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  • Dr. Mercola

Flu Shots Don't Work For Kids

Two reports showed the flu vaccine may not be effective in preventing health problems in children. One study revealed that flu shots in the past two seasons did not reduce doctor visits or the risk of hospitalization for flu in children age 5 and younger. Another showed that MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (a sometimes fatal drug-resistant bacteria that can accompany the flu), as opposed to the flu itself, is a main contributor to the growing number of child deaths attributed to influenza.

The first study suggested that a reason the vaccine did not prevent children from getting the flu was that the strains in the flu vaccines have mismatched the circulating flu strain in past years.

MRSA is a drug-resistant superbug that can piggyback on the flu and can cause outbreaks of deadly pneumonia. Secondary infections increase the risk of death from the flu more often than the flu itself.


ABC News October 7, 2008

Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, October 2008

American Academy of Pediatrics

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Back in 2005, The Federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that all children between 6 months and 5 years old receive flu shots each year. Now they have expanded their guidelines to include children up to 18 years. This means everyone, except adults between the ages of 19-49 who are in good health, is urged to get a flu shot.

This is an enormous change and expands inoculations to more than 30 million school-age children.

It should come as no surprise to find out that a majority of the ACIP members who came up with these guidelines have financial ties to the vaccine industry, and stand to gain personally from every additional child who gets a yearly injection. It’s actually the only explanation that makes any sense for recommendations as insane as these.

Five Reasons to Reconsider Flu Shots For Your Child

Here are five major reasons why this government push to vaccinate virtually all children with a yearly flu vaccine is so reprehensible:

  1. The majority of flu shots contain 25 micrograms of mercury, an amount considered unsafe for anyone weighing less than 550 pounds! And which groups are most sensitive to the neurological damage that has been associated with mercury? Infants, children, and the elderly.

  2. The above study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that vaccinating young children against the flu appeared to have no impact on flu-related doctor visits or hospitalizations during two recent flu seasons. At first glance, the data did suggest that children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years derived some protection from the vaccine in these years. But after adjusting for potentially relevant variables, the researchers concluded that "significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting.”

  3. The new policy ignores a large-scale, systematic review of 51 studies, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2006, that found no evidence the flu vaccine is any more effective for children than a placebo. The studies involved 260,000 children, age 6 to 23 months.

  4. If your child gets a flu shot, he can still get the flu (or flu-like symptoms). This is because it only protects against certain strains, and it’s anyone’s guess about which flu viruses will be in your area.

  5. There are many studies supporting the hygiene hypothesis, which proposes that acquiring viral infections early in life is not a bad thing. It actually helps build your child’s immune system, drastically reducing the risk for heart disease, allergies, and asthma, as he grows older. So why would you give your child a flu shot--EVERY YEAR--that has NEVER been proven effective, that can give him the very illness you’re trying to prevent, and has potential long-term side effects that are far worse than the flu itself?

Medical Officials and Government Agencies Contribute to the Deception

The powers that be have done an excellent job of instilling fear into the masses. They would have you believe that your child must receive shots to stay healthy, but the simple reality is, it’s doing your child more harm than good.

Even if the flu vaccine did effectively prevent the flu, there have been several examples in past years where government health officials have chosen the incorrect influenza strains for that year’s vaccine. In 2004, the National Vaccine Information Center described how CDC officials told everyone to line up for a flu shot that didn"t even contain the influenza strain causing most of the flu that year.

Medical officials have exaggerated the effectiveness ofthe flu shot campaign in reducing hospitalization stays, time off work, and deaths directly related to influenza. To date, the CDC states 83 children have reportedly died from flu-associated complications, including MRSA and pneumonia, during the 2007-2008 flu season.

They don’t say how many of those 83 children died, in spite of receiving the flu shot.

What they also don’t report is how many children’s lives have been shattered from the terrible side effects of the vaccine itself, and how autism rates have skyrocketed as a result of the mercury in vaccines. There are now 100,000 new cases of autism being diagnosed every year.

Fortunately, there is some reversal in autism rates, related to decreased use of thimerosal in some (but not all) vaccines since the late 1990s.

Children Carry Heavy Burdens of Toxins

In 1983, before the autism epidemic began, children received 10 vaccines before attending school and the autism incidence was 1 in10,000. Today, they are receiving over 24 vaccines before their first birthday, and 36 by the time they attend school, and the autism rate is now 1 in 150.

Yet the medical “experts” refuse to acknowledge that the mercury in vaccines has anything to do with the dramatic and sudden rise in autism cases.

With an already heavy childhood immunization schedule, loaded as it is with nasty substances like mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde, children are accumulating these toxins at staggering rates. Your child’s health is being terrorized by greedy corporations who have but one agenda--and it isn’t your child’s welfare.

It’s anybody’s guess what the flu shot will do to babies who receive it, year after year. It truly is a guess—an experiment on your child—because no longitudinal studies have been done with babies on the effect of giving annual flu shots starting from six months of age.

We won’t see the majority of the health consequences of this vaccination policy for many years to come, perhaps decades, and by then it may be too late for your children.

Although the CDC recommended that thimerosal be removed from vaccines in 1999, it is still present in many vaccinations today, including the flu shot.

Unfortunately, Mercury Is Still in the Recipe

In spite of strong recommendations from the CDC and others for removal of thimerosal from all vaccines, it continues to be a component of most flu vaccines. Thimerosal contains close to 50 percent ethyl mercury by weight. Children are particularly sensitive to the mercury since their nervous systems are still rapidly developing, making them more susceptible to the damaging effects.

Mercury is a toxic element that, if taken in high enough doses, can result in long-term immune, sensory, neurological, motor, and behavioral dysfunctions. Disorders associated with mercury poisoning include autism, attention deficit disorder, multiple sclerosis, and speech and language deficiencies.

The majority of flu shots contain 25 micrograms of mercury in the form of thimerosal, which is 50 times more toxic than plain old mercury. The reasons for this are:

  • Injected mercury is far more toxic than ingested mercury

  • There is no blood-brain barrier in infants

  • Mercury accumulates in brain and nerve cells

  • Infants don’t produce bile, which is necessary to excrete mercury

Once mercury is in nerve tissue, it is irreversibly converted to its organic form and becomes tightly bound. It can remain in your child’s brain for years, like a time-release capsule, causing permanent degeneration and death of brain cells.

Thimerosal is a far more toxic form of mercury than the form you would get from eating open-sea fish.

It has been calculated that, by age 2, American children have received 237 micrograms of mercury from vaccines alone, which far exceeds the current EPA “safe” levels of 0.1 mcg/kg per day. That is one-tenth of a microgram, not one microgram! Now you can understand why your child would have to weigh 550 pounds to receive a flu shot and be within the federal exposure limits.

With most children receiving multiple shots at one time on “vaccination days,” they are receiving hefty doses of mercury that far exceed “safe” levels, meaning they can accumulate a heavy toxic load at a very young age.

You might want to check out the easy-to-use mercury calculator from the National Vaccine Information Center, which will tell you just how much mercury your child will be getting from his vaccinations.

If that doesn’t cause your blood to boil, I don’t know what will.

Children are even receiving “shots of mercury” before birth. When a pregnant woman receives the flu vaccine, the fetus receives several hundred times more mercury than federal agencies say is safe for adults.

Aluminum and Other Nasty Chemicals Compound the Risk

When mercury is removed, it is typically replaced with another toxic additive that is often just as damaging to your child’s health. Topping the list is aluminum hydroxide, a neurotoxin that has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, among other things.

Aluminum is a neurotoxin that accumulates in your brain and results in degeneration of nerve cells. It also augments the toxicity of mercury and increases inflammation. It is possible that brain inflammation from the aluminum in vaccines is a factor in the development of brain damage and autism.

The FDA considers levels of aluminum up to 0.85mg to be “safe.” The cumulative aluminum from your child’s 36 vaccines is 30.6 mg, whichis 36 times that limit.

In addition to mercury and aluminum, the flu vaccine also contains other toxic or hazardous ingredients, including:

  • Formaldehyde—a known cancer-causing agent

  • TritonX-100—a detergent

  • Phenyl (carbolic acid)

  • Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)

  • Various antibiotics: neomycin, streptomycin, gentamicin—which can cause allergic reactions in some people

Dr. Russell L. Blaylock wrote an excellent,comprehensive article about the danger of excessive vaccination during brain development. He presents frightening evidence that vaccines themselves can damage the immune system of immature animals (and by extension, your child).

Bombarding your baby with vaccines can put him at risk for autoimmune disorders such as asthma, eczema, and allergies. It can also suppress your child’s immune system, increasing the number of severe complications associated with infections. What this means for you is, when your child contracts a serious infectious illness such as measles or chickenpox, he is more likely to suffer neurological damage, seizures or other systemic difficulties.

There is also evidence that multiple vaccines lead to an increased risk for seizures, especially during the first year when your baby gets shots every two months.

What about FluMist, the new inhalable flu vaccine?

Some of the greatest immune suppression comes from live virus containing vaccines, such as FluMist, which has been recently linked to the development of asthma. According to Dr. Blaylock, live virus vaccines pose a special danger to your child, especially if he is immunosuppressed, because these viruses can take up permanent residence in your brain. Once that happens, your child has a greater risk for developing a persistent viral infection.

Of course, when this occurs, the vaccine promoters scream that we need more vaccines to protect the children, never admitting that it was the vaccine that was to blame in the first place! The Vaccine-Free Way to Prepare Your Child For Flu Season

One of the best ways to prevent your kids from getting the flu is to keep yourself from getting it, thereby preventing it from cycling through your family members like an old sweatshirt. Here are my basic “secrets” for keeping your immune system strong:

  • Eat right for your nutritional type

  • Eliminate sugar from your diet

  • Eat garlic regularly

  • Consume a high-quality krill oil daily

  • Get plenty of vitamin D *

  • Exercise

  • Get adequate sleep

  • Address emotional stress

  • Wash your hands regularly (but not excessively)

Dosing recommendations for vitamin D: Adults should take 5,000 to 10,000 IU per day, depending on body weight. For children, 2,000 IU per day is adequate. For more information on this amazing flu-preventing vitamin, as well as where to have your vitamin D levels checked and how to cure a cold or flu with mega-doses of vitamin D, read the full article I posted on this topic.

One useful supplement you could try, should you come down with a case of the flu, is olive leaf extract, which you can find in almost any health food store.

Olive leaf extract has been found to be a potent broad-spectrum antiviral agent, active against all viruses tested, including numerous strains of influenza and para-influenza viruses. Children will benefit from some additional measures to keep those nasty viruses away. Here are a few that I have adapted from SayBooToTheFlu:

  1. Sing and scrub: Teach your kiddo how to wash his hands the right way. Washing should be done frequently, in warm water, with a basic soap (not antibacterial) for at least 20 seconds—the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.

  2. Do the elbow cough: Teach kids to cough into their elbow, not hands, if they don’t have a tissue. This makes it less likely they will spread viruses and bacteria through touch.

  3. Keep “hot spots” clean: Children have been found to touch up to 300 surfaces in 30 minutes, so be sure to disinfect surfaces kids touch most frequently—like doorknobs, light switches, faucets, and toys. (A handy device I recommend for cleaning and disinfecting a multitude of things without noxious chemicals is the Tersano Lotus Sanitizing System, available through Amazon for a little over $100.)

  4. Keep your children home if they’re sick: Schools and daycares can be viral breeding grounds because so many children are in close proximity, in enclosed spaces.

  5. Sharing is not always a good thing: Discourage your kids from sharing utensils, cups, toothbrushes, washcloths, lip balm, etc., especially when they’re sick. Be sure to replace your child’s toothbrush after he’s had an infectious illness to avoid coming into contact with lingering bugs.

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