Monday, September 28, 2009

Don't Blame the Flu Shots?

In the New York Times today (9.28.09), the headline reads, “Swine Flu Officials’ Message: Don’t Blame Flu Shots for All Ills”.  The article goes on to point out that when the swine flu vaccination program begins, some people will naturally die of strokes and heart attacks, therefore the flu vaccine should not be blamed for these deaths or other naturally occurring illnesses.  Further in the article it states that every year there are 1.1 million heart attacks in the United States, 795,000 strokes and 876,000 miscarriages. Furthermore, 200,000 Americans will have their first seizure. 

“The government is right to expect coincident deaths, since people are dying every day, with our without flu shots,” said Dr. Harvey Fineberg, president of the Institute of Medicine.   The article further states, “Government officials are particularly worried about spontaneous miscarriages, because they are urging pregnant women to be among the first to be vaccinated.”  This year there is more pressure for pregnant women to get the flu shot. 

My wife brought this article to my attention.  She said, “Can you believe this?  On the one hand they are saying that people get sick and die every day, so the flu shot can’t be causing that.   On the other hand, they seem to be saying if more people are going to become ill from the flu shot we are going to fight that tooth and nail and not admit any possible relationship to an increase in illness that may be related to the flu vaccine.”

No one in their right mind would suggest that the yearly 1.1 million heart attacks are somehow related to the flu vaccine.  However, perhaps there is a relationship between an illness, such as a seizure disorder that starts within a short period of time from the vaccination, and the flu vaccine.  Governmental agencies have been loathe to admit any illnesses associated with any vaccine.   I see parents in my office that have a normal, healthy child and shortly after a childhood immunization their child’s life has been suddenly altered.  We know all vaccines cause changes in the brain associated with inflammation.  Why is it so impossible that this inflammation cannot manifest as disease of the brain such as autism or seizures?  Perhaps some (or many) of the 200,000 Americans who experience their first seizure each year are having problems with vaccines?  We would not know because the studies have not been properly done.

As for vaccinating pregnant women, I have a statement:  “You have got to be kidding me.”.  This new swine flu vaccine has been fast-tracked and has not been properly studied.  There is no way I would recommend a pregnant women receive this vaccine.  Why are we experimenting on anybody with a vaccine that has not been properly studied?  And, for god’s sake, why would we be promoting experimentation on pregnant women?  Sometimes I feel like we all live in Alice in Wonderland.   


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