Friday, 28 September 2012

Health Officials Push Flu Shots, but Some Question Their Safety

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Health officials are encouraging Americans to get vaccinated for the flu, as there are a significant number of doses of flu shot vaccine available this year. Thus far, 85 million of the 135 million flu vaccine doses for this year have been distributed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But some critics assert that it is more dangerous for Americans to acquire the flu shot than the flu.

Those at the Department of Health and Human Services assert that the flu is dangerous and “unpredictable” and assert that those who do not receive the flu vaccines are at risk.

"Influenza is predictably unpredictable," said Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services. "In 2009-2010, we had a pandemic with thousands hospitalized and many deaths," Koh said. "Last year, we set a record for the lowest number of hospitalizations and the shortest influenza season."

But according to Natural Society, the flu vaccines are equally “unpredictable” and dangerous. What’s more, Natural Society contends that the vaccines are ineffective.

Natural Society reports that in 2009, “a staggering 50 percent of doctors refused the H1N1 flu vaccine due to the strong connection with adverse health connection with adverse health concerns.” Sadly, many of those doctors were still recommending those shots to their patients.

By 2010, government chiefs had confirmed a link between the H1N1 vaccine and a nerve disease known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome. But as noted by Natural Society, “This information didn’t stop health officials from pushing the vaccine onto the population in 2010 and 2011.”

And the link between flu vaccines and Guillain-Barre Syndrome has been made since the 1970s. 

“The vaccines used to combat an expected swine influenza pandemic in 1976 were shown to be associated with GBS and were withdrawn from use,” Prof. Elizabeth Miller, head of the HPA’s immunization department, wrote in the letter sent last month to neurologists

And assertions that the benefits of the flu vaccine outweigh the risks fall flat when one observes research by The Lancet which revealed that the flu vaccination is virtually ineffective.

Natural Society writes: 

The study involved a control group of 13,095 adults who were not vaccinated. The group were watched to see if they caught the influenza virus, but 97 percent of them did not. Only 2.7 percent, or 357 people, of the non-vaccinated group ended up catching the virus. Another group of adults whom were vaccinated with a trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine ended up with 1.2 percent of them not catching the flu. The difference between the two outcomes is 1.5 people out of 100 which shows that the flu vaccine only prevents the flu in 1.5 out of every 100 adults injected with the flu vaccine.

In addition to the issues associated with the flu vaccination, a number of skeptics note the dangers of vaccinations in general.

Natural Society writes:

Vaccines are often filled with harmful chemicals which lead to many of the health conditions listed above. Many of these chemicals are inflammatory chemicals added to strengthen the vaccine. One main “ingredient” in vaccines which has been in the controversial spot light for quite some time is thimerosal. Thermerosal is a preservative used for injections coming from a multi-dose vial to prevent bacterial contamination. The problem is that thimerosal contains quite a bit of mercury which is concerning to many health professionals.

Still, the CDC is recommending flu vaccines for anyone over aged 6 months.

"Even mild seasons can lead to suffering and death," said Koh, who was vaccinated at the news conference. "People cannot become complacent this season. When it comes to the flu, we cannot look to the past to predict what will happen this season." 

Pregnant women are being encouraged to receive the flu vaccine as well. 

USA Today touts the “benefits” of receiving a flu vaccine while pregnant.

“By getting a flu shot during pregnancy, women develop antibodies that go through the placenta to their fetuses, protecting babies after birth for their first six months of life, before they are old enough to get their own shots,” writes USA Today.

However, a study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health indicates that pregnant women show significant increase in the C-reactive protein (CRP) and other indications of inflammation following the vaccinations:

Trivalent influenza virus vaccination elicits a measurable inflammatory response among pregnant women ... There was considerable variability in magnitude of response; coefficients of variation for change at two days post-vaccination ranged from 122 percent to 728 percent, with the greatest variability in IL-6 responses at this timepoint.

… As adverse perinatal health outcomes including preeclampsia and preterm birth have an inflammatory component, a tendency toward greater inflammatory responding to immune triggers may predict risk of adverse outcomes, providing insight into biological mechanisms underlying risk… further research is needed to confirm that the mild inflammatory response elicited by vaccination is benign in pregnancy.

Additionally, Dr. Joseph Mercola of emphasizes that pregnant women should be particularly fearful about the presence of thimerosal that is found in the vaccines.

“If you are pregnant or have an infant and want to get a flu shot, be aware that you may have to specifically insist on getting the thimerosal-free single vial version as many health practitioners and pharmacists are still clueless about the health risks associated with thimersoal,” he writes.

Australia, Finland, and Sweden have all either banned flu vaccines altogether, or have opened investigations into their dangers.

In 2010, Australia suspended vaccinations for children under the age of five after noticing a 200 percent increase in unusual fevers and convulsions. Even worse, Australia’s health agency, the CSL had reportedly omitted that information from legally required product information sheets given to doctors.

In Finland, 79 children between the ages of 4 and 19 developed narcolepsy after having received the Pandemrix vaccine. Amongst those cases, 76 also suffered from bouts of cataplexy, suffering hallucinations or paralyzing physical collapses.

In response, the Finnish government and major health insurance companies offered to pay for the lifetime medical care of all those children who were diagnosed with narcolepsy after receiving the vaccine that caused it.

Dr. Mercola asserts that examples like these should compel Americans to at least reconsider the pros and cons of vaccinations.

“Unfortunately, vaccine makers are completely shielded from liability for any harm caused by a pandemic vaccine, which is what the H1N1 flu vaccine was, so the fact that this vaccine turned out to be so harmful is a red flag for everyone to carefully weigh potential benefits and risks, and not trust blindly when health officials and doctors give standard assurances of vaccine safety and effectiveness,” he writes.  

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