Published in the Sheridan Press October 13, 2004

The flu season is nearly upon us. As we have all heard in the news, there is a shortage of flu vaccine…again. I expect some people will panic…again.

Because of the shortage, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has come out with a recommendation for who should get the shots first. Topping the list are babies from 6 to 23 months old, followed by people over 65, then people between 2 and 65 with chronic medical conditions, and then pregnant women more than three months along.

This is the first year that the CDC has “recommended” vaccination for babies and pregnant women. I would like to point out some things you ought to know before you submit yourself or your child for a shot.

  1. No long-term studies have been done to assure the safety of flu shots for babies or pregnant women. That means babies (and unborn babies) getting the flu shot this year will be the clinical trial group. No one knows what the outcome will be.

  2. Flu shots still contain mercury (thimerosal), known to cause brain damage and neurological dysfunction. There are a very few “pediatric” doses which only contain a “trace” amount, but not enough to go around. Children (and babies) getting vaccinated for the first time require two shots.

  3. Short-term studies show that babies have a poor immune response to flu vaccine.

  4. The effectiveness of flu vaccine in people over 65 is about 30%

  5. The CDC says people who are allergic to eggs, thimerosal or the antibiotic neomycin should not get the vaccine. How do we know if a 6-month-old baby is sensitive to these things?

  6. Flu shots have been added to the list of recommended vaccines for all children, every year.

  7. Because the flu vaccine has been added to the “recommended” list of vaccines for children, vaccine manufacturers are protected against lawsuits for vaccine induced death or injury, under the Federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

In 1999 the US Public Health Service and the Academy of Pediatrics called for the removal of thimerosal from vaccines given to children. For the most part, that’s been done, although old stocks already on shelves are still being used up. On Tuesday, Julie Gerberding, head of the CDC, told the House Appropriations subcommittee that thimerosal could not be removed from flu vaccine until 2009.

The current vaccine schedule for children, including 2 doses of flu vaccine, brings the total number to 39 doses of 12 vaccines. Add to that the schedule of boosters (because vaccines don’t last) for older children (which still contain thimerosal) and you begin to see how out-of-control these policies are. We are bombarding our children with not only thimerosal and antibiotics in vaccines, but also aluminum, formaldehyde, phenol, MSG, animal DNA (chicken, dog, cow, monkey, pig etc.) and a host of other things. If you injected these substances into your child you would be hauled off to jail for child abuse.

A flu shot does not protect you or your child from pneumonia, asthma, ear infections, colds, avian flu, SARS or other respiratory infections. A flu shot only offers temporary protection to the three specific strains included in the vaccine each year. If there is a different strain circulating, like there was last year, then a flu shot is virtually useless.

The reason for the shortage this year is that 50 million doses of flu vaccine were contaminated with bacteria identified as serratia, which can cause pneumonia, wound infection and urinary tract infection. The contamination occurred at Chiron Corporation in England. British Health authorities suspended the company’s license. The US has already bought and received millions of doses of “Fluvirin” from Chiron, which are now under quarantine. The FDA says they won’t be used unless they are shown to be “safe”.

Typically, only 10-20% of the population gets the flu each year. Of those, the vast majority recovers completely and is then immune to that strain of flu for life.

If you are a healthy person, or the parent of a healthy child, you have to ask yourself if the inconvenience of an unlikely bout with the flu is worth trading for a shot (or many shots) containing a known neurotoxin. There is no plan to remove thimerosal from adult vaccines.

Wash your hands, cut back on sugar, get enough sleep and eat a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables- that’s your best protection against the flu. If you do get it, go to bed, read a good book and drink a lot of water-chances are good you’ll feel better soon.

Erin Adams