Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has signed a document to provide legal immunity for the manufacturers of the new swine flu vaccine, the Associated Press reports.
As you may remember, the National Institutes of Health has begun recruiting volunteers, some as young as 6 months, to test the new vaccines.
The first time the government had a major round of swine flu vaccines, many complained of adverse side effects and filed claims against the companies. But this time, the government has nipped it in the bud. We’re protecting the companies before we even know what those side effects might be.
That’s because vaccines aren’t as profitable for manufacturers as other drugs, so the makers took a stance that worried government officials, thus leading to the legal immunity. The attitude of the companies was,
Do we really need this?
I don’t know about you, but I’m asking the same thing.
The U.S. already protects drug manufacturers from litigation related to vaccines on the Recommended Immunization Schedule. Instead, there is a federal court that determines when to shell out, much to the consternation of many parents.
The CDC says that there have been 40,000 confirmed or probable cases, but estimates that there could already be 1 million Americans affected by the swine flu, many with mild cases. So far, 263 American deaths have been caused by the swine flu.
But health officials worry that this flu could get worse. The CDC estimates that 40% of Americans could be affected, and it’s possible that this strain could strengthen.
So far, about 6-8% of Americans have been affected by swine flu. But don’t kid ourselves, says the CDC’s Dr. Anne Schuchat,
Our planning assumptions for a severe pandemic were that up to 40 percent of the workforce might be affected and not able to work, either because they were ill or because they needed to stay home to care for an ill family member.
U.S. officials hope to have 160 million doses ready for the public this fall.
Image: ZaldyImg on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.
Sorry to post this twice but I thought it was important… http://www.i-sis.org.uk/fastTrackSwineFluVaccineUnderFire.php
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Old Poor Richard says
All natural protection against seasonal and H1N1 flu: making sure you’re not Vitamin D deficient. Many Americans are. In particular, many swine flu victims have been so far. One headline: “Despite Anti-Vitamin D Bias, CDC Stumbles on Deficiency Link to H1N1 Deaths” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/09/22/Low-Vitamin-D-Increases-Flu-Death-Risk-in-Kids.aspx
See the Vitamin D Council for recommendations and details:
Quick take-away: ideally you should monitor your 25(OH)D blood level (get it up to between 50 and 80 ng/mL) and make sure you get enough natural vitamin D from the sun (or a tanning bed) year round. Next best, take D3 supplements as necessary to get blood level between 50-80. After that: take a dose that might not be high enough but won’t be too low: 5000 IU/day for adult, 3000 IU/day for child.
Government recommendation: minimum: 400 IU/day all ages, maximum: 2000/day for ages 2-adult, 1000/day for ages 0-2.
True “maximum tolerable” is that which puts your blood serum level over 80. Without testing, a good guess is that 10,000 IU/day could put you over 80 ng/mL.