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Swine Flu Vaccine Fearmongering

Fear is a curious thing. It often bears no relation to the actual risk of what we fear. When swine flu first broke out in Mexico, people were understandably afraid.  Travel was restricted, schools were closed, and so many people stayed home that the streets of Mexico City were empty. As the disease spread around the world, Egypt developed a paranoid fear of pigs and committed national pigicide. They ordered the slaughter of all 300,000 of their country’s innocent little porkers, ignoring the fact that the flu is spread person-to-person, not pig-to-person. Now that the disease has officially been labeled a pandemic, fears have switched from the real threat of the disease to an imagined danger from the vaccine. 

Some people just plain hate the idea of vaccines – to the point that they are willing to spread old falsehoods, make up new lies, distort the results of studies, misrepresent statistics, and endanger our public health. There are websites like “Operation Fax to Stop the Vax” and even anti-swine-flu-vaccine rap videos.   Press releases, e-mail campaigns, talk shows, and blogs are being used to stir up irrational fears. These people are irresponsible fearmongers. They are wrong, and they are dangerous.  

Background

The 1918 flu. The flu epidemic of 1918 started as a mild disease in the spring, called the “3-day fever.” Most victims recovered in a few days; there were few deaths. Then in the fall, it turned into something far more severe. It was the same flu strain, but it had become more virulent. Some victims died within hours. Healthy young adults were as susceptible as children and the elderly. It affected remote villages as well as urban areas. It attacked 1/5 of the world’s population, ¼ of the US population, and killed 50 million people.

Wartime conditions may have favored the evolution of a more virulent strain. In peacetime, the sicker stay put and the mildly affected move around.  In the trenches, the mildly affected stayed on duty and the sicker were sent on crowded trains to crowded field hospitals. Today, places with social upheaval might have similar effects favoring a virulent strain.

The 1976 swine flu.  In February 1976 a strain of H1N1 influenza similar to the 1918 strain killed a soldier at Fort Dix. Officials feared a pandemic and over-reacted. In actuality, the H1N1 strain was limited to the Fort Dix area and quickly died out, and another related strain only persisted until March. Nevertheless, a swine flu vaccine was developed and was given to 48,000,000 Americans, 22% of the population. The vaccination program was stopped in December after 532 cases of paralysis from Guillain-Barré syndrome were linked to the vaccine and 25 people died. It had been a false alarm, and more people died of the vaccine than of the disease. The risk of getting Guillain-Barré from the vaccine was approximately 1 in 100,000.

The 2009 swine flu. Between April 15 and July 24, 2009, there were 43,771 confirmed and probable cases of H1N1 influenza (“swine flu”) in the US.  There were 5011 hospitalizations and 302 deaths, 39% among those aged 25 to 49, in contrast to the usual flu where 90% of the deaths are in people over age 65. For comparison, the more common strains of flu have been killing around 36,000 people a year in the US.  Swine flu has been declared a phase 6 pandemic by the World Health Organization: that is a measure of its spread, not of its severity.

What are the chances that the new swine flu will follow the course of the 1918 flu? We have no way of knowing. All we can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst. In addition to the annual flu vaccine for the usual common strains, a specific vaccine for the H1N1 strain is being prepared and tested to see whether one or two shots will be needed to produce a satisfactory immune response. So we may be offered as many as 3 shots this year. Supplies will be limited, at least in the short run, so the CDC has announced these priorities:

  • Pregnant women
  • Household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
  • All people from 6 months through 24 years of age 
  • Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza. 

What if it fizzles out like the swine flu of 1976? That’s already ruled out: the 1976 flu had fizzled by March; the new swine flu hasn’t shown any signs of fizzling yet. We will be monitoring numbers of cases and vaccine complications very carefully, assessing the risk/benefit ratio, and we’re not likely to repeat the mistakes of 1976.

The Lies and Distortions vs. the Facts

I can’t hope to address all the misinformation that is circulating, and even if I could, more new lies would come out by the time I finished writing. Here are some of the ones I have heard.

A correspondent in the Netherlands forwarded me an alarmist e-mail that is circulating in Europe.

Claim: It alleges that only one person has died of swine flu in the UK, and it questions whether he really had flu. It tells us “you are slated for vaccination against a disease which poses no credible threat whatsoever.” 

Fact: As of August 27, the death toll in the UK was 66. As of Sept. 1, 2009, 2184 deaths had been reported worldwide. Most rational people would call that a credible threat.

Claim: Guillian-Barré Syndrome is a newly concocted name for a much more familiar condition: Polio. 

Fact: Ridiculous! Polio is a distinct disease and its symptoms are very different from those of Guillain-Barré syndrome. A diagnosis of polio can be confirmed by finding the actual poliovirus particles in body secretions or cerebrospinal fluid. The last case of “wild polio” in the US occurred in 1979. Polio has been eradicated in most countries; Guillain-Barré still occurs regularly in every country.

Claim: Guillain-Barré is still being caused by flu vaccines. A study based on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) found 54 cases of GBS reported after vaccination in the United States in 2004. 57% of these followed flu vaccines and the rest followed other vaccines.

Fact: The VAERS is a voluntary reporting system that accepts all reports of symptoms or illnesses that occurred after vaccination. It even accepted a fraudulent report claiming that a man had been turned into The Hulk by his influenza vaccine. To find out whether the VAERS reports mean anything, it is necessary to compare the incidence of the condition in those vaccinated to the incidence in the unvaccinated. Guillain-Barré syndrome affects 1 to 4 of every 100,000 people around the world every year, and the increased risk from vaccines is currently estimated at no more than 1 in a million.

Claim: It usually takes several years to test a drug and show that it is safe, but the swine flu vaccine is going to be fast-tracked for quick approval.

Fact: A new flu vaccine has to be developed every year to respond to the new strains that are constantly evolving. Time does not allow for the same kind of testing we require for approval of a new pharmaceutical. Time is even shorter for the swine flu this year. We have a lot of experience in producing new flu vaccines every year, and there is no reason to suspect that this year’s batches will be any more dangerous than usual. Because of fast-tracking, we will be monitoring very closely for side effects. We have a choice between fast-tracking and being prepared for a serious outbreak, or being slow and cautious and totally unprepared.

Claim: 4000 people were afflicted with Guillain-Barré Syndrome in 1976.  

Fact: At least 1 in 100,000 people would have gotten Guillain-Barré syndrome anyway. The excess cases attributed to the vaccine were estimated at 532 (some sources say half of that number), and most of them recovered fully. 25 deaths were attributed to the vaccine.

 

——————-

There are several websites where writers with a bad track record for scientific credibility (like Joseph Mercola and Gary Null) advocate vaccine refusal. The Health Freedom movement wants the government to forget about trying to protect the public and give us the freedom to harm ourselves by using untested, disproven, useless, or even dangerous treatments.

Claim: Legislation allows for you to be isolated or quarantined or “incarcerated in relocation centers” if you refuse vaccination during a declared Pandemic Emergency. This is a violation of human rights and of the Constitution.

Fact: If you have active TB, the government has not only the power but the responsibility to require treatment or quarantine so you don’t sit next to me on the bus and cough in my face. If you contract Ebola virus, I sure hope you will be quarantined to reduce the death toll. Quarantine is legal, is mandated by legislation, and is accepted by international law. Sometimes the duty to protect most of the people in a society temporarily trumps a few individual human rights. The government is not going to require quarantine unless there is a serious threat that demands action.

Claim: People should be allowed to “self-shield.” For self-shielding you go home lock the doors and stay there. Then you can try to further protect yourself with nano-silver, homeopathic remedies, cold packs, vitamins, flavonoids, zinc, astaxanthin, magnesium, and other stuff.

Fact:  A self-imposed quarantine is better than nothing, but I question whether it would be effective in practice. The suggested (untested) remedies might conceivably keep people entertained so they are more willing to stay home.

Claim: The CDC and the American Academy of Neurologists have asked neurologists to be vigilant in looking for cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome in people who have been vaccinated. This is an admission that they know the vaccine will be dangerous.

Fact: They clearly said “they do not expect the 2009 H1N1 vaccine to increase the risk for the autoimmune disease” but since this is a concern with any pandemic vaccine, they will be on the alert. This is a good thing. If the incidence starts rising, they will know it earlier and be able to react more quickly than they did in 1976.    

Claim: The threat of Guillain-Barré is a reason to reject vaccines. 

Fact: No one understands what causes Guillain-Barré syndrome, but it can develop after an infection, surgery or vaccination. It is possible that people who develop GBS after vaccination might also have developed GBS after natural exposure to the disease. “From both the societal and individual perspectives, the risk of GBS after a flu shot pales in comparison to the risk of serious adverse events if infected with the influenza virus: 60 to 70 cases of GBS vs. 20,000 deaths from influenza. Keeping things on the same scale, people over 65 years of age can choose from a risk of 1 case of GBS per million people or 10,000 cases of hospitalization and 1500 deaths due to influenza.” 

Claim: Joseph Mercola writes about “Squalene: The Swine Flu Vaccine’s Dirty Little Secret.” He has claimed that the vaccine adjuvant squalene is dangerous, that the Gulf War Syndrome was caused by the squalene in anthrax vaccines, that squalene is “good” or “bad depending on how it gets into your body: “Injection is an abnormal route of entry which incites your immune system to attack all the squalene in your body, not just the vaccine adjuvant.” And the only reason they put adjuvants in vaccines is to save money.

 

Fact: Squalene is found naturally in the human body. It is a precursor of cholesterol and other compounds necessary to human health. Squalene antibodies were found in Gulf War veterans; but the rate turned out to be no higher in those who had Gulf War Syndrome than in those who didn’t. Squalene antibodies were found at similar rates in people who had never been exposed to squalene in vaccines. The anthrax vaccine has been ruled out as a possible cause of Gulf War Syndrome. Anyway, it turns out there was no squalene in the anthrax vaccine!

 

American flu vaccines do not contain adjuvants, but maybe they should. Adjuvants enhance the body’s innate immune response to the antigens in vaccines, making vaccines more effective.  And they allow for broader cross-reactivity against viral strains not included in the vaccine.   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17931151?ordinalpos=33&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum Mercola says adjuvants are added just to increase profits, but the pharmaceutical and health industries could make far more money treating patients in an epidemic than they could ever make trying to prevent one.

 

There is a large body of data demonstrating the safety of squalene. Flu vaccines containing MF59, a squalene-based adjuvant, have been used in Europe for 10 years, with 22,000,000 doses given; and no serious adverse events have occurred, only mild local reactions.  The vaccine does not raise the incidence or titers of anti-squalene antibodies. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers it safe. http://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/topics/adjuvants/squalene/questions_and_answers/en/index.html 

Claim: Flu vaccines are not very effective and don’t protect everyone. The effectiveness is particularly low in the elderly.

Fact: This claim is true, BUT… In recent years, flu vaccines have been 75% effective in preventing hospitalizations for flu. 75% is way better than nothing. No vaccine is 100% effective. Flu vaccine is particularly problematic because of the constantly mutating strains of the virus. Nevertheless, the benefits of vaccines are clear.  It is true that the elderly are not as well protected by the vaccine (efficacy rates have been estimated at 50% or less): that’s why it’s so important for younger people to be vaccinated, reducing the prevalence of the disease in the population and thereby reducing the likelihood of the elderly being exposed. In other words, don’t just get the flu shot for yourself, get it for Grandma.

Claim: Mercola says “Injecting organisms into your body to provoke immunity is contrary to nature.”

Fact: Nature kills people. Doing something contrary to nature is what medicine is all about. It’s a good thing.

Claim: “The potential for a weaponized vaccine to be the vector for a weaponized flu cannot be discounted.”

Fact: Most far-fetched conspiracy theories are wrong: I have no trouble discounting this one. The potential may be there, but the likelihood is homeopathic.

Claim: People should make their own decisions about their health care.

Fact: One of the basic principles of medical ethics is autonomy: patients have the right to accept or reject any treatment. Modern doctors try to involve the patient in the decision-making process, but most people are ill-equipped to make health decisions on their own without getting information and guidance from a health care professional. In a recent survey, 30 percent of Americans believed that there had been a case of smallpox in the United States in the past five years, and 63 percent thought there had been a case somewhere in the world in the past five years. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/348/5/426   They didn’t know that the last case in the US occurred in 1949 and the last case in the world occurred in 1977 in Somalia. Twenty-five percent thought it was likely that they would die if they got the smallpox vaccine (the actual risk of death from the vaccine is 1 per million). People who are uninformed and scientifically illiterate are not capable of making rational decisions about health matters.

Mercola’s advice for preventing flu: Eliminate sugar and processed foods from your diet, take a high quality source of animal-based omega 3 fats like Krill Oil, exercise, optimize your vitamin D levels, get plenty of sleep, deal with stress, and wash your hands.

Fact: Washing your hands is a good idea.

Mercola claims: “Vitamin D deficiency is the likely cause of seasonal flu viruses.”

Fact: Now really! Vitamin D deficiency in a human body can no more “cause a virus” than it could “cause a cat.” Perhaps he meant vitamin D deficiency could predispose to infection, and there is some research to suggest that it might. Some have claimed that taking vitamin D supplements will prevent the flu, but there is no evidence to support that.

—————————–

Mercola’s claims and arguments were decisively eviscerated on Science-Based Medicine by Dr. Joseph Albietz. http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=851 Not only are Mercola’s assertions demonstrably false, but they reveal a profound misunderstanding of immunology. Unfortunately, he reaches a large audience of scientifically naïve people who believe his every word.

In response to Dr. Albietz’s article, there were some interesting comments from readers that further demonstrate the anti-vaccine mindset and the ability to distort information to promote a cause.

Claim: The government is going to mandate that everyone get the swine flu vaccine.

Fact: No such proposal has been made. The government couldn’t do it even if it tried, because there won’t be enough doses to go around. That’s why they’ve issued recommendations prioritizing who should get the vaccine first.

Claim: George Bush signed an agreement that if a pandemic emergency arose and the President declared a national state of emergency, control of the government would be passed to the United Nations.  Blue-helmeted UN soldiers would run our country and the Constitution would be suspended.  

Fact: It was simply an agreement to facilitate international cooperation, to share information and enhance collaboration in the event of an emergency. It says nothing about the UN at all, much less about relinquishing sovereignty to the UN or any other organization. The actual agreement can be read online: http://www.spp.gov/pdf/nap_flu07.pdf

The same person pointed out that shots hurt and that alone should tell you something. “Yet you are willing to trust these people with your lives to make a vaccine that the Creator never intended the human body should need, and let them inject it into your body? You people are scary or insane!”

No, it is the anti-vaccine zealots who are scary. They are not insane, just self-deluded and misguided. I hope the swine flu won’t develop into a reprise of 1918; but if it does, the false information these people are spreading could be responsible for a great deal of death and suffering. Freedom of speech is a good thing, but this kind of fearmongering is almost as bad as shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

Posted in: Vaccines

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302 thoughts on “Swine Flu Vaccine Fearmongering

  1. Deetee says:

    On this side of the pond the anti-fluvaccine propaganda machine has also been active. Antivaccine websites and forums are full of the same sort of nonsense you have seen in the USA, with dire warnings about squalene and “killer nerve diseases” wiping out the vaccinated population. The papers are full of stories how only half of doctors will accept the vaccine, a third of nurses and half of pregnant women. If those who need the vaccine the most say they will not have it, why should the rest of the population worry?

    Another problem has been that the lull in cases has generated a sense of complacency, but this will probably change when the autumn/winter wave hits the UK, and people start to die in increasing numbers.

    Regarding Guillain-Barre syndrome, you don’t mention that influenza is one of the well documented causes of this syndrome, and that by vaccinating widely, we would probably see a drop in the number of cases overall as compared to letting the flu just do its own thing. Already there have been cases described. One commenter on my blog(1) even tried to suggest that it was the Tamiflu that caused her husband’s GBS, rather than the flu which he had 10 days earlier.

    GBS after seasonal flu vaccine occurs at a rate of 1-2 per million, which is within the background incidence range. There is no reason to believe that the current swine flu vaccine would cause GBS at rates similar to those seen in 1976 (1 per 100,000). However, one estimate suggests GBS incidence is 40-70 per million cases of clinical flu(2). A UK study showed the relative incidence of GBS within 90 days of flu vaccine to be only 0.76, whereas it was 7.35 within 90 days of clinical flu and 16.6 within 30 days of flu(3).

    (1) http://layscience.net/node/625
    (2) http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/594124
    (3) http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/169/3/382

  2. Calli Arcale says:

    Claim: People should be allowed to “self-shield.” For self-shielding you go home lock the doors and stay there. Then you can try to further protect yourself with nano-silver, homeopathic remedies, cold packs, vitamins, flavonoids, zinc, astaxanthin, magnesium, and other stuff.

    Fact: A self-imposed quarantine is better than nothing, but I question whether it would be effective in practice. The suggested (untested) remedies might conceivably keep people entertained so they are more willing to stay home.

    I love the comment about the remedies keeping people entertained. ;-)

    I find it puzzling that anyone would endorse “self-shielding” as a practical means of controlling a pandemic. Do they realize how long they’d have to isolate themselves? Have they *tried* living in a siege situation? What do they plan to do for food and other logistics? What is their plan if the whole region decides to batten down the hatches? Who do they expect will deliver the groceries? Run the garbage trucks? Staff the hospitals? Operate the power plants? Keep the sewage treatment plants going? Totally ignoring the fact that our already-fragile economy would collapse if everybody stayed home for a month, how do they expect to even survive in that situation?

    Basically, like counting on herd immunity, self-shielding depends on the assumption that most folks won’t. They are expecting everybody else to put themselves at risk so they don’t have to. Selfish, stupid, and not even effective.

  3. Dacks says:

    Thanks for this, and the other articles on swine flu. I’m sure I will be excerpting parts to send to friends and family.

    Last year, my 12 yo daughter was given a nasal spray that contained an attenuated flu vaccine. Does anyone know whether this will be available for the swine flu? The opportunity to avoid needles makes it very attractive.

  4. shawmutt says:

    Yes, Dacks, FluMist will be available for H1N1 as well as the regular flu vaccine this year.

  5. Joe B says:

    “The same person pointed out that shots hurt and that alone should tell you something.”

    Oh wow. I can only imagine all the unnatural damages I’ve done to my body by all that running, biking and weight lifting. Those things feel terrible, so they must be bad for me, right?

  6. Th1Th2 says:

    “American flu vaccines do not contain adjuvants, but maybe they should.”

    This is an absolute lie. ALL vaccines are adjuvanted in one way or another. The regular flu vaccine contains Triton X-100, a toxic chemical which is NOT recommended for human or animal testing.

  7. qetzal says:

    No, Th1Th2, you’re the one who’s lying.

    We went through this before. You haven’t provided any shred of evidence that Triton X-100 is an adjuvant.

  8. Th1Th2 says:

    Here’s for you qetzal. Is Tween found in vaccines an adjuvant? Do you know that Triton X-100 is an essential adjuvant in pesticides and herbicides?

  9. the bug guy says:

    As an agricultural adjuvant, Triton X-1000 is a surfactant helps the spray to spread evenly over plants, thus providing better coverage and more uniform application of the active ingredient to the target.

    An application that has no relevance to its use in vaccines.

  10. Th1Th2 says:

    the bug guy,

    Oh really? Do you want to rephrase your statement? Triton X-100 is not only an agricultural adjuvant but also an IMMUNOLOGIC ADJUVANT just like the Tween.

    Comparison of new triton X-100- and tween-ether-treated split-treated vaccines in children.

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?&artid=273983

  11. weing says:

    Th1Th2,
    Did you know that Megan Fox is an adjuvant in fertility clinics?

  12. Triton X-100 is a surfactant used to disrupt the virus and create a “split-virus” vaccine – the whole virus is not used, only part of it. It is not an adjuvant (which is something used to enhance the immune response to the vaccine).

    There are several types of ingredients in vaccines:

    The antigens themselves (such as inactivated viruses)
    preservatives
    stabilizers
    adjuvants
    and substances used in the manufacturing process and found in trace amounts in the end product.

    The flu vaccines listed here by the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/B/excipient-table-2.pdf

    do not list any adjuvants.

  13. Todd W. says:

    @Steven Novella

    Looking at that link you provided, I now understand where anti-vaxers get their “vaccines contain !” rants. Perhaps the CDC should indicate which substances are used during production, and which are actually present in the final product.

  14. Th1Th2 says:

    The bug guy,

    If Triton X-100 is an agricultural adjuvant then why is it in vaccines? Because Triton X-100 is also an IMMUNOLOGIC ADJUVANT. Tween, like Triton X-100 is also found in pesticides and herbicides and also a major vaccine adjuvant.

    Comparison of new triton X-100- and tween-ether-treated split-treated vaccines in children.

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?&artid=273983

    I am not surprised many people don’t know this fact because why put something in vaccines that are NOT supposed to be used in human or animal testing anyway.

    Steven,

    You are misguided. Even thimerosal is considered an adjuvant. That is any substance that is added to preserve, stabilize, and enhance the immunogenicity of the vaccine is considered an adjuvant. Although vaccines are worthless to begin with, they are even more “crap” without the adjuvants.

  15. Joe says:

    Thank you, Harriet, for this review.

  16. Th1Th2 – you are simply wrong. An adjuvant specifically enhances the immune response, reducing the amount of antigen needed. Look it up. Preservatives are preservatives, not adjuvants.

    You are simply playing with the definition in order to argue that Harriet lied – very intellectually dishonest.

    What was the point of that reference? It simply compared the two vaccines for antibody response.

    Also – these substances are not added to vaccines. They are used in the manufacturing process and remain in trace amounts only.

    But thanks for, once again, demonstrating the mind-numbing absurdity and intellectual dishonesty of the anti-vax position.

  17. Calli Arcale says:

    You are misguided. Even thimerosal is considered an adjuvant. That is any substance that is added to preserve, stabilize, and enhance the immunogenicity of the vaccine is considered an adjuvant.

    “It’s an adjuvant because I SAY SO!!! Nyaah!!”

    Isn’t that basically what your argument boils down to, Th1Th2? A little weak, don’t you think? Perhaps you could dispense with the apparently confusing word “adjuvant” and just explain why you think it is bad that Triton X-100 is in vaccines? Or is the only reason because you found a scary word that you don’t understand and found that in an unrelated context, it can be applied to it?

    (There’s DHMO in the vaccines too, don’t forget that.)

  18. weing says:

    He’s been told that before. He considers our use of the word ‘adjuvant’ too narrow. He doesn’t believe the vaccine works anyway.

  19. Th1Th2 says:

    Steven,

    Rule # 1. Not all antigens are immunogenes but ALL immunogenes are antigens. This is the MAIN reason all vaccines are adjuvanted to make these antigens become IMMUNOGENIC, otherwise, these antigens will be mediated at the cellular level that does not require antibody production.

    You said,

    “Also – these substances are not added to vaccines. They are used in the manufacturing process and remain in trace amounts only. ”

    Clearly, an oxymoron. Care to revise your statement please.

    Thimerosal is a very potent immunogen, autoimmunogen and teratogen as well. It’s more than a preservative.

  20. overshoot says:

    The same person pointed out that shots hurt and that alone should tell you something.

    Probably the same thing it tells us about childbirth.

  21. Th1Th2 says:

    You overshoot it.

    Childbirth is a normal physiologic event as opposed to vaccination which is obviously a pathologic event.

  22. Th1Th2 says:

    Calli,

    If you know what MSDS stands for then you should be able to know where to find Triton X-100. Don’t get lazy and read.

  23. hokieian says:

    LOL @Th1Th2.

    That reference is from 1981, says nothing about the use of Triton X-100 or Tween as an adjuvant, and says nothing about the ingredients of modern vaccines.

    And I’ll overlook your use of the word “immunogene” and just assume that was a typo and you really meant immunogen. Doesn’t the definition of antigen mean it invokes an immune response (and therefore is an immunogen)?

  24. Th1Th2 says:

    hokieian,

    Because you have no clue what adjuvants are?

    Yes, an antigen can invoke an immune response (cell-mediated) but not antibody production (humor-mediated) unless they become IMMUNOGENIC.

  25. tmac57 says:

    Maybe we should start the rumor that the Obama administration, has a ‘secret plan’ to WITHHOLD the flu vaccine from people. Yeah, they want to keep it for themselves and protect only the ‘elite’ from the 2009 flu. I can see it now, Fox newscasters demanding “give us our vaccines now!”. Town hall meetings full of angry citizens screaming to be protected from the flu too! Start the emails flying now.

  26. qetzal says:

    Th1Th2,

    I challenge you to provide one single citation that specifically calls Triton X-100 an adjuvant in the context of a vaccine.

    Herbicide references don’t count. References that talk about Triton in vaccines but don’t specifically call it an adjuvant don’t count. References to other adjuvants don’t count either.

    While you’re working on that, here is a 2004 review on vaccine adjuvants. It contains an extensive discussion of all the major adjuvant groups. Yet there is no mention of Triton X-100.

    Why not? Do you think the authors know less about adjuvants than you? Do you think they’d forget to include an adjuvant that (according to you) is essential for the flu vaccine? Did they omit it on purpose?

    Or is it possible that you’re wrong?

  27. Harriet Hall says:

    Who says thimerosal is a teratogen? In this study, “systemically or topically applied thimerosal was found to have no teratogenic effect even when given in concentrations approaching the 50% lethal dose” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1111489

  28. Todd W. says:

    Hehehe. Sorry. I’m still chuckling that Th1Th2 thinks thimerosal is an adjuvant. Bwahahahaha!

  29. qetzal says:

    hokieian,

    Th1Th2 may have propagated a typo from the Wikipedia article on Antigens:

    Not all antigens produce an immunogenic response (i.e. not all antigens are immunogenes [sic]), but all immunogens are antigens (Immunobiology, Janeway and Travers, 1994).

  30. hokieian says:

    Th1Th2, so you’re telling me something is only immunogenic if it induces a humoral response?

  31. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet Hall,

    So the rabbits said that thimerosal is safe?

    This is the reason Modern Medicine is based on junk science. Enough said.

    Todd W.,

    Thimerosal induces TH2 responses via influencing cytokine secretion by human dendritic cells

    ….Mercury has been shown to induce a number of immunological and neurotoxic changes, including increased production of TH2 cytokines, increased levels of IgE, decreased activity of T cells and NK cell, suppression of IgG, production of autoantibodies to a variety of self-antigens (e.g., neural antigens), and apoptosis in microglia and astrocytes [1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ]. The underlying mechanisms by which mercury induces autoimmunity and enhances allergic inflammation are not well understood.

    Still chuckling?? LOL

    hokeian,

    This is easy-peasy, I just don’t know why at such basic concept it pains you to understand the difference between the two.

  32. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2, you said that thimerosal was teratogenic. In the study I cited, thimerosal was not teratogenic. Can you cite a study showing that it is?
    Do you realize the difference between elemental mercury, ethylmercury and methylmercury?

  33. Th1Th2 says:

    hokieian,

    “Th1Th2, so you’re telling me something is only immunogenic if it induces a humoral response?”

    For vaccines, the degree of immunogenicity is measured by the presence of neutralizing antibodies since vaccines are TH2-biased.

    But there exist another form of immunity that does not require antibody production and will make all vaccines worthless. Do you know what it is? It’s easy.

  34. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet Hall,

    Are you asking me which of those Hgs are more potent and poisonous? Why not tell me if those Hgs are safe and beneficial to a living tissue? Do you take a regular and non-toxic dose of thimerosal everyday just like vitamins?

    BTW, were the rabbits vaccinated with thimerosal?

  35. magra178 says:

    Harriet Hall is my hero!

  36. qetzal says:

    Th1Th2,

    I’m still waiting for you to provide reference that specifically says Triton X-100 is a vaccine adjuvant. Not a herbicide adjuvant. Not an adjuvant general. A vaccine adjuvant.

    Can you provide one? Can you explain why Triton X-100 isn’t listed in that extensive review I linked?

  37. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2 said,

    “Are you asking me which of those Hgs are more potent and poisonous?”

    No, I’m asking you to cite evidence to support your claim that thimerosal is teratogenic. I wanted to make sure you knew which form of mercury was in thimerosal so you wouldn’t waste time citing irrelevant evidence for another form of mercury.

  38. Th1Th2 says:

    qetzal,

    Just a preview.

    “Adjuvants: Weaker antigens may be rendered more immunogenic by the addition of other chemicals. Such chemicals are known as adjuvants. There are many biological and chemical substances that have been used in experimental conditions. However, only Aluminum salts (alum) are approved for clinical human use and it is incorporated in DTP vaccine. Adjuvants used experimentally include mixtures of oil and detergents, with or without certain bacteria, most often BCG, or their components.”
    http://pathmicro.med.sc.edu/pdfimm2002/02Immunization.pdf

    Isn’t Triton X-100 a detergent?

  39. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2′s reference says that “only Aluminum salts (alum) are approved for clinical human use.”

    This is clearly false, since the adjuvant MF59 has been used in Europe for 10 years, as I referenced in my article.

  40. Th1Th2 says:

    BTW, who said that Thimerosal is NOT teratogenic in humans? The people way back from 1972 and 1975??

  41. qetzal says:

    Th1Th2,

    Please read carefully. I’m asking you for a reference that specifically calls Triton X-100 a vaccine adjuvant. It must mention Trion X-100 by name. Specifically. As an adjuvant. For a vaccine. (Trade name or generic name is, of course, acceptable.)

    And in case I forgot to mention this, it should discuss Triton X-100 by name. (Specifically. As a vaccine adjuvant.)

    Remember when you noted that not all antigens are immunogens? Similarly, not all detergents are adjuvants.

    Just because some detergents (mixed with certain oils) can be adjuvants doesn’t prove that Triton X-100 (absent any oils) is an adjuvant. Agreed?

    But I’ll tell you what. If, instead of a reference that mentions Triton by name (specifically), I’ll accept a reference that says “all detergents are vaccine adjuvants” or words to that effect.

  42. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2,
    Please read carefully. I am asking you for your evidence that thimerosal is a teratogen.

  43. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet,

    The link I quoted refers to alum-adjuvanted DTP vaccine. You should have finished reading the sentence first. Have you ever realized why Flu vaccines do not contain aluminum? It’s because instead of aluminum, flu shots contain another form of adjuvant and that is Triton X-100. MF59 is actually a mixture of different adjuvants including a nonionic detergent (Tween). Like Triton X-100 both detergents are know to exhibit enhanced immunogenicity in vaccines.

    Comparison of new triton X-100- and tween-ether-treated split-treated vaccines in children.

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?&artid=273983

  44. Calli Arcale says:

    Th1Th2:

    Calli,

    If you know what MSDS stands for then you should be able to know where to find Triton X-100. Don’t get lazy and read.

    I know what a Material Safety Data Sheet is. It tells you how to safely handle substances, and what to do in the event of a leak, etc. It tells you nothing whatsoever about the pharmacological properties of the substance, however, which is not surprising, because the MSDSes are intended to help with industrial handling/processing of various materials, and not as some sort of replacement for the Physician’s Desk Reference or the United States Pharmacopeia.

    I notice you still have not answered my question as to what exactly makes you think it is harmful to use Triton X-100 in the manufacture of vaccines, in the manner in which it actually is used. You’re still all hung up on inventing a new usage of “adjuvant”, as if this proves something. (Hint: it doesn’t.)

    Oh, and from your reply to Harriet:

    Are you asking me which of those Hgs are more potent and poisonous? Why not tell me if those Hgs are safe and beneficial to a living tissue? Do you take a regular and non-toxic dose of thimerosal everyday just like vitamins?

    You are dodging the question. Do you think there is a difference in toxicity between methyl mercury and ethyl mercury? (Hint: there is.)

    But to answer your question: yes, I take a regular and non-toxic dose of ethyl mercury (not brand-name thimerosal, necessarily) every day. Everyone does. It’s ubiquitous in the environment. (Obviously, some areas get more than others. Methyl mercury, the more hazardous mercury compound, is also present in the environment.) Consequently, our systems have evolved to cope with small amounts.

    BTW, this is not something that has gone unstudied, so I really don’t understand why you would argue from ignorance on this one. Medical science has determined the half-life of ethyl mercury in both children and adults; it actually gets cleared out quite quickly. (Interestingly, children actually clear it faster than adults.)

  45. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2,

    (1) I can read. You quoted ““Adjuvants: Weaker antigens may be rendered more immunogenic by the addition of other chemicals. Such chemicals are known as adjuvants. There are many biological and chemical substances that have been used in experimental conditions. However, only Aluminum salts (alum) are approved for clinical human use and it is incorporated in DTP vaccine. Adjuvants used experimentally include mixtures of oil and detergents, with or without certain bacteria, most often BCG, or their components.” It is clear from the entire quote that he meant that alum is the only adjuvant approved for human use: that is not true.

    (2) Steve Novella explained that surfactants are used to split the virus; they do not act as adjuvants. Please read again and try to understand.

    (3) I am asking you, once more, for your evidence that thimerosal is a teratogen.

  46. qetzal says:

    Th1Th2 wrote:

    MF59 is actually a mixture of different adjuvants including a nonionic detergent (Tween). Like Triton X-100 both detergents are know to exhibit enhanced immunogenicity in vaccines.

    No. MF59 is not simply a mixture. It’s an emulsion. That makes a difference. It does contain Tween 80, but detergents are NOT known to enhance immunogenicity on their own.

    For example, Herbert reported the following:

    Mice given a single subcutaneous inoculation of highly-purified ovalbumin in water-in-oil emulsion yielded peak antibody titres which were about 500 times those stimulated by the same dose of ovalbumin without adjuvant, and which remained at the peak level for at least a year. Neither the oil, nor the emulsifier, nor the emulsion itself when injected at a separate site from the antigen, stimulated a response of this type.

    Read that slowly and carefully, Th1Th2. The water-in-oil emulsion worked great as an adjuvant. Neither the oil alone, nore the emulsifier (i.e. the detergent, which was Tween 80) had ANY adjuvant effect.

    Did you get that? Tween 80, the same detergent found in MF59, was NOT AN ADJUVANT.

  47. the bug guy says:

    ThiTh2: “If Triton X-100 is an agricultural adjuvant then why is it in vaccines? Because Triton X-100 is also an IMMUNOLOGIC ADJUVANT. Tween, like Triton X-100 is also found in pesticides and herbicides and also a major vaccine adjuvant. ”

    Because it is a useful surfactant in many different situations. The agricultural use of these materials is completely irrelevant to their use in vaccine preparation.

    You are simply trying to pull a cheap “Its TEH TOXINZ” gambit by implying that they have insecticidal or herbicidal properties when they do not.

    I’ve explained how it is used agriculturally and Steve Novella has explained how it is used in vaccine preparation. Please go back and read to see that these are completely different.

  48. tmac57 says:

    Maybe the problem that Th1Th2 is having with Triton X-100 is the name. I mean come on it sounds like a nuclear weapon, or a Marvel comics villain. Now, would you be having this argument if it was named Warm Fuzzy Puppy-100? I think not. Take note marketing departments everywhere.

  49. qetzal says:

    So maybe we should rechristen MF59: Mom’s Favorite 59? Most Friendly 59? Mousey Fuzzy 59?

  50. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet Hall,

    Triton X-100, just like aluminum, is toxic to the human body. Triton X-100 is designed for research purposes only and NOT for human or veterinary testing per MSDS.

    Thimerosal is a known MUTAGENIC per MSDS. Don’t wait for the government to tell you it is also TERATOGENIC ala Thalidomide. Anyway, your article was way back in 1972, 1975 and did not rule out teratogenicity in humans. And I called that quack.

    Calli,

    You guys should wake up and accept the fact that this discussion is mainly toxicological. There is no room for any nutritional value in vaccines whatsoever. Of course you know the MSDS but the problem is you don’t know how to apply it.

    Also, your line of thought regarding the ubiquitousness of thimerosal is off. You see, not all substances that exist naturally is essential to the human body especially if you’re talking about toxic elements. Let me guess, you also take daily dose of formaldehyde. Only fools would consider them nutritious and essential that they allow themselves to be exposed. Think about that.

  51. qetzal says:

    Th1Th2,

    Still waiting for the reference showing that Triton X-100 is a vaccine adjuvant. I don’t expect to ever get it though.

    I see you’ve also backed off your earlier claim that thimerosal is teratogenic. An honest person would admit they were mistaken on that, but not you. No, you jumped to that old standby, “You can’t prove it’s NOT teratogenic!”

    If you were attempting to argue honestly, I’d defend your right to keep posting here. But you’re not. You’re being deliberately and knowingly dishonest, not to mention willfully stupid. I expect you’ll be joining pec very soon.

  52. Th1Th2 says:

    qetzal,

    You said, “Neither the oil alone, nore the emulsifier (i.e. the detergent, which was Tween 80) had ANY adjuvant effect.”

    False. The original statement from your link is this,
    “Neither the oil, nor the emulsifier, nor the emulsion itself when injected at a separate site from the antigen, stimulated a response of this type.

    The operational words there are ” stimulated a response of this type.” What type of response? That co-adjuvants (the oil, the emulsion or the emulsifier (Tween)) will NOT induce 500 times better immunogenicity of the antigen (OA) if they are injected separately. That means, adjuvants can exist alone or in combination with other adjuvants for more potent synergistic effect (water-in-oil emulsion). You might as well check the charts from your link you provided.

    So the lesson from the story is, the more, the merrier. Here comes MF59.

  53. Calli Arcale says:

    You guys should wake up and accept the fact that this discussion is mainly toxicological. There is no room for any nutritional value in vaccines whatsoever. Of course you know the MSDS but the problem is you don’t know how to apply it.

    We know the discussion is mainly toxicological. I’m not convinced that you do — you don’t seem to understand that “toxin” isn’t some kind of binary switch — either a substance is evil and horrible or it isn’t. It depends on the dose.

    So you agree that I know what the MSDS is? Then you agree that it is utterly irrelevant to this discussion? Or are you just obfuscating the fact that you have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about?

    (Note: you still haven’t said what bad things you think Triton X100 would do, as it is used in vaccine production. I think you are hoping we will focus on the definitions and fail to notice that you haven’t actually advanced any real argument here.)

    Also, your line of thought regarding the ubiquitousness of thimerosal is off. You see, not all substances that exist naturally is essential to the human body especially if you’re talking about toxic elements. Let me guess, you also take daily dose of formaldehyde. Only fools would consider them nutritious and essential that they allow themselves to be exposed. Think about that.

    Heh — it’s worse than you think, Th1Th2. My body MAKES formaldehyde! So does yours! If it instantly makes everything poison just by its mere existence at any quantity, then YOUR BODY IS KILLING YOU!!!! Eeek!

    ;-)

    Seriously, the point you’re missing is that the dose makes the poison. Your body is adapted to deal with a lot of natural toxins. Ethyl mercury is definitely a toxin; that’s actually *why* it’s in vaccines. It’s an antimicrobial. But the tiny amounts in vaccines are easily handled by your body. Thus, you get a tiny amount of preservative that isn’t going to hurt you instead of getting, say, a particularly virulent strain of bacteria injected into your muscle.

    You are correct that not all substances naturally existing are essential. However, you seem to be under the delusion that things are either “safe” or “toxic”. This is not true. Actually, all substances can fall into either category, depending on the circumstances, and in general, naturally-occurring levels are within our bodies’ ability to cope. My DHMO reference clearly missed you, so I’ll elaborate on it to illustrate my point.

    DHMO, or dihydrogen monoxide, is a chemical often used to trap people into betraying their lack of understanding. I’m not gonna do that, though. I’m going to be perfectly serious here. It’s H2O — water. It is the second-most-essential substance for human life (behind gaseous oxygen, O2). If you do not get enough water, you die. It’s as simple as that.

    But does this mean water is always safe? No. I’m not just talking about the stupid obvious stuff like drowning, or the fact that gaseous water (steam) will burn you. Less well known is water toxicity. If you drink too much water, you will develop water intoxication. Severe cases can lead to brain damage or even death. A notorious recent case was a woman who enrolled in a radio station’s “Hold Your Wee for A Wii” promotion, in which contestants were encouraged to drink lots of water and not go to the bathroom. Whoever held their urine the longest while drinking the requisite amount of water (to be fair), would win a brand-new Nintendo Wii. The woman thought this was a great idea; she wasn’t able to afford nice presents for her kids, and this would be a way to possibly get them a nice gift. Something special. She was well on her way to winning when she suddenly collapsed. She died the same day of water intoxication, which had caused irreversible and lethal damage to her brain.

    This is rare. Drinking water is normally extremely safe. It takes serious effort to consume enough water for it to become toxic. But become toxic it does. Even oxygen causes damage — one of the big ironies of life as an obligate anaerobe is that our cells spend a lot of effort just cleaning up the damage that oxygen does to them. And although it’s rare, one of the rarely-mentioned risks of vitamin megadosing is the fact that it can kill.

    There have been people who died by overdosing on vitamins. It’s rare; your body is pretty good at handling excess vitamins, so usually you’ll just pee out whatever you don’t need. You have to be really committed to megadoses to actually do yourself serious harm. Lesser harm can be done, though; did you know that the amount of vitamin A in Airborne is technically toxic? Smaller amounts are find and dandy, and indeed essential. But if you take the amount recommended on the Airbone package, you will nudge yourself over the dose generally recognized as safe. This is probably not going to be a serious problem; this amount is only likely to aggravate bone density, and even then mainly only when taken by women of childbearing age (particularly those who are pregnant, who are more sensitive to vitamin A).

    Noble gasses may be the only elements which are truly nontoxic (though excessive quantities will still cause harm by other means, mostly by displacing the things we need, such as oxygen — a pure argon atmosphere is certainly lethal), largely because they’re so unreactive. (It’s their defining characteristic, really.) So just because something is toxic at really high doses really doesn’t tell you anything useful, except that maybe you want to be careful around large amounts of the stuff. (Which gets us back to the basic point of the MSDS. You probably don’t want to eat a pound of Triton X-100, for instance, but that doesn’t mean it’s dangerous to use in vaccine manufacture, especially when only trace amounts remain in the finished product.)

    I’ve rambled on a lot here, so I’ll sum it up:

    Anything can be a toxin; the real question is whether or not it is safe at a particular dose and via a particular route of administration. The evidence collected by the FDA for licensure of vaccines indicates that it is safe as used in vaccine manufacture, does not act as an adjuvant, and indeed given that it is removed during manufacture, the amounts remaining in the finished product are too small to have any effect whatsoever.

    Do you have any evidence to the contrary?

  54. Th1Th2 says:

    qetzal,

    NO, because you cannot extrapolate animal testing to humans. My premise was, thimerosal is TERATOGENIC in humans, not in rabbits, understood? Also, the only attempt that was able to study teratogenicity in humans was unsuccessful because the fetus died of dose-related toxicity from thimerosal. So again, the lesson from this story is, if it is a rabbit, then it is not human.

  55. Calli Arcale says:

    Clarification: Vitamin A overdose can aggravate bone density *problems*. So it’ll increase your risk of later developing osteoporosis.

  56. Th1Th2 says:

    Calli,

    You are an absolute quack. Where did you learn that superstitious belief that humans make formaldehyde. First, humans DO NOT synthesize formaldehyde. Second, the presence of endogenous formaldehyde in your body is a result of metabolism from exposure to exogenous formaldehyde. Since formaldehyde is a toxic element, they are further broken down into a lesser toxin until they are completely eliminated from the body.

    Please get your facts straight!

  57. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2,

    I have asked you several times for evidence that thimerosal is a teratogen in humans. Is your last comment an admission that you have no evidence? I would be interested in learning more about that “only attempt to study teratogenicity” that you mention where “the fetus” died (a study with only one subject?!). Can you provide a reference?

  58. Todd W. says:

    @Th1Th2

    Yep, still chuckling. The study you cited indicated that thimerosal increased Th2, but decreased Th1. It mentioned nothing of thimerosal being an adjuvant.

    Adjuvant: a substance added to a vaccine to increase the immune response to the antigen in the vaccine.

    Preservative: a substance added to a vaccine to prevent the growth of microbial contaminants.

    Thimerosal is used to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi (i.e., microbial contaminants). Thimerosal is not added to increase the immune response to the antigen in the vaccine. Ergo, thimerosal is a preservative, not an adjuvant.

    Feel free to provide a citation to a study that shows that thimerosal increases the immune response to the antigen in the vaccine. However, given your unwillingness to provide citations for anything else requested of you, I won’t hold my breath.

  59. Th1Th2 says:

    Todd W.,

    In case you don’t know, adjuvants are designed to enhance the Th2-stimulating function of vaccines. If Th2 is induced then physiologically the Th1 is inhibited. Even intrinsic cytokines are considered adjuvants also.

  60. daedalus2u says:

    Wow, humans do make formaldehyde. That happens to be the reason that methanol is toxic, the enzyme in the liver that metabolizes ethanol to acetaldehyde tuns methanol to formaldehyde. The treatment for methanol poisoning is to give ethanol to saturate the liver enzyme and reduce the damage from the formaldehyde.

    Formaldehyde is made under other circumstances too. Here is a paper talking about the oxidative demethylation of DNA which produces … formaldehyde as a product.

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=12486230

    Physiology is a lot more complicated than “toxins bad”.

  61. Th1Th2 says:

    daedalus2u,

    You are talking about the toxicokinetic degradation of methanol into formaldehyde. In short, the body has to be exposed first to methanol or exogenous formaldehyde to bring about such detoxification. Ergo, formaldehyde is a toxic by-product of metabolism from exogenous sources. The body does not produce intrinsic formaldehyde, remember that.

    Detoxification of formaldehyde is a physiologic event because it is TOXIC to humans! You guys are hilarious. LOL

  62. daedalus2u says:

    DNA methylation is a normal process. That is how DNA is epigenetically programmed. Demethylation of DNA is also a normal process. That process generates formaldehyde. That formaldehyde is toxic, so physiology has enzymes and systems to detoxify it.

    Here is a paper that shows formaldehyde as an intermediate in metabolism from other normal physiological starting materials.

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=11231903

    That formaldehyde is intrinsic to other metabolic processes. Nothing exogenous is required. The quantity of formaldehyde used in vaccines is tiny compared to the quantities physiology makes all on its own. If you knew or understood physiology you would know that, and not just repeat the anti-vax mantra of “toxins bad”.

  63. MOI says:

    OK, I need clarification.
    The risk of GBS in the general pop is around 1 to 4 in 100,000. The risk seems to increase when exposed to the flu virus (makes sense). The 1976 vax had a GBS rate of 1 in 100,000…but we know that there was an increase in the syndrome caused by the vaccine? The deaths attributed to the vax was complications from GBS? “More people died from the vax than the flu” Anti-vaxers will be all over this. They’ll wonder what the difference is between the old vax and this new vax. Is it not the vax to worry about but the fact that more people are dying from the flu? The risk of death from the vaccine won’t be less but the risk of death from the flu is greater? I’m sharing this article with others but they will have these questions and I want to be able to answer them.
    Thank you!
    Erin

  64. Todd W. says:

    @Erin

    The anti-vaxers have already been all over the 1976 flu bit. Joe Albietz wrote an article on here last week or the week before that spoke more directly to the swine flu issue.

  65. Todd W. says:

    @Erin

    Actually, let me clarify, Dr. Albietz wrote two articles dealing with influenza. The most recent, “An Influenza Primer”, was on the 4th. Very good article that clears up some of the questions that may arise, in addition to what Dr. Hall has answered here. He also addressed the fears of squalene in an earlier post (Aug. 28?) that would also be relevant. Good reading all around.

    If you click on his name over at the right-hand side, you’ll be taken to his bio, where you will also find a link to his recent posts.

  66. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2,

    I have asked you several times for evidence that thimerosal is a teratogen in humans. Is your last comment an admission that you have no evidence? I would be interested in learning more about that “only attempt to study teratogenicity” that you mention where “the fetus” died (a study with only one subject?!). Can you provide a reference?

  67. MOI says:

    I found my answer in the comments section of “An Influenza Primer”. DeeTee has written a good article regarding GBS. I will be pointing many to that article as well as this one.
    Thank you!
    Erin

  68. Harriet Hall says:

    Trying again: Th1Th2,

    I have asked you several times for evidence that thimerosal is a teratogen in humans. Is your last comment an admission that you have no evidence? I would be interested in learning more about that “only attempt to study teratogenicity” that you mention where “the fetus” died (a study with only one subject?!). Can you provide a reference?

  69. qetzal says:

    Th1Th2 wrote:

    You might as well check the charts from your link you provided.

    Been there, did that. Go back to the link in my comment from 09 Sep 2009 at 12:51 am, pull up the full text pdf, and go to Figure 4. Herbert compared antibody response to ovalbumin in simple physiological saline solution, or with Arlacel A (the oil component of their emulsion), or with Tween 80 (emulsifier component of their emulsion; also a component of MF59).

    There was NO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE between antibody titers for the three different groups. Tween 80 by itself had no statistical effect on antibody titer compared to saline. In other words, it was NOT AN ADJUVANT.

    Not in that study, at least. Of course, you are welcome to link a study that shows that Tween 80 (or Triton X-100) is an adjuvant BY ITSELF. (That is, not as a component of an oil emulsion.) But it seems you can’t.

    Your intellectual dishonesty is really on display here, isn’t it?

  70. Calli Arcale says:

    You are talking about the toxicokinetic degradation of methanol into formaldehyde. In short, the body has to be exposed first to methanol or exogenous formaldehyde to bring about such detoxification. Ergo, formaldehyde is a toxic by-product of metabolism from exogenous sources. The body does not produce intrinsic formaldehyde, remember that.

    I see you learned some big words, Th1Th2. Daedalus has already explained why you’re wrong about formaldehyde. Did you go google “formaldehyde made by body” and stop at the first hit in order to find your devastating counter-argument to my point? Pity you didn’t read a few more links, or you wouldn’t have been embarrassed by Daedalus.

    You still haven’t said what bad things Triton X-100 does as used in vaccine manufacture. I’m now pretty well convinced you don’t know. “Huge amounts can kill you” is not a good way to make me scared of vaccines. Just sayin’.

    BTW, although you do like to make up your own definitions, “quack” is an odd name to call me. The word normally means a fake medical practitioner, or a real one who peddles fake treatments. I’m a software engineer. I don’t practice medicine, real or fake, beyond your basic first-responder mommy stuff. Band-aids and cold packs; that kind of thing. Not much room for quackery there. I do however like to have actual facts upon which to base my decisions. Maybe that bothers you?

  71. Th1Th2 says:

    qetzal,

    In reference to OA, Tween 80 alone, take note, is NOT an effective adjuvant nor the oil or the saline when injected separately from the antigen. But when these adjuvants are combined to form water-in-oil emulsion it induces 500 times better immunogenicity in the vaccines.

    So are you saying that an adjuvant composition (water-in-oil emulsion) does not contain another form of adjuvant?

    Think of adjuvants like a bottle of food seasoning. It is a blend of different spices that enhances food flavor.

  72. Th1Th2 says:

    daedalus2u,

    You should understand that the formation of formaldehyde from DNA demethylation is not a physiologic need at cellular level. It is a WASTE PRODUCT. Its presence in the system only shows the pathway to detoxification. So are you also saying that since the body produces urine, it’s OK to inject it back to the system? WTH!

    Again, you have not proven that formaldehyde is produced intrinsically by cells and NOT a product of metabolism.

    A poison is a poison no matter how small.

  73. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2,

    False analogy: Adjuvants are nothing like a bottle of food seasoning.

    And you still haven’t offered any evidence that thimerosal is a human teratogen. Are you admitting there isn’t any?

  74. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet,

    Are you saying that thimerosal is NOT teratogenic in HUMANS? Show me the evidence that it is not and I will show you otherwise.

  75. Calli Arcale says:

    Jeez, can’t you do your own homework occasionally? You expect us to just [i]take your word[/i] that thimerosal is teratogenic in the amounts used in vaccines?

    Here’s the closest you ever got in this thread:

    Thimerosal is a known MUTAGENIC per MSDS. Don’t wait for the government to tell you it is also TERATOGENIC ala Thalidomide. Anyway, your article was way back in 1972, 1975 and did not rule out teratogenicity in humans. And I called that quack.

    So, you’ve actually conceded that evidence suggesting it wasn’t teratogenic was submitted. You disliked the fact that it was old, and didn’t conclusively prove a negative (which, by the way, is logically impossible anyway). You “called that quack”.

    Nice way to back up your argument.

    Your precious MSDS, BTW, which again is pertinent for industrial or lab exposure, says this about Thimerosal:

    “Potential Chronic Health Effects:
    CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available.
    MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells.
    TERATOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available.
    DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: Not available.”

    Doesn’t exactly sound like an open-and-shut case to me. Besides, the MSDS isn’t a scientific document. Its function isn’t to provide data that can be extrapolated into other settings. Its sole purpose is to help people handle it safely in the lab or factory.

    I’m not saying it’s totally safe. It obviously isn’t. It wouldn’t work as an antimicrobial if it were totally safe. What I’m saying is that you’ve given no reason whatsoever to be concerned about its presence in vaccines.

  76. Th1Th2 says:

    Calli,

    There is no such thing as “totally safe” as you stated. Since the meaning of safe per se is the absence of harm, injuries, side-effects or contraindications. It is better for you to just say thimerosal is LESS TOXIC if you mean that it is not totally safe. Agree?

  77. Sid Offit says:

    @ Harriet Hall

    Maternal-fetal Toxicology: A Clinician’s Guide By Gideon Koren

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Dmzfmf5081QC&pg=PA127&dq=mercury+teratogen&lr=&as_brr=3#v=onepage&q=mercury%20teratogen&f=false

    Once absorbed practically all mercury compounds are teratogenetic
    ————————————————————
    Catalog of teratogenic agents By Thomas H. Shepard, Ronald J. Lemire

    http://books.google.com/books?id=vBIl2OA6BK8C&pg=PA391&dq=merthiolate+teratogen&lr=&as_brr=3#v=onepage&q=merthiolate%20teratogen&f=false

    The RR for congenital abnormalities among 56 children whose mothers used this antiseptic [thimerisol] topically during the 1st 4 months was 2.69

    —————————————————————————-
    And in the rat and rabbit studies, the thimerisol just killed without producing deformities

  78. Sid Offit says:

    Hello?

  79. Calli Arcale says:

    There is no such thing as “totally safe” as you stated. Since the meaning of safe per se is the absence of harm, injuries, side-effects or contraindications. It is better for you to just say thimerosal is LESS TOXIC if you mean that it is not totally safe. Agree?

    You misunderstand me. My point is that it’s meaningless to divide substances into “safe “and “not safe” categories, since pretty much everything is unsafe at some point. More important is whether or not they are safe in specific real-world situations.

    The evidence indicates that thimerosal is not toxic in the doses used in vaccines. It *is* toxic in larger doses. That I can agree upon.

  80. Sid Offit says:

    @ Harriet Hall

    Maternal-fetal Toxicology: A Clinician’s Guide By Gideon Koren

    Once absorbed practically all mercury compounds are teratogenetic
    ————————————————————
    Catalog of teratogenic agents By Thomas H. Shepard, Ronald J. Lemire

    The RR for congenital abnormalities among 56 children whose mothers used this antiseptic [thimerisol] topically during the 1st 4 months was 2.69
    —————————————————————————-
    And in the rat and rabbit studies, the thimerisol just killed without producing deformities

  81. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2 said, “Are you saying that thimerosal is NOT teratogenic in HUMANS? Show me the evidence that it is not and I will show you otherwise.”

    No, that’s not the way it works. You made a claim and it is up to you to support it. I did not claim that thimerosal is NOT teratogenic in humans. I asked you for evidence that it WAS.

  82. Peter Lipson says:

    @Sid

    Once absorbed practically all mercury compounds are teratogenetic

    Two points: the word “practically”, meaning many but not all; second, the dose makes the poison. One molecule of botulinin will not kill you, but several micrograms might.

  83. daedalus2u says:

    Th1Th2, there is an inherent need to demethylate DNA. When cells do that they produce formaldehyde. They produce formaldehyde as part of their need to demethylate DNA. What kind of gyrations are you trying to go through to deny that?

  84. Sid Offit says:

    @Harriet
    ———————————————————————————
    In recent years, flu vaccines have been 75% effective in preventing hospitalizations for flu
    ———————————————————————————-

    What are you using for evidence here?

  85. Th1Th2 says:

    daedalus2u,

    Formaldehyde is NOT an inherent nor a physiologic need. It is a toxic WASTE by-product of demethylation, exposure to methyl carbons, methanol toxicity and exogenous formaldehyde obviously. Are you trying to say that formaldehyde is essential to human survival, where did you learn that? Like I said, there is an inherent need to urinate but it does not mean you have to drink your own urine back let alone inject it to your system. Your argument does not make any sense at all.

  86. daedalus2u says:

    Formaldehyde most certainly is an inherent part of physiology. If your body couldn’t produce formaldehyde as a part of demethylating DNA, it couldn’t survive. There are other pathways that necessarily make formaldehyde as part of normal physiology.

    Physiology isn’t as simple and as black and white, as good and bad, as toxic and non-toxic as your fantasies tell you. Physiology is more complicated than the cartoon image you have of it.

    Who is talking about injecting urine? What is the major component in urine? Water. What is the major component in IV fluids? Guess what, it is also water. OH NOZ! Urine and IV fluids are mostly the same! The woman mentioned above who died of water intoxication probably would have lived if she had cut it with urine (which contains sodium).

    Give it up, you are out of your league with people who have forgotten more physiology than you will ever know.

  87. Th1Th2 says:

    daedalus2u,

    You are clearly obfuscated by your own statements. There is a big difference between a physiologic need and a physiologic WASTE product. You have also given me some weak and faulty analogies.
    Demethylation, just like respiration and urination, is a physiologic need just as formaldehyde, CO2 and urine are physiologic by-products of those processes, respectively. You see, you are like a toxicologist pretending to be a nutritionist who teaches the benefits of poisons and toxic substances in the health of a person. That is insanity. Let me guess, the next silly analogy you will employ is the benefits of eating fecal matter.

    Put it this way, good health is a physiologic need while vaccination is a physiologic threat.

  88. Harriet Hall says:

    Sid Offit,

    I’m not sure where I got the 75% figure, but it may have been from this website, http://www.cdc.gov/FLU/PROFESSIONALS/VACCINATION/effectivenessqa.htm
    and if it was, I may have misread what was only a theoretical example. If that’s what happened, I apologize. The actual percentage is not quite that high but is up to 70%.

    The website says:

    “Among elderly persons not living in nursing homes or similar long-term care facilities, influenza vaccine has been reported to be 30%-70% effective in preventing hospitalization for pneumonia and influenza.”

    ” influenza vaccines can be expected to reduce laboratory-confirmed influenza by approximately 70% to 90% in healthy adults <65 years of age. Several studies have also found reductions in febrile illness, influenza-related work absenteeism, antibiotic use, and doctor visits.”

    “the vaccine may be only 30%-40% effective against influenza-related respiratory illness among nursing home residents. However, even in this group of frail elderly, the vaccine still provides substantial protection against more severe outcomes, such as influenza-related hospitalization (effectiveness of 50-60%) and deaths (80%).”

  89. TsuDhoNimh says:

    Th1Th2:

    http://ai.psur.cornell.edu/PesticideGlossary.aspx

    Adjuvant: “An ingredient that improves the properties of a pesticide formulation. Includes wetting agents, spreaders, emulsifiers, dispersing agents, foam suppressants, penetrants, and correctives. ”

    What is an “adjuvant” in one circumstance may not be an adjuvant in another. Just because Triton X-100 is a surfactant used in agriculture to enhance absorption of an herbicide doesn’t mean it can’t also be a good lab detergent for cleaning glassware … or that those same properties can’t be used to rupture cell membranes or disrupt virus particles.

    Dish soap or vinegar can be used as an “adjuvant” for the herbicide glyphosate (common trademark “Roundup”. Does that make them evil? Does that mean they have no other uses?

  90. Newcoaster says:

    “The potential may be there, but the likelihood is homeopathic.”

    I love that line…I’m going to start using it !

  91. Todd W. says:

    @Th1Th2

    Please point out where anyone has said that formaldehyde is nutritious. daedalus2u and Calli Arcale were responding to your earlier claim about formaldehyde. To whit:

    Where did you learn that superstitious belief that humans make formaldehyde. First, humans DO NOT synthesize formaldehyde.

    They pointed out that the human body does, in fact, produce formaldehyde. You are the only one trying to put words into people’s mouths (or keyboards, as it were) by making it seem like they are saying that the human body needs formaldehyde.

    I think the important point is that the human body produces, and gets rid of, significantly more formaldehyde on a daily basis than you would find in all vaccines together. The body has the mechanisms to handle it and get rid of it without it causing toxic reactions.

    Here’s a question for you. If formaldehyde is toxic in any amount, please provide a study that shows the toxic effects of formaldehyde in a typical vaccine load in humans.

  92. Deetee says:

    Th1Th2,
    After first denying the body produced formaldehyde, you now seem to be arguing that because it happens to be a metabolic byproduct of metabolism, that it must be inherently harmful.

    Formaldehyde may be “toxic”, yes, but only when there is enough of it (40% formaldehyde = formalin). Getting 0.5ml of a vaccine with 0.004% formaldehyde is a drop in the ocean compared to what is naturally produced by the body.

  93. Calli Arcale says:

    Sid Offit:

    Maternal-fetal Toxicology: A Clinician’s Guide By Gideon Koren

    Once absorbed practically all mercury compounds are teratogenetic

    I would not be at all surprised if sufficient doses of mercury-containing compounds were teratogenic. An awful lot of things are. The question is, how much does it take before it becomes teratogenic?

    Acetominophen is effective and pretty darned safe (for most people) as a pain reliever and fever reducer. Until you get up to about 15 tablets in an adult, and then it causes kidney failure. It’s really important to know the dose, because most things (even tremendously lethal poisons, like botulin) are harmless at some level.

    Th1Th2:

    You are clearly obfuscated by your own statements. There is a big difference between a physiologic need and a physiologic WASTE product. You have also given me some weak and faulty analogies.

    You are quite correct that formaldehyde is a byproduct of vital metabolic processes, and that it therefore needs to be disposed of. For this reason, the human body has developed quite robust mechanisms for doing so. This is why it’s ludicrous to be scared of the miniscule amount of formaldehyde found in some vaccines — your body won’t even notice it. In fact, this is part of the reason such substances are chosen — your body can cope with them just fine.

    I do notice that while you assert daedalus’ analogies are “weak and faulty”, you do not attempt to support this assertion. You’re very good at asserting things. You’ve asserted a lot in this thread. But not once have you ever supported your assertions. Methinks you don’t actually have any support from them.

  94. Th1Th2 says:

    TsuDhoNimh,

    Triton X-100 is for research purposes only and is NOT intended for human or animal testing.

    I’d like to hear from the many vaccine apologists here aka pro-toxins have to say about this.

  95. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2, your unsupported assertions are becoming tiresome.

    Triton X-100 has been used for a long time to prepare a split virion influenza vaccine and has been found safe. See:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WBS-45FCC9J-T&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1007384960&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=46c5a6ef07906a7141479014adbcc511

    You never did respond to my request for your evidence that thimerosal was teratogenic in humans. Does your non-response constitute an admission that you were wrong?

  96. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet,

    You don’t call something safe when you meant LESS TOXIC. Like what I have been saying, SAFE is the absence of harm, injuries, side-effects or contraindications. From the link you provided, it states:

    “Among the local reactions observed, mild pain, redness, or induration at the injection site were the most frequently reported. Fever (38·0 to 38·5°C) was noted in five adults or elderly subjects (1%), and in two children (5%).”

    Do you know that the reactogenicity of adjuvants is measured on the development of feverishness and pain at the injection site?

    About the thimerosal, someone has already given you a link that proves thimerosal is in fact, teratogenic.

    Thimerosal Merthiolate

    The relative risk for congenital anomalies among 56 children whose mothers used this antiseptic topically during the first 4 months was 2. 69 (p;0.05) (Heinonen et al., 1977)

    http://books.google.com/books?id=vBIl2OA6BK8C&pg=PA391&dq=merthiolate+teratogen&lr=&as_brr=3#v=onepage&q=merthiolate%20teratogen&f=false

    I know what you mean by vaccine safety. For as long as the vaccine or its toxic components will not kill the host at a sub-lethal dose then it is considered SAFE. Ridiculous!

  97. Th1Th2 says:

    Attn: Moderators,

    Missing posts. Where are they? Thanks.

    Harriet,

    TRITON® X-100 Detergent
    Cat. No. 648462

    Each product is intended to be used for research purposes only. It is not to be used for drug or diagnostic purposes, nor is it intended for human use. EMD Chemicals products may not be resold, modified for resale, or used to manufacture commercial products without written approval of EMD Chemicals.

    A Brand of EMD Chemicals Inc., an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
    http://www.calbiochem.com
    FOR RESEARCH USE ONLY. NOT FOR HUMAN OR DIAGNOSTIC USE.

    http://www.emdbiosciences.com/Products/pds.asp?catno=648462&print=1

    The MSDS even states this about Triton X-100:

    SKIN CONTACT: REMOVE CONTAMINATED CLOTHING. WASH SKIN WITH SOAP AND WATER. OBTAIN MEDICAL ATTENTION IF IRRITATION PERSISTS. WASH CLOTHING BEFORE REUSE.
    http://www.carolina.com/text/teacherresources/MSDS/jtt7332.pdf

    Have you ever heard a doctor discuss this before obtaining an informed consent from the patient?

    I guess not.

  98. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet, (this is a repost)

    You don’t call something safe when you meant LESS TOXIC. Like what I have been saying, SAFE is the absence of harm, injuries, side-effects or contraindications. From the link you provided, it states:

    “Among the local reactions observed, mild pain, redness, or induration at the injection site were the most frequently reported. Fever (38·0 to 38·5°C) was noted in five adults or elderly subjects (1%), and in two children (5%).”

    Do you know that the reactogenicity of adjuvants is measured by the development of feverishness and pain at the injection site?

    About the thimerosal, someone has already given you a link that proves thimerosal is in fact, teratogenic.

    Thimerosal Merthiolate

    The relative risk for congenital anomalies among 56 children whose mothers used this antiseptic topically during the first 4 months was 2. 69 (p;0.05) (Heinonen et al., 1977)

    http://books.google.com/books?id=vBIl2OA6BK8C&pg=PA391&dq=merthiolate+teratogen&lr=&as_brr=3#v=onepage&q=merthiolate%20teratogen&f=false

    I know what you mean by vaccine safety. For as long as the vaccine or its toxic components will not kill the host at a sub-lethal dose then it is considered SAFE.

  99. Scott says:

    “Like what I have been saying, SAFE is the absence of harm, injuries, side-effects or contraindications.”

    An entirely useless definition. By this standard, nothing is safe. I’m sure you typed on a keyboard to write your post. That carries a risk of repetitive stress injury. And you breathe the air, which carries a risk of radon exposure. And you walk down the street, which carries a risk of getting hit by a car.

    You don’t apply the standard you claim to any other aspect of your life, so why try and apply it to vaccines?

    The only rational way to view safety is whether the benefits are sufficient to outweigh the risks. And by this standard, vaccines most definitely are safe.

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