Bacteria can contaminate multi-dose vaccine vials.
It is not only what vaccines contain which should worry us but also the vaccine containers!
Would you choose a container which has a 27% risk of microbial contamination and where you may be injected with a huge dose of mercury and many rubber particles?
So the frightening news about the latest pandemic – goat, squirrel, fox , rat or is it bat flu –has scared you into getting in the vaccine queue? Well, quite frankly we don’t think that you should be there at all, but if you have made up your mind then at least you should make sure that you’re not number 10 in the queue!
Some vaccines are in single dose units, these being discarded after each dose has been injected. However, it is cheaper to manufacture vials which contain ten doses (“multi-dose”) ( 1), one dose being withdrawn ten times from the same vial.
(Vaccines in multi-dose vials include some brands of influenza, DT, Td, Japanese encephalitis and meningococcal vaccines).
So why should you avoid being number 10 in the queue, or number 20 or 30 for that matter?
THERE IS MOST MICROBIAL CONTAMINATION IN THE LAST FEW DOSES OF THE VIALS
Each time a dose is withdrawn there is risk of microbial contamination of the vaccine, the last doses being the most contaminated. Not only does contamination come from the air and surroundings, it is also caused by the doctor or nurse who administers the vaccine.
The more people who are present the greater is the amount of contamination.
Doctors and nurses may well be experienced in giving injections, but they are not necessarily experts regarding aseptic technique. The poorer their technique, the greater is the risk of microbial burdening of the vaccines. The article “Transmission of infection with multi-dose vials” sums this up well (2):
“There is significant variation in user techniques associated with MDVs (multi-dose vials), and faulty aseptic technique is the primary cause of vial contamination.”
“Studies have demonstrated that the bacterial contamination rates of multiple-dose vials vary significantly… the contamination rate in published studies has been as low as 0% and as high as 27%.”
“The preponderance of evidence that contaminated MDVs have contributed significantly to morbidity and mortality must not be ignored.”
Contamination can and does occur, so preservatives are included in multi-dose vials.
The preservative which is most often used is mercury in the form of thimerosal. Because single dose syringes are discarded after use preservatives are not necessary, but they are more expensive to manufacture than multi-dose vials. (Trace amounts of mercury may however be present in vaccines in single dose syringes as residue from the manufacturing process).
Maybe the mercury preservative in the vials will quickly kill the microbes? This is not so!
PRESERVATIVES MAY ONLY PREVENT FURTHER GROWTH BUT DO NOT KILL MICROBES
“Mercury has properties of a bacteriostacic agent.” (3)“A bacteriostatic agent is a biological or chemical agent that stops bacteria from reproducing, while not necessarily harming them otherwise”. (4)
It may take time before preservatives are effective (2):
“It is important to recognize that although common preservatives used in MDVs (multi-dose vials) are effective against most bacteria, they are not antiviral agents. In addition, contaminating pathogens are able to survive in MDVs for approximately two hours before the preservative takes full effect.”
But surely the dose of mercury is very small? This is not necessarily the case.
THERE MAY BE A LOT OF MERCURY IN THE LAST DOSES!
“… thimerosal (mercury preservative) tends to settle in the vial. If it is not shaken up before being drawn, the first dose will contain low concentrations of mercury and the last dose will contain enormously high concentrations. If your baby is the unlucky one that gets the last dose, serious brain injury can result.” (5)
MANY RUBBER PARTICLES IN THE LAST DOSES
Multi-dose vial stoppers are punctured with a needle in connection with dose withdrawal. The greater the number of punctures, the more possibility there is of particles being released from the stoppers.
In connection with my work at a hospital I counted and identified particles in injections both before and after puncturing the stoppers. There were, as expected, more rubber particles after puncturing and the numbers were higher for thicker needles and several punctures.
As it is a well known fact that particles in injections may result in serious complications for patients I took the matter up with “the authorities”.
I contacted Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and asked if there is a requirement for manufacturers of injections including vaccines to produce documentation concerning particulate matter after puncture of rubber stoppers.
It was surprising and disconcerning to learn from FDA’s answer which stated:
“TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, THERE IS NO SPECIFIC REQUIREMENT FOR THE MANUFACTURER TO COUNT AND IDENTIFY PARTICLES AFTER VACCINE STOPPERS ARE PUNCTURED”