The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) ordered to stop the use of Pandemrix swine flu vaccine to the public due the probable link to narcolepsy in children. According to THL, it stopped giving swine flu vaccine, until results of the probe on the possible correlation of the vaccine and the onset of narcolepsy are released. The agency received six reports of children who have developed chronic sleep disorders after they received the vaccine in January 2010, thus, they want conduct a probe to ensure that these cases of narcolepsy is correlated with the drug Pandemrix, developed by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. – Seer News
Dominant Social Theme: Precautions must be taken, but there is probably nothing to worry about.
Free-Market Analysis: We were surprised that this story hit the mainstream headlines because pharmaceutical companies seem to make a good deal of money from vaccines (and certainly benefit from the credibility of providing them) and therefore anti-vaccine stories don't get much play in the mainstream media. This one is fairly important, however, and coverage is unavoidable.
Nonetheless, the coverage has not been exactly enthusiastic. While the story was widely reported in the alternative blogosphere, Google seemed to bury it. A check of headlines on the story yields little even though it is the kind of "alarmist" story that news services ordinarily love. At the time of this reporting, we could not find either an AP or Reuters story about it, which is quite remarkable. It was reported on Yahoo, in an AFP pickup. Huffington Post wrote about it as well, but that was an InfoWars pickup.
We think the story warrants more coverage than this (and maybe by the time you are reading this, it will have received it). Not only did Finland order the vaccine halted, but Sweden has opened an investigation as well. Given the level of controversy surrounding vaccines, that two Western nations would formally announce the investigation of a vaccine program is pretty big news.
Of course, an investigation is not a conclusion. The AFP news story tells us, "A cause-and-effect relationship between Pandemrix and narcolepsy is far from proven, with Finland's THL pointing out that the swine flu virus H1N1 itself could possibly cause the disease … In the European Union alone, around 30 million people were vaccinated using Pandemrix. Sweden bought 18 million doses, which was enough to provide two injections for each of its 9.3 million inhabitants. According to Finland's National Health Institute, 2.5 million Finns were vaccinated against swine flu. Some 750 showed side effects, namely fevers, headaches and coughing, and one case was linked to narcolepsy."
Nonetheless, we cannot help thinking there is something more at work here. We are well aware of the controversy – and fear – that surround vaccination programs. We had the opportunity to interview Dr. Andrew Wakefield fairly recently, who is at the epicenter of the vaccine storm. Wakefield has indicated that vaccines, especially if taken in multiple quantities, may affect certain children who are predisposed to be injured by them. One of the results, he has suggested, that needs further study is a potential linkage between autism and vaccines.
To read that Daily Bell interview, click here.
As a result of suggesting this possibility, Wakefield has been pilloried. A research paper has been retracted without his cooperation and he has been barred from practicing medicine in Britain. He has written a book defending himself and his theories, which has been well received by the autism community and by the "alternative health" community generally. But the attacks continue. During the interview we asked him how his personal experiences had made him feel and whether there was "corruption throughout mainstream Western medicine." He answered as followed:
Yes, undoubtedly. Let me give you an … example. In the Merck trial in Australia, Merck revealed how they were determined to deal with doctors who dissented from the use of Vioxx, or considered Vioxx unsafe. And those internal memos talked about how they would discredit them and neutralize them and the last internal memo to be read out had the following line, referring to those doctors, 'We may have to seek them out and destroy them where they live." Those are their own words. So sometimes it appears that it's corporate policy rather than conspiracy theory, but that is the environment in which doctors work and operate and the problems they face if they confront drug company policy. So in answer to your question is the corruption? Is there distortion? Is there manipulation? Absolutely.
It certainly seems to us that the powers-that-be standing behind many of these pharmaceutical companies and their "medical model" continue to do whatever they can to intimidate those who would raise questions about vaccines and their side effects. The Swine Flu epidemic never fully materialized and the World Health Organization, which issued such dire warnings urging people to get vaccinated for it, has been called (tepidly) to account. Yet like so many elite promotions, the vaccine industry rolls forward despite continuing questions and ever greater agitation from parents.
As we pointed out in the commentary following the interview with Dr. Wakefield, his treatment by the mainstream medial establishment is reminiscent to us of the how global warming dissenters were treated. Papers were suppressed or retracted and the full weight of establishment institutions was brought to bear in terms of ridiculing those who dared question the "established science" of global warming. We are not surprised therefore that the moves by Finland and Sweden have not yet reached a critical mass of mainstream coverage. We would hope if the linkages are proven that the coverage is significantly deepened and widened.