Sunday, March 09, 2014

Unintended consequences ...

One of the reasons public health officials and health care providers are so concerned about influenza is its link to secondary infections (generally pneumonia) that may be at least as deadly, if not more so, than a primary infection with influenza (especially for those who are already compromised with other chronic or acute health conditions).

LAIVs are Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccines, given intra-nasally, generally to a pediatric population (and contra-indicated for pregnant women). The link below (#1) is to a study showing that use of LAIVs can result in increased colonization of the respiratory tract with streptococcus pneumonia and staphylococcus aureus - two bacteria that can be human pathogens. This is similar to what happens in naturally acquired influenza.

Not only are those who receive this vaccine shedding live flu virus to those around them after receiving it, but they may also be shedding/spreading other pathogens as well (even if they do not get ill).

But this begs several questions -
1) MRSA (methcillin resistant staph aureus) is an increasing problem - it used to be limited to         a nosocomial infection (acquired when in-patient), but it is now community acquired as well         as nosocomially acquired. Could the use of this vaccine have played a role in that change?

2) How many people are becoming sick with pneumonia without an initial influenza and could
    the phenomena described in this study be playing a role with this as well? In other words,
    could this intervention be causing more illness than it prevents?

Remember - this vaccine is used primarily in a pediatric population who are still being taught to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze ... and for that matter, how many adults do this?

Consider this report from 2012:
  1778 • CID 2012:54 (15 June) - Increased Risk of NonInfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections
   Associated with Receipt of Inactivated Flu Vaccine;
Could the Inactivated (injected) flu vaccine be having a similar effect, or does it cause a disregulation of the immune system that causes us to be more vulnerable to becoming ill
subsequent to vaccination? If so, why is it hyped and pushed so much? If it causes this kind
of disregulation of the immune system might there be other immune problems caused by
this intervention about which we do not yet know?

Interestingly enough, this issue also contains reports regarding pertussis outbreaks among highly/fully vaccinated populations ... but that's for another blog post. Scape-goating the unvaccinated is far too easy, and simply un-justified.

In the past, I didn't believe people when they said "I always get sick after I get the flu vaccine."
Now I do.

The phenomena of poly-pharmacy is well known - this can happen when multiple physicians or health care providers are writing prescriptions for various reasons/conditions, or it can happen as drug A causes a side effect for which drug B is prescribed, which may cause still more side effects leading to further prescriptions, etc ... );

I suspect we have already arrived at poly-vaccination but that the phenomenon is not recognized, or if acknowledged, is ignored because so many have agendas around vaccination (financial or otherwise) that motivates them to remain silent.

Vaccination should be voluntary, not compulsory. Period. People should be free to determine for themselves what risk/benefit ratio they are willing to live with.


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