Editor’s note: The following is the fifth, and final, part of a five-part series. The first part appeared in the Aug. 5-11, 2009, issue, the second part in the Oct. 14-20, 2009, issue, the third part in the Oct. 21-27, 2009, issue, and the fourth part in the Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2009, issue.
By Susan Johnson
Latest news about the U.S. government mass H1N1 vaccination program indicates people in priority groups are getting vaccine, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states there may be a shortage of shots, and concerns are being raised about a growing number of deaths, particularly among children.
Health care workers in Albany, N.Y., who objected to taking the vaccine were told they must get the vaccine or otherwise lose their jobs. However, as of Oct. 22, the New York Health Department suspended a ruling that would have forced health care workers to get vaccinated against H1N1 by the end of November. The Health Department said the decision was made because the vaccine was in short supply.
Dr. Richard Daines, New York state health commissioner, said new evidence showed H1N1 was especially dangerous to pregnant women and young people, so they should get first priority for vaccination. Workers had protested his earlier order that they get the vaccine, claiming it was unfair to force them to put a foreign substance into their bodies, as reported by Valerie Bauman, Associated Press, in DemocratandChronicle.com.
Unions and health care workers sued the state, and a judge issued a temporary restraining order against the mandate.
Herb Newborg in YourSpine.com, Aug. 28, 2009, writes,
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially stated that there will be as many as 30,000 serious, potentially lethal adverse reactions to the novel H1N1 vaccine, while the FDA guidelines for the novel H1N1 vaccine only require that it work in three out of every 10 recipients.
Deborah Dupré, MA, Sci, Ved. QMHP, an activist with more than 30 years of experience in human rights, peace, social justice and the environment, writes for Examiner.com, a Web site of Clarity Media Group, a newspaper publishing company and parent company to the Washington, D.C. Examiner, The San Francisco Examiner, and the Independent newspapers. The group is wholly owned by The Anschutz Company. Philip Anschutz, a Republican donor and supporter of George W. Bush’s administration, has been an active patron of several religious and conservative causes.
Dupré, in Examiner.com,
Part 2: H1N1 flu and the experimental vaccine secrets, lies, labs and profits,
Numerous health and science reports convey that H1N1 vaccine will contain mercury. (Associated Content, H1N1 Vaccine Will Contain Mercury—Aug. 1, 2009) Mercury in its most common form, Thimerosal, is in most vaccines available to the public, usually as a preservative. It is mercury, Thimerosal that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has investigated and warns the public to avoid. Thimerosal has been removed from childhood vaccines because of fear it causes autism, yet it is being used in some batches of the H1N1 vaccine.
Other voices of concern
These sources are not alone in raising the alarm about the H1N1 vaccine. In “Fast-tracked Swine Flu Vaccine under Fire,
(http://blogs.healthfreedomalliance.org/blog/2009/0728), Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins call the mass vaccinations
a recipe for disaster.
Mae-Won Ho received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Hong Kong University in 1967, was Postdoctoral Fellow in Biochemical Genetics, University of California San Diego from 1968-1972, Senior Research Fellow in Queen Elizabeth College, Lecturer in Genetics (from 1976) and Reader in Biology (from 1985) in the Open University, and since retiring in June 2000, Visiting Professor of Biophysics in Catania University, Sicily. He has written or co-written numerous publications, including 10 books in the field of genetics. Ho is the director of The Institute of Science in Society (ISIS), an interest group that campaigns against what it sees as unethical uses of biotechnology.
The report has been submitted to Sir Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer of the U.K., and to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The above-referenced Web site explains:
A swine flu outbreak occurred in Mexico and the United States in April 2009 and spread rapidly around the world. … The new type A H1N1 influenza virus is unlike any that had been previously isolated, judging from the first data released in May. It is a messy combination of sequences from bird, human and swine flu virus lineages from North America and Eurasia. A senior virologist based in Canberra, Australia, told the press he thought that the virus could have been created in the laboratory and released by accident. Some even suggest it was made intentionally as a bioweapon while others blame the intensive livestock industry and extensive trafficking of live animals. … But what worries the public most is the mass vaccination programmes governments are putting in place to combat the emerging pandemic, which could well be worse than the pandemic itself.
Recent developments in the news
A Washington Post article dated Oct. 23, 2009, stated:
With only a fraction of the tens of millions of doses of vaccine that authorities predicted would be available arriving in states, cities and towns, public health officials who spent months preparing for a massive immunization program are instead scrambling to parcel out their limited supply of nasal sprays and shots…
As the number of children, teens and young adults who are falling ill, hospitalized and in rare cases dying rises, some health departments and doctors are being flooded with calls from worried, sometimes angry patients.
Federal officials defended the program Thursday, saying they were frustrated by the slower pace, too. They blamed the lag on the need to ensure the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness and unexpected problems such as the virus growing unusually slowly and snags at factories filling vials with vaccine…
Although polls show people remain deeply ambivalent about the vaccine with less than half sure they want to get inoculated, those who want to are finding it difficult to get. Many health departments have postponed large vaccination clinics and are rationing their supplies to those deemed highest priority.
From the November 4-10, 2009 issue