Remember how Butler-Jones and Agluquack promised, even when fumbling on "Question Period" over two weeks ago, that there would be enough vaccine to cover every Canadian by Christmas? Well, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop on that one and now, it has. It appears there won't be enough to vaccinate all Canadians before the year is out.
Well, let the outrage and panic and paranoia begin. Rightfully so, given our government has screwed this crisis up royally. Nobody learned from the SARS crisis in 2003 on how to better prepare for pandemics. They went about it all wrong and there is incompetence at every level.
Bottom line. They took the cheapest way out; let's do a mass vaccination, never mind the testing protocols. To make sure it won't cost them down the road, GSK and Harpercons are not implementing a no fault compensation for those injured as a result of the vaccine. Typical Harpercons!
Why should we be surprised? As Rick Salutin from the Globe and Mail pointed out: Steve will never own this pandemic crisis; they never even owned health care; he has no empathy. No shit! After the way his Harpercons heckled Carolyn Bennett during Question Period while she was airing her concerns over vaccine safety for pregnant women--- the fact that he goes off gallivanting with Prince Charles and Camilla rather than show leadership during the first weeks of screw ups; and now doing Bollywood instead of being here where a PM should be during a crisis, is this any surprise? In reality, he doesn't care. After all, Canada as it is, is nothing more than a "second tier socialistic country" in the world according to Stevie.
This crisis could have been handled much differently.
By all means, develop a vaccine for H1N1; but take the necessary time to implement all testing procedures. Don't rush it out without knowing not only the potential short term side effects but also the potential long term consequences. Most importantly, don't count on one supplier only. Hell, Craig Oliver pointed out the stupidity of that strategy when interviewing Agluquack at the beginning of the month. She even had the nerve to blame the Liberals for signing some exclusive deal. Well, Leona, I thought this was a crisis situation? Who's in charge, anyway? Certainly not the Liberals.
She continued (and still does to this day) to blame everyone else but herself (remind you of anyone, a certain writer of fiction, also from the north?) and her master. Instead of skulking around and trying to spin her way out of this crisis, a good health minister should come up with contingency plans.
A few examples of contingency plans would be:
- Quarantine (Yah, I know, takes away freedoms, but it is a crisis or supposed to be anyway and if it is crisis, certain concessions must made). Find where the largest concentration of H1N1 cases and implement strict quarantine rules: comings and goings extremely limited. Unfortunately, one of the best ways to control a communicable disease is to contain it.
- I'm not sure about the rest of Canada, but in Quebec, we have a few designated flu clinics so as not to congest walk-in clinics and hospital ERs: only the most serious cases would go to the hospitals.
- A lot more money to our health care system to handle the crisis (not likely to happen: I wouldn't put this past Stevie to use this crisis to further his agenda of bringing the American Health care system here)
- (More on provincial or municipal levels) Cancel sporting events, concerts anywhere there is the public all crowded together. Those events are a breeding ground for germs. Once again, fall under expensive as special provisions would have to be made for employees at such events such as concessions stands, maintenance, etc. while out of work.
- They could have cancelled the Olympics
- Have employers stagger the hours of their employees so public transit won't be so crowded.
Health care professionals can't agree on the benefits or risks of this vaccine. at the clinic where I received my intervention, about half the nurses admitted to not getting vaccinated because they weren't confidant in the testing of it.
A friend of mine who has heart trouble told me his cardiologist recommended that he not get the vaccine; the doctor wasn't sure how his heart would withstand the vaccine.
I have heard of certain doctors preaching the sanctity of the vaccine in the media but I happen to know of at least one such doctor who, in private, wasn't nearly as gung-ho about the vaccine when a friend of mine consulted with him.
The southern hemisphere already passed their winter flu season. Australia's H1N1 fatalities were relatively low compared to regular flu in that country annually. This was not due to mass immunization. They didn't have the vaccine up until September. What was their secret? Was there any secret? Or this crisis didn't nearly prove the tragedy some predicted?
It hasn't been a month yet and 36 cases of alleged (in all fairness, they have to perform tests) reactions to the vaccine. Butler-Jones says this is less than the reactions to regular flu shot, but Butler-Jones, the season is still early. I have funny feeling more will be coming and it will be a lot harder to get the truth.
An example of a potential cover up from hospital officials is happening in Virginia. A 14 year old boy came down with Guillain Barre's Syndrome not even 24 hours after receiving his H1N1 vaccine. Yah, I know what they say, rare case. Probably won't happen again. The CDC alleges that this boy's case is probably just coincidental. In the words of the blogger from Facing Autism in New Brunswick: 'yeah, sure'. Assuming that this was a coincidence, why are officials at the hospital where this young man is being treated are not being so forthcoming with the information? This boy's parents already gave their permission to release their son's info.
Some things to think about before you inject. Remember, we shouldn't submit to being guinea pigs for big Pharma or any government. Remember, big pharma only cares about its' profit margins and governments (particulary Harpercons) will take the cheapest way out of a crisis. Remember, you get what you pay for.
Also, be careful. Use common sense. We'll have to rely on ourselves here.
- Stay away from crowded places as much as possible
- Eat and drink healthy
- Eat at home
- Don't leave home unless absolutely necessary, like work or errands
If they are really short of vaccine, I'm sure that Public health and the Media will take the same tone they did last May.
After this debacle, the Harpercons certainly won't learn any lessons, neither will any of the public health agencies. There won't even be regrets. They are just going to continue running away from the whole thing.
There is one way of putting this; if the Harpercons cared and they stood behind their vaccine; their logo would be stamped all over it, no doubt.