When the pharma and Government complex created the influenza market with the help of the usual modellers, they produced the requirement for an antiviral stockpile. They went about this by creating the Bird F-word (flu) feardemic (remember that?) in 2005-2006. As Influenza H5N1, the ‘bird flu’ agent, seemed to be active in Southeast Asia, they asked how an outbreak could be contained swiftly to give time for vaccines to be produced (six to nine months at the time).
The answer was the miraculous locally available antivirals in large quantities which could be deployed rapidly to douse transmission. In an earlier article we reported how modellers’ predictions that you could prevent an outbreak by ‘zapping’ the infection within a circumscribed area, so long as drug supplies could be available locally or reasonably quickly. This meant creating stockpiles of antivirals. Once the stockpiles were in place, the strategy was to use them while you waited for the wild virus to be isolated and for vaccines to be produced in a reasonable timeframe.
This was a neat strategy for ensuring stockpiling. It was widely accepted it would take some time to manufacture an effective vaccine. For example, the 2005 U.S. Homeland Security’s ‘Pandemic Influenza, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Guide‘ reported it would “take [six to nine] months before a vaccine will be widely available” once the strain had been identified.
In the antivirals series we have shown all these assumptions to be bogus. Models were, well, models, there was no evidence that either Tamiflu or Relenza could interfere with influenza transmission, while the vaccines, when the 2009 pandemic was called, arrived too late to influence anything. The pandemic was any way too mild for the Government-pharmaceutical complex to stick its neck out.
In other words, they took away the lesson that fear needed to be ramped up to get people to comply. However, the modellers’ construct would have made some sense if the risk of a deadly disease was confirmed and the antivirals did what they said on the tin. H5N1 caused some deaths, but these were context-specific and transmission from bird to human and human to human was weak.
In a recent article, we reported how the U.K. will have lost nearly £1.2 billion in two and half years on stockpiling unused antivirals.
We can’t understand the rationale for purchasing the December 2021 antiviral stockpile. Can you? If the stockpilers consider the vaccines prevent severe disease, what is the purpose of stockpiling mass quantities of antivirals?
Faster clearance and shorter times to viral elimination are similar claims made for Tamiflu, but this isn’t the same as evidence of a reduction in person-to-person transmission. The effectiveness in preventing transmission is further weakened by the evidence that shows one out of five people experience rebound Covid after taking an antiviral drug. Furthermore, RCT evidence shows Molnupiravir did not reduce Covid-associated hospitalisations or death among high-risk vaccinated adults in the community.
So – we ask – what is the rationale for stockpiling mass quantities of Covid antivirals?