There has been considerable suspicion about a link between hepatitis B vaccination and the development of multiple sclerosis. This new study examined detailed national data in France around the mass vaccination of French adults in the mid 1990s. Following World Health Organisation recommendations in 1992 to mass vaccinate against hepatitis B to hopefully eradicate the virus, 20 million French people were vaccinated between 1994 and 1997.
In 1998, French media published articles about a sudden increase in the number of cases of MS developing in France, linking them to this mass vaccination program. Vaccination numbers rapidly fell as a result. Now 20 years later, by looking at all the data from that time, Dominique Le Houezec has established a firm link between these vaccinations and a sudden rise in the number of cases of MS developing in France.
The data clearly show that up to 1993, the number of new cases of MS in France remained quite stable at 2,500 new cases a year. The following years, but especially from 1996, the number increased dramatically to 4,500 a year, and has stayed stable at this level since. The explanation is not entirely clear, but it could be that one of the proteins in the vaccine was very similar to a protein in myelin.
Whatever the mechanism, because of this unique event in vaccination history, of such a large number of people getting vaccinated against hepatitis B in such a short time, and the resultant dramatic wave of new cases, it appears highly likely that hepatitis B vaccination can trigger MS. The author of this paper actually goes so far as calling this ‘an involuntary very large scale experiment carried out on a third of the French population’. PwMS would be wise to consider this information when deciding whether to vaccinate family members against hepatitis B.