Plan to vaccinate babies against drugs (UK)

By zera · Feb 3, 2007 · ·
  1. zera
    Plan to vaccinate babies against drugs

    02.02.07 Add your view

    motherbabayG_228x209.jpg Babies could be vaccinated to prevent addictions to drugs and cigarettes

    Babies could be vaccinated with brain-altering chemicals to stop them getting hooked on drugs and cigarettes in later life.
    Newborns would have jabs which could prevent addiction to cocaine, heroin or tobacco, under secret Downing Street plans.
    Details of the extraordinary proposal to stop the annual £20 billion cost of drug misuse are in a leaked No 10 policy document.
    Scientists have already developed a drug called naltrexone that eases heroin withdrawal symptoms. A cocaine vaccine called TA-CD has now been developed, the document says.
    Ministers could also crack down on drug dens by having the post scanned for supplies using modern technology, while police helicopters would use revolutionary laser radar systems to test the air for chemicals used to make drugs.
    The document, reportedly being considered by Tony Blair's working group on crime, talks of "immunotherapies" developed in secret to protect a generation.
    It says: "A young person could be immunised and the drugs would never reach or affect the brain. Drug-related crimes could be reduced if vaccines can be successfully developed to reduce the craving."
    Health ministers and the General Medical Council have already objected.
    Figures last year from the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drugs Addiction revealed Britain is in the top three EU nations for the number of cocaine users. Statistics also show nine per cent of 11 to 15-year-olds smoke.

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  1. zera
    Here's information on the cocaine vaccine in question, TA-CD:

    Cocaine dependence
    Therapeutic Vaccine (protein conjugate)
    Status ​
    Phase II [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] Xenova is developing a therapeutic vaccine, TA-CD, for the treatment of cocaine dependence, for which there is no currently available effective treatment.
    Cocaine is a naturally occurring sympathomimetic agent (an agent that causes a physiological effect similar to that produced by stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system) that has become a drug of abuse due to its self-reinforcing euphorogenic properties. Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant and is a major medical and public health concern. Most cocaine addicts are treated by a specialist physician or psychiatrist in drug rehabilitation centres. However, due to a high relapse rate reported with current treatment, there is a clear need for an effective treatment to be used alongside a behavioural therapy programme.
    Cocaine is believed to exert its euphoric effects by blocking the re-uptake of neurotransmitters (primarily dopamine) at nerve synapses in the brain. As a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, cocaine can be considered to be an indirect dopamine agonist because it potentiates the synaptic actions of dopamine that have been released endogenously.
    Cocaine addiction is associated with social dysfunction and 76% of cocaine abusers also experience anxiety disorders or depression. Cocaine-related medical complications include cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological effects as well as gastrointestinal complications including abdominal pain and nausea, and many others.
    The active ingredient of the TA-CD vaccine is a protein conjugate: a cocaine derivative coupled to recombinant cholera toxin B (rCTB). The finished TA-CD vaccine consists of the protein conjugate adsorbed onto aluminium hydroxide gel adjuvant in saline. The vaccine is administered by intramuscular injection and it is anticipated that a short course of injections will be required to induce antibody responses.
    Two clinical studies have been conducted to assess the safety and immunogenicity of TA-CD vaccine to date. Up to 3 vaccinations (at 0, 4 and 8 weeks) of TA-CD 709 µg, 82 µg, 13 µg or TA-CD placebo were administered by intramuscular injection to 34 cocaine abstinent patients in a Phase I study.
    In a Phase IIa study supported by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), up to 4 vaccinations (at 0, 2, 4 and 8 weeks) of TA-CD 82 µg were administered intramuscularly in 9 outpatient cocaine abusers. In both studies, TA-CD vaccine was well tolerated both locally and systemically. There have not been any severe or moderate adverse events that have been considered related to the vaccine. Antibody levels correlated both with the dose of vaccine given and with the number of vaccinations. Anti-cocaine antibodies were detected subsequent to the second injection, levels peaked about 12 weeks after the initial injection and declined at further time points until one year.
    The antibody levels in the clinical trials approach those produced in a rodent self-administration model and are highly specific for cocaine. The highest level of anti-cocaine IgG was detected after 4 vaccinations during the Phase II clinical trial.
    In June 2004 data was presented at the College of Problems of Drug Dependence 66th Annual Scientific Meeting in Puerto Rico , of two dose escalation Phase II studies of TA-CD. Results from both studies showed that the maximum mean antibody response occurred between 70 and 90 days post vaccination with cocaine-specific antibodies persisting for at least six months. The authors also reported that the likelihood of using cocaine decreased in those subjects who received a more intense vaccination schedule and as a result were observed to produce higher levels of anti-cocaine antibodies. Most subjects, who did relapse within six months, reported a reduction in the euphoric effects of cocaine.
    The start of a Phase IIa cocaine administration trial was announced on 14 April 2003. The 10 patient open label trial is being conducted in the US and is designed to evaluate the effect of TA-CD on behavioural changes associated with cocaine administration.
    On 24 October 2003, Xenova announced the start of the first randomised, placebo controlled Phase IIb clinical trial for TA-CD. The primary objective of this new study is to determine the efficacy of TA-CD in addicts seeking treatment for cocaine abuse, and to determine appropriate end-points for a Phase III study.
    Up to 132 subjects, all of whom are methadone-dependent cocaine addicts being treated for drug dependency have been recruited into this clinical study. Half the subjects were treated with active TA-CD and half were given placebo. Subjects are being monitored three times a week to assess cocaine usage, including testing for cocaine metabolites in urine, for a period of 20 weeks. Patients also undergo medical examinations and blood tests for anti-cocaine antibodies to assess the immunogenicity of the dosing schedule. The trial will allow an objective assessment of the efficacy of the TA-CD vaccine against placebo.
    The TA-CD investigations are being funded in part by NIDA which recognises cocaine abuse to be a major problem in the US. NIDA has also supported earlier clinical work as part of this programme.
  2. CRUNK
    Well I'm against it, I'm not going to let some Doctor shoot up my baby with some chemical that has no known side effects or who has no knowledge of how it can affect the person in the long run. Plus think about it, if they can block drugs reaching the brain, shouldn't it be able to block other drugs that might end up saving that persons life one day? What's going to happen when someone who is in serious pain who needs something like morphine to live and there's not a damn thing anyone can do about it because he's already been vacinated with this anti drug crap in his system? I'm totally against it.
  3. AntiAimer
    Can already see the disasters this would bring, if such actually went into effect. Could only imagine the side-effects. Anyone who actually did this to there kids, in Smurf's eyes fall into the child abuse category.(But doesn't know the whole situation of course...can't jump to conclusions.)

    Now if they can stop drugs from working....where's that damn AIDS\HIV cure? Think it's about time for them to stop racking in all the doh from sick dieing people.
  4. Nagognog2
    A similar plan is being planned in the USA. Only it's not for drugs - it's to forcibly immunize young girls against cervical-cancer. The right-wing church opposes this as they claim this would promote sex-out-of-wedlock. You know: If you get cancer for having sex, it's God's punishment ye sinner!

    But if the government can legally pass laws to force vaccination, you can guess where this may well lead.
  5. boylizard
    This is wrong. Forced medical procedures... That's fucking with your body - your body is YOURS goddamnit, noone elses.
  6. BeetleJuice
    I smell nazi death camps around the corner.I mean, this is kinda like what hitler was doing to try create his "master race"
  7. boylizard
    Allegedly we gained a lot of useful medical information from the nazi camp medical experiments - I can't really see what we would gain from this, except vaccination-resistant strains of HPV.
  8. MrG
    Look, you just don't understand. This will make us all CLEAN, this will purify our fetid stinking souls so that we may grow up to become happy consumers.

    Every Friday night, smokeless, musicless, J.D. Wetherspooons' will sound a siren's call to the impulse chip in our white collars as we vacate our cubicles and march, silently to our places of worship. We will all gather and raise our glasses - This bud's for you.

    Remember kids, it's ok to DRINK your drug.

    You are Free to do as WE tell you.
    You are Free to do as WE tell you.
    You are Free to do as WE tell you.
  9. darawk
    Soon maybe they'll have immunizations against crime(including of course, rebellious thoughts and general discontent with the status quo / government). And if Christians ever figure out how to exploit science instead of just throwing stones at it from afar - maybe we'll even get a immunization against immorality! Now we can all be choir boys and go to heaven like Jesus intended, yay!
  10. boylizard
    Sit back America, your government is in control again. Here, watch this, shut up.

    risperdal? we already made that -.-
  11. CRUNK
    I don't really think it's ever going to go that far. I just can't see the government making peole take this crap that's going to block any kind of chemical that makes you feel good from getting to your brain without blocking some of the medications that we use, or without blocking natural highs caused from exercising. I could just picture a country full of boring morbid people because they can't feel anything that makes them happy.
  12. Alicia
    Has anyone seen the film equilibrium, ringing bells in an immense away at the moment.
  13. Ice_Cream_Man
    my god alicia u got there before me! The minute i read the first post i had images of gun weilding, kung fu cops and......'father' lol
  14. Paracelsus
    Someone has to stop these fuckers. The only real way of vaccinating somebody against drugs like heroin or cocaine means fucking around with receptors (no more endorphins) or, worse, the body's reward system (nothing is fun anymore: food, sex, drugs, etc etc.).

    This s closer to the situation in Equilibrium than we can imagine.

    But let's hope our friend the tobacco industry will prevent this disaster.
  15. boylizard
    anyone read 1984? *shivers* swim needs a cigarette...
  16. El Calico Loco
    I have become Shiva, destroyer of worlds...

    Spoken by Oppenheimer when he saw what his creation was capable of. Capable of reducing entire cities - men, women, children, and dreams - into ash. He spent the rest of his life fighting the very demon he had conjured.

    These scientists, they do things for the intellectual challenge - to see if they can. Rarely - and, in general, only after the fact - do they consider whether they should.

    Bless them, father, for they know not what they do.

  17. sunyata
    Maybe we should vaccinate people against becoming sedate once they grow up as well, or vaccinate them against doing anything we define as undesired by our current, limited standards.
    First of all, it takes all the glory out of living your life RIGHT(the way you define right, of course) to know you have been vaccinated against doing anything else. As if Siddharta became Buddha because someone vaccinated him against Samsara and not because he got there by his own will.
    Secondly, who will define what is undesirable characteristics of a human being? There is a high degree of arrogance and self confidence in believing one knows what would be right for the entire human race.
    Thirdly, how can one be sure that one is only vaccinating against, for instance drug-use, how is one sure that one does not get rid of other areas of human behaviour, say creativity for instance? Has our understanding of the brain really reched the level where we are competent enough to mess with real ones one a massive scale?

    They are making sheep, can't anyone see that?
    I think it might be time to ask ourselves wether what our culture gives us weighs up for what it demands and takes.
  18. CRUNK
    Oh I totally agree with you 100%. When you hear about this kind of shit it's actually scary, and not just because their trying to block us from getting high. It's the fact that they've already got the technology to do it. And like sunyata said, they're making sheep. It's pretty crazy that they have the ability to clone something like a sheep, which they've already done, and now their trying to clone humans. And with all this other crap like chemical bombs, chemical diseases (which, anyone with some knowledge can make anthrax in the convienient privacy of their own home) this shit is nuts. Especially with all these wars going on. And you can guess where this all leads to;

    the destruction of the human race.
    The destruction of the human race.
  19. Lunar Loops
    Child drug vaccines: the worst idea ever

    The Evening Standard reports yesterday that:

    Babies could be vaccinated with brain-altering chemicals to stop them getting hooked on drugs and cigarettes in later life

    According to the story:

    Newborns would have jabs which could prevent addiction to cocaine, heroin or tobacco, under secret Downing Street plans. Details of the extraordinary proposal to stop the annual £20 billion cost of drug misuse are in a leaked No 10 policy document.”

    Very few details are given about the alleged document, who commissioned it, who wrote it, or whether it is being taken remotely seriously other than that it is “reportedly being considered by Tony Blair's working group on crime” (although they don’t tell us who reported this). One quote is given, apparently from the document:

    "A young person could be immunised and the drugs would never reach or affect the brain. Drug-related crimes could be reduced if vaccines can be successfully developed to reduce the craving."

    Given the record of the Evening Standard (and stablemate the Daily Mail who ran the exact same story) with lame drug coverage it’s difficult to know what to make of this report. But if there is even a modicum of truth in it, it is very depressing news indeed. In a world a drug war idiocy this would be a new low. Here’s why:

    Drug vaccines don’t really work

    The idea of drug vaccines has been around for ages, but years of research have yet produce the products that the child vaccine idea requires.

    There are products that prevent certain drugs from working, like naltrexone which is brilliantly effective at blocking the effects of heroin, but this isn’t a vaccine that you can give to children. It has to be taken orally every day, or delivered in controlled doses from a subcutaneous or stomach implant. There’s also Antabuse which is given to alcoholics that makes them vomit if they drink alcohol, but again that’s an entirely different concept to a vaccine, and these things are taken as part of treatment programmes rather than as prophylactics.

    The new(ish) cocaine ‘vaccine’ works more like a classical disease vaccine, developing antibodies that will bind to cocaine molecules in the blood and in theory preventing them crossing the blood brain boundary and getting the user high (something similar may be on the cards for nicotine). The BBC covered this story back in 2004, and you can read about the product TA-CD, produced by the company Xenova here. The research, perhaps unsurprisingly, has been funded by NIDA, and there are some fairly positive reports of outcomes when used for problematic relapsing cocaine users. There may be a limited place in the drug treatment for such products, but that is an awful long way from mass vaccination of babies (on whom is yet to be tested anyway).

    I went to a Royal Society of Medicine conference focusing on cocaine a year or so back, and I asked a panel of the world’s top cocaine and addiction boffins what they thought of the cocaine vaccine idea. They raised several key objections. One was that it might potentially prevent some legitimate medicines from working, since cocaine and various related drugs (mostly ending in ‘caine’) are still used today, mostly in local anesthesia for dentistry and ophthalmology. Even though there is not yet a vaccine for heroin the same problems would apply if it is developed. Rendering opiates ineffective – the implication of vaccinating all children against heroin - would be potentially disasterous, given that opiates remain the most widely used, powerful, effective and safe pain killers in the doctor's armoury. Heroin (diamorphine) is often given to pregnant women in childbirth, and I was given it a few years back when I had my appendix out. I would be pretty annoyed if I had had to suffer agonizing post-operative pain because of being vaccinated against becoming a problematic drug using offender 26 years previously, a career path I honestly have no interest in.

    More worryingly was the suggestion from the boffins that real problem users would potentially resort to taking massive doses to overwhelm the vaccine’s immune response and achieve the desired high, in doing so increasing consumption and toxic risks.

    Giving drug vaccines to children is profoundly unethical

    Most of the hysteria about vaccines is media fueled nonsense (witness the MMR/autism debacle for example), but there are potential risks involved whenever you give drugs to people, especially children and especially infants. Aside from the risk, and even if there was none, vaccines would still take you into the legal/ethical quagmire of informed consent, similar to the issues around random drug testing of children in schools.

    There is also the more contentious issue of whether the state can impose private morality by denying people rights over their recreational choices and their own bodies. Does the state have the right to proscribe certain pleasures to consenting adults, if that is what they choose? Especially if such activities are decriminalised in the future as they inevitably will be. Would we mass-vaccinate against legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco, not associated with offending to fund a habit? Would politicians be putting themselves forward for alcohol vaccinations?. Given that it would be impossible to know which children would become drug using offenders (you couldn’t, for example, just vaccinate poor people) you would have to vaccinate everybody regardless of whether they are the minority who go onto use illegal drugs, or the minority of them whose use becomes problematic. Like the drug laws generally, you would be penalising the majority for the sins, if you want to call them that, of a minority. Its a very different proposition to vaccinating against contagious diseases. Why shouldn’t I be able to enjoy a cup of coca tea because of a violent crack addict?.

    Lots of very difficult to answer questions.

    Even if vaccines worked it wouldn’t prevent problematic drug use, or offending

    Vaccinating against a drug does not vaccinate against the desire for intoxication. If cocaine was no longer effective because of a population wide vaccine programme then the demand for stimulants would simply be met by other drugs, amphetamine perhaps or even, shock horror, methamphetamine. If people could no longer escape into opiates then we would inevitably see a huge rise in problem drinking and/or benzodiazepine and tranquiliser use. Maybe we could vaccinate against those to, but we couldn’t vaccinate against all 250 drugs scheduled under the UN drug conventions, and the 1000s of other prescription, over the counter drugs and unlicensed drugs that can be recreationally used and misused to varying degrees. Can we vaccinate against glue sniffing? The more you think about it the more of a ludicrous proposition it becomes. That said it is no less bonkers than the idea that eradicating certain plants from the world would stop people using drugs, even if it was possible, which it isn't.

    Only a small proportion of drug users become problematic and end up offending as a result of their use. This offending is mostly to pay the over inflated price of illegal drugs, so if the main aim of a drug vaccine programme is to reduce crime, you would effectively using a pharmacological solution to solve a problem created by the policy of prohibition. There’s a much better ‘vaccination’ against prohibition and its called ‘legally regulated drug markets’ (patent pending).

    The social, economic, and physiological factors that underlie problematic druguse and offending are many and complex. The idea that there is some pharmacological magic bullet that can sort it all out is absurd. These factors include social deprivation, mental illness, histories of abuse and being in care, having one or more drug dependent parent, poor education, lack of opportunity, homelessness, unemployment and so on. There are no vaccinations for any of these things as yet.

    To be honest I don’t really buy this story, which I’m sure is either mistaken or spun into newsworthyness by the Standard/Mail. I don’t think that even our drug-war obsessed Government would give the child drug vaccines idea more than the most fleeting of consideration, it is so spectacularly impractical and stupid. Of course that doesn’t mean they won’t suggest it anyway regardless of whether think its a goer or not - to grab a few headlines and make it look as if they are doing something ‘tough’ to deal with the ‘drug menace’ (sniffer dogs and random drug testing in schools anyone?). I doubt it though.

    If drug vaccines have any use at all it should be to provide a litmus test of policy makers and opinion formers; anyone who suggests vaccinating children against drugs as a genuine proposition for dealing with the drug problem immediately forfeits all intellectual credibility and should never be taken seriously again. Ever.
  20. sunyata
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