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Senator Dies From Sepsis, a Common Complication of Infection, Including Influenza

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

risk-benefit of vaccines

Story at-a-glance -

  • New York State Senator José Peralta — an outspoken proponent of annual flu vaccinations — died November 22, 2018, at the age of 47 from sudden septic shock
  • Sepsis is one of the leading causes of influenza-related deaths. When your immune system is weak, influenza can weaken it further, allowing a secondary infection to take hold. Sepsis is typically caused by this secondary infection
  • Before vaccines against the following diseases became available and were routinely used, the annual death toll in the U.S. from rubella was 17 to 24; mumps 39 to 50, chickenpox 105 to 138 and measles 440 to 552
  • For comparison, each year 100 people die from being struck by lightning, 200 die from choking on food, 350 die from slip and fall accidents in the bath or shower, 15,000 die from Clostridium difficile infections, 40,000 from car crashes and 250,000 from medical errors
  • While some vaccines have indisputably saved lives, one must also compare the estimated number of lives saved against the number of people harmed by that same vaccine. Unfortunately, it’s virtually impossible to accurately ascertain vaccine-related harm due to severe underreporting and lack of investigation of serious health problems reported after vaccination


When this article was published, the information on what caused Peralta’s death was that it was sepsis. Our source, the New York Post, quoted Peralta’s widow, who told the Post that the New York Medical Examiner’s (ME) office told her that Peralta died of organ failure due to septic shock, aka, sepsis.

Our reporting, like that of several major mainstream media, was done in good faith based on the information available at that time. As of January 15, 2019, the Post and other media have reported that Peralta died naturally from “complications of acute promyelocytic leukemia.” 

The Post added that “A source familiar with the ME’s determination noted that septic shock ‘was a complication directly related to the fact that he had cancer,’ noting there were likely other complications that contributed to his unexpected death.”

Original article:

When it comes to vaccination, it pays to do a risk-to-benefit evaluation before making up your mind. Public health officials argue that universal use vaccine recommendations and vaccine mandates have saved countless lives that would otherwise have been lost to infectious childhood diseases. What they fail to adequately address is accurately measuring the overall risk involved.

This applies no matter which vaccine is under question, although some vaccines are clearly more reactive or less effective than others, calling into question universal use policies and mandates: the hepatitis B vaccine for newborns, HPV vaccine and seasonal influenza vaccines being among the most obvious ones in this regard.

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