Dec 15, 2012

GSK Lied About Vaccines Ordered To Change Advertisement

Poison Manufacture
Via: DeccanHerald
A misleading television advertisement on a vaccine to protect children from severe gastrointestinal diseases has been withdrawn after a Delhi-based doctor approached the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), complaining against the advertisement that was on air in July on two channels. The ASCI agreed with the complaint of Delhi-based community medicine professional Nalini Abraham and asked the vaccine’s manufacturer GlaxoSmithKlime (GSK) to withdraw the commercial after its consumer complaints council found merit in Abraham’s petition. In her complaint, Abraham said vaccines were prescription drugs which were not advertised in India. Moreover, the advertisement had misleading claims that vaccine was the only way to treat rota virus infections and reduced infections. Nearly 150,000 children die every year due to such infections.
 The ASCI asked GSK to withdraw the spot after it was found that the company’s claim that “vaccine is the only way to reduce the incidence of infections” was inadequately substantiated and the second claim of “rota virus vaccine is the only way to treat rota virus” was misleading. GSK assured the advertisement council that the TV commercial had been discontinued and will be modified appropriately later. The pharmaceutical major’s headquarters in Mumbai did not respond to Deccan Herald’s query on how long the TV spots were shown and whether there are similar advertisements for print as well. The vaccine advertisement appeared at a time when GSK and its rival Merck were pushing their expensive rotavirus vaccines in the Indian market, hoping for its inclusion in the universal immunisation programme. While the cost – about Rs 1,000 for a two dose vaccine – remains an issue, an indigenous vaccine is in the pipeline too. Independent doctors, however, questioned the government for permitting sale of these two vaccines without adequate trials.  “It is surprising that these two vaccines have been approved for marketing in India by the regulators despite insufficient immunogenicity and absent efficacy data in Indian children,” Rakesh Lodha of AIIMS and Dheeraj Shah of the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital reported in the journal of the Indian Paediatric Association.
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Australian Anti-vaccine Group Order To Change Name

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Via: TheAustralian
AN anti-vaccination group will have to change its name in the new year because its current name could mislead parents, the NSW government says. Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts on Saturday confirmed a formal order had been issued for the Australian Vaccination Network to adopt a new name. Mr Roberts said the directive came from NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe and gave the group until February 21 to apply for a new name. If the association misses the deadline, its registration may be cancelled.
 "The Australian Vaccination Network does not present a balanced case for vaccination, does not present medical evidence to back up its claims and therefore poses a serious risk of misleading the community," Mr Roberts said in a statement. The name change order was based on complaints from parents, medical professionals and members of the public, he said. The state Australian Medical Association (AMA) branch welcomed the order. "Ensuring appropriate rates of vaccination is an essential element to improving the health of our children," AMA NSW president Brian Owler said. "It is essential for any person or organisation that gives advice about vaccination to be transparent about their qualifications and the source of that information." It is not the first time the group has been targeted by a government body.
 In February this year, the Australian Vaccination Network won a court battle against the health care watchdog, which had issued a public warning about the association and ordered it to place a message on its website stating that it "should not be read as medical advice". The NSW Supreme Court ruled the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) had no jurisdiction to issue a public warning about the Australian Vaccination Network. The HCCC issued the warning after it investigated the website following complaints from a NSW couple whose four-week-old daughter died from whooping cough.
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Doctor's of Death

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Dec 14, 2012

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Modern Day Scarlet Letter: Vaccination or Wear a Mask

Mandate This!
Via: Telegram
Hospitals are where sick people go to get better. But sometimes, they're also where healthy people get sick. Now, with a potentially severe flu season on the horizon, many hospitals are strengthening their vaccination policies and requiring workers who refuse the flu shot to wear surgical masks. Harrington HealthCare System this week became the latest organization to install a mask policy. “Our first and foremost priority is to take care of our patients, and this is one way to do that,” said Edward H. Moore, Harrington's president and chief executive.  The health care system, which operates the 114-bed hospital in Southbridge, has told unvaccinated workers to wear masks when they're entering patient rooms or are within 3 feet of a patient.
 UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester has a stricter policy: Workers who have not been vaccinated must wear masks throughout the hospital except for entryways, elevators, break rooms and the cafeteria. Hospital administrators say the goal is purely to prevent the spread of a dangerous — sometimes deadly — virus. The new policy at UMass Memorial appears to have swayed many workers to get the flu shot. Last flu season, the Worcester hospital had one of the worst vaccination rates in the state; less than 61 percent of its workers were vaccinated. This year, more than 90 percent of hospital staff received the flu shot. But some say the masking policy goes too far, eroding workers' rights and doing nothing to prevent the spread of illness.
“I feel it's a bullying tactic,” said Ellen T. Smith, nurse and co-chairwoman of the nurses bargaining unit at the hospital's University Campus. Ms. Smith has been wearing a mask, covering nose to chin, during her 12-hour shifts. “I do not receive the flu vaccine,” she said by phone from a nurses' convention in Las Vegas. “I just don't believe in it.”

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DARPA building drone submarines to patrol the sea

Drone Subs
Via: RT
 Surveillance drones in US airspace is soon to be inevitable, but what about unmanned vehicles patrolling the seas? The Pentagon is working hard at perfecting a stealth underwater drone for maritime monitoring.
Science Applications International Corporation of McLean, Virginia was recently awarded a contract from the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, valued at over $58 million. With that funding, researchers have already begun working on an underwater vessel that will take the surveillance abilities that make aerial drones such a hot commodity and use it to send an unmanned submarine to sweep the sea for potential hazards. According to DARPA, enemy submarines are being built right now with competing technology, allowing America’s foes to perhaps find a way to sneak unmanned vessels of their own around US bases across the globe. That’s why the Pentagon has contracted a team to work on an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel, or ACTUV, which they say will be able to address a serious emerging threat.
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Dec 13, 2012

Newborn Seized After Mother Question Vaccinations

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Via: HSLDA
When Jodi Ferris arrived at Hershey Medical Center after giving birth in an ambulance, the last thing she and her husband, Scott, expected was to lose custody of their newborn daughter, forcing them to spend the first night of their daughter’s life sleeping in their car in the parking lot across the street. But that is exactly what happened after Jodi—like any concerned mom—apparently asked hospital staff too many questions about the care her baby daughter was receiving. In March we told you about the civil rights case HSLDA filed against the Pennsylvania social worker and Hershey Medical Center staff who seized “Annie” shortly after she was born. Several months later, in July, the social worker and the medical defendants both asked the federal district court judge to dismiss the lawsuit. If these motions had been granted, the case would have ended. Now, we’re pleased to report a major victory in this case. Last week the judge denied both motions to dismiss, allowing the Ferrises’ case to proceed.

Case Recap

Scott and Jodi had planned on having a home birth, but when Jodi’s labor progressed too quickly for the midwife to arrive, they called an ambulance. Annie was born on the way to the hospital. At the hospital, Jodi was met with a flurry of activity. Some of it was what you would expect after delivering a baby in an ambulance. As any concerned mom would do, Jodi asked about the condition of her child and the care she was receiving. Jodi received conflicting answers, ranging from a statement that Annie was doing fine to one that she would need stay in the hospital for three days. This understandably caused Jodi more concern and prompted her to ask her questions with more urgency. Not too long after Jodi and Annie arrived, it appeared that the medical staff had had enough of Jodi questioning what they were doing. A government social worker, Angela Lopez-Heagy, entered Jodi’s room and announced that she was there to conduct an investigation of allegations the nature of which she refused to divulge.
 When Jodi told Lopez-Heagy that she wasn’t comfortable answering questions without knowing what the allegations were, the social worker told her that if Jodi wasn’t willing to cooperate she would call a police officer to take custody of Annie. The social worker grilled Jodi about why she had refused to allow the hospital to give Annie the hepatitis B vaccine, and asked other questions about Annie’s care that HSLDA believes fall within routine parental decision making. From time to time, the social worker would leave the room to confer with hospital staff. A nurse physically blocked the door to prevent Jodi from also leaving.
 Eventually the social worker told Jodi that she would need to agree to a “safety plan.’ When Jodi asked to see the plan, Lopez-Heagy told her it wasn”t written down yet, but if she did not consent to the safety plan and agree to “whatever the hospital wanted,” she would lose custody of her newborn child. Meanwhile, Scott had left to bring the Ferrises’ other children to a friends’ home. Jodi told the social worker that she was not comfortable signing a safety plan before Scott returned. Lopez-Heagy responded that she was not waiting any longer. If Scott returned by the time the safety plan was prepared, she said, he could review it. Otherwise, if Jodi didn’t sign the safety plan, “I’m calling the police and having them take custody of the baby.”
 That is exactly what happened. Jodi was directed by a uniformed police officer to hand her newborn daughter over to a nurse. Although she begged to be allowed to sign the safety plan even though Scott hadn’t returned, she was told, “That window has closed.” Jodi was then escorted off the hospital premises. On the way out she met Scott, who was just returning from dropping off the other children. Jodi was allowed to return every three hours to nurse the baby, but she could not remain in the hospital. She and Scott slept in their car in the parking lot across the street. The next morning, a juvenile-court judge returned Annie to Scott and Jodi. Two weeks later he dismissed the case against them.
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Parents Refusing Polio Vaccination to Face Jail Time

Vaccination or Jail Time
Via: Dawn
LANDI KOTAL, Nov 16: The political administration of Khyber Agency on Friday warned parents that they would be sent to the lock-up if they refused to administer oral polio vaccine to their children under the age of five years. The warning was issued during a meeting of the local administration and health department officials with the elders and clerics of Landi Kotal. The meeting was told that the political administration was concerned about high incidence of polio in Khyber Agency and wanted to effectively check it.
 Political tehsildar Arshad Afridi said stern action would be taken against the people declining immunisation of their children and if necessary, they would be put behind bars. He urged religious scholars and prayer leaders to educate the people on importance of vaccination against polio during Friday sermons and day-to-day interactions with the public. Speaking on the occasion, World Health Organisation representative in Fata Dr Wazir Akbar said clerics could play a very effective role in eradication of polio from Fata as they were heard and believed by the people of tribal areas. “Religious scholars could be a great help in convincing the people opposed to vaccination of their children in Khyber Agency,” he said. He said Khyber Agency topped the list of polio-affected Fata areas with 12 of the 20 cases of the crippling cases reported this year.
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Mandatory Flu Shot Or You're Fired

Flu Shot or Termination
Via: AOL
 Everyone knows the flu shot has a serious purpose. After all, it's a safeguard against a condition that kills 36,000 people a year, according to the John Hopkins School of Medicine. But for the workers of one Ohio health center, the risks of skipping out on the vaccine extended beyond increased risk of catching the flu -- they got fired. TriHealth, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based health center fired 150 of its workers the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for not complying with a mandate that every member of the 10,800-person staff get the vaccine, which was being offered for free on-site. The workers had been given a month to comply with the mandate before Nov. 16, according to local Ohio news outlet, WLWT.
 A TriHealth spokesman did add that all the workers who skipped the vaccine can appeal to be reinstated after getting the shot. Whatever their motivation, be it simple laziness or a philosophical or religious opposition to getting the vaccine, the workers are facing an increasingly common workplace policy. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws requiring health workers to get vaccinated or some form of treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control. (In most jurisdictions, workers are allowed to seek an exemption, however, whether for religious or for medical reasons, such as an allergy.)
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Flu Season Media Hype Goes into Full Swing

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Via: Examiner
Flu season started early this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “It looks like it’s shaping up to be a bad flu season,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC. Most of the early cases are in the south and southeast. Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas have reported high levels of flu activity. Nineteen states reported local flu activity, up from eight states that reported local activity the week before. There have already been two flu-related deaths in children. The CDC tracks influenza rates in its weekly FluView surveillance report.
 The strains that are predominant this year are influenza A—both H3N2 and the H1N1 (pandemic swine flu)—and influenza B. The H3N2 virus may cause more severe symptoms than the other flu strains, noted Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University. Symptoms of flu include fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, cough, and stuffy nose. Healthy adults are contagious beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to seven days after becoming sick. Children and those with weakened immune systems may be infective even longer.
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Dec 12, 2012

Free Drive-up Flu Shot Clinic in Arkansas

Spreading Disease Flu Shots
Via: Lajuntatribunedemocrat
On Friday, Dec. 14, the Otero County Health Department (OCHD) and multiple partner agencies will be having a drive-through flu vaccination clinic at the Arkansas Valley Fairgrounds in Rocky Ford. The vaccinations will be administered free of charge. "OCHD has done many mass vaccination clinics in the past, however, they have always been inside a building. We have never done a drive-through clinic before, so this will be a first for us," stated Rick Ritter, OCHD executive director and incident commander for the event.
Flu Shot Clinic Line
 OCHD was in the planning phase for a drive-through clinic when Pioneer Healthcare Center in Rocky Ford called and donated 130 doses of flu vaccine for a free community clinic. "We were not going to exercise our new plan until next year, but when Pioneer called and graciously donated the vaccine, I decided to use our drive-through vaccination plan to administer the donated doses from Pioneer, so we had to accelerate our planning process significantly," Ritter added. Later, Dr. James Satt of Harmony Health Center in Rocky Ford donated an additional 30 doses, bringing the total doses for vaccinations at the Friday clinic to 160. The shots will be for adults only, and will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis. Children can continue to receive their flu shots from their medical providers or any OCHD offices located in La Junta, Rocky Ford or Ordway.
 Susan Workman, OCHD Director of Nursing and Operations Section Chief for the event, said that "a drive-through clinic is a great way to contain a deadly new contagion, since potentially sick people are staying in their cars and not in a building spreading infection." Mike Moreno, who is in charge of traffic flow for the event, asks that "drivers be very aware of their surroundings, drive slowly, cautiously, courteously, and follow the directions of signs and of the attendants, who will have on brightly-colored vests."
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Flu Shot Caused Narcolepsy: Victims Awarded Compensation

Pandemrix Flu Shot Causes Narcolepsy
Via: Thelocal
 Families of children in Sweden suffering from narcolepsy caused by vaccination for the swine flu can expect some form of compensation, Swedish health minister Göran Hägglund said on Sunday. So far, around 150 children in Sweden have developed narcolepsy from the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine, but that number could rise, according to Tomas Norberg, chair of the Swedish Narcolepsy Association (Narkolepsiföreningen). Norberg, whose 17-year-old son Simon suffers from narcolepsy, was one of several parents who co-authored an opinion article published on Sunday in the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper arguing that children who developed the condition after being vaccinated for the swine flu ought to be compensated. “We've learned that our children have received a life-long handicap and need to eat dependency inducing medications with awful side effects in order to get through the day,” Norberg and the other parents wrote, adding their children's ability to get hired and hold down a job has also been compromised. “Now it's time for prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and the rest of the government to take responsibility. We demand that the state take full economic and medical responsibility for our children, now and in the future.”
 Previously, the families were told they would receive a one-time compensation of 50,000 kronor ($7,340) and that their needs would be assesssed again when they turned 18. When Sweden agreed to purchase the drug from GlaxoSmithKline, the contract stipulated that the company would be free of responsibility to cover costs associated with any side effects. According to Hägglund, the state will compensate those affected by narcolepsy caused by the swine flu vaccine. “Yes, there will be some form of compensation for the roughly 170 children who've been affected,” the health minister told Sveriges Radio (SR). However, Hägglund refused to specify how much the compensation might be or what form it might take. “Our lawyers are looking into what's the best way to shape the compensation. This is a terrible situation which no one anticipated.”
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Health Unions Sue Over Mandated FLU SHOTS

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Via: Fierchealthcare
 Already a source of conflict between some hospitals and unions, the issue of mandatory flu vaccines for healthcare workers is once again the subject of a federal lawsuit. A healthcare worker union on Thursday filed suit against the Rhode Island Health Department to prevent it from implementing new state regulations that would require workers receive flu vaccination or wear masks during patient contact, the Providence Journal reported. The SEIU Healthcare Employees Union, District 1199, said there's no medical evidence that vaccination or wearing masks inhibits transmission and that it violates the union's right to bargain on these issues. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, found that higher vaccination rates translate to lower infection rates, the Chicago Tribune reported.
 For Carrie Calhoun, a nurse at Alexian Brothers Health System in Illinois, whether the flu vaccine is effective is beside the point, she told the newspaper. Alexian requires all employees get flu shots or get fired, with a few exceptions, such as allergies to eggs or religious beliefs, which must be verified through documentation. Calhoun said it's a matter of personal choice, arguing that patients have a right to refuse any medical treatment but that the health system does not afford a health worker the same right. Such rules mean workers either simply give in or falsify documents, Calhoun said. New York was the first state to mandate flu shots for all health workers in 2009, during the H1N1 outbreak. Unions fought the issue in court, and the state relaxed the rule, the Chicago Tribune noted. Unions in Washington state also won in federal court, in which hospitals must make the issue of flu shots part of collective bargaining.
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Dec 11, 2012

160,000 Flu Vaccine Recalled Contaminated With Particles

Particles of Poison
Via: Telegraph
Regulators have revealed that 160,000 doses of the Novartis vaccine, Agrippal, are being recalled after 'particles' were found in the vials. A spokesman for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said there was no safety issue and the recall was a precaution. It comes as GPs are in the middle of their annual flu vaccination programme, with millions of people aged over 65, and with long-term conditions being called in for their jab. However officials said the recall should not affect supplies as there are 17 other flu vaccines available and other manufacturers should be able to cover the shortfall. In total 18m doses of flu vaccine are ordered for the UK each year.Other batches of Agrippal are not affected.
 A Department of Health spokesman said: "We are aware of the recall of two batches of Agrippal flu vaccine. These vaccines make up a small proportion of the flu vaccines used in the UK. No safety issue for people who have received the vaccine has been indicated and the MHRA and vaccine manufacturer continue to monitor the situation." An MHRA spokesman said: “We have asked Novartis to issue a precautionary recall of two batches of Agrippal vaccine. The decision was made after the company reported quality defects with the vaccine which do not currently indicate a safety issue for those who received the vaccine. We will continue to closely monitor the situation with Novartis. Meanwhile Dr Fiona Godlee, editor of the British Medical Journal has called for Roche to reveal the full data on its anti-viral drug Tamiflu used to allievate the symptoms of the disease.
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"Flab Jab" Obesity Vaccine: The TrutherGirls

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Trade In Your Guns For Free FLU SHOTS?

Keep your Weapons Avoid the Shots

Via: Opposingviews 
 The city of Worcester, Massachusetts is offering a Wegman's gift certificate and a free flu shot in exchange for residents' guns next weekend as part of the city's annual 'Goods for Guns Buyback Program.' Since the program began in 2002, it has collected about 2,200 guns, which are destroyed. The program allows individuals to anonymously turn in unwanted and unloaded guns to the police department, reports Telegram.com. In return, citizens can receive a free flu shot for turning in a weapon and will get a Wegman's gift certificate, depending on the value of the type of gun. A long rifle gets a $25 gift certificate; handguns earn a $50 gift certificate, and a semiautomatic weapon will bring a $75 gift certificate.
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