VIRAL INFECTIONS AND THEIR
Total Number in Group: 30,456
Emergency Room Visit: 148
Total Number in Group: 34,398
Emergency Room Visit: 276
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RE-APPROVING FLU MIST?
PROOF OF JUST HOW DESPERATE THE "FLU VAXXERS" HAVE BECOME
"The decision will be a relief for MedImmune, which makes FluMist, and for people in public health who see this vaccine as an important part of the response to both annual flu outbreaks and the rare but often more dangerous flu pandemics. There had been mounting concern the company, a division of AstraZeneca, would abandon the vaccine if it could not find a way back to the U.S. market. AstraZeneca signaled it will ask CDC if its purchase through its Vaccines for Children Program can be increased to include FluMist for next winter."
Isn't that special! This way your hard-earned tax dollars get to fund a vaccine that in a group of poorly-functioning vaccines, stands out above the rest for being truly terrible (HERE). After discussing how tough it is to GUESS WHICH THREE OR FOUR FLU STRAINS of the thousands circulating should go into next year's vaccine, Professor of Pediatrics at Hofstra, Henry Bernstein, was quoted as saying, "I’m a little concerned about whether it would be interpreted that we’re compromising our interpretation of the science.... Branswell showed that at least some of the others believed likewise. "A number of members of the committee expressed concern that restoring FluMist to the recommended vaccines list before there is evidence to prove the problem has been fixed could further undermine the battered reputation of flu vaccines, especially if it turns out that the change MedImmune made did not improve the vaccine’s performance." Concerned? Maybe. But not enough to vote it down.
Although the SCARE TACTICS used to coerce people into receiving annual flu shots continue to work on some level; in similar fashion to "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," people are beginning to see the bigger picture. The result is that the reputation of flu vaccines is taking the kind of beating that makes the word "battered" look to be the week's biggest understatement. In other words, the fear factor is shrinking. Throw into the mix that articles like Branswell's, whether knowingly or unknowingly, expose this debate for what it really is --- a debate about dollars. It's no wonder increasing numbers of people are becoming disenchanted, seeing the shot for the scam it really is. By the way, this is largely what Cochrane, the most respected and elite of the mainstream medical organizations that meta-analyze medical data and research, believes as well (they published their new recommendations for flu vaccines earlier this month HERE).
It's also why growing numbers of people are realizing that EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE the way it's currently being done cannot be trusted. And while I did not have time, I promise that if you researched the people on this board who actually voted for FluMist to be reinstated, you would likely find financial COI that looks suspiciously similar to THE COI I showed you a month ago concerning TAMIFLU (for the record, Dr. Bernstien voted not to have FluMist restored to FDA approval).
THE NEW FLU REVIEW: ARE THOSE OF US WHO QUESTION THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE FLU VACCINE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILDREN DYING?Read Now
DOES ME QUESTIONING FLU V.E. (VACCINE EFFECTIVENESS) MEAN I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILDREN'S DEATHS?
Look folks; this isn't that tough. I know very few people who are actually "anti" vaccine. What thinking-people are is pro-vaccine choice. Nowhere is this truer than with the ridiculously crappy flu vaccine. I say crappy because that is exactly what this shot is (and although Cochrane says it a bit nicer, they would agree). Walker quotes Baylor's Dr. Peter Hotez (MD / PhD) as placing blame for a good percentage of this season's flu death directly at the feet of people like me. "This current flu epidemic may turn out to be the first major example of how the antivaccine lobby in America was effective in dissuading people not to get vaccinated, and may be responsible for hundreds or more American deaths." Walker found several other experts to agree with this assessment, somehow managing to get the director of Infectious Disease Epidemiology of an Ivy League school (Columbia's Stephen Morse) to say something totally and utterly scientifically indefensible.
"For flu, even 20% protection can prevent many cases and save many lives directly and indirectly..."
On the surface, this statement makes some modicum of sense. The thought process is simple --- 20% immunity sucks, but I guess it's better than nothing. But is this really true? Let me show you how we've all been hoodwinked by statisticians with Ph.D's in chicanery. Firstly, I've shown you several times that VE for this year's virulent portion of the flu vaccine (the H3N2 portion) is actually 10% or less (HERE), and not Morse's 20% (the CDC says 17%). And secondly, in the always-interesting comment section, "Dr. CC" provided one of the singularly clearest explanations of the DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ABSOLUTE AND RELATIVE RISK I have ever seen in regards to VE (Vaccine Effectiveness). Watch the yellow ball and try to figure out which cup it's really under.
I support appropriate vaccination, but I feel it is irresponsible to label patients exercising their decision for informed consent as being responsible for deaths. Clearly, we as a medical profession have done a poor job of educating the public and gaining their trust, and trying to badger them into compliance only increases the distrust they have in medicine. I have to say I even had to rethink my support of the flu vaccine when I learned that the efficacy numbers used were misleading to the public. Most assume that "20% efficacy" means 1 in 5 people would be protected from the flu ---- as do many of my fellow physicians. It took a colleague of mine to point out that it is a ‘relative’ risk reduction, which means you actually are only reducing the typical estimated 4% risk a person has each year, down to 3.2%. In other words out of 100 vaccinated people, 1 person (0.8%) would be protected from the flu if all 100 were vaccinated. What is more disheartening, and something patients are becoming increasingly aware of, is the fact that the 'flu deaths' reported are actually 'flu-associated' illnesses.....
Amazing! And as crazy as it may seem, if you use this year's actual numbers (10% VE instead of 20%), the odds are even worse (.4 instead of .8). This means that you would have to vaccinate 200 people instead of 100 in order to prevent a single case of flu. Gulp! And in the same way that a measles vaccine does not protect one from polio, neither does a flu shot protect one from the myriad of diseases that fall under the category of flu-like (or as Dr. CC said, "flu-associated") illnesses. And as to Dr. CC's statement, I even had to rethink my support of the flu vaccine when I learned that the efficacy numbers used were misleading to the public, as yourself whether the 'misleading' is intentional? At the very least, BIG PHARMA is gleefully reveling in the error, while doing nothing to correct said misconception (If I had time I could show you how they are actually exploiting it). Speaking of misconceptions, let's take a moment to discuss a biggie --- the "life saving" effects of the antiviral, Tamiflu.
HEALTH NEWS REVIEW TAKES ON THE ANTIVIRAL TAMIFLU
Rather than taking on a single article, a week ago, journalist Mary Chris Jaklevic, went off on the coverage of an entire class of drugs (antivirals) in a piece called Stories About Tragic Flu Deaths Wrongly Portray Tamiflu as a Panacea. I'm not going to spend an inordinate amount of time on TAMIFLU because simply understanding how the FDA approved it (60% of the studies on the drug --- the studies showing how crappy it really is --- were BURIED) provides most of what you need to know. Furthermore, after crunching the data on dozens of Tamiflu studies of over 24,000 people, Cochrane concluded that if you can get the drug into a person during the first two days of their illness, it will convey "small benefits on symptom relief, namely shortening duration of symptoms by half a day on average." Half a day? Is this a joke? This is the "life saving" miracle drug that everyone in the media is clamoring about? You bet your sweet bippy it is.... and they are. Can anyone say "fake news"?
Jaklevic went on to list a number of media stories with deceptive headlines, as well as a clip from the national news showing how this drug is being represented --- as the "panacea" mentioned in her story's title. If you want more proof of how bad Tamiflu really is, you can read her article, or you can read my brother's really short article (HERE --- he's an MD). As my friend DR. ERIC SERRANO so "eloquently" wrote (HERE), you need to realize that this drug does not do even remotely come close to doing what it is represented to do by the media, or those in industry who are pulling their strings.
Although I thought most of Jaklevic's story was spot on, for some reason she felt an obligation to parrot a widely touted CDC statistic that is both wrong and misleading. "The CDC has estimated U.S. flu deaths this season could be close to their peak in recent years of 56,000, and most deaths occur in the elderly." Firstly, most of these deaths occur not only in the elderly, but in a sub-group of the geriatric population that scientists and doctors refer to as "the frail elderly". Secondly, Dr. Ed Yazbak, a pediatrician and professor, showed everyone how ridiculously exaggerated flu mortality stats really are in a story he wrote a number of years ago (HERE).
If you are one of those people who has fallen into the pit of chronic pain and chronic illness, be sure to read my DIY generic protocol that may help you start pulling yourself out of that pit (HERE).
THE ANNUAL HEAD-SCRATCHER
EXPERTS CONTEMPLATE NEXT YEAR'S FLU SEASON
Baby even the losers.... get lucky sometimes. The late Tom Petty singing about the hopefulness of next year's flu vaccine in 1979's Even the Losers (Damn the Torpedoes)
Just yesterday the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said that "Most (69%) influenza infections were caused by A(H3N2) viruses." They then said that vaccine effectiveness (VE) against this strain "was estimated to be 25%." Is this true? Firstly, if you click the previous link, you'll see that someone, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is wrong (VE is almost always exaggerated by the CDC before being quietly downgraded in the summer --- HERE). And secondly, even though Dr. L discussed the importance of targeting the correct strains, he failed to explain how difficult (impossible) it really is, because as I've shown you in the past, "matched years" (correctly guessing which three or four strains should be included in next year's vaccine that's being made this year) occur approximately once a decade. Not surprising considering there are literally thousands of variant strains of flu virus.
The CDC's Timothy Uyeki was then quoted about his opinion of antivirals --- the drugs many doctors recommend if you get the flu --- the Tamiflu that has been in such a shortage due to this year's panic. I'll not talk about what he said, but if you're interested in seeing just how badly you've been hoodwinked concerning this all-but-completely ineffective drug, take a look at THIS SHORT POST. As is is typical, there was the usual whining by government officials about not having enough of your hard-earned tax dollars for research ("this takes a lot more funding"). And as I often do with articles that can only be described as propaganda pieces, I headed directly to the comment section, where Dr. JP chimed in with his two cents.
"Correct that a flu vaccine is 100% ineffective if it is not taken. At present it seems to be 70-83% ineffective if it is taken. (that's 17-30% effective, right?) But the only way you know if a treatment or prophylactic is ineffective is if you get the condition you're trying to prevent. Wow -- 70-83 percent of people who get a flu shot get the flu anyway? That's a pretty useless vaccine. If you don't receive the treatment and you don't acquire the condition -- that's not ineffective, it is null data -- and who's going to report it anyway!"
Dr. JP went on to describe the science behind VE as "dodgy statistical manipulation". It is dodgy, considering that the director for the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, Dr. Michael Osterholm, recently discussed how inflated CDC VE stats really are. I quote, "The vaccine is, at best, around 10% effective on H3N2." The words "at best" mean that it's doubtful it's even 10% effective.
The CDC created a built-in excuse for the future VE downgrade that is sure to come, when they admitted that, "the findings in this report are subject to at least four limitations." Yes they are, and if people would simply read my posts on FLU VACCINES, they would understand that the "science" behind those limitations is as dodgy as the statistics themselves. What does the science show? Follow a few of these links to see just how crappy these vaccines really are, which is creating a huge black eye on the profession. Think about it this way; if the scientific and medical communities truly believed everything they adoringly tout concerning EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE, they would treat the flu like what it really is --- A BAD COLD.
Notice that I earlier mentioned the word panic. This was not an oversight nor was it hype. Governmental organizations and their partners in crime from the private sector (BIG PHARMA), purposeful create, aggressively cultivate, and then actively promote an environment of fear (panic) surrounding each and every flu season for one reason --- to sell more vaccines. The same can be said for antivirals such as TAMIFLU, which are themselves no better than about 10% effective. Helen Branswell's article for Thursday's edition of STAT (Three Quarters of People Who Got Flu Shot This Year Weren't Protected Against Most Common Strain) quoted CDC director, Dr. Anne Schuchat as saying, "We are a bit concerned that the performance of the vaccine right now might reduce interest in getting vaccinated in the future, but we have the other side that flu was just so bad so far this season, so many people have been sick and see how miserable it is."
But was this year's flu really that bad, and could it legitimately be described as "worse" than other recent seasons? Or, was the media --- a group who is collectively and constantly looking for some "DIRTY LAUNDRY" --- selling fear and panic in order to juice their ratings? You be the judge after listening to Branswell quote from this week's CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (I am cherry-picking a bit here).
"The H3N2 vaccine effectiveness in children 6 months of age to 8 years old was 51 percent. The text of the report did not point out that in children aged 9 to 17, there appeared to be no protection at all against H3N2 viruses. So far this season 63 children have died from flu. While tragic, that number is actually low in comparison with other recent seasons. In older adults, the H3N2 vaccine performance was much less impressive. Seniors aged 65 and older saw their risk of needing medical care for flu cut by 17 percent, and in adults 50 to 64 — an age group with an unusually high hospitalization rate this winter — the H3N2 component’s effectiveness was 10 percent. Those numbers correspond to what was seen last year in those age groups in the U.S. and also to vaccine effectiveness estimates from Canada that were released earlier this month."
How can you tell this is statistical rubbish? Ask yourself how in the world Vaccine Effectiveness could be over 50% for children 8 and under, but 0% for those ages 9-17? This stat alone shows you how bogus the numbers are. And as for the elderly, the latest Cochrane Review on flu vaccines and the elderly from last week (HERE) showed exactly what the last Cochrane Review for flu vaccines and the elderly showed several years ago; that VE hovers in the nether regions for this age group. That's not me folks, that's Cochrane; the most prestigious and respected producer of medical meta-analytics on the planet (HERE). The CDC is MANIPULATING THE DATA (playing statistical games) to try and keep a lid on just how bad things really are with flu vaccines (VE).
Allow me to show you an example of data manipulation concerning the flu vaccine that I stole from the previous link. "A few days ago I was discussing the brand new Cochrane Review concerning flu shots in healthy adults with my brother (AN ER DOCTOR who has never been a fan of the shots). He brought up an interesting point. Even though the data of hundreds of studies since 1965, containing over 80,000 subjects, was crunched to show that the vaccine lowers a healthy adult's chance of contracting flu from 2% to 1% (a whopping 1 percentage point), he rightly predicted that industry would claim that the unvaccinated group had 100% more flu than the vaccinated group (after all, two is 100% greater than one)."
Here's another example of data manipulation concerning flu vaccines that you undoubtedly didn't hear about from the mainstream press. Enter Dr. De Serres. Dr. Gaston De Serres biography for CIRN (the Canadian Immunization Research Network) reads thusly. "Dr. De Serres is a medical epidemiologist at the Institute National de Santé Publique du Québec and a professor of Epidemiology at the Faculty of Medicine at Laval University. Dr. De Serres works in the area of control and prevention of infectious disease with a focus on vaccine-preventable diseases and respiratory infections, vaccine effectiveness and vaccine safety." His specialty is flu vaccine. I mention Dr. De Serres only because he was the lead author for a study (Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Workers: Critical Analysis of the Evidence for Patient Benefit Underpinning Policies of Enforcement) published in last January's issue of PLoS One. Listen to the conclusions of his team of a dozen medical researchers from facilities around the world.
"Annual influenza vaccination for health care workers (HCWs) is widely endorsed and increasingly enforced on the basis that it will reduce influenza-associated morbidity and mortality in patients. Two pivotal systematic reviews and meta-analyses have been published summarizing and pooling these four RCT [studies] findings, but reached different conclusions about the strength of that evidence. Whereas the review conducted by investigators of the CDC characterized the overall quality of evidence as moderate, the Cochrane review concluded that the evidence was insufficient to support HCW influenza vaccination as an approach to reduce patient risk. Such uncertainty in the quality of the evidence warrants closer examination. This is particularly important given that compulsory or coercive (e.g. vaccinate-or-mask) policies have been extrapolated in some jurisdictions to not only include HCWs providing direct patient care, but also to include all staff in acute-care hospitals and other healthcare settings."
After making all of their calculations with extremely generous statistics (among other concessions, De Serres' team assumed a flu vaccine VE of 60% --- significantly better than what's seen in a typical year), they concluded that "Through this detailed critique and quantification of the evidence, policies of enforced influenza vaccination of HCWs to reduce patient risk lack a sound empirical basis. While HCWs have an ethical and professional duty not to place their patients at increased risk, so also have advocates for compulsory vaccination a duty to ensure that the evidence they cite is valid and reliable."
Because the evidence for MANDATORY FLU VACCINES FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS is so "unreliable" (some HCW's understand this, therefore there is a significant segment of them who do not want the shots), De Serre's team concluded that the only viable way to protect patients is for all healthcare workers to wear a mask, not just those who declined to be immunized. "A coherent prevention policy to reduce risk to patients to the extent possible would dictate the wearing of masks by all HCWs, vaccinated or unvaccinated, for the duration of the winter respiratory season. We are unaware of such extreme policies anywhere to date." So, the only thing that might help stop the spread of flu in institutional settings isn't even being done.
This is an emotional, hot-button issue. Make sure to look at it logically, and not based on the fear purposefully created by people who either don't understand the evidence (those who are currently 'drinking the koolaid') or who completely understand it and realize just how crappy it really is. BTW, the second group is far scarier than the first.
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Hopefully I'm about done with flu season posts for awhile. It's just that misinformation about the flu vaccine needs to be refuted by common sense, truth, logic, and real science. If you are tired of the propaganda and want to reach others with this message, the easiest way to reach them is by liking, sharing, or following on FACEBOOK.
FLU FLU FLU: WHAT AM I TO DO?
THE VERY LATEST COCHRANE REVIEWS ON FLU VACCINES
If you read between the line you can guess that this statement was made in response to the continual poor showing of pharmaceutically-induced methods of flu prevention. Just how bad are modern flu vaccines? Listen to what three researchers from St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis wrote in last month's issue of Viral Immunology (Influenza Virus: Dealing with a Drifting and Shifting Pathogen).
"Numerous modern technological and scientific advances have changed the vaccine industry. However, nearly 70 years of influenza vaccine usage have passed without substantial changes in the underlying principles of the vaccine. The challenge of vaccinating against influenza lies in the constantly changing nature of the virus itself. This has forced frequent updates of vaccine antigens to ensure that the somewhat narrowly focused vaccine-induced immune responses defend against circulating strains. Few vaccine production systems have been developed that can entertain such constant changes. Although influenza virus infection induces long-lived immunologic memory to the same or similar strains, most people do not encounter the same strain repeatedly in their lifespan, suggesting that enhancement of natural immunity is required to improve influenza vaccines."
Did you catch that? Because the virus is in a continual state of mutation, the worn out method of "guessing" what three or four strains of flu virus of the thousands circulating should be put into next year's vaccine, seven or eight months in advance, is a joke. In fact, I've previously shown you that a "matched year" happens about once every 11 (what were you doing in 2007?). But none of this prevents --- or even seems to slow down --- the onslaught of industry- and media-driven propaganda (HERE), warning us that without the flu shot, apocalypse is nigh. And while there are, unfortunately, people who die from the flu (HERE and HERE), research continues to show that flu vaccines do little to prevent those specific deaths. The problem is so significant that these authors suggest that getting there from here cannot be accomplished without "enhancement of natural immunity". Just realize that you must be extremely cautious when "BOOSTING" THE IMMUNE SYSTEM.
What I would like to do now is show you the latest updates to the biggest flu studies from the leader in the field, COCHRANE (formerly the Cochrane Review / Cochrane Collaboration). Cochrane is the gold standard of medical review and meta-analysis --- renowned for their ability to take large numbers of studies, crunch the data, and come to some sort of logical conclusion or consensus. "For 20 years, Cochrane has produced systematic reviews of primary research in human health care and health policy, and these are internationally recognized as the highest standard in evidence-based health care resources. Let's see what Cochrane said in several flu studies they published just last week.
- FLU VACCINES FOR THOSE WITH CANCER TAKING IMMUNOSUPPRESSIVE DRUGS: I've said it before; IMMUNOSUPPRESSION is America's number one form of medical treatment, and not just for CANCER. A brand new review from The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (updating their 2013 results --- Influenza Vaccines in Immunosuppressed Adults with Cancer) looked at six studies of 2,300 individuals and determined that while the vaccine provided "lower mortality and infection-related outcomes with influenza vaccination," the effects were not very large and the evidence was described several times as "weak".
- FLU VACCINES FOR THE ELDERLY: Also an update of an older Cochrane Review (2010), Vaccines for Preventing Influenza in the Elderly looked at eight studies of over 5,000 people over the age of 65, concluding that "Older adults receiving the influenza vaccine may have a lower risk of influenza (from 6% to 2.4%), and probably have a lower risk of influenza-like illness) compared with those who do not receive a vaccination over the course of a single influenza season (from 6% to 3.5%). The evidence for a lower risk of influenza and influenza-like illness with vaccination is limited by biases in the design or conduct of the studies. Lack of detail regarding the methods used to confirm the diagnosis of influenza limits the applicability of this result. The available evidence relating to complications is of poor quality, insufficient, or old and provides no clear guidance for public health regarding the safety, efficacy, or effectiveness of influenza vaccines for people aged 65 years or older. Society should invest in research on a new generation of influenza vaccines for the elderly." Not exactly a ringing endorsement (more like a "wringing" endorsement). Bottom line, if you are over 65, a flu shot is going to decrease your chance of flu or flu-like symptoms by a whopping threeish percentage points.
- FLU VACCINATIONS IN HEALTHY ADULTS: Are you a "healthy" adult? Then you might want to AVOID THE FLU SHOT. Cochrane updated yet another study, this one from 2014, that came to about the same conclusions as previously (Vaccines for Preventing Influenza in Healthy Adults). The results are almost shocking if you've never seen them before. After looking at "52 clinical trials of over 80,000 people assessing the safety and effectiveness of influenza vaccines," the authors concluded that "Healthy adults who receive inactivated parenteral influenza vaccine [parenteral indicates a shot since the FLU MIST has been 0% effective for five years and counting] rather than no vaccine probably experience less influenza, from just over 2% to just under 1%." Did you catch that? Pathetic! They go on to make PREGNANT WOMEN question why they would ever get the shot. "Protection against influenza and influenza-like illness in mothers and newborns was smaller than the effects seen in other populations considered in this review.. The protective effect of vaccination in pregnant women and newborns is also very modest." This is a nice way of saying that the vaccine results on this population were slightly better than negligible. In layman's terms, they suck. And lest you forget, "Vaccines increase the risk of a number of adverse events....." This is why the old review said that between 70 and 80 "healthy adults" would need to be vaccinated to prevent a single case of flu or influenza-like illness --- a stat that probably increased in this recent review. And to top it all off, almost a third of these studies in this review were done by industry. Knowing what we know about the myth of EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE and what happens when THE CORRUPT FDA lets the fox guard the hen house, imagine how much worse it would have been if all the research had come from unbiased third parties?
- HEALTHY CHILDREN AND FLU VACCINES: Once again, this is a Cochrane Review --- this one (Vaccines for Preventing Influenza in Healthy Children) updating a review from 2011. Working from Oxford University, four authors (including Dr. Tom Jefferson, who was instrumental in exposing just how crappy and dangerous OSELTAMIVIR / TAMIFLU really is, as well as how it was approved via rank fraud) looked at 41 studies of over 200,000 "healthy children under 16 years old," concluding that "In children aged between 3 and 16 years, live influenza vaccines probably reduce influenza (moderate-certainty evidence) and may reduce ILI (low-certainty evidence) over a single influenza season. In this population inactivated vaccines also reduce influenza (high-certainty evidence) and may reduce ILI (low-certainty evidence). For both vaccine types, the absolute reduction in influenza and ILI varied considerably. Adverse event data were not well described in the available studies." The severe adverse events that were described included NARCOLEPSY and cataplexy ("a sudden loss of muscle tone triggered by the experience of an intense emotion") as well as high fevers. How much did the vaccine, on average, lower children's chances of developing flu or flu-like illness (note that we are not talking about severe flu such as what we are seeing this year)? Although it's hard to tell for sure because everything kind of ran together in the abstract thanks to the crazy variation in individual study results, but it appears to be about 15 to 18 percentage points. Note however, that as stated, these results were for a given year (a single influenza season). Just yesterday I showed you how studies continue to prove that flu shots in consecutive seasons diminish their effectiveness the subsequent year(s).
If, LIKE DR. OZ, you decide not to have your family immunized against the flu due to any number of reasons (including the progressive BUILDUP OF NEUROTOXIC ALUMINUM in the brain), there are steps you could be taking to improve your odds of not only not getting the flu, but of surviving the severe / virulent forms of the flu that the vaccines are known to provide little protection against (HERE). Although much of it revolves around eating a healthy diet, unfortunately, this is becoming less and less common here in America, especially in our nation's HYPER-INFLAMED children. To see a complete "get healthy" protocol that includes addressing Gut issues, just follow THIS LINK.
DO YOU EVER GET TIRED OF BEING CALLED AN ANTIVAXXER SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU REFUSED THE FLU VACCINE?
THIS POST IS FOR YOU!
"A midseason glimpse of flu vaccine effectiveness in Canada shows that protection against the H3N2 strain is very low... Protection against H3N2 was even lower, at 10%." Yesterday's press release from the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (Canadian Data Show Low Flu Vaccine Protection Against H3N3)
"So the Flu Shot is Only 10 Percent Effective: 5 Reasons to Still Get It" The title of one of last week's articles from KevinMD that could not be described as anything other than a pure propaganda piece, with reasons that are excuses why it won't work, not reasons to get it.
"Does Australia's bad flu season bode ill for Northern Hemisphere nations, including the US, Canada and across Europe? In general, we get in our season what the Southern Hemisphere got in the season immediately preceding us. An intelligent guess, therefore, is that the north will probably have a bad flu season."
I'll not belabor the fact that something similar was run by each and every news outlet across the nation. The October issue of the medical journal Eurosurveillance (Low Interim Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness, Australia, 1 May to 24 September 2017) confirmed this warning, then revealed that, "Overall vaccine effectiveness was 33%. This estimate appeared to be skewed by the very low estimate for A(H3), which was 10%." That's why our own TRUST-US CDC (the governmental organization that's been warning that this year's virus is particularly nasty because it's an Influenza A, H3N2 strain) likewise warned citizens that "so far this flu season, influenza A (H3N2) viruses have been predominant in the United States -- a fact that is troubling because in previous flu seasons, H3N2-predominant seasons have been more severe. Vaccine effectiveness against H3N2 viruses also is typically lower... It's not uncommon for a flu shot to have an effectiveness of about 30 percent against H3N2 viruses."
I'll make you a promise that you can take to the bank. When the actual level of vaccine effectiveness is published sometime in June or July, it will be much lower than 30%. And as for the part of the vaccine that protects against the severe strain --- the H3N2 strain? The CDC has been talking out of both sides of their mouth, admitting in several other places that this year's H3N2 portion is no better than 10% effectiveness, confirming what Canada confirmed yesterday. So let's all be honest with ourselves for a moment. In light of what we know about the ineffectiveness of the FLU VACCINE in general (not according to me but according to mountains of peer-review), shouldn't we all have the right to decline it without being browbeat as "antivaxxers"? Seems not. A recent editorial in the Boston Globe (Mounting A Ground War Against Anti-Vaxxers) is just one more biased article in a long line of biased articles full of misinformation and outright deception.
The piece starts with the author picking on Brian Kilmeade for making a statement on Fox & Friends that would make you would think he was personally unleashing Black Death on the world. Kilmeade was accused of telling his 1.6 million viewers that not getting a flu shot is a great way of building their immune system. While this is not technically correct (not getting the flu shot is great way to keep from weakening your immune system), his overall point was spot on.
Kilmeade was put in somewhat of a pickle by an MD that was a guest on the show (THE 20 SECOND CLIP). After admitting that he had not been vaccinated, the good doctor sort of jokingly threatened to give Kilmeade a Flu Shot once they were off the air, telling him that he essentially needed take one for the Gipper (actually he chided Kilmeade, saying that he needed to get one because he could expose his daughters / wife). Kilmeade then uttered his now infamous response, "Right. Alright, but they’ve got to build up their immunity, too."
What's not mentioned in the Globe's article is that not two seconds before the sentence above, Kilmeade was starting to give the Doctor Siegel some statistics. He got as far as "only 30 percent" before being cut off. Haley Miller of HuffPo (Fox And Friends Host Goes Anti-Vaxxer Amid Deadly Flu Epidemic) described this exchange thusly. "Kilmeade dismissed the medical professional’s advice, instead echoing a debunked talking point of conspiracy theorists known as anti-vaxxers." Both articles went on to talk about the NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO DIE EACH YEAR FROM THE FLU, with the Globe discussing everything from measles to Robert Kennedy (the ANTI-POLLUTION / ANTI-MERCURY & ALUMINUM ADJUVANT activist), referring to both Kilmeade and Kennedy as "anti-vax luddites".
The Globe stopped just short of saying that 20th century mass vaccination campaigns (they started around 1960) were responsible for a greatly reduced death rate due to microbial infections. But then again, if the Globe would have made that sort of allegation even the CDC may have been forced to admit the story was an exaggeration (SEE CDC GRAPH). As far as exaggerations and half-truths are concerned, Haley has this fun little paragraph in her story.
"Vaccines boost your immune system ― not weaken it. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, vaccines help your immune system fight infections 'faster and more effectively.' They also often provide 'long-lasting immunity to serious diseases without the risk of serious illness,' the HHS website reports. So it’s important to get a flu shot every year."
Firstly, vaccines (including the flu vaccine) unarguably "boost" your immune system. But in our modern age of rampant and runaway autoimmunity, I've warned people repeatedly that REPEATEDLY "BOOSTING" THE IMMUNE SYSTEM is, in many cases, the absolute last thing you want to do. Secondly, the part of the vaccine that actually does the "boosting" is not the antigen (the germ component) but the adjuvant (the part included for the express purpose of causing an inflammatory reaction), which in most vaccines (INCLUDING THE FLU VACCINE), is NEUROTOXIC ALUMINUM. Thirdly, studies show time and time again that if you get a flu shot this year, next year's shot won't work (stick around because at the bottom of the page I'll show you yet another example of this phenomenon), and that the immunity provided by the Flu Shot is anything but "long-lasting," usually lasting a grand total of about six weeks (HERE and HERE). And lastly, who really trusts what our government's alphabet soup of regulatory agencies say anymore anyway? For Pete's sake, it was just 16 short months ago that one of the most prestigious journals on the planet, the British Medical Journal, accused the FDA of having a "REVOLVING DOOR" between it and BIG PHARMA.
What other business / industry could create a product that was only 10% effective at whatever it was advertised to do, yet have the media eating out of their hands, warning everyone and their brother to purchase their product anyway. Hey we know that product X sucks, but you and your family should rush right out and buy, buy, buy. By definition, this is propaganda, and it's exactly what's happening in our nation's influenza paranoia-driven media coverage. No thought process or logic in the reporting, just knee jerk reactions. It's Big Pharma's wet dream come true. Speaking of Big Pharma, how about another flu / vaccine study?
ANOTHER "PESKY" FLU STUDY
"Self-reported vaccination for the current season was associated with a trend toward higher viral shedding in fine-aerosol samples. Vaccination with both the current and previous year’s seasonal vaccines, however, was significantly associated with greater fine-aerosol shedding in unadjusted and adjusted models. In adjusted models, we observed 6.3 times more aerosol shedding among cases with vaccination in the current and previous season compared with having no vaccination in those two seasons. Cough was not necessary for infectious aerosol generation in the fine aerosol fraction."
Did you catch that? They sort of brushed right over it even though the vaccinated population shed virus at a whopping 630% greater rate than the unvaccinated population --- after adjusting for confounders. Do you grasp the implications of what these government authors (that's right folks; PNAS stands for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) are saying? The people spreading flu are not necessarily doing it via coughing, but simply by breathing. The 630% means that the "Typhoid Marys" actually spreading flu virus are the vaccinated, not the unvaccinated. And remember that I just showed you how getting immunized against the flu last year means that this year's immunization won't work properly? Like numerous other studies before it --- confirmed yet again.
"The association of current and prior year vaccination with increased shedding of influenza A might lead one to speculate that certain types of prior immunity promote lung inflammation, airway closure, and aerosol generation. This first observation of the phenomenon needs confirmation. If confirmed, this observation, together with recent literature suggesting reduced protection with annual vaccination, would have implications for influenza vaccination recommendations and policies."
Unfortunately, this last sentence inadvertently shows what and how massive the problem really is. How so? No matter how many studies are published SHOWING JUST HOW CRAPPY THE FLU SHOT REALLY IS at protecting virtually every single "at risk" group (not to mention average citizens), the evidence continues to be ignored, and people like Miller continue to refer to those waving red warning flags as conspiracy theory kooks ("Luddite" was the word she actually used).
It's not really any different than what we continually see in politics or other large industries (oil, coal, food, tobacco, etc, etc). When there is this much money at stake, you don't have to look very far to find "conspiracies". In fact I've collected A FAIR NUMBER OF THE MORE ABSURD EXAMPLES of this phenomenon taking place all around us on a daily basis. It's business as usual, with the media outlets mentioned today playing the part of the industry lackey simply because they failed to do their own research, trusting instead on industry PRESS RELEASES or "experts" who are nothing more than shills.
Honestly, what we really need is a public debate --- maybe myself, MY BRO, and DR. ERIC, taking on whoever (DR. MONTO would be a nice choice). On a slightly different note, if you want to get healthy and stay that way, I have a completely FREE PROTOCOL to help you do it. I won't promise you that you won't get the flu because like they say, stuff happens. What I will promise is that if you'll start taking some baby steps concerning your health, you're less likely to end up a government statistic!
DEATH BY INFLUENZA
CYTOKINE STORMS AND INEFFECTIVE FLU VACCINES
"About the flu family of vaccines, sorry, flu shot doesn't work. Zilch, zero, nada. After 29 years and reading the research, it's bullshit. Tamiflu, LOL, I was part of the FDA then, and their data that I looked at, zilch, zero, nada, again. It was crazy this drug ever got approved like Rezulin did. I voted against both, because I read. But those people said buy stocks. [#@%$] them, I have been in [I've seen what it's like on the inside]. Never again [I'll never be a part of that system again]."
"O.K. O.K. O.K. Just a little pin prick. There'll be no more... aaaaaaaah! But you might feel a little sick." From Pink Floyd's 1979 classic, Comfortably Numb (The Wall)
The middle quote above came from a friend of mine who happens to be an elite MD. He has worked as an ICU physician and OB/GYN as well as a researcher in multiple specialties. He is a two time professor-of-the-year at one of the largest universities in the US. He also happens to be one of the foremost experts in sports nutrition on the planet and lectures around the globe on a regular basis). He currently runs a practice that specializes in figuring out what's wrong with people whom no one else has been able to figure out what's wrong with. The quote above comes from his final message-board reply to the hundred or so members of his mastermind group concerning a recent online discussion about Oseltamivir / Tamiflu and the flu vaccines themselves.
Not to toot my horn, but I'd looked at the same evidence years ago AND COME TO THE VERY SAME CONCLUSIONS (about TAMIFLU as well). And not only has my brother come to the same conclusions (HERE --- he's a practicing MD), but when I quizzed a patient just last week who is an ICU nurse, here is what she had to say (roughly quoting). She sheepishly told me, "The doctors I work with love Tamiflu and prescribe it all the time. But, the pharmacists I work with hate it, say it's worthless, and have warned me not to ever give it to my kids under any circumstances due to its side effect profile." But what about the dying kids? What can be done to prevent children from dying?
Fortunately, children dying from the flu is rare --- really rare. And as far as I can tell, there's no relationship to their vaccination status (a local Springfield station ran a story on a 10 year old autistic boy who just died of the flu --- his father said he had been immunized). The fact that kids get the flu despite being vaccinated is terrible, but not at all surprising (HERE). But dying from the flu is an entirely different matter. It's one thing for the "frail elderly" to succumb to the flu (HERE), but what is it that turns some flu from a self-limiting nuisance --- essentially a bad cold --- into a raging inferno with the potential to kill young and "healthy" individuals? Although every case is different, the common denominator is something called a "Cytokine Storm."
Cytokines are cellular chemical messengers that are an important part of your IMMUNE SYSTEM (the biggest part of which resides in the Gut --- HERE), and are usually thought of as inflammatory, although they can anti-inflammatory as well (HERE). The journal International Anesthesiology Clinics published a scientific paper called Cytokines, Inflammation and Pain, that said.....
"Cytokines are small secreted proteins released by cells have a specific effect on the interactions and communications between cells. Cytokine is a general name; other names include lymphokine (cytokines made by lymphocytes), monokine (cytokines made by monocytes), chemokine (cytokines with chemotactic activities), and interleukin (cytokines made by one leukocyte and acting on other leukocytes). Cytokines may act on the cells that secrete them (autocrine action), on nearby cells (paracrine action), or in some instances on distant cells (endocrine action). There are both pro-inflammatory cytokines and anti-inflammatory cytokines. There is significant evidence showing that certain cytokines/chemokines are involved in not only the initiation but also the persistence of pathologic pain by directly activating nociceptive sensory neurons. Certain inflammatory cytokines are also involved in nerve-injury/inflammation-induced central sensitization, and are related to the development of contralateral hyperalgesia/allodynia."
I've written extensively about ALLODYNIA, HYPERALGIA, and CENTRAL SENSITIZATION on my site, and you may have heard of some of the specific cytokines associated with these and other painful, INFLAMMATORY OR DEGENERATIVE / NEURODEGENERATIVE CONDITIONS (IL-6, and TNF-α -- Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha --- are two of the biggies, but there are dozens of others). Be aware, however, that pain and disease are not the only problems associated with inflammatory cytokines. In large enough amounts, these compounds can actually kill you. How do they accomplish this?
When people are seriously attacked by bacteria they can go into septic shock --- a condition in which one's immune system becomes overwhelmed to the point that organs shut down and fail. Death is imminent if not dealt with immediately. With viral infections (yes, they can "go viral"), people tend to have an over-reaction to said virus. Listen as retired Neurosurgeon, RUSSELL BLAYLOCK explains the basic mechanics of this phenomenon in a cherry-picked article called Do Viruses Kill People?
"Most people think that viruses kill people directly. But, in fact, recent studies have shown that most viruses kill by causing the body to overreact to the infection. Studies have shown that in many cases the virulence of a virus is actually based on its ability to trigger immune overreaction. In a high percentage of cases, a person’s immune system is not operating normally. Part of the immune system, usually the cellular immune system, is weakened either by heredity, other illnesses, poor nutrition, or aging. And the intact parts of the immune system overreact to correct the defect."
Notice here that he is talking about an imbalance of THE TWO SIDES OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM (and is the basis for warning you about "boosting" your immune system indiscriminately) The cellular immune system (Cell-Mediated Immunity) is the part of the immune system that makes cytokines, and Blaylock goes on to describe the name of this phenomenon when it is tipped far enough to be considered out of control --- the "Cytokine Storm". A 2012 article in the Washington Post by David Schultz (Flu’s Lethality is Attributed to Immune Systems Overreacting to the Virus) said almost the same thing.
"New research about how the virus works on the cellular level has uncovered what makes influenza so deadly: It destroys its host — you — by using your body’s own defenses against itself. 'This is where the science is right now,' said Trish Perl, a senior epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital. 'That’s what happens with a lot of severe infections. . . . It’s almost like the system goes into overdrive.' While trying to destroy flu-infected cells, your immune system also destroys legions of perfectly healthy cells all over your body. This is why, even though the virus itself rarely ventures outside the lungs, the symptoms of the flu are so widespread."
In a Cytokine Storm, the two sides of the immune system are out of balance (see previous link). And although we typically think of immune system dysfunction as a 'weakened' response, all too often it's just the opposite. Not only does this imbalance lead to varying degrees of the situation described above (the Cytokine Storm), it can also lead to longer-term dysfunction in the form of AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES --- the body losing immune inhibition to the degree it starts to attack itself.
Nowhere is this process seen more clearly than with POLIO. What if I told you that during the polio epidemic of the 40's and 50's, virtually everyone had polio. The crazy part is that only about one in twenty had any symptoms (usually they had something akin to a cold or flu), and of that five percent with symptoms, about one in ten developed varying degrees of what we call "polio". And what's doubly crazy is that the epidemic was largely over before the vaccine(s) came into use (HERE). The culprit in paralytic polio? Not the virus itself, since most people didn't react at all --- at least visibly. The Cytokine Storm was the culprit. Allow me to give you a couple of examples showing that the severity of viral disease is often directly proportional to the severity of the storm.
- A 2012 study from the Journal of Infectious Diseases (Host Cytokine Storm Is Associated With Disease Severity of Severe Fever With Thrombocytopenia Syndrome) concluded --- as might be ascertained from the title --- that "Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging viral disease in China, caused by SFTS virus (SFTSV). The study demonstrates that SFTSV infection induces a cytokine storm with abnormally expressed cytokine profiles, which are associated with the disease severity." The worse the storm, the sicker you get.
- A year later, Cell Host & Microbe (Virus Infections in the Nervous System) revealed that "Virus infections usually begin in peripheral tissues and can invade the mammalian nervous system (NS), spreading into the peripheral (PNS) and more rarely the central nervous systems (CNS). Patients infected with H5N1 virus die, not because of robust virus replication, but because of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) triggered by the cytokine storm. Poliovirus infection begins with the ingestion of virus particles followed by replication in the intestinal mucosa and secretion of new virus particles in feces, typically with no CNS infection. However, about 1–2% of poliovirus infections result in the infection of motor neurons that leads to the well-known motor dysfunction, poliomyelitis. Viral infections can spread to other tissues where they can cause more serious problems due to... overreacting immune response. This latter reaction is sometimes called a `cytokine storm` because cytokines are elevated in the serum leading to vigorous systemic immune activity. Such a response in the brain is usually devastating and can lead to meningitis, encephalitis, meningoencephalitis or death." The worse the storm, the sicker you get.
- In an article called The Vaccine Argument, Dr. Roby Mitchell (MD) says about polio virus, "What causes the paralysis of polio is the immune system response (inflammation) to an enterovirus in nerve cells of the spine. The response could be to one specific enterovirus, labeled polio. However, the exact same reaction can happen when a different enterovirus (D68) invades spinal nerve cells (Acute flaccid paralysis is simply polio by a different name). Your immune system causes polio, not the virus. This makes it impossible to eradicate polio unless you eradicate the immune system." Did you catch that? An over-reactive immune system causes polio, not the virus itself.
Writing for DAVID GORSKI'S Science-Based Medicine site, DR. MARK CRISLIP invoked articles from about 15 vaccine-choice MD's (Medical Voices: Always in Error, Never in Doubt), telling his readers that, "No. Sorry. Wrong. 'Cytokine storm' refers to the massive release of cytokines that accompanies an overwhelming and often rapidly fatal disease. It is a hurricane. Vaccines are, in comparison, a light spring shower that is comes right after you have sown the grass seed. Cytokine storm: I do not think it means what you think it means. There is zero evidence that vaccines cause a cytokine storm, much less a storm that lasts for years." Once you understand vaccine adjuvants (substances added to vaccines to purposefully make the virus more reactive since in vaccines they are often not reactive on their own to create an antibody reaction), you start to see that in susceptible individuals, vaccines can and do cause Cytokine Storm. And although the storm itself may be rather brief; like a tornado that may be gone in a matter of seconds, the consequences can be both devastating and long term (I have a post in the works to address this particular issue).
VACCINE ADJUVANTS (the most common by far being aluminum) are increasingly being implicated in abnormally strong cytokine responses in the scientific literature --- simply because this is exactly what they have been designed to do. Furthermore, controlling these adjuvant reactions can be difficult (impossible) due to the individual differences in both genetics and environment (think HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS and EPIGENETIC FACTORS here) as well as the multiple (multiple / multiple / multiple / multiple / multiple) exposures.
Back in July I discussed JB Handley's article from Health in America (Did Chinese Scientists Find Autism’s Missing Puzzle Piece?). Listen to what he wrote about cytokines? "The study also found amazing increases of certain cytokines in the brain, and of others in the cerebro-spinal fluid. This is is a landmark paper, in my opinion, because it presents the first evidence that there’s an ongoing, permanent immune-system activation in the brains of autistic people. It’s a subclinical state, because there’s no overt infection..... If you’re an autism parent, you’ve probably heard the expression cytokine storm." After a great deal of similar discussion, he went on to show that IL-6 is not only intimately related to AUTISM, but that high levels have been experimentally kown to be induced by aluminum since the early 1980's.
A quick glance at the title of a 2010 study published in the Journal of Immunology should wake you up (Long Peptide Vaccination Can Lead to Lethality through CD4+ T Cell-Mediated Cytokine Storm). And we see once again that there's nothing novel about this phenomenon (adjuvant-driven storms), which is clearly seen through the cherry-picked quote from Micro and Nanotechnology in Vaccine Development (an extremely pro-vaccine book by a pair of renowned Australian chemists).
"The role of an adjuvant in a vaccine is to stimulate a rapid and robust immunological response to the presented antigen. This can be achieved through a number of mechanisms... including cytokine activation and activation of the inflammasome. Safe adjuvants require a balance between immune stimulation and immune toxicity. Consequently, all adjuvants have the ability to exert unwanted side effects to susceptible individuals through hyper-activation of the immune system. More severe adjuvant responses such as hypercytokinemia are not uncommon and have led to the withdrawal of a number of vaccines from the market. Hypercytokinemia or "cytokine storm" is the unregulated release of cytokines following an acute immune response. It usually involves prior exposure to the causative agent [can anyone say multiple vaccinations?] and can result in key organ failure and eventual death."
Listen to what Dr. Helen V. Ratajczak, a retired senior scientist with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and leader of the Immunology Group at the IIT Research Institute, had to say about the effects of this storm on the brain. "In the case of the immune system’s attack on brain microglia and astrocytes, there is a cross reaction of the antibody against the antigen and the brain cells. (The configuration of the brain cells or parts of them is similar to the antigen.) Therefore, the immune system attacks the brain cells. Besides eliciting an immune response that is specifically against the antigen, the vaccine elicits a number of cytokines or factors, which enhance or regulate the immune response. The cytokines caused by the vaccine cause the secretion of harmful chemicals including two excitotoxins, glutamate and quinolenic acid. These chemicals elicit an excitatory reaction in the neurons, and create cellular toxicity and inflammation if too much accumulates." In case you are not sure what MICROGLIA are and why they are a critical part of you brain and immune system, click the link. And as for excitotoxins, go back and click the link on Russell Blaylock (he wrote the definitive book on the subject back in 1994).
Although the government claims that in an average year the flu vaccine is about 50-70% effective, it's important to realize that these (exaggerated) figures are for seasonal flu vaccines only. When it comes to various virulent strains (this year's flu is a good example) or influenza pandemics, flu vaccines provide almost zero protection (this year's vaccine is admittedly less than 10%). And because the antivirals (Tamiflu / Osmalivir) are equally as ineffective, it means that a PANDEMIC FLU such as that seen in 1918, could prove freakishly devastating. What made the 1918 flu so bad? The Cytokine Storm of course.
Listen to what retired astronaut, surgeon, and family doctor, Duane Graveline said in an article called Flu, SARS, Ebola and Cytokine Storms. "With the 1918 flu pandemic, unlike other flu outbreaks, it was not the very young, the very old and the sick that were most at risk, but young, previously healthy adults. The stronger the individual’s immune system, the greater the chance of death. This particular strain of flu — influenza A (H1N1) avian (bird flu) — caused the infected individual’s immune system to go out of control in what has come to be known as a cytokine storm. The healthier the individual and the stronger their immune system, the more robust the response and the more damaging it is to the host. This amplified immune response was what made the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic so deadly. In common with other types of the flu, the immune response was concentrated in the lungs. The overwhelming immune response destroyed lung tissue and caused the lungs of the infected host to fill with liquid." Part of what led Graveline to write this article is that researchers are attempting to use STATIN DRUGS to fight these storms, and he's written several books on their dangerous SIDE EFFECTS.
So, the question becomes, if you have a Cytokine Storm, what can you expect from the medical community and how effective are current methods of stopping said storm? Writing in last July's issue of the American Laboratory (An Effective Treatment Strategy for Cytokine Storm in Severe Influenza), Erin Murphy revealed just how desperate the situation really is. After mentioning Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), which we already know is terrible, and before mentioning several novel "experimental" treatments, Murphy spilled the beans about the most commonly used treatments for Cytokine Storm.
"Anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs have not been successful in treating cytokine storm and improving survival. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen, are used commonly to treat mild to moderate inflammation, but have not demonstrated the ability to control cytokine storm. Similarly, corticosteroids have also had mixed results, and their use for treating severe influenza is not recommended due to an increased risk of hospital-acquired infections and death. Other experimental approaches, such as the use of statins, have shown some success when used with other agents to alter the body’s immune response."
If you want to look at some of these novel and experimental treatments, look no further than the paper Targeting the 'Cytokine Storm' for Therapeutic Benefit found in a 2013 issue of Clinical and Vaccine Immunology. The bottom line, it's rather a crapshoot. Which raises the question of whether or not there are things that one can do on their own in the event of another flu pandemic --- something that the experts (rightly) believe will happen again (probably sooner rather than later), and something that even the most ardently pro-vaccine advocates admit flu vaccines will provide no protection against --- at least in the early stages (most experts say a year). In other words, how would you protect yourself against a "Storm" potentially so severe that it once killed 6% of the world's population?
STAYING ALIVE IN THE EVENT OF A FLU PANDEMIC
WEATHERING A CYTOKINE STORM
"The global mortality rate from the 1918/1919 pandemic is not known, but an estimated 10% to 20% of those who were infected died. With about a third of the world population infected, this case-fatality ratio means 3% to 6% of the entire global population died. Influenza may have killed as many as 25 million people in its first 25 weeks. Older estimates say it killed 40–50 million people, while current estimates say 50–100 million people worldwide were killed. This pandemic has been described as 'the greatest medical holocaust in history' and may have killed more people than the Black Death. It is said that this flu killed more people in 24 weeks than AIDS killed in 24 years, and more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century." From Wikipedia's entry, 1918 Flu Pandemic
"Sir, When H5N1 avian gains human to human transmissibility, its lethality will probably be related to the ability of the virus to induce a cytokine storm, a positive feedback loop between cytokines and immune cells such as macrophages and T cells. Since we will have no vaccines for the first 6 months of a pandemic, since the effectiveness of the effectiveness of the neuraminidases [Tamiflu] is in doubt, and since H5N1 influenza viruses are resistant to the antiviral effects of interferons and tumour necrosis factor alpha, we would do well to look at other approaches to treatment." From a letter to the editor of the editor of the BMJ (Treating the H5N1 Cytokine Storm) by one Dr. Richard Lawson
Ridin' the storm out
Waitin' for the thaw-out
REO Speedwagon from 1973's Riding the Storm Out
The idea that diet affects and modifies one's immune system is nothing new. Two decades ago our military (Military Strategies for Sustainment of Nutrition and Immune Function in the Field --- Cytokines and Nutritional Status: Possible Correlations and Investigations) was looking into this issue with a paper written by Dr. Jeff Rossio, a biology and immunology professor at Maryland's Hood College. After discussing the problems and side effects associated with administering cytokines intravenously, he discussed using diet to modify cytokine profiles to prevent or reverse certain types of diseases common on the battlefield (or possibly the result of biological warfare). Truthfully, the study didn't come to any concrete conclusions; and let's be honest, do we really want advice on vaccines or food from our military?
Like any number of other researchers / physicians, Dr. Lawrence Helson's career reads like a Who's Who list. His main area of research just happens to be CURCUMIN (he's a professor, a researcher, a board member of Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's Research Foundation, as well as owing his own pharmaceutical company that specializes in manufacturing --- you guessed it --- a patented type of curcumin). Three years ago next month, he and his team published a paper in In Vivo called Curcumin Suppression of Cytokine Release and Cytokine Storm. A Potential Therapy for Patients with Ebola and Other Severe Viral Infections. The paper is free online and concluded...
"The activity of curcumin in suppressing multiple cytokines, and its activity in experimental models of diseases and conditions associated with cytokine storm, suggest it may be useful in the treatment of patients with Ebola and cytokine storm. Curcumin is poorly absorbed from the intestinal tract; however, intravenous formulations may allow therapeutic blood levels of curcumin to be achieved in patients diagnosed with cytokine storm."
A year ago next month, Scientific Reports published a study called Interleukin 10 Inhibits Pro-Inflammatory Cytokine Responses and Killing of Burkholderia Pseudomallei. The gist of this study was that the anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10, could be potentially used in a drug-like fashion suppress the cytokine storm and save lives. The problem with this approach is that there happen to be a number of diseases associated with high levels of IL-10. "IL-10 is a potent anti-inflammatory immuno-suppressive cytokine with a broad range of effects both directly and indirectly on innate and adaptive immunity. It is important in dampening inflammatory responses but can contribute to pathogen persistence." In the specific disease these authors were talking about (melioidosis), increasing levels of IL-10 "actively inhibits both pro-inflammatory and antimicrobial responses of the host." While this might be a good thing in certain cases, they admitted that "it's likely to increase the susceptibility of the host to infection" with a caveat --- it stated that it might be beneficial for those in a Cytokine Storm. I mention this only because there are websites promoting ways to increase your own levels of IL-10.
Since pharmaceutical drugs do such a poor job of effectively strangling a Cytokine Storm, there are any number of articles online dealing with non-pharmaceutical ways to accomplish this. The scary truth is that in many cases, we may not talking about avoiding the disease altogether, but simply blunting it's lethal effects by taking the edge off of the Cytokine Storm. Although I highly recommend a HIGH FAT, PALEO-LIKE, NO SUGAR diet, made up of WHOLE FOODS, there are some things that you could do in addition. One of these is to become better-versed in herbology.
Some of the specific herbs / plants I've seen mentioned for helping suppress a Cytokine Storm include Astragalus, Garlic, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Quercetin, Black Pepper, Curcumin, Ginger, Tumeric, Boneset, Elderberry, Echinacea, Goldenseal, Skullcap, Cannibis, St. John's Wort, Licorice, Salvia Milthiorrhiza, Pleurisy Root, Butterfly Weed, Wild Cherry, Peach Pit, Lobelia, Catnip, Peppermint, Honeysuckle, Andrographis, Panax Quinquefolium, Platycodon, Hyssop, Iodine, Selenium, Magnesium, Rhodiola, Isatis, Lespedeza Bicolor, Angelica Keiskei, Amorpha Fruiticosa, Alpina Zerumbet, Erythrina Addisoniae and Cleitocalyx Operculatus, Senega, Houttuynia, Cordyceps, Knotweed, Kudzu, Mullein, Horehound, and my head is literally swimming (no, I don't claim to be an expert on herbs).
Bottom line, it's just a matter of time until another flu pandemic hits. The CDC mentions four pandemics specifically on their website, the Spanish Flu of 1918, the Asian Flu of 1957, the Hong Kong Bird Flu of 1968, and the never-before-seen virus of 2009 (not sure you could call it a pandemic but it was certainly hyped that way). Along the way there have been others that you may have heard of (Swine Flu, Russian Flu, and any number of others). Your best bet is to stay as healthy as possible, and as always, avoid DRUGS THAT SUPPRESS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM. For those of you who may be currently struggling with your health, take a look at some ideas for getting back on track (HERE). And as always, if you have a serious illness, make sure to contact your physician or local ER/ED as today's post was not meant to diagnose, treat, or heaven-forbid, cure, any diseases.
THIS WEEK IN FLU VACCINE PROPAGANDA
TRUST OUR GOVERNMENT'S MEDICAL EXPERTS? NOT A CHANCE!
But the piece that really caught my eye came from one of the many 'medical dailys' that I get in my inbox every morning. Medpage Today carried a story (it would be more accurate to call it a propaganda piece or advertisement) called This Flu Season, Don't Forget About Tamiflu. The article was the transcript of a short video by one Arnold Monto, a Professor of Global Public Health and Epidemiology at the University of Michigan (his stated area of interest and expertise, "prevention and treatment of influenza"). Here are a few of the cherry-picked highlights of the transcript of his video.
"Despite recent controversies about its effectiveness, clinicians should not forget about using the antiviral, oseltamivir (Tamiflu), to help shorten the course of influenza among patients during the coming flu season. What's happening is that we are about to have an influenza outbreak, or it's already starting. We know that this influenza outbreak in the U.S. is mainly H3N2, which is the one that's the most severe in terms of causing severe morbidity and mortality. We also know that the vaccine doesn't work as well against this kind of influenza, and what we really need to remember is that we should be using Tamiflu as the one licensed antiviral that we have which is commonly available. We should not hesitate to use what we've got because these drugs are not super drugs."
Although, as you will soon see, the last part of the last sentence is an understatement of epic proportions, Monto went on to talk about the "strong" recommendations by the CDC for Tamiflu, as well as the "controversy between two journals in terms of how they view Tamiflu". That would be two of the oldest and most prestigious journals on the planet --- the Lancet and the British Medical Journal. We'll talk about these in a moment, but allow me to throw a third entity into this scrum. Although it's not a journal, COCHRANE (a loosely-knit group of about 40,000 physicians, scientists, and researchers from around the globe) is considered the gold standard for taking large amounts of data from dozens --- or even hundreds --- of similar studies, throwing it all together, and then "crunching the data" so as to make sense of it all, with an objective of coming to some useful "evidence-based" conclusions.
The point of today's post is to warn you to take everything (even what you read on my site) with a grain of salt. As an example of what I'm talking about, I'd like to provide you a timeline, along with some highlights of the studies and stories that were published over the past couple of decades concerning the multi-billion dollar drug known as Tamiflu and its relationship to Dr. Monto --- the above-mentioned researcher / physician. Bear in mind that Dr. Monto is widely considered one of the leading experts in Flu Vaccines and antiviral medications in the United States, and possibly the world.
- 2000: Although Y2K didn't turn out to be the electronic apocalypse so widely predicted by the experts, it did give us the antiviral drug Tamiflu (a drug meant to be taken if you get the flu, or as a prophylactic / preventative if someone in your home or workplace gets the flu). Hoffmann-La Roche and Gilead Sciences put out a PRESS RELEASE to let the world know it would be a better place with Tamiflu. "The results of several clinical studies show that Tamiflu is up to 92% effective in preventing influenza illness in adolescents, adults and the elderly when taken once daily. The studies examined Tamiflu’s ability to prevent the development of flu in three different settings: households, communities and residential nursing homes." Sounds fantastic, doesn't it? Stick around because it gets better --- before it gets worse.
- 2002: Nearly two dozen experts got together in October in Geneva, Switzerland (home of the World Health Organization or WHO --- not to be confused with PETE TOWNSEND'S BAND --- and only a two hour drive from Basel, home of Roche) in order to create some "GUIDELINES" for Flu Vaccines and the antivirals to be used if the vaccines didn't work (As I discussed in the previous bullet, people were also encouraged to take these if they thought they may have been exposed).
- 2003: Without any co-authors, Monto published a paper in the journal Vaccine (The Role of Antivirals in the Control of Influenza) touting the benefits of antivirals (zanamivir aka Relenza made by GSK, and oseltamivir aka Tamiflu made by ROCHE). "70-90% efficacious" was touted, and there were strong recommendations by Monto concerning the need for stockpiling these drugs in advance of the ever-looming flu pandemic.
- 2004: The long-awaited flu anti-viral guidelines finally came out.
- 2005: The year we CRUNCHED THE DRUNK saw another study authored by Monto, this one in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology (Preparing for Pandemic Influenza: Should Hospitals Stockpile Oseltamivir?). To answer the rhetorical question posed in the study's title; of course they should! "The outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza in Asia has reignited concerns about an influenza pandemic. It is clear that influenza vaccine will be in short supply (or nonexistent) early in an influenza pandemic. Without vaccine, the role of antiviral agents, especially oseltamivir, in treatment and prophylaxis is of paramount importance. Unfortunately, the government cannot possibly stockpile enough oseltamivir to provide long-term prophylaxis or treatment for every healthcare worker in the United States. We think that hospitals should consider stockpiling oseltamivir...." If you think that this sounds more like a sales pitch than a study, stick around. I almost forgot, the NYT ran a story (Pressure Rises on Producer of a Flu Drug) about that ultra-trustworthy head (KOFI ANNAN) of that ultra-trustworthy agency (the UN), who was hollering that there should be enough Tamiflu / Oseltamivir produced for everyone (that would be everyone as in all of the billions of people on the planet). This was a wet dream come true for industry, and as you'll soon see, if BIG PHARMA can create fear and panic, they can scare you into wanting / buying drugs you don't really need.
- 2006: The journal Emerging Infectious Diseases carried still another plea to stockpile Tamiflu in the form of another singularly-authored paper by Monto (Vaccines and Antiviral Drugs in Pandemic Preparedness) saying that, "While measures such as closing schools and social distancing may slow the effects of pandemic influenza, only vaccines and antiviral drugs are clearly efficacious in preventing infection or treating illness. Unless the pandemic strain closely resembles one already recognized, vaccine will not be available early. However, studies can be conducted beforehand to address questions concerning vaccine dose, frequency of inoculation, and need for adjuvants. In contrast, antiviral drugs will be effective for treatment and available if stockpiling takes place." Another fear-laden sales pitch? Read it again and you tell me. And if you are not sure what ADJUVANTS are, just click the link.
- 2006 PART II: This was the year that things started unraveling (or at least fraying around the edges) for Doc Monto and some of his buddies. After looking at over 50 studies, authors from Cochrane published a piece for Lancet called Antivirals for Influenza in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review that concluded "The use of amantadine and rimantadine [zanamivir and oseltamivir] should be discouraged. Because of their low effectiveness, neuraminidase inhibitors should not be used in seasonal influenza control and should only be used in a serious epidemic or pandemic alongside other public-health measures." Get ready folks because the fur is going to start flying and the S is going to HTF! Monto fired back with a similarly-named letter of his own (not a study, but a letter to the editor) called Antivirals for Influenza in Healthy Adults. The debate centered on a topic I myself have covered here --- the difference between flu -vs- flu-like. After making his case for both Tamiflu and Relenza, Monto admitted in print (for the first time that I have been able to ascertain) that he'd been taking money from the manufactures of both drugs, Roche and GSK.
- 2007: Tamiflu apologists hit back and hit back hard --- with another press release. EurekAlert published an article / news release (it carried the caveat, "EurekAlert is not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert") called Experts Predict Tamiflu Could Halve the Pandemic Influenza Death Toll Versus No Intervention, which stated "Treatment with the oral antiviral Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and prophylaxis for people exposed to infected patients could be one of the most cost-effective strategies for reducing illness and death during an influenza pandemic. According to modelling research, a stockpile of Tamiflu sufficient to cover 65% of a country's population could cut deaths by approximately half." The battle is heating up because one side (the pharmacide) is warning that we are inviting disaster if we don't stockpile, while the other side (Cochrane and their followers) are becoming increasingly vocal that said stockpiling is an expensive waste of taxpayer dollars.
- 2008: Yet again, Monto single-handedly authored a "scientific" paper, this one for the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal called Antivirals and Influenza: Frequency of Resistance. Although as far as I could tell from the abstract he was not out and out calling for these drugs to be used on children and infants, what are you supposed to think when a paper such as this one is published in a journal read almost exclusively by pediatricians? Oh; and as you might expect, he continued to tout the 70-90% effective statistic. Monto also admitted here that stockpiling is taking place and that this is a good thing.
- 2009: Dr. Monto and a partner from the University of Michigan published a study in Expert Review of Vaccines (Seasonal Influenza Vaccines: Evolutions and Future Trends) that talked about some of the numerous problems associated with the flu vaccine (and subsequent need for antivirals). "For some time, the trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines [the ones most used today] have been recognized as having deficiencies. These deficiencies are now being addressed by a number of innovative approaches in vaccine development. Each new vaccine will need to be evaluated carefully, ideally against placebo as well as against a standard vaccine, to determine absolute and relative efficacy. Such data will be necessary to inform decisions on making selections for use." Obviously this pie-in-the-sky feel good stuff is not happening because Cochrane looked at scores of studies on flu vaccines for the elderly and concluded they were no better than placebo (HERE). So much for the evidence. This was also the year that a group of researchers (including Monto) published Protecting the Herd From H1N1 in the journal Science. For the record, H1N1 is aka Swine Flu. It was around this time that swine flu paranoia was beginning to sweep across the United States in earnest.
- 2010 PART I: 2010 was a monster year in the field of flu vaccine corruption. Medpage Today --- the site that provided the fodder for today's post --- published a story called Investigation Raises Questions About WHO's Handling of Pandemic that talked about Monto receiving speaking monies from industry. I don't have the slightest idea of how much he received, but I do know that 'speaking fees' for pharma can work in similar fashion to the way Bill & Hillary took "speaking fees" from numerous corporations, earning them as much as a million dollars for a 45 minute speech ("money combines with the cash receptors in your doctor's wallet to provide fast-acting financial relief...." HERE). Not bad work when you can get it!
- 2010 PART II: We start to see why Monto may have been so hot to trot to promote Tamiflu and Relenz, as 2010 was the year we started to see the bigger picture. On his site, Natural News, Mike Adams wrote, "After months of stalling, the World Health Organization (WHO) has finally revealed the names of key pandemic advisors who influenced its decision to declare a phase six pandemic last year - a decision that resulted in a financial windfall for vaccine manufacturers. That list includes at least five expert advisors received money from vaccine companies. Here's who received money from Big Pharma and then influenced the WHO decision to declare a pandemic: Arnold Monto is a professor from the United States who has received money from virtually all the major vaccine manufacturers: GSK, Novartis, Roche, Baxter and Sanofi Pasteur. He has specifically been given grant money by Sanofi Pasteur to study influenza vaccines." These sorts of payments are nothing new, and are characteristic of the "pandemic" (no pun intended) of corruption within Big Pharma (again, see earlier link on "guidelines").
- 2010 PART III: The Townsend Letter published an expose by one Len Saputo (MD) called The Infection Deception: Deep Politics, Global Health Policy, and the Swine Flu Debacle that not only mentioned Monto for taking money from industry, but talked about a number of sordid facts pertaining to the entire vaccine industry. The British Medical Journal even got into the act with an article called Conflicts of Interest: WHO and the Pandemic Flu Conspiracies. Although I am not going to delve into it (it's more of the same old same old we've been talking about), Dr. Monto was mentioned by name ten (10) times. The authors accused him of taking money without declaring any FINANCIAL COI.
- 2013: Part of what was earlier exposed by Cochrane was that Roche had chosen not to publish something like 60% of their studies on Tamiflu (I WROTE ABOUT THIS BACK IN 2013). This phenomenon has become so popular with big pharma (approximately half of all trials are buried) that they have been given a special little name (INVISIBLE & ABANDONED). If you never report your failures, your product --- in this case Tamiflu --- looks much better than it is. Shhhhhhh. Don't tell anyone but this is how I came to be the world record holder for consecutively made free throws (HERE). 2013 was also the year that something that came to a head only recently (HERE) started being exposed and talked about --- the fact that if you had a flu shot last year, this year's shot will be significantly less effective. In fact, Monto and a colleague wrote a letter in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease (Reply to Sullivan and Kelly and Skowronski) explaining why they thought this research was incorrect. Oh; and that meta-analysis by Cochrane a few years earlier saying that flu vaccines for the over-65 crowd were essentially a placebo (something like 76 people would have to be vaccinated to prevent a single case of flu); Monto wrote another letter to the editor (this one in the journal Vaccine --- Cochrane Re-arranged: Support for Policies to Vaccinate Elderly People Against Influenza) arguing that he was right and Cochrane --- the "gold standard" of medical meta-analysis --- was wrong.
- 2013 PART II: In February of 2013, Roche put out another press release promising, as have many politicians, to be more "transparent," and release the data from the studies (at least some of the studies) that they had previously chosen not to publish. BMJ published an article (Re: Tamiflu Correspondence with Roche) that asked hard questions like, "Why has Roche not given all the Tamiflu (oseltamivir) data to the Cochrane Collaboration, as they requested?" "Is Roche refusing to share the Tamiflu data with other independent researchers?" and "What does Roche say about claims that Tamiflu is not effective?" You can read their answers online, but suffice it to say, their responses would have made even the most vague politicians proud. An article by a mainstream pharmaceutical news source (Eye For Pharma) published an article (Window Dressing: Roche Launches New Process for Accessing Clinical Trial Data) showing how bogus this entire process really was.
"An ‘independent’ body will assess requests for patient-level data on drugs that have completed the regulatory review process in the US and the EU, which may be released upon agreement starting this year. Roche invited other pharma players to consider whether this could be an industry-wide initiative. However it is also worth noting that the four-man ‘independent’ body includes three consultants who have all received consulting fees from Roche in the past. Pharmalot originally uncovered this development, stating that Albert Osterhaus, Arnold Monto and Richard Whitley have all worked with the company previously, raising the question of whether this panel is truly independent and leading some to ask whether this is a victory for clinical trial transparency at all. The Cochrane Collaboration and the British Medical Journal launched in 2009 a campaign to access data from all the trials for independent assessment, and despite a promise made by the company in December that year to make 'full study reports' available, none of them have been released to date."
- 2015: 2015 proved to be one of those schizophrenic who-the-heck-are-you-supposed-to-believe? years ---- if you had not already been following the debate. In January of that year, the Pharmaceutical Journal spilled the beans with the title of their article, Tamiflu Shortens Flu Symptoms by a Day. Monto and a team of researchers shot back with Oseltamivir Treatment for Influenza in Adults: A Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials that was published in the January issue of the Lancet. You can figure out what they concluded by looking at a news release from Reuters that was published on the 30th of that month, Study Supports Roche's Disputed Blockbuster Flu Drug Tamiflu (Pharmafile's headline read Government Spending on Tamfilu is Justified). Of course it does and is; unless it doesn't and isn't. Case in point, one of Oxford University's many journals (this one from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine) published a revealing article called Dobson Lancet Tamiflu Re-Analysis: Independent Review Group. Really? that showed exactly what the title implies --- a continued conflict of interest and coverup. Monto and crew struck back with still another letter; this one published in the September issue of Lancet called Oseltamivir for Influenza – Authors' Reply, in which he and his team defended their research saying that they, "strongly disagree that our article reported simply 'new interpretations of already public data.'" Bottom line; whether interpreted by Lancet or BMJ, one showed Tamiflu to shorten the course of the flu by a half day and the other by an entire day. There were, however, an array of "pesky" SIDE EFFECTS, including a serious uptick in vomiting --- a symptom often associated with, but rarely actually seen with influenza. If you are throwing up, you have stomach flu, not flu --- they're different (HERE).
- 2017: And of course there was the piece from a few days ago that we are talking about right now. But just six short weeks previous, a team of researchers, including Monto, were back promoting Tamiflu for your babies in an article for Clinical Infectious Diseases (Efficacy and Safety of Oseltamivir in Children: Systematic Review and Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials). "Oseltamivir has been used to treat children with influenza for nearly two decades, with treatment currently approved for infants 2 weeks of age or older, but efficacy and safety remain controversial." We shouldn't be surprised that he continues to hype this drug both in the media (Medpage) and in peer-review. All I can do is shake my head. I mean really; how much more proof is needed to show this drug is at worst, a sham / scam, and at best, sucks? It seems that I'm not the only one who thinks this way. My brother, an ER Physician at a large Midwest hospital, wrote a letter to the editor of one of his journals this past year in response to an article that a fellow doctor had written about Tamiflu (suffice it to say that the Tamiflu article was not flattering). My brother responded with his own letter, agreeing completely, but also making the point that the same charade that's going on with Tamiflu is going on with the flu vaccines themselves (HERE is his very short letter).
And just today, STAT's Megan Thielking wrote a little ditty called The CDC's Planned Nuclear Prep Talk is now a Flu Prep Talk, which stated, "The CDC has postponed plans to hold a teaching session today on the public health response to a nuclear detonation. Today’s grand rounds session will instead focus on the severe flu season. Health officials want to prep public health professionals on how to reduce the spread of seasonal flu and deal with medicine shortages due to high flu rates in some communities. Hospitals in many parts of the country have been swamped in recent weeks as a severe flu season has taken hold, spurring concerns about whether hospitals are prepared for the next flu pandemic." There really is nothing new under the sun --- it's all recycled madness.
If you want to read more on the subject, information abounds online. I've shown you time and time again that when crazy big money is at stake, things frequently turn into a no-holds-barred Texas Death Match. It's really no different than the government's efforts (both here and in Mexico) to take out the drug cartels. The problem is that the money is so big that if you cut off one of Hydra's heads, two others take it's place.
The biggest difference is that posts like today's deal with cartels that are completely legal. Until they get caught. Scratch that. About the most these folks can ever expect is a slap on the wrist (maybe) and possibly some scorn from a small segment of their peer group who sees them as industry shills. But what can you say? It's the nature of so much of today's oxymoronically-named EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE.
MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT CONTINUES DOING WHATEVER
IT TAKES TO MAKE THEIR CASE FOR THE FLU VACCINE
The authors went on to suggest something I've shown you is not true. "Influenza vaccination in previous seasons may retain some preventive effectiveness, and new doses may boost the preexisting immune memory against antigenically related strains. However, a negative interference between vaccination in the current and previous seasons has been described." Oops. The last sentence and the second part of the first are true. Part of the problem is that "antigenically matched" flue vaccines only occur about 9% of the time, or once every 11 years. And as I explained in the previous paragraph, studies have shown that a flu vaccination this year means that next year's flu vaccination won't work as well as touted (HERE or HERE). In other words, if you were vaccinated just after Thanksgiving, the gig is basically up.
And as for the effectiveness of the vaccine in the first place, I must repeat that the authors admitted that, "Vaccination in only the current season had no significant effect on cases of severe influenza." Did you catch that? The authors tell you that the really bad cases of flu --- the severe cases --- the only cases you would ever consider getting inoculated against in the first place --- are not affected by receiving a flu shot a season. Like the tile of the study says, it takes "repeated vaccinations". Another problem is that the folks in this study were "older" with many classified as "the frail elderly". What do we know about flu shots for this group? We know that they are about as effective as a placebo (HERE) --- doubly true if you weigh more than you should (HERE).
My suggestion to you? Take the message of The Who's 1971 song to heart and DON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN! Do everything you can to get healthy and stay that way (HERE), as it's your best weapon against the flu. Don't fall for that poppycock about it being the worst flu season ever this year --- just like it was supposed to be last year (HERE). And for Pete's sake, if you are actually thinking about getting more than one FLU VACCINE this year, make sure to read what my brother ---- an MD --- had to say to his peers (other MD's) about getting just one (HERE). For more information, be sure to read my helpful post called THE TOP TWENTY REASONS YOU MIGHT NOT WANT A FLU SHOT THIS YEAR.
CAN YOU GET FLU FROM THE FLU VACCINE?
CAN A FLU SHOT GIVE YOU THE FLU?
"Among flu viruses, H3N2 is the one you should fear the most. It lands the most patients in hospitals. It kills the most people. Oh, and bad news: The flu shot has real trouble fighting it. Last year’s seasonal flu vaccine was particularly weak against H3N2. In fact, that keeps happening, year after year—and no one is really sure why."
Clearly it's a pattern, as well as being the reason that for years we've been hearing (usually at the very end of the season after everyone has had their shot) that shucky darns, the vaccine failed to work yet again. Today I will answer an oft-asked question; do flu shots cause the flu? The standard line, of course, is no. The CDC's website doesn't mince words in an article called Misconceptions About Seasonal Flu and Flu Vaccines. "Can a flu shot give you the flu? No, a flu shot cannot cause flu illness." Back in 2013, USA Today (Can the Flu Vaccine Cause the Flu?) stated that "There's a belief, popular in the current flu outbreak, that getting vaccinated can actually give you the flu, and many people use it as a reason to avoid the shot. A survey by CVS Pharmacy last year found that about 35% of consumers think it's true. Doctors say it's impossible. While some people get sick after being vaccinated, it's not from the vaccine, doctors say." But it doesn't stop there.
Mayo Clinic (Flu Shot: Your Best Bet for Avoiding Influenza) asks the question and then answers it in the way you might expect. "Can the vaccine give me the flu? No. The flu vaccine can't give you the flu. But you might develop flu-like symptoms." This is a common thread I hear in my clinic. People are told they don't officially have the flu; only flu-like symptoms, which is the same thing without a positive test --- kind of like your waiter saying, "no we don't have 7-up," but then revealing you can get Sprite.
Harvard Health Publishing (10 Flu Myths: Dispelling Misinformation About the Flu Vaccine, Sickness, Treatment, and Recovery) recently stated, "MYTH: You can catch the flu from the vaccine. The vaccine is made from an inactivated virus that can't transmit infection. So people who get sick after receiving a flu vaccination were going to get sick anyway. It takes a week or two to get protection from the vaccine. But people assume that because they got sick after getting the vaccine, the shot caused their illness." There it is again; trying to explain away the large numbers of people getting the non-flu "flu equivalent" after their FLU SHOT.
WebMD (Can Flu Shots Cause the Flu?) says, "The flu shot is made from dead viruses and cannot "give" you the flu. However, the vaccine can trigger an immune response from your body, so you may have a few mild symptoms, like achy muscles or a low-grade fever. The nasal flu vaccine, FluMist, is made with a weakened live flu virus. It also cannot give you the flu, but is more likely to cause symptoms such as achy muscles or a low fever." How can we know the author of this article is clueless? Because two years ago the "mist" nasal vaccine was taken off the market because for at least three years prior, it's effectiveness was so low it could not be measured (effectively zero --- HERE). Livestrong (Flu-Like Symptoms After a Flu Shot) was even more clear on this subject. "Flu shots contain an inactivated version of the flu virus and cannot cause influenza." However, "Receiving a flu shot may cause side effects that are similar to flu symptoms.... Furthermore.... it is still possible to get the flu despite being vaccinated."
A 2015 story for the Sacramento Bee by medical reporter Anna Ibarra (Why You May Feel Sick After Getting the Flu Shot) showed how many promoters of flu shots don't practice what they preach. "I have a confession to make. I have opted out of getting a flu shot a few times in my adult life. I know this seems irresponsible of me, especially being a health reporter and all. But I can explain. It happened almost as a pattern – I’d get a flu shot, and I’d instantly feel sick. Headaches, stuffy nose, a cough, your typical flu symptoms. I’d ask myself: What was the point of getting the flu shot? The years I skipped the influenza vaccine: nothing. It was as if the flu shot made me sick. At least that is what I told myself to ease the guilt. So what is the point of me sharing this blunder? Well, I know I am not the only one who at some point erroneously believed that the seasonal flu vaccine can actually cause the flu illness." But maybe the best of the genre comes from Julianna LeMieux, who was writing in the September issue of the American Council on Science and Health (Why the Flu Shot Won't (and Can't) Give you the Flu).
"It's that time of year again - time to get the flu shot. In case you are wondering when is the best time to get your flu shot, please read here. Every year, the medical community emphasizes the importance of getting the flu vaccine. And, every year the same excuses pop up as to why people are not going to do it. But, the one excuse that I simply cannot hear anymore is that the flu shot will give someone the flu. This one drives me crazy because it is simply not possible.... The flu is going to be bad this year and the vaccine seems to be a good match."
LeMieux is probably a super great individual. But considering I just showed you that this year's vaccine is not a good match, her article cannot be considered anything but a glorified propaganda piece. A commonly used reason to convince you that you should get the flu shot anyway because even if the vaccine is not matched correctly (something that peer-review says happens less than once a decade), some protection is better than none, and what little protection you get will help you survive whatever flu virus you are hit with.
Not only is this not true (the only flu vaccine that may provide real protection must have the exact --- emphasis on exact --- genetic variant of the flu virus making the rounds in any given year), I am going to show you that in many cases, the flu vaccine actually increases your chances of getting sick with flu or something that looks so identical that it's indistinguishable (the plethora of viral infections filed under "flu-like illnesses").
NOT ONLY DOES THE FLU VACCINE NOT WORK, IT PREDISPOSES PEOPLE TO FLU
Back in 2011, University of Minnesota's CIDRAP program (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy) published an article about research found in the Lancet, saying that the "70% to 90% level of protection afforded by seasonal influenza vaccines" should be revised. Before repeatedly repeating the mantra that yes, these things don't do what's always been claimed of them, but they are better than nothing so go ahead and promote them as you always have, the CIDRAP team wrote "The meta-analysis produced little or no evidence of 70% to 90% efficacy for most population groups...."
Members of the organization, in fact, debated whether the term "oversold" should be used to describe vaccine efficacy (many were upset that one of the paper's lead authors, Dr. Michael Osterholm, had used the word to describe our national flu vaccination policies). What was even more interesting was that despite the pediatricians in the paragraph above revealing that the CDC has known about this unwarranted hype for years, this paper showed that they continued to carry the fraudulently high percentages of efficacy on their huge tax-payer funded site (CDC estimates of effectiveness have since been lowered).
Although I have dealt with it in other posts on some level, here is another fun fact. Studies continue to show that if you got a flu shot last year, this year's shot will not only not be effective, it actually increases your chances of contracting the flu --- dramatically (HERE). Two years ago in January, the journal Eurosurvalliance published a study called Interim Estimates of 2014/15 Vaccine Effectiveness Against Influenza A(H3N2) from Canada’s Sentinel Physician Surveillance Network. "Vaccine effectiveness against influenza A (H3N2) among those who received the 2014/2015 influenza vaccine without prior vaccination in 2013/14 was higher than among participants who were vaccinated with the same A (H3N2) vaccine component in both 2013/14 and 2014/15." How bad was it? Negative 15%. This means that the second consecutive year of getting a flu shot increased your chances of getting the flu by 15% above those who had not been vaccinated. The same phenomenon was seen in the "Household" study I dealt with yesterday from Clinical Infectious Diseases --- only it was much worse; -45%.
I cannot even begin to tell you how many times patients tell me something along these same lines. The story is always the same. "Hey Doc, I took a flu shot last year and got the worst case of flu I've ever gotten in my life." Especially important once you understand that there are about a jillion viruses that can cause the same symptoms as flu, but because they are not actually flu, are classified as "Flu-Like" and not counted in official statistics. And then the other shoe dropped. Oxford Academic's Clinical Infectious Diseases (Increased Risk of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated With Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine) revealed back in 2012 that if you had a flu shot, you were five and a half times (550%) more likely to come down with a non-influenza respiratory infection in that same year.
"Participants who received Trivalent Vaccine had higher risk of acute respiratory illness associated with confirmed non-influenza respiratory virus infection. In the prepandemic period of our study, we did not observe a statistically significant reduction in confirmed seasonal influenza virus infections in the Trivalent Vaccine recipients. Including two additional confirmed infections when participants did not report acute respiratory illness, Trivalent Vaccine recipients had higher risk of confirmed non-influenza respiratory virus infection. The phenomenon of virus interference has been well known in virology for over 60 years."
Did you catch that? This phenomenon has been recognized since at least the 1950's. In other words, while the virus in a flu vaccine may be similar enough to confer some degree of immunity against the flu (truthfully, they need to be identical as we have been seeing), the exact opposite is true more often than not. The more you ramp up the immune system with very specific viral antigens found in vaccines, the worse the body will react if the virus it is being attacked with is not what was in the vaccine. And if you remember, match-years --- those years when the flu vaccine actually "matches" the virus that is circulating in the public --- happen about once every 11 years according to peer-review. This is not only why we see crappy results with the flu vaccine year after year, but why --- thanks to "viral interference" --- we routinely see people getting sicker after getting vaccinated against the flu. And because these illnesses are not actually the flu (even though they pass the smell test), your doctor can sit there and tell you that your shot is doing exactly what it was created and designed to do.
What does this look like in today's America? We not only see a steadily eroding immunity against the flu for those who are getting vaccinated on a regular basis (think elderly folks here who often wait in line like teen groupies trying to get into a Justin Beever concert), the last few decades have brought us a veritable EXPLOSION OF AUTOIMMUNITY. Think of it this way; If you are constantly and purposefully activating the immune system via ALUMINUM-CONTAINING ADJUVANTS whose stated purpose is to do just that, what the heck do you expect is going to happen --- especially in a society that is already maximally inflamed --- an "INFLAMMATION NATION" if you will? And what does our medical community do? They continue telling us that it's a combination of plain DUMB LUCK and BAD GENETICS. The reality is that the ABSURD NUMBERS OF VACCINES that our citizens are being serially bombarded with from cradle to grave, radically increase the chances of the body attacking itself (AUTOIMMUNITY), which is why you are starting to actually hear about things like ASIA (Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants). But it's even bigger even than this.
If these sorts of problems were happening once in a blue moon, it would be one thing. But they aren't. They are happening with clock-like regularity. In fact, as I have shown you on several occasions (HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE are a few) all drug reactions, vaccine reactions included, are only reported to the proper governmental authorities, on average, about 1% of the time. I'm not making that up folks.
What it means is that even though the general public is hollering about vaccine-induced problems, our alphabet soup of governmental organizations (CDC, NIH, WHO, etc, etc, etc) continues to tell us how stupid we are for believing such poppycock, and that there is nothing to worry about. Add to this the fact that we seeing that most studies cannot be reproduced (HERE), and you can see why trying to comfort yourself with "EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE" isn't working out as planned. The truth is, when it comes to flu shots, the evidence against continues to mount. My advice based on research? Study the issue for yourself, and then run far and run fast.
THE QUEST FOR A BETTER FLU VACCINE
THE UNIVERSAL FLU VACCINE
Even though most physicians and public health officials have been forced to admit that flu vaccine efficacy is not anywhere near what's been officially touted, they continue preaching the wisdom of annual flu vaccinations. Not surprisingly, one of the ways that the scientific medical community combats citizens questioning their policies is the promise that a universal flu vaccine is right around the corner. For instance, just two short weeks ago, the New England Journal of Medicine carried a scientific paper (Chasing Seasonal Influenza — The Need for a Universal Influenza Vaccine) saying that given enough time and money, would "achieve the ultimate objective of a universal influenza vaccine."
The September issue of PNAS (Increasing the Breadth and Potency of Response to the Seasonal Influenza Virus Vaccine by Immune Complex Immunization) touted this same idea. Note that they begin by saying exactly what I have been showing you --- that matching vaccine to circulating virus is a pipe-dream. "The main barrier to reduction of morbidity caused by influenza is the absence of a vaccine that elicits broad protection against different virus strains." After talking about what they planned to do, they ended the study by telling us that this plan will be, "setting the stage for a universal influenza virus vaccine." A simple Google search reveals hundreds of similar articles touting the nearness of the universal vaccine. Allow me to show you why this "Holy Grail" of vaccines is not something you need to be getting overly excited about.
Before I show you why the Universal Flu Vaccine (UFV) is not quite everything you've been led to believe it is, I want you to realize that the concept is nothing new. In fact, if you head on over to our government's massive research database at PubMed, you'll find a whopping 760 studies when you search "Universal Flu Vaccine". I'm only going to go back 12 years, but get a load of some of these headlines.
- 2006: The August 2006 issue of Popular Science was talking about the UFV in an article called Kryptonite for Flu: A Single-Shot Universal Vaccine Against Any Strain of Flu (they quoted research from Philadelphia's WISTAR INSTITUTE).
- 2007: Remember CIDRAP? In July of 2007 they published an article called Acambis Launches Human Trial of 'Universal' Flu Vaccine, saying "Known as ACAM-FLU-A, the vaccine is designed to target all influenza A virus strains, Acambis said in a Jul 17 press release. If successful, the product will mark a major step toward a universal flu vaccine—one that would protect against all strains of both influenza A and B. The majority of laboratory-confirmed flu cases each year in the United States are type. The trial will also assess the effectiveness of two adjuvants (immune-boosting chemicals): aluminum hydroxide, widely used in licensed vaccines....." Don't you just love PRESS RELEASES?
- 2008: Almost a decade ago, a January issue of Science Daily (Universal Influenza Vaccine Tested Successfully In Humans) gave its readers some wonderful news (sigh). "Scientists report the successful conclusion of Phase I trials of the universal flu vaccine in humans. The universal influenza vaccine is intended to provide protection against all 'A' strains of the virus that causes human influenza, including pandemic strains. The vaccine was tested at multiple centers in the US and involved 79 healthy volunteers. The trial results demonstrate that [the vaccine] is well tolerated and immunogenic, and no significant side-effects were observed." I wonder what happened to this research? Was it one of the half of all medical studies that ends up in the bin marked INVISIBLE & ABANDONED?
- 2009: In June of 09, Nancy Schute, writing for USA Today, published an article called Wayne Marasco: A Shot at a Universal Flu Vaccine, which stated, "The man with the unorthodox history recently made a striking discovery: a human antibody that attacks a newfound vulnerability in flu viruses. His finding could be the key to a single, perennial vaccine against all forms of influenza, including swine flu." A few short months later, CBS News carried a story called Universal Flu Vaccine May be Available in 5 Years. "British researchers are reporting their discovery may bring us one step closer to one flu shot that protects against every new strain of the disease." What's interesting is that this article talked about flu being related to a 15 times higher chance of people having a heart attack. Funny they didn't mention the study from the Journal of Internal Medicine (Inflammation-Related Effects of Adjuvant Influenza A Vaccination on Platelet Activation and Cardiac Autonomic Function) which concluded "Together with an inflammatory reaction, influenza A vaccine induced platelet activation and sympathovagal imbalance towards adrenergic predominance. Significant correlations were found between CRP levels and HRV parameters, suggesting a pathophysiological link between inflammation and cardiac autonomic regulation. The vaccine-related platelet activation and cardiac autonomic dysfunction may transiently increase the risk of cardiovascular events." HRV determines VAGUS NERVE -vs- SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE, as driven by the flu vaccine.
- 2010: As things continued to heat up concerning the UFV, CIDRAP published yet another article revealing that pharmacies were getting ready to cash in (Pharmacy Chains Poised for Universal Flu Vaccination Push). Cha ching! Then in September, another press release stated that "Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: DVAX) announced that it has begun to immunize subjects in a Phase 1b clinical trial of its Universal Flu Vaccine."
- 2011: In January of 2011, the website Fast Company (Universal Flu Vaccine Could Fight Pandemics For Up To Twenty Years) reported that, "A universal flu vaccine – a vaccine that could last decades and offer protection against many different flu virus strains–is being developed. Human trials have started for the universal flu vaccine, which might be available within the next ten years."
- 2012: Idea dot org (Discovery May Hold Key for Universal Flu Vaccine) stated that, "We might not have a cure for the common cold, but scientists have discovered a potentially powerful new treatment for much more dangerous flu viruses. Researchers at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and Crucell Vaccine Institute in the Netherlands say they have discovered a human antibody that protects against essentially all influenza A and B strains. In other words, this finding may portend a universal treatment for nearly all strains of the flu. The Holy Grail of influenza research is to find a mechanism to protect people against essentially all the numerous different strains of influenza viruses. This research is a heartening step forward." That same year, the Philadelphia Business Journal (Inovio Gets Patent for SynCon Universal Flu Vaccine) let readers know that "The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent this week covering Inovio’s SynCon universal vaccine."
- 2013: In May of 2013, Disease Daily (Approaching A Universal Flu Vaccine?) asked a rhetorical question and then turned around and answered it (after giving a wide range of excuses why the flu vaccine rarely worked as touted). "What if we had a vaccine that protected us against all different strains of flu? What if this vaccine protected us for more than one flu season? Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases (part of the National Institutes of Health) are helping us get there." By December the Stanford University News (Stanford Researchers Take a Step Toward Developing a 'Universal' Flu Vaccine) was wanting everyone to know the good news. "Stanford researchers report promising steps toward the creation of a universal flu vaccine, one that could be produced more quickly and offer broader protection than the virus-specific inoculants available today."
- 2014: Quinn Eastman, writing for the Emory University News Center (Key to Universal Flu Vaccine: Embrace the Unfamiliar) wrote, "Vaccine researchers have developed a strategy aimed at generating broadly cross-reactive antibodies against the influenza virus: embrace the unfamiliar. In recent years, researchers interested in a universal flu vaccine identified a region of the viral hemagglutinin protein called the stem or stalk, which doesn't mutate and change as much as other regions and could be the basis for a vaccine that is protective against a variety of flu strains. In an Emory Vaccine Center study, human volunteers immunized against the avian flu virus H5N1 readily developed antibodies against the stem region of the viral hemagglutinin protein. In contrast, those immunized with standard seasonal trivalent vaccines did not, instead developing most of their antibodies against the more variable head region." Are you seeing a pattern? Hype and failure --- repeat indefinitely.
- 2015: The journal of the American Society for Microbiology published a study asking and then answering the same question. Is It Possible? A Different Approach to Creating a Universal Influenza Vaccine. "Arguably, the best means to prevent influenza infection is through vaccination, and each year, approximately 40 to 50% of adults in the United States are vaccinated against seasonal influenza viruses. Unfortunately, due to the evolution of the major outer viral surface protein hemagglutinin (HA) through antigenic drift, the annual vaccine components must be frequently updated in order to provide protection against emerging viral strains. Further, these vaccines are unlikely to protect against antigenically divergent strains. This is an exciting study that furthers our quest for a universal influenza vaccine. Clinical studies demonstrated that influenza VLP vaccines are safe and effective in adults." Later that summer CIDRAP told us via an article title that, Recent 'Universal' Flu Vaccine Proposals Fell Short. "The quest for a broadly protective or "universal" influenza vaccine suffered a setback recently when the US Biomedical Research and Development Authority (BARDA) determined that industry plans submitted in response to a formal request for proposals (RFP) fell short of the government's requirements. We had a number of proposals and unfortunately none of those met our minimum mandatory requirements."
- 2016: In a GLAXOSMITHKLINE PROPAGANDA PIECE written for Canada's The Globe and Mail (Lasting Effects), author Carly Weeks let everyone know that "Unlike vaccines for other illnesses, the influenza shot has to be remade from scratch every year because the viruses in circulation mutate each flu season. But a recent breakthrough by Canadian researchers marks an exciting step some experts say brings us closer to making a universal flu vaccine a reality."
- Early 2017: the journal Scientific Reports revealed that a research team from University of Nebraska had developed a UFV that "appears to provide broad protection against the flu." Lead researcher Eric The ultimate goal is to be able to vaccinate once and provide lifelong protection. Our current influenza vaccine programs and technologies reduce influenza infections and hospitalizations by 4.75 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively. There is no doubt that there is a need for more effective vaccine technologies." Not a very good rate, and as research has repeatedly and universally shown, these stats are almost certainly overblown / exaggerated, with actual benefits of the flu vaccine being far less than estimated.
- Later in 2017: Just days before Halloween, Vanderbilt University's Research News tooted their own horn with an article called Vanderbilt Leads International Effort to Develop Universal Flu Vaccine. The author, Bill Snyder (not to be confused with the legendary Kansas State University football coach), said "Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center are leading an international effort to develop a universal influenza vaccine that would protect everyone against all strains of the flu anywhere in the world. Coupled with artificial intelligence driven computer simulation models, they will seek to determine why some people are protected against the flu while others are not." It's interesting that this is the very same question that DR. B.J. PALMER was answering over a century ago (HERE). Interestingly, on October 3, England's Oxford University stated via the title of their article that this was, World-First Trial for Universal Flu Vaccine. Really? If they went back and re-read the 2007 bullet they would realize that although it sounds impressive, they were at least a decade too late with this claim.
- Even later in 2017: There have been a rash of articles and news releases in the last week and a half. The headlines read almost exactly like those of a decade ago. Unbridled optimism (or should I say unbridled propaganda), with little to show. The researchers are all touting the same thing --- dramatically increased levels of antibodies. But as Drs. Biondi and Algine showed you earlier, antibody titers and surrogate endpoints don't matter, improvements in both morbidity and mortality are all that matters.
Besides the "genetic drift" talked about earlier, a chief reason the flu shot is so ineffective is that it only contains three strains of virus. Doctors try and guess months ahead of time what these may be, and rarely get it right. So, why don't they just make a concoction with the thousands of potential flu viruses? It would ramp up the immune system far too much, and at the least, would require a series of annual injections. And this doesn't account for the constant genetic change, similar to what's seen with the common cold (of which has been said a vaccine is impossible).
Do you remember Helen Branswell, whose quote early in this post kind of started things off? Although she sounded super optimistic, here is what she wrote for the Toronto Star back in August of 2013 (as you read this make sure to recall the 2012 study showing that flu-vaccinated individuals had 5.5X more respiratory infections than the uninoculated public).
"A new study sounds a cautionary note for work that is being done to try to develop vaccines to protect against all subtypes of influenza. The research describes a phenomenon in which vaccination against one strain of flu actually seems to raise the risk of severe infection following exposure to a related but different strain, an effect called vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory disease. The study was published by the journal Science Translational Medicine... the finding is reminiscent of something that was observed in people in Canada during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic."
What happened back in 2009 in Canada? It was an ugly enough situation to garner its own Wikipedia entry (2009 Flu Pandemic in Canada). Researchers determined that something called "Fusion Enhancing" occurred --- the phenomenon of people being more likely to get sick from the viruses that are similar to those in the vaccine. Think about it; three strains of virus in the vaccine, thousands of strains not in the vaccine. A poker player would fold and wait for the next hand. If you want to actually see how the government attempted to explain this away, take a look at CIDRAP's paper titled New Canadian Studies Suggest Seasonal Flu Shot Increased H1N1 Risk.
Dr. Philip Alcabes is a public health official (masters in biochemistry from Berkley, MPH from Columbia, doctorate in infectious-disease epidemiology from Johns Hopkins) who also happens to be a Professor of Community Health at Hunter College of NY. In a 2013 article on his site (Against Universal Flu Immunization), the good doctor revealed why all of this is going on. It's nothing new, as I've shown you many times previously that when it comes to BIG PHARMA, safety and effectiveness are secondary --- it's all about the money. Think about it this way; the person or team that comes up with a viable UFV will become the next PAUL OFFIT --- times 1,000.
"I commented in 2011 on public officials striving to help pharmaceutical companies profit from flu fears. And that’s what we’re seeing again this season — with exaggerated warnings and declarations of flu emergencies. Even though the latest national summary from CDC shows that less than 30% of all influenza-like illness is actually caused by flu this season — and that’s likely an overestimate, since it’s based on testing of more severe cases of acute respiratory illness. And the surveillance data suggest that the season’s flu outbreak might already be past its peak. Get immunized against flu if you’re worried. But keep in mind that vaccination against flu is not going to help the public’s health, and it isn’t highly likely to help yours — it’s primarily your contribution to the profits of Sanofi-Pasteur, Novartis, Glaxosmithkline, or Merck."
HOW DID WE GET TO THIS POINT?
If the organization that Congress created (the Office of Special Masters of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims) deems you or your child was injured (or killed) as the direct result of a vaccine, you may be eligible to receive up to $250,000. Sounds like a lot, but if you've got a seriously damaged child, it will be gone in a year, maybe two. Take it or leave it, because your ability to sue has been removed. However, they rarely find the vaccine manufacturers guilty, as this would open up a can of worms for industry that would make Pandora's Box look like Sesame Street. Rather than me going through the whole sordid affair, take a look at this very cool (and short) "Whiteboard Video".
IS FLU SEASON REALLY GOING TO BE EARLY THIS YEAR AND IS IT
REALLY GOING TO BE THE WORST FLU SEASON IN RECENT MEMORY?
The NewDaily said, "Early Flu Outbreak Could Signal the Worst Season on Record." Not to be outdone, The Telegraph carried this headline; "NHS Fears the Worst Flu Season in History." Just weeks ago, the Cape Cod Health News warned readers that "Flu Season is Here and it Could be a Nasty One." Out West, CBS Channel 2 warned its viewers that "Idaho's Flu Season Could be One of the Most Severe in Recent Memory." Oxford University Press (their motto is Academic Insights for the Thinking World) warned over two months ago that people should be, "Bracing for the Worst Flu Season on Record." Not wanting to be left out, the Daily Mail was even more dire in their warnings, saying that "America Faces One of the Worst Flu Seasons Ever as Doctors Warn the Vaccine is Only 10% Effective this Year..." And finally, Medical Express dot com revealed the not-so-hidden meaning behind these kinds of headlines; "With Severe Flu Season Lurking, Shots a Must."
An article from Tuesday's edition of MedPage Today by medical reporter Helen Branswell (Prepare for an Early Flu Season: Just in Time for the Holidays) is not much different. Take a gander at a few cherry-picked sentences from her article.
"If you have been planning to get a flu shot but just haven't gotten around to it yet, the time to act is now -- especially if you hope to be healthy at Christmas. Older adults may face double whammy. There are a number of different types of flu viruses, and they don't all hit equally hard. The type that is responsible for most of the illness, at least at the moment, is called H3N2. What makes that especially troubling is that the influenza B viruses currently making the rounds are also particularly hard on older adults. This year's flu shot isn't going to be ideal. A commentary published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine pegged the preliminary vaccine effectiveness estimate for the H3N2 component of the vaccine at 10%. Why bother getting the shot? ...some protection is better than none. Public health officials in U.S. and Canada have urged them [doctors] to prescribe antiviral drugs if that [flu] happens to a patient who has chronic illnesses. Flu infection can be very severe and even fatal in someone with heart or lung disease or who has a weakened immune system. Antiviral drugs should be taken within a 48-hour window of the onset of flu symptoms."
Branswell's piece is wrong on so many levels; so what I want to do now is show you why it's largely a propaganda piece as opposed to a solid reporting of the facts. Let's start with the end of her stament concerning the antivirals people are supposed to take. This is talking about a drug called Tamiflu / Oseltamivir. Not only did my brother, an ER physician at a large Midwest hospital, mention Tamiflu in a very cool letter he wrote to one of his professional journals (HERE is his very short article), but I've previously mentioned it as well (HERE). Why? Because it shortens the average course of the flu by (gulp) less than 10%.
Furthermore, Branswell specifically mentions older folks as being at heightened risk. She is correct here. The fact is, older folks are at a heightened risk for just about everything. And once they become what is known in the medical field as "the frail elderly," their chances of dying of the next infection they get, whether it be a cold, a cough, bronchitis, flu, or pneumonia, skyrockets. This is the main reason that the DEATH STATISTICS for flu (they are usually touted as between 36,000-52,000 annually) are little more than a scare tactic used by BIG PHARMA to sell more shots. How do we know this?
A few years back, COCHRANE, a loosely-knit group of thousands of physicians and researchers worldwide, who take studies on certain topics and crunch the data to make sense of it as a whole (they are almost universally considered to be the 'gold standard' of medical review), revealed something so shocking that few people --- especially our geriatric population --- are aware of it because it is not widely reported. The flu shot for the elderly population (over 65) is totally worthless / ineffective (HERE). And if this fact is reported, it is always with an addendum warning everyone else to get vaccinated to protect our vulnerable senior citizens (especially children). The problem is, according to another review by Cochrane, flu shots are no more protective against flu for the under-19 crowd than they are for the over-65 crowd (HERE).
One of the best proofs of this came by way of a study that was done by a group of public health officials and epidemiologists working in tangent with the CDC's Influenza Division down in Atlanta. The study (Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in the Community and the Household), published in one of the Oxford Journal's numerous peer-reviewed publications (Clinical Infectious Diseases) came to some conclusions that were so shocking that calling them shocking would be a major understatment. After looking at "328 households with 1441 members, including 839 children," for an entire year (2011) these authors determined that there was a difference of 4/10ths of one percentage point between those who received flu vaccine and those who didn't.
"Influenza was identified in 78 households and 125 individuals. The infection risk was 8.5% in the vaccinated and 8.9% in the unvaccinated. Substantially lower effectiveness was noted among subjects who were vaccinated in both the current and prior season. There was no evidence that vaccination prevented household transmission once influenza was introduced; adults were at particular risk despite vaccination. Vaccine effectiveness estimates were lower than those demonstrated in other observational studies carried out during the same season. The unexpected findings of lower effectiveness with repeated vaccination and no protection given household exposure require further study."
This is interesting because numerous studies have shown the very same thing --- that not only is the effectiveness of flu vaccines in the toilet across the board (HERE), if you got a flu shot last year, this year's shot is going to be even less effective (HERE). In other words folks, these vaccines against flu virus admittedly do not do what they continue to be touted to do --- prevent the flu. Back to Branswell's previous quote. Despite the 2017-2018 flu vaccine's efficacy estimate being admittedly crappy, she hits readers with another statement that we've gotten used to hearing every year. 'Hey, the vaccine might only be X% effective, but at least it's better than nothing' ("some protection is better than none").
Once you understand the way these shots actually work; via purposefully-driven inflammatory responses created by aluminum adjuvants (HERE), you might start singing a different tune --- especially if nasty little diseases like ALZHEIMER'S or AUTISM concern you at all. That's right folks, the flu vaccine has an accumulative effect, mostly due to the aluminum salts used as adjuvants. In case you think that I'm blowing smoke, take a listen to this short little video from expert on the effects of aluminum on biological systems; Professor Chris Exley.
DR. CHRIS EXLEY
CARGO OF ALUMINUM
Dr. Exley, a Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry at Keele University in Staffordshire, England, is one of the world's foremost experts on the many ways that aluminum screws up living systems --- particularly neurological tissues, and most particularly the brain (his Ph.D is in aluminum excitotoxicology from Scotland's University of Stirling, and he has been researching the subject for 35 years). Just a couple of short weeks ago, the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology published a study by Exley and his team of researchers called Aluminum in Brain Tissue in Autism. Here are some of the cherry-picked results that were determined after measuring the aluminum content of samples of brain tissue of autistics (ages 15-50) obtained from the Oxford Brain Bank.
"Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder.... suggested to involve both genetic susceptibility and environmental factors including in the latter environmental toxins. Human exposure to the environmental toxin aluminum has been linked, if tentatively, to autism spectrum disorder. The aluminum content of brain tissues from donors with a diagnosis of ASD was extremely high. The mean aluminum content for each lobe across all individuals was towards the higher end of all historical measurements of brain aluminum content, including dialysis encephalopathy. We recorded some of the highest values for brain aluminum content ever measured in healthy or diseased tissues in these male ASD donors. What discriminates these data from other analyses of brain aluminum in other diseases is the age of the ASD donors. Why, for example would a 15 year old boy have such a high content of aluminum in their brain tissues? There are no comparative data in the scientific literature, the closest being similarly high data for a 42 year old male with familial Alzheimer’s disease."
On a related note, I find it "interesting" that in June of 2012, about the same time that Exley was embarking on this line of research, a freezer malfunction at Harvard University destroyed a significant part of the world's largest collections of autistic brains. According to CBS News (Freezer Malfunction Thaws 150 Brains at Harvard Research Hospital), "An official at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., discovered that the freezer had failed in late May without triggering alarms. Inside, 150 thawed brains had turned dark from decay. About a third of them were part of a collection of brains of people with autism. Dr. Carlos Pardo, an associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University, tells the paper that the damage could slow autism research by a decade." Honest accident? I wasn't there so don't really know. What I do know is that the sort of work Exley and others like him are doing is not allowed / heavily discouraged in the States. Furthermore, if there is any way to "slow down" or stop this sort of research from taking place or being published, BIG PHARMA will be all over it.
Before winding things up, I want to briefly discuss a topic that Dr. Exley talks about on some of his numerous YouTube videos --- excitotoxicity (the subject of his doctorate). When I hear the word excitotoxicity or "EXCITOTOXIN," I automatically think of Dr Russell Blaylock, the Mississippi neurosurgeon who wrote the book on ASPARTME and MSG around 1990, Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills. If you want to understand how aluminum in vaccines is causing MICROGLIAL ACTIVATION and subsequent MITOCHONDRIAL DYSFUNCTION, be sure to read Blaylock's short article on the subject called Dr. Blaylock on Mitochondria and Vaccines. By the way, expert in the field of mitochondrial function and dysfunction, Dr. Chandler Marrs, is working on a guest post for my site that will help shed some light on why mitochondrial function is of critical importance to health.
The bottom line is that what the media is telling you about the flu and the many VACCINES AGAINST THE FLU is hype. And if we really do run into a flu epidemic / pandemic, which sooner or later is going to happen (HERE), it's HEALTH BY HYGIENE that is going to save us; not a vaccine. Be sure to stay tuned because some time before the new year I am going to do a post showing you why rampant mutation of flu viruses means flu vaccines are a pipe dream, as well as the fact that despite what your doctor may have told you, you can get the flu from the flu shot --- something I hear people complaining about regularly / frequently.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
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