The cholera vaccination is so ineffective that even the FDA has never approved it. Yet, Haitians are getting cholera vaccinations. Why? Who benefits? Is this just a case of vaccine profiteering?
by Heidi Stevenson
Ah, Island of despair …
The long suffering stepchild of
and forgotten peoples
is our shame,
I fear the checkmate
is upon you…
We all must try and make a masterful
and play the endgame
to your advantage.
Striving to bring you back …
to an island
by Martin Kimeldorf
The story of the Haitian earthquake of 2010 is not over, and the latest trauma to be pressed on these beleaguered people may be a useless vaccination trial passed off as a genuine attempt to resolve the ongoing cholera epidemic.
With the assistance of Bill Clinton’s aide and UN employee Garry Conille, the United Nations’ PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) pressured Haiti’s Ministry of Health to start a vaccination campaign against cholera in early 2012.
The prevention and cure of a cholera epidemic is straightforward. Step 1 is to provide adequate clean water. Step 2 doesn’t exist. The only thing required to prevent cholera is clean water. It cannot be transmitted when its breeding grounds, polluted water, are removed. Yet, rather than focus on actually resolving the epidemic that has taken the lives of unknown numbers of Haitians, world powers acting as fronts for Big Pharma, have pushed vaccinations as the primary goal of relief.
Now, a virtually useless vaccine for cholera has been pressed on a a beleaguered Haitian government because … well, that’s the question. Why? Why has a vaccine that’s known to be ineffective been given to Haitians?
The plan was to give the vaccine, called Shanchol, to 100,000 Haitians starting in April of this year. Each person was to receive 2 doses 1-6 weeks apart. The campaign was carried out between April and June of this year. The cost of the vaccine was $400,000, $2 per dose. That’s $4 person, and it doesn’t include the cost involved in actually disseminating it.
In July, NPR reported that the cholera vaccination was a success. That does sound impressive—until you discover that what they mean by success is that less than 90% of the target population received the vaccine. It has nothing to do with whether the vaccine was effective. On that, NPR is silent.
But even the claim of success about the number of people vaccinated seems to be based on something other than reality. The intention was supposedly to vaccinate 100,000 Haitians, but somehow that number morphed into 50,000 after the vaccination campaign ended.
In an earlier trial performed by employees of the companies that make and distribute the vaccine, and financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the efficacy was only 65%. (Note also that the Gates Foundation has invested in Sanofi-Aventis, the owner of Shantha Biotechnics, which manufactures Shanchol, so its interest in financing the study is also questionable.)
NPR claims also that the larger population benefits from the vaccine because of so-called herd immunity. However, even the most optimistic beliefs about herd immunity require far more than 65% efficacy in a vaccine before such a claim can even be considered.
There’s another aspect to the cholera vaccination campaign in Haiti: It’s completely unethical and contrary to international agreements stating that every human being has the right to clean drinking water. To initiate an anti-cholera vaccinations campaign is, effectively, a denial of this basic human right. Cholera does not exist where people have access to clean water. It’s as simple as that.
So, this focus on vaccinating Haitians avoids even addressing the real solution and the one that would provide one of the most basic rights of every human being: clean water.
There is no realistic chance for vaccines to eliminate cholera from Haiti, or even to prevent it in a majority of the population. Trying to implement such a vaccination campaign means that money that might have gone towards providing clean water—which would eliminate cholera—is wasted on a boondoggle.
So, what does it actually cost to provide clean water for everyone in Haiti? Is it truly prohibitive?
In fact, it isn’t. It’s cheaper than doing a single ineffective vaccination campaign. While it’s true that convenient water systems are relatively expensive, they are not required. What’s needed is a means to disinfect water. People are currently walking great distances to access polluted water, so the solution is to provide the means to disinfect water at the current sources of water.
Oxfam has already shown how to resolve the problem. They have provided what they call chlorine boxes. These are simple, low-tech boxes that provide exactly the right amount of chlorine to disinfect 5 gallons of water with a single tap. The cost of chlorine is only $100 for a tub that can provide enough to disinfect water for 6 months for 90 boxes. Yes, there’s a price associated with the metal frames, the boxes, required to deliver the chlorine, but it’s minimal and it’s a one-time expenditure, unlike vaccines which must be repeated after a couple of years.
The fact is that making clean water available to each and every Haitian is not terribly expensive, and most likely costs less than the price of vaccinations, which aren’t.
So what’s going on? Why is there such a push to provide cholera vaccinations to Haitians, when their effectiveness is severely limited and the cost is almost certainly greater than disinfection of the water?
To find out, it’s necessary to ask who benefits, and the answer to that question is obvious: Big Pharma. In this case, it’s specifically Sanofi-Aventis, along with its cohorts in crime, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through their investment in Sanofi.
The Haitians are being used as another profit center for Big Pharma. But it likely won’t end there. It’s expected that the cholera epidemic will spread to other countries in South America. The profit potential in a cholera vaccine is, therefore, enormous—as long as it can be pressed on the people. Is there any possible explanation for the Haitian cholera vaccination boondoggle other than as an experiment to see how to make that happen?
Gaia Health has been following this issue since it first surfaced: UN Pushes to Vaccinate for Cholera in Haiti, Not Provide Clean Water
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