Sunday, October 18, 2009

H1N1 Vaccines

This will be published in Becky Holm's Douglas County News, although in a shorter version if I can bear to cut it any more.  I am currently at 1800 words, down from 2500 and there is just SO MUCH VITAL INFORMATION about this subject.  Becky will also publish a pro-vaccine article since I couldn't make myself take that stance!

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H1N1 Swine Flu Shots are Coming to Douglas County! Will You Get One?

By Larisa Sparrowhawk

Small shipments of H1N1 vaccine have arrived in Douglas County and are becoming available for healthcare workers, emergency responders, pregnant women and children. It is unknown when sufficient vaccines will arrive for the general population. While you wait, learn more here about the virulence of H1N1 and the safety of the vaccines.

The latest U.S. Census counted over 74 million children from birth through age 18. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported on the 39thth week of the outbreak that 50,768 children were reported with H1N1 or related “Subtype A influenzas” and 76 children died of these viruses. So far this year, H1N1 and other “Subtype A” influenzas greatly outnumber others – 99.7% to .3%. However 147 children died of all influenzas, so just under half of flu related deaths were attributed to H1N1.

No other infectious agents were reported for 44 of the children who died. Of the 32 remaining, 7 also had staph infections and 4 of these resisted treatment with methicillin. Other bacteria identified in the H1N1 infected children include Streptococcus constellatus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus, and Enterococcus. Two thirds of the 76 children had neurological disorders like cerebral palsy and epilepsy; 32% had asthma. Over half of adults hospitalized for H1N1 also had other serious health concerns like pneumonia, diabetes and asthma. Many were smokers.

By the 39th week, your child’s chance of catching H1N1 was greater than catching the seasonal flu, but your child’s chance of dying from H1N1 was less, just over one in a million. As of the end of the 40th week, 86 children died from H1N1 with or without other complications, so these statistics should be monitored.

A CDC health economics expert, Dr. Martin Meltzer, says “almost nobody dies of the flu and deaths are associated with flu, but not necessarily caused by flu.” The CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) lump influenza and pneumonia data together, which is misleading, because influenza is more often fatal. In April, The Wall Street Journal reported that of the 152 deaths reported in Mexico, only 7 were confirmed to be from H1N1!

Although the WHO stopped testing for H1N1 this summer, it continues to call H1N1 a pandemic. Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny of the WHO stated in September that the H1N1 has not mutated and “we are lucky that the pandemic is moderate in severity, that most people experience a mild illness and recover spontaneously.”

H1N1, like all influenzas, is a self-limiting disease, meaning it runs its course. Symptoms are similar to seasonal flu. The popular CNN Medical Reporter, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, reported that he caught H1N1 while in Afghanistan and had a higher fever than expected with ordinary influenza. However, he recovered within a few days.

There are four different types of H1N1 flu vaccine coming available, with the most controversial being the Live Attenuated Influenza Virus (LAIV) nasal spray targeted at children. The government recommends this as a no-mercury vaccine that parents can feel good about. Concerned parents fear their children will contract H1N1 after a live virus is sprayed up the nose! Dr. Rita Laibow warns that the FluMist contains three live viruses and even if vaccinated people resist all three, they could infect others.

MedImmune, the producer of the FluMist nasal spray vaccine, includes this disclaimer in its product information: "Administration of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine Live, Intranasal, a live virus vaccine, to immunocompromised persons should be based on careful consideration of potential benefits and risks. Safety has not been established… children and adolescents regularly taking aspirin or products containing it; or persons with certain: sensitivities, health problems, illnesses, malignancies, immunodeficiencies, nutritional deficiencies, abnormalities, allergies, or infections.” These are very vague contraindications, presumably excluding most children!

Ingredients used in injectable vaccines are also worrisome. Since you are unlikely to read the drug insert - which details legally required (but not all) ingredient information and potential side effects – before you get a shot, read on.

All vaccines are created by growing live viruses in various animal products conducive to quick multiplication of the virus. Chicken eggs are most commonly used. However, mouse brains, caterpillar eggs, and monkey kidneys have been used recently. Other flu vaccines are grown in pig blood or tissue or in human stem cells or cancer cells. The latter are especially shocking, but researchers use them because they multiply so rapidly! DNA fragments remaining in vaccines have been a concern for decades.

Adjuvants, agents used to irritate the immune system to react to even small amounts of the virus, are used in many vaccines. They make it possible for drug companies to produce many vaccines quickly at less expense. The World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC say adjuvants are necessary during health emergencies and also deny that they cause immune system diseases. A growing number of parents and medical personnel disagree. Mercury and aluminum, both known poisons, are still included in flu vaccines even though they have been removed from most other vaccines. Scientists are also beginning to use genetically engineered (recombinant nucleic acid) molecules and nanoparticles. Formaldehyde is sometimes used to inactivate a virus before packaging vaccines for use. Squalene, an oil based substance often manufactured from shark oil, is similar to oils produced by the human body, and is touted as being especially safe. You can eat squalene with no effects. However, some scientists say that “molecular mimicry” makes it dangerous. Injecting squalene with a virus and chemicals makes the body see it as an invader. Then the immune system begins to attack the body’s own squalene-type cells.

Squalene has previously only been used in one human experiment, by the military during the Gulf War. It is strongly implicated in the neurological disturbances (Gulf War Syndrome) and immune system diseases still experienced by 25% of those servicemen injected with the vaccine. In the 2004 lawsuit Doe v. Rumsfeld, the District Court in the District of Columbia ruled that the squalene was not approved for human use in the United States and therefore the military could no longer require mandatory vaccination with squalene containing products. However, The Novartis H1N1 vaccine contains the same MF59 squalene formula used in the military.

Dr. Baylor from the FDA admitted that the Novartis vaccine did include an adjuvant and “for CSL, GSK and Sanofi Pasteur, mixing of the vaccine with an adjuvant at the site of administration will be necessary.” This means the vaccine you receive in your body may not be completed in a sterile laboratory, but by a clinic employee we hope is wearing gloves and a mask.

The FDA and CDC insist testing has been done on these new vaccines; however, tests include only the viral agent without adjuvants. Dr. Tom Jefferson of the Vaccine Field Group “found less than two dozen studies on the current H1N1 flu vaccine and none with a completion date before December, 2010!” The FDA does not require independent laboratory analysis using industry standard double blind studies with placebos. It allows the drug manufacturers to exclude children, pregnant women, the elderly or allergic individuals and also to remove from the study anyone who develops any reaction to the vaccine. Nor does the FDA require drug manufacturers to release any information other than what the drug manufacturer sees fit to publish.

A law passed recently that gives vaccine manufacturers immunity from lawsuits! A person harmed by a vaccine could not even file suit without prooving an act of “willful misconduct,” or intentional harm. Additionally, even if it can be proven that a drug manufacturer knowingly harms people, if the vaccine was used during a health emergency declared by the HHS, only the U.S. Attorney General can initiate enforcement action for the injured party.

Possible negative reactions from an injectible H1N1 vaccine package insert updated in September of 2009: “Local injection site reactions (including pain, pain limiting limb movement, redness, swelling, warmth, ecchymosis, induration); Hot flashes/flushes; Chills; Fever; Malaise; Shivering; Fatigue; Asthenia; Facial edema; Immune system disorders; Hypersensitivity reactions (including throat and/or mouth edema); In rare cases, hypersensitivity reactions leading to anaphylactic shock and death; Cardiovascular disorders; Vasculitis (in rare cases with transient renal involvement); Syncope shortly after vaccination; Digestive disorders; Diarrhea; Nausea; Vomiting; Abdominal pain; Blood and lymphatic disorders; Local lymphadenopathy; Transient thrombocytopenia; Metabolic and nutritional disorders; Loss of appetite; Arthralgia; Myalgia; Myasthenia; Nervous system disorders; Headache; Dizziness;

Neuralgia; Paraesthesia; Febrile convulsions; Guillain-Barré Syndrome; Myelitis (including encephalomyelitis and transverse myelitis); Neuropathy (including neuritis); Paralysis (including Bell’s Palsy); Respiratory disorders; Dyspnea; Chest pain; Cough; Pharyngitis; Rhinitis; Stevens-Johnson syndrome; Pruritus; Urticaria; Rash (including non-specific, maculopapular, and vesiculobulbous).

Another product insert states: “Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with influenza virus vaccine. It is also not known whether influenza virus vaccine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman.” Public officials have stated that vaccines do not cross the placenta, however, since everything else does, this seems unlikely to be true.

No wonder many health care workers around the world are resisting vaccination! 50% of health care workers polled in Hong Kong are refusing the vaccine, 69% of French will refuse it, 29% of Germans say they “will refuse it under any circumstances” and an additional 33% confess to misgivings about the vaccine. Polls in the UK show half of all doctors and a third of all nurses are refusing the vaccine.

New York was the first U.S. state to require all health care workers in contact with patients to get both the seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines. Six health care workers filed a suit against the FDA (Null et al. v. FDA et al.) for licensing vaccines without proper safety testing. The plaintiffs include Dr. Gary Null, PhD, a nutritionist who is well known for his writings on natural healthcare, Rima E. Laibow, MD, a licensed physician and Dr. Ted Koren, DC, who heads the Foundation for Health Choice. Another plaintiff is a billing clerk who was told she could be fired for refusing the vaccine, even though she has no direct contact with the public. The plaintiffs’ immunological expert, Sara Schon, MD and pharmaceutical chemist, Paul King, PhD will testify that the vaccines are not “prepared in the same manner as previous flu vaccines” like the government claims. The suit also references the testimony of HHS Secretary Sebelius to Congress on September 15th that the FDA’s own scientists would not “sign off” on the use of adjuvants in the vaccines. The plaintiffs further allege that the LAIV nasal vaccine could cause rather than prevent a pandemic. CNN reported Saturday October 17th that the Judge has issued a stay against mandatory vaccinations. The New York Health Department vows to fight this ruling.
Jim Clymer, the Constitution Party National Committee Chairman, said, “If the government can force potentially dangerous substances into our bodies, what, then, can’t the government do to us?”

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