[NVIC] NIH Wants Toxic Adjuvant in Flu Vaccine
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"Protecting the health and informed consent rights of children since 1982."
BL Fisher Note:
The vaccine adjuvant, MF59, that NIH proposes to add to flu vaccine given
to the frail elderly, is not licensed in the U.S. as safe for human use.
MF59 contains squalene, which can cause autoimmunity. Some ill Gulf War
veterans, who were given anthrax vaccine and other experimental vaccines,
have tested positive for squalene antibodies even though the U.S. Department
of Defense denies putting the adjuvant MF59 in anthrax and other vaccines
given to soldiers.
The tragic consequences of experimenting on America's elderly population by
giving them annual flu vaccinations laced with MF59 will be that, when they
develop lupus, rheumatorid arthritis, asthma or die, it will be written off
as old age and unrelated to the squalene injected into their bodies via flu
vaccines. The elderly with as yet unidentified genetic factors that make
them exquisitely vulnerable to squalene-induced autommunity or death will be
the first to go down.
The suggestion that the notoriously ineffective flu vaccine be made more
toxic by adding squalene to a brew that already contains mercury is nothing
more than a callous disregard for human life. If Americans do not understand
what is being done to them in the name of disease control and take action,
they will be forced one day to be injected with squalene containing flu
vaccines whenever the Secretary of Health declares an emergency. Go to
www.nvic.org and click on "Liability Shield Given to Pharma" and read NVIC's
letter to Senate staffer Col. Robert Kadlec.
The Washington Post
Experts Say Elderly Need Better Flu Shot
By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer
Mon Apr 17, 7:13 PM
WASHINGTON - Put aside hypothetical worries about bird flu: Regular flu
already kills elderly Americans in droves every winter because the vaccine
simply doesn't work as well inside aging bodies as young ones.
The National Institutes of Health wants to strengthen flu shots destined for
the elderly, part of a push to get the nation to start treating influenza's
yearly attack as seriously as the threat of some super-flu striking in the
The message: Why wait for a pandemic to benefit from better flu vaccines and
"My great frustration (is) in trying to shake the cage and say, 'We have
not, by any means, optimized how we approach seasonal flu,'" Dr. Anthony
Fauci, the NIH's infectious disease chief, told The Associated Press.
Topping his do-better list: testing whether higher vaccine doses or adding
immune-boosting compounds to the shots some of the same compounds already
being studied to fight bird flu would improve the elderly's protection
against regular winter influenza.
In Europe, U.S. flu-shot supplier Chiron Corp. already sells a revved-up
version just for people over age 65. Studies mostly from Italy suggest that
adding a chemical called MF59 to Chiron's regular flu shot spurs a modestly
better immune response in older people, especially the frail.
Chiron wouldn't say if it plans to eventually bring that shot, called Fluad,
to the United States; it sells about 20 million doses abroad. Instead,
Chiron's U.S. focus has been on testing whether MF59 could improve
experimental vaccines against bird flu.
But Fluad is among the approaches catching Fauci's interest as he plans new
research into improved elder vaccines.
Also, at least one well-known vaccine research center, at St. Louis
University School of Medicine, is planning a study of higher flu vaccine
doses for the elderly this fall.
And NIH recently began recruiting 150 U.S. volunteers to study just which
parts of the immune system change as we age to make flu a more serious
threat, basic biological underpinnings that remain a mystery despite
influenza's unrelenting yearly toll.
Here's the sad irony: Influenza kills 36,000 Americans in an average winter,
many more during harsh flu seasons and people over age 65 make up 90 percent
of those deaths. Yet flu vaccine is less effective in the people who need it
most, protecting roughly 60 percent of elderly recipients compared with 75
percent to 90 percent of young healthy people.
Just as the body's physical abilities typically slow with age, the immune
system can become sluggish. It's not impossible to rev it back up. Some
earlier research suggests that giving four to six times the normal dose of a
flu vaccine component could double the elderly's immune response, says Dr.
John Treanor, a University of Rochester vaccine specialist.
The question is whether pumped-up vaccines for the elderly would provide
enough extra protection to be worth it. Some previous attempts have found
only slight improvements, and souped-up vaccines cost more to make.
"Until recently there was a lot of reluctance to do anything that would make
the vaccine more expensive," Treanor says, speculating that cost might be a
key reason that Chiron debuted its Fluad shot in Europe.
A stronger vaccine might also come with more side effects, cautions Dr.
Donald J. Kennedy of St. Louis University.
Still, there are low-risk strategies to test. Aside from the simple
higher-dose study his university colleagues are planning, Kennedy wonders if
giving seniors a flu shot plus a second vaccine the FluMist nasal spray made
of live but weakened flu virus might activate different immune pathways to
Ultimately, what may protect the elderly the most is when flu's main
spreaders healthy young people, especially schoolchildren start getting
vaccinated in high-enough numbers to stem the virus' tide.
For the first time this fall, all children from age six months to 5 years
will be recommended for a flu shot. Until now, the government pushed
childhood flu vaccine just for chronically ill youngsters and healthy tots
up to age 2.
Expect even more children to be on the vaccine list as early as 2007;
already under discussion is the 5- to 9-year-old crowd.
And with a record 120 million vaccine doses expected this year far more than
the most ever given, 83 million doses the government is preparing to
encourage inoculations for healthy 20-, 30- and 40-somethings this fall,
EDITOR'S NOTE Lauran Neergaard covers health and medical issues for The
Associated Press in Washington.
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