This week's "The Science" contains an opinion piece on future vaccines for TB which deserves a historic comment. The title of the article "Opinion: A TB vaccine blueprint" isn't likely to make headlines in the lay media for pretty obvious but unstated reasons. They relate to the fact that most parents today, are under the "illusion" that the great white plague was vanquished by the old BCG vaccine used since 1950 in many countries.
In fact, the BCG has done nothing of the sort. One of the most notable" features" of the BCG vaccine, other than the fact that it's pretty much a useless vaccine, is the fact that the USA has never used the vaccine.
How many of you knew that?
Here's another fact. TB declined in USA at the same rate as it declined in the countries which used BCG.
Why did USA not use the BCG? Because their own studies showed that the BCG - in some races CAUSED TB, and the protection in other races, was at most 14%. They decided not to use it on the basis that it would "conceal" cases of TB which could otherwise be picked up with the mantoux or heaf test, and that they would prefer to treat, rather than adopt the blanket vaccination policy of other countries.
USA also decided that their "silence" on the matter would ensure maximum profits for the BCG drug companies and keep them on the right side of the buttering up ledger, with regard to other vaccines. Mutual backscratching if you will....
So now that there are 12 new TB vaccines on lab benches, set to "save the world", the question is whether or not the "blueprint" for past sales will be the same blueprint for future sales?
Will we be assured that these new TB vaccines are wonderful, safe, lifesaving preventatives .... for another 50 years, until (OOPS) we then discover that our eyes were covered with the wool of yet another medical mirage?
Think how long it's taken for even a tentative admission that the BCG vaccine is a crock, and the fact that most people still don't even understand that.
The British Medical Journal Rapid Responses has many interchanges between myself and Dr Peter Flegg on the topic of Tuberculosis. In particular on this thread here which goes "backwards" in the usual BMJ unhelpful format, but the key posts would be:
When the public is ignorant on both the history and facts relating to both a disease and vaccine, historical distortions get written into history books which are just about impossible to rectify. Medical history is replete with many fictional fairy stories, most of which the public accept as truth.
Such is life, on the vaccine roller coaster.