Medystopia

Editorial Note: Crusoe has not been lying low since The Shipwreck of the Singular and The Girl who Wasn’t Heard When She Cried Wolf. Check these out for previous Crusoe posts. The AbbVie story calls for a decent myth. Here is a start.

Sink all Vaccines to the Bottom of the Sea?

Crusoe was listening to Oliver give out. ”They called me yesterday evening”, he said, “to tell me about the vaccination clinic on Thursday. Did I know how bad shingles were for an older man like me? I could even go blind if it affected the nerve that led to my eye. Yes I told them I knew all this”.

“So are you going to come along to the Zostavax clinic?”  “No, I have a meeting”, I told them. ”What time does your meeting start?”  “At nine o’clock”. ”The clinic opens at 8 AM”. “Ah but I have to prepare things before the meeting”.

“What time does your meeting end at?” ”At 5 PM”. ”The clinic is open till 6.30, you can make it”. ”Well possibly not. The meeting ends at 5 PM but it’s highly likely I will have to spend time in fringe activities afterwards”.

“What about the following week?” They weren’t giving up. What if I’d been taking Humira – taking a live vaccination might be dangerous – they didn’t ask.  

It’s getting to a stage where I think it might be better for mankind if all vaccines were sunk to the bottom of the sea, but worse for the fishes.

Looking Out To Sea…

Crusoe was day-dreaming at this point. She was in the Florida Keys looking out to sea.

“Out there are the leper colonies”, the boy said. “Really”, she asked. “Yes”, he said. “And what are lepers?” she asked. “Lepers are people who can’t take vaccines”, he said. “They can’t be let mix with normal people like us because they can contaminate us. So they have to spend their lives on those islands”.

“Do you know the name of the islands”, she asked. “Yes”, he said. “One is Cuba and the other is Haiti. And I know the names of their capital cities”, he said. “I know the names of every capital city on earth”. “Do you?, she asked. “Yes”, he said. “Port-au-Prince is Haiti and Humira is Cuba”.

“I think you’ve got Cuba wrong. Don’t you mean Havana?”

“No”, he said.

Humirastan

Puzzled she asked the barman later that evening – “Have they renamed Havana?”

“Yes”, he said, “several years ago. Humira. At first it was a joke, but it stuck. Everyone who is taking a Biologic drug now has to go there because as I’m sure you know they can’t take certain vaccines.

“There was a real fuss ten years ago when the vaccination program got into full swing. A hysteria developed about people who remained unvaccinated – they posed a threat to all the rest of us.

“It began in schools when some parents refused to let their children have the Flu Jab. The other children shunned them and made it impossible for a child to remain unvaccinated.

“The authorities couldn’t deny it because this was just what they had been saying to people in the first place to get them to accept the vaccines – it’s a duty you owe to others.

“Any way there was a big concern about all those taking Biologics. You don’t hear much about Humira now but it was the blockbuster then. The best-selling drug ever. And then it was finally decided that everyone taking a Biologic who couldn’t be vaccinated because their immune systems were compromised would have to relocate to Cuba.

“In the wake of the uprising that got rid of the last of the Castros, the Cubans were very keen to swap properties on the very generous terms the Federal Government offered – and that’s where people on Biologics went. They renamed Havana as a joke but it seems to have stuck. Humirastan didn’t”.

HIVictory

“And Haiti? Who’s on Haiti”, she asked.

“Oh that’s where they put people with HIV. They can’t take vaccines either. The rest of us have all had our vaccine against HIV and they figure that it will be eliminated completely from the US mainland within a matter of months. 

“People are taking bets on the President having a photo op on an Aircraft Carrier with a sign behind him – HIVictory – apparently it’s a tradition that stems from something called the Gulf War – you remember the War with Cuba back in the last Millenium”.


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Pharmageddon

Pharmaceutical companies have hijacked healthcare in America, and the results are life-threatening.

 

Dr. David Healy documents a riveting and terrifying story that affects us all.

 

University of California Press (2012)

 

Available on Amazon.com

 

Comments

  1. A striking development in this historical episode occurred earlier this year when Art Caplan proposed the legal harassment of the non-vaccinating in Harvard Law Review, opposed by Mary Holland, but taken up again Dorit Reiss of Hastings law school in San Francisco.

    http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/billofhealth/2013/05/23/liability-for-failure-to-vaccinate/

    http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/billofhealth/2013/06/21/guest-post-crack-down-on-those-who-dont-vaccinate-a-response-to-art-caplan/

    http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/billofhealth/2013/06/24/guest-post-no-liability-for-failure-to-vaccinate-the-case-has-not-been-made-a-response-to-mary-holland/

    According to Wiki:

    “UCSF is administered separately from Hastings College of Law, another UC institution located in San Francisco. In recent years, UCSF and UC Hastings have increased their collaboration, including the formation of the UCSF/Hastings Consortium on Law, Science, and Health Policy.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_California,_Hastings_College_of_the_Law

  2. Unlike their counterparts in the US the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation with unusual wisdom have long held off introducing a chicken pox vaccine perhaps because the destruction of natural immunity would cause a rise in shingles, which on the whole is more serious.

    http://www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1221638180451?p=1204186170287

    Now that we have the vaccine for shingles the vaccination of infants for chicken pox will perhaps not be long delayed, and then we will all be stuffed.

    Best thing, I guess, is to keep up the dose of vitamin C (at least until the government bans it).

  3. Nice story! But I wonder if the real journey into myth and madness here will be found in Pharma’s quest to get more and more of us to take these very expensive and seriously risky potions. For those staring catastrophic disability in the face, maybe it’s a fair bargain. But the race is now on to unleash these strange brews for almost anything that ails us – including high cholesterol:

    http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/news/20120326/biologic-drug-lowers-ldl-cholesterol

    I feel like we’re getting close to the ultimate absurdity foretold by old-time Yiddish comedians, where we kill the healthy chicken to make chicken soup for the sick chicken! In this case, people will be asked to screw around with their immune system in order to fix their high cholesterol. So maybe we all have within us a healthy chicken and a sick chicken – as well as an “at-risk chicken” or two?

    Or we could even take the old story literally, in a country that can contemplate a $25,000 cholesterol drug while balking at giving food-stamps to poor kids and their parents. Too bad for the chickens who ain’t got the “scratch.”

    Either way, looks like it’s the drug companies’ lives we’re being asked to save, not our own. I hope to hell they never figure out how to take out a patent on chicken soup.

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