H1N1 Vaccine – Tested in Animals First

With blessings from the FDA and the CDC, distribution of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine has begun.  But before it was shipped to cities across the U.S. it first had to be tested on live animals. 

 

Did you know that all pharmaceuticals for “therapeutic purposes” are legally required to run through a series of experimental studies on animals before they can be approved and offered to the public?  

 

This came about after the drug Thalidomide was released in the 1960’s.  Researchers later found that the medication caused extreme birth defects that affected an entire generation. 

 

However the requirement to test drugs on animals has a huge caveat.  The amount of testing can be decreased if there is an urgent need for the medication.  And with the World Health Organization declaring H1N1 a pandemic in June 2009, Novavax developed the new swine flu vaccine in a record time of only four weeks.  

 

ANIMAL TESTING

As required by law the new vaccine was tested on live animals.  Novavax used a group of ferrets for their trial series.  Apparently ferrets are the “closest animal to humans when it comes to being infected with influenza.” 

 

“The ferrets received a 3.75, 7.5, or 15 microgram dose of the 2009 H1N1 virus-like particle vaccine or a placebo and were boosted with a second dose after three weeks,” the company said in a press release.

 

Researchers infected the ferrets with a virus taken from a patient who was confirmed to have the swine flu. Then three weeks later, the ferrets that received the vaccination were exposed again to the H1N1 virus from a female patient with “severe respiratory disease.”  

 

“By day five after challenge, immunized ferrets at all vaccine dose levels had cleared the H1N1 virus and showed no sign of disease,” said a Novavax representative. 

 

“Demonstrating that our influenza VLP vaccine candidate protects against the pandemic H1N1 virus in an animal model is another milestone for us to have met,” said Dr. Gale Smith VP of Vaccine Development.

 

The infected ferrets that did not receive the vaccine all showed signs of the flu with “lethargy, elevated body temperatures and shed infectious virus for up to six days.” However all of the ferrets survived the experiment. 

 

IS IT WORTH THE PAIN AND SUFFERING?

Even though all of the ferrets survived the swine flu vaccine, thousands of other animals in laboratories are tortured every day in the name of medical research.  Organizations like PETA and In Defense of Animals both agree that most tests done on animals is unnecessary and outdated.  Both groups promote more modern methods to study new drugs that are effective and don’t require the use of animals.

 

But there is another question to ask in regards to the suffering we put animals through in trial testing.  Do the results really translate into good medicine for humans?  If you ask the people who received the vaccine for the swine flu outbreak in 1976, the answer would be a resounding – NO. 

 

THE LAST SWINE FLU EPIDEMIC

In 1976 after 200 soldiers at Fort Dix came down with flu-like symptoms the CDC and the country began to fear a pandemic of the swine flu was about to hit.  The CDC identified the virus as being similar to the 1918 flu that killed thousands.  The new 2009 H1N1 virus is also being compared to the 1918 swine flu.

 

The CDC called for a massive public vaccination program and pharmaceutical   companies went to work.  They were able to develop a vaccine quickly and experimental trials were performed on animals.  But the results were disastrous when the vaccine was delivered to the American public.

 

Some people became sick with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disease that makes the immune-system attack itself.  “GBS is relatively rare in the general population but 10 times more prevalent among those who received the swine flu vaccine – particularly those whose immune systems may have already been compromised”, stated Medpage Today.

 

Ultimately the inoculation program was called off due to the risk and because the swine flu pandemic never materialized.  The program was a key example of how experimental tests on animals doesn’t always translate to good medicine for humans.

 

CALL TO ACTION

In Defense of Animals is one organization that would like to stop mandatory medical testing on animals.  Here is what they have to say on the subject:

“Most people believe that experiments on animals are necessary for medicine and science to progress. However, this is not the case. The belief that we must experiment on animals is being challenged by a growing number of physicians and scientists who are utilizing many research methods that do not harm or kill animals. More and more physicians and scientists are also seeing the negative consequences of using one species to provide information about another species; often the results of animal experiments are misleading or even harmful to humans.”


READ MORE OF OUR CARE2 H1N1 PROJECT HERE:

THE VACCINE:

Swine Flu Vaccine: What to DO?

H1N1 Vaccine – Tested In Animals First

Safety Concerns Swirl Around H1N1 Vaccine

 

PREVENTION:

Keep Swine Flu Out Of Your House

Swine Flu Symptoms & Prevention

Swine Flu:  The Single Best Way to Prevent Illness

Swine Flu Parties

Swine Flu: Can Cinnamon Fight It?

 

IMPACT:

My Life With Swine Flu

H1N1 A Challenge For Working Mothers

Toxic Pollution And The Swine Flu Vaccine

The Experts: Swine Flu (H1N1) Experts And Bill Maher On The Vaccine And Managing Your Risk

H1N1 And Your Pets (Really!)

 

Other source: Wikipedia 

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85 comments

Jeanne R
Jeanne R23 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R23 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R23 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R23 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R23 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R23 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R23 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Cosmic Sky
Sky P2 years ago

Discusting

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Deb H.
D. H7 years ago

[cont'd]
In an editorial that accompanied the new review in the British Medical Journal, editor Fiona Godlee wrote that the studies originally used to back Tamiflu were written by Roche employees & consultants & that one researcher named in a study even claimed no involvement in the project.

So about all those researchers could say about Tamiflu now: It could reduce flu symptoms by about a DAY. Big whoop.

By contrast, this dangerous drug's side effects include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea. Some patients experience severe allergic reactions, confusion, bizarre behavior, hallucinations, seizures, fever, sore throat and more.

Some of these reactions are far more common than anyone wants to admit -- especially in children. In the UK, more than half of the kids who've taken Tamiflu have experienced side effects, with as many as 1 in 5 having had disturbing bizarre, “neuropsychiatric” reactions to the drug. In the U.S., the FDA has admitted there have been as many as 1,800 reports of “brain effects” such as abnormal behavior resulting from the use of Tamiflu by kids. In Japan, they’ve actually banned the use of Tamiflu for kids. All of these risks in order to reduce the flu symptoms by about 36 hrs.

Seems to me if you love EITHER OR BOTH animals & kids, you can't ethically or medically justify using these (or any!) vaccines & the Tamiflu drug.

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Deb H.
D. H7 years ago

[cont'd] Additionally, a report at World Net Daily says at least three of the WHO's top flu "experts" have financial ties to vaccine makers.
A recent headline from Business Week mag. encapsulated it this way: "How Big Pharma Profits from Swine Flu." Dr. Campbell notes hat kind of thinking would have gotten them branded as radical conspiracy theorists just a few months ago.

Big paydays off swine flu vaccine sales = $1.7 billion for GlaxoSmithKline $700 million for Novartis $500 million for Sanofi-Aventis Those figures are for the 4th quarter of 2009 ALONE -- analysts expect similar #s for the first quarter of 2010.
Business Week also notes that vaccine sales are booming just in time: Patents on prescription drugs worth a combined $135 billion in annual sales are about to expire... with no new meds ready to replace them.

It doesn't end there, either. Drug giant Roche is being accused of HIDING key data from 8 unpublished studies on its flu drug, Tamiflu & as a result, researchers now say there's NO evidence that the drug can reduce the risk of flu complications such as pneumonia. The Cochrane Collaboration tried to update their earlier review of the research -- but Roche demanded a confidentiality agreement in exchange for access to those 8 studies. Researchers said "NO WAY."
[cont'd]

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