Monday, October 26, 2009

Swine flu vaccine raises troubling questions? Does it REALLY???

I saw this article in the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian on Sunday, and the total lack of balance and logic in it annoyed me so much, I had to write in.

Swine flu vaccine raises troubling questions

Really, what questions are so troubling? To me, the fact that people are asking questions is good, BUT the fact that their questions are so basic and that they do not look for or believe the answers from the CDC and other professionals is what is troubling.

Why are random people on Facebook quoted and their opinions given the same weight as medical professionals who have studied this stuff for years and have reams of scientific evidence on their side?

"the vaccine was rushed through development — many vaccines take years to make, while the swine flu shot was made in response to a virus that reared its head only months ago. They argue it hasn’t been properly or thoroughly tested"

"shooting myself up with an experimental drug that has not really been given enough time to find out the side effects"

Whoa - experimental drug? Maybe when vaccine technology was being developed in the last century, it might have been considered "experimental", but let's get real! We've eradicated smallpox by the use of vaccination. Polio - remember that?

Vaccines take years to DEVELOP, not to MAKE. The flu vaccine was developed ages ago. Different strains of flu come out every year.

H1N1-A is just A STRAIN of flu. Every year they determine what strains of flu are likely to hit, and make the flu vaccine for them. So, there's no "new" vaccine, no "new" process. It's what they've been doing every year, for OVER 40 YEARS, for the seasonal flu (other strains of infuenza, remember?)

Are we really seriously comparing the state of the art in medical science in 1976 - over 40 years ago - to that now? Flu vaccine might have been experimental then, but somehow, with BILLIONS of doses administered worldwide in the past FORTY years, think maybe that it's by now been properly tried and tested?

And of course, Wayne O'Brady on Facebook doesn't know of what this vaccine is composed. Guess he didn't look very far - a simple Yahoo! search turned up the following information provided by Dr. Richard Besser, former head of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

9. What are the ingredients in the H1N1 vaccine?

Again, there are two different vaccines. The nasal spray is what is called a "live attenuated vaccine." They take the virus and change it so that it can’t cause the flu, but it can infect the cells in your nose and cause an immune reaction. The injectable vaccine has a surface protein in it called hemagglutinin. All vaccines contain trace amounts of ingredients that are used in its manufacturing, as well as stabilizers so that the vaccine remains effective.

Also, if your vaccine comes from a multi-dose vial, it will have a very small amount of a preservative called thimerosol. It is important to remember that both vaccines can have trace amounts of egg protein in them, because the viruses that are used to make the vaccine are grown in eggs. People with egg allergies can’t receive either vaccine.

The level of basic scientific ignorance that is displayed when anything science-based is discussed is just appalling. This does not bode very well for the future of this country.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


"What do you know about Belmont? When did it become an official part of Port of Spain? Do you know that Belmont has contributed many of Trinidad's greatest sporting and cultural heroes?

Trinidad Theatre Workshop is hosting the Freetown Foundation's presentation of 'Golden Memories of Belmont's Glorious Past.' Photos and artifacts line the walls of Playwright's Theatre, showing off Belmont like you've never seen it before!

The Exhibition runs Monday to Friday, until the 30th of October from 10am - 4pm.

Don't miss this opportunity to learn about one of Trinidad and Tobago's most amazing and influential communities!"

The new Board of Directors of IGovTT

The new Board of Directors of  IGovTT  was presented with congratulatory letters by The Honourable Maxie Cuffie, Minister of Public Admini...