Flu vaccines still not embraced by everybody

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Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 4:15 pm

SARASOTA, Fla. – Every year it seems we are getting our flu shots earlier. From the very young to the young at heart we are all rolling up our sleeves. Or are we?

The flu can cause serious illness and even death, particularly among persons aged 65 and older, children younger than two, and those with medical conditions at high risk for complications from influenza.

The CDC recommends routine annual flu vaccines for all persons 6 or older who don't have contraindications.

4-year-old Mikayla's ready to start school, and her preparations included a flu shot. “I just think it's important, because with the flu out there you can get really sick if you don't get the shot,” says her mom, Francine Medeiros.

She says Mikayla had her first flu shot when she was two. “So I personally do it, but I know there's some people that don't do it.”

Forty Carrots Preschool director Rebecca Lockwood says while standard immunization is required of students, the flu vaccine is not. “The flu shot's an optional vaccine; some families will choose to get it, and then other families choose not to. It's entirely up to them.”

Mikayla's at one end of the spectrum, but primary care physician Dr. Lana Nusbaum works with another group of people she says benefit from the flu vaccine. “As we get older, our immune systems are not as strong as they used to be. Many of our patients have chronic illnesses, and for that reason their immunity is not what it would be in a younger person.”

Nusbaum says although we feel that flu shots are very safe, and protect people from the flu, not everybody is on board. “About 50% of my patients refuse to have flu shots.”

Francis Schuer is one of them. “I don't get flu shots because my reality is I should keep my immune system in really top notch condition. In which case if I do that, I won’t be bothered by mister flu.”

71-year-old Judy Bundrick has been getting flu shots for about thirty five years, but her co-worker did not. “She didn't like to have anything in her body, you know. So I've been saying that she really needs to get the flu shot.”

These infections are passed around from person to person, says Dr. Nusbaum, and unless you live in a bubble, you're just as prone to get these things as anyone in another part of the country. “People like to think that because this is the Suncoast and they're outside, and the sun is shining and the weather's warm, that they are not going to get these things.”

Mikayla's advice? “Put out your arm.”

There is now a quadrivalent flu vaccine designed to protect against four different flu viruses; two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. A standard-dose quadrivalent shot can be given to children as young as 6 months of age.

Other standard-dose quadrivalent shots are approved for people 3 years and older, and the standard-dose quadrivalent nasal spray vaccine is approved for healthy people 2 through 49 years of age.

For people wanting to get a flu vaccine, but have an egg allergy, RIV3, an egg-free vaccine, is now an option for vaccination of persons aged 18 through 49 years with egg allergy of any severity.

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Welcome to the discussion.

2 comments:

  • judyluce posted at 6:58 am on Thu, Aug 21, 2014.

    judyluce Posts: 2

    Recently in Australia - the government recommended Fluvax (which was never tested on children. It caused an extremely high number of convulsions and is still being used but not for children under 5.

    Sixteen hours after her flu shot, little Saba was in hospital on life support, breathing with the aid of a ventilator and drugged to stop the seizures. An MRI and a CAT scan revealed global brain injury and organ damage. Two doctors and two nurses took the frantic parents aside. “They said they didn’t expect Saba to make it, and if she did she would have severe cerebral palsy and never walk or talk again,” Saba spent 11 days in intensive care and eight weeks back in the children’s ward before being sent home with brain damage from the Fluvax vaccine
    Perth mother Sharron Coppin took her children for the flu shot all three children had to be hospitalised for convulsions or vomiting. Coppin says her doctor called WA Health to report the side-effects, at least two weeks before Saba received her injection. “My kids had such a bad reaction and they kept on going, and now that little girl is severely damaged,” she says. “It’s sad that a child had to nearly die for them to take it off [the market].”

    While Collignon advocates the vaccination of at-risk children, he worries that healthy kids are still being immunised when so little is known about what went wrong with Fluvax. He is pushing for an independent surveillance system, funded through a levy on vaccines, to ensure last year’s debacle is never repeated. “We don’t know why it happened,” he says. “The mere fact we can’t explain it is, to me, of concern.”

     
  • judyluce posted at 8:57 pm on Wed, Aug 20, 2014.

    judyluce Posts: 2


    I would do some more research before subjecting yourself to the flu vaccine and if you do insist that you do not get the multivial vaccine which contains 25mcg of mercury. This is actually 250 times greater than the safety limit set bu EPA. Only 2ppb is allowed in drinking water - flu vaccines 25000ppb.

    According to the CDC, the flu vaccine contains thimerosal (in the multidose vials), aluminum, antibiotics, egg protein, aborted human fetal cells, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). On November 20, 2012, the FDA approved the seasonal influenza vaccine, Flucelvax, manufactured by Novartis. This vaccine is mass-produced using the continuous cell line Madin Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) as vaccine cell substrate. Our immune systems may be unable to combat these foreign, toxic substances, especially while under the influence of very common conditions such as high sugar intake, low vitamin D3 levels, and damaged gut lining.

    According to a search of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) website, in the past five years, (during the period from January 2009 until February 2014) there were 55, 578 adverse events reported to VAERS related to the flu vaccine. Of these adverse events, 7,904 affected children under the age of six.

    Most disturbing among these numbers are the reported 47 children age five and under who died after receiving the flu vaccine during the past five years alone.

    Keep in mind, vaccine injuries and deaths are grossly under-reported. Less than ten percent of vaccine injuries are actually reported, which brings the likely death toll from the flu vaccine to over one hundred children per year.

    The Highly respected Cochrane Collaboration found that flu vaccinations was mostly useless - it is true that there was some protection in adults but the protection to the very young and elderly was no better than placebo.The Cochrane Collaboration analysis found that the majority of published influenza vaccine studies were methodologically flawed with selection biases, confounders and heavy reliance on non-randomized studies. The report points out that potential confusion between respiratory infections caused by influenza viruses and those caused by non-influenza viruses can result in misdiagnosis and gross overestimation of the true impact of influenza on death and illness in a given influenza season. The report concluded that too few clinical trials have been conducted to prove vaccine safety and current evidence indicates that use of inactivated influenza vaccine has only a modest or no effect on preventing influenza in the children and the elderly.http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/55507.php

     

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