Assignment SWINE FLU: Panic or Pandemic?/ BBC

The BBC (Imogen Foulkes) asks, ” Was the WHO right to declare a global swine flu pandemic?  Who made the key decisions that led to countries buying millions of doses of vaccine?”

In June 2009 the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared swine flu a global pandemic.
Governments around the world sprang into action and ordered millions of doses of vaccine. But in the event thousands – not millions died – and swine flu proved to be less dangerous than ordinary seasonal flu. So why did the WHO announce a pandemic and were they right to do so?
For Assignment Imogen Foulkes visits two countries in Europe, one of which ordered 90 million doses of vaccine and used just 10% of them – the other of which ordered none.

BBC asks the key questions, doesn’t allow the experts to sidetrack the debate, and provides an excellent overall discussion of the issues involved and the high level of secrecy (and lack of accountability) for decisions made at WHO.

There is a 25 minute long audio production in which interviews were conducted with Keiji Fukuda (current influenza chief and deputy director at WHO), a former WHO influenza chief who designed WHO’s pandemic protocols, epidemiologist Wolfgang Wodarg, MP Paul Flynn, epidemiologist Tom Jefferson, and officials from Poland, Novartis Vaccines and others.  For a shorter BBC story in print, go here.  It is EXTREMELY WORTHWHILE.

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