By Dr. Mercola
The 2010-2011 flu season is here. With it comes a mixture of good news and bad, but if you and I together spread facts instead of fear, we can once again tip the balance toward health in the US—and worldwide.
Last year, the swine flu "pandemic"—warned to be catastrophic—was actually much milder than health officials warned.
Last year's flu mortality estimates turned out to be only one-third that of an average year, in spite of the emergence of the new human-bird-pig influenza virus you have come to know as swine flu.
Imagine that. The sky didn't fall after all.
Last year, the United States contracted for the manufacture of more than 170 million doses of swine flu vaccine. Probably the most significant accomplishment of this website was that we were able to contribute to the fact that only 90 million doses were used in the United States.
Armed with the facts, less than one-third of the US population fell for fear mongering. And together, we can do it again.
But we have some high hurdles ahead.
Flu Shots for All (Science Optional)
For the past several years, physicians in America have been insisting that every child age six months to 18 years must get an annual flu shot. Making matters worse, health officials have now ramped up those recommendations, telling EVERY person over the age of 6 months get a flu shot, healthy or not, low risk or high.
Everyone. Three hundred million of you, every year from the year you are born until the year you die.
What will receiving lifelong flu shots every year do to your immune system?
With all of those vaccinations, will you be more susceptible to influenza-related complications and death?
We really don't know.
Health officials have leapt ahead with recommendations of "flu shots for all" without safety studies—so by getting a flu shot, you are effectively offering yourself up as a laboratory rat. In other words, YOU are the safety study!
No Mystery -- These Flu Shot Side Effects WILL Occur in the US
It isn't just an ordinary flu vaccine they are promoting this year—it's the new trivalent vaccine, which may be even more reactive than the monovalent. This vaccine is a three-in-one, containing influenza A, influenza B, and 2009 pandemic swine flu (H1N1) strains.
Administering this highly suspect formulation to 300 million people has potentially disastrous implications. Red flags were already popping up last year, and this flu season has raised many more.
Australia's flu season precedes ours, so we can look to them for a preview of vaccine issues. By June of 2010, more than 1,000 adverse reactions1 in children under the age of 5 resulted in the Australian government's banning of flu vaccines for that age group. High fevers, vomiting, and convulsions were the most widely reported reactions, which are also associated with long-term adverse health outcomes.
CSL's Fluvax appears to be the main troublemaker. However, CSL has objected to being singled out, claiming any of the other three vaccines on the Australian market could be to blame.
Just like last year where the experience in Australia with the swine flu was replicated precisely in the US, you will see the same happen this fall, winter and spring in the US. This is entirely predictable as is the lack of media coverage that this will receive.
Interestingly, the Sydney Morning Herald recently reported2 that Australian "public health experts have called for an independent body to monitor drug safety after it emerged that young children were more likely to end up in hospitals because of side effects from a flu vaccine than they were from the disease itself. The analysis contradicts government safety advice that the harm did not outweigh the risk and raises concerns about the Therapeutic Goods Administration's assessment of the vaccine."
Mark my words, the US will have the identical experience, and nine months from now you will see in the newspapers that children given the flu vaccine were more likely to wind up hospitalized than from those that actually got the disease.
These drug manufacturers have a horribly unethical track record with disturbing manufacturing errors.3 Many of the drugs remain indemnified from damage.
H1N1 Vaccine Continues To Provoke Reports of Serious Side Effects
In the meantime, the 2009 pandemic H1N1 "swine flu" vaccine that has been put into this year's trivalent seasonal flu vaccine continues to be associated with lots of reports of devastating reactions:
- In Finland, France and Sweden, narcolepsy was reported in teenage children in response to Pandemrix monovalent swine flu vaccine, leading the Finnish government to suspend its use.
- In Korea, nearly 2,600 swine flu vaccine side effects were reported as of August 2010, ranging from allergic reactions to fevers to headaches—and including 10 deaths.
Children are not the only ones who seem to react more violently to the 2009 pandemic H1N1 component.
According to Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), a special government committee has been created to investigate last year's H1N1 monovalent vaccine for signs it may be associated with more adverse reactions. What the committee found out provisionally is there were three signs of trouble with the H1N1 swine flu vaccine used last year.
Fisher outlined these three primary health concerns in a recent NVIC video update:
- Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), an autoimmune disease which has been associated with influenza vaccine since 1976, when the swine flu vaccine was first used. In fact, British government health experts acknowledged the link between the H1N1 vaccine and an increased risk of GBS4 earlier this month. Prior to this public admittance, the government had always denied such a link
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP), an autoimmune disorder, is a blood clotting disorder characterized by insufficient platelets
- Bell's palsy, a reaction causing temporary facial paralysis
Why are people having these worrisome reactions?
Vaccines Wreak Havoc on Your Immune System
All vaccines are immune suppressive—that is, they suppress your immune system, which may not return to normal for weeks to months. Here are just some of the ways vaccines impair and alter your immune response:
- Some components in vaccines are neurotoxic and may depress your immune and brain function, particularly heavy metals such as mercury preservatives and aluminum adjuvants
- The lab altered vaccine viruses themselves may further impair your immune response
- Foreign DNA/RNA from animal tissues can wreak havoc in your body and trigger autoimmunity in some people
- Vaccines may alter your t-cell function and lead you to become chronically ill
- Vaccines can trigger allergies by introducing large foreign protein molecules into your body that have not been properly broken down by your digestive tract (since they are injected). Your body can respond to these foreign particles in the form of an allergic reaction
The flu vaccine may also pose an immediate risk to your cardiovascular system. One 2007 study published in the Annals of Medicine5 concluded that:
"Abnormalities in arterial function and LDL oxidation may persist for at least 2 weeks after a slight inflammatory reaction induced by influenza vaccination.
These could explain in part the earlier reported increase in cardiovascular risk during the first weeks after an acute inflammatory disorder."
Add to all those factors the immune-compromising effects of excess sugar in the average American diet, plus inadequate exercise and other lifestyle factors, and you've created the perfect setup for health problems far worse than influenza.
So the tradeoff you are making is TOTAL immune system depression (your defense against millions of pathogens) for temporary immunity against ONE infectious disease—in this case a few of the many viral strains of influenza—and that immunity is questionable.
Do you really want to trade in temporary immunity to a few strains of influenza for autoimmune disease or even cancer?
A Special Warning to Seniors!
For seniors, this season's flu vaccine may be one of the most dangerous you've ever experienced, because seniors will likely get a vaccine that is FOUR TIMES as potent as that given to the rest of the population, as recently reported by the Chicago Tribune.
In the ACIP Provisional Recommendations for the Use of Influenza Vaccines, dated February 24,6 it states:
"A higher dose formulation of an inactivated seasonal influenza vaccine (Fluzone High-Dose, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, licensed by FDA on December 23, 2009) for use in people age 65 years and older will be available in the 2010-11 influenza season.
"Fluzone High-Dose contains four times the amount of influenza antigen compared to other inactivated seasonal influenza vaccines. …
Studies are underway to assess the relative effectiveness of Fluzone High-Dose compared to standard dose inactivated influenza vaccine, but results from those studies will not be available before the 2010-11 influenza season." [Emphasis mine.]
So, if you're age 65 or older, the CDC wants you to take a flu vaccine this fall that not only contains an antigen they previously said you probably already have antibodies to (H1N1), but that is also four times as potent, with no safety evaluation whatsoever until AFTER the season is underway!
This is madness. Seniors are already a group that can withstand the harmful effects of this vaccine the least...
Again, the CDC is asking you to be a part of a large public health experiment, which is why we're warning you.
Is the Vaccine Safe for Pregnant Women? Nobody Knows!
If you are a pregnant woman, you and your unborn child may be the most defenseless of all potential vaccine casualties in the national influenza vaccine experiment.
Barbara Loe Fisher states she is very concerned about the issue of pregnant women getting flu shots7 because of the lack of scientific data about the effects of this vaccine—particularly the H1N1 component—on pregnant women and their unborn babies.
"Last summer the NIH announced they were doing studies in children, adults and pregnant women with the H1N1 swine flu vaccine. About 120 pregnant women were supposed to be enrolled in a study in early September… We have yet to see any announcement of the results of those studies."
And without any scientific evidence about safety, are you supposed to blindly accept that flu vaccines are safe for you and your unborn child?
Here's another startling fact making this year's vaccination policy even more unconscionable.
What does this mean exactly?
Category C is for drugs that do not have enough human or animal studies to establish safety, OR adverse fetal effects have been seen in animal studies but there is little human data.
According to FDA:
"Category C drugs are drugs that are more likely to cause problems for the mother or fetus. Also includes drugs for which safety studies have not been finished. The majority of these drugs do not have safety studies in progress. These drugs often come with a warning that they should be used only if the benefits of taking them outweigh the risks.
If you are a pregnant woman, your doctor may be pressuring you to get a drug that is not approved for you! This is just idiotic.
Thimerosal-containing vaccines are considered hazardous waste8 and can't be thrown into a garbage can, poured down a sink, or flushed down a toilet because of the mercury—they're considered environmentally toxic. Yet, they want to inject them into your baby?
Why would anyone, pregnant or otherwise, want to be injected with a substance that is too toxic to dispose of down a drain?
Evidence-Based Medicine Flushed Down the Drain: FLU SHOTS DON'T WORK
Not only do flu shots weaken your immune system, expose you to toxins, and cause allergies and other adverse reactions, they don't work.
Yes, you read that correctly. Besides being fraught with complications, flu vaccines simply don't work to decrease flu incidence or flu mortality. Flu vaccinations keep coming up short in study after study—way short—when it comes to having any measurable impact on what matters most, which is reducing illness and mortality from the flu.
After the largest flu-vaccination campaign in Canadian history, a Canadian-led study9 (through the Cochrane Collaboration, a highly respected international network of researchers who analyze the scientific evidence, including the methodology, used in clinical trials) concluded that vaccinating nursing home workers had no effect on confirmed influenza cases among the homes' elderly residents.
Lead researcher Dr. Roger Thomas explained:
"What troubled us is that [shots] had no effect on laboratory-confirmed influenza. What we were looking for is proof that influenza ... is decreased.
Didn't find it.
We looked for proof that pneumonia is reduced. Didn't find it. We looked for proof deaths from pneumonia are reduced.
Didn't find it."
In fact, in April of 2010, Michael Osterholm, director of the national Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), publicly admitted that flu shots don't work in the elderly.
One factor that may explain this is the "healthy user" effect.
Lisa Jackson's 'Healthy User' Effect
Lisa Jackson, a physician and senior investigator with the Group Health Research Center in Seattle, found that healthy people tend to choose flu vaccination, while the "frail elderly" didn't or couldn't. Her research suggested that flu vaccine itself does not reduce mortality at all.10
Healthy (and health-conscious) people tend to get the vaccine AND come down with flu less often, not because of the vaccine itself but because they are healthier to start with.
"The reductions in risk before influenza season indicate preferential receipt of vaccine by relatively healthy seniors... the magnitude of the bias demonstrated by the associations before the influenza season was sufficient to account entirely for the associations observed during influenza season."
Unfortunately, Jackson's papers were turned down for publication in the leading medical journals.
If You Think You Have the Flu, the Odds Are Five to One You Don't
You may not be aware that only about 20 percent of flu-like illnesses are actually caused by influenza type A or B, according to CDC. The other 80 percent are caused by more than 200 other bugs that can make you feel just as sick - respiratory syncytial virus, bocavirus, coronavirus, and rhinovirus, to name a few.
Every day, you're around viruses and bacteria, and when you're healthy, you usually don't get sick. But even if you do get sick, most healthy adults and children will not have a problem with influenza.
If you do come down with influenza and have a good immune response, you will likely quickly recover without serious complications, as well as obtain natural immunity to that strain of influenza and to similar ones.
Respiratory infections statistically increase with age as the average person's immune system generally weakens. When a person over age 65 dies of respiratory failure after a flu-like illness, their cause of death is nearly always labeled as influenza even if it is actually due to bacterial pneumonia.
The vaccine industry loves to attribute many deaths in the elderly to influenza because it pumps up the influenza mortality statistics and helps make a case for use of influenza vaccine.
But you have to die of something, and dying of respiratory viruses is quite common. Just remember this when reading flu mortality statistics: very few deaths from respiratory illnesses are actually caused by type A or type B influenza viruses.
You Could Already Be Immune to the Flu!
Vaccine-acquired immunity is temporary, whereas the immunity you get by recovering from influenza is longer lasting. Look at Baby Boomers, for example. Evidence shows, if you are an aging baby boomer born prior to 1957, you are more protected and have a lower risk for pandemic H1N1 influenza that circulated in 2009 and other related influenza strains.
Because you have long-lasting antibodies that help you resist influenza, antibodies that you acquired by recovering from similar strains of influenza in past decades. Unfortunately, if public health officials and drug companies marketing vaccines have their way, your children and grandchildren won't be allowed the opportunity to develop this important natural immunity to type A and type B influenza strains.
So the question is this: why do we continue doing something that has been proven ineffective many times over? As the saying goes, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results."
The real way to prevent the flu is through optimal lifestyle and nutrition, and getting plenty of vitamin D, lowering stress and getting the right amount of sleep, and Western medical science has glossed right over that.
Tom Jefferson is a physician based in Rome and the head of the Vaccines Field at the Cochrane Collaboration. Jefferson leads an international team of researchers who have combed through hundreds of flu-vaccine studies and have concluded the majority of these studies are "deeply flawed."11
"Rubbish is not a scientific term, but I think it's the term that applies... We have built huge, population-based policies on the flimsiest of scientific evidence. The most unethical thing to do is to carry on business as usual."
I couldn't agree more.
How You CAN Make a Difference!
Don't sit this one out! We've got them "on the run."
Tell everyone. Tell your friends, your family. With a little bit of effort, you can make significant strides toward preserving your freedom to make voluntary health decisions affecting you and your children's future.
One of the top goals for NVIC is preserving your freedom of choice about if and when to use vaccines. As part of that mission, this non-profit charity has been fighting for your right to make informed VOLUNTARY vaccine choices since 1982.
During the Vaccine Awareness Week, NVIC is launching the online NVIC Advocacy Portal that will give you the tools you need to take action to protect legal medical, religious and conscientious belief exemptions to vaccination in YOUR state.
Right now, you need to register for the NVIC Advocacy Portal today! And while you are at it, please make a donation to NVIC so they can continue fighting on behalf of all Americans to make sure we don't lose our informed consent rights when it comes to vaccination.
Your donations to the NVIC help fund efforts that raise vaccine awareness, including the following excellent vaccine resources:
- State Vaccine Requirements
- Influenza Mini Guide Ebook
- Special Report: Influenza Vaccine Mandates Ineffective & Unwise
- Are You Over Vaccinating Your Child?
- Vaccine Ingredients Calculator
- How to Legally Avoid Immunizations
For information about legally avoiding immunizations in Canada, please see the Canadian Vaccination Liberation website
If you order products from Mercola.com this week, you will also receive a free Mini Guide to Flu Vaccine with your order. Plus, Mercola.com will make a donation to NVIC with every order!
If you order products from Mercola.com this week, we will make a donation to NVIC with every order!
Remember, we DID make a difference last year—the flu vaccine was not mandated! But there are new threats to our freedom this year as health care workers are being threatened with being fired if they don't get a flu shot. We need to push back now or, like NVIC's President said recently, we all could be next to be targeted for punishments if we don't get a flu shot every year.
By educating people, by giving them the information they weren't getting, we made the difference last year. And this year, we can do it again. Join with me and NVIC and get involved.
Stay tuned to this newsletter for more updates, or follow the National Vaccine Information Center on Facebook. Together we CAN make a difference!