by Dr. Dana Myatt
“Selective reporting” about the H1N1 virus and vaccine make it sound like getting a vaccination for the “pandemic flu” is a no-brainer. Thinking men and women should know the under-reported scientific conclusions and plain vanilla government statistics concerning this year’s “Panic-Demic” before making this seemingly simple but potentially life-threatening decision.
To that end I present these “inconvenient truths” (fully referenced) for your consideration. Please note that it is extremely politically incorrect to question the value of the flu vaccine.
Seven Inconvenient Truths About the 2009 H1N1 Flu Pandemic
by Dr. Dana Myatt
1.) What is a “Phase Six” Pandemic? (Probably NOT what You Think)
Contrary to popular thought (and most dictionaries), “pandemic” does not mean “large numbers” in WHO / CDC language. According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Pandemic Phase Descriptions, “pandemic” refers to distribution, not numbers or severity. Here is the WHO criteria for pandemics:
A “Phase 4” pandemic means only that a virus is transmissible between humans.
A “Phase 5” pandemic means only that one viral disease has been seen in two countries.
A Phase 6 pandemic means only that one viral disease has been seen in three or more countries.
Again, the term “pandemic” does NOT refer to numbers of people affected or severity of the disease. (1)
For perspective, The WHO announced as of 20 September 2009 that there have been 3917 total deaths worldwide from H1N1, on par with world-wide mortality from any seasonal or other flu for this time of year. (2) Malaria kills an average of 3,000 people every dayin southeast Asia. (3)
2.) Is The H1N1 Flu Really a Danger to the U.S.?
Of less than 4,000 flu-related deaths world-wide, only 211 have occurred in the US as of August 2009. (4) This represents a death total lower than from seasonal flu for years 2005 through 2008 in the U.S. (5)
Adding H1N1 and seasonal flu together, flu-related deaths are still lower this year compared to previous “non-pandemic” years.
Not only is the total flu rate lower this year in the U.S., but the H1N1 flu has been much milder than predicted here and abroad. (6-10)
According to the WHO, most H1N1 infections are mild, occurring in numbers comparable to seasonal flues, with fast recovery and mostly without need for medical care. Mortality rates so far have been only a fraction of the number of those reported each year from seasonal flu. WHO also acknowledges that “Large outbreaks of disease have not yet been reported in many countries…” (11)
Harvard researcher Mark Lipsitch, PhD, explained at an Institute of Medicine meeting that on a 1 to 5 scale — with 5 being a 1918-like pandemic — this swine flu pandemic is a 1. Deputy Director of the CDC’s flu division, Daniel Jernigan, MD, concurs. “We are likely to have numbers that look very similar to what Dr. Lipsitch had,” Jernigan said. (12)
3.) Why H1N1-related deaths are actually smaller than reported in the U.S.
As of August 2009, ALL flu-associated deaths in the U.S. are being reported together. H1N1, seasonal flu and “influenza-like illness” (ILI) are added together to give the “flu mortality rate.” Reported illness and death totals, now include “influenza-like illness” (ILI) that in some cases may not be any form of flu at all. (13)
Other reports concede that a portion of reported H1N1 deaths have actually been caused by pneumonia, not the H1N1 virus itself. (14)
Because the new reporting system tallies deaths from all types of flu, the reported numbers of total flu deaths are not all attributable to H1N1. This means the true H1N1 mortality rate is only a portion of the total reported. Remember that deaths from all types of flu added together are lower in the U.S. this year than from the four previous “non pandemic” years before. (5,13)
3.) Flu vaccines provide little or no protection from the flu.
Vaccination is claimed to prevent the spread of influenza, protect individuals from acquiring the disease, and do so to a high degree of efficacy. Unfortunately, the majority of scientific studies do not support these claims. In fact, meta analyses (“master studies”) that look at large numbers of scientific studies and their outcomes, show the opposite. Influenza vaccine is minimally or not at all effective for most age groups. Here is how the numbers break down.
In children under two:
In children under the age of two, influenza vaccines are no more effective than placebo. (15)
One meta analysis evaluating fifty-one published studies with 294,159 observations found “no efficacy” in children under the age of two. (16) The authors conclude that “It was surprising to find only one study of inactivated vaccine in children under two years, given current recommendations to vaccinate healthy children from six months old in the USA and Canada.”
Simply put, the authors question why the U.S. is targeting children under the age of two for vaccination when the studies show the vaccine to be ineffective in this age group.
In children over two:
The same meta analysis found influenza vaccines effective 33% of the time in children over the age of two. (16) Followed to it’s logical conclusion, this means the flu vaccines are ineffective 67% of the time in children over the age of two.
Another study found influenza vaccine ineffective up to age 5. (17)
In healthy adults:
A meta analysis evaluating 25 studies conducted on 59,566 adults age 14-40 found a mere 6% decrease of clinical influenza in those vaccinated. The conclusion: “Universal immunization of healthy adults is not supported by the results of this review.” (18)
The recent update to this study, pooling 38 published studies encompassing 66,248 healthy individuals aged 16 to 65 years, found that “serological flu” (lab numbers) were reduced but actual cases of flu were not reduced. This meta analysis concluded that improvements in overall flu rates in those vaccinated “was extremely modest.” (19)
Seniors over age 70 account for 75% of all flu-related deaths. Since 1980, the vaccination rate in seniors has increased from 15% to 65% but the death rate from flu has not declined. The authors conclude that “the evidence is insufficient to indicate the magnitude of a mortality benefit, if any, that elderly people derive from the vaccination program.” (20)
Contrary to popular belief, studies have found that secondary pneumonia in seniors is not decreased by flu vaccination, and that reduction of mortality through influenza vaccination has been greatly overestimated in this age group. (21,22)
5.) “Fast track” approval of flu vaccines, especially H1N1, leaves safety questions unanswered.
“Fast track” approval means that influenza vaccines do not have to go through the normal regulatory procedures. The H1N1 vaccine approval was especially fast because of the “pandemic” designation. One of the approved 4 vaccines was approved after testing in only 221 people for 21 days. (23) Another was approved after testing on 175 adults for 21 days. (24).
The World Health Organization (WHO) admits that people who get vaccinations will be the “field testers” of their safety. From the WHO website:
“Time constraints mean that clinical data at the time when pandemic vaccines are first administered will inevitably be limited. Further testing of safety and effectiveness will need to take place after administration of the vaccine has begun. (Author’s italics)
… On the positive side, mass vaccination campaigns can generate significant safety data within a few weeks. (Author’s italics) (25)
In other words, we won’t know the safety of these vaccines until we vaccinate millions of people (45 million is the U.S. “target” for October) (26,27); the side effects experienced by those vaccinated will be the “safety data.”
The U.S. Government conferred immunity from prosecution to drug manufacturers of the H1N1 vaccine in July 2009. (28)
6.) Vaccines May Be More Dangerous than the Flu Itself.
In 1976, 200 soldiers at Fort Dix were stricken with the flu, with one reported death. A pandemic was declared and nearly 40 million people in the U.S. received the 1976/H1N1 vaccine before the campaign was stopped due to an increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome, a paralytic autoimmune disease. (29)
More than 500 cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome were reported, 25 of which resulted in death. This “pandemic that wasn’t” never spread beyond Fort Dix. (30)
In a recent statement by the The American Academy of Neurology, experts said they don’t expect the 2009 H1N1 vaccine to increase risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome or other autoimmune disease but they acknowledged that this is a concern with any pandemic vaccine. (31)
Mild short-term reactions to the vaccine can include soreness, redness, or swelling at vaccination site, low grade fever, runny nose, headache, chills, tiredness/weakness and body aches and pains. (32) These symptoms are very much like the flu itself.
Life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) and Guillain-Barré syndrome (a paralytic autoimmune disease) can also occur. (33)
These short-term side effects of influenza vaccination are easier to observe because of their close proximity to vaccination, beginning within minutes to several weeks. Long-term and/or cumulative effects of vaccinations are more difficult to monitor, and questions remain about the long-term safety of vaccines.
For example, the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in adults and autism in children has skyrocketed in the last several decades. These rates are continued to increase. (34,35)
The cause of these increases is not known. Some camps maintain that these neurological disease escalations may be caused by vaccinations, especially since many vaccines still contain mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde and other neurotoxic compounds. (36-39)
The US government, CDC, FDA, and drug manufacturers claim there is no correlation between vaccines and these diseases, (40-43) although many question the quality of evidence used to draw this conclusion. (44,45)
7.) “Herd Immunity” Remains Speculative
“Herd immunity” (community immunity) is the belief that if a portion of society gets vaccinated, weaker members of “the herd” who do not respond satisfactorily to the vaccine (children under two and seniors over 65) will be protected from the flu because those around them have been vaccinated. Much evidence contradicts the concept of “herd immunity.” (46-49)
If healthcare workers get vaccinated, they purportedly decrease the risk of influenza in their high-risk patient, hence the “heavy push” that borders on mandate for health care workers to receive the vaccine. One large meta analysis found “no high quality evidence that vaccinating healthcare workers reduces the incidence of influenza or its complications in the elderly in institutions.” (50)
My purpose in presenting these statistics and studies is to assist the reader in drawing independent conclusions about the true risk of H1N1 flu and advisability of vaccination for same.
We are each responsible for our own “due diligence” when making decisions concerning our health, although many people defer to the media and government for their directives.
Here are the points I see from these studies and statistics:
- The safety and effectiveness of H1N1 vaccines has not been proven.
- The transmissibility of H1N1 flu is small and the severity mild compared to seasonal flu.
- My risk of getting the H1N1 flu is small; my risk of dying from this flu is quite small and no greater than for any seasonal flu.
- Flu vaccines confer little if any protection from influenza viruses in my age group.
- There is much conflicting “proof” that by getting a vaccination, I help make others around me safer through “herd immunity.”
- There are known short-term and possibly unknown long-term side effects from vaccines.
All things considered, I’m going to pass on the H1N1 flu vaccine. I believe there are far safer, better-proven methods to increase my resistance to H1N1 and make sure I have a mild case of it (as most cases are) if I do contract the flu.
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2.) WHO Website: Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 – update 67. 20 September 2009. http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_09_25/en/index.html
3.) Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. Researchers say new form of malaria poses threat to humans. Sep 11, 2009.
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