Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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January 29, 2005

U.S. Flu Vaccine Glut - Public No Longer Lining Up For Shots

After Chiron's vaccine license was suspended last year and the U.S. ended up with a flu vaccine supply cut in half, we saw much fear mongering in the media. Long lines of people waiting to get the flu shot and plenty of human tragedy, rationing and in the end some advice to "stay calm". The initial hype was the CDC's statements about flu epidemics and the need to vaccinate. They had inflated flu deaths by up to 50 times, using a statistical trick: adding flu deaths to those caused by pneumonia and blaming the flu for all of them.

But it appears that people are getting wise to what more and more seems like a scam. In a recent Washington Post article, we read:

To the increasing consternation of government officials, the demand for flu vaccine has fallen so sharply that millions of doses remain available across the country. What last fall seemed an imminent national shortage yesterday was deemed "unprecedented supply-and-demand mismatches" by the director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It seems that this year's season may fail again to materialize the widely predicted "killer flu" which is the boogeyman regularly trotted out to scare people into "taking their shot". Virginia, as cited in the same article, "has experienced only localized levels of flu activity and the District even less, according to the CDC. Influenza in Maryland is classified as widespread, though the term can be deceptive. Although four of the state's five health regions have seen increasing cases in recent weeks, the state has fewer than 400 confirmed cases to date, compared with nearly 1,300 at this time last year. There have been no deaths."

Could it be that the absence of vaccines was a boon, not a threat, to public health? Certainly there are those advocating alternative ways to avoid the flu, telling us that our immune system, with a bit of help, is quite capable of dealing with such a small thing as the flu bug. And they may well be right. And the government and the pharmaceutical industry may well be wrong. Let's not forget this year to look at the statistics - the real ones for a change - and critically evaluate vaccine policy.

For now, flu shots are being offered for free. Any takers? See the article in the Washington Post.

- - -

Health Groups Now Worry About Flu Shot Surplus

CDC Takes Unusual Steps to Dispense Vaccine

(go to original)

By Susan Levine
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 28, 2005; Page B01

Alice Hegner used a day's work leave to save a place in a line hundreds of people long so her 93-year-old mother could get a flu shot. Leamon Lee endured his own vigil, perched on an overturned plastic basket that he scooched forward for five hours in a grocery store crowd. Evan Leepson took more assertive action, sidetracking a business trip to Buffalo to drive across the Canadian border and roll up his shirt sleeve.

"Everybody was panicking," Leepson recalled yesterday.

Three months later, it's not the public worrying. To the increasing consternation of government officials, the demand for flu vaccine has fallen so sharply that millions of doses remain available across the country. What last fall seemed an imminent national shortage yesterday was deemed "unprecedented supply-and-demand mismatches" by the director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC announced that it would offer more than 3 million vaccine doses, which are still in the federal emergency reserve, back to the manufacturer for marketing and resale to public and private providers. As enticement to providers, any additional orders will be covered by a guaranteed return policy so that no physician will be stuck for a dollar loss with leftover vaccine.

The government also is expanding its Vaccines for Children Program to allow inventories within it to be used for adult patients, irrespective of financial need.

"These are extraordinary measures being taken," CDC Director Julie L. Gerberding said.

The situation in the area mirrors the national dilemma. At least a couple of thousand doses of flu vaccine are on hand in public health departments, and numerous agencies are soliciting residents to get vaccinated. Private clinics that were canceled hastily last fall are being rescheduled. The District and Maryland have completely dropped the guidelines that prioritized who should get a shot based on medical conditions or age; Virginia is maintaining them, but loosely.

Everyone's goal is to move remaining supplies fast, before the influenza season peaks late next month and before unused doses must be thrown out. Given that most Americans were first asked to step out of line and now are being encouraged to step forward, the challenge is not insubstantial.

"When January comes around, people feel if they haven't gotten the flu, they're not going to get it," said Alan G. Wasserman, chairman of the department of medicine at George Washington University Hospital and president of the GW Medical Faculty Associates.

The mixed signals of the past several months might have exacerbated public skepticism. "Year after year, we tell them to get [a shot] in October, and now we say it's okay to get in February," he said. "You can't keep changing messages."

Two weeks ago, GW Medical Faculty Associates stationed physicians and nurses at the Foggy Bottom Metro station, armed with 2,000 shots to give free to passersby. Business was initially steady, but then interest started dropping off. The workers stayed until midafternoon -- even extending their street clinic an extra hour -- and couldn't give away all the doses.

"People weren't going out of their way to get a flu shot," Wasserman said.

For many, the mild flu season has diminished any sense of urgency. Virginia has experienced only localized levels of flu activity and the District even less, according to the CDC. Influenza in Maryland is classified as widespread, though the term can be deceptive. Although four of the state's five health regions have seen increasing cases in recent weeks, the state has fewer than 400 confirmed cases to date, compared with nearly 1,300 at this time last year. There have been no deaths.

"Technically, the season doesn't end until the end of April," said Greg Reed, of the Maryland state immunization center. He stayed on message: There are people at high risk of the flu who have yet to be vaccinated. It's not too late for them -- or others -- to get a shot. "The possibility does exist that vaccine will go unused, but I don't think we should consider that a failure," he said.

Prince George's County, which has about 1,000 adult doses remaining, is pushing to distribute those free through hospitals and medical centers. "Are we going to have some left over?" Health Officer Frederick J. Corder asked. "We're trying very hard not to."

The District reports a similar inventory, which it would like to exhaust during a health expo this weekend at the Washington Convention Center. Several jurisdictions in Virginia are gearing up to move their supplies. Loudoun Hospital Center's van will hit the streets in Lucketts tomorrow and continue visiting communities until the last shot is given.

Flu shots even might return to the grocery stores, which is where the panic was most visible after the government revealed that half the nation's vaccine supply had been discarded because of possible contamination.

Maxim Health Systems plans to buy more vaccine from the national stockpile and is considering rescheduling supermarket clinics. "Giving flu shots at public events in February is almost unprecedented," national director Steve Wright said. "It really is a crapshoot because we've never done it before."

The veterans of last fall's long lines will be watching.

"I hope that people who still need a shot go get it," said Alice Hegner, who spent that workday on her mother's behalf last October at a Giant Food in Ellicott City. "It would be a tragedy to waste anything."

Leamon Lee, whose afternoon-in-waiting was at a Safeway in Greenbelt, hopes never to see a repeat. "They shouldn't have come and announced such a great shortage until they had done some research on what was out there," he concluded. "It was just mishandled."

See also:

Study: Benefits Of Flu Shots For Elderly Exaggerated
February 14, 2005
CHICAGO -- A new study is challenging the popular belief that giving flu shots to the elderly can save lives. Annual flu shots have been recommended for people 65 and older since the 1960s, and more and more people in this age group are getting vaccinated. But the new study published in Monday's issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine found no corresponding decrease in death rates.

CDC Begging Americans to Get Flu Shots? - After placing strict recommendations on who can receive a dose of the flu vaccine, the CDC is now left with an overabundance of doses. See why getting a flu shot can be dangerous to your health and why opting for healthy alternatives to preventing the flu is a much wiser decision.

USA got improperly made flu vaccine
By Julie Schmit, USA TODAY
The British plant responsible for the recent flu vaccine shortage sent some improperly made vaccine, by mistake, to U.S. consumers three years ago, according to a 2003 government inspection report recently given to Congress.

Evelyn Pringle: Get Mercury Out Of Vaccines - NOW!
Thursday, 17 March 2005 SCOOP NZ
Mercury-based, thimerosal, used as a preservative in childhood vaccines until recently, is now being blamed for a host of neurological problems, including autism, ADD, ADHD, and other learning disabilities. The number of children with these problems can vary greatly depending on who you listen to, some experts say there are about eight hundred-thousand learning disabled children in the US, while others put the number as high as eight million, according to Dr Jay Gordon.


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Saturday January 29 2005
updated on Thursday October 2 2008

URL of this article:


Related Articles

Vaccine Data Leads to a Shocking Discovery
..."Under independent investigation, CDC's data concludes children are 27-times more likely to develop autism after exposure to three thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs), than those who receive thimerosal-free versions."... And they tell us vaccines and mercury are safe but nutrients and raising the standard of living are non issues We are to take it that all that is needed are vaccines and or pills for disease prevention. What's even more abominable is... [read more]
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Flu vaccine a Misty promise
FluMist vaccine for influenza is being promoted with big $$$ advertising this year, and at nearly 70 $ per "shot" the flu promises to be hot business. So we should all go down to our friendly pharmacist and sign up for a dose of FluMist - or should we really? It seems the vaccine's major side effects are symptoms of ... the flu! Dr. Sherri Tenpenny investigated the hype and... [read more]
October 07, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger

Chiron: Vaccine License Suspended - Doubts Over Flu And Meningococcal Vaccines
According to a report of BBC News, the manufacturing license of vaccine maker Chiron has been suspended for three months, making it impossible for the manufacturer to sell its Fluvirin vaccine in the "flu season" of this coming winter. There may be a severe shortage in the wings for the US flu vaccine market. Last year, the nasal-application FluMist vaccine was launched with a big promise and a high price,... [read more]
October 06, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Petition - Show us the Vaccine Data
Sadly, here again is another example on how our governments literally work for the industry interest with our tax dollars no less. Please sign and pass this on to as many people as possible. Chris Gupta National Vaccine Information Center READ AND SIGN ON-LINE PETITION HERE The national on-line "Show Us the Vaccine Data Petition" was announced by the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) at an August 23, 2004, meeting... [read more]
September 09, 2004 - Chris Gupta

UPI Investigates: The vaccine conflict
My comments are inerted in bold italics in body. See also: Pharmaceutical Quality Control Myth Chris By Mark Benjamin Investigations Editor Published 7/20/2003 8:45 AM WASHINGTON, July 20 (UPI) -- The screaming started four hours after 8-month-old Chaise Irons received a vaccination against rotavirus, recommended in June 1998 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for every infant to prevent serious diarrhea. Within a day he was vomiting and... [read more]
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Flu Experts: Vaccine Effectiveness 'not demonstrated'
After telling us to get our flu shots this past season, flu experts are now admitting that they could not - and still can not - predict what strain of the virus will be predominant in any coming season. So composing the vaccine is somewhat like trying to hit the winning lottery ticket. "We were unable to demonstrate vaccine effectiveness against influenza-like illness," said the CDC's Dr. Carolyn Bridges, who... [read more]
February 19, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger




Readers' Comments


ive heard whisperings of vaccinations becoming mandatory in the not too distant future.
In your opinion, could it happen. If so then we need an awareness campaign to start now. Otherwise it will be similair to Codex (no time to raise public awareness)

Posted by: liam on January 29, 2005 08:31 PM



of course mandatory vaccinations are the dream of any pharmaceutical manufacturer. It's good business, and it's guaranteed by the State, both paying for the shots and shielding manufacturers from any responsibility. Certainly there is a possibility of this happening in the US.

Campaigns are going on, I believe the following is a good place to start your search of who is already doing something and what's happening out there.

Posted by: Sepp on January 29, 2005 10:28 PM


Here is a message received by e-mail from Adi in Sweden:

CDC's own web site hosts the truth behind its influenza lies!
(Updated) by John Cullison
The lie that the CDC offers -- 36,000 deaths per year -- is the most blatant example of the CDC operating on behalf of vaccine manufacturers and not the interests of the people. Remember that the next time you hear something from the CDC. Clearly, that 36,000 number does not apply to the United States! The true figure is less than 1/10th that -- in 2001, it was less than 1/100th the figure the CDC reports!

Guess what else you can find at the CDC web site! You can access the raw data and various National Vital Statistics Reports for the United States. The most interesting National Vital Statistics Report available so far is the preliminary report from 2002, which shows the number of deaths for 2002 (estimated) and 2001 (final). Let me cut to the chase. If you open this document and go to page 16, you will see that the number of influenza deaths for 2002 is estimated at 753, and the final total for 2001 is 257. This means that the number of deaths from the flu -- which should have been about 72,000 for the two years combined -- was only 1010.
originally posted on Cure Zone

Posted by: Sepp on March 18, 2005 04:08 PM


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