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October 28, 2009

Good enough for the Gammas

Canada gears up for H1N1 with GSK's Pandemrix, a "swine flu jab" with adjuvants made by GlaxoSmithKline. Canadian Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced Health Canada has authorized the H1N1 vaccine including an adjuvant, or booster, based on a German trial involving 130 adults.

Ooh. German medicine. Sounds high tech.

Are we reassured yet?

Because what I want to know is if Canada's Health Minister will get the same flu jab as the rest of us or, as in Germany, whether Canada's people will get one vaccination and Canada's Establishment will get another.

Amid growing fears of a possible global flu pandemic, the German government prepared for its mass-vaccination campaign earlier this year by ordering 50 million doses of the Pandemrix vaccine, enough for a double dose for 25 million people, about a third of the population. The vaccine, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, contains an immunity-enhancing chemical compound, known as an adjuvant, whose side effects are not yet entirely known. Then, after a report was leaked to the German media last week, the Interior Ministry confirmed that it had ordered a different vaccine, Celvapan, for government officials and the military. Celvapan, which is made by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Baxter, does not contain an adjuvant and is believed to have fewer side effects than Pandemrix.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at October 28, 2009 07:47 AM


Canada authorized it based on 130 people? I too would really like to know if there will be a two-tier flu jab here.

I am not some anti-vaccine nut, but I really do not trust flu vaccines. I will not be getting one, and I'm tired of being called "selfish" over my choice. Like the pro-choice feminazzi abortion supporters are fond of saying, "my body, my choice." Shouldn't I be entitled to the same choice? After all, it is my body and, therefore, my choice.

Another point I don't understand: children under 6 months of age can't have the flu shot because they're too young, yet pregnant women are told to get one. Something just doesn't gel with me there.

Posted by: dw [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 29, 2009 08:14 AM