Vienna, Virginia http://www.nvic.org

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"Protecting the health and informed consent rights of children since 1982."

BL Fisher Note:

NVIC receives reports from recent recipients of the flu vaccine that they
became sick with a respiratory infection shortly after being vaccinated.
Although the inactivated flu vaccine may not directly cause a case of the
flu, there are continuing anecdotal reports that some individuals may be
more vulnerable to becoming sick with the flu or other viral or bacterial
infection after vaccination. The live virus (nasal) flu vaccine was shown to
cause flu-like symptoms in pre-licensure trials.

Survey: a third of people think flu vaccine causes flu

Dec 20, 2004 (CIDRAP News) - In one of several reports on influenza vaccine
last week, federal health officials reported that about a third of people
who responded to a survey last winter thought that the vaccine caused flu.

The random telephone survey of 2,231 adults in 11 states showed that 32.8%
thought they could acquire flu from the vaccine, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in the Dec 17 issue of Morbidity and
Mortality Weekly Report. The survey was conducted last February.

Most of the flu vaccine used in the United States is an injectable vaccine
containing inactivated (killed) flu virus. Also available this year is an
intranasal vaccine, FluMist, involving a weakened, live virus. The
injectable vaccine is approved for those aged 6 months and up, whereas
FluMist is approved only for healthy people between the ages of 5 and 49

In a news teleconference the day the survey findings came out, CDC Director
Julie Gerberding, MD, sought to dispel the notion that flu vaccine can cause
the illness it is intended to prevent.

"There's absolutely no information to even suggest that could be the case,"
she said, as quoted in the conference transcript. "Based on the kind of
vaccine production and experience we've had, we know that flu vaccine does
not cause flu; at least injectable flu vaccine does not cause flu. But
there's a disproportionate number of people in the old age groups who are
afraid that it does."

Gerberding made the remarks while discussing the varying levels of flu
vaccine coverage for people in vaccination priority groups, including the
elderly, chronically ill, and children aged 6 to 23 months. According to
another, larger CDC survey, states where fewer than 30% of residents
received flu shots between September and November of this year included
Arizona, Oklahoma, Illinois, Florida, South Carolina, Vermont, and Maine.
Overall, the survey showed, 34.8% of people in priority groups were
vaccinated during that period.

"Where states have large numbers of elderly people, there is a
disproportionate reluctance to get vaccine because of fears of the vaccine
itself," Gerberding said. "So I'm trying to send a very strong message today
that flu vaccine does not cause flu, and if you are 65 or older, please get
the shot."

Her comments came as the CDC reported that the nation was expected to have
enough doses to meet the demand from priority groups this season and that
some states had extra vaccine.

The February survey also showed that 82% of the respondents were willing to
wear a mask if they visited a healthcare provider because of a flu-like
illness, but only 8% of those who had visited a provider for that reason had
actually been asked to wear a mask.

In other findings, about 71% of respondents said they believed flu vaccine
was "somewhat or very effective," and 64% were willing to vaccinate their
children against flu.

CDC. Experiences with influenza-like illness and attitudes regarding
influenza prevention-United States, 2004-04 influenza season. MMWR 2004 Dec
17;53(49):1156-8 [Full text]

See also:

Transcript of Dec 16 CDC news conference

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