A Swedish HIV vaccine study conducted by researchers at Karolinska Institutet (KI), Karolinska University Hospital and the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control (SMI) has produced surprisingly good results. Over 90 per cent of the subjects in the phase 1 trials developed an immune response to HIV.
“Never has such a good result been seen with a vaccine of this type,” says Professor Eric Sandström, Chief Physician at Karolinska University Hospital.
A vaccine developed by SMI scientists has now undergone the first clinical study on healthy individuals in Sweden in order to examine its safety and different methods of administration. The vaccine is what is known as a genetic vaccine, which uses parts of the virus DNA to stimulate the rapid endogenous production of the proteins for which the injected DNA codes.
Earlier this week, Rudy Giuliani released a radio ad directly engaging the health care debate. “I had prostate cancer five, six years ago,” begins the ad. “My chance of surviving prostate cancer, and thank God I was cured of it, in the United States? Eighty-two percent. My chance of surviving prostate cancer in England? Only 44 percent under socialized medicine.”
Unsurprisingly, Giuliani’s statistics are a straight lie resulting from a basic mathematical error. The Annenberg Fact Check Project wrote, “We tracked down the source of that number, which turns out to be the result of bad math by a Giuliani campaign adviser, who admits to us that his figure isn’t ‘technically’ a survival rate at all. Furthermore, the co-author of the study on which Giuliani’s man based his calculations tells us his work is being misused, and that the 44 percent figure is both wrong and ‘misleading.’” The Giuliani campaign, demonstrating their traditional fidelity to truth and accuracy, have said they will continue using the statistic.
But the basic question Giuliani poses should be central to the presidential campaign: How good is American health care? The developed world is full of alternative models, fully functioning structures that can be viewed as little experiments, the outcomes of which should inform our policies. If our system outperforms its competitors, than we should amplify what sets us apart and pushes us ahead. If we under-perform, we should take a hard look at whether our model really is superior. And luckily, we have the data.
Indeed, we have brand new data. The Commonwealth Fund just released a broad survey collecting health care attitudes and experiences from patients in Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Click through for the interesting stats…
Quite honestly, I don’t understand why any Democrat wants to be president this time around. It’s not just the wreckage that the Avignon Presidency is going to be leaving behind, although that is considerable. (Did you see Himself yesterday? All the cheesy smirking while the Heritage Foundation unemployables cheered his nudge-nudge, wink-winking on torture? It’s like being ruled by Torquemada’s mall cop.) Monica Goodling’s testimony back a few months as regarding the hiring practice at DOJ leads me to wonder how many home-schooled, Christianist, Patrick Henry College yahoos have been salted away within the federal bureaucracy over the past seven years, and how effective a functioning underground resistance they might be. There was a little of this during the transiton from Poppy Bush to Bill Clinton. Cleaning up the debris is going to be hard enough without a bunch of authoritarian toddlers running off at the mouth to the Washington Times, or to whatever Republican legislators may be left after the upcoming bloodbath. The first two years — which, given the idiotic way we run elections, often are the only chance any president has to get anything done before it’s time to run for president again — are hard enough without being undermined in the government by Bible-banging Mole People. None of these people can conceive of public service as an end to itself. If they’re not in it to promote the party — or, alternatively, “Conservatism,” as though that term has any meaning any more — they’re in it to “give witness” to their Personal Lord And Savior, who should be told by any Democratic politician worthy of the name to shut the hell up for a couple of years while we try to repair the damage His fans have done to our country. The first order of business for any Democratic president elected next year should be to appoint unreconstructed hardbars to head the personnel offices throughout the Executive branch whose only job will be to root these people out before they can hurt the country further. The Monica Goodlings should be sent back where they belong — into a commercial for one of those execrable “Songs For Worship” CD’s that seem to be dedicated to ruining gospel music as thoroughly as these people have ruined the Justice department.
(or, if you have more time than 60 seconds