by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
With BILLIONS of dollars in revenue at stake for pharmaceutical companies to develop products to “cure” the COVID-19 virus, we are seeing plenty of infighting among drug companies as they rush to get products to market.
This infighting among pharmaceutical companies gives the public an insight into what is really going on, if one turns off their TV long enough to search other news sources.
As public health officials and politicians tout the benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine that many are saying could be ready as early as the Fall of 2020, experts within the pharmaceutical industry are saying that there is no possible way for this to happen, and that since it would be an entirely new class of vaccines, it could take up to 5 years or longer. See:
In spite of this, many politicians, including some state governors, are stating that they will not completely re-open their states until a vaccine is developed, with the implication that the vaccine will be required to “return to normal” activities.
The pharmaceutical trade publication, Fierce Pharma , published another article this week written by Eric Sagonowsky titled: A bull’s-eye from 24 feet? COVID-19 vaccine timelines are overly hopeful, analyst says .
Americans have been told daily that researchers are urgently working on COVID-19 vaccines, and that one might be available in 12 to 18 months. That timeline has made its way to high levels of government and through national media coverage.
But one influential biopharma analyst doesn’t buy it—and he has plenty of reasons why.
In a 25-page note titled “Sober Up! 25 Reasons Not to Count on COVID Vaccine for Herd Immunity in 1-2 years,” SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges says it’ll take several years—not months—to develop a safe and effective vaccine and administer it to enough people for widespread protection.
“We view the current expectations for a vaccine in this timeframe as the equivalent of standing 24 feet (the usual distance is 8 feet) from a dartboard, with one dart in hand, and counting on a bullseye from one throw,” the analyst wrote. “It is theoretically possible, but highly unlikely, that such expectations are correct.”
As the title of his note suggests, Porges doesn’t have one or two concerns about the 12-to 18-month vaccine development timeline. His list of worries spans more than two dozen about the target itself—a novel coronavirus that’s highly communicable—plus concerns about unleashing a vaccine with limited testing.
Just consider the history of vaccines, Porges and his team point out. For more than 10 key vaccines now widely used, the time between pathogen discovery to vaccine approval ranged from 10 years to more than 100 years. Many pivotal trials for recently approved shots have taken more than 3.5 years alone, he wrote.
Add on the time it would take to manufacture and deploy a quickly developed shot to the masses, and the hoped-for herd immunity looks even farther away. (Full article here .)
Mandatory Flu Vaccine Instead?
In yesterday’s White House Coronavirus Task Force press conference (April 22, 2020), there was a noticeable switch from promoting a yet-to-be-developed COVID-19 vaccine to instead promoting the flu vaccine for this coming Fall, perhaps signifying that the leading health authorities are coming to grips with the fact that there will be no COVID-19 vaccine anytime soon.
President Trump began the Press Conference by addressing what was apparently controversial remarks made by CDC Director Robert R. Redfield during an interview with the Washington Post.
The headline to the Washington Post story was: “CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus is likely to be even more devastating,” and President Trump stated that the CDC Director was misquoted and that this headline was wrong.
He then invited CDC Director Dr. Redfield to come to the podium and further explain the remarks he made in the interview.
Dr. Redfield proceeded to explain that if the coronavirus resurfaced in the Fall, at the same time the flu season was starting, that this would make things “more difficult,” supposedly because they would have a hard time testing to see if people were suffering from the flu or from COVID-19, but that such a situation would not be more “devastating,” a word he claims he did not use in the interview.
He based some of his optimism that the situation would not be as bad as what we are seeing now, because he believed they could handle the influenza portion of such a “complicated” situation.
He expressed optimism that in such a situation, he was confident that the American public would continue to cooperate with public health measures such as personal hygiene and social distancing strategies that may be appropriate again in the Fall.
Then he said:
The key to my comments, and the reason that I really wanted to stress them, was to appeal to the American public to embrace the flu vaccine with confidence.
One of the greatest tools we have as we go through the Fall and Winter season that we’re into, is to get the American public to embrace the influenza vaccine, and thereby minimize the impact of flu to be the co-respiratory that we confront.
In a follow up question, he further stated that he was misquoted and that things would not necessarily get worse this Fall if the public cooperated. He said:
Again, here is the appeal to the American public, to recognize that they can really help, like they did with mitigation, which they really helped.
I need them to help now to best prepare us by getting the flu vaccine and taking flu out of the picture….
I think the American public is going to heed the requests to relook at their vaccine hesitancy, to vaccine [sic] with confidence for the flu.
A few minutes later Dr. Deborah Birx endorsed what the CDC director said:
I think what Dr. Redfield clearly was asking for, just like we asked for every American to follow the guidelines, he’s saying please add to that guidelines getting your flu shot.
As regular readers of Health Impact News already know, however, is that the CDC is hardly an agency that can be trusted when it comes to vaccines, as they have a very clear conflict of interest simply based on the fact that they are the largest purchaser of vaccines from the pharmaceutical industry, spending over $5 BILLION annually of tax payer funds to purchase vaccines. See:
Should the CDC Oversee Vaccine Safety When They Purchase Over $5 Billion of Vaccines from Big Pharma? 
In addition, by the CDC’s own admission each season, the flu vaccine is a “best-guess” vaccine on which influenza strains to vaccinate for, since the vaccines have to be produced long before the flu season starts, and the vaccine is not a guarantee at all that it will protect you from the flu.
There are also studies in the medical literature that state the flu shot can make people MORE susceptible to other “respiratory virus infections,” (see: Increased Risk of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated With Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine ) so how can they make the claim that the flu shot will help in a situation where there is also a COVID-19 outbreak, when in fact just the opposite could occur?
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the flu shot is not without risk. The known side effects can be quite serious, including death sometimes, and this is almost NEVER disclosed to the public.
One cannot sue a pharmaceutical company for injuries or deaths due to the flu vaccine. They have to sue in the U.S. Vaccine Court, and the results of the cases are never published in the corporate media, but we publish the quarterly reports  every 3 months here at Health Impact News.
Here is the one from March, 2020:
Over $57 Million Paid by U.S. Government for Vaccine Injuries in 2020 as Experimental Coronavirus Vaccine Fast Tracked 
Currently, there are no mandated vaccine laws on the federal level, as this is typically a state issue. And mandatory vaccination laws vary greatly from state to state, with the most common ones being for childhood vaccines as a requirement for school attendance.
However, just as President Trump has invoked the “Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act” (PREP) to take certain actions such as force companies, like General Motors, to produce medical ventilators, so too he could use the same PREP Act to mandate federal mandatory vaccinations during a “pandemic.”
With so many in the pharmaceutical industry now stating that a COVID-19 vaccine is not going to be ready anytime soon, if ever, will the focus now switch to mandatory flu shots for all Americans if not enough Americans voluntarily decide to get them? Yesterday’s Coronavirus Task Force briefing seems to suggest this might be the new direction the government is leaning towards.
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Copyright 2020 – Health Impact News. Permission granted to republish in full, with links back to Health Impact News as the source, and author credit kept in tact.
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