In 1989, Edwards released a report on the incidence of adverse events following injection of low dose hepatitis B vaccine in children ranging in age from two months to five years. In his report tabular data are given for 33 hospital admissions. The likelihood that these hospitalizations were caused by hepatitis B vaccine injection fell into three categories: probable (9 cases), possible (16) and unlikely (8). Tabular data was also supplied concerning those who suffered post vaccination illnesses who were not hospitalized.
The report also offered specific details and comments on the condition of the children. Some examples follow (italicizing ours to emphasize the conclusions tacitly made):
Lethargy and malaise: ". . . have been frequently reported in association with the vaccine and the present findings confirm that these symptoms can occur as a reaction to vaccination in children."
Diarrhoea: ". . . it may be that children in this age group are prone to developing diarrhoea as a reaction to the vaccine or to the stress of vaccination."
Bronchospasm and asthma: " . . . it should certainly be regarded as a possible reaction to vaccination."
Swelling, oedema, angioedema: ". . . it is probable that the reports of swelling or oedema did describe reactions to the vaccine."
Arthritis: "These events were almost certainly reactions to the vaccine."
Urticaria and erthema multiforme [similar to hives]: "The majority of events reported within 48 hours of vaccination are likely to be vaccine reactions."
Guillain-Barre syndrome: "The possibility that this condition may rarely be caused by hepatitis B vaccine must be acknowledged. . . and the present finding adds evidence for this possibility."
Faintness, pallor, syncope [loss of consciousness]: "It is likely that many of these episodes were of psychological origin and related to circumstances surrounding vaccination rather than to the vaccine itself."
Hypotonic/hyporesponsive episodes [drop in blood pressure, slowed reaction]: "It is likely that at least eight of the reported events were reactions to the vaccine."
Validity of results: "Under reporting must be expected in a study of this kind . . . Under reporting of events following the third dose certainly occurred and reporting was much higher from some areas (particularly Christchurch) than from others. . . A case could be put forward for accepting the rate of adverse events reported after the first vaccine dose in Christchurch. . . as . . . more representative of the true incidence. The incidence of adverse events. . . would then be closer to 2 per cent than to the 0.56 per cent reported over all areas and the three doses."
In April 1992, a concerned New Zealand physician prepared a report dealing primarily with the use of the new yeast based hepatitis B vaccine in newborns. In it, he says: "I believe giving the hepatitis B vaccine with DPT (diphtheria pertussis tetanus triple jab) and/or polio vaccine causes a significant immune suppression in a significant number of children, as witnessed by the number of recurrent infections. . . These events often happen when previous DPT, DT (diphtheria tetanus only) or polio vaccines have been well tolerated on their own. . . When we were giving hepatitis B vaccination at birth, there were a number of children who had prolonged post natal jaundices, lasting up to two or three weeks. This was not something that I had observed in the preceding 15 years, and, again, I have not seen it since the early immunization has been stopped."