There’s an awful lot of bullshit and lunatic conspiracy theories on the Web about the flu vaccine, not least this egregious list of vaccine “contents”:-
Mercury, Formaldehyde, Aluminium Phosphate, Aspartame, Human Fetal Tissue, Monkey Kidney & Lung Cells, MSG, Bovine Fetal Serum.
That list has been mendaciously cherry-picked from a whole range of different vaccines (minute amounts of mercury are, I believe, used as preservative in the MMR vaccine, for example), with one purpose in mind – to mislead and frighten people. As far as the flu vaccine is concerned, it’s fiction.
Flu vaccines are cultured on chicken eggs, The finished vaccine contains chicken embryonic fluid as a result (and if you’re allergic to eggs – and I mean allergic, not some unproven intolerance** – then you should not have the flu vaccine without talking to your doctor first). They may also contain an adjuvant – a chemical designed to enhance the immune system’s response to the viral protein, and to maximise cross-protection. And that’s pretty much it.
**Sometimes eggs make me feel ill, but mostly they don’t. That’s not allergy or intolerance, it’s just me!
They sure as hell don’t contain Aspartame (a sweetener), or MSG (Monosodium glutamate, a flavour enhancer), or anything else on that lunatic list. That list has been cherry-picked from ingredients of a wide range of vaccines – they are never found in a single product, like the flu vaccine. And why, in the name of all that’s sane, would a vaccine need a sweetener and a flavour enhancer anyway? You’re not gonna lick it! Oral vaccines may be sweetened, but I doubt it – the amount used is tiny (as in the polio oral vaccine), and unless a Chinese takeaway has a sideline in vaccine production, you’re not going to find MSG. However, eggs naturally contain glutamic acid, the active ingredient, as a sodium salt, in MSG. This may lead the ill-informed and deliberately dishonest to interpret this as “containing MSG” which is simply not true.
Nor is human foetal tissue found in flu vaccine either. Foetal cell lines (not tissue as most people understand the term), are used in the production of some vaccines, like varicella, rabies, inactivated polio virus, MMR, and hepatitis A. Claiming it is found in the flu vaccine is an egregious lie used, again, as a frightener. I really have to question the motives, and the sanity, of anyone who would try to scare people in vulnerable groups – like me, but I have a very sensitive bullshit meter – and try to get them to put their lives at risk by refusing the vaccine.
I know that this flu vaccine will make me ill, the annual one does too, always, but that won’t stop me accepting something that may well save my life. By the way, the flu vaccine, annual or pandemic, is not guaranteed to stop you getting flu at all, but it will substantially minimise it should you succumb, as your immune system will be ready for it.
When it comes to the range of lies about this vaccine, the motivation for which completely eludes me (but insanity, which is certainly a feature of some of the more bizarre claims, doesn’t need a motive), this is just the tip of a very large iceberg – just be aware, please, that not everything on the web is true, and every lunatic with an Internet connection is out there, with a conspiracy theory about the pandemic and the vaccination program. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Footnote:- There’s been a lot of speculation about the safety of the pandemic flu vaccine (some of it completely insane – the vaccine is lethal, and deliberately made so, in a conspiracy to cull the world’s population, for example), but bear in mind that the companies making the vaccine have long experience making the annual flu vaccine, which has been in production for over 30 years. They do actually know what they’re doing. Most vaccines make the recipient feel ill to some degree (or a very ill – see my pneumonia vaccine post). That doesn’t mean they’re defective, it means they’re doing what they’re designed to do – triggering your immune system to produce antibodies. That can make you feel pretty crappy for a short while or, of you have ME/CFS, for months, unfortunately. Just as there’s no free lunch, there’s no vaccine that doesn’t have at least some undesirable, but mostly short-lived, side-effects. It’s a fact of life, which is way more preferable than death.