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H1N1 vaccine not tested on Canadians before release? And where’s the data?

There have been several polls out there which indicate a reluctance on the part of the Canadian public to get the H1N1 flu vaccine once it is mass released. This particular story isn’t going to exactly inspire confidence on the public’s part to change their views:

Health Canada approved this country’s H1N1 vaccine without evaluating its safety and effectiveness on a single Canadian, the Ottawa Citizen has learned. Instead, the federal drug regulator approved the pandemic vaccine based on the results of a small clinical trial in Belgium.

Not only that, it appears the data/evidence for the decision to release the vaccine to the general public hasn’t been forthcoming yet from the government:

Since Wednesday, when Health Canada surprised many observers by approving the pandemic vaccine two weeks ahead of schedule, questions have been raised about precisely what information went into evaluating the vaccine. Opposition parties have called on federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq to make public the medical evidence used to determine the safety of the H1N1 vaccine to reassure Canadians that no short cuts were taken in the race to test and produce the pandemic flu shot….NDP health critic Judy Wasylycia-Leis said she has repeatedly pressed Aglukkaq for the H1N1 safety data, but has not received a response.

“I was told all documents and studies around vaccines are transparent and fully available. I haven’t found them yet, and I’m still looking. So that is the big concern,” said Wasylycia-Leis. “Where’s the hard scientific evidence showing that (they) have done the tests, independent of the drug companies?Where is the body of evidence that they’re citing?”

…The situation stands in marked contrast to the U.S., where federally funded scientists last month published early results of their safety and effectiveness studies, weeks ahead of the vaccine’s approval by the Food and Drug Administration. The ongoing studies by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are being done in 2,800 people–a substantially larger sample than the 130 volunteers in the Belgian study reviewed by Health Canada.

I sincerely hope that the government and Health Canada did not release this vaccine as a reaction/response to being criticized for the relative slowness of the H1N1 vaccine release as compared to other countries. If this sped-up approval was done so with haste (as political damage control) and without proper studies, that could lead to a lot of trouble.


24 comments to H1N1 vaccine not tested on Canadians before release? And where’s the data?

  • DC

    What everyone seems to be forgetting here with all this talk about how the governments care or don’t care for their respective countries is, that the bottom line is that all governments are in actuallity just mega corporations, trying to find their way out of this recession. So we apply global coverage to the pandemic to give rise to the overall numbers causing mass panic, and an over abundant demand for a vaccine. Stimulating economies around the globe and in the end moving the governments back into the black. I’m not saying the risks aren’t REAL, just that in the end alot of people are going to make alot of money

  • kwittet

    this is very sad that we are arguing about the politics involved with this and people are dying. It has not been handled in the best manner but I have yet to see anything that the liberals would have done better.

  • Marie

    william;I too believe in god but what has that too do with the H1N1? Ever hear the saying god can only help those who help themselves. You have to be one of the Cons Christians to even say that because if that’s their idea of being Christian, no thanks. They are more likly Satan’s christian and I for one will not go there. All I have done is pass on some information which we are sadly lacking in Canada and use it if you like. Ignore it too if you like. That’s your choice. I have made my choice long before I seen the YouTube videos and I am still not going to take it. We do not know enough about it and I am not planning on being a guinea pig for the testing. I don’t know if all my children will be taking it but that’s their choice but I hope they don’t.
    Do what you like. You are intitled to your opinions and your choices and the reasons for those choices and so am I.

  • william

    If you believe in God, let him decide your fate.

    • Roll Tide


      Do you wear a seat belt? Would you wear a coat in 30 below weather?
      Do you want the Doctor to operate if you rupture your appendix?

  • Marie

    Here is some interesting info on H1N1 you might be interested in. Give it a look. I definitly WILL NOT be getting a flu shot of any kind. Check out the youtube link if you have some time.

    N1H1 has 1000 times the mercury allowed by law.

  • Roll Tide

    The vaccine was tested on humans. As far as I know, Canadians are humans.

    If you do not want the vaccine, do not take it. You can join
    Bill Maher.

  • Laurel

    This mistrust of governments and the H1N1 flu vaccine is growing world wide. In Germany it has been reported that only 12% of the population will get the vaccination. The issue is the use of the adjuvant and the lack of clinical testing.

  • Laurel

    Read this article……it makes a lot more sense than either side of the government does.

  • Big Winnie

    What’s really sad is when “former” Liberals spout the “CON talking points”

    What I want from CONs is this:

    1) Where is the data to prove/disprove the H1N1 vaccine?

    2) Why doesn’t the gov’t have a concerted effort to allay fears of Canadians (that’s easty they’re too busy buying ads to get voters to repel the Long Gun Registry)

    Blaming the Liberals is easy, governing is hard!!

  • Big Winnie

    Canadian (non)sense: What does John Turner have to do with the issue at hand? What is it with you conbots?

    Scott has raised valid points regarding the lack of a NATIONAL plan to handle H1N1. Other than a few announcements, there has not been a concerted effort on behalf of the government to try to allay fears and provide data about the vaccine. Instead of leaving it to the provinces to decide how to handle the crisis, the Ministry of Health should have been in the forefront and not take a “ringside seat”.

    This has been a typical response of the Reform/CON government: “it’s up to the provinces”; “it’s at arm’s length”; “it’s the LIBERALS fault”.

    Why doesn’t the government “grow a pair” and come out with a national policy? Oh wait, that would put them in the left wing fringe group!

    • @Big Winnie, Please watch the archives televised debate re free trade between JT and BM. I voted for JT but he was wrong to question BM’s patriotism and fearmonger against the US. The US was going to take advantage of Canada and its resources on a deal that was cancelable with six months notices.

      To this day that exchange reminds me of fearmongering and questioning of loyalty and patriotism can be handled poorly. Google it.

      Have never voted for the PC ever! John Nunziata was my MP and Bob Rae was my premier. The Federal Liberals made massive cuts in transfers to those provinces and want to pretend those cuts did not have devasting effects in Ontario for health, education and social services.

      JC booted John Nunziata for voting against the budget GST implementation. I kept voting for him until he lost to Alan Tonks. I moved out York Weston and than became a conbot!

      Funny how insulting ex liberals for voting for other political parties is common practice by a small number of bloggers.

  • Simon… the live flu virus in the US, is for the nose only. The shot in the arm is a dead virus, like ours.

  • hi Scott…you’re right to complain about the way these Cons have handled the pandemic preparations,or failed to educate the public because they were too busy trying to BUY themselves a majority. And for that alone they deserve to be removed from office. But I wouldn’t worry too much about the safety of the vaccine, because there’s nothing really that has to be tested. In the U.S. tests were more important because they are using a lot of LIVE vaccine. But we are using a dead version which has been prepared exactly the same as every other flu vaccine. And as for the so-called adjuvants, which are used to stimulate the immune system and alert it into noting the presence of an invader, they have been used and tested in Europe for more than TWENTY years.By health systems just as good or better than our own.
    So yes the Cons have done a lousy job, but right now fear really is the real ENEMY…

  • Scott playing the zero sum game does not work. The medical experts from all levels are handling this serious matter. I remember a debate where John Turner kept trying to scare Canadians against BM and free trade.

    This is another example of anything that is done is a mistake and you try to blame the Federal Government.

    Like EAP with provincial, municipal partners, this Plan has been implemented with all levels of our healthcare experts.

    It is time you start putting your country ahead of your politics and stop the fear mongering.

    • Christina Monroe

      @Canadiansense, Questioning where data is? That is not putting politics ahead of ones country. It is common sense. Period.

      • @Christina Monroe,
        Christina the planning and execution for this pandemic has been public and the resources set/spent are considerable. Canada is the envy in our preparedness and planning.

        Scott has “cherry picked” one detail alleging the government is inept and their handling has been wrong. The Media jumped on a small study and created fear a couple of weeks ago.

        This issue requires the Full support and cooperation of all us if we are to minimize the spread and mortality. Some posters have already explained the shots are being applied in the US and Europe. Suggesting because we don’t have a specific study in Canada or that we can’t conclude the information/trials from the US or Europe is not applicable is disingenous at best.

        We should NOT be trying to scare or suggest the Government is hiding or holding data back.

        The lessons from SARS has been learned, the Plan is being executed. No level of government will be perfect but alleging scary, racist government will be applied by some in Lib blogs.

        Do you remember MI who was WRONG when he suggested the Federal government was responsible and did not care about our aboriginals because of a local nurse orded extra body bags?

        We need to stop trying to paint the government, civil servants as racist or inept or dangerous. The Poll reflect their anger against this constant smear job.

        • Christina Monroe


          Well it is a free country and you are allowed whatever opinion you want.

          I personally do not do my medial research on the internet. I use a doctor. Unfortunately in the ten years I have lived in Yellowknife I have never received adequate medical care.

          I personally have life threatening allergies which they have not understood and has resulted in me paying for services in other provinces. Everything from checkups, surgery to vaccines.

          I am getting the vaccine, at the hospital, not at a flu clinic because if I have a reaction I will need to be sent to Alberta. They can not say if the vaccine has derivatives of my known triggers because it has not been tested enough and not enough information has been released to doctors.

          On aside note the story about ordering extra body bags by nurses stations is complete and utter bs. In northern communities body bags are sent to the RCMP station, and to the coroners not nurses stations. My ex husband was a coroner and flew out to many remote regions in the 3 territories to be the one to bring bodes down to Alberta for autopsies. It is in no way normal to send that to a nurses station.

  • lr

    I don’t give a rat’s ass if this makes the CONS look bad or not.

    but I’m beginning to lose faith in their leadership on handling this.
    WHY is it taking so long? Why did they only purchase the goods from 1 pharma?

    and you’re right – where are the PUBLISHED results??

  • jim

    So critics cry outrage that the vaccine won’t be ready till November saying we should already have it since the Australians and Americans have already started vaccinating.

    Then the vaccine comes earlier than expected and the critics decry the fact that many cdns won’t take the vaccine, saying that’s the governments fault.

    Now you yourself are spreading information that acitvely discourages cdns from taking the vaccine.
    Get the story straight.

    I saw a cnn myth busters about the vaccine and it has been tested for the us population and they have more than enough vaccine.

    Why don’t you just admit that no matter what happens you’ll find some way to criticize the Cons for it. Then at least we have some full disclosure…

  • Tomm


    Have you decided if you are going to get the vaccine?

  • Mohamed

    I can’t imagine Health Canada bowing into political pressure.

  • Big Winnie

    I hope that the government has put people’s lives ahead of their own goals. If not, may they rot in hell!!

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