From the November 2006 Idaho Observer:

National flu vax campaign reaches new level of insanity

by The Idaho Observer

We have arrived at a point in history where corporate/government interests, backed by potential profit, when unchecked by an extremely vocal refusenik population, trump public interest backed by science. With this point in mind, Flu Scare 2006-7 is in full swing and it matters not that the "cure" produces epidemics of the "disease." What matters is that millions of doses of the "cure" are sold. The article below illustrates a powerful sign of these times; the flu facts article also on this page support our contention that the national flu vax campaign has reached a new level of insanity.

At polling places across the country, voters were greeted with the offer for a flu vaccine. Although local ordinances and state statutes differ regarding what is allowed to be advertised and commercially sold at polling places, the "Vote and Vax" public health strategy program sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ( ) has worked this past decade to change state laws that would prevent the administration of vaccines at polling places. By modifying such well-intended statutes and ordinances, the proverbial Pandora’s box has been opened. Can we expect that next year, military recruiters will be allowed to solicit new young voters to serve their country by joining the armed services?

At half a dozen polling places in Southwest Idaho, a fund from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation enabled the Southwest and Central District Health Departments to provide flu shots to voters without informed consent. By informed consent, we are referring to the fact that Fluzone, the flu vaccine offered, had not been adequately tested for efficacy or safety, and the version they targeted adults aged 50 and older to receive contained 25 mcg. of Thimerosal (49.6 percent ethyl mercury) per dose injected.

Revealing Zogby survey

On November 13, the results of a Zogby survey of 9,204 people were released regarding their beliefs versus factual knowledge of flu vaccines. A brief summary of these results follows:

• 76% of respondents are unaware that most flu shots contain mercury.

• After learning that mercury is an ingredient, 74% are less likely to get a flu shot and 86% say they are less likely to get their child a flu shot.

• 77% believe mercury should not be an ingredient in flu shots given to pregnant women and children.

• 73% believe the government should warn pregnant women not to get a flu shot if it contains mercury.

• More than 70% agree that Congress, doctors and medical groups (e.g., the American Academy of Pediatrics) should take responsibility for ensuring vaccines do not contain mercury.

• 80% of respondents and 84% of parents are willing to pay the $2.50 additional cost for a mercury-free flu shot.

According to Fritz Wenzel of Zogby International, a polling company, when polls record 70% or above on an issue, this is considered overwhelming (See for the statistics quoted in this article).

What’s next?

Should we consider the administration of flu shots, a commercial product, at polling places a non-partisan issue and an appropriate venue for the public health interests of our communities? We would certainly say "no."

Contained in the mission statement of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the foundation’s goal to ensure that "everyone in America has affordable and reliable health care coverage by 2010."

Since universal health care coverage and promoting the flu vaccine through their "Vote and Vax" program are certainly controversial issues in the minds of many Americans, we can only hope that communities mobilize now to keep such commercial-interest driven programs away from polling places in the future.

A few flu vaccine facts

Only the uninformed would "buy" a flu vaccine

• Approximately 115 million doses of flu vaccine will be available during the 2006-2007 flu season from 4 different vaccine manufacturers

• Studies show that flu vaccines do not prevent the flu in both children and the elderly. To determine the value of flu vaccines to children, Tom Jefferson, MD, and colleagues at the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research, looked at over a thousand studies. They selected 14 high-quality clinical trials in which vaccinated children had been compared with unvaccinated children. The combined results of these 14 trials were reported in the British medical journal The Lancet (2/26/05). Their conclusion: "We recorded no convincing evidence that vaccines can reduce mortality, [hospital] admissions, serious complications, and community transmission of influenza."

• The CDC now recommends flu vaccines for babies 6-23 months because they tend to suffer more complications once they get the flu, however no evidence supports the recommendation. The Cochrane reviewers found that vaccines had little effect on bronchitis, ear infections, and hospitalizations, compared with the babies given placebo vaccines. In short, the CDC recommendations are irresponsible given the fact that the only two studies that involved babies found no benefit and little is known about adverse effects of these vaccines for babies.

• The review follows on the heels of a study that looked at three decades’ worth of data and found that vaccines for the elderly are not as effective as previously thought. And contrary to conventional medical wisdom, vaccines do not reduce flu-related deaths in elderly people.

• More than 90% of this year’s flu vaccine supply will contain 25 micrograms of mercury, which means there is not enough mercury-free flu vaccine available for children under the age of 3 and pregnant women (8 million being made versus a 15-20 million estimated need)

• A Sanofi-Pasteur spokesman, the only vaccine manufacturer making thimerosal-free flu vaccines, confirmed that enough vaccine to supply all children could be made, and he was quoted as saying "he had no idea why health officials were not ordering more mercury-free vaccine."

• The CDC’s cost for a mercury-containing vial of flu vaccine is $9.71. A comparable mercury-free package (each with 10 doses) costs $12.02

• Thimerosal (49.6% ethyl mercury) has never been tested for safety and no proof exists that it is safe. On the contrary, there are thousands of documents in the literature that discuss its extreme toxicity, starting with Thimerosal’s own Material Safety Data Sheet that, amongst other things, states:

"Exposure Guidelines: Thimerosal - no known occupational limits established... Exposure to mercury in utero and in children can cause mild to severe mental retardation and mild to severe motor coordination impairment... Target Organ Effects: Mercury - Nervous system effects (insomnia, tremor, anorexia, weakness, headache), liver effects (jaundice, digestive effects (hypermotility, diarrhea)."

• A single mercury-containing flu vaccine given to a 6-month old child will exceed the EPA’s safe daily limit for mercury by 33-fold

• The Centers for Disease Control released a study in Pediatrics that cited a correlation between Thimerosal-containing vaccines and both "tics" and "language delay" in children

• On Friday, October 27, 2006, the Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs (CoMeD) filed an amended complaint in U.S. Federal Court, disputing the FDA response it received on September 26, 2006, defending the use of mercury in medicine. CoMeD is asking the court to compel the FDA to: Comply with the law, follow existing regulations, and provide proof of the safety and efficacy of mercury in drugs. The lawsuit was originally filed in August 2006 because the FDA had failed to answer the issues raised in a CoMeD citizen petition (FDA Docket: 2004P-0349), filed on Wednesday, August 4, 2004, by representatives from CoMeD. Of concern is that mercury, which is second only to plutonium in toxicity, remains in at least 45 different prescribed and over-the-counter drugs (according to the FDA), including various eye ointments, ear solutions, nasal sprays, vaccines, biologics and, perhaps most importantly, in flu vaccines currently being administered to millions of pregnant women, children and the elderly.

• The record 115 million flu vaccines available for this year’s flu season has CDC officials worried they will have more vaccines than people willing to receive them. The previous record of 95 million vaccines produced for the 2002-2003 flu season left 12 million unused vaccines at the end of the season that had to be disposed of [in a hazardous waste dump??] CDC officials said they want to prevent a repeat of that experience and are promoting Nov. 27 – Dec. 3 as "National Influenza Vaccination Week."

~Facts cited are from and

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