April 9, 1997

Perspectives on Hepatitis B Vaccination

Author Affiliations

Milwaukee, Wis

JAMA. 1997;277(14):1124. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540380038024

To the Editor.  —I read with interest and appreciation the recent Landmark Perspective and the discussion regarding the hepatitis B vaccine by Dr Douglas.1 However, I find it somewhat disturbing that Douglas did not mention the potential untoward results of viral vaccines, or those already reported as presumably being due to the hepatitis B vaccine.Douglas must be aware of the untoward results from the vaccine, not only because of lawsuits his company has settled in which demyelinating disease was involved, but also because of reports of adverse reactions linked to vaccine use in the medical literature,2-4 including multiple sclerosis—like diseases, Guillain-Barré syndrome, optic neuritis, and transverse myelitis.Despite these reports, the strategy of universal vaccination in the United States has been promoted widely by Merck, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others.5,6 Should not the parents of infants be made aware of the potential