Is "Better safe than sorry" applicable to H1N1 or vaccine?

  Niagara Falls, Ontario,
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
by: Joe Hueglin

Does "Better safe than sorry" apply more to joining the mass inoculation being planned against the H1N1 virus or choosing not because of dangers in doing so.

At latest report 72 deaths have been attributed to this flu.(1) A small number when compared with the little broadcast fact "Influenza results in an average of 20,000 hospitalizations and 4,000 deaths each year" (2), yet magnified each time a death occurs.

The Federal Government's purchase of 50.4 million doses of vaccine (3) from GlaxoSmithKline Plc is a concern. Adjuvants ingredients have had harmful effects in the past (4) and "While Glaxo has said its adjuvant has proven safe and effective in clinical trials with 39,000 people, the additive isn?t yet approved in the U.S." (5)

Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. David Butler-Jones, The Canadian Press / Fred Chartrand

"The federal government's chief Public Health Officer, Dr. David Butler-Jones, said clinical trials for the vaccine are still on track for early this fall.?His aim is to ensure ?safety and effectiveness? (6), but these are always value judgements.

Unlike previous destructive experiences with governments? pandemic panic reactions (7), this time all potential dangers must be clearly laid before the public.

Advertising must be of the positive steps that can be taken in everyday living (8) to avoid catching all influenzas and transmitting them to others, rather than scare tactics that have been used in the past.(9)

Positive steps can be taken immediately in hospitals and schools to make alcohol-based sanitizer (gel or wipes) not only available, as has been done in hospitals, but obligatory upon entering.

Which risk is the greater, catching this flu declared to be the equivalent of the Spanish Flu or suffering debilitating effects from a hurriedly prepared vaccine said to contain dangerous ingredients?

Governments must be pressed to provide all data available so individuals can make informed decisions for themselves and their families.


Joe Hueglin


1. Public Health Agency of Canada, Deaths Associated with H1N1 flu virus in Canada, September 1, 2009, Government of Canada


2. Public Health Agency of Canada, Influenza Immunization, October 5, 2007, Governement of Canada


3. CBC News, Canada to order 50.4 million H1N1 vaccine doses, August 6, 2009, CBC


4. Scheibner, Viera, et al, The Terrifying world of vaccine adjuvants, December 2000, Twine


5. Kelley, Trista, Glaxo Starts Testing Swine Flu Vaccine With Addititves, August 14, 2009,m Bloomberg


6. 680 News Staff, Ottawa to spend $2.7-million to test H1N1 vaccine, August 27, 2009, 680 News


7. CBS 60 Minutes, Swine Flu Vaccine Warning - Part 1, Part II,  August 2009, CBS, found on YouTube


8. Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, H1N1 Flu Virus, August 10, 2009, Government of Ontario


9. Commerical for 1976 Swine Flu vaccine, found on YouTube


10. CBC News, 16 First Nations clinics under construction, September 1, 2009, CBC


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