Published in the Sheridan Press December 18, 2003


I would like to comment on recent articles regarding flu, flu vaccine and mercury in fish.

"Nationwide Flu Vaccine Shortage" states that, "only two drug companies are making influenza vaccines due to low profit margin and high liability risk". Perhaps the liability risk has something to do with the ingredients. Flu shots contain: Thimerosal (a form of Mercury), Aluminum (implicated in Alzheimer's), Formaldehyde, Ethylene Glycol (antifreeze) and other substances we should think twice about before injecting into our bodies. There are thousands of adverse reactions to flu shots reported every year.

According to the CDC, the effectiveness of flu vaccine among elderly persons is only 30 to 40 percent. Hugh Fudenberg, MD, a well published and peer reviewed immunogeneticist and biologist, reported that if an individual had five consecutive flu shots between 1970 and 1980, the chances of getting Alzheimer's Disease is ten times higher than zero, one, or two shots. Some of the biggest outbreaks of flu have happened in nursing homes with a 98% vaccination rate. Seniors need this information in order to make an informed choice.

A study by M. R. Geier et al published in "Clinical Immunology", January 2003, found an increased risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome, following flu shots. Symptoms include weakness or tingling sensations in the legs, which can spread to the upper body and lead to paralysis. The authors conclude: "Influenza vaccination should only be given with informed consent. Patients need to understand the potential benefits, limitations and risks involved. In years when there is poor antigenic match between the influenza vaccine in use, and the influenza strains infecting the population, the manufacturers and/or the FDA and CDC should release such information to physicians and patients so that informed consent decisions may be realized."

Another article: "Nasal Vaccine Now Available" concerns me. MedImmune has spent $100 million to promote FluMist. They expect to make a profit of $1 billion this year. So much for a low profit margin. FluMist is a combination of three LIVE viruses, unlike the shot, which contains killed viruses. FluMist is ONLY recommended for people age 5-49. Side effects include "cough, runny nose/nasal congestion, irritability, headaches, chills, muscle aches and fever above 100° F." Sounds like the flu to me.

The live viruses from the vaccine can be shed (and spread into the community) for 21 days. The FluMist insert states this warning: "FluMist recipients should avoid close contact with immunocompromised individuals for at least 21 days". FluMist is being promoted at a time of year when groups come together for the holidays. People who receive FluMist, and are living with or visiting an immunocompromised person, put their loved ones at risk. At-risk people include those on corticosteroid drugs, which are prescribed for conditions including; asthma, allergies, eczema, emphysema, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid and autoimmune diseases. People with cancer, heart, lung, kidney disease or diabetes are at risk. That puts about 60% of the population at risk. People must realize that FluMist is CONTRAINDICATED for these people, as it is for pregnant women. The manufacturer says they don't know what will happen when FluMist is released into the general public. Sounds to me like an epidemic waiting to happen. I hope local doctors are informing people of the possible consequences of FluMist.

The quote: "Everybody who is over 6 months of age and is not deathly allergic to eggs and is not currently running a very high fever should get immunized as soon as possible" was extremely irresponsible in my opinion. Pediatricians advise waiting to introduce eggs until after the first year. Injecting egg protein directly into the bloodstream of a 6-month-old child seems counter-intuitive, and likely to cause an allergy. The flu vaccine has never before been recommended for infants, and it has NEVER been tested on pregnant women. Nobody knows for sure how safe or effective these vaccines are for babies and pregnant women. Any doctor, who says that the vaccine is safe, is guessing at best. Just read the insert.

Next we were warned of the dangers of eating contaminated fish (especially for children and pregnant women) in the article "Which fish has more Mercury”. Yet, we are asked to expose our children to mercury through injection. In 2000, the FDA and the CDC recommended the removal of mercury (thimerosal) from childhood vaccines because of a possible link with autism and other neurological and developmental disorders. Now the CDC is recommending annual flu shots for children 6 months and older. Flu shots contain thimerosal. Does this make sense to anybody?

Erin Adams