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GlaxoSmithKline's VARILRIX Vaccine

Source

GlaxoSmithKline developed and launched Varilrix, a preparation of live, attenuated Oka-strain varicella zoster virus, for immunization against varicella zoster infections. By the end of 1998, Varilrix was available in a few European countries and in India By 2001, the vaccine was also available in Brazil and Hong Kong. [1]

Varicella zoster virus causes an acute infection that affects most children globally, but the age of infection can be greater in residents of tropical areas. It has generally been considered a mild disease, although there are accumulating data to show that it can cause significant morbidity and mortality in immunocompetent as well as immunocompromised children and adults. Oka-strain live attenuated varicella vaccines were developed in the 1970s. Varilrix developed by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals (Rixensart, Belgium), is one of the vaccines produced and marketed in over 80 countries. [2]

Friday March 2, 2007
By Olesya Dmitracova

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian prosecutors are investigating a local hospital on suspicions it illegally tested vaccines made by GlaxoSmithKline Plc on toddlers, making them ill and hampering their development.

Europe's biggest drugmaker denied the claims and said there was no evidence of adverse events or misconduct in the way the study had been carried out.

Glaxo vaccines were tested on more than 100 children between one and two years of age at the hospital in Volgograd after Russian health authorities approved the trials in 2005. But prosecutors claim parents were not properly informed and they thought these were routine vaccinations.

According to the prosecutors, Glaxo paid the clinic in southwestern Russia $50,000 to conduct the trials, which made some children ill. 'According to the contract, only healthy children can take part in this experiment,' said a spokeswoman for the Volgograd region prosecutors, Lydia Sergeyeva.

'In this case all children were sent for trials, healthy or unhealthy, and many of them had been diagnosed with diseases. They had no right to put children with health problems through these clinical tests because ... it can lead to a deterioration in the child's condition, as happened with one girl for instance.'

Sergeyeva told Reuters of a 2-1/2-year-old girl whose neurological illness progressed sharply after she was vaccinated. The girl can hardly speak and shows other signs of arrested development, she said. [3]

The Russian side of the story [Translated]

A routine visit of a children's polyclinic had frightening consequences for Vika Geraskina. One year ago the one-and-a-half-year-old native of the Volgograd area has ceased to talk after being submitted to varicella (chicken pox) vaccination which had been made to the girl in a local railway polyclinic, using a ‘high quality imported’ vaccine. The girl received a Varilrix shot, the Belgian vaccine which has already been in troubles in Europe and USA and not licensed for use in Russia.

According to Vika’s grandmother, having noticed complications after an injection, she had addressed tp a local polyclinic where a shot had been made, but there she had been assured that complications after vaccination are a usual business. However speech has not returned to the girl, and parents have brought a legal action against doctors.

The Office of Public Prosecutor became interested in that legal case. As a result of the investigation which continued for over one year, the head physician of the polyclinic and the Belgian pharmacists who have paid for illegal tests of the vaccines in Russia have been recognized culprits. Vika Geraskina is just one of the victims of medical experiment in which several dozens children have been used as guinea pigs for GlaxoSmithKline vaccine illegal clinical trials. [4]



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[1] PMID: 12186278 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
[2] Review of the Varilrix varicella vaccine. [
LINK]
[3] Russian Prosecutors Launch Probe Into Illegal Vaccine Tests on Children [
LINK]
[4] Малышей использовали в чудовищном эксперименте [
LINK]


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