Ted Kuntz responds to one of the many articles recently promoting flu vaccination, this one from the Globe and Mail …..
December 6, 2017
Dear Ms. Weeks
I’ve just read your article entitled – “Everything You Need to Know About This Year’s Flu Season” (January 5, 2017).
Ms. Weeks, you make the claim “the flu vaccine is by far the best means available to protect against the flu”. This claim is without scientific merit and undermines simpler and more effective means to protect against the flu virus including hand washing and nutritional support.
Flu vaccines are recognized as the least effective vaccine product on the market. The 2012-2013 flu season vaccine was only 27% effective. The 2014-2015 flu vaccine was only 23% effective. For the present 2016 flu season, the CDC has removed Medimmune’s live attenuated flu vaccine FluMist from the US market because it was found to be 3% effective.
The Cochrane Collaboration, the world’s foremost group of unbiased researchers, physicians and scientists, has performed a series of meta-analyses on the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine. In 2014 they found that vaccinating adults against influenza did not affect the number of people hospitalized nor decrease lost work. 
The Cochrane Collaboration’s examination of flu vaccines in healthy adults, a body of literature spanning 25 studies and involving 59,566 people, finds an annual flu shot reduced overall clinical influenza by about six percent. It would reduce absenteeism by only 0.16 days (about four hours) for each influenza episode. According to Dr. Tom Jefferson at the Cochrane Collaboration, it makes little sense to keep vaccinating against seasonal influenza based on the evidence. 
A 2005 study carried out by scientists at the federal National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed that the flu vaccine did nothing to prevent deaths from influenza among seniors, instead the flu mortality rates increased as a greater percentage of seniors receiving the shot.  Despite a 50% increase in seniors’ acceptance of ‘flu shots’ between 1989 and 2000, flu season death rates of seniors increased during that period.
The flu vaccine has never conclusively been shown to be effective at preventing the flu in anyone, including children 6-24 months of age. In older children, the results show that the vaccine fails nearly all who receive it. 
Questionable Safety of Flu Vaccines
Then there is the substantial body of evidence that the flu vaccine is not a safe product and does more harm than good. You make the claim that “it is not possible for the flu shot to cause the flu because it uses an inactive form of the virus”. This statement is not supported by the evidence.
In fact the FluMist vaccine contributed to more cases of flu infection than it prevented. This is the fundamental flaw with all live vaccines, and even killed attenuated ones, that have been shown to “shed” and infect people in contact with the vaccinated persons. The attenuated virus in the flu vaccine can shed and infect others for months after vaccination. Both the unvaccinated and the vaccinated are at risk. The CDC acknowledges this risk and warns:
“Persons who care for severely immunosuppressed persons who require a protective environment should not receive LAIV, or should avoid contact with such persons for 7 days after receipt, given the theoretical risk for transmission of the live attenuated vaccine virus.” 
Increased Risk of H1N1
Evidence is mounting that people who received seasonal ‘flu shots’ are at increased risk of contracting H1N1 pandemic influenza. This phenomenon was initially observed in Canadians in 2009. In 2012 an animal study and international reports had corroborated the effect. A study by Dr. Danuta Skowronski in Canada showed that individuals with a history of receiving consecutive seasonal flu shots over several years had an increased risk of becoming infected with H1N1 swine flu.
Leading Claim to US Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
According to the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) in the U.S.:
“As of July 2012, there have been more than 84,000 reports of reactions, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following influenza vaccinations made to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), including over 1,000 related deaths and over 1,600 cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). Adult influenza vaccine injury claims are now the leading claim submitted to the U.S. Federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.”
The Department of Justice regularly releases a report on settlements made for vaccine injuries and deaths. In recent years the flu vaccine has been the vaccine most often requiring compensation due to injuries and death. During its most recent release in June 2016, 85 of the 116 cases, and 2 of the 3 deaths, settled by the “vaccine court” over a three-month period were associated with the flu vaccine.
The flu shot’s vaccine court settlement payments increased from $4.9 million in 2014 to $61 million in 2015, an increase of more than 1000%. 
Depending on brand, ‘flu shot’ ingredients include: mercury (thimerosal); formaldehyde, a known carcinogen; Triton X-100 (aka octoxynol-10), a pesticide and sterility agent; the immunotoxin, sodium deoxycholate; polysorbate 80, and gelatin, both known causes of anaphylaxis; the excitotoxin, MSG; highly inflammatory synthetic Vit E; and antibiotics.
Multi-dose vials of the flu vaccine in Canada continue to contain mercury (thimerosal).  Mercury is a known neurotoxin and there are no safe limits established for injected mercury.
Glaxo’s Pandermrix influenza vaccine was associated with a 1400% increase in narcolepsy risk. Pandermrix was pulled from the market and the British government has paid out over 63 million pounds to cover lawsuits to Pandermrix victims.
Increased Risk of Febrile Disorders
The Journal of the American Medical Association reported increased risks of febrile disorders greater than placebo associated with the live flu vaccine. 
Known Effects of FluMist
According to the FDA’s literature on FluMist, the vaccine was not studied for immunocompromised individuals (yet was still administered to them), and has been associated with acute allergic reactions, asthma, Guillian-Barre, and a high rate of hospitalizations among children under 24 months – largely due to upper respiratory tract infections. Other adverse effects include pericarditis, congenital and genetic disorders, mitochondrial encephalomyopathy or Leigh Syndrome, meningitis, and others. 
Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated
To date there is only one gold standard clinical trial with the flu vaccine that compares vaccinated vs. unvaccinated. This Hong Kong funded double-blind placebo controlled study following the health conditions of vaccinated and unvaccinated children between the ages of 6-15 years for 272 days. The trial concluded the flu vaccine holds no health benefits.
In fact, those vaccinated with the flu virus were observed to have a 550% higher risk of contracting non-flu virus respiratory infections. Among the vaccinated children, there were 116 flu cases compared to 88 among the unvaccinated; there were 487 other non-influenza virus infections, including rhinovirus, coxsackie, echovirus and others, among the vaccinated versus 88 with the unvaccinated. This single study alone poses a scientifically sound rationale for avoiding the flu vaccine. 
In a 2013 article by Peter Doshi, PhD of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the British Journal of Medicine, Doshi questions the flu vaccine paradigm stating:
“Closer examination of influenza vaccine policies shows that although proponents employ the rhetoric of science, the studies underlying the policy are often of low quality, and do not substantiate officials’ claims. The vaccine might be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and the threat of influenza appears overstated.” 
The evidence is compelling that the flu vaccine is neither safe nor effective, and clearly not “the best means available to protect against the flu”. I suggest a better area of investigation is – Could the hundreds of millions of dollars spent annually on flu vaccines in Canada be used in more effective ways to reduce flu transmission?
It is unethical to carry on this large-scale, hype-inducing public health program without evidence that proves the flu vaccine is doing what it is intended to do and does it safely.
The Globe and Mail seems to have a policy of producing dishonest and deceptive articles pertaining to vaccines. Articles such as this are simply pharmaceutical industry promotional materials disguised as journalism. As such they do both the reader and The Globe and Mail a disservice as they disseminate inaccurate information, and undermine the integrity of the Globe and Mail as an honest purveyor of health information.
My expectation of you, Ms. Weeks, is you will review this information and make the appropriate corrections in a future posting. I look forward to receiving a copy.
Ted Kuntz, Parent of a Vaccine Injury Child
- Jefferson T et al. Vaccines for Preventing Influenza in Healthy Adults. Cochrane Database of Systemic Review, 2010. Issue 7. Art No. CD001269
- ‘A Whole Industry Is Waiting For A Pandemic’, Der Spiegel, http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,637119-2,00.html, accessed December 4, 2011
- Glezen, W P., and Lone Simonsen. “Commentary: Benefits of Influenza Vaccine in US Elderly–new Studies Raise Questions.” International Journal of Epidemiology 35, no. 2 (2006): 352-53. Accessed December 1, 2015. doi:10.1093/ije/dyi293 .
- The American Thoracic Society’s 105th International Conference, May 15-20, 2009, San Diego. “Viral Infections in Childhood Respiratory Disease”
- Barbara Lo Fisher, The Emerging Risks of Live Virus and Virus Vectored Vaccines. National Vaccine Information Center, 2014
- JAMA study, 1999 Jul 14;282(2):137-44
- Doshi, P. “Influenza: Marketing Vaccine by Marketing Disease.” BMJ 346 (2013): F3037. Accessed November 30, 2015. :http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f3037.