[See Experts, Flu.]

[NVIC April 2006] Hyping Kid Flu Vaccination

Vienna, Virginia http://www.nvic.org

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"Protecting the health and informed consent rights of children since 1982."

BL Fisher Note:

Once again, the M.D./Ph.D. "experts" stand on the backs of little children
to fan public fear of the flu and hype forced child use of flu vaccine.
Getting the flu, whether type A or type B, was once a normal part of the
human experience, an opportunity for both the developing and the mature
human immune system to acquire cell mediated immunity after confronting the
ever-changing flu viruses that circulate around the globe every year.

Now, self-annointed "experts" are determined to prevent or severely limit
human experience with the flu throughout childhood in order to create a
stable market for drug companies selling flu vaccine. And they have no idea
what this medical experiment will do when future generations of Americans no
longer have any natural  immunity to type A and type B flu viruses but have
become both exquisitely vulnerable to evolving flu viruses and totally
dependent on vaccines that only provide temporary, qualitatively inferior

Long after the "experts" pretending to be infallible have died, the people
will be paying the price for having allowed themselves to be experimented


Seattle Times
Monday, April 24, 2006

Vaccinating all schoolkids could prevent flu pandemic

By Warren King
Seattle Times medical reporter

The key to stopping a flu pandemic may lie in schoolchildren.

At school, kids are close together, they don't practice the best hygiene,
and they help germs spread like pollen in spring. At home, they do the same
with their families.

Giving them the best available vaccine at the earliest sign of a major
epidemic might fend off a deadly pandemic, say two of the nation's most
prominent influenza researchers, newly arrived at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer
Research Center.

"A lot of people believe kids are the best transmitters of the virus, and
with a limited supply of vaccine, this might work," said Elizabeth Halloran,
who has studied epidemics for decades.

Halloran and her colleague, Ira Longini, believe using available vaccine
would buy time for manufacturers to create a vaccine that matches the
pandemic flu virus exactly and would protect millions of people worldwide.

Writing in the journal Science, they recently called for a nationwide study
of vaccinating schoolchildren against conventional flu to see if that
controls widespread transmission. (Present guidelines call for immunizing
young children, older adults, pregnant women, chronic-disease patients and
close contacts of these people.) Smaller studies have suggested the
schoolchildren approach might work, and federal officials have expressed
interest in Halloran's and Longini's suggestion.

Indeed, public-health officials usually listen when Halloran and Longini

The pair have used their expertise in statistical modeling of epidemics to
advise the White House and others on both pandemic flu and smallpox. They
also have a wide background in how other infectious diseases spread,
including HIV and malaria.

"They are the experts in this area," said Bradley Efron, chairman of the
statistics department at Stanford University. "They're definitely at the top
of their game."

Longini and Halloran, who came to the Hutchinson Center in January from
Emory University in Atlanta, have worked together for 16 years. They will be
key figures in a new vaccine-research center planned with the University of
Washington, where both teach in the department of biostatistics.

"We want to help design better vaccines and better vaccine-evaluation
studies," said Halloran, 54.

That will include more studies on reducing disease transmission and better
understanding the ways that the human immune system responds to different

The proposed nationwide study of immunizing schoolchildren against the flu
would help prepare for pandemic flu in another way, the scientists said:
Expanding the vaccinations would cause manufacturers to increase production
capacity and refine distribution channels.

Longini and Halloran said they have no doubt of the threat of a pandemic
flu. Both say they think it will come from a mutation of the bird-flu virus,
H5N1, that has killed about 113 people, most of them Asian poultry workers,
and caused the destruction of millions of chickens. The fear among global
health officials is that even a slight genetic change in the H5N1 virus
could make it easy to spread between people.

Longini, 57, estimates that in a worse-case scenario, as many as 2 billion
people could become ill worldwide and 50 million could die within the first
six months.

A recent Carnegie Mellon University survey of 19 influenza experts created a
"median worst-case estimate" of 6 million deaths in the United States in an
extended epidemic and 180 million worldwide.

Halloran and Longini are internationally known for their modeling of
epidemics using U.S. census demographics and travel data from the U.S.
Department of Transportation to calculate how a pandemic would spread in the
United States.

The technique considers the likelihood of any two people meeting on any
given day in various settings, such as the workplace or home, where
transmission might be more likely. It considers that about a third of the
population would never have flu symptoms but could still be contagious, and
it accounts for the fact that infectious periods vary.

"It takes into account the real world," said Longini.

Last summer, Longini, Halloran and their colleagues used their modeling to
give the world a glimpse of hope: They proposed a scenario in which a strain
of deadly flu could be contained at its source.

The scientists simulated a Southeast Asian community with a population of
500,000, based on the 2000 census of Thailand and a previous study of social
networks in the Nang Rong District in Thailand. In the model, people in the
community mixed in many settings, including homes, schools, workplaces,
shops and temples.

The researchers predicted that the disease could be contained if about 70
percent of those who had contact with infected people received antiviral
drugs within 21 days, assuming a moderately contagious virus. They estimated
that 100,000 to 1 million courses of the drug would be enough to contain the
disease and treat the community.

But its success would depend on several factors, including how quickly the
mutated virus was detected, how communicable it was, how fast the World
Health Organization could ship drugs to the community and how fast the
targeted people could be treated.

"We do have [limited] stockpiles of antivirals," Longini said. "If they were
used in a well-targeted way, we could slow the spread long enough to produce
a matched [effective] vaccine. If we mitigated the first wave of the
pandemic, it might not be so catastrophic."

Warren King: 206-464-2247 or wking@seattletimes.com

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