In recent years there has been a great deal of debate over the use of vaccines and their associated risks. There are many groups in today’s society that are second guessing the choice to vaccinate their children as well as themselves. While there has been substantial evidence to support the use of vaccines on major epidemic viruses such as the measles and the mumps, there are inherent risks that can range from 1 in 100,000 to as common as 1 in 300. One of those vaccines, the flu vaccine, has been widely debated in regards to its safety, ingredients and effectiveness.
The first aspect of the flu vaccine that must be understood is the ingredient listing. These ingredients are the reactive elements that are injected into a person’s body when they receive their vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control’s website, the 2012-2013 flu vaccine contained 6 additive ingredients to the base viral strains. These additives include aluminum salts, formaldehyde, penicillin, egg and thimerosal (better known as mercury). The base viral strains were formed from a combination of the 2011 active strain of influenza virus and the H1N1 (swine flu) and H2N3 (bird flu) viruses according to the Federal Drug Administration in 2013. Many who get a vaccine for the influenza virus do not know that these ingredients are included. Many of the chemicals and compounds listed also have negative effects on the body tissues and neurology. Take for example, the story of Desiree Jennings of the Washington Cheerleaders fame. She is quoted as saying:
“On August 23, 2009, I received a seasonal flu vaccine at a local grocery store that drastically, and potentially irreversibly, altered my future. In a matter of a few short weeks I lost the ability to walk, talk normally, and focus on more than one stimulus at a time.”
Desiree suffered from dystonia, or uncontrolled muscle spasms that were confirmed by John’s Hopkins University as vaccine toxicity. Her case is not the only one that has grabbed attention though. In Finland, the government has agreed to pay the long term health costs of several young children whose cases were conclusively linked to their flu shots that contained the H1N1 virus. These examples are the just some of the side-effects suffered from the flu vaccine. A recent published article in HealthDay News showed some disturbing evidence that previous versions of the flu vaccine were responsible for a syndrome that has been directly linked to the vaccination. The article sites a study showing that the 2009 version of the vaccine showed a slightly higher risk of a neurological disorder called Guillian-Barre Syndrome. Researchers found that 77 people had contracted the rare syndrome that causes paralysis and even death.
One of the major points of contention over the influenza vaccine is the use of thimerosal in certain versions of the product. Thimerosal is better known as mercury and according to both the Federal Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control, thimerosal is currently listed as an ingredient in the multi-use dose of the vaccine. The risks associated with mercury contamination in the body range anywhere from destruction of the myelin sheath that protects our nerve cell synapses (responsible for communicating throughout the body), to permanent damage to the cerebral cortex, cerebellum and hippocampus. These critical portions of our brain affect the bulk of our cognitive thought processes and body regulations. A vaccine impacting the brain to this extent must be something to think about before agreeing to its use. In a CNN article written by Sara Clachor, another concern about the levels of themerosal in vaccines is brought to light: “Except for about 8 million doses, the flu vaccine contains a preservative, thimerosal, a known neurotoxin.” Considering the numbers around the world range in the tens of millions of vaccinated individuals, there are large numbers who are receiving doses with up to.25mcg of thimerosal. Natural health experts and health based websites link themerosal to the rise in autism rates in the United States, however there is a lack of scientific research to back up these claims.
In addition to the H1N1 and H2N3 viruses and themerosal, the high concentration of aluminum in the aluminum salts used for preservation of the virus in the vaccine increases the toxicity of mercury in the blood and intensifies its reaction in the body. Another ingredient, formaldehyde, is a highly carcinogenic fluid used to embalm corpses. Ranked one of the most hazardous compounds to human health it can cause liver damage, gastrointestinal issues, reproductive deformation, respiratory distress and cancer. Plus, formaldehyde has been known to fail to deactivate the virus the vaccine is intended to cure, thus enabling a live virus to enter your blood and infect your system. The viral and additive concoction is kept “live” by using egg protein from chickens. This base has been shown to not be organically raised and may contain the hormones, antibiotics, and salmonella bacteria. The other risk inherent to the egg base is the risk of severe reactions for those afflicted with egg allergies.
There is a saying that sometimes there is more than meets the eye. This is a true statement applicable to the influenza vaccine. Knowledge of the ingredients, side effects, and health risks have been key to making an informed decision whether or not to vaccinate one’s self, children and family. With additional research it becomes more apparent that there are many associated risks to the flu vaccine that many may not be aware of. Think twice before believing whole-heartedly about how safe a product is, just because someone says it is safe. Many will claim that the risks are well known across the medical community, but not always shared with the general public for many reasons. Taking some time to do the research can make the general population the informed individuals who can chose what is best for their own bodies. I invite you to continue to do your own research and become fully informed – you are in the driver’s seat for your health!