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H1N1: Fact or Fiction?

Posted: 11/11/2009 10:17:45 PM | with 23 comments

By Barbara Loe Fisher

It’s been about six months since the Department of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Homeland Security followed the World Health Organization and declared a very scary pandemic influenza public health emergency in the United States. 1

Last spring we suddenly found ourselves watching You Tube videos of people being quarantined in hotels and detained on airplanes by HazMat teams. 2 When we went to the grocery stores, we encountered fellow Americans wearing face masks. 3 And every time we turned on the television, there were news reports about schools closing so desks and lockers could be scrubbed down. 4

The Worst Is Yet To Come?

And we watched CDC press conferences 5 warning us that the worst was surely yet to come because the H1N1 swine flu virus first identified outside a pig farm in Mexico had the potential to mutate and kill tens of thousands more Americans 6 than the 36,000 that CDC officials tell us die every year from seasonal influenza.

It was enough to make us very, very afraid.

No Liability for Vaccine Makers

It was enough to make Congress give drug companies more than a billion dollars of our taxes to quickly create H1N1 swine flu vaccines 7 and then throw in another couple of billion dollars for health officials to deliver and aggressively promote vaccination in Sesame Street ads 8 and on the internet and radio and TV. And while they were at it, Congress shielded everyone who has anything to do with making, promoting and giving swine flu vaccines from all liability in civil court whenever somebody gets hurt or dies after getting vaccinated. 9

It was enough to make us very, very afraid.

Health Worker Mandates & School Vaccination Programs

It was scary enough to make legislators in Massachusetts and other states talk about passing stronger laws to suspend civil liberties and force people to be quarantined or vaccinated whenever a public health emergency was declared. 10 It was scary enough to prompt New York state health officials to mandate that health care workers get seasonal and H1N1 influenza shots or be fired. 11

And then there were calls by public health officials for children to line up and get vaccinated in schools 12 just like in the polio mass vaccination campaigns of the 1950’s and early 60’s.

Older Americans Have Antibodies to H1N1 Swine Flu

Throughout the summer, we were told that H1N1 swine flu was sweeping through the country 13 and millions of us had already been infected with the new virus and pregnant women and children were dying. 14 Curiously, many Americans over 60 were told they didn’t need H1N1 vaccine because we were still protected by antibodies we got when we recovered from being infected with similar H1N1 flu strains in the past. 15 16

Drug Companies Want Adjuvants, No More Eggs

And then, the vaccine manufacturers, who had been pressing the FDA for decades to let them use reactive squalene adjuvants 17 in vaccines, started complaining that they couldn’t grow the H1N1 virus fast enough. 18 The threat of vaccine shortages suddenly loomed on the horizon.

The drug companies complained that they didn’t want to use chicken eggs anymore to make flu vaccines. They wanted the FDA to let them use insects 19 and e coli bacteria 20 and fungus 21 and virus like protein particles 22 23 and dog kidney cells 24 and other really, really interesting stuff.

This is an EMERGENCY they said and drug companies need to be allowed to make flu vaccine any way they want to right now because this is a really serious public health emergency. 25 And, oh by the way, let’s not forget that it is so serious that everyone who has anything to do with making, promoting and giving new flu vaccines need to be shielded from liability in civil court if people get hurt or die after getting vaccinated.

Yes, it was enough to make us all very, very afraid.

H1N1 Swine Flu Looks Like Seasonal Flu

And when we are really afraid, we don’t think we have time to ask questions or double check the facts. We just want someone to tell us what to do right now so we can feel safe and not afraid anymore.

By the end of the summer, while the drug companies and NIH were testing the new H1N1 vaccines on several thousand healthy American children and adults, 26 27 reports started coming out of Australia and the southern hemisphere where they had just finished their influenza season, that the H1N1 swine flu virus was really not so bad after all. 28 29 It was not causing excess mortality, which means there weren’t more people dying from H1N1 than had died in years past from other seasonal flu strains.

Yes, people were getting sick with what looked like influenza just like they do every year but –for most people – it was a few days of fever, chills, body aches, runny nose and cough, maybe some diarrhea, staying in bed, drinking lots of water and juice, and then – feeling just fine again.

CDC Stops Confirming Most Suspected H1N1 Cases

Abruptly at the end of July – when the Secretary of Health quietly extended the national public health emergency declaration for three more months - the CDC announced they were not going to lab confirm suspected cases of H1N1 swine flu anymore. 30 31 The CDC told the states not to test Americans who were flooding doctors offices and hospitals with symptoms of influenza and confirm that they WERE in fact suffering from type A or B influenza, especially H1N1 swine flu. The story was – if it looks like influenza then it IS influenza and can be ASSUMED to be H1N1 swine flu. 32

Really? Is that how the CDC “scientifically” calculates how many Americans die from regular influenza every year?

Two to Four Flu Shots For Many Young Children

The decision to stop testing for H1N1 was followed by an announcement that all children between the ages of 6 months and 10 years - who had never gotten a flu shot before - should get 4 doses of influenza vaccine this year: two seasonal flu shots and two doses of H1N1 vaccine. Further, that the millions of chronically ill and disabled children and adults and also pregnant women should be the first in line to get two shots of influenza vaccine this year. 33

And then Americans, who were still very afraid, started asking questions because most of us, who got sick with flu-like symptoms this year, realized that it was no worse than the flu we got last year. And most of us didn’t know anyone who had died from the flu this year, which was true for most other years as well.

Two to Four Doses of Mercury?

And then we started asking questions about why young children needed two to four doses of influenza vaccine this year. And we thought - what is up with mercury still being in most vials of influenza vaccine? 34 We thought – is it really a good idea to give children – whose doctors don’t have access to single dose vials of mercury free flu vaccine – two to four doses of mercury this year? Especially when it is against HazMat regulations to pour unused mercury containing influenza vaccine down the drain or toss it into a garbage can? 35 36

Is It Influenza, Seasonal, H1N1 or None of the Above?

And then a veteran investigative journalist at a major news network published an interesting report about the fact that 83 to 97 percent of all specimens of suspected H1N1 cases sent to the CDC by state health departments for lab confirmation last spring and summer came back negative - for not only H1N1 swine flu influenza - but also negative for ANY kind of type A or Type B influenza. at all. 37 Which confirmed what the CDC’s influenza expert said at an FDA meeting in 2003: that 80 percent of all flu-like illness every year is not actually influenza but viral and bacterial infections that LOOK like influenza. 38

Wait a minute. Didn’t President Obama stand up at a press conference in October and say that 1,000 Americans, including about 100 children, had died from H1N1 swine flu? 39

But were those 1,000 H1N1 lab confirmed deaths or deaths that were ASSUMED by the CDC to be deaths caused by swine flu?

And how does that number of deaths compare with the 36,000 deaths that CDC officials say are caused by seasonal influenza every year? 40

People Started Asking Questions

And then something unusual happened. Doctors started asking questions and privately some of them told their patients not to bother getting the H1N1 vaccine. 41 And the people, who were still being told by health officials to be very, very afraid, started to do their own research using the great new Library of the World, the internet. People started asking more questions of their government health officials – not just in America – but in Great Britain 42 and the Netherlands, 43 in Germany 44 and Italy, 45 in Poland 46 and in Canada 48 and many other countries.

And then the poll results started coming in revealing that about 50 percent of us were saying “yes” I want to get a swine flu shot and 50 percent of us were saying “No, thank you.” 49 50

Fear or Facts?

And that is where it stands today. Some of us are still very afraid and some of us are not.

I am reminded of a famous quote from Abraham Lincoln: You can fool some of the people all of the time and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

New Vaccine Ingredients Calculator

And I would urge those of you who want to get seasonal or H1N1 vaccines, to go to the homepage of the website of the National Vaccine Information Center at www.NVIC.org and look at the new Vaccine Ingredient Calculator, which will tell you how much mercury is in those vaccines.

Support NVIC’s Research & Public Education Programs

And I would urge those of you, who want better vaccine science and the right to make vaccine choices, to become a donor supporter of the National Vaccine Information Center’s research and public education programs.

Truth and freedom are not free, especially when there are so many doing so much to limit the people’s access to both.


1 Department of Homeland Security: Press Briefing on Swine Flu Influenza. April 26, 2009.

2 Mackey R. The New York Times. A New Airport Ritual, Swine Flu Screening. July 29, 2009.

3 Hitti M. WebMD. Putting Swine Flu in Perspective. May 1, 2009.

4 Barnett G. WJZ 13-TV. MD Schools Closed for Swine Flu Reopen. May 6, 2009.

5 MSNBC. Pregnant women more at risk for swine flu. May 14, 2009.

6 Presidents Council of Advisors on Science & Technology. Report to the President on US Preparations for 2009 H1N1 Influenza. August 7, 2009.

7 MSNBC. Swine Flu Shots Could Begin This Fall. July 9, 2009.

8 Flu.gov. Flu Public Service Announcements (PSAs).

9 Associated Press. Newsday. Legal immunity set for swine flu vaccine makers. July 17, 2009.

10 Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Senate No. 2028: An Act Relative to Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness and Response in the Commonwealth. 2009.

11 CNN. Lou Dobbs. Forced Vaccinations. September 29, 2009.

12 Zwillich T. WebMD. Swine Flu Vaccine May Target Schools. July 9, 2009.

13 Stobbe M. Associated Press. Homeland Security Response Network. Swine Flu Could Hit Up To 40 Percent in US. July 25, 2009.

14 Singer S. FluTrackers.com. Swine flu affecting mostly infants and children in Palm Beach County. July 29, 2009.

15 Ledford H. Bio Ed Online. Old seasonal flu antibodies target swine flu virus. May 21, 2009.

16 Science Centric. 1918 flu antibodies resurrected from elderly survivors. August 17, 2008.

17 Matsumoto G. Without-Consent.com. Squalene Medical Literature References.

18 MSNBC. US buys 195 million doses of swine flu vaccine. July 23, 2009.

19 AFP. US company makes first batch of swine flu vaccine. July 23, 2009.

20 Herper M. Forbes.com. The Flu Vaccine Accelerator May 5, 2009.

21 Miller G. Fierce Vaccines. Vaccine platform to aid in pandemic preparedness. July 17, 2009.

22 Racanietto V. Virology Blog. Influenza virus-like particle vaccine. August 19, 2009.

23 Medical News Today. NOVAVAX Virus-Like Particle Vaccine Protects Against 2009 Pandemic H1N1 Influenza Virus. August 19, 2009.

24 Clark TW, Pareek MP et al. Trial of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent MF-59-Adjuvanted Vaccine – Preliminary Report. N Engl J Med. 2009 Sep 10.

25 Shaw M. Health News Digest. Meeting the Challenge of H1N1 Vaccine Production. Nov. 1, 2009.

26 Saslow R. Volunteers take a shot at swine flu. Washington Post. August 25, 2009.

27 Food and Drug Administration. July 23, 2009 Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting Materials & Transcript.

28 Collignon P. Pandemic influenza: inappropriate fear causes unappropriate responses. In healthcare we need good surveillance data to make the best decisions. Healthcare Safety 2009; 14:77-79. http://www.publish.csiro.au/?act=view_file&file_id=HI09021.pdf

29 Flu.gov. Assessment of the 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) Outbreak on Selected Countries in the Southern Hemisphere. August 25, 2009.

30 Coor WD. 2009 H1N1 Influenza: HHS Preparedness & Response Efforts. Statement before Committee on Homeland Security. July 29, 2009.

31 Centers for Disease Control. H1N1 Flu: Monitoring Influenza Activity, Including 2009 H1N1.

32 Caudell J. Western Carolinian. H1N1 Flu Cases Still Being Seen at WCU.August 27, 2009.

33 Centers for Disease Control. Podcast: 2009 H1N1 ACIP Vaccine Recommendations. September 2, 2009.

34 Centers for Disease Control. H1N1 Flu. General Questions and Answers on Thimerosal. September 14, 2009.

35 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Waste & Materials Management: Managing Excess Vaccines (PUB-WA 841-07).

36 SafeMinds. Flu Vaccines, Pregnancy & Children.

37 Attkisson S. CBS-TV. Swine Flu Cases Overestimated? October 21, 2009.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/21/cbsnews_investigates/ main5404829.shtml

38 Food and Drug Administration. Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.  Transcript of Feb. 20, 2009 Meeting. http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/DOCKETS/ac/03/transcripts/3922t1.htm

39 Shear M, Stein R. Washington Post. Obama declares flu emergency to ease restrictions for hospitals. October 25, 2009.

40 Centers for Disease Control. Seasonal Influenza (Flu). Estimating Deaths from Seasonal Influenza in the United States.

41 Reports to NVIC relating private conversations with physicians. No links to similar reports in the media will be included in these  References to protect physicians and health care workers from being harassed for publicly stating professional concerns about the H1N1 vaccine campaign.

42  Smith R. The Telegraph (UK). Only a third of nurses willing to have swine flu vaccine: poll. August 17, 2009.

43 Bodwes R et al. Yearly influenza vaccinations: a double edged sword? The Lancet. October 30, 2009.

44 Dialog International. Germany Botches H1N1 Vaccine Rollout. October 18, 2009.

45 Press TV. Many Italian Physicians Reject Swine Flu Vaccine. Nov. 7, 2009.

46 Khou.com. Poland distrustful of swine flu vaccination. November 6, 2009.

48 Derosa K. Times Colonist. B.C. may suspend seasonal flu shots. September 27, 2009.

49 Harvard School of Public Health. Press Release: Survey Finds Just 40% of Adults “Absolutely Certain” They Will Get H1N1 Vaccine.” October 2, 2009.

50 Malcolm A. Los Angeles Times. Forget the rush on that H1N1 swine flu vaccine: 62% of Americans have no intention of getting it anyway. October 22, 2009.


Posted: 11/11/2009 10:17:45 PM | with 23 comments


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