portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states

health

swine flu update

This is part of a script for today's KBOO program PressWatch, which would have run at 9 AM today--pre-empted by the Village Building Convergence special. Tune in to 90.7 FM or kboo.fm for the special.
The following is an excerpt of a CDC news release:

 http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2009/r090729b.htm

CDC Advisors Make Recommendations for Use of Vaccine Against Novel H1N1

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met [...yesterday] to make recommendations for use of vaccine against novel influenza A (H1N1).

The committee met to develop recommendations on who should receive vaccine against novel influenza A (H1N1) when it becomes available, and to determine which groups of the population should be prioritized if the vaccine is initially available in extremely limited quantities.

The committee recommended the vaccination efforts focus on five key populations. Vaccination efforts are designed to help reduce the impact and spread of novel H1N1. The key populations include those who are at higher risk of disease or complications, those who are likely to come in contact with novel H1N1, and those who could infect young infants. When vaccine is first available, the committee recommended that programs and providers try to vaccinate:

* pregnant women,

* people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age,

* health care and emergency services personnel,

* persons between the ages of 6 months through 24 years of age, and

* people from ages 25 through 64 years who are at higher risk for novel H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.

The groups listed above total approximately 159 million people in the United States.

The committee does not expect that there will be a shortage of novel H1N1 vaccine, but availability and demand can be unpredictable. There is some possibility that initially the vaccine will be available in limited quantities. In this setting, the committee recommended that the following groups receive the vaccine before others:

* pregnant women,

* people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age,

* health care and emergency services personnel with direct patient contact,

* children 6 months through 4 years of age, and

* children 5 through 18 years of age who have chronic medical conditions.

The committee recognized the need to assess supply and demand issues at the local level. The committee further recommended that once the demand for vaccine for these prioritized groups has been met at the local level, programs and providers should begin vaccinating everyone from ages 25 through 64 years. Current studies indicate the risk for infection among persons age 65 or older is less than the risk for younger age groups. Therefore, as vaccine supply and demand for vaccine among younger age groups is being met, programs and providers should offer vaccination to people over the age of 65.

The committee also stressed that people over the age of 65 receive the seasonal vaccine as soon as it is available. Even if novel H1N1 vaccine is initially only available in limited quantities, supply and availability will continue, so the committee stressed that programs and providers continue to vaccinate unimmunized patients and not keep vaccine in reserve for later administration of the second dose.

The novel H1N1 vaccine is not intended to replace the seasonal flu vaccine. It is intended to be used alongside seasonal flu vaccine to protect people. Seasonal flu and novel H1N1 vaccines may be administered on the same day.

####

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

...............................................


Notice that the CDC post begins by saying that it does not anticipate a shortage of vaccine--and then states "there is some possibility that initially the vaccine will be available in limited quantities." Or in other words, there might be a shortage. And then it turns out that this shortage is evidently anticipated to be severe enough that they are issuing triage guidelines before the stuff is even available.

But wait, who cares, right? If H1N1 is milder than seasonal flu, as we've all been hearing, why worry so much? Why issue guidelines, as I just read--and incredibly, I might add--that everyone is to be vaccinated? We don't currently try to vaccinate everyone against seasonal flu. On the contrary, it's quite the casual thing, recommended for the aged or infirm, available if you want it and never mind if you don't, even if it does kill thirty thousand people per year.

There is in fact something else going on here. The swine flu is, in fact, pretty much the 1918 Spanish Influenza. We know this because persons who survived the 1918 flu have antibodies to it and are immune. Yoshihiro Kawaok discovered this fact at the University of Wisconsin.

 link to www.foodconsumer.org

The influenza pathogen, in its various forms, has been referred to as a "mutant swarm" because one of its chief characteristic is its constant ability to mutate and change, to avoid immune system response. So it is highly unlikely that the current virus is anything but the Spanish Flu. The CDC knows this, and also knows that the Spanish Flu was present in the US in the summer preceding its disastrous Fall 1918 outbreak. They know that there is every possibility that a super-deadly outbreak may occur as soon as this Winter, killing millions. Remember that the 1918 Spanish Flu sometimes killed within 24 hours of first symptoms, destroying intestinal linings, ravaging the lungs so badly that secondary infection set in within one day. Twenty million died worldwide, and that was when the world population was much smaller. And this flu is already mutating so that Tamiflu does not affect it.

 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/gurley/detail?entry_id=44301

This pandemic, then, still retains the capacity to be a monster. It has another monster waiting to help it along: our capitalist health-denial system. We no longer have, in the United States, sufficient hospital beds nor respirators to deal with a severe influenza outbreak. I have written Congress about this and I urge you to do the same. Corporate health denial must die now, right now, and respirators, beds, and personnel must be brought into availability. Who has a greater right to live, a health denial corporation, or you and your loved ones? Ironically, a severe crisis would force the government to deal with health issues directly. Are you willing to die to bring about socialized medicine in the US?