The Aftermath of a Bill Gates Vaccine Campaign …
An American family, the Gianelloni’s, visited a village in Uganda shortly after a Bill Gates vaccine campaign swept through and discovered what Bill Gates’ money does for hungry, sick children – essentially nothing.
The family found that the children were starving, living on one meager meal a day. Their only water source was the same stagnant stream that they bathed in. They had no sewage or sanitation. But, thanks to Gates, they were now vaccinated against measles and polio. Never mind that the most pressing epidemics in the area were actually Yellow Fever, malaria, HIV/AIDs and diarrhea …
Worse yet, one little girl who had received a measles vaccine two weeks earlier was now suffering with the measles as a result! After this blogger left, thanks to her and the mission group that arrived with her, the village had a water tank and clean water system, a cow, and a year’s worth of rice and beans. You can probably understand why the blogger made this comment about Gates’ “philanthropy”:
“I don’t care who you are or what side of the vaccine philosophy you fall under, there is no logic in the world that can explain that going into a remote village and giving children who only eat one meal a day and have never had clean drinking water, a vaccine.
Seriously? Think about it. Can you imagine walking up to this precious little girl and saying ”I know you are starving, but here is a measles vaccine instead. I promise this will make you much healthier than food or water”. It’s a scary day when simple logic no longer exists.
Food & Water, nope. Vaccines, yep. And innocent children suffer the consequences. It’s absurd.“
Food, Water, Sanitation is What’s Needed to Help Prevent Disease
The most vulnerable of the world’s children are those in the poorest countries where death and disease are often a result of malnutrition and lack of adequate sanitation and clean drinking water. In many third-world countries, children are often battling some sort of infection 200 days out of the year. Vaccines can be devastating to these already immunosuppressed children, as well as to adults, because vaccines often weaken and confuse the immune system, which ultimately increases the recipient’s susceptibility to the very infectious diseases vaccines are designed to prevent.
Nonetheless, emerging vaccine markets like third-world countries will soon outgrow developed markets by hundreds of billions of dollars. Emerging markets are areas of the world that are beginning to show promise as a profitable venture for many products, including vaccines. And emerging markets – primarily in developing countries in Southeast and Central Asia, and Africa – have been on vaccine makers’ radar for quite some time.
One reason that vaccine makers are interested in these parts of the world is that that’s where most of the world’s deaths from major infectious diseases occur. The only problem has been that, until recently, making vaccines for undeveloped countries with no money to pay for them was not exactly a profitable goal for vaccine makers.
Concerned that developed countries would have little or no resources for addressing serious infectious diseases if vaccine makers continued their pull-out, the World Health Organization and the G8 – the top developed countries in the world – responded with a plan for enticing vaccine companies to stay in the business. That plan was called Advance Market Commitments (AMCs).
AMCs Guarantee Drug Company Profits
Under AMCs, developed countries make legal, binding agreements to purchase vaccines that are needed in low-income countries. The purchase guarantees a bottom line for the manufacturers. In return, the manufacturers promise to sell those vaccines at reduced prices in the countries where they are most needed.
The idea is simple: “rich” nations sign legally binding commitments to purchase and/or finance an AMC vaccine once it’s ready for market. In return for the guaranteed market and income, drug companies promise to sell the new vaccine to “poor” countries at vastly reduced prices.
To speed up the process, the World Health Organization “prequalifies” AMC vaccines in an approval process that slices years off the time it normally takes a vaccine to make it to market.
Unfortunately, legally binding, advance market commitments to purchase vaccines that are mostly needed in third-world countries could backfire on developed countries that don’t need – or want – certain vaccines.
For instance, HPV (human papillomavirus) statistics show that HPV causes 4,000 deaths from cervical cancer per year in the United States, compared to 274,000 worldwide, 88 percent of which are in developing countries. So why were the HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix — which have known safety issues — introduced in the U.S. and Europe, first, instead of going straight to where they’re needed most, if not to help sell huge quantities of the vaccine at premium prices, in anticipation of it becoming an AMC?
Even Gates and a Leading Vaccine Maker Admit Clean Water is Key
Malaria is another one of the top neglected diseases that world health leaders want to address with AMCs, but the ability to resist diseases like malaria requires a strong immune system, and for that, you require good nutrition, clean drinking water, and sanitation. If we want to help people in other countries to lower their malaria rates, and rates of other infectious diseases (like infection-associated diarrhea, which is one of the most common, and most preventable causes of death among children in the developing world) it would be wise to focus on these basics first.
Infectious organisms are more likely to penetrate the bodies of malnourished children due to inadequate vitamin C, which causes their skin to break down more easily and facilitates the entry of bacteria and other pathogens. The same is true for vitamin A deficiency, another common third-world problem, which results in increased susceptibility to infection and which could be rectified in individuals for pennies a day. Also, the living conditions of third-world children are often so poor that they are exposed to inordinately large numbers of pathogens, from which they have little defense.
In order to eradicate infectious disease from a nation, you also have to first address compromised immune systems. If you hit immune suppressed children with a potent, adjuvant-loaded vaccine, you’re far more likely to create new disease, not eradicate it.
With all of the billions being poured into vaccines to “save” the children, how many water purification systems could have been built? How many sanitation facilities? How many rations of meat and fresh produce?
Even Bill Gates himself has admitted that vaccines alone don’t eradicate disease. In a Wall Street Journal article about the resurgence of polio in African countries, Gates said that’s why he is revamping his disease fight to incorporate health, hygiene, and clean drinking water programs into vaccination programs.1 Polio spreads, after all, largely through feces-contaminated water, so ignoring that major risk factor while trying to eradicate the disease is ignorant, to put it nicely.
What’s really interesting is that at least one major vaccine maker has also echoed these sentiments, as evidenced on the front page of GlaxoSmithKline’s presentation to shareholders in June 2010:2
“With the exception of clean drinking water, vaccines are the most cost-effective public health measure,” GSK said.
What if, just what if, the same amount of money that has been spent on vaccines over the past decade had been spent on sanitation facilities, toilets, healthy food and clean water instead? Hmmmm….something to think about.
This article was taken from Health Impact News.