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H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine: Is It Toxic?
The U.S. government sent out hundreds of thousands of H1N1 Swine Flu vaccines to cities throughout the U.S. in early October, under heavy pressure to produce and distribute a working vaccine before the onset of the flu season. Response to the vaccine has been mixed and embroiled in controversy. One of the points of contention is the safety of the vaccine. Several watchdog groups are watching the situation and at least one, the National Vaccine Information Center, is opposing the fast-track vaccine program for school children. At the core of their concern is the fact that school children are poised to be the test subjects for the Swine Flu vaccine, which has not been fully tested and is still in experimental stages.
A secondary concern over the distribution of the Swine Flu vaccine, one that is less public but of equal significance, involves the toxicity of the vaccine. Most flu vaccines contain a preservative known as thimerosal. Thimerosal contains mercury, which is highly toxic. Some reports say that thimerosal is 50 times more toxic than mercury, according to a medical study published in the Cochrane Reviews. High levels of mercury are associated with long-term neurological disorders, immune dysfunction, motor skill impairment, and behavioral dysfunctions, in addition to autism, attention deficit disorder, multiple sclerosis, and speech and language deficiencies. The Institute of Medicine believes that infants, children, and pregnant women are at greater risk of developing problems associated with mercury poisoning and should not be injected with thimerosal.
In addition to the mercury toxicity, flu vaccines commonly contain aluminium hydroxide, which has been associated with allergies, anaphylactic shock, and chronic inflammation. According to a study by Boyd E. Haley, Ph.D. and Professor Emeritus of chemistry, aluminum contained in vaccinations can cause cognitive disorders, motor neuron dysfunctions and autism. He points out that the aluminum alone is not responsible for these medical risks, but rather it is the interaction of the aluminum and the thimerosal that is particularly dangerous.
In going straight to the source of potential H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine side effects, we got a copy of the vaccine package inserts, which contain the risks and side effects that the drug maker must, by law, publish. Here is the list of H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine side effects, courtesy of the pharmaceutical company itself:
*Local injection site reactions (including pain, pain limiting limb movement, redness, swelling, warmth, ecchymosis, induration)
*Immune system disorders
*Hypersensitivity reactions (including throat and/or mouth edema)
*Vasculitis (in rare cases with transient renal involvement)
*Syncope shortly after vaccination
*Loss of appetite.
*Metabolic and nutritional disorders
*Blood and lymphatic disorders
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*Nervous system disorders
*Myelitis (including encephalomyelitis and transverse myelitis)
*Neuropathy (including neuritis)
*Paralysis (including BellŐs Palsy)
*Rash (including non-specific, maculopapular, and vesiculobulbous).
*In rare cases, hypersensitivity reactions have lead to anaphylactic shock and death
If you have a choice, it is wise to wait on taking the Swine Flu vaccine, if you take it at all.
If you do take the Swine Flu vaccine, there are measures you can take to reduce the toxic effects of the H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine, offered by Dr. Russell Blaylock, an expert on the side effects of vaccines.
Tips for Reducing the Toxic Effects of the H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine:
Take a cold pack with you when you get your vaccine. Immediately after receiving the vaccine injection, place the cold pack on the location. Continue using a cold pack throughout the day. This will help block any immune reaction.
Supplement with Omega 3 fish oil one hour before the injection. This will help reduce brain inflammation.
Other supplements to take before your flu shot:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C, 1000 mg four times a day between meals (be sure to get ester C, which is buffered)
- Multimineral supplement with NO iron
- Magnesium citrate/malate, 500 mg three times a day
- Vitamin D3, 1000 mg
Drink strong white tea four times a day.
Eat high amounts of parsley and celery. Blend them in a blender for easy consumption.
Avoid fish, which contain mercury.
Avoid using oils that suppress immune system function and increase inflammation: canola, soy, corn, safflower, sunflower and peanut.
H1N1 Nasal Vaccine: What You May Not Know
The inhalable vaccine that thousands of children across the country are being vaccinated with is a new, and some might argue, experimental form of vaccinations. The pharmaceutical company Medimmune received permission in 2002 to make an inhalable vaccine, which was made available in Wal-Mart stores as a convenient way to administer a flu vaccine to shoppers' children. There are obvious advantages to a nasal inhalant: the dose is pre-measured and does not require refrigeration, needles, nor alcohol swabbing. Children don't suffer the physical and emotional pain of getting a shot.
But there are disadvantages to the nasal vaccine:
- The nasal vaccine contains a living virus. The nasal H1N1 vaccine is made with a modified live virus, not a dead virus as in regular seasonal flu shots.
- The nasal vaccine is contagious. Those who have received a nasal H1N1 vaccine can pass on the living virus to others for as long as 21 days after the vaccination.
The FluMist vaccine contains a live swine flu virus that is modified in such a way that it only affects the nose and throat. There are two reasons for this: first, the swine flu virus only becomes deadly when it works its way into the lungs; second, the nose and throat are cooler than the lungs and the FluMist virus dies under high temperatures. When the flu mist is administered in to the nose, it stays in the nasal sinus area where the body begins to produce anti-bodies to it.
As good as that may seem, the great concern we all should have is the fact that a living virus is being spray up our children's noses. Think about that for a minute. A dead virus is relatively innocuous, but a live virus is a live virus. And it remains living (contagious) for up to 21 days. The potential side effects published for the H1N1 nasal vaccine are runny nose, cough, and sore throat, similar to the common cold. Cold symptoms may seem like a small price to pay in lieu of getting a full-blown, potentially fatal form of the swine flu. And some parents may feel this way. In the end, it is up to every parent to determine this for themselves, but preferably on the basis of sound information, not fear or panic.
The fundamental fact to weigh in on is the infectious nature of the spray mist vaccine. Many parents are likely to have their kids innoculated with the vaccine spray and then send them out with a sense of security to their schools and playgrounds, where the virus they have just inhaled can be spread. While it's true and can be argued that the spray mist flu virus is only the mild variety -- not the fatal form that requires hospitalization -- it's too soon to say if indeed the alteration of this living virus really does stay in the nose and throat, and never makes its way to the lungs. The swine flu mist does have its risks, some of which remain untested and unknown.
Every parent, and anyone considering getting a flu vaccination, will do well to consider these risks. Many of the medical professionals I have spoken with, including one at the Mayo Clinic, say that with proper information and proper precautions, the nasal flu spray can be a good idea. Here are the fundamental points they say to keep in mind:
If the swine flu vaccine is available in your community or from your physician, find out which type of vaccine they are administering. There are 3 types of swine flu vaccine: 1) the vaccine spray mist, 2) single-dose injectable vaccine, and 3) multiple-dose injectable vaccine. Of the 3, the most safe is the single-dose flu shot. Because it's a single dose, it does not contain the preservative Thiosermal, which contains mercury. The multiple-dose shot, on the other hand, does have mercury, and though it's not a large amount and is probably not harmful to most people, it can be harmful to some.
The truth of the matter is, you will most likely not have a choice of the 3 types of vaccine. Most clinics and doctors get what they get and are thankful to have their allotted quantity, given the very short supply. But even though you don't have a choice, if you know ahead of time which form of the vaccine is available in your area, there are precautions you can take to minimize adverse effects of any of the vaccines. Call the agency that is administering the vaccine where you live and ask which type they are giving.
- If they are giving the single dose injection, count yourself as lucky. If you get this form of the vaccine, there is not a lot you have to do to minimise side effects aside from keeping your physical activity, stress and exposure to extreme cold low for a few days.
- If they are giving the the multiple dose injection, weigh the fact that a small quantity of mercury is contained in the vaccine. This virus is a dead virus, which means it is not contagious. You might have some mild side effects. To prevent these, minimize your physical activity, stress and exposure to cold for at least several days. Support your immune system with additional Vitamin C and antioxidants.
- If the inhalable spray mist vaccine is available, reread this article. If you or your children do get the flu mist, keep in mind that you will be contagious for as many as 21 days. Keep away from public areas as much as you can, wash your hands regularly and always after blowing your nose or touching your eyes, always blow your nose into a kleenex, and always cough into a kleenex or into your shirt sleeve. If you begin to feel cold-like symptoms, treat it like an illness and not merely a few side effects. Drink lots of fluids, take zinc and Vitamin C throughout the day, rest as much as you can, and don't consume congesting foods (dairy especially) until you feel better.
- Finally, speak with other parents and anyone you know who has or knows someone who has had any form of the swine flu vaccine. Ask them about the side effects and any indication of contagion. The H1N1 flu mist vaccine is still in a proving phase, and it was rushed to market. Don't be gullible to the fact that the wide-spread use of the flu mist vaccination is a tremendous financial and scientific testing opportunity for the vaccine's maker, Medimmune. It's up to you to decide if you want to participate in the test.
The injectable H1N1 vaccine, which has yet to reach many cities, is a much safer form of vaccination, or more correctly stated, the lesser of two evils. While the injectable vaccine is made with a dead virus, it also contains the preservative Thiomersal, which contains high levels of mercury. Here's more information about the H1N1 injectable vaccine.
H1N1 Swine Flu Facts & Figures
Since the first H1N1 case was reported in April 2009, the Centers for Disease Control has been working with states and hospitals to compile information about the spread and severity of the H1N1 Swine Flu virus throughout the U.S. Here are some of the statistics, reported in early October 2009:
H1N1 cases reported in the spring/summer season:
- 43,771 confirmed and suspected H1N1 cases from April 15 - July 24, 2009
- 5,011 of the above were hospitalized
- 302 of the above died
H1N1 cases reported in the late summer/fall season:
- 16,174 hospitalizations were reported from August 30 - September 19, 2009
- 1,379 of the above died
H1N1 general information:
- The chances that a family member or housemate will contract an influenza illness from someone infected by the disease is 8% - 12%
- The time of onset from initial exposure to a flu virus is 2.4 - 3.1 days
- The most often reported H1N1 symptoms in confirmed, hospitalized cases, from highest to lowest: fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue or weakness, chills, sore throat, headache, vomiting, wheezing, and diarrhea.
- During the first week of October 2009, 600,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine were shipped to states across the U.S.
H1N1 Swine Flu Disease Prevention
Handwashing is your best defense. Doctors agree the number one way to prevent the spread of disease is frequent handwashing. Remember if you are out shopping or any other public place, keep your hands away from your face until you have had the opportunity to thoroughly wash your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. This is what doctors and dentists do between patients, reducing the transmission of communicable disease to themselves and those that they treat. Handwashing, frequently and fastidiously. Wash your hands with soap and water whenever you have contact with other people or have been in public places. If you don't have access to a washroom, carry disinfectant wipes with you. Give your children a package of disinfectant wipes to carry in their backpack or pocket. Be sure they know how to use them properly. Carry your own disinfectant wipes in your purse, car, briefcase or coat pocket. This is an excellent life long habit.
Here's a more detailed list of things you can do to prevent contracting the H1N1 Sine Flu:
Clean the surfaces where you live and work. Use a disinfectant spray and sponge at home to keep your kitchen and bathroom surfaces clean. Also clean your children's desks and toys frequently. When you are at work or traveling, the disinfectant wipes will work well for this.
Don't use your hand when you cough or sneeze. Instead, cover your mouth in the crook of your elbow. If you use a tissue, throw it away immediately.
Keep your hands away from your face. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, with your hands, especially when you're in public places. If you need to scratch your eye, use your knuckle.
Avoid contact with anyone who is sick. This means not only in public places but also in households. Influenza is primarily spread from human to human through coughing or sneezing. If you suspect a co-worker is sick, suggest they go home until they feel better.
Stay home if you have flu-like symptoms. Stay at home and rest for at least 24 hours after your fever has gone.
H1N1 Swine Flu Symptoms
Many of the symptoms of the H1N1 flu are identical to classic flu viruses:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches and fatigue
The H1N1 typically also include these symptoms (these are the symptoms to really look out for):
- Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, or heaviness in chest
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Severe and/or persistent vomiting
- Excessive coughing
- Sudden dizziness
- Bluish skin color (in children)
- Fever with a rash (children)
If you have any of the symptoms on the second list that accompany normal flu symptoms, seek medical attention. Most of the severe cases of the H1N1 flu affects the respiratory system. A majority of H1N1 deaths have been caused by pneumonia, which develops as the flu progresses. Some doctors recommend a pneumonia vaccine for those who are most at risk of contracting the H1N1. If you or a family member is high risk for contracting the H1N1, ask your doctor about the pneumonia vaccine.
If you think you have Swine Flu
Don't wait for your symptoms to get worse. Call your doctor or if you donŐt have one, contact your local clinic and report to them your symptoms. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions. Your doctor can prescribe effective anti-viral drugs that can lessen the symptoms if you take them at onset of your disease
Detox.FM Special Guest: Dr. Joe Bresee
September 9, 2009
Recognizing Flu Symptoms in Children
Part 2 of our special report on the Swine Flu: Featured guest Dr. Joe Bresee of the Center for Disease Control talks about what symptoms to look for in children.
Listen to this report from Dr. Bresee on swine flu symptoms in children:
September 1, 2009
How to Protect Yourself From the Swine Flu
Part 1 of our special report on the Swine Flu: Mexicans are wearing surgical masks and closing schools. What can the rest of the world really do to protect themselves against an influenza strain similar to one that killed 40 million people nearly 100 years ago?
Here's what Dr. Joe Bresee, of the Center for Disease Control's Influenza Division, has to say about this new outbreak:
H1N1 Swine Flu: World Map
FROM THE FIELD
Dr. Peter Williamson, N.D.
I Got the Swine Flu from a Vaccine
I tell my story because it can shed light on the swine flu vaccination hysteria that is sweeping the world.
In 1976, I was a high school teacher and my principal told me that I would be fired if I did not get vaccinated for the swine flu. Millions were going to die and everyone from President Ford to small children were going to be vaccinated. What my principal, nor the CDC that visited the school, nor the nurse who gave the shot told us was that that swine flu shot contained a living virus. Within 20 minutes of the injection, I got a high fever and was in bed with the flu for 10 days. It was the worst flu I ever had, and it was the first and last time I ever got a flu shot. In case you haven't heard, that epidemic never happened. But many folks got sick from their swine flu shot. Twenty five people died and hundreds were paralyzed for life from a strange immune reaction to a preservative used in the vaccine called Thiomersal.
The side-effects were so great that after 40 million vaccinations were given, the government stopped its program, and to date there has been over 2 billion dollars in settlement money paid to victims of this vaccination.
Now the dreaded flu pandemic is really here. Thirty-three years later a killer flu like the 1918 Spanish flu or the 1968 Hong Kong flu began in Mexico, terrifying the world. Quick and deadly, it's an epidemiologist's nightmare. A pandemic so scary the World Health Organization waited until early summer to raise the disease threat level to Pandemic Level 6 when the media was paying attention to other things. Typically the flu is not very active during the summer, but in the case of the 2009 H1N1, the flu kept spreading all summer long. Now in the fall, as children return to school in droves, the swine flu is peaking in the US with not enough vaccine to go around.
The good news is that if you got the 1976 vaccination, you still have anti-bodies that will protect you. And if you actually presented swine flu symptoms from that shot, you can be sure you have good anti-bodies to protect you from swine flu, because if you didn't, that vaccine would have killed you.
After the 1976 vaccination fiasco, manufacturers switched their vaccines from live viruses to dead viruses. As Kathleen Sibelius has said on national television, the H1N1 vaccine is prepared in the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine using a dead virus. Therefore, if you are not affected by regular seasonal flu shots, you will do fine with the H1N1 shot. Yes, you will, if you are offered the injection.
But what about that crazy nasal flu inhaler we keep seeing kids getting on TV? It's innocently called FluMist. There's no painful shot, no alcohol swab, and no needle to dispose of. That's the good part.
The dangerous part it that FluMist is made with a modified live virus just like the 1976 swine flu vaccine that put me in bed and out of work for 2 weeks. That's right, those children are getting a living bug up their nose, and it's contagious. Someone who is immune compromised can catch the virus for up to 21 days from a vaccinated child or adult. How? By coughing or sneezing near them, just like the real flu. During the FluMist vaccination phase, the vaccinated person develops anti-bodies to the swine flu. Ideally, the vaccinated person gets no symptoms, just the production of anti-bodies. But the FluMist's manufacturer, Medimmune, warns of runny nose, headache, and sore throat symptoms. The manufacturer says the virus has been modified so it can't live in your chest, where the swine flu can migrate and develop into the deadly version.
So what if you or your child does get severe flu symptoms from the mist like I did from the 1976 vaccination? You could treat those symptoms with an anti-viral like Tamiflu, but that eliminates the anti-bodies, so your vaccination will be a failure and you're back to square one. A better solution would be to talk to your doctor about all of your immunization options and make sure you don't wind up like me standing in a long line getting a shot you know nothing about, but thinking it must be OK since "I'm a young, healthy 24 year old" and they gave that same shot to a much older US President, Gerald Ford, and he didn't get sick. President Ford didn't get sick because he was born before 1950 and had been exposed to variants of that flu in the first half of the 20th century. I, on the other hand, was born in 1952.
© 2009 Dr. Peter Williamson, N.D.