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Swine Flu, Part 2 – Media’s Vaccine Injury Dichotomy

Safety first By Nancy Hokkanen

The specter of swine flu has commanded international attention, and media coverage already has saturated our minds. Each day brings new revelations regarding this disease’s source, spread and treatment. If you Google “Swine Flu” you’ll get 200,000,000 hits.

Infectious disease creates an uneasy intersection of the public and the personal. People who’ve suffered a vaccine injury, or have family members that did, are watching quite cautiously as government, industry and the medical community respond with policies that affect their loved ones, and billions more.

Quite predictably the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is finding itself haunted by the ghost of vaccines past, as many consumers are old enough to remember a previous flu epidemic whose public health response is frequently described as a debacle. This week National Public Radio ran a 3:47 segment titled “Lessons From 1976 Flu Vaccinations.” The report on All Things Considered stated that the swine flu immunization campaign eventually became “seen by some as a dangerous overreaction... harmful side effects from the vaccine did appear.” (HERE)

NPR reporter Scott Horsley provided historical context for public health officials’ decision-making, saying "they were afraid of what would happen if a novel virus hit a population with little or no immunity." A CDC researcher said his work was influenced by family lore about relatives who'd died in the 1918 Spanish influenza epidemic.

In 1976 about a quarter of the American population  – 40 million people – were vaccinated against swine flu. Then-President Gerald Ford had announced, "We cannot afford to take a chance with the health of Americans." That statement proved perversely prophetic when the vaccine became linked to a nerve disorder called Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). Out of an estimated 500 cases of GBS, 25 deaths were attributed to the swine flu vaccine.

Also this week the publication Business Week contained an interesting quote tucked into its article titled “European Drug Companies Ramp Up Production to Tackle Swine Flu.” Professor Paul Hunter of the School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice at the UK's University of East Anglia said, “There were more deaths from the vaccine than from the outbreak. This is why people are talking about the use of antivirals rather than vaccine to control the outbreak.” (HERE)

The very presence of these two reports in mainstream media indicates that on some level vaccine injury is a conventionally accepted reality. So why isn’t the ongoing vaccine injury of children – currently mislabeled as “autism” – recognized as a similar adverse event, worthy of prevention? Why is this inequitable dichotomy so entrenched in the public health mindset?

One difference is in the severity of physical symptoms. Full body paralysis is a diagnosis rarely missed, and adults can describe their neurological regressions. Conversely subclinical encephalopathies in nonverbal infants and toddlers are ascribed to delayed development, and parents are told their child will “grow out of it.” The timing of the GBS onset was undeniable, occurring shortly after the specific national swine flu vaccination campaign.

Another difference from 1976 is the CDC’s expanded communications network – websites, blogs, e-mail networks and cooperative corporate media repeating press releases without fact checking. There is even a CDC public relations department dedicated to inserting its agenda into television shows. (An April 28 episode of “Law and Order: SVU” set a new low for histrionic polemics that demean us all; a crucial opportunity to educate was lost.)

Parents of children injured by vaccines feel a cognitive dissonance reading CDC web pages containing information celebrating only its successes, which differ greatly from the gritty health realities reported from the field. And one must wonder why potential genetic susceptibility is a CDC priority only when it relates to disease-bearing potential, rather than including vaccine injury predisposition.

As the world watches and waits for this potential pandemic to unfold, we – the consumers, voters, taxpayers – should carefully observe and document our governments’ responses and ask key questions. Are public health agencies placing enough emphasis on promoting sanitation, proper diet and nutritional supplements? Who stands to profit from antivirals? If vaccines become mandatory, will the people inevitably injured receive any form of compensation for their health damages?

Swine flu is a tragedy. We should not have to remind others that vaccine injury is a tragedy, too. It was 33 years ago, and it is today.

Surely the day will come when the medical community and public health administrators see these coexisting tragedies as equally worthy of notice and prevention.


Nancy Hokkanen lives in Bloomington, Minnesota with her husband and 11-year-old son. She contributes to autism listservs and volunteers for Generation Rescue and A-CHAMP/AAN.



A Minnesota update:

Today's Minneapolis Star Tribune featured this front page headline: "Quest for flu vaccine has its own perils" (5/3/09). It's surprising to see that reporter acknowledge vaccine injury.

Paragraph 4: "In effect, health officials are walking a high wire. If they act prematurely, they risk repeating the mistakes of the swine flu scare of 1976, when a massive vaccination program killed more people than the flu virus itself."


Dr. Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic is referenced; he has an interesting article in the May 2009 issue of Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. His article, "Adversomics: The Emerging Field of Vaccine Adverse Event Immunogenetics," offers some hope that vaccine injuries may finally be studied and possibly prevented.


Nancy, thank you for expressing so well many of the thoughts I have been having.

I am very concerned about my kids with compromised immune systems being exposed to this flu. I am even more concerned about an inevitable vaccine becoming mandatory by Fall and injuring my kids even further.

It is a tragedy. It's also a tragedy that people fail to demonstrate anywhere near as much concern or media fervor for those affected by "Autism" and many, many other related illness that are caused by the very same vaccine-induced injuries.

I think every parent of a child injured by vaccines knows just as I do that there will be no vaccine injury compensation.

You are absolutely right that this is an excellent time to be asking our public health officials and government representatives if there will be compensation for those that will be inevitably injured by any subsequent vaccine. I was thinking just this as I watched Governor Pawlenty speaking from Cold Spring, MN this morning about the confirmed case of Swine Flu there.

It is a very important opportunity to call to attention all of the GBS victims and victims of fatality from the previous vaccine for the last flu pandemic panic.

I know that if I have the opportunity to attend a press conference on the matter I will be asking those very questions.

Maureen O

Today a friend of mine told me her sister had a baby boy. What use to be a happy event fills me with dread. Oh no a boy! I want to scream don't give him the hepatitis B but i know its already too late.
I say a little prayer and hope he is a good methylator,sulfator and full of glutathione.

World Media Scholar

Get a load of this gas at the very top of YouTube. Typically, the top means hard selling pay placement. Sort of above the fold in print news. You know WHO?


Of course, we know this latest scare is nothing new, but to youngsters (kids and teens) it likely is going to be alarming. Remember, the nightly news sock puppets have already condition proffer that this "killer pandemic" is striking completely healthy young people.

This guy obviously is delving into acid sell to teenies.

The alarm and panic "time is a factor" and "haste" coupled with stress wrinkles.

The "I can't process this" look. Orsen Welles 'War of the Worlds' ad lib style. The hip authoritative Euro accent. The free and independent pig tail. The Russert style of the dry erase board. All create the hook.

Notice early how he looks down with a confused face as if he is reprocessing information and issue the fake Freudian slip of Spanish Flu.

Then there's the dumbed down, vague message laced with WHO faketoids.

Obviously for those who look before they leap the comments below the video placement are sprinkled with coaxing support for those who might doubt.

The brain-wash message is "there's not time". Like this guy really thinks we'll believe he has something more important to tackle than killer world flu pandemic? That's the subtle qualifier of integrity.

Later without thinking, when the new vaccine is announced in the business sections of the media, the compliance engineers will change the message to "it makes senses to prepare..." using NOW as the trigger word. "There's still time" will follow.

The odds are WHO (vaccine marketplace) is the force here saturating young minds with this garbage. The target audience is clearly the next generation of young moms and dads.

Of course, the vaccine industrial complex is repetitively reminding us and particularly young kids that the flu shot won't work. This is deliberately being seeded.

The globalist think-tanks know the of deprivation of a vaccine during the relative safety of this fake killer world flu pandemic today will create the desire in these kids, the next generation of moms and dads, to do better for their children.

Those who have liberty in law should beware of those taking liberities by law.


As usual, your report acts like a pencil sharpener for the brain. Cognitive dissonance-- yes. That's exactly what happens when reading this stuff. It's that "frozen brain" feeling you get just before being overtaken by fumes of steaming rage.

It is quite curious that the very same press sources which usually show the vaccine injury movement nothing but contempt are actually entertaining the idea of...vaccine injury risks.

I wonder if this has anything to do with reporters and network types feeling a personal pinch at the thought of required adult vaccinations. Fine to market the crap but to be subjected to it? Another story.

Adding to the weirdness, Massachusetts has now passed S.18, allowing the declaration of "health martial law" in the case of pandemic, giving health authorities the power to make warrantless entry onto private property, the right to contain and quarantine. I'm not sure if this also involves the right to force drugs or vaccinations because I haven't read the fine print yet. Not surprisingly, the bill also shields health care workers in the performance of these "good faith" acts (as if they were going to be waterboarding people):




"H.108 and S.18 would: Protect health care providers from liability in a suit
for damages or administrative sanctions as a result of good faith acts or
omissions while engaged in the performance of duties in rendering emergency
care, treatment, advice, or assistance during a declared public health emergency
or state of emergency, or acting as a result of a pandemic or a disaster."

Good thing that this outbreak is very unlikely to turn into a pandemic.


Maybe there is more truth to the new swine flu "epidemic" coverage because some of us remember the less corrupt press of 1976. There was widespread understanding that the vaccine hurt far more people than it helped back then, and there is no way to deny that history in the parallel situation now.

(Although Gardiner Harris probably wasn't even born in 1976, not that that would be adequate reason to improve the balance of his coverage on the topic...)


It really is bizarre the dichotomy between how the press writes about some topics (e.g. prescription drug problems) and how it writes about autism and vaccines. The propaganda, influence, and brainwashing have been so effective in declaring autism to be a genetic condition affecting the brain, and in declaring that the vaccine/autism link has been disproven -- even though so much evidence to the contrary exists.

Thanks for describing so well this dichotomy in relation to G-B syndrome being recognized as vaccine induced, whereas autism -- which also involves disruption of the immune system -- continues to be depicted as not related to vaccines.


Excellent piece Nancy. It is critical that this information be disseminated. As we know, if you don't know history, you are bound to repeat it.

A. F.

Thank you for mentioning the terrible episode on Law and Order - SVU the other night. The next morning I sent the following e-mail to NBC:

I woke up thinking about last night' story about the stupidity of parents who do not vaccinate. As the parent of a 13 year old "victim" of vaccines, I am very unhappy that you have told millions of parents to ignore approx. 1 out of 80 boys with autism and to have their kids be "good little soldiers" for the "cause" of herd immunity.
How many people do you know in USA have children that died from measles?
How many people do you know in USA who have children who reacted to vaccines and became autistic or otherwise damaged?

When I took our sweet boy back to the pediatrician 10 days after vaccination (including MMR), reporting "reactions to the vaccines", I had no idea that our family's lives had changed, potentially forever (unless God does a miracle). To hear the "expert" on the witness stand testify that the chances of a bad outcome to the MMR were "minimal" were hardly grounded in fact. As toxicologist Boyd Haley put it "what happened in all 50 states, including Hawaii, California, Florida and Alaska simultaneously to cause a rise in autism?" Of course, the mandatory vaccine schedule. If you think it is minimally hard to have a 13 year old who cannot cross the street by himself, cannot speak conversationally, needs help with his private hygiene, etc., then how about contributing a few million to our "cause" of lifetime care? I mean, if we are so rare, then surely you can spare the change? And when we die, can our son come live with you?

Eventually, the truth will come out about vaccines, just like it did cigarettes, and you will have helped contributing to the agonizing outcome by giving parents false reassurances to go ahead and follow the mandatory vaccination schedule, like I did. I hope you are as proud as a peacock!

Maurine Meleck

Good article, Nancy. I do think there is a difference in many peoples' minds about vaccines now and vaccines back in 1976. Back then, we just took what the government offered without giving it a second thought. That the government is serving fear right now is without question, but I do believe that many are no longer taking their comments and recommendations at face value.
I hope I'm right, anyway.

Teresa Conrick

Thamks, Nancy. Keep sounding that alarm as many do not know what happened 3 decades ago and how the parallels today are uncanny.

One major difference, I hope, is that we have a President who wants transparency in all matters, including health and science, and the government agencies that inform and regulate them.

You wrote- "Surely the day will come when the medical community and public health administrators see these coexisting tragedies as equally worthy of notice and prevention."............ and maybe these are the days.

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