Home > Expert Insights, Science & Research, Seasonal Flu > Influenza Vaccination: The Danger is Not Getting It

Influenza Vaccination: The Danger is Not Getting It

By Carol J. Baker, MD

Every flu season is different and unpredictable, but each year influenza causes children to get sick, and can lead to hospitalizations and even deaths.

While influenza can be serious, vaccination is safe. Millions of children have received the flu vaccine without serious effects other than a day or two of a low grade fever, decreased activity, or discomfort at the injection site, for those who receive the injected vaccine, or a runny nose, for those who receive the nasal spray.

Yet, despite this body of evidence many people continue to have questions about the safety of influenza vaccines. The National Foundation for Infectious Disease conducted research this year that found that nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of mothers surveyed said that reassurance that the vaccine is safe and carefully tested would make them more interested in vaccinating their children this year.

Here are the facts. Each year’s influenza vaccine meets rigorous safety standards, and is closely monitored with long-established systems. Every batch is carefully tested before release before it is shipped.

Creating the Flu Vaccine

The flu vaccine is formulated each year to provide the best possible match between the vaccine and influenza virus strains expected to be circulating during the upcoming season. Monitoring circulating influenza strains, choosing which ones will be part of the annual vaccine and then producing the vaccine is a year-round process.

Global influenza virus surveillance is done by a network of World Health Organization (WHO) laboratories in countries around the world. Information from the surveillance system is used to make recommendations about which strains of influenza virus are likely to circulate in the coming year. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for regulating vaccine production and makes the decision about which strains to include in the vaccine for the U.S. market; typically, three influenza virus strains are included in the vaccine each year: two strains of influenza A and one of influenza B.

Monitoring Vaccine Safety

The FDA must approve each manufacturer’s formulation of the influenza vaccine. FDA also tests vaccines multiple times during the production process to confirm potency and purity. The FDA, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also monitors vaccines continually for safety, especially in children, through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).  You can learn more about the VAERS system here or click here for answers to some common questions about influenza vaccine safety.

The production and safety monitoring systems are not new; the influenza vaccine (and the virus itself) has been around for a long time – the first clinical trials began in 1942 to show vaccine effectiveness. The timeline below highlights some of the major milestones.

NFID Influenza Timeline 10-7-10

Vaccination offers the best means of flu protection and helps control influenza epidemics that were devastating to previous generations.

I urge you to get your children vaccinated to help keep your entire family and community healthy and at work and school this influenza season.

Carol J. Baker, MD is Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Past President, NFID, Chair, NFID’s Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition.

  1. Lisa R.
    December 10, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Thanks for these bottom-line facts, Dr. Baker. Sort of amazing to think that people might believe vaccines would be recommended in the first place if there weren’t very good evidence for their safety and efficacy, but from the survey that’s clearly the case, so it’s worth saying again and again.

    Like

  2. December 10, 2010 at 12:14 pm
  3. December 10, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Dr. Baker, like so many in the medical profession, are nothing more than Propaganda Prostitutes for the Vaccine makers. They receive money from the both the pharmaceutical industry to spread these lies; Have you ever heard of the Eugenics Movement? If not, please do some research. It is also worth mentioning that the H1N1 flu vaccine (combined with the regular flu vaccine this year) is responsible for causing thousands of miscarriages (forced abortions) and sterility!

    Recent data presented to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Children’s Vaccines has revealed some shocking information about the effects of the H1N1 / swine flu vaccine on pregnant women. According to the report, the rate of miscarriage among pregnant women during the 2009 H1N1 / swine flu pandemic soared by over 700 percent compared to previous years, pointing directly to the vaccine as the culprit — but the CDC denies the truth and continues to insist nobody has been harmed.

    According to the CDC, nearly 50 percent of all pregnant women were vaccinated with the H1N1 vaccine during the 2009 / 2010 influenza season. Those whose physicians instructed them to get a seasonal flu shot were three times more likely to get it, while those instructed specifically to get theH1N1 shot were ten times more likely to get it. And the numbers clearly show that along with the rise in vaccinations due to the H1N1 scare came the sharp increase in miscarriages, including a slew of actual reported adverse events.

    But the CDC does not seem to care about the facts, as numerous reports indicate the agency has failed to report any of this vitalinformation to vaccine suppliers. In fact, when presented with the data for the third time, Dr. Marie McCormick, chair of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Vaccine Risk and Assessment Working Group, actually had the audacity to claim that there were no vaccine-related adverse events in pregnant women caused by the vaccine.

    “This baseless and fallacious assessment by the CDC assessment group has given the green light to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to continue their recommendation to give the 2010/11 flu shot to all people, including pregnant women,” explained Eileen Dannemann, director of the National Coalition of Organized Women, presenter of the information.

    “This upcoming 2010/11 flu vaccine contains the same elements that are implicated in the killing of these fetuses, the H1N1 viral component and the neurotoxin mercury (Thimerosal). Additionally, it contains two other viral strains — a three-in-one shot for all people.”

    Overall, the number of vaccine-related “fetal demise” reports increased by 2,440 percent in 2009 compared to previous years, which is even more shocking than the miscarriage statistic. Meanwhile, the CDC continues to lie to the public about the vaccine, urging everyone, including pregnant women, to get it.

    To read the report for yourself

    Sources for this story include:
    http://www.guerillahealthreport.com/post.php?id=417
    http://thepopulist.net/?p=6630

    Get more Natural News Here.

    http://globalpoliticalawakening.blogspot.com/2010/12/h1n1-vaccine-linked-to-700-percent.html

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  4. December 10, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    If the vaccines were safe, why was it necessary for the U.S. Congress to pass legislation granting immunity to vaccine makers for deaths and injuries caused by the Vaccines. I know, they will say that it would make it too costly for the Vaccine makers to provide the “much needed” vaccines.

    Why are American citizens denied protection of the law?

    Dr. Baker and people like her are shameless in their promotion of these deadly vaccines. If you study the history of vaccines, you will discover that they have been used in Third World Countries, especially in African nations, to cull the population (causing mass sterilization of women and forced abortions).

    It is time to Wake Up! You too, can join the Global Political Awakening!
    http://globalpoliticalawakening.blogspot.com/2010/12/h1n1-vaccine-linked-to-700-percent.html

    Like

  5. Chris
    December 10, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    A wee bit of advice: posting multiple comments linking to websites with general ranting makes you look like a crazy person. Just saying.

    Like

  6. Jenn
    December 11, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Are there any flu vaccines that have been found safe for the pregnant population? It seems the pregnant population keeps being urged to get this vaccine but all the flu shot package inserts I’ve ever seen say this…

    “Pregnancy
    Pregnancy Category C: Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with FLUVIRIN®. It is also not known whether FLUVIRIN® can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. FLUVIRIN® should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.”

    I’m hoping there is at least one proved to be safe for pregnant women and their fetus’ because it would be kinda weird and illogical for CDC and allopathic community to push something that hasn’t been approved for them, right??

    Like

  7. Jackie
    December 12, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Oh please!!! The only year we got the flu we had the flu vaccine! And since starting vitamin D3 we don’t even get colds anymore! Funny thing is my friends who get their kids vaccinated always end up sick most of the winter! No avoidance of crowds, gatherings or events here…no fear of flu or germs, we eat healthy, avoid sugar and take several high quality vitamins! My kids are far healthier then their vaccinated peers!

    Like

  8. Katie B
    December 12, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Carol- thanks for your wise and straight-forward information.

    Like

  9. Jessica
    December 12, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    There are at least 170 studies not funded by Pharma that show flu vaccines as completely ineffective for all populations. Why should you get a flu shot? To line Pharmas pockets, keep that ped and Walgreens tech in business. A shot with distilled water or a saline solution is every bit as effective and won’t poison your body with 25 mcg of mercury.

    Like

  10. Chris
    December 13, 2010 at 1:24 am

    Anecdote upon anecdote. I have not have a serious flu or cold illness since I made sure I had a fall flu vaccine (and made sure my kids got theirs). My darling spouse was irritated that he got sick last year, so this year he took advantage of his company’s flu clinic. He was not happy that last year he got sick, and we were healthy. So he took the precaution this year by getting the vaccine.

    My anecdote is just as valuable as the others.

    Like

  11. December 13, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    This rhetoric & propaganda has to stop. I cannot believe they were able to find another doctor who is duped or willing to right out lie in public forum as in using this bogus article of deception. This is down right criminal as the atrocity & cover up has been effectively exposed. People are aware & awake to the facts & these lies of deception are no longer working. All one has to do to see the widespread truth to this matter is to take their own survey in asking others if they will get the shot. Most people will say no & those who already have are very sorry because they had been educated on the facts after receiving the toxic jab. Here are the facts.

    “Superstar CBS Reporter Blows the Lid Off the Swine Flu Media Hype and Hysteria”

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/24/Superstar-CBS-Reporter-Blows-the-Lid-Off-the-Swine-Flu-Media-Hype-and-Hysteria.aspx”

    Like

  12. Carol J. Baker, MD
    December 17, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Thanks for your questions about the safety of flu vaccine for pregnant women. Expectant mothers are always cautious about what they introduce into their bodies during pregnancy. But, the influenza vaccine is a safe and optimal choice for pregnant women and their unborn children. Pregnant women should receive the inactivated vaccine, also known as the flu shot. When the inactivated influenza vaccine was licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), no safety studies had been performed in pregnant women, which is why the package insert reads this way. However, the vaccine has been studied in more than 10,000 pregnant women and we now have ample data that demonstrate the safety. In fact, the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology published a government study last month that showed no unusual complications in this population over the past 20 years.

    New research just published this week in Clinical Infectious Diseases also found that vaccinating pregnant women against influenza is more than 90 percent effective in preventing their infants from being hospitalized with influenza during the first 6 months of life. As for mothers, pregnancy can make them more vulnerable to complications from influenza.

    The CDC provides additional resources and information for pregnant women seeking information about the flu vaccine, which can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/pregnant.htm. In addition, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a statement in September supporting the recommendation that all pregnant women should get vaccinated, which can be found at: http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/press_releases/nr09-21-10-1.cfm.

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  13. Nathan
    December 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    My last influenza like illness was in college, over ten years ago, when I used to not bother to be vaccinated. I’ve not had a febrile respiratory illness since, and I have gotten my flu shot every year. So there.

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