Monday, January 11, 2010

Seasonal Flu Vaccine or Else! Workers Fired/W Va Gazette

Let's draw a stupid line in the sand. Let's fire employees who refuse a seasonal flu vaccine made up of antigens for 3 strains of flu that do not happen to be circulating in the US right now, and may never circulate. Check out the CDC's graph detailing the flu strains found in the US every week, below. The seasonal flu vaccine contains antigens for the red, blue and a green strain. No one seems to be testing positive for any of them.

INFLUENZA Virus Isolated

Why impose vaccinations? Because it is "better for patients and everyone else."

Everyone else surely includes the vaccine manufacturers, who (in citations from previous posts) are including efforts to push mandatory vaccinations in their business plans. Merck did this with its Gardasil marketing. In 2007 Texas Governor Rick Perry issued an Executive Order mandating Gardasil vaccinations for Texas' young girls. His decree was later overturned by the legislature, when it was revealed his former chief of staff was a Merck lobbyist and Merck had funded his campaign and that of other Texas legislators.

Presumably one reason to hire ex-CDC director Gerberding as president of Merck Vaccines is to marshall CDC's help expanding vaccine mandates. According to Reuters:
She [Gerberding] may be charged with reigniting flagging sales of Merck's Gardasil vaccine to prevent cervical cancer by protecting against human papillomavirus or HPV. After an encouraging launch Gardasil sales have been falling and were down 22 percent in the third quarter at $311 million.
One result of vaccine mandates will be more disabled employees. The January 10 Express (U.K.) discussed the plight of
up to 200 [disabled] frontline health workers, social workers, prison officers and binmen, who have to be vaccinated against hepatitis B as a condition of their employment.

This is to protect them from contracting potentially fatal conditions from infected blood through needle injuries or physical assaults. Although they are not legally forced to have the vaccinations, without them they are not allowed to work. [Is that an oxymoron, or what?--Nass]

Experts believe the injections caused the health problems, which include chronic fatigue, muscle pain, weakness and cognitive problems, because illnesses developed soon after vaccination.
It's never been made clear whether more people are saved from chronic illness from hepatitis B through vaccination, or whether more people are made chronically ill by the vaccinations in a country like the US, where the disease is not rampant. [Yes, I know this is a bad disease--my grandfather died from a rare case of fulminant Hep B, and I have had my shots--but I have also treated people whose health and vitality disappeared after vaccination. We need to be able to weigh risk and benefit.]

However, if you pretend almost nobody gets sick from vaccines, it appears entirely reasonable to force an increasing number of vaccinations on the public, using mandates based on school enrollment, place of employment, type of employment, place of residence... or some other arbitrary category identified as susceptible to a mandate.

It seems reasonable to force kids to be vaccinated, then to force healthcare workers, social workers, garbagemen, etc. But the ultimate goal of some public health leaders is required vaccinations for everyone, regardless of individual need and individual risk.

And because no institution performs active surveillance in a large enough population for long enough after vaccinations are given, we may never know how the net benefit and net harm of each vaccine compare.

What we do know, however, is that there appears to be a hereditary component in the risk of vaccine injuries, and some families are more prone to this problem than others. (See story on mitochondrial disorders and vaccine injury in Scientific American.) So potential harms from vaccine mandates are not shared proportionately.

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