February 8th, 2010
In a new study, the researchers report that using a standard 1-inch needle to immunize obese adolescents against hepatitis B virus produced a much weaker effect than using a longer needle.
“As obesity rises in the US, we need to be aware that the standard of care may have to change to protect obese youth,” study co-author Dr. Amy Middleman of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston told Reuters Health.
Over three years her team vaccinated 22 young women and two young men in the shoulder, randomly assigning them to be injected with either a 1-inch or a 1.5-inch needle.
Once injected, vaccines trigger production of small molecules called antibodies, which kick-start our immune system if we are ever attacked by the virus again.
The two groups turned out to have different antibody counts depending on the needle used. In those injected with the short one, the number was almost halved.
Although everyone in the study had enough antibodies to be considered protected against hepatitis B, a lower count generally means a less robust response.
“It gives us more evidence of the importance of choosing the right needle length,” said Middleman, “because we just don’t know what the impact could be in other vaccines.”
The results are no surprise, said Dr. Gregory Poland, who studies vaccines at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. For years, doctors have known that vaccines tend not to work as well in heavy people. Whether the obese have weaker immune systems, or fat keeps shorter needles from reaching muscles, where the vaccines can affect immune cells, was unclear.
The introduction of the hepatitis B vaccine in the 1980s offered some clues. Soon after doctors began using the vaccine, they realized that it was failing to protect some female nurses.
At the time, the shot was given in the buttock, Poland told Reuters Health, and was thwarted by the padding there.
Instead of entering the muscle as it was supposed to, the vaccine apparently was broken down in the fat tissue, where it had little chance to affect immune cells. So doctors began giving the shot in the less-padded shoulder.
With the obesity epidemic now adding extra insulation to the shoulder, “our needles are going to have to be longer,” Poland said.
And those long needles aren’t as unpleasant as they sound. In fact, Poland said, “they turn out to be less painful and have fewer side effects.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends longer needles in obese patients, but it is unclear how many doctors follow these guidelines, or even know about them.
Women are more affected by needle length than men, because their fat distribution is different. But even obese women shouldn’t be overly concerned until more research has been done, Middleman cautioned.
“Should you go back and get all your immunizations repeated?” she said, “No, I don’t think so.”
February 1st, 2010
By Joseph Farah
LONDON – Agents for Britain’s MI5 intelligence service have discovered that Muslim doctors trained at some of Britain’s leading teaching hospitals have returned to their own countries to fit surgical implants filled with explosives, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Women suicide bombers recruited by al-Qaida are known to have had the explosives inserted in their breasts under techniques similar to breast enhancing surgery. The lethal explosives – usually PETN (pentaerythritol Tetrabitrate) – are inserted during the operation inside the plastic shapes. The breast is then sewn up.
Similar surgery has been performed on male suicide bombers. In their cases, the explosives are inserted in the appendix area or in a buttock. Both are parts of the body that diabetics use to inject themselves with their prescribed drugs.
The discovery of these methods was made after the London-educated Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab came close to blowing up an airliner on Christmas Day with explosives he had stuffed inside his underpants.
Keep in touch with the most important breaking news stories about critical developments around the globe with Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium, online intelligence news source edited and published by the founder of WND.
Hours after he had failed, GCHQ – Britain’s worldwide eavesdropping “spy in the sky” agency – began to pick up “chatter” emanating from Pakistan and Yemen that alerted MI5 to the creation of the lethal implants.
A hand-picked team was appointed by Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, to investigate the threat. He described it as “one that can circumvent our defense.”
Top surgeons who work in the National Health Service confirmed the feasibility of the explosive implants.
In a report to Evans, one said:
“Properly inserted the implant would be virtually impossible to detect by the usual airport scanning machines. You would need to subject a suspect to a sophisticated X-ray. Given that the explosive would be inserted in a sealed plastic sachet, and would be a small amount, would make it all the more impossible to spot it with the usual body scanner.”
Explosive experts at Britain’s Porton Down biological and chemical warfare research center told MI5 that a sachet containing as little as five ounces of PETN when activated would blow “a considerable hole” in an airline’s skin which would guarantee it would crash.