The captioned Trinidad and Tobago Express article mentions that:
A second batch of 20,000 doses valued at US$15 each has been purchased directly from the European pharmaceutical company Novartis and will be delivered on November 17.
’We also expect delivery of the rest of 210,000 vaccines in the following weeks. A strategic plan towards their administration to population will be followed for all batches,’ Narace added..."
So! The swine flu vaccines are coming? Good! Now! Let's have the full disclosure surrounding those "special negotiations" and regarding the "ordinary" negotiations with Novartis, please?
Not only because it's millions of our dollars being spent or because the disparity between the two prices is mind-boggling, but, moreso, because of the fear that these vaccines are being acquired and will be administered even though only very brief assessment has been done on their long-term effects on humans!
Reuters informs that only on, or around, November 5th, 2009, Novartis's newest anti-H1N1 vaccine, Celtura, was approved in Germany, while Switzerland, where it is made, has not yet so done! (See: http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssHealthcareNews/idUSZAT01056620091105)
The same Reuters reports tells that, of the other two Novartis swine-flu vaccines, Focetria was, not long before then, approved by Switzerland.Focetria is the one which Novartis, most likely will supply to Trinidad and Tobago, since its other anti-H1N1 drug, Fluvirin, is being shipped exclusively to the USA market, where it has been approved by the US Food andl Drug Administration (USFDA). Which invites the final fear: Has any of these vaccines been approved by Trinidad and Tobago's Food and Drug Division? If so, where's the appropriate Gazette Notice of such approval, or of exemption?
One, therefore, hopes that the current pandemic hasn't created such pandemonium that the correct legal procedures are ignored in the rush to get the population vaccinated.