Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Have You Had Your Vaccine Today? Recently talk of vaccines has been all over the news:


In the United States a very wealthy drug company is sending slick hucksters to visit every elected state government politician. These con artists are trying to get laws passed in every state that will force your daughter or wife or sister or mother to buy a $400 dose of their brand new vaccine. Did that drug company even bother to study the possible American woman's response to their effort? I realize they spent a whole lot of money on this new medicine but forcing it on every female might not be so easy. The other question is: How many years did they spend testing this new vaccine? Five years? Ten years? Does the entire American female population now become the next test population?

Don't get me wrong, Gardasil may be a great cancer vaccine but the maker, Merck, needed to spend more time thinking about how it would gain acceptance for this new product. It seems User Acceptance Testing and Marketing are taken more seriously in industries other than the pharmaceutical industry. Now Merck is having second thoughts about their approach.

But Dr. Richard Haupt, executive director for medical affairs in Merck's vaccine division, said that Merck would continue to provide health officials and legislators with education about the vaccine and would continue to lobby for more financing for vaccines in general. Is this about corporate profits or better health?

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In Russia the "Emergency Situations Ministry" announced that 128 million doses of bird flu vaccine have been distributed and that more than 94 million birds had been vaccinated. Whoa! Where to begin with that whopper?

First, the "Emergency Situations Ministry" department name and that announcement sound like they were taken straight out of George Orwell's novel come true 1984.

Second, 128 million doses of bird flu vaccine TO ADMINISTER TO BIRDS??? When was the last time you tried to stick a needle in a sparrow or robin flitting around your backyard? So the only birds that received the bird flu vaccine must be birds people like to eat; chickens, ducks, ostriches, plus a few parrots. Chickens and ducks probably do not take a shot any easier than a squirming little kid. No, I have never eaten a parrot but I understand that people in some cultures do. I guess the scientists do not care if the wild birds, especially the migratory birds, pull through this outbreak. That guy up there flying around with the geese is about the only one those birds might let stick a needle in them.

Third, WHY VACCINATE JUST THE BIRDS? What about the humans? Where is the bird flu vaccine for humans? When you travel on an airline they always tell you to put on your emergency oxygen mask before helping your child. What good will it do just vaccinating all the birds people eat? If all the humans die in the epidemic that will surely put a damper on the global economy.

That old movie with Charleton Heston should have been called "Planet of the Chickens." Those birds may be the only ones to survive the next global pandemic.

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