Polish Health Minister in Polish Parliament regarding swine flu vaccines 5th November 2009
I would like to say that my priority during my 20 odd years of my GP practice was “First of all do not harm,” I took that rule with me to my Health Minister Office.
In situations when I was to recommend a medicine to anybody, I believe just like any other practitioner, I would think: would I give it to my elderly mother, my child?
And exactly such thoughts make me very cautious about double checking the information regarding a medicine that the Health Ministry is to recommend to every Pole – to millions of Poles that have no medical education that a Minister has, that an expert, professor Brydak has, an expert that has been working on the flu for over 40 years. He works in one of 189 flu research centers that are in the world, one is in Poland. Can we today be accused of lack of knowledge about the flu? Can one question an opinion of a professor that has been working on the flu for over 40 years, and not just on one type of flu, that has published hundreds of articles on the subject?
I have just one fundamental question: do we want to fight the flu pandemic?
Today we have knowledge about enclosures in agreements that other governments of wealthier countries have signed with vaccine producers.
Also we know what was proposed to Poland. Due to negotiations being in progress I can’t tell you everything today, but I can tell you one thing: our Law Department found at least 20 points of doubt in the agreement.
So what is the Health Minister’s duty? To sign agreements that are in the best interests of the Polish people, or to sign agreements that are in the best interests of the pharmaceutical companies?
I know that there are 3 vaccines available on the market today, of 3 different producers. Each has a different amount of active substance and yet strangely they are all treated the same. Therefore isn’t it fair enough for the Health Minister and health experts to have doubts about it? Maybe the one with trace amounts of active substances is just a “holy water” that we are supposed to think can cure flu? Are we supposed to pay for that?
We have an example of Germany that bought 50 million jabs, only 10% have been applied so far. Only 13% of Germans want to take this “miraculous cure” today. But it’s peculiar because the Germans have a very high percentage of vaccine takers, so when in Poland for 1000 people only 52 will take a seasonal flu jab, in Germany there will be 238 per 1000 (23%). So what is happening when only 13% of Germans want to take the swine flu vaccine and not 23% of the population as usual with the seasonal flu vaccine? Their government bought the vaccines and offered them for free and they don’t want it. What happened?
Can those facts make us have second thoughts about buying the vaccines or not? Second thoughts about introducing a medicine that is kind of secret?
There are websites on which vaccine producers have an obligation to publish so-called post-vaccine unwanted side effects. The vaccinations in Europe started on 1st October 2009. I would like you to visit any of these websites and find any unwanted side effects. The slightest thing, at least one, like allergic skin rash. That can happen even when using the safest medicine. There are none on those websites. A “perfect” medicine?! And since this is so miraculous, then why don’t the producing companies want to introduce their medicines to the free market and take responsibility for them? Why wouldn’t they say: “Wonderful, safe medicine, therefore I will take responsibility for it, I will introduce it to the market and everything is clear and transparent,” instead of dropping the weight on us, the buyers.
We do not have clinical test results, no detailed ingredients and no information about side effects. The vaccines are now in the 4th stage of very short tests and we still do not have this information. Also the sample size has been very little, one kind of vaccine was tested only on 160 volunteers aged 20-60, all healthy. Another kind of vaccine tested on 600 volunteers aged 18-60, all healthy. Is this good enough, especially for us doctors present in the room? It is not good enough for me.
I want to be sure enough to recommend this vaccine. We are not out of the line for the vaccine, during the negotiations we want to take that time and use it to find out as much as we can about the vaccine. Then if the pandemic committee will accept this vaccine, we will buy it.
Also there are 1 billion people with seasonal flu worldwide every year. 1 million people die of seasonal flu worldwide every year. And this hasn’t been going happening for a year or two, but for a very long time. Has anybody anywhere announced a pandemic because of seasonal flu? And the seasonal flu is much more dangerous than swine flu, there are many deaths and severe complications. Was there any pandemic announced? Those who are pushing me to buy the vaccines, I ask you: Why didn’t you scream and shout last year, 2 years ago and in 2003? In 2003 there were 1,200,000 Poles who had seasonal flu! Did anybody shout, here in this room: “Let’s buy vaccines for everybody!” I can’t recall such a thing.
And finally I would like to say only one thing: The Polish nation is very wise, Poles can tell the truth from lies very precisely. They can also tell what is an objective situation and what is just a game.