Eighteen Reasons Why You Should Not Follow Bill Sardi's Children Flu Season Vaccination Advice


Rebuttal of Bill Sardi's
"Eighteen Reasons Why You Should NOT Vaccinate Your Children Against The Flu This Season"

By David Kessner and Chris Hanson

Original article: http://www.lewrockwell.com/sardi/sardi119.html

Recently there has been a lot of Internet exposure of Bill Sardi's article on LewRockwell.com, and lots of people championing his views. We feel his is knowingly and intentionally spreading dangerously inaccurate and false information to promote himself and his line of Natural Health books "from the irrepressible and respected author and radio personality Bill Sardi ". Here, we address, point-by-point, Sardi's claims, with actual evidence.

#1. In this point, it's not clear if Sardi is arguing against a shot for the normal flu or H1N1. If he's talking about the normal flu then he's advocating not getting protection from something that is responsible for the deaths of 36,000 Americans a year (see point 15, below) and that's crazy. If he's referring to H1N1, then the CDC's recommendations for the getting the H1N1 vaccine are similar to those for conventional influenza: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/public/vaccination_qa_pub.htm "pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, health care and emergency medical services personnel with direct patient contact, children 6 months through 4 years of age, and children 5 through 18 years of age who have chronic medical conditions " These are people who would be at higher risk from ANY influenza because of their situation.

The rest of point #1 centers around a lot of unsubstantiated claims like: "Artificially boosting antibodies by exposureto flu viruses in vaccines is more problematic than natural exposure". Anyone who has suffered serious secondary illness (or death!) due initially to influenza could weigh in on whether they thought their "natural" exposure experience was preferrable to an "artifical" vaccine exposure.
Vaccines are good, and this has been proven over and over with things like smallpox, measles, and the flu.

#2. "This is because single inoculations have failed to produce sufficient antibodies". Again, it's not clear if Sardi is talking about H1N1 or the normal flu. In the case of H1N1, the American Academy of Family Physicians seems to think that one shot of unadjuvenated H1N1 vaccine should do the trick:

#3. "In addition to failure to produce sufficient antibodies, this swine flu vaccine is brought to you by the same people who haven't been able to adequately produce a seasonal flu vaccine that matches the flu strain in circulation." Getting the right flu strain is an issue with flu vaccines. There are probably hundreds of different types of flu, and the vaccine makers (and the World Health Organization) try to predict which 5 (or so) strains will be the most prevalent in a given year-- and that's what's put into the normal flu shot. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes not so much. But the data is obvious: on average the flu shot works.
But I'd take a 70-90% success rate on something that is responsible for 36,000 deaths a year. And the side effects are almost nonexistent!

But what Sardi is saying here is that in the past the vaccine manufacturers have not properly predicted which flu strain is going to be prevalent. And now that they know exactly which strain, H1N1, is going to be going around they are somehow NOT going to figure out which one to protect people from? Sardi's own logic fails him here. He goes on to say "why receive the season[sic] flu shot this year?". Um, 36,000 people dying each year? How's that for a reason?

#4. "Adjuvants are added to vaccines to boost production of antibodies but may trigger autoimmune reactions. Some adjuvants are mercury (thimerosal), aluminum and squalene. " Here he gets it just wrong and starts sounding like the anti-vaccination freaks Jenny McCarthy
(www.jennymccarthybodycount.com). Thimerosal is a preservative, not something to boost production of antibodies. Further Thimerosal-free vaccines have been available since 2001 if you prefer that. From the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu/vaccination/pregnant_qa.htm "Does the 2009 H1N1 flu shot have mercury in it? vaccine companies are making preservative-free seasonal flu vaccine and 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine in single dose syringes " (More on Thimerosal in 8, below) From the same article, "Does the 2009 H1N1 flu shot have an adjuvant or squalene in it? There are no adjuvants (such as squalene) in either the 2009 H1N1 or seasonal flu shot used in the United States. " Sardi is fantasizing some hypothetical case where there was a shortage of vaccine ("in a crisis, and in short supply, it will be diluted to provide more doses "). There is no shortage. If you are worried about this, go get vaccinated NOW, while you can be sure you can get the full-strengh undiluted vaccine, and don't wait. But I don't expect this hypothetical situation to come about, and it should not affect your decision about getting vaccinated at the present time. TIME is a bit worried about the supply schedule for the vaccine, but cites a Science study indicating the vaccine's effacacy after only one dose: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1921679,00.html This article is where Sardi probably got his shortage-adjuvant theory, but results from the UK show that even in that emergency situation, the vaccination was 80% effective.

5. Mock vaccines. The "mock vaccine" process is one where a prototype is extensively tested, but then the "final" version has an updated viral signature taken from the most-current known strain(s) so as to try to be applicable and not out of date. In item 3, Sardi blasts vaccine makers for not getting their targeting right, but here in #5 he blasts them for the very effort they're making to ensure it is targeted correctly. In theory, the "mock" and "real" vaccines are different, and there is a slight chance that someone out there will react differently to one than the other. But for the vast majority of the population, they will be essentially identical. In fact, the odd are equally probably that someone who might react unfavorably to the "real" vaccine but be ok with the "mock" vaccine could have exactly the opposite reaction – they might have reacted to the "mock" but not the "real". This is not a credible reason to avoid being vaccinated.

6." American children are subjected to 29 vaccines by the age of two. " You say this like it's a bad thing. We're also winning the battle against nasty, deadly and disfiguring diseases. When was the last time you met a kid with Polio? Why do you suppose that is? Because we KILLED it. With VACCINES. And by keeping our immunological guard up constantly, we're preventing it from ever coming back, even among those who cannot or will not personally get vaccinated (see Herd Immunity, below). Here is a good rationale for the aggressive immunization schedule from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Not that they'd know anything about keeping kids healthy or anything. http://www.cispimmunize.org/pro/pdf/Vaccineschedule.pdf If you like shock value, take a look at some lovely pictures of all the nasty conditions your kids DON'T get to enjoy after they've been immunized: http://www.aap.org/pressroom/aappr-photos.htm Kids these days don't get to enjoy the chicken pox like we did when we were young (and have the scars to prove it). And ask your grandparents about how much fun Polio was.

7. "A recent study showed exposure flu viruses among women during pregnancy provoke a similar gene expression pattern in the fetus as that seen in autistic children. " Sardi doesn't cite the study, but here are some links: https://sfari.org/news-and-commentary/all/-/asset_publisher/6Tog/content... and http://www.blisstree.com/geneticsandhealth/swine-flu-can-change-genes-of... and the actual paper (subscription needed) http://www.europeanneuropsychopharmacology.com/article/S0924-977X%2809%2... While the SFARI article (with references) does mention that "the vaccine itself may stimulate an immune response in the mother that leads to neurodevelopmental disorders in the fetus, some researchers caution. "it is unclear if this is from the original paper, or who the "some researchers" are who are quoted or what their grounds for that statement are. The medical establishment feels that the benefits of the flu or H1N1 vaccine outweigh the risks when administered to pregnant women. http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu/vaccination/pregnant_qa.htm If catching the flu during pregnancy can cause Autism, (according to Sardi), then avoiding the flu would seem to be the best course of action! And the best way to avoid the flu is with a vaccine. If your choice is maybe-genetic-damage-from-the-flu or maybe-possibly-genetic-damage-from-the-vaccine, I'm thinking that the vaccine looks like a better prospect. But if you're a pregnant woman (I'm not!) you now have the relevant information in your hands to make your own informed decision.

8. "Modern medicine has no explanation for autism, despite its continued rise in prevalence. Yet autism is not reported among Amish children who go unvaccinated." Apparently Sardi is part of the faction that links Autism with vaccines. There is tons of info on the net both for and against this, including the results of several recent studies and lawsuits concluding there is no link. But most telling is that the guy who proposed this theory in the first place, Andrew Wakefield, is a fraud. Here's some articles talking about it:
The most likely cause of the rise in autism rates is the increased testing and labeling that our modern society does for psychological disorders (I use that term loosely). The rates of Autism was low before simply because we weren't looking for it. We're a labeling society now, and love to use terms like ADHD, bipolar, etc. Of course, the Amish have no use for these terms, as is the case with many third world countries that "don't have problems with autism". The autism anti-vaxxers often claim that the thimerosal in the vaccine is what causes autism. What they don't show is that the autism rate didn't change at all in 2001 when thimerosal was removed from the vaccines. Finally, going back to the Amish, even if there was a correlation, Correlation Does Not Imply Causation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation
Let's say for a moment that the Amish don't have Autism. The Amish also don't have cell phones. Bingo, there's correlation, and if correlation implies causation then we must conclude that cell phones cause Autism. Or perhaps it's that the Amish don't have televisions, then Televisions cause Autism. The Amish certainly don't have AOL, so clearly AOL Causes Autism. (Actually, I could get behind that last one...) See, the way you find out if there is in fact causation is through rigorous testing of all the combinations of potential causes, looking for statistical indications that presence of the purported cause in fact affects the result, and that ABSENCE of the purported cause PREVENTS this result. This is the research that has ALREADY BEEN DONE with vaccines, thimerosal/mercury and Autism. Here's the cheat sheet from the American Academy of Pediatrics: http://www.cispimmunize.org/Vaccine%20Studies.pdf "
It is not surprising that these studies do not show any link between vaccines and autism. " Here's a little more human-interest coverage of the same issue: http://www.salon.com/env/vital_signs/2009/02/19/autism_and_vaccines/

9. Re: Flu-Mist vaccine. This issue has already been covered elsewhere. It's not like snorting a shot of the live virus and then sneezing it all over everyone around you.

10. "This triple reassortment virus (H1N1) appears to be man made." Now Sardi is really going down the conspiracy theory path. For him to try and imply that there's a link between this "Man Made H1N1" and some vaccine factory in Mexico is unsupported at best. Sardi cites a quote from Dr John Carlo, "This strain of swine influenza that’s been cultured in a laboratory " to mean that Carlo believes it is man-made. Except that if you ask Carlo himself, his words were misunderstood by laypeople: http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2009/04/dallas_county_health_... "when Carlo said the strain had been cultured in a lab, he just meant: "They took the swab off the individual infected with the illness and grew it in the lab," he says. "It's confusing, but it certainly wasn't created in a lab. I guess it seems obvious for the medical professionals. " Either Sardi is ignorant of what Carlo meant (which means he's not much of a medical professional, since even I understood what was intended) or he is deliberately lying to you. You decide.

11. Here's a much more complete perspective on the 1976 outbreak: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swine_influenza#1976_U.S._outbreak This article also talks about the 1918 pandemic. It could be said that we were lucky in 1976. Had it been an especially virulent pandemic in 1976 and had we NOT been prepared to immunize, the government would have been accused even more of ineptitude. In 1976, it would have been better not to vaccinate. What about 2009? Only time will tell, but certainly there have already been more H1N1 cases in 2009 than in 1976.

12. Yes, use of anti-flu stuff will tend to mutate the flu into a different strain. But that can be said of anything, really. The use of alcohol gel on our hands will do the same thing. And antibacterial soaps will too. Diseases also mutate on their own without our enhanced selection. We have a choice, then. Get vaccinated and trust that our scientific and medial people will be able to help our future generations battle a different flu strain (or wipe it out, like we did with Polio). Or not get vaccinateed and allow 10,000 or 20,000 more people a year in the U.S. to die because of the flu. And if we choose the latter, who amung us will stand in front of the friends and family of those 10,000-20,000 victims and tell them, "we have the stuff that would have saved your loved ones, but decided that they couldn't have it, sorry."

13. "Tamiflu has become a nearly worthless drug against seasonal flu. " That's the brilliant thing about the flu vaccine shots-- they are targeted to specific strains! I have no idea why Sardi even brought this up as a point, since the point of the article isn't anti-Tamiflu.

14. "the federal government may coerce or mandate Americans to undergo vaccination." Awesome! I'd vote for that! There is this thing called "Herd Immunity". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_immunity Basically, if enough of the population is immunized then those who couldn't get immunized (allergic to eggs, too old/young, pregnant, of for some reason the shot was ineffective) are still protected. There are some communities where the herd immunity to measles and other things has been compromised with the result being needless deaths ( http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=18919 "Measles once again endemic in the United Kingdom." and "the number of children susceptible to measles is now sufficient to support the continuous spread of measles "). So for someone to refuse to get vaccinated is like someone agreeing to put myself and my family at risk. So, if someone doesn't want to get vaccinated then they should be forced to, or moved off to some leper colony somewhere. But that's just my opinion. I'm not sure Pharoh is trying to eradicate all the baby boys now. Maybe if he were WITHOLDING A LIFESAVING PREVENTATIVE FOR A POTENTIALLY WIDESPREAD DEADLY DISEASE, but it sort of seems like he's doing the opposite.

15. "Health authorities repeatedly publish the bogus 36,000 annual flu-related deaths figure" ... " Maybe just 5000-6000 or so flu-related deaths occur annually, mostly among..." [sarcasm]Oh, well, in that case! No problem. Those 5000-6000 were just the unproductive portions of our society anyway! I'll gladly sacrifice those 5000 people to be assured that my kid won't get autism from a vaccine (even though there is no proven link between autism and vaccines). [end sarcasm] Though Sardi tries to make it sound like the other 30,000 deaths were from flu-unrelated pneumonia, the CDC's description of the study ( http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/us_flu-related_deaths.htm ) clarifies that those "extra" deaths were people who are believed to have died of a cause that would not have killed them had they not ALSO had the flu. While it might not be 100% accurate to phrase the conclusion as "influenza kills 36,000 per year", saying "36,000 people died who would probably not have died if they did not have influenza" would be accurate. In the same way, virtually no one dies of AIDS. They die of infections and diseases enabled by the compromised immmune system. However, they are generally counted as having died "of AIDS".

16. While I do agree that the news media has not been responsible in reporting H1N1, we have to remember something: In the past the flu deaths were not tracked during the summer months because there was no significant activity. But this year, because of H1N1, the CDC and other organizations have been tracking the flu during the summer months. So while the recent spike in H1N1 is not quite as big as the previous flu season, it occurred during the off season. As we go into the new flu season, the potential exists for massive flu outbreaks. And indeed, we've seen them already.
Some schools in Colorado are already reporting 25 to 40% absentees due to the flu (no idea how much of that is H1N1 and how much is the normal strain). From personal anecdotal experience in the past few weeks I am seeing people all around me felled by this year's early "bug". Doctors around here aren't even bothering to test if it's H1N1 or conventional flu because the test is expensive and doesn't return any result that helps in the treatment. For either strain, if the patient is mildly sick, rest and fluids are about all you can do. If they have a serious case, they're going to need to head to the hospital. I'm told by my local doctor that Tamiflu seems to only be effective in limiting the duration and severity if administered early in the illness so they're only using it where the patient really seems to be in dire situations.

17. "despite the fact there is strong evidence that vitamins C and D activate the immune system" There is no proven link between Vitamin C and flu/cold immunity
And companies have been sued for claiming that vitamins help to treat colds and flu:
However, there are some indications that Vitamin D from sunlight may inhibit the flu, potentially one factor for why the flu is always more epidemic in winter:

Did you know that Bill Sardi sells a $20 book about vitamins for healthcare and a $6 e-book about the wonders of Vitamin C? Do you suppose he has a vested interest in promoting the consumption of vitamins and the rest of his snake oil? I'm not going to link to his site or his book because I think Bill's entire purpose in writing this article is to drum up publicity for himself and sell more books.

18. Hey, this is the first point that Sardi actually refers to a real article! Oh wait, it's just another article that he, himself, wrote. Um, never mind. I read the article and he seems to be saying that in 1993 there were 93,000 more deaths than the previous year and then somehow blames flu vaccines given to nursing home patients. Now I'm not an expert here, but I'd think that 93,000 nursing home patents dying of any cause would not go unnoticed. This is an incredible claim, and incredible claims require incredible proof. But he offers none. Sardi is just going all conspiracy theory on this again. Might as well blame the deaths on the 93,000 Buffalo Bills fans, who in an act of severe embarrassment after loosing three straight Superbowls, did the only noble thing and committed Hari-Kari.
Except that I don't think there are 93,000 Bills fans (at least, not anymore. Hmmm).
In all seriousness, given Sardi's track record of playing VERY loose with the facts on the above points, I can't take this point seriously at all. Sardi seems to be the only one espousing this theory, and I can find no supporting evidence.

I should also point out that I'm not an expert in this any more than Bill Sardi is an expert in this. Don't take my word for it. Do your own research! Editor's note: David wrote this while suffering from a week-long bout of something miserable that has been determined not to be flu. Chris edited and rewrote it while taking care of his wife who is suffering with what appears to be the flu, though whether it's H1N1 or not is unknown and really irrelevant. Chris is getting his (conventional) flu shot tomorrow, assuming he's not ill already. Thanks to Wikipedia for the influenza image.

Toxins in vaccine

As for toxins in vaccine'
1- Since 1988 we have begun growing antigens in genetically engineered bacteria. We crush the bacteria to get the antigen out. Attempts at purification always leave substantial amounts of immune reactive cellular debris & toxins from the soup the bacteria were grown in
2- Adjuvants are also added to reduce the amount of costly antigen. Adjuvants (like aluminum hydroxide or adjuvanted oils) have their own set of direct adverse effects. Adjuvants also prolong and intensify a child's immune reaction to not only the antigen, but also any immune reactive substance that contaminates vaccines
3- These toxins are in addition to the "ordinary" toxins that have been in vaccines for decades
4- Since 1988 we have TRIPLED the number of injections our kids get. Autism has climbed from 3-4 per 10,000 kids to 100 per 10,000 kids. This is not due to misdiagnosis as shills claim. For that to be true then the APA and all psychiatrists would have to be making larger mistakes every year for 22 years, unable to see or correct these errors, and always make errors increasing autism diagnoses. Genes cannot not lead to an epidemic rise in any disease or disorder. WE ARE LEFT WITH A CLEAR DOSE/RESPONSE RELATIONSHIP OF VACCINES TO AUTISM. The rising number of vaccines are the only obvious link/correlation to rising autism. Additionally vaccines are proved to cause many types of neurological injury

Dr Bernadine Healy, in a 2008 CBS News interview said "Vaccines may cause autism" & "It's inexcusable that the proper research has not been done". The late Dr Healy was a former NIH Director, Johns Hopkins Professor of Medicine, Chair of the Cleveland Clinic's Research Institute. Her opinion is expert & relevant. Epidemiology is used to find correlation. It cannot be used to PROVE a correlation does not exist between autism & vaccines. Deliberate mis-interpretation of what epidemiological studies mean is key to drug industry propaganda. Dr Healy called for proper clinical investigation of the temporal correlation of vaccines and autism. Further evidence supporting the temporal correlation is the dozens of adverse neurological injuries vaccines are proved to cause (listed in the Vaccine Injury Table) and the hundreds of side effects vaccine makers admit are correlated to vaccine use (in their vaccine package inserts)

I ran across this thread and

I ran across this thread and thought I'd throw my $0.02 in. I am a family physician. I do not recommend H1N1 vaccine for several reasons, but I'll to try to be short. The "swine flu pandemic" was over before the vaccine became widely available. Like most illnesses it is self limited. In the summer of 2009 the CDC stopped testing for swine flu and at that point assumed that all flu like illnesses were due to swine flu. However, several state departments of health wanted to know exactly what they were dealing with and continued running tests and to the surprise of many found that swine flu was not that common, despite the MSM hyping and fearmongering. See the link below for the CBS news story about the testing.


Additionally, the CDC extrapolated numbers based on early cases and ran with the assumption that swine flu was causing upwards of 90 million cases, and that 5,000 died from swine flu, all from faulty assumptions. News flash people, 100% of patients die. The so called 35,000 flu deaths yearly, similar data, many died of strep pneumonia. Studies re-examining the 1918 swine flu pandemic where 50 million worldwide died have found that its likely most died from streptococcal pneumonia. That was before the advent of antibiotics.

In addition, CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) tests nearly everything that comes in their doors. What they found was quite interesting. Most things that were labeled swine flu were actually due to rhinovirus, one of the causes of the common cold. see the link below.


So now ask yourself several questions...if the "pandemic" was over before the vaccine was widely available, if most cases of "swine flu" were actually due to rhinovirus...why should you or anyone get the swine flu vaccine? Just a question. I give my patients all the data and let them decide for themselves.

One last item, the coming flu vaccine this fall is going to have the regular flu bug guesstimate, as well as the H1N1 vaccine. In a good year the regular flu shot provided about 50% immunity. Not real great, but the CDC and every official health agency turns themselves inside out insisting we all get the vaccine. When something doesn't make sense, follow the money and your confusion will clear right up. MSM news outlets even went so far as to accuse non-vaccinated people as the cause of the "pandemic", see Tacoma News tribune. If you think the vaccine protects you from the flu, why do you worry about someone who doesn't get the vaccine? Let them get the symptoms and you'll be fine.

Now I await the vitriolic attacks.

You have no credibility

You don't rebut Sardi's advice with "acutal evidence" as you say but rather with somebody else's opinion. In point 2 for example, it simply becomes a matter of Sardi vs. the AAFP. I'm sorry, but I stopped at that point because you promised me one thing (the truth) and gave me another (your opinion backed by those who agree). Sardi may very well be wrong but you've done nothing to prove to me that he is. Instead, you've simply regurgitated established medicine's talking points all over the page. Thanks for nothing.

David Kessner's and Chris Hanson's Handicraft

David Kessner and Chris Hanson - since they have both penned their names to this piece of Big Pharma garbage they are both responsible for the lies in it.

When you resort to lying to support your position you have no credibility and the best assumption we can make about your position is that it is WRONG.

You two state that correleation does not equal causation but elsewhere in your piece you develop the hypocritical idea that vaccines have been proved NOT to cause autism because of the associations/correlations found to exist in epidemiological studies.

You cling to the "36,000 killed each year by the flu" in a disrespectful and heinous embrace of fear-mongering, but elsewhere in your piece talk about flu-"associated" deaths. You don't mention the immune compromised, multiple infections, aged and mal-nourished in which you will find most, if not all, "flu-associated deaths".

Association=correleation=causation is your screech when you are talking flu deaths or vaccines NOT causing autism. But when the easy association/correlation of vaccines and autism is made you wail and use as a shield the CORRECT banner: Association/Correlation ≠ Causation

In the case of autism the CLEAR association with vaccination is all the impetus we need to conduct clinical studies to investigate the connection. Big Pharma and Big Government have refused to do this, to avoid the liability. Epidemiology is NOT the way to approach the question of vaccines and autism. At a minimum all toxins, save for the antigen, need to be removed from vaccine immediately. We are required to take all the steps necessary to protect that small percentage of children who are susceptible to vaccine-induced autism and spare their families the burdens associated with helping them through even the simplest of life's tasks

One other bit of crap from your pile of lies that I will address here is your repeating Brian Deer's known fraud regarding Dr. Andrew Wakefield's research data. Your 2 links both refer to the "falsified data" stories started by Brian Deer. These claims are known Deer fabrications. Wakefield's data was never falsified, his research never proven wrong or conflicted. The PCC (Press Complaints Commission) instructed The Sunday Times to remove Deer's fraudulent "falsified data" stories from their website. The Times complied but several days later defied the PCC and reposted them, with a note they were under investigation. The PCC backed down and tied resolution of Wakefiled's complaint to the outcome of his GMC hearings, which are irrelevant to the complaint about the false stories. This happened in the first week of July 2009, but you repeat Deer's lies here. Ignorance or a sin of deliberate omission?

As for David Kessner and Chris Hanson, you Big Pharma shills need to spend a few christmas holiday seasons "volunteering" at a center for autistic children to be personally exposed to the results of your handicraft - lying twisted suppression of truth.

Michael Polidori

And some more good info

Older folks may be carrying more residual immunity, which is why they're not getting hit as hard and severity appears lower than predicted.

This is good. However, it does mean younger folks still are at pretty serious risk.


I don't think the 36,000 number is substantiated.

I don't think the 36,000 number is substantiated.

"Um, 36,000 people dying each year? How's that for a reason?"

The number of influenza-associated (i.e., flu-related) deaths varies from year to year because flu seasons often fluctuate in length and severity. CDC estimated that about 36,000 people died of flu-related causes each year, on average, during the 1990s in the United States. This figure includes people dying from complications of flu. This estimate came from a 2003 study published in the Journal of the American Medication Association (JAMA), which looked at the 1990-91 through the 1998-99 flu seasons [10]. Statistical modeling was used to estimate how many flu-related deaths occurred among people whose underlying **** cause of death on their death certificate was listed as a respiratory or circulatory disease*** . During these years, the number of estimated deaths ranged from 17,000 to 52,000.

cause of death on their death certificate was listed as a respiratory or circulatory disease --- As a funeral director who takes the death certificates to the doctors to sign, I see doctors who are very good at filling in the cause of death but most write in what they were treating the patient for. None of the doctors really know why someone died unless an autopsy is requested, they are taking their best guess why they died based on what they were being treated for. ( http://www.vcstar.com/news/2009/sep/19/scripps-howard-news-special-repor... )

I know the health department in our county is now adding in all pneumonia and other respiratory causes into their total flu related deaths. I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed but someone seems to have an agenda. As a funeral director I don't want anyone dying before their time, especially young folks but I don't think the data is adding up to a pandemic unless someone fudges the numbers.

Michael Shermer weighs in

Michael Shermer weighs in and tries to persuade Bill Maher to abandon his anti-vaxx stance:


Trust your body, not a quack or big pharma

"Do you suppose he has a vested interest in promoting the consumption of vitamins and the rest of his snake oil?"

Since when are vitamins in the 'Snake Oil' category? I understand that the guys logic may be flawed, but to categorize vitamins in the same category as snake oil is just asinine. It's these same vitamins and nutrients that will help keep your immune system strong, so that you can fight off these types of diseases naturally, without needing a vaccine.

I'm not anti-vaccine by any means, but I've only gotten the flu shot twice in my life and coincidentally, I got extremely sick during both of those seasons. I feel healthier when I DON'T take the flu vaccine. The fact of the matter, is that you have to listen to what your body is telling you, and not somebody with an agenda. Obviously this guy has an agenda, which is to get more exposure and sell more books... BUT, on the flip side, you can't tell me that Big Pharma doesn't also have an agenda, which is to sell more products.

I will not get the H1N1 vaccine, because I don't feel like it's been tested enough, nor do I feel that H1N1 is a big of a threat as it's made out to be. I will not get the flu vaccine, because I personally feel that it doesn't protect me, as my experience has shown me. HOWEVER, everybody is different. My elderly, disabled mother gets the flu vaccine every year, and I encourage her to do so.

I'd be curious to know the demographics of the "36,000 Americans" that die from the season flu every year. Are they young, old? Are the obese or in shape? Do they gorge out on fast food/junk food or do they eat a healthy, balanced diet. These are all important factors of who is affected from the flu.

I'm not saying vitamins are

I'm not saying vitamins are purely snake oil. I am saying that most of what he seems to promote about vitamins as it relates to Flu is unsubtantiated by research. Go look at Sardi's site and the vast array of sensationalist e-books he's peddling and tell me it doesn't seem slightly snake-oil-ish to you. This non-medical professional seems to have a cure for everything that thousands of doctors and researchers worldwide have been unable to solve for years.

I know some people do get sick after getting a flu shot, but I honestly believe this is coincidence/correlation, not causation. I personally know people who feel like crap after getting any vaccination apparently (my guessing here) because of how their body deals with formulating an immune defense. While there are some who get vaccinated and STILL get the illness, I don't know of any evidence of people getting an illness FROM a (flu) vaccine (assuming it was properly manufactured). I believe that there are a few vaccines (smallpox) that a few people CAN get the actual illness from.

Big Pharma does have an agenda (and a mandate from shareholders!) to make Big Profits. But I don't think flu vaccine is a major profit center for them compared to what they really put their efforts into (lipitor, ED drugs, antidepressants).

Normally I take the Libertarian angle that you should decide for yourself whether to get vaccinated, and more power to you either way (but I reserve the right to laugh at you if you catch the bug and have to suffer. It's just how I am. ;) But we're at a point right now where having significant numbers of people unvaccinated (to the flu, or others like MMR) CAN have a significant adverse effect on everyone around them.

Unfortunately, the nature of the reporting and analysis on the 36K deaths figure doesn't offer any better demographics, but my understanding from the literature was that a significant number of those are older. Again, that's for the seasonal flu. This year's H1N1 seems to be breaking that mold and taking out otherwise young, healthy individuals.

That's what makes me worry about people avoiding vaccination without good reason. By the time it's too late, it may be too late. Yes, the CDC is probably overzealous about this, but I suspect they're having nightmares of hospitals over-run with very ill patients and not enough time to get people vaccinated to prevent a real pandemic. We are NOT there yet, but really, we put these guys in their jobs to plan for the worst case scenario. If they're thinking we could be headed for it, shouldn't we listen to them?

Normally libertarian BUT....

Sir, that's the typical statement of a person who likes to think he's philosophically consistent BUT...

I've about had it up to here with people claiming that if you don't have an M.D./ Ph.D. and work in a government lab, you don't know enough to open your mouth.

I have a BA in microbiology. I have an MS in biology. I worked for two years in a research lab, and spent 9 years selling laboratory diagnostics (including tests for viral and bacterial infections) and 12 years selling a major anti-infective (antibiotic, for the verbally challenged). I've studied infectious diseases more than a lot of physicians. I know something about junk science, vested interest discussions, and the like.

Do you know what? I arrive at my own conclusions about these issues mostly by common sense. If you do too, then more's the better...but your comments about this subject largely hinge on regurgitating that which you've been told by the CDC's employees and its megaphones in the news media. I don't attach the same level of trust in their neutrality that you appear to.

There's actually a very good chance, in my opinion, that the body's immune response contributes significant amounts of the damage associated with infection, especially that of viral infections. This could go a long way to explaining why getting battery after battery of needle-sticks with vaccines is not such a great idea. Immunity is a finely balanced dagger at all times, the same as hemostasis, and there are already an awful lot of auto-immune diseases out there ripping people apart. I don't relish the idea of pressing that button any more than absolutely necessary.

The science of all this is far from settled (think anthropogenic global warming). Yet in such an environment, you still reflex to the "hey, if my neighbor doesn't get stuck, his choice might affect me, so I better get my gun and march him to the local WalMart for the flu clinic."

Oh, you don't think you'd be using your gun? That's soooooo uncivilized. Well, the reality is that every edict is enforced, at the end, by a man with a gun, a badge, and nightstick...and he's riding on a power trip. Someone was killed by the cops when his first encounter with them began with a seatbelt violation. Yeah, that stupid law actually cost someone his life.

I know what you're thinking: If you submit, the enforcers won't pull out their pepper spray, or their gun, or whatever. What a nice, docile slave's attitude that is. In those cases, just as when 30,000 pneumonia deaths are attributed to seasonal influenza, someone who resists some mandatory vaccination order won't have been killed by the cops. Non-compliance will be his cause of death. Maybe even stupidity, right?

Do you have any idea who those 30,000 people were, who died from pneumonia (but were counted in seasonal flu deaths for the purposes of inflating the numbers)? They were all from one of three categories: 1) Very old with comorbidities. 2) Very young often with comobidities or malnourishment. 3) Very debilitated with comorbidities.

Each of those people died of bacterial pneumonia...usually caused by S. pneumoniae. You or I could get this disease and, without treatment, one of us would probably die of it. Today, you or I (assuming you are in decent health as I am) would be treated with the drug I sold or something similar, recover just fine, and be back to work in a couple days.

Only those who were in one of those three categories risk not responding to appropriate anti-infective therapy. The drug can't do all the work itself. Like jump-starting a car, it often takes at least some oomph from the battery. The patient's immune system can't be completely gone.

So... is the CDC clown correct in saying that, in the absence of influenza, the person might not have succumbed to pneumonia? Sure. I could say the same thing about the same person whose underlying comorbidity was CHF, COPD, or diabetes (and also got the flu), but the CDC doesn't use those pneumonia numbers to inflate death rates from those chronic conditions.

You see, I'm tired of the misrepresentations I dealt with for 12 years while calling on doctors who were less-informed than I was about these subjects. Encountering another strain of the disease in your post prompted me to vent a little.

Influenza is a nasty disease. It does kill people occasionally, though very few have no underlying health problems. If it is killing a few more young people than normal, it may be that the current strain hasn't circulated for a while, so older people are more likely to have encountered it and developed some immunity. I say "if" because the CDC's numbers are gross estimates, a fact usually asterisked somewhere and hidden in the fine print in the appendix.

As science is politicized, we have entered a realm where even the numbers we're told are suspect. The notion that scientists getting government funding are impartial and less subject to self-interested bias is so laughably naive that I wonder about anyone above the age of 5 spouting it. Funding, funding funding, pal. For decades, scientists have lived or died based on the next grant funding. In such an environment, all avenues of inquiry are religiously vetted for politically palatable theory.

Just as the Catholic Church was not apt to fund Copernicus in his studies, neither is the National Institutes of Health apt to fund scientific study that attacks orthodoxy...or should I say, dogma. This is why, despite some very thoughtful criticism of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis, a scientist would commit professional suicide to submit for a grant to study an alternative. I jumped off the HIV/AIDS bandwagon when the CDC quietly removed Kaposi's Sarcoma from the list of AIDS-associated diseases. Why? No good explanation was given, so it seems reasonable to conclude that too few people suffering from the disease were lighting up Western Blot and PCR tests for HIV.

Fitting the data to the conclusion is a classic symptom of junk science.

In any case, have a good day. And keep on trying to reject the use of force (or fraud) among men. When you're comfortable with "why" that's a good idea, the "but" will evaporate from your "I usually prefer libertarian solutions, but..."

PS: I haven't been vaccinated for influenza of any strain for at least 10 years, a period where I spent a lot of time in doctors' waiting rooms.

For those following the fun,

For those following the fun, here's some more grist for the mill courtesy of Wired:

The Onion

I can't make this stuff up.

But The Onion can:

I'd like to add this

I'd like to add this excellent write-up that David Kessner provided for me about the "toxins" in vaccine:

Science Based Medicine is

Science Based Medicine is anything but science based. It is a drug industry propaganda website
For-profit-toxins in vaccine have been climbing ever since the NVCIA took full effect in 1988, protecting vaccine makers from lawsuits for any injuries they warn their customers about
Yes that is right. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act prevents anyone from suing a vaccine maker for injuries that are listed in the accompanying pamphlet/package insert
For the MMR vaccine the list of adverse events that Merck noticed during clinical trials includes diabetes, encephalopathy, seizures, immune disorders, chronic arthritis (12-26% of women receiving MMR have arthritis symptoms)... and MUCH more ( http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/m/mmr_ii/mmr_ii_pi.pdf ).
Merck admits their researchers could find no alternate explanation other than the MMR shot for the "adverse events", but they also claim it is not proved that MMR caused the problems. NO ONE IS DOING THE RESEARCH TO FIND OUT IF MMR IS CAUSING THESE PROBLEMS. Is this a science-based method for ensuring vaccines are safe for injection into our kids? Of course not.
Some of the package insert "adverse events" are listed in the Vaccienn Injury Table ( http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/vaccineinjurytable.pdf ). The VIT is a list of proved injuries vaccines are known to cause . Any listed injury is called a "table injury". Dozens of types of brain injuries are listed here and are automatically compensated when application is made with supporting medical records.
Any injury to a child that does not meet the criteria or is not listed on the table (the vast majority of adverse events listed by manufacturers in their package inserts, for instance) is called an "off-table" injury. Off-table injuries are not automatically compensated. Plaintiffs (kids or their families) must sue the HRSA Secretary only in Washington DC. All costs are borne by the families unless/until they win. If they lose their personal expenses will not be covered or compensated and a judge will decide how much their lawyers will get. Anything above what the judge declares the lawyers are entitled to that the families may have agreed to pay are left for the families to pay.
The National Vaccine Injury Program has completely protected vaccine makers who do not contribute a dime to the billions that have been paid so far. The program also makes it very difficult to sue for off-table injuries or to fight for table-injuries if their application is rejected by the HRSA.

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