Tag: Vaccines

Bill Gates is now a Mass Murderer

Oxford promised to make their vaccine open source, and then Bill Gates strong-armed them into selling exclusive rights to AstraZeneca, because Bill Gates is philosophically opposed to the free exchange of information.

There will be tens of thousands of people will die of Covid-19, particularly in poor countries, because open source gives him butt-hurt.

Next time you see Bill Gates, ask him why he decided to kill thousands.

More chilling is that the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is dedicated to promulgating his twisted view of public health on the rest of the world:

In a business driven by profit, vaccines have a problem. They’re not very profitable — at least not without government subsidies. Pharma companies favor expensive medicines that must be taken repeatedly and generate revenue for years or decades. Vaccines are often given only once or twice. In many parts of the world, established vaccines cost a few dollars per dose or less.

Last year only four companies were making vaccines for the U.S. market, down from more than 20 in the 1970s. As recently as Feb. 11, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, complained that no major drug company had committed to “step up” to make a coronavirus vaccine, calling the situation “very difficult and frustrating.”

Oxford University surprised and pleased advocates of overhauling the vaccine business in April by promising to donate the rights to its promising coronavirus vaccine to any drugmaker.


A few weeks later, Oxford—urged on by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—reversed course. It signed an exclusive vaccine deal with AstraZeneca that gave the pharmaceutical giant sole rights and no guarantee of low prices—with the less-publicized potential for Oxford to eventually make millions from the deal and win plenty of prestige.


Even as governments shower money on an industry that has not made vaccines a priority in the past, critics say, failure to alter the basic model means drug industry executives and their shareholders will get rich with no assurance that future vaccines will be inexpensively available to all.

“If there were ever an opportunity” to change the economics of vaccine development, “this would have been it,” said Ameet Sarpatwari, an epidemiologist and lawyer at Harvard Medical School who studies drug-pricing regulation. Instead, “it is business as usual, where the manufacturers are getting exclusive rights and we are hoping on the basis of public sentiment that they will price their products responsibly.”


Oxford backed off from its open-license pledge after the Gates Foundation urged it to find a big-company partner to get its vaccine to market.

“We went to Oxford and said, Hey, you’re doing brilliant work,” Bill Gates told reporters on June 3, a transcript shows. “But … you really need to team up.” The comments were first reported by Bloomberg.

AstraZeneca, one of the U.K.’s two major pharma companies, may have demanded an exclusive license in return for doing a deal, said Ken Shadlen, a professor at the London School of Economics and an authority on pharma patents—a theory supported by comments from CEO Soriot.

“I think IP [intellectual property, or exclusive patents] is a fundamental part of our industry and if you don’t protect IP, then essentially there is no incentive for anybody to innovate,” Soriot told the newspaper The Telegraphin May.

Some see the Gates Foundation, a heavy funder of Gavi, CEPI and many other vaccine projects, as supporting traditional patent rights for pharma companies.

“[Bill] Gates has staked out this outsized role in the vaccine world,” Love said. “He has an ideological belief that the intellectual property system is a wonderful mechanism that is necessary for innovation and prosperity.”

In just the next year, it is clear Bill Gates will ultimately be responsible for more deaths than Osama bin Laden was on 9/11.

About That Russian Vaccine

There has been a lot of talk recently about Russian claims that they have a Covid-19 vaccine in late stage testing.

There has been much mockery of these claims, but the government agency behind these claims has a good record, and the model, that of a government research and development taking medical products from start to finish appears to have more potential than the current western, “Throw money at contemptible greed-heads,” model:

When Russia announced this week that it had granted the world’s first regulatory approval for a Covid-19 vaccine after just two months of human trials, many in the global pharmaceutical community were aghast at how quickly Moscow had deemed it safe to use.

Russia’s drug companies were comparatively small, little was known of the institute credited with the breakthrough and key steps needed to approve a shot for use had not been completed, critics said. But the man behind the vaccine insists instead that the success has been two decades in the making.

“[The speed] is not surprising if you understand the science behind it,” said Alexander Gintsburg, director of the state-run Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, which says it has worked on adenoviral vaccines like its Covid-19 shot since the 1980s.

“In the absence of global health threats in recent decades, vaccine research has been on the fringes of the global pharmaceutical industry while Russian labs continued their research,” he told the Financial Times. “We are proud of the legacy of Russian science, which allowed us to develop the Covid-19 vaccine very quickly.”


Defending the decision to roll out public vaccinations of what is still in effect an experimental drug, the Russian government and other supporters have pointed to the successful Ebola vaccine developed by Mr Gintsburg and his colleagues in 2015, the Gamaleya Institute’s most well-known previous success. Sputnik V is based on the same technology.


“The fact that Russian scientists can develop, and the Russian pharmaceutical industry can produce, drugs requiring intensive scientific research has long been no secret,” Mr Bespalov added. “In Russia, there is a background of serious scientific schooling, a plethora of scientists and organisations to back them up and significant historical experience.”


“Russia does not have any leading pharma companies. Most of its pharma research takes place in state institutions and less information comes out about it than from western or Chinese researchers,” said Rasmus Bech Hansen, chief executive of Airfinity, a London-based science analytics company.

In contrast to vaccines being developed in the UK and the US, where the government’s role has been to provide financial grants and advance purchase orders to private companies and researchers, Russia’s vaccine development has been wholly state-managed.

The Gamaleya Institute is government-controlled, the vaccine was funded by the sovereign wealth fund and an employee of the ministry of defence is named as an author of the vaccine. Senior government officials were given preapproval injections.

I don’t know if government run vaccine research is a good model for vaccine development, but I do know that relying on the tender mercies of the for profit pharmaceutical industry is a bad model for vaccine development.

Weep for the Overpaid Executives

There are claims that Russia is trying to steal coronavirus vaccine research from the US, UK, and Canada.

The hand wringing over this is kind of silly for two reasons:

  • The more people who have access to this research, the more chance there is for a successful vaccine to be developed and manufactured.
  • The only people who could possibly be harmed are big-pharma profiteers.

I’m sorry, but, “Think of the overpaid pharmaceutical executives’ bonuses,” is just not something that inspires me to paroxysms of fear.

Bobby Kennedy, Jr., Would You Please Dine on Excrement and then Expire?

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. took his antivax sh%$ show to Samoa, where 42 people, including 22 infants, have now died of measles.
Kennedy is a murderer:*

It was probably inevitable that the success of the anti-vaccination movement would eventually lead to an outbreak with substantial casualties. It has now happened in Samoa, where 48 people so far have died from measles, including 22 infants. Public health officials do not believe the outbreak has peaked, and expect those numbers to rise, possibl considerably. Why is the outbreak (which has hit much of Oceania in recent months) particularly bad and particularly deadly in Samoa? 

Yep, drops in vaccination rates?

And who was front and center of this?  Bobby, Jr.

As you might expect, the decline in vaccination rates wasn’t due solely to domestic causes; it was assisted by a well-resourced global movement, with some familiar faces.

Anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a nephew of President John F. Kennedy, visited the country in June, appearing next to officials at Samoan independence celebrations. His visit was “for a program that is not government-related,” an official in the prime minister’s department told Samoan news media at the time.

Kennedy has asserted that vaccines cause autism, a claim disproved by extensive research. Members of the Kennedy family have publicly criticized him for helping “spread dangerous misinformation.”

An Instagram photo shows Kennedy embracing the Australian Samoan anti-vaccine activist Taylor Winterstein in Samoa on June 4. “I am deeply honored to have been in the presence of a man I believe is, can and will change the course of history,” Winterstein wrote in the caption, adding hashtags #makinginformedchoices #investigatebeforeyouvaccinate.


As appalling and reckless as their advocacy is in their home countries, it’s considerably moreso in lower income countries like Samoa, where measles fatality rates are likely to be considerably higher, as we’re seeing here.

But don’t worry, antivaxxers are sending vitamins, so everything is cool.

What the f%$# is wrong with these folk?

*FWIW, Charlie, my son on the autism spectrum, spotted by Sharon when he was about 3 days old, well before any vaccines, agrees with description of Kennedy as a murderer.

A Good Start

Germany’s health minister has proposed a €2500.00 fee for people who refuse to vaccinate their children:

Germany, like the US, is facing a resurgence of measles. But the country’s health minister isn’t taking things lightly.

Health minister Jens Spahn is proposing a blanket fine for any parents of unvaccinated children. The fine runs up to €2,500 ($2,790). He also suggests banning unvaccinated children from all kindergarten and daycare facilities to protect those who are too young to vaccinate and those with medical conditions that prevent them from being vaccinated.

In an interview published over the weekend, Spahn explained that immunization is a “social responsibility,” adding that “measles vaccinations save human suffering. We protect ourselves and others.”

Fining anti-vaccine and vaccine-hesitant parents isn’t new. Officials in New York levied $1,000 fines on parents of some unvaccinated children amid ongoing measles outbreaks last month. However, the fines only applied to children in specific areas at the epicenter of the outbreak. Spahn’s proposal, on the other hand, would see fines handed down regardless of an outbreak—and the fine is even heftier.


I Approve of this Family Strife

Members of the Kennedy family havwe publicly condemned Robert F. Kennedy, Jr’s antivaxx advocacy.

This cannot have been easy for them.

Americans have every right to be alarmed about the outbreak of measles in pockets of our country with unusually high rates of unvaccinated citizens, especially children. Right now, officials in 22 states are grappling with a resurgence of the disease, which was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000. With over 700 cases already reported and indications that more outbreaks will occur, 2019 will likely see the most recorded cases of measles in decades. And it’s not just measles. In Maine, health officials in March reported 41 new cases of whooping cough, another disease once thought to be a relic of the past—more than twice as many cases as this time last year.


These tragic numbers are caused by the growing fear and mistrust of vaccines—amplified by internet doomsayers. Robert F. Kennedy Jr.—Joe and Kathleen’s brother and Maeve’s uncle—is part of this campaign to attack the institutions committed to reducing the tragedy of preventable infectious diseases. He has helped to spread dangerous misinformation over social media and is complicit in sowing distrust of the science behind vaccines.

We love Bobby. He is one of the great champions of the environment. His work to clean up the Hudson River and his tireless advocacy against multinational organizations who have polluted our waterways and endangered families has positively affected the lives of countless Americans. We stand behind him in his ongoing fight to protect our environment. However, on vaccines he is wrong.

And his and others’ work against vaccines is having heartbreaking consequences. The challenge for public health officials right now is that many people are more afraid of the vaccines than the diseases, because they’ve been lucky enough to have never seen the diseases and their devastating impact. But that’s not luck; it’s the result of concerted vaccination efforts over many years. We don’t need measles outbreaks to remind us of the value of vaccination.

Good on them, and bad on RFK, Jr.

Welcome to the Third World

Thank the anti-vaccine movement:

The US has seen more reports of measles cases in the first three months of 2019 than in the whole of last year, health officials said this week.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday reported 387 measles cases so far in 2019, 15 more than the total number of cases last year. The numbers make 2019 the second-worst year for measles since the United States declared itself measles-free nearly two decades ago.


The number of measles cases typically declines in the summer months, but experts worry the early 2019 numbers indicate the disease is on the rise.

“My concern is that this is trending the wrong way,” said Dr Peter Hotez, professor and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and author of the book Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism.

“It’s getting worse, it’s not getting better,” he added.


Dr Barbara McAneny, president of the American Medical Association, cautioned against exemptions to immunizations “solely as a matter of convenience or misinformation” because they increase the risk for vulnerable people, such as children who are too young to be vaccinated or children who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, such as cancer.

“Getting vaccinated not only keeps individuals from becoming ill with the measles but also helps prevent further spread to loved ones, neighbors, co-workers and others in close contact,” McAneny said.

What has happened is that a bunch of selfish idiots have been relying on herd immunity, and the inevitable has occurred:  there is now a sufficient number of unvaccinated people that herd immunity is no longer effective.

Authorities need to get seriously medieval on the anti-vaxxers.

Any Californians Want to File a Report to the Medical Board?

A single San Diego doctor wrote nearly a third of the area’s medical vaccination exemptions since 2015, according to an investigation by the local nonprofit news organization Voice of San Diego. The revelation follows growing concern that anti-vaccine parents are flocking to doctors willing to write dubious medical exemptions to circumvent the state’s vaccination requirements. Since California banned exemptions based on personal beliefs in 2015, medical exemptions have tripled in the state. The rise has led some areas to have vaccination rates below the levels necessary to curb the spread of vaccine-preventable illnesses. Moreover, it signals a worrying trend for other states working to crack down on exemptions and thwart outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. There are currently six outbreaks of measles across the country.

Medical vaccination exemptions are intended for the relatively few people who have medical conditions that prevent them from receiving vaccines safely. That includes people who are on long-term immunosuppressive therapy or those who are immunocompromised, such as those with HIV or those who have had severe, life-threatening allergic reactions (e.g. anaphylaxis) to previous immunizations. Such patients typically receive medical exemptions incidentally during their medical care. But some doctors are providing evaluations specifically to determine if a patient qualifies for an exemption and granting exemptions using criteria not based on medical evidence. Some doctors are even charging fees for these questionable exemption evaluations—including the doctor in San Diego, Tara Zandvliet.

Zandvliet’s practice website specifically lists “Evaluation for Medical Exemption to Vaccination” as a service provided. The website also lays out the conditions and diseases she considers as qualifying for a medical exemption. The list reaches far beyond what medical experts say are acceptable reasons for exempting someone from life-saving immunizations. The list includes having a family history of bee-sting allergies, type I diabetes, or simply hives. After a reporter with the Voice of San Diego questioned some of the conditions listed, Zandvliet removed three from the list: asthma, eczema, and psoriasis.

“I have found that a few of the diseases on my list seem to invite misinterpretation more than others, and so I have deleted them,” she told the outlet in an email.

Zandvliet charges $180 for the evaluation, and her practice does not accept insurance.

Since 2015, Zandvliet has issued 141 of the 486 total medical exemptions granted in the San Diego Unified School District. After Zandvliet, the second highest number of medical exemptions granted by a single doctor was 26. The Voice of San Diego noted that Zandvliet’s practice is listed on several websites as being friendly to anti-vaccine parents.

She is renting her medical license to antivaxxers.

The solutions is to pull her medical license.

This is an Interesting Way to Deal with Anti-Vaxxers

No amount of objective discussion or scientific data may ever be enough to convince some people that vaccines are indeed safe and effective at wiping out a slew of hellish and deadly diseases. But what does seem to work at convincing people to vaccinate their children? Bureaucratic hassle.

By adding an extra, in-person step to the process of obtaining a vaccination waiver (which allowed a child to forego the necessary vaccinations), Michigan quickly and significantly boosted its vaccination rate, as Kaiser Health News reports.

In the 2013-2014 school year, the state had the fourth highest rate in the country of children entering kindergarten with a vaccine waiver. But just one year after the extended waiver application process went into effect in 2015, the number of waivers issued dropped by 35 percent statewide. Vaccination rates rose accordingly.


“The idea was to make the process more burdensome,” Michigan State University health policy specialist Mark Largent, who has written extensively about vaccines, told KHN. “Research has shown that if you make it more inconvenient to apply for a waiver, fewer people get them.”


State legislators added the inconvenience factor after outbreaks of whooping cough and measles hit Michigan children. At the time, parents who didn’t want to vaccinate their kids could easily apply for a waiver over the Internet, by mailing in a form, or even via phone call in some places. But in a quiet, unfussy ruling in December of 2014, the state’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules changed the waiver application process to require that parents consult in person with a county health educator before a waiver would be granted. 

It used to be easy for politicians to pander to anti-vaxxers, but since outbreaks in California and other states, the general public has become aware that they are a menace, and politicians have been less accomodating.

This is a very good thing.