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Chiron Readying Vaccines For Next Flu Season

Just when it was "safe" to think the worst of the short flu season was over, now there's word Chiron Corp. is mounting a furious effort to reopen its Liverpool manufacturing facility by early spring to begin producing vaccines for the U.S. market just in time for the next round later this year.

Chiron, of course, was the company whose entire supply of flu vaccines became tainted, thus unusable, last fall. I firmly believe their massive loss was a boon to the health of Americans who stayed away in droves from flu vaccines, laced with thimerosal, a preservative that uses mercury, a potent neurotoxin.

To get back on schedule, Chiron will need to start production in March to deliver vaccines by the fall. However, a British regulatory agency extended its suspension last year of the Liverpool plant's license until early April. Nevertheless, some stock analysts believe Chiron will bounce back, even after company dropped by about a fourth since early October.

Chiron's problems probably started after ramping up production of its vaccines by more than half in 2003 and increasing that number by about 25 percent to 52 million for the past flu season. Interestingly, Chiron president Howard Pien mentioned concerns his company was perceived to be greedy and only in the business "to make more money."

Glad to know that you saw through all the hype, and realized getting that flu shot actually does just the opposite of what it's intended to do: Weakening the immune system and making you more predisposed to the illness.

Chicago Tribune January 16, 2005

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