The Scandalous LA County Measles Vaccine Experiment
An Anniversary to Remember but Not Worth Celebrating
by Wayne Rohde
Health Impact News
Can I ask you the following three questions?
- Who are the targeted participants for US clinical trials of vaccines?
- Why does our government test vaccines that are 10 to 500 times the potency of licensed vaccines on US citizens?
- Why does our government conduct clandestine trials on unsuspecting participants regarding vaccine trials?
This spring will mark the 27th anniversary of one of the cruelest and most deceptive acts the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has ever conducted.
In partnership with Kaiser Permanente Health System and Los Angeles County Public Health Service, an experimental measles vaccine was given to approximately 1,500 inner city minority children in Los Angeles County. Most of these children were six months of age.
The planning for this inoculation program started in 1989 with the vaccination campaign commencing in June 1990. This program came to a halt in October 1991.
The Experimental Measles Vaccine: Los Angeles County Guinea Pigs
The measles vaccine, Edmonston-Zagreb (E-Z) high-titers, was administered mainly to African-American children in an attempt to curb the measles outbreak in LA County.
The parents were not told that the measles vaccine was experimental, and it was not approved for use in the US.
These children from LA County were the guinea pigs, the living test tubes of the research world. Yet the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) were telling the parents the vaccine was being used in other countries. What was not explained was the fact that the vaccine used in Los Angeles was not the lower titers used in other countries but rather a super charged high-titers E-Z vaccine. And it was experimental. [i]
The E-Z measles vaccine was first used by UNICEF and other health organizations beginning in the late 1980’s, despite warnings of mortality increases in developing countries. [ii]
Consent Form Did Not Reveal Vaccine Was Unapproved and Experimental
The consent forms given to the parents to sign did NOT disclose that the vaccine was experimental. The brochure that was included with the consent form stated “this vaccine has been shown to be effective in younger children.” [iii]
The CDC director, Dr. David Satcher, stated in a LA Times interview, regarding not informing the parents of the experimental status, that:
“a mistake had been made. Things sometimes fall through the cracks.” [iv]
And the parents will be unable to receive monetary compensation. More on this later.
CDC officials acknowledged that the omission was serious and attributed it to researchers’ knowledge that the lesser doses of the unlicensed E-Z vaccine had been used safely for decades outside the United States and that it had been recommended by the WHO. [v]
“Our doctors just didn’t think of it as being ‘experimental,’” said Barbara Reynolds, an agency spokeswoman. [vi]
According to Dr. Satcher, after contacting the families and reviewing post surveillance reports, in that same interview, “None of the Los Angeles children, most of them five years old when the interview was conducted in 1996, were injured by the unlicensed vaccine.” But how long did the CDC conduct surveillance on the 1,500 children? Most reports are stating less than 6 months.
In that very same LA Times article, a review by the Office for Protection from Research Risks, within the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), concluded that the study in LA County was scientifically justified but that the CDC, Kaiser Permanente, and LA County had erred in not informing parents that one of the vaccines was experimental.
The issue of non-disclosure of the vaccine came to light when Dr. Joanne Hatim, a doctor who was part of the public-interest vaccine safety group, started to ask questions.
Experimental Use Around The World Caused Deaths
The E-Z measles vaccine used in other parts of the world caused great harm, with deaths and severe injuries, mainly to girls.
Because of reports from Haiti, Senegal, and Guinea-Bissau, the CDC cancelled the E-Z program in October 1991. Reports from several countries showed that the higher dosage vaccine caused long term immunosuppression and infants became more vulnerable to other diseases from six months to three years later. [vii]
Neil Miller wrote nearly three years ago in his article titled “Minority Report: A Covert CDC Program Inoculated Black Babies with Deadly, Experimental Measles Vaccines” about what happened in the nation of Senegal. Children who received the E-Z high-titers strain vaccine had a mortality rate 80% higher than children who received a standard vaccine. There were 75 excess deaths for every 1,000 babies vaccinated.
Basically, one of every six babies vaccinated with the E-Z high-titers died within three years. [viii]
An analysis of the deaths showed the children were not dying of the measles. Most of the deaths were from other common childhood diseases. Apparently, the high-titer measles lowered overall immunity making the children fatally susceptibility to diarrhea, dysentery, malaria, malnutrition, acute respiratory ailments, and other infectious diseases. [ix]
Within the nation of Haiti, the E-Z measles inoculation program targeted the capital city of Port-au-Prince, specifically the Cite’ Soleil community. [x] This area is one of the most impoverished areas of Haiti.
A Washington D.C.-based organization, Office on Haiti, in July 1996, released the following statement regarding the E-Z high-titers vaccination program in their country by Worth Cooley-Prost, a researcher and past president of the organization:
Haiti has been an offshore laboratory for drug research for decades. What is really frightening about this experiment is that the WHO was ready to buy 250 million doses for Third World babies.
Millions would have died but nobody would have realized the vaccine was to blame because six months to three years passed before babies died. The investigator who found the mortality problem had a very hard time convincing the other researchers to take it seriously. And the vaccine was slated for use in the inner-city infants in the U.S.
We came very close to a huge, hidden disaster. [xi]
What Was the Real Purpose of This Experimental Vaccine?
Simultaneously, the National Institutes of Health financed human trials in Haiti with an experimental HIV vaccine. [xii]
Disturbing is the fact that some of the babies enrolled in the HIV trial were enrolled in the E-Z measles trial as well.
According to a study from Haiti published in 1993, infants who died in E-Z vaccine trials were not noted as to their HIV antibody status. Thus this critical detail was deliberately excluded from mortality figures.
According to Cooley-Post, “It is unknown exactly how many of the babies died.”
The purpose of the E-Z measles study in LA County was to compare against the Moraten measles vaccine, the standard vaccine used in the US at the time. We can safely assume that the CDC and WHO knew of the high mortality rates in Africa and other nations, and they refused to suspend or cancel the pending LA County inoculation program.
But why did the CDC and WHO want to use a high dose version of E-Z?
The answer starts with the mother. The mother will pass on her measles antibodies if she was exposed to wild measles earlier in life. At the time of the study, the current vaccines for measles were not effective for newborns and children up to the age of 12 months.
What makes this whole experimental effort a sick and perverse one could be summarized by a statement in the January 1996 issue of Pediatrics.
In the journal article, authored by the CDC, Johns Hopkins, and Kaiser Permanente officials, the issue of combating maternal antibodies “will not be a problem in the future because by then, all mothers will have been vaccinated and won’t have maternal antibodies to give to their infants, and so all babies will be candidates for measles vaccination after birth.” [xiii]
Below is a research study published in Vaccine in 2013 with a conclusion of ridding maternal antibodies. [xiv]
Volume 31, Issue 48, 19 November 2013, Pages 5766–5771
Measles antibody levels after vaccination with Edmonston-Zagreb and Schwarz measles vaccine at 9 months or at 9 and 18 months of age: A serological study within a randomised trial of different measles vaccines
- Cesario Martinsa,
- May-Lill Garlya, b,
- Carlitos Balea,
- Amabelia Rodriguesa,
- Christine S. Benna, b,
- Hilton Whittlec,
- Peter Aabya, b, ,
Conclusions: Was this all Planned to Replace Natural Immunity with Vaccines?
Maternal antibody levels have declined significantly in recent years and 99% had protective levels of measles antibody following primary MV at 9 months of age. It is unlikely that measles prevention and child health will be improved by increasing the age of MV as currently recommended.
Is this an admission of a planned and orchestrated effort to remove all natural antibodies from the human race and replace them with artificial immunity from vaccination?
Adverse Reactions Covered Up?
The only “known” associated adverse reaction in LA County to the experimental vaccine was the reported death of a 22 month-old boy who received the E-Z vaccine. The CDC concluded that the death of that child was not associated with the vaccine because the boy died of a bacterial infection. The bacteria involved was very unusual for a small child. It was “clostridium dificle enteritis,” which usually is observed in the elderly and HIV-diagnosed patients but rarely in children. [xv]
The CDC’s chief investigator in the LA study, Dr. Stephen Hadler, had been involved in foreign trials of the E-Z high-titer vaccine. He was quoted in the LA Times article making the claim that the death of babies in the foreign trials was due to the condition that “many of the babies were malnourished and did not have access to adequate health care.” [xvi]
The CDC and its partners, Kaiser Permanente and LA County Public Health Service did not plan on any long-term surveillance studies of the children. Once word got out and spread through the community that the vaccine was experimental, parents would not trust the CDC and report any adverse reactions.
Kaiser Permanente and the CDC sent out a letter to all the families in June 1996.
The contents of that letter and any information collected are not available.
Is the data collected from this letter sitting in the Vaccine Safety Data Link? My attempts asking for this information via phone calls to Kaiser Permanente have been met with a simple response of “No, the data is medical and is confidential.” Let’s just see about that!
In his 1996 book Outrage!, author Keidi Awadu stated that he received multiple reports directly from the parents of children who suffered seizures, autoimmune disorders, and other medical conditions.
Who Authorized the U.S. Clinical Trial?
If the parents were given a consent form to sign prior to the vaccine being administered to their children, did it tell the parents that the vaccine was NOT specifically covered by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)?
Probably not. We need to find a copy of the consent form.
The Secretary of HHS would have to approve the use of any vaccine not currently licensed in the US.
You may remember the meningitis outbreak at Princeton University a few years go. The meningococcal vaccine currently approved in the US was not the strain detected at Princeton. The Secretary of HHS had to approve the import of the specific vaccine from Europe.
But what about the CDC’s use of a non-licensed and experimental vaccine? Does the Secretary of the HHS need to approve of this measure?
If so, that means the Executive Branch of our federal government signed off on this experiment. Have they been held accountable?
Louis W. Sullivan was appointed Secretary of HHS by President George H.W. Bush (41), he took control of the Department of HHS on March 1, 1989. The prior secretary, Otis R. Bowen, a Reagan appointee, resigned January 20, 1989.
The Department of HHS oversees three important vaccine-related agencies; the CDC, the FDA, and the NIH.
Emails to HHS and HRSA to ask if the Secretary of HHS had to approve the LA County study have been unanswered. Follow up phone calls have not been returned.
The Targeted African American Communities of Los Angeles – Why Were These Communities Chosen?
How were the three mainly African-American communities selected?
There were so many areas in LA County. The trial involved children in communities hardest hit by the disease, including East and West Los Angeles and Inglewood. The majority of the children were African-American and Latino.
These neighborhoods were recruited because “you have to study the area where the disease is occurring,” said Barbara Reynolds of the CDC.[xvii]
Let’s examine that statement by the CDC.
The study targeted areas within LA County with the greatest outbreak of measles.
But it didn’t. The 3 areas selected were Inglewood, East LA, and West LA.
Mr. Awadu discovered that the areas selected were NOT the hardest hit with measles.
Far from it. Records obtained by Mr. Awadu from the Los Angeles County Department of Health in June 1996, the three areas selected ranked out of the 24 monitored areas, #4, #15, and #17. [xviii]
Several areas with greater outbreaks of measles were mixed minority areas of Asian and Hispanic people and whites.
The San Antonio community of LA county had the largest number of measles cases (300) in the county in 1990. It was considered the epicenter of the outbreak. San Antonio had three times the number of measles than West LA (89) did!
So why did the CDC select three predominately African-American communities instead of just selecting the top three hardest hit areas? Could it be because the selected areas are heavily minority with very low social/economics, thus the CDC knew there would be very little pushback?
But there could be another reason. Those areas had a high prevalence of children with HIV.
We need to go back to the reason why the Los Angeles child died from a bacterial infection generally found with HIV-positive adults. Were there any other children in the study who tested positive for HIV?
This would be a potential scandal for the CDC if this was not disclosed.
Remember, those who died in Senegal months later after vaccination were determined to have lowered immune systems. Could this be a contributing factor to why the medical community saw a small surge in the mid-90s in the number of hospitalizations of minority children in the Los Angeles area with complications of HIV?
Now tie in the revelation from Haiti that it is very possible that the children selected for the E-Z measles program were HIV positive and the US officials knew this and tried to cover up the death of the Los Angeles child.
It does appear that medical researchers were very interested in studying the effects of the E-Z high-titers vaccine on children who were HIV positive. A study, Safety and Immunogenicity of High-Dose Edmonston-Zagreb Measles Vaccine in Children With HIV-1 Infection, was published in May 1992 with a conclusion – “High-dose E-Z vaccine administered at 6 months of age is safe and highly immunogenic in both HIV-infected and uninfected children.” (AJDC. 1992;146:550-555) [xix] Yet the monitoring period after the vaccination is very suspect.
Where is the Post-Vaccination Monitoring Data?
Lauri Markowitz, an epidemiologist at the CDC planned to measure antibody levels and immune cell counts in Los Angeles County from the children in the study.
But where is that data? And why is it not available to the public?
What information is contained in the post-surveillance data reports? How many children were contacted and when? What type of illness or injuries were reported?
How long were the LA County children monitored after receiving the vaccine? Six months, one year, two years?
How are they now?
There is an effort now to identify as many participants in the clinical trial as possible.
Today they would be the ages of 27 and 28 years. A medical outcome screening should be conducted to determine the health status of these adults. Legal options should be examined to determine if there are any means for reparations for current and future medical needs. Statute of Limitations issues for the State of California will be very tricky to overcome.
I do believe that this story and the interviews of the participants and their families would be fascinating.
If the Secretary of HHS approved this experimental vaccine program for use in the United States, a question needs to be asked of the Secretary:
“Were the children and their parents informed and allowed to file petitions for compensation in the NVICP or Vaccine Court of any injuries or death as the result of the E-Z measles vaccination program?”
I have made several inquiries to the office of the new Secretary of HHS, Tom Price. No one will speak to me on this topic.
Here is something to remember about the use of an experimental vaccine in the US. Mr. Keidi Awadu writes in his book, Outrage!, the following about conforming all research studies to the “Common Rule” as adopted by the Department of HHS in 1974 and later revised and adopted by 16 U.S. government agencies in 1991: The Common Rule defines limits by which federally funded research involving human subjects in the U.S. shall be conducted.
However, under this set of guidelines,
“local Institutional Review Boards (IRB’s) may revise or exclude some or all consent elements if the research exposes subjects to no more than minimal risk, meaning that the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort anticipated in the research are not greater in and of themselves than those ordinary encountered in daily life or during the performance of routine physical or psychological examinations or tests.”
This area of ambiguity undoubtedly leaves an open window by which researchers with covert intentions can bypass more restrictive guidelines. The LA County measles vaccine trial seems to have taken advantage of such loosely defined restrictions in certain areas while resorting to pure deceptions in others. The mitigating phrase here is the term, “minimal risk.” [xx]
Current Vaccine Trials: Cloaked in Secrecy?
Currently, there is a clinical trial ongoing for Ebola in the US. Does anyone know where, how many, and the results of the trial? It’s not easy to find the answers.
What about other vaccine clinical trials? The lack of transparency and the lack of long-term monitoring suggest that our government in cooperation with the pharmaceutical industry wants to keep a lid on these trials.
Questions still need to be asked, and we need to demand answers.
Wayne Rohde is the author of The Vaccine Court – The Dark Truth of America’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
[ii] The Nation, Oct 14, 1996 v263 n11 p9(2)
[iii] LA Times, June 17, 1996
[iv] LA Times, June 17, 1996
[vii] The Nation, Oct 14, 1996 v263 n11 p9(2)
[viii] Garenne M, et al. “Child mortality after high-titers measles vaccines: prospective study in Senegal.” Lancet 1991; 338: 903-7.
[ix] Garenne M, et al. “Child mortality after high-titers measles vaccines: prospective study in Senegal.” Lancet 1991; 338: 903-7.
[x] Harriett Washington. Medical Apartheid. (DoubleDay, 2006)
[xii] Keidi Awadu. Outrage! How Babies Were Used as Guinea Pigs in an L.A. County Vaccine Experiment. (Long Beach, CA: Conscious Rastra Press, 1996)
[xv] Keidi Awadu. Outrage! How Babies Were Used as Guinea Pigs in an L.A. County Vaccine Experiment. (Long Beach, CA: Conscious Rastra Press, 1996)
[xvi] Keidi Awadu. Outrage! How Babies Were Used as Guinea Pigs in an L.A. County Vaccine Experiment. (Long Beach, CA: Conscious Rastra Press, 1996)
[xviii] Keidi Awadu. Outrage! How Babies Were Used as Guinea Pigs in an L.A. County Vaccine Experiment. (Long Beach, CA: Conscious Rastra Press, 1996)
[xx] Keidi Awadu. Outrage! How Babies Were Used as Guinea Pigs in an L.A. County Vaccine Experiment. (Long Beach, CA: Conscious Rastra Press, 1996)