Americans have never been big fans of flu shots. During the 2009 “swine flu” influenza A pandemic, only about 40 percent of adults bothered to roll up their sleeves. Last year, flu vaccine rates were still just 47 percent for adults but pediatricians had vaccinated 75 percent of children under two years old. Perhaps it is because parents are being thrown out of pediatricians’ offices if they don’t give their children every federally recommended vaccine – or maybe it is just because adults can talk about how they felt after getting vaccinated and infants and children under age two cannot. Now, the CDC is admitting that flu shots don’t prevent influenza most of the time. In fact, studies show that a history of seasonal flu shots can even make people more susceptible to getting sick with a fever, headache, body aches and a terrible cough that hangs on for weeks! But just like with pertussis infections, a lot of people also get and transmit influenza infections without showing any symptoms at all. It is shocking that government health officials have now devised a National Vaccine Plan that lobbies for every single American to get a flu shot from cradle to the grave.
It came as no surprise to me that during the meeting of the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV) on December 4, 2015 that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Division of Injury Compensation Programs (DICP) reported that the number of vaccine injury claims for this fiscal year will exceed previous years. I have monitored this committee for the past six years and have seen the number of claims rise every year. Sadly they are likely to represent only a fraction of the vaccine injured, due to the lack of public awareness of the existence of the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) created under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which has a record of dismissing two-thirds of claims received. The estimated 1,000 claims that the VICP anticipates being filed in 2016 are projected to cost $224 million. Although the VICP was originally created by Congress to shield drug companies producing government licensed, recommended and mandated vaccines for children, today it is not children but adults injured by influenza vaccine who are receiving most of the compensation.
"Marysue went from being a normal 9-year-old to basically a newborn child," explained Carla Grivna, the little girl's mother. For Carla and Steven Grivna they hold on to the memories of Marysue speaking two languages, her helping them in the kitchen and her love for playing outside. Marysue can now speak just 10 words including mommy and daddy. "The few words you have heard her say she has had to work hard to do," her mother explained. Marysue is also paralyzed. She is now fed through a tube and wears a diaper. On November 20, 2013, Marysue's parents took her to the doctor where she received her annual flu shot. It was typical of Marysue to awake by 7 a.m. and then go into wake her parents up. On the morning of November 26, 2013, she never made it to her parent's bedroom. "The look on her face was like help me, like she was scared but she couldn't respond to me," Carla recalled.
For the 2014-2015 “flu season,” the reported effectiveness of the annual flu shot was only 14% in those over age 50. It has been long recognized that elderly people do not respond well to vaccination as a whole and that their immune responses to annual influenza vaccinations are especially weak. The elderly are at higher risk for serious complications from infections like influenza and pneumonia because aging immune systems often do not mount a robust response to challenge from natural pathogens or vaccines. The number of Americans over age 65 hospitalized for influenza in the 2014-2015 flu season was higher than had been previously reported since government health officials began to collect the data in 2005. Regardless of the highly questionable therapeutic value and potentially harmful side effects of the influenza vaccine, public health authorities insist that the annual flu shot is the best defense there is for seniors.
There is evidence indicating that getting flu shots year after year could actually lower your immune system’s effectiveness. Recently, Dr. Edward Belongia of Wisconsin’s Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation discussed findings that children who had been vaccinated annually over a number of years were more likely to contract the flu than kids who were only vaccinated in the season in which they were studied. Belongia, an epidemiologist, stated in a recent interview: "The vaccine was significantly more effective … if they had not been vaccinated in the previous five years."
This years 2015-2016 flu shots in the United States are showing 18 percent effectiveness in adults and 15 percent effectiveness in children according to local news reports popping up around the country. Local news outlets in Michigan, Georgia, California, and other states have decided to run the headline with this information yet, at the time of this writing, no national mainstream news appear to be touching these figures. Although continually touted by mainstream outlets as “the single best way to prevent against the flu,” this is the second year in a row the flu shot’s effectiveness in the U.S. has been under 25 percent. Last January, USA Today ran the headline “Flu Shot Only 23 Percent Effective This Season.” These dismal effectiveness numbers in the U.S. would have been welcomed by “officials” at the Canadian Centre of Disease Control who reported during last years flu season that their flu shots offered zero protection. With 18 and 15 percent effectiveness respectively this year, many are rightfully questioning if the risk outweighs the reward. An October NPR health poll of 3,008 adults revealed that 64% of adults polled were refusing to get the flu vaccine this year.
Five Manhattan and Brooklyn mothers with children in preschool are suing the city over its policy of mandatory flu vaccinations. The parents — ranging from a single mom in an East Harlem housing project to an investment banker in the Flatiron District — claim a 2013 rule passed by the city’s Health Department under Bloomberg is illegal because it was not voted on by state lawmakers. “I am also disturbed that I cannot express my dissent to my elected representatives in the New York Legislature as I understand they never voted ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for this flu dictate and I don’t know who I can hold responsible for foisting this mandate onto me,” gripes one of the moms, Clemence Rasigni, who works for Merrill Lynch.
Megan Duncan, Alanda Watson and Denise Mercurius will report to work Friday morning, as they have done every day for years. Once there, they expect to be fired. The three women — employees of Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey, an agency that helps the elderly and the disadvantaged throughout the state — are among a rising number of workers facing termination for refusing to get a flu shot or, as an alternative, wear a surgical mask in the workplace. What differentiates Duncan, Watson and Mercurius from most of those fired, however, is that they're not doctors or nurses, and they don't work in a hospital. They spend their days in a corporate office in suburban Burlington Township, crunching numbers or dealing with billing issues.
The Department of Justice issues a report on vaccine injuries and deaths every quarter to the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines. There are 211 cases for vaccine injuries and deaths for the period 5/16/2015 through 8/15/2015. 86 of the settlements were listed in this report, giving the name of the vaccines, the injury, and the amount of time the case was pending before settlement. Three of those settlements were for deaths linked to vaccines, with two deaths related to the flu shot, and one death for the HPV shot. 65 of the 86 settlements were for injuries and deaths due to the flu shot, and the majority of flu shot injuries were for Guillain-Barré Syndrome. These quarterly reports on vaccine injuries and death settlements from the U.S. vaccine court are seldom, if ever, reported in the mainstream media. We report them here at Health Impact News. Here is the latest report from September 3, 2015.
October is deemed the start of the flu season. This year, the rhetoric and methods to push flu vaccines are beginning to take on an authoritarian flavor. Medical consent and medical choice appear to have taken a backseat to government mandates and strong arm tactics by local pharmacies, medical practitioners, and employers. Government oversight bodies and medical professionals are omitting the risks and informed consent when it comes to the flu shot. To understand this year’s flu vaccination push, here are some points to put things into focus.