Flu vaccine Heads UP!

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Afriend sent this to me. She didn't include a source.

http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2003/10/27/focus6.html?jst=s_rs_hl "MedImmune, the manufacturer of FluMist, recently announced that it signed an agreement that makes FluMist, the new intranasal influenza vaccine, readily available to people as they shop at Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer." [1]

As the physician in charge of a bustling integrative medical clinic, questions about vaccines frequently arise. After reading about the MedImmune-Walmart joint venture, I felt compelled to warn our patients and our Internet subscribers of the potentially serious complications that may come from direct and passive exposure to this new vaccine. I also wanted to give a "heads up" to everyone regarding the onslaught of advertising that is about to besiege them.

Hundreds of TV and print advertisements have been designed to persuade everyone into taking the FluMist plunge. The campaign will be the "most intense, direct-to-consumer marketing campaign ever waged for a vaccine," costing an estimated $25 million over the next 2.5 months [2]. In addition, Wyeth, MedImmune's partner, plans a three-year, $100 million campaign to encourage use of the nasal flu vaccine among physicians. [3]

The television arm of the blitz campaign will focus on the "inconveniences" that your family, friends and co-workers will endure if you don't get the flu shot and subsequently contract the flu. Print advertisements and magazine articles apparently will use scare tactics--similar to those that were used while promoting the smallpox vaccine--which warned of the high possibility of a "bioterror attack using the flu virus."[4]

Apparently, the goal seems to center around frightening--or inducing enough guilt--so that everyone would begin to demand the vaccine as soon as it is available. And at nearly $70 a dose, this will be a financial bonanza for MedImmune and Wyeth, who are expecting the vaccine to become the blockbuster new drug that will push MedImmune's revenues to more than $1 billion/year. [5]

However, there are many reasons for caution. FluMist contains live (attenuated) influenza viruses that replicate in the nasopharynx of the vaccine recipient. The most common side effects include "cough, runny nose/nasal congestion, irritability, headaches, chills, muscle aches and fever > 100° F."[6] These symptoms are nearly identical to those the flu vaccine is designed to prevent. [7]

A cause for significant concern is the vaccine's most prevalent side effects: "runny nose" and "nasal congestion." It has been documented that the live viruses from the vaccine can be shed (and potentially spread into the community) from recipient children for up to 21 days, [8] and even longer from adults. [9] Viral shedding also puts breastfeeding infants at risk if the mother has been given FluMist. [10]

In addition to shedding via nasal secretions, the virus can be dispersed through sneezing. What is the normal physiological response when an irritant enters the nasal passages? A sneeze . sometimes a big sneeze . sometimes several big sneezes. Therefore, the risk for shedding--and spreading--live viruses throughout a school, church, workplace or store--especially one which is administering the vaccine.

In the section of the FluMist package insert labeled "PRECAUTIONS," the manufacturer states the following warning:

"FluMist® recipients should avoid close contact with immunocompromised individuals for at least 21 days."

The warning is specifically directed toward those living in the same household with an immunocompromised person, but the on-going release of live viruses throughout the community may be a significant risk to everyone who has a weak, or weakened, immune system.

The number of immunocompromised people in the United States is enormous:

It is estimated that at least 10 percent, or more than 28 million people have eczema. [11] More than 8.5 million people have cancer. [12] There are reported to be 850,000 individuals with diagnosed and undiagnosed HIV infection or AIDS [13] Based on 2001 data, there were 184,000 organ recipients [14] An even more extensive list of at-risk people includes the untold millions on drugs called corticosteroids. Prednisone®, Medrol®, and a variety of similar medications given to both adults and children. These drugs are prescribed for dozens of conditions including asthma, allergies, eczema, emphysema, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, herniated spinal discs, acute muscular pain syndromes, and all types of rheumatoid and autoimmune diseases. As much as 60 percent of the entire population could be considered to be "chemically immunosuppressed." It is important to realize that FluMist is CONTRAINDICATED for people who are immunocompromised. People who receive FluMist and are living with an immunocompromised person put their loved ones at risk.

Will this make stores that administer the vaccines--like Walmart and the other pharmaceutical chain stores that have announced they will carry FluMist [15]--risky places to shop for large segments of the population? What measures will be taken in these stores to ensure that the virus will not become commingled with food? What hand washing policy is going to be enforced in the stores for all Walmart employees and customers who have received FluMist? These are reasonable questions that deserve answers.

The target market for FluMist is "healthy children and adults, ages 5 to 49 years." Some believe that by vaccinating these people, a type of "herd immunity" will occur that will protect the very young and the elderly who are excluded from getting this vaccine. However, it is these very "at-risk" populations who may suffer the most from the flu by being exposed to people who are given FluMist.

According to information presented at the May 2003 National Influenza Summit, [16] approximately 85 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 50 go unvaccinated, and nearly 66 percent between the ages of 50 and 64 do not receive the flu vaccine. Have there been "raging epidemics" across the country due to lack of flu vaccinations? It appears that the massive campaign to vaccinate everyone this year may be motivated, in part, by economics.

The viruses suspected to be the most likely cause for the flu this season were negligibly different from the strains used in last year's flu vaccine. Therefore, the influenza vaccine produced for the 2003- 2004 season is identical in composition to the one used last year. This marks only the second time that the same strains have been used during two consecutive flu seasons. [17] Consider that antibodies from other viral vaccines--such as MMR, polio and chickenpox vaccines- -last at least three years, and in some instances, up to 15 years. If the viruses used in the vaccine are the same as last year, why is this year's vaccine even necessary?

An even greater concern about FluMist is the contents within the vaccine. Each 0.5 ml of the formula contains 10 6.5-7.5 particles of live, attenuated influenza virus. That means that between 10 million and 100 million viral particles will be forcefully injected into the nostrils when administered. The viral strain was developed by serial passage through "specific pathogen-free primary chick kidney cells" and then grown in "specific pathogen-free eggs." That means that the culture media was free of pathogens that were specifically tested for, but not a culture that was necessarily "pathogen-free." The risk that the vaccine may contain contaminant avian retroviruses still remains. In addition, a stabilizing buffer containing potassium phosphate, sucrose (table sugar) and nearly 0.5 mg of monosodium glutamate (MSG) is added to each dose. [18]

One of the most troubling concerns over the injection of this "chemical soup" is the potential for the viruses to enter directly into the brain. At the top of the nasal passages is a paper- thin bone called the cribriform plate. The olfactory nerves pass through this bone and line the nasal passages, carrying messenger molecules to the brain that are identified as "smells" familiar to us. The olfactory tract has long been recognized as a direct pathway to the brain. Intranasal injection of certain viruses has resulted in a serious brain infection called encephalitis, presumably by direct infection of the olfactory neurons that carried the viruses to the brain. [19] Time will tell whether the live viruses in FluMist will become linked to cases of encephalitis.

The pharmaceutical companies do not necessarily always do a reasonable job of considering the "down side" when they are pushing new drugs or new vaccines. FluMist has the potential for causing the worst, most severe flu epidemic seen in years. Parents tell their young children not to put things up their noses because they might cause them harm. It would be wise to consider that advice for adults. With all the risks involved, one should be extremely cautious about what one allows to be sprayed in one's nose.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little Bit Farm (littlebit@itlnet.net), November 02, 2003


I am in complete agreement. i wopuld say that perhaps an elderly person might on some off chance benifit from flu shots, however the vaccine is only made as a best guess for flu strains. A good portion of the time they are wrong! so the elderly get the flu anyway.

Little bit Farm

-- Little Bit Farm (littlebit@brightok.net), November 03, 2003.

Ahh, but doc Kirk, saying that you don't believe in them is tantamount to admitting to child abuse these days. People look at you like you are a bad mother. They start talking about herd immunity. And doctors act like it is the end of the world if you admit it.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little Bit Farm (littlebit@brightok.net), November 13, 2003.

The problem I have with this issue is the attitude behind it. In my opinion it is ridiculous that Rubella has ever been included in a vaccine, as the immunity provided is never as good as actually getting the disease. Rubella is a disease that if an adult pregnant woman gets it, will seriously deform her child. Therefore children should be allowed to get this mild childhood infection, and the only time the vaccine is used should be when the woman is an adult that hasn't had the disease. I had rubella as a child when my pregnant mother got the disease, and subsequently lost her child. My immunity is off the scale. I actually want my daughter to get rubella, although it is highly unlikely, as I allowed a doctor to talk me into giving her a MMR. Now there is a very real chance that her immunity could fail, and have her get the disease as an adult. I vaccinated my daughter the latest, and she is the healthiest child I have had. She gets sick less, and when she does she gets over it fast. I believe that is because her immune system had time to mature before being assaulted by vaccinations. I definitely do not believe that 3-4 week old babies should be receiving any kind of immunizations. Their little immune systems should not be assaulted before they have had time to mature. Of course, it is also not a necessity when we feed our children the way God intended them to be fed. A breastfed child receives immunity from it's mother, and is less susceptable to infection.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little Bit Farm (littlebit@brightok.net), November 14, 2003.

There you go! However people are supposed to take Flumist for herd immunity. I guess the herd will be immune to the wrong thing!

Little bit Farm

-- Little Bit Farm (littlebit@brightok.net), November 21, 2003.

The shot gives you the flu too, so why bother getting it anyway....

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), November 03, 2003.

It was not too long ago that they were recommending that babies 6 months and older get flu shots, which to me is just ridiculous. I agree with you that in certain cases, such as the elderly (I know there's another group that it is recommended to, but can't remember it right now), it's a good idea, but I don't think that it does the vast majority of people any good.

The easiest way to keep from getting the flu is to wash your hands often, and not with that antibacterial stuff, just soap and the warmest water you can stand. If you handle money all day (cashier, for example), be extra careful not to touch your face and hands.

I am always wary about using things when they first come out (and fortunately we're all pretty healthy), because I don't think they do enough testing.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), November 03, 2003.

The flu shot is a killed vaccine, and so I don't believe you can actually get the flu from it. It is certainly worth the while to me to get it. The flu mist is a different story, because of the live virus. It has been test marketed in this area for a few years, and we can still get it free here. But I hesitate because to me it just seems ridiculous to spray a live virus up my nose. lol. It is supposed to cover more strains of the flu than the shot.

-- mary (mary@nospam.com), November 04, 2003.

I think I'm going to depend on my own body's natural immunity to protect me against the flu!! While at my annual physical last month, my doctor said that at my age I should consider getting a flu shot every fall. I said no thank you and that I figured that with a healthy diet and certain vitamins/antioxidents I'm taking, getting the flu was the furthest from my mind! I don't believe she agreed with me :-)!!!

-- Marcia (HrMr@webtv.net), November 04, 2003.

The following was sent to me by: http://gentlewindsinc.younglivingworld.com

Subject: Flu Shot Facts

INFORMATION WE FIND IMPORTANT TO SHARE..... All you need do is keep a strong and healthy immune system. FLU SHOT FACTS

"If a person has had five (5) consecutive flu shots - their chance of contracting Alzheimer's Disease is 10x higher than the non-vaccinated person." By Dr. Hugh Fudenberg, MD, Ph.D - author of over 800 pepers/research in Medicine, Biology and Immunology.

Vaccine ingredients:

Thimerosal (Mercury Disinfectant/Preservative)

Aluminum (Additive to promote antibody response)

Formaldehyde (Disinfectant)

Ethylene Glycol (Anti-Freeze - DEADLY POISON)

Phenol (Disinfectant, Dye)

Benzethonium Chloride (Antiseptic)

Methylparaben (Antifungal, preservative, Petrochemical)

Mercury toxicity can result in brain injury and autoimmune injury. Aluminum is associated with Alzheimer's Disease and Seizures. Formaldehyde causes cancer. It is hazardous waste and no longer permitted as an ingredient in building insulation.

-- Terry - NW Ohio (aunt_tm@hotmail.com), November 05, 2003.

I have always wanted to be in control of what is put into my body. Only once did I receive a flu shot, in error, by a nurse who was supposed to be giving me a tetanus shot! I am immunosuppressed due to cancer & certainly worry about fighting flu, but my biggest worry now is all the hype about how you can pass the flu to the innocent old & young if you do not get a shot for yourself. Now I feel guilty & that is what this 'industry' is preying on.

-- winifred fielding (cyber_lobo@hotmail.com), November 08, 2003.

I look at the flu as an inconvenience, nothing more. Yes, there are some groups for whom it is dangerous to get the flu, but the vast majority of us don't need that particular shot.

Now, polio or other deadly diseases, on the other hand, I have no qualms about getting shots for those.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), November 08, 2003.

I agree, GT!! The public gets so many vaccinations and warnings about how to protect themselves against everything...the human body is forgeting how to do it on it's own!! Polio, smallpox, anthrax and others are the ones we should be vaccinating for.

-- Marcia (HrMr@webtv.net), November 08, 2003.

I spoke with a nurse today who was administering the regular flu shots at Mass--we have quite a few seniors--and she said that as far as FluMist, if she were to get that instead of a regular shot, she was required to take off from work for a while due to being infectious. How dumb is that?

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), November 09, 2003.

I have reseached ALL vaccines including the "flu shot". FACT: Vaccines did not wipe out diseases! Early infectious diseases were over 90% resolved by the time vaccines came on the market. Look at mortality rates from the 1900's to the present date and see when the vaccine came out. And.... the Black Plague went away all by itself..there was never a vaccine marketed for that disease. Strange huh?????? Also, these vaccines are not tested for safety and they are loaded with ingredients such as mercury( destroys nerve tissue, and yes it is in 3 vaccines and that damm flu shot), aluminum (linked to alzheimers and a toxic to nerves and brain tissue), human blood, animal blood, antifreeze, formeldylhyde( cancer-causing), egg, chicken and milk protein ( I hope you are checking your newborns and loved ones for egg,milk,chicken,and antibiotic allergies, because the damn med docs aren't), They also include monkey kidney tissue, mouse brain,aborted fetus cell tissue,(yes folks, thats right, FETUS!) And then they add some whole cell or live virus or bacteria that is supposedly weakened and they mix it all together and stick that bio- engineered PUS into youe newborn and loved ones. NOW YOU TELL ME!! THAT IS SUPPOSED TO MAKE YOU HEALTHY???? gimme a break..use common sense, don't let these money-grubbing drug companies and lying health professionals force you into subjecting your loved ones to this LIE. Are you trusting these people in "blind-faith". The majority of you are. The facts are all there, showing the dangers of all vaccines. But you have to do some work. The TV and media is being paid a "pretty-penny" to say whatever the drug companies tell them. Think I am full of it?? I would be happy to address any questions or concerns and give you information to back my claims. Sincerely, doc kirk

-- doc kirk (kirkdc@hotmail.com), November 13, 2003.

just wanted to post another tidbit

FACT: ALL cases of polio..i repeat, ALL cases of polio, since 1979, have been caused from the polio vaccine... SO, WHY WOULD YOU VACCINATE YOUR CHILD FOR POLIO? answer..if you want your child to get polio!!! isn't this crazy?? doc kirk

ps. I am NOT one of those "anti-governemnt,anti-science people". That is what the pro-vaccine people call me. You may email me for any resources to back my claims, I am publishing a book on the topic and it should be out for release next summer.

-- doc kirk (kirkdc@hotmail.com), November 13, 2003.

The polio vaccine was changed within the last few years (no longer is it an oral vaccine) because of those few cases. Anyone who lived through the times of polio and other major diseases and knew people who died or were seriously disabled from them would have been happy for a vaccine.

To vaccinate or not is a personal decision, as long as you're willing to live with the consequences and not expect the government to bail you out.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), November 13, 2003.

Little Bit Farm, you bring up an interesting question--is a disease/virus any less deadly if you get it from a close relative or from a stranger? I wonder if any studies have been done. I've never heard or read of anyone getting rubella anywhere we've lived, although that may be because most are vaccinated.

Although I really think those thinking of getting shots for the flu and other such diseases should look at their own lifestyles to see if they are more or less at risk. For example, a SAH parent is going to be around a lot fewer people on a daily basis than a supermarket clerk, or anyone who has to count lots of money daily. I cringe every time I see someone touch thumb to tongue before counting money--yuck.

And people should also look at where they live. It is one thing if you live in an area where the same families have been around for years, but if you are in an area where people are moving in and out constantly, or in a tourist area, or live in a port where people from other countries where vaccination rates are low to nonexistent jump ship, you might be better off taking the relatively small chance that something will go wrong with a vaccine.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), November 18, 2003.

The flu vaccine must be manufactured several months in advance of each year's flu season. The manufacturers give their best guess as to what flu strains will be prevalent in the coming year and include them in the vaccine. This year their guess was wrong. The strain of flu currently spreading across the country was not included in this year's vaccine, so the flu shots given this year are essentially worthless. The CDC is concerned that the flu season has started so early this year and have predicted that this year's flu season will be brutal.

-- Sherri C (CeltiaSkye@nospam.com), November 18, 2003.

Yes, Sherri, I would think them worthless too but in our local newspaper the health department is still pushing the flu shots, saying they are better than nothing!! Can anyone explain why that would be? Of course, they did not give a reason in the article, but some inquring minds do want to know :-).

-- Terry - NW Ohio (aunt_tm@hotmail.com), November 21, 2003.

A friend of mine made a statement the other night that every time he gets a flu shot he notices that he doesn't get a cold the rest of the winter either. I asked him if he had gotten a flu shot or a cold shot? Of course the Guvmint has not developed a cold shot yet. But I was wondering? How many other people out there have heard the same thing from thier family or friends? I believe it is psychosomatic in them believing that they are not going to get a cold JUST because they recieved a FLU shot. Anyone else out there have any agrements or ideas on this?

-- David Tucker (rjd@bigsky.net), January 03, 2004.

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