Rob Stein, in yesterday’s Washington Post, writes:
Despite months of dire warnings and millions in taxpayer dollars, less than half of the 229 million doses of H1N1 vaccine the government bought to fight the pandemic have been administered — leaving an estimated 71.5 million doses that must be discarded if they are not used before they expire…
The prospect of millions of doses of the once-precious vaccine being discarded is the latest twist in the $1.6 billion program — the most ambitious immunization campaign in U.S. history. The government-led effort produced a vaccine in record time, but unexpected production problems delayed delivery of the bulk of supplies until after the second wave of infections had peaked, leaving millions anxious and frustrated as they scrambled for the shots and nasal sprays.
Nevertheless, officials said they were largely satisfied with the effort, which blunted the impact of the first flu pandemic in decades. Between 72 million and 81 million people are estimated to have been immunized.
Notice the propaganda—the vaccine “blunted the impact”—disguised as news. But how can the vaccine have “blunted the impact”? Despite hysterical warnings on the part of government officials, most Americans didn’t take the vaccine. Despite government agencies fraudulently counting swine flu cases, there was no pandemic; indeed, the flu season was milder than usual. And as we have covered in this blog, there is evidence that flu vaccines don’t work. To the point about fraudulent counting, read this CBS news report from last fall:
If you’ve been diagnosed “probable” or “presumed” 2009 H1N1 or “swine flu” in recent months, you may be surprised to know this: odds are you didn’t have H1N1 flu…
In fact, you probably didn’t have flu at all. That’s according to state-by-state test results obtained in a three-month-long CBS News investigation.
In late July, the CDC abruptly advised states to stop testing for H1N1 flu, and stopped counting individual cases.
To each of us, our belief systems seem internally consistent, even when our beliefs—such as the belief that the swine flu vaccine prevented a pandemic—are false. Illustrating this point, Steven Harrison tells a tale in his book Doing Nothing:
A man boarded a train for Delhi and sat across from the swami. The swami was uttering all sorts of incantations and taking dust from a bag and throwing it into the air. Unable to suppress his curiosity, the man finally asked the swami what he was doing. “I am protecting this railcar from tigers with my special tiger dust,” replied the swami. “But,” the man protested, “there aren’t any tigers within thousand miles of us!” And the swami said, “Effective, isn’t it?”
We can agree on this: The vaccine was as effective as tiger dust. Do we really want those who promote tiger dust to determine which medical treatments we should be receiving?