Saturday, October 24, 2009

To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate Against H1N1

I don't even believe in the regular seasonal flu shot. Why on earth would I take chances getting a vaccine, I'm not convinced was tested enough? The media certainly causes confusion and frankly doesn't help us in making an informed decision on whether or not we get this vaccine. Depending what you read, side-effects tend to range from minor ailments, like pain, fatigue and flu like symptoms to paralysis, anaphylactic shock and death. According to, the H1N1 vaccine inserts in the packages warn about the serious nasty potential side-effects mentioned above.

Are fears of side effects a bigger concern than the H1N1 itself? One expert seems to think so. According to a July article from, this expert is calling for a no fault compensation program for those who get injured from this vaccine. There is certainly a precedent.

In 1976, when a swine flu outbreak hit the Fort Dix Army base in New Jersey, an emergency vaccine came out. Manufacturers of this vaccine requested legal protection from vaccine related injury claims, so Congress enacted legislation allowing those injured by the vaccine to sue the Federal Government. Clearly evidence of pushing something too fast before pondering the consequences. 45 million Americans did get vaccinated and sure enough, higher cases of Guillain Barre Syndrome, a neurological disorder which causes temporary paralysis were reported. Thirty deaths related to that vaccine were also reported. 5000 sued the American Government and as a result, in the 1980s, they introduced no-fault compensations for all vaccines.

As of July, :"the Public Health Agency of Canada has no plans to compensate people who may be injured by an H1N1 vaccine." Only Quebec has a no-fault compensation program. According to my research there is no such compensation plan in place in the event of a life-altering injury due to this vaccine. GSK, the manufacturing company that produced the vaccine did have to circumvent the normal testing procedures  due to the perceived necessity to get it out in the shortest amount of time.

The very fact that some are squabbling over who will compensate and how will those injured from the vaccine is troubling indeed. There are definitely things the Canadian Government and the Pharmaceutical company doesn't want you to know. 

I never even got the regular flu shot. I don't believe in it. It never covers all strains. There are some studies that say it saves lives. This N.H.S. study in 2005 says otherwise; they say that it wasn't as effective in preventing flu related deaths amongst the elderly. 

Other reasons why I don't believe in it is for the same reason we shouldn't rely so heavily on anti-biotics and penicillin. Our immune systems become dependent, thus making us even more subject to infections and illness. 

The rest is anecdotal. My father told me a story years ago about a flu epidemic at the boarding school he taught at. As a result, there was a quarantine. The only ones who didn't get sick were my father and a  few staff members who opted to not be vaccinated.

I also know of a woman in her 80s who got sick anyway inspite of receiving the flu shot. One year, she decided not to listen to her doctor and didn't get vaccinated. She didn't get sick that year. Not even a cold.

It seems that anti-viral drugs like Tamiflu, have been over prescribed in the U.S. Also, side-effects in children taking Tamilflu tend to be of a psychiatric nature like hearing voices and hallucinations as this pediatrician from Utah describes in the following video. 

Research on the subject proves to be difficult. Every health report, pharmaceutical company study, government and media outlets give differing stories. No wonder folks are confused and scared.

Before making the decision whether or not to vaccinate, remember, there is no better cure than our own natural anti-bodies.  Big pharmaceutical makes billions every year due to folks getting sick. The very fact this vaccine was pushed out so quickly without all the necessary tests and protocols is proof of this. 

The following list is those who should not receive the regular flu shot. Perhaps this should be included for the H1N1 vaccine: 
* People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
* People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past.
* People who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously.
* Children less than 6 months of age. 

I will be doing what I always do to prevent flu and colds every winter. Take echinacea at the first sign of any symptom, lots of green tea and alter the times I take public transportation to work. 

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