I saw a nice summary by Stat News of last Friday’s FDA Advisory Committee meeting on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine booster. They indicate the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) are meeting this coming Wednesday and Thursday to fine-tune the FDA recommendations, which was a messy affair. I have been checking the ACIP web site frequently but so far, I’ve not seen any agenda or slide sets for September 22 and 23. Is that a signal that watching their meeting will be even more like watching sausages being made?
Just as an aside on the quote attributed to Otto Von Bismarck I mentioned in my post on Friday—it’s probably apocryphal.
Laws are like sausages; better not to see them being made.”Otto Von Bismarck or maybe John Godfrey Saxe
I glanced around the web and ran across several articles which cast doubt on whether the big sausage duel ever took place. It’s kind of a shame because it had the medical science angle. Supposedly the scientist Rudolf Virchow who was studying the parasite responsible for causing trichinosis had responded to Bismarck’s challenge to a duel by proposing they each eat one of two sausages as weapons. Bismarck and Virchow would choose a sausage to eat, one of which was loaded with trichinella or one that was not. They couldn’t tell by looking at the sausages which was which. I first learned about this duel on the Travel Channel show (episode entitled “Sausage Duel”), which I think set the context as nasty factories churning out Trichinella laden sausages because of horrifyingly unsanitary practices. The show cast Virchow and Bismarck as opponents over that issue specifically. Bismarck conceded and that led to the factories cleaning up their act. Scientists triumph over politicians!
That probably never happened, according to more than one writer. So maybe I should choose another quote. One by a lawyer statesman might be a partial fit:
If Columbus had an advisory committee, he would probably still be at the dock.Arthur Joseph Goldberg
Another that I like just because I’m a Dave Barry fan:
“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and will never achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meeting.’”—Dave Barry.
If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and will never achieve, its full potential, that word would be “meeting”.Dave Barry
Some sources on the web say Barry’s quote was in one of his many books I used to own: Dave Barry Turns 50. It’s in a list: “25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years.” I didn’t check with Barry’s web site to verify the quote. You can find some of them on line. Many of those items are on the order of booger jokes, of which I happen to be a fan. This quote also happens to be highlighted on the website called mycommittee, which ironically advertises committee management software which promises to make them more productive. The home page shows a sample software document entitled “Decisions regarding response to Covid-19.”
Hmm. Maybe the advisory committees could use this.
ADDENDUM: Whoa! ACIP just posted this Wednesday’s draft agenda. More materials will surely follow.