Tuesday

Genetically engineered vaccine



The H1N1 flu vaccine created by Medimmune is patented. Two patents by this company are described at the US Patent & Trademark Office. There is patent # 6843996 called "Recombinant PB2 variant influenza virus," and patent # 6974686 called, "Recombinant tryptophan mutants of influenza." Both patents use genetic engineering to create the vaccine.
http://patft.uspto.gov/ patent number search

What do we know about genetically engineered vaccines? I don't know much about it. Who does?? How stable is a live genetically engineered vaccine? Meaning will it mutate into something else, something more virulent than its design? Why is a supposedly democratic society limiting choices in health care? Is there an epidemic emmergency? Why should we believe that this is some different flu that requires massive immunization of our population? Rather odd that there is no longer any legal recourse for people damaged by immunization. I suppose that suggests that the US Government and the pharmaceutical industry believe that vaccines are absolutely safe for all people? Or does it mean that these people-government officials and industry refuse to take responsibility for their decisions?

People my age (50's) remember very clearly the swine flu disaster of 1976. Perhaps this is why the government has chosen not to call it the swine flu. Instead it is just a bunch of letters and numbers. But the people are still calling it swine flu--easier to remember. In conversations with a variety of people close to my age, who regularly go to their doctors, get vaccines, I am fascinated by their response to this particular vaccine. Most people seem to have a wait and see approach. They aren't particularly moved by the view that there is a massive epidemic. But then most people in my area are more concerned about the massive epidemic of unemployment. Survival in this cruel democratic nation without a job is far more scary than getting sick and dying. In fact, dying might be a relief.
Copyright 2009 Valerie W. McClain

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