I predicted it months ago.
At the time the world was panicking over a heretofore little-known virus called zika. With little to no scientific evidence, “experts” were claiming that it caused horrible birth defects—even though the virus has been around forever and never caused birth defects before. Meanwhile, they were ignoring more likely causes of said birth defects such as poor nutrition and environmental pollution. Now thanks to the media frenzy “zika” is a household word.
It’s still going on, of course. After the first wave of fear-mongering, the media has only needed to poke the fire once in a while to keep it blazing in the public consciousness. In the interim, the “experts” have quietly toned down the “zika causes birth defects” rhetoric. The focus has shifted slightly toward “zika causes Guillain-Barre Syndrome.” GBS, if you’ve never heard of it, is a neurological condition that can follow any viral infection, not just zika.
But the damage has been done. The western world is running scared and crying for a “solution.” Money is flowing freely. And, just as I predicted just a few months ago, the first zika vaccine is about to go into human trials. But this isn’t your parents’ or your grandparents’ vaccine. This is what’s called a “DNA vaccine” and if the name alone doesn’t scare you, it should. Because unlike other vaccines, this type of “drug” hijacks your DNA and uses it for its own ends.
Zika vaccines are a double-win for Big Pharma
The company that gets its vaccine to market first stands to make a staggering amount of money. All those “experts” talking about zika would like you to think this isn’t the case. They want you to believe that vaccines aren’t money-makers—which simply isn’t true. They insinuate that vaccine-makers are somehow creating this vaccine out of the goodness of their own hearts, which also isn’t true. Oh no. Zika is going to be big, big bucks for a long, long time.
Researchers have mapped where the virus is likely to occur, according to where the mosquitos carrying the virus are found. Both NBC news and the BBC ran stories estimating that as many as 2.2 billion people will be in the “hot” zone for zika. And since the news reports have been full of how zika can be passed from person to person through sex, that means that the powers that be will be pushing to immunize every man, woman, and child over the age of 11 or so.
That’s a lot of vaccine. And of course it probably won’t stop there. The “recommendation” will probably be to immunize every man, woman, child, and infant of any age and to have regular boosters every X number of years. Because now they’re saying it just might spread through saliva too. If this is the case there’s an even bigger profit incentive, since birth rates are high in much of the world where zika is present and that would add millions of infants to the already high number of people to be vaccinated.
So let’s say the number is “only” 2 billion people in the “hot” zone. If everyone gets immunized that’s 2 billion doses of vaccine. Even if the vaccine were sold for as little as one U.S. dollar per dose, that’s still two billion dollars. And of course it won’t be one dose. Is there any vaccine on the market that is? Nope. And of course it won’t cost only a dollar. Even the cheapest vaccines on the market are more than that. To give you an idea what vaccine prices are like, here’s a sampling:
- A single dose of DTaP vaccine can cost anywhere from $2.70 to 17.50 (from the manufacturer—actually getting the shot costs much more) depending on the type.
- The MMR shot costs $6.20 per dose. If you add chickenpox, the price jumps to $18.
- Meningitis vaccine is $12.30 per dose.
- HPV is $17.70.
- The shingles vaccine is about $19 per dose, and even the humble flu shot can cost as much as $3.50.
The math here is mind-boggling. Because this vaccine isn’t going to be at the low end of the scale. All of the inexpensive vaccines out there are the old ones that have been around for decades. The newer they are, the pricier they are. Witness the fact that Gardisil (HPV) and shingles vaccines are nearly $20 a pop. So the zika vaccine is likely to be in the $17-$20 per dose range. Of course, the manufacturer will probably give governments a “discount” that will bring that down considerably. But even if they cut the price in half, that’s still $8.50 to $10 per dose.
Now multiply that by 2.2 billion.
That’s the amount of money waiting to be made from this “health crisis.” Kind of puts things in a different light, doesn’t it? And Big Pharma even gets a bonus with this: manufacturers working on a zika vaccine get a “fast track” voucher they can use to rush any drug they have through FDA approval. This can cut their time to market by six months, adding millions or even billions to their profit.
And they don’t have to use it themselves—they can sell it to another company for millions of dollars if they like. Plus, the new zika vaccine about to go into testing needs special equipment to make it work, which will be a money-maker by itself.
This ain’t your momma’s vaccine
The first zika vaccine is set to start safety trials any time. It will be tested on—get this—40 healthy adults. Forty. If it follows the normal drug-development timeline, it will then be tested to see what dose works best. That group too may be only a handful of people. We’d like to think that new drugs are tested on thousands of people before they go to market, but that simply isn’t true. Theoretically, it could land on the “recommended vaccine list” after being tested on only a couple hundred people over a few months.
And it probably will. Because Big Pharma is in a Big Hurry to rake in all those Big Bucks just waiting to be collected.
That’s always a bad thing. And in this case, it’s even worse than usual. Because this is a new type of vaccine called a “DNA vaccine.” Instead of using the actual virus--or pieces of it--to spur your body to fight off infection, like traditional vaccines, it uses lab-created viral DNA. This synthetic zika DNA then hijacks your body’s own cells to crank out copies of itself.
If that sounds a bit scary to you, you’re not alone. Vaccine manufacturers claim DNA vaccines are safer than traditional ones but critics disagree. They also worry that the vaccine—or any zika vaccine—could make us sicker than just getting the virus naturally, for reasons I’ll explore in Part Two. So stay tuned next week for part two of this topic, where I take an in-depth look at how this type of vaccine works and why jumping the gun on zika is a bad thing for everyone but Big Pharma.