Three important news stories about flu vaccines all hit the news services within hours of each other on November 13.
In the first, Canadian researchers discovered a slight rise in the incidence of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a condition similar to multiple sclerosis, among those given flu shots.
Even though the lead researcher claims the risk of contracting Guillain-Barre is tiny, getting a flu shot ups that risk by some 45 percent.
In another story, there have been 100 recent cases of bizarre behavior and three deaths related to falls mostly in <!--?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /--><st1:country-region><st1:place>Japan</st1:place></st1:country-region> connected with Tamiflu, and most involving children. This comes about a year after Tamiflu was implicated in the deaths of 12 Japanese children.In related coverage, the news has prompted the U.S. FDA to update Tamiflu's label so that it warns patients about abnormal behavior. Tamiflu labels in <st1:country-region><st1:place>Japan</st1:place></st1:country-region> already carry this information.
Even in these days of 24/7 media coverage, it's hard to imagine three major flu vaccine stories all hitting the news services within hours of each other, and all of them potentially very deadly for your health.
The news about flu shots and Guillain-Barre isn't very surprising, considering recent reports that some college-age patients contracted Guillain-Barre after being given the meningococcal vaccine. And the dangerous side effects of Tamiflu have been known for quite some time.
Most reports of Tamiflu side effects come from <!--?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /--><st1:country-region><st1:place>Japan</st1:place></st1:country-region>, in large part because the Japanese use Tamiflu more often than any other country in the world (30 million prescriptions over the past five years, compared to 8 million in the <st1:country-region><st1:place>United States</st1:place></st1:country-region>).
Sadly, every use of Tamiflu does more to line the pockets of fatcats like former Secretary Donald Rumsfeld than it protects you. If you follow my proven flu guidelines, however, you won't need Tamiflu or any other vaccine.
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Dr. Lloyd Fielder from Schaumburg, IL writes: