Influenza vaccine manufactured by the British Chiron Corporation, which provides about half the inactivated influenza vaccine for the U.S., was found to be contaminated with bacteria. There was a flu vaccine shortage in the US during the 2004-2005 season as a result.

2004: Aventis Pasteur merged with Sanofi to become Sanofi-Pasteur and one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

October 2004: Two professors from the Harvard School of Public Health published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, stating “We independently searched reported jury verdicts and judicial decisions for cases involving flu vaccine and found only 10 reported cases in the last 20 years…..overall there is little evidence of significant litigation involving the flu vaccine….by all appearances the situation is not one in which a rational observer would conclude that litigation is a substantial burden on manufacturers.”

October 2004: US District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan issued an injunction blocking DOD from ordering US soldiers receive anthrax vaccine without their informed consent, citing the reactive anthrax vaccine’s “experimental” status because the FDA had never licensed it as effective for use against weaponized inhalation anthrax. [DOD would subsequently get around the injunction by requesting the Secretary of Health and Human Services utilize recently acquired Project Bioshield powers and issue an “Emergency Use” authorization].

December 2004: FDA gave Sanofi Pasteur a license for thimerosal-free influenza vaccine.

January 2005: The FDA gave Sanofi- Pasteur a license for a new meningococcal and diphtheria toxoid conjugate vaccine (Menactra) and in May 2005, the CDC recommended it for all 11-12 year old children.

April 2005: Evidence of Harm by David Kirby was published by St. Martin’s Press, presenting documentation for an association between mercury containing vaccines and autism.

May 2005: The FDA gave GlaxoSmithKline a license for Tdap for use in children 10 to 18 years old and in June gave Sanofi Pasteur a license for Tdap for persons 11 to 64 years old, after which the CDC immediately recommended Tdap be given to all 11-12 year old children.

October 2005: The CDC recommended that all 12 month old infants routinely receive hepatitis A vaccine.

February 2006: The FDA gave Merck a license for a new live rotavirus vaccine (human-cow hybrid virus) and in March 2006 the CDC recommended it for all infants;

March 2006: The FDA gave Merck a license for the first HPV vaccine (GARDASIL) and in June 2006 the CDC recommended it for all 11 year old girls.

April 2006: Novartis acquired Chiron, entering the US flu vaccine market (FluViron)

May 2006: The FDA gave a license to Merck for herpes zoster (shingles) vaccine and in October 2006 the CDC recommended it for use by all Americans aged 60 and older.

By 2007 American children were being told by government health officials and pediatricians to get 48 doses of 14 vaccines by age six and 53-56 doses of 15 or 16 vaccines by age 12. In May 2007, CNN Money reported predictions that vaccine industry sales will more than double by 2010.

Excerpted from the National Vaccine Information Center

For a more detailed timeline of vaccines, visit the following link:
A vaccination timeline based on facts and history.