BBC Reporter Claims Vaccination Caused His Psychosis
Can a vaccination for yellow fever cause psychosis? If you ask veteran BBC journalist Malcolm Brabant, he will insist it can. Back in April of 2011, Brabant received an inoculation against yellow fever (a nasty disease transmitted by mosquitoes, 50% mortality rate if unvaccinated) to prepare for an upcoming trip to The Ivory Coast in Africa. Just hours after having received the shot, he developed a fever and began to act strangely. In short order, he became psychotic, which included bouts of uncontrollable sobbing and saluting at television pictures of military uniforms while he watched footage of a Royal Wedding. At one point, he thought he was Jesus. He and his family believe the Stamaril inoculation he received was contaminated.
Although this story was originally reported back in 2011, the story has seemed to experience an annual revival in the press over the past 4 years. Just the other day, Brabant’s story was once again recounted courtesy of The Telegraph. From their latest article on Brabant’s ordeal:
“It fried my brain,” (Brabant) states simply. Overnight a previously sane man developed severe psychosis. An agnostic, Brabant became so convinced he was the Messiah that he telephoned his bemused fellow correspondent, Allan Little, to appoint him “first disciple” and ask him to record his words of wisdom.
Brabant, who had been in and out of hospitals for years, wrote a book about his terrible experiences titled Malcolm Is A Little Unwell, which is described as a “shocking narrative of his descent into madness.” The illness caused him to lose his BBC job in Athens as doctors struggled to discover the right combination of medication to effect a cure.
Sanofi Pasteur, the French pharmaceutical company who makes the vaccine, and also the largest company in the world devoted entirely to vaccines, issued a statement near the end of 2011:
Carefully investigating all the medical information that was disclosed to us up to July 2011, we have been unable to establish evidence for a causal relationship between the administration of the yellow fever vaccine Stamaril and the reported medical conditions.
There is a Facebook page titled Brabant v Sanofi Pasteur – Truth Now, which continues to rally support both for the Brabant family and against the yellow fever vaccination, specifically Stamaril, and Sanofi Pasteur. The FB page claims that Sanofi Pasteur has admitted to more than once case of psychosis related to their yellow fever vaccination, although this “admission” is not to be found online other than being mentioned by anti-vaccination and anti-pharmaceutical websites and blogs. In 2013, PubMed published an article titled: Safety profile of the yellow fever vaccine Stamaril: a 17-year review. From the abstract:
Findings confirm that the vaccine’s safety profile in routine practice is favorable and consistent with the summary of product characteristics. Estimated reporting rates of serious adverse events associated after Stamaril vaccination are lower than the previously published and widely cited estimates of the worldwide reporting rate for yellow fever vaccines in general.
What happened to Malcolm Brabant is a horrible story to read about, and no person or family should have to suffer through such a terrible illness. That said, the science needs to be considered before placing blame at the feet of the vaccine manufacturer, which, as the PubMed article reminds us, as of November of 2013, 276 million doses of Stamaril had been administered with fewer-than-initially reported cases of people suffering adverse effects. This includes any incidents of psychosis as described by Malcolm Brabant, his family, and the anti-vaccination supporters which have lined up behind the Brabant’s unfortunate situation.