H1N1 Vaccine Misconceptions

The H1N1 (i.e. swine flu) vaccines will be available shortly, and with its future release a horde of misinformation from the anti-vaccination proponents (antivaccs) has come up.  Just this morning I came across this little gem.  Of course, it’s just the same nonsense about thiomersal and autism I’ve already addressed elsewhere.

Previous to that (and previous to my temporary Xanga absence –the tour was awesome by the way) there was another autisable post dealing with the H1N1 vaccine.  I’m not going to go over the whole thing, especially as most of it is just a reiteration of another article.  But I would like to bring up some of the main points (both from the original post and the comment section).

1.  “Vaccines contain thimerosal (“Mercury”) and cause autism.”  -Please refer to this link.  Or (for a more concise rebuttal) read my first response to this post (link).

2.  “Vaccines contain aluminum” (that’s aluminum if you live anywhere besides the U.S. or Canada).  -Many vaccines do contain small amounts of aluminum.  This is a good thing.  Aluminum is an adjuvant that makes proteins (specifically antigens) more potent, thus actually requiring fewer vaccines.  (By the way, for those that read the autisable post, as at least one person correctly pointed out, squalene is not aluminum.)

If we were to compile all the vaccines given to a child over a ten year period it would amount to about 1,200 micrograms of aluminum.  According to ATSDR the average human adult safely takes in 7-9 milligrams of aluminum a day through food alone.  So on the low end (7 mg), children –over a decade–get the same amount of aluminum you can safely eat in two days.  As it were influenza vaccines don’t even contain aluminum salts.

3.  “The 1976 flu vaccine killed more people than the flu itself.”  -There were some 25 deaths that occurred after inoculation with the 1976 flu vaccine.  As it were the causation to the vaccine itself is still a bit sketchy at best.  In any case, when pointing out that more people supposedly died from the vaccine than the actual virus antivaccs fail to recognize that the death rate from the flu was reduced DUE TO THE VACCINE!!!   When you compare the death rates between the 1976 outbreak, when the vaccine was available, next to the death rates of the 1918 H1N1 outbreak (50-100 million deaths), for which there was no vaccine when the outbreaks occurred, the picture (should at least) become much clearer.  Though I suppose looking through the eyes of an antivacc is much like looking at food through the eyes of a starving man, anything (despite a lack of true substance) will do.

Any other H1N1 misinformation out there?

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29 thoughts on “H1N1 Vaccine Misconceptions

  • July 5, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Wow I am impressed by all the commentary and at the end of the day no one reads this or if they do like me they have a pre-formulated opinion that will not be swayed by someones poorly researched blog. so to no avail here goes my two cents…..fear drives everything and corporations hang out a big bucket to collect on that fear.I wouldn’t be surprised in the angry proponents against the vaccine-autism link have stock in, or a job that depends on the revenue from the administration of such lucrative vaccine programs. Truth is there is plenty of Evidence based medicine linking vaccines to adverse reactions and even death. (and yes autism and autoimmune diseases); However the bigger picture is big Pharma, other money driven corporations and an over worked, under-qualified FDA are surrounded by a powerful tool(the Media) to crush any proposed evidence by the one with the most money (usually Pharma) On a less cynical note, some vaccines eradicate disease and even though 100s die or become debilitated because of the shots the benefit as a whole outweighs the small (unless you are the one affected) risks of inoculation.
    To correct the original blogger blunders or lack of full info – many older and special vaccines do contain mercury (it is longer lasting preservative than aluminum. and as to the statement “the average human eats more daily aluminum that given in a life time of shots”…..eating aluminum is a completely different route that injecting it. our GI system has many barriers, buffers, and cheleators the the liver that binds toxins (aluminum, etc) and we defecate them out. a straight injection of formulated heavy metal in the blood stream is much more potent to brain and developing nerves of child than digested food.  It does not have to go through the first pass metabolism and can reach the brain immediately without being filtered.
    Enuff said. No one is listening anyway…bottom line: research peer reviewed studies on the data yourself, get help on how to spot biases and poorly done research and if in doubt air on the side of caution when it comes to your child…..because there is an antidote if your child gets the flu….there is NOT a cure if they get a developmental disorder or disease from whatever multiple factors (vaccines included) caused it. Too many variables and powerful lobbies in play, this mystery will never be completely solved.

  • October 8, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    @abilene_piper_lg@xanga – “Just the flu” is one of the top ten killers of people in the US. The issue is not H1N1 itself, but it’s high rate of contagion, the fact that it kills young people and those with secondary conditions, and the fact that influenza mutates rapidly. A more sinister influenza virus combined with the rapidity of contagion displayed by novel H1N1 is nothing to sneeze at. (Har, har)

    Each year, the CDC gathers information on the common strains of influenza that have spread that year. The strains in the influenza vaccine come from that data. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to predict every single strain of flu that’s going to circulate, which is why people still get influenza when they’ve had a flu vaccine. That doesn’t mean that the vaccine is not effective.

    As for the autism argument made further down, that’s ridiculous. First, that was supposedly an MMR vaccine. Second, the information came from one now debunked study by someone who was being funded by a drug company that was attempting to develop a “safer” MMR vaccine. Look it up. The scientist also tried to claim that MMR caused IBD, which was also debunked.

    As a health care worker who handles novel H1N1 specimens daily, I’ll be receiving my injection next week.

    Facts. Get them. Knowledge is power.

  • September 20, 2009 at 12:33 am

    @C Gottweiller – You should probably read a comment in its entirety before responding to it.

  • September 19, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    @AnchoressNun@xanga – said

    What people don’t remember is that there’s a reason the vaccines and medications were created in the first place. People tend to forget about that. You can sit there and speculate about what those vaccines are doing to your kids, but in the long run people need to keep in mind that back in the year 1900 prior to……………


    Yea, the reason is to make billions of dollars for big pharma !

    Prior to 1900 there were no widespread sewage systems, or

    indeed proper hygiene or sanitary practices. No vacuum cleaners

    or disinfectants of any significance. People didn’t wash thoroughly

    or take many baths, & etc.

    Wake up and smell the coffee, the evidence for vaccine damage

    is staring you in the face every day, use your God-Given Brain !!!!!

  • September 19, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    @Magniloquentia@xanga – 

    Your kids can go first then !

    Just be prepared to look after an Autistic Brain-Damaged 

    kid for the rest of your (and its) life…………………….

  • September 19, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Strangebrain !?!  indeed you have one




    You KNOW NOTHING about the real dangers

    of those “adjuvants” in the vaccines, and I would like

    to see you first in the queue for a poison flu shot !!!!

  • September 8, 2009 at 11:39 am

    @abilene_piper_lg@xanga That’s really sad man. Not to mention that’s not my point. If 1/3 of children born died before they turned one it wouldn’t just be the autistic ones. Only 1/3 of them should die too statistically unless they are some how more prone to disease from being autistic. So it would mostly be children that would grow up to be just fine and healthy with today’s modern medicine dying of preventable diseases.

  • September 6, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    @another_rebel_without_a_cause@xanga – Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t just crash your Xanga (well, other than it’s against the law and/or I don’t know how to do it anyway). 

  • September 6, 2009 at 12:32 am

    I think H1N1 has been hyped up so much that people think it is a new plague of some kind. I’m glad that the vaccine is out, and I hope that there aren’t too many people afraid to have their kids get the vaccine.

    I like this post, I like how informative it is. 🙂

  • September 5, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    I’m a BioChemist and I believe vaccines are an excellent thing. However, I will not be getting the Swine Flu vaccination. Symtomps are negligable and the overwhelming majority of persons are sent home without treatment. The only (exceedingly small number) of people to yet die in the USA are the chronically ill and the immunocompromised.

    This is a manufactured crisis for political gain and to push an agenda. Any coincidences this comes up during the “healthcare debate” and is supposed to hit right at general elections? Few people will get sick this fall, and exceedingly less will die, vaccinated or not. The administration will be hailed as a success by the puppet media for it’s bold action of toileting billions of dollars on a worthless vaccine created to fight an imaginary pandemic. The vaccine was granted immunity and purchased before it was even brewed, let alone tested for something as simple as EFFICACY.

    It’s all propoganda. Do not drink the koolaid.

  • September 5, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    @BUCKWiiLD4LiiFE@xanga – I disagree. I have autism, and I would have rather died at age 1 than to live my life with this handicap. 

  • September 5, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    I’m so grateful that someone posted this, the other swine flu shot article was so misleading, the misinformation was horrid. 
    While I’m not going to have our family vaccinated with the swine flu vaccine, since it’s still so very new, I am one who is for vaccines.  My children are vaccinated, and they just recently received the regular flu shot, since my daughter is considered high-risk.  As for the other vaccines, I’m grateful that my children have received them as well.  Childhood illnesses aren’t as innocent as some people think.  I’d hate for my child to die of an illness that could easily have been prevented.  I love my kids too much to risk their lives.  Also, I’m glad that my kids can’t spread certain illnesses to those who aren’t vaccinated against those illnesses.  I cringe at the thought of people believing that one doesn’t need any vaccines of any kind.  Had it not been for those vaccines, my children could be dead from measles, tetanus… etc…  I know of someone who lost a child from chicken pox complications.  She was so against vaccines.  Thankfully she then began to have her other child vaccinated, she couldn’t bear the thought of losing another child due to her neglect. 
    Those who say that they got the flu after getting the flu shot have to remember that the flu shot does not cause the flu.  It’s not a live virus.  The fluMIST, on the other hand, is.  We’ve gotten the flu shot and never got the flu afterwards. 
    Since the H1N1vaccine is so new, there is bound to be a lot of misinformation out there. 

  • September 5, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    I think people are too sensitive to the effects drugs and stuff. If something bad happens to you because of a medication or a vaccine, you can blame someone. That makes it easier to try to reject that kind of medical treatment. Something could happen and if it does then it’d be because of the vaccine. With just the general illness or disease there’s no one to blame. See, if you kid catches the flu and dies then it was just their time to go, there was nothing you could have done, etc.

    What people don’t remember is that there’s a reason the vaccines and medications were created in the first place. People tend to forget about that. You can sit there and speculate about what those vaccines are doing to your kids, but in the long run people need to keep in mind that back in the year 1900 prior to medicines and vaccines the infant mortality rate was up to 30% in some places. So you can sit there and bitch about one of your six kids having autism, but just keep in mind that 109 years ago statistically speaking two of your kids would have died before turning one.

    I’m not trying to sound cold, but people just forget about all the good that these vaccines do. I get my daughter vaccinated. I was vaccinated. I thank God every time I take her to the doctor that we have this kind of technology to keep her from getting sick. Most people really don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to medications. I know I don’t. That’s why I take my daughter to a doctor I trust. If one of those shots posed a high risk to her health and well being he would tell me, I know that. He explains all the possible out comes every time he gets ready to stick her.

    Until someone proves exactly what is going on with these vaccines… I know I’d rather face a 1 in 150 chance of my child having autism or the also extremely low chance of her being allergic to the vaccine than face a 30% infant mortality rate.

    That’s just me though. To each his own.

  • September 5, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Having just had this flu ( Ireland).. It is just flu, but as someone has said, it seems to be changing into something more deadly; there are thoughts that this is a man-made bug, which is why they are being so frenetic?

    The flu that was here two winters ago was much much worse than this one’ I have a damaged immune system and would never risk a vaccine of any kind.

    And for the OP; statistics and facts are dependent on who uses them. No such thing as objective truth. They can be made to “prove’ anything. It comes down to personal choice does it not?

    And it is wise to be wary of medical personnel who have vested interests.

  • September 5, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Thank you for pointing this out.

    While I do not plan on getting the flu vaccine myself, since I am highly unlikely to die of it and hate needles, it is absolutely ridiculous to claim that the dangers of a vaccine are greater than the dangers of not getting one.

    People forget that in third world countries where they don’t have vaccines the infant mortality rate is through the roof.  In some countries they don’t name a child until it’s a year old because they don’t want to get too attached to it in case it dies.   The only reason anyone in this country can afford ot not vaccinate their child is because so many other children are vaccinated that the disease is unlikely to be spread to them.   If we all stopped vaccinating we’d all have a lot of dead babies on our hands.

    The idea that vaccines are some sort of medical conspiracy because doctors would rather make money and kill babies than follow the hippocratic oath is ridiculous.   Science does not work that way.   Anyone who published a replicable study which demonstrated that a vaccine was more harmful than good would be hialed as a lfie saver, firmly establish their name in the scientific community allowing them to publish more often, and the vaccine would immediately be taken off the market.

    Despite that fact, we still give the vaccines for things like polio, measles, etc. because there are still children who die of those diseases all over the world and not a single study has found that their adverse effects are common enough to warrant concern.   The chances of dying from a vaccine are minimal, yet we get in our cars with with our child and drive all over town (when we could easily walk or ride a bike) and that is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S.

  • September 5, 2009 at 3:50 am

    @doesthisdefineme@xanga – It’s a lot easier to react to the ideas set forth by a tangible government than it is to react to the implications of an intangible threat – hence the reason why it’s so much easier to pin the attack on a single person or institutional entity (govt). Not only that, but skepticism of the government, while healthy, tends to breed paranoia if left unchecked. 

  • September 5, 2009 at 2:23 am

    @alternamom – I’m assuming you have Rh negative blood. Without the RhoGAM shots your body would have developed antibodies to your fetus, if s/he happened to be Rh positive. Since there’s no way to determine the blood type of your fetus, it is a preventative measure to give you the shots. Results of not receiving the RhoGAM: hemolysis, fetal anemia, erythroblastosis fetalis, hydrops fetalis, congestive heart failure, death. Fetal death, not yours. The risk is greater in subsequent pregnancies. (Davidson, London, and Ladewig, 2008)

    @QuantumStorm@xanga – That IS what they said in 1918! H1N1 started out mildly enough back then, until the second wave hit. People nowadays are so apathetic to the dangers of the diseases they want to attack the very measures that are there to protect them.

  • September 5, 2009 at 12:57 am

    <@CrunchyMountainMomma@xanga – //I do think that the exposure to metals in the womb can be detrimental to development.//

    The level and intensity of exposure play a significant role in this matter. It’s not simply a boolean situation; rather, the other factors play into the effects of metal poisoning. The fetus is delicate, but it’s not without its strongest immunological and biological defense (the womb).

    // But when we are seeing an increase in
    autism and autistic spectrum disorders, when manufacturers want
    immunity from prosecution should their vaccine show danger, when we
    live in a world contaminated with chemicals, and when diseases are on a
    serious increase, we have to step back and ask ourselvse why.//

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking questions. What is wrong, though, is using empty speculation as a basis for decision-making. Ask questions, but SEEK ANSWERS rather than formulating answers based on speculation and personal bias. You say we’re seeing an increase in autism and autistic spectrum disorders; I counter that we are actually seeing an increase in our technological capacity to detect such disorders. And wanting immunity is a natural, instinctive, cover-my-ass response; after all, it’s not as if judicial farces have never been conducted in the past. Furthermore, trying to conflate the two and suggest that the vaccines do cause autism is fruitless, because you have yet to demonstrate proof that the vaccines are causally linked to the autism rates. Just because there’s a correlation doesn’t mean that there is a causation – as I mentioned to alternamom earlier, that’s a logical fallacy (eg: Umbrella sales increase when  the rate of thunderstorms increase; therefore, umbrellas cause rain – see the fallacy?).

  • September 5, 2009 at 12:33 am

    I work in a busy mdical office and if they offer the vaccines to us, I will take them. 

    After several years of dealing with a horrible flu (I have asthma, so it hits me hard) I finally got my first flu vaccine – I got the vaccine, not the mist, which does include live viruses -the shots are made from dead viruses.  Every year since I have gotten a vaccine and have yet to be sick – in three years…..but I had it EVERY year before.  And my co-workers who didn’t get the shot —-we got to listen to almost all of them complain of being sick last winter.

    Good post.

  • September 4, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    @QuantumStorm@xanga – Yet they tell those of us who are pregnant thatone drink, and the?right? wrong? time can cause a child to have fetal alcohol syndrome?

    The developing fetus is a very delicate little thing. Even stress can cause birth defects. I do think that the exposure to metals in the womb can be detrimental to development. When I was pregnant with my 7 year old was when they discovered my lack of immune titers. The doctor told me at that time that under no circumstances was I to get the vaccine for reubella, because it could cause defects to the baby. As far as I know, reubella is not a live viral injection, so what harm? I would not have contracted the disease.

    Something like what alternamom has described is very much why water contamination will never be directly blamed for a link to cancer. There are too many factors to this life. Was it the metal in the vaccine? Or the ultrasound? Another test or medication? An unknown viral infection? A combination of all of the above? Or just some of the above? Or just genetic fate?

    The human body is too delicate a machine to be messing with it. Yes, some things are necessary. But when we are seeing an increase in autism and autistic spectrum disorders, when manufacturers want immunity from prosecution should their vaccine show danger, when we live in a world contaminated with chemicals, and when diseases are on a serious increase, we have to step back and ask ourselvse why.

  • September 4, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    @abilene_piper_lg@xanga – Yeah, I bet that’s what they said in 1918, too…

  • September 4, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    @alternamom – First things first.

    1) Don’t try to place yourself upon a pedestal by saying “your community” and “our community”. This world has plenty of divisions; no need for more morons to create additional ones. There are people who hold to “Argument A”, and people who support “Argument B”. Leave it at that.

    2) You said:

    //I was injected with not 1, not 2, yep 3 RhoGam shots during one pregnancy… tell me why?//

    YOU tell us why… after all, you were the one who consented to those shots, right? But if you want an answer… RhoGam is a routinely-administered pregnancy vaccine, used to prevent Rh disease. You can look up the statistics for yourself, but it’s a nice way to prevent stillbirth.

    //and tell me straight in the eye that the thiomersal in those shots didn’t effect the fetus…my daughter!//

    Provide evidence that they did affect your daughter, and then you’ll be taken seriously. A correlation does not imply causation. If you can verify that the thiomersal adversely affected her, then you have an argument. If all you can verify is a correlation, then you might as well argue that with anything else you did in your pregnancy (eg: if you ate vanilla ice-cream while pregnant, you could argue, by the correlation-causation fallacy, that the ice-cream was what affected your daughter, even if all you have is a correlation between the time you ate ice-cream and the time of your pregnancy.).

    //Geneticist and Neurologist said there is no biological reason for her autism, hmmm wonder what it is then?//

    No evidence = no answer. Empty speculation leads to bad judgement, which can lead to bad decisions, exacerbating the situation.

    //No matter how much your community tries to justify it, mercury and aluminum ARE toxic to the human body. //

    The toxicity of mercury and aluminum are dependent upon their form. Furthermore, one of the nice things about metal poisoning is that once the metal is flushed from the system, the effects subside. With metal poisoning, the key to irreversible damage is a continous, prolonged exposure to the metal in question. I highly doubt that three RhoGam shots qualifies as a “continuous, prolonged exposure”, but if you have evidence to the contrary, I’d love to see it.

  • September 4, 2009 at 12:50 pm

     “Of course it’s just the same non-sense about thiomersal and autism I’ve already addressed elsewhere.” I bit my tongue with that last aritcle… this is precisely the closed mindedness that puts a gap between our community and yours! My child doesn’t have regressive autism (although I advocate for all the parents who have endured this trauma), but was born with autistic symptoms (that are the same as mercury poisoning). I was injected with not 1, not 2, yep 3 RhoGam shots during one pregnancy… tell me why? and tell me straight in the eye that the thiomersal in those shots didn’t effect the fetus…my daughter! Geneticist and Neurologist said there is no biological reason for her autism, hmmm wonder what it is then? No matter how much your community tries to justify it, mercury and aluminum ARE toxic to the human body. 

  • September 4, 2009 at 11:07 am

    H1N1 isn’t a big deal, folks. Everyone is so scared out of their wits about H1N1 and quite frankly it’s just the fucking flu. You don’t need this vaccine anymore than you need a flu vaccine or any other vaccine. Bottom line: PEOPLE DO NOT NEED VACCINES OF ANY KIND. 

    Of course, we live in a germaphobic society, largely thanks to greedy, thieving, money-hungry doctors and pharmaceutical companies. The H1N1 vaccine, if it’s effective at all, is probably only minimally effective. The one year I got just a regular flu shot, I got the flu. ONLY YEAR I EVER GOT IT TOO. So much for it being effective right? 

    Yet another money-making scam that western medicine has put forth. H1N1 is not a big deal. Don’t worry. It’s just the flu. If you get it or some other flu, stay home, drink plenty of fluids, and get plenty of rest. You’ll be better in a week or two, I promise you. 

  • September 4, 2009 at 10:52 am

    I’m old enough to remember a time when flu vaccine was only reccommended to the elderly and those with a compromised immune system.  So why now is it prescribed to pregnant women and babies in the early stages of development??  

    The new advice to pregnant women will be: Don’t stand in front of an operating microwave, don’t consume swordfish and don’t take anything except tylonol for pain but by all means submit to an injection of a briefly tested, potentially harmful vaccine into your bloodstream and that of your unborn child.  Of coarse a severe adverse reaction is possible and possibly life altering, maybe even life threatening but the upside is you will avoid coughing, fever, nausea, chils and body aches.  Well maybe not because like I said before, this is a new and lightly tested vaccine.  

    No thanks, my children are not your lab rats.

  • September 4, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Yet, we still have not seen it tested extensively, and the manufacturers are protected. Why? If there’s nothingt o harm anyone, why not step up to the plate if it DOES harm someone?  These immunizations are not natural immunity. I’ve been “immunized” for all the diseases they offer shots for, aside from chicken pox and mumps-I had them naturally as a child. I show no immune titers to measles-any form. I show no immune titers to diptheria. I showed no immune titers to pertussis until 3 years ago, when I had pertussis. But, they refused to treat me for it until I was coughing so bad I was passing out, because I’d been immunized for it.

    There is something in these shots that does show danger to many people-my family included. My mother has been hospitalized due to reactions post-immunization. Two of my nephews have had severe reactions of fevers over 105, and two of my children have shown severe reactions, including high fever, seizure, and a change in learning ability. Can you tell me WHY?


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