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Flu Vaccines Go Back To The Future

This is an amazingly arrogant video in many senses. We're supposed to believe that former Senators Bob Graham and Jim Talent of this WMD Prevention

This is an amazingly arrogant video in many senses. We're supposed to believe that former Senators Bob Graham and Jim Talent of this WMD Prevention Commission, a government-funded group, put together this snazzy and misleading video about H1N1 vaccines? Or did a Big Pharma lobbying group do it for them? It's hard to say, based on the lack of information as to the actual creator. The basic question is, is there really anything wrong with creating flu vaccine with eggs?

Here's the thing - back in the day, pharmaceuticals making vaccines needed a living medium in which to grow cultures, something that was cheap because they needed to make a lot. Something like... eggs! The FDA not only approved this process for flu vaccines, but also vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, and rabies. And the thing is, once the FDA approves a particular process and materials for a drug, if you want to update the process and/or materials, you have to start all over with the FDA approval process. That's expensive, especially if you have to pay off the research and development costs accrued.

Today the problem is that no large pharmaceutical firms want to get involved in vaccine production because of the time and cost involved. Many of our vaccines come from overseas plants today. That's part of the reason why the production of H1N1 vaccine was delayed, but to be clear, this is more about an overworked and underappreciated FDA than the need for new production facilities.

So why do these guys want to tell us about H1N1 vaccines? Do they really care about public health vaccines? Or do they really want some attention so that you'll listen to them talk about bioterrorism and their lobby friends can get some business to produce more BW agent vaccines? I'm thinking the latter. And then there's this part of the G-T comedy hour.

The consequences of ignoring these warnings could be dire. For example, one recent study from the intelligence community projected that a one- to two-kilogram release of anthrax spores from a crop duster plane could kill more Americans than died in World War II. Clean-up and other economic costs could exceed $1.8 trillion.

Now in what universe does a small release of anthrax cause more deaths than all those Americans who died in WW2, when bio weapons experts like Bill Patrick have told us that 50 kilos of anthrax would be needed to take out Washington DC? I don't think the intel community endorses this scenario; rather, the G-T team got a powerpoint slide from a certain senior bioterrorism adviser to the former administration that effectively makes an anthrax attack worse than a nuclear weapon.

A source tells me that this study uses a point source generator inside of a city to cause 1.9 to 3.4 million exposed, with 450,000 people becoming ill and 380,000 dead. City-wide decontamination is needed and the projected economic cost is greater than $1.6 trillion. This is just a brilliant case of fiction, designed to get the attention of people who usually wouldn't stop to talk about bioterrorism. I doubt that any intel community expert would give this scenario the time of day - but Senators Graham and Talent don't know that. They just repeat what they've been told.

It's just sad.

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