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In another case where the cure is worse than the disease, concerns have arisen over a link between the new Swine Flu vaccine and a neurological disorder called Guillain-Barré. Actually, the link is a rehashing of the first time the Flu hit in 1976. Like today, there was a huge public panic, with many concerned that the new Flu could be like the 1918-19 pandemic that killed 20 million people worldwide.
When a massive vaccination campaign ensued, the vaccine’s safety was insufficiently weighted against its risks. As such, the Flu claimed one death and complications attributed to the vaccine killed 25. This dark spot in the annals of US public health has been immortalized as the Swine Flu ‘Debacle.’It must be said that the 1976 outbreak and this year’s are quite different in scope, with this iteration already claiming 477 deaths in the US and over 1,462 worldwide, according to the CDC and WHO respectively. Also, the yet-to-be-released new vaccine will be different than the 70’s version.
But with this new vaccine, there are reports that public health officials are taking the Microsoft approach to R & D, asking doctors to look out for Guillain-Barré after they’ve administered the vaccine. The European Medicines Agency's September release seems particularly shady. In the UK for example,according to the Daily Mail UK, a confidential letter was sent by the government's Health Protection Agency to 600 neurologists asking if they’d report any increases in the incidences of Guillain-Barré in the near future (after the vaccinations hit that is). While this does not automatically mean that it will induce the condition, it connotes an unnerving lack of confidence in the vaccine's safety by the authorities.
The more litigious US is testing the vaccine on several thousand volunteers to assess its safety before an expected October release.
With millions of vaccinations planned in the coming months—surely accompanied by all the hysteria the CDC and the pharma companies can muster—it might be best to take a minute to think about whether the vaccine might be protecting your body (or your child's) from one thing, while subjecting it to another. Likewise, it might serve public health officials look at some of the causes of the Flu—i.e. industrial agriculture, air travel, etc.—rather than being so rash to cure its effects.
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