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Great information on the 1976 Swine Flu Vaccination Program

Posted Aug 13 2009 8:02pm
I am aware of two very useful sources of information on the 1976 swine flu vaccine fiasco. Both are available in full on-line.

The first is a short article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1996, written by Maurice Hilleman, PhD. Hilleman was America's pre-eminent vaccinologist until his death 5 years ago. He led vaccine research at Merck for decades, and had a reputation for frankness.

In 1978 the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences produced a 150 page report on the program: The Swine Flu Affair:Decision-Making on a Slippery Disease.

The NRC interviewed virtually everyone involved. The report reads like a thriller, as the vaccine program developed unstoppable momentum despite liability hurdles, election considerations and the total disappearance of the swine influenza epidemic months before vaccinations commenced.

These papers are required reading if you want to understand the policy undercurrents of the swine flu vaccine program today, and what policymakers hope to avoid repeating.
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