By Dr. Mercola
Vaccine policymakers routinely ignore the safest and most effective strategies that can naturally strengthen your immunity to help you stay well or move through illness with fewer complications if you do get sick.
For example, there are many far more effective ways to prevent the flu and other flu-like diseases, such as dietary interventions, making sure your vitamin D and gut flora are optimized, being more meticulous about washing your hands, getting enough exercise and sleep, and taking natural immune boosters like oil of oregano and garlic.
But ignoring the obvious is not the worst of it.
The vaccine industry is also ceaselessly working to figure out which propaganda strategy can most effectively lull concerned parents back to sleep and quit asking questions about safety.
Such questions threaten that which is truly important to the vaccine industry: their profits. Sadly, vaccines DO come with potential side effects, and many parents are already grossly underinformed about such risks. Narcolepsy, for example, has yet again been confirmed as a vaccine-induced side effect from the European version of the 2009-2010 H1N1 swine flu vaccine that contained an oil in water adjuvant, ASO3.
With such serious side effects at stake, should the government really be permitted to resort to what's looking like outright fraud, in order to increase vaccination rates?
Flu Vaccine Shown to have Shockingly Low Effectiveness Rate
Propaganda scare tactics still do work, as demonstrated by the 25 percent uptick in 2012-2013 seasonal flu vaccine sales reported by Novartis.1 This despite the fact that not just one, but three recent studies published in the journal Eurosurveillance2, 3, 4 strongly challenge the claim that the influenza vaccine will protect you against the flu.
According to CIDRAP:5
"All three studies suggest that during the 2011-12 flu season, the vaccine provided modest protection at first, but its effectiveness dropped sharply after 3 or 4 months.
A multicenter study by researchers in eight European countries indicated that overall vaccine effectiveness (VE) against influenza A/H3N2 in the first months of the season was 38%, but after mid-February it dropped to -1%.
'The concept that vaccine protection can be so short-lived provides a challenge for public health policy,' says the British report."
Similarly, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently admitted that this year's flu vaccine is doing a "startlingly dismal job of protecting senior citizens," to quote the San Francisco Chronicle.6
While not at a negative percentage rate, as reported by CIDRAP for the European community, the US flu vaccine is only nine percent effective against this season's type A (H3N2) influenza strain in people 65 and older. Across all age groups reviewed by the CDC, the flu vaccine's effectiveness was found to be just 56 percent—in essence, the statistical equivalent of a coin toss...
When Does Misrepresentation of the Facts Equate to Outright Fraud?
While none of this surprises me, I am troubled by the gross discrepancies between the government's claims about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine compared to the actual effectiveness.
"Get vaccinated" is the mantra, even though the scientific evidence backing such a recommendation is flimsy at best. And, when you factor in effectiveness rates of negative one percent, or nine percent, or even 40-50 percent within the first few months of vaccination, the recommendation to use vaccination as your primary flu prevention strategy really becomes rather ludicrous. Not only that, but at what point do these PR tactics become equivalent to outright fraud?
More people than ever are reportedly sick this winter,7 including those who got their flu vaccination. This is in large part due to a new flu strain, the "H3N2 type variant," identified as being particularly aggressive, and believed to be the cause of many if not most of the illnesses.8
Interestingly, according to Dr. Joseph Bresee, a medical epidemiologist in the influenza division at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the H3N2 component in this year's seasonal flu vaccine "has been a good match against almost all the confirmed H3N2 samples the agency has tested,"9 and due to flu fears, vaccines have been flying off the shelves this year.
So, the vaccines are a great match against the most virulent flu strain in circulation, yet the effectiveness rate for the type A H3N2 influenza strain is nine percent for seniors, and equivalent to a 50/50 tossup for the rest of us? Personally, I would never accept the potential side effects associated with the influenza vaccine—such as permanent paralysis from Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) —for such odds.
Another thing to consider is that states that have fired health care workers for refusing the flu vaccine10 have done so over an absolutely useless vaccine that provides nothing but profits for the vaccine industry. Meanwhile, health professionals who buckle to the pressure are taking some very real health risks, just to keep their jobs. For a first-hand look at what's at stake, take a look at the following video, featuring a former nursing professor who became permanently disabled following a flu shot.
Health Care Industry Boasts about Profits During Worse-than-Average Flu Season
A January 8 CNBC report11 highlighted the profitability of the flu season:
"Walgreens reported earlier this month that it had administered 5.5 million flu shots by the end of December — up from 5.3 million in the same period a year earlier. 'Walgreens is a key provider of flu shots,' said Muken, 'so they are seeing a modestly outsized benefit.' Beyond flu shots, a strong cold and flu season could mean stronger sales for over the counter medication and other cold care items at Walgreens and its competitors, CVS Caremark and Rite Aid....The CDC reports outpatient visits and hospitalizations are up sharply with the early start of the flu season. That likely results in more testing for influenza, and higher overall medical costs."
Similarly, an article in Infectious Diseases in Children, titled "Influenza vaccination makes sense for everyone,"12 written by Dr. Richard Lander, MD, a pediatrician in private practice in northern New Jersey and a member of the Infectious Diseases in Children Editorial Board, offers an insightful glimpse into the motivations behind the at times near-rabid push for flu vaccinations.
It not only spells out the financial incentives for pediatricians and other physicians to "sell, sell, sell!" the vaccine to as many as possible, but when you read his disclosure, the root of his pro-vaccination stance becomes quite obvious, as he is not only co-owner of the National Discount Vaccine Alliance, he's also a speaker for Merck, Novartis, Pfizer and Sanofi-Pasteur... Here, for the first time, a real doctor, with real numbers reveals exactly how profitable giving the flu vaccines is for doctors. The article reads, in part:
"...let's calculate monies generated for administering influenza vaccine for a doctor with a panel of 2,000 patients. We'll be conservative and consider that only 1,000 patients will get their influenza vaccine in your office. Some of the 1,000 not receiving the vaccine in your office might be infants younger than 6 months of age and not eligible for the vaccine, and some patients will go to retail-based clinics or refuse the vaccine.
I know you are all financially savvy and you have purchased influenza vaccines at the lowest possible price... The fee you receive has been set by your contract with each managed care organization and you are seeing a 10% to 25% profit.
If your practice purchased the vaccine at approximately $10, the profit on these 1,000 patients will range from $1,000 to $2,500. Additionally, you are receiving a vaccine administration fee, which should range from $14 to $30. This amounts to $14,000 to $30,000 for the 1,000 patients. Furthermore, in my practice, we do not vaccinate if a patient has not received a well visit in the last 12 months. If 100 patients who call for a flu shot ending up scheduling a well visit, you should be generating an additional $10,000. Bottom line: $25,000 to $42,500, which is not bad!"
Australian Study Reveals Strategic PR Plan
Another recent study published in the journal Vaccine13 reveals how the vaccine industry is plotting to adapt its propaganda strategy to make more people accept vaccine risks. According to the authors:
"We aimed to determine demographic predictors of parental vaccine safety and risk perceptions, and assess the relationship between the occurrence of children's perceived adverse events following immunization (AEFI) on parents' opinions."
The survey found that:
- Of 469 parents interviewed, 95 percent were confident in vaccine safety in general, but nearly 50 percent still expressed concern for pre-licensure testing of vaccines
- 41 percent of all parents responded that at least one of their children had experienced an adverse event following immunization. Parents of children who had a previous AEFI were more concerned about vaccine safety
- Only half of parents surveyed were aware of surveillance for vaccine safety
- Almost one third of the AEFI parent group indicated they reported their children's symptoms to either a healthcare professional or the Department of Health, with most reports being made to the family's general practitioner
- Parental acceptability of the risks of febrile convulsion and anaphylaxis were 73 percent and 76 percent respectively. Mothers were less accepting of these risks
In conclusion, the authors state:
"Parents commonly perceive and report that their child has experienced an AEFI. In this group of parents the subsequent expectation of an AEFI and vaccine safety concerns may be heightened. Further research should investigate parental understandings of differentiating an expected event from an adverse event as this could inform immunization risk communication and consumer AEFI reporting strategies."
The latter paragraph tells you what they're really after. Vaccinologists in charge of the US public health system are looking for ways to convince parents, and mothers in particular, of two things:
- When your child suffers a health problem after vaccination, it really isn't caused by the vaccine, and that
- Certain side effects, some of which may be severe and/or life threatening, are "normal" occurrences. Meaning, they want you to view side effects like convulsion and anaphylaxis as "expected events" rather than "adverse events," which in and of itself would make vaccinations appear to be far safer than they are
The former has already been accomplished through pediatricians, who have been taught to dismiss anything bad that happens after vaccination as a "coincidence." But they have not yet convinced mothers of that myth. That will be much more difficult as they need to somehow eradicate a mother's gut instincts. Perhaps they can develop a vaccine for that... Until then, they are "investigating parental understandings" of the difference between adverse reactions they want you to think are normal, and adverse events worth blaming on the vaccine. Once they figure out how parents think about these things, your thinking will be used against you in their "immunization risk communications" and shape their adverse events reporting strategies.
Narcolepsy — A Confirmed Adverse Effect of European Flu Vaccines
A recent example of the devastating harm that can occur from a single dose of a vaccine and the side effects of the 2009-2010 H1N1 flu vaccine licensed in Europe, which caused some 800+ cases of narcolepsy in Sweden and other European countries14. According to a retroactive analysis recently published in the British Medical Journal15, the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix, which contained an oil in water adjuvant, AS03, resulted in a 10-fold increased risk of the sleep disorder. The authors write:
"'The increased risk of narcolepsy after vaccination with ASO3 adjuvanted pandemic A/H1N1 2009 vaccine indicates a causal association, consistent with findings from Finland. Because of variable delay in diagnosis, however, the risk might be overestimated by more rapid referral of vaccinated children.'
...Our attributable risk estimate of between one in 57 500 and 52 000 doses was lower than reported from Finland (one in 16 000), despite a similar odds ratio/relative risk and annual incidence before vaccine, which was 0.42 per 100 000 in our study (based on the 29 incident cases in 2008) and 0.31 in Finland between 2002 and 2009. This could be because of differences in population susceptibility or because proportionately more vaccine in Finland was given to adolescents, in whom incidence is highest."
Why We Must Fight to Protect Philosophical Exemption to Vaccination
Informed consent to medical risk taking is a human right. You have the right to be fully informed about the benefits and risks of pharmaceutical products – like vaccines - and be allowed to make a voluntary choice about whether to take the risk without being punished for it. More than $2.5 billion dollars has been awarded to children and adults in America, who have been seriously injured by vaccines. Yet those rights are increasingly being taken away from us.
For example, last year in Vermont, the legal right to take a vaccine exemption for philosophical beliefs was threatened with bills promoted by two Vermont legislators, State Senator Kevin Mullin and State Representative George Till. They joined with the Vermont Health Commissioner, Dr. Harry Chen, to lead a crusade to take away philosophical exemption to vaccination but the bills went down in defeat after supporters of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) and Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice educated legislators and the public about the need to keep the philosophical exemption from being stripped from Vermont public health laws.
In the following video, Barbara Loe Fisher of the NVIC interviews Nicole, a Vermont mother, whose seven year old daughter, Kaylynne, died within 92 hours of a routine flu shot in December 2011. Nicole believes that parents should be fully informed and able to make voluntary decisions about vaccination for their children.
"If I would have known the reactions and symptoms of adverse reactions to vaccination, I would have had her seen immediately. If I would have known about the risks and symptoms, I would have been most likely able to save my daughter," said Nicole. "I feel that Vermonters need to be educated and be able to make their own decisions on whether or not they want to vaccinate their children and pediatricians and physicians, as well, need to be more educated."
While the NVIC led a successful effort with the Vermont parent group to preserve the philosophical exemption to vaccination in Vermont last year, legislators in Vermont are coming around again this session, attacking the philosophical and religious exemptions to vaccination. They now want to pass a law (HB138) that says that if vaccination rates in schools gets below 90 percent then both those exemptions will be suspended. VT legislators also have introduced a bill that would require pertussis vaccinations for childcare workers and teachers (HB 114).
Vaccinations? Know the Risks and Failures
The NVIC is currently running a billboard campaign in a few different states. In Illinois, the billboard is located on 1409 Roselle Road in Roselle, where it will remain until March 24. For other billboard locations, see the list below.
How to Protect Yourself During the Flu Season
Also be aware that one of the main staples for treating pain and cold symptoms, acetaminophen, is a leading cause for calls to the Poison Control Center, and accounts for 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations, and an estimated 458 deaths annually.16
Avoiding a serious case of influenza is not about vaccination but more about maintaining a healthy, well functioning immune system. By following these simple guidelines, you can help keep your immune system in optimal working order so that you're far less likely to acquire the infection to begin with or, if you do get sick with the flu, you are better prepared to move through it without complications and soon return to good health.
- Optimize Your Gut Flora. This may be the single most important strategy you can implement as the bacteria in your gut have enormous control of your immune response. The best way to improve your beneficial bacteria ratio is to avoid sugars as they will feed the pathogenic bacteria. Additionally, processed foods and most grains should be limited and replacing with healthy fats like coconut oil, avocados, olives, olive oil, butter, eggs and nuts. Once you change your diet then regular use of fermented foods can radically optimize the function of your immune response.
- Optimize your vitamin D levels. As I've previously reported, optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best strategies for avoiding infections of ALL kinds, and vitamin D deficiency may actually be the true true culprit behind flu season – not the flu virus itself. This is probably the single most important and least expensive action you can take. Regularly monitor your vitamin D levels to confirm your levels are within the therapeutic range of 50-70 ng/ml.
Ideally, you'll want to get all your vitamin D from sun exposure or a safe tanning bed, but you can also take an oral vitamin D3 supplement. According to the latest review by Carole Baggerly, (Grassrootshealth.org), adults need about 8,000 IU's a day. Be sure to take vitamin K2 if you are taking oral vitamin D as it has a powerful synergy and will help prevent any D toxicity. But be sure and get your level tested as that is the only way to know for sure.
Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods. Sugar impairs the quality of your immune response almost immediately, and as you likely know, a healthy immune system is one of the most important keys to fighting off viruses and other illness. It also can decimate your beneficial bacteria and feed the pathogenic yeast and viruses. Be aware that sugar (typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup) is present in foods you may not suspect, like ketchup and fruit juice. If you are healthy then sugar can be consumed but the LAST thing you should be eating when you are sick is sugar. Avoid it like poison while you are sick.
- Get Plenty of Rest. Just like it becomes harder for you to get your daily tasks done if you're tired, if your body is overly fatigued it will be harder for it to fight the flu. Be sure to check out my article Guide to a Good Night's Sleep for some great tips to help you get quality rest.
- Have Effective Tools to Address Stress. We all face some stress every day, but if stress becomes overwhelming then your body will be less able to fight off the flu and other illness. If you feel that stress is taking a toll on your health, consider using an energy psychology tool such as the Emotional Freedom Technique, which is remarkably effective in relieving stress associated with all kinds of events, from work to family to trauma.
- Get Regular Exercise. When you exercise, you increase your circulation and your blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of finding an illness before it spreads. Be sure to stay hydrated – drink plenty of fluids, especially water. However, it would be wise to radically reduce the intensity of your workouts while you are sick. No Peak Fitness exercises until you are better.
- Take a High Quality Source of Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats. Increase your intake of healthy and essential fats like the omega-3 found in krill oil, which is crucial for maintaining health. It is also vitally important to avoid damaged omega-6 oils that are trans fats and in processed foods as it will seriously damage your immune response.
- Wash Your Hands. Washing your hands will decrease your likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose, mouth or other people. Be sure you don't use antibacterial soap for this – antibacterial soaps are completely unnecessary, and they cause far more harm than good. Instead, identify a simple non-toxic soap that you can switch your family to.
- Tried and True Hygiene Measures. In addition to washing your hands regularly, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. If possible, avoid close contact with those, who are sick and, if you are sick, avoid close contact with those who are well.
- Use Natural Immune Boosters. Examples include oil of oregano and garlic. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, they do not appear to lead to resistance.
- Avoid Hospitals. I'd recommend you stay away from hospitals unless you're having an emergency and need expert medical care, as hospitals are prime breeding grounds for infections of all kinds. The best place to get plenty of rest and recover from illness that is not life-threatening is usually in the comfort of your own home.
Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Vaccine Exemptions
With all the uncertainty surrounding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, it's critical to protect your right to informed consent to vaccination and fight to protect and expand vaccine exemptions in state public health laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.
Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact. It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.
Signing up for NVIC's free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your Smart Phone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up-to-date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choices and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips..
So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know
If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury or death, please talk about it. If we don't share information and experiences with each other, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.
I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the "other side" of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.
We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than "statistically acceptable collateral damage" of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn't be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
I encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at www.NVIC.org:
- NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
- If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
- Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment and sanctions by doctors, employers, school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.
Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One that Will Listen and Care
If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.
However, there is hope.
At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.
So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.