Swine Flu Vaccines won't work!
On the back of the news that Ukraine is in the middle of a marshal law curfew following a serious and new strain of Swine flu (Which the UK news has never to my knowledge reported on in any depth), I got to thinking about the vaccines and their effectiveness. A quick search on the internet revealed a link to actual vaccination reports for the different regions of the world and by the different manufacturer, and it's very revealing. You can go and read the whole thing yourself, but I can't help but pull out the common elements for the three UK drugs approved, and which made me think twice about the worth of a vaccine for a moving target virus:
Drug: GlaxoSmithKline Pandemrix
Treats: Existing A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)v-like strain (X-179A) & A/Vietnam/1194/2004 (H5N1)
Approval: Authorised under Exceptional Circumstances, and not using the final product.
Trials: Safety studies not carried out, and minimal Clinical Studies performed.
Drug: Novartis Focetria
Treats: Existing A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)v-like strain (X-179A)
Approval: Authorised under Exceptional Circumstances.
Trials: Manufacturers will collect information on the safety of the vaccine while it is being used
Drug: GlaxoSmithKline Fluarix
Treats: Existing A/Brisbane/59/2007, IVR-148 (H1N1), A/Uruguay/716/2007, NYMC X-175C (H3N2), and B/Brisbane/60/2008.
Approval: Doesn't appear to be approved, and is not safe for children.
Trials: Study FLUARIX-US-001 for adverse events with 760 patients taking the drug, 2 deaths reported. No controlled trials demonstrating a decrease in influenza disease after vaccination with FLUARIX have been performed.
Of the things listed above, the following things bother me:
These Exceptional Circumstance approvals; what's that all about? I can't see the point in rushing through approval for something that is only effective for existing viruses that are not the intended target virus, that's not a vaccine by my definition! For the record, the Exceptional Circumstances means that it has not yet been possible to obtain full information about the pandemic vaccine. If, as the reports all state, the virus is mutating and will not be the one that the drug is meant for, and given that naive immunity is restored every time the virus mutates, what is the point of these drugs?
The studies carried out on these drugs are woeful, and in one case no studies have been done at all! so why would I take such a drug? I can't see that these drugs will work in any way, they are based on existing flu strains that we have already had, I for one have had H1N1 and I should have some immunity, so if as reported the Ukraine virus is a new strain, vaccination with these drugs can not work, and will only ever be detrimental through side-effects. Like a lot of the skeptical views out there, I believe this is just a money making exercise on the part of the Drug companies.
The last and most disturbing (and also the most far fetched) view is something I heard on the radio; What if the drugs aren't meant to work? What if as this broadcast suggested the drug exists to kill any immunity that people already have? There is a paranoid and dark side to this vaccination, and given the lack of testing on the drugs, anything is possible!