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Even with the H1N1 pandemic flu strain going around, you should still be vaccinated against the seasonal flu

Even with the H1N1 pandemic flu going around you should still be vaccinated against the seasonal flu. revere has the details. Read. Enjoy. Be educated.

I guess that means Dr. Doug Bremner must think that revere is an idiot. After all, Bremner tells us that the flu vaccine is all a plot for big pharma to make money, don’t you know? Subtlety and weighing of risk-benefit ratios in a manner that doesn’t turn into an anti-big pharma rant is beyond him, as both Peter Lipson and I discussed (and Peter discussed again) not too long ago.

Fortunately it is not beyond revere to rationally weigh the risks and benefits of being vaccinated:

The truth is this. No one knows what’s going to happen. We’re all guessing. But in my estimation, the risk-benefit calculation for vaccine side-effects and flu is so markedly in favor of the vaccine that I made the decision to get vaccinated and that’s what I’d advise others, too. How confident am I? I’m confident it is the most rational thing to do given what we know.

Exactly. It is quite possible to look at the evidence and science and decide that the risk-benefit ratio is so much in favor of vaccination that it makes sense to be vaccinated. It’s also possible to look at the same literature and be less enthusiastic. You don’t need to appeal to big pharma conspiracy theories, and, in fact, such appeals only muddy the issue unnecessarily.

I’d love to see Bremner try to counter the arguments of a highly respected senior epidemiologist who can calmly discuss the pros and cons of flu vaccines from a scientific and practical standpoint based on evidence. Bremner points to “experts” who say that vaccination against the seasonal flu is a waste of money and time, but here’s one expert I bet that Bremner can’t refute. I won’t hold my breath waiting for him to try, though. It’s so much easier just to say that you’re an idiot if you get vaccinated against the seasonal flu. Obviously, in Bremner’s world, revere must be in the thrall of big pharma and pro-vaccination ideology.

Just like me, I guess.

Posted in: Public Health, Vaccines

Leave a Comment (92) ↓

92 thoughts on “Even with the H1N1 pandemic flu strain going around, you should still be vaccinated against the seasonal flu

  1. LawnBoy says:

    David (or Steven or anyone else),

    Do you know of a resource to counter the claims about the vaccine ingredients here? http://www.fourwinds10.com/siterun_data/health/vaccinations/news.php?q=1252689601

    Thanks.

  2. David Gorski says:

    You could start here:

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=9
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=851
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=1296

    I was thinking of doing a followup to the first post linked to up there and calling it “Son of Toxic Myths About Vaccines” or something like that.

    :-)

  3. LawnBoy says:

    Thanks!

  4. Th1Th2 says:

    revere,

    “As I’m sure all readers here know by now, the currently available flu vaccine is the usual seasonal trivalent vaccine (three components) designed to protect against circulating flu viruses influenza A/H1N1 (Brisbane), A/H3N2 (Brisbane) and influenza B (Victoria).”
    ———————————————————————-

    Does the author know that these “circulating flu viruses” are in the flu vaccine? I don’t think so.

  5. trrll says:

    Do you know of a resource to counter the claims about the vaccine ingredients here?

    From the same web site:

    Our objectives are:
    To reveal the Darkside’s secret Plan 2000 for total world control by our present evil world leaders.
    To reveal to the world’s people that Creator God Aton of Light also has a Plan 2000. God Aton and His Forces of Light will not do it for us but will work with us, as we responsibly confront evil in our day and change the “ending of the play.”
    To reveal the evil world leaders’ cover-up of off-world humans (our ancestors), who are here in starships in Earth’s atmosphere at this time, and who have come with good intent to help us prevent the evil Plan 2000 from being accomplished, and to help us establish the New Age of Enlightenment.

    I think explaining to these guys why the claims are false would be like arguing with a dining room table.

  6. Dr Benway says:

    Th1Th2, the flu vaccine is not a live virus vaccine.

  7. Th1Th2 says:

    Dr. Benway,

    “Th1Th2, the flu vaccine is not a live virus vaccine.”
    ————————————————————–

    FluMist (Influenza Vaccine Live, Intranasal) is a live trivalent vaccine for administration by intranasal spray.

    Each 0.2 mL dose contains 106.5-7.5 FFU (fluorescent focus units) of live attenuated influenza virus reassortants of each of the three strains for the 2009-2010 season: A/South Dakota/6/2007 (H1N1) (an A/Brisbane/59/2007-like), A/Uruguay/716/2007 (H3N2) (an A/Brisbane/10/2007-like), and B/Brisbane/60/2008.

    Thus, the three viruses contained in FluMist maintain the replication characteristics and phenotypic properties of the MDV and express the HA and NA of wild-type viruses that are related to strains expected to circulate during the 2009-2010 influenza season.
    http://www.medimmune.com/pdf/products/flumist_pi.pdf

    Vaccination is a shortcut to becoming diseased.

  8. Dr Benway says:

    Oh yeah, I guess they got a live virus nose spray version now. I’m used to the shot which just has viral proteins in it and which I get every year.

    Vaccination is a shortcut to not becoming diseased. And by “diseased” I mean missing work ‘cuz you’re sick.

  9. gr8blessings says:

    The package insert for FluMist, as posted by Th1Th2, states “FluMist is a vaccine indicated for the active immunization of individuals 2-49 years of age against influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B contained in the vaccine.”

    revere has indicated he is outside of the age bracket for FluMist, thus he received the killed vaccine.

    Furthermore, the live viruses in FluMist are attenuated, and as such, are unable to cause disease.

  10. Th1Th2 says:

    gr8blessings’

    “Furthermore, the live viruses in FluMist are attenuated, and as such, are unable to cause disease.”
    —————————————————————————

    If the vaccine is unable to induce the disease, then the vaccine is worthless. Active immunity is acquired via exposure to diseases and is manifested by antibody production. Hence, it is a MUST for vaccines to cause the disease and the clinical symptoms of the disease.

    FluMist is a vaccine indicated for the active immunization of individuals 2-49 years of age against influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B contained in the
    vaccine.

    Influenza illness and its complications follow infection with influenza viruses.

    14.5 Transmission Study
    FluMist contains live attenuated influenza viruses that MUST infect and replicate in cells lining the nasopharynx of the recipient to induce immunity.

    http://www.medimmune.com/pdf/products/flumist_pi.pdf

    Seriously, you have a great deal of uncertainty on how to characterize influenza such as you cannot define influenza as a disease, an infection or an infectious disease.

  11. Tim Kreider says:

    Th1Th2, you say “If the vaccine is unable to induce the disease, then the vaccine is worthless…”

    Surely a functioning immune system recognizes and clears microbes every day—some of them more pathogenic than the attenuated viruses in vaccines—and I’ve never heard it said that only encounters leading to disease result in immunologic memory. Your comments make me wonder if you and I understand the concept of “disease” differently.

    Per the end of your last comment, would you please describe and distinguish the terms “disease”, “infection”, and “infectious disease” as you intend them?

  12. gr8blessings says:

    Th1Th2

    Once again, you demonstrate that you don’t know the difference between an infection and disease.

    Once again, the replication of viruses within cells is an infection. The amount of damage done will lead to disease. This damage can be done both by the replicating virus and by the host response to control the viral replication.

    An attenuated virus can cause an infection, as your package insert states, but the immune response of a healthy person can easily control this infection before there is enough damage to cause the disease. Thus the vaccine generates a protective memory response without causing the disease. The very fact that the vaccine is able to produce immunity without causing the disease makes the vaccine very worthwhile indeed.

    I have always defined influenza as a disease, particularly an infectious disease caused by the influenza virus. I am not the one confused about the concepts of infectious disease. You are the one that seems to lack a complete understanding of vaccines and infectious disease, as you demonstrate again and again and again. Furthermore, your lack of ability to recognize your mistakes and correct them when they are explained to you several times further demonstrates your limited intelligence. I second Tim’s call for your explanation of “disease”, “infection” and “infectious disease” so that the people that read this blog can truly see how poorly you understand these concepts.

  13. qetzal says:

    @Tim Kreider & gr8blessings,

    Good luck trying to elicit anything logical or consistent from Humpty Dumpty. You’re welcome to try, of course, but the comment thread to this post demonstrates that it’s a futile exercise.

  14. The Blind Watchmaker says:

    Please listen to Mark Crislip’s latest, “Quackcast 34. Flu Woo for You” for the skinny on H1N1 and the vaccine.

    Get the seasonal flu vaccine soon. Please see the guidelines for the H1N1 at

    http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/general_info.htm

  15. Harriet Hall says:

    There is an excellent article in the current issue of Scientific American entitled “Boosting Vaccine Power.” It is mainly about adjuvants, but it explains how vaccines work. One section’s title alone is enough to show why Th1Th2 is so wrong: “Mimicking Infection to Avert It.”

  16. David Gorski says:

    If the vaccine is unable to induce the disease, then the vaccine is worthless.

    What a load of utter poppycock!

  17. Th1Th2 says:

    gr8blessings,

    1. “An attenuated virus can cause an infection, as your package insert states, but the immune response of a healthy person can easily control this infection before there is enough damage to cause the disease.”
    ——————————————————————————-
    OK. Can you IDENTIFY the name of the infection you are inferring about being caused by attenuated virus in the FluMist?
    ————————————————————————

    2. “Thus the vaccine generates a protective memory response without causing the disease.”
    ————————————————————————–
    Where in hell did you learn that a vaccine GENERATES a protective immune response?
    ———————————————————————————–

    3. Thank you for admitting that vaccines can, indeed, cause an infection. I wouldn’t argue with you on that one.

  18. Th1Th2 says:

    Tim Kreider,

    “and I’ve never heard it said that only encounters leading to disease result in immunologic memory.”
    —————————-

    Aside from exposure to natural infection, vaccine-induced diseases including asymptomatic infection will lead to immunity. Not all exogenous antigens will induce antibody production, this is called cell-mediated immunity. However for vaccines, the degree of immunogenicity is based on the development of neutralizing antibodies (humoral immunity) due to exposure to the disease component in the vaccine.

  19. Th1Th2 says:

    David Gorksi,

    “What a load of utter poppycock!”

    Oh you mean vaccines? I agree.

  20. gr8blessings says:

    Th1Th2,

    The identity of the infection caused by the attenuated flu viruses = the infection caused by the attenuated flu viruses. It doesn’t have a special label and that includes the label of “disease” which you seem to want to incorrectly apply.

    Furthermore, the replication of the attenuated virus does indeed trigger cell-mediated immunity. The key is that the attenuated virus is able to cause an infection.

    Th1Th2, where in the hell did you learn that it doesn’t generate a protective response? Efficiency trials clearly demonstrate that the vaccine does offer a protective response. Go read your package insert again. There are also several studies indexed by Pubmed that says the same thing.

    I didn’t admit that “vaccines can, indeed, cause an infection.” What I said was that the live attenuated influenza viruses that are in the FluMist vaccine can cause an infection. There is a big difference between your comprehension and reality. And of course, you are wrong, again. LOL.

  21. Chris says:

    Again, Th1Th2 has shown no ability to accept any information that does not conform to his “reality.” While it is nice of you to try, you would have better luck trying to reason with your dining room table.

  22. qetzal says:

    Indeed. A dining room table is wise enough to be quiet when it doesn’t understand.

  23. The Daily Kos has gone over to the woo side. Embarrassing to be a liberal sometimes.

  24. Danio says:

    Do y’all know anyone at Emory? Apparently Dr. Bremner is speaking his flu woo to power there TOMORROW (Friday). He’s posted an absurdly content-free response to this post on his blog, in which he mentions his scheduled talk. I’d love it if an SBM-minded local had the time to show up and blow him out of the water.

  25. Chrtowsky says:

    A question. Can a vaccinated person still transmit the virus?

  26. David Gorski says:

    Do y’all know anyone at Emory? Apparently Dr. Bremner is speaking his flu woo to power there TOMORROW (Friday). He’s posted an absurdly content-free response to this post on his blog, in which he mentions his scheduled talk.

    Oh, come on. I was impressed with Dr. Bremner’s eighth grade level of maturity and mad Photoshop skillz. :-)

    Believe it or not, I expected more of Dr. Bremner. I now know better and won’t make that same mistake again.

  27. vaccinesceptic says:

    Before I ask my questions I will declare that I do not participate in vaccination. However, I have no agenda to engage in any arguments about the safety or effectiveness of vaccines.

    I am here out of curiosity. I have been reading about the swine flu and ended up here. The title of the blog indicates that I should still get a seasonal flu vaccine, but I have never received a flu vaccine, ever.

    1. Are there people who get a seasonal flu vaccine every year?

    2. If so who are these people/profile?

    3. What is the clinical indication for giving flu vaccine to healthy people? The reason I ask is that I can only remember having truly disabling flu once in my adult life (1995), that prevented me from going to work for 10 days. The doctor was so concerned that I was malingering that she required blood testing before writing a doctor’s note which confirmed influenza B. I’ve never had anything resembling the symptoms I experienced either before or since that time.

    4. How often do unvaccinated people get the flu, because I don’t believe I’ve had it since 1995.

    5. When were flu vaccines invented because I don’t think they were around when I was growing up? I was born in the 50′s.

    Thanking you

  28. Todd W. says:

    @Chrtowsky

    A question. Can a vaccinated person still transmit the virus?

    That depends. If a person is vaccinated, they will not get “the flu” from the vaccine. In some cases, people develop flu-like symptoms, but that is simply an immune response to the vaccine. They are not infected with the virus and are not contagious.

    Now, if the person is infected with a strain of the flu that is different from the strains in the vaccine, they can become infected and, consequently, pass along the infection to others.

    If for some reason the vaccine does not work for the individual, they can become infected and, again, pass the infection along.

    Finally, it is possible that the vaccine works fine for them, but the virus mutates just enough so that the immunity granted by the vaccine renders the immune response less effective. The person will likely, as I understand it, get symptoms and be contagious, but the illness will likely be less severe. It depends on just how much the virus has mutated.

    This is all as I understand how things work. If I’m mistaken, someone that knows more than me will probably correct me.

  29. Danio says:

    vaccinesceptic,
    I am not a medical doctor, but as I received my seasonal flu shot just 15 minutes ago on my way into work, I’ll take a whack at your questions:

    1. Are there people who get a seasonal flu vaccine every year?

    Yes, millions of people get an annual flu vaccination. The aim is to have them in early Fall, before the infection rates really ramp up in late Fall/Winter.

    2. If so, who are these people/profile?

    People for whom a case of the flu would be particularly dangerous usually have priority. Older folks, younger folks, folks with chronic pulmonary diseases, Pregnant women, etc. Health care workers are strongly encouraged to get it, as are childcare workers/teachers. And, anyone who wants to improve his or her chances of avoiding having the flu.

    3. What is the clinical indication for giving flu vaccine to healthy people?

    Um, so that healthy people who want to stay healthy can stay healthy? Like you, I have only been sick with influenza once in my adult life. It was hideous. I had never received a flu shot before that experience, but I have done so every year since without fail.

    4. How often do unvaccinated people get the flu, because I don’t believe I’ve had it since 1995.

    I’m sure you’d know it if you had. As the answer to this question is necessarily based on a multitude of specifics: your exposure risks, what strains of influenza you may have seen before in your immunological life that protect from other strains of flu you encounter later on, etc., it’s impossible to answer. It’s an odds game.

    When were flu vaccines invented because I don’t think they were around when I was growing up?

    They were first available in the 40s, and I believe first given to soldiers in WWII. My recollection is that they didn’t start giving them to the general public until the 70s.

    If you want to know more about the rationale, I encourage you to poke around this site (search for ‘flu vaccine’ or ‘H1N1′ at the top of the page, e.g.). The resource that Dr. Gorski linked to at the beginning of this post is also full of very helpful info:
    http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2009/09/seasonal_flu_why_i_got_vaccina.php

  30. David Gorski says:

    They were first available in the 40s, and I believe first given to soldiers in WWII.

    That is correct. The flu vaccine was first developed during WWII to prevent the spread of flu among soldiers, particularly at crowded bases. I don’t know when it was first offered to civilians.

  31. Todd W. says:

    @vaccinesceptic

    To add to what Danio said, the vaccine can be likened to auto insurance. You get it so that you are not harmed later. If you’re in an accident, insurance prevents or minimizes harm to your bank account. If you’re exposed to a flu virus, the vaccine prevents or minimizes harm to your health.

  32. Chrtowsky says:

    Thanks Todd W.

    But what if the vaccinated person comes in direct contact with the virus he was vaccinated against. If the vaccination was successful he of course doesn’t get sick. Can he still transmit the virus somehow to a person that wasn’t vaccinated?

  33. Harriet Hall says:

    It is conceivable that a vaccinated person could touch a doorknob contaminated with flu virus, shake hands with an unvaccinated person, and thereby give that person the flu. Handwashing and other good hygiene practices would minimize any such risk. If enough people got the flu vaccine, the incidence of flu in the community would drop and the chance of finding virus on doorknobs would be reduced.

  34. Chrtowsky says:

    I’m sorry I keep spamming this section with questions but I just want to be sure I understand. This blog has been a great source of information for me.

    Is it possible that a vaccinated person is silently spreading the virus. I don’t mean be touching contaminated doorknobs. Does he carry the virus in him or is the virus destroyed immediately it comes in contact with this person and so nullifying any chances of spreading the infection?

  35. Todd W. says:

    @Chrtowsky

    If a person is vaccinated successfully so that they are immune to the virus, then the virus will not be able to replicate within their body and make it into their mucous as they cough/sneeze. By vaccinating, the body produces antibodies which will recognize future exposures, so the immune system can attack and destroy the matching virus.

    That’s not to say that the virus is destroyed immediately on contact. Like Dr. Hall said, if a vaccinated individual touches a doorknob that has the virus on it, then shakes hands with someone else, they can pass the virus along. IIRC the influenza virus can survive outside a host for about 8 hours. From my lay perspective (I’m not a doctor), therefore, the only way a vaccinated person could unwittingly be passing the virus along is if they come in physical contact with a surface containing the virus, and then, before the virus kicks the bucket, comes in contact with someone else.

  36. Th1Th2 says:

    Todd W.,

    “By vaccinating, the body produces antibodies which will recognize future exposures, so the immune system can attack and destroy the matching virus.”

    This is absolutely true because the first exposure to diseases is through the vaccines.

  37. Chrtowsky says:

    Thanks for clearing that up Todd W.

  38. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2 is wrong. We have tried to explain this to him several times, but he still doesn’t understand. The first exposure to the disease is not through the vaccine. Vaccines do not expose people to the disease: they expose people to antigens that are part of the virus, or to an inactivated or weakened form of the virus that can’t cause the disease but can stimulate a specific immune response.

  39. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet Hall,

    “Vaccines do not expose people to the disease:”
    —————————————————————-

    Just try to refute this fact:

    “Therefore, influenza vaccines are standardized to contain the strains (i.e., typically two type A and one type B), representing the influenza viruses likely to be circulating in the United States in the upcoming winter”
    http://www.medimmune.com/pdf/products/flumist_pi.pdf

    Sadly, people have been likened to that of the story about the emperor’s new clothes. They have been blinded by such delusions created by many vaccine apologists.

    There are only 2 modes of exposure: natural and artificial. Which of these two are you inferring about?

  40. Peter Lipson says:

    Right now, in some far-away corner of the internets, there is a troll starving to death…

  41. Th1Th2 says:

    Todd W.,

    “That depends. If a person is vaccinated, they will not get “the flu” from the vaccine. In some cases, people develop flu-like symptoms, but that is simply an immune response to the vaccine. They are not infected with the virus and are not contagious.”
    ————————————————————————

    Fail. Have you ever read a package insert?

    FluMist contains live attenuated influenza viruses that MUST INFECT and REPLICATE in cells lining the nasopharynx of the recipient to induce immunity. Vaccine viruses capable of infection and replication can be cultured from nasal secretions obtained from vaccine recipients.
    http://www.medimmune.com/pdf/products/flumist_pi.pdf

    Emphasis added.

  42. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2 said “Just try to refute this fact:

    “Therefore, influenza vaccines are standardized to contain the strains (i.e., typically two type A and one type B), representing the influenza viruses likely to be circulating in the United States in the upcoming winter”

    This is a true statement, although it is not worded as precisely as it should be. Containing the strains doesn’t mean what you think it does. It means containing antigens specific to those strains or in the case of live vaccines, attenuated, non-infectious versions of those strains.

    Attenuated viruses used in vaccines can multiply in the body enough to increase the amount of antigen and enhance the host’s immune response, but not enough to produce a disease.

    And did you even notice that the package insert specified that Flumist contains “reassortants” rather than the original viruses? Look it up.

  43. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet Hall,

    “It means containing antigens specific to those strains or in the case of live vaccines, attenuated, non-infectious versions of those strains.”
    ——————————————————————

    And a non-infectious version of those strains such as in attenuated and killed vaccines, would cause a non-infectious form of the disease.

    “Attenuated viruses used in vaccines can multiply in the body enough to increase the amount of antigen and enhance the host’s immune response, but not enough to produce a disease.”
    ————————————————————

    It sounds like a healthy and a vaccine-free child who has been
    exposed to the disease (i.e chicken pox party) but never developed the disease.

    Anyway, I appreciate the fact that you have now realized that vaccines are designed to transmute infectious diseases to become non-infectious like non-infectious influenza, non-infectious hepatitis, non-infectious poliomyelitis and so on and so forth.

    “And did you even notice that the package insert specified that Flumist contains “reassortants” rather than the original viruses? Look it up.”

    That means artificial exposure, no?

  44. Danio says:

    I’ll step gingerly around the troll droppings to ask some questions I haven’t been able to find answers to on my own:

    What is the rationale for developing the live, attenuated virus (inhaled) vaccine alongside the inactivated (injected) vaccine. Does the nasal mist not work well with a killed virus? What’s the advantage to the nasal mist delivery, other than the avoidance of a jab?

    Also, I noted that the CDC was not recommending the nasal mist for H1N1 for pregnant women or infants. Is this because of lack of safety data or is there some other risk?

    Thanks in advance to anyone with the expertise to address these queries.

  45. Th1Th2 says:

    Danio,

    FluMist is prepared and given intranasally because it mimics the mode of transmission of natural influenza. If this kind of vaccine, which contains live attenuated virus is given parenterally (unnatural), it would cause septicemia, meningitis, encephalitis and other systemic and invasive infections. In order to mitigate such serious adverse events, vaccines are further weakened like killed vaccines. The drawback is poor immunogenicity thus the need for more adjuvants. In short live vaccines are more potent and more toxic compared to killed vaccines particularly to infants, elderly and pregnant woman.

    Do you realize now why OPV is given orally?

  46. qetzal says:

    Danio,

    Aside from being needle free, I think there was some conjecture that a live attenuated viral infection might give a more robust immunity than the standard non-infectious split virus vaccine. I think some also thought that vaccinating via the nasal mucosa might be better than IM injection, since it mimics the normal route of exposure to influenza.

    I’m not sure how much of that was scientifically realistic, versus hype. In practice, I don’t think FluMist is notably better than standard injectable flu vaccines.

  47. Harriet Hall says:

    Apparently the nasal vaccine is more effective in children and the injectable is more effective in adults.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-sci-flu-vaccine24-2009sep24,0,4806136.story

    I don’t have good answers for Danio’s questions. I hope someone more knowledgeable will chip in. (We can just ignore the troll.)

  48. Danio says:

    Thanks, quetzal. Those are exactly the things I’ve been wondering about. Are there data to suggest that more people (esp. more kids?) will get vaccinated if they can have the mist, I wonder?

    Th1Th2, you must have missed this part of my original comment:

    Thanks in advance to anyone with the expertise to address these queries.

    . Your use of terms like ‘unnatural’ and ‘vaccine apologist’ in this thread alone has disqualified you, in my view. Carry on.

  49. Th1Th2 says:

    Danio,

    “Your use of terms like ‘unnatural’ and ‘vaccine apologist’ in this thread alone has disqualified you, in my view. Carry on.”
    ———————————————————————————

    I am quite amazed this comment is coming from a delusional poster. His contended to be injected with a washed-up polio virus in his bloodstream.

  50. skyb says:

    It seems surreal that this discussion with Th1Th2 keeps going in circles. Instead of asking questions here, perhaps just reading a textbook on an overview of all the principles and vocabulary in a neutral non-emotionally charged environment would be in order. When the emotional part of the brain starts becoming apparent, then less oxygen and glucose are available [circulation] for the logical/intellectual part of the brain[from what i understand]. This happens to me frequently.

    In addition, it seems that everyone needs to define all relevant terms in detail and agree upon the definitions. This is not a formal debate, but i think everyone would benefit from that.

    This is my first time at this site and it seems really informative in a detailed way and clear as a bell! Nice!

    I have had years of experience buying vaccines and giving them to pets for the veterinary hospital i worked for and i have never seen any adverse reactions to them other than very very rare true allergic/anaphylactic reactions. In addition, i can attest that the vaccines are not expensive [other than ones that are requested very rarely] So, i do not understand why the anti-vaccine crowd thinks that “big Pharma” makes more than minimal profits from them[I bought the pet vaccines from the exact same companies that supply them for humans].

    Thank you.

  51. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet Hall,

    You certainly ignored this one from the link you provided:

    “Many people believe that even when the vaccine does not prevent infection, it minimizes symptoms of the virus.”

    That is, it minimizes the symptoms of influenza.

    “The intranasal vaccine must infect the nasal passages to produce a protective immune response.”

    There you go, vaccine-induced infection.

  52. Dr Benway says:

    Wikipedia:

    A disease or medical condition is an abnormal condition of an organism that impairs bodily functions, associated with specific symptoms and signs

    th1Th2, making up your own weird definition for the word “disease” is not cool. People who read this thread may think you’re using the normal definition, i.e., pretty damn sick. Those people will be mislead.

    Is that your goal, Th1Th2? Are you trying to mislead people?

    If so, GTFO.

  53. Archangl508 says:

    Danio,

    The point of using a attenuated virus versus a killed virus is to allow the virus to actually infect cells. Upon infecting cells and starting some level of viral reproduction and replication (albeit much reduced due to attentuation) the viral antigens can be presented as an intracellular pathogen and not just an extracellular pathogen, as you would get from a killed virus. Once presented as a intracellular pathogen this activates a different arm of the immune system involving cytotoxic T cells in addition to the humoral, antibody based immunity developed with killed virus. This allows for stronger immunity that can both prevent cellular infection as well as stop it more quickly once cells become infected with the actual virus. It is also useful to immunize in the most likely route of acquisition of infection in order to make sure that the developed memory cells will be residing in the most relevant lymph nodes, more quickly able to deal with infection with the pathogenic virus.

    I also saw someone mention the oral polio vaccine. If I remember correctly from my virology classes, this was a very interesting vaccine. The killed virus vaccine that was administered prevented the virus from causing poliomyelitis, however, this immunity was localized to the bloodstream and immune system and it did not prevent the virus from infecting the gut. This still allowed viral replication to occur to some degree and shedding of the virus through the bowels. This would allow an immunized individual to continue to shed virus potentially infecting unimmunized people. The oral polio vaccine was delivered orally in order to induce immunity in the gut and prevent the polio virus from infecting and replicating within an individual at all. One other interesting aspect was that the attenuated polio virus replicated in the gut prior to achievement of full immunity. This allowed the immunized individual to actually shed attenuated virus and spread it as normal polio virus would be spread. This could then potentially confer some immunity to unimmunized individuals who came into contact with the attenuated virus as they would have if they came into contact with the pathogenic virus. These individuals could then develop immunity to polio virus without actually being immunized, allowing the group immunity to spread passively.

  54. Th1Th2 says:

    Dr. Benway,

    “Is that your goal, Th1Th2? Are you trying to mislead people?”

    I’m just trying to separate facts from fiction.

    Wiki is right. Vaccination is a form of invasive medical procedure that can cause adverse medical conditions ranging from localized to systemic events including death.

  55. Chris says:

    Archangl508:

    The killed virus vaccine that was administered prevented the virus from causing poliomyelitis, however, this immunity was localized to the bloodstream and immune system and it did not prevent the virus from infecting the gut. This still allowed viral replication to occur to some degree and shedding of the virus through the bowels. This would allow an immunized individual to continue to shed virus potentially infecting unimmunized people. The oral polio vaccine was delivered orally in order to induce immunity in the gut and prevent the polio virus from infecting and replicating within an individual at all.

    I love reading what you post. They are very interesting and educational. Except… I have recently been listening to the “This Week in Virology” podcasts, and I believe that you might have it reversed.

    As I understand it, the oral polio left in the gut will still shed for years, and may revert to a virulent strain. Which has happened in Nigeria.

    The reason that the OPV is used in many places is that the shedding virus will get into other people and be a form of immunization. Except after time it becomes strong enough to cause disease, and then polio returns.

    The blog posts that address this from the podcaster (Prof. Vincent Racaniello) are at: http://www.virology.ws/tag/opv/ (oh, and the TWIV podcasts are very entertaining, and I do remember hearing the difference between the blood and gut immunity, but I don’t know which week that was on… it might be episode 17, remember I am just an engineer).

  56. Th1Th2 says:

    Archangl508,

    “This allows for stronger immunity that can both prevent cellular infection as well as stop it more quickly once cells become infected with the actual virus.

    You are obviously contradicting yourself. How can live attenuated vaccines prevent a host from future exposure to natural infections when, in fact, this type of vaccine MUST INFECT and REPLICATE in the cells FIRST before such immunity (humoral) can happen? Enough with the concept that vaccines protect. They don’t. The damage has already been done.

    ————————————————————————-
    “It is also useful to immunize in the most likely route of acquisition of infection in order to make sure that the developed memory cells will be residing in the most relevant lymph nodes, more quickly able to deal with infection with the pathogenic virus.”

    You are simply showing how live attenuated vaccines follow the concept of naturally acquired immunity through mode of disease transmission.

    —————————————————————————–
    “The killed virus vaccine that was administered prevented the virus from causing poliomyelitis, however, this immunity was localized to the bloodstream and immune system and it did not prevent the virus from infecting the gut”

    The killed polio vaccine DOES NOT prevent poliomyelitis, it does, however, mitigate vaccine-induced poliomyelitic syndromes such non-paralytic and paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP).

  57. Th1Th2 says:

    Chris,

    “The reason that the OPV is used in many places is that the shedding virus will get into other people and be a form of immunization. Except after time it becomes strong enough to cause disease, and then polio returns.”

    Hilarious concept. No wonder these vaccine acolytes still live in imaginary world. OPV in sugar cubes is simply a stupid idea to deceive gullible persons that it is far better this way than eating “crap” with the polio virus in it. Enough with the “shedding” thingy, vaccines cause and transmit diseases, hands down.

  58. Th1Th2 says:

    Seasonal flu shot may increase H1N1 risk

    Preliminary research suggests the seasonal flu shot may put people at greater risk for getting swine flu, CBC News has learned

    http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2009/09/23/flu-shots-h1n1-seasonal.html

    I am not even surprised with the news. Actually, this is expected to happen. Pandemic H1N1 influenza is a result of pandemic flu vaccination. Seasonal flu shots also contain H1N1 influenza viral strain.

  59. Dr Benway says:

    You are simply showing how live attenuated vaccines follow the concept of naturally acquired immunity through mode of disease transmission.

    I warned you not to use your own definition of “disease” because it might mislead readers who believe disease means something like “pretty damn sick.”

    Freedom of speech doesn’t apply in medical science. In medicine, we have to be honest about the facts whether we like them or not.

    Vaccines have saved more lives than any other medical procedure invented. Millions of people are vaccinated every year without becoming diseased. Your lies are designed to frighten people away from vaccines. Your lies kill people.

    We have a duty to call out liars like you. But after a time, it gets tedious doing so. I suspect you will be banned from this site in the near future.

  60. kausikdatta says:

    Pandemic H1N1 influenza is a result of pandemic flu vaccination. Seasonal flu shots also contain H1N1 influenza viral strain.

    B-A-W-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Silly troll! psssst…. Your profound ignorance is showing!

    If the current H1N1 2009 strain was in the seasonal flu shot, the same shot would have protected against both types of flu.

  61. Peter Lipson says:

    A little bit of ignorance can go a long way. The novel H1N1 causing the current pandemic is different than the seasonal H1N1 in the seasonal vaccine this year.

  62. Chrtowsky says:

    I have read that only one shot of the new vaccine will be enough to protect adults, teenagers and children over the age of 10. But young children who have never had the flu or a flu shot, however, will need two doses. Why?

  63. Archangl508 says:

    Chris,

    “As I understand it, the oral polio left in the gut will still shed for years, and may revert to a virulent strain. Which has happened in Nigeria.”

    I was sure my understanding was probably a little outdated, but thats very interesting and thanks for the link to the virology podcasts. I will definitely have to check them out sometime. I wonder if the reversion to the virulent strain is a big problem as long as the population is well vaccinated. I imagine if you were still dealing with a largely unvaccinated population that would be an issue, but if you have good vaccine coverage, then I would imagine, not so much an issue.

    Th1Th2,

    Please don’t be offended, but you are a waste of my time. I have read many of your posts and tried reasoning with you at first, but you have little to no interest in the understandings of basic immunology and certainly not complex immunology. If you would like to learn more, get one of these books:

    http://www.amazon.com/Kuby-Immunology-Kindt/dp/1429202114/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253975920&sr=8-1

    http://www.amazon.com/IMMUNOBIOLOGY-PB-Janeways-Immunobiology-Janeway/dp/0815341237/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253975935&sr=8-1

    I preferred the Kuby text, but the Janeway is good as well.

    When you start presenting sound immunological reasoning combined with logic and data to support your ideas, then you will be worthy of my time to respond.

  64. kausikdatta says:

    Chrtowsky:

    … young children who have never had the flu or a flu shot, however, will need two doses. Why?

    My first impression was that the rationale was immunological: more vaccine doses for the relatively immunologically naive, but I do not yet understand this sharp demarcation at 10 years. I need to revisit my basic immunology.

    CDC has a better answer at this point. I quote from the CDC website which has a clear and concise statement of fact on this:
    Will two doses of vaccine be required?

    The U.S. FDA has approved the use of one dose of 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine for persons 10 years of age and older. Data from trials among children are not available at this time, so dosing schedules for children are not yet known. Data from trials among children will be available soon. At this time, FDA has approved two doses for children 6 months through 9 years of age.

    And the rationale offered till this point:

    Immunogenicity data for the 2009 flu H1N1 vaccine among adults is similar to that for seasonal influenza vaccines. If this is also the case among children, then it is likely that younger children will require two doses and older children will require one dose. As with seasonal vaccine, children 6 months through 35 months of age should get two doses of 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine, which contains one-half of the dose used for older children and adults.

    What will be the recommended interval between the first and second dose for children 9 years of age and under?

    This will not be known until clinical trials are complete. For planning purposes, planners should assume 21-28 days between the first and second vaccination.

  65. Danio says:

    Thanks to Harriet and Archangl508 for the very helpful info.

    Ah, kausikdatta, beat me to it. I just lifted that exact passage from the CDC for Chrtowski. Good thing I refreshed before posting.

    I’ve been browsing around the LA Times articles related to the one Harriet linked to above. This one has some interesting info about the unusual age group risk features of this H1N1 strain. Not many answers therein, but it poses some good questions:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-sci-flu-mysteries18-2009sep18,0,2108779.story

    Yet another of the LAT articles in this series is reporting that despite all the coverage of the infection/hospitalization/death rates for younger people, relatively few parents are planning to vaccinate their kids against H1N1:

    Among those who said they do not intend to have their kids vaccinated against H1N1, almost half — 46% — indicated they’re not worried about their children becoming ill with the pandemic virus. Twenty percent said they do not believe the H1N1 flu is a serious disease.

    Sigh.

  66. Chrtowsky says:

    Can someone explain me this. I read the article about the 1918 pandemic on Wikipedia. Is says (about the second wave): It was the same flu, in that most of those who recovered from first-wave infections were immune, but it was now far more deadly.

    How did it became more deadly? If the virus mutated how can it still be the same? Would people who already got the swine flu be immune if the virus mutated in the following months?

    Thanks.

  67. Chrtowsky says:

    Well, I just realized there was a lot about influenza we still don’t know. A read some articles about it here and on Effect Measure. There are still some key questions to be answered.

  68. Danio says:

    Chrtowsky, the same could be said of almost anything in medicine–or all of science, for that matter. Indeed, there are some unanswered questions here, but the answers we *do* have regarding both the seasonal and the new H1N1 variant types of flu have certainly enhanced our efforts to decrease infection, transmission, complications and death from influenza. That should be the take-home here, I think.

  69. Archangl508 says:

    Chrtowsky,

    “How did it became more deadly?”

    In that wikipedia article, the writer describes the increase in pathogenicity of the virus as being caused by changes in how people would transmit the virus. Normally, people with the more mild forms of the virus are still going out into the world and passing the virus to others while the sickest people stay home leading to the predominance of a weaker strain. However, during WWI people were moving around a lot more and the sickest were moved to camps rather than quarantined at home leading to further spreading of the more pathogenic viruses. You also had soldiers that were not quarantined and were moved throughout the countryside as they fought spreading various forms that way as well.

    “If the virus mutated how can it still be the same?”

    It takes a large amount of mutations to change the basic structure of a virus. Of all the different types of influenza, they probably do not differ that much in their genetic coding. But the mutations that do exist can change the structures of various proteins ever so slightly to make them more able to infect cells or to more quickly replicate themselves. This could lead to a particular strain being more virulent.

    “Would people who already got the swine flu be immune if the virus mutated in the following months?”

    This would greatly depend on the kinds of mutations that occurred. If the mutations are in the exterior of the virus that would change potential neutralizing antibody binding epitopes, then you could lose some immunity. But most likely, you would still have residual immunity to the same strain. You may still get sick, but it would be much milder as your immune system could quickly adjust to the new version, more rapidly than if it were seeing it for the first time. If the mutations were more internal within the virus, impacting replication, then you would probably have not lost any immunity.

  70. Th1Th2 says:

    Archangl508,

    Let me remind you of your previous statement:

    “The point of using a attenuated virus versus a killed virus is to allow the virus to actually infect cells.”

    This only proves that you advocate vaccine-induced infection, thank you for admitting it. Your books are worthless if you don’t know how to apply it…….in humans.

  71. Th1Th2 says:

    kausikdatta,

    “If the current H1N1 2009 strain was in the seasonal flu shot, the same shot would have PROTECTED against both types of flu.” (Emphasis added)

    Oh, you mean the same shot would have EXPOSED them to both types of flu, no?

    I just wished you are aware of what you’re talking.

  72. Th1Th2 says:

    Dr. Benway,

    “I warned you not to use your own definition of “disease” because it might mislead readers who believe disease means something like “pretty damn sick.””

    Asymptomatic poliomyelitis is not a “pretty damn sick”-disease compared to Vaccine Associated Paralytic Poliomyelitis.

    “Freedom of speech doesn’t apply in medical science. In medicine, we have to be honest about the facts whether we like them or not.”

    Does your criteria include iatrogenic events caused by vaccines?

    “Vaccines have saved more lives than any other medical procedure invented. Millions of people are vaccinated every year without becoming diseased. Your lies are designed to frighten people away from vaccines. Your lies kill people.”

    I just wanna ask, are you a practicing physician?

    “We have a duty to call out liars like you. But after a time, it gets tedious doing so. I suspect you will be banned from this site in the near future.”

    And now you are resorting to ad hominem. I am not surprised though.

  73. Danio says:

    I just wished you are aware of what you’re talking.

    It BURNS! It BUUURRRRRRRNS!

  74. Archangl508 says:

    Th1Th2,

    “This only proves that you advocate vaccine-induced infection, thank you for admitting it.”

    I know I said I wasn’t going to waste anymore time on you, but I’m just waiting for dinner’s recipe to print out so I have a sec, and its not really wasting time anyway since I am just waiting.

    Who has argued that certain types of attenuated vaccines don’t infect cells? That’s how Jenner started, with cowpox. I really just wish you could find a little more witty repartee than what you use.

    “Your books are worthless if you don’t know how to apply it…….in humans.”

    Do you have any idea how much immunological research is done in human systems? Here’s my final question to you, if you can manage to find the brainpower to answer it, unlikely, but hey I do believe in the occasional miracles:

    Describe, in detail, the mechanism that you think is in place when your body encounters a foreign object. How does your immune system work to protect you from invasion? If you can do that, then you can finally manage to figure out why vaccines work. But I’m sure you’ll just come back with another lame attempt at twisting the question around.

    Well…time to make thai-chicken pasta…something worthy of my time.

  75. Th1Th2 says:

    Archangl508,

    “Who has argued that certain types of attenuated vaccines don’t infect cells? ”

    You should be cautious on what you claim because most, if not all, pro-vax here in this thread will not agree with you.

    “Describe, in detail, the mechanism that you think is in place when your body encounters a foreign object. How does your immune system work to protect you from invasion?”

    2 things:

    1. A vaccine is a FOREIGN OBJECT to the body.
    2. Vaccination is an INVASIVE medical procedure.

    Ergo, do vaccines protect? Hell, no. (Attn: kausikdatta)

  76. Archangl508 says:

    Th1Th2,

    “2 things:

    1. A vaccine is a FOREIGN OBJECT to the body.
    2. Vaccination is an INVASIVE medical procedure.

    Ergo, do vaccines protect? Hell, no. (Attn: kausikdatta)”

    Thank you for your useless response. You have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are not worthy of any further responses thanks to your inability to answer a very simple question about immune system function. You have no knowledge of immunity, nor of vaccines. As I’ve always said, CAPS LOCK is the refuge of the inferior mind.

    Ergo, good luck in your future endeavors on this website.

  77. Th1Th2 says:

    Archangl508,

    “If you can do that, then you can finally manage to figure out why vaccines work.”

    I concur that vaccines do really work. They are very good example of being a physiologic threat to the immune system. No wonder the OSHA’s MSDS has declared vaccines as BIOHAZARDS.

    “Examples of biohazards include microbes, anthrax, vaccines, and cell cultures.”

    http://www.ilpi.com/msds/faq/partb.html

  78. kausikdatta says:

    Danio, at least in this case, you beat me to it.

    Ergo, do vaccines protect? Hell, no.

    Teh stoopid! It burns! Like hell!

    Archangl508 is absolutely right. Indeed,

    You have no knowledge of immunity, nor of vaccines.

    That’s you, Th1Th2. You persist in remaining ignorant, you are not interested in learning about ideas you blather about, and therefore, conversing with you is a monumental waste of everyone’s time.

    I shall take Archangl508′s cue and not respond to you again. Good bye.

  79. weing says:

    If ignorance is bliss, then Th1 is in heaven.
    Check out the package insert of any drug, let’s take as an example, Diovan. The most common side effect listed is cold or influenza infection. Maybe we should reclassify Diovan and most of the medications out there as vaccines?

  80. Dr Benway says:

    Th1th2 doesn’t think there’s a difference between a wild type virus and an attenuated virus or set of viral proteins used in a vaccine.

    Getting a vaccine is bad because it makes you “diseased.”

    Getting wild type polio or influenza on a bus is better. Why this is, well, I must have missed that part.

  81. Th1Th2 says:

    weing,

    “Check out the package insert of any drug, let’s take as an example, Diovan. The most common side effect listed is cold or influenza infection. Maybe we should reclassify Diovan and most of the medications out there as vaccines?”

    Your attempt to logic entertains me. This is the most pathetic and desperate analogy that I have ever read so far. You don’t even know the very basic definition of a vaccine let alone influenza. Did the package insert state Diovan ever contain influenza viral antigens?

    BTW, just a hint, other pro-vax wouldn’t feel comfortable with your analogy either.

  82. Th1Th2 says:

    Dr. Benway,

    “Getting wild type polio or influenza on a bus is better.”

    Could you possibly link me to a documented case of a person being infected with polio by just riding on a bus? Good luck with that.

    Well, I know a lot of 2-month old babies do receive the pathologic evidence of poliomyelitis inside the doctors clinic every time they visit for inoculation. And they will come back for more on the 4th and 6th month of age. It’s well documented, FYI.

  83. Dr Benway says:

    Could you possibly link me to a documented case of a person being infected with polio by just riding on a bus? Good luck with that.

    Please explain your understanding of how wild type polio and influenza are spread.

    Well, I know a lot of 2-month old babies do receive the pathologic evidence of poliomyelitis inside the doctors clinic every time they visit for inoculation.

    You’re making up your own definition of “disease” again. Poliomyelitis is a disease, an impairment in bodily function associated with specific symptoms and signs.

    IgG titers to an antigen are not a disease.

  84. weing says:

    Please splain to me how Diovan causes an influenza infection. You can see it is listed as one of the most common side effects, can’t you?

  85. Th1Th2 says:

    Dr Benway,

    “IgG titers to an antigen are not a disease.”

    It means exposure to diseases whether recent or chronic.

    Poliomyelitis I,II,III titer

    Test Poliomyelitis I,II,III titer
    Indication polio
    Physiology The test involves the detection of poliovirus antibodies in patients serum
    Normal Range Greater than 1:8
    Interpretation A four fold increase in titer indicates polio infections
    http://www.medindia.net/bloodtest/immunology/Poliomyelitis_I_II_III_titer.htm

    IPOL®, Poliovirus Vaccine Inactivated, produced by Sanofi Pasteur SA, is a sterile suspension of three types of poliovirus:
    Type 1 (Mahoney), Type 2 (MEF-1), and Type 3 (Saukett).
    https://www.vaccineshoppe.com/US_PDF/IPOL_942420_11.06.pdf

    I suggest you better open up a package insert and peruse each systemic adverse effects of polio vaccine.

  86. weing says:

    Th,
    You still haven’t explained how diovan causes an influenza infection, as per the package insert. There is no vaccine in there to cause it. So, how does it happen?

  87. Th1Th2 says:

    weing,

    “You still haven’t explained how diovan causes an influenza infection, as per the package insert. There is no vaccine in there to cause it. So, how does it happen?”

    Diovan is a precipitating cause for influenza infection, bronchitis, sinusitis, URTI, etc. Just like any POISONS, which are all foreign to the body, they are also antigenic causing an immune response. The normal consequence of an adaptive immune response against a foreign antigen is the clearance of the antigen from the body. And this elimination process is manifested externally by the production of nonspecific symptoms through excretory organs of the body (skin, lungs, GI, GU, etc.)

    Accordingly, influenza is specifically caused by the introduction of influenza viral antigen to the immune system even to a person not on Diovan.

    Now, are you going to ask me how Diovan can cause death?

  88. weing says:

    I’m sorry, you still haven’t answered my question. You just rattled off some ideological non sequiturs but no explanation.

  89. Th1Th2 says:

    weing,

    “I’m sorry, you still haven’t answered my question. You just rattled off some ideological non sequiturs but no explanation.”

    Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know you’re still looking for the 3 influenza viral strains in Diovan. I hope you are not barking up at the wrong tree.

    (Hint: Go check the vaccine package insert, they are all there.)

  90. Scott says:

    You know, weing, I’m not sure whether to commend you for perseverance or question your sanity in continuing to argue with a dining-room table.

  91. kausikdatta says:

    Scott, don’t demean the benevolent dining-room table. It has a purpose, and it is incapable of demonstrating such dire depths of ignorance as does our… well, you know who.

  92. weing says:

    Scott,
    Sometimes I do question my own sanity. I gave up on having a meaningful discussion with Th a long time ago. So, I’ve settled for the absurd. So he finds the influenza strains in the package insert. Maybe if we give the shots without the package insert the patient won’t get influenza but will be resistant to getting the disease?

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