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Vaccines are not the answer
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Dear Editor,
The Journal’s flu shot/flu season article is a rubber stamp from the National Institute of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, which is rerun every year.
In 2005, the NIH concluded that the influenza vaccine has not produced any “measurable declining in mortality rates in any age group.” This, despite the increase in flu vaccine coverage from just 20 percent in 1980, to 65 percent in 2001. This same year, Canada spent 38 million dollars for a universal flu vaccine in Ontario. They attempted to vaccinate every one of Ontario’s citizens to save their health system $40 million. Dr. Vittorio DeMichel, chairman of the regional epidemiological unit in Alessandria, Italy says, “there is absolutely no evidence that universal vaccination has ever achieved such a goal. I wonder whether the program should, instead, serve as a warning to other governments. The ‘let’s see what happens’ approach to public health should not be emulated.”
Also noted was that almost 1,000 Canadians had adverse reactions to the flu vaccine. That’s nearly 80 times as many as for the same period of the year prior.
A number of factors are involved in this situation. Only three strains of influenza are in each year’s shot. Not once has the vaccine contained the strain which accounted for the most flu cases that given year. Only those who actually get that flu vaccine are resistant to that strain. Having fought this infection, they are primed for subsequent exposures. This is how the immune system normally works (without vaccination).
According to Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, “the H1N1 influenza vaccine is being made exactly the same way that the seasonal flu vaccines are made.” Her intent of this statement was to imply safety.
When the swine flu vaccine was given in 1976, it was suspended 11 weeks later following 18 deaths and 442 cases of Guillain-Baire Syndrome. This is the true “safety” record. The efficacy of the seasonal flu shot should be a reasonable approximation of the H1N1, since they are made “exactly the same way.”
For each high risk group listed, these are the percentages of those groups that even develop antibodies from the vaccine: Diabetics, 45 percent; lung diseased, 36 percent; elderly, 33 percent; HIV positive, 27 percent; and children (after two doses), 25 percent.
— David Dubyak