Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Flu, Fear and Finance

The title of this blog post is the same title of an article that I just read in one of our local community papers.  Most of the things that I read in this article I pretty much always suspected but to have it put in front of me in black and white really kind of flipped me out and made me realize that we really cannot depend on our government to protect us or in any way do what is in our best interests.  Big brother should be listed in our dictionaries under the words CORRUPT and INCORRIGIBLE.

This particular article focuses on the marketing of vaccines--especially the "flu vaccines" that are being pushed so hard at this time of the year.  Everywhere you turn, the media is telling us that we must get ourselves and our children vaccinated against any and every disease that might or might not be lurking out there just waiting to jump on us and attack.  I can't tell you the number of commercials on television and on the radio that I've heard over the last few months telling us where to go and what to get. 

I don't like unnecessary vaccines.  I am even leery of the normal childhood vaccines that most of us received when we were growing up and that I did choose to inflict upon my own children--only after many weeks of sleepless nights trying to come to a decision that would ultimately affect the rest of my dear one's lives.  I came to believe that the whole idea of whether or not to vaccinate is a real double edged sword.  On the one hand I would not want to go back in time to the days when so many of the horrible childhood diseases were still prevalent.  Back in my great grandmothers youth, it was not an uncommon thing for one or more of your children not to live to see adulthood whether because they had succumbed to Scarlet Fever or Polio or any other of  the horrible diseases that were still so common back then.  I honestly do believe that vaccines have played a major role in bringing those diseases under control and in many cases eradicating them.

However, I also believe that there is absolutely a connection between some vaccines and the fact that 1 out of every 150 of our children is now being diagnosed with some form of Autism.  So, like I said, a very sharp double edged sword that cuts both ways.

Anyway, I getting away from the main point of this post and it is already getting long...sorry.

To get back on track....here are the main points from this article:

  • According to the Center for Disease Control, during the 2006-07 flu season 60 percent of health care professionals declined to get a flu shot....
  • In 1999, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform launched an investigation into federal vaccine policy that's main focus was to look at possible conflicts of interest on the part of federal policy-makers ( you know, the ones who are telling us which vaccines are okay for what and when) in the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) and the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (ACIP).  The VRBPAC advises the FDA on the licensing of new vaccines, and the ACIP advises the CDC on guidelines to be issued to doctors and the states for the appropriate use of vaccines.
  • Members of these committees are required to disclose any financial conflicts of interest and to not participate in decisions in which they have an interest but what the investigation determined is that the conflict of interest rules of both of these committees have been lax at best and that "advisory committee members with substantial ties to pharmaceutical companies have been given waivers to participate in committee proceedings".  What the hell?!?!
  • The CDC grants waivers  from conflict of interest rules to every member of the advisory committee on a routine basis
  • The chairman of the CDC's advisory committee owned 600 shares of stock in Merck (anybody heard of Merck? Ya, that would be a pharmaceutical company--a pharmaceutical company that manufactures vaccines.)
  • Four out of the eight CDC advisory committee members who voted to approve guidelines for the rotavirus vaccine in June of '98 had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that were manufacturing it and three out of the five committee members who voted to approve the vaccine itself in December of '97 had financial ties to the pharmaceutical companies who were manufacturing it.
  • "Researchers and consultants often go back and forth between working for the pharmaceutical industry and the CDC and FDA"
  • In 2003 Chiron (a pharmaceutical company) made "$332.4 million in sales on flu vaccine alone and had a 53% gross profit"
  • According to the Cochrane Collaboration, published in the British Medical Journal in 2006, "there is little scientific  proof that the influenza vaccine is safe or effective for children and adults".
I could go on but I think you get the gist of the article.  It makes me crazy.  But, one thing I can tell you.  Me and mine will not now or in the future be getting the flu vaccine.  What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. When my kids were little and needed shots, I didn't think anything of it...shots were just what you did...this was the 1970's...

    not anymore...I don't recommend them to anyone...I discourage anyone with babies to investigate before giving vaccines...I don't trust the medical society...too much money on the line...have you read the criticism of the American Cancer Society...worst charity in the use of their donations...never will a 'cure' for cancer be found...too many dollars involved in research...

    the whole thing makes me angry...


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