Obama Declares Swine Flu a National Emergency

This will get the sheep lining up for their shots. Also, it gives the government the authority to do pretty much any damn thing they please, as far as implementing some type of marshall law. It’s just a case of how far they want to take it. It basically gives them a blank check in that regard.

From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, giving his health chief the power to let hospitals move emergency rooms offsite to speed treatment and protect noninfected patients.

The declaration, signed Friday night and announced Saturday, comes with the disease more prevalent than ever in the country and production delays undercutting the government’s initial, optimistic estimates that as many as 120 million doses of the vaccine could be available by mid-October.

Health authorities say more than 1,000 people in the United States, including almost 100 children, have died from the flu, known as H1N1, and 46 states have widespread flu activity. So far only 11 million doses have gone out to health departments, doctor’s offices and other providers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials. Continue reading

Pennsylvania Drafts 2009 Mandatory Vaccination Law

From Swineflu.baywords.com:

State governments continue promoting emergency powers legislation, even while insisting these unconstitutional powers will never be used. Here are a few excerpts from Pennsylvania House Bill 492, the “Emergency Health Powers Act” [PDF]:

Section 2523-D. Effect of declaration.
(b) Emergency powers of Governor.–During a state of public
health emergency, the Governor may:
(4) Mobilize all or any part of the Pennsylvania
National Guard
into service of the Commonwealth. An order
directing the Pennsylvania National Guard to report for
active duty shall state the purpose for which it is mobilized
and the objectives to be accomplished.

Section 2532-D. Access to and control of facilities and
property.
The public health authority may exercise, for such period as
the state of public health emergency exists, the following
powers concerning facilities, materials, roads or public areas:
(3) To control, restrict and regulate by rationing and
using quotas, prohibitions on shipments, price fixing,
allocation or other means, the use, sale, dispensing,
distribution or transportation of food, fuel, clothing and
other commodities, alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives
and combustibles, as may be reasonable and necessary for
emergency response.
(5) To control ingress and egress to and from any
stricken or threatened public area, the movement of persons
within the area and the occupancy of premises therein
, if
such action is reasonable and necessary for emergency
response.

Continue reading

Drugmakers, Doctors Rake in Billions Battling H1N1 Flu

From ABCNews:

Swine Flu Is Bad for Victims, But Good for Businesses That Cater to Expanding Market

By DALIA FAHMY

Oct. 14, 2009—

Americans are still debating whether to roll up their sleeves for a swine flu shot, but companies have already figured it out: vaccines are good for business.

Drug companies have sold $1.5 billion worth of swine flu shots, in addition to the $1 billion for seasonal flu they booked earlier this year. These inoculations are part of a much wider and rapidly growing $20 billion global vaccine market.

“The vaccine market is booming,” says Bruce Carlson, spokesperson at market research firm Kalorama, which publishes an annual survey of the vaccine industry. “It’s an enormous growth area for pharmaceuticals at a time when other areas are not doing so well,” he says, noting that the pipeline for more traditional blockbuster drugs such as Lipitor and Nexium has thinned.

As always with pandemic flus, taxpayers are footing the $1.5 billion check for the 250 million swine flu vaccines that the government has ordered so far and will be distributing free to doctors, pharmacies and schools. In addition, Congress has set aside more than $10 billion this year to research flu viruses, monitor H1N1’s progress and educate the public about prevention.

Drugmakers pocket most of the revenues from flu sales, with Sanofi-Pasteur, Glaxo Smith Kline and Novartis cornering most of the market.

But some say it’s not just drugmakers who stand to benefit. Doctors collect copayments for special office visits to inject shots, and there have been assertions that these doctors actually profit handsomely from these vaccinations.

It is a notion that Dr. Lori Heim, president of the American Academy of Family Practitioners, says is simply not true.

“According to most of the physicians I have talked to, the administration of these vaccines is done for the community’s benefit as opposed to anything that helps profit,” she says. Heim adds that even though doctors will not have to shell out for the H1N1 vaccine, they will bear the usual costs associated with storage and administering the shots.

“There is an administration fee, for the costs that you can’t get reimbursed through Medicare or Medicaid,” she says. “This is usually less than, or right at the break-even point.”

Still, pharmacies also charge co-payments or full price of about $25 to those without insurance and often make more money if patients end up shopping for other goods.

“Flu shots present a good opportunity to bring new customers into our stores,” says Cassie Richardson, spokesperson for SUPERVALU, one of the country’s largest supermarket chains. Drawing customers to the back of a store, where pharmacies are often located, offers retailers a chance to pitch products that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Even companies outside of the medical industry are benefiting: the UPS division that delivers vaccines in specially designed containers, for example, has seen a bump in business.

New Entrants in Flu Shot Business

The intensifying competition has irked some doctors.

“Retailers and other non-medical professionals have siphoned off the passive income that once helped to cover medical overhead,” says Dr. Caroline Abruzese, an internist in Atlanta. “The larger retail chains can invest up front in large volumes of vaccine at low prices, and market to customers already in their stores.”

The promise of profits has attracted new players into the business. Some of the world’s largest drugmakers, who in the past avoided the vaccine market because of its limited scope — its not easy to convince healthy adults to get a shot for measles — are now jumping into the fray.

Last month alone saw three large vaccine deals. Abbott Labs bought a Belgian drug business, along with its flu vaccine facilities, for $6.6 billion. Johnson & JohnsonMerck, which already makes vaccines for shingles and other diseases, struck a deal to distribute flu shots made by Australian CSL. invested $444 million in a Dutch biotech firm that makes and develops flu vaccines.

Smaller biotechs are also angling for a slice of the action, making vaccines one of the fastest-growing areas of research in the biotech industry.

Large and small drugmakers are drawn to the business largely because of scientific advances that promise to radically expand the range of health problems that vaccines can address. In addition to preventing childhood diseases such as measles and polio, vaccines can now also ward off cervical cancer, and researchers are working on vaccines for HIV and tuberculosis.

Scientists believe they can create therapeutic vaccines than treat diseases such as Alzheimers and diabetes after they have set in. (At least one company is betting on a vaccine that helps cigarette smokers quit.)

“These innovations broaden the market potential for vaccine makers and partly explained the renewed interest by drugmakers,” says Anthony Cox, a professor at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business who specializes in the marketing of medical products.

But Mark Grayson, a spokesperson for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, says that drugmakers are also compelled by the government to join efforts to ensure that there is enough vaccine to go around.

“Because of national security implications, the government felt that they needed to encourage and ask [vaccine manufacturers] to move much quicker,” he says. Grayson adds that vaccine manufacturers also face significant costs; aside from the expense of fitting a new vaccine into a tight production schedule, drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur were forced to acquire new vaccine production facilities in recent years to keep up with demand.

Alternatives to Vaccines Are Few

While this promise of new treatments for painful diseases brings hope to many, vaccines continue to attract critics. The National Vaccine Information Center, a non-profit advocacy group, is at the forefront of a movement demanding that vaccines be tested more thoroughly before hitting the market. Although there has been little evidence to support their claim, detractors — including the comedian Jim Carrey — believe that vaccines are at least partly to blame for the sharp rise in autism in recent decades.

The swine flu vaccine has also attracted its share of critics. Frank Lipman, a New York-based doctor who specializes in a mix of Western and alternative medicine, points out that the swine flu is rarely fatal and that it’s too early to tell if it’s safe because it hasn’t been widely tested.

Others argue that Americans have little choice. The cost of a widespread pandemic, similar to Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918, which killed 675,000 Americans (and 50 million worldwide), would be devastating. The Trust for America’s Health, a Washington-based non-profit organization, estimates that a severe pandemic could push down GDP by more than 5 percent and cost Americans $683 billion.

“We’re not seeing a pandemic that’s this severe,” says Jeff Levi, director of Trust for Americas Health. “We’ve dodged a lot of bullets.”

Flu vaccines revealed as the greatest quackery ever pushed in the history of medicine

From NaturalNews.com:

(NaturalNews) Prepare to have your world rocked. What you’re about to read here will leave you astonished, inspired and outraged all at the same time. You’re about to be treated to some little-known information demonstrating why seasonal flu vaccines are utterly worthless and why their continued promotion is based entirely on fabricated studies and medical mythology.

If the whole world knew what you’re about to read here, the vaccine industry would collapse overnight.

This information comes to you courtesy of a brilliant article published in The Atlantic (November 2009). The article, written by Shannon Brownlee and Jeanne Lenzer, isn’t just brilliant; in my opinion it stands as the best article on flu vaccines that has ever been published in the popular press. Entitled Does the vaccine matter?, it presents some of the most eye-opening information you’ve probably ever read about the failure of flu vaccines. You can read the full article here: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/2009…

Perhaps its impressive narrative shouldn’t be too surprising, though, since writer Shannon Brownlee is also the celebrated author of a phenomenal book on modern medicine entitled Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer (http://www.amazon.com/Overtreated-M…) (http://www.naturalpedia.com/book_Ov…).

While I’ve never done this before, I’m going to summarize this article point by point (along with some comments) so that you get the full force of what’s finally been put into print.

This information is so important that I encourage you to share the following summary I’ve put together. Email it to family, friends and coworkers. Or post it on your blog or website (with a link and proper credit to both NaturalNews and The Atlantic, please). Get this information out to the world. People need to know this, and so far the mainstream media has utterly failed to make this information known.

(The really good information begins after around a dozen bullet points, so be sure to keep reading…)

Continue reading

Nurses will sue New York over mandated vaccinations

From Raw Story:

The elderly, the young, and the frequently exposed are being advised to get vaccinated against H1N1 flu virus this year, due to predictions of a possible influenza epidemic. A new law in New York requires nurses and doctors to receive the vaccination by the end of November. A band of four nurses in Albany, however, is taking a stand against mandated vaccination.

“I have had more staff that have become ill after the flu vaccines this year than coworkers that have actually come down with the illness,” Lorna Patterson, a nurse at Albany Medical Center’s emergency room, told news network WTEN. Patterson is one of the nurses who is filing a lawsuit this week against the state. She and her coworkers hope that they can stop the state from enforcing the mandatory vaccinations.

Currently, New York is telling health care workers that if they aren’t vaccinated by October 27th , they face a week’s suspension without pay; any employee not vaccinated by the state deadline, November 30th, will be terminated.

“Receiving the vaccine doesn’t mean you’re not going to get the flu,” Patterson adds. She claims that she has only received an influenza vaccination once in 28 years of nursing and for the most part prefers ‘proper hygiene’ over a vaccine.

A coworker, Katheryn Dupuis, feels similarly wary about the H1N1 vaccine. “We’re going to lose our jobs if we do not get this vaccine,” Dupuis says. “There are hundreds of coworkers of ours that feel just as strongly against the vaccine.”

The resistance to mandated vaccination stems from the speedy discovery, research, and approval process that the H1N1 vaccine passed through after this past year’s swine flu scare. The nurses filing suit claimed that the vaccine was “rushed”. Many vaccines face a year of testing and research before they are available to the public, but the H1N1 vaccine was put into massive production more quickly than most. One of the only vaccines to be required for health care workers is also one of the least tested.

So far, the nurses count 466 signatures on their circulating petitions against the state mandate. A rally on Wednesday on the steps of the state capitol is expected to grab more signatures and the attentions of lawmakers. More information on the mandated vaccination law and the nurses’ protest can be found here.

Sebelius: Americans must get swine flu shot

From MSNBC:

WASHINGTON – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appealed anew Wednesday for widespread inoculation against a surging swine flu threat, calling the vaccine “safe and secure.”

Sebelius unconditionally vouched for the safety of the vaccine, saying it “has been made exactly the same way seasonal vaccine has been made, year in and year out.”

Appearing on morning news shows to step up the Obama administration’s campaign for vaccinations, Sebelius said that “the adverse effects are minimal. … We know it’s safe and secure. … This is definitely is a safe vaccine for people to get.”

Read entire article

Study prompts provinces to rethink flu plan (Canada)

From The Globe and Mail:

Patrick White

Winnipeg — From Monday’s Globe and Mail Last updated on Wednesday, Sep. 30, 2009 01:44PM EDT

A “perplexing” Canadian study linking H1N1 to seasonal flu shots is throwing national influenza plans into disarray and testing public faith in the government agencies responsible for protecting the nation’s health.

Distributed for peer review last week, the study confounded infectious-disease experts in suggesting that people vaccinated against seasonal flu are twice as likely to catch swine flu.

The paper is under peer review, and lead researchers Danuta Skowronski of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and Gaston De Serres of Laval University must stay mum until it’s published.

Met with intense early skepticism both in Canada and abroad, the paper has since convinced several provincial health agencies to announce hasty suspensions of seasonal flu vaccinations, long-held fixtures of public-health planning.

“It has confused things very badly,” said Dr. Ethan Rubinstein, head of adult infectious diseases at the University of Manitoba. “And it has certainly cost us credibility from the public because of conflicting recommendations. Until last week, there had always been much encouragement to get the seasonal flu vaccine.”

On Sunday Quebec joined Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Nova Scotia in suspending seasonal flu shots for anyone under 65 years of age. Quebec’s Health Ministry announced it would postpone vaccinations until January, clearing the autumn months for health professionals to focus on vaccinating against H1N1, which is expected to the more severe influenza strain this season.

“By the time the H1N1 wave is over, there will be ample time to vaccinate for seasonal flu,” Dr. Rubinstein said.

B.C. is expected to announce a similar suspension during a press conference Monday morning.

Other provinces, including Manitoba, are still pondering a response to the research.

New Brunswick is a lone hold-out, announcing last week it would forge ahead with seasonal flu shots for all residents in October, as originally planned.

So far, the study’s impact is confined to Canada. Researchers in the U.S., Britain and Australia have not reported the same phenomenon. Marie-Paule Kieny, the World Health Organization’s director of vaccine research, said last week the Canadian findings were an international anomaly and could constitute a “study bias.”

An international panel is currently scrutinizing the research data. “The review process has been expedited, so we’re hoping for a response within days,” said Roy Wadia, spokesman for the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Dr. Rubinstein, who has read the study, said it appears sound.

“There are a large number of authors, all of them excellent and credible researchers,” he said. “And the sample size is very large – 12 or 13 million people taken from the central reporting systems in three provinces. The research is solid.”

The vaccine suspensions do not apply for people over 65. Seniors are considered more susceptible to severe seasonal flu symptoms. At the same time, they carry antibodies from a 1957 pandemic that seem to neutralize the current version of H1N1.

Even if the statistical link is proven, the medical link between seasonal flu shots and H1N1 remains mysterious. One hypothesis suggests seasonal flu vaccine preoccupies the cells that would otherwise produce antibodies against H1N1.

But, according to Dr. Rubinstein, the research shows that people who received the seasonal shot during the 2007-08 flu season remained vulnerable to swine flu well into 2009 – an interval that should provide most immune systems ample restoration time.

“We don’t understand the mechanism,” Dr. Rubinstein said. “At the present time it is quite perplexing.”