There will be around 36,000 deaths caused by the flu this year. More, many thousands more, if the flu hits especially hard. The terrorist attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon killed around 3,000 people. That doesn’t begin to compare to the deaths expected from the flu, which can be prevented by one safe flu shot. So why are we facing a second year of extreme shortages of the flu vaccine? Because the government doesn’t give a damn, that’s why. The pharmaceutical industry doesn’t want to bother with making an inexpensive vaccine when it can rip us off by selling overpriced drugs. This news about the flu shot shortage comes right after the news about Vioxx, prescribed for millions even though it has caused at least 26,000 deaths from strokes or heart attacks. And it was Merck, the manufacturer, that pulled it off the market, not the FDA, the agency supposed to protect us. I was prescribed Vioxx not long ago, but it was so expensive I decided not to buy it and took Advil instead, thank God. Advil worked just fine. Plus we then heard the news about Remicaid, which seems to cause lymphomas. Very expensive, dubious and dangerous drugs = Good for Business. Cheap, effective vaccines = bad for business. Gotta have that free, unregulated market! Ideology triumphs again; the ideology of greed.
The federal government has stockpiled enough smallpox vaccine to vaccinate the entire country, and there isn’t the slightest chance of an outbreak of smallpox. Remember that fiasco intended to convince us that we were being “protected” against the chance of a bioterrorism attack? The anthrax vaccine is forced on American military, in spite of the fact that the vaccine is known to be especially dangerous, although most are in regions where they don’t have the slightest chance of being exposed to anthrax. I have a friend who suffered permanent neurological damage from the anthrax vaccine. Anthrax can be cured using a couple of doses of antibiotics. We get vaccines when there’s a political statement to be made. Otherwise, we’re told to wash our hands a lot.