The Flu Shot Scam (page 1)
Discovering the Truth About the Influenza Vaccine Program
Flu shot ingredients:
Thimersol (Mercury disinfectant/preservative)
Aluminum (additive to promote antibody response) (implicated as a contributor to Alzheimer's, seizures, fatigue, mental problems)
Formaldehyde (disinfectant) (let's embalm ourselves alive!) (incidentally, it's what aspartame aka NutraSweet converts to at a mere 86 degrees F)
Ethylene Glycol (anti-freeze-deadly-poison) (seems to do nothing constructive at all)
Benzethonium Chloride (antiseptic)
Methylparaben (anti fungal, preservative)
ARTICLE #1 The Great Flu Scam of 2003
ARTICLE #2 Time for the Flu Vaccine? Think Again
ARTICLE #3 The Flu Shot Stampede
ARTICLE #5 Flu Vaccine Season Revving Up Again
ARTICLE #6 Flu Vaccines: An Interview by Gary Null
ARTICLE #8 Why I Never Get Flu Shots: A Testimonial
ARTICLE #9 Taking It To Vaccine Court
ARTICLE #10 Flu Shots Linked To Asthma Attacks
ARTICLE #13 Manipulating Flu Numbers
ARTICLE #14 This Year's Influenza Vaccine
ARTICLE #17 Flu Vaccination
ARTICLE #18 Flu Vaccine: Stay Out of My Womb
ARTICLE #19 Price Gouging
ARTICLE #20 Radio News Brief Uses Scare Tactics
How flu vaccine makers' profits were boosted by exaggerated government claims
BY TARA SERVATIUS
The national near-panic in the fall of 2003 over the supposed spread of a deadly flu epidemic and a shortage of flu vaccine was little more than a joint government/ industry PR campaign -- an operation that greatly increased flu vaccine makers' profits while scaring the bejesus out of millions of Americans.
The U.S. media let itself be led down the garden path without checking into the stories they were being told about the extent of the flu. Perhaps if the health reporters at the big news outlets had talked to the business reporters last fall, someone might have put it all together before 82 million Americans took a needle in the arm.
Instead, media-driven hysteria over what was supposed to be the deadliest flu season in decades drove the American public to set two national records -- one for flu vaccination and another, less widely known, for corporate vaccine profits -- in an industry with a long history of losing money hand over fist on the flu.
Only two things didn't live up to all the flu hype. One was the flu season itself, which in the end was utterly unremarkable. Two was the desperately sought-after flu vaccine, which studies later showed was only about 14 percent effective in preventing the flu.
Suffice it to say, if Americans had known what Wall Street and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had riding on this flu season, the tens of millions of otherwise healthy people who stood in line waiting for a flu shot might have thought twice about it. Instead, panicked parents drove for hours, seeking out clinics in neighboring cities or states when those near them ran out of vaccines. In some states, they jammed doctors' offices at 10 times the normal flu season rate, dragging sniffling children behind them, terrified that the colds they normally let pass without the hassle of a doctor's visit might be the "killer" flu strain they'd been hearing about. Mayors and governors, pressured by constituents the clinics turned away, called Washington to demand more vaccines.
Driving it all was seemingly nonstop media coverage of what was supposedly the worst flu season in decades. For months, the most trusted names in television and print journalism screamed about the flu, using words like "deadly," "severe" and "worst in decades" in their news reports to describe a growing epidemic that they speculated could be made all the more lethal by a killer Fujian flu strain no one had anticipated until it was too late.
What the public didn't know
Across the country, people, especially children, were dying earlier in the flu season and in higher numbers than the experts had seen before. At least that's what they said, and since they were nationally respected experts with impeccable qualifications, no one questioned them, nor the high-ranking government health bureaucrats who shared the microphone with them at press conferences about the flu. After all, what would these well-meaning people have to gain personally by misleading the public about the flu?
As it turns out, quite a lot. All it took to ignite a media feeding frenzy over the flu was a few well-placed suggestions by a few well-qualified people that this season could turn out to be far more deadly than usual. The media did the rest.
What the public wasn't told was that the handful of experts who drove the story, by predicting doom and gloom in national news reports, either worked directly for the flu vaccine companies or served on the boards of special interest groups whose activities those companies funded. The public was also never told that the same pharmaceutical companies, which had peppered Congress with millions in political contributions over the last three years, were pressuring the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services -- and ultimately its sub-agency, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) -- to increase the number of people who bought their vaccines.
And even though nearly all the literature put out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services this season promoted the intra-nasal FluMist vaccine, which debuted on the market this year, no one bothered to mention that the department's researchers spent 20 years helping develop FluMist, the profits for which all go to the private companies selling and distributing it. (Although it helped improve the drug, which was originally invented by a University of Michigan researcher, the federal government holds no legal claim to any profits it generates.)
Often, what these so-called experts and health officials didn't say publicly was at least as important as what they did. A lot of the panic over the flu, which was driven by coverage of child deaths from the disease in the Midwest, would have been quelled if federal health officials and their friends, the ethically compromised flu experts, had emphasized that since this was the first year the CDC had required states to track child flu deaths and verify the flu as the cause of death with a test, there was no way to tell if the 111 child flu deaths the CDC eventually tallied represented an increase or a decrease. That important fact didn't make the cut in a single one of the CDC's press releases on the flu, nearly all of which pushed the use of FluMist.
By early to mid-December, when the CDC and the flu experts were still driving the flu craze in the media with their dire warnings, they had to have been aware, since they were experts, that the CDC's mortality rate estimates, while higher than the previous two years, still lagged behind those of the 2000 season for the same period. Once again, instead of reassuring the public, the CDC put out press releases again urging healthy people to get vaccinated and promoting FluMist.
Yet another important fact was left out of all the "sky is falling" press conferences that predicted the flu would reach epidemic levels this season: the CDC's epidemic threshold is so low that deaths from the flu reach "epidemic" levels nearly every year, as they have for the last three years. The fact that federal officials and flu experts in the employ of the vaccine makers didn't mention this helped stoke the public frenzy -- and, of course, increased the vaccine makers' profits.
Drugmakers demand, government delivers
The real flu crisis this fall, the one that didn't make headlines, was the tug of war between the CDC and the three big pharmaceutical companies that manufacture flu vaccines. In 2002, when 12 million of the 95 million doses of flu vaccine produced by the nation's pharmaceutical companies went unused, the drugmakers absorbed a loss of $120 million. By the fall of 2003, a couple of consecutive mild flu seasons, paper-thin profit margins, and declining vaccination rates had taken their toll. In less than two years, the number of flu vaccine manufacturers in the market had dropped from five to three. The pressure mounted on the CDC to ensure a profitable flu vaccination season by "expanding" the vaccine market. By that, corporate leaders meant that they wanted the CDC to recommend vaccination for young, healthy people, people for whom the CDC didn't recommend a vaccine -- until this year. People who, it could be argued, don't need a flu shot.
The three pharmaceutical manufacturers in the flu vaccine business, all of whom successfully market other drugs, made it clear that if the government failed to find enough arms and noses for their vaccines, they might reduce supply or exit the business, leaving the public vulnerable to a true vaccine shortage.
Drug company executives aren't exactly shy about the issue.
"Raising demand is key to raising supply," Howard Pien, president of Chiron Corporation, told the House Government Reform Committee this month. James Young, president of research and development at MedImmune, Inc., which makes FluMist and other flu vaccines, even went so far as to tell the same government officials that if the CDC would recommend universal vaccination, vaccine manufacturers might then be willing to guarantee that there would be enough flu vaccine to meet routine demand on an annual basis.
Increasing vaccination rates among those vulnerable to the flu, a longtime goal of CDC, is one thing. Increasing demand for flu vaccine regardless of who gets it is another.
Dr. Walter Ornstein, director of the CDC's National Immunization Program, made the agency's goals for last fall clear in a slide presentation in June 2003. The agency would "increase vaccine demand" by "enhancing" its communication efforts and extending its vaccine campaign past the end of November, when flu vaccination typically winds down across the nation.
The result? About $450 million in additional profits for vaccine manufacturers in a single flu season.
FluMist: a government baby
The main factor that dissuades people who can afford to do so from getting flu shots is a distaste for needles. For 20 years, researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a government agency that is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, worked on an invention they believed would remedy the problem. It was a nasal spray made from a live but weakened version of the virus, and from the moment the corporation Aviron began preparing it for market, Wall Street loved it. So did MedImmune, which bought Aviron last year, and drug marketer Wyeth, which joint-ventured with MedImmune to market it for the 2003 flu season.
The companies launched a $25 million marketing campaign, and when stock analysts learned that FluMist would be released in time for the 2003 flu season, MedImmune's stock soared to 63 times the company's earnings at $43.32 per share.
In the case of FluMist, it's hard to tell where the government ends and a corporate marketing campaign begins. NIAID, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the CDC, all of which are sub-agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, each put out what can only be described as promotional press releases announcing that FluMist would enter the vaccine market. While NIAID and the NIH were open about the Department of Health and Human Services' role in developing FluMist, the CDC -- the hub from which the national flu vaccination campaign is run -- left out that factoid in its promotional materials and neglected to mention it at press conferences during which CDC officials regularly promoted FluMist as a needle-free alternative to vaccination. Consequently, none of the media's flu coverage last fall mentioned the Department of Health and Human Services' role in developing the vaccine.
Nearly all of the CDC's patient educational materials recommended FluMist, including flu pamphlets it distributes to doctors. But the CDC didn't stop there. As the public scrambled to buy up cheaper, injected vaccines, the agency put out press releases recommending that healthy individuals request FluMist in order to save dwindling supplies of the needle-delivered vaccine for those most at risk from the flu.
From an ethical standpoint, the CDC should have actively pointed out its ties to FluMist when it promoted it, said Calvin College Professor Hessel Bouma, a medical ethicist who studies healthcare's thorniest quandaries.
Despite the joint industry/government marketing campaign, by late September, things weren't exactly going well for FluMist. Executives at MedImmune and Wyeth knew FluMist was in trouble. Wal-Mart had backed out of a distribution agreement and the public was shying away from the drug's price tag, which at $50 or higher per dose was more than five times the cost of an injected vaccine. Within weeks, MedImmune would issue a financial report adjusting its earnings estimates for FluMist downward by $60 million. In addition, with millions of unsold doses still on their hands, injectable vaccine makers Aventis and Chiron weren't faring much better. Something had to give.
In early November, much of the news about the flu was confined to the business pages as analysts sounded warnings about MedImmune's troubles and speculated about how vaccination rates would affect the market. But by the end of the month, the flu "epidemic" made an amazing migration from the business pages to the front page as flu experts were suddenly everywhere, speculating about how high the death toll could climb and how many more children would fall to the flu.
With few exceptions, much of the propaganda that drove the flu story and kept it in the headlines can be traced back to one of three places -- the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the payrolls of FluMist manufacturer MedImmune or drug marketer Wyeth, or a nonprofit immunization advocacy organization called the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), whose pro-flu immunization activities are largely funded by the flu vaccination companies.
By mid-November, a small handful of highly qualified flu experts, all of whom had connections to one of the groups listed above, fanned out across the television and print media, preaching doom and gloom. They made headlines at press conferences and were quoted in most of America's daily newspapers. Television and radio news breathlessly carried their predictions and a single, unified message came through -- everyone must be vaccinated.
"We will probably see more excess deaths this year than we saw in the 1968 [Hong Kong flu] pandemic," Dr. W. Paul Glezen, director of the Influenza Research Center at the Baylor College of Medicine told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on Nov. 30.
Despite unremarkable weekly CDC death toll estimates, by December 12, Glezen was predicting 65,000 to 71,000 excess deaths from the flu in media interviews. "That's pretty bad," he told the Washington Post. "Unfortunately, it looks like there could be a lot of children this year."
What the articles didn't mention was that when Glezen wasn't giving interviews about the potential deadliness of the flu, he spent his time running FluMist trials as a clinical investigator working for MedImmune.
The same thing happened in an Associated Press story by medical editor Daniel Haney which ran in dozens of papers across the country, warning that the flu posed a particular danger to children this year.
"The fact that there are deaths among children without serious underlying health problems is very unusual," Haney quoted a Dr. Robert Belshe as saying.
Although the Dec. 18 article referred to him as "Dr. Robert Belshe of St. Louis University," which was accurate, what wasn't mentioned was that Belshe had done clinical research on FluMist and had intellectual property licensed to Wyeth, which markets FluMist.
Like Glezen and Belshe, Dr. Bill Schaffner, chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and a liaison member of the (CDC's) advisory committee on immunization practices, spent a considerable amount of time this fall stumping for flu immunization.
This year's flu season would shape up to be "a very noteworthy epidemic," he predicted to a CNN reporter in early December.
"School closures are one thing, but hospitalizations with pneumonia and death is another," the Associated Press quoted him as saying. "Mostly what we are concerned about are severe illnesses that bring people into the hospital ... at risk of dying."
Schaffner serves on the board of The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), whose flu awareness activities are largely funded by flu vaccine makers Aventis Pasteur, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, MedImmune and Chiron, among others, and generally promote the use of the vaccines the companies make and distribute. Representatives of all three companies sit on NFID's board of Trustees. Creative Loafing repeatedly asked NFID officials how much of the group's budget, which averages $2 million to $3 million a year, is donated by the flu manufacturers and distributors. The dollar figures they repeatedly promised were never forthcoming, though they did admit that unrestricted educational grants from the companies fund many of NFID's immunization promotion activities.
Dr. Kristin Nichol of the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center was another popular flu source with the media last fall. Nichol spent this flu season warning the elderly that flu immunizations could cut their risk of death from heart attack and stroke.
Young people should also get vaccinated, she told MSNBC and others, "because they underestimate the extent to which they put other people at risk."
That Nichol conducted FluMist studies and is the head of the National Coalition for Adult Immunization, an NFID subgroup, was never listed among her credentials in any of the news reports.
Once again, medical ethicist Bouma says, they should have volunteered their ties to the vaccine industry when commenting on issues that could directly affect its profits.
Death Comes Early in Colorado
Every year, experts estimate that 36,000 Americans die from the flu. According to the CDC's website, the vast majority of those people have weakened immune systems from other illnesses. While tragic, these deaths typically don't draw much media attention, even when the victims are children, which, while rare, does happen.
But this year was different, in part because of an alarm sounded at a joint press conference by the NFID and the CDC, another sub agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the government agency that initially developed FluMist. It was the first of many alarms that, over the next two months, would drive hordes of Americans in search of flu vaccines.
At the Sept. 23 conference, CDC officials warned the media for the first time that healthy children may be in danger of complications from influenza. A study of the previous flu season in the state of Michigan documented 10 cases of serious influenza-related illness and four influenza-related deaths among those under age 21, they said. For the first time in its history, the CDC pushed near-universal flu vaccination for healthy children and urged parents to do it immediately. Officials also used the conference as an opportunity to push FluMist as an alternative to injectable vaccines.
What didn't merit much mention was that like many of NFID's "advocacy" projects, the press conference, held at The Press Club in Washington, D.C., was "sponsored" financially by educational grants from Aventis Pasteur, Chiron Vaccines and Wyeth, the same three flu vaccine companies that, at the time, were trying to sell 83 million doses of flu vaccine to the American public, including FluMist. Obviously, both the CDC and the NFID should have actively disclosed their connections to the media, ethicist Bouma says.
In the weeks after the press conference, for the first time in recent memory, child deaths from the flu became front-page news. Though the numbers were small, the impact of these deaths was powerful when viewed under the media's microscope.
By late November, the Associated Press reported, in an article that ran in papers across the country, that there were four child deaths in Colorado from the flu and that the flu was widespread in Texas as well. The Colorado deaths occurred earlier in the flu season than had previously been seen, and since only two to four kids usually die from the flu in an entire typical season in Colorado, panic set in -- and local papers across the country simply lifted the information about the child deaths and the supposed Texas flu outbreak from national articles and worked it into their own coverage without questioning it, all the while speculating that the flu epidemic could spread to other states.
By the time the CDC, NFID and the American Medical Association representatives teamed up again for a Nov. 25 press conference, they had the media's full attention. As they had done the month before, they promoted FluMist and reiterated the danger the flu posed to healthy children and urged the country to get vaccinated. But by then it didn't matter. The scramble for a flu shot was already on. By early December, the government had bought the last 100,000 remaining doses from Chiron and Aventis to help meet overwhelming local demand. Soon, a national vaccination record was set.
Though it slashed the price of FluMist by half before the end of the flu season, no more than 800,000 of the 4 million doses of FluMist were purchased by the public. Perhaps people believed that $25 was still too much to pay for a flu shot. Or maybe the fact that the flu virus in FluMist is still alive, as opposed to the dead version used in traditional vaccines, scared people. Either way, despite the best efforts of the CDC, the public turned their noses up at FluMist even while they waited hours in line for traditional flu shots.
Aventis and Chiron, meanwhile, fared much better. According to a Chiron press release, company sales of flu vaccines rose 271 percent, from $90 million in the 2002 flu season to $332 million this year. Aventis' U.S. vaccine sales rose 17 percent to $598 million.
It's not enough, they say. According to its financial forecasts, Chiron envisions 150 million flu vaccinations annually in the U.S. by 2008 and sales of over $1 billion.
A bill called the Flu Protection Act, which is now winding its way through Congress, may make that a reality. Aimed at preventing so-called vaccine shortages like the one this season -- and financial losses like the $120 million hit taken by flu manufacturers the year before when vaccination rates stagnated -- the bill gives tax breaks to flu manufacturers and guarantees that the federal government will buy up any unused doses of flu vaccine each year at the end of the flu season.
It also mandates that the CDC conduct an annual campaign to increase flu vaccination -- and provides $440 million to pay for it over the next four years, more money than is typically spent in a U.S. presidential campaign. (The bill's sponsors, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Mary Landrieu, (D-La.), Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill) together took in over $35,000 from Wyeth and Aventis in the last election cycle according to the Center for Responsive Politics.)
In exchange for all this, which amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies for an industry already making double digit profits, the companies merely have to agree to give the government advance warning if they plan to stop making the flu vaccine.
After its losses this season, MedImmune executives are considering dropping out of the flu market. But not Chiron and Aventis. Company spokespeople say the corporations plan to increase the number of flu vaccine doses they'll bring to the U.S. market by up to 50 percent in fall 2004, which they expect will be a banner year for flu vaccination.
Unless the American public catches on, it probably will be.
---Randall Neustaedter OMD
The flu vaccine gets the most-useless-vaccine-of-all-time award. Now the CDC is recommending the vaccine for children under two years old and all adults over 50. Don't fall for it.
Everyone knows about the flu and the flu vaccine. What people do not know is that flu vaccines are nearly useless in preventing flu, they will cause the flu, and they often result in nervous system damage that can take years for the body to repair. Other nations chuckle at Americans' infatuation with the flu vaccine. The joke would indeed be funny, if it weren't for the damaging effects caused by the vaccine.
The history of the flu vaccine reads like one stumbling fiasco after another. Take an example. Ever wonder how the particular viruses are chosen for next year's vaccine? The answer could be drawn from a 1930s film noir of Shanghai villainy. Scientists kill migrating ducks in Asia, culture the viruses and put those in next year's vaccine, because they have seen an association between bird and pig viruses and the following year's human flu epidemics. Perhaps this desperate guesswork is responsible for so many years when the flu vaccine's viruses had nothing in common with circulating viruses. According to a CDC report of the 1994-1995 flu season, 87 percent of type A influenza virus samples were not similar to the year's vaccine, and 76 percent of type B virus were not similar to the virus in that year's vaccine. During the 1992-1993 season, 84 percent of samples for the predominant type A virus were not similar to the virus in the vaccine.
Here is a list of the most common side effects of the flu vaccine as stated by the CDC - fever, fatigue, muscle aches, and headache. Sound familiar?
The primary targeted population for flu vaccine is the elderly, yet the vaccine is notoriously ineffective in preventing disease in that population. According to the CDC, the effectiveness of flu vaccine in preventing illness among elderly persons residing in nursing homes is 30-40 percent (CDC, 2001b). Other studies have shown an even lower efficacy of 0-36 percent (averaging 21 percent). The CDC proudly notes that for those elderly persons living outside of nursing homes, flu vaccine is 30-70 percent effective in preventing hospitalization for pneumonia and influenza. Yet the Department of Human and Health Services found that, with or without a flu shot, pneumonia and influenza hospitalization rates for the elderly are less than one percent during the influenza season. Regardless of vaccination status, 99 percent of the elderly recover from the flu without being hospitalized. The ineffectiveness of flu shots in the elderly led the CDC in 2000 to begin recommending the shots for all persons age 50 years and older. The rationale being that one third of Americans have a risk factor or chronic disease that puts them at risk of increased morbidity from the flu.
Annual flu vaccination is recommended for those individuals with asthma and other chronic respiratory and cardiovascular disorders. However, those people with impaired immune systems are the most likely to suffer adverse autoimmune reactions.
Children are the next frontier for the lucrative flu vaccine campaign. Vaccination is currently recommended for children over six months of age with high-risk medical conditions, but is not recommended for healthy children. Experts in the field suggest that parents of children age six months to two years "be informed that their children are at risk for serious complications of influenza, and allowed to make individual informed decisions regarding influenza immunization for their children" (Neuzil et al., 2001). This statement was made by Marie Griffin (and others), the same author who was implicated in the flawed study that supposedly exonerated the pertussis vaccine of nervous system damage. She is also a paid consultant to one of the world's largest vaccine manufacturers, Burroughs Wellcome. The children's market is the next big hope for vaccine campaigners. A 1998 working group began investigations to not only support, but also to "recommend" flu vaccine for young children.
The next big change in flu vaccines will be the introduction of a live intranasal flu vaccine, a dose that is actually sprayed into the nose. This vaccine has already been tested on young children. Live intranasal vaccine was found 93 percent effective in preventing influenza in children age one to six years old (Belshe et al., 1998). Unanswered questions about the live vaccine include the possibility of transmitting other, more dangerous viruses through the vaccine, the possibility of enhanced replication of the attenuated virus in individuals with compromised immune systems, and the possibility of bacterial superinfection if the replicating live virus disrupts nasal membranes (Subbarao, 2000). This vaccine waits in the wings for its chance as the next big gun in the vaccine arsenal aimed at our children.
In 1976 the flu vaccine was dealt a near fatal blow when reports appeared that the vaccine caused Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an autoimmune nervous system reaction characterized by unstable gait, loss of sensation, and loss of muscle control. A mass vaccination program was mounted that year by the US Government, and 45 million Americans received the swine flu vaccine. Statistical studies have confirmed a causal relationship between the vaccine and GBS. During that year the rate of GBS in Ohio was 13.3 per 1,000,000 in vaccine recipients compared to 2.6 per 1,000,000 in nonrecipients (Marks & Halpin, 1980). A follow-up study also showed a significantly increased incidence of GBS during the first 6 weeks following receipt of the vaccine in patients residing in two other states. The rate of GBS was 8.6 per million vaccinees in Michigan and 9.7 per million vaccinees in Minnesota (Safranek et al., 1991). This episode, which became known as the swine flu catastrophe, left doctors extremely reluctant to administer flu vaccine, and shattered the public trust in the flu vaccine campaign.
The association between GBS and flu shots was not unique to the swine flu. Earlier reports had also summarized cases of nervous system disorders occurring soon after the flu vaccine (Flewett & Hoult, 1958; Horner, 1958). More recently, an increased risk for GBS occurring in patients during the six weeks following the flu vaccine was revealed in the 1992-1993 and the 1993-1994 flu seasons (Lasky et al., 1998).
One of the most bizarre twists on the flu vaccine saga is the CDC recommendation of 2001 that all pregnant women receive the vaccine in their second or third trimester. This recommendation even has doctors confused, since the vaccine remains a category C drug (unknown risk for pregnancy). No adequate studies have been conducted to monitor safety of the vaccine for mother and fetus. The only studies of adverse effects in pregnancy were conducted in the 1970s (Heinonen et al., 1973; Sumaya & Gibbs, 1979). Some flu vaccines still contain mercury as a preservative, despite a 1998 FDA instruction to remove mercury from all drugs. According to the CDC, two groups are most vulnerable to methylmercury---the fetus and children ages 14 and younger. An article published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 1999 stated, "the greatest susceptibility to methylmercury neurotoxicity occurs during late gestation" (Grandjean et al., 1999). How did CDC committee members determine that flu vaccines were safe for pregnant women? They did not. The committee, despite its own recommendation, states, "additional data are needed to confirm the safety of vaccination during pregnancy" (CDC, 2001b).
* Flu vaccine manufacturers are notoriously inaccurate at predicting the appropriate viruses to use in an individual year's vaccine, rendering the vaccine ineffective.
* Flu vaccine is relatively ineffective in those patients most at risk of flu complications.
* The vaccine has caused GBS in recipients during several different flu seasons.
* Those most at risk of flu complications probably share a higher risk of adverse reactions to the flu vaccine as well.
By Mary Starrett
[Editor's Note: I presume that it's unnecessary to explain to readers of this web site that the flu 'pandemic' being hyped by the Illuminated Media outlets is a put-up con job to frighten uneducated people to rush off to the nearest clinic for their FREE flu shot and become 'protected' from this killer flu. I'm guessing that this 'flu' probably has much more to do with the incessant raining down of chemtrails in our skies everyday than by any natural evolution of influenza. This latest scare scam is somewhat similar, but not quite as intense, as the 'swine flu' epidemic that the Illuminati's Gerald Ford (1973 or 74?) tried to convince the American public would sweep across the country like wildfire-if you didn't get your swine flu vaccine in time! Of course, there was no swine flu epidemic or even a swine flu outbreak, anywhere in America (however, lots of elderly people did die from the swine flu vaccine). The entire story was contrived. At the time, I wasn't aware of the NWO or of their takeover agenda, but I talked to my father about getting the shot and we both came to the same conclusion: "Nah, we'll take our chances" and avoided getting the vaccine. Of course, the deceptive minions working out of the Tavistock Institute in London or Stanford Research here in California, who hatch up these disinfo campaigns, want the public to really clamor and stampede to get these shots, so they pepper their propaganda outlets with dire stories of vaccine shortages. So, what else is new? The oldest seller trick in the book: make the customer think that he has to rush to get your product now, or else miss out because of a time limit or product non-availability. The Illuminati's attempt to force mandatory nationwide anthrax or smallpox vaccination fell through, so now it's on to Plan B, their old standby-scare campaigns. Don't buy it folks-and tell your friends: Avoid ALL vaccines. These liars do not have your welfare at heart. Their agenda is genocide and enslavement. Never forget that...Ken Adachi]
December 12, 2003
A senior executive with pharma-giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in the U.K. said that fewer than half the patients prescribed some of the most expensive drugs actually got any benefit from them. Whoa.
How come that story didn't make front page news here in the U.S.? It was reported in the U.K. but pulled from a Reuter's stateside news lineup. Must have been an oversight.
Allen Roses, a GSK vice president admitted something many of us have known in one way or another for sometime; that "the vast majority of drugs- more than 90 per cent- only work in 30 or 50 per cent of the people." The public might be surprised to hear this, especially if they're still visiting M.D.'s and leaving with their hands full of little white slips. Roses, an academic geneticist from Duke University wasn't saying anything his colleagues didn't already know. GSK, one of the most profitable of all the drug companies, has relied, as have the others, on selling as many drugs as they can to the widest group of people. Doctors have typically used the trial and error approach when prescribing for their patients. Try this, then that and see what chemical cocktail "seems" to "work". In what is the typical modus operandi, Western medical practitioners will consider a drug has "worked' if the symptoms are gone. The underlying dis-ease of the organism hasn't been healed, but the outward appearances of the ailment have been masked. Add to this the damage done by drugs on the body's other systems and you have the reason so many people are sick and getting sicker.
Now that the president has pushed the massive scheme called a "Drug Benefit," it appears the only ones benefiting will be the drug companies. We would all do well to listen-really listen- to what Dr. Roses admits concerning the efficacy of drugs. Consider that, according to him, drugs for Alzheimers work in only one out of three patients, cancer drugs are only effective in one in four patients and drugs prescribed for migraines , osteoporosis and arthritis work only half the time. With doctors working in concert with pharmaceutical companies, most people who enter a doctor's office rarely leave without pills, scripts for pills or the promise of different pills on the next visit- "if those don't work".
Ozzy Osbourne, that mumbling, aging rock star who invited America into his home week after week just had surgery for injuries sustained in an accident. No wonder. The addle-brained performer was taking 42 different physician-prescribed drugs at the time of the accident. His daily intake of chemicals included antidepressants, antipsychotics, opiates, tranquilizers and amphetamines. Drugs like Valium, Adderall, Dexedrine and Mysoline got Ozzy through the day. The drugs were prescribed by a physician. While we tend to believe that only celebrities like Ozzy or Rush Limbaugh wind up being "over-served" by their high-dollar doctors, consider that with fewer than ten minutes to spend on each patient, many, if not most physicians simply prescribe something just to move on.
Take the flu vaccine. You're being encouraged by your doctor, the media and the federal government through all points "sky is falling" flu news bulletins to get a flu shot- a chemical mash including formaldehyde, aluminum and mercury cultivated on chicken embryos. The animal byproducts in vaccines carry the risk of viral contamination. Vaccine companies cannot guarantee the purity of animal cells used in vaccine culture.
Dr. Sherri Tenpenny cites research done by an immunogeneticist named Hugh Fudenburgh who's been studying the flu vaccines and reports that if someone has five consecutive flu shots his or her chances of getting Alzheimer's disease is ten times higher. FluMist, a live-virus nasal vaccine is being pushed in a $25 million dollar ad campaign. You may have seen the tv commercials for FluMist. Oddly, the very same symptoms the vaccine is supposed to prevent are mentioned as side effects of taking the highly contagious vaccine. The package insert warns recipients to "avoid close contact with immunocompromised individuals for 21 days". The number of those considered "immunocompromised" is huge-people on steroids, cancer drugs, folks with eczema, who've had organ transplants or who have HIV are considered at risk. I think it's safe to say that shooting a foreign substance into your nose can usually elicit a sneezing response - the very response that could serve to spread the LIVE VIRUS that is contained in FluMist. Could this be a self-fulfilling prophecy? No wonder they're predicting a worse than usual flu season!
Headlines scream "Flu Bug Worse This Year: Vaccines Limited". For months we've been warned to get our flu shots. The CDC, physicians and the media have been bellowing about the severity of this year's strain and the potential scarcity of the vaccine. Brilliant marketing I say- just make people think they can't get something and they'll line up for hours to get a toxic fluid shot into their arms that DOESN"T EVEN CONTAIN THE VIRUS THAT"S GOING AROUND! That's right. This year's vaccine doesn't completely match the virus that's supposedly going to make this a record-breaking flu season.
Each year between 20,000 and 40,000 people die from "flu-related" illness. These are people who are already immunocompromised. In other words, they're sick already, even if they're not showing symptoms. It is disingenuous to attribute all these deaths to the "flu". My recommendation is to sit down with your doctor or pharmacist or the stern tv news anchor -all of whom have been pushing this insane public health policy and ask them to read the list of ingredients in the vaccine vial. Then ask them what sense it makes to introduce these chemicals into the human body when more and more research shows severe damage occurs as a result. Ask him. Then roll down your sleeve and go home. Make sure you wash your hands a lot and stay away from people who've had the shots in their arms and up their noses.
© 2003 Mary Starrett - All Rights Reserved
By Catherine J. M. Diodati, M. A.
As summer wanes, and fall approaches, flu vaccine season is revving up again and the mandate still looms heavily over the heads of our valued health care workers (HCWs). The issue is one of coercion, selectively abrogating the legal and ethical rights of one sector of society, with the unsupported promise that their vulnerable patients will be protected from disease.
What do the studies reveal? After an extensive review of various trials, studies and articles, it has become very clear that the documentation used by officials to support the flu vaccine mandate are methodologically flawed.
Studies will suggest that HCW vaccination will prevent influenza transmission to patients but they invariably fail to establish any actual source for influenza outbreaks. It is just assumed that HCWs are responsible for transmitting influenza rather than visitors, other patients, delivery persons or anyone else who may come into contact with vulnerable patients. In one study, for example, vaccination was strongly recommended for HCWs following 3 confirmed cases of flu in a neonatal intensive care unit. (1) At the time, there were 4 unit nurses off duty due to an influenza-like illness. Although it was suspected that they introduced influenza into the unit, they were never tested for influenza and none of these nurses had attended the ill infants. Still, the authors stated that HCW vaccination is "the most effective strategy to diminish nosocomial [(hospitalderived)] infections." This is pure conjecture. There simply are no studies that unequivocally demonstrate that HCWs are responsible for nosocomial influenza infections. There is no evidence.
In nearly every study read, the researchers have failed to actually determine whether upper respiratory infections, in either their unvaccinated control groups or their vaccine groups, were caused by influenza. There are many other pathogens that are known to circulate during flu-season. Adenovirus, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), coronavirus, rhinovirus, etc., all can cause exactly the same symptoms and complications as the influenza virus and cannot be distinguished unless proper tests are performed.
This was precisely the case for one of the central documents used to support the vaccine mandate for health care workers. (2) In this case, only 5% of all unvaccinated patients, in 12 geriatric care facilities, demonstrated a rise in antibody titre, indicating exposure to the influenza virus, but when symptomatic patients were tested, nasopharyngeal swabs failed to produce a single influenza-positive result. All symptomatic patients were either positive for RSV or adenovirus. Attending HCWs, whether vaccinated or not, were never tested for influenza and no mention was made of any respiratory illness amongst the staff. Nonetheless, without any direct evidence whatsoever, the authors concluded that vaccinating health care workers reduced mortality and influenza-like illness in geriatric patients and Health Canada cites this article in support of HCW influenza vaccination. (3) The same holds true for almost every article Health Canada cites to support the vaccine mandate: no one is ever tested for influenza but HCW vaccination is said to prevent transmission of the disease. There is no evidence.
Safety and efficacy assertions are similarly fraught with flaws. Of particular note, is the frequency with which systemic reactions are dismissed. In one study, for example, 86% of vaccinees experienced local reactions (soreness, redness, swelling) and 49% experienced systemic reactions such as fever, chills, aching/myalgia, tiredness/weakness, lightheadedness/dizziness, sore throat, runny nose, stomach upset/cramps, vomiting, painful neck glands and insomnia. (4) The authors stated that such symptoms are commonly associated with the vaccine but that "the vaccine could not have been responsible for such illnesses." How convincing is this argument when 49% of the vaccinees experienced systemic symptoms, which are the same as flu symptoms, and 24% experienced a cluster of symptoms? If these systemic symptoms are accompanied by viral shedding then we are exposing vulnerable patients to influenza because we are vaccinating our HCWs. Local reactions are of importance too, even if they are transitory, because they will affect HCWs abilities to perform their duties. Lifting patients, intubations, suturing, surgery, etc., all require precision and fitness.
Studies typically state that the influenza vaccine is effective in preventing the flu for at least 70% of the population under 65 and approximately 30%-40% effective in preventing the flu in those over 65. Rarely do these studies ever compare the match between the vaccine strains and the circulating strains for the given year. If the strains do not match-well, how useful is a rise in antibody titre? Even when the strains do match, influenza vaccination creates a cost-deficit. A US study found that during a year when the strains were well-matched, the cost of vaccination was $11.17 per person more than the costs associated with not vaccinating. (5) During another year, when the strains were not wellmatched, the cost of vaccination was $65.59 US over and above the costs associated with not vaccinating. From a financial perspective, this does not comprise a good use of our health care dollars.
Italian Epidemiologist Dr. Vittorio Demicheli made some interesting observations regarding influenza vaccine efficacy. Demichei et al. conducted a metanalysis of existing literature examining live and inactivated flu vaccines and anti-virals. (6) He found that the vaccine could only claim a 24% reduction in clinical influenza cases. Although the vaccine may elicit an antibody response in 70%-90% of individuals, this is not the same thing as preventing clinical influenza. Further, the metanalysis revealed that 69% of vaccinees experienced some type of local reaction and 26% experienced systemic reactions. Antivirals fared no better. Reactions included CNS depression/excitation and gastrointestinal effects. Some individuals (10%-27%) "secreted drug-resistant virus within 4-5 days of commencing treatment." The antivirals were 61%-72% effective in preventing influenza but only reduced the duration of existing illness by about 1 day. Demicheli et al. did state that the inactivated influenza vaccine was the most cost-effective intervention of those studied but this assertion was based upon a "lesser of all evils" philosophy. The other interventions were either extremely ineffective or associated with such horrendous adverse events that the inactivated vaccine won a place of honour by default. In the end, Demichei concludes:
"If assessed from an effectiveness and efficiency point of view, vaccines are undoubtedly the best preventive means for influenza in healthy adults. But when safety and quality of life considerations are included, parenteral vaccines have such low effectiveness and high incidence of trivial local adverse effects that the trades-off are unfavourable. This is so even when the incidence of influenza is high and adverse effect quality of life preferences are lowly rated. We reached similar conclusions for antivirals and NIs even at high influenza incidence levels. We condude that the most cost-effective option is not to take any action."
Studies do not provide any evidence that HCWs are responsible for transmitting influenza to patients. They do not provide evidence that the influenza vaccine reduces transmission or improves the quality of life for HCWs. They do not demonstrate that the benefits of vaccination are greater than the risks and they cannot legitimately claim that this is a wise use of our diminishing health care dollars. Although only a few studies are mentioned here, methodological problems abound in existing literature and there is absolutely no justification, ethically, legally or medically, for abrogating the rights of health care workers.
1. Flor M. Munoz et al., "Influenza A Virus Outbreak in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit," Pediatric Infectious Diseases Journal 18 (1999): 811-815.
2. J. Potter et al., "Influenza Vaccination of Health Care Workers in Long-Term-Care Hospitals Reduces the Mortality of Elderly Patients," Journal of Infectious Diseases 175 (January 1997): 1-6.
3 Health Canada, "Statement on Influenza Vaccination for the 2000-2001 Season," Canada Communicable Disease Report 26 (ACS-2) (1 June 2000).
4 David W. Scheifele et al., "Evaluation of Adverse Events after Influenza Vaccination in Hospital Personnel," Canadian Medical Association Journal 142 no.2 (1990): 127-130.
5. Carolyn Baxton Bridges et al., "Effectiveness and Cost-Benefit of Influenza Vaccination of Healthy Working Adults," Journal of the American Medical Association 284 no.13 (4 October 2000): 1655-1663.
6 V. Demicheli et al, "Prevention and Early Treatment of Influenza in Healthy Adults," Vaccine 18 (2000): 957-1030.
Interview of Dr Eva Snead by Gary Null
GARY NULL: (italic) One of the most outspoken, intelligent and absolutely determined physicians on public health issues that's Dr Edith Snead. Nice to have you with us today.
DR EVA SNEAD: Nice to be with you. I appreciated all that flattery.
Well you deserve it. That's because I wouldn't give it if it's not deserved. Let's talk quickly, we have about eight minutes to talk about this latest phenomenon of everybody running out to get their flu shot and they can do that, I'm not suggesting that they should not do that, that's their choice but I'd like a different perspective so at least they have something to counterbalance their existing information. Why don't you share what you consider the pros and cons of the flu vaccine?
Well we have talked about vaccines and that they are all totally unsafe. Now talking about the flu vaccine itself it's prepared on chicken embryo, which mean unborn chicken which means that people who are allergic to these products like egg and chicken can become seriously ill and on the other hand the injection of these proteins into other humans will render them in a large percentage allergic to chicken and egg which means that people who were not allergic before will now become allergic.
The other problem is that all viral vaccines contain not only the particular virus but they also contain traces of leukaemia virus, cancer producing viruses etc. These are not completely removable, they exist in the chicken from which these eggs are taken and although they claim that they are like 98% purified, 2% of several billion viruses is still an awful lot of cancer and leukaemia dangers.
Another fact is that to separate cells we also may have to use a pork product which is made from raw pork stomach. This is an enzyme that separates the cells called pork trypsin and a lot of people who would not ingest or take pork products for religious reasons are seduced without knowing it into violating their convictions so there you have in a nutshell the beginning of why it is not very wise to take influenza vaccines.
OK. Why don't you give us some of what you have found in the literature, some of the problems with the flu vaccine and also they're claiming all this success. I question whether they can prove the success because you cannot disprove a negative.
That's correct. Imagine, Gary, the gullibility of a public that not only believes that these companies give them a safe and effective product but that they give them the credence of a god that two years in advance when they start making these serums they know which particular kind of influenza is going to be causing the epidemic two years later. I mean you know these people have the utter gall to tell people that they can do it because they can't. This is based on computer predictions and so on which are totally inaccurate. Now, you may remember the horrible epidemic of neurologic illness that we had in '76 and although the present day vaccines don't have that high an incidence even the package insert tells me that there's a higher incidence of Guillaine Barre which is a sort of euphemism for a variety of polio in all people under fifty that take the influenza vaccine. So imagine the risk you are running aside from the viruses, the cancer, the leukaemia. Two or three years ago there was a rash of positive HIV and hepatitis patients in Baltimore among people who would otherwise not be expected to have a positive test. When studied all of these people had received the influenza vaccine four to six weeks prior and this was rapidly covered up by the press as you were saying in your beautiful new article that told that the press in uninquisitive today.
Do you have an example of some of the guaranteed safety vaccines that we have been given over the years only later to find out that the guarantees were unsupported by any credible science and actually were deleterious?
There is no science, credible or otherwise, this is all guess work. I mean you can't test for something that hasn't happened and you can't test compared to what? I mean you don't know that there would have been an epidemic and certainly if you put a certain variety of viruses in the public then you will find they will say "Oh we were right. Virus A or B, Australian or South American or whatever you may call it will be endemic this year". Well you know you become a self-fulfilling prophesy because you created the particular problem and not only that but the other thing that is very, very important that nobody has brought up to my knowledge is about forty years ago a study was done in England on problems with the nervous system in new born and unborn foetuses that were aborted and they discovered that the majority of children who had birth defects in the nervous system particularly and encephalus had been exposed to the flu virus. Flu virus, of course, being now in all the vaccines that people are vaccinated. In the south of Texas we are having a tremendous rash of these particular neurologic problems. Children born without a brain or part of a brain and everybody is telling the public "Oh we have not a clue of what could cause this". Well, we do have a clue, we're just lying to the public.
Why do you think there's such an interest in getting people to get the flu vaccine. I realise that this is subjective and giveus subjective answer.
Well the manufacturer makes money. I mean that a very simple thing. They're seen as a wonderful product because they get the endorsement of government and health affiliations. He produces serum that costs you basically not that much to produce. You seduce the public into needing it and you sell millions and millions of doses so there's an awful lot of money to be made. Now from the point of view of public health, again there's money and grants to be made. I mean there are many people employed in persuading the public this problem exists and persuading them that they need it. And then of course, as you well know, we may suspect that there are other reasons that could be political or genocidal because the product is administered to large amounts of older people and as you well know in nursing homes where they receive flu vaccines there are many, many cases of flu shortly after the vaccination effort which indicates a total association and from a very crude point of view the perpetuation of life in older people particularly in nursing homes is not desirable to those that handle the funds. So of course we cannot prove this but it certainly presents a seductive hypothesis.
Again, that's a little too seductive for my taste. I haven't been able to make any such association but I would suggest that for them to tell us that the flu vaccines are both necessary ... I have not seen that they have either part of that scenario on hand. Dr Eva Snead thank you very much. Nice to always have you with us.
by Jenny Marie Hatch
Flu Season hit early in Colorado and our family was compelled to take a break from life for the past few weeks and focus on getting well. We are not alone. Many, many people are suffering. The school called and said they were closing down two days early for thanksgiving break because so many are sick.
First some headlines:
DENVER - "When it comes to vaccinating children, Colorado is at the end of the list. Colorado is last in the country when it comes to vaccinating children for diseases like chicken pox, whooping cough and even the flu, according to state health officials. "Currently, Colorado is last in the nation -- 50th out of 50 states for vaccinating 19-35 month olds fully," said Dr. Robert Brayden with Children's Hospital."
"The number of confirmed flu cases in Colorado continues to rise dramatically -- up more than 300 percent over last week. The state already has reported 693 cases, months before the flu season is expected to peak. Doctors say it's because this year's flu vaccine does not exactly match the strain that's making people sick.
Officials with the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention say the mismatch is serious and this flu season could be worse than usual. However, health experts are still recommending that people get flu shots because the vaccine can help SOME from getting sick J and avoid a potentially staggering flu season nationwide." - and we wouldn't want the pharmaceutical companies to lose any profits.....JMH (Emphasis added by Jenny Hatch)
Colorado Teen Becomes Season's First Flu Fatality
POSTED: 11:45 a.m. MST November 21, 2003
DENVER - "A 15-year-old has become Colorado's first flu death of the season, 7NEWS reported Friday."
Those are the local headlines from this past week in Colorado, and here is a little blurb on flu vaccine from a national lawyers website.
Influenza (Flu) Vaccine - "For years evidence has been mounting linking the Flu vaccine to serious neurological side effects. There have been occasional cases involving influenza vaccines causing Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) and other autoimmune conditions. Guillain-Barré syndrome is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. The first symptoms of this disorder include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs. In many instances, the weakness and abnormal sensations spread to the arms and upper body. These symptoms can increase in intensity until the muscles cannot be used at all and the patient is almost totally paralyzed.
Additionally critics of the Flu Vaccine argue that the Flu vaccine might be irrelevant. These critics argue that the flu vaccine, for most healthy people, is (1) unnecessary; (2) ineffective; and (3) capable of causing serious neurological injuries. Most cases of so-called flu are not influenza at all, but rather cases involving rhinoviruses and other infections. Getting the flu, for most healthy individuals is not very serious. Flu vaccines are admittedly viewed by many in the public health community as being a monetary vaccine, designed to reduce days lost from work. The most serious indictment of flu vaccines, however, involves the fact that we are always receiving last year's virus to try to protect us from this year's flu. Flu viruses change each year, and sometimes the vaccines are prepared with viruses, which are not the same ones that we are trying to protect against. Despite such mismatches, manufacturers are always quick to sell their product, and recalls are unheard of. There is evidence that the manufacturers do not even conduct clinical trials for the vaccine each year, despite the fact that the components are changed."
So, to sum up, we have a deadly flu virus causing serious illness all across Colorado, and potentially across the nation. The medicos admit the current vaccine is not the right strain and the potential for a widespread flu epidemic is high. We have the lawyers aware of the complications and side effects from the vaccines, prepared to give legal aid to those who have been permanently damaged by the vaccine. Antibiotics don't work on viruses. Hospitalization, Antibiotics and Vaccines are about the only thing the medical profession has to offer to those who are sick. The over the counter cold remedies help with symptoms and can give relief, but these drugs can prove dangerous, causing a variety of other symptoms, especially in children. And because the over the counter remedies interfere with natural immunity, they tend to prolong the illness because the body is constantly being frustrated from purging the disease out of the various channels of detoxification. Fevers and Rashes are the immune systems first line of defense. Do we have some healthy alternative or happy medium between the doctors/pharmaceutical companies and lawyers/courts? And....
What is the parent of a sick child to do?
Before I share the alternative remedies that we have used these past weeks to heal our family, I would like to confess that I have a vested interest in this column beyond sharing some great information. If you decide to purchase some of the Essential oils I recommend, I will receive a kickback from the company for that referral. I was just going to write this article without mentioning the oils, but I know they have played a crucial role in keeping this illness under control and empowering our family to remain self sufficient. I honestly don't care if you purchase the brand I use, even though they are some of the best oils on the market.
My five children have been very sick these past two weeks with a variety of symptoms; fever, rash, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and general crabbiness. Now the only lingering symptom seems to be a very nasty cough. I am watching this lung action closely to be certain it does not develop into bronchitis or pneumonia. My children have complained long and loud about being kept home during this time, but I feel passionate about them not developing a secondary infection from this flu.
I have been stretched to my utmost capacity and at one point my fight or flight response kicked in and I was very tempted to run away from home. But I am the Mommy here, and it was/is my job to play nurse. Also, for some reason, I have not developed the flu. Although I have missed the most sleep, am nursing a baby, and have done the most physical work, I am still mostly symptom free. At this point, I am just exhausted. I believe this is because I have doctored myself right along with the children, and am constantly applying oils to them, and in the process have applied them to myself. I also have eaten my soup every day, several bowls a day, and have stayed well hydrated. If you as the caregiver become ill while caring for sick family members, you have my utmost respect and prayers in your behalf. Should this happen to you, I would highly encourage you to ask for help and have another healthy person in to help with care for the family. Ultimately this will be way cheaper than seeking emergency medical help, even if you have to fly someone in to help out.
Let me preface this information by saying, "I am not a doctor, I am not giving medical advice, I take no responsibility for any outcome you may experience if you decide to try some of these remedies".
I am simply sharing what I have done to help my children heal from a terrible flu in the hopes that some of my suggestions may prove helpful to others.
A few months ago I began stocking up on essential oils. I put in a supply of therapeutic grade oils anticipating the cold and flu season. It has been exciting the past two weeks to pull out the oils time and time again to help relieve the various symptoms that have presented. Even with the oils, I have been barfed on twice, and spent a whole night fearing that should my son puke again, he would goob me. While the oils don't stop symptoms, they do encourage the body to work more effectively, and sometimes even strengthen the symptoms. For example, my son was nauseated and had dry heaves and was unable to sleep. I put some peppermint oil on his feet and massaged the arches of his feet. As I massaged I could feel his heaves settle down, then all of a sudden he vomited, then he looked at me and said, "I feel much better" and was able to sleep.
Symptoms are good!
The allopathic model of medicine teaches us that symptoms are bad and must be suppressed at all costs. Over the years, I have come to believe that symptoms serve a purpose, especially with infectious disease. Most symptoms of flu are the body's attempt to cleanse itself, and so I take a different approach in the sense that when a fever or a rash appears, I encourage the symptoms for as long as is necessary. Hippocrates said, "give me a fever and I can cure any disease!" My nine-year-old son had a 103 degree fever for five days. During this time, I focused on keeping him well hydrated, comfortable, and clean. I gave him upwards of four baths a day and helped him vigorously scrub his skin with an essential oil soap and a stiff brush. I also had him brush his teeth several times a day and keep his tongue clean by vigorous scrubbing with an essential oil toothpaste. I massaged his feet over and over again with pure oregano and thyme oils diluted with olive oil. I kept him warm with a hot water bottle/blankets when he would start shivering with chills.
Oils of Gladness!
To help with hydration, I gave all of the children home made juice Popsicles and echinacea tea mixed with grape juice. I also served garlic soup every day. Here is my own recipe for this powerhouse of a soup.
In a soup pot sauté one chopped onion with five cloves of crushed garlic
in three tablespoons of olive oil. Add in 1 tsp sea salt. Peel and
chop five potatoes, five carrots, three large chopped celery stalks, and
one bunch of chopped fennel. Add the vegetables to the onion and garlic
when the onions are translucent. Cover the vegetables with water and
bring to a boil. Then simmer while you make the Stock water and brown rice.
POTASSIUM/CALCIUM BROTH/VEGETABLE STOCK
Hard boil two quarts of water with
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp flax seed
½ C. Oat Straw Tea
½ C. Oatmeal
The potato and carrot peelings
10 additional cloves of chopped garlic
1 thumb size piece of diced fresh ginger
Hard boil for twenty minutes, then strain and add to the vegetable soup pot.
BROWN BASMATI RICE
In a third saucepan, cook up one cup of brown basmati rice in three cups of water. Hard boil the water with the rice, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp chopped garlic, and a one inch piece of diced ginger for five minutes. Then turn down the heat to low and simmer with the lid on for 40 minutes. To finish the soup, add in the cooked rice, garnish with chopped parsley and spinach.
Serve the soup with garlic toast. Sliced whole wheat bread brushed with garlic butter. Heat 3 tablespoons of butter with one clove of crushed garlic, brush on toast, then broil for a minute or two. Serve with the soup. If you can get your child to eat it, you can also add one drop of thyme and one drop of oregano oil to the garlic butter and brush that on the toast. Whenever I did this, my children refused to eat it. However, I read about a woman who used this essential oil toast to treat whooping cough with great success!
I made this soup three times in the past week. With leftovers, my children had plenty of anti-viral food to eat when they were hungry. If they were not eating, I simply served them the potassium/calcium broth. Each child had a few days of natural fasting when they just weren't hungry. This was generally during the worst of the fever. I trust this symptom in children especially. But carefully watch for signs of dehydration while they forego food. Dehydration shows up with a sunken look to the face, pinched skin, and lack of urination. The child may also complain of bladder pain from lack of liquid moving through the urinary tract. On the worst days most of the children were happy to eat a few pieces of fruit or suck on a Popsicle and I was constantly offering them water.
I never felt the need to do this, but was prepared to if necessary. I had read that before the advent of the IV, our ancestors used to use the colon to re-hydrate a sick person. They would gently implant water into the colon using a piece of tubing to help the body to be better hydrated and to flush debris from the colon. I am grateful I never felt the need to do this procedure with my kids, but I would have done that first over going to the emergency room for help with re-hydration. (I do think it is appropriate to seek medical aid for hydration issues, especially with pregnant women and babies) but again, I would first try the colon hydration before exposing myself, or my children, to the germs in the hospital while they were in a weakened condition. To do this, simply purchase a child size enema bulb and fill it with warm water and carefully squeeze the bottle of water into the rectum. It is ideal to do this in the bathtub.
At no time in the past days did I administer any prescription or over the counter flu or cold medicines. (OK, my husband did take some Nyquil one night to help him sleep when he had not slept in three days). But we gave no drugs to the children.
Through quiet, diligent effort we have weathered this horrible, painful, disease. I am confident that all five children have now been effectively immunized naturally from the real current flu virus that is making everyone sick. This is natural immunity at its best! It is nothing to be frightened of. Common sense measures and simple effective cleansing techniques will restore health! And it is way more comforting to me than having them shot up with a synthetic, preserved, cultured, mercury laden flu "virus" that the scientists GUESSED would be the correct strain for the year, and then still have them get the live virus that is running around town, perhaps with their immune systems hindered in the ability to effectively deal with that live virus because they had the flu shot! I believe the public has truly been propagandized into believing the lies from the pharmaceutical companies when it comes to infectious disease. Hopefully with consumer awareness, the Center for Disease Control and the national, state, and local health departments will at some point be held accountable and the truth exposed in this whole vaccine scam. Do thousands of people need to die of a flu virus once again this year before the whole flu shot scandal is exposed?
Money mongering at the expense of the health and well being of citizens should be a crime. And the doctors, hospitals, news agencies, and health community should be ashamed of itself for shoving these toxic chemicals on the innocent. As John Robbins has stated, "the medical profession will get off its pedestal, when we get off our knees!" Have some confidence and take care of yourself and your family!
A few final tips. (These are a ton of additional work, but very important!)
Several times in the past days I have changed all of the bedding, especially the pillowcases, and washed them well in hot water and then sprinkled all of the bedding with essential oils. I also bundled the children up and took them outside for fresh air and sunshine for a few minutes most days. (Some days I could not get certain kids out the door because they were too dizzy). While we were outside, I opened all of the doors and windows and aired out the house. With all of the coughing, sweaty fevers, and mucous flowing, I believe these steps are very important in speeding healing.
I served lots of fresh fruit; Watermelon, Honeydew melon, red seedless grapes, apple and pear slices. The children tended to eat the fresh fruit more than any other food I served. This helps with cleansing the bowel and hydration issues.
I kept the sickest children close to me during the night. This helped me to tune in to them quickly when they were overcome with fever, nausea, or diarrhea. I could quickly get them into the bathroom, and I believe averted a few messes, by helping them to the toilet instead of having to clean up toxic messy beds.
I also deep cleaned the bathrooms more than usual during the worst of the illness. Using Shaklee's Basic G, which is powerful enough to kill the aids virus, helped me to feel confident that we were keeping up with the germs. I had my daughters help to wipe down all surfaces in our home with an essential oil spray called Thieves, which is antiviral.
When my 13-month-old son was at his worst with glassy eyed fever, lethargic, (scary in a baby!) I went to extremes to try to get him to laugh. I took his hand and had him touch my nose - then I exploded with loud sounds, hiccupping and sneezing and laughing whenever he touched my nose. At first he just smiled at silly Mom, but soon he was laughing really hard as I continued to burst each time he touched my nose. Pretty soon, he was completely changed in his demeanor, and I could tell that flooding his system with happy endorphins really helped.
When my children started fighting and complaining, I knew we were getting better. The first time my eleven year old daughter punched her brother and told me if I made her eat one more bowl of soup she was going to scream, I knew we had beat this flu.
I don't claim that this list is complete, and I trust that you will be guided to know what is best for your family, even if that includes traditional medical care. But I hope and pray that you can weather this storm of a nasty cold and flu season and come out of it happy, healthy, and truly immunized from getting the same virus again!
November 18, 2002
By Chet Day
Every October and November, quite a few people write me and ask, "My Doctor tells me to get my annual flu shot. Should I do it?"
Well, I don't diagnose or prescribe, and what you do with your body remains entirely up to you and your doctor (if you still go to a doctor), but I'll gladly tell you what I do regarding flu shots...
I avoid them like the plague.
In fact, at age 54, I've never had a flu shot, and it would take a Marine nurse and at least four burly wrestlers the size of Jesse Ventura to hold me down and give me one.
Perhaps you already sense I have strong feelings about flu shots?
These feelings stem from personal opinion, reading, and dramatic personal experience.
First off, I don't think toxic chemicals and virus strains grown on living tissue belong in the human body, even when they're packaged in sterile glass vials.
Since my family and I don't rely on doctors anymore, I don't have access to an insert that reveals the composition of this year's flu vaccine, but I did find some general information at the Concerned Parents for Vaccine Safety and Vaccine Side Effects web sites, where I learned about some of the ingredients used to make vaccines.
According to the lawyers at Vaccine-Side-Effects.com:
"For years evidence has been mounting linking the flu vaccine to serious neurological side effects. There have been occasional cases involving influenza vaccines causing Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) and other autoimmune conditions. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. The first symptoms of this disorder include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs. In many instances, the weakness and abnormal sensations spread to the arms and upper body. These symptoms can increase in intensity until the muscles cannot be used at all and the patient is almost totally paralyzed.
"Additionally, critics of the flu vaccine argue that the flu vaccine might be irrelevant. These critics argue that the flu vaccine, for most healthy people, is (1) unnecessary; (2) ineffective; and (3) capable of causing serious neurological injuries. Most cases of so-called flu are not influenza at all, but rather cases involving rhinoviruses and other infections. Getting the flu, for most healthy individuals is not very serious.
"Flu vaccines are admittedly viewed by many in the public health community as being a monetary vaccine, designed to reduce days lost from work.
"The most serious indictment of flu vaccines, however, involves the fact that we are always receiving last year's virus to try to protect us from this year's flu. Flu viruses change each year, and sometimes the vaccines are prepared with viruses, which are not the same ones that we are trying to protect against. Despite such mismatches, manufacturers are always quick to sell their product, and recalls are unheard of. There is evidence that the manufacturers do not even conduct clinical trials for the vaccine each year, despite the fact that the components are changed."
Let's turn now to some information from the Concerned Parents for Vaccine Safety website. Do you want any of the following vaccine constituents in YOUR bloodstream?
* Ethylene glycol
* Phenol, also known as carbolic acid
* Formaldehyde, a known cancer-causing agent
* Aluminum, which is associated with Alzheimer's disease
* Thimerosal (used as a mercury disinfectant/preservative)
* Neomycin and Streptomycin (used as antibiotics)
Some vaccines are also grown and strained through animal or human tissue like monkey kidney tissue, chicken embryo, embryonic guinea pig cells, calf serum, and human diploid cells (the dissected organs of aborted human fetuses as in the case of rubella, hepatitis A, and chickenpox vaccines).
Well, I refuse to put any or all of the above in my body, and I hope when your doctor starts telling you it's time for your annual flu shot that you'll require him to defend the annual injection. You or your insurance company's probably paying eighty bucks for a visit, so get your money's worth.
Have your doctor read you the insert that comes with the vaccine.
Then have him/her explain why it makes sense to inject toxic chemicals into the human body and how such substances can aid the delicate immune system.
Chances are he/she will fall back on questionable statistical and demographic explanations that the medical establishment has used for decades to justify immunization.
Try to engage your doctor in a non-confrontational discussion because this is an opportunity for him/her to actually give some serious thought to what he/she is injecting into bodies of patients day after day after day.
Many traditional doctors who haven't studied diet and life style aren't going to change unless we help to educate them to what drugs and vaccines may really be doing long-term to people.
Okay, I'm a realist so if I were still thinking traditionally, part of me would almost buy into the typical rationale for flu vaccines, that so many people are spared the annual flu and only a few die or have their lives ruined after being injected.
I'd buy into that if I were convinced that injecting a filthy substance into the body actually made sense.
Unfortunately, once I stopped buying into the big medical lies about their drug, cut, and burn system, I started questioning all if it.
And when one digs into the vaccine history -- check out the Swine Flu vaccine and smallpox vaccines if you want two real horror stories at
and scientific research (especially in Europe) -- it quickly becomes apparent that nobody really knows what these toxic stews of chemicals and microorganisms do in the human body.
To look at another disturbing possibility, go to
and read an article written by a CFIDS sufferer, an article that shows the cause and effect connection between flu vaccines and terrible immune disorders.
Well, readers and a few medical professionals have called me a simple-minded dolt on more than one occasion, but since 1993 I've approached the yearly flu shot hype with the understanding that if I eat and live properly, I won't have to worry much about catching the flu.
The flu vaccine I use -- eating and living as close to nature as I can -- actually works.
Not only that, but it doesn't cost a dime, and nobody's going to have his/her life ruined because of a "bad batch" of vaccine that triggers some mysterious autoimmune disease that lays a person out of commission for years.
But let's say you don't want to eat and live close to nature.
Okay, I can understand that, but my next question would be "Which is better? Some rest time with the flu or having toxic chemicals injected into your bloodstream?"
I mean, seriously, before I got healthy I almost looked forward to a yearly bout with influenza because it meant I could go to bed and get some rest instead of working practically every waking moment of my life.
I might add that I haven't missed more than two consecutive days of work from an illness for over seven years as I write this update in November of 2002, so a non- vaccine approach does work for me.
This non-drug approach has resulted in a level of health that continually amazes me, especially when I see other men and women my age who are miserable and without energy. Men and women who spend all too much of their time drifting from doctor to doctor in endless pursuit of solutions that don't get to the cause of their problems -- diet and life style.
Thinking about taking a flu shot?
Do yourself a favor and think twice, and before taking that jab in the arm, review some natural approaches to building health at
and for detoxing at
Oh yeah, for the lame, status quo rationale for why the vaccine must be taken every year, courtesy of the Center for Disease Control, visit
Finally, the decision regarding a flu shot is yours to make, but I urge you to make that decision from a position of strength and knowledge.
Do your homework before you agree to a flu shot.
Parents say mercury in shots caused their children's autism, and they want drug firms to pay. The industry calls its defense rock-solid.
By Myron Levin
Times Staff Writer
August 7, 2004
As parents of two severely autistic boys, Kevin and Cheryl Dass of Kansas City , Mo. , face a world of heartache and worry.
Last year Kevin, a FedEx driver, and Cheryl, a part-time hairdresser, spent $27,000 on therapy for their sons. Financially exhausted, they are gnawed by these questions:
How will they continue the special help that Dillon and Kyle, their 4 1/2 -year-old twins, so desperately need? Willthe boys who barely speak, are not toilet-trained and go bonkers when taken out in public ever be able to live on their own? If not, what will become of them when Kevin and Cheryl are gone?
"It's torn our life apart, it really has," Kevin Dass says. And, he insists, it didn't have to happen. The boys were born prematurely and alarmingly small. Yet at 3½ months, Dass says, they were given four shots in a single day, including three containing small amounts of mercury, a neurotoxin.
"They were still in the hospital on oxygen, staying alive, and they put this poison in them," Dass says. "They were fried. They were totally fried."
Like many anguished parents of autistic kids, the Dasses blame the condition on thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative that until recently was added to many routine children's shots.
Thimerosal was used to keep bacteria out of vaccines sold in multi-dose vials. But there were no studies beforehand of its possible effects on the developing brains of infants. And health officials, who aggressively expanded immunizations during the 1990s, did not consider that mercury exposure for millions of children would exceed federal guidelines.
Now, in a dispute overflowing with bitterness and rancor, more than 4,200 families, including the Dasses, are demanding compensation to help pay for their kids' special needs. Their claims have inundated an obscure branch of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington , sometimes called the "vaccine court."
The parents are pushing a disturbing theory: that their children were casualties of the war on disease, suffering brain damage from thimerosal by itself or in combination with measles virus in the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. They blame mercury from vaccines and other sources for an epidemic rise in autism and related neurological disorders.
They theorize that their children were devastated because they were less able than most kids to clear mercury from their bodies.
Vaccine makers and health officials strenuously dispute the claims. While voicing compassion for the children and their families, they say there is no proof that tiny exposures typically 1 part mercury per 10,000 parts of vaccine can cause brain damage.
"There's simply no reliable scientific evidence" that thimerosal causes autism, said Loren Cooper, assistant general counsel for GlaxoSmithKline, the global pharmaceutical giant.
Dr. Stephen Cochi, head of the national immunization program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, argues that only "junk scientists and charlatans" support the thimerosal-autism link.
In May, a committee of the national Institute of Medicine declared that evidence "favors rejection" of the thimerosal-autism link. Opposing studies, the panel said, were riddled with "serious methodological flaws."
In response, parent activists point out that some studies have indicated a link. They also charge that data were manipulated in one key study cited by the Institute of Medicine, and that authors of other studies had ties to vaccine makers.
At stake are not only vast sums of money but reputations and careers. Vaccine makers face a potential litigation nightmare. And the allegations confront two agencies: the Food and Drug Administration, which licenses vaccines, and the CDC, which is in charge of seeing that children are immunized against everything from polio to whooping cough.
The immunization program has been hailed as a spectacular success, responsible for saving countless children from illness and death. But if the parents are right, thousands of their children have become collateral damage.
For now, the main battleground is a tiny tribunal most people have never heard of.
The vaccine court was created in 1986 as Congress' response to a liability crisis. In rare cases, vaccines were being blamed for catastrophic injuries and even death. Makers were threatening to quit the business, which in turn threatened the vaccine supply.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Act shielded the industry from civil litigation by instituting a system of no-fault compensation. Under the law, aggrieved families file petitions, which are heard by special masters in the vaccine court. Successful claims are paid from a trust fund fed by a 75-cent surcharge per vaccine dose. The Department of Health and Human Services oversees the fund, with the Justice Department acting as its lawyer.
The autism case is approaching a crucial stage: a hearing within the next few months in which experts will joust over whether mercury causes autism.
If the verdict is no, the case ends there. If the special master finds for the parents, individual claims will be heard. A flood of successful claims could exhaust the $2-billion fund.
Big vaccine makers such as Merck, Wyeth and Aventis-Pasteur, along with Glaxo, are watching with trepidation. Though safe from liability in the vaccine court, they are anxious because claims have begun to leak into the civil courts.
Under the law, petitioners who have gone more than 240 days without a ruling in the vaccine court can opt out and file a civil suit. More than three dozen families who've waited long enough have opted out, and more are sure to follow. A handful of suits are set for trials next year in Texas , Pennsylvania , Maryland and Georgia .
A legal Catch-22 could doom many claims in both the vaccine court and civil courts. The compensation law requires that petitions be filed within three years of the first sign of injury. In many cases, by the time children were diagnosed with autism and parents learned of their mercury exposure, the deadline had passed. This technicality could cause as many as 60% of the petitions to be discarded in the vaccine court, lawyers for the parents say. And some civil courts have decreed that people who did not file on time in the vaccine court can't pursue civil litigation.
"The parents are going through hell. The children are going through hell," said Richard Saville, a lawyer for some of the parents. "What we're trying to avoid - is a situation in which no court ever hears their complaint."
Even so, families who reach the civil courts may gain some advantages there. They will have access to internal industry documents that are not available in the vaccine court. Moreover, whereas the vaccine court pays medical and living costs and up to $250,000 for pain and suffering, civil juries can award punitive damages as well.
Vaccine makers insist that their defense is rock-solid.
The evidence "is so overwhelmingly one-sided that we are confident that juries will overcome their natural sympathy for plaintiffs and decide these cases as science dictates," said Daniel J. Thomasch, lead outside counsel for Wyeth.
Privately, however, some industry figures conceded that when it comes to sick children and brokenhearted parents, science doesn't always win the day.
The companies "are terrified" of huge jury awards because "the injuries are so grave," said Kevin Conway, a lawyer for parents. "It's not just the kids, it's the parents, it's the siblings. These people just live emotionally exhausted and financially devastated lives."
Even if the companies are exonerated, victory will not come cheap. An industry representative, who predicted vaccine makers will win every case, said it could cost them hundreds of millions of dollars to do so.
Autism is the most severe of a range of neurological conditions called autism spectrum disorders. It limits the ability to communicate, form relationships and respond appropriately to the environment. Symptoms can include loss of language and eye contact, extreme withdrawal, violent or repetitive behavior, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
One in every 166 U.S. children suffers from an autism spectrum disorder, according to an estimate by the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics. In California , the number of cases rose 273% from 1987 to 1998, according to the state Department of Developmental Services.
It's been suggested that broader definitions and better reporting are behind the apparent spike. But a study in 2002 by the MIND Institute at UC Davis found that these are at most minor factors, and that the increase is real.
In the search for a cause, thimerosal only recently became a suspect.
The compound is 49.6% ethyl mercury, not the methyl mercury found in fish and power plant emissions. Both forms are toxic, though some research suggests ethyl mercury is more quickly purged from the body.
Developed 75 years ago by Eli Lilly & Co., thimerosal has been used in vaccines since the 1930s and was the main ingredient in Merthiolate, an antiseptic daubed on millions of skinned knees before it was taken off the market 20 years ago.
Medical literature includes reports of thimerosal poisoning at a sufficient dose - along with advice to curb its use. Perhaps most alarming was a 1977 report on the thimerosal-linked deaths of 10 babies in Canada .
According to the article in Archives of Disease in Childhood, the antiseptic had been used to treat exomphalos, a type of umbilical hernia. Tissue and blood tests revealed high mercury levels in the dead infants. Moreover, the authors said, it "is extremely unlikely" that babies who survive the treatment "escape neurological damage, which may be subtle."
Mercurial antiseptics should be tightly restricted or banned from hospitals, they wrote, "as the fact that mercury readily penetrates intact membranes and is highly toxic seems to have been forgotten."
However, thimerosal remained the most popular of several preservatives used by vaccine makers to avoid the risk of bacteria from repeated needle insertions into multi-dose vials. Vaccines also come in single-dose vials or disposable syringes that do not require preservative. But doctors and clinics traditionally preferred multi-dose vials because they were cheaper and easier to store.
No one would have cared but for this confluence of trends: autism rates were rising, while more mercury was being injected into kids.
The CDC sets the country's immunization schedule, which, in effect, has the force of law, since in many places children can't enter day care or school or qualify for public assistance unless their shots are up to date.
Mercury exposure increased markedly in 1991, when the CDC added hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type b, or Hib, vaccines to the schedule.
Because these were mostly sold in multi-dose vials, children whose dutiful parents stayed current with their shots received as many as nine injections with as much as 187.5 micrograms of mercury in their first six months of life exposures well above Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.
This was disclosed in 1999 in a federal review, which showed that health authorities had ignored the rising exposures as they added shots.
In e-mails to colleagues at the time, Dr. Peter Patriarca, a senior FDA official, acknowledged that the agencies were open to attack. The FDA could be charged with "being 'asleep at the switch' for decades by allowing a potentially hazardous compound to remain in many childhood vaccines, and not forcing manufacturers to exclude it from new products," he said in a June 29, 1999, e-mail later disclosed at a congressional hearing.
It didn't take "rocket science" to track the rising exposures, Patriarca wrote. Critics may wonder "what took the FDA so long to do the calculations? Why didn't CDC and the advisory bodies do these calculations when they rapidly expanded" childhood immunizations?
In July 1999, the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics called on vaccine makers to remove thimerosal as a precaution. Manufacturers began switching to single-dose containers. By 2002, thimerosal was present only in trace amounts in routine vaccines.
Now it is making something of a comeback. This year, the CDC added flu shots to the vaccine schedule for children 6 months and older. Aventis, the only producer of flu vaccine for infants and toddlers, makes it both in single-dose and mercury-containing multi-dose vials. The CDC has spurned appeals to recommend thimerosal-free shots for all children and pregnant women fearing parents might refuse a shot for their kids if they couldn't get it mercury-free.
Exasperated by the agency's stance, lawmakers have filed bills in Congress and several states, including California , to ban thimerosal from pediatric vaccines.
Cochi of the CDC says such bills are ill conceived. He says children die of the flu, including more than 140 last year, while the risks of thimerosal are at most theoretical. He blames the uproar on those eager "to capitalize on the tragedy of parents with children who have autism, because they see a huge pot of gold at the end of the rainbow."
"That's the other side of this story," Cochi said, "that it has the potential to be a gigantic scam on the American taxpayer."
Of all the resentments of the parents, the idea that they are out for a buck seems to gall them the most.
And when they talk about their lives the social isolation, financial distress and bleak prospects of their children many can't help but weep. At such times, it's easy to see why vaccine makers would rather not face them in court.
Kyle and Dillon Dass arrived three months early in January 2000 weighing 1 pound, 7 ounces and 2 pounds, 15 ounces, respectively. That was six months after the appeal to remove thimerosal from vaccines.
Kevin, their father, keeps a copy of an advisory sent to doctors by the Academy of Pediatrics shortly before his sons were born. "If there are limited supplies of thimerosal-free products available, priority should be given to use in premature infants," it says.
At 3 1/2 months, the boys got four shots in one day. Three contained thimerosal, according to medical records the Dasses later obtained.
At the time, the couple had never heard of thimerosal, but Cheryl Dass said she questioned giving several shots to her tiny babies. She did not put up a fight, however, deciding, "Oh well, you know what you're doing because you save lives everyday."
Lyn Redwood, who lives near Atlanta , says her son Will began receiving doses while still in the womb.
Redwood, a former nurse, had amniocentesis during pregnancy. Because her blood was Rh negative, after the procedure she was given shots of gamma globulin to protect her fetus from an illness called Rh incompatibility disease.
Years later, Redwood said, she was amazed to learn that the two gamma globulin shots during pregnancy, and a third when she was breast-feeding, contained thimerosal.
Will, who has pervasive development disorder, a milder form of autism, had received an additional 237.5 micrograms of mercury in vaccines by the time he was 1 1/2 , Redwood said.
Even so, he seemed to progress nicely until his first birthday. Redwood recalled that he started to walk, talk and generally do things on time before suddenly regressing and slipping away. "He stopped looking at us. He stopped playing…. It was like 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers,' " she said. "Somebody had taken away my baby's soul and just left a shell of him in there."
The bizarre and disruptive behavior of many autistic children can make their families virtual prisoners in their homes.
Going out in public "is a train wreck," said Cheryl Dass. It's impossible to do the family things others take for granted, like going to a movie or church or "even to pick out a pumpkin."
Kelly Kerns of Lenexa , Kan. , who has an autistic daughter and twin sons, said, "We're not the families that are doing baseball and birthday parties.
"I'm a mother that lives in a tunnel," she said. "I haven't been to a family reunion in four years. My family doesn't understand. They wouldn't understand.
"I used to be a decent person, and I just have acid rolling from my lips every time I open my mouth," Kerns said. "I ask God every day what did I do to deserve this. What did these kids do to deserve what they got?"
Some parents are hopeful, though not holding their breath, for help from the vaccine court. Others say they'd just as soon get a chance to bloody the industry in a civil trial.
Said Georgia Mueller of Kansas City , who has an autistic son: "I want it to hurt" the manufacturers, because they "never did the research to make sure this was safe."
By Michael Bradley
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
Vaccinating asthmatic children against influenza is unlikely to protect them from attacks and may even worsen their condition, say researchers who have found asthma-related emergency department visits are significantly more likely among children who have received a flu shot.
The US study comes a week after Australian authorities said they would consider whether local immunisation recommendations should be brought into line with America's.
Asthmatic children in the US are told to use the vaccine but from September the recommendation will be extended to all children aged between six months and two years. In Australia, influenza immunisation is not recommended for all children; however, a universal program is being considered by the Federal Government's vaccine advisory panel.
Professor David Isaacs, a specialist in immunology and infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital at Westmead and the chairman of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation's committee on influenza, said: "In the United States they say children with asthma should be given a vaccine against the flu because getting the flu could make their asthma worse, but the evidence supporting this idea is far from brilliant."
Professor Isaacs said previous studies had failed to show different rates of asthma attack between groups of children given either the vaccine or a placebo.
"People seem to assume the vaccine will be good [for asthmatics] but the evidence does not show that it is," he said.
"In fact, there are lots of studies now suggesting it does not offer much benefit at all."
The American researchers compared two groups of 400 asthmatic children. One group received the vaccine. Those who were vaccinated were found to be almost twice as likely to seek assistance at an emergency department because of their asthma.
However, one specialist says doctors and parents should not read too much into the research. A medical virologist at Prince of Wales Hospital, Associate Professor Bill Rawlinson, said the findings might only reflect the higher use of the vaccine among children with severe asthma.
"If you are a more severe asthmatic, you are more likely to get the vaccine," he said.
[Financial tip: invest in inhaler futures and in Ritalin futures. The CDC's cranking up its "inject thimerosal via flu shots" campaign.]
NVIC President and Co-founder Barbara Loe Fisher, who served as the consumer
voting member of the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory
Committee was the sole dissenting vote opposing licensing of FLUMIST vaccine
on the grounds that the vaccine manufacturer had not proven safety.
It seemed like a great idea. Perhaps a vaccine that could be administered with a simple sniff in each nostril, rather than a painful jab, could revive languishing flu vaccination rates in people at risk for the complications of influenza (mostly those over 65 and those with underlying heart disease, lung disease or diabetes). But then public health and science came into conflict with profit - and we all know how that all-too-often turns out.
Back in 2001, FLUMIST, an influenza vaccine made from live rather than killed virus, came before a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Advisory Committee, seeking approval for use in healthy people aged 1-64 years. But the Committee soon detected hints that the vaccine was causing asthma in young people and requested more information. The vaccine's sponsor reached deep into its bag of corporate tricks and came up with the notion not of redesigning the vaccine to minimize its asthmatic propensity, but rather of seeking approval only for people 5 years old and above.
Sure, FLUMIST's market would be reduced, but MedImmune's stockholders would be happy that the vaccine was approved. Besides, everyone knows that doctors often prescribe "off-label" (outside of FDA guidelines) and drug companies' "detail men" are famous for encouraging such off-label prescribing. But this created a small scientific problem. The best designed study demonstrating FLUMIST's effectiveness (because it measured actual decreases in laboratory-proven influenza vaccination) included 1-7 year olds, but now most of that age group was excluded from the new target population. And the study in adults 18-64 only measured clinical disease, rather than the more accepted standard, in which laboratory proof of the presence of influenza virus is required. Moreover, the adult study failed to demonstrate statistical improvement in the main clinical outcome ("any febrile illness"), although it did for many of the secondary outcomes (e.g.,"febrile upper respiratory infection"), and included relatively few people over the age of 50.
In fact, in an analysis of the 50-64 year olds planned after the study was complete, there was little evidence of vaccine efficacy, even for the secondary outcomes. The studies also showed that, despite investigators' efforts, many patients with asthma, who were supposed to have been excluded from the trial, slipped through and were vaccinated. This is likely to be even more common in actual clinical practice.In a complicated vote, the Advisory Committee decided that there was insufficient evidence of vaccine efficacy in 50-64 year olds. The Committee thus in effect recommended approval exclusively for those for whom the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, like FDA, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services) does not recommend flu vaccination: healthy people aged 5-50.
The vote was also a landmark in that, with the support of the FDA, it permitted approval for a vaccine based on clinical rather than laboratory outcomes (recall that laboratory-confirmed outcomes were available only for the five, six and seven year olds). And a live virus vaccine at that, with concomitant risks of transmission to unvaccinated persons.
Compounding these problems was the FDA's failure to insist on any studies comparing FLUMIST to the existing killed virus vaccine. So consumers and physicians are left in the lurch, devoid of the data that should have been produced prior to approval and now probably never will be generated.
We also do not recommend the use of RELENZA (zanamivir) and TAMIFLU (oseltamivir) in the treatment of influenza.
Wednesday, February 5, 2003
The side effects of influenza vaccines killed seven people in the two years through last March, and more than 80 people suffer from the adverse effects of such shots each year, the health ministry said Tuesday.
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, which gave the data to the Diet at the request of a Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker, said the number of reported side effects totaled 82 cases in fiscal 2000, rising to 87 the following year.
The symptoms include fever, vomiting and shock. Most have recovered, but 21 people who took the vaccines are still suffering side effects.
The seven people who died after being injected with flu vaccines were all older than 60, the ministry said. The causes of death included acute hepatitis and acute pneumonia.
In fiscal 2001, according to health ministry data, 10 million flu shots were shipped and 6.4 million people aged over 60 were vaccinated.
Influenza vaccines are extracted from virus cultures implanted in chicken eggs. Unlike polio and other preventive vaccines, influenza vaccines do not give total immunity to recipients. However, they are effective in reducing the chances of contracting the illness as well as preventing serious complications, including pneumonia.
The Japan Times: Feb. 5, 2003
The following article is nothing more than another one of the contrived media manipulations by flu vaccination proponents. Just as it is outlined in the CDC blueprint presentation on how to artificially scare people into getting the flu vaccine that we sent out last week, (http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/36/2004_flu_nowak.pdf) this article claims that there has been a "substantial climb" in hospitalizations because of the flu. This article is being sent out because of one very important line tucked away that needs to have the spotlight shining brightly on:
"the researchers used a broader category of flu-related illnesses to reach the new estimate."
That's right - broaden the category to confuse and needlessly scare people. However, last flu season according to the CDC themselves, only 18.9% of the circulating flu-like illnesses out there were of the three strains selected to be in the vaccine. (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2003-2004/03-04summary.htm) In other words, last winter, 4 out of 5 times, the sniffles, fever or aches were not caused by anything a vaccine can prevent. The media manipulation campaign continues to irrationally scare people into the vaccine.
In the words of Mark Twain: "There are 3 types of lies - lies, damn lies, and statistics."]