A deadly strain of distrust has infected leaders in Poland this flu season. The country’s prime minister and the health minister have said that the government will not import swine flu vaccine. “If I had a 100 percent certainty that the vaccine was a panacea for the swine flu, I would certainly buy it," said health minister Ewa Kopacz, in an interview, according to this report. She added that she felt drug companies were “covering up” some information about the vaccines. Prime Minister Donald Tusk, meanwhile, has said that he will not buy from producers that will not take responsibility … Read more
South African President Jacob Zuma marked World AIDS Day today by recognizing the gravity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in his country, and announcing a new policy to treat all HIV-positive babies under the age of one. He also said that drug treatment of pregnant women would begin earlier, in line with new treatment guidelines issued only yesterday by the World Health Organization. Read more
Researchers have been particularly watchful for signs of Guillian-Barre syndrome (GBS), a disease that afflicted approximately 1 out of every 100,000 people in the US who received vaccines for the 1976 Swine flu (the flu that never materialized.) A report from the Washington Post this weekend examines what researchers know (not much) about the trigger for the condition, which most often arises after infection with Campylobacter jejuni, a bacterium that causes food-borne illness. Read more
When it comes to swine flu vaccine, US health officials seem to be fearing fear itself. Unlike most countries, the US is not using adjuvants in its swine flu vaccine. To do so, US health authorities must approve them in the vaccine on an ‘emergency’ basis. Why haven’t they?
US regulators may allow the next generation of vaccines to pass their high bar for approval. Read more