By Marco Cáceres and Barbara Loe Fisher
Last year, an article titled “Stranger and Stranger Vaccines: Are We Being Fleeced?” introduced a new series of articles for The Vaccine Reaction aimed at highlighting the “strangest vaccines in the pipeline.” Vaccines proposed or already under development that may cause you to stop and wonder, “Are they serious?”1
The article pointed out that during the 1970s, U.S. Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin came up with the brilliant idea of presenting an award to government officials who he believed deserved to be recognized for wasting public funds, a kind of “booby prize for public projects that just seemed to defy common sense” and a “clever way to help uncover wasteful government spending.”1
The award was designated the “Order of the Golden Fleece” by Sen. Proxmire and he gave it a total of 168 times from 1975 to 1988.1
Strange Vaccines Deserve Critical Examination
There are many vaccines in the research and development pipeline that deserve to be critically examined simply because they are so strange. Putting aside one’s views about the general safety and effectiveness of vaccines, some vaccines would seem to be reasonable, while others just seem senseless.
For example, vaccines to prevent infections with a high mortality rate, like Yellow Fever and Ebola, sound reasonable. Theoretically, if you can safely stimulate an effective immune response with a vaccine that can protect people at high risk for getting either of those infectious diseases, that would appear to be a worthwhile vaccine to develop.
Vaccines have traditionally been designed to prevent viral and bacterial infections that are highly contagious and have a high risk of serious complications, including death, and most vaccine research continues to be focused on preventative vaccines to combat infectious diseases.2 3 The key words here are “infectious” and “prevent.”
Vaccines or Therapies—What’s in a Name?
Vaccines, which are also described by the FDA as “biological products,” were not originally designed to be used as a therapeutic treatment like antibiotics and other medications, but this is now changing. There is a new trend to develop what vaccine developers and drug companies have labeled “therapeutic vaccines.”3
First approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010, current therapeutic vaccines are designed primarily to treat people suffering with brain, skin, lung, breast, pancreatic, prostate and cervical cancer, rather than to prevent infections like traditional vaccines.4 A more appropriate name might be “immunotherapies” because this type of pharmaceutical product is individually tailored to stimulate a sick person’s immune system to target a type of diseased cell, such as cancer cells, to assist the body in eliminating the disease process so healing can take place.
Suddenly, the applications for “vaccines” have become unlimited. As the concept of what a vaccine is and how it can be used expands, conveniently it also expands the U.S. and global “vaccine” market. So vaccines (or immunotherapies described as vaccines) are increasingly being developed to treat a wide range of illnesses and health conditions that may or may not involve microbes. They are no longer limited to the relatively small infectious disease market.
What this means is that the pharmaceutical industry is free to create a vaccine for any poor health condition that ails the human race. Or the animal kingdom, for that matter.
The word “vaccines” is now starting to be thought of as interchangeable with the word “medication” or “medicine. ” This is precisely why we are hearing about vaccines to treat things like acne,5 high cholesterol,6 cocaine addiction,7 stress,8 depression,9 high blood pressure,10 and bad breath.11
Expanding Vaccine Markets to Expand Vaccine Profits
The possibilities are endless and, of course, so are the profits for Big Pharma—particularly since the pharmaceutical industry is shielded from any civil liability for vaccine injuries, deaths or failures.12 There is no need for makers of products labeled as vaccines to spend lots of money on expensive legal fees to defend themselves against lawsuits for alleged harmful or ineffective vaccine products because the U.S. Congress and U.S. Supreme Court have banned such lawsuits.
And since the 21st Century Cures Act was passed by Congress last year to lower FDA vaccine licensing standards even further, there will be no need for drug companies to spend lots of money on conducting large clinical trials to prove the safety and effectiveness of experimental vaccines either.13
Almost weekly, we hear of a new vaccine being developed for something so odd that it makes us think: “Huh? A vaccine for what?” A vaccine to quit smoking?14 A vaccine against sea lice?15 A vaccine to modify behavior?16 Really? Slowly but surely, people are being conditioned to accept all proposed applications for a new vaccine, no matter how odd.
The Flab Jab: TVR’s first Golden Fleece Award
There are a lot of weird vaccines being developed and we’ve mentioned a few of them. But the vaccine most deserving of our first TVR Golden Fleece award is the one for obesity—the so-called “Flab Jab.”17 18 19 20 21 22
Another article published in TVR last year was titled “Have Vaccine, Will Travel“:
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of adults in the United States are obese. More than two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are obese or overweight.23
The obesity epidemic affecting children and adults is a serious health and economic problem in America and it is getting worse every year.24 25 26 Some estimates forecast the cost of obesity in terms of lost economic activity in this country at between $390 billion and $520 billion per year by 2030.24 “It’s politically imperative to reduce the obesity rate. It costs literally trillions of dollars to treat these conditions,” said Jay Cohen, MD of the The Endocrine Clinic in Memphis, TN.24 27