TUCSON, Ariz., March 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The chickenpox (varicella) vaccine has markedly decreased the incidence of chickenpox. Although chickenpox is almost always a mild disease, universal varicella vaccination was adopted in the U.S. primarily based on the cost savings from parental time lost from work to care for a child with chickenpox, according to an article in the spring issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Neil Z. Miller, a medical research journalist, interviews computer scientist Gary S. Goldman, Ph.D., who served as a research analyst on the CDC-funded (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Antelope Valley Varicella Active Surveillance Project (VASP).
The varicella virus persists in the human body and can later be reactivated to cause a painful case of Herpes zoster (shingles). It is thought that exposure to circulating chickenpox virus boosts immunity and suppresses shingles outbreaks. Dr. Goldman sought to ascertain whether the elimination of this natural booster would increase the occurrence of shingles.
Miller writes: “There are ethical issues associated with introducing a vaccination program that could advance the health of one population group (reduced cases of chickenpox in children) at the expense of another (increased cases of shingles in adults).”
Dr. Goldman describes how his deleterious findings were either suppressed or disallowed. After much effort to get his findings published, he writes: “Not desiring to be a participant in what I perceived was research fraud, I resigned on Oct 18, 2002.”
He concludes that “CDC/VASP seemed to serve as a commercial enterprise marketing a product rather than as an impartial national public health agency” and that “finding ways to improve vaccine safety and increase CDC accountability must be top priorities.”
The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.