The Swine Flu vaccine is just about to be rolled out in Australia, before you roll your sleeve up for the shot you might like to take the advice of Professor Peter Collignon, Infectious Diseases Physician and Microbiologist at the ANU Medical School. The physician suggests you don’t have the shot that is about to go on the market in this country.
I first came across Prof Collignon when he gave one of the sanest overviews of H1N1 at the height of the panic back in May 2009. You can listen to him on ABC radio as he explains some salient differences between Swine Flu and the 1918 Flu pandemic. Now he is expressing some serious concerns about the new H1N1 09 (swine flu) vaccine coming to a clinic near you any day now.
Collignon and many other medical professionals believe that the multi-dose vials that this vaccine comes in may expose people to more serious health issues such as staphylococcal infections and blood borne diseases. This type of packaging goes against the World Health Organization’s best practice guidelines and has been linked to the spread of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
On the face of it this is a good enough reason to reconsider getting the vaccine but Prof Collignon has even more concerns. He reminds us about the risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome – ascending paralysis, that occurred in about 1 per 100,000 people in the US in 1970’s with the last Swine flu mass vaccination program roll out. This vaccine killed more people than the swine flu outbreak did at the time.
Furthermore, in the Southern Hemisphere the influenza season is coming to an end and although next winter H1N1 may be around, the virus may have mutated by then and render the current vaccine useless.
Surprisingly, H1N1 (Swine Flu) has killed less Australians than the usual seasonal influenza. Ironically, it has been the mildest, least deadly flu season we have had in years.
The campaign seems to be more about validating the government’s investment in the vaccine and CSL’s $300 million expected profit, than about protecting your health.
Read more about this at Crikey
So if that was what the medical profession are saying, do his opinions differ to those traditionally on the fringe when it comes to thoughts about immunisations?
Some concerns about the vaccine includes the following points:
1- The vaccine contains 24.5 mcg of Thiomersal per dose. Thiomersal is a toxic mercury-based preservative which has been banned from over the counter medications and products for decades and childhood vaccines in Australia, the US and the UK for many years. Mercury has been linked with an increased risk of autism (now affecting 1:67 children; 1:38 boys), behavioural disorders and brain damage in both children and adults – it has no place in any product which is supposed to increase or protect health.
2- AH1N1 vaccine, which is laden with toxic mercury, is targeting those who are the most vulnerable to permanent brain damage from exposure to this banned poison – the unborn, children and those who are already immune-compromised. This policy borders on madness and one has to wonder where the funds are going to come from to pay compensation claims for those who are killed or injured by these shots?
3- For purely economic reasons, AH1N1 vaccine is being distributed in multi-dose vials, greatly increasing the risk of transmission of infection from person to person. As a result, insurance companies and the government have refused to indemnify doctors who administer this vaccine.
4. The AMA’s President, Andrew Pesce, has asked the Federal Government to “seriously consider” delaying the rollout of this vaccine, “due to inadequate testing and a higher risk of infection from multi-dose vials.” This request seems to have been ignored.
5- The vaccine is not tested for effectiveness. According to the manufacturer, there have been no controlled clinical studies demonstrating a decrease in influenza disease after vaccination with either the normal seasonal flu vaccine, AFLURIA, or the AH1N1 vaccine.
6- There are great safety concerns regarding this vaccine. Even though it is going to be administered to millions, it has only been tested for a few short weeks in less than 2,000 individuals. Even in such a small trial group, severe allergic reactions including life-threatening anaphylactic shock, have been reported.
7- The bias in the manufacturer’s pre-licensure studies is evident due to the fact that there was no placebo used. In testing this vaccine, those who were given what they were told was a placebo (by medical definition, a totally inert substance), were in fact being dosed with a solution containing toxic mercury. The TGA does not perform safety or effectiveness tests on any vaccines themselves, relying on manufacturers to test prior to licensing. They should not have allowed this unscientific methodology. The TGA is not government funded and relies solely on pharmaceutical licensing fees.
8- When AH1N1 vaccine had the Thiomersal (mercury) preservative removed and was tested on a small group of elderly people in the UK, the number of reactions, though still considerable, was cut by 50% and more for some conditions.