I walked into a doctor’s office that was advertising flu shots and asked for a product insert for the 2011-2012 flu vaccine (FluLaval® made by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
The nice MD at the counter handed me a CDC (Centers for Disease Control) paper urging everyone to get the flu shot. That wasn’t what I had asked for. I needed to be more specific.
I said, “Thanks, but can I get the actual paper that comes with the vaccines?” She gave me an odd look (“Why would anyone want to read that?”) but went into the back and got me one.
I left with it in hand, curious as to what the drug company told doctors that perhaps wasn’t in their ads to the public.
But before I left I said to the MD, “Did you know that there is mercury in the flu shot?” “No, I didn’t know that,” she said. (Why should she know that? She only gives the shots.)
“You know if you vaccinate a pregnant woman the mercury can go through the placenta into the fetus,” I said to her.
She said nothing. I might as well have been speaking Klingon. Then again if we were Klingons the interaction may have involved high explosives and lots of bad language. (Please forgive me, the other day I watched a Star Trek movie.)
OK, back to the flu. After I left her office I began to engage in an unnatural act: I actually read the product insert. The print was very small but I slogged through it. These are quotes directly from the product insert. Read them and be amazed (Doesn’t anyone actually read these?).
Does the flu shot protect someone from getting the flu?
“There have been no controlled trials adequately demonstrating a decrease in influenza disease after vaccination with FluLaval®.”
It’s given to nursing mothers.
“It is not known whether FluLaval® is excreted in human milk … safety and effectiveness of FluLaval® in pediatric patients have not been established.”
What’s in the shot?
“The virus is inactivated with ultraviolet light … followed by formaldehyde … disrupted with sodium deoxycholate … 45 mcg. Hemagglutinin (HA) … each dose contains 25 mcg mercury … the vial stopper does not contain latex.” (Nice to know for those who are concerned about latex reactions.)
(Note: Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen; mercury is a known neurotoxin and has been linked to autism and other neurological conditions.)
Can it cause cancer or affect the reproductive system (what about the baby)?
“FluLaval® has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential, or for impairment of fertility.”
(Note: It is unknown whether the flu shot may cause malformations in the baby if a pregnant woman takes it very early in her pregnancy).
Adverse events associated with influenza vaccines:
Anaphylaxis … “the 1976 swine flu influenza vaccine was associated with an increased risk of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). Evidence of a causal relation of GBS with subsequent [influenza] vaccines is unclear.”
(Note: And it’ll stay “unclear” if the pharmaceutical companies and their friends in the FDA have anything to say about it.)
How long were the test subjects observed after vaccination to see if
the flu shot caused long-term damage?
“Individuals were observed for three days [not counting the first day] after the flu shot was administered” in order to find out if there were adverse reactions. What if a problem surfaces weeks or months later? The drug company’s response is: “We have no research to show that the condition you now suffer from has anything to do with the flu shot you received.” That is true because they did no research to find out. By the way, that is true with all vaccines.
Postmarketing surveillance answers the questions, “What is happening in the real world when these shots are given?” Since research studies cannot account for all the different kinds of people and their reactions postmarketing means the reports that are received after the shot is used in real life.
From the insert:
“Because these events are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size it is not always possible to reliably estimate their incidence rate or to establish a causal relationship to the vaccine.”
“Lymphodenopasthy, eye pain, photophobia, dysphagia, vomiting … influenza-like symptoms … rhinitis, cellulitis, muscle weakness, arthritis, tremor, syncope, Guillain-Barre syndrome, convulsions, seizures, cranial or facial nerve paralysis (Bell’s palsy), encephalopathy, limb paralysis …”
Fluarix® (single dose) for ages 3 years and older. Multidose has Hg, single dose does not. Fluarix: $101.20 for ten single vial doses
(approximately $10/shot cost to MD).
There is no mercury in single vials.
FluLaval® Multidose: $70.80 for one vial of ten doses ($7.08 cost of one shot). (Nice markup. I bet CVS, Walgreens and the other big purchasers get even better prices).
This product does not prevent the flu, is filled with toxic chemicals and has the potential to cause serious, life-threatening conditions.
What could be bad?
PS. Flu shots do work – they immunize pharmaceutical companies from low profits.
Want to see the product insert for yourself?
PS. I recently updated our Myth Busting Report on the flu shot that can be personalized with your office information. Please check it out and click on the flu (and perhaps other) reports you’d like to give to your patients here:
We also have an updated PowerPoint Flu Vaccine 2011 presentation for your patients and for public talks. You can find it here: http://www.korenpublications.com/kp/product/flu-vaccination-lecture