Germans Unhappy with Alternative Swine Flu Vaccine for Politicians

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DrKrbyLuv's picture
DrKrbyLuv
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Posts: 1995
Germans Unhappy with Alternative Swine Flu Vaccine for Politicians

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Damage control is the name of the game in Berlin on Monday as politicians rush to deny that they are receiving a better, safer swine flu vaccine than ordinary Germans. The first of 50 million doses arrived in Germany on Monday.

One might think that the arrival in Germany of the first of 50 million doses of swine flu vaccine on Monday might be cause for celebration. But with news breaking over the weekend that top government officials in Berlin will be injected with an alternative vaccine -- one widely seen as safer -- a debate about an alleged two-class medical system has erupted.

SPIEGEL over the weekend reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel, a number of her ministers and other government officials would receive a vaccine manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Baxter -- the same vaccine that the German military opted for, as was reported last week.  The mass-circulation tabloid Bild on Monday plastered the story on its front page on Monday, assuring its readers that "experts are accusing the government" of serving up "second class medicine" to ordinary Germans.

Fevers and Headaches

The controversy centers on an additive included in the vaccine manufactured by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. The additive includes an inactive strain of the entire flu virus as opposed to virus fragments. Critics say the additive can increase the risk of side effects from the flu vaccine such as fevers and headaches.

'Second-Class Medicine'

Still, voices have become raised. The Green Party's health expert Biggi Bender said that the separate vaccines amount to "big risk for the people, little risk for the government. This type of second-class medicine cannot be allowed to exist in a democracy."

'Alleged Threat'

The weekend scandal has drowned out a second debate which has been raging in recent weeks in the US and which has also found resonance here in Germany: whether such a massive vaccination program is necessary in the first place.

Wolf-Dieter Ludwig, chairman of the Drug Commission of the German Medical Association, has called the planned vaccination campaign a "scandal." "The health authorities have fallen for a campaign from the pharmaceutical companies, who simply want to earn money with an alleged threat," he told SPIEGEL.

xraymike79's picture
xraymike79
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 24 2008
Posts: 2040
Re: Germans Unhappy with Alternative Swine Flu Vaccine for ...

"The health authorities have fallen for a campaign from the pharmaceutical companies, who simply want to earn money with an alleged threat," he told SPIEGEL.

...sums it up there.

The other day we had someone call up the E.R. and ask how long and at what temperature they should cook their pork to prevent Swine Flu.

True story here:

In a routine health work-up questionnaire, one of the ER Docs asked the following question:

Are you sexually active?

The patient thought for a moment and then said:

"No, I just lay there."


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