Tag: aluminum

Did the FDA Admit That the Government Is Recommending Untested, Unlicensed Vaccines for Pregnant Women?

Have you heard?

There is a new bombshell from anti-vaccine folks!

It turns out, they say, that the FDA has admitted that the government is recommending untested, unlicensed vaccines for pregnant women.

Is that true?

Did the FDA Admit That the Government Is Recommending Untested, Unlicensed Vaccines for Pregnant Women?

Of course not!

Their evidence?

A response to a Freedom of Information Act request for vaccines that don’t exist. That’s right, neither Tdap nor flu vaccines are currently FDA approved for use by pregnant women.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that Tdap and flu vaccines aren’t recommended for use by pregnant women.

Wait, why the difference?

Why are pregnant women being given a vaccine that isn’t formally FDA approved for their use?

Well, vaccine manufacturers have to seek FDA approval for their products. The FDA doesn’t just up and approve new products or give them new indications. And none have ever sought approval in pregnancy.

But that doesn’t keep health experts from making off-label recommendations, such as getting a flu vaccine when you are pregnant.

“In prelicensure evaluations, the safety of administering a booster dose of Tdap to pregnant women was not studied. Because information on use of Tdap in pregnant women was lacking, both manufacturers of Tdap established pregnancy registries to collect information and pregnancy outcomes from pregnant women vaccinated with Tdap. Data on the safety of administering Tdap to pregnant women are now available.”

Updated Recommendations for Use of Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine (Tdap) in Pregnant Women and Persons Who Have or Anticipate Having Close Contact with an Infant Aged <12 Months — Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2011

As important as FDA approval is a recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). In fact, even after a vaccine gets approved by the FDA, it still has to get a recommendation from the ACIP before it gets on the immunization schedule and is used routinely!

“Flu shots have been given to millions of pregnant women over many years with a good safety record. There is a large body of scientific studies that supports the safety of flu vaccine in pregnant women and their babies.”

Flu Vaccine Safety and Pregnancy

Getting a flu vaccine during pregnancy is a recommendation that has been evolving since 1983. It was known to be safe then, and we are even more confident that it is safe now.

A Tdap shot has been recommended since 2011, although it was first suggested in 2008 that pregnancy was not a contraindication for receiving Tdap.

How do we know these vaccines are safe during pregnancy?

The Vaccine Safety Datalink has published more than 14 studies “related to pregnancy and vaccination during pregnancy” and has used “data to study the health of children born to women who were vaccinated during pregnancy.”

Despite what Robert F. Kennedy, Jr and his ironically named Children’s Health Defense organization might think, Tdap and flu shots in pregnancy have been well studied and have been found to be safe.

Ignoring all of the above studies, Kennedy highlights a few that he thinks found problems with flu shots in pregnancy, including one that showed “a suggestion of increased ASD risk among children whose mothers received an influenza vaccination in their first trimester,” a suggestion that was not statistically significant and which was not found in the other trimesters. And another that found an increased risk of spontaneous abortion in women who had also received a flu shot in the previous season, a safety signal that has never been seen before and which continues to be investigated.

Not surprisingly, his latest bombshell is landing with as big of a thud as his HHS lawsuit, as have most of his statements these days…

“CHD’s Chairman Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. notes that most flu shots given to pregnant women still contain a mercury-based preservative thimerosal.”

FDA Admits That Government Is Recommending Untested, Unlicensed Vaccines for Pregnant Women

Has Kennedy missed the fact that 80% of flu vaccines are now thimerosal free? It makes you wonder how he defines the word “most?”

“Thimerosal is acknowledged by Proposition 65 in California as a reproductive toxicant and exposure during pregnancy can cause learning and behavioral problems. Tdap contains aluminum, which FDA regulates as a toxin in parenteral nutrition but not in vaccines.”

FDA Admits That Government Is Recommending Untested, Unlicensed Vaccines for Pregnant Women

And what is he concerned about in thimerosal-free flu shots which also don’t contain aluminum? Are those okay in his book?

Mostly, after several flu seasons in which so many people have died, you have to wonder what his goal is here. Does Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. expect folks to skip getting a flu shot when they are pregnant and instead risk getting the flu? Should they skip their Tdap shot and risk their baby dying of whooping cough?

Or should they just stop listening to this type of anti-vaccine propaganda?

More on Did The FDA Admit That The Government Is Recommending Untested, Unlicensed Vaccines For Pregnant Women?

What Do Anti-Vaccine Folks Actually Know About Vaccines?

Anti-vaccine folks are spreading another quiz around…

It’s not the questions that automatically makes you think the quiz is anti-vaccine though. It’s how you just know anti-vaccine answers will be very different from someone who actually does know something about vaccines.

What Do Anti-Vaccine Folks Actually Know About Vaccines?

If you are anti-vaccine, you likely believe that vaccines are dangerous, full of toxins, and that they don’t even work. That gives other folks a giant hint as to how you would answer these 32 questions…

1. Can you name 5 vaccine ingredients?
Yes. I can also name what’s not in vaccines, including heavy metals, hidden ingredients, toxins, antifreeze, lead, glyphosate, vaginal spermicides, etc.
AV answerall vaccines contain toxic ingredients!
2/3. What is MRC-5/WI-38?
These are immortalized cell lines that are used to make some vaccines. These cell lines are derived (they can replicate infinitely) from fetal embryo fibroblast cells from two electively terminated pregnancies (abortions) in the 1960s. The cells used today are descendants of the original cells.
AV answerthere are aborted baby parts in our vaccines!
4. What is vaccine court?
The Vaccine Court is part of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) and decides if the claims should be compensated or dismissed, etc.
AV answervaccine court proves that vaccine injuries are real.
5. What is the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was created as “a no-fault alternative to the traditional legal system for resolving vaccine injury petitions.”
AV answerthe National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) proves that vaccine injuries are real.
6. What is the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act?
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 established the VICP, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund, the National Vaccine Program Office, VAERS, and required that health care providers give a Vaccine Information Statement to anyone getting a vaccine.
AV answerthe 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act should be repealed because it removed all liability from vaccine manufacturers.
7. How has the CDC schedule changed since 1986?
The immunization schedule has changed to include vaccines to protect kids against meningitis, pneumonia, blood infections, severe dehydration, epiglottitis, and cancer from Hib, pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, chicken pox, HPV, and meningococcal disease.
AV answerit has ballooned and exploded with 300 more vaccines in the pipeline!
8. How much money has been paid out by vaccine injury court?
Since the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program began, in 1988, almost $3.5 billion dollars have been paid out for 4,899 compensated awards, the majority of which were settled, and during which time over 2.5 billion doses of vaccines were given.
AV answer$3.5 billion dollars, which proves that vaccine injuries are real!
9. How many doses of vaccines are in the CDC schedule between birth and age 18?
By age 18 years, today’s kids get 54 doses of 13 vaccines that protect them against 16 vaccine-preventable diseases, with a third of those doses coming from yearly flu vaccines.
AV answer72 doses!
10. Do vaccines contain DNA from aborted fetal cell lines? If so, which vaccines?
Residual, highly fragmented DNA is sometimes found in vaccines that are made using the MRC-5/WI-38 cell lines.
AV answervaccines contain aborted fetal tissue.
11. Do any vaccines contain dog, monkey, pig, or human DNA?
Residual DNA, if found in vaccines, is not a cause for concern. It is typically a function of growing vaccine viruses in mammalian cell lines.
AV answerdog, monkey, pig, and human DNA contaminate vaccines and will turn us all into mutant dog-monkey-pig-human hybrids.
12. What is an adjuvant?
An adjuvant in a vaccine can increase the body’s immune response to an antigen, allowing you to use a smaller amount of antigen, which is important, as it is the antigens that typically cause side effects.
AV answerAdjuvants in vaccines have never been tested and they trigger vaccine injuries and disease.
13. What is an antigen?
An antigen is a substance, often part of a virus or bacteria, that can stimulate an immune response and the production of antibodies. Surprisingly, even though kids get more vaccines than they used to, those vaccines contain far fewer antigens than older vaccines.
AV answerwe don’t care about antigens anymore, because all of the other vaccine ingredients are toxic.
14. Which arms of the immune system do vaccines stimulate?
It actually depends on the vaccine, but this is about the differences between innate (nonspecific and without memory) and adaptive immunity, which typically interact with each other, whether it is to create natural or vaccine induced immunity.
AV answerI don’t care which arm you try to give it to them, my kids aren’t getting vaccinated!
15. Which arms of the immune system do natural diseases stimulate?
As with vaccines, it depends on the disease.
AV answerEven if you offer to give the shot in their legs, my kids aren’t getting vaccinated!
16. What is transverse myelitis?
Transverse myelitis is a type of inflammation of the spinal cord, causing weakness and paralysis, and typically triggered by infections, immune system, inflammatory, and vascular disorders.
AV answertransverse myelitis is a vaccine injury.
17. What is encephalopathy?
Almost anything can cause encephalopathy, leading to diffuse brain disease and dysfunction.
AV answerencephalopathy is a vaccine injury.
18. What is the rate of autism in 2018? What was it in 2000? What was it in 1980?
The reported rate of autism has increased since 1980 because of better recognition, diagnostic substitution, broadening of the diagnostic criteria, and social influences. Vaccines are not associated with autism.
AV answervaccines cause autism. If it isn’t the MMR vaccine, then it is thimerosal, or maybe aluminum. Or it could be glyphosate. It is definitely vaccines though.
19. What is glyphosate? Is it in vaccines?
Glyphosate, a weed killer (Roundup) made by Monsanto is not in any vaccines.
AV answerbecause glyphosate is everywhere, including in vaccines, half of all children will be autistic by 2025.
20. If your child is injured who will take physical, emotional and financial responsibility?
If a child has a true vaccine injury, compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) will hopefully help with your financial responsibilities.
AV answeryou can not sue vaccine manufacturers, so they have no liability if your child is injured by a vaccine.
21. What was the Supreme Courts statement on vaccines in 2011?
In 2011, the Supreme Court decided Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, in which they used the infamous unavoidably unsafe terminology, which has been misunderstood by anti-vaccine folks ever since.
AV answerthe Supreme Court said that vaccines can never be safe.
22. Can you find a study showing vaccinated vs unvaccinated health outcomes?
Yes, yes I can. A large study, “Vaccination Status and Health in Children and Adolescents Findings of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS),” found that unvaccinated kids weren’t healthier, they just had more measles, mumps, rubella, and pertussis.
AV answerthe Mawson study (published in a pay-to-publish journal after being retracted two other times) proves that unvaccinated (homeschooled) kids are healthier than vaccinated (homeschooled) kids.
23. Can you find a safety study proving it is safe to inject multiple vaccines?
Yes, yes I can. There are many studies that prove that it is safe to give multiple vaccines at the same time.
AV answervaccines have never been tested together.
24. Do vaccines shed?
A few vaccines do shed, including the rotavirus vaccines (in stool, so wash your hands when changing diapers) and oral polio vaccines, which haven’t been used in the United States since 2000. Although FluMist can shed, since the vaccine contains attenuated viral strains of the flu that are temperature-sensitive, it isn’t a problem, except maybe for someone who is severely immunocompromised.
AV answerour unvaccinated kids are at risk during shedding season!
25. Which vaccines can shed for up to 6 weeks?
The oral polio vaccine, which hasn’t been used in the United States since 2000, can likely shed for up to 6 weeks. This type of shedding is one of the reasons this weakened live virus vaccine is preferred over the inactivated polio vaccine when polio is still common in an area. In areas with poor hygiene and sanitation, the shedding (in stool) can lead to a type of passive immunization and improved herd immunity!
AV answershedding season is coming!
26. Which vaccines are live virus vaccines?
Attenuated, live virus vaccines which contain a weakened version of a virus include MMR, Varivax (chicken pox), the rotavirus vaccines, FluMist, the yellow fever vaccines, the oral polio vaccine, and vaccines against typhoid, cholera, adenovirus, and smallpox.
AV answerunvaccinated children are at risk from shedding if they are around kids who have gotten a live virus vaccine, especially during shedding season.
27. What is the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)?
This is the same thing as the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in question 5…
AV answerwe need to repeal both the NVICP and the VICP!
28. What is SV40?
Simian virus 40 was found to contaminate polio vaccines from 1955 through 1963. Fortunately, it has not been found to cause any disease in the folks who got those vaccines.
AV answervaccines are contaminated with monkey viruses and cause cancer.
29. What is MTHFR and how does it affect the body’s response to vaccines?
True MTHFR gene mutations rarely cause homocystinuria. Folks are more likely to hear about MTHFR polymorphisms, which are typically normal and have no affect on vaccines or anything else.
AV answerno one should not get vaccinated if they have MTHFR mutations or signs of MTHFR.
30. What is an acceptable amount of aluminum to be ingested per day versus the aluminum content in the Hep B shot given at birth, 2 months, and then again at 4 months?
Although there are limits on aluminum that premature neonates and infants getting daily intravenous fluids and IV feeding solutions over prolonged periods of time, that doesn’t mean that aluminum in vaccines that infants get every few months isn’t safe. It is. And they are.
AV answerinfants are getting toxic amounts of aluminum in their vaccines!
31. Can someone who was vaccinated for pertussis still spread pertussis after being exposed to it? If so, for how long?
Maybe. A study in baboons said it is possible. More importantly though, you are much more likely to get pertussis if you are unvaccinated, will have more severe symptoms, and will likely get more people sick.
AV answervaccinated people are the ones starting pertussis outbreaks.
32. What is the death rate from measles in the past 10 years in the U.S. compared to the death rate from the MMR vaccine in the past 10 years?
Deaths from measles are now rare in the United States because most people are vaccinated and protected. And unless you are looking at VAERS reports, the deaths from the MMR vaccine are also very rare. We will have more and more measles outbreaks if folks don’t get vaccinated though, increasing the risk of another measles death.
AV answermeasles is a mild disease that was on the Brady Bunch, and MMR is an unnecessary vaccine kills tons of people.

How did you answer the questions?

What Do Anti-Vaccine Folks Actually Know About Vaccines?

Why Would Vaccines Be Designed to Kill People?

If you are playing devil’s advocate with anti-vaccine folks, trying to figure out how they think, it isn’t a terrible question.

Remember, many anti-vaccine folks think that vaccines never work and that they always cause injuries – to everyone that gets them.

Why Would Vaccines Be Designed to Kill People?

We can start with Larry Cook‘s “answer,” which was in the form of another question:

“Why do doctors and medical examiners deny vaccine injury and death?”

Larry Cook

Wait, do doctors and medical examiners deny vaccine injury and death?

Uh, no they don’t.

They are often skeptical that each and everything that happens after someone gets a vaccine, even if it is months or years later, is a vaccine injury though. But we do know that although rare, vaccine injuries are real and can sometimes be life-threatening.

But why would vaccines actually be designed to kill people?

Makes sense, right?

  1. Make vaccines that kill people.
  2. ?
  3. Profit.

Actually, it doesn’t make any sense, does it?

Vaccine-preventable diseases kill people. In the pre-vaccine era, they killed a lot more people.

If you want to control the population or make life-long customers, why not just let them get smallpox, measles, chicken pox, hepatitis B, and HPV?

“Results revealed a significant negative relationship between anti-vaccine conspiracy beliefs and vaccination intentions. This effect was mediated by the perceived dangers of vaccines, and feelings of powerlessness, disillusionment and mistrust in authorities.”

Jolley et al on The Effects of Anti-Vaccine Conspiracy Theories on Vaccination Intentions

And if you wanted to do that, you could just push a lot of conspiracy theories about vaccines to scare folks away from getting vaccinated…

So, could bacteria and viruses be controlling the minds of these disease-friendly, influential anti-vaccine folks, helping to make sure people are intentionally unvaccinated, so that they can spread among us more easily?

Since I’m too skeptical to go down that rabbit hole, it is probably a safer bet to think that most are just doing it to sell supplements in their stores, get commissions from pushing online seminars, and ads from folks visiting their sites.

“Conspiracy beliefs are therefore associated with common motivations that drive intergroup conflict. Two social motivations in particular are relevant for conspiracy thinking. The first motivation is to uphold a strong ingroup identity, which increases perceivers’ sense‐making motivation when they believe their group is under threat by outside forces. That is, people worry about possible conspiracies only when they feel strongly connected with, and hence care about, the prospective victims of these conspiracies. The second social motivation is to protect against a coalition or outgroup suspected to be hostile”

van Prooijen et al on Belief in conspiracy theories: Basic principles of an emerging research domain

Will any of this help anti-vaccine folks see that these anti-vaccine conspiracy theories aren’t true?

Unfortunately, it probably won’t.

Like vaccine-injury stories, conspiracy theories are one of the things that hold up, and hold together, the modern anti-vaccine movement.

More on Why Would Vaccines Be Designed to Kill People?

Why Is a Toxicologist Making Claims About Vaccines and Autism?

It will never end, will it?

Both toxicologist and research should be in quote marks…

Vaccines are very clearly not associated with autism, but that doesn’t seem to keep us from getting new anti-vaccine heroes popping up now and then with new theories from their “research.”

Is it different this time?

Unlike most of the other anti-vaccine experts who are practicing way out of their field of expertise when they talk about vaccines, Ashley Everly is a toxicologist, so is actually an expert on vaccines, right?

“Most toxicologists begin by working at the bench, conducting experiments on in vitro and animal models. Over time, as they gain experience, they may move up to supervise others. While a master’s degree is sufficient for applied research positions, a Ph.D. degree with postdoctoral experience is required for the highest levels.”

Toxicology Overview

Ashley Everly does not have a master’s degree and has not published any research about vaccines. Her opinions are not those of a toxicologist, but of a mother who thinks that her child was injured by vaccines.

Her Facebook copypasta post, while posted as a toxicologist, should remind you of just one very important fact. The great majority of working toxicologists do not share her opinions about vaccines.

“Vaccines are among the most efficacious and cost-effective prevention tools… Parents of children with non-medical exemptions to immunization requirements have been documented to have perceptions of lower susceptibility to and severity of vaccine preventable diseases and perceptions of lower safety and efficacy of vaccines compared to parents of vaccinated children. Moreover, compared to parents of vaccinated children, vaccine hesitant parents had less trust in the government and the health care system.”

Scientific Liaison Coalition (SLC) Epidemiology of Vaccine Refusal webinar

What is the Scientific Liaison Coalition (SLC)?

It is a group of eight toxicology organizations that “increase awareness of toxicology and related sciences on human health,” including the:

  • American Academy of Clinical Toxicology (AACT)
  • American College of Toxicology (ACT)
  • Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society (EMGS)
  • Safety Pharmacology Society (SPS)
  • Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)
  • Society of Toxicologic Pathology (STP)
  • Society of Toxicology (SOT)
  • Teratology Society (Teratology)
  • Union of Toxicology (IUTOX)

And not surprisingly, they teach folks that vaccines are safe, effective, and necessary.

Some of these folks are also the ones doing research on new vaccines.

But, of course, they do a lot more.

The Society of Toxicology wants everyone to know that they are working to help reduce our exposure to potential environmental sources of methylmercury.

“Toxicologists have played a major role in identifying the health risks associated with exposure to methylmercury.”

Society of Toxicology on Mercury : A Long-Appreciated Hazard

What don’t they scare folks about? Thimerosal and ethymercury in vaccines!

“Recent research has confirmed that the ethylmercury component found in Thimerosal is less hazardous than methylmercury. These are different compounds and should not be considered as equivalent neurotoxins. Experimental conditions can be created that result in neurological cell dysfunction. However, current literature supports the contention that childhood vaccinations do not deliver a sufficient dose to produce these neurological injuries.

American College of Medical Toxicology on the IOM Report on Thimerosal and Autism

Neither does the American College of Medical Toxicology.

Maybe that’s why Ashley Everly and other anti-vaccine folks have moved on to MTHFR, glyphosate, aborted fetal cell DNA, and aluminum

More on Toxicologists and Vaccine Safety

Is a Crooked Face a Sign of a Vaccine Injury?

Have you heard of the Crooked theory?

Is something really wrong with these Hollywood stars?
Does Zach Braff really have a crooked face?

If you haven’t, when you get done learning about it, the name is going to seem very ironic…

“Why do babies have lopsided smiles? Why are so many people’s eyes misaligned? What started as a simple search to understand this phenomenon turned into a two-year quest that uncovered hidden links between our crooked faces and some of the most puzzling diseases of our time.

From autism to Alzheimer’s and from chronic fatigue syndrome to Crohn’s disease, Crooked methodically goes through the most recent scientific research and connects the dots from the outbreak of metallic medicine in 1800s England to the eruption of neurological and autoimmune disorders so many are suffering from today.

If the theories put forth in this book are true, the convergence of metals, microbes and medicine that started two hundred years ago may have set humanity on a path of suffering that could make the deadliest epidemics in history pale in comparison. Thankfully, for the millions who are afflicted, who may have found nothing to explain the cause of their suffering — these same theories could also illuminate the path to healing and recovery.”

Forrest Maready on Crooked: Man-Made Disease Explained

Spoiler Alert – The “theories” put forth in his book are not true.

Are you crooked?

Forrest Maready might get asked that a lot these days for actually trying to sell a self-published book pushing the idea that he knows what causes everything “from autism to Alzheimer’s and from chronic fatigue syndrome to Crohn’s disease.”

Of course, he thinks that it is vaccines and aluminum.

“And that’s what makes this even worse. Not only is the theory completely false, it’s not even original!.”

Were We Crooked?

It isn’t.

This “theory” of “his” has been well debunked, ironically, by Maready himself!

Doesn't it look like many of these football players from 1899 had crooked faces?
Doesn’t it look like many of these football players from 1899 had crooked faces?

As others have pointed out, Forrest Maready debunked his own book when he posted old photographs of football players, claiming it proved that vaccines caused chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Not only did many of the football players from the late 18th and early 19th century who played without helmets go on to develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy, if they didn’t die on the field, as you can see, many also had crooked faces!

Crooked faces, brain damage because they didn't wear helmets, and death from now vaccine preventable diseases - life was tough in the old days.
Crooked faces, brain damage because they didn’t wear helmets, and death from now vaccine preventable diseases – life was tough in the old days.

As early as the 1920s, after first being noticed in boxers, it was quickly discovered that CTE could also occur in football players. And again, many of the folks in these pics have crooked faces!

“All people have asymmetric faces. When one looks closely, these differences become more apparent.”

AAP on Children with Facial Asymmetry

It is hopefully obvious that the crooked face theory is all about cherry picking and confirmation bias. And that some folks think that everything and anything is a vaccine injury.

That this appears to be a credible theory by anti-vaccine folks says a lot about the modern anti-vaccine movement and why some folks don’t vaccinate their kids.

Don’t believe it.

Vaccines are safe and necessary and won’t make your child’s face look crooked.

More on the Crooked Face Theory

 

Why Are You Still Worried About the MMR Vaccine?

We know why most folks got scared of the MMR vaccine.

Who's to blame for low immunization rates and continuing outbreaks?
Who’s to blame for low immunization rates and continuing outbreaks?

And most of us remember when most folks welcomed the MMR vaccine the end of endemic measles in the United States.

Why You Were Worried About the MMR Vaccine

Of course, that all changed when Andrew Wakefield spoke at the press conference for his 1998 Lancet paper and said:

“And I have to say that there is sufficient anxiety in my own mind of the safety, the long term safety of the polyvalent, that is the MMR vaccination in combination, that I think that it should be suspended in favour of the single vaccines, that is continued use of the individual measles, mumps and rubella components… there is no doubt that if you give three viruses together, three live viruses, then you potentially increase the risk of an adverse event occurring, particularly when one of those viruses influences the immune system in the way that measles does. And it may be, and studies will show this or not, that giving the measles on its own reduces the risk of this particular syndrome developing… the risk of this particular syndrome developing is related to the combined vaccine, the MMR, rather than the single vaccines…. People have been saying for some time, people on the periphery of autism, have been saying for some time that this may well be related to bowel damage.”

Although there was no evidence for any of that, vaccination rates went down and measles rates went up – the Wakefield Factor.

MMR vaccination rates had dropped below 80% by 2003, when the first measles outbreaks in the UK began. They didn't fully recover until 2012.
MMR vaccination rates had dropped below 80% by 2003, when the first measles outbreaks in the UK began. They didn’t fully recover until 2012.

But no, it wasn’t one person at a press conference that us lead down a decade of worry about the MMR vaccine.

“And then the nurse gave my son that shot. And I remember going, “Oh, God, no!” And soon thereafter I noticed a change. The soul was gone from his eyes.”

Jenny McCarthy on Oprah

Andrew Wakefield had plenty of help!

Not only from anti-vaccine celebrities, but from the media and their scare stories.

Why Are You Still Worried About the MMR Vaccine?

But that is all old news.

Over and over again, we see new studies that show that the MMR vaccine is safe and is not associated with autism.

Andrew Wakefield’s work was never replicated.

The MMR vaccine never contained thimerosal and doesn’t even contain aluminum, which I mention only because those are ingredients that some folks get scared about, not because they are harmful.

Vaccines are safe. The MMR vaccine is safe.

And more and more, as predicted, we are seeing why vaccines are necessary – more and more outbreaksOutbreaks that are proving to be deadly.

Why are you still worried about the MMR vaccine?

Because anti-vaccine folks are still scaring you away from vaccinating and protecting your kids!

Don’t listen to them!

More on MMR Vaccine Fears

Which Flu Vaccine Should You Get?

After decades with a single type of flu vaccine – the flu shot – there are now many different kinds of flu vaccines that many of us can choose from. And your choices are not just between the nasal spray flu vaccine vs a flu shot. There are also a lot of different kinds of flu shots available now.

Everyone needs a flu shot. When will you get yours?
Everyone needs a flu shot. When will you get yours? Photo by Gabriel Saldana (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Having choices is nice.

It would be also be nice to have a little more guidance on what to do with these choices.

Are any of the flu vaccines better than others?

Which Flu Vaccine Should You Get?

This year, we will have:

  • quadrivalent flu shots – Afluria, Fluarix, FluLaval, Fluzone, Fluzone Pediatric Dose
  • quadrivalent flu shots that are cell-culture based – Flucelvax
  • quadrivalent flu shots that can be given intradermally – Fluzone Intradermal
  • trivalent flu shots – Afluria
  • trivalent flu shots that are adjuvanted – Fluad
  • high dose trivalent flu shots – Fluzone High-Dose
  • quadrivalent flu shots that are made with recombinant technology – Flublok
  • nasal spray flu vaccine – Flumist

Which one should you get?

It is actually easy to start by asking which one you should get for your kids, as many of these flu vaccine options are only available for adults and seniors.

Flu Vaccine Options

Before you start thinking too long and hard about potential options, keep in mind that you might not have as many options as you think.

“Not all products are likely to be uniformly available in any practice setting or locality. Vaccination should not be delayed in order to obtain a specific product when an appropriate one is already available.”

Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices—United States, 2018–19 Influenza Season

Doctors and clinics might not stock multiple brands or types of flu vaccines, so you might have to get whatever flu vaccine that they have available.

“Within these guidelines and approved indications, where more than one type of vaccine is appropriate and available, no preferential recommendation is made for use of any influenza vaccine product over another.”

Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices—United States, 2018–19 Influenza Season

And that’s okay. In most cases, there haven’t been head to head studies showing that one flu vaccine is better than another.

Flu Vaccine Options for Kids

Still, since these options might be available to you, it is good to know about them.

This year, younger kids, between the ages of 6 months and 3 years, can either get:

  • FluLaval Quadrilvalent
  • Fluarix Quadrivalent
  • Fluzone Quadrivalent Pediatric

While you are unlikely to notice a difference, both FluLaval and Fluarix are given at a 0.5ml dose containing 15 µg of HA per vaccine virus, while Fluzone is given at a 0.25ml dose containing 7.5 µg of HA per vaccine virus. Why the difference? “Safety and reactogenicity were similar between the two vaccines,” even at the different doses.

Basically, these are just different brands of the same type of flu shot.

There are even more options as your kids get older though, including  Fluzone Quadrivalent (age three and above), Afluria Quadrivalent or Trivalent (age three and above), Flucelvax Quadrivalent (age four and above), FluLaval and Fluarix.

Of these, some folks wonder if Flucelvax, since it isn’t made in chicken eggs, might be more effective than the others. Remember, one of the things that are thought to make the flu vaccine less effective than most other vaccines is that they are made in eggs, leading to mutations. And there is actually some evidence that those flu vaccines that are not made in eggs might be more effective.

“And the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is taking that a step further, saying it will only be buying the two egg-free vaccines on the market: Flucelvax and FluBlok. That’s because there is some evidence these two formulations may work better than the older vaccines grown in eggs, said Dr. Richard Zimmerman, who advises the UPMC Influenza Committee.”

Guidance on which flu vaccine to get: Shots for kids, maybe go egg-free

Again, remember that the CDC has made “no preferential recommendation” for one flu vaccine over another. Why not? We don’t have enough information to make that kind of recommendation.

Should parents only ask for Flucelvax? That would only work if they made enough doses for every kid to get vaccinated, which they didn’t. Should you hold out until you can find FluceIvax for your kids? No, since doing that might leave them unvaccinated once flu season hits.

What else should you know about your flu vaccine options? While over 80% of flu vaccines are now thimerosal free, most of these flu vaccines are still available in multi-dose vials with thimerosal.

Also thimerosal free, this year, Flumist is back as an option. It is available for healthy kids who are at least two years old. Although the AAP has issued a preference for flu shots this year, the ACIP says that kids can get either Flumist or a flu shot.

What about if your kids are allergic to eggs?

“Persons who report having had reactions to egg involving symptoms other than urticaria (hives), such as angioedema, respiratory distress, lightheadedness, or recurrent emesis; or who required epinephrine or another emergency medical intervention, may similarly receive any licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate influenza vaccine (i.e., any IIV, RIV4, or LAIV4) that is otherwise appropriate for their health status.”

Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices—United States, 2018–19 Influenza Season

Unless they had a severe allergic reaction to a previous flu vaccine, they can get any available flu vaccine, especially if the previous reaction was only hives or they are able to eat eggs.

What if you want a flu vaccine without aluminum? Take your pick. While it would be safe it was, aluminum is not an ingredient in flu vaccines.

Flu Vaccine Options for Adults

In addition to all of the flu vaccines available for older kids, adults have a few more options:

  • Afluria Quadrivalent or Trivalent can be given by jet injector  to those between the ages of 18 and 64 years
  • Flublok Quadrivalent – a recombinant flu shot that can be given to those who are at least 18 years old
  • Fluzone High-Dose – a trivalent flu shot with a higher dose of flu virus antigens (4 times the amount of antigen as a regular flu shot) that is available for seniors who are at least 65 years old
  • Fluad – a trivalent flu shot with an adjuvant that is available for seniors who are at least 65 years old

Why get a flu vaccine with a jet injector instead of a standard needle? High-pressure jet injectors don’t use needles!

Like FluceIvax, Flublok is not made in chicken eggs. The recombinant hemagglutinin(HA) proteins are made in insect cell lines. Does Flublok work better than egg based flu vaccines? That’s the theory, but again, there is no preference for one of these vaccines over another.

Seniors have even more choices.

Should they get Fluzone High-Dose, Fluad, or one of the other flu vaccines? Both have been shown to be more effective than standard flu vaccines in seniors, but they have not been compared against each other.

“In a Canadian observational study of 282 people aged 65 years and older conducted during the 2011-12 season, Fluad was 63% more effective than regular-dose unadjuvanted flu shots.”

CDC on People 65 Years and Older & Influenza

But neither Fluzone High-Dose nor Fluad are quadrivalent, so only protect against three flu virus strains.

Is there a quadrivalent flu shot for older adults that might work better than standard flu shots?

Yes. FluceIvax and Flublok are non-egg based quadrivalent flu shots that might be more effective than standard flu vaccines.

So are you more confused now that you know you have so many options? Just remember that for most people, the mistake isn’t about choosing the right flu vaccine, it is about not getting vaccinated.

What to Know About Your Flu Vaccine Options

While it might seem like you have a lot more options in a flu vaccine this year and that some might be more effective than others, keep in mind that availability will likely greatly limit these “options.”

And the best flu vaccine is the one that you actually get, as it will be the one that reduces your risk of getting the flu. Missing your chance to get vaccinated and protected because you are waiting for a specific brand or type of flu vaccine isn’t going to help keep the flu away.

More on Your Flu Vaccine Options