Friday, May 7, 2010

Flu shots ... yes and no.

Last week my son’s pediatrician told my wife that this particular flu vaccine hasn’t been tested enough, and that something fishy went on with the Argentine government happily paying for it in spite of this, heavily pushing its use on TV and other media.
My youngest son is healthy like a bull so he says its not worth the risk.

On the other hand, my doctor told me yesterday that because I often have respiratory problems, I should get it in spite of this.

I remember the big vaccine debate we had last year, with people having strong opinions on both sides.

What I’m trying to say here is, make informed decisions. Not all vaccines are made equally, not everyone’s situation is the same. Google up the information, ask your doctor, hopefully one you trust enough, and then make the decision.

Take care.



Anonymous said...

I don't know which vaccine you're talking about. I skipped the swine flu vaccine but got my yearly regular flu vaccine that I've gotten for 30 years since getting the "Russian flu" very badly in 1980. I've never gotten a reaction to the regular flu vaccine and never gotten the flu again.

The recent swine flu vaccine seemed thrown together to me, though TPTB denied it.

You could probably get a regular flu shot here in U.S. for $25. if you can find it;seems a bit late in the season to me for this year.


penna64 said...

Last year's flu stint is what opened my eyes to what is really happening in this world. The more I researched the more horrified I became over vaccine's.

Did you hear about in NY and in British Columbia Canada about a large group of people who 80% had at least 2 shots for measles but got it anyways.

I have been keeping track of the people I know that got the flu shot. So far everyone of them has been sick a minimum of 2 times, some more than that. I have been giving my family 2000 IU vitamin D3 everyday and oregano oil if I feel they will be around large groups or returning to school after a large break. Not one of us has gotten the sniffles.

My husband thought I was crazy when I started this last summer, but after seeing everyone at work fall ill many times and not himself....he definatly listens to my ramblings now.

penna64 said...

This flu stint last year is what got me to open my eyes about what is truly going on in this world. I was horrified about what I found about vaccines.

Did you hear about NY and in B.C.(Canada) about the large groups (I believe 80%) of people who had at least 2 shots for measles but got it anyway.

Last summer I started giving our family 2000 IU of vitamin D and if we have been in a large gathering or if there has been a large break from school we take oregano oil.

We have not been sick once since then. My husband now listens to my ramblings with interest because he is amazed how everyone at work gets sick but not him.

I have also been keeping track of the people I know who got the flu shot, and ALL of them have been sick at least 2 times. Some even 4 times. I just hope that the governments dont mess with vitamins.

Maldek said...

Better than asking a doc is perhaps to google a little bit.

30 minutes time should be enough to get a rough picture.

Hint: NEVER (yes not even one single time) has there been a scientific prove that a vaccination has any positive health effect.

The industrie lives from the fact that is is

a) very well hidden and

b) people do not ask this basic question. People might question little details here and there but the argument that a vaccination does not protect from anything is almost never questioned.

Most people who hear this information for the first time thing "this guy is nuts" "what the hell is he talking about, nonsense". And your prob. think something similar right now, isnt it?

The idea that a vaccination is some kind of protection is so deep into our minds, that we NEVER question it. Nor take the time to research about it.

Stop believing - start searching for the truth.

Anonymous said...

If you want to know about vaccines. You go here.

bob r said...

Vitamin D is your friend. Not just in relation to the flu but _many_ other issues also.

vitamin d council

Deficiency. Its not hard to find stories of people who have not had the flu once since making sure they have adequate vitamin D (I'm one: have not had the flu in more than a year and a half).

Anonymous said...

Between the ages of 18 and 55 or so if you are healthy you can probably get most any flu that comes along and survive it Younger then that or much older and you need to get the shots, the odds no longer favor you. Occasionally a vacine has a problem. It's not some conspiracy it is the nature of how the stuff is made. If you are afraid of the vaccine wait until it has been given to the general population to see if any problems show up.

In general get all the shots that are available. In addition to the obvious get Hep A & C. The vaccines work!! Don't let paranoid stories get the best of you on this.

theotherryan said...

Vaccinations are sure a polarizing topic. Vaccinations are probably the second or third biggest public health innovation of the 20th century with good sanitation (sewers and water) and anti biotics being more important. Vaccinations have destroyed all sorts of horrible diseases. They are just now coming back because people decide they don't need vaccinations. Personally I consider staying up on all vaccinations an essential preparedness measure.

Nolan said...

There have been a lot of problems lately with vaccine shots, that much is for sure. However, to say that there is no scientific evidence that vaccines prevent disease is a little silly. When's the last time you saw somebody die from Smallpox or Polio? I have help with some research in a virology lab, and I can tell you there is plenty of scientific evidence that vaccines (when done right) DO active your "memory cells" in the immune system.

Don't get your information from Google...get your information from Google Scholar. Read the actual research, not the crazed ramblings of people that have no idea of which they speak.

The problems in vaccines are pretty much restricted to flu vaccines, because those are pretty much a guess. The flu mutates remarkably quickly so a bunch of virologists get to together 2-3 years in advance and guess what the mutations will be for upcoming years. This, of course, means they are wrong a lot. It also means there is a major rush in production of vaccines, and I don't want anything going into my body to be rushed.

Vaccines are a major force for good in the world, but it is possible to screw them up and it is possible that governments don't care about the screw-ups. Just keep your head on straight and read the real research and not some crazy ramblings and you'll be informed. Here's the kicker...a lot of people in the internet lie to you, so you can't trust them.

Nolan said...

Okay...I just can't help it. I understand if you don't want this blog post to turn into the vaccine debate and don't publish this comment, but I have to say something.

The Gary Null stuff is pure, unadulterated crap. If you look at his sources, he has fewer than 10 primary sources, 8 of which disagree with the theme of his misinformation document, 2 of which are about mercury and autism and are a good use of sources. Do not listen to people like this, because they are either lying to you on purpose, or they are ignorant of real research. There are so many outright lies in the first paper (I couldn't bring myself to read the second because the first was so terrible) that I don't even know where to start on them except to say "ignore this stuff."

There are problems with the flu vaccines due to the uncertain nature of the flu, and the speed with which it was manufactured and the controversial use of thimerosal in the inactivated flu virus for small children.

People, I can't tell you the importance of reading research. Don't read the government websites, or the WHO, or crazy man Jack with a tin-foil used to keep the New World Government from detecting the tracking beacon they placed in him when he got his childhood vaccines. Read real research in peer-reviewed journals; they have a lot of technical jargon, but you should be able to get the point with little to no biology/virology technical training.

Bones said...

Just to counter the doom and gloomers regarding vaccines: the conspiracy theorists conveniently gloss over the fact that the conspiracy would require the participation of every physician and scientist involved in production of the vaccines. In short, there is no evil conspiracy.

The people running JAMA, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, etc., are legitimate. The peer review system is a pen and paper forerunner of what we call "open source". The journals are run by people who know what they are talking about and can back their talk with facts. What researchers publish is subject to critical review by the community both prior and subsequent to publication. The folks involved are well aware of the limitations of the system since a big part of the job involves poking holes in the research articles up for publication.

I get my flu shots regularly. Good nutrition is important but not a substitute for medicine backed by empirically based research.

Patrick said...

The psychological urge to rely on ready-made solutions provided by people "wiser" than one's self is as old as civilization, but has historically under-performed the strategy of doing things for yourself and seeking strength in one's own activity. This also applies to the human immune system.

FerFAL said...

Tetanus vaccines doesn't work either?
Come on people. I worries me to read that some people believe that there's no proof of vaccines working, you might as well think the world is flat (there is a website with "data" that proves just that as well, I might add)
Some vaccines are better than others, some have a higher risk that may not be worth it for certain people while its worth it for others. Get your facts right, talk with your doc and make informed decisions.


Anonymous said...

"Tetanus vaccines doesn't work either?"

Nope, sorry. Wont make you more healthy and wont give you some sort of "bullet proof vaccination vest". (The idea would be kinda cool but thats not how the world works as inconvenient as it may be)

a) There is no scientific proof that the so called " viral titer" (thats the marker doctors use to "check" if a vaccination did something) has ANY positiv effect on your health aka prevent that you get Tetanus.

There IS however substantial documented data that many people with high "viral titer" did in fact got sick with Tetanus.

What interest would i have to lie to you? And if you DID read my posting you know what I already said:
a) Chances are you will at first reject the idea of vaccinations beeing of no good use
b) Dont believe me - check for yourself

Anonymous said...

What's one example of the most ridiculous piece of crap in the first article of Gary Null's you read and I will personally contact him and challenge him on it. I've seen this guy. He walks the talk. He's glowingly physically fit,and looks like he can seriously kick some ass. My doctor harping on us to get flu shots looks like John Candy.

His health food store is in the shadow of a Whole Foods and is always packed with customers, because they want to help you. I would be interested to see if he is for real or just a charismatic health guru.
I'll do the work and post his response here.
Give me a good one he's bs'ing us on and let's see what he comes back with.

Liz said...

There was no regular flu this year, really no point in getting a regular flu shot. Because H1N1 arrived unannounced it had to be "thrown together" quickly. But if you really look at the time frame it really wasn't much different than the yearly seasonal vaccines. It actually took a little longer because it was harder to grow. It was tested just like the yearly flu vaccines are - in children, adults, pregnant women. The reaction to it was less than the regular flu vaccine. People commented that maybe they didn't get the real thing because of no swelling at the site or arm pain.
I enjoy reading your blog but I am really concerned when a parent is willing to protect themselves but leave their children unprotected. Children were hit hard by this flu which is unusual. Either believe in the vaccine and protect everyone or rely on the "internet experts" and follow their advice.

FerFAL said...

Hi Liz, try reading better next time. I'm not relying on the "internet experts", as I said, it was my son's pediatrician that said that, IN HIS CASE, the vaccine could end up doing more harm than good given his medical history, perfect health, and that the vaccine hasn't been tested enough before hitting the market, while on the other hand in my case, I'm likely to end up with bronquitis or pneumonia anyway, so its worth getting the shot, even if its far from a well tested shot.
So, kids with no prior lung problmes, THE DOCOTR IS TELLING ME NOT TO GIVE IT TO THEM, not because I'd rather cover my ass and not do the same thing for my kids, but because its not worth the health risk in THEIR CASE.
I'd chew my arm off for my kids. So I dont appreciate the "willing to protect themselves but leave their children unprotected" part.
Its not body armor, its a vaccine that hasn't been tested enough and the general medical recommendation here is not to give it to people that don't have respiratory problems, specially not a perfectly healthy boy that spends all days home, with his mom watching over him, and perfect health.

David said...

I think a lot of the heat regarding this subject has to do with flu vaccine.

1) Archives of Internal Medicine (a very mainstream peer-reviewed medical journal) published a well-designed double-blind study of the seasonal (multivalent) flu vaccine in nursing home patients. Result: no statistically (much less clinically) significant difference in flu illnesses, secondary infections, or mortality between those who got the shot and those who didn't. The flu shot was a waste of time and multi-use vials STILL contain mercury, a potent neurotoxin.

2) The "news" often repeats the factoid that 36,000 Americans die each year from influenza. This is wrong, looking at the CDC's own reports. Actually, about 50,000 Americans die each year due to pneumonia (which is usually bacterial), which CAN be a complication of the flu but often has nothing to do with it. Flu deaths are conflated with pneumonia deaths...decide for yourself WHY you think this is done. Also, almost everyone who dies is over 75.

See table 10 of this file:

cryingfreeman said...

Chaps, by way of factual background that you can all look into and verify, please be aware that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has made moves on a unanimous vote to investigate the entire H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine affair, including the role of the World Health Organization (WHO) which, it is alleged, declared H1N1 a pandemic under the prompting / lobbying of pharmaceutical companies, most notably Baxter.

Furthermore, the EU is looking into what it views as “potentially dangerous vaccination strategies” being pushed by the WHO at the behest of Baxter et al. German epidemiologist Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, chairman of the PACE Health Committee and himself a specialist in lung disease, said the pharmaceutical companies were willing to “inflict bodily harm in their pursuit of profits” and that this bogus pandemic was one of the greatest medical scandals of the century. This is NOT CONSPIRACY THEORY; these are real, on the record allegations from the EU.
[References: Die Zeit and Der Tagesspiegel 16th Dec 2009]

Also, just last week the Sydney Morning Herald reported a number of young children in Australia and New Zealand suffering convulsions after taking a seasonal flu vaccine, as a consequence of which that particular vaccination programme has been suspended, despite the Aus/NZ governments approval of it in the first instance. What is particularly alarming is that children under the age of three years have been especially badly affected by that vaccine.

Anonymous said...

I think I can say without a shadow of a doubt I have played all sides of the issue. From a kid growing up in the 70's and vacines were safe and a life saver to going in the US Military and getting shots for everything and then some to having an immume disease. I guess the best answer is it depends. I haven't had a flu shot in 2 + years ( based on Dr.'s recommendation) because of my disease. I had no problems in the Military with the average flu shot once they went to a dead virus.
I still think most vacines are safe but a few do have problems with how they are made or some of the ingredients. Like anything be an informed consumer and do your research.
I had no problems with all of the shots I was given in the Military but a bout of pneumonia got me into Guillame Barre Syndrome and the chronic version called CIDP and now I'm 100 % disabled.
I don't b;ame anyone, some folks will have reactions to a vaccine as well as a disease.
It was funny when I first had been diagnosed that the doctor's gave me odds on the lethality of the treatment and catching the disease was lower odds than dying from the treatment. I thought my mom was going to do gross bodily harm to the doctor after 2 weeks of treatment.
I do think most doctors are doing the best they can, just sometimes they are overwhelmed with all the info both good and bad to make a last decision. It's your body and your health. Do your own research and then weigh the odds.

Nolan said...

I don't have the time right now (end of the semester)to write another research type paper into why vaccines work sometimes and don't work sometimes, nor is this the proper forum for that type of discourse. The short answer is that there is enormous variability amongst humans, so that a vaccine that is safe for 99.9% will still kill/make sick quite a number of people. This is because many viruses (mostly the ssRNA types) mutate at an incredible pace, and the conserved amino acid sequences are not a good target for antigens. Also, many viruses (such as the flu) have a whole bunch of serotypes and one vaccine doesn't work for all of them.

The goal of vaccination programs is not keep everybody from getting sick, but rather to reduce the number of people that get serious infection. For examples of proof of vaccine work, you can look as far back as Jenner (the guy that figured out to infect people with cow pox to stop them from getting small pox). Research Polio (though we have now created a new Polio virus, yay mishandling of vaccines in 3rd world countries), smallpox, the MMR vaccine, and Hepatitus vaccines.

There will also be anecdotal evidence about how one thing works or does not work. The question is: does it work more than it does not work? The answer for the tried and true vaccines = yes.

The problem I have with Gary Null is the problem I have with any person who misleads people by putting out information that vaccines don't work. A pretty simple rule of thumb: a scientist doing research WILL NOT cite a newspaper. It is intended to mislead. I can't do a full workup now, but if you send me an email to I'll eventually get back to you.

I have nothing to sell you, and you are free to think and believe whatever it is you wish. I do have a deeper than normal knowledge base on this topic. I'm not saying you are lying, I'm saying it seems likely to me that you have been misled by something with something to sell. One major problem we have is that virology is such a technical field, that without taking around 12 graduate hours and doing a little research, it is really hard to spot absurd statements about vaccines.

That said, I'm sure not getting a flu shot. I'll get the "tried and true" vaccines, but there were enough problems with the flu vaccines I don't want it in my body. However, the flu vaccine is not all vaccines. Vaccines are a tool, much like a screw-driver. If used properly it is wonderfully useful, but if misused it can kill somebody. That is why I advocate doing your own research of the literature, but it's too important to take any one person's word for it.

Anonymous said...

RE: Gary Null. OK. I thought by your comment that you were so offended by his first paper that you had many smoking gun examples to prove he's a fraud. You could just copy/paste one. So never mind. I don't want to waste anyone's time. I'll look at the places you and everyone else suggests to find trusted info and form my own opinion.