Flu vaccine – 2010…

I subscribe to Dr. Mercola’s newsletter and, just occasionally, there is a gem peering out at me from among the dross. Today is such a day. Just don’t abandon your critical faculties altogether, though.

In the US, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), is getting its knickers in a twist over the lack of enthusiasm for the swine flu vaccine last year.

Forget lunatic allegations of culling the population or any of the equally deranged claims surrounding the pandemic flu vaccine – the stuff actually is dangerous (way too many adverse reactions, some extremely serious like Guillain-Barre Syndrome (associated with swine flu vaccines since 1976), and  Thrombocytopenia), even though I’m in a very high risk group, you couldn’t pay me to have it.

Why?  Because if you have ME/CFS, you are liable to be wiped out for months by the normal flu vaccine, as I am most years, and that’s a relatively simple vaccine (not to mention my horrendous reaction to the pneumonia vaccine, from which, over a year later, I have not recovered). The swine flu vaccine is based on human Type A H1N1 flu, plus swine flu and avian flu – the three elements of the so-called swine flu (which was nothing of the sort; it was an entirely novel virus combination). The vaccine also contained a wide variety of other elements, many of which were hugely undesirable and even medical staff, on both sides of the Atlantic, refused it in huge numbers. As did I.

Also, in the US, there is mounting evidence that flu vaccines are relatively ineffective in the elderly (see here). Doubtless the same is true here in Britain – we just don’t get told. However, in the US, to get around that, the dose is being hugely increased. There is no evidence currently available, nor will there be before the vaccine is rolled out, to support claims the souped-up vaccine will actually be more effective than normal, or even at all. Logic suggests that there is no reason why a much larger dose of vaccine should trigger an immune response any better than a normal vaccine.

But, to get back to the FDA, to get past peoples’ natural reluctance to accept the “swine flu” vaccine**, this autumn they are bundling it with the normal flu vaccine. OK, it’s not a secret, buy you can bet the vast majority of Americans won’t know about that. Nor, I suspect, will it be publicised – time will tell.

**From the information available, it seems to be just the human H1N1 virus, not the swine and avian components, which seems pretty pointless. It will offer H1N1 protection, but will protect not at all against the actual avian and swine flu components of the pandemic flu. Anyway, many of the older generations have already naturally encountered H1N1 in their lives (which is why swine flu mainly affected young people, who had no H1N1 immunity, in my view, anyway).

Here in the UK, the plan (as in the US, cobbled up by the World Health Organisation who, after the “pandemic” debacle, have precious little  credibility), is to supply the combination virus along with whatever viruses are heading our way.

One thing to bear in mind about flu vaccines – they are based on flu virus predictions from much earlier in the year (to allow time for manufacture and testing), and they sometimes get it wrong, which is why so many get flu after being vaccinated. It’s not incompetence – just nature refusing to play along.

So far, I can find nothing about UK plans to foist a giant dose of vaccine on the elderly. Giant in terms of a quadrupled viral load, that is, not in physical size, presumably. The official position, according to NHS Choice is “In the elderly, protection against infection may be less, but immunisation reduces the chances of pneumonia, hospital admissions and death from seasonal flu.” Which is far more vague than the US position.

I would recommend reading Joe Mercola’s web page (linked above), and it’s not often I’d be moved to say that. Just beware of the claim that Vitamin D protects against flu just as well as the vaccine. I take Vitamin D3 (2,400 i.u. daily), and it’s clearly of benefit.

The Japanese study which Mercola cites in support of his claim was too small to be of any real value. 334 in total, split equally between those who got D and those who didn’t. Of the control group, 31 got flu, compared to 18 in the D group. However,  study apparently ignores every other factor in the lives of the subjects, factors which would have worked for or against their chances of getting flu in any given year with or without Vitamin D.

Finally, Dr. John Cannell, of the Vitamin D Council, does not recommend trusting to Vitamin D and avoiding the vaccine, as you can see. Yep, it’s a bit long – sorry, but it’s worth it.