By Dr. Mercola
High-risk patients with chronic, underlying health conditions that increase the risk of severe illness and death after influenza infection are among the first of all groups that public health officials target to receive flu vaccinations.
This population is targeted for vaccination despite the fact that very few studies have ever examined the efficacy – or safety - of vaccinations in this high risk group...
One recent study on the effectiveness of the 2009-2010 season's H1N1 vaccine provides solid evidence against the effectiveness of vaccinating persons at high risk for complications from influenza infection.
The study found that, although hundreds of thousands were vaccinated, hospital admissions due to H1N1 influenza virus did not diminish.
The Danish study included more than 388,000 people under the age of 65 with a diagnosis in the past five years of at least one underlying chronic disease expected to increase the risk of complications and severe illness from influenza infection.
According to the study, published in the British Medical Journali:
"... [T]his vaccine ... only offered non-significant protection against influenza related hospital admissions confirmed as H1N1 infection. This finding is of public health relevance because the population of chronically ill people is a major target group for pandemic vaccinations".
H1N1 Vaccine was Not Only Ineffective, But Unusually Dangerous...
As you may recall, the fast-tracked pandemic 2009-2010 H1N1 swine flu vaccine turned out to be particularly reactive—far more reactive than previous seasonal flu vaccines. One of the most disturbing side effects of some of the pandemic H1N1 swine flu vaccines marketed in Europe – which contained squalene adjuvants - was narcolepsy; a very rare and disabling neurological disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness. About 70 percent of narcolepsy cases also involve cataplexy -- the sudden loss of voluntary muscle control – along with vivid hallucinations and total paralysis at the beginning or end of the narcoleptic attack.
One of the H1N1 vaccines identified as a culprit was GlaxoSmithKline's Pandemrix vaccine, which was licensed by European government regulators and sold in a number of European countries (but not in the U.S.). The Pandemrix package insertii actually states that "somnolence", although not narcolepsy per se, is a known potential side effect of the drug.
This is a perfect example of how dangerous it can be to blindly trust government health authorities and vaccine makers, and how badly things can go wrong. As you know, health authorities around the globe fiercely maintain that vaccines are safe, regardless of what's happening in the real world. Time and again, serious side effects from vaccines are overlooked and swept under the rug as being "coincidental."
Not so in this case.
Here, there's no discussion about whether or not narcolepsy was caused by the vaccine; it's been proven to be a vaccine injury by experts in multiple countries.
For example, according to Swedish findings, children and adolescents vaccinated with Pandemrix during the 2009-10 season had a close to 660 percent increase in risk for narcolepsy. Finland also noticed a dramatic increase in the condition following vaccination with Pandemrix. There, an interim report issued in January of last year found that the pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine increased the risk of narcolepsy by 900 percent in children and adolescents below the age of 19iii. France, Germany and Norway also reported cases of the rare sleeping disorder, causing the EU to launch an investigation as well.
Children Struggle with Vaccine-Induced Narcolepsy
Now, a number of European parents, whose children developed narcolepsy following their Pandemrix swine flu vaccination, say their children are beginning to fall behind at school. According to a recent report in The Herald, an Irish paper:
"So far, 22 children in this country have been diagnosed with narcolepsy after vaccination with Pandemrix and a further nine are waiting for tests and test results. The children and young adults range in age from five to 21 and come from all over Ireland. They developed the condition after vaccination with Pandemrix in late 2009/2010.
... The parents have asked that a centre of excellence be established and that where family doctors see children with day-time sleepiness who had been vaccinated with Pandemrix, they should refer these children to the centre...
The special needs section of the Department of Education responded with a letter "merely setting out supports already in place which parents/schools can apply for on an individual basis"... Much of this letter referred to 'disability' and 'special needs' -- narcolepsy (and cataplexy) is not legally classed as either. ... It is vital for our children's futures that their new needs are accommodated within the school environment, otherwise they cannot hope to have the same future we looked forward to prior to their diagnosis."
This brief article actually highlights the real-life ramifications of a failed vaccination policy promoted by public health officials using an influenza vaccine that was not tested in large clinicial trials before widespread use. The lives of these children have been irrevocably altered and, yet, will anyone be held accountable? In most countries, including the U.S., public health officials recommending vaccines and doctors giving vaccines and vaccine manufacturers marketing vaccines are not held liable in a civil court of law when vaccines injure or kill people. In Europe, parents of children injured by Pandemrix vaccine are now struggling against bureaucracy to receive help for their vaccine-injured children.
Only one country's government, so far, has stepped forward and is taking financial responsibility for the lifelong medical expenses the affected children will accrue. In October of last year, after finding a conclusive link between the Pandemrix flu vaccine and narcolepsy, the Finnish government and major insurance companies announced they will pay for lifetime medical care for children stricken with narcolepsy as a result of getting the H1N1 vaccine.
Other Harmful Effects of 2009/10 H1N1 Vaccines Around the World
The 2009/10 pandemic H1N1 swine flu vaccines clearly appear to have been more reactive than past seasonal flu vaccines and different brands had different effects. While Europe saw a dramatic increase in narcolepsy with the vaccines they used, Australia temporarily suspended its seasonal flu vaccine program for children under the age of five after detecting an abnormal number of side effects within 12 hours of vaccination, compared to previous years.
The pandemic H1N1 vaccine in question in Australia was Fluvax, manufactured by CSL Limited. Side effects included high fevers and seizures. One infant also lapsed into a coma. However, after a three-month long investigation, the Australian Department of Health resumed seasonal flu vaccinations for young children, stating that "the higher than usual occurrence of fever and febrile convulsions appears to be confined to the vaccine Fluvax," and advised parents to continue vaccinating their children with another brandiv...
In August of 2010 the Korea Herald also reported that nearly 2,600 side effects had been reported to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in association with the pandemic swine flu vaccine.v There, side effects included fevers, headaches and allergic responses, and 10 deaths.
In the US, the pandemic H1N1 swine flu vaccine has been statistically linked with abnormally high rates of miscarriage and stillbirths. As reported by Steven Rubin, PhD, who developed and operates MedAlerts on NVIC.org, the U.S. pandemic H1N1 flu vaccine was 60 times more likely to be reported to VAERS to be associated with miscarriage than previous seasonal flu vaccines!vi
Why Do Vaccines Cause Reactions?
It is very clear that vaccines do not cause problems for everyone who receives them but, when they do, it can be an unmitigated disaster. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has identified a brilliant strategy to help assess children who may be at higher risk for developing side effects from vaccines of all kinds. In her clinical experience, vaccine complication risks are often related to gut flora, which is typically transferred from the mother who was compromised due to poor diet, antibiotics and/or birth control pills. She maintains that children with compromised gut flora are at the highest risk for developing vaccine complications and suffering neurological damage.
Dr. Campbell-McBride suggests there are simple tests that can be done to evaluate whether a child has compromised gut flora or other risk factors BEFORE they are vaccinated. If they are at risk, then a comprehensive protocol may help reverse the problem before any vaccines are administered (although even perfectly healthy children can suffer vaccine reactions or injuries). Dr. Campbell-McBride's protocol is carefully described in her wonderful book Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia.
Total Video Length: 1:13:21
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Flu Vaccines Proven Ineffective for Seniors Again and Again
When you start looking around, you'll realize that the lack of evidence that flu shots are effective and safe is actually fairly robust, and rapidly mounting. In recent years, we've seen a number of studies published in the medical literature that debunk the myth that the influenza vaccine actually prevents the flu but most of these studies have been completely ignored by mainstream media, of course.
Below is a sampling of studies demonstrating the ineffectiveness of flu vaccines in the elderly, which is another group heavily targeted for seasonal flu vaccination. Some of these studies also explain that earlier positive results appear to have been due to various types of bias and, when the bias is removed, the touted benefits of getting annual flu shots disappear.
This is not an exhaustive list of influenza vaccine studies. For additional studies demolishing the claim that the flu vaccine is an effective prevention strategy, see this previous article about the Flu-Zone High Dose vaccine. (In it you will also find a comprehensive list of alternative therapies that can help you combat colds and common respiratory infections without drugs.)
Functional status is a confounder of the association of influenza vaccine and risk of all cause mortality in seniors. Int J Epidemiol. 2006 Apr;35(2):345-52 According to the authors: "... disability indicators tended to be associated with both a higher risk of death and a decreased likelihood of vaccination. Consequently, adjustment for the functional status indicators moved the estimate of the association of influenza vaccination and risk of death closer to the null..."
Influenza vaccination and risk of community-acquired pneumonia in immunocompetent elderly people: a population-based, nested case-control study. Lancet. 2008 Aug 2;372(9636):398-405.
The authors concluded that "... influenza vaccination was not associated with a reduced risk of community-acquired pneumonia during the influenza season"
Evidence of bias in estimates of influenza vaccine effectiveness in seniors. Int J Epidemiol. 2006 Apr;35(2):337-44 The authors concluded that, "The reductions in risk before influenza season indicate preferential receipt of vaccine by relatively healthy seniors. Adjustment for diagnosis code variables did not control for this bias. In this study, 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. "
Benefits of examining influenza vaccine associations outside of influenza season
Comment on: Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008 Sep 1;178(5):527-33. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008 Sep 1;178(5):439-40. The authors explain how their approach "show that the lower risks of all-cause mortality and pneumonia hospitalization consistently observed in studies comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated community-dwelling seniors during influenza season are largely, or perhaps entirely, due to bias..."
Mortality benefits of influenza vaccination in elderly people: an ongoing controversy. Lancet Infect Dis. 2007 Oct;7(10):658-66 According to the authors: "Recent excess mortality studies were unable to confirm a decline in influenza-related mortality since 1980, even as vaccination coverage increased from 15% to 65%... 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. The remaining evidence base is currently insufficient to indicate the magnitude of the mortality benefit, if any, that elderly people derive from the vaccination programme."
Relation of study quality, concordance, take home message, funding, and impact in studies of influenza vaccines: systematic review. BMJ. 2009 Feb 12;338:b354 According to the authors: "Evidence is of poor quality, and studies with conclusions in favor of vaccines are of significantly lower methodological quality. Influenza vaccines studies sponsored by industry are published in journals with higher impact factors and are cited more but are of similar size and quality to the others."
It's worth keeping in mind that scientists and doctors are regularly shocked and confused when they are faced with new complications of licensed drugs, vaccines and chemicals in consumer products they recommend people use. These days, unforeseen consequences seem to be more the norm rather than the exception when it comes to the dangers of prescription drugs and vaccines.
Here's a perfect example:
According to recent research published in JAMA, the more children are exposed to perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), the less likely they are to have a good immune response to vaccinationsvii. The finding suggests that these chemicals can affect children's immune system enough to make them more vulnerable to infectious diseases. Isn't that something! Who knew?! PFCs can be found in nonstick coatings, stain-resistant fabrics, and food packaging, and are known to persist in the environment for many years. According to a January 24 NPR reportviii:
"Normally, a vaccine causes the production of lots of antibodies to a specific germ. But ... the response to tetanus and diphtheria vaccines was much weaker in 5-year-olds whose blood contained relatively high levels of PFCs ... The health effects of PFCs are still poorly understood. But in the past decade, government scientists have become increasingly concerned about possible links to developmental problems in children."
The results were actually quite striking. According to the study:
"In a structural equation model, a 2-fold greater concentration of major PFCs in child serum was associated with a difference of −49 percent in the overall antibody concentration. A 2-fold increase in PFOS and PFOA concentrations at age 5 years was associated with odds ratios between 2.38 and 4.20 for falling below a clinically protective level of 0.1 IU/mL for tetanus and diphtheria antibodies at age 7 years."
What that means, in plain English, is that when you double the presence of these nasty fluoride chemicals in your blood, the effectiveness of the vaccine (tetanus/diphtheria) was reduced, on average, by 350 percent. You and your children are exposed to literally thousands of artificial chemicals, most of which have been introduced into the environment only in the last 70 years or so. The vast majority of people have no idea that very few of these chemicals have been tested for safety, and that almost none have been tested to see how they interact with all the other chemicals.
With all of those untested interactions occurring, it's inevitable that there are going to be adverse effects. Yet public health officials have not stopped to consider the synergistic effects of chemicals and other toxins in the environment interacting with vaccines and prescription drugs. In this case, chemicals that children are commonly exposed to are interfering with vaccine effectiveness. In the case of the pandemic H1N1 swine flu vaccine, Pandemrix, the insistence by European public health officials that the vaccine was proven safe before licensure did not prove to be accurate.
Let's face it, the more vaccines you are injected with, the more drugs you take, and the more synthetic chemical products you use, the more likely it is that some of them are going to interact with each other in unknown and harmful ways.
So please, do your homework. Weigh the risks against the benefits for each and every drug and vaccine you take. Remember, knowledge is power. Arm yourself with accurate information about vaccination and health. Do your own research and talk to one or more trusted health care professionals before you make any health care decision.
Become an educated consumer and you will be empowered to defend your right to freely make voluntary choices about health, including vaccination, for yourself and your children. If you arm yourself with accurate information about vaccines and health, you will be prepared to intelligently and rationally discuss your vaccine choices with your family, friends, colleagues, doctors, elected officials and others in your community.
For more information on informed consent and vaccine exemptions in state public health laws, please see this important article by Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center.
If you conclude that you want to avoid certain vaccinations, then fortunately 18 states allow personal, philosophical or conscientious belief exemption to vaccination, and 48 states allow a religious exemption. Barbara Loe Fisher gave the best discussion of how to obtain a religious exemption that I have ever heard, and if that is something that interests you I encourage you to view the following video.
Unfortunately, vaccine exemptions are currently under attack in a number of states. This should be of great concern to Americans everywhere. Non-medical exemptions to vaccination, including the religious and conscientious belief exemptions, are necessary because one-size-fits-all vaccine mandates, such as the flu shot mandate currently being proposed for all health care workers, violate informed consent rights. The ethical principle of voluntary, informed consent to medical risk-taking is a human right.
Ultimately, our goal is to change the health paradigm so that everyone has the unobstructed freedom and legal right to make informed, voluntary choices about medical procedures, pharmaceutical product use and options for healing and staying well.
What You Can Do to Make a Difference
While it seems "old-fashioned," the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the legal right to informed consent to vaccination and expand vaccine exemptions in state public health laws, 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, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.
Signing up to be a user of NVIC's free online Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you access to practical information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. When national vaccine issues come up, you will have the latest information and call to action items you need at your fingertips to make sure your voice is heard.
With one click of a mouse on your computer or touch on your Smart phone screen, you can be in touch with YOUR state legislator IMMEDIATELY when NVIC emails you an Action Alert about threats to vaccine exemptions and choices in your state. So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Contact Your Elected Officials
NVIC will help educate you about how to write or email your elected state representatives and share your concerns. You might even want to call them, or better yet, make an appointment to visit them in person in their office. Don't let them forget you!
It is so important for you to reach out and make sure your concerns get on the radar screen of the leaders and opinion makers in your community, especially the politicians you elect and are directly involved in making vaccine laws in your state. These are your elected representatives, so you have a right and a responsibility to let them know what's really happening in your life and the lives of people you know when it comes to vaccine mandates. Be sure to share the "real life" experiences that you or people you know have had with vaccination.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
I also 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 by doctors or government officials for making independent vaccine choices.
Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One that Will Listen and Care
Last but not least, 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 for making independent vaccine choices is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment. Never stay in an abusive doctor/patient relationship.
If you are treated with disrespect or are harassed in any way by a doctor (or government official), do not engage in an unproductive argument. You may want to contact an attorney, your elected state representatives or local media if you or your child are threatened.
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.
- i BMJ 2012;344:d7901
- ii Pandemrix Package Insert
- iii National Narcolepsy Task Force Interim Report 31 January 2011
- iv Health.gov.au, Seasonal flu vaccination for young children can be resumed - Updated advice from the Chief Medical Officer
- v Side effects of flu vaccine warned of, The Korea Herald, August 27, 2010
- vi NVIC
- vii JAMA, 2012;307(4):391-397
- viii Common Chemicals Could Make Kids' Vaccines Less Effective, NPR, January 24, 2012