by Dr. Mercola

Despite evidence to the contrary, the conventional view is that getting inoculated is the best way to protect yourself against the flu, and to make more flu vaccines available faster, the FDA recently approved a number of novel flu vaccines.

The first, Flublok, is produced by programming insect cells to produce hemagglutinin, a flu virus protein essential for entry of the virus into your body’s cells. Flublok is “the first the first trivalent influenza vaccine made using an insect virus (baculovirus) expression system and recombinant DNA technology,” and is approved for use in adults only, ages 18-49. This kind of genetically engineered vaccine technology, while you may never have heard of it before, has already been used in the production of vaccines against other infectious diseases. According to CNN:

“This method allows for more rapid production, making more of the vaccine available more quickly in the event of a pandemic… Flublok will be available in limited supply this winter and widely available during the next flu season, said Protein Sciences, which is based in Meriden, Connecticut.

Flublok contains the elements necessary to help fend off three different flu strains, including H1N1 and H3N2, the regulator said. And it proved 44.6% effective against all influenza strains in circulation, not just those that matched the strains included in the vaccine, according to the FDA.”

Other Novel Flu Vaccines Being Unleashed

Last November, the FDA also approved a new flu vaccine by Novartis called Flucelvax, which is grown in cultures of dog kidney cells rather than chicken eggs. This too allows for speedier vaccine production, should another pandemic erupt. But does speedier production equate to safer products? If history offers any clues, the answer is no. But, as demand for vaccines of all kinds increases, the relationship between the US government and Big Pharma keeps getting cozier. As reported by Reuters9:

“In 2006, HHS [US Department of Health and Human Services] provided more than $1 billion in contracts to six manufacturers to develop cell-based flu vaccine technology in the United States… In 2009, spurred by difficulties in growing vaccine for the H1N1 swine flu pandemic, HHS provided Novartis with nearly $500 million to build the first U.S. facility capable of producing cell-based vaccine for seasonal and pandemic flu in the United States.”

The newly approved Flublok vaccine also received financial backing from the US government. The HHS bailed out the small manufacturer, Protein Sciences, with a $147 million investment, allowing it to create the first gene-based flu vaccine to win FDA approval. It certainly won’t be the last however. Two other genetically engineered flu vaccines are under development. According to Reuters, one of them, created by Novavax, will use “bits of genetic material grown in caterpillar cells called “virus-like particles” that mimic a flu virus.”

I for one am not looking forward to finding out what the side effects might be from this new generation of genetically engineered flu vaccines… Even worse, the HHS also has its eye on a “universal” flu vaccine that would cover any and all flu strains, and only require one dose every five to 10 years.  As reported by Reuters:

“Work by Fauci and Dr. Gary Nabel, former head of NIH’s Vaccine Research Center who just joined Sanofi as chief science officer, showed that a portion of the flu virus that is usually hidden from the immune system may be the key.

Fauci describes the hemagluttinin part of the flu virus as bulb-shaped with a stem on one end, sort of like a dandelion that has gone to seed or a lollipop on a stick. Most vaccines target proteins on the bulb portion of the virus, which mutates from year to year, but Fauci says the stem contains proteins that don’t change much from virus to virus. The problem is that when the flu virus is presented to the body, these stem proteins are structurally hidden from the immune system. A genetically engineered vaccine could overcome that by only presenting these stem proteins to the immune system.”

According to Robin Robinson, director of the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a part of the HHS, it’s “a good hypothesis” that will hopefully work. The HHS is “keeping fingers crossed.” What could possibly go wrong by making your body attack genetically engineered virus structures that are normally hidden from immune system detection, right?

Irresponsible Flu Vaccine Recommendations Reach a New Low

In related news, while a new breed of genetically engineered flu vaccines are hitting the market, some experts are now actually proclaiming the conventional egg-based flu vaccine safe for those with severe egg allergies. According to a recent article in the New York Times:

Amid an unusually widespread outbreak of the flu, a medical association of allergy specialists said Friday that even children with severe egg allergies should get flu shots. Because the vaccine is grown in chicken eggs, manufacturers recommend that the roughly 2 percent of all children who have egg allergies not get them. But flu hospitalizes 21,000 young children a year, said Dr. James L. Sublett, chair of the public relations committee of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Because only trace amounts of egg protein remain in the vaccine, “we now know administration is safe,” he said. “’The benefits of the flu vaccination far outweigh the risks.” Even children who have gone into anaphylactic shock from eating eggs should get flu shots, but from an allergist trained to handle emergencies, the association recommended.”

I really cannot believe how far they will go to endanger your health — especially when you consider that, for an industry that claims to be science-based, flu vaccine recommendations go AGAINST the hard evidence. Worse yet, while studies show flu vaccination is ineffective, when it comes to safety, which is the other and more important factor (especially for infants), the evidence is basically non-existent! According to an independent study review from the Cochrane Collaboration11 published August 15, 2012, the efficacy of inactivated vaccine is similar to placebo in children under the age of two. Furthermore:

“Influenza vaccines were associated with serious harms such as narcolepsy and febrile convulsions [in children]. It was surprising to find only one study of inactivated vaccine in children under two years, given current recommendations to vaccinate healthy children from six months of age.”

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