"I think what would work better would be to say that there was a shortage and people tend to buy more of something that's in demand. (Laughter.) We saw that -- there was one season where, really, people lined up all night to get a flu shot." Simonsen says, much to the amusement of the other attendees at the symposium.
LAURIE GARRETT,senior fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations:" The PCAST(President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology) offered a scenario -- not a prediction, let me say -- a scenario that suggested the virus would indeed return, having already been here in the spring, for a second wave, and that we would see it appear sometime in September and be peaking right about today in the United States, and that sometime, by the end of the year, roughly half of the American population would have had H1N1 influenza...The PCAST warned that this H1N1, despite being a not terribly dangerous virus in and of itself on a scale of influenza dangers..."
"Tom Wilson (ph), Cornell Medical School...Sir, I think we're all aware that the anti-vaccine movement is having a field day on the Internet and on media outlooks like Fox News and so on, causing productions in vaccine uptake, and it appears to be a pretty unholy alliance of the ultra right and the ultra left working together to sort of hit with strong anti-tactics, and I'm not sure we're countering these people very well,...We have to develop better sound bites...Well, Paul Offert (ph) in the New York Times last week pointed out that there is less mercury in a flu shot than there is in a tuna fish sandwich, and that's a powerful sound bite to use against the crazy people who think that vaccines will kill you. That's just one example. We need to develop anti-tactics to get across the message that vaccines are safe and beneficial to society, and we need to learn to deal with the crazy people who would try and stop us doing that."
The fact is however, you do not directly inject a tuna sandwich into your bloodstream. Is it more likely that a two fold increase in autism over the last six years is directly related to thimerosal in vaccines or to tuna sandwiches?
COHEN: We have a question that came in from the web from James Bailey: Why would we want people to get the swine flu vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine? Wouldn't that in itself cause mixing in the human host and a potential for creating a new pandemic type virus?
SIMONSEN: First of all ---
PALESE: If they're talking inactivated vaccines, no. If they're talking --
COHEN: --vaccines, killed virus, but the other one is live virus. So, inactivated, no, but could the live virus mix, do the two mix to create a new strain? Dr. Palese you've actually helped develop that vaccine. What do you think?
PALESE: I would like to say with great difficulty. I think this is very unlikely to happen.
SIMONSEN: And the only place that it's even a remote possibility would be someone who got the two live attenuated versions of the two vaccines at the same time.
COHEN: Which you're not supposed to do.
PALESE: Which you're not supposed to do.
PALESE: Don't take antivirals at the same time because then you won't get infected by the live virus.