France refuses to grant kids immunity

 作者:容蛏棚     |      日期:2019-03-08 10:09:05
By Michael Day THE French health ministry is halting its programme of immunising adolescents against hepatitis B following a scare that the vaccine could cause multiple sclerosis (MS). But the WHO says the move sets a dangerous precedent, as there is no scientific evidence of any health risk. It could also jeopardise global efforts to contain the deadly liver disease. French health minister Bernard Kouchner has announced that the schools vaccination programme, aimed at 11 and 12-year-olds who weren’t vaccinated as infants, will cease this month. The move follows articles in Le Monde and other publications questioning the vaccine’s safety and claims by pressure groups linking the vaccine to MS and other neurological disorders in adolescents. “The public’s concerns about this are very strong,” says Marianne Durand, a spokeswoman for the health ministry. “It’s possible the programme will restart in a year or two after more research.” In the meantime, the vaccination of babies and high-risk groups such as medical staff and gay men will continue. The WHO’s chief medical officer for viral diseases, Daniel Lavanchy, told New Scientist: “When a country like France takes such a major step, other countries will start to ask questions. It’s one of the safest and most effective vaccines we have. We would like to see universal vaccination in every country, so this is very unhelpful.” The WHO estimates that there are 350 million people in the world who are chronically infected with the virus. More than a million die each year from cirrhosis and liver cancer caused by the infection. Vaccination against hepatitis B is routine in most industrialised countries—but not in Britain,