BBC Journalist’s Journey Into Psychosis After Routine Vaccine

By Jefferey Jaxen

When disaster strikes, when a vaccine harms you or even kills you, there is no help.” -Trine Villemann

The year was 2011 and Malcolm Brabant was an award-winning BBC foreign correspondent. Brabant was going to Africa for an assignment and therefore needed to receive the live virus yellow fever vaccine. What happened next would forever change Brabant and his family. 

Brabant’s wife and director of the documentary film Malcolm is A Little Unwell explained recently in an interview with HighWire host Del Bigtree:

It was imminent. Less than 18 hours after he had the yellow fever vaccine, he suddenly developed this very, very high fever.” She continued saying “…with the fever came the psychosis.

Her husband eventually ended up in a psychiatric ward for 8 months. “This vaccine took years of his life. He was behind locked doors during some very, very dark days.” says Villemann. 

Perhaps the darkest of them all, Villemann describes, is when Brabant’s psychosis reached a point where he began hearing voices. Villemann says the voices were “telling him that he had to kill himself.” 

Bigtree commented, “One of the things that’s different…with stories like this is that you actually had the medical community around him very early on believing that the vaccine had done this…agreeing with you.

People around the world seeking justice and medical care from vaccine injury have endured widespread discrimination from the medical community, the media, and even from government officials. All too often media outlets and healthcare professionals cast aside parents and spouses of vaccine injured loved ones. For daring to challenge the ‘safe and effective’ vaccine narrative in light of an injury, those asking questions and seeking help reflexively get an ‘anti-vax’ label. Left with little recourse but to turn to the public using social media outlets for help and to raise awareness, they are now being met with increasing censorship for spreading what officials are calling ‘misinformation.’

Thankfully, Villemann’s experience wasn’t one of ridicule and censorship as she describes, “From the very first doctor who treated my husband to the very last psychiatrist…they all said the same thing – that his psychosis was related to the yellow fever vaccine.

Upon discharge, The Psychiatric Centre in Copenhagen wrote the following:

Aside from Brabant’s horrific and unfortunate experience, another story of equal measure developed as Villemann approached Sanofi Pasteur – the manufacturer of the yellow fever vaccine. She said that there was a time when she trusted the pharmaceutical industry and their products. Her son was born in America premature where he received every vaccine recommended by her doctors. Now Villemann says that trust has completely collapsed. Shortly after Brabant become ill, Villemann contacted the vaccine maker for answers and help. Sanofi Pasteur asked to see all Brabant’s medical files after which they claimed they investigated the case and concluded that the psychosis was not caused by the yellow fever vaccine. 

Villeman asked the vaccine maker for documentation of their investigation. “Where is the report? Where are the files? Where are the documents that support your claim that this vaccine is safe and it did not cause my husband’s psychosis?” Sanofi Pasteur refused to produce any such documentation. They have also refused to meet with Villemann and Brabant. 

The HighWire attempted several times to reach Sanofi Pasteur for comment on its yellow fever vaccine yet they have not responded to our inquiries.     

Like many who are ignored by the pharmaceutical industry after their products cause them harm, Villemann began doing her own research. What she found ran counter to what Sanofi Pasteur had implied – her husband’s injury was not one-in-a-million.

Through her own research, Villemann found the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Uppsala Monitoring Centre serving similar ends as America’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The Centre, which monitors adverse event reports, revealed that over a ten year period they had over 400 reports of mental illness related to the yellow fever vaccine. A study by Harvard Medical School tracked reporting to VAERS over a three-year period at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care involving 715,000 patients and found that “fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported.” Similarly, WHO’s reporting did not include sub-Saharan reporting of the yellow fever vaccine’s adverse reactions which is primarily where the vaccine uptake is the greatest. 

WHO’s same Uppsala Monitoring Centre publishes a regular newsletter to give updates of the latest information on the safety of medicines and legal actions taken by regulatory authorities around the world. Its recent newsletter contains a new warning regarding the yellow fever vaccine. The Centre states:

Due to a higher risk of severe and potentially fatal adverse reactions, yellow fever vaccine should only be given to people aged 60 years and older when it is considered that there is a significant and unavoidable risk of acquiring yellow fever infection.” 

Was Malcolm’s psychosis a coincidence, a rare side effect, or a more common occurrence than Sanofi Pasteur cares to disclose? Hear the story from Trine Villemann and decide for yourself.

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