Another Epic Fail for Influenza Vaccine
January 20, 2015
By Barbara Loe Fisher
Here we are in the winter of 2015, and U.S. public health officials admit that the historically ineffective influenza vaccine is once again an epic fail.1,2
Flu Vaccine Effectiveness Measured from 0 to 62 Percent
In the past three flu seasons, the CDC has claimed the flu vaccine's overall effectiveness clocked in at between 47 and 62 percent3 while some experts have measured it at 0 to 7 percent.4
Other studies suggest that when children get a flu shot every year it can interfere with healthy immune responses and make them more likely to get influenza in certain flu seasons.5,6
Independent medical literature reviews document that flu shots don't really prevent influenza or complications of influenza7,8 or influenza-like-illness (ILI) associated with other types of viruses that cause about 80 percent of all respiratory or gastrointestinal infections during any given flu season.9,10,11,12
A car in which seatbelts and brakes only worked at best half the time is not a car Americans would choose to buy or drive. Car manufacturers profiting from selling that kind of defective product would be sued in civil court, and rightly so.
Yet, U.S. public health officials are making flu vaccine policy that gets turned into law.13,14 They are forcing Americans to buy and use a pharmaceutical product that fails to work as advertised time and again and can brain injure people, too.15,16,17
But we can't sue drug companies for vaccine failures, brain injuries, and deaths in civil court.18
Many of us are being fired from our jobs or denied an education, childcare and medical care if we refuse to salute smartly and get a flu shot every year or give it to our children.19,20,21,22
Dominant Influenza A Strain NOT in Current Flu Shot
Every spring, federal health officials select two influenza A virus strains (usually H1N1 and H3N2 subtypes)23 and one or two influenza B virus strains24 to include in flu vaccines released in the fall.
This past December, CDC officials held a press conference and informed Americans that they were unaware last spring that one of the influenza A strains selected for the 2014-2015 flu vaccine – the H3N2 subtype – was starting to "drift."
It turns out that the genetically mutated subtype is the dominant influenza A strain causing sickness this year, but it is not in the flu vaccine.25,26,27,28
Some Experts Warn Flu Shot Does NOT Make Symptoms Less Severe
Bottom line: if you or your child got a flu shot this year, it does not protect you from the most common influenza A subtype making people sick. And now, some influenza experts are warning that flu shots do not make symptoms less severe if the vaccine fails to prevent influenza infection.29
2003/2004 Flu Shot Failure: Same Story
Is this the first time that federal health officials have been aware that the influenza A H3N2 subtype constantly mutates and is often the dominant strain of flu that circulates in the U.S.? No, it's not.
Let's go back and take a look at the 2003-2004 flu season's epic influenza vaccine fail. In the spring of 2003, federal health officials did know ahead of time that the influenza A Panama strain they chose for the seasonal flu vaccine was not a match for the emerging mutated H3N2 Fujian strain making people very sick.
Influenza experts told the FDA vaccine advisory committee (VRBPAC) that two genetic mutations in the H3N2 strain would likely cause the flu shot to fail if it was not included in the vaccine.30
As the consumer voting member at that March 2003 FDA committee meeting, I abstained from the influenza vaccine strain selection vote because the influenza A strain being recommended was not a match for the emerging mutated H3N2 strain and said I thought the public should be told.31
So what was the government's rationale for allowing drug companies to produce a flu vaccine they knew was likely a non-starter from the very beginning?
Well, the vaccine manufacturers said they couldn't include the mutated H3N2 subtype in the vaccine because they would miss the fall 2003 delivery and marketing deadline!
In other words, it was all about protecting a multi-billion dollar flu vaccine market and not about truth in advertising. Flu vaccine effectiveness for the 2003-2004 season was described by health officials as 3 percent to 14 percent, which does qualify as an epic fail.32
2012-2013 Flu Shot Failure: Vaccine Manufacturing Problem
Now let's look at the 2012-2013 flu season, when flu vaccine effectiveness was 50 percent and only 41 percent in preventing the H3N2 subtype that caused most of the disease that season.
A little digging into the medical literature reveals that the H3N2 subtype problem was not due to a natural antigenic drift like CDC officials are claiming it is this season.
No, flu vaccine failure two years ago was about mutations in the egg adapted H3N2 vaccine strain used by drug companies to produce the vaccine.33
In other words, it was a vaccine manufacturing problem. Drug companies introduced H3N2 mutations through the vaccine manufacturing process, creating a mismatch between the circulating H3N2 strain and the vaccine strain.
Congress Funds Aggressive Influenza Vaccine Push on Americans
How honest is the CDC being with legislators voting to give federal health agencies and drug companies billions of dollars to produce influenza vaccines34,35,36,37,38,39 that are being aggressively pushed on all Americans, including infants, children, pregnant women and health care workers40,41,42,43 using a pathetically poor evidence base?44,45,46
Influenza Viruses Always Mutating, Vaccine Strain Virus Shedding
Influenza viruses that infect humans and animals are always mutating and evolving, recombining with each other and creating new influenza strains being shed and transmitted in body fluids and waste products of animals and humans.47,48,49,50,51 Vaccine strain influenza viruses can recombine with other viruses as well,52 particularly those shed and transmitted by children and adults given live influenza virus vaccines53,54,55,56 and by experimental live virus vectored vaccines being created in labs, with unknown effects on humans, animals and the environment.57,58,59,60
GMO Flu Vaccines, Risky Adjuvants: Follow the Money
And yet, billions of dollars are being spent by government and industry to build more flu vaccine plants to create genetically engineered flu vaccines that contain insect and animal DNA, foreign proteins61,62,63,64,65 and novel adjuvants designed to hyper-stimulate human immune responses.66,67,68,69,70 In an irrational crusade to outsmart influenza viruses, vaccine risks are increasing71 while vaccine failures continue to haunt the entire money-driven enterprise.72,73,74
Repeal Flu Shot Mandates, Hold Companies Accountable
After decades of government propaganda trumpeting the benefits and minimizing the risks of annual flu shots, one-size-fits-all, cradle to the grave influenza vaccine recommendations should be revised. Flu shot mandates should be repealed and vaccine manufacturers held accountable for vaccine risks and failures in civil court.
Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions
With all the uncertainty surrounding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, it's critical to protect your right to make independent health choices and exercise voluntary informed consent to vaccination. It is urgent that everyone in America stand up and fight to protect and expand vaccine informed consent protections in state public health and employment laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and educating the leaders in your community.
National vaccine policy recommendations are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact. It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations, and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.
Signing up for NVIC's free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your Smart Phone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up-to-date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choice rights and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips.
So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know
If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury, or death, please talk about it. If we don't share information and experiences with one another, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.
I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the "other side" of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.
We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than "statistically acceptable collateral damage" of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn't be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
I encourage you to visit the website of the non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), at www.NVIC.org:
- NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries, and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
- If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
- Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment and sanctions by doctors, employers, and school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.
Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One That Will Listen and Care
If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.
However, there is hope.
At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.
So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.