Monday, November 16, 2009

What the Health Minister of Poland Had to Say About the Swine Flu Vaccine

You know, it would be nice to see this kind of candor in our own media.

For anyone who wants to get this the fast way and just read it, I've provided a transcript below. There are subtitles but the translator's English is a bit rusty, (though broken English does have its charms. Personally I wouldn't have it any other way.)

I would like to start by saying that throughout my 20 odd years of practice as a GP, my priority was: first, do no harm. I took that rule with me to my office in the Ministry of Health.

In a situation in which I was to recommend a medicine for anybody, I would ask, as would any other practitioner I believe, would I give this to my elderly mother? To my child?

And exactly such a thought makes me very cautiously double-check the information regarding a medicine which the Health Ministry is to recommend for every Pole, for millions of Poles who do not have the education that a Minister has, that an expert such as Professor Brydak has, an expert that has been working with the flu for over 40 years. There are 189 flu research centers in the world and Professor Brydak works in one of them. Can we today be accused of lack of knowledge about the flu?

Can one question the opinion of a professor who has been working on the flu for over 40 years, and not just on one type of flu, and who has published hundreds of articles on the subject?

I have just one fundamental question: do we want to fight the flu pandemic?

Today we have knowledge of clauses in agreements that many other governments of wealthier countries have signed with vaccine producers. We also know what was proposed to Poland. Due to continuing negotiations I can't tell you everything today, but I can tell you one thing: our legal department found at least twenty points of contention in the contract.

So what is the Health Minister's duty? To sign contracts that are in the best interests of the Polish people, or to sign contracts that are in the best interests of pharmaceutical corporations?

I know there are three vaccines available on the market today, from three different producers. Each have different quantities of active ingredients yet strangely enough, they are treated the same. So isn't it fair enough that the Health Minister and the experts have the slightest doubt about them? Maybe the one with only trace amounts of the active ingredients is just Holy Water that we are supposed to think will cure flu? Are we supposed to pay for that?

We have for an example Germany, which bought 50 million jabs, of which only 10% has been administered so far. Only 13% of Germans want to take this 'miraculous cure' today. But this is peculiar because Germany has a very high percentage of vaccine takers, so when in Poland of a thousand people only 52 will take a seasonal flu jab, in Germany there will be 238 of a thousand, 23%.

So what has happened that only 13% of Germans want to take the swine flu vaccine, and not 23% of the population as per usual with the season flu? Their government bought the vaccines and offered them for free and they don't want it? What happened?

Can those facts make us have second thoughts about buying the vaccines or not? Second thoughts about introducing a medicine that is kind of secret?

There are websites on which vaccine producers have an obligation to publish so-called post-vaccinational unwanted side effects. The vaccinations in Europe started on the first of October, 2009. I would like you to visit any of these websites and find any unwanted side effects. Even the slightest thing, just one, like an allergic skin rash. That can happen even using the safest medicine.

There are none on those websites. A "perfect" medicine.

So since it's so miraculous, why don't producing corporations want to introduce their medicine to the free market and take responsibility for it? Why wouldn't they say, "It's a wonderful, safe medicine, so we'll take full responsibility for it, we'll introduce it to the market and everything will be clear and transparent."? Instead of dropping the weight on us, the buyers.

We have no clinical test results, no detailed lists of ingredients and no information about side effects. The vaccines are now in the fourth stage of tests, very short tests, and we still do not have that information. Additionally the samples are very low: one kind of vaccine was tested on only 160 volunteers, ages 20-60, all healthy, none infected. Another kind of vaccine was tested on only 600 volunteers, 18-60, all healthy. Is this good enough, especially for we doctors present in this room? It is not good enough for me.

I want to be sure when I recommend this vaccine. While we are not out of the line for the vaccine, during negotiations we want to take that time and use it to find out as much as we can about the vaccine. Then, if the pandemic committee will accept this vaccine, we will buy it.

Additionally, there are one billion people who catch seasonal flu worldwide every year, and one million die of seasonal flu worldwide every year. And it hasn't been going on for a year or two, but for a very long time. Has anybody anywhere announced a pandemic because of seasonal flu? And the seasonal flu is much more dangerous than the swine flu, there are deaths and severe complications. Were there any pandemics announced?

To those who are pushing me to buy vaccines, I ask them: why didn't you scream and shout last year, two years ago, or in 2003? In 2003 1,200,000 Poles caught seasonal flu. Has anybody shouted, here in this room, "Let's buy vaccines for everybody!"? I can't recall such a thing.

And finally I would like to say one thing: the Polish nation is very wise. Poles can tell the truth from lies very precisely. They can also tell what is a serious situation, and what is just a game.

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