Is Any Mom Familiar with the Swine Flu Vaccine?

Updated on September 23, 2009
J.C. asks from San Jose, CA
21 answers

I've heard nothing but negative things regarding the swine flu vaccine. I agree that a vaccine can't be formulated in such a short time. Does anyone have any info?

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answers from San Francisco on

You will probably be offended by this comment, but I have to wonder whether you have the medical/scientific background to know whether a vaccine can be formulated this quickly.

To my knowledge, the vaccine is due out shortly, and if I feel anyone in my family is particularly vulnerable to the virus, I plan to have them vaccinated.

I think mostly what you are hearing comes from the anti-vaccine camp, and remember that just because someone yells the loudest does not mean they are right. Become truly informed about the swine flu and then make an educated choice.

Thank you, Tanya L., for being a voice of sanity in the wilderness.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fresno on

I know that the makers of the swine flu vaccine are not taking it themselves AND not giving it to their family. Proof enough for me!

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answers from Boston on

Hi J.,

There is nothing unusual about making a new flu vaccine every year. We've been doing it for decades. And, you don't hear any fuss each year about the seasonal flu vaccine. The H1N1 is made via the same processes and procedures in the same time frame that the seasonal vaccine is every year that is DIFFERENT every year and not at all dangerous. Several decades ago, when they were using a different process, there were problems with a vaccine that also targeted swine flu. The problem wasn't the "swine" part of it (and this flu is NOT swine flu, but H1N1 "Novel" virus- see CDC site) So, it's natural, customary and routine to formulate a new vaccine every year. Flu vaccines are about the safest type out there in the world. There is nothing special about the H1N1 flu vaccine, as there is nothing special about 2009's seasonal vaccine that was developed months ago like it is every year. The results that have come back from the first trials have been exceptionally positive- NO side effects (like typical seasonal flu vaccines, since they're basically the same type of thing) and the dose seems sufficient to only required ONE shot for all. This is great news. When people have caught the H1N1 FLU, many have been hospitalized and died in high numbers- including young children and pregnant women. There are cases of otherwise healthy children and pregnant women dying and this flu is incredibly contagious- people who never get the flu will get this one, so you cannot plan on avoiding it. If you or your child gets it, they can also infect a child with asthma, respiratory problems, epilepsy, and other conditions which can lead to death for them, even if your child is able to fight it off. I wouldn't expose my children to relatives who are prone to bronchitis, have emphysema, COPD, use oxygen, etc for several months if they did not get the shot as they do not know they are contagious when initially infected and it's not determine how long after they are contagious. Tests have shown infected people "shedding" the virus for a week or two after recovery- inconclusive as to whether this virus can infect others in those two weeks after recovery. As with seasonal shots, billions of people around the world get them, and there are no fears of side effects. Despite the internet hype, this is another batch of typical flu vaccine made to give immunity to a different strain- not something "new" and never before seen. They'll use the same general ingredients and processes to make next year's typical seasonal flu vaccine.

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answers from San Francisco on

After reading all the responses to your post, as a physician, I can just say this: Beware of Negative hype from anti-vaccine lobbies. To respond to other statements made about the vaccine: 1) Yes there is a test for H1N1 2) H1N1 is not new, nor is the vaccine 3) we make flu vaccines to a virus with new antigens every year, so saying that a vaccine can't be formulated quickly is just ignorant. 4) H1N1 may not have any more mortality associated with it than the regular flu, but is about 4x more contagious. It also is causing more problems in very young children and pregnant women than the regular flu.

In my opinion, If you or anyone in your family has a condition that impairs their immune system, or any cardiopulmonary disease, or pregnancy, then everyone in the household should be vaccinated. My family is all healthy, but nevertheless, I plan to vaccinate my 2 year old, given the likelihood that he will be exposed in day care, and subsequently expose my elderly parents. Do what's right for you and your family, but don't believe the anti-vaccine media bulls---.

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answers from Salinas on

The best article that I have read on that topic is

The article describes not only ways of keeping your family safe during the flu season, but goes into great detail about the additive squalene that has been approved to go into the vaccines. Squalene is a substance that allows companies to use less vaccine. It does carry side effects.

On another note, the virus that is the most like the swine flu was the flu of 1918.It killed many people, and it was scary. This is what the media is all hyped up about. In 1918 approximately 30% of those that contracted the flu died. During this time many homeopaths treated the flu. In their practices less than 1% died. Homeopathy proved to be very effective in treating the flu, and it is very safe.

I am a certified homeopath, and so I obviously have a holistic approach to treating the flu.If you are interested in seeing what else is out there, or if you would like a list of remedies that will help to prevent the flu, or help anyone in your household get over the flu faster, just e-mail me, and I'm happy to send you information free from my lectures. I am happy to share information free to anyone who contacts me.

To me it's about choices, and making the best ones for your family. I commend you on asking questions :-)

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answers from San Francisco on

From a mom of a beautiful healthy 5 month old daughter who got autism after shots, I say to those nay sayers that it is YOU who don't know what you are talking about. Quit walking blindly and open your eyes and ears. It is extremely niaive to think we live in a world where governments who have total control over you are going to have your best interests at heart! No, they put their own interests well above yours. You can bet your sweet bippy on that one. People in charge lay awake at night finding ways to pass laws to take away your finances, health, and freedoms. And they know we can't really do a damn thing about it. Because there are just too many people willing to turn a blind eye and be led around by their nose.

Here's some articles for good reading, J.:

Good for you for having the smultz to question things around you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

As a pediatric nurse for 340 years, hear, hear Monica!!! Immunizations are a protective medication to keep you HEALTHY!!!! I say from all that I have read and experienced from the infections disease specialists, GO FoR IT!! The CDC is working for you and is not there to poison your family,,A.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tallahassee on

Don't be intimidated by people trying to make you think you don't know what's best for you. There's a lot of information out there. Read it and make the most informed decision you can. Just because you're not a scientist or doctor doesn't mean you can't make an informed decision. And just because someone is a doctor, scientist or government official, doesn't mean they know what they're talking about or are right without question. Without getting into the whole good vs evil of vaccines in general...

It's not so much that a swine flu vaccine (and you can call it H1N1, novel, whatever, it began as and is still swine flu) cannot be formulated in such a short time -- obviously it can. It's that there is not ample time for testing to see what the side effects are. There is also concern as they want you to take the seasonal flu vaccine plus the swine flu vaccine for efficacy, yet no one knows the ramifications of taking 2 flu vaccines so close together. Add to that: none of the swine flu vaccine makers nor the government are legally liable for any side effects that may befall you for this vaccine.

Yes, a new flu vaccine is formulated every year, but we have no way of knowing how far behind it is for the current flu everyone is getting sick with. So theoretically they are working with the same formula. And many people do have side effects, the most common one being getting the flu! Unless you have an underlying illness, and think the side effects of the vaccine outweight the side effects of becoming ill, I would take my chances getting the flu. Your body builds a greater immunity against future flues than if you're trying to trick it with chemicals mixed with the virus.

There are also other things you can do to protect against getting sick:
eat a healthy diet
avoid over-stressing your body
take a multi-vitamin
take an immunity supplement
avoid contact with sick people
wash your hands often
limit your large group contact during the height of flu season

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Based on what I have read about the H1N1 vaccine, it is not "new" but been around many years. It was originally developed in the 1950's as a response to an outbreak of "swine flu". When the "swine flu" resurfaced in the 1970's, the vaccine was further refined. Now, 30 years later, the H1N1 vaccine has been refined either further to address the new outbreak.

It is your decision whether or not to receive the vaccine. Based on what I have read and a conversation with a pulmonologist who is having his own 18 month old vaccined, I will have my twin 3 year old duaghters vaccinated it possible. Both are at risk for severe respiratory illness so the flu and H1N! vaccines make sense of our family.

Do your own research, talk to your doctor and make your own decision. Regardless of what you decide, make sure you practice good hand washing and a health lifestyle.



answers from Sacramento on

I don't have any information about the swine flu shots. I only know that flu vaccines of any kind are not for me... and I am in one of the so called "target groups". I'm not saying they don't help some (or even many) people. But everyone in my family who has ever had a flu shot of any kind has subsequently (within a month or two of getting the vaccine) ended up in bed for at least a week thinking they were going to die of the flu. The years we don't get the vaccines, we may not even get the flu, or if we do, it's short lived and not as severe.
I hear much different stories from some of my friends, so I am not saying the shots are bad for everyone. You just need to give it a lot of consideration and decide for yourself in your situation.



answers from Sacramento on

I also have been reading up on the swine flu vaccine because I am pregnant and have sever asthma while being pregnant.

I have found these articles about the vaccine and I have no idea what to do. I do know last year was the first year my husband and I received a flu shot and we were sick more times than the previous years when we didn't get the flu shot.

Here are the articles I found: I would like to mention these articles are not from US newspapers that are from the UK media. I tend to believe them before any US media only because there is no conflict of interest. I have not seen any news articles from the US media worrying about the vaccines. They all have been pro the vaccines. Still a very big conflict of interest. Another thing to is my doctor said the swine flu is a lot milder now, so mild they don't even have to test for it. It seems to me if these is the case...why get vaccinated. I think its just another cause to panic the people.


Risk from swine flu vaccine 'greater than catching virus'

Swine flu jab link to killer nerve disease: Leaked letter reveals concern of neurologists over 25 deaths in America

Read more:




answers from San Francisco on

Adding my two cents worth: Flue shots are NOT for everyone, though they have become widely advertised and are available everywhere. Flu shots are intended for the very young or very old who have compromised immune systems. They are not intended for anyone else, though millions of people who do not need the vaccine receive it. It's a great money maker for the vaccine providers, but has serious side effects if you're unlucky enough to suffer from them. My 11 year old Grandson was such a person last year. Within 10 days of receiving a flue shot (administered by his doctor), he awoke unable to move his arms. 4 days and $130,000 later after spinal taps, MRI's, numerous other tests,massive doses of steroids and time in intensive care, the diagnosis was transverse myelytis caused by the flu vaccine. He was taken to the hospital and testing and treatment were begun with a couple of hours of onset, but for that, he would have been permanently paralyzed (according to the neurologist who treated him). Guillain-Barre syndrome (a condition where the body damages its own nerve cells) is one potential side effect and can be permanent.
Do your homework and read up on this, and any other flu vaccine. The better question to ask is: Do I or any member of my family have a compromised immune system due to an auto immune disease? If the answer is no, spare the flu shot. There are many safe ways to boost your immune system without resorting to a dangerous vaccine. My Nutritionist has our family on Vitamin D for such a purpose. A Homeopath, Acupuncturist, Chiropractor or Nutritionist should be able to help you with alternatives to a flu vaccine. For more information on vitamin D, go to



answers from Yuba City on

I have mixed feelings and would love to hear other mother's perspectives as well.



answers from Modesto on

Swine flu no worse than regular flu, Napolitano says

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The swine flu virus that has sparked fear and precautions worldwide appears to be no more dangerous than the regular flu virus that makes its rounds each year, U.S. officials said Monday.

"What the epidemiologists are seeing now with this particular strain of U.N. is that the severity of the disease, the severity of the flu -- how sick you get -- is not stronger than regular seasonal flu," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday as the worldwide number of confirmed cases of swine flu -- technically known as 2009 H1N1 virus -- topped 1,080.

The flu has been blamed for 26 deaths: 25 in Mexico and one in the United States, according to the World Health Organization.

Still, Napolitano noted, the seasonal flu results in "hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations" and roughly 35,000 fatalities each year in the United States. There are still concerns that the virus could return in the fall, in the typical flu season, as a stronger strain.

"We are cautiously optimistic that this particular strain will not be more severe than a normal seasonal flu outbreak," Napolitano said.




answers from Sacramento on

I would take in all the advice and read up on the websites provided by these mommas and make an indiviudal choice for your family....My husband does not believe in flu shots....but for me, i do...for myself...unfortunately, I was one of those kids who caught everything...If I do not get the flu shot...I will get the flu..and basically out for the month..with pneumoia on the is a must for me...but I agree with my hubby...if you really don't have issues with the flu, you don't need to get children I do give them the flu shot...thier neonatal history is unknown since we adopted them and I know that thier birth mother abused her body while carrying my two precious daughters.

For the H1N1....I'm really on the fence about me and my kids getting it.....our doctor has said that there are a lot of people who have gotten a mild form of it and gotten over it quickly without even knowing they had it........I guess for is something we'll have to play be ear and see where we are when the vaccines become available in November.

So the best things is to educate yourself and take in both sides of this discussion and make the best choice for you and your side is truely wrong.



answers from Salinas on

So many opinions on this one! I think this is a very personal decision. I am not anti vaccine as both my kids had the standard vaccines that were spread way out over the first few years of their life. We are not high risk and won't be getting any flu shots though. It really doesn't matter whether there has been time to come up with the vaccine, I don't know about those things. What I do know is vaccines are a very profitable business. As many have mentioned I would not trust our government and huge corporations when there is so much money at stake. As we've seen with the entire healthcare industry, when profits are at stake you cannot trust that information to the public is going to have our best interest in mind. It's just common sense, not some big conspiracy theory. Drug companies come up with vaccines, our government helps them sell 'em to us. It's up to us as consumers to make an informed decision, just like with any other product out there. Talk to your doctor, read everything you can get your hands on and weigh the risk against the possible costs to your health. Finally don't forget it's just the flu, for the vast majority of us not a huge deal!



answers from Sacramento on

I haven't heard any negative things about it, guess they will have a nasal spray out 1st, that I am going to see if my son at age 9 can get. If not he will receive the vaccine, he has a heart condition and don't want to take any chances. I would go for it, there are pro's and con's to everything...J. :)



answers from San Francisco on

Hard to really get conclusive studies on such a thing. From my understanding they are using the same vaccine as before not a new formula. There are two companies that make the vaccine under different names. Tamiflu is one of them. Most of the studies have been done with adults and the info i got off the internet is that the studies done on children showed a high % of children having psychotic episodes with both vaccines. I called my doc back in March and was told that the shot is given only after the flu is detected not before. Hope that helps. Side note is that both companies which manufacture the vaccines were heavily lobbeying to congress before this "break-out" due to low profit margins and now they are sitting pretty with recent orders to produce large quantities for the vaccines - go figure.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,

I do not trust the shots. I naturally rebuild my immune system. I have never had a flu shot. They never get the shots right. Every year they give out shots then they tell you it was for the wrong flu.

I used to get the flu every year. I have a wellness home and have not had the flu in 11 years.

Good luck.

N. Marie



answers from San Francisco on

My doctor, who is a hospitalist, and my pediatrician, are both wary of the vaccine. They say that it is NOT being made through the same process as the flu vaccine, and has not been tested sufficiently. So I have not made the decision yet. I do think there are risks with vaccines. That is clear. It's weighing those risks with benefits using real facts, not fear, not hype, not hearsay. In this case we cannot yet make an informed decision.



answers from Bakersfield on

Hi Joyln-
I received this newsletter from a health source, and while you need to take everything in stride, I believe it. I also have never gotten a flu shot, and while I did get the flu last year, I am alive and well and healthy as can be.
See below

NorthStar GTGH - Serious reasons to skip the H1N1 vaccine, Part II

Serious reasons to skip the H1N1 vaccine, Part II

This summer, Americans across the country lined up in droves to become the first human guinea pigs to receive the H1N1 flu vaccine. I don't believe for a second that the vaccine will effectively protect you or anyone else against H1N1. On the contrary, I'm more concerned about how much harm the vaccine may cause when millions more men, women, and children get it this fall.

As you'll remember from last week's Guide to Good Health, the last time the government hastily pushed through an untested vaccine, disaster ensued. Five hundred people came down with a paralyzing condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome and 25 people died.

Government officials swear a repeat of 1976 will not happen. But they also admit they don't really know for sure.

In fact, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “No clinical trial in the world is going to be large enough to be able to detect an event that occurs one in every 100,000 people. The only way to pick that up is after the fact, when a lot of people get vaccinated and good surveillance picks it up."

In other words, we won't know if the stuff is really bad until we give it to a million people.

Well, thanks Dr. Fauci. Good to know you've thought this one through a month before injecting millions of toddlers, pregnant women, and immuno-compromised adults.

Plus, there's something else that's got me worried... Secret Ingredients

I'll make no bones about it: the 2009 swine vaccine is bad news, especially if it contains an ingredient called an adjuvant. An adjuvant is added to a vaccine to make it stretch. It basically supercharges the vaccine to create a stronger immunological response. So instead of each person getting one full dose of the H1N1 virus, each person might only get ¼ of a dose along with an adjuvant supercharger.

This is the government's secret ace in the hole. If Uncle Sam thinks he's running low on the vaccine, he can just add an adjuvant and make the supplies stretch much further.

But an adjuvant can cause your immune system to go haywire. Case in point: the anthrax vaccine given to Gulf War soldiers. An adjuvant called squalene was added to that vaccine to make it stretch further. But many blame squalene for causing the so-called Gulf War Syndrome (GWS).

Now, don't get me wrong. Squalene isn't always toxic. In fact, it's a natural substance found in most plants and animals. Your body uses it to help synthesize cholesterol as well as vitamin D. You'll also find squalene in personal care products as well as nutritional supplements. In those instances, squalene is not a health hazard. However, when commercial squalene is injected into the bloodstream (as with a vaccine), it appears to disrupt the body's immune system. The body identifies it as a threat and creates antibodies to attack it.

In fact, when scientists from Tulane University tested blood samples from vets suffering from GWS, they found that 100 percent of them contained abnormal antibodies to squalene. This backs up the theory held by many in the medical community that squalene triggered GWS in these vets.

Now, here's the thing...symptoms of the Gulf War Syndrome were subtle to start: headaches, fatigue, and generalized aches and pains. And they didn't show up immediately. It took a while for the men and women to start feeling bad. (Side note: this is what worries me about the H1N1 vaccine as well. Reactions to medicines or vaccines can take years to appear, making it difficult to connect the dots. But we've only been working with the H1N1 vaccine for mere months, not years. How do we know how the H1N1 vaccine will act in the body years from now?)

As a result, it took a while for military docs to figure out that GWS was linked to a bad reaction to the anthrax vaccine. Instead, everyone in the government initially got away with labeling the vets' immunological problems as post-traumatic stress.

So what's Gulf War Syndrome got to do with the H1N1 vaccine? Well, squalene is exactly the same adjuvant at least two drug companies have been playing around with adding to the H1N1 vaccine. In fact, they've already been paid millions of dollars by Uncle Sam to develop stores of the vaccine containing the adjuvant.

Keeping their options open

The Department of Health and Human Services is holding its cards close regarding the use of adjuvants in the H1N1 vaccine. Officials won't say for certain whether or not they plan on using them. But I can tell you one thing, they're keeping their options open.

Here's how I know...

On June 15th, Department of Health and Human Services chief Kathleen Sibelius basically issued a carte blanche to Big Pharma when it comes to the H1N1 vaccine. She's invoked the PREP Act of 2006 (Public Readiness and Emergency Readiness Act). This law gives the five drug manufactures complete immunity against lawsuits for their vaccines, even if the vaccine contains an adjuvant.

According to the HHC website, immunity has been granted to the manufacturers “in all stages of 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine development, testing, manufacture, distribution, prescribing, administration, and use.”

In other words, no matter how bad things get, even if the vaccine contains a known hazardous ingredient, the drugmakers can't get in trouble!

Money, money, money

All along, I've suspected this whole swine flu pandemic isn't about saving lives. To date, the swine flu has been linked to a little over 500 deaths in this country. Heck, the regular seasonal flu is six times more deadly than H1N1.

So what's all the fuss about? Money, of course!

The five drug companies handed H1N1 vaccine contracts are set to make a boatload off their largely untested products. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services has already spent $2 billion dollars to purchase 195 million doses of the vaccine and adjuvant.

In addition Congress passed and President Obama recently signed a supplemental appropriation bill for $7.5 billion to cover the additional costs of preparing for H1N1. That figure doesn't even include the money spent on clinical trials or marketing of the vaccine.

All told, we could spend up to $10 billion dollars on a vaccine for something that may cause fewer deaths this year than accidental falls at home.

Protecting yourself sensibly this fall

Here's the bottom line about the H1N1 vaccine: You don't need it.

Instead, be smart. Wash your hands. Get lots of rest. Eat healthy. And take 2000 to 4000 IUs of vitamin D-3 during the winter months. That's the best way to fight off any virus, even the absurdly over-hyped money-sucking H1N1 virus!

Until next time,

Allan Spreen, M.D.
NorthStar Nutritionals

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