K.R. asks from Cockeysville, MD on August 24, 2009
Trying to Get Opinions and Information on the Swine Flu Vaccine
I am wondering if other mothers have done any research or have opinions on giving their children the new swine flu vaccine. I have heard some horror stories regarding the last swine vaccine in the 1970's. Apparently they are skipping all but the very preliminary test to make sure the vaccine is safe and effective in order to get the vaccine out ASAP. This bothers me, and I want to make sure I have all the information I can obtain before speaking to my pediatrician about this. Any advice, suggestions, facts that you may have please send along. Thanks :-)
4 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
I wanted to thank everyone for their responses, I plan on discussing all of this information with my pediatrician before I make a final decision. I personally plan on taking Astragalus for myself to see how effective it is, my father has been taking it and tells me it works very well. Astragalus helps with immune function. I am going to discuss this with my pediatrician as well, but will most likely not give it to my son due to his age and the lack of research. See article below for information on Astragalus:
Back to the swine vaccine. In some of my research, I have found the following information, so if I decide to give my son the swine flu shot I will be asking for the thimerosal-free versions and I suggest everyone take that into consideration for their family.
'Is it safe?
In 1976 more than 500 people contracted an autoimmune disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome after receiving swine-flu shots in response to a small outbreak in Fort Dix, N.J. Some people understandably fear a repeat of that tragic episode. However, vaccine-production techniques have changed since then. Today, vaccines are highly purified to eliminate any potential contaminants. In addition, scientists use only selected viral proteins in the shots, not the entire virus, as they did in the 1970s. "The public is comparing this vaccine to the 1976 swine-flu vaccine," says CDC spokesperson Abbigail Tumpey. "In fact, the best comparison is to the seasonal vaccines of the last ten years."
I'm concerned about reports of autism caused by vaccines.
Sore arms and mild fevers are not unusual after receiving seasonal flu shots. "But the science is extremely reassuring" that vaccines do not cause autism, says Kris Sheedy, director of community outreach for NCIRD. Anyone who's concerned about the mercury-based preservative thimerosal (which is added to multidose vials of flu vaccine to prevent contamination) can request one of the thimerosal-free versions: the nasal vaccine or a single-dose preloaded syringe. The government anticipates having enough of these to meet the demand for young children and pregnant women. (There are some individuals who cannot receive the nasal version, including children under 24 months, children under 5 with asthma or recurrent wheezing, and asthmatics in general.)'
Thank you again to everyone for your responses and opinions. I love the fact that I can use Mamasource as a resource so I can be more prepared when speaking with my pediatrician and making decisions for my family.
S.S. answers from Washington DC on August 25, 2009
I can only recommend that you be very cautious. There may be something that would counteract any negative reactions to this flu vaccine. I am also trying to research this. All moms are concerned about unnecessary vaccines. We know very little about any swine flu epidemics which would cause them to have to be so alarmed about this.
You are correct in talking to as many as possible about this.
T.J. answers from Washington DC on August 25, 2009
We will not be getting the vaccine either. It will be completely experimental. I have read that it will contain squalenne oil which is a substance that contributed to Gulf War Syndrome.
B.C. answers from Norfolk on August 25, 2009
My great grandmother died during the Spanish Flu of 1918 leaving 6 kids. My grandmother was the oldest at 12 yrs old and did her best to keep track where everyone was adopted out to families across New York and Pennsylvania. We take vaccines very seriously. We are fortunate in that we've never had any adverse reactions to them. This time around it looks like the flu is a mild one. We've all had a few spiky fevers this summer and may have had the flu already, but we'll still get the shot when it becomes available. There are no guarantees in life. It's still possible to get sick even with a vaccine. If one of my family died and I'd felt I hadn't done all I could to prevent it - well, I'd have a hard time living with myself. Hopefully we will not in our lifetime have a flu or epidemic so bad the morgues run out of room and mass graves have to be used to deal with the sheer number of bodies. (My grandmother knew the location of a mass grave in Scranton Pa - no markers, just a grassy mound. I don't know if that's where her mother was buried.) You've got to do what you feel is right for you. I don't like what big business has done to health care in this country. But when it comes to communicable diseases, I think the vaccine is the lessor of two evils.
1 mom found this helpful
L.S. answers from Richmond on August 25, 2009
Had this very discussion with some GF recently. These are comments from a good friend that I thought were particularly insightful. She works at an organization that develops vaccines not just for the flue:
Everyone should get a flu shot without execption. Even if you are healthy, the flu can take you down, also if you're healthy and get a mild case, you can pass your flu onto others who may get a more severe case.
I really wouldn't worry about the threat of the vaccine being rushed through. The technology behind the vaccine is already there. We have to re-make all vaccines every year based on what strains the CDC deems are needed- so this is not a new task for us in the vaccine world. Typically, the CDC releases strains in April, then by May/June we grow the strains up and start our clinical trials. We use sites that are well versed in how to run these trials and we enroll 300-800 subjects in one day. We follow the subjects for adverse events for 15 days, then we lock our database and review all of the data to ensure that the vaccine strains are safe. We still collect adverse events for 6 months, but we rarely have any- most adverse events with vaccines are fever and injection site reaction, and that shows immediately.
After we review the data, we write a report and submit to the FDA. The FDA reviews our findings, and will audit some of our sites to ensure that they carried the protocol out correctly. If they give us the go ahead, we send the vaccine to production. We use the same facilities every year, and the same formulation, just different strains.
For the H1N1 FluMist, we enrolled our first two clinical trials last week. One in adults and one in peds. Each had 800 subjects. So far, so good. No AEs. Next week we enroll our next two trials- one adults, one peds. I don't know how many subjects are in those.
Also, we've been funded by the US government for years to be able to gear up for pandemics like this- we're getting to stretch our wings now. This is all carefully planned, there hasn't been anything left to chance, so I am pretty confident in saying that you're safer getting vaccinated then not getting vaccinated.
1 mom found this helpful
J.S. answers from Washington DC on August 25, 2009
I am so glad you asked this question as my husband and I have been trying to figure out the right thing to do for our 15 month old daughter.
In general I am in favor of vaccines and follow the regular vaccine schedule. My husband is from the Middle East and so we will be traveling internationally with my daughter on a regular basis her whole life. Also living here at the nation's capital means she will be exposed to all sorts of people from all over the world - some may be from areas of the world where diseases that we no longer see here in the US are still a danger. Those are the reasons that we are having her vaccinated on schedule. So far my daughter has not had an adverse reaction to any of the vaccines.
That said - we are hestiant about this swine flu vaccine. I am well aware of the risks of the traditional vaccines but feel that the benefit is great enough that it is worth taking what I see as a small risk. I don't feel I understand this swine flu vaccine well enough yet and am waiting to hear what the studies say about it and what its risks are before we make a decision. I admire the mothers who are able to let their children be part of the study - I would not be brave enough and I do not have enough faith to trust the makers of the vaccine, even though when it comes down to it, the vaccine is made by people who presumably went into the field to help others, not to harm them. So I am sitting on the fence, waiting to learn more from the trials. At the moment we are not planning on vaccinating her, but once the study is completed we may change our minds.
1 mom found this helpful
K.B. answers from Norfolk on August 25, 2009
My family will NOT be getting this vaccine. For the same reasons the others that posted here but I would have to agree with Karen B on most points about the flu itself and the companies having immunity for any harm that is done to anyone. They will be immune to lawsuits unless it can be proven that they Intentionally caused harm. Because they are given immunity for their vaccines what will be their motivation to make the safest product possible if they don't have to worry about the consequences?
Look at Dr. Mercola's articles on the subject.
Hope this helps.
I hope you find peace with whatever decision you make. I know how it feels to be making such a big choice. My son had a regression after a vaccination shot and I am still feeling unsure about his next shots when he turns five (most likely he will NOT be getting them). I think the media and the vaccination manufacturers use FEAR to make us doubt our maturnal instincts and get the shots when our guts are screaming "NO!".
1 mom found this helpful
C.C. answers from Washington DC on August 25, 2009
They ARE doing extensive clinical trials for the vaccine, specifically because of the concerns about Guillan-Barre (sp?) syndrome. Furthermore, some vaccine will be manufactured without particular preservatives for pregnant women and young children.
When the vaccine becomes available, I will have my child and myself vaccinated.
1 mom found this helpful
M.H. answers from Washington DC on August 25, 2009
Hello, K., I suggest you skip getting the shot and focus on keeping the immune system in top shape..preventing is something you do have control over....take responsibility for your own health, think about what you put into you body...know the source and and trust your instints...m. hudddleston
K.B. answers from Washington DC on August 25, 2009
This is a long post, but I hope you get something from it to help you make an informed decision.
I've done extensive research on this vaccine. I would NOT recommend that anyone take it. The perservatives in it to "stretch" the vaccine is what is dangerous (thermasol or squalene). It is all about the companies making money and not about our safety. The reality is that not many people have died from this man-made flu. Think about it, how does pig, bird and human flu get together to form one bug? Also, the vaccine makers lobbied to absolve themselves of lawsuits if anyone dies or becomes ill, therefore, you will not be able to sue them for damages incurred. Moreover, the companies are trying to make it mandatory that you take it. The companies have representatives on boards that make these decisions.
If you look into other drugs that have been pushed, over 50,000 people died from Vioxx. The company didn't care because they made their money up front. Guardisil is becoming a big issue because young girls are being affected by it...dying as well as other complications (just wait until they are of child-bearing age, how many will be infertile?) They made their money up front. The main company making the product is Baxter. They got busted last year sending contaminated vaccines to another country.
Read article below:
Vaccine May Be More Dangerous Than Swine Flu
Tuesday, July 7, 2009 9:54 AM
By: Dr. Russell Blaylock Article Font Size
An outbreak of swine flu occurred in Mexico this spring that eventually affected 4,910 Mexican citizens and resulted in 85 deaths. By the time it spread to the United States, the virus caused only mild cases of flu-like illness.
Thanks to air travel and the failure of public health officials to control travel from Mexico, the virus spread worldwide. Despite predictions of massive numbers of deaths and the arrival of doomsday, the virus has remained a relatively mild disease, something we know happens each year with flu epidemics.
Worldwide, there have only been 311 deaths out of 70,893 cases of swine flu. In the United States, 27,717 cases have resulted in 127 deaths. Every death is a tragedy, but such a low death rate should not be the basis of a draconian government policy.
It is helpful to recall that the Centers for Disease Control with the collusion of the media, constantly tell us that 36,000 people die from the flu each year, a figure that has been shown to be a lie. In this case, we are talking about 300 plus deaths for the entire world.
This virus continues to be an enigma for virologists. In the April 30, 2009 issue of Nature, a virologist was quoted as saying,"Where the hell it got all these genes from we don't know." Extensive analysis of the virus found that it contained the original 1918 H1N1 flu virus, the avian flu virus (bird flu), and two new H3N2 virus genes from Eurasia. Debate continues over the possibility that swine flu is a genetically engineered virus.
Naturally, vaccine manufacturers have been in a competitive battle to produce the first vaccine. The main contenders have been Baxter Pharmaceuticals and Novartis Pharmaceuticals, the latter of which recently acquired the scandal-ridden Chiron vaccine company. Both of these companies have had agreements with the World Health Organization to produce a pandemic vaccine.
The Baxter vaccine, called Celvapan, has had fast track approval. It uses a new vero cell technology, which utilizes cultured cells from the African green monkey. This same animal tissue transmits a number of vaccine-contaminating viruses, including the HIV virus.
The Baxter company has been associated with two deadly scandals. The first event occurred in 2006 when hemophiliac components were contaminated with HIV virus and injected in tens of thousands of people, including thousands of children. Baxter continued to release the HIV contaminated vaccine even after the contamination was known.
The second event occurred recently when it was discovered that Baxter had released a seasonal flu vaccine containing the bird flu virus, which would have produced a real world pandemic, to 18 countries. Fortunately, astute lab workers in the Czech Republic discovered the deadly combination and blew the whistle before a worldwide disaster was unleashed.
Despite these two deadly events, WHO maintains an agreement with Baxter Pharmaceuticals to produce the world's pandemic vaccine.
Novartis, the second contender, also has an agreement with WHO for a pandemic vaccine. Novartis appears to have won the contract, since their vaccine is near completion. What is terrifying is that these pandemic vaccines contain ingredients, called immune adjuvants that a number of studies have shown cause devastating autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus.
Animal studies using this adjuvant have found them to be deadly. A study using 14 guinea pigs found that when they were injected with the special adjuvant, only one animal survived. A repeat of the study found the same deadly outcome.
So, what is this deadly ingredient? It is called squalene, a type of oil. The Chiron company, maker of the deadly anthrax vaccine, makes an adjuvant called MF-59 which contains two main ingredients of concern—squalene and gp120. A number of studies have shown that squalene can trigger all of the above-mentioned autoimmune diseases when injected.
The MF-59 adjuvant has been used in several vaccines. These vaccines, including tetanus and diphtheria, are the same vaccines frequently associated with adverse reactions.
I reviewed a number of studies on this adjuvant and found something quite interesting. Several studies done on human test subjects found MF-59 to be a very safe immune adjuvant. But when I checked to see who did these studies, I found—to no surprise—that they were done by the Novartis Pharmaceutical Company and Chiron Pharmaceutical Company, which have merged. They were all published in "prestigious" medical journals. Also, to no surprise, a great number of studies done by independent laboratories and research institutions all found a strong link between MF-59 and autoimmune diseases.
Squalene in vaccines has been strongly linked to the Gulf War Syndrome. On August 1991, Anthony Principi, Secretary of Veterans Affairs admitted that soldiers vaccinated with the anthrax vaccine from 1990 to 1991 had an increased risk of 200 percent in developing the deadly disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig's disease. The soldiers also suffered from a number of debilitating and life-shortening diseases, such as polyarteritis nodosa, multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, transverse myelitis (a neurological disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord), endocarditis (inflammation of the heart's inner lining), optic neuritis with blindness and glomerulonephritis (a type of kidney disease).
Because squalene, the main ingredient in MF-59, can induce hyperimmune responses and induce autoimmunity, a real danger exists for prolonged activation of the brain's immune cells, the microglia. This type of prolonged activation has been strongly associated with such diseases as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, ALS and possibly vaccine-related encephalitis. It has been shown that activation of the systemic immune system, as occurs with vaccination, rapidly activates the brain's microglia at the same time, and this brain inflammation can persist for long periods.
So, how would the gp120 get into the brain? Studies of other immune adjuvants using careful tracer techniques have shown that they routinely enter the brain following vaccination. What most people do not know, even the doctors who recommend the vaccines, is that most such studies by pharmaceutical companies observe the patients for only one to two weeks following vaccination—these types of reactions may take months or even years to manifest.
It is obvious that the vaccine manufacturers stand to make billions of dollars in profits from this WHO/government-promoted pandemic. Novartis, the maker of the new pandemic vaccine, recently announced that they would not give free vaccines to impoverished nations—everybody pays.
One must keep in mind that once the vaccine is injected, there is little you can do to protect yourself—at least by conventional medicine. It will mean a lifetime of crippling illness and early death.
There are much safer ways to protect oneself from this flu virus, such as higher doses of vitamin D3, selective immune enhancement using supplements, and a good diet.
© 2009 Newsmax. All rights reserve
T.C. answers from Washington DC on August 25, 2009
Today's Washington Post Health Section has a big write-up on this topic, with all kinds of web links. Whatever your opinions about the Post's political coverage, its medical and science reporting are first-rate. I would also rely on the CDC's webpage. The government is full of first-rate scientists who do great work under Republican and Democratic administrations alike. (My husband is one, though he's not in the medical field).
As for the observation that most of the cases so far have been mild--that's missing the point. The fear is a virus MUTATION; the mild cases we've seen so far may have nothing to do with what we get this winter. Fears of a vaccine based on what happened in the 70s are similarly misplaced; those are exactly the manufacturing mistakes we now know how to prevent.