Gov't Urged To Stockpile Vaccinesgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I came across this today. This leads me to believe that we are in for alot more then power outages and food shortages. I didn't realise how serious these threats of terrorism were to us.
MARCH 16, 14:40 EST
Gov't Urged To Stockpile Vaccines
By LAURA MYERS Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senators concerned that the nation isn't prepared for biological terrorism urged the government Tuesday to stockpile more anthrax and smallpox vaccines and to develop new ones.
Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., also called on the Clinton administration to declassify a Pentagon list of some two dozen biological weapons in order to warn Americans, saying he would write a letter to Defense Secretary William Cohen asking him to do so.
``This ought to be on the front burner,'' Specter told a joint hearing of the Veterans Affairs Committee and the Appropriations Committee's health panel, both of which he chairs. ``The American people have a right to know what's happening here.''
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said the United States is ``way behind in our efforts in dealing with bioterrorism,'' calling the potential danger ``extremely real.''
``It is as great a threat or a greater threat than the Soviet Union posed to us,'' Rockefeller declared.
The Pentagon is inoculating all 2.4 million U.S. troops and reserves against anthrax to protect against possible germ warfare. Vaccine supplies are limited, however, since only one U.S. company manufactures it.
Anthrax kills 80 percent of those who inhale germ spores and are not treated. It is not spread by person and can be prevented by antibiotics taken before symptoms appear.
Smallpox is a highly contagious, untreatable virus. The disease was eradicated decades ago, but the former Soviet Union and other countries experimented with turning laboratory supplies of the virus into bioweapons, so the risk still exists.
Smallpox vaccines are no longer being manufactured, but the U.S. government maintains 6 million to 7 million doses of vaccine.
President Clinton last year ordered federal agencies to expand steps against possible chemical and biological attacks in the United States. His fiscal 2000 budget proposes boosting spending by $2.8 billion to safeguard against such attacks, as well as against assaults on sensitive computer networks.
The Health and Human Services Department is spending $158 million this year to prepare for possible bioterrorism and is asking for $230 million next year. A top HHS priority is creating a stockpile of treatments and vaccines, focusing first on antibiotics against anthrax and the plague and enhancing the existing smallpox vaccine supply, U.S. officials said.
Specter and Rockefeller called for the development of a broader range of vaccines.
``There is a large number of biological threats for which the United States has no vaccine,'' Specter said.
Rockefeller added, ``Everything needs to be taken seriously.''
Margaret Hamburg, the HHS assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, said there is ``wide agreement in the scientific community'' that the United States should develop an improved smallpox vaccine. And she agreed other vaccines should be developed, but said it could take years and be costly.
There is a potential for runaway anti-terrorism spending, cautioned the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress.
``Our message is not that we should stop funding,'' said Henry Hinton, GAO's assistant comptroller general for national security and international affairs. ``What we see missing from the picture is ... focusing the federal machinery and resources out there to make sure we get to the highest part of the threats.''
Hinton said intelligence assessments conclude the greatest terrorist threats remain conventional weapons, such as bombs that destroyed a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995 and hit two U.S. embassies in Africa last year.
A Japanese cult's release of the nerve gas sarin in a Tokyo subway in March 1995 - killing 12 people and injuring more than 5,000 - raised global concerns about bioterrorism.
-- maji (majiWI@yahoo.com), March 16, 1999
Does anyone know anyhting about antrax vaccines? I know that a lot of personnel in the military are/or have been refusing to take them. Does anyone know what the risks are?
-- Wondering (email@example.com), March 16, 1999.
To check out the anthrax, go to www.gulfwarvets.com. This is important to me, because my spouse is faced with taking this or getting out.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 16, 1999.
Another site I found with info on anthrax and other interesting info is:
www.disastercenter.com/ scroll down click terrorism & secruity info scroll down to anthrax vaccination program
-- maji (majiWI@yahoo.com), March 16, 1999.
Here are a few interesting tidbits on the military's program to vaccinate soldiers for Anthrax.
Now honestly... if this is a global and national threat, how long is it until we get our "mandatory" vaccinations? Wired.com article on Anthrax and military. http://www.wired.com/news/news/politics/story/18485.html?wnpg=1 This is scary stuff. Official word on Anthrax etc. http://www.defenselink.mil/specials/Anthrax/
-- Athanatos (Athanatos@Duffer.com), March 16, 1999.
Thanks for posting the URL to my wired.com article on anthrax. The military says its safe because it's FDA-approved.
I have no convincing evidence it is NOT safe, but look at what the FDA has approved as A-OK in the past...
1) DES, diethylstilbestrol
1941: DES approved for medical use in human beings. Despite the evidence from animal studies, the FDA approved the use of DES to treat vaginitis, gonorrhea, menopausal symptoms, and to suppress lactation - but not for use during pregnancy. Once FDA approval was granted for these limited uses, however, there was nothing to prevent drug salesmen from suggesting, and physicians from prescribing, DES for any other medical condition - menstrual problems, morning sickness, infertility, and many other applications.
1947: DES approved for use during pregnancy. At the prodding of the drug companies reacting to market demand, the FDA approved the use of DES during pregnancy.
2) Phen-Fen, Phentermine and Fenfluramine
ADVISORY COMMITTEE VOTES ON DEXFENFLURAMINE
T95-65 Susan M. Cruzan Nov. 27, l995 (301) 443-3285
FDA's Metabolism and Endocrine Drugs Advisory Committee has recommended approval of dexfenfluramine (Redux), a new drug to treat obesity. In a 6 to 5 vote, the committee concluded that the drug's benefits to obese persons outweighed its potential risks. Obesity, defined as being more than 20 percent overweight, can lead to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer. The following may be used to respond to inquiries.
************ Hottbotting "FDA and dangerous" [boolean] produced the following hit near the top of the list:
3)FDA Medical Officers Report Falling Standards Permit Dangerous Drug Approvals Heavy Pressure from Industry and FDA Hierarchy Cited
"a record three new prescription drugs...were banned in a 12-month period [after their approval] because they were too dangerous to be allowed to stay on the market. For all three -- dexfenfluramine (Redux), mibefradil (Posicor) and bromfenac (Duract) -- data available prior to approval raised significant safety concerns and the drugs did not represent any significant advances over drugs already on the market."
-- Declan McCullagh (email@example.com), March 16, 1999.
If the military brass insists on innoculating all of its troups, it must be safe. Why would they jeopardize the health of the entire military other than in war itself? Isn't the goal of a strong military force to have healthy troups that can survive the enemies and win?
The FDA is very strict on vaccines. Japan had been vaccinating people for chickenpox for 15 years when I entered an experimental vaccination study for it here in the US in 1980 ( I had never contracted it), along with my kids. I concluded the research was very thorough and safe back then, and it was conducted by the University of Pennsylvania's Hospital (HUP) research center. I still haven't come down with chicken pox, nor have my kids, and we've all been exposed to it from other kids. No side effects or illness from it. The vaccine has been aproved by the FDA as part of routine vaccination only 5 years ago. That's 30 years of research counting Japan's, that the FDA needed before aproving.
The threat of Antrax is so great, and so deadly that if I had the chance of getting the vaccine I would in a heart beat. If it's good enough for the troups, it's good enough for me.
-- Chris (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 16, 1999.
Declan, drugs are an entirely different ball game than vaccines.
Vaccines are a small amounts of killed viruses that stimulate your immune system to make antibodies. (In the past "atenuated live viruses " were used in some instances, but I believe only killed ones are used now). The mild symptomes we get after getting a vaccine, aches and pains, mild fever etc., are the effects of the immune system reving-up and busy making antibodies and fighting what it percieves as a threat, it cannot differenciate between live and dead viruses.
Drugs on the other hand, are taken for long periods of time, altering the body's chemistry. Over time, some of them can reck havoc, depending on the type, and especially if taken improperly, that is not exactly as prescribed. Also, pharmaceutical companies have the dollar sign incentive to push their drugs for aproval by the FDA, and lobby constantly for it. Where there's huge sums of money involved, I don't have to tell you that there is huge potential for corruption and cutting corners. These companies are furiously in competition with one another to market money making drugs such as Redux for obesity, as there is a...ahem...huge market for it.
-- Chris (email@example.com), March 16, 1999.
My husbands aunt is in the military and she had to take the Antrax Vaccine and her arm got twice the size it should be,she was home for a week.Thats all I know,mabe I could have him call her about it.
-- Darlene (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 17, 1999.