Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's Not A Wonder Drug, Merv, It's A Wonder Vaccine

By Darryl Mason

As I wrote here on The Orstrahyun, June 4 :
Joel Fitzgibbon's resignation is just another curious example of Ruddlife imitating The Hollow Men, instead of the other way around. The episode where the PM's staff battled to decide whether it looked better for the prime minister to sack his defence minister, or accept his resignation, was only repeated on the ABC a couple of weeks ago.

The Budget episode of The Hollow Men, aired a week before treasurer Wayne Swann delivered the real one, was also full of key phrases and words that were put to good use when Swann and Rudd and Julia Gillard stepped in front of the media to sell it.

You'll know some sort of Evil Lefty ABC conspiracy is afoot if the Wonder Drug episode of The Hollow Men airs a week or two before the Rudd government begins seriously trying to sell the swine flu Wonder Vaccine

The instant classic 'Wonder Drug' episode of The Hollow Men aired again last Friday.

Next week begins the hardcore Big Sell by the Rudd government of a claimed swine flu vaccine.

RuddLife imitates The Hollow Men again.

The Rudd government has already committed to buy some 10 million doses of swine flu vaccine, even one that only has had, maximum, ten weeks of clinical trials :

Novartis, which has its Australian headquarters in Sydney, announced it had successfully completed cell-based production of the first batch of A(H1N1) vaccine.

"Based on that success, the company expects to be able to achieve rapid production," a Novartis spokesman said.

"The vaccine is in clinical trials now.''

Australian pharmaceutical company CSL said it would continue to develop a vaccine in Australia. Spokeswoman Dr Rachel David said CSL was conducting clinical trials of vaccines to determine the ideal dosage.

Nothing yet on possible side effects, and how the side effects compare to actually enduring and getting over a bout with swine flu.

No Australian deaths related to swine flu yet but the first fatalities blamed on the virus must only be a few days or a week away at the most. If not, Australia will be a curious anomaly as it will have some of the highest infection rates per capita but the lowest death rate.

The following numbers are of confirmed cases of infection, but the true numbers are probably far higher.
The government has confirmed 1441 cases of swine flu, including 1011 cases in Victoria, 160 in NSW, 90 in Queensland, 59 in Western Australia, 47 in South Australia, 41 in ACT, 17 in the Northern Territory and 16 in Tasmania.
I've been out of it for a few days with some kind of nasty bastard flu. That's why it's been quite around here. First time in a couple of years I've had anything that shut down the mini-writing factory for more than a day, or two. Don't like that. Forced to stop because the brain is too fogged out to function properly makes me very angry.

I went to the local medical centre to get checked out on Thursday, but it was standing room only. and they were only seeing "emergency cases", outside of those already booked in. First free appointment is Monday, 11pm. The only other two doctors within walking distance are likewise booked solid.

Either there are a lot of people around here feeling as utterly crap as I am, or a lot of locals have simply decided to exercise caution and headed to the doctor's when symptoms manifested they felt uneasy about.

There must be many other towns across Australia this weekend where it is next to impossible to find a doctor or medical centre that isn't fully booked.

Not much about swamped medical centres in the news yet. Maybe my neighbourhood is filled with hypochondriacs.

I knuckled last Monday, in spare hours, to finally finish the long overdue rewrite of the ED Day : Dead Sydney novel I published online in 2007 and 2008. It's a strange thing indeed to be working on a novel about life in Sydney after a flu pandemic at the same time a real pandemic is declared and then coming down with a flu that is fairly debilitating, heading for the local medical centre, finding it all but over-run with other flu patients....

I thought I became slightly obsessive with the hand-washing over the past few weeks. Didn't stop me from catching whatever this flu is.

I'd have to be feeling a hell of a lot sicker than this, however, before I volunteered to take a vaccine only a couple of weeks old, and fresh out of very brief clinical trials.

Obviously, there will be more on all this when the old energy levels return, and if I learn anything interesting from the doctor visit on Monday, I'll write it up here.