What’s done cannot be undone

A few months ago, US public health officials had a choice to make. Should adjuvants be added to the pandemic flu vaccine? If they had done so, we would have had a lot more vaccine sooner. They chose not to.

From The New York Times, November 17, 2009

At a hearing before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, representatives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security argued that they were right not to put immune-boosting adjuvants in the vaccine even though that could have quadrupled the number of doses available now…

[snip]

Dr. Lurie said the adding of adjuvants had been discussed repeatedly but would have meant pulling doses off the production line. Also, she said, because anti-vaccine activists have expressed a fear of adjuvants, even though they are naturally occurring oils that have been used safely in Europe for a decade, public confidence in the vaccine was “not as robust as we’d like it to be” and officials feared some people would avoid shots.

So, US public health policy is dictated by “anti-vaccine activists”? Our children, our spouses, and our parents cannot get vaccinated because “anti-vaccine activists” were irrationally afraid of a naturally occurring substance which we know to be safe? And who are these “anti-vaccine activists”? Let’s name them shall we. After all, they won. They must be proud of their accomplishment. They successfully bullied the US government into denying us a timely vaccine:

Joseph Mercola
Leonard G. Horowitz
Gary Matsumoto
Susan Chu

It must be all high-fives at the anti-adjuvant party tonight. Millions of Americans have been denied a pandemic flu vaccine because these “anti-vaccine activists” used their influence to scare the US government away from using a safe, natural and effective substance to boost our supplies.

You’ll pardon me if I skip the celebration.

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2 thoughts on “What’s done cannot be undone

  1. Don’t let these other people from HHS/CDC & Congress off the hook;
    they also made bad/stupid/evil choices for our nation and our posterity in 2005, and earlier.

    Read the whole transcript, those who haven’t
    (and get prepared; for disruptions govt knew Pandemic will cause – especially Unmitigated, as this has been,
    “due to politcial and economic pressures”
    – both domestic, and those of foreign agents):

    NOVEMBER 9, 2005 (and guess who was there?)
    “Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
    – ‘AVIAN INFLUENZA: ARE WE PREPARED?’
    http://ftp.resource.org/gpo.gov/hearings/109s/30423.tx

    ..”Fauci, Dr. Anthony S., Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services”…

    ..”Well, I think emerging and reemerging infectious diseases is something that we’ve been speaking about to this committee–I see Senator Biden shaking his head, because I’ve testified before you, Senator, several times about emerging and reemerging infections–they’ll always be a threat.
    And the fact that we live in a global community—-
    Senator Dodd. Right.
    Dr. Fauci [continuing]. Makes it even more problematic. And when you have something that could have the public health impact of an influenza which is very unique–one, in its ability to spread, and, two, in the fact that it makes people very sick; it’s not a trivial disease-
    -living in a global economy,
    you could have economic disruptions that you would never have imagined—-
    Senator Dodd. Yeah.
    Dr. Fauci [continuing]. Because we live in a just-in-time society. I mean, you—-
    Senator Dodd. I’d like you to comment—-
    Dr. Fauci [continuing]. Cut off imports, we’re in real trouble.
    Senator Dodd [continuing]. I’d like you to comment, then, on the capacity. I was–looked down the number of the–the companies here.
    You’re talking about Roche, you’re talking about–I may be mispronouncing these names–Sanofi or Chiron– —
    Dr. Fauci. Sanofi Pasteur, right.
    Senator Dodd. Yeah. At least two of those companies are international companies, not—-
    Dr. Fauci. Right.

    Senator Dodd [continuing]. Not located in the United States.
    What’s the argument for talking about some sort of governmental capacity here?
    I mean, we’re relying here–which does a very good job, by the way, generally speaking, on the private sector, the drug industry producing vaccines and antivirals–but what you’ve just described here is something far more sinister in many ways.
    And if we’re going to be dependent upon a private sector industry here to produce the vaccines and the antivirals, that seems to me to sort of be dragging our feet a bit.
    Is there an argument here that you think is worthy of exploring to talk about a governmental capacity, where we could develop these vaccines far more
    rapidly than depending upon the vagaries of a private sector that may want to respond?

    Dr. Fauci. Yeah. With all due respect, Senator,
    I don’t agree with that.
    I think we need to continue to rely on the extraordinary expertise and capabilities of industry. And that’s one of the reasons why, in this plan, we talk about building the capacity and sharing some of those risks so that we can get companies to build their plants here in the United States and to have a stable market for influenza vaccines so that you link it to what we do on a seasonal basis so—-

    Senator Dodd. Let me just ask one more question of all of you. Well, I want to know whether or not, first of all, just quickly on this, we’re talking about companies overseas–compensation. As we know, over the years, we’ve talked about compensation programs, where we encourage people to take vaccines. We saw it with smallpox and first-responders, where there was a feeling that compensation wouldn’t be there, and, therefore, there was a difficult problem we had, at least initially, in getting first-responders to take the vaccines.
    In any program we develop here in the coming days, should there be a comprehensive compensation program for people who will have adverse reactions to anyvaccines we may develop, in your view?
    Dr. Fauci. I think that’s something that certainly needs to be discussed.
    Senator Dodd. Well, are you in favor of it or—-

    Dr. Fauci. Yeah, you know, I can’t say that, because that’s not my area of expertise”—-

  2. crfullmoon,the adjuvant issue is different from the vaccine capacity problem. We had already bought the adjuvant, at great expense, and had it ready to go. And we didn’t use it because the government was afraid of people with a long track record of selling pseudoscientific nonsense to the ignorant.

    With respect to vaccine capacity, we should chuck the egg procedure completely and go to cell-based production. We should have done that years ago. I have no good explanation for why that did not happen. There are American companies who could produce unlimited quantities of such a vaccine. The US government could specify that the vaccines be made in the US. One way to deal with complaints about higher costs would be for the US government to pay for the vaccines with tax-payer money and then give the vaccines to US citizens for free. This would guarantee a stable market for the vaccines and ensure sufficient domestic capability for future emergencies. And I suspect that, overall, US taxpayers would end up paying less for medical care.

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