LETTER: Flu shot benefits, hazards up for debate

So let’s look at two major facts: ingredients and evidence, that may contribute to the debate.

Tom Fletcher’s column “Help the hospital, get a flu shot” is laughable with its lack of facts to support his idea that a flu shot actually prevents influenza and that vaccinating Health Care Workers (HCWs) will prevent its spread to patients.

So let’s look at two major facts: ingredients and evidence, that may contribute to the debate.

1. What are the ingredients in a flu shot?

Egg Albumin (Ovalbumin), Egg Protein, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Gentamicin, Hydrocortisone, Octoxynol-10, -Tocopheryl Hydrogen Succinate, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Deoxycholate, Sodium Phosphate and Thimerosal.

That’s to start with. Then the actual process of making a vaccine adds “degradation” products which include parts of decayed viruses or cells, foreign protein particles, DNA fragments and unknown bits and pieces.

If you don’t know what these ingredients are, then why are you putting them into your body? I’ll tell you about two, formaldehyde and thimerosal.

Formaldehyde is toxic and is known to cause cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies formaldehyde as a human carcinogen. (June 2004).

Thimerosal is a compound made up of approximately 50 per cent mercury. Mercury is the second most poisonous element known to man, next to uranium.

Two ppb mercury is the mandated limit in drinking water, 200 ppb mercury in liquid waste renders it a toxic hazard, 25,000 ppb is found in infant flu shots, 50,000 ppb is found in regular flu shots.

So, Mr. Fletcher, you were daft enough to shoot these toxins into yourself but then you wonder why Health Care Workers, infinitely more knowledgeable than you, “defy common sense” in their refusal?

2. You say “I have found that their (HCWs) immunization reduces influenza transmission to patients.” Where did you find your evidence?

Over 200 viruses cause influenza and influenza-like illness which produce the same symptoms (fever, headache, aches and pains, cough and runny noses). Without laboratory tests, doctors cannot tell the two illnesses apart. Both last for days and rarely lead to death or serious illness. At best, vaccines might be effective against only influenza A and B, which represent about 10 per cent of all circulating viruses. Authors of a Cochrane review assessed all trials that compared vaccinated people with unvaccinated people.

The combined results of these trials showed that under ideal conditions (vaccine completely matching circulating viral configuration) 33 healthy adults need to be vaccinated to avoid one set of influenza symptoms.

In average conditions (partially matching vaccine) 100 people need to be vaccinated to avoid one set of influenza symptoms. Vaccine use did not affect the number of people hospitalized or working days lost but caused one case of Guillain-Barré syndrome (a major neurological condition leading to paralysis) for every one million vaccinations.

Fifteen of the 36 trials were funded by vaccine companies and four had no funding declaration. Our results may be an optimistic estimate because company-sponsored influenza vaccines trials tend to produce results favourable to their products and some of the evidence comes from trials carried out in ideal viral circulation and matching conditions and because the harms evidence base is limited.

The conclusion of a review to answer whether residents of Long Term Care Facilities are protected because HCWs have been vaccinated concludes: “We conclude there is no evidence that vaccinating HCWs prevents influenza in elderly residents in LTCFs. High quality RCTs are required to avoid risks of bias in methodology and conduct, and to test these interventions in combination.”

Not only does our Charter of Rights and Freedoms prevent people being subjected to forced medication but the ethical standards of Medicine and Nursing endorse informed consent to medical treatment. All physicians who advocate compulsory vaccines, particularly the Provincial Health Officer, are guilty of unethical behaviour.

 

Jennifer Craig,

BSN, Ph.De.

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