The flu season in Australia is at epidemic and, well, epic, levels. And while Australia notoriously has some of the strongest vaccine policies in the world, they’ve been unable to truly justify why their country’s flu season has been such a disaster. But it now seems the government of Australia has found a scapegoat in the matter: weak vaccines. And now the vaccine manufacturers are amidst a gold rush attempting to fill the void with stronger vaccines. They also seem to be implying that an availability issue exists, which might prompt new fears of more mandatory policies being enacted in a country that already mandates several childhood vaccines.
According to News Corp, 217k flu cases this year have doubled last year’s total. Chief Medical Officer Dr Brendan Murphy says he’s already been in talks with major pharmaceutical companies to request that they strengthen the flu shot’s potency.
“At the request of the Health Minister Greg Hunt, I am working on ways to strengthen the National Immunisation Program, including holding talks with manufacturers on new and strengthened vaccines,” Dr Murphy said.
The major flu shot providers have expressed vigilance in the matter, claiming they are now working on filling the request.
Adjuvant flu vaccines are one possible option. As it stands, they are approved in Europe and the United States. The fluzone vaccine is four times as potent as normal flu vaccines and is commonly used in the United States. Australia would need to fast track both via legislation, however, I doubt that’s much of a hurdle.
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And fast track they will, Chairman of the Immunisation Coalition Professor Paul van Buynder is publically blaming “weak vaccines” on the flu outbreak situations.
“This was a disaster year and if we don’t get policy change as a result heaven help me,” he told News Corp.
On Monday in a statement he said “Media reports referring to ‘cheap vaccines’ don’t accurately describe the situation of vaccine purchasing in Australia.”
“The vaccine purchased by the Australian Government and used this year was the best available in Australia at the time, and remains so today” he said.
“While the vaccine was relatively ineffective in the elderly this year, we had no alternative vaccine available.
“We look forward to Government and industry working on bringing better products into Australia. Vaccination is still the single, most effective way to prevent influenza.”
Pharmaceutical company Sanofi is already pining to fill the void. They are the makers of the super flu vaccine used in the United States.
“Sanofi is in the process of registration of an enhanced influenza vaccine that we expect will be a step forward to address this issue and we are working with the Department of Health to bring flu high dose to the population as soon as possible,” the company said.
Be it a false flag, a rare outbreak, or an illness caused by the very shots meant to protect from it, one thing is for certain: vaccine companies are going to continue to get very rich.