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Hear the One about the Bird and the Swine?

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Balladeer
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0 posted 11-02-2009 03:39 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


Obama Administration Escapes Blame for H1N1 Flu Vaccine Shortage and Delay

Hard to imagine that if George W. Bush were still in office journalists would hesitate a moment to invoke his name in identifying a culprit for the current shortage and delay in delivery, well beyond the schedule promised by HHS's Centers for Disease Control, of the vaccine for the H1N1 “swine flu” virus. Remember Katrina? Coverage Monday night matches what I've seen over the past several days with no mention of Obama or his administration, beyond reporting his issuance of a “national emergency” decree, as journalists instead cited “federal officials” and “the government.”

On the CBS Evening News, fill-in anchor Harry Smith reported: “Now to the H1N1 flu. Federal health officials admitted today their projected timetable for producing the vaccine was way off. They originally said there would be about 40 million doses by the end of the month. But as of today, there's less than half that number.” Subsituting on the NBC Nightly News, Ann Curry blandly announced: “President Obama declared the swine flu pandemic a national emergency over the weekend, but still the amount of vaccine to protect against it is running way behind what the government had promised.”

Over on ABC, Charles Gibson, the only regular anchor working Monday night, avoided placing any blame:

    Our “Closer Look” tonight involves the confusion surrounding the swine flu vaccine. The government originally predicted 40 million doses of vaccine would be available by the end of October, now says there will only about 28 million. And people who want the vaccine are finding tremendous difficulty getting any information about when and where it will be available...

Reporter John McKenzie named a government agency and not the Obama administration: “Even members of Congress, hearing from so many frustrated Americans today called on the Centers for Disease Control, to do a better job communicating where and when people can find this elusive vaccine.”

All accurate, but in the Bush years the media loved to hold Bush accountable for every federal agency decision. (Back in October of 2004, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry beat the media to it in blaming Bush for a shortage in the midst of fears over the “bird flu.”)

—Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-baker/2009/10/26/obama-administration-escapes-blame-h1ni-flu-vaccine-shortage-delay

Ah, yes....the Bush bird flu era and the spirited diesussions here blaming Bush for shortages of vaccine. Why aren't you same people after Obama for this fiasco?  No answer needed.....

This is just another reason validating the need for Fox News......
Grinch
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1 posted 11-02-2009 04:18 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
the spirited diesussions here blaming Bush for shortages of vaccine



I don't remember those spirited discussions Mike. I must have missed them somehow, either that or my memory is getting worse than I thought - have you got a link so I can check them out before commenting?

.
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2 posted 11-02-2009 07:11 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

No, I don't, grinch. They are scattered in the 2004 Alley corners and I don't have the stamina to go hunting them down right now. I'll poke around on occasion to see what I can find. I do remember them well, though..

They, of course, have little to do with how Obama has handled the current situation or how the press has (not) held him accountable.
Local Rebel
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3 posted 11-02-2009 09:05 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

Kerry criticized Bush's response to the vaccine shortage at a rally in Tampa earlier this week.

Standing in Lines

``With senior citizens standing in lines, mothers frantic how to protect their children, this president gave the public his solution: `Don't get a flu shot,''' Kerry said.

The Bush campaign countered that Kerry's opposition to liability reform in the U.S. Senate helped drive vaccine makers out of business, according to an Oct. 18 press release.

Bush, during a trip to St. Petersburg, Florida, yesterday, said the government is ``doing everything possible'' to speed flu vaccines. ``We have millions of vaccine doses on hand for the most vulnerable Americans and millions more will be shipped in the coming weeks.''

The Kerry campaign and supporters such as Democratic Representative Henry Waxman of California cite reports by the nonprofit Institute of Medicine and the U.S. Government Accountability Office as evidence the Bush administration has been on notice since 2001 that the nation was vulnerable to supply disruption because only Chiron, based in Emeryville, California, and Sanofi-Aventis make flu shots.

Government Reports

In an August 2003 report, the Institute of Medicine warned that ``recent shortages of vaccines have highlighted the fragility of vaccine supply'' for the full range of immunization for diseases such as flu, tetanus and hepatitis and childhood diseases such as diphtheria, measles, mumps and rubella.

The ability of the U.S. government, which purchases half of all vaccines administered in the country, to command low prices means ``companies face declining financial incentives to develop and produce vaccines.'' The report noted the number of vaccine manufacturers had declined from 25 companies three decades ago to five, including the two that make flu shots.

In May 2001, the GAO warned that manufacturing difficulties that delayed vaccine shipments up to eight weeks during the 2000- 2001 flu season ``illustrate the fragility of the system to produce a new flu vaccine each year on a timely basis.'' The government also lacked a system ``to ensure that high-risk people have priority when the supply of vaccine is short.''

`Unresolved'

Janet Heinrich, the GAO's director for health-care and public health issues, repeated that warning Sept. 28 in testimony delivered to Congress. She also said that the Health and Human Services Department's plan for dealing with a possible flu outbreak ``leaves many important decisions about the purchase, distribution and administration of vaccines unresolved.''

The government's plan doesn't set up a ``definitive federal role'' for purchasing and distributing flu vaccine, she said.

Bill Pierce, a spokesman for Thompson, defended the Bush administration's handling of the flu-vaccine issue. ``What we don't need people to do is scare seniors,'' he said. ``Senator Kerry has been doing that.''

Under Bush's presidency, spending on flu-related programs increased from $39 million to $215 million, Pierce said.

``We have been doing a great deal to broaden, diversify and expand'' the supply of flu vaccines, Pierce said. In the corporate tax bill Congress enacted Oct. 11, the government will indemnify flu-vaccine makers against claims of injury from shots, he said.

People who have claims can file them with the Vaccine Compensation Program that Congress set up two decades ago to compensate injury from childhood vaccines.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=a.mvs7ASJj8Q&refer=us



So, by 2004, after being warned that our supply chain wasn't very reliable since 2001 -- we still had an unreliable supply chain.

The Republican response -- TORT REFORM!  Which has worked so well that now -- 5 years later -- we still have an unreliable supply chain.

This merely illustrates the inefficacy of the market when it comes to issues like this.

And it seems Mike -- you were the one then who brought it up, as now http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum6/HTML/001008-2.html

Glad you're well enough to type!
Balladeer
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4 posted 11-02-2009 10:08 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Aha....thank you, LR. Amazing how many times Bush's name came up with respect to the flu shot shortage and yet Obama's name hasn't come up once. Makes one feel warm and cozy toward out network news, doesn't it?

"Flu shot shortage? Blame Bush. True, Democrats will join in the finger-pointing and Republicans will join in the denial but I think the undecideds will say "Enough already!". I doubt seriously that anyone will be convinced that the flu shot shortage is Bush's fault and I think these kindergartenish tactics are turning people off which, in my opinion, is why Bush has picked up a couple of percentage points in the past couple of days. This is why I say keep it up, fellas. Your whining and obvious mud-slinging at any opportunity is turning people toward Bush....."

Appears I was fairly prophetic..you guys should have listened!

Of course I would bring it up...no lefty would, that's for sure.

Typing through the pain, LR...thanks
Balladeer
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5 posted 11-02-2009 10:20 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

In July, Obama administration officials said companies could make 80 million to 120 million doses by mid-October. They outlined an aggressive response to the pandemic, spending more than $2 billion to buy 250 million doses of vaccine and promising enough to inoculate every American.

But only about 16.5 million doses have become available so far, putting the administration in an uncomfortable political position regarding what President Obama declared last week to be a national emergency.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/26/AR2009102603487.html

How could they claim to make those 120 million doses with such an unreliable supply chain? SImple...they just make claims and later make excuses when the claims don't come to pass.
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6 posted 11-03-2009 01:42 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Mike,

           First, welcome back.  First business, best business.

     A few weeks ago, swine flu was a hoax according to Rush, or at least a vastly over-hyped scare tactic on the part of the Democrats.  At the time I suggested that, like Kerry's suggestion in 2004, Obama might as well be blamed for there not being enough of the stuff to go around.

     Actually, the flue is the Flue, and people are doing what they can about it.  I wish there was more of the vaccine around.  But if Grinch is correct, I believe we're probably doing better with the flu vaccine than most of the rest of the world.  I think this is fortunate, and that a reasonable effort has gone into this without people trying to make too much money off the fears of others at this point.  That's certainly open to debate.

     As I recall, a fair amount of the criticism that ended up heading towards President Bush  had to do with the awarding of contracts around the flue vaccine production.  You might correct me on this, but wasn't somebody high in the Bush administration very closely connected with the company that made a bean pot of money on the contract for the flue vaccine production as a stockholder or something?  That would have been — again, if memory serves — Secretary of Defense Rummsfeld.  So what should have been a straightforward medical and policy decision got freighted down with other business.

     If you have any specific criticism of President Obama, and I find that he's been falling down on the job, somehow, I'll probably be upset as well.  But I seem to recall it wasn't too long ago that you were upset with the man around this flu issue for different and possibly even contradictory reasons.  Do I remember incorrectly, here as well?  It's certainly possible, of course; and as a member of the opposition, you do have almost an obligation to point out problems with the party in power.

     Nice to see you back in action again.

My best, Bob Kaven
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7 posted 11-03-2009 09:29 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, I'm not sure what you refer to, with the past couple of weeks being a blur to me but I don't recall saying anything that would be contradictory to this posting. If you do, please let me know.

If you have any specific criticism of President Obama, and I find that he's been falling down on the job, somehow, I'll probably be upset as well.

That's the interesting part, Bob. The fact that mistakes have been made has been acknowledged by CBS, ABC and others, as spelled out in this post. What's interesting is that Obama's name never comes up. They refer to government agencies, the administration, federal health officials....but no Obama. Whereas anything occuring during the Bush years became an automatic "Bush" issue, Obama has teflon skin and nothing sticks to him at all. Mentioning him personally appears to be a big no-no. He IS the man in charge, I'm told.

These days I'm basically a captive of my recliner, with the tv on, fading in and out of existence thanks to the products of those evil pharmaceutical companies. Yesterday, during one of my murky wakeups, there was a doctor on tv discussing the swine flu and he stated something like there was no need to have a shortage at all, that the companies had been working to supply the standard "flu shot of the year", to combat the particular strain of flu expected to be prevalent for this particular year. According to this doctor, it would have been a simple thing to switch this production over to swine flu shots instead but the administration did not give that order. So we now have an abundant supply of standard flu shots to combat a strain that may not even appear this year, and a shortage of swine flu shots, which has been called a national epidemic. As I said, I was not that coherent during this watching and I could have some facts wrong but that's what I recall. I'll try to get more info on it.

Good to be back, Bob.
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quote:
So we now have an abundant supply of standard flu shots to combat a strain that may not even appear this year, and a shortage of swine flu shots


It sounds like the doctor doesn't know what he's talking about Mike, or you misheard him.

You have a shortage of swine flu vaccine and a shortage of seasonal flu vaccine. The first shortage, swine flu vaccine, isn't down to Obama, it's due to the manufacturing process being a lot harder than the manufacturers initially believed.

The second shortage has a lot more to do with Obama's actions. If you want to pin his hide to the wall for that particular debacle I'd be happy to take a couple of swings of the hammer or hand you the nails.

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9 posted 11-03-2009 02:58 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thanks, grinch. It's more than possible I misheard him these days.
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10 posted 11-03-2009 03:13 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

In July, Obama administration officials said companies could make 80 million to 120 million doses by mid-October. They outlined an aggressive response to the pandemic, spending more than $2 billion to buy 250 million doses of vaccine and promising enough to inoculate every American.

But only about 16.5 million doses have become available so far, putting the administration in an uncomfortable political position regarding what President Obama declared last week to be a national emergency.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in television interviews Monday that officials had been "relying on the manufacturers to give us their numbers, and as soon as we got numbers we put them out to the public. It does appear now that those numbers were overly rosy."

Her deputy, Nicole Lurie, said in a separate interview with The Washington Post that when the companies "hit some stumbling blocks, they sometimes thought the fix was around the corner and didn't always feel the need to tell us, and then sometimes it turned out the fix wasn't around the corner."

Representatives of the companies said they kept the government informed along the way about challenges, including a slower-than-expected growth of the vaccine inside chicken eggs.

"We have a formal call with them once a week and are in touch with them probably on a daily basis," said Donna Cary, the top spokesperson for Sanofi Pasteur of Lyon, France. "We're pretty much right on track."

The administration's response has generally received high marks from public health experts and medical observers. Harvey V. Fineberg, president of the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine, said: "I think they've been fairly candid. They've always qualified their statements and made no excessive promises."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/26/AR2009102603487.html

The manufacturing process being harder - yes, but feeding out the wrong numbers to the public when knowing better appears to fall on Sebilius's head. Along with getting the high marks from the NAS Institute of Medicine, there would be no reason for the manufacturers to misrepresent their numbers or their predictions. It appears that Sebilius made promises to the public that  the manufacturer's couldn't keep and, when they couldn't meet them, she blamed it on their faulty numbers. This administration has no qualms about trashing people, if it gives them an out.

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11 posted 11-03-2009 03:46 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Trust me Mike, you're barking up the wrong tree.

The vaccine companies have been stringing everyone along, each time they hit a production problem they insisted that it was only a minor setback and that they were still "on course" to deliver as promised. They were doing what every business does - they were protecting their order and placating their customers in the hope that they didn't take their business elsewhere. They needn't have bothered. All the vaccine manufacturers are in the same boat with demand massively outstripping the possible supply.

If you want to blame Obama and his administration for something you'd do better to ask why they've put so many people's lives at risk by creating a shortage of seasonal flu vaccine.

.
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12 posted 11-03-2009 06:42 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The vaccine companies have been stringing everyone along, each time they hit a production problem they insisted that it was only a minor setback and that they were still "on course" to deliver as promised. They were doing what every business does - they were protecting their order and placating their customers in the hope that they didn't take their business elsewhere. They needn't have bothered. All the vaccine manufacturers are in the same boat with demand massively outstripping the possible supply.

I'm assuming that's your opinion, grinch, since I doubt there are facts to back up their "stringing along" tactic. As far as their "delivering as promised", the question would be - what was promised? Was it the 80-120 million doses Sebilius trumpeted or was it another figure that she gave no publicity to, in order to placate the public? I have a hard time going along with the "stringing along" theory. I'm sure the company knew how long it would take them, or any company, to produce those figures. To misrepresent it, knowing it was unrealistic, makes little sense.

"We have a formal call with them once a week and are in touch with them probably on a daily basis," said Donna Cary, the top spokesperson for Sanofi Pasteur of Lyon, France.

I would put my money on that being a more realistic statement than Sebilius claiming she was getting bad information from them.
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13 posted 11-03-2009 07:36 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Let's do some disentangling.

      The standard way things are done and pretty much have been done as long as we've been working on getting flu vaccines prepared back in the fifties is that we try to do advanced research in China.  Flu is apparently a disease that simply loves birds and gets its start in them every year.  China is the place where there seems to be the world's largest concentration of ducks.  Chinese and ducks go together like a horse and carriage — or love and marriage, as the song used to claim.

     There are loads of varieties of flu percolating in China and in southeast asia all the time because the disease mutates very quickly in lots of different varieties.  Every year, the scientists involved have to make a choice.  Sometimes they're better at the choice than other times.  The choice is to figure out which are the top three strains of flu in asia that seem to be the most likely to manage to get to the rest of the world and to be most dangerous and contagious.  The Ms. Universe of Flu, the Ms. Congeniality and the second runner up, as it were.  There are often many strains to choose from.  Some do better in the swimsuit competitions, some do better in the talent competition, and nobody says "world peace."

     As a side note, I always like it when people say, "world peace."  

     The top three contenders go into the Flu Shot of The Year, and the vaccine companies crank out as many doses as they think they can sell, and everybody walks away with their fingers crossed that this year we won't have a 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic.  We've done pretty well so far, and this doesn't look like the year the Spanish flu's about to come back, either, though nobody is saying that we ought to throw a party for the swine flu.  The swine flu is one that either showed up after everybody cast their ballots for the top three, or one that made some changes in its structure since the original ballots were cast.  Now it looks  like it would be helpful to have a vaccine that covers this particular flu as well.

     Our ability to do fortune telling, however, has never been in question.  We do our best on the basis of what we know about the illness and the way it behaves.  Sometimes that's enough, and sometimes it isn't.  This time it wasn't.  Most of the vaccine manufacturing plants, as I understand it, are not on US soil, and the US drug companies aren't particularly interested in taking part in that market.  There are advantages and disadvantages to this.

     I'll do a bit of looking.
Local Rebel
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14 posted 11-04-2009 12:03 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

If you want to blame Obama and his administration for something you'd do better to ask why they've put so many people's lives at risk by creating a shortage of seasonal flu vaccine.



Which is the strategic decision that was made based on the seriousness of this particular strain of flu Grinch:

quote:

"One of the perceptions we've been trying to dispel is that this is a mild disease," she said in a telephone interview.

"This can be very severe. In this paper, 30 percent of patients required intensive care."

Overall, 11 percent of people who were hospitalized died, but among people 50 and older, 18 to 20 percent died.

The most common causes of death were viral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

As with other studies, obesity appeared to play a significant role in the severity of disease.

In the 268 cases of adults over 20 whose weight was known, 58 percent were obese, with a body mass index of over 30, and of these, 67 percent were morbidly obese, with a BMI of over 40.

BMI is equal to weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. A person 5 feet 5 inches tall becomes obese at 180 pounds (82 kg).

"There definitely is something that is standing out as far as the obesity issue," Louie said.

"We certainly don't see the same thing with seasonal flu."

Louie said in California, the flu has caused shortages of antiviral drugs and of N95 respirator masks, but so far, based on her contact with doctors in the state, swine flu has not overwhelmed hospitals.

A report by Trust for America's Health suggested a mild pandemic could send as many as 168,025 people in California to the hospital. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,571566,00.html



You wanna argue with Fox News?

quote:

This is just another reason validating the need for Fox News......



Wha?  um.... I don't get it.

Regardless -- on John Kerry -- I don't disagree with his criticism of GW for the seasonal flu vaccine shortage in 2004 -- the government was warned of the inadequacy and had plenty of time to address it.

Five years later it is still ridiculous to be dependent on a vaccine manufacturing system that was tooled in the 1950's.  We should have responded as resoundingly as if airplanes were slamming into buildings.

I only give Obama a pass because I don't think from the time he took office on 1/20/09 until 4/09 when the pandemic was identified that there was time to address the way we deliver flu vaccinations.

quote:

In 1931, viral growth in embryonated hens' eggs was discovered, and in the 1940s, the US military developed the first approved inactivated vaccines for influenza, which were used in the Second World War (Baker 2002, Hilleman 2000). Greater advances were made in vaccinology and immunology, and vaccines became safer and mass-produced. Today, thanks to the advances of molecular technology, we are on the verge of making influenza vaccines through the genetic manipulation of influenza genes (Couch 1997, Hilleman 2002).[
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flu_vaccine




Imagine that -- the 'market' had nothing to do with the original development of flu vaccines.  The military did it -- because they were doing their job -- protecting us -- not in it for profit.

quote:

Flu vaccine is usually grown in fertilized chicken eggs.

As of November 2007, both the conventional injection and the nasal spray are manufactured using chicken eggs. The European Union has also approved Optaflu, a vaccine produced by Novartis using vats of animal cells. This technique is expected to be more scalable and avoid problems with eggs, such as allergic reactions and incompatibility with strains that affect avians like chickens. A DNA-based vaccination, which is hoped to be even faster to manufacture, is currently in clinical trials, but has not yet been proven safe and effective. Research continues into the idea of a "universal" influenza vaccine (but no vaccine candidates have been announced) which would not need to be tailored to work on particular strains, but would be effective against a broad variety of influenza viruses.[78]

In a 2007 report, the current global capacity of approximately 826 million seasonal influenza vaccine doses (inactivated and live) was double the current production of 413 million doses. In an aggressive scenario of producing pandemic influenza vaccines by 2013, only 2.8 billion courses could be produced in a six-month time frame. If all high- and upper-middle-income countries sought vaccines for their entire populations in a pandemic, nearly 2 billion courses would be required. If China pursued this goal as well, more than 3 billion courses would be required to serve these populations.[79] Vaccine research and development is ongoing to identify novel vaccine approaches that could produce much greater quantities of vaccine at a price that is affordable to the global population.

An effective method of vaccine generation that bypasses the need for eggs is the construction of "influenza virus-like particle (VLP)". VLP is a non-egg, non-mammalian cell culture-based vaccine, purified from the supernatants of Spodoptera frugiperda Sf9 insect cells following infection of baculovirus vectors encoding an expression cassette comprised of only three influenza virus structural proteins, hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA), and matrix (M1)[80] VLPs elicit antibodies that recognize a broader panel of antigenically distinct viral isolates compared to other vaccines in the hemagglutination-inhibition (HAI) assay. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flu_vaccine



Now, where might we be at this moment if Bush had declared 'moon-shot' status for development of pandemic vaccines when he was warned of the situation?

I do disagree with the WAY that John Kerry framed the criticism though because he didn't bother to tell us WHY it was Bush's problem -- because -- that would have pointed a finger at Bill.  

Bush clearly inherited the problem.  He clearly squandered his opportunity to address it.
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15 posted 11-04-2009 04:38 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
I have a hard time going along with the "stringing along" theory. I'm sure the company knew how long it would take them, or any company, to produce those figures. To misrepresent it, knowing it was unrealistic, makes little sense.


So when can we expect delivery? Here's the information the manufacturers are handing out Mike.

Claire Brough, a Glaxo spokeswoman, said in an e-mail that her company “can’t confirm when we will begin shipping vaccine in the U.S. We are continuing to work with HHS to determine how we can best meet their needs and final shipping dates will not be known until those discussions, and the regulatory approval process, have been completed.”
Sanofi Response
Sanofi Chief Executive Officer Chris Viehbacher said his company is “the only manufacturer that will fulfill the U.S. commitments exactly. As of Monday, we’ve provided 16 million doses and committed to giving 75 million doses, as promised.”
Any slowdown was because of “packaging and filling,” Viehbacher said today in a telephone interview. Sanofi is “now trying to package and fill both seasonal flu and H1N1” orders, he said.
CSL was “on schedule” to delivery its 36 million doses, Sheila Burke, a spokeswoman, said.
Eric Althoff, a spokesman for Novartis, said his company was delayed because the seed virus used to make the product yielded one-fifth of the vaccine that was expected.
Seed Virus
“We did switch to a new seed virus a couple of weeks ago, and the first signs are that it will have higher yields,” Althoff said. “We should have more volume toward the end of the year.”
“We expect to have the bulk of the vaccine production completed before the end of the year, the raw form of the vaccine,” he said. “How much packaged material will be delivered before the end of the year is harder to predict. It might flow into January.”
Novartis shifted 300 people from other businesses to vaccine production, an area that normally has about 2,500 workers, Althoff said.


Care to take a guess how many doses will be delivered this month? I won't blame you if you get it wrong - honest.
http://www.bloomberg.co.uk/apps/news?pid=20601124&sid=aTxFy6I2nltA

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quote:
Which is the strategic decision that was made based on the seriousness of this particular strain of flu Grinch


I understand that LR - I just believe it was the wrong decision based on what we knew at the time. The plan had more to do with deniability and political damage control than maximising public health. There were three options, they chose the one with zero political risk but a high public health risk - they put their reputations above your well-being - which is never a good thing.

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