Influenza

September 13, 2012

A colleague of mine, Ron Dushkin, sent an email to members of the American Institute of Homeopathy, which in turn he’d gleaned from Dr. Mercola’s site:

By Dr. Mercola

The Canadian press recently broke the story that new research confirms initial findings that the flu vaccine appeared to actually increase people’s risk of getting sick with H1N1, and cause more serious bouts of illness to boot.

According to the Vancouver Sun1:

“Researchers, led by Vancouver’s Dr. Danuta Skowronski, an influenza expert at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, noticed in the early weeks of the [2009 H1N1] pandemic that people who got a flu shot for the 2008-09 winter seemed to be more likely to get infected with the pandemic virus than people who hadn’t received a flu shot. Five studies done in several provinces showed the same unsettling results. “

New Study Confirms: Flu Vaccine Really Does Increase Your Risk of Serious Pandemic Flu Illness

In March last year, ABC News reported2:

“There is renewed controversy surrounding influenza vaccines, with some studies showing people immunised against the seasonal flu might have been at greater risk during the swine flu outbreak…

“What was a bit surprising when we looked at some of the data from Canada and Hong Kong in the last year is that people who have been vaccinated in 2008 with the seasonal or ordinary vaccine seemed to have twice the risk of getting swine flu compared to the people who hadn’t received that vaccine,” [Professor Collignon from the Australian National University] said.

ANU microbiologists say it is the opposite of what vaccines should do.

Professor Collignon says the findings of the study also highlight the benefits for healthy people who are exposed to some illnesses. “Some interesting data has become available which suggests that if you get immunised with the seasonal vaccine, you get less broad protection than if you get a natural infection,” he said.

“It is particularly relevant for children because it is a condition they call original antigenic sin, which basically means if you get infected with a natural virus, that gives you not only protection against that virus but similar viruses or even in fact quite different flu viruses in the next year.”

We may be perversely setting ourselves up that if something really new and nasty comes along, that people who have been vaccinated may in fact be more susceptible compared to getting this natural infection.” [Emphasis mine]

 

Case in point: research published in the Journal of Virology3 in November of last year also confirmed that the seasonal flu vaccine may actually weaken children’s immune systems and increase their chances of getting sick from influenza viruses not included in the vaccine. Further, when blood samples from 27 healthy, unvaccinated children and 14 children who had received an annual flu shot were compared, the former unvaccinated group naturally built up more antibodies across a wider variety of influenza strains compared to the latter vaccinated group—which is exactly what Professor Collignon referred to in the quote above.

While the initial reports of increased pandemic disease risk associated with flu vaccination were downplayed and widely dismissed as some odd Canadian phenomenon, a new study suggests this was no fluke. According to the featured article4:

“Skowronski and a group of researchers have recreated the event in ferrets. Their findings were presented… at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a major international infectious diseases conference taking place in San Francisco. Skowronski… worked with 32 ferrets, giving half the 2008 seasonal flu shot and the rest a placebo injection. The work was blinded, meaning the researchers didn’t know which ferrets received which shot. Later, all the ferrets were infected with the pandemic H1N1 virus.

The ferrets in the vaccine group became significantly sicker than the other animals, though all recovered. “The findings are consistent with the increased risk that we saw in the human studies,” Skowronski said.” [Emphasis mine]