“We fully support the swine flu vaccination programme … The vaccine has been thoroughly tested,” they declared in a joint statement.
Except, it hadn’t. Anticipating a severe influenza pandemic, governments around the world had made various logistical and legal arrangements to shorten the time between recognition of a pandemic virus and the production of a vaccine and administration of that vaccine in the population. In Europe, one element of those plans was an agreement to grant licences to pandemic vaccines based on data from pre-pandemic “mock-up” vaccines produced using a different virus (H5N1 influenza). Another element, adopted by countries such as Canada, the US, UK, France, and Germany, was to provide vaccine manufacturers indemnity from liability for wrongdoing, thereby reducing the risk of a lawsuit stemming from vaccine related injury.
The UK’s chief scientific adviser has a £600,000 shareholding in a drugs giant contracted to develop a Covid-19 vaccine for the Government, prompting claims of a potential conflict of interest.
- Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Adviser to UK Government, was president of GSK 2012 – 2018
- Holds a deferred bonus of 43,111 shares worth £600,000
- Cashed in more than £5m worth of shares upon resignation of GSK
- Sir Vallance special board on vaccines
Council of Europe to discuss whether pharmaceutical firms spread alarm over pandemic to boost orders of medicines
European health chiefs are to hold emergency talks about whether pharmaceutical giants have unduly influenced governments into squandering public money on vast stockpiles of unnecessary swine flu drugs.
Dozens of British children who developed narcolepsy as a result of a swine flu vaccine could be compensated after the high court rejected a government appeal to withhold payments.
Six million people in Britain, and more across Europe, were given the Pandemrix vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline during the 2009-10 swine flu pandemic, but the jab was withdrawn after doctors noticed a sharp rise in narcolepsy among those who received it.