By Andrew W. Griffin
Posted: August 12, 2009
OKLAHOMA CITY – The turnout Tuesday evening for the IPS Research Co. swine flu vaccine forum may have been small but the information was of tremendous importance.
Hosting this IPS Research-sponsored forum was Dr. Louise Thurman. During the hour-and-a-half forum, held in a meeting room at Crossings Community Center in Oklahoma City, Thurman went through a power-point presentation going over the history of swine flu, officially known as AH1N1 2009 or simply H1N1, and how it is rapidly spreading around the world.
Oklahoma Watchdog has been reporting on this upcoming vaccine trial, to be held here in Oklahoma City, since late July.
Companies are developing the vaccine to be available to the public in the fall. It’s on the fast-track, Thurman said of the swine flu vaccine manufacturing process.
And while influenza is an annual occurrence in the United States and around the world, Thurman explained that the swine flu is spreading incredibly rapidly, having appeared in April, a month not normally associated with the outbreak of flu.
“The flu doesn’t like heat and humidity,” she said. “It prefers cool and dry conditions.” This is why it is more common in the autumn and winter.
According to a letter printed in Maine’s Kennebec Journal this week, headlined “Swine flu vaccinations ‘disaster in the making,’” swine flu had killed 353 people in the U.S. as of July 31. Yet, the regular flu had “killed an estimated 21,000 this year in the U.S. according to the CDC.”
As of early August, there have been 237 lab-confirmed cases of H1NI in Oklahoma with one death reported. If there were no vaccine used, Thurman said, 2 billion cases of swine flu would probably result with 100 million cases in the United States and 1 million cases in Oklahoma.
As for the IPS Research clinical study, which is focusing on children between the ages of three and eight years old and adults age 65 and older,
1. Five visits, two vaccinations, blood draw at each office visit, 11 monthly follow-up phone calls.
2. Blood tests done at each visit will tell us the level of antibodies formed over the six week period of time.
3. Compensation is $75 a visit and $10 per phone call.
4. You will learn if your child is immune to the swine flu once study is closed.
5. This test vaccine is made just like Fluvirin vaccine, but with the novel H1N1 virus commonly known as the “swine flu.”
Thurman said that the flu vaccine in 2010 will probably include the swine flu vaccine. In the meantime, she said, have good hygiene, stay healthy, and if you have symptoms, antivirals are most effective in the first 48 hours.
Thurman said there will be no placebo during the trials. Everyone will receive the vaccine, which will be provided by either Novartis or other vaccine manufacturers.
Regarding the children in the vaccine trials, it’s their parents that are bringing them in as a result of the front-page article in The Oklahoman a few weeks ago. She said side effects for the children should be nothing more than an upset stomach.
When asked if they had a specific number of people they would like to take part in the study, Thurman said the more the better.
“We would like to get as many as we can so we can make a difference in our community,” Thurman said, adding that Oklahoma City is one of 20 cities in the U.S. that will be participating in the national trials. Reports have noted testing already starting in Fort Worth, Texas and St. Louis, Missouri. Thurman said tests will start no later than Aug. 28.
One man in the audience who asked a number of questions asked that in light of the problems connected with the 1976 swine flu vaccine – Guillain-Barre syndrome – “why would I be in favor of this?”
Thurman replied that Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare neurological condition that causes temporary paralysis. But that the methods used to create the current vaccine have been different since the early 1980’s.
The same man then joked, “It’s like that monkey movie … you know, 12 Monkeys, where they guy flew around the world in a plane spreading that disease around the world.”
Strangely, no one mentioned anything about the current swine-flu outbreak having to do anything with a man-made release.
Oklahoma Watchdog inquired about the use of squalene, an adjuvant that is an oil-based additive that is known to cause adverse auto-immune responses. Squalene has been linked to Gulf War syndrome, something Thurman acknowledged. This reporter interviewed Gulf War veterans in the 1990’s and the issue of squalene came up more than once. There is a concern out there, something Thurman downplayed.
“Gulf War veterans received a lot of vaccines because they didn’t know what they would encounter,” Thurman said. “There’s been a lot of studies looking at that. And in Europe, squalene is used in vaccines.”
Out of the seven doses that test subjects receive, Thurman said, “three will contain squalene.”
One man in attendance, Wayne Rohde, asked about the mercury-based thimerosal in the swine flu vaccines.
“There will be .025 milligrams (of thimerosal) in the vial,” Thurman said, noting that one can of tuna contains the same amount of mercury that six of the swine-flu shots would contain.
However, studies show that thimerosal, a mercury preservative, is 50 times more toxic than regular mercury and can lead to long-term immune, sensory, neurological, motor and behavioral dysfunctions.
So, IPS Research will be offering test subjects vaccines containing both squalene and thimerosal.
While there will not be any trials at IPS involving pregnant women, Thurman said that the CDC and health officials are planning to vaccinate pregnant women first because they have the highest mortality rate, followed by children between the ages of six and 24 months old. Health-care workers and first-line responders are also going to be targeted early on with these new vaccines.
Asked about waivers or consent forms for people involved in the trials, Thurman did not seem sure, other than to say that the vaccine manufacturer would take care of anyone who may be injured or killed as a result of their involvement in the trial. Folks are compensated approximately $500 for their involvement in the trial, a figure Rohde called “peanuts.”
Rohde, whose son Nicholas was diagnosed with autism, fought for “Nick’s Law” in 2008 and continues to fight for, as he puts it “legislation to require private insurance companies to provide insurance coverage for autism.”
Rohde suspects thimerosal-tainted vaccines led to the onset of his son’s autism.
“I don’t believe vaccine manufacturers take care of that person,” Rohde said, of any person injured or killed by a vaccine.
And Rohde’s comment echoes that of Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius who, in July, signed a document that says vaccine makers and federal officials will be immune from lawsuits that result from any new swine flu vaccine.
Currently, there are 110 million doses of swine flu vaccine available, Thurman said, adding that she believes “a huge number of people will get sick” before this Level 6 pandemic levels off and eventually subsides.
Concluding, Oklahoma Watchdog asked if reports in the media, suggesting that if the swine flu gets bad enough that inoculations will be mandatory, Thurman said, “Everything I’ve see has said it’s not going to be mandatory.”
For more information on IPS Research, go to http://www.ipsresearch.com.
Copyright 2009 West Marie Media