A recording of a recent Council On Foreign Relations symposium
reveals attendees discussing ways and means of getting the public
to take the H1N1 flu vaccine in spite of the mass resistance
that has arisen due to questions over it's safety.
The meeting was held in order to encourage a consensus
for policy to present to the federal government concerning the
so called swine flu pandemic.
In attendance were professors and doctors from
several influential universities and medical schools, along
with media representatives fromScience Magazine, The
Canadian Press and The Financial Times.
Other notable attendees included Robert E. Rubin,
Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and current Co-Chair of
the CFR, along with John Lange, Senior Program Officer of the
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Health Program.
During part of the discussion (see
transcript) on whether or not the vaccine should
be made mandatory for health workers and school children, Lone
Simonsen, Research Professor and Research Director at the Department
of Global Health, George Washington University, suggests creating
an artificial scarcity in order to ramp up demand for the vaccine.
"I think what would work better would be
to say that there was a shortage and people tend to buy more
of something that's in demand. (Laughter.) We saw that -- there
was one season where, really, people lined up all night to get
a flu shot." Simonsen says, much to the amusement of the
other attendees at the symposium.
The entire recording is on the CFR website here,
but an edited version appears in the following short video:
The audio is certainly very interesting given
that the mainstream media is now rampantly hyping a shortage
of the vaccine and stories
are being published daily about thousands of people being turned
away from clinics.
All this despite the fact that several scientific
polls have recorded that upwards of 60% of Americans
have said they do not want the shot because they believe it
is unsafe and untested.
During another part of the discussion, Andrew
Jack, Pharmaceutical Correspondent for the Financial Times compares
people wary of the vaccine with political extremists:
"I think we're all aware that the anti-vaccine
movement is having a field day on the internet and on media
outlets like Fox News, causing reductions in vaccine uptake
and it appears to be a pretty unholy alliance of the ultra right
and the ultra left working together in a sort of Hitler-Stalin
pact." Jack states, again raising chuckles amongst the
"I'm not sure that we're countering these
people very well." Jack concludes before suggesting that
the CFR put out soundbites about there being more mercury in
a Tuna sandwich than in the H1N1 vaccine in order to convince
"the crazy people" that it is safe.
Mr Jack suggests following the lead of the New
York Times to dispel so called "myths" over the vaccine
- not a wise move given that their paltry efforts have already
debunked and overturned.