Saturday, December 17, 2005

How Are Vaccines Tested?

If you read my blog with any regularity, you know how dangerous and health-harming vaccines can be. Imagine what it's like for patients who volunteer for a vaccine study...

With that in mind, I'm sure you'll want to review this interesting Washington Post piece about how current avian flu vaccines are tested on 150 patients at a University of Maryland site in Baltimore.

Half of the patients -- largely law and medical students and faculty members at the University of Maryland along with local residents -- received a placebo while the rest got the active vaccine that varied from as little as 7.5 micrograms of dead virus per injection to 10 times that amount.

After receiving the placebo or vaccine, volunteers kept a diary documenting any problems, took their temperature each day, had follow-up blood work done and answered some questions, all of them compensated in the several hundred dollar range. And, if volunteers got the real thing, they would be eligible to participate in a stage 2 trial.

No amount of money could compensate patients who took an active vaccine, however, for the potential harm they may have done to their bodies, especially in light of the fact the avian flu -- despite what you may have heard -- is likely no epidemic at all.
Washington Post December 8, 2005

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