By: Megan Pond
It’s September. Where I live, September is the month that remains warm, but the evenings often cool down, warning of the impending weather-change about to come. In turn this is also when flu shot signs and tables with bored looking nurses and boxes full of needles join Halloween decorations as they make their seasonal debut into stores. “Flu Shots Now Available” signs begin to dot big box stores’ message boards and cheap signs stuck in the grass that wave back and forth in the wind. Flu vaccines are a huge market for these stores. It creates a big source of income at the best time of the year, so it’s only natural that they would try and advertise the heck out of them. It often brings me to ask myself, “What are they more worried about? My health? Or their pocketbook?”
Flu vaccine debates on the internet also make their yearly appearance and will continue for the next several months. There, I find many false statements regarding the flu vaccine and influenza itself being swept throughout cyberspace. Let’s identify some of these myths.
Myth #1: There’s No Thimerosal (or Mercury) in the Flu Shot Anymore.
First, I would like to direct you to two articles: Vaccine Ingredients – A Comprehensive Guide and Is There Thimerosal in the Flu Vaccine? If you click on the first link, you can scroll down to the section that explains a little more about thimerosal and mercury in vaccines. Here’s a quick summary of the articles’ findings.
According to the CDC, vaccines labeled “thimerosal-free” often have a little asterisk next to those words which lead you to something like: “This vaccine has ‘trace’ amounts of thimerosal, which the FDA says is equivalent to thimerosal-free products.” If we look closer into “thimerosal-free” vaccines, we will actually find that there is still a toxic amount of mercury contained in them.
There are two kinds of flu shots given. One contains 25 mcg of mercury (in the form of thimerosal with is 50% mercury. There is 50mcg of thimerosal in this flu shot) and is often given as the “regular” flu shot to those with no special circumstances. The other kind of flu shot is labeled “thimerasol-free” (containing less than 3mcg of mercury) and is given to young children and pregnant women.
If we look at “safe” and “un-safe” levels of mercury, per the FDA, we find this:
2 ppb is the maximum amount of mercury that deems water “safe” for drinking
Anything over 200 ppb mercury is considered TOXIC [source – EPA]
After doing some math [you can check my math in the article: Vaccine Ingredients – A Comprehensive Guide], we find this:
There is up to 300 ppb mercury is in the “thimerosal-free” flu vaccine.
There is 25,000 ppb mercury given in the flu shot containing 25 mcg of thimerosal as a preservative.
No matter how you cut it, flu vaccines contain toxic amounts of mercury. So yes, the flu vaccines still DOES contain thimerosal. The claim that there is “no thimerasol” in the flu vaccine is a complete fallacy, which leads to the next myth.
Myth #2: Sure, the Flu Vaccine Might Contain Thimerosal, but 25mcg is a Safe Amount. Pregnant Women Can Even Eat Up to 25 mcg of Mercury Contained in Fish.
I have heard this countless times. First, I would like to point out that pregnant women do not get the flu vaccine containing thimerosal as a preservative. They receive the vaccine falsely claiming to be “thimerosal-free.” It really should be called, “thimerosal decreased, but still overly toxic.” From the above statement, we have people running around thinking it’s safe to not only eat 25 mcg of mercury, but also to inject 25 mcg of thimerosal into their body (thimerosal is 50% mercury).
There have never been any real studies done on pregnant women and the effects of eating fish-contained mercury. What information has been gathered is mainly based on trial and error. Some doctors urge their pregnant patients to completely steer clear of fish altogether because of the mercury content, while others advise pregnant women to eat “low mercury fish” once or twice a week. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, eating 8-12 ounces of low mercury fish per week is safe for pregnant women. The FDA (Federal Drug Administration) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) say up 12 ounces per week is safe. The Mayo Clinic says to limit albacore tuna, chunk white tuna and tuna steak to 6 ounces per week. [source Mayo Clinic]
So then we have to ask: What is considered low mercury fish?
According to the FDA: shrimp, crab, salmon, pollock, catfish, cod, tuna, and, tilapia are considered low mercury fish. Tuna contains the highest amount of mercury in the low mercury fish category. [source FDA.gov]
Which leads us to: How much mercury is in fish?
Using tuna as an example, which contains the highest amount of mercury in the low mercury fish category, we find out it contains approximately 128 ppb mercury. All of the other low mercury fish are lower than that. The fish containing the highest amount of mercury, tilefish, has 1,450 ppb mercury — very understandable that pregnant women and children are urged to not eat high mercury fish. [source FDA.gov]
Now we’ll look at how many micrograms of mercury is in a serving of fish, again using tuna as an example. Three oz. of tuna is considered 1 serving, so that means a pregnant woman can safely eat 1 serving of tuna 4 times a week, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. If we look at the current amount of mercury in fish (because it changes from year to year), we see that there are approximately 13.32mcg of mercury in 12 ounces of tuna, which equates to 3.33mcg per serving. The amount of mercury in tuna sits between 12-14mcg per 12 ounces every year, and has never been recorded as going over 14mcg. [source EPA]
Therefore, we can safely come to the conclusion that the FDA standard for mercury consumption in pregnant women is a maximum of 14mcg in one week, not the 25mcg that floats around on message boards. Consuming 25mcg of mercury in fish would almost double the amount the FDA considers safe for pregnant women.
I would also like to point out that *INGESTING* mercury is very different than *INJECTING* it straight into your muscle or blood stream. Ingesting small amounts of mercury is considered safe because it goes through a number of natural filtration systems in our body before it reaches the blood stream. Studies suggest that eating higher amounts of mercury (anything over 200ppb) can be toxic because a small amount of mercury is able to reach the blood stream and can cause neurological disorders, immune disorders, and other significant problems. A very in-depth study done by the University of Calgary showed that even small amounts of mercury reaching the brain cannot only halt neuron growth, but it actually causes the neuron growth to *reverse*. Neurons are integral cell bodies and nerve processes in our brains. Unlike other body cells, neurons stop reproducing shortly after birth. Because of this, some parts of the brain have more neurons at birth than later in life because neurons die and cannot be replaced. [source University of Calgary] [source]
By injecting mercury instead of ingesting it, you are essentially by-passing your inner filtration systems. All of the mercury in a vaccine enters the blood stream, which leads straight to the brain. Remember that toxic amounts of mercury is considered anything over 200ppb, and the amount of mercury in a “thimerosal-free” flu vaccine is 300 to 600 ppb – the vaccine most commonly used contains 50,000 ppb. When you ingest mercury, the amount that reaches your blood stream is much less than the actual amount you consumed. When you vaccinate, the entire amount of mercury reaches your blood stream.
So here’s the point: when we combine the information from Myth #1 and Myth #2, even the FDA and EPA standards for INGESTION (over an entire week) of mercury are significantly lower than the amount in even the “thimerosal-free” vaccines – which are given all at once – and are outrageously lower than the 25mcg flu vaccine which, of course, is also given all at once.
Myth #3: Last Year I Got the Flu and I Threw Up Three Times a Day and was Constantly in the Bathroom with Diarrhea! There’s No Way I’m Skipping my Shot This Year!
Many people, after experiencing a rough weekend of throwing up and diarrhea, come back to work and say they had an awful flu. This is a common misconception. The “stomach flu” is different from “the flu” that we vaccinate for. The flu shot is ineffective against “stomach flu.”
The flu vaccine guards against “the flu.” Flu is short for Influenza. Many interchange the word “flu” to also mean “stomach flu,” which in fact is not a flu at all. Many describe having the flu as being a “cold from Hell.” Symptoms generally include fever, runny nose, head congestion, body and muscle aches, fatigue, dry cough, and sore throat. It’s definitely not fun to have and will often keep you in bed, depending on how healthy your immune system is. Influenza is caused by a virus – meaning antibiotics are not affective against killing it. With the influenza virus – as well as any other virus – you generally have to “wait it out” and let your body take care of killing the virus.
The “stomach flu” is scientifically called gastroenteritis and is caused by a virus, parasite, or bacteria. The symptoms include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea and is usually caused by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Conditions such as lactose intolerance or food allergies can also cause gastroenteritis. [source Web MD]
Myth #4: If I Get a Flu Shot, I Won’t Get the Flu! (And My Body Will Be Healthier and Stronger to Boot!)
There are several different strains of influenza that cause a human to get “the flu.” There are 3 different classifications, or genuses, of Influenza: Influenza A, Influenza B, and Influenza C. Each genus has several different serotypes (or several different flus), under each classification. Influenza A has been shown to affect humans the most and has 10 known serotypes, and the CDC suspects that there are over 100 different serotypes of Influenza A. Considering that only a small percentage of people are actually tested in one year to find out what kind of flu they contracted, it is impossible to know just how many different serotypes of Influenza there are. Most people that get the flu don’t go to the doctor or hospital, and even those that are hospitalized are not commonly tested. [source Wiki]
According to the CDC:
There are several reasons why someone might get flu-like symptoms even after they have been vaccinated against the flu.
- People may be exposed to an influenza virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during the two-week period that it takes the body to gain protection after getting vaccinated. This exposure may result in a person becoming ill with flu before the vaccine begins to protect them.
- People may become ill from other (non-flu) viruses that circulate during the flu season, which can also cause flu-like symptoms (such as rhinovirus).
- A person may be exposed to an influenza virus that is not included in the seasonal flu vaccine. There are many different influenza viruses that circulate every year. The flu shot protects against the 3 viruses that research suggests will be most common. Unfortunately, some people can remain unprotected from flu despite getting the vaccine. This is more likely to occur among people that have weakened immune systems. However, even among people with weakened immune systems, the flu vaccine can still help prevent influenza complications. [source CDC.gov]
Reports of “getting the flu” after vaccination is common. Immediately following vaccination, the body’s immune system is weakened. During that time of weakened immunity, it is common for someone to more easily contract a flu virus (or any other kind of virus), even one that the vaccine prevents against considering that it takes up to 2 weeks for the body to create enough antibodies to prevent future illness from the strains contained in the vaccine.
So how many strains are contained in this year’s vaccine?
Three. H1N1, H3N2, and an Influenza B serotype called Brisbane. [source CDC.gov]
How are the strains chosen for the current year’s vaccine?
The most popular strains from the previous year become the blueprint for the current year’s vaccine. However, according to the CDC, the most popular strains of influenza change on a yearly basis. My red flag just went up! If the flu vaccine for this year is made from the previous year’s most popular strains, and they change yearly, doesn’t that mean this year’s “most popular strains” will likely be different? My internal compass says yes. Hence, the vaccine with last year’s most popular strains will be grossly ineffective this year.
“The viruses used in making seasonal flu vaccines are chosen each year based on information collected over the previous year about which influenza viruses are spreading.” [source flushotstogo.com]
One interesting fact about this year’s flu vaccine (2011-2012) is that it’s EXACTLY the same vaccine as last year’s. Nothing has been changed, yet the medical community and the government are recommending that even if you had this vaccine last year, you should still get it this year because it “wears off” in just a matter of months. HUH?! Flu vaccines are made exactly the same way as all the other vaccines we give our children: Inactivated virus, preservatives, chemicals, etc… except this is the ONLY vaccine they admit lasts for “just a couple of months.” Shouldn’t that mean that other vaccines are just as ineffective? We give those to our children and they’re supposed to last for up to 10 years after the whole series is completed. If I knew how to raise one eyebrow, I would do that now.
Myth #5: The Flu Vaccine Has Saved Countless Lives.
Influenza vaccines have been around since 1945. Just before the flu season of 2003-2004 the CDC recommended for the first time that children younger than 60 months (5 years) and older than 6 months receive an annual flu vaccination. About this time is when the fad of getting a flu vaccine became common for not only children under 5, but for everyone over 5 as well. [source CDC.gov] [source vaccineinformation.org]
The following is a list of different years and the number of flu associated deaths in children reported to the CDC:
- 1999-2000 -36 deaths [source]
- 2000-2001 -30 deaths [source] 17% decrease
- 2001-2002 – 25 deaths [source] 17% decrease
- 2002-2003 – 29 deaths [source] 16% increase (This is the last year that the flu vaccine was considered “unsafe” by the CDC for children under 5 – now let’s watch the increase of deaths after the CDC recommends all children age 6 months to 5 years be vaccinated for Influenza.)
- 2003-2004 – 153 [source] 427% increase
- 2004-2005 — 47 deaths [source] 69% decrease
- 2005-2006 – 46 deaths [source] 3% decrease
- 2006-2007 – 68 deaths [source] 48% increase
- 2007-2008 – 88 deaths [source] 29% increase
- 2008-2009 – 133 deaths [source] 51% increase
- 2009-2010 – 282 deaths [source] 112% increase
- 2010-2011 – 115 deaths [source] 59% decrease
The number of children dying from the flu has risen *drastically* since the CDC recommended children under 5 receive the flu vaccine. There has been an average of 67% increase of flu-associated death in children since the CDC recommended children under 5 receive the flu vaccine.
According to research presented at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego, children who get the flu vaccination have a 3 times greater risk for hospitalization:
They found that children who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of hospitalization, as compared to children who had not received the vaccine. In asthmatic children, there was a significantly higher risk of hospitalization in subjects who received the TIV (Stands for Trivalent Influenza Vaccine – a.k.a. the flu shot), as compared to those who did not. [source Sciencedaily.com]
So in essence, parents who vaccinate their children against the flu are increasing the hospitalization risk for their child!
”The number of deaths attributed to influenza over the years is always averaged at 36,000 per year in the United States, and that number is still often used. This number, as many people found out, was completely false and misleading.
Their claim that 36,000 Americans die from the seasonal flu is classic deception & fear mongering propaganda. Most of those deaths, as you can see by the breakdown chart below, resulted from bacterial pneumonia triggered by the Flu. And the age bracket for most victims is 65 and over. But the Flu itself is relatively innocuous by comparison, and actual flu death figures are statistically minor. The who base Flu death averages not on the Influenza totals but on the combined Pneumonia & Influenza totals are overcoming a serious political challenge: convincing the public of the urgency to be vaccinated when the crisis is no longer perceived to be real. Without that advantage of fear, given all that we have learned about the lack of efficacy & dangers inherent to the shots, the entire Flu Vaccine Industry might very well collapse.
INFLUENZA: ACTUAL NUMBER OF DEATHS CATALOGED IN THE US
2002 – 727
2003 – 1,792
2004 – 1,100
2005 – 1,812
PNEUMONIA: ACTUAL NUMBER OF DEATHS CATALOGED IN THE US
2002 – 64,954
2003 – 63,371
2004 – 58,564
2005 – 61,189
PNEUMONIA & INFLUENZA: ACTUAL NUMBER OF DEATHS CATALOGED
2002 – 65,681
2003 – 65,163
2004 – 59,664
2005 – 63,001
The CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) converts numbers from the third set; based on yearly fluctuations they arrive at 36,000.” [Joel Lord in VRM: “One For All” Universal Flu Vaccine – 21st Century Genetic Roulette Part 1; Founder of the VRM]
So when you hear the number of flu related deaths per year, remember that it’s a complete estimation. The WHO and the CDC take the numbers of not only those individuals with confirmed influenza cases, but also those individuals that have not been tested to see whether or not they had influenza but died from pneumonia. They’re taking a complete guess and assuming that about half of the individuals that died from pneumonia developed pneumonia because they contracted influenza as well, which may or may not be true. You’ll also see that, despite a consecutive increase of flu vaccinations each year, the number of influenza AND pneumonia cases remain about the same.
At the end of all of this, we find that the Flu vaccine is dangerous and essentially ineffective. So that means we must be doomed to live in a never-ending cycle of possibly contracting the yearly flu?
Not so. Studies have shown that adequate amounts of Vitamin D during the flu months (when Vitamin D levels are at their lowest) can prevent people from contracting influenza up to 100% of the time!! And even if your Vitamin D levels aren’t as high as they need to be to completely prevent the flu, even higher than average levels of Vitamin D can greatly minimize the symptoms of the flu if you catch it. This is one of the only safe and natural ways to prevent the flu or lessen flu symptoms. [source Naturalnews.com][source medicalnewstoday.com] [source mercola.com] [source University of Cambridge Medical Journals]
Along with adequate amounts of Vitamin D, studies show that regular visits to a chiropractor can have significant affects on immune system health and development. The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health issued a release on May 04, 2009 with the headline “Flue Prevention Plan Should Include Chiropractic,” urging people to include chiropractic during this most recent flu scare. In this report, it states:
People of all ages are encouraged to add chiropractic to their strategy for warding off and fighting the flu and its effects swine flu or otherwise. Spinal adjustments can have a positive effect on immune function according to a growing number of researchers who are exploring the common denominators in disease processes, and the role of the nervous, immune, and hormonal systems in development of immune related illnesses. [source]
During the Spanish Influenza outbreak in 1918 in Davenport, Iowa, 50 medical doctors cared for 4,953 cases of the Spanish flu, and 274 of their patients died. In the same city, 150 chiropractic doctors, including students and faculty of the Palmer School of Chiropractic, treated 1,635 Spanish Flu patients where only 1 patient died.
Outside Davenport, chiropractors in Iowa cared for 4,735 Spanish Flu sufferers with only six deaths – one out of 866. In Oklahoma, out of 3,490 flu patients receiving the benefits of chiropractic care, only seven people died.
National figures for the United States show that 1,142 chiropractic doctors treated a total of 46,394 flu patients during the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak, with a mortality rate of only 54 patients – one out of every 859, or less than 0.12 percent.
In sharp contrast, the mortality rate from Spanish flu in regular US hospitals generally ranged from 30 to 40 percent. For one hospital in New York, the mortality rate was 68 percent! [source][source]