Gary S. Marshall, MD

All articles by Gary S. Marshall, MD

Can Vaccines Transmit Mad Cow Disease?

By July of 2000 approximately 175,000 cows in the United Kingdom had developed bovine spongiform encephalopathy, more commonly referred to as MCD, a progressive deterioration of the nervous system. The FDA convened a meeting to discuss the possibility that some vaccines were made using serum or gelatin derived from cows in countries that had MCD, including England.

Can Vaccines Cause SIDS?

In 1999, the ABC news program 20/20 aired a story claiming that HepB caused sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The story included a picture of a 1-month-old girl who died of SIDS only 16 hours after receiving the second dose of HepB.

Can Vaccines Cause Cancer?

The polio vaccine used in the late 1950s and early 1960s was contaminated with a monkey virus called simian virus 40 (SV40), present in the monkey kidney cells used to grow the vaccine. SV40 DNA was present in the cancers of people who had received the polio vaccine that was contaminated with SV40, but it was also present in those who had not.

Do Vaccines Trigger Kawasaki Disease (KD)?

KD is an acute, inflammatory, small-to-medium sized vessel vasculitis manifest by prolonged high fever and some combination of rash, conjunctival suffusion, changes in the oral mucosa or peripheral extremities, and cervical lymphadenopathy; desquamation occurs in the convalescent phase, and ectasia or aneurysms can develop in the coronary arteries.

Are Vaccines Made From Fetal Tissue?

Some vaccines—rubella, HepA, RAB-HDC, VAR, ZOS, and one form of IPV (the Poliovax contained in Pentacel)—are grown in cultured human embryo fibroblast cell lines (WI-38 or MRC-5) because these are the only cells that replicate the viruses in high enough titer for mass production (the rubella vaccine strain itself was originally isolated from an aborted fetus with intrauterine infection).