Saturday, May 28, 2011

Meningitis Vaccine? Follow the Money

My god, the efforts of vaccine pushers are becoming more and more dishonest every day. In Forbes, a magazine whose obsession with vaccination is unrivaled, this article, in order to foist yet another unneeded vaccine onto the already bloated schedule actually tries to portray the ACIP - one of the chief contributors to the overvaccination of America's children - as getting in the way of vaccination.

ACIP is the organization responsible for ensuring that children are compelled to receive new vaccines. First, the FDA approves the vaccine, then the ACIP blesses it with its rubber stamp recommendation and finally the states use that recommendation to mandate it for our kids. But now something might go terribly wrong with that formula. A vaccine, because it is of such little value, is in danger of becoming the first one ever to be denied this coveted recommendation. This has drug makers scrambling. At stake are millions if not billions of dollars. A recommendation must be secured at any cost.

Supporting the drug company efforts are a number of special interest groups and not surprisingly Forbes magazine. Today they released on their blog a desperate plea to garner this billion dollar blessing. Written by
Glenn G. Lammi, a lawyer, (strange until you discover he works for the Washington Legal Foundation, a corporate lobbying group) the piece attcks vaccination's best friend: the ACIP:

Lammi begins:
An immunization advisory panel at CDC may block public acceptance and use of an anti-meningitis vaccine approved as safe and effective by FDA based on “cost-effectiveness” concerns. 
It would be a deeply unfortunate irony if we allowed a small number of federal health officials to undermine all that has been achieved by the larger public health establishment (along with private entrepreneurship and enterprise).
Astonishingly, Lammi acts as if the organization whose entire Raison d'ĂȘtre is to peddle vaccines is somehow an impediment to those vaccines.

The author even recognizes the ACIP's fealty to vaccines, acknowledging that:
ACIP has never rejected use of an FDA-approved vaccine in its history.
My god if the ACIP doesn't think a vaccine has any benefits, that vaccine must be pretty unnecessary.

The author then, without bothering to share why it's true, makes this statement:
Even though there is now a meningitis vaccine judged by FDA to be safe and effective for infants, no pediatrician is going to use it, and no health insurer is going to cover its use, until ACIP acts.
Maybe, if no one uses it, it's because it's of little use. But talk to your doctor if you have faith in him. If he recommends it, you're certainly welcome to accept the vaccine - ACIP recommendation or not. And god forbid, if people think it's so necessary, they can actually pay for it with their own money instead of demanding the insurance pay for another unnecessary treatment that drives up costs for everyone else.

Lammi then reveals the real reason this recommendation must be granted:
ACIP and CDC need to understand how their recent actions could severely undermine vaccine development and production in America. Vaccine manufacturing is already fraught with risk. Vaccines are an inherently unstable drug due to the complexity of biologics, resulting in far more failures than successes in development. Bringing one vaccine to market costs upwards of $1 billion. Manufacturing plants, which cost up to $300 million, must meet exacting FDA standards and pass scores of inspections. The return on such massive investments is small compared to other drugs due to actual and virtual government price controls and the inherent limited time and amount of vaccines’ use.
So we must accept anything the drug companies can concoct for the sake of vaccines and vaccine manufacturers - not us. We spent 1 billion dollars on this vaccine and regardless of whether or not it's good for children, they're going to get it. We need to recoup our investment.

Lammi continues, asking incredulously, "If an infant use for meningococcal vaccines becomes the first [vaccine rejected by the ACIP], what kind of message will that send to vaccine makers?"

Let me answer that for you. The message it send is that people are not vaccine receptacles, existing to benefit drug companies.

After his brief flirtation with honesty, Lammi the lobbyist returns to form with this deceptive appeal to get this vaccine its precious recommendation.
Vaccination against diseases that used to kill millions is one of human kind’s greatest technological achievements, a success in which public health organizations and their leaders have played a major role.
He shamelessly conflates a story about millions of saved lives (which even if true applies to Third World countries and long forgotten times) to sell a vaccine against an illness that affects a vanishingly small number of people.

I ask you, do we really need to be continually hit over the head with stories such as these until we realize this obvious truth: it's all about them, not us. With the amounts of money involved, the drug companies will go to any length to insure our children get these vaccines needed or not. The Machine is about the money and the special interests, not our children.


  1. It never ceases to amaze me how many people hear a snippet of information and run with it. Just a little bit of critical thinking and research would stop the masses from the ignorance of thinking that "we're all gonna die" if we don't vaccinate. Children are getting sicker and sicker with a wide variety of illnesses that were all but unheard of 30 years ago, and still so many have no motivation to find the sources of these illnesses.

    It's enough to make you sick (pun only slightly intended).

  2. a Meningococcal vaccine in New Zealand

  3. Using reverse psychology. Simply brilliant. Get the masses to believe that the bureaucrats are standing in the way of good health. Sheesh!! How low will they go???

  4. Not as low as photoshopping a picture of pro-vaxxers eating a baby, like the folks over at Age of Autism did, before making a bunch of hateful and misogynistic comments, but I'm sure that's totally different, because they're the "good guys".