Finally Medical Journal Admits the Truth About Bird Flu

The British Medical Journal recently featured an editorial on the bird flu in which they state the following:

The lack of sustained human-to-human transmission suggests that this AH5N1 avian virus does not currently have the capacity to cause a human pandemic.

Theoretical Speculation

While they do go on to say the virus could mutate with a influenza A virus and has the potential to acquire the means for rapid human to human transmission, it does not have this ability now; the preparation and warnings are entirely about a theoretical speculation.

No Lawsuits or Compensation Allowed

Meanwhile, the Bush administration's proposed $7.1-billion pandemic flu plan seeks broad restrictions on lawsuits against producers of vaccines and antiviral drugs, and makes no mention of how those injured or killed by adverse reactions could be compensated.

Yesterday's Wired magazine does an excellent review of detailing why this plan will fail. They conclude:

"...it will take at least five years to create enough manufacturing capacity to reach that goal. Then it will take another eight months to create a new vaccine that combats the specific strain that would be killing people. In other words, it would be 2011 at the earliest before every American could be vaccinated against a bird flu pandemic."

The other, even more serious shortcoming of the plan is that it would protect vacine producers and distributors except in cases of "willful misconduct," a term to be defined later.

Lawsuits Not An Undue Burden

Bush has called "the growing burden of litigation" one of the greatest obstacles to vaccine production. But critics have pointed out that lawsuits against vaccines are relatively rare; a recent study of the subject found only ten lawsuits related to flu vaccine over the past 20 years.

British Medical Journal October 29, 2005; 331(7523): 975-976

Los Angeles Times November 4, 2005 SOURCE:



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