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No Shortage of Vaccines For Next Flu Season

Although that avian flu pandemic never came to pass and the flu season came and went quickly and quietly, that hasn't stopped health officials and drugmakers from ramping up vaccine production that may reach 100 million doses in America alone.

That's about a 14 percent jump from 2005 totals, in which some 86 million doses were made and 81 million were distributed. So how will drugmakers do it?

Officials from the CDC and American Medical Association convened a National Influenza Vaccine Summit last week in Chicago to discuss strategies. Some observers expect the CDC will merely expand its existing base of Americans they recommend to get a flu shot to as many as 218 million adults and children. I suspect, however, the real way was voiced by a marketing vice president at Novartis: Fear of infecting others is a powerful motivator.

Fear certainly makes sense, especially in light of last year's flu season in which the two leading drugs -- Tamiflu and Relenza -- were found to be ineffective against seasonal outbreaks and unable to combat an epidemic or pandemic.

To fight the flu safely and without a vaccine, no doubt laced with the mercury-based preservative thimerosal, I urge you to follow my flu protocol.

Yahoo News June 22, 2006

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