V for Vaccine: A slightly rude film with a powerful point

January 10, 2013

A couple of kids in the Dallas area have died already from influenza — neither had been vaccinated against it.  Deaths have occurred across the nation, frequently in young, otherwise healthy people.

Nasty flu bugs going around this year, and the every-year epidemic has hit about two months early.  One part of the good news is that the vaccines this year are especially well-suited to target the viruses that cause the trouble.  The vaccines work well every year, but especially well in 2012 and 2013.

The bad news is that millions of people haven’t bothered to get vaccinated. That’s not good.

  1. Under Obamacare, there’s no copay for insurance for a flu shot.  It’s “free” if you have any kind of insurance. In addition, county health offices offer the vaccines for free to any comers.  A couple of weeks ago at the pharmacy I stood behind a woman who confessed she’d not gotten a flu shot (pharmacies are pushing vaccinations these days, to promote their mini-clinics).  “I’ve got that crappy teachers’ insurance,” she told the technician.  “It never pays for anything like that.”  The tech looked it up, and told her that her copay was zero, and her insurance paid for it — essentially a free shot, to her.  On the way into the clinic she said, “I’ve never gotten a flu shot before.”  Oy.
  2. Think Herd Immunity:  Are you usually healthy?  Great.  But if you’re pregnant, or you work around people who are or may be pregnant, or if you’re over 60, or if you have any chronic condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic sinusitis, or a raft of other things, you’re at risk, and you put others in those risk categories at risk.  My grandfather worked at a hospital while my mother and my oldest brother were living with him; after a week of my grandfather’s working in the polio ward, my brother came down with the disease.  Of course we don’t know for sure, but my grandfather kicked himself for 40 years, until his death, because he thought he’d brought home the disease my brother caught.  With vaccines, those incidents become much more rare.

Risking this blog’s G rating, I’m going to post this film, “V for Vaccine.”  Found it at New Anthropocene.  Turn up your offense filter, or ignore the language — but pay attention to what this guy says, PowerM1985:

Is it worth getting your children vaccinated if it risked them becoming autistic? In this video I give a short demonstration of why I personally believe that even if there was a risk of my child becoming autistic (AND THERE IS NOT!) I would still get them vaccinated.

You should probably know that the work of the Centers for Disease Control to correctly predict which strains of the viruses will be most prevalent, and get vaccines that will fight those viruses, has been very, very good this year.

  • Influenza A (H3N2), 2009 influenza A (H1N1), and influenza B viruses have all been identified in the U.S. this season. During the week of December 23-29, 2,346 of the 2,961 influenza positive tests reported to CDC were influenza A and 615 were influenza B viruses. Of the 1,234 influenza A viruses that were subtyped, 98% were H3 viruses and 2% were 2009 H1N1 viruses.
  • Since October 1, 2012, CDC has antigenically characterized 413 influenza viruses, including 17 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses, 281 influenza A (H3N2) viruses and 115 influenza B viruses.
    • All 17 of the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses were characterized as A/California/7/2009-like. This is the influenza A (H1N1) component of the Northern Hemisphere vaccine for the 2012-2013 season.
    • Of the 281 influenza A (H3N2) viruses, 279 (99%) were characterized as A/Victoria/361/2011-like. This is the influenza A (H3N2) component of the Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine for the 2012-2013 season.
    • Approximately 69% of the 115 influenza B viruses belonged to the B/Yamagata lineage of viruses, and were characterized as B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like, the influenza B component for the 2012-2013 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine. The remaining 31% of the tested influenza B viruses belonged to the B/Victoria lineage of viruses.

What are you waiting for?  Go get a flu shot!

More:

English: This is CDC Clinic Chief Nurse Lee An...

This is CDC Clinic Chief Nurse Lee Ann Jean-Louis extracting Influenza Virus Vaccine, Fluzone® from a 5 ml. vial. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Graphic on influenza, 2013 - Flu.gov

Information from Flu.gov; click image to get to active Flu Vaccine Finder


H1N1 vaccine, a citizen’s duty

November 17, 2009

Claudia Meininger Gold practices pediatric medicine in Great Barrington, Vermont.  When someone recently suggested offering flu shots at polling places, it struck her that, like voting, getting a flu shot is a good citizen’s duty.  She wrote about it in the Boston Globe.

AS A pediatrician, I received my swine flu vaccine without a moment’s hesitation. I wanted to be available to treat the onslaught of illness, and to be able to go comfortably into a room with a coughing, miserable child knowing that I was not putting myself or my family at risk. I was astounded, therefore, to read recently, in a popular newsletter for pediatricians, a column by a pediatrician stating that he would not recommend the vaccine to his patients. His arguments were that the illness was relatively mild and the vaccine might not be safe.

In my practice, there are many parents who choose not to immunize their children. As a mother myself, I sometimes wonder if part of the motivation for this choice is to combat the helpless, scary part of loving someone so much. It can become overwhelming to contemplate everything that can possibly go wrong. Perhaps parents refuse vaccines because it is something they can control, a way in which they can “protect’’ their child. In the case of swine flu, or H1N1, this action is, in my opinion, misguided.

There are many different fears associated with vaccines, but the specific fear around H1N1 has its origin in a 1976 outbreak of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disease that damages nerve cells, after mass vaccination against a swine flu. The website of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention addresses this issue:

“Several studies have been done to evaluate if other flu vaccines since 1976 were associated with GBS. Only one of the studies showed an association. That study suggested that one person out of 1 million vaccinated persons may be at risk of GBS associated with the vaccine.’’

The current method for making the H1N1 vaccine is the same as that for the seasonal flu vaccine. The only difference is that seasonal flu vaccine is prepared in anticipation of flu season, while manufacturing of this one was begun while the pandemic was in its initial stages. High-risk groups, such as the elderly and young children, receive the seasonal flu vaccine without a second thought.

It is true that for the majority of people H1N1 is a mild illness, generally causing two to four days of feeling lousy. But the virus is highly contagious. The sheer numbers are staggering. A school in Chicago closed last month when 800 of its 2,200 students were sick. With any flu there are people who will have complications and die. As the number of cases continues to climb, statistics are not in our favor.

For high-risk groups, such as pregnant women, talk of “mild illness’’ is meaningless. Stories are multiplying of the devastating losses of both baby and mother. In our small town there are young adults who were previously healthy now on respirators in intensive care units.

In a recent op-ed in The New York Times, Douglas Shenson proposed the use of polling places for vaccination. This led me to think of vaccination as a responsibility of being a citizen, analogous to voting. Just as one vote does not determine the outcome of an election, one person immunized does not halt the spread of illness. Yet voting is a civic duty. Similarly, vaccination, while benefiting the individual, serves to protect the population as a whole. Short of shutting down the country, mass immunization is the only way to stop the spread of this virus.

In addition, I feel that as a physician, it is my responsibility to uphold the recommendations of the CDC. If every individual citizen took it upon himself or herself to decide what was best for the country, there would be chaos.

Washing hands, covering our mouths when we cough, and staying home when we are sick are all ways to contribute to the common good. As responsible citizens, when the opportunity arises, and in keeping with CDC guidelines, we should all do our part and immunize ourselves and our children.

Dr. Claudia Meininger Gold, a pediatrician, practices in Great Barrington.  Copyright to Boston Globe.

 

<!– Citizen, heal thyself: Get the swine flu vaccine Boston Globe Just as one vote does not determine the outcome of an election, one person immunized does not halt the spread of illness. Yet voting is a civic duty. Similarly, vaccination, while benefiting the individual, serves to protect the population as a whole. Claudia Meininger Gold November 16, 2009 –>
Claudia Meininger Gold

Citizen, heal thyself: Get the swine flu vaccine

By Claudia Meininger Gold November 16, 2009

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AS A pediatrician, I received my swine flu vaccine without a moment’s hesitation. I wanted to be available to treat the onslaught of illness, and to be able to go comfortably into a room with a coughing, miserable child knowing that I was not putting myself or my family at risk. I was astounded, therefore, to read recently, in a popular newsletter for pediatricians, a column by a pediatrician stating that he would not recommend the vaccine to his patients. His arguments were that the illness was relatively mild and the vaccine might not be safe.


Cranks refuse to budge on influenza hoaxes

September 27, 2009

Friday came and went.  President Obama did as he was scheduled to do, chairing a session of the United Nations Security Council in a meeting directed at nuclear weapons non-proliferation.

This should have silenced some of the cranks, crackpots, crank scientists and hoaxters who had “warned” us that Obama was going to use that opportunity to take over the world and order people to get inoculated against influenza — with some unstated fears that those inoculations would be more dangerous than the flu itself, or turn us all into Volvo-driving, chablis-loving, union-belonging, line-dancing Democrats, or something like that.

:::Sigh:::

No.  Never such luck.

At the post where I debunked the claim that WHO is planning to take over the world with inoculations at the point of a gun, instead of with Auric Goldfinger, SMERSH, KAOS, or Lex Luther, a guy named Simon McDermott complains I don’t give him enough credence.  His letter doesn’t help.

Look:  The World Health Organization is a group of distinguished medical care specialists, public health specialists, and policy wonks, most of whom are too nerdy to want to hold great power — heading up WHO is a stepping stone to no great governmental power position anyone has ever found, least of all at the United Nations, which has no army, no troops of its own of any sort, and advises nations on bettering health care.

The claim that WHO is plotting to take over the world is not just moonbat-shagging silly, it’s completely insane.  It makes no sense on any level, nor is there any evidence to corroborate the claims.  Jane Burgermeister’s website notwithstanding, I have my doubts that she could demonstrate mental competence to enlist as a private in the Russian armed forces.

Moreover, the world faces a crisis in influenza.  With luck and a lot of hard work, we can avoid a spread of a killer flu virus that might make Zero Population Growth look optimistic.  We don’t need hoaxsters, pranksters and fools claiming that influenza is all a great hoax.

Simon said:

I am a freelance writer and have heavily researched the ‘well known’ and ‘established facts’ written in my article that I posted in my previous comment.

The facts are that the H1N1 vaccine has not been safely tested. It takes years to accurately test and research the effects of a new vaccine.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1208716/Half-GPs-refuse-swine-flu-vaccine-testing-fears.html

I have posted a link above to the Mail Online a highly respected national newspaper here in Britain.

The article says that health officials say the vaccine has been thoroughly tested.  No one in the article offers any credible denial of that fact.  The headlines feature an earlier poll of general practitioners alleging that they said the vaccine had not been tested well enough.

Simon:  An out-of-date, nonscientific poll of  GPs in Britain who were underinformed, is not science.

Nor is your reading that story doing “heavy research.”  Googling is not generally considered serious research.

‘First, you exaggerate. Second, that outbreak and the aftereffects are very much on the minds of health officials. Guillan Barre was never linked to the vaccine, by the way. Get some facts, will you?’

This is established fact; although experts now believe that it will be more like one in one million that will contract GBS rather than one in ten thousand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcnIojjzvvg

No, a badly researched, poorly produced story on a local CBS affiliate, migrated to YouTube, does not make something “established fact.”

GBS is rare, but occurs all the time.  We don’t know the cause, and no one has been able to pin any vaccine as a cause of GBS.  After several million people were vaccinated, a few fell ill from GBS.  No research has ever been able to establish any vaccine as a cause of GBS, however — it may be that those people would have fallen ill with GBS whether they got any vaccine or not.  See the CDC’s information page on GBS:

What causes GBS?

It is thought that GBS may be triggered by an infection. The infection that most commonly precedes GBS is caused by a bacterium called Campylobacter jejuni. Other respiratory or intestinal illnesses and other triggers may also precede an episode of GBS. In 1976, vaccination with the swine flu vaccine was associated with getting GBS. Several studies have been done to evaluate if other flu vaccines since 1976 were associated with GBS. Only one of the studies showed an association. That study suggested that one person out of 1 million vaccinated persons may be at risk of GBS associated with the vaccine.

We’ve had that many kids die of swine flu already this year, in Dallas and Tarrant counties in Texas.    Right now, GBS from all causes is less prevalent than deaths from swine flu.

Also here is a list of dangerous substances that are in other vaccines; we can also expect similar material to be in the swine flu vaccine.

http://www.stunnedmullets.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=130:official-facts-on-vaccines&catid=78:vaccines&Itemid=141

Did you know that potatoes contain carcinogens?  Are you aware that the essential nutrient, selenium, is also carcinogenic?  Did you know that an excess of salt can kill a person?  Are you aware that plain old tap water can be deadly, in several ways?

Gosh, a list of “dangerous substances.”  Did you look at the list?  Did you see that the “dangerous substances” include eggs and yeast?  Are you aware that almost every loaf of bread in America contains more eggs and yeast than three years’ worth of all vaccines for a person?

You’re being irresponsible to the point of recklessness. Yes, people with allergies to eggs should avoid flu vaccines.  No, that doesn’t mean the vaccines are inherently dangerous, that they vaccines don’t work, nor does it mean eggs are inherently dangerous.

It means people who are allergic to eggs should avoid flu vaccines (vaccines are grown in eggs, and some egg proteins remain in influenza vaccines).

Almost all substances are dangerous, when out of place, or in the wrong quantities.  You could note that fact without alarmism and without hysterics.  Dangerous things are all around us.  Flu vaccines fall near the bottom of the danger scales, but near the top of the life-saving scale.

You’re aware that we annually lose around 30,000 people to the pedestrian, seasonal flu?  How many thousands of times greater is the risk of death to flu than death by vaccine?

Research has shown that there are plenty of natural preventative actions that can be taken to protect against catching flu viruses. These are a healthy organic diet, vitamins; such as vitamin D3, regular exercise and certain herbs – all of these are known to boost and strengthen the immune system.

Staying healthy is always a good idea.  H1N1, however, attacks healthy kids. It’s not a question of natural prevention.  Some people have never been exposed to this particular strain or its cousins, and they have no natural immunity to it.  When it strikes, it strikes quickly.  Most of the deaths in the U.S. from H1N1 are to young people who have taken your natural preventive actions.  Vitamins and organic diets don’t work.

In fact, that’s dangerous advice right there.  A medical professional could be subject to malpractice for the advice you just issued.   Kids, Simon is an amateur — don’t try that at home.

I used to regularly take the seasonal flu vaccine before finding out the dangers of vaccines in general; on the two occasions that I did take it I ended up getting flu shortly after taking the vaccine. Since then I have not taken it and decided to go down the alternative route, which has served me very well as I have not had so much as a cold in over three years.

As people grow older they have fewer colds — you never get the same cold virus twice.  When you’re over 30 or 40, you’ve been exposed to most of the variations on cold viruses.  Your reduction in colds is because you’re older, not because you’re healthier.

Ironically, that’s exactly what you argue against.  You’re more resistant to colds because you’ve been “vaccinated” against them.  The vaccination was natural, by catching the viruses and developing immunity.  For flu, we have to have flu shots for the greatest safety.

Don’t argue against flu vaccines by telling us how effectively the natural method of vaccination has protected you from colds, okay?  You look like an idiot when you do that, suggesting you really don’t understand viruses, how they are passed, nor how human immunity occurs.

Since you seem so eager to poison your body with a substance which is clearly more dangerous than swine flu itself, then who am I to stand in your way.

That’s just a crass, cold and craven lie.  There is not even an insane argument to be made that flu vaccines this year are more dangerous than the flu itself.  That’s crazy talk, terrorist talk.  What do you have against old people that you want to see thousands of them die from the flu?   Since the “death panels” claim turned out to be bogus, you decided to go on a one-man campaign to encourage death among the elderly and ill?

Since you are so eager to poison minds with completely bogus attacks on science, let me urge you to volunteer to forego all flu vaccines, but be exposed to the viruses, for the sake of research.  That way the rest of us could benefit from your bizarre animus to life.

I am sorry to hear that there have been a couple of deaths where you live due to swine flu, but there are much safer alternative and natural preventative actions that can be taken. A healthy nutritionally rich diet should be first on the list before we even consider vaccines, of which there is a huge amount of evidence calling into question, their overall safety and effectiveness when fighting disease.

Call the CDC.  Volunteer for flu exposure now, before the rush.  You’re not sure that the vaccines are safe, but you argue that the flu IS safe?  Let’s see you put your life where your mouth is.

I don’t think you’re that big a fool.  Your that whopping dishonest, but not so big a fool.

The problem is that the majority of western doctors are taught absolute fallacies at medical school and in some cases have been brought up to become nothing more than glorified pill prescribers.

The human immune is an extremely powerful and efficient tool when it comes to fighting disease. The reason that it is susceptible to diseases like swine flu at all is because our diets are so nutritionally poor. In many cases this is due to processed foods (filled with additives and preservatives) and poisons such as aspartame in many of our soft drinks.

http://www.naturalnews.com/026168.html

I have posted a link above to a site that lists natural preventives and explains that viruses such as swine flu cannot be contracted by a healthy well maintained immune system.

Don’t look now, but you’re obviously suffering a dementia produced by lack of immunity.

In your case, that dementia could be cured with a trip to a library.

What you wrote in that last excerpt is pure, unadulterated bullshit.

Thank you, but we’ve already heard the “smart pills” joke.

I am not a ‘crack pot’ and neither are others who show a distinct lack of trust in bodies like the WHO and companies such as Baxter, because history has taught us that they have seriously let us down in the past.

You mean, you advocate crackpot ideas for noble reasons?  Alas, that leaves you in the category of crackpot.  Anyone who thinks killer flu is safer than vaccines is a crackpot, or an idiot, or an agent of evil.  I’m assuming you’re not an idiot, and not an agent of evil.  Can you convince me otherwise?

If after examining the evidence that I have provided you still believe that the vaccine is safe, then be my guest, take it, it is your right to choose, but please do not belittle with your derogatory use of humour those who do not!

The reason I talk about this information is because I want people to be safe, and nobody wants a repeat of the 1976 debacle.

Better to keep quiet and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Shut up.  Nobody wants a repeat of the 1918 debacle, either — and you should be ashamed of campaigning for it as you are.

If we all lived clean and healthy natural lives then there would be no need for vaccines at all.

There you go with that crackpot stuff again.  If you think that chicken pox and shingles would disappear without vaccines, you’re a fool.  If you fail to understand that polio can’t be beaten without vaccines, you’re a greater fool.

If you claim that people could beat chicken pox, smallpox, measles and polio without vaccines, you’re a dangerous tool of crackpot evil.

Maybe it is our social system that needs a rethink, because if you examine Amazonian tribal communities, who have had little to no contact with the outside world, you find a distinct lack of disease in these societies.

There’s a whopper I’d like to see some serious studies on.

That testifies to a lack of virus transmission, but you will also find a distinct surplus of diseases that diet can’t cure.  Someday spend some time studying Huntington’s Disease, Huntington’s Chorea, and how the prevalence of the disease in one of those isolated Amazonian tribes contributed to the search for a cause.  Of course, almost every member of that tribe had the disease.  (It’s genetic, and no vaccine can prevent or cure — yet.)  You’ll also find they die of bacterial diseases that modern medicine can treat — those physicians you mock.

Dirty living equals disease; an unclean polluted environment equals disease; the addition of chemicals to our food, drink and drinking water equals disease; when are we going to wake up and realise that the cause of disease is not some unknown, unfortunate ‘random factor’, but the way we live our lives.

Of course, clean living increases asthma.  A lack of pollution tends to correlate with lack of civilization.  The absence of chlorine in our drinking water contributes to cholera epidemics and typhoid, the lack of fluorine in our water means more dental caries and brain infections.  Trace amounts of iodine in salt have all but eliminated goiter.  When are you going to wake up and realize that some disease causes are well known, some diseases easily preventable, and life is complex and cannot be made perfectly safe with today’s technology, but was a minefield of deadly infections without today’s technology?

If we live our lives soaked in superstition and crank science, we haven’t even a prayer (full irony intended).  You’re not advocating for better health.  You’re ranting about stuff you don’t know about.

Although in the case of Baxter the cause of the so called ’swine flu virus’ may well have been them!

I think there’s a better case that you are the cause of swine flu than there is a case that any drug company manufactured the stuff.  Among other clues you should look at is the prevalence of swine flu in swine populations around the world — today and historically.  Influenza viruses tend to be species specific, and it’s actually quite rare for them to jump species.  That’s why, when they jump, they can be so deadly.

But then, that’s what you’re campaigning for, right?  You’d love to see a virus wipe out most people, especially those with scientific knowledge — right, Simon?

Ugh.

Get an education about flu and other viruses:

Don’t let your friends go without this information, please:

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Fighting the flu in Texas

September 27, 2009

Texas government worries about the flu, with good cause.

The Texas Department of State Health Services set up a flu information page at its website, urging Texans to act now to prevent trouble later:

Flu season is here — here’s what you can do:

  • Stay Informed
    TexasFlu.org is the DSHS site for flu information in Texas. Bookmark it. Sign up to receive Twitter and e-mail notices when information is posted.
  • Get a Seasonal Flu Shot Now
    Don’t wait. Get your seasonal flu vaccination now. It’s one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from seasonal flu. Also, be prepared to get the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine later. It is expected to be available in mid-October.
  • Stop the Spread
    Wash hands frequently. Cover coughs and sneezes. Stay home if you’re sick. Have a plan to care for sick family members at home
  • 18 Texas kids have died from influenza in the past 52 weeks.  Health officials hope immunization will keep pediatric and other deaths low, for both the regular seasonal flu viruses and the novel H1N1 which is the subject of a WHO-declared pandemic.

    (By the way, “pandemic” does not have “panic” at its root; it’s a combination of “pan” from Greek and roughly meaning “all people“, and “demic” meaning a health issue “people. (See Mr. B’s comment below.)

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a pandemic can start when three conditions have been met:[1]

    • emergence of a disease new to a population;
    • agents infect humans, causing serious illness; and
    • agents spread easily and sustainably among humans.

    A disease or condition is not a pandemic merely because it is widespread or kills many people; it must also be infectious. For instance, cancer is responsible for many deaths but is not considered a pandemic because the disease is not infectious or contagious.

    Complaints that deaths are low from H1N1 should be regarded as a compliment to the work of health care workers and officials; and statements that we don’t have a flu pandemic ‘because not many people have died’ miss the definition of “pandemic.”)


    Fight the flu: Posters and blog buttons

    September 12, 2009

    Cover your nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1 for more information.Click on the graphic for more information.

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    Swine flu shuts down prisons: Let the prisoners out?

    May 3, 2009

    This headline from the Sacramento Bee sure caught my eye:

    Swine flu case shuts down visits at all 33 state prisons

    Of course, I read it too fast, and skipped over the word “visits.”  I had to click on the story to see whether they were going to tell the prisoners to stay at home for a week, like the Fort Worth, Texas, school district did.   I suppose, after a fashion, that was exactly the message.

    At the Officer of the Receiver for California Prison Health Care Services, spokesman Luis Patino said Sunday that an inmate in Centinela State Prison in Imperial County was diagnosed as probable for the H1N1 virus, or swine flu.

    “The inmate and his cellmate have been isolated, Patino said. “They remain at the prison.”

    Whew!

    Ticket sales for movies are way up in those areas where the schools are shut down — good news for the opening weekend of X-Men Origins:  Wolverine.

    Maybe we’d be better off if the kids remained in school, as well as keeping the convicts in the prisons.

    Is the panic over swine flu too much? If we go back to the week ending March 21, 2009, we find that there were already more than 22,000 cases of influenza in the U.S., with 35 pediatric deaths.  Has the swine flu added to either the rates of infection or the rates of death?  If the dramatic steps, the event cancellations and school closings, are appropriate for the swine flu, shouldn’t they have been appropriate for the other flu viruses, too?

    Do we really need to close schools?  What do you think — tell us in comments.

    See the CDC’s report on swine flu at their site:    H1N1 (Swine Flu)

    Other resources:


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