WHO chief yet to be vaccinated against swine flu
(AFP) – 12 hours ago
GENEVA — World Health Organization chief Margaret Chan revealed Tuesday that she has yet to be vaccinated against the swine flu virus, which has killed over 11,500 people world-wide.
"I have asked my medical service to enquire where I can go to get my vaccination," she told reporters in Geneva, pointing out that she has just returned from leave.
The WHO director-general stressed that she would "of course" get vaccinated and that "many of my staff" at the WHO have already taken their jabs against the A(H1N1) virus.
Many countries rolled out their vaccination programmes over the past two months, but the take-up rate has been lower than expected.
Germany said in early December it wants to sell spare vaccines to other countries, while Switzerland said in mid-December that it would give away part of its stock to developing countries and sell another part to countries that are still trying to procure vaccines.
Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved. More »
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
WHO chief Margaret Chan revealed she hasn't been vaccinated against the #SwineFlu, which has killed over 11,500. The new #vaccine is ok for us but for you?
Monday, December 28, 2009
December 28, 2009
Age of Autism Awards: Louise Kuo Habakus, Person of the Year
By Dan Olmsted
It’s been a rough year for people concerned about the relentless onslaught of autism in America’s children. First, the U.S. vaccine court ruled against three brave families who were fighting to establish a link to their children's disorders, dismissing the parents as dupes and their lawyers and scientists as worse. Then a slew of negative and know-nothing articles tried to make anyone concerned about the issue look not just dumb but downright dangerous.
Meanwhile, the number of afflicted children kept rising like the waters after a levee break – and the federal government’s response was suitably Katrina-worthy. The storm surge has now reached 1 in 100 children, more or less, and in some states and some populations, far more than that.
But amid the doom and gloom, there were bright spots -- none brighter, ironically, than New Jersey, the place with an autism rate so high the CDC “disappeared” the entire state in its latest calculation; not coincidentally, it’s also the home of rivers of toxic waste, an armada of pharmaceutical companies, and a torrent of legislated vaccine mandates taken to extremes never before witnessed in America.
But New Jersey is home, too, to Louise Kuo Habakus, who did something quite amazing this year – rallying vaccine advocates and concerned citizens in numbers that made the difference in the New Jersey governor’s race, defeating Jon Corzine and carrying Chris Christie, the first candidate to go on record for vaccine choice, to victory.
For this, as well as for her tireless, smart and effective educational efforts and advocacy, we’re pleased to name Louise Kuo Habakus our Person of the Year.
In doing so, we’re also acknowledging and, hopefully, encouraging some shifting currents. We’ve pleaded with complacent – and in some cases complicit -- bureaucrats and their media apologists long enough. It’s time to confront their bosses and fire them when we have to, time to tap into the innate decency and common sense of the American people – who, when they've had enough, have a long and distinguished history of throwing da bums out.One nominator, Catherine Glastal of Fanwood, NJ – “mom to one son with ADHD/auditory processing disorder/learning disabilities and another son with PDD-NOS” – put it this way in her nomination letter:
“Louise’s website is www.lifehealthchoices.com, a site which sums up her philosophies and life's work. I refer to her site often for its simple and direct answers. I had been on the edge of the whole vaccine debate, but her writings pointed me in the right direction.
Here in NJ and across the United States, Louise advocates for vaccine choice in such a way that people really listen. She has a way about her that is not confrontational and yet she gets her point across very CLEARLY. She rallied people to vote for Christie as Governor because he was the only candidate who met with the autism and vaccine choice groups and made campaign promises on those topics. She will ensure that he keeps those promises.
I first remember hearing Louise's name about 2 years ago. Corzine was campaigning with Obama and happened to be going to Bon Jovi's house for a fundraiser. Louise quickly got on the Internet and phone and rallied people to come to her house with signs and their kids with autism/vaccine injury. No confrontations. Just a very poignant and telling shot of a lawn full of children, parents and signage as the limousines drove by.
Louise gets the job done. I really can't explain it. She knows her stuff and she can debate you point by point without you even knowing what hit you.
And finally, this year I found out that Louise went to the same high school that I did. She graduated from the American School in Japan in '81. JB Handley was class of '86. I was class of '85. It makes me wonder who else is out there who went to ASIJ and has kids on the spectrum! What was in the water?! (half joke, whole earnest)
Again, I just can't say enough about Louise.”
We at Age of Autism couldn’t agree more. A new Age of Activism has begun in the autism community that will come to fruition over the next few years, and in 2009 Lousie Kuo Habakus helped show us all the way forward.
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism
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Louise, I've been cheering for you, cheering with you, and cheering to hear you are evn more officially and "formally" recognized for your tireless work. Yer the bomb!
From across the US, over here in the 7th state to pass anti-thimerosal legislation, T.
Posted by: RimlandFanWA | December 28, 2009 at 09:33 PM
What a great choice. It is my privilege to know Louise. She is an incredible advocate and a great example to us all.
Posted by: Ali | December 28, 2009 at 07:31 PM
congratulations, Louise! That was a beautiful write up too, Dan.
Posted by: Cathy Jameson | December 28, 2009 at 07:23 PM
You are a leader by example, and you have blazed a trail not only for the children of New Jersey, but children everywhere.
I look forward to working with you in the coming months and I positively can not wait to see you again at Autism One and give you a great big HUG!
Congrats again Lady! You deserve it! Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for our children!
Congratulations Louise!! So well deserved! And thank you ever so much!!
p.s. I'm still interested in working with you with govetorial race here in Iowa for 2010. We all need to have the right to chose.
Posted by: Lin | December 28, 2009 at 01:42 PM
Louise, thanks to your help, children will no longer be forced to take thimerosal-preserved flu shots. You have made a tremendous difference in your state that will help so many people.
Posted by: Jake Crosby | December 28, 2009 at 01:41 PM
Louise is an extraordinary person, and she is quite deserving of this award. She is an absolute inspiration to so many (myself included), and she has the power to galvanize everyone around her and get them motivated to fight for what should be their inherent right-- vaccination choice. Sometimes, a very big, important person with a very big, important voice comes in a very small package. Someone like Louise. We are so lucky to have her in NJ.
P.S. Did you hear her speak in Albany, NY on the Capital steps? Wow!
Posted by: Gayle | December 28, 2009 at 01:17 PM
The first thing I remember about Louise was seeing a photo of a heroically lovely person over a year ago. I'm not exaggerating at all to say that everything she's said and done since has only added to the impression that she's truly extraordinary and the feeling that she's a figure of historic dimensions.
It seems like she was born to the role of leadership for this movement, but no one is "born" to see their child suffer this way. Like the rest of us, I wish she hadn't been initiated by seeing her two of her children injured in order to attain the first-hand knowledge which adds even more power to her inherent grace and intelligence. But as long as we can't turn back time, we can be grateful that we have such amazing people like this speaking out for us.
Posted by: Gatogorra | December 28, 2009 at 12:30 PM
Everyone on this list needs to contact their Congressman and Senators to find out who their Congressman/Senator's designated
"autism expert" is. It they do not have one, kick and scream until they appoint somebody.
Then, you need to be as helpful to that person as possible, forward them summaries of and copies of key past articles, as well as summaries of key current articles, as they occur, to make sure the appointed autism expert is properly informed. Be careful not to overwhelm them. Make sure that the appointed autism expert gets recognition with the Congressman/Senator for being responsive to you.
Then, think up a local event full of ASD parents and ask the Congressman/Senator to come talk. Or, show up in mass at an event that the Congressman has organized in your district. You don't have to wait until election time, but work with the local staff to pick a time when you know your Congressman/Senator will already be visiting the home district.
This will make the Congressman/Senator get up to speed on the issues, hopefully, based on the information you have provided.
Most important - let the Congressman/Senator know your people are numerous and highly motivated. They know what that means to voter turn out, campaign contributions, and their ability to raise volunteers.
Posted by: John M. Hemenway (Bedford, Virginia) | December 28, 2009 at 12:25 PM
Thanks Louise for your leadership!
Posted by: Just another mom | December 28, 2009 at 12:22 PM
Louise is the perfect choice!
She is such an amazing Mom and an articulate and powerful voice for our community.
New Jersey had NO idea who they were going up against when they started in with their insanely aggressive vacccine mandates. Louise has helped all NJ families fight for the right to make these important health decicions for their children.
Just like autisn, Louise takes no prisoners. She brought vaccine choice to the forefront of a brutal governors race. Christie is the first NJ governor to listen to our community thanks to all of Louise's efforts.
Thank you Louise!!!!!!!!
Posted by: Katie Wright | December 28, 2009 at 12:08 PM
Is there still time to run for Congress in 2010 ??
Posted by: cmo | December 28, 2009 at 11:11 AM
What an excellent choice! Thank you, LKH, for being such an articulate and determined advocate!!
Posted by: Twyla | December 28, 2009 at 11:04 AM
This honor is SO well deserved! I remember getting Emails from Louise early on, wondering who is this person? A force to be reckoned with that's who she is! Louise we honor your tireless advocacy! Thank you!
Posted by: karenatlanta | December 28, 2009 at 11:03 AM
You couldn't have made a better choice. I've worked closely with Louise on New Jersey vaccination issues, and her drive, hard work, intelligence, and ability to organize quickly have never ceased to amaze me.
Posted by: Karen S. | December 28, 2009 at 10:55 AM
Fantastic choice! Go Louise!!!!
Posted by: Laura Cellini | December 28, 2009 at 10:48 AM
Posted by: htbenz | December 28, 2009 at 10:31 AM
Congratulations, Louise! You are truly an inspiration to all of us fighting the fight.
Posted by: Lisa fioranelli | December 28, 2009 at 10:21 AM
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Each year the mainstream media in America finds itself roundly duped into covering insignificant or less-than-truthful stories with industry-wide gusto.
With so many millions of dollars coursing through the veins of the national press, it is little wonder that news outlets across the country leap into action at even the slightest hint of a juicy headline (or a boy in a balloon) on the wind.
So, like ravenous hyenas, media pundits race to sink their teeth into any given story before facts, figures & other concrete details can be revealed. (Lest something as unprofitable as the Truth get in the way of a big-money angle.)
Twenty-ot-Nine was a banner year for media whoopsies, and as a service to the mainstream media I have crafted a list of the top ten mistakes to avoid in 2010.
Mainstream Media New Years Resolution # 6 of 10
Avoid parroting reports from government agencies, industry goons & sellout scientists where the health of a generation of children is concerned. Vaccines are robbing kids of the natural process through which their immune systems grow to respond to threats, and may be responsible for the unprecedented rise in cases of autism.
I know reading a full scientific report is a bit heavy, and talking points from highly paid industry apologists look better in print. But should cases of autism continue to rise in tandem with continued mass-immunization, the government (most notably the Centers for Disease Control or CDC,) the vaccine industry & the mainstream media will be asked what was done to prevent the most massive instance of medical malpractice in modern American history.
Millions of American parents wonder why their children suddenly stop interacting with their family and start banging their heads and biting siblings. Millions more wonder why their kids suddenly begin exhibiting neurological disorders after years of healthy development.
While mercury-contaminated vaccines (those containing the organomercurial Thimerosal) continue to be recommended or even mandated throughout American society, reports citing the negative effects of this compound are only now becoming widely distributed. Thimerosal was banned around the world in 1980, but US drug makers have been allowed to continue using it in the production of vaccines to this day.
One would expect that state and federal lawsuits, increased awareness created by independent media outlets, and a growing public outcry would generate reports from each of the major national news corporations.
With the exception of an isolated report by CNN highlighting contradictory non-scientific judicial panel rulings, that has not happened. Instead, vaccines of all kinds are promoted by mainstream media as necessary and potentially life-saving based on the recommendations of the CDC and the American Medical Association (AMA.)
While the positive effects of most vaccines are not in doubt, the effectiveness of flu vaccines in particular must be called into question.
Each year mutant strains of influenza arise that nullify the effects of mass-immunization. We will never overcome the flu, but seem possessed with continuing to fight it. Children coddled by continued vaccinations fail to develop immune systems that have learned to fight the flu independently of vaccines.
That deficiency, coupled with the potential for mercury-contaminated immunizations to create neurological disorders in recipients, should have long ago resulted in a rigorous examination of the immunization process in this country. That it has not is an outrageous failure on the part of major media outlets to raise public awareness.
Robert F Kennedy Jr recently spoke out on vaccines as a direct cause of autism, and highlighted the contribution of over-vaccination towards creating the sickest generation of children in American history. (Also see Part 2 of RFK Jr’s speech for his indictment of the mainstream media in failing to cover this ongoing debate.) While Mr. Kennedy exhibited typical rich kid on drugs behavior in his 20’s, he has led an impressively noble life since that time as an environmental lawyer and people’s advocate.
Stay tuned every weekday leading up to New Years Eve for Resolutions #’s 7 thru 10!
And remember, a free and independent media is the key to any successful Democracy, but only when said media honors its responsibility to uphold truth above ratings.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
What's going on? If you listen to well-paid spokespeople of the vaccine industry, you’ll hear that the case is closed on the link between vaccines and autism and that the scientific consensus supports no association. It’s eerily reminiscent of the days when tobacco companies produced a consensus of science showing no link between smoking and lung cancer.
But, calmer voices like Dr. Bernadine Healy, the former Director of the NIH, are rising up and challenging this rhetoric.
Where is the truth? Like everything else in life, the devil is in the details. The "fourteen studies' are being misrepresented by public health officials who are trying to save the current vaccine program, which has ballooned from 10 vaccines in the 1980s to 36 today, a 260% increase. During this same time, autism rates have gone from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 150, a 6,000%, or 60-fold increase.
By reading and analyzing every published study used to "prove" vaccines do not cause autism, this website will show you that:
- No real world studies of the vaccine schedule have ever been done. Of the 11 separate vaccines given to American children (many given multiple times), only one vaccine -- the MMR -- has ever been studied for its relationship to autism. Yet, American children get 6 or 7 different vaccines simultaneously at 2, 4, 6, and 12 month doctor appointments.
- Not one study compares vaccinated children to unvaccinated children -- every study only looks at children who have received vaccines. This is like comparing smokers who smoke one pack a day to those who smoke two packs a day, seeing no difference in cancer rates, and saying cigarettes don’t cause cancer.
- The studies are rife with conflicts including authors who have been paid by vaccine companies and federal agencies and foreign governments charged with administering vaccines.
- Many of the studies reach false conclusions or conclusions that have nothing to do with the simple question: do vaccines cause autism? They are simply being misrepresented in the press by public health officials taking advantage of a docile media that is heavily dependent on advertising from pharma companies.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
See more news releases in: Health Care & Hospitals, Medical Pharmaceuticals, Surveys, Polls and Research, Children-related News, Domestic Policy
Autism - CDC Avoids The Elephant in The Room
ATLANTA, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A study released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that autism prevalence has increased a staggering 57% from the 1994 rate of 1 in 150 to 1 in 110 for children born in 1996. SafeMinds is extremely dissatisfied with CDC's lack of commitment to researching environmental causes and the timing of their announcement.
Mark Blaxill, SafeMinds Director told FoxNews.com, "I would say that releasing something the Friday before Christmas is about as deep as you can bury something."
CDC's Catherine Rice said, "We know there are multiple complex genetic and environmental factors which result in multiple forms of autism and we have much to learn about the causes." However, absent from CDC's press conference and subsequent call with autism advocacy groups were specifics on the types of environmental exposures to be investigated. They skirted questions about potential environmental causes and avoided using words like "toxic exposures" or "pollutants" despite very pointed questions from advocates.
During CDC's statement, Rice referenced CDC's SEED study "to help identify risks and protective factors for ASDs and other developmental disabilities. SEED is studying potential risk factors that may be related to genes, health conditions and other factors that affected the mother's pregnancy and the child's first few years of life." Yet SEED's website doesn't mention environmental research.
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) chairman, Dr. Tom Insel, took a new tone in an interview with journalist David Kirby. According to Kirby's article, Insel said that better diagnosis and reporting could not "explain away this huge increase," and that "there is no question that there has got to be an environmental component here." Insel also stated, "It's quite believable to me that there are many children who develop autism in the context of having severe gut pathology, of having autoimmune problems, of having lots of other problems. And some of these kids really do recover."
SafeMinds President, Theresa Wrangham said, "To date, IACC has paid lip service to environmental research by noting its promise and chronic state of underfunding. Yet the IACC purposefully excluded environmental expertise from informing their research agenda. Most recently, the NIH missed a critical opportunity to equalize this acknowledged funding disparity. Of the stimulus funds NIH allocated for autism research, cause and prevention was allocated 52% with over 70% of that amount dedicated to more genetic research that is already well funded publicly and privately."
Neither CDC nor IACC have shown a sense of urgency or commitment to study environmental triggers such as the many toxins and pollutants infants and toddlers are exposed to (including from vaccines). SafeMinds wants journalists to ask tough questions. With such a dramatic
increase in prevalence, the public deserves to know which environmental triggers will be investigated to explain the ghastly increase. Visit SafeMinds website for insights on what changed in the environment between 1994 and 1996.
WASHINGTON — Drugmaker MedImmune is recalling nearly 5 million doses of swine flu vaccine because the nasal spray appears to lose strength over time, federal health officials announced Tuesday.
The vaccine recall is the second this month caused by declining potency and comes as public health officials urge millions of Americans to get vaccinated against swine flu.
The action affects more than 4.6 million doses, but the vast majority have already been used, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Agency officials said the vaccine was strong enough when it was distributed in October and November.
"The slight decrease in potency is not expected to have any effect on the protective effect of the vaccine," said Norman Baylor, director of the FDA's vaccine research office. "We are not recommending revaccination."
The agency is looking into the problem but said it's not uncommon for vaccines to lose strength over time. MedImmune's vaccine has a recommended shelf life of about four months. The company has about 3,000 doses in its warehouses but does not know how many remain in the field, according to the FDA.
Last week, vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur recalled hundreds of thousands of swine flu shots for children because tests indicated those doses lost some strength. Most of those doses had already been used, too.
Maryland-based MedImmune, a subsidiary of London-based AstraZeneca PLC, voluntarily recalled 13 lots of its vaccine, "due to a slight decrease in potency" discovered through routine quality control testing, said spokesman Tor Constantino.
"It's not a safety concern. People who have received doses from the affected lots do not need to be revaccinated. The doses were well within potency specification," he said.
Swine flu vaccine has been available since early October, and since then manufacturers have released over 111 million doses for distribution in the U.S. MedImmune makes the only nasal spray version, which can be used by healthy people ages 2 to 49.
Only in recent weeks have state authorities lifted restrictions on who can get vaccinated. Previously the vaccines were reserved for high-risk patients, including pregnant women and schoolchildren.
In a telephone news conference on Tuesday, Dr. Anne Schuchat of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 60 million Americans have received swine flu vaccine, and said intense monitoring for side effects has not turned up any safety concerns.
"We are not seeing any worrisome signs," she said.
The vaccine supply has increased so much in recent weeks that she urged parents of children 10 and younger to get them a second dose, because studies show this age group needs two for optimal protection.
Flu activity has slowed, but "it's not gone," Schuchat said. "None of us know what the weeks and months ahead will bring in terms of influenza activity, and it's very important not to become complacent."
The first wave of the swine flu pandemic began in April, when the strain was discovered. A larger wave started in the late summer and is declining. Infections are now widespread in 11 states, down from 48 in late October.
A new Harvard poll released Tuesday finds that concern about swine flu has waned along with the number of new cases being reported.
Only 40 percent of people now say they are concerned that they or a family member will get sick from swine flu during the next year. That's down from an earlier poll in September, when 52 percent said they were worried about swine flu.
The new poll found that most parents who sought vaccine for their children were able to get it. However, more than one-third of respondents said they did not plan to seek it for their kids.
The Harvard School of Public Health polled more than 1,600 adults on Dec. 16 and 17.
Also on Tuesday, a 13-year-old dog in suburban New York was confirmed as the first known case of swine flu in a dog. The pet apparently caught the virus from his owner. The CDC's Schuchat said that animals can carry and spread flu viruses, but such cases are rare and people should not be afraid to enjoy their pets. A few cats and ferrets have also been diagnosed with swine flu.
AP Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione reported from Milwaukee.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Monday, December 21, 2009
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study last week that reveals a dramatic increase in the incidence of autism over just a four-year period.
In this brand new study of children born in 1998, 1 in 110 were found to be on the autism spectrum. This finding correlates with a recent study in Pediatrics that found the autism rate for children born in the 90s and early 2000s is 1 in 91. Obvious to anyone confronted by these studies, autism is a huge problem, and it's getting worse.
Previous studies conducted by the CDC have reported that 1 in 150 children born in 1994 were diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.
But let me tell you what I continue to hear from my colleagues in the pediatric community: "There's been no increase in autism - we're just better at recognizing it." I just attended a pediatric lecture, and the speaker, a local pediatrician, stated this very clearly.
I just don't get it. How long will pediatricians continue to deny that autism is truly on the rise? I guess as long as autism isn't a problem, we don't have to work very hard to find what's causing it?
The CDC seems to be taking the rise in autism seriously, but is the institution ready to actually admit autism is truly increasing? Here are two quotes from the new study:
Although improved ascertainment accounts for some of the prevalence increases documented in the ADDM sites, a true increase in the risk for children to develop ASD symptoms cannot be ruled out.
Basically, this suggests that some of the observed increase is the result of better diagnosis, and perhaps it also due to an actual increase in cases. What I would like to hear from the CDC, instead of "a rise cannot be ruled out" is "there is a definite and obvious rise in the number of children developing autism."
The second quote:
[These results] underscore the need to regard ASDs as an urgent public health concern... Research is needed to ascertain the factors that put certain persons at risk, and concerted efforts are essential to provide support for persons with ASDs, their families, and communities to improve long-term outcome.
Instead of "urgent public health concern," I would have liked to see the word "epidemic," or something far more serious than a "concern."
OK, enough ragging on the CDC. I do appreciate the institution's undertaking of this study (thanks go to the authors of the Pediatrics study as well). And the recognition of the need for more research is very welcome. It is important to appreciate everything they do for our nation's health. I'm just a little disappointed that the CDC's statements fall short of actually saying, "there is a real and true increase in autism; there's a real epidemic."
And what about the increase between 1994 and 1998? A 57% average increase was reported over the four-year period, according to this study. That's very concerning. Such a dramatic increase is very suggestive of environmental triggers as a primary cause of autism, not simply genetics (it's likely a combination of both). Genetics don't deteriorate in a population that quickly. Yet I continue to see statements by medical organizations that state autism is primarily a genetic problem.
Here's my bottom line on this study: Autism is increasing. The rate is somewhere between 1 in 91 and 1 in 110 children, with the majority being boys. That is simply staggering. To think that in a large public school (some are as big as 3000 students where I live), about 30 of the children there could have autism. I see it in my practice. Ask any teacher - it's all over the schools and in every neighborhood. Growing up as a child in the 70s and 80s, I honestly did not know a single child in any of the schools I attended who had autism. The increase is real, and it's not going away. We need research and treatments. We need to make sure families have access to those treatments. And these families and their children need financial and emotional support. Denying the epidemic is like a slap in the face of every parent and child affected. Wake up America! It's time to get to the bottom of this!
Click here to read the recently released CDC study.
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. - (Business Wire) Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) today announced that Dr. Julie Gerberding has been named president of Merck Vaccines, effective January 25, 2010.
Dr. Gerberding led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as director from 2002 to 2009. During her tenure at CDC, Dr. Gerberding led the agency during more than 40 emergency response initiatives for health crises including anthrax bioterrorism, food-borne disease outbreaks, and natural disasters, and advised governments around the world on urgent public health issues such as SARS, AIDS, and obesity.
“Vaccines are a cornerstone of Merck's commitment to health and wellness," said Richard T. Clark, chairman and chief executive officer, Merck & Co., Inc. "We are delighted to welcome an expert of Dr. Gerberding's caliber to Merck. As a preeminent authority in public health, infectious diseases and vaccines, Dr. Gerberding is the ideal choice to lead Merck's engagement with organizations around the world that share our commitment to the use of vaccines to prevent disease and save lives."
"I’ve had the privilege in my previous work in academia and in the federal government to be a passionate advocate for public health priorities such as vaccines, which are an imperative component of global health development," said Dr. Gerberding. "I am very excited to be joining Merck where I can help to expand access to vaccines around the world."
Dr. Gerberding will lead the company's $5 billion global vaccine business. Merck currently markets a broad range of pediatric, adolescent and adult vaccines and is a leading provider of vaccines in countries around the world; in the U.S., Merck markets vaccines for 12 of the 17 diseases for which the U.S. Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices currently recommends vaccines. She will be responsible for the commercialization of the current portfolio of vaccines, planning for the introduction of vaccines from the company's robust vaccine pipeline, and accelerating Merck's on-going efforts to broaden access to its vaccines in the developing world. Dr. Gerberding will also collaborate with leaders of Merck Manufacturing Division and Merck Research Laboratories to manage the critical linkages between basic research, late-stage development and manufacturing to expand Merck's vaccine offerings throughout the world.
She received her undergraduate degree and her M.D. from Case Western Reserve University. Her internship, residency, and clinical pharmacology training were all at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she worked in a range of clinical, research and teaching roles prior to joining the CDC in 1998. Dr. Gerberding received her Masters of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley.
She is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American College of Physicians, and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. She is also a Clinical Professor of Infectious Diseases at Emory University and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine in Infectious Diseases at UCSF.
Dr. Gerberding has received more than 50 awards and honors, including the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Distinguished Service Award for her leadership in responses to anthrax bioterrorism and the September 11, 2001 attacks. She was named to Forbes Magazine's 100 Most Powerful Women in the world in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 and was named to TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2004.
Today's Merck is working to help the world be well. Through our medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer and animal products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching programs that donate and deliver our products to the people who need them. Merck. Be Well. For more information, visit www.merck.com.
Forward Looking Statement
This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough, including future financial and operating results, the combined company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.
The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period, due to, among other things, the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and pending legislation that could affect the pharmaceutical industry; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; disruption from the merger making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; Merck’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck’s patents and other protections for innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health policies in the U.S. and internationally and the exposure to litigation and/or regulatory actions.
Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck’s 2008 Annual Report on Form 10-K, Schering-Plough’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2009, the proxy statement filed by Merck on June 25, 2009 and each company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site: www.sec.gov.
Merck & Co., Inc
Amy Rose, 908-423-6537
Alex Kelly, 908-423-5185
Friday, December 18, 2009
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The new resolution to provide vaccine exemptions to all Hawaiian citizens, based on the scientific evidence that confirms vaccines can cause harm and should never be forced upon citizens, is a big victory for Hawaii and hopefully sets a precedent for the country! This article is very eye-opening in explaining the "politics" of vaccines! ~Mary, NJ
Hawaii H1N1 Resolution Advances Vaccination Exemptions Favoring Americans' Growing Demand for Health Freedoms
Hilo, HI--Department of Health officials in Hawaii were overruled by County of Hawaii directors supporting a resolution favoring First Amendment constitutional rights and vaccination exemptions for everyone demanding them.
The nearly unanimous 7-1 Big Island of Hawaii Council vote sent a strong message to State and Federal policy makers to consider a majority of people who solidly distrust risky vaccines in general, and health officials' claims of safety regarding H1N1 vaccines in particular.
The vote demonstrated the power of local community activists to rebuke "top down" policies advancing "mandatory" vaccinations during declared emergencies. The Council's decision backed the majority of people unwilling to lose health freedoms to Federal governors directing State health officials on behalf of BigPharma special interests.
The Resolution (237-09) urges State and Federal legislators in Hawaii "to amend vaccine laws to include medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions from any vaccine program," including those declared urgent by health officials. continue...
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
H1N1 vaccine recall: 800,000 doses of kids' swine flu vaccine found to be not potent enough
By Rosemary Black
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Originally Published:Tuesday, December 15th 2009, 11:14 AM
Updated: Tuesday, December 15th 2009, 2:02 PMStaver/BloombergHealth officials announced a recall Tuesday of 800,000 pre-filled syringes of swine flu vaccine for young children.
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Health officials are recalling some 800,000 pediatric doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine after tests indicated they may not be powerful enough to offer protection against the virus, according to The Associated Press.
It's unclear how many doses already have been distributed, but officials said they don't think children need to be revaccinated, according to the AP.
The federal Centers for Disease Control’s advice for parents worried that their child might have received an ineffective dose of the H1N1 vaccine? Don’t panic.
“If a parent has a child who received this vaccine, they need to do absolutely nothing,” said CDC spokesman Tom Skinner. “But if they were recommended to get a second dose of the vaccine, which in this age group they were, they should be sure to get that second dose.”
The CDC notified doctors about the recall, which involves doses made by Sanofi Pasteur. All of the doses are prefilled syringes intended for children aged 6 months to almost 3 years, according to Skinner.
Tuesday’s announcement is aimed, Skinner said, primarily at clinicians and providers.
“We are reaching out to these clinicians and providers to tell them if they have vaccine around from these lots, don’t use it,” he said. “Most of this vaccine probably has already been used.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages 9 and under get two doses of the H1N1 vaccine, spaced about a month apart, to obtain the most protection against the virus.
Health officials say the doses that were recalled passed potency tests when they were shipped but that their potency waned later on, according to the AP.
The recall of so many doses “shows the problem with trying to rush these things to market,” said Dr. Kent Holtorf, who specializes in chronic infectious diseases.
“The way the whole swine flu vaccine was put out there was problematic,” he said. “If they’re putting out a product that is ineffective, it makes you wonder what other types of quality control are lacking. Rushing a vaccine is always worrisome.”
But parents should not be concerned, said Dr. Joseph Bocchini, chairman of the AAP’s committee on infectious diseases.
“It’s not a safety thing at all,” he said. “The company found that the potency was slightly below the limit that they set for the vaccine. And since the level of potency was just slightly below, the feeling is that it would have induced a good immune response in children anyway. These kids don’t need an extra, a third dose, because of this recall.”
The recall “is not a dangerous thing, not a health thing,” said pediatrician Dr. Mary Ellen Renna, author of “Medical Truths Revealed,” who recommends that all her patients get the vaccine. “I am telling my patients to be sure they get the second dose, and they will be protected. This is nothing to be concerned about.”
With News Wire Reports
Monday, December 14, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
On 12/7/09 a group of concerned citizens attended the Senate Health Committee to hear and provide testimony regarding the New Jersey Public Water Supply Fluoridation Act, Senate Bill S2856 , which would mandate state-wide water "fluoridation."
The North Jersey District Water Supply Commission (NJDWSC) also provided testimony and presented each Health Committee member with well-documented facts on fluoridation, including costs to implement and the chemical compound that would be added to the water supply. Details can be found at www.NewJerseyWaterEducation.com and http://www.newjerseywatereducation.com/pdfs/Booklet17.pdf . A summary of the testimony is provided as follows.
1. $5.4 Billion Dollars = Mandatory water fluoridation startup capital cost to NJ residents!!!
2. $1 Billion Dollars = Every Year for operation, maintenance and safety related costs!!!!
3. Citizens of NJ drink less than 1% of the water supply. Most of the fluoridated water would be used to water lawns, flush toilets, wash clothing, and for manufacturing. Billions of dollars would be spent to fluoridate water that will never be ingested.
4. Hydrofluosilicic Acid is the water fluoridation product - it is classified toxic waste by the EPA and contains lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium etc... Pharmaceutical grade fluoride is not used!
5. Fluoride is highly corrosive and will have financial impact on drinking and sewer pipes.
6. High doses of fluoride can injure susceptible populations of people such as kidney disorder patients, diabetics, elderly, infants, and immunodeficiency disease patients.
7. Per the CDC, 32% of children in the US are suffering from dental/enamel fluorosis, a dangerous health condition caused by a child receiving too much fluoride during tooth development.
(See www.NewJerseyWaterEducation.com Booklet #17 for photos.)
8. Ingested fluoride has no significant impact in reducing tooth decay. Fluoride's benefit, if any, is from direct application to the surface of the teeth. Thus, using the water system at a cost of multi billion dollars statewide is unnecessary and does not fulfill the intended goal.
9. The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA - July 2000) clarified for every dentist in America that ingestion of fluoridedoes not provide any significant reductions in the incidence of tooth decay.
10. Infants up to 6 months of age are at risk: the American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatrics has warned parents NOT to use fluoridated tap water to mix infant formula because of the high occurrence of dental fluorosis. Artificially fluoridated water contains 250 times the amount of fluoride found in breast milk.
NJ Citizens Please note:
1. Thousands of scientists, dentists, physicians and professionals have signed an international statement opposing the dangerous practice of water fluoridation:
2. According to the EPA, "By recovering byproduct fluosilicic acid from fertilizer manufacturing, water and air pollution are minimized, and water utilities have a low-cost source of fluoride available to them." (former EPA Deputy Asst. Administrator, Rebecca Hanmer). NJ citizens should not have to pay for "fluoridated water" from recycled toxic waste.
3. Fluoride is more toxic than lead and only slightly less poisonous than arsenic. http://www.fluoridealert.org/health/accidents/f-lead.html
4. “Fluoride causes more human cancer death and causes it faster than any other chemical. …30,000 to 50,000 deaths each year, from various causes, may now be attributable to fluoridation.” (Chief Chemist Emeritus, U.S. National Cancer Institute)
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