By Dr. Mercola
In early May, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted the swine flu virus was not quite the fearsome plague it was widely reported to be in April when the novel influenza A strain (official name H1N1) first emerged in the U.S.
On May 6, Sebelius said:
"We are cautiously optimistic that what we are seeing right now is presenting itself as a much milder virus than the initial cases ... in Mexico."
Ms. Sebelius' remark was likely prompted by the fact the swine flu virus is showing itself to have mild symptoms, quick recovery time, and low incidence of death among the vast majority of H1N1 patients throughout the world (with the single exception of Mexico).
A little over a month later, on June 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised its swine flu pandemic alert from a 5 to a 6.  Phase 6 is the highest level alert, and reflects the speed with which a virus is spreading – not its severity.
WHO actually considers the severity of the H1N1 virus to be moderate, generally defined as an illness requiring neither hospitalization nor even medical care.
From Cautious Optimism to High Risk Pessimism in Under Six Weeks
A few days after the Phase 6 designation, on June 16, Sebelius began urging school superintendents across the nation to prepare for the possibility their schools would be turned into swine flu shot clinics in the fall.
According to Sebelius, "If you think about vaccinating kids, schools are the logical place." She says if the current trend continues, "… the target may be school-age children as a first priority for vaccination."
And now it is being reported that the United States will spend an additional $1 billion on ingredients for an H1N1 vaccine. Another billion dollars for a virus with mild symptoms?
Why this sudden urgency to mass vaccinate, now that the real risks of the swine flu have been shown to be both mild and infrequent?
Where is the Logic in Mass-Vaccinating Kids?
Never mind the serious health risks of flu vaccines, which I'll get to shortly. What happened to common sense?
Why are your school-age children being targeted by the Department of Health and Human Services as the "first priority" for novel H1N1 vaccinations that have not undergone adequate safety testing?
Per WHO, most cases of severe and fatal swine flu infections have occurred in people aged 30 to 50. Many of those cases were seen in people who were already ill with disorders like asthma, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and obesity.
Additionally, the swine flu virus presents much less threat of death to Americans than all other strains of influenza combined!
Why is your healthy youngster, who is highly unlikely to contract a severe case of swine flu, about to go to the front of the line to receive two doses of a rushed-to-market flu vaccine?
Worse yet, if you have a child with an established health condition, do you really want him or her injected with an experimental vaccine?
Children with underlying health problems will likely be the first to receive the vaccine, since they will be considered the most probable group to develop severe cases of the H1N1 virus. Unfortunately, these children are also the ones most vulnerable to serious side effects from the vaccine.
Your Child May Be Pushed to Get FOUR Flu Shots This Fall
On July 15th, Dr. Pascale Wortley, the U.S. CDC's pandemic vaccine coordinator, announced,
"This vaccine campaign will unfold quite differently than seasonal flu. This is a huge endeavor we''re gearing up for."
According to the latest CDC recommendations, school children who have never had a flu shot may need four flu shots this fall. Two doses of the seasonal flu vaccine, and another two against the swine flu. Most everyone else should expect three shots.
Looking on the bright side, there are still two slivers of relief in this madness.
- It appears the pandemic flu shots (like the seasonal flu vaccine) are still voluntary, although most evidence strongly suggest that compulsory vaccinations is a HIGH probability.
- About 20 percent of the vaccines created will be preservative-free, and made available to children and pregnant women who want them
Adults, however, will receive shots from multi-dose vials that WILL contain thimerosal.
That said, please read on to find out why opting for a preservative-free vaccine is likely not enough if you want to protect the health of your child, and why you and your family may be FAR better off avoiding both the seasonal- and pandemic flu vaccines.
Flu Shots Simply Don't Work
Because addressing the potential side effects of these untested swine flu vaccines is not the only problem here. Numerous studies have shown that flu shots simply do not work. Why would this case be any different?
According to the 2006 Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 51 separate studies concluded the flu vaccine worked no better than a placebo in 260,000 children ranging in age from six months to 23 months.
A study published in the October 2008 Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found flu vaccines in young children have made no difference in the number of flu-related doctor and hospital visits.
As reported in a 2004 publication of the Archives of Disease in Childhood, a study of 800 children with asthma concluded those receiving a flu vaccine had a significantly increased risk of asthma-related doctor and emergency room visits.
A more recent study released at the 2009 American Thoracic Society International Conference showed children with asthma who received FluMist had a 3-fold increased risk for hospitalization.
And not only are vaccines ineffective in preventing flu in your children, they are equally useless for adults, including the elderly.
According to the 2007 Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, studies of over 65,000 healthy adults concluded vaccinations reduced the risk of flu by only six percent, and reduced missed work days by less than a single day. Vaccinations did not reduce the number of people who sought medical help or took time off from work.
The 2006 Cochrane Database also includes a review of 64 vaccination studies of the elderly across nearly 100 flu seasons. The studies showed flu vaccines were ineffective in preventing the flu in either nursing home patients or elderly living in the community.
A study published in the Lancet last year found that influenza vaccination was NOT associated with a reduced risk of pneumonia in older people. This supports a study done five years ago, published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine also confirms that there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza and pneumonia, despite the fact that vaccination coverage among the elderly has increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now.
Last year, researchers with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Institutes of Health published this conclusion in the Lancet Infectious Diseases:
"We conclude that frailty selection bias and use of non-specific endpoints such as all-cause mortality have led cohort studies to greatly exaggerate vaccine benefits."
Flu Vaccines Pose Significant Health Risks to Your Children
Most flu vaccines contain dangerous levels of mercury in the form of thimerosal, a deadly preservative that is 50 times more toxic than regular mercury. If taken in high enough doses, it can result in long-term immune, sensory, neurological, motor, and behavioral dysfunctions.
Disorders associated with mercury poisoning include autism, attention deficit disorder, multiple sclerosis, and speech and language deficiencies.
The Institute of Medicine has warned that infants, children, and pregnant women should not be injected with thimerosal, and yet the majority of flu shots contain 25 micrograms of it.
It has been calculated that, by age two, American children have received 237 micrograms of mercury from vaccines alone, which far exceeds the current EPA "safe" level of 0.1 mcg/kg per day.
But that's not all. Other toxic substances found in various flu vaccines include:
Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
Neomycin and streptomycin (antibiotics)
Resin and gelatin - known to cause allergic reactions
Formaldehyde – a known cancer causing agent
Aluminum -- a neurotoxin linked to Alzheimer's disease
Polysorbate 80 (Tween80™) – which can cause severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis
Phenol (carbolic acid)
Triton X100 (detergent)
Egg proteins (including avian viruses)
What is the Current Status of the H1N1 Flu Vaccine?
In response to WHO's Phase 6 alert level, the CDC declared the H1N1 flu pandemic a public health emergency, which allowed the FDA to authorize drug companies to "fast track" experimental vaccines. Fast tracking means the new vaccines are not tested as thoroughly as vaccines which move through the normal licensing process.
In other words, a fast tracked vaccine will be available for use long before it can be proved safe for use.
In total, five drug manufacturers are now in the process of creating experimental vaccines against the pandemic H1N1 swine flu virus. Between them, it is estimated they will produce between 40 million and 160 million doses of egg-based vaccine, to be available in the U.S. by October.
Pharmaceutical giant Baxter International announced on June 12 it has a patented cell-based technology which reduces the development time to 13 weeks, down from the usual 26, and was scheduled to be completed this month.
Baxter is nothing if not aggressive about getting their influenza vaccines to market. In December, a Baxter facility in Austria sent a human flu vaccine contaminated with deadly H5N1 live avian flu virus to 18 countries, including the Czech Republic. According to a report by The Times of India, the two viruses seem to have been "mixed in error."
The report continues,
"Accidental release of a mixture of live H5N1 and H3N2 viruses could have resulted in dire consequences. While H5N1 doesn''t easily infect people, H3N2 viruses do. If someone exposed to a mixture of the two had been simultaneously infected with both strains, he or she could have served as an incubator for a hybrid virus able to transmit easily to and among people."
Czech newspapers questioned how the potentially deadly contamination was possible. Baxter's position is it was human error. Other sources, however, maintain the cross-contamination was virtually impossible in light of Baxter's adherence to the highest level of laboratory safety, Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3).
The same Czech newspapers, among others, questioned whether Baxter was involved in a deliberate attempt to start a pandemic.
As difficult as it is to contemplate an American pharmaceutical corporation could make such a potentially lethal mistake, or worst yet, intentionally orchestrate a deadly flu pandemic, the fact of the contamination is undisputed.
How comfortable are you with the thought you or your loved ones could be forced to receive injections of a fast tracked swine flu vaccine made by Baxter? An untested vaccine for a flu virus you may not contract, and which will probably only cause moderate discomfort if you do get infected?
Novartis, another Big Pharma player, also announced on June 12 that it, too, has produced a swine flu vaccine using cell-based technology and the adjuvant MF59®.
An adjuvant is an additive designed to generate a stronger immune response to a vaccine. In other words, its purpose is to kick your immune system into overdrive so the size of the dose and number of vaccine doses you receive can be reduced.
Squalene brought on severe arthritis symptoms in rats, and studies in humans given from 10 to 20 ppb (parts per billion) of squalene showed severe immune system impact and development of autoimmune disorders.
I will release a special report on this dangerous adjuvant next week, so stay posted.
Squalene Update as of October 2009:According to Barbara Loe Fisher, founder of the NVIC, none of the H1N1 vaccines being distributed in the United States contain squalene or other oil in water adjuvants.
We successfully made enough fuss about the potential danger of fast tracking licensure of squalene adjuvants into US H1N1 vaccines under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) that can be invoked during a declared public health emergency that the FDA has NOT licensed these adjuvants for the U.S.
There is squalene in H1N1 vaccines licensed in Europe but not yet in the U.S. That is not to say the vaccine manufacturers will not try to get the adjuvants inserted into vaccines in the future, but for now we have won on this point.
Tamiflu Likely Useless Against Swine Flu
And what about the antiviral drug Tamiflu, which has been pushed as a remedy against the swine flu in lieu of a more specific vaccine? As predicted, Tamiflu is likely useless against the novel strain of flu.
According to a recent article in ABC News, public health authorities have reported three cases of the H1N1 influenza in which the virus was resistant to the drug. In one of the cases, the patient had not received the drug, but two others developed the swine flu after receiving Tamiflu as a preventive measure.
Fortunately, all three developed very mild cases of the flu, and have been fully recovered.
Overall, I find it interesting that despite the fact that the virus may be developing resistance to one of the frontline antivirals, it's mutating into very MILD disease that you're likely to recover from without much fuss…
That's even more proof, in my book, that taking Tamiflu is not in your best interest. Because aside from the fact that Tamiflu may soon become completely useless against the swine flu, there are many other dangers associated with the drug. For a refresher, please review my previous article that covered Tamiflu's hazards in greater detail.
Are Mandatory Swine Flu Vaccinations a Real Possibility?
In my opinion, yes.
There's a great deal of money, political power and momentum behind the swine flu pandemic fear mongering movement, which I first wrote about in my hugely popular swine flu alert in April.
It is clear Big Pharma stands to make many millions through rising stock prices, the sale of dangerous prescription drugs like Tamiflu, and mass swine flu vaccination campaigns.
The progression toward more government control is equally obvious ...
The U.S. Public Health Service was established in 1946. Executive Order 9708 included a list of communicable diseases for which quarantines could be established. In 2005, "influenza caused by novel or re-emergent influenza viruses that are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic," was added to the list.
Sounds tailor-made for something like the exotic hybrid swine flu we're now faced with, doesn't it?
In the years since 9/11, the U.S. government has made even more moves to clear the way for agencies like the Depts. of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services to interfere in your freedom to choose how to manage your own health, and the health of your family.
The Project Bioshield Act of 2004 gives NIH the authority to fast track drugs and vaccines deemed "qualified medical countermeasures" against threats to public health.
Executive Order 13375, effective in 2005, amends Executive Order 13295, which gives the Secretary of HHS the power to detain, examine and quarantine indefinitely any individual thought to be infected with a communicable disease.
The 2006 Division E -- Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act gives the Secretary of HHS the power to recommend the development and administration of covered countermeasures, defined as a "pandemic product, vaccine or drug."
Translation: the need for quarantines and mandatory vaccinations for the swine flu pandemic is up to Kathleen Sebelius. The 2006 Act also releases involved parties, including drug manufacturers, from all liability for covered countermeasure drugs, including vaccines.
Based on how the swine flu pandemic has been handled (marketed) to date, it appears drug companies and certain U.S. government agencies hope to scare you into signing up for swine flu vaccinations and prescription flu remedies. Failing that, it is within Ms. Sebelius' discretion to mandate vaccinations.
I agree with Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccination Information Center (NVIC), who says:
"Citizens around the world can be easily manipulated by doctors and politicians engaging in fear mongering in the name of disease controls to forward agendas that have more to do with ideology, power and corporate profits than health."
NVIC) site and join in the fight against mandatory swine flu vaccinations. Educate yourself about influenza strains, vaccination risks, and the public health laws in your state that may require you or your children to undergo either mandatory vaccination or quarantine.
Take care of your health to reduce or eliminate your risk of contracting the flu. The key is to keep your immune system strong by following these guidelines:
Optimize your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency is the likely cause of seasonal flu viruses. Getting an optimal level of vitamin D will help you fight infections of all kinds.
Eliminate sugar and processed foods from your diet. Sugar consumption has an immediate, debilitating effect on your immune system.
Address the stress effectively. If you feel overwhelmed by stress, your body will not have the reserves it needs to fight infection.
Exercise. Your immune system needs good circulation in order to perform at its best for you.
- Wash your hands. But not with an antibacterial soap. Just use a pure, non-toxic soap.